i’ve never been that superstitious The most I’ve ever researched astrology and fortune telling has been in my Latin class, I don’t seek out omens, and the only reason I don’t walk under ladders is because I’m terrified I’ll trip over it and it’ll come […]
When preparing to head to college the most common piece of unsolicited advice you receive is to get ready for the freshman 15, referring to the approximate 15 pounds the typical freshman gains during their first year of college as the begin to acclimate to […]
A total solar eclipse occurring on my first day of classes back at the University of Oklahoma can be interpreted to mean many things, as the omens surrounding solar eclipses stretch back millennia and cover almost every culture, with each one trying its best to […]
i’ve never been that superstitious
The most I’ve ever researched astrology and fortune telling has been in my Latin class, I don’t seek out omens, and the only reason I don’t walk under ladders is because I’m terrified I’ll trip over it and it’ll come crashing down on me.
However, I am a firm believer in certain signs from the world. I saw a hawk on my way to take the ACT the time I got my highest score, a firetruck interrupted the funeral procession for my grandfather, something Cleo most certainly would have found entertaining, and every once in a while I get a fortune cookie that really speaks to me.Granted, I do eat a lot of Asian food and therefore eat a lot of fortune cookies, so my chances for getting a fortune that’s applicable are pretty high.
But when you get a fortune that tells you exactly what you need to hear, I like to think it isn’t entirely by chance. By chance, I got Thai with my family on my lunch break. By chance, I went on my lunch break earlier than normal. By many chance encounters, I ended up getting the fortune cookie I did when we received the bill. But when I cracked open that cookie and saw the tiny slip of paper reading “Be prepared to change your plans, it’ll be good for you!” I couldn’t help but think maybe, just maybe, the universe was talking to me.
Nothing in my life for the past two years has gone according to plan. I didn’t go to the college I thought I would. I wouldn’t perform in the college I did go to like I thought I would. I didn’t have the understanding of my mental stability I thought I did. I didn’t even declare the major I thought I would. In the midst of any drastic change, people tend to have trouble adjusting. Some people, who remain nameless but run a blog and really like coffee, tend to react in the worst way possible and maybe have a proclivity for depressive episodes and maybe didn’t love themselves as much as they should have in the past two years.
That tends to force a person to change their plans. If said person doesn’t recognize that things need to change, it tends to cause the universe to force their hand and change their plans for them. And that is exactly what my life has been like as of lately. I took an (at first) involuntary break from college. I moved home. I felt the low depths of depression that I didn’t know existed.
But then I bounced back. I started taking care ofmyself, taking baby steps to self love. It started with washing my face absolutely every night before bed and not sleeping with makeup on anymore. Then with washing my hair on a regular three day schedule. Then with getting my health issues in check, from the scoliosis I diagnosed myself with and ended up totally having, to the depression and anxiety I had let get way out of line. I took my medicine. I let myself feel ashamed and disappointed and guilty and then let those feelings pass, because they were my anxiety convincing me that I wasn’t worthy of being a person and were completely unjustified.
I cried it out, and then I wiped my cheeks and got back up.
I didn’t want to change my plans. I never thought I would end up not being ready for college, the place I’ve been longing to go to for upwards of 10 years. The place I knew would be my place. But I am so unbelievably grateful I did. I now feel more like myself than I have in a long time. I love myself for who I am, warts and all. I know that I am not perfect, and that is okay. I know that I am beautiful and intelligent and capable of so much more than I’ve been giving myself credit for, and that this too shall pass. Changing my plans was absolutely good for me, in ways I never thought possible of not being in school.
Now, I’m ready. I am well equipped to handle college. Six months ago it didn’t feel like I would go back, but I can now say with certainty I will be back. I will finish what I started, and I’ll do better than I was ever capable of doing this time last year. I know I have so much I want and need, and that giving up now wouldn’t do anyone any good, so I simplyhave to get back up and keep on keepin’ on. And I wouldn’t be able to recognize any of that if hadn’t changed my plans.
