aid package


Ohio quadruplets pick Yale over Harvard

  • The quadruplet brothers who were all accepted to both Yale and Harvard announced on Sunday that all four of them will attend Yale together.
  • The decision wasn’t easy for the 18-year-old Wade brothers — Zach, Nigel, Nick and Aaron — who hail from Ohio’s Liberty Township near the Cincinnati metro area. 
  • They received offers from a combined 59 schools, according to NBC.
  • NBC News reported after a campus visit to Yale and an “extraordinary” financial aid package, the university’s appeal was too good for the brothers to pass up.
  • “I absolutely enjoyed the people and the social environment and appreciated the strong arts and humanities at Yale,” Aaron Wade told NBC. Read more (5/1/17)

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Need more financial aid from your dream college? Here are 3 ways to get additional money.

It’s college acceptance letter time. Mid March to April 1 is typically when most high school seniors are notified whether they got into college — and how much financial aid they’ve been offered, if any. It can be stressful, especially if you didn’t get as much financial aid as you need. 

But it turns out you may be leaving money on the table. Here are the three major ways you can make your case to get more aid — and how to do it. 

1. Show that your financial situation has changed.

The easiest way to negotiate more financial aid for college, Peeler said, is by making the case that your financial situation has shifted since you filled out initial paperwork.

“The FAFSA is based on your tax returns. It’s just a moment in time, but shit happens during the year,” Kelly Peeler, founder of NextGenVest, a startup that helps seniors navigate the financial path to college, said. “Say your parents had medical bills because there was an accident, or your mom who is the breadwinner lost her job. That would dramatically change the income, which would affect your financial aid package.”

If that’s the case for you, the first thing to do is update your forms. Then, write an appeal letter — typically less than a page, addressed to the college’s financial aid office — outlining how your financial situation has changed.

2. Play to a college’s competitive streak.

If you’re in the same financial shape as you were when you applied to college, you still might be able to get more money, Peeler said — particularly if your school of choice really wants you to attend. Since colleges often see regional schools as their main competition, Peeler explained, you can write to the college and tell them you’ve got other options in the area.

“If you got into Boston University, Boston College and Northeastern, but Northeastern gave you more money,” Peeler said, “you should go back to [the other two] and say you’d rather go there but that you got more money elsewhere.”

3. Circle back for leftovers.

A final tactic you can try is following up with a school once they have a better idea of who’s actually coming. The best time to do this, Peeler said, is right after the deposit’s due.

“When a university gets all of their deposits for their first tuition payments, they have a better idea of who is actually attending,” she said. “Sometimes the enrollment numbers are lower than they expected.” READ MORE 

Ten Ways To Pay For College Right Now

Sometimes, the hardest part is simply knowing where to begin. Here are some tips:

1) Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, even if you don’t think you’ll qualify.

2) Apply for national grants. Options include Pell Grants, Academic Competitiveness Grants and National SMART Grants.

3) Apply for local scholarships. Civic organizations and religious institutions often have meaningful amounts of aid to dole out.

4) Getting into more than one school translates to a higher likelihood of receiving a big financial aid package.

5) Bargain! Even schools that only provide need-based aid sometimes come up with drastically different offers.

6)  AmeriCorps, Peace Corp, National Health Services Corps and ROTC programs offer college money in exchange for a service commitment.

7) Look abroad. At Scotland’s St. Andrews, U.S. students pay only $21,650.

8) Stay home. Starting out at a low-cost community college and transferring to a four-year college for the final two years will wipe away a hefty chunk of room and board costs, as well as some tuition.

9)  The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are two excellent options.

10)  Don’t forget to consult your local expert – guidance counselors are often aware of options you may not have considered; best of all, their help is free.

Read more.
French Guiana strikes lifted after aid package agreed with Paris
Deal worth €2.21bn brings end to general strike spearheaded by coalition of 37 unions that had brought productivity in the territory to a halt

Activists in French Guiana have lifted strikes that crippled the territory for almost a month after the government in Paris pledged an aid package worth billions of euros.

A general strike by 37 unions has paralysed the French territory in South America, with locals pressing for a “Marshall plan” along the lines of the huge US economic support given to help western Europe to recover after the second world war.

An AFP journalist said the government and the collective spearheading the protests signed a deal in Cayenne late on Friday, just two days before France’s presidential election. Under the accord, the French government pledged to provide €2.1bn (£1.85bn) in aid to the territory but did not give a precise timetable for its implementation. The amount would be in addition to just over €1bn in emergency funding agreed in early April but which the movement considered insufficient.

France’s overseas territories minister, Ericka Bareigts, hailed the deal as “a defining day” for the territory’s future.

Ayyy! Victory to the Guianese workers! 

Fallout pt. 1 | Jungkook

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 |

Masterlist | Fallout Masterpost + Trailer

Genre: Mature | Angst | Post-Apocalyptic AU

Pairing: Jungkook x Reader

Length: ~4k

Synopsis: After the bombs fell, there was nothing on the world besides grey; grey skies, grey pastures, and grey people. The world had been devastated, and the sole motor of your every action was pure instinct because, deep inside, you only wished you had died with the majority of human kind. There was no good people left in that world, not even you, and when his dark figure hovered over you and brought you forcefully with him you confirmed it.

They were no good either.

TW: MATURE CONTENTS | Swearing, mentions of abuse/rape, blood, violence, gore, “zombies”, sexual contents/references

A/N: ED | I’m editing the series slowly because this is one of the first things I EVER wrote and I’m not 100% satisfied with it! Bear it with me while I edit this monster and pray for my soul :)

(*) If you see an ED is that the chapter has been edited and that I’m one step closer to feel proud of this story.

Originally posted by plumpark

It was unbearably hot, and it was not because the weather was acting against you or that September was still reluctant to leave summer behind. The stifling sensation you felt had a very simple explanation. You had been running through the forest for what felt like hours, until sweat had drenched your already malodorous clothes and your legs felt like they would collapse at any moment if you did not stop.

Only when the feebleness of your limbs became unbearable you allowed your body to give up and your knees to meet the damp soil. You had an excuse, though. For the third day that week you had heard the barely audible creak of brittle leaves not far from your position, a sound so faint you should not have been able to perceive it, but that somehow had completely changed the atmosphere of the woods you were crossing by. After you heard that sound, your stance was no longer relaxed and you always kept a tight grip over your bow and an arrow on the rest, ready to fly.

You were being followed, you knew it with as much certainty as you knew there was a ground under your feet and a leaden sky over your head, and whoever was chasing you was very good at it. That person was proficient enough to surpass your own ability, and that was a very dangerous possibility.

In the deafening silence that had conquered the withered forest, in which neither the rustle of the wind nor the sound of small creatures creeping around you could be heard, your stomach grumbled as loudly as it could possibly do. It was more of a roar, that made you curse your bad luck aloud in a string of expletives that seemed to know no end, and hope for your pursuers to be at a fair distance, so they could not hear the complaints your famished stomach was uttering.

Resources were now even scarcer than they were when the outbreak started. What little was left in buildings and stores had become the most valuable goods, and survivors killed and died over products that not long ago could have been considered basic and unimportant. After the day bombs fell over the main cities in the country, even tampons had become luxury products, so you were grateful for each and every item that was left in your bag, whether it was a Band-Aid or a package of stale cookies. In the woods everything was dead. There were barely no animals or edible plants, and the cities were too dangerous to set foot on them, which meant you, and what was left of mankind, were screwed.

The world you knew was dying and you were witnessing its last breath.

Keep reading

Starting today, I am running a year long series for students who are going into post secondary education this September. I will be releasing a new post on the 5th of each month, which will be specifically targeted to the phase that a lot of students will be in at the time. This month’s topic is… 

Choosing a University! 

I know there are a lot of posts out there telling people what to include in their spreadsheets and documents. I thought I would make a post sharing what I think are the most important factors to consider, versus which ones are overrated. This is purely based on my own experiences and the experiences of my friends, so everything in it might not apply equally to everyone. (Sorry this post is going to be long as hell).

Most Important Factors

These are the things that I believe are so important that they can make or break your decision to go to a school. 

