An Open Letter to my Campus on Graduation Day

An Open Letter To My Campus On Graduation Day

It really is all here.

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Dear Campus,

The time has come, I'm going to leave you after four and a half years of blood, sweat tears, panic attacks, busy days, and sleepless nights, my graduation day has finally come. I'm not going to lie, I've been terrified of graduating since the very beginning of my senior year, and to be honest, I'm still a little scared of what the future is going to hold for me and what I'm going to accomplish, but I'm going into the real world with my head up high and my best foot forward as I look into my future.

I was just as scared when I first met you as I am now when I have to let you go. However, I came to you with as much confidence as I possibly could when I started my first day with you. I kept telling myself that the confidence I show throughout my college days will bleed onto others and inspire them to become more confident too, and that has paid off. Because of that, I made so many more friends than I ever could have imagined, discovered my potential as a leader and as a person.

I also never thought that my personal and professional relationships would be as strong as they are today if it weren't for you. I gained lots of internship experience, worked throughout college, gained E-board positions in organizations I was a part of and made lots of personal and professional connections that I know will stick with me throughout my life. You were the reason I was able to accept myself as a queer disabled woman and I cannot be any more grateful for that. I'll never forget all the fun times I had with you and all the opportunities you gave me that I would not have been able to get anywhere else.

You were truly my rock for these last four and a half years. During my best times, my worst times, my proudest accomplishments, and my biggest downfalls, you were there to support me and pick me up. You knew exactly what will cheer me up and what will help me stress much less about my classes, workload, and other obligations. Having to leave you is the most bittersweet feeling I could ever have because while there have been so many stressful times with you, and even some times that would make me wish I wasn't with you, you were still the highlight of my life.

I know that I'm going to be the biggest mess of tears when I walk on that stage during my commencement and convocation in cap and gown, knowing that all my memories with you will be just that; memories. But I know that one thing will be true throughout my adulthood; the fact that you prepared me for my future better than anyone or anything ever will. I will always remember all the amazing things you gave me, and it will motivate me more for my future. It really is all here. Thank you.

With love,

A scared but excited alumnus

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15 Songs To Listen To On Your Next Road Trip

The best road trips are the ones with windows down, music blaring, and you singing your heart out.

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Over the years, I have taken an abundance of road trips by myself and with other people. These trips have ranged from two to 18 hours at once. I always look for playlists to listen to before starting the journey because I know I'll need something to keep me awake. Here are some of the songs that put me in a road trip mood and keep me cruising along.

1. "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers

2. "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" by Panic! At The Disco

3. "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey 

4. "The Great Escape" by Boys Like Girls

5. "Livin' On A Prayer" by Bon Jovi

6. "Check Yes, Juliet" by We The Kings

7. "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World

8. "Dirty Little Secret" by The All-American Rejects

9. "Year 3000" by Jonas Brothers

10. "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" by Nine Days

11. "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel

12. "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes

13. "You Found Me" by The Fray

14. "DONTTRUSTME" by 3OH!3

15. "Lips Of An Angel" by Hinder

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Hey You, Get Off Your Phone!

A phone addiction: the one thing we all have in common.

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Your best friend is telling you about her relationship issues when you get a text from another friend. You nod along as she speaks and go to reach for your phone, responding to the text.

You're at work when you hear your phone buzz- it's Urban Outfitters and they're telling you about a sale: 25% all graphics tees! You know it'll look bad to be on your phone but you've got to hop on the good deal before it's gone.

You've got a million things to do- finish a 12 page report by Thursday, clean the dishes, respond to a 100 emails- but you also have snapchats to open, an Instagram to scroll through, and tweets to retweet. A little procrastination never hurt.

We're all guilty of doing it. We've become so normalized to a life with a phone in our hand 24/7, that not being on it sends us into a spiral. It's an addiction and a habit that's incredibly hard to break, but it's the reason that our friends feel ignored, our bosses think we're distracted, and our everyday tasks gets pushed to the last minute.

Force yourself to find another outlet when you're bored.

I recently decided to delete the apps I know are a biggest waste of my time, and find other distractions instead- distractions that involve the people and things that are right in front of me.

Read a book, go for a walk, talk to your friends and parents, paint, draw, go for a run.

Give the respect that people deserve.

Your friends aren't going to stay your friends for too long if you're half listening when they're speaking to you. If you want people to give a shit about your problems, you might want to put in a little effort on your end.

Not to mention, staring at your phone all day is definitely killing your brain cells.

Studies have proven that cellphone usage leads to a shorter attention span. It's the reason we cannot read for more than a couple minutes without getting distracted and why we can't remember things as well as we used to before the era of smart phones.

Habits are hard to break- it takes about 21 days to form one but even longer to get out of one. Take little steps in achieving a life without your hands plastered to your phone and remember that reality is so much better than the digitalized version we see on our 5 by 7 screens.

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