Why Should We Be Grateful For Raking In Debt?

Why Should We Be Grateful For Raking In Debt?

Here is what your tuition actually provides you.

Being in college can be tough, well let's face it, it is tough. Studying like crazy, countless sleepless nights all just, for one thing, our future. Something that seems so little, but means so much. College students continuously worry about the debt they will have after college and honestly just getting through the semester without failing or ripping their hair out. Now that it is the holiday season we need to realize that while we have all this stress and all these worries, we actually have a lot to be grateful for.

1. A Great Support System

Although they make us crazy sometimes, our family and friends are truly our biggest supporters. We may not realize it and may not always be appreciative of them, but we are truly lucky to have people like them to count on. No matter what, we know that we can always count on them to be there when we need a shoulder to cry on or just when we need a quick laugh to get us through our days. So if you haven't told them later, make sure to tell them how truly grateful you are to have them in your life.

2. Having the privilege to attend a university

We may not like having to deal with all the stress that comes along with college, but hey we are lucky enough to be here. Not everyone has the privilege to attend a university or receive an education in general, but we do. That's something we should all be thankful for. Attending college doesn't just mean we get to waste $50,000 a year, it means we get the opportunities to follow our dreams and reach our career goals. This isn't an option for a lot of people. So when you're thinking about how tough it is being a college student and how stressful it can get, make sure to remember that you are privileged and lucky enough to be able to attend college and get the education everyone deserves. Remember that you get the opportunity to follow your dreams and do what makes you happy, to pursue things that you are passionate about.

3. To gain the experience of a lifetime

College is not only an educational lesson, but it is life lesson as well. Being able to attend college, commuter or not, allows us to gain an experience that many people will never know. College provides us the chance to see what is beyond just our small towns that we come from. It gives us the opportunity to experience different things and meet different people. To make mistakes, but most importantly learn from those mistakes and overcome barriers that get in the way. College is not just about the education, it's about the start of your life. A fresh start to break out of your comfort zone and do things that you have never done before. To make mistakes and be ok with making them, but most importantly being able to look past them and learn from them. We have four years to start our lives, four years to gain the experience and responsibilities to control our lives and be comfortable doing it.

We like to think college is difficult and there are so many repercussions that come along with it. However, we have to remember to take a step back and realize that because we go to college, we have a lot to be grateful for.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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13 New Ways To Inspire Yourself This Spring

Spring out of those post-spring break dumps and into springtime.

As the semester winds down and the weather warms up, our sights always seem to be set on summer break. Most of us are just barely hanging on by a thread to finish out the semester – I’m guilty of it myself. But, let’s not neglect our fleeting weeks of mid-60s, sunshine, and flowers. Here are 13 ways to get out of the post-winter/end-of-semester blues, and into spring!

1. Spring cleaning

This one might go without saying, but cleaning up isn’t limited to the clutter of your bedroom. Start cutting out toxic things out of your life. This can be food, relationships, or bad habits. Try fostering a new hobby. And, cleaning up your household won’t hurt, either.

2. Start a garden or buy a plant

Planting a few flower or vegetable seeds are a perfect way to brighten up your home for the season. Buying a pre-planted or fake plant counts, too.

3. Nature walk

Visit a local park, prairie path, or garden. Taking a long walk or jog to decompress and connect with the world around you can be an easy fix to a cluttered mind and restless heart.

4. Star gazing

On a clear night, spend some time looking up at the sky to decompressing. It’s a nice reminder of how small we really are in this universe. It can be fun to point out the constellations you remember learning about in elementary school science class, too.

5. Splatter painting

This one is my personal favorite. Visit a craft store and pick up some art supplies.Then, go outside, turn on some music, lay out your canvas, and go to town. This can be really therapeutic, too.

6. Try out some new recipes

Although you can do this pretty much any time throughout the year, look up some good BBQ recipes for your grill to help get you in the spring and summer mood.

