Graduating College

They're Lying If They Don't Tell You This About Graduating College

"'Was it always to be like this?' she wondered. A moment of joy followed by a new sorrow?"―Soheir Khashoggi, Nadia's Song.

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After four years of endless all-nighters that often lead into the waxing morning hours and the venti iced coffees that supplied our veins with the lifeblood necessary to keep our heart pumping and eyes from dazing in class the next day. The inevitable mental breakdowns which cycled between wanting to change your major to wanting to drop out. The friendships made in the most unusual locations, i.e. frat house basements. And then the unforeseeable falling out of friendships and relationships that we thought at one point could survive it all.

Only for this cycle to repeat four times and hope that the bad times make you stronger and wiser. And that the good times help you appreciate living in the moment.

This is what makes college bittersweet.

And to top it all off—the cherry on top, so-to-speak, we are told to move our tassel from the right side of our graduation cap to the left side.

As we have been taught by society, this moving of the tassel is a symbolic gesture of receiving a degree and changing directions in life. However, for me, this moment was more than a societal understanding. This was everything I had worked for, day in and day out, to receive a paper that conferred my thousands of hours of learning, studying, taking tests, talking to professors, responding to emails... the list goes on.

It was not until Dr. Gergen, Director of Biology at Stony Brook University, said, "Graduates, you may now move your tassels to the left side," that I simply broke out in a flood of tears. Only to soon realize that the alphabetical seating arrangements placed me next to people I had never once seen in my classes. Who were, inevitably, not crying.

Often times, we go through life feeling alone, hopeless, and scared. How was it that in a moment of pure bliss for others, I felt more anxious and afraid than anyone I could see around me?

Looking back, I realize that it was the bittersweet moments of life like turning a tassel at commencement that makes life's greatest moments the most incredible and irreplicable.

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9 Things Living In Off-Campus Housing Has Taught Me

You think you are an adult and can do the whole "adult thing" but then you live on your own, and realize just how much of an adult you are not.

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I thought that moving off campus and into my own house would be easy, why wouldn't it be? I managed to survive college for the past two years, what would make this any different? Sometimes it takes actually living on your own to realize how much of an "adult" you really are not.

1. Cooking a meal every night isn't easy

Living on campus you get your food made for you for all three meals of the day, I thought once I lived off campus that I would cook myself meals every day. Boy was I wrong, cooking isn't as easy as it looks.

2. Your house won't clean itself.

You never realize just how quickly a house can get dirty, and there's no one there to clean it for you. Bummer.

3. Missing garbage day is actually a big deal.

Living at home and on campus, you really don't realize how missing garbage day messes up your whole week, at least I didn't realize that. Missing garbage day means trying to fit two weeks worth of recycling and garbage into the two small bins you have at your house, and that just isn't ideal.

4. Having parties is fun, cleaning up afterward isn't

When you go to parties that are not at your house they are fun because you aren't the ones who have to clean up the mess after. I can't even begin to list off the number of times the thought " I would hate to be the person who has to clean this up" after arriving or leaving a party. But if you have one of your own, good luck because you are that poor person who has to suffer the consequences.

5. Laundry piles up, and it piles up fast

I never realized how quickly laundry piles up before living off campus, and boy was I in for a surprise. If its hot outside, forget it, you are doing laundry 2 times a week because no one enjoys wearing sweaty clothing.

6. Air-conditioned

dorms were a blessing.

Taking the free air-conditioned dorms for granted is something I regret the most. Take advantage of the AC while you can, because no one wants to pay that electricity bill.

7. Bills will sneak up on you

Going from not paying bills to paying them is a learning curve. One week you are enjoying yourself and spending money however you like, the next you have 54 bills to pay. Bills are a thing, and yes you pay them every month, and paying them is so much fun!

8. Having a morning commute isn't fun.

Going from waking up 10 minutes before your class is not a thing anymore when you live off campus. This means waking up atleast an hour before class to take into consideration there might be traffic or any other event that could possibly cause you to be late for class.

9. Finding parking on campus isn't guaranteed

Depending on the time you have class, good luck getting that parking spot close to the building you have all your classes in. This is really a fun situation to be in when its windy, raining or snowing and you have to walk 1 mile to your building.

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10 Tips To Prepare For Your Freshman Year Of College

Tips and tricks for college freshman year.

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Obviously, I am not an expert on college life yet, being that I am only a high school senior. Barely hanging on these last couple weeks of school. I have been preparing for my freshman year of college since the start of my senior year. It is an overwhelming, stressful process and it takes a lot of preparation and time to get it all done. I wanted to give some tips and advice on how I started my process and how I have gotten through it. Starting a new chapter can be really scary, especially if you have no idea what you are doing, I am the oldest sibling in my family, and I am the first to go through this crazy process called college. Though I was uncertain exactly what I needed to do and how to do it, I figured it out and here's how I did it.

1. Have a planner

This is going to be your best friend. It helps you keep your life organized (or at least it makes you feel like you do) and assures you that you meet deadlines. Since I can remember I have always used a planner and it helps me so much. I wouldn't know what to do without it. I have all the dates for when things need to be turned in- like housing and such, and also I have up to when classes start next fall. A planner is so helpful and would recommend getting one if you don't have one already.

2. Talk to friends about their experience

This has honestly been one of the top life savors. I have gotten so much advice from my friends that are in college and they give me the inside scoop and what to do and what not to do.

3. Do your research

Research the school, research clubs and activities that you may be interested in. Get familiar with what is on and off campus.

4. Visit the campus

Photo by Olivia Holler

I am lucky enough that I am only an hour and a half away from campus and it doesn't take long to get there so I just go when I feel like it. But visiting and being on campus several times defiantly has made me feel more comfortable and more at ease than I would be if I had not visited at all.

5. Embrace times with friends and family

Photo By Olivia Holler

This is the last summer with you In your house as a full time member. Embrace it! Be with your friends and family as much as you can. You are going to miss them just as much as you are going to miss them.

6. Start doing things on your own

I am already pretty independent but I struggled like starting to make my own dinners because I have been fortunate enough where my parent always took care of dinner. But now they are making me responsible for making my own dinner. Which was a really tough life altering thing for me. It may not seem like it but it was for me. But start doing your own laundry. making your own dinner, getting things yourself etc.

7. Make list

This and my planner have been my saving grace. If I didn't have it there was going to be no progress on the thing called college.

8. Manage your time

This is pretty self explanatory, there is a lot to do during the college process. Be sure not to procrastinate and know when things are due so you can get everything on time.

9. Take summer classes if needed

If you know you are going to be behind in a class, take some summer classes. For example, I am a little behind in math, and I have to take all the way up to college algebra in order to graduate college. Well, I knew I didn't want to take math all four years of college and I knew I was behind. So I am taking some summer courses to not only finish with math earlier but just to be ahead of the game.

10.  Gather everything you need for college!

Make sure you have everything you need for the big day. Set apart some days before move in day to take time and pack whatever you may need so you don't forget anything.

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