So The World Is Burning & I’m Going Back To School

I dropped out of university in 2017. It wasn’t exactly something I planned on doing but it happened. 2017 was a tough year for me, my mental health started to go downhill more than it ever had before and I went through two really bad breakups. Most of the time, when I think back on that year all I see is the bad because it was a turning point in my life that I never saw coming but I also had so many experiences that year that I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to have. I studied abroad in London for three weeks, I saw totality of an eclipse, and I even designed a book cover! That year was a turning point in my life because even though there was so much bad, it also started to teach me about myself and helped me get to the point I’m at now. I’m nowhere that I ever expected myself to be at 24, almost 25 but this is my reality and I kind of hope that in talking about it that maybe it’ll get to someone else who needs it.

Just a note before I get further into this post, I will be talking candidly about mental health and other possibly triggering topics so if you’d like to tap out of this now feel free!

The other day I was on Twitter and read a tweet that said something along the lines of “the ocean is on fire and you’re going to grad school??” and I had a panic attack. Natural disasters and climate change cause so much existential anxiety for me that it’s been difficult to find motivation to keep moving forward. (Shout out to my teachers in elementary and middle school that showed us movies like Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, and the one about Yellowstone erupting.) In the past year and a half I’ve done a lot for my mental health and for my future. I found a new therapist and I’ve recently started EMDR with her in order to start reprocessing trauma. I got diagnosed with ADHD. I got back on medication and found a psychiatrist that I don’t hate. I applied to go back to school and I got in.

I applied to go back to school and I got in.

Honestly, after dropping out in 2017 I wasn’t sure if I’d ever go back to school. Every time I started to think I was working my way back uphill I fell down again. When I look back at that time period I know I was running on fumes just trying to survive each day. I was desperately trying to figure out who I was and that struggle made me hurt not only myself but a lot of other people. My roommate at the time was honestly the main reason I stayed alive and I’m forever grateful for her. It’s the little things but she kept me fed and there were so many nights that we would stay up hysterically laughing about the weirdest things or watching American Horror Story. We created a home for ourselves and even though it was a difficult time period for both of us I look back on it fondly. (I know she still reads at least some of my posts so if you’re reading this, thank you for everything, seriously. Ugh, our neighbors must have hated our middle of the night shenanigans lol)

Leaving school was my own choice. I was overwhelmed financially and mentally and got caught up in trying to make other people like me because I couldn’t figure out how to like myself. Even though I had just switched to a new advisor and was excited to finally have an idea of what I wanted for my future nothing I did felt like it was enough. My therapist at the time and I discussed it in depth and decided a break from school would be beneficial. I just didn’t expect the spiral that came afterwards. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly happened. Piecing together my memories from that time period have been more difficult than I expected.

Now fast forward to this year. I knew I needed to do something to move forward with my life. My job was sucking the life out of me and I was desperate to move forward. Not everyone needs to go to school but ever since I dropped out I felt the need to go back. I love learning and school used to be a place I thrived and I wanted to get back to a place where I felt productive again. The biggest problem I had was that I had no idea what I wanted to do. Let’s be real, I still don’t know what I want to do but I’m working on it. When I first went to university I was majoring in religion… And then education and history… Then history… Then history and communications… And finally communications with a focus in media studies. I have a lot of interests but I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future. Growing up every time someone asked me what I wanted to be my answer changed frequently. The only thing that ever stayed consistent was that I wanted to write. But I wanted to be a teacher, lawyer, zookeeper, youth minister, librarian, artist… The list goes on. I battled constantly with my passions and being “practical”. There were plenty of my classmates who pursued artistic degrees, I just wasn’t brave enough to follow in their footsteps.

When I finally started looking into reapplying for school I sat down and made a mind map of all of my interests in order to narrow down what I might want to do. As the map got bigger and bigger I realized how important to me that nature was. I’ve always loved being outside but it was my first backpacking trip in 2015 that sparked a hunger for adventure in me that seems insatiable. So I spent a few weeks watching videos from Kristina Lynn on YouTube, she’s a wildlife biologist and has made numerous videos about jobs within that field and more. Those videos as well digging into lists of majors and classes at any university that I was even remotely interested in attending started to get me to form a small seed of a future working in nature in my head.

The first time I went to university I applied to two schools and got into both. This time I also applied to only two schools but I only got into one. Luckily, it was my top choice. I’m going to be attending a state university in Minnesota and will be majoring in biology with a focus in ecology. Classes start in just over a month and I’m getting more anxious by the day and my brain is starting to shut down. I had just registered for classes when I saw that tweet about grad school and the ocean and I wanted to give up. In a matter of weeks I had a lot of new stressors introduced and then the more that I thought about the world and life as a whole I wanted to stop moving. I was back to feeling the same sort of hopelessness and loss that I had been experiencing on a regular basis since 2016-2017. I’ll be honest when I say that some days I spend hours in a state of dissociation because I don’t understand anything.

Even though I’ve finally started to take steps forward for myself, it feels like the world is taking steps backward for me. I’m a nihilist even on my best days. I often struggle to find meaning with my life because “we all die in the end anyways”. This is why I’m thankful to have a therapist who can help to hold me accountable. I have to assign myself goals each week and my desire to please people almost always overrides my need to do nothing so I slowly work towards goals that I come up with during those sessions. Which basically means the world is on fire and I’m going back to school.

