Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

#MissCollege: What college freshmen need from their parents

You’re a parent of a soon-to-be-college student, and you are probably feeling lots of spastic emotions right now. You’re hoping your student signed up for the right classes at orientation, you’re randomly asking yourself if you bought the XL twin bedsheets already, and you are fretting over if your child – er, student – should invest in a meal plan. Sally or Bob is begging to live off campus as soon as possible, because s/he will probably be too hip for the college scene, but you are just praying they graduate in the golden four years with minimal debt. Welcome to college, parents.

As an incoming student, I am still figuring many things out. My parents are prepared for my journey into college because my sibling has already endured the random worries and unexpected tribulations that infuse the college experience. So, equipped by a general idea of what you may be going through, as well as my own confusion, I have compiled the following list of things your child really needs right about now and during the first few months of school.

1. HUGS

Courtesy of Huffington Post

Courtesy of Huffington Post

I am a huggy person. Your child may not be into hugs, but trust me, s/he will want to tap into the hug reservoir during those homesick nights.

2. Money

Courtesy of HelloGiggles

Courtesy of HelloGiggles

All kids like money. However, what I mean by mentioning this is that students are often broke and need to have cash on hand to survive. Help them sort out how the ATM works so they can have access to cash when they go to sketchy drive-thrus with their friends. (It’ll happen sooner or later).

3. Care Packages

Courtesy of Amazon

Courtesy of Amazon

I’m talking chocolate bars, that special sauce they can ONLY get at your fave grocery store, and any other random items that are difficult to buy in a college town. Throwing in a cute card never hurts!

4. Financial Advice

Courtesy of Teen.com

Courtesy of Teen.com

One of my favorite things to do with my family is discuss finances. Perhaps my love of Suze Orman has finally flung into full force, because I like to ask about IRAs and checking accounts on a daily basis. Do your student a favor and teach them about how to budget and make good financial decisions. Also, it’s not a bad idea to discuss building credit in college with smaller “big” purchases such as textbooks and laptops, because without credit, your student won’t be able to make large purchases in the future. Goodbye dream house and first car…

5. Reassurance

Courtesy of The Odyssey Online

Courtesy of The Odyssey Online

Reassurance is a wonderful thing… it’s quick, it makes people feel awesome, and it’s FREE. College students are caught in this whirlwind of self-doubt, new situations, and challenging coursework. Your student needs you to be their cheerleader! Go ahead and let your student know that s/he is handling things just fine. Skype them with positivity. Be complimentary over a phone call. We all need a little help sometimes, especially when an entire lifestyle is changing.

So, college parents, keep on helping your students with this capstone transition into adulthood; it’s tough, but you can make it through!

#MissCollege: 11 Must-Have Items for any Florida College Student

As a student at a public Florida university, I can say a few things about our college communities here in Florida: we are all about the sunshine, football, spirit, parties, music, fashion, and collegiate experience. Also, Florida colleges are extremely diverse and attract students from out of state who may not be prepared for the humid climate. To assist Florida transplants and Florida natives alike, I have compiled a list of items you’ll be thankful to have at school here in the sunshine state!

Your college lifesavers

Your college lifesavers, presented my Miss Musings!

#1: A Reusable Water Bottle

Tervis water bottle from Bealls

Tervis water bottle from Bealls

Buying plastic water bottles is an expensive venture, and even if they are reused, they still have to be recycled eventually or wreck havoc on our environment. Also, plastic water bottles can melt in the heat, resulting in plastic particles getting into your drink. Do your health and the planet’s health a favor and invest in a Tervis or Thermos reusable water bottle (I got mine for $15 at Bealls). Bonus Tip: Both Tervis and Thermos products are made in the USA!

#2: An Umbrella

Mini umbrella by totes from Target

Mini umbrella by totes from Target

Umbrellas are CRUCIAL in Florida, especially if you are attending school in the summer. Some umbrellas can collapse to a small enough size to fit in your backpack or purse. I bought my umbrella for $15 at Target, and it fits in all of my bags. Bonus Tip: Stock up on Publix plastic bags and keep some in your backpack to store your umbrella in!

#3: Bug Spray

Plan on going out for a night on the town? Unfortunately, you might be joined by some unwanted guests. Load up on pocket-sized bug sprays to protect yourself from diseases, especially if you are headed out for a barbecue, late night beach trip, or outdoor music festival. Bonus Tip: Some bug sprays contain dangerous chemicals, including N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (a.k.a. deet). Look for a concentration of 15% deet for best results and minimal damage.

