An Open Letter To My Squad

An Open Letter To My Squad

Tuesday FYSH are the best FYSH

Three months and two days ago, I moved to Dallas, and didn't know a single soul. Sure, I had chatted with my roommate on Facebook to decide who would bring the fridge and who would bring the TV, but when my family drove away I was pretty alone.

They have a saying here at SMU, "It all starts at Corral," meaning you find your future friends at Mustang Corral, three days of fun, camping, and bonding. Well my Corral experience was sub-par: it rained the entire time we were at camp (and most people hadn't brought rain jackets,) and the overall mood was, "Are we done yet?"

On a whim, the second week of class, I decided to go to a student ministry meeting for freshmen hosted by the Catholic Campus Ministry (at this time I had yet to learn that 1/4 of SMU's student population is Catholic,) in the student center. In the first few moments, I knew that I was in the right place. Listening to a group of students and student-leader discuss struggling with the adjustment to their new lives and their many changes and at the end of the night offering their voices to Jesus, I knew that FYSH (First Year Student Homes,) would become part of my weekly schedule.

I kept going to FYSH and started talking to others who kept up with the group. It began with, "hey do you want to get dinner before FYSH tonight?" in our GroupMe and grew to, "hey, add me on Snapchat," or "what's your number so I can just text you?"

Now every time I have a food craving, need (need is a loose term, sometimes I do just want to go look at Christmas decorations and school supplies,) to go Target, or want to do something on a Friday night, I text my 4-person group message that if I could name (thanks Adam for having an Android and screwing everything up,) Squad.

Now my squad is not what many would expect. We are made up of a Biology, Engineering, Business, and English major. One of us is a DI athlete, two of us would rather shoot our own eyes out than run, and 1 is somewhere in the middle. We are from Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois. We like different sports teams, foods, and hobbies. But at the end of the day, we are four people that are really happy to have found each other.

So thank you guys, for answering my texts when I ask, "will anyone go off campus for dinner with me so I don't have to be that lame person at a restaurant eating alone," or "will someone go to the football game with me and judge our loosing record the whole time?"

Thanks for horror movies and junk food nights. For Macs runs. For fish adventures (RIP Colin the fish). For taking selfies with me when I'm in uniform. For going see nerdy movies with me. For loving Bath and Body Works as much as I do. For surviving the fender bender with me. For not judging me when I buy Christmas tree socks or try on glitter Crocs.

Lorien, Caroline, and Adam,

Thanks for being my squad. I am always down for the next random adventure.

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Donaldson

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Why Getting Away From Where You Grew Up Is Important

College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

As you get older, life sometimes makes it hard for you to take control and go to the places you've only dreamed of. There's always a work meeting, ballet recital, or something to hold you back from taking that trip planned four summers ago. College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

It's important to get away from everything you know at one point in your life. There is a whole world full of risk, chance, and experience. The security you have in your hometown can be traded in for adventure and change. There's a time to try something new, learn something that blows your mind, or go somewhere that takes your breath away. That time is now, to feel like you are actually doing something worthwhile with your life.

It is important to get away from where you have grown up for some of your life. You need to grow on your own, without anyone there to tell you you're wrong or out of line being a certain way. The transition from high school to college is the gift of independence. You choose who you get to be without anyone holding your past against you. It's a do-over, a second chance after the mistakes and regrets you lived through in high school. Yet, being away from home has its drawbacks as you lose familiar faces, a steady schedule, and many creature comforts. But, all of these can be found in a new place with time. Leaving the place you grew up gives you another chance to grow again, without boundaries. Travel whenever you get an opportunity because it may not come again. Test your limits while living your actual dreams. Go out and explore the world—you're only here once and don't have time to take it for granted. Leaving everything you know sounds scary, but there are great memories to be made out there.

Whether this new place for you is two hours from home, or 20, it's different, it's exciting and it's change. It is important to get away from where you grew up and learn from the adventures you embark on. It is the best way to find yourself and who you want to be. It's what you'll remember when you look back on everything you've done.

Cover Image Credit: Madison Burns

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Embrace The Difficult Moments, The Moments When You Think Peace Will Never Fall Over You Again

When you feel like you need a fresh start and a moment to begin again.


"Everyday is an opportunity to try again." It's something my yoga teacher likes to say before we begin every practice. People love pushing off changes or new habits until "tomorrow," "next Monday," or "next year." The problem with this is that we are simply giving ourselves room to make more excuses; room to extend the amount of time that we are not actually changing anything. More often than not, when we push things off, we are just lying to ourselves.

If you are trying to make positive changes or reinforces to your life, decide today that it will begin happening. Decide right now. Every moment and emotion we experience is fleeting, so we are given countless chances a day to begin again. To think that we have the power to change our mindset, to recalibrate our perception, is straight up mind-boggling.

Now, if you are feeling stuck and want to start over, to make changes today, but do not know where to start; fear not. I am here to help. There are countless ways to reset your mind, your body, or any aspect of your life you wish to see improve. When we are being pulled into countless different directions by countless different forces, when we feel the weight of deadlines and expectations crushing us, that is when we need to help ourselves the most.

Losing ourselves in the rush of to-do lists and auctioning ourselves off to the thoughts and judgments of others are certain ways to diminish our quality of life. If you are starting to notice these things becoming patterns in your life, it is time to take a deep breath and begin again.

I've been learning how to lean into the uncomfortability that comes with being exactly who you are with complete disregard to what anyone else thinks. The purpose of human life is to make connections with other people, and true/deep connections only come when you are being 100% authentically who you are.

I've stepped out of my comfort zone and into colored hair and weird thrift store sweaters that fill my soul with rightness, and I am more than ready to show the world who I really am. Day by day I'm growing into exactly the woman I want to be and I'm so beyond excited to see where this mindset of growth continues to take me.

Changing your mental perception may seem impossible, but with effort and motivation, it is more than achievable. One of the most important things to remember is that whatever your attention and focus are on, wherever your energy is being exerted, is what will become. This what we call the law of attraction.

Although refocusing and always caring good intentions is a crucial step in improving your quality of life, it is not the only thing that matters. Once you have a good idea of what you want and why you want it and are putting your energy into it, you must take action. Thinking something is a world different than actually doing something. Putting physical effort behind your attention is what will produce results and improve your situations.

One of the biggest truths I've come to learn is that you cannot compare your path and your journey to anyone else's. You can't justify where you are in your journey to those looking in from the outside. If you set an intention for your day and set goals for yourself, both large and small, you are moving in the right direction. And that is enough in itself. We are all simply looking to build connections with others and to feel at ease in life.

I challenge you to embrace the difficult moments, the moments when you think peace will never fall over you again. Those are the moments that define and shape you. We all have an endless amount of time to keep growing into who we want to become.

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