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#college experience

i am so embarrassed!!

i fell asleep during one of my professor’s zoom lectures because i had a headache. i woke up to him asking me if i was able to access his videos because, for some reason, he hadn’t given me access to them. guys, i was the only person left on the call with him. i have no idea how long he was calling on me! yikes! i feel so bad.

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my college experience

College. I started college in 2016. I was excited that whole summer because I got to have a fresh start and leave high school behind me. I moved into a dorm with 3 girls I didn’t know. I chose to live with random girls that year because I wanted to meet new people. I rushed a sorority at the beginning of the school year, and I met a lot of fun and kind people throughout that week. I got into a seemingly great sorority at the end of rush week and then class began the following week. I really liked my schedule; I didn’t have any 8am classes and I didn’t have any classes at all on Friday’s. It felt like I was finally moving on and starting a new, positive chapter of my life. There was always something in the back of my mind that I felt like was holding me back, though…

I was extremely homesick. My school was only about 30 minutes away from my hometown, but I’m so close to my family, especially my mom, so it was hard for me. I have 3 half siblings, but I grew up as an only child, so it was a difficult transition from always having privacy and my own space to having to share my space with 3 other girls, random girls at that. They were sweet and I actually feel lucky that I got paired with normal people, but it was still hard regardless. I began coming home on weekends and then going back to my dorm during the week. As the first semester went on, I began to isolate myself more and I didn’t have as much ambition and excitement as I used to. By the time I came back from Christmas break and started the second semester, I lost touch with most of the friends that I made, and I felt as if I was the loneliest person in the world. I ended up leaving my sorority right before spring break, isolating myself even further.

Aside from being homesick and lonely, something else I was struggling with was a fear of gaining weight. I was terrified of gaining the “freshman fifteen” that year. I feel like I’ve always had a warped perception of what my body looks like. I’m not sure why that is. Anyways, because of this fear, I barely ate. And by barely ate, I mean I would eat one of those “on the go” sized cups of Cheerios during the day, and that would be it except for when I would go home on the weekends where I’d eat real food with my family. I would look in the mirror and I was never satisfied. I don’t want to say I had an eating disorder as I feel like it’d be disrespectful to people who struggle with life-altering eating disorders for years, but I think it was a result of genuine misery and extremely deep depression. I lost almost 20 pounds that year.

I finally made it through the year and summer began. I was able to move back home, and I got a job. I loved that summer because I was finally free from my freshman year shackles. I began to see a therapist to talk through what I went through mentally and emotionally in the past year and it seemed to have helped me for the time being. I also got diagnosed with ADD that summer which makes…too much sense. I’ve struggled in school my whole life and because of the diagnosis, I now understand why. I have over-focused ADD with OCD tendencies. I tend to obsess over and hang on to things well after others have moved on from it. I’ve been that way my whole life, and now I had an answer as to why. It also causes me to experience mood swings but the Adderall (a God send) I was prescribed helped me to control them, Anyways summer passed by quickly, and I ended up moving into an apartment with 3 girls I was friends with from high school. Sophomore year started and it was great. I was so happy, and it felt like my horrific freshman year was a lifetime ago. There are no “buts” coming about this year. It truly was a wonderful year in my life and it’s something I’ll always cherish when I look back on my hellish college experience as a whole. The next year, though, is a different story.

It’s a story I’m not going to get into. It’s personal and it involves others besides myself, but I respect their privacy and lives since we’ve moved on, so I won’t be going into detail. What I will say is that I have many regrets from this year. I did a lot of things that I’m not proud of and would give anything to go back and change them. I didn’t like the person I was that year looking back, and I still don’t understand why I began to revert back to my misery, maybe it never truly went away like I thought it did. Instead of taking it out on myself like my freshman year, I took it out on others. I now take full responsibility for what I did and the people I hurt as a result and that’s something that I feel like took me a long time to do. It was cruel and it’s something I don’t and won’t try to justify anymore. I’m proud to say that I learned from that experience and the person I was then, isn’t who I am now.

