I am out!

by Astrid Rangel

Recently I had to say goodbye to the place I called home for two full semesters. If you have read any of my other posts, you will know I am pretty blunt with what I write and I will say, I CRIED! I lived there for almost a year and I made some pretty good memories with the people there. I have made friendships that I hope last a lifetime. I am not disappointed at all of my first year of college. It was everything I had imagined and more. Texas State was more than good to me and for that I thank whatever higher power had to do with that. See, a lot of things happened in the course of two semesters and I know they have made me a better person in general.

First, DORM LIFE.  

Living in a dorm is not as bad as some people make it seem. I can say I enjoyed it more than I should have. Sterry Hall was a great place live in general. The community feel is amazing. The RAs were always there to help, and I got the best RESIDENCE DIRECTOR I could have asked for. I joined Hall Council and even though it was hard to balance everything I had to do, it was one of the best decisions I could have made. I got to meet a lot of interesting people and getting involved helped me open up to a lot of other opportunities. So if you are an incoming freshman and you are hesitant about living in a dorm, my advice would be get out there. DO NOT stay in your room for the first three days because you are afraid. That’s what I did, and I found out that when I opened that door great things happened. Go down to the lobby, make friends, talk to the RAs (they are actually really open to talking to their residents), just be yourself and go out there. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Second, CLASSES. 

Hold on to your seats, guys, because classes are a complete roller coaster.  Being responsible is a very important part of you now. You have to be on top of everything. THINGS DON’T GET EASY. But then again, anything that is easy is not worth the while. Your syllabus will be your best friend and believe me when I say you’re going to want to memorize that thing front and back. Studying will also become your life. You just have to. It’s not high school anymore. Your professors want you to pass, but they can’t help you out if you don’t put the necessary effort. So just be responsible, be aware of your work and you should be fine.

Third, HAVING FUN. 

I think one of the main things people think when they think of college is all the parties and the fun they will have. I won’t lie. I had my fair share of fun this past two semesters, yet BALANCE was very important. Knowing when to and when not to go out is major. I saw people get totally consumed by the party scene and things didn’t end well for them. Yes, HAVE FUN. Go out and meet people, try new things, open your mind, but at the same time be careful. You will get to learn your limits. College is not just about seriousness. Education is important but once in a while we all need to take a little stress off.

Fourth, BEING AWAY FROM HOME. 

Being away from home is a challenge all on its own. It can get lonely but if you go out there and make friends you will be fine. Make sure to always find a positive outlet to just let go of anything that may be bothering you. At times you will be feel alone, sad and nostalgic but don’t let it consume you. YOU are where you are for a reason. Never let go of that.

Another note I will give you is MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO DO LAUNDRY.  I saw some pretty funny things happen just because people didn’t know how to do it and you don’t want to be that person. Oh, and the freshman 15 is an actual thing, although at Texas State every day is leg day so be prepared for that. You may or may not get used to running up a hill at 9:05 in the morning when you are late to class. Being away from home was one of the best decisions I made so I hope that when you go through it, it’s as good as it was for me.

Fifth, FRIENDS, FRIENDS, FRIENDS. 

I think one of the best things that happened to me these last two semesters was meeting such amazing people. From my hall council E-Board members to meeting one of my best friends is just exactly what I needed. They are the best thing I had and I love them for that. I don’t think I could have made them out alive without them. So to everyone I got to know these last two semesters THANK YOU! You are the reason I made it through and I hope I made an equal impact on your life. See, over the course of the years I have found that it is not about where you are, it’s about who you are with that really counts. So when you decide to make friends, keep in mind that they can and will become a huge part of your experience and that hanging around toxic people can hurt you. Always be open to making new and different friendships because the more you know, the better you can be.

Sixth, FUTURE, FUTURE, FUTURE. 

When you go into college one of the main question you will encounter is WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR? or WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN YOU FINISH COLLEGE? Now let me tell you something. When I was in high school I thought I knew exactly what I needed and wanted to do with the rest of my life. That changed my junior year when I fell in love with theatre.  See, before I used to be so set on doing my pre-med requirements and becoming a doctor, but I found that in a way that wasn’t for me. So I changed my major. It is one of the best decisions I have made for myself because I love what I am going into. Besides, I am currently 19 years old and I don’t think I should have my life figured out step by step just yet. If you are a junior or senior in high school or even if you’re in college already, think about it. I decided to change because I realized that my life was going in a different direction. In a few years from now, I have no idea what I will be doing and the thought is scary but at the same time comforting. I know that when I finish college I will be doing something I love and at that point it won’t be a job. It’s my passion, it’s my life, it’s theatre. As YOU make the big decision as to what you want to do with your life, look at everything. Picture yourself 20, maybe even 30 years from now and try to see if you can picture yourself doing what it is you are choosing. If that’s the case, then go ahead. No matter what people tell you, or what society tells you, DO IT.  It’s your life and as cliche as it sounds, following your dreams should be your main priority. If you are any bit like me then you will find that there is a certain beauty to the unknown.

