Misconceptions About College

Misconceptions About College

As told from someone completing their freshman year.

Yes, this article has been written many times by a variety of students with different social rank and academic status. But here is an article written from the average student, to the average student, to lessen college-related anxiety and to prepare you for the stage in your life that I’m already in. For the first misconception, we have the picture above. Although pleasing to the eye, you will never be that stylishly organized nor your dorm furniture that pristine white.

My high school teachers always used college as a threat. They’d switch to the next PowerPoint slide before any of us could write down the information provided on it and then proclaim that IN COLLEGE the professors will say everything aloud so as to dispense so much information as quickly as possible without waiting for you and that, at this rate, we won’t be able to catch up. Of the 10 classes I have completed in college, most professors will type up their notes for the class to read along with or will at least warn you with a “you should be taking notes on this”. Not one professor has declined a student when asked to slow down, go back to the previous slide, or repeat what they just said. College is not a high-speed race.

I remember it being severely stressed that scores and grades are what got you into a good college. Yet, in the application process, I found that college admissions could care less if my A’s were B’s and were actually focused on how involved I was with my community, if I had worked during schooling, what sports I played, and what race I was. I’m not saying academics aren’t important; I’m saying that I wish I had done more community service or showed more involvement in my grade schooling as that’s what they were looking for. Nobody ever told me that.

In high school, college life is very much idolized and glorified. As soon as you step onto the campus of a university, you would be initiated immediately as a party girl or frat boy that excessively enjoys crazy nights of alcohol, sex, and drugs while cleaning up your act and profoundly studying throughout the week days to become a successful job prospect by graduation. You don’t realize how ridiculous this cookie-cutter college student concept is until you spend a year as an actual student. You will see that some of your peers will fit that description, and maybe you will yourself. But most likely, you’ll find that studying lasts all week long and that being a partier takes its toll very fast and that you really enjoy nights in with your friends, just relaxing and ordering pizza.

For some reason, there was the idea that, once in college, everyone will learn to “grow up” and decrease the adolescent high school drama that has plagued us for years. A lot of people here have complained to me that we still act so “high school”, even when we’re in college. I hate to break it to you, but entering through the gates of a university does not instantly grant one enlightenment and adulthood. It is not that, over the course of the summer between graduating high school and beginning college, one finally matures and understands the ways of life. We are all still learning!! It takes years and years to grasp advanced concepts such as not caring what others think of you and not starting petty arguments and getting over your sense of pride when proven wrong. It’s okay that we’re still learning. We have time; we are still young.

I don’t know why I have to say this, but some people think that their mother, father, or guardian will somehow be there in spirit to do the things they normally do to make their kid’s life easier. You are practically on your own. Take the time before you get to college to learn how to wash dishes, make your bed every morning, wash and dry your clothes (including how to remove stains), change your sheets, vacuum carpets, make a sandwich, even learn basic sewing. If you think Mom will swoop in every month and beautify your dorm room, you are sorely mistaken and are ruining college as a transition into the real world, where everything is your responsibility. Now is the time to learn these skills and to assert your independence. You can do this.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Time's Up: Black Is The New Black

Can A Fashion Statement Provoke Change?

This past Monday marked Golden Globes 75th annual show. Every year everyone gathers around their televisions to watch wins like- The Handmaid’s Tale winning ‘Best Drama Tv Series’ or Sterling K. Brown winning ‘Best Actor In A Drama Tv Series’. But this year, one of the main focuses of the show wasn’t just the awards but the Times Up’s "black attire" statement on the red carpet.

Celebrities like Nina Dobrev, Sophia Bush, and Millie Bobby Brown were posting on social media about Times Up’s initiative and their intent on showing support on the red carpet. Times Up is a great continuation into the new year of the sexual harassment awareness brought on by the #MeToo campaign and Weinstein Harassments during 2017.

What Is ‘Time's Up’?

Times Up is a movement fighting against sexual harassment and sexism in the workplace. This initiative was formed by over 300 celebrities like Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera and more. Although it was formed by celebrities, the mission isn’t just to protect those in the industry. The goal of this initiative is to get a legislation to punish and hold responsible companies that condone sexual misconduct and put an end to non-disclosure agreements for abuse victims. A legal defense fund was also formed through donations to help aid and support women of all backgrounds who report sexual harassment.

New York Times posted, on January 1st, a letter from 700,000 female farmworkers in response to and in solidarity with the women of Hollywood who are taking a stance against sexual harassment and sexism in the workplace. After the following hours of New York Times post, celebrities on all platforms were reposting and signing their names to the letter. Time’s Up also encouraged those attending the Golden Globes to wear black attire to show support and stand with their message to combat sexual misconduct and sexism. Rather than the carpet being about the best dressed, this “black attire” movement brought awareness and continued the dialogue about sexual harassment into the new year.

“Can A Fashion Statement Provoke Change?”

