Purple Rain

Purple Rain

College & College!
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College! College! College! Those thousands of hours, those hundreds of days, and few years that flew by yet changed you are here then gone. Yes, they are! The days you are present for class but stuck in your car from anxiety, and can't get out. The days you are simply late, or cannot get out of bed. The days you are two or three hours early for class or even the all-nighters, and so on. The days you pass, the days you fail or as they say "Win some and lose some!" The days you cry, cry, and cry! The days you say you will quit! The days you question everything, yourself, your intelligence, and very basic knowledge. The days of utter darkness and depression, of what it all comes down to, and where you think it ends! Where you say, you will give up, and not just in school! The days that come out of nowhere (literally) the ones you do not see coming, and the ones that you do, the things that you wished for that finally do come your way. The days you need somebody, the days you lose someone and the days you find and lose yourself. The days you explore and find new things. The days you have to stop and take a step back, and the days you get to start again. The days your eyes are open, and the days your eyes are closed. The days of comparison the days of procrastination, the days of absolute zero sleep. The days of self-loathing, the days of $1, or negative $1, and the days of no gas and not just in regards to mindset. The days of I will not, I cannot, I should not, Oh "I"ll be back in time." The days of "I am going to fail," but you do not somehow. Thank God for extra credit because it deserves its own sentence. Syllabus week? Oh and the classes where you are just point something away from that needed grade. Not one point, or even half a point so, "blah, blah, merely, merely, up does not my GPA!" The days of refresh, freeze, and 11:59. The days of past due, due, and extensions. The days of I love my teacher, I really dislike my teacher and, umm who exactly is my teacher. The days of no class, when is the class, * we had class! The days of Mom, and Mom, and Mom, and well I love you too Dad! The days of regret, and to be forgotten or vice-versa remembered. The days of kindness, the days of forgiveness, and meeting new faces. The days you think, you will not be friends, but end up becoming your best friend! The days of rush, of tests, work, game days, and final testing days; all leading to the countdown, and days to do it all again. These are the days, the college days, embraced and endured, that do not even begin to describe what college is really like!

These are the days that prepare us for life, and in the wise words of Taylor Swift "The tricky thing is yesterday we were just children playing soldiers, just pretending, dreaming dreams with happy endings, in backyards, winning battles with our wooden swords, but now we've stepped into a cruel world, where everybody stands and keeps score.” (Taylor Swift) This is true we were getting silver stars on report cards with smiley face stickers that could smell! Oh, and do not forget the participation awards. Yet, "Here you are, two steps ahead and staying on guard. Every lesson forms a new scar. They never thought you'd make it this far but turn around. Oh they've surrounded you. It's a showdown, and nobody comes to save you now. But you've got something they don't... You've just gotta keep your eyes open.” (Taylor Swift) Now, there are high expectations, and it is a cruel world. Therefore, we cannot fear the unknown. We must use it as fuel to wander and find adventure. Use it as an opportunity to find yourself. To learn, experience, and find your dreams. Always take it step by step. Let the ground shake, roar, and embrace where you are, and the heavy steps it takes to get there. You deserve freedom, and you deserve life. Live. Learn. Repeat. Don’t get lost in the dark of heart or, too high to see the truth. Somehow, somewhere, solid ground will be found. Above all, keep fighting because somehow, someway I must know, you must know, all should know, we are not alone.

For suddenly one day you will run behind that college building in your heels, with a board in your hand that dangles a tassel, and you wonder why after all that's been endured just a flying board and paper are in your hand. Just kidding! But really it should be a crown and gold paper! But you will run behind the building kneel down and look up to the sky and thank the one who made that sky, and for a moment sit in awe, and that bittersweet moment will bring tears to your eyes! Because YOU will know what you did, and what you endured and sacrificed! The things that people saw and the things that people did not see; that overall took for you to get where you are, will finally have paid off! People may say, "Oh it is school, and sure it is challenging, but you will get through it.” Yet, it is not even remotely, what is reflected on paper, or even what is reflected on the school emblem that matters all those years. Yet, what is reflected in your step! Most importantly, when you get up and leave, you are closing that chapter and realizing you are a different person. You must follow your heart and see where it takes you! Do not let this world outside break you or suck you in for they know not who you are. Know that new things are to be explored, and as you are moving on your dreams must never die! And, to those who are graduating as PRINCE so magically states...

I know times are changing

It's time we all reach out

For something new!

-Thank You so very much, To my beloved Parents, Mom, Dad, Paul, Steph and Jer, my family, friends, teachers, mentors and those along the way old and new that helped me on this road this journey! You are vital, and know who you are!

Finally- Alina R: Matthew 17:20

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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25 Things Every USF Student Needs To Know ASAP

Raw, humorous and valuable advice for new or already established students.

