An Open Letter To My College Dorm

An Open Letter To My College Dorm

Thanks for all the memories, Sandburg, but I won't be back.
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To be politically correct for when my RA reads this, I mean an open letter to my “Res hall,” the good old’ Sandburg residence Halls. It has been a year, to say the least. A lot has happened, good and bad, through my first year of college and it all happened within your walls. I have a lot to say to you, so here we go.

Dear Sandburg,

I never actually liked you

I have been coming to dance camp for the past six years in Milwaukee where I had the luxury to stay in Sandburg res halls. Our encounters with each other have never been fun, each year when I stayed here for a short week in the summer it involved a lot of moving around of the outdated wooden desks and those horrible bed frames. Who would have thought that one day I would be moving in and actually living in a room of my own in Sandburg, and now in a few short days, I will be moving out.

Move in felt like it was yesterday

I remember the rain was pouring and it felt like everything was telling me to “turn back now.” I was so anxious to get through your doors, to do “the freshman thing” meaning picking up my student ID and room key and all that extra stuff. I was excited to see my roommate and meet new people. The day was endless of unpacking everything into my cubicle of a room that I had to share. Soon the day came to an end and I actually had to say goodbye to my mom, but the scariest part was I didn’t know when I would see her next. The moment she left that was it, it was me and my roomie stuck on the 21st floor with no clue what do to.

Living on the 21st floor has had its perks

For those who don’t know how Sandburg works, there are 26 floors in the North tower and lucky me I got stuck on 21, but it’s not all that bad. Sure, it was bad during move-in weekend and I had to walk up 21 flights cause the elevators were reserved for people moving in that day only (hence why I stayed in my room the first week.) But once school started I realized living on a higher floor actually had its perks regarding the elevator. There were the times we had fire drills at 2 am and everyone on floor 10 and below had to walk back up so that was great, then there are the times when I’m running late for class and I need an elevator quick, usually the elevator starts from the top and fills up quickly from the top floors so the people on lower floors have to wait for the next elevators. The view I have is really my favorite part about living in Sandburg. One of my entire wall surfaces is all window which looks directly out to Lake Michigan where the water looks ombre with three different blues and the sun rises beautifully making me one happy girl to wake up early in the morning.

Your elevators suck

Although I’m fairly certain you have one of the fastest elevator systems in the Midwest they still suck. Three elevators are not nearly enough for 26 floors, they are not nearly large enough to hold the number of kids that squeeze into them. I mean seriously the Sandburg elevators each weekday after classes are equivalent to clown cars, you think everyone’s out but they just keep coming. The other buildings on campus have bigger elevators, almost twice the size elevators for a building that is only six floors. Don’t get me started on the number of times when there were elevators that were “down for maintenance” or down because they literally just stop working including times when students have been on them. There have been multiple times in which I’ve felt I was a part of the movie "Final Destination" where the elevator drops and the doors open half way on a floor, halfway not. Don’t let these things scare you though they’re all way better than walking up 21 flights of stairs so I guess you could say, it is what it is.

Café food, I’m over it.

“Chinese again?” is what you could typically hear me saying every Tuesday. While I appreciate UWM trying to switch up the menu and offer authentic menu options every week of a different cultures food, the cultured food becomes less rare when it is given every single week. I was over the sesame chicken and eggrolls from the café about the second week I moved in, along with the popcorn chicken and mashed potatoes and the seasoned pork and just about everything my taste buds lost interest in. It was easy to skip dinner in the café and just order something however my bank account wasn’t as accepting of it. I wanted to eat healthily but who really knows how healthy the healthy options are in the Sandburg cafeteria.

