Going to class could save your ass

*WARNING: graphic image at the end*

April 13, 2018 will be a day that will scar me for the rest of my life, literally.

It was a Friday and for one of my classes I had to attend Wiley & the Wild West, a yodeling show. Yodeling is not a genre that I listen to so it’s safe to say I had no desire to go. Luckily, I was in the class with my good friend Caroline and we braved it together. We stayed for about the first 15 minutes and then snuck out. We hurried to her car in the Adams Center parking lot, I plopped into the passenger seat, and that’s where things went south.

I wasn’t sure what happened but I knew it was bad. Acting on instinct, I jumped out of the car.  I looked down at Caroline’s passenger seat, and there it was – a newly broken wine glass.

I looked down and noticed there were drops of blood on the pavement accompanied by an almost numbing pain in my left buttcheek. I called Caroline over and she confirmed that the wine glass had gouged a reasonably sized hole in my favorite jeans (RIP) and my favorite cheek.

So there I am, draped over the trunk of Caroline’s Kia Forte bleeding all over the gym parking lot while she cleans the glass out of the seat. A truck pulled over and a woman jumped out of the passenger seat to see what was going on.

She looked at my butt and said  “I am an EMT and you’re gonna need to go to the hospital.”

We promptly ignored her professional advice, folded ourselves into the Kia and I actively tried to avoid bleeding on Caroline’s seats on drove home. When we got to my house I took off my jeans, laid on the couch, and gave Caroline some tweezers to search for any leftover glass. She took one look and said, “Yeah, you know… maybe we should go to the hospital”.

I wrapped myself in a towel and off we went to the nearest Cost Care. I told them the story and they couldn’t help but laugh. They soon decided that my injury needed to be handled by the ER.

We arrived at the ER,  where I departed an hour later with 7 stitches and one embarrassing ass story.

For the next 2 weeks I couldn’t fully sit down, and on top of that, I owed Caroline a wine glass. Maybe if I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to leave and instead learned to appreciate the art of yodeling all could have been avoided.

Moral of the story, look before you sit and don’t skip class kids.

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What Losing Friends Has Taught Me

By Gianna Pagano

My Sophomore year of college I met a girl and we instantly connected on so many levels. From that moment forward we became best friends and we were practically inseparable. We did everything together, and I literally mean everything. She was the person that I looked up to for advice on family, friendships, boyfriends, and even academics. Not only was she nice, but she was smart, loyal, spontaneous, hilarious, and most important, she always supported me whenever I needed her.

As we get older and mature into who we decide to become, we often grow out of friendships or lose touch with them. A lot of the times these falling outs can be completely unintentional. Whether we get busy with school, work, family, new relationships, or we simply just change, the truth is that this is just the reality of life. 

I’m sure many of you have experienced something similar, and you can relate that it isn’t easy. There was never an argument or a huge fight that ended our friendship, we simply had a falling out. The past few months have been extremely difficult for me, and I feel that both my friend and I have missed out on being there for each other for many important events.

Having a falling out with a close friend can be emotionally draining, so here are 5 recommendations that helped me and can help many others going through the same process:

Give yourself time to process your emotions and understand the situation

A breakup with a friend can be just as tough as a breakup with a significant other, and it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions. To cope with your emotions, start by giving yourself time to grieve and assess your feelings about the situation so you can come to terms with the reality of losing a friend. During grieving, ask yourself: Are our problems beyond repair? Did they do something unforgivable? What caused this to happen?

Since the breakup with my friend, I have experienced about every emotion possible. I initially tried to brush it off and pretend I did not care. However, as weeks turned into months, I realized I was genuinely hurt by the situation and I missed her. I experienced a range of emotions: jealousy, anger, disappointment, loneliness, and confusion. I cried, A LOT.

It is important to remember that it is okay to feel vulnerable during these situations. You might force yourself to hold in your emotions, but bottling up your feelings is not healthy and it is normal to cry it out. 

Look at the situation from their perspective

Everyone has flaws, even you. Try to be more self-aware and understand you might have been in the wrong too. If you both equally contributed to the falling out, then you cannot throw all the blame on them nor should you hold a grudge. It is better to ask yourself: Why did the friendship end? Should I have tried harder to maintain it? Remember, friendship is a two-way street and it takes two people to communicate.

You should take into consideration how they are feeling. When you lose a close friend, it is likely that they are also experiencing the same or similar emotions as you are. And guess what, she probably misses you just as much as you miss her.

Do NOT make your mutual friends choose a side

I cannot express this one enough. A good friend would NEVER try to put their other friends in an uncomfortable position by forcing them to take a side. This problem involves two people, and no one else. Your mutual friends might be hurting too because they’re conflicted and feel they now have to split their time. Making your friends choose a side will only cause more drama and could ultimately make you lose those friends too. 

