Three Things I Wish I Knew as a College Freshman

Hey, it’s me again.  Sorry I’ve disappeared for such a long time, but I’ve had an especially rough start to college.  Anyways, a year ago this time I was looking forward to college with some apprehension, wondering how it would go and which mistakes I made.  As many people in the world are now in the same place, I thought I might share some of my rising sophomore wisdom.  So here’s to the rest of you making different (and hopefully less harmful) mistakes than I did.


1. Don’t get in a relationship first semester.  During your freshman year, it’s probably preferable not to get in a relationship at all, but if things really come together for you, then I’m not going to stop you.  Just don’t do it during the first semester.  Why?  Because first semester is a critical period in getting adjusted and making your group of friends.  By concentrating on a new relationship, you limit yourself to focusing on friendship with one person.

If/ when your relationship ends, then you will find yourself alone and friendless because your significant other is gone and everyone else already has their group of friends.  I know more than one person who this has happened to, and it’s a lonely place to be.  If the person you’re interested is the right one for you, then they’re capable of waiting a semester.


2. Watch out for toxic people.  This is something I really struggled with, especially as a naturally empathetic person and a listener.  If you’re the kind of person who attracts troubled people– and you know who you are– you need to be on guard to stay away from them.  Freshman year is a time when you have enough to focus on with an adjustment, and you don’t have the time or ability to be someone’s therapist.  In fact, you’re not licensed for that and can do someone more harm than good.

The truth is, colleges are full to the brim with struggling people.  Unless if you’re completely self-absorbed, you’re likely to run into that eventually.  I’m not saying to never help a friend in need, but if someone you know is struggling with something severe, it’s better for you and them if you refer them to professional help.

3. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone.  Most people walk into college thinking that mental health issues and abusive relationships are things that happen to other people.  However, statistics show it is rather likely to happen to you and will certainly happen to someone you know.

Almost a third of college students report feeling crippling depression in the last year and over half report overwhelming anxiety (source).   In addition, almost half of college women report being abused by a romantic partner (source).  And don’t think this never happens to men.  Statistics are hard to find because men tend to stay quiet about this sort of thing due to pressures from society, but they certainly are abused as well.

These statistics aren’t meant to scare you, just to inform you.  If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental health or abuse, please contact your school.


That said, while there are a lot of difficulties to the college life, it’s not all dismal.  Some of the deepest friendships I’ve formed and my best life experiences happened in the last year.  I’m sure the same will be true of you as well.  So live your best life next year, and make the smartest mistakes possible.

Pictures from


2016 Rant

So.  I suppose it’s become a bit of a tradition to write an end-of-the-year-post on this blog.  At least, I put together thoughtful little posts the last two years.  And this year, I’m going to break the mold a little by doing an unedited stream of consciousness.  So fasten your seatbelts.

What happened this year?

  1. Not much.
  2. Actually a lot.  Just not much I want to talk about.
  3. The first thing I remember was celebrating New Year’s.  It was lonely because all the friends I used to celebrate it with had moved away.
  4. For the first part of the year, I didn’t do much besides wait to hear back from colleges.  And then I heard.  I didn’t get accepted anywhere I wanted to go.
  5. I spent the next part of the year mourning this.
  6. Thankfully, during my mourning period, I got to meet up with some of my friends on a trip.  This was one of the best experiences of my life.
  7. And then I visited the college I did get into for freshman orientation.  I realized I would be okay there.  The year took a turn for the better.
  8. I started college.  I met some great people.  Things were going well.
  9. Three guys pursued me, and it was the first time my homeschooled self had any experience with the sort of thing, so it stressed me out.
  10. The crappy election happened.  It really brought me down for a while because I was so disappointed in and scared for America.
  11. I ended up with one of the guys I talked about.  Things were definitely looking up.  I made a great group of friends too.
  12. Things went perfectly for a while.
  13. Then finals happened.  I really, really freaked out.
  14. My relationship ended.  Suddenly.  Unexpectedly.  Painfully.
  15. I’m still trying to figure out the how’s and the why’s.
  16. I’m ok now.  Or at least I’m trying to be.
  17. I didn’t mean to write all this but oh well.  Happy New Year.

So yeah.  2016.  Both the best and worst year of my life.  It ended on a bad note, so I’m not super hopeful for 2017, but maybe things will get better.  Maybe.

When a Sexual Perpetrator Runs For President

I don’t usually post about politics, but by now I think silence is a crime.

