To The Professors Who Actually Care About Their Students

To The Professors Who Actually Care About Their Students

Without your support I kind of don't know where I would be.

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Thank you. Thank you for motivating me. Thank you for giving me pep talks when I need it. And finally, thank you for caring for me.

Without your support, I kind of don't know where I would be.

I probably wouldn't have gotten good grades the past few years.

I probably wouldn't have applied to grad schools.

I probably would have given up and gone out to the workforce.

I have been vulnerable, scared, confused, and depressed. I have shown you guys my other side. The side that doesn't show strength as everyone says.

I have told you about my family, about my rape, about my depression. You have given me extensions, which were much needed. All my professors did. They recognized my struggle and helped me out. It is and always will be much appreciated. You went a step further. The best thing you gave me was your words.

"My office is always open"

"Time put in your own future is critical"

"Your physical and mental health are of the utmost importance. So focus on that first. When you are ready, come and see me and we will get you caught up."

"Please keep me posted with how you are doing"

The days where you stop me and ask how I am.

The days where you stop me and ask if I had enough sleep, or how many hours I've worked that week.

The days where you ask me how my family is.

The days where you don't show me sympathy, when everyone else does.

I've shown you my articles, and you actually have read them. You commented on them. You made me feel validated.

Yes, I have been through a lot. But people like you are the reason I continue on. I cannot thank you enough. I will never be able to. But I want you to know I am beyond thankful. Words will never be enough.

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10 Things To NEVER Do In College, EVER

Just a little advice for the start of a new semester.
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College — a new place with new people and a new you! You're ready to get a fresh start on a new campus; before you start, however, there are some social rules that you should know. These are suggestions that you are not required to follow, but they are highly recommended. Here are ten things you probably should not do from now on.

1. Raise your hand to use the restroom.

You're an adult now. You don't have to ask to use the restroom, go get a snack from the vending machine real quick, or go outside to take an important phone call. Just go and take care of whatever you feel is important.

2. Watch your favorite TV show... while sitting in the front row.

Going to lecture might be boring sometimes (and/or tiring, depending on when the class is). You would rather sign the attendance sheet, take out your laptop, and continue binge watching your favorite show. This is especially tempting when you have class in a big lecture hall with 200+ students; however, if you are in one of the front rows, other people can probably see your laptop screen (especially if you have a fairly large laptop). News flash: there are other people in the class trying to actually pay attention to what the professor is saying. It also defeats the purpose of going to lecture, so it's not doing you a favor either. So if you have to go to class and absolutely need to watch that last episode of "Game of Thrones", do your classmates a favor and sit in the back of the class.

3. Sit down on the bus and use the seat next to you for your backpack.

If you go to a big school like I do, we have a bus system to get from one part of the university to another. Do not be that jerk on a crowded bus who thinks their bag/backpack/whatever other stuff you have with you deserves a seat for itself. If you are on a crowded bus, place your bag on your lap, on the floor between your legs, or under your seat. You will get glares from people if you make a special seat for your [insert expensive bag here].

4. Avoid giving up your seat because you're already comfortable.

If you are able to stand on public transportation, let someone else who might have a heavier load take your seat. Included in this category would be elderly people, pregnant women, injured people, disabled people, someone holding multiple bags of groceries, and other people in situations. It's just the kind thing to do.

5. Leave your drink unattended.

There are horrible, scary people in this world. You might think that a lot cannot possibly happen in the two minutes you'll take in the bathroom or to find your friend in that crowded room, but it can. Someone could slip drugs (or something worse) in your drink while you're away. So I'm going to repeat it for those in the back of the room: NEVER LEAVE YOUR WATER/SODA/BEER/UMBRELLA COCKTAIL/ANY DRINK UNATTENDED.

6. Go into the shower without flip-flops.

Don't have your share of athlete’s foot. Get a pair of shower shoes for those communal showers typical of first-year residence halls; shower floors can and will be gross when you share them with around 30 other people on your floor.

7. Register for an 8 A.M. class.

Unless it is a class needed for graduation and you have no other way around it, this is absolutely a no. You may think that you started high school at 7:30 A.M. in at least a semi-functioning status, so you’ll be used to this. But you’ll quickly learn this is no longer the case and regret your decision immediately. Just don’t do it.

8. Avoid asking for help.

College is a tough transition for first-year students. It’s normal to not earn marks as high as you did in high school. However, don’t let it become a habit because your grades (and your GPA) do matter to employers. There are often resources like writing centers, tutoring, and study groups available for free through the university. This isn't limited to academics, as there are many resources through your college within your reach, such as career services, counseling centers, and health centers. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

9. Avoid office hours.

This goes along with #9. Professors hold office hours for a reason: so you can come in with your questions and seek help straight from the source. Going to office hours with prepared questions lets the professor know that you are serious about your performance in the class. Another benefit from going to office hours on a regular basis would be a higher possibility of them writing a letter of recommendation for you because they get to know you after a semester of struggle. If you have another class during your professor’s office hours, ask the professor if you can meet them at another time that works for both of you.

