Being A JSU Freshmen Isn't As Hard As The Rumors Make Them Out To Be

Being A JSU Freshmen Isn't As Hard As The Rumors Make Them Out To Be

Being a freshman is confusing , but all you need to do is make friends and have fun!
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In my last three years of college, I have experienced many trials. I contemplated if I was studying the correct field, if I was good enough, if I belonged, I felt lonely and broke. Things every freshman, sophomore, junior and senior will experience. But if there is any advice I can pass, it is something I realized three weeks ago when I was at my lowest: make friends of all sorts.

1. Friendships can start at any point.

When I came to JSU I knew one person, my boyfriend at the time. That was it. I decided to be a music major but I did not join the Marching Southerners, which left me as a major outcast. I never understood jokes, everyone had bonds, I think it took a good year for anyone to remember my name. I remember crying on the phone to my stepmother, realizing I was most likely not going to pass my aural skills class. A class that is extended across four semesters. I had never encountered anything like it before so it was one hundred percent new to me. Although, there was a guy I had met during orientation day that just so happened to be in my registration group, who was a music major and a pianist. I texted this guy after 10 PM, the night before a singing exam, and he showed up and helped me for two hours until I could sing do-re-mi perfectly. This is a friend that I never thought I would see again after orientation, but that is a long-term friend I will always have.

2. I am not fit for a sorority/fraternity: but it was fit for me.

It still was not enough, I missed my sisters and parents, people to talk to daily. I remember sitting on the floor at Mason Hall crying because of loneliness when a colleague passed me. She asked what was wrong and I expressed my emotions the best I could. She replied with, “You are just an introvert!” A term I had never heard before. I later was invited to recruitment week of a music fraternity, something I would have never in a million lifetimes thought I would ever be a part of. But I needed a home, friends, a family here on campus, and Sigma Alpha Iota was just that. I remember crying when I get a bid, and I realized the girl that called me an introvert, would soon be the President of my fraternity. Funny isn’t it? Almost three years later, and I would not trade my pledge sisters for the world.

3. Join Clubs!

Before my fraternity, I joined JSU’s Fan Club. Well, partially. I would eat at Jack Hopper Dining Hall and just sit with them. We bonded over talking about video games, and anime, we would also have very deep conversations about the world and life. Most of these friends I do not see every day, but even though three years have passed, I have called them anytime I needed someone. They were always there for me.

4. Go to frat parties.

Fraternity parties are a great way to meet a broad spectrum of people from different majors with diverse strengths. Fraternities and sororities get a bad name due to being stereotyped in movies, but they are just groups of people who bond over similar interests. This does not mean you have to join, but you can have fun and make friends without the commitment! They might even talk you into doing a lip-sync battle one hour before curtain time to raise money for breast cancer awareness, my friends did and it is something I will never forget.

5. Be a part of the International House!

This is a group of people I had once thought I would never get along with, that I had nothing to bond with them over. But again, they are just students with a drive to learn and have fun like anyone else. I have eaten authentic Indian and Moroccan food. As well as help DJ for one of their events. It was my first time DJing alone, and it made me realize how much I love doing it! So because of the International Students, I have learned about numerous different cultures, discovered more about myself, and made more memories.


Therefore, to all the JaxState Freshman of 2017, get out, experience crazy things, and be apart of as much as you can because you might just discover more of yourself.



Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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12 Dorm Room 'Essentials' That Are Actually A Waste Of Money

If three years of college has taught me anything, it's that I wasted a lot of money and space on things for my dorm room that I never used.

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Now approaching my senior year of college, there are so many things that I have experienced in my three years away that I either look back at and smile just at the thought of or immediately regret. With a younger sister going into her freshman year of college, I hope to teach her as much of those lessons I learned in advance so she doesn't make the same mistakes as me. One of the most important things I learned after moving in and out of dorm rooms and apartments for three years is what should and shouldn't come with you to school. Because, let's be real, as much as we want to pack away our entire lives and fit them in our minuscule dorm room, not everything is necessary.

