7 Things I Love About Dance Team

7 Things I Love About Dance Team

Joining a college dance team has its perks...here's why.

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Coming from a dance studio background, I was unsure whether or not I wanted to join a college dance team. Little did I know that dance team is far from what I've been used to for the past 15+ years. But now that I'm here, it's truly the best decision I've ever made. I've learned so much from my teammates, my coach and this program in general. I strongly encourage any dancer out there who is pondering about whether or not they should join a dance team to go through with it because it's a life-changing experience.

1. New Friendships

Téa Hayes

We all know that feeling when you're the "new girl". It can be intimidating at times, but once you meet the other people on the team and create a special bond the friendships become endless.

2. Game Day

Téa Hayes

Game days are the best days. Everything from getting ready to performing on the court in front of your entire school is what makes game day the absolute best. Being able to cheer for your school alongside with your best friends will always be my favorite kind of days.

3. Time Management

You don't have time to procrastinate. As a college student, we find it hard sometimes to balance everything we need to do in one day, week or even month. With this team, I'm able to stay super organized and over-prepared so I don't run into any problems with procrastination because I know I have to get my work done with the little time I'm given.

4. Nationals in Orlando

Téa Hayes

Although the season may have its up and downs at times, it all comes to this moment right here-nationals! We drive 3-4 cars down to Orlando to compete for a title in D1 Hip-Hop and Jazz! Currently we are SIXTH in the nation.

5. Knowing That You Aren't Alone

Téa Hayes

Yes. We all have those days where we feel like practice becomes inconvenient at times due to being stressed out from things outside of dance. Although you feel like you are the only one going through something like this, chances are someone else feels the same way on the team which can be comforting at times. In the end we always manage to get through it together.

6. Many... Many Inside Jokes

Téa Hayes

So many things happen at games, practice and outside of dance with this team that I'll never forget. Everything from the failed tricks at practice to the bad fake tans at games, it happens to the best of us. A lot of things happen behind the scenes that you would never expect to happen.

7. Getting To Do What I Love With The People I Love

Téa Hayes

Not only do I get to continue to do what I love most, but I get to do it with other people who love it just as much as I do. There becomes a special bond with every team each year because all of us are so different, yet the same at the same time. We are with each other almost every single day, so the friendships become stronger and stronger each day. It's rare to find a group of people that love you and the sport at the same time.

Being a part of this team will forever hold a special place in my heart. It's chilling to think about my goals in high school and how I've been able to accomplish most of them while being on this team. Nobody really understands the importance of the dance team, because people assume that it's not a sport. However, I would love for those who think that to come in and watch one of our long practices because I'm sure their opinion would change greatly.

Although the long hours of practices can be hard at times, it's comforting knowing that I'm not alone. Being able to walk into a practice stressed, frustrated and tired and walking out of practice stress-free, happy and ready to do anything speaks volume.

Dance team is hard work, dedication, team-work, love and encouragement. Somehow with a team full of girls and one boy we manage to check all of those things off of our list. It's a great feeling knowing that you are surrounded with such amazing teammates that would do anything for you. This sport is not about looking pretty and dancing for the fun of it, it's about getting shit done and leave this college with a national championship title. Don't worry, it'll happen before I graduate.

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs/Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out http://www.redbubble.com for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.


Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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