When Your GPA Just Ain't What It Used to Be
College Life |  Source: Tatiana Popova (edited)

When Your GPA Just Ain't What It Used to Be

So long high school 4.0's and Straight A's, now I just hope I pass

We all joke about it during finals. We all see the memes about crashing GPA's. But most of us secretly know that our GPA will never actually fall all that low. We know we will pass our classes, keep that pristine GPA and move on to stress again next semester.


Or, at least, you know that until you check your grades and suddenly, your GPA is a whole point lower than it has ever been.


And frankly, that's pretty common when it comes to college.


College is tough, tougher than high school ever made you believe (preparing you for college, my ass). But the thing is, grades and GPA don't define you anymore. So here are a few things to do after your grades don't live up to expectations.

Give yourself some time
Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you did the best you could. Pour yourself a shot or two or twelve. Maybe throw a little funeral for your GPA. Do whatever it is you usually do to make yourself feel better.

You can cry and scream and hide in bed, let yourself be sad. But only for a bit, your grade point average is not something to wallow on.
Ask why
Did you not do well in your classes because:

A) they were hard as f**k for everybody (Organic Chemistry where you at)?

Or B) you hated the class and never put any effort into studying?

If your answer is A, then chill. You are fine, you are taking difficult classes and chances are good that your grades look pretty similar to that of your peers. But if your answer is B, maybe it is time to think about heading a different direction. Take classes that actually interest you, or even think about switching majors.
Change how you study
Did you put everything off until the last minute? Stop. Did you spend countless hours in the library until you went a little stir crazy? Leave. Did you stay out until 2 AM the night of your midterm? Change!

It took me awhile to realize that I hated studying in the library. I much prefer to study in the corner of a cozy coffee shop. I'm so much more productive in that environment than if I were to spend 12 hours in the library. Studying for college classes is all about finding what works for you and managing your time efficiently.
Don't, and I mean DON'T, panic.
Yeah, your grades weren't up to par this time around. But don't lose all hope, because, well, it happens to everyone at one point or another. It is really important to pick yourself up, fix your habits and go in fresh once classes begin again.

So, whether bad grades to you means a 3.8 or a 2.0, this semester didn't go as planned. Just prepare to work harder and smarter next time around. And also know that in the real world, no one will really care about one semester's GPA.

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College Life |  Source: Zsolt Biczo (edited)

Shit Straight People Need To Stop Asking Their Queer Classmates

Are you straight or gay?

Wonder why that openly queer classmate sighs whenever a debate about queerness and sexuality comes up in class? Maybe it's not just the debate. They roll their eyes whenever a half of an obvious straight couple open their mouth.

What goes on through that classmate's head? Lucky for you, I can give you a little insight to LGBTQ+ microaggressions, and why they're so awful.

"That's so gay."
I'm sorry, did you just imply being gay is a negative thing? In that case, maybe I should start making comments like "Wow, that's really straight."

"Can I write about how people choose to be gay?"
No. My existence and sexuality is not something up for debate. The fact that some little prick thinks that being queer is a choice is super gross. Not to mention it's a harmful belief when it comes to closeted classmates who had to hear that question. It's demeaning and basically says to the world, "Your existence has no meaning!"

"Who's the man/woman in the relationship?"
Heteronormativity strikes again, folks! Why do people assume I would date a girl who acts like a man? Is it because I act girly? Do I need to stay within the boundaries of a heterosexual relationship? Last I checked, I'm pretty sure I would date a girl because I like girls. Not due to femininity or masculinity.

"You're bi? Wanna have a threesome with me and my girlfriend?"
Bi girls on Tinder get this shit a lot. Just because a bi girl is interested in more than two genders does not mean she wants to fuck with you and your girlfriend at once.

"You're too pretty to be a lesbian."
Not every lesbian is the spitting image of Orange is the New Black's Big Boo. Lesbians can (and do!) wear dresses and traditionally feminine clothes. Lesbians can be pretty. Lesbians come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Just like every other fucking human being on this planet. Crazy, I know. Assuming all lesbians are ugly is really insulting.

