To All High Schoolers Getting Ready for College

To All High Schoolers Getting Ready for College

These are the 10 things I learned and wish I had known before freshman year.
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Going to college is super exciting, but for upcoming freshmen, it's something completely new. To everyone who is about to enter college, I can assure you, you will have a blast! You are going to make new friends, learn so many different things, and grow tremendously. Although it has been amazing so far, there are a couple of things I wish I would have known before entering college as a vulnerable freshman.

1. Not everyone Is going to like you

I have always been a people pleaser and didn't have much drama in high school. I came into college thinking my first college roommate was going to be my best friend and everyone was going to love me. Boy, was I wrong. From day one, my roommate was not particularly fond of me. We had two completely different ideas of how our year would go and she actually ended up moving out. I just want to make it clear, roommate disagreements are going to happen and it is totally okay! When you're living with someone full time, you are sometimes going to do things that get on your roommate's nerves and they are bound to do the same to you.

We are humans and we're not perfect! It's also okay if you can't stand your roommate and need a switch like me and my first roommate. Hopefully, it won't happen to you, but it does happen and no one really prepared me for it!

So how did I deal with it? Well now that my roommate is gone, I have a single room to myself, but my friends basically live in here with me and I wouldn't have it any other way. My advice for picking your roommate is to really get to know them before you seal the deal. You might appear to look like you would get along on the outside, but just because you both have monogram everything doesn't mean you guys are perfect roommate material.

Talk about your social life, when you go to bed, whether you're a neat freak or a slob, and things that would be a deal breaker for you. Those are the important things that really matter when you're choosing a roommate.

2. College IS NOT a full time party

Okay, so we've all seen those movies where college is portrayed as an endless party and you don't really see much but friends laughing and having a good time. Yeah, college is very fun and my friends and I are constantly laughing, but we're also constantly studying for huge exams, writing 10 page essays, and trying to figure out impossible math problems.

I really struggled trying to figure out how to keep a balance between my social life and my academics first semester. FOMO (the fear of missing out) is a real thing, but your friends aren't going to abruptly disappear because you were in the library all night. Keep your grades up, after all that is the real reason why we're in college, right?

3. It is okay to make mistakes!!

Not a lot of people really talk about this one, but we are young and it is okay to goof up sometimes. The important part is to learn from our mistakes! If you thought Jimmy seemed like the perfect guy and you found out apparently he was perfect to Helen and Susie too, it's okay!

You, my friend, have just learned that not all boys are men in college and you should probably keep your guard up and not fall for every boy who seems charming. You are probably going to accidentally sleep in and skip a class at some point, you might be wasting your time messing around with guys and all of a sudden you realize that is not the life you want to live, it's all okay, college is where you become intelligent not only in the classroom but in the real world also.

We're all finding out about ourselves and it's fine to experiment and do things out of our comfort zone sometimes. Just be safe, smart and have a good time!

4. You are going to miss your family

It is so different living away from your family. I truly took for granted all those home cooked meals, birthday celebrations, and just good 'ole family time. I call my parents everyday walking to classes just because I miss them. It is so nice to receive a care package from them, but just calling them or writing them a handwritten letter can mean so much to them.

You are definitely going to miss your family, but remember this is a big milestone for not only you, but them too and you have no idea how much they are really going to miss you. Don't forget about your siblings either! Even if they will never admit it, they are going to miss you also. My little sisters text me all the time and tell me to come back home. Spend time with them on breaks and let them know how much you appreciate them.

5. Save money

A lot of universities do not allow freshman to have cars on campus. Not having my car on campus has put a huge hole in my pocket, simply because of Uber.

I'm pretty sure I have spent $250 this entire year on Uber, but hey if you're okay with walking everywhere and sticking to campus dining, you do you. You're going to need to budget and find a way to make your money last throughout the year, but you're also going to want to be able to go out with your friends and splurge a little.

