Sometimes college is lame…

It’s Friday night of your first week at college.  

You’ve been hearing all week how amazing the parties are, and by this point you’re a little annoyed that you haven’t been invited to one.  So, you know, you take a shower and get all dressed up, spending a lot of time making yourself look, like, really nice (v nice).  You even shave your legs.  *gasp*  

You hear there’s a get-together involving food and (non-alcoholic) cold liquids on this ridiculously hot Friday, and you’ve got nothing else to do because remember, no party invites.  So you and your roommate (whom you’ve only managed to convince to come due to rumors of cookies) walk the good fifteen minute trek to the Health and Recreation Center where said get-together is taking place.  When you arrive, you find that unfortunately for you, there are bouncy houses — which normally would be okay except you dressed up, remember?  Which means a skirt.  Which means no bouncy houses for you. 

The only redeeming quality this get-together could have had was the food, and there weren’t even cookies.  Mini cupcakes?  Oh yeah.  Chick-Fil-A sandwiches?  Plenty.  But this just reminds you of the food you’ve managed to escape back home.  Oh, and what kind of cold beverages were there, you ask?  Coke.  That’s it.  Not even water.  Just nasty, syrupy Coke.  Your least favorite soda (and still no cookies).

So with your roommate pissed for dragging you to a social event with no cookies or decent beverages, you begrudgingly head back to your dorm (which you’ve now taken to calling home after just a week).  On the way, you bump into some pals (shout out to Brian, Jack, Andrew, Jake/Chad, Luke, Joe, and Tommy) who persuade you to play just one round of pool (because it’s not like you do that every time you’re bored already…*teehee*).  You’re still upset, but you do your best at kicking the boys’ asses (you don’t). *offended gasp from Maria heard in background*

Despite the awful beginning, your Friday night wasn’t amazing, but it was good.  And it ended sweetly in your room with your favorite person: yourself (just kidding Carissa, it’s really you).  

So just remember, college is not all about fun and games.  You will come back to your room tired and angry at all of the homework you have for the weekend.  You will be disappointed in the way your night turns out sometimes.  And you’ll realize you might have the Freshman Flu (poor Carissa).  But hey, at least there’re cookies.

Love, 

Carissa and Maria

(No really, there are cookies…)

ACT and SAT *duh duh duhhhh*

So we got a request to post information about taking tests such as the ACT and SAT.

First of all, do not stress out. I, Maria, have testing anxiety, which means I stress out and get anxious and basically set myself up for failure when really I should remain calm, yet focused. I know it may seem like crap advice but really, not stressing out should be the first thing you remember when confronting these tests.

Second, practice does make perfect. It is totally cliche to say, but the more you take the practice tests, the more comfortable you will be (which will help you to not freak)! You honestly can never take a practice test too many times. There are tutoring places that specialize in ACT or SAT test taking, I went to two and it lowered my stress tremendously.

Now when it comes to actually taking the test itself there are a few important things for you to remember:

  1. READ EVERYTHING, nothing sucks more than missing that “not” in the question
  2. Pay attention to time.  If you are spending more than two minutes on a question, you need to guess and move on
  3. Answer every question!! There is no penalty for guessing on the ACT.  There are, however, points deducted for every wrong answer on the SAT.
  4. Eliminate answers you know cannot possibly be correct
  5. Check, check, and recheck (if you have extra time)
  6. Follow all rules. It may seem stupid to some, but do not – I repeat, do not – go back and change answers, look at someone else’s paper (which is stupid anyway considering people have different versions), or anything that could get your test taken from you and marked with a big fat 0

For more specific advice feel free to email us!

Good luck,

M

how we got here: roommate edition

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What’s up guys, how are you doing?  If you can’t tell by my impeccable grammar, spelling, and word usage, this would be Carissa and not Maria.  Yet.  You’ll hear from her below.

