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Holy cow. If you're like me, you are bored out of your mind taking summer classes all the way until August. Then just to come right back and take more classes for the Fall?
It is like I am going insane.
I mean, I am taking rigorous classes which allow me to devote a lot of my time towards them, but still...it is only two classes. By the time I get done, I have a whole half of the day full of nothing. I end up just sitting on my phone for most of the day instead of doing something practical.
So here I have compiled a list of how to keep yourself from not going crazy!
1. Hit the gym.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I have been on this little gym kick lately. But seriously, I go to the Leach for about an hour a day, right after Orgo. Which although it may not sound like a lot of time, it keeps me busy. Do some simple exercises to get your body in the best shape it can be. For me personally, I have just been trying to tone up my legs, get some more profound abs, haha we will see, and then work out my arms.
2. Make home-cooked meals.
Like I have said previously I have tried to stop eating out as much as I used to. Instead, I have gone out and bought fresh produce and veggies so that I can create yummy meals that are satisfying enough to where I don't need to snack throughout the day. I try new recipes or make up my own depending on the day.
3. I keep my grades as my top priority.
That's what I came here to do. To get good grades in my hard classes that I am taking this summer. That was the goal, the whole point of why I stayed here instead of going and sitting at the beach all day...I miss home, I do, but I am trying to get ahead. During the day after class I try to relax some, but then at night, I read ahead in whatever class I need to, take some notes, and try to get my homework done early.
4. I try to keep positive, plan stuff for the month of what I am going to do.
Luckily, my weekends are pretty busy. But I would recommend planning to visit people, go to the beach, shopping, anything to keep your mind off how much longer you have to be here over summer...not like your counting or anything (8 weeks). For instance, June 17th is Father's Day, so take a trip home and visit your Dad, or at least that is what I am doing. The following weekend, I am going to Atlanta to visit a special someone and go to a Major League Baseball game for the first time. The weekend after, I have friends visiting...then it leads on into July.
5. If you are moving into an apartment, you might want to start packing.
Since I already lived in an apartment this year, that means I have to pack up all of the stuff I already have, and transfer it into yet..another apartment. I didn't realize how much I accumulated over this past year. Plus I like to stay organized, so everything must have a place until I move into my new apartment in August. Just going to take it room by room.
The whole point of summer is to enjoy your life, even if it does mean taking a couple of classes. Do I wish I was on a cruise heading towards some tropical island? Ugh, duh. Do I wish I was sitting on the beach with my dog? Yeah. Do I wish I just wasn't here taking classes? Um, of course. But it just didn't work out that way for me. Instead, I am trying to make the most of my time here this summer, because I only have a few more years until I hit the real world. Yay...can't wait to adult some more!
August rolls around, and school starts again...
Most of us officially embarked on the journey of college. Yay! more school, how great is that? (Sarcasm people) This past week has been my first week at this amazing university. I've been finding all of the neat little short cuts that save me 10 minutes to get to a class, or just allow me to de-stress a little when I feel over whelmed.
This week I've learned that college is very very different from highschool. I guess those days are meant to be let go, but of course, not forgotten. I guess you could say that one of the lucky ones, because I don't have any of those tiring 8AM classes.
College in a way is very freeing. You've finally set on your path to your ideal self and who you want to be in the future. I didn't mean for this article to sound so philosophical, but I'm just stating the facts. With being on our own, we are now put to the task of deciding our own morals, and hoping that our family taught us enough about them.
Everyone hopes that we will make the right choices with what we decide to do. Through this journey, there will be things that we have yet to experience. There will be bumps. There will be sleepless nights and bad grades. These are just small fragments of our lives that we are continually striving to live. This week I have seen and experienced so many new things that I never thought would happen.
On an ending note, college is definitely a great weight loss program. Just stay away from that freshman 15.
Home away from homelessness.
One of the best things about summers in college is getting to go home. Yes, we work ungodly hours but at least we get to come back to our own bed and mom's cooking. I sat in my dorm back in May counting down the finals that I had left until I was able to go back to where I grew up. It's hard to think though that I'll never have the chance to count that down again.
