I was rounding off an Instant Message chat with a German client. I intended to say “Let me know if I can help further”. Instead, my clumsy fingers typed and sent the following before I could stop myself:
I am so annoyed. My boyfriend’s band has been in exsitence since summer of 2010. Because of noise complaint issues with neighbors, they were forced to look for a practice space in town to rent. The place they found is really reasonable. The room isn’t too big, but for the price asked for monthly rent, it would have been idiotic to turn down. The building they are renting the room in has several other businesses, so naturally, they practice after closing hours so that they don’t disturb the businesses or their customers. However, there is one particular person renting, who has been causing trouble since day one.
At first, he had a “Jesus Loves You” thrift store in one of the store fronts of the building. It really wasn’t a very good thrift store to be honest, it looked like a bunch of broken down stuff you’d find in a junk yard. Anyway, it became a hang out for bums and the homeless, who would do nothing more than sit around and get drunk in and in front of the store all day. The person running this place had spray painted “The Jesus Loves you Place” all over the exterior of the building and on the doors. It was a complete mess.
There is one bathroom with a toilet and sink in the downstairs of the building which is specifically only for those renting, so it was shared by the owner of the building, the Jesus Loves You guy, my boyfriend’s band and the band next door to them. To Jesus Loves You guy, this was also a bathroom for the homeless, so the single bathroom was always without toilet paper, reeked of vomit and the toilet was usually clogged and the seat was covered in…it was just plain gross, enough said. So eventually in the summer, this guy was kicked out of the building and was forced to close down the thrift store.
A few months later, probably sometime in the fall, he was allowed to come back and instead start a “Jesus Loves You” ministry. So basically, it became a homeless shelter in a store front. He would leave the store front unlocked at night and since there was a door connecting the back of the store front, which was also unlocked, the bums could access the bathroom and the band rooms. They would come knock on the band’s door and ask if they could play the drums or sing…and they wouldn’t leave, no matter how politely we explained that it’s a time for band practice and we really don’t feel comfortable letting anyone else use the equipment. We’d try to use the bathroom and it was occupied by people getting sick from having drunk too much, trying to bathe in the sink etc. When we’d leave late at night, there would be people sleeping in the hallway that we had to step over.
When my boyfriend and I were painting the band room at one point in the summer actually, there were bums camped out outside saying that they were promised sandwiches and were asking us for food and money. They asked my boyfriend for his glow in the dark Misfits shirt…which he was currently wearing. He followed him all the way around the car asking him several times, while I had my thumb on the “9” button on my phone, ready to call the police. His friend had asked us if we were dating and had grabbed my arm trying to shake my hand saying that was awesome and wouldn’t let it go. He finally did when Mike just about attacked him. It freaked me out. It really did. It’s gotten to the point where the wives and girlfriends of the band members don’t even want to go over there anymore because we can’t use the bathrooms and we can’t leave the room unless it’s with one of the band members, because we don’t want to be grabbed or begged at.
This morning, the landlord called my boyfriend and completely lost it, saying that he was about to kick both of the bands out, because there were beer cans all over the bathroom and it was left a complete mess, vomit and all. I can, with full confidence say that NOBODY in the band drinks alcohol. Period. And half the band is underage! I understand the fact that a band full of colorful haired, tattooed guys would be more likely to drink than people coming to a ministry, but this is not the case at all. And the landlord knew about the issue with the Jesus Loves You Place in the past. So the bands are basically being framed (most likely by the businesses who aren’t around at night to see everything go down, which I can understand) for the mess that the bums are making, because the owner of Jesus Loves You doesn’t lock up his store at night. The landlord also says he doesn’t want to hear any more complaints from anyone.
