10 Things to Remember as the New School Year Starts

10 Things to Remember as the New School Year Starts

(And for the rest of your life)

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As the summer winds down and the reality of the school year begins to set in, here's a few things to remember as you begin the next adventure!

1. All You Can Do is Your Best

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Every year it seems that the pressure put on students by both adults and themselves only increases, especially as you get older. Everything is about the resume and getting great grades to get into your top school. You have to be that well-rounded student colleges are looking for. Ace the tests, make the honor role and the National Honor Society, and spend hours preparing for the SATs. Then what happens in college? You have to be the person employers are looking for, make the dean's list, be involved. All this being said, ALL YOU CAN DO IS YOUR BEST! One bad grade isn't the end of the world. A report card short of straight A's isn't going to throw the course of your world off. My mom always says, as long as you did your best, that's all you can do.

2. Don't Compare

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I did a lot of it the past two years of college, so I can personally attest to how bad this is. My self-confidence plummeted and I got in my head. So remind yourself that its not a race its a marathon and that slow and steady wins the race. If someone gets something in two tries and it takes you five, who cares! You still got it. Don't focus on the grade the person next to you got or how easy it seems that they can do things. Do what works for you, not what works for someone else.

3. Try Something New

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Every year is a chance to try something new! Join a club or organization that you've been interested in or challenge yourself to learn a new skill. You'll learn new information or a new talent and meet people that you might not have otherwise gotten the chance to!

4. Smile

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I am very much a believer that it is the small things that make the biggest difference. So "Say cheese!" and smile! Not only does it make you happy but it makes others around you happy as well! You never know what someone is going through, so take the time to smile to someone in passing on campus or in the halls.

5. Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

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There are so many ways to apply this to the new year. Maybe you're starting at a new school, or there is anew student in your class. I know its hard to do, but try to not make judgements about someone before you get to know them. You never know why someone is they way they are, why they talk or dress a certain way or believe what they do. As far as you know, that kid standing in the corner with the purple polka-dot sweater could turn out to be your best friend. Its also important to remember that some people might look like they have it all together, but you never know what they're going through or struggling with.

6. Take Time For You 

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Society today is one that is constantly going. We finish one thing and move right onto the next without stopping to take a break. We aren't aware of the world around us, not present where we are. Taking time for yourself is always important, especially during the school year. I know its hard to do but you really really really should try. Its very easy to get bogged down with homework, studying, work and other commitments that our schedules are wake up, eat, work and go back to bed. Take a break separate from all the stress and read a book, watch a movie, take a walk or go on a run, go grab food with a friend, call home or listen to music. Even if its just for a few minutes, it will make all the difference.

7. Have Fun

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The school year tends to be the polar opposite of summer. Summer time is a time of vacation, laughter and lots of fun! At least when I think of school, I think of hard work and studying and a schedule. But why not have fun during the school year! What good is it to spend the next ten months serious and studying? Hopefully you're able to make time to do something fun, but if not, use the trying something new experience or the time you take for yourself to do a fun activity or do something that will make you laugh!

8. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

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If I've learned anything this past year, its to take advantage of the resources that area available to you. If a teacher has office hours-use them... ask questions, clarify points or topics and go over tests. Not only is this beneficial to you, but it shows your commitment and determination to doing well in the class. But asking for help doesn't just apply to the academic aspect of the school year. School is stressful. I don't know anyone that would argue in disagreement. There are so many options when the stress becomes a lot-taking to family, friends or any other resources and people that are available to you on campus or back home. And its not just stress, but any other thing that is on your mind. Just ask!!

9. Manage Your Time

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I'll be the first to admit I do NOT manage my time well. No matter how many lists and day organizers I have, stuff always seems to get done much closer to the due date than I had hoped. ( I have a lot of organizers by the way-my planner, a wall calendar and sticky notes galore) If you are able to plan out your time, it will eliminate a little bit of stress and open up time to allow you to take time for yourself and to try something new!

10. Give Yourself a Pat on the Back 

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Give yourself credit! School and work are a lot on top of everything else going on in life. Balancing it all can make you feel like the circus clown trying to juggle bowling pins on top of the giant red ball. But you've survived another day and are doing a great job! Don't sweat the small stuff, smile and do your best and you're all set.

