How College Has Made Me A Better Person

How College Has Made Me A Better Person

More independent? Check. More interesting? Check. More humble? Oh, yeah.
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I remember it well: that annoying moment during high school winter break when one of my older friends came back home and said, "ugh, everything is so much better when you're in college" or "when you're in college you'll understand." It always royally pissed me off. But here's the thing: what those self-righteous friends of mine were saying was true.

College is better than high school. Much better. Now, I'm not one of those people who stands by the belief that "college is the best four/five/six years of your life," but I do firmly believe that college is providing me with the opportunities to live the best life I can and is turning me into a better version of myself. Here's why:

College is increasing my independence

Just a few short years ago, I would ask my teachers to use the bathroom, ask my parents if I could go to the movies, ask my friends before I bought an outfit, and basically rely on everyone else to do things. I felt the need to validate my every move with someone else's permission, but in college, clearly that is not the case. Not only have I lived on my own in college, I now have to manage my own finances, make sure I get my work done, and make sure I get enough sleep. These things can be stressful, but now I can't imagine life any other way. College is making me responsible for myself, and I must say, freedom tastes pretty sweet.

College is making me more confident

I'll own it, I've gotten better looking since high school (who hasn't?). But that's only a small factor that's increased my confidence. In college, I've applied for scholarships, joined organizations, given 100-point presentations in front of classes of 80 people, and been put in charge of bigger things than ever before. Because of these challenges (and my more mature face, thanks puberty), I feel more comfortable approaching cute strangers, taking on new projects, introducing myself to important people, and looking in the mirror and liking what I see.

College is making me funnier

I know what you're thinking: "What? How is this possible?" It's true. It's probably due to me growing up and surrounding myself with people with actually intelligent senses of humor (there are funnier things than GIFs of people crashing dirt bikes, people). I've always been sarcastic, but the assholes I meet in my classes with their beautifully dry senses of humor have only made me more so. Honestly though, people actually laugh at my jokes now, and I'm not afraid to tell them (see the confidence paragraph).

College is making me healthier

My mom might disagree. I get a lot less sleep and "go out" a lot more than I did in high school, but I also keep busy and spend a lot less time on my ass. Plus, walking all over campus to my classes and a free gym membership does wonders. Remember, the Freshman 15 only happens if you let it.

College is making me more ambitious

Maybe my favorite thing about the college experience is seeing people who have actually done awesome things with their lives. I've met people who have traveled the world, accomplished amazing things in their glamorous careers, and made great strides in their fields. These people make me feel like I can do these things too, and push me towards my goals.


College is making me connected

In high school, I knew my graduating class, family friends, and a few teachers I liked. Now, I meet new people at every event, social, party, meeting, conference, and class that I go to. Plus, getting more involved has allowed me to befriend Student Body senators, chairpeople, club presidents, and more. Also, the more time I spend here, the closer I get to my professors and advisers, who can help me make the right academic choices and can recommend me for internships and good jobs. And, you know, the actual relationships you make are a perk.

College has made me more appreciative

College life might be busy as hell, but running around all day has really made me appreciate the free time I do have. My personality has become chiller, because with school, extracurriculars, social activities, and ALL THE STRESS, I simply don't have time for drama or unnecessary distractions. Maybe I've grown up, but I appreciate random acts of kindness and my friends/family more than ever. College has also made me realize how lucky I am to be here at all, because all it does is improve my life and my character.

College is making me more interesting

Long gone are the days of only Top 40 and Sara Dessen books. The challenging classes I take and the interesting people I meet in them have really broadened my horizons. Now, weird movies are cool to me and studying abroad doesn't seem so out of reach. Spotify Premium is only like $5 for students, so awesome music is easily accessible, too. Thanks to college, I can talk for hours about obscure shit and retweet stuff from accounts other than Common White Girl without being an annoying hipster. And I DO stuff! Concerts, plays, comedians, and PARTIES are usually free in college, so I take away awesome stories from all of these things. Let's just say I'm not the last one out in that Five Fingers party game anymore.

College is making me smarter

Well, no shit. But the great thing about a liberal arts education is the fact that you learn stuff that you never thought you wanted to, but are happy that you did. I've taken classes that have nothing to do with my future career, but turn out to be incredibly interesting. Did you know "The Shining" could be about the staging of Apollo 11? I didn't, until college.

And finally...

College has made me more fun

It's college. What did you expect?








Cover Image Credit: zimbio.com

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Revival Of The Coal Industry Is Unattainable

Clean beautiful coal will never be a reality. President Trump's backing of a declining industry is misguided and will have despairing environmental impacts.

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The coal industry and its workers were placed at the forefront of American politics during the 2016 election cycle. President Trump promised a revival of the coal industry and promised to secure the jobs of coal country. The President, halfway through his first term, has so far taken measures to do just that. Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, threw out Obama's Clean Power Plan, and did away with an Obama-era regulation that would prevent coal ash from entering streams and other bodies of water.

On one hand, it's quite extraordinary for a politician to do good on his campaign promises. On the other hand, is anyone considering whether or not the President is putting all his eggs into the wrong basket? Coal has been on the decline for about a decade now. Even without environmental regulations, the energy produced by coal is expected to reduce by 20% by 2030. Renewable energy such as wind and solar are replacing coal.


For an election campaign, it's easy to see why a candidate would align with coal. States like West Virginia and Pennsylvania are key when running a national campaign. The votes are there in those counties that support the coal industry. They will vote for any candidate who sides with their industry. But from an environmental standpoint, there's more on the line than just an election. It's about our clean air and water. Climate change is real and the effects of coal will only accelerate the process.

Coal ash that finds its way into water streams can damage that water supply for good. It could also impact the wildlife within the area. Coal also pollutes the air we breathe. Clean coal is a myth. Plain and simple. Coal is anything but clean. Clean coal sounds good in a stump speech, but we all know it's a fallacy.

Mountaintop mining also has a deep environmental impact. The Appalachian mountains have been destroyed from surface mining. West Virginia residents hold their beautiful mountains in high regard. Now, some of them look very different and the destruction is permanent. If the mining continues, the mountains of the Appalachia region will be gone. It would be a shame if you went to West Virginia to admire their mountains, and none were left.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt passed the American Antiquities Act of 1906. Roosevelt protected 230 million acres of land during his presidency. Roosevelt understood the importance of conservation and preserving our nation's natural beauty. The same natural beauty that God envisioned. We should not take that for granted. We should restore our mountains, forests, and lakes so that our children's children can reside in the richness of our natural environment.

President Roosevelt also ended the coal strike in 1902. The United States was much more dependent on coal in the 20th century than it is now. Roosevelt knew the coal strike had to be resolved because the cold winter would have been fatal. The change of the Republican party over a century later is quite intriguing to ponder. The party went from a strong conservationist in Roosevelt to Trump, who is willing to move mountains for a dying industry.

All of these facts surrounding the coal debate cannot be ignored. The rest of the western world will move on to new forms of renewable energy. While the United States will be stuck in neutral, reviving coal. Renewable energy should be strongly considered if we are to protect our water, air, and lands.

Disclaimer: I understand the risks coal miners make when they show up for work. I know that safety regulations are not always up to par and that coal mining is a very dangerous profession. I also understand the viewpoint of coal miners and their reasoning for disagreeing with me. I know they want to work and provide for their families. That's what we all want to do. As I write this, I wish not to offend coal miners, I only aim to critique the President and his policies about the coal industry.

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