Observations Of A Soon-To-Be College Grad

Observations Of A Soon-To-Be College Grad

Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.
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I am finally finished with my senior year of classes, except Hebrew. (Again, that is a story for another day). Anyway, graduation is on the horizon as most of you may know. This has gotten me thinking of all of the Professors at the school who have helped me along the way and some of those who haven’t.

First, I would like to talk about my degree. I am lucky to be a part of an amazing Hospitality program here at C of C. I decided on my major during my Freshman year and I never looked back. My sister, on the other hand, is a biology major. I wouldn’t say she regrets choosing her major, but she regrets where she did it. Watching the way I have been taught compared to the way her classes are formatted honestly blows my mind.

It got me to question why some professors act the way they do. I guess this is sort of similar to an article I wrote a year ago, but I still have some things to say about it. I can name over five professors from the business school who have impacted my life. Not only have they influenced the way I look at things, but they have helped me strive for greatness day after day.

If I’m struggling with a course, most of my professors have been helpful. They want me to succeed and they do everything they can to help me reach my goals.

A lot of them have encouraged me more than I could have ever imagined, giving me a sense of confidence I didn't have before. They have helped make me feel capable of doing and being more.

I mean, I am not surprised, it is an insanely successful hospitality program after all. In contrast, Drew can name at least five professors who have put her through absolute hell. For me, that has only been Hebrew (Cue an incredibly disgusted eye roll at the fact that we are required to take four semesters of a language at C of C.)

I know how great and influential professors can be. So, when I have professors or hear stories about them where they do not go out of their way to help students or intentionally make the class incredibly difficult to pass, I get angry. Yes, make us learn and challenge us.

But, don’t make us fail or fear we won’t pass while we continue to go above and beyond. I know some students don’t try. However, for those of us that do, don’t discourage us. Don't count us out because of the people who aren't taking the course seriously. It creates more harm than good.

Also, understand that some students aren't great test takers.

I have struggled for years with test anxiety and I know that I'm not the only one. This should be taken more seriously and exams really shouldn't be the primary form of "testing". For some people, this isn't the best way to test their abilities. Everyone is different and no one learns the same.

Furthermore, Professors can make it hard to grasp a concept and prevent people from truly learning as well as wanting to learn. When students want to know more and are properly engaged, they absorb more.

Finance is one of the hardest classes in the business school. A lot of people fail and have to retake it, but I was lucky enough to get a professor that was excited to see us every morning. He was there whenever we needed help. He ALWAYS had a smile on his face. He taught us what we needed to know and prepared us for what was going to be on our exams. He ensured us not to worry about our grades because his primary focus was all of us learning and carrying that knowledge with us. He knew what he was teaching was difficult and always checked with us during class to ensure we were all on the same page.

I love Charleston, but for the city, my friends and the Beatty School of Business.

If I were a biology major, I would have probably transferred by now. I have to give my sister props for accomplishing what she has. She has been pushed down and felt defeated more times than I can count. On the bright side, she has come out on top, just like we all knew she would (with little to no help from the science department).

Here are a few notes before I end this rant of mine:

As teachers, you are here to teach us, inspire us, influence us and help shape who we will become. Please don’t make it miserable for us to learn about something that is already a difficult subject. Make us want to come to class and learn what we don’t know.

We chose our majors for a reason and I know that every class isn’t interesting, but great professors can still find a way to make it exciting. The best feeling is coming out of a class you thought you’d hate but you end up loving. For me, that was Business Law because I had an unbelievable professor.

All I am trying to say is, build us up, don’t break us down.

Cover Image Credit: Sydney Friedman

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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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