A Little Piece of Advice

A lot of times in life we can encounter a person who makes us better. There may have been someone who reminded us to stay motivated, or someone who encouraged us to never change, or a person who just helped to lift you up when you were down. These moments can be so special that something we learned from it or something they said always sticks with us. By keeping these little things with
us, they can help shape who we are. Several years ago, someone told me, “Do what is right, even when you stand alone.” This saying has always resonated with me, and it’s something that has in some ways become a part of my character.

College is certainly filled with its challenges. From academics, social situations, and new experiences, it can be easy to get caught up in it all and lose track of who you are. There is something about this time in life and the transition that comes with it that can cause people to stray from their normal path. While sometimes this can be a good thing, the core of a person should not be lost because they have placed themselves in a new environment. Some people can be very self aware and realize the ways in which they are changing and evaluate if those changes are promoting or inhibiting their growth. However, some people can start to lose track of what makes them who they are among the chaos that often comes with college life.

When I think about what it means to do what is “right”, the meaning of this varies from person to person. What is right for one person isn’t always going to be right for someone else. Each person is different and with that comes a variation of what works for them. What is “right” for a person can be rooted in a spiritual belief, or a moral value, or just a personal stance they have developed through the experiences of their life. These things that are “right” can even change throughout a person’s life. The key to finding this compass of character is to self evaluate. By understanding what you need in your life to succeed, thrive, and be happy, only then can you determine your beliefs and values so that you can live your best life.

So many people in the world are afraid to stand to alone, in every aspect of what that means; whether that is to be physically alone or be isolated from others based on a certain belief. When you first leave for college, it’s a concept many people come to terms with. Incoming freshmen ask themselves, “Will I have friends? Will people like me?” It makes sense to worry about these things, but the value of being alone and taking time for yourself is often underrated. Being alone can give a person peace just to be with themselves and not worry about anything else. In another sense, to stand alone can be to stand up against the crowd. While everyone else may see something a certain way, when you don’t, it’s important that you hold true to your values. If everyone made the exact same choices and had the very same beliefs, wouldn’t the world be incredibly boring? It takes great courage to set yourself apart, even when others may not agree with you. However, doing this can sometimes be the greatest test of a person’s character.


Especially as a freshmen, the first year of college brings about a lot of new experiences. Your environment is changing, your interests are evolving, and you have acquired new knowledge about the world around you that you didn’t have before. However, as all of this is happening, you may realize yourself changing in some ways too. A lot of people have this notion that change is bad thing. So many people are afraid to step beyond their comfort zones, but this fear itself is what can lead to real problems.

When you have been away from people for a while, noticing differences in the way they look or act seems more obvious. Whether its physical changes or personal traits, people are bound to be different as they go through life, especially after leaving home for the first time. Some changes are good and some are bad, but either way, we can use them to learn something. Mistakes are an inevitable part of life, and they can happen a lot in college. Part of the process of maturity, though, is learning to make sense of our actions and choices. Being away from home, students are forced to deal with things for themselves. The days of parents fighting your battles and helping you through every little thing moves beyond you, forcing a person into a position of independence and self reliance. A lot of times, people don’t realize how much they have learned to tackle obstacles on their own, but it’s an essential skill for survival that college helps to initiate.

More than just the changes in who we are, we make changes in what we do. You might change your major a couple of times, change the group of people you spend time with, change your look, or just change your perspective. But luckily for college students, now is not a bad time to do it. Making changes can come at a risk, but the motivation behind changes and the greater goal attached to them, serves to make us better in the long run. Making changes is so much harder than people realize. Forcing ourselves out of our habits, taking on a new attitude, and trying to implement goals requires a consistency that a lot of people don’t possess.

Prioritizing what we want and executing a plan to get it is the only way to make changes. Someone once told me to replace “I don’t have time” with “It’s not a priority” whenever I talk about things I want to do, but complain I can’t get done. This really stuck with me because it creates a feeling of tension. There are a lot of changes people want to make, but priority determines which ones get carried out. I think a person’s priorities can say a lot about them, but that’s not to say they can never change what they are working towards. There are 3 C’s to remember in life: choice, chance, and change. To carry them out, “You must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change.”

“New Year, New Me”

It happens every year. After the long winter break and the craziness of the holidays, almost every person out there hopes to improve in the new year. Some people set new fitness goals, while others attempt to make academic improvements. Some hopeful people just vow to live happier and healthier lives from the inside out, whether that be through small changes or a perspective change. Whatever the reason, people always attempt to start fresh at the beginning of the year. However, for college students, with a new brings the beginning of a new semester.

It’s the beginning of the end. The last semester before the end of the academic year can really be challenging! After coming back from winter break, it’s definitely hard to throw yourself into a new semester so quickly. Just when you got used to your days at home, it’s time to start a new set of classes, make some new memories, and achieve a new set of goals. While most people start a new year and new semester optimistically, that attitude can change as time goes on. A lot of students start to lose their resolutions quickly which sometimes can have negative effects. The thing about college, though, is that it is definitely a marathon not a race.

