What Does It Mean to "Thrive" In College?

What Does It Mean to "Thrive" In College?

I wonder if there is a hidden angle, another story, which says more than a double tap.

Just a disclaimer before anyone reads this. This article is not about how I judge, criticize, or hate people who do the following things. Everyone is entitled to do whatever they want.

This idea for this article became a question I asked myself when I started comparing my Instagram and other social media outlets to my friends from high school. Which, as it truthfully seems, is not an accurate way to distinguish everyone's different college experiences.

Also, this article does not mean to call out or hate people who party in college....so, nearly everyone; it's normal, it happens, and I, out of all people, truthfully acknowledge that part of life as a college student and do not mean to be hypocritical in any way throughout this article.

The life of a college student is difficult as it is: living hundreds of miles away from home, making new friends, adjusting to a schedule, and managing your time. However, what makes all this stress worse is the inaccurate portrayal of how someone is adjusting to their college campus through the lens of their social media, or the act of "thriving."

Every weekend, my Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets become overwhelmed with pictures of my friends from high school in their new college. And while each of them most definitely have unique stories and experiences to tell when we reunite, all of their different yet similar posts seem to do more than represent a picture; most of the time, these posts seek to prove that yes, they are having fun in college because they are partying, have found their ride-or-die squad, and are seemingly having a fantastic time.

For some people, that may be the case. I am not writing this article because I am criticizing or jealous of my high school friends who seem to be enjoying their new home...as they should. Rather, I am writing because I wonder if there is a hidden angle, another story, which says more than a double tap. Frankly, I am wondering if their experiences are fake or not. And if they are fake, why do they take pride in living a fake life?

Here's one example: During the weekends of early September, nearly every single girl I went to high school with posted a picture with a small group of girls, most likely at their first college party, in their dorms or hallways dressed and ready to go out, or in front of a tapestry and holiday lights which seem to be the most "Instagram-worthy" spot.

All the captions referred to these girls as their "new friends" or contained a common pun about fraternities. I wondered to myself, "These girls don't even know each other...they've only been at school for less than two weeks. Are they actually friends or are they just using each other on their social media to prove to their friends back home that college has changed them?" But even worse, why did all the comments on posts like this have the word "thriving". What does it mean to thrive in college?

To some, to "thrive" is to spend nearly all your Thursday-Saturday nights, or at some universities, this is every night, out partying with people you don't know in an unfamiliar area. To others, college is about building relationships with other people....and maybe, finding out who your true friends are instead of pretending to get more likes on an Instagram post.

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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15 Stores That Have Free Gifts For You On Your Birthday, Yes, Even In Your 20s

Is it worth all of the free stuff? YES!

Do yourself a favor and go sign up for all of these rewards programs below. I know...you are thinking about all the emails you are going to receive..but is it worth all of the free stuff? YES!

1. Auntie Anne's

Sign up for pretzel perk (really easy), and you get a free pretzel on your birthday. Who doesn't love Auntie Anne's? Perfect snack while you are on your birthday shopping spree! Don't get me started on those cinnamon sugar covered pretzels!

2. Baskin Robbins

Go in and tell them it is your birthday, and you will receive a Free Ice Cream. Their Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is THE best, but its impossible to order wrong at Baskin Robbins.

3. Cracker Barrel

Go in and tell them it is your birthday, and you will receive a Free Dessert. Look around in the store, play some chess just like old times, and it would be such a great, down to earth place to celebrate!

4. Kendra Scott

1/2 off on one item during your birthday month. All you need is your ID, and they will discount your item!


Free meal on your birthday! Pancakes here I come!

6. Krispy Kreme

Sign up for eclub, receive a free donut :) Easy enough! I mean who doesn't want to bite into that a warm, sweet, sticky donut?

7. Panera

Sign up for (free) Panera Rewards, and receive free dessert. Oh, that is after your mac and cheese...ofcourse.

8. P.F Changs

Create an account = Free Appetizer or Dessert during your birthday month (THANK YOU FOR NOT LIMITING IT TO THE ONE DAY)

9. Sephora

Register with Sephora and they will give you a free gift on your birthday.

10. Steak n' Shake

Sign up for E Club for a free menu item on your birthday.

11. Starbucks

Getting tired running around to recieve your free items? Stop by Starbucks with your reward (app) to get a free drink!

12. Columbia Sportswear

Get that jacket you've been waiting for to go on sale, because you receive a 20% off coupon if you sign up for their rewards club.

13. ULTA Beauty

Get a free gift once you sign up for their (free) rewards. While you are in there, might want to ask for a free makeover?

14. Einstein Bros Bagels

Get your free birthday breakfast on them if you join their EClub (Again very easy)

15. DSW

Recieve a $5 Gift Certificate if you join their rewards, which is super easy because they just send you emails which most of the time is coupons.

Cover Image Credit: breleee • Instagram

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A Letter To My Muse

There is always someone who believes in you!


Dearest Muse, I don't think I've ever thanked you for all you have done for me. For as long as I could remember, storytelling was an interest of mine and if not for your faith in me, poetry readings would be the only way my voice was heard. The longer I wrote, the more I reminisced of the good ol' days of elementary school life filled with annoying "ABC order" assignments and vocabulary tests; which at the time were nothing more than an anchor; a mere waste of time. Though, as I reached 6th grade, I truly saw the beauty of life in kaleidoscope-like fashion; various complex topics and how words could express them all. These lessons proved worthwhile as they aided in reaching my current level of insight and helped the ensnared soul voice his thoughts--relating to all who listen. The longer I wrote, the more beauty there was to experience; growth filled every word possessed--I was creating something beautiful.

My point is this. I would have never thought of sharing a piece of me like this to the world; you took my hand and directed me through a gorgeous door filled with my very essence. A part of me that shows itself in every piece written, and a dauntless character that relishes pushing the envelope and challenging the conformist thinking encasing the world we live in. Furthermore, what has started as a medium solely for enjoyment was nurtured into something to vent through and truly grip the finer and important things in life.

Mario C.


I've had brilliant teachers within every niche, yet the one that sticks out more than most is you. Thank you for your faith, soul, and open-mindedness.

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Igor Ovsyannykov

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