After my junior year, I got an internship working at a consulting company. I LOVED this job. I loved the people I met there and made more friends there than what felt like I had in the entirety of my college experience. Real friendships where we could actually bond over something other than just being in the same class like at school. I realized that I was much happier working in a professional environment than I had ever been at school which made me even more excited to graduate. At the end of the summer, the company offered to extend my internship throughout the school year, and I was THRILLED. I was so happy that I was going to be able to leave school and go somewhere where I actually wanted to be during the week.

My senior year started soon after this and it was just…fine. Not bad but not great either. Just fine. Like I said, I was just grateful to be able to have somewhere to go after class that wasn’t just my apartment or somewhere on campus because of my job. My job began to be where I was the happiest, but, of course, school had to FUCK me over one more time. My class schedule for the second semester was Hitler on paper. I had signed up for the maximum amount of classes my school allows students to take, and just looking at it was overwhelming. I wanted to graduate on time in May and this was the only way to do it. I was forced to quit my job that I loved, and I was devastated. I continued to work there all of Christmas break up until the very last weekend before school started. I hugged my friends at work goodbye and began what would be the hardest semester of my entire life.

When I say this is the hardest semester of my life, I don’t mean it’s been hard like my freshman year was hard. I mean that my entire life is consumed with CLASSES. I feel like I never get a break and I’m always dreading tomorrow. I miss my job, and I miss when my thoughts weren’t filled with overwhelming amounts of assignments and due dates. I guess I should say I MISSED these things actually considering that all of my classes have been converted to online because of the virus terrorizing our planet. As sick as this may sound, if I could choose any semester for something like this to happen, I’m glad it was this one. I hate that a virus that is affecting so many people had to be the reason though. I’m typing this THESIS the day after my school announced it was converting to online classes and it feels like a 10,000-pound weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It felt like I was two assignments away from having a legitimate breakdown. This wasn’t at all how I imagined my last day on campus would be like, but…I’m (kinda) done with college. At least in person. Wow. 

I’m not exactly sure what prompted me to write this. I think I wanted to do it for myself as a way to finally let go of the of pain and anger I’ve experienced through college. I want to move on with my life now that I’m less than two months away from graduation and stop hanging on to things from the past and regrets that I’ve had that I just can’t change. I tend to act like I have a tough exterior, but behind that, there’s been a lot of pain and insecurity. Some of which I’ve kept to myself. Sometimes, I look back at that 18 year old girl who was burdened with so much sadness and cry. However, I want to let go of all of it. I have to. I also wanted people to know that not every college experience is the same and they’re not always going to be like what people tell you they are or what you see in the movies. I wish someone would’ve told me that. The lows I’ve felt throughout my time in college are things I wouldn’t wish on anyone especially young people experiencing their freedom and independence for the first time. I hope anyone that might read this who hasn’t started college or who is already in college make the most of their time there. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t allow yourself to wallow and fall so deep into a hole that you feel like you can’t get out. Get help if you need it, there’s never any shame in doing so. I’m proud of myself for pushing through and I’m ready to start the life I’ve always wanted for myself. Thank you for making it through a 2 and a half page paper of my woes. 

Xo,

Dani

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Buckle in friends. This one is a doozy.

FOFOMO. I don’t think it’s uncommon. We all heard of FOMO: Fear of missing out. Missing out on an event, on hanging out, on feeling like everyone else.

In college, I realized that a lot of people have FOMO. I never felt like I wanted to typical college experience. The parties, Greek life, drinking until the wee hours of the morning, smoking and feeling like I’m at the top of the world. It’s not something that interested me. But because it’s been ingrained in college culture, people fear that they’re missing out on the best party of the year, that they’re not hanging out with the fun fraternity, that they’re missing out on the college experience.

