Tag Archives: advice

Five Things I Would Tell Myself Before Coming to Radford

I don’t have many regrets since coming to Radford. But there are a few things that I would have done differently if I had the chance to go back and do them again. As a senior days away from graduation, here’s some things I’ve learned that have made me a much happier person.

Be real with people. Life is far too short to be fake around people. Tell people how you feel. Let them know if you’re happy or upset. Say “I love you” to people if you mean it. Learn to recognize your worth. Be vulnerable around those you trust and know that you’re human and it’s ok to have feelings and emotions.

Learn to love and accept yourself, and learn to be ok with being by yourself. A lot of learning to love yourself and being alright with who you are comes from doing what makes you happy, even if you’re doing it alone. I love to sing and listen to music so I sing (even though I’m no good at it) and listen to music a lot, and it makes me happy. If you like something about yourself, but someone else’s doesn’t, that’s their problem. Not yours. Learn to love all of you, even your flaws.

Don’t be afraid of failure or disappointment. For a while, I would avoid doing a lot of things because I was afraid of failing and being disappointed. Even something like asking someone what time it was if I didn’t know, because I felt like I had failed at knowing something simple. But I learned that life is full of disappointment and failure teaches you 10 times more than success ever does. No one likes to be disappointed and the feeling sucks, but you’ll be able to accomplish much more when you’re willing to risk disappointment to get what you want. And sometimes the risk will pay off.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. One thing I’ve learned is that people are a lot nicer than others give them credit for. Most people like helping others. So if you ask for help, most likely, they will be happy to help you or let you know something and it will make them feel good too. And remember that people aren’t against you—they’re for themselves.

Work hard. Play hard. Put effort into important things that need to be done. Schoolwork, your job—do these things in a way so that you’ll be proud of them. But then take time to have some fun and cherish those times when you’re hanging out doing nothing and being stupid with your friends. They’ll be gone way too fast.

My last bit of advice is one that my grandmother told me: You can’t reach your full potential as long as you’re always worried about pleasing other people and worried about what they think.

What It’s Like Being a Non-College-Age College Student

A long time ago, I enrolled in community college immediately after I graduated from high school. One day, my hand-me-down Ford Escort broke. So, I decided to go to work full-time in order to finance my purchase of a new vehicle. In doing so, I did not return to school. This was a horrendous mistake. There are many obstacles that I have experienced being an older student.

Let me preface this by saying that I am old. Not a “gently used” 25 or a “getting out of my first divorce” 29 old. I am talking about geriatric old age. Dr. Poland old. When I was in high school, Dave Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana, Slash and Axl rose were still friends, and Beyoncé was still a part of Destiny’s Child.

Many years after high school, I decided to try this whole “higher education” gig one more time. Holy crap. It is awful. Don’t get me wrong—I am more employable, will have better job opportunities, and I have an air of credibility about me now when I tell people that 50 Shades of Grey is really terrible literature. For that matter, so is anything by Nicholas Sparks.

So here are just a few things that are different for a non-college-age college students

Fraternities. Wow. People have their opinions about them, and I was always intrigued by the possibility of becoming a Greek. Yeah no. There is no way my old ass is going to become part of a frat now. Can you see some dude who can pass for someone’s dad being a little? Me neither.

Sports. I had always been athletically inclined throughout my younger life. Not so much anymore. My best bet now is to see who I can bribe into letting me be the scorekeeper for the volleyball games.

Dating. While people would consider me to be handsome, women usually are not—in my experience, at least –into guys who are old enough to be their father. There is the whole joke about girls with “daddy issues”, but that is a power dynamic I would rather not explore on a full time basis. My experience and world view, I feel, would make a relationship unfair for a woman who was significantly younger than I am, as I could potentially take advantage of her inexperience. Needless to say, I am lonely most of the time.

What I am really getting at is that you should finish college now. I understand that life happens at times. Unexpected medical bills, life events, or even a failing class can put a hitch in your giddy up. It’s really easy to quit. But don’t. Just don’t. Tough it out. You’ve got this. Finish your degree. It will get easier.

I understand that I have my whole life ahead of me now, but I would have much rather had it sooner rather than later.

What Whim has taught me

Whim always has the right of way. Graphic from rubycantu.com
Whim always has the right of way. Graphic from rubycantu.com

When I started working for Whim, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I thought it would be easy, non-stressful, and somewhat boring, to be honest. I thought that I would have no trouble finding people to write for me, that they would write all five articles and turn them in on time, and that I would have barely any work to do. But, boy, was I wrong. I couldn’t find anyone to write for me. In fact, Molly, another employee for Whim, writes all my science, technology, and health articles, and I write all over her opinion articles. We have a good system going, but of course, it would have been easier if we had writers. Although working for Whim was more stressful and difficult than I thought it would be, I would never trade it for anything.

