Why I Chose Not To Live On My College Campus

Why I Chose Not To Live On My College Campus

Although many other students are living on their college campuses, I am not for a couple of specific reasons.
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A lot of times, college is seen as a fresh start for many high school graduates each year. Most of the time, people assume students will move out of their parent's homes and live at the institution they are enrolled in. However, this does not include every college student, including myself, for a multitude of reasons. Today I will explain why I chose to continue living at home, and why so far it's been a good experience for me.

A major factor in any college-related decision is finances and determining how the student and/or family will pay each year for college. Living on campus is a large expense for any college student who chooses to live on campus, as it greatly increases the tuition rate as a whole. Personally, this larger debt was a major reason why I chose not to live on campus. The general off-campus tuition is pretty expensive, and I don't want to drown in debt and have to continue paying it for years. Although the experience is great for all who choose to live on campus, the value of saving money outweighs the value of this experience for me personally.

Although money was a large factor in shaping my residential decision, there is another equally important reason why I chose to live at home. I am a person who values the things that are familiar to me, such as old friends and family. Although in college I am looking for a new experience in shaping my future career path, there are some things I feel don't need to change in my life. I feel very comfortable living with my father right now and maintaining a close relationship with him and my grandparents. Although I will meet great new friends on campus, I feel as though I don't want to leave behind the friends of mine who have stayed in my home town. I like to maintain the best of both worlds in a sense, by keeping the friends I have gained in high school as well as making new friends at college. I still spend time with some of these old friends, and have decided that they are worth keeping around. Essentially, I chose to stay at home to maintain the strong relationships I have with old friends and family.

In conclusion, although I am only experiencing half of what most students in college do, I feel very comfortable with my decision to live at home. Not only do I feel as though I am saving a large amount of money, but that I am keeping my good friends and family close while attending college. I understand why students who move out make that decision, but I am not someone who wants such a major change in my life right now. Maybe I will change my mind next year, who knows. But for now, I am very pleased with the choice I have made in regards to college and being a commuter.

Cover Image Credit: Robert Bye

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5 Ways To Deal With Stress In College, It's Hard But Not Impossible

Don't get weary when you have a setback, use it to grow.
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We’re juggling jobs, and classes, and social lives, and bills, and many more responsibilities. We are college students. And to be a college student automatically guarantees a certain level of stress that we can either try to avoid and push to the desolate place that is our subconscious, or we can tackle it head on.

Here’s a few tips to help decrease your nail-biting and head-scratching episodes.

1. Stop, breathe, and grab the planner

Personally I feel like the biggest issue with college students and stress comes from the root of all evil –time management. Yes something as simple as grabbing the free planner your school gave you at orientation and jotting down due dates, upcoming tests you need to study for, shift schedules, and Ashley’s birthday dinner on Saturday is RELIEVING. Having a battle plan for anything will set you up for success so start every week by sketching out your roadmap to success.

2. Get out!

No I don’t mean abandon all your life goals and runaway to join the circus – most of them are gone now (Sad but true). What I mean is sometimes when find yourself worked up and panicking with stress, one of the best options is to just get out. Take a step outside of the library or your bedroom and just take a walk. Breathe the open air, smile at the birds sitting on that bench, and genuinely give yourself time to decompress.

3. Do you hear the people sing?

I love music. Plain and Simple. Music is one of the best facets for dealing with stress because it has the power to quite honestly take us to another world. Whenever I feel myself overthinking some issue, my initial instinct is to put headphones in and play some calming ballad by Barbra Streisand or a mellow verse from Chance’s "Coloring Book" (variety, I know). As simple as it sounds, music can alleviate your current state and take you to a place where worries seem a little less severe.

4. Can we chat?

I feel like one of the worst offenders with stress-related problems is that we don’t talk about it. We like to bottle things up because hey, if we don’t talk about it then it doesn’t exist, right? Wrong. We need opportunities to talk openly about our issues otherwise they consume us and make us feel trapped within ourselves.

Even if you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable enough to share things with, write yourself a letter. Get your words flowing freely and openly so that you can feel a sense of ease and begin working towards a solution.

5. Put it in perspective

How bad is your current situation, honestly? Is that bad grade on your midterm the end of the world? Is having five assignments due on the same Tuesday going to kill you? Do you truly believe that your job firing you will mean you never work again? Don’t get me wrong, these situations are unfortunate but they’re not the end-all of what’s to come. We are college students. We get to learn, lose, succeed, and fail all in the span of a few years to help shape us for the future to come. So don’t get weary when you have a setback, rather use it as a way to grow and develop into the person you know you can be.
Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Self Love Is What 2018 Is All About

This is what Valentine's Day is about for me.
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Okay let's be real here, Valentine's Day is a crappy hallmark holiday that no human could possibly enjoy unless in a relationship.

However, this bothered me. This preconception that the only way you could celebrate is if you had a partner to celebrate with. As the day before approached, I had mixed emotions. Part of me sad. I have no romantic partner at the time being and thought my day would consist of tears and chocolate. It was later in the day that I decided my plan for Valentine's Day not only sucked but was going to make me feel like crap and I was not up for that.

Recently, my confidence has been at an all-time low. I am not sure the cause of this but ultimately know it's not permanent. I have been striving for positivity and happy thoughts regarding myself no matter the circumstances. So, of course, the days leading up to this relationship heavy day I was getting very upset. However, after I decided my day was not going to consist of chocolate and tears, I found that glimmer of hope I have been looking for, for the past few weeks.

I decided I was going to make the day about self-love versus relational love. I took a moment and thought you know what Isabelle, you do not need a relationship to be happy and you're awesome so #loveyoself because it's a day about love.

So on the eve of Valentine's Day, I prepped for my self love day along with eating chocolate chip cookies and feeling no shame.

When I woke up on valentines day, I immediately felt good. Maybe it was because my parents got me a Victoria Secret gift card or just because I knew it was going to be a good day. The gift card was given with the intent of buying myself something I wanted because I deserved it. That just made me smile and I was very thankful for that.

So, I got dressed for my day and proceeded with it. Throughout the day, I kept reminding myself that I loved me and that my happiness was self created and I needed to start creating it more often for myself.

Once my classes ended for the day, my self love day really kicked into full gear. My friends and I went to the grocery store to pick up pizza ingredients for homemade pizza. We also picked up a few bottles of wine. Obviously.

On the night of Valentine's Day, I had a homemade pizza and wine night with my best friends and I have never been happier. We laughed and had fun and did not care that we were all single. We were thrilled to be spending the day of love together because we all love each other. And on top of that, we were preaching self love.

This day is about love right? No one said what kind? So I said self.

I spent my whole valentines day reminding myself that I am indeed enough and that my self love is more important than anyone else's.

I cannot wait for next year.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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