Live a dream and Life to inspire others. By Lukonge Achilees

Many people dream about how they will end up in the future; in a huge house, a fancy car, an apartment surrounded by city lights in a big city dream, or in a mansion alongside the beach with beautiful white sand.

They dream about success in a cliche-kinda-way, they measure success by an exact amount; by something just in the surface without any hidden values underneath.

But not in my case. To live in the middle of millennials generation makes me want to dream bigger and think harder than that; artificial things are too shallow, I want depth, a huge depth more than just something that could be counted.

I want to plant a brilliant seed in people’s mind, I want to invest values inside them; all I want to do in my youth is to inspire.

I want to dedicate my energy to lit up the flames within somebody to grow; to realize that each of us has something inside that needs to be woken up.
I want to be that person who sees passion within everybody’s souls; I want to see the passion they had reflected in their eyes as they speak about the things they love to do.

I want to lit up the fire inside somebody’s dim inner self; I want to be somebody whose positive energy is contagious to each corner of the room.

I want to be the reason someone’s insight; the realization that s/he is actually could be as valuable as gold.
I want to give my time to ignite somebody’s soul; they need to know that they impact their surroundings.

I want to be somebody who will honestly tell the truth; that failures are unavoidable, but it’s not the reason we should stop.
I want to make them immortal; to always pick themselves up if the world tears them down to the ground. I want to be somebody’s caffeine; to insight them that hard work pays off in the end, that everything they did will actually give them result, sooner or later.

I want to be the reason behind somebody’s statement of “I have finally did it.”
I want to be the golden sun rays to the people’s gloomy days. I want to bring the wind that gives them ease as they make their eyes kaleidoscopic with tears.
I want to be their fireflies in the darkness so they know which way to go; I want to be their path just to survive.

I want to make them see the galaxies within themselves; that actually they have the constellation of stars inside them which could lead to a magnificent supernova.

I want to be the person who simply is happy just to see someone’s night sky filled by a glorious shooting star.
I want to dedicate myself to speak the truths through my actions; to make people get what they truly deserve.

I want to be somebody who turns on the light bulb inside someone’s head; to be the source of their ideas, to be the spirit which gives them enthusiasm to implement their bright ideas to come true.

I want to synchronize my own heartbeats to the people; to make them feel how to be, to make them embrace each emotion that they feel, to always make them true to themselves, to always be honest within ourselves.

I want to be that someone who brings somebody’s wall down; to make them brave enough just to open themselves up, to make them vulnerable yet they know how to be stronger.

To be somebody’s place to rest their messed up minds but as well as to be their reminder to begin their race so they can arrive to the finish line.

I want to be their music in their life; so that they can dance towards this battlefield called life; I want to be somebody’s favorite song, to be their mood booster and an escape towards a bad day that they’ve gotten into.

I want to give a message in everything that I do; behind each word that I speak, behind every spaces and lines in my writings. I want to have an impact through the arts that I’ve created; through each moves, smiles, quirks, and the giggles during hard times.

I want to be everybody’s reminder that we are actually never alone. In this confusing life in our 20s, we are in this together and we will surely survive.

I don’t want to be seen as something shallow, I want depth; huge depth which artificial things are not there to be seen. In my 20s, I don’t want artificial things; all I want is to inspire.


Find courage to believe in yourself you will never regret. By Lukonge Achilees

There is something truly amazing about believing in yourself; something so deep, so meaningful, magical and inexplicable. Believing is the virtue of holding on to one’s capacity to endure and wait . . . and expect even if everything seems grainy, vague and unsure.
Believing in yourself is like crossing a busy road. It’s like taking caution while taking the risk, all together in a full pack of determination. It is like loading your heart with all the purest intention and inspiration you can pick along the way.

Believing in yourself is being aware that although the road is dark and unclear, there is still a tiny little ray of light that will brighten the path.

It is about training yourself to be able to see in the dark, it’s like allowing yourself to get lost and be found. Believing in your own abilities is taking the power to spin the wheel and change destiny itself.

It may seem hard to believe in YOU, but that’s a common belief since not everyone has the courage to do so. Believing in you is the act of trusting others. . . trusting them not to discourage you, trusting them to support you, trusting them to trust you. Although it may seem like you’re relying on their justification, trust me it is not – Trusting others means believing in yourself. . . it means believing in your own way of making things work for the better.

Believing in yourself is about taking the train unknowingly. Not sure about the final destination, yet enjoying the ride throughout the whole time. It’s about learning as you journey, and achieving even greater experience as you go along.

Believing in yourself is bravery. It is knowing that even if nobody else looks up to you, you’d still go ahead and pursue your virtues. It is about linking reality and your dreams; it is about looking at yourself in the morning every morning, whispering a simple reminder of how wonderful you are.

It is about you, telling yourself to trust your actions since you can never please everyone. It is about you believing in YOU first and foremost.

Believing in yourself is liking your SELF, it is loving your SELF, it is trusting your SELF, it is knowing your SELF, it is appreciating your SELF, and most importantly it is
being your SELF.
Come to think of it. . . If you don’t believe in YOU, who else will? Believing is committing. It is trusting completely without any trace of doubt, and it is leaving everything in your own judgement. It is having faith your own ability, and it is gathering all that strength you kept hidden since day 1.

This is not an act of selfishness, or self-praise, or what not. It is NOT an act of patronizing your beliefs, It is not even a promotional message of not depending on others; it is rather a motivational move of changing your ways for the better, for a healthier change we all yearn and crave for – because in order to see the ‘change’ we all seek, we must become the change that we are praying for. CHANGE has to begin within you.

