Lessons I've Learned Throughout College And Life

Lessons I've Learned Throughout College And Life

Learn to enjoy life
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Well, here we are. It is the end of another school year. Usually, I am jumping for joy, but this year it became a little more sentimental... I realized that I only have one more year before I graduate and have to become a "real adult." But I'll admit that this has been the toughest semester of my college career. I worked 3 jobs along with being a full-time student.

I know. I sound crazy. But I’m here to share some things with you about my college career. The things I have learned about myself over the past 3 years of college are that I rarely say no, I have FOMO, and I hate being alone. All of these things make me a huge extrovert. But it has been one of the most rewarding things for me in college.

Let me fill you in on some lessons I have learned about how to enjoy life to the fullest over the past 3 years.

1. Your GPA is not eternal.

Remember in high school when everyone freaked out about the ACT and how important it was to get a good score? We were obsessed with getting the highest score so we could look better than our friends. We were also told that was the only way to get scholarships and get into college. We were defined by that number.

But since being in college, I can't recall the last time someone asked me about my ACT score. Why? Because it doesn't matter anymore and it never defined who I was or how smart I was.

Similarly, it seems like we are defined by our GPA in college. But I dare you to ask any college graduate about when they last discussed their GPA. I guarantee they couldn't tell remember a time or probably even remember what it was. Why? Because again, it doesn’t define who you are. I’m not telling you to fail classes, but all A's doesn't make you better than someone else. Some B’s and C’s at the end of the day are not the end of the world and will not matter after college.

2. Build relationships and make connections.

Things that do matter after college are the people you meet, build relationships with and make connections with. The world tells us it’s about how much we know and how much money we have. But I believe that it’s who you know and not all about what you know. The people you surround yourself with are the ones who make you who you are.

My freshman year I was super involved in a campus ministry. I was placed in a bible study that changed my faith drastically. I absolutely loved my bible study leader. Although we kind of lost connection after school let out that year, the following summer we rekindled our friendship and she started mentoring me. Now, I can say she’s one of my best friends. I’m even in her wedding that is in 3 months (EEEEKKK).

My sophomore year, I decided to go through with recruitment. Let me just say that was a decision I’ll never regret. My sorority has pushed me to be a better version of myself, given me endless opportunities, and given me friends who I could not live without.

This year, I finally decided on my major and they repeatedly tell us that it is all about connections to get places in our field. I truly believe that because I would not have gotten my internship for this summer had it not been for the people I knew.

The people in my life are the reason I am who I am today. The people you meet in college will probably be the ones who you didn't even realize you needed. Find your tribe and love them hard.

3. The stress is not worth it.

Stress is the devil. Most days I just have to say, “not today stress, not today." No college kid needs to stress and have grey hair by the time they graduate. This is the time before we begin reality. This is the time we should enjoy life. I used to stress so much that I couldn’t sleep, but it isn’t worth it.

Don’t stress through college about your grades, money, or friendships. Go introduce yourself to your crush, go talk to the people at that table, go apply for that dream job, go eat ice cream with friends, go to that movie even though your paper is due in 3 days. Don’t let things that you won’t remember in 5 years ruin the memories that you will want to remember. Don’t stress so much you can’t enjoy life, because that will be your regret. (Trust me, been there done that).

Friend, listen to the girl who has walked ahead of you and learned some lessons. Enjoy this time in life. Learn from others, make lifelong friends, don’t stress over the little things, and make memories to last a lifetime. Life is too short. Enjoy every moment.

Cover Image Credit: Allison Blythe

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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An Open Letter To Alexithymia, The Thief Of My Words

People encourage others to be themselves, and no matter how badly I want to, I can’t.

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Alexithymia is the inability to identify and express or describe one's feelings.

It's something I suffer from, speech-wise. I can think it's just fine, but it's the talking part that always gets me. Every time I say something, it comes out wrong. I didn't say what I was actually thinking because I forgot what I was thinking. Here's my open poem (or letter) to Alexithymia.

Dear Alexithymia,

I hate you. You are one of my biggest enemies. You leave me a writer with no words; and even though I have every physical thing I need lying in front of me, there's still nothing written down.

People ask me, "well do you have a pencil?" Check. "A paper and a dictionary?" Double check. "Words?" ... Negative.

I may have a dictionary in hand, but I am still caged within you. I'm unable to identify, express, or describe my emotions because you prevent me from doing so. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there are 171,476 words in current use, 47,156 obsolete (out-of-date) words, and 9,500 derivative words included as subentries. In total, that's 228,132 words. However, even with that many words, there are still absolutely zero that comes to my mind when I want to get my thoughts out in the open or to explain my actions.

When I've done something immoral or wrong in society's or my parent's eyes, and they ask me "why," I WILL reply with "I don't know" and I will repeat "I don't know" constantly, because I don't, but that's not the entire train of thought.

I simply don't know how to describe it to them.

I don't know how to explain my thoughts to them without them thinking I'm freaking crazy. And the words, "I don't know" drive my parents up the wall and they tell me that that's not an answer, but that's the only answer I've got BECAUSE OF YOU! I get in trouble because of you!

You keep me prisoner when I attempt to write about him, too, because I still come up empty. So I'll resort to other topics or other emotions, like love, shame, guilt, jealousy, envy, fear, anger, happiness, sadness, or disgust and there's still absolutely nothing written down. Just a blank piece of paper. I have so much to say, but I have no way to express it and it's all your fault.

They say a picture's worth a thousand words, so I guess it's accurate to say my mind is untouched. Yet, at the same time, it's a complete disaster, like a tornado sweeping through, full of broken thoughts I cannot repair nor bring myself to remember where that train was going. They never fail to run together and crash and burn, causing me to forget what I saying... Like I did just now.

When I go to the doctor and they ask me how I've been for the last three months, I automatically respond with "I'm fine." Not only because those words roll off my lips effortlessly because I've said it countless times, but because it doesn't leave any room for me to hesitate to search my soul for truthful words. It doesn't leave any room for my doctors, parents, or any part of society for that matter, to question me while I'm answering, because that would lead them to believe that I'm "looking for a lie." And usually, when I'm thinking, I look around... a lot.

Apparently, there's a lot of evidence that says if a person avoids eye contact when they are trying to answer someone's question, they're either thinking of a lie or a way out of the question, That isn't the case for me... you are, quite literally...

You keep me feeling trapped, similar to a caged bird who's cage is two sizes too small with absolutely no room for a single flap of a wing, even though I still hold on to the hope to break free and fly. You keep me as breathless as the dark void in space. I constantly feel as if I'm enclosed in a bulletproof, glass box. There's no way out for me... I hate you, Alexithymia.

People encourage others to be themselves and no matter how badly I want to, I can't. You put restrictions on me; you prevent me from being my true self, and I hate you for it.

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit:

Katelynn Harris

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