Many are wondering whether or not Time’s Up black attire statement will influence workplace harassment. Of course wearing a black dress, taking a few photos, and going home isn’t going to do much in the grand scheme of things- but that’s not what this initiative is solely about. This wasn’t just a fashion statement but a conversation starter for the issues we must begin to seriously discuss. It’s only been little over a week and Times Up’s legal defense fund has already reached over $16 million dollars in donations. This is money that was raised with the help of the celebrities who did show solidarity by wearing black, encouraging their followers to donate, and expressing their support for the initiative. Celebrities hold a lot of influence in society, and if wearing black is what will grab everyone’s attention to listen and part-take in this movement, then it’s a brilliant idea. After all, stated by Time’s Up, “the clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment, inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it”- and this right here is them doing something about it.

Cover Image Credit: via Wikimedia Commons

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RPGs: A Fun Way To Psychoanalyze Your Friends!

What People's Character Choices In Role Playing Games Say About Them

The genre of "Roleplaying Games" encompasses a large selection of games, whether tabletop games (such as Dungeons & Dragons or FATE) or video games (like Elder Scrolls or Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic). For the purposes of this article, I will stick to the original roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, as the central game reference. If you do not understand the lingo of roleplaying games, do not fear.

Now, a typical game of Dungeons & Dragons, which is also abbreviated as D&D or DND, requires four to six players and a person to be the Dungeon Master - the lead writer and organizer for a game of D&D. Character creation for D&D can occur in several different ways, but the players usually go in with a certain idea of what type of character they want to play, whether they realize it or not. The party in this article will consist of four players named Brandon, Elizabeth, Hailey and Matthew. Let's look at our players!*

Brandon is 20 years old, is a pre-med major, wants to be a physical therapist, loves Star Wars and will be playing the neutral good human cleric in the party. His decision to play the cleric seems like an arbitrary decision and is just a character he wants to play. These facts about Brandon and his decision to play the cleric give a lot of hints as to whom he is.

Firstly, clerics and physical therapists heal and help. This shows that Brandon is a helper by nature and wants the best for people no matter the costs. Clerics also rely on holy beings to gift them their powers, similar to how Jedi tap into the Force to guide them. Brandon's love for Star Wars also reveals that he has fictional experience and can probably get into character fairly well. These are superficial connections, but open doors to even more analyzing.

Elizabeth is 21 years old, is a political science major, has a fascination with how politicians run their campaigns, is the reigning champion in the campus's chess club and will be playing the chaotic neutral halfling rogue. The first thought that comes to mind is why someone who wants to be a part of the political scene will play a character who deliberately breaks laws.

A lot of satirical comments can be made, but the subconscious reason may be because Elizabeth knows she will be in a field where she must obey laws, so D&D is her outlet to break some rules. Along the same lines, rogues are maticulous characters and perform acts with precision, much like a game of chess. However, this desire to play a character that breaks rules and precisely makes decisions to accomplish goals may reveal a little bit of narcissism within Elizabeth...

Hailey is 20 years old, is an elementary education major, consistently posts poetry on her Tumblr account, is the mom friend and will be playing the true neutral dwarf barbarian. Clearly, everything that Hailey is on the surface is the exact opposite of the character she is playing, but that may be the point. Like Elizabeth's character, Hailey will use her barbarian as a way to deviate from her normal self.

Not only will it be cathartic for Hailey to play this character, but it will also be a challenge for her as the player, which proves that she probably has experience with roleplaying games. From a deeper psychological lense, playing a dwarf barbarian might also be a little revealing to some destructive feelings Hailey may be hiding...

Matthew, who also goes by Matt, is 19 years old, a theatre performance major, has a joke for every situation, thinks he is slick and will be playing the chaotic good elf bard. This seems to fit. Bards are performers and actors, much like Matt on a day-to-day basis. This seems like an open-and-close kind of case, right? Nope. Matt's bard will oftentimes use his silver tongue to get out of every kind of encounter they come across.

And if that does not work, his bard magic can mystically persuade his opponent, much like a Jedi mind trick. Along the same lines, Matt's bard and Elizabeth's rogue will sometimes create elaborate plans to circumvent an opponent's expectations or to get the jump on them. This all seems perfectly fine and dandy. But what happens when the bard is confronted by a towering orc with an axe made of elven bones? He will soon realize the orc is too stubborn to hear his smooth words and may be forced to take him down in combat, which he is not equipped to do. Again, it sounds like a typical bard.

However, Matt's choice of a bard reveals a lot about him. It may show that Matt is bad with confrontation. It may show that he will do what he can to avoid conflict. It may even show that Matt may be trying to hide behind his goofy demeanor. This is all speculation and could easily be true as it could be untrue. It is a Schrödinger's Cat.

The concept of using roleplaying games as a way of therapy is a growing field that I believe should get more attention. This is not meant to make you self-conscious about the type of characters you play in roleplaying games. If you play D&D with me, do not let this freak you out. Roleplaying games are a judgement free zone, and we are all there to have fun. This article is just a product of loving D&D and crime TV.

*Disclaimer, the players described in this article are not real people (probably).

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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