​7 Things That You Absolutely, Positively Need To Survive In College

​7 Things That You Absolutely, Positively Need To Survive In College

Like maybe a sleep schedule?
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I know there have been about a million posts that have listed in great detail all of the things to bring with you to college. While I’m sure by now you all know to pack your rain boots, here are a few extras that I have learned after my first few months that become vital as soon as you enter a college campus.

1. Spotify Premium

Spotify was great before I got here, but music is a NECESSITY. If you’re studying, music is great. If you’re just chilling in your dorm, music is great. If you’re hanging with friends, music is great. Spotify offers seemingly infinite amounts of playlists that can help you find some background music for you to study to. Find your golden playlist and roll with it. This is so important.

2. Study Spaces

If you have downtime to roam campus before your classes start, it will be so helpful to go study space shopping. If you have a large enough library, this is a good place to start looking. There are so many little nooks in libraries that you’re bound to find something that suits your needs. Additionally, it might be helpful to scout for available outlets near your spaces in question and the hours on the building. I have already pulled many a late night and it’s only been a week. At BGSU, I highly recommend the stairs of the Wolfe Center. Very aesthetic, very quiet.

3. A Sleeping Schedule

This more of one of those things that I look hopefully at wishing that I had. It is so important to establish this because those 8 a.m.s are going to suck even worse when you were up until 3 a.m. hanging out with your friends.

4. An Organization System

In the past, I have been so flakey with trying to keep up with any sort of organization system that I have tried. I’ve tried bullet journaling, whiteboards, and various apps and none seemed to work for me. I have now devised a color-coded to-do list and planner combo that seems to be working well for me. Disorganization is not a luxury that you get. Take some time to figure out what’ll work well for you.

5. Confidence

I am not, nor will I likely ever be a super out-there kind of girl. However, DO NOT crawl into your own little comfortable bubble and exist solely within it. College is a great place to go out there and meet new people. Just even the tiniest bit of confidence or courage works wonders in terms of “the college experience.” Try some new things.

6. Breakfast Foods

I am a firm believer in breakfast and I reaaally thought that my desire for breakfast would allow me to get up early and stop by one of the dining halls. I thought wrong. Waking up is nowhere near one of the highlights of my day and it’s so nice to be able to just grab something in your room before you go. You will not regret it.

7. Some comfortable, nicer clothes

You’re gonna meet some attractive people in your classes. You’re not gonna want to be dressed to the nines after you just walked across campus. Some comfortable, cute clothes are the perfect medium for this problem. Of course, anyone who’ll be worth it, in the end, won’t care that you’ve been wearing the same sweats for the last three class periods.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Getting Straight A's In College Is Not Worth Failing Your Mental Health

A's are nice, but you are more than a letter.

Kate
Kate
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The idea of getting an A on every paper, every exam, every assignment, seems great. It can be known as a reassurance of our hard work and dedication to our 4+ classes we attend every single day.

Losing sleep, skipping meals, forgetting to drink water, skipping out on time with friends and family; these are the things that can occur when your letter of an A is what you are living for.

You are worth more than the grade letter, or the GPA number on your transcript.

Listen, don't get me wrong, getting A's and B's definitely is something to feel accomplished for. It is the approval that you did it, you completed your class, and your hard work paid off.

But honey, get some sleep.

Don't lose yourself, don't forget who you are. Grades are important, but the true measurement of self-worth and accomplishment is that you tried your best.

Trying your best, and working hard for your goals is something that is A-worthy.

Reserve time for yourself, for your sanity, your health, your mental health.

At the end of the day, grades might look nice on a piece of paper, but who you are and how you represent yourself can be even more honorable.

Kate
Kate

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My Future Career Is More Than A 'Glorified Babysitter' Position, Despite What You May Think

I am an education major and extremely proud of it.

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This is a topic that has been on my heart a lot this week. As an Education major, I've heard it all. "Do you know how much teachers make?" Yes. "You ACTUALLY like kids?!?" Yes, I LOVE them. "Why would you do that to yourself?" Because I love it. Because I love being an Education major, I've become extremely passionate about defending it. However, I'm getting tired of feeling like I have to.

