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
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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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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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.

 

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?

Why I Hate the “College Student” Stereotype

I’m sure you’ve all seen these memes before:

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The memes that treat college students like the dumbest, laziest, pettiest people on earth. These memes frustrate me a lot. I hate how the college student stereotype has evolved into such a negative thing.

College educated people used to be looked up upon as a higher class of society. To even be able to go to college was an amazing feat. Now, college is pretty open to most people and many students take advantage of it.

To me, college is an amazing privilege and I think that too many of us attending nowadays don’t take this seriously enough. There have been many days in the past year that I’ve considered dropping out just because I don’t feel like I’m putting my all into my education and I feel guilty about that! Like I’m spending thousands of dollars per semester to get some of the most important education of my life and yet I was so depressed that I could barely do any of my work.

Then, when I attended classes, there were people sitting there that were in the same situation as me grade wise and with hardly any work done but they are in that situation because of excessive partying or laziness. It just blows my mind that some people are willing to throw away this amazing opportunity in order to have a good time.

And that brings me to another point. Since when is college supposed to be the best years of your life?

For me, I am trying to make the most of the time I have at Saint Scholastica and now that I’ve gotten a lot of my mental health under control I can finally realize why people love college so much. There’s so much freedom and being able to spend time with your friends whenever you want is pretty amazing.

So I get that these memes do relate to people, I fully understand that there are people out there like that, I know for a fact that there’s at least one in every class for me. But at the same time, why do we have to stereotype college students in such a negative way. My friends and I are working our butts off, with activities and work every single day and upwards of 18 credits worth of work every single semester. We put our all into our education because we want to be successful and we want to prove that the college student stereotype is false. (At least I want to anyways).

College is more than parties or homework, though. It’s about finding out who you are in this big scary world but still having a buffer to fall back on if things get in your way. We can still change our paths, pretty frequently if you’re me! Or you can just sink into your original path and realize just how meant for you that truly is. There’s so much to learn about and I am so excited for everything I get to do before I graduate.

I hope that those of you who read this post come to appreciate college as much as I have and I hope that more people fight back at the college student stereotype and really show people that we’re more than lazy drunks.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

College Doesn’t Feel Like Home

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I’ve been struggling a lot this semester with things. I’m not going to talk outright about what I’ve been struggling with but it’s been difficult and has caused me to really think about where I am as a person and if it’s the right place for me to be.

When I was a kid, I always dreamed of going to college. I got so caught up in the stereotypes that we see in television, books, movies, that I always imagined my life to follow these same patterns. Then as my friends who were older than me began to graduate and leave for school I got even more excited and nervous about the future that lie ahead of me. Finally, it was my turn to go off to college.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of my first year of college but I’ll say this: by the time I moved out I left my dorm room with no friends, roommates who couldn’t care less about me (they literally didn’t even think I was still going to continue school this year), and the sense that this school would never quite feel like home to me.

I feel kind of lost this year. Like I don’t quite belong here but also that I have nowhere else to go. I like my classes, for the most part, and I like my job, but other than that I feel like I have no purpose here. Sometimes I wonder why I’m even getting an education except I know that I really have no other choices.

I’m still caught up in the stereotypes. Where you meet your best friends at school, you have fun, you experience things you never have before, you finally live your own life independently. This isn’t my reality, in fact it’s very far from it and I’m having a hard time accepting it.

Lately I’ve gotten better at being able to say that I don’t really need to be the stereotypical college student. I can survive just fine on my own, I know for a fact that I can thrive in solitude. It’s just hard knowing that people look down upon you for that.

I figure I’ll learn to like where I’m at. At least tolerate it long enough to get my degree and then get out of here. I have nothing holding me here, which I enjoy.

I’ve been hesitant to share my experiences at school because I feel like they stray so far from the norm. However, I think it’s a good idea to share. Why? Because I want to help other people understand that there isn’t one way to experience something. I don’t want the stereotypes to win in the end and make everyone try to act the same.