When both of you are in the wrong, you must be mature and refrain from speaking negatively about them. In my situation, I know that the girl was and still is an amazing person, so I never could say anything bad about her. Talking crap to your mutual friends puts them in an even more difficult position, and frankly, it will make you look petty.

Make new friends

Moving on is never easy but making new friends can be when you put yourself out there. While you may think that no one will ever compare to your lost friend, surrounding yourself around different people can fill the void and offer you new friendship qualities. Evaluate which qualities you look for in a friendship, then find the courage to expose yourself to new people.

I used to struggle when it came to making friends, and when I was younger, I honestly did not have that many. After my falling out, I decided to put myself back out there because I was tired of feeling left out. I ended up meeting a few girls recently that welcomed me in with open arms and have since become people I could not imagine my life without.

And finally, reach out when you are ready

If you are as stubborn as I am, this will be the hardest part. This requires you to be the bigger person and to take initiative. If you realize that you still want them in your life, start by apologizing or reaching out. If the two of you are still unable to resolve your issues, then at least you know you did everything that you could.

I found myself reaching out many times during the first few months, but I eventually stopped because nothing was changing. We would agree that we both missed each other and wanted to resolve our issues, but after each time I reached out, I never heard from her again. It turned into a never-ending cycle and only caused me more pain. I finally had to accept that when she was ready, she would let me know. 

If the friendship was genuine, remember that this is only temporary. Eventually you will both come around and have the opportunity to discuss the situation, but for now it is going to take some distance. In the meantime, be patient, focus on yourself, and understand that sometimes people change.

Expectation is a Curse, Unless it Isn’t

How often in our lives do we find ourselves over analyzing or even mourning the circumstances in our lives after some situation or, more often, some person doesn’t live up to our expectations? Then again, how fantastic is it to be in the middle of a moment that so far exceeds anything you could have imagined that you almost have to pinch yourself to make sure it’s real? For what it’s worth, these are universal human experiences because we are all blessed and cursed with the ability to imagine what we want and then to desire that it comes into our lives.

Since it is a universal human experience, it probably means it’s also a necessary part of the human experience and one that has contributed to our evolution in one way or another. Without expectation of reward, positive or negative, why do any of us leave our houses in the morning and face the day? It is because we have expectations that the day offers something new and amazing, or that it will at least move our lives forward. Hope, after all, is just another name for positive expectation.

The dictionary says that expectation is both A) “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future” and B) “a belief that someone will or should achieve something.” I think this perfectly captures the dilemma of expectation. Expectation is a belief about the future and a belief is not necessarily a truth, nor does is guarantee an outcome. Expectations are sort of like goals, except that people rarely put effort into the creation of expectations. A goal is a decision injected with purposeful action, whereas an expectation is an idea mixed with varying levels of conviction. For the most part, goals are actively pursued and expectations are passively accepted.  

I believe that the way people understand and manage expectation is a defining factor, if not the defining factor, in the quality of their lives. Expectation can act as a guide, allowing us to move through the world with some evolving hope about what we may encounter in the world. Otherwise, expectation can become a liability when they are rigid and inflexible, eventually dragging us down into a fog of disappointment.

This topic has been at the forefront of my mind because I just experienced a wildly challenging period in my life. One in which I have felt my motivation, focus, energy, and self-worth drain out of me through the cracks that appeared in my well-being during this time. These cracks and the collateral damage they created in my life were all caused, in their essence, by my expectations. More accurately, it was my relationship to my expectations that lead to all this difficulty.

For the better part of a year, I have been grappling with various expectations that I let become a prison cell around my life. This time taught me a lot about how powerful expectations can be when they become too inflexible. One of the nefarious qualities of expectation is that when we commit to them too strongly, the doors of opportunity to anything else slam shut. For me, I had created a scenario in my life based on the assumption that when people say they feel a certain way, they will behave a certain way. As I read that sentence now, I see how ridiculous it is because I know it’s completely untrue. But I believed so overwhelmingly in what I felt and how I expected things to turn out that any reasonable perspective was completely lost.

Because of this, I pushed for things to be a certain way despite a horde of circumstances that absolutely required flexibility. I spent every day wanting things to be a certain way and then felt progressively worse as each day passed and what I expected never came to pass. This made every part of my life difficult, making me question my motivations, my abilities, everything. Needless to say, I don’t recommend letting this happen in your life.

If we allow expectations to exist with some lightness in our lives, free to evolve with changing circumstances, instead of hurting us, they can buoy us when things get tough. Strong, heavy expectations keep your focus in the future instead of in the present moment.

