Being An Underdog Is A Hard Pill To Swallow, But It's The Best Victory You'll Earn

Being An Underdog Is A Hard Pill To Swallow, But It's The Best Victory You'll Earn

Be prepared to be underestimated and to turn heads.

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In the past few years, I have noticed l have been labeled as an underdog, even if the direct term wasn't always used to describe me. Whether it was running for officer positions or in life in general, I have been an underdog.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an Underdog is:

a loser or predicted loser in a struggle or contest.

When I first came to this realization, that people considered me an underdog in things, I felt embarrassed and hurt. People underestimated me; my strengths weren't on the surface. It definitely was a self-confidence killer, but as time has passed and I've thought about it before, I am proud to be an underdog.

I remember my senior year of high school when people were surprised I was selected to compete on an academic team and that I had the second highest grade in my Advanced Chemistry class.

People assumed I wasn't smart enough, and I had people chasing me down the hallway questioning what my GPA was or what my ACT score was.

Being upset, a few people made comments that I heard, and it definitely deflated my attitude about competing. It seemed that hardly anyone believed I was capable of being smart because I wasn't in the top 10% of my class or maybe because I wasn't vocal about how challenging my classes were. I worked hard, always trying to better myself, and hoping to achieve my goals, no matter if it was academic or personal. Even if some of my classmates didn't see the potential in me, my chemistry teacher did and the took a chance on me. Sometimes being quiet and focusing on the work you have been given, takes you off people's radar of achieving success.

Underdogs are all over pop culture and in history.

Whether it was Average Joe's from the movie "Dodgeball," David against Goliath in the Bible, or during March Madness when that one team no one expected to do well and then they wreck everyone's brackets.

My personal favorite underdog is Alex Karev from "Grey's Anatomy."

He came from a not stable or safe home when he was young, had to work, fight, and sometimes lie to become the doctor he is now. When he first came to work at the hospital, he was not on people's radars of success and not a favorite character in the TV Show, but slowly you became to love Karev and hope he keeps reaching for the stars. Being an underdog might mean you face uphill battles, doubts, and shocked faces, but those moments will motivate you to do more and be more. They are the people or teams, once they start being successful, you cheer for in hopes that the underdog will win. The concept that "everyone loves an underdog" comes this, but in the end, success, whether you are an underdog or not, can bring people hating you on the flip side.

Realizing you are an underdog can be a hard pill to swallow, but I realized this is one of my strengths. I have learned to fight for what I believe in, work harder than ever before, and to brush myself off and keep moving if I fail. Being an underdog, I have experienced the rollercoaster of emotions you have while competing. I have experienced the crushing feeling of being underappreciated and the extreme high of achieving your dreams. If you are labeled as an underdog, feel proud of yourself. Not everyone may see your strengths, but the people who matter will. As long as you believe in yourself and remember who you are, you will continuously succeed, no matter the outcome, and surprise the world.

Cover Image Credit:

Corrine Harding

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.
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Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

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Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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The Key To Self-Improvement: Moderation

Short-term solutions will never work for long-term problems.

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There's a famous quote that always seems to resurface in Instagram bios and yearbooks: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." It's a popular quote for a reason: it summarizes the idea of autonomy and accepting responsibility for our own shortcomings and successes quite nicely.

I think recognizing our own ability to shape our lives is vital to becoming successful adults—but that recognition can quickly become an obsession.

Of course, we all should aim to change the things we don't want to accept in our lives: but that is much easier said than done. It is so very, very easy to get wrapped up in the idea of self-improvement—and that can lead to some serious burn-out.

I have been trying for what feels like forever to find a lifestyle that helps me deal with various issues stemming from low self-esteem and anxiety.

I feel like I've tried it all: dietary adjustments, different exercises, journaling, social media breaks, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. None of it seemed to have the lasting impact I was looking for.

For the first time in my life, the lifestyle changes I'm attempting are working—and I think I know why.

One reason: moderation.

None of those lifestyle changes mentioned above is inherently bad or difficult. However, any time I have attempted to keep myself to a strict regiment of utilizing them, it's quickly fizzled out.

If I attempted to journal every night, for example, I would get upset with myself for missing one evening if I was exceptionally tired. Whenever I tried to abruptly change my eating habits, I would do really well for a couple of weeks before giving up altogether. The same would happen if I tried to run every day or give up social media.

I put so much pressure on myself to improve some area of my life quickly that every minor trip-up or break felt like a failure.

What I've been doing recently, however, is spacing out those changes. I'll run three or four times a week instead of every day. I try to eat healthy meals but I won't always skip dessert. I limit the time I spend online but I won't quit it altogether.

By giving myself some breathing room, it allows my body and mind time to adjust. Those lifestyle changes don't feel restrictive any more. By enjoying certain things occasionally instead of never, I don't find myself craving them.

Giving yourself an adjustment period is vital to making any major change last. Trust me on this one: short-term solutions will never fix a long-term problem.

While that quote is nice, I'd like to propose a minor addition to it: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Oh yeah—and the time to make it happen."

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