university of minnesota gophers

Welcome Back!

Fall semester is here, and campus is bustling once again. For a lot of us, that means a quick switch in gears from I’m-relaxing-and-having-a-blast-because-it’s-summer-mode to holy-cow-why-do-I-have-this-much-homework-when-am-I-supposed-to-sleep-mode. Need a little help getting organized, or just finding a way to keep yourself from completely losing it? Here’s my best advice:

1. Organize EVERYTHING.

Clean your room. Organize your backpack. Fish the McDonald’s receipts out from the cup holders in your car. Update your GCal. Throw the expired food out of your refrigerator. ORGANIZE ALL OF IT. Numerous studies have shown that clutter and disorganization tends to stress you out and make you less healthy and feel more tired. Plus, your professors will be a lot more impressed when it doesn’t take you 10 minutes just to fish a pencil out of the bottom of your backpack.

2. WRITE to-do lists. (Yeah, like on paper)

I’m a huge fan of hand-written to-do lists, mostly because there are few things more satisfying than crossing tasks off a list once you’ve finished them. Whether I’m at work or school, I like to make myself a new to-do list each day. Transfer over any things you haven’t completed yet from your last list, then add in any new things you need to focus on for the day, and prioritize them by when they need to be done. Don’t be afraid to write down things that’ll take ~literally 2 seconds~ or things you’ve just completed. Crossing off more things will give you an extra boost of look-at-me-and-how-productive-I-am confidence.

3. Use a calendar.

I won’t deny it, I probably love my GCal more than I love my mom on most days (sorry, mom). I put e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g on my calendar, color-coded, of course. I start with things like class times, work schedules, and events, adding as many details as possible about location, professors’ names, etc. Don’t be afraid to utilize the “description” section! It makes it so easy to find info in a pinch. When I get my syllabuses, I add in things like exam dates and due dates for major assignments. Set a notification for a few days in advance, just to make sure that 10-page paper doesn’t catch you completely off-guard. Then, as the semester picks up, I even start to add in times to study, work on specific assignments, etc. That way I don’t have to deal with the whole “omg do I even have time to get all this done tonight??” because I know I have time, and it’s all scheduled! This also leaves a great opportunity to schedule breaks or switch-ups between subjects, just to keep your brain from getting completely fried. 

If GCal isn’t your thing, I still recommend using a calendar! There are plenty of other calendar apps out there, and paper planners are amazing too! If you’re looking for an easy creative outlet, check out bullet journals!

4. Don’t be afraid to take time off.

For me, time off is kind of made possible by the last 3 items combined. If you have your organization/cleaning/scheduling all under control, you won’t have to use up all your free time cleaning your house or trying to figure out where the heck you left your paper after you printed it. Typically, I try to be a few days ahead on all of my assignments (nerdy, I know). This allows me to be able to just go home and watch Netflix after a horrible day without falling behind. Or if you’re really good, you can look ahead on your calendar and realize that next Thursday is going to suck. Get everything you need to do that day out of the way ahead of time, giving yourself a chance to relax after a long day.

5. Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing all of this.

College is hard. I’ve cried, I’ve wondered why on earth I haven’t dropped out yet, I’ve longed to move back into my parents’ house where they cook and clean and fold my laundry and no one threatens to fail me if I’m late to something. Everyone else has too, no matter how hard they try not to show it. But, we’re all doing it for a reason. And a good one. Whether you’re crazy passionate about your major, trying to save the world, trying to make a better life for your future family, or just trying to get a dang degree, don’t lose sight of that. Remember, the things that are hardest to achieve are almost always the most rewarding. Future you will thank you for your hard work. 

Change of Scenery~ Jamie Benn

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

Lacey pounded on the dark wooden door in front of her. She had given up on looking for her keys and she just hoped one of her friends had shown up at her condo. She leaned her back up to the door, giving her feet a bit of a rest. She sighed and closed her eyes and let out a small burp.

In less than a second it felt like the floor got ripped from underneath her. She let out a cry of terror as she fell backwards. With her eyes closed tightly she waited to feel the hard wood knock the air out of her lungs. She waited and it never happened because she stopped on something both soft and hard.

Opening her green eyes she looked up to see a man around her age looking down at her. The first thing she noticed was his big brown eyes, the second thing was that he was unbelievably attractive.

“Um, this isn’t my apartment,” Lacey said with a half laugh as she looked up at her saviour for a few more seconds, just taking in his face. Hoping that in her drunken state she’d remember it.