Here’s the challenge with adjusting your expectations: when someone says they have low expectations, what is your initial reaction? You probably react with concern, confusion, or pity. But this reaction is a mistake. Having low expectations is not the same as having low ambition. It also doesn’t mean a loss of faith in people. Instead, it means being ready to let people and situations unfold naturally without the need to push for particular outcome. I’m not saying people should stop expecting others to treat them with respect or fulfill their responsibilities, but if expectations get set of everything and everyone around us, whose fault is it when these expectations are not met?

The only person anyone can or should expect things from is themself. While this might sound sad, this is actually a good thing. First, others WILL show up for us, even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. If there is a time in life when it seems like no one is there or expectations won’t be met, turn to oneself to get through it becomes an incredibly powerful and transformational moment.

This blog post is just me scratching the surface of a pretty intense topic. Changing the way we manage expectations isn’t something that happens overnight. We have to shift our mindset and that should be done thoughtfully and at our own pace. But it’s definitely worth it.

For a more clinical breakdown of this topic, check out this link.

Written by Chris Jambor

Musician by Night, Potato by Day: 5 Ways to Be a Better Night Owl


Musician by Night, Potato by Day

Written by Kyle Estabrook

Some of us have a pretty routine life. Wake up between the hours of 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM. Open the curtains to greet the day. Stretching out your arms to get the blood flowing. Brew up a cup of joe. Perform the “Three S’s” of the morning. Get dressed, then head to whatever obligation you have to occupy your time. Most people are on their feet and ready to go by the time it’s 11:00 AM;  In fact, most people are ready for lunch by then. Me on the other hand, I tend to have quite a difficult time trying to stay awake. Usually between the hours of (for the sake of dramatic effect) 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, which is when I typically get out of classes.

That’s right, I was the guy that would fall asleep in class because he decided to stay up all night squeezing out as much productivity as possible before heading to bed, which 2:00 AM to 3:00 AM is pretty standard for a guy like me.

Now I know that most of you understand what it’s like to function on a 3 to 6-hour sleeping schedule, but here are some of the reasons why I have stayed up so late and some of the solutions I’ve come up with to help alleviate the situation, making the rest of the day a little more tolerable.

So as the title may suggest, I consider myself to be somewhat of an artist. I’ve been playing guitar for 12 years, singing for 10, and producing music for 2. The times in which I find myself being the most creative are between the hours of 8:00 PM and 2:00 AM, 2:00 AM being the time where all cognitive functions cease and what’s left of my brain resembles a starchy plant used to make delicious side dishes. During this time frame, I like to create music, edit film in adobe, work on homework assignments that involve writing, create photoshop images, organize things; basically anything that my OCD of a brain would like to accomplish.

If you identify with any of the things I’ve mentioned above, then congratulations, you’re a night owl!

 

Here are 5 things I have learned over the past 4 years of college that might just help you with getting your life together:

1. DON’T schedule classes that start at 8:00 AM, or DO schedule classes that start at 8:00 AM: This may seem contradictory, but just hear me out. When I was a sophomore, I thought that forcing myself to take 8:00 AM classes every day would change my whole sleeping schedule, and allow my brain to be active during the day. It didn’t, but for others, it may work. Sleeping late at night could be the result of a bad habit. Forcing your body to adapt to this change may be the push you need to get out of being a night owl. For me, creativity is most prominent during the later hours, so my suggestion would be to schedule your day based on your sleeping pattern. My classes start from 12:30 PM each day, which gives me plenty of time to wake my brain up, feel relaxed, and start the day. I would plan on going to bed before 2:00 AM (12:00AM-2:00AM), wake up between 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM, and feel relaxed and mentally prepared for the rest of the day.

2. Don’t drink caffeine past 7:00 PM: This one’s super simple. Every single one of us, and don’t you dare tell me otherwise, have drank or ate some form of caffeine. If you haven’t, then you are not human, and you are now classified as a meat-popsicle. I need caffeine from time to time because I would accidently choose to have all-nighters, which is a direct result of having terrible friends who peer pressure me into having a social life. Obviously, drinking caffeine over the weekend when you don’t have any future obligations is perfectly acceptable, however, if you do need to wake up before 10:00 AM, I don’t suggest drinking coffee after 7:00 PM. The half-life of caffeine is anywhere from 4-6 hours, which half-life apparently means the time required for any specified substance to decrease by half. I had to google that.

3. Trick your brain into being active: If you find yourself having a little bit of extra time during the day, but don’t feel very creative or active, try tricking your brain! Do something that would stimulate your brain to have similar reactions to when it would be active at night. For me, cleaning tends to do the trick. When I clean my house, I become very vigilant about all the things that need to be taken care of. When my house is completely clean, it feels like I’m starting off with a fresh new space to work in. Less clutter = less worry = so much room for activities. #stepbrothers

4. Prep for less stress: This one may take some time to get used to, but it works! The biggest problem I have when waking up is preparing for the day and not feeling stressed about the amount of time I have to get prepared. If I feel rushed and I head to school feeling this way, I’m not going to be a very happy camper. If I feel relaxed and ready, then the rest of the day is smooth sailing, or at least tolerable if you do run into a few hiccups. Simple things like preparing a set of clothes for the next day, meal prepping, and organizing all the things needed for school/work, would decrease the amount of time spent to prepare, and would allow you to spend more of it mentally preparing for the amount of time it’ll take for you to find a decent parking spot on campus.

