Taking The L: Failing A College Class
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Taking The L: Failing A College Class

Sometimes taking a fat L is necessary to whip you into shape.

This is an ode to all the students who need a reminder that failing or withdrawing from one class is not going to ruin your life.

I came to college from an extremely rigorous girls high school, ranked nationally for its academic excellence, theater and arts, and championship-winning athletics. Although senior year was my vision of Dante's seventh ring of hell (with AP classes and college apps, too!), second semester rolled around, I was accepted into colleges and I could finally say my high school work ethic and motivation paid off

I came to college considering myself a fairly good student -- I was well rounded with high-level courses and a plethora of extracurriculars. Then I physically set foot on campus at one of the top universities in the nation and expected it to be the same as high school.

I thought I could cruise on by doing barely any work, procrastinate as I pleased, and join any and all of the extracurriculars I was interested in. Well let me tell you, I was really fucking wrong.

There are some people that can do it all, but as I've learned, I'm not one of those people. I require at least 6.5 hours of sleep per night, I need breaks for mental rest and I need to do somewhat well in my classes so I don't freak out. However, as a first semester freshman, I didn't have this all figured out and I took the L for it.

Hard work equals time, and that time was spread thin amongst my commitments. One class in particular took an especially hard hit. It required much more work than I was used to putting into a singular class, and it was also just so damn hard.

I didn't have the same individualized support from teachers in college as I did in my tiny high school. I was left in the dust feeling anxious, depressed and failing.

I spent countless nights trying desperately to finish the work on time and understand the material, but nothing I did worked. I was near failing the class and had to subsequently make the decision to withdraw.

One of the biggest fears I've maintained my whole life is a fear of failure, so this was a particularly hard hit to cope with. However, the world did not end. I realized that not doing well in one thing is shockingly OK.

I decided that I would pick myself up and not let this be the end of me. Once I talked to my academic dean and withdrew from the class, I moved the fuck on. I am now living my life as a happy human being.

One college class is no longer taking a toll on my mental health, and I can focus my time on things I am actually interested in pursuing with my other academic courses and extracurriculars. I have time to reflect and think about what I want in my future.

Bottom line, sometimes you put up a fight but you end up taking an L. What's important is that you take something away from your failure and learn from it, then pick yourself up and move on. If I lived after facing my biggest fear, so will you.

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Here's How to Make the Most of Advising

Advising is equally annoying and necessary.

Advising is often a mess. Colleges have to keep track of thousands of students, and each student has unique needs, so it's easy to see why advisors are always overbooked and scatterbrained. It can be almost impossible to get an appointment; and if you do get one, you might think, "What do I actually need to talk about?"

You might think a class counts for two requirements when it only counts for one, or you might have problems transferring credits over from another school. Or maybe you want to change your major. These are all issues that advisors can help you with.

Going to advising appointments is the only way you'll graduate. You'll get a better idea of what's required for your major, where you are in your college career, and how to recover from any mistakes. If you don't go to advising, then you'll probably be scrambling as a senior. And, as a fifth year senior, I can tell you that's not something you want to do this late in the game.

Here's the catch: You are solely responsible for getting the advising you need. An advisor can tell you what classes you need to take, but you need to ask the right questions to help yourself. Advisors aren't mind readers, so it's crucial to get a plan before you head into the advising office.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most of your advising appointment:

Make a list.

I've come out of advising appointments only to realize I'd forgotten to ask something. Don't make that mistake. Instead, make a list of all the questions you have. Make a new note in your phone so you can add to it whenever a question pops into your head.

Think long-term.

You should only focus on the current semester, right? Wrong. You need to look ahead in your college career and be aware of what you need to do. Take the time to plan out your entire four (or more) years. What possible obstacles do you see? What's confusing? Now is the time to ask all of these questions, not later.

Don't leave until all your questions have been addressed.

