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Oh the Challenges of College!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I read a great post today from a blogger that I follow and wanted to comment on it. It was about living at home with parents for the summer and ways to get along with them so that you don't feel the weight of your parents on your shoulders. I encourage anyone to read it because the author gives a lot of good advice! Go to: to check it out.

I wanted to say that this is the first year I have spent away from home although I've been having a great time I did face a few challenges;
  1. The first challenge I faced was living with new people. My roommates this year were guys that I've been friends with for the last two years, but I've never lived with them so I had to get used to their living habits. For me, I always tried to remember that I was living with other people, so I would try to clean up after myself and not make common areas a hassle for my other roommates to enjoy.
  2. The second challenge was making time to do everything on my own. I always did my own wash, so that wasn't a big deal, but I had to learn to make time to take care of myself and my apartment. When I was still living at home I was responsible for keeping my room clean, but living on my own I had to learn that I was responsible for not only my room but the rest of the apartment. This meant that I would have to adjust my schedule to make time for taking care of more cleaning.
  3. The third challenge was eating. Many college students get meal passes and eat at places on campus, while others (like me), have to worry about preparing meals as well as eating them. Breakfast and lunch were easy because I could throw something together. It was dinner that was the challenge. I'm used to sitting down with my family every night and eating together so I brought that with me to school. I quickly learned that preparing supper took a lot of time and planning, and I gained a new level of appreciation for my Mom. Going to the grocery store was another big hurdle! I try to get in and get out as quickly as possible but it still takes time and I always have to make a list before hand. This is something I've never done before so it took a little getting used to.
  4. The last challenge was time management. It's kind of funny but when I was living at home my Mom liked to ask me about school and she would always ask me if I finished my homework. It makes me smile to think about it now and it's one of the things that I miss about home, but it kept me focused outside of school and helped me to practice good time management. Being away from my parents and having a whole new world opened up to me made me think more about time management. Because my mom took an active role in my schooling at home I had a solid foundation to build from, and with a little adjustment I was able to get most of my schoolwork done on time(THANKS MOM!). I say most because I was taking 19 credit semesters which is way too much work for any sane person!
These are just the big challenges that I faced this year. There were many others, like meeting new friends, the dreadful long distance relationship, different teaching styles, and new grading systems, but this is what college is all about. We make the transition from teenagers to adults by learning to take care of ourselves, adjusting to new environments, and meeting new people. Sure we stumble and fall along the way, but that is life. It is so much better to learn through experience than it is to have someone tell you how it is. As teens, our parents told us how it is but now is our time to stand up and experience things for ourselves.

posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 11:53 PM   1 comments
College Life Do's and Don'ts
Posted by:

College life is a great experience that some people(like me) take for granted. The main thing that I have learned this past year is that college is only here once! I only get 4 short years to enjoy life as a college student and then I get to slave for the next 40+ years to make a living and survive. With that said I would like to comment about the things that I've done wrong up to this point and offer a little advice about getting the most out of your 4 years.

  1. First, don't ever overload yourself to the point where academics takes precidence over your life
  2. Don't ever give up things in life in order to be with someone. If people truely love you, they will stand by you no matter what.
  3. Family is the most important thing in life. My uncle told me this once, and over the years I've learned the importance of his advice. People come and go, leaving mainly because things aren't going the way they planned, but in the end your family will always be there for you!
  4. After family comes friends. Choose your friends wisely and stick with them through thick and thin. If they are truely your friends they will do the same for you!

Enjoy the life you have now because the real world will be here before you know it. Don't settle for anything less than what you are worthly of and remember to keep positive reinforcement around whenever possible. Remember why you are here and what you want to accomplish. It's easy to fall in the trap of drinking all the time and blowing off class, but where does this get you in the end? Have fun, but stay focused on your career! Shoot for the moon and never give less than your best to anything in life. Hurt comes from people who do not create a positive influence on your life. Try to avoid these people at all costs. Live for today, and for yourself. You only get one chance to make yourself happy, and that chance is now. We all find obstacles to put in the way of our happiness. Ask yourself, "What am I doing today that will make me happy?" and "If this is all that I accomplish today, will this be enough to satisfy me?" These two powerful questions will lead to a more meaningful me!

posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 2:11 AM   0 comments
The weekend getaway
Sunday, June 10, 2007