"Are you straight or are you gay?"
Oh boy. The straights are back at it again, thinking in binaries. For some reason, it just doesn't seem to occur to people that there are more sexualities out there than just straight or gay. There's bisexual, pansexual, asexual, so on and so forth. And I'm not even going to get into the "there are only two genders" belief because I'm going to blow too many fucking minds.

"How does sex work?"
Let me ask you the same question: How does sex work? Feels pretty uncomfortable. How do you think it feels for a queer person? It's not like we're already scrutinized for so many other things out there. But yeah, go ahead, just ask us about our sex life, which should be just as personal as yours, but apparently it's not.

"You just haven't met the right person yet."
Oh. My. God. Being asexual doesn't mean I haven't met the right person. It just means I don't experience sexual attraction. I can still have sex (although it doesn't interest me personally). Asexuality varies from person to person, and it has nothing to do with meeting the right person.

"Wow, you're gay? Do you know ___?"
Just because queer kids hang out with other queer kids does not mean I know your gay friend from Oregon. We don't have a special club with a list of contacts. I can't just call up Ru Paul to see how he's doing with the latest season of Ru Paul's Drag Race.

"Why isn't there a straight pride week?"
There will never be a straight pride week until straight kids are bullied into committing suicide for being straight. There will never be a straight pride week until straight couples are threatened for holding one another's hands on the streets, kissing in public, or any other examples of PDA. There will never be a straight pride week until straight people are killed for being straight.

"God, why can't they shut up about being gay?"
I don't know, it's an integral part of our identity. And being queer isn't exactly the most acceptable thing in the U.S. yet. We need to be vocal so that people understand that we're human. We're tired of being silenced and oppressed. We're at a point where we can be open about being queer, but not as open as we'd like. Besides, if you can talk about your partner for hours on end, so can we.

Preferably without any of these microaggressions that straight couples won't be asked.

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College Life |  Source: twenty20.com

Four Items I Always Travel With

Get through this life with as little as you need for as long as you can.

Get through this life with as little as you need for as long as you can.

Though I have picked up many rules to live by in the few short years that I have been traveling this world, the rule above is one of those rules that I've come to live by, not only when I am traveling, but more importantly when I am not.

However, in regards to when I am traveling, there are always four items that I carry with me...

Backpack


Source: Ratte

This is my backpack. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

It's my opinion that any hack-ass backpacker knows that their backpack sits atop their gear food chain. It's how you carry all your stuff; through state to state, country to country, and adventure to adventure.

In a way, it is your mobile home; a place to keep the shit you already have, and a place to store the shit that you are going to pick up along the way--the shit that you can't carry in your heart or your mind.

Black Clothing


Source: Ratte

There are three reasons why I usually only travel with black clothing nowadays. First off, if all your clothes are black, then, in principle, every configuration of clothing you can come up with should, in principle, match. Second, when it is winter, black clothing will absorb the sun's heat and when it's hot the black clothing will hide sweat. Third, you'll look stylish whether you are hitting up the clubs in Berlin or breaking into an abandoned dance hall, the likes of which are also in Berlin.

A Book


Source: Ratte

Someone once told me that they never trust any traveler that doesn't carry at least one book. I don't know why they felt that way, but since then I've always carried at least two books to make sure I appeased that total stranger. Books can be amazing in the way that they can transform as you transform during an adventure. Books like Into the Wild and The Old Man and the Sea can mean one thing at the beginning of a summer and a very different thing after that summer has died.

Notepad


Since I've started to come into my own in regards to my writing, I've come to always carry notepads. This way, when I sit down to compose a piece of writing, I can check back on my notes, on my writing of the last few days, and I don't have to come up with everything right then and there.

Though, less technically, writing is also the only thing that soothes me. I need to write because of the therapeutic nature--the therapeutic chokehold--it has me in.

