May 12, 2015

Well this is weird...

Not old enough to be off at an internship, but too old to be in a high school classroom till 2:30.

This is what the summer after my freshman year of college looks like. I've been away from home for too long to have wanted to schedule any big trips, and I'd rather save the money for next year's house and such. So cross country skiing or tanning in the Bahamas is off the list.

This is ok. This is actually expected. I do work (nanny) and that takes up some of my time. Plus, I enjoy it. I will also be taking a couple summer courses come June.

Theif is the comparison of joy. I can wake up at 11 and then proceed to sit on Instagram for an hour and lust over other people's vacations. Why am I not doing that internship? Why am I not on that beach? I wish I had an outfit like that, but where would I wear it? The grocery store?

Is anyone with me on this?

I thought of doing a "summer essentials" post with my favorite tinted mosturizers and sandals, but this is just more fitting for my life right now. This is something that's relevant and raw and hopefully helpful for readers, so that's what I'm doing.

Attention: it's ok if you don't go to the beach this summer.

You can sit (or lay) there and be negative. This sucks. I wish my friends from college lived closer. I wish my family wasn't so busy. I wish I was in Tahiti.

You have 3 (give or take) months off from school. Three months to do what you want. You may be like "Well, I have a job/summer school/something that takes up a lot of my time". STILL. Maybe you have one hour in the morning before work. Maybe the little girl you nanny takes a nap from 2-3. See that? That is time. Time is precious. It's free and it's fleeting and it can be beautiful if you use it right.

So, what can you do?

Try something new - like yoga. Do yoga with that hour before work. Maybe you have a Pinterest board of "books to read". Buy/download one and read it when you have a second on your nanny job.

Attention: people will be going to the beach this summer. And Paris, Spain, Ireland, Fiji, Hawaii, The Grand Canyon (etc, etc.) That's cool. But if that's not you or that's not possible for you right now, that's cool, too.

If with your 3 months you want to go to travel, skydive, rock climb, etc., go for it. And please, take lots of pictures. You do you!

Everyone can and should do something for themselves this summer.

 I do this thing where I sometimes sit in my driveway for about 4 minutes after pulling up to my house and I just get lost in thought. Today, I was just thinking, what can I do for myself this summer? To better myself? To grow?

That's why people get jobs right? And internships? And travel? So, even if I'm not doing any of those things in particular, who's to say I just have to sit around miserably?

There have been a lot of question marks so far.. we need some periods.

Look at your day, look at your schedule. If you can fit in five minutes for yourself, take advantage of it. If you'd love to learn a new language, you could download a program and devote forty-five minutes a day. If you want to start working out, you could buy a gym membership or subscribe to an online fitness trainer like Blogilates or Kayla Itsines.

Start by changing up your routine, or maybe even implementing one. Don't sleep too late, get up and get busy. Drink your water and your tea and go for a walk. Maybe start your day with a devotional or journaling. It's YOUR day just like it's YOUR summer. You don't have to do what the Instagram models are doing or what your neighbor's doing. It's all up to you.

Write down three goals you have for the summer and find a way to achieve them with whatever situation you're in.

Do feel free to creep on everyone else's summer using social media like Facebook and Instagram. But don't obsess. You know what? Everyone goes back to school eventually (well, those that go to school know what I mean.) Someone will ask you: what did you do this summer? How do you want to respond?

-I learned a new language (I did Rosetta Stone when I wasn't working my 9 to 5)
-I went to the beach (even if it was just Galveston)
-I met a lot of new people (joined a book club)
-I tried out new recipes from Greece (pinned dishes on Pinterest and then recreated them)
-I got into the best shape of my life (started going to the gym and practicing better nutrition)

As for me?

-I'll be setting my eyes on beautiful sights (my sister's dance recital, my cousin's college graduation).
-I plan on learning some new skills for my future career (taking summer school).
-I'm going to take a few cooking lessons (my cousin is an amazing chef who sometimes shares his secrets when he visits).
-I'm going to read a bit with my feet in the water (Anna Karenina out by the pool).
-And I'm going to remain positive, spend my time wisely, and enjoy my summer while always remembering that my happiness is up to me.

