Tips for Staying in Touch with High School Friends
College Life |  Source: michaeljung

Tips for Staying in Touch with High School Friends

It's hard, but it's worth it.

As an incoming college freshman, I know I'll be on a new campus soon enough, making new friends. From what I've gathered, it's perfectly OK to not stay in touch with every single friend from high school.

It's just not reasonable if you want to make new friends in college and not spend every waking minute on iMessage or Snapchat. But, if there's a few friends from high school you'd like to stay in touch with, here are some tips for making that happen.

Tip #1
The first step in staying in touch with high school friends is choosing the friends who you really want to remain in your life. These are the select people who will be there to hear all about your freshman orientation, the crazy stories you have from college, and the ones who you can talk to about anything. This may very well mean cutting ties with old friendships because, let's be honest, not all friendships are forever. It is very difficult to do this, but sometimes it's for the better. And, always remember, nothing is forever.

Tip #2
If you want to have someone your life or be involved in their life, you have to make it a habit. If you don't get in a routine of communicating with someone, chances are, you won't. You won't get to hang out with them in person that often, so find a way to effectively stay in touch.

Tip #3
The most common way to stay in touch with people is through social media. It's easy to see what people are up to via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. However, you don't have to rely on social media to stay in touch. Remember that you can call or FaceTime your high school friends on a weekly or biweekly basis. It'll feel very comforting to hear their voices, almost like you're with them in real life!

Tip #4
Write letters. This may seem like an ancient way of communicating, but it is an extremely fun and personal way. It's very exciting to receive mail at college, and writing letters can be a great destresser. Buy some cute stationery and colorful pens to send letters. Exchanging letters does take time, so you won't have the pressure to immediately text or call someone back.

Tip #5
Send care packages. If you have some extra time (and money), send your special high school friends some love in the form of their favorite candy or food, a picture, and apparel from your college. This will truly make their day and show that you really do care for and miss them.

Tip #7
Visit your high school friends at their schools. This way you can temporarily be a part of their present lives. I know I'm looking forward to visiting my best friend from high school and going to basketball games at the Carrier Dome with her!

Tip #6
When you are home, make sure you set aside time to spend with your high school friends. This is your opportunity to hang out with them in person. Summer in particular is a great time to plan a weekend getaway or road trip.

Staying in touch with distant friends is a challenge no doubt, but it is possible - and well worth it.

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College Life |  Source: mervas (edited)

Why You Should Thank Your Favorite High School Teacher

They got you where you are today.

As a junior in college, high school feels like it happened a million years ago. Sometimes I think back and wonder why the hell I acted (and dressed) like I did. But one thing is for sure: I learned some pretty valuable lessons from teachers who supported me through the growing pains.

They gave you second chances.
Once you get to college, the second chance is a long forgotten privilege that no longer exists. Honestly, be thankful for the test corrections and re-dos because they won't last long.

They gave you a hiding place.
Some of my favorite times from high school were spent sitting before and after school with my friends in my favorite teacher's classroom. If you were late after the bell, they gave you a note just because (and thank God, because in-school suspension sucked ass).

They know your name.
I really freaking miss my teachers who knew my name, my parents' names, my dog's name, my second cousin, etc. It's crazy going from a personal relationship to being a number in a giant lecture class. Be thankful for the teachers who cared enough to get to know you.

They were flexible and understanding.
I'm not saying that these types of professors don't exist in college, but high school teachers care a whole lot more about your orthodontist appointment than your calc professor ever will. The concept of excused absences seems to have been lost on some professors...My high school teachers put up with a lot more than they had to.

They were your coaches, your club sponsors, and your mentors.
One of the best things about high school is the way that it's all intertwined. I'd turn in a test in my AP Government class, and then start putting on my cleats because my teacher was my soccer coach. Also, it was nice being able to keep my stack of book club books in my sponsor's classroom so I didn't risk major hallway accidents.

They got you where you are.
If you're in college now, chances are you had a high school teacher write you a kick ass recommendation letter. Thank them for believing in you and signing their name on something that said you were "a joy to work with."

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College Life |  Source: @amyjhumphries

These Are the Friends You Need Freshman Year

College is new and hard. Trust me, you'll need help getting by.

Everyone knows college is hard, so having a good squad is crucial. Here are a few different types of friends you should make your freshman year to help you brave it all.

The Orientation Friend
This is the person who goes through orientation with you. Maybe you stay close, maybe you don't. But, either way, you go through the beginning with her and she helps you out big time. Time will tell if you end up staying friends and sharing interests.

The Class Friend
You have several classes together and hit each other up to study, get notes from a missed class or to grab food before class. Being on the same schedule unifies you and makes life easier.

