Why Getting a Dog in College Was a Smart Decision

Want to get a puppy in college? Read why 5 years later I still think it was a great decision to get a dog. || a tipsy gypsy life #advice

Who doesn’t love dogs? Growing up, I begged and begged for a dog of my own. Sure, we had dogs, but we never went looking for them. We found one* running around my family’s business. We loved each other, but I could tell he loved my dad just as much. I wanted my own dog. Not a puppy. A big, slobbery, furry dog was all I wanted. So best believe when I signed my first lease, the first thing I did was adopt a puppy. People who didn’t know me thought it was a terrible idea. People who knew me weren’t surprised at all.

It was hard. He was the biggest rascal puppy I have met to date. He wanted to be around me and my roommate all the time. He’d knock over my wine if I wasn’t playing with him. When I’d bake, he’d sneak onto the stovetop and steal 1 cookie at a time so I wouldn’t notice. One night, after about six months, I went to New Orleans and asked my roommates to keep eye. That MF chewed up my brand new pair of royal blue Jessica Simpson pumps! And yeah, Jessica Simpson pumps were out of budget when I was 19! Part of me believes it’s karma for being a hellion in my youth, but I would not want him any other way.

But… Five years later… He has been there for me. Can’t say I was the best mum. He held his bladder when I was too drunk to take him out. When I was a senior, someone tried to break into my house. Banging and trying to kick it down. Smokey lost his mind and scared them off. He will literally come sprinting from anywhere in the house if I start crying, hop in my lap, and lick until I laugh. He gives me licks after I feed him as a “thank you.” He shivers with joy when I return from a trip. He’s my (really terrible) running partner. He’s my best bud.

*Side Confession- this poor thing (Nesta Mojo) was about 15 lbs underweight, missing skin, and had a serious rope burn around his neck. Apparently when my mom took him to the vet, he had a chip in him, which means he had a home. We kept him. Not sorry at all!* 

It made me develop a backbone.

Imagine this- you are all alone in the world. You are taken from your mom and dad and siblings. You can’t see or smell for a few weeks. And you have to potty outside… Having a living thing depend on you can get intense! But you’re going to have to develop that backbone sooner or later and man, did mine come in STRONG.

They teach you responsibility.

When all my other friends were staying out till 3 or not coming home at all, I had to be a big girl. No matter how tired, happy, or crunk I was, I had to go home.every.single.night. And if you know me at all, this was NOT easy. Not only do they need to go potty, they notice when you’re gone. Don’t be a dick.

You learn how to budget.

Puppies ain’t cheap. We’re talking hundreds of dollars worth of shots in the first few months. Two shots per year until they are 3 or so, then, yearly shots about 100-300 for the rest of their lives. You also have to pay for dog food.

They force you to create a schedule.

If you’re new around here, you might not understand how naturally free-spirited I am. If there are any ENFPs out there, you feel me on this. When they are young, you have to make sure to get them either outside or on the puppy-pad every 3-6 hours.

Keep in mind… 

If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, pay attention to where you plan on living. Many dogs, referred to as “attack breeds” are not allowed on many apartment complexes. Pitbulls, German Shepherds, and Dobermans are almost never allowed. Out in San Diego, I even had issues with Smokey being part bloodhound.

Yes, you can get them registered as your “emotional support animal.” However, in many places, your dog has to pass the Good Canine Citizen Test.  It’s not that easy! 

If you want a puppy, you should NOT get one. If you want a dog, you should. They will live (HOPEFULLY!) 8-16 years. That is a serious commitment. I got Smokey at 19. I will hopefully (but realistically) have him until I am 30. YOU ARE NOT THE SAME PERSON AT 19 AS YOU ARE AT 30. Don’t get a puppy because you want a fluffy toy. Don’t get a puppy because your ex dumped you. Don’t get a puppy because you’re lonely. And please for the love of God, DON’T DO IT FOR THE GRAM

 

Did you have a pet in college? Would you change it if you could?

 

How I went from a 1.2 GPA to Dean’s List (and you can too!)

 

How I went from a 1.2 GPA to Dean's List (and how you can too!) || a tipsy gypsy life #study #college

When I tell people that are just now getting to know me that I almost flunked out of university (true), they’re in shock. “But you’re in grad school!” “But you got job offers?” “But you seem … so serious.” The truth is, I went from a 1.2 GPA and losing a $40,000 scholarship to Dean’s List, job offers, and eventually grad school. Burn these words into your hear, “work smarter, not harder.” Repeat it out-loud. “WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER.” Got it?

