College Check List: things and advise for College

If you want to know more things about school, my school stories; click here.

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I went back to my undergrad college campus (Winona State) after three years and it was super weird. We passed the beach volleyball section and I told my friend I remember being a freshman and feeling so not “in college” and not “college like;” I felt weird, young, and small. But then I remember all the things I did, wish I did and didn’t do–the didn’t are never regrets they were lessons. And if you are going to college for the first time, or in your third year here’s a check list of things and reminders of what to do in college.

CHECK LIST FOR COLLEGE

  • Get out of your bubble: expand yourself, this is the very first time where you don’t know anyone and you are living on your own-it’s exciting and scary. Just be willing to try and meet people, don’t be afraid. I think when I look back I was so stuck in my own worries and being “too hyper” and not wanting to be something that I wasn’t willing to just do things. It wasn’t until my 2nd year that I broke out of that.
  • Do things with your floor mates:  Definitely live on campus your first year, don’t think about moving out even if you can. I think the best thing about my first year was my floor. We would go to dinner together, we would sit in the hallway together, I would watch TV shows in my neighbours’ rooms. Sleep in the common room together one night. We would study together, we would go to class together or walk in the same direction especially if we saw each other waiting for the bus. Take advantage of living in a dorm!
  • Roommate:  This is my “advice”. I had two freshman roommates; the first one wanted me to change in her closet and the 2nd one stole my clothes. The check list is to really just get along with your roommate. You are put into a room with a total stranger and maybe for the first time in your life you may have to just be able to live with each other. If you can not get along, go to your RA; it’s what they’re there for.  Having a roommate will make you learn the importance of communication instead of being passive aggressive about issues.
  • Take notes, study, and find those reliable sources: I think the biggest thing about college is that you are coming out of a world you know, having parents telling you what to do and a familiar high school, to a ‘whole new world’ and part of that is  learning to be a college student. This might sound a bit weird but really spend time on your note taking, studying. My friend said she really grew and became more open from college, and that not only had to do with the experience of being around so many different things but also the education part. I learned so much in my classes. I never thought I’d learn about the relationship of “Spiderman, God, and Moby Dick.”IMG_6920
  • Go to a house party: I am not telling you to drink! I’m saying go to a crappy house, meet people, go into the party basement have the plumbing burst and be smart–Don’t be stupid! You really have to see things first hand to know, experience and learn that house parties aren’t glamorous at all.
  • Go to class: College isn’t only about the game and fun things you are also there to get an education. Skipping class, not doing the assignment is on you. The quote that stuck with me is “you’re paying for it not me”.  The best example I can give to you for not skipping class is my Energy class, he gave you the whole problem and how to answer them right there, leaving blanks and where to go and get that number to put there, and telling you what answer he wanted to have for an answer. . And there was a kid I met that never went to class, so he missed the homework. The professor said if you miss class you better come with a good excuse or have a good friend. That part I hated, but still how easy is that, go to class, you get the answers! Who would have thunk it!
  • Make friends with the “lunch lady”: I lived on west campus during my 1st and 2nd year and I knew all the staff people that worked in the cafeteria and I loved it! The lady who swiped the cards became my friend during our hour-long talks during breakfast. I went to her with tons of problems and stories; she pointed me in the right direction; she even got me a guys number. I got the best pancakes from the cook, and when the night cafe was open I got to sit with the guys and swipe cards. I even got free chicken tenders.
  • Join clubs: The one thing I wish I did more of was join more clubs or in Ireland they are called societies. I do think there wasn’t really much to pick from though. There were a lot of related to majors, and they felt clicky sometimes. I wish that the UCC societies had been at WSU; something like the Moltey  Magazine would have been SO COOL and a GREAT opportunity. There was a literary journal at WSU but it was a course and it wasn’t going to fit in my schedule.
  • Study abroad: Make time to study abroad. I think the best time I had in my four years was at UL (well top 5 & it is number 1). It is an opportunity to meet new people who will become lifelong friends.
  • Date: Definitely date in college. When I was in college Tinder and Snap Chat were popular and as a result dating was not the thing to do. People would just meet up and suddenly they were in a relationship. College might not be the place where you meet the “one”, but it might be. To find out, date!
  • Definitely do weird things in the library: I’m not talking about the Prince and Me moment, I’m talking about wearing a onesie into the library or maybe lay under the table. And it doesn’t have to be the library. One night my friend and I danced to a One Direction song all the way to the cafeteria. We had a night of “what Kole can fit in.”
  • Go to the games at least once: I am not a homecoming football fan, but I went once and I saw. I went to a lot of basketball games with friends that was fun!
  • Make connection with your professors: They are there to help you and near the end they can be a great resource to really help you even when you are out of college. Go to their office hours; they will tell you when they are on the syllabus, it’;-there is no excuse. Get to know your professors; like find out if they have a cat or a kid. I mean by the time you’re in your last year you might be drinking with them in a bar. WEIRD!
  • Don’t declare your major right away: After learning about how Ireland guides you into what major you should be doing I think we are really lucky that we are able to switch into a new major. I mean you may go to college thinking math but then you really like art. I didn’t declare my major until my 2nd year, I knew I wanted to do English but I wanted to figure it out. I do wish I took more graphic design classes or did more mass communication classes; but my school wasn’t a liberal arts college so the focus was a bit different.

College is the first real chapter when you are figuring yourself out so allow yourself to do it. Make friends, get out of your comfort zone, really get yourself involved, don’t be afraid, and definitely keep at your studies! I am not your mother but realize that college is the balance between having fun and getting an education, so do it!  This wasn’t supposed to be “tips” for college, but advice for things to do while in college and consider things that you may not have thought of doing. Like I didn’t join a club until my 2nd year of college, I mean I put my name down but it took a year to go.

 

I’m definitely going to a style school post closer to September, but I did share some Outfit ideas without going school shopping on FB page. If you want tips about college like studying, buying books, dealing with roommates, or making friends in your courses, like this post & if I get 6 likes I will know I should do it!

 

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Lookbook: T-shirts with a purpse

If you are all about graphic t-shirts, looking vintage then these two t-shirts are for you, they also help increase awareness about important causes.

I’m feeling very slumpy this week, it has a lot to do with my life and that it’s that time of the month. I start to think of all the things I’ve not been doing. Plus, it seems it has increased to a level that is making me feel like CRAP, not only in myself but in blogging as well. If you have been following me on Instagram you might have noticed a slow down in posts and also a lot of #throwback. But, I’m hoping that this weekend finally getting to learn how to snowboard and also taking care of myself will get me over this slump mood. I think I just need to buy myself something pretty–or have a night out.

Anyway, the whole life part is more personal but I also believe I am feeling down because of how women are being treated in society/government. The reason why I am bringing that up is one of my favorite things to buy are t-shirts or even hats (LOVE hats even though I don’t wear a lot of hats I love collecting hats) that go towards good. I have two t-shirts that are about supporting women and I have created everyday looks of how to wear them proudly.

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The nasty gal t-shirt: I wore this shirt during the march. And it’s made by Google Ghost; inspired by the USA election and the phrase “Nasty Women,” they took the phrase and made it their own. They empowered those words for women. They have a really cool story in the about me page I recommend go reading. The shirt not only spreads a good message but they good to a great cause. The profits  from the sale are going towards women – 50% of the proceeds from these shirts go to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is a a non-profit that provides affordable health care, especially for women, and is under threat. It gives out  a lot like STD testing,sex education,and breast exams. So really this T-shirt is a triple threat with spreading the message of women, taking a stand and giving to planned parenthood which helps women!

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My Sister.org: Now I didn’t know sex trafficking was happening so frequently in Minnesota, I was shocked!  Sex trafficking is selling/trading of women for sex. My Sister.org is a Minnesota based organization that not only is bringing awareness to sex trafficking but is putting action into stopping sex trafficking. Their mission statement, 68dea2ed-92f8-42c8-97f3-d5de75d7506btaken from their site: MY SISTER’s mission is to prevent sex trafficking, educate communities, empower the population, provide after-care for survivors and offer growth opportunities to at-risk women through the sales of our statement-making, ethically-sourced apparel and accessories. 
You can learn more about what they do, how you can help and also get educated on their site’s blog. I’m still learning more about this as well, but I got a t-shirt to share the awareness and to spread the message. Because it parallels my biggest movement of saying Women are not objects! We aren’t a body; we are human.

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A lot of time organizations and groups want you to get involved, and that really is the best way to do it – devote your time and money to them. But, talking about your causes, spreading the message on twitter, sharing reliable sources, and wearing a t-shirts also helps. I don’t have a lot of time to volunteer, so being able to wear these t-shirts in my every day apparel helps put the message out there. I shouldn’t wear white but these t-shirts are on point.
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Living Abroad: top 10 advise on moving across the sea

I lived abroad in Ireland for two years and maybe this advice is only related to “Ireland” but may give you an ideas if you happen to move abroad. These are my top 10 advise tips when your moving across the sea to live.

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  1. PACKING: Only bring the things you love because there are shops over there and you can buy a lot of your basic needs there, e.g. bathroom stuff. I pretty much brought the clothes I loved and wore every single day, including four pairs of shoes. I also brought  things I would need right away like my makeup, but only enough to last  short time.
  2. IMMIGRATION: Have everything ready for when you are entering and for immigration. I was in line once and a guy did not have anything with him he just said he was going to go to school and thought that was it. No. They want to see documents, so have them ready. I organized all my documents in a three ring binder.
  3. CULTURE SHOCK: Know that things are going to be different when you live in a foreign country. I think this is the most important thing you will need to learn. When you are moving abroad know things will be different, you won’t be used to how they talk so keep an open mind.
  4. HOMESICKNESS: Get out and about. I think the hardest thing about living abroad is being away from your family. I won’t lie you will experience major homesickness, but the key is to not pity yourself and get out of the room. Go out and do things, grab a friend you just met and do something.
  5. EXPERIENCE: Do what the people do. Or in my case do what the Irish do. The best part about my trip is that I was able to hang out with the people and did what they did. I adapted myself into their way of life – I put on the 6 inch shoes, I sat in a pub on a Sunday afternoon, I really got into dressing up when I was there. Not only did I get a better experience I got to form some really solid friendships.
  6. MONEY: Get yourself a bank account, if you are going to be there for a year it comes in handy, epsically if you are going there for school it’s pretty easy. When it comes to currency I really wouldn’t compare how much the difference is between your currency and theirs.
  7. TRAVELING: When you are over there you have a lot more access to a lot of countries. I can write a more in-dpth blog post about this but my advice is to take advantage of Ryan Air and Hostels.
  8. MAKE IT YOUR HOME: When moving yourself abroad it’s best to make yourself feel at home. That means buying things for the walls of your bedroom, even little things can make a room feel like it is yours. Buy a phone and get a local number, and like I mentioned before open a bank account. Really make it your home, don’t make it something that is temporary.  That will honestly make the transition and homesickness go away.
  9. FIND YOUR PLACES: Find your places. Develop a routine and places you go, the places you shop, the things you buy. Now that you are living abroad you are starting over again.
  10. GROW: The most important advise I could ever give when living abroad is allow yourself to grow. Living abroad will break you but it will also fill you up with so much love, experience, and knowledge. Allow yourself to be open to anything. Really go for it.

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If you want to ask me more questions don’t be shy and DM on Instagram or twitter. And check out A City Girl Story blog Facebook page

 

What I liked about doing a masters at UCC.


Okay, the thesis is handed in. Can I know say exactly how I feel about going to UCC, in Ireland and if it was worth it?

Well, there will not be any bad things said. Education is important, even though I struggle it is still important and I feel like the things I’ve done, the opportunities I had, and what I’ve learned was worth it. And I would have not gotten those things if I didn’t get my masters from UCC. Before I even started I remember people asking me why are you going there? What are you going to do after? Here are the answers you are looking for.



The Program:

The program is fairly new to UCC. And of course there were a few things I questioned, like why is this required and why isn’t there more to do with this. Nothing is perfect. But it wasn’t geared towards only fiction and what people may think of when going into creative writing. If you are wondering if I was going to write books for the rest of my life. The answer is no. I took a variety of classes like writing for media and for radio, and also food writing. They all allowed me to see what writing in all forms can involve, which I liked because although I really love writing stories, the career I want is in writing in media, advertisement and creating content.  I learned I enjoy creative writing in media. 


To just say it because I know people will ask- even the TSA guy asked why couldn’t you nanny in America-why didn’t I do my masters in America?  I couldn’t do it in America because there was no program like this. I wanted a program that fit my writing skills, my writing ability, and what I wanted to do with apply my major and minor. I did not find an MA creative writing program in America that did that; they were in other programs but I didn’t have the portfolio or the background to apply for those.




University College Cork:


The thing I liked about UCC besides the buildings were the opportunities it provided. I was thinking today about how at some universities a lot of the tuition goes to sports. And even though UCC, even UL, have sports teams there was no home coming, there was rarely excitement for the game. I didn’t even know if there was a match to attend; you either had to know people or be on the team to know when a match was on. I liked how UCC was focused learning, getting involved with society that were your intreats/field, though it did have social events like rage week. (UL I liked better with RAGE week because it had activities on campus).  I like they had not only a school newspaper, but school run magazines and online platforms that I used and connected with. There were a lot of clubs that brought a lot to the campus like evening talks from bloggers, writers. And others besides writing and media but those were the events that stood out to me. 


While at UCC I used my resources and went to the library often to read and write. I got involved the way I know how- I didn’t do athletics but I joined societies, the photography club for instance. I wrote a few articles for the Journal societies website. I also was an editor for the literature journal, and did my placement at a conference that was held at UCC. 
The department were very friendly, the lectures were there and approachable. We only had 22 people but my lectures wanted to know us and go for a pint.  
I will say this the office hours were not good closed for three hour lunch break?

Ireland/Cork:


There were other programs in Ireland I considered but like I said UCC’s creative writing program was the perfect one for me, but having it in Cork was also a main reason. Cork was also near the family I worked for and had become my family away from home. Cork was a city I knew and liked living in. Ireland had become a place I loved and had developed a deep connection to. Back in 2013 I said I would attend grad school in Ireland and I did.  I won’t go on because I could go on.  I couldn’t think of anywhere else that was perfect. 
 I would highly suggest doing a masters if can abroad because it will not only make you stand apart but allow you to get something more then just a university education. you get a world education as well.

All in all

I put myself out there when attending UCC not only in writing and networking but also in Ireland itself. I felt like watching other people in similar situations I felt like I was doing it right , maybe for me, I was doing what the Irish do, becoming Irish. I was’t just learning or traveling, I wasn’t staying in one group, I wasn’t following. I was doing me and it pay off- even my friend told me that I wasn’t like others that come that I got involved in more ways then one.
I highly suggest doing a masters, going a broad and if at UCC you wont be disappointed. just make sure you put yourself out there.
xox
kole

Don’t compare, just do you.

 

It is hard not to compare yourself to other people. I mean we see what everyone is doing and how other respond all over social media. We are human we can’t help it. I do it too especially when it comes to school.

I work differently…

When I was in high school how kids would be like I got an A I got an B but they didn’t study and in undergrad it would bother me so much when people would post about how they got a 4.0 and still partied hard. While I spent nights studying pulling my hair out of my head, working my butt off yet I still wasn’t doing as good as they where- but it was my best.

It can be easy to compare yourself and get frustrated with it all since you hare doing your best but it doesn’t seem to be good enough. In any situation, schools just my personal example.

The one thing to remember is we all work differently. Last minute and the stress works for people but for me I need to be a head of the game. If I don’t I will fall behind, I wouldn’t be my best. I have my struggles that need to be met with time management and getting a head of the game. So even though I have the whole thing written two weeks in advance, those two weeks doesn’t mean I’m done. No still going to the library working out it, looking for mistakes, clarity, perfecting it.

And when people ask me about where I am or what I got, I get awkward. I don’t like to talk about them, because I know how it feels to feel behind and fall behind. That I don’t want to put that on someone else. So what do I do I explain myself (something I have to stop doing).

What’s the point of this? Well the title sums it up. We work differently. We are human-we won’t stop comparing ourselves, wanting to feel better that we are doing it right- but in minutes after comparing myself I remember I am not them and they are not me!

Memory lane: throw it back to RAG week 2013

It is my first rag week at UCC and all that is happening reminds me of UL’s rag week in 2013. How different it was, how much fun it was, and let’s face it how different I am. Plus, back then I was there to experience study abroad, have fun, and I did not have to put my all into my courses. Also, I was young, only turning 21 and had had no real experience that I now have. YEAH, I’m getting older.

2013 was FUN, we went to all the events, the paint party, we went to stables. We did what we were supposed to do. We even went to our classes and to the library. That time was full of experiences with great friends who, if the term squad was around, would be a squad. 

Now, in 2016 at UCC; I’m in grad school and here for my education, I have had many experiences that I learned from (hopefully) and I began to wonder if I should join in. I mean, I don’t have my squad. And right now I’m staring out at the quad with all the students and all I can think is how can I brave this given what I know. I can’t help but feel I am too old for that sh*&. I mean I’m in grad school, I can’t party like I use to. Plus, the anxiety I have being around tons of people; it wouldn’t be debilitating, but I know I’d have an overwhelming feeling that I’d be out of place. I’d be very nervous and want to hide like hiding in a corner. 

Events like this make me wonder if I’m missing out while at UCC. But to be fair, these kids are in a whole different place then I am. I was them in 2013.  Sadly to say, but you have to grow up some time (DAMN PETER PAN WHY DIDN’T YOU COME TO MY WINDOW). 

So as I look at all these people on campus (who knew campus could get this full), the music that is so loud I can hear it in the library, memories about 2013 RAG week are all flashing through my mind, the laughs, the inside jokes, the paint, the next morning’s walk to 44, and my squad. I love all of them; they mean so much to me, and they did so much for me. I kind of want to join in 2016 RAG week but then I walk through the crowd of people and I’m like NO!

Here’s a pictures from 2013:

Grad school update: Week 3 down

To say it was busy the first weeks back at school is an understatement. I was running around trying to remember when I had to go to class and when I sat down to do my assignments I couldn’t focus. Since I have difficulties focusing, being busy just heightened all my frustration.
It’s a new semester there is a new schedule for all my new classes. All the new classes are at new times of the day so I needed to find a new spot in the library to study. So now I have new people I pass everyday which adds to my distraction. Plus, I have a new job.

Now it is the third week and everything is set. I am in all my classes, my radio writing class started and I just started my job of minding two preteen boys and a girl who is old enough to ask why, a lot. I wanted to get a job because I don’t have many hours in school and a few classes will be ending at the end of February. I don’t want to be bored or feel like I’m doing nothing. But, I can’t help but wonder if I can handle school and work? Like I is the third week of school  the first two were CRAZY busy and COULD not sit for the life of me. That it has finally hit of sleepiness and just want to get my attention span on it. 

I had told myself that I was going to make more effort in things in 2016, and I have by adding a job to my schedule. Plus, I’m making efforts in my social life too. I’m making the effort to hang out with people in my course, and other people I’ve met. I’m trying because even if I don’t know what’s going to happen when I’m done with my program ( DON’T ASK ME because i don’t know and do we really want to build up more worry?) I might-as-well live it up and go all out. Because I can’t go home 😉

And either I will find a way or make a way. 

Also it’s been raining a lot; better then snow because i just have to deal with having my feet getting wet.

xox

Kole