The "Bests" And "Worsts" Of A Freshman's First Semester

The "Bests" And "Worsts" Of A Freshman's First Semester

Scheming, "Saturday's Are For The Boys" flags in every house, and an endless supply of Keystone Light cans on their front lawn the next morning.

Now that the first semester of college is over, I thought I'd commence it by discussing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Starting from freshman orientation and studying all the way until winter break, here are the best and worst times I've had in college so far.

Let's start off with the bad news first. Here are five of my worst experiences in college so far:

1. Dorm life

The cramped space, the weird stains on the carpets that look like they're straight out of a low-budget 80s horror film, and the disgusting bathroom from living with other girls; There's no further explanation needed as to why dorm life is picked as a worst.

2. Partying

For one, at UWM we don't have parties, and if we do, they're not great. They consist of cheap beer that a kid bought at Walgreen's for $12 with his newly purchased fake ID, girls on the floor crying and talking about how nice the leather couch they're sitting next to is, and sweaty bodies filling a one level house. 10/10 would not recommend.

3. Douchey frat guys

Scheming, "Saturday's Are For The Boys" flags in every house, and an endless supply of Keystone Light cans on their front lawn the next morning.

4. Final exams

Honestly, if you thought you'd make it through this list without seeing this dreaded six-letter word, you were wrong. The amount of blood (from the paper cuts), sweat (during the final itself), and tears (both before and after the exam) are what fuel my nightmares.

5. And lastly, the everlasting stress you'll receive

Even though the semester just ended, I still feel like I have something to turn in. And for everyone asking, no, that feeling will never go away for the duration of your college years.

Even with the bad, some good always comes along. Here are five of my bests in college so far!

1. New friends

I mean, this one is kind of a given. I would love to thank UWM's freshman orientation for giving me three of my closest friends who love having Taco Tuesday and taking random bus rides, just to get out of the studying realm.

2. New Student Orientation

I don't know about your school, but at UWM, our freshman orientation was the greatest thing in the world and I would do it over one million times. The number of friends I made, the amount of food I ate, and the amount of information I got in those two days definitely made me more excited to start school and lessened my nerves like crazy.

3. On-site Taco Bell and ice cream

Heaven is a place on Earth with an on-site Taco Bell and Cedar Crest ice cream shop!

4. Picking classes that you want to take

Though you still have to take some classes in areas you hate, such as science, you have options, unlike high school, where you were forced to take biology even if you didn't want to. Now, instead of crying about biology, I just sob about atmospheric sciences.

5. Finally, all of the real-world experiences I have made so far

I finally learned how to take the bus, make doctor's appointments myself (I hope my mom is proud), and taught others how to do basic human functions like how to not burn microwave popcorn, how to properly open a wine bottle, and how to do laundry.

Even though there were a few bad experiences, the highest of the highs definitely made up for them. To all of my fellow college students out there: I hope you enjoy your well-deserved break, Happy Holidays, and best of luck in your winter or spring semesters!

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Minority Representation Was Never Just About Historical Accuracy

Gemma Chan's casting in "Mary Queen of Scots" has far more reach and impact beyond the issue of historical accuracy.


The past year has been regarded as a revolutionary time for Asian representation, and it seems to begin with what came to be known as "Asian August" in 2018. The momentum from "Asian August" has carried through into 2019. A recently prominent figure in Asian representation is Gemma Chan, who starred in "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Captain Marvel." Her role as Bess of Hardwick in "Mary Queen of Scots," however, drew some criticism from viewers, who questioned the casting of an Asian woman as a white historical figure. Chan has since responded to this criticism in her Allure cover story.

Chan stated in Allure, "Why are actors of color, who have fewer opportunities anyway, only allowed to play their own race? And sometimes they're not even allowed to play their own race." To this, she added, "If John Wayne can play Genghis Khan, I can play Bess of Hardwick." She makes an important point about representation here: many roles of historical figures of color have been played by white actors. Actors of color have very few opportunities, and in many cases, are even denied roles of historical figures of their race.

It's true that a major argument for better representation has been accuracy to the source material, but the actual issue of representation is not about historical accuracy. The push for better representation is a push to see more actors of color onscreen and to open up more opportunities for actors of color, especially when white actors are placed in roles of historical figures of color. Gemma Chan brings up John Wayne, who was in yellowface for his role of Genghis Khan.

The barring of actors of color, who already have fewer opportunities, from the roles of these historical figures is the true problem, not a lack of accuracy to the source material. There is a backlash when a white actor plays the role of a person of color because actors of color already have very limited opportunities.

Gemma Chan further states that "art should reflect life now" and that "If we portray a pure white past, people start to believe that's how it was, and that's not how it was." Her role in "Mary Queen of Scots" aids in fighting the whitewashing of history and of film and television as a whole. She also comments on her compound racial identity, stating that she feels both Asian and British. This is especially important to members of the Asian diaspora who are stereotyped as "perpetual foreigners."

Gemma Chan's role in a period film solidifies her British identity, helping to break down the "perpetual foreigner" stereotype and assert that her being Asian does not take away from her being British. For members of the Asian diaspora, it is important to see an Asian actress in a role where she can embrace the duality of her identity rather than having to be exclusively Chinese or British. Gemma Chan's casting in "Mary Queen of Scots" has far more reach and impact beyond the issue of historical accuracy. Seeing an Asian actor in a European or American period film is very rare, and Chan's role should be celebrated for its importance to Asian representation rather than criticized for not being historically accurate.

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