How to Do College

I am a freshman. And I have google.

Clearly, I got this.

My college experience is going to be very different than the average collegiate athlete. For instance everyone in this freakin’ college is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aka “Mormons” and they sweet…. And sharp as a blade too. Despite all those words about how the LDS church is the only true church in all the world and how it will change your life for the better and make you a better person- unfortunately people are still people. I’m a very critical person- it’s one of the things I’m working on is that little thing called pre-judgment but I really, really struggle with the LDS community. I feel like all my young life I was drinkin’ the Kool-Aid and now guess what I got off the Kool-Aid and now I’m just confused as to what the hell I used to believe.

Part of that issue is that my family and friends think I’m sick for not wanting to go back to church. “Why you no go church?” Girl, I could write you books about why I’m not there. But the true reason is- I am not there because in my heart I do not feel like it’s true. Maybe those feelings are part of the chemical imbalance from the PTSD or the depression or maybe my anorexia nervosa switched up something else in my brain we don’t know about yet but the epicenter of this point is that I. Cannot. Feel. If. God. Is. Talking. To Me. And when you lose that sense of companionship- Mormons refer to this as “the spirit”. Yes if you watch Unbreakable Amy Schmidt you will have a very good idea of what this feels like. I feel like I’m one of the Indiana mole women who just got out of the bunker.

The thing is, what you have in any close religious community or any community where there isn’t much diversity; is a community that is very blasé about the way they live. In their limited view there is only their way to do things there can be no other way.

So applying that to my original topic is that I am in a tiny, very blasé little LDS community literally on an island in the middle of the Pacific struggling with PTSD depression and anorexia nervosa. I’m also in the middle of a major global culture clash because day to day I interact on average with people from 6-10 different countries of origin. I use 3-4 languages to eavesdrop or say hello or to take my notes in Japanese so none of the Samoans will copy my homework. I have a pretty unique college experience but here is my best advice- take what works and throw out all else.

  1. You need to want it. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is in ANYTHING you want in this life for you to want it sooo bad that you will WORK. Anyone who has actually kept up a routine of going to the gym will get this.  You kick your butt to go do that workout and you consistently choose to say no to doughnuts and other delicious so that you can fuel your body towards your goals. My spirit animal is a topic no one has really decided on but last week in a discussion with someone I realized my spirit animal is pretty darn close to an otter. If I cannot get that dam clam out of the shell I am going to sit there and hit it on a rock until I get my snack. I am not going to go get another clam I am getting this one open you just watch ( and I included a video you’re welcome). Lil otter my determination role model
  2. You need to be smart. Every person is different and they learn differently, speak differently, do relationships differently- but something every article on health since who knows when has been telling us is that balance is very helpful to the average humans life. For instance one glass of wine sometimes rather than 20 one night and getting alcohol poisoning. For instance if you have a stressful job such as POTUS you will take up golfing or hire a masseuse because if you don’t give yourself what you need to succeed you will drop into the void. In a college students life that means no- do not feed your body 90% ramen and 10% stress eating.
  3. USE YOUR HEAD. You need food. You need SLEEP. You need LOVE from safe, stable people on a regular basis. You need to avoid crazy drugs and anything extra that will f up your body because trust me, finals does the same thing. Seriously.
  4. RESPECT DA TEMPLE: STD’s pregnancy kidney failure alcohol addiction these are NOT the types of problems you need on top of Calculus, allright?  Also why the freak wouldn’t you use a condom? I take that as disrespect and just plain dangerous to hook up without birth control because typically in college you don’t know where he/she/binary has been! Most people don’t get tested for STD’s until they show up with the crabs! Those odds are not in your favor. And if you ever take Stat you can do the math for me. I avoided stat so I’m just speaking from condom commercials, rape support websites, and life experience. Trust me. You never want to be able to say “I’m speaking from life experience” with this. You’ll be much happier with life experiences such as baking cupcakes with Martha Stewart. Seriously instead of partying why don’t you just take a baking class and form your own secret cult of cupcake bakers? I bet cupcake bakers can make as much as a drug dealer and that comes without jail or an f-ed  up head and body ETC. Also in my experience even Walmart has enough toys that go with birth control to make things a lot more interesting. So do stores. So you can do your thang and not get prego or jailed or got “crabs”. Gee… Sounds pretty cool ay? And seriously I’m an LDS girl on an island in the Pacific and I STILL know where to go for those types of toys. And I basically live in a cult! Our ONE grocery store down here hides  them behind the counter and you gotta be 21 to ask for lube or a pregnancy test or a condom. You mainland people got no excuse for not having birth control on hand. Be an adult. Use protection.
  5. BE SAFE: rape happens plenty too. Get yourself pepper spray and avoid those parties and if you are in highschool or college and you were raised right you know exactly what parties I mean. If you are not with your crew you are not in the right place. And learn what to do if you get raped before you go because every university
  6. Be realistic in your goal setting: Do not-unless you cannot avoid it- get a school schedule of all difficult classes that you hate all in one semester.
  7. Keep up goals and plans. If you know what you want you can then go for what you want. Remember that Lewis Carrol? If you don’t know where you want to go than it doesn’t matter what road you take.
  8. LEARN ORGANIZATION that works for your brain pertinent to your #goals for gym, school, meditation. I use a very complicated system that involves my brain, placement of certain objects (yes I can tell you what my schedule is tomorrow just by looking at which sports bra I put out to wear tomorrow. Friggin Sherlock Holmes of lingerie,  I am), I also dabble in the use of post-it notes stuck in my day planner or post it notes taped to my phone or written lists on the back of receipts shoved in my wallet. I also use apps. For instance Clue for tracking my period because every time I go to any doctor that’s one of the first questions and my brain is too full of last season of Rosewood to be rememberin’ that. Ain’t nobody got time for dat. Recovery Record because it reminds me to eat and makes me track my eating and exercise behaviors pertinent to my eating disorder, I just log it and it goes straight to my nutritionist and I’ve done my part and I chat with her three weeks later and get weighed (weighed, not laid. Be careful how you say that one). I have a pill organizer for my medications and supplements as well as a little supplement plan written out next to it because I don’t need to O.D. And if I take one of those meds two hours late I will be up for the next 6 hours fidgeting and googling abstract topics and memorizing facts about who knows what. You can blame google for at least half of my big fat brain. I get text alerts from doctors. I have alarms for when to wake up, when to take pills, when to sleep, when to call someone, spread from my watch to my phone as WELL as alarms through my calendar app. You may think “This is madness” and you would be absolutely right. But highness, we’re all mad here.
  9. CALL YOUR FAMILY- At least once a week. Or once every two weeks. Stay connected to someone separate from college because especially at small colleges *speaking from life experience* gossip flies and things go down. If you have to leave because it’s so bad, you need a place to go.
  10. USE YOUR VOICE- if your college isn’t keeping you safe or if a policy is causing harm to you or your disability or mental illness is making school damn harder than it needs to be you need to figure out who to call and make those calls. Have you ever seen the Devil Wears Prada or Princess Diaries or The Proposal or any movie with a strong powerful business woman taking charge? She didn’t get there by not following her new Year’s Resolutions
  11. Go to class and do your homework.

