M

I had strep again, my brain was convinced. I walked into the campus doctors office and was going to tell the doctor to write me another prescription for some antibiotics and take it easy for a few days.

I had already had strep two weeks before and just figured that somehow I hadn’t cleaned well enough or it was just going around and I re-caught it.

I was so aware of my mouth that the thought of just normal mouth functions took a lot of concentration. The end of my junior year in college was approaching and finals were just a few weeks away.

So when the doctor came in, reviewed my file, gave me a quick exam and told me she wanted to test me for mono I about laughed in her face, mouth functions being difficult and all.

I told her it was strep and she should just check for that. She really thought it wasn’t. We compromised and tested for both. And you know what sometimes doctors do really know best.

I had mono. How in the @#$! did that happen?

I was still feeling okay despite the doctor telling me it was about to get worse. I texted my peoples and told them what was up and I was quite surprised that everyone was treating me like a pariah. I soon came to find out why.

For those of you do not know what mono or infectious mononucleosis is then pay attention because you never ever if you can help it want to get mono.

In all honesty, having my wisdom teeth pulled wasn’t nearly as bad.

With only a few classes left before finals, I somehow made it to all of them, that really should have earned me a letter grade bump ;).

For all of you still in school take this a lesson to never procrastinate.

Mono  is a highly contagious virus that takes everything out of you. Accompanied with my extreme fatigue I would get very nauseous. Which means I was only able to sleep for about three hours before waking up with hunger pains I could feel rolling up and down my spine. And because of the nausea I was only able to eat about an ounce of tomato soup before passing back out again. I was like that for over a week before I could move on to eating about 3 oz of mac and cheese.

On the positive side, I lost seven pounds in five days. But I would recommend just sticking to the treadmill at the gym.

The other thing about mono is that it is highly contagious. And is spread by saliva. That is where it gets its nickname the kissing disease. We could sit here and debate if that is how I got it and honestly I did some mental digging to try and figure out everyone’s mouth that mouth could have come in contact with but the pool got very wide.

You can’t just add the people who you’ve locked lips with, you also have to add in all the people they have kissed in the last 4-6 weeks (incubation time). Everyone they have shared a drink or bite of food with. Everyone who drank out of the same public water fountains as you. Everyone who served or cooked you food at a restaurant. Everyone in your class you sneezed or coughed near you. Everyone at the gym that could have sweated on the equipment or mats that you used.

Is your inner germaphobe having a field day with this?

The worst part was that people wouldn’t touch me. I would go days and at one time a week without physical contact. Humans are social creatures and we need, no crave, physical connection.

One day when I had started to feel better, after my weird three days of finals where I somehow cured myself of mono just long enough to study and take all my tests before feeling like death, my BFF invited me to come watch tv with her on the couch. I was still having extreme fatigue and walking from my bed to the couch was enough to take the wind out of me.

We sat there on opposite ends of the couch when her hand grazed my foot. Tears started free flowing down my checks and I probably looked insane. You know what she did next? She held my sock covered feet and let me cry.

Mono sucked really bad. But what it showed me was that I really did have a best friend. I had someone who would drive me to the mall and sit down with me every few minutes so I could catch my breath so I wouldn’t be cramped in my room. Who would take me to Kroger so I could survive on mac and cheese. The fatigue, for me, lasted about eight months. But  I had someone who was kind and generous. A true friend that stuck by my side. Find yourself a friend like that, you never know when mono could strike.

 

 

L

Ladies on ladies on top of ladies, and while this may sound like erotic fiction, I have not taken up writing about sexual fantasies quite yet. This story actually happened to me, or more so on top of me.

This was a night early in college when I was at a party. I won’t name the location or the people involved in the events that transpired on that couch that night, but I will tell you about the moment I froze as two…and I’ll get to that.

This was one of those moments in college that you see in a movie. You know the kind where the shy awkward freshman encounters all the cool juniors and seniors. They open up the freshman to the idea that anything goes in college. Embarking the freshman on a wild ride for the next four years.

But my life is not a movie, and for the most part, I wasn’t a shy awkward freshman. I was the girl sitting on a couch in shiny gold, and as I referred to them, hooker pants. They were beyond fun to wear, you could see yourself in the reflection of my…and again not that kind of story.

Since I’m to the point of being able to legally walk into a liquor store and buy a half a case of wine if I want to, I’ll spill the beans I was 19 and having a really good buzz.