Now my question is: is the Jesus Loves You guy so blind to not see that he is being used by all of these homeless people for a place to tweak, get drunk and spend the night?! They don’t give a care about his ministry or God for that matter. Why does he keep doing this and putting everyone’s business and safety in the entire building at risk? Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s awesome that a christian man would like to give those people a chance, who need it the most. And I think it’s wonderful that he wants to help these people and give them a place to come and talk and possibly get to know the Lord. But if all they are doing is using him for a place to get high, drunk and sleep, what’s the point? At this point, if he really wants to do the right thing, he should call the landlord and tell him that the mess being left is his responsibility. Because this really isn’t fair to anyone, including Jesus Loves You guy.
I know I am about a week late with this. I wanted to start making a list of my favorite things I come across at the end of each month; anything from food to art supplies! A lot of people vlog about it instead of blog their monthly favorite things, but I’m a wee bit camera shy, so I’d prefer to do it this way instead. :)
Grove Square Hot Cocoa for Keurig
A cup of this hot cocoa and a banana has been my breakfast for the past while! The KEURIG machine is great…it requires only water and one of these little cups and the best part is: NO MESS! The water heats up quickly with the press of a button. When it’s heated up, a little light will blink next to a button with a cup on it. Press this, and your cup will be ready as soon as it’s finished pouring! I add a little milk and voila. Love it! Not sure how many calories are in a little pack, but since all I generally drink is water, I am not too terribly worried about it.
Mega Monster Energy
Now I really don’t drink energy drinks as often because they tend to make me shaky, but as a college student, there are some nights that you get little to no sleep and you need a little kick! Mike and I went to the Tool concert in about 3 hours from where we live in January and I decided to grab two of these at the gas station for the whole event, since we’d have to drive back home that night and go to class the next morning. o.O I made sure to eat enough food along with the drink, otherwise it would have made me very shaky. It got me through the whole drive to keep Mike awake and the second one kept me through the next day in school.
I’ve had Red Bull before, but it doesn’t make me feel good for some reason. ESPECIALLY when I haven’t had enough to eat! Monster is the perfect dose of kick and I prefer the taste over Red Bull!
House of Night Series
The House of Night series is a vampire series targeted at a teen a female teen/young adult audience. When I say vampire, I am not talking Twilight sparkly vampire. The vampires in these books are really like no other vampires you’ve ever read about. They are much different and in my opinion more vampire-like than the Twilight vampires.
They focus on a teenage girl who has been “marked” (chosen to be a vampire) and is sent to go to a vampYre finishing school (they spell “vampire” with a “y” instead). Here the girl encounters many struggles with this new lifestyle, but also the struggles of a teenager, relationships and feelings. I will not say any more, because I am the type of person who prefers to grab a book at random and begin to read without reading the description, because I don’t want to read anything that may ruin the story.
The thing I really like about these books, is that they portray teenagers the way they actually are. The teenagers sound like typical everyday teenagers…they curse and discuss intimacy. (I would not recommend this to anyone who is offended by foul language or sexual references!)
Wreck This Journal with a few things I’ve done so far.
I ordered this book in a set along with two others off of Amazon as a late Christmas gift to myself (yeah I know xD) and I couldn’t be more pleased! I haven’t even done a whole lot yet, because I don’t want to fill up the book so fast! I had posted an earlier entry about “Wreck This Box” which contains “Wreck This Journal”, “Mess” and “This Is Not A Book”, where you can read more about this “journal”. It is perfect for any perfectionist who always feels the need to make everything perfect. (ME!) This book’s instructions are to DESTROY. Well, if it’s telling me to…I guess it’s okay…. ;D
Avery Slash Pocket® Insertable Tab Dividers from Staples
I am an organizing FREAK and really want to get good quality and durable products that I am going to be using on a daily basis and need to keep my documents etc. nice. That particular binder is the best one I’ve EVER had. Because of the material, It won’t get bent or beat up when bouncing around in my backpack and it will keep my documents nice but not be too heavy at the same time. The variety of colors makes it easy to color-coordinate.