And because I’m awesome here are videos that remind me of college

Princess Diaries When a Princess (aka freshman) is late

 

 

VERSUS when a Queen (Senior) is late

And you know what I like cute photo collages and I have to stay up to take my meds anyways so here we go.

 

 

 

And at the end of the day I’m pretty sure between us when we talk story about our day, that I’m going to have very, very different stories to tell than the other 99%.

Do you know anyone else who is the princess of Samoan village, for instance? Or who wears a tiara to school. Or tells these poly boys 4 times her size exactly what she thinks of their “ab”s. I can also touch my forehead to my knees and I bake the bessttt brownies.

And I bet you won’t be surprised, but I have walked into class with my tiara on, late, and just told the teacher “The queen is never late” and walked straight to my desk. No tardy. No smart comment. Whatever your thing is, own it.

And sidenote do you remember that guy who “snuggled” me about a year ago and was basically cheating on his girlfriend and asking me to make out on the beach with him? He’s in Utah, kicked out of school, and marrying a white as bread palagi girl. I hope things go well for him, even though he’s a ho.

And as far as my ex-guyfriend goes I think he’s getting married. So I need everyone reading this post to put your hands together, bow your heads, and solicit the heavens that he please not come to the gym with her again so that he doesn’t have to know what it’s like to hold “For worse” before they get to hold “For better”.

I’m a savage at times but truthfully it’s not in my nature to harm. I will only lash out in anger when I am really, really hurt. And that guy hurt me pretty bad. For me, I’m doing my best. But it would help me to move on if he would respect that boundary for me, in honor of the friendship we had before that’s pau. I hope the best for him too. Which is part of why I asked for that boundary. I want to nurture the parts of myself that will help me move forward independent of him and these others who have hurt me. There’s this quote from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

“.“But I love him.”
“So love him.” “But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.”

Heads up, that book and movie will start to show up a lot because I’m pondering it, it is so fascinating to me and I think if you want to answer the question of happiness, of life, that is a good start. Nurture things that will help you grow.

 

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