by Ryan Conner
As discussed in my last post, I aim to hit topics that we never fully discuss. Things we all know everyone is dealing with; however, we are never willing to be vulnerable enough to bring them out into the open. This topic is one that I think is on everyone’s Pinterest board yet never the topic of conversation. As always, I will be bringing forward my experience and I hope you are willing to do the same.
Altered Carbon: Body Awareness and Loving your Sleeve
Altered Carbon: Body Awareness and Loving your Sleeve
For my fellow cyber-punk and sci-fi fans, you are probably already well aware of “Altered Carbon,” both the book and the Netflix series. For those you that are not, the premise of the show is based around a future where the human conscious is contained in disk at the base of the skull. It essential allows humans to switch their sleeve/body. As you can image billionaires, sorry I mean “people of wealth,” are able to live forever and the Catholics hate it. A very believable future, if you ask me. The show follows around the main character, Kovacs, as he tries to solve a murder mystery. If you have time, I would recommend both the book and the show.
One of the many themes of both is how Kovacs inner demons continue to follow him and his trouble recognizing himself in his new sleeve. It does not matter how many times he has switched bodies. His inner demons are always brought along with him. Simply put, there was no running away from who he truly was. He could change his appearance, but the rest was the same. Now must of us do not have the same luxury of being able to fully change our body. We only have one. I do not say that in the generic form of a middle school principal telling you not to do drugs, but I say it as a simple statement of fact. You only have one body and there is only one body like yours.
When we all look into the mirror, I doubt there is very many of us that find it a pleasant experience. No doubt, there are moments when we find ourselves attractive. Not often enough though. Was the last time you looked in the mirror a positive experience? Was it you slowly nitpicking everything you hate about the way you look? I bet for most of us, it was the second. For something as precious and rare as our own body, we never give it enough value. Find the worth in your sleeve and learn to deal with our own inner demons.
Since we were all young, we have been told beauty is on the inside. That is the truth. A large portion of beauty is found in our soul and who we are as people. Saying that is the only factor we judge someone’s beauty is not being in touch with reality. I do not say this simply as a superficial twenty-three-year-old man but as someone who accepts the truth. Outward appearances matter; having good looks can get you far in life. It is the same as someone being 6’ 9” is going to have an easier time learning to dunk than someone 5’ 10”. It is a matter of fact.
What is interesting is how each person defines outward beauty. A ten for someone can be a two for someone else. The Hilary Swank concept, if you will. This means that outward beauty is a person by person basis. The only person’s opinion about our beauty that should matter is our own. Unfortunately for many of us, this is the most negative opinion regarding our body. The average person walking down the street is not going to notice that one blemish, which you have hyper focused on since you were in middle school. They really could not care less about it. I know for myself, I have trouble with my weight. I would say to a toxic level. It does not matter how much I diet or exercise; the person looking back at me in the mirror is the same fat thirteen-year-old. No one sees that picture of me in their head except for me, yet it is the false truth that I continue to hold onto undying.
This blog post is not about a magic fix to love your body, because it is a daily struggle. For many of us, we strive for perfection in every aspect of our lives. That is both a blessing and a curse; we never feel like we have reached our zenith. While that may be fine with school or work, it is not the way we should dealing with our health or our body image. Because there is no true perfection regarding a person’s body. Everyone can tell you what they hate about their body in under three-seconds. I am not putting this out there as a massive vibe killer; I am putting it out there because we all need to know that bodies our freaking awesome. If medically healthy, you have no reason to hate your body.
Regardless, there are some aspects of our bodies we are going to want to change. If you want to color your hair, then color your hair. If you want to get tattoos, then spend some time thinking it over and get some tattoos. If you need plastic surgery to boost your confidence, then there is no shame in doing something for yourself that helps you. Basically, forget what everyone else is trying to define your appearance as and define it yourself.
