Watch Me Glow Up
College Life | 

Watch Me Glow Up

What happens when you don't peak in high school.

Chances are, the super popular kids from your high school probably aren't doing much now. And that super shy, but seriously smart kid from your bio class freshman year is a total smokeshow and has a full ride to an Ivy League. It's the way it always goes.

And I'm also going to go ahead and take a guess that you yourself did not peak in high school. While it may have sucked at the time, you're one of the lucky ones. Here's why.

You see so many people who peaked early end up at community college in your hometown.
I'm not bashing community college here. What I am bashing is people who stick around because they're so scared to leave the small-time fame and popularity they had in high school behind.

They peaked so hard that they aren't really sure where their life will go from there. That's a pretty sad thing for an 18-year-old kid. Thank God you have plenty of peaking left to do, and can look forward to new places and new adventures without the fear that you've already experienced the best life has to offer you.

The people who were rude to you in high school want to be your best friend now.
It's a classic Cinderella story. (Wow, that was fucking cheesy.) Honestly though, high-school-wallflower-turns-successful-and-attractive-adult is a tale as old as time. Plus it always ends in "popular" kids from your high school either wanting to fuck you or be you. Too bad they didn't see how great you were then. You're on to bigger and better things.

You probably won't peak in college either.
This is just as much of a blessing as not peaking in high school is. If I have 75-plus years on this Earth I'm going to be super bummed if I hit my peak before I even turn 22. There is so much life to live after school--but you already knew that.

You're more successful than your peers.
If you didn't peak in high school it's probably because you were too busy focusing on other things. While you had your good group of friends, a thriving social life probably wasn't the top priority in your life. You were focused on grades or a passion turned side hustle and trust me, if that isn't benefiting you now, it's definitely going to.

You're more content wherever you are in your life.
You don't have any expectations for how much people will love you or how many friends you have. You're taking it day by day and enjoying everything life has to offer. It's not that your expectations are low, you've just learned from watching the people who peaked in high school that being popular and cool isn't necessarily a key to a solid life.

You have a lot to look forward to.
There is reward in not peaking too young. You get the chance to look forward to something exciting. You get the chance to live everyday knowing you're only getting better. It's all uphill from here.

Image Alt
College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

You Don't Want To Peak In College

Cue crushing Natty can against forehead.

Have you ever met someone who peaked in college? Allow me to paint a picture for you.

A guy who peaks in college has an endless supply of midcalf socks, always leaves read receipts on and makes sure you know how ~absolutely blacked out~ he always is (newsflash: your night actually is more fun if you remember it).

A girl who peaks in college physically has to snap story so people know they're having fun, needs 75 people's advice on how to respond to a text, and always has daddy issues.

Its funny, because you don't actually want to peak in college. You want to enjoy college, but if the best you got is already over by the time you're 22... that's not a good sign.

Peaking in college is like smoking cigarettes. It feels and looks cool, but once it's finished no one gives a shit anymore. In fact, no one even remembered you were smoking in the first place. Everyone else has already upgraded to cuban cigars like a classy motherfucker, yet here you are, in the corner harping on your top frat cigarette because you can't afford a cuban.

But there are three things to prevent yourself from falling subject to this black hole.

First, don't take your image so seriously. For example, the social hierarchy will not change you. If you're genuinely the worst, I hate to break it to you, but that will simply not change regardless of your made-up social ranking.

When you leave college and your #topsrat status diminishes, you'll find yourself in the oversized shirt of a past hook up, weeping into a pint of Ben and Jerry's as "Forever Young" softly plays in the background.

Second, do what makes you happy. If that means aggressively krumping in parties to the point that it makes others around you severely uncomfortable (definitely not speaking from personal experience...), get low homie. If you concern yourself with what matters to you, then you'll find those that matter.

Third, take risks. Try out for an acapella group. Do stand-up. Contribute the unpopular opinion. Hit on your professor (jk definitely don't do that). I can tell you right now, you will always surprise yourself.

So if you want to peak in college, perhaps you should rethink that. I don't know about you, but I want to be as dope as Betty White when I grow up, and she certainly didn't limit her coolness timeline to be as small your ex-boyfriend's junk.

