The ABCs Of College Life

The ABCs Of College Life

What you should know about college, one letter at a time.

A- Autonomy

Independence is a new thing for you, but you learn many things in college. You learn time management, socialization and communication skills, and even how to do laundry. But, this is the time and place to find out who your are on your own.

B- Bookstore

The bookstore is basically the place where you spend all of your money on campus, besides Starbucks. It has the books in it, but also has spirit wear. Don’t forget to always look for a promotion and save a lot of money!

C- Community Outreach

Many colleges around the country have some type of way to get involved, whether it be an organization or just a trip to the Special Olympics. Every college offers a chance for students to give back to their school, or the community around it.

D- Division of Sports

It doesn’t matter the division you are in, as long as you are doing what you love. Coming from a D3 school however, you get to explore different sports! I’m debating whether to try something new and go out for cheerleading next semester!

E- Exercise

The "Freshmen 15" does not exist for everyone, but if you want to make sure you don’t catch it, go to the gym every once in awhile or eat a salad instead of dessert. Eating healthy isn’t impossible, but it does take commitment.

F- Food

Every college says their food is bad, but this isn’t always the case. The food is great and they offer many styles of food from sushi to burgers, and many desserts to choose from! They are also very accommodating for food allergies. However, don’t choose your college based on the food... unless they have soft serve, then choose that one.

G- Greek Life

Greek Life is a good way to feel the sense of community in a college. Sororities and Fraternities are a big part of most campuses, but you aren’t required to join one when you get to college. Don’t give into peer pressure to join one if you don’t want to, but their parties can be outrageous.

H- Honor’s Program

Feeling smart? Challenge yourself and join the Honor’s Program. With this program, you can receive special opportunities, such as seeing a broadway show, picking first in room selection, or even scheduling your classes early. Find out details about your school's honor's program and take the risk, it looks great on a resume!

I- Identity

Along with Independence, you get to discover your identity. It’s a fresh, new start in your life, and only you have the power to make it how you want it to be.

J- Jungle Gym

The dorms are like a Jungle Gym, people are everywhere and it can get loud at times. If the dorm is too loud, find other ways to study, such as in a common room or the library.

K- Kars

At some colleges, freshmen are not allowed to have cars, but just make friends with an upperclassmen and have them drive. Also, some schools have shuttles that take you from location to location most days of the week. But if you do have a car, and are allowed to use it on campus, Yay you!!!

L- Laundry

It’s finally time to learn how to do your laundry. Laundry is the next big commitment in your life and you should do it weekly, but it isn’t that bad. Be sure to pick a dorm with laundry in it, and don’t forget those quarters!

M- Major

No matter what your major is, you will make friends. You may have a friend group in your major, another group in your extracurricular activity, and another with your roommates. Majors are never set in stone so don’t be afraid to ask to change it if you are having doubts.

N- Niche

Find your niche at campus, there are many ways to get involved. Be part of a sports team, drama club, music club, or even poetry club! There are so many clubs and organizations you could join. Go venture around because you may fall in love with something unexpectedly.

O- Office Hours and Professors

Professors want to see you, they hold office hours for a reason! Also, be willing to talk to your professor about your performance in their class and don’t be scared to ask questions, you are more than just a number.

P- Partying

Do you come to college to study, or to party? Socialization is an important factor in college, but it should veer you too far from your academic goals and successes. A few parties a semester are always good, but there are other events on campus that are just as fun!

Q- Quit goofing around

This is college, not high school. Study because you need these classes to obtain a degree. You don’t want your first semester to be bad because you didn’t go to class or didn't do your homework. Professors in college are more strict about deadlines so get your work done in an efficient manner, and don’t procrastinate!

R- Resident Life

Resident Life helps you transition from high school to college by providing you with a residence assistant (RA). The RA is there to help you with any of your needs, whether it is something personal or even just studying. Your RA is a great resource in college.

S- Student Government

The Student Government Association (SGA) is another great way to get involved. As a team of student leaders, you are planning events and improving the campus so that everyone has the best college experience. SGA is a great way to gain leadership skills and make more friends!

T- Taxis

Taxis are a college student's worst nightmare, especially when they try to charge $3. They are all around and take you to wherever you need to go. Many do not charge a lot of money to get from one place to another.

