Tag Archives: friends

You Are Loved

People will tell you that you should never base your self-worth on those that surround you, because there will be times when they will let you down and times they will take a shot at your feelings due to their own circumstances, and your first assumption will be that it is because YOU are not worth their time, or YOU are not worth their effort. It’s difficult to not let how others treat you affect the way you perceive yourself. Recent events have let those kinds of destructive thoughts creep into my own head, which I had persistently blocked for a very long time. I began thinking that I wasn’t worth the time, the effort, the sacrifice, the love, the respect, and the understanding it takes to be in a relationship, a friendship, anything. The issue is that the negative forces in our lives take so much of a toll on us personally that they end up overwhelming the positive forces, and I can’t believe that I didn’t acknowledge this when it happened in my own life recently. I know that I am worth so much more than I have been given credit for in the past. I am not my unhappy experiences, my failures, my pain, my sadness, my inabilities, my projected worth…I am so much more.

That is why I believe that you are good enough, too. You may have had a horrible day, week, even year. But you know what? Things are going to get better, for both you and I. I may not even know you, but I can tell you that you can’t base your perception of YOUR worth on how people treat you. People are selfish and sometimes they don’t even mean to be. But they can be, and sometimes they are. Who’s to say that the way they conduct their lives and treat others reflects how you should be treated and how much you’re worth as an individual? You’re not a toy that they can just play with when they’ve got a moment to spare, and then put on the shelf. You’re not their pet, relying on them for the quality of your own life. You are a person with feelings, ambitions, vulnerabilities in combination with strengths. You’re unique in all aspects of your life and there will never be someone just like you, someone rich in the qualities that you possess in the exact same way. So you know what? Ditch the negative people, the hurtful memories, the times you’ve fallen on your face so hard you thought you’d never get back up, the underestimations people have of you, the disappointment people in their own lives that has somehow been projected upon your own life… Forget how people have made you feel. You’re incredible, and you deserve to be happy. Don’t let anyone take that happiness, that ability to feel alive and love yourself and the world around you, away from you. You deserve to be happy, fulfilled, and excited about your life, and those who don’t agree, don’t deserve to be a part of YOU.

You’re incredible, and no matter who you are, where you are, how people have hurt you in the past, what you think you’re worth, if I know you or not, you deserve to be happy and you are loved. Tremendously, genuinely, honestly, respectfully…

You are loved.

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Collegiette Clue-Ins: 5 Ways to Be An A+ Roommate Without Being Asked to Step Up Your Game!

Being in college provides many more challenges beyond the educational spectrum that require plenty more than booksmarts. I’ve compiled the lessons I’ve learned living in a college dorm and an on-campus apartment to provide you with some insight on how to be a great roommate to your new roommate and tactics to avoid awkward and uncomfortable situations in your new home! images

1. Take initiative to clean, even if you know that all the crumbs on the counter are from your midnight-munchin’ roommate. And DON’T be a jerk about it. It’s gross, it’s a hassle. I get it. But it can be a difficult thing when there are four people living in such a small apartment (thankfully this fall, it will be reduced to just one roommate!). Even if you all have your own bedrooms, there’s going to be some overlapping in the common areas (inevitably), and with that comes headbutting over where items should be placed. You’re not all going to come into the apartment with the same kind of living style in mind (that would be too easy!)! You’re not always going to have time to clean up after yourself if you’re in a rush to get to that exam you forgot to put on your calendar, but taking the time to clean up, even if it isn’t always your mess, shows your roommate that you’re happy and willing to put in the work to keep the space up to par. They’ll be thankful that you’re avoiding a roach infestation as much as they are (usually). Nobody’s saying you should follow your roommates around with a mop and scrub behind them, but if you see leftover crumbs and dirty spots, wash it down. It’s two extra seconds of your time, and even more importantly, a month without cockroaches! 