When a sexual perpetrator runs for president, don’t accept his degrading comments about women as “locker room talk”.  Don’t let boys think that’s just the way men speak.  Don’t let girls expect so little from their male peers.

When a sexual perpetrator runs for president, don’t dismiss the private confession of his crime as mere lewd or vulgar comments.  Don’t forget these were violations of real, breathing people.  Don’t euphemize sexual assault.

When a sexual perpetrator runs for president, don’t remind us that women have husbands, fathers, and brothers.  Don’t act like women only matter because they are related to men.  Don’t tell us you care because there are women in your life because you should care regardless.

When a sexual perpetrator runs for president, don’t let him win.

Eros Explored

I saw you first after a war

Ashes, blood, and gunpowder

carpeting the battle floor.

And you were the pretty poppy poking through.


Picture Mine

At night when I try to sleep

When nightmares come creeping in

I pass the time by counting sheep

And you’re every single one


Picture Mine

Now I try, I try to write,

putting my story in ink

try to record my sad sorry fight

And you’re the inkblot on my quill.


Picture Mine



I go up and I go down,

but the fall never leaves.

The change, the chill, round and round.

And you’re the crisp in the autumn breeze.


Picture Mine


Though, I’m okay with the cold,

shivering dancing shivering alone.

Just watching how events unfold.

Because you’re when my favorite song begins.






To Be Okay

It’s been exactly a month since I’ve been going at this college thing.  How am I?  I’m okay.  Not okay in the “everything is just fine and dandy” sort of way or okay in the “I’m doing horribly and I want to hide it” sort of way.  I don’t think either of those things are what it means to be okay.

To be honest, I’m not sure this is the best place for me.  The sheer size overwhelms me, I don’t see my friends as often as I would like, and I don’t get along with most other freshmen.  (most)


(Yes, there’s a but.)

I’m happier here than I have been anywhere else for years.  It’s not that things never go wrong.  No, sometimes things go horribly wrong.  It’s that I know how to handle life when it goes awry.

I’m learning to be happy where I’m at, and that’s why I’m okay.


What Really Happens to Christians at Liberal Schools?

I’ve been hearing it since the beginning of time.  “You’re lucky you are where you are now, because in college, people will treat you differently for being a Christian.”  “At college, people will really attack your faith.”  “Be really careful around liberals, because they hate Christians.”

I made a mention in my last post of how ridiculous I think this is, but now I have the answer to THE question: What really happens to Christians at liberal schools?

Here’s a bad shot of my school, taken on my phone


In a word, nothing.  Or nothing bad that is.  Yes, you will meet people who disagree with you.  Yes, your beliefs will be challenged.  And yes, you might question everything you ever believed.  But in my mind, these are all good things.  I did come to college to get educated, didn’t I?

Now I can’t speak for every school, everyone you might meet at these schools, and every setting etc.  I can only speak from my experience.  To be honest, I haven’t actually started classes yet, so I don’t know if professors will try to force me to sign a paper saying “I don’t believe in God.”  Though I seriously doubt it.*

That said, I do believe I have been thoroughly exposed to so-called “liberal college culture”.  I am attending one of the more liberal schools in the country, and my experience here began with a service project for first-years, which was a rather liberal program.  To top it off, I was in the Gender and Sexuality focus area, which may have been the most liberal focus area at the liberal program at the liberal school.

In case you are still doubting my amount of exposure, here is a picture from a game we played:

The red category is anatomy and the purple category is miscellaneous


Okay, if you were half as horrified by that picture as my mother was, you’re probably wondering how I survived.

When I walked in, I was afraid.  I was afraid everything I heard before was true and the people I was about to meet wouldn’t accept me because of my background or faith.  In reality, I found my new friends more accepting than the vast majority of people in Christian circles.  Yes.  More accepting.

By the time I left, I was almost a different person.  I’ve gained a lot of knowledge, some of it interesting, some of it… less necessary.  I’ve gone from some one who knew next to no LGBTQ+ people to someone who wonders if straight people (especially straight guys) are a myth.  But I also finally had the chance to speak out about issues important to me and to be heard.

The people I’ve meet here– religious and non-religious– want to talk about all viewpoints and meet people with all beliefs.  They don’t reject me because of my faith, and I don’t reject them for their beliefs.  My belief system, faith, and sense of self have all grown in ways they never could have without the people here.

If you simply respect the differences in yourself and other people, you’d be amazed what can happen.

*This post has been in the works for a long time, so I actually have been to classes.  And yeah, everything was fine.  We’ve discussed religion but from a neutral standpoint.