Remember that the smallest institution of life is YOU — as a whole entity, YOU as a SINGLE human being, and YOU as a unique and beautiful creature. It is but proper to believe and improve YOU first, before turning to others.

Believing in yourself is about opening to possibilities and accepting failures. It is about you, growing from a dreadful caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly, it is about you being a bee — spreading sweetness from one blooming flower to another, it is about YOU– promoting self-consciousness and awareness in the world. It is about you, not listening to negative criticisms, rather absorbing all the bad comments and using each painful experience . . . piling it all up, to be utilized as a stepping stone for improvement.

I hope you find the courage to fight for your ideas and your dreams. I hope you always find the strength to stand alone until you make it to the top, until you find your tribe, until you find a way to stand tall and prove everyone wrong. I hope you don’t let their words discourage you or their advice veer you off the path you’re on. Don’t let their limited minds diminish your big dreams. Don’t let their experiences hinder yours.

I hope you find the courage to take off. Move to a new city, change your career, start over, share your heart with the world, give your talent a fair shot. I hope you understand that this road is not easy or smooth and you might find a lot of bumps and a lot of people giving you wrong directions but I hope you take that road anyway. I hope you keep driving and I hope you navigate your way through all the dead ends and all the roadblocks. I hope you know that the final destination is beautiful and it’s worth it.

I hope you know that getting lost on that road is the best way to get lost and ultimately, the best way to find yourself.
I hope you find the courage to wear your vulnerabilities and your scars like a badge of honor. I hope you don’t let people shame you or make you shy away from your emotions or your feelings. I hope you don’t let their own insecurities make you believe that your struggles are not valid or that your voice doesn’t matter.

I hope you don’t let their meaningless words stop you from finding meaning in your life or finding your calling. I hope you don’t let them make you feel small because you’re capable of doing so many great things. So many big things. So many magical things.

I hope you find the courage to believe in yourself even if you’re too old or too young, even if things aren’t shaping up the way you want them to, even if it’s taking you years to accomplish what someone else accomplished in a month, even if you feel like you’re in the wrong dream. I hope you find the courage to be persistent, to try again, to rise up, to build up yourself when others destroy you.

I hope you find the courage to be your biggest fan until you have real fans. I hope you find the courage to clap for yourself when no one else claps for you. I hope you find the courage to know that you’re bound to win no matter how many times you’ve lost.

I hope you find the courage to believe in yourself because that’s the only thing that will protect you from the naysayers and everyone trying to belittle you. That’s the only thing that will warm you up when people turn cold. That’s the only shield you’ll ever need to win your battles. I hope you find the courage to believe in yourself because you have what it takes to live a life you’re proud of. A life dictated by you , not anyone else.

Rules you really dont know for happy marriage. By Lukonge Achilees

1.Respectfulness is oftentimes more important than communication — if your partner doesn’t want to talk, give them the space they need
2. When someone is wrong, don’t keep score
3. “Love your partner the way they need to be loved, not the way you need to be loved” (and take the time to understand Respectfulness is oftentimes more important than communication — if your partner doesn’t want to talk, give them the space they need
2. When someone is wrong, don’t keep score
3. “Love your partner the way they need to be loved, not the way you need to be loved” (and take the time to understand what that means)
4. Don’t punish your spouse for being honest — you won’t always like what they have to say, but punishing them for it will ruin your future communication
5. There’s no such thing as “winning” an argument — if you can’t come to an agreement that satisfies everyone, you’ve both lost
6. You’ll see each other at your grossest, like when you’re vomiting or have diarrhea — don’t use it to humiliate each other later on
7. Be the kind of spouse you would like to have by your side
8. Don’t correct the other person unless it’s important
9. Never hold money against each other
10. Similarly, never make a big purchase without talking to the other
11. Always keep an extra blanket by the bed, just in case you have trouble sharing one night
12. If one person voluntarily cleans something, the other shouldn’t complain about how it was done
13. Give each other alone time, even if you aren’t fighting
14. Never disrespect your partner — not in public, not in front of your friends, and definitely not to your kids
15. 50-5o doesn’t exist, so expect something closer to 60-40 — who gets what will change from time to time
16. Never, ever bring up divorce, even in a joking way — pretend it’s not an option, like doesn’t even exist
17. Cultivate separate interests and encourage one another to pursue them
18. If you have kids, it’s okay to put your spouse first — a healthy marriage will ultimately benefit them
19. Learn to know when you fucked up and apologize sincerely without adding a “but…”
20. Make these rules spoken that means)
4. Don’t punish your spouse for being honest — you won’t always like what they have to say, but punishing them for it will ruin your future communication
5. There’s no such thing as “winning” an argument — if you can’t come to an agreement that satisfies everyone, you’ve both lost
6. You’ll see each other at your grossest, like when you’re vomiting or have diarrhea — don’t use it to humiliate each other later on
7. Be the kind of spouse you would like to have by your side
8. Don’t correct the other person unless it’s important
9. Never hold money against each other
10. Similarly, never make a big purchase without talking to the other
11. Always keep an extra blanket by the bed, just in case you have trouble sharing one night
12. If one person voluntarily cleans something, the other shouldn’t complain about how it was done
13. Give each other alone time, even if you aren’t fighting
14. Never disrespect your partner — not in public, not in front of your friends, and definitely not to your kids
15. 50-5o doesn’t exist, so expect something closer to 60-40 — who gets what will change from time to time
16. Never, ever bring up divorce, even in a joking way — pretend it’s not an option, like doesn’t even exist
17. Cultivate separate interests and encourage one another to pursue them
18. If you have kids, it’s okay to put your spouse first — a healthy marriage will ultimately benefit them
19. Learn to know when you fucked up and apologize sincerely without adding a “but…”
20. Make these rules spoken

Dear Incoming MRU Freshman, This Is What College Will Mean To You. By Lukonge Achilees

They tell you about the pure and unhindered eagerness to be independent, and how it feels to finally be unchained from the childhood that kept you sheltered from the wild nights and unlikely friendships. They tell you about the people you meet, the places you go. The intriguing, the impressive. The ecstatic, the preposterous. Yet, there are many things they, perhaps, forget to reveal.