Whim taught me how to work under pressure and strict deadlines, which I know will come in handy for my next job. I learned how to write better than I did before. Whim taught me how to write more than all four years of high school english did. I understood what it meant to truly rely on other people to get work done. I realized that I really do love working with a team and two heads are better than one, as they say. I learned that friends don’t have to be the same as you. I met some amazing people this year, including our editor-in-chief, Becca, our managing editor, Janie, and the rest of the Whim writers. I probably would have never had the pleasure of meeting these people if it wasn’t for Whim, if it wasn’t for walking past the Whim booth at club day, one that I was forced to go to by my University 100 class. Whim taught me more valuable life lessons than I ever initially thought possible.

When I first entered college, I never wanted to join any outside clubs or work anywhere on campus. To be honest, I was kind of bitter about starting college because my high school experience was less than amazing. But Whim really made my first year at Radford much more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined. I looked forward to our budget meetings, as weird as that sounds, because I couldn’t wait to talk to my new found friends. Whim made my college experience something much more than just school and for that, I will always be thankful.

Stress overload

When the going gets tough, the tough curl up in a ball and cry. Graphic form ethanandkayli.blogspot.com

As the final weeks of the semester are winding down, we all look to our lord and savior Jesus Christ for some guidance. When that doesn’t work, we drown our sorrows in alcohol and too much Netflix. We always hope that our responsibilities will disappear at the end of binge watching “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” but unfortunately, the second you turn off the TV and realize it’s 6 in the morning and you have a test in 2 hours, you begin to panic and hope by taking a nap on your textbook the information will be forced into your strung out brain. The stress of being a college student while also being a general person is way too much to handle, most of the time.

I don’t understand why all college classes insist on throwing 14 papers, 23 tests, and 8 project at us within the last three weeks of class. Do they expect us to finish all of these assignments on time as well as actually turn in “A” worthy work? I’m not sure if they remember what it’s like to be in college, but they have to know that it feels impossible. On top of all of that, we have to find jobs for the summer, schedule our classes for next semester as well as possible summer classes, deal with a brother who’s trans ( maybe that one’s just for me, but still.)

We always get lectures from our parents about when they were our age they were working 7 jobs, walking 3 miles in the snow to get to school, and still managing to be student body president. First, we all know that’s a load of crap. Second, the cost to get an education is much higher now, not to mention how much the availability of jobs has gone down. The generation above us just don’t get how high the expectations are for us, how we have to continue to reach for the American dream, but what is the American dream anymore?

The stress can become way too much to handle. Sometimes it’s not about the amount of work we have to do, but it’s about what is expected of us. We have to achieve all A’s while maintaining a job that pays for rent and food as well as being a part of multiple extracurriculars and volunteer at an animal shelter in our free time. I just wish the older generation could calm down and try to understand the struggle we go through instead of lecturing us about how they had it so much worse. Stress can be dangerous and the high expectations need to stop if they want us to truly succeed in life.

Finding a job for the summer: The real struggle

Finding a job for the summer can be really difficult. I’ve almost had zero luck finding a job that’s hiring. I’ve look online, check individual websites, and even walked around Christiansburg, going into each store to ask if they were hiring, which was a difficult time for me because talking to strangers isn’t really my thing. I’m not sure if it’s me, or something about this time of the year, but jobs are nowhere to be found.

The only job experience I’ve had, other than the job I have working for Whim, is a cashier at Foodlion. It was not a good experience, to say the least. I had to stand on my feet for hours at a time, the customers were usually rude and ungrateful, and I was hit on by another employee more than I wish to talk about. I realized that working in grocery or working in an environment where I had to stand or check people’s items out just wasn’t for me.  I left that job after a year and a half because I was going to college and thought that I wouldn’t be able to drive back and forth from Blacksburg and Radford in time for classes as well as work. However, now that I’m a commuter, I realize that I will probably have to do that, seeing as there are no jobs in Radford and money is more and more of a necessity everyday.

desk
“The problem with the job hunt is there are some jobs, just jobs that I don’t want to do.”

