How To Survive Your First Semester In College

How To Survive Your First Semester In College

You are i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t now

College can be really exhausting. It is your first time out in the real world, without a support system, and you have to go and decide what to do with your life. Whoever thought telling an 18 to 22 year old to be independent and decide his or her dream was dumb, but we move forward because that is how life works.

So after spending a year in college, I feel qualified to give tips on how to survive your first year (whether or not I am actually qualified is for you to decide).

Remember to call your mom. I know it will be hard at first. Trust me. I called my mom and would hang up crying by the end of the phone call multiple times. Just pick up the phone and call her. I did not do this enough at the beginning, which made it even harder to adjust. The first ten times I called my mom, I would cry a little bit(or a lot) by the end of our phone call. Now, i don't even shed a tear (ok sometimes life gets overwhelming and I will call her bawling). It just takes time to adjust to the change. Some days I will still be homesick and cry a bit, but I think after living at home for 18 years, I am allowed that cry. Just embrace it because you'll probably cry a lot first semester, sometimes for no reason at all. Grab some chocolate, a Channing Tatum movie and laugh until you cry (that way the tears seem more justified).

Tough out the hard times. Some days you will love college so much and other days you will want to get on a plane and go home. That is normal. Going to college is a HUGE change and can really affect who you are as a person. Remember if you are not happy to wait it out a semester or even a year. College cost a lot of money, so you might as well get the credits. Everything sucks at first. You probably hated the first month of middle school and that is such a minor change compared to this one. I totally did not love the first two weeks of college and now I could not be happier.

Get involved. It is cliche, yes, but it is so true. Sitting in your dorm room watching Netflix (although is super fun) is not going to help you make friends and help you get acclimated to college. Go to meetings for clubs that sound interesting and roll with it. Most schools have an activities fair, so get off your butt and go. Also, an important thing to remember is college is the (maybe) last time to explore different interests, so put your name on a list that is out of your comfort zone. You never know where it will lead. Explore who you are and what you want to do.

Don't worry about other people. Everyone is going to pretend to have their life together. They don't. People will post a million pictures on Facebook and Snapchat showing that they are having a good time. Sometimes they truly will be, but other times they are just as homesick as you are. Don't take time comparing yourself to others. If you don't feel like going out, stay in and watch a movie (I know this contradicts later advice, but there are exceptions to every rule). Do not do something you are not comfortable with. Sometimes staying in can be more productive than going out (actually usually).

Document everything. Take lots of pictures. This doesn't necessarily mean post them all to Facebook, although I am sure your Great Aunt from Florida would love to see them. Be present in the moment (not on social media), but capture it all. #Latergram can be your best friend. Take pictures and post them later when you are bored during class (Kidding, be present in class too). Also, if you would like to, start a journal or a blog so you can document how you have changed throughout the four years.

Go to Class. This one may seem obvious to you if you are still in high school, but let me let you in on a little secret. In college, you are not forced to go to class. If you overslept, then mom and dad doesn't get a phone call. I They will sometimes take attendance, but it can be a gamble. Small universities will have smaller class sizes, so it can be quite obvious when you are gone. That being said, the larger classes are really easy to ditch, but DON'T! Every class you go to will be upwards of $100 or more, just for one class. Get your monies worth. You are going to college to learn, so do that! Mom won't be there to force you, so it truly is a test of your will power.

Live a little. College is when you make mistakes, when you learn who you truly are. Take a class that may be a bit out of you reach. Go to the party. Talk to the cute boy. Join the rowing team. Be the president of anime club. Whatever it is that scares you, do it. You may hate it, but then you'll learn you aren't good at drawling. You may love it and meet your best friends. You never know until you jump. By this I do not mean throw your morals out the window. I am just saying say hi to the cute boy instead of telling your friends about seeing him later.

Do not burn bridges. This isn't high school. If you do not want to be friends with someone, then don't be. If you are surrounded by too much drama, walk away. There are thousands of other people to find in your school that will make you a better person, so don't waste time being friends with petty people. Don't be dramatic yourself. If you no longer want to be friends with someone, quietly leave, don't blow up. In 20 years, you could walk into an office for an interview and that person you fought with could be sitting there. Losing touch is easy to forget and large fights are easy to remember.

Now go out and be a reckless 18 year-old who is trying to figure out her dreams, but don't forget to call your mom and tell her the cool things you are doing.