Like the many nights you might cry yourself to sleep, silently of course, because you no longer share a room with only your shadow. The seemingly unfeasible and unsightly bags under your eyes. The, not only physical, but mental exhaustion that haunts you incessantly during the day and watches over you at night, waiting. Waiting to consume you the minute the alarm lets out its roar.

They forget to mention the everlasting and excruciating fear of failure, the days where you not only feel drained, but lost. Feeling the pressure to be everywhere at once, to make a thousand friends, to succeed inside and out of the classroom, to make money, to be well rested, to have a perfect body, to have the perfect life. They don’t tell you all this.

But that doesn’t make them wrong.

Because you see, when the time comes, you will soon come to realize why the bad has been universally forgotten: In college, I promise… you will find yourself. You will no longer feel the dying need to be omnipresent, to be popular, to be invincible.

You will peacefully abandon the effort to be liked by everyone; and give up trying to please the irrelevant—just to see slight nods of approval. You will accept the fact that not every friday night will be life-changing, and you will learn to like this.

The calm is just as important as the rage. You will not feel ashamed of the ordinary, the boring, the much needed time to yourself. You will look in the mirror at your tired eyes and be thankful for your restless nights—the nights where your passion and goals overshadowed the desire to sleep. In the midst of constant stress and busyness, you will have more fun than you ever thought possible.

You will discover parts of yourself that surprise you. You will connect with improbable, do the impractical…hell, you might even fall in love. You will spend a Saturday night with a strong buzz, dancing in the lights, and you will feel utterly and unshakably free.

Hopefully you will soon begin to realize that. That they were right all along. All of them.

I only hope you see this before the time passes. I hope you see that the best is indeed, now—amidst the sadness, amidst the chaos, amidst both the thrilling and the dull. I urge you to find something beautiful in the turmoil, to find something soothing in the ache. I urge you to not only appreciate the greatest times, but also the worst—for from these moments, you will grow, you will learn….and soon you will welcome hardship with open arms.

Because you know now, whatever destiny decides to throw your way, you will not cower in fear. Instead, you will fight.

And when the All-Powerful decides to act in your favor, you will acknowledge this gift. and savor the goodness like it is the last thing to ever touch your lips. I can only hope that, while you are here, you make the damn best of it. Because, before you know it, your time is up. And all you’ll have left are the memories, memories that will soon become stories. And I hope that, when you tell your story, you will tell it with pride. I hope it will make you smile from ear to ear; I hope it will make you light up—a glow that not a single listener will overlook.

One of the many lessons you’re going to learn is that making mistakes is inevitable.

This year, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but for the first time, you’re not going to be afraid to make those mistakes.

You’re going to take a lot of risks.

You’re going to accept that teaching assistant position. You’re going to host your own radio show. You’re going to be an editor for the school paper, and you’re going to make more strides with your career than you ever imagined.

But with those positions, you’re going to struggle to learn how to teach others. You’re going to mess up on air, and you’re going to stay up until 4 a.m. writing two articles a week.

But in the end, you’re going to come out from all these struggles a stronger person because you were able to conquer them.

You’re going to make a lot of stupid decisions when it comes to relationships.

You’re going to fall for someone and end up hurt. A couple times actually. You’re going to chase someone who isn’t worth your time, and realize way too late that you’re better off without him. At the same time, you’re going to learn a valuable lesson. If someone is dumb enough to walk away from you, you have to smart enough to move the fuck on. That’s something you didn’t ever have to deal with as a freshman.

You’re going to lead guys on without even realizing it. It’s a two-way street. You’re going to get hurt and you’re also going to hurt others. You’re going to get creative with your excuses and realize that being straight up with people saves others a lot of their own time. Again, another lesson.

You’re going to party a lot more. You’re not always going to have your core group with you for protection. Instead, you’re going to get drunker than you’ve ever been and make mistakes upon mistakes with people you don’t really know.

At the same time, you’re going to meet a lot of new people. You’re going to become friends with a lot of different groups. There’s going to be the friends that you party with. The friends in your classes. Your friends on your floor. Your friends through the paper. Your radio friends. The random friends you make through interviewing – which is the best types of friends — the random ones you make through college. But then there are the friends that always have your back, no matter how stupid you are.

I think the reason you made so many more friends this year, is that you were more comfortable with who you are.

Something that hasn’t changed is your perspective on life. You live your life with this thought: If it makes a great story, then just do it. But this year, you actually did.

You have a lot more stories during your sophomore year. Your life actually felt a little like a sitcom. Think about it. Every great sitcom involves dynamic characters making mistake after mistake, but learning a lesson by the end. Your life felt more New Girl than Gossip Girl, but you always came back to your dorm with a funny story. Were they embarrassing? Hell, yeah.

Most of them involved you embarrassing yourself in more ways than one. You blew up 72 balloons drunk for my roommate’s birthday. Her birthday also involved a plant funeral and a proposal. Great stories for the future. You also won’t forget the time you ate a pound of wings in 15 minutes or the time you bought that piñata for the suite.

