It’s Not Me, It’s You: A Series of Unfortunate Douchebags by Anna Walters

College is funny because you can watch friends go in and out of serious, committed relationships while somehow managing to never make it past the “What are we?” stage with countless douchebags for four years straight. At least I like to think it’s funny when alone in my room meant for four people on date night. Well, date night for all my friends but what is so accurately described as “me time” for yours truly.

Yeah, that’s right, ME time.

Time for ME to do things, alone.

Oh wait, I already have plenty of that because I am alone.

Ha.

Crap, I’m lonely.

I don’t mean I’m alone in the sense that I have no friends or family that care about me and love me unconditionally, because that couldn’t be further from the truth. I have plenty of people that care about me and love me and support me endlessly. But, because I’m selfish and jealous and honestly always a little bit salty I still want more people to love me. Well, person. One person (I’d like to think I’d be a monogamist if I were ever presented with the option). Continue reading “It’s Not Me, It’s You: A Series of Unfortunate Douchebags by Anna Walters”

Simple Moments That Make Life Memorable by Rachel Wermager

This collection of stories comes from three generations of women. The stories show the strength of a marriage and family, and how often these things are built on the simple moments that make life memorable.  

For Grandma and Papa: you showed me what love and happiness looks like.  

Grandma: I arrived with my family in Brady, Nebraska when I was a junior in high school. Naturally the first thing I did was look around to see what the boy situation was. When I first laid eyes on him I noticed his quirky smile and blue eyes. But, unfortunately at that time, those blue eyes were looking to someone else.

It wasn’t until after he graduated high school and went off to college that we went out ice-skating together. He was a perfect gentleman while we skated out at the river.

I guess we just clicked because we went together thereafter.

Continue reading “Simple Moments That Make Life Memorable by Rachel Wermager”

Reflections from a College Senior by Cali Tonnesen

As I enter the last few weeks of college, I can’t help to reflect on my experiences. I’ll be completely honest and say that this was not the best four years of my life, I mean moments of it were great but if this is as good as it’s going to get, that’s a bit terrifying. Did I go about college the wrong way? Should I have done things differently? Sure, I have regrets, I probably should have come to college without a high school boyfriend because in hindsight that distanced myself from my friends. I should have spent more time out of my dorm room. I probably should have lived in my sorority house and became closer with my pledge class. I should have gone out more. I should’ve explored Des Moines every weekend. I should have just said “yes” more. But who really knows the right way to do college. Does anyone else feel like these four years are hyped up more than they should be?

Did I fail at college? Continue reading “Reflections from a College Senior by Cali Tonnesen”

Two Bad Things by Nora Balboa

When my childhood dog died, I cried for three days.  During those three days, I probably slept a total of six hours.  I was nineteen years old at the time and had gotten that dog—Princess—when I was three years old.  I was devasted.  I could tell you exactly what I was doing the day that she died.  I could tell you that I had on my high school English honor society shirt.  I could tell you that it was roughly 9:40 pm when I let her outside and her legs stopped working.  I could tell you that when the vet told us it was time he was wearing green scrubs and that when she tried to look up at me for the last time as she went to sleep there was one brown spot in the white of her left eye.

When my grandpa died two months later, all I remember is that when my mom called me from the hospital and told me in a tear-choked voice that Grandpa was gone, I said, “Oh.” Continue reading “Two Bad Things by Nora Balboa”

Oreos Are Just Cookies by Sydney Moore

An Oreo. To some this is a very delicious cookie. Crunchy chocolaty outside that seems to melt in your mouth and a silky-smooth crème filling. This is the (black) cookie that craves (white) milk. It is perfect for when everything is going wrong and just one package would be good enough to solve all the problems in the world. However, to some an Oreo isn’t just a cookie. To some it’s an insulting nickname. To me, an Oreo stopped being just a cookie a long time ago, now it means black on the outside, white on the inside. An Oreo is what I’ve been unofficially called since sixth grade, but to be honest the not so subtle racism started when I was much younger than that. Continue reading “Oreos Are Just Cookies by Sydney Moore”

Turns Out, I Would Risk My Life For A Grade by Olive Riley

For one of my classes I was assigned a piece on a pop-punk band that had started a tour around the United States. I had never heard of the band, or of the venue for that matter. Neither of those things surprised me because I am not an avid pop-punk fan, and the music venue is in a town an hour north of where I live. So I thought there should be no reason to worry about what I might get myself into. This was my last journalism class, and I didn’t want one of the last memories of this degree to be me half-heartedly working on an assignment that I had no passion for. Plus, I had done fairly well in all of my courses; I wanted to continue that pattern if I could. I was going to do my damnedest to make the experience of completing this piece something that would equate to more emotion in the final piece.