My mom has been talking to me for years about selling that house. But I never actually thought that she was going to do it. It was one of those things that we brushed over every month or so.
Within a few weeks of coming home this summer, I had the pleasure of watching the realtor hammer the for sale sign into the ground. Within forty-eight hours, the house I've lived in since I was five had been sold and we had started the process of moving away from the town that had always been called home.
I spent the better half of my summer asking myself where I was going to sleep for the last third of it. Luckily for me, my parents had gotten the closing date pushed until the end of July so I had some time to think it through.
My siblings, though, were a little more pressed for time. Whereas I could move in with my dad for the last month, they had to figure out a living situation. One of them could have moved there with me, but it wouldn't have been the ideal situation for him. So he and my sister were forced to start apartment searching to find a new place that they could call home.
The last few weeks of July approached faster than any of us thought they would. As soon as my parents returned from England we rushed to pack, throwing out whatever we could in attempt to minimize the amount that needed to be moved to its new location.
I moved into my dad’s house the last week of July days before the closing of my mom’s. Days later on August fifth we departed Connecticut and set off for the sunny shores of North Carolina where we would hopefully find a new house.
Unfortunately for me though, whereas my siblings and parents may have found their new homes, I have found myself homeless. I had always thought of the term as meaning that one is lacking a place to live, but now I define it as being without a place to call home. I have spent the last two weeks trying to get to know North Carolina, but will fly back to Connecticut to move into my new dorm which will undoubtedly become my new “home away from homelessness.”
Summer love isn't just for the summer this time.
Ahhh, summer love.
Something every girl has dreamed of since the release of the all time summer love story "The Last Song." Girls dreamed of finding the man they would spend forever with in the 12 short weeks of summer like Ronnie did with Will.
The late night walks on the beach, screaming "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5 in the passenger seat of your crushes old truck, the sneaking out and partying, spending every waking moment with them, and falling in love is all any girl could want and it seemed like the ideal way to find the love of your life. Wrong. Let me tell you how summer love really works.
For 2 years before I graduated high school, I didn't date anyone...... not that I didn't have the chance of course. I thought that I would never get the summer love or any kind of love that all my friends had throughout high school because I never found anyone interested in me.
For a long time, I just prayed that God would bring me the summer love instead of praying for a Godly man.
It took me until about the end of my senior year to pray for God to send me that man I would love forever, instead of a boy who would just be there for summer love like I wanted. I never became interested in dating anyone after my last breakup. I talked to a couple guys, but they were useless boys per usual. Around mid-may, I found myself texting a couple people but never being serious until about a week before graduation.
I got a text from an old time friend that I've known since 4th grade (crazy I know). I was invited to come hangout and just be friends and of course I was nervous, but I went. After that evening, I found myself looking at my phone to see if he was going to text me. I wanted to know that we would hang out again and we did the next day and then the next and after the next few days, it turned into a week of seeing each other every day and then 2 weeks flew by.
I graduated from high school in that time and he moved back from Clemson. I become interested in someone who I hadn't talked to in years. I prayed and asked God why so soon did I fall for him... why was it so easy... was this just the summer love? Weeks turned into a month. We spent a week apart while I was on vacation and that was the worst week of summer... then we spent a week together in Myrtle and let me tell you.... spending a straight week with someone is hard, especially if you barely know them. I continued to pray for this guy I had been spending so much time with because I didn't know if I could handle the heart break at the end of the summer that I knew was coming too quick. But in those few weeks, I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly side of a summer love; but that summer love is so much more than just for the summer (hopefully).
Throughout the last six weeks I've learned more than my fair share of interesting things about this guy. I know his order from every restaurant we've eaten at, I know he doesn't like country music unless it's old country, I know he hates mustard and mayo, he has an obsession with making fun of my face, and he sings very loud. I know how he eats, sleeps, drinks, walks, and talks.
I know that he won't get outta bed until 3 and even then it's impossible to actually get him outta bed. I've seen him happy, excited, scared, sad, mad, and depressed. I've seen his dark side and his bright side. I know that he has a good heart and that he loves unconditionally. I know that he is a good man and God answered my prayers when he placed this man in my life.
