Change Is Not Optional

Change Is Not Optional

The changes that college brings can come and go, but most will stay.
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*As you read this article, feel free to listen to this.*

It has been said that when you make the transition from high school to college, everything changes. You change as a person, you might change in how you look or act.... This time period of changes is thought to happen during the first year of school and possibly the summer before this year. I can tell you that it can happen during any year of school. I know that during my first year of school, I was half high school girl and half college girl. It was like I was almost pretending to be a college student and doing what I thought college students did.

I thought it was cool to stay up late on a weekday when I had an early class the next day and to be able to relate to others who did their homework the day right before it was due. I thought that I had to always be doing something fun or cool, and if I wasn't, then I was missing out on opportunities.

I can tell you now that all of these things are false. Even though I still stay up late sometimes, I know that I am going to pay for it the next day. If I don't do my homework days before it's due, then I am only hurting myself and preventing myself from success. And it's okay to not do anything, in fact it's wonderful to not do anything sometimes.

When I look into the mirror now, I almost don't recognize the person looking back at me. When I think about the things that I have done and am able to do now, it's crazy to think that it's me. It's crazy to think that I really did take a chance and jump into the wind. I have seen people around me change as well. They're not changing into something bad or into something they shouldn't, but into exactly who they should be. I don't know if I feel any wiser than last year or any smarter. But I know that I have changed.

When you are thrown into your second year, you have to deal with potentially living on your own, in your own space, with someone you may have only known for about a year. You are thrown into more difficult classes as you dive deeper into your major. You are thrown into realizing how you deal with stress and anger and defeat and happiness.

This second year has been the most influential year of my life so far. During the past year, I have dealt with all of these things. I have had to change the way that I deal with things and who I tell those things to. I have become more trusting in myself and others.

The first year of school will probably show you all the things that will go wrong, but that's not the only time you'll go through that. As you continue with your schooling, you will be literally thrown into the middle of ocean and be told to swim to the other side with one paddle and a droopy raft. You will be pushed to the edge and have to come back stronger than you've ever been. You will gain so much wisdom that you can use for your second year. An important thing to remember is that, just because it applies to your first year of school, doesn't mean that it applies to the rest of them.

It's crazy to me, that in just a few months I will be a junior in college. I can remember graduating high school and being so terrified for college and not knowing what to expect. I imagined that college was going to be like it is in the movies. Where there are constantly things happening and people are friends with everyone and everyone hangs out all the time. Pieces of this are true. There always things happening, good and bad. The myth that everyone is friends with everyone is a lie. I can't count how many times I have been walking to class on campus and not one person has spoken to me.

During your years at school, you will go through many changes in your character and personality. One of my good friends once said that "Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won't have a title until much later." I can honestly say that last year and this past semester, I never would have thought I would be where I am now. As you prepare for your first year of school or continue and wonder when things will change, they will. All you have to believe is that everything changes in the end and that all changes are good.

Cover Image Credit: Cambridge Film Festival

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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