As my dad says, college is the one time in your life where you can and should be selfish. Live a little and make some memories!! I have a job at a local donut shop 10 minutes from my dorm that I work at only on weekends so I still have time to do schoolwork.

Having this job allows me to be able to put money in my savings account and have a little money to throw around sometimes. Another suggestion is a Summer job, because what else are we going to do for 3 months without school work? My lifeguard job has been a tremendous help for buying dorm decor and college necessities.

Pro tip: Start buying all of your dorm decor and supplies as soon as possible, but get the big items you want first and gradually get everything else you need.

6. Keep yourself healthy

Oh my, this one is serious. The freshman 15 is REAL and almost unavoidable. I have some tips that can help you, but seriously prepare and get ready for this one. Never, ever take elevators, always take the stairs.

At my university, people drive around on golf carts and ask if you need rides. ALWAYS say no. Do the extra walking, you'll thank me later. Oh and beware of the campus dining hall. Those ice cream machines will stare you down and trick you into thinking you really need that ice cream cone to cope with the stress of all your assignments, but that is not true!

Exercise really helps with stress, go to the gym! There is a campus gym for a reason. If you really don't feel like going to the gym, go for a walk.

Call your parents and just walk and talk! Also, remember to drink plenty of water. You only get one body so treat it right! Another thing you need to remember is make time for yourself and do things for you. I really take pride in having a clean room and as strange as it sounds, it makes me feel so good to have my room spick and span.

Your mental health is so important to keep healthy, if you are stressed, take a sticky note and write down everything you need to do. It will feel so good to cross things off. Another suggestion is a notebook. Sometimes it just feels good to write down your feelings or go to that friend that you will make and talk to them about whatever is bugging you.

Remember your parents, sometimes I just call my parents to tell them my agenda for the day and it feels so relieving to have my thoughts in order. Always put your health first!

7. Get some sleep!

I've got to be honest, this one I'm still working on. If you are not a morning person like me and struggle to wake up even with an alarm set, try to refrain from taking 8ams. Or just go to bed at a reasonable time and don't procrastinate by starting your essays at 12am! I am really speaking from experience here. Last semester I would stay up watching horror movies with my friends until 4am when I knew I had to wake up early the next day.

Don't do this, I learned the consequences the hard way. Set a bed time goal for yourself and make sure you aren't starting all of your assignments at that time. Power naps are also a necessity in college. You are going to want to take as many of them as possible, just make sure you aren't taking them in class!

8. This is where you are most likely going to meet your life-long fiends

After being in college for 8 months, I can honestly say I know I have already met some of my life-long friends here. The best thing about this one is there's no preparing for it. In high school, it was so different. Everyone was trying to fit in, but in college you have the ability to be yourself and people are going to love you for it.

Think about all of the adults who say "college is the best years of your life." Do you think they say this because of those endless lab reports you have to do every week? No, its because of the people and the memories you are going to make. College is cool because your college friends are all right there struggling with you and you can all relate and understand what you guys are going through.

Those days when you really miss your parents, when you fail a bio test and are really down about it, when you're upset because you think of the time you wasted with Jimmy, your friends can relate so hard because they are all feeling the same things. They're really going to be there for you just like you will be there for them. Don't worry, high school is almost over and college, the best years of your life, is about to start.

9. Be the teacher's pet

Guess what. In college its not weird to actually want to do well in school! So be a teacher's pet. If you know you are not going to make it to class, e-mail your professors and ask what you missed. Visit office hours, pay attention in class and be active in participation! Oddly enough, not many people do these things and professors love to see this happen.

There's a myth that college professors don't care if you succeed or not. If you show them you are trying and really want to do well in their class, they will try their best to help you succeed. Be organized and keep a calendar at your desk that has all of your assignments on it that you can visibly see. Print out all of your syllabuses and make sure you are on top of all of your assignments. In college, you are not reminded about big assignments that are coming up like in high school.

