How to successfully have your first breakdown in college

What’s up guys, how are you doing?

So, true to character, I’m currently procrastinating.  I’ve got an essay on Macbeth due tomorrow afternoon, and I’m just not feeling it right now.  And considering Maria has been ever so persistently reminding me that it’s my turn to write the blog post (and that it’s been nearly two months since the last one oops), I figured what better way to distract myself than to catch up with you guys?  So grab your beanbags and some snacks and get comfortable, friends.

I don’t know about any of you guys, but in high school I feel like I kind of had a lot of control over my emotions and my overall mental stability.  Like, I still put everything off until the last possible minute, but somehow I knew that everything would be okay.  I can honestly never say I’ve never had a breakdown; I’ve never been so overwhelmed that I’ve needed to have one.

THAT WILL CHANGE IN COLLEGE.

And you know what?  If you still have control over your emotions after your first year of college is over, then I applaud you.  But this was an entirely different ballgame for me.  Homework piles up, your family [unintentionally] begins to stress you out from home, you’re running out of time, your room is a mess, you can never seem to find time to shower or do laundry or eat meals, your sleep schedule is out of whack, and in the middle of all of that you get you’re freaking period at some point.  That’s what college students like to call ~April~ guys.  And it sucks.

Because of all of those things I just listed, Maria and I have now both experienced legitimately hardcore breakdowns.  I mean, we were both weepy, hyperventilating messes.  Not at the same time, thankfully (our friend Chelsea would have had a field day trying to fix both of us at the same time LOL).  But we decided that since it’s practically inevitable that you’ll eventually experience one of these yourself, why not give you some tips on how to make sure you break down correctly?

(Plus we all know I love a good numbered list.)

  1.  Pretend all your classes are super easy and that you’ve got this.  Honestly, nothing will set you up for a great breakdown like thinking you’ve got everything under control.  Tell yourself all of your classes this semester are super easy, that the essays you have to write are short and won’t take long, and that you can totally wait a little bit longer before starting your homework.
  2. Get the scoop on all of the drama happening at home.  It’s all about seeding, friends.  Get the low-down on what life is like for your family back home.  Money troubles?  Mom needs surgery?  Dad wants to get rid of your dog?  Also your truck?  What?  Since when?  Everyone’s been cranky and your siblings haven’t had school lunch money in a while?  Once you’ve learned everything they’ve been keeping from you and you’ve got about twenty more things on your plate that you wouldn’t have had otherwise, you’re just one step closer to the perfect breakdown.
  3. Spend the last few dollars in your bank account on All Time Low’s new album.  Or, you know, on Jimmy Johns or something equally stupid.  This way, by the time you realize your clothes hamper is overflowing, you won’t have any money to do laundry!  See how well things are going?
  4. Keep putting off your homework in order to de-stress from the first three steps.  I mean, you totally deserve it.  Binge-watch Once Upon a Time on Netflix the entire weekend or read a book.  Either way, keep your mind off of studying for upcoming finals and finishing your papers and projects and reports.  You don’t need that right now.
  5. Pick a night after your much-needed break and formulate your plan of attack.  Okay, so eventually you’re going to have to get your stuff done.  Sit down, figure out everything you have to complete and when each thing is due, and plan the days and times you’re going to work on it all.  While doing so, be sure to let your mind wander to all of those things your family told you and all of the money you don’t have and let that all begin to boil.
  6. Make sure you have the essentials.  You’re going to need your roommate or best friend somewhere nearby, and then it’s highly recommended that you keep your phone at your side as well.  Chances are, you’re going to need it.  Make sure your fridge is stocked with your favorite drink (Dr. Pepper for the win) and your food drawer contains the junk food that fills your heart with unicorns and glitter, and if you’re lucky enough to have a freezer, ice cream isn’t a bad idea either.  Put on your sad song playlist that we told you to make a couple posts ago.  Tissues are also recommended.
  7. You won’t get over it; you’ll succumb to it.  Just accept that when it happens, it’s happening.  There is no fighting it off, no keeping it in.  When you find yourself staring at your laptop screen and going completely numb, heart rate increasing and palms getting sweaty, just let it happen.  Warn your roommate (or don’t, that’s always fun), grab a tissue.  It’s okay.  You’re going to start crying, which will quickly go from sniffles to weeps to violent, spine-wracking sobs.  It’s fine.
  8. Call your parents.  Your roommate will likely be as surprised as you are that it’s happening, so as nice as it’ll be to have them there, just call your parents.  They’ve dealt with you being ridiculous before, and they’ll do it again.  If anyone is an expert on how to handle your emotions, it’s them.  Let them talk you through your plan of attack and reassure you about the problems at home that you have no control over.  I promise it’ll help.
  9. Go for a walk afterward.  I didn’t do this, but thinking back I wish I would have.  Granted it was the middle of the night when mine happened, but still, fresh air would have probably done me good.  Your mental health is more important than school work, and if you’re having a super hard time, then dude, what are you waiting for?  Go outside.  Walk through campus.  Come back.  Have a second go at it once you’ve cleared your head.
  10. ATTACK.  After your breakdown (which will likely happen around April like ours did), you’re going to feel like a whole new person.  I have no idea why, but it’s honestly like shedding your skin and just shaking everything off.  It’s like you get a second chance.  So you’ve got about a month – month and a half – left of your first year of college and a handful of different sorts of homework assignments due by then.  You can do it.  It’ll be rough, but once it’s over, you can take a two-week-long nap at home in your own bed with nothing to worry about for another three months.  How great does that sound?

