A Letter to the True Millennial: What I Wish I Would Have Learned Before College

Clare Vaterlaus A True Millenial during Freshman Year

Dear True Millennial,

First of all I must say congratulations for graduating from High School. There were many people who probably did not think that would happen, and if it did it was because you were entitled to that diploma. Well even if you got it out of sheer luck or a teachers admiration for you, that is all about to change. You are now headed to college (I hope). Growing up, constantly being feed information through the media, the true millennial’s know college to be three things: Party, Opposite Sex,and Party, maybe with some acapella groups intermixed. Those are things I know will interest you, but must not consume you. I was told many times prior to my entrance of the university that do what you want during your freshman year, and use the next few to make up for it. I did this, and I did it well. In consequence my GPA was a 2.5, I was on academic probation about to lose my scholarship,failed math 1050 (real shocker I know), and had seen friends hurt to what seemed to be the point of no repair. I spent the next three years making up for my freshman year, and I wish I hadn’t.

Freshman year is a year of firsts. Most of you leave home, move to a new place, have roommates, cook for yourself, work, and have complete control of your time use. This is where I faltered. During my first semester I spent a lot of time hanging out with people, dating, and even more time on the internet and watching television…because I could (and PINTEREST wasn’t even big yet). I saw that my roommates didn’t always go to class, and that meant I didn’t have to…right? I never once thought about the consequences of skipping class, until I had to retake Math 1050. I treated school as if it was an ongoing vacation.

That is when I decided I needed to take my education into my own hands and be responsible for my life. I set up study schedules, I met with advisors, and even got a job to make myself more productive. I can tell you the year’s I worked in college were the ones I received better grades. I spent every day in the free math tutoring room and finished every assignment. I learned that in college you could not just talk your way out of an assignment, and the consequence of not completing it would be an F. These things became a reality.

Everyone says you will always be best friends with your freshman roommates and you will never lose contact. This is false. I would still consider myself friends with the girls I lived with but haven’t talked to most of them in years. We would see each other occasionally on campus after freshman year, and even then it was a few brief words, we had all found our niches elsewhere. Out of the 6 girls I lived with there is one that I still talk to on a regular basis. The memories are important and I will never forget them. I would advise you to hit up the school events, sneak into the fountains to swim, and stay out late some times…but don’t let that take over the main focus, your education.

It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I started to figure out college. I had declared a major and realized that upper division classes required a lot of time and energy. I learned that not all teachers do want you to succeed, they wanted to weed the weak out. I learned that you must fight for your education. Finally during my final semester during my senior year that I felt like I had mastered college ( at least a little bit). I was taking 19 upper division credits my final semester and was doing an internship. I had to dedicate almost all of my time and effort so I could graduate in four years. The final outcome was straight A’s and I had made it on the Dean’s list with a Bachelors Degree.

I never would have thought I would make the Dean’s list. After freshman year I honestly thought I would never really graduate college, but I did. Use your college years to seek out networking opportunities, learn from your professors who will turn into mentors, and use the time to explore many different classes. I would have never found my passion for computers unless I had taken Cyber Security, which started off as a joke. Join honor societies, clubs, and volunteer. Build yourself up so when you do graduate there is a reason to hire you. My education has prepared me, and now I am working full time in a great job that has everything a fresh college grad could ask for, and more. Now the reality of having a “grown up” job, that’s a whole different letter….

Love,

A True Millennial, BS

Clare Vaterlaus A True Millenial Graduate

There is a God in this Darkness

usa_boston_bombing_mcx09_35250655 imagesThis past week many have questioned if there is a God. WHY do bad things happen!? It is never easy to see a life leave this earth, my heart goes out to all those who lost their lives and their families who are left behind to remain strong. What I have figured out for myself is that God gives each person agency. We come to earth and we can do whatever we want, that was the plan that was selected. It does not make peoples decisions good ones though. We may not ever fully understand the WHY but what we can rely on is that we will receive justice in Heaven for all of the wrongs done to us on earth. sonicAs I pondered those who lost their lives both in the marathon massacre as well as the unfortunate explosion in Texas I was reassured that there is a LOVING Heavenly Father that is meeting them and embracing them. His children are home. I was amazed at the stories of the GOOD PEOPLE who helped after these tragedies. Many kept running to give blood, held arteries to preserve life, offered their homes, and prayed. There are good people in the world. The good will always outweigh the bad if we look for it. Bad things are going to continue to happen there is nothing we can do to stop it, but what we can do is turn to God and rely on his love and his plan.

The Garden

threegirls Me- Chloe-Summer

thegardenAs a college student I try to stay as cultured as one can, without smelling like rotten milk… (that was a joke) I went to the play “The Garden”  staring one of my good friends Chloe Hanson. We tend to support ex-roommates, and that is exactly what she is. She has been doing quite a few plays with the Four Seasons Theater here in Logan Utah (link). This play was representing what Christ went through in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was a great representation of what our Savior went through for us. Everyone who was in the production was dressed in all black, which is my favorite color. Satan was well portrayed, maybe to good… The play is written by the infamous Michael McLean  who wrote “The Forgotten Carols.” I saw that play for the first time this last Christmas and loved it. This play is much shorter, and also has a great meaning to it. I know that my Savior suffered the Atonement for me, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t use it. I am very proud of Chloe and her hard work, it was fun to see her thrive on stage!

 

My Life On an E-Card

mylife This E-CARD describes my every day life. I have been told multiple times that I am a blunt person, my question is, why does everyone think it is such a bad thing!? I try VERY hard not to be offensive, but why lie to someone just to make yourself look better, or them feel better?

