Struggles of going to a big college

After being in contact with some of my friends, I realized how many pros and cons there are in going to both small and large campuses. Although they gave me a pretty hefty list of cons, we also discussed pros of larger colleges which included items such as more options for classes and food along with more resources (nurses, counselors, etc.). Although they did give me a pretty big list of cons, we picked the three that we thought were relevant to most (or all) of the larger colleges.

To get a look at a larger campus, the below video shows a campus tour of the University of Central Florida from 2012, and since then it has actually grown. One pro that you can see from this video is that there are entire buildings dedicated to particular areas of study.

  1. Not all professors you have will know your name

Professors at large colleges see tons of students every day and those students likely change every semester, especially in classes that are generals. While in their class, they may know your name and where you sit, but you can’t expect them to remember it for the next few years while you’re in college. There really isn’t a solution to this, it is just something you come to except. If you really like one of your teachers, consider taking more classes with them if the classes fit into your academic plan and vice versa for those that you aren’t particularly fond of. When you get into classes that are smaller and more directed at your major, you will start seeing some of the same professors more often.

  1. Parking

Parking is a pain if you have to drive to campus or to classes on a larger campus. One of my friends suggests, if driving, to get there pretty early due to the fact the parking lot closest to your class may be full by the time you get there. That same blog-2friend learned that the hard way when she was pulling into the parking lot about 5 minutes before her class started, realized there was no parking left, had to find another lot to park in, and arrived to class about 10-15 minutes late. She suggests that you should show up extra early when driving the first few times just to see how many people are in that lot at that time to see how early you need to get there for that class. She has classes where it is fine if she comes 5 minutes early and others where she shows up 20 minutes early and just packs something to do until class starts.

  1. Distance in between classes

Different campuses are set up differently so this one can vary. Most likely though, if you are going to a big school, with a big campus, you will need to plan accordingly and leave your room early enough to get to class. One of my friend’s advice for this is to walk, or ride the bus, to the location of each of your classes to see how long it’ll take. She also suggests if taking the bus to be there at least 5 min early just in case the bus takes off early. Because some of the classes she has 3702are a 15 min ride, this is also an opportunity for her to pull out a book she has to read for class or study some flashcards for a test she has coming up. She highly recommends taking this time to do something productive if it is a busy week for you. Unfortunately, with longer distances to class comes waking up earlier for those morning classes. Because classes are farther away, it makes it more important to not snooze the alarm too many times because most classes are not within a few minutes from your dorm.

If you are still struggling with whether you should go to a big or small college, I found a quiz that helps you evaluate where you may stand. It is also important to note that you should not go to a small or big college just because a quiz says you should; always pay attention to what you want to do and where YOU think will be best for you! 🙂

The struggles of going to a small college

As we near the end of the semester, I am going to look at the struggles of going to a small school and the struggles of going to a bigger school over my next two blogs. First I am going to start on the smaller side of the spectrum, seeing as I personally go to a pretty small school. Although there are quite a few pros, such as smaller classes, less difficulty with parking, and Knowing most (if not all) of your professors, and their teaching style, before you even get into the class. I will also be in touch with individuals from larger schools to get some of their opinions! Also note that I am speaking about public, not private, colleges.

  1. Not a lot of food variety

Both on campus and off campus, there is not a whole lot of choices of where to eat when you are on a small college campus. On campus, there is likely 2-3 places to choose from to eat, and only maybe two of those options will offer a “wide variety” of meals. The cafeteria at a small school is also quite a bit smaller with less food options and seating space inside. The plus of a small school when it comes to dining is that most people eat at a certain time and if you go to eat just afossil017 half an hour out of that time zone there is plenty of seats available.

The food options off campus are also pretty sparse most of the time. The college I attend has very few nice places to eat and not a lot of options for fast food either, as expected for a smaller town. Luckily, there is normally a pretty big sized town within a few hours of every small college so if you really need to get out of the small city and have some different food one day, you can totally just make it a mini road trip.

  1. Have to get creative when it comes to fun

Because of the smallness of the town around you, there probably won’t be a whole lot to do besides messing around in the physical activity center at your campus, going hiking if you are in certain locations, or maybe go swimming if there is an indoor pool in town. Because of this, the campus kind of splits into a few different groups when it comes to what they do for fun; some of the groups include those who: like to party all the time, enjoy the outdoors and all the different activities it can bring you, and maybe even some who think of going to Walmart as a fun time. 15252799Because of this, it is probably smart to find something you enjoy that you can do without expecting the campus to have the equipment (unless it’s a sport or something like that where you can get the equipment easily from an activity center).

