Well I’m no Einstein. But today, for the first time in my life, I stood in front of….something…and was too embarrassed to throw away my trash.

I don’t know WHAT that thing was I was about to throw it into or what the graphic was on the front of it. So instead, I closed the…um…thing that looked like a giant post office drop-off mailbox door and found something that I KNEW was a trash can. Then I went home and Googled about it.

Guys…I GOOGLED about trash cans. And then, I watched educational videos on the Waste Management website. No, this is not a joke.

I may be a little behind on what’s going on in the world right now, but while I was online today, I learned that a solar compactor trash can exists. That might be what I saw today, but it certainly was not as obvious on the outside as the green one in this video. So in case you  had never heard of it either, you will learn all about here:

Solar Compactor Trash Bin

Perhaps this is an overgeneralization, but aren’t the people who litter most usually people who don’t care about… anything? Like school, work, reading, learning new things in general…thinking…maybe even succeeding in life at all?

So, let’s be real. How do “smart” waste containers encourage keep-the-Earth-clean habits in stupid people (who prefer staying stupid)? Perhaps I’m overly self-conscious in public, but if a trash can has the potential for intimidating me (someone who actually does care about the environment), what is it going to do for the people who don’t care?

I can remember one (1) time that I littered…ever. I was like, 9 years old. Someone saw it, made me feel terrible about it, and I never did it again.

Today, however, it would have been so much easier to just throw my trash on the ground. It’s embarrassing to attempt to understand something within a few seconds while surrounded by people in public when it’s something you’ve never even seen before in your life.

People want to be encouraged to become better and smarter (even if they are stupid and like it that way). But NO ONE wants to feel that you are insulting the intelligence they believed they already have. That’s just rude.

So anyway, some things were just never meant to be “smart.” But if we are going to be smart, or ever become smart, we could at least develop some better technical communication to support it—like the visible word “TRASH” on the place where it (the trash) is supposed to go.

Or else…

i threw it on the ground

ain’t nobody got time for that


Student Life at Auburn University: The Lessons I’ve Learned

Since about the time I graduated at the beginning of August, I’ve wanted to create a list of the things I learned while living as a student in Auburn—things about being a college student, living away from home for the first time in my life, and learning new lessons from new life situations in general. I experienced a lot of things after leaving home that I somehow managed to skip out on before. These experiences were mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual, and they also influenced me socially. So, I’ve created this semi-silly/semi-serious list of the things I’ve learned in Auburn, in college, and in real life during the past four years…but really, during the past one, two, three, AND four years…because each one brought its own challenges.


Freshman Year

  1. Finding an available parking space at Auburn University after 8:30am is like finding the fountain of youth…with a time limit of fifteen minutes.
  2. When it rains it pours. Really. Umbrellas don’t accomplish anything on Auburn University’s campus. While waiting to enter my biology class under an awning outside, I witnessed one of my best friends running…RUNNING…by with nothing to shield her from the rain. I’m not gonna lie…she looked like a slippery seal that had just come straight up out of the sea, and it made me laugh really hard. Prepare by investing in a rain jacket and a pair of rain BOOTS. Don’t call them goulashes. It’s like telling people you took your “canine” on a walk this morning or going to a fast food joint for the sole purpose of ordering off the “healthy” menu.
  3. Suck it up shawty. When your roommate, also named Hannah, finds a parking space at the same time you do, and you attempt to walk together until you go your separate directions for class—upon which you find you have an exceptionally difficult time keeping up with her—you realize that you are 1) out of shape, 2) not nearly as cool as she is because she speed walks and you can’t, and/or 3) short. I prefer to use #3 as an excuse for basically everything. PAH! :)
  4. You will eat twice as much and STILL be famished. One week over the summer before I went to college, I lost seven pounds because I was in a place in Oklahoma where there was only terrible food to eat. During freshman year, I didn’t gain ANY of that weight back because I had to walk excessively almost everywhere I went. By the end of the day, I would be so tired I would choose sleep over FOOD… Yeah. When I would come home, I’d eat and/or take a four-hour-long nap, do my homework, and then eat and/or get a full night of sleep…survival I tell you.
  5. From 2009-2011, it was possible for a college girl to survive off $200 a month for everything except rent/utilities and gas.
  6. Your Christmas wish list will be much more practical this year. It will include specific things, like a glass 9X13 baking pan, a deep fryer, a GOLF-SIZE umbrella, and rain boots. Might as well create a Freshman Year registry at Target.


Sophomore/Junior Year

  1. The most awesomely fun and exciting experiences come from being on a super tight budget. You can even travel to Washington, DC to participate in a political rally! You can have “real food nights” with your friends where everyone brings a dish and has a great time just hanging out together. You can drive 30+ miles to see a meteor shower at 3am! Yay! :)

    Can't beat Tiger Nights.

