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
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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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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