Yes, I'm A Junior, But I'm Also A Transfer, So Give Me A Break

Yes, I'm A Junior, But I'm Also A Transfer, So Give Me A Break

It may be funny to joke about, but be a little sympathetic to my situation.

I know everyone's favorite joke is freshmen. They have no idea where they are going, they are overly excited about college life, and you can literally pick them out of any crowd. But what if this junior is afraid to be the blunt of freshmen jokes... Ya know why?

Because I am a transfer.

I come from a community college where all of my classes were in one building. It was not much different than high school, to be honest. We had maybe 40 in my biggest classes, no SEC football team, no sororities, fraternities, 10 different libraries, etc. So please, before you giggle and point and say I look like a freshman, give me a break.

I might be lost... for a while. Y'all have like 10 different parking lots for one building, a different building for all of my classes, over 100 people in my classes, etc. Needless to say, this place is huge compared to what I am used to. So if I walk in circles with a campus map and my schedule, looking horribly confused, help a sister out and don't make jokes. Not all of us had the luxury of going to our big fancy four-year school from the beginning. Point me in the direction of my class, show me a helpful shortcut, or let me walk with you if you're going that way. You were once in this place, so try to be sympathetic.

If I get slightly overexcited about homecoming, football season, rush, or other campus activities, don't make fun of me. I have felt like I was in a continuation of high school for the last two years, so now that I am getting to experience actual college life, I may be slightly excited. I'm sure I'll be over it soon, but just let me have my fun, because in the end, I missed out on two years that you got.

I'm not asking for a pity party, but be a little sympathetic that I am pretty much starting over. I may look like a freshman, but I can promise you it feels worse than it looks. Leaving my friends, family, boyfriend, moving to a new town where I know very few people, and knowing that school is about to get a whole lot harder now that I am done with basics. All of this is a big adjustment, so if you could skip the jokes and lend a hand, that would be greatly appreciated.

So here's to being the new girl, the one who looks like a silly freshman, the one who's lost, confused, and nervous. And here's to me asking all you returning students who may think it's fun to judge, to not.

Cover Image Credit: stnorbertcollege / Flickr

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I Commuted A Total Of 25 Hours Each Week Over The Summer For An Internship

Spoiler alert: I knew the best things in life are worth fighting for... and I want to do it all over again.

It was a Wednesday night at around 9:15 p.m. when I started throwing my belongings into my black sack of a bag and threw my hair up into a ponytail after a long day of working my hardest to keep up with the people around me.

One of my coworkers looked at me with fatigue in his eyes and said, "Wow, I can't wait to go home," and of course, with agreeance, I couldn't relate more. He then asked me where my home was in a sense of small talk.

"Brick, New Jersey," I said. "Do you know where that is? It's right by Point Pleasant or Seaside Heights... you know, the shore."

He had a complete puzzled look on his face like he couldn't quite figure out not where I was from, but why I was here. With a tilt of his head, he asked me how long it would take me to get home.

"Well, if I can make this 10:05 p.m. train at Penn, I'll be home around 1 a.m.," I said.

And that's when everyone left on the floor looked at me in complete confusion. I could already read what was going through their minds: what is this 20-year-old girl doing traveling 3 hours at night by herself for an internship.

Let me explain it to you.

From the age of 13, I knew I wanted to be a journalist.

I wanted to do something bigger with my life than sit in an office crunching numbers and I never had the stomach for becoming anything in the medical industry. I wanted to become a voice for the voiceless ever since I started watching the news.

To make a long story short, last year I applied for an internship in New York City at CNN and although I knew it would be a hike and a half, I also knew that it was something I could never turn down.

I'll never forget the moment I read the email that said I was accepted. I think I cried for an hour before finally calling my incredibly supportive parents to tell them the news: I would be working for my absolute favorite broadcast news company.

When I came back from my school that summer, I prepared myself for what I knew would be an intensely long, but completely fulfilling summer. I bought a whole new wardrobe, perfect for NYC summer weather and sophisticated for the office. I purchased my NJ Transit train tickets in advance and had a few extra bucks to reload my MetroCard for the distance between Penn Station and Columbus Square. And most importantly? I bought the biggest bag of coffee I could find and a travel mug big enough for at least two cups and some cream. I was ready.

My days looked like this:

7:30 a.m.: My alarm would ring and I would start getting ready for my day, packing a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course, made my hefty cup of coffee.

8:30 a.m.: Catch the 8:30 train that never quite ran on schedule, always coming anytime between 8:25 to 8:45, so you can bet I was always there beforehand unless I would take the 9:25 and risk running late for work.

9:30 a.m.: Make my layover train in Long Branch, which would take me to Penn Station.

