To The Ignorant Freshman Me

To The Ignorant Freshman Me

It's a coulda, woulda, shoulda situation.

To the Ignorant, Freshman Me,

You should have known better, but how could have you? There was no hand to guide you anymore, you were treading on new ground; your parents knew nothing. Your professors, advisor, new friends - knew nothing. They did not know you, and you did not really know where you were to actually go. Your voice was still stifled somewhere between indecision and the daunting offices, and so - you let yourself get lost.

You let yourself believe that everything was going to be okay, you let yourself believe in the whole college idea: freedom.

That was your mistake.

You let yourself think that college was all about the ups and downs, the curved balls, shouldering it, and moving on. However, you couldn't afford that - I couldn't afford that. You should have taken a bigger step forward, and let your worries give voice. But you did not, and now, sophomore you is suffering from the repercussions of your choices.

Although, I digress. Yes, you should have researched your major more. Yes, you should have seen the dedication and sacrifice it entailed. Yes, you should have been more active, but at the end of the day, the past is the past. And not everything was a mistake, right?

Freshman year was a learning experience, and now, here is the future you trying to rectify your mistakes by helping out others in their college applications. Here is present you - me - reaching out to the future freshman:

Future freshman/college applicants,

Transitioning into college whether if you are a resident or a commuter will be difficult. It will be daunting, maybe even slightly traumatizing, but it will be an experience you cannot replicate anywhere else. However, while it promises freedom - realize that it is a two-edged sword. Freedom comes with a price and a responsibility which many fail to balance perfectly.

And that is okay, but before you jump into this dream of liberation, remember this when you apply to college:

SAT scores don't amount as much as your transcript; aim for average or somewhere close to it and you will be fine.

Research your major. Research double-majoring and duel majoring; research your field. Some majors are more strict, competitive, and time-consuming. Some will require you to sacrifice your time, and you have to gauge if you will personally be okay with that.

Don't compare your scores to others, get mentors, get help - ask if you have questions. It is a great four years that lies ahead of you, but it is also four years of your life that will shape your future and determine where you will go. So do what you have to do, and be as informed as possible.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Hellberg

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

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Pride: A poem

Hell, I still love you.


The word love

Is a very complex one;

Often times thrown around

far more often than it should be.

I knew the true meaning of love when

I first laid my eyes upon you

You were perfect.

Perfect in ways you could not even yet conceptualize.

I gave you life;

But, you became my life.

Your first word.

Your first day at school.

Moments that made life worth living.

One day you said you felt different;

You didn't feel like everyone else;

You'd felt this way for years

But this feeling was not just a feeling;

It was who you were.

The masses played with video games and played rough sports—

You didn't;

You were delicate.

Far more delicate than other boys.

You may not have played with the same toys,

But, hell, I still love you.

It only seems like yesterday,

You told me you had gone astray

From the normal social stigma

But you are still my little boy,

And, hell, I still love you.


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