I’m Thankful, But…

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During high school, I had the opportunity to earn 38 college credit hours through a dual-enrollment program with a local college. This allowed me to enter my first year at university as a sophomore. This is great because I can (Lord willin’) graduate a year early with a degree. And I’m thankful for all of this. I’m thankful that I was able to get a year behind me while in high school. I’m thankful for how those dual-enrollment classes prepared me. I’m really thankful I have music appreciation behind me (ha!). But this has its disadvantage.

My last two years of high school I knew I would major in chemistry and go into pharmacy. In fact, I was dead set on this and really irritated when people told me I might change my mind. Fast-forward to this past fall during my first semester at university. I called my mom crying almost every night. Literally. I was very bored and completely stressed at the same time in every science class. I loathed the pre-requisites and knew I would be miserable if I took any more. I needed creativity. I decided to change my major within the first half of the semester. I had changed my mind like I was told I might. I was done.

The problem here lies in the fact that I had no clue what I was going to like once I entered college (for real). For me, the structure of science courses didn’t work, and I also wasn’t interested in anything I was learning. My English and debate classes, however, were my favorites. I realized I’m really interested in social issues and creative outlets— not whatever the Krebs Cycle is (I somehow made an A in biology, though).

Dual-enrollment made me feel like I had to know what I was going to major in as soon as I came to college. It meant that I had one less year to figure out what I was into, then I had to start classes in my major. I knew that after this year I needed to have a plan. It would all be fine if everyone knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grow up (and stuck with it,) but a lot of people end up changing their minds.

I’m really thankful to have a year of college behind me, but it also pressured me into making some big decisions about my future earlier than I was ready for. I still suggest taking dual-enrollment classes as a high school student, but I think more students need to know it may cause them to feel hurried through college.

College: Simplified.

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I’ve learned a couple of things from being at college so far (none of which have anything to do with biology because the PTSD already took care of that.) Here is my list of what I would consider 15 of the more important items for college that also make life so much easier.

  1. Water pitcher with a filter.  My Brita water pitcher is like a first-born child to me. Dorm water tastes weird, so this helps and also saves a lot of money that would otherwise go to buying water.
  2. Coffee pot. I have a Keurig which is perfect for me because I only drink one cup of coffee a day. It’s also really easy to add water and a K-cup, hit a button, and brew.
  3. Sturdy umbrella. I touched on this in another post on here, but umbrellas break easily. Go ahead and get a decent one.
  4. Rain boots. It’s going to rain on campus (sorry), and no one likes cold, wet feet.
  5. Tennis shoes. I’m not much of a tennis shoe girl, but I have ended up wearing mine so much more than I expected. They’re so good for long days of classes on opposite sides of campus.
  6. Surge protector (with extra long cord). In my dorm, you can’t have extension cords, but you can have surge protectors with extra long cords. This is a good way to get your phone charger nearer to you on a lofted bed.
  7. Hand sanitizer. I keep a little hand sanitizer attached to my wallet or backpack at all times. Need I say more?
  8. Clorox wipes. AKA the greatest cleaning supplies item ever. These things can clean almost anything in a hurry especially during flu season.
  9. Extra set of sheets. These are handy when you really don’t feel like washing your sheets but you also really need to wash them too. A different color or pattern can also break up the dorm room monotony.
  10. Planner. This will help you be able to visualize upcoming assignments and quizzes/exams. (Note- I am NOT usually a planner promoter, but I am slowly being converted into a believer.)
  11. Water bottle. And I mean a non-throw-away one. I have a gifted Camelbak that I carry around all the time. This also saves money on water like the Brita (which I use to fill my water bottle.)
  12. Bed shoes. I also wasn’t a bed shoe kind of girl before college, but dorm floors are cold and kind of nasty.
  13. Rolling hamper. I did NOT want one of these before I started school because I thought it was dorky. I still think it makes me look like a dweeb, but I’m a dweeb that isn’t breaking my back to haul all my junk in.
  14. Student ID holder. I use my ID for EVERYTHING on campus, so I always need it. I have a wallet that I keep in my backpack with a clear window for IDs as well as an adhesive card sticker on the back of my phone that I got for free from Kroger. This way, I always have my ID.
  15. Extra phone charger. I hate keeping up with a phone charger, so I keep one in my room and one in my backpack at all times. The one in my backpack rarely gets used, but it’s good for emergencies.

Photo Dump 2/10

Here’s a little look at what my life consists of through pictures. PS- it’s a lot more weird selfies I send to my mom than I’m willing to admit.

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This was to commemorate my first snow day of college. And I totally binge-watched Netflix like college students are supposed to do. Priorities. Am I right?!

