An Open Letter To Those Not Graduating On Time

An Open Letter To Those Not Graduating On Time

Graduating college in any number of years is an accomplishment to be proud of.
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To the person that isn't graduating on time,

It sucks, and I won't lie to you and tell you it doesn't. The day you walk out of Advising, head hanging down because you aren't going to finish in four years, makes you feel ashamed of yourself. You did well in high school; you were always told you were smart, expected to be smart, so why couldn't you make it out in four years like you were supposed to?

You know you're going to have to tell your family, so you begin preparing yourself for the worst reactions possible. And telling your friends you won't be graduating with them will only add to that sense of hopelessness.

Soon, you'll see photos and posts from people you left high school with, talking about graduation and the wonderful lives they are about to begin in their new careers. You'll wonder how they did it, and you'll feel like a failure.

But you're not.

Graduating from college is a huge deal. It really is. And it will be no less of an accomplishment in five, six, or 10 years.

"According to the Department of Education, fewer than 40 percent of students who enter college each year graduate within four years, while almost 60 percent of students graduate in six years. At public schools, less than a third of students graduate on time."

Things happen. You might change your major. You might have financial troubles. You may take a year off to figure out exactly what you want to do. That's okay. Take all the time you need. The real world and your career will still be there whenever you graduate.

Guess what else. Your family will still love you, and your friends will still support you. Give them some credit. Your loved ones want you to be happy and successful. Don't get me wrong, they may be upset at first, but give them a chance. Odds are, when the emotions settle, they will go right back to asking how classes are going. And when you do get the news that you'll be graduating, they will celebrate with you, and they will be there in the crowd, waiting for you to walk across that stage.

Graduation will happen. If you attend your class and study hard, it will happen. There is no reason to rush. Just do your best. Try your hardest. Take classes when you can. Just by doing that, you're doing more than so many others are able to do.

"Among 18 countries tracked by the OECD, the United States finished last (46 percent) for the percentage of students who completed college once they started it."

You'll get there. Take your time. Enjoy your classes. Find new interests. Study what you love. Embrace opportunities. Study abroad. Take that weird elective class. This is your time to take in everything the world has to offer. Take advantage of that. You'll graduate when you graduate, filled with pride and wisdom. And when they call your name, and you walk across that stage, hold your head up high, because you've earned every bit of your degree.

Graduating from college takes countless hours of studying, long hours in the library, and a tremendous amount of dedication. Don't add pressure to yourself by setting a timer. It is completely okay to graduate when you graduate, and it is still something to be proud of.

Best Wishes,
A woman who is finally graduating

Cover Image Credit: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120417041415-education-graduation-cap-story-top.jpg

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20 Resolutions You Need To Make If You Want To Grow Closer To Christ This Year

He called us to be joyful, let us pray.

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Something that I have found myself doing year after year with my resolutions is making them too far fetched. Lose 30 pound has been at the top of my list for ehhh... the last three years, but without any steps to get there. This year, I am focusing on being a better example of the gospel. These are 20 of my mini-resolutions to help me grow closer to Christ in 2019. Join me. You may be the only exposure to the Jesus anyone ever has, we can't mess this up. We have a job to do.

1. Bite your tongue once a day instead of complaining

Replace negativity with positivity. It becomes habit to say "I'm tired," "I'm hungry," or "I'm cold," when we don't have anything else to say. Twenty-one days creates a habit, as the legend goes, so when you feel yourself about to complain without purpose, bite your tongue.

2. Find a blogger and do some light reading, if books aren't your thing

Many bloggers have a following because they relate to their readers, and they are current. Find someone you like, and go through life with them.

3. Promise yourself something and don't break it

It is the best feeling in the world. Give up soda for a month, and keep to it. I guarantee you will want to keep going.

4. Save 15 dollars from every pay check to spend on things that make you happy

One week it can go to that pair of shoes at target, or maybe you save for a few weeks to get your hair dyed. Treating yourself is necessary, and budgeting it in holds you and you target runs accountable.

5. Stop hating on Mondays. 

Who said Mondays have to be bad days? Shift your mindset. Monday is the first day of a fresh week of productivity. Challenger yourself to something new each Monday, set goals for the week, or go to the gym to start off the week on a good foot.