Well, there you go.  If you’re going to break down, you’ve got to do it right.  Hopefully this will help!  But don’t worry, becoming blubbering messes isn’t all Maria and I have been up to in the last month and a half.  Between classes and Netflix marathons and listening to One Direction (RIP ot5) and hibernating (I mean napping), we’ve kept ourselves pretty busy!  Hopefully the same has been the case for you all.

With that, I bid you farewell to write my paper.  Maybe.

Take care, be kind!

Carissa

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What we learned during our first semester of college…

What’s up guys, how are you doing?

First, happy New Year!  We’re more than half a month late in saying that, but better late than never.  I hope everyone took the time to come up with some killer New Year’s resolutions that they aren’t going to keep, because I know I did.  I also hope you’ve all been well.

The New Year brings with it our second semester, and so here’s a quick update: our first week with our new schedules and classes went great.  I’ve even been keeping up with my homework, so I mean, that’s definitely saying something.  Our first semester of college is officially over, though, and I decided we should probably do a quick recap to let you all know what we’ve learned during those first four months.  Maria agreed.

So because apparently I really enjoy doing these, here’s a bullet-point list for you:

  1. It’s OKAY to get rid of the toxic people in your life.  Particularly, your toxic friends.  If you have anyone in your life that builds you up just to tear you down or who doesn’t believe in you, it’s time to bid them farewell.  You don’t need them.  Your happiness is all that matters.  Maria and I both were able to do that first semester, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
  2. Make a sad playlist — they’re surprisingly beneficial.  Believe it or not, listening to songs that make you cry when you’re already sad is a great way to stop being sad.  Sometimes you kind of need to let everything out, and telling your problems to your best friend or your parents or a counselor just doesn’t always cut it.  It’s helpful to know that you aren’t the only one who has felt a certain way, and sad songs can do that for you.  Maria is an expert at sad song playlists, and I’ve finally jumped on board and made one for myself.  I’ve only used it once so far, but it was a great idea!
  3. It isn’t cool to hate Taylor Swift anymore.  Sorry!  For some reason, from 2010 to October 2014, hating Taylor Swift was a big trend, and I’ve never really understood why.  But gone are the days when I get ridiculed for playing her music on some speakers for everyone to hear, because as of the release of her new album 1989, I’m pretty sure the girls in my unit haven’t listened to anything else!  I mean, even Maria is a fan now, so…  Besides, she’s a great role model.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone love her own life more and strive for nothing but making herself happy by creating her own rules and standards.  It’s refreshing and wonderful (and she’s literally a Christmas-gift-giving unicorn, so you can’t go wrong by loving her).
  4. You can have friends who don’t believe what you do.   This is definitely something that I’ve personally had to come to terms with, but it hasn’t stopped “Marissa” from taking over campus yet!  It’s more or less just jarring to go from my small town where everyone believed what I believed to this university, where everyone believes different things.  It’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to end up surrounding yourself with people who all share your beliefs, so being able to accept that you guys will think differently about certain things early on will only benefit you in the long run.
  5. Post-it notes are essential for a good friendship/roommateship.  I think my favorite thing that Maria and I have going for us is our use of colorful post-it notes to leave each other important reminders or just little notes to brighten each other’s day.  Most often, we leave each other song lyrics, and I don’t think I’ve gotten rid of any yet.  I keep them all on my desk, so they’re also a good way to liven up your dorm room’s atmosphere.  Plus, they look cute.
  6. Weird is GOOD.  Trust us, weird people have more fun.  You have interesting conversations, you end up catching the strangest things on film, you create fictional superheroes and places, you come up with your own sorority (ours is called Kappa Frappuccino), and everyone basically wishes they were having as much fun as you are all the time.  Don’t be afraid to do or say weird things, because you’ll end up making awesome friends — you’ll scare away the boring ones and attract the ones who are as weird as you are.  This is a BIG thing Maria and I have learned first semester, so I encourage you to take this to heart.
  7. There is no wrong time to play Taylor Swift or One Direction.  Just saying.  We both felt that this list wouldn’t be complete if this point wasn’t made, so…here you go.  Whether you’re in the shower, getting ready, painting your nails, doing homework, trying to sleep, cleaning your room, making your bed, chilling online, or reading a book, you literally can’t go wrong by listening to these two.