It doesn’t help that I’m a returning student and even though I’ve knocked out essentially all of my generals I still feel like I’m behind. I know that there’s no reason to follow a standard path for school and even though I was never exactly pressured to jump straight to college after high school there are still frequent moments when I feel terrible for dropping out in the first place. And every time I get a letter or email addressed to the “Parents of” me it knocks me down one more peg. I don’t think they should require parental interaction or even assume parental interaction with university because it’s not a given, ever, but I understand why they do assume it.

I’m not sure when it will hit me that I’m really going back to school and that this is a huge step forward for me. Even though I’m years off the timeline I had tried to create for myself this is the first time that I ever truly feel like I’ve made some decisions for me and me alone. Finding the motivation to move forward is hit or miss and I’m trying to give myself some grace when it comes to my bad days. I’m also striving to keep my pessimism away from other’s successes. Just because I find everything I do to be pointless doesn’t mean I should make someone else feel bad. It doesn’t always work out that way but it’s important. We shouldn’t hurt other people mentally just because we’re hurting.

When this post goes up I’ll be touring my new school and getting some things set up for the new semester. I’m stressed about it, especially because I have a long drive there, but it finally feels like things are moving forward.

I hope you all have a nice day. I’ll talk to you in my next post.

If you’re interested in connecting with me elsewhere:
I’m on Twitter: @/nihilisticactus
Email: adventuresandespresso@gmail.com
Or if you’d like to financially support the blog, my Ko-fi is linked here.

Happy New Year: Blog Goals For 2020

Hi everyone!! Happy New Year!

I hope that the end of 2019 went well and that the holidays were peaceful. I ended up taking a lot longer of a break than I expected and I have to admit, it was really needed. Truth be told, I haven’t completed a book in a few weeks but in my typical fashion I am in the middle of at least seven. I spent December watching a lot of Netflix and a lot of Disney+. I started crocheting again and made a whole bunch of Christmas presents and am about 1/3 of the way done with my first sweater!

I’ve tried staying off social media more in the last few weeks and it was so nice. So now that it is the new year, I’ve decided to break my hiatus and make a comeback on the blog.

I have a few goals for this upcoming year in regards to the blog and I will probably be sharing a few personal goals at the end of this post as well.

Starting off, I would like to continue growing my follower count. I don’t really have a specific number in mind and I’m not going to stress about that but I feel a sense of joy and pride when I realize that people are reading what I’m saying and I really want to be able to continue to share my thoughts with more people.

Post at least once a week. I tried to be consistent, but personal things always seem to get in the way so I know that I can’t hold myself to a specific schedule. While I would love to try, I don’t think that’s going to be possible, at least not now. So, even if all I can get out is a weekly post and not a review or something like that, I just want to make sure I’m committing to creating content. A half goal with this is also to post more lifestyle themed things. While I absolutely love the book community and what I have fostered in my theme over the last year, this blog started off with a far bigger variety of posts than what it has now. I think that this, in part, was why I felt so burnt out and fell into that huge reading slump. I loved writing posts about hiking and I had so many ideas for posts centered around makeup that I never bothered writing because I just kept trying to focus on book posts. This definitely doesn’t mean I’m stepping away from book blogging (I think this blog will always be books at the center) but I do want to put it out there that I’m going to write a lot of different posts this year!

Find a way to review books in a way that makes sense to me and makes me happy to put out posts. Okay, so I was really proud of a lot of my posts from 2019. But at the same time, there are a lot of posts that I really wish I could have done differently. I’m not going to say that I hated any of the posts that I put out, but I think I need to rework the way that I write reviews. So that’s a big goal of mine. I started to change things up a little towards the end of the year and I’d like to continue on with honing in on a reviewing style that fits me.

 Add pictures. I used to be a photography fiend. For a long time I even wanted to be a photographer. But after high school I put my camera away and I haven’t really picked it up since. So a lot of my posts have been devoid of pictures and while I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, I miss having pictures scattered in my posts. I miss being creative. I think it’ll be interesting what I come up with for this goal but I would like to focus more on creativity this year. So hopefully you guys will see some stuff with that in the near future!

Last goal for the blog, READ MY ARCS. I started off so gung ho when I got access to ARCs on NetGalley and now (especially because of my reading slump) I’ve fallen so behind on my ARCs. And so this year, my goal is to get caught up on my ARCs and limit how many I request until then.

I’m really excited to start off this year and get posting again. I have a few posts from last year that I was in the middle of writing that I want to get put up by the end of the month and then I’ll just see where the universe takes me.

In terms of personal goals, I want to focus on time management and cleanliness this year. I also want to foster healthy personal relationships and do a lot of hiking. I would also like to try and focus on my health and figure out all the issues that I have.

Spring semester starts in a little over a week and I’ll be taking a writing class and French. I’ve heard that French takes up a lot of time so we’ll see how well the time management goal of mine starts off right out of the gate.

Do you guys have any big goals for this year? I’m really trying to keep things simple so that I don’t get overwhelmed. I think this is going to be a year of change and I couldn’t be more excited.

Happy New Year, again! And I hope everyone finds some joy and peace this year ❤

 

The Biggest Differences Between Online & Traditional Colleges

So when this is going to be posted I’ll have just finished up my first two classes of the school year. Which is totally weird considering it’s only October but if I’m being honest I have actually come to prefer the accelerated speed of the classes that I’m taking. It’s a lot of work but it feels like every assignment is actually worthwhile instead of being busy work.

And actually… That’s a lie. I hate the accelerated speed of the classes and I have to spend every day trying to convince myself not to drop out again 🙂

I will say though that if I wasn’t required to work full time (and wasn’t already struggling with that whole crazy aspect of life) and could focus more on school I definitely wouldn’t be having the issues that I’m having currently. I’m pretty sure that if I had a different job with different hours and different responsibilities I wouldn’t hate school as much as I do right now. And who knows, maybe I’ll enjoy it more when I start taking different classes.

