Orientation at Cornell: Starting Anew

Orientation at Cornell: Starting Anew

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."- Helen Keller
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The feelings of my first college orientation came with an amalgamation of anxiety, excitement, uncertainty and joy. All sorts of questions flew past my head before the week of the actual orientation: Would I have friends to talk to? Would my roommate be nice? Would people like me? Would I have enough food to eat? Most importantly, would I be able to fit in?

The first day when I moved into my supposedly ninety-years-old all-female residential hall, heaving all my boxes up to the fourth floor using an antique, gatsby-like elevator, I first experienced the feeling of utter loneliness. Not having friends to talk to face-to-face, not having a family to lean for support, not knowing where to ask for help just made me realize how I took all those things for granted throughout my eighteen years of life. The sudden responsibility and independence that were thrown at me were quite unbearable for a person who has never been away from home.

However, I started to enjoy the independence and responsibility that was given to me when the orientation officially began. I mean, yes, I am still struggling to figure out how much detergent I need in my laundry, but I now have the opportunity to venture off to the dining hall and talk with new, friendly faces that have all sorts of interesting backgrounds, stroll around the beautiful campus and Collegetown with my friends to see what the Cornell community has to offer, and hear helpful advice from Cornellians with experience. Orientation really opened my eyes up to a world that I have never been exposed to before, and to people whom I would never have the chance to meet if it wasn't for this community that brought people from all around the world together.

I know college experience won't be all sunshine and rainbows. However, I hope both the positive and negative experiences I gain from my four years in college help me thrive into a person with academic depth through learning, a person who has cherishable friendships and a person who is willing to make the most out of the plethora of opportunities offered. I am half-excited, a little scared, and kind of nervous, but I just can't wait to start these next four years at a place that I can proudly call home.

Cover Image Credit: Linkedin

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Reliving Your Childhood Is A Profound Experience

Take advantage of any sort of chance to do something to release the kid in you.

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Last week, the first thing I did when I got home from college was — not unpack — go to Barnes and Noble. If you know me, this is completely normal behavior. But, it was not my normal visit; I was going to see an author. But it wasn't an author I have read for years, almost a decade. I went to the book signing for the author of my favorite childhood books, Erin Hunter.

The Erin Hunter team wrote the cat books we all read as a kid about the wild cats living in the woods, the Warriors series. I remember reading 36 of the now-still-growing number of books and finishing the very last one that I read, running downstairs in the middle of the night, and sobbing to my parents. It was the most exciting, creative, and intense book series that I had read at the time, and were the coolest thing I had ever stumbled upon in fourth grade. I've moved on to adult novels of course, but those box sets I got in middle school still make me smile every time I see them under my desk, holding up the massive collection of new books I have accumulated.

And they were just that for me — a foundation. I read those books in two days sometimes, and they changed the way I would read for the rest of my life. But not only that, I loved them so much that they were the books that inspired me to write when I was just a fifth grader. It might have been the worst four pages of ripped up notebook paper with messy, scrawling elementary school handwriting ever of a story ever, but it was the start of something.

Those books gave me a passion of reading and inspired me to write, and how ironic it was to come home from college, the epitome of stretching my wings and entering adulthood, and drive straight to Barnes and Noble to get to see my favorite childhood author. I owed my passion for literature and writing in part to that team of writers, and I just had to see them in person.

I was the only person (besides parents) above the age of thirteen, so I lingered in the back, a little red-faced and nonchalant, holding my beat up copy of my favorite book at my side. The author of the team's newest series came up and started to speak. After the children ceased their squealing. The crowd gathered may have been small, but it gave me so much hope that kids were still reading, as they were all holding physical books and not tablets, phones, or anything. They were just as enraptured with the author who brought me so much joy when I had been their age as I was. We were both experiencing the same joy of seeing the person and hearing the voice behind the words that came to life in our minds.

Standing there as the only adult not supervising their child, I held back a little bit from frantically raising my hand and just listened to her speak. Listening to her speak about the most recent series was incredibly interesting, but it was not the most important thing I took away from her visit. She spoke of her journey as both a writer and an author, and the whole first part of it was eerily similar to what I do on a daily basis. I was not expecting to learn anything by going to that or to gain anything profound beyond some positive nostalgia and gratitude for the stories she helped to tell. But I got so much more than that; I go reassurance and encouragement to keep with it.

By taking an opportunity to return to something you enjoy, you never know how much you might find from the experience. I was just going to go for the sake of my self from ten years ago, who would have scolded me if I did not. What you need to hear finds you at the exact time that you need it to, and sometimes the opportunities to listen come in gifts that are wrapped with interesting paper.

What I needed to hear — as someone who only finds the time to write narratively in her free time — came from one of the women who sparked that passion, and if that is not something coming full circle, I don't know what is. I needed to tap into my inner child and younger self in order to hear what was always being shouted all around me, but then again, children are much more open-minded and can pick up on things that a grown person may not ever take a moment to observe.

So break out the watercolors. Pick up your favorite chapter book from middle school. Go put that old Disney movie on the TV. You might pick up on something that you always understood as a kid, but need to hear with a more experienced mind.

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