  8. 47.3% of the male population sucks.  This is probably completely inaccurate, but boys, in your defense, Maria wanted this point to originally be “all boys suck” so…you’re welcome.  And this isn’t just targeted at boys from Butler.  This definitely extends to the boys we grew up with.  Honestly, this point is more for Maria than for me, but we’ve both experienced our fair share of sketchy male behavior over the last few months, and we’ve come to the conclusion that guys who think girls are the confusing ones are delusional because dang.
  9. Write letters and remember loved ones’ birthdays!  Whoever says that writing letters is old-fashioned and lame is lying, because I think it’s one of the best ways to keep in contact with the people you don’t get to see everyday anymore.  It’s much more personalized and genuine, if you ask me.  I’ve been writing letters to one of my classmates who is currently in training to be a Marine and to my cousin, and it’s a lot of fun.  Plus, it’s exciting to receive something in your mailbox every once in a while!  In addition, if you can’t be home for your siblings’ birthdays or your parents’, don’t forget to sent them a card or something!  I’ve done that with two of my siblings already and I just finished writing in the card for my other sibling, and they actually really appreciate it.  So don’t forget about them!
  10. Get more than one opinion on something that’s bothering you.  Hearing what your best friend or your roommate has to say about an issue you’ve been having is great, but they might be biased!  Get a second opinion on it, or find someone who doesn’t know much about you or whoever is involved and get an objective opinion.  It’ll be easier for you to make your own decision if you have multiple other points of view.
  11. Doing dishes is hard.  But let me assure you, doing a lot of dishes with spaghettio sauce dried on them is harder.
  12. Movie nights are an excellent bonding experience.  Seriously, every once in a while I recommend picking out a movie with your roommate, buying some junk food, and taking a night to relax.  I am completely convinced that this somehow benefits your mental health!
  13. Waking up for breakfast gets harder as time goes on.  You’re going to learn to love your bed and sleeping in whenever you can, so don’t be surprised if all of a sudden you completely lose any desire you once had to eat breakfast every morning.  I’m sure this doesn’t happen to everyone, but the majority of people I’ve talked to about this have had the same problem.  That being said, try to overcome this!  Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism and blah blah, -insert other healthy comments here-
  14. Working out can include going up and down stairs all day.  Our dorm hall is kind enough to have all of the female dorm rooms located on the top floor, so every time we come or go, we’re climbing and descending several flights of stairs.  This happens multiple times a day.  And then there are the stairs we get to climb and descend for all of our classes.  So, you know what?  No matter what anyone else tells you, all of that is a workout.  Most definitely.
  15. All you need is some twine and some polaroids for a great Christmas tree.  Fine, Butler, it’s not like we wanted to celebrate Christmas with a normal Christmas tradition anyway.  If your college ends up having the same kinds of regulations that ours has, you might not be allowed to have even miniature fake Christmas trees in your dorm room.  No worries, we’ve got you covered.  Just take some twine, create a tree shape on your wall, and clip some polaroids to it like hanging ornaments.  It’s very cool, trust us.
  16. If you put your garbage bin by the fridge, it will fill up quicker.  It’s time to face the facts: Maria and I do not use our designated garbage bins very well.  We tend to use each others.  However, with mine located near the fridge, I end up with much larger items tossed into mine, so I’ve found that I end up having to empty mine more often than Maria does.  That’s cool and all, but she better believe I’m going to find some larger things to throw into her garbage this semester.
  17. 10 Things I Hate About You is the best go-to movie night movie.  Really though, we’ve watched this movie way too many times since we got here.  No movie has better one-liners or is more fun to quote, and Heath Ledger is never not fun to ogle at, so yeah, I’d get on that if you haven’t yet.
  18. Netflix is a gift from God.  Other gifts from God include that friend who shares their account with you, the wifi speed here, and Supernatural.  If Netflix wasn’t in my life right now, I honestly don’t know how I’d have survived our first semester.
  19. We don’t nap anymore — we accidentally hibernate.  Our first semester taught us to take napping to a whole new level, especially toward the end when we’d stay up all night studying for exams and finishing final projects.  Once we fell asleep, we weren’t waking up again until almost the entire day was gone.  I have a hunch that this semester will bring the same habits, so that’ll be interesting now that we have classes during the day again.
  20. Finally, leave your door open!  When possible, don’t be afraid to just leave your door wide open.  Maria and I recently learned that because we do this, we’re known by the other girls in our unit as the ones who “play One Direction really loud,” and I guess because of this we’re “awesome”?  I’m not complaining!  And neither were they; they actually liked hearing the music, and one of them even said she could hear it in the shower, which she appreciated.  But yeah, if you leave your door open, people will probably feel more comfortable popping in just to say hi or to take a quick look at how you’ve arranged your room.  That’s a great way to make friends.

