Let me take a self- Oh, no, delete that…

I am incapable of taking good pictures of myself. If we are friends on social media, you may have noticed that. I think I have one little set of photos, maybe there is about five of them, where I managed to look good when taking a selfie. Those photos are from my sophomore year. Sometimes I just want to send a picture to my mom and show her how cute my outfit is, and the photo turns out like Quasimodo decided to try on the same ensemble. Even when I use the front-facing camera the photo looks good for a total of .7 seconds, and then the phone inverts the photo and it looks weird.

Is there a trick to this? Is there a way to hold the camera? Is there an incantation you have to say over your phone? A sacrifice? What?! What am I doing wrong?!

I also always look like crap in my professional photos. Something always goes wrong, and it’s generally my fault that they turn out bad. Want an example? OK. For my the last few photos I had to take for professional reasons I made a big mistake. Before the photo, I decided to use a product I had never used before. It was supposed to help your hair stay frizz-free, and you know what, that company may be on to something. Your hair can’t be frizzy if it is really greasy and oily.  Mhm. That is exactly how that one panned out. So, that’s exciting.

Oh, but I hadn’t had enough of that product. Maybe I did it wrong. Maybe it wasn’t the product at all. Maybe it was all my fault.

So what did I do? I used the product for another professional photo opportunity. Oh, yeah. There was exactly 0% frizz upon my head. I mean, at least the product did what it claimed.

That bottle can be found in my trash can if anyone needs to borrow it.

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Broken Glasses & A Broken Heart

For a long time, many people knew me as “The Kid with the White Glasses.” But things change; people change; and our eyesight changes (i.e. for those who have poor eyesight). I’m lucky it was time for my new prescription, because my white glasses had, sadly, broke. In the meantime, I had to find something to work so I could see! Luckily, I had contacts to last me for a little while, but I would need to find a new set of glasses sometime soon! So, I started looking around for the best deal, the nicest looking set, and what best suited me. If you think about it, this is similar to graduating high school! After graduating, you find something to do in the meantime and begin looking for a college. While looking for a college, you usually look for something affordable, nice, and what best suits your needs and liking. You often find about ten sets of “glasses” that are a good fit and you can eventually narrow it down to about four which are best. After thoroughly examining, testing, and debating each, you can normally narrow it down to about two (if not one).

With some time, I finally found the perfect glasses! But my white glasses were special to me. My white glasses were what defined me; they were a part of me. You might say I was emotionally attached, and I honestly was (and still am). But it’s time to start new and find a new beginning. It’s time to find something different than what I’ve been accustomed to and it’s time to make something of it. I will always love my white glasses, but there comes a point in time when we must move on, accept the past, and look forward to the future.

Again, this is very similar to school. Where you went to school will always define who you are. We cannot stay in high school forever. We must grow up, make decisions for ourselves, and look to the future.

 

Here is the memoir for my white glasses:

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of Tyler’s White Glasses. He was loved by many, and will be missed tremendously. Tyler’s White Glasses have met many people, seen many new faces, been many places, and experienced many environments. Tyler’s White Glasses was a lifelong friend and close acquaintance of mine. We were inseparable from day one. Everybody knew us by those white frames, but there comes a time when we must move on. In Tyler’s White Glasses’ case, his life ended too short. He should have lived much longer. His death is too gruesome to elaborate, and I would have had a closed coffin if it were not for the intact remains of his upper (right) half. It was a quick death, and so I had a quick funeral. Not many showed, but he would have wanted it this way since he knew many people. He will be missed. Until we meet again.

Your friend,
Tyler”

Photo: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of Tyler's White Glasses. He was loved by many, and will be missed tremendously. Tyler's White Glasses have met many people, seen many new faces, been many places, and experienced many environments. Tyler's White Glasses was a lifelong friend and close acquaintance of mine. We were inseparable from day one. Everybody knew us by those white frames, but there comes a time when we must move on. In Tyler's White Glasses' case, his life ended too short. He should have lived much longer. His death is too gruesome to elaborate, and I would have had a closed coffin if it were not for the intact remains of his upper (right) half. It was a quick death, and so I had a quick funeral. Not many showed, but he would have wanted it this way since he knew many people. He will be missed. Until we meet again,</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Your friend,<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Tyler
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Ba Dum Dum Dum…

Rhythm. It seems life always works on a rhythm. I mean, humans are habitual creatures. We settle into a rhythm of life that dictates how we live and many times if this rhythm is interrupted our entire world is thrown into a blender and we freak out…

I had a good summer. This is my first journal of the 2014-2015 school year, and it’s good to be back. It seems like I didn’t do much this summer. I worked and went on a small vacation with my family. That’s about it though… But as the weeks went by, I started to see the presence of school coming back and I was looking forward to the looming shadow of homework and tests.

