An almost graduate’s advice to surviving college

As I approach my last few weeks as a student at TCU, I have realized that sadly college is coming to an end and so will my antics here at this wonderful place I’ve called home for the past four years. So, to bid y’all adieu from my collegiate-self I’ve decided to create a list (gasp) of things you should and shouldn’t do at TCU and/or college in general I guess. Nostalgia has taken over my mind and therefore I must purge my words.

Do:

  1. Take all the free food and t-shirts you can get.
  2. Join a sorority. Kappa Alpha Theta is the best. I say this from a non-biased standpoint, I swear.
  3. Don’t be afraid to sign up for potluck roommates. Finding your future roommates through Facebook is overrated.
  4. Go to the free events hosted by your school. TCU has SPORTS, concerts, free food, 5ks, comedians, speakers and even petting zoos. Don’t be afraid to look for things to do on campus.
  5. Speaking of sports, go to every sport your school offers at least once. Obviously the must see sports are football, basketball and baseball. Try to see a couple tennis matches, volleyball games, soccer games and more. And as always, Go Frogs!
  6. Wear your school apparel everywhere, especially when you travel. You will literally meet so many cool people from all over the world. Trust me, people love to talk about their alma mater.
  7. Go completely out of your comfort zone. Do something spontaneous, like be in a random music video or road trip with new friends that you may barely know. The best stories come from trusting your gut and exploring with adventurous people on a whim.
  8. Go to class.
  9. Skip class, sometimes.
  10. Go to parties. When you graduate you won’t remember the nights you stayed in and studied, but you’ll remember the nights you got to celebrate college and being young with your best friends.
  11. Learn how to study. Whether it be writing notes, using quizlet or talking it out with a study group. D’s may get degrees, but A’s will get you the job you want.
  12. Get summer internships. Trust me, it will be so much easier to get a job after you graduate. Something I should have taken note of earlier.
  13. Journal. Sometimes there are things you don’t want to talk about with people. It doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be talked about at all. Write it down. Read it. Leave it alone. Come back to it. See if you can work it out yourself or if you need to talk with a friend or mentor.
  14. Suck up to your teachers. Whatever, be a teacher’s pet. More times than not your professor will give you the benefit of the doubt. Borderline grades are usually decided based on a students’ attendance and effort in the class. Make sure your profs know your education is important to you.
  15. Ask for letters of recommendation early. Oops.
  16. Take classes with friends. Double the notes and double the fun. Plus, shameless competition is always interesting.
  17. Say yes to dates. Dinner dates. Mixer/Party dates. Even if it is with someone you don’t know. What is the worst that could happen?
  18. Call your parents. Actually, call your whole fam. Give them an update on life and tell them you love them.
  19. Kiss the random hot guy at a party.
  20. Go out to dinner and happy hour with your squad.
  21. Have occasional wine nights with the girls. Who needs house parties and bars when you have vino, movies and PJs.
  22. Find a friend with a dog. Life hack: you don’t have to pick up the poop, give them baths or pay for their food. You can still get your puppy fix whenever you want.
  23. Go to Vegas for your 21st birthday.
  24. Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
  25. Go to church!
  26. Sign up for intramurals with your friends. You may tear your ACL for the third time, but at least you have a story to tell.
  27. Find time to be alone. I have yet to actually succeed in this because I am a social creature and I hate being alone, but it is important so do it.
  28. Make college bucket lists with your friends!!!

 

Do NOT!!!:

  1. Ignore your health. I guarantee you will get sick your first two weeks at school. Chug airborne and try to get enough sleep. Stress can lower your immune system so make sure you know how to alleviate stress and see a doctor when you need to. Don’t ignore your mental health either. College is the first time we are sent away from our parents for an extended period of time. Our late teens and early twenties are a prime time for mental illnesses to become present. Do not be afraid to seek for help. You are not alone.
  2. Pull multiple all-nighters to finish one season of Friday Night Lights in two days. Also, don’t watch scary movies before you go to bed.
  3. Do your laundry on Sundays. Everyone does their laundry on Sundays. You will not find washers or dryers in the dorms. You may also find that your roommates are better at doing their laundry in a timely fashion and will beat you to the chase.
  4. Forget what time your night class is. You may miss your first test by an hour, like I did.
  5. Post pictures to social media that you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see.
  6. Forget to plan all your spring breaks and never make it to Cabo.
  7. Buy random expensive clothes you’re only going to wear once. Get creative.
  8. Ignore the friends that are always there for you. Popularity isn’t a contest in college.
  9. Let dumb boys dictate your happiness. And don’t compare yourself to other girls. After all, they say that comparison is the thief of joy.
  10. Sit back and let the four years roll by without putting in the effort to make it all worth it.

