So, All Your Friends Left For College

So, All Your Friends Left For College

Staying at home doesn't suck as much as they say.

The summer is coming to a close and for millions of high school seniors across the country, they're wiping their tears while giving their final goodbyes to friends and family as they pack their parents truck and vans full of furniture and clothing. They're heading off for college. Whether it's a few hours away, or a few states away, they're going away and might not be back until Thanksgiving.

But they've got a fresh, exciting adventure ahead of them. They're wiping the slate clean, going to a totally new place, meeting brand new people, and doing so many things for the first time. It's what some old people call "the best four years of their life". They can't wait to get started, and they can't wait to get away from home. So the middle of August arrives and everyone has shipped off and moved into their dorm rooms.

Except you.

But worry not young soul, you're not alone. Read on.

Not everyone can go hours away for college, and for a lot of people who can, they just don't want to - and for very reasonable and wise reasons they choose to stay home. I'm one of those people, who for years and years was certain I was going to go hours and hours away for school, but yet here I am commuting just a short 10-15 minute drive to the University of Cincinnati from the wonderful home I've spent 19 years living in.

In the end, it was finances that kept me home, and I feel like that is the #1 reason why many students decide to commute to school as the costs of living and room & board at many universities is just out of control.

But right not you're not thinking about the cost. All you can think about is how all of your friends just left you and suddenly you're stuck at home with no friends and you feel just as alone and vulnerable as a new kid who just transferred to your school halfway through the year.

Unlike many of your friends who are excited about their new situation, it's feels like the exact opposite for you. You might feel great disappointment, like you failed yourself for not figuring out how to go to a different school, like you could've worked harder, or saved more money, and suddenly you feel like you've made every wrong decision to get you to this point.

Trust me, I've been there. A year ago this time I went through these same exact feelings and emotions. I had just helped my girlfriend move into her dorm room around 2 hours north of me and when I came home I felt completely empty. I scrolled through my various social media seeing everyone moving into their dorms and already having the times of their lives and here I was feeling 100x worse than all of them.

I already had a distorted view of college, I was already against it and wanted nothing to do with it. I felt ashamed every time someone would ask me "where are you going to school?" and I'd tell them UC and I would almost see the "oh, well that's fun I guess" look on their face. All of this came crashing down on me in the first couple weeks and I felt miserable, almost sick.

But like any emotional spiral, time heals all. Almost immediately I found two people who were in all of my classes that I ended up becoming friends with. I was able to pick up a super cool job that was able to distract me from everything and also make some money while having a good time with awesome co-workers.

I enjoyed being done with class at noon and being able to come home and do anything I wanted. When my car broke down several times, my parents were right there to help me fix it, or give me a few bucks here and there when I really needed it. The way they saw it, they were (and still are) willing to help me out a little bit since they are tied down to any loans and my tuition cost isn't that crazy every semester.

So basically what I'm saying is, it's going to be okay. Yes your college experience isn't going to be the same as your friends, but in many instances I think it will be better. You can still spend all the time you want on campus, but with the added bonus that you can leave and go wherever you want whenever you want.

Once you realize how much college really costs, you'll be glad you stayed home and will only be a totally manageable 20k in debt compared to the 80-100k in debt your friends will be paying off until they die.

You can still have tons of fun at college and go home and sleep in your bed at night. I suggest joining a club or a sport, join something that will keep you around campus and get you involved with others.

Try to not just go to class and bounce every day. Hang around, go to the rec center, have lunch with some friends. Invite some out of town people to do popular things around your city. Your entire college experience is up to you. And when your friends come home for the summer, you've got a solid 4 months to hang out with them until the cycle repeats itself.

So if you're feeling beat up or upset about staying home for college, perk up. It's really not the end of the world. Give it a few weeks and you'll discover how much fun college itself is, and how much fun you can still have while not paying an arm and leg to live there. Instead of sulking about what you don't have, make the most of what you do have, and I guarantee you'll be happy with your decision.

Cover Image Credit: University of Cincinnati

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college


Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries

It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner

With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram

Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate

The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity

If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in

If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one

Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities

Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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