Take those words and repeat them. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Let those words become your mantra.
This past semester, I learned the hard way. I had the wonderful and gracious experience of having to shell out seventy dollars for a history essay. Did I not understand the essay question? Not quite. Did I not want to write the essay myself? Not at all.
What actually happened was much more catastrophic. My computer crashed. And not just crashed, there was no blue screen of death or anything quite so simple. It was just a pure black screen, chilly and unresponsive to my lamentations.
Luckily, just a software flash to allow the update to finish would fix the issue.
But my poor wallet...
It was finals week. Besides my notes & my study guides, the 1,000 word History essay I slaved away for three days and nights to perfect was on my unresponsive computer. And I refused to write that thing over again...
My only option - find the cash to have my hard drive backed up. A day and half after the catastrophe I had my essay back in my hands in the form of CD and it was turned in a day after that. By a stroke of grace, my computer was returned to me before finals really got started and I was able to study for my exams.
All of this and a hysterical phone call to my mother at midnight could have been avoided if I just backed up my computer.
If you just have a small capacity USB drive, make sure to at least back up those things that you couldn’t do without tomorrow if something should happen today. I know external hard drives are wallet killers, there are many other ways to keep your information safe from computer calamities.
I advise you to make yourself a DropBox account. It’s free for up to 2 GBs of data, any more than that and there’s a monthly charge. If you download the application onto your computer, the main file in the DropBox folder will update every time you make any changes on it.
Then, there’s just emailing work to yourself. Super easy. Flag, put it in a folder, whatever. You have in case the file on your computer becomes corrupted or your computer crashes and you pull it up on any other computer.
So, take my words as fair warning. Do what you can to protect your work, to make sure nothing happens to that 1,000 word, five page long essay that’s worth 20% of your grade. Back your stuff up instead of paying $70 for it.
Last semester, I had an English professor who made us analyze and interpret a fake text conversation he created between a boy and a girl who had just gone out on a date. We looked at the times the texts were sent, the use of punctuation and emoticons, and the general enthusiasm of the messages to determine that, despite the girl’s high hopes, the boy is probably never going to ask her out again.
The point of the lesson was to teach us to look for details while reading in order to understand the overall meaning of the content. It was a creative and effective lesson, but aside from its intended purpose, it got me thinking, 'Why must it take a group of people, analyzing a hypothetical text message conversation as if their grade depends on it, to decipher a text?'
More importantly, why can’t people straight-up cut to the chase?
Don’t get me wrong, I love to text, and I have definitely partaken in a fair share of group texts sessions, with the common questions that arise, needing outsider interpretaton:
"What should I say back to him?"
"Should I answer right away or make him wait?"
"Does this exclamation mark make me sound too interested?"
It's frustrating; today's dating world insists you 'talk' before you 'date.' SO MUCH PRESSURE goes into the exact phrasing, length, and hesitant use of the smiley face (Advice to follow, NO WINKY FACE). It’s a pretty superficial way to get to know someone; people aren’t really candid through text. They don’t have to respond immediately with whatever pops into their head. And don’t even get me started on context. You mean something one way, they take it another. Sarcasm just comes off as a bad attitude, and everything is so 'lol' and 'haha' that you don’t know what is genuinely considered funny anymore.
At the risk of sounding nostalgic, I wish we could go back to an era of dating that didn’t involve technology. Life would be so much less confusing and time consuming.
I’m busy. I don’t have time to text you nonstop in order to prove my affections for you. If you want to talk to me, do it in person, to my face, without a team of experts helping you string together each sentence and then decode mine. I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way from time to time.
Image Source: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_feature/NewArrivals.jsp?intcmp=home_p1_promo_w&navLoc=promo#page1
One in a Million. Growing up, I recall hearing that any time meant chances were not in my favor. But how about 1 in 175,233,510, or .000000057%? Those are the chances of winning the Powerball’s jackpot. Despite these odds, for the first time I was hearing my peers discussing their Powerball fantasies and particularly enjoyed reading the articles about the odds favoring by a wide margin death by flesh eating bacteria over winning the Powerball, or even dying from a bee sting. Everything suggested the Powerball as a fool’s game, but it didn’t stop me, or many of my peers, from buying multiple tickets.
As I bought my five tickets from the tobacco shop on Greene, the clerk mocked me saying Only five? I didn’t care. It was fun to think about what I would do with half a billion dollars. It made me feel like a kid the night before Christmas, imagining huge presents that blocked out the tree. Fantasizing about what I would do put back in perspective the type of life I would want if money weren’t an issue. It’s similar to the questions kids are asked, What do you wanna be when you grow up? At such an age, they’re not explicitly concerned with the concept of monetary limitations, or personal gains at others’ expense. They have an honest response of the good they wish to do for themselves and for others. At our core we all want to do “good” it just seems that children have a “gooder” concept of what that means.
To my surprise many of my lottery playing peers said they would donate to charities, help pay off friends’ debt, and get involved in a lot of self-less humanitarian activities in addition to their selfish indulgence. They started thinking like a kid again. The question of “what to do when you grow up” seemed to be revisited as the possibility, faint as it is, of a windfall of riches appeared in their dreams.