  1. Major: To me, this is the most important thing you should consider when choosing a school. If they don’t offer your prospective major, you should think really hard about going there. It may feel like you are settling for a major you don’t want before you even start, which is a shitty feeling. Also, because a lot of people change their minds about what they want to major in, it may be wise to make sure there are two or three faculties the school offers that interest you. 
  2. Financial aid: This one is definitely second on my list because it can kind of make the decision for you. If your dream school is way out of your budget and doesn’t have a good financial aid package, you may want to start looking elsewhere. 
  3. Location: Being close to family and friends is way underrated when you are going into first year. A lot of people think that because you are entering post-secondary, its time to completely grow up and leave your family and hometown behind. But this can backfire! If you are really close to your family and friends at home, love where you live, etc. location can be a big factor. 
  4. First year retention rate. This is the one statistic that I think can show a lot about a school. If a lot of people transfer out after first year, it can be a bit of a red flag.
  5. The type of people and atmosphere. This might seem not as important, but knowing the type of school that you are going to be in is crucial to understanding if you will fit in there in the future. I suggest looking into whether or not it is a party school, if it is fiercely academic and very competitive, whether it is a diverse school with international students, whether students tend to have part-time jobs. These kind of things can give you a sense of whether or not you will fit in. 

Semi-Important Things 

These are the things that I think can help you make a decision, but shouldn’t be the basis of one. Think of these as added bonuses. 

  1. Extra-curriculars. Unless you are deeply devoted to a certain sport or club and intend to pursue it throughout uni and into adulthood, the specific of extracurriculars offered probably doesn’t need to make or break your decision. As long as a school has a wide variety of clubs, teams, and other opportunities, you will likely find something to join. 
  2. Things to do in the area. Unless you are heading out into an unpopulated area, there will be things to do wherever you go. Most cities that are big enough to have a university will also have some shopping, a movie theater, a few bars, and some restaurants. A lot of students don’t have time or money in first year to be going out every single night anyways. 
  3. Where you can get a job. Like above… if it is a university town, there will be part time jobs available. Even if you can’t transfer from your current job or your dream job isn’t available in the town, you can likely find some source of income. 
  4. Prestige. A lot of people fall into the trap of looking at rankings of the best schools in the country or the world. These can be a good indicator of if a school or program is well-liked and well-funded, but they can also get into your head. If you are in love with a school and it doesn’t have a top ranking, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good school or you won’t be able to get a job. Try to take rankings with a grain of salt. 
  5. Average class size. This is one stat that is hard to deal with because typically, class sizes get smaller as you get older. First year classes will be bigger than the average listed and fourth year ones will be smaller.
  6. Quality of the dorms. I have to be real here: most dorms are shitty. Also, at a lot of schools there are two or three luxurious buildings and twice as many dumps. You only have to live there for a year! Don’t let ugly looking dorms push you away or let super fancy dorms pull you in. 

Overrated Importance

These are factors that I think should be tagged on as bonuses at the end of your decision, not factors that are included in making it. 

  1. The look of the campus. I go to a university with one of the most beautiful campuses that I have ever stepped foot on. But the truth is, it doesn’t affect how you learn or how good your life is. I don’t wake up in the morning and gaze at the historic buildings and the fall foliage. Once you have lived there for a month, the allure of a stunning campus can wear off. 
  2. Where your significant other is going. If you and your partner happen to choose the same school, that’s great! However, if you choose a school specifically because they are going there, it might end in disaster. I have friends who made this choice and their relationships ended within weeks of getting to school. You don’t want to have regrets because you made a choice based off of someone besides yourself! 
  3. The admission rate. If you meet the requirements for admission, don’t stress out about being accepted. I remember looking at my school’s admission rate of 41% and being so stressed, despite the fact that I had grades well above the requirements and extra-curriculars and awards on top of that. Don’t let it stress you! 
  4. Where your parents went. This is similar to the significant other issue listed above. Going to your parents alma mater can be amazing, but if you don’t already like the school, don’t let that be a persuading factor. 
  5. Whether or not the people on campus are attractive. I have seen so many articles saying that if you take a campus tour and don’t see any super hot people, you should reconsider. This makes no sense??? There is no way that you will go to a school and not see a single person that you find attractive. Like… no. 
  6. How good the professors are. If you read bad reviews about certain profs or really good reviews about others, don’t let that sway you. You might not even end up ever having that prof. You could get that prof and have an experience completely different than the reviews. If there is overwhelming evidence that the entire staff is horrible, maybe consider that. But when it comes to just a few profs you read about online… try to let it go. 

I know this isn’t an exhaustive list of everything there is to consider, but these were just the thoughts that came to my mind based on own experience. As always, different things work for different people. 

the2psaremydrug  asked:

How would the 2ps react if they crash into a car, and just as they got out a girl (around their age) comes out apologizing and crying their eyes out?

Oh shit waddup fam

The way I interpreted this ask, it wasn’t a very serious accident

Please tell me if I’m wrong

2P Italy: *sighs and reaches out for her hand* sweetheart, shhhh, it’s alright, stop your crying now…..*pulls her into a hug that is way too intimate for two strangers who just crashed their cars*

2P Germany: *starts to grin* awH BABE YOU SO CUTE COME HERE LET ME LOVE YOU *picks her up off the ground and hugs them* IT’S OKAY TOOTSIE ROLL, I’M NOT HURT….are you? OH JESUS CHRIST EATING A PINEAPPLE ARE YOU OKAY!??!?!?!? DO I NEED TO GET YOU TO THE HARSPITARL? *acts really weird and melodramatic until she starts laughing*

“harspitarl” omfg what am I doing with my life

It’s a fucking hospital I mean seriously

2P Japan: *thrusts a tissue in her direction* you’re in public, stop crying. *inner Kuro: OH MY FUCKING GOD THIS BITCH—– I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD—– MY BRAND NEW FUCKING TOYOTA—- *

2P Romano: awhhhhh are you kidding me bish this is my brand new Ferarri…. Stop crying, you’re gonna ruin your pretty little face….. awh girl you’re lucky you’re so cute or I would call my baby bro and he would make your life hell…. Pfffft come here sweetie, shhhh, shhhhhh….. *hugs them and whispers a mix of comforting and mildly threatening phrases*

2P Prussia: I-It’s okay?!??! Stop crying p-please…..I’m not hurt or anything….Y-you’re okay too, right? *stands there awkwardly patting her shoulder until she stops crying*

2P France: *gives her a tissue* stop crying, it wasn’t that bad. Both of our cars are only dented a little. Calm down. *gets back in his car and nyooms away*

2P America: awh dollface stop crying! Come on, it’s okay *walks her over to a nearby bench and sits down with her, holding her hand* shhh, it’s fine, really….I’m not hurt, and, uh, my car was getting pretty old anyway….shhhh, come on, let me see you smile! I bet you look amazing when you smile!

2P Canada: *stares at her, occasionally mumbles “would you please just calm down,” eventually goes back in his car and comes back out with a tissue to give her, basically he just stays as quiet as possible*

2P England: GOSH DIDDLY DARN POPPET ARE YOU HURT OH MY GOODNESS OH DEAR OH LORD MERCY ME IT’S ALRIGHT I HAVE A FIRST AID KIT IN MY CAR JUST HOLD ON FOR ONE MOMENT *she soon stops crying because tbh it’s pretty funny to watch a guy with pink hair and purple short-shorts blushing and blinking really hard while he tries to figure out how to get a band-aid out of the package*

2P China: awhhhhhhhh kittennnn come on don’t cry *throws his arms around her and starts planting kisses all over her face* it’s okay babe, everything’s alright….. you’re not hurt, are you? awh sweetie shhhh it’s okay

2P Russia: Please stop your crying. Here, I think I have a tissue in here somewhere…. You don’t appear to be very hurt….. I promise my insurance company can take care of all of this. *goes on for like 26 minutes about the amazing car insurance plan he got and how he’s certain everything will turn out alright*

anonymous asked:

Cold war cold war cold war plz. like how it started/ended and major things that went down during the time epriod

okay! sorry this got a little long, but it’s like a 40+ year thing, and i tried to hit every major event that affected america.

so basically the cold war starts in 1945 as wwii ends. essentially president truman is like “great working with you to take down those nazis and the japanese, stalin’s soviet union! but you’re actually a communist dictatorship so………..” and tensions between america and the ussr start rising again.

then in 1947, truman announces his truman doctrine, which basically states that the us will help protect and rebuild any countries threatened by communism, aka eastern european countries bordering the ussr. (this is called the theory of containment: keeping communism IN the ussr and not letting it spread.) the u.s. rebuilds a lot of europe using this massive aid package program thing called the marshall plan.

