Taking The L: Failing A College Class
College Life |  Source: ak4.picdn.net

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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College Life | 

Bring Back the Fanny Pack

Taking fashion back from elderly tourists, one fanny pack at a time.

Ahh, the Fanny Pack. For years it has been labeled the tourist fashion faux pas, an unsightly substitute for a purse, a staple in the closets of all uncool moms who couldn't leave the past where it belonged. For years, it has been labeled a tourist fashion faux pas, an unsightly substitute for a purse, a staple in the closets of all uncool moms who couldn't leave the past where it belonged. I've coveted the accessory ever since Season 2 of America's Best Dance Crew, when members of the crew Fanny Pak did gravity-defying choreography full of flips and shit, all while donning the retro accessory. They weren't just talented, they were COOL.

I knew I'd never be able to dance like them, so I resorted to just channeling their fly af style by wearing, you guessed it, the fanny pack. I brought this fanny pack fervor to college with me, and it's definitely caught on. Recently, my school's athletic department hopped on board the fanny pack train and gave them away at a basketball game, and let me tell you, it was a hit. Hundred of students and parents alike were scrambling to get ahold of a fluorescent green belted sacks.

As a proud owner of three fanny packs, I highly recommend everyone join the trend, even A-list celebs are doing it! If fashion moguls Kylie and Kendall Jenner rocking the pack isn't enough to convince you, I've made a list of six additional reasons to bring back the fanny pack.

They're hands-free.
Once you clip it in place, this miracle device lets you eat, drink, and hit the dance floor all while keeping your shit completely secure. Keeping track of your cash at all-day festivals is no longer an issue.

Banish back and shoulder pain.
No more slinging monstrous bags and purses over your shoulder. With a fanny pack, all the pressure is taken off and belted centrally on your body. Plus with the smaller size, you'll be forced to limit yourself to the essentials.

Cover up the beer gut/period bloat/FUPA.
I feel like the whole world must know when I get my period, because I have intense bloating in the oh-so-lovely muffin top region. That, and the whole PMS thing. But with a fanny pack concealing my tummy, I can confidently wear what I want without feeling self-conscious. Because cramps alone are enough to deal with.

Never lose your ID or keys again.
In four years I've purchased ten IDs, called Safety and Security twenty-something times, and twice broke into my own house through the window, simply because I can never keep track of my ID or keys. Fanny packs are the solution for the organizationally challenged like me, and they're conveniently located so you aren't fumbling around in the depths of your backpack while trying to escape the frigid cold.

It doubles as a portable pantry.
My stomach has a mind of its own some days, so I never know when I'm going to get hungry. The size and location of a fanny pack makes storing a snack and eating on the go that much more convenient. Perfect to hold gum and travel toothbrush as well for afterwards.

They are subtle, yet make a statement.
Whether you're going for a neutral look or using it as your prime accessory, fanny packs come in a variety of styles and colors to match every outfit. Even designer brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton are making them. Why limit yourself to just one?

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College Life | 

Three Tips for Taking Edits on Your Writing

FYI: Edits aren't personal.

Feedback can be a tough pill to swallow--especially when it comes in the form of giant red marks all over your paper. You feel bad. Hurt. Angry at yourself and your professor.

You're not alone. Many writers interpret feedback as criticism and disapproval. I definitely used to be one of those writers, until I started building a thick skin. It became less painful to get critiqued. I didn't dread getting a paper back. And, I learned lessons that made me a better writer.

When you get feedback on your writing, remember this:

1. You should get feedback. You're paying for it. Any professor worth his salt should be assessing your paper and giving you pointers to help you grow.

2. You're not the only person making these "mistakes." Every other student is in the same boat as you. They're learning, too. In fact, here's an idea: If you feel comfortable, compare edits you received to what a classmate received. You both might learn more about what your professor is looking for.

3. Consider feedback a blessing. Your professor could have just given you a grade with no other thoughts, and you would have no idea why you got that grade. Feedback is a blessing because it helps tell you what you did right (so you can repeat it) and what you did wrong (so you can improve upon it).

Getting critiqued is an essential part of becoming a better--and more marketable--writer. Building your writing skills is a journey, and it's a hell of a lot more enjoyable journey when you have a skin like a tortoise shell, not an egg shell.

Word to your flocker.

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College Life |  Source: Goodhomez.com

15 Things You Need in Your Freshman Year Dorm

A Swiffer is so necessary, trust me.

Freshman year of college is literally the best and worst thing that can happen to a person. It's great because it allows you to meet tons of new people, and you finally get to live on your own (sort-of-ish, roommates are non-negotiable).

