So…you’re looking for a roommate.

Some of you may be reaching that point in your life where you are about to head off to college! Or maybe you’re just a single girl or guy who needs a cut in your expenses. So… you’re looking for a roommate.

There are lot of things to learn from having roommates. A lot of things can happen while living with someone else. To name a few:

You can luck up and turn into best friends with your roomie!

You can think you lucked up and turned into best friends with your roomie, only to find out later that you are WRONG. They actually hate you.

You can have a social life because of your roommate… Yay!

You can save money because of your roommate.

You can blow money because of your roommate.

You can have more fun because of your roommate!

You can be miserable because of your roommate.

You can even be abused by your roommate–emotionally and physically.

As a preface to the things I am about to say, I acknowledge that not everything I am communicating in this message is from my own experience, but these are things that come from my insight of a combination of my own and others’ experiences.

 

You’ve all probably heard, “Don’t live with your best friend,” or other things along that line, and that can often be true. But the real truth behind that is not that your best friend is lying to you…it’s that your best friend CAN be lying to you about who they are. A truer statement is, “You never know what someone is like until you live with them.”

Sometimes people have underlying issues in their lives that they hide very easily in public and even from their very best friends, but can’t cover up so well behind closed doors. These issues could be insecurities, buried feelings from the past, character flaws, physical or mental illnesses, or even just plain selfishness.

Unfortunately, people don’t really like to tell you about their problems (their REAL problems) at all, and especially before living with you if they’re really wanting a roommate. So things like… being “Type A”/narcissistic, having clinical depression, having regular hallucinations that aliens are abducting them and stealing their organs, exerting schizophrenic behavior, whispering to their grandma… who is dead, having bipolar disorder, having bouts of hysteria, etc.–these are the kinds of things people probably don’t even want to admit to/face for themselves, much less tell you about. So, if you wind up living with someone who has serious issues, you won’t know it until you see it and have to deal with it directly, possibly while traumatized.

So, you could end up rooming with someone who regularly makes you paranoid that they have slashed their wrists and are soaking to death in the bathtub while cursing at the aliens. But ideally, your roommate will be a stable person like you and only carry minor annoyances, like not washing the dishes as often as you or forgetting to carry out the trash. Perhaps it could help to get to know people who are friends with that person before living with them to get an idea of what others know about them, but all you can really do is just pray for the best situation.

You may be in college or in your early career stage. You might be learning a lot about chemistry, physics, computers, and writing papers. You might be learning the ropes of business management, social networking, developing a regular routine again, handling new bills. You might also learn some things about growing up, being an adult, entering the “real world.” Along with that kind of learning, you might gain some supplemental insight that everyone doesn’t traverse that path the same way and at the same time, or even with anyone at all. Everyone is different, everyone grows up differently, everyone doesn’t grow up at the same time. Sometimes, people don’t grow up at all. Sometimes, you are faster at it than others. Sometimes they are faster than you. You just have to figure out how to deal with those who “just ain’t got it” yet.

Above all, in your journey through young adulthood, you should be learning a lot about yourself. Even in times of crises, you can discover some of the most important things about yourself… how much time you need to study for that stupid biology test, HOW to even study for that stupid biology test, what to wear on a rainy day in Auburn, Alabama, what keeps you awake (legally) for more than 24 hours, what keeps you going when you’re having a bad day, what kinds of friends you want, what kinds of behavior you will tolerate people dishing at you.

You are now in charge of yourself, which can be an achievement or an obstacle in your path of growing up, depending on your background and maturity level. Having a roommate is just another contribution to your pile of experiences (lessons) to learn from.

Now, I’m no married woman, but I’m pretty sure that being married and being someone’s roommate are TOTALLY different things (thank goodness). It seems that probably the main difference between living with someone and living with someone you are married to is that when you are married to someone, you share the same life–you are still two different people, but you live together in a more complete sense. A roommate is someone you share a dwelling place with–someone you may or may not have a personal connection to. They have their life, and you have yours. They have their schedules, and you have yours. They have their friends, and you have yours. They have their food, and you have yours. They have their clothes, and you have yours. They have their money, and you have yours. They have their methods of doing things around the house, and you have yours. They have their….okay, you get it. But a lot of people don’t get that. (Those are the people who shouldn’t live with anyone… But they usually do.)