So if you find yourself at a low point or in the middle of a dark time, change your plans. It’ll be good for you.
Just to alleviate any potential anxiety regarding the contents of the following post, this will not be political. Personally, I don’t believe now (or ever, really) is the time for broadcasting my political views for all to see. As my favorite politician once said, “Alea […]
With the end of the academic year fast approaching, it is of course the time for me to neglect studying for finals for a brief moment in order to sit down and reflect on my first year of college and, of course, write about it.
I write this with my friend graduating highschool in a few short weeks in mind, so Emily, this is all the best advice I can give you about senior summer and freshman year.
The Summer Before College
The summer before I went off to college was easily the weirdest summer I’ve experienced. It was wonderful and terrible and weird and stressful all at the same time. All I can say is travel somewhere you’ve never been (*cough cough* Paris *cough cough*) and get as much sleep as humanly possible. Oh, and work enough to save up some cushion money for the first semester or even the first year so you can prolong the time between your first day of classes and that fateful day you go get a job and your life in college gets infinitely harder.
move in day
Ah move in day. It’s a hot fucking mess, that’s for sure. Literally everyone and their brother will be on campus, around the dorms, in the parking lot, basically if you’re on campus, there will be a TON of people. So do what I did: find any excuse to move in at least a week early and then get the hell out of dodge for move in day. Maybe drive to Edmond and get a tattoo that day (not saying that’s what I did…). Whatever you do, get off campus that day and avoid the helicopter moms telling freshman everywhere how to set up their dorms.
class, coursework, and academics in general
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I’ll probably be saying it when I’ve long since graduated and no longer even have to worry about it, but FUCKING GO TO CLASS. The biggest mistake I made in college was not going to class enough and I am absolutely paying the price for it now. I know it’s nice outside/cold outside/raining, I know you have homework/sleep to catch up on/other excuses. But go to class anyways. It won’t last forever and you can take a nap as soon as you get back, I promise. They may dismiss early, your professor might not even show up, or likelier than not you’re going to learn something you didn’t know and wouldn’t learn from your textbook AND you get the attendance grade for the day. Just go, you’ll never regret the times you go to class, but you will always regret the times you didn’t.
As for homework, I have a few systems in place that tend to work pretty well.
- My friend Hailey and I like to sit down on the first few days of class during the beloved and short lived syllabus week and plan out major assignments and readings for the entire semester for all of our classes. So invest in a planner and some page flags, print out your syllabi, and go to town. I like to color code mine by class so I can keep each course separate and not get confused when I just see the word exam written on certain day. I promise you this will save you so much time in the long run and you’ll thank yourself when you don’t forget an exam, paper, or even just the reading for the week.
- Set up your planner so that you’re always a week ahead. Set up assignments by due date in the month view, but then in the week view put all readings and minor assignments as a week ahead, that way you’re never truly behind. I did this at the beginning of second semester and it worked pretty well until the asshole part of myself convinced me that I could slack off because I was a week ahead, causing me to have to do two to three weeks worth of reading and assignments all at once in order to catch up. (side note, this does take quite a bit of self discipline, but it’s totally worth it and I believe in you. You can do it.)
And when it comes to general academics, just please for the love of god remember to study. I know Netflix looks enticing, but you are definitely not paying this much money just to sit in your dorm and watch The Office. Get your backpack, go to the library, and study for at least an two hours a day. This will make studying for finals so much easier and you’ll be so thankful for early semester you getting her shit done and generally making your life easier.
You’re here to learn, and you can’t do that without actually going to class, doing your work, and studying to retain information, so please just remember that.
alcohol and partying
Wow, where to even begin on this one. Let’s face it, you’re eighteen and you shouldn’t be drinking in the first place, but you’re probably going to. But be smart about it. Don’t go out in public either after drinking or to drink. It’s just not a smart move. Try to avoid frat parties, they’re nothin but trouble. And please please please don’t go to someone’s house if you don’t know them. I know it seems like every college student is invincible and nothing can ever happen to them, but I’ve seen too many good friends get into serious trouble, life threatening situations, and circumstances that I always thought happened to other people, never to my friends and never to me, and they will haunt me for the rest of my life, and I really don’t want you to experience that or even some of the things I’ve experienced myself. Please, be smart, be cautious, and always be aware that something could happen at any given moment. If you’re debating between going out and staying in, it’s almost always better to stay in. I’ve never regretted the nights I stayed in and studied, but I will always regret some of the nights I went out.
