Blogging 101: Day Eight – Be a Good Neighbo(u)r

Wait… did I read that correctly? Day eight?!!

Okay, so since I haven’t previously mentioned this in any of my previous blog posts (woops…), many of you may not know that I am currently taking part in the online Blogging101 course, which will hopefully strengthen my skills as a writer and blogger!

As I currently jam out to “I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper)” by T-Pain, I write in an effort to reach out to some of my fellow Blogging101-ers, as well as anyone else who may happen to stumble across this humble little blog of mine.

(And yes, I know as a feminist I should not be listening to such “trash”, but it’s catchy and I’m allowed to have my guilty pleasures.)

So far, I haven’t exactly been completing every assignment to a T, but I have been trying to do my best with staying up to date! Today’s assignment was to:

leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.

Boy, did I enjoy this assignment. I must admit, I commented on a few more than four blogs. For someone who isn’t exactly fluent in the language of face-to-face social interaction, I’m excited to be able to connect with people through my writing. I love the community that the course has provided me with thus far, and it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only blogger out there just starting out, not really sure where they are headed. But then again, I suppose that’s the point of this journey.

I hope that as I continue to blog I’ll be able to connect with others with similar (and different) interests, beliefs, and situations. I must admit, every time I get a notification saying someone liked my comment, or replied to something I posted, my heart jumps a bit. I suppose that’s why we are all here on the internet, writing about our various and completely diverse experiences, hoping to find others to connect with! There’s a giant online community out there, and I hope that I am able to become a part of it.

Until next time…

Monday Musings: Longing for How I Used to Be

Hello all…

Do you ever find a movie that just speaks to your inner thoughts and emotions? Well I just found one one Netflix called The Sisterhood of Night. MV5BODg3MjE0MDM4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTY0MjE5NDE@._V1_SX214_AL_You may recognize the main actress (Georgie Henley) from the Chronicles of Narnia series. Last time I saw those movies she was only a girl, but now Lucy is all grown up and apparently shredded any trace of her British accent.

This movie made me cry.

It made me cry because it reminded me of what it was like being a young teenage girl, going through everything without always feeling like she had a place to turn to. In the movie, a town goes into utter chaos because there are rumors of a “cult,” called the Sisterhood, that has been formed by some of the girls at the local high school. Nobody outside of the Sisterhood really knows what it is, and with the added online rumors being spread around by their fellow classmates, parents and media alike obsess over the scandalous mystery of what these young girls are getting up to at night. I’m not going to spoil the ending, but it is very touching and shows the importance of a) having someone you trust to talk to and b) being able to have privacy and keep certain things to yourself.

It reminded me of a time in my high school life where everything felt so out of control that I made a promise to myself to avoid people as much as possible, as well as removing myself from social media altogether. Every day in school I would hide myself away in the library, especially during the busiest time of the day… lunch time. My mind sometimes ran away from me, and the added pressure of having to try to fit in with the groups I hung out with was too much for me at the time. I must admit, getting off of social media and limiting my interactions with other people did help my clear my head up. It helped me see past the superficial relationships/technology that had been holding me down and let me respect my own needs by giving myself the space and time I needed to figure out how to deal with what I was going through.

This movie definitely had similar themes to the dilemmas I faced in high school. It also made me slightly nostalgic to when things weren’t so complicated, yet somehow more potent and intense.

Now that I’m more grown up, I obviously have the ability to make more decisions for myself, and I would hope that I now know myself a lot better in order to do so. Those precious years when I was turning into the person I would be for the rest of my life were the ones that will stay with me and hold an importance in my heart forever. Those years were crucial when it came to becoming an independent person and learning what mattered to me most. Those years were hard.

I’m sure that if I ever become a mother I’m going to have to deal with a moody teenage daughter (going off of my past behavior growing up), and at times will have no idea where to turn to or how to help her. I suppose the most important thing that I’ve learned going through this experience myself is that people love you and will always be there for you, even when you come to them with parts of your life that you thought were so horrible that no one would be able to help.

It’s scary growing up, not knowing if anyone else understands you or has been what you’re going through. I assure you, they have. It’s important to keep the people who are really important to you close, and recognize those who are only there bringing you down.