I would say I am an extremely habitual creature and that my life depends on rhythm. I’m actually a drummer and play in front of large crowds every week. Many times it seems my whole life is around a sort of rhythm. This is especially true in school. I tend to generate a schedule in the first couple weeks of school. I figure things out with classes and work. I find out when my free time is and I even begin to generate ways of eating in those times. My rhythm begins to develop. My life starts beating to an invisible war drum, and I march in the cadence. But as any good drummer does… My jam and my groove relies on the rhythm staying the same. If someone changes the tempo or the time signature everything gets jacked up and a perpetual train wreck begins.

For my first three weeks of school I built my rhythm. School, work, free time, sleep. School, work, free time, sleep. Over and over again. I had it figured out to where Monday through Thursday I had busy days and then Fridays were my day off. This was a good schedule because I could go hard for four days and then have a nice break before the crazy weekend of work.

Well, last week my rhythm was thrown off… I was scheduled to be the host in a video shoot at the college, but they scheduled it on a Friday. My day off…. You ever have those days where you just turn your brain off? Like you literally just roast your brain in front of a TV, or in a book and nothing in the world matters? You just float through time like a soda can in a river? Yeah… That was my day. I totally forgot everything. Everything obligation, duty, responsibility. Everything was GONE… It was beautiful. But, of course, even though my brain turns to water doesn’t mean everyone else’s does. I got in trouble by my supervisor and I had to beg for forgiveness from the video team. I was like a little puppy in trouble…

We all have a rhythm in our life. Whether that be the rhythm of music, or a schedule, we all have a rhythm. As a college student rhythm is extremely important and necessary. But also as college students, we have to take up responsibility and be prepared to break rhythm for the sake of our sanity and the sanity around us. So don’t be a complete creature of habit, because if you can walk through your life blindfolded… You probably have too much rhythm. If that’s you… you need to get out more.

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Grizzly Gear Mondays: A Photographer’s Point of View

I have a confession to make. As you all know, I work for the university. If you don’t well, you do now. Part of my job is to take pictures. More specifically, I take the Grizzy Gear Monday pictures. *GASP* *shock* YOU?! Yes, me. However, there is a wee bit of a catch. I’m going to say it. Whew. Here I go. The first step is to admit I have a problem: Hi, my name is Tori, and I sometimes creep on people to find Grizzly Gear. Before you judge, hear me out. I have to, it’s not an addiction I swear! But first, in unison now, “Hi, Tori!”

People do not just line up for these pictures. The majority of these pictures aren’t sent in. I literally have to find people on campus wearing Grizzly Gear. I’m doing a scavenger hunt for Grizzly Gear every single Monday. This sounds fun, right? Okay, sometimes it is. But usually I am creeping on people in Lybyer trying to discreetly see the front of their shirt as they are staring at a computer screen. I’m not exactly tall (5′ 1/2″) so looking over people isn’t an option. I don’t really want to bother their studying or social mediaing, (It’s a word now.) so I quietly come behind them and stare as I turn the corner, trying to glimpse their shirt. Sometimes they catch me looking and I’m all like, “Nothing! I’m doing nothing! Go back to your work, and quit looking at me!” Not really. I scurry away looking for someone else, or I point blank ask them if that’s a Grizzly Gear shirt because now they’re distracted by this short girl armed with a camera, peering over a computer divider trying to look at their chest for MSU-WP insignia.

