Free Time: The Struggle

Free Time: The Struggle

Damned if you have it, damned if you don't.

You're damned if you have it, you're damned if you don't.

The sole reason you spent an unimaginable amount of money getting a higher degree of education: you've finally graduated onto bigger and better things. You can finally use your postsecondary educational skills to further your career in life and begin the conformist life of that 9-5 (but really 8-6:30 if you include commuting and preparation).

Suddenly, sitting in your beginner's cubicle and not just doing administrative work because your boss doesn't know what other busy work to give you, you start to realize that your position in society is not just a summer internship to put on the "work experience" portion of your resume. You are an actual person of society with real work that actually counts if you don't perform it properly. It is at this stage in your life that you realize just how much you took free time for granted.

You think back to all of those breaks in college that were far too long and you spent way too much of watching TV, playing on your phone, or browsing on your computer. You begin to regret all of these lazy decisions and tell yourself how much more you will appreciate free time if given the opportunity. You begin thinking about how you should have taken up those piano lessons you always wanted to take but were too lazy to do, those acting courses to try your hand at it, learn a new language, etc. How dare your past-self take for granted such sweet and meaningful free time. All the things you could have accomplished during that time to bring you higher up on the success scale upon graduation.

Then again, once you're finally given the opportunity to have this free time you claimed you would definitely take advantage of you begin to understand exactly why you were so lazy back in the day: you needed that free time. You begin to understand just how important it was to be as lazy as you want. And once you finally have that free time are you actually going to go out and do all of the things you claimed you would do? Probably not no, but you will sit there remembering why you hated your free time so much: you get so freaking bored not being preoccupied and there is only so much time in the world to balance all of the things you want to do.

This is where time management comes in handy: organizing your precious free time to correspond to your not-so-free-time is exactly what helps you achieve all of those goals you wrote in macaroni-colored crayons in first grade.

Give yourself a break, or two, or three, and let your free time be free.

Cover Image Credit: Northernconnectionmag

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything

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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11 Dorm Essentials You'll Also NEED For Your Apartment Checklist

10. Whiteboard


The time has come for many college students to make their grand transition to a first apartment/house. However, thanks to a very tight budget, getting all those cool and new Pinterest-worthy decor is probably nearly impossible without breaking the bank. Who has the money for that when college loans are looming over every student's head? Here are 11 things you can totally take with you from your old dorm that will cross out some items on your apartment checklist:

1. Tapestry

If you had a tapestry anywhere in your dorm, take it with you! Hang it above a bed, couch, or use it as a rug! Cut it up, braid it, Pinterest it, and you're good to go.

2. Broom

Brooms aren't too expensive but why not save money where you can? Get some cute printed tape at a craft store and wrap it around the handle to make something that makes cleaning a little more fun.

3. Rubbermaid Containers

What once held school supplies can now hold wrapping paper, extra clothes, cleaning supplies... The options are endless.

4. Wall Art

If you have some you like, why not continue their legacy in your new space? Keep the color scheme going so you don't have to buy completely new stuff.

5. Shower Curtains

Your shower is bound to be bigger than the one you had in your dorm (thank God). To make your new bathroom look a little fancier, get a second shower curtain of the same pattern and have them open in the middle.

6. Shelves

Instead of using these for printers, books, etc, you can now put them up in your closet or bathroom and use them for shoes, towels, or whatever else.

7. Plants/Succulents

Instead of getting rid of them, keep your green thumb, get some new pots, and use them as coffee table/end table decor! Not only are they cute, but bring in a little color and overall make things a little brighter.

8. Books and Bookends

If you can't return or sell some of your old school books, consider keeping them and putting them in a bookshelf. They will make it look fuller, not to mention make you look more cultured. Then, keep your eyes peeled for some adorable bookends - cultured AND cute.

9. School Spirit Shirts

If you never plan on wearing your college spirit shirts ever again but DON'T want to get rid of them (sentimental value - I get it), send them into Project Repat that turns them into a quilt. Now you'll have something to remember your old college days without them taking up a ton of space with clutter.

10. Whiteboard

Don't ditch your whiteboard just yet! Instead of deadlines and assignments, use it to write down a shopping list, important phone numbers, or a new and inspiring quote every week.

11. Command Hooks

The sacred item that every college student NEEDS to have. There are awesome ways to reuse your command hooks: holding keys, dishtowels, jewelry, and so much more! You can even paint them to make them pop.

As you can see, there are so many amazing ways to transform your college dorm essentials into adorable must-haves that will transfer over to your next big move. Consider your apartment checklist completed!

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