College: A Story Told Best Through Pictures

Below is the story of my entire college career wrapped up into 40 pictures.


This story starts back in 2012, with a letter coming in the mail.

It read “Congratulations! You have been accepted…”

Who knew that would be the beginning of a 4 year long adventure of ups and downs!?!

First: let me introduce myself.

I am Chandra Taylor, currently a senior at the University of Montana. As graduation lurks only a couple months away, I find myself self-reflecting on the last 4 years of my college career and taking those lessons to look forward with hope that the next 4 years run as smoothly and as happy as the last 4 did.


I want to break this story up into smaller parts, let’s start with my first year in college I shall name this;




So what are a couple things everyone goes through as a traditional freshman in college…

There’s the packing…  so much packing…









Then there’s the unpacking:











And the decorating:

There’s the first six pack you buy or have bought for you:


And the first shots that you take too many of:



The first home football game that makes you fall in love with the amount of school pride everyone has:

The first walk up the ‘M’ Trail that makes you rethink every physical activity you have ever participated in:









There’s finding random things around campus that give you an idea of what type of school you are really going to:










And there’s trying to get used to the weather in the town you’re now living in, this includes the blizzard that dumped pretty close to 3 freaking feet of snow on us my freshman year:


OKAY: So there are the highlights of my freshman year of college, what happens during your sophomore year?


Let us now turn to:




Missoula fog beholds a crazy amount of thick crap that makes it nearly impossible to drive around town and is something that all true Missoulians experience at some point.















This was my pumpkin named Edward, he is the scariest pumpkin I have carved and the only pumpkin that I have painted, it was the perfect addition to our new apartment on Halloween.






Finally, during my sophomore year in college, I was no longer a teenager. Being 20 felt liberating, almost like no one could make any stupid teenager jokes about me any longer.










Unfortunately, I took a turn for the stupid when I hit a snow drift going 75 mph during a winter snow storm. I was completely unhurt, but my car on the other hand, was not.

After crashing my car in late 2014 then early in 2015, I enjoyed exercising my 2nd amendment right. Something that only cost me $50 and still sits in my wallet every day.








And let nobody forget this awesome show of just how classy we are here at the University of Montana.















My sophomore year was also the year that I got diagnosed with Seronegative Polyarthritis, one of the lovely parts to getting this diagnosis was getting a skin biopsy to see whether or not I have scleroderma, which thankfully ended up being a no.





I got notification during my second semester of my sophomore year that I had received three scholarships and two grants from the University for my junior year in college. I ended up being paid to go to school for the year, it was great! And SOBA invited me and my family to one of the fanciest dinners I have been to.





At the end of my sophomore year, I got to go home and spend time with the family for the summer. The Memorial Day statue in Great Falls was one of the first things that I saw when I got home.








I just so happened to lose my phone on Saint Patrick’s Day in Butte, MT so I lost most of the photos from the beginning of my Junior year this will have me combine my Senior and Junior photos into one chapter titled:



Over Thanksgiving break my Junior year, I took time to go shooting with my brother for the first time since I got diagnosed with Arthritis. It was the first time that I got to shoot without wanting to cry after every shot.













The next best thing that happened my junior year of college was that I legally was able to drink! Nothing like a 21st birthday to make college more fun.


As newly able to drink, I can say that one of the best things that I experienced my first month of being 21 was this Bloody Mary Bar. IT. WAS. WONDERFUL.









And where there is a Bloody Mary Bar, there is definitely a chocolate martini somewhere close by.











I started 2016 with the most severe case of strep throat I have ever had, 7 days later I was lucky enough to get my tonsils removed for good and haven’t had a case of strep since.











In February I used a cute picture of me and my ex to get free wings on Valentine’s Day, free food probably made it the least disappointing Valentine’s Day yet.








And yes, they did make me rip up the photo in front of them ha-ha







At this point, I started getting ready for my senior year. That was when I got told that I had received another scholarship for my senior year from SOBA which was super exciting.