In my post today I’m going to talk about the some of the biggest differences that I’ve noticed between attending online school and traditional school since I originally went through two full years of school.

Right off the bat, scheduling is completely different. It is up to you to make sure you’re meeting all your deadlines. You don’t have set “classes” that you have to attend throughout the week so when assignments are due, it’s up to you to make sure you dedicate enough of your time to them to complete each one. For both of my classes I have assignments due every Tuesday and Thursday and one of them also has assignments due on Sunday. Do I frantically do my homework every single time it’s due? Yes. Should I probably get better at time management? Yes. But I also really only work well under intense amounts of pressure because I really don’t care about my schoolwork. I talked more about that in this post.

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One thing that I really like is that I go to a school in a different time zone so all my assignments are due at “midnight” which is actually two AM my time so if I ever needed to use the full deadline time, I feel like I have more time to do it. That’s another huge difference. You can go to school anywhere at any time. This is great for people who have a family to care for or have to work full time. Balancing school and work and life is definitely difficult and I wish that I could give you advice on that topic but I am failing miserably and always have so I would recommend looking elsewhere for that kind of advice 🙂

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For me personally, talking to professors and asking for help is harder. Like hard to the point where I still haven’t filled out a form for disability accommodations because it’s online classes, my mental health shouldn’t matter in terms of needing to be accommodated for… It’s not like I have to miss classes or anything. And in terms of talking to professors. You don’t get the warmth of being in someone’s physical presence. It feels so much more formal than traditional schooling and I hate that. Online school has definitely turned me off from school even further, which sucks but at this point I’m just trying to get my degree and be done with it.

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That formality also carries over to how I feel about my classmates. School feels more like “clock in, clock out” than ever before. When I lived on campus I was constantly immersed in the goings on of literally everyone I interacted with. While online classes can attempt to foster some form of community, unless you put in the effort to get to know your classmates it’s not going to be there the way that it is at traditional schools. For me, this isn’t that big of a deal. I hate getting to know people and one of my defining characteristics is that I’m not part of any sort of community. I get my assignments done and log off. (Which they tell you not to do, but I genuinely don’t care, whoops).

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At this point I think that’s everything that I’ve really noticed that’s different. Other than also that the school that I attend has accelerated classes which means that classes last about 8 weeks each instead of the traditional 16 of a semester. So while I take 4 classes each semester, I only have two going at a time. I do like this because it’s a lot less to keep track of and helps me from getting too bored with one class because it goes by so much faster than a traditional class. It’s definitely a lot of work but at the end of the day I would probably be doing that much work from 4 classes anyways.

I think the main draw to online school is flexibility and I appreciate that but I really am starting to miss traditional school and I’m very sad that I’m not allowed to pursue that anymore. So here’s to more classes and hopefully getting my degree over with sooner rather than later.

 

September Favorites 2019

To wrap-up my marathon week of posts (it’s been a while since I did a full week of posts like this even though technically I didn’t post on Sunday so it wasn’t really a full week!) I’m here to share with you some of the things that I loved in September!

Books:

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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This is literally my new favorite book of all time. You can read my review about it here.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

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There’s a good chance that this is going to be one of my new favorite series. I’m overly obsessed with technology and robots and the singularity and whatnot and I genuinely gasped when I read the description of this book. Technology terrifies me and I love reading stories in which it is sentient, etc. Ugh I’m so excited to continue on with this series.

Also this book is a novella so it’s super short so if you’re looking for something really engaging and quick to read I highly recommend this!!

Other Media:

Bones ❤ ❤

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I decided to start rewatching Bones. I’m pretty sure I haven’t done a full rewatch since the show ended! I started watching this in 8th grade and it quickly became “my show”. I’m up to season 4 now and oh my goodness I forgot how painful it is to watch. Like I keep remembering events that are going to happen later in the show and I just start crying.

This show is probably my favorite show of all time and oof my heart is just so happy to watch this again.

Makeup:

ELF Wow Brow Gel

People talk about eyebrow gel more frequently than I thought it would be talked about so I decided to give it a shot because ELF has one and if I ever want to experiment with something I almost always go for the ELF brand one first because it’s so cheap. I have a love hate relationship with my eyebrows and I’m still working on finding the perfect product for me. There’s a good chance that this is the product I’ve been looking for. It’s enough color pay-off that my eyebrows look filled in but it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to apply it. My problem is normally that I’m very heavy handed when it comes to putting on pencil and powder/cream takes too much effort. I put on my makeup in my car before I go into work every day. I’ve got about a 10-15 minute window to do a full face so precision and ease is key.

Profusion Cosmetics Contour I palette

One of my coworkers got me this palette as part of her birthday present to me back in August and I didn’t really touch it until this month. I finally put the bronzer away for the year and decided to try out the lighter of the two contour shades in here. It really works great for me! I’ve also been using the two highlighting shades as eyeshadow.

Clothes/Accessories:

Midi skirts

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Enjoy this pic of me in the bathroom at work

As I’ve been learning more about what clothes I like and don’t like and trying to curate an actual sense of personal style I’ve come to really appreciate midi skirts. I have a really hard time with skirts and dresses being too short on me so I love that midi skirts are perfectly proportioned for me! I am trying to purchase more “basic” items so that it’s easier to put together outfits on a daily basis. My next task is to find some good white shirts that aren’t completely see through 🙂

Back to the skirts, though, I have just found that wearing skirts and dresses makes me feel instantly put together and fit me nicely regardless of what my body decides to do and feel like each day. I actually currently have 3 more skirts coming in the mail and I’m actually going to do a whole post with those when they get here because of how excited I am about them.

