achieving goals

It's Time For You To Grow up and Get over Your stress

Just because we go through the motions of life does not mean we have to stop dreaming while doing it.

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I think it started around freshman year of college.

Everyone around me started slowing down and falling into the root of the course load and stress that comes with it. I can't blame anyone for being mentally exhausted because I feel it too, and often.

But what I will never understand is the lack of dreaming in so many people, especially as of late.

People dream their whole lives. From as early as the age of 5, we dream of the ice cream truck and our parents giving us a buck or two so we can get the SpongeBob on a stick. Then at age 10, we dream of what middle school will be like and how many friends we will make as we weave through the halls to get to our very first locker. At 15, we dream of our first kiss and what our first slow dance song with our crush will be. Fast forward a few years and we're dreaming of college and getting outside the walls of our inevitably terrible high school. We reach college, then the dreaming stops.

We get stuck in a whirlwind of assignments and finding our footing in the real world of living away from our parents, picking up payments we never had to before (like those dreaded $200 textbooks), and having to get a job on the side of it all to make sure we can actually support ourselves.

Everything becomes a chore. The only dreaming I see 20-something year olds doing lately is of taking a nap after a work shift or binging a new show on Netflix between assignments. Everything on their mind has become short-term, including their goals.

To that I say, grow up and get over your stress. This feeling of exhaustion will pass and when it does, you won't have a future planned out for you by your design. You're going to look in the horizon and see nothing but fog on your graduation day because you dragged your feet and worried too much about assignments you probably already forgot about. You're going to have no plan for yourself and that is going to be the worst stress you will ever experience.

I'm going to put this into context for you: I asked my writers to fill out a document with their contact information as well as a little bit about them so I can get to know them better and understand their motives with Odyssey. Some of them are English majors and are working on building their creative writing technique, while others are biology majors looking for an outlet to express some suppressed creativity.

Others vary in major but have no idea why they do what they do. In the column that reads "dream job," their answer remains "N/A." Their dreams are not available and I don't think it's because they don't know what they want to do, but rather they're scared of not achieving those dreams. When you speak your desires into existence, there's a pressure that you need to get to them so you don't look like a failure to everyone around you who knows what you had once wanted to do.

I don't blame people for being afraid, but as the cheesy saying goes, "Shoot for the moon and even if you don't make it, you'll land among the stars." If you shoot for mediocrity, well, you'll likely make it. Congrats?

The headline of this article is a little harsh, but I think tough-love is what makes people move. If you cradle someone, they will only ever want to be cradled. But when you push someone, they will eventually want you to stop doing it for them and they will begin to do it for themselves.

If you're someone stuck in life and haven't dreamed, please start doing so. This world is too dark to not create your own light. My dream is to become an editor of the New York Times. Will I make it? Who knows, but I'll certainly fight my hardest to get there and even if I never do, because I've worked so hard, I'm sure I'll land something great.

Don't be afraid of the future - just believe in yourself. You're bound to do great things if you put your mind to it and stop worrying about what others will think of you if your future doesn't pan out how you originally wanted it to. Work hard and everything will follow suit.

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."
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“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?

Nope.

High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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