What I Thought I Missed About College While I Was Home for the Summer

What I Thought I Missed About College While I Was Home for the Summer

It's not just my friends, the parties and the freedom, which I guess I didn't really miss that much anyway.
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Being a college student can be quite an experience. Classes aren't the same as high school. Parties aren't the same as high school. Life isn't the same as high school. Whether you're a freshman or a senior, whether you live on campus or if you commute, there are just some things about college that you miss while you're back home for the summer... and some that you don't.


Housing - While I was back home for the summer, I could only think about one thing: moving back into my on campus apartment. Living at home, I was constantly missing my freedom. I was missing having my own place. I was always with my family, doing whatever we always do as a family. At school, I have my own home. I can decorate it however I want. I can invite over whoever I want. I can come home at whatever time I want, with no one to stop me from doing any of it. If I want to fall asleep on the kitchen floor at two o'clock in the afternoon for absolutely no reason at all, I can. If I want to hang an old hubcap up on my wall and call it art, I can. If I want to let the garbage can get so full that it overflows all over the floor, I can. Unfortunately, now that I'm back at school, I'm realizing that on campus housing is one of the things that I definitely did not miss while I was living at home over the summer. I did not miss sleeping in a twin size bed. Those things are uncomfortable even for just me, and they're quite impossible for a sleepover. I did not miss the three foot by three foot shower space with a shower curtain that consistently attaches itself to my vulnerable body mid shower. I did not miss having a refrigerator that leaks all over the place and freezes everything within it. I did not miss the dishwasher that randomly spews soap bubbles out of every possible crevice until they have covered the kitchen floor. I did not miss the unalterable arctic temperatures in the buildings. I did not miss sitting in kitchen chairs that feel as though they could collapse beneath the wait of a nickel at every meal. I did not miss having an oven who's front panel is literally dangling on by a thread. I did not miss having a shelf in my closet that is almost too tall to reach. I did not miss having to sign into the building every night when I return home. Most importantly, I did not miss having to prove to someone, weekly, that I am in fact still maintaining life on my own and that my roommates and I have not yet died or set anything on fire.


Dining - Being home for the summer, my schedule got a little crazy and I often found myself skipping meals or eating super unhealthily. Come midnight (and sometimes even later), the only dining options available, if any, are unappealing fast food places, or whatever junk food one could find in their pantry. All summer, I found myself saying things like "If we were on campus right now, we'd be at Birch," or "If I was back in my apartment, I know I'd have something better to eat." A week and a half into being back on campus, I am starting to realize how much better off I was at home. I still have yet to go grocery shopping and have been mooching off of my roommates for days. I went to the freshman dining hall (not by choice, but because it was the only thing that was open at the time, and found myself eating curly fries and cucumbers at every meal. I am currently awaiting the perfect opportunity to ask my mother to take me grocery shopping so that she can buy me things slightly healthier than the Taco Bell I ordered at 2:15 this morning. As much as I hate to admit it, I regret how often I took advantage of having home cooked meals prepared for me and having common household ingredients replaced without me having to buy them.


Work Load - Over the past few months, I had been working a decent amount. I started my summer working thirty hour work weeks. That slowly increased to thirty-two and thirty-six hour work weeks. It eventually became thirty-eight and forty hour work weeks, and I ended my summer with a fifty hour work week. I would wake up in the morning, get ready for work and arrive by 11:30. I would work until 5:30, return home, get ready to go to the gym, work out for an hour or so, and return home, yet again, to make dinner (or eat the dinner that was already made) and go to bed, only to awake the following morning and repeat it all over again. I often complained about how busy I was and how little free time I had for myself, even though I had weekends off. Now, I am attempting to take six classes and working three jobs, while being an undergraduate teaching assistant and holding an e-board position for an organization that I am involved with.

I realize how easy my summer actually was, and I find myself wishing daily that I could have that schedule back. I want to work one job and relax on the weekends. I want to come home to delicious meals already made for me. I want to wake up in my full size bed to find that my mom has folded my laundry and that my dad has fixed the things that I lead him to believe that I was incapable of doing on my own. Although I am excited to be back at school with my friends, and I am eager to continue to prove myself as an adult in the real world, I do miss being at home.

Cover Image Credit: http://thecampussocialite.com/wp-content/uploads/dorm-decor_.jpg

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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.

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Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.


About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.


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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.

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I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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