Let Other People Happen

When contemplating what you want in life, it’s interesting to consider that you don’t necessarily always want your life to be better, but rather different. I came upon this article once upon a time and finally see what the author meant by this perspective. One path in life does not always mean it is the best one, just different from another. And to one person this may or may not be good thing. However, one thing I’ve learned for sure: different is always good. You either succeed in the end or learn from the experience; both are wins in my book.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

There are few things worse than not living up to the expectations you put on yourself. I understand the strain of obligations and pressures piled on by friends and family, but frankly the only ones that end up mattering are those accepted as your ‘own problems.’

Anyone can say to your face what he or she expects from you, although unfortunately on some occasions they wait three months and then blow up in your face, leaving you nonplussed yet inexplicably speechless. That’s neither here nor there and I suppose there are some things better yelled than calmly stated, but the way you imagine someone to be when you should know as well as anyone it isn’t who they are is nothing to break down over. But, ah, this is one of the many problems with less than a quarter century of life experience; you don’t really know anything.

Well, not literally.

I absolutely fall into the aforementioned demographic, and so of course I’m lacking in the substantial, ever-vague, and commonly accepted truths of life that appear to vary from personality to personality but essentially all play out to the same end. I mean I know extremes are bad and consequently, moderation of almost everything is good. I also know that life tends to work itself out, even if it’s not necessarily for the immediate, perceived best. What’s better than a surprise you don’t comprehend and don’t know is coming anyways? Not much. Still I’m absolutely baffled as to whether there’s a pattern to any of it. I don’t believe in luck or tempting fate, but I can’t imagine there’s no way to get a grip on this stuff.

The more you want something involving more than yourself, the less likely it seems to work out. The biggest hindrances to unexpected, welcome tricks of fate seem to be lofty and baseless to expect. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing exactly what to do in most situations so you tend to push your ideal agenda, never thinking that maybe, just maybe, your ideals are irrevocably askew from reality.

We’ve all been there before: first impressions worked a little too hard on, straying too far from yourself to fit in with the picture perfect group or frame, the unappreciated good things, that ought to, but never will satisfy, and of course, the monster, the champion of all things kidding-yourself: love in vain; in spite of all the facts and advanced metrics. There is no worse kind of blind misunderstanding than the disbelief brought by flat out, straight up, not being wanted by the proverbial one.

It’s one thing to want a better life, whether via a job or healthier lifestyle, etc, but those kinds of expectations never leave you shaking on the steps at midnight, unable to breath through your nose, just staring. Ambitions to be with someone aren’t about knowing your life will be tangibly better, they’re about knowing your life will be tangibly different, and that they’ll be a part of that incarnation. Unmet expectations are a drag, but I suppose it’s worse than not wanting anything at all.

This article was originally written by Alex Johnson on February 5, 2015.

13 Men You Meet on a First Date

I’ve had my fair share of first dates, but not many have progressed past Numero Uno. Most of the time there just isn’t that connection, other times there are factors such as distance, timing, interest differences, etc. We’ve all experienced different people, and know there’s a lot to be gained from the initial dating experience. First impressions really are everything!

I have always been a person who enjoys lists and numbers. So I’ve merged my two enjoyments into one and come up with the 13 Men You Meet on a First Date.  And since I’ve come across a wide variety of men, I’ve gathered a list to help all women translate who it is sitting before them and if he’s worth pursuing…

Now, when you read my list, think of it as a game. If you see tendencies of any of the following men, keep track. Each First Date begins with 10 points. For every con, subtract a point. For every pro, add a point. There might be a lot of math going on in your head throughout the date, but trust me, it’s worth the consideration! NOTE: Guy might have traits across all 13 Men, so gather points accordingly.

1. Mr. Wet Feet
Easy, peasy, ladies. This gentleman made all the plans for your first date, continually said how excited he was to finally be taking you out, and then…. he didn’t show.

Now, he might have a very good excuse for his lack of attendance. Perhaps his grandmother fell ill, his car broke down, or work required his time. I have an uncanny ability to disclose whether or not Mister’s excuse is viable. However, I understand not all of us women can be so lucky. Sometimes we just have to take our chances and reschedule, or we can throw the opportunity to the wind and take a chance with someone else who is more reliable.