Tactics:

  • If the mess is a recurring problem, try to sit down and discuss it with her rationally. Without yelling, throwing things, accusing, instigating, holding a grudge, or talking smack. Keep it chill. Don’t use accusatory language, and if you’re upset about the issue, wait until you’ve cooled off before you confront her. Open communication starts with listening, and if you’re angry, you’re not going to hear her out and be able to reach a conclusion.
  • Keep cleaning supplies in or near the kitchen for quick cleanup.
  • Set an example. If you’d like her to keep her dishes and other items in the common area clean, make sure that your stuff portrays that. Often just setting an example helps avoid the situation altogether.

things-are-getting-steamy 2. Consult (or warn, if need be) your roommate if you have the full intention of stumbling into the apartment with a dude. I’m going to be honest. The walls in college apartments are like tissue paper. I can practically hear you blink. The sounds that you make, no matter how loud, can probably (very likely) be heard from the apartment next to yours. It’s important to voice when you’re going to invite someone in the apartment so your roommate doesn’t end up having the awkward encounter of confronting the dude in a towel or quite possibly running into him, butt naked, in your shared hallway. Who knows, the heads-up might give you the apartment all to yourselves for the night or at least for a few hours. She’ll appreciate the courtesy call you gave her beforehand tomorrow.

Tactics:

  • No last minute warnings. Be courteous and don’t spring it on her.
  • Have a conversation beforehand, like way beforehand, discussing bringing people home. She may be uncomfortable with it, so it’s important to discuss and compromise before the situation arises. You don’t want her to feel like an outsider in her own home.
  • I feel like this is common sense, but let the guy know that if he’s going to use anything or eat anything out of the fridge, it’s going to be something of yours. That would be a major line that shouldn’t ever be crossed unless stated otherwise.

friends_cooking 3. Offer to cook some of their food for them as a treat! College brings on more challenges than you’d think (aside from the endless homework, excruciating exams, and involvement in clubs), and after a merciless day, nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal (aside from Chipotle, which is always a nice alternative if you’re a “toast burner”). When your roommate sends you a down-in-the-dumps text, take that as a queue to be her superhero and do something nice for her. And if you can’t cook, don’t worry. I bet the ramen noodles you’ll make in the microwave for her for when she gets home will still be highly appreciated. At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. Make the thought worth it!

Tactics:

  • Fillet mignon doesn’t have to be on the menu (unless that’s your best dish. Then you’re obligated. Kidding!) She’ll appreciate whatever you make her (as long as it’s not something you made consciously knowing she’s allergic to it).
  • Brownie points for preparing dessert, too! Maybe have a sundae night in with her? How cute would that be?!
  • If you can’t cook for your life, give her a listening ear. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to hear you out. I know that on a really bad day, there’s nothing that comforts me more than getting to say what I’ve been thinking about without getting automatically judged. Good friends are hard to come by, so do what you can to be that genuine person she can confide in if you feel like you guys could be on that level.

happy group of young people at a university college 4. Introduce her to your friends, family, boyfriend, whoever. It may seem silly (and a little awkward) at the time (you haven’t even taken her on a date and she’s already meeting your family?!), but it’s important for her to know her roommate (yes, you’re HER roommate, too!) well enough to be comfortable at home with you. It’s a significantly strange feeling to arrive on move-in day, piles of boxes in hand, and introduce yourself to the person that you will be cohabiting an apartment with for the next year, or maybe even two if it works well between the two of you. That’s a lot of pressure for a good first impression. But if you start off friendly right off the bat, that’s what she’s going to perceive of you. You’re friendly, sociable, and open. Giving her the opportunity to meet the people that are closest to you (and that are probably going to be helping you move in) will make her feel like your new apartment is more like a home. It will feel more inclusive, and she’ll probably be more inclined to be open to you as well, and willing to accept you enough to introduce you to the people she holds close. And, if she’s awkward and doesn’t want to be a part of that whole socialization process, then at least you know that you put your best foot forward.