also, after wwii, we divided germany into pieces to be occupied by allied countries. this included splitting the capital, berlin, literally in half. the western half would be the “american” (capitalist) half, and the eastern the “soviet” (communist) half. so in 1948, stalin actually blockades the western half that’s supposed to be free from soviet rule, and we literally have to airlift provisions in until the blockade lifts in 1949. this, as you can imagine, is NOT good for our relations. also, around this time in ‘49, soviets start testing nukes and china becomes communist under mao zedong, so you can imagine how bad that is from the american perspective.

then in 1950, the korean war starts, and that’s going to last a bit over three years until 1953. communist north korea starts fighting capitalist south korea, and while this isn’t an ~official~ war between the usa and ussr, we both send in troops to back up our preferred side, and the war essentially ends in a draw, with the border in pretty much the same place as it was before and is today.

so the years after wwii are essentially a race between americans and soviets to contain communism and to spread it, respectively. this means that the 1950s are a time of MASSIVE paranoia in america. everyone is afraid everyone else is a communist spy. a bonus fact apush graders like: during this time, ethel and julius rosenberg became the first people executed for spying during peacetime.

there’s also this senator named joe mccarthy who becomes one of the most outspoken anti-communists, and he basically accuses tons of americans of being spies and brings them before this committee he formed called the “house un-american activities committee.” included in this list are even well-known and beloved celebrities, like lucille ball from i love lucy. he also said he had a list of 205 government employees who were communists. dude was TOTALLY off his rocker, and eventually his downfall comes about because of this thing where he was basically exposed as a liar in 1954. his whole deeply paranoid anti-communist zeal thing becomes known as mccarthyism, and the incident as a whole becomes known as the red scare. they don’t teach about it as much, but there was also a lavender scare at the same time: fear of gays in the government, because the theory was that gay state officials would be more likely to give up state secrets if they could be blackmailed into being outed.

also, this whole cold war leads to 2 important “races”: the space race, and the nuclear arms race. both names are pretty self-explanatory: the space race is trying to get into space/advance space technology faster, and the arms race is who can stock more nukes. we definitely remember the space race more; it’s what led to things like the moon landing in 1969.

also, the soviets build a LITERAL wall down the middle of berlin in 1961. it’s called the berlin wall, obviously, and pretty much no one can get across it.

anyway, in 1962 under president john f. kennedy we have this thing called the cuban missile crisis. basically an american plane flying over cuba (now communist under fidel castro, and after a failed 1961 effort on america’s part to get locals to overthrow the communists known as the bay of pigs invasion), which is only about 90 miles from florida, gets photos of soviet nukes pointed directly at america! which is bad. so we set up a naval blockade around cuba in response, and for about two weeks, we’re pretty much on the brink of nuclear war. after 13 days, we reach an agreement: the ussr will get rid of its cuban missiles if we get rid of ours in turkey, which is too close to the soviet union for comfort.

THEN the vietnam war starts in 1965. (well, troops from france had been there years earlier, but we don’t jump in until 1965.) a lot like the korean war, it’s america supporting the south against the soviet union supporting communists in the north. very long, very ugly, very complicated, and two million people did, the vast majority of which were unfortunately vietnamese citizens. eventually we pull out in under president gerald ford in 1975, south vietnam falls to communism, and this is generally chalked up as an L for america in the history books. also, the ussr is now led by a dude named brezhnev, and he and nixon (president from 1969-1973) actually engaged in a policy called “detente,” which is actually a LESSENING of tensions? because we might have been fighting a war through proxy but at least we weren’t trying to nuke each other.

in 1979, the ussr invades afghanistan and we arm local militia groups to fight them. we end up regretting this very soon, as this is what’s going to lead to some groups we now know as al qaeda and the taliban. (the u.s. pretty much destabilized the entire middle east in the ‘70s, which is why it’s constantly at war now.) the soviets get kicked out, but we boycott the 1980 moscow olympics because of this.

okay, so now it’s the mid-80s, and reagan is president and a dude named mikhail gorbachev is the new soviet leader. reagan tries building a space weapons program literally called “star wars” in 1983. it doesn’t really go anywhere. gorbachev is actually more chill than previous soviet leaders, though. he has these policies of “perestroika” and “glasnost,” which mean “restructuring” and “openness,” respectively. during this time, he does his best to somewhat rebuild the corrupt soviet government in a way that’s more helpful and transparent to the people. reagan gives a very famous speech with the line “mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall!” about the berlin wall. finally, in 1989, the berlin wall is torn down. that year is easy to remember, because it’s the same as taylor swift’s megahit album.

finally, in 1991, the warsaw pact (which was what held the constituent countries of the soviet union together) dissolves, the ussr is no more, and while obviously tensions between the usa and that area aren’t just gone automatically, the cold war is effectively ended.

sorry this turned into a novel. hope this helped!

4 Tier Survival
4 Tier Survival

4-Tier Survival. The tiers are as follows:

  • TIER ONE: This is your everyday carry (EDC) on person. You should have this with you 24/7 or as close to 24/7 seven as possible. Basically, if you have pants on, you should have these items with you.
  • TIER TWO: This is your EDC bag. You should have this with you or within reach 24/7. Take it with you to work, the grocery store, running to the gas station, etc. If you walk out the door of your house, it should be with you.
  • TIER THREE: This is your 72 hour kit, bug out bag, SHTF bag, or any of those other catchy names for them. At a minimum you need one. If you only have the funds for one, so be it. But, eventually I would suggest having one for the house, the vehicle and possibly at work if you have the space to store one.
  • TIER FOUR: This is for long term preparedness. This is long-term food and water storage and procurement methods. Always prepare your home to shelter-in-place first. Then, if you have a secondary bug out location, prepare it. Depending on the disaster or emergency you may or may not be able to bug out. On the other hand, you may be forced to evacuate or bug out.

Before I go any farther in this article I want to give you a great piece of advice:Develop and hone your knowledge, ability and skills over the knives, tools and kits. A vast amount of knowledge and skills with a minimum amount of tools will keep you and your family alive a lot longer than a vast amount of tools and minimum amount knowledge and skills will.This may seem contradictory to what this article is about. But, do not lose sight of this advice. Everyone knows someone who has the newest, best whatever it is but no clue how to use it. This makes them look like a fool. Don’t be a fool.
When creating the tiers, I kept in mind the basic needs of a survival situation, shelter, water, fire, food and I am going to add protection. In a the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) situation, protecting yourself, your family, home, supplies and gear could be a paramount priority. The first three tiers will enable you to get to your fourth tier. We all find ourselves away from 
Now, let’s discuss the tools and supplies I feel are needed for each tier. This is by no means the end all, be all list of what is needed. This is what I have come up with for my kits. Feel free to add or take away as you feel necessary. This is based off of my skill set and my family needs. I wanted to condense a lot of information into a single article and basically get you thinking about what you will need. I want you to come up with your own kits. I also wanted to show you that all of the tiers are possible. They will take some time, energy and money, but anyone can do this.
Note: I will not get very technical in the types/brands of items to carry. Use your own judgment; remember, most times you get what you pay for. Also, I go by the mantra, “Two is one, one is none.”
TIER ONE: On-person EDC