  • If he contacts you at least 5 hours prior and claims a family/friend emergency, then give him the benefit of the doubt. (-0pts)
  • If he contacts you at least 5 hours prior and claims his employer demanded more time of him, then chalk it up to him being a hard worker and reschedule. (-0pts)
  • If he claims either of the two reasons above AND you see proof via social media — don’t stalk him though! –, then be empathetic and give the poor guy some kudos the next First Date. (+5pts)
  • If he makes no excuse, then don’t pursue. (Automatic 0pts)
  • If he makes no excuse but texts you a few days later acting like he did nothing wrong and the First Date never existed, then 1) reply with a witty and comical response, 2) sign him up for every spam messaging service you come across, and 3) don’t communicate with him again. (10pts to you!)

2. The Man Who’s Lost to Reality
Good news, the First Date commences because Guy shows up! Bad news, he might not have actually “shown up.” The Man Who’s Lost to Reality is the guy you’re not quite sure why he actually agreed to go on a date because he definitely has his head somewhere else… stuck to his phone. You’re sitting, trying to have a conversation, and the only response you get is a vague “Mmhmm” while his phone buzzes for the 254th time.

  • If he is up front with you that he’s expecting a message/call or two for a reasonable purpose, then no ill will and he’s gained your respect for being honest. (+5pts)
  • If you have knowledge that he leads a demanding career/leadership position that may require his input on a few things, then okay, we’ll let it slide and admire his dependability. (+3pts)
  • If his phone chirps and he blushes while apologetically turning it off and dropping it back into his pocket, then compliment his cuteness and care of making you feel top priority. (+10pts)
  • If he can’t seem to drop the phone because it’s glued to his hand, then 1) excuse yourself to the “restroom” and leave, and 2) send him a text explaining you don’t care to pursue him any further. (-1pt per text/call)

3. Sir Chivalrous
Like I said, the First Date is the first impression and that means a lot. Both parties should act on their best behavior. This means what Mama taught Guy should come out in full-force. Ladies! Here is something to think about: if he doesn’t know to open your door, allow you inside first, not swear in front of you, be mature, hygienic, and gracious on Date No. 1, then he won’t ever act in such a way in the future! This is not to say women are fragile and lowly beings who need men to place them on a pedestal, but we are worth the fuss of being made a priority on a date!

  • Opens your car door (+2pts), opens the building door (+1pt), allows you in first (+1pt), does not open any doors (-0pt), opens doors for himself and allows you to follow him (-5pts)
  • Speaks highly of his family (+5pts), compliments you (+2pts per compliment), uses swear words to express himself (-2pts per word)
  • Good hair (+1pt), good teeth (+1pt), classy outfit (+2pts)
  • Pays for dinner without hesitation (+10pts), flashes a smirk when you ask your share of the bill and proceeds to pay (+10pts), allows the check to sit on the table for some time so you begin to sweat wondering if you should offer to pay but then pays anyways (+2pts), picks up the check and subtracts your cost and tells you what you owe (-0pts), forgets his wallet even though he had his ID on him to order drinks (-10pts)
  • I’m a big fan of older chivalry also… so any man who walks on the curb to keep his girl away from the cars is a winner in my book! (+20pts)

4. User of the “L” Word
This might be my own personal pet peeve, but I have dated someone who overused “love” to the point I couldn’t fathom a second date. At first it was rational: he loved his meal, he loved my eyes, he loved living by the beach. But then it just became obsessive: he loved Will Ferrell, he loved cherry ice cream, he loved Oberon, he loved mirrors, he loved antiquing, he loved the sound of rain, he loved that rock I just skipped on the lake, and he loved how I skipped that rock and he loved the ripples that rock made.

I mean, I am all for loving life and the world around me. I love positivity and making the most out of everything. However, it was just so boring… I didn’t need to find out his interests or hobbies because I knew the answer: he loved it all!

  • If he uses the word “love” for more than 20 things in less than an hour (-1pt per thing)

5. Shania Twain’s Guy
So he’s a rocket scientist, Brad Pitt, and drives a ferrari — big deal! First Date’s are meant to impress, but they should also end with some depth to them.