#4: Waterproof Mascara

While waterproof mascara is difficult to remove, it can withstand even the worst of the Florida heat. I have stopped wearing mascara just for convenience reasons, but when I do wear it, I prefer waterproof Falsies by Maybelline to all other brands. Bonus Tip: To remove your mascara without using makeup remover, swipe vaseline onto your lashes with a Q-tip and gently dab off the mascara with a soft rag.

#5: Sleeveless Tops

Want to wear your T-shirts all summer long? Think again: T-shirts can lock in underarm sweat and result in some unfortunate stains. Cute tank tops and sleeveless tops are your best bet for maximum ventilation.

#6: Jumpsuits and Rompers

Jumpsuits are all the rage this summer – and for good reason! They are soft, comfortable, and light. Also, the one-piece fashion makes for an instant outfit for when you are running out of clothes or approaching laundry day.

#7: Stretchy Headbands

Simple stretchy headband from a pack from Target

Simple stretchy headband from a pack from Target

In case you have not noticed, there is literally no escape from the heat of Florida. You will break a sweat even during a short walk to class. To avoid sweaty hair emergencies, have some elastic headbands in your backpack. You can throw them on and pull your hair back so the sweat is not so obvious.

#8: Bus Apps

University of Florida and Florida State University both utilize the transloc app, which maps out bus routes on your phone so that you won’t have to walk across campus in the heat of the day. This app could very well protect you from heatstroke or having to walk alone at night. Bonus Tip: Bus routes can also be accessed on your laptop. See if your campus has transloc.

#9: A Canvas Bag

A canvas bag I got for free with purchase

A canvas bag I got for free with purchase

You’ve seen them at the grocery store and might be wondering why you need the trendy canvas bag. These bags are not only good go-to grocery holders, as they are more durable than flimsy plastic grocery bags, but they make great gym and beach bags. Why soil your favorite cute purse or backpack with sand and sweaty gym clothes when you have an eco-friendly canvas bag at your disposal?

#10: SPF EVERYTHING

Softlips lip balm with SPF 20 in Vanilla from Target

Softlips lip balm with SPF 20 in Vanilla from Target

Sunscreen is critical to every college student, but especially those in Florida. If you don’t like the feel of sunscreen, just follow these three steps for maximum protection and minimal grossness: 1. Wear a moisturizer with SPF under your makeup. 2. Spray your body with unscented sunscreen before dressing. 3. Apply SPF 15+ lip balm throughout the day. Even if you are just outside to walk in between classes, you could easily spend an hour unprotected from the sun’s rays. Protect your skin!

#11: Trendy Sunglasses

My fave sunnies from Forever 21

My fave sunnies from Forever 21

These are both practical and fashionable. I wear sunglasses everywhere – when I’m driving, when I’m walking, and when I’m exercising outside. I have had my favorite pair of sunnies since summer 2014, a circular black pair, and I only spent $5 on them. Check out Forever 21 and Target for the most recent styles such as the aviator, the vintage, and the circular pairs.

So go ahead and stock up on these helpful items; you’ll be thankful for them when Fall term rolls around!

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What was the best thing you brought to college? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @sammimorri! 

 

16 random mistakes I made and the lessons I learned

I’m not perfect. No one is, trust me.

I was assigned one hour to write about a time I made a mistake, and I will sheepishly admit that I had to waste time thinking about a time when I made a true mistake. This is not out of haughtiness, rather, I spend an inordinate chunk of my daily life ensuring that I don’t mess anything up. Call it chronic perfectionism, a flaw in and of itself, anxiety, or perhaps rigid meticulousness.

Inside, however, I know I have made many mistakes throughout my life. While I do not currently have any notable regrets in my eighteen years on Earth, here are some examples of times I know I messed up.

Mistake #1

I almost hit a motorcycle my first time driving to school.

What I learned: Don’t always listen to the person next to you and make sure to look before you change lanes.

Mistake #2

I mixed up the gas pedal and brake (You may reconsider getting in a car with me….).

What I learned: You may not be safe from crazy drivers like me, even in innocent parking lots.

Courtesy of Gurl.com

Courtesy of Gurl.com

Mistake #3

I have false hope about a lot of things.