After I repeat this process a few times, I finally hit the jackpot: an unsuspecting Grizzly Gear wearer. “Hi, you’re wearing Grizzly Gear, and it’s Grizzly Gear Monday. Can I take a picture for the university’s Facebook? Their eyes fill with terror and uncertainty as I convince them that I am NOT just some creepy student obsessed with Grizzly Gear, but it really is my job. Once they are satisfied I am who I say I am, they begin to resist, starting with, “But I look so bad today…” I quickly tell them they’re beautiful (Yes, even the men. Men are beautiful too.) because all of them are. Finally, my charisma works, (usually) and I snap pictures before they can change their mind, thank them, and I sprint away because I think I saw someone wearing a blue shirt that could be Grizzly Gear….

I am not a stalker. I just sometimes appear to be one on Mondays. I will continue to do this every Monday until I graduate or the task is bequeathed to someone else, but you can help my effort! YOU, yes, you can wear Grizzly Gear and do several things: You can either wait for me to find you (highly unlikely, my timing is awful, plus I will kind of be creeping on you), you can e-mail us (Us being the University Communications office) a picture of you or your friends or your acquaintances or your enemies wearing Grizzly Gear to wpunivcomm@missouristate.edu, or you can put it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (or all three!) and use hashtags #msuwp and/or #GrizzlyGearMonday, and I will find it! The ONLY requirement is that you’re wearing something Missouri State University-West Plains. I’ve taken pictures of people holding MSU-WP bags, in t-shirts, in MSU-WP sweatpants, etc. Let me make this clear: you don’t have to be a current student. Don’t have Grizzly Gear? Drago College Store does, and they’re willing to sell some to you. They even have a clearance section. If you’re curious what my pictures look like, here’s the link: http://goo.gl/mG5Vhd .

So, show your Grizzly pride and help me creep on one less person.

P.s. We like selfies.

P.P.S. I will be getting a name tag, so convincing people that I am who I say I am could possibly be easier. Unless they think I stole the name tag…

Preview

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Heigh-Ho, High-Ho, It’s off to work I go…..

I have a problem. Most of us in our second year have the whole “time management” thing under control. If they don’t, they have a good understanding that if you are going to ignore all responsiblites, you might as well do something fun so that the time isn’t wasted.

Well.

I may understand the concepts I just listed, but my problem is that I don’t implement them. My favorite way of explaining what happens comes from my favorite internet blogger, Allie Brosh. This is the exact process I go through every time:

In my defense, I don’t usually get to the “everything is ruined” stage. The voice of reason in my mind just has to tell me (truthfully), “OK, you seriously have five hours to write the ENTIRE honors essay that is three pages exactly eleven point font single-spaced. Good luck, because you are on your own now. Don’t spend too much time wallowing in grief.”

Then the panic ensues, and the frenzied typing begins.

I may sound bad, but I have never not turned in an asignment. So then what is my problem? I WASTE ALL MY TIME ARGUING WITH MYSELF OVER WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING. I will sit at my desk, intending to do an outline, then decide I don’t actually want to do it. I tell myself, “No biggie, it’s not hard, and I’ll get it done fast if I focus.” While I am thinking about this, folks, I will start doing something else. Organizing my desk, fiddling with my hair, watch my boyfriend play a video game. Something. Anything. Then it’s time for sleep, and I resolve to “do it tomorrow.”

This is nothing new. This has been going on for years. So why do I write about it now?

This is where the title will begin to make sense: I have obtained a job.

I mean, one that I get paid cash for directly. Technically, I have two others as well. I am a Student Ambassador for the college, and they do give me a lovely book scholarship that I am very greatful for, but my daily payment is the smiles on the faces of prospective students I get to work with. Then, my third job is writing journals for all of you lovely people to read.

One of my many goals this year is to learn how to manage my school work, ambassadorship, journalism, and tutoring effectively. I don’t expect to fail this goal at all, I think sometimes I just like to make myself worry about things needlessly. I guess that’s just who I am. Anyway, I will let you all know how I progress!

By the way, come see me at the tutoring lab! I would love to help you all with your essays, short  stories, poems, outlines, or whatever else you can throw at me!

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Missouri State University, Summed Up in A Poem, Perfectly

Here at Missouri State University,

We have more than one degree.

We have several degrees, including Technology, Enology,

And General Study!

 

We offer an opportunity

For education and literacy,

With our campus’ amazing staff and faculty!

