Dealing with the new freedom of college life: Staying safe and not giving your mother a heart attack.

Dealing with the new freedom of college life.
Staying Safe and Not Giving Your Mother a Heart Attack.

Everything is a buzz; you move into your shiny new suite in your college dorm and you think, “This is what they mean by ecstatic”. Every one is excited. Your new suite mate seems cool, and you have a kitchen and a bathroom all to yourself (that you have to share).

Technically it’s your first place, even if you visited before, it feels like a brand new city. A fresh start: fresh faces you look forward to mingling with, a tonne of freshman activities, party invites and how will you ever remember the names of those buildings or how to get to classes in them?! Breathe… It’s ok. One step at a time. Trust me, everything will fall into place as if nature intended it. In the mean time, lets cover some ground rules; things you should never lose sight of while living away from home, on campus.

Action Changes Things Acronym

A roommate/ suite-mate may not be such a bad thing after all.

Besides the guarantee of exercising your nerves at least three times a week, your roommate may actually make your freshman year a lot safer.

1. Take her/ his number down in your phone.

Tell your suite mate if you are going to a party or sleep over and when you will be coming back home. Even if you are going to the mall or visiting your family for the weekend, tell your suite mate your plans.

2. When you tell your suite mate your plans, text it to them, leave a message under her room door or call him/ her. Do not, I repeat, do not broadcast your message on the outer door for everyone to know your whereabouts. Thieves love that kind of information.

3. Please try to get along with your roommate, at least until both of you find other friends. This way you can buddy up together for a trip to the shuttle bus, “The Caf”, the library etc. especially if it is after dark.

4. If you have somehow managed to lose your suite key; do the right thing and alert your suite mate. You may have to bear some passive aggression or a short-term temper tantrum, but at least they can arrange to let you in safely.

5. Do not put tape, tissue paper, paper towel or any other ingenious device over your suite lock or in the door to allow “friends” into your suite. Just don’t do it.

Numbers you absolutely “have to have”. Check.

1. Campus shuttle. Check?

The campus shuttle is on your campus for a reason, use it, you are paying for it after all. After a late night at the library, call them ahead of time and ask them to notify you when they are outside the building. After a Frosh event or a party, instead of going into your new friends new ride (you both know you both have been drinking) buddy up and wait for the shuttle bus to take you to your dorm – in one piece. Check!

2. Campus police. Check?

The campus police aren’t just on campus for their good looks. If you feel you are being stalked, if you have been robbed or if someone has threatened your safety alert the campus police, they will document your claims, make a report and escalate the matter to the city police if necessary. Check!

“Hey wanna party with us?” Questions you must ask yourself before during and after you decide to party.

Before: Have a plan and stick to it as best as possible.

1. What time am I going to leave?

2. Who did I tell that I’m going to this party?

3. How will I be getting home?

During: be smart; know what to do and when it’s time to leave.

1. Should I be eating from this communal bowl of chips? Drinking from this communal bowl of rum punch?

2. I see illegal drugs being used… Should I be in proximity to this? Should I even be at this party?

3. Why is everyone running? Was that a bottle that just whizzed passed my head?

Alcohol does seem to bring out the “Inner Hulk” in some college kids; If a fight does break out, don’t try to intervene, don’t try to hold anyone back, just leave.

After: Mission; get home and get in safe.

1. Where are my room keys?

Always have your suite/house keys ready and available before getting to your suite/room.

2. Will I still able to get home as planned?

If not – call the campus shuttle and buddy up with a friend

3. Tell associates at the party that you are about to leave and with whom.

4. Do not allow anyone you do not know to come into your dorm behind you if they do not have an entry pass.

5. Make sure your dorm room locks behind you.

Finally… When you are in your dorm room safely:

Send a text or make a phone call telling your associate you are home safe.

Its funny how little details can have such importance. If people I knew paid attention to these simple things, lives would have been saved, and tremendous heartbreak could have been spared during my college years. I pass these gems on in the hope you will save your family some unnecessary heartbreak, and possibly help another college student, by passing it on to them.

It is not my intention that you become obsessively paranoid, but I would like you to be smart while enjoying your campus life. I know from experience that the best way to enjoy campus life, is to have the assurance that you are being as safe as possible.

I wish you all the best as you carve your mark on the world. Go forth, go safely and don’t forget to call your mother.

Did I miss anything? What safety measure did/do you take on campus that keeps/kept you safe? Please let me know in your comments below.

Written by: Julia V Matthews.

Top 11 quotes from 11 great authors!

All writers need to read great authors. We read them for inspiration, we read them to be exposed to great work and we read them to simply escape our own mental lives.

Along the way, we pick up nuggets of wisdom from the great writers we admire. Here are my very own – hand picked – freshly squeezed – top 11 quotes I grabbed along the way from my 11 favourite authors. Enjoy and please reply to this post with your ver own favourite quotes!

Realms Of The Mind

1. Maya Angelou.

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

2. Angela Carter.

“A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.”

3. Robert McKee.

“A fine work of art – music, dance, painting, story – has the power to silence the chatter in the mind and lift us to another place.”

4. David Sedaris.

“A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.”

5. G.K. Chesterton.

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”

6. Chuck Palahniuk.

“A good story should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart.”

7. Tom Bissell.

“A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to.”