On the other hand, it's not so great because you have next to no idea what the hell you are supposed to be doing. It's sort of like walking around a pitch-black room trying to find your phone charger. Not easy. Here's a list of things you need which will hopefully make freshman year a little bit less intimidating.

1. A Swiffer
Admittedly, I am a very clean human, so it was important to me that my roommate be slightly tidy, too. But, even more so, it was important that we kept our general space clean too. We had these super quick cleaning sessions that lasted for like 10 minutes, but really got the job done. We would've been lost without our Swiffer.

2. A mini fridge
Of course most colleges have cafeterias, or require you to get some sort of meal plan, but it was also super useful to have small snacks or fruit at the ready. So, keep your mini fridge stocked with little treats so you can grab and go on your way to class. You can find affordable, cute ones at Jet.com like the one featured below.

3. A humidifier or fan
It's no secret that dorm rooms can be gross, and they might even lack air conditioning. Save yourself a sleepless night and pick up one or the other. Humidifiers are best to help clean the air, or to keep mold away while fans are better for keeping the temperature down.

4. Cute bins or adjustable baskets
Your dorm room is similar to a small cubby, but then you have to divide that in half. So basically, you have zero room. If you're like me and have a weird accumulation of shit, grab bins to store everything in. Seriously, you can lay them out or slide them under your bed, but if you find some cute ones, they don't have to be an eyesore.

5. A good shower caddy
A lot of college dorms have communal showers, but even if you have your own that you share with your roommates, you still need a caddy. It helps keep everything at arms reach and organized.

6. Cups, plates, & napkins
If you have a pregame in your dorm - which you totally shouldn't do, because that's against the rules -make sure you have cups. Everyone always needs cups. It's also good to have disposable silverware for whenever you eat in your dorm.

7. Command strips
If you don't want your dorm room to suck or be really, really boring, then you need command strips to easily hang decor on the walls. The best thing about command strips is they come off, leaving no damage behind.

8. Netflix
Honestly, having a TV is not necessary. When I was a freshman, I barely watched shows, but if I did, I just used Netflix and my laptop.

9. Mattress pad
You don't want to be the freshman with the most uncomfortable bed. That's a terrible rep to have. So, find a good mattress pad.

10. Extra phone chargers
You will not go through freshman year of college without losing your charger or someone taking it. There are charger thieves everywhere.

11. Protein bars, goldfish, cereal, FOOD
Just like having a mini fridge lets you grab some cool snacks, keeping a bin with some goodies in it is a life saver. Instead of buying drunk eats and wasting tons of money, you can drunk eat from your secret stash of Goldfish instead.

12. Jewelry organizer
Preferably hanging, so it saves you space. One thing you'll learn about college is that shit goes missing. It's really easy to lose or misplace stuff, but having a home for everything makes it easier to keep track.

13. A shoe bin, or shoe organizer
If you are a girl, you literally cannot survive without one of these. You can find shoe organizers that hang on closets, or you can even find ones that have a hook that can be hung from command strips on a wall.

14. Actually buy your textbooks
I used to avoid buying textbooks in order to save money for literally anything else, but then my dad found out and shit hit the fan. If you're spending money on your education, don't skimp out on the books, seriously, you need them. Definitely don't buy your books from the bookstore, use sites like Chegg instead or rent used.

15. This one is for the boys and also really chill guys: Xbox or any sort of entertainment system
It really depends on the type of person you are, but some people literally can't live without a TV or game system. If this is you, bring one, it makes a difference!

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College Life |  Source: dailygazette.com

Albany Won't Play in North Carolina This Year

Good for Andrew Cuomo for taking a stand.

Duke men's basketball team was, at one point in time, scheduled to play Albany's men's basketball team on Nov. 12. As of Thursday, the teams are no longer scheduled to play.

According to ESPN's Andy Katz, the game will not be played because of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order banning publicly funded, non-essential travel to North Carolina. The order came in response to North Carolina's HB2 bill, which shamefully and negatively affects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the state.

For further reading on the bill, here is a very helpful breakdown, but for the sake of brevity, it is the bill you likely saw branded as the Bathroom Bill on CNN. One of its biggest purposes is to deny transgender people the right to use the bathroom they feel comfortable using.

Because the University at Albany is a public university, the Great Danes' men's basketball team can't use public funds to travel to North Carolina under Cuomo's executive order.

Good, right? It definitely seems good on the surface. We need as many powerful people and organizations doing as much as they can to pressure North Carolina lawmakers into reversing the bill. It's also good to see that Cuomo's order isn't just lip service.

But, of course, plenty of sports fans didn't see it as a good thing. The Twitter responses to Katz's tweets on Thursday were, as they always are, pathetic and lacking any sort of perspective.