This was the greatest weekend I've had in a long time, probably ever! I've been a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright since I was a kid and can remember doing school reports on his designs and architecture; mainly the house named "Falling Water." I finally had the chance to see it this weekend, and to spend with my roommate and one of the coolest girls I've ever met. It was a dream come true. I can't describe how excited I was to be there because I've wanted to see Falling Water since I was in grade school. After touring the house and spending time walking around in awe the coolest girl ever decided to take us to some of the nature spots in the area. I didn't realize how beautiful Western PA was until this weekend. We saw rivers with white waters, walked through waterfalls, and slid down a natural rock slide into a pool of water. We crammed so much stuff into one day, and it turned out to be probably the best day of my life. I learned a lot this weekend and really wanted to share it with the people who may be reading this:

  1. The number of friends you have does not matter. If you have a few GREAT friends then life is perfect. Choose your friends wisely.
  2. Don't let anything stop you from reaching your dreams. Often in life we find things (excuses) that we put in the way of our dreams, things like money, school, work, a relationship, etc. Try to ask yourself; "Am I just creating an obstacle?"
  3. Don't ever pass up an opportunity to try something new and exciting. After seeing the waterfall I actually thought about not walking in it because I thought the water was too cold! Had I not corrected my thinking I would've been so mad today because I passed up a once in a lifetime opportunity.
  4. Live for today and today only! After the waterfall I heard about the natural rock slide down the road. I had to see the slide that day, since I was already there. I don't know if I'll wake up tomorrow so I'm not going to let something I could do today wait until tomorrow!

This weekend was a great learning experience and an amazing time with some GREAT friends. I'm so glad that I took the adventure this weekend and that I met a few good friends that could make it a truely amazing experience. This summer is great!

posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 5:55 PM   3 comments
College Life
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Posted by:

First I need to say that it's been too long since I've posted and it feels good to be writing again! So, I've been busy drinking, studying and working the past couple of days and I have to say that I've been having a blast. This was exactly what I needed after a long year of insanity. I'm finally starting to get back to being myself: eating better, sleeping more, being crazy (in a fun way). I missed me! I was so stressed out over the school year, and trying to juggle so many things that I felt like I was losing my mind. In reality, I was. I wasn't myself. I was edgy, moody and very negative....not too much fun to be around. It was the life that I was trying to live that made me feel this way. I did realized in the end of the semester that the way I was living wasn't worth losing myself again, and I needed a change. I decided to spread out my credits and take another year to finish college. This is probably the best decision I could've made. Not only am I going to be able to be myself, but I'll also be able to enjoy all of the things that I've missed out on up to this point. I decided it's time to experience college and have no regrets. I'm not gonna go crazy because I'm still devoted to my studies, but I am going to go out with friends during the week, go to football games, hit more parties, and meet new people. I've been in college for 3 years and I've experienced about 1/10 of the full college life. WOW! That looks a lot worse in black and white then it did in my head! The truth hurt sometimes, and when the true hurts it's time to make some changes! It's time for me to stop living for everyone else and start living for me. I don't care what my parents think anymore...they aren't paying for me to be here! I don't care what my girlfriend thinks anymore because she's not here....she left when things got really hard for me this year(perfect timing!). It's all about me now! I was so wrapped up in what everyone else wanted from me, that I forgot what I wanted myself.

posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 9:44 AM   1 comments
Sunday, June 3, 2007

"What do you do outside of school for your major?" I've been asked this question at every single interview that I've had for a job this summer, and my answer was simple; school is my entire life right now, and with 19 credit semesters there is no such thing as time outside of school for me! This school year was absolutely crazy for me and nearly drove me insane. I was taking 7 lectures and one lab class, trying to keep up with all of my homework and studying, and working every weekend to help pay for school. Notice how I didn't mention sleeping, because that always came last. I could tell you the number of nights that I got more that 5 hours of sleep on 1 hand! So my answer to the above question was simply that I didn't have time to do anything for my major outside of school. I would've loved to research many things and read about everything that I possibly could to prepare me for the real world, but I simply didn't have time. I think this could've hurt my credibility in job interviews. Most people out of school don't understand the time that it takes to get through a day, a week or even a semester for that matter. In my major I eat, sleep and breathe school, and the sacrifices that I've made this past year for school should have been more than enough to show my interest and dedication to my studies. I almost feel that it wasn't enough in the eyes of the interviewers and recieved no call backs despite my extra efforts to show my interests in a company. A lot of the companies that I interviewed with were looking for someone with a previous internship or some kind of prior work experience. How do you get prior experience if no one is willing to give it to you??? I have nothing but time this summer and I'm trying to use this time to catch up on hobbies while doing a little independent research. My hopes are that I can create some kind of experience on my own because no one was willing to give it to me. If I can manage to pull the right research together and use it effectively then I won't have to worry about that question and I can show them just what I've done for my major. This is my plan and finally my time so I'm trying to use it wisely!
posted by Shawn @ SMB College Life @ 8:41 PM   2 comments
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