  1. Not as many resources

One of the other struggles of a smaller campus is simply that there are usually less resources. For instance, my campus only has one nurse and the town only has one small hospital. There are also less counselors available for individuals to talk to. Most of the time this isn’t really an issue due to the fact that there are not that many students on campus.

The struggles of “dead week”

With the week before finals comes a mix of emotions including (but not limited to) excitement, terror, and maybe some tears. At some colleges, they call the week before finals “dead week,” with the illusion that professors won’t give as much homework due to the fact students are supposed to be studying for finals. Even though some schools have a dead week, no student I have talked to has had a week with low amounts of homework due. On the plus side, it is only a few more weeks until the semester is over. Besides the fact you may feel like you are dying during dead week, there really is no  reason why it is even called dead week, because there certainly isn’t a break.

  1. SO much to do…

…and no motivation to do it635849721428143217835420571_Finals-Next-Week-e1336929069190

With the end of the semester, comes all the final projects, papers, and last minute tests your professors want to squeeze in. Unfortunately, this is also the time when some of the only motivation you have left comes from the fact that summer is right around the corner. The only thing keeping you going may be the fact that you are finally almost done with some of your classes.

  1. Studying for finals

Along with all the final projects, last minute tests, and papers that I mentioned earlier, you also have to start studying for finals. Luckily, finals is all over things you have already learned, so you shouldn’t have to actually learn that much new information, it should mostly be review. Although it is all review, it can be a very stressful time, purely because of all the stuff that has to be done.

  1. Packing up

If you are living in the dorms and have to move out, you will also have to begin packing up your whole room. I would personally start to pack up and take some items home if you can. When I went home over Easter, I took my winter clothes 1389454100427765931and a few boxes home, and am now wishing I had taken home even more. This week is also the time when, if you want to store anything on campus, you will need to start talking to the RD
or an RA. It is also the time to start cleaning up your room so you don’t have to do quite so much when you move out.

  1. Grades

Another struggle of this week is that in some classes, these next two weeks could really have a big impact on your grade. Some semesters, if you have a relatively easy workload, this is not too much of a concern, but there will most likely be a few hard semesters in your college career. I would personally recommend that you start reviewing for finals by the week before finals (at least) if you have some harder classes so that this time won’t be as stressful.

The struggle of mail in college

Getting mail in college in one of the best feelingsimages and never fails to brighten the day of a college student, or at least that’s how it is for my friends and I. Sometimes, getting mail literally makes you feel like you just won the lottery! Just the news that we got mail would absolutely be the highlight of the day. Although it is one of the most joyous parts of college, there are some struggles that can come along with receiving (and sending) mail in college.

  1. Receiving letters

I don’t know about you, but I get so excited when I get a letter from someone. This has definitely been something that has grown with age; as a child I wasn’t all that excited about them. The first few weeks, I received (what felt like)download (7) a lot of letters (it was actually probably around 4-5) from family members and people I cared about back home. Needless to say, I was ecstatic; even if all they said was something along the lines of, “Congrats on this new journey in life, hope college treats you well!”

The struggle of this is that after that first few weeks passed, the letters seemed to cease almost completely. I did receive a few every now and then, but walking past the mail boxes and seeing no real mail in mine did make me a bit upset. The friends I had also noticed this and felt the same way, but we did realize and understand that it is just unreasonable to expect letters to come every week, or even every month.

     2. Receiving packages

Whether you ordered a package online or someone has sent you something, receiving a package won’t always be the easiest thing. I don’t know about all colleges, but at mine, there are two destinations your package can end up. My preferred destination is the dorm’s mail room. This way, all you have to do is track down an RA or your RD and theydownload (8) can get it for you.

The second destination it can go to on my campus is the mail room. This could go
very smoothly, where they send you an email when your package arrives, you have time to go pick it up, and everything is perfect. Unfortunately, this smooth series of events is not always how it plays out. First of all, the mail room can get backed up and when this happens, they may not be able to notify you of your package right away. This is, for the most part, not that important and you will be getting your package in just a few days. When this gets to be more annoying is when the notification to go get the package does not come until Friday and the mail room is about to close. This means that, unless you have been refreshing your email constantly and happen to see it in time to go get it, you will have to wait until Monday to have your package. Once again, this is not that big of a deal, it just requires a little extra patience!

