7 College Hacks From A Fifth Year Senior

7 College Hacks From A Fifth Year Senior

How to survive college from someone who made a career out of attending college
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College. Is. Hard. Can I get an amen? Lucky for you, I have years of experience as a college student (five to be exact). I could say that the reason I have taken so long to graduate is because I have selflessly dedicated my entire college education to find every possible college hack to help save future and current college students time and money all while maintaining their emotional well-being... but in reality, I am just really indecisive.

1. If you aren't sure what you want to major in, take gen-eds FIRST

Gen-ed's are the classes that all colleges require you to take that have nothing to do with your degree, but that you are required to take to get your degree. It makes so much sense, right? No.

My advice to all of the incoming freshmen that haven't had their entire life planned out since the second grade and have no clue what they want to major in... claim your major as "undecided". This way your advisor isn't throwing you into pre-reqs for nursing your freshman and sophomore year just for you to end up deciding junior year that you actually want to be a journalist *cough cough* I did that.

2. DON'T DRINK THE PUNCH

Oh frat parties how I do not miss you. I can guarantee you will come across a mystery punch at a frat party or any party for that matter. A punch that tastes oh-so-good, but the oh-so-many-regrets you'll have in the morning when you experience the worst hangover of your life.

Trust me when I say don't drink it, but if you like to live life on the edge drink it slowly. This concoction has a way of tasting like your favorite childhood Kool-aid without the harsh aftertaste of alcohol... which is exactly why it's so dangerous. My tip: drink at your own risk.

3. Rate My Professors saved my life

Rate My Professors is literally the best thing ever. You just search a professor's name and students that have had the professor give tips on how to pass the class. The students also rate the professor's overall quality and DIFFICULTY. If the professor's quality is 5.0 and their difficulty is 1.0, you my friend have just found a class that is an easy A.

4. Avoid 8ams at all costs

I know what you're thinking. "I got this! 8am? That's nothing, I was at school at 7:30 every morning in high school *hair flip*." That's true, but Tammy from Phi Gamma Omega-3 (or whatever) didn't invite you to karaoke at 10pm on a school night every week in high school, BUT Tammy will invite you now, and you will cave and you will not get home until at least 2am every freakin' time.

So, if you have a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out), then I highly discourage an 8am unless you absolutely need it for your major.

5. A doctor's note a day keeps the absences away!

I am not saying I've done it and I am not saying I encourage this, but I am saying that desperate times call for desperate measures. Let's say hypothetically you slept through a test. No worries... just go to your local urgent care (it'll cost $30 per visit... rough estimate) and literally come up with some type of sickness (I think I have a concussion, I think I have a deviated septum, etc). Your doctor may think you are a hypochondriac, but they will still write you a doctor's note at the end of the visit and you, my friend, will be able to retake that test.

6. Recycle, recycle, recycle

Whether that be buying textbooks from a student for a way cheaper price, selling your textbooks for a way cheaper price, wearing the same leggings two (maybe three) days in a row, saving any and every leftovers you have from a restaurant, leaving your parking ticket on your windshield for a month or so to prevent getting another one... recycling has its benefits. Do it, and do it with your head held high because you are saving the environment.

7. Get a work study job!!!!!!!

I have a work study job where I am paid $9 an hour to literally watch Netflix and do homework with the occasional and rare "what can I help you with" when someone needs my assistance. In fact, I am technically getting paid to write this article because I am sitting at my work study job right now as I am writing.

So yes... college is hard, but if you persevere and outsmart the system by using these hacks, then you might just get through college faster than I did.

Cover Image Credit: EVERYPIXEL

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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