Until we are fully comfortable with our own appearance, our own sleeve, we are not going to truly happy and deal with our inner demons. Now, you are probably saying: “Ryan, that is super obvious why even write a long blog?” First, drop the sassafras. The reason is most of us still look outwards for affirmation. We go fishing for compliments or we waste time on Tinder/Bumble just looking for people to declare they like our appearance. It may appease some of us for the short term but clearly it is not the long-term solution. At least, it is not the long-term solution in my experience.
I am at a point in my life where I have used women time and time again in an attempt to define my worth. You can find some worth in a relationship for around the first four to five month. After that point, I find you are not able longer to hide away from your demons. It did not matter how much they would tell me I was not fat, or how I was attractive. I would only see it as lies. I am still working on tackling my inner demons. I still trying to rundown that fat thirteen-year-old, and he is surprisingly fast!
That is where it all begins though. It begins with being painfully honest with yourself and starting to fight those inner demons. One post is not going to be enough to vanquish your inner demons. One does not simply walk into Mordor. One does begin to get a handle by taking a long look in the mirror and giving that person an easier time. The person you spend the most time with is yourself, so make sure that you like you; make sure that you are nice to you. You are one hot piece of ass, own it!
All in all, I would say many of us are getting to the age where we stare into the mirror and begin to wonder how we got to this moment. Some of us may not recognize our current sleeve but that does not mean the person inside is different. It truly sucks but you must be sure to fight everyday to ensure that you and your sleeve are one. Change it however you need to, because if it makes you happy, fuck the rest of them. You do not want to wake up one day and not know who is looking in the mirror.
Getting involved is one of the most important parts of being a college student, but with over 550 organizations it can be tough deciding what to join. Selecting 3-4 organizations to get involved with can help you network, socialize, build your resume, and also impact your life in ways you never expected. Check out a List of all the active TTU orgs here
I joined Global Brigades as a junior and had no idea what to expect, but after fundraising all semester I was able to go to Honduras and serve the underprivileged members of their community. We spent 3 days in clinic treating patients and built eco-stoves in the community of San Julian on the last day. It was the most humbling and eye-opening experience I have had in college and I cannot wait to go back!
Here are some tips on how to start finding organizations to join on campus!
First pick at least one organization that has to do with your future career. These organizations are some of the most important because they will help you with job applications and allow you to network with people in your field.
Next you should find an organization you want to join for fun. It can be a book club, sorority/fraternity, ag club, fashion club, or anything else that interests you. These will allow you to make new friends who share similar interests!
Finally apply for honor societies because they are great for networking and building your resume. (Heather is the Golden Key Advisor) Once you have joined organizations be sure to take advantage of all the benefits they provide!
Just remember a few things:
by Conner Atnip
The best tip that I have is : Utilize the student wellness center. These services are included in tuition and include an amazing massage chair that can be reserved for an hour, as well as group and individual counseling. Counseling is something I firmly believe anybody will benefit from, because if nothing else it allows structured self reflection and learning that helps develop yourself. This may be the only time these resources are available to you at no cost so take advantage of them and take care of yourself!
More Information on
Student Health Services
Health Safety and Wellness
Student Wellness Center
About the Alumni
About the Alumni
About the Alumni
by Pradeep Attaluri
Don’t be shy! College can be a huge change from high school and that can put a lot of stress on you. The best remedy for stress is good friendships that you know will be there for you in tough times. That’s why it’s so important to go out of your comfort zone and make friends early on in school. Go join extra curriculars, talk to your neighbors, talk to your classmates. These will be lifelong friends who you will laugh with forever!
Don’t procrastinate! Life is so much easier if you have a checklist for all of your classes everyday - and crossing them off on a daily basis is so helpful. You won’t ever have to deal with the stress of the test the night before!
About the Alumni
Hi, me, Rebekah Lackey, again!
In this post, I am going to talk about a not so fun topic: stress. I would really like to tell you that college isn’t stressful, but I can’t do that. College is a fairly large life change, and while this change is very good, it can result in feelings of being utterly overwhelmed. The good news, however, is that I am going to give you some ideas on how to relieve this feeling!