Image Alt
College Life |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

Keeping In Touch With High School Teachers

Just another excuse to buy avocado toast, millennials.

Over the weekend, two of my best friends and I went to brunch with our high school senior class dean. Mr. Buckingham (Buck for short), who helped my close friends and I through senior year tremendously.

As we all exchanged stories about our school, he referred to someone as an octopus, to which I responded "Buck, you are the definition of an octopus." Buck isn't and has never been your typical high school teacher or class dean.

By octopus, he meant someone who concerns themselves in various different issues, many of which never involved them in the first place. Buck continually tried to help struggling and misunderstood students, using the-road-less-traveled-method, and stepped on many teachers toes in doing so.

Good thing he did though, because he was the only person who the students actually trusted to help them. (He was also easily the funniest, most what-you-see-is-what-you-get teacher I've ever met).

Buck is a no-bullshit, no-nonsense guy who was my absolute saving grace senior year.

But I know I'm not the only student who has a Buck. I think that everyone has had a teacher who has made a hugely positive impact on their lives.

Perhaps a teacher worked with you individually so you could have a better grasp on the material. Maybe they told you the honest truth when no one else would. Or maybe, they were simply there for you.

Our teachers before college help shape our lives and experiences significantly. They have, in one way or another, made it possible for us to go to college and be successful, and such an important relationship doesn't, and shouldn't, have to end at high school graduation.

Most students probably only have a strong relationship with a couple of teachers, which makes sense. There were many, many teachers who impacted my school experience in a wonderful way, but the relationships we developed resulted from classes or club activities.

Buck and I became close because he got to know me as a person, rather than a student. This is what made him so beloved, he gave a shit about who you were, and everything else was secondary. I only needed one exceptionally important bond, because that's the one that made the biggest difference to me.

Buck was always a day-one, real-one and continues to be just that. He continues to be a mentor to me, and the amity between a teacher and a student is wonderfully unique and in many cases, timeless. Rather than telling our teachers how much they meant to us, show it.

I really appreciate the ability to come home from school and reminisce on the past with someone who truly understands those experiences. Anyone who is an incoming freshman, cherish these bonds. Do not let them go.

College professors will never come close to your high school teachers in this way. But for those of you who have neglected to keep in touch with teachers you loved dearly, it's never too late (and usually they'll pay for your meal).

Image Alt
College Life |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

How The Penn State Greek Life Scandal Impacts Prospective Students

Is it too late to switch schools?

Following the death of a student at a Penn State fraternity this year, restrictions were put on the school's Greek life that completely revamped fraternities and sororities. There had to be consequences and the rules were well deserved. The university couldn't sit back and do nothing in response to the incident.

No matter what had to be done at the university level, high school seniors looking to attend PSU in the fall will have to factor this into their pros and cons lists. At my high school, a huge portion of the graduating class always goes to Penn State because I live in Pennsylvania.

Almost a third of last year's class currently attends PSU. But once the news came out, about the death and repercussions, it had an effect on decisions for my class. Obviously, a student doesn't choose a school solely on Greek life and partying, but let's be honest -- if you want to party, find a school that parties right.

And right now, Penn State is not the place for that. What was once a known party school, is now on high restriction, lock down mode.

Not only did it affect why they didn't want to go to Penn State anymore, it affected their ability to visit the school. For a while, between February and April, all partying was cut off and Greek life was on full probation.

It's hard to get a feel for a college when you can't go out at night. A college party is a college party, but it still helps to experience the actual nightlife of a school.

It even influenced the minds of prospective underclassman in high school. Juniors and Sophomores who are beginning to look at schools now have to keep in mind the renovated Penn State University. It's not the same school it was, at least for now, and that can change whether or not they apply.

Committed students also began to doubt their decision. I have a friend who committed to Penn State as early as December, and this did not make her happy. While she openly states that she loves her future school school and is sticking by it, but in reality the situation has been pretty upsetting and is making her second guess her choice.