Since advising is so hectic, you might feel pressured to get in and get out, especially if the advisor is booked. Don't give into this pressure. Don't leave the office until the advisor has addressed all of your questions. Now, they might not be able to answer all your questions, but they should be able to either investigate the matter or refer you to someone else who can help.

Leave with a list.

During the appointment, you should be making a to-do list. Make sure you're clear about what you need to do for both the short term and the long term. I recommend going over the list with your advisor before you head out to make sure you're on the same page.

Follow up if you need to.

Advisors have a lot to do, so they might forget to get back to you about something important. If it's been a few days and you haven't heard from them, email them or make a second appointment as soon as you can.

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I'm Taking Summer Back

It's mine, and it's gonna stay that way.

You're going to read a thousand articles informing you of how you can be productive this summer and get ahead and succeed. Do an internship, get a job, volunteer, and take a summer class. Do it all.

I'm taking a step back though and assessing the situation. Do I really need a lighter course load next year? Do I really need to work that many hours? Does it really enhance my resume that much? The answer to all of those question is definitely yes.

But the question I'm focusing on is, do I need a break? And the answer to that is also yes. It's also the answer I'm honoring most, because it's what's going to make me happiest. This doesn't mean my summer is going to be a Netflix binge stuck in my parents' house, but it does mean I'm taking it easy and doing what I want to do.

I won't be working any job I don't enjoy. (Being a Flocker is awesome, so that stays). I won't be studying or taking classes. I won't be sitting in an office shredding paper in an effort to show how much experience I have to any future potential employer. Here's what I'll be doing instead:

Reading that book I've been wanting to read.
I'm not sure what that book is, but I'll find something.

Picnics in the woods.
With family, friends, my boyfriend - anyone really!

Camping (for five weeks).
There's something relaxing about the temporary separation from society that camping offers.

Campfire food and friends is probably my favorite combination.

Beach Days.
This is relaxing too. There's a theme here.

Cooking (trying).

Learning to cook is a great excuse to eat a lot. Not that I seriously needed an excuse.

Everywhere and anywhere please.

Live music is an awesome experience and I recommend it, whether it's a local event or Beyonce.

I've always wanted to get into yoga, and now's as good a time as any. It's a great way to find your inner peace and relax.

Music festivaling.

Hot summer days spent with friends, festival outfits, and hours of music are the best days.

I'm sure doing something traditionally productive will get you ahead of the game and all, but I'm choosing to take my summer back this year. I'm going to relax and come back re-energized and excited to learn. I'm going to focus on my own needs right now, and I recommend you take a moment (or summer) to do the same. You deserve it.

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Thoughts Everyone Has While Taking Shots

Yep, I'm gonna vom.


Line 'em up bitches.

*opens bottle*

Hello darkness my old friend.

Christ almighty that is straight up rubbing alcohol.

Oh my god I'm already cringing.

I'm having vivid flashbacks to every alcohol related mistake.

I am not ready for this.

I need five minutes to mentally prep.

I need some pump up music.

Give me a chaser there is no way this is going down my throat.

Oh my god okay its time.

Okay okay, shit, oka.



How am i going to do more of these?

I would rather get hit by a bus.

Why can't I be one of those girls who gets drunk off two shots?

Why can't I be one of those girls who can play drinking games with shots?


That is a life of bliss.

Lucky bitches.

Okay round two.

Down the pipe we go.

Yeeeeeep that was just as bad as the first.

Oh my god my eyes are watering.

I can't speak Jesus Christ.

I think my throat is sticking together.

Okay I feel a lil something lets keep going.

Shot number three LETS GO.

Whoever said this gets easier is a goddamn liar.

There are definitely holes in my stomach.

Why do I do this?

Why do I torture myself?


*Three shots later*

Yo that went down like water holy fuck.

I'm drunk.


That's it.

I'm drunk.

My cheeks are flaming hot oh boy.

I have no problems!!! Life is good!!!





*next morning*

So. Many. Regrets.

