I Have Not Written in Weeks Because I've Been in Prison

I Have Not Written in Weeks Because I've Been in Prison

Thankfully, it isn't what it sounds like.
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I know the title may come as a shock, but it's absolutely true. While articles are due at 5 p.m., I am on my way to the Lackawanna County Prison by 5:30 p.m. No, this is not some wild college night gone wrong that landed me in prison. I have been volunteering with the women at Lackawanna for about three weeks now. Once I had informed my mother that I would be working in a prison, she was naturally concerned. "You couldn't have picked safer volunteer work?" she said, and I mean, I could have, but this one stood out. The program we do with the women is creative writing, so it fit my interest. I will be working with these girls for six weeks and so far so good.

The first time I went to the prison was just a tour. I have never stepped foot in one before, so I was pretty anxious. After having my ID checked and handed a pass, it was time for us to go in. The interesting thing is, to get to the classroom you have to walk past the male prisoners. They don't see many women and my group is all girls and one guy, so you can imagine how this went. They were rowdy when we walked in and out of the prison. This has continued every week since. There are many wild and inappropriate reactions that I can't help but awkwardly laugh to myself about.

The following week was my first week working with the women. After watching way too many prison drama shows on Netflix, I was nervous. Thankfully, that nervousness didn't last long. The girls came into the room and sat themselves with their friends in whatever groups they wanted. My group consisted of myself, two other girls from school and two women from the prison. This week specificity we were working on blackout poetry. Not only did I get to see the talent these women have, but I learned a lot about them. One of the women writes songs and loves to preform with her music group here. The other woman plans to manage them and has dreams of being an actress. People sometimes forget that prisoners are people too.

Now I am around three weeks into the program, this being my week off. I think it has been such an amazing experience. Sometimes it's hard when it's a Wednesday night and I'm overwhelmed with schoolwork, but I know I have somewhere to be. Taking the time to talk to these women honestly makes my night. I get to see some of the amazing talent they have (believe me it's amazing, I've come close to tears), we get talk about our week and we have some pretty funny moments. I mean, who better to make jokes about committing crimes with than prisoners? I have found the program to be rewarding and inspiring to me as a person and to my writing. I also learned not to judge as harshly. Yes, these women have committed crimes, but who am I to judge someone off of one aspect of their life? I would recommend this experience to anyone. I have learned so much and hope to keep learning more from the program.

Cover Image Credit: WNEP

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8 Things To Do For Fun Instead Of Getting Drunk

Do some of that work you've been procrastinating on, or maybe pray.
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Nowadays it seems like all anyone ever wants to do is go out, party, and get drunk. Which is perfectly fine, if you truly find pure enjoyment in that. I think a lot of people use it as a source of fulfillment when it is not fulfilling you in any way.

If anything, it is going to make you feel emptier than anything else will in this world.

I am not saying to never ever have a drink or party because those are both normal things to do, but I think it needs to be seen as something done in moderation, not every weekend. Don't you just get tired of it anyway? With that here are eight things to do for fun that don't require any alcohol.

1. Read a book

Now I know this doesn't sound like the most exciting thing ever, but it is honestly so relaxing to just be able to sit and read. Reading books also allows you to throw yourself into a different world from a little bit and escape whatever may not be ideal in yours.

2. Go bowling

This is one of my FAVORITE things to do. It is so underrated and underappreciated. Bowling is such an easy way to catch up with some friends, and have a little friendly competition at the same time. It is something that everyone can do and enjoy, so it should be an easy sell to your friends.

3. Write

I know this is something else that does not appeal to a lot of people, but I promise it is something that can be very convicting. Sometimes you have thoughts going through your mind that are weighing you down, so you need to get all of those things down on to paper and free your mind to be filled with happier thoughts.

4. Take some pictures

Want to build up that Instagram following? Grab your super high-quality iPhone and go for a walk and take some pictures of anything that sticks out to you. It doesn't have to be something that everyone will love, it needs to be something that has meaning to you. Everyone else's opinion does not matter at all.

5. Go to an escape room

I personally have not gotten around to doing this yet (college keeps you really busy, okay), but I have heard GREAT things about them. Get together with a group of your smartest and most intuitive friends and see if you can escape in under an hour. This can also be used as a great bonding experience for teams or clubs.

6. Do some of that work you've been procrastinating on

We all know it's true. There are reading assignments from two weeks ago you still haven't even turned the page too. How about that paper due tomorrow you haven't started yet? You definitely do not need to be going out when you have work piling up by the minute. Also, stop telling yourself you will get it all done this weekend because you probably won't. Don't live your life in an area of constantly being behind. If we live our lives in an area of little urgency we have more opportunities to live a spontaneous life.

7. Watch some Netflix/have a night in

Sometimes you just need time to unwind from the week and Netflix is the best answer for that unless you want to watch One Tree Hill or How I Met Your Mother, then switch over to Hulu real quick. Either way, the point is your body needs rest, so give it that. And it will help you feel more prepared for the upcoming week.

8. Spend time with the Lord

I personally think this is the most important one on this list. The Lord is truly the only person who can give us complete fulfillment in our lives. He is the one who has a plan for us, and He is the one who knows what is best for us. We were created in His image, so why should we live any other kind of life? Read the Bible and above all else, pray. Pray for that void to be filled, and God will put something in your life that will.

I cannot speak from a drunk experience because partying and getting drunk is something that has truly never appealed to me. I am speaking from the perspective of someone who has seen many friends searching for fulfillment in those unnecessary things and just getting more hurt in the end. If it isn't making you happy then please find something that does. There are so many more things out there than just partying, go out and find them.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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If College Majors Were The Shots You Take At The Bar After An Exam

Shots are highly integrated into the college life.
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Attention one and all: college sucks.

We invest so much time in studying, crying, having mental breakdowns and panic attacks, and then repeat.

But most of all, we drink. Like a lot.

If you're 21, you can't wait for Friday to roll around so you can flock to the nearest bar, so you can haphazardly drink your sorrows away and spend the last dollar in your pocket.

If you're not 21, you hope that someone can score you a fifth of Burnettes, and get wasted playing waterfall in your freshman dorm. Shots feel as if they're an inevitable drink that you consume at one point or another.

I asked a ton of people to pick one shot that would describe their majors, and here's what we came up with.

1. Communications-- Liquid Marijuana Shot

Contents Include: Captain Morgan, Blue Curacao, Malibu, Melon Liqueur, Pineapple Juice, and a splash of Sour Mix.

Why?

It seems easy at first, but then gets harder as you go.

2. Neuroscience-- Four Horsemen

Contents Include: Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker, and Jose Cuervo.

Why?

You think you're good, and then all of a sudden, you're dying.

3. Health Science-- Lemon Drop

Contents Include: Vodka, Lemon, Sugar

Why?

You think one is enough but then you realize it's useless until you get more.

4. Engineering-- Straight Whisky Shots

Why?

The program is hard and you need something just as hard to make up for what you're learning.

5. Social Work-- Mind Eraser

Contents Include: Vodka, Kahlua, 7-up.

Why?

Just like the name says, sometimes you need to forget the difficult things you saw that day.

6. Political Science-- Passed Out On The Bathroom Floor

Contents Include: Bacardi Rum 151, Jose Cuervo Gold, Jager, Peppermint Schnapps.

Why?

We talk and theorize about the state of our political culture so much, that sometimes we too (and we do this often) drink so much we pass out on the bathroom floor.


Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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