If You Can't Be A Good Example, Be A Horrible Warning

If You Can't Be A Good Example, Be A Horrible Warning

10 things to NOT DO this semester

This will be the beginning of my sixth semester of college. You would think, as a grizzled, eternally tired double major, that I would have it all together. Instead, I use myself as an example of what NOT TO DO. I have my bad habits, that I should change, but I won't, until it is too late. More often than not, I am too stubborn for my own good, particularly when it comes to the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

So here, I will give you a list of ten things that make me a horrible warning of what NOT TO DO.





1. Don't keep up with your beginning of the semester practices.

I mean, who needs to do homework, essays, and projects in ample time? Who needs legible, organized notes? Who needs to closely examine each and every reading? Not this guy.

2. Go ahead and don't keep a regular meal schedule

Who needs regular meals? They don't help your metabolism or circadian rhythm or anything. They don't help your mood or anything either. Upset stomachs are great too, right?? (Disclaimer: I have gotten much better at this, after one too many upset stomachs)

3. Don't keep a good sleep schedule either

WHAT IS SLEEP?! I, like many of my fellow students, have bags under my eyes that cost a ton of money. Even though some semblance of a sleep schedule helps your mood, your metabolism, your physical health, and numerous other things, it is waaaaay better to work on my raccoon impression, finessing my dark circles.

4. Don't do "chores" as often as you should.

You should wait until your trash bag is overflowing to take it out. You should also wait to vacuum your floor, because you can. As long as you have underwear, you don't really need to do laundry. (Disclaimer: Putting off laundry is a BIG mistake when you have short little arms, the laundry is three floors down, and you really like wearing sweatshirts.)

5. Go ahead and eat badly

(Mom, this rarely happens, put the phone down.) You can totally eat your feelings when you have had a bad day. Also, vegetables and fruit are gross!! The digestive distress and the decreased mood are TOTALLY WORTH IT.

6. Put the Pro in procrastinate

All of that extra stress makes life WAY more exciting.

These last few are things that have happened to me in the past that I would not wish on anyone. I do not continue, nor condone these practices.

7. Wait until things go haywire to go to office hours

This made my freshman year FANTASTIC. One class I was able to understand everything and the next class the same professor was seemingly speaking gibberish. Only when I got back a gruesome test grade did I go to office hours. I was incredibly lucky to pass that class with a C.

8. Don't take chances

Who needs the benefits that outweigh the risk? Who needs to make really good friends by venturing completely out of your comfort zone? Who needs to learn valuable lessons by venturing out of your comfort zone? You certainly don't want to find a purpose doing those things either. That's far too crazy.

9. Don't stand up for yourself

Who needs to be authentically themselves? Who needs to let people continually badmouth who you are to your face and do nothing? Who wants to be their own person? (Disclaimer: Even though my knees were (and still sometimes) shaking in addressing these issues with friends and family, standing up for myself has made my relationships with these people stronger, and renewed my faith in myself.)

This last one has personally not been me, but I have seen it too many times.

10. Don't talk to anyone

You don't need to meet some of the greatest, goofiest, most caring people of your life. They're not your major. They're not from your hometown or high school. You don't need to have wonderful experiences at concerts because of them. You also don't need to go on a midnight doughnut run with them. That's too much.

Cover Image Credit: Greenwich Education Group

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A Letter To My Humans On Our Last Day Together

We never thought this day would come.

I didn't sleep much last night after I saw your tears. I would have gotten up to snuggle you, but I am just too weak. We both know my time with you is coming close to its end, and I just can't believe it how fast it has happened.

I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.

You guys were squealing and jumping all around, because you were going home with a new dog. Dad, I can still feel your strong hands lifting me from the crate where the rest of my puppy brothers and sisters were snuggled around my warm, comforting puppy Momma. You held me up so that my chunky belly and floppy wrinkles squished my face together, and looked me right in the eyes, grinning, “She's the one."

I was so nervous on the way to my new home, I really didn't know what to expect.

But now, 12 years later as I sit in the sun on the front porch, trying to keep my wise, old eyes open, I am so grateful for you. We have been through it all together.

