open letter to brother starting college

An Open Letter To My Little Brother As He Begins His College Journey

I can't wait to see what you accomplish next.

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Ryan,

You did it! You finally accomplished the first major educational milestone in your life: high school. Your next move is college and I'm here to give you some advice.

College, as you may have probably guessed from witnessing my journey for the last four years, is not an easy task. It's not for the faint of heart and it is definitely not for the slackers.

Unlike high school, you will have to buy your own books in college. Your professors won't care if you don't buy or bring your books to class. They won't remind you to get them.

Your professors also will not bat an eye if you miss class. They won't call you, email you or track down your parents because you skipped your 9 a.m. lecture. You are paying to sit in that seat and learn, so it is your responsibility to show up.

College is for figuring out what you want to do with your life. In my four years of college, I've changed my major three times before I finally found what I was passionate about. If you decide what you're studying isn't for you, it's ok to switch. Do what makes you happy.

I want you to know that college is not a race. Whether you fail a class, change your major or experience something else that causes you to have a setback, don't stress. You will finish when you finish.

Having a planner helps BIG TIME, especially if you are taking a big course load. I learned quickly that I couldn't remember everything. Write all of your assignments, test dates, project due dates and appointments down. It will save you time and stress in the long run.

Don't feel stupid for visiting your professor during their office hours. It's what they are there for. Some professors don't answer questions in class, so if you are confused, mark it in your notes and go out of your way to get help. Trust me on this.

While college is there for you to learn and get experience in your field, you also need to remember to make time for yourself, friends and family. Getting the hang of balancing your new responsibilities with your existing life can seem impossible and overwhelming at first, but after a semester or two, you will get the hang of it.

Watching you grow up for the last 18 years has been a rollercoaster. I've witnessed most of your sports games and have watched you grow as a person. As you begin the next chapter of your life, I have no doubt that you will succeed and land a job in the field that you've expressed so much love and passion for.

I can't wait to help guide you and watch your college journey unfold in front of you. I will be here to help guide you and assist you in making decisions that are best for you.

I'm so proud of the person you are becoming and I can't wait to see what you accomplish next.

I am so proud of you.

Cover Image Credit:

Megan Courtney

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.

Aasayed
Aasayed
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Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!

Aasayed
Aasayed

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