8 Secrets On how to survive your freshman year

8 Secrets On how to survive your freshman year

The best way to prepare is to listen to some advice from someone who has already made the change and loved it.

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"Oh so you're starting your freshman year of college?" This is such an intimidating topic for so many people, but it doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds. Whether you're moving far from home or just two hours away like me, the best way to prepare is to listen to some advice from someone who has already made the change and loved it.

1.Study Spot

One of the most important things I thought I fully knew about myself (but definitely confirmed in my first semester of college) was that I no matter what, can't study or do homework in my own room. The simple solution I ended up finding, was to take my homework and head to the library or nearest coffee shop. My suggestion, whether you have the same problem as me or not, is to find a nearby spot that you feel comfortable working in, with or without friends. With this idea, I look forward to getting a coffee and some studying done.

2. Be Inviting

When transitioning to a brand new place, especially a giant college, you will meet tons of new people, whether you try to or not. Something I could not stress the importance of enough is being open to talking to and becoming friends with people you meet. Beyond this, never be afraid to reach out to people first to meet up. This last year, I met most of my closest friends this way and since then, we were together almost every day.

3. Forget Procrastination

I am the absolute worst when it comes to procrastination, but this goes to say if I can do it, you can too. The best strategy I found to fight this battle with is to make a to do list. When I became overwhelmed because of procrastination, I would write down all the things I needed to finish and as I finished, I could cross them off and reward myself. The other biggest way to help this is to prioritize things. Yes, going out on a Thursday with all your new friends seems more enticing, but that test on Friday or Monday morning should be higher on the ladder.

4. Take Care Of YOU

A lot of people get sick in college and whether it be the flu or a small cold, it is so important to listen to yourself when you feel like you need to rest and take a day off because unlike being at home (unless you live at home during college) you'll have to still take care of yourself and do homework while you're sick. Another huge thing I learned was that having a good sleep, meal, and workout schedule is just as crucial as anything. Working out relieves stress and is honestly my favorite study break.

5. Find Your Passion

In college, especially at a university there will be an overwhelming amount of things to be involved in. There are clubs, intermurals, research labs, honoraries, jobs, Greek organizations, and so many others. My suggestion is to go to the club fairs you'll always hear about, ask new people what they're involved in, look online, and just do anything to get yourself involved in your school. This will expand you as a person and you are guaranteed to find something you love. For me, I realized I really enjoy writing even though my major is strictly science. Fortunately, I found the Odyssey Online and will continue to write even though I finished taking the required English classes.

6. Take A Break From School, At School

A huge piece of advice I can offer is to find balance for your studying and having fun. After you figure out what your successful studying schedule is, reward yourself when you can. In college, there will ALWAYS be something other than studying to do. It is definitely not a crime to go out and if that isn't your thing, there are so many other ways to take a break without leaving school.

7. Make Yourself Comfortable

You're going to most likely be living without your family and maybe even without any friends from home around you, so you need to find ways to make your space comfortable for you. Bring some stuff from home, like your favorite decorations or blanket and make your room somewhere you feel happy in. The rest will come naturally.

8. Don't Forget Your Friends

The last major piece of advice I have for someone who is new to college, is to keep your friends from home close. With social media especially, it is beyond easy to keep in contact with someone directly. Trust me, your friends will miss you and you will miss them and the best way to handle this is to stay in touch. You'll both have so much to tell each other, even before you reunite.

Beginning college is a very overwhelming time in anyone's life, but luckily you've read this and now know some of the secrets I learned from my first year at U of A. Good luck, you'll love it!

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If South Carolina Colleges Were Characters From 'The Office'

Who's Jim and who's Meredith?
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"The Office" is one of the best shows on the face of the planet. Don't believe me, you obviously haven't watched it. It has a character for everything, including all of the South Carolina colleges.

The Citadel

This one is probably the easiest. Creed Bratton. Hands down. Military all day every day. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors, except the people there. Just like Creed's mind.

Coastal Carolina University

Consistently voted one of the top party schools in the nation. #It'snotcollegeit'sCoastal.