You won’t forget any of these stories because they’re embedded as wonderful messy memories.

You were rejected and had to reject more people than ever. You took on tougher courses and became a stronger person because of it. You became the type of person who was confident enough to tell others what to do and or how to handle situations.

You’re a different person for sure.

And if it weren’t for all those messy experiences and a couple of risks here and there, you wouldn’t be the person you are now. Trust me, this year is going to be the messiest semester of your life —but it’ll also be the best.

t’s time. At this point, you’re a couple weeks away from moving into college, or maybe you’re already moved in. I was in your shoes just last year- excited and nervous all at the same time. College is a great experience filled with opportunities, but there are a few things that you should remember!


Be grateful when your parents help you move in.

Even if they don’t put things exactly where you want them, thank them anyway. Chances are, you won’t seem them for a couple weeks or maybe even months after move in, so let them know that you are truly grateful for their help and that you love them. Otherwise, you’ll end up regretting your frustrated tone later.

Scope out where your classes are ahead of time.

Your stress during the first week of classes can be greatly reduced by taking time to find your classrooms ahead of time. That way, you can find them more easily and avoid being late on your first day.

Try to RENT your textbooks.

Campus bookstores are always expensive. Even their rental prices are crazy high! I always try to get my textbooks ahead of time through Amazon. Their rentals run as low as $20 per semester if you order them at the right time (I have found early to mid-July to be the best time to order). Also, if you end up not needing the book, you have at least a month to return it for a full refund!

Go to the Welcome Week activities.

Many colleges have different “Welcome Week” activities that range from barbeques with music and free food to sports. Even if you aren’t a big fan of pulled pork or dodgeball, go anyway! These activities are perfect opportunities to meet friends! Chances are, many of the people there are freshman looking for friends also!

Don’t neglect your studies.

College is full of awesome activities, career building opportunities, and parties. While all of these things sound insanely fun, remember why you’re at school: to get an education. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, and if you’re like me, you’re 99% sure you’ll be able to stay on track, but trust me, it’s easier to go astray than you think. Just make sure your priorities are always straight. That being said…

Still set time aside to have fun.

Go out with your friends to football games and professional development nights. Grab dinner together. Join a club. Be sure to set aside some time for fun to de-stress.

Set aside some “you” time.

In college, you rarely get time alone, and if you’re an only child like me, that will freak you out. It will be okay, though! Just set aside some time each week to be by yourself. You can read or draw or whatever you enjoy doing! It’s important to spend time alone so you’re sure to stay true to yourself! Don’t let others start to define you.

Be safe and cautious.

There will be a time where you will think that your campus is the safest place in the world and that you are invincible. Or your friend won’t be able to walk you home, and you’ll feel the urge to walk alone. Although 99% of the time you will probably make it back to your room safe and sound, there’s always a chance. Crimes happen on college campuses more often than most people would like to acknowledge. Always be cautious. Carry pepper spray, and keep it somewhere accessible. Stay in groups at night; and take advantage of safe walk programs on campus.

Last but not least, call home.

Your parents have most likely seen you almost every day for the last 18 or so years of your life. This is hard on them. Give them a call to check in once in a while, and let them know that you love them

Above all, I hope that you will go as far as to tell them that it was the ‘time of your life’. But don’t worry about that too much. I think that you will. After all, they all do.

50 lesson University life tought me in my first year

Recently finishing my first year of undergrad, I compiled a list of the things I really learned after paying thousands of dollars. Move aside Masaka and Ssaza, this is where it’s at.

