You Got This!

You Got This!

Take a deep breath!

Going to college is scary, especially when you're “dis”abled. A million questions pop into your head. Like, who’s gonna feed me, or what if my aide doesn't show up? I'm not going to sugarcoat this, and say it's going to be easy peasy lemon squeasy. Truth is, it's hard as hell! But you got this! Take it from me, I have Cerebral palsy which means that I can't talk or walk. After I got my acceptance letter from the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, WI, I had the same questions that you probably have. Deep down inside, I was a scared little girl. I wanted to hide behind the covers, and never come out. But I have a semester under my belt, I got this! Here's some tips that can help you through this transition, and hopefully it can reassure you that you can do this.

1. You can do this!

When you want to give up, DON’T! You can do this! Keep your head up high, you don't want that crown to fall!

2. Be friends with your aides.

They aren't robots, they're just there to help you.

3. Your aide might not come.

Calm down, take a deep breath. This definitely tests your patience. Just email or text the company and they should get someone ASAP! If they don’t, then kick some butt!

4. When you're feeling overwhelmed

I know you have a zillion things on your mind, but it's okay! You're going to be just fine. Take it like a grain of salt.

5. You procrastinated.

Calm down, it's okay.… do it now, and drink Mountain Dew!

6. You don't think that you can turn the homework on time.

Just email your professor and be honest. Professors love when you contact them because it shows “responsibilities.”

7. Be social.

Forget “don't talk to strangers.” Talk to them! It isn't high school where the “cool” kids didn't talk to you. College is a wonderful world where people are accepting.

8. Go out for clubs and organizations!

This leads you to more friends that could lead to more opportunities. AND it's looks great on your job applications!

9. Midterms and finals week aren't that scary.

Sorry, I lied. They're just horrible!


You can do this. I believe you can kick ass! It's hard, I know but it's all worth it.

11. When you get your diploma, think of Lydia! Yeah, she believed in you and she didn't even know your name!

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38. When vacationing by airplane, try to fit everything into a carry-on.

1. Dispute ALL tickets... even if you were going 35mph over the speed limit.


How can it hurt? If anything you can save yourself some money.

2. If you're not 10 minutes early, you're late.

Your boss, your teachers, your co-workers... They all notice. Be the early one.

3. If you find yourself waking up feeling miserable, start the day by making your bed and washing your face.

Coming back to a made bed after a sh*tty day can change the world.

4. It's okay to fall off track once in a while. You'll only be wiser for next time. (Don't push it, though!)

When I say fall off track I don't mean COMPLETELY off... Just make sure you hold onto something that reminds you to keep going. You'll figure it out... Sometimes it takes years and that's okay.

5. Don't fight your family. They ARE always going to love you.


I used to fight my family and try to push them away... It was probably the dumbest thing I've ever done looking back. So, even if you say, "I'm never going to like them!" Trust me you will. Unless they're actually toxic a**holes...

6. Mom actually, seriously, literally, insanely knows everything.

It's crazy, I swear my mom is psychic. Or she can see the future. I used to do the opposite of what she said and my life was messier... Now that I found out about her powers I listen and things run smoother. Weird. Love you, Ma.

7. If an elder in your family tries giving you money as a gift or to cover lunch... Reject it first.

They won't stop insisting and they will force you to take the money even if you say no 3,000 times. So why not earn some brownie points and act like you seriously didn't need it. Meanwhile, you know how badly you need it.

8. An e-mail and/or a phone call goes a long way.

Don't pester... But if you're the one who calls to "follow up on a resume," a week or two after you applied, you're the standout!

Also, as a college student, I find e-mailing and staying in touch with professors builds a relationship and engraves your name into their brains. As long as you're good at writing e-mails and a good student, they'll usually instinctively like you more; seeing how much effort you spent on communicating.

