Graduation

Graduation is approaching. Not too long until you’re free. Not too long before you have to go to college and/or get a job. Just a few more weeks until you have to enter the real world. The question is, how are you going to spend your last moments of high school?

Well first, you’re going to be studying and taking finals. But you have to do other things to keep your senioritis under control.

1. Take pictures. You’re going to want to remember graduation, your school, your friends, etc., so you might as well take pictures so you have them to help you remember in your old age. My friends and I documented everything we did our last little bit of high school and I’m so glad I have those pictures. It’s fun to look back on us hanging out and having fun.

2. Don’t just hide in your bedroom. Do you really want your last week of high school to be full of Netflix? If your school is doing a senior sluff day, go. If they’re having a senior dance, go. If they’re having any sort of senior party, go! When I was graduating high school, I didn’t want to go to any of these things because I pretty much hated everyone besides my group of friends, why would I want to hang out with everyone? but we decided to go and it was a blast! You’re only going to be seniors (in high school) once. You’re only going to graduate high school once. Live it up!

3. Shop for your graduation outfit. If you’re a girl, go to the mall and splurge on a new dress to wear under your robes. If you’re a guy, splurge on a tie. Or vice versa, if you want a tie and you’re a girl, or you want a dress and you’re a guy, go for it. It’s your high school graduation, it will only come once. You’re graduating! You deserve a nice new outfit for this special moment in your life!

4. Buy thank you notes. You’re most likely going to get money from people who want to congratulate you on graduating, you’ll want to have thank you notes ready. Also it might be nice to take a thank you note to some of your favorite teachers, I’m sure they love knowing how they influenced you in life and how wonderful a teacher they are.

5. A few days before graduation, you might have one of those moments where you have no idea what’s coming and you have a little freak out. It’s okay to have one of those. This is a big deal, you’re going to be moving away to college, living on your own-it’s a big step. It’s okay to have a little cry, eat some ice cream, watch a movie. You should talk to someone about it though, it will help you get your feelings out and they might be able to give you some comforting advice.

6. Spend time with your friends and family. If you’re moving away, you might not see them all that often. And believe it or not, you will most likely miss them. You’ll miss being able to tease your siblings, having home cooked meals, just having the comfort of family near. You’ll miss having your old gang of friends around, miss having someone to tell inside jokes to. Spend time with them all. Do things you’re going to miss doing when you move away. Go do things only your town has, or things that the new town you’ll be moving to doesn’t have.

Cherish the moments you have before graduation. Take pictures, spend time with friends and family, don’t just sit in your room and remember it’s okay to have a little freak out. The world is ahead of you, but don’t forget what you leave behind. 

Some Things to Know

Here’s just a few things you should know going into college. I’ll probably come up with more later, but here are the ones I thought of right off the top of my head.

1. It’s okay to feel awkward when you’re starting a new class, going to an event or pretty much doing anything social. Other people are feeling awkward too. You’re not the only one who wants to meet new people and make friends. So when you’re meeting people it’s okay to feel a little weird about it. You’ve been hanging out with the same people for a few years, you’re  not used to making new friends, and that’s okay.

2. Don’t feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do. You’re an adult now, you can make your own decisions. You can decide whether you stay in on a Friday instead of going out.  You can eat a whole box of oreos without feeling fat. Go into college not caring if people like you or not. People should like you for who you are. If you do try to form yourself to what others want you to be, it will suck to get out of that when you realize you don’t want to be that person.

3. Like yourself. I know this kind of goes with the above one, but it is a bit different than not following the crowd. Some people don’t do what others do, but they hate themselves because of it. Some people don’t like to be different. Different is good. Different is amazing! We don’t want the same kinds of people everywhere, it would get boring. Love who you are and don’t feel self-conscious about who you are. But don’t be a hot head. There’s a different between being cocky and being confident.

4. Try new things. This is the time to find out what you really want to do with life. It’s the time to find new hobbies, make new friends, find your passions. In a way, it’s the time to find out who you really are. You’ll never find out if you’re not trying new things. Do you really want to wonder “what if I had joined this club” or “what if I had been more adventurous”? If you don’t like it after you try it, you never have to do it again, but at least you can say you tried.

5. Volunteer somewhere. First off, it looks good on your resume. Secondly, it can be fun. Third, you can meet new people/make new friends. Fourth, it’s good for you help people and think of someone other than yourself. We have a community engagement center on campus and they have projects you can volunteer for all year round. We have a group that goes and helps at the animal shelter. We have a group that goes to the retirement home and visits the residents on their birthdays. It’s a lot of fun.