10. Go home every weekend (unless absolutely necessary).

I know homesickness can get to you when first starting college. The first semester can be tough, and you’ll be tempted to make a trip home. Unless you absolutely have to go back to your hometown, try not to. When you are home, you are missing out on chances to meet new people at school and do new things like attending football games, having Sunday brunch at the dining hall with your floormates, and getting involved in student organizations.

You will get the hang of things eventually. Good luck in the upcoming semester!

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me BEFORE I Became A Senior

Advice for the graduating senior that nobody tells them.

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As a senior in college, I wasn't aware of the money, the time and the stress that would come along with graduation. After preparing for graduation, paying for everything and having several panic attacks, I've compiled a list of things every college student should know before becoming a senior.

1. Save up money for graduation

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Not only is paying for college expensive, with the University of Washington's estimated undergraduate resident tuition being $3,754 for 10–18 credits in a quarter, not to mention if you live in Court 17, the University's on campus housing, undergraduate rates range from $2,451-$4,221 per quarter, it's a good idea to save a few extra bucks for graduation.

Cap, gown and your major's tassel are about $50 for undergraduates, a guaranteed expense for graduates. However, there are other expenses as well when it comes to graduation.

2. Don't do graduation announcements through the school

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As a senior who has already gone through the graduation process, one option I had available was to have announcements made through the school. Simple, plain, university seal, and expensive!

Personally, I used Shutterfly. They came out looking professional and you are able to add your own personal touches to your announcements. Shipping however can seem a little bit expensive, but nowhere near how much it would be doing it through the school.

3. Have a friend or family member do your senior photos

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If you have a friend that does photography, or even just owns a camera, do whatever you have to in order to get them to take pictures of you. Buy them coffee, lunch — just do something so they will take pictures of you, as it can save you money down the road. A nice lunch or a cup of coffee will be a lot cheaper than paying a professional photographer to take your photo. However, some people want it done professionally or not at all, but it doesn't hurt to save a buck or two when you can.

4. Register for graduation during your Winter Quarter

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While you don't need to meet with an academic advisor until the beginning of Spring Quarter, every senior is going to be wanting to meet with them, and their availability is limited. Meet with them about half way through Winter Quarter, just to make sure your plan will work and you will graduate on time. If so, register for graduation. This will also avoid the crisis of advisors who decide to go on vacation or take a few days off and will be away from their emails while they are away.

5. Plan ahead for you guests

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Walking at graduation is a choice. For those who choose to walk, it's a pretty big deal and a lot of graduates plan on having friends, family and loved ones in the stands to watch. Be sure ahead of time if anyone needs special accommodations. That way, this can be specified when ordering tickets or can be discussed with an advisor. It's your big day, make sure everyone can come!

6. You classwork will pile up

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At the University of Washington, full time is considered 12 credits, which typically means students take three classes since most are worth five credits a course. Each class will have homework, quizzes, tests, midterms, projects, finals, possibly more. With registering for graduation, commencement and your last quarter all happening at once, things will start to feel like they are becoming too much. Be prepared and get organized to make it the easiest last quarter you can.

7. If you live on campus, move out little by little

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Move. Out. Little. By. Little.

I can not stress this enough! With scheduled move out days, so many people will want to be moving out the same day as you, which means little parking and cramped elevators. If you move out of campus housing little by little during the last month or so during the quarter, you will only have to pack up what you were using until the last moment. Making moving day so much easier!

8. Make time for yourself

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Making time for yourself is not selfish — it is key. Everyone needs a little bit of downtime to themselves, even the most social of butterflies. Make time to read, meditate, go for a walk, take a nap or two, make time for you! It gives you a mental break and you'll come back with fresh eyes and more motivated to get everything done on time!

9. It'll be fine!

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While the world is crashing down, your GPA struggles and motivation goes out the door, I promise that everything will be alright! Take it one day at a time, take time to breathe and everything will turn out fine.

10. Have fun and make memories

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While yes, you need to register for graduation, apply for commencement, pay for cap and gown, do your homework and study for tests, you're still in college. It is your last year, make it count! Go on that trip, go see that movie, meet that person, go to that event, make the most of your last year! There is no time like the present and for a lot of people, the undergraduate year in college is their last. Love life and make the most of it. Don't let deadlines become your life. Make time for friends, fun, and memories!

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