At the start of new semester, some freshmen feel a little more at ease. Having went through the fall semester, they feel like they have it all figured out. However, that doesn’t mean a new round of classes should be underestimated. If you haven’t found your go-to study spot or figured out how to manage your time, the new semester is the perfect chance to get into a routine. Balancing work and play is a key to finding both happiness and success. Maybe the first semester wasn’t your best, so making some adjustments both mentally and physically are the first steps in setting yourself up for a good semester.

Even though resolutions may not last, there are ways to stay motivated and regain focus when you fall off track. For people with fitness goals, it is often recommended to start with small changes and build up to bigger goals. It is believed that it takes about 21 days to form a habit. By making more regular lifestyle changes, whether that be eating better or going to the gym more, persistence is key. Sometimes, it helps to set a single goal for a short time span rather than a bunch of goals at once. Maybe that means for a week you will go the gym five times, or you will give up junk food for a week. Staying motivated is all about finding a way to make something work for you. I’ve noticed that when I find my pattern and find what I actually enjoy doing, it makes it that much easier to stick with it.

So while the “new year, new me” concept may be a little cliche, at the start of a new year, it’s the perfect time to start off fresh. While the past year may not have been your best, this is the time to let it go and move forward with a clear mind and full heart. Look back on your last semester and think about where things went wrong and take note of where things went right. Oprah Winfrey once said, “We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”  I plan to take advantage of this new year to become the best version of myself. I’m gonna take the highs with the lows and hope to have a successful 2017.

Breaks: Using Your Time in the Way That Works for You

It’s that time in the semester: Everyone is sick. Everyone misses their dogs. Everyone wants to be in their own bed at home. Everyone goes through it, and luckily as the holidays approach, it’s the time of year when a much needed break is right around the corner. There are lots of ways to spend your break, you just have to find what you’re craving most when you finally get in the car and head home after some good times and rough times that everyone feels throughout the first semester.

For some people, the most important thing they do on break is just relax. If you need to sleep in, catch up on some Netflix, or just lie in bed and not think about the impending disaster that is finals, then feel free to do it. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Take some time off from the books and recharge so you aren’t so dead when finals hits. Enjoy that Thanksgiving Dinner with no regrets and take a nap at 2:00 P.M. if that’s how you want to spend your day. It’s all up to you!A little time at home in your own bed may be just the thing you need in 57897037order to be motivated when December rolls around and “All I Want For Christmas is You” is your daily jam.

While taking some to do nothing doesn’t work for everybody, there are other ways to spend your break. For some students, break actually serves as a time to catch up on same work that got put off when classes were in session. Studying and reviewing the material over break can be helpful because it is a chance to familiarize yourself with the material so you don’t have to cram it all in once you get back. It’s easier to space your studying out when you don’t have as many obligations compared to what you have at school. Even if you spend your time catching up, be sure to enjoy your break too!

For some people, the most exciting thing to do on a break is to travel. Some people visit families in other cities or take a weekend trip while they have time. Most people really enjoy traveling, whether that be a new place or an old favorite. Extended breaks like Christmas break is also a time when some students find time to go abroad with a club or program they have been long awaiting. Maybe you don’t have a reason at all to travel, but you want to go just because you enjoy it. Go for it! Spend your break in the way that will make you happiest.

There are many ways to spend your break; these are just a few! Try to find sometime to do things you enjoy, whatever they may be. Maya Angelou once said, “Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

Changing Majors: The Guide to Finding a New Path

There you are, sitting in biology class, and you absolutely hate it, and you don’t know what to do. You thought you wanted to be a doctor, but the more and more you learn about the field, the less and less you can imagine yourself being one. They say at 18 you are supposed to have all the answers…well that’s not necessarily true. Sometimes you start thinking one thing, but then that changes.

A lot of people think just because they chose a major, they have to stick with it, but this isn’5120e706b3e2bt really true. As a freshmen, you may have entered college dead set on a certain major, but as you came immersed in the classes, you realized it hasn’t been quite a right fit for you. There are steps you can take if this is you!

Seek Advice – Changing majors is not unusual! Most universities offer some type of counseling service for students who are not sure about the major they were accepted in. An advisor can tell you what steps you need to take in order to switch your major and can help you evaluate the areas of your major that you particularly do not like. Sometimes, it might just be a single class.

Talk to your Support Group – Ask older friends that are in your current major and your family about their thoughts on switching your major. Listen to words of encouragements over words of doubt, but be accepting of criticism. Ask people what they think your strengths are and see if any of those correspond with jobs in your field of study.

Research – Look into other majors that might appeal to your interests. Try researching some areas that you hadn’t considered or that have sparked your interest in the past. Maybe you will find something that appeals to you. Additionally, just because you are majoring in biology doesn’t mean you have to be a biologist. There are different paths a single major can take you down even if it isn’t so obvious.

Think About Why You Hate Your Major – Evaluate why you hate your major. What made you want to study finance? What made you love biology initially? Think back to reasons why you initially chose your major and the career plans you hoped to achieve. In some cases, your major may be too hard for you, but are there adjustments you can do make to do better in your major? Try finding solutions to your problems before you immediately make plans to change your major.

Whatever your situation, don’t feel trapped. There are steps you can take to getting the most out of any situation, but it definitely requires hard work. People change all the time. Don’t worry about other people, but focus on your own desires. Each person has to do things their own way within their own time. There is no perfect way to get to a destination, but if you make a plan and work towards it, you can definitely get there!