I hope you have an amazing summer. Since this is a little different than my normal blogging content, I will be posting a summer essentials post next on the blog. Self love is high on my list of important things in life, but so is the best waterproof mascara.



May 7, 2015

Farewell Freshman Year - Advice for incoming freshman

You can sit on Pinterest for hours and pin "easy dorm room storage" and "how to save money in college" to your Class of 19 board, but I think what I have to say goes a bit deeper than that.

For my end-of-the-year post, I thought I could reflect on my year: the ups and downs and what I've learned. But I know all those things already, and I'm glad to have had the experience I did. I think it's important to speak to those who haven't started this journey yet. Your time won't be spent the same as mine. You may be closer to home than I was this year, you may (and probably will) have a different major than I and thus you'll experience a different set of classes and understandings. After reading this blog post, you won't be able to escape long hours of studying or get a 4.0 with my advice.  But, I think you should know a few things before you leave. Even if you "literally cannot wait to get out of this town", you should read this.. just for a few minutes. I'm not here to make you cry or try to pretend like I know everything because I've survived one measly year of higher education. Just trust me, because it seems like just yesterday I was right where you were.

1. If your mom sometimes buys you Chickfila or buys you the tissues with lotion when you're sick, make sure you thank her and cherish those moments. Not to make you sad (that's not what this post is about), but that's something you'll miss in college. The first time you catch a cold and have to call your mom/dad when you realize you have absolutely no idea what the difference between regular Mucinex and Mucinex DM is.. it hits you. There are certain things you'll have to do on your own that you'll wish your mom/dad/sister/brother were there for. Go hug them right now, I'll wait.

2. When you pack for college, you probably don't need half of what you packed. But no worries, when you take a trip home, just bring some back. I'm just noticing as I pack up, I brought way too much. Hashtag girl problems.

3. You may actually miss some things about high school. For example, class in college can be rather impersonal. It's not like high school where you sit and talk with Madison and Laura in AP history, eat lunch with Taylor, and always walk to your car with Emily. You may get lucky and have a sorority sister in your lab or something, but in a lecture hall of 300+ the world can seem very big and you can suddenly seem very small. Introduce yourself to the kids around you the first day - it's not weird. Get their numbers, form study groups, etc. It's very helpful - even if you prefer to study alone, you still have someone to text and say "hey, what problems were we supposed to do?" You get what I mean.

4. Throw away your preconceived notions about college. The night before my first day I watched Legally Blonde. The only thing that was remotely similar was the way a lecture hall looked, but I definitely wasn't asked about case litigations in my classes nor did I need a pink, scented resume. I think the biggest fib is that you have to pull all-nighters. You never *have* to pull all nighters. If you put off studying for your final till the night before or forget you have a paper due, that might be your exception. But never does a professor say, "Please stay up all night and write this paper and turn it in by 6:59 tomorrow morning". So don't worry about that.

5. Also, no preconceived notions about your living situation. I'm sure you're well-read on your Facebook articles on "What to Look For in a Roomate" and "Can You and Your Best Friend Live Together". Everyone will have a *different experience*, but everyone will have *an experience*. Meaning, the two girls next door to you may be best friends and always get along, and then you may actually see your roommate every three days. Whatever situation you find yourself in, just make the best of it. And if it's awful - you only have one year and there's two sides of the room. You can do it! (But hopefully, everything will work out just usually does!)

6. I think I've concluded that college isn't where you find yourself, but where you let yourself be, for all intents and purposes, completely and totally you. There's no status quo that you feel the need to stick to anymore, and you kind of lose thought for what other people think. Some people (beautiful souls, learn from them) are always like this, but for the vast majority of us, this blossoms in college. So whoever you are, be that, but always remain kind and respectful of all the other people around you. Everyone's got a lot on their plate, everyone's got lots of studying to do, and so on. It's beautiful to look around you as you walk around your university and see all the students bustling about. Remember that everyone has a different story, but take comfort that just like you, everyone is still figuring it out.

Don't be scared, this post wasn't to freak anyone out. Be excited! This was such a fun year, and it really flew by. I've really enjoyed getting to blog through it all and being able to document it like this. The fun only continues as I head into my sophomore year. Wherever you're headed, I hope this blog can help you in some way. Good luck with finals, don't trip at graduation, have fun on your summer vacations, and thanks for reading.