6. Do some form of exercise. Whether it’s going to the gym, playing badminton, going for a walk, it doesn’t matter. Think of it this way, if you exercise more, the more you can eat without gaining weight. I like to go on long walks because it is a form of exercise and it helps me destress. I know tons of people who lift weights because it helps them destress and they feel accomplished afterwards. It doesn’t matter what you do, just as long as you’re doing something. And remember, if you go running for ten minutes, that’s definitely worth an ice cream cone.

6. If you’re having troubles with life, class or anything, don’t hold it all in. It will only make you more stressed. Either confide in a friend or a counselor. We have a counseling center on campus you can talk to. It really does help. It’s like in the movies with someone keeps holding everything in and finally there’s a final straw. Then they have a little freak out and they feel so much better after they talk to someone. Don’t let it build up, trust people and talk to them.

7. Use coupons. At SUU, you can buy a “starving student card” for $20 (I think) and it has TONS of coupons on it. It’s fantastic. There are coupons for food, movies, bowling etc. It’s great. My roommate has one and she uses it all the time. It’s so worth the $20. Also in the mail, those annoying ads you get can actually help you save money on groceries, there’s usually a pizza coupon that comes, Article Circle and Arby’s usually send out a page of coupons. Don’t throw these away, they are fantastic!

Questions About College

collegeThere is a buzzfeed article called “18 Questions Teenagers Have About College”. It gives the questions, but no answers. So I thought I would take it upon me to answer some of the questions that I have personal answers for.

1. How do I know what to take? -If you go on your suu.edu portal, on the right there is a link on the right called “degreeworks”. If you click on that, it will tell you classes you have to take for your major. If you don’t have a major yet then it will show you general education classes you can take. May I also recommend you take a “fun” class? I highly recommend bowling or badminton. Don’t worry too much about taking higher classes your first few years. Those are to make sure you’re in the right major or to help you choose a major. But take it seriously enough so you’re not just taking fun classes.

2. How do you keep in touch with friends from high school? -Personally, I text and snapchat them. I also post funny things on their facebook walls or send them pins from pinterest I think they’d like. Facetime/Skype is also great at keeping you in touch. The first year is hard to keep in touch. You’re starting to make new friends, you or your friend(s) might live far away, etc. Don’t give up though. It might be a little weird when you guys visit in person again, but it gets better. Don’t give up.

3. Is it better to choose a major I’m passionate about, but hard to find a job, or something where I can find a job or something that will pay well? -Well, if you’re lucky, both of those will be the same thing :). For me, I chose passion. I want to be a teacher, which doesn’t pay very well and can be hard to find a job sometimes. It just depends on what you want in life. If you want to work all day at a job you hate, but you get paid well then go for it. I would probably die if I had to work all day but I hated what I was doing. The money wouldn’t be worth it to me. I say go for passion, but the choice is ultimately yours.  Also don’t base it off of what your parents want either. Do what you want to do. It’s your future job, not theirs.

4. Are loans worth it? and will I ever be able to pay off debt? (I combined two). I think loans can be worth it if you work it the right way. Don’t take them out just because you can, take them out if you really need them. I think your college experience is important enough that you shouldn’t put it off because you can’t afford it right now by yourself. I recently took out a loan for my study abroad and I think that experience is going to be worth it. I didn’t want to look back and say “I could’ve gone to London but I was too scared to take out a loan that I could’ve paid off a few years later”. Yes, it is possible to pay off your loans/debt. When you graduate, you’ll have a grown up job that pays more than $7.25 an hour (hopefully). You will be able to pay off your debt, eventually ;).

5. How do I make new friends at school? -Don’t be scared to talk to people. When you sit next to someone in class, talk to them-don’t pull out your phone and ignore them. Make study groups for your classes, you never know, they might become your hang out buddies too. Also be friends with your roommates. Don’t be people who just live together, be friends too. My roommates have been some of my best friends down here at school. You can also join clubs. Here at SUU we have over 150 clubs. They are a great chance to meet people who have the same interests as you. Also don’t lock yourself in your room, get out. Go to school activities. You can also meet your neighbors, they could be really cool.