We’re going to take turns explaining to you why we chose Butler University and what kinds of factors really influenced our decisions.  These are probably going to be some of, if not all, the things you should be considering when choosing colleges to apply to and ones where you might want to spend the next four years of your life.

There were a lot of things that made me want to choose Butler, but at first, when everyone else in my class (which is admittedly very small but still) had already narrowed down which colleges they were going to apply to and were already beginning, I was totally lost.  I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to go.  None.  Like, not even a little.  I knew I wanted to go far away from my little Wisconsin town (for reasons I’ll explain in depth later), but I didn’t know where and I didn’t know if I’d be able to afford an out-of-state college.  My parents surely couldn’t.  It’d be up to me after I graduated.

So first, I made the mistake in middle school of putting my home address on the bottom of the surveys they used to give us for reasons I don’t remember, and I ended up receiving loads of mail from different universities all across the country.  I mean, I had piles of it.  One day my dad told me to just start going through all that mail to see if any of them sounded even slightly interesting; I did exactly that.  Somewhere in the first pile was an envelope from Butler University, and it pretty much sealed the deal for me.

I don’t know what it was about it.  I really don’t.  I mean, I loved the school colors (blue and white) (hence our URL) and I liked the mascot (a bulldog) simply because it’s the mascot for my high school’s rival and I think that’s hilarious.  I like basketball, so their program for that is huge (Big Ten, holler), and it’s a really good liberal arts school.  It’s also a private college, so it has a pretty small population, and coming from a small town, that seemed important to me because I was going to be majorly out of my element at any college outside of Wisconsin the way it was.  Either way, despite whatever it was inside that envelope that caught my attention, Butler became my dream school before I even knew what the campus was like.

So, what made me want to go out of state, you ask?  Well.  

Meet my hometown: population is 836; school population is less than 200; my graduating class had 50 of us.  We have three gas stations; one of them has been shut down since before I was born and is now boarded up and crumbling to the ground.  One of them was placed near the highway to hopefully contract some business.  One of them is also a beer bar; this is the gas station/bar that I work at.  Here, you cannot go to the local grocery store without knowing everybody by at least their first name.  People walk and bike around more than they drive because it’s pointless to waste your gas.  And everyone in my class has known each other since preschool, which is not as great as it might sound.  In fact, it’s so awful that it is literally the sole thing that drove me to want to leave and never look back.

Two of my best friends back home basically did the most horrible thing they could have done to me.  The rest of my friends all changed and became douches when I really needed them.  And everything in general went to crap.  So I wanted to get out, and I wanted to get out fast.  Nothing seemed to be going right, and I wanted to start over.  I wanted to be somewhere that reminded me of absolutely nothing; I didn’t even want to think about people from my school anymore.  I wanted new people, new experiences, freedom, and — believe it or not — new responsibilities.  

So enough of that sob story.  Yeah, so, Butler just sort of appeared in my life and I’ve been incredibly thankful.  The more research I did on it, the more I knew it was the school for me.  The campus was, like, in its own little bubble.  It’s not like it’s spread out all throughout Indianapolis, which would be awful.  There’s no way you’ll have longer than a ten minute walk, and, as I’ve learned, there’s no way you can walk past someone whether you know them or not without receiving a warm greeting of some sort.  Everyone here is so friendly.  

Plus, John Green lives in Indianapolis.  Awesome, right?

I loved the classes that were offered, I loved the events the school held, I loved everything.  Everything from the dorm room sizes to the creative writing building, which is obviously right up my alley.  The people, the places, the opportunities.  Really.  It just was the one for me.  I know that sounds disgustingly cheesy, but hear me out.  That’s how you know, okay?  That’s how you know you’ve made the right decision.  You can’t imagine yourself anywhere else, you can’t stop thinking about what you could do there, the people and friends you could meet there, how your life could change there.  And as soon as you know, it’s like you’d do anything to get there.  That was Butler for me, and if the schools you’re applying to aren’t like that for you, then you’re going about this wrong.  

