How To Have The Ultimate Senior Year Experience With No Regrets

Seniors, This Is Officially The Year For You To THRIVE, It's Now Or Never

It's our last time that we are truly allowed to be crazy, stupid kids.

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College. The best four (or more) years of your life. Filled with football games, tailgates, nights you will (or will not) remember, Quad sitting, classes and late night Cookout. You will gain the freshman 15 and then spend the rest of your three years at the gym, getting into shape because you only get a free gym membership for four years. It's the time to grow and find yourself and make those lifelong friends who will be your bridesmaids or groomsmen and who you will still keep in touch with when you're well into your 40s and 50s. You get to live with your best friends who are inevitably your second best support system, right after your family.

It's also a time of learning from your mistakes whether that be a romantic or sexual partner, a class that you thought you could handle but ultimately failed, or changing your major three times, the list goes on. But before you know it, it's your senior year and once you walk across that stage in the spring, you're officially an adult and out in the ~real world~.

So if you're a senior, make this year the year you THRIVE. The other night, one of my roommate's and I were in absolute shambles. After we were done crying, I officially declared that this is the year to peak and not to cry over people or things that we will ultimately get over in time. It's our last rodeo and we should go out with a bang! So we did what every girl does when they want to start fresh: we made a bucket list. Specifically, a senior bucket list. Our official list of things we must do before we get our diplomas. This includes but is not limited to: Quad bricks, tunnels, not getting suspended and graduating on time. Wish us luck.

Personally, I'm already feeling nostalgic for this year. It's our last year of "firsts." Our last first day of classes, our last first thirsty Thursday, our last first dance concert of the year (I'm a dance major so these things are important)... and then there are going to be our last "lasts." This is where the tears are really going to flow. Our last time going through a rush week, our last time going to class, our last time going to a thirsty Thursday and it being socially acceptable to drink on a weekday, our last time with a free gym membership, our last year using those student discounts, our last FROG/Sylly week... It's our last time that we are truly allowed to be crazy, stupid kids before we enter the workforce.

So go ahead. Run an extra mile at the gym, go out on a Thursday, tell that someone that you like them, attend every football game, and really soak in everything your university has to offer because this is the last chance before you're officially done and considered alumni. Make this year YOUR year.

Let's go, class of 2019! Once more for the mems!

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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