Goodbye Summer, Hello Freedom!

Goodbye Summer, Hello Freedom!

What better place to be free than in school?
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What kind of freedom could you possibly have once summer is over?

When you're still a student with years to come of education, you know the end of summer just means the start of the new semester and school year where countless assignments and deadlines start piling up right before your eyes. In this case, you’re limited to doing certain activities you might have done during the summer when you had all this free time.

Maybe this is just me, but I find the start of a new semester doing countless schoolwork as more freeing than being on vacations. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again, but long breaks do not mix well with me. All this free time makes me feel vulnerable to wasting my time doing something like watching Netflix all day instead of something productive. So why exactly do I find the new semesters and generally being in school more freeing and fulfilling?

I think this can be broken down to one simple reason as to why: I actually feel important during school and my time is being spent well. Now I’m not saying I feel unimportant elsewhere. Am I an important person in my family? Of course. Do I feel important when I’m with my friends when we hang out? Heck yeah. It’s just when I’m in school surrounded by all these facilities, all this buildings that I can access, this sense of accomplishment overcomes me and I actually feel free.

Another factor that can tie into me feeling more free during the semester is the position I hold amidst my studies. I may be a student, but I also participate in and work for an on campus facility that enables me to help other people as a writing tutor. So what better way to utilize my time by actually helping people instead of thinking about all my problems at once? Granted, even this kind of work can get stressful, but it’s the kind of stress that feels great once you accomplish a goal. In a way, working and constantly being on my feet in an academic setting motivates me better than sitting around and trust me, this is a really big help for someone like me when my mental illness ruins most of my thought process in any given situation. It's such a different environment compared to being at home and it constantly reminds me that I have so many options and there are many things I can do just for myself.

Of course, the start of a new semester might not feel this way to everyone else. But are you also someone who's driven by the academic atmosphere of school to the point where you feel more free there than anywhere else? Perhaps I'm not alone after all, however there is still one very important thing to keep in mind amidst the semester and new school year.

You might be free and have the options to do so much that you might not be able to normally, but don't over exert yourself.

Even freedom can have its limits.

Cover Image Credit: huffington post

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Sometimes "Out With The Old In With The New" Isn't the Best thing

We can't lose touch of the simpler things in life

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When I think about how much has changed and how much my world has developed since I was little, I get mind boggled realizing how different things are. I work at a restaurant in the city that I grew up in and I see famillies come and go for dinner every night. They all seem the same. The parents will walk in, check in with the hostesses and wait to be seated. If they're asked to wait, the kids sit by their parents sides playing on phones that are probably too young to have. I understand that waiting can get tedious and boring. By the time that they would sit down, I'd imagine that they would put down the devices and engage in some good old fashion conversation. I was wrong. It made me sad to see kids eating dinners with their families with zero interaction. When I was younger, I enjoyed the quality conversations I would have with my family when we got breaks from our all very hectic schedules. It's amazing how much technology has advanced, but sometimes, I believe that we might rely on it too much.

Seems like more and more things are becoming industrialized. Those "mom and pop" shops are closing down due to corporate companies buying the land. I have enough Walmart and Targets in a ten minute radius from me. Sure, places like these carry necessities are important, but when local Nurseries are closed down in order to build a new gas station, it just becomes sad. As things progress more, the more we lose touch of our roots. The places that make home special and different. The moments we have as a kid that don't involve a light on our face. Modernism is a powerful and amazing thing but we need to take a step back and reevaluate what we hold closest to us.

All in all, as we continue to develop, I will continue to advocate for the simpler moments and the simpler times. I don't think my kids will need iPhones right out of elementary school, I'll continue to visit the same hometown shops and give them as much business as possible, I'll always ask if he kids want coloring sheets at the dinner table. Although these small things might not matter in our everyday new world, they matter to me. I will always try to have so much fun that I forget to document things with my phone. The laughter and memories without the technology present. Those are the moments worth remembering.

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