The day of the concert I looked up the address of the venue, but found nothing. I thought there may have been a chance the owners were old-school and didn’t believe in using a website; I wasn’t sure what the pop-punk crowd was into. I opted to call them instead. A man picked up and I asked where the venue was. Instead of giving me the address he asked who I was. Strange. I told him I was a student trying to cover a band playing there, and that I had gotten his phone number from one of my classmates. He asked me if I was the police. I told him no, and he begrudgingly gave me the address. This worried me a little bit, but not enough to deter me from going. I did the thing that all people who get killed in horror movies do; I justified everything creepy that happened by concluding it was just coincidence.    Continue reading “Turns Out, I Would Risk My Life For A Grade by Olive Riley”

Dreams by Caitlyn Morehouse

The Sleeping Dreams:

  1. My dream started by an outdoor pool, where the sun was shining and reflecting off the water. A dead woman lay on the concrete next to the pool, and my dream Grandmother (neither of my real Grandmothers made an appearance) sent me on a quest to protect a box (Pandora connection?). The quest brought me to a huge cave battle against flying monkey demons, which could be my subconscious telling me that I’ve seen both The Wizard of Oz and the Hobbit movies too many times.
  2. The recurring one that I had when I was five about being lost on a cliff with my cousin, Brittany. When we found a house and knocked on the door, a witch made Brittany and I eat dirt. The dirt made all of our teeth fell out.  It was scary enough that I had the dream three times.  A manifestation of my mind trying to make sense of irrational fear and anxiety (which is the common interpretation for any dream about losing teeth).
  3. All the dreams that I had where I was about to be murdered. The interesting thing here—there was always some sort of supernatural twist to the plotline. Sometimes the dreams start out centered somewhere in the vicinity of reality, but they always manage to veer off course into some sort of supernatural/horror adaptation. This could be attributed to my love for all things fantasy and an overactive imagination, which hasn’t been stifled by my attempts at adulthood.

Continue reading “Dreams by Caitlyn Morehouse”

Grief: An Afterthought by Kenzie Busekist

His name was Austin Koehler. His hair was stringy and blond. He was the type of boy that was constantly dirty. It was fair to assume that his mom didn’t make him take as many showers as mine did. He was continuously on the go, always outside, just ready to explore whatever piqued his interest.

Austin was my next-door neighbor and neither of our backyards had fences, so he would always stroll over to mine. It was pretty obvious who had the better yard, because mine was home to a gigantic play set that had chain-linked swings and a bright yellow slide. Needless to say, he was over constantly—so much so that from time to time my parents would complain about his lack of parental supervision. I didn’t mind Austin being over all the time. He played the big brother role and showed me all of the things that I needed to learn in order to be a kid growing up on the south side of Lincoln, Nebraska. He showed me how to climb large piles of dirt and how to pump my legs back to get the momentum that allowed me to swing higher. Continue reading “Grief: An Afterthought by Kenzie Busekist”

My Schedule and Me: The End of Love by Madeline Miller

Lent 2017: Junior Year

When looking at my schedule outlined in my planner, with the highlighted notes and cramped handwriting, I try to think of what else I am missing. Did I write down that meeting with my advisor? Did I ever respond to the three emails my boss sent me today? How long is today’s recruitment meeting? Will I have enough time to grab dinner with my roommates? I can’t cancel again. Did I ever respond to my boyfriend’s text? Has that due date been moved for the paper? Or did I miswrite that? What wasn’t recorded from the emails that I recently received? What if somebody told me something in person that I don’t remember?

I was busy, but I was the sort of person who thrived on being busy. It gave me a purpose. I knew my schedule was bad when my roommate asked me what I was giving up for Lent. Continue reading “My Schedule and Me: The End of Love by Madeline Miller”