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Lynk

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When You Give A Girl A Pair Of Cleats

It's more than a pair of shoes.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her far more than a new pair of shoes. You are giving her new friends and new challenges and so many lessons and some of her best memories.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a team. You are giving her a group of girls that she might not have ever talked to if it wasn’t for these common cleats. A group of girls who will teach her how to be a teammate. A group of girls who will laugh with her and yell at her and train with her and win with her and lose with her. With a pair of cleats comes a group of mismatched people with a common goal who are learning from each other and working together.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a coach. This coach is going to play an instrumental role in her love or hate for the sport. This coach will work her hard. This coach will train her and teach her and encourage her and yell at her and make her cry and hug her and cheer her on. This coach wants to see her succeed. This coach knows what these cleats mean, what this sport means. And this coach will be someone that she will watch. She will watch the way that her coach talks to her and talks to her teammates and talks to the other team and she will see her coach’s responses to games that are won and games that are lost. This pair of cleats comes with a role model, for better or for worse.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her team practices. You are giving her practice that will instill discipline and dedication and commitment. You are teaching her that she is on a team and she is expected to put in time. You are teaching her that her presence is important and that people are relying on her. You are teaching her how to balance her time, because, now, she has school and practice and games and teammates and friends and family. And for the first time in her life, she has to establish priorities. With this practice time comes some of the hardest conditioning and training. With this practice time comes some of her favorite memories as she bonds with her teammates and laughs with them and works hard with them. This pair of cleats comes with quite the time commitment.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her game days. You are giving her bus rides and warm up playlists and team matching hair ribbons and orange slices at half-time and constantly looking for your water bottle on the sidelines. You are giving her a competitiveness that can only come out on the field. You are giving her the cheers from the sidelines and the screams of her coach and the exhaustion in her legs at the end of the game. You are giving her handshakes with opponents and a winning attitude even when she loses. With a pair of cleats comes pasta dinners and game days; These will become her favorite days.

SEE ALSO: My First Semester As A College Athlete

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.


The Girl Who Hung Up Her Cleats

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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An Unbiased Breakdown of E3

The biggest gaming showcase event of the year brought some fantastic news about many different games and platforms. Here is what you the fan need to know.


While Christmas in July does not really exist, gamers get probably the closest thing to it. The biggest video game conference in the world, E3, runs usually in early June.

At this event, people get to look at games coming out this year from major and small developers alike, and even get to see and hear what they are working on for the future.

This year, E3 ran from June 9-12 and many different developers got to show their stuff. Here is the unbiased breakdown of the show and the games that you should be excited for, along with the ones that you should have caution toward.

The first day started off with "Electronic Arts." With their press conference being first, they had a lot of pressure to basically get the conference going. EA's announcements mainly focused on updates to their sports titles, including having "Madden 19" available for the PC, which a lot of people were excited for.

The biggest news for them though came from their heavy hitters in "Battlefield V" which takes place in World War Two, and Bioware's new looter shooter in "Anthem," which brings a new take on the Destiny formula.

Respawn Entertainment also announced a new Star Wars game, "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" which takes place between episodes three and four, but it is still in development. No gameplay was shown this year, so look for that at next year's conference.

The team also announced and released "Unravel 2,"which was a nice little star on their report card after the success of the first game.

Unfortunately, the EA team did not really manage to wow anyone despite their strong games being shown. I would give their conference a C+ grade.

Some of the games hold a lot of potential such as "Battlefield V" and "Anthem" and I would recommend picking up "Unravel 2" if you enjoy single-player games.

EA's conference was the only one on June 9 and the next day brought some of the industry's heavy hitters. Microsoft was the first one up.

The Xbox developer came out swinging, announcing over 50 games at the conference.

They started out giving the fans exactly what they wanted with a trailer for "Halo: Infinite" and while it is nowhere close to being finished, they at least acknowledged that it will come in the next few years.

Microsoft also hammered home the trailers for the exclusive content including "Ori and the Will of the Wisps", "Forza Horizon 4", and "Gears of War 5." Oh, I forgot to mention a new "Battletoads" game as well.

On top of this, they even announced "Devil May Cry 5", "The Division 2", "Jump Force", "Just Cause 4", "Shadow of the Tomb Raider", and finally ended their conference with a trailer for a game that was announced forever ago by CD Projekt RED in "Cyberpunk 2077", which looked incredible.

The Xbox team covered everything they needed to cover and then some, and showed off some fantastic titles and surprised fans. To put the cherry on top though was the announcement of "Kingdom Hearts 3" coming to Xbox, which was formerly a PlayStation exclusive. The team killed it and they come out of the conference with an A+ grade.

Later that night, Bethesda rolled out their conference. The "Fallout and Elder Scrolls" developer showed off some 2019 titles in "Rage 2" and" Wolfenstein: Youngblood" and some games that could be at least a few years away in "Doom Eternal", "Starfield" and the game I will talk about in a few.

Mainly their conference was focused around "Fallout 76" which is a new multiplayer game in the franchise set in West Virginia. The game worried people that it was going to be an MMO but it looks more like a "Fallout" game with multiplayer, which is very nice indeed.

