Update: Everything I’ve Been Doing Besides Blogging

Obviously, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on my blog. This is partially due to laziness, and partially due to being preoccupied with grinding out my spring semester at college. Either way, I owe it to anyone who’s expected me to post more on my blog this year to explain myself through a list of all the things I’ve been doing since my last blog post!!!!

19

Kicked off the new year by turning 19 in January! Although I was already back up at

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*sings* happy birthday to me…

school, it was easily one of the best birthdays I have had yet- full of coffee, sushi, birthday cakes (yes, MULTIPLE!!!), family and friends. I also met up with some of my cousins at the Intersection in Grand Rapids and saw some country music live!! Nineteen is a weird age, because you’re neither here nor there, adult nor teenager, but so far it’s been pretty amazing. So here’s to 19; hoping for more adventure for the last 6 months of it!!!

COLLEGE THINGS

Ah, college. I love it. I finished up my freshman year a couple weeks ago, and I can say with complete honesty that I want to go to school and learn things for the rest of my life. I really tried to be as present and absorbent as possible in European History, American Politics, Brazilian Music and so many other of my classes that are now sounding very diverse as I’m typing this (it’s that liberal arts education, I swear)! Not only did I bury myself in homework in a corner of the library multiple times a week, but I also declared a Communication major and Political Science minor back in March, which is super exciting!!

BREAKFAST & COFFEE DATES

I did a lot of this. Too much of this? Nah.

Between Holland and Kalamazoo, time in my favorite coffee shops and breakfast places

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at Lemonjello’s in Holland

with the dearest of friends is always well spent. There has never been and NEVER WILL BE a
time where I say no to these two things. Keep that in mind, friends! I will drop everything for a cup of joe, french toast & hash browns. And you, of course, if you feel so inclined to join.

VOLLEYBALL

Between morning workouts, late night open gyms, spring season practices and coaching a 13u team, there was a lot going on regarding my favorite sport. There was a month-long season that consisted of mostly practices, but besides that I would try to bring some of my teammates and other friends together to get in the gym and get some touches. Coaching pre-teens at a Grand Rapids-based club was not only a challenge, but also an amazing learning experience for me. It’s hard to have authoritative respect from kids that are only 6 or so years younger than you- you’re barely an adult yourself!! Nevertheless, all these things put new perspectives on the game I love.

PICKING UP NEW HOBBIES

YES, there are other things I do besides playing volleyball. I found a love for doing crosswords and growing succulents, and chilling in my new ENO hammock. I also bought a leather-bound, unlined book that I use as an album for all my IMG_0045Polaroids-adding some decorative flair with drawings, flowers and writing. Which brings me to another thing: poems. A friend of mine at Hope had heard that I dabble in poetry, and invited me to a couple of poetry slams that he was organizing on campus. Although I was definitely anxious about it, I went and read and listened to some other amazing writing from peers- I loved every FullSizeRender 4second of it!!! I had never read my poems out loud and in public before, mind you! It’s made me pick this up as a creative outlet again and I’m so grateful for that. Maybe I’ll do a blog post or two about my favorite poems/original works? We’ll see.

FINDING NEW MUSIC/NETFLIX

OF COURSE I DID!! I have a very serious addiction to comedy specials on Netflix; I want artworks-000164666747-vw6nqr-t500x500to say I’ve seen between 50-75% of the ones they offer. And they’re always adding new ones to the list, I can’t get enough!!! I also binged 13 Reasons Why, season 2 of Master of None, and am in the middle of Criminal Minds (again). As for music, with some recommendations I have become acquainted with Two Door Cinema Club, COIN, Saint
Motel and Chance the Rapper (who I have listened to before, but am OBSESSSED with Coloring Book- I’m late to the party, I know!), among countless others. It has definitely made my Spotify playlists ten times better… because after all, that’s what is most important.

FRIENDS

Obviously, when I wasn’t doing any of these by myself, I was surrounding myself with friends. The fact that my best friends were all living on the same campus, street, building as me was one of my favorite parts about college, and truly forced me to become more IMG_0048social in nature. It’s been two weeks since we left for the summer and I’ve already been missing them like crazy– so much that I’ve already visited a couple of them! Needless to say, I’m excited to fill my next three years with laughter, love and adventure, in the company of some pretty awesome people. Cheers to friendships!!

 

 

 

 

These are all pretty decent excuses, no? I hope you can forgive me, but at least now I’M BACK!!!! Stay tuned for more to come!

