Seeing The Moon Reminded Me We Are Part Of Something Greater

I Saw The Moon On My Way To Class, And Then Realized That We Are All A Part Of Something So Much Greater

The worries about gen chem 2 grades suddenly melted away as I began to contemplate what really matters.

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I woke up on a mundane Monday morning thinking that things were about to unfold the same as they always do. Other than the slight adrenaline rush I received when I realized it was 7:51 a.m. and I still had to get ready, drive to campus, park the car, and walk to my 8 a.m., the morning seemed just like an ordinary morning. Waking up, getting to school, and then completing the tasks that I had lined up so neatly in my planner, ready to be crossed off one by one were the primary concerns on my mind.

During my fast-paced walk to class, my mind was focused on nothing else other than how I was going to slip into the lecture hall a couple of minutes late. I was not completely fretting because this class happened to be a large lecture hall for a 1000-level general education course; if it was anything super important, I would never have agreed to enroll in the 8 a.m. meeting time.

With my feet hitting the pavement swiftly as I hustled to the building, thankful that its location was only a couple of blocks from the commuter parking lot, I shifted my gaze to the light blue sky. Initially, my attention was caught by the intricacies of the still-barren branches of the trees that lined the sidewalk. The dark branches protruding from the sturdy trunks of those trees rooted deep within the earth seemed to all to be stretching up to the infinity that is the sky.

Amidst all of the stretching branches was a break of space that framed the moon subtly. It was shocking to look up and spot the moon so quickly that I stopped walking immediately. Arching my back slightly in order to angle my neck upwards, I admired the simplicity of that subtle framing of the moon in-between the tree branches. While that little white speck seemed so simple, I suddenly became very mindful of how daunting that simplicity was. That little white speck actually exists as the moon thousands and thousands of miles away from where I was standing. The same gravitational forces that were keeping my feet planted on the sidewalk as a hustled to class were also keeping the moon in orbit of our planet.

This is when I realized how truly amazing nature is, and we are part of that, too.

Fathoming how the universe came to be is most-certainly an intimidating thought process, to say the very least. Looking up at the moon reminded me that there is so much about nature that we still do not understand. The way that the most intricate mechanisms work in cycles that continue operating relentlessly is something that can often be taken for granted. Oftentimes, us humans get so caught up in the mundane stressors of daily life that we forget about what really matters. Further, us humans get so caught up in attempting to find meaning and live a purposeful life that we forget about the wonders of nature and factors that we cannot control.

Thus, while on that brisk walk to the class that I was a few minutes late to, I became aware that it didn't really matter. Of course, this is not to say that being late to class or skipping that meeting time completely is acceptable behavior all of the time; Responsibilities are still present in our lives day in and day out. However, I am emphasizing the importance of developing an accepting attitude that we are all going to endure occurrences that are not ideal and that we would never have predicted would happen.

At the end of the day, reflecting on the magnitude of your personal problems is helpful to remind you of what really matters; it truly aids in providing you some perspective as you realize that you are a part of something much greater than the minuscule trials of human-constructed society that can frequently be taken much too seriously.

And if you need any help with this, just look up to the moon or any feature of nature; admiring the elements of beauty, growth, and mystique will help to remind you that life is all of that, plus so much more than we realize.

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10 Ways College Is 100% NOTHING Like High School

Once-a-day showers go to dry shampoo for four days straight.

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As a college freshman well into their second semester, it has officially occurred to me just how different, and often times better, college is compared to its predecessor, high school.

Here are just 10 ways the two could not be MORE different:

1. How you sleep

You'll go from waking up three hours before school to three minutes before class

2. How you hygiene

Once-a-day showers develop into dry shampoo for four days straight.

3. How you eat

Pizza goes from a once-in-a-while treat to an everyday food group.

4. How you socialize

You'll go from being nice to everyone to disliking people for no reason.

5. How much effort you put into your appearance

High school contour was on fleek and now there's somehow mascara on your forehead.

