The Sophomore Sprint

In the past 6 weeks I have been trying to handle the  beginning of my Sophomore year in college. In high school, however, I remember Sophomore year as such a comfortable time. I knew my campus, I knew how to study, I knew my friends, I supposedly knew it all. But oh dear how college is different. This time around, I’ve learned a lot from Freshman year but I still am just trying new things until I get them right.

Sophomore year in college is a whole new ballpark. First off, living in an apartment is definitely different than living in a dorm. You have to either drive or take the bus everywhere and that means actually planning your days out. My friends who are Freshman still text me at weird times of the day asking me to come over and all  I can think is, “uh where am i supposed to park? like it will take awhile to get there” Secondly, this is my first year balancing a job, a full class load, and research. And boy, do I miss the days of Freshman year where I had time to take a four hour nap every day. Every second of my day is planned out either in class, studying on breaks, in my research lab, or in my office. Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, I have time to watch an episode of Friends. Thirdly, my friends don’t live across the hall from me anymore. I have to actually make plans in advance with them, not just hope they’re home and knock on their door. All of these things I never thought of until they happened in the past few years, I still don’t know where to park to meet my friends on campus, I still don’t know how to fit in my four hour nap that sometimes I so desperately need.

Now, I certainly am not hating on Sophomore year. There’s so many perks and the biggest one for me is trying new things now that I know what didn’t work for me last year. I hated football games last year, this year I went with new friends and we stay until the game ends every single week. Last year, I worried so much on fixing relationships that were, well let’s be honest, they were doomed. This year I know to focus my attention on people who lift me up and make as much effort as I do to be friends. Freshman year is so fun and exciting but Sophomore year is too, in a new fast paced learning curve type of way. The best way that I’ve found to look at college is to enjoy what every second brings whether it’s learning to love something new or learning that you definitely do not love something (like I may have learned that I really do hate geology…)

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The Highs (and Lows) of Life

A few days ago I was driving back to my college town and for the first time in quite awhile I felt truly happy. And for the first time in a long time it wasn’t because of someone else. I sat driving with the sun shining on my face listening to Khalid’s album and couldn’t help but finally be proud of myself for letting me be happy on my own.

This one happy moment reminded me that in the midst of insanity that is our world today, we can find happiness. In a world where I feel so much pressure to be perfect and to be an image that other people find pleasing, it is hard to like yourself at times when no one is telling you that you’re beautiful, or that they love you. In college people rant and rave about how you should be single and enjoy your four years as free as possible. And yes, sometimes that sounds wonderful but college can also be a dark and lonely place. It is hard to remember that you are worth something when you see yourself as alone. It is hard to love yourself when you are bombarded by happy couples holding hands on campus, cute pictures of couples on date dashes, and unfortunately you begin to crave attention for the wrong reasons. You want someone to tell you that they want you; you want someone to post pictures of you for the world to see. And you deserve all of that.

What you don’t deserve is wanting that because it makes you feel whole. Every single one of us is whole by ourselves. Relationships add another dimension to you, make you 50% whole-er, but you were never a half to begin with. The way I see it is that when you feel lonely, your brain is really saying love me more. It’s not asking for someone else to love it. The good in the bad, the love in the lonely, the happiness in the insanity begins with you alone.

So in conclusion, every day wake up, rise and grind, and love yourself.

Your First Apartment

After moving in and living in my brand new apartment for the past 5 days, I have definitely learned some new things (the hard way). Here are 5 things that were completely weird firsts for me. From my rough first hand experience to you!

  1. Not all houses and apartments are built the same. Sometimes you get one with the smoke detector on the opposite end of the kitchen, sometimes you get one with the smoke detector inside of the kitchen and sometimes you wake up your roommate at 8 am because you got carried away making breakfast…
  2. You wake up in the morning no longer concerned about your plans for the day or what to wear. Your first thoughts change to “what do I make for breakfast?” and “do I make coffee before breakfast?” and trust me, the answer to the latter one is always YES.
  3. And yes, you might stay up until 1 am the first night you’re in the apartment about in tears on your bathroom floor because you just cannot figure out how to assemble your shampoo holder. P.S. ask your roommate for help because mine didn’t even cry putting it together (unlike me).
  4. Another fun fact for your first night in your new place, you might avoid going to bed or showering or basically doing anything because it doesn’t feel like home. But trust me, after a few days, you will be just as comfortable there as anywhere else.
  5. Finally, as much as I hated all the adults in my life laughing at me saying that I will have to “adult” and not have my mommy do everything for me, it’s 100% true (obviously). You have to remember to do the dishes, take the trash out, brush your teeth, cook meals, make your bed, clean the apartment. The list never ends!!

Don’t worry though, every little thing that goes wrong in the process of moving into your own space is something that you can look back on and laugh about. Hopefully one day I can tell my grandkids not to worry about burning the first meal they cook alone because I did it too and it’s honestly, a little hilarious to watch your roommate panic because the smoke alarm is going off.

My honest advice though, is enjoy messing up while you can♥

Major Choices

Picking a major in college wasn’t that hard for me. I knew since I was 10 years old that I wanted to be a psychologist and luckily for me, that’s worked out so far. I absolutely love my major. The weird thing was for me, I didn’t know what to minor in.