  • Blades/Tools
    • Quality folding knife of your choice. Make sure it is sharp. You are more likely to injure yourself trying to cut something with a dull knife than you are using a sharp knife.
    • Quality multi-tool. There are many options available. Look at the type of environment you spend the majority of time in, consider your skills, and use this to decide the brand/style of tool you want to carry.
    • Lock picks/Bogota – I choose NOT to carry these as of now. Remember what I said about skills earlier. I know I don’t have the skills needed to use these. Now, once I develop the skills, they will be added to my EDC.
    • Small compass. Just to get a general direction if needed.
    • Pen and small notepad. I personally like the waterproof kind. Nothing like getting caught in the rain and losing everything you have made notes of.
    • Small survival whistle.
    • Cotton bandana.
    • P-38 can opener. I carry one on my key ring. I forget it is even there, until I need it.
  • Cell Phone
    • Pretty self-explanatory. Pretty much everyone has a cell phone that they carry anyway. [JWR Adds: It is important to also keep a 12 VDC cell phone “car charger” handy.]
  • Cordage
    • 550 Cord. There are lots of different, creative ways to carry. There are bracelets, key fobs, zipper pulls, belts, even lacing your boots/shoes with it. Learn how to braid your own items.
  • Fire
    • Small brand name lighter. Cheap and easy to carry way to start a fire.
    • Small firesteel. Another cheap, easy to carry way to start a fire.
    • Tinder. Could be a magnesium rod, dryer lint, or any brand of quick tinder that is out on the market now, you should know what works. I prefer magnesium rods; they take up less room and are light.
  • Firearm
    • I am not going to start the never-ending conversation of discussing brands and calibers.
    • Find a gun that you can comfortably carry and shoot.
    • Shoot, a lot.
    • Shoot from behind cover, kneeling, sitting, lying down, standing, off hand, from one yard to 25 yards.
    • Shoot some more.
    • Practice reloading, practice reloading behind cover, practice reloading standing, kneeling, lying down, off hand.
    • Practice some more.
  • Light
    • Small flashlight. I personally look for an LED version that runs off of AA or AAA batteries. Look for one that is waterproof or at the very least water resistant.
    • Keychain LED light. Look for one that has a locking on/off switch. These are easier to use in the fact that they do not have to have constant pressure on the switch to illuminate.
  • USB Drive
    • I use my USB drive to store all types of important documents and other information I run across and want to save. I have encrypted my USB drive in case it falls into the wrong hands. (I strongly suggest doing this.) Also, save the information under nondescript names. In other words, don’t save the file as: “Insurance Papers” or “Social Security Cards”, etc.
    • Birth/Marriage Certificates
    • Social Security Cards
    • Driver’s License
    • Insurance Policies/Cards
    • Vehicle Registrations/Insurance
    • Medical/Shot Record
    • Recent Check Stubs/Bank Statements
    • Stocks/Bonds
    • Property Description
    • Another option/addition to this is online file storage. There are many places available on the internet to store files on a remote server and be able to access from any computer or cell phone with internet access.

Some people I have seen carry as much as possible on their keychain. The only thing with that is if you lose your keys, you have lost a lot of your gear. I carry some stuff on my belt, some in pockets and some on a keychain. I have even seen and thought about carrying some items around my neck. Whatever you feel comfortable with and what works for you is best.

Tier two is going to contain pretty much everything from tier one except bigger and better.

  • Blades/Tools
    • Quality fixed blade knife of your choice. Again make sure it is sharp.
    • Sharpening stone.
    • Quality multi-tool. I would look at one to complement the one from tier one. A little larger and possibly features that the other does not have. I personally wouldn’t want the exact same model from tier one. Look at the ones that have the screwdriver possibilities.
    • Small entry bar or pry bar.
    • Larger more reliable compass. Possibly a GPS system if you are so inclined. If you are in a large urban environment, I would have a city map in my EDC bag.
    • Pens and notepad again. Plenty of pens and permanent markers.
    • P-51 can opener.(A scaled-up version of the P-38.)
  • Cell Phone/Communications
    • This is where I would keep a wall charger for my cell phone.
    • I would also think about one of the emergency chargers that run off of batteries at this point.
    • I also carry a pay-as-you go phone in my EDC bag. On some occasions when one service is down, others are still up and running. It’s a cheap insurance policy.
    • Radio of some sort. Depends on your location and abilities.
  • Cordage
    • I would carry no less than 25 feet of 550 cord in my EDC bag. The more the better. Again, options here, braid it to take up less space, key fobs, I’ve seen some braided water bottle carriers. Use your imagination
    • I have run across Kevlar cord, no personal experience with it. But, something I will check out.
    • I would toss in some duct tape and electrical tape here. You can take it off of the cardboard roll and roll it onto itself and it takes up very little room.
    • Possibly some wire, picture hanging wire works well.
    • Possibly some zip ties. Various sizes as you see fit.
    • I also have a couple of carabiners clipped to my bag.
  • Fire
    • Another cheap lighter.
    • Larger firesteel.
    • More tinder. Personally I prefer the magnesium, but whatever you are comfortable with.
  • Firearm
    • I personally don’t see the need to carry a second firearm.
    • I would however warrant the carrying of at least two spare magazines for the handgun in tier one.
  • First-Aid
    • Basic first aid kit.
    • Package of quick slotting agent.
    • Basic EMT shears.
    • Basic pain relievers, fever reducers, upset stomach tablets etc.
    • Small bottle of hand sanitizer.
    • Baby wipes.
  • Food
    • I always carry a couple of energy or meal replacement bars in my bag. If nothing else, I may have to work through lunch and need a snack.
    • Some people will toss a freeze-dried meal or MRE if they have room. Personally, I don’t.
    • A small pack of hard candy.
  • Light
    • I personally prefer a headlamp at this stage. You can use a headlamp as a flashlight; you can’t use a flashlight as a headlamp.
    • If you don’t go the headlamp route, choose a higher quality flashlight than tier one.
    • Extra batteries. On the subject of batteries, do your best to acquire electronic items that use the same size of battery.
    • Another keychain light. I have one attached to the inside of my bag to aid in finding items inside in low-light situations.
    • Some people carry chemical light sticks in their EDC bag. I have found battery operated light sticks that also have a small flashlight in one end I prefer to carry.
  • Shelter
    • I keep a packable rain jacket at all times and depending on the weather a packable pair of rain pants. Remember, your clothing is your first form of shelter.
    • I also keep a couple of “survival” blankets in my bag.
    • I keep a couple of contractor style garbage bags as well.
  • Water
    • I have a stainless steel water bottle that stays in my pack at all times. If I am traveling longer than my normal commute, I will toss in a small collapsible water container.
    • Ziploc bags.
    • Two-part chemical water purifier.
    • Filtering drinking straw.
    • Toss in a couple of standard coffee filters to filter sediment if needed.

Now, bear in mind, my EDC bag is not for long-term survival. I feel like I could sustain myself for several days if I needed to with the contents of my pack. However, that is not its intended use. All of the tiers are designed to sustain you until you can “make it” to the next tier.

My EDC bag is the same bag I use for school every day. Granted I cannot carry a weapon or ammunition into the school building. My point is you don’t want all of your Tier Two items to be so big and bulky that you can’t comfortably carry them. All of this stuff is in addition to my school books and papers and tablet. For those of you that are curious, I prefer a messenger style bag. But, again, whatever works for you and is the most comfortable.

TIER THREE: Larger rucksack or backpack

A lot of people would call this the 72 hour kit. I feel that this is a bit of a misnomer. Granted, 72 hours is a good figure for most people to shoot for. However, I feel that in this stage of the game, you should be able to carry enough to survive indefinitely.

  • Blades/Tools
    • Quality fixed blade knife. If you want you can double up from tier two. Depends on your requirements. Remember, two is one, one is none.
    • Small quality folding shovel.
    • Quality hatchet.
    • Small machete. If you feel that your knife is up to the task of clearing brush, no need for one. Also, if you are in a true bug out situation where people could be looking for you, you don’t want to clear a highway through the brush.
    • Some type of saw or saw blades. There are some nice pocket chain saws on the market now. Or you could carry blades and fashion your own handle or frame.
    • Tools for forced entry if warranted. Pry bars, bolt cutters, etc.
    • Tool kit. Depends on your location and environment. At the bare minimum carry enough tools to repair anything that you are depending on in a survival situation.
  • Cell Phone/Communications
    • Depending on the level of the disaster cell phones may or may or may not be working.
    • Again, depending on your location and abilities, depends on the type of communications you should carry.
    • One thing I have not seen widely talked about is two way radios. Obviously this would be if more than one person is in your party. However, now you start talking about batteries and chargers.
  • Cordage
    • At least 100 feet of 550 cord.
    • Depending on your environment, climbing rope, harness and gear may be warranted.
    • Tape, electrical and duct.
    • Zip ties, various sizes
    • Wire, picture wire.
    • Carabiners, various sizes.
  • Fire
    • Cheap lighter.
    • Firesteel.
    • Tinder.
    • Camp stove. Small, lightweight, portable. A lot of good information about this out there. Pay special attention to the type of fuel that the stove you select uses.
  • Firearm

This depends on the type of situation you are in. I will list the types of firearms I would have, not necessarily carry, and reasons why. If this is a true bug out situation obviously the adults in your party could carry at least one, more than likely two, long guns.

