In Full Swing

Hi everyone. I can’t sleep at the moment–it’s been a problem for a while now, but that’s ok! I just wanted to get my hands on this keyboard and write and write and write and write.

Things are “in full swing”–we play our first tournament this week and I’ve been up to my nose in reading and writing and binge watching YouTube videos of little importance. It’s been real. It’s been fun. I’d even say it’s been real fun.

Things I’m obsessed with lately:

  • Coffee. Now that school is back in session, my morning coffee is my best friend.
  • Distractions. I’m currently trying to constantly distract myself because of all the exciting things that could happen but haven’t happened and may not happen and what not. Music and random YouTube vids are my go-to.
  • Glitter. Glitter is good. Glitter is wonderful. Glitter is extremely hard to clean, but it just adds a little something, you know?
  • The Dixie Chicks. I’ve popped in one of their old CDs in my car and I forgot I how much I love them. I don’t listen to a whole lot of country, but they (and George Strait) definitely top my list in that category.
  • Chacos. Chacos are life.
  • My Dumbo Pillowpet. He’s so cute and cuddly and he’s always there.
  • Wishing on stars. I’m doing a lot of that these days.
  • My team. Most of the girls I’m playing with are new, and I just love them already. This has been the most cohesive team I’ve played on in a while, and I’m having a blast with them.
  • Schoolwork. I’m in World Mythology and I am loving it. I can’t wait to lovingly critique Disney’s Hercules after I learn more.
  • That’s all.

I know this has been a random/ short post, but it’s done wonders for my chaotic mind. I always get to thinking too much when the sun goes down (who doesn’t?), and sometimes I just need to construct a fun little blog post to ease the constant conversation with myself (side note: isn’t it weird that we are literally talking internally to ourselves ALL THE TIME?!).

Goodnight, everyone. I hope you enjoyed all the nonsense that has taken place.

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College Tips from a College Senior

I’m entering into my senior year (technically) of college. I’m actually debating on adding another major, so I could still be in it for the long haul. That doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a lot, however. Now I want to pass on some of my knowledge– no matter how incomplete and imperfect it may be–to you!

I know how scary everything can be. New places, new faces, new teachers, new experiences. “New” can be scary, but “new” can also be wonderfully exciting! I’m here to help ease your worries and help get you excited about all the new stuff you’ll inevitably encounter.

Without further ado, here are some of my tips to conquering college–we’re not merely surviving here.

Have A Motto/Mantra 

This just got really cheesy really quick. Let me explain:

My freshman year of college, I was scared out of my mind. I had a volleyball scholarship and something to prove to myself, my coaches, and my friends and family back home. I also just wanted to have fun and find myself; I was ready to figure everything out and really make it on my own. I was moving pretty far away from the comfort of my hometown, and I was terrified of the homesickness that I was sure would inevitably come. I wanted success at this college thing, and I wanted it now.

Here’s a secret: nothing worth having comes easy. But that doesn’t mean your enthusiasm should change.

My mom emphasized this as we had endless talks leading up to my departure. She said she didn’t give a rip roar if I played or not, or if I was perfect coming out of the gate. The only thing that should matter was my effort and my enthusiasm. Momma whipped out a copy of a newspaper article about my grandpa (a football coach in his day) with the headline: “[Grandfather’s Name]: Hard to Discourage.” She said not everything would be peachy keen, but I had to try my best to be “hard to discourage.” Effort and enthusiasm.

I wrote “Hard to Discourage” underneath an old photo of my grandpa and hung it in my dorm room. That single saying got me through rough practices, lonely days, and tedious study nights. It truly helped me transition from the effortless halls of high school to the slightly more laborious college classes. “Hard to discourage” reminded me to tackle each day with a vigor and a vim; I was hardly homesick and really made an effort to be the most upbeat, enthusiastic version of myself each and every day.

Choose a motto that means something to you and cling to it for dear life. It can help you focus on your goals and help keep you grounded when you’re trying to figure out life on your own.

Find Your Niche

The glorious thing about college is that nobody cares what you do. I don’t mean breaking the law and all that jazz. I mean something much more authentic; I truly think college is a place where being the version of you in which you are undeniably yourself is a little bit easier.

The moment I stepped into my first English class (I’m a proud English major) I immediately felt at home. I can talk about books with my English peeps, about musicals and other nerdy things, and just truly be myself. I’m a girl who loves to read and talk about my obsession with Disney and Idina Menzel and Sutton Foster and Parks and Recreation and Gilmore Girls. I feel like I’ve found a group of people who will listen and reciprocate the love. Our English club meetings are a blast: pizza and literary talk and nerdy tangents. My heart’s happy just thinking about it.