Which kind of makes the whole thing seem like a movie, so put on your buzzed glasses and imagine that you are sitting on a couch with three other girls. You are just minding your own business when girl one leans over you. You don’t think much about it till girl four is almost spilling into girl three’s lap. And the next thing you know girl one and girl four are locking lips.

Having no idea how these events transpired you look at girl three, who is desperately looking at you, just as confused. It happened and was over really fast. Being slightly awkward I had no idea if I should get up or stay. The events that happened after that kiss lead to a fist fight, people throwing up in the yard, and well you know a lot more drinking.

And that is the story about how two girls practically climbed over me to get to each other while I sat there seeing my face reflected back from my shiny hooker pants.

Welcome to college.

K

Kindness wasn’t something I learned in college or rediscovered. But something I saw a lot of people slip away from.

Maybe it was because we didn’t have our parents watching us or a school that would call mom and dad or teachers that saw us everyday. Maybe it was because we had seen on TV that people our age could act rude, to the point of being world class bitches and it was okay.

We made those kinds of people popular and looked up to them. So when we left the comfort of our homes and ventured out into the real world those mean girls and a-hole guys didn’t have someone guiding them along. They could treat people however they wanted and many people I came across disregarded each other’s feelings.

And maybe that’s just how the real world works. Maybe we put each other down in the hopes it’ll make us temporarily feel better. Maybe we’ve moved away from morals and into momentary self gratification.

We can all be unkind, I think what separates people is those who care. I think if you can look back on a situation where you acted in an unkind manor and only see how you are right then you need a serious reality check. But if you can look back and see how you could have done better, then you are growing in a positive way as a person.

It’s not hard to kick a person when they are down, it’s hard to pick a person up who you have helped kicked down.

Thinking back to my freshmen year it was almost like I could look at the people on my dorm floor and pick out who would or wouldn’t succeed later in life based off their ability to be kind.

Those that only looked out for themselves and put others down around them, always seemed really unhappy to me. And now with almost four years of reflection I look back on all the times I hated living in my dorm room, all the weekends escaped, and I remember the good times.

I choose to remember the friends I made, the 2am nights at Denny making pancake art. The first time I saw Rocky Horror Picture show in the common room. The night we walked to go get froyo as a group. When I narrowly missed getting caught drinking underage on campus 😅. The kindness I was shown.

In the long run, at the end of the day, years later, that person who you thought hated you, may in fact only remember how kind you were to them. And you never know what possibiltys that may lead to.

I didn’t learn about kindness in college. I already knew what it was. What I learned is the importance to be kind to one another.

My final peice of advice, even when they aren’t being kind to you, you get to choose to be kind.

J

Jane The Virgin, The 100, Community, Smallville, are just some of my guilty pleasures. Basically, I just love teen/young adult TV. Let’s go ahead and throw into the mix Teen Wolf, One Tree Hill, Riverdale, Timeless, seriously I don’t even know why I am still trying to list all of these shows out there is just so many!

But let me back you up to the end of high school/beginning of college. This girl right here would have denied to the grave that she ever watched those kinds of shows. No, she was way to cool and sophisticated to be inside of a fandom. I would never stay up late at night playing out what I thought would happen to the characters and space out in class daydreaming about the next episode because I needed to find out what happened next.

Watching the shows had almost become my dirty little habit. I would plug in my headphones, get myself into a corner where no one could see me, and be all secretive about what I was doing. Pretending like I was way to cool for it all.

Why you ask, well its because I thought people would judge me. Even if someone else said they liked one of those shows I would just pretend like I had never seen it and had no idea what they were talking about while I was secretly shipping characters in my head and thinking oh I already know all of this.

I wonder now how many friendships I missed out on because I felt alone, fear holding me back from sharing my love for the on-screen drama. I used to tell people I didn’t use youtube or they couldn’t use my account because I couldn’t remember all the login in info. Really I was embarrassed that they would see that I spent lots of my time watching videos that other people put together of my favourite couples or videos of the ones I was shipping. I kept a part of me secluded for such a long time that I felt terrified that someone would discover my secret and I would be outcasted.

I buried my love for those shows so deep inside of me it became second nature to deny that I had ever seen or heard about said TV show.

I felt secluded and buried deep until I took a class in college called Youth in Media. It changed my life.