The Slash Pockets are great for handouts that I receive in class, when I don’t have a hole punch handy. It’s also nice to be able to stash my artwork and other various things that I don’t want to punch holes in! Each folder has pockets on both sides, so each subject can have two pockets to store in. They also come with plenty of labels to insert into the tabs, as opposed to writing on the tabs, so that you can re-use the Dividers for something else later.
The pouch is great for pens and other random little items that you’d like to keep in one place. There are several slots on the back side to store index cards…basically anything flat. The front has a netted pocket (I am using it for paper clips) and then an inner, bigger pocket with lining in the middle, which separates the bigger pocket into two parts, if that makes sense. (Very hard to describe without being able to show it! Sorry!)
BEAUTY AND HYGIENE
Japanese Cherry Blossom collection from Bath and Body Works
I got these for Christmas and MAN! It smells SO GOOD! I have been using them on a daily basis and I would highly recommend them! The mini spray and the mini body wash were part of a set with another mini lotion, which I keep in my backpack as a hand lotion. :)
Clearasil Rapid Action Pads
I got these at Target for about 8 bucks…sounds a little pricey, but I use these at least every other day and I bought this in AUGUST. The pads are sliver-thin and extremely effective! I am not very prone to acne, but every time I experience it a bit or feel that my skin is getting oily and bumpy, these pads get rid of it. I tried the Rapid Action Face Wash, but I really like the pads the best. However, it is important to use a face cream after using these, since they contain alcohol and really dry out your skin! (Warning: They’re strong! Definitely avoid contact in eye area.) Also, these pads are perfect for taking hair dye off of skin. I have tried so many different methods, but these work the absolute best; I promise you!!
Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 4000 Electric Toothbrush
I used an electric toothbrush when I was younger, but as I got older, I really hated using them. This one has four different brushing modes (Daily Clean, Sensitive, Whitening and DeepClean) that are specific to what you want to get out of brushing. The brush, as all others, will do the work for you and more. You can tell it what to do by pressing the arrow button. It came with two different brush heads: the FlossAction brush (right) and the ProWhite brush (left). The FlossAction brush gives me the feel that I’ve flossed when I’m done and the ProWhite brush really helps the whitening. Since I can no longer afford expensive WhiteStrips, I take a Q-Tip (I have recently found this out) and dunk it in Hydrogen Peroxide. I rub it over my teeth and leave it there for 30 seconds before I begin brushing. I do this once a day, so I tend to use the ProWhite brush in the morning and the FlossAction in the evening. It works really well and I am already seeing fabulous results! I am hoping to keep my goal of never getting a cavity!
Snark Instrument Tuner
This little guy is great! It can be used for any instrument (here I am tuning a violin) and will clip onto it without slipping off. Very easy to use, GREAT design and very accurate! Highly recommended for any musician.
Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse
I actually got this for Mike for Christmas. I can see why he loves it so much. You keep in it’s flat state when not in use to save the battery (turned off) and to switch it on you just curve it! There is a strong magnetic piece in the bottom of the mouse in one area to hold the Nano Transceiver piece that you plug into the computer, so it won’t get lost. (And trust me, if it were to somehow come off in the bag, it would re-attach itself quickly…that’s how strong the magnet is.) The technology allows it to work on any surface, be it carpet or a marble counter. You only need to flick your finger on the middle piece to scroll up and down. I am half tempted to buy one for myself! Comfortable and amazing technology!
Faber Castell Perfection Eraser 7056, Master’s Touch Blending Stub (3/8)
and the KUM Elipse Pencil Sharpener
I bought all three of these at Hobby Lobby, mainly for my Art class. I enjoy sketching and these will be extremely handy! I am so glad I found the eraser…I had one in Germany. It allows very detailed work.
The blending stubs keep you from having to smear around with your finger!
A girl in my class had this sharpener, which worked wonders in comparison to my old one or the one on the wall of the art room. It is very sharp and handy to carry around! Just be sure to empty it on a regular basis or it will begin to get clogged.