I’m done living in a shoebox

No dorm room is perfect or anywhere near it but Sandburg rooms fall below the “average dorm” category. When I finally got all of my stuff up to my room during move in I questioned where I was going to put it all, the answer was, it wasn’t all going to fit. I not only had such a small place to begin with but then had to split it in half and share my space with my roommate. Throughout the year my roommate and I have rearranged our bedroom about four times, which doesn’t seem like a lot but with the tiny corners and big clunky furniture it was about a 4-hour project, we did anything to make it feel like home, but it just wasn’t. In the warmer months, we were living in a sauna which no number of fans could fix and in the colder months, the heat only made an appearance every once and a while so that meant lots of blankets. Even though this isn’t my desired place to live I have had some pretty good times in Sandburg north 2170B. I’ve yelled a lot both good and bad, either yelling at my roommate screaming her name because something exciting happened or yelling at my computer because I submitted my assignment right at 12 instead of 11:59 pm. I’ve danced a lot with my friends because we were obviously overly bored and avoiding our problems. I’ve had a lot of cries in my dorm room because exams suck, boys suck, and college generally sucks but also because I was laughing so hard at stupid things my suitemates would do.

Thank you for introducing me to the best people

Although I have a lot of negative things to say about Sandburg I have to thank them for a few things. It is a rare case in which people are randomly placed to live with strangers and it ends up everyone liking each other, but this was the case for me my freshman year of college. Thank you for giving me my roommate and suitemates who have become some of my best friends. I would not survive living in Sandburg, or college in general without these people. The 2170 suit in Sandburg north was arguably the loudest, funniest and best suit there was in Sandburg all thanks to me and my people. I will miss being able to leave my door open and walk into my suitemates door right next to me and being able to live with four other girls who all get along. I will miss my suitemate's big blue recliner chair and Tempur-Pedic mattress. It feels like it was just yesterday when I moved in and was scared to ask my suitemates to borrow a pair of scissors, but now we’re best friends and that’s all because of Sandburg. So for once, Thank you, Sandburg.

Lastly thanks for giving me a true college experience. I'm thankful for all of the rules and regulations I have to follow even though at times they seem ridiculous but I'm happy to know the environment I live in is safe. Thanks for all of the memories, but I won't be back.

Cover Image Credit: uwmilwaukee / Instagram

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why Open-Book Exams Make Sense

Memorization does not mean intelligence.

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In the society of high-stakes and standardized testing, it seems all students do to learn is listen to lectures and take exams. Quite often, these exams require students to work through detailed situational problems without the aid of their textbook, notes, or peers. Memorization may have been praised a half a century ago when detailed records and information were not available for everyone, everywhere. But we live in a new society now.

Memorizing a lot of random facts does not make you intelligent.

Cool, you know the names and birthdays of every U.S president. What about the legislations they pushed for or vetoed? What about the wars they got us into? What about the civil rights movements they supported? Who were they as leaders? People? Fathers? Husbands? Can any of that be answered by their name and birthday? With the entire world at our fingertips, knowing basic facts is quite unnecessary. You can Google any person, any place, any equation, any graph, any theory, and find all the answers you need. It is easy to find the information, but it may be more difficult to apply it to our real-world jobs and careers.

Odds are, you don't need this stuff memorized for your job.

When you graduate college and enter your field of study, there are thousands of resources for you to use every day to complete your jobs. Should you have some knowledge of your topic? Absolutely. But do you need absolutely everything memorized? Not a chance. You have co-workers, supervisors, handbooks, research logs, textbooks, equation sheets, etc. as you work. Whether you are a STEM student, an education student, an aspiring firefighter, or a dancer, odds are, the things you memorized in school are readily available to you in some way at your job.

Knowing how to apply the information is more important to our future jobs.

If I know all of these facts or equations but have no clue how to apply them to the task at hand, how can I be successful in my career? If I cannot take the same information and apply it to multiple situations, how will I be able to grow in my field? I will not be able to complete tasks to the best of my abilities like this. That is pretty scary, since all we are taught as we go through school is how to memorize certain facts and a very limited number of situations.

Let us take open-book exams.

Please. Pretty please. Memorizing years' worth of research and experience in a matter of a few months is extremely stressful as it is. Not to mention how much anxiety tests cause students. I guarantee you that us students just cram a few days before for the exam and then forget the information by the end of the semester. Give us an education that exposes us to the situations we will face and challenges us to grow rather than an education that forces us to regurgitate facts.

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