The ABCs Of Your First Week Of College

The ABCs Of Your First Week Of College

Things that every first year college student can relate to.

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ABC, but not as easy as 123.

​A: Adventuring.

Being completely free is one of the most liberating feelings in the world. Going out into your college town or just trying new places on campus is a fun thing to do and a great way to meet people.

B: Bye Mom! And Dad! And the life I've known and loved for the last 18 years!

Saying goodbye to your parents, family, and life as we know it is almost impossible without tears. Parents are crying all over the place, watching their babies grow up, and students are hiding in their shoebox-sized dorms because of the adjustment. It does get better. I promise.

C: Countdowns. 

Whether it be counting down until your school's first football game or the next time your family or friends are visiting, there's always a reason to countdown. Even if it's something silly, like making it to the weekend.

D: Dining Hall Food.

As amazing as your school's food is, nothing compares to a home-cooked meal.

E: EmergenC.

The best thing, and probably the only thing, that can provide any defense against the hell that is about to break loose in your immune system.

F: Free Stuff! 

As my very wise professor once said, "You're a freshman. You shouldn't have to pay for food this week." T-shirts are a hot commodity on college campuses, and if you don't have at least one free shirt from every day of welcome, you're doing it wrong.

G: Getting lost on your way to EVERY class.

Especially if you have a huge (but beautiful) campus with a million and one buildings that all look the same, chances are you're going to get lost. And that's okay. Because odds are, everyone is.

H: Homesickness, even if you've been dying to go to college since the first day of high school.

As excited as everyone I know was to get to college, once we were on campus alone, we were lost. We didn't have our parents there to tell us what to do, no little siblings to hang out with and drive around, and no hometown friends to talk about old drama with. Sleeping in a new bed is the most bizarre thing at first, but once you're settled, everything seems to fall back into place...but just until you can go home.

I: Introductions.

"State your name, major, hometown, and one fun fact about yourself." The most dreaded words that anyone in a college setting can hear. The most annoying kind of professors are those who spice it up, and ask something irrelevant, like your favorite vegetable or your shoe size.

J: Juggling classes and social events.

College truly is a balancing act. Regardless of how many times people tell you that, you won't realize it or learn until it's a Tuesday night during syllabus week, you're drowning in homework already, but your friends wanna grab dinner. If you're anything like me, you'd pick dinner too.

K: Kissing up to your RA.

Don't do it! Apparently that makes them mad.

L: Late nights. 

No parents or any real adult situation means walking in whenever, and being as loud as you please. (Unless your school has looooong quiet hours.)

M: Music.

What you listened to at home doesn't matter anymore. College changes the kind of music you listen to and the kind of music you enjoy.

N: Napping.

College naps are a true blessing from above, and anyone who doesn't take advantage of them is missing out big time. I always heard about them, but didn't know that they could ever feel this good.

O: Orientation.

A snooze fest for some, but a chance to meet others and create lifelong friends. After two full days of orientation, your brain just checks out. If you don't hear what they're saying because you're in your own little world, you'll make it. (Somehow.)

P: Parties.

This is the easiest week of the semester, so live it up while you can. Hang out with friends, go do something, have fun while you can. Before the madness begins. You only get two syllabus weeks a year, so make them count.

Q: Quizlet.

Two words. Life Saver.

R: Roommate agreements. And bonding time. And dance parties. 

If you're anything like me and lucky enough to love your roommate, then you do everything together. You're basically are a married couple. I went from having a big room by myself to literally being married and sharing a tiny space with someone.

S: Sylly (Syllabus) Week.

The only thing I can say is... SYLLY WEEK!!!! Do it for the sake of sylly week.

T: Trying to stay awake in all of the orientation sessions.

Between the plethora of information your brain is trying to absorb and the crazy early mornings to the late nights, orientation is a looooong weekend. You're more tired than you think, because everyone was struggling to stay awake.

U: Underestimating how long your body can survive without adequate sleep.

As soon as I stepped onto my campus, I automatically joined Team No Sleep. Never thought that I would do that, because I am the sleepiest person in the world, but I did. Your body is a lot stronger than you give it credit for. It doesn't need as much sleep as you think it does to get you through the first week.

V: Very accommodating people.

Everyone is in the same boat as you, so everyone is just as desperate for acceptance and new friends as you are.

W: Welcome home! 

This is your new home. It's like when you go on vacation: when you pull up to the hotel, they welcome you home. Except this really is your new home, and you have to make it home sweet home (for at least the next ten months.)

X: X off things on your TO DO list. 

College students walk on campus and immediately have a long list of things to do. Whether it be stuff for your RA, interest meetings, homework, or even eating, it piles up fast. The best feeling is crossing things off of that list.

Y: Yelling.

I don't really know why, and I doubt anyone actually does know why, but everyone yells... college is a loud place.

Z: ZZZZzzzzzz.

All of the sleep you WON'T be getting!

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To My Family When I Come Home

I'm kind of an adult now, so I'm going to need you to be patient with me.
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About nine months ago, you left me in front of my dorm, tears in both of our eyes, all by myself.

As my first year away from you comes to a close, I'm getting ready to return to the nest. And I can guess you're either feeling really excited to have your baby back, or you are wishing the semester would last a little longer. But whether you're ready or not, I'm coming home.