The problem with the job hunt is there are some jobs, just jobs that I don’t want to do. Home Depot is hiring, but who wants to be a woman cashier at an establishment full of country men who like to refer to women as baby or honey? Also, I don’t want to be the stereotype of the gay girl who works at Home Depot. Places like Papa John’s are hiring but I feel like the money I spend on gas won’t be replaced with profit.

Maybe my problem is that I’m too picky. Maybe I need to get over my requirements I seem to have for a job and just be thankful for the opportunities that are available. However, if I’m going to work somewhere, I at least don’t want to completely hate my life or dread going to work. I want to enjoy my experiences in life and meet people who like my company and vice versa. Life is about more than money and working, although money would be ideal at the moment.

I think, by writing this article, I figured out what I need to do. Suck it up and work where I can. I should try and find the good in things instead of focusing on the bad. I should be thankful for the opportunities that are given to me, but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it all the time. I need money and money is at Home Depot and Papa John’s. If only I could make money by sitting at home, eating, and watching Bob’s Burgers. If only.

5 ways to lose all your money

When it comes to money, I’m the worst at knowing what’s best. I want to spend every cent I have on things that I know I don’t need, or things that I need to survive but could potentially purchase cheaper alternatives. Even though I don’t make a lot of money, the money I do make never stays in my bank account long enough to gain interest or to gain more than 50 dollars at one time. Here are the 5 reasons I never have any money:

Don't waste your money on daily McDonald's trips. Graphic from JP Koning
Don’t waste your money on daily McDonald’s trips. Graphic from JP Koning

1. Food

Food is my worst enemy when it comes to spending all of my money. When I’m hungry, I have to eat as soon as possible, or I might explode with rage. I become the definition of “hangry” and, as you know, there is only one cure. My go-to when I’m dying of hunger is McDonald’s. I began eating McDonald’s when I was probably 4 or 5, and I’ve never looked back. However, McDonald’s can be pretty expensive when you’re not eating from the dollar menu, which of course, I usually don’t, unless I’m scrounging for change in my car. For some reason, I think eating at home is the worst idea ever and refuse to do it, until I’m out of money and crying on my couch eating Ramen. What I should be doing is only eating out once or twice a week, while eating at home the other 5 days, but that will never happen. My addiction to McDonald’s is too far gone. Save yourselves.

2. Gas

Gas is so expensive. I will never get over having to spend 25 to 30 dollars on gas every four days. My car literally eats my money and then poops it out over the course of a few days, then has the audacity to ask for more. Stupid car. Being a commuter and having to drive to and from Radford, from Blacksburg, multiple times a day, obviously doesn’t save any gas. In the long run, I’m sure it’s cheaper than living on campus, but my debit card sure feels sad and lonely at the end of the day.

3. Cigarettes

You don’t need to tell me how to save money with this one. I get it.

4. Significant Other

Relationships can be expensive, especially when expensive to me means more than 15 dollars. But your significant other deserves to have money spent on them, to have new things, but only every now and then. If you’re struggling with money like I am, then things like food, rent, gas, and other essentials tend to have a higher priority on the list. Just don’t forget about them. Nice things every once in awhile are good, but keep it to a minimum.

5. Clothes

Buying clothes can be a tricky situation. When you actually need clothes, it makes sense that you would go to a store, and buy your clothes. However, when you convince yourself that you need clothes, that you genuinely need new jeans or shirts, even though you really don’t, that’s when money and spending choices need to be questioned.

The bottom line here is spend your money wisely. If you can, save as much as possible so you can have it when you really need it. Try not to buy things you don’t need or spend money when you could eat or use things you already have.
Okay, time to get McDonald’s.

Just breathe

Insomnia is the dark cloud that looms over your head late at night, taunting you, laughing at you as you toss and turn, as you beg for sleep to overtake you. It’s the endless thoughts that consume your mind, creating false insecurities and exaggerated life dreams that keep you thinking and contemplating everything that has ever happened in your life.

You obsess over every little thing that happened during the day, from a small conversation you had with you professor to deciding what you want to do with your life after college. Insomnia has zero mercy.

Don't be this guy. Just breathe through it. Photo from theawkwardyeti.com
Don’t be this guy. Just breathe through it. Photo from theawkwardyeti.com

No one can help the intensity or frequency that insomnia has on their life. People always say “Just relax! Stop thinking and go to sleep.” If it were that easy, insomnia wouldn’t be an issue, but unfortunately, no one can physically turn off their thoughts, their hopes, their chronic dark thoughts that enter the mind no matter the time of day.