  • Does Guy discuss things above and beyond your comprehension? You might not be in the same “league” to maintain meaningful conversation for a second date. This doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a genius and you’re not, just that your interests lie in two very different realms. (-5pts)
  • Does Guy keep combing his hair or checking his reflection in the picture frame hanging to his left? He might be more concerned about himself than he is in your conversation. Perhaps he’s simply nervous and is fidgeting, or maybe he’s bored out of his mind because he’s Gaston. You be the judge. (-3pts)
  • Does Guy make you take off your shoes before getting into his car? Is he joking or serious? (-5pts for serious, +1pt for joking and keeping you on your toes)
  • Does Guy drive a 1968 Mustang GT? (Give number to Ashley, please.)

6. Agent Ex
One of my personal favorites: Agent Ex. He’s sweet, he’s endearing, and he’s not over his ex. He wants to be, he tells you. He definitely is, he lies. But you know deep down… you’re being played.

Whether you’re his hopeful rebound or the date to make his ex jealous, this Guy is bad news. It’ll start off small at first with little mentions here and there, and then one day he’s straight-up weeping in your lap about how he never got to really say good-bye.  His ex keeps creeping into daily conversations, or ends up subconsciously being a basis of comparison. He’ll sooner or later leave you, most likely after you have some feelings for him, with a somber farewell of “I just could never commit to you when I’m still in love with her.”

  • First mention of his ex on the First Date (-20pts) and run away! “Ain’t no one got time for dat.”

7. Cogsworth
You’re not sure what it is about this Guy, but it’s something… You just don’t click. The initial meeting was awkward, your conversation is lacking, and the date just feels bland. You can’t put your finger on the exact “thing” that doesn’t match up, but Cogsworth kind of grinds your gears.

You begin to count the minutes until you can politely exit this First Date. Chalk it up to chemistry, or lack thereof, and move on…

  • Cogsworth isn’t allowed on the point system. He’s just that feeling you have right off the bat when you know there’s not going to be a Second Date.

8. I-Should-Have-Worn-A-Turtleneck Creep
Just writing his “name” makes me cringe, girls. This Guy could make a nun blush with his obnoxious gaze. Um, excuse me, my eyes are up here! It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a scarf, a turtleneck sweater, or a parka, this creep has only one thing on his mind and it’s not getting to know you, as a person, better. Yuck.

  • If you catch him admiring your physical attributes once or twice, then take it as a compliment, blush, and play coy. (+2pts)
  • If you catch him admiring your physical attributes three to five times, then give him a questioning look and perhaps say something to make him aware you noticed. (-0pts)
  • If he is down right eye-raping you, throw your drink in his face and storm out in a tizzy, and remember to cover your behind with a napkin so he doesn’t get the pleasure of watching you leave. (-10pts)

9. Friend-Zoner
You both show up for dinner and give each other a hug. You chat easily. You laugh constantly. The meal is delicious. Then the check comes and Guy swipes it from the table before you have the chance to say, “Oh, we’re separate.” And then your smile falters and you think to yourself, “Wait. Does he think this is a date?!”

Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING is more awkward than your guy friend attempting to jump the Friend Zone when you are perfectly happy with your spot in line. Once the line has been toed, the friendship lingers in Limbo and you’re both left wondering how to regain your footing before the security guards come through to throw you out.

Pardon my amusement park analogy, but this brings back memories… (Eek!) Personally, I love being friends with someone prior to dating. It makes conversation easier, in most cases. However, when you know the in’s and out’s of someone’s life and attempt to move into a romantic relationship, sometimes information gets hung up in your mind and you can’t move around the facts to get to know someone on a new level.

  • How long have you been friends with Guy? (+0.5pts per year)
  • Have you ever felt attracted to Guy? (+1pt for a maybe, +5pts for a definitive YES)
  • Has Guy ever dated a close friend of yours? (-2pts if this fact bothers you)
  • Be honest, when you think of Guy, how many cons come across for you becoming exclusive? I.e. does his beliefs differ vastly from yours, does he partake in activities you have no interest, do you just not see anything working out, etc. (-1pt per con)

10. The Red Solo Cup
You met this Guy at the bar or a party. He had a beer in his hand, bought rounds of drinks for everyone around, laughed a lot, and was the center of attention. He is fun. He is popular. He might be ten years older than everyone else around and you wouldn’t have a clue.

The problem with Red Solo Cup is that where you met him is basically where he lives. He has no life outside the bar scene. He’s so popular because he. is. always. there. This Guy might be fun for awhile, but after some time you’ll get increasingly bored with your own life, or else your liver will revolt.