Twelve “First Days of School." Losing your first teeth. Watching Mom hang great tests on the refrigerator. Letting you guys use my fur as a tissue for your tears. Sneaking Halloween candy from your pillowcases.

Keeping quiet while Santa put your gifts under the tree each year. Never telling Mom and Dad when everyone started sneaking around. Being at the door to greet you no matter how long you were gone. Getting to be in senior pictures. Waking you up with big, sloppy kisses despite the sun not even being up.

Always going to the basement first, to make sure there wasn't anything scary. Catching your first fish. First dates. Every birthday. Prom pictures. Happily watching dad as he taught the boys how to throw every kind of ball. Chasing the sticks you threw, even though it got harder over the years.

Cuddling every time any of you weren't feeling well. Running in the sprinkler all summer long. Claiming the title “Shotgun Rider" when you guys finally learned how to drive. Watching you cry in mom and dads arms before your graduation. Feeling lost every time you went on vacation without me.

Witnessing the awkward years that you magically all overcame. Hearing my siblings learn to read. Comforting you when you lost grandma and grandpa. Listening to your phone conversations. Celebrating new jobs. Licking your scraped knees when you would fall.

Hearing your shower singing. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the sun. New pets. Family reunions. Sleepovers. Watching you wave goodbye to me as the jam-packed car sped up the driveway to drop you off at college. So many memories in what feels like so little time.

When the time comes today, we will all be crying. We won't want to say goodbye. My eyes might look glossy, but just know that I feel your love and I see you hugging each other. I love that, I love when we are all together.

I want you to remember the times we shared, every milestone that I got to be a part of.

I won't be waiting for you at the door anymore and my fur will slowly stop covering your clothes. It will be different, and the house will feel empty. But I will be there in spirit.

No matter how bad of a game you played, how terrible your work day was, how ugly your outfit is, how bad you smell, how much money you have, I could go on; I will always love you just the way you are. You cared for me and I cared for you. We are companions, partners in crime.

To you, I was simply a part of your life, but to me, you were my entire life.

Thank you for letting me grow up with you.

Love always,

Your family dog

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Starting T Didn't Go The Way I Planned And I'm So Thankful For That

Nothing ever goes as it should, so why should this?


On April 4, 2019, I officially started the medical part of my transition. I say the medical part of my transition because my transition started long before that day, this was just the medical aspect of things. The day before was my 20th birthday and my mom came to town to surprise me. A few months ago she told me that she had scheduled an appointment with my endocrinologist for June 4, 2019, so that I could talk to them about starting T. Over dinner that night my mom told me that part of my birthday present was that she lied about my appointment, it was actually April 4th and not June 4th.

After I got over the initial shock, tears of joy and excitement, my mom and I had a long serious talk about things to make sure that I was ready to go through with things. The time I had to prepare had been cut down from two months to less than 24 hours. At first, I was panicking because I like to prepare for things but this is something that I have wanted for a long time.

When I went to the doctor's office the next day I was ready, I felt calm and prepared. I knew that my life was about to change in a way that I desperately needed and wanted it to. Even though I was ready for this moment I was still super fucking nervous, I left my letters (the letters a therapist has to write for you in order to start your transition) at home so my mom had to run home and get them while I was filling out my paperwork.

After talking with my doctor and her giving me the okay to start, I found out that it would probably be another two weeks before I actually started T because of the insurance company handles the prescriptions. But the way things were working, I got home, my mom left, and fifteen minutes later I got a text saying my prescription was ready for pickup. Again, my time to prepare went from two weeks to instantly.

When I got picked up the prescription and went to the doctor's office to learn how to do my shots I knew everything was right. This whole process wasn't supposed to start until two months from now, and then when it started I was supposed to have two weeks to prepare because of the insurance company. But, it all started instantly and I'm SO thankful for that. If this process hadn't gone the way it did then I wouldn't have a really cool story to tell, I wouldn't have started T the day after my 20th birthday, and I wouldn't be able to tell the world that my mom really does go above and beyond for me. This wouldn't have been possible without her, she really went above and beyond for this one.

Thank you momma, I love you so much. TGFE.

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