Insomnia doesn’t care how physically and emotionally tired you are. The constant, unwavering thoughts that burn holes through your brain don’t care about how badly your eyes burn, how your head feels too heavy to even lift off your pillow, how your legs ache from the exhausting day, consisting of walking across campus multiple times in order to get to your classes on time.

The only way I can treat my insomnia is to let my brain do its thinking, let it work out all the anxieties, all the problems and insecurities that course through your mind all day everyday, and after an hour, if those thought fail to cease, try to focus on your breathing, in and out. Focus on the rise and fall of your chest, the feeling of the oxygen entering your lungs, then exiting. Breath in positive thoughts, exhale negative ones. It’s the only way I can gently and calmly fall asleep without the constant dread of excessive thoughts failing to let me sleep.

All you can do with insomnia is try your best to breathe, to let your brain do its thinking, and don’t stress about the lack of sleep you’re getting. Focus on the good and let go of the bad.

Two major untouchable subjects with your parental units

Some subjects are simply not okay to talk to your parents about. Your parents gave you life, but that doesn’t mean you should talk to them about the nitty gritty, personal, somewhat inappropriate stuff. It’s just awkward and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Here are some topics you should probably steer clear from when talking to your parents.

1. Sex

Nobody willingly likes to talk about sex when it comes to explaining what it means or how to do it. Your parents obviously knows what’s going on when it comes to sex because they had you, but mostly likely, they’d rather not talk to their child about it. You should never brag to your parents about how much you’re getting laid. First of all, why would you do that in the first place? That’s just a little bit weird, but also, that topic could spark the conversation of STDs and other awkward conversations that you nor them want to endure.

Last but not least, please don’t talk to your parents about sex toys. I don’t care if your parents are the “cool parents.” It’s not cool to do that. If you want information, google it or ask a friends. Don’t tell them you’re looking to buy a nice dildo and you were wondering where you could get it. They most likely have no idea what you’re talking about and if they do they’re either mortified or confused. Don’t bring up that conversation. Just don’t.

2. Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs are somewhat of a better conversation than sex; however, parents can be scary overprotective so you have to be careful about how you start the conversation. If you ask any questions without prefacing it with “I’m not a drug addict or alcoholic nor am I attempting to be; however, I do have a question,” then your parents will most likely think you’re a drug dealer, pot head, or alcoholic. Just make sure they know what’s going on before you bring it up. Be nice to your parents

Don't be this kid, please.  Photo from buzzfeed
Don’t be this kid, please.
Photo from buzzfeed

These topics could be different for each person, but I think, generally, these are some good rules to follow to ensure everyone feels comfortable and not awkward when having to look you in the eyes. Be respectful and nice to your parents, it usually help later in life.

Struggles of being a girl

Are you a person who has boobs and a vagina? Do you have trouble with bras and typical materials that girls use? The struggle is all too real and it’s honestly unfair all the troubles us girls have to go through. Here are some of the main struggles I go through. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate.

    1. Sticky Bras

 

    Sticky bras can save your life or make it harder. They’re suppose to replace your regular, strappy bra, but be better. They stick to your boobs making a clasp in the back irrelevant and taking away the visibility of the clasp so you can wear backless dresses or shirts. They also make straps unnecessary, allowing you to wear dresses and shirts that come off the shoulder without being embarrassed about your straps showing. However, after a while, sticky bras can become, well, unsticky, making it very difficult to keep it on. You’ll be out with your friends when you hear the stickiness coming off, sagging your boobs, or completely falling off. All of the sudden, your bra is at your stomach and you’re forced to run to the bathroom without anyone seeing your bra or boobs falling to the ground. They’re a great invention; unfortunately, they will turn on you in the blink of an eye.

Being a girl can be hard. Photo from fakeplus
Being a girl can be hard.
Photo from fakeplus

 

   2Cameltoes

    Every girl can obtain a cameltoe. It all depends on the type of pants that you wear. Yoga pants are the major culprits, though. If you don’t know what a cameltoe is, it occurs when your pants or undergarments get pushed or stuck up in your vagina, making the image of a camel’s toe. It’s kind of gross, I know, but these things happen and sometimes you really can’t control it. Some things you can do it prevent a camel toe include wearing looser pants. Looser pants should prevent a camel toe from occurring because the fabric will be far enough away that it won’t be able to get stuck up there. You can also put a sock in your pants. A sock will create a barrier between your vagina and your pants preventing the camel toe from occurring. 

    3. Nipples

    Everyone has nipples, boys and girls. However, girls are more frowned upon, in society, for showing their nipples, whether it be on purpose or not. Girls hate it when their nipples show through their bra or their shirt, whether it’s because of the color of the nipple or because they are hard. Both of these reasons are unpreventable and can be very annoying.

