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

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 d2l.ship.edu, 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?

Your Worth Is Not Defined By Your Final Grades

You’re stressed, you’re tired, you’re feeling disoriented and out-of-place.

Your worth has never been measured in numbers. Why start now?

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on December 12, 2016.

Somehow the fall semester has flown past us and it is now time for finals season, once again. Tensions are high as we all finish up learning what we can in our classes and begin to cram. Stress is our new best friend, along with coffee, sleep and oh, don’t forget, anxiety. Remember that your worth is not measured in points. Your self-esteem should not be measured in letter grades. You are worth so much more than your GPA.

College is all about pushing yourself and challenging yourself. That does not mean you should push yourself to the ledge. Yes, the curriculum and the assignments are stressful and difficult. Yes, you will not get a healthy amount of sleep. Yes, even with prioritizing your work, finals week will provoke exhaustion that you never knew you had.

You’re stressed, you’re tired, you’re feeling disoriented and out-of-place. For as many calories you consume drinking coffee after coffee, try to equal that same amount in cups of water. Take naps, and showers. Please take a break from working so you don’t shut down.

Regardless of how you do on that paper, that exam or that presentation, you are worth so much more than your college GPA. You are not that number, letter, or pass/fail mark. You are not your effort, no matter how much or how little there is. You are not measured in papers, presentations or exams.

You are measured in love, in liveliness and in hope. You are measured in generosity, in positivity and in perseverance. No matter how you spend your time this finals week, know that no matter what, the sun will rise tomorrow. It will rise again the next day, and the next. Tomorrow is another day, and while your routine may blur time together, remember that this too shall pass.

If you find yourself in an environment that does not view your worth in this way, escape it. No one deserves to feel as though their life is measured by how well they do in college. College is not for everyone and that is totally OK. Someone once said, “Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it’ll live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

You are not stupid, regardless of how you perform in college. Life has many paths for you, and if the sun doesn’t appear to be coming out on your end, seek another path. Know that you are invincible, that you will not stop until you find your calling and that you know yourself better than anyone else.

So, as we all embark on finals week, whether you’ve been here before, or this is your first, remember this: breathe. All you can give is your absolute very best. If that is not enough, so be it. You will not crash and burn if you do not pass a class this semester. You will not combust, you will not shut down, you will rise above it. You will get back on the horse. You will stand on your own two feet once more.

Your life, your dignity and your self-worth have never been measured in numbers. Why start now?

How To Survive That End-Of-Semester Slump

Skipping class to do work for another class is only really necessary if you have a major project or paper to finish.

We all struggle trying to get through the last few weeks.

This post was originally published for The Odyssey on November 14, 2016.

It is getting to be that time of the semester where we all feel like giving up. We struggle to get through the weeks; we spend our hours counting down the days until the weekend, so we can finally get some sleep. Many of us are coming down with colds which are mostly caused by stress. It is becoming more and more difficult to wake up to our alarms, go to class, and study for the exams that we wish would just end already. I know how hard it is to motivate yourself, but do not give up! Here are a few ways to survive this end-of-semester slump!

1. Nap whenever possible.

Some people say napping really is not an option for them, however, I think if you tire yourself out enough, you will find a way. Take that 30 minute power nap and nap on the weekends. Just do not skip class to nap and try not to nap in class.

2. Remember to eat.

When you do eat, try to eat something healthy. Shoveling junk food into your mouth and treating your body like a trashcan generally is not the way to keep energy.

3. Form study groups.

Talk to people you do not even know; ask them if they want to study with you. The only way you will survive this is if you do it together. Worst case scenario, you all go down with the same ship.

4. Keep going to class.

Do not skip. If you do, you will form an addiction. Skipping class to do work for another class is only really necessary if you have a major project or paper to finish. Do not let it turn into a habit.

5. Keep your head up.

Maintain a positive attitude, listen to all your favorite music, and take a break every once in a while. Take nice showers. Meditate. Do yoga. Watch an episode of Netflix every now and then (that does not mean every five minutes).