Preparing for College vs. Preparing for Graduate School

Taken from culpeperschools.org via Google images

Preparing for college was a rigorous process when I was in high school.  From the moment I entered the classroom for my junior year my instructors and advisors were talking about college.  They stressed how important it was to start looking at colleges and universities well in advance.  I remember having to join collegeboard.com where I could take an in-depth look at any university I wanted and fine tune my search to find the school for me.  However, now that I’m in college, I’ve been told that soon even a Bachelor’s degree isn’t going to be very much because anyone and everyone can go to college these days.  So, graduate school should be considered.

Soon after entering a university, I made the decision that I wanted to continue my education and attend graduate school.  I am now at the end of my junior year and I have come to find out that although there is a “college process” in most high schools, there is no “graduate school” process in college.  None of my advisors or teachers have spoken to me about graduate school.  It wasn’t until midway through my junior year that I realized I had to start looking into schools and the GRE before it was too late.  It’s not just my school either.  I have friends at schools in other states who have experienced the same issue.  In high school we were encouraged to go to college.  Now in college, we are not encouraged or influenced to go above and beyond in furthering our education.

I know that college is different from high school.  We’re adults now, not teenagers.  We don’t need anyone to hold our hands and push us to do something that we should take the initiative to do on our own (especially if it’s something we really want).  At the same time, I feel graduate school should still be mentioned and the major steps discussed so that students aren’t left in the dark.  Even after looking online I found no website that was the graduate equivalent of collegeboard.com.  After extensive research I did find my top two schools as well as a date to take the GRE.  However, it still would have been nice to receive some guidance in the process and be pointed in the right direction.

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Fat…But Not Too Fat

Taken from Billivorylarson.com via Google images

Weight loss, weight gain, exercise, diet…the subject of staying in shape has become a huge aspect of most people’s daily lives.  The pressure to be thin becomes more and more pressing by the day.  You can tell just by looking at Hollywood.  Many celebs either lose weight soon after getting famous or succumb to the pressure a bit later on.  Kelly Osbourne, Jennifer Hudson, Nicole Richie and Khloe Kardashian are just a few examples.  Sometimes it’s a healthy choice.  Jennifer Hudson, for example, looks amazing.  Look at Star Jones!  Mo’Nique also lost a great deal of weight.  Other times it isn’t such a healthy choice…I’ll leave names out of that one.  But how are we supposed to know the difference?

A doctor will probably have you check your BMI (Body Mass Index) to determine if you have a healthy weight.  A healthy BMI is from 18.5 to 25.  Twenty-five to thirty is overweight and over 30 is obese.  I have an issue with this system.  The BMI system is based on weight and height alone.  Everyone who is 5’2, as an example, does not have the same body type.  So why are they lumped into one standard of what their weight should be.  Granted, the system does leave room for differentiations (someone who is 5’2 can be from 101-136 lbs. to be considered normal), but I’m not sure it’s enough.  I knew a girl who was 5’5 and 172 pounds.  According to the BMI system she was overweight and getting close to the obese category.  When you looked at her she looked like a regular girl.  She did have extra pounds but she didn’t look too overweight.  I wouldn’t have guessed her BMI was so high.  Another girl I know is 5’5 and 155 pounds.  Most people I see on a regular basis are about her size.  She is what I see as normal but her BMI crosses into overweight as well.  I had a friend once who lost some weight (she was already skinny) and her mother actually started worrying for her health….but if you checked her BMI she was in the normal category.  I think something’s wrong with this.

I’m not saying we should completely ignore our doctors and BMI.  They are both helpful tools that can keep you healthy.  Nevertheless, if your BMI is 25-30 (overweight range)  I don’t think there’s a need to panic.  If you look in the mirror and like what you see, don’t stress it.  That said, let me add that we should all try our best to stay healthy.  Mo’Nique once said she was inspired to lose weight because her husband said she had gained too much to be healthy.  He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and didn’t want it shortened by avoidable health issues.  When weight gain gets to that point then, in my opinion, fast action should definitely be taken.  My point is: don’t let a BMI calculator or statistic get you down.  Do what’s healthy and comfortable for you.

Marriage In 2011?

So I want to talk about marriage in our modern-day.  This is a subject that has occupied my mind (as well as some friends) for quite some time.  Now its no secret that the U.S. has the highest divorce rate in the world, but why?  Most reasons I hear people use are that we no longer know what love means….I don’t think this is always the case.  Here are some reasons why I think the divorce epidemic is so out of control:

  1. Young and ignorant people think they’re in love after three months of infatuation and get married.  Then they have the audacity to be  shocked and depressed when a year later they’re in negotiations for a divorce.  Some say it takes a year to become truly emotionally attached to a person.  Some say it even takes two years before those unconditional feelings of love arise.  Either way, a couple of months DOES NOT make the cut.

    taken from thesocietypages.org via Google images
  2. Some people have completely lost sight of the fact that marriage was meant to be a lifelong contract.  I’ve seen many people comment on their marriage as if it’s something temporary.  I was watching Bridezillas on television and one woman said it was her “first wedding” so she wanted it to be special or something?….I wanted to ask her “I’m sorry but, are you planning on having a 2nd or 3rd?”.  I basically feel like people view marriage as something fun to do or something that will help them on their taxes, rather than a lifelong commitment.
  3. Then of course there’s the couple that fell in love, got married, thought it would be perfect but 5, 10, or 20 years down the road things start to fall to pieces.  They’re stressed, tired and angry.  They don’t have the time or patience to deal with each other so they get a divorce and claim they fell out of love.  Now naturally, not everyone is going to stay married.  Sometimes things just don’t work out.  However, I often see people hit rough patches and call it quits rather than try to work through things.  Our daily lives in 2011 are filled with so many stressors and obstacles, that we just can’t handle coming home to excess issues.  So we give up.

Now why is this subject so important to me that I had to make it my first post?  I WANT TO GET MARRIED PEOPLE!!  I have always wanted a very large and close-knit family.  It would be fairly easy for me to get married but it feels almost impossible that I will find someone in this day and age that values the institution of marriage as much as I do.  I was raised to understand that marriage is for life.  I want someone with those same values who won’t ask me for a divorce when the going gets tough.  Is that so much to ask?

Apparently it is because most people I know say they either don’t want to get married or aren’t sure, especially the guys.  Many people in my age group don’t even believe in marriage.  At an age when our parents were married with a baby on the way (not saying it was always right), we are instead out living the single life until age 29 and then wondering why we’re in our 30’s and struggling to start families.  I just feel like my generation is in need of a reality check.  If you don’t understand what marriage is then please don’t get married.  You’re worsening the divorce rate!  If you do want to get married and have a family, maybe you shouldn’t wait until the last-minute.  Freedom is great when your young.  I’m young and I don’t plan to settle down any time soon.  However, I don’t allow my temporary fun and freedom to make me forget my LONG TERM goals.