Lets be honest….(no pun intended)… Everyone is thinking the truth but not everyone shares it. Now occasionally there are some miscommunications that occur and that’s life. Forgive and Forget or just pick new friends who have the same sarcasm as you.

In my Organizational Communication class one of our final papers is titled the “honesty paper.” We are supposed to go two days with complete honesty. I have been going for two days and have tried to be hyper aware of my honesty, and have said things that I had to take back because I had exaggerated them, or added to the story, but it was never intent of my message that had to be altered. I am not saying that I am AMAZING at telling the truth… But this exercise has helped me a lot, who knew what you learned in college could actually be useful? Try it out and let me know your experiences… or not whatever…

Blowing The Yoke

egg14RJBVttTz27LoDT2_86n5hIlsMG0MLri7OkQbavAfMsI know this is a little late…However it is still a great activity to do on a date, with kids, or if you are a trumpet player… An Easter tradition that my family participates is commonly refereed to as “blowing eggs.” I know it sounds absolutely disgusting, because honestly it kind of is… I realize now that my mother had us to this as a child to keep up busy and distracted for ours. She is the MASTER OF DISTRACTION, which makes her a wonderful mother. What you do is take just a regular egg and stick a pin or sewing needle through the top and bottom of the egg, and then you blow the yoke out. (I have included a gallery if you just don’t believe me). After, the eggs insides have been completely eliminated wash that sucker out and dry it off. After you apply tiny scrapes of tissue paper using water and glue.

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It has become tradition for Rica to join my family for Easter while living in Utah. I begged her to come so we could participate in this awkward tradition. We were joined by my roommate Amanda and her Alaskan friend Kaylie and my brother who is not pictured. It was a great Easter full of friends, family and food! We only suffered one broken egg this year, I guess it was an Easter miracle…

Until Next Year Eggs!

This is the gallery of Freshman Year Easter

Sold- Human Sex Trafficking

images In January I went on a road trip with my brother and sister to Boise. On our drive we listened to this book. As we got into the car my brother asked if we wanted to listen to a human sex-trafficking book, sounded cheery…said no one ever. My sister and I accepted, and the story of Lakshmi begin to unravel in the novel Sold. She was a 13 year who lived with her family in a tiny hut in the mountains of Nepal. Her family is poor and is in desperate need of financial aid. Lakshmi’s step father introduces her to a stranger who is supposedly going to help her become a maid for a wealthy woman in the big city. Her step father sells her to this lady, and she is swept into the abusive trade of sex-trafficking. It is a eye opening book of a harsh reality. I found it intriguing in concurrence with my Child Abuse & Neglect class I am currently taking here at USU. I would highly recommend it, with the warning the book is about sex, and it is not always pleasant…. but it is definitely worth making it to the end, I won’t ruin it for you!

What are your thoughts on this book?

Buy the Book HERE

 

Newspaper Famous…

USU panel discusses women in STEM classesHere at Utah State I have had multiple opportunities to get involved. This was one of my favorites. I was invited to speak on a Panel of Women in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math). I don’t have a direct degree in any of these, but I do focus on Technology, in the Social Media Fields. We watched the film “Gender Chip Project,” which followed young women in college and the challenges they faced. I was able to share the challenges I faced while trying to break into Computer Science. Instead of waiting around for them to give me my power, I took my power and went a different direction. I loved being part of something that included my love for technology and women’s and gender studies. I was grateful for the opportunity, and encourage women to go for what they want! To never let something such as their sex hold them back, but do it and do it right! Check out the FRONT PAGE article here USU STEM PANEL …. Some of the information is wrong, bad journalism…. I work for Echelon Group Inc. in Boise Idaho.

Climbing in the Cold

firstoftheyearYesterday was one of those days where life was just too much. I only have 36 days left of college, and the tests and papers are beginning to pile up. Trying to balance all of that and work is not always the easiest. The pressure yesterday just hit me. I decided the best way to distress was to go climbing, to forget about homework, work, and boys. It was perfect. The rock was freezing, and my toes were cold. But I climbed! We had gone up Logan Canyon, and taken a 15 minute hike to get to the wall. It was snowy, muddy, and so pretty! It was a good climb for the first time this year. As the semester ends all I can think is I better live up my “Free-Ness” while I can! Soon I will be a working woman..

firstoftheyear2

Gendered From Birth

bubbleI am coming to the end of my final semester… Only 43 days until I get to put on the classic black robes and receive my degree. I am currently taking my last Women’s and Gender class so I can obtain a Certificate in the subject. Our assignment was to go find pictures and a create a media presentation to depict how we were gendered from birth. Everyone has a gender identity, and is who they are because of it. During Spring Break I was able to go through HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of photographs (my mother conned me into sorting through everyone’s-that 7 other peoples). It was fun to reminisce from childhood to now. I saw that my parents loved me, that my siblings and loved to play together. I found some classy pictures and edited them all and added some jazzy ones from the in.ter.net. Watch the video, see my past, check out my mullet, and see my skills… To my personal view of FEMINISM.

Media Has Messed Me Up!

 

I am a media buff, I mean seriously quiz me about Netflix and I could totally nail it. (Maybe I shouldn’t be proud of that…) In some of my classes we have talked about the effect that media has had on my generation and the ones after us. I have decided to take a satirical approach on it. Why not embrace it!? I might as well right? I decided I wanted to start posting more videos to YouTube. Enjoy my videos, and I promise I am not this dumb…. I am just adding to the insanity! And lets be honest, its just funny….