Take Care of YOU
My first tip would be to take care of your body physically. This means exercising in some fashion. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous. Take a walk, go swimming, do some yoga, something of that nature. You cannot forget to eat well throughout the day (do NOT skip meals like I tend to do). Also, please, please be getting enough sleep. I promise you that while pulling an all-nighter trying to cram for an exam might seem like a good idea, it will not be beneficial to you.
Lay Out the Game Plan
Next, make a plan and write it down. Between assignments, papers, exams, student organizations, and having a social life, your days can get busy! Get a planner (you’ll get one from the Terry Foundation) and actually use it! At the beginning of each semester, I look at each syllabus and write every assignment and test date that’s available. I like to color code each of my things to keep it more organized.
Before each week, I try to come up with a game plan on what I need to work on each day, and divide the workload out throughout the week so I’m not so stressed at the end. I don’t always get this weekly plan written, but I can guarantee that the weeks I do have one, I’m not as overwhelmed.
Make time for yourself, and do things you enjoy. For me, it was painting (and taking lots of trips to Sonic with my roommates). Maybe for you it would be working out, or hanging out with your friends, or reading a book, or even just taking a nap. Remember that it is okay to take a break from your school work, and life in general, to decompress. It’s not a bad thing to focus on yourself for a little bit.
Talk it Out
One of the most important things in my opinion is to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally. Stress can take a big toll on you, and please just know that you are not alone. Do not be hesitant to reach out to your family, your friends, and your fellow Terry’s. These are people who genuinely care about you and your well-being, so talk to these people if you’re struggling! You will be living in a hallway full of Terry’s that are probably struggling just as much, so help each other! Venting can do a whole lot of good. In turn, if you see another Terry (or anyone for that matter) struggling, do not be afraid to check on them and make sure they’re okay.
People come to college to get a quality education to later on become successful in a career. But, college isn’t just all about that part. College is a new and challenging experience. You learn things about life and about yourself. It’s fun and exciting, and it really will be some of the best times you’ve had.
Stress makes it hard to learn and experience and enjoy those things though.
So, having said that, my final words of advice are this:
Remember that your grades don’t define you as a person;
Remember to never be afraid to say “help;”
Remember to take good, loving care of yourself because you are worth it.
You’re about to attack an army of savage barbarians.
They stand 7 feet tall, are bloodthirsty and carry weapons far superior to yours. Oh yeah, and you’re outnumbered 3 to 1. But you’ve got to do it. If you don’t, they’re going to invade your village soon and destroy everything you love, including your family.
Standing on the shores of their land, you look back at your men who are all shaking in their boots. Each one of them being careful not stray too far from the boats as they await your command.
You’re grateful for those boats. They’re your safe haven. You can still turn back you know. You could also start the fight and run back to the boats if everything goes awry.
Suddenly you realize that you’re doomed to die unless you take decisive action as a leader. You walk over to the boats and burn them. Some of your men faint in a total panic; others begin splashing water on the boats to try and put the fire out.
But it’s no use. You’re stuck here.
Now what? You’re men look at you with an eye of desperation and sheer dependence. The only thing to do now is march forward and find a way to make it work.
That's why we burn the boats when we land on the beach.
Because the only way out is through
You want to win at "doing" college. I want you do do well too. That’s why I’m here with you. But you’ll never win if you’re taking a half-baked approach.
If you’re going to build a legacy, set the standard, leave your mark - you need to burn the boats. .
It's pretty easy to bail out of a course (especially an "easy A" online course that no one even knows you signed up for). Easy to quit your job, not follow through with your commitments, or give up on a relationship.
In the moment, walking out is precisely the best short-term strategy. Sometimes this place is too hard, too unpleasant, too much...
The thing is, though, that the long-term strategy might be the opposite. The best long-term approach might be to learn something, to tough it out, to engage with the challenge. Because once you get through this, you'll be different. Better.
