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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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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All Good Things Are Wild And Free, Right?

Free your soul and be happy.

The word 'free' can allude to many things. My mom always says that nothing is ever free. But what about your soul? Is it free? Does everyone have a free soul? I think that everyone has the potential to have a free soul but whether or not they decide to live that lifestyle is up to them.

Until recently, I never thought of myself as a free spirit, but I am. Although I didn’t begin with a free soul, I evolved into one. Life throws you trials and tribulations and it's meant for you to grow from these obstacles. And I have.

People always question me about my careless attitude. Careless meaning that I don’t care what others think. I never actually answer the question, but here’s the answer: once you figure out that you can’t make everyone happy by the decisions you make and start doing the things that make you happy is when you become free from others.

The phrase “damned if you, damned if you don’t” applies here perfectly. People will find something wrong with you and your life decisions no matter what you decide. There’s no way to make everyone happy, it's just not possible.

I don’t wake up in the mornings to please anyone but myself. To have a free soul you must do the things that make you and you alone happy.

Free souls are happy souls. Finding inner happiness takes time. It takes being at rock bottom to find your own happiness. Being happy within means that you don’t have to rely on anyone to be happy, and that’s how it should be.

When you give other people the privilege of holding the key to your happiness chances are they’ll fail you. Other people can contribute to your overall happiness but always remember who you are and put your happiness first because if you’re not happy with yourself then how do you expect to keep someone else happy?

Do you, boo. It’s so cheesy, I know, but it’s how to keep you and your soul free from others control. Live your life and live it like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t live your days full of worry, regret, and unhappiness. Do the things that are necessary for you to be happy, who cares what other people think. If you’re unhappy and they’re happy, how is this benefitting you? It’s not.

Be selfish. Be selfish with your happiness and your freedom.

You don’t owe anything to anyone. Once you figure out that your own happiness should come first that’s when you begin to be free. And just a hint, the people that you’re trying so hard to please and make happy, don’t care about your happiness. So why should you care about theirs?

If you want to be free, then do you. Do the things that make you happy, stop caring about what others think. Find that inner happiness that is guaranteed every day, because it’s your own.

Cover Image Credit: Kallee Gambrel

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