Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Handful of Things That Could Make Your Freshman Year Easier...

So a lot of y'all are about to start college in a month.

That's exciting. So in honor of the occasion I thought I'd write a little somethin' for you guys. So I present to you a handful of things I wish I had known during my freshman year of college that would have made it way easier.

1. All you can eat in a dining hall doesn't mean you should eat it all. The Freshman 15 (Mizzou 22) is real and it's harder to get rid of than a crazy stalker / ex-girlfriend (arguably synonymous).

2. Nap time is a gift from Jesus Himself and shall not be ignored.

3. All nighters are never a good idea no matter how little you have studied. A lot of memory retention is done while you sleep.

4. Coming back to your room being really drunk and loud is going to piss off your roommate.

5. So apologize when you inevitably do it.

6. Drink orange juice or some other vitamin C rich thingy. Dorm rooms are cesspools.

7. If you don't wear flip flops in the shower you're an idiot. Those things are gross.

8. Puff puff pass.

9. Just kidding.

10. Don't do drugs they are bad.

11. You're in college now and professors don't hand out passes like your high school teachers did.

12. Your high school teachers tried really hard to make you pass for the sake of your job.

13. Professors in a lecture hall really don't care if you pass.

14. Lecture hall classes suck.

15. Go to office hours. Professors are more likely to give you a little boost if they know you and like you.

16. Bring a mattress pad. There's no way your mattress is going to be comfortable without aid.

17. Caffeine is fantastic.

18. Ibuprofen and duct tape can fix anything.

19. You're gonna lose contact with some of your high school friends.

20. You're gonna make some really awesome friends.

21. You and your roommate are either going to be great friends or hate each other by the time the year is over.

22. You're not there to get married. You're there to get educated. Being single is OKAY. Say it with me. OOOOOOOOKAAAAAAAYYYYYYY.

23. Alcohol is okay. Being blackout drunk is not okay. Being hungover sucks.

24. Talk to your givers of life (parents). They worry about you and all the stupid decisions you're probably making.

25. Your mom is not going to just magically be unsad when she leaves after helping you move in. That takes months. Buy tissues in bulk.

26. Study. For the love of God you actually have to study in college. Learn how to study or you'll metaphorically die.

27. Most everyone changes their major. It happens.

28. Upper class-men are valuable friends and allies. They just know, man. So feed them with your meal swipes. Mutualistic relationships are great.

29. Unless you plan on going to grad school your GPA isn't a huge deal. If you plan on going to grad school your GPA is a big freaking deal. Plan accordingly.

30. Sweat pants are okay. Love them. Wear them.

31. Know when you need to dress up and know how to dress up.

32. If something makes you unhappy cut it out of your life.

33. Ditching class is super easy. Especially if the teacher doesn't take attendance. Know when it's the right time and the wrong time.

34. A lecture on a topic you know really well is the "right time."

35. Exam day is the "wrong time."

36. Life begins when you step out of your comfort zone. So step out of it and start living.

37. Anything that starts with "Hey everyone! Watch this!" is followed by a stupid decision. So if you hear it get your phone out and start filming.

Today I found on Tumblr:


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Power Is My Own...

I'm a very luck guy. I have to consistently remind myself of this opinion (fact?) because I am inherently a realist (some call it a "pessimist" but to each his or her own). To quote a song title from my favorite band, "For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic." Ha. Moving on.

I've spent the better part of a month debating on whether or not I should write this post because, despite the fact that I try to keep what I write to be as "real world" as possible some things are just a little too real.

Don't go jumping to conclusions, my life is still on the mediocre side of lucrative when it comes to excitement.

My life has always been rather stressful. One time during my senior year of high school I took a "stress test" (whatever the hell that is) and the test stated that any score over 150 was considered "unhealthy."

I scored (scored is actually a rather disgustingly ironic word in this instance because it definitely didn't lead to any victories) over 450. Why I've never been found in the fetal position on my bed rambling incoherent words at some point in the last few years is beyond me.

Stress sucks. I'm assuming everyone can attest to that (granted I can't actually speak for everyone, hence the assumption). Sometimes you don't always handle your stress in the best ways.

Sometimes stress builds and builds and keeps building until it towers over you and surrounds you. It buries you and it suffocates you. It knocks you down and keeps you there with no intention of letting you get back up. Stress can be overwhelming and debilitating.

I have to admit that in my earlier years of high school I didn't cope with stress well. I was sick a lot and missed a lot of school and just really wasn't happy at all. For a time it made me sad, and then I became depressed, and then after a while I was just numb. Numb to the world and to the people around me and to all the things that I loved. How I dealt with that period of my life is now a non-issue. I've finally told the people I trust about it and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

That ended my depression and numbness for a time. I was generally pretty happy. From the summer before my senior year all the way to the end of my first semester of college I was a pretty happy dude. Nothing to complain about really (except for student loans and homework of course). After a while I thought I was pretty much invincible.

