To My Empty Dorm Room

To My Empty Dorm Room

Thank you for never questioning my choice to nap instead of going to class.

Dear empty dorm room,

Hey, generic bed frame and black twin bed mattress with no bedding on it, sorry I haven’t seen you since move in day. The mattress pad is kind of a must though because if we’re being honest you’re not a luxury item. You might be the one I miss the least, because my bed at home is waiting, but I spent most of my time in this room with you, re-watching Friends when I should have been studying, eating Mac and Cheese because no one could stop me from eating in bed and most importantly running the impossible race of catching up on sleep.

And you, clear desk that matches the bed frame, you’ve been covered all semester in sticky notes and schedules with books piling and un-piling on top of you as papers are coming up and then turned in. I’m sorry for doing all of my homework on the bed instead of sitting in front of you, but at least there were no chips taken out of your wood over frustrated book tosses or any other paper writing mishaps.

Empty trash can, thanks for keeping secret exactly how many bags of chips I went through over the semester, because we both know stress eating is a real thing. And empty recycling bin, thanks for standing be the trash and reminding me that yin and yang exist. For every bag of chips I stress are I recycled a full container of waters. Hydration is important when you’re stressed, and recycling is important always.

Tall white walls, thank you for holding my memories all year and letting me rest my cork board against you so that I could tack up new memories as they were made. And thank you even more than that for not tearing when I ever so slowly removed the command strips from you a few days before I left. It is almost impossible to match your slightly off white color and I did not want to pay for damages I’m sure would be painted over anyway.

Barren closet and dresser, I wish that you looked bigger now that all of my clothes are stacked in boxes instead of hanging against you, but honestly you look about as small as I remember all year. It’s alright, I made do and only brought my favorite clothes to school, although it seems like more than was strictly necessary now that I’m carrying all the boxes. Next year someone who dresses better will probably move in and maybe that would make you happy, barren closet, if you had feelings.

So thanks, empty dorm room for keeping my secrets and keeping me company. We had a good run and I wouldn’t have wanted to have spent it anywhere else, although I won’t be back for you next year. I hope that your next resident is as kind to you as I have tried to be, even if it’s just to avoiding paying at the end of the year.


Your last resident

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If South Carolina Colleges Were Characters From 'The Office'

Who's Jim and who's Meredith?

"The Office" is one of the best shows on the face of the planet. Don't believe me, you obviously haven't watched it. It has a character for everything, including all of the South Carolina colleges.

The Citadel

This one is probably the easiest. Creed Bratton. Hands down. Military all day every day. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors, except the people there. Just like Creed's mind.

Coastal Carolina University

Consistently voted one of the top party schools in the nation. #It'snotcollegeit'sCoastal.

Winthrop University

Winthrop is the place for future teachers. We all know that Meredith is the mother/teacher figure in the office, which is kind of scary in and of itself.

Columbia College

Erin just seems like the type of person who would go to an all-female college.

Bob Jones University

At what other school do you see people wearing things that could be from the American Girl large colonial dolls Spring line?

Wofford College

The pearls, Greek Life, and Southern fashion are so real.

Furman University

Let's be real. Pam is a bit of a nerd. But at the end of the day, she does know how to get down. I mean she WAS on the party planning committee. And who doesn't want that Ring By Spring?

College of Charleston

Nard Dog is definitely in an a capella group in Charleston, taking in the city and the history while dressing like a frat star.

Medical University of South Carolina

Andy isn't alone in Charleston. Dwight is down there becoming a doctor. Yes, someone who can save lives and is able to do surgery. Although, who else would you expect to be a doctor?

University of South Carolina

There would be no South Carolina without the University of South Carolina. There would be no office without Michael Scott. The later seasons prove it. They're large and in charge.

Clemson University

While Michael thinks that he runs the office, it's no secret that Jim is the mastermind behind the operation. The office would fall apart without him. I'll just let that sit.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Your Brain Is More Than A Bag of Chemicals

In David Anderson's 2013 Ted Talk, the Caltech professor discusses the downfalls of mental healthcare in our society, opening a discussion to wider societal issues.


David Anderson, in his Ted Talk "Your Brain is Not a Bag of Chemicals" dives into the world of treatment for psychiatric illnesses, of scientific research, and of fruit flies. His goal, to explain the flaws in current treatments of mental illnesses and present how this downfalls could be resolved is clear throughout the talk. Through presenting his research, and speaking of novel contributions such as the actual discovery of emotion in fruit flies, Anderson displays the flaws in mental healthcare and demands more of the scientific world to resolve these downfalls.

As Anderson explains, the traditional view of mental illnesses is that they are a chemical imbalance in the brain. He states, "As if the brain were some kind of bag of chemical soup filled with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine." He explains the difference for typical treatments of physical ailments versus psychological ailments. As he describes it, physical ailments presented to a physician will lead to blood tests, biological assays, and various other factors to gather information about what is going on in the body so that a treatment plan can be well-suited to that issue. However, for psychological problems, the patient is often handed a questionnaire to assess the issues. These questionnaires, as he suggests, are insufficient in understanding the complexities that surround mental illnesses.

Of medication prescribed for mental illnesses, Anderson states, "These drugs have so many side effects because using them to treat a complex psychiatric disorder is a bit like trying to change your engine oil by opening a can and pouring it all over the engine block. Some of it will dribble into the right place, but a lot of it will do more harm than good." Anderson uses the example of dopamine and the model organism of fruit flies to explain this concept. He explains how in certain illnesses, such as ADHD, there is not a complete understanding of why there are features of learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Without this understanding, the treatment of just increasing the amount of dopamine in one's system is lacking.

Anderson suggests that pharmaceutical companies and scientists should do more research to not only discover the disturbances of neural pathways, which tend to be the real cause of mental illnesses, but to also develop new medications that attempt to resolve these specific pathways and specific receptors, rather than simply increasing the amount of a certain neurochemical. These new medications could and do revolutionize the way that mental illnesses are treated, and the efficacy in their treatment.

As a society, there is a general view of mental illnesses that varies greatly from the view of physical illnesses. Anderson, without directly discussing it, acknowledges this exact problem. He discusses the differences in treatments, but also the lack of resources that are put in to truly understand how to better treat mental illnesses as disturbances in neurophysiological components. Without, as a society, acknowledging and respecting mental illnesses for what they are, we are short-changing the 25% of the world who is directly impacted by these illnesses, and the countless loved ones who stand by those impacted. A shift needs to occur, and the research and ideas that Anderson presents are a wonderful scientific starting point for these shifts. However, if we as a society do not support the principles behind this science, do not support the concept that mental illness is much more than just being a little emotionally reactive, we are doing a disservice to the majority of the population.

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