Don't Tell Me I Should Be Partying

Don't Tell Me I Should Be Partying

Why I put in so much time and effort to my studies
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First semester of college can either be rough or incredibly easy. I have found that I've had both rough patches and smooth patches during my first semester and I know my journey is only going to get harder. I am a pre-nursing major hoping to apply to Radford University's Nursing Program a semester early. This means I try to put in a lot more work than some of my peers. I just hate when said peers down me for trying to better myself now so I can afford to play later.

It's no secret that Radford has a reputation for being a bit of a party school and I will admit I have gone to quite a few parties since I've been here, but I'm not afraid to tell people I can't go out because I have work to do for a class. I typically like to finish things ahead of time in order to give myself time to sleep and have fun, which means weeknights are for the books and I will do assignments between classes to avoid staying up late. I spend roughly around 3-4 extra hours a day working on assignments, and at least an hour just studying material. If I want to be able to make my weekends my own then I pay the price during the week.

Some might say my methods are dramatic and that I shouldn't be as worried about my grades my first semester of college. Those people are preaching to a girl who busted her butt in high school because she knew she was going to be busting her butt in college. I hold myself to a high standard because I have programs and scholarships to uphold that require a high GPA. Don't tell me my grades don't matter because they do to me at least.

Another reason I hate when people tell me I should be partying instead of doing work is that I know in the back of my mind when I'm 21 buying my own house and getting married to the man of my dreams, I won't have to worry about getting a job or where the money is going to come from to pay off my loans and bills because I'll have it. You pay now and you play later. I can enjoy my twenties and thirties while some of my peers might have to add an extra year to their college experience or have difficulty searching for a job because they didn't fully apply themselves in school.

While I commend those that can have fun and get their work and studying done, I am not one of those people and will not pretend to be one of those people. I enjoy spending my nights being productive and making significant strides in my education as well as working to make sure my future is bright.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley Duke

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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To The High School Counselor I Wouldn't Have Made It To College Without

I couldn't have made it through high school without her and now even college.

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Dear best counselor ever,

When I came into Blake High School I had no idea what to expect. I was a scared, confused, lost freshman. Coming into a school that my sister had just graduated from there were some familiar faces, yours being one of them. You were my sister's high school counselor for four years and then mine. But, you weren't just a counselor you were a friend.

Anytime I came into to your office you were there for me. You became more of a mother figure to me than a staff member. The endless times I came into your office with endless problems you were always there to help. When we lost two seniors my junior year your door was open for me and the rest of your students when we couldn't bear to go to class. When I couldn't handle my biology teacher anymore you were there for me to vent to. When I had testing anxiety you opened up a quiet space for me to take my tests. When I didn't know how to apply for colleges or what I even wanted in a college you were there for me. When they tried to switch my last name to a different counselor you kept me.

You were truly the role model, friend, mom, staff member I needed at Blake. I loved coming into your office and just talking to you about everything. I don't know how I would've survived four years without you and even survive college now. Every time I come home which isn't often your door is still open. I come home you ask how college is going and you're proud. You expect the best out of me and it makes me expect the best out of myself. I know how hard you work and I just want you to know that I couldn't have done it without you. When I was scared to go to a school fourteen hours away, away from my family and everyone I knew, you told me to follow my heart. My heart led me to Alabama and I couldn't be happier.

As you go back to school from winter break I want you to know how appreciated you are because I really don't know where I would be without a great friend like you. I walked across the stage at graduation looking at all the faces I would be leaving as I took the journey to Alabama. When you called my name I knew that was where my journey started. They handed me a red rose at the end of the stage. We were told to give it to someone who made a difference in our four years at Blake. I gave it to you not only because you made a difference in those four years, but because you made a difference in my whole life and taught me so many lessons that I couldn't have taught myself. I am stilling learning so much and I can't wait to tell you all about it the next time I come to your office.

Love,

Your favorite student (hopefully)

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