The link I attached is to a skirt listed on Amazon, it’s the one I’m wearing in the picture! I also have a black one in the same style.

Garmin watch

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I finally started wearing my fitness tracker again and I’ve really been enjoying that. It’s fun to see what I do in terms of steps every day and I love having it track my sleep. I used to wear a Fitbit every day and probably would have switched to an Apple Watch had I continued to use an iPhone but I ended up just getting a Garmin instead.

Other:

Compression brace!!!!

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Ignore my chipped to hell nail polish lol

I have really bad tendonitis and usually the worst joint pain I have is in my knee. But recently I’ve been having really bad foot pain so I finally decided to buy some compression braces for my feet and let me tell you, greatest decision I made all month.

Kindle Paperwhite

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This could technically go in my books category but I’m putting it here instead. I have struggled with reading ARCs on my computer since I started using NetGalley and when I try to get them on my phone the formatting is so difficult to read that I never want to read them. So I decided to splurge on a new Kindle and I’ve used it almost every day since I got it! I used to have a Kindle Fire and I didn’t really use it a ton. It was nice but I played more games on it (good old Angry Birds) than actually read. This Kindle is super lightweight and you can change the brightness so you can read in the bright sunlight or a dark room. This is probably going to be my favorite purchase of the year. I’ve been much more productive with my reading since getting it.

I think this pretty much sums up what I did this month… Spent too much money and cried a lot over fictional characters. Going to say it was a solid month! And now, for the most wonderful time of the year. Bring on October!!

 

August Favorites 2019

Books:

Usually I try and only put one book in my favorites each month just because I also do a wrap up post but there were three books that I loved so much that I really couldn’t choose. They’re also all from different genres so I might as well share them all!

You can check out my August wrap-up here, as well as my individual reviews for Graceling and The Right Swipe here and here.

Other Media:

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Lover… I mean this is no surprise. I’ve listened to this so many times. Had it on repeat in my car every day during my drive to and from work.

My unofficial official ranking of the songs as of right now is:

  1. Paper Rings
  2. London Boy
  3. Cruel Summer
  4. I Forgot That You Existed
  5. The Man
  6. Lover
  7. I Think He Knows
  8. Cornelia Street
  9. False God
  10. Afterglow
  11. Soon You’ll Get Better
  12. You Need To Calm Down
  13. ME!
  14. Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince
  15. Daylight
  16. It’s Nice To Have A Friend
  17. Death By A Thousand Cuts
  18. The Archer

Gus Johnson

Gus is my favorite YouTuber and has been for about a year now. He’s absolutely hilarious and is just so genuine and good. His Mitchell Robbins series is my go-to when I’m really sad, I physically cannot make it through one of those videos without crying from laughing so hard. With how stressed out I’ve been I’ve spent hours rewatching his videos and I can say I definitely didn’t regret that.

Make-Up/Skincare:

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I was shopping at Target with no list in mind, which is obviously never a good idea but it’s fine………….. Anyways, I was in the market for a new face mask so I decided to pick up this one. I am definitely still in the learning curve of mixing it (the clay comes in powder form so you have to mix it with water) but I was hooked the first time I used it. Honestly my skin had not been softer in months before trying it out. I was shocked! I’ve been trying to use face masks at least twice a week because I’ve been wearing makeup much more frequently and I’m glad I tried this one.

Also does anyone have any recommendations for good face masks? I’m looking for a nice peel off one for sure and maybe a good hydrating one.

Clothes/Accessories:

Fabletics leggings. Before I bought any from Fabletics I was obsessed with a pair that I have from Old Navy but they no longer sell the kind that I like so I had to move on to other brands to try and find replacements. The first few pairs I bought from Fabletics were patterned and I never wore them so I just figured I didn’t really like them… But then I bought solid colored ones and I’ve been wearing them constantly since then.

I definitely don’t like how hard it is to cancel a membership from the company once you’ve started one but I’ve just started setting calendar reminders on my phone to go skip my subscription charge each month.

Oh and along with the leggings I’ve gotten two tops and a bra and I really like those too! They fit nicely and are so comfortable!

Food/Drinks:

Chai tea ❤

This is my go-to warm drink from any coffee place and it’s been cold enough to order warm drinks again so I’ve been drinking a LOT of chai recently.

Pacific Chai is my favorite brand for instant chai mixes and I personally love the vanilla one.

Has tea been my favorite for like every single one of these posts? Whoops!

Other:

Poshmark

I’ve been using this for a few months now to slowly clear out my closet and earn a little money back. Unfortunately though, I’ve recently learned how nice this is to find pieces that I really want so most of the money I’ve earned has just gone to purchase other stuff off of here.

I found a really cute Halloween sweatshirt a couple weeks ago and I also got a jacket that I had seen in Old Navy last year that I loved but couldn’t splurge on at the time.

This solar powered lantern

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It is tiny but mighty!! I used it during my camping trip to Itasca and it was awesome! It is also pretty affordable too which is exactly what I was going for when I was looking for supplies.

That about sums up what I loved this past month! I read a lot of good books, drank a lot of tea, and listened to a lot of great music. What did you love in August?

5 Things I Really Wish I Knew Before I Went To College

Since I’m going back to school this month, even though it’s technically online so I won’t really be going to school, I felt like I should share some stuff I learned the first time that I tried giving college a go.