At some points of high school, I was afraid because I wasn’t able to picture where I would be in the close future. I couldn’t see how I was going to make it out of there. I thought that high school was going to be the end of me and that I would ever escape. I’m so glad I kept going, because what other choice did I really have?

Although it was such a confusing and dramatic period of my life, I am grateful for having to go through it. It taught me so much and forced me to feel things so strongly that I haven’t felt since. Maybe it’s because of all of the numbing that society and media forces upon you, along with other escapes that we find to avoid feeling those intense emotions again, like drugs or alcohol.

Admittedly, those intense emotions I felt in high school were sometimes unbearable: emotions of despair, grief, love, and the thrill of it all. But I do miss them. I miss the way I used to be. When I still didn’t really know what was out there in the world (I’m not sure I still do, but at least I’m a little more aware) and where my place was in it. I miss being naïve and having to grow up. However, now that some of the growing up has occurred, I realize that some of the darkest days of my life have also turned out to be some of my most precious memories.

I hope that if I ever have a daughter, I am able to convey to her that whatever she goes through, she will not be alone in it. No matter whether I will be able to relate or not, I hope to promise her that I will always try to understand, even and especially when she thinks no one will.

Finding That Perfect Place

Aghh!! I’ve been neglecting my blog for the past week or so. I KNOW and I’m sorry, 😥

Oh well… Nobody’s perfect and that includes me.

Part of the reason that I I haven’t been able to post that much was because I was so caught up in cramming for some of my final exams. I made the trek back up to Bucknell this past Friday to take two exams for my statistics course (thank God I’m done…) and it made me remember why I fell in love with the school in the first place.

You know how high school students dream of walking on to the campus of their future school and immediately getting that feeling that it would be “the one”? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me. I hadn’t even stepped foot on campus and I already knew that I was going to fall in love with it.

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I clearly remember the first time I visited. It was for admitted students day and my mom and I were staying at a hotel about twenty minutes away.

Now one thing you should know about Bucknell is that it is kind of in the middle of nowhere… But the middle of nowhere happens to feel like home to me. We were driving up to the hotel and I was staring in awe of the hanging clouds looming over the rolling hills surrounding us. It was slightly drizzling and around every turn we made there was another picturesque red barn with a pasture full of horses or cows roaming the grass. Either that, or a vast expanse of graveyard. Either way, I loved it. The simplicity of the land spoke to me and reminded me of my days growing up in Ohio. I love open land and being able to go to school right in the middle of it all; it’s liberating to say the least.

Since I left campus last semester before any of the trees had blossomed (on account of my mono), I never got to fully appreciate the beauty of my school in full throttle. Even though the visit back was slightly dampered with the fact that I had to take four hours of statistics exams (yuck), I was so happy to be able to walk around and show my mom all of the buildings that contain so many memories for me… some of which I shared with my her, and others which I could not.

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I am so excited to start this coming semester off to a fresh start, and hopefully this time my immune system won’t fail me and I’ll actually be able to make the most out of all of my classes. (My attendance last semester was mediocre, at best.) I wish that every rising college student will be able to have that moment where their intuition tells them that they have found the right place to spend the next four years of their lives growing and learning.

As for now, I have to stop procrastinating and start studying for my multivariable calculus final which I am taking towards the end of the month. Wish me luck and I hope to talk to you soon!

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Advice I Wish I Had Heard Before I Went To College

Hello again everyone!

I am happy to see so many new followers joining me on this journey 🙂 I just wanted to let you all know that recently I have been ULTRA busy with studying for my finals.

As some of you may already know, my first year of college was cut short when I unfortunately had to come home because I came down with an awful case of mono. It was awful, trust me. Anyway, because of this, I am now having to finish off the semester at home.

So far, I’ve successfully taken my last exam in Symbolic Logic, leaving me with a final grade of an A- in that class. Now what I have left to study for is an exam AND final for statistics and also my dreaded Calc III final…

I’m definitely going to need a little luck but hopefully if I continue to manage my time well and put in hard work into my revising, I’ll be able to make it out okay.

