Fall Semester Bucketlist

The fall semester has officially started. It’s yet another year at the beautiful campus of IUP.

Autumn is a time for change. Here are ten things I would like to accomplish throughout my fall semester.

1. Plan ahead/Don’t procrastinate

I’m completely terrible at actually doing assignments ahead of the due dates. I’d really like to be as stress-free as possible this semester. My classes aren’t the easiest and they will only get harder as I go through my junior and senior years.

2. Get a campus job

I’ve had work-study before and never applied anywhere because I was afraid I wouldn’t have time. This semester I would like to try and tackle a job to have extra money for food, sorority related items, and bills. My only worry is that I will slip with my school work or not be as connected with my sisters.

3. Be nice

If you don’t know me personally, I’m not the nicest person in the whole world. I used to be actually. All through my life, I was trampled on because I was the nice, quiet girl. I then decided that enough was enough. Now, it’s just got out of hand and I’m basically just a bitch. I’d really like to be nicer but not as nice as I once was. I want to be kind gestures out of the blue and make people smile.

4. Start a YouTube channel

I’d really like to start a small channel this year. I know I won’t have a lot of time to make the best quality videos but, I would like to try. I’ve been obsessed with the thought of making a channel for such a long time but I am just a socially awkward human. You basically have to talk to yourself but then when you upload, you’re talking to hundreds of people.

5. Have a Successful Recruitment Season

Fall is much different from spring recruitment. It’s harder to get girls interested. You basically have to rely on your sisters to know girls who would be interested in joining or talking to girls in your classes in hopes they are interested as well.

6. Having a Normal Sleep Schedule 

Unfortunately, this semester, I have an 8 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday so, I want to be as alert as possible. I’ll never be 100%, due to the fact I’m not a morning person, but I’d like to try. Coffee is going to be my best friend this semester.

7. Use The Gym

I’m paying for the school’s gym anyways. I might as well take advantage of it. I’m not the workout, fitness type of girl but if it’s close and convenient, I might as well use it. I just won’t be giving up my pasta, pizza, or fast food.

8. Study Harder

I’m terrible at studying. I don’t think I’ll even get the proper handle on how to study. I easily get distracted, don’t know what to memorize/understand and what to ignore. I love professors that give me study guides because if not, I never feel prepared enough. I like to know the subjects to spend my time on and what to know but not get too hung up about.

9. Appreciate The Amazing People In My Life

I basically do this already but I feel like I need to show them more how much they mean to me. I have made amazing friends while at school. Most of them will be graduating this year so I need to show them how much they have affected me in a positive way.

10. Enjoy The Little Things

College goes by so quickly. You only will see these people on the daily for a short period of time. I need to appreciate college memories a little bit more than I already do. The years through school have been up and down for me. I’ve had bad moments and amazing moments. I don’t want to dawn on the bad but rather on the great.

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Packing 101

It’s finally August, meaning, it’s finally time to go back to school. Freshmen are over packing and seniors are taking the bare minimum. I’m currently going into my junior year of college and here are a few tricks I have learned over the past two years of packing for school.

Don’t Wait Till Last Minute

It seems a bit obvious but you’d be surprised how many people are still going to wait a few days before they have to go to school to actually pack.

I waited until two nights before I went to school my freshman year and still ended up packing the morning I was supposed to be leaving. It will leave you more stressed and make you not want to go even more. I know I waited because I couldn’t get myself to believe I was going to college, but it’s happening people. It’s time to start packing.

Start packing, at least, a week in advance. You’d also be amazed how many things you forgot because you waited until last minute.

Make a List

When packing, try to be as organized as possible. This will make this process less stressful and you feel accomplished afterward.

Start with school supplies, then your bedroom, then the kitchen, then the bathroom. Take it one room at a time. Don’t go from one room then to another and back to the first room. This will make it more confusing.

Talk to Your Roommate

Your roommate just might have that one item you don’t have for the kitchen. Also, make sure your roommate is okay with sharing. Most people are okay with it but some people like their things to themselves. Make sure you’re at an understanding.