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Troy University Needs to Realize That There Are More Students Than Greek Life And SGA

"In unity, there is strength." - Riverdale

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At Troy University, there are three groups present on campus: those that are Greek, those that are a part of the Student Government Association, and those that are don't affiliate with either.

During my search for a college to attend, one of my stipulations was that I didn't want Greek life to be the only dominant force on campus (along with things such as cost, location, majors offered etcetera). Troy University boasts a Greek population of only 20% and this number intrigued me because, at many schools, it seems to be a higher percentage of students. However, after attending Troy University for a little over a semester now, I doubt this number because every time I turn around, another student is telling me about what sorority they are a member of, or about what fraternity they are a member of on campus.

And, admittedly, prior to the first SGA election, I was pretty clueless as to what SGA was because SGA was not a big deal at my high school. To be more truthful, I didn't understand the full extent of SGA until now while the SGA presidential race is happening.

Greek life isn't bad and those that are a part of Greek life aren't bad. The SGA isn't bad and those that are a member of the SGA aren't bad. It just feels like Greek life and SGA goes hand-in-hand for those that are independent and makes being involved on campus that much harder.

Those who ran for SGA will promote the fact they are a part of a sorority or fraternity, and thus, represent the student body; however, if only 20% of Troy's campus is Greek, how is this true? Something like this is what I mean. There's a lack of awareness that there is more to this campus than SGA and Greek life.

There just needs to be more attention brought to the lack of awareness of those who aren't Greek nor SGA.

For example, during Homecoming, independent organizations participated with the frats and sororities in events such as chalk the quad and making banners. Not one independent organization was promoted for chalk the quad, and I know, as a member of an independent organization, we had to ask to be recognized for winning a place for our banner. I am grateful that we were at least recognized but it shouldn't feel like fighting a war to be recognized alongside Greek organizations for completing the same activities.

This is an open plea to the new SGA President -- bring students together, all students because that is what will make Troy University a stronger college.

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A New Years Resolution Must PART 2

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**If you haven't read, A New Years Resolution Must, I wouldd take a peek at that real quick before you get too into this because it will make MUCH more sense :)

Quick thought before I get to the main point of my article:

I really really enjoyed the 25 Days of Kindness Cards and I definitely want to do something similar again in some way shape or form. I have not decided yet but in scrolling through some of the older articles I've written, I remembered what I wrote this past year for Lent. In 10 Things To Give Up For Lent Other Than That Favorite Candy Bar, I talked about writing letters to different people. My original plan was to write 40 letters, one for each day of Lent. It failed miserably. 40 is a lot! But I definitely think approaching that in the same way I wrote the 25 Days of Kindness Cards will be a better way to spend some time in reflection, not just during Lent, but during any point of the year. You don't just have to write a letter. You can just send the little quotes of kindness. Leave them in random people's mailboxes or slip them under a door or leave them on a bus seat or a park bench. You never know who'll need it.

NOT THAT LENT IS ANYTIME SOON... I don't want to rush the seasons. Just a thought or two to get you thinking if you were considering taking on something like this. Or maybe to get you thinking :)

Okay, now to the real point:

In keeping with the theme of my last article-spreading little bits of kindness all over-I wanted to share with everyone the 18 different kindness quotes that I put in each of the 25 Days of Kindness Cards. Like I said in the little blerb before, you don't even have to write a letter. Print these out and spread them out in your dorm building, across campus, or any other place you can think of. Save them and text a different one to a different person each day. Maybe these will be the few that get you going on your small acts of kindness journey!

How do we change the world? "One random act of kindness at a time"

Surprising Effects Of Kindness

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You will never regret being kind

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May every word that is ever spoken by our mouths or typed by our fingers be words that lift up and never words that tear down

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Be good to people. You will be remembered more for your kindness than any level of success you could possibly attain. 

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Kindness begins with me

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Kindness is like snow-It beautifies everything it covers. 

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Do small things with great love.  (Couldn't not put this one in there :) ) 

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Kindness is not an act. It is a lifestyle. 

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Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person's life. 

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One kind word can change someone's entire day

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Kindness is free. Sprinkle that stuff everywhere. 

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Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. 

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Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. 

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Be silly. Be honest. BE KIND. 

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Be the reason someone smiles today. 

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A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions. And the roots spring up and make new trees.

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You never know what light you might spark in others just through your kindness and your example. 

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I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love. 

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Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.

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Choose kind over cool. 

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