6. How important is it to go to college vs. getting a job right out of college? -Well, in the world today, people are looking to hire people who have college degrees. You might not be able to get a good paying job without your degree. So if you want to work at McDonald’s the rest of your life, go for it. But statistics state that people with an associates earn more than a high school diploma. They also state if you have a bachelors, you earn more than someone with an associates. Then so on with masters and doctorate. If you want to make more money, you’ll go to school.

7. Should I room with someone I know or someone new? -It depends on who you would want to room with. If you have gone on a trip with them and shared a hotel with them for a week and they didn’t drive you crazy, then sure. If  you don’t think you could last even a week without killing them, I suggest someone new. I had a friend from high school who wanted to room with me and I knew rooming with her would drive me crazy and thus ruin our friendship so I told her no. We’re still friends to this day now because of that. Getting new roommates will also help you make new friends. I know plenty of people who room with people they know and they get on great, but I know some where it has ruined their friendship forever. It just depends on both of your personalities. You find out a lot about someone when you live with them.

8. Is it as hard as adults say it is to focus in college? -It depends on who you are. If you’re a studious student, then no. If you’re a party animal then yes, it can be. You just have to be self-disciplined enough to not get distracted. Sure, having a good time is necessary to let the stress go for a night. But it is definitely important to focus so that you can graduate and get a good job. If you have a test the next day, have the discipline to stay home and study. If it’s the weekend, go have a good time with your friends.

One common factor in all of these is you. It’s you who decides what goes on in your life. It’s you who decides if you want to be social and make new friends. It’s you who decides what you want to do for the rest of your life. It’s you who will have to discipline yourself to do well in school. It’s you who will be making your life choices from now on. It might seem kind of scary  but it’s great, as long as you make the right choices :).

I hope I helped with some of your questions. If there are some I didn’t answer that you really wanted answered, let me know and I can answer your questions :).

Mr. SUU

We have a great tradition here at SUU. We have a Mr. SUU pageant. It is possibly one of the greatest things in the world, if you get the right people. A few years ago, my friend Shaun, a former ambassador, now admissions counselor, competed in it and he did a ribbon dance to “Colors of the Wind”. It was pretty much the greatest thing of my life. Here it is. I hope you love it just as much as I do.

Three of our ambassadors actually got to compete this year: Trayvon Mack, Scott Hurd, and Josh Wolfe. It was great to go and support them. Now, I’ll run your through what a normal pageant is like.

Just like any other pageant, they open with a dance number. I’m not gonna lie, this one was pretty great. I love this song more than life itself.

Then of course, they have a talent competition.

Here is Scott playing a very moving piece on the harmonica:

Here is Trayvon singing a very moving song:

I wish I Josh’s talent to show you, but the person I’m stealing these videos from (Melissa Kruger, an ambassador, thank you for letting me use your videos) ran out of room on her phone before she could film his.

Then of course, they have them get all spiffed up and answer a question. They answer things like “what would you change about SUU?”, “what is your favorite thing about SUU?”, “what would you do if you won Mr. SUU?” etc. Sadly, I don’t have any videos of those either. But the answers were very inspiring. I might have shed a tear or two.

Now, I know you’re wondering who won. I’ll give you a hint. It was one of the ambassadors! Can you guess? *drumroll* The new Mr. SUU is the one, the only…..Scott Hurd!!! *lots of cheering*. He totally deserves it. He is one of the best human beings alive. Way to go Scott. Way to go.

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Study Tips

Throughout the year, but especially at this time of year, it seems like all you do is study. Studying is probably the most constant thing in college. You know no matter what class you have, you’ll most likely have to study at least once during the semester. Here are some tips to help you get through the many studying hours.

1. Find good studying place. It doesn’t matter whether you lock yourself away in your bedroom, go to the library or go to the park, just make sure it is a place you can focus and won’t be distracted. If you get distracted around people, go to the library or hang out in your closet with a light. If too much quiet drives you crazy, go to the park or your living room. Going along with this, make sure the place is comfortable because you will most likely be there for a little bit. But not too comfy, you don’t want to fall asleep while reading your textbook. 

2. Listen to some music. I highly recommend listening to music while studying. It makes it so it’s not completely boring, but helps you focus and keep your mind rolling. If you’re studying a language, listen to music in that language. If you’re doing homework where you have to write a paper or read over some stuff, listen to music scores (I highly suggest The Lord of the Rings one) or classical music stations on Pandora or Spotify, that way you still have music, but the words aren’t distracting you. If you’re doing something that doesn’t require too much thought, throw some T-Swift on your iPod and sing along while you work. It’s also scientifically proven that music helps you too.