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I call this one “selfie-to-Mom-to-express-my-unhappiness-toward-walking-across-campus-during-a-torrential-downpour-while-trying-to-be-inconspicious-about-taking-a-selfie-so-it’s-blurry/unflattering.” Also, I ended up breaking this umbrella with a water bottle…

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A picture of the bell tower on campus. I only took this shot for a project in multimedia design. I have no emotional connection to this tower whatsoever, but it played a bell version of an Elvis song one time!

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Sunset from my dorm room. [Heart eyes emoji.]

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I leave you with this… DOUGHNUT FRENCH TOAST! If you’ve never had it, today is the day. Go.

This post is my way of saying I’m too busy at the moment to actually write a thoughtful post, but I still want to keep this blog going. Thanks for reading!

Seriously, go try this kind of french toast, guys!

Dating Myself

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For a little over a year now I have been what I recently dubbed “dating myself.”

What, you may ask, do I mean by this? Well, I’m taking time to really get to know myself while many others my age are getting to know a boyfriend/girlfriend.

I’m having a lot of “me time” and going places to eat and have coffee by myself. I’m not focusing on a boyfriend right now in order to really figure out what I want as an individual (because I really have no idea yet.) I’m taking time to enjoy what I like. I’m trying new things and making new friends. I’m being a little selfish, honestly.

Mostly, I’m having a lot of fun.

I’m not waiting on texts or calls from a boy. I’m not constantly trying to plan around someone else’s schedule. I’m not sacrificing anything I want for another person. I’m not being anyone’s girlfriend with any kind of responsibility for a relationship.

I’m being me.

I don’t feel lonely or jealous when I see couples, nor do I feel resentful. Personally, I do not want or feel the need to be in a relationship at this time in my life, but many others my age think otherwise. To each be their own.

In no way do I mean to offend anyone who is in an actual relationship with another person. I have close friends who are married, engaged, or in dating relationships that extend beyond a year, and I’m happy for them. That’s what they want, and it’s not what I want. We are all happy here.

I’m mostly writing this to that person who A) is perpetually single for the meantime, B) just got out of a relationship, or C)  is like myself and needed a term to coin their “status.” To the A person, you go! Take this time for some self-discovery and own it. To the B person, welcome. Maybe you’re not entirely happy that you and your significant other are no longer… er… significant (?), but maybe you need some time to reevaluate and prioritize what you are seeking in life. Being with someone else a lot can and does change you/your goals.

And to the C person, you already know how sweet dating yourself is, and you’re probably reading this during your coffee date for one.

 

Special thanks to my friend, Kellie, for listening to me talk about my opinion of dating one’s self and supporting it. More time with your friends is just another perk of dating yourself.

Being a Teacher’s Kid

Yes, it involves as much construction paper and glue as you’d expect.

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       I’ve been a teacher’s kid since birth. I’ve literally grown up in school, and I have more years in the education field than many tenured employees. Ask any child that has grown up with at least one parent who teaches, and they will tell you teachers’ kids are a different breed of human. Those like me who have spent a lot of their time in school with a parent who teaches know this truth particularly well.

What a lot of outsiders (in this case those who do not live with an educator or actually teach themselves) fail to realize is how much time teachers (and subsequently their children) spend at school. If you’re a dedicated teacher, it’s not the 8-to-3:30 job of assigning chapters to read. A normal day usually begins around 7:30 at the latest and ends at 4:30— and that’s on a good day. And the teacher’s kid is there the whole day, everyday until they finally reach the age that they can drive themselves (!!!). And if one of your parents has worked on a Masters or National Board certification, you know the absolute horror of primarily living at school (I’m only slightly kidding about that, too).

Teachers’ kids are not allowed to skip school. This is probably the most universal rule for us. I could probably count the number of times I missed school between kindergarten and graduation on one hand. You have a cold? You’re okay. As long as you’re not throwing up, you’re going to school.

Being a teacher’s kid means you are more likely to get along with adults than people your own age. It’s not because you don’t know how to interact with your peers, but rather you are around adults more often and find them more comfortable to be around. I’m certain this never wears off because my list of friends in high school included many of my teachers (called by their first names, not last) at the top.

You also learn to accept you are the prime helper with crafts/projects. You can assemble models, dioramas, and locker decorations like no one’s business. I’m actually still recovering from an incident in August in which I cut out way too many construction paper cellular organelles with left-handed scissors (and I am definitely NOT left handed).

You learn how to do tasks that would qualify you to be an excellent secretary in any office by age ten. I can scan, copy, and print papers like it’s my job. I knew how to answer phone calls professionally and transfer them before I knew how to multiply. And yes, I can use a fax machine.