I never felt that way. And I do not shame anyone who does feel that way. College culture is so toxic. Students choose the best party, the best booze, the best Greek organization just so that they can feel fulfilled.

Trust me, I have met some great people who are a part of Greek organizations. I have met people who go to parties because they like parties. But what gets me is people who do these things to feel something. Because they feel like doing these things make them feel good.

I can’t speak for everyone. This is coming from someone who has never stepped foot in a party, sorority house, or drank a White Claw. Because I don’t need to.

My hobbies are pretty basic. I watch Netflix, make cookies, read books, fill in my bullet journal, and write blogs. My Saturday nights are pretty much consisted of those. And I’m happy. Because I found hobbies that make me feel good about myself.

I have struggled with anxiety for the past few years. And I have endured big family gatherings, parties with high school friends, and I realize that I am not that kind of person. I don’t like big social gatherings. And I am completely and utterly content.

I write this to give an experience from an outside perspective. I don’t feel like parties and drinking and smoking give the college experience. If they make you happy, then that’s your college experience.

My college experience is taking my dogs on walks. It’s working on the weekends because I can make a quick buck and feel pretty good about myself.

I want to advocate for more positive experiences, more positive college experiences. Because I don’t have FOMO. I have FOFOMO.

I fear the fear of missing out. Because I’m not afraid of missing out on the best beer pong game this school has ever had. I’m afraid of people who do fear that. I fear that I will slowly see my friends become the thing that I fear.

No one should feel long or empty in the inside that they feel that alcohol and weed and loud music will fulfill them.

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Ever considered how wack college is?

I’m paying for what is essentially common knowledge (chem, biology, anatomy) and then my worth is basically determined via a one-in-four gauntlet exam that I had no personal influence on? I should also mention that the reality represented by this exam is one determined- by and large- by a professor who is only teaching to get research benefits? Completely subjective and utterly out of touch with the society our generation represents?

Also also, the money that people use to pay for college is majority already the college’s money or their parents, so nothing they do feels like it has any real consequences. Hence everyone acting completely wild as soon as they experience a touch of freedom, then judging those that don’t have that same kind of free ride for their college existence? The hierarchy around that dynamic is a whole mess, leading to isolated fractions of acedemics, trademark drop outs, and party boys.

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October 17, 2019

I had a really good day today. Didn’t do any hard work. Only my business law lecture actually challenged me to listen today. I’m going home again tomorrow and maybe my mood is so much better because of that but there are more good things that have happened this week. Maybe time to make a little list of things that I’m grateful for.

On the left you see my finished notes for HR management and on the right self made banana yoghurt with plain yoghurt and fresh bananas.

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my roommate had a dream where Spinel wasn’t treated like shit.

That she was happy and Pink Diamond wasn’t such a bitch.

And woke up and was disappointed, like damn that’s a mood. Spinel didn’t deserve to be treated like that, and the movie made me hate Pink a lot more than I did before and I didn’t think that would be possible…

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Welcome weekend debrief: It got better!

Friday:

First off, my home sickness went away pretty quickly after the first day. My main fear was making friends. It was scary because I was seeing friend groups solidify around me. And every time I did talk to someone, the connections only lasted one conversation, it felt like every session of socializing, I was starting off from the bottom with no connections. At the same time, my orientation group was very anti social and it felt like no one wanted to connect at all. The connection leaders who were leading the session also seemed not to be interested and had a hard time getting anyone to talk. Things got better after I attended my business school orientation. I felt like I was finally around people of like minded individuals and I even was able to connect with someone who will be sharing a class with me! I had a long conversation with my mom about my fears of not making friends and how I was hoping joining clubs would be my answer. And while the conversation was good, I was seriously feeling lonely. At dinner that day, with no expectations of eating with anyone, I was happily invited by a connection leader but horrifying said no because I was so surprised. As I was berating myself, someone in my business orientation group asked me to sit with them! I was able to connect with them and someone who I had met in my orientation group! I also was able to connect with the connection leaders who had invited me first and international students so as a whole, I felt pretty good! This was a great reminder that I need to work on not shutting down opurtunites and to be open to any suggestion (if it is safe).