Zig Millenium Pens (Sorry about the blur!!)
I’ve had these for a while, but decided I’d post it here anyway, since I haven’t before and I have found them so useful! I bought them together in a pack at Hobby Lobby around Christmas 2010 when making Christmas Cards with comics on the front. I always hated only having one pen thickness and never being able to draw a smaller, more detailed and precise line. These pens make that possible! And they’ve lasted me quite a while…I use them all the time! And they don’t bleed. :D
Festivals: Every time I see a post about which bands are playing at Summer Breeze, it makes me want to cry. The music festivals in Germany are about 3 days long. (Some across Europe are even longer, like Metal Camp, which is 7 days long) You bring your camping gear, a lot of beer, canned food and a good mood. Out of all of my “vacations” (the vacations I have taken in my life have pretty much always included visiting family), Summer Breeze Festival has belonged to my favorites. I miss the way everyone was there for the same reason: the music and good times. It didn’t matter if you knew anyone or not. You rarely ever saw fighting and if there was any at all, it would be forgotten a few hours later at the latest. xD Here in the States I don’t know of any festivals that last longer than a day or that don’t require getting a plane ticket. = /
The S-Bahn: I have no idea why I miss those trains. The tickets are overpriced, if you are riding in town you are lucky to find a seat on the train and Oktoberfest or any other “Fest” is (or at least used to be) a nightmare on those trains. But they were so practical when you wanted to go out for a drink or when you were tired. You didn’t have to worry about parking, car trouble, getting gas (even though that is replaced with the need to buy tickets) and it didn’t require much effort on your part. I miss the sound of the trains starting (as odd as that sounds!!) and the driver’s announcements over the intercom. And I also miss that stupid dark and light blue boxy pattern on the seats, which weren’t too terribly comfortable.
Small Shops and Strip Malls: There is just something much more welcoming about a small shop with brick walls in a strip mall as opposed to a huge building like Walmart or the mall. I liked being able to walk around Marienplatz on the cobblestone with the fountains and the chimes and the people sitting out drinking coffee. Then going into little shops along the “street” that was off limits to vehicles.
My SCOOTER!: I live in a smaller town, so you have more cars than pedestrians. And you most certainly don’t have scooters around. I haven’t seen a single one. My scooter was my transportation. He was my buddy. My friend. I even named him Gismo. =( (I can’t find a picture at the moment, but I will update as soon as I find one!)
Safety: I don’t know what it is, but ever since I moved back to the States, I’ve felt the need to keep my mouth shut, my doors locked and to stay inside late in the evening. In Germany, I would bike around at midnight or even walk and not have to worry about any creepers jumping out of the bushes. Plus, if someone was pushing my buttons, I could give them a piece of my mind without having the fear of possibly getting stabbed in the chest or shot.
Heathcare. Honestly, I think just that word says it all, if you are at all familiar with European Heathcare.
Skiing!: It was SO much cheaper to go skiing in Germany than it is here! It was 28 Euros for a day pass at Ski-Paradies Sudelfeld, which is about 36 bucks. Not bad! (This includes the lift btw…not sure how it works here in the states, but your day pass is basically a lift ticket in Germany)
The Clothing: I can’t find anything similar to http://www.emp.de/ or http://www.queen-of-darkness.com/ except hot topic…but it’s really not the same. If anyone knows of anything at ALL, PLEASE let me know!! I looked a bit on Amazon but I didn’t find much.
The Food!: Man I would give anything for a bowl of Knödelsuppe and then a big plate of Kasspatzen with a side of Gurkensalat, Kartoffelsalat and Wurstsalat. That is way too much food but I’d eat it all!!
Beer: If anyone in Germany would be willing to send me a few bottles of Augustiner Hell and a few bottles of Tegernseer Hell, I would love you forever.
Nougat Bits: How can they NOT have this in the States?!
Pfanner Green Tea: I haven’t been able to find anything like this. I LOVE IT.