Find what interests you and find that group of people on campus who have similar interests. Often they’re within your major. Sometimes there’s an obscure club that you feel inclined to join. Don’t worry about what’s “acceptable” by societal standards–I believe most of those don’t exist in college. Go out and be yourself and find people who love what you love. They are there; it just takes a little bit of looking around.

Know You’re Not Alone 

Every single college freshman is scared. Just know that you’re not alone in this process–far from it. Your friends from home are going through the same thing. Take comfort in this unspoken solidarity; It’s a comfort to sit next to your classmate who’ve you just met and just revel in the knowledge that your experiences could be adding up; chances are they’re scared about the same thing. All college freshmen are in it together–they’re all trying to figure out how to work the laundry machines, eat a decent meal in the cafeteria, or sleep while their roommates are snoring. Take comfort in knowing that every college senior (like me) went through exactly what you’re going through and survived. You can do this. I know it.

Accessorize Accordingly 

My favorite thing about back-to-school has got to the be the fresh school supplies. I love seeking out pens with Disney characters on them, a new planner, maybe a fresh laptop cover. Get excited about the stuff. Who doesn’t love stuff?!

Work Hard and Love It

You’re going to college to get an education, first and foremost. Find a major you love. I know it’s weird, but I truly love the feeling of planning, drafting, and writing a paper because I love my major. Hard work becomes easier when you know you are truly enjoying every second.

Strive to do your best in the class room. You won’t regret the headaches and the studying when you have that 4.0 at the end of the semester.

Relax–Take it All In

Do everything you want–football games, all-nighters with some pizza involved, trying out for a university theater production, anything you want. You’re only a college freshman once, so really go after everything with a newbie-esque enthusiasm. Try everything (lets keep it legal, here), do everything (legal, people!) and be anything you want. This is your fresh start. Your college experience. And, as the Division II NCAA slogan suggests, “Make it yours!” 

Now that I’ve written the most cliché college post ever, I want to wish everyone a happy “back-to-school.” If you’re a college freshman, just know that everything will be ok. Sometimes the worst part is the anticipation of all the “new.” Instead of worrying, embrace it. You only get to anxiously anticipate your freshman year once, so you might as well enjoy it.

Life of an English Major

I sat in the library this afternoon writing a paper and loving every minute of it.

That’s the funny thing about us English majors. Most of us actually enjoy homework. Yes, sometimes the amount of required reading you have to do and the amount of printed pages your printer has spit out can get a tad overwhelming. But every once in a while, you remember why you like your obscure major so much.

Quiet moments in the library on a Sunday afternoon are amazing. Today I picked a table nestled in a little reading nook equipped with a couch and a view of the clock tower and got so much work done. I could just zone out, occasionally people watch, and critically analyze Henrik Isben’s Hedda Gabler and Moliere’s Tartuffe in peace. It was a beautiful day and I was passionate about my topic. Nothing’s better than your paper effortlessly coming together; it just kind of goes. These are the days that just make me so happy I chose to be an English major.

One of the downfalls of the lifestyle (yes, lifestyle. It’s not just a major) are the questions.

“So, what are you gonna do?” “What grade are you gonna teach?” “Why would any one want to do that?”

Here are my go-to responses:

  • I’m going to do whatever the heck I want. I used to think I had to have everything precisely planned out, but not anymore. While most people see no options with an English major, I see an endless amount of career possibilities and “next steps.” Life doesn’t have to be mapped out by the time you’re 22. It just doesn’t work that way.
  • Not all English majors want to be teachers. I’m not in any way ruling it out of my future, but It’s not my first choice.
  • Because I love it. I am one of the few people who chose a major because I love it so much. It’s not “practical” by society’s standards. I simply enjoy it so much that I chose to take the majority of my classes on the subject. Because of these classes, I feel so prepared for the real world–no, really, I do. I know I can write efficiently,  keep a deadline, and work my tail off to get little details just right. I also know that sometimes your work isn’t perfect, and it’s ok to accept that every once in a while. Not everything you write will get the stamp of approval–just like not everything you do will be please everybody.

To my fellow English majors: be proud of what you do and who you are. We’re a different breed of people. We love a good story, procrastinate like crazy, and always end up getting some awesome work done. We’ve overcome red-ink-stained papers, biting feedback, and picky professors. We’ve persevered through writer’s block and survived late nights. We’re diligent, quirky, and really thinky. Not a word, but it fits.

In short, English majors, I’d say we are pretty awesome. Enjoy your quiet library time and bask in the contentment that only finishing a major paper can bring. You earned it.