This post is going to be five of the main things that I really wish that I would have known going in to my freshman (and sophomore) years.

It is perfectly okay to eat alone.

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I actually worked at the dining hall at my former college for three years. It was one of the best jobs that I ever had and it was a great work-study opportunity (so if you’re looking in to on campus jobs and the dining hall is hiring don’t push that one aside, it might be worth it!). Anyways, most freshmen are required to buy meal service plans if you live on campus. With working, however, I also got a free meal every single shift I worked. I also never went to the dining hall alone to eat.

If you’re wondering what that means, I basically wasted $2,500 because I didn’t utilize my meal plan in the slightest. I lived off of granola bars and ramen and oatmeal and the meals I ate during my shifts at work. I felt awkward and uncomfortable going to the dining hall by myself because I didn’t want to be that weird person that ate alone… Even though I was already the weird person that no one liked anyways so would it really have mattered? Absolutely not.

So if you’re in the same sort of mindset that I was in where you feel like you can’t go and get food by yourself, just know that it’s perfectly okay to do so. Food is more important than the potential judgment you might get. And in all honesty, how stupid is it to sit there and judge someone for eating by themselves?

And once you start eating by yourself? It’s really hard to go back to eating with other people. You can eat as much as you want, as slow or as fast as you want, and if you want to listen to music or read a book while you’re eating you can do it all in peace!! Definitely one of the best decisions was realizing it was okay to eat by myself.

Though I will say that if you don’t feel comfortable eating by yourself because you have to walk across campus to get to your dining hall, I completely understand that fear. I was lucky enough to go to a school where freshmen lived in the same building as the dining hall so I only had to walk down a few flights of stairs in order to get food.

Accessibility services aren’t just for those with visible disabilities and along with this, learn how to stand up for your accessibility!

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My next tip has everything to do with accessibility. If you are unaware, I struggle really badly with mental health. By the end of my freshman year I was in a horrible place with my anxiety and it really only kept going downhill. Two of my roommates sophomore year were registered with our accessibility services on campus and they urged me to do the same. I kept putting it off though because I was convinced that there was nothing that could be done to help me in my struggles.

I’ve never had issues with getting my work done on time and I’ve never had issues with testing. If you’re like me, you probably think that all the services could offer up would be the opportunity to take longer on tests or that someone would be able to take notes for you in class. But surprisingly I was wrong.

Some of my accommodations were the ability to have no consequences from calling in “sick” to class (especially in those classes that you could potentially lose entire letter grades from missing more than 2 classes) and also extensions on assignments if I needed one. Other people I know had accommodations for bathroom use during class, for the use of computers, and even for the requirement of speaking in class.

I think the biggest thing with this point is that you know what will help you succeed the most and if you’re in a position where you can request accommodations then do it. It’s not just for those with physical disabilities and there are a lot of ways that these people can work with your professors in order to help you succeed and thrive in school.

And if either a professor or someone else keeps you from using your accommodations or anything like that then always stand up for yourself and bring it to the attention of those in the disability/accommodation office and ask them for help in solving the problem. Sometimes this requires you to send multiple emails or make multiple phone calls but in the end it comes down to making sure that you are getting what you need.

If your advisor doesn’t work with you, find a new one.

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When I was given my official major advisor sophomore year I was thoroughly unimpressed with who they’d assigned me to. The first time I ever set up an appointment with him he told me that he refused to even meet with me because he “had no proof of me as his advisee”. I almost had to register for classes late and ended up not even discussing what classes I was going to be taking with him. Instead, I was “advised” by one of the heads of academic advising stuff solely because my advisor refused to even acknowledge that I existed.

That same semester I had also had a class with this professor and was thoroughly unimpressed with who he was. The class itself was interesting but that also came from the fact that I had a friend that I sat next to and we spent a decent amount of our time doing other work on our own computers and laughing at the absurdity of his teaching style. By the end of the semester I was well on my way to finding a new advisor and ended up making the official switch to a professor that I often frequented the office hours of and really enjoyed his classes and was very helpful and knowledgable in what I actually wanted to do with my future.

If you start off your college career with an advisor and you find out that they are not a good fit for you, find someone else. Don’t spend your time frustrated and annoyed with who is helping you decide and shape your entire future. Advisors are, yes, supposed to help you pick and find classes and guide you towards graduation but if you feel like you can’t connect to them in any way, I urge you to find someone that you can. It will be better in the long run I can promise you that!!

People can be just as catty and cliquey as they were in high school. Just because you’re all adults doesn’t mean that everyone will act like one.

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Be careful who you make friends with. Be careful who you spill all your deep dark secrets to. Prioritize yourself, your well being, and who you are as a person and if other people can’t handle who you are then how good of a friend were they in the first place? I feel like this statement is universal even to the real “grown up” world of full time work. People can be extremely immature forever. If your group of friends chooses to ditch you because you work at the only time they ever want to meet up then move past it and find some people who actually want to put the effort into spending time with you. There are better people out there.

Do your laundry and printing at weird hours.

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If your laundry room and printers are available at all hours, I urge you to find the weirdest times to go and do your laundry and printing. I would often go to the computer lab after 10 PM and there were many weekends where I would go do my laundry before 8 AM. Mid-week around early to mid afternoon were also a really slow time for the laundry room too. Don’t get stuck in the mile long line trying to print off your essay 10 minutes before your class starts. And laundry is so much less stressful when you don’t have to worry about someone else dumping your wet clothes, or your clean dry clothes, onto the floor because they’ve decided that they want the machine they’re in.

