Dear UMASS Dartmouth Freshmen: Part 2

Dear UMASS Dartmouth Freshmen: Part 2

College is literally just one big guessing game where you wander around lost and confused until you find scrap food to eat and pray that it doesn't give you food poisoning.
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Dear UMASS Dartmouth Freshmen,


I know that some of you might have read my first "Dear UMD Freshmen" article, but this is part two. Part one was about what to expect and some of the small things that you should know as an incoming freshman. Now, having been on campus for quite a few weeks, part two is all about some of the things that you should have picked up on about life at our beloved concrete prison.


First of all, I wasn't lying when I told you that the freshman dorms were the worst. Sure, they're livable, and they are what you make of them, but they're not great. And freshman roommates are never good either. Hopefully you've prepared yourself for all of the stories that you'll be able to tell in a year's time, like that time that I came home from class to my bedroom door being covered floor to ceiling in peanut butter, or that time when I woke up the next morning and the entire bathroom ceiling was covered in peanut butter. I know one thing's for sure- I do not miss sharing a bathroom with fourteen other people. Also, I'm not sure if you've heard, but freshman aren't allowed to complain about parking. Y'all have two huge parking lots and even though the distance from the building isn't really ideal (nothing's ideal, you're a freshman), you never have to wonder if you'll get a parking spot. Maybe you've noticed, but the apartments have god awful parking. However, I get my own bathroom, my own bedroom, and a full kitchen with a dishwasher, so I'm pretty sure it's a fair trade. Next, you inevitably have the platinum meal plan. This means that you get unlimited meal swipes at res (I told you no one calls it "the marketplace"), but can eat almost nowhere else. Res isn't that good either, but we've all done our time and now it's your turn. You'll always be safe with pizza, french fries, and ice cream, but I'd proceed with caution towards the chef's special of the day. You've probably also figured out by now that every single teacher you had in high school that was like, "I'm not taking it easy on you because your college professors aren't going to do it" were all compulsive liars. I've had professors cancel an entire semester's worth of homework just because we asked her to, and I've had professors who don't tell us they're cancelling class because it would be "too much work" to send out an email. College is literally just one big guessing game where you wander around lost and confused until you find scrap food to eat and pray that it doesn't give you food poisoning. Getting involved with student clubs and organizations is such a good idea. Odds are, you don't know that many people on campus. The best way to make friends and get the most out of your college experience is to put yourself out there and try new things. You'll never know what you like unless you try it, so get going. Yes, there are parties on campus. Yes, they happen in multiple different locations multiple nights a week. No, you're more than likely not invited. It's not that they don't like you, but let's be real- who wants to let a bunch of randoms into their home and then clean up after them when they wake up hungover the next morning? Yeah, no one. It's not lame to take advantage of tutoring sessions, teachers assistants or office hours. You're literally paying to be here. Professors will help you if you ask for it, but they've already gotten paid. It's up to you to make sure you're keeping up. This is college. You can do whatever you want. Live off of chicken fingers. Wear nothing but sweatpants for the next four years. Wear a snuggie and ride your razor scooter to class. It'll only make you fit in more.

Cover Image Credit: https://bchou1234.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/katy_perry_last_friday_night_video_young_party_dance_company_joy_54442_1680x1050.jpg

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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