I have done it. I did it. It might not have turned out exactly how I planned but I loved every step of the way. With this post I say goodbye to my freshman year of college. Yet, all the memories and the friendships I have made go with me and they will always remain. So as you go out there and start your first, second, etc. year of college I urge you to EXPLORE, LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE, HURT, EXPERIENCE, but most of all, LEARN. Make sure you learn everything that is put in front of you. Doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, knowledge is power. I can promise you it will come in handy at some point. Now, always remember :

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

I am proud to have become a BOBCAT because you know BOBCATS are pretty amazing.

Thank you for this first and awesome year,TEXAS STATE.

I look forward for rest of them because they can only get better from here.

Much love,

Astrid A. Rangel ❤🐾

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The finals are here, the finals are here!

by Astrid Rangel

BOBCATS, FINALS ARE HERE!

Get ready for stress-induced comas, sleepless nights, coffee and energy drink days. I should be feeling stressed and worried but all I can think about right now is I DID IT! I went through a whoooooole year of college and YOU did too! Whoever it is that is reading this, if you are about to finish your spring semester, you know what? I AM PROUD OF YOU.  Getting through something like your first year of college is a huge accomplishment.  I know that for me it is.  When I decided to leave my hometown, a lot of people thought I would be back as soon as you can change your underwear but I am not going back, neither today nor next semester.  I am committed to proving people wrong and finishing this semester of college is one step closer.

So if you are getting ready for finals and you can’t take it anymore remember, that you already did it once, twice, three times. It will be okay, and you will get through this one last time. Overall it has been a great year, not just for me but I’m sure for everyone as well. I got to learn a lot of new things, met really great people and I have made memories that I will never forget. Challenges will always pop up. What matters is the faith you put in yourself and all that you do. I think we sometime forget to put faith into what we do when it can be a huge deal-changer.  I have put a lot of faith into what I do and it worked out more than alright.

I can’t get through this post without getting emotional. Finals are here and so is the end of this fantastic year at Texas State. I do believe I couldn’t have made it through without a lot of the people that have come into my life. It was hard, I am not going to downplay it because there is no way of downplaying something like this. There were many times where I questioned why or how in general but I am sure there is something bigger than this. I kind of still am as I go through finals once again.

So, as you go through finals, and get stressed, think about summer coming.  Think of days by the pool, think of those sunny hot days you will get to spend laying around doing nothing. You soon will have a stress-free environment around you and that should make you really happy, I know it makes me more than excited to spend this summer visiting my family and friends back home. I also know that all this hard work we are putting into this will soon pay off.  We have decided to do more with our lives and whether you are a biology, history, math, theater, art, music, dance major, what we are doing is worth every single minute of our lives.

On that note, I will leave you, because if you are any bit like me, I know you are reading this to procrastinate and you should probably be studying for something.  So now, go on study because FINALS ARE HERE.

Good luck, Bobcats! 😺❤

Quitting my job!

by Astrid Rangel

Balancing finances with academics is challenging. Setting your priorities puts it all into perspective.

Balancing finances with academics is challenging. Setting your priorities puts it all into perspective.

Monday, April 13, 2015 was my last day of work! Quitting was one of the hardest things I have done this semester. I had been working for six months, but I decided to quit my job for the sake of school. See, I never thought things would get this challenging.

People have asked me why I decided to quit, making comments from, “Oh, so, you can’t take the pressure” to “You have a good head on your shoulders.” Yet to me it feels nothing like those two. When they asked me “Why are you quitting your job?” I didn’t even have to think about it. Here’s why: I got a job because I am putting myself through college. So the reason for my job is school. Now, since I started working, it became kind of one of my main things to do, yet it isn’t. School should be my priority. So I made the decision so quit my job because if my school work is not up to where it needs to be or where I want it to be, then there is no use in me having a job.