After an adventure, I can reread my work and reflect on who I was and how my most recent experiences changed me. Some people take thousands of photos; I write tens of thousands of words. In the end, writing about my travels also allows me the opportunity to send those works out and be published by publications like FlockU.

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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 | 

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.

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College Life |  Source: @jeremywilson

Surviving The Second Semester Struggle

GPA dropping like my motivation.

Summer is so, so close. The sun is teasing you by shining though the windows of the library, but not quite as bright as the highlighter marks in your agenda of all the upcoming assignments that will keep you hidden there for days.

The "second semester slump" is an inevitable occurrence for every college student. The realization tends to sink in on the flight home from Cancun when you arrive back to school from spring break all sun-kissed and checked-into summer mode and checked-out of school mode.

Luckily, it's not too late to salvage your grades! Here are some tips to hold onto and keep up your motivation just like you're trying to hold onto that spring-break tan.

1. Differentiate your short and long term goals.
Sometimes we tend to get fixated on what we want certain outcomes to be and we don't take the right steps forward to achieve them. It is important to set short term goals to set yourself up and lead you toward your long-term goals. By doing this, you will find yourself slowly succeeding instead of running around in circles. For example...

  • If your long term goal is to make the dean's list every semester... then your short term goal should be to check up on your assignments and coursework for each class before you are tempted to start a new Netflix series.
  • If your long term goal is to have a summer body before summer actually starts... then your short term goal can be making a daily effort to eat healthier, buy less snacks when grocery shopping or make time to exercise.
  • You want to be financially stable during and/or after college? Only buy your necessities, don't pull out of your savings, pay off your credit card debt, or get a job or two in the meantime.

QUICK GOAL SETTING TIPS: Write them down, keep them attainable and realistic. TBH goals are attractive AF.

2. Stay on top of things.
Ya know, like actually use your agenda! It's crazy how a $10 investment can keep your life and grades on track. Optimizing your planner at this point in the school year is even more crucial because those final exams will creep up on you faster than you think.

If you're tired of reminding yourself of what to do, than make a to-don't list in your planner! DO make time for schoolwork, to eat and sleep. DON'T substitute any of those to keep up with the Kardashians.

3. Don't let the "10,000 foot view" scare you.
After you read and update your agenda, you might quickly get discouraged by the number of assignments that are coming up. When you look at everything that needs to be done from a "10,000 foot view", it can be quite intimidating. Continuing to stare and flip through the endless pages of directions will leave you overwhelmed and wanting to throw in the towel.

Having an idea of the "big picture" helps to brace yourself for the work that's cut out ahead of you. Instead, break them down task by task. This might sound like an endless endeavor but it adds up in the end and you get things done quicker than you think!

4. Shift Gears.
NEWSFLASH: school books and laptops still work under natural light!

It may be hard... and it certainly took me time to train myself and adjust to being productive while doing homework outside, but it is possible! Fun times don't have to just be for the weekends. There's nothing wrong with making your way to you favorite coffee shop on a Wednesday to change up the homework scenery.

Do you ever find yourself thinking: "Ugh, I don't want to go to bed because I don't want to wake up and do tomorrow" because all your 'tomorrows' are already planned out? Try your best to make each day interesting, and break up your mundane routines.

5. Remember WHY you're here.
College is expensive, and studying sucks A LOT less than failing, especially if you're the one paying for it. If you put in minimal effort and preach "C's get degrees", just remember that "C's get degrees", but they don't get jobs... well not easily.

We all know that the extensive seven page, critical thinking sociology paper due at the end of the month is not worth spending time on, but it's vital to meet your educational goals.

I promise you that even though the stress may not seem worth it, achieving your goals isn't meant to be easy. Continue to remind yourself of how fortunate you are to be at the college you're attending and that when your classes are over, you're one semester closer to being done and conquering the "real world" and everything it has in store.