8. Stephen King.

“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.”

9. Franz Kafka.

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”

10. Marcus Tullius Cicero.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

11. Margaret Atwood.

“A word after a word after a word is power.”

Well there you have it! My favourite quotes!

What about your favourite author? How has your favourite author inspired or enriched you along the way? Let us know, we want your insights!

Written By: Julia Matthew

All rights reserved.

Suicide Prevention Monologues. “Suicide Kills More Than Once”, Monologue 3.

Hello All!

As you may already know, I have composed a series of monologues from the point of view of suicide survivors (those left behind by suicide). I myself am a suicide survivor having lost dear friends to suicide. I came up with this concept as I I believe, in many cases, if the person that committed suicide knew the destruction and pain they would leave their families/loved ones in, they would think again, or at least seek help once more before committing suicide.

The concept and point therefore is “Suicide kills more than once”. I have lived it and have seen it, I know it does.

Welcome to the final in my series of The Suicide Prevention Monologues: “Suicide Kills More Than Once”

Suicide Kills more than once monologue 3.

Scene: Little girl she is swinging on a swing set by herself
“My auntie said it will get better… but I don’t think so … it hasn’t.

I go to bed and when I wake up before I open my I pray it was all a dream, but it’s true… it’s still true. There is a hole in my chest …(rubs a slow circle in her chest with her hand) right here.

I used to love our birthdays, we used to get excited for my birthday. it was always so special. Now the closest person to me is gone. My big brother is gone- he is gone and he never told me why.

I thought it was everything and one day we were going to go to Disney World, just me and him.

I thought it was everything- I would always tell him everything. Id tell him everything. But its gone now.

Everything changed. I hate walking home from school now!

He left me and I don’t – I can’t know why.

I don’t want to talk anymore.”

Abstract highly detailed textured grunge background. For creativ

To see the live performance of these monologues please go to: https://vimeo.com/92177379 and as always feel free to comment and share your insight.

Written and directed by: Julia Matthews.

All rights reserved.

Suicide Kills More Than Once. Monologue 2.

Hello Friends!

Welcome to the second in the series of my suicide prevention monologues.

As you may remember I have composed a series of monologues from the point of view of suicide survivors (those left behind by suicide). I myself am a suicide survivor having lost dear friends to suicide. I came up with this concept as I I believe, in many cases, if the person that committed suicide knew the destruction and pain they would leave their families/loved ones in, they would think again, or at least seek help once more before committing suicide.

The concept and point therefore is “Suicide kills more than once”. I have lived it and have seen it, I know it does. Again please feel free to lend us your insights on the matter and keep our conversation going. I believe there are no accidents in our beautiful friendly universe and maybe your comment will touch the heart of someone just in time.

Suicide kills more than once monologue 2.

Scene: Two are two dozen roses on the dining table in a tall crystal vase. They died before they could open.

Man elder brother 29 years:

“I would like to have a conversation with him now right now.

It’s like my arm is cut off and I’m still reaching – with a nub.

I don’t know – I still expect him to run down the stairs, I still expect to hear his voice.

I miss him so much, I miss him so much, I miss him so much

I just don’t understand why, I can’t get why, especially after we had such a good Christmas. Such a good new year. I don’t understand why.

Maybe I should have let him sleep down here…

Maybe he thought I didn’t love him

Maybe he thinks I don’t love him

That’s the only way he could have done what he did

Maybe he didn’t love me

If you love someone … it would be enough to stay?

No maybe he feels I didn’t love him.

I don’t understand.

I don’t get it.”

To see the live performance of these monologues please go to: https://vimeo.com/92177379 and as always feel free to comment and share your insight.

Have you lost someone by suicide? Have you contemplated suicide yourself? How was the experience for you?

Abstract highly detailed textured grunge background. For creativ

Written and directed by: Julia Matthews.

All rights reserved.

Suicide prevention monologues. Suicide Kills More than once.

Hello All,

I have composed a series of monologues from the point of view of suicide survivors (those left behind by suicide). I myself am a suicide survivor having lost dear friends to suicide. I came up with this concept as I I believe, in many cases, if the person that committed suicide knew the destruction and pain they would leave their families/loved ones in, they would think again, or at least seek help once more before committing suicide.

The concept and point therefore is “Suicide kills more than once”. I have lived it and have seen it, I know it does. Welcome to the first in my 3 part series.

Suicide kills more than once. Monologue 1.

Scene: Young woman, sitting on the edge of a bed, she has a picture in her hand. The picture is of her brother, she took that candid shot of him the night before he killed himself.

She stares at unframed photo in her hand.

“Did you know what you were going to do man?

…Did you know I would never see you again?

I had everything I needed….now the closest person to me is gone, all I needed was a little money….so that we could do more things… but everything was going to be good ….everything was good. I just don’t understand.

I remember when I took this picture – (chuckles) he turned to me and said – Man whyd-you take that picture!? (chuckles) and I said – what you mean why I took the picture? (chuckles) I love u man…..

I don’t know what I’m supposed to learn from this. I just don’t understand.”

To see the live performance of these monologues please go to: https://vimeo.com/92177379 and as always feel free to comment and share your insight.

Abstract highly detailed textured grunge background. For creativ

Written and directed by: Julia Matthews.

All rights reserved.