Answers to All of the Questions People Ask me About College

Do you ever feel like people are asking you the same questions over and over?  I think every college-bound student has been asked most of these questions, or some form of them, at least 452 times this summer.  Thus, I have graciously provided my answers to all of them, so I can direct people to this page and avoid small talk. 🙂  Warning: Sarcasm ahead.

Photo cred:  Yes, you can actually buy this shirt there.



Q: Sooo, where are you going to school?

A: Boston.  Boston University.

Q: Congratulations!  Why did you choose to go there?

A: Umm… money.  They gave me a scholarship.

Q: Oh, that’s great.  Then how did you choose to apply in the first place?

A: Goodness gracious, I don’t know!  I was such a confused child when applying to colleges that I didn’t know how or why I was applying anywhere.  But if you want to know how I found the school, umm… College Board told me it would be a good fit.  Is that a good answer?

Q: Okay.  Well you better be careful up in Boston.  Do you know how liberal they are up there?

A: Liberal?  Well, gosh diddly darn!  I never would have guessed Boston was liberal.  And it’s not as if I would like to meet anyone with different political beliefs than the ones I’m used to.  Because I am every bit as conservative as you assume I am, and because I have no brain, I’m naturally concerned I will absorb all liberal ideas I come into contact with.  If Boston is liberal, I’m just going to have to renounce my scholarship, aren’t I?

Q: What are you majoring in?

A: Well, at first I was thinking English or Creative Writing or something, but then I realized most of the jobs available to me would be teaching jobs, and I do not have the patience to deal with one of those.  So then I decided on the most PRACTICAL, money-making major ever: sociology.

Q: Why did you choose that major?

A: Like I said, it’s the ultimate millionaire’s major!  NO, because I’m passionate about it.  But I also happen to be passionate about being able to eat so I’m thinking about that career factor…

Q: Do you know what job you’re going to get?

A: *Facepalm*  All these questions make me feel like I don’t think things through well.

Q: Are you planning on finding a husband in college?

A: Oh yes.  That’s my one and only goal.  Why else would I have spent so much time studying for the SAT, move to another continent, and work to pay for college?  It wouldn’t be to get a good education.  What a preposterous idea.  I mean, a woman trying to get an education in order to get a job outside the home?  In the twenty first century?  Laughable.  And it’s not like there are perfectly free dating sites I could use to find a date if that was my goal in life.

Q: Are you excited?

A: YES.  But also nervous and terrified.  Because I’m an introvert and shy and moving to a whole new culture with tons and tons of people and I’m an obsessive freak about my grades and want to do really well and… did I mention I’m a tad nervous?  But, yes.  I’m excited.



Reflections of a College-Bound Homeschooler

Hey guys!  I am (surprisingly) still alive, and I think I might start a journal series about my transition to college.  Hopefully it will be interesting/ helpful to whoever may happen upon it.  If not… then at least I think it will be helpful to me. 

There’s a long road ahead…  (Picture mine)


Last year, I felt like I was a part of an inhumane social experiment.  For most people, senior year is your last year with all your friends in high school.  For me, it was my first year to be homeschooled full time, making it my first year without my friends in high school.

Now, I did still have friends–good friends– but my friends have a nasty habit of moving to different continents and filling their schedules up, so there wasn’t a ton of interaction.  I spent the vast majority of my waking moments hunched over my laptop in the corner of my room, trying to get through the work to finish the year.

But I made it through.  More than that, I made it into Boston University, which I am told is an accomplishment.  What exactly does this entail?  Well, for one thing, I am going to be surrounded by people.  A LOT of people.  And these people– in general– have a different belief system than the one I grew up with.  To say the very least.

As you can imagine, I feel as if I’m jumping from a freezer to a boiling hot vat.  Okay, that’s an odd metaphor, but you get the idea.  It’s a transition.  For one year, I spent most of my time alone.  Next year, I’m not sure I’ll hardly EVER be alone.  For most of my life, I’ve lived in a very conservative, very religious community.  Next year… that won’t so much be the case.  That may be the biggest change.

Back home, the waters were easier to navigate.  You read the Bible every day and never questioned it… or traditional interpretations of it.  You never swore or used the Lord’s name in vain.  You tried to date “the Godly way” (which usually meant kissing dating good-bye).  You never talked about sexuality, and if you did, you referenced the Bible in every sentence.  Men were men.  Women were women.  There was no in between, no changing.