Yes, let's think of the "injustices" against men playing basketball instead of the actual injustices against transgender people living in, and traveling through, North Carolina.

The discussion around North Carolina travel bans and protests began when Bruce Springsteen decided to cancel a show in North Carolina in April. The idea was clear: what your state is doing to transgender people is wrong, therefore I will not reward your state with my music.

Plenty of applause was heaped in Springsteen's direction, and rightfully so, for taking a stand. But then there were those who felt completely bypassing the entire state was the wrong way to handle the scenario; instead, they posited, why not perform for the people stuck in North Carolina, being affected by the regressive bill, and then donate the proceeds towards fighting it?

Tons of musicians followed suit in that manner, including Animal Collective, Father John Misty, and Cyndi Lauper.

So the question arises -- is a straightforward travel ban the right way to approach playing basketball in a state with such a disgustingly insulting bill in place the right way to handle this situation? Maybe not. Maybe Cuomo could have handled his disdain for the bill differently, or more effectively. I don't have the answers to how that would work.

I do know that sacrificing sports is a tremendously tiny price to pay in the hopes that maybe transgender people will be treated like just that: people.

For Duke athletic director Kevin White's part, he told ESPN's Katz that North Carolina's position on the HB2 bill is "very troubling, if not embarrassing," which is good... but not great.

It is embarrassing, period.

It is embarrassing for a member of the United States of America to be targeting a demographic of its citizens and denying them basic human rights.

And it is embarrassing that some sports fans consider a game more important than fighting for the rights of their fellow human beings.

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College Life |  Source: blogspot.com

Seven Tips For People Who Have No Idea How To Study

The work you put in is the work you'll get out.

There are a number of ways students study for college exams, however what works best for someone else may not work the best for you. I've tried many ways to study for tests that my friends swore by, and they just didn't cut it for me.

Sometimes you have to experiment with a lot of different techniques before you can find one that works best for you. Just be quick about it before you rack up too many C's.

1. Take Notes on Paper
The simplest and most effective way to take notes is the old school way, by hand with a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper. Studies show that writing down material helps you remember it better than if you were to type it out.

Taking notes on paper forces you to pay more attention to what you're writing and what the professor is saying. I promise you you're material retention rate will be far higher this way.

2. Take Notes on the Powerpoint or Word
If the old notes on paper suggestions doesn't work for you, Keynote and Powerpoint are great resources for taking notes if your professor gives you access to the lecture presentation beforehand. Simply download the Powerpoint to your computer prior to class and take notes in the comments box below the slide.

You can type much faster than you can write, and you won't have to try to deal with your horrendous handwriting while studying. You can also take notes on Word if you don't have access to the Powerpoint. Just don't fall into your temptation to type "Facebook" into the search bar.

3. Re-watch Lectures
If you are one of the lucky few who have a class with a professor that records his lectures, you should take advantage. Re-watching lectures can help you listen for important things that you may have missed the first time through. Plus, if you can commit to the time it takes to re-watch or listen, hearing the material again helps engrain it into your brain better.

You can even listen to the lecture while reading or looking over old homework assignments. However, if your college professor sucks, this may not be that worth it.

4. Read the Book
Oh no! Not reading! This one comes with a caution sign. I found myself reading my biology book before my first exam, and the only thing I learned was that I wasted way too much time. The book is supposed to help clear topics up for you.

Do not simply read it. It won't do you any good, I learned the hard way. Find the key points in the book that may be confusing and use the book as a secondary resource to learning tricky material. Use it wisely and it will benefit you.

5. Study Groups
Study groups are perfect exam preparation. Having people in your same situation who can help talk you through tricky material is nothing to take for granted.

Professors have been teaching and studying what they lecture for years, and sometimes they don't realize why we aren't understanding some of the harder concepts. If you and someone else can trade knowledge on things you know especially well, everyone benefits. And if neither of you know anything, you can bond over that and know you're not alone.

6. Quizlets
These are a gift from the gods when studying on the go. You can use practice exam questions that other people have made or you can make your own personalized flashcards and quizzes.

They are exceptionally easy to use and can seriously help with memorization. It provides all of the benefits of asking a friend to quiz you without having to ask a friend to quiz you.

7. Go to Your Review Sessions
Review sessions are hands down the best way for you to study. It's just like a class so you feel as though you are relearning everything. If your professor offers reviews from student teachers, go to them and sit in the first few rows.

You are bound to pay attention and learn a few things. They have all taken the class from that professor, so they have some insight on what will be on the test and are generally more relaxed than the professor themselves.