This career choice is something that I'm proud of. I know that being a teacher means sacrificing several things. I know that it means sacrificing your financial security. I know that it means sacrificing your ability to not be constantly thinking about 30 other kiddos all of the time. I know that I'll be sacrificing my right to be selfish. If you think about it, everything that a teacher does is utterly selfless. They dedicate their entire college career and teaching career to make sure that YOU understand the material. They spend several chunks of their own money on their classroom to provide an environment that enhances your learning. It's selfless. And it takes a person who recognizes that fact to be a teacher.

Teaching also has many dimensions, that nobody actually thinks about. For example, the class description for one of my classes says that it "Focuses on multicultural and interdisciplinary literature appropriate for middle grades students; implements and evaluates effective multicultural, interdisciplinary instruction through selection, use and development of literature in middle grades classroom" (TAMU catalog). Within this class, I was required to authenticate texts (make sure that they're culturally appropriate), learn about how to build a culturally-diverse classroom library, and how to teach without microaggressions. And these things only scratch the surface of the content that I was required to know for this class. People seem to forget that this is only one aspect of teaching, making sure everyone feels included socially and culturally. So please tell me how "glorified babysitter" fits into this description.

Also, good teachers work extremely hard. A good teacher knows that every child is on a different level and teaches so that each child understands that material. Good teachers present the material in a way that visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners can understand. They use a strategy called differentiation to "instruct a diverse group of students, with diverse learning needs, in the same course, classroom, or learning environment" (Glossary of Education Reform). Also, there will always be special education kiddos who come into the general education classroom for a subject or two, and it's important that good teachers have a lesson prepared specifically for that student that meets their IEP goals. These IEP goals are "Annual goals are statements that identify what knowledge, skills and/or behaviors a student is expected to be able to demonstrate within the period of time beginning with the time the IEP is implemented until the next scheduled review" (naset.org).

Teachers also have to worry about the kiddos who come from broken, abusive, and low socioeconomic households. One of the biggest things that I have learned so far is that a hungry student is a distracted student. There are several students that go to bed hungry and don't eat a lot over the weekend because their family cannot afford it. It's important to know that if you're going to get a student to listen to you, you've gotta keep some crackers or trail mix with you at all times in case they cannot focus because of their lack of food. With that, the other battle with teaching is handling the parents. Some are wonderful, others... not so much. I haven't had to experience this yet personally, but I'm prepared.

The key ingredient in being a good teacher is not the lesson you prepare, but the relationships that you develop with your students. I have sat through countless classes, and not once have I remembered the material taught word for word, but I have remembered the relationship that I've had with the teacher or professor. Being a teacher means that:

"students want to know that you care before they care about how much you know"

Building a relationship with 30+ kids is hard, but it's possible. You have to know that it's okay to admit your personal struggles and show that you are not a robot. Having a relationship with your kids means apologizing when you realize that you taught or did something wrong. Having a relationship means caring about things that students also care about. If they're concerned about something, it's your job to ask about it. Being a relational teacher means asking yourself: "what can I learn from my students today?"

I cannot wait to be a teacher, which entails a lot more than a "glorified babysitter". I cannot wait to teach the future generation everything that they need to know to be successful. I cannot wait to build really cool relationships with them, and see the graduation invitations from them when they graduate with master's degrees from somewhere. I am excited to love on my students and do something with my life that is worthwhile.

However, I know that I am not the only major who feels like they must defend themselves from the rest of society. What I've learned is that everyone will not understand you or what you love. Our job is to educate them respectfully. Every career choice is valid. Everybody does a different job in this world for a good reason. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and that's a good thing! Someone whose brain is wired to be a car salesman probably would not thrive as a scuba diver. Someone who is extremely good at math should probably not try to pursue a career in teaching collegiate literature. We're all different and we all have different passions. Not everyone will understand, and that's okay. Let's do our part to help them understand.

I am a future teacher, and I'm proud of it.

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