Think More positively And Make college Worth Your While.

College Doesn't Have To Be Full Of Negatives If You Don't Want It To Be

This is the last chance we get to find who we are and what we want to be in the real world, make the most of it.

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As college students, we constantly find ourselves lethargic, overtired, frustrated, stressed, grumpy, hungover, annoyed… basically 40% water, 20% alcohol and 40% pessimism.

Being a full-time student, part-time employee and the occasional life of the party is not an easy schedule to juggle. So, of course, students are going to eventually crash and burn, becoming undeniably negative.

While us students have to keep up that angsty, just want to be 'real' adults reputation, sometimes it would be good for us to reflect upon what makes it all worth it. The experiences and opportunities that have brought us a lifetime of memories and have helped shape us into the soon to be 'real' adults we have longed to be.

Looking back, I have been able to pull out mounds of positives that college has given me. But I don't want another personal article. There are 16 million college students in the United States. I decided to reach out to fellow students. Give others the opportunity to recollect their own positive experiences.

Overwhelmingly, the friends' people have gained during their college experiences have been the cherry on top.

We graduate high school and at the end of that final summer, we tend to leave those we've been with the past 12 years of our lives. Entering into the new chapter, we're forced out of our comfort zones. It is daunting at first, but what we don't think about is EVERYONE else is in the exact same boat.

As college is a time for exploration, we throw ourselves into activities that we think we'll enjoy or find interesting and begin networking a whole new group of friends. This networking though is far from forced and these friends come so naturally. Within weeks we feel like we've known them for years. These new bonds are formed so quickly but their strength is uncanny.

Throughout these new bonds, some see the growth of those around us and in ourselves to be the most positive experience. When beginning to get to know out newfound peers, there is still layers of skin to be peeled back. As quoted by one of my favorite movies, Shrek makes this very clear.

Shrek: "Ogres are like onions."

Donkey: "They stink?"

Shrek: "Yes. No."

Donkey: "Oh, they make you cry."

Shrek: "No."

Donkey: "Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin' little white hairs."

Shrek: "No. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers."

It takes time but being able to witness those layers peel back to slowly reveal who we truly are and are meant to be is beautiful. And as you watch others become comfortable with who they are, you simultaneously follow. The whole experience is something you'll cherish forever.

A popular way students put themselves out there is through Greek life. Fraternities and sororities are social organizations that allow students to venture out and meet others with similar interests as well as others with very different interests. From the lifelong friendships to the large array of organized events, the memories created for those involved are some of their bests.

Another huge aspect of college, that falls right under putting yourself out there, is being on your own. Whether in a dorm with a roommate, or an apartment, you're no longer under the roof of your parents. The experience of being on your own is a positive for students because it allows them to experience life without complete or partial rule. You're allowed to feel all the emotions of being fully responsible and seeing yourself grow from the independence. For me, being independent has allowed me to try things I probably wouldn't have at home.

You gain a type of freedom that opens up more opportunity for self-exploration.

And moving away from the more social aspect of college. There was a commonality from students when it came to positive academic experiences. A huge complaint from students is disliking a professor. One little thing can cause an entire semester of dread and reluctance. Every so often we luck out and stumble upon a professor that we connect well with. Enjoying the presence and having a mutual respect for a professor makes a class so much more enjoyable. And more often than not, this leads to better grades because the desire to do well is more prominent.

Coming into college, all you hear is that getting straight A's is not as easy as it was in high school. And that 'you will fail at least one class.' After having that shoved in our faces, getting that A and proving them wrong is huge. There's nothing like being able to give yourself that pat on the back for all that hard work you just put in.

College is a time for living and experiencing. Don't let the drawbacks take over your few short years here. Take the time and embrace all the good that comes from it.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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