Tactics:

  • Hugs almost always work better than handshakes. She doesn’t want to feel like she’s going into a business deal when you arrive. The first thing I always say is, “I’m a hugger, not a shaker” and I go in for a hug before it gets weird. It usually breaks the tension pretty nicely.
  • Keep it casual. Don’t push yourself on her. Remember, friendly and sociable, not pushy and obsessive. You know?
  • Make her feel like a friend, not a stranger. She’ll be a stranger at the time, but don’t make her feel like she’s outside of the bubble while you have everyone in your little group going in and out of the apartment unpacking your things. Include her in conversation if she’s up for it!

food-sandwich 5. Don’t eat her food or use any of her stuff without asking her. I can’t stress this enough! Nothing is worse than a roommate that just digs through your stuff and picks out what they want. More often than not, when I’ve been asked for either in the past, I’ve often said “yes”. It’s all about communication. It’s your home that you share. I doubt that, at your “home home”, you have to hide your stuff, so treat this new place in the same way. Anything she keeps in common areas has the same rules as the items you leave in the common areas, unless stated otherwise!

Tactics:

  • If you buy some of the same foods, either label them or have both of you pitch in to get the food to share. If food goes unlabeled, how is she supposed to know whether it’s hers or not if it’s something she buys, too?
  • Bring a mini fridge if you don’t want to share fridge space or would like to keep some stuff in your own room. There’s no problem if you have your own space for some stuff, but I wouldn’t suggest taking up the shared fridge’s space, too. Just be courteous.
  • If you borrow anything (after given permission), return it in the same condition.

 

Do you have any tips for first-time roommates? Share them below! 🙂

The Pros, Cons, Ins, and Outs of Social Networks – the Perspective of a Digital Media-Savvy College Student

Social networks are essential at this point to keep in touch with others (it’s one of the first things people ask for when they meet, besides phone numbers!) efficiently as we are all part of a network or several networks due to technological advancement and our ever-changing society (especially in this technologically-born-and-bred generation), but what makes them such a useful tool in our abilities to communicate? Even more importantly than that, what about these networks is counterproductive to our social growth? In this post, I’d like to take a second to analyze the networks I participate in from my perspective to bring to light the positives and negatives of these online communities.

Excuse my sarcasm. If you don’t like it, look away.

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Facebook

Real-Life Uses: Telling and showing everyone your inner “wild child”, mentally documenting all the places your friends have gone without you this week, and sharing “”Like” this if you love -insert subject here that is legitimately unaffected by your “like” on Facebook-” pictures. Oh, and occasionally dropping in to say “hello” to people that you speak so little to that you’re practically strangers or initiating unwarranted booty calls.

Sparknotes: “How many times are you going to go clubbing out on a weekday? Or are all of those photos from just last night? Why didn’t you invite me? You said you weren’t going to the club until this weekend….”

Pros – Facebook was the immediate, significantly better competitor of MySpace, it’s failed predecessor. It provided a simple, friendly (overly friendly) interface for users that got sick and tired of the dying Myspace community (“GOD I HATE MY MYSPACE FRIENDS. THEY SUCK. THEY’D BE SO MUCH COOLER IF THEY WERE STILL MY FRIENDS, BUT SOMEWHERE ELSE!”) that were still looking for ways to keep in touch with each other (and who all followed each other into this new world of stalking–I mean…..Facebook). Facebook has its perks. You can create groups easily, which is convenient for people to bond over their unhealthy obsessions with Chipotle and rave culture, but it is also a great tool for users that want to associate with people that work in the same field (potentially to bond over the struggles that only they would know, and possibly to practice empathy?). Or another great feature would be the ease of information transfer, so you can read up on your crush’s latest (and definitely greatest) post to your mutual friend’s profile discussing the crazy party he attended last weekend that he claims he doesn’t remember because he was “sooooo wasted”. Or something.

Cons – I don’t know if you caught the vibe that I let on before, but I’ll certainly reiterate. Facebook is great. It is, I promise. But it’s getting creepy. The latest feature that they released (or what I believe to be the latest notable feature) is the ability to track how close in proximity people are to your location and to share your location as well. It’s so gross how invasive this can be, and you know that this tool could be used for so many more ways that aren’t as innocent as the way it was meant to be used (unless stalking was the full intention. In that case, bravo. You’ve won.).

Another fault of Facebook (and of course, this isn’t little old Facebook’s fault) is the duck-face-peace-sign combination in pictures (usually profile pictures) that transferred from the death of Myspace. It’s quite a shame, really. But I don’t penalize those who use the combination ironically, as long as the irony is known. Let that be known.