I just wanted to reflect a little on my past year and how it has shaped me, as well as hopefully giving some useful advice to anyone in high school or college who may be dealing with the stress that comes with the pressure to succeed.

Throughout my life, I have always been a perfectionist and set the highest expectations for myself. If I didn’t get an A in a class I would come home crying. It was that bad. Earlier this year, I was in my friend’s dorm room at school when she received a FaceTime from one of her high school friends back at home; she was crying because she had not done well on her most recent report card. I immediately was able to relate and sympathize  because I had completely been in her shoes before. It honestly feels like the end of the world when you don’t achieve what you set out to. Such a blow to one’s confidence can also discourage one from getting back up and trying again.

To my fellow perfectionists out there: Next time you receive a bad grade or don’t live up to your expectations, try to put it into perspective. Honestly, it’s not the end of the world. It may seem like it, but it’s not. At my lowest points in school when I felt like I was failing at everything, I had to remind myself of all the people I have in my life who care for me and love me. The one thing that kept me going was reminding myself: “Hey, at least my dad still loves me.” (I’m still somewhat of a daddy’s girl)

High school was honestly the bane of my existence last year and it was hell trying to finish it. I am so thankful that I was able to struggle through because now I am so wonderfully happy at my new school. College is a place to be independent and pave the way for your own future. It’s the independence and responsibility I have always craved.

I’d like to consider myself a little wiser after living away from home for a whole school year now. So let me share a few things I’ve learned at my first year at Bucknell:

  1. Your well-being is more important than anything. When you don’t really have anyone there whose sole purpose it is to look after you, it can seem a little dismal sometimes when you are either mentally or physically unwell and you have the duty of balancing your studies with friends on top of that added pressure. Sometimes it all gets a little too much so REACH OUT TO SOMEONE. It is so hard having to go through something alone. If you feel unwell enough to go to class, then don’t go. But do make the effort to keep your professors in the loop so they know what’s going on. They are there to help you. And one bad grade won’t kill you if it means you are taking care of your health.
  2. Find good friends. This one is the most important. Even after a bad day when you know you just completely failed a calc exam, it’s essential to have someone there who you can depend on for a comfort talk and a chocolate milkshake date. Just these little things can make you feel a little more sane when you are someone who drives themselves insane in trying to get good grades.
  3. Don’t go too hard on the weekends. Yes, I had to learn this one the hard way. Honestly, one night in every now and then isn’t going to kill you. I know FOMO is way too real sometimes, but wouldn’t you rather help yourself out by getting enough rest than spending a night out way too late that you probably won’t even remember in the morning? You’re much better off getting relief from sleep than going out and drinking your problems away.
  4. Stay organized. Organization is key, as I have also learned the hard way (yes, I go through a lot of trial and error). Even if you can’t keep the clothes off your floor and there always seems to be more junk appearing everywhere, at least keep your school materials and work area clean. This often translates to a clearer and more organized mind, so you will be able to be more productive every day.
  5. Don’t stress yourself out. College isn’t just about the grades, like high school may have felt like. So take in every moment and explore every opportunity because what you really will take away from these four years is the experience and the memories you have made with life-long friends.

I hope these tips may be useful for some of you going into college! And I apologize if I am unable to keep up with my posts in the next few days, seeing as my nose is going to be buried in my statistics book… I hope you are all doing well and if you are finishing up your school year, hang in there!

Monday Musings: Make The Effort

Hello all!

Today I spent yet another wonderful day at the beach with good friends. Since being  back from school, I’ve realized what good friends I have surrounding me, at home and back at college.

The other day I was enjoying the final rays of the sunset with my good friend Maddie when we sorta had a moment. We were standing on the rocks just standing next to each other, each wondering privately how amazing the beauty of the sun and earth was at that time in space. Me being the sentimental sod I am, I began to think about how much my friends mean to me and how they have always managed to brighten even the darkest of days, when all else had failed me.

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Yesterday I was invited to the beach again by one of my best friends in the world; I have never been so weird or laughed so much with another person. It is rare to find people that or on the same wavelength as you, but when you do find them, make sure you hold on to them.

