student or socialite?

In light of my own classes starting in two days, I thought it was fitting to press this.

The author makes a good point – there are more important things than looking fab every day. I remember doing the same thing last year, going strong for about a week, and then giving up for a few extra minutes of precious sleep. Now I pretty much roll out of bed and go. I’ve also given up wearing anything but yoga pants and t-shirts around my res hall.

By all means, if you want to wear your best outfit on Day 1, please do so if that makes you feel good. Wear a suit every day, I don’t care. But only if you really want to. Don’t go overboard trying to impress people.

student or socialite?.

Kelly’s Story

Another fantastically-written post you should read.

I know this sounds pretty bad, but I got so excited when I refreshed my WordPress Reader and saw that CTA had posted another recovery story.

As terrible as these events and experiences are for these women, I am relieved to know that there are people and organizations dedicated to the well-being and recovery of trafficking victims.

Endless thanks and gratitude.

Kelly’s Story.

things i learned as a college freshman

As various colleges’ and universities’ move-in days and Welcome Weekends approach, I feel like it’s a good time to put this post up. I mean, I’m a week out from my move-in at KSU, and I still haven’t packed. (I wrote this instead.) It’s really a miracle that I’m not. Those who know me know that I am packed for a trip at least a month in advance because if I just “throw some stuff in a bag” I forget my toothbrush and/or underwear, it’s really great.

Something I’ve wanted to do on my blog since I started college was an “advice” post. Being a college freshman myself gave me no reason/right to, obviously but now that I am a sophomore and I know everything, I thought it’d be fun. This is just what I’ve gathered from my own first year experience, and obviously it’s not going to apply to everyone.

I will sit here and tell you all day long that whoever came up with “High school is the best four years of your life” probably a) never went to college, and b) never went to college. If you look back at my posts from the past year, you’ll lose count of how many times I say I love it. College is where you meet your BFFLs, watch too much Netflix, live on Ramen (and then never eat it again)… College will be the best four years of your life. It’s not always pretty, not always easy. But it’s worth it.

***

Spend time outside with your friends while it’s nice out because you will regret it in the winter when it’s 20 below.

If you’re living on campus, in a res hall, do yourself a favor and make friends both in your hall and outside your hall. Living with the same people for a year, love them or otherwise, starts to get old by the end of the semester. Going home for a weekend also helps.

Once you make friends in your res hall, actually do stuff with them. (Leave your door open and this is much easier than you think.) Euchre tourneys, laser tag, Cedar Point, midnight manhunt games, and movie marathons are just a few of the things that regularly happened where I lived last year. I’ll leave out StoBros on mercy rule. ;) #bestfans

Also, commuters make great friends too! A lot of my friends outside my res hall were commuters. Who knows, maybe you can trade a trip to Walmart for a meal-plan lunch.

Seriously, just study. But don’t study so much your hair falls out and suddenly you need glasses for long distance reading. Start strong freshman year because it only gets harder.

Talk to your professors, especially ones for 500-student lecture classes and ones in your major department. They have office hours and email addresses for a reason. Plus, it’s how I got my two research assistant jobs. Connections are the most important thing you can do for yourself as an undergrad.

Sitting in the front of 500-student lecture classes sounds like the worst idea: you have to get there early, actually pay attention, blah blah blah. NO. It’s a great idea because then your professor interacts with you and is more likely to give you an extension on the paper/extra credit you forgot because they know your name and your face. Not saying they will for sure, but it’s a strong maybe. I fell asleep once in a class like this, but only because KIC went really late the night before and I had an exam in my first class that day. Really it’s not that bad, my prof teased me a little in her lecture.

Comfortable shoes and a bubble umbrella are necessary on a big, windy campus.

Cross your fingers you get lucky with your college advisor. A great advisor will make the next four years go by flawlessly. If you don’t jive with your advisor, schedule an appointment with a new one until you find a match. Not kidding, I email my advisor just to say hi sometimes. (He also loves Lana del Ray and Panera, so that’s a plus.) Sometimes, you’re going to have more than one advisor, and most of the time you can’t change any advisor but your college one. I have 4 – college, honors, and two faculty. I got lucky with all of them.

Sleep is still a thing that you should do regularly. Burnout is killer. And you will get burned out sometimes, no matter how much you sleep.