Instagram

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Real-Life Uses: Selfie storage and meal documentation.

Sparknotes: “We all suddenly know your dietary habits. Really well. A little too well, since we haven’t talked since the third grade. Your toilet schedule would be nice to know, too, if you could post that as well.”

Pros – I love being able to just post photos if I want to. If I want to be mysterious and awesome (not that I’m not already, as you already know–HEY, DON’T LAUGH!), I can “live life dangerously” and post a photo with no context in the caption and it will be all good and dandy. Hah. But really, I think it’s a neat network. I enjoy the fact that you can “try on” a bunch of effects on your photographs before you settle with one, and that as of late, Instagram has provided a sick new set of customizations for photographs, from contrast to sharpening. It looks like they’re headed in the right direction, so I don’t see an account cancelation induced by disappointment in my near future.

Cons – You can’t edit comments, so that nasty comment you left in a fury of bitter hatred is licked and sealed. The damage has been done, and there will be no take-backs to be had. Ouch. I hope it was worth it. Maybe that’s the penalty for getting “white girl wasted” and angry in combination. I do think, on a more serious note, that reporting should be taken a lot more seriously on Insta, as I have seen several accounts become compromised with radio silence from the support staff for days to even weeks before the problem was fixed. Not only that, but people report the most ridiculous material, too, on there which bugs me. The report button is not meant to be a play thing. No bueno.

Twitter

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Real-Life Uses: An everyday Battle of the Sexes and lots of sexually-oriented, anonymous retaliation submissions to Collegefession. And of course, the cheesy love quotes and the “LOVE CAN GO BURN IN AN ETERNAL PIT OF FIRE” quotes, both equally enjoyable.

Sparknotes: “I’m a strong, independent -insert racial label that has nothing to do with independence- woman who don’t need no man. Unless he’ll buy me flowers, call me first (beat me to it, please!), and text me cute things every living, breathing minute of every day. Then I say, “Hell Yes! Come here, my Prince Charming!” But only then. These terms are non-negotiable.”

Pros –  Many of the organizations I already “follow” have a Twitter, so following them on there allows me to herd them all into one place. Is that it? Yeah, I think that’s about it. I don’t use Twitter that much (and this is your queue to gasp dramatically and inquire as to why I haven’t embraced this beautiful thing wholeheartedly within my own life), because I have yet to purge my profile of all the users that spam my dashboard with cliche quote vomit. It’s not Twitter’s fault, so don’t get it twisted. If you like Twitter, continue tweeting on to your heart’s content.

Cons – My dashboard is filled with a bunch of garbage (I want to be nice, but I just…can’t). I probably look at 1% of the material on there, if I even go on Twitter. All people ever retweet are 20-page slideshows (when realistically speaking, I only clicked the link in the hopes of reading ONE STORY on said topic), nudes (or semi-nudes), and anonymous confessions on Collegefession that glorify cheating on significant others and carelessness by people who are legally considered “adults” that act worse than their younger (probably more responsible) counterparts. I feel like I’m mid-life crisis-ing all over this (and I’m only in my twenties!), but going on Twitter makes me feel straight-up dirty for that reason. At this point, I only go on to actually view the Twitter profiles of organizations I admire, rather than scope them out on my dashboard between a slideshow about Miley Cyrus’ red carpet faux pas and a quote supposedly by Marilyn Monroe that was never actually said by Marilyn Monroe. And no, seeing that same quote retweeted over and over never gets less awkward.

Which is your personal take on the social networks you’re currently a part of?

5 Things that Friends, in General, Need to REALLY Stop Doing

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1. Ignoring texts because the person said something you didn’t like or that “offended” your fragile heart. Don’t text people if you’re too fragile to have the conversation take a direction you wouldn’t prefer. If something offends or upsets you, use your “big boy words” and speak up. Everyone has the little things that irk them, but ignoring a text doesn’t make the other person understand your case better and certainly doesn’t redirect the flow of words. How is someone supposed to correct a mistake they didn’t know they made?