My lists aren’t extensive and will be added to later (maybe). Feel free to share with friends or high schoolers. I just wanted to relive all my good and bad experiences by jotting them down to share with others. It has truly been a blessing being here at TCU. I will never forget the exciting people I’ve met on my path to adulthood. Even though I am completely terrified of the real world, I know my experience here has prepared me both emotionally and academically. Today, I ordered my diploma and cap n’ gown. What a whirlwind it’s been. From the carefree freshman to the sophomore slump. From the junior academic to the inevitable senioritis. Thank you TCU for all the mems and friends.

TCU Tuition: $$$

TCU Diploma: Priceless

Peace out world,

T

Fat Tuesday

Oh no! The time has come. Binge day! This could only mean one thing… after today, no more chocolate. Let me break it down for y’all. This coming Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, marks the first day of Lent in Western Christianity. Gather ’round you Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans and Presbyterians. We are preparing for 40 days of fasting, on this 46 day adventure called Lent. Gear up, suck it in, and eat (today) like there is no tomorrow. The sun is up and so are we. I’ve collected a list of foods I will be nomming on today.

I’m going to have to finish my Somoas (the thin mints were finished last night). I’ll be saying Hasta la vista to my four boxes of chocolate that I’ve been hoarding. I’ll be eating bread, most likely.

Here are some great ideas for what to give up for lent if you’ve been struggling. Are you ready? Yes, another list. Did you expect anything less from me?

1. chocolate

2. Facebook

3. sweets (in general)

4. soda

5. alcohol

6. swearing

7. fast food

8. caffeine

9. smoking

10. negativity

11. gluten

12. red meat

11. Netflix

12. laziness

13. procrastination

14. making excuses

15. make up

It’s not an extensive list, but hopefully you’ve found a way to branch out from those and make a decision. It’s hard. I was like Twitter? No, I can’t because I have to use it for a class. Facebook? Nope, I need it for sorority information. Instagram? Sorry, I’m weak. So I chose a couple, in order of importance (according to me). Some of these are things I can physically avoid, a lot of them take mental practice. Bear with me here while I blurt out a list stacked of insanity and impossibilities. Hold me accountable if you know me. PLEASE!

1. negativity

2. gluten (i really need to be kind to my body)

3. chocolate

4. gossip

5. laziness (this means i have to get out of bed right now)

I’m sure that as the weeks go by, I will drop one or pick one up, but as of now, this holds. So Fat Tuesday, Cheers! Let’s binge eat while we can.

xoxo,

T

My Seven Deadly Sins

Many of us know them, religious or not. Regardless of our admittance, we all have committed at least one (prob more than that) of the seven deadly sins. Here is the breakdown:

Wrath: an angry emotional response due to feeling threatened

Example of the week: My roommate called me out for an event not to be mentioned, in front of some visiting friends. In the comfort of my own home, I felt threatened and reciprocated the sass with a retort of my own.

Greed: inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects far beyond what’s needed for survival and comfort

Example of the week: I really want that fat paycheck, but instead I am only getting $4 due to other people not paying. Come on people. I depend on you.

Sloth: spiritual or emotional apathy; also known as laziness

Example of the year: I don’t want to go to school, do my homework, or go to church.

Pride: inflated sense of one’s personal status

Example of the day: This directly relates to my greedy needs of green cash money. I was recently told I’ve made history for selling ads this past week. Feeling all high on my horse, I expected a bigger paycheck. Still hotheaded about this.

Lust: intense emotion or feeling of want; can take in any form such as lust for knowledge, sex, or power

Example of the week: Well, this is a little awkward. Sorry I want to be loved, it was Valentine’s weekend.

Envy: feeling a lack of a superior quality, achievement, or possession; usually wishes to inflict misfortune on others

Example of the week: I envy a particular person’s wit and humor and wish that it would rub off on me and vanish from this person’s outstanding vocabulary.

Gluttony: over-indulgence to the point of extravagance or waste

Example of the week: Chocolate. Enough said.

Tah dah! Now I’ve shared how wonderful (terrible?) of a person I am. I’m impressed if you read all that. Props to you. However, my post today isn’t necessarily about THE Seven Deadly Sins, but MY Seven Deadly Sins.