I don’t like my art class. At all. It is a required class for Digital Media Arts and Design and I can tell you right now that I am not learning anything relevant to my major.
Our professor studied architecture quite while back and never learned to use AutoCAD (the program now used for architecture) and has refused to. So basically, he isn’t a computer person at all. Except the few people taking the class for fun, the entire class is made up of only Digital Media Arts and Design students; in other words: graphic designers, who use the computer.
Our class is two hours long twice a week and he reads us the whole book that we got for the class. He talks a lot, but nearly everything is coming straight from the book. Because of this it’s really difficult to even pay attention.
There is no room for creativity in that class at all. At the beginning of the semester, he told us he wants us all to buy a sketch book for the class and use it to write down assignments, take notes, draw sketches etc. I am a terrible perfectionist and when it comes to writing, the paper must be lined. Why can’t I use lined paper to write down my assignments and put it in the binder I use for my classes and then draw my sketches in the sketch book?! Also, he asked us this before anyone got their grants. So he is expecting us to spend 10 bucks + on a sketchbook we will waste for a single class. We are college students. I don’t believe we should be told EXACTLY how to do everything, what pencils to use, what brand of paint. My goodness.
When he has us write down our assignments, he goes completely overboard. One assignment takes up a full page in my notebook. It’s explained in so much detail, to narrow the whole thing down so that I’d do it right, I might take up just the first few lines in my notebook. Basically:
"You can use pencil, crayon, pen, colored pencil (but don’t use this and that brand because I find that the lead breaks off when you sharpen the pencils. They also aren’t a very high quality and don’t quite do what they are supposed to. As far as crayons go, I would prefer you to use Crayola over Rose Art because Crayola has less wax then Rose Art and they tend to melt…………)"
Congratulations. You have turned what should have been a short sentence into an essay. Make sure to pick up your gold star before you leave. >.<
The projects also really limit our creativity, at least the ones so far. He assigned us recently to make a sculpture along the lines of Louise Nevelson, who my professor loves, which makes sense, since her art is basically architecture. I personally am not the biggest fan of her work, so I wasn’t looking forward to the project much anyway. But we weren’t allowed to create anything on the computer. We had to take a bunch of junk we found laying around, attach it together and spray paint it black, gray or white. The art class is also mainly 2D design based and he was assigning a 3D design project. o.O
Our next assignment is to take a bunch of white paper and a pencil, put the white paper on a textured surface and rub with the pencil in order to create a design on the paper. Then we are supposed to look for things in the pencil rubbings, cut them out and create a collage. >.< How is this helping me AT ALL towards my graphic design degree? I might have enjoyed this in Kindergarten, but certainly not in college. It’s so frustrating and I am tempted to skip out on this project completely. He will tell us to have fun and be creative, but just don’t do this, that, the other thing and whatever else you’d like to do to make the project more to your liking. But have fun!!
I don’t understand why one must be so single-minded, ESPECIALLY when it comes to art. I had an art teacher last semester who said on the first day:
"I want you to take what I teach you in this class and apply it to YOUR need for it. I don’t care if you paint, draw or use the computer as long as I see elements of what I’ve taught you and I can see you understand it."
Awesome! So I did nearly all my projects in Photoshop, learned a TON about the program and learned the principles of what was being taught as well! And she even asked questions about the program, because she was eager to learn, even though she was a painter. I thought it was awesome. I really learned a lot. But the art class I am taking now doesn’t allow me to do anything I am at the college for. Anything foreign to my professor is discouraged. Wouldn’t it be more interesting to see so many different aspects of one type of design? It would make the class so much more fun, even for our professor to see people come up with things that he might not have even encountered or considered before.