This crazy Powerball, although a devilish game, appears to trigger in many of us a need to reflect upon our place in this materialistic world and to consider the role of compassion vs. greed that is absent in so much of business and Wall Street. If this is the outcome of the relatively low price of a ticket then perhaps those crazy odds don’t matter so much after all.
Image Source: http://www.ctnow.com/ky3-powerball-no-winner-saturday-night-jackpot-jumps-to-425-million-20121124,0,86756.story
Nearly halfway through my fourth year at USC, and 4 majors later, I’ve just started to reflect on the vast social dynamics that seem to seclude groups into a disillusioned mass of students. All of who, for the most part, came to the university to expand their understandings and become enlightened. USC attracts kids from all over the country. I see students boasting their hometown pride and resentment for those with values conflicting their own. Hipsters, frats, sorosti-tutes, gays, fags, jocks, whatever the individual, he/she may hardly seem an individual in the divided student body.
I came here as a physical education major, 3 majors later, I’ve finally decided to finish my college career in English/Anthropology. Throughout my whole education, I feared I wouldn’t find the niche, the bubble, the career that I would want to spend for the rest of my life. I came to South Carolina wanting to try something new. Growing up in Philly, I was comfortable and happy as a Philadelphian. The sports, food, and people… it was easy, but I was ignorant.
For the past couple years, I’ve listened to cynical condescending remarks degrading the Greek life and the hipsters, even the south Carolinians and my own North-easterners. The USC student body’s diversity is characterized by incredibly opinionated views that create the feelings of one’s own group as superior, as if there’s a hierarchy within the university’s culture, even within a select group, such as the Greek life. Beliefs that one’s own Fraternity could be superior plague such organizations and perceptions.
At the beginning of the semester, in one of my classes, each student introduced his or herself through a brief synopsis of about his or her life. As I said I play rugby and I’m an English major, the professor responded with, 'Oh so you’re an intellectual jock'. The identification caught me by surprise. I accepted the comment, digested it, and decided I didn’t like it. I’m an English student, who plays rugby, and there’s a lot more as well. Whatever is associated with being an “intellectual jock” is only a surface representation. I will not be holding myself to it.
The labels and identifications of students into an allocated group have grown into a fog. Students seem to see these as concrete allocations and will not attempt to look past the label. Furthermore, the identities have turned into an achievement. It’s as if to become a hipster, for example, I must ride a fixed gear bike, grow a mustache, wear skinny vintage clothing, and smoke American spirits. It’s an illusion that’s been developed and repeatedly alluded to by groups.
It’s become a cyclical process. Groups of people identify an ideal and form their lives accordingly. Outsider’s opinions are ignored, and the feeling of one’s own group becomes predominant. I exercised this vision for the past three years of my college career. I searched for the best major, conducive to my idea of correct, and realized through repeatedly switching that there is no best. There was no way I would be satisfied. And so, I write this.
Go out, experience and discover people, accept the views, the history, and create something truly unidentifiable.
Image Source: http://www.123rf.com/photo_14768859_personal-development-word-speech-bubble-on-white-background.html
In the Daily Gamecock last week, an announcement was made that USC is currently raising funds for a replica of our proud mascot, Cocky, that will be shining in gold. The statue would be located on Gibbes Greene near the Pickens Street Bridge, a common passing area for students and visitors.
Though it is a great way to add both tradition and spirit to our prestigious campus, let's be real for a moment: This statue doesn't do much for the ongoing problems that we still have financially and academically. USC hopes to debut this statue Fall 2013, but dorms have yet to be renovated, parking is a little over the word "ridiculous", and tuition is constantly rising; something that many students are greatly concerned with.
The article in the Daily Gamecock also mentions how the statue would make an attractive tourist spot for visitors, but what it fails to do is bring up the fact that some of those same visitors are prospective students. Those potential future students need a place to stay that is suitable and pleasant for them. With the high levels of admitted students, housing could pose an even bigger problem in the future for all of us. Something like this takes a lot of time management and planning. Even if the idea of a statue for Cocky has been in the woodworks for a while, obviously the current problems of USC are not.
I'm not saying that a Bronze Cocky wouldn't be rad, but we know USC is a wealthy-enough university that has everything known to mankind. Before we go buying diamonds and Big Macs, can we at least pay attention to the more important expenses first? Ones that could benefit the current student body and future generations to come?
This year I decided to live in Olympia Mills again, because last year I had such a good experience. However, this year has blessed me with the neighbors from hell. Seriously. Blasting rap music at 3 p.m. on a weekday? For hours? And if that wasn’t already annoying, they decide to continue playing their music from what I can only assume are massive speakers until the sun rises, also on weekdays.
I’m all for partying and having a good time. This is college and we’re here to live up our twenties. But when you’re in an apartment complex, you have to remember that you do have neighbors, and the walls are paper thin. I’d rather not wake up at 4 a.m. listening to you talking on the phone, or hearing your TV that I feel like I’m watching with you. What ever happened to human decency and respect? We all have midterms, finals, homework, not to mention the extra-curricular activities some students partake in. What if I was an athlete who trained 30 hours a week on top of trying to balance college life?
Sleep is essential to surviving college, and students need to remember especially in an apartment complex that other people do live right next door. Be courteous, the world doesn’t revolve around you.