6 Things I Miss Most About Home As A College Freshman

6 Things I Miss Most About Home As A College Freshman

Sometimes it's the little things that hit you the hardest.

Now don’t get me wrong. I was ready to leave. The summer before I went off to college was excruciating. I counted down the days until I would move into my freshman dorm, made lists of the things I wanted to bring with me, even mapped out how I wanted to decorate the side of my new room. College was on the horizon and, with it, was the opportunity to start fresh, to leave my negative memories of high school behind. But now, nearing the beginning of my second semester, I have come to appreciate the little things I didn’t realize meant so much to me before college.

1. My bed

It’s small, it’s a little lopsided, and my bedspread is some loud color that is no longer my style. But for some reason, that bed calms me and makes me feel like I’m safe.

2. A home-cooked meal

There is honestly no better feeling when you smell something cooking on the stove. Months of dorm food make you dream of homemade macaroni and cheese that isn’t tasteless, or your favorite curry on top of rice that isn’t sticky. It’s also amazing to have access to all the ingredients at your disposal and just bake whatever you want.

3. Sleeping in

There’s a big difference between a power nap that causes you to sleep through your 8:00AM class and waking up at 12:00PM with utterly no responsibilities ahead of you. With a break from school, it’s definitely to your advantage to prepare for the amount of sleep debt that waits for you next semester.

4. Family movie night

When you were younger, maybe it was annoying to have to sit through boring movies with your parents. But now, honestly any time you spend with your family is happy time. And often times, since your parents are so happy to see you they won’t fuss when you choose the movie. Catch me under a mountain of blankets, popcorn in hand, because I am here for it.

5. Seeing old coworkers

Honestly seeing your old coworkers again is like seeing old friends. You’ve been through so many busy spells and bad customers that your bond is not easily broken. They make picking up a few extra shifts on break worthwhile and you find yourself almost excited to come to work and be able to catch up. (This of course lasts only about ten minutes before you’re flooded with all the stress of the job you were sorely hoping to avoid).

6. The streets of my hometown

It’s strange to think about, but you never realize how much you know your hometown until you leave it. Your body goes on autopilot as you pass the familiar buildings, houses, and shops. The movie theatre where you had your first kiss. The ice cream shop where your friends hung out after school. The neighborhood loop where you first learned how to drive. These kind of spots aren’t easily forgotten.

Yes, college is most definitely better than high school. And yeah, moving to a new place for school was a much needed change of scenery. But there are some things that are harder to forget. Because despite how desperate you were to leave, it feels good to be home.

Cover Image Credit: Sofia Sforza

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Empowering Mantras That Soothe The Soul

Learn and repeat these mantras to center yourself.

January is the month of change. We can decide to change at any time during the year, but the start of the new year pushes us to be our best self. If you have something you want to stop, or start doing, now is the time. As I sit in Spain far away from my family, friends, and peanut butter (which is shockingly impossible to find in Spain), I’m confronted with a new challenge and a new opportunity to grow. Although studying abroad is an incredible opportunity and I am more than grateful, I would be lying if I said there aren’t moments of crying in the shower and longing for my body pillow at home (his name is Maxwell and he is pink, and no, I’m not pregnant).

Whenever I get overwhelmed I find it extremely helpful to stop, take a deep breath (or sixty) and repeat calming mantras to myself until the feeling passes. Mantras can be words or sentences and phrases that you can repeat to yourself anytime, although traditionally they have been used during meditation. The goal is to help focus the mind internally and block out any external distractions. It helps to center you and mentally decongest. Scientifically, the benefits are incredible.

The repetition of mantras have been linked to a decrease in heart rate, brain waves and the ability to slow down breathing.

“I am enough”

Fake it till you make it. Believe it or not, say it over and over again. We are what we think, so think positive.

“This too shall pass”

Life goes on even when you think it can’t. We have to experience the peaks and valleys to live a full life. Remember that in a bad moment, it will pass and a new feeling will replace it. And treasure and revel in the good moments because you know what you have overcome and what you may face in the future.

“I am grateful”

Your nail breaks, you spill your coffee, you tumble down a flight of stairs. Plenty of things happen throughout our days that may cloud our overall perception. Challenge yourself in those negative moments to list three events or people you may have overlooked that made your day brighter. Gratitude literally alters the way our brains process our emotions and thoughts and the best part is that we are in control of making our thoughts positive.

“Let it Be”

Time and time again we learn this lesson. It is what it is, what will be will be. That’s not to say it’s always a graceful moment of acceptance, but there’s a certain freedom in knowing that so many things are out of our control.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/buildings-city-exercise-girl-374632/

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5 Must Things To Do During Second Semester

Looking for things to do during this winter season? This list has got you covered.

For many of us who have just started our second semester, or are about to, the stress of college is about to come at you full force and smack you in the face. Personally, I find second semester to be much more difficult compared to first semester.

First semester is filled with tailgates, football games, hayrides, pumpkin patches, Thanksgiving, Halloween, the list can go on and on. Due to the fact that there's so many more activities to do first semester than second, that can lead to a semi-dull second semester. With that being said however, here's a list of things you can do to prevent all that boredom.

1. Go to other sporting events that your college offers you

College sports are one of the best parts of living in America so you might as well take full advantage of them. Even though football season may be over, hockey and basketball season are in full swing right now. Also, by end of March and beginning of April, baseball will start as well. Going to games as a student is a great way to have fun with your friends while not having to bust open the piggy bank.

2. Pajama and movie nights

A simple enough idea, but has the potential to have tons of fun if you decide to give it your all. During the winter, especially up north, it can be brutally cold so staying inside is priority majority of the time. But that doesn't mean there's not a way to enjoy all that cold.

Curl up with your best friends whether it be in your dorm room or apartment while showing off the funniest or best pajamas you own. Pick out your favorite movies and settle down for a night full of laughter, gossip, and memories.

3. Enjoy the outdoors

Even though I just said that winters up north can be brutally, there's still plenty to offer when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors. Go ice skating and watch all of your friends struggle to stay upright and fall down, or go skiing/snowboarding and enjoy the beauty of the snow while getting a great workout in.

Or, you could be like my friends and steal dining hall food trays and use those to sled down some hills. Having these options can help you look forward to the winter and enjoy activities other than staying inside.

4. Go to a museum

Learning about different cultures or parts of history can be a lot more fascinating than people would like to admit. Go to your local college museum and check out cool facts there or drive to a city around you to check out other museums as well. If you're close to a moderate to large city, you will usually be able to find a history museum, aquarium, or some type of science museums. These are fun ways to learn new facts about the past, present, and future of our world.

5. Day trip

Spontaneous (or not spontaneous) day trips can be a blast with your friends or significant other. Choose a random place to go and drive there. Find something to do wherever you go. You'll make some great memories that'll last you a lifetime. It doesn't even have to be far, it can be only 30 minutes away and still be just as fun. Where the destination is doesn't matter, it's who you're going with that matters.

I hope these 5 ideas of what to do in the winter will help you enjoy your second semester of college while still having as much as first semester. After all, you're only in college for four years, so take advantage of everything you can do while you can!

Cover Image Credit: Maddie Blank

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