3 Reasons Why You Should Go Away To College

3 Reasons Why You Should Go Away To College

Choosing to go away to college can be tough, but it'll be one of the best decisions you ever make.

Your Senior year of High School can be one of the most exciting, confusing, exhilarating and terrifying years of your life. Not only are you closing an incredibly important chapter of your life, but you are also making huge decisions about where your future will take you, and that can lead to some intense decision making.

It feels like forever ago that I graduated high school, but when I did I had a solid plan in place. After a missions trip to Kenya, my heart changed and I decided to alter all my plans at the last minute, but I am so grateful I did! I chose to move a thousand miles away from home and go to college in a place where I literally knew nobody, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Since then, a lot of high schoolers have asked my advice on going out of state for school, so I wanted to share the top three reasons I believe you should go away to college.

1. You can truly start fresh.

A lot of teenagers tend to think that you really figure out who you’re going to be while in high school, but that couldn’t be more false. College is the place where you try new things, learn new things and meet new and different people. When you decide to attend college close to home, or somewhere you know a lot of people from high school, it can feel difficult to break out of your high school persona. People will know you, so they will assume you are the same old girl or guy. When you go away to college, you can be a different person, and truly figure out who you want to become. You have a genuine chance to be different and let that shape who you will become.

2. You will gain a different kind of independence.

Personally, I felt like I was a pretty independent person when I graduated high school, but going over a thousand miles away from home, made me realize just how much learning I still had to do. My Mom had always been the type of parent who made me figure things out for myself, but was always there if I needed help or had questions. I am forever grateful that she did that, because it made me try to figure things out on my own before running to her. When you go away to college, not only will you start becoming the person you want to be, but you will start becoming more and more independent. Your parents and family won’t be there to do things for you, so you’ll have to figure them out. You will truly begin to step into adulthood, which can be a good and bad thing!

3. You make lifelong friends.

Going to a school where I knew nobody, and my family was so far away was honestly terrifying. When I dropped my Mom off at the airport, the day before orientation started, I was overcome with a sense of fear, but then almost immediately it settled and became excitement. College is most often the place where you will make lifelong friends. When you go away to school and your old friends aren’t there to fall back on, you become more genuine in the way you make friends. I made some of my very best friends in college, and I don’t believe I would have made those same kind of friendships if I had stayed close to home. I couldn’t go home very often, so I started to form my own little family at school, and it was the best thing.

There are so many other reasons to go away to college, those are just a few that I believe truly stand out. Don’t get me wrong, going away to college is not for everyone, but if you are even thinking about it I would encourage you to try it out for at least one semester. I’m not going to lie and say it was easy, there were times where I was so homesick I would just curl up in a ball and cry, but I never let it stop me. After four years, and countless classes, I came out of that place with the sweetest friendships, a growth in myself that I don’t believe would have happened without that school, a great education and an incredibly hot husband.

Go away to college, try something new, be a different person, and don’t let fear hold you back from anything!

Cover Image Credit: Megan Hughlett

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Second Semester Blues

Here are some tips to make your second semester the best.

Coming back to school after nearly a month long break can be exhausting and overwhelming. Many people, including myself, spend a good portion of their break without glancing at a book or only open their laptop to watch Netflix. If the first semester wasn't the best for you, then here are some ways to ensure that your second semester will be great!

1. Take time for yourself

Living in a dorm can sometimes make it hard to have alone time. However, taking time for yourself is important for your mental health! Take a long shower, go for a walk, or go to the library by yourself once in a while.

2. Make sure you spend time with the people you love

Even though school can be overwhelming, do not let it consume your life. Spending time with friends and allowing yourself to be social is a huge key to happiness. Remember, humans aren't meant to be alone all the time.

3. Stay organized

Keep an agenda, take detailed notes, and go through all of your syllabi before going to class. Label all of your folders and notebooks so you know where your assignments are. Don't just cram everything into the biggest pocket of your backpack.

4. Don't wait until the last minute

I am guilty of waiting until the night before to study for an important test. Don't let that be you this semester! Studying a little bit each night is so much more effective than waiting until the last minute.