I know there is so much I want to do with my life, not just work for the rest of my life in a minimum-wage job. I have dreams and aspirations. I feel like sometimes people get caught up with the money they are getting week by week. I don’t want to get caught up in that, and I don’t think anyone else should. Once you complete your education, yes, get caught up in the money doing what you love, but right now it is not the thing for me.

I will finish this semester and try to get my grades where they should be, because I know I can do so much better than I am doing. If you are going through something similar, all I can tell you is to take a step back. Look at your situation and remind yourself why you started all of this in the first place. Go back to who you want to be and how you are going to get there.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I loved the money and all, but I love my future more. Also, I will go back to my job next semester because I do need the money. Yet, I’ll be okay for now and I am sure you will be too.

On another note, SCHOOL IS ALMOST OVER, BOBCATS. I wish you all luck on your final tests and finals.

Stay awesome, Bobcats. Much love!❤

 

[photo by Mary Crandall/flickr.com]

From March Madness to April fools!

by Astrid Rangel

Bobcats, It is APRIL. We have very little time left of school and in a way I am looking forward to summer but at the same time I am not. How I have managed to make it this far, I have no idea. My perception of college has managed to flip around to something entirely different. I’m not about to sit here and tell you that it’s awesome and a lot of fun all the time because it really isn’t. If you are still a high school student and you’re reading this blog, let me tell you a little secret — everything you believe is probably not true.

During spring break, I went back home and visited some friends and they fired away questions and more questions. They wanted to know all the things I’ve done and all the things that go on but one thing that caught me by surprise was them thinking being here was EASY.  HA HA HA! I laughed so hard when they told me that. They have no idea. I’ve never been a person to sugarcoat things and paint a pretty picture. I am a more direct gal that likes to give the truth even when the truth is the last thing we want to hear.

We claim that we are honest and that truth is the most important thing to us but we all lie to either others or ourselves more than we would like to admit. So let’s talk hard.

CLASSES: I don’t know about you, but I was on autopilot all of high school and now it is hard to break out of old habits and get stuff done on time, since I am so used to procrastinating.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Those things hit you hard. If you are thinking of leaving home for college, be prepared to be on your own. Be ready to look out for yourself because that is what you will have to do.

WORK: If you have a job or think of getting a job, make sure to balance things out because even if you like what you are doing THING WILL PILE UP and swallow you.

FRIENDS: Yes, I know I was an oddball in high school and now I want to do new things but don’t get caught up with other people. Know your limits, be yourself.

I have found that the best moments I have had here at Texas State have been the little ones. Some of them have even been by myself and that’s perfectly fine. Yes, it is hard but it will be worthwhile. Regret is not part of my life right now because I love where I am at and I believe coming here is the best decision I have made this far. Yes, I have questioned what I am doing or where I want to go and you will too, believe me, but you will look back and see that you will be okay.

See, I didn’t come out here for easy and neither should you. I came out here to be challenged, to be tested, to be broken down so that I can build myself back up even stronger. I have no idea what I will do when my time here starts winding down but for now I will enjoy everything I do even if it seems insignificant. I will try new things and live as much as possible. I will work hard because it will pay off.

Stay awesome, Bobcats!

Much love❤

Swamped!!!!

by Astrid Rangel

Hey Bobcats, sorry I’ve taken a while to write again, but my semester so far has been the craziest.  I wish I had enough characters to say all that is going on but I’m pretty sure I would be here until next spring. All you  have to know is that I am going bananas on the other end of this screen. I had financial aid problems, about which, by the way, my advice is to always go talk to them in person — believe me it works a lot more than calling.

I am taking 15 hours this semester and I thought it was going to be easier since I already did this last semester! HAHAHAHA (I’m laughing at myself because it is not the case).  Here’s the update on the crazy and disturbed life of Astrid.  I have two tests on THURSDAY, I have paper due next week and I work at least 20 hours a week if not more. Compared to some people, my level of stress is nothing, but hey it’s stress for me.