  • If he buys you a drink, then thank him and enjoy. (+1pt)
  • If he knows all the bartenders, servers, and owners of the establishment you met, shrug it off and give him the benefit of the doubt — maybe he is just a friendly regular. (-0pts)
  • If he can drink a fifth of Jack and not slur his speech, be impressed but back off. (-5pts)

My own personal advice with this Guy, bide your time. If you meet Red Solo Cup at a bar, don’t agree to a First Date right away. Go back to the bar a week later. If he’s there again, be friendly but cautious. Give it another week; if he’s there the third week in a row, don’t even approach him. He’s just not worth it, girls. He meets enough people while on his perch every week that he’ll have forgotten your name within a month anyways.

11. Ring-in-Hand To-Be-Groom
Welcome to the most uncomfortable encounter you will ever face. This Guy greets you with sparkles in his eyes and a smile to rival any movie star. His initial appearance is spot-on and you’re intrigued that he came to the First Date so enthusiastic. As your conversation begins, you’re surprised at how open and inquiring Guy is. He wants to know all about you: your career situation, your family relationships, your goals in life. But as the night progresses, you begin to realize maybe he’s a bit too inquiring. I mean, is your family’s health background really a topic to discuss on the First Date?

Then Guy hits you with the ultimate question, “What are your feelings on marriage?” No. Sudden. Movements. Keep eye contact. Smile. Give some excuse. And get out of that situation, girl!

  • When Guy mentions marriage on the First Date, run. (-20pts)
  • When Guy mentions that he loves you on the First Date, run. (-30pts)
  • If Guy proposes with a ring on the First Date, collect, and then run. (-20pts)

12. Smooth Casanova
Carrie Underwood warned us about this Guy and we all should have listened. He’s got the looks. He’s got the charm. He’s got everything you could possibly want… and so much more. Every single dripping venomous word out of his mouth is like honey to your ears. Don’t be fooled, though. He’s candy-coated misery wrapped up in a devilish grin and pretty blue eyes. You’ll be sucked up in his lies and get addicted to him in one false swoop.

The trouble is, it’s hard to identify a Casanova before he plays his hand. You’ll get caught up in his web of sweet-talking and then be heartbroken when everything he’s promised fails. This smooth-talking son-of-a-gun has only one thing on his mind and it’s not becoming your knight in shining armor. If you don’t want to listen to Carrie or me, just give your “connection” a few weeks and you’ll see — he’ll become pushy and desperate and angry when he’s not getting the one thing that he wants from you: sex. When someone is too good to be true, he typically is. And there’s a list of girls in his phone who are falling for the same tricks as you.

  • Guy is charming, kind, and attractive. (+5pts)
  • Guy is witty, intelligent, and shares your sense of humor. (+5pts)
  • Guy carries a good job, has a good family, or is self-sufficient. (+5pts)
  • Guy makes sexual innuendos throughout the entire First Date. (-10pts)
  • I am all for going with your gut. So if you have a gut-feeling Guy is hiding something or his words seem too good to be true… (-20pts)

13. The Elusive Unicorn
It’s natural to want to be part of the enticing image painted in romance movies on the ideal boyfriend. The mysterious bad boy, the man with a multitude of feelings, or the guy who can buy you the world. However, reality is usually not as direct as the dreams we’re shown by Hollywood. In reality, the guy’s in those films are not the best guys for us.

The Unicorn Boyfriend is the Guy who is perfect for every single individual throughout the world. He’s different for every person. He’s the person who you will share an epic love — your best friend, closest confidant, and sweetest lover.

The men you stay with are the ones who have dependable, honest, comical, and caring natures. They are the one’s who cause excitement and laughter in your life rather than stress and instability. They are laid back and positive, not wanting to consume you but rather involve you. He’s better than the movies because he’s real, he’s perfect, and he’s yours.

  • When you know, you just know. (+100pts — marry that poor sap so the two of you are no longer sad and alone! You’ve found one another!)



Now, when the date is over, if Guy has less than 10 points, end the relationship with a smile and a wave. If Guy has 10-20 points, consider a Second Date to push him in either the Yes or No direction. If Guy has 20 or more points, secure that Second Date. If you happen to lose track of your points, no worries. This simply means you’re enjoying your First Date and you should just move ahead at your own pace! Nothing wrong with throwing the rule to the wind!

