4 Things to Consider Before Leaving for College

4 Things to Consider Before Leaving for College

Make the most of the days you have left.
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When I was in high school, I could not wait to finally graduate after years of putting in minimal effort and getting into petty drama with my friends. I spent my entire senior year counting down the days until I moved into my tiny dorm room, practically daydreaming about being away from everything I've known my whole life. I told myself I would never have to see people I burned bridges with ever again, and I would get to my new school and start a new life. New year new me, right? Wrong.

It took me a while to get used to being away from home and meeting new people everyday, but I am finally used to my college. My twin XL bed is almost comfier than my bed at home, and I talk to my roommate every day when we go home on breaks. Being away from my small town for what feels like forever (it's been one semester!) has left me with a lot of time to rethink the decisions I made in high school and the way my daily life used to be.

I don't bother spending my time regretting things, but there are a few things I wish I did more before I left for school.


1. Appreciating your friends while you can see them everyday.

This is something I took for granted a lot. One of my biggest flaws is that once someone does me dirty, I vilify them and burn the bridge immediately. I've been in so many fights with my old best friends that I look back on now and can't imagine why we ever wasted time being mad at each other. I probably had the worst attendance in my entire grade, but when I woke up every morning my only motivation to get through the day was to see my friends. I miss having a solid group of people to make plans with and to do nothing with. Sitting at my old best friends houses are some of the funnest times I can remember with them. Through those four years, we got boyfriends, we started getting into different things, and finally we graduated and really parted ways. I still think about the close friends I had almost everyday and wish I could go back and apologize to them for my immature ways. The simple things you do with your friends while they're within 15 minutes of you are things you will come to miss once you graduate. So forgive your enemies and smile at them in the hallway while you still have the chance. Don't let your old friends be your old friends or even worse, just people you graduated with.


2. Spending more time with your family.

Despite the age gaps between me and my four older brothers, they have always been my best friends. Those little things like walking into your sibling's room when you're bored and just watching TV or playing video games will seem so desirable once you're away from home and start to miss them. Even though I miss my friends, every time I go home for break I look forward to hanging out with my brothers more than anything. When I find myself upset and far from home, all I can think about is how I wish I could run downstairs and hug my mom. Take the time to schedule a day with your parents while you don't have to strategically plan who you're spending your five day break with. Go out to eat with your siblings and reminisce on your childhood, then do all of the things you used to do when there was more time.

3. Thanking your teachers.

Before I graduated, I went around my school and thanked every teacher who has helped me out. I even went back to my middle school to see if any of my old teachers were there so I could tell them my plans for the future. Why? Because those teachers had a huge impact on my life. Teachers are involved in your life almost as much as your parents are - they become people to look up to, and most importantly to learn from. I struggled in a lot in high school with anxiety, keeping up with school work (even though I would do anything to have high school level work again!) and just getting out of bed in the morning to get there. There are so many amazing teachers who went out of their way to accommodate my weaknesses, push me to do better and remind me of my goals; I could never thank them enough for the way they impacted me.

4. Appreciating the town you grew up in.

I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone, yet I somehow thought it was a great idea to go away to school in an even smaller town. Here, you have to drive half an hour just to get to a Walmart and Taco Bell. Needless to say, I miss my "small" town where I could walk to the shopping center to get a frappacino when I got off the bus with my best friend. I miss seeing things happening on the news and feeling impacted along with everyone else in my town, because that was our town. The bagels on my campus will never, ever come close to the bagel shop in my home town where you couldn't walk in without seeing someone from school. So before you leave for school, take a drive around your town. Pop into those mom n pop restaurants and family owned businesses you've come to love over the years. You're going to miss them. The town that you've come to know so well, that feels like it's yours, is not going to feel that way when you go home again. (See: Franklin by Paramore)

Overall, I don't regret the way I spent my time before I left for school; however, I shouldn't have rushed leaving so much. Remember: don't count down the days, make the days count.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you could miss it." -"Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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