 

BEFORE THE SEMESTER

  • Schedule smart
    • If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule a class before 11:00 a.m.
    • Check rate my professor. No need to go through a hell someone else has already experienced.
    • Never take more than 15 hours. Just don’t.
  • Get a planner
    • Make it a habit to check first thing in the morning (before your phone!)
    • Start with a standard daily planner with weekly and monthly inserts.
    • Fill out syllabus dates in pencil– professors will change at least one date per class
  • Sync all Apple calendars
  • Designate a study area
    • Must be clean & quiet 
    • You know yourself, if you can’t stand being around people when studying, don’t go to the library
    • Stock it with pens, pencils, pads, and a calculator.

DURING THE SEMESTER

  • Set up a meeting with every professor
    • This is your chance to show that you do care about your grades and they’ll be much more inclined to help you down the line.
    • Bring a copy of the syllabus
    • Ask if they have any recommended readings (which you don’t have to do).
  • Hard work gets a break
    • Read for 20 minutes, rest for 5
    • Plan at least one activity for pure joy and relaxation (find ways here).
  • Do a brain dump- This is KEY for writing essays. As someone who vividly remembers whipping out 12-20 page papers in 24 hours or less, this is a life-saver
    • Get your assignment, computer, timer, pen and paper
    • Read the prompt once.
    • Jot down the first 5 things that come to mind
    • Read the prompt again.
    • Type your response for 5 timed minutes.
    • Fill in the blanks with research.

 

AT FINALS

  • Check noteswap
    • Please make sure it’s for the right class, section, and professor
  • Set up your own noteswap with the class by sending a mass email
  • Email the professor with at least one question at least a week prior to the final. Don’t play coy, this is your future here.

 

AFTER THE EXAM

  • Email your professor asking if you can discuss your grade- if it’s close, they might bump it up to avoid a meeting.
  • Double-check your grades to make sure you aren’t missing any work.
  • Treat yo’self! It’s not the end of the world, just another semester.

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Freshman Year


As I approach my first year of Graduate studies, I can't help but look back at university and laugh. Especially freshman year. Here are the 7 things I wish I knew before #freshman year || a tipsy gypsy life #college #university #tips

As we send my little brother off to his first year at University and I begin my first year of grad school, I can’t help but look back and laugh. Cackle is the better term. Yes, we all make rookie mistakes, and here are the 7 things I really wish I had known before freshman year

7. The layout of campus

It took me until spring of my senior year to finally truly know where (most of) the buildings were. You don’t want to learn the hard way which is probably cracked out on addy (or navigating through the crowds of cracked out students), during your first finals week, desperately searching for the building which holds the exam for the class you never really went to in the first place.

6. Anything about the town

Imagine my surprise when 3 weeks into school I lost my debit card and soon realized there was no Wells Fargo bank in the entire state of Louisiana. Other good things to know- where the E.R. is, what the DUI limit is, and where the local tow company is located (fuckers).

5. How to do laundry

Okay, I didn’t struggle with this one. But I did hear some kid in tears over destroying a whole load of Polo’s because he didn’t know that you shouldn’t wash colors with hot water. Cold water prevents colors from bleeding and traumatic freshman experiences from happening.

As I approach my first year of Graduate studies, I can't help but look back at university and laugh. Especially freshman year. Here are the 7 things I wish I knew before #freshman year || a tipsy gypsy life #college #university #tips

4. The importance of attendance

Long story short- my freshman fall semester was a GPA of 1.2 Granted, I did party harder than Johnny Cash in his prime, but it’s just not worth it.

As I approach my first year of Graduate studies, I can't help but look back at university and laugh. Especially freshman year. Here are the 7 things I wish I knew before #freshman year || a tipsy gypsy life #college #university #tips

3. How valuable my student ID card was

SO MANY STORES offer student discounts! Anytime you’re at a store, just whip it out and ask if they offer anything. Especially places like Ann Taylor and other semi-pricey clothing stores.

2. Any bus route besides to the bars

Yes, I knew what the drunk bus was, but I didn’t know the bus is SO much more useful than that. Spend 45 mins looking for a parking spot, and then you’ll love dat bus.

As I approach my first year of Graduate studies, I can't help but look back at university and laugh. Especially freshman year. Here are the 7 things I wish I knew before #freshman year || a tipsy gypsy life #college #university #tips

and most importantly…

1. How to assert myself

Everyone gets screwed by a class eventually. Some people’s horror stories are much worse than others, but one thing is surely to fuck it beyond repair- inaction. Administrators and counselors are paid to assist you. Request to talk to someone else until you get clear answers and in writing. I had a counselor told me my university did grade forgiveness if I re-take a class. After I retook it I found out that policy had been changed in the 90’s… Don’t waste your life away!