 

So I’m not really sure how helpful this post is but I hope you took something away from it. If you’re heading off to your freshman year this year, what are you most excited about? If you’re in school, what weird piece of advice do you have for freshmen?

July Favorites

Books:

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories

I can’t even say enough good things about this book. Incredibly sad and inspiring and one of my all time favorites. I also have an entire post going up about this on Friday and will discuss it in my reading wrap up so all I’ll say is that I highly, highly recommend this book. It’s a collection of essays and stories by Marina Keegan who passed away in 2012. She was 22 and had just graduated from Yale the day before her death. Marina is a huge inspiration to me and I urge all of you to pick up this book if you haven’t already.

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Graphic novels

I read a number of graphic novels to try and kickstart my want to read again. It definitely helped. I’ll talk more about the specific graphic novels in my July Reading Wrap Up post and will link that here when it’s been published!

But I really appreciate the artistry that goes into making graphic novels and I have so many favorites that I will continue to reread time and time again because I enjoy the illustrations and the stories so much.

If you have any suggestions for graphic novels that I should pick up, comment them on this post! I haven’t read a ton, I’ve stuck to the ones I’m familiar with for the most part so far, and I would love to branch out and read more.

Other Media:

Letterkenny

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Over the last couple of weeks of June I kept getting ads on Hulu for this show called Letterkenny. On the Fourth of July, or actually on the third technically, I decided to start watching it. I’m not even going to lie to you when I say that I made it through five seasons in that weekend… And I may or may not have already rewatched the first two seasons since then.

This show is just perfect to me, the running jokes, the physical humor, the absolute absurdity of so much of it. It has overtaken Parks and Rec as my go-to show when I need mindless humor. Check it out on Hulu! They’re going to begin filming a new season in the next few weeks!

Machine Gun Kelly’s album Hotel Diablo

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Last month I talked about one of the singles off of this album (I Think I’m Okay) and now the entire album has been released. I’ve listened to at least one of the songs every single day since it came out. Also still can’t believe that I like rap, used to be the only music I could not listen to but here we are…

BooksandLala’s entire YouTube channel

I want to say that I discovered her channel in May? But I’ve increasingly just really found myself enjoying to watch her videos. And then her Reading Rush vlogs were my favorites of all the RR vlogs. She just has so many unique video concepts and reading challenges and watching her videos always makes me want to push myself to come up with new ideas for this blog. Also her son looks like my youngest brother and it makes me smile whenever I see him (they’re the same age too which I think is such a funny coincidence!).

Makeup:

Colourpop’s new lip tints

I saw them on Twitter a few days before they were released and I bought the entire collection the day they were released. They are so nice!! I’ve been looking for lighter lip products that aren’t drying and these came out at the perfect time. They’re apply light but you can build the color easily and they fade so nicely. I’ve only gotten a chance to wear a few of the colors so far but I’ve really liked each one! Colourpop is one of my favorite brands to use to experiment with colors because they’re so cheap.

I’ll insert some swatch pictures when I have a chance to take them in good lighting 🙂

Clothing/Accessories:

Tevas

I had to finally bite the bullet and purchase a new pair of Tevas because I lost the pair that I got last summer (very sad about that, I wore that other pair constantly last year 😦 ). This new pair is really cute and comfortable (despite the fact that they’re slightly too big, which is unfortunate because they’re technically in a children’s size). I wore them quite a bit after I got them. They provide a lot more support than my old pair did and honestly what more can I look for in a shoe, support and ease of wear. PERFECT.

I’m also really excited to have these because I finally got a new state park pass so I can go hiking!! I have a camping trip planned in the middle of August that I’m really looking forward to and I know I’ll be wearing these shoes for that entire trip. I have a big issue with hiking in close toed shoes over the warmer months. My feet get too warm and if my feet get too warm then my entire body overheats and feels really bad (thank you sensory issues) so I prefer hiking in sandals. I’ve tried Chacos but could never get the pair I had to fit my feet well and they took forever to put on so I’ve turned to Tevas instead and have not looked back. In the cooler/muddier months I wear a pair of hiking boots from the brand Oboz.

Food/Drinks:

Lychee Bellini tea from David’s Tea.

Picture from the David’s Tea blog

I bought two new teas from David’s Tea in July and the Lychee Bellini kind was my favorite. I’ve only made it a few times because I’m lazy but I’ve been brewing it hot and then sticking it in the fridge overnight and mixing it with lemonade before drinking it. It’s from their Mocktail Collection and I highly recommend it! It smells wonderful and is really fruity and sweet. I’m really trying to make myself drink more tea and less pop but it’s a struggle.

Other:

Crossword puzzles

I spent many, many hours doing crossword puzzles in the last few weeks of July. It was my way to force myself to stay off of social media and still act like I was being productive. Things just got pretty bad with burnout in July and I stopped doing everything that wasn’t just scrolling mindlessly through social media until I literally ran out of stuff to scroll through. I couldn’t hold my concentration to read anything longer than a Tweet and I basically just gave up on doing anything other than go to work and sleep. I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t done crossword puzzles that I would’ve spent my weekends starting at various walls in my house and acting catatonic. Tons of fun.

Anyways, so I’ve been working my way through a book of crossword puzzles and really enjoying that. It’s a good and easy way to do something without really putting out too much mental power so it felt like I was still basically doing nothing but I didn’t feel as guilty about it.

My new logo

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I gave my blog a little bit of a makeover when I finally had the motivation to do so and I created a really basic new logo. I really like it and I’m excited to continue on in this blogging journey!