The man let out a laugh, making a smile come to Lacey’s face, seeing that he wasn’t angry with her pounding on his door at one in the morning.

“Here. Let me help you back up.”

That voice. It made her more weak in the knees that she already was. He had to be Canadian, his accent was the cutest thing she had ever heard with her own two ears.

He did as he said and helped Lacey back to her high heeled clad feet. When she was stable he finally took his hands off of her, making Lacey miss the feeling of his large hands on her skin.

“I’m Lacey. I just moved last week  into… Um. What number was it?” She said, looking around the condo building’s hallway, trying to see if any of the numbers on the wooden door jumped out at her.

Another laugh came from her attractive saviour, making her knees weak, her face turn red, and her panties shocked.

“I’m Jamie. Welcome to the building.”

“Aw, you’re the first to say that,” Lacey said lightly hitting his muscular arm.

“I can’t be the only one.”

“Well the only bangable one, to be honest.” Lacey caught herself a little too late on her words. She was drunk, and if she was sober those words would have never left her lips. Her eyes grew wide and she broke out into another giggle fit.

Jamie’s face turned red at Lacey’s words. But when she started to giggle he felt an awkward weight lifted from the conversion.

“I’m sorry,” Lacey said, looking up at Jamie and she just wanted to jump on him. As she stood there she fought the urges, and it felt like she was losing fast.

“It’s alright. I could say the same about you,” Jamie told her with a wink. Lacey’s face turned a deeper red and she grabbed onto the door frame.

“Don’t say that, Jamie. You might not like where that road leads,” she told him, then she felt her feet leave the ground again. She mentally yelled at herself, she was not going to be on her knees in front of him and they just met less than two minutes ago.

Felling a familiar touch Lacey smiled and closed her eyes.

+++++++

Opening her eyes, Lacey found herself in a room she hadn’t seen before. She rolled over and saw that she was alone in the large bed. Lacey stretched her arms and rubbed her arms on the soft bed sheets. Silk sheets.

Damn, where am I?

She sat up and looked around the bedroom. Aside from the king size bed there was a large dark wood dresser with a huge TV mounted on the wall above it. Clothes were on the floor everywhere. None of the clothes were hers , the only things that were hers was her pair of black and gold heels.

She stretched out again and moved to the edge of the bed. When her feet hit the floor she felt her hangover kick in.

“Damn.”

Standing up she walked to the door of the room that lead out to the hallway. Once she was out there she heard voices from somewhere off in the condo. Then the smell of food hit her nose. Following her nose and the voices she found herself in the kitchen, and she wasn’t alone.

There was a man sitting at the island counter who had a large overgrown beard and a half sleeve tattoo on his left arm. He had on a black short sleeved shirt with dark brown cargo shorts, and a backwards facing green hat.

The other man was familiar. He had a total hipster hair cut, his dark brown hair was gelled up and ready for the day. He had a full sleeve on his left arm and it looked like it wasn’t finished yet. He had on a white short sleeved shirt and dark washed jeans. He was standing at the stove and was cooking eggs.

The two were talking when Lacey entered the room. Neither of them saw her come in so she cleared her throat, and both of them turned from each other to look at her.

“Do either of you have any painkillers or gatorade?” She asked putting her right hand into her long messy hair. The man in the kitchen smiled and walked over to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of red gatorade, then pulled a bottle of pill off from the top of the fridge.

“Here you go, Lacey,” he told her, placing them on the counter near the other man.

Shit. He remembers my name. What was his? John? Jake? Jason? Jeremy? Jeremy sounds right. Right?

She gingerly walked over to the island and took a seat next to the bearded mountain man.

“So you’re the drunk girl from last night?”

“I guess so.”

“I’m Jordie. I’m his brother slash roommate,” he said, pointing over to his brother. Lacey smiled and opened the pill bottle, taking two out. With her other hand she opened the gatorade, then with the pills in one hand she popped them into her mouth and took a swig of the red liquid.

“I’d love to stay for breakfast, but Lauren wants to go out for breakfast. I’ll see you at practice man. Bye Lacey,” Jordie said, standing up and walking towards the front door.

“Bye Jordie,” both Lacey and his brother said. When she heard the door shut Lacey looked over at the remaining brother, trying to remember his name.

“I’m going to sound like an ass, but I totally forgot your name.”

He let out a laugh and walked over to the island with two plates with eggs and toast.

“It’s Jamie.”

“Jamie. I knew it was with a J,” she said with a laugh. Looking over at Jamie, she turned bright pink.

“Sorry about last night. I didn’t mean to pass out or whatever happened.”

