How to make Out-of-State Freshmen book the soonest flight (away from you)

How to make Out-of-State Freshmen book the soonest flight (away from you)

Surprisingly, students (such as myself) who travel hundreds of miles from their hometown are stigmatized by their peers for leaving the nest.

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During the college admissions process, one timeless debate is where to attend college. Hollywood romanticizes the idea of trading dirt roads for the glittering lights of a big city at the ripe of age of 18. Thousands of students have hopped on the bandwagon [and onto an American Airlines flight] to follow their dreams across state lines. Surprisingly, students (such as myself) who travel hundreds of miles from their hometown are stigmatized by their peers for leaving the nest. Here are the top ten phrases that are guaranteed to make every out-of-state freshman groan:

1. “Are your parents really happy to send you 500 miles away?”

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There is no doubt that ANY parent seen on a college campus on move-in day will be clutching a tissue box, whether they are driving 45 minutes back to their hometown or spending the next twelve hours on a plane. Crying and the occasional lonely day is a natural side effect of separation. No parent is overjoyed to be so far away from their student, but they get used to being distant with a little help from FaceTime, Skype and social media. These platforms were invented so you can keep in touch with your family and friends from afar. Also, many parents eventually forget these distressing feelings once they see their child thriving and forming traits that mark their new independence.

2. “You are just itching to get away from your family and friends. Are you okay?”

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Here lies the other extreme of 'separation anxiety' conversation. I love my parents and friends deeply, and do not have an undesirable home life, like this assertion suggests. I have made some wonderful memories at my high school – but I also believe the Italian proverb "Everything in moderation" – including when it comes to my hometown.

3. “…but you can get that degree at one our state schools!”

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Yes, I may be able to earn that degree in an in-state institution, but I didn't choose to do that. In my particular situation, my out-of-state options were reach schools, and comments like this one undermine the hard work it took to earn an acceptance letter. Additionally, this statement crushes the notion of broadening hypothetical horizons and potential educational exploration. It is a broad sweeping assumption that is often not backed by insight or knowledge.

4. “Congrats on being a Buckeye/Nittany Lion/Etc. next fall!”

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I can feel every football fan cringing that I put Ohio State and Penn State in the same sentence. I wouldn't know about their rivalry because I will become an Ohio Bobcat this fall instead. The confusion between Ohio State and The Ohio University is almost as awkward as my cluelessness towards one of the biggest rivalries in college football.

How will you pay that hefty out-of-state tuition?”

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Well, I was thinking about running a lemonade stand and selling a kidney to pay for the plane tickets… Just kidding! Many schools offer tuition matching for in-state and out-of-state students depending on that student's GPA and FAFSA. Sometimes these out-of-state options may be even cheaper than private institutions.

6. “Are you actually excited for Parents Weekend?”

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​I am not outwardly cringing at the thought of my Dad strolling down Court Street – or any street on campus, for that matter. Unlike some of my peers, I cannot come home for Sunday afternoon brunch and make it back to campus for an 8 A.M. lecture. If my parents or friends participated in any homecoming events, they would hypothetically spend the same amount of money on a weekend vacation, so I value the time I get to see them, regardless of the place or time.

7. “Oh, look! You are the only alum from this high school to go there!”

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This statement is incredibly liberating, but also nerve-racking when your classmates are asking each other to be roommates and you don't know a soul at your future school. Everyone is asking older friends, siblings, teachers and alumni for advice to navigate the ins and outs of their school, and you're clueless as to what is in store for you. So much for bragging rights…

8. *cries* “How will you survive without Wawa?”

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I promise to participate in every day of Hoagie Fest just for you. It will be tough living without the comforts of home, but that just gives me an excuse to have a gigantic shopping spree and eat my body weight in home-cooked food.

9. “What a rash decision! Online tours don’t do a school justice.”

Virtual reality is an amazing tool, but it can not truly replace visiting a campus and feeling the vibe in person. I was lucky enough to visit my school twice before enrolling, but I did not hesitate to thoroughly research the program I am beginning next fall, and I am confident that many other out-of-state kids can say the same.

10. “Aren’t you taking this reinvention thing a bit too seriously?”

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There is never a wrong time for self-improvement. The transition from high school to college is a perfect time to change habits, friends, appearances, and morals. One chapter is closing and another one is beginning, and YOU get to choose how you are perceived without your past mistakes or attitudes following you. This is the time to be the person you've always dreamed of, and flying a thousand miles away to be that person truly sweetens the deal.

Going to school out-of-state is as exciting as it is terrifying. But we knew what we were committing to when we applied and accepted our invitation to the college we wanted to go to. And even though it's got its ups and downs, we wouldn't change a thing.

Cover Image Credit:

Paige Miller

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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How Art Can Help You Take Care Of Yourself

It's time to go on a date with yourself.

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Art is a quintessential part of the human experience: it has something that has been present in human culture beginning from prehistoric times, from when human consciousness first entered the world. It is also something that transcends definition and intertwines with our play of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is an expression of feeling in its most ethereal meaning and "for fun" at its most basic.

Personally, as an Art History minor, art has been a dimension of life for me that I have explored deeply and holds a lot of meaning. Painting is a huge outlet and way to deal with stress for me, and appreciating fine art teaches me about the aspect of history and how all of history is tied together throughout paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It helps me center myself and remind me of the place I hold in this world and the curious aspect personal experience of history. However, art doesn't need to be the stereotypical idea of art: it can be expressed through dance, the learning of a new language, or the coloring of mandalas to ease stress.

The exploration of art and the artistic side of human nature is something that everyone has in them: it's written in our psychology. We have an entire side of our brain that is inclined toward feeling and abstract interpretation, so it's natural to assume that emotion and expression of art are intrinsically intertwined. Thus, experiencing art is a way to personally develop yourself, and can be an unfound way of finding out things about yourself.

Different ways to explore your artistic side can be very easy: as easy as 3rd-grade coloring books, coloring mandalas, or finger-painting. Recently, I participated in a lantern festival and being able to paint a small lantern was an amazing outlet from a stress-filled week and allowed me to express myself through something besides just communication. Writing is also another good way to express emotion and create art: many books are just art pieces, and can be another way to further develop yourself. Additionally, other small fun things like carving pumpkins (spooky season!) or even curating the perfect Instagram profile can be another way to express yourself.

Appreciating the small things in your life as art and self-expression help put you more in touch with yourself, which is easy to lose throughout the mundane cycles of college, work, and life in general. Keeping yourself in harmony and balance might seem like an earthy-crunchy concept, but self-care and self-love are vital in keeping the rest of your life ordered. Being mindful of yourself and your goals is something that I have always have had difficulty with, but working toward learning more about yourself is taking the first step.

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