Don’t hesitate to do research on the schools that seem interesting to you.  That’s how you’ll learn more about them.  Schedule visits and tours (which are super fun), meet with professors in the department you’re interested in (the one I met with gave me a personal tour himself and he was so nice, like, he still remembers me too because that was forever ago and he’s talking to me about job opportunities he wants to give me before I should technically even be allowed to have them).  There are so many things you can do to confirm that it’s the school for you.  And it’ll be worth it when you finally unpack all your bags and look around and think wow, I’m here.  I’m staying here.  I’m staying here for a long time and it’s going to change my life and I’m going to let it.  That should be college for you.  That will be college for you if you let it happen.

So, that’s my story, basically.  That’s how I ended up at Butler University, and I literally will never regret my decision no matter how much debt I’ll be in for the rest of my life (probably).  So, uh, yeah, let’s ask Maria about her story.

Best,

Carissa

Thanks super much Carissa!

Okay… First of all, both of my parents work at universities and have for many years (decades, CENTURIES – not really, many apologies mum and dad), so they wanted me to get started on the college search process early. Both of my siblings, as well as my father, graduated from Purdue University, so that was a negative (who wants to go to a school that the people will know you). Sophomore year I narrowed it down to a select few that I wanted to visit and learn more about: Earlham, Centre, Clark, UPenn, Haverford, and St. John’s in Santa Fe, NM. Yes, you read that correctly: Butler wasn’t even on my radar. So in the fall of 2012, my mum and I decided to road trip from my town of Brentwood, TN, up to my sister, Kyra, and her long time boyfriend, Chad, in Noblesville, Indiana, stopping by Earlham and Centre in KY and southern IN.

It was Sunday at my sister’s house and I just wanted to go home. The trip was horrible, the colleges were a disappointment, and I had homework to finish for school the next day. My mum begged me to look at Indiana University or Butler University since it would be on our way out of town. I refused IU (dad would be upset – ahem boilermaker family), and greatly protested Butler. After my mom practically dragged me to the campus, it was (cue cheesy music) love at first sight. Raining, cold, and completely gorgeous, Butler’s campus made me feel right. When you walk onto a college campus, you will get a feeling – it’ll either be bad, okay, or great. My mom and I walked into the bookstore and there were people STUDYING. *mind exploding* At the info session there was a video and a petite blonde came on the screen sitting in her pink room and my mom nudged me and snorted along with me (I know, smh too people). It wasn’t until she said she was a neuroscience/molecular biology double major that our eyes popped out of their sockets. As I kept learning about Butler, I felt my heart swell with happiness about finding somewhere I belonged. 

My hometown isn’t bad – no, I am very privileged to have gone to the number one public non-charter school in my state of Tennessee. However, it is filled with snobby, white, conservative assholes who only have opinions thanks to their parental units. This isn’t to say that being white or a conservative is a bad thing, but it isn’t a good environment for me to have lived in for over ten years. Anyway, it’s the middle of my junior year (November of 2013) and I am complaining to my English teacher about the horrible things I observe, brought to you by BHS’ finest:

“Well, why don’t you just graduate early? During your senior year you can graduate in December and go to college a semester earlier!”

I was dumbfounded. Graduate? EARLY? Sprinting to the counselor’s office, I proposed this plan to my guidance counselor. Her response was, “Um in December or this May? You have enough credits to graduate as a junior.”  I knew that I would have to work extremely hard, but it would be worth it in the end. A long process later, I graduated as a junior in high school, bypassing my senior year completely (no regrets) and planning on college for the fall. Now, I only recommend graduating early FOR THE CORRECT PEOPLE. It isn’t for everyone; in fact, it isn’t for the majority of people, but I was ready to move forward with my life and start a whole new adventure. 

When applying to colleges, I only applied to Butler University (like Carissa), and I really do not think any of you should do that. It was foolish, but it was the only school either of us could see ourselves attending. And yes I am only 17 (#JailBait).