U- Undeclared

It is perfectly fine to enter college as an undeclared major. Your college will help you make a decision with the resources they have, such as assigning you an academic advisor. You may start by taking your General Education classes in the beginning semesters, but they may put you into introductory courses that let you explore different majors.

V- Vacation

Vacation is all I ever wanted! There are only 30 weeks of college (in most colleges), which means you get about ten more weeks off than high school. Your winter and summer breaks are longer giving you plenty of time to go back home and eat as much food as you can stuff in your mouth!

W- Work

You always have a chance to work either on or off campus. Work study is offered on many campuses, giving you the opportunity to become a lifeguard, work in the library, or even become an Admissions Ambassador. Be sure not to work so much that you won’t have time do any school work, academics always come first!

X- X-perience

College is a one of a kind experience. It is the time to learn while socializing and participating in activities you have never done before. You get to make the most of it and you decide what you want. It's the start of something new.

Y- Your Free Time

Depending on your schedule, you will either have a lot of free time or none at all. Set away some time for yourself, but leave enough time to study for that big test.

Z- Zombies

8:00 A.M.'s are the worst classes, and students with these morning classes are lazy where they don’t even feel like walking to class. Don’t be that person and be efficient. If you’re that type of person, go to the gym before class and wake yourself up.

College is all about the connections you make and the education you receive. There is, however, a lot of socialization, but in the end, it is up to you to decide what path you want to take. It is your first experience of semi-full autonomy and you get to form an identity that will last longer than high school. With guidance and the many resources your school may provide, you will become something great. This list is just some facts of college, but the ultimate goal is to have fun!

Cover Image Credit: MSMC College

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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A Letter To Me, The Girl Who Overthinks Everything

It's a weakness and a strength.


Dear Me,

In the past few years of your life, you have hated yourself for your overthinking. I want to take the time to tell you right now that your overthinking is not always a weakness, but it's a sign of your strength. And you need to see that.

I know it's a dreadful feeling. A chill runs down your back. Your mind starts racing. You need to keep moving or your mind will start screaming. You think you'll go deaf from your own thoughts. There's no moment of peace. You think you're going insane.

You analyze the texts. You think back to the conversations. Why didn't she look me in the eye? Why didn't they smile? Should I have said that? Why did I say that? You analyze every little detail to see what it means to you. You relive every mistake over in your mind until you make it right. It never ends and you hate it. But did you ever ask yourself why your brain works this way?

In the first 18 years of your life, you've been through and have done a lot. Probably more than you would like to admit. As a daughter of immigrant parents, you grew up finding your way, often on your own in the world. You needed to figure out life while teaching your parents about it at the same time. While most kids wanted to fit in, you needed to make sure you kept your Vietnamese culture. You've converted religions. You've been betrayed by good friends. You've been fat-shamed...and more. There were times where life felt like it was punching you in the gut, a million times over and you didn't know how to take it. So now, you overthink it.

Why? Well, do you realize how hard you've worked to get to where you are? You're getting awards, scholarships, and you're going to a fantastic college this fall. That's not because you sat back to let things be handed to you on a silver platter all your life. Don't get me wrong. You've been given SO MANY good things in your life, but there was also a lot of bad. Life swung at you when you least expected it. But you're here, aren't you? You overthink because you know what it is like to be fooled, and you want to know that you'll never be caught off guard again. So when life comes to get you, you're making sure you're ready to kick right back.

Another thing... Many people say you overthink because you care what other people think of you. But that's not it. It's actually quite the opposite. You overthink because you over love. All you want is to make the people in your life happy because that's what makes you happy. Life put you in their life for a reason. So, you're giving them all you have. Every little action is a chance for you to do that.

You want to do it all in your life. You overthink everything because if you do something, you're gonna do it right. Your mind needs to keep working. That's what it does even when its not supposed to.

You're strong. But you weren't always this way. Your overthinking is simply a side effect from being caught in the storm for so long. You're in a great place and you're on the way to do great things. No one can stop you now. But you still overthink it so it stays that way. This is how your brain works. It's a part of you and shows how far you've come. You're perfectly okay.

With love,

You, The Overthinker

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