Although she had invited me to a family barbecue where everyone was going to be speaking in Spanish (which I do not understand a word of), I still went. Why? Because she wanted me there.

Even when it means trying something new, or putting yourself in an uncomfortable position, you should always try to honor what is important to those you care about; these are the types of moments by which friendships are strengthened, and usually the types of moments from which you end up having the fondest memories.

Friendships and relationships are what sustain us in our times of need; they are what inspire us to become great. I want to become a better person so I can be a better friend to more people. This requires work.

I’m sure many of you have “friends” with whom you hang out “on the reg”, but your true friends are the ones who have stuck by your side through the highs and lows of this crazy ride we call life; they are the ones who have seen you cry, laugh, at your best, and at your worst; they are the ones who have opened up to you and welcomed you to share their own lives with you. The friendships that require the most work are the ones that end up being the most rewarding.

It’s hard to be a good friend. Trust me, I know. Sometimes when are lives are hectic and all we can seem to think about is our own problems, we forget to be there for those whom we care about. I can definitely say that I have not always been the perfect friend and neglected my friend-duties because I was preoccupied with my own interests. A lot of times I just didn’t realize that in order to be a good friend you need to be able to open up and make yourself vulnerable to others; it isn’t just a one-way street where you get to help people but not let them in on what may be bothering you. What I’ve learned though is that if you put in that effort to be a good friend, it actually ends up benefiting you in the long run.

So… what does it take to be a good friend?

Well, it means putting your friends first: making sacrifices, being honest, and working through the rough patches even when it could be easier to just give up.

It means you listen and care about their stories, dreams, plans, and worries. By doing so, you not only become a part of their lives, but they become an integral part of yours. If you make a conscious effort to be good to your friends and expect nothing in return, I can guarantee that your efforts will be paid off when you see a smile appear on your best friend’s face when they realize that they are loved and someone actually gives a shit about who they are.

If you make an effort to build strong friendships, you will have a support group that you can turn to in times of need. And trust me, that is way more important than you think it is. Good friends are key to a happy life: people who are there for you no matter what, and who will not judge you for being yourself.

Scrap anyone else who doesn’t see the wonder that you bring to this world, and make the effort for the ones who do.

The Benefits of Running

Recently I’ve started to run regularly outside and the effects it has had on me have been amazing.

I am definitely not one who enjoys exercising. First of all, I am the least coordinated/athletic person you may ever meet. I literally trip over my own feet (no joke). Second of all, I’m one of the most laziest people on the planet. Just the effort of having to get ready to work out is enough to put me off of it.

However, I’ve hesitantly been powering through and guess what? It’s worth it.

Starting off the day with a run has so many benefits. Let me try and convince you why you too should force yourself to get out of bed and go outside.

  1. It wakes you up. If you are able to have a quick breakfast and head out the door, you are immediately functioning way better than you were about half an hour ago. All you have to do is get dressed and throw on a pair of running shoes and you’re ready to go. Minimal effort for getting your brain started up for the day. Also, once you start to get moving and start to breathe in some fresh air you feel as though you are waking up in synchronization with the rest of the world. The birds are chirping and you are on your way to a productive day!
  2. It’s therapeutic. Sometimes I set off with a “bad bitches” or a “you got this” playlist playing on my phone. Before I know it, every step I take has a little ounce of passion or anger attached to it. Unless you are with a partner, running gives you a block of time where you have your mind to yourself and all you have to focus on is the path ahead of you. It’s almost like meditation. You begin to think about anything that may be worrying you or on your mind, but you channel it into your exercise. That way when you come home from a run you will feel like you put all of your negativity into making yourself a better and healthier person. I’m all for channeling those negative emotions into a positive outcome!
  3. You will feel more energized. It seems counter-intuitive at first when you think of how exhausted you can feel when you collapse on the floor after a long hot run. But running regularly will make you feel more able and ready to get up and move even more. I found that since I’ve started running I’ve been finding more ways to enjoy other outdoor activities, like bike rides. Maybe running is the cure for laziness..?
  4. Running gets you outside! Sometimes we are so glued to our phones and computers that we forget there’s a whole world out there full of beautiful creatures and plants! I’ve always enjoyed nature and going on long walks. Taking in your surroundings provides you with a certain fulfillment that you can’t find anywhere else. Outside is where I feel most alive; it refreshes your spirit as well as your mind.
  5. There’s no pressure. Running outside is a time for you to be with yourself. I literally never visit a gym, mostly because I hate the thought of exercising where other people can see me. I’m the most awkward mover and I cringe at the thought of how self-conscious I can be in an enclosed place where everyone else around me is so buff or knows exactly what they’re doing. The joy of running outside is that there’s nobody there to judge you. You can go at your own pace with your own technique, whatever floats your boat.
  6. In the wise words of Elle Woods…

