The Universe Is Always Listening

If you told me as a high school senior that I’d be exactly where I am today, I would have NEVER believed you.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on December 18, 2017.

I’ve never been a religious person – I don’t know if there’s a god or several gods – but I do know that faith can be a stronghold when nothing else seems plausible. Besides in myself, my intuition, and my family, I’ve always placed my faith in one constant thing: the universe. If the past year has taught me anything, it’s that the universe is always listening.

I’ve had a rough year. Plainly put, it really seemed like all forces of nature had turned a blind eye to myself and my family this year. We have gone through a lot – both emotionally and physically – in the year of 2017. With American politics and also the state of my future being in constant turmoil, it’s been hard to keep my head up this year. This past summer, I hit the lowest of lows and the rockiest of bottoms. I thought returning to school would fix everything, but that wasn’t the case. It was extremely difficult to keep going and keep acting like everything was okay.

I wanted to give up pretty much every day until a couple weeks into September when I received a call from an executive board member of my student-run theatre group. They were calling with an opportunity, that after much deliberation and a long phone call with my mom, I immediately accepted. Accepting that opportunity was the best thing I’ve done all semester and it might as well have saved me.

After the summer, I truly believed that if there were a higher power out there – whether it be the universe or a god of some sort – that they had given up on me and my family. After receiving that call from my theatre company, I knew that I was wrong in my belief. I needed something to dedicate myself to and there it was as if it had been hand-delivered by fate itself. It sounds cheesy, but I truly mean it when I say this opportunity was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

Because opportunities have stemmed from it. Those further opportunities won’t just benefit me in the future of theatre, but it will also help me to grow as a person in other organizations and in life in general. Just when I thought the universe had given up on me, things started to be okay again. I was still dealing with issues that were difficult to maneuver, but they weren’t anything I couldn’t handle.

I don’t know that the universe makes everything happen for a reason and I don’t know if the things that happen are to make you stronger. I don’t know if the circumstances in each one of our lives are meant to make or break us. I don’t have those answers. What I do know is that when you are completely drowning and you give some effort to try to stand again, someone or something somewhere will reach out a hand to grab you and hold you up.

Even when things seem like they’re never going to improve, by the graces of wonderful, passionate and good people, you will see the light of day again. The universe is always listening, and even when it’s not, someone is always willing to see the potential in you – even when you can’t see it in yourself.

I am beyond thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been granted thus far. If you told me as a senior in high school that I would be where I am today as a junior in college, I would have never believed you. I had no idea my dreams would manifest in the way that they have. I had no idea I would change my future path a thousand times to adjust and adapt to my passions and goals. I had no idea I would get knocked down by heavy wave after heavy wave only to stand up after what seems like eons of impossibility. I would have never thought that I’d be the strong and resilient individual I am today.

I am so incredibly blessed to have people looking out for me – whether it be my friends, family, professors, colleagues, or kind strangers on campus. Without these people, I would not be standing so strongly where my feet are planted today.

Even when it seems like you’ll never be happy again, better days are coming. The universe is always listening to you and success is always just a step ahead of you. Remember that.


8 Ways To Solve Your College Problems That Are All ‘Take A Nap’

Sleep is the best way to both calm down and avoid your responsibilities.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on November 22, 2017.

We’re at that point in the semester where the end is nigh, but not nigh enough. As I write this while procrastinating other work, I have a pretty good idea of what giving up feels like, as I’m feeling it right now. If you’re feeling anything like I am right now, you’ve probably got a ton of assignments and papers to start, but just can’t find the motivation. As per my expert advice, here are 8 ways to solve all your college problems that are all ‘Take a nap.’

1. Take a nap

Stressed? Anxious? Depressed? A nap will fix all of that (temporarily). But then you could always just…

2. Take a nap

Turn up the air conditioner, take off those socks (please), and curl up in bed. You need to relax and fuel up for your next big task which is to –

3. Take a nap

Napping can really take a lot of out of you. After napping, drink some hot chocolate, eat something good and then settle back down to fix your problems. It’s important to think about your to-do list and then after you feel overwhelmed, just –

4. Take a nap

Okay, now it’s time to get down to business. You know what you have to do, so you have to gather your tools. You probably need to charge your laptop and your phone and so the only logical thing to do next is to…

5. Take a nap

Make sure to watch or listen to something soothing and or happy before napping, this way your dreams are good. However, if you’re having any bad dreams, you know what to do.

