I Commute To College AND Live At Home And That's OK

I Commute To College AND Live At Home And That's OK

Moving away from home is every young adults dream, but is it really all it's cracked up to be?

Almost all teenagers find themselves constantly daydreaming of the opportunity to set out on their own journey that has seemingly no responsibilities- college. As a high school student, I continually heard amazing things about college. From getting to live without parents and siblings to becoming the best of friends with your new roommate, everything about college was captivating. Junior year of high school came quicker than expected, and before I knew it, I was applying to the universities that I had always dreamt of attending.

Time passed as I waited for what seemed like years for my acceptance letter to my number one university of choice. When I finally came to the realization that it was getting close to the deadline to register for fall classes, I immediately registered at my local community college in fear of not starting school on time.

I was crushed.

I sulked for weeks thinking about how I would be missing out on a “real college experience.” My family and friends comforted me by telling me that I made the smart decision and that I would be saving myself money in the long run. The truth was that no matter how much they tried convincing me to be happy with my decision, I would always feel as though I was missing out.

My time at the two-year community college came and went, and I was finally accepted into my dream school. Temple University has an amazing journalism program, and I was ecstatic to finish my college career at such an establishment.

After endless amounts of paperwork and frustration, I came to the conclusion that the only way for me to attend Temple University was if I commuted. It turns out my family and friends were right all along — I was definitely saving more money at a community college. It was too expensive to live on campus, so I parted ways with the ideas of the cliché college life and accepted the fact that I will always be a commuter.

Although I had so much to be upset about, I refrained from thinking so negatively because after all, I was attending my dream school. As the months passed, commuting to school began to grow on me. Sure, I hate sitting in traffic, driving in the rain, leaving extra early to be on time for classes, etc., but all of the negatives are incomparable to the positive things that I get from commuting to school.

The perks of living at home are better than ever. I keep in touch with my friends from my hometown while meeting new people and making new friends at school. I am able to keep my part time job while still being focused on my classes. Most importantly, I am able to spend time with my family and friends on a regular basis. My family means the world to me (and so do my dad's home cooked meals), and I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for the world.

I travel 45 minutes two times a day in order to get to and from Temple. In my car, I get to blast the heat or air conditioning as high as I want to (downfall of living at home — I have no control over the things that cost money). I drink my coffee, and I can jam to my favorite songs as loud as I want to, or I can educate myself while listening to a scholarly podcast or even quietly reflect on life.

The possibilities for my morning and evening “me-time” are endless. The view of the sunset on my way home from classes is almost as breathtaking as the view of the sunrise on the way there. You hear people talk about “stopping to smell the roses” and although I am driving well over 60 mph on the highway (sorry, dad.), the appreciation that I have for life during those moments is grander than any cliché college experience.

Although I was originally devastated at the thought of commuting to school for my entire college career, I am now realizing that my commuter student status is a blessing in disguise. The time that I have with my family, friends and myself are the greatest experiences that I could ask for, and I am forever thankful for them.
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Sharing My Writing Publicly Changed The Way I View My Content, But I Grew Out Of My Comfort Zone

It certainly didn’t discourage me from writing any less.

I have been writing for the Odyssey for a little over two years now, and it’s safe to say I absolutely love it. Having the freedom and ability to write about whatever I want on a weekly basis not only improves my writing abilities but also encourages me to pay attention to what’s going on and stay attuned to the world.

Still, it’s not always fun and games. This past year, it was made known to me that every time I write an article, I have to ensure that it is shared on several social media platforms, one of which is Facebook. Initially, I didn’t find this to be much of a problem, that was until I wrote my article for the next week.

There’s something so freeing about being able to write whatever you want, and part of that stems from the fact that you get to choose topics that interest you. Additionally, part of what I loved was not just writing what I wanted, but when I wrote something that could prove to be controversial amongst some, I didn’t have to share it.

That all changed a few months back, and it greatly influenced how I thought about my articles moving forward.

I wish I could say that I don’t care whether people like my articles or if my content sparks heated discussion, but I do. When you manage any kind of social media content, whether it’s a blog or writing for a website ,you care about your viewership and how they receive your articles, and you should! Part of the reason why you do it in the first place is because this audience is so important to you, and you don’t want to let them down.

One of the greatest benefits about being a writer is that you have the opportunity to help, encourage, motivate, educate, and support other people. When you write a public article, you open up the possibility for people to read that article and resonate with it in some way. Whether it’s learning about a new sport or feeling supported about a person struggle, your aud ience views you as a confidant in as little as 500 words.

But what happens if you write something that not everyone will love? Does that mean you shouldn’t share it?

I spent a great deal of my time the first year writing for Odyssey sticking to anything I was interested in, and once I was encouraged to make my writing public, my topics changed. I paid more attention to what I was writing about and how it might be received by certain people. I cared more about touching upon the critical points and asking the question of what the big takeaway would be at the end.

When you choose to write publicly, you have to embrace the fact that not everyone will think your writing is advanced or profound, and that sometimes, people will disagree. Still, you cannot shy away from the topics that you feel are important or critical to analyze because words do have the ability to promote change and help people.

For those of you who are writers or are thinking about becoming writers for a public platform, my advice is this:

Do it. Do not shy away from it because you’re worried about the content that you are writing about or whether you’ll have 1,000 social engagements in minutes.

Instead, do it because you are passionate about it and because it allows you to instill passion in others.

Most importantly, remember that being “public” shouldn’t make you fearful of talking about the difficult topics. Rather, view the accessibility of your work as encouragement to proofread, edit, and hone ideas that you genuinely think people will appreciate.

Going “public” may have changed the way I view my content, but it certainly didn’t discourage me from writing any less.

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The Tragedy That Is the Tide Pod Challenge

Tide Pods are not food.

Though no one knows exactly how or why the Tide Pod Challenge started, over the past few weeks it has taken over the Internet. Kids and teens alike are being dared to take this Challenge, in which they are supposed to eat the detergent pods.

What started as a simple meme, where people could be seen on Twitter calling the Tide Pods "forbidden fruit," has turned into an Internet challenge that is posing major health risks that could even turn deadly to anyone who tries it.

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2018 alone there have been about 37 reports of teenagers being exposed to the pods, over half of these instances being intentional.

The fact of the matter is that whoever started this Challenge did not take into account the massive number of gullible, impressionable children on the internet who will literally do anything for likes or views. These kids may not fully comprehend the dangers of ingesting the Tide Pods, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness have all been reported.

What may have started as a joke, has turned into a very real, very dangerous, very stupid Internet challenge. This is a very serious issue and we need to make sure that no more people try and ingest these detergent pods.

Cover Image Credit: Tide

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