Another thing I wanted to talk about today is something that happened to me last week. It was honestly probably the worst week I’ve had here since last semester. My mood started deteriorating by the minute and I didn’t catch myself until I was in a hole I had dug without a way out. That hadn’t happened to me in so long I had forgotten how bad it felt when your own mind starts to play tricks on you. All week my mood worsen until I was literally crying myself to sleep and I had no idea why. It feel horrible. So if you’re at that point, take a moment and analyze what is going on. I did that and I realized that there’s so much more to everything going on in my life. The fact that I am here should be a testament that I can do a lot. Also, if you have a friend, talk to her or him. Talk to someone, maybe find a stranger and pour your heart out — it doesn’t matter what you do, just don’t hold it in. It feels a lot better once you get it out of your system and have a clear head. Please do stay away from unhealthy decisions. Yes, I know milk doesn’t cure anything, but neither does alcohol or drugs. Making decisions like that could change your life. I know, I know, so cliche, but we all know it’s true. Find something positive to do. Go to the counseling center, it is there for us so why not use it? Just don’t sit there and let it consume you because time doesn’t stop for anyone and by the time, you realize it so much could have gone by without you noticing.

To end on a positive note, I want to talk about the red and lovely holiday coming up called VALENTINE’S DAY.  I personally ain’t such an advocate for it but it’s always good to have an excuse to eat a lot of chocolate at once.  ‘Also just a little reminder, Valentine’s day isn’t just about having a partner and spending it with them. Valentine’s Day is about friendship and about all the people around who love you. I know sometimes it’s hard to remember that when you see everyone with their significant other but sometimes the best relationships aren’t with your boyfriend or girlfriend. I know that right now at this point in our lives we want someone to be there like that but this Valentine’s Day just remember that little fact. So if you do have someone, have fun, but also remember that there are other people around you who love you and same goes for people that don’t. Spend this day with your friends or whoever it is that you love.

Alright bobcats, I will say goodbye for now but I swear I will try my best to come back and write sooner. I just need to get over this madness. Have a good weekend and remember to stay safe. Much love! ❤🐾

First college semester ✔

by Astrid Rangel

It is Friday morning and I, Astrid A. Rangel, am officially done with all of my finals. The semester has come to an end and in a way it feels so good yet, it happened so fast. I guess it was true what my mom said to me so many years ago:  “As you grow older, time passes you quicker.” I never understood the actual accuracy of that statement until right about NOW.

My first semester of college was not what I expected but a whole lot better. You see, I had never been out of my actual hometown and when I decided to make this huge leap I was scared (which is common for anyone leaving home). Texas State has given me so much since a few months ago. One thing I can tell you is that my confidence has had one huge boost. It feels like nothing has changed but I know that it is completely different. Continue reading

Slipped my mind

by Astrid Rangel

A few weeks ago, I found out the hard way how important it is to keep track of your assignments and tests. Before I came to college, I’d been told how important it was to live, love and learn your syllabus, but I didn’t believe it until now. After having an awesome Halloween, I was sitting in my room and I decided to check my assignments due this week and then I came across the words TEST #2 on my British Literature syllabus for NOVEMBER 3! It was a horrible feeling. I tried to study, but I knew it was too late. Trying to cram about two weeks of materials in one night was going to lead me nowhere good. All I could do was really hope for a miracle.

See, I got so caught up in the festivities that the test totally slipped my mind. I think I learned my lesson. Despite not studying, I knew I still needed to show up to class and do the best I could and that is what I did. Yes, there could have been a little mental breakdown somewhere there, but there is not much to do about it now. I will now forever live, breathe and learn my syllabus so that I don’t have to go through that again. To be honest, it’s not the first time it’s happened to me and I really need to start doing something about it. It’s really difficult to keep track of all of my classes but it’s something that needs to be done. I can’t keep forgetting important things like that.

If you learn a difficult lesson, there's only one good time to make a change.

If you learn a difficult lesson, there’s only one good time to make a change.

The advice I could offer for this one — because I’m sure I am not the only one who forgets things — is to just keep track. It doesn’t matter how. You could do Post-its around your room, a calendar, a reminder on your phone, do whatever you have to do! Maybe your friends could help you, I really don’t know, but there has got to be something. I know I still need to find my way because being this forgetful is not at all good. Just know it’s important and don’t let it get to the point I have gotten. It doesn’t feel very pleasant to know there isn’t much you can do to help yourself and even more when you could have been aware of it since sometime ago.

On another note, it’s wintery weather, guys!!! I can’t be the only one who loves sweater weather and those days that are so cold you can’t function. Sorry, I’m a winter baby! Of course, the cold weather also means finals are fast approaching. Yet, I rather not think about them yet. I just want to think of all the food we will have for Thanksgiving and being with family for a while before we return to the madness that is college!

Well, fellow Bobcats, have a good Monday and rest of the week. Much love!

❤😺