A couple of months later, I was driving home for a visit when I happened upon a rock that destroyed the sidewall on my tire. It was not a fun experience.















My second to last semester in college (Fall 2016) was kicked off to a great start by a family trip to Seattle.











As my senior year started to get slowly more stressful, good times with friends have slowly been trying to become a common thing happening this school year:









And a couple different trips have happened:

One to Wenatchee, Washington…










And one awesome trip to Los Angeles:










Unfortunately my grandfather passed away in November, but my grandmother seems to be doing fairly well, all things considered.














But all is well in my life, I am happy with where I am at and look forward to where the future will take me. I will leave you with a happy picture of my puppy in her favorite spot on my couch.

Why I’m Grateful I Grew Up in a Shitty Small Town

I was raised in a small town of a little over 200 people called Piedmont, South Dakota. I had to commute to the town of Sturgis (under 7,000 people) for high school where I had a class of 150 kids. I know this isn’t the smallest town anyone has ever been from, but still anytime I bring it up I’m sure I get the same responses. “Where is that? What did you even do? That sounds shitty”. I have always defended growing up in a small town because it is like having an embarrassing sibling, only you can make fun of them. However, today, I am going to stop trying to defend small towns and really list why I am proud to have grown up in a “shitty” small town.

Lacked Educational Opportunities

My high school was small, and the education was great, but we lacked opportunities that other students were exposed to. I have met students that have taken classes in fields of early engineering, business, and accounting all before coming to college. Some of my peers arrived to the University of Montana with 30+ credits already to their name. This simply wasn’t possible at my high school.

  • I cannot say I am glad that I didn’t have those opportunities, but in a way it made me apply myself more. I knew I was going to be applying to colleges against kids that had more opportunity, and that made me realize in order to do well you have to be intelligent. Growing up in a school system of that size teaches you how to work, and work hard enough to put yourself into the position that you want to be in. It taught me how to embrace an uphill battle, and I will always be proud of that.

“What are we gunna do?”

My town was extremely boring and nothing ever happened. Those words could have literally been 60% of all the words me and my friends have ever said to each other. Constantly we were waiting for something to happen. Always it was, “what movie is out this week? or who’s house are we going to?” Because there was never anything going on. It was mind numbing boredom at its best.

  • I am the most grateful for this, and I know that sounds crazy, but it taught me the most valuable of lessons. How to be patient. How to be able to wait for the things in life that you want, and also how to be happy with what you have. Also, because there is nothing ever going on, I came to understand that you have to seize every single opportunity that you have. Living in a small town will give you that perspective.

Living for the Weekend

Like almost every other small town in Midwestern America, the kids would drink on the weekends. There were very little opportunities for everyone to get together other than at a party. I knew numerous people that got tickets for underage drinking, on several occasions. I knew kids in high schools with DUI’s, and kids that probably didn’t know it, but had drinking problems. It has caused a lot of damage, from lost scholarships to lost lives.

  • This one may be a “silver lining in the cloud”, but again I am glad to have grown up in that. All because it allows you to see how “cool” it actually is to be the drunkest person at a party, and how the consequences of drinking can be much more severe than a hangover. I continually meet people who haven’t learned these lessons, and it is sad when they do because it is a lesson usually experienced and not witnessed.

Very Few People Have Made It

Whatever it is you want to do, if you are from a small town, chances are there are not going to be many connections readily available to you. For that reason many people go into what is a “safe and secure” job, or whatever industry is common around them. Doing what you want isn’t realistic because rarely do you know of someone who has “made it” in the industry you dream of. Unless, of course, they moved to a city where there are more connections. More people equals more opportunity. Small towns do not have those opportunities.

