8 Things Transfer Students Are Bound To Hear Over And OVER Again

8 Things Transfer Students Are Bound To Hear Over And OVER Again

"Why would you want to start all over again?"
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When people ask what my transferring experience has been like, the best word I can use to describe it is weird.

It has been incredible but there have definitely been ups and downs.

For one, you'll be asked the same questions about a million times as a transfer student, and here are some of those questions and comments.

1. Omg that's so cool, where did you transfer from?

My answer to this question is almost always followed with "wow, that's a very big change!"

2. Why didn't you like [enter previous school]?

If I had a penny for every time I've been asked why I transferred, I could probably pay for my own tuition. At this point I have a line rehearsed that is my "go-to" response to the question. Anyone that spends a lot of time with me and has been with me a fraction of the million times I've been asked this question probably has it memorized as well.

3. Do you like it better here?

It's a fair question. Making the decision to transfer isn't an easy one and it's possible that my experience at the new school could be going even more terribly that my first experience. But luckily for me, my answer is always YES, I am definitely where I am meant to be.

4. Wow, that was bold of you

Yes, it was. It took a lot of time and prayer but it was the best decision for me.

5. Do you miss anything about your old school?

Of course I do. Although I didn't have the best experience freshman year, there are aspects of my old school that I definitely miss. I had some great friends that I miss every day and SEC football is deeply missed.

6. Do you ever regret transferring?

If I get this question on a hard day, I might be tempted to answer slightly, but on any other day I am so glad that I am where I am. There is no doubt that I am now exactly where I need to be and I wouldn't change that.

7. Omg, I know someone that went to your old school, do you know them?

Coming from a school of over 20,000 students, my answer is almost always no but it's a small world, you never know.

8. What was [blank] like at your old school?

For me this "blank" is usually filled in with either my sorority or SEC football or the weather. Especially having gone from a public SEC university fueled by greek life, to a small private Christian school in Illinois that doesn't have greek life, these are all fair questions that I actually enjoy answering.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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4 reasons how Drake's New Album May Help Us Fight Mental Illness

Increasing Evidence Points to Music as a Potential Solution to the Mental Health Problem.

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Okay, You caught me!

I am NOT just talking about everybody's favorite actor-turned-rapper— or second, if you've seen Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video. Unfortunately, current research hasn't explored specific genres and artists. However, studies HAVE provided significant evidence in possibilities for music to treat mental health disorders. Now, before you say something that your parents would not be proud of, ask yourself if you can really blame me for wanting to get your attention. This is an urgent matter concerning each one of us. If we all face the truth, we could very well reach one step closer to solving one of society's biggest problems: Mental Health.

The Problem:

As our nation continues to bleed from tragedies like the horrific shooting that shattered the lives of 70 families whose loved ones just wanted to watch the "Dark Knight Rises" during its first hours of release, as well as the traumatic loss of seventeen misfortunate innocents to the complications of mental health disorders in the dear city of Parkland— a city mere hours from our very own community— it's impossible to deny the existence of mental illness. As many of us can already vouch, mental illness is much more common than what most would think: over 19 million adults in America suffer from a mental health disorder. Picture that: a population slightly less than that of Florida is plagued by hopelessness, isolation, and utter despair.

Disease in the form of depression holds millions of people prisoner, as anxieties instill crippling desperation and too many struggles with finding peace. This can be you. It could be your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle, your friend, your roommate, your fraternity brother, your sorority sister, your lab partner, or just your classmate that sits in the corner of the lecture hall with a head buried into a notebook that camouflages all emotion.

I hope we— the UCF community— understand the gravity of the problem, but it's clear that some still see mental illness as a disease that affects only a handful of "misfits" who "terrorize" our streets, while the numbers reveal more to the issue. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental health disorder. The problem is so serious that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24-year-olds. While many continue to ask for more antidepressants and even the occasional "proper spanking," recent studies indicate increases in occurrence, such as one in depression from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. So, clearly, none of that is working.