5. Get on a good sleep schedule

This can be really hard, especially in college. Last semester I had an 8 A.M. and I was always exhausted because I stayed up late every night. Be sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour so that you aren't tired the next day!

Good luck this semester everybody!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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10 Things English Majors Are Sick Of Constantly Hearing

"Oh you chose an easy major."

English majors get made fun of for choosing an "easy major" and catch a lot of flak for it. Here are ten things that English Majors are sick of hearing.

1. What can you do with that other than teaching?

Well, business, education, many people who go to med school or law school have degrees in English. There's also writing, publishing/editing, law enforcement, politics and an almost endless list of job sectors that English majors can join.

2. Oh, you chose an easy major.

Yeah, okay, Sharon. The "easy major". Honey, any English major will tell you we love reading and writing, but these essays are brutal. Plus, I don't know about your university, but here in the UNC Charlotte English Department, they don't just offer an English B. A., they offer different concentrations such as "Literature and Culture", "Creative Writing", "Pedagogy", "Teacher Licensure", and "Language and Digital Technology" (which is your girls' concentration). Plus we have awesome minors which include, "Linguistics" (my minor), "English", "Children's Literature and Childhood Minor", "Diverse Literature and Cultural Studies", and "Technical/Professional Writing". There are many different avenues that you can take and it was definitely not an easy major!

3. It must be fun reading novels for homework

Yep! Until I have to analyze every possible symbolic meaning and read Chaucer in Old English, not the translations, but the original Chaucer. But again, my concentration is in Language and Digital Technology and Linguistics. I study how people use language, English specifically, to communicate with each other interpersonally and digitally and how language changes over time.

4. So could you not settle on a major?

No, I could. I wanted to be a nurse, but that involved too much math and science for me. I was originally an education major, but that would take a biology class and a year longer than the English major (which I am totally in love with by the way). But I've also always been interested in editing or copywriting. Although, the ultimate dream is to have some of my work published.

5. Aren't you worried you won't make money?

Uh, no? I'm pretty sure I can get a job that pays. Fast food pays, retail pays, you see where I'm going with this? I'm more worried about getting insurance before I'm 26 so that I can afford to get my gastro and asthma meds. Especially since I'll be 25 when I graduate.

6. Aren't you worried about employers not taking you seriously?

If there were a YouTube video of me doing the cinnamon challenge or tide pod challenge, then absolutely. But, the associate's degree that I earned and now the bachelor's degree that has taught me to communicate concisely verbally and on paper, taught me to understand communication and language, along with my resume, the answer to that is no, no I'm not worried about an employer taking me seriously. Especially since English majors are employed in a wide variety of job sectors. But thanks for your concern.

7. What if you end up doing education because you couldn't do anything else?

Well, first things first. Thanks for the vote of confidence you Negative Nancy you! My answer is great! It was one of the things that I wanted to do anyway. I love literature and would be stoked to teach a British Lit class and have an excuse to fangirl over Austen, Dickens, and hopefully, see how they relate the plotlines from the stories to today's society.

8. But how would your degree be useful?

To be honest most companies would benefit from English majors. We write well, we communicate well, we have great story-telling backgrounds that could benefit in a marketing area and that can help open your business to a variety of new audiences, and we are taught to "read between the lines".

9. But you need connections for editing and publishing, will you just do freelance? That's not a very stable job.

Okay, Carol. Go Google and come back so we can talk. Connections in any job you want are helpful. Portfolios, a good resume, and a decent interview for a job that you qualify for will also help me earn a job.

10. You don't think that this will help you become a famous writer do you?

Okay, um, no. Don't get me wrong, I would absolutely love to have my play produced or the book that I have been working on for years, or the movie I have been working on for two years now. But I'm under no illusion that this will only help me with the theory of writing and communication and not the actual marketing of it. I'm also well aware, as we all are, that this would not shoot us straight into the throws of fame. Heck who said that all English majors want to do is write anyways?

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

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