 

XOXO

What My First Week of College Taught Me

First off, this isn’t the best title for this post, because college is a different experience/perspective for each and every person that goes through it. And technically, I’ve been here for two weeks because of volleyball!! But for the purposes of talking about real college, I’ll go over whatever realizations I’ve stumbled upon this week.

You don’t have to buy all your books from the bookstore.

I think this one, no matter how many times you’ve heard it, is rarely actually taken into consideration. A lot of my friends bought their books full-price as soon as they got on campus; and therefore lose hundreds of dollars. Feel like only losing about half of that, or less? Me too. I bought all my books through slugbooks.com (a website that finds your book, and compares it full-price vs various buy/rent website offers). For 16 credits and seven books, my total amount added up to the full-price of just one of my books. Although I wish I had purchased some of them earlier, because some classes do start work on the first day of class, I feel so much better knowing that I spent the least amount of money I possibly could have in that situation.

Know how to use your free time wisely (yes, naps included).

Personally, I’m horrible at this. I procrastinate like nobody’s business! That may have worked just fine for me in high school, but it just won’t cut it in a college course. Having a planner helps you visualize what time you have open for studying, eating and socializing (because you still need to make time for that!!). After that, though, it’s all about you making sure everything gets done. Got one hour after lunch before class? Go over vocab or your last quiz. Even if you don’t want to do that the whole time, do that first so you have that time after to do what you actually want. Prioritize your time; your homework is probably going to be first priority, then food, then friends and whatever else you want to do. Don’t forget, you can combine all three of those things at the same time, and still get things done!! Having study time with friends may bring a sense of accountability to the table.

A SIDE NOTE ABOUT NAPS: They aren’t always good. Depending on the length of deep/REM sleep, you could be messing up the rest of your day by not going for the right amount of time. Fifteen minutes is ample time for a refreshing nap, and won’t cut out too much time in your day! Naps over an hour not only are bad for sleep later at night, but also leave you feeling groggy (and who wants that?).

Remember to contact the people you miss back home.

Whether that’s your parents, siblings, or friends, you may be sucked up in all the hype of living in a new place with so many things to do, but remember how much they love hearing from you. Even if it’s a quick text, it means a lot down the road. And if you forget to talk to them after a week or so, don’t think that opportunity is gone. They understand that this is different and exciting and a busy time for you, but make sure they know you’re thinking of them!!

That said, there are some people that you won’t need to talk to every day/week to keep in touch. It doesn’t mean you care about them any less, but it is sometimes easier to cherish moments and conversations with people when it’s not an everyday thing.

Say “Yes”

This obviously should only be taken to a certain extent, but college is a place of beginnings! If a group of people are going somewhere to study, get coffee, etc., join in on the fun!! If someone asks to sit by you in the dining hall, use it as time to meet new people.  Even something as simple as asking questions about what year they are, where they’re staying and such gets a good conversation going (and you may get a friend out of it). Sign up for clubs, go to that block party your school is having, just say YES!! It’ll bring you out of your shell, and may give you a chance to do things you didn’t have the opportunity to do in high school.

Find Your Studying Habit Early On

No matter if that’s coffee & Alicia Keys (me), or classical music in the library, or even complete silence, figure out what works best for you to do your studying. If you find that before the really hard work comes around (and EXAMS), it’ll be so much easier to get that going. In the first week, I suggest moving around to different places while you study to test the waters. I promise you’ll be able to find your niche!!

Leave Your Door Open (If You’re There)

Get to know the people on your floor!! Leave it open for people to come in and talk (if you want), and go around to other’s open doors and get to know each other. You’re all living there for the year, so you may want to get to know your neighbors. Who knows who you may find, what friends you might make!

Make Smart Choices in the Dining Hall

This isn’t to say you can’t eat whatever you want/only eat salad, but remember not to gorge on the food you enjoy in the first week! Don’t forget, those food choices will be cycling back around frequently- and you’re going to get sick of it. Slow down that process, and be able to enjoy it without feeling like you have to stuff yourself to get it while it’s still there!

That said, if you are trying to be healthier, keep your plate full of variety and color for each meal! Remember to be constantly drinking water- bring a water bottle everywhere you go! The more water you drink (especially before meals), the quicker you’ll be to becoming full. Also, HYDRATION IS KEY!!!!!

Get Out! Explore!

You get the gist. Take a walk somewhere new, find that little store your roommate was talking about, look for the perfect cup of coffee, be outside!! This is your home for nine months- make it your own, find your place! *Shia LaBeouf voice* JUST DO IT!!!

 

I hope this helped anyone starting/going to start college soon! Comment below any other questions you may have!!

 

XOXO