I hope you all enjoy this post and if any of you have had similar experiences, or want to share I’d love to hear about them.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend. I’m going to try and make a post every day for the next week or so and then ease my way back into twice a week posts as the semester comes to an end.

A Perfectionist’s Worst Nightmare

Two words: group projects.

I have never liked group projects. When I was a kid, I used to just refuse to participate (and by refuse to participate I mean I just didn’t talk or contribute creative ideas, I still ended up doing most of the work).

I thought that once I hit college then maybe I wouldn’t have to deal with group projects as often… But boy was I wrong. Here at CSS I think I’ve done more group work and discussions than I ever did in high school and I still despise them so, so much.

When I do work, I want everything to turn out perfectly. I nitpick things until every detail is just so. I strive to do the best I can and then some. In other words, I want perfection. Group projects throw this off completely. And trust me, I’ve heard all the excuses people make: “it helps you learn how to collaborate”, “it gives you better communications skills and helps you learn how to work with others”, “you get to know more people”, etc, etc. Well, I think this is all a big old lie.

Group projects do nothing for me, in fact, they make me like people less! It drives me crazy that people can just let things go and sacrifice a grade just because they want to be lazy. I always want to take control of the project and just do everything myself because I want everything to turn out to my standards.

Recently, I had a member of a group project tell me: “Oh, if it was a higher stakes assignment I would’ve put more effort into it but since it wasn’t I kind of just let it go.” This really confused me. I can’t put myself into the head of someone who is willing to not put effort into a presentation just because it isn’t worth a lot of points. I mean at the end of a term those few points can really add up to a lot! It could make or break a grade in some cases, I’ve seen it happen.

I like independence. I like being able to do my own work and create things that reflect my effort and my vision. I don’t enjoy being reliant upon others to get to the level that I want my presentations to be at. I don’t like group projects.

Well, now that I’ve effectively brought some angst to your day, I hope you have a great one.

Why I Chose My Majors

So I haven’t quite had the time to sit down and really focus on writing a blog post and I didn’t have any scheduled to automatically post so I decided to let myself take a break from the blog and just start again this week!

So without further ado, I want to talk about why I chose my majors:

History:

First off, I want to share with you a wonderful video about why we should all study the humanities. I thought the information that the information Jean provided was spot on to a lot of my thoughts.

                 

To me, history has always been something that interests me. My favorite books as a kid were Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and Dear America books. I think I read every single Dear America or spin-off book that my library had growing up. I don’t think I ever really translated this interest into something tangible until I did begin college and had to start thinking about what I really wanted to study. I really found my love for history through my love for reading and I feel like the two can really go hand-in-hand.

I chose history because I believe that you have to learn history to make any progress. You have to learn about the mistakes and the triumphs from the past in order to make better decisions in the future. I can’t even begin to emphasize how important I think it is to learn about this world’s history. I constantly want to be able to learn more because I love learning and I really think that by majoring in history I will get to do that.

Now my second major is communications with a focus in media relations. This one would probably surprise a lot of people because I don’t seem like the type of person who would want to communicate with people for a living.

First semester freshman year I took a communications class, one that was required for all freshmen, and I ended up loving it! I find that when I can completely plan out what I’m going to say and give speeches I really enjoy it. I hate public speaking and yet I love it too.

So the degree in communications that I am shooting for is in I guess what I think of it as, a more advertising/graphic design/media path. It’s definitely my kind of communications path.

I chose this because I really enjoy graphic design and media really interests me. After taking that communications class I knew that this could actually be something that could work for me!

I think if it wasn’t obvious enough, I really just chose my majors because I liked what I would be studying. And that’s exactly why you should choose what you study.

Have a nice night everyone.

Major Issues

Okay, I just had to make this the title of the post because I thought it was so punny!

So last year, I ended up changing my major… TWICE.

I know that so many people (or at least those at CSS) say that most students will change their majors at least once before deciding on the right path for them. Now I definitely started out my college career with a completely different mindset. I was completely set on my major, felt in my heart that I could never change my mind and yet, here I am, one year later, on a completely different academic track than I was on last September.

