When I decided to attend a college that was eight hours away from home, I knew I was leaving behind a social life that I had developed for fourteen years of my life(My family moved when I was four). All of the friends and relationships I formed would be left in Pennsylvania, and I would be heading to North Carolina alone. When I moved down here, I was starting from scratch. At first, I stuck with what I knew. I associated with the music kids upstairs because I had been a musician all through out high school. After the first couple days, I expanded and got to know the people on my floor and finally I joined some clubs that I would have never thought I do. I prepared all my senior year for music auditions, and I currently am focused on fencing skills. All the coffees I bought my percussion instructor to pay for music lessons mean nothing now because I am not in anything music related. Instead I am an athlete. I never wanted to do sports in high school and thought I never would. Boy, I was wrong. I have this who new sports centered social circle. It’s weird.
That is not the point of this post though. In the last few days, I have hit a roadblock of sorts. I am creating all these great relationships, but I am afraid to title them. This girl from my floor and I have become extremely close, but I have yet to call her my best friend. When I think of my best friend, I think of my one back home. I know you can multiple best friends, but it still feels like betrayal to my home friends to call this girl my best friend. But she is though. We eat together, go to class, study, workout, etc. By all definitions of the word, she is my best friend. Yet I cannot bring myself to tell other people. In high school, I could change mind sets and interact with a ton of social groups. But now that I have two very different social groups, my home social group and my college social group, I don’t know how to change mindsets. And I don’t know how I feel about titles.
Warning: This post is directed towards girls and will be mentioning female experiences. Guys are welcomed to read, but this not directed towards you.
Even before I woke up yesterday morning, I knew it was going to be a bad day. I had started my period on Monday, and my third day is always the worst. I get cramps that make me double over in addition to a fever, nausea, and general sickness. Wednesday also happens to be my least favorite day of the week school wise. It is the only day of the week my math class meets, and I also have astronomy and politics. Astronomy is my least favorite class, and politics can be hit or miss. It also a night I do not have fencing practice.
I woke up Wednesday, and I only felt tired. Getting out of bed was a struggle. Math started at 9:00 A.M, and so did everything else. While my professor was reviewing homework, I pulled out a piece of paper. I usually like to write stories when I cannot focus in a class, but yesterday I decided to try something different. I made a list of everything I needed to get done and some fun things as well. There were seventeen items on my to-do list. Each item was worth at least one check mark when I completed it. Some were worth two or three. For example, I had to email three different people. Sending emails was one item on the list, but it was worth three check marks because they were to three different people. I checked things off as I completed them throughout the day. It did not make me feel any better by the end of the day, but I earned twenty out of twenty three check marks(I didn’t do two items, and the one was worth two check marks). I had a terrible day, and it didn’t improve. My list reminded me that I also had a productive day.
Lately, I find myself using words outside my regular dialect. Most of them, I believe I learned through grade school vocabulary lists and lessons, but I never used because they did not fit into my everyday conversations, emails, or homework. The last couple of days I will be rereading something I just wrote/typed, and I will come across words I didn’t know I knew. After discovering these words, I immediately look up their definitions to make sure I am using the word properly(aka in the right context/spelling/etc). I have yet to find a word that I have used incorrectly. I am surprised I have retained all these words and their definitions. You might think high school vocab is dumb, and you will never apply it in conversations, but you will in college. I am now thankful for teachers teaching them to me because in addition to expanding my vocabulary, I can sound more academic when I speak. Examples of words I am now using: Attest, copious, connotation
I also have had the same thing happen with math. Everything I learned in seventh/eight/ninth grade, I am using in my college algebra class. It amazes me that I remember how to factor, FOIL, rationalize denominators, etc. Until you use it, you will never know what your brain has retained.
My roommate went home for the weekend, so that meant I had our dorm room to myself since Friday. Typically, when my roommate is here, we listen to her Pandora. She has about a hundred different stations she switches between. Half are in Spanish, so I have no clue what we are listening to. Some stations I actually like. I only have three or four Pandora stations. I typically only listen to the one because I have edited to my liking and add variety to it. I got to play my station all weekend long, and I savored each second. I would have sung along, but there are still people who didn’t go home like me, and I am extremely self conscious about my singing. I have only sung in front of my best friend once or twice. My family has heard me sing since I was little, but they are the only ones I will sing in front of. I have had other people ask me to sing, and I flat out refuse.
Anyway, I suggest you have either Pandora, another music app/website, or a playlist for college. I listen to music all the time. Walking to a class by myself, I listen to music. Doing homework, I listen to music. Working out, going to sleep, etc. I will have music on. It makes doing things easier.
