True Life: Your First Semester of College

True Life: Your First Semester of College

A preview for high school seniors

For all the high school seniors out there wondering what your first semester of college is like and how different it is from high school, I will tell you a few things:

1. Expect the worst, prepare for the best

This was a lesson I learned the hard way within the first few weeks of school. I thought syllabus week was a preview of how my next four years would be and it seemed pretty awesome. I could go out as much as I want and had no worries. Boy, was I wrong. PSA: syllabus week is not how the rest of the semester is going to be like! After starting my semester with a few poor grades due to my lack of concern and simply enjoying my first taste of freedom a bit too much, I changed my habits. I started to write my notes days in advance and taught myself the material prior to my lectures and studying at LEAST a week and a half in advance for a test to make sure I thoroughly understood the material. This has by no means made me an A+ student but it as helped me tremendously in reach my goals for this first semester. So my advice to any high school seniors, do not underestimate your first semester of college classes. They can be a lot harder that they first seem. Especially you, science majors.

2. Focus on you

I have always been the person who has cared way too much about what others thought of me and would go above and beyond to make sure those around me were happy even if I lost a little bit of myself in the process. College has taught me that I need to let go of what others may think because the only opinion that matters is God's and my own. Not everyone in this world is going to like you for whatever reason they may see fit, but that is life. No one in this world is alike therefore not everyone is compatible. But when you focus on being your own person and making yourself happy, you find those who love you for you and enter your life to help you grow and flourish and be the best version of you. So let go of the negativity that may surround you and focus on what you think of yourself and how you can be the best version of yourself.

3. The Freshman 15 is real

No matter how much we all may deny it, the freshman 15 is a real thing. I have been lucky enough to be thoroughly enjoying having a gym that's only a minute walk away which helps keep the pounds off. However, if not for the gym I already know those late night Linda's quesadilla runs and bacon, egg, & cheeses would have caught up by now. Do NOT live in denial. The salad bar in Linda's is bomb, nothing can beat 63's fruit buffet, and at the right time of the day, the gym is half empty for you to get a good workout in. Not to mention the Zumba and body blast classes are a great time with some good friends and a lot of energy. Use the awesome options SHU gives you or you could greatly regret it, trust me. Now I just have to make sure I keep up the good habits so I don't get the Freshman 30 Spring semester.

4. Home & Family x2

This was probably one of the oddest changes for me. Your hometown will always be your home, but you are now only there for a little over 4 months out of the year. You now have a new home, your college. And it's weird because it's your school, home, and life. It's not high school anymore where you wake up, get dressed, go to school, come home and are free to do whatever you want. At your new home, you eat, sleep, work out, do laundry, go to school, hang out, party, and do everything in between. Now you have two homes and two families. The friends you make and the people you meet at school become your second family. I swear half of my friends have supplemented as a second mom for me most of the semester. And if you join greek life you gain a bunch of new siblings, over 100 approximately. It took some adjusting at first, but I am now so thankful to call SHU my second home complete with a second family and all the amenities to give me the tools to become the young woman I want to be.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Cancel Culture Is Toxic And Ugly

Stop deciding for me who I can and cannot like.


I was really hoping that canceled culture died in 2018, but unfortunately here we are in 2019 still "canceling" whoever we personally deem "problematic." Whether it's tweeting from six years ago or falsely made allegations, waves of people will grab on to anything they can to bring down whatever celebrity or influencer seems to be doing well at the moment.

Of course, it is important to bring light to horrible things such as racism, misogyny, domestic abuse, etc., but remember these horrible things are still happening TODAY. We need to focus our energy on combating the horrible things people are currently doing and saying; it is truly such a waste of time to bring up the problematic words and actions that someone in the limelight did almost a decade ago.

Let me be clear, there is no one person I am trying to defend here. I honestly don't care much to personally defend anyone who is being canceled by angry twitter-users who found something just bad enough to hold against them for eternity. I truly just find the idea of it annoying and ugly.

The idea that any person is a completely static, flat character is so inconceivable and unlikely that I truly have a hard time understanding why we cannot accept an apology from a matured person.

If we have no evidence that a person has made any recent damaging remarks, then how can we prove they haven't changed since they tweeted something wrong in 2013?

Of course, there are people who have recently or continuously proven they are indecent people who are not deserving of any sort of public exposure, but if they are truly so horrible, people will drop them without you having to tell them to do so. You don't have to condemn those who still remain loyal; they are probably not the kind of people you need to waste your time on anyway.

If the people canceling others were constantly watched like the people they have damned, I am absolutely sure there is something we could find from their past to cancel them as well.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that famous people are still human beings just like us. Anyone is prone to make mistakes, and those mistakes can absolutely be rectified over time.

Nowadays, people love jumping on the bandwagon of finding a new person to hate and don't even stop to think about the damage it could do to that person's life and reputation.

Give people a chance to prove that they are decent human beings before deciding whether "we" as a whole should love or hate them based on such a small amount of evidence.

I am not saying you have to love every celebrity. If you don't like what someone has said or done you absolutely do not have to give them your attention or devotion, but you should not tell me whether I can like them or not.

In 2019 we should put an end to canceled culture, and, instead, learn to take people at their word and accept their apologies for their past wrongdoings.

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