And there you have it.  As you can see, we’ve learned a lot!  If you didn’t notice, not a single thing about what we learned in our classes was mentioned.  That’s because in college, I’ve found that I’ve learned more about how to survive on my own and with Maria than I did in my classes, and personally, that is more important to me right now anyway.  I’m breaking old habits and creating new ones, and while not all of them are good, they’re kind of part of the process of learning how this all works.  I’m not in high school anymore, and my parents can’t do everything for me when I’m about 400 miles away from them, you know?

That being said, don’t get me wrong.  I DID learn a lot in the classes I took first semester, and I think Maria would agree, but you know.  This post wouldn’t have been as interesting if we’d listed the things we liked about our first year seminars and the things we hated in other classes.

Until next time, take care!

Carissa

Mass Update

What’s up guys, how are you doing?

If anyone was wondering, Maria did not end up dying from Ebola (because she didn’t have Ebola), and I am still procrastinating.  Considering that’s the last you heard of either of us, I figured I’d clear that up.

And because it’s been centuries since our last post, we’re going to let you know what we’ve been up to since the end of October.  A nice bullet-point list seems like an effective way to get you all back up to speed.  Here we go.

Since you heard of us last:

  • We didn’t really do anything for Halloween outside of dressing up like Pink Ladies for a few classes.
  • That was also family weekend here, and because my family was unable to make it, I became an unofficial sixth member of Maria’s family.  We all ate a lot of food and had a lot of fun.
  • November brought with it colder weather, and my parents were kind enough to ship me my Castle jacket (for those of you who don’t know what that is, please Google it; they are not a type of wasp) and some more sweatshirts.  Also, my grandma sent Halloween candy for both Maria and I (the Grandma who wanted to speak to Maria on the phone when I first got to Butler and not me).
  • We took a trip to the ER at 11pm on a Monday night with our lovely RA because I had an infection where I was previously operated on a few years back.  Strictly precaution.  All is swell.
  • Taylor Swift released her new album 1989, and because I am an avid T-Swizzle fan, I refused to listen to anything else in our dorm room, and by the end of the first week Maria was undoubtedly hooked.
  • To add to that, on November 17th One Direction also released an album (FOUR), and guess what that meant for poor Maria?  The only thing we were allowed to listen to from that point on was a playlist made up of 1989 and FOUR, and if you were wondering, it is now December 8th and that’s still all we’re listening to.
  • Basically Maria has gone full-on Directioner, because she also willingly — WILLINGLY — watched the One Direction movie, This Is Us, and is now very much in love with them.  We’ve even planned our double wedding — she will become Mrs. Liam Payne and I will become Mrs. Harry Styles.  It’s inevitable.
  • November 17th was also our friend Chelsea’s birthday.
  • We registered for our classes for next semester, as well.  As freshmen, we were last to able to do that, and that meant we basically got leftovers.  It was a little difficult to get every class we wanted at all the right times, but in the end I think we both came out with a schedule we’re excited about.