So, of course, this “game” is meant as a joke. (Seriously, some people just don’t get humor do they?!) However, I am serious when I say there are at least 13 different kinds of men out in the world. 13 different, competing, striving to find love kinds of men. Everyone fits the mold of the Elusive Unicorn for someone else. Sometimes it just takes the right woman to turn a Man Lost to Reality, Smooth Casanova, or Friend-Zoner into an Elusive Unicorn.

The best advice I have for you is to test the waters. You can’t figure out what you want in a spouse if you don’t venture into the unknown and narrow down what you DON’T want. And sooner or later you’ll come across what you thought was mythological…

Do you have any additional men to add to my list? If so, what sort of points do you tend to score them while on a date?


A Short Study on Sweet Solitude

In reference to this study, the word “alone” will be defined in terms of an intimate and romantic relationship, not as being completely and utterly with one’s self.

I have never been a person who has enjoyed her solace and aloneness up until the past few months. However, ever since Army and I broke up, I have felt this calmness in myself when I think of being alone. I don’t have to worry about someone else’s feelings, I don’t have to schedule my days around someone else, and I can completely focus on myself and the things that make me happy. If I had still been in a relationship, I would never have forced myself into new situations (like Ultimate, House, or going out of my way to make new friends). I feel comfortable in my aloneness. It suits me, at least for now.

Unfortunately, it seems that the end goal (aka the “happy ending” our society is so obsessed over) is to find a great partner and experience Life through that relationship. Being happy alone is not a good and fair choice. How many of us who are single come across friends who wrinkle their noses and give pitying glances when we say we’ll be coming to a party alone? How many of us attend family functions and get asked a million times why we didn’t bring a date? Being single is tough, and it’s the majority of those around us at fault.

Let me say that one more time: being single is tough, and it’s the majority of those around us at fault.

If I say I am happy being alone, then I am. If I am not openly looking to date, then I do not want to be with anyone at the moment. If my life is full and content with family and friends and numerous loved ones, then I am doing just fine. I do not need to be an arm ornament or head-over-heels in love to look in a mirror and say, “Life is good.”

It seems to me that being in a relationship is not the greatest achievement someone can muster. Having a significant other is not the epitome of success and being a partner to someone does not increase your worth. There have been so many relationships I’ve watched fail simply because the people in them did not have a fundamental stepping stone on which to build: success as individuals.

In the end, I feel no sense of urgency to find my partner at this time. When I meet someone who makes me feel as if I’ll gain more from partnering with him than being by myself, then that is when I will stop being alone. Until then, I appreciate delving in my own aloneness and not worrying over the other gender’s judgments and whether or not I fall short of their expectations.

As Warsan Shire once wrote:

My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

Freshmen Year Advice

My Facebook Newsfeed is being infiltrated with collegiate move-in posts from sobbing mothers, well-wishing friends, and happy yet naive freshmen. Having stumbled through my undergrad years, I feel very well armed with both experience and confidence that I lacked most of my freshman (and sophomore and junior) year of college. So since I’m feeling generous and a state of superiority in my qualifications, I’m going to give those college freshmen out there a little advice which I wish I had known my first year of my college career:

(If the memes don’t make sense now, they will next year…)

The Art of Making Friends
The most essential part of the college experience, meeting new people and making new friends, is also the most frightening. I moved an hour away from home into a school where I did not know a single soul. Being the basic definition of an introvert at the time, I was terrified of this move for the sole reason that I had to go out and create friendships from scratch. I realized as soon as I walked onto campus that I was no longer in my high school environment where I had the same friends since preschool.

However, what I didn’t grasp until much later in the year was that every single student walking onto campus was experiencing the same emotions as me. Even if they knew one or two other people prior to beginning classes, there were 25,000 other people wandering around them who they had no clue who they were!

Here’s a secret I didn’t learn until after this revelation though: everyone’s door is open! So even if you meet a group of people and befriend them, never stop looking to expand your circle. Friendships don’t always last. People come and go in life. And by sophomore year, it’s harder to make friends as people are now in a routine and the freshmen dorm’s “open-door policy” may no longer be carried out. So expand your horizons, meet a number of intriguing and unique people, and be open to as many friends as possible!


Roommates Are Not A Fool-Safe Bet
Roommates should never be assumed as built-in friends for your college career. For me, my freshman roommate and I had very different beliefs in life. Living together was an awful experience for both of us. However, there are those rare occasions when your roommate and you are meant to be; my senior roommates became my best friends within only weeks of living together and I think of them as my family.