 

We have a simple registry,

And the convenience and flexibility

Of scheduling classes is so easy!

 

We have advisers to help you get your associate’s degree,

And tutors to help you ace your studies.

But wait! There must be a fee!?!

I assure you there is not, for it costs nothing for an enrollee!

 

But WAIT, there is more!

We may not have a fraternity or sorority,

But there are several organizations and student activities!

With student organizations numbering about forty,

There are so many things a student can come to be.

 

We have an equity and diversity policy,

So there is no discriminating!

And we have anti-bullying committees,

So no one is teased.

 

If you’re looking for a book, you will most certainly find it at our library!

If it’s not on our shelves, it’ll be in the registry.

They’ll bring it from another university,

And let you check it out without a single fee!

 

You must always be organized and set priorities.

If you forget to study,

You most certainly will NOT be stress-free.

 

I am running out of rhymes that rhyme with “E”,

And I know I could have used other endings,

But I will go and study,

To ace my studies.

I hope to see you this fall, at Missouri State University-

West Plains…”E”!

 

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#ThrowbackThursday

Well kiddos, (I’ve always wanted to say that.) the summer has ended. Finals are over, and the new school year is about to begin. I always love the start of the school year. New classes, new people, and a totally new hectic schedule. Have I mentioned I thrive on stress?

Since today is the one year anniversary of my move down to West Plains, and tomorrow is my one year of working and taking classes here, AND my roommate moves back in today, (I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HER FACE!) I’m going to hop down memory lane to my first few weeks of college. I had a wedding to attend on move-in day, so they let me move in Sunday. My parents and two best friends came to help me unpack, and I met my roommate. She is a poster child for not judging a book by its cover. She was in track shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes. As soon as I saw her, I resigned myself to the fact she was going to take 6 a.m. runs and be all healthy and active. Turns out she is like none of those. She’s healthy, don’t get me wrong, but she also loves to eat! I do too, so it was like a match made in heaven. Anyway, I had NO idea how to navigate West Plains. It took like 20 minutes to find food because none of us had a clue. But we got there, and ate, and it was delicious. So. The intersession had just started and my roommate knew campus, so she showed me around so I didn’t get too terribly lost going to classes and work, which I am eternally thankful for. We did the intersession, and then the real classes started. I was sooooooo nervous! Besides the 2 hour intersession, I had 15 more credit hours and they were all over campus, and I was starting work that week and it was crazy. Once I stopped freaking out, it was fine.

I’m telling you this story to show you that EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY. It’s okay to be worried or nervous or scared. I showed up to my very first IDS intersession class 20 minutes early. AND! I wasn’t the only one. There were other nervous freshman who were there that early or earlier!

This year, I am so much more relaxed about it all. I know what I like, and I know how to go about things. I know that 8 a.m. classes are not for me. (Unless you like getting up at 7:30, don’t do it. I went, “Well, high school started at 8, I can do a class then!” No, no I couldn’t.) I know that I don’t like more than one night class. I learned that online classes are WONDERFUL. Through trial and error, I found out what I like. And you will too!

College is terrifying at first, but it gets easier. You start to understand what to do and why you’re doing it and how to do it the most efficient way. After that first week of classes, you’ll be a pro.

Also, I know this was NOT posted on a Thursday but that is because WELCOME WEEK STARTS THURSDAY! DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP BECAUSE IT WILL BE SOOOO MUCH FUN! If you are going, be sure to add #GrizzlyLife or #msuwp to all of the awesome pictures you post!

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The First Visit

I have been here at Missouri State University-West Plains for about a year now, and I plan on being here for two more years. I remember signing up with my high school counselor for a campus visit for the first time…I was a sophomore at the time and only juniors and seniors were allowed to go. So, I waited for a year. Why I waited I do not know; I always could have signed up for a personal tour! Anyway, I vividly remember my first tour of the campus. I remember being lost and confused with the idea of ‘credit hours’ and ‘FAFSA'; I remember having so many different names of people, buildings, statues, acronyms, etc. being thrown at my face; I remember being completely overwhelmed! But I am a very organized person. I always write down questions I may have, answers to those questions, and any other information I would like to know. If I don’t get my questions answered, I go online to find out or ask someone who works there. I had never toured a college campus before, and I had SEVERAL questions, which is OKAY!! It is normal to have questions about things you do not understand, but we need not be afraid to ask.

