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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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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10 Pieces Of Advice From My Parents That Have Helped Me Survive This Thing Called Life

I don't like admitting that they're right, but they've helped me through more than they'll ever know.

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As I've entered my 20s and have made it halfway through college, I've learned that life can be hard and challenging at times. Like many kids, when I was growing up, I could care less about what my parent's advice or opinions were. Nine times out of ten, I would do the complete opposite of what they said. Once I got older and actually started listening to their advice and put it into perceptive, I learned that they're right more often than I'd like to admit.

1. Don't take things for granted

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I've learned to cherish what I have because I might not always have it. It's easy to take life itself and many things it involves for granted. They've taught me to take a step back from this crazy life sometimes and be grateful for all that I have.

2. Don't be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve

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My parents have taught me that if you feel something, don't be afraid to say it or embrace it. If you love someone, then tell them. Don't be afraid to put your heart out there just because you might get hurt.

3. Be vulnerable

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In life, in relationships, in your work. Take risks, get shot down, and then try again. Being vulnerable is scary yet so powerful.

4. You can never have too many shoes

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Otherwise known as it's okay to treat yourself. Life is hard, so take care of you. If that means going on a shopping spree every once in a while, then so be it.

5. You're going to be okay

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Whatever it is you're going through, you're going through it and you're going to come out on the other side. It may seem horrible now, but you'll learn from it and be okay in the end.

6. You have to have friends in life

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It's important to have people to lean on, especially on your bad days, and to celebrate with on your good ones. You can't just have you or a significant other to rely on.

7. Never be afraid to share your opinion

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Don't be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there because they might be wrong. They could have a huge impact on someone or something.

8. Don't stress over things you have no control over

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Everyone is on their own path, which means everything will work out the way it's supposed to, even if it doesn't make sense right now. Again, you're going to be okay.

9. Happy, healthy, wealthy, wise

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My dad always says if you tell yourself every day that you're happy with yourself or your life, you're healthy and strong, you're wealthy in love and surrounded by great people, and you're knowledgable or wise, then you can achieve anything in life.

10.  S*** or get off the pot

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My all-time favorite piece of advice. Making decisions can be hard and scary, especially if the outcome could be getting hurt in the end. So, you either make a decision and roll with it no matter the outcome or you walk away.

Thanks, mom and dad for always being a phone call away when I need it! Just know that your advice and words of wisdom don't go unnoticed. For others, your parents have been on this planet much longer than you have and most likely experienced the same situations that you're dealing with. They don't have all the answers, but they are there to help.

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