I accidentally learned this the hard way in my french class. I totally skipped over a part on the syllabus that talked about an assignment that was worth 10% of my grade. Do not do this!! Be prepared and know your due dates and assignments. If you have any questions, e-mail your professors or make friends in your classes and start a study group. Find what works best for you and keep up the good work because it will all be worth it in the long run!

10. Time flies fast!

It feels as if move in day was just yesterday. Here I am approaching my last couple weeks of school and I am not ready for it to be over. Make memories, take lots of pictures, grab dinner with your friends, and just enjoy your time because before you know it, it will be over. Do the things you have always wanted to do. If you love to sing, join an a capella group, if you really like basketball, join the club team or even try out for the varsity team. The worst type of regret is not doing something you love, so go for it and have fun!!

Cover Image Credit: Waverly Atkinson

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5 Things I Learned While Being A CNA

It's more than just $10 an hour. It is priceless.
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If I asked you to wipe someone's butt for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to give a shower to a blind, mentally confused person for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to simply wear a shirt stained with feces that was not your own for 12+ hours for $10 would you do it?

You probably wouldn't do it. I do it every day. During the course of one hour I change diapers, give showers to those who can no longer bathe themselves, feed mouths that sometimes can no longer speak and show love to some that do not even know I am there all for ten dollars.

I am a certified nursing assistant.

My experiences while working as a CNA have made me realize a few things that I believe every person should consider, especially those that are in the medical field.

1. The World Needs More People To Care

Working as a nursing assistant is not my only source of income. For the past year I have also worked as a waitress. There are nights that I make triple the amount while working as a waitress for 6 hours than I make while taking care of several lives during a 12 hour shift. Don't get me wrong, being a waitress is not a piece of cake. I do, however, find it upsetting that people care more about the quality of their food than the quality of care that human beings are receiving. I think the problem with the world is that we need to care more or more people need to start caring.

2. I Would Do This Job For Free

One of my teachers in high school said "I love my job so much, if I didn't have to pay bills, I would do it for free." I had no clue what this guy was talking about. He would work for free? He would teach drama filled, immature high school students for free? He's crazy.

I thought he was crazy until I became a CNA. Now I can honestly say that this is a job I would do for free. I would do it for free? I'd wipe butts for free? I must be crazy.

There is a very common misconception that I am just a butt-wiper, but I am more than that. I save lives!

Every night I walk into work with a smile on my face at 5:00 PM, and I leave with a grin plastered on my face from ear to ear every morning at 5:30 AM. These people are not just patients, they are my family. I am the last face they see at night and the first one they talk to in the morning.

3. Eat Dessert First

Eat your dessert first. My biggest pet peeve is when I hear another CNA yell at another human being as if they are being scolded. One day I witnessed a co-worker take away a resident's ice cream, because they insisted the resident needed to "get their protein."

Although that may be true, we are here to take care of the patients because they can't do it themselves. Residents do not pay thousands of dollars each month to be treated as if they are pests. Our ninety-year-old patients do not need to be treated as children. Our job is not to boss our patients around.

This might be their last damn meal and you stole their ice cream and forced them to eat a tasteless cafeteria puree.

Since that day I have chosen to eat desserts first when I go out to eat. The next second of my life is not promised. Yes, I would rather consume an entire dessert by myself and be too full to finish my main course, than to eat my pasta and say something along the lines of "No, I'll pass on cheesecake. I'll take the check."

A bowl of ice cream is not going to decrease the length of anyone's life any more than a ham sandwich is going to increase the length of anyone's life. Therefore, I give my patients their dessert first.

4. Life Goes On

This phrase is simply a phrase until life experience gives it a real meaning. If you and your boyfriend break up or you get a bad grade on a test life will still continue. Life goes on.