When my school and I first arrived, we were ushered into an auditorium so that faculty and staff from campus could talk with us about the fundamentals of college and what programs were available here at MSU-West Plains. Not only did I get to hear faculty and staff talk about how “great the college is,” I also got to hear personal experiences from a large group of college students. These students truly connected with how I was feeling at the time: confused. They, too, had been where I was once before. After listening to each person talk about the great opportunities, organizations, services, and other things about campus, we got to walk around campus.

While walking on campus, I was told each building’s name, what was in that building, why the building was made, who that building was named after, etc. I also got to walk around in each of those buildings. I had the opportunity to walk on a college campus, be around college classrooms, and speak with college students!! I felt pretty cool. I was like a New Yorker seeing a farm and cows for the first time. I saw things I thought were the neatest, and I saw things I had no clue about.

After walking around the campus, and having name after name thrown at me, I got to sit down at a table with those same college students, each who was in the same boat I was at the time. They, too, had several questions and were lost and confused about many things. Again, it is normal to have these things. I had FREE pizza and could talk one-on-one with people who could answer all the questions I had.

Upon leaving, there was absolutely NO way I could possibly retain ALL the information given to me during that visit. So, I scheduled other private tours and attended one or two more Red Carpet Days. (That’s what the big tours with high schools are called.) Knowing what I know now, I think back about how ridiculous my questions were, but I also know that those questions were important to me at the time, and those questions are now important to other high school students as well.

Now, I am one of those college students standing on the stage and sitting at the tables with other high school students. Now, I am the one giving advice and letting people know “It is normal to have ridiculous questions and to be lost and confused on many things.” College is a new stepping-stone in life, and before we step onto that stone we need to know everything about it.

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Hello, Goodbye

Summer is so close to being over! Wow! My summer has been crazy hectic. Between working almost full time, being the RA, and taking a class, I hit the ground running every morning. Add on top of this friends and family, it is crazy. Whew. Thankfully, I have wonderful bosses who let me take some time off, and with that time, I will be going to Florida! YES! AND! AND! I get to go to Warped Tour when I get back. So I have ONE week of all of this, then vacation, and then OH MY GOODNESS SCHOOL STARTS IN TWO WEEKS! Summer is FLYING by. Sorry about all the caps, it’s all important.Then there’s Welcome Week, which everyone who is going to MSU-WP in the fall should go to. For more information, go here: http://wp.missouristate.edu/studentlife/WelcomeWeek.htm I get to be a group leader, so I’m pumped! I leave that Saturday to go home for a couple days because the Springfield Swap Meet is going on, and that’s practically a holiday in my family. It’s a blast. After that, I come back and start school Monday, and that’s the start of a new semester! Whew! THERE IS LESS THAN A MONTH UNTIL SCHOOL STARTS! That’s terrifying. In the next few days, I have to pack, move, take a final, then go home so I can go to Florida with my roommate and friends. I think the worst part is that I’m packing to take all of my stuff to the third floor, but I’m also packing all of my Florida stuff too. It’s a crazy process, I tell you.

So. Summer on campus. I’ve never done that. I’ve kind of been playing grown up the last couple of months, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Waking up, looking nice, working during regular hours, taking a real actual hour lunch break, it’s all pretty weird. Looking back, it’s been a good real world experience. So I’m going to make a pros and cons list of being a grown up.

Pros:

1. Added responsibility. This is a pro because there is a wonderful sense of doing well that goes along with it.

2.You are responsible for your own self. Being your own person is amazing. Knowing that if you’re hungry and you want pop-tarts, you can decide if that’s worth the extra calories and money.

3. Making decisions. Again, this is a blessing and a curse. If you don’t want to go to movie night, you don’t have to! No one is MAKING you do anything. You make every decision for you.

4. Freedom. Being autonomous and not having someone you have to check in with is incredible. You get to come and go at your leisure.

5. That feeling of accomplishment. This is great. When you finish something, be it a work project or a research paper or cleaning the kitchen, it’s amazing to sit back and go, “I did that.”