  • We have already discussed a handgun.
  • “Modern Sporting Rifle”. Be it an AR based platform, an AK-47, Mini-14 etc. I personally like the AR platform. However, A’s can be a bit finicky if not properly cleaned and maintained. Something you may not be able to do well in a TEOTWAWKI situation. So, I would grab an AK-47. Whatever your budget and preference lead you to.
  • .22 caliber rifle. There are many options, I personally recommend the Ruger 10-22. There are several collapsible stocks available. This is for hunting small game.
  • Home defense shotgun. I would suggest a 12 gauge. The options and setups are endless. You can go as mild or as wild as your budget and imagination allow. This is not something I would necessarily always grab. However, this is something I feel that no home should be without. The sound of a shell racking into the chamber of a pump shotgun is a sound that will deter most people without even firing a shot.
  • Extra magazines and ammunition.
  • First-Aid
    • More advanced first aid kit. There are pre-made ones on the market or come up with your own.
    • Quick clotting agent.
    • EMT Shears.
    • Pain relievers, fever reducers, upset stomach pills, etc.
    • A week’s supply of any prescription medications.
    • Any supply of antibiotics or narcotics that you can procure.
    • Knowledge of natural/herbal remedies. Here is a great area where knowledge can help you a lot longer than supplies can.
  • Food
    • If you want to put in a three day supply of freeze-dried meals or MRE’s. Go for it. But here is where procuring your own food will come in handy.
    • I would suggest some type of mess style kit for cooking. Again, your choice.
    • Fishing kit. Fishing line, assortment of hooks, sinkers and artificial bait if desired.
    • Fishing “yo-yo” traps. Can be set and left alone to catch fish while you are doing some other task. I feel these are a necessity. They are light and take up little room.
    • Snare kit. I would suggest several pre-made snares and supplies to create more.
    • Traps. Connibear style traps, an assortment of sizes. 4-6 is all you should need.
    • Frog gigs. Could also be used for spearing fish, depending on your location.
    • You also have a firearm for taking small or large game.
    • Knowledge of wild edibles in your area or bug out location.
  • Light
    • Again, I would suggest a headlamp and extra batteries.
    • Use your discretion for what else you may want/need.
  • Shelter
    • Two changes of clothes. One for warm weather and one for cool/cold weather. Again depending on your environment.
    • I would suggest at least 3 pair of underwear and 6 pair of socks.
    • Packable rain gear.
    • Quality bivy style shelter or tarp.
    • Quality sleeping bag. Again, do some research. See what fits your needs and budget.
    • Sleeping pad if wanted.
    • Possibly a pocket style hammock.
  • Water
    • Stainless steel water bottle.
    • Chemical water treatment.
    • Water filter/purifier. Again, look at your budget and needs. There are several nice options out there.
    • Coffee filters for straining out sediment.
    • Collapsible water storage.

TIER FOUR: Long term preparedness.
Even though this is the largest of all the tiers, I will probably go into the least amount of detail. There are many great sources of information concerning long term preparedness, being one of the best, if not the best, in my opinion.

  • Blades/Tools
    • Obviously any blade or tool previously discussed. Except full size versions.
    • An ax, saws, shovels, garden hoes, rakes, etc.
    • Possibly a plow, seeder, etc, for planting a garden.
    • Variety of hand tools.
    • Automotive tools, carpentry tools, etc.
    • Sewing machine, needles, thread, clothing patterns, etc.
    • Begin thinking of ways you can use your tools and knowledge to develop a skill that can be used for trade or barter.
  • Communication
    • Short wave radios, ham radios, etc.
    • Two way radios.
  • Cordage
    • Large amounts of any cordage or supplies under cordage already discussed.
  • Fire
    • Cast iron stove.
    • Fireplace.
    • Begin thinking now about how you will be heating your home in the winter. Think about how you will be cooking your meals. Also, think about how you will get fuel for your fire.
  • Firearms
    • We discussed in tier three the types of firearms I felt were needed.
    • Begin thinking about amount of ammo you can and are willing to stockpile.
    • Begin thinking about reloading your own ammunition. Begin thinking about stockpiling supplies. This can be turned into great bartering items.
  • First Aid
    • Begin developing a large first aid supply. Think about what you will need to do without a doctor present. Suture kits, surgical kit, trauma kit, etc. There will be no running to the emergency room.
    • Begin thinking about dental supplies. Again, there will possibly be no dentists to go to.
    • Again, knowledge is key in this situation. There are some good books about this type of thing. Take a first aid class, learn CPR. Learn as much as you possibly can.
    • Study about and begin stockpiling medications.
  • Food
    • There are many more articles to be written and read on this subject alone.
    • Start developing a small reserve of foods that you eat on a regular basis that have a long shelf life. Start with a week; go to a month, then three months, then a year, then longer.
    • Begin thinking now about storage. A year’s supply of food for your family will take up a considerable amount of space.
    • Expand on the amount of items you have from tier three. Increase the number of traps and snares you have.
    • Think about obtaining a variety of seeds to plant in your garden.
    • Again, there is a vast amount of information to be found on this subject alone. The main thing I want you to understand is this is doable, on any income. Start small and work your way up to larger quantities.
    • Do not get yourself into a financial burden by going out and buying a year’s supply of food at one time.
  • Light
    • Begin obtaining lanterns, fuel, mantles, etc.
    • Begin thinking about candles and candle making.
    • If you are so inclined, begin thinking about solar panels for your home or shelter location.
  • Shelter
    • Begin making those small repairs to your home. Things that may be fairly quickly and easily fixed now may not be so easily fixed later. I’m not talking kitchen remodeling; I’m talking leaky faucets, broken windows, drafty doors, etc.
    • Think about having a metal roof installed if you don’t have one already.
    • This is the time to think about a secondary survival location. A remote, rural location. Think of this as an investment. It could be used now as a vacation spot. Use it later as a retirement home.
  • Water
    • Begin storing water. Think not only about drinking, but also cooking and cleaning.
    • Again, start small. Begin with a few days worth; then weeks and months.
    • Start thinking about long-term procurement and storage. Gutters that empty into water storage, etc. Think also about purification on a large scale.
  • Miscellaneous Things to Thing About
    • Sit down and make a list of normal, everyday things that you do around your house, cleaning, washing, “personal” business, entertainment, etc.
    • These are activities that require items that you will not be able to run down to the store to get.
    • Toiletries. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, razors, shaving cream, feminine hygiene, etc.
    • Cleaning. Bleach, disinfectant, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc.
    • Entertainment. Cards, board games, puzzles, books, etc.
    • Think about large quantity storage of fuel; for cooking, heating, anything with an internal combustion engine, etc.

Again, I have very briefly touched on long term preparedness. There are numerous articles and books on long term preparedness. Read them. This is meant merely as a primer to get you thinking about long term survival.

college/uni criteria

the college center at my school distributed this list last week, and i thought i’d share it - obviously not every question will be relevant to you, but it’s a great way to figure out what matters!


  • what standardized tests are required for admissions to this school?
  • when is the admissions deadline?
  • what percentage of applicants was accepted last year?
  • what is the average rank/grade point average of currently enrolled freshmen?
  • what were the average act and sat scores of currently enrolled freshmen?
  • how selective are the admissions standards at this institution?
  • what is the recommended high school academic preparation program for this school?
  • does this school require letters of recommendation?
  • does this school require a personal essay? 
  • does this school offer early decision/action admissions?


