To The Girls Moving Into My Dorm Room Next Year, As I Move Out

As I Move Out, To The Girls Moving Into My Dorm Room Next Year

She's a special one. Take care of it for us, but know that you are also in good hands.

mchalpin
mchalpin
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When I first moved into Haymaker 732, the room seemed cold and bare, the lights were harsh, and it could not have felt less like home. Looking around the room, I was excited to be in this next stage of my life and to get to know my roommates, but I also could not help but feel anxious about how much everything was changing. And how things would never be the same.

I remember thinking about how while everything was changing in my life, while I was experiencing new things every single day, and while I was growing and changing as a person more and more every day, this place — Haymaker 732 — was going to be my "home base." It was a strange, and almost unsettling, realization knowing that even my "home base" did not even feel safe or secure.

However, as I hung up my decorations and put my childhood stuffed animal on my bed, I began to open myself up to the idea of my new "home base." As my parents and my sister left to travel back home, I allowed Haymaker 732 to be just that as I let my tears fall after shutting the door. I got into the shower, organized the rest of my belongings, and though I did not know at that moment, this was the first of many times this room would help and see me grow and allow me to just be myself.

Over the course of the year, 732 has become more than "home base" to come home to. It has seen my sweetest memories, has been through my sleepless nights of studying, has seen my growth as an individual, and has become the place that I could be authentically myself. The girls of 732, whether we want to or not, are passing our very special home to you. As we take down our decorations and turn in our keys, I am not only thinking about how it has become a home to us, but how it will become home to you.

Take Pictures In The Mirror In The Hallway

Photo Credit: Mary Clare Halpin

Is it cringe-worthy? Yes. Is it still worth it? Yes.

I do not know why it is a thing, but I promise you will not regret taking them a year from now.

Move All Your Beds To One Room And All Your Desks To The Other

Do yourself a favor and create the "sleep/study" set up right away. The "night owls" and the "early birds" in your room will both appreciate it greatly. You will spend more time together, get more Snapchat videos of the four of you together, and create "our space" instead of "myspace" and "her space."

Talk To The Boys On The Community Side

Photo Credit: Mary Clare Halpin

Having a bathroom and sink inside of 732 is one of the biggest blessings. We knew how clean it was, whose hair was in the shower, and we did not have to leave the room to go to the bathroom or fill up our water bottles.

While this is such a luxury, it is hard to build community with people on your floor, especially the community side of the floor with all the guys. However, through many awkward conversations in the elevator and in the lobby, these boys can become some of the most special people in your life. They will be the ones to help you bunk your beds when you (hopefully) move all your beds to one side. They will be the ones to tease you and make you laugh. They will be the ones you will happily introduce to your family when they are in town.

Look Out The Window By The Sink For The Best Sunrises

On the nights that turned into mornings that I spent studying, the best reward was looking out that often forgotten about window and seeing the sunrise over the hill. It helped me to fall in love with Kansas all over again, to appreciate the work of God, and most importantly the warmth and joy the sun would bring to the darkness that college life can sometimes throw at you.

Invest In Some Christmas Lights and Lamps

Photo Credit: Mary Clare Halpin

As I mentioned earlier, the fluorescent lights are harsh, unwelcoming, and cold. Being able to turn on our lamps and the Christmas lights we put around to border the mirror or underneath our beds made nights and rainy days homey, warm, and cozy. It was one of the things that made 732 such a nice place to go home to.

Embrace The Rattling Windows

The Kansas wind is strong, everpresent, and obnoxious. It makes our window rattle loudly and made many nights restless, however, getting to wake up in the morning and rant to your roommates and people on your floor about it builds community more than you think it will.

Study And Take Naps On The Floor...We Certainly Did

You will have to make your bed again if you get back in it to nap. The desk chairs are super uncomfortable. The floor is the move, trust me.

Memories Were Made In This Room, And We Hope You Will Do The Same

Photo Credit: Mary Clare Halpin

Some of the scratches on the wall or from when I moved in with all my large boxes, my chair, and ottoman. The far side of the room is where I received my first "I love you" from my boyfriend. The patch of wood stain that is gone from one of the closets is because of the whiteboard I hung up to plan out my week, but honestly got too lost in living that I never used it. You can fit way more than one person on the twin beds. The blind by the sink will never work how you want it to. The walls are made of cinderblock, but sound travels very well, so be careful when ranting to your roommate about a boy because that boy just may hear you and show up at your door. The stains on the carpet by the door are from my boyfriend spilling my Diet Coke on several different occasions. The stairwell next to our room is great for conversations. And the sink sprays water everywhere if you push the handle too far back.

Do not worry too much about having enough seating for people coming over to hang out, we have found that our "Deep Talks and Games in 732" are best when we are all sitting on the floor.

While we may never get to meet you, Haymaker 732 has become a "home base" — a place full of laughs and memories; where life-long friendships were created; and where I fell in love with my people, K-State, and my life. We hope that 732 will bring you the same joy and memories it has brought us and that you'll be making your own amazing memories in it in the months to come. She's a special one. Take care of it for us, but know that you are also in good hands.

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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