Saturday:

I started off Saturday back with no semblance of friends. The business person I had connected with before, was a commuter, so she didn’t attend the rest of the events. At the same time, I was feeling like no one wanted to be friends with me and every time I tried, they never tried back. It was seriously exhausting and scaring me. The event of volunteering did not help this feeling, all the connection leaders didn’t even trying to connect with any of the freshmen, who began to group off and shut people out of their groups. There was also too many volunteers, so I spent a very lonely 30 minutes waiting. I was seriously miserable by then and even thought of just leaving until one of the connection leaders talked to me! She was super nice and a part of the student gov. So we were able to have a really nice conversation! I was also able to get a volunteering job and talked to a couple more connection leaders. I realized that these people were just exhausted from working all the time (for three weeks straight!) and many’s go-to-response was to conserve their energy by not engaging with the freshman and sticking to the people they knew. I was feeling a little better but dredding my freshman study group meeting. This study group has three classes together in the first semester and hopefully will connect with each other. I was under the impression that the orientation group (that I hated) would be my freshman group so I was completely relieved when I was proven wrong. I was especially happy when I connected with two extroverts! We were able to connect with being all politically same and having other similar interests. And when they all went to get coffee at a cafe near by, I (remembering the day before) jumped at the chance and was able to have a nice connecting time with a nice group for people. While I felt a little third wheely at times, I still enjoyed hanging out with these two extroverts and had a lot of fun meeting all the people they knew! They even amassed a big group of happy people (including yours truly) who played card games and had fun into the early morning! All in all, it was an amazing day that brought a lot of hope.

Sunday:

I found all my classes and explored the campus with the only person I had connected with during that disastrous orientation group. It was super fun and I think we both had a lot of fun in each other’s company. I was expecting a quiet day, but I was able to connect with the extroverts from before where we, with a group of many from the night before laughed and connected more. This happy conversation was cut short with one getting sick and having to go to urgent care. But I was able to have dinner with some of the other people in the group which was really nice. I was also able to connect more with my roommate while we wrote up our roommate agreement, which was really nice!

I’m a little worried about food. While the main course prices are ok, the salads are pretty expensive and I don’t know how to find how much money I have left on my meal plan. I really want to eat healthily so I might have to just shell out more money than I thought or figure out a different eating schedule. I also have not given up on making friends by joining clubs, but it’s super nice to have a group of people who might become good friends some day! I also have to continue to be open to new connections and not shut down. Making friends lasts forever!

All in all, I can’t believe it’s the night before school starts. Part of me is excited for school, while the other part has really enjoyed this summer camp-esque environment with no real stress.

So on to new adventures and thanks to the ones that went before!

August 25, 2019

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A nightmare move in debrief

First things first, I have serious home sickness. I have probably the best relationship with my mom ever and my home life is one of the healthiest that I know. I also have abandonment issues and anxiety over too many changes happening at once. So me going to college, making new friends, getting into clubs, doing well academically, AND having to move away from my mom and my home; it’s been a lot. I haven’t cried all this month about moving out (while my mom has many times) but I have cried over 5 times today and even had a panic attack. The move in itself was smooth and, while she is shy and a little awkward, my roommate is nice and I think our relationship will be good. But having to go home (because we had so much time between events) and seeing my pets, made the water works go off on full blast.

My school is residential and commuter hybrid, so I could have easily been a commuter, but outside pressure (and me not knowing my mom would be totally ok with me commuting) made me decide residential. So finding out today that I could have not had all the pain of today, was pretty hard. It’s also gloomy and rainy outside (which I do not like) so it’s been a rough day.