As a health care professional you make memories and bonds with patients and residents. This summer a resident that I was close to was slowly slipping away. I knew, the nurses knew and the family knew. Just because you know doesn't mean that you're ready. I tried my best to fit in a quick lunch break and even though I rushed to get back, I was too late. The nurse asked me to fulfill my duty to carry on with post-mortem care. My eyes were filled with tears as I gathered my supplies to perform the routine bed bath. I brushed their hair one last time, closed their eye lids and talked to them while cleansing their still lifeless body. Through the entire process I talked and explained what I was doing as I would if my patient were still living.

That night changed my life.

How could they be gone just like that? I tried to collect my thoughts for a moment. I broke down for a second before *ding* my next call. I didn't have a moment to break down, because life goes on.

So, I walked into my next residents room and laughed and joked with them as I normally would. I put on a smile and I probably gave more hugs that night than I normally do.

That night I learned something. Life goes on, no matter how bad you want it to just slow down. Never take anything for granted.

5. My Patients Give My Life Meaning

My residents gave my life a new meaning. I will never forget the day I worked twelve hours and the person that was supposed to come in for me never showed up. I needed coffee, rest, breakfast or preferably all of the above. I recall feeling exasperated and now I regret slightly pondering to myself "Should I really be spending my summer like this?" Something happened that changed my view on life completely. I walked into a resident's room and said "Don't worry it's not Thursday yet", since I had told her on that Tuesday morning that she wouldn't see me until I worked again on Thursday. She laughed and exclaimed "I didn't think so, but I didn't want to say anything," she chuckled and then she smiled at me again before she said, "Well... I am glad you're still here." The look on her face did nothing less than prove her words to be true. That's when I realized that I was right where I needed to be.

Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, I needed caffeine or a sufficient amount of sleep. My job is not just a job. My work is not for a paycheck. My residents mean more to me than any amount of money.

I don't mind doing what I do for $10; because you can't put a price on love. The memories that I have with my patients are priceless.


Cover Image Credit: Mackenzie Rogers

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The Ultimate Fall-Themed Bucket List To Make The Most Of Your Autumn

Here's a list of my bucket list for the next couple months.

Saige
Saige
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Fall is my all time favorite time of the year! October through December are the best months because the weather is amazing and all of the holidays are full of family and fun. There is just something about the fall air that makes the world so enjoyable. Pumpkin spice and football games are just a few of the beautiful things autumn has to offer.

Here are the top places my friends and I have been talking about doing these next couple weeks (and I guess we will see if we end up making it to all these places and doing these things)...

1. 31 nights of Halloween

31 nights of Halloween is new this year to Freeform, and I could not be more excited! 31 days is so much better than the usual 13 days.

2. Haunted House

Who doesn't love being terrified? Haunted houses are always so fun and the time leading up to it is always fun as well. Haunted houses and scary corn mazes are the best part of October.

3. A pumpkin patch

You can't have fall without pumpkins, and the pumpkin patch is the best place for that.

4. Carve the perfect pumpkin and roast the seeds

I don't remember the last time I carved a pumpkin, I am sure my skills have gotten a little better. Growing up the best part about carving pumpkins was always roasting the seeds after and putting cinnamon and sugar on them.

5. Halloween party

Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts about October because for one night you can be whoever you want. The decorations at Halloween parties are always so cute and creative as well.

6. Try everything pumpkin spice

This time of the year is most famous for everything becoming pumpkin flavor from coffee to ice cream and everything in between.

7. Decorating 

I love decorating and seeing all the different decorations for fall and halloween everywhere.

8. K-State football game & tailgate

Nothing is better than a nice crisp day cheering on the Wildcats to a victory in the Bill.

9. Shopping

Shopping is my favorite thing to do no matter the season, but shopping for fall clothes is the most fun. Finding cute sweaters and scarves to layer your outfits is my favorite.

These are just a few of the many things I want to do before it is too late and hopefully this gave you and your friends some ideas on what to do this fall!

Saige
Saige

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