To The Girl Who Has A Title To Reclaim

To The Girl Who Has A Title To Reclaim

Sure this semester might not have been what you wished but you can reclaim your extraordinary title!
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There's a girl sitting at home because finals did not plan out the way she wanted. There's a boy calling his parents to let them know he passed all his finals and is headed home for Christmas. There are parents everywhere concerned for their children because they know final grades will be posted soon. To the girl sitting at home wondering what happened, this one's for you.

Christmas break has started and she's already stressed about the next semester. Grades are in and she realizes that maybe her mom was right. Her mom knew she was not trying hard enough, and her dad knew she was partying too much; neither said anything to her because they know she's growing up and she has to learn on her own. Well she sure did learn because looking at her student banner she realizes there are no A's present. She realizes something has to change.

As long as she can remember she has been extraordinary in school. In elementary school she read above the level she was supposed to and was bored because she finished her work early. In middle school she never had homework because she finished her class work and homework all before she even left school. Once in high school she had to study a total of thirty minutes maybe for tests.

She graduated high school fourth in her class with a 4.17 GPA. She received an academic scholarship to a community college. Once in college she realized things need to change all because of a B made on a test. This girl has never made a B on in anything in her life let alone a test.

Studying habits changed the first semester in college she adjusted well. Studying was more of a focus, but she still was spoon fed what was going to be on the test. The teachers ad difficult tests but there were still enough daily grades and other homework that made it easy to retain an A. She finished her first two years of college with all A's again, graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, and received an Associate's Degree.

So the thought runs through her head, that if she has maybe study a total of two hours for tests and quizzes the past two years in community college that that is all she'll have to do at a 4-year university. From the outside looking in people are looking at her like she's got this she's killing college. She even thought that.

Registered and ready to go at the new college, the 4-year university, she is excited. After the first round of tests in all her classes she realizes studying a max 2 hours was not enough. The tests scores are rough. She also realizes grades are spoon fed, or handed out. There aren't enough daily grades and other homework to retain an A anymore. The grades are based off some homework, but mostly tests.

Finals are around the corner and high gear has to be kicked in to try to make an A. Finals are now over, and she feels confident that her grades will be decent but not all A's as they have been in the past. Final grades are posted and here she sits contemplating everything she's ever worked for because she doesn't see a single A. Changes are coming for the girl who is now helpless and stressed out, and she realizes that she is going to change a lot next semester and reach her extraordinary potential again.

For the girl that is this girl it's going to be okay. You can fulfill your potential. This was a learning curve and learning was achieved. Lessons were taught and now the bar has been set and will be met once again. Remember you are extraordinary and you can reclaim your title as being that. Trust me you can because I am that girl and I will be doing it right beside you.


Cover Image Credit: Amanda Garrett Vest

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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