6. Try wearing more color this year.

Buy the pink sweater, wear the yellow leggings to the gym. It will brighten up your mood, pinkie promise.

7. Drop the road rage.

Don't rush. Don't yell. Nothing is so important as your life, don't risk it. Instead, pray for safe travels for the person who cut you off. Replace the anger with peace.

8. Start biking or walking more

It puts fresh air in your lungs and lets you absorb the gifts He blessed us with.

9. Pray for the people who hurt your feelings each day

Ask God to take away the anger, replacing it with joy and peace. Pray that He helps them walk through whatever path of life they might be on, and whatever they might be going through. They might not have someone praying for them. Our God works in impossible ways.

10. Work to forgive the person you just can't seem to fully forgive

This might take all year, but it will be worth it.

11. Invest in a coffee maker and learn to make your own Starbucks

Save the money you would spend on coffee each day and put it towards visiting a new place next new year. Plus, making a macchiato is a good party trick.

12.  Change your wallpaper on your phone each week, and challenge yourself to focus on those words that week

Pinterest has all the goods, or you can follow @FranciscanMedia on Instagram, and they post new ones every Wednesday on their story.

13.  Pick a day of the week and text an old friend. 

Check in on them, ask them how they are, what has been blessing them, what has been hard, and how you can pray for them. Sometimes people never get the opportunity to talk about themselves, and it feels good. Ask God to put a name on your heart, and reach out.

14.  Wake up 10 minutes earlier than you need to

It will make all the difference in the world. Use those ten minutes to slow down, look out your window, prepare just a little more, or pray.

15.  Read the Word. 

Darnit, Just read it. Find a plan that works for you and stick to it. So much is hidden in the word and spending time with it is the only way to discover all it holds for us.

16. Buy yourself flowers

Kroger has a clearance flowers section, check it out.

17. Talk to cashiers

Talk to them and ask them how they are, when they work until, spark up a conversation, positivity and warmth radiate and it will spread beyond your conversation, guaranteed.

18. Learn to sit in His presence

More often than not, silence is beneficial. When we pause and sit in the quiet, we can hear His still small whisper, especially when our lives are screaming in color.

19. Work on responding, not reacting

Ask yourself if its really that big of a deal when faced with a situation that frustrates you

20.  Smile. 

at yourself in the mirror, at a stranger, at the barista the cute boy in your Spanish class, at the end of your interview. You never know where it will take you. People remember Joy.

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Winter Break Is A Scam

Less Magical, More Bore.

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Winter break is the biggest scam in the history of the entire world.

Bigger than online shopping. Bigger than weight loss pills. Bigger than any pyramid scheme.

Yes, college is an extremely stressful time for students. The most stressful time of the semester is when exams begin to creep up on you. I'm not talking regular exams, I'm talking midterms and finals.

Midterms sneak up on you before fall break. Midterms differ for everyone. They can stress you out, but they're really a taste of where you currently are in the course. It can be a wake up call to study harder. It can be comforting to know that you are on track. Then, once you're done, you hit break. A small one, but enough time to catch up with friends and family over Thanksgiving.

But then you go back, and crunch time for finals begin. You have a short amount to time to study and remember the course material that will be tested in a paper, practical or multiple hour exam. The stress students have during this amount of time is immense.Meals are missed studying. Sleep is lost to all nighters. Once finals are over and break begins, immense amounts of stress are lifted off of the shoulders of students. Break has begun.

Break is imagined to be magical. All of your time spent with people you haven't seen in ages. Doing whatever you want, whenever you want. Earning money at a job back home to have some spending money for the next semester. All of it, stress free and fun with the added excitement of the holiday season.

But after the holidays, break becomes a bore. You make plans to see everyone from home that you haven't seen in months, but do you actually spend time with them? Days are spent lounging around, missing campus and the friends you had made at school that live too far away to visit. Everything is a bore, and students yearn to go back to school, even if that means starting the cycle of classwork and exams again.

All in all, winter break is magical at first, and then becomes a bore. When it's too long, it becomes the same, sleep in-binge Netflix-go back to bed schedule. It's not as magical as it can seem.

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