Learn to like coffee if you don’t already. It’s better for you than Redbull, 5-hour Energy, Monster, etc, and still has that caffeine boost you need to get through finals week. Plus it tastes better and doesn’t make you feel like you’re having a heart attack.

Call your mom. She loves you.

Please don’t puke in the elevator because the rest of your res hall will talk about you for the rest of their lives.

Take the stairs when you can because you’ll say you’re going to use the gym on campus, but you won’t.

YOU CANNOT LIVE ON CHICKEN FINGERS AND FRENCH FRIES. They are easy and delicious (especially at 2 in the morning) but an all grease diet isn’t what you need, especially if you aren’t going to use the gym or take the stairs.

Buy/rent used textbooks on Amazon and do NOT give your college/university any more money than you have to. And also, resell them? I was talking to a lady at the Post Office (while I was getting an old book ready for shipping), she told me she was over 40 and still had her college textbooks in her house. Like WHAT you are sitting on at least $200-$300 resale, depending on the book/condition/demand.

Get involved and/or get a job. This one is so worn out but I didn’t do anything during fall semester and I honestly regret it. I met so many great people through Kent Interhall Council, my mentoring program, my lab… Wish I had done it sooner. Whether it’s going Greek, getting into student government, activist groups on campus, club/varsity sports, or starting your own group, find something that isn’t just going to class. It’ll help you blow off steam after a rough exam. As for the job part, when I was accepted to the Honors College I didn’t know if I would have time to work a part-time job. Turns out being in the HC isn’t that difficult. If you’re still unsure, take a semester to adjust and apply for a university job in the spring.

Boys are still stupid.

Hang pictures in your room. If you’re living on campus, put up pics of your family and friends from home. The walls in res hall rooms are white. Badly painted, patchy white. Pictures help when you’re homesick.  And if you’re living at home, put up pics of your college life, that way you don’t feel so disconnected.

Noise-cancelling headphones are a good idea. Walls are thin and all.

It’s okay to not put as much effort into the classes that “don’t matter.” I did it. Everyone does it. But you still need to pass those classes and you still need to keep your GPA in mindMost grad schools accept a 3 or a 3.25, but the grad students and professors and advisors I’ve talked you guarantee your app won’t get looked at if it’s not a 3.5 or higher if they put your app next to a comparable applicant (in terms of experience, rec letters, etc.) *I don’t know much about other majors, but this is what I’ve been told is the norm for psych.

Do not wear that lanyard around your neck.

You will most likely have several breakdowns after asking yourself, “What am I going to do with my life?!” That’s okay. Some people just know what they want to do. Most don’t. I mean, just because I declared psychology as my major before I started, doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. I had a sociology professor my first semester who changed her major from biology to sociology in her last semester, and she still managed to get it done.

You will get sick if you live in a res hall. It’s inevitable, you’re all crammed into tiny spaces, spend most of your time together… the first domino falls and the next thing you know you have Stopher Plague running a muck. (But then again, I had pink eye for three weeks, and no one else got it, so I guess if Patient 0 takes care of the problem promptly you won’t have an issue.)

Bring at least one professional-looking outfit. You really never know when you’ll have to do an interview. A nice dress, dressy flats or low heels, shirt, tie, slacks, black socks, whatever you want. Just at least one full outfit.

***

All right, hopefully you stuck with all my word-vomit. I think I’ve covered everything I learned as a college freshman.

I hope this was at least moderately entertaining for upperclassmen readers and not too scary for incoming freshman readers. If I scared you, I apologize, it’s really not that bad. You’ll love it. Wherever you happen to go, you’ll love it. Except Akron. You’re not gonna love Akron. Flashes forever.

Best of luck for the year, everyone.

XO Megs

first post from a new machine

I spent the better part of July contemplating, researching, and purchasing a new laptop. My good old Toshiba Satellite was getting close to five years old. She still functioned well, but I always felt like maybe one day it’d crash out of the blue. People have problems like that with brand new laptops and mine was old-old. The only genuine problems I ever had with the Satellite were with individual programs, and not the machine itself, thankfully (and only moderately irritating).

A lot of friends made recommendations, which is why I thought I’d do an update. :)

I ended up purchasing an HP Envy 15 Slim Touch with an i5 processor. Of course, it didn’t exactly have all the features I as looking for (i.e., internal CD/DVD drive because it’s a notebook), but it had the optimal combination, considering I can (and did) get an external CD/DVD drive. It arrived on August 5 and my sister didn’t answer the door for the delivery man so I had to drive across the city to pick it up from FedEx… but that’s okay, it was an adventure.

