To The Girl Who Is Struggling

To The Girl Who Is Struggling

Happiness is the key to success. Be fearless. Be brave. Be happy.
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You see all your friends from high school posting about how this is their last few weeks of college and it makes you feel bad. Why? Because you are a year behind, maybe even two. You watch them and feel jealousy rise because you tried so hard to "do things right." Several things could have gotten in your way: mental illness, family issues, health issues, or maybe you just weren't ready for school like your classmates were when fall rolled around the year you graduated high school.

There is nothing to be ashamed of. I got into my dream school and started the Fall of 2013, mere months after I graduated. I felt so ready, even if there were issues at home and my anxiety was getting worse. Even if I kept a mask on by saying how much I loved school and how well I was doing. If when I walked into class I was terrified because I had no idea what was going on. Or even if I was all alone. I struggled. I wasn't ready for college and it was showing, despite my efforts to hide it. I had no idea what to do.

For those who felt or are feeling this way I have some advice for you: Breathe. It's okay. You're okay.

I felt ashamed that I dropped out of college. I felt that I had to be stupid because everyone else was doing perfectly fine...or so I thought. I realized there was nothing wrong with the fact that I couldn't handle school. I need a break, it was perfectly okay. I took a few months to figure my life out and went back to college. I haven't left and have been on the dean's list every semester. Sometimes people need breaks, maybe you need a break. That's okay, whether you are just graduating high school or a junior in college. College is about learning new things but also, it's learning new things about yourself.

It's hard that I'm a year behind my fellow graduating class and it's normal that I am envious but I did what I had to do for me. I protected myself. I'm also happy for my friends and wish them well as the venture out and hope they know I won't be too far behind. So take those green eyes filled with envy off your friends and keep working towards your goal. I may not have graduated on time or conventionally but I am graduating and I will succeed because I learned one of the most important lessons in life early: Take care of yourself, above all else.

Happiness is the key to success. Remember you have the heart of a lion. Be fearless. Be brave. Be happy.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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5 Pieces Of Advice I Wish I Could Have Told My High School Self

"In three words, I can sum up everything about life: it goes on." - Robert Frost

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During high school, I literally counted the days until I was away at college, living my own life and free to do whatever I pleased. However, now that I look back on that time period, there are so many things I should have appreciated more and so many things I should have spent less time caring about. High school wasn't always a dream, but I wish I cherished that time more. Being away at college, I miss my friends and family terribly, despite loving my school, and I regret not waiting to do certain things that are reserved for adulthood. If I could go back in time and grab my high school self by the shoulders, these are the five things I would say to her.

1. Appreciate your family now 

Looking back, I really wish I would have spent more quality time with my parents and brothers before I left for college. I spent so much wasted time in high school spending time with people that I didn't care about and I wish I could go back and change that more than anything. I miss the little things like sitting at the kitchen table doing homework across from my Mom or watching Jeopardy with the family while we ate our dinner. These little moments are something I can't have while I'm away at college, and I wish I could have known how much these moments would mean to me someday, back then.

2. Spend as much time with your friends as possible

I cannot even describe how much I miss my hometown friends. I miss all of the inside jokes, the countless hours spent talking about pointless things, the game nights, and most of all, knowing that I could turn to them for literally anything. It is really hard to find people in college that can even replicate the friends you had at home (I'm not saying it's impossible), so cherish every minute you have with those crazy people. Things change when you go to college because both you and all your friends are leading vastly different lives now. It can be hard to feel the same way you did before you all left for college, but it is also so wonderful to see all of your friends grow into incredible adults. So, don't leave that hangout session early because your tired or want to watch Netflix, because someday you would give anything to have one of those nights back. I know I do.

3. Stop looking for love, it will find you

I spent so many pointless hours in high school going on dates with guys that didn't deserve a minute of my attention, because I so badly wanted someone to love me. I saw all of these girls at my high school with long-term boyfriends and I cried wondering why that couldn't be me, eventually causing me to waste my time desperately looking for my person. However, it was right when I stopped looking that love found me. The universe knew that those boys weren't right for me (and I think, deep down, I did too) and then, after I patiently waited, love was offered to me on a silver platter. My person found me and I thank my lucky stars every day for him because he gives me the kind of love I have dreamed of for years.

4. Don't try to grow up too fast

I wanted so many things in high school, so badly, that I just couldn't have yet. I would get so mad at my parents because they would say that I wasn't old enough to do those things yet and that I would have all the freedom in the world to do whatever I pleased in college, but I just needed to wait. I would get angry and frustrated because I wanted, more than anything, to be treated like an adult and be able to do adult things, but, looking back, I was just a naive little kid; I know that now. Also, the things that I was so excited for really weren't all they were cracked up to be. However, I owe a thank you to my parents for not letting me grow up too fast, because, let's be honest, growing up kind of sucks.

5. Everything will work out and you are going to be ok 

I stressed out over so many trivial things in high school that, in the grand scheme of things, do not matter at all now. I put so much pressure on myself trying to accomplish goals that would end up not mattering once I left for college. While I'm not saying that I'm not extremely proud of my accomplishments, but I could have saved myself a lot of tears if I knew then that if I didn't achieve something, it wouldn't ruin my life. On the contrary, I feel as though I grew so much more as a person in those instances of failure, than those instances of success. Everything happens for a reason. I got rejected by 8 colleges because the universe knew that I belonged at UW-Madison. I went through a horribly traumatic experience because the universe knew I would come out stronger on the other side. I had my dreams dashed more times than I could count because the universe had a different plan in store for me than the one I envisioned for myself. I think a quote by Robert Frost sums up this piece of advice very well, "In three words, I can sum up everything about life: it goes on."

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