I have had a lot of nightmares in my life, but the one I just had topped them all. It was the worst one I have ever had in my life. All of my friends in the US were all at one location: the mall. We were eating and joking around - having a good time. Then the fire alarm went off. We thought it was a drill, since nobody was causing any commotion yet, but then we heard the gunshots. There were people coming around every corner with guns, shooting at everyone they saw. My group managed to flee to the parking lot, where we encountered even more shooters. People were dropping left and right and I couldn’t find my fiancee anywhere. We all escaped to the train station and jumped on a train that would get us to safety. There, I finally found my fiancee, and the two of us sat up front with the driver, so that we could come up with a plan. Every time we passed through a station, everyone had to duck down, because there were people there waiting to kill us. After a while, when we didn’t hear anyone speak in the back, we opened up the door leading to the back compartment, and everyone was gone. They were either dead or missing completely. I remember trying to call my parents and the only person I was able to reach overseas was my brother. I told him quickly what was happening and told him and my Mom that I loved them very much and I loved Dad. We pulled into the next station and there they were. I whispered to my mother that we were surrounded, said my last goodbye and hung up. That’s when they broke in and the very first thing they did was grab my fiancee by the shirt and blow out his brain. Then I woke up. Bawling like a baby. Because everything in that dream felt so terribly real, that it felt like it had happened.
And you know what is really scary? You read about things like the Haditha case, where a US marine killed 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005 and will face no jail time. THINGS LIKE THAT HAPPEN EVERY SINGLE DAY. And it is completely ignored! It makes me SICK! If I woke up screaming and crying from a DREAM like that, then I can’t even imagine how devastated others are right now at this moment who have just lost an innocent loved one.
In 2011, our taxes funded about $ 1 TRILLION spent & approved war-spending.
A UN issued report dated Sept 20, 2006 stating that Iraqi civilian casualties have been significantly under-reported. Casualties are reported at 50,000 to over 100,000, but may be much higher. Some informed estimates place Iraqi civilian casualties at over 600,000.
I don’t want to bash the troops what so ever. I have friends and family members who are and were in the military who are and were just trying to keep us safe. But why on EARTH would we send them all out into an unnecessary war? Yes, I understand that after the 9/11 attacks, our country was in danger, but what good is it doing now?! What ever happened to turn the other cheek? I am not trying to preach a sermon here. I am not trying to get all religious here and say what “the right thing to do” is. And I am not trying to say that I have a huge grasp on politics. But have you ever hit someone back in grade school after they hit you? What did that person do? They hit you again. And this continued until either someone broke you apart, or one of you stops in defeat. War is no different!!
And people talk about pride…”We need to win our pride back!!” Bullshit. Who cares about pride?! Why can’t a country decide to be SMART and the “bigger person” and say “We will not stoop down to this country’s level!” And by “country” you are actually addressing a small fraction of people from that country, who are a few bricks short of a load. The majority of people you are going to put to harm are all innocent and unarmed and want nothing more but to live their lives normally. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be attacked by people from another country speaking a foreign language, when I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong! And I am sure the majority of you reading this feel the same way. Then why do we have to do this to others?! This country desperately needs to sort out it’s priorities and maybe ask the question “Hmm..what is it that WE are doing wrong?” instead of blaming it on everyone else and their dog.
I was at home the other night in the middle of my dinner when the phone rang.
Hello, this is AT&T.
Is this AT&T.
Yes, this is AT&T ...
This is AT&T.
Yes, this is AT&T ...
Is this AT&T.?
Yes! This is AT&T, may I speak to Mr. Byron, please?
May I ask who is calling?
This is AT&T.
OK, hold on.
At this point I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my salad. Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, they were still waiting.
Is this Mr. Byron?
May I ask who is calling, please?
Yes, this is AT&T ...
This is AT&T?
Yes, this is AT&T ...
The phone company.
I thought you said this was AT&T.
Yes, sir, we are a phone company.
I already have a phone.
We aren't selling phones today, Mr. Byron. We would like to offer you 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Now, that's 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day?
(getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes, sir, that's right! 24 hours a day!
7 days a week.?
365 days a year.?