6. Take a nap

Gather your laptop, gather your textbooks and homework and then head to the library. It’s important to find a quiet and isolated spot in the library so that you have peace to study, work and of course,

7. Take a nap

After a long day of stressing out over procrastination, studying and a pile of work so large it could probably fight Mount Rushmore, you should honestly treat yourself. Go home, put up those feet, turn on some sweet background noise and finally finish your to-do-list for the day. It’s important to follow through with your goals. The only way you can finally solve all of your college problems is to honestly, just bite the bullet and –

8. Take a nap

It’s simple, really.


13 Times Your Fall Semester Was Upside Down, As Told By ‘Stranger Things’

If my professor asks where I am, I’ve left the country.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on November 8, 2017.

Stranger Things season 2 was released on Netflix last week and most of us have spent our free time intensely binging it.

Even if you haven’t finished your binge, you’re probably obsessed with the Hawkins children and even more terrified of the upside down. As we get deeper and deeper into the semester, we’re probably at least equally terrified of the final projects, presentations and papers just around the corner.

Here are 13 ways your fall semester is beginning to resemble the upside down, as told by our favorite Stranger Things characters.

1. When a professor says the words “group project.”

How could you do this to us professor?

2. Looking at the calendar and realizing it’s Monday…AGAIN.

The first five days after the weekend are always the hardest.

3. Struggling to get out of bed because you don’t care anymore.

It’s so easy to say no and stay in bed, but attendance… my grade… they’re depending on me.

4. When a professor says the words “final paper” and “final exam” in the same sentence.

Final paper? Final exam? PICK ONE!

5. Waking up late, and booking it to class because you can’t skip any more.

Truly the worst tragedy any of us will have to endure.

6. Running low on flex dollars and having to skip coffee some days.

How can I function if I’m not drinking coffee and not sleeping?

7. Beginning to complete work for other classes in other classes.

And not paying attention, being called on, and having everyone stare at you as you have no idea what the heck is going on.

8. Spending your free time thinking about studying about homework even though it’s free time.

Free time is an illusion. Time is also an illusion.

9. Having to schedule your mental breakdowns and crying time into your regular schedule.

This is too much.

10. Spending more time in the library and study rooms rather than your room because sleep no longer matters.

Disorientation is just an essential part of life.

11. When every conversation with your friends is about wanting to sleep, being tired, or having no motivation.

We all just need a hug.

12. Basically floating through your routine, classes and activities while feeling like crap.

Trying not to cry on campus is now something you can add to your resume.

13. Crying through your assignments in hopes that it will all be over soon.

Just keep holding on. We’re closer to the end of the semester than we are to the beginning of it!


To The Nightmare Professor, Just WAIT Until Evaluations Come Around

Now, it’s my turn.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on October 11, 2017.


I walked into your class on the first day during syllabus week, and I was on my best behavior. I showed up on time, had your syllabus printed out, and sat in the second row. I didn’t use my phone once during the first class, nor did I talk without raising my hand. I understand I’m being a decent person, but in college, students like me are hard to come by. I know being a student is a privilege, not a right, but don’t doubt for a second that I won’t fight for this privilege.

In the first few weeks, you seemed OK. I thought that perhaps I would warm up to you as time went on. Your personality was very different from mine, and I tried my hardest to give you a fair chance. Sure, you were demanding, but also a little spacey, precise about irrelevant things, and free-flowing about important things, but I decided to be patient.

A month into class, I started to wonder if I could make it through your curriculum. One paper in, and I was not off to a great start. I asked you for help. I went to your office hours, and you handed me off to either a teacher’s assistant or a graduate assistant. I’m still not sure which because they ceased to help me a single bit. I tried to stop in during your office hours again, and you simply belittled my writing and refused to hand me any usable advice.

“You just don’t get it,” you told me. “You don’t want this enough.” I have never left a professor’s office feeling more attacked. I cried for a short period before anger overtook me. I tried harder on the next paper and saw progress. A new letter grade. You still left comments on my paper that read, “You could do better.” So I pushed myself. I worked harder on the next paper, reading the pages more closely. You gave me the lower grade again.

At this point, I’m starting to lose hope. It’s too late to drop the class, and you’re standing in front of the measly few that are left preaching about how we’re going to fail the class if we don’t do X, Y, Z. You’re getting in our faces and telling us that other professors aren’t going to put up with this. You’re damn wrong if you think I’m putting up with this from other professors.

I’m not sure you actually want me to succeed, but I’m not paying you to leave me floundering. I decide to seek help elsewhere because I know you won’t have any constructive advice for me. I talk to friends, other professors, and tutors who help me with some key tips.

I’m letting you know that I will fight for my grades. I will fight for tutoring and help. Although I’m envying those students who dropped your class, I will fight to the end with the few lingering behind fighting for that passing grade.