  • This taught me that in order to do what you truly want, you have to step outside of your comfort zone and just go for it. If things aren’t happening around you, make them happen or leave. In order to achieve the things you desire in life you have do things that make you nervous or even afraid sometimes. I am thankful for growing up in Piedmont, because I came to understand that if I didn’t leave there would be no point in pursuing my goals. Since first leaving, I have gone to a number of different places in pursuit of my dreams and it wouldn’t have been possible without leaving home for the first time.

For all of this, and more, I am immensely proud to have grown up in my small “shitty” town in South Dakota because it made me the person I am today, and taught me lessons in life that I believe are invaluable. Small towns may not have a lot material opportunity, but I am glad to be from one. I love my hometown, I love the people, and I would do it again if given the chance. GO SCOOPERS (Actual high school mascot).


Written By: Jesse Schuster

Jesse Schuster is a senior at the University of Montana, a snowboarding wannabee, and a “Scrubs” fanatic.

American TV vs. British TV

American TV vs British TV
Who makes them better?

As a student, it’s pretty common for us to succumb to the stagnation of human movement and sit for hours’ binge watching tv shows (it’s almost a rule of nature). Lately for me it’s a continuous battle whether to watch more British television or more American television.
Maybe I’ve made myself more open to it than others but for me in recent years I find that the quality of TV originating from English broadcasting companies, predominantly BBC, are constantly improving the quality of TV that we’re looking for.


Over the last few years, in majority, American script writers have lacked originality (I’m not saying they’re not of high quality). There has been a burst on the American streamline for everything and anything superhero, although I am a fan to most if not all of them, I do have a keen interest for watching something that is always different and unique. Nearly every network on the American agenda has a current or future development for a superhero television series (Take a look at the CW they have 4 ongoing series at the moment). What essentially seems to be the problem is that America has a stereotype or rather continuous dramatic plot lines. Example – how many takes of detective shows are there? We’ve got CSI, Hawaii Five-0, a few NCIS’, Criminal Minds, Castle, Lucifer … (My brain is spinning thinking of this many already).

Compared this to what’s being broadcast in the UK – for example the long running sci-fi series Doctor Who. It has been running from the 60’s with its revival in 2005 and is going strong since. While initially introduced to educate its audience on astronomy it brings together different creative elements that make it a masterpiece – horror, comedy, drama (who doesn’t love some of it) and the ability to open your mind to endless possibilities of secret civilizations, different worlds while also making its connection to the 21st century. I can’t think of an American tv show that does this, at least not off the top of my head! (Could argue your case for Supernatural!)

In the past, a few American networks have had countless takes on attempting to remake British TV and introduce it into the US and the failures certainly outweigh the success’.
Obvious failures include Little Britain, Skins, Misfits, The IT Crowd and The Inbetweeners. Very few have proven successfully including Shameless and The Office.

The main reason for this high failure rate (if the fact that America tried to remake Little Britain into “Little Britain USA” wasn’t the first clue) is that humour between the 2 nations are extremely different. Firstly, English humour (similar to Irish humour) embarks on a much more sometimes darker humour than expected, much of the time people take the absolute piss out of each other (translation = people spend much of their time mocking each other) especially to those you dislike but also there’s a tendency to do it to yourself.


If it was obviously apparent from the GIF screenshot, this example of Sherlock backs up my point – and also, who played Sherlock better: Robert Downey Jr vs Benedict Cumberbatch? Obviously goes to Benedict Cumberbatch. The first mistake you’ve already made is if you’re aware of this incredible show and have put it on the back-burner (Please fix that immediately)

I also feel like “foul” language or cursing doesn’t seem appropriate for American shows – as I’ve come to know them as Cable and Network channels with Cable TV allowing for it up to a certain level. English TV, depending on the culture that is being depicted, the characters, and the overall form of the TV show you could have every character cursing maybe a dozen times in just one sentence (probably the reason why Misfits USA never went ahead)
I’m only rejoicing to the fact that America haven’t tried to disrupt the long-running sci-fi Doctor Who. Can’t imagine that being successful!