So those are some of the things that I enjoyed in July. I can’t believe tomorrow is already August. This year is going by way too fast and I hate it!! What do you guys have planned for August?

June Favorites

Y’all… It is July already. How the heck is it already July. And it’s also already the end of the first week of July… Holy cow make time stop!!! I swear time goes way too fast when you’re working full time doing stuff that you don’t like. It feels like there’s no good time left anymore. I hate growing up!!

Anyways, here are some of the things that I loved in June! Oh, and before I begin, this post contains affiliate links!

Books:

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Red, White, & Royal Blue… I mean is that even a question that this was my favorite book of the month? It was so good and all I want to do right now is reread it but that means I have to buy it because the wait time at my library is insanely long! I highly, highly recommend this book! Pick up your own copy here and read my review of it here.

Honestly Casey McQuiston kicked it out of the park with her debut novel. What a sweet romance, the best cast of characters that I’ve read in a very long time, and such an engrossing plot. I will be gushing about this until the end of time!

Radio Silence is my other favorite book from this month!

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I really enjoyed this book even though it took me a minute to get into it but it was the type of book I would’ve loved to have in high school and it made me feel really nostalgic. If you’d like to pick it up for yourself to read, buy a copy here and if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts, this is the link to my review.

Other Media:

Dan Howell’s coming out video

This video was one of the most iconic things to come out (haha) of this year’s pride month. I watched it while I was at work and cried the entire time. This made me so proud of Dan and the LGBTQIA+ community and just wow. ICONIC.

I Think I’m Okay by Machine Gun Kelly & YUNGBLUD

I was introduced to MGK by someone really close to me and I’ve been a fan of his for almost a year now. A lot of his music I use when I’m having panic attacks and really bad depression days. Same with Mac Miller. Still have no idea why their music works for me like that but it does.

This song dropped a few weeks ago and I literally haven’t stopped listening to it since. I haven’t related to a song so much as I did to this one. I’m pretty sure this will be my #1 played song of the year. I can’t wait for his new album to come out.

You Need to Calm Down/ Lover album!!

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You guys… Taylor Swift finally announced her new album and I am SOOOOOO excited. I have been a fan of her since I was 13 and I think I will be a fan of hers forever. Catch me listening to her album on repeat as soon as it releases in August. But since her album can’t quite be a favorite yet (though I will say that I’m pretty sure this might be my favorite era of hers), her single You Need to Calm Down definitely can be a favorite.

And can I just say how much I freaking loved this music video? All the cameos in it were amazing. Also I have to gush about Taylor on here because no one I know in real life likes her and they all think her music sucks and I’m too chicken to say that I actually like it so I’ll just express my love of it here!

Clothes/Accessories:

Old Navy Boyfriend Fit Shorts

I have had two pairs of these in the past few years and they’re honestly my favorite shorts ever. I have pretty big thighs and a lot of times shorts and pants get really tight on them and it can get uncomfortable. And with shorts in the summer chafing can get really bad! So these have been great, not too tight but not too loose either. When they go on sale I’d like to get one more pair just so that I don’t keep wearing the same pair every single day.

Make-Up:

Cabaret Premier Mascara

Classic French Mascara - Cabaret Première by Vivienne Sabó. Cruelty Free. Length, Volume, and No Clump formula. Rich Black Color. 0.3 fl. oz.

I found this mascara in a Buzzfeed article and decided that I’d give it a shot because I was in need of a new mascara, wanted to try something new, and was too lazy to go to Target. So I ordered this one and was very surprised with how much I like it! Ever since I used IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara a few years back nothing else I’ve used has compared. Granted, this mascara still doesn’t work quite as well as the IT Cosmetics one but it’s still better than anything I’ve used in a while. It really makes my lashes look long and full! (I’m actually wearing it in the earlier picture in this post from the RWRB part in case you were wondering how it looked on me).

Lipgloss

I started wearing lipgloss again after watching Mikaela Long’s video about Kylie Jenner’s lipgloss from months ago. I’ve bought a few and have been pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoy wearing lipgloss! Normally I’m a very big fan of matte lip products so the fact that I can even stand something glossy is a big step. I won’t even lie when I say that my favorite glosses so far are the clear ones that I bought from Lipsmackers. What a throwback. I am in the market for a “big girl” brand for clear gloss (preferably something in a squeezy tube and definitely not expensive) if anyone has any recommendations.

Food/Drinks:

Tea!

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I’ve been trying so, so hard to cut down on my pop consumption so I’ve been trying to drink more tea when I’m craving something flavored throughout the day. I’ve been mixing Twinings cold brew teas with lemonade for my afternoon pick me up at work and it’s been really enjoyable. I just got some new teas in the mail so I’m thinking about doing a whole post about my favorite teas.

Other:

Makeup removing cloths

DANIELLE - Erase Your Face 4Piece Cloth Set

I got the original Makeup Eraser a few years back and have used it on and off for the past few years whenever it hasn’t been lost. For a while I got really good at washing my makeup off with cleansing balm and never used the Eraser and I also turned to makeup wipes for a while when I really didn’t have the motivation to take care of my face.

Once I got back into wearing makeup after a pretty long break I started using my Makeup Eraser every day with some micellar water. It’s a really simple thing to get my face clean before I go to bed and not be as wasteful as makeup wipes! I finally bought more cloths because my original one has been taking a beating and I haven’t been able to clean it as much as I would like so now I have a bunch!