What I learned: This is often a side effect of the “go big or go home” mentality. You know what they say, shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will get sucked into a black hole of despair. Something like that.

Courtesy of Bust.com

Courtesy of Bust.com

Mistake #4

I used to cut up my clothes to make new fashionable looks.

What I learned: Children are creative creatures and my mom was incredibly patient during my art escapades.

Courtesy of Buzzfeed

Courtesy of Buzzfeed

Mistake #5

When people would tell me that they have a problem/issue, I would not always take it to heart.

What I learned: You don’t have to be a sponge that soaks up people’s moodiness, but if someone says they are bonkers, avoid them, and if someone wants sympathy, just give it.

Courtesy of Zimbio.com

Courtesy of Zimbio.com

Mistake #6

I talked myself out of my STEM passions because I was afraid the abundance of men would be too intimidating.

What I learned: I am pretty intimidating myself, and not everyone is out to wage a gender war. Most students just want to build things and pass their classes, not discourage people from pursuing their dreams.

Courtesy of Huffington Post

Courtesy of Huffington Post

Mistake #7

I let flattery get the best of me.

What I learned: From personal relationships to college counselors to seedy folks, many people want things from you. Compliments are fine; but falling for sequential and deceptive falseness does nothing for you. The biggest flatterer in your life should undoubtedly be yourself.

Courtesy of Giphy

Courtesy of Giphy

Mistake #8

I want my life to be planned to the “T.”

What I learned: Plans and people change constantly. Fear is innate. Let things go.

Courtesy of CinemaBlend.com

Courtesy of CinemaBlend.com

Mistake #9

I believe some things last forever.

What I learned: Nothing lasts forever. Life, roses, pastries, love, friendship, movies… they are all terminal. Enjoy what you have while you have it, because forever and always is simply an empty lie.

tswift

Mistake #10

Dependency.

Avoid whatever enables you to stray from who you are in all circumstances.

Courtesy of Tumblr

Courtesy of Tumblr

Mistake #11

Apathy. 

EVERYTHING matters a little bit. You deserve attention, but don’t miss opportunities. If you are considering not trying too hard to achieve something, reevaluate why you are in the position of the challenge in the first place. Perhaps you are not striving because you do not want it. If you do not want it, leave it.

Mistake #12

Not getting involved in dual enrollment sooner. 

What I learned: Some of you may know that I have been homeschooled since 2nd grade. My social abilities are fine, but you do learn a lot of lessons in the school environment. I would definitely have started dual enrolling at community college full time in junior year if I had known how great it would be.

Mistake #13

Stressing over college.

What I learned: I applied to 8 colleges and eight additional honors college programs. I was flat out rejected from two schools and waitlisted at another. In many of the honors college programs I was waitlisted, and after my hands cramped up from writing essays and I stressed over packing for scholarship weekends, I discovered that I did not belong in Harvard or Duke’s class, but rather, at a public school’s. I have been thinking about college since 7th grade and spent so many hours reading essay-writing books and studying for the SAT. It did not hurt me, but I did not enjoy high school as much as I could have.

Courtesy of HerCampus.com

Courtesy of HerCampus.com

Mistake #14

Allowing other people to change how I felt about my body.

What I learned: It’s the same story as everyone else’s: girl is confident, girl sees skinnier girls, girl loses confidence, girl eats less and exercises more and runs a dark streak through her formative tweenage years. Now, I eat cheesecake. I eat fries. If anyone truly cares about how much I weigh less than I do I would be extremely shocked.

Courtesy of HelloGiggles.com

Courtesy of HelloGiggles.com

Mistake #15

I felt guilty about not having a boyfriend during most of my teen years.

What I learned: The last thing a stressed 14-year-old with zits and plummeting self-confidence needs is a boyfriend to attempt (and probably fail) to impress. I write boss stories, belch loudly, don’t curl my hair, dance like Beyonce, and watch football every weekend. I would not be me if my favorite habits were squelched by some outside influence for yeeeeears.

Mistake #16

Not being YOLO enough.

What I learned: Zac Efron has a “YOLO” tattoo and I try to live by the #YOLO mentality. Coincidence? I think not.

Courtesy of funnygirls-help.tumblr.com

Courtesy of funnygirls-help.tumblr.com

There you have it, internet: 16 random and not-so-shameful mistakes and the decently insightful lessons I learned from making them. Now, it’s your turn. What is your biggest mistake? Leave a comment if you are feeling zesty.