If you have to get a job while you’re going to school, just be warned, your whole life as you know it is about to change. You’ll have to manage your time so much better than you were previously, and what little free time you do have is going to be more precious than gold. All I can say is find a job on or near campus that you don’t hate that pays at least minimum wage and tough it out. Don’t make more than fifteen minutes of a commute, it isn’t worth it. If you’re going to work nights make sure you have sufficient time to sleep and study. And for the love of god, don’t work two jobs.
Oh god, this one is a little harder to write about. If you’ve read my blog before, you know I am definitely not the best about this subject. But I have learned a few lessons this year regarding what you should and really shouldn’t do.
If I could go back and start my year over again I probably wouldn’t date at all freshman year. Just like your parents will tell you, this is truly the time for figuring out who you are and who you want to be, as well as being the time for finding your footing as a college student, and you absolutely do not need a significant other to do this.
Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to my parents and I didn’t know then what I know now, so I did pretty much all of the wrong things. I dated a frat boy. I dated an older man. I dated someone (okay, someones) in my coed fraternity. I gave all that I had to people that didn’t want much from me and generally did not give a shit about how I was feeling and my emotional well being. I settled for much, much less than I deserved. I let the opinion of who I was dating dictate my self worth, and I let myself get taken advantage of time and time again. It wasn’t pretty. I wasted so much expensive mascara crying over people that did not lose a wink of sleep over me, even after I told myself I was worth so much more than 1) a one night stand 2) a shitty boyfriend, or 3) being someone’s ‘friend’ with benefits.
So all I can say is if you must date, be selective. Have high standards for yourself and stick with them. Don’t say yes to whoever flashes a smile your way because nine times out of ten it’s going to end with you on the phone with your dad at one in the morning wondering what you did wrong and why you deserved to be treated this way.
Just be oh so careful with who you entrust you heart. Make sure they deserve it.
All in all, its been the best and worst year of my life. It’s been such a challenge and I would do so many things differently if given the opportunity, but what can I say: it was freshman year. It’s supposed to be weird and terrible and wonderful all at once, and if it’s any reassurance this is how everyone feels at any given time. You just have to tough it out and hope the university doesn’t swallow you whole.
While my first year was absolutely not how I thought it was going to be and I’m definitely coming out the other side bruised and beaten, I’m still coming out the other side, and I’m not broken. I may not have all of my ducks in a row quite yet, but they are all at least in the same pond, and this wonderful life is still worth living.
oh, and I chose that to be the featured image as those are the two faces you will make the most this year, so get ready for that.
SLut I think we should remove that word from our vocabulary. It’s (late) International Women’s Day 2016 and people are still calling each other that four letter word. Why. We are so beyond this as a society and I genuinely don’t understand how someone can […]
It’s no secret that I use my blog to vent.
But let me make one thing clear.
I write for myself.
I don’t write to send “subtle” messages. I’m a big girl and I use my words like an adult.
I write because it makes me feel good to have something I’ve written out in the open. It makes my feelings seem more valid. It makes me feel better knowing that someone somewhere could be going through a similar situation and read my words and feel a little better knowing there’s some stranger out there that understands.
I write because it is oh so cathartic to share my life with the world and have my feelings on display.
I write because it makes me happy, and hopefully it makes you happy too.
So with that being said, I’m going to continue running my blog the way I’ve been running it since its advent: any damn way I please.
oh and by the way, I love you, dear reader. You are also the reason I write. And you look good today.
Let’s face it, I’m not always witty. I know it’s hard to understand and to think of a time when I’m not on my A game because, let’s face it, I’m awesome. But it totally happens and it happens all the time. For example, this […]