Run Free: For that something New!

College! College! College! Those thousands of hours, those hundreds of days, and few years that flew by yet changed you and are here then gone. Yes, they are! The days you are there for class but stuck in your car from anxiety and can't get out, or simply late, or can't get out of bed, The days your two and 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. 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 your 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 they become your best friend! The days of rush, the days of tests, the days of 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 and 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 with 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 you to get there 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 the 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: Mathew 17:20

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#whyGustavus, You Ask?

Beat 'em, bust 'em, that's our custom!

#whyGustavus, you ask? A lot of people question what drew you to the college, university, job, or activities you are involved in whenever you see someone you haven’t seen or meet someone new, and you’re left to give them a spiel about which decisions pushed you to the place in life that you are at currently. As you can probably infer, I get asked this about Gustavus (affectionately known as GAC). And no, not only do I get asked about the college itself, but I also face inquiry regarding why I want to major in what I do, why I participate in the events and activities I do, and, perhaps the most amusing and most prominent question: what is a liberal arts school?

Let’s focus this week upon why I chose to enroll at GAC. For this I have a plethora of reasons, and many of them are entirely unrelated to each other. The first thing that drew me to GAC was the music department. I remember my sophomore year of high school, we participated in a string festival and Dr.Lin (the primary conductor of the symphony orchestra I currently am a member of) was the clinician present. We were performing Debussy’s Clair De Lune, and I was one of only three violinists present playing the top divisi of the 1st violin part (the really high part for those who don’t speak orchestral music) and I can recall her calling me out personally for my emotional and technical abilities, as well as my entire ensemble for our energy, a pretty awesome thing to hear from a college professor as a sophomore in high school.

Following that episode, my conductor in high school reached out to her and fall of my junior year of high school, she wound up being a guest clinician in my orchestra for a few days and we were given the opportunity to share a concert with GSO (GAC symphony orchestra). Immediately I began to research the school and community, then finding out about the opportunities, campus, mission, and programs associated with the school.

I spoke with my second cousin, a Gustie alum, and got in touch with several others who attended or graduated from the college. Instantly, I loved it and it felt like home. I chose GAC because I love the community here, class sizes are small and you develop very personal and close relationships with your peers, professors, and campus staff. I chose it because of the networking, there are literally Gusties everywhere, I ran into a few in Puerto Rico and am aware of countless stories of people traveling and meeting fellow Gusties. I chose it because it provides an outlet to further explore my passion for Violin/orchestra, as well as for art and writing. I chose it because I wanted to find an environment that would serve as my home away from home, and the beautiful (seriously, it’s stunning) campus and multitude of housing options provide that. I chose it because I believe in/have an innate curiosity for the liberal arts and needed an academic program that could foster that. I chose it because I believe in the mission of the college and I wanted to get involved. I chose it for the education/communications/english departments that make up my major and produce outstanding graduates. I chose Gustavus Adolphus College because of the simple appeal of the phrase “Make your life count” and I wanted to know if that was possible/how to do that.

I am now so proud to be a Golden Gustie and cannot wait to (hopefully) finish this year strong and experience even more incredible opportunities in my next three years!

Cover Image Credit: Gustavus Adolphus College

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17 Times College Students Looked At An Imaginary Camera Like They Were On 'The Office'

"Well, well, well. How the turntables."

College is full of moments where we aren't exactly sure if something is real or if we're being pranked on a reality show. We often find ourselves staring off into the distance trying to process what is happening in front of us, and we pretty closely resemble one of our favorite television characters: Jim Halpert from "The Office."

Yep, that's the look. I can't be the only one who relates to this feeling, right? Here are 17 times this happens to college students.

1. Professors giving zero insight for the upcoming exam

Why, when you have half a semester of lectures under your belt, would you not give your students the topics on which they will need to write essays over while having no resources?

2. Dining halls having little to no variety

Pizza every single day? Check. Four kinds of "chicken"? Check. Few options for vegetarians? Triple check.

3. Group projects

On a project due tomorrow: "What's our topic going to be?"

Well, maybe you should have checked the GroupMe three weeks ago when we decided because the project's almost done at this point.

4. Professors already jumping into lectures on the first day of syllabus week

Alternatively, let's go back to the syllabus and get out an hour early.

5. A fight breaking out in your dorm

Could this just not happen?

6. Filling out your planner for the week

It's never a good feeling to have to look at your own personal source of self-destruction.

7. When one of your friends throws a savage roast

We're only interested in absolutely fire roasts here, and let's be real—the best ones are aimed at our best friends.

8. Losing in sporting events at the last second

This is particularly accurate when you've been winning the entire game, and they manage to screw it up at the very end.

9. Being the only group of sober students in sight

Drinking culture is dangerous and should be avoided.

10. Not knowing what's going on during a lecture

Did we skip a few slides?

11. When the TA says "I forgot to mention that we have an exam tonight."

I'm sorry, what?

12. Mistakingly putting someone else in charge

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

13. The weather deciding to be the opposite of what you planned for

An 80-degree morning and snowy evening? Welcome to the Midwest.

14. Hearing a mention of fall scheduling

Let's survive this semester first.

15. The dining hall only has decaf coffee

Yes, hello. I'm going to need a bulk shipment, pronto.

16. Realizing you didn't do as well on an assignment as you think you did

It's especially hard for classes that aren't math-based because there's no way to check your progress as you go.

17. When your friend wants to do something particularly stupid

While bad decisions are a group affair, that doesn't mean you should let them do the thing.

Even if our lives aren't being turned into a documentary, sometimes college still feels like a TV show. It's kind of like "Friends" in that we eat, live, cry, Netflix-binge and figure out life together. One thing is for sure though — we definitely act like we have that imaginary little camera hanging out with us.

Cover Image Credit: NBC Universal

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