  1. You will, without a doubt, hate everything you came to school for, at least once.
  2. Your parents were wrong.
  3. Suede, although pretty, is such a useless material.
  4. Your parents were right.
  5. Take chances. Always, always, take chances.
  6. It is possible to survive an entire day on a bagel and a carton of chocolate milk. Sometimes, just the bagel.
  7. All those habits you thought you were going to kick? Nice try.
  8. Sometimes, you just don’t want to be kissed.
  9. Engineers, regardless of what school they attend, are dangerous creatures.
  10. It is possible to watch a movie every night.
  11. Yes, T.A’s do hit on their students.
  12. Don’t come to university with the expectation that people are any more mature than they were in high school. They aren’t.
  13. Turns out, fulfilling your dreams requires a lot of paperwork and a high GPA.
  14. Never say never.
  15. You will miss people with every fiber of your being and not realize it till you hug them after months of absence and remember why you liked them in the first place.
  16. There’s no graceful way to eat a pita wrap.
  17. Being away from everyone you’ve gone to school with since you were 4 helps you sort out those worth coming home for and those worth forgetting. That is, if you didn’t already know.
  18. There will be students from other faculties in your major’s class who will do better than you on everything. It does not mean they are actually better than you. Numbers on a transcript have no relevance to passion. It’s okay.
  19. Nothing will make you make you feel more like a student than when you’re fishing through your wallet for spare change so you can buy a hot dog.
  20. You know nothing. But you also know absolutely everything.
  21. Never, ever, EVER turn down free food.
  22. No decent guy refers to the number of girls he’s slept with (be it in one night or cumulatively) as a “kill count.”
  23. Cover your boobs.
  24. Never interrupt during a discussion.
  25. “I used to be in Commerce, but then I realized I had morals, so I switched to Humanities.”
  26. Remember money? Remember how nice it felt to actually have some?
  27. Sex is beautiful. It’s a merging of limbs and ideas, a physical way to express your joy in the fact that the two of you love each other.
  28. Sex is dangerous. It is secrets and fears translated into desperate movement in the hopes that the body you’re clinging to, the face you’re looking at in the half dark, stranger or friend or someone in between, will help you understand something. It will not.
  29. When you go out of your way to so desperately look for something, it will go out of its way to make sure you don’t find it.
  30. It’s okay to cry.
  31. Your problems aren’t as big as you make them out to be in your head. Doesn’t mean you should disregard them completely. Just know you don’t have it that bad.
  32. Holding doors makes all the difference.
  33. Know that some people don’t realize that it’s possible to love someone in different ways.
  34. That one Double-Double was actually a Triple-Bypass-Why-Is-This-So-Sweet-Holy Shit-Why-Did-You-Buy-This.
  35. There is no set time to eat sushi.
  36. That look high school seniors give you when you wear your university sweater.
  37. The ones you loved and thought had left were just taking their time to find a way back.
  38. One of the best papers you’ve written all year will receive a failed grade because you were under the word count and you only talked about Russia. It’s an excellent paper. Deal with the shitty grade.
  39. Take a look at the people you last spoke to (via text, MSN, phone, etc) before heading off to bed. These people are who you really care about. These people are important.
  40. Just because someone is good to you, does not mean they are good foryou.
  41. Saying “fuck it” doesn’t work. “Fuck it” doesn’t write your essays or do your labs or edit your videos or get your lecture notes. “Fuck it” isn’t good to your GPA or your friendships or your sleep cycle.
  42. Everything worth knowing leaves scars.
  43. “It depends on the context.”
  44. There is something about the applause your professors receive at the end of the semester’s last lecture that will always make you well up with pride.
  45. Procrastinating on your schoolwork is a communal activity.
  46. When in doubt, cite it.
  47. The friendships you suddenly make at the end of the year, standing in line to buy coffee or over piles of exam notes, are more genuine than you give them credit for.
  48. Maybe you shouldn’t reread 1984 when you should be just doing readings.
  49. Always tell the truth. Even if it’s dirty and unpleasant. Do it. If the person doesn’t thank you then, they’ll thank you later, to your face or silently to themselves.
  50. Always reflect.

Graduating from University is the hardest thing on Planet! so this is my advice to freshers of MRU. By Lukonge Achilees

Graduating from college was hard for a variety of reasons—entering a terrible job market, having a degree that felt like it was written on a cocktail napkin, and feeling like a giant question mark was placed on top of your life. These were things that I expected to feel though. These were the things that had been discussed ad nauseam so I felt emotionally prepared for the blow. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, were the quiet losses, the little deaths that litter your path when you begin the next stage of your life.

This is something we’ve talked a lot about. These are the themes we keep going back to over and over, and before you scream bloody murder at the redundancy, it’s important to think about why everyone is having such a hard time. I don’t think it’s normal to exist so heavily in a post-grad fugue so what’s the deal? Are we all just developmentally stunted? It goes beyond the crappy economy; it goes beyond spending a hundred grand on college, doing everything you thought you had to do in order to succeed only to end up as a waitress/ intern for a period of time that extends beyond the post-grad grace period. People are just having a difficult time growing up these days. We suffer from crippling nostalgia brought on by Facebook photo albums and clicking Refresh, we feel cheated by the new modern workplace so we freelance and have a lot of feelings instead. This is a moment in culture that belongs only to us. This is our generation’s legacy.

You might not relate and that’s okay because enough people do. It’s strange to see such a blatant disconnect between yourself and your parents though. They came of age and graduated college in a very different time. Their post-grad experience doesn’t resemble yours, it resembles grad school or an immediate job after college. We’re seeing a true separation of the generations happening here, right now.

It’s frustrating because we’re perceived as being lazy, which might be only a little bit true. Because now more than ever it seems there’s a pressure to be successful. Especially with Facebook and Twitter where you can chart people’s professional progress and silently judge them. We’re living life under the microscope that we created so trust us when we say that we do want a job. We need to be validated by LinkedIn!

I graduated college a year and a half ago and my friends are all still in such different places. Some are traveling, some are unemployed and doing the daily job search we all know and loathe, some are interning, some are straight up in that 9-to-5 grind at a job they hate, and only two or three of us have landed our dream jobs. No one’s on the same page. Friends are moving, staying, ignoring phone calls, falling in love, breaking up, disappearing. Some friends do happy hour after work, some are sober and go to bed at ten p.m., some of us can go out whenever we want because there’s no job to wake up to. I wonder if/ when this will ever even out. I wonder when/ if we can all find our way back to each other again. That’s the hardest part about graduating college for me—no longer being in the same place as your friends. We’re all just so far away from each other now and some of us are successful and some of us aren’t and some of us are getting there and some of us may never get there. It makes you miss the days when you both had papers . Except not really because that book was a headache

