May 2012 Archives

Lived It. Learned It.

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It blows my mind whenever I think about how I just finished my sophomore year of school here at the U. Freshman year seems like it was forever ago and yesterday all at the same time. It's crazy to think about how much I've learned and how far I've come since that first day on campus way back when. You better believe there are things I wish I would have known when I first started out here. Lucky for you, I made plenty of mistakes through my freshman year, so many in fact, that I'll share a few with you now in hopes of you avoiding the slip ups that I've already made for the both of us.
1) Just because the dorm food is all you can eat DOES NOT MEAN you must eat everything. The "freshman 15" is part myth and part truth, it all depends on how you handle yourself in those dining halls. Handy things to keep in mind are: dessert does not need to come after every meal, cereal does not need to accompany every dish, and don't fight the vegetables (you know you like them).
2) If you could be sleeping, you should be sleeping. What I mean by this is that you don't need to stay up all night just for the sake of staying up all night. Yeah it's fun to hang out with friends, roommates, and floormates, but by the time midterms and finals roll around and you're searching for sleep in Coffman on an armchair, you'll come to realize how sacred sleep really is. Be productive, have fun, but budget enough time so that you're at least semi-well-rested for each day.
3) If you meet someone, acknowledge them when you see them next. I'm not so sure if I need to explain further, but I will. Basically, through the course of your freshman year, and really life in general, you will meet many, many people. So many people, in fact, that you won't remember them all, but if you do see someone when you're in the dining hall, walking down the street, or out on a Friday night, just say hi! You don't need to talk for hours, you don't need to share your deepest secrets, but trust me, it's so awkward when you don't acknowledge them. Just imagine all of the eye contact you'll have to avoid and how interesting your cell phone or the wallpaper will become. Trust me on this one, JUST SAY HI. They'll be glad you did and so will you.
So study up, incoming students, and learn from the mistakes I've made. I wish you all good luck in the years to come! I'm sure you'll be just fine.

-Ashley Ochiagha

Roommates and Friends

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My freshmen year, I roomed with my best friend from high school, Meg*. I assumed it would be the most epic match in the world. We already spent all of our time together; we had the most fun together. It made sense for this to translate to college and living together. Yeah, not so much. I learned that year that there is a giant difference between spending all your time together and actually living together.
What do I mean by this? Meg and I always had our problems and, being as close as we were, we both wrongly assumed we knew everything about each other. This put us in a tricky position because those tiny annoyances that were easy to live with when we lived a seven minute drive away from each other became exponentially harder to endure when our lofted beds were four feet across the room. Pet peeves we already recognized became gigantic, fueling monsters of hate when brand new annoyances were added. She'd loan out my DVDs to neighbors; I'd leave my books on the futon and the passive-aggressive WWIII continued until spring semester when she moved out. She literally snuck off in the middle of the night with all of her things (and the TV!) and moved in with a friend down the hall. I will be lying if I said I wasn't relieved.
Looking back now, I realize that a big part of our problems stemmed from our lack of communication. If the two of us had been open and honest about the way we felt, we probably wouldn't of had many of the problems that we had. We both assumed the other would just know our boundaries and it hurt/was enraging when that wasn't the case. It's easy to get coddled in the idea that because you know the person, living together will be a breeze. If anything, I feel it's more work. Living with a stranger allows for the opportunity to build a friendship as you're getting to know each other as roommates; living with friends takes conscious effort to recognize that you are still learning about this person despite prior years of friendship.
In all honesty, Meg and I should never have lived together and to this day we no longer speak. But still, the whole experience taught me a lot about myself. I learned to recognize the things that I can compromise and live with, while identifying the areas where I truly needed to grow as a person. Living with Meg allowed me to seek traits that would garner a healthy, living relationship for the future. My relationship with my current roommate is amazing and I truly think a big part of that has to do with all that I learned living with Meg that first year.

*Name has been changed

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2012 is the previous archive.

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