As I approach my first year of Graduate studies, I can't help but look back at university and laugh. Especially freshman year. Here are the 7 things I wish I knew before #freshman year || a tipsy gypsy life #college #university #tips

Most importantly, be safe and enjoy the hell out of your first year!

21 HEALTHY WAYS TO DEAL WITH DEPRESSION IN COLLEGE

21 Healthy Ways to Deal with Depression in College

Ah, depression. We all go through ruts, but some are more severe then others. Although the easiest way to deal with depression and anxiety is often unhealthy (binge-eating? Penny Pitchers?) Use these 21 tips to deal with whatever comes your way, in a healthy fashion.

 21. Go for a walk somewhere new.

Getting fresh air and a new experience? Take that tears!

20. Call the family member who loves you most.

Don’t jump down my throat, we all have that family member that thinks we are somethin’ else. Cherish that person.

19. Set a goal.

Baby steps, ya’ll. Something like getting out of bed 5 days this week or call 3 friends or run 10 miles. Whatever would make you feel good about yourself.

18. Read a book you love.

Especially if you’ve only read it once. Depression can cause attention issues, so choosing a book you’ve already read is less stressful and you ALWAYs find a line or two you missed before.

17. Plan a trip.

Even if it’s the dream trip you’ll be taking once you make your first million. Pinterest is GrEAt for day dreaming and trip planning.

 16. Get some sun.

There’s no way around it. Through some SPF on and get dat D ….. Vitamin D.

 15. Explore your home-town.

Oye my apologies if you live in a place population < 1,000. But realistically there is always more to see!

 14. Bawl your eyes out.

This is a slippery slope. Try allowing yourself a certain amount of time such as a long shower and then when you’re finished, have something to do once you’re done. DIY project, netflix, etc.

 13. WRITe WRITE WRItE.

So you know how back in the day doctors would let patients bleed to “let the bad blood out”? Writing is how you get your bad blood out. Promise.

12. Look at pictures from a fun time.

Spring break? I’m referring the the ones that (rightfully) never made it to social media. That’s where the true happiness is.

 11. Have a good cup of tea (or coffee!)

Some people will tell you coffee is bad for you. You don’t need those people in your life! Don’t forget to breathe in the steam mm.

10. Find a free yoga class.

Most cities have them. They are often under “community yoga”, so a donation is appreciated. (Don’t be a dick)

9. Read someone like you.

“The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath is probably the original, honest look into an emotionally unstable person. The book was an autobiography but she published it as a novel. Another one is Charles Bukowski- my favorite line from him is “sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning, and you think, “I’m not going to make it” but then you laugh, thinking of all the times you felt this way.”

8. Paint your nails.

Not just to keep yourself busy! A key to managing depression (and anxiety) is to do the things you DO have control over- painting your nails, keeping your space clean, etc.

7. Just say yes.

One of the most difficult aspects of depression is getting yourself out of the house. When a friend asks you to go to Walgreens or to the yoga class she raves about, just go. You can always go home if you aren’t enjoying yourself.

6. Get some giggles.

Netflix deserves an award. Not quite sure what that would be, but they definitely deserve one! Some shows I like are VP, Brink, and Trailer Park Boys (sue me).

5. Visit the rec center.

~PROMISE ME~ you will utilize your universities rec center. Even if you have no plan of action, just getting dressed and in the gym is a big step.

4. Treat yo-self!

I’m aware college can be a time for pinching of pennies, but I assure you, there is ALWAYS a trick. Schools like Aveda usually offers a discount when you use a student. And *ALWAYS* whip out your student ID, discounts are a real thing people.

3. Get a junior-psychologist.

My term for that one friend that is just like *so* understanding and non-judgmental. We all have that person. And if you don’t, I can (try to) be that person for you.

2. Assess yourself.

Figuring out whether you have a case of the blues or clinical depression is pretty damn important. The blues come and go in a fleeting mood whereas depression is a constant cloud of misery. If it’s just a case of the blues, check out what could be your stressor. Studying a major you REALLY don’t want to study? Toxic friend? Blowing all your cash on penny pitchers? Still stressful as hell buht, different tactics are necessary milady.

And if all else fails…

1. Hug the dog!

If you don’t have one, spend time with a friend that has one. Or even better, volunteer! The doggies get love and you get happy too. Win-win.

And always remember the storm shall pass. Dance in the rain?

 

We all get the blues. Deal with it like a bad bitch with these healthy alternatives #depression #college