Talk to them about your class schedule, when you shower, when you go to the dining halls, if you’re in any other activities, if you’re thinking about joining any activities, what your major is, if you already have friends, if you’re single or not, when it’s okay to bring people into your dorm, if they play loud music, when they go to sleep/when quiet time should be, where you like to study, the list could go on but honestly ask them these things to make sure you two don’t get at each other’s throats.

Marking Boxes

My mom is the best person when it comes to packing. We use reusable totes we bought at Walmart and organized each box with the room/items are inside of it. I have a box for cleaning supplies, kitchen, desk/school supplies, bedroom, winter clothing, and holiday decoration. I do have some random boxes that I put things like clothing, makeup, books, food, and anything else I need for school.

Be Prepared to Forget Something

It will never fail that I will forget something in my bedroom back home. I will double and then triple check my list and think I have everything packed.

Don’t feel like an idiot that you forgot to buy command strips or a curtain rod for your room. Hundreds of people will be at Walmart with you buying these things nodding their head as they see what you are buying.

Also, look and see if your college town has anything other than Walmart because it’s going to be crazy. I usually go to Dollar General, Big Lots, or the Dollar Tree first to see if they have what I forgot. When worse comes to worst, I do take a trip to Walmart.

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Story Time: Joining Greek Life

In spring 2016, I was sucked into going to a recruitment event for a sorority. I tried to go into this open minded. I knew for a fact I had to open up more and not be my usual awkward self. The only thing on my mind going through this was, “Don’t say anything to these girls that will make them question why you were asked to come.”

I didn’t know anything about Greek life. I never thought I would want to join an organization like a sorority. I was a part of the fashion association and the visual merchandising club at the time. I thought that I needed to make friends with the fashion majors because my mom told me I needed to have contacts to fall back on. If I wanted to make it in the fashion industry, I needed connections. I’m now a junior and I’ve only really made two friends who are going in the fashion industry.  It’s not surprising they are in the same sorority as me.

The main reason I decided to go to this recruitment event was because a girl in my visual class told me I should come and meet some of her sisters. I told her I would think about it because it’s something I never thought I would do.

After meeting the five people that showed up to the event, I fell in love. Crazy enough, these five people will be in my family line. The frog fam was the main reason I wanted to join. I had a long talk with my parents before going to another event. They told me that if it was something I wanted to do to just do it.

I ended up chickening out on wing night. I just couldn’t see myself being a sorority girl. I was the not so popular girl in high school. I never had many friends. I didn’t really get along with females because they would always talk crap about each other or they would get jealous easily. Don’t get me wrong, I like talking shit every once and a while. I’m a pretty petty person. I just don’t enjoy when you’re supposed to be friends and then you talk utter crap on them. It just doesn’t make sense. I didn’t want to deal with that again.

My friend from visual contacted me again over summer asking if I was still interested in Greek life. I, again, told her I was thinking about it. At this point, I had no idea it costs so much to join or that there were classes or tests or even rituals. I knew NOTHING about it. I wanted to learn a little bit more about what I was getting into so I started researching IUP’s Greek Life. There are 11 sororities on campus. I kept thinking, “That is so many girls to try and impress.” I didn’t know that Theta Phi Alpha already liked me.

I went to kickoff in the fall of 2016. I was scared, nervous, and also excited. I sat beside a girl who was way prettier than myself. She asked if I would mind walking around to meet everyone. We both had a sorority in mind but we wanted to make sure we were making the right decision. I really liked three other sororities but once I went back to Theta Phi Alpha, the girls still knew who I was and asked if I was still coming out to their recruitment events. I nodded as I knew I was going to theirs because I was already comfortable with some of the girls.

I was on the phone with my mom for hours trying to decide if I wanted to visit all the sororities or just go to Theta Phi Alpha’s event. I didn’t know you needed to visit them twice before being considered a bid. I began getting stressed out and told my mom I was going to just visit Theta Phi Alpha and try to get a feel if I like them.

I fell right back into love with these girls. I meet more girls and every single one was so nice and welcoming. They knew I was nervous but tried their best to get me to open up. I came prepared with questions and they were so amazing at answering every single one. I, of course, was the last person to leave the event because I honestly didn’t want to leave. That dang frog fam and their charm got me every single time.

