5 Things I Miss While Away At College

5 Things I Miss While Away At College

You did not realize you would, but you certainly do.
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In August, I packed up and crossed the bridge from Cape Cod to the rest of Massachusetts. After an hour, I arrived at my new home, Curry College. I felt a myriad of emotions. I was nervous, but mostly excited. I knew I was going to miss my family, my best friends, and of course my cats; however, I did not realize the small aspects that I would miss.

1.The ocean.

Growing up on Cape Cod, the beach was my second home. Whether it be spending the day sunbathing and swimming or just simply driving to the coast after a really long day to unwind, the ocean was always there. It did not matter if it was summer or winter because there was always a reason to end up by the ocean- even after blizzard conditions because a beautiful sunset always follows a snow storm. The ocean is always in sight, whether you are at the beach or just driving up a hill on the main road and can catch a glimpse. As I unpacked in my dorm room, I realized the ocean was no longer two minutes down the road. Needless to say, the beach was the first place I stopped upon returning home.

2. Driving.

I was never the biggest fan of driving and I do not really no why, but I just was not. I took driving for granted because this year I am not allowed to have a car on campus and I miss being able to just get up and go. For the past two years, I had driven myself to school and it just seemed mundane; however, the ability to just hop in the car and go where ever you want disappears when you no longer have access to a car. When I got home, the first thing I did was hop in the car and drive. There is nothing like taking a ride and just jamming out.

3. Real coffee.

College students basically live off of coffee, but just because you always see them with a cup of the dining hall’s coffee does not mean they are enjoying it. The coffee served in the dining hall is not the best, but when you are on your way to an 8:00am exam, you are desperate. The first stop off campus always has to be Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks for a cup of that iced coffee you missed oh so much.

4. Breakfast.

I have officially been in college for six weeks, and I can honestly say the only time I have eaten a real breakfast was during Welcome Weekend. This semester I have an 8:30 class every day and I most certainly am not walking to the dining hall before that. Occasionally, I will grab a granola bar on my way out, but that is rare. I did not eat breakfast a lot throughout high school, but I did more than in college. Also, going out to breakfast on weekends was a common occurrence with me and my friends. Not being able to go to a small cafe for french toast and iced coffee once and awhile with my best friends makes me miss home.

5. Spontaneous adventures with your best friends.

This year is a lot different than the past four in that your best friends are no longer by your side. They could be a few miles away at another college, they could be across the country, or they could even be abroad. They are no longer 30 seconds down the road and you do not see them every day at school. Prior to leaving for school, my best friends and I would spontaneously go on little adventures around Cape Cod, and sometimes we even bought last minute concert tickets.Now if we want to visit our friends, we have to plan weeks in advance. You cannot just get up and drive to their house when you want to go grab food. You have to wait until you are both on winter or spring break before you can even consider these trips. It would even be hard to just surprise them at their school because everyone is so busy now. After being inseparable for year, you are separated and there is nothing you can do about it.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Odyssey, From A Creator's Point Of View

Writing for Odyssey is transitioning from the outside looking in, to the inside looking a million ways at once.

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It's 11:59 p.m. and I have two articles due tomorrow afternoon: two articles that are basically figments of my imagination at this point. When I was asked to write for Odyssey, I was ecstatic. I was a devout reader in high school and found every post so #relatable. During my short time as a "creator" for Odyssey, I've experienced what it's like to be on the other side of the articles.

Every post is not #relatable. This is a platform for anyone and everyone. I chose the articles I wanted to click on and read them, deemed them relatable, and clicked share. I, along with Odyssey's 700,000 something followers, did not go through and read every single article.

Being a creator has shown me that everyone has a voice, and by God, they're going to use it (rightfully so).

It can be disheartening at times to get what we think is a low number of page views when there are articles we don't necessarily agree with getting hundreds of Facebook shares. I don't crank out journalistic gold by any means, but being a writer isn't a walk in the park. It's stressful at times and even disappointing. Odyssey creators aren't paid, and even though it's liberating to be able to write about whatever our hearts desire, I'll be the first to admit that my life is just not that interesting.

When I first started writing for Odyssey, I vowed to never post anything basic like some things I have read in the past. If I'm going to dedicate the time it takes to write for a national platform, I'm going to publish things worth reading.

That vow is basically out the window now.

Simply stated, it's easy to write about things that are easy to write about. It's kind of like calling a Hail Mary play when it's the night before an article is due and there's been a topic in the back of your mind for days that you don't think is that great, but you think people might read. You just throw it out there and hope for the best. Being a creator gives you inside access to knowing what people are reading, what's popular, and what's working for other creators. Odyssey's demographic is not as diverse as it could or should be, so it's not hard to pick out something that the high school girl you once were will find relatable. Recently went through a breakup? Write about it. Watched a new show on Netflix? Write about it. When there's nothing holding you back, you have the freedom to literally put whatever you want online.

It's not easy coming out of your freshman year of college, one of the hardest years for any person, and being expected to whip up articles that everyone will love. Not everyone is going to love what I write. Heck, not everyone is going to like what I write. The First Amendment is a blessing and a curse. Not everyone is going to agree with you, and that's okay.

The beauty of Odyssey is that it highlights the fact that everyone DOES have a voice, and whether that voice coincides with your religious, political, or personal views isn't up to you.

You have the power to pick and choose what you want to read, relate to, and share. Remember that you have no way of knowing what every single person on the planet is going through and what they choose to write about reflects their own personal opinions, experiences, accomplishments, and hardships. Odyssey creators can spend weeks crafting articles they hope will break the Internet, but in return only get a few views. They can also pull all-nighters grasping at straws just trying to reach the minimum word requirement and end up writing the best thing since sliced bread.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that even though there are posts out there that are so easy for us to relate to, that's not always the goal for writers. We write what we feel, and if there's nothing to write about, we write what we think other people feel. The kicker is that we don't truly know what other people are feeling. You might hurt someone's feelings with your words. You might make someone cry with your story because they felt like they were alone and finally, finally, someone else feels the same way. You might trigger someone and get hateful comments. You might even change someone's life with your words.

The moral of the story is that words are pretty powerful, whether we choose to believe it or not.

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