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Whether you are a brand new college student or you have a couple semesters under your belt, it's easy to get stuck going through the motions without allowing yourself to fully absorb everything that your school has to offer. These 25 students at the University of South Florida share some of their most valuable advice, secrets, and hacks when it comes to getting the most out of your college experience.

Going To The Football Games

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"If I could give a first-time student some advice I'd say to take off of work on Saturday and just go to the football games because they'll regret it if they don't." Ciara G.

Finding Opportunities

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"Read the Note-a-Bulls emails and flyers you see on campus. Sometimes you find a great scholarship, internship, and recreational opportunities." Abigayle R.

Gaining Friends And Losing Friends

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"Remember that some people come into your life for short periods and even though some make your life amazing while others make it awful…they're part of your story!" Ashley J.

Procrastinating

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"Always put school work as a number one priority. I know I sometimes slacked off and waited until the absolute last minute to do assignments my first year. Not only did that stress me out but that work also ended up not being as good as it could've been. Also, take as many pictures as you can because before you know it college is over." Sydney M.

Sidewalk Etiquette

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"If you walk slow, do not walk in the center of the sidewalk." Katie H.

The Squirrels

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"The squirrels get aggressive, just be careful." Alex K.

Doing Laundry On Campus

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"Always check the USF app to see if the laundry machines are in working order, and if you want your money back call, the app for the company doesn't work well…and keep in mind they'll give you a refund, but they will send a physical check even for something as small as a dollar." Megan M.

When In Florida, Do As The Floridians Do

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"Always carry an umbrella because there is a 100% chance that it will rain. Also, buy a rain jacket that can fit over your backpack in order to protect electronics." Sina W.

Dining Dollars and Beer

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"You can buy stuff that is not food from the pod with dining dollars and you can buy beer from the Beef O Brady's with dining dollars after 5 p.m." Carlin I.

Finding Parking

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"Be prepared to play musical chairs, parking lot version." Negin W.

Taking Alone Time

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"Remember to take time for yourself. Whatever that may be, always remember you deserve time for you!" Mary S.

Checking Your Emails Is Important

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"Check your email regularly. This is the only way advisors/faculty can communicate with you. Also, set your mail.usf email to forward to your personal email account if you don't want to check more than one email." Cherie D.

Letting Go Of The Past

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"Nothing from your past matters, not people or things, so don't dwell on it." Cameron H.

Sitting In Someone Else's Spot

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"Respect peoples non-assigned assigned seat. Also, people at USF are friendly so don't be afraid to talk to people and make new friends." Gaby M.

Talking In Class

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"Don't be afraid to talk in class. The class will go by so much better and will be less boring if you help the professor out and say something. Also, be sure to go to peer leading because it helps me so much." Brandon W.

Being Friendly To Your Professors And Classmates

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"Get to know professors as humans and mentors. Be the student whose smiling face they look for in class when they come in. Don't always dive for the empty table if you see others sitting alone. Maybe they need a friend too." Amanda F.

Being Involved On Campus

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"Take advantage of the stuff on campus. Like you pay for it. Do it." Leeland B.

Exercise And Finding Free Food On Campus

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"Join a sports team on campus, you'll get your exercise in and make amazing friends! Also, download the Edi-Bull app to find the free food on campus." Megan K.

Being Anti-Social

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"Go to USF events and just talk to people. That little voice that tells you 'ah people are scary, I shouldn't interact,' almost everyone has that voice in some sort of way so you already have something in common. Also, come to WOW (Week Of Welcome) and so hi to the PALS (Peer Advisor Leaders)." Ishaat Musrur H.

Not Knowing Your Purpose

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"Don't worry about figuring out everything (yourself, your major, your classes, etc) right away. It's okay to be a little unsettled as long as you are working hard along the way." Bonita H.

Sleeping, Eating, And Showing Up To Class

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"Set a structured schedule for yourself. Try to get up and go to sleep around the same time every week day-it makes waking up easier and it's healthier for your body! You don't have to live off of fast food. I know it's easier and all around on campus but try making yourself something- you'd be surprised how easy cooking can be. Also, go to class! Even if attendance isn't mandatory, you're paying for every single hour of that lecture. Better not waste it." Hannah W.

Controlling The Music In The Dining Hall

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"You can control the music in the dining hall using the Rockbox app." Nicole Y.

Figuring Out Where Your Classes Are

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"At least a day before classes start, walk around on campus to find out where they all are and go to your professor's office hours. Especially if it pertains to your grade, but even just for one little question. Get to know your professors." Demi A.

Picking The Best Classes

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"Prepare for the next semester! Try and figure out what classes you need for the coming semester ahead of time so you're ready to get them as soon as you can sign up!" Elizabeth S.

Appreciating Your RA's

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"Get to know your RA! They're here to help you get acclimated and enjoy your time on campus." Gia R.

The number one thing to remember is to have fun and appreciate each moment because these few years will fly by faster than you think. Go Bulls!

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