Towson, Thanks For Making Me Better

Towson, Thanks For Making Me Better

My first year shaped me into the person I am today.

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It's almost impossible to really take in my first year at college and digest it. So much happened so fast that it's kind of difficult to comprehend it. I met so many people, I experienced so many new things, I grew so much. It was scary and endlessly exciting at the same time. However, I would consider my first year at Towson University to be a success.

Let's set the record straight, though, living on your own for the first time is terrifying. No matter if your eighteen or eighty-eight, having to take care of yourself independently is a gigantic adjustment. You go from constantly having people around you to support and listen, to being well...alone. Thankfully, my freshman year I had a good roommate and my family was just a phone call away.

Once I was relieved of this anxiety, sometime during my first semester, I began to thrive. Suddenly, college was a world of opportunity where I could call all my own shots. It was like my entire life I had been riding in a convertible and could for the first time ride with the top down. Every day was a new adventure filled with new experiences, and more importantly, new people.

While I can't say that everyone I met was great, there was a boy who bullied me and another who had no regard for human decency, I can say that, overall, I met some real gems. I met people that were so different than the ones at home but were still kind and friendly just the same. Through my film society, Lambda Kappa Tau, and my sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi, I have made connections that will last a lifetime.

So, while there were definitely some bumps in the road my first year of college, I wouldn't have it any other way. For it was from these obstacles, like being homesick and bullied that I grew and adapted. I had experiences and met people that completely transformed me. It is my first year of college that has shaped me into the confident, fearless, unapologetic young woman that I am today.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Dear Senioritis, You Have Taken Many Of My Bretheren, But You Shall Not Take Me

Bring. It. On.

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It is one of the deadliest diseases known to high schoolers around the world. It takes the lives of thousands every year in high schools big and small. It rampages and destroys grades and social lives everywhere. Even worse, it is one of the oldest plagues with no known cure that every generation has dealt with.

What could I possible be talking about?

Senioritis, of course. Senioritis, as described by Google, is a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance. Basically, it's the last semester of high school, and no one cares about anything but graduation. Symptoms include countdowns written on classroom white boards, college commitments and having no care in the world about anything. In severe cases, students fall so sick, they have to skip school for days on end. It is truly a nightmare. All attentiveness in classroom goes downhill.

There is only one medicine shown to have some effect on the illness, and that would be final exam exemption. A motivation for seniors to keep their grades above an 80 or 85, depending on the school, so they can exempt their final exams. While it is not a complete cure, it does help remove side effects as students are now forced to work hard enough to maintain the necessary grade for exemption.

The past semester, I have lost many friends and foes to senioritis. It does not discriminate between male or female, big or small, rich or poor. I am afraid. I am afraid I will be next. As the next semester begins, I am afraid I will be its next victim. It is only getting stronger by the minute. And as the days goes by, it will gather its forces: school field trips, prom, spring break. I pray that I will be spared, but that is rarely heard of.

I was able to avoid Senior Skip Days last semester. Others were not so lucky. But in this war, it is all for themselves. I have done much research, but they are all inconclusive. Nothing seems to work. Changing sleeping schedules, hanging out with friends, setting goals — it all depends on the person.

As college application season has passed, we now only wait for results, but until then... what? What will happen? Will a cure be found, or will we all be doomed to this plague? If there is anyone out there who reads this, I forewarn you — save yourself. Find a cure. If not, you will end up like me or worse. For now, all I can say is that it is unavoidable. Sooner or later, it takes over. The real question is: who's next?

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