So those are our stories.  Any questions, comments, or concerns we will be happy to answer for you.

xox,

M

Maria’s Takeover *bloopbeeboop*

So I totally made Carissa talk to five, yes FIVE guys this evening in our lovely dorm’s basement (she kicked ass in pool, notttttttt– jk I love her v much).Tommy was one of my favorites just because he hated me when he first met me but almost immediately warmed to Carissa (it’s the blue eyes I’m sure of it). Shy, sheltered (sooo sheltered, but again I love her), adorable Carissa is branching out so much and it’s wonderful to see her grow. She’s kinda like a little sister to me even though she’s technically 2 years older than me at this very moment. *gasp* As a very outgoing, extroverted person, it’s next to impossible to NOT open my big fat mouth and yammer away. This isn’t to say that I get along with people, oh no,quite the opposite- Tommy being the prime example. Anyway, when I received information about my roomie, I was nervous. When I searched her on instagram and found out she was gorgeous I put my guard up (leave it to me to get a Barbie as a roommate). I never would have thought she would almost instantly become my confidant and companion.

I hope you enjoyed my sneak peek into our little world, i got myself some yogurt at target last night (morning? It was one a.m. so…) and I am starved.  Anyway my comments/posts will not be as formal as Miss English Major, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless (and if you don’t, tell Carissa and she’ll take them down). Comment pls and ty

xox,

M

*effie trinket voice* “welcome, welcome.”

What’s up guys, how are you doing?

I bet you’re doing swell.  You are, in fact, about to read my first official post as an actual Butler Bulldog and if that doesn’t excite you, you’re lying.  I don’t want to bore you with extra information on what, exactly, Butler University (BU…get it?  I even have a BU rape whistle) (that’s not a lie) is all about, so I won’t.  Not yet, anyway.  You’ll learn in time, young grasshoppers.

Instead, I’m going to jump right in and introduce myself.  So hello, I’m Carissa, and I’m majoring in English Writing and eventually minoring in something.  I’m nineteen, and Butler was my first choice school.  My roommate’s name is Maria (pronounced “Mariah”), who is seventeen until February, double majoring in International Studies and French, and basically makes me feel like an elder even though she’s the one that acts like it.  And by that I mean that she makes me try new food, she forces me to be social, she drags me around to places I’d have normally avoided simply because I’m lazy as heck.  She’s like my surrogate mother while her older sister, who lives a half hour away, claims herself as my surrogate sister (no one is really sure how this entire dynamic really works out).  Either way, I’m really enjoying my surrogate family.

Welcome Week is obviously designed to welcome the incoming freshmen class (us), and any college you decide to attend will essentially have some form of early orientation for you newcomers.  That’s something to expect.  It’s not always necessarily a full week long, but you know, you just go with it.  My Welcome Week began on Saturday, August 23rd, with move-in from 8AM to 2PM.  I’d just like to point out that the room I share with Maria is on the third floor of Ross Hall (our co-ed freshman dorm), and the temperature in Indianapolis was high eighties with ridiculous humidity, making it feel like high nineties, and basically our room was a sauna and we had to unpack and lift one bed onto the other and do all kinds of physical work that also included climbing way too many stairs, and I can assure you that it sucks.  But at the same time, you’re way too excited that this is even happening, and you don’t even care.  

At one point I just stood in the middle of the room and thought to myself, how could I, a recent high school graduate whose last summer just flew by feeling the same as all the others, be standing in my own dorm room at the college I fell in love with a roommate I get along with and nearly all of my bedroom-at-home’s contents scattered on the floor around me?  How could I be over four hundred miles away from home with no intentions of going back until late November?  How is this me right now?

And everyone’s different, so when you get to that point that I was at, you’re either going to A) let all of these things pump you up even more, or B) let them sink into your gut like the dread and despair that they are and torture you for the rest of the day as you realize there is no going back now.  