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‘Nuff said.

Night Anxiety

Last night, I just could not sleep. I don’t know what it was, but the second I lay my weary body down to rest, instead of being welcomed by sweet sleep like I was looking forward to all day, I was attacked by an army of my own thoughts.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced it. You’ve been exhausted all day and have been counting down the seconds until your head hits the softness of your pillow. But for some reason, the second you close your eyes a whirlwind of thoughts starts racing through your head. The last thing you want to be doing in that moment is worrying that you may have forgotten to write something down on your list of things to remember to do the consequent day and that you’re not going to remember to do said thing when you wake up.

However, it happens.

It’s like when my eyes are open and my mind is active during the day, there are some things that they choose to be blind to. Unfortunately for me, the darkness tends to reveal these things to my oh-so-naïve mind. Sometimes I actually am able to see more when my eyes are shut.

Some of the particular thoughts going through my head last night were about anxiety. I was looking back and reliving so many moments where I had been easily irritated or irrational because of a feeling that was bubbling up inside of me.

One day, one of my good friends was just hanging out on the floor of my room and his headphones got all tangled up; the way he was just spread out and lying on my bean bag so carelessly, in addition to the messy state of my room, caused me to get all worked up until I eventually yelled and kicked him out. I swear it was the tangling of the headphones that drove me crazy.

I’m no doctor, but I do believe that these incidents could be explained by anxiety. As I mentioned in a previous post, life hasn’t always been so easy for me, mentally and emotionally. It’s definitely scary to think about, and I don’t appreciate my sleepy mind bringing all of these emotions back into view, only for me to start worrying about it all over again.

I’ve never wanted to face these feelings head on. But it is one of my goals to build up the courage to seek help eventually. It’s hard since my anxious thoughts and feelings come and go depending on how much stress I am under; I never know when it’s going to suddenly get worse and I’m going to regret not having anyone there to talk about it.

Oh well… For now, I am doing fine and have definitely been more aware and in control of any anxieties that plague my mind.

Hopefully writing about all of this will help, and maybe even help some of you who may be able to relate.

I have an awful habit of brushing off any health or mental-related problems I have, thinking that it will pass or “I’ll just deal.” I know it’s awful, but I honestly sometimes feel that my problems aren’t worth bothering a doctor with. I feel that they may just say “it’s no big deal,” and tell me to go home. It takes a lot of courage for me to tell someone that there is something wrong with me, even if they are paid to be there to listen. I think it’s the fear of telling someone face-to-face about my problems and worrying that I may not remember to tell them everything or that I wasn’t accurately describing my situation, causing them to not be able to help me. I know it may sound silly, but as I said, that’s just how my mind works.

I believe I have a lot of anxiety about having anxiety. Oh, my life is a mess sometimes.

I hope some of you may be able to relate. Sometimes our brains can be too smart for their own good, but that’s just how life works.

In other news, I’ve been thinking about starting a novel…

I know some of you may be thinking that’s waaay too ambitious for a soon-to-be college sophomore, but imagine how spectacular it would be if I were actually able to accomplish that goal. I want to aim big. I want to dream and be creative and work hard at something. I would like any support or advice I could get, considering I’m new at this. 🙂

I’ve started to write every day, which will hopefully help me to improve. Even if the novel ends up being a total flop, at least I will have learned something and grown as a writer. In my opinion, there is no way I can actually fail by trying to do this.

So wish me luck on this journey and I hope to speak with all of you soon.