  • does this school have the major/program i’m interested in?
  • what is the reputation of the department or major i’m interested in?
  • what is the student/faculty ratio for undergraduate courses?
  • how may courses do most undergraduate students take each term?
  • who teaches introductory courses - faculty members or teaching assistants?
  • what is the average class size of introductory courses?
  • what is the format of the school calendar?
  • how many courses will i need to graduate?
  • does this college offer dual majors?
  • is there an honors program?
  • does this school offer a cooperative education program?
  • what opportunities are there for independent study?
  • are there exchange programs with other schools?
  • what opportunities are there to study abroad?
  • are internships in my field available?
  • what percentage of students go on to graduate school?

student body

  • what is the size of the freshman class?
  • what is the total enrollment?
  • how diverse is the student body (economically, ethnically, geographically, etc.)?
  • what is the male/female ratio?
  • what is the general orientation of students (academic, scientific, social service, arts, etc.)?

student services and programs

  • will i be assigned an academic counselor or a faculty advisor to help me choose my courses?
  • is there a career counseling center for help with resume writing, interviewing, and job placement?
  • is there a personal counseling center?
  • will i have access to health care on campus?

student life

  • are there theaters, concert halls, or galleries nearby?
  • are there movie theaters, restaurants, or sports complexes nearby?
  • does the school regularly sponsor dances, concerts, guest speakers, etc.?
  • is there an extracurricular activity i’m interested in on campus?
  • are intramural sports available?
  • what percentage of students lives on campus and what percentage commutes?
  • what role do fraternities and sororities play on campus?
  • how politically active is the student body?
  • how religiously active is the student body?
  • what are the most popular activities/clubs on campus?
  • what is the crime rate on campus?
  • are cars allowed on campus?
  • does this school have an honor code?

housing and dining facilities

  • are the dorms co-ed or single sex?
  • are apartments available for off-campus housing?
  • will dorms be available after my freshman year?
  • are there fraternity/sorority houses available?
  • how close are the dorms to the classrooms and dining facilities?
  • are there any “special” dorms available (languages, honors, international, etc.)?
  • are most freshman dorm rooms singles, doubles, triples, or quads?
  • are there a variety of food plans available?

campus facilities

  • how is the library (to study, do research, are the hours convenient, etc.)?
  • how are the recreation facilities?
  • how are the sports facilities?
  • how accessible are the computer labs?
  • how are the music practice rooms?
  • is the student center a comfortable place to hang out?
  • what condition are the buildings on campus in?

cost and financial aid

  • what is the total cost to attend this school (including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, travel expenses, and living expenses)?
  • are there any special fees for my particular program or major?
  • what percentage of students receive financial aid?
  • what is the average financial aid package?
  • does this school offer institutional scholarships?
  • are there opportunities to find on-campus jobs?
  • does this school offer tuition payment options?
  • are scholarships available for first-generation students?

anonymous asked:

What's it like going to school at Columbia and having to get a job whether on or off campus. I'm more lower income and am not relying on my parents to give me money throughout college cause I don't think they'll have it between helping pay tuition and taking care of my many younger siblings still at home so what would you recommend in regards to being in one of the most expensive cities in the world but still being able to afford the things I need/want???

Nice initiative! I’m also low income and yet I’m still relying on my parents (to my ever constant guilt) because I don’t really feel comfortable getting a job yet. But there are plenty of options here.

So I’m pretty sure your financial aid package is going to include something called work study, where instead of making you actually do the student contribution part (something like $4k per semester), they give you a job on-campus and part of your salary goes to that student contribution. Minimum wage on campus is now a healthy $15 per hour, so you make a respectable amount. There are also a ton of other jobs that don’t count for work study but are still $15 per hour, things like swiping people into dorms or working at the gym front desk (where you basically get paid to do your homework). You can also apply for something called the Work Exemption Program, where you can do something like an unpaid internship and then Columbia covers your student contribution because they see that the internship takes about as much time as a job. And then, or course, through our online job finder (LionSHARE) you can get jobs in the city. So a lot of options are here.

What’s it like? I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot. Students who work, on- or off-campus, part-time or full-time, basically schedule their day around when they work, that’s how time-consuming it can get. It’s also definitely significant trying to balance work and school load. But you just have to do it. And most students here are good at doing that. 

If you end up getting a job in the city, you’re going to have to account for both time commuting, and the transportation fee. That, combined with the price of things around here, means that you might not be able to afford everything you want. I know I can’t. But with prioritization, and just general money-managing skills, you’ll be totally fine here.

anonymous asked:

Maybe anyone getting really sick from both ends?

i’m still playing around with this ra au XD  so in this one, i decided to change the timeline up a bit, so annie and kel are 3 years ahead of moon in school, and 1 year ahead of them as RAs.  here’s the breakdownn:

  • anslem: 3rd year ra, 4th year student (senior), 21 years old
  • kel: 3rd year ra, 4th year student (senior), 21 years old
  • emerson: 2nd year ra, 3rd year student (junior), 20 years old
  • moon: 1st year ra, 1st year student (freshman), 18 years old

normally freshmen aren’t allowed to be ras under any circumstance, but the school made an exception for moon because the best music professor at the school vowed to leave it if moon didn’t go there, and moon was too broke to attend even with the biggest financial aid package the school could offer, so they bent the rules a bit.

also, a new fact about annie: he can’t smell.  which is nice because moon is very self conscious about how they smell, since they grew up without means to properly clean themself.

WARNING: descriptions of vomit and diarrhea below

read the warning

read the warning

read the warning

okay, you’ve been warned

“I never knew it was possible to go from perfectly coherent to forgetting your own name so quickly!”  Emerson said incredulously, shaking her head as she recounted the story of her first encounter with a drunk resident.  

That had been about almost a year ago now.  Anslem had been there, too, and he remembered it well: the kid had seemed completely sober when they’d first started talking to him, but his drunken state became abundantly clear only a few minutes later.  

As Emerson told the story now, at their first staff meeting of Anslem’s senior year, the rest of the RA staff - particularly the other returning RAs who had encountered similar incidents - was cracking up.  Annie smiled, too, feeling more than a little nostalgic.  He felt old, taking note of how much Emerson and the other second years had matured and surveying the new RAs on their staff.  His eyes lingered on the youngest of the group, Moon; they were a freshman and only 18 years old, still a child.

“And then,” Emerson continued, “this kid had the gall to try to convince us he was sober, just before throwing up all over the place!  Including my shoes!”

By now, most of the other RAs were laughing so hard they could barely breathe, but Anslem wasn’t watching them; instead he watched as Moon’s face paled and was momentarily flooded by an expression of intense pain.  It was gone and replaced by a full-blown grin so quickly that Anslem might have thought he’d imagined it if not for the fact that the color never returned to the younger student’s face.

“You remember that, Annie?”  Anslem’s focus on Moon was broken when Emerson spoke his name, and he turned to her with a dry smile.

“How could I possibly forget.  That was your first time on call, wasn’t it?”

“I think so,” she agreed, wiping tears from her eyes.  “Anyway,” she addressed the whole group.  “My point is: no matter how much you prepare for this job, try to expect the unexpected.  If you are even the slightest bit concerned about handling a situation on your own, don’t hesitate to contact someone else on staff, we’re all happy to help whenever we’re needed.  Trust and communication are key.”

“Right,” Luke said, smiling kindly at Emerson.  “Thanks for sharing, Emerson, that’s a great point.  Returners, do you have any other pieces of advice for the noobs before we call it a day?”  He was met with shaking heads and silence.  “No?  Alright, then you all are free to go!”

With that, the staff meeting was officially over, but most people in the room remained seated, eager to continue just hanging out and getting to know each other.  Only one other person got up when Luke did: Moon.  They snuck out quietly, and Anslem realized that he was probably the only one who had noticed their exit.  He stood up immediately to follow, and a few of the returners gave him inquiring looks.

“Got somewhere more important to be?”  Someone asked.

“Oh, a hot date?”  One of the more gutsy new RAs teased.

The returners laughed.  “If that’s it, it must be a surprise for Kel, too!”

Kel, seated next to Anslem, raised his eyebrows and looked up at his boyfriend.  Annie laughed and shook his head, waving them off.  “Nothing like that, sorry to disappoint.  I’m just headed to the restroom.”

The rest of the group accepted Anslem’s explanation without further question, but Kel grabbed his hand, peering at Annie’s face.  “You okay?  You look a little… shaken.”

Anslem smiled.  “I’m fine, K, I promise.”

Still, Kel looked doubtful, so Annie glanced around to make sure everyone else was distracted before lowering his voice.  “Moon didn’t look so good and bolted.  I’m just gonna go check on them real quick.”

“Moon?  Is that a person?”

Annie rolled his eyes.  “They’re one of the new RAs!  The only freshman we’ve ever had on staff, for crying out loud.”  Kel gave him a blank look and Anslem put a hand to his forehead in exasperation.  “The one with the red hair?”

“Oh!”  Kel nodded.  “With the bandana!”

“Yes, that one.”  Anslem shook his head.  He was always surprised how someone who could be so observant was so often completely oblivious.

“Alright,” Kel said.  “I’ll have my phone on me if you need anything.”