     3. Sending mail

Most colleges have a system where they can mail your lettersmail-forwarding-service(1) or packages for you if you have the stamps on them already. Unfortunately this isn’t always the most reliable system. My friend tried to send a few thank you letters out through her
college one time and they never got where they were supposed to go. Although she may have made a mistake somewhere, there was obviously something wrong with the system. Another friend of mine just said her colleges system takes forever to sort and get the mail on the go. Personally, I have always just taken mine to the post office in town, and that is what I would recommend if the choice is available!

The college struggle of making important life decisions

Now that you are in college and have started learning how to act like an adult and do adult things, you will have to start making adult-like decisions. This process of doing adult-like decisions is adulting. Adulting is hard, and many of the responsibilities can be too. One of the harder responsibilities for indecisive people like me can be the fact that you have to make important decisions. These decisions can also be hard for individuals who aren’t indecisive and I give major props to those of you who thinking making important decisions is a piece of cake. You are not to be messed with.

Most of the struggles of making decisions come down to three main things:

  1. YOU have to make them

 This is not like high school where classes were (basically) decided for you and your schedule was pretty much set for the whole day. In college, there is much more freedom to decide when classes are, how many you have, and more importantly, what they are. There are also many other decisions that you have to make in college that your parents probably mademaking-hard-decisions-concept for you in high school, but you
will have to make them now. I’m not saying that your parents can’t give you any advice or anything, it’s just that in the end, it is your responsibility and your choice to make.

  1. They can be really difficult
  2. They can actually impact your future

Two and three go together really well, so I am going to explain them together. The decisions you make in college can impact your future and be really hard to make for that reason. One of the main decisions that comes to mind when I talk about this is choosing a major or changing your major. This directly impacts the career you go into, what your future will consist of, how much schooling you need, and even what friends you will make. When making hard decisions and adulting, it is important to look ahead to the future and make sure the outcome is what you want.

If you are anything like me, you can go back and forth between two choices for a long time before making a tough decision. In an article on lifehacker, they give a few tips on how to make those life decisions. One of my personal favorites is to pretend like you are giving advice to someone else in your situation. In the video below, a woman briefly describes how to make a hard decision by asking a very simple question.

The Struggle of Staying Motivated in College

As we get closer and closer to the end of the semester, it seems as though motivation is running low. When I say motivation, I am not just talking about the motivation to work out, but also the motivation to keep up with homework, study, save money, basically the motivation for everything is running out. Looking at a blog post from Kalp Education, I found some tips and suggestions for finishing the year out strong by keeping up these simple habits.

  1. Have a workout partner

Having a buddy to workout with really makes it harder to skip the gym. Not only exercise-workout-partner-icons-set-human-pictogram-representing-exercising-49038139does it make it harder to skip going, but it will probably make your time spent there more enjoyable and a little less awkward if you aren’t used to going.

The gym is not only good for your physical health, it is good for your mental health too! Towards the end of the semester with finals coming up and end of the term papers being due, it is important to have a way to destress, and exercising is a perfect way to do so.

  1. Find out how your study best

In the blog post, it states that you should find a quiet place to study, but I slightly disagree. Everyone studies and learns in unique ways and it is important to find a technique that works for you. For some people, studying in a group is what helps them learn best but others learn best from sitting alone with some headphones in just reading through notes. The reason this is a crucial thing to know and practice while we approach finals week is because you are going to want to know how you can most efficiently study. We want this to be efficient so that you are not spending every waking minute studying. Finding an effective method will help de-stress your finals week. Another way to encourage studying is to start thinking of it in a different light and to stop making it a negative task. 5671af68ad8225e9268f862853121fde

If there is a class where you just cannot seem to figure out how to study, always feel free to visit your professor during their office hours. They are there to help you learn.

  1. Keep your head up, and your eyes on the prize

While going through this loss of motivation, it is important to remember why you are going through all of this. Thinking of your end goal will help you to push yourself to do your best and finish out the year strong.

The Struggles of doing Laundry in College

I get it, doing laundry isn’t that big of a deal right? It really isn’t, but with most everything, there are a set of annoyances that come with it when you pair it with the fact that you are at college.

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  1. You have to do it (and fold it too)

Your parents are not there anymore to help with laundry so you will need to know how to do it (how much soap, what can and can’t be dried completely, what should be hand washed, etc.). It’s just another responsibility to add to the list when it comes to living without your parents (doing adult things can be hard). Sometimes, the hard part is just finding the motivation (and time) to walk yourself there and start the load.