During orientation and the first week of college, you will be offered to join almost every club on campus. All the clubs will be competing for your attention and willingness to join. They will all have speeches about why you should join their club. They will probably get you and the rest of the people who walked past their table to give your contact information. Depending on the organization, most likely half the people will not show up to the first practice or meeting.
So you decided to show up to the first meeting, congratulations! For sports, the first might be the worst night of practice. I, for example, decided I wanted to play a sport in college. (I’ve haven’t done a sport this I did cross country in middle school.) I decided to try fencing . They managed to get five and a half pages of names while recruiting. That is about 120 people give or take. Fifty of us showed up to practice. At practice, we stretched, were given a lot of information and history to digest, and we did footwork. Footwork is about 70% of fencing. For beginners in fencing, your legs will burn and shake as you try to stay in position. Mine did. Our coach also made us do squats with the promise that we would not be able to walk up stairs the next day. He made us keep these positions for extended periods of time. Guess how many showed up to the second practice? Twenty five of us. As our coach said, he was a hard*** on purpose. It was to cut out the people who were not going to be dedicated or the people who thought it be easy. It may sound mean, but why have fifty people when only half want to work and get better. With the quitters out, the coaches can focus on the ones who truly want to learn and improve.
My advice is if you really want to join a sport or club, but you were discouraged by the coach, go back a second time. Besides the fact I am holding myself to stick to a sport, I was glad I went back. This was especially true when I learned we did not have to do squats again. This was my personal experience with joining a club or sport, but I am sure other sports will be the same way. Go back or you might regret it.
I continue to apologize for the lack of a daily post. I am still trying to find what works best as my routine which takes a lot of experimenting. Homework has also taken over my plate, but I think I have started to find out what works best for me. Anyways… I found it helpful to read posts and watch videos about how people organize their stuff or had their room. I am going to be doing a series of these type of posts. First up, your shower caddy.
If you are lucky enough to get the pleasure of communal bathrooms. You will want to invest in a shower caddy. I personally have two, one of the plastic ones that my sister got me, and a mesh one. One is for when I take a shower, and the other is for morning and evening bathroom trips. I know some people have the two in one plastic shower caddy, but I do not.
My plastic caddy is the one I use for my showers. It contains my body wash, two in one shampoo and conditioner, razors, shaving cream, my bath poof, a wash cloth, and a hair tie if I forget to let my hair down before entering the shower stall. Also pictured is my shower flip flops that I wear whenever I shower.
My mesh caddy is used for when I wake up or go to bed. It has my tooth brush, tooth paste, flossing picks, hand soap, cotton swabs, hair brush, leave in conditioner, medicine for my cold sores, moisturizer, deodorant, Clean and Clear morning scrub, Clean and Clear Acne cleanser, and Clean and Clear night scrub.
I feel bad for all the pizza haters who go to college. You will ultimately end up eating a slice or three while you are college. It is cheap and easy to feed big groups of people with. At least around my campus, pizza is everywhere, the cafeteria, pizza shops, etc. It is the main dish served at student events. You just cannot get away from it. When I had the choice of picking where to eat today, I told my family not to get pizza. The last two nights I have had guys buy pizza and give me some. I tried the cafeteria pizza once or twice, and they have served it at all the student events I been too. Pizza makes it difficult to avoid the freshman fifteen especially if it is greasy. This post is just a warning that you will probably eat enough pizza in college to last you the rest of your life.
I also want t o apologize for not posting everyday. I am still figuring out my routine with balancing classes, homework, sleep, eating, and activities. Some days, I have to read three chapters and take notes on them for homework, and I literally have no brain power to write a post after that. I hope to be turning out daily tips soon. Once last thing, do not lose or forget your key. Your roommate will start to hate you if they are always letting you in. My roommate is key-less at the moment.
Picture from Wikipedia
It is the first official weekend of the school year at my school, and people are talking about plans to go home. Being eight hours from home, I do not have this luxury instead I get to explore my campus. Even if I could go home, I do not think I would. I am sure people have their reasons such as forgetting something or homesickness, but I can not justify going home so soon. It would just mean another round of painful goodbyes by the end of the weekend. I fully support going home and visiting your family, but I do not suggest the first weekend. College is about learning to live on your own and be independent. Going home the first weekend does not foster those ideas. Instead of traveling home, I suggest traveling the local area. I plan on using this weekend to explore the parts of campus I have yet to see as well as the surrounding city. I go to a university with tons to do without leaving campus, and each day I discover something new. One of my new favorite spots is my campus’s meditation room. When I first heard meditation room, I envisioned a small classroom with hard wood floors, and the walls painted a calming color such as blue. I basically pictured a yoga studio without mirrors and mats. Instead it is this huge space with frosted glass to break the space into smaller sections. You first have to go through this small hallway to get into the meditation room from the building. Once inside, there is a huge open space with a giant rock garden to the left. There are benches and chairs to sit and meditate or pray. Along the right and back wall, there is frosted class to close of sections for people looking for privacy. The air just makes you relax as you walk in. No matter how stressed I am, I always feel relaxed when I enter.