So, what I’m trying to say is, I hope your roommate experiences have been/are/will be great, even if they are not particularly pleasant. If you end up with the most miserable person–someone who legitimately loathes your existence, someone who insists on being angry about everything they can conjure up to be angry about, someone who wants to manipulate you for any reason, someone who refuses to work out problems unless it allows them to scream at you or feel superior to you, someone who pretends to be your friend and then stonewalls you at the first sign of a disagreement, etc.–don’t despair (easier said than done). Ride out things as much as you can, but learn yourself. Know your boundaries, and respect them. Others–the people who truly care about you and respect you–will follow suit. If your roommate is not one of those people who can respect you and your boundaries, get out if and when you can. Get out of that living situation, and get out of whatever relationship you have with that person because it is simply destructive and unhealthy. Even if you feel like a jerk initially, you won’t regret making that decision.

In a nutshell, those are my tips on establishing relationships in general, but it is especially useful for determining what you want/need in a living situation because living with someone can have a huge impact on your emotional and physical well-being, perhaps even more so than your closest friendships.

Extra Important Tip: If you are concerned about a situation to the point that you worry a person may physically harm you, and if you are taking physical precautions around that person (whether it is a male or female) you need to sever that relationship immediately. A person is not your friend if he or she gives you a reason to feel unsafe around them, emotionally or physically. Get out. And maybe even get help.

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Jelly Bellies and Mom Genes

I like most people. I can be around some more than others, but I generally get along with everyone, and I typically prefer for my life to proceed in that way.

However, there is one type of person—a type of female—that I have avoided like poison…since I was old enough to think.

This particular type of female has emerged in various unpleasant forms repeatedly throughout every single stage of my life. So, because all of their behavior started in early childhood, I will hereby refer to these females as…

“Baby Hoggers.”

You know those little girls who practically have someone’s baby in their arms the second they set eyes on the child? The girls all the moms call “sweet,” “caring,” and “motherly,” while you stand by, quietly and politely waiting your turn to hold the baby…if you are asked…because you know that sometimes asking questions is rude, and that’s not your baby anyway?

Those girls who don’t understand the concept of sharing very well and aren’t capable of making real friends because they’re too busy concentrating on what they want for themselves?

They will also likely take over the world one day…which will not be awesome. It will be terrifying. Because they will not actually know what they are doing.

Yep.

Yep.

Those girls are Baby Hoggers.

Things don’t really change as you grow up together either…

They just shift a little bit.

boy hogger

At some point they separate into two types:

Type 1—The one who hates you and bullies you until one of you dies.

Type 2—The one who suddenly and seemingly miraculously decides she LOVES you and wants to be your best friend ever until the day one of you dies.

They are still the same people. If I were to draw a Venn diagram out of them for you, this is what it would like:

Baby Hogger Venn Diagram

And just when you think adulthood has whipped some sense into these girls…

Scenario: Your “friend” discourages you from pursuing your awesome life goals because “you’re not cut out for that” or “that’s a terrible idea.”

Reality: no, she is not your friend, and she discourages you because she is jealous of you and is just looking out for #1. She wants all that awesomeness in life for herself, and unlike her, you actually have a brain that comes up with ideas. If she steals your ideas, she will take credit for them, expect you to worship her for it, and will not share anything in return…because she is a HOGGER.

Scenario: When you start a family, that “kind lady” begins to offer “suggestions” for how to raise your child—particularly at times when you are not asking for anyone’s advice.

Reality: She either wants everyone to think she is the best mother on the planet, or is a Supermom wannabe who is judging you so hard because… she is so jealous of you. She wants what you’ve got and doesn’t want you to have it at all. And, if she can get away with it, she will put you down as a mom to feel good about herself as a… not-mom. Fortunately for you, it seems to be socially unacceptable to tell other people how to raise their kids, so if you let her know who’s boss in your family matters real quick, you shouldn’t have too much trouble later…we hope, anyway.

In the end, what it all comes down to is this:

Baby hoggers want to suck all of the joy out of your soul, and they will do so in any way that comes easiest to them. Why? Because they want to hog your happiness. And why do they insist on not sharing? Because it’s actually not about being happy at all. It’s not about babies, boys, or even just being awesome. It’s simply about making everyone around them THINK they are awesome, can get all the boys, are the best babysitter/mom ever, and all other things that display an aura of success and coolness in life.

