Let’s face it: starting a new semester is hard. What makes it even harder is having a four month break in-between. I always find that by March I’ve found this great rhythm in terms of balancing classes, social life, and sorority commitments; but by September I’ve completely lost it.
Self-care gets completely pushed to the side and I become this massive ball of unproductive panic. It’s awful.
So this year I’ve taken the last few days to analyze my approach to the new school year and talk to some friends about how they handle starting a new semester.
Today’s post is part of a larger series called “The Sex Talk”. Often we think of The Sex Talk as an awkward conversation we have with our parents where the phrase “when a Mommy and Daddy love each other very much…” because that’s what’s been normalized.
There’s something wrong with that sex talk.
It (normally) only mentions the idea of sex for reproductive purposes and doesn’t mention topics that fall under the sex and gender category. We often don’t talk about how some people are LGBTQ+ with kids, while others identify as cisgendered straight folk. Or that sex happens between consenting parties.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I get it’s hard to explain this all to a kid (I barely understand all of it), but sex talks shouldn’t happen just once. The Sex Talk should be a dialogue that everyone participates in at every stage of life and it should surround more than just how babies are made.
Today’s topic is consent. Below the photo, I’ll be talking about what consent is and how to get consent. While a lot of what I say might seem like it’s obvious, for a lot of people it isn’t.
DISCLAIMER: While I don’t have any explicit content, topics such as this can be triggering. Please check in with yourself and make sure you make the best decision for you to feel safe at the moment.
I’m not claiming to know everything here. I’m just a student who is interested in furthering her own understanding of the crazy world she lives in. If you need further explanation on any claims I make, or think I’m wrong about something, please let me know in a polite way. I’m happy to edit this post until it’s perfect.
As a list junkie, I love setting goals. Writing down what I hope to accomplish so that I’m able to organize the craziness in my brain brings me a lot of joy. For whatever reason, when it comes to writing down my goals I can never remember what I wanted to do.
Part of this is my goals are always super vague. I want to do things like ‘work on my blog more’ or ‘hang out with my friends more’. While those are totally things I can try to accomplish, what do they really mean?
Maybe I’m just a terrible goal setter, and that’s okay, but I have to work hard to figure out goals and to-do lists. So hard in fact, I’ve created a system. A simple one (because I’m lazy) but a system all the same.
There’s something you should probably know about me. I love school. Even when I’m having a difficult time with classes, I can’t bring myself to abandon my love of education. A lot of people think I’m crazy, but love doesn’t always make sense.
That being said, I enjoy the break I get in the summer like any other gal. For a few months I don’t have to worry about my GPA or how I’m going to fit everything into my crazy schedule. All I’m responsible for is working and spending time with friends.
Since my schedule relaxes during the summer, I tend to let myself get a little… lazy when it comes to my normal routines. I barely look at my planner and my bedtime routine completely falls apart. From May-August, this is completely okay, but come September I know I need to kick my bum back into gear.
If this sounds like you, I have a few things you can do in August to make sure you’re ready to kick September’s bum.
This past school year, my first in university, jump started my desire to feed myself properly. Until moving across the country, I had never considered what it took to eat a balanced meal. Sure, sometimes I would have to cook for myself but there was always someone around (my mom) to make sure I got enough nutrients at the end of the day.
My school boasts that it offers “tasty and varied menus”, something I would say is a flat out lie. Even without my dietary restrictions, varied isn’t a word I would put anywhere near what Sodexo serves and tasty is subjective.
Their many versions of the potato were certainly tasty (and I did learn this year that I can survive off just potatoes and milk alone), but they didn’t always do a lot to contribute to a healthy meal.
Some of this is on me. I’m a vegetarian who eats vegan as often as possible. However, it quickly became apparent to everyone I knew that we were going to have to get creative if we wanted a balanced diet. Or if we wanted to have meals that varied day to day.
People eat in meal hall because they have to and for the social aspect, they don’t do it for the great food.
Transitions are hard. When high school finished, I truly believed I was about to get everything I wanted. I was 18, going to university across the country, and finishing the planning for my big solo trip to Europe. Surely, all this meant I was an adult. Little Maggie had dreamed of this moment.
Graduation meant leveling up.
With all the arrogance of someone who thinks they’re prepared for everything, I barely listened to what people had to tell me about going to university. No matter what they told me, my first year was going to be perfect. I wouldn’t have regrets or mistakes to learn from.
I don’t know if that was optimism or just plain foolishness, but I do have some regrets and mistakes to learn from. Hopefully, you’ll listen to my advice more than I would have. I’m not saying that finishing my first year means I know best (or even that I know anything at all), but I do think it grants me some authority on the subject of surviving freshman year. I made it out alive after all.