A couple of tricks you can use to cover up your nipples are putting toilet paper between your nipples and the shirt or bra. People won’t be able to see the toilet paper or your nipples and everyone is happy. You can also place bandaids or tape on top of your nipples to stop them from poking through.

Being a girl can be very troublesome and difficult. However, with the right tips and tricks, you can walk outside confidently and fabulously without your bra, camel toe, or nipples saying hello to every stranger walking by. Be proud to be a girl and make it work.

What to get your girlfriend for Christmas

Do you have trouble picking out the perfect present for your girlfriend? Does it make you nervous? Scared? Confused? Me too. Girls can be very hard to shop for, especially when they already have tons of clothes, jewelry, and things in general.

My girlfriend is very picking about presents and things she buys and she hates it when people buy her things that she doesn’t need. Does that sound familiar? It makes it so much harder to get her something good for Christmas. Here are some tips to get her the perfect Christmas present.

Just listen to your girlfriend! Photo from twoology
Just listen to your girlfriend! Photo from twoology

     

1. Listen

Believe it or not, if you listen to your girlfriend, she’ll most likely give you hints to what she wants, whether purposefully or not. You might be having a simple conversation when she brings up this thing she saw earlier today and she thought it was cute or pretty or just that she really liked it. She might drop more subtle, unconscious hints such as saying she really needs a new alarm clock or a new watch but doesn’t have the time to get one. Those are the subtle hints that you need to pick up on. Listening can really help when trying to figure out what to get her.

2. Pay Attention

Pay attention to what she likes to do. If she likes yoga, get her a new yoga mat. If she likes sports or music, get her tickets to a sporting event or a concert. Concert tickets are always a good idea. Nobody hates concerts. Does she like to hike or ride bikes? Does she like to draw or write? Then take her to a nice hiking trail, ride bikes up to a beautiful views, buy her a sketch pad or a journal. Most of the gifts or presents your girlfriend wants will be said within a month or two before Christmas. All you have to do is know your girlfriend, pay attention.

A girlfriend is a girlfriend. Photo from stephgrantphotography
A girlfriend is a girlfriend.
Photo from stephgrantphotography

 

These are the two tips for getting your girlfriend the perfect present. It really isn’t that hard. All you have to do is have a conversation with her and actually listen. A concept that is new to many but isn’t new to your girls. Be respectful and get her the gift she deserves.

Thanksgiving: Love it or hate it?

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and for some people it’s an exciting holiday, one of nice family get togethers and the sharing of love and great food. For others, it’s a holiday to be dreaded, dealing with racist and homophobic extended relatives and having to answer the same damn questions over and over again. No matter what your circumstance is, Thanksgiving is happening and you’re going to have to deal with people that you don’t like. However, here are some tips to deal with awkward and uncomfortable family encounters.

  1. Force your way through small talk

Dealing with relatives can be easy or hard. It all depends on how you approach the situation. Small talk is something that I, personally, can’t stand. It’s superficial and boring. I don’t really care how your job has been or how your snot-nosed child is doing. I know that they really don’t care about the classes I’m taking in college or what I hope to do in the future, but for some reason, society says it’s what people do to be polite, to be conversational.

To get through introductions and small talk with your family, answer one of their questions as quickly as you can and then excuse yourself to the bathroom. Trust me, it works every time. If they attempt to approach you again, excuse yourself once more by saying, “I have to help my mom in the kitchen.” Not only do you get away from their stupid questions, you also are perceived as helpful and kind to your mother. What more could you ask for?

  1. Ignore or call out you bigot relatives

Depending on your relatives and your personality, these two options are up to you. If you’re shy, don’t feel like starting a fight, or you know your relatives would react badly to any sort of argument to their dumb comments, simply ignore them. Depending on how old they are, trying to change the mind of your 92-year-old grandma on why you dating a black person is okay is a pointless argument. She’s old and was brought up in a certain way of thinking, just like you were. At this point, it doesn’t really matter.

On the other hand, if you are sick and tired of hearing the same bigotry that you do every year, stand up to them. Make them understand why they are wrong and why it needs to stop. Even if you simply say that their comments make you uncomfortable, without saying why or how it affects you directly, it should be enough to shut them up. Do whatever feels right to you.

Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest
Do you have a crazy family? Photo from pinterest

Thanksgiving is a holiday you either love or hate. You can choose to love it if you pick your battles and know when enough is enough. The point of Thanksgiving is to be love and give love, be thankful for what you have and who you have it with. Stupid relatives with dumb views shouldn’t affect the meaning of the holiday. Have fun and tell those bigots where to stick it.

Follow your dreams

Have you ever dreamt about something great in life? About following your passion? About doing what you love, even though you’ve been discouraged by many? So have I. In elementary school, you’re taught to follow your dreams. You’re told,“You can be anything you want to be if you set your mind to it!”, no matter how out-of-the-box it might seem. As a little kid, you’d never think your dream would be crushed by reality, but once you enter high school and college, you see how ugly life can be.

Martin Luther King gives his "I Have A Dream" speech. Graphic from ABC News
Martin Luther King gives his “I Have A Dream” speech. Graphic from ABC News

Raise your hand if you put your dream aside to go to college and do what your parents and society thinks you should do. Are you raising your hand? Because I am. I always thought that having big dreams was a weakness, that wanting to do something that isn’t necessarily “realistic” was one of my biggest faults. That is, until I woke up and realized that wanting something bigger and better for myself was a gift, that being creative and artistic doesn’t have to take a back seat to science and math.

Having a passion is what gets me through the day. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning and allows me to continue to do the things that I don’t necessarily enjoy doing. It’s the one thing that makes me understand why I was put on this earth and that reason is to create music.

Singing is the one thing that I really feel passionate about. Right now, it’s only a hobby but I hope one day to be able to create a career out of it. Of course, nowadays in the music industry, being able to sing is only the first step into making it. You also need to play at least one instrument if not more, read music, write songs, and so on.

It isn’t as simple as it used to be, but I don’t let the discourage me. I won’t let the “unrealistic career choice” statement affect me anymore.

It shouldn’t be about what other people think about your passion. It should be about what you think your purpose in life is, what your true calling is. Don’t let society run your life anymore.

My one piece of advice for you is this: follow your heart because in the end, only you have to live with the decisions you make. You can either be happy that you tried to follow your dreams, whether you succeeded or failed, or you fall asleep at night wondering what could have been. The choice is yours.

Fair-weather friends

Everyone has that friend that only talks to you when they need something. You know the kind. That one person who only texts you once in a blue moon, when they need homework or advice. They only call you up when they’ve broken up with their boyfriend and need a shoulder to cry on.

Don’t you hate being that friend? Don’t you hate having a one-sided friendship and being the doormat within a relationship you can’t help but care about? Whether you like it or not, it’s a toxic relationship and you need to find a way to distance yourself from that friend if not cut them out of your life completely.

Toxic friendships can really take a toll on all portions of your life. Your school work can be affected because you’re constantly checking your phone to see if they text you back, making it hard to focus and successfully finish an assignment. Your other relationships can be affected because you’re always complaining about them and annoying your other friends who just want to hang out with you.

They’re creating drama in your life even when they’re not there. They make you feel like you’re not good enough and make you question the validity of your other relationships.

toxic friends
“Everyone has that friend that only talks to you when they need something. You know the kind. That one person who only texts you once in a blue moon, when they need homework or advice.”

The friendship is only one-sided. They are never there for you when you are going through tough times. Even if you text them multiple times and you know they’ve read them, you convince yourself that they’re just busy and your problems aren’t that big of a deal anyway.

This relationship isn’t fair to you.

In any relationship, whether it be friendship or dating, you should never feel like your problems or your feelings aren’t valid. That is a huge red flag that should be taken seriously. You deserve to feel like an equal in the relationship, like the other person cares about you just as much as you care about them.

I know you care about them so much. Maybe you’ve been friends since you were little and the friendship has always been a big part of your life, but you need to realize that people do change.

Obviously, the person you thought they were doesn’t exist anymore and they don’t value your friendship as much as you do. If your “friend” is only your friend when they need something from you, whatever that may be, they aren’t truly your friend and you need to see that.

You deserve better and the second you figure that out, the happier you will be.

The threat of the freshman fifteen

There’s one thing we all worry about when coming to college for the first time, and that’s the dreaded freshman fifteen. But what really changes after freshman year? Certainly not our eating habits– we’re stuck with pretty much the same old places to eat, on campus and off. So that leads me to believe that not only is the Freshman Fifteen a thing, but so is the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Fifteen, despite those being not near as fun to say.

Many of us know that the weight gain is coming, and we want to avoid it, but we’re stuck in a rut when it comes to figuring out a routine to keep the pounds away. Whether it be eating less or exercising more, we set goals that rarely become the reality unless you have absurd amounts of self-discipline and restraint.