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At the end of last semester I started to really question my choice of major. I was enjoying my religion class, I found the work to be interesting but then I stopped and thought,¬†do I really think I could¬†handle working full time in a church? Can I handle the tough stuff? Am I going to be okay with all that I might encounter?¬†When I really and truthfully thought it all through, the answer to these question was, no. I love my church, and I love the community that I have with my fellow Christians but in the process of learning more about what it would take for me to be in the role I wanted to be in I realized that with my personality it really wasn’t the greatest choice for me.

So I did something I never thought I’d do. I made an appointment with Career Services (at the suggestion of my counselor). Now, if you are questioning your major in any way I could not suggest meeting with a Career Services advisor more. It honestly changed my life. I thought about my interests, took a career profiling quiz and met with the advisor. Fun side note, she couldn’t believe how much the quiz showed me as not wanting to work with people, she said she’d never seen someone lean that far in the “working alone” direction. Hahaha, socially anxious introvert personality really shined through there.

Anyways, this appointment helped me to realize that I didn’t have to have a clear pathway right away, I didn’t have to have a super specific career or major in mind as a freshman. Over the summer I definitely developed my interests more and did a lot of research regarding various careers that I’m interested in. As of right now I am planning on double majoring in History and Communications and minoring in Deaf Language and Culture. I’m interested in being a librarian, a museum tech or curator, or possibly a graphic designer.

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All in all, what this experience taught me is that you don’t have to have your life figured at 18, or 19, or even at 20! However, don’t be afraid to dive into your interests and develop yourself as a person. If you realize that college isn’t right for you, that’s great. If you realize that you need to completely reevaluate your major, go for it. If you decide that you want to curl up in a ball and forget about all responsibilities, I support you (just don’t do it for too long, I promise things will look up eventually, it just takes time and a lot of trial and error). If people look at you funny for saying you have no idea what you want to do with your life, who cares! You’re working your way towards your goals, be they big or small, and to know that you are happy and excited about your future is what matters.

If you have any questions about this post, feel free to shoot me a comment or an email. I’d love to chat.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Seven Things I Learned During My First Semester of College

I’m finished with my first semester of college, or as my roommate says, “we’re 1/8 of the way through our bachelor’s degree.” I learned a lot over the past few months and I decided I wanted to share seven of those things with you.

1. SLEEP

I think the number one most important lesson I learned this semester was the importance of sleep. Back in high school, I was sleeping maybe six hours a night and I was getting sick constantly. I wasn’t taking very good care of myself and my immune system heavily reflected that. My roommates and I were all on pretty similar sleep schedules and actually on numerous occasions we encouraged each other to go to bed around 9 PM. I only ended up getting sick once all semester and I think I can attribute this to how much sleep I was getting.

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It’s really important to remember how important sleep is and how getting enough sleep each night is vital to our health and our well-being. I’ve learned my lesson from high school and from now on will try my hardest to make sure I’m getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

2. Treat yo self

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My favorite thing about Friday afternoons was that I would get back from my last class and I would stick a pop in the freezer and work on homework and watch Netflix and relax. It became a routine from the very start and I look forward to doing this again next semester. I cut back my pop drinking to only one can of soda a week and I’ve stuck by that (except on a few occasions where I went out to eat). I found that saving my one pop a week for Friday night was a special routine that I really liked.

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Getting to reward myself really kept my spirits up when classes, and life in general, got hard. It’s a lot more fun to look forward to something after all the work you’re doing instead of just doing the work.

3. The class you’re dreading could become your favorite.

I signed up to take my required communications class first semester as a way to “get it over with” because I hate public speaking so much. (Ironic because I want to go into ministry which requires a lot of public speaking). Anyways, I dreaded this class from day one, absolutely dreaded it. But here we are, weeks later, and I have to admit that class was my favorite of any of the ones I took last semester. I learned so much about myself and my classmates and came to really appreciate that class. My professor was amazing and not once did I feel too uncomfortable to perform a speech in front of the class.

