College is a new, exciting, and possibly shocking time in any ones life. This blog is for incoming and current college students to open their minds and begin the discussion of things they may experience in college and that will hopefully continue. With advice, thoughts, and superheroes, it is going to be a pretty good time!
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College is just another step in life, and unfortunately, we are often hurt throughout life. We face struggles, deal with heartaches, and sometimes do not want to move on. However, in 60 seconds, this man gives some deep insight into dealing with that pain and hurt. 

The Unbalance in the World and How to Straighten it

For the past month or so I have been watching Buffy: The Vampire Slayer with my fiance. This is my first time watching it through (probably her twentieth) and if you have never seen Buffy, let me give you a little heads up…the first season sucks, but it gets a lot better after that!! It is a lot like the newer seasons of Doctor Who! But I am not writing this to write about why you should or should not watch Buffy, or Doctor Who for that matter. What I want to focus on is something that I noticed while watching Buffy. (And yes, this does count as a superhero!! There is not only at TV show, but also a comic book series, therefore, she is a superhero…lawyered!)

So what have I noticed while watching Buffy? Unbalance. What do I mean by that? Like many students, she has school, work (we will call her slaying vampires and demons to be work), and the want to hang out with friends. However, because she has put her focus so much on her work and wanting to hang out with friends and puts her education on the back burner, however she has such great potential.

Thus, she is unbalanced. It is kind of like the college triangle. I don’t know if you have ever heard or seen it, but here it is. The way it works is simple: when it comes between good grades, a social life, or enough sleep, you can only pick two. Because Buffy is so focused on her work and have a social life, she has chosen her two. But this is what I have come to learn…you really do not need to choose two! College, life, anything you do, you do not need to choose only a certain number of things because someone has said that is how it works. Whether referring to college, work, or life, you can make it work. It is all about looking at your priorities and what you find to be important. Just looking at college, if you want to get good grade, have a social life, and get enough sleep, you can make it work. All that it means is that there are certain things that you may have to give up. Maybe you cannot party every day of the weekend, maybe you only get six hours of sleep rather than eight. The point is, you make sacrifices, you do what you need to do to get the things you want to get done.

The point is, the triangle means nothing. It is more like this: pick what you need, pick what is important to you and what you want and need and then go get it. Don’t let someone else tell you that you cannot have all that you want, because that is horse crap! Yes, you may have to sacrifice sometime and some things, but that does not mean that you have to give up anything that you want and/or need. So go forth and accomplish all that you want, make the world a better place and have a wonderful time in college. While Buffy is very unbalanced, that does not mean that you have to be or even give up anything that you want. But hey, Buffy the Vampire Slayer still is a good show, so she does have that going for her!

Our Own Secret Identities

Whenever we think of superheroes, we me at least, they are always connected to their secret identities. Whenever someone says Batman, you think Bruce Wayne; Superman, Clark Kent; Spider-man, Peter Parker; the Flash, Barry Allen. You get the idea. We immediately connect the hero with the individual. Its likes that psychological exercise. One person says a word and the other person responds. Okay, I think you get the idea. 

But what about you? What is your secret identity? To give you an example, people know me as Jacob Schornak: comic book nerd, outgoing, funny, hot tempered, and the guy who loves suiting up! But what they don’t know, what I don’t let them see, is my secret identity. Things that only those who are closest to me know, and it took me years to let even those people know who was beneath the exterior. Now I’m not saying it is a facade. The person I am to the world is the same person I am to my closest friends, but they know the deeper parts of me, my “secret identity” which the rest of the world does not. 

It can take us years to let people know our secret identities. We are often afraid that if we show people the parts of us that may go against the norm, that these people may not accept us for who we are. We hide it to ourselves, believing that if we keep quiet no one will notice, but you do! Everyone’s secret identity is different, but that does not mean that anyone’s is better or more important or more difficult to share than another’s! Telling someone that you are gay, or have a gambling or drinking problem, or telling someone you have cancer, or that you have dropped out of school, all of these are different, but ALL of them are hard!

Now I’m not saying that you should go home and tell everyone you know what your secret identity is. That is for you to decide, for you to come to terms with. My only hope is, as you read this, whether you be heading to college, in college, or just living life, that you think, “what is my secret identity?” Be aware of the identity that you are keeping to yourself and ask yourself, who am I willing to share this with? Knowing who you are is hard, telling other people who you are is even harder!

What Should We Call it….

College is one of the few times in your life, if one of the only, in which you will be with such a large amount of people of the same age group as yourself. While you all may be in the same age range, everyone you meet in college, yourself included, are different and unique. You will be exposed to new ideas, new cultures and ways of looking at the world. You will be challenged, forced to consider where you stand on social and moral issues, and it may be difficult. You will meet people of different race, sexual orientation, and ideals. The people you meet in college will help to shape who you will become as a person, if you let them. But here is the thing, when you get to college you have to make a choice. Are you going to accept people for who they are or are you going to judge them and believe that because they are different that makes them bad?

Joss Whedon, director of such blockbuster hits as The Avengers and Toy Story, has brought up a new idea of recognizing and showing equality, something that we all should strive for in college and afterwards.

Now I’m not saying that you are a genderist by showing this video. The point is to make you think! While you may not consider yourself to be a racist or a sexist or any other negative ist word there is, the question you have to ask yourself is do you accept everyone for who they are? When you are in college and after, will you continue to accept people for who they are or will you judge them because they do not fit into the boxes that society considers to be “correct?” These are questions you must ask yourself, because while college may be the largest congregation of people in the same age range as yourself, it will not be the last time you will be around a diverse range of people.

Let’s Get This Started

Introductions are always the hard part, I mean explaining who you are in just a few words, so I guess we had better start simple. My name is Jacob Schornak. I am a senior studying Writing Studies from Eagan, MN. Give you a little more insight about who I am, more than the three simple questions (Name, Major, Hometown), I am a huge fan of the outdoors, playing video games, watching good movies, and writing. But something that I love even more than writing is comic books and superheroes. Superheroes just make sense to me…that’s right…I’m a nerd! They express feelings and ideas that most other forms of media cannot grasp. Because I am such a fan of superheroes most of my posts, if not all of them, will revolve around superheroes in one way or another. But here is the main reason for writing these posts: for you to succeed in college. I have gone through a lot in my four years at the University of Minnesota Duluth, both joy and sorrow, success and failure, triumph and disappointment. All I can hope to do is pass on what I have learned, what I think to be the important parts of succeeding in college, what I have done and not done to get to this point.