Of course I'm worried, but I still plan on making the most out of my college career. This incident should serve as a wake up call and a warning to current or soon to be college students that things can go wrong and alcohol can be dangerous. As long as you drink and party smart, there shouldn't be anything to stress about.

Image Alt
College Life | 

Throwback to Season 1

Every transition is a new season of the ridiculous sitcom of my life.

I have this running joke with my current friend group where I refer to some of them as the, "Season 4," cast in my life. As I've graduated high school, entered college, and then got shuffled into my major, friends have come and gone.

Every transition is a new season of the ridiculous sitcom of my life.

So, Season 4, the season of my Maturity ArcTM, where I'm bravely forging ahead with my life, taking opportunities and preparing for life after graduation. Things are going good. Great, even. So, of course, there's gotta be a callback to my Origin ArcTM.

And that's when we start bringing back the Season 1 characters that we thought were out the door.

To put it less dramatically, a friend from high school came to visit me, and we had a really fun time. No awkward silences, no not really knowing what to say to each other, we just picked up from where we'd left off.

Being fairly out of touch with my graduating class, my time with them has kind of fuzzied out in my brain, but it took maybe an hour (and three beers) for it all to come back. The embarrassing stories, the inter-clique politics, the illicit romances.

God, high school was truly one of the most infuriating times of my life, but looking back on it after having graduated almost three years ago it all seems so funny. And past that, it was just so nice to have someone who's known me for so long back in my life for a night.

If you graduated and didn't look back then that was your decision. Burn those bridges, man. Don't let anyone tell you what to do. But laughing about all the dumb shit you did or saw is miles better with a beer and an old friend than it is by yourself.

The first season may be shittier than the rest, but hey, it's there for a reason.

Image Alt
College Life | 

High School vs. College

It's a whole new ballgame, people.

Throughout high school, my teachers would always tell us they were "preparing us for college." And whenever my parents refused to help me with a problem--admittedly, one I was perfectly capable of fixing myself--they would say they were "making me independant for college life." But once I actually stepped foot on campus, it was pretty obvious: Nothing that I learned in my high school days could be applied to my new life.

College is, without a doubt, a whole new ballgame.

First off, in college there is no such thing as "popularity" like there was in high school. There isn't a table during lunch where all the popular kids sit. There aren't dances that you need a date for or games where all the "cool" students sit in one section. No one cares about how you dress, because everyone looks like a slob all the time. Friends aren't made by wearing the latest trends or by sitting at a certain table at lunch. In college, you make friends by being kind and considerate. Seriously. College is stressful enough on its own; and no one has the time or the desire to hang out with negative or snobby individuals. So don't be one. In college, the people with a lot of friends are the ones who are genuinely nice to others.

In high school, I would always try to skip class. By the end of each year, my absences would be maxed out and I literally couldn't miss another day. But in college, attendance usually doesn't matter. Many professors don't even take attendance. But the thing is, in college, every class actually does matter. Admit it, there would be days you went to class in high school and probably walked out of there not having learned anything. That does not happen in college--There may be a whole section on a test of information that was covered in just one day. And conveniently, that will probably be the day you decided to take a nap instead of attend class. Before I left for my second semester of college, my dad calculated how much each class was worth: If I skipped class to take a nap, that nap would cost me $70 dollars. I haven't skipped a class since.

Another college trend: Effort is attractive. Studying hard and using your resources is not looked down upon in college, whereas in high school, my peers would always pressure me into doing something fun, rather than studying for a test. But in college, every student is paying thousands of dollars just to learn, so most take it more seriously. In college, effort is noticed, appreciated, and highly respected among college students.

Something I always disliked about high school was that I felt like I had to look, act, or talk a certain way to be accepted. And when I look back on it, that way of thinking kept me from doing a lot of things that I would have really enjoyed or excelled at.

But being a college student gives you the freedom to break out, try new things, and embrace a different side of yourself. You may have been the cheerleader in high school, but you can be a sports writer in college. Or you may have been a band kid in your hometown, but in college you can embrace Greek life. There are no labels when you take your first steps on campus. You can create your own label--and your own college identity.