Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Pay very, very close attention. I'm about to teach you a valuable lesson.
Acceptable things to put in overhead racks:
Purses which will shift around and spill all of their contents
The occasional guitar (only if accompanied with a smile while boarding)
Unacceptable things to put in overhead racks:
The flight attendant
Open drink/food containers (rude!)
The above lists are terrifically important for people who are flying home for Thanksgiving, because it's a short break. And to save yourself money and time, you should only bring one carry-on bag. Seriously, it doesn't matter how much stuff you have. Only having a carry-on means you don't have to pay for check bags, and even if they're free you don't have to wait at the baggage claim. If your flights get messed up, you can walk past a gate and board the closest, fastest flight home without worrying about your bags following you.
You really only need your carry-on and a personal item (read: two carry-ons in the form of a suitcase and duffel or backpack if you're a heavy packer. A carry-on and a purse if you're a woman). You'll be home for 6 days, tops. That's not a lot of clothes.
Last year, I fit all of my dirty laundry from about 5 weeks into one suitcase small enough for the overhead rack. You can too. That's all the affirmation you should need.
Just pray that, like one friend who took my advice, this isn't the one time someone stops you to go through your bag. You might consider a canvas laundry bag inside the suitcase just to keep incriminating clothing out of sight.
Happy Turkey Coma (whether you fall into it on your couch on in the school dorm cafeteria)!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Here's a slightly different angle on that story: The reason I was so upset was, of course, because I feared that she was right. I feared four years of Friday nights with nowhere to be, too much sleep, and a lot of weight loss because the gym is open when social avenues are not. I feared being plopped down alone in the middle of a strange place, and eventually leaving alone from it and not caring at all. I feared not hugging anyone but my family at graduation.
All of these fears are totally legitimate for anyone going to college close or far away--they're just a little more accentuated for those of us who know we won't have our high school friends close by to fall back on.
(Although let me clarify, by no means did I lose sleep about them during senior year. I wasn't too worried.)
Here's the deal: chances are overwhelmingly good that you will make friends in college. Personally, I lucked out--I literally walked around the corner one day during orientation, and there they were! A group of people who had just met, liked each other, and liked me. You might be lucky enough to get such a pre-formed family of friends, and if so then you will spend the year growing even closer to some of them as you explore the things you actually have in common that make you all work as a group.
Or, you might have to work a little harder to find them. I have friends now that I had to "develop," if you will (don't picture backhoes). Relationships take time and that's fine, but don't be terrified to ask someone to have lunch with you. Food is a good excuse to talk and bond and soon you'll be taking roadtrips and stealing laundry together.
How do you meet them, you might ask? Here's the answer you will hear a million times: get involved. Really. Find an organization that does what you love, and go to it, especially if it meets consistently. This gives you scheduled time to hang out with people who have the same interests as you, and gets you past some awkward small talk about what you might have in common. If a group that seems to do, in name, all the things you ever hoped and dreamed, but doesn't actually meet that often or have a setup open to conversation, then by all means still go to it. But go to other things as well. If it doesn't meet that often you have no excuse for time :)
Finally, don't stress about friendship. It may not be something you can check off on your college to-do list by the end of August, but it's not a checklist anyway. It's shenanigans and food and coffee and late nights in the dorms watching bad movies. And it will happen for you if you look for it.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
While getting my daily fix of facebook stalking yesterday, I discovered something which deserves displacing my usual "how-to's" and cultural mockeries:
Domestic study abroad.
That's right. One of my high school friends, who is going to school more or less close to home, is taking a semester to do an "off-campus study." She's trying to decide between Ohio and Kentucky.
For those of you who may not be well-acquainted with the floor plan of the United States of America, Oklahoma is about twice as far as both of those states from Massachusetts (where we're both from).
This heavily punctuated post may seem like I'm bitter--not the case at all! I just find it terrifically ironic that my school is farther away than her big semester in a distant land it going to be.
I did some web surfing to find out if lots of schools offer this type of thing, or if she just went to some off-the-wall homebody college-for-the-culturally-timid. Happily, it's the former (and her college is entirely normal--they offer "regular" study abroad in foreign countries as well). A good number of colleges have specific exchange programs set up for students to spend a semester in other states or regions. You could even do your own domestic study abroad if they didn't, I suppose. As long as they accepted transfer credit.
I can see the benefit of the program. No currency exchange, no customs hassle, no fear of sudden coup-d'etats or language barriers.
So here's my question: Does this mean that I automatically get study abroad credits? I mean, we've talked about culture shock, that has to be worth something.
At the very least, I demand a study abroad stipend to help pay for the gas back home! Call it an educational expense.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
While Sonics now have a special place in my heart, and I even have reverse withdrawal for them when I go home (a little bit), I do still occasionally pine for rich hot chocolate and double chocolate $0.89 donuts.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
No but really, here's option number almost4: at the end of the year you'll have bunches of stuff you don't need anymore. Moving into an apartment? Donate your XL twin sheets. Your mini-fridge. Your dear old roommate. College students don't often have the resources to make a difference! This will be one time you do: take advantage of it.
Monday, September 20, 2010
(No but really, watch out you part-time jobbers).