I am definitely interested in that! Wow!!! That's amazing!
We think so!
That's quite a sum of money!
Yes, sir, it's amazing how it adds up.
OK, so will you send me checks weekly, monthly or just one big one at the end of the year for the full $52,560; and if you send an annual check, can I get a cash advance?
You know, the 10 cents a minute.
What are you talking about?
You said you'd give me 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to $144 per day, $1008 per week and $52,560 per year. I'm just interested in knowing how you will be making payment.
Oh, no, sir. I didn't mean we'd be paying you. You pay us 10 cents a minute.
Wait a minute, how do you figure that by saying that you'll give me 10 cents a minute, that I'll give YOU 10 cents a minute? Is this some kind of subliminal telemarketing scheme? I've read about things like this in the Enquirer, you know.
No, sir, we are offering 10 cents a minute for
THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please?
Sir, I don't think that is necessary.
I insist on speaking to a supervisor!
Yes, Mr. Byron. Please hold.
At this point, I begin trying to finish my dinner.
I understand you are not quite understanding our 10 cents a minute program.
Is This A T &T?
Yes, sir, it sure is.
(I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter and I had to be Careful not to produce a snort.) No, actually, I was just waiting for someone to
get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan.
Ok, no problem, I'll transfer you back to the person who was helping you.
I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I need to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.
Hello, Mr. Byron, I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan.?
No, but I was wondering - do you have that "Friends and Family"
thing because I'm an only child and I'd really like to have a little brother...
When I first moved here, I only had a brief idea about how high school and college work. They were completely different systems than I was used to…it was all Greek to me. I’d never had a locker, the same classes every day or the ability to drive to school in my own car and have a parking space. After looking into college and what I wanted to major in, I didn’t even know what a credit hour was. I really had no clue.
I spent the first several months in the US talking to people at the school’s financial aid office, which was a complete nightmare. Since my parents were overseas and not supporting me financially, I had to apply for financial aid in order to pay for my books and tuition. Because of all of these “special circumstances”, I had to have someone at the Financial Aid office actually fill out my FAFSA (The Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for me, in order to get any financial aid in the first place, since none of my given information was being accepted. I believe the FAFSA didn’t even give me the option to list a foreign country as a place I’d previously lived.
I spent the longest time doing “research” and broadening my knowledge about college and which grants and scholarships I’d be eligible for.
I have now started my third semester in college, and am in the DMAD (Digital Media Arts and Design) program. Although the classes are VERY demanding and time consuming, I absolutely love the program - the classes have taught me so much and our main instructor is just awesome. This is just a general idea of what a weekday in my life as a college student looks like:
8:45 AM Alarm goes off, usually playing Nirvana or Sublime. I press the snooze button.
8:54 AM Alarm reminds me again to get up. I press the snooze button.
9:03 AM ”I’ll just press snooze one more time…” Z…z…z…
9:12 AM "I’ll get up in fifteen seconds. one…two…three…four…five….six…seven…eight…nine…ten…eleven…twelve…thirteen…fourteen…fifteen…fifteen…fifteen…fifteen…"
9:15 - 9:40 AM I roll out of bed and creep to the bathroom, get dressed and ready for the day. I try to force down a banana and finish packing up my backpack.
9:40 - 9:45 AM "WHERE are my F***ING KEYS?!"
9:45 - 9:55 AM I drive to school and chat with Mike…usually about the drivers who have apparently gotten their license out of a gumball machine at the mall.
10:00 - 4:20 AM/PM Sitting in class, (minus the lunch break in between the first and second class, which I spend at home with Mike watching South Park) usually wishing I hadn’t put in contacts, since I would spend the majority of the day staring at a computer screen. Luckily, most all of the time, the classes I take require less verbal and more physical participation, which means I can listen while drifting off into my world of imagination and creativity and not have to worry about getting in trouble for it. I remember the times when doodling or drawing in class as an absolute no. Now, it is encouraged, as long as it is along the lines of what is being taught and discussed.
