Monday, August 24, 2009

Advice from the Older and Wiser. . .

because if there is one thing college has taught me thus far it's that I know nothing. These 45 pieces of life advice were composed by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. I stumbled across them on a fellow college bloggers site, M in the Midwest. So I hope you enjoy the advice and be sure and look up M in the Midwest for other incredibly awesome posts. : )

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone for everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week One: College Life

My first week of college is officially over, and I've been asking myself: What in the world have I learned? In class, I've honestly learned very little. Mostly, we have had syllabus quizzes and spent our time deciding where to sit and who wants to drop. It's outside of class that I've learned a lot. Too much in fact to put in paragraph form, so I'm just making a list. Here are the ten most important things I've learned during my first week at the University of Tennessee:

1. You really do have to go to class. Teachers still take attendance even in my lecture classes with 600 people. They just use these fancy "clickers" that you have to pay $50 for. Plus, if you miss more than three classes, they start docking you grade by a letter (a.k.a. from an A to an A- to a B+ to a B-, etc.) Once you miss 9 classes, you automatically fail. Yeah, no skipping for me.

2. There really is a big difference GPA wise between an A and an A- and a B and a B+, etc. I haven't really figured it all out yet, but I do know that you have to be careful.

3. Time management is key. It is WAY, WAY, WAY too easy to put off work here, because living in a residence hall feels like a slumber party all the time. There will ALWAYS be friends going to the movies or the mall. There are always frat parties and pick-up games of ultimate Frisbee. Anything that can stop you from doing your homework will happen. Then, you find yourself up at all hours of the night scrambling to complete that English essay. You have to learn to make time for everything or you won’t have time for anything.

4. The meal plans are a total rip off if you don't know how to use them. i.e. CHECK to see when the cafeterias close so you don't have to eat out every night like me. CHECK to see when and where you can use your meal equivalency. Lastly, don’t be afraid to eat alone or eat with someone you don’t know. It’s a great way to meet new people when your friends no where to be found.

5. Teachers don't baby you here. They expect you to know what's assigned even without them telling you. For example, at UT they write it on "Blackboard." You have to check it constantly just to stay on top of things.

6. That brings me to my next life lesson: SYLLABUSES ARE YOUR COLLEGE BIBLES. The professors outline the entire class for you from the get-go. All you have to do is follow the road map. And yet, it's still harder than you think. It’s easy to fall behind and feel completely desperate, but if you stay on track with the syllabus this will be some other freshman’s horror story and you can just shake your head and feel sorry that they never read my blog.

7. So why is it so hard to follow the syllabus? Well, because you have to devote more time outside of the classroom than you ever imagined. In the words of my Chemistry 120 professor, "You must devote an hour a day, every single day to get a C in the class. If you want an A, be prepared to live and breathe chemistry." Easy enough, right? WRONG, because every single class holds this philosophy. It's might be easy enough to live and breathe chemistry and biology at the same time, because you get biochemistry. It gets a little more difficult, however, when you're immersed in biochemistry in French from a sociological prospective. Seriously, what does that even mean?

8. Drinking is STUPID. It's expensive. College kids can't afford it academically or financially. If you want to drink, DON'T. That is the single best piece of advice I an offer. College is hard enough when you're sober. With a hangover, it's impossible.

9. Textbooks are EXPENSIVE, so you need to actually read them. Why pay $200 for a book you never open? Seems ridiculous, huh? As for campus textbook reservations, I have mixed feelings. I’ll admit that it made purchasing my textbooks EXTREMELY easy. That ease comes at a cost, though, because I definitely paid top dollar for them. Overall, I would recommend the program to freshmen their first semester, because they need to focus on the transition into college life rather than where to get the cheapest textbooks. Nonetheless, next semester when I feel more adjusted, I will be shopping around for the lowest price.

10. This one was probably the hardest one for me – a former fashionista – to embrace. No one cares if you look cute during class. The pedestrian walkway is not a catwalk. Name brands and perfect hair rule do not rule the world – that was high school. So sleep an extra 20 minutes, wear shorts and t-shirts, and don't bother to straighten your hair in the mornings. After walking a mile and a half up and down hills to get to class, we all look windblown and sweaty anyway. : )