  1. Carrying it there

Maybe you’re lucky and there are laundry facilities on your floor, good for you! But unfortunately, there is also the chance that the laundry facilities are in the basement and you live on the top floor.  This becomes even more unfortunate when all of the washers and dryers are in use.

  1. Having to pay for it

For some lucky people, laundry at their college is free, but chances are, you will be paying for laundry in college. Some people get around this by just bringing their dirty clothes home every weekend, but not everyone lives that close to home or can afford that kind of gas usage.

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  1. Other people

For some people, it is not the act of doing laundry at the college that is the bad part, sometimes it is other individual’s habits.

I have experienced, time and time again, that people will just forget their stuff that is in the washer or dryer and just leave it there for ages. There are times when I have gone to do laundry and BOTH laundry rooms were full with loads
that were done and just sitting there. When I come across this, I just take my load back to my room and try to deal with it later, but there are some individuals who are not that patient. Sometimes, when someone leaves their load in the dryer or washer and it is done, someone will take the clothes out and put them on the table or floor so they can start their load.

Another habit that I have noticed is that some people do not know hdryer-2ow to empty their pockets of gum. I am not exaggerating when I say that every time I go down to start laundry, there is gum in at least two of the dryers, and sometimes those two are the only ones open. If you ever do end up with gum on some of your clothing from this, there is a simple way to get it off, that even college kids can do, as described in this video! You could also try just rubbing ice on it instead if that is more appealing to you! 🙂

If you are one of those people who just does not want to deal with laundry, you will unfortunately have to overcome that and just deal with it. The dos and don’ts of doing laundry in college dorms is an article filled with laundry room etiquette and tips to get you through the process!

 

Struggles of Having a Roommate

 

Although I touched on dorm life in one of my first posts, I really did not go deep into the struggles of having a roommate. The truth is, there is no such thing as “the perfect roommate” and you shouldn’t expect one! This post, I will be going through just some of the classic frustrations that I have heard about peoples’ roommates.

  1. Their significant other is in the room all the timedownload (5)

At first, this may not bug you, but eventually you will probably get tired of planning showers, studying, and relaxing around them being there. This situation gets worse when you don’t particularly like their significant other.

  1. They live at their significant others

Some people may count this as a pro, but sometimes your roommate will just basically move out, leaving you with a room that has two people’s stuff in it but with only you actually living there. One of my friends has literally only seen their roommate three times this school year because of this.

  1. They won’t take out the trash102309_trash_philavanh_wanda-003

Enough said.

And if your goal is to make them take out the trash, just tell them, don’t try to play games by not taking out the trash in the hopes they will eventually because that just leads to an overflowing trashcan. Trust me on this one.

  1. Showering isn’t part of their regular routine

I get that different people have different routines, and I’m definitely not saying that everyone needs to shower every single day, but going weeks without showering is pretty gross. Just like with the trash, feel free to approach this one, not for them necessarily, but for your own sake. This honestly could be a big misunderstanding where they are showering, but it’s not when you’re around or something.

  1. Bedtime routines don’t match upsleepin___by_toonpirate-d4gdrsa

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a roommate that goes to bed and wakes up at the same time as you, or at least respects your bedtime schedule. By respect, I mean that they try to be quiet when they are up later than you or if they get up earlier than you they don’t turn all the lights on. Unfortunately, not everyone gets paired with a roommate that is respectful to your sleeping needs. If you get someone who thinks coming in super late, being obnoxiously loud is okay, then you could be in for a very tiring semester. As always, it is perfectly fine to voice your opinion and tell them that you’d prefer if they tried to be quieter. If it continues, feel free to get your RA involved or skip right to just finding a new roommate.

Along with the struggles that come with having a roommate, there are also many pros so don’t let this list scare you away from this crazy adventure! The video below talks about a few of the most common pros and cons of having a roommate!

Relieving Stress in College

College is stressful, don’t let it get the best of you.

Although small amounts of stress are alright, there are some serious consequences if you are stressed out all the time.

Last post, I mentioned just a few of the stressors in college. Today, I will be giving you some helpful tips and tricks to help relieve that stress.

  1. Make lists

Make a list for what you need and want to download (4)accomplish during the day and check off the task when it is done. Sometimes you could be doing homework all day and not feel like you’ve accomplished anything but this will help you see that you are getting somewhere and accomplishing tasks. Just having the list will also help you feel more organized and make everything a little less chaotic.

  1. Do something you enjoy

Instead of dwelling on the stress you’re experiencing, take a break to do something you enjoy. Doing homework for hours on end is probably not going to help anyone and you will probably not take any information away from it if you have been at it for several hours. It is important to let your bring rest and reset by taking a break and getting your mind on something else.