I talked to the RA who is super nice, but would sea-saw from “follow your heart and be a commuter and stay a resident”, which made me feel both better and worse. After a lot of crying and me not having an appetite all day, I’ve decided to see how being a resident is for one semester and then do a self check in before fall break begins to see if I want to commute in the spring. This makes breaking my housing contract way easier and I get to have the resident experience! I’ll only move out sooner if I feel truly unsafe: like I did today, before I talked it through.

In conclusion, I think I’ll be perfectly fine, I’m just going through a lot of past trauma that has resurfaced with being torn away from my mom and the normal feeling of homesickness.

August 22, 2019

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A brief introduction

Hello!

I expect that this blog, like so many, will stay in complete obscurity. There, only for me to look back on. But if anyone is here, hello! Let me introduce myself.

I am a 19 year old Asian female who lives in the Midwest and is going to college for Accounting. I am studying accounting because I like keeping people accountable and I feel like keeping people ethical with money is extremely important. To that end, I hope to go into auditing and maybe work in the FBI as a forensic accounting or special agent in accounting. Of course, I haven’t actually taken auditing yet, but I believe (egotistically) that I’ll be good at it, and hopefully enjoy it. I also have chosen accounting because I see it as a job that I will enjoy, and is stable with good job security. I also hope to minor is history, a subject that I love, and wished was a profitable subject to build a career in. Personality wise, I am a charismatic introvert: I love to talk, and am very socialable when the introductions are over, but I’m not natural in making introductions. Finally, I was part of a dual enrollment program in hischool, which allowed me to be a full time college student in a local community college for my junior and senior year of high school. Which means, not only did I graduate with an associates degree and high school diploma, I have a sense to what college life is like. Not the living on campus part, but what the teachers are like and what to expect in the classroom.

With my brief biography done, I would like to lay out what I hope to accomplish in my first semester of freshman year.

1. Make friends! I’m super nervous about this goal, but I hope that if I’m just myself and open to communicate and not shut down, I’ll be ok.

2. Get good grades! I’ve always been a straight A student. So when I start to struggle, I want to be prepared to bounce back well and evolve my studying techniques that have worked so far.

3. Be a part of clubs! I hope to join the accounting club, a polical club (maybe young democrats), a history club, and the LGBTQ club. I also would love to become a peer mentor. I’ve had troubles in the past with staying committed to clubs, either life got in the way and I wasn’t able to participate or people inside the club kicked me out. I hope these commitment issues can be resolved in college.

4. Be healthy in college! I would love to finally have a body that I love, which means eating healthily and exercising regularly. I have already made a weekly workout schedule for myself, which I am really excited to begin! And I’m hoping a variety of food and a budget in college will help me eat healthily without getting too bored with fruits and veggies. I would love to experience the freshman 15 of losing weight!

5. Being open to new experiences. If they’re not illegal or something that I have a bad feeling about, I willtry to say yes and at least try them out!

And I think that’s it! I’m one day from move in day, which will then be followed by welcome weekend, so I’ll probably post a debrief in a few days.

Finally, my hope for this blog is a place for me to document my college experience and be able to look back on these posts with happy memories. If I can help future college hopefuls or bored internet surfers, then that will just be a cherry on top.

August 20, 2019

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My favorite

College moment of the past school year was finding out one senior was also a fan of Welcome to Night Vale because our professor slammed down a book about trees on the table for our novel writing class and the senior said “Trees they are” and I cut in with a huge grin spreading on my face: “Are us!” And that was nice.

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The true college experience

I just had the most stereotypical college experience today… I got a nose bleed today during math class. The problem is the fact that it was during an exam. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to just stand up and leave for the bathroom and then fail it because I felt during the exam. I sat in my sit, holding my nose with my non-dominant hand, and doing all the problems with my dominant one including flipping the paper and typing on the calculator on top of filling out the answers. I held my nose when I handed my exam in, and immediately walked to the bathroom to wash up. Ugh, I deserve an A on that exam…

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