8 Luxuries Of Being A College Student

8 Luxuries Of Being A College Student

6. Frat Parties

It’s not hard to be negative about your state of affairs in college. You’re stressed out, broke, you work too much and sleep too little and sometimes everything just sucks. What we forget about each day, moving robotically through our schedules that become so natural halfway through the semester, is how beautiful life as a student can be. Four years of undergrad will fly by and before you know it, you’ll be thrust into the world of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. cubicle monotony (if you don’t choose your career path carefully). Here are eight things I will cherish over the course of my last semester as a Gopher.

1. Wearing sweatpants. Like every day.

Your friends in your Monday, Wednesday and Friday classes won’t know if you wear the same pair on Tuesday. There are few times in life where you can truly embrace anonymity. This is one of them.

2. Never wearing make-up. Like ever.

Don’t know why you would even go to the effort of putting on make-up if you’re already wearing sweatpants. Lowering people’s standards to never expect you to wear make-up means the slightest bit of effort you put into your face will be noticed.

3. Living within a two-mile radius of everyone you know and/or care about.

“I’m coming,” you say, dropping everything to make the 30-second trek to your friend’s house to pet a dog on the sidewalk. Making, having and hanging out with friends and significant others will never be more convenient. You and your study buddy live two blocks from each other and six from the library. And, for better or for worse, frat row is two streets up from like…four bars. Take advantage of proximity.

4. Working out whenever you want to.

A lot of conditions must be met for me to have a good workout. I have those peak times of the day when I get really pumped to lift heavy shit and have sweat dribble down my face while jamming to the Spotify playlist, “Beast Mode” (trust me, there are some bangers). Only in college will you be able to work out between your 9:05 a.m. lecture and your 12:20 p.m. discussion without missing a beat. Can’t get to the gym today? Bull shit.

5. Student discounts.

Companies seem to think student loans disappear after graduation. Six-dollar movies at St. Anthony Main theatre, $4.99/month Spotify subscriptions, Amazon Prime and those deals Apple always does in the fall where you can get free Beats headphones with the purchase of a laptop…all gone. You’re just like everyone else now.

6. Frat parties.

Don’t @ me. They’re fun. You probably won’t want to put a mini pool or pounds of foam or fake snow in your basement once you get your own place, so don’t miss Alpha Epsilon Naught’s Foam Party on Saturday. See you there.

7. The safety of the campus bubble.

Though you should always be conscious of your whereabouts when walking around (especially when the sun goes down at 3:30 p.m.), the campus bubble is a real thing. You’re 84% more likely to see someone you know (making #1 and #2 a bit awkward), but for some reason, you love walking around campus and just feeling super collegiate. Pretty soon you'll walk around and just feel old.

8. Views of the skyline.

You’re right across the river from downtown Minneapolis and oh, buddy, that is a nice view you’ve got from the fourth floor of Bruininks Hall. Walking across the Washington Avenue bridge at night is made just a little bit better by the soft glow of the distant skyscrapers. Something about the comfort of your college bubble makes it just a bit more beautiful.

They say college will be “the best years of your life.” And, while that’s not entirely true, there are some moments when you can’t help but think, “Damn, yeah, this is okay.” Revel in those moments.

Cover Image Credit: Wordpress

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My Problem With The Mom In 'Lady Bird'

Growing up takes time.


Now reader, you amazing, wonderful reader, I ask you to put aside the intense (and natural) rage that you feel towards me for having put the words “problem” and “Lady Bird” in the same sentence. Now, look me in the eyes as I say this: I LOVE "Lady Bird." We all love "Lady Bird!" It’s a fantastic movie, it captures some aspects of growing up that I didn’t even know I had experienced, it conveys the awe and the horrors we start to feel towards the world as we start to really understand our parts in it.

That scene at the end, when the titular character Lady Bird (now Christine) calls her home to tell her mom about the emotion she felt when she finally drove through her old town; I felt that too. This movie undoubtedly understands youth; what it doesn’t understand is the relationship between parent and child as that youth comes to an end.

If you’ve seen the movie, you’re familiar with the relationship between Lady Bird and her mother. There are moments of pure and utter truth in there. But what bothers me is the fact that despite the terrible things said and done by both Lady Bird and her mom, in the end it is Lady Bird that is left with the weight of reconciling with her mother even though her mom is at fault, and she does it. She calls home. She calls herself Christine again, she cries at church thinking of her home. After her mom hadn’t talked to her for weeks, she just goes and forgives her without a second thought. And why? Because they’re mother and daughter? Is that the message you want to believe in?

