An Open Letter To The College Kid Approaching Finals

An Open Letter To The College Kid Approaching Finals

It's hard to be Christmas-ie and a student at the same time.
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Hey there! Happy finals season.

There's some good news and there's some bad news. The good news: We are almost done! I can count on one hand how many weeks we have left before Christmas break begins. The bad news? The bad news is we still have an unhealthy amount of deadlines to beat before we can drink our hot chocolate and go home.

If you're like me, you lost your motivation around fall break. But you've been trudging through the rest of the semester with a lot of caffeine and limited tears. We've almost made it. And to everyone else, it sounds like we have a week and a half week left so we should be doing a lot of decorating and packing, but the truth is, we aren't done yet. This might just be the most stressful weeks yet.

This time a year there's so much pressure coming from everywhere. Your family wants to know everything about your semester, including whether there will be a boy waiting for you when you get back in January. Finals are SO close that you can't help, but feel them looming, yet you can't focus on them quite yet because there are still three group projects to present and a paper to write before classes end. And somewhere in there, you need to find the time to attend and shop for at least four Christmas parties.

Trust me, I know that right now it feels like you are made up of grades, study guides, and half-way true stories to tell your relatives this Christmas. This time of year is the most cheerful and the most stressful. It's hard to find time to wear Christmas socks and look at Christmas lights when you've got five finals to study for and two classes to pray about because you're not sure you can rebound from a couple bad quiz grades.

With all of this said, I'm here to remind you that you are so much more than these next couple of weeks. You are not your grades, your finals, or group projects. You are not your 8 a.m. or the paper due on Sunday that you haven't started yet. You are not your degree.

You are a human who wants to change the world. You are somebody who is studying to teach, save lives, keep people out of jail, or start businesses. You are the compliment you gave to the random girl in your psychology lecture. You are the laugh you share with your best friend over coffee.

You are the texts you send your mother on the days that life is rough. You are a sister, brother, warrior of Chirst, fighter, inspiration, and friend. You are not the rest of this semester or any other semester for a matter of fact. You are you. And no matter the percentage you walk out with on finals week, that is enough.

Cover Image Credit: ejlinstrom

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15 Signs You're A Full-Time Working Girl, 40 Hours A Week Or More

Forty hours a week really changes you.
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Forty hour work weeks, 5 days, 8 hours per day. Full-time jobs require a lot of dedication and consume the majority of your time. I love my full-time internship, honestly. It's a lot of fun and I get to experience what it will be like when I grow up and work at a company. Here are some signs that you work full time.

1. You're always tired

Waking up at 6, being at work by 8 and not leaving until 5 can really make you exhausted. Waking up early kicks off your exhaustion while everything in between 8-5 can make you tired as well so by the end of the workday, you're ready for a nap. Except if you nap, then you won't sleep later and be even more tired the next day. Thank God for coffee.

2. Your body adjusts to waking up early

I don't seem to really sleep in anymore on the weekends. My body thinks I should be up early so I'm now waking up at 7 or 8. But hey I get to lay in bed until whenever I want so I don't mind too much.

3. Weekends become your summer

You try to squeeze your normal summer days into two days. Because they are the only days you have off, so you try to make the best of them.

4. Plan out your outfits

You tend to plan out your outfits every night because if you don't, you will be late to work. You can't just throw on any old shirt and shorts. You got to look good and professional.

5. Don't do anything during the week

You're dead after a day of work, so you dedicate your off time to resting and relaxation. You probably won't make major plans during the week.

6. "Sorry, I have to work."

This phrase is used a lot. If someone tries to plan something during the week: "Sorry, I have to work." Or if there's a late night party: "Sorry, I have to work [the next day]."

7. Love three day weekends

Three day weekends are a blessing from God. But the Friday before is an absolute killer and all you want to do is leave. Or the Monday after is even more worse than a normal Monday.

8. TGIF

Fridays have a whole new meaning when you work full-time. You can have a successful day at work and then you're able to party hard because you don't have to work in the morning. They also are the day that people can easily leave early on because hey, it's Friday.

9. Friends on the weekend

You won't see your friends until the weekend most likely. And sometimes you want to see them all at once but it's tough when you have only two free days. So hopefully all your friends are able to hang out together so you can see them all.

10. Have more laundry

I basically wear two outfits a day. My work outfit and my after work outfit. And they both are washed differently so I have to do separate loads. It actually sucks.

11. Super good at keeping track of time

You're always looking at the clock and become very aware of what time it is. It's weird but sometimes helps you get through the day.

12. You're always hungry

I've noticed that I am absolutely starving by the time 11 am rolls around. Then, when I get home, I am starving for dinner. Not sure why or how because I sit at a desk all day and don't have any physical activity but I eat a lot.

13. You're going to be pale

If your full-time job is in the summer, there's no way you'll get your usual tan if you work inside. Tanning is only for the weekends now so soak up the sun.

14. You may spend a little bit more

You're making good money at this job, so why not spend a little extra on some things? But everyone is different, so others may not even change how they spend their money.

15. Hump day has a whole new meaning

Took me from the time I first saw that commerical to when I started my full-time job to realize Wednesday is hump day because you're over the hump of the week.

Cover Image Credit: Kelly Toncre

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The Truth About Commuting And Living Off Campus

What does it mean to live off campus?

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Attending college is exhilarating.

We have this perception about how college is through different forms of media like movies, television shows, and recently, social networking sites. Many people believe that in order to enjoy the full college experience, you need to shell out thousands of dollars to live on campus. However, that is not always the case. Many state and private schools accept commuters. Deciding to live on campus can make your college experience a bit cheaper. Commuting to college has numerous benefits, but it does require a lot of work in the long run.

My main issue with commuting to classes is having to pre-plan out my schedule far in advance. This means making sure I'm up in time and ready to learn.

This can be stressful if I did not get enough sleep the night before. In many cases, making it to an 8 AM class on time becomes a mundane task and can ruin your whole mood for the day. If you do not choose your classes and timing wisely, you will begin to feel like your whole life is a boring routine. Unlike your classmates who can wake up 10 minutes before class and walk there, you really need to prepare accordingly. My suggestion is to pack your bag the night before with all of your homework, books, and agenda. One important thing to remember about college is that your professors expect you to be there on time and technically 8:01 is late in their eyes.

A major benefit to commuting is the amount of money you will save. Most tuition doubles when you live on campus. If you think about it, your lives are in the hands of the administrators and they want to make sure they get their money's worth. On top of just room and board, expenses you will need to pay for include a meal plan, books, and healthcare services. One major reason why I decided to commute is also the size of the dorms.

Personally, I like to have a lot of space for myself and I could not imagine sharing a 30x30 room with someone I barely know. I don't think it's right that the colleges have you pay so much money just to share a little dorm the size of a closet. Sadly, there are many cases where commuting is not an option. It would not be logical to commute to a college an hour and a half away. If you have a dream school in mind and it's very far from home, living on campus may be your only option.

If you do choose to commute, just remember that if you want to build strong friendships, you will need to put yourself out there more than usual. People who live on campus have it a little easier in the friends department because they are so close together. How could you not make friends when there are a hundred people in your building?

It's so easy to recluse into your shell and simply go to and from classes, but I think it's important to seek out people and join your community. This might sound a bit cliche` but JOIN CLUBS. The best way to make friends as a commuter is to seek out a club you might enjoy and attend a meeting. If you hate it, move on, but make sure you are always trying something new. Do not allow the cycle of college to bring you down, go out there and be the best you can be.

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