Basically, there were several unspoken norms and rules you never challenged.  If you did, people still loved you, but there were consequences.  Everyone thought I was a wonderful person.  Because I scarcely challenged the rules.  Out loud.

In my head.  I challenged all of them.  Every last one.

The thing is, I learned the script.  I knew what to say and when, what to believe.  I knew the beliefs that would keep everyone happy with me.  It was easy, and I played along.

Now I’m leaving that world, and I’m discovering something very important.  My old social script is useless.  Of course, I’d guessed that, but I didn’t guess that I wouldn’t have a script at all anymore.  At a place like BU, where there are people from all sorts of religions, beliefs, and backgrounds, there is nothing you can say that will make them all happy.  Maybe some statements will make most of them happy, but not all.

In this situation, I have a few options:

  1. I can stick to the old script, which I never completely liked and most of the people I come across in Boston REALLY won’t like.  Scratch that plan.
  2. I can try  really hard to find a new script at BU.  I think I’ve already discussed why I don’t think this will work.
  3. I can find my own convictions and stick to them no matter who I offend.  I like this plan best, even though it’s the hardest to execute.

So great.  I’m going to construct my own system of morality.  I have one… partially.  See, throughout the process of searching through what I believe, I came across a monumental realization: growing up in the community I did, where morals were all but decided for you, it’s very hard to have convictions of your own.

That’s right.  In a place infused with family values, strong religion, and unity of beliefs, personal convictions become an endangered species.  Not extinct.  Endangered.

Although I love the people I grew up with, sometimes I grew frustrated when they repeated their parents’ political beliefs verbatim when I asked who they would vote for.  Or when they wouldn’t challenge a teacher on something wrong.  Though the truth is, I did it, too.

Time to fly solo (Picture mine)

Now it’s time to explore new morals, compare and contrast, and decide which beliefs are really mine.  I’ve discovered a world out there where gender is non-binary, people evolved from monkeys, and inclusion is of upmost importance.  I don’t know how much I agree and disagree with this world yet, but I’m going to find out.

I can see your eyes bugging out at the end of this, homeschoolers. 🙂  Wish me luck.




So… I actually did NaPoWriMo

Hello followers!  Because I’ve been deadly quiet all month long, you’ve probably thought I wasn’t  doing NaPoWriMo.  Or thought  I was never going to write again.  Or thought I was dead.  Okay, probably none of you thought about me that much.  That said, after NaPo, I think I might have a handful of decent poetry to share with you.  If you  like them enough, maybe I’ll post more.  Enjoy!

Traumatic Stress

She closes her eyes

His hands on her again

She opens her eyes

Everyone still a predator


He closes his eyes

The guns sounding again

He opens his eyes

War still surrounds him


She closes her eyes

Her child dies again

She opens her eyes

Death still permeates


He closes his eyes

Blood pours out again

He opens his eyes

The wound still there

Source: Google Images


Seven Out of One Hundred

Seven out of one hundred

Recieve a crown

Ninety three out of one hundred

Get knocked down

Seven out of one hundred

Respected for life

Ninety three out of one hundred

Only get strife

Seven out of one hundred

West and whitest

Ninety three out of one hundred

Best and brightest

Seven out of one hundred

Join the club

Ninety three out of one hundred

Ones they snub



If You Stayed

I’ve looked at the world through this telescope, and it looks beautiful and bright.  Will it still look that way when I get there?

Yes, of course dear.  Your world will always look beautiful and bright.

I’ve gotten closer to the world now, and I can see some places that don’t glimmer.  Will I be able to make them shine again?

Yes, of course dear.  Your world will always shine.

I’ve reached the world now.  The sun was shining for a while, but now there are clouds.  Will the sun come back again?

Yes, of course dear.  Your sun will always come back.

The sun hasn’t come back at all.  Nothing shines and it’s dark and cold.  Will I ever feel warm again?

I’m sorry, dear.  But you’ll feel warm again soon enough.

The plants have all withered, leaving me hungry.  I’ve never felt so empty.  Will I ever feel full again?

I’m sorry, dear.  But you’ll feel full again in due time.

The world is ice, the world is cold, the world is storm.  I wish I withered with the plants.  Will I ever wish otherwise?

I’m sorry dear.  But please don’t go; you’ll be happy one day.

I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  I couldn’t make it because I kept hoping and you kept promising, but none of your promises came true.  So I figured nothing ever would.

I miss you every day dear.  So does the sun, which came back.  So do the plants, which grew back.  I think you’d be happy now, if you had stayed.  If…