You know what your teachers are like outside of their “school mode” when you’re a teacher’s kid because you’ve been to every faculty social/Christmas party/end of year celebration held. You know that part in Mean Girls when Janis says, “Oh, I love seeing teachers outside of school. It’s like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs?” Yeah, I don’t get that.

The blood-born pathogens video is permanently etched in the teacher’s kid brain, and you will never un-see those images. I’m not going into a lot of detail with this— it’s too terrible to explain. Just know this: don’t play around with a commercial paper cutter. This tip sponsored by teacher’s kids everywhere.

Being the child of a teacher, you begin to recognize the “teacher voice.” It’s a very distinct, clear, and loud voice that your parent uses when they have phone calls with parents or talk to their students. The average person or teachers themselves would probably not notice the difference, but the teacher’s kid hears it (and maybe cringes at the sound).

Finally, being a teacher’s kid means you have little to no privacy. Most recently I walked into my mom’s classroom, and the first thing a student said to me was “we saw your selfie of your alfalfa.” Yes, my “I woke up like this” selfie of my crazy hair had been shown to her entire classroom. Strangers even ask me informed, personal questions about myself/school all the time because their student is in my mom’s class. They’ve seen my picture (or embarrassing selfie), but I have no idea who they are. I just go with it now and hope they’re not going to kill me later with information I give them.

In the end, it’s all worth it for summer vacation and holidays off with your parent (though you’ll be in school for at least part of that time). It also means I have someone who is educated in different areas and can help me in various ways. In my case, I have a personal editor for everything I write, and someone to discuss which area of science is the most interesting.

If you don’t believe all of this is true, go to Twitter and search #teacherskidprobs. You’ll see.

10 Things I Learned My First Semester of College

Now that my first semester of college is over, here is a (very brief) list of things I learned. I hope this helps those who are quickly approaching their first semester and humors those who know these learned lessons all too well.

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1. Breaks between classes don’t work for everyone.
I was told as a high school senior that it was a good idea to schedule breaks between classes to work on assignments/homework, and I took this advice to heart. I scheduled random hour long breaks between classes, and I usually did nothing productive during these times. It may work for some people but not me. You live and you learn.
2. Never schedule a 7 am class (even if you are a morning person).
Yes, these do exist. While I loved this class perhaps the most out of all my classes, it was not a great idea. There is this thing called daylight savings and it makes the early walk to class super dark and super creepy. Especially as a rather non-intimidating girl, that walk was often a speed walk with multiple glances behind me.
3. Keep your umbrella in your backpack at all times.
You never know when you’ll forget to check the weather app on a sunny morning/rainy afternoon day. Even if you did remember your rain boots and coat, your friend from class who just happens to have a cold may not, and you can let them borrow it (“we’re all in this together!”)
And on that same note…
4. Go ahead and buy good rain gear.
Listen now and listen closely— do. not. buy. a. cheap. umbrella. I made this mistake because I wanted to save a couple of dollars, and it broke the first mildly windy day I used it. While you’re at it, get a pair of good rain boots and a coat.
5. Visit your professor outside of class at least once.
I called one of my professors my “bestie” because we bonded over a mutual admiration of Keurig coffee makers one day when I stopped by her office to ask a question about a homework assignment. After that, I felt more comfortable asking questions in class because I felt like my professor knew I really wanted to learn.
6. Treat yourself.
Everyone I know who started their first semester (no matter what school) had some sort of treat they get during their school week. For me, that was Tuesday/Thursday “bagel day” with my roommate. If I was feeling generous, I would go for Starbucks (bless you, PSL) before heading to my on-campus job. It’s the little things that perk up your day.
7. Keep a steady sleeping schedule.
This will depend on your own schedule for school and work, but you need to make sure you’re getting plenty of rest. I can’t say “GO TO BED AT 10 SHARP EVERY NIGHT” because that isn’t realistic. Just make sure you do what works for you.
8. Call home when you’re stressed, but only from your dorm room or car.
You’re most likely going to get stressed in college (and if you don’t, share your secret with me please), but calling home is one of the best things I found to help me relieve some of it. My only warning is to just do this in private, not on the bench in front of the library for the whole world to see. Not that I speak from experience or anything… ha.
9. Text your best friend a few times a week.
Even if it’s just to say hey or to catch up on their life, send a text every now and then to let them know you still love them. You’re going to make all kinds of new friends in college, but don’t forget about the ones from home.
10. Don’t choose your school because you “want to get away from home.”
I do not speak from experience on this one. In fact, I chose my school in part because of its proximity to home. Too many people move several hours from home and find themselves coming back every weekend. Keep this in mind, especially those of you with cars that are hard on gas because you don’t want to spend a fortune coming home all the time. Or maybe you just need to come home and play with your puppy most weekends like me.