Winthrop University

Winthrop is the place for future teachers. We all know that Meredith is the mother/teacher figure in the office, which is kind of scary in and of itself.

Columbia College

Erin just seems like the type of person who would go to an all-female college.

Bob Jones University

At what other school do you see people wearing things that could be from the American Girl large colonial dolls Spring line?

Wofford College

The pearls, Greek Life, and Southern fashion are so real.

Furman University

Let's be real. Pam is a bit of a nerd. But at the end of the day, she does know how to get down. I mean she WAS on the party planning committee. And who doesn't want that Ring By Spring?

College of Charleston

Nard Dog is definitely in an a capella group in Charleston, taking in the city and the history while dressing like a frat star.

Medical University of South Carolina

Andy isn't alone in Charleston. Dwight is down there becoming a doctor. Yes, someone who can save lives and is able to do surgery. Although, who else would you expect to be a doctor?

University of South Carolina

There would be no South Carolina without the University of South Carolina. There would be no office without Michael Scott. The later seasons prove it. They're large and in charge.

Clemson University

While Michael thinks that he runs the office, it's no secret that Jim is the mastermind behind the operation. The office would fall apart without him. I'll just let that sit.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Your Brain Is More Than A Bag of Chemicals

In David Anderson's 2013 Ted Talk, the Caltech professor discusses the downfalls of mental healthcare in our society, opening a discussion to wider societal issues.

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David Anderson, in his Ted Talk "Your Brain is Not a Bag of Chemicals" dives into the world of treatment for psychiatric illnesses, of scientific research, and of fruit flies. His goal, to explain the flaws in current treatments of mental illnesses and present how this downfalls could be resolved is clear throughout the talk. Through presenting his research, and speaking of novel contributions such as the actual discovery of emotion in fruit flies, Anderson displays the flaws in mental healthcare and demands more of the scientific world to resolve these downfalls.

As Anderson explains, the traditional view of mental illnesses is that they are a chemical imbalance in the brain. He states, "As if the brain were some kind of bag of chemical soup filled with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine." He explains the difference for typical treatments of physical ailments versus psychological ailments. As he describes it, physical ailments presented to a physician will lead to blood tests, biological assays, and various other factors to gather information about what is going on in the body so that a treatment plan can be well-suited to that issue. However, for psychological problems, the patient is often handed a questionnaire to assess the issues. These questionnaires, as he suggests, are insufficient in understanding the complexities that surround mental illnesses.

Of medication prescribed for mental illnesses, Anderson states, "These drugs have so many side effects because using them to treat a complex psychiatric disorder is a bit like trying to change your engine oil by opening a can and pouring it all over the engine block. Some of it will dribble into the right place, but a lot of it will do more harm than good." Anderson uses the example of dopamine and the model organism of fruit flies to explain this concept. He explains how in certain illnesses, such as ADHD, there is not a complete understanding of why there are features of learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Without this understanding, the treatment of just increasing the amount of dopamine in one's system is lacking.

Anderson suggests that pharmaceutical companies and scientists should do more research to not only discover the disturbances of neural pathways, which tend to be the real cause of mental illnesses, but to also develop new medications that attempt to resolve these specific pathways and specific receptors, rather than simply increasing the amount of a certain neurochemical. These new medications could and do revolutionize the way that mental illnesses are treated, and the efficacy in their treatment.

As a society, there is a general view of mental illnesses that varies greatly from the view of physical illnesses. Anderson, without directly discussing it, acknowledges this exact problem. He discusses the differences in treatments, but also the lack of resources that are put in to truly understand how to better treat mental illnesses as disturbances in neurophysiological components. Without, as a society, acknowledging and respecting mental illnesses for what they are, we are short-changing the 25% of the world who is directly impacted by these illnesses, and the countless loved ones who stand by those impacted. A shift needs to occur, and the research and ideas that Anderson presents are a wonderful scientific starting point for these shifts. However, if we as a society do not support the principles behind this science, do not support the concept that mental illness is much more than just being a little emotionally reactive, we are doing a disservice to the majority of the population.

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