Advice To The College Class of 2021

Advice To The College Class of 2021

What you need to know about your first semester of college, as told by Gilmore Girls
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Just a few months ago, I wrote to the high school class of 2017. Having just graduated two months prior, I wanted to share some advice for how to make their final year the best. This article was published just before I left for college and many of my friends who are seniors began their final year of high school. Now, a good percentage of high school seniors have received acceptance letters to multiple colleges and for those who chose early decision, their decision was made.

Now, I have finished my first semester of college and I definitely don't have it all figured out, but I know a little bit about the beginning, which for many, will be the hardest part. The college experience begins differently for everyone, but here are some tips on how to survive your first semester in college.

1. Don’t be afraid.

Prior to leaving for college, afraid does not even begin to sum up the emotions I was feeling. It would be my first time away from home and I did not want to leave my family. I grew up in a small town and went to school with the same people for 13+ years. I thought that I would struggle making friends and being away from home. I did a little bit the first few days, but I decided to put myself out there and I met some amazing people. This is a big step toward independence. You have craved independence, but once you get it, you do not know what to do with it. It will take time, but you will figure it out.

2. You actually have to read the books or articles that are assigned.

Procrastination is my middle name. One of my best skills in high school was whipping out a paper on a book that I did not read, the night before it was due. That is not the case in college. I hate to break it to you, but no matter how boring a book or other reading may seem, you have to read it.

When I was assigned to read an article or short story in high school, I saw that as I had no homework. If you do not do the prior night’s reading in college, you cannot participate in the discussion and it is obvious to the entire class. The professor will not care because it was your choice and it will only impact you negatively in the long run. Long story short, do your work.

3. The key to a good relationship with your roommate is communication.

If something your roommate is doing is bothering you, you have to tell him/her before it gets worse. You are both living in a small space, and if you are not communicating it will get awkward. You need to respect each other’s space and let them know if something is up. You do not have to be best friends with your roommate, but you should have a good relationship with them.

Regardless of how different you and your roommate may be, you can get along if you establish respect. When something is not working for you, let your roommate know.

4. Go to the dining hall.

After the first few weeks of living off Sodexo food, my new friends and I were pretty done. We ordered food at least once a week. It was a big waste of money. We realized that, and tried to go to the dining hall more often. Chances are your meal plan has already been paid for, and you should make the most of that. The food is not good, but think of how much you are paying for it. If you do not use those meal swipes, you are wasting money, and if you choose to order food instead you are wasting even more money. You will get sick of dining hall food and you won’t feel like walking there, but you really should go.

5. Cram studying does not work.

All of my tests this semester were either cumulative or on multiple chapters. You will be thankful that you spread out your studying when you get to the night before, because you will realize you know more than you think you do. Cramming will not work when finals week comes around because you will be studying for multiple large tests. You will get a syllabus the first week of classes and it would be a smart idea to go through your syllabus the day you get it and write down all the dates of tests in your planner. By doing that, you will not be surprised, and you can be studying as you go along without the professor having to mention it.

6. College Wi-Fi is horrible.

My high school's Wi-Fi was actually horrendous and I could not wait to go to a school with Wi-Fi that worked. With everyone on their laptops, phones, tablets, and other devices, college Wi-Fi is actually worse than in high school.

7. Sleep.

Going into college, I went to bed fairly early. I did my homework early and was in bed by 9:00. That changed real fast. The first weekend of school, I got really close with some girls on my floor and we were up until all hours of the night. We soon realized that did not work because the 8:00 a.m. classes the next day were a struggle. Being a college student, a lack of sleep is a given. You will be up late finishing papers, projects, studying, or just watching Netflix. You can spend hours studying, but if you are not sleeping well, your grades can suffer.


Congratulations to those of you who have been accepted to colleges. You should be proud and excited. You still have a semester to go before you will be official college students, so appreciate that time. Appreciate the time you have with your family, friends, teachers, and the place in which you have grown up. Do not let senioritis get the best of you. Your college will get a final transcript. Finish strong and prepare yourself for the next step.

Congratulations and good luck!
Cover Image Credit: Time Magazine

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.

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I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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