It's Okay Not To Find Yourself Right Away In College

It's Okay Not To Find Yourself Right Away In College

There's always still time.
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During the last few weeks of my senior year of high school, as graduation day got closer and closer, I was feeling on top of the world. My real life was about to begin. I was heading off to college to pursue my dream, and I was living on campus, away from home for the first time in my life. I remember the excitement that came with sending in my housing deposit, selecting my room and connecting with my future roommates via “.edu” email. I wore my UMass sweatshirt with pride everywhere I went.

Well, as it turned out, my first year fell a little short of my expectations. I’m not saying it was terrible, but, well, before I even started college myself, I had heard enough college stories—fictional ones in movies and books, as well as true ones from friends and family members—to start wondering and imagining my own story, and the reality didn’t quite match the picture in my head. A lot of the time I remember feeling kind of lost socially and emotionally, and I went home almost every weekend because somehow, weekends at home still felt more exciting than weekends at school. I was pretty confused, because by the end of high school, I felt as if I’d found myself—found my crowd, my place, and the kind of person I wanted to be—and at the end of my freshman year, I didn’t feel so sure of any of that anymore.

Here’s a secret, though—most of the friends I have now have also admitted to not having a super glamorous freshman year. It turned out to be more common than I let myself believe, especially when I watched other people in my year stroll through campus looking like they had it all figured out, and then wondered where I might’ve been going wrong. The answer was nowhere, and the more people I heard that from, the more I began to realize two things: 1) There is not, in fact, any specific point in time when a college kid is supposed to find himself/herself, and 2) No one can actually say for certain whether people ever “find themselves” at all. One thing I can say for certain, though—I am not the same student now, in my third year, as I was my first year. I joined clubs and activities that gave my on-campus life more purpose, and introduced me to a lot of amazing people. I realized I was unhappy in my major and switched to a field I was more passionate about. I thrived in my classes and raised my GPA. I sought out environments and situations that felt more comfortable and right for me. I learned so much about life, about people, about the world, and, yes, even about myself. Does that mean I’ve officially found myself? Who knows, but I sure feel a lot more confident these days than I did when I first started college.

My message to second-semester freshmen—and to high school seniors approaching graduation—and really, to anyone who feels like they’re still struggling to figure themselves out in these college years—is this: There’s still time. There’s always still time. In fact, I’m starting realize how ridiculous the pressure to get a completely clear sense of yourself within a certain time frame is. Not only does everyone grow at their own pace, but also, life and people are constantly changing and you really only need to worry about doing what feels right for you now, in the present. It’s perfectly okay to feel a little lost, and the sooner you stop dwelling on it, the sooner you’ll be able to get out and discover what makes you happy and fulfilled, and your personal growth will naturally follow.

Cover Image Credit: Ariana Leo

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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22 Things Parents Should Send Their Children At College, If They Love And Miss Them

We're getting to that point in the semester, y'all.

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Even though college students are just a little over a month into the spring semester, we are already feeling high amounts of stress over tests and papers. Nobody said college was going to be easy, and this statement is ringing truer and truer each day. So, to the parents, grandparents, or anybody else who loves us and cares about our well being, here are 22 things you should send us if you love and miss our presence.

1. Gift cards to the local grocery store. 

Preferably Walmart or Food Lion, since that's all we have here in Farmville, VA.

2. Room decor from the Target dollar section. 

Or anything from Target, for that matter. Some college towns don't have one of these glorious establishments, and we are experiencing withdrawals.

3. School supplies. 

You can never have too many sticky notes or colored pens.

4. Mints. 

Because some people need it after lunch, and gum is disgusting.

5. A cozy blanket. 

For those cold nights spent in the library until 2 in the morning.

6. A handwritten letter. 

These are one of my favorite things to get in the mail, and there is always something so sentimental about snail mail.

7. A giant box of fruit snacks...

Definitely one of my favorite grab and go snacks.

8. ... Or candy, in general. 

Preferably, gummies. But, I won't refuse chocolate candy either.

9. Cash. 

For those late night Taco Bell runs, or just to make us feel a little bit better about ourselves.

10.  A funny movie/DVD. 

There's something so simple and serene about watching a funny movie on a DVD player that brings us back to the less stressful times of our childhood.

11.  Hot chocolate mix. 

I always get random cravings for hot chocolate, but it's never enough to make me want to go buy a box of mix.

12.  Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts gift cards. 

Because the majority of our lives revolve around coffee, and sometimes our Keurigs just don't cut it.

13.  Peanut butter crackers. 

These are so quick and easy to eat between classes (or if you're like me, IN class).

14.  Scent diffuser. 

This can be even better if you send a scent that reminds us of home.

15.  Hair ties. 

For some reason, I only own about five at a time because I am always losing these!

16.  Homemade cookies/brownies. 

These always make me so happy knowing my mom took time out of her busy day to think of me and bake yummy treats.

17.  Gift cards for our favorite online shopping stores. 

What better way to relieve stress than buy clothes you don't need?

18.  Nail polish. 

You can never have too many bottles of the same shade of pink.

19.  Mug warmer. 

These help keep your cup of coffee warm for long periods of time so you don't end up wasting such a sacred drink.

20.  Lysol wipes/hand sanitizer. 

I go both of these things at an alarming rate because some places are just plain disgusting.

21.  Band-aids. 

No one ever really thinks of buying these, but they work for so many more reasons than their typical use.

22.  iTunes gift card. 

For all those "educational apps" our professors tell us to buy. *wink wink*

Every college student loves getting a care package in the mail, so if you really love and miss us, please send one our way!

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