6. How you nap

Naps go from two hours to 10 minutes.

7. How you operate heavy machinery

Driving goes from 10 and 2 with perfectly lined up mirrors to driving with your knees and eating a taco.

8. Your classmates

High school classes are with all of your friends and college classes have strangers in them almost every day.

9. The people teaching you things

High school teachers are scary and mean, while college professors become your friends.

10. Textbooks

High school textbooks are provided where college textbooks need to be bought with another student loan.

Cover Image Credit: Instargram//Madsbythesea

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I'm About To Burst, Laughing At The People Who Thought My Pregnancy Meant I Had To Drop Out Of College

I get stared at in the halls and asked if I am going to drop out. Here are ways being a pregnant student has changed my college experience.

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I have been pregnant the entire time that I have been in graduate school. It was not how I planned to experience grad school, but it has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective and will give me a lovely son (seriously, any second now). There are certain things that I did not realize about being a pregnant student until I experienced it, and maybe my experiences can help better prepare other women, or give them something to relate to since pregnant students are such a rare breed.

As a grad student and a 25-year-old, I am around the average age to have my first child in America. I am not dependent on my parents and the world does not treat me like a child anymore.

However, since I decided to pursue my master's degree, I feel that people are not used to seeing pregnant and student in the same sentence without gasping.

When I first told my father, his first reaction was to ask me if I was to going to drop out.

This became a recurrent reaction from my family and friends (which my boyfriend who is also a student was never asked once). I did not expect the hesitant reactions and it made me feel shameful to be a pregnant student. As my expecting belly grew I always noticed that people on campus would stare at my stomach.

As I walked past, their eyes followed my belly like I had a giant red felt "A" on my chest.

None of my classmates are pregnant and thinking back, I can't remember ever seeing a pregnant woman in all of my five years of college. Since none of my classmates were pregnant, I felt like I had no one to relate to. There are a lot of things that pregnancy effects, besides the baby in the tummy part. I could not go out and get drinks with my classmates and bond with them the way that they were all doing. I could not relate to them fashionably because maternity clothes are heinous. I also feel like pregnancy put up a barrier because I would have a baby eventually and will always be busy, so why bother?

Pregnancy side effects would sometimes take a toll on my school work. In the first trimester, I could barely get out of bed because I was so tired. I could easily have slept 14 hours straight and being a working student did not help. I would seep through some of my classes and had to take the hit to my attendance points. I also have "pregnancy brain." Pregnancy brain is a real thing and is not well known enough. My mind can be so scattered that I forget my friend's names while I am speaking to them. I think it is October when it is March. Pregnancy brain has made me forget that I even go to school or that I work in twenty minutes. I missed due dates or completely misread instructions on assignments. For someone who needs A's on every assignment to function, it hurt because I would never make that mistake otherwise.

There are also benefits to being a pregnant student. I am never hungover and I have never been tempted to ditch a night class for a drinking holiday.

Pregnancy has allowed me to prioritize my school work and ignore the college lifestyle.

Before I knew I was pregnant, I went with my roommates to bars in Chicago's Lincoln Park. I feel so happy knowing getting wasted from $3 shots on a Wednesday is behind me. I now truly have nothing better to do at night than complete my homework.

Another benefit is that you sometimes get special treatment. The special treatment that pregnant women get is awesome. It is my favorite part and sometimes makes me wish I could be pregnant forever. People feel obligated to wait on me hand and foot. If I drop something, people rush to pick it up. It is completely not necessary but I get to feel like a princess for a day (or 280 days). Even though I was singled out for being the only pregnant woman, I was always treated especially nicely by students and professors.

Regardless of my friends and family expecting me to drop out, I am doing phenomenal in grad school. I have received A's in every class and have loved all of my classes. Being a pregnant student can be tough, but it is totally doable. If you find yourself to be a pregnant student, don't feel discouraged. It is not ruining your college experience but allowing you to do college differently.

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