Live Life To The Fullest And Don't Let Anybody Get In Your Way

She's The Girl Living Life To The Fullest, And Not Letting Anyone Stand In Her Way

There were the times and actions where I knew I wasn't alone, that Rutgers is where I'm meant to be.

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It's hard to imagine that in a little under two weeks my freshman year will be over. Just the other day, May 1st, was National College Commitment Day and I could only reminisce about how time has flown by. It was only a year ago that I was still in high school, thinking about what college I wanted to go to and when next time my friends and I would be getting sushi. Instead, I now sit in the Panera on College Ave, writing this article and panicking over the five finals that are literally right around the corner. Where has the time gone?

Although fast, I'm grateful for Rutgers and everything that it has offered me. The memories are going to last a lifetime, not to mention the relationships I have created and developed. My freshman college experience was everything could have hoped it would be and then some. With the semester and year coming to a close, I've been thinking a lot about how things could have turned out differently for me. How the slightest hesitation or making a contrasting decision would have the ability to change everything. The choices I have made are what led me to where I am today and I would not change them for the world.

Like I said, the memories I've made at Rutgers are going to stay with me forever. But, there are quite a few events and people that stick out more than others. They were the times and actions where I knew I wasn't alone, that Rutgers is where I'm meant to be. So, here they are, a list of the memories I've made that have changed my life for the better.

Throwdown

Although a simple one, it was truly the first event where I got to meet most, if not all, of the people living in my building. Throwdown, with all of its competitions and prizes, was a time for those living in the dorm to bond. It was a chance for everyone to bond over something, to create relationships with one another right off the bat. While some of the friends I made at Throwdown have faltered, there are the few that I continue to get closer with as the days go by. These are the friends that have been there for me through it all and I know will keep that same energy in the coming years. It is these relationships that remind me of Throwdown constantly, not to mention the fact that I got a free t-shirt.

Writing for Odyssey

Before coming to Rutgers, I was an average writer and a lacking member of my high school's online newspaper. But Odyssey gave me the chance to truly develop my skills and have a voice amongst so many others. Even though it sounds cliche, posting on Odyssey has been a choice I will never regret. I look forward to submitting my article, to seeing the views each one gets, and hoping that I'm making an impact on someone's life. Someone once asked me, "Why do you write all of your articles from a psychological perspective?" And to be honest, I think that person is wrong. Every article I've written has been meant to showcase my experiences and share them with anyone willing to take the time out of their day to read them. I hope that in doing so, I'm being relatable and showing who I truly am with the world.

My best friend

I have those friends from high school, the ones you constantly keep in touch with and even though you spend months apart, you instantly click when reunited. But, I met my best friend, the guy I share everything with and can spend countless hours just talking to, our second month into the first semester. We've done practically everything together since getting past those awkward, polite conversations and I've never been more grateful for a person. He's always willing to push me to do my best and I do the same for him, with both of us supporting the other in anything and everything. There's never a dull moment and the memories that we've made are for the books. Thanks for everything dog, can't wait for the next few years and memories to come!

Late night conversations

I can't remember whether or not I've mentioned it before, but literally everyone in my building is a night owl. There is never a time when the halls are silent, as music is always blasting and voices traveling around every corner. But the real memories are made in the lounges, where everyone gathers just to talk about their day and rant about what they're stressed about. Although some of these conversations are meant to be serious, they will always, without a doubt, end in laughter. Everyone can never say enough and they end up lasting into the early morning, with some people have early 8 a.m. classes. It is easy to get sidetracked during these conversations, with topic after topic someone connecting in a way that only makes sense to those involved from the beginning. But, I've gotten the best advice from these conversations and have gotten to know some of the most amazing people, so it's alright.

There are so many more memories that I could mention, but I'm running out of words. At this point, I've got about eighty left, and I want to use those to say something else: Rutgers was definitely not my first choice when it came to colleges. But now that I've spent the past seven months here, I cannot picture myself anywhere else. Rutgers is my home away from home and I know that even when I graduate, I'll always be a Scarlet Knight at heart. So in the words of Fall Out Boy, "thnks fr the mmrs."

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Don't Buy A Graduation Gown If There Are Some Already At Home You Can Reuse Or Borrow

Even though I had three graduation gowns at home, my high school still required me to buy another graduation gown.

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Last year, I was a senior at high school. I had three graduation gowns from my sisters. Even though I had three graduation gowns at home, my high school still required me to buy another graduation gown. I was told that the graduation gown has a different color and design. I was also told that if I do not buy the new graduation gown, then I might not be able to walk in the graduation ceremony. This meant that I might not be able to get my diploma from the graduation ceremony.

When I bought the graduation gown, it was the same color and design as my sisters' graduation gowns. It was the same, like my eldest sister's graduation gown from 2014 and the twin's graduation gown from 2015. Four years apart from my eldest sister's graduation gown and three years apart from the twins' graduation made no difference to the graduation gown of 2018.

Why do I still need to buy a graduation gown if it turned out to be the same as my sisters' graduation gown? Why do high schools require students that have siblings to purchase another graduation gown? I understand that siblings have to purchase it if they cannot fit the graduation gown that they have. I understand that the siblings have to purchase it if the graduation gown has a different color. Let's say the eldest sibling has an orange graduation gown, while his or her younger sibling has to wear a blue graduation gown. My graduation gown was still blue like my sisters' graduation gowns. I understand, too, that high schools need siblings to purchase the graduation gowns in order to raise money for school events. If not, then what are they doing with that money instead?

I totally understand that an extra gown is needed for a twin. One sister graduated from high school in 2014. Two of them graduated in 2015. One twin can use that sister's gown. The other twin has to purchase it. However, the twins were told that both of them have to buy the gown. It cannot just be one twin that purchases the high school graduation gown.

Some people told me that maybe the zipper changed. Hey, when we are walking at the graduation ceremony, who is going to care about the zipper? Why do parents, teachers, and school administrators come to the graduation ceremony? They want to see the students get their diploma, not see what graduation gown that they are wearing.

Compared to some high schools, some colleges do not care if students purchase a graduation gown or borrow it from a sibling, friend, or alumni. My sisters recently graduated from college. They did not buy a graduation gown this time. They borrowed the gown from a friend. The friend was happy that someone wanted to make use of the graduation gown because it was only worn once and now it will get worn again. However, they still needed to buy a tassel since their friend graduated in a different year. Despite that, my sisters were able to save plenty of money because they did not have to purchase the gown.

From this, there is a true difference with how the high schools and colleges regulate the graduation gowns. It is easier for high schools to keep track of graduation gown purchases. High schools can keep track because there are not that many students in them. There are hundreds of high school students in a high school and millions of college students in a college. This shows that having siblings is not a good thing for high school graduations while it is a good thing in college graduations.

Here is the amount of money that has been paid to the three high school graduation gowns. Each of them cost $60 which equaled $180. In 2018, the graduation gown became cheaper. It cost $25. So, $180 + $25 = $205. If my graduation gown still cost $60, then my family would flip and explode because the total amount would be $240. If the high school allowed my sisters and me to reuse our graduation gowns, then we could save plenty of money.

So from these pictures, do our graduation gowns look the same to you? To my family and me, there is really no difference at all!

Amber Chai 2014: My eldest sister's graduationAmber Chai

Amber Chai 2015: The twins' graduationAmber Chai

Amber Chai 2018: My graduationAmber Chai

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