  1. I discovered Tumblr. I know I am super late to the party but I found a place where I could connect with others who also loved the same shows as myself. And totally fangirl about it (in that not so intense kind of way).
  2. I realized that a lot of the people in my class, around the same age as me, also loved those shows and they let it be known. Which was shocking to me that people I thought were cool liked the shows I thought made me lame.
  3. We watched Jane The Virgin. Before my professor told us one episode was homework she asked who all in the class had seen the show. I kept my hand down for fear of being the only weirdo. But to my surprise, a good number of people had raised there hands. My Professor loved the show and as it turned out other people did too. I had already seen the whole first season and was watching the second one as it was airing at the time. It was in that moment that I realized I wasn’t some rare weirdo breed who loved TV shows. I was one of the many people invested into a fandom.

The most important lesson I learned from that class was that its okay to do you. And sometimes you might just make a connection with a friend that you didn’t know was there.

I hope if you have any fears about feeling rejected for liking a certain TV show or genre of music or movie that you can take comfort in knowing that we all have a guilty pleasure.

#sixseasonsandamovie

I

Iowa is not a state that comes to mind as a top travel destination in America. Generally, we think about California, Florida, New York, Texas, Colorado…way before we even think about states like Iowa or West Virginia.

To be honest these states don’t have a lot in them. If you are one of those people like me who cross off each state you visit (and by visit I define it as doing something/eating somewhere local, driving through doesn’t count in my book) then like me you probably have hit most of the cool popular ones and like me you probably have a lot of the state’s left that it feels like no one has a reason to go to (I’ve got 20 left!).

But I’ve been to both Iowa and West Virginia. Two states I would never imagine myself wanting to pay to visit, but thanks to my job in college travelling with the football team I got to cross them off.

Not to put down the state of Iowa, which gave us Betty White and sliced bread, or West Virginia, which has some of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen in the fall, but there isn’t much going on.

But I have a few really fond memories of those places, and they are largely due to my coworkers.

In Iowa, we got an Uber and got a Santa Claus grandpa who was super cool and chill. We also rode a mechanical bull and played water pong (like beer pong but you know with water). And even crazier I filmed in the same room as a guy who a few years later I would be out drinking with in Alabama because we have a mutual friend.

DT Iowa w Marc and Carly

In West Virginia along with the most comfortable beds at the Sheraton, we thought we saw prostitutes on the corner of a street but it turned out they were just really skimpy dressed girls waiting for a ride, it became an inside joke.

What I’m most grateful for about those trips is that not only did I get to cross off two states off my list, I came out of it with really good memories!

Let me know what states y’all have visited that you thought were super lame but have great memories in the comments below!

 

H

Happy birthday Barbies were a right of passage in our college apartment. Each of us got one for our 21st birthday.

As you can see from the missing shoe, messed up hair, and thrown up sprinkles it was a night that Barbie me would never forget. Or at least one she would sit in the shower the next morning trying to wash vomit sprinkles out of her hair. Don’t judge me, all of us have a Barbie alter ego who has had to wash thrown up sprinkles out of her hair at least once 😉.

Trust me birthday Barbie looks like she had a way crazier 21st then me. I feel asleep as at a bar during my crawl.

Birthday Barbie was always around as a reminder of how much fun we could be having on any regular night. And as you can see we had a lot of fun with drunk Barbie. It was one of those gifts that kept on giving.

We even got the gang back together for our 22nd birthdays.

And as you can tell Barbie us, while still a little bit of a mess, had really gotten their act together by year 22.

Birthday Barbies was probably the best gift I got for my 21st birthday. They always hung out together, spending holidays and all hours together.

As an adult who has left behind her college apartment, life of writing papers and taking 2 hour naps everyday, having my birthday Barbie sit on my shelf as a reminder of that special friendship I had in college is enough to bring tears to this real girls eyes.

G

GMG was a common phrase heard around my college job on Saturdays during football season. I worked as a student videographer for the Mean Green Football team (the university of North Texas) doing coaches video.

As far as jobs goes this one gave me some of my greatest memories during college.

It has been almost a year since I graduated and what seems like a life time since I worked my last football game. Somedays I miss standing up on that tower in the pouring rain, blister heat and frigid wind filming each practice. It’s not the weather conditions I miss but the people I spent time working with.

Over the years many people came in and out of the job, some graduating and others it wasn’t the right fit for.

I met some of my favorite people and good friends during those long days, giving up weekends to work games, and waking up or in a few cases getting home at the crack of dawn.

The adulting life lesson I take away from that job is that sometimes you enter into a world and spend four years not expecting much out of it and walk away with good memories, friends and a whole bundle of life experiences. And as always Go Mean Green.

Pictured below is a group of us at my last home game. More blog post to come on the World of Football.