Dear FAFSA, Please Do Better

Dear FAFSA, Please Do Better

Please understand that not all families are exactly the same.

Did you know that fewer than half of children in the U.S. live in “traditional” nuclear families? If you work for the FAFSA, then that answer is no.

If you are a college student, you know the pains of filing for financial aid every. single. year. I just recently had to fill out my FAFSA again for next school year, and it was not a pretty experience.

Let’s start with the fact that my mom passed away this past summer. It’s very hard to be required to think of this in financial terms, but the FAFSA makes you do this. I had to file as an “independent” student this year. This means that I would not be required to provide parental information. But I was not approved, therefore delaying and possibly eliminating my financial aid I need for school.

This is because the FAFSA does not understand the concept of having anything other than a “normal” mother-father-child family.

They assume every single college student has this type of family. On the FAFSA you can only put your mother or father as your provider, so other caretakers such as grandparents or stepparents do not count. This makes it almost impossible to understand how to fill it out if you don’t fit in this category.

Just because my family does not qualify as this, I am being punished by having my financial aid unapproved.

Also, the people of FAFSA think parents' entire income goes straight toward their children’s college fund as if they don’t have bills to pay, food to buy, or health problems to take care of. They also ignore the fact that some parents are uninvolved in their child’s life and therefore do not even help them pay for their college. Many students I know struggle to pay for college on their own and owe thousands of dollars in loans because of this.

So FAFSA, please get it together. Please understand not all families are exactly the same. Is this really too much to ask for?
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Getting Straight A's In College Is Not Worth Failing Your Mental Health

A's are nice, but you are more than a letter.


The idea of getting an A on every paper, every exam, every assignment, seems great. It can be known as a reassurance of our hard work and dedication to our 4+ classes we attend every single day.

Losing sleep, skipping meals, forgetting to drink water, skipping out on time with friends and family; these are the things that can occur when your letter of an A is what you are living for.

You are worth more than the grade letter, or the GPA number on your transcript.

Listen, don't get me wrong, getting A's and B's definitely is something to feel accomplished for. It is the approval that you did it, you completed your class, and your hard work paid off.

But honey, get some sleep.

Don't lose yourself, don't forget who you are. Grades are important, but the true measurement of self-worth and accomplishment is that you tried your best.

Trying your best, and working hard for your goals is something that is A-worthy.

Reserve time for yourself, for your sanity, your health, your mental health.

At the end of the day, grades might look nice on a piece of paper, but who you are and how you represent yourself can be even more honorable.


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'Tis The Season For Exams

Once again, it is the time of year to be stressed.


Well, we made it to the end of the semester. Last time I remember it was just midterms and people were freaking out about those as well. Now we have come to the end of the fall 2018 semester. This means all the projects and paper that you told yourself you had time for are due. All those nights where you could have been writing or even studying are now being crammed to the last minute. The funny part of exam week is the fact that many people that I talked to do not have exams. They are more stressed out about their papers or their final projects. So my question is which is more stressful, exams or papers and projects?

To me, it would be the paper and projects. Even though I thought I had more time, I realized a week ago that the semester was ending. It was crazy to think how much time flies, even though I was not having fun. Paper and projects are always stressful because there are guidelines and specific rules each teacher wants you to follow. If you are like me and have 4 papers and two projects, then those "strict guidelines" start to go out the window. You just want to get the project or paper finished so you can move onto the next one.

The one major paper that I have had a lot of stress about would be my English paper. You know, the white paper, or research paper, whatever your teacher calls it, that you have all semester to work on. Luckily I started mine early, but it turns out that I had a lot to do in the final weeks of the semester. Everything seemed fine until I realized that some of my articles were not working and I had to change those and then more and more started to fall apart. This to me, was very stressful and something that I wish I had avoided.

Now that the week is over and classes are finished, except for the final projects and exams, it is time to reflect on this semester. I would first say that my semester was very crazy and exhausting. Taking so many courses at once and not really even having a summer break (due to the fact I too 15 credits over the summer) means that this semester was all the more stressful. It does not finish there since I am taking a J-Term class. So it seems that even though people are finishing up and starting to pack up and go home, my day is just getting started with a new class! Why do I do this to myself!

So finally I would like to say congratulations to those who finished their first semester in college. You made it! Now good luck getting through the next 7 semesters. To those who are in the final stretch, you are almost there! I will soon be there as well since I am graduating early in the fall of 2019. Finally, to those in the middle, just keep on going. Before you know it you will be walking down to Pomp and Circumstance and praying that you passed that one class that you should have taken your Freshman year but decided to wait a little bit!

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