    Can’t beat Tiger Nights.Or "for real meal night"Or “For Real Meal Night”

  2. Everyone wants to tell you that space heaters can catch on fire and burn your house down and kill you…blah, blah, blah. What they don’t want to tell you is they do an excellent job at keeping you from dying a slow, agonizing death. I learned that to be able to concentrate on anything, live normally, and not be in a constant state of blow-my-nose-off-my-face/fight-off-the-winter-weather-fevers, I must not be in an environment that is always below 65 degrees Fahrenheit and definitely not below 60. It takes lots of physical energy to stay warm.
  3. Goal-setting changes your life. So does making visual reminders of them. DO IT.
  4. Communication is essential to any relationship. Everyone is not as intuitive as you may think. If something bothers you, say it. Don’t expect someone else to read your mind until you reach your breaking point and do stupid, passive-aggressive things like banging stuff around, slamming doors, making vague comments that insinuate mean things, etc.



  5. Take advantage of every student benefit or activity that sounds like a once in a lifetime experience. (Because it probably is.) The worst that can happen is you will attend something that turns out to be a disappointment. You will always have great stories to tell people later on—the awesome gymnastic team, the rave in the library during finals week, the movies on the student center lawn, the concerts at the arena, the night that Bill Nye came to speak and the line that wrapped all the way around the building. Good times are hard to come by. Live them while you can.
  6. If you’ve found something that works—a study method, a strategy for staying on task, a routine that helps you keep a good balance of the things in your life—stick to it.
  7. Some things are just not a big deal. Be a big girl and learn your boundaries, but learn to put up with minor annoyances.
  8. Some people are lost without a major life crisis or something to complain about. Get the holy schmoly away from those people.
AUSFL trip to the March For Life 2011

AUSFL trip to the March For Life 2011

Pro-Life poster I front of the WHITE HOUSE! :)

Pro-Life poster I carried…in front of the WHITE HOUSE! :)

Senior Year

  1. Some people compare themselves to everyone else and feel that anyone they perceive as successful, or as the kind of person they want to be, is a threat to them (or surely must look down on them). This is a very sad condition for someone to have, and what they really need is a lot of love and positive encouragement. On the other hand, these people are defined by their inner struggles—they are hurt, and they want you to hurt, too. Guard yourself from them. Be a friend to them, care about them, do what you can to help them, but don’t expect that they will be your friend in return.
  2. If you are afraid that someone may decide to physically hurt you, you need to distance yourself from that person or even eliminate them from your life altogether…even and especially if you think it could be just your imagination getting carried away.
  3. Don’t ignore your intuition. Just because you’re a girl and all the boys say you “overreact” because you’re an “emotional” person, it doesn’t mean they’re right…or even know what the crap they’re talking about at all. YOU know who you are, and YOU are the one who has to deal with the consequences of ignoring red flags…not them. Besides, this is a strength of yours that they don’t really have, so they won’t ever understand it anyway. Embrace what you are made of. red flag
  4. Forgiveness can take a very long time. People don’t change overnight. Have a clear plan for how to move forward from a situation, and pursue it whole-heartedly, without listening to the people who sit on their rumps and judge your every move…as if they’ve actually been in your shoes before. Success, forgiveness, peace, life…everything is a process.
  5. Recognize what is your responsibility and what is not. YOU are in charge of yourself, and ONLY yourself. There are a couple of ways to understand this: 1) Deal with your own emotions, thoughts, and attitudes; and be in control of your actions. 2) Everything that goes wrong in a relationship is not your fault. Do not hold yourself accountable for anyone else’s attitudes, feelings, and behaviors.
  6. You remind your parents that you managed to survive off $200 a month for the first two years of college, and they don’t believe you at first because they forgot about that, but then they remember and you feel like a mega adult.

Tips in hindsight:

  1. Be closely connected with your adviser. Visit him/her regularly. Mine helped me find my passion/perfect career path. I am so thankful for her help. Some advisers are not the best, but if you have a good one, take advantage of that situation and pursue your dreams. Your big girl job will thank you with personal fulfillment and a big fat paycheck.
  2. Strive for clear communication with everyone you come in contact with.
  3. Realize that you can’t do anything alone, but don’t depend on others too much.
  4. Some people grow up faster than others. Be patient with the ones who lag behind. Being an adult is hard.
  5. Take care of your body and mind–praise yourself for the times you eat well, get a good night’s rest, or get some good exercise in for a day. And keep the music playing. Music is good for you. :)
  6. Don’t live passively—live proactively. Rewards are sure to come and in large heaps.
  7. A little struggle is not the end of the world. A big struggle isn’t either. It’s hard to see it while it’s happening, but everything works itself out, and you can always be assured that there will never be a time that nothing happens. Something will always happen. Life is full of events. It’s just the not knowing what it will be that drives you crazy. In difficult times, just know that there’s always hope for more, for better, even if you can’t see it.
YAY!!! :)