However, knowledge is power, and I don't want to just save my sister from making those mistakes. That's why I'm here to share the 12 things that aren't necessary for you to bring to school:

1. A Keurig/coffee maker

While living in an apartment and having all the space in a kitchen for a coffee maker and the time to make my own hot drinks, having a Keurig was a godsend. But I'm going to be completely honest, as someone who wanted a Keurig so badly before freshman year...I rarely used it when I lived in the dorms. Between having meal points to buy my own coffee and just never having the time or energy to make it in the morning and then clean the dishes afterward, it just wasn't worth the waste of money and space.

2. A giant television

You may see pictures of dorm rooms and see students with giant televisions along their window or squished onto their desks. But unless you're living in a larger apartment, having a huge flat screen TV has no purpose for a small dorm room. There are TV's usually all over campus, especially in the common rooms that are free for you to use. If you really do feel like you need a TV in your dorm, a smaller one will suffice, because anything larger is going to take up some much-needed room.

3. Any type of hot plate/mini grill, etc.

Besides the fact that these are banned in most dormitories anyways, it's not smart to sneak one of these into your rooms. I can't tell you how many people I know that have accidentally started a fire in the dorm room from using a toaster they snuck in or a special "grilled cheese grill." The dining halls will have everything you could possibly want and need, and most dorm rooms come with a mini fridge and microwave to supplement anything further.

4. Candles

I'll admit, I am guilty of using these my sophomore year of college. Do I regret the millions of times I freaked out because I almost lit my dorm room on fire? Absolutely.

It's not worth it. Your RA will probably catch you, it's not worth the risk of accidentally setting your shoebox-sized dorm on fire, and the smoke detectors in those rooms are so sensitive that you're bound to set them off.

5. A printer

Unless you're living off campus in an apartment, there really is no reason to have a printer in your dorm room. There are tons of printers throughout the different buildings of every university, and most allot a certain amount of sheets for you to do your printing. Printers are big and clunky, hard to store, and the ink is very expensive. Don't consider buying one unless you plan on moving off campus.

6. An iron and ironing board

Take it from someone who absolutely hates wearing wrinkly clothes, the whole iron and ironing board duo was not a smart move my freshman year. It took up way too much room and when I did actually want to iron, it was so annoying to find a spot to do it in my small room.

If you're really obsessive about having non-wrinkled clothes like I am, you can invest in a mini steamer, which is super cheap, stored extremely easily because they're so small, and work just as well as an iron. I ended up swapping out for one of these my sophomore year and loving it so much more.

7. Bean bag chairs/Folding chairs

Any extra seating for a dorm room is honestly unnecessary besides the standard desk chairs that come with the dorm. The floor space is so limited that taking it up with any other large items is going to make it extremely difficult to navigate around your room. Also, when your friends come to hang out, they usually will end up just sitting on your bed or your desk chair anyways.

8. A body pillow

I don't really know what the use of these things are. I had one freshman year, and it laid against my bed the entire year and I never used it. I just found laying on it extremely awkward and uncomfortable and it was just so big that it took up too much room on my already tiny Twin XL bed.

9. A laundry hamper

A stand-up laundry hamper is just going to take up way too much space that you don't have. Instead, invest in some nicely made laundry bags that you can put your dirty laundry in and just easily carry over to the laundry room. A lot of stores even make special bags that differentiate between lights, darks, and delicates so the sorting is already done for you before you do your laundry.

10. A vacuum

While the idea of having a vacuum is nice, and I myself have had one all three years, it just took up way too much room in my dorm and I later found out you could just rent one from the commons whenever you wanted to clean your floor. Most universities do have cleaning supplies for rent, such as brooms, swifters, vacuums, etc., so there's no need trying to fit all of those in your closet.

11. A million throw pillows

While they'll make your bed look cute, making your bed every single morning and remembering where to put the millions of decorative pillows can become very annoying, not to mention finding a place to put them whenever you turn down your bed.

12. Picture frames

While having tons of pictures in your dorm room is nice, and I say the more the merrier, bringing physical picture frames is just a waste because there's not much shelf or desk place to place them. Instead, find a cute wall decoration that holds photos or clips to hang them from your wall. It'll save a ton of space and also cover up those bare, ugly dorm room walls.

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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