6. Starting your life. My life will never be the same. I can’t go back to how I was in high school. I’ve seen the other side, and that will lead me.

7. Real life experience. Dude this is so important. I mean, I knew a lot before I came here, but I had never put it into practice. Now I’ve put it into practice, and I’ve learned so much.

Cons:

1. Early mornings. Worst thing ever. I am not too much of a morning person. I like to wake up around 9, 9:30. When your job starts at 8, that isn’t really feasible.

2. Added responsibility. This is also a con because with more responsibility comes more stress.

3. There is no hiding out in your room because people will always find you! Seriously. If you want to get away from it all here’s what you have to do: Leave the country, smash all of your electronics, buy your ticket with cash under a false name, wear a disguise so the flight people cannot identify you, and tell no one you are going. (I do not advise this.) I’m exaggerating, but I used to have solace. Now? Not so much. Someone always needs something, and with technology, it is so easy for people to track you down.

4. You’re always worried about something. Work, school, friends, family, etc. The first few weeks I was the RA, I was constantly worried I was doing something wrong. I worried something catastrophic would happen while I was grocery shopping and there were a million scenarios we won’t go into.

5. You actually stress over work. This is a biggie for me. At any job I have ever held, it was  pretty stress free. I left work at work. Now, since I’m off on Fridays, I stress something will happen that needs my immediate attention. Usually that isn’t the case, thank goodness. I learned after a few weeks I do not need that added stress.

6. Dangit, sometimes I just want to be a kid! People expect you to be appropriate and well mannered in public. I have to mingle with people, which is sometimes difficult when all I want to do is crawl under the covers and eat ice cream and watch Netflix. Being an adult means people are ALWAYS watching what you do, so you always have to monitor yourself. What about in the privacy of your own home, you may ask. Sometimes it works, other times, well… (Refer to #3.)

Growing up is inevitable. If you’re a Friends fan like I am, you will also conjure up an image of Joey looking up towards the sky on  his 30th birthday saying, “We had a deal!” Here’s a gif for your viewing pleasure:

joey2

 

Whether you like it or not, you will grow up! Hang on, and enjoy the ride. Find the good things and never focus on the negative. So, this week instead of focusing on packing, moving, taking a final, and the 12 hour drive to Florida, I will focus on the fact that this time Saturday, I will be on the beach with my friends without a care in the world.

Enjoy what’s left of summer!

 

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Summer School Horrors

I always loved attending summer school when I was younger. I can remember a time when I had never been to summer school before, and I remember being scared to death of the idea of going to school during the summer. I imagined scenes from movies where students would be sitting in class with no air-conditioning for hours with absolutely nothing to do. I imagined the teachers being grumpy and cruel–like from the movie Matilda. I was afraid I would hate summer school and that I would not be allowed to swim or have any fun whatsoever; sadly, I had no choice but to go.

I was absolutely dreading summer school, but after a couple days I realized how much fun it was. My teachers were fun and enthusiastic, and they always had fun things to do, like building robots, making Go-Karts, building roller coasters from Styrofoam tubes and marbles, making castles and bridges from toothpicks and popsicle sticks, and of course, going SWIMMING at the city pool!!! I couldn’t believe how much FUN summer school was!! AND, I was getting paid to go! Life couldn’t have been cooler!

Now, I am in college, and I just started summer school. Again, I was scared of how it would go. I was scared of being stuck in a classroom forever with a lousy teacher and no air conditioning. But once again, my assumptions were wrong. I am loving summer school in college, and it isn’t as bad as I had imagined!

I have been in college for nearly a year now, and I love each and every class I have taken. With each class, there is certain criterion which needs to be met. During normal semesters, teachers have five months (roughly) to teach students all the necessary material; thus, students have five months to retain all that material. In summer school, the same material need to be taught in two months’ time (roughly), but there is less time for professors to teach and less time for students to learn, thus, making classes a bit more difficult than normal. Less time to learn means more cramming and quicker due dates for assignments.

I’m not sure if it is because of summer school or because I am enrolled in the maximum amount of classes, but I will honestly say summer school in college can be a challenge. It is not like summer school when you were younger. BUT, with a bit of dedication and focus, I am SURE you will do great in summer school! :)

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