11 Things Every College Kid Should Be Thankful For

11 Things Every College Kid Should Be Thankful For

Those leftovers? Absolutely.
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It's easy to get overwhelmed at this point in the semester, after winter break and so close to winter break, but there are also so many things every college student should be thankful for in between these times at home.

1. Microwavable meals

Because figuring out portioning for one is a pain.

2. Breaks from school

We all needed to forget about due dates for six days.

3. Gift cards

Who doesn’t love free fast food?

4. Warm clothes

What’s better than bundling up in four sweaters you stole from your mom?

5. Family

Coming home to them is a blessing.

6. Second families at school

Those friends who are an extension of you.

7. Curved exams

Because forgetting about deadlines kind of affected that post-break test.

8. Extra credit

Like a little piece of heaven you can earn.

9. College

Because even though it’s stressful, it’s a privilege.

10. Leftovers

Home cooked meals are great at home, and wonderful in an apartment.

11. Friends with meal plans

Make sure you thank them for getting you into dining halls.

Cover Image Credit: conversecollege / Flickr

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What It's Like To Stay In Pittsburgh Over The Summer

What's there to do when our teachers are hibernating for three months?
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It’s weird for me to think that some people don’t stay in Pittsburgh over the summer, if only because I haven’t gone home for any summer since I’ve been in college and I have no inclination to do so. There are plenty of reasons to stay: classes, research opportunities, jobs and internships, and some people find that they just don’t want to go home and find a reason to stay. Of course, even with all those incentives there are still some of you who will want to go home, wherever that may be, so hopefully I can clue you in on what it’s like over those three months.

To begin, Pittsburgh is absolutely gorgeous in the summer. You get a taste of it in the fall, and a whiff in spring, but wow, with the flowers and the trees in bloom, places like Frick park, The Point, The Waterfront, and Mount Washington are completely transformed in the haze of green and other colors. The second thing I always notice, around the third week in, is how quiet Oakland becomes. Walking around campus, you’re lucky to run into 8 strangers over the course of your day, although there are always a handful of stragglers in Hillman or Cathy. It feels nice, in an odd way; the campus feels much more personal, much more accommodating to you. And then, with the lack of people and stress from school, you start to branch out from Oakland and see more of the city, which is where the real fun begins.

We all know we go to the University of Pittsburgh, but honestly it’d be more accurate to say we go to school in Oakland. Campus can feel pretty big during the school year, but Pittsburgh is a city of dozens of neighborhoods outside of the four or five that make up Pitt’s domain, and most of us stay orbiting around specific buildings that are hubs for our majors. I didn’t really start understanding the dynamic of larger Pittsburgh until summer after my freshman year when I started to see comedy shows on a regular basis downtown, and it completely opened my eyes to the opportunities we miss every day during the school year.

I’m not trying to judge anyone: you’re lucky to see me outside of Hillman, Cathy, or my apartment during the school year. But still, when I think about all the festivals, museum openings, theatre performances, comedy shows, art galleries, and independent classes that are offered around Pittsburgh, just to name a few of the options available in a city like Pittsburgh with vast public services and interesting people, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out. If you ever get a chance, I’d say stay here over a summer, even if only for a couple weeks. And even if that’s not in the cards, maybe check out some of the local stuff happening outside of Oakland; Pittsburgh can surprise you.

Cover Image Credit: Robpinion on Wikimedia Commons

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It's Time For Spring Cleaning, And I Plan To Clean Out My Closet And What's Cluttering My Mind

I want to spring clean my mind and my heart.
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Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and spring has sprung! Lubbock can’t seem to fully get behind the change in the weather, but I’ve decided to embrace the shift anyway. Despite temperature drops below freezing, I’m moving my outlook to warmer days. With a new season and a new perspective, it seems a good time to spring clean my life.

That’s right, my life. I’m embarking on an effort to spring clean everything. My pantry can use a serious clean out and I desperately need to sort through clothes, but I’d like to take the metamorphosis one step further this year. What else in my life is dragging and bogging me down?

The obvious physical stuff needs to go. In a world where the latest trend promises and swears to make you thinner, prettier, happier, healthier, it’s hard to stay focused on a minimalist lifestyle. That’s the new goal—living as minimally as I can. Am I going to downsize to only five items of clothing I can strategically mix and match? No. But I would like to actually know every single item that’s in my closet (something I admittedly 100% could not do right now).

And don’t even get me started on the beauty products...

I’m going to purge the physical items cluttering my life and my home and seek to live only for those things that make me happy.

I plan to do this emotionally too.

I want to spring clean my mind and my heart. Perhaps I’m taking the analogy too far, but how great would it feel? We focus on transformations in this season and all things new. I want to cut out commitments and relationships that do not bring me joy and do not make me a happier or better person.

I want to create more physical space and emotional time and effort to give back to those things in my life that are good for me. How much more energy would I have if the clutter in my apartment and the clutter in my mind weren’t draining me every step of the day?

I’m hoping I’m not alone in this, but I don’t think I am. How much better would we feel if we were living for and with only the few incredibly important things that mean the world, rather than struggling along burdened by the latest and trendiest fashion, product, or commitment? I’m convinced, it’s time for some spring cleaning.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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