I think there’s a lot of affordances being made for the mother, and I don’t appreciate how we’re basically told that even though the mom is passive aggressive, belligerent, and demeaning, we need to excuse that because she doesn’t know how to communicate well and she’s worried about her mistakes. Lady Bird’s mom never directly shows Lady Bird how she loves her, and it’s clear there is some sort of affection between the two, but it’s a love shown through material things like money and clothing, essentials of course, but clearly not what Lady Bird needs.

I’m not saying that I think it’s impossible for Lady Bird and her mother to ever be on good terms again. What I’m saying is, that reconciliation takes time, and a whole lot of effort on both of their parts to see each other differently. It doesn’t come within the first week of leaving for college (when your mom refused to even walk into the airport with you), despite any of our romantic notions about university life I think we can all agree that real change has been a slow and grinding process, full of periods of growth and stagnation, but never quick. Growing up takes time, and I don’t know if "Lady Bird" did that justice.

Cover Image Credit: Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). Photo © (OvO) / Flickr through a Creative Commons license

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Dear Life

I Love You, And I Am So Thankful And Blessed.

I'm 23 years old. I am in my second semester of my Junior year of college. I started my college journey a little later than most of my friends and peers. This upcoming fall, I'll be headed into my Senior year of undergrad, and hopefully getting a jump start on my first year of grad school. I live at home with my parents and sister and I have two part time jobs. If all goes as planned, I will have my bachelors degree in May of 2019, and my masters degree in May of 2020.

I have wanted to write this article for a long time. This isn't to brag about me or where I am. This is about the journey I am on and how unbelievably happy I am in my life. Right now I'm a busy person and I have a lot on my plate. 18 credits, working 20+ hours a week, writing for odyssey, and trying to manage a social life. I'm a busy lady. Someone asked me one time how I handle being busy all the time, my response was that "I was born busy."

For as long as I can remember I have been busy. I played two sports growing up, went to CCD classes (church related), I was a girl scout, and I have a huge family that hosts functions almost every weekend. Oh, and I went to school five days a week too. When I graduated high school I worked three jobs totaling 80 hours a week sometimes. I can't handle not being busy, this is the only life I've known.

As happy as I am with where I am in my life, it's hard not to feel a little stuck. Your early twenties is such a weird time. You're trying to be an adult but you still feel like you're 17 years old. You're just hoping that everything will sort itself out eventually. I see friends that I grew up with getting married and having kids and I quickly forget that these are the milestones we start to hit at this stage in life.

Let me talk about my friends for a minute. I love to brag about my friends. Graduating college, buying houses, moving out, moving out of state, getting really good jobs. I am so proud. Words truly cannot describe how proud I am. When you grow up with someone and you get to go through life together, it's the best feeling to watch them get everything they deserve. I also think it's so amazing that I can look at each one of my close friends and tell a different story. Not one of us chose the same path. Some of us had really great jobs right out of high school, others went straight to a 4 year university. Some of us went to community college or didn't go to school at all. Some of us have college degrees and others are still working on them. I love having a supportive group of people who understand my path and my busy life. It reminds me that although I feel a little behind, I'm not alone.

I don't know if we'll all ever feel fully complete or satisfied with where we are in life. But I don't think that feeling is necessarily a bad thing. If we never feel truly satisfied then we're always going to be striving for more. I know that I have a lot of living to do, but I am so thankful that I learned to start appreciating the journey.

It is so easy to get down on ourselves for not doing something. Should we have studied harder? Worked harder? Eaten healthier and exercised more? Probably. But we also got to sleep in a little longer, saw a movie with our friends, and go shopping at the mall. I think that learning focusing on the process rather than the end goal has been a life saver for me. I still get stressed, I still procrastinate, and I still get overwhelmed but I'd rather be tired and enjoying life than not.

So this is my letter to life. I love you and I am so thankful and blessed. I am also thankful that I learned how to take time and reflect on where I am. It's so important to remember to breathe when you're going through a rough patch. I think that we often forget that we're human and nothing is ever going to be perfect. We have to stop being to hard on ourselves. The best thing I ever did was learning to stop caring so much about the outcome and enjoy getting there.

I am so proud of myself, my friends, and my family. If you're not incredibly happy with where you are, do what you can to change it. Cut back on the responsibilities that you can, practice a little self love, and remind yourself that it's okay to fail. Reaching a goal or a milestone is a great feeling, but there will always be another goal or milestone that follows. It's a never ending cycle that we need to learn to embrace.

Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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