Ever since I moved into Radford, I’ve been trying my best to keep a healthy diet, even though this often meant only one of two meals. A salad from Wild Greens or sushi from Hissho. Always more of a protein girl, I mostly traded the salads for a crunchy roll.

The other day, after weeks of sushi lunches and dinners, a good friend of mine posed a question. He said, “is sushi actually healthy for you? I feel like since it’s mostly rice, it’s not very good.” The more I thought about it, the more I figured he must be right. So naturally, as soon as I got home I looked up the answer.

As it so turns out, there are many different answers to the question, “is sushi good for you?” because there are many different elements that go into it. Fish is incredibly healthy, as it’s rich in omega-3’s, as well as other acids, and has plenty of different kinds of vitamins. Rice can help with energy and blood sugar levels as well as slowing down the aging process. Put them together and you get a healthy dish, right? Especially if you’re looking for a low-calorie meal. Seven pieces of salmon nigiri (sticky rice with a piece of raw salmon filet on top) is equivalent to about 478 calories, about ¼ of your average daily intake.

It’s when you start adding more ingredients, however, like the fried bits of crunchy rolls or the incessant amounts of soy sauce that you run into a problem.

While both can be delicious and even fairly good in moderation, when you continue to pour them on, they become quite unhealthy and even cancel out the benefits of the salmon and rice.

In the end, the lesson always comes down to: know what’s being put in your food. If you don’t trust it, don’t eat it. Find something else that you know is a healthy alternative. Or, if all else fails, you can always head to the gym and work your butt off.

A guide for being sick in college

Being sick at college is no fun. Graphic from Doctors in Training
Being sick at college is no fun. Graphic from Doctors in Training

Your health is more than just the physical condition of your body. In the past two weeks, every student on campus seems to be catching an unwelcoming sickness. Being sick in college is not pleasant; you don’t have anyone to take care of you and make you food. And living in college means living with germs! I was sick this past week and it was so hard to get out of bed for every 8am or 9am class and last Friday, I heard every student sitting behind me in my COMS 130 class coughing or sneezing. It was horrible and I’m scared to get close to anyone! Work piles up as you stay in bed and that’s not fun either. But at some point, every college student is going to get sick. Here are some tips I have for you from experience, if you’re sick with the Radford plague:

  1. Go to the Student Health Center in Moffett Hall and ask for a cold kit (this was a lifesaver for me) and most importantly– it’s free.
  2. Drink lots of fluids and get a good night’s sleep.
  3. Stay away from anyone who’s sick as well and keep hand sanitizer with you in your backpack at all times.
  4. Grab some chicken noodle soup from the Au Bon Pain cafe since your mom can’t make you any, and trust me it’s delicious! Remember to eat healthy.
  5. Stay prepared with your medicines and cough drops.
  6. Try to avoid sharing personal items and keep your room clean.
  7. And lastly, if you’re going to miss a class, let your professor know beforehand!

The best way to treat illness is to prevent it! Also, in my opinion, it’s okay for students to take it easy when they’re sick, don’t stress too much otherwise it’ll be harder on you to get better. Not only is it important to get well and ready to college again but to not hurt any other student’s health. I hope the ones not sick can manage avoiding the plague.

Follow these tips to tackle your sickness and don’t forget to stay warm!

 

 

Hairy situations

Do you have dry, dull looking hair? Ever dye your hair so much that it just doesn’t feel the same? Here’s advice on hair care and what I use to make my hair feel and look healthy. I have dyed my hair plenty of times, from bleached blonde to red, to blonde again, to brown, black, and even purple! So trust me, I know what it’s like to have yucky feeling hair.

Do you have dry, damaged hair? Graphic from Daily Mail
Do you have dry, damaged hair from bleaching? Graphic from Daily Mail

If you’re bleaching your hair I recommend trying to touch up your roots at least every month, and just do the roots. Don’t pull it all the way to the bottom. Your ends are already blonde so the more bleach you put on the ends, the more dry they become. I also recommend using a hair masque after bleaching. It’s, essentially, a very deep conditioner that doesn’t leave a heavy residue. Also STAY AWAY FROM BOX BLEACHES. Get the kind you mix on your own and use the 20 volume developer. It’s not as strong and won’t do as much damage. If you don’t bleach your hair, but do dye it, I recommend these items you can purchase at your local Walmart.

Aussie’s three minute miracle works like a charm. Just follow the directions and use it once a week. I promise your hair will start feeling amazing almost instantly. Along with that, I suggest also using Aussie’s Hair Insurance leave-in conditioner spray. It doesn’t leave your hair feeling or looking oily or greasy. It also works wonders on dry hair. Not Your Mother’s Intensive Hair Unit is also an amazing deep conditioner, but is a little bit more on the pricey side.

For people with dry hair, try washing your hair every other day, or  if you don’t like doing that, wash it once a day and just use conditioner and then the next day use shampoo. This should keep it from drying out so quickly.

Do you have oily hair instead? You can always use dry shampoos. Personally, I like Not Your Mother’s and Pantene. If you want something a little longer lasting, I highly recommend beer rinses. I know it sounds gross, but it really does work. You just wash your hair like you normally would, but after you rise your conditioner out and rinse, take a can of beer and rinse once more. It shouldn’t leave your hair smelling like alcohol, but it’s possible. Depending on what beer you use it usually  leaves a fruity kind of scent. You can also mix the beer and conditioner together to take away some of the beer smell.

Other simple hair care tips I can recommend are using a wide tooth comb after showering and don’t wear your hair up really tight. It breaks off the ends. Try using creaseless elastic hair ties because they are more gentle on hair and don’t make that ugly,  annoying crease in your pony tail. Hopefully these tips will be useful and everyone will have beautiful, shining hair to show to the world.

Ways to destress during the first semester of college

Having control of your work can make a whole lot of difference in your stressful college life. First semester can be chaotic because you’re starting new, and you don’t know what you have to face and the upcoming challenges are just going to get harder. Many students say the first semester is easy, at the beginning you put yourself out there but then you have to maintain good grades, keeping up with assignments, clubs or other outside activities. The key to having a more stress-free semester is to organize your work.

tea not blurry
“A piece of advice for everyone is to do what pleases you, which helps you relax.”

Don’t put work off! Doing things on the day you get it is the best way to stay organized and not be overwhelmed by all the work piling up and set a goal for yourself each night. If you accomplish all the work you have set for yourself in one night, don’t try to overdo yourself and do more. Relax, breathe and take time for yourself. Understand that everything can’t be done within one day. Another important thing to do is to keep an agenda. Try to stay on top of things by being punctual. School shouldn’t be stressful and only you can have full control over that.

Some things you can do to destress include doing things you enjoy more often. Talk with your friends, go watch a movie, read your favorite book again, or try new places on campus you haven’t been to yet. Basically, do anything non-educational.

Also, one more thing that works great is to get enough sleep. Staying up all night is a deadly sin if you have an 8 am the next day. You’ll be much happier and energetic in class if you receive at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night.

Every student has a different way to destress in college and they have different goals, not everyone will be on the same education boat. A piece of advice for everyone is to do what pleases you, which helps you relax. Listen to music while studying, or go to the library for quiet, just set your mind free.

A college tip to freshmen from a freshman

College is a whole new world of opportunities. But you don’t have to let the reputations of college define who YOU are. If you don’t like to party, and everyone else at college does, then that’s okay. Don’t participate in something that you don’t like. There are plenty of clubs and organizations that may fit what you like to do. College is all about “the experience,” but that experience is different for everyone. You shouldn’t have to experience it the same way as someone else. It’s okay to want to stay in and watch Netflix, or play video games. It’s also okay to participate in fraternities and sororities as well. Freshman, don’t start college thinking you have to join either of those, just because that’s what TV always portrays college life as. It’s okay to take a semester to figure out what you want.

freshman
Photo By: Danielle Johnson. Student (left to right): Chelsie Townsend, Jasmine Gallimore.

College can or can not be about finding the “one.” But don’t make that your priority, that’s not how it works. You won’t find someone by hooking up; you should be patient. Also, people who come to college already in relationships, if you’re happy where you are, then don’t let someone tell you that your relationship will prevent you from the college experience.  As I mentioned before, everyone’s experience is different.

A lot of people seem to feel like they have a hard time making friends, don’t worry. This is only the first semester and it’ll probably take a while to really get adapted to a new environment. Remember, we were confined to only a certain amount of people, who we saw every day for five days a week–it will be hard to figure out who you really click with. If you see someone you want to talk to, do it! Most everyone will be friendly, even if you’re shy.

Always remember to make this college experience for you, and not for someone else. Take baby steps, and have fun. Don’t be afraid to not do things that you are uncomfortable with, and also don’t be afraid to try new things. Always stay safe, and be yourself. That’s the only way you can truly experience college.