Nobody is invincible.

I'm going to quote somebody that said something really wise: "Just because someone with depression has a better day doesn't mean that person got better. The day is still grey but without any rain."

Guess who said that wise piece. Go ahead and guess.

Your answer was wrong if you didn't guess Miley Cyrus. Crazy, right? She's not just a wrecking ball riding, sledge hammer swinging, tongue sticker-outer, singer that at one point was the icon of many childhoods.

Once my second semester started I had a lot of grey days and way too many rainy days. Thankfully I got to throw a handful of blue days and sunshine in there.

I couldn't possibly tell you what the cause of this second bout of non-happiness. But it was real and it sucked. I'm still not 100% sure that I'm over it yet. There have been some days this summer where I just feel low.

In contrast there have been some days this summer where I feel like I'm standing on top of the world. I've recently been going through one of my "on top of the world" phases and while the top of that mountain has been reached I'm still up high and feeling good.

It was during this expedition that I had an epiphany: Stress comes in two types. There is the stress that you can control and there is the stress that you can't control.

They have one thing in common: Both only affect you in a way that you let them. If you let either type of stress beat the crap out of you then you're going to get the crap beat out of you. If you do something to alleviate stress in a positive way then you're going to be much happier.

The power to deal with my stress is my own. I can work to prevent the stress that I can control and deal with the things I can't prevent in a positive way. I can choose to react to stress out of my control in a positive way.

Recently I've been trying to improve my physical health and I've noticed that physical health goes a long way in bettering your mental and emotional well being. While I have no aspirations to look like The Incredible Hulk (if my skin turns green I'll most definitely be going to see a doctor) I think I'm starting to agree with the "look good feel good philosophy."

Another thing I've been doing is just trying to make every day feel like some form of progress. I want to live every day so that when I go to bed at night I can reflect on my day and be satisfied with what I've accomplished since I work up that morning.

Your view on life really can make an impact on how you live your life.

The idea that I have the power to handle my stress how I want is great. I like being in control of myself (and, admittedly, the world around me when possible). I have a lot of work to do and a long ways to go, but I'm proud of my progress so far.

Today I found on Tumblr:

Well that explains a lot.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sun of Ink...

I hate pain in all forms. Emotional (The Fault in Our Stars), mental (doing math homework), physical (doing any kind of exercise) and any combination of the three (getting out of bed).

So why people get tattoos has been a mystery that I've contemplated for a long time. A long time being how long it took me to decide to write this post.

Sure some of them look cool.

Some of them look really stupid (pray for this person hard before you go to bed).

Some of them are just really disgusting.

My apologies for that one. I couldn't resist.

Now I've been 18 for almost two years (ha), which means I can do what I want (as long as my mom says it's okay because I live under her roof right now) and I could go out and get tatted up from the top of my head all the way down to the floor if I so desired. That's what credit cards and student loan money is used for (double ha), but I don't really see the point.

I'm a man of symbolism and in some ways getting something permanently stabbed into your body for the whole world to see (although if you're that last one you should probably wear high-waisted pants and long shirts from now until the end of time) might be considered one of the ultimate acts of symbolism.

And for that I respect tattoo bearers (and I respect their pain tolerance because there is no chance in hell that I'm letting a stranger stab me repeatedly so I can have something drawn onto my body; I would much rather prefer to just draw it on myself with a ballpoint pen).

If I had to get a tattoo though I think I'd get a tattoo of a sun. There's so much symbolism in the sun. It's a source of life and radiance. I too want to be a source of life and radiance for those around me. If the sun was a symbol of sarcasm I think I'd go out to a tattoo parlor right now and just get it all over my whole body, so let's thank our lucky stars (pun completely intended) that this isn't the case.

The sun is a wonderful thing. Without it we'd all probably die and it's a huge ball of fire. That's pretty cool.

The sun provides light, without which we can't see. The sun is clarity. To me it represents clarity of thought and a clear sense of morality. It is a constant reminder for me to do what is right.

The sun is a constant reminder to be happy and look at the bright side of life, because no matter how bad your day was today the sun is still going to rise tomorrow. Even if it's overcast or storming and you can't see it the sun is there, kind of life the weight I gained from college.

I like the idea of keeping that symbol with me wherever I go.

The idea just resonates in me.

So I guess I'll go find my ballpoint pen.

This is what I found on Tumblr today!

I can relate to this so much. I remember EVERYTHING. That conversation where told me your blood type in passing and then we completely changed the subject?

I remember.