I wasn’t expecting to like Windows 8 at all. Windows 7 was really simple, and I’d been using it for so long that it was like second nature. But once I cleared apps that I didn’t need on the Start page, Windows 8, overall, is pretty nice. There were a lot of reviews citing the learning curve, but I felt like I picked it up pretty quickly.

I love, love, love, love, love the touch screen. I feel like I’m well-adapted to touch screens. I dunno, probably not but I like to think so. I use it quite often because the trackpad is really weird on this laptop. Like I think I breathed on it wrong once and it went nuts, scrolling everywhere. And also, I’m not really sure exactly where on the trackpad “left click” and “right click” are. There isn’t a clear distinction and it feels like I click one spot and it’s a left, and I can click the same spot again and it’s a right. I’m adjusting to it, just not as fast as I thought. The only problem I have with the touch screen is that sometimes I open the Start menu when I don’t mean to. Again, adjusting.

I’m also having trouble with the keyboard, but only because this laptop is much bigger than my Toshiba.

The battery life for the Envy can’t hold a candle to my Toshiba, but my Toshiba had a lot of help from a 12-cell battery. I don’t think I’ll get a bigger battery because it makes the whole laptop clunky, but that definitely is something I’ll miss.

I have a lot more space on my Envy, which feels good. I can guilt-free play Sims and still have space for the piles of essays I’ll write in the coming years. (And Sims runs so well I played for like 6 hours the other day because it was so fast. Minimal lag. :D)

Overall, I’m very happy with it and I’m glad that I replaced my Toshiba. Did I spend too much on this computer, yes. And I had lots of buyer’s remorse while I was waiting for it to come in the mail. But in the grand scheme of things, it was about time and I would rather take care of this now than later when my Toshiba finally dies. (Don’t worry, she’s got a good home until then – my sister’s first laptop. I’m not gonna be able to get rid of this thing when it goes, it’s like part of the family…)

XO Megs

“what about your…weight?”

Normally I wouldn’t blog about my customers, but…

This morning while I was at work, I took the order of a middle-aged man and his daughter, who couldn’t possibly have been more than ten or eleven years old.

Unlike most kids, she marched right up to my register and told me she’d like a plain bagel, toasted with low-fat cream cheese, a small mac ‘n’ cheese with an apple on the side and white milk to drink, please. Dad nodded approvingly, and then it seems I threw a wrench in the plan with, “Would you like to add a bakery item for $0.99?” (Honestly, it seems to happen a lot when I ask children if they want to add bakery, because then the kids get excited about it whether they’re allowed to have a cookie or not. Then Mom and Dad seem like bad guys because they say no to the sweets. But I have to ask; it’s my job to push bakery.)

The little girl looked over the bakery, basically lit up when she saw the cinnamon rolls, and told me she’d like one of those, please. Her father looked at me, then at her, and said, “What about your…” and then much quieter, “weight?” like he didn’t want me to hear him. (This guy actually is a bad guy though. Most parents will say, “Not today, honey” or “How about after we eat dinner?” Appropriate responses, of course.)

She paused, looked at the floor, and then shook her head. “I still want the cinnamon roll.” He looked at me and shook his head as if to say, “Kids these days.”

To my knowledge, the little girl didn’t have any health issues, and of course I don’t know anyone’s situation outside of Panera Bread, but I was still appalled. She looked like a healthy girl to me, and I’m the first person to say screw the calories, I want that damn cinnamon roll. I’m a firm believer that a treat once in a while is completely healthy, more so than completely depriving yourself of things you want. Never in my life have either of my parents asked me to reconsider a food choice because of my weight, and they never will.

My weight is my own concern, and maybe my doctor’s and only if it becomes a health concern. I remember being slightly self-conscious about my weight in middle and early high school, but you’re self-conscious about a lot of things in those years. I still never did much to change it; I was self-conscious, but accepting of my body and the way I looked. Now, I could care less what I weigh as long as I’m healthy and exercising on a regular basis.

To see a father trying to guilt his daughter into avoid sweets (and therefore, stay thin, it seems) made my blood boil.

