What I Learned During My First Year of College

What I Learned During My First Year of College

It's not the best time of your life, unless you make it that way
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The days have gone by so quickly, and yet, the beginning of the fall semester was dreadful and painfully slow at times. I could not bare to be away from home some days, and cried for so many hours about not having friends or not being good enough. I cannot get those hours back, but I can reflect upon them. I had thought to myself many times, “I wish it could be over already; this is supposed to be the best time of my life and I’m miserable.”

Fortunately, I have been able to overcome these thoughts and feelings.

I was able to do so because I kept myself busy and got involved on and off campus. I found that when I had too much time sitting alone in my dorm, negative thoughts would constantly cloud my mind. As if homework, papers, volleyball, and tutoring on campus were not enough though, I decided to do more because I am not your average human being. I joined clubs, tutored off campus, joined the Odyssey community to write an extra “paper” every single week, joined the school’s play, began doing research to attend an honor’s conference, and began applying for more leadership roles on campus.

I want to stress here that it is important to get involved in at least one extra thing. Sitting in your dorm watching reruns of shows, binge watching new ones, or scrolling through every social media account of yours is not going to help you improve yourself.

I have grown and accomplished so much in one year alone by taking a front seat in life and trying new things. I was hesitant about doing most of the things that I accomplished, but after jumping in, I became comfortable doing them. Try that one new thing and put your all into it. People don't like other people who half-ass their way through life; it is frustrating to deal with. Your future boss certainly will not appreciate it either, so get the experience now and stop complaining that you are bored.

I have taken a lot away from my first year of college. I did so on account of my own vigorous efforts and my parents support as well. I am really all I have though. Nobody else, except for maybe my mom, is going to push me to do things unless I pay them to. I’m a broke college kid though, so that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

I am the driver, the star of the show, the one who will make my life great or not. I rely on nobody and I cannot really expect my peers to care about me because most are so engrossed in themselves and haven’t learned how to empathize with others. That’s Why We Need Social-Emotional Learning. College has changed me immensely already and I hope that others can learn that education is more important than partying so they too can get value out of higher education.
Cover Image Credit: Cheryl Conselyea

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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