To An Incoming Freshman, From A Soon-To-Be Sophomore

To An Incoming Freshman, From A Soon-To-Be Sophomore

Oh, what I'd do to turn back time.

First things first:


You are about to embark on an adventure that is truly incomparable to anything you've ever experienced. That in itself is pretty awesome. You worked your ass off senior year to get to this point. Applications. Standardized tests. Essays. All are now things of your past (that is, until grad school opportunities come around in four years or so). It is now time to celebrate what is in the very near future: your freshman year of college.

If I’m being honest, how this year turns out is solely up to you.

A positive attitude and desire to do well both go a long way, even if you don’t love school at first. Yes, it’s possible that you could have second thoughts about where you end up, even if you attend your top-choice school. And that’s OK. There will be a whirlwind of emotions during your first semester, as you are making a major life transition. It will get better. I cannot promise that it’ll get better fast enough, but you will eventually find your way through the twists and turns that come with freshman year.

In the meantime, prepare yourself for what is about to be a wild ride. It’s not going to be easy.

You will soon understand why college is such a daunting experience for many, and it will likely hit you all at once. Please, take care of yourself. Nothing is more important than your physical, mental, and overall health. As selfish as that may sound, your well-being will dictate how your experience turns out. Below are a few takeaways that I’d like to share -- I really wish I had known these things before my freshman year.

Don’t give into what others are doing if it’s not your style, because those decisions will come back to haunt you. Understand that not everyone will be your best friend. You win some, you lose some -- and that’s OK. Speaking of ‘win some, lose some’, college kids suck sometimes.

Do not go into this thinking you’ll be committed to someone from the get go. You’ll figure that aspect of your life eventually, and it doesn’t need to be at age 18. Be the life of the party -- enjoy your weekends away from home while you can. Study, study, study. You’re paying crazy money for this opportunity-- degrees are not handed out like free candy. Save your money! You’ll be glad when you can treat yourself to a new pair of shoes mid-semester. Lastly, get some sleep… seriously. Staying up till 2 AM every night due to binge-drinking caffeine is not good for your health.

There is so much more that I could say, but most importantly:

Enjoy it.

You only get to be a freshman once.

Cover Image Credit: Surripui

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4 Benefits of PDF Annotations

Benefits of PDF Annotations!

4 Benefits of PDF Annotations  Have you ever seen objects been added additionally to documents to build on the understanding and expand the content which is already there? These are called annotations. Since the format of PDF files doesn’t allow for convenient editing of the text, having annotations on these files will really help them serve their purpose better. Some of the many ways of adding annotations to the PDF files include adding: 

• Texts 

• Shapes 

• Links 

• Sounds played when one clicks on the icon 

• Embedded videos 

• Attached files 

With so many ways to expand on the content of the PDF file, one wonders of the many ways they will benefit the user. Let us take a look at some ways they can help you improve your productivity. 

1. Proofreading

 Most of the professional documents are available in PDF format since they are more secure and easy to print. The readers can certainly view the PDF files but they cannot edit it, and this ensures that your content remains untouched. In case it needs to be proofread, annotations can be added to suggest alterations and introduce new comments for the actual owner.   

2. Readability

 You have a book which is in PDF format and would like to add some additional text for future reference or would want to highlight important points? This can be done through annotations as well. With so many different options available you can make the content more readable and understandable for you. It can also be used to link the text to other documents so that you do not forget about them. You can add in some shapes as well to differentiate between each point and make a flow chart out of it.  

3. Notes

 This benefit comes handy for people who are going through a PDF document of technical nature. There will be certain subjects that would need your attention or definitions that you would like to keep track of. By keeping notes, you will be able to follow the real essence of the document better and will help other follow your train of thoughts and develop a deeper understanding of the document as well. 

4. Planning

 The use of annotations is not just limited to PDF content only. They can be used equally well with maps and organizational charts. Markings can be introduced to help you track your route better and plan the trip accordingly. The file can then be shared with the other members so that they can follow the plan and add their own comments I case they do not agree with anything on it.  You can add annotations to your document using many tools that are available online. It is one of the best PDF editors that you can add to your software library as it helps you not only edit but also share and convert your document to various other formats.

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#MeToo Is An Empowering Movement That Has Turned Into An Outlet For Guilt

There are times when sexual harassment is real, and there are times when it is not.

Time's Up and #MeToo is the 2018 sexual harassment movement that is spreading like wildfire across the U.S. And for a good reason, too. After seeing others stand up for themselves, thousands of women who have kept silent about their violations decided to make the claim that some men have taken their testosterone-induced confidence a little too far. As a feminist and advocate for female empowerment, I highly support the courage of women to raise awareness of sexual harassment and the need for consent. But it angers me to see some women unlawfully blame their "abusers."

Women such as Halsey have had their lives turned upside down after being roughly handled by a man. Most of these women have overcome severe anxiety attacks, depression and suicide attempts. It is only right for them to find closure by bringing justice and addressing the man who believed that nothing was wrong.

It does sadden me to see men being accused of problems that should not exist in the first place. But it's also disappointing when women falsely claim to have been abused. Some women have actually been harassed or forced against their will, but others go through with certain acts and feel guilty about their actions afterward, finding solace by creating false accusations against genuinely innocent men.

"No" means no, but without firm verbal consent or disapproval, there exists a thin line between coercion and a two-sided agreement. Body language can be hard to pick up on, especially if it is not obvious. Hitting someone forcefully can easily be interpreted as hate, but staying in a stiff position or moving as little as possible are harder to pick up on, in certain scenarios. Same thing with facial expressions. What an uncomfortable grimace may look like to can be interpreted as a smile to others.

Therefore, verbally expressing your feelings is very important to establish open communication. But some women choose not to rely upon words and instead, tehy use unreliable context clues. And when they decide to "go with it anyway" and reflect upon it later, they feel guilty and violated and choose to categorize their discomfort under sexual harassment, when really, it was not.

Take for example the sexual misconduct filed against Aziz Ansari. Though he may have acted impulsively and inappropriately, Grace could have told him "no" and left his residence, instead of saying "chill out" or "later," and engaging with him. The way she spoke to him does not immediately signal her uneasiness, which is what could have created that disparity in communication. Though some of the blame rests with Ansari for the misconduct, Grace also deserves some partial blame for her lack of strong expression.

Sometimes, men do not communicate as clearly, leading to the same problem except in the opposite gender. Consent lives in the gray area unless it is crystal clear whether it exists or not. That's why it is in the best interest of adults to vocalize their inner emotions throughout their romantic encounters, or else, the results can end up not-so-romantic.

Sexual harassment is wrong. It is not acceptable to take advantage of someone when they are intoxicated or whether they do not want a person's advances. And naming the guilt over an uncomfortable one night stand that an individual voluntarily took part in should not be called sexual harassment.

Movements like these should not be an outlet for the guilt over a hookup. It is only for real cases of pressure over sexual relations. There is a difference between the two, and if we do not see that, then #MeToo could become a front used for those who wish to ignore their true feelings over a failed relationship.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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