  • We had a bit of a dispute, as well.  And by dispute I mean an argument that nearly drove Maria to spend the night in a different room (woah, right?).  It ended up being a large misunderstanding, and despite two days spent ignoring/avoiding each other, we ended up fine.
  • Thanksgiving break finally arrived, and I found that we’re lucky to have the entire week off while other colleges had classes on Monday and Tuesday (sometimes even Wednesday).  I went back to Wisconsin for the week with my cousin and her boyfriend who were driving home from North Carolina and swung by to pick me up at 3am, and Maria’s parents picked her up and brought her back to Tennessee.  I think it was a much needed break for both of us, not from each other but from college in general.  We’ll probably make a post going into detail about each of our breaks.
  • When we got back to campus, I brought Christmas decorations with me.  We spent that night hanging garland on our walls and snowflakes from our curtain rod, and we attempted to personalize our own stockings but glitter glue was brought into the world by Satan I swear and that didn’t work out very well.  Our wall clings didn’t cling, and our window clings didn’t work out because we forgot that we had screens, but we made what we had work.  The window clings went on our body-length mirror, and where the wall clings were, we created a Christmas tree of sorts with green twine and used our Taylor Swift 1989 polaroids as the “ornaments.”  Easily the coolest thing we did with our room.
  • Maria’s mother sent her back with Death by Chocolate, and I can’t properly explain what exactly they are, but basically they are delicious and will probably end up killing me, so thanks a lot Queen Elizabeth.
  • Maria isn’t one for Christmas festivities usually, so it sort of surprised me that we got to decorate the room.  However, that’s about where she draws the line.  While I love Tay Tay and 1D, I have to admit that now that it’s December I am craving my Christmas music.  I’ve got a nice long playlist on iTunes that she refuses to let me listen to, but I do fully intend to have her just as hooked on that as she is on Taylor Swift and One Direction (she doesn’t think it’ll happen) (she’s so wrong).
  • This past weekend Maria went to her sister’s house for a couple nights, and I didn’t exactly leave my room because I needed to catch up on Supernatural.  I did, though, accompany Chelsea yesterday to her old high school’s Holiday Spectacular, and it was absolutely fabulous.  I had the best time.  Chelsea and her parents were a little dismayed that it wasn’t up to par with previous years, but I was fascinated by the entire thing and can’t wait to go next year.  My current Christmas jam, “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson, was even performed.

And now that you’re all caught up, we’d like to apologize.  Things got a little hectic for a while, but hopefully we’ll be keeping you updated on our journey more frequently again.  Finals are quickly approaching, and we’ll be letting you know how that works.  I hear that there are going to puppies on campus as a de-stress mechanism, and I know Maria is really looking forward to that.

Until then, take care.

Carissa (and Maria, who has been watching me type this entire post)

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