10 Thoughts Everyone Has The First Month of College

10 Thoughts Everyone Has The First Month of College

A lot can happen in a month
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1. Omg, why am I so tired?

Remember all the days you slept past noon over the summer? Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Whether you have early morning sports practices, and 8 am class, or had to pull an all-nighter to write a paper for your Psychology class the sleep deprivation struggle is so real.

2. I have a paper for every class, including my statistics class

Don’t you miss high school when papers were only necessary for history and English class? The majority of homework in college is mostly reading and writing. Staring at your laptop for hours and trying to come up with an original thought can be next to impossible at times. When you hear your professor say, “10-12 page paper, due next week,” you want to curl up in a ball and pretend you heard him/her incorrectly.

3. Do I really have to eat at the dining hall again?

If you unfortunate enough to not have your car with you on campus, food options can seem slim to none, especially if you go to a small school with only one dining hall. You may have only been in school for a month but you already miss mom’s cooking or your favorite spots to eat at home. Delivery and trying to find someone with a car who will take you to get food will be your saving grace.

4. I don’t think I can read another word

The amount of reading done in college can seem overwhelming at times. When you have to read a 5-page article for class, multiple chapters of a novel, and review the last chapter in your textbook your eyes just want to stay permanently shut. Sometimes you can even mistake the important parts of your novel for College Writing with your notes from Psychology class.

5. Why does my hall always smell so weird?

No matter how many times you and your other hall mates spray Febreeze, there is always an odd smell in the hall. No one knows exactly where it’s coming from but everyone has their theories. You make sure to carry extra body spray on you so that you don’t end up picking up the smell.

6. Why is the wifi so bad?

No matter how many times you get emails on what tech support is doing to fix the wifi, it never works. It’ll be 11:58 and you're trying to submit your paper that’s due at 12:00 and of course the wifi won’t be cooperating. Oh, and are you trying to stream a game or a live tv show? Good luck with that.

7. Why does it cost money to do laundry?

The amount of money I already spend on tuition is off the charts so why am I being charged to do laundry? Especially if you’re an athlete, who doesn’t have team washes, the money can definitely start to add up. If you’re lucky, you live close enough to home so you can come home on weekends and do laundry.

8. I just took out the trash & now it’s suddenly full again.

With little trash cans in college, trash collects super quickly. If you eat in your room a decent amount, like I do, you collect even more trash. Hopefully, there is a dumpster near your dorm and you don’t have to walk all across campus to find one.

9. How am I supposed to remember everyone’s name?

After doing meet and greets in class for the first week, you think you would be able to remember people’s names. If you have a memory like mine you could have a full conversation with someone while forgetting their name at the same time. Even if you go to a small school, people look alike and names can be difficult to remember.

10. I’m somehow surviving, mostly thanks to coffee and my friends.

Even though the beginning of the year can always be difficult, you’re getting through it. Hopefully you have a good roommate and met some good friends who can help you destress. From exploring the area around your campus to even meeting in your room to do homework, your new friends are what are helping you get through. Coffee is also a God-sent and is getting you through those 8am classes.

Cover Image Credit: MaryKate McLaughlin

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject. It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease. The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own. We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time. Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death. However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me. In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident. A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life. I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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4 Things I Wish High School Me Knew

Every day has a purpose.

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People don't give high school enough credit for having the ability to shape your life. It can build you or it can break you and often times there is no in between. As I enter into my senior year of college I have reflected a lot on my college career and how it really has been the best years of my life up to this point, but I know that without a doubt my life would have been so different in I would have known these things as a high schooler.

1. Your life is valuable

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7

2. You aren't defined by your singleness. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. - Song of Solomon 2:7

4. You aren't going to fit in

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

4. Your clothes aren't going to fit forever, don't spend all of your money on them 

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15

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