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

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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.

Peace out 2014. It’s been real.

Here, I sit with a bun on my head and an appalling amount of green clay I’ve globbed onto my face. I call it a “mask.” Here, I sit basking in the light of my beautifully decorated Christmas tree, soaking it in while reminiscing on the past year. Tis the very end of year number 20, for moi. And as usual, I like to recap all the things I’ve experienced, both good and bad. The year 2014 started off hopeful, with the knowledge that nothing could be worse than 2013. And that has held true so far. When 2013 turned the corner and I saw 2014 as the light at the end of the tunnel I knew things would be far better than I could have hoped for…and I can’t say that I was wrong. Although 2014 brought its own new challenges, like living off campus, finding a place to park, actually working my butt off to get good grades, and trying to find a place to fit in…. I found that 2014 also brought its own new blessings, like learning how to get creative when I know I’m about to be late for class, and discovering how to position things in my room to block out the light of zooming cars out my window and the beeps, caused from less intelligent people driving on the wrong side of my one way street. The year brought much greater blessings than these, and the ones I’ve ignored are much too good to even try to put into words. You’ll just have to take my word for it. It was a splendid, lovely year. Now that I’m (partially) done bragging I have to review my bucket list and see if I actually did the things I told myself I would. Fingers crossed that I accomplished all (or at least most) of that list.

Voila! I’ve found it.

  1. Find a Hike: FAIL. To be completely honest, I don’t even think I tried.
  2. Accumulate vintage items: SEMI-ACCOMPLISHED. I bought an old Polaroid camera, that worked for only about a total of 4 pictures, the rest was just wasted and incredibly expensive film. I also got an old ring from my Nana, which is gorgeous and much more practical then a crappy camera, no offense. I’m stilling praying it will eventually work again.
  3. Bookstore: ACCOMPLISHED. I found a few, actually. Apparently Words on Wheels was a hit for me.
  4. Favorite book: ACCOMPLISHED. Jesus Calling. I read it everyday and so far no book has been better.
  5. Musication: SEMI-ACOMMPLISHED. I love having random songs sent to me, and I’ve received an assortment of music from an eclectic range of people. The most memorable songs of the year, for me, are: Dollhouse by Melanie Martinez, Bad Intentions by Niykee Heaton, Who Do We Think We Are by John Legend, and more that I’ll have to share in another post. Warning these songs are not really normal.
  6. Write a song: FAIL. I write them in my head… Does that count?
  7. Drive in theater: FAIL: Still waiting for someone to take me on a date to Coyote Drive In….
  8. Attend a concert: ACCOMPLISHED! Thanks to my great friend Lesli who won free Justin Timberlake concert tickets. Love ya, Les. And also Stagecoach, and of course Stagecoach again next year is already booked.
  9. Dress up: ACCOMPLISHED. I stuck to it. Rarely ever dressed poorly (or at least what I considered poorly, don’t ask my roommates if they agree), partially because I stopped working out the past 3 months because I was sick and kept pushing it off and I knew even if I put on work out clothes I wouldn’t make it to the gym. Next year I have to dress business casual EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
  10. Get a job: ACCOMPLISHED… let me repeat. I have to dress business casual EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. At least I get my own binder and my own business cards. I have to brush up on my persuasion skills because as a new TCU Student Media Account Executive, I have to sell ads like there’s no tomorrow.

And so, I’d like to think I had a very well rounded year. Stayed in the grey area for the most part. I guess I finally realized that not everything is black or white. And while that may be kind of boring, it was exactly what I needed before entering my next year, my 21st. Cheers!

Preview For Next Blog Post: I plan on doing a short year recap with a couple pictures and ending with a list of tips I’ve learned throughout the past year. For readers who are actively paying attention, let me know if there is anything else I should (or shouldn’t…) post. Thanks and Happy Holidays.

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

Perfection

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Polished nails. Professionally blown out hair. Tanned skin. Toned Stomach. Proper posture. Intelligent. Sophisticated. Poised. Respected. Ambitious.