  1. Greed: already explained above
  2. Gossip: a girl does what any girl would. read Cosmo and talk crap
  3. Gamble: nope, not with a dice or cards or sports, gamble with people’s emotions
  4. Careless: my motivation for school and work have been flushed down a toilet
  5. Self-centered: my way or the highway
  6. Shy: I understand that this isn’t usually seen as a “sin” per-say, but I shy away from commitment, accomplishments, and unknowns
  7. Poor body image: chocolate + scale = oh no!

My goal for the week, month, year, whatever, is to improve on myself and chip away at each of my deadly sins. Hasta La Vista Sin City! So naturally, like any Pinterest-obsessed 20-something-year-old, I found some tips and tricks to kick my booty into gear and shape up. Get ready for some kooky solutions!

  1. For greed, eat one plain avocado without salt.
  2. For gossiping, tape your mouth shut with zebra pink duct tape.
  3. For gambling, flush your phone down the toilet.
  4. For carelessness, type with only one finger.
  5. For self-centeredness, make a cake, but don’t eat any of it.
  6. For shyness, raise your hand whenever the teacher asks a question.
  7. For poor body image, throw away half your closet.

Alright, alright, I’m kidding, but I would love some serious advice. Please comment below if you have any ideas or want some advice from me or other followers.

On Repeat

If you don’t know me or my not-so-absurd study habits, you’ll probably benefit from knowing that my favorite song is The Intro by The XX. Y’all have heard this song a bazillion times, trust me. It’s that super catchy low-key beat that can be streamed together for 10 hours (seriously though, it’s on YouTube) and there are (fun fact) absolutely no lyrics. Just looking at iTunes on my computer you can see the blatant gap between my top 25 most played songs, coming in first The Intro with 719 plays (as of right now) and coming in a “close” second Clocks by Coldplay with a solid 76 plays. So, you guessed it, instead of listening to YouTube’s ten hour version of The Intro, I’ve dedicated my time solely to listening to my 6 minute version, on repeat, every single time I study, or attempt to study at least.

I claim to be spontaneous, one of my top three traits, but I am pretty damn predictable. I’m a creature of habit. Aren’t we all though? I’ve decided that I need to leave myself opportunities for new experiences, for stepping outside my comfort zone. So this week, I had a couple new rites-of-passages. Some good, some bad. And instead of doing my usual lists on this site, I’ll change it up and purge some words without any other context. So who wants to know what happened recently? Ya? Okay cool. Here goes nothing.

I went on my very first “official” date. I didn’t get let into the student section for my very first time and sadly it was for the K-state game. Us roommates had our very first fight about doing the dishes. I tried a coconut-oil hair mask. I went to Lab, that weird freshman bar. I got accepted to the London study abroad program for Strat Comm. I listened to new music. Found a new song to play on repeat. It’s called Bad Intentions by Niykee Heaton. I went to my very first hockey game. Go Stars! I got a 97.5% on my advertising test. I got my very first C on a comm paper. I saw a couple new movies. My roommates and friends had some exciting new experiences too, but it’s not my place to tell. Although, I want to brag for them. It took me 40 minutes to park at school on a rainy day. TCU has officially beat all of the Big 12 teams in the past three years. We rock!

Alright, I think that’s all my little mind can think off. I’ll let you know if any more cool stuff happens. This is just a reminder to give yourself a break. Give up that monotonous daily/weekly/monthly/yearly routine for just a quick moment. Make it memorable, intentional, and freeing.

Cheers to New Experience and Peace Out,

Tara

Monday Blues, but Posi-Vibes

I’ve been having a rough transition getting back into the school grove since Fall Break. I’m feeling a little unmotivated, stressed out, and blah. And I am seriously questioning where I am going in life. What am I even good at? Why did I pick this major? Will I ever actually get a job? Anyway, my overthinking will be the death of me. So today… I’ve decided to give us all a little motivation. Sending positive vibes your way.

1. Drinking tea makes you feel better, remember that. If you don’t believe me check out this page and also check out this photo that explains what tea cures what problem! qsOU4D7

2. Tell yourself you are creative, important, and are interested in creating a radiant future. And believe that you can.

3. Tell yourself “I have friends that love me.” Dig deeper and look at the small things that make you feel better and be a little more thankful to those around you who support you in little ways or big ways too. Maybe write them a small thank you note.

4.Congratulate yourself for your own accomplishments. You aced that super hard test! You are a star! You didn’t do as well as you thought? Who cares? You tried. Gold star! Did you get out of bed today? I am so proud of you.

5. Say it aloud. “Fear is a feeling; it cannot hold me back.”

6. Know that you can control your thoughts. It takes practice. It takes time. And let me tell you it sure as hell takes a lot of energy, but you can do it.