Sometimes finding a hobby or something you love doing can be really hard. Between Google and YouTube, you can find a big list of hobbies to get involved in. Hobbies can range from collecting stamps, to hiking, to playing video games and some hobbies are quite strange. I found a video called 48 Successful People with Unique Hobbies  and it really shows how diverse hobbies can be and I encourage you to try to find what you love doing!

  1. Live in the moment

I know that it is extremely easy to just look forward to the big picture and think of everything you have to do to get there, but trust me it is way less stressful if you don’t. It is okay to plan ahead, but when you do, make sure to realize that you don’t have to do everything right now in order to achieve getting to that big picture. It is important to just focus on small tasks and set small goals to achieve along the way so that you do not feel as stressed.

  1. Surround yourself with positive peopleCartoon-Surround-yourself-with-Positive-people-for-Perseka-site-2011-Copyright-Kaveh-Adel-Iranian-American-Cartoonist

This is extremely important. Surrounding yourself with people who will lift you up and tell you that you can succeed are the people you want to be around, especially when you are stressed. It is good to have a support system and just knowing that someone thinks you can tackle anything can really help when you think you can’t do it or don’t think there is enough time in the day.

  1. Try some Breathing Exercises

Lots of people think this takes some elaborate routine or an instructor telling you what to do, but it is extremely simple and can help calm you down in stressful situations. Although there are classes and YouTube videos instructing people on deep breathing, it is something you can do by yourself, in public, without anyone even noticing. When you are freaking out about due dates, relationships, and upcoming tests, stop yourself and just breathe deeply a few times to relax yourself.

Let’s get real: The Stressors of College

Although there are many highs of college, there are also some lows.

There are so many stressors in college that most incoming freshman don’t realize, so during this blog I will be listing just a few of the potential stressors then in my next post I will be talking about how to manage and control your stress levels.

 

  1. Picking a college.

Although this is not necessarily while you are in college, this can be a very hard choice; I mean, it is where you will be spending your next four years at.  It can be extra stressing if your friends have already decided and you still have no idea.

To make this less stressful, try to figure out what YOU want, don’t try to factor in other’s opinions. So many of my peers chose a college just because their friend was going to go there or their parents wanted them to go there. Honestly, the whole college experience is just going to be more stressful at the beginning if you are moving in to a place you let someone else decide for you. That being said, if you do end up at a college that you don’t necessarily want to be at, it will be okay and you will get through it.

  1. Forming friends (and relationships in general)

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When I was first moving in, I was most worried about if I could make new friends. As I went through my first few weeks, I noticed that most everyone shared this concern. After I started branching out and talking with other people on my floor and in my classes, I found this part of college to be really exciting. Although I don’t necessarily believe that the friends I make in college will be my best friends for life, I do believe it is extremely important to find someone who you can goof around with but also have serious talks about life decisions and difficult times.

  1. Picking a major (or deciding if you want to change majors)

This is pretty self-explanatory, especially if you have no idea what you want to do with the rest of your life. My advice here is to find your passion, job shadow a few careers that embrace that passion, then just follow your dreams (I know it’s cheesy, but still).

  1. Time management

In high school, you had your day, from 8-4, mostly planned out for you, and even more of it if you were in sports or clubs of any kind. In college, you only have around three classes a day and it is up to you to fill in the empty time. You have to make the choice of whether you are going to watch Netflix all day, play video games, exercise, do homework, or maybe just do nothing, and you are going to have to sort of plan your day accordingly.

Another part of time management can also include prioritizing classes and knowing what assignments to do when. Everyone has their own way of doing this and I suggest finding a way that works for you. Personally, I like to get the hard stuff done first or the stuff that will take me a while to understand. I also like to get ahead in my easier classes if I have time to, especially if I have a harder test coming up.

  1. Teststop-five.jpg

Although some tests will take minimal studying, there will be some where you study several nights and still have no idea what is going on.

And it’s okay. Everyone goes through this.

  1. Expectations

It doesn’t matter if it is your parents, significant other, friends, teachers, or all of the above, other people expectations of you can start to weigh you down and make you stressed out. This is because we feel the need to meet those expectations (if the expectations are high) or prove them wrong (if they are really low). Whichever one an individual faces, it is sure to bring stress to their life at some point in time. If you are constantly trying to live up to people’s expectations of you and you are tired of it, check out this article about why it is okay to let them go and just do you!