It’s one thing to belittle us via our writing, our assignments and projects. It’s a whole other thing to bully us in the classroom, convincing us as students that we are nothing, that we will not succeed if we cannot pass your class. I will not be scared into learning. I am not interested in listening to a professor who doesn’t want to see me succeed.

I am not interested in anyone who isn’t interested in helping me succeed. To the nightmare college professor, you better hope you’re not up for tenure.

When faculty evaluations come around, you can bet I’ll be more honest than I’ve ever been in my entire life.


A determined and pissed off student

13 One-Liners That Only Shippensburg University Students Could Understand

It’s like we have our own language.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on October 4, 2017. It has been edited.

Over here at Shippensburg University, students come from all sides of Pennsylvania, and its surrounding states; we are a diverse group of tri-state area residents.

Though there are students who come from elsewhere, most of us hail from the east coast. With several dialects from different counties, the language on campus becomes not only diverse but just plain different.

Here are 13 phrases that only makes sense to Shippensburg students, and if you’re not one of us, well, I guess ship happens.

1. “Another alarm in the Hove?”

Okay, maybe no one but the residents call it the ‘Hove,’ but they are famous for their multiple fire alarms. Sometimes, there’s more than one in one night.

2. “Meet me at the CUB!”

We have all said this at one time or another. Then you follow up with, “Where are you?” And someone always says either, “McFeelys,” “The Great Hall” or “Fireside.” Quality places to eat, meet and hang out.

3. “I forgot it was Raider Bowl Wednesday!”

Most of us are too prideful to say the Raider Bowl is gross, but ever since they switched back to the bad chicken, nothing has been the same. It is nice when they still have dinner rolls though.

4. “I can’t come out tonight. I have the Reisner Runs.”

The absolute worst kind of runs. It’s probably because you ate the Chinese food or the chicken cacciatore. Learn from your mistakes.

5. “I spent all my flex.”

A true tragedy. You can reload in amounts of $25, but most of us just suffer.

6. “Ship happens.”

Even if you hate this saying, it’s plastered on every single piece of merchandise we sell and own.

7. “I hate the Bard hill.”

Okay, maybe this isn’t what the Bard hill looks like but it definitely FEELS like this. It’s deceiving because it looks like it’s not THAT bad, but it’s actually TERRIBLE.

8. “Are they still making hot bowls?”

I wish they would just post their hours. I also wish they would put more bowls in the refrigerator.

9. “I wonder what the APB concert is going to be this semester!”

A $40 meet and greet with Jesse McCartney and Andy Grammer this semester, Ludacris last semester and Panic! at the Disco the semester before? I can’t wait to see what’s in store next.

10. “Let’s hit up Wibs tonight!”

You’ll go, you’ll hate it and yourself afterwards. It’s never worth it but you always find yourself back there.

11. “Kriner, the finer diner.”

Grilled cheese all the time, and Papa Johns in the lobby.

12. “The Grove stairs are the worst!”

Okay, there is an elevator, but people totally judge you when you take it and it does take approximately five minutes just to arrive.

13. “I’m gonna study in the fishbowl.”

Where would we be without late-night paper-writing in the fishbowl? That one vending machine is always broken, someone always tries to leave out the locked doors and you’ll likely find at least one student having a mental breakdown at midnight.


11 Things We Wish We Could Change About Shippensburg University

I’m not saying these things make Shippensburg University a less desirable school to go to, but if we had the chance to implement some change, the next 11 things would definitely make that list.

Where is the suggestion box for campus updates?

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on April 24, 2017.

Everyone has a million great things to say about their college because if you don’t love it, why are you here? However, there’s always room for improvement. I’m not saying these things make Shippensburg University a less desirable school to go to, but if we had the chance to implement some change, the next 11 things would definitely make that list.

1. The heavy doors.

Even the doors in the elementary school on campus weigh a ton! Also, what’s with the library doors? How come they’re like a foot wide and only open halfway?

2. The weird stairs by Shippen.

Implement a ramp. Last year, they played an April Fool’s joke on us and said they were going to replace the ridiculously wide stairs with a moving sidewalk, and we were all seriously bummed that they were kidding.

3. That class that could be from 3:30-4:45 p.m.

The 3:30 slot is when professors have meetings, clubs have socials, and no one wants to be in class. Eradicate this class time.

4. Kriner’s limited hours.

If we wanted to eat at Reisner, we would choose Reisner. Kriner can’t really be the finer diner if they’re closed on weekends.

5. The random-roommate system.

We fill out those preferences on the housing portal, but where do they go? Random-roommate has seriously ruined some people’s living situations. It wouldn’t take much effort to create a more refined system. Make us fill out a survey or something!