7. Just think. By reading this you’re already taking a step in the right direction. You are learning so much more about yourself and are appreciating life in little bits. And that is rad. It really is!

8. Exercise to maintain your physical and mental health. Just do it.

9. Somewhere, anywhere, I don’t care where. Write it. Write I am worthy. Write it on your body, in your planner, in your wallet, on your ceiling. Seriously, but if you can please write it in sharpie.

10. Lastly, write all of this on your mirror or somewhere that you look at everyday. Write this in your own words. Look up more. Make up your own. Just make sure to remind yourself, daily, that you are beautiful, wonderful, and loved.

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P.S. This is the verse of the day. I just looked it up and I am so glad it complements my post today.

The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
—Hebrews 4:12

Love,

Tara

Dear Abby,

DEAR ABBY – THE PURGED WORD

http://thepurgedword.tumblr.com/ask

Hey guys. This is awesome. Thanks to everyone who posted questions to the link above. The first day went really well. Below are the Dear Abby questions and responses. Let me know what you think. Keep continuing to post on my ask page. Y’all are awesome.

***If you feel like you want to view a more immediate response, please check this page http://thepurgedword.tumblr.com (its the same page but without the /ask). I will try to respond as quickly as I can. At the end of each week I will take all the questions and responses and pile them together and post it here! Thanks for being patient.***  


September 4, 2014 — The new batch of questions slowly trickle in.

 

Dear Abby,

How can I approach someone with whom I share a literal distance barrier? How can I effectively bridge the gap and present myself?

Dear DistanceDistressed,

If you are attempting to capture the attention of a potential significant other, the challenge can be more difficult when you are unable to have face-to-face conversation. However, that is not to say it cannot be done. First, you should probably find some type of bond or similar interest you have in common with that person and attempt to expand off of that. For instance, maybe you have the same major and were curious how they got that intern… that you heard about from a friend, of course. Just to give a basic scenario. Whatever the case is, you must be the one to start the effort if you feel inclined to let them know how you feel. After the initial connection, take a step further and keeping talking and showing off your true personality and more getting to know them and then eventually try to occasionally meet with your “crush” for lack of a better word; if the opportunity arises. Until then make sure you are always on their radar. I am sure you can use your imagination and be creative enough to figure out small ways to do that. Just remember, don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zones. If you want to make something happen… go out and work for it.

Good Luck!

Love, Abby

June 13, 2014 –I apologize. Most of these posts are from early May to recent. I caught up on my tumblr, but I just now got to adding them to this wordpress. Enjoy. Don’t be scared to ask more! 

Dear Abby,

I am a freshman in college and have a boyfriend that I adore and love very much. I am nervous if I am not “supposed” to have a boyfriend right now at this point in college. People have influenced me to think that I should not have a boyfriend and that I should see what else if out there because I am so young. What do you think…

Dear CollegeCutie,

College is a time to explore and go crazy, but that doesn’t mean you have to be single. Yeah, it’d be fun to keep your options open and see what’s out there, but if you like how things are don’t let someone persuade you into thinking that’s not okay. Just remember college is the place to make new friends and new memories… Find bridesmaids! So let yourself have the freedom to do that. Don’t be attached at the hip with your boy, but if you love him you don’t have to break up with him. It’s your life; don’t let others tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Enjoy your college years cutie. Live it up!

Love, Abby

Dear Abby,

I’ve only taken one final but I am already over studying. How do I stay on track and focused for the rest of the week? Sincerely, expert in procrastination.

Dear Expert in Procrastination, 

You just have to take one day at a time. Designate 30 minutes of hard work on one subject and alternate to keep your brain alert. Don’t jumble it up too much though. DO NOT FORGET TO EXERCISE. I know it feels like there is no time to get in a work out when you are cramming for finals, but leave the book at home and hit the gym for 30 mins… Or even better run or walk outside to get some fresh air. One other tip I find very helpful is finding a new place to study, but not somewhere that will distract you. If you are from Fort Worth I would recommend Brewed… It’s my favorite place to study. And lastly, turn off your electronics for AT LEAST an hour worth of studying. GOOD LUCK!

Love, Abby

Dear Abby,

I am not the biggest of my friend’s boyfriend. I fear that he is subconsciously making her do things she does not want to do. How can I help her without losing her more to her boyfriend?