7. Visit a playground and relish in being a child again

Take a break from the final weeks of the semester to be a kid again! Swinging on a swing set and climbing the monkey bars can be more cleansing than you think.

8. Stop using your phone before bed

Taking a digital break in general is a great idea, but especially if you have trouble sleeping, spending those 20 minutes before bed without looking at a screen can have a much better impact. Break out that book you’ve been meaning to read for months now, and start reading that before bed. It helps you fall asleep faster, too!

9. Spruce up your wardrobe with some DIYs

Go thrifting and try some of these cute DIY ideas for a brand new wardrobe on a budget. Tie-dying is a personal favorite of mine, too.

10. Yoga and meditation

If you’re guilty of having “monkey mind”, like me, spending as little as five minutes a day meditating or doing basic yoga stretches can help immensely. Blocking out the world to really focus on your breathing can do so much for your mentality and your attitude for the rest of the day.

11. Make a bucket list

This can be as personalized as you’d like. Make a list of must-dos for the end of the semester, for summer break, or for the rest of your life. They can be anything from singing in the rain to going bungee jumping. Having those little things to cross off your list gives you something to look forward to.

12. Volunteer

Whatever area you’re interested in, whether it’s working with the elderly, animal shelters, or homeless shelters, find some local places to volunteer with. Not only are you helping someone else in need, that internal gratification is a great feeling.

13. Take pictures of what makes you happy every day

Try this out for a week or so: photograph a thing or person that made you smile that day. Compile your photos at the end, and look at how beautiful your life really is.

Enjoy, and happy spring!

Cover Image Credit: Celeste Horrocks

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What It's Like To Stay In Pittsburgh Over The Summer

What's there to do when our teachers are hibernating for three months?

It’s weird for me to think that some people don’t stay in Pittsburgh over the summer, if only because I haven’t gone home for any summer since I’ve been in college and I have no inclination to do so. There are plenty of reasons to stay: classes, research opportunities, jobs and internships, and some people find that they just don’t want to go home and find a reason to stay. Of course, even with all those incentives there are still some of you who will want to go home, wherever that may be, so hopefully I can clue you in on what it’s like over those three months.

To begin, Pittsburgh is absolutely gorgeous in the summer. You get a taste of it in the fall, and a whiff in spring, but wow, with the flowers and the trees in bloom, places like Frick park, The Point, The Waterfront, and Mount Washington are completely transformed in the haze of green and other colors. The second thing I always notice, around the third week in, is how quiet Oakland becomes. Walking around campus, you’re lucky to run into 8 strangers over the course of your day, although there are always a handful of stragglers in Hillman or Cathy. It feels nice, in an odd way; the campus feels much more personal, much more accommodating to you. And then, with the lack of people and stress from school, you start to branch out from Oakland and see more of the city, which is where the real fun begins.

We all know we go to the University of Pittsburgh, but honestly it’d be more accurate to say we go to school in Oakland. Campus can feel pretty big during the school year, but Pittsburgh is a city of dozens of neighborhoods outside of the four or five that make up Pitt’s domain, and most of us stay orbiting around specific buildings that are hubs for our majors. I didn’t really start understanding the dynamic of larger Pittsburgh until summer after my freshman year when I started to see comedy shows on a regular basis downtown, and it completely opened my eyes to the opportunities we miss every day during the school year.

I’m not trying to judge anyone: you’re lucky to see me outside of Hillman, Cathy, or my apartment during the school year. But still, when I think about all the festivals, museum openings, theatre performances, comedy shows, art galleries, and independent classes that are offered around Pittsburgh, just to name a few of the options available in a city like Pittsburgh with vast public services and interesting people, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out. If you ever get a chance, I’d say stay here over a summer, even if only for a couple weeks. And even if that’s not in the cards, maybe check out some of the local stuff happening outside of Oakland; Pittsburgh can surprise you.

Cover Image Credit: Robpinion on Wikimedia Commons

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