5. Do what feels good: The last piece of advice that I have for you is to listen to your body. Nobody knows how you feel better than yourself, so know your limitations and understand what you are capable of. If it means that you can spend just a little more time working on music, then do it. If you know that you have an exam the next day and you need more sleep, then figure out a way that will help you sleep. My tip is to drink a heavy dose of tequi…. I mean… leave all of your technology out of reach when you try to sleep. Bright white screens tend to keep people up longer.

Much like how writing this blog post is doing to me. 

 

 

Author – Kyle Estabrook

 

Adulting 101

A·dult·ing:
Verb 

1. Being a responsible adult. Used by immature 20-somethings who are proud of themselves for paying a bill.

 

Technically, I am not “adulting” yet. But May 13th is approaching fairly quickly, and that is when I am SUPPOSED to (apparently) embark on this next chapter of my life. In order to prepare myself for this whole “adulting” thing, I asked some of my “adulting” friends to offer some advice for all those in my shoes. Here are the most important (and some hilarious) responses that I got:

ONE: “Junk food and beer make you fat”

But how do you adult without those?? Especially the beer… AMIRIGHT?!

TWO: “We’re all just pretending to know what the eff we’re doing.. no one reallyyyy knows”

OOOOH, thank god.. But can everyone stop pretending because you’re making me feel like shit?! Thanks.

THREE: “You will have to work 10 x harder than everyone around you in order to prove that you’re not just another millennial with a degree & a dream”

FOUR: “Marrying someone rich isn’t a bad idea”

I’ll never admit who said this… let’s just say she didn’t marry rich 😉

FIVE: A little disagreement among some adulters:

Adulter 1: “Don’t settle down until you know yourself”

Adulter 2: “Sort of agree but I think people focus a lot on feeling ready and I don’t think you ever have that completely ready feeling.”

OK, go with whichever one you like better. Adulter 2 is my sister sooo, I’ll go with her 😉

SIX: “Bills are real”

Some of us learned this in college, but if you didn’t. WARNING: bills are real and due every month… bummer!

SEVEN: “Having good credit is everything in adulthood”

Not really sure what this means, how to do this, or why it’s “everything” …

But one of my more “mature” adulters gave this piece of advice… so let’s make sure we have good credit people.

EIGHT: “Start saving for your 75-year-old self.”

Ok, this is boring, seems kinda lame, but I guess we’ll thank ourselves later.

NINE: Adulter 1: “Your fridge gets disgusting if you don’t wipe it down 1-2 times a                  month.”

Adulter 2 added: “Pay special attention to the veggie drawer. A lone zucchini left at the bottom can ruin your Sunday”

TEN: “Little things happen all the time and they add the f up. You can pretend you have your adult budget figured out but until you are knee deep in adulting, you have no clue how much it costs to adult.”

ELEVEN: “The dentist isn’t an option….”

I mean…. Was it ever an option? But ok, yes.. go to the dentist adults.

TWELVE: “You are going to turn 30 wayyy sooner than you think and for some reason at age 30 if you don’t have your shit figured out, you WILL go into panic mode… Be ready”

THIRTEEN: “Don’t ask too many people for their opinions. It gets too fuzzy. Trust your gut. Have two really close friends that you trust.”

FOURTEEN: “You are actually busier post college. I was excited to not juggle work and school. In reality, I had way more time for friends and hobbies when I was a student. Can’t explain why or how, but it’s true. Life only gets fuller and busier as ‘adulting’ takes over!”

Yikes….. not really what I wanted to hear. This is reality though, people.

FIFTEEN: “You can’t decide if you admire someone until you have had a peak into their whole world. If someone seems successful at work, look at their non work life. If they are living in a way you admire there too, then they are the type of person to look up to. If you spend your time admiring: Person A) because they are bad ass at their job and loaded or Person B) because they are at all of the school events and soccer games you’re going to feel like a failure in your own life you can’t do all of those things. Find people who have a work/life balance to look up to. They are the people who are truly successful.”

WOAH. Shit just got real. But some really solid advice!

SIXTEEN: “Just because you’re done with school, doesn’t mean you’re adulting”

PHEW!!!! That’s what I like to hear…. I’ll hold off on the adulting then.

Thanks to all the ADULTERS who contributed. You all are kicking ass. To those of you about to start adulting, good luck & let’s be bad ass adulters together!