 We strive to personify our own perspective of perfection. We can’t deny it. I do it all the time. As much as I hate to admit I care what other people think. It is a form of security to get validation from our peers. A gold star in other words. Am I living for myself or are my friends puppeteers gradually stringing me on from one impossible task to another?  My precious alone time is the single ounce of freedom I get hiding from this discombobulated world.  It is the one place I am not looking for the ever so lovely gold star. Without the intruding thoughts of others and that is when I am content. Alone. I suppose that seems rather depressing.  I absolutely hated the idea of being lonely. I have recently discovered that being alone has a small relation to being lonely. In fact I feel more content and secure. I am not obsessing over the small things that dictate my life. When I am alone it as if everything is possible even the ability to change some of the things I can’t control. I am absorbing the solitude and letting go of the expectations.

As soon as I unravel from my cocoon of self-worth, I step out into the intimidating universe before me. I enter this judgmental door to the outsiders. I let in all the criticism, pessimism, and nihilism that society holds us with. How silly and presumptuous are we to have the audacity to even try to label this world and their assumptions and societal views of perfection. We can’t be perfect at everything. We have to remember to share ourselves with the actions and fill ourselves with the thoughts that better suit us and not anyone else. We can try to want to love running or rigorously working out till our bodies ache, but do we really love running or the idea of it. We should no longer pretend to be something we are not. It can’t be healthy to pretend in front of ourselves. We have the ability to love whatever we want and we are capable of making our own decisions and following our own plans for living the way we ought to.

If you are a believer of Christ I have a word of advice that I was blessed with hearing the other day. If we are followers of societal nature what is holding us back from following the Lord’s plans for our future? We may not seem perfect in the eyes of our peers or even our own eyes; but the truth is we are perfect in God’s eyes and that is always enough. 

#blessed

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My happy place. My jetty.

As The Little English Girl reminds us how technology continuously distracts us from the life we ought to be living, I am truly inspired to experience life without the constant nagging of my beeping iPhone. I fall into the trap of FOMO countless times during the day. I feel bad about myself for not being invited and constantly intruding and invading the things in life that the older generation would consider “personal.” Why must we share every detail of our day? I don’t have enough reasons to qualify why it could really be that important. I am blinded by the constant adoration of sunsets I missed and jealousy of activities my friends get to do without me. Instead of going out to my favorite place on that sweet little jetty I sit on, feeling the cool wind in my hair and the saltwater mist splashing on my face, I spend that free time opening every possible social media outlet and torture myself into overthinking. So thankfully my eyes are opening, without the glare of my iPhone staring back at me, and showing me how truly blessed I am. As a common trend in social media #blessed is a constant reminder. For me it reminds me of how grateful I am to have a loving family. A family I can count on at any and all times of the day. A family that will laugh at my awful jokes and pretend to laugh at the constant Tumblr text posts I find hilarious. A family who seeks out ways to comfort me in times of doubt. A family who brings me peace when my world cannot. And a family who consistently brings me closer to God and shares my faith with me. I am also extremely thankful for my crazy friends. My friends who tolerate hearing my stories even if they’ve already heard it a hundred times.  My friends who patiently wait for me to stutter out the words my mind thinks but my voice can’t quite express. My friends who will stick with me through my highs and lows. My friends who trust me and my friends who I trust back. I am so blessed by the beautiful places I live in that I constantly take for granted. I remember how I used to say I’d never miss a sunset that I had time to see. Living right on the sea I sometimes convince myself that I don’t need to go sit on that jetty alone and watch the sunset, that I have done it enough times. However, during this beautiful winter season of sunsets I am reminded that each time I watch a sunset a small hole in my heart is refilled with peace and happiness. It is not an effort to go see these sunsets, but a blessing. We are not guaranteed a supportive family, we are blessed with one. We are not given life long friends, they are a blessing to us. So I thank God for the constant blessings in my life that I get to experience daily. I have not thanked Him enough and I am forever grateful for His blessings.