9. If you hate school, just suffer through the attendance, and make sure the teacher knows your name.

Even if you actually have no idea what Descartes sixth meditation is about... Just show up, do the work consistently, and build a relationship with the teacher. They won't fail you if they see effort. (Just don't give them a reason to!)

10. It seems like the end of the world sometimes... it's not.

"And this too shall pass."

11. If you hate yourself one day (or even all the time), just pretend you don't.

Did you know our facial expressions can influence our emotions?

12. Line up another miserable part-time job before quitting your current one.


Waitressing, customer service, reception... We've all been there and it usually sucks (Unless your parents spoil you too much). So, if you need to get the hell out of there, make sure you have somewhere else to go before you quit. And give 'em a notice in advance, don't be a d*ck.

13. Traveling is the best thing in the world.


I don't need to explain much more. I think we can all agree we want to witness the beautiful parts of this world we've never seen before.

14. If someone doesn't say thank you when you hold the door for them...

...hit them with the classic under-your-breath-but-you-know-they-heard-you type of "you're welcome!"

15. Respect authority, even if you think you're right.


Just FULLY cooperate and it WILL be easier. It's also great to make friends with authority figures. Talk to everyone! Make connections and maybe you'll learn something new.

16. Spend time outside and in public.

After high school, you aren't forced into a classroom five days a week where you will have to socialize. After high school, you can decide to chill in your room and do nothing. But seriously don't make a habit out of it, you will end up feeling like crap when you realize you have no friends.

17. Don't roll your eyes at people.

So rude. Eye-rolling just makes it look like you're admitting you're wrong and you have no defense to whatever made you roll your eyes.

18. Life's a b*tch and then you die... But guess what? Even B*tches have fun!

mean girls

News flash, we are currently all in the process of dying. Stop worrying so much and try to have fun even in the dullest of moments.

19. If you're speaking about something professional, call don't text.

You do realize we still have a call feature on the iPhone, right? Use it.

20. Decorate the Christmas tree with your family amidst your teen angst.


It really seems like a horrible excursion to pile into a mini-van, cut down a tree in the freezing cold, and then hang shiny balls while developing a rash on your hand from the prickles... But down the road, you'll regret not doing it.

21. The D.A.R.E. program makes it seem like drugs are just freely handed out.


That sh*t's expensive. And you don't want to do it, anyway (Minus weed it's harmless, just wait until you're old enough!) .

22. Smile and say hi to as many people a day as you can.

You never know if you just made someone feel a little better or accepted.

23. Make sure the E-brake is OFF.


It will sound like you're dragging a dead body attached to your car and will ruin your brakes. Just double check.

24. Use all your resources even when it seems pointless.

Even if you learn absolutely nothing, you gain connections.

25. What's most important in life?


26. Know how to swim.


It is a basic skill everyone should know. You don't need to be Phelps. Just doggy paddle if you're really that bad.

27. If you don't have a firm handshake, learn how to, a**hole.


If you are a lady shaking a man's hand, strive to have a firmer grip than him. You'll either scare the sh*t out of him, gain serious respect, or get complimented on how great your handshake is! That's my favorite compliment if I'm being honest.

28. Step back and think before you explode.

Seriously dude, don't press send. You probably used the words, "like" and "literally" too much in your text, anyway. Wait 10 minutes and see if it's worth it.

Also, it's better in person.

29. Question everything.


Never assume you're safe or well-informed. There could be a murderer in that restaurant... Question anything that you aren't sure of. Hell, even question what you are sure of.

30. Don't trust a headline or statistic until you know it's credible.

What if you're looking at a bar graph from 1968, not 2018? You might think this is obvious, but there are clearly plenty of people who share false information. We've probably done it ourselves before. We should all work on that.

31. Park far from the store.


Walk, you lazy youthful soul. Unless you require a handicap spot or weather conditions are poor.

32. Take the stairs.

"I have no time to workout!" *takes elevator*

33. Don't text people when you want to tell them how you feel.

It only makes you feel good for like 20 seconds and then you'll probably read it back saying, "What was I thinking?"