Rooms such as these would never be discovered without exploration. Instead of going home this weekend, go find something new on your campus. At the very least, do your homework.
I have been at school for eight days, and I have picked up on two things. One, it is harder to blog everyday than one would think. Between classes, going out, and homework, I have not been satisfied with my time to blog. Number two, there is things I noticed everyone will do not matter how much you think you will not. Here if a few things that have stood out so far that happens to everyone.
1. You will lock yourself out of your room. I never thought I would forget my key, but I did once so far. Our hall was having an ice cream party, and I left my room without thinking that I needed my key. It happened to be the same night my roommate had left her key at her friend’s dorm, so I had to wait until she went to get her key to be let back in. Thankfully, there was a party, and I have really nice friends who let me hang in their dorm until I was let back in. I know several people who forget to bring their key to the bathroom with them(my roommate being one of them). It is perfectly natural though. When is the last time you were home and brought your house key of wallet to the bathroom with you? Never, right? On my campus, you are required to always have your student ID on you since it is your life. You use it to go to the cafeteria or print something at the library. The updated dorms require it for entry, and my dorm(renovated last year) requires it not only for building access but to get on the elevator or the stairs. I can actually get in trouble if I do not have my ID on my person, so I have my ID in my wallet which is attached to my lanyard with my key and mini flashlight.
2. You will be late to class at least once, or you will fall asleep in them. I cannot attest for doing either, but I have seen it happen to countless people. I have not even finished my first week of class. Expect to be late on your first couple of days. I prevented this by figuring out how long it would take me to get somewhere(I walked my schedule twice before classes started), and I added ten minutes. For example, it took me ten minutes to walk from my dorm to my first class on Monday. I left twenty minutes before class started to walk there. Ten minutes for commute. Ten minutes for traffic, road blocks, getting lost, or to get settled. You always want to be at class before it starts. I suggest between 5 and 15 minutes before hand. I have not fallen asleep yet either, but people in my classes have. The professor didn’t care, but I think my classmates did when they realized they missed everything from the lecture.
3. You will forget to bring something to the bathroom with you. Try to be lucky enough to realize you forgot something before you step in the shower. You forget something major like a towel, shampoo, body wash, or something small as tooth paste or moisturizer. Have a mental checklist of what you need before you go to shower or brush your teeth and wash your face.
I am really want to take a nap right now, but my dorm room door is propped open. Closing it would mean climbing down from my lofted bed, and I would have to climb back into bed afterward. I am not trying to sound lazy, but climbing up and down a ladder multiple times is not always enjoyable. Why is my door propped open you might ask? Well, my roommate is off with her friends from high school, and I do not feel like being anti social. I left my door open when I returned from classes and had two people stop by to talk. The one girl hung out for an hour before heading to her class. I am quite shy and going out and striking up conversation is not my forte. Leaving my dorm room door open while I am in it allows people to say hello as they pass by or even strike up conversation. It’s a great way to interact with people on your hall that you might not think you would talk to. Just never leave your door open when no one is in the room. This can lead to theft or vandalism. Otherwise, it is a easy way to start social interactions.
My second tip for today is do not be afraid to go each lunch by yourself. I was afraid to go catch a meal by myself today, but it was not that bad. It also made feel like no one was judging what I was eating. Sure, it was weird not eating with a group of people. I just appreciated the quietness. I do realize that my schedule may not always match everyone else, and sometimes I have to go eat by myself unless I feel like being hungry until someone can go with me. Besides going by yourself can allow you to get that reading assignment done while fulfilling the basic need of food. If you are really uncomfortable about eating in the dining hall alone, look for other peoples who are sitting by themselves and ask if you can sit with them. This also allows you to make new friends and not feel alone.
Updated: I had no one to go to dinner with tonight, so I went by myself. At one of the tables that seats eight, there were two guys sitting on one side at either corner. I sat in the middle on the either side. Upon sitting down, both of them started talking to me and each other. One of them was a sophomore and the other was a junior. We swapped encouragements while eating our food. After, we all parted our separate ways.