What Do You Mean TOO Sarcastic?

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Sarcasm. Undeniably funny, interesting, and intriguing if executed correctly. Today’s generationΒ is so used to hearing and speaking in sarcastic languages that they don’t even realize they’re speaking in a native tongue to some members of older generations. Sarcasm is all over your college campus, in your peer groups, and it may even be in your family household. It’s a way to connect with people in a funny yet non-smothering way and create a sense of personality. It’s also excellent to use as icebreakers (among friends) and in awkward situations, as long as you’re not offending anyone or using it to be a “Bitter Betty” (also known as a grouch).

With my friends, I can tell them a whole story without saying one word of what actually happened and they’ll still understand the truth in all quantities, fact for fact. For instance, telling my best friend that I sprinted across a store without breathing to catch the last shirt on sale actually means that I took my time walking over there, trying it on, putting it down and coming back to it later to purchase it before anyone else snatched it up. Telling my father that a large boulder catapulted at my car’s windshield and cracked it means more along the lines of a small rock from a passing car chipped my window and it was relatively the size of a penny. Some people may call this embellishment, but sarcasm is used more so in the aspect that you KNOW the other person is going to know you’re exaggerating to make a conversation more entertaining.

For me, I’m used to plugging sarcasm into my everyday life. It comes out even more when I’m nervous, which can be a little awkward. There’s almost never a time that I’m not being sarcastic in some way, even if I don’t mean to! As college students, it’s really important to make sure you’re using sarcasm in the right places and at the right time. Telling your teacher, “Oh don’t worry, I love getting an F -.-” may just actually end up in you getting one. To your fellow peers, that statement may mean, “The last thing I’d ever want to do is get an F” but to your teacher, that statement means “Oh don’t worry, I love getting an F”.

See how that works out?

The other thing you have to be careful about with sarcasmΒ is that a lot of times, people who don’t understand sarcasm or use it as frequently as you do may think what you’re saying is rude or a little too blunt. Even if you’re just kidding, sometimes being sarcastic at the wrong times or in conversation with the wrong people can give off the impression that you’re a bit hostile or rude. If you’re just getting to know someone and you’re not sure if they are hip with the sarcastic lingo, do without it. I’m sure you can think of a million things from the English language to talk about without inserting “said no one ever” into your responses.

SarcasmΒ in conversation is one thing, but sarcasm in print is another. Sarcastic writing is great for personal blogs and social media sites, but less satisfactory for school assignments or term papers. It’s important to remember that when you’re writing an assignment, you’re writing as a student who’s learning to be a credible and professional writer. For this reason, unless you’re writing a piece for a creative writing class or specialty assignment, don’t use sarcasm. Writing a report or term paper relies heavily on stating and citing credible and truthful information. Sarcasm, although it may be funny to those who understand it, could be misinterpreted as an embellishment of facts or truth that could get you in trouble with your professor.

Not to mention, using sarcasm to say things that you’re trying to say the opposite of (the “Grade F” situation for an example) could make you look incompetent (also see; “hopeless”). You’re using it as an “of course I already know that” type of statement, but for people that don’t thoroughly understand how sarcasm works may just think you’re missing really vital concepts and then just look at you like your brain fell on the floor. This happens a lot in the work environment. Your boss tells you that you need to do a better job mopping the floor, and you respond with “Oh no, usually I just pour water on the floor and then leave for the day” with a smirk on your face.

Not funny.

You’re probably just going to make your boss think that you actually just throw buckets of water on his company floor to create safety hazards for everyone. Then, you’ll probably be looking for a new job. Obviously you mopped the floor with the best intentions and to the best of your ability, but you shoved your whole foot and ankle in your mouth trying to be funny and sarcastic at the wrong time.

So, whether you’re a new or returning college student, make sure to use your sarcasm in quantities. Besides the coming off with the wrong impression stand point, you could really wear your good material out! Use it sparingly and with the right audiences, and you’ll both maximize your credibility as a student and employee while still impressing your friends and social circles.

 

Dealing with the Helicopter Parent and College

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The school year will be wrapping up soon, and with college looming heavily in the distance for many young adults the struggle between parents and their students will be kicked into overdrive.

Even if you’re a graduating senior, preparing to begin your freshmen year in a few months there will be plenty of long discussions and arguments with your anxious, concerned parents to live through this summer, especially if your priorities don’t match up.

Just remember that you’re not alone, and that your parents are arguing with you because they care.

1)Pick your battles

A good night’s sleep will not make your argument disappear. Mom and Dad (and you for that matter) are not going to change their mind overnight. So you need to pick your priorities and choose to compromise on issues that aren’t as important to you. You don’t need to argue over your parents over every single detail. After all, does it really matter if you join honors society as long as you live in the residence hall you want to live in?

2) You have to deal with the Consequences

It may be easier to sit back and let Mom and Dad do everything for you, (especially if you know you’ll argue over everything) but it’s probably not the best idea. You are the one who will be living with these decisions. So if you let Mom take your math assessment online for you, it will be you who has to take the class that she gets you placed into; whether it’s calculus 2 or pre-calculus the class will be a waste of your time and your money if it isn’t the class you actually belong in.

3) Be Understanding

The reason your parents have become so overbearing lately it that they care about you. They don’t want you to suffer through the same miserable mistakes that they dealt with. They remember what it was like to be 17 and unsure of what you will do with the rest of your life. They want to help you. So don’t throw every decision and every argument in their face. Consult them, help them get involved in your decisions and explain to them why you want to do something. You’ll find that if they understand your reasoning they will often side with you.

Image: Duquesne university

Financing your College Education

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Even though your deposit’s been mailed, it’s not too late to start looking for alternative ways to finance you college education, even if it does put off thoughts of your summer of fun.

If you didn’t get the financial aid you need or you’d like to give yourself a bit more breathing room (financially speaking), there are other forms of aid out there. You just need to know what you’re looking for and where to look for it.

Scholarship search engines are the best places to start looking for alternative aid. There are a lot of different options out there, and these search engines will help you narrow down your results to scholarships that you actually qualify for.

To get started all you need to do is create a membership with FastWeb, scholarships.com, CollegeBoard, CollegeNet, or another search engine. Provide as much information as possible, including the school you plan to attend and any special skills that you have, in order to get the absolute best results.

Unfortunately, finding the scholarships you qualify for isn’t enough. You actually have to apply for them, which is often easier said than done.

Most of the scholarships available on these sites don’t dole out the “big money,” instead they offer awards ranging from $500-$1,500. These are the scholarships you need to focus on.

Why? Because there’s a lot more competition for the scholarships that award sums upwards of $10,000, so your odds are a lot better when your applying for the smaller scholarships (not that you shouldn’t apply for the big awards; just make sure you look into both).

However, these smaller scholarships aren’t awarded to just anyone. You have to put a lot of work into each individual entry. From writing essays, to creating a video, to competing in a contest, you need to put the very best of yourself into each entry in order to earn the scholarship. And just because there’s less competition, doesn’t mean that you won’t be up against some impressive competitors.

So why bother?

$500 may not seem like much, but it does add up. The more scholarship contests you enter the better your chances will be of winning, and if you win five $500 scholarships that adds up to $2,500. That will at least cover your textbooks and maybe even your dorm stuff for the first year.