6. “No string lights in the suites.”

The key to the ultimate dorm room is string lights. Listen, I know it’s a fire hazard, but I’ve never had to evacuate a building due to string lights. It’s most microwave and smoking-related incidents. Let us have the lights!

7. Desire to Learn or Brightspace or whatever it’s called now.

First of all, when I go to, why does it ask if I want to log into Ship or Millersville? I’m at a Shippensburg web address. Second, d2l mobile is the worst application to have ever existed. Finally, when it crashes, professors and students lose everything; it’s time to switch up the program.

8. The fact that you need a key to access the elevator in DHC.

The floors aren’t even equal! Hiking up to the third floor is a sin. We should have an open elevator like Grove does.

9. Limited food options in the CUB.

Not that we don’t totally love the fast food thing in the CUB food court, but some more options would be cool. More snacks, like soft pretzels or churros, anything small that we could meal, would be much appreciated.

10. The fact that we can’t meal chips or bottled soft drinks.

If you can make a deal to meal Papa John’s…why can’t you make a deal with Pepsi to help bundle some of that stuff?

11. The inconsistency of room numbers in Old Main.

Look, if we have to go anywhere in Old Main, you better hope we don’t get lost while we’re there for official business. Why can’t we keep all the evens and odds on the same sides?

Don’t Go To Shippensburg University For A College Education

Attend Shippensburg for the Raider Bowls on Wednesdays, the tacos on Tuesdays and the multicultural nights at Reisner.

Go for the whole experience.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on January 23, 2017.

On paper, Shippensburg University looks like any other state school. There are highly commended professors and even more highly commended academics. You could spend hours looking at the awards the school has received for its facilities, its residence halls and its dining halls. While those appreciations are lovely and wonderful to look at, they shouldn’t be the reason you attend the school. Don’t attend Shippensburg University for the award-winning college education they have to offer you. Instead, attend Ship for a unique college experience you won’t find anywhere else.

While you’re attempting to embark on the long and confusing road that choosing a university is, remember to look at more than what they market to you. You’ll have a great meal at every school you visit, simply because of your tour. You’ll see a clean campus and beautiful architecture. You’ll also see the award-winning perks that Shippensburg has to offer you. While I’m not encouraging you to overlook these amazing accommodations, make sure you look beyond them as well.

While you’re in the dining hall, pay attention to the dynamic that surrounds you. Pay attention to the way the students speak to and address one another. Especially notice how hard the food faculty work in order to ensure perfect service for you and others dining there.

While you’re roaming about campus, look closely at the students in classes. Notice how they take notes, how they listen and more importantly, how the professors project the academics at their students.

Take note of all the amazing opportunities there are lying in each academic building. Notice the fliers for internships, clubs, apartments, study abroad opportunities and future jobs. Stop at the tables in the CUB, or the Ceddia Union Building. Look at the ceiling and how many floors we have dedicated to different offices, different clubs and departments and different services.

While all of this may seem like a one-time experience, as you leave campus, smile at the students taking pictures by the Old Main fountain. Look back at the restaurants you won’t find anywhere else but our quaint little town.

Don’t attend Shippensburg University for the award-winning education. Attend Shippensburg University for the blaring student section during a football game, during which we cheer for both the team AND the band. Attend for the endless Ship puns that may annoy you at first, but will bring you pride and joy soon enough. Attend for the late-night french fry runs, the seasonal bingo games and the music playing in the amphitheater during the day. Attend to witness the diversity Ship has to offer in theater, in dance, in clubs, in Greek life and in athletics. See the unity each student embodies as students gather to support a local cause or a friend in need.

Attend Shippensburg for the Raider Bowls on Wednesdays, the tacos on Tuesdays and the multicultural nights at Reisner. Attend for the events you’ll only find being held by our clubs like the Homecoming Lip Sync, the spa days during finals or the surprise open-mic nights you’ll only stumble upon by chance. Come for the poetry slams, the cookie exchanges, the major-wide meetings where you know everyone in your department.

Come see the sunsets which are beautiful every day of the year. Come to feel the utmost relief after recognizing the water tower after getting lost in town. Come to experience the best wings you’ve ever tasted in town.

Commit to Shippensburg and you’ll experience all of this and so much more. Commit to becoming a Raider so that you can experience the best college experience possible. Join the red sea and see it roar like never before. Make a home out of Shippensburg and all of its amazing opportunities.

You can attend Shippensburg for its amazing academic qualifications, but know that you can get that piece of paper anywhere. Attend Shippensburg University to board the Ship and become a part of the crew. We hope to see you soon!