To Freshman Me As I Become A Senior, Don't Give Up

To Freshman Me As I Become A Senior, Don't Give Up

The obstacles haven't been easy, but I'm so grateful for the lessons I've learned because of them.

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Dear Freshman Jake,

I cannot believe it sometimes, but I'm approaching senior year now. In the three years since I began my time in university, I have had a myriad of experiences, things I think are worthy of reflecting on to you. There are so many different lessons I have come across during my time, and I think they are valuable to write about.

They may not take effect immediately, but they are important to cherish.

For one, continue trying to believe in yourself. It is a long, arduous process. It is full of twists and turns and is very much a process that is one step forward and two steps back. At the end of the day, however, you'll find the confidence to do things you never thought possible. Like run for president of a club, found another one, start lab research and so many other things. You'll find it worth it in the end.

Secondly, continue exploring who you are. You may not know it, but there are so many untapped fields of interests you were never aware either existed or that you'd find interesting. You'll soon discover that college, whether via the extracurricular activities or the courses, will present new interests to you, whether that be politics, philosophy, different sports or even medical ethics. You'll find that there is so much to be fascinated by, and I want you to always continue to explore that.

Another lesson I have managed to take from my time in college is that, while challenging, those obstacles will help you develop as a person and a student. Whether that be in a class like organic chemistry, where you'll resort to every resource in your repertoire, or biochemistry and cellular biology, which you'll study day after day to understand. You'll find that while these classes can certainly be challenging, they can be overcome with your studying. You'll come to not only learn how to be a better student, but you'll discover more about how you function as a person and how much you truly love your major. Carry that with you.

Lastly, following from that, do not give in. Do not cede to those classes. It gets tough. You may want to cry and you may want to just give up. Those classes will hit you like a ton of bricks. They'll frustrate you and vex you, saddling you with the responsibility of figuring it all out when it seems like you will never understand it. Here's the thing, you will understand it. With time and dedication, you'll figure it out, you just need to have the patience to believe it'll happen.

I know that this might seem a bit premature to write you this now. However, there has been so much I have learned since you first stepped into Middletown High School all those years ago. It may feel like it drags on at times, but college is going to breeze right past you. Grab a hold of something and follow the flow, but keep your head focused on the goal, the one thing you've always wanted.

There, you'll find the balance needed to learn how to be yourself and focus on the prize. Keep going, kid.

Sincerely,

Jake.

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30 First-Apartment Essentials College Kids Forget To Buy At Target And Later Order On Amazon

Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts.

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If you're anything like I am, you're beyond excited to start planning and shopping for your first apartment. It's easy to get wrapped up in the fun stuff for your first apartment, trust me, as a former Bed Bath & Beyond employee I could spend hours wandering through shower curtains and bedding.

Before you get too carried away there are just some essential things that you'll need, but they aren't as much fun to pick out. Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts, because I really don't see that ending well for you (I may or may not know that from personal experience).

1. Oven mitts

Gets those oven mitts because the sleeve of your sweater might seem like it will work, but I'm living proof that it won't, most sweaters have holes.

2. Trash bags

Don't wait until you need to throw something away to realize you don't have them.

3. Hand soap

It's not like a dorm bathroom where the maintenance staff refills a soap dispenser that's drilled into the wall. You're on your own kid.

4. Toilet paper

Again, no staff replacing it for you. Stay on top of it and make sure you always replace an empty roll, especially if you have roommates.

5. Water filter or pitcher

This one depends on whether your water is safe to drink or not, but be prepared. You don't want to move in under the summer sun only to realize you don't have any drinkable water at your snazzy new pad.

6. Tools

Hammers, screwdrivers, all that jazz. If you're moving in some furniture you're probably going to need tools to put it together.

7. Lighting

You don't want to be unpacking and stumbling around a new space in the dark your first night. Know what lighting is built in and where you might need to add some light.

8. Silverware organizer

Ok, so you probably remembered to pack the silverware, but do you really want to throw it all in a pile in a drawer? That's a good way to grab the wrong end of a knife by accident, maybe get some dividers to keep your silverware nice and sorted.