It's been quieter around the house. You haven't had to drive to games, activities, appointments, and events for me. One less person to clean for, one less person to cook for, and one less person to feel responsible for. It's OK to admit that you've enjoyed it.

I loved my first year away from home. I tasted freedom like I never have before, and I would like to think I was safe and smart about it. I figured out how to take care of myself in every way, shape, and form -- I manage my own time, I feed myself, and I get myself from point A to point B. In just a few short months, I've learned so much about myself and the world outside of our little town. It has been an amazing experience.

I'm kind of an adult now, and as I adjust to life back home, I'm asking you to be patient with me. I have spent so much time getting used to a new lifestyle where I can make up my own rules and decide when I want to follow them, it may take me a while to remember how things used to be when I was here all the time.

Please remember that I just busted my butt academically in the two hardest semesters of my life and I'm exhausted. I don't want to think about classes or my grades or anything related to my major — I just want to enjoy my summer.

Don't get angry with me if I forget to put my dish in the dishwasher or don't do my laundry for two weeks — when I was living on my own, I could do whatever I wanted. I know I have to live by your rules when I'm home, but give me some time to adjust. I promise I'm not a slob when I'm at school — I'm just a college student.

I've been away from home for so long and there is so much I missed when I was gone. So please, let me pick that local restaurant I love for dinner and allow me to hang out with friends every night if I want to. I've missed the things I left behind and I'm only home for four short months, so I have to enjoy it while I'm here. I promise to spend time with you before I go back to school.

But mostly, I want to say thank you. Thank you for supporting me and loving me through all the tough times this year brought. All the phone calls, worried texts about my taxes, FaceTime sessions with the dog, and surprise weekend visits helped me survive my first year away from home. No matter where I go and how long I'm gone, I'll always be your baby and I will always appreciate everything you've done for me.

No more exams, presentations, meetings, or lectures. For the first time in a long time, I'm all yours. And even though I'm coming home now, soon I will be leaving again — so let me enjoy my time home with you.

Cover Image Credit: Mulpix

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13 Ways To Beat The 'Sunday Scaries'

They may not have to be as scary as you think.

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It's been proven that 76% of people in the US experience "really bad" stress on Sundays, this stress known as the "Sunday Scaries" or "Sunday Blues." I have experienced the "Sunday Scaries" pretty much every Sunday since I started high school. Then, I remembered an episode of "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide," in which Ned tried to figure out a way to not dread Mondays. He eventually convinced his teacher to play a movie on Mondays, which got me to thinking of how to not dread Sunday nights leading into Mondays. The following are 13 ways to turn your Scary Sunday into Sunday Funday.

1. Exercise

Whether it is going to the gym, taking an exercise class, going for a run, or simply taking a walk, do it. Exercise increases endorphins in your brain and benefits your physical health immensely. You will feel more productive and energized.

2. Eat well

Skip the junk food on Sundays. Junk food is loaded with sugars which can increase levels of stress and depression, and often leave you feeling hungry so you eat more. Eat a healthy dinner early in the night so that you go to bed full and satisfied.

3. Drink a lot of water

Drinking water not only throughout the day but also at night will help you to wake up more refreshed in the morning.

4. Go to bed early

I'm not saying you need 10+ hours, but get however many hours you need for a good night's sleep.

5. Write a list of what's on your mind

Writing out a list of everything running around in your head can help it feel less messy. When all of the to-dos are disorganized in your head, they can be overwhelming. By writing a list you are able to see everything that you need to do, and then it doesn't look as bad.

6. Watch your favorite show

Grey's Anatomy, Friends, The Office, Sunday Night Football, etc. Watching whatever makes you feel content and relaxed (although those SNF games can get pretty intense) is a key ingredient to relaxing for the upcoming week. Reading a good book is also a great idea!

7. Get your work done in the morning/early afternoon

Get whatever you need to get done in the morning and/or early afternoon. This way, you have the night to relax, you are not staying up late Sunday night to do last minute work, and you are able to get better sleep.

8. Plan something to look forward to on Monday morning

Plan to wake up early and make your favorite breakfast, listen to your favorite playlist, pick out an outfit you feel good in, go to your favorite coffee shop, watch your favorite show, or whatever gets you in a good mood. By having something to look forward to Monday, you are more likely to go to bed happy and excited to wake up in the morning, instead of dreading it.

9. Call your parents or friends

Call your parents, your family, your friends, etc. just to catch up. I'm sure they'd love to hear from you.

10. Listen to new music

This way you pay more attention to the music, the lyrics, the feel of it. You aren't able to push the music to your subconscious and think about all the stresses coming up in the week.

11. Write out your week in a planner 

Cry? Watch Netflix? Attempt homework? Check. Check. Maybe Check.

12. Set a goal to complete by the end of the week. 

Setting a goal allows you something to focus on that you want, not something that you need to do for others. This goal leaves room for "me time." Whether it be finding the time to watch a movie, setting up a fun night with friends, or cleaning the house throughout the week so that you don't have to do it last minute on Sunday.

13. Make stress your friend. 

In Kelly McGonigal's TED Talk, "How to Make Stress Your Friend," she explains how seeing stress as helpful can lead you to live a healthier life in two ways. The first way is that when you see stress as positive, although your heart still races, your blood cells do not constrict as they would if you thought of your stress as negative. This helps you maintain a healthier heart and decrease your risk of an early heart attack. The second way is that stress releases oxytocin, which makes you more social.

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