34. Have something to be proud of.

Otherwise, you'll get lost. Life is confusing.

35. Listen to old school music, the classics, and artists who inspired what we hear today.


We cannot let the real instruments die people. Do you know how fun a jam band show is?

36. If you're inspired, act fast.

Don't let inspiration slip away. Sometimes it's easy to forget that great feeling.

37. If you start, finish.

Finish what you start and do the best you can at it. We all have off days, that doesn't mean you suck if you mess something up a few times.

38. When vacationing by airplane, try to fit everything into a carry-on.


You don't want your favorite bikini stowed in the wrong plane when you go on vacation. Plus you spent all of your money on Corona's and can't buy a new one.

39. Change your oil.

Love your car and it will try to love you back.

Good Luck!

Cover Image Credit: Emily Fahey

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Working For Myself Is A Truly Great Experience That I Don't Plan To Let Go

Some people will live the greatest life in the world. With a 9-5 job or not, I'm at least going to try.

Let's make something perfectly clear. I do not think jobs are stupid. Nor do I think everyone should be an entrepreneur, and nor do I think that everyone is cut out to do the work of an employee.

At the same time, I'm not sure if I always will be an entrepreneur. I don't know whether or not I will be the CDO of a major company, nor do I know if I will end up becoming a journalist at a real-life ACN. I'm 16. But so far, I think entrepreneurship has done me well. And there's a reason why I love it so much.

Building my own thing, it's taught me a lot... more than I've ever learned in school. It's taught me how to produce, how to have a work ethic, how to establish connections, how to lead with grace and how to be your own moral compass.

It's given me the opportunity to change myself over and over again, and to learn an astonishing amount from mistakes I make, the successes I gain. There was once a time in my life where I would procrastinate in ways undefiable to man, seriously pushing everything I had to do to the last minute.

I would get unimaginably distracted. I didn't know anything about leadership (I still don't know all that much, but I'd say I know a fraction more than before). To me, entrepreneurship started as an experiment of me just doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. Writing, designing, speaking of anything that sparked my interest.

That right there, that's the key point... interest. Before, I was only subject to the woes of school: required subjects, early wake ups and testing. And to me, doing that isn't exciting, inspiring, full of energy, stunning immaturity and grit-full of the surprise that life takes you by.

It simply wasn't something that sparked my interest. The freedom that entrepreneurship has given me, the freedom to explore whatever I want, experiment whatever I want, fail whenever I may, try again how often I want and experience as much as I can has been unmatched by any formal education I remember receiving.

But more importantly, it changed me. It changed the kind of guy I was and who I wanted to be. What I wanted to fight for in my life, what I had a passion for, what I thought, how I thought and how I perceived the world.

Building and working on my own projects makes me become a harder worker. It made me want to fight for educational freedom, for creativity and for inspiration.

Learning so much so fast, that's an experience that I can't find myself wanting to live without. The stunning marvel of being able to experience a hint of life and to learn so much from it...that's something I can't find myself wanting to live without, and so far, for me, and from my experiences, working for myself seems to have been the best solution to help me get there.

I know that entrepreneurship is risky. And I know that it takes a lot to make it work. I also know it is an unpredictable path. But for me, it also means I won't regret as much.

It means I'm going to learn a lot. It means I'm going to get to meet great people and do what I want. Maybe I won't earn much money, maybe I will. Maybe I won't get fame, maybe I will.

But I'll have a thrilling experience in my life. I'll learn a lot. I'll get to create things. That's what entrepreneurship has given me and what I think it won't fail to give me. A great experience, For me, that's worth the risk.

Maybe the chances are I won't change the universe, get rich or famous and walk on a red carpet. But I know damn well that I'm at least going to try to grasp and learn whatever I can.

Cover Image Credit: Shaurya Pandya

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