On Mondays and Wednesdays I only have one two hour class from 10 AM to noon, so afterwards I use that time to do some homework or skype with friends or family overseas when I can.
4:30 - 6:30 PM ”Free Time”. This doesn’t mean I can do whatever the hell I want. It means I can choose freely in what order I want to do what. It can be anything from homework (which it most always is) to running errands. On occasion, I will spend time with a friend, but that is fairly rare during the semester. Unless on vacation, in most all cases this time is spent doing homework, since we have so much of it. When I have several projects at the same time, I usually have just enough time to use the bathroom in between. Sleeping is kept to a minimum and eating meals usually takes place while I’m working. There are some days that I spend around 6 hours or more on homework, because I will not allow myself to do “the bare minimum.” If I am not happy with a project, I won’t stop working until I am certain I will get an A.
6:30 - 7:30 PM Either go out to grab dinner with Mike and his family or eat dinner at the house. Sometimes even eat dinner while I’m working, as I mentioned before.
7:30 - ??? PM/AM I take this time to continue my homework or other side projects. As you can tell, I am not at ALL a morning person, so this time of day is actually when I work best. My mind is most active and I like the peace and quiet at night. If I happen to have finished everything I need to get done for the day, Mike and I watch a movie together or I curl up and read a book before bedtime.
On Weekends, often times our instructors give us big assignments, so I spend the time I have all day to work on a project in one sitting. When I am really on a roll, I have a hard time quitting what I am doing. I just want to keep working until I’m done. So if I need to sit down for 8 or more hours at a time, the weekend is really good for that. When I can, I do like to get out a little bit and see some friends or go to Mike’s band practice with him. I also like to spend my weekends getting caught up on the sleep I lost in the past week from being up until all hours of the night or pulling all-nighters doing homework.
I’ve found that time in college can be a great mixture of things:
It can be a fresh start: Generally, you won’t know anyone at all when going to college, so you will have a completely clean slate. Nobody will know that you’re the one who passed out in gym class or that you were once a band geek with braces. It will be an opportunity to meet new people and start from scratch. You will also be able to find new groups of people, who share your interests and goals; people you can really relate to and who can also really relate to you.
It can be a great and important experience: You will finally be able to figure out which direction you want to go and who you really are. You will be able to express yourself in many ways you weren’t able to before. If you are staying in a dorm at a four year college, you will often times encounter things you never have before, since you’ve (in most cases) been dependent on other people all your life, so you will learn what amount of detergent you need for a load of laundry, not to put aluminum foil in the microwave and why your parents were so anal about you not staying up until all hours of the night.
It can be a challenge: With all this new freedom, you are now responsible to discipline yourself. You need to know for yourself if it’s okay to stay up until 3 AM or if you can afford to go to that big party instead of putting off studying or homework. It’s a time of trial and error. Some people are better prepared from previous experiences and some people are just learning.
From my experience: College is not a big party. It is not like it is in those cheesy American teen movies about parties, relationships, sororities and fraternities. College is some serious business. That of course doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun or go to a party once in a while. But if you came to college to Party, good luck finding a job. In all seriousness. If you really want a degree and good grades and perhaps even to be on honor roll, you are going to be sitting at your desk on your butt studying and doing homework the majority of your time spent in college. And trust me, it pays off and it feels really good to see your high GPA after all that hard work.
College has also really helped me learn that when I have my mind set to something, I am capable of much more than I was aware of. I am a much happier person than I was before I started college, because I have found something I am really good at. Taking classes that I enjoy and have talent in really give me hope and let me shine in a way that I wasn’t able to while taking classes I hated back in “high school”.
I am sure that my experiences are much different from yours. This is only my perspective. How is/was your college experience? What did you love, what did you hate? If you aren’t in college anymore, is there anything you miss or don’t miss so much? What was/were the most important lessons your learned while in college? Feel free to comment. :)