When is the right time

Everyone Is Getting Engaged Or Having Kids And I Can't Even Keep A Succulent Alive

The succulent is a metaphor for how my life is going.

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As a bored freshman in college, I decided that my un-zesty life needed some spicing up. Walking through 'Trader Joe's' on Spring Sunday morning, my heart was pulled towards a plump and stubby succulent. It wasn't the prettiest or the best, but I knew then and there that we were a match made in heaven.

Now, I started college off living in New Mexico, a dry and desolate land where my sadness and boredom was only combated by this single, unwaterable plant (named Oliver).

We were buds. Homies. And I was determined to make the most out of our relationship for as long as possible. I had never owned anything alive all by myself before. This was what adulthood really felt like and I liked to think that I was responsible for his livelihood.

However, after a few more months of the hell that was freshman year, I decided to get out of New Mexico and go on a college exchange program to North Carolina, far, far away from home and my devil of a roommate. So I packed everything in my tiny 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe and drove across the country with my dad for sophomore year. Oliver survived the 3-day drive in the cup holder, being watered by lukewarm water from a plastic water bottle and living his best life.

Long story short, Oliver the succulent made it through the traumatic move (as did I) and we settled into our new home for the next year.

But everything was not okay.

My mental health quickly deteriorated and taking care of myself, much less Oliver, fell to the wayside. Every once in a while I would remember to water him, but it was few and far between- and it was showing. His once luscious and plump, green leaves were now yellow and withered. I had neglected him for so long that it was almost to the point of no return.

But one day, in my deprived and diseased brain, I thought it would be a great idea to chop off his roots. CHOP. OFF. THE. ROOTS. I had had this plant for longer than a year, but in one moment of stupidity, I ruined everything. In my head, the roots were the problem, and I was not going to let Oliver the succulent die, after all, we'd been through.

He'd gone through a weed-infested dorm room, multiple drives across the entirety of New Mexico, a cross-country road trip to North Carolina, a cramped, non-ventilated room with a girl who couldn't ever remember when she watered him, and a few drops to the floor.

However, after 2 weeks of the root-less succulent shoved back into dirt drier than my elbows, I knew that our time together was done and I had to let him go.

I know this is probably the weirdest story (albeit all true) but it goes to show that I was (and still am) in no way ready to take care of anything, much less have a relationship or a baby. I cannot fathom how some of my friends are at a completely different time in their life where they are actually ready and responsible enough to handle things on their own.

I still call my mom to ask how to make rice. I still sleep past noon and skip class. I still accidentally cut the roots of a plant and expect it to continue to live.

Okay, so maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe I am totally not ready to be an adult or even ready to own anything remotely alive or have responsibility.

Here's hoping that I won't kill any more plants. And that once I hopefully do have a child, I will be ready and able to take care of it properly.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do Before They Graduate

Why I wish everyone could have shared in my end of school adventure.

Lswitka
Lswitka
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The end of freshman year was filled with the abundant stress of final exams, teary-eyed goodbyes, and last looks at my dorm room on South Campus. The academic year was overwhelmingly busy, and I tried my best to soak in every single moment as a first-year college student. But as I'm sure many of you can understand, it's not always possible to make time for the adventures we so desperately desire. I found myself saying "I want to do that!" all year long, and here it was the last week of the year and my bucket list had barely been touched. All those Philadelphia excursions, dreamy coffee shop dates, and campus explorations that I looked forward to never ended up panning out…

… until last Thursday night.

With about half the freshman class moved out of South Campus, everything felt a little strange. There was barely a dinner rush at all in Donahue Dining Hall, and my room looked so empty it almost made me sad. Naturally, I called up a couple of friends. Within minutes, we met in the lounge, and we were off for our adventure.

Every single day on the way to labs in Mendel Hall, I walked past the beloved Falvey Fountain. It had become such a consistent part of my routine that walking past it felt like it was a necessary daily occurrence. But this time, we didn't walk past. In fact, we stopped dead in our tracks and admired its color changing beauty for a brief moment.

And then we dove in!

Yes, we jumped right into the fountain. First the daring adventurer of the group, then his sidekick, then the skeptic, and finally myself. This was definitely not allowed, but no one was around, and more importantly, no one cared. Being knee deep was freezing, but the adrenaline rush was too much to suppress. So we submerged further, dunking each other and splashing the icy water literally everywhere. My wet hair made way for the most epic hair flip of all time, and we all laughed joyously.

All the stress of looming final grades and the completion of projects, the bittersweet goodbyes to our newfound families, and the hassles of packing up for the year were washed away in that fountain, drowned in the euphoria of the moment. We were officially baptized in summer as it dubbed us the kings and queens of adventure.

Afterward, we wrung out our soaking clothes and snapped a quick pic of our drenched selves. Trying to escape the scene hastily, I dropped my bag of M&M;'s. They spilled everywhere, leaving streams of melty chocolate and food coloring running through the aftermath of our fountain dive. The scene looked like a bit of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory had exploded from the fountain and into the night.

I am far from kidding when I say that adventure is a must for everyone, at any stage of life. Whether it's fountain diving at Nova, or sky diving in New Mexico, something about us as human beings needs the unusual, exciting, and even hazardous experiences. This one was particularly cleansing and absolutely unforgettable.

So I implore you: go forth this summer and be adventurous! Explore hidden places, try new eats, shuffle a stranger's playlist, introduce yourself to someone on a whim, or just get in the car and drive with no destination in mind. This summer is for the bold; this summer's for you.

Happy adventuring!

Lswitka
Lswitka

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