We always have a choice, but often, it's a good idea to act as if we don't.
The only thing to do now is march forward and find a way to make it work.
by Heather Medley
Many will move back to Lubbock, back into the Residence Halls, back into being in charge of themselves very soon. Arthur Chickering's Seven Vectors theorize the "tasks" that students must go through while developing their identity. The third of those vectors expects students learn to operate on their own, and take responsibility for themselves. Moving to college certainly aids in achieving those goals. In higher education, we look for emotional and instrumental independence as signs of maturing into adulthood.
As early as two children start differentiating themselves from others and take greater control over their lives. As they start to sound like the sea gulls in Finding Nemo, chirping, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” children start to choose to operate on their own.
For many college students the realization of just how independent they have become during the first year of college is obvious, like the neon signs on the strip in Las Vegas when they move home for the summer. Nothing feels the same. Nothing "fits". The same rules don't apply. They can't. Students come home different. Changed. More Independent.
It is important for students to find emotional and instrumental independence.
Growing and becoming your own person is scary and for many quite a daunting task. The ability of a student to willingly risk relationships of those who are close to them in exchange for pursuing their own individual interests or convictions is emotional independence. Some scholars leave families who do not necessarily support their student’s college decision. Many students leave their hometowns, all of their friends, and chase their dreams to Raiderland. That can be terrifying.
While leaving one support network, Terry scholars fall right into a new one in Lubbock. Tech Terry’s have a phenomenal amount of non-parental adults who support them. From the President’s Office to Student Housing and from the Scholarship Office to the Dean of Students, everyone at Texas Tech supports Terry Scholars. Scholars encourage other scholars too.
It's true: Adolescents really do want to jump off a bridge just because their friends are doing it. However, to be emotionally independent is to be free of pressing needs for reassurance and approval from others. The beautiful part of the pressure is that pressure from peers has the ability to work in both directions. As a Terry Scholar, students are called, “scholars” from day one and treated like they’re special, expected to behave and preform as such. All of which helps move students to find their emotional and instrumental independence.
The ability to cope with problems without seeking help; being self-directed is instrumental independence. Interdependence involves recognizing and accepting your interconnectedness with others. From the day a scholar receives “the letter” they are ushered into a group, a Terry Family, full of other scholars who are excited to welcome them and help them. They are interconnected even as strangers from that day.
Moving through this vector through autonomy toward interdependence, students can manage the tensions between the need for independence and the need for acceptance, along with respecting the uniqueness and independence of others. The successful achievement of this vector involves learning how to be emotionally independent. This includes becoming free from the consistent need for comfort, affirmation, and approval from others. Individuals also see growth in problem solving abilities, initiative, and self-direction. They begin to understand that they are part of a whole. They are autonomous, but interdependent on others in society.
When this happens, year after year, as scholars are invited into the group, it’s a beautiful thing.
by Megan Foltz Crawford
So, you’re going to college. Are you nervous? You should be. College is a huge opportunity! But, it gets better! You are a Terry Scholar! Howard Terry was blessed with a football scholarship to the University of Texas and then wanted to pass his blessing on to all of us! The only thing you must do is give back. Simple enough. You’ve obviously have had experience giving back, since that was one of the requirements to being a candidate for a Terry Scholarship. (Know what the requirements are because you will be asked at orientation.) But, wait have you thought about yourself? There is a Terry type, one who cares about others and only wishes to make the world a better place.
Rule One: Be yourself. Always.
“The greatest risk any of us will take, is to be as we are.” -Cinderella
I came to college with the idea I had it together, and my entire small town also thought I had it together. That wasn’t the case. I was an emotional mess and held everything in. I mean everything. I only told people what they needed to know and I did not need help from anyone. I was wrong. I didn’t even know myself, because I had never shared my true self at the risk of others judging me. Once I meet my Terry family (Shout out to y’all!) I was finally able to open up and be the person God wanted me to be.
Rule Two: Take care of yourself