My advice to freshers Of MRU

  1. “Go out, get drunk, hook up…but make sure that’s never the most interesting thing about you.”
  2. “Do not ever underestimate your talent. On two different occasions, I came out of two professors’ office hours crying because both of them couldn’t believe i scored below average in Basic accounting and Communication and language skills . One was an Communication lecturer Nakiyemba Harriet and the other was a accounting Lecturer, and I was doing really well in both their classes. I will never forget the look of wild confusion on each of their faces when I shared with them the one detail that could prevent me from studying abroad. Both professors praised my work so highly and told me I was capable of so much more than the grades I was receiving. I walked out crying because, for the first time in my life, I believed them.”
  3. “Remember that you’re not in high school anymore and that nobody cares what you were like in high school. It’s ok to take good memories from high school with you to college, but make sure not to get caught up in them. You’re going to want to make all new friends and have all new experiences in college and if you stay too attached to your high school experience, you won’t be open to everything that high school has to offer. Don’t focus on what made you, you in high school. Figure out what your mark in college is going to be—and figure out with whom you’re going to make it.”
  4. “Freshman year is a huge transition period, and I wish I had understood that and handled it with more grace. Feel your feelings and know that it will be easier one day, once you’ve found the right people.”
  5. “College is, for most of us, the first time we all truly venture out on our own and begin the work of deciding who we will become. It is a beautiful time of discovery and one that you wont get to repeat. So if I may, can I ask one thing of you? Your grades are important, and parties are fun, but make sure you take some time for yourself once in a while, away from it all. Even if it’s for 10 or 15 minutes, once a week, find a place where you can sit and be still, without a care or worry on your mind. For me, it has made all the difference.”
  6. “Don’t feel like you need to be best friends with the people in your hall because of your proximity. Be selective about those who get to spend time with you.”
  7. “For the love of God…FOR THE LOVE OF YOURSELF…don’t ever, ever let yourself become someone’s side bitch. You are main bitch material, dammit! It’s been three and a half years, and I am still grappling with that concept. Please, please know that you don’t deserve to be waiting around for his (or her) text messages, and you shouldn’t be watching him text his ex-girlfriend while both of you are on a date. When he asks, “where is your self-respect?” after waking up next to you and then hooking up with your good friend that night, make sure to first, punch him square in the face, and to second, get him the fuck out of your life. Stop waiting around for all those losers to see how fucking awesome you are, and make time for the ones that knew it the moment they met you.”
  8. “Get out there, join a club, and join the community.
  9. I know alcohol and the bar scene is new and exciting, but be safe and try not to be too stupid. I made too many mistakes like that as an 18 year old. It’s not fun to be remembered as the girl who made out with 12 people in two hours.”
  10. “Everyone is probably telling you right now that these will be the happiest four years of your life. What they probably aren’t telling you is that these will also be some of the worst years of your life. In college you will feel on top of the world and utterly defeated (sometimes in the same day). So just try to remember that you’re not doing anything wrong if you’re having a hard time. And before you jump to any conclusions about how much happier everyone else is, and how much more fun they’re having than you, go sit down and talk to a friend. You’d be surprised by how many people feel lost and directionless at least some point in their college careers.”
  11. “Try to learn something new, whether it’s about yourself or what you’re studying. School is still so much fun, and it’s the last time you’re going to get the chance. Learn the things you can’t learn outside a classroom, though those things can often be more important.”
  12. “Please please please don’t be afraid to befriend seniors. Some of my most meaningful relationships of my freshman year, if not my entire college experience, were the ones I had with seniors when I was a freshman. I want nothing more than to give that kind of meaning to someone new. I want you to do well, and I want to pass on a legacy at this school through people like you. Also, you guys are precious, and you have a ton of cafeteria swipes. Upperclassmen friends are not hard to make if endless fries and Lucky Charms are involved.
  13. One of my meaningful friends who was a senior when I was a freshman told me just a few weeks ago that my personality hasn’t changed, just that I’ve learned to navigate the world better. And that’s all you need to learn. Enjoy these next four years, ’cause they zoom away a hundred times faster than you think they will. Mine did, and I wish that I was paying more attention to them.”
  14. “My advice for freshmen is to trust their gut in all decisions they make. Do whatever YOU feel most comfortable with regardless of what your friends may think. Be friends with everyone and don’t stand for ‘groups’ ‘your crew’ ‘your girls’ because in most cases that’s just a euphemism for a clique.”
  15. “Boys suck. Accept defeat and eat another donut.”
  16. “I think one of my favorite quotes does a pretty good job at summarizing the advice I would give: ‘For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.’ – F. Scott Fitzgerald”
  17. “Going to the cafeteria alone is not weird; it means you’re okay with yourself.”
  18. “I won’t lie to you: College is going to turn your world upside down in both the best and worst ways possible. You will lose yourself, and you will find yourself again. You will most likely change your major, and your roommates will probably become your best friends. Inevitably, you will see more of them than you ever thought you’d want to (literally – my roommates frequently parade around my apartment in just t-shirts and underwear). But, they are also the people who will come to know you better than you know yourself and some days you are really going to need that. Never let the fear of failure inhibit you from doing what you know you actually want to do. As cliché as this is about to sound, be sure to revel in every bit of these next four years because it will go faster than you could ever imagine.”
  19. “Remember, everyone and I mean EVERYONE has a story so before judging or assuming try to just listen. I still catch myself everyday guilty of this, assuming someone is crabby for no reason or being rude just to be rude– you’ll be amazed at the stories you hear when you let someone talk for five minutes.”
  20. “Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Make yourself deliberately uncomfortable. It is an unparalleled character-building exercise, and you might be able to discern the things you want out of life as well as the things you don’t as a result.”
  21. “You should know that change is both necessary and inevitable, so try to embrace it as best as you can. Growth is a beautiful, incredibly bittersweet process and there is (I’ve learned) nothing to fear from it. At the end of the day, that’s what you’re here for: to learn, to blossom, and to flourish into whoever it is you decide you’re going to be. Part of that process though, is making mistakes; so be kind to yourself, forgive yourself, and then, keep going. The only thing you’ll regret over these next four years are the things you didn’t do, so make sure you do everything you can; go out on weeknights, dress up for themed parties, attend as many of your university’s sporting events as you can, and always call home at least once a week. Do things you never gave yourself the liberty to do in high school, study abroad, revel in your newfound independence in whatever way you see fit, spend at least one summer on campus, and, perhaps most importantly, when you do finally find your voice – don’t ever be afraid to use it.”
  22. “Participate in EVERYTHING, even if its not your thing you’ll probably find that if you participate you always have fun. Do not be that kid who is “too cool for school” because you will miss out.”
  23. “A candle loses no light when lighting others. Build others up whenever you can, support those close to you and help whoever you can – you never know when the tables will turn!”
  24. “I’m not sure I can think of any better advice than that given by Anna Quindlen in one of her commencement speeches. As a freshman I rolled my eyes at these words, I thought good grades, hard work, and sleep deprivation were the answer.
  1. “There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your minds, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul. People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the test results and they’re not so good. So here is what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a cheerio with her thumb and first finger. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad. Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the saza in the suburban neighborhood where you grew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Once in a while take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.”

