10 Signs You Were Homeschooled

10 Signs You Were Homeschooled

"Did you do math?"
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Homeschooling was an amazing experience that prepared me for college and got me where I am today. Regardless of how long I've been in college, however, I still know that there are some dead giveaways about my high school experience.

1. You were a little overwhelmed by your first few days (or weeks) at college.

Regardless of how busy your social life was in high school (because yes, we all socialized), being suddenly and constantly surrounded by people at college can be overwhelming. From large lecture halls to dorms full of noisy, smelly students, you're surrounded by people 24/7. While it can be quite an adjustment, always take the time to find a quiet spot and take a deep breath in the middle of the chaos.

2. You're constantly getting slightly ridiculous questions.

While I always welcome curious questions about my homeschooling experience, there are certainly some questions that make me roll my eyes. Personally, my favorite question I've ever gotten has been "Do you do math?" There are certainly many approaches to homeschooling, but if you're now studying at a university, you clearly learned the basic subjects at least. So yes, I studied math.

3. You knew kids who couldn't read Harry Potter (or you yourself couldn't).

Harry Potter was a childhood staple of mine, re-read over and over, but I certainly had friends whose parents forbade any book or movie about witchcraft. I still have friends who don't want to read the books, and I have friends who immediately read the series as soon as they moved into college. Regardless of you or your family's outlook on the series, the Harry Potter controversy just continues to demonstrate the diversity of the homeschool community.

4. You're probably a lot closer to your parents than most other students.

I was homeschooled beginning in the third grade, which means nine years of nearly 24/7 contact with my mother. As your teacher and your parent, the bonds between homeschooled kids and their parents can be much stronger. For me, this meant it was bittersweet when I left for college, for I was filled equally with relief for the freedom and homesickness for the comfort. But the transition was also filled with the confidence that my parents will always have my back.

5. Your time management skills were developed long before college...

Homeschooling requires you to manage your time well regardless if you are taught online, by an instructor or by your parents. This makes the adjustment to college way easier since you're already used to balancing both your school and social life.

6. As is your ability to teach yourself the material.

One of the huge differences between college and high school is how much you're expected to teach yourself. Professors are there to explain the material in-depth, but in many classes you're expected to at least understand the basics. From quizzes on the first day of class to lectures that skip over entire chapters, the ability to teach yourself is a lifesaver.

7. The need to put on pants just to go to class is a little foreign.

Yes, the chance to study in bed and wear PJs is one of the best parts about homeschooling. While wearing pajamas to class is still somewhat socially acceptable in college, most people save it for 8 a.m. classes or finals week. Thank god for yoga pants.

8. You get some great comments when people find out you were homeschooled.

"Oh wow, you seem so normal!"

"Did you talk to people?"

9. The excitement around weekends might be a new concept, but you quickly understand just how great the weekend is.

While I certainly worked hard in high school, I rarely had to spend 7 hours a day doing schoolwork. While weekends were nice and relaxing, I never quite understood why everyone looked forward to them so much. That is until I got to college and spent 14 hours a day either in class, studying, working or attending club meetings and events. Weekends are a godsend.

And finally...

10. You know that you'll do just fine.

With all of the work you put into high school, how could you not be prepared? Getting to college is stressful and overwhelming, but you have family, friends, and your own skills on your side, so don't be afraid to dive right into the chaos.

Cover Image Credit: Rath's reviews

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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I Want To Be Hopeful About The Weinstein Trial, But I Can’t Help Being Cynical

What if this is "just another rape trial"?

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Please read my subheadline again.

Did you read it? Actually, read it? To the point where your internal narrator voice spoke every word?

It kills me to write a phrase like "just another rape trial".

It feels wrong because it is wrong.

So is the way our society perceives sexual violence.

I'm a member of the #MeToo movement and a performance student looking for ways I can continue to not only process my own experiences but help explore to the complex issue of sexual assault awareness. I want to be hopeful that the media involvement, the activism and the sheer size of the dialogue will make a difference.

Considering Harvey Weinstein's actions, in particular, I hope he serves the full life sentence the new charges against him justify.

But after examples like the Brock Turner case, it feels all too easy to lose hope.

I find myself full of questions, and none of them good.

What if #MeToo somehow provides a means to argue that the trial is unfair? What if the fact that Weinstein is rich and famous just means he can get off the hook, despite the fact that the over 80 allegations against him appear damning?

What will it mean if he faces heavily reduced consequences for his reprehensible actions?

And before you start to say, "there's NO WAY that could happen..."

May I remind you what many Democrats were saying a year and a half ago? And may I remind you who is sitting in the White House today (or how many sexual misconduct allegations are currently against him)?

Saying something can't happen doesn't mean it can't happen. It just means we don't want to think about it happening.

We can and should stay hopeful. We can and should stay strong.

We also should be wary of tricks lawyers have up their sleeves and the things money can do in the American legal system. We should be concerned with #MeToo turning into a fad instead of a continuous opportunity to speak up and speak out.

We have to think about Weinstein, despite the new indictment and ongoing debate for sexual assault awareness, not facing the consequences of his actions fully or at all, even if we don't want to.

Because then we have to think about what to do next.

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