“Thanks.”  And with that, Anslem finally left.  He went straight to the bathroom, and was not surprised to recognize Moon’s beat-up gym shoes beneath one of the stall doors.  He was about to call out to them when a loud, gassy noise ripped through the air, followed almost immediately by splashing.  Annie cringed, wondering if he should leave, not wanting to embarrass the kid.  He was just about to when he heard what sounded like a retch and he froze in his tracks.  His suspicions were confirmed when, after a short hiccup, a yellowish substance splashed onto the part floor inside the stall that Anslem could see, and he heard Moon whimper.  Immediately changing course, Annie walked over and knocked quietly on the side of the stall.

“Hey, Moon?”  There was no response other than another retch and splatter of vomit.  “Moon, this is Anslem.  I know we don’t know each other well yet, and I don’t want to intrude, but I do want to help.”

“I’m - urp - okay,” Moon replied, voice raw.

“You’re very sick.”

“You don’t need-“  Moon’s voice cut off with a sharp, pained gasp, which was soon followed by the sounds of very liquified diarrhea splashing into the toilet and another retch.

“Moon, please let me help.”

“I smell awful,” the sick RA protested weakly.  Anslem chuckled.

“Don’t worry, my nose doesn’t work.  Can’t smell a thing.”

“R - hurrgh - really?”

“Yup,” Annie confirmed.  “Messes with my ability to taste, too.  It’s pretty annoying most of the time, but in situations like this it’s practically a superpower.”

Moon laughed a bit.  “Okay, you can come in if you insist.”

Anslem pushed on the door and found it to be unlocked.  He immediately left and came back with the small metal trashcan that had been under the sinks, and handed it to Moon, who accepted it gratefully.  They were was shaking, sweaty, and flushed, though surprisingly clean, thanks to careful aim while vomiting as well as the bandana that tied their hair back.  Annie stepped carefully over the mess on the ground to stand closer to the sick RA.

“How can I help?”  He asked.  “I can rub your back?”

Moon nodded just before ducking their head into the trashcan as if anticipating another heave.  Instead more sick shot out of their other end.  They sighed.

“This is disgusting,” Moon shuddered as another wave of nausea coursed through them.  They hovered over the trashcan uncertainly as they spoke.  “I know I’m young, but I’m really okay- oh,” some of the tension seemed to drain out of their shoulders as Annie massaged them.  “Oh, that feels nice.”

Anslem smiled.  “I’m glad.  I’ve had some practice.”

“With Kel?”  The question slipped out of Moon’s mouth before they had a chance to filter it and they scrambled to backtrack.  “Sorry, I didn’t mean to pry!”

But Anslem waved them off with a laugh.  “I don’t mind!  You can ask me whatever questions you have.  Anyway, you’re right.  Kel is the worst when he’s sick.”

Moon chuckled, but stopped as yet another waterfall of diarrhea splashed into the toilet.  They winced.  “You two - urgh - seem to really love each other,” Moon choked out.  Annie gave them a sideways glance.

“Is it really that obvious?”

Moon grinned, and seemed to relax even more as Anslem spoke.  “So what’s it - hurrrup - like being in love?”

“With Kel?”  Anslem thought for a moment.  “Well, some would call it a constant pain in the rear, a greater effort than it’s worth, a bundle of pessimism, darkness, and gloom… but I would say that it’s everything.  I would say it’s like Kel’s become not just my world, but the center of my universe of unconditional love…  Sorry, I’m getting all sappy.”

“No - ulp - keep going.  Please?”  Moon still sounded queasy, but their breathing had slowed, and it occurred to Anslem that perhaps what they really wanted was a distraction.

“I can do that,” Annie smiled.  “Let me tell you a little bit about Kel…”

Anslem happily rambled about his boyfriend for nearly a half hour, and Moon gradually relaxed more and more.  Annie was wondering if the younger boy might fall asleep right there on the toilet when they suddenly jerked forward, entire body going tense as they heaved up the last of their stomach contents.  Anslem rubbed their back as they coughed wetly.  He was alarmed when, instead of straightening, they slumped sideways bonelessly, but soon realized that they had simply fallen asleep.  Annie chuckled.

“Expect the unexpected,” he muttered, recalling Emerson’s advice as he shook Moon just enough for them to half-wakeup to dress themself.  “Yeah, that sounds about right.”

Then he pulled out his phone and called Kel.

“Where have you been?”  Kel answered immediately.  “I’ve texted and called, I even keyed in to your room-“

“I told you I was headed to the bathroom, didn’t I?  Anyway, I need your help with Moon.  And you can’t key in to people’s rooms whenever you want, Kel!”

“I’m on my way,” Kel responded, ignoring Anslem’s other comments completely.  Annie nodded as he hung up the phone.

“Trust and communication,” he muttered.  “Wow, Emerson hit the nail on the head today.”

Unlearning from the Inside: Belonging in Academia as a Student of Color

by Yena Sharma Purmasir

My mother started talking to me about college when I was five years old. Not so much to tell me that I had to go. She told me stories about what college was like for her. I remember sitting on the carpet, looking through her wooden armoire, flipping through her transcripts. The first time I heard the word degree, I had no idea what it meant. My mother told me that she had two degrees, from different schools. She said they both meant different things. My mother was the first person to tell me about scholarships, about hard working students that can be rewarded for all their efforts. It sounded magical: a giant boat full of brilliant explorers. Of course I was going to go to college. Of course.

The trajectory of my education is simultaneously something I try not to think about and something I am obsessed with, two polarizing sides of the same immigrant pipe dream. Where would I be in America without my two graduate degree parents? How would I have found my footing without the luck and sweat of standardized testing and accelerated public school programming? I grew up in a household with one parent who had the luxury and pain of attempting his creative endeavors, starting up his own advertising agency. My other parent has forever had the responsibility of earning a dependable, consistent wage, nevermind her masters in English literature or the growing pile of books at the foot of her bed. What I have seen firsthand of elite education was its isolating power, its heavy price.

I was sixteen years old when I decided I wanted to go to Swarthmore College. The story here is full of young idealism and kismet. I didn’t like Swarthmore for any tangible reason. I liked it for its mascot, the phoenix, which was the name of my high school’s literary magazine. I wish sometimes I had a better reason for being so drawn to a campus, so motivated to end up at a very specific, remote school. But this is the truth. I don’t know why I thought Swarthmore was right for me. It was like something in my brain clicked. I knew I would go to Swarthmore, the same way I had known when I was five years old that I would go to college.

This makes it seem like getting into college wasn’t difficult, like I didn’t spend most of my senior year of high school staring up at the ceiling of my room, thinking how my life would turn out without this fragile little miracle. I had applied to Swarthmore as an early decision student in December. I was deferred in February. I sent them a series of poems and letters, begging essentially for this narrow chance at having the life I wanted. I was accepted in March.

There’s an episode of Family Matters where Laura gets into Harvard and can’t afford to go. This story isn’t like that one. I went to Swarthmore College on a full ride. I didn’t take out a loan. I graduated with no debt in my name. If I think about my blessed reality, really think about it, I start to cry. In America, stories like this seem less and less possible. Certainly, I didn’t talk about my financial aid package at school. It felt like I was bragging and anyway, my scholarship had the divine power to make me feel very big and very small. My truth is that I could not have attended college without a scholarship. My truth, as many other classmates pointed out, is that I needed a “handout.”

Every month, I receive questions from young people embarking on the complicated college journey. A few weeks after I graduated, I got a message that said: “Wow, you graduated from Swarthmore.” It felt a bit like a punch in the stomach. For me, college has always been this thing I would have to do. I grew up understanding very clearly my responsibility to my parents, who had left everything they knew behind to start fresh in this country. So, in part I had to go to college because of my parents and all the work they did to settle us here, work I will never truly be able to grasp. But, I also had to go to college for myself. College wasn’t even a goal, it was a stepping stone. I was setting dreams of becoming a psychologist, of getting a doctorate. This was different from my dreams of being a writer, which needs no qualification, no distinction other than my own commitment and practice. But there are many professions that have their own intricate licensure: college is the most minimal thing on the list.  

For the past ten months, I have been working at an organization that supports formerly incarcerated women and their children. Last week, I was talking to an Indigenous woman in our program. She is twenty years old and juggling her motherhood with securing a job. “When do you graduate from college?” she asked me. I told her that I already graduated. She asked me how old I was when I graduated, what I majored in, how I finished so fast. “I want to go to college,” she told me, like she was confessing a great secret. “You’ll go,” I said. We listed all the women we knew who were in school part-time and working part-time and mothers full-time.