My Open Letter Of Advice To All Of The Struggling MRU or Mak. or any University Students Out There

College can equally be one of the greatest and most stressful times of your life. Whether you’re new to the college scene or have been doing your best in university courses for a couple of years, you know that this time of the school year has everyone stressed out over midterms. Soon, finals will be here, which means you don’t get much of a break between studying for midterms and the end of the semester.

I know, I’ve been there.

I remember those times when all I wanted to do was sleep for the rest of my life and never walk into another classroom again. People would tell me I should enjoy this time of my life, but all I wanted to do was stress-eat my way through a bag of discounted pancakes, eggs of Kafeero-watch my favorite movies. Since I’ve graduated, though, I’ve realized that those people were right.

Your years in college, no matter how long it takes you to walk across that stage and get your diploma, or degree are truly something special. You don’t have the responsibilities you’ll deal with for the next few decades after you graduate, and you have a multitude of people ready to help you grow and find out who you’re meant to be. Even when you’re in your most stressed-out moments, instead of getting upset and considering dropping out, try thinking about some actionable ways you can grab ahold of your college experience and get the most out of it.

1.   Focus on Scheduling

The reason professors give you a staggering amount of homework isn’t because they think it’s fun to grade all those assignments and papers. It’s because they’re trying to teach you how to learn time management. When I first got to college, I was that person who did all their work last minute so I could enjoy being with my friends and figuring out what the college experience was like.

Let me tell you, that’s no way to survive your next few years of school. Get on top of scheduling your homework out right away. Professors give out homework schedules at the beginning of the semester for a reason! If you know what nights you’re hitting the books, you’ll know when you’ll be free to hang out with friends. This will make your social life way less stressed than if you never looked at a calendar.

2.   Treat Your Body Right

There’s a time and a place for everything, which means your weekend partying needs to be followed up with a time of nourishment for your body. Almost every college student wants to eat well, but I know that’s hard to do, and can be expensive. Cafeterias offer unlimited pizza and burgers, while the healthy food is either limp salad from the salad bar or pre-frozen mini-meals from campus convenience stores that cost way too much.

When it came to buying groceries, I was out of luck. I worked two extra jobs while taking classes, and I still somehow only ever had a collective $5 in my bank account. College is great, but it’s expensive. Don’t let that get you down, though. Try looking up A College Guide To Healthy Eating to help you get on your way to feeling better and looking better without sacrificing more money or time that you would have spent working on homework.

3.   Take a Second Look at Your Finances

Do you know where your money is really going? If you don’t, you probably don’t even realize when you’re overspending on things you don’t need. Most importantly, your money should be going toward your bills and any debt you might have. Then it should cover the necessities, like food and gas, if you drive to class. After that it can be spent on fun things that make you happy.

Still not sure how to budget? Maybe first take a look at how much you’re currently paying for things. Sometimes all you need to do to have some extra cash is change up your lifestyle. One of the biggest bank breakers that I discovered when I did this was living on campus. That’s how I started my college years, and moving off campus turned out to be the best thing I ever did. On average, off-campus housing students save $2,238 more than on-campus students each year.

That’s a whole lot of extra ramen.

4.   Don’t Forget to Put Classes First

You’re there to learn, so don’t forget that school comes first. For me, I got sidetracked when I started making new friends, going out more and participating in clubs. These things are great, and they’re what makes college fun, so they should be pursued in moderation. But I was having so much fun that my grades started to slide. You’re not paying a boatload of cash so you can hit the town every night. You enrolled because you wanted to earn that diploma, so always put school first. Your friends will be there later, and they may even appreciate the reminder that they should be in the library, too.

5.   Take Lots of Pictures

One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t take more pictures and write down more memories while I was in school. After I graduated, I had a few big memories to look back on, but I wish I had charted my experiences. Social media makes this easier now, but don’t forget to export those pictures to your photo gallery, or even print them out and put them in storage somewhere. You’ll thank me later when you want to revisit your favorite memories from your first years at school.

College is stressful, especially this time of year when midterms feel like they’ve kicked your butt and all your professors can talk about is preparing for finals. Take hope in the fact that the stress won’t last forever, and try to enjoy every second that you have, because it ends so much faster than you think. Take it from me — hard work pays off, but don’t forget to enjoy the happy moments while they’re still happening.

How healthy your relationship is? you should know these questions. By Lukonge Achilees

Romantic relationships are about attachment. We need from our partner all the same things we need from a parent when we’re children: assurance that they won’t abandon us, demonstration that they care, reason to trust them, etc. The more you foster this attachment, the healthier your relationship will be. The weaker this attachment, the unhappier and more likely to break up you will be.