The game also has a map four-times the size of Fallout 4 which is also a nice touch. The game looks promising.

The team also tends to meme themselves during the event like the fake "Skyrim: Very Special Edition" trailer for the Amazon Alexa after hearing feedback that "They will launch Skyrim on anything!"

Bethesda also does not hold back on language either, as they exclaimed F*** Nazis during their announcement of "Wolfenstein: Youngblood" (a game about killing Nazis), which gives some great entertainment value to the presentation.

Memery aside, Todd Howard's team killed it towards the end. He announced a mobile game "Elder Scrolls: Blades" which honestly looks cool despite my usual disdain for mobile games, and then flawlessly transitioned into talking about "the one everyone has been asking about."

That game of course is "Elder Scrolls VI." After seven years since the launch of "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" Todd Howard and his team finally unveiled the crown jewel of the entire four-day event.

While the trailer just showed a sweeping few of the land and the name, the mere fact that they announced it means that it will probably come in the next two years, and that makes fans very excited indeed.

No more memes and no more games. Bethesda came out guns blazing. Their conference gets an A grade.

Next up was Square Enix's showcase on June 11. I'm not going to talk much about this because they pretty much dropped the ball at the event.

While a lot of the games are probably going to be good games ("Shadow of the Tomb Raider", "Kingdom Hearts 3", etc…), they showed off a bunch of recycled trailers. The main show of the event was a Monster Hunter crossover event with Final Fantasy XIV, which is Square Enix's MMO, and while it is a fantastic MMO, that should not be your main showing when broadcasting to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

Add that on top of the fact that they did not talk at all about the remake of "Final Fantasy VII" and you have all the makings of a poor showcase. Square Enix gets a D- grade from me.

Ubisoft was next on the list that day, and once again the team really did not show anything spectacular.

The show started well on with a dance routine at the beginning.The team also had no dedicated speaker, which gave developers much more time to speak about their games, which is a nice touch, and showed off some nice surprises like the new "Trials Rising" game and raids in "The Division 2"

"Assassin's Creed Odyssey" was the climax of the show and the game looks beautiful.

While it is probably a reskin of "Assassins Creed: Origins", a game in Ancient Greece will be cool to say the least since there really is not much like it out there besides the original God of War games and those were a fictional tale of Kratos, not based around actual historical events.

Ubisoft did not blow anyone out of the water, but they certainly did not lose anyone like Square Enix did with their showcase. I give them a B- grade.

Next on the list was the second of the console heavy-hitters in Sony, and while they only showed off a couple of games, oh my lord those games looked incredible.

They started off in a tent with a man playing the theme of "The Last of Us" on banjo, which seamlessly transitioned into game-play of the "The Last of Us Part II." The game-play was incredibly visceral and the movement was fluid as you saw Ellie move between bookshelves and crawl under cars.

Everything looked to be dynamic and the combat looked fantastic. Oh, did I mention that the tent they were in looked like the tent that the cut-scene was in? Because it did and it was well done.

Also, Ellie kissed a girl in the cut scene during #pridemonth and it turns out that girl will be her main romantic interest during the game. Well done, Sony.

Moving on to the rest of the games, Sony showed off "Ghost of Tsushima", "Spider-Man"¸ and the long-awaited "Death Stranding."

All of which, not only looked fantastic, but played smoothly from the game-play that was shown. Top this off with the announcement of a remake of "Resident Evil 2" and you have a kickass showcase.

Hats off to Sony, because they killed it. While they did not show as many games this year as Microsoft, the major games they did show all looked to be home runs.

Sony gets an A+ grade for this conference.

Finally, the last of the big three console developers in Nintendo was up on June 12, the last day of the event. Nintendo showed off 30 minutes of "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" and it looked good.

Also, smash finally added Ridley as a playable fighter and had all the old fighters return such as Snake, Ice Climbers and Pokémon Trainer so that was a nice surprise to see from them.

Other than smash, the team did not really show too much else, and there continues to be a lack of third-party support. While "Super Mario Party" and "Mario Tennis Aces" are coming out for the Switch as well as a new "Pokémon" game, I cannot say that it will be enough.

At least the games that have been out for it have been excellent because the Switch is still doing quite well despite this, but I would have liked to see more personally in terms of third-party support. Nintendo gets a B grade from me.

All in all, E3 was an incredible event for gamers across the country and there are a lot of promising titles coming out soon as well as hype being built for some incredible games that will launch in the next couple of years or so.

As for the overall winner of the event, I would say that Sony due to the strong showing of their flagship games, but Microsoft is close behind them in second and Bethesda comes in third.

Look out some of the games that I have on this list, as some of them will be some fantastic stories and experiences.

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