Later that night, I told my younger brother this story. He is also twenty years old. Unlike this woman, my brother is already in college. Unlike this woman, he isn’t sure if he belongs there anymore. When my brother told me this for the first time, I didn’t know what to say. I just listened. Of course I want my brother to be happy, healthy, and safe wherever he is.  I am always on his side. This is exactly why I feel so ambivalent about his choice.

For some of us, college is not just a means to an end. It is not just about a career. It becomes its own type of survival. It is about class. It is about upward mobility. It is about people listening to you when you speak. College won’t protect you on the street, won’t guarantee that you always have food to eat, won’t promise a fulfilling, or even secure, career. But college is a seatbelt in the car accident of life in America. I am a brown woman with a college degree and at the very least, people give me the most basic human respect. At the very least, people take me seriously. This isn’t just in professional settings. I have gone on dates with men, who only asked me out after learning where I went to college. “You’re a genius,” they say. But Swarthmore isn’t just an academically grueling institution: it is one of the most elite academic spaces in the country. The weight of that reputation has given a depth to my choices, my decisions, and my opinions.

For people of color in America, college is more than just a piece of paper. It is a transparent protection. It is a way to stamp out white mediocrity. It is doing well in a space that was never meant for us. It is unlearning from the inside. It is taking courses in disciplines that could be taught by our mothers and grandmothers. It is reading stories that we grew up believing. It is building powerful communities on campuses that have long histories of silencing those same communities. It is saying in front of an entire classroom that you are going to teach in a classroom. It is having everyone truly believe you. Without college, some of this isn’t possible. Without college, we cannot work certain jobs. Without college, the world can feel smaller.

I understand my brother’s pain and discomfort. I am rooting for him to become his best, whether that is in the world of academia or somewhere else. The women I have worked with this year have all told me their own college stories, how some of them worked through their four years, how others are credits away from a bachelor’s degree, and how a handful are still waiting for the day when they can enroll in their first college class. For all of them, college was not a decision they had the right to make – not when they were eighteen, not when they were twenty. It was a series of circumstances. It was just the way it was. At the very least, I want everyone to have the autonomy and freedom to choose if college is right for them.

I want to tell all the young students of color, all the mature students of color, all the people of color who think that they aren’t worth the time and cost of a formal education: you do belong there. This legacy is yours as much as it is anyone else’s. I don’t care if you aren’t good at math or have never been able to code switch, if you always ask for an extension or need a tutor to pass your history classes. You are a student the moment you decide to be. You deserve to learn. You deserve to receive credits for your work. You deserve the cost of an expensive tuition. You deserve the time to go to school. And you deserve the truth, which is that you don’t need to go to college. You don’t need to go to college.

But, it is okay to want something you don’t need.

It is okay to build big dreams for yourself, to imagine you’re an executive director of a make believe office. It is okay to apply to scholarship programs. It is okay to have a Sallie Mae account. It is okay to take time off from school. It is okay to go back to school. It is okay to graduate and feel aimless. It is okay because this is your life. This is your life and you should get to decide what you do.

I know I am lucky to have made my own decisions. I know I get to make these decisions because of my mother’s decisions. When we were children, she used to tell us, “People can take away your money and your job and your land, but your education is yours forever. No one can ever take this from you.

 It was my surest decision, to have something so powerfully and permanently mine. I knew it when I was playing with my mother’s transcripts at five and when I was walking across the amphitheater stage to collect my diploma at twenty-one. I know it even now, when I pack up my desk at my first post-grad job, when people ask me what I am going to do next. “Anything,” I tell them. “Everything.”

Yena Sharma Purmasir a 22 year old poet and author from New York City. Her first book of poetry, Until I Learned What It Meant, was published by Where Are You Press in 2013. A recent graduate from Swarthmore College, Yena has spent her first year of “real adulthood” doing a year’s worth of service at Hour Children, a non-profit supporting formerly incarcerated women and their children. Yena was the Queens Teen Poet Laureate for 2010-2011 academic year. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Chuck James Literary Prize from the Black Cultural Center at Swarthmore College. Most recently, she learned that she is one of Coffee Meets Bagel’s “top 10% most LIKED members.” She owes all of her success to her family and friends, who not only read her poems, but also continue to help her choose the perfect profile picture.

anonymous asked:

Hey! Do you think you can go over cold war stuff starting from the Marshall plan? I'm really confused. thanks :)

i don’t know if i specifically mentioned the marshall plan (which was just a huge aid package we gave europe to rebuild and also was a way of making sure those european countries liked us and didn’t become communist), but a few days ago i actually did a whole timeline of the cold war! it should be in the tagged/apush


The countdown to Graduation Day is on, my friends! You’ve done it! You’ve reached your final year of high school. However, your journey isn’t over. Adulthood, college life, and a career path is on its way. 

You got this, though. If you went through four years of hell high school, you can get through the next step of your life.

Special Note: Around the end of July, I’ll post “Prep for [F/So/J/Sn] Year” guides. Which are basically to help you get through the year. The senior version will include more college prep related tips. As for now, the checklists are tips for the end of the school year.


Here’s some tips for the seniors!

  • Keep an eye out for mail from the colleges you applied for. If you applied for regular decision, you should receive news during March and April. Financial aid packages should come around in April.
  • Being on a waitlist is not a rejection. But you should keep the schools you did get accepted into in your mind. .
  • Keep active in school. Having good leadership skills and being reliable and responsible goes a long way.
  • Side note, keep up with those grades
  • Take a self care day when you need one. You should be your first priority. Drink some water, eat, take breaks between studying, hang out with friends, heck, go pet your dog or cat.
  • Consider financial aid packages carefully. If you have questions, contact the financial office of the college the package came from.
  • Prepare for final exams and standardized tests. If you are taking an AP exam(s) or CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests for college credit, take the necessary steps to get prepared for it.
  • Make your final college decision. Send a letter of intent to the schools you applied for by May 1. Send your deposit to your chosen school and ask you counselor to send your final transcript to that college by June. Meet housing deadlines.
  • If you are still conflicted with which school you wish to attend, take one more campus visit.
  • Write thank you notes to the people that wrote your recommendation letters. They had a part in getting you to where you are going in the next couple months, they deserve a thank you.
  • Over the summer attend your college’s orientation program
  • Make the most of your senior year! You are in the homestretch, make all the memories count!
  • GRADUATE! This is the moment you have been waiting for since you first stepped into your high school four years ago. Take it with grace and pride, be proud of yourself!

Feel free to add your own tips.

How to get into the best school possible

1. Be a student who puts in effort towards your schoolwork and outside activities, striving to find the things that make you curious and passionate, and giving school the appropriate weight amongst all of the other things in your life.

2. Decide How You Define “Best” by exploring what is most important to you in you education. Pay special attention to things like what kinds of environment you tend to like academically and socially. Try to go a step further and recognize why some things are important (is it personally important to you to have small class size, or is it just something you’ve heard you should want).

3. Take stock of your academic credentials and then find schools that match your package academically. Know that extracurriculars are great and important and a vital part of your application, but that they won’t work miracles if your numbers aren’t in range.

4. Talk to your parents about finances before you start applying. Know what your full picture looks like, if there is any money saved, if you qualify for financial aid, if your parents will co-sign a loan, if your planned future career will make taking loans out a good or bad investment. Be realistic before you get your hopes up for a school you just can’t afford because “best” is also absolutely about best price.

5. Put a great deal of effort in on your applications and start early. Work on your essays, put thought into your supplements, give your teachers months to get your recommendations together. Spend time cleaning your resume to make the best possible use of the space the commonapp gives you. Try to be submitted a month in advance to give yourself enough time to fix any problems that might come up.

6. Wait. Distract yourself. Apply for scholarships (even small ones! they add up!) in the meantime.

7. Consider your options. Its more than likely if you picked good realistic schools that you’ll get a few to choose between. Compare financial aid packages, take the time to call the offices and do the “Your rival gave me 5K more a year, but I really like you better but that’s a lot of money” game. Visit the schools and go to admitted students day. Talk to people. Get a real feel for the schools that you might be attending.

8. Pick the school that your heart wants. You might be leaning towards one school or another when it comes time to pick, so listen to your heart. You often really want one school, but just don’t want to discredit the other options too early. Listen to your heart (but give your wallet a megaphone!)