3. Take breaks. It’s scientifically proven that taking breaks while studying helps you retain the knowledge. I generally like to study for a bit, then watch an episode of something on Netflix or read a chapter of my book then study for longer then watch Netflix or read more.  It’s an ongoing process. I think the ratio is 15 minutes of break to an hour of studying. We all know that it usually ends up the other way around.

4. Don’t cram. If you cram, you’ll forget everything right after the test and it might come in handy when you actually get a job. Plus you’ll also burn yourself out if you stay up all night studying before the test. Study for a couple days before the test, take breaks and get a good nights rest the night before.

5. Study groups. When you first get to college, you might think they are weird and unhelpful, but they are actually really fantastic. I suggest setting up a study group for classes that you know will be tough, but also for ones that you might find easier so that you can help others understand what is going on as well. Plus, explaining things to others actually might help you understand it more as well. Also you get different view points/explanations so something might click better than what the teacher was saying. They are wonderful things.

That’s basically all you need to know to get through those terrible studying times in your school career. Good luck and may the force be with you.

The Final Stretch

Spring Fever is real, and it is coming. This is pretty much how I feel right now:

(If you’ve never seen “The Muppets Treasure Island” go educate yourself. I believe it is currently on Netflix.)

We just got out of Spring Break last week. We have entered the final stretch. Only about 5 1/2 weeks left of school. 5 1/2 weeks until freedom! This is possibly the hardest time of the year. You got a taste of freedom from your week of Spring Break and then they snatched it away from you. It’s a much needed break, but some times I wish they didn’t give it to us because now I feel like my brain can’t even function. It was in summer mode a whole week long; it can’t just turn on again! But alas, it has to for the last little bit of school. Here are some tips to help you get through the final stretch of school:

1. Make a calendar, set a time where you will do something to distress and have time to let your brain rest. Whether it’s once a month or once a day, you need this. It will give you something to look forward to, you will get a much needed break and you can use it as motivation by saying “if I get this paper done, I can go play frisbee in the park” or something like that. My roommates and I did this once and it really helped me get through the week because I had something fun to look forward to.

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2. Don’t procrastinate. As much fun as this sounds, it will only stress you out more in the long run. All of your homework from your various classes will pile up and then you’ll be cranking out assignments all in one day/night and hate yourself. And since you would have 10 assignments due, you wouldn’t have time to take a break. Trust me, it’s not worth it to put it off.

3. Go to classes. If you don’t go to your classes, you might miss something and then you won’t understand your homework and then you’ll put it off and then you’ll hate yourself when you still have to do it and you still don’t understand it. You especially don’t want to skip the last month because that’s most likely what your final will be on.

You can do this! You can get through the last month of school! You can make it to summer! Don’t give up! (Is this pep talk working?) Good luck with the last little bit of school!

Clubs

I know I’ve mention clubs before, but I never went into super deep detail about them. We have over 150 clubs here on campus. You can join as many as you want for free! Well, I guess there are a few exceptions (do sororities/fraternities count as clubs?). Then if you want, you can buy a t-shirt if they have any etc. Most are free and you just hang out and have fun.

We have clubs that range from chemistry to belly dancing to Harry Potter. You can find a club here that goes with pretty much anything you’re interested in. And if you can’t find one that you really want to join, all you have to do is start one up. You get a few people and an administrator that would want to be the ‘head’ of the club and you’re all set. My friends started a four square club just a few weeks ago.

Last week the Polynesian club had a cultural luau concert. They had different dances from each Polynesian country. It was really cool. Here are some pictures from that. They’re kind of hard to see, but what can you do? IMG_1238 IMG_1243 (1) IMG_1243 IMG_1246 IMG_1250

This was probably one of the most fun and interesting activities I’ve been to.

Here’s a picture of the Harry Potter club playing Quidditch:

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It was really fun to walk them playing. They had a kid dressed in one of those morph suits that was all gold running around as the snitch, it was hilarious.

I’ve seen the guitar club playing out on the quad every once in a while. I’ve seen some people playing the bongos, I’m assuming their part of a bongo club but maybe they just like to play the bongos together.

The point is, the clubs here are flippin awesome and you should join some or make your own. It’s a good way to make friends and be social and get new interests.