The Best Guy Friend
This one is important. You may have hooked up or you may have always friend-zoned the shit out of each other, but he's always been there for you. Finding a great best guy friend is rare, but super important. I don't know where I'd be without mine.

The Going Out Friend
You only hit each other up when you want to go out and get drunk. You have similar tastes in alcohol, frats, and drugs but you don't really hang out in broad daylight. They're fun and a good time, but you never really trust them to listen to your problems or study with them.

The Hookup Buddy
He's easy and the relationship has no strings attached. He's the one you text if you end up coming home alone or if you need a pick me up at any random time of day. He isn't worth anything more and your conversations usually don't go anywhere because the only interest you share is sexual.

The Best Friend
You may meet in a sorority or live in the same hall or may just meet in some random coincidental way, but this is your person. You go through the highs and lows together and they're your ride or die. You won't find this person right away, but when you do you'll know.

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College Life |  Source: (edited)

School, Social Life, or Sleep: You Don't Have to Pick Two.

Here's how to balance all three this semester.

It was probably a burnt-out, last-semester senior who came up with the saying: "School, social life, sleep. Pick two." And for the most part, it's true. Some students slave over homework, pass out afterward, and neglect their friends. Others choose to get some rest and hang out with buddies, only to find their grades slipping.

But the "pick two" problem doesn't have to be real. While it seems impossible to balance all three, it's definitely possible, and it's not even that difficult. All three areas are important in their own way, and you shouldn't ignore any of them.

The idea relies on the assumption that these three items are at odds with each other. Really, they're not. You definitely have to do some balancing, but they can all coexist nicely. Sure, it's a little tricky sometimes, but with a little practice, you can achieve balance. Here's how:

Sleep comes first. Getting good grades is important, but if you're crawling to class on 2 hours of sleep, it's not gonna happen. In fact, sleep shouldn't even be in the "pick two" triangle because it's the only thing out of the three that you absolutely need to live. The human body needs rest to do literally everything, so this should always come first. Find out how much sleep you need (7-8 hours is best), and plan for that. (And no, napping during the day isn't a substitute.)

Know when to prioritize school over friends and vice versa. If you've got a test tomorrow, don't spend tonight at a party. You won't always be able to get everything done, so you might find yourself hanging out with friends when you still have work to do. But don't make a habit of it, and make sure you get as much done as possible.

Schedule time for homework. Treat homework like it's a class. Set aside some time each day to get stuff done. This is way better than having to squeeze in homework during random points throughout the day. That's inconvenient and annoying. Get it all done in one fell swoop, and then enjoy the rest of the day.

Hack your schedule. If you have a work-heavy major or want a more flexible day, find workarounds in your schedule. Taking online classes is a great way of making more time in the day. You can work at your own pace, but the work is still there. Or try scheduling your classes in one solid block instead of having breaks in between. You want to group your academic activities as closely together as possible so, like scheduling in homework, you can get it all done at once.

Don't think of school, sleep, and your social life as enemies. They can work together surprisingly well. Most importantly, don't make a habit of going overboard with any of the three categories. Make them as equal as possible, and you'll find that balance.

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College Life |  Source: annalise17

Calling All High School Seniors

Wait, you have to do work in college too?

I don't know if you've been told yet but the end is near, and by 'the end' I mean high school. It's time to face facts, there's more to the world than high school drama. Trust me, that bubble you've been living in is about to get violently popped. No worries though, I'm sure the air is a lot more suitable than that soapy consistency you've gotten used to.

First thing's first, college is nothing like high school. Not only are you taking classes there, but you're literally living at school. Welcome home! With that being said, it is a cultural shock. You will get homesick. There will be times when all you want is to do is be a kid again. As long as you embrace that fact now, you won't be as surprised when you get punched in the face with a ton of nostalgia.

Another difference is the size. Even if it's considered to be a small college, it's still a lot bigger than your average high school. With that added size comes the distance that a high school lacks. Which diminishes the ability for cliques to be as noticeable and as "clique-y." If you think that you're going to graduate as Regina George and be Regina George in college, you're horribly mistaken.

There are no teachers in college, there are only professors. What does that mean, you ask? It means that in college, the professors will get paid whether you pass or fail. This is where accountability comes in. You are fully responsible for your grades and everything else that you do. YOU have to make sure that papers are turned in. YOU have to make sure that you've studied. YOU have to make sure that you understand your class.

This is your future, therefore, it's your responsibility and it rests in your hands. Be careful. SHOW UP TO CLASS. I know it's tempting to stay in bed, because technically you have that choice, but trust me, that extra sleep is not worth it. Not when it comes to your GPA. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Like I said before, the professor gets paid regardless of your grade, so grow some balls and raise your hand. I guarantee that there's someone else who's asking themselves the very same question, so just go ahead and help a fellow student out.