1. Do you use a “soft startup” to bring up difficult topics?

One of the strongest predictors of divorce in Dr. John Gottman’s empirical research on marriage was a “harsh startup” to fights. “You don’t care about me!” “You never take out the trash!” “There you go again, going into la la land.” Instead, use a startup that doesn’t attack your significant other. “I’m not feeling happy with the way we’re dealing with the garbage right now.

2. Do you criticize or show contempt for your spouse?

Criticism means, when you bring up issues, you attack them as a person, rather than raise complaints about actions or situations. Contempt means you’re disgusted by them. These usually take the form of superlatives. “You’re lazy. That’s why you don’t help me.” “You’re a cold bitch. Why can’t you ever consider my feelings?”

3. Are you defensive?

When our significant other brings up an issue, do we immediately try to justify our actions? Do we defend ourselves? This is natural if they’re criticizing us, but even when that’s the case, defensiveness escalates the situation, rather than defusing it. If even when they’re aggressive, you can ask “what’s wrong?” instead of “no I don’t!” you dramatically reduce your odds of divorce.

4. Do you make repair attempts?

Repair attempts are anything that de-escalates a fight. It can be an apology, a hug, or a comment. “We’re getting heated. Let’s slow down.”

5. Do you recognize your partner’s repair attempts?

Even more important than making your own repair attempts is accepting your partner’s. If they reach out to you to de-escalate tension, and you ignore them, or attack them, this was the single strongest predictor of divorce in Gottman’s research.

6. Do you know your partner?

What’s your partner’s favorite food? What’s troubling him or her right now? What is he or she trying to achieve? You should know these things off the top of your head. If you don’t, you need to talk to them more.

7. Do you make frequent small gestures of love?

Relationships don’t live on grand gestures. The big fight you had won’t kill your relationship, and the trip to the Bahamas won’t save it. It’s when you hold each other when you get home from work, or you cook for each other, or you remember their birthday. These are the moments that reinforce your attachment every day.

8. Do you pay attention to them?

Just as it’s the small things that build attachment, the small things destroy it. If they come home upset, and you don’t do anything to comfort them, they will feel abandoned, and this will chip away at your relationship. Your moments of ignorance do more to wreck your relationship than anything else, and fights are usually a consequence of feeling abandoned, not the true cause of relationship meltdown.

9. Do you use “I” statements?

A habit of highly successful couples originally proposed in the ’60s by Dr. Thomas Gordon is to speak in terms of “I” rather than “you.” This keeps you talking about facts. “I feel XYZ,” as opposed to “you are doing ABC.” It avoids the criticism and contempt mentioned before.

10. Do you let them influence you?

The more hierarchical your relationship is, the more likely it is to fail. If you are unwilling to consider your significant other’s perspective on things, and everything must be done your way or the highway, there’s a high chance it will lead to the highway.

11. Do you practice loving rituals?

We are what we make habits. If you make a habit out of rituals of love, you will consistently reinforce your relationship without thinking about it. This could be a date night every Friday, a daily cuddle session, or an annual honeymoon. All of the above are good ideas.

12. Do you practice “loving jealousy?”

It’s popular to believe that jealousy is a sign of love and affection. It’s actually a sign of distrust and insecurity. If you’re not comfortable with your lover visiting friends, talking to the opposite sex, or doing anything in general, your relationship will be more miserable.

13. Do you hold your lover responsible for your emotions?

As I mentioned, it’s important to be sensitive and attentive to your partner, but you can’t hold them responsible for taking care of your feelings. You need to take measures to comfort yourself and manage your own emotions too. They are only human. It also helps if, when you need their help, you verbalize that need.

14. Do you continue to improve yourself?

It’s easy to get complacent in a relationship, and most people do. It’s a tendency you need to resist. Keep going to the gym. Keep developing hobbies. Keep making yourself sexier and more interesting.

15. Do you turn towards them?

One of the strongest indicators of successful couples is “turning towards” rather than “turning away.” Individuals in couples often make “bids” for each other’s attention. This can be everything from calling to ask if you need milk to commenting on the pretty bird. The milk and the bird aren’t important. Responding to your lover is. Couples that respond to their lovers’ bids for attention are immensely more likely to stay together years later than those who don’t.

16. Do you deal with your solvable problems?

Most problems in relationships are solvable. They might be big arguments, but they can be resolved through compromise and sensitivity. Couples who sweep these problems under the rug (usually because they use harsh startups and are critical of each other, making talking about problems uncomfortable) grow bitter and miserable.

17. Do you have a system for accommodating your unsolvable problems?

Unsolvable problems derive from differences in core values or dreams. They might involve religious differences, disagreement about kids, differences in desire to travel, etc. These aren’t the deal-breakers we often assume them to be (though they can be). Couples who successfully address unsolvable problems employ habits that minimize the influence these problems have on their relationship.

18. Do you admire your partner?

Partners who admire each other are far more likely to happily stay together. Get in the habit of reminding yourself about your partner’s positive qualities. Remember why you fell in love with them.

19. Are you willing to leave?

Ending the relationship should be the last resort, but it has to be an option. If you are addicted to your partner, or are too insecure to live without their validation no matter how bad the relationship gets, this can kill both of your motivations to work on the problems.

20. Do you keep score?

Some couples think successful relationships are about reciprocity. “He does things for me, I do things for him.” The good things you do for each other should arise because you want to do them, not because you expect reciprocity. You also should be forgetting the missteps, not saving them to bring up in the next fight. If you’re keeping an account of who’s investing more or less, this is a sign of a broken relationship.