To see a little girl already trained to think that she has to watch what she eats to make sure that she stays the same size nearly brought me to tears.

There is nothing in this world more important than feeling confident in your own skin, your own body. People wonder why there are such high rates of eating disorders (20 million women, 10 million men in the U.S. alone*) – it’s because of people like this guy.

81% of ten year olds are afraid of being fat.*

Don’t make that percentage higher. Being healthy has nothing to do with being thin.

*Here’s the link to more statistics, signs and symptoms, prevention, and treatment. Click here for more statistics regarding ED.

EDIT: I am beyond ecstatic at the response I’ve gotten to this post. I got several comments both on Facebook and WordPress with thoughts! I’m relieved and thrilled that others feel the same way about weight-shaming. I think there’s a great deal of pressure on people today to look like a mannequin, and not enough people realize that it’s almost impossible for the average person to look that way. I was reading a little more into this and I believe the website linked above says that the average American woman is 5’4″, 165 lbs while the average model was something like 5’9″, 120 lbs., if I’m not mistaken. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with either of those body types! When it gets down to it, you’re a human being whether you are tall and thin, or short and curvy and anything and everything in between. There’s a lot of beauty in the fact that you aren’t shaped exactly the same way as anybody else. So love yourselves, first and foremost.

XO Megs

Smart Phone Disconnections

I’m addicted to Scott’s blog I think. I’m not even sorry.

I got my first cellphone when I was twelve, leaving for my first away camp. A flip-phone with a 911 button, no camera, and only 3 speed dial contacts. My mom was hesitant to even get that. I think we considered walkie-talkies as well. Recently I bought my first iPhone to replace a destroyed Galaxy Stellar.

I love the convenience of a smart phone. My work schedule, meetings, doctor’s appointments and to-do lists housed in one calendar. Photo-stream connecting my laptop and computer. Hell, I even pay for my weekly Starbucks with my phone via the Starbucks app.

I love the easy and low-keyness of a classic flip phone. Makes calls, maybe pictures, and maybe if you’re lucky, texts.

But am I addicted to my smart phone? I don’t think so. I mean, there are days when I tend to spend a little more time on my phone, checking emails and whatnot. But I can still meet friends for coffee and leave my phone in my bag. I know how to interact with people and in fact, I kind of pride myself on my people skills. I smile at people when I’m out and about (even if I’m sweaty and gross from a run) and gladly ask my customers at work how their day is going even if my day was the worst.

I’m definitely guilty of doing some smart phone addict things, like playing a quick game of online euchre in the waiting room at the dentist if I’m alone. But my first reaction when I can’t find my phone is, “Eh, it’ll turn up sooner or later. Plus, I left the volume on so if someone calls I’ll hear it.”

My phone is, more often than not, within arms reach. But I’m not devastated if I accidentally leave it behind running errands, it’s no sweat off my brow.

If I were to drop my phone in a glass of water, the only thing I would be sad about losing is my photos and contacts. The phone itself isn’t important to me. Regardless, I hope that I never will drop my phone in a glass of water.

Long rant short, I have mixed feelings about this. I think phones and tech are much more important to some people than they need to be, and reading that babies are now tracking phones instead of faces made me incredibly sad.

I’ve also found that people just don’t want to talk to each other unless they already know each other. But since I don’t consider myself an addict, I don’t feel all that disconnected. Cellphones were a very new thing when I was young, not that I’m that old now.

I think if people can realize that they’re doing these things, it’s an easy fix. But I fear for the future when I see a 4-year-old tapping away on an iPad with greater proficiency than I’ll ever have.

Just some of my thoughts, a little disorganized and by no means covering everything in Scott’s post. Just another good read I thought I’d share. The Times article he included was also really interesting.

Smart Phone Disconnections.

XO Megs

Is Happiness Unusual?

I’ve been spending a lot of my free time actually reading the blogs I follow. The Lunatic has got to be one of my favorites. I love the way she, more or less, embraces her mental illness through her blog.

It’s not an easy thing to talk to anyone about these kinds of things, let alone the internet. I know I wouldn’t be able to so openly discuss myself as she does.

Loony, if you happen to see this, I think you are incredibly strong and brave. You may not think so, and that’s okay. I think your story is amazing and I’m going to be keeping a closer eye out for your posts!

This is one of my favorite posts.

Is Happiness Unusual?.