Worrying over a minor seems so silly, after all it is only a minor. But, psychology is a field where majoring in it isn’t enough. Unfortunately, a degree in psychology won’t get you many places. So, I spent my freshman year of college wandering through human development classes, biology classes, and pretty much racking my brain. In the last month of classes and the day before I actually had to sign up for the next semester, I chose to minor in neuroscience.

brain

In all honesty, this post is inspired purely because this choice scared the pants off of me. Neuroscience was a scary area of study, it was definitely a science field, it involved chemistry, math, and oh, the most complex part of the body. It was terrifying but as I asked my adviser how to go about pursuing it, I felt so strong. I had chosen to study the one thing that actively interested me but more importantly would challenge me.

There is a quote that goes like this, “everything you want is on the other side of fear” and I feel like it describes picking a major or minor perfectly. Sometimes what drives us, what we are passionate about, is the thing that is going to challenge us the most but maybe that is why it will be the most rewarding.

Help! It’s Moving Season

It’s all fun and games talking about moving into your first apartment until you actually have to start doing it. I am three weeks away from moving into my *beautiful* apartment but holy heck is it a lot to deal with sometimes.

So, after what seemed like a whole year of searching and a lifetime of waiting, my best friends and I have signed the lease to our new and first apartment. We were freaking ecstatic.

And then..

I went to see the actual apartment we would be living in and realized we needed literally everything to survive. We were starting from scratch, talk about a rough realization. Suddenly, our group text wasn’t full of making weekend plans it was full of…

“Who has plates?” “Does anyone have a couch? or spoons?” “How do we pay for electricity?”  “Do we reaaaaally need cable? I don’t wanna pay for that too.”

(side note — cable is way overrated)

As crazy and overwhelming as filling an empty apartment was and still is, it’s a whole other level of excitement. Starting from scratch is pretty therapeutic to be honest, here is this place that doesn’t have any bad memories, here is this place where I can finally decorate my room 100% my own, here is this place that I can watch my best friends decorate their rooms 100% their own. We get to watch each other attempt to be adults for the first time and what’s more fun than watching each other fail at making dinner or doing something stupid without having to call their mom or their RA?

Here’s to starting over in a new place with good friends♥

 

How to Survive Summer at Home

Summer usually doesn’t turn out to be the constant beach party that we thought it would be when we were daydreaming instead of studying for finals.

The problem with that daydream starts with the fact that most of us lose touch with friends at home while we’re away at college and our college friends don’t live in our hometown. Not to even mention that responsibilities don’t just melt away after the semester ends, we have jobs now instead of class. So basically, we are still stressed out, broke college kids with less friends.

So what do you do when your summer is a little more lonely and a bit more stressful than you bargained for? You find yourself that’s what you do. Now is the time to try out yoga, hiking, reading, writing you’ve been considering doing all year. Summer to yourself doesn’t have to be sad and lonely.

Sure, we might be alone more than we are used to at college but finding a side of yourself that you hadn’t met before is just as cool as meeting new friends — maybe even cooler.

Instead of reminding ourselves that we’re living with our parents again with no friends, start doing things that you want — things that you’ve never done, things that your friends didn’t want to do with you.

On top of taking new risks, reflect on the last year at university, I’m sure we all have regrets. Find those regrets and channel them to make a better you. Didn’t work out enough during the year? Work out now. Regret going through a friend break-up? Make up with them now. Summer really shouldn’t all be about partying and tanning as fantastic as those are. Take time to find yourself and create the you that you wanted to be before college stressed you out. ♥♥

Let’s be Honest, College is Messy

“Your first year at college is the hardest”

Maybe that’s why so many kids drop out after their first semester. I saw students that I had known from Kindergarten drop out, students I went to high school with drop out. It’s easy to judge these kids and say college isn’t for them, they drank too much and went to class too little, or they just didn’t cut it.

While some of that could be true, I’m calling BS. From personal experience I can say that during my first year of college it was incredibly tempting to call it quits. And for me, admitting this is terrifying because my whole life I had to be stronger and better than anyone else. Then, college kicked my ass.

During my first year, it wasn’t that my classes were too hard for me that made me consider moving back home, it was an overwhelming change in all areas of my life. I went from a girl in high school who had her closest friends around all the time (thanks to my dance team) and an unbreakable support system because of that. Moving to college didn’t break that support system but if they were my bridge that got me over things, I was in California and my bridge was in New York. Or so it felt. I suddenly had to create a whole new friend group and at first I thought it was going perfect, I had a boyfriend and a roommate who was my best friend. While this was great for a few weeks or so, it wasn’t enough. After a particularly rough few months, I decided that I needed to branch out more. I met more people and while some of them were AMAZING and some were… less than, it still wasn’t enough. It wasn’t more people that I needed, I needed more me.

After so many ways that college changes someone’s life in a matter of practically seconds, of course so many people drop out and go home where it’s comfortable, where it’s safe, where they can forget who they became (or didn’t become) in school. But the thing that kept me going was knowing that if I could get out of bed every day, go to class, and try something new, I would eventually become who I want to be. It’s not easy to find out exactly what makes you miserable when your whole world changes but changing one thing at a time for the better eventually gets you to where you want to be. By the end of my freshman year, I had met some great girls who were always there for me, I tried boxing, barre class, hip hop dancing, and so much more. I’m not perfect now but I’m going in the right direction for who I want to be.

So for anyone who is scared to move away to college, for anyone who feels like they just don’t fit in at the school they’re at, for anyone who is so tempted to drop out and move home, follow your heart. Make baby steps to be the person you want to be. College seems overwhelming but it doesn’t have to loom over you. Maybe dropping out is truly the best thing for you but if your heart isn’t 100% in that decision, don’t do it. You’re there for a reason, you followed your heart to school, now follow your heart to making you the best you can be while you’re there.