Summer love is eye-opening. You spend so much time being interested in someone and getting to know them for it to just end. In the weeks I've spent with this guy, I've seen that summer love is hard because at some point you both have to go back to school. I've cried myself to sleep thinking about starting my freshman year at Lander and him going back to Clemson.
How do you make it work? The same way I am. You spend every moment together. You take pictures that you can look back on. Whether with smiles or tears, those are memories you'll never forget.
You love endlessly no matter how many times they make you so mad you get up and leave. You spend late nights after work sitting in a car listening to music and talking till the suns up. You take beach trips and go to drive in movies. You spend any moment you're not working with them. Whether they sleep half the day away or not. You make the 12 weeks of summer worth it because you don't know where you'll be with that person once those 12 weeks are up.
Summer love is not for everyone and it may not be for me. The times I've spent with the one I adore were well worth it if we don't make it past week 1 apart. The beach trips we took were just like the one that Ronnie had with will. Except, we came home and who knows where we will be after the first week of school. We still have 5 weeks left and my heart only hurts to think about where we will be, but I know God sent me more than a summer love because I will love this one for a lifetime if I can.
My advice, fall for that summer love.
Do it because it could be more than a summer love, but don't base your summer love off of a movie. Make it your own. Make memories that will last a lifetime. Summer love is the best of times and the worst of times, but you won't regret it in the end.
Dedicated to my heart (I promise you're so much more than my summer love)
When in your life will you have the opportunity to live in a foreign country, to explore a new part of the world, not as a tourist? The answer is right now.
The University of Oklahoma has many great study abroad programs with helpful advisors to assist you in planning your adventure. Here are just a few reasons why you should step outside of your comfort zone and your country:
Change your view on the world in a positive way. Experiencing another culture has a powerful impact. Since I have been away I have gained understanding and appreciation for the food, language, beliefs and general way of life of Spain. America is not the center of the universe and our way isn’t the only way. Shocking, I know.
Shake up your routine. Studying abroad breaks up the monotonous four-year undergrad routine. This means unfamiliar scenery, new means of transportation, a completely different campus feel and new friendships to form.
The ease of travel within Europe. The opportunities for travel throughout Europe are exceptional. Hop on a train to Paris or snag a quick flight to Prague, it’s way more affordable than you’d imagine. Traveling country to country on the weekends is expected. In fact, my program only holds class four days of the week to allow for travel and two trips are included in the overall program fee.
Practice a foreign language in the country of its origin. Being immersed in a culture that speaks the language that you are learning is the best way to learn. But don’t be intimidated by the language barrier as you’ll find English speakers all over the world.
Now for the tricky part – deciding when to go. This was difficult for me, as there are pros and cons to each time frame.
Summer. This is the time when most students decide to study abroad so it’s more likely that you’ll be traveling with people you know. Summer sessions usually run from four to six weeks, so it's not as big of a commitment. You can even convince a few friends to join you. The best part about studying abroad in the summer is the ideal weather. Arezzo, Italy averages 71 degrees in July. As for the negative aspects of summer travel, you’re likely missing a relaxing summer at home with family, a beneficial internship or a paid job.
Fall. If you commit to studying abroad in the fall, you’ll miss out on OU football season and CAC events such as Howdy Week, Homecoming, U-Sing and Dad’s Day, to name a few. However, fewer students study abroad in the fall, so if money is a large factor for you it might be easier to sublease your apartment or rental home in the fall to someone who is studying abroad in the spring.
Spring. If you decide to take the plunge in the spring, you’ll be skipping out on the infamous crush spring date parties and CAC events like Winter Welcome Week, Soonerthon, Big Event, Relay for Life and Scandals. You might miss spring break with your pledge class, but you’ll get a memorable one abroad.
If it seems like you’d be missing out on a lot by studying abroad in the spring or in the fall, just remember – it’s Japan, it’s France, it’s Chile, it’s practically wherever you want it to be. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for a longer period of time. Don’t worry, Norman will anxiously await your return.
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign