Link Love Wednesday: Disney Princes and Venus Retrograde

Well hello there, Prince Charming…

Happy August, readers! I graduated from college two years ago, but I still get that same lump in my throat when August rolls around… It’s almost back-to-school time! Thankfully, I won’t be juggling work and classes this time around (although next August may be another story!), but this time of the year is still a hectic one for me. I’m happy to have a few more slightly relaxing weeks before things get crazy here!

How are you spending your last few weeks of summer? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! In the meantime, check out the latest batch of Link Love, and feel free to share your own favorites. :)

What are your favorite links from the last week? Share yours in the comments section below!

What I Really Mean When I Say “I’m Fine”

I-Want-Someone-To-Look-Me-In-The-Eyes-300x270We’ve all seen those Tumblr images about the girl who says she’s “fine.” You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones that say things like “When I say ‘I’m fine,’ I want someone to hold me close and tell me, ‘No you’re not.’” The ones that confess that any time we tell others we are okay, we are clearly lying, because how can we ever truly be okay?

I’ve never been a fan of these quotes because they’ve really popularized a culture of not saying what we mean. In the past, when I have told others I am “fine” after a stressful event, it genuinely meant “I’m fine” – or, at the very worst, “I’d rather not talk about it, so let’s leave it alone.” It has never meant “I am hanging on by a single thread and I am dying for you to probe for more information.” And yet, it seems that whenever I say something is “fine” or “okay,” people interpret it as a walking Tumblr meme, with the faceless girl crying into her eclectic sweater.

This extends into those viral dating articles about “what she really means when she says ____.” In today’s culture, I would expect these sweeping generalizations from a men’s magazine (no offense, guys!), but women’s magazines and lifestyle websites are just as guilty of these articles. Whenever I’ve made the mistake of using the word “fine,” guys I’ve dated have even said, “I know you’re not fine, because no girl ever actually says that and means it.” How depressing is that? Forget all of the other overanalyzing that both sexes do when it comes to decoding the other one’s text messages. (Having said that, if anyone ever types “K.” in a text message, you know that person is pissed off.)

tumblr_m954r2KFeZ1qfqg3uo1_500It’s true that all of us have a lot going on underneath the surface. There are plenty of things we don’t know about other people and their struggles, insecurities and relationships. Because of this, we should treat everyone with the kindness and understanding we would wish to receive from others. If we suspect that a friend is going through something difficult (even though she claims to be fine), we can say, “If you need to talk about anything, I’m here,” but we shouldn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that everyone who doesn’t say “I FEEL AWESOME!” is crying on the inside.

Tone is an important thing to consider when conversing with friends. Obviously, there are instances where the person sounds sarcastic or truly dejected, but please take those instances on a case-by-case basis and don’t automatically assume that everyone is feeling completely awful or that everyone wants to talk about their emotions. For once, let’s take what others say at face value, and assume they are not lying to us about their innermost feelings. Many times, they are not.

The Weekend Five: Lessons Learned From 1990s Pop Culture

Lessons Learned from 1990s Pop CultureAs someone who was born in 1990 and lived through most of that decade, I will always have a soft spot for the 90s and the music, movies and TV shows that came with it. Of course, the subject always tends to be a little overdone, but I couldn’t help but share my own feelings about that scrunchie-filled time in our history!

There are a lot of surprising lessons we can all learn from 1990s pop culture, which we’ll discuss in this weekend’s edition of The Weekend Five. Feel free to add your own to the comments section below!

The Weekend Five: Lessons Learned From 1990s Pop Culture

1. Inanimate objects come to life as soon as you leave the room.
Thanks to movies like Toy Story and the Brave Little Toaster sequels, a part of me grew up believing that whenever I left the house, my toys and household appliances gained consciousness and had conversations with each other. (I’m still not entirely unconvinced.) Now in 2015, this is probably why I can’t find a few things in my kitchen… They simply walked off to enjoy a new life.


Five Lessons Learned from 1990s Pop Culture2. If you want to be someone’s lover, you have to get with their friends.
I’m assuming the Spice Girls meant that you should befriend their friends, and not literally “get with” them. In the song Wannabethe Spice Girls make a very good point — if you’re interested in someone, you need to show interest in their friends and the other important people in your boo’s life as well. They also say something about a “zig-a-zig-ah,” whose definition happens to be one of the biggest mysteries of the 1990s.


3. “We were on a break” is never a good excuse for anything you did to upset your significant other.
Actually, never turn to Ross Geller from Friends for any kind of relationship advice. That should be the real lesson here.


4. With the proper makeover, the nerdiest girl in school can transform into the prom queen and land the hottest guy in school.
This “lesson” eventually led to horribly unrealistic expectations for dorky girls everywhere (myself included). Sadly, my makeover didn’t come until college, at a time when nerdiness and “quirkiness” had started to become vaguely attractive traits anyway. I had to watch She’s All That many times before I realized that Freddie Prinze Jr. was never going to enroll at my school.


Five Lessons Learned from 1990s Pop Culture5. Don’t ever talk to a girl who says she just has a friend.
In his song Just A Friend, when Biz Markie asks the girl he likes if she has a boyfriend, she responds, “No I don’t. I only have a friend.” They build a relationship, but when he goes to visit her at college, he quickly runs into her male “friend” kissing her in the dorms. The moral to the story? Don’t ever talk to a girl who says she just has a friend. Ladies: If a guy asks you if you’re seeing someone and you tell him “I only have a friend,” you sound extremely sketchy. We really do have platonic male friends, but if we feel the need to mention them when a new guy asks if you’re single, the relationship probably isn’t all that platonic.

(Side Note: I know that this song came out in 1989, but it feels so 90s to me and it officially went platinum in 1990, so I am including it in 1990s pop culture!)


What are your favorite lessons from 1990s pop culture? Share yours in the comments section below!

The Weekend Five: Facebook Friends We Wish We Didn’t Have

bad_facebook_friend_tshirt-r9e77664892704bb584c6af29b37fa0bd_804gs_512In the age of social media, we find ourselves rubbing virtual shoulders with people we like and people we don’t like. Despite the fact that we choose the “friends” we follow, we still run into a few bad apples who slipped through our newsfeeds or timelines (which, sadly, look mostly like this).

Comb through your social media profiles, and I guarantee you will find at least one (if not all) of the five friends/followers that we all sort of want to de-friend.

The Weekend Five: Facebook Friends We Wish We Didn’t Have

1. The Rabid Politician.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little biased… for me, this definitely applies more toward the opposing political party than my own. It’s natural for a lot of us to feel exceptionally annoyed toward those who are vocal about something we disagree with. However, there are many times when even my fellow members of the Whig Party start to get on my nerves, when the only thing they post about is their political outrage. I don’t mind a few political posts now and then (I’m guilty of a few myself!), and I obviously think it’s important to care about your country’s affairs. But when your timeline reads like a political attack ad, it’s time to put down the (probably partisan) newspaper and go enjoy some fresh air.

esc_010WiestFerrell2. The Salesman.
No, I do not want to buy your makeup product or nutritional** cure-all pill, thank you very much! I have become much more jaded thanks to people like this, so whenever I receive a message from someone “out of the blue,” I am instantly suspicious. These relationships are often one-sided and unless you are offering something I truly need, I don’t want our first conversation since kindergarten to boil down to you asking me for money.

3. The Purge Enthusiast.
This is the girl who threatens to purge all of her contacts except for her “true friends.” (Let’s face it, in my experience, this has always been a girl.) Every few weeks, she complains that “no one is reading this” and that she will be deleting everyone who hasn’t “been there” for her. Sometimes she even provides a call-to-action (“if you still want to be my friend, message me” or “comment with three things you like about me” or “go to the farthest mountain and bring back the final ingredient to the potion I am brewing”), which – more often than not – I refuse to participate in. Sometimes I am unaware of the purge that has taken place, only to wake up to a status that says something along the lines of: “If you’re reading this, you fulfilled the unrealistic requirements I have been imposing on my casual acquaintances.” Sometimes I do not pass this test, but instead receive a friend request from the person under a new name a few weeks later. And the cycle continues.

1344315965956_40575544. The Perpetual Smart-Ass.
This person does not have one nice thing to say. Instead, he (occasionally a she, but usually a he) copes with his insecurities by trolling our social media profiles. Did you just post the most beautiful profile picture you’ve ever posted in your life? Well, The Perpetual Smart-Ass will be sure to comment… not to compliment you for how you look in the photo, but to poke fun at something very miniscule in the background. Did you write a particularly clever status? The Perpetual Smart-Ass will attempt to one-up you with something they believe to be even wittier. I’ve even had my grammar incorrectly corrected by this person! In fact, there are a few people whose notifications I dread receiving, because nothing they write is genuine and everything is underscored by their secret longing to be the smartest, most interesting person in the room. (This is the same person who regularly quotes Internet memes in real life conversations.)

5. Who’s That?
I can’t remember where we met or how we know each other. I’m sorry, are you a mutual friend of So & So? Did we do a group project together in middle school? I want to know who you are but I became too embarrassed to ask after you Facebook-poked me the other day. I’m not sure if this is related to some inside joke we had, or if you’re just creepy. Actually, I’m not sure if we know each other at all! It looks like we have no mutual friends, your profile pictures are all images of Jim Carrey in his various movie roles, and all of the comments on your wall say something along the lines of, “Who is this?”

Who are some of your most dreaded social media contacts? Any you’d like to add to the list?

** – Not approved by the FDA. May cause horrific disfigurement. Use with caution.

How I Met Your Mother, Toltec Wisdom and Letting Go

images“Oh, if you could just let go.” – Mae, Just Let Go


For some of us, September marks the beginning of a new year. For others, it simply points out that the old year is almost 3/4ths over. Still, I like to think of this time as a new start, whether you’re embarking on a new school year or celebrating the Jewish High Holy Days, and with every beginning should come its fair share of reflection.

Recently, I looked back on my previous year and realized just how much anger and resentment I had for some of the things in my life that hadn’t gone as I’d hoped. Not only did I recognize my own grudges, but I also picked up on some of the grudges that others around me had held. It seemed that everyone I knew had lost a friend, endured a difficult breakup, missed an important opportunity or failed at something they truly wanted. We may not have realized it, but we were walking around each day with a chip on our shoulders, an air of disappointment or a certain sadness we couldn’t shake.

IMG_3431I recognized this in myself and in others, but the solution didn’t hit me until about a week ago, when I was watching a rerun of How I Met Your Mother. In the episode after Ted, the protagonist, gets left at the altar, he thinks about what he would say to his ex-fiancee if he had the chance. Finally, he comes to this conclusion, which Older Ted narrates to his future children:

“Kids, you may think your only choices are to swallow your anger or throw it in someone’s face, but there’s a third option: you can just let it go, and only when you do that is it really gone and you can move forward.”

It sounds so simple, but all too often we take the “easier” road of resentment, in which we either act on our anger toward others or we keep it bottled up. Of course, neither reaction is a healthy one, and even when we display our anger openly, it rarely helps the situation. I think that a huge part of the problem is that we don’t trust ourselves to find our happiness from within; our self-worth is so defined by others that we can’t allow ourselves to let go of the past.

51MfVDOlEkLIn his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says, “If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from youWalking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”

When you walk away from something that isn’t right for you — whether that is a relationship, friendship, job or anything else — you have to trust yourself and move on. Wallowing in the past and not accepting the things you can’t control will only embitter you further.

Take a moment today to break free from something that has been holding you back, and allow yourself to finally let go. It may take some time, but it will be worth the effort and will be the best way to begin anew.

My Facebook Newsfeed in a Nutshell

As I waste my precious relaxation and study time on social media, I begin to notice patterns among the people with which I am connected. It doesn’t matter that I have 655 friends on Facebook; I can still narrow down their statuses (and often my own included!) into about 10 categories. We are all guilty of at least some of these from time to time. Which types of statuses do you find most often?

The Party Animal Status.
You essentially live-blog your crazy nights out, complete with poorly lit cell phone photos, check-ins at a nightclub or two, and misspelled statuses that prove you have mastered the caps lock button. The Party Animal Status has become rarer with the threat of potential employers using it against you, but you still post them on occasion to let your acquaintances know that you have a pretty exciting social life and that you are, in no way, a borderline alcoholic.

The “I Love My Significant Other” Status.
Whether you’ve been dating for two days or two years, you are clearly madly in love and therefore want to share it with the world! Every day! You want everyone and their mothers to know how happy you are that you found the perfect person (for the time being), which is why you post statuses about the adorable things your significant other says or about why you love him/her. (Bonus points if you do this more than once per week.)

The Obnoxious Political Status.
This type of status exists on both ends of the political spectrum. If you are someone who posts these types of statuses, then you are the type of person who likes to take “freedom of speech” to a whole new level (and not in the hip, investigative journalist kind of way). Instead of, say, writing a letter to the editor or creating your own blog specifically targeted to people interested in reading about your political views, you find it appropriate to post them on your personal Facebook page and argue vehemently with anyone who disagrees. Whether you’re complaining that the country is in shambles or gloating over your candidate’s latest win, you want to make sure everyone is aware of your political views in the most in-your-face way possible. Luckily for me, while you may have your freedom of speech, I have my freedom to block your posts from my news feed! :)

The Passive Aggressive Status.
You’re so vain you probably think this status is about you. Carly Simon aside, your Facebook status is clearly that of a scorned lover/betrayed friend who may not have the guts to speak to the one who wronged you in person, but would still happily share your feelings online in a way that they can’t 100% prove is about them. If I confront you about your status and ask if it was about me, you can simply say, “Why would you think that? Obviously you must think you’ve done something wrong if you think I’m posting statuses about you,” and then you’ve won. If I don’t confront you, then maybe you’ve still won – I’m not really sure. Well played.

The Thinly Veiled Song Lyrics Status.
This status is similar to The Passive Aggressive Status in the sense that it speaks to a particular person without mentioning them specifically — the only difference is that it does so with song lyrics. You don’t always attribute the artist or song title when you post this status; after all, Justin Bieber may have summed up your feelings exactly in his latest song, but letting the world know so openly that you listen to him might ruin your street cred. We all know that this song is about your recent ex/crush/date, but we’ll let you pretend it isn’t completely obvious.

The Misattributed Old Hollywood Quote Status.
Let’s be real – you are either going to select a quote attributed to Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn, because clearly those were the only two important actresses in Hollywood before you were born. (I say this with the best intentions — I am a huge Audrey fan!) The quote you have posted usually has no source other than the countless Tumblrs and homemade websites that have reposted it. Still, the quote is sassy and it reflects the current state of your life in some way, so who cares if you’ve never actually seen a movie with Marilyn Monroe in it?

The Tough Girl Status.
Unlike The Passive Aggressive Status or The Thinly Veiled Song Lyrics Status, you are not afraid to share your true feelings about someone on the Internet. Instead, you craft grumpy posts about the people who have hurt you or the many things that make you angry. You threaten to delete friends regularly from Facebook if they aren’t living up to your expectations, and at least once, you have deactivated your entire Facebook, created a new one under a slightly new identity (first and middle name instead of first and last) and re-friended virtually all of the same people. And the cycle begins again.

The Status That Should Have Stayed on Twitter/Instagram.
Hashtags (#) have no actual purpose on Facebook, but you’re not afraid to use them liberally on your statuses, even if those hashtags are simply #bored or #picturesofmylunch. Keep these on your other social media sites.

The Cry For Help Status.
You don’t want to bother any of your friends by calling them up and telling them what’s wrong, so your next option is to write about your problems in a strategically-timed Facebook status so that everyone knows how upset you are and will compliment you on a website that lives forever.

The Pretentious Status.
You might use this as an opportunity to humblebrag. You might use it to let your friends know that the upcoming American remake of an acclaimed European film is going to be terrible. You might even use it to tell your friends about your fabulous taste in records, slightly offbeat but still fairly mainstream fashion, or books by Chuck Palahniuk. (These are a few tips for figuring out if you’re pretentious.)


What are some of the Facebook statuses you’ve been seeing lately? Which of these are you guilty of?

What Senior Year of College Really Feels Like

I’m reaching the end of my second-to-last semester as an undergrad, and it seems that almost everyone I know (myself included) is going through a major quarter-life crisis. This year has brought with it a mix of emotions for many of us that are unlike anything we’ve experienced before, as we urgently question what we want to do when we graduate and struggle with the idea of what it means to grow up.

Often in high school, senior year ultimately boils down to a prom dress, a few questionable hairstyles, a last-minute SAT exam, the wait to hear back from college admissions, and the hope that your one guy “friend” will decide he’s crazy about you and, in a gesture as grand as any high schooler can imagine, send you carnations on Valentine’s Day. (Later on, of course, you forget the exact breakdown of your SAT scores, discover that your high school crush was interested in men the entire time, and recognize that prom was never a defining moment in your life as pop culture would claim it to be.) Although it feels incredibly important and all-consuming at the time, senior year of high school eventually fades into a distant memory that you’ll later claim to have hated all along.

College, meanwhile, becomes an exciting time of self-discovery and opportunity. You meet the friends who make you feel infinite, join organizations, and attempt to figure out what you’re good at and how to develop yourself professionally. You still fall for the types of guys your parents warned you about when you were in high school, only now they own suits and are a little harder to identify at first glance.

Senior year is a new ballpark, because while college itself is a glamorous night downtown with your best friends, senior year is a mess of emotions and scribbled-out schedules and lunch plans canceled in favor of finishing that last paper. Senior year is that moment when you realize that you might be too old to wear heart-shaped sunglasses or your Holly Golightly tiara in public, but you still store them in your closet with the quiet hope that maybe you can put them on one day when no one is looking. It’s the time when you stop accepting the advances of guys who only text you after 10 p.m. because – dammit – you’re an intelligent, complex individual who deserves to be taken to a nice restaurant or museum once in a while. Your most used topics of conversation with friends, family, acquaintances and the guy in the checkout counter at Publix? 1. Post-graduate plans (or lack thereof); 2. Where to buy business casual clothing; 3. “I AM SO STRESSED OUT RIGHT NOW.” In fact, your stress is both a source of pride and a source of grief for you.

I firmly believe that senior year of college comes with all of this craziness because it is a time of transition in our lives. We are uncertain of what the future holds, so we start to look backward with a mix of nostalgia and regret as we attempt to decipher the past four years of our lives. Perhaps four years from now we will look back at college in the same superficial snapshots with which we look back at our high school years today. Perhaps we’ll wake up one day and things will suddenly make sense, or maybe we’ll simply need to do a little more self discovery to figure out what it is we were meant to do.

From one college student to the next: I hope you are surviving your senior year and cherishing every memorable moment it has to offer.

The Freshman 15: Advice From Readers (Year 2)

Today I bring you a very exciting blog. For this month’s Freshman 15, I asked 15 college students and alumni to share their advice for navigating university life, based on their own experiences (much like last year’s blog!). We have an amazing group of contributors: documentary filmmakers, contestants and cast members from America’s Next Top Model and Real World, the owner of an organic vegan blog/brand, website creators, you name it. Enjoy the wise words of some of the coolest college students and grads that I’ve met, and feel free to add your own in the comments section below!

The Freshman 15: Advice From Readers (Year 2)

1. Enjoy life outside of the classroom.
In college, you will do more learning out of the classroom than you will do in it. Don’t forget to grow as a person as you grow academically. This will eventually prove so much more important–in your personal and professional lives–than the specifics you learned in lectures.
— Alexandra Govere (Real World: San Diego), Stanford University, Civil Engineering Major (@alexgovere)
Blog: The High Fiver 


2. Learn for learning’s sake.
While it’s important to take classes that will help you reach your chosen profession, be sure to take a few on some things you would enjoy learning. These fun classes will offer a break from the stress of your regular course load and provide the chance to learn about something you find interesting. And you never know, these fun classes could lead to new friendships and a world of new opportunities that you never considered before!
— Monica Monticello, University of Central Florida, English Major


3. Communicate with faculty.
Talk to your professors! They can’t help you or work with you in the event of an absence if they don’t know who you are! You can do this by asking them about something you don’t understand, or telling them how much you liked a video they showed during their lecture. Talk to them face-to-face whenever possible.
— Rachel Milock, University of South Carolina, Information Science Major (@singyouhome)


4. Stay organized!
My biggest tip to balancing school and other things would be to stay extremely organized. I keep a planner (not in my phone or computer) and color code classes and events so I never forget about anything. As soon as I get the class syllabus I split up the work evenly every week until test time/assignment due date. A few days before an assignment is due or an exam is going to take place, I’ll write down to study for it/make sure everything is finished. It helps to be redundant…if I only write an assignments due date on the actual date, the chances of me remembering it before the day it’s due is slim to none.
— Nicole Lucas (America’s Next Top Model), University of Central Florida, Psychology Major and Marketing Minor (@NicoleMLucas)


5. Stay in the present.
Make sure you don’t spend all your time worrying about the future. It’s good to have the go-getter attitude and want to make sure you’re going to have a job/acceptance letter at the end of these four years, but it’s also important to make the most of your college experience. Play hooky for a day, join a bunch of clubs, start an organization – those are the stories you’re going to share someday.
— Mina Radman, University of Florida, Journalism Major


6. You don’t have to party.
Although “college” is often synonymous with parties, it’s okay if that’s not your scene. Contrary to popular belief, people won’t think you’re a “loser” just because you decline an invitation to party with them. There are a community of people on every college campus who prefer to play board games on Friday nights rather than go to frat parties. Various organizations (such as religious groups, Student Union Board, etc.) often host fun (and free!) events on weekends, which are great for meeting people with similar interests who aren’t into the party scene. Also, don’t be afraid to go to those events alone. You may arrive alone, but you’ll likely leave with a few new acquaintances and a few more numbers in your phone’s contacts!
— Tori Twine, Elon University, Cinema Major (@toritwine)


7. Manage your time.
Learn time management and learn it fast!
— Logan Kriete, University of Central Florida, Radio/Television Major (@logankriete)

8. Stay excited.
Most freshmen have a period of heightened sociality during their first year at college. They’re more willing to attend study groups, talk to strangers, and join campus organizations. However, as the excitement of college-life begins to fade, I’ve noticed those same freshmen (including myself) are inclined to draw back socially. So as freshmen, I urge you to hold on to that bit of excitement you’re feeling right now, and make it last! Continue to get involved on campus and with your peers throughout your college career. The rest of your college years will thank you for it!
— Marilyn Malara, Florida State University, Editing/Writing/Media Major (@wowmarilyn)
9. Experience everything you can.
Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. So take a risk and try something new. Be someone who says “yes.” You never know when a leadership position, unfamiliar class, study abroad experience, challenging internship, new friend, or even a ridiculous past time like line dancing will change your life. If you leave college with just a degree, you truly missed out.
— Jamie Gregor, University of Central Florida, Advertising/Public Relations and Marketing Major (@jamiegregor)
10. Stop comparing.
If I could do one thing over when I was in university it would be to stop comparing myself with other women. I used to always think that I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, or skinny enough and I spent so much time unhappy with myself and struggling with an eating disorder. I missed out on so much. When I look back at pictures of this time in my life I feel sad for all the things I missed out on. Instead of seeing someone who needed to lose weight or who wasn’t beautiful enough, I see someone with so much possibility, love, and beauty. I just wish I could have seen it at the time. So my advice is to appreciate what you have NOW. Stop wishing to be someone else or to have someone else’s body. Stop telling yourself you are too fat to go out. Work with what you have and hold your head up high. Don’t let this time pass you by!
— Angela Liddon, University of Guelph, Psychology Major (Blog: Oh She Glows)
11. Keep a calendar.
Keep a calendar either digital or old fashioned. I have yet to update to a fancy phone so I still have a paper and pencil calendar. You can not only use it to keep track of appointments, events and classes but also to remember when you should study and when you have tests coming up.
— Rebekah Callari, University of Central Florida, Molecular & Microbiology Major
12. Get out of your comfort zone.
Do what terrifies you. My sophomore year of college, introverted and disconnected, I agreed, with some coaxing, to put my name on an email list for the student newspaper. A year later, I was one of the top staff writers for the news section, churning out several stories each issue. Figure out why you’re afraid of something and make sure you’re running for the right reasons. I wasn’t. But plunging headfirst into journalism taught me more than how to write. It brought me into a circle of equally passionate writers.
— Kaleigh Somers, James Madison University, Media Arts & Design Major (Blog: HUGstronger)
13. Trust cautiously.
Be careful whom you trust: Just because they live with you, sit next to you in class, or are in a club with you, does not guarantee that they will keep your secrets. Think twice before spilling your soul to someone you’ve only known for a few weeks. They are still capable of judging you and betraying you. College is a scary place, but don’t rush into friendships right away. Good things take time, and you will thank yourself for waiting before opening up to people.
— Shannon Payne, University of Central Florida, Anthropology Major (@shannon_nicolle)


14. Don’t date your neighbors.
Dear freshmen, my golden rule for college life — well actually, life in general — is to not date someone that lives in your dorm or a co worker. It might seem cool at first since you get to see each other all the time but that gets old as quick as Drawing with Friends! Unless you love drama and tears by all means live and learn!
— Zhe Liu, University of Hawaii, Psychology Major

15. Know who to turn to.
In college, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Studying too hard, participating in too much, and sleeping too little can inevitably lead to a more stressed-out you. Never forget that college is an excellent opportunity to build a “safety net” of new friends and acquaintances who are there to keep you sane, calm you down and boost you up when you need them most. Also, don’t forget that mom and dad are just a phone call away.
— Robert Gottfried, University of Central Florida, Legal Studies Major (@thegottfried)

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this blog — you are all amazing!

As We Mature, So Do Our Friendships

With the first half of my college career officially over, I’ve already started to get nostalgic. Not only is my sister about to graduate high school and embark on her freshman year, but I will also be assisting at freshman orientation next month. As our group begins to train for the big day, I can’t help but think back two years to my own freshman orientation, where I fell in love with my school and met some of the people who shaped my first two years (for better and for worse).

It’s crazy to think about how much has changed since then. I’m no longer the terrified 18-year-old who dreaded enrolling in college as a Journalism major. Nor am I the girl who avoids the organized socials at all costs. I remember wanting to skip the pool and pizza party that the school put together the night before orientation because I resented not being able to attend a high school friend’s party instead. Ironically enough, I’ve probably only kept in touch with one person who actually attended that party — and now I’m the one hosting parties and events.

Of course, I still have a few close friends from high school (with whom I try very hard to maintain our long-distance friendships!), but the vast majority of my friends these days are people I met in college. I go to a state university, so obviously a lot of people from my high school are enrolled here too, but I don’t mingle with many of them anymore. It’s nothing against them, but I can’t stress enough that a lot of high school relationships are based on convenience — you might not have much in common, but you live somewhat close and sometimes that’s enough. At the university level, you tend to find more people who like the same things you, appreciate your sense of humor and bring their own unique perspectives to the table. Even at the honors freshman orientation, I found that I clicked a lot better with people there than I did with the “AP” crowd in high school.

Overall, I can’t get over just how strong most of my college friendships have been. In high school, a good friend was usually someone you sat with at lunch every day, hung out with on weekends and confided in about the guys you liked. In college, the friendships tend to mature– you find the friends who will drive you to the health center and hospital for your medical emergencies and spend the night making sure you’re okay, the friends who sit up all night with you after you get your heart broken (when they would rather be studying), the friends who will rescue you when you need them most. Some of the situations might be more serious now, but we seem better equipped to help each other out with them. Perhaps because we are all going through them, we are more willing to go to great lengths to support our friends.

I’m not saying that everyone you meet in college is going to be your best friend, or that everyone you knew in high school was a terrible friend, either. However, I do think that as we mature, so do our friendships, and those people we connect with at college can become some of the best friends we have ever had.

The Friday Five: Gradients of Friendship

We’ve talked about the boys you date in college. We’ve talked about the girls you become or befriend in college. But here at So It Must Be True, we’ve never really talked about the gradients of friendship in college. Scroll through your Friends list on Facebook, and you’ll start to find patterns. Now narrow it down to the friends you actually come into contact with regularly, and you’ll be able to start categorizing.

Of course, as I’ve said before, there are exceptions to everything, and there are plenty of categories that I’m not even going to touch upon. However, this is The Friday Five, and therefore, I am going to discuss the five main types of friendships you will experience throughout your college (and possibly young adult) career. Try and figure out where your friends fit in!

The Friday Five: Gradients of Friendship

1. The friend who isn’t really your friend.
This person is really more of an acquaintance, but you try to make nice when you have to. Maybe he or she is somewhat of a frenemy (I can’t believe I just used that word), or maybe just someone you don’t have anything in common with and don’t have much to say to, but you still manage to run in the same social circles and occasionally have to interact. You don’t necessarily like this person, but you can tolerate him or her for short periods of time.


2. The “class” friend.
You met this person in your Intro to Psych class as freshmen and have since planned your schedules so that you would take all of your psychology classes together. Whenever you’re in class together, you get along great — you catch up on all of your personal anecdotes and always notice how you really hit it off. However, while you both constantly promise to plan a lunch date in the near future, it never happens. The only time you hang out when you’re not in class, it is at Barnes & Noble for a quick study session. True, the two of you have never been to a party together, but this person is your buddy for all things psychology.


3. The platonic friend.
You’ve known each other for a while, but you placed each other in the Friend Zone a long time ago and honestly do not want to leave it. Everyone thinks you’re dating, but you’ve made it clear to each other that there’s no attraction and that it would never feel right, so you laugh and respond, “No way, he’s like a brother to me!” and then he replies with something offensive and you punch him in the arm.


4. The mostly platonic friend.
You’re “just friends,” but one or both of you has entertained the idea of something more. The attraction is there, but neither of you wants to leave your comfort zone or rock the boat. The two of you claim to linger in the Friend Zone, but even you know that the idea has crossed your mind and will continue to do so.


5. The best friends.
You are the Blair and Serena, the Marissa and Summer, the Batman and Robin of the group. You finish each other’s sentences and sicken other people with your skills in reading each other’s minds. This is the first person you call after you’ve had a successful first date, purchased the perfect new outfit or found something awesome to decorate your apartment together. You love everyone else in the five gradients of friendship, but anyone who fits into this category is the most important of all. :)


What other categories of friendship have you encountered?