Hopefully, you know, you choose option A like me.  I sense it’d be a lot less awful.

Welcome Week is designed to be fun, but it can also be a drag, unfortunately.  I mean, you have to say goodbye to your parents/guardians/siblings/boyfriend/girlfriend/friends/whoever brought you, and then there are some lectures you have to sit through, and this thing called the Convocation Ceremony.  Actually, it might not be called that everywhere, but if you have to sit through a little ceremony where all the deans and presidents and other important people are introduced to you and people give speeches, that’s probably your version of the Convocation Ceremony.  And there are other boring things you sit through too, but there are also so many awesome fun things too.

There are ice-breaker events, which aren’t as awful as they sound, I promise.  That’s coming from arguably the least social person on the planet.  There are parties, concerts, other forms of entertainment, and the greatest part is that it’s all meant for solely the oncoming freshman class.  You.  Like, there are no upperclassmen to intimidate you.  No one that already knows what they’re doing, which leaves you and a bunch of other people your age who feel nervous and shy and confused and lonely just like you.  Anything you’re feeling, everyone else is feeling too.  Think about it.  You’re not the only new freshman.  As soon as I realized that, I became three hundred percent more comfortable.

Let me explain to you a thing.  I have this issue where, when any amount of attention is turned on me from more than one person, I become apparently so self-conscious that not only does my face become the most horrifyingly bright shade of red ever, my neck and chest begin to splotch up with that redness as well, and I look like a Class A Dufus.  

That doesn’t happen anymore.  

The entire new class was gathered into groups according to the First Year Seminar they’re taking, and my group is made up of about eighteen of us (I’ll give more information on Butler later, but it’s a pretty small school if you were wondering).  This is about the size of most of my classes in high school, so I felt at the same time completely in my area of expertise and totally out of my league, because college.  Little ol’ me.  I don’t know, I’m still not sure that we coexist.  Either way, when called on by my SOG (Student Orientation Guide, an upperclassman offering their time to help with our orientation), I recited my name, my major, where I’m from, and a fun fact about myself with no hesitation.  And when I was finished, no red.  None.

Want to know why?  Because in college — at least at Butler for sure — no one judges you.  Okay?  Did you hear that?  No one judges you.  No one looks at you like you’re crazy when you announce what you’re interested in.  No one gawks at you like you’ve sprouted a second nose if you ask a question or participate in a discussion.  Like, they respect you.  They know they’re different, they know you’re different, they know everyone is different.  If your high school was anything like mine, then you’ll know how unheard of everything I just said is.  How strange it is.  But it’s true; at college, you’re on your own, you have to accept responsibility, and this matures you.  You become understanding and open-minded and kind and generous and caring and accepting, and it’s such a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of.  That has been my favorite thing so far.

Apart from Maria, I’ve already made friends, and it’s only the third full day I’ve been here.  I mean, there’s kids whose names I know, and then there are kids whom I know, kids who I eat lunch with and walk with and am already friends with and excuse me but is that weird or is it just me?  It’s only my third day.  

But welcome to college.

I’m writing this blog to hopefully assure you that the things you worry about and the things you feel are not things that solely you feel.  There are more people like you.  I’m like you.  I worry, I get sad, I get nervous, I’m antisocial, I fear I’m not good enough, I doubt, I question, I’m skeptic, I’m scared, and I’m excited.  I have so many hopes and wishes for my experience here, and I’ll share all of them with you as well as what really goes on here.  I’ll tell you about everything, because I wish something like this existed for me when I was in the process of deciding where I wanted to spend the next four-six years of my life and how I would even survive them on my own.  So leave me questions or comments or suggestions, and I will most definitely be at your service.  You’ll probably get to hear from Maria at some point as well, and let me tell you, she is a gem.  You’ll love her.

Until then, sleep well and dream big.

Carissa