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2. Not being upfront. If you want or need something from someone, you seriously can’t be angry when they don’t (CAN’T) read your mind and do what you need them to do. The worst that can happen, the very worst case scenario, is that they say, I know, get ready for it….”no”. If they say “no”, that horrid word, the world will not cave under your feet. You’ll just need to figure it out, whatever you gotta do, on your own. No biggy. Or ask someone else who you know will say yes! I’m a yes (wo)man when I know they’re a reliable friend, and I know plenty of people who would be genuinely happy to help, so don’t be afraid to ask! 🙂

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3. Changing plans last minute or deciding that another plan, a last minute plan you made after agreeing and confirming to the first one, is preferred and that you’ll cancel on the first one the day of the plan. It’s overwhelmingly rude. If you make a plan, it’s easy to assume that you’re going to stick with it unless something seriously important arises. I’m never gonna bust someone’s balls if their family needs them, or their car breaks down, though, so if that’s the issue, do what you have to do. But if you care more about going to a “sick rager” than catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a good while that regards you highly, it’s difficult to dismiss it. Especially if you’re a repeat offender.

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4. Dropping off the face of the earth when one of you has a new boo thang. You CAN have friends while still being in a relationship! What happened to unconditional friends? If you break up, whose shoulder are you going to cry on, and who in the world is going to buy a tub of ice cream for you two to share? Priorities, people. Priorities. No rocky road for you.

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5. Revenge hookups. Once again, let’s try to be friends, and attempt to be mature about figuring out quarrels and underlying anger with the people that ultimately need to know. You may be angry at the time and want to take revenge on someone, but it’s such a horrible regret later on when you simmer down and you realize that that friendship will never, ever have the potential of happening again(if it genuinely meant something to you). It ends up hurting you more than it helps you. It’s best to just pick your battles.

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What do you think people need to take a “chill pill” with?

Arcade Epiphanies: Sometimes You Have to Regress to Progress

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Tonight, instead of spending my night cuddling in bed with my boyfriend like we often do (as he is usually tired out from work, and so am I from busy days), we took a date trip out to Gameroom for a couple of hours. I haven’t felt that alive in a very long while. I had been stuck in a rut, spending the last few days essentially locked in my room, barely eating or moving in the hopes of getting ahead in my online classes in order to be able to successfully enjoy my upcoming week-long vacation that starts this weekend. Getting to go somewhere new with the person I love gave me such childlike (hence the reference to regressing!) wonder, and I am even more excited for our next date. To think that a trip to an arcade could be so thrilling and awakening to the heart! We were filled with laughter as we navigated through digital jungles with plastic, colored guns, and couldn’t keep our eyes off the neon puck as it passed from one side of the air hockey table to the other, sliding faster than we could follow, our eyes meeting, acknowledging the challenge. I think he needed that stress relief just as much as I did. It made me realize just how important it is to make time for me, too, when life is throwing curveballs and I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes you just need to take a big step back.

As for you guys, try to break out of your habits. I know we all fall into habits and patterns that seem safe to us, but we need stimulation, at least from time to time, in order to remain happy. We need to discover, to create, to grow. Our world is full of new experiences, and there isn’t enough time for us to not give these opportunities a chance. Try something new tomorrow. Pick up a friend, your love, or an adventurous acquaintance and go somewhere you both haven’t been. The impact it has on your heart and mind, the thrill of new experiences, will probably astound you, too.

 

 

“You’re only as strong as your weakest link”

Chain Links

Which is actually great because the people in my life, in this current moment, are the strongest, most driven people I know. They amaze me in millions of ways. The few people I consider good friends at this point continually prove to me that their strength lies in loyalty, honesty, and the ability to be who they are in the sight of those who wish they were different. They’re my breath of fresh air and motivate me to be the best individual I can be, from the inside, out. Thank you.

Think about all the people that continually impact your life. Take a moment to really let them know that they matter. We, as people, like to know when our existence in someone else’s life is significant, and the harsh truth of the matter is that we never really know when our time in this world is up, so if we don’t make a conscious effort to do these things as they arise, we may never get the chance. Give someone some good, honest truths today.

Mandy

In exchange for introducing me to blueberry tea, I gave someone an inspirational speech about following her dreams.

She said I made her day, which pretty much made my month. A good deed goes a long way. I hope she ends up following her heart.