The Evidence:

If we really want to create a world where our children are free from the chains of mental illness, we need to think outside the box. Doctors and scientists won't really talk about this since it's still a growing field of research, but music has strong potential. We don't have any options at the moment, which means we need to change our mindset about music and to continue to explore its medicinal benefits. If you're still skeptical because of the title, then please consider these 4 pieces of solid evidence backed by scientific research:

1. Music has been proven to improve disorders like Parkinson's Disease.

Researchers sponsored by the National Institute of Health— the country's largest research agency— saw an improvement in the daily function of patients with Parkinson's Disease. This makes patients shake uncontrollably, which often prevents them from complete functionality. The disease is caused by a shortage of dopamine— a chemical your neurons, or brain cells, release; since music treats this shortage, there's an obvious ability to increase dopamine levels. As numerous studies connect dopamine shortages to mental illnesses like depression, addiction, and ADHD, someone could possibly use music's proven ability to increase dopamine levels to treat said problems.

2. Listening to the music has the potential to activate your brain's "reward center."

In 2013, Valorie Salimpoor and fellow researchers conducted a study that connected subjects' pleasure towards music to a specific part of the brain. This key structure, the nucleus accumbens, is the body's "reward center," which means all of you have experienced its magical powers. In fact, any time the brain detects a rewarding sensation— drinking ice-cold water after a five-mile run in sunny, humid Florida, eating that Taco Bell chalupa after a long happy hour at Knight's Library, and even consuming recreational drugs— this structure releases more of that fantastic dopamine. So, with further research into specifics, doctors may soon be prescribing your daily dose of tunes for your own health.

3. Listening to Music may be more effective than prescription anti-anxiety medication.

In 2013, Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin— two accomplished doctors in psychology— reviewed a study wherein patients waiting to undergo surgery were given either anti-anxiety medications or music to listen to. The study took into account cortisol levels, which are used daily by healthcare professionals to gauge patient levels. This "stress hormone" was actually found to be lower in patients who listened to classical music rather those who took the recommended dose of prescription drugs. Sit there and think about that for a second: these patients actually felt more relaxed with something as simple as MUSIC than with chemicals that are made specifically to force patients into relaxation before surgery. Why pop a Xanax when you can just listen to Beethoven?

4. Music may release the chemicals that help you naturally relax and feel love.

Further studies continue to justify music's place in the medical world as results demonstrate increases in substances such as prolactin— a hormone that produces a relaxing sensation— as well as oxytocin— the substance that promotes warmth and happiness during a hug between mother and child. So this study basically showed us that music has the potential to actually make you feel the way you did when Mom or Dad would embrace you with the warmest hug you've ever felt.

The Future:

The evidence I present you with today is ultimately just a collection of individual situations where specific people found specific results. There are a lot of variables when it comes to any research study; therefore, data is never truly certain. We should take these findings as strong suggestions to a possible solution, but we must remember the possibility of failure in our search.

The neurochemistry behind the music and its medicinal properties is just beginning to unfold before the scientific community. In fact, extremely qualified scientists from the National Institute of Health— the organization that basically runs any important medical study in the United States— continue to remind us of the subject's youth with the constant use of "potential" behind any and all of their findings. Therefore, it's our responsibility as a community to look into this— not just that of the scientists at the National Institute of Health.

We're all surrounded by music. It's at the bars. It's in our ears during all-night sessions at the UCF library. It's keeping us awake through East Colonial traffic at 7:00 AM while hordes of students focus on their cell phone screens instead of the paved roads ahead. It's in the shoes we wear, the actions we take, and the words we say. IF YOU'RE READING THIS: it's accessible to you. So, don't be shy, and try to play with your Spotify account, or even just on YouTube, and gauge the power of music. As more and more of us see the light, we can promote the movement and carry on as more research comes out to support us.

Drop the bars, drop those addictive pills that destroy your body slowly, and pick up your headphones and press PLAY.

Just relax, close your eyes, smile, and live.

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi

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5 ways To Survive Trying to ace a summer class

It is like I am going insane.

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I mean, I am taking rigorous classes which allow me to devote a lot of my time towards them, but still...it is only two classes. By the time I get done, I have a whole half of the day full of nothing. I end up just sitting on my phone for most of the day instead of doing something practical.
So here I have compiled a list of how to keep yourself from not going crazy!


The whole point of summer is to enjoy your life, even if it does mean taking a couple of classes. Do I wish I was on a cruise heading towards some tropical island? Ugh, duh. Do I wish I was sitting on the beach with my dog? Yeah. Do I wish I just wasn't here taking classes? Um, of course. But it just didn't work out that way for me. Instead, I am trying to make the most of my time here this summer, because I only have a few more years until I hit the real world. Yay...can't wait to adult some more!

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Pexels

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