They will totally rock at making you think you are best friends forever… until they don’t get what they want from you. Then, they will immediately begin to bully you incessantly until they get what they want from you.

Here just a few ways you can expect them to attempt this:

  • They are easily irritated with everything, complain about everything, and have an opinion (usually a negative one) about everything you say or do.
  • They will insert just enough kind words to smooth over their negativity so that you’ll stay in their game.
  • They will try to tell you how you feel and try to convince you that you think certain things–things that actually never crossed your mind a fraction until they mentioned them.
  • They may suddenly give you the silent treatment as a punishment for something.
  • They may never actually end a silent treatment.
  • They hijack your friends and turn them against you. (This is an ultimate win for them.)
  • If you even barely resist them in any way, they will vehemently resist you, and you can certainly expect a threat or two when that happens.
  • They flawlessly suck up to everyone when their reputation/popularity is on the line.

If none of these (or other) methods succeed in manipulating you into getting them what they want, they will simply give up and abruptly leave your life or resent you and harbor bitterness toward you that builds every time they have to see your face.

That being said, girls….are nuts.

Choose your girl friends wisely.

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.

umbrella

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.

cookin

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.

    Guilty.

    …guilty

  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 carried...in 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!!! :)

ON AN ALUMNI HIGH!!! :)

I “Do”

After much thought and deliberation over my weird self and the things I need in life, this is the conclusion I’ve have come to:

When it comes to guys, I really just need someone who will treat me the way…

I treat my hair.

 

I mean, really…there has to be someone out there who will feel the same way about me as I feel about my hair. So…

 

Things I love about my hair that maybe someone will love about me:

 

1.       Every day is a new experience!

I never know if it’s going to cooperate with me or not, but I understand that it always has a way of its own, so I just let it do what it does! And because most of the time it does pretty okay, I can handle the bad days all right, too.

 

2.      It’s pretty great to have.

I’d be really gross without it…. ew.

So yeah! I really appreciate my hair!

 

3.      It’s always up for an adventure.

My hair is awesome for those Pinterest hair ideas where it looks like they took hours to create a formal “do.” It pretty much takes me like, five minutes.

 

7 bobby pins + 5 minutes = This

7 bobby pins + 5 minutes = this

 

4.       It sometimes makes other girls jealous.

Not that I advocate jealousy in any fashion, but the curls are a punch of power. They are literally and figuratively my crown.

 

5.       It has ombre layers.

It’s like it’s multidimensional… kind of like my personality!

 

6.       It’s soft and tough at the same time.

My hair goes through a lot every day and sometimes ends up in a majorly tangled mess. However, at the end of the day, after a nice hot shower and a tiny bit of pampering, it’s softer than any of my pillows. And it smells nice, too!

 

7.       It can grow.

Oh wait…

Haha! Okay, well in figurative terms, there’s always room for improvement. It’s never perfect and never will be, but it’s quite lovable anyway.

 

8.       It is committed to me.

It is stuck to me for life. And likewise, I wouldn’t trade my hair for anyone else’s.

 

9.       It’s fun and addicting to play with.

It’s like another pet. Sometimes when I’m lost in thought, or just bored, I’ll find myself twirling it, making mustaches with it, flipping it over my face. It’s also fun to tease.

 

10.   It’s worth the fight.

Everyone’s hair does not do compromises. But mine does!

And besides that, it’s simply the best… and I own it. :)

 

Haters gonna hate

Haters gonna hate.

In Hintsight

Not too long ago, I was talking with a couple of girl friends about how the creepiest guys will not leave us alone. We were especially concerned about a particular guy we know who comes across extremely desperate and then gets angry and defensive upon a girl rejecting him…a terribly serious red flag…but one of my friends told us that she told it to him straight. Yeah, she let him know how much of a creep he is. She said she has decided to do exactly that from now on when it comes to guys who can’t take a hint.

Why the thought to do this myself had never crossed my mind until then………….. I have no idea.

Since then, I have started practicing on being more upfront and telling it to them “like a man.”

* Note: The guy in the convo below is not one of the  “creeps”…just someone I am especially NOT interested in.

My responses in pink.

 

tell it to em straight