April 2022

Months of advice from an A&M has-been teaser image
As the final days' countdown to graduation, I thought it would be beneficial to share some insights I gained this past year. One piece of wisdom for each month that we have been in school together this year. Which, when added all together, make one of my longest posts on the record. I hope that your school year was just as fun as mine was, and as always, Gig 'Em.

August: Some may dread the month of August because it means the end of summer vacation. But just because summer break is ending does not mean that all good things have ended; there is International Clown Week this month. And what do clowns love to do? Make people laugh, of course. So in honor of all the clowns, the advice for August is to make time every day to laugh. While this advice may seem hard in the serious graduate school world, doing so will make the experience better. Laughter is good for relieving stress, which I am sure all of us have during a graduate degree. There is a lot of advice that I could give on how to do this, from watching a comedy special, having your Alexa recite a joke each day, or merely spend time with your funniest friend. But in the end, you know your humor best if you enjoy a slap-stick routine watch that. Just take some time to get those giggles out each day.

September: Because my birthday is in September, it is always a month of celebration. Birthday cake, presents, and time with friends. On that note, my advice for this month is to find the best food in town. I am sure you are thinking, what on earth does this advice have to do with birthdays? Well, you are probably right- it has very little, except for when I have a birthday, so yes it is about me, but it's also about the food. I have only been in College Station a year, so I cannot say that I have mastered this one yet, but I still encourage you to do it in my honor. Find the best barbeque, the best ice cream, and the best sweet tea in town. These things may seem somewhat negligible now, but let me tell you, years down the road, when you come back to the college station for the reunion, you are going to want to get reservations at the best place to eat with all your graduate school friends.

October: Halloween is all about old-time haunts. But not all haunts are as old as Halloween; some are those that we imagine. I have very vivid dreams, so I know a thing or two about imaginative haunts. With that, the piece of advice for this month is to get on a sleep routine. No one likes to go to bed early, but you will thank me in the long run. Once you get on a sleep routine, it becomes easier to wake up at your alarm and fall asleep at night too. Get ready for some sweet dreams.

November: Tell the people that you love how you feel about them. There is so much in this life that we cannot predict. This moment right now may be the last time you see someone, so make every moment count. Do not live your life afraid to say what you feel. Speaking from experience, it means so much to hear it. Regardless of if you have said it before, or it is the first, it still makes an impact. November is about family gatherings, so make an extra effort this month and every month to tell the people you care about what you do. Recently I heard about a death of a family friend, so it is hitting extra hard right now. Remember to tell these things to others.

December: December is the time of winter break, time with friends and family, and time out of school. Another major part of this time of the year is the food. With that in mind, my piece of advice is about food it is, eat what you want to eat. Yes, this may seem somewhat pointless, but I cannot count the times I ate things just because it was on my plate. The times when I stuffed myself to the limit and felt sick afterward because I wanted to be a member of the clean plate club (aka not the hottest club you could join at A&M). Be mindful to only really eat what you want to eat. Sometimes that means eating dessert first, but other times it means not settling for the worst quality food on the grocery store shelf. Ingest only the food you want to eat. Get that $2 apple if that is the one you want, buy that fruity drink that makes you happy and enjoy that soft pretzel. Everything in moderation is okay, so as long as you do not pile your plate full of sweets or something, take time to enjoy your food.

January: While January is a cold month, it does not have to be a boring one. My advice for you for this cold, cold month is to find a song that makes you get up and dance. When I was getting my undergraduate degree, my roommate and I found the perfect tune to do just that. Every time either of us turned it on, it was an unspoken rule that you had to get up and dance with the other person. You, of course, do not need to find a song that both you and your roommate love to dance to, but spend time finding a tune you love. Having done absolutely 0 academic research on the matter, I theorize that the songs that you listen to during this time are the ones that you will be tapping your toes to when you are in your 80s. That is the vibe I got when volunteering with the elderly. Make sure that in many, many, years when you have more wrinkles than the hair on your head and retired from your fabulous career, you can dance away the days listening to a song you discovered now.

February: Being single in February is not all bad, but sometimes we forget how quickly Valentine's Day rolls around. Before we know it, everyone appears to be getting chocolate from their significant others. And you are home alone on the couch watching Hallmark movies (I hold nothing against hallmark movies, I enjoy watching them any time of the year). In honor of the holiday that many single people dread, my piece of advice is about not being in a relationship. My advice is, being single is not a Facebook status but a decision to make yourself happy. Not being in a relationship does not mean that no one fancies you, nor that you are not pretty, handsome, nor attractive. It does not mean that you are a failure at relationships nor that you have too high of standards. All it means, when it boils down, is that you can make yourself happy. You likely have a strong supportive group of platonic friends and family that support you. Yes, this holiday may seem like it is the absolute worst as a single person, but it is just another day to love yourself and the sweeping deals on chocolate the day after.

March: You win some, you lose some. I am a basketball fan, and this is the month of March Madness. No further context is needed.

April: Get off the couch, and explore. This month is the first of many warm months of the year. After being inside for months while the cold weather hits. As they say, April showers bring May showers, so go frolic in the rain. Advice this month, never grow up. Older adults often tell people my age to grow up. What they mean is to be more like them, conform to the boring and mundane. Do not do that, be forever young. Never think you are too old to jump in the rain puddles or wear footie pajamas. Being young is more than just that. It is a mindset that the world is their oyster, that every possibility is equally likely. Continue to live your life like a child all your entire life. Just because something has always been that way, it does not mean that it has to be. Forever be young.

May: With graduation on my mind, I want to remind you to make memories. Therefore, my piece of advice this month is not to rush. Take in every moment while you are at A&M, and enjoy it to the fullest. Take this time as a graduate student to truly live the experience. Yes, this is only a brief period of the long life you have yet to live, but you will always hold regret for the things that you did not do now. Try new things out, explore your surroundings, and meet new people. College is usually a time that pushes you outside your comfort zone; I know it sure did to me. In those moments that you grow the most, grow as much as you can while in school.

About the Author

image of author Vanessa Davis

Vanessa Davis

Vanessa Davis is a native of the Pacific Northwest and is a second-year master’s student at the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Her academic background is in Molecular Genetics, however after graduation she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and found a new calling in public service. She hopes that her diverse experiences and the person they shaped her into are conveyed through her writing.

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