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Do's and Don'ts of Classroom Boredom

No talking, no shopping, no sleeping, and absolutely no porn.

We all get bored in class. That's just the nature of the beast, but there is a proper way to alleviate classroom boredom. Here are some do's and don'ts.

Don't fall asleep. I kid you not, I have had people fall asleep near me and snore. Loudly. It is the single most obnoxious thing I have ever encountered while in a lecture. Oh, and it's also quite embarrassing if you wake up and realize that you've been drooling everywhere. So save yourself the potential embarrassment, and just don't do it.

Do bring coffee or any other form of caffeine. Spend the few bucks it takes to get some form of caffeine, so that you can stay awake during lecture. This will help your grades, your reputation with your professors, and it will also help you not bother the people around you.

Don't talk in the middle of class. This is one way to quickly be at the very top of some people's shit list. If you feel the need to talk in class, just don't. People don't like it, because you are disturbing class/preventing them from hearing what the prof is saying/etc. It's also just rude.

Do text your friends. If you have something that is really, really, REALLY important, then by all means, text your best friend about it. It's quiet, and less likely to disturb the people around you. Plus, it's still a very effective form of communication. Be warned, though. Some professors do not appreciate cell phones. I have seen people get thrown out of a class because they were texting, and I have almost been that person. It's terrifying. Truly terrifying.

Don't shop for your next outfit. In fact, I would advise against looking up anything besides the notes while in lecture. You may not want to be present in class, but other people are there to take notes. They don't want to have to watch you shop for a new pair of shoes, or the latest Seahawks apparel. And please, for the love of God and all that is holy, DO NOT WATCH PORN IN CLASS.

Do doodle, or write, or study. Anything that makes it look like you are writing down the notes for that particular lecture works. You're not disturbing anyone, plus, you look like you are actually paying attention.

Don't pack up early. I used to always wonder why teachers made students wait until the end of class to pack up, and then I came to college. Now I realize why - it is disruptive as all hell. Look, I get it, you have 10 minutes to get across campus to go to your next class, but you still have 15 minutes before this class ends. So don't disrupt your classmates by making the most noise a person can make while in a classroom.

Do come to class prepared. Bringing a notebook and a pen is all fine and dandy, but I'm talking about the real preparation materials. Bring a pair of headphones, because they are the easiest way to make a class go by faster. Bring a phone charger, because you never know when yours will die. Lastly, bring a snack, because learning while hungry is a no-go.

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Go, Go, Get Your Ass To Class

...the easiest part of the day

Okay. So.

You may be paying for college, you may not be. But college is being paid for. Every so often, you get a vaguely threatening email about how a charge has been added to your student account. And if you're fortunate and privileged enough to have your parents pay your way, then congratulations. If you have to work, then know that you're in my prayers.

But, the point is: education costs money! Like, a fucking lot of it, so here's a quick easy tip to get the best return on that investment.





Say, for example, you paid for a buffet, and all-you-can-eat for a specified amount of time: three hours we'll say. The whole thing costs $40, but you grab one plate of food, eat it in 15 minutes and then leave because you're full.

Like, I ain't got that kind of money to blow. I would be shoving food into my pants to get as much out of that buffet as I could. So why would college be different? I get wanting to party late and sleep in. I get having days where you just don't feel like it. But you need to understand that you're fortunate and lucky enough to be able to get an education, and if you're going to squander it to the point where you're only showing up on test days, then what are you actually doing there? Why is that money being spent on you or by you for you if you're not going to capitalize on it?

I'm not saying you can't have sick days. I'm not saying you can't take a planned day off to decompress. I'm not, like, trying to be stuck up and holier than thou. I'm trying to remind you that you have an opportunity and while it's cool to stay up getting blitzed all night, it's also pretty cool to walk out of a semester knowing you won't have to overload the next semester since you failed out of two classes because you were never fucking there.

But if that is the kind thing that gets you off, then live your best life I guess. Just remember being a super senior ain't cheap.