Bath and Body Works Ultra Shea Body Cream

B&BW had a sale on their Ultra Shea Body Cream a while back so I decided to stock up because I was running low on lotion at work and at home and needed some new stuff. I think this might be my favorite product from this store! It is super moisturizing and the scents last so long! I bought Cucumber Melon, Black Cherry Merlot, Gingham, and one that has coconut in it but I can’t find it on the website anymore and it’s at work currently so I can’t tell you the name!

And now as I was browsing the website there’s another really good sale going on with a code for free shipping and I’m trying to use all my strength and willpower to avoid adding all the other scents I’m interested in into my cart… These are really great lotions!

So that about sums up everything that I loved in June. It was a really good month for music and it’s looking like July is going to be a really good month for TV (I already have one show that’s going to make my list and I’m already predicting that Stranger Things 3 will be on there too). Also as I’m finishing up this post I realized that I haven’t talked about Black Mirror season 5 yet… Not sure I’m going to do a full post on it so I’ll say now that I really liked it but it definitely wasn’t my favorite season. Miley Cyrus did really good in her episode though!

I’ll stop rambling now! Happy Friday everyone!

May Favorites

Well, May has come and gone and we’re now well on our way to official summer. Now if only the weather would cooperate and then maybe I’d be a little excited. But all this rain we’ve been getting lately has just left me thinking good weather will never show up!

Anyways, here are some things that I loved this past month…

Books:

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Lilac Girls… I can’t say enough good things about this book. Here’s a link to the review I wrote. I may or may not also gush about this book in tomorrow’s post as well. I swear I’ll shut up about this at some point (actually I can’t promise that… sorry!!). This book was just absolutely amazing and I want everyone to read it. Heartbreaking and riveting and all based off of real people, it’s just crazy what horrors have happened on this earth.

Other Media:

Lizzo!!! I’d never listened to her music before this month and I have to say I was definitely missing out!

Truth Hurts and Juice are my favorites of hers so far and I listen to both of them at least once a day during my drive to work.

Make-up:

I honestly did not wear makeup enough this month to really compile anything good enough for this category. I did however start to work more on skincare stuff, I even started wearing sunscreen everyday (wow, go me!). Might do an in-depth makeup/skincare post sometime this summer though like I did a few years back in this post!

Clothing/Accessories:

Scrunchies

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I think that scrunchies are so cute and I love wearing them. I tend to wear them more as a bracelet because I usually already have my hair up when I grab them but I really love them as bracelets too.

Heeled sandals & Midi-Dresses

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These shoes are hard to wear at work but I do it anyways! I love wearing heels because they make me feel just a little extra bad-ass every day. And wearing them with longer dresses just makes everything feel a little bit more stretched out and I just think it’s a really nice look. I really enjoy wearing dresses during spring and summer because they’re an easy outfit to just throw together and you need so few pieces to look put together. And when I’m rolling out of bed 20 minutes before I need to be out the door the simpler outfits the better! I got both this dress and these shoes from Target!

Food/Drinks:

Starbucks mango dragonfruit refreshers with lemonade. I’ve also gotten my brothers into them as well. Now I’m really not a big fan of Starbucks most of the time but I had to try this drink and it was SO good. I’ve gotten two so far and I really would get it every day if I allowed myself to.

So that’s a few of the things that I loved in May. I hope to, for June, make a better post. Go a little bit more in depth and have more items on the list. But I guess I really didn’t do much in May and I really didn’t take enough pictures to add things to this list. I’ll try to do better next time and work on compiling stuff all month, working on the post as things come up 🙂

Anyways, what were some things you loved in May?

18 Things I Wish I Would Have Known In 2018

2018 was possibly the worst year of my life for loads of reasons. Yes, I had a ton of good experiences overall but in the end, things just turned to shit!! So here are the 18 things I wish I would have known right off the bat at the beginning of the year.

  1. If someone doesn’t like you, don’t waste your energy trying to make them like you.
  2. Money is the root of all evil… SAVE SAVE SAVE!
  3. Sometimes the people who say they will never leave you, will leave you, and you have to learn to accept it even if it is really hard.
  4. Moving home isn’t a bad thing
  5. School can wait, your mental and physical well-being can’t
  6. Food is not the enemy, sometimes other things can make you gain weight too
  7. You don’t have to have found “the one” by 22
  8. Birthdays aren’t special, don’t stress
  9. Your best friend should always be there for you and if they give up on you, they weren’t your best friend after all.
  10. Do NOT change yourself for anyone but yourself
  11. Sometimes your coworkers will hate you and they will lie about you and hurt you. Always be the bigger person.
  12. Memories can hurt, but don’t get caught up in wishing the past was the present. You can’t change where you are.
  13. Not everyone is out to get you, but at the same time sometimes the people who say they’ll help you turn out to be the worst people in the end.
  14. Pets don’t live forever and sometimes you lose them way sooner than they were supposed to go. Cherish the time you have with your furry babies.
  15. People will be successful, you might not be. Don’t compare your life to others just because you’re on a different path and in a different season of life.
  16. The people who you think should be hurt by karma won’t be, they might never be. Realize that and move on. You can’t ruminate on how many different ways you could ruin their lives if you were karma. It’s a waste of your time.
  17. Sea glass hunting and milkshakes and a trip to Gooseberry Falls will always be worth your time.
  18. Don’t let your fear of the future let you make drastic decisions.

I hope even one of these points can hit home with one of you reading. I have a lot ahead of me this year and even though I’m really scared of everything, I’m also really excited about life again. I can’t wait to share more with you.

Sincerely, Amelia

P.S. I definitely purposefully scheduled this post to go up on the 18th. Look at all those 18’s haha!