“It’s okay. What’s the story?”

“Why does there have to be a story?”

“You passed out standing straight up at my door. I’m pretty sure there’s a story.”

Letting out a sigh Lacey took another drink.

“I just finished law school and moved to Dallas. So my friends who live out here threw me this huge welcome slash congratulation party, and I got a little bit carried away. Sorry again for the whole passing out thing.”

Jamie laughed and handed her a fork.

“Well congratulations for graduating law school.”

“Thanks Jamie.”

“So what do you plan on doing?”

“I’m not sure yet.”

“How did you just finish law school and not know what to do?”

“It was my parents dream. And following it was the only way out.”

“And where was ‘out’?”

“Florida.”

“What made you choose Dallas?”

“It’s somewhere different.”

“Where’d you go to school?”

“University of Minnesota.”

“Gophers?”

“Golden Gophers loud and proud.”

“That’s awesome.”

“Did you-”

“Go there? No, I never went to college.”

“Oh, then what do you do?”

She asked looking around the condo, wondering how in the world could someone who never went to college afford this. Maybe he was independently wealthy? Family money?

“I’m the captain of the Stars.”

“Stars? That’s a sports team, right? Is that basketball? No, that’s the Mavericks. It’s not football, because that’s the Cowboys, but their logo is a star. It sound familiar.”

“Well, taken that you went to school in Minnesota, you could have heard it before. It’s the city’s NHL team.”

Lacey’s jaw dropped. She was across the table from the captain of a professional sports team, and a hockey star no less. Being in Minnesota for six years she had seen her fair share if hockey players but none like Jamie.

“Damn,” was all she could say. Now she grew self-conscious of herself. She was sitting in her clubbing clothes, a very short and very tight bright skirt and a tight tank top.

She let that thought go on and continued to talk with Jamie. The two talked about everything from TV shows to who was hotter- Brooklyn Decker or Kate Upton.

Lacey looked at the clock and her face went white, it was one in the afternoon. Her friends hasn’t heard from her since about 12 hours ago. Yet the more she talked with Jamie the more she wanted to stay, which she knew she couldn’t.

“Um, I think I should get going.”

Jamie looked up from his now empty plate with a questionable look in his eye. Lacey got up from her chair and headed towards the door.

“Thank you for everything. But I have to go.”

“Wait, Lacey what about you -”

“Goodbye.”

Lacey said as she opened the door and left his condo. When she was out in the hall she hurried to the elevator and hit the down button. She felt like Cinderella, running away from Prince Charming at midnight. She looked up at the floor number and saw she wasn’t even on the right floor, her condo was four floors down. As she waited she looked back at Jamie’s door, half hoping he would run out to her and the other half wondering if she should go back there. Before she could dissuade the elevators doors opened and she hurried in and hit the sixth floor button. As the door shut she heard Jamie’s voice down the hallway call her name, but it was too late. The elevator doors shut and it headed down to her floor.

Resting her head on the wall of the elevator and closed her eyes.

“Fuck.”

++++++

Three days later

Lacey stood outside of her correct condo door and dug for her keys in her purse. Another long day of interviews at local law firms, this would have marked the 16th one in three days. At this rate she thought she’d never step into a practice as a lawyer ever.

Maybe I should have just settled down after high school with a nice guy and I could have already had three kids by now. God, why did I have to do what my parents wanted and become a lawyer? I should have been like every other girl and gone into photography. But, I’d still be in Florida now, hating my life to no end.

Behind her she heard the elevator ding and open. Not turning around, she continued to look for her keys. Once she found them she put them in the keyhole and was about to turn them, but a voice made her stop.

“Lacey.”

Turning around she saw Jamie a few feet away from her. She just stood there with her back to the door and waited for Jamie to get to her. He stopped in front of her and she saw that he had her heels and clutch in his hand.

“You forgot these at my place the other day.”

“Oh, thank you. I’ve been looking for these.”

Jamie held them for her and she took them and then she turned back to her door.

“Thanks for stop-”

“You forgot something else too.”

Without turning around Lacey asked what, then she felt Jamie’s strong large hands on her arms. He spun her around and he crashed his lips to hers. Lacey felt like she had died and gone to heaven. She closed her eyes tightly and her hands grabbed his biceps. This was like the top ten kisses from the Princess Bride. Only now, Buttercup and Westley’s kiss came in second to her and Jamie’s.

Jamie pulled away and looked down at her.

“Thank God you remembered that.”

Jamie laughed and kissed her again.