I wasn’t going to go to the second event due to the fact of dues. I told my parents how much it costs. I could have paid for the first semester but then I couldn’t pay the whole second semester. I was crying on the phone with my parents and talking to my boyfriend about the situation. Eventually, my dad told me that if I wanted to be in the sorority that he would help me out.

I was so overjoyed to be able to attend the second recruitment event. I met, even more, girls and they literally became my soulmates. That sounds so cheesy but it was so easy to talk to them. I even talked to some of the other pnms (potential new members) and they were so cool. The one I really liked turned out to be one of my best friends and of course in my family line.

The one girl that sucked me in was a girl who was in fashion merchandising. I was just listing off things I enjoyed doing and she freaked out because we were the same person. We literally did the exact same things in our free time. She is actually my best friend and I’m so glad she was there that night because I was getting really antsy talking to one member.

My big is also a HUGE reason I joined. She first off told everyone she wanted me as her little. I don’t think she realized I was still in the room while she was telling people. She was such a sarcastic asshole and reminded me of my best friend back home that I knew she was going to be my person. I’m so grateful she took the time to talk to me every round I went to. She made me feel so relaxed and comfortable.

Getting my bid was one of the most exciting days of my life. I was almost sure they were going to give me a bid but I still got nervous. The day I got it, I internally screamed but I didn’t want to show the girls that I was excited. I don’t really like to show much emotion around people. That day, I bought a frame for my bid so I could point out that people actually like me.

Joining Theta Phi Alpha has really brought me out as a person. I used to be really shy and really insecure about myself. My sisters helped me come out of my shell and accept me for me. I was told I was pretty by family and my boyfriend but I was never called pretty by random people. I thought I was too fat, too tall, too manly looking. I just didn’t enjoy who I was as a person. I wanted to change everything about myself.

Even looking back at my freshman year of college to my sophomore year, you can see the difference in my personality and even my pictures. I look, I guess, happier. College was definitely something I had to get used to. I’m still getting used to it but I feel more confident in myself academic wise and personal wise.

Thank you to my sisters who have been my support system since the day we first met. Thank you for letting me be apart of something bigger than myself. I really enjoy making this world a better place with you group of girls.

Home Vs Home

Heading home after the long spring semester can be rewarding and stressful. You’re excited to go back to your hometown to see family, friends, and pets. You finally are done with another semester, but there is packing, cleaning, and finals you still have to worry about.

You know for a fact your mother is going to yell at you when she comes into your dorm/apartment to see the mess that is still there. Your father remarks on how much stuff you have and wonders why you didn’t take some of the items home in the winter. You told yourself all week you were going to pack some things before your parents got there but, deep down, you knew you were going to wait until last minute.

That last final is about to start. You didn’t study for it because you tried cleaning and you were writing the paper that was due the night before. The anxiety is hitting and you just want out of there. You guess on all 75 of the questions and rush to your room. Your parents are already waiting and you can already hear the lecture.

Once everything is packed, cleaned, and your room is checked, it’s finally time to drive home. You’re almost in tears because you’ve been waiting all semester to go home. Then you remember your friends you’re leaving behind. Yes, they are going home to enjoy a must needed break but it’s so bittersweet. You wish they lived closer to you so you could randomly show up at their door with your problems. You want them to be there when you’re bored so you can go on an adventure. Summer is the time for memories but if your true friends are half way across the state, it’s not as fun.

The first few days back home are great. The terrible roommate is not living in the same place as you anymore. You can finally cuddle with your dog. You can talk to your mom face to face again. Your childhood best friend is reaching out to you. You can start working at your summer job again. You don’t have to cook or have terrible campus food.

A week passes and you start to remember everything that was great about college. You miss your friends, the oak grove on nice days, even the library. You try to ignore the stress you feel during midterms and finals, the projects, the group projects, the papers, the terrible food, just everything. You ignore this because your best friends make everything better. Your friends are your rocks at school. They are people you can shoot a text that you want food and you’re soon getting pizza and watching Netflix together. They are the reason you are sane while at school.

It’s strange how you miss home while you are at college but when you are home, you miss college. Maybe it’s because college has become a second home.