Dear BoyfriendBan,

Instead of calling her out for complying with her boyfriend’s wants. Ask her what her wants are without her boyfriend’s opinion. You have to help her see the problem herself without directly telling her to look at it from your view. In the meantime, invite her to do fun things with you all the time and she will cherish those moments and it may even open up her eyes to help her use her OWN choices on what she wants to do. Try not to attack the bad boyfriend, attack the problem. Good luck!

Love, Abby
P.S. If this didn’t make sense ask again in a week. Finals are kicking my butt and Abby isn’t at her prime currently.

Dear Abby,

When is the honeymoon stage in a relationship over?

 Dear Honeymooner,

The honeymoon phase is over after the first 3 big fights. Just kidding! I think it’s something you and your partner will figure out as time goes on. I can’t say when it will be in your relationship or anyone else’s either; but give your relationship the time to have it’s ups and downs and I think you’ll have a better understanding of what I’m trying to say. Happy honeymooning ;)!
Love, Abby


April 19, 2014

Dear Abby,

How long should you wait to say I love you in a relationship?

Dear LostLover,

The big three words are rarely ever planned. In most cases “i love you’ naturally slips out, whether it means to or not. Make sure than when you do say it that you mean it and that it is not forced. Don’t be caught up in the honeymoon-dating phase and jump the gun. Wait long enough to see if it is love versus infatuation. Infatuation is finding your lover to be flawless while love is knowing your lover is flawed and loving him/her anyway. Choose wisely, not timely.

Love, Abby 


 

April 17, 2014

Dear Abby,

Last night my boyfriend and I had plans to hang out, but around 11 he told me he was too tired to hang out. He always does this. What can I do? I don’t want to sound like a needy girlfriend. Please help!

Dear LonelyGirlfriend

It is hard to not seem clingy when all you want is to hang out with your boyfriend whenever you have free time. Sometimes boys don’t get that you just want their undivided attention for a while. Remind your boyfriend that you need some TLC, but give him space to do his own thing every once in a while. Make it clear that he doesn’t always have to say yes when you ask him to hang out and that will make him seem less flakey. You don’t want to be waiting all night for him to come over if he is going to keep pushing it off and then bail last minute. Manage your own time and don’t depend on his word if you think he is going to flake out. I hope this helps.

Love, Abby.


 

Dear Abby,

is eating a bowl of ice cream before bed every night beneficial to ones health?

Dear IceCreamFiend,

As long as it makes you happy. Being happy is always good for your health. However if you want a professional medical opinion I would ask somewhere else.

Love, Abby


Dear Abby,

What are your views on homosexuality and Christianity?

Dear CuriousChristian,

My opinion is exclusive to my faith and I am not here to advocate my reasoning. From a traditional Christian standpoint homosexuality is frowned upon. Interpret this how you will. I don’t have a particular opinion about how I feel, but this is what I believe to be what I know so far. Stay curious and ask questions before boasting about your opinion.

Love, Abby


Dear Abby,

I’m stuck in a rut. I long for “best-friend-like” friendships as well as I’m longing for guy friends. Help!

Dear FindingFriends,

Some of my very best friends are guys. I feel more comfortable telling them my secrets more so than I do tell my girl friends sometimes. To make a friend you have to be a friend. Make a long lasting relationship by committing to being the best friend you can possibly be and more than likely that friendship will succeed. Find the best of both worlds! I hope that helps!

Love, Abby


 

Dear Abby,

I long to be loved, but I am comfortable living in a simple life. Do I need to push myself out of my comfort zone to “find someone” or should I wait for “Mr. Perfect” to come to me?

Dear Mrs.Perfect,

It is always a good idea to branch out of your comfort zone and meet new people. However, don’t push yourself into a relationship that you’re not ready for. Remember though, you have many Mr. Wrongs to go through before you meet Mr. Right. As for now search for love from your friends and family and don’t be afraid to add some flavor to your life by meeting new people. Goodluck!

Love, Abby


 

Dear Abby,

What if you are trying to respect the boundaries of your married kids and never show up unannounced or uninvited (and rarely do invites come) but when they do, you show up gladly and then 5 years later they say they feel ingnored???

Dear UnrequitedInvitations,

Patience is a virtue. With time, good souls will find their way back to home and love will be returned. Don’t dwell on the could haves, you’ve done your best. If you feel like asking for invites is crossing a boundary, instead offer the invitation on your premises more frequently and the invitation will eventually become reciprocated. I know it is hard to be walking on eggshells, especially when you are trying to express love that feels unrequited. More often than not, claiming to be “ignored” is a way to seek for attention. Give it the attention it needs and be patient as things will find themselves being pieced back together. Stay strong and optimistic.

Love, Abby