Quality Time

Quality Time

Have we lost the ability to enjoy each other's company?

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So, one day, this older man saw this young and happy couple walk into a nice (but modestly-priced) Italian restaraunt together, hand in hand. They were giggling and laughing. He looked at her like she was some Renaissance-era painting. She looked at him like he ruled the world. The older dude just gazed at them fondly (not like some creep, because some old guys do that you know). They were led by the host to their table. He pulled out her chair for him. She beamed. They both ordered water because they were probably on a budget (or they really like water). The old man smiled (again not a creepy one, but a for-real sentimental one). Then, it happened. The dagger that was drawn. The stone that fell. The smile that became downcast. The date that was demolished: The young man pulled out his cellphone. Not to be outdone, the young woman soon pulled out hers, and the emotional and loving expressions were turned to grey pallets of nothingness. The older man, feeling very brash, lifted himself from his chair very slowly but determined. He bounded (what it seemed like to him) over to the young man and grabbed his phone right out of his hands. The young man, preparing to defend himself from said attacker and thief, was relieved to see who had actually taken his phone because he knew he could take it right back himself if he wanted. The old man looked down at the young couple, then, looking at the guy said these cool, crisp words:

"If you're not careful, this (the phone) will become your mistress."

Grandpa has gone off his meds. Literally. How could a phone be a mistress? How could someone pay more attention to an object rather than a living being right in front of his nose? How could we trade up the ones we love for the ones we have to charge?

I'm no expert at prioritizing my time. This story is as much for me as for anyone. I'm still learning so much. But, what I have learned so far has become so life-changing to me. A mistress(or anything really) doesn't have to be a secret person or a quiet pastime. It can just be anything that we are spending a majority of our time with that shouldn't top our priority list.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Come To Terms With Having An Imperfect Relationship With Your Parents And Accept Them As They Are

We expect our parents to eventually change and accept us for who we are, to see our sides, and to not take us for granted. But when this doesn't happen, we get incredibly furious.
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Despite coming from an Asian household, my relationship with my parents is not always governed by the classic "respect your elders" and "honor the family" values. Don't get me wrong though, I do hold true to these sayings, but with a grain of salt.

For those of us who do not have the good fortune of having healthy, happy relationships with our parents, there comes a moment of enlightenment when we realize that we will never have those kinds of relationships with our parents. That is absolutely OK.

In my case, this happened in the first semester of my first year of college. I was living away from home and was surprised by the unusually loving behavior of my mom and dad. However, once I started commuting from home the next semester, the loving gestures like texting me to ask me how my day or wanting to have a chat with me just because, ended and I felt like I was back to square one with my parents. I had hoped that the distance would make my parents be more expressive and open with me (which it did) but that was gone in an instant I was back home. I had the same old arguments with my parents and felt like a high school student all over again.

We expect our parents to eventually change and accept us for who we are, to see our sides, and to not take us for granted. But when this doesn't happen, we get incredibly furious. Then we feel incredibly guilty for being such bad children who just can't listen to their parents. This guilt forces us to deal with so much emotional abuse, manipulation, and stress until we realize that our parents are people. We are allowed to not get along with them.

Once I realized that I will neither be able to fully satisfy my parents nor will they treat me fairly, I was able to accept them for who they were. By not holding them up to expectations they couldn't meet, my parents became more human and their flaws were those of people, rather than of my parents. All of my hurt feelings subsided as everything became less personal.

Relationships between our parents dictate our choices, our treatment of others, and our treatment of ourselves. It's important to know that you are not at fault for not loving your parents to the moon and back and that you should not feel guilty for something you cannot control. Parents are not black or white, they are gray in that they give us life and we owe them respect and acknowledgment, but that doesn't guarantee love and harmony.

It is OK to be a "bad" child if that means doing what is best for you.

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