9. Dish towels

Most people think about bath towels, but if you're not used to having a kitchen you might not have thought of dish towels. You're going to need those when you're whipping up your favorite dinner.

10. Measuring cups

I'm a huge advocate for estimating and guessing in the kitchen, but if you're baking anything at all you should probably at least have some measuring utensils as a guide.

11. Bottle opener and corkscrew

You're going to want to crack open a drink and celebrate your first night in the new place. Wouldn't it be a buzzkill if you couldn't even get the drinks open?

12. Sponges

You have to be able to clean the counters and the dishes when you're done being an expert chef!

13. Paper towels

Spills happen, and you don't always want to clean them with your nice towels.

14. Toilet plunger

It's one of those things you never really think about... that is, until you need one.

15. Air freshner

You know, for after you use the toilet plunger.

16. Extension cords

You probably have a larger space than you're used to, sometimes those cords that come with all your new electronics just aren't quite long enough.

17. Utensil container

A little round pot or bucket is the perfect place to put all of your kitchen utensils. Things like spatulas and whisks will take up space in your drawers and create clutter. Plus, keeping them out makes them easier to grab when you're whipping up some food.

18. Batteries

There's nothing worse than getting your new TV all set up and realizing you can't use the remote.

19. Curtains

If you need darkness to sleep, you want to make sure you get those bedroom curtains up and ready to roll.

20. Toilet bowl brush

Sorry, but I'm certainly not reaching in there with my hands.

21. Ice cube trays

To keep you cool as a cucumber during this stressful time.

22. Can opener

Try prying a can open with your hands. I dare you.

23. Stain remover

For when you try to pry the can open with your hands and manage to spray tomato sauce all over yourself.

24. Carbon monoxide/Smoke detectors

Cause we don't want any tragedies here.

25. Collander

We both know you will be making pasta every night, so you're going to need to drain it.

26. Coasters

You definitely don't want to ruin your super fancy new Ikea table.

27. Dry erase board

No need to argue over who should take out the trash, just make sure to write down everyone's chores.

28. Underbed storage

On a college budget there's no way you can expect a walk-in closet, those clothes and shoes will have to go somewhere.

29. Drying rack

For when the dryer in your building inevitably stops working.

30. Step stool

If you're short, like me, you need a little help reaching that top shelf.

Hopefully this list has helped you feel a little more prepared to move into your first apartment. The decorating and planning is so much more enjoyable when you know you have all of your bases covered. I wish you the best of luck with your first major endeavor in the world of adulting!

Note: As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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The Truth About Motivation, And What It Really Means

Only you can make it happen.

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Everyone has goals. Small goals, big goals. Personal goals, team goals. Coming up with goals is easy; decide on one thing you would like to change or improve, and voila! You have yourself a goal.

People over-think goals. It really isn't that deep. Not all goals have to be ground-breaking or life-changing.

Ok, so you get it. Now I'll move onto the main topic: motivation.

I feel like the most common thing that comes to mind about motivation is this constant drive that only select people are lucky enough to have. This is not the case.

Ever heard the phrase "mind over matter"? Not one person on this Earth is motivated every single day. Even Donald Trump doesn't feel like doing the most important job sometimes.

When the motivation lacks, it is up to you to decide mentally that you are determined. It's kind of a mind game, but no one ever did anything great outside of their comfort zone.

Goals are achieved when you surpass what you think you are capable of. Take advantage of the opportunities that stand before you. And if things seem impossible, remind yourself that you're fully capable.

However, there is a difference between motivation and over-doing it. It is important to differentiate.

Feeling unmotivated is completely different than feeling tired and disinterested. Consistency is key, as they say, but it is also important to rest and give your attention to other aspects of your life. Too much of anything is bad.

Overall, my point is that the word "motivation" is commonly misinterpreted. Motivation is an important factor in achieving goals, but not always present. It is up to you to remind yourself of the end goal, but also remember that it not only about the end but the journey, too.

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