Lastly, let's talk about parties. I know it can be really easy to turn up every weekend, and I know that the idea of partaking in things that you aren't legally allowed to partake in seems a lot more fascinating than sitting in a class preparing for a future that adds dollar signs to your bank account, but you have responsibilities. There's a strong possibility that if you party every weekend you're neglecting your responsibilities and will end up flunking out of college and living in your parents basement. It's okay to have fun, but remember that there's a fine balance between work and play.

So, just to reiterate, your freedom is in the palm of your hand. Neither your parents nor your teachers have shoved this choice down your throat. It's time to be an adult. Procrastination really does kill your GPA and your bank account (college tuition is hella expensive). Money is never easily accessible, so please don't spend it all on illegal substances.

Oh and one more thing, diversity is a real thing, not just something you see on television, so get ready for those who speak, look, and believe differently than you. All in all, college is an amazingly euphoric and self-assessing place, no need to worry about it! It's a big transition that we all have to go through.

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College Life |  Source: jennifer.dziak14

I Transferred From My Dream School

And it was the best decision I have ever made.

My dad went to The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and when I say he went there I mean he eats, sleeps, and breathes his alma mater. I was literally bred to attend Wisco. My baby pictures feature me in Wisconsin with my baby blanket that pictured Bucky, the mascot, as a backdrop. I owned more apparel from that school than regular clothing. I literally had two sets of earrings that featured the "W" emblem. My family even vacationed at the college and surrounding town one summer, which was cool with me because they had some really good ice cream, and at age seven that is all that matters.

My father's love of Wisconsin, the surrounding town, and his experience while attending made me love the school passionately. When I reached high school there was no question in my mind that it was the school I was going to attend. I guess I must have missed one little detail though, I actually needed to get good grades. Low and behold, junior year when I visited and spoke with an advisor he pretty much flat-out told me I wouldn't get in unless I transferred after a year or two. It was December 12th of my senior year when I received the letter that informed me I had been denied. I expected that, but it stung nonetheless. I got accepted to another school and briefly attended, while working my ass off to actually get good grades for once, before transferring to the school I had always wanted to attend, Wisconsin.

My first semester there was awesome, the parties were fun, the town was perfect and I made a few good friends. I went home pleased and confident that this was the place for me, feeling as though everything had fallen into place. Sophomore year rolled around and from day one things were different. My friends were involved in greek life, I was not. I lived alone and I felt isolated, bored, and frustrated. My friends weren't treating me nicely, I wasn't producing the grades I was used to getting, and it all left me feeling empty and alone. I was a two-hour plane ride or fourteen-hour drive from home, and my entire world came crashing down. I tried to get a job, make new friends and branch out by joining clubs. But everywhere I turned was a dead end, I felt hopeless and frustrated. I had worked so hard to be able to attend my dream school, yet nothing was working out. I had never felt so unhappy.

In the midst of tears, I got a phone call from a family friend. I cried to her about my loneliness, lack of a social life, and frustration. I was encountering such a serious struggle and I didn't know what to do, no part of me wanted to give up on my dream, but it seemed that I hated everything except the name and the physical attributes of the school. I had worked so hard, and this was my dream school so what the hell?! She told me that it might have just meant to be a dream, not a reality and those words stung more than anything.

Following that phone call I talked to my mom and asked her to book me a flight home to New Jersey. Once I was home a few weeks later, I embarked on the three-hour ride to State College, Pennsylvania. I'd visited Penn State before but not with an open mind. I visited some of my best friends for homecoming weekend and had the time of my life. I teetered on the decision to transfer for two more months. On a snowy November morning, Wisconsin had their last tailgating game day and I was sitting in my room, crying over the difficulties I was still encountering. On a morning that was supposed to be fun, I was sobbing. After getting a job I really liked and joining interesting clubs which did not improve my experience, I made the decision to transfer to Penn State. I made this decision knowing that there was no turning back and that I couldn't second guess myself, or I would end up frustrated and stuck again. Honestly, I still miss Madison, but I wouldn't trade my final decision for anything. I finally feel like I am where I belong, and although it wasn't where I always pictured myself, I love it regardless.

Dream schools aren't always meant to be reality, they are sometimes meant to be just that, a dream. I am beyond happy with my decision to transfer and I have had some of the best days, weeks, and months of my life at State College. If you are like I was, close-minded and convinced there's only one school for you, take a step back. Take it from me, you can enjoy a school only as much as you let yourself. I've met some of the coolest people at PSU and I no longer feel that horrible frustration with my college experience that I previously felt. I will love Bucky till I die, and when I get older I'm sure I'll stroll the streets of beautiful Madison with only fond memories. But I'll rock a Penn State sweatshirt while I do it.