To The Suffocating College Freshman, Just Remember To Breath

To The Suffocating College Freshman, Just Remember To Breath

I can honestly say I never truly understood the meaning behind being a “broke college student” until I defined myself as one.
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Smelling coffee brewing in a dorm room, streaked sneaker markings engraved in the pavement, drool slipping off the page turners lip after studying for finals, and the rigorous sound of crisp fingertips dancing against a keyboard with five minutes left to spare on an essay submission. Sound familiar? All these aspects of life are mastered into this dynamic creation of education which we as students have been forced to convert into.

Isn’t it funny how we are the outrageous and immature high schoolers and within a summer vacation of three months we are transformed into these young adults who are now responsible to take on the rest of their lives? The funny thing is we are not.

In school, we are taught to begin studying for more school. The SAT and ACT take priority to being taught how to pay taxes or applying for a job or even changing a flat tire. The educational system dictates that the Pythagorean theorem takes priority over understanding how to budget an income, and we as students just go along with the trend, trying to make the grades and get into a college where the exact same cycle continues.

It is actually funny that this society dictates our corruption the day you enter kindergarten by always prying into students minds that the only way to be successful is through a college education and we believe it. People will go into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to receive a rolled-up paper stating they made it, but what did they actually make it to?

It makes sense that when you let people taste freedom for the first time, they abuse it, and college is such a prime example of the generational movement. Young adults without a curfew? Free drugs and booze? Parties every night? It is a teen dream and parents would love to believe that their angel children are attending all their classes, sleeping on time, studying every day, and making sure they eat their veggies. That is not always the case.

Students are so wrapped up in getting “the college experience” that they forget why they are attending college in the first place.

People take this “college experience” as an excuse to act like crazy teenagers rather than earn a true education. The idea of attending a trade school or community college is seen as absurd because it is not viewed as “real schooling” when in actuality it statistically has proven to generate more alumni who attend college purely for educational purposes.

People who attend community college typically do so for location or financial reasons. These people are the ones already planning for their future and acting accordingly so that they can be successful without taking on massive debt while balancing out a career and education. The full intention of attending these classes is to receive the education and to truly earn a college diploma, not to live by the saying “C’s get degrees”.

During a college orientation, an advisor told us to look to our left and then look to our right, she followed that statement by stating one of you three will end up being a college dropout by statistics. I thought to myself there is no way that can be true and there is no way I will be a part of that statistic, I learned soon that the advisor was not wrong.

Following my first semester of college, the sound of leaving it all behind and starting off on a clean plate sounded so intriguing. I was ready to forget college and find my way on my own. It wasn’t because of the workload or grades, it was because something just didn’t feel right. In that moment I didn’t feel like the education I was receiving was worth the amount of debt I would be taking on the following semester. I didn’t doubt myself, but I did doubt the system I was being pulled into.

I am sure there are millions of students who felt they were exactly where they were meant to be and there is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes you need to look around and ask yourself is the cause worth the effect.

College has become a popularity contest more than a commonality for students trying to earn their degrees. I can honestly say I never truly understood the meaning behind being a “broke college student” until I defined myself as one and while it implied the money factor it was more than just my financial state. It was being mentally drained while trying to maintain this impersonation of myself that I was doing what was best for me while holding myself back and the moment I decided I needed to escape the toxic life I had surrounded myself with was the moment I felt like I could breathe again.

Cover Image Credit: Tish Cama

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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A Thank You Letter To Me, Myself, And I

You're doing amazing, sweetie.

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Dear me,

I am writing this letter to express my gratitude for who you are and for whom you become. From the moment that you were born, you had a purpose, which will surely come to pass as the years pass.

You were raised by a strong family, one whom you owe gratitude for. They have shaped you into the person that you have become today.

Growing up, life wasn't so easy. You had to learn how to survive in a world that for the most part was against you. You had to fight your own battles and get back on your feet. You persisted, and you still continue to persist the trials and tribulations.

I have seen you at your lowest moments and at your best moments. School has been a heck of a ride, but here you are: succeeding and making yourself ready to head out into the real world.

Your passions are what make you, you. Your love for reading, writing, and helping others out is what makes you so beautiful, both inside and out.

In my opinion, your hands are one of the most beautiful aspects of your body. The way that you give to others is what makes you stand out from the crowd. You are willing to help anybody that is in need.

You haven't found the man that is going to make you happy yet, but eventually, you are going to come across someone who was worth the wait and he will have everything that you wanted in a person.

You had some "so-called" friends who have left your side. You may have been upset at the moment, but eventually, you realized that they were not beneficial to your life or the journey that comes with it.

There are times when you want to give up and you're not so sure what is it that you want to do anymore in life. But what I admire from you is that you quickly get back up and get down to business.

You may not be perfect, but I accept you. Flaws and all.


Sincerely,

Me

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