4 Lessons I Learned While Being Gay In College

4 Lessons I Learned While Being Gay In College

Congratulations. You just concluded your, uhm, "interesting" four years of being gay in high school.

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Whether you were out and proud or not, you're finally off to college, which means a brand new beginning... Right?

You will finally break all ties with your small town, find the perfect friend group, meet the perfect man or woman, all while pursuing the path you were destined for. While some of this could very well be true for a select few people, it just was not for me. Such as life, being gay in college was a much, much more complicated (and often, isolating) venture.

In the hopes that one could better prepare for the journey that is being gay in university, I have compiled the knowledge I have gained during my time in school... so far at least.

1. Coming out is a process.

LGBT or not, everyone is finding themselves in college.

Somewhere, a pre-med student is failing O-chem and wants to switch majors, a girl is distraught because she isn't asked to be in her dream sorority, and a gay student is pacing back and forth deciding if he should come out to his family. I didn't come out to most of my family until I was 21 years old.

I had anxiously come out to my parents back in high school, told my best friend a year later, and now in my third year of college, I decided to come out to everyone: my grandparents, brothers, aunts and uncles, cousins, second cousins, great-grandparents, relatives once removed... you get the point. Coming out was (and still is) a process.

2. Dating can be difficult, and often times awkward.

Let's be honest, dating in the gay realm is pretty much nonexistent in high school.

Many young gay individuals, including myself, come to college thinking they will meet the person of their dreams. Maybe it will be the sexy barista at the local Starbucks, or maybe the TA in your biology lab who you swear has the hots for you. Or maybe "the one" will accidentally drop all his textbooks after lecture, only for you to ever-so-casually scoop them up as both your eyes meet. Or maybe the last one is just me.

Unfortunately, most of my dating life has been limited to uncomfortable Tinder dates, being ghosted on numerous occasions, and swearing I'd be better off living as a Tibetan monk. The bottom line is this: there are so many others dealing with the exact same situations. Never fear. College is a place where you can meet amazing gay individuals through your LGBT club, classes, library, local gay bar, and anywhere, really.

3. You might not find your "group," and that's OK.

I am an introvert. Now, many people think that being introverted means we are all antisocial and like to be holed up in our dorms watching Netflix on the weekends. While the Netflix part is somewhat true, I still love to be with people.

I just happen to prefer smaller, close-knit groups and don't derive my energy from big crowds. Being a transfer student, I made it my mission to find my people, perhaps even LGBT students like me. However, I felt as if everyone had formed their group during their freshman year.

My isolated feelings created a positive feedback. I stopped putting myself out there because I was too discouraged already, preventing me from improving my lonely state. Eventually, I found my bearings in my major courses and met some really cool people. Although I still lack a "group", I realized that I had friends everywhere: my classes, my study abroad friends, and even friends back home or halfway across the country. Don't let not having a core group steal the validity of the connections you have made.

4. The importance of focusing on you.

During my time in college, I have learned more about myself than I have in my entire life. Questions began to concern me as I began this strange period of independence. Where did I fit in college? How did I see myself in the gay community? Will I meet the right person? Will I succeed? Am I enough?

I decided recently that I wanted to channel my insecurities and feelings of isolation into improving myself, and that took the form of exercise. The best part about exercising was that I was doing it for the only person that really mattered: me. I realized that these four years shouldn't be wasted in pondering what could be, but what is. And while the future is uncertain, taking hold of the now is really the best favor we could ask of ourselves.

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"
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Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

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10 Study Habits You Should Never Break

Tips and tricks to surviving finals and midterms.

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It's starting to become that time of year again - wrapping up the semester and preparing for the dreaded week of finals and mid-terms. I couldn't be more excited to be done with high school. But finals stink. I luckily don't have many classes that are going to require taking a test, mine are mostly projects.

All throughout high school, I had really struggled with testing and study habits. I didn't know how to study and therefore continued to do poorly because of my study habits or lack of. It was not until my junior year in high school, I had found my way of studying and it has worked for me for every test since. I color coat everything and write things down a million times. It is time-consuming but it is worth it in the end. You just have to find what works with you and stick with it. Here are some tips and tricks to hopefully help you with your study habits. I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was struggling at the start of high school.

1. Time management

Don't be silly and study the night before the test and expect to do well. Some people can actually do this but I am a person who has to work their tail off for what kind of grades I receive so studying the night before a test would result in me not doing well. But it is different for everyone. What I typically do is if I know the test date ahead of time, I write it down in my planner and then as we learn something I add it to a notecard so as we go on with a unit I remember what we have learned in the start of the unit. I typically study a week prior to the test.

2. Find a study space

I like when my environment is completely quiet, I find it hard for me to focus when I am surrounded by noise. I usually study in my room or somewhere where no one is at

3. Choose a style of studying you like

I am a freak when it comes to studying. I am a very visual person. I will read the chapters in the book, highlight the important stuff, take notes and color coat them, highlight them. Draw diagrams or pictures if needed. And sometimes write small important things a couple of times. Yes, it's time-consuming but it has gotten me to not fail my test. With more unvisual classes like math, I write a notecard of all the formulas and buttons I will need for that unit. I do all of this as we go through each unit. I also use Quizlet to help me remember vocabulary words.

4. Actually do the study guides or Quizlets, they help

I complete the study guides a couple of times. Sounds crazy but it helps me memorize stuff so much better. There are tons of resources out on the internet, use them. Quizlet, Books online etc can all be valuable resources, just got to know what is available. Sometimes my friends will make a Quizlet and we will have the same class and I will use her Quizlet. Why make what's already made for you?

5. Write things out

I love technology and all but I think some of us have gotten away from writing things actually down on a notebook. Believe it or not, it has been proven that physically writing things out helps you memorize things better. I use a notebook for class and color coat my own notes. I also use flashcards for vocab words and color coat them as well. As you can tell I love color coating.

6. Have a study buddy

Personally I study better alone but when I do study with groups we bounce ideas off each other to get a better understanding of the material. It again depends on how you like to study.

7. Eliminate distractions

I used to have a problem with getting distracted from being on my phone and then I'd realize I just wasted 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram when I could have been studying. So turn your phone off or put it where you can't see it because it really does shorten your time of studying without being on it.

8. Use memory games (pneumonic devices) 

This helps me so much! When I am working on a test I always remember pneumonic devices before anything else.

9. Take your time

Don't rush through the material, you'll get it eventually. If you don't know it, highlight it and come back. Also if you have already mastered and memorized a topic, don't keep studying that study the things you don't know and haven't mastered.

10.  Find what works best for you!

You have to find out what works for you and what doesn't. Your study habits are completely unique to you. If something works for you, continue to do that.

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