I think the most obvious way to describe the change in humour is comparing the two primary characters of the US Office, one of the successful remakes, and the UK Office – Michael Scott a more exuberant character who could still be childish compared to David Brent’s dark and narcissistic character.

In my opinion anyway, I do feel that the quality of tv and script writing in the UK market definitely trumps over the American market (probably because I’m Irish and I understand both extremely well while some American’s wouldn’t understand the writing or have a hard grasp on the accent). I also think that the repetitious storylines don’t help – but who knows? The market seemed to have moved away from teen drama/comedies (Dawson’s Creek / The OC / One Tree Hill / Gossip Girl etc.) from the early 2000’s to dominating superhero’s in 2016. Maybe something new will come in the not so distant future?!








Top five Halloween costume personalities: which one are you?

Below are five different costume personalities that may or may not fit you or your friends. Read through the descriptions and comment which personality best fits you!

(I am a Last Minute Shopper!)

Personality #1: Most Minimal Costume PossibleImage result for halloween costume men

This person is normally above average on the scale of attractiveness and knows it, they want to wear the most skin revealing thing in the room in order to show off their body. Someone that wears a minimal costume almost always has two different costumes each year; one for school or work and one for their Halloween party or night oImage result for halloween costumes 2016 womenut on the town. They are almost never afraid to spend as much money as needed each year for the best costume possible.


Examples: Playboy Bunny, sexy version of ANY costume.



Personality #2: Total Transformation

The total transformation is the person that spends hundreds of dollars on costume material from facial/body makeup to even extravagant wigs. The
extreme version of the total Image result for heidi klum halloweentransformation person
would end up buying a complete
costume from head to toe that is made of high class material. The way to know if Image result for halloween costumesomeone meets the requirements for this personality is that at first glance you will not recognize them.

Examples: Iron Man, Jack Skeleton, the Joker.


Personality #3: Super, Super Fan

A super, super fan is a person that dresses up as their favorite character of either a show, book, or movie. The person normally knows not only who and what the Image result for comic con costumescharacter is, but they also know everything there is to know about the character’s personality, history, and world. They are extremely likely to get offended and correct you if you get Image result for comic con costumessomething wrong about the character or anything regarding the character’s world.


Examples: Star Wars characters, Harry Potter characters.

Personality #4: Costume with the Least Effort

If someone has a costume with the least effort it means that they normally have
something taped onto their clothing or they grabbed something out of their Image result for Halloween costumes least effortcloset. These are the people that decided at the last second they should probably dress up but didn’t even wantImage result for Halloween costumes least effort to go to the store to buy something official.

These can include people that go dressed up as themselves or even some one that tapes Smarties to their pants and refers to themselves as a “Smarty Pants.”


Personality #5: Last Minute Shopper

The last minute shopper is the costume person that normally needs to dress up for work, school, or a party with little to no time or money to run to the store for
Image result for Halloween costumes crappy a decent costume. This person ends up grabbing whatever they can off of the shelf from the costume store. This person is to not be confused with the “Costume with the Least Effort” as the last minute Image result for Halloween costumes crappyshopper at least puts in enough effort to go to the store for a costume.



Examples: witches, doctor coat, pirate.


Thanks for reading, hopefully a description fits your personality and if you didn’t like your description then just think; “what personality do I want to have this Halloween?”

5 of the Best Horse Videos Ever

This compilation of horses and their riders is simply to make you smile. Kids, buck-offs, a lack of common sense, and a moon walking pony. Enjoy!

  1. When you’ve got short legs and a tall horse, you have to get creative when getting on!

2. When raising awareness for a worthy cause such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, you might want to make sure your horse is on board first!

3. Sometimes it is easy to forget how intimidating a horse can be to newcomers. This poor guy never had a chance.

4. This little girl and her horse cinnamon are the cutest pair you will ever see!

5. This one is obviously not real but is still quite funny. I think we’ve all met a pony that we believe is secretly like this!