I signed up to take my required communications class first semester as a way to “get it over with” because I hate public speaking so much. (Ironic because I want to go into ministry which requires a lot of public speaking). Anyways, I dreaded this class from day one, absolutely dreaded it. But here we are, weeks later, and I have to admit that class was my favorite of any of the ones I took last semester. I learned so much about myself and my classmates and came to really appreciate that class. My professor was amazing and not once did I feel too uncomfortable to perform a speech in front of the class.

The last speech we had to give was an informative speech and I chose to do mine on the topic of Deaf Culture and communication. For my introduction, I chose to do it all in sign and my professor was so excited about this idea. My favorite memory from that class was when I got up there and started signing. The looks on everyone’s faces were absolutely priceless and my professor was sitting in the back of the classroom laughing and I loved every minute of it.

I don’t think anyone would have guessed that my communications class would be my favorite of the semester and I’m honestly really surprised that this is the case too. I think we all should go into each class with an open mind and just appreciate each one for what it is. We aren’t going to like every class we take but we certainly aren’t going to hate everyone either. Sometimes things just surprise you.

4. PRIORITIZE THINGS!!!!

Do all assignments in order of importance/when they are due. And 100% don’t leave things until the last minute. This advice is plastered everywhere but I have to say that it is really important and should become a habit to all.

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On the topic of prioritizing things, I would also like to talk about scheduling yourself wisely. When choosing classes, remember to think about how the times will affect you and how everything will work together. If you have a job, try to consider what type of shifts you want to be working and whether or not those work with your schedule. Be sure to schedule yourself in a way that allows you to get important things done and still have time to relax and enjoy some quiet time.

5. The W-Curve is a real thing

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It’ll hit at some point. Trust me. Some day you’re going to wake up and all you’re going to want to do is pack your bags and leave.

Things get tough, friendships end, school gets hard, the days get short. Stuff starts to change and it begins to feel like life is flying by and you’re not ready for that to happen.

The W-Curve is real, it happens to everyone, and that’s okay. If you find that school isn’t really for you then make that decision, if you decide to stick it out, make that decision. Just remember that every decision you make is about making you happy and making sure that you do what is right for you.

6. Don’t be afraid.

Don’t be afraid to ask a question. Don’t be afraid to text that person. Don’t be afraid to go eat a meal by yourself. Don’t be afraid to be alone.

There’s not much else I have to say about this other than this is something I’m still working on.

7. Make healthy choices.

For my final piece of advice, I just want to say it like it is. Make healthy choices, don’t be stupid. ¬†Take care of yourself and know your limits. Personal hygiene is important, diet is important, sleep is important, school is important. Don’t sell yourself short and remember that you are your number one priority.

I hope you are all having a wonderful new year. I’ll talk to you soon.

‘Tis the Season

After my serious post regarding finals yesterday I figured I would lighten the mood today and share with you some of the pictures of my dorm room after me and my roommates decorated it last week.

We started off by saying we were going to decorate our door, and then it went from there. We were going to do more than what we actually did but we all ended up getting bored and decided to watch Christmas movies on ABC Family instead.

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There’s our snowman!

I actually ended up making all of the snowflakes that we used to decorate except for one. I just kept finding new patterns on Pinterest that I wanted to try out and I got slightly addicted to snowflake making.

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Here’s the snowflakes on our window.

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The sunrise that morning was so beautiful and I thought it looked really cool through this snowflake. #art

The last part of our decorating night was the fireplace that we made.

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Isn’t it adorable?

This was such a fun night. It made preparing for the last few weeks of the semester just a little bit better and I have to admit, our fireplace makes our room so much more homey than it was before. We’ve basically decided we’re keeping this up until Valentine’s Day!

Well, I should probably get back to the mountain of homework that I have left to do for tonight. Can’t wait for this semester to be over with! Only 12 more days!

I’ll be back tomorrow with my second Harry Potter quotes post.

Hope you all had a nice day.