11:30 a.m.: Sometimes 12 p.m., I would arrive at Penn Station where I would either decide to walk from 35th to 59th (if it was closer to 11:30, not 12 because it's quite a stretch) or catch the Subway heading uptown.

12:45 p.m.: After either trek, I would finally make it to the Time Warner building that housed CNN and head up to my floor, getting my ID checked once and swiping it three times before finally making it to my desk.

1 p.m. to 8 p.m.: I worked on anything and everything they asked of me. It was honestly the best part of the job because I was able to interact and learn from so many different people. Because of this, I learned that my future job aspiration would not be reporting, but production.

8 p.m.: I would head down to set where I was the mug girl. You guessed it, those mugs sitting in front of the news hosts? They were set there by interns. For the show I was working for, that intern was me. For the rest of the hour, I would run scripts, get mic sets, and once again, do anything asked of me.

9 p.m.: Head back up to the office and start packing up.

10:05 p.m.: Catch the train heading back to "Shore Points."

12:05 a.m.: Take the layover to get to the train that would take me home.

1 a.m.: Get off the train and jump into my car that would take me home.

1:15 a.m.: Finally get home, take a shower, and get to sleep. Set my alarm for 7:30 a.m. and do it all over again.

I was getting roughly 6 hours of sleep a night unless, by some magical power, I would get to come home earlier the night prior and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. It was taxing. Waking up started getting very difficult towards the end and I could feel myself getting colds more frequently, but I refused to give it up for anything.

I commuted roughly 25 hours each week, which consisted of me on a train either watching download TV shows on Netflix from my tablet ("Bloodline" was often my show of choice) or read books. I plowed through 14 novels that summer and filled such a mundane time with stories of adventure, love, and sometimes murder.

So what was I, this 20-year-old girl, traveling by herself at night for? Well, I was living my dream.

I would walk home to the sight of bright lights. I would skim past Times Square and would sometimes catch views of castmates side-dooring after their Broadway shows. I would be among the many other bustling New York workers: something I always longed for.

One of my favorite parts of the whole experience was the morning trains. The train cars would consist of a hundred middle-aged men, slumped in their seats reading the morning paper or resting their eyes with headphones in their ears. And me. This little, young adult lady who was thriving at the thought of making it among the big dogs.

The conductors began to know me and would always make sure I was in the safest, quietest car after a long day of work. A fight in car 3? Well, car 5 only has 3 people so I should go there. A baby crying in car 7? Well, car 1 only has a young couple sleeping at the very back. They looked out for me and I will never forget that camaraderie.

That summer was not conventional. I didn't lay on the beach all day and I barely saw any friends. I was constantly exhausted and there were times that I wanted nothing more than to sleep in on a rainy morning and spend the day watching movies from the comfort of my bed.

But I knew my dreams called not from the comfort of my sheets, but in the streets of the big city.

I commuted a total of 25 hours each week over the summer for an internship at CNN in Manhattan, and I want to do it all over again.

Cover Image Credit: Eutah Mizushima

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4 Places Every Lady Should Buy Their Swimsuits From This Summer

Swimsuits for all!

With summer and spring break right around the corner, everyone seems to be in a mad dash to find the perfect swimsuit. When buying a swimsuit, three important criteria must be met. One, it must be comfortable. Two, it has to be affordable. And three, it needs to be cute. Believe it or not, finding a swimsuit that checks all the boxes is hard. Hopefully, this list can help you narrow down the search and help you find a swimsuit you'll want to rock all summer long.

1. Aerie

American eagle started selling swimsuits through Aerie about two years ago. Since then, the brand has blown up. Their cute and most importantly inclusive styles, have surely drawn a crowd. Bathing suit tops start at $24.95 and bottoms start at $19.95. The best part? The company constantly offer coupons, making the suits even more affordable.

Find your perfect swimsuit here!

2. Target

Everyone's favorite store has been selling swimwear for quite some time. Recently, Target has been stepping up the swimsuit game with adorable styles. With tops starting at $14.99, bottoms starting at $17.99 and sizes ranging from XXS - 26W, there's a swimsuit for everyone.

Find more swimsuits here!

3. ModCloth

ModCloth offers a variety of styles from retro looks to simple one pieces. The company prides itself in making clothing and swimwear for all women. Tops and bottoms start a $39.99. Bonus - if you sign up for email, you can get 15% off your first purchase!

Find your next swimsuit here!

4. Old Navy

Old Navy is great place to buy basic swimsuits. From classic triangle tops and flattering tankinis, Old Navy has it all. Plan on going surfing or paddle boarding? They've got you covered. Old Navy has rash guards and board shorts in a variety of bold prints. Tops start at $24.99 and bottoms start at $19.99.

Find more swimsuits here!

Cover Image Credit: The Today Show

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