As I walked into my new dorm room freshman year, I thought I had a friend waiting for me. Unfortunately, just because you expect something doesn’t mean it’ll pan out that way. I definitely recommend going into a roommate situation with confidence that a friendship could blossom, but don’t be heartbroken if plans fall through. Not everyone is meant to be friends, let alone live together.

Speaking of living together, one way to try to improve relations with your roommate: don’t treat them like your parent. You moved to college and are no longer at your parents’ house, remember? So it’s time to man-up and pick up after yourself. And always make sure to ask before you borrow something of your roommate’s, even if it’s a tissue. This is not a person you’ve known all your life, so respect their space and they’ll respect you.


Homesickness: Don’t Stress About It
I’m not sure if this was a purely Ashley phenomenon, but the month leading up to my move-in date, I became obsessively nostalgic. I hung out with my high school friends daily, I skimmed yearbooks and family photo albums, and I posted on many a Facebook wall about how much I was going to miss my family and home. As I said above, going to a new place with no one you know is a very horrifying experience.

In reality, though, that fear lasted a whole five minutes after my parents walked out of my dorm room. I began jumping around the floor, walking into open rooms, and introducing myself to all the new girls around me. My persona of being a self-proclaimed introvert ended right away. And as I began to explore my new environment with new people, the independence of being “alone” had a strong, sweet taste of freedom.


The Peer Pressure Effect
I lived on a dry campus my freshman year, but when I transferred to Western (lovingly nicknamed Wastern by many), I was worried that I would begin being peer pressured into activities I really had no interest in, namely drinking and drugs.

It was quite the surprise to me, though, when I ventured to my first party that when I shook my head to a bottle of beer, no one cared. College is kind of amazing like that; there are a lot of “no judgment” zones. Just remember it’s also your responsibility to not judge anyone else’s life preferences either; the world needs all kinds and no one type of person is better than another.

Another piece of advice: if you ever feel that you’re in a “judgment” zone, then get out! You have every right to say no to anything passed your way. A crowd wanting to pressure you is not the type you want to be around. Just pick up your things, make any excuse (early class or studying for a test is always a good go-to), and leave.


Speaking Of Studying…
Do it. College is a fine time to learn the different between procrastination and time management. (Hint: employers like great time managers.) And even though freshman year brings the excitement of optional class attendance, I would recommend attending the majority. Why pay $20,000 a year for a degree you won’t ever reach if you keep failing classes? Prove to yourself and the world that you’re ready for that thing called Adulthood.


The Mandatory Dining Plan
Freshman year means freshmen dorms, and freshmen dorms mean mandatory dining plan. We all know it and we all grow to hate it. That beautiful pasta bar at Davis may look appetizing the first month, but come October and even a plate of mac n cheese might make you queasy.

Be prepared that the cafeteria food will get old. Expand your palate. Listen to the little voice in your head that sounds oddly like Mom telling you to have a salad. Change it up and try not to get bored.

Fun fact: college is where my addiction to sushi began. I wouldn’t touch the stuff prior to my schooling, but one day the usual pizza, chicken wrap, or all-day waffle maker just wasn’t cutting it… so I tried something new!

We all have had "that kid" in a class...
We all have had “that kid” in a class…

Be Involved In Everything
This is the best advice I can give you. College is the time to not only meet new people and learn new things, but it’s where you find your passions and build upon them to grow into a career and lifestyle. Join that skydiving group, enroll in that 1 credit Tai Chi course,  pick up a sign and protest at the center of campus.

I had never volunteered prior to college. Then my sophomore year I mistaken walked into a Habitat for Humanity meeting. Not wanting to be rude or be embarrassed by admitting my mistake, I stayed — and I was hooked. It’s moments like those, when you might have no idea what is going on, that make you look back years later and smile over your college years. I made some great friends at Habitat and even decided to pursue a minor in nonprofit business due to the mission behind the organization.

So don’t be afraid of what you can do on campus, and don’t be afraid that you’ll do too much. Most clubs do not require mandatory meetings, so you can pick and choose when you attend and still keep an active lifeline. Partying will only get you so far in life; it’s the deep-rooted experiences we make that mold the person we become.


Now take a breath, unpack the essentials, and get out there and start living some of the best years of your life!

And never forget what you’re actually in college for…