Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Whiteboard Post

I don't know why, but for some reason, I'm having a burst of inspiration on a Monday morning, which is pretty rare on any morning, let alone a Monday. Is it the caffeine that's coursing through my veins? Is it the fact that I'm wearing tennis shoes and feel like I could take over the world and run a marathon when I'm wearing tennis shoes? Or maybe just because I made a very comprehensive to-do list and maybe even color coded it? Or the fact that I just sat through an economics class and actually understood a good majority of it? WHO KNOWS?!

Okay, at this point, I just think it's the caffeine. Who can ever be that awake for a Monday 9am?!

Yes, I know I'm writing this on a Monday to post on a Tuesday, and ideally it would have been posted on a Monday, but I just felt like sharing my goals for the week, just to feel a little bit accountable and organized.

I have this whiteboard next to my bed, and though it's been lacking in any information being put on it this semester, it's one of my favorite parts of my room. I try to write down things to do or certain goals in my notebook, but if I don't open it all the time, I tend to forget. But with it right next to my bed, I see it all the time. Also..... my roommate sees it and I feel at least a little bit like I actually have to do it.

So this is my whiteboard post. My goals are silly, but hey, it makes me feel better.

I gave up nonessential breakfast foods for Lent. Weird term, but it started with tater tots (including all related potato breakfast foods) and went to include French toast, pancakes, etc. All the fun stuff. But they normally just make me feel gross, so why keep putting that in my body? Also, my goals for eating better have been less, if any, fried foods, and less sweets. The desserts just make me sleepy and bloated, so again, why eat them? Eating bananas has been my replacement. Also, I'm trying to work out more. I just feel so much better when I exercise and move. I wanted to a little more last week, but I've been kind of sick and didn't want to make any of it worse.

Also, random, but staying clean. I feel better when I shower every day and keep my clothes clean. The most amazing thing happened this weekend-- I washed all of my clothes. WHAT A NOVEL IDEA! But I need to not keep wearing the same pair of jeans and not going to bed gross. I feel better and just end up having a better day if not.

Spring break is in less than two weeks (#praise) and I don't want to go into it just not feeling well. For my physical and emotional health, I want to feel better and good and I guess that having a good dose of caffeine on a Monday morning helps that. ALSO, after a few months of lacking inspiration, my to do list includes many new blog topics that I hope to write and post about soon! Sometimes you just need a break, I guess.


Happy Tuesday, my friends,
Meredith

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Lessons I learned in my first semester of college

Whoooo wheeee, second semester is off to a great start, and I'm so thrilled by it. I feel like I took a lot of time on break and during these first weeks to really reflect on my very first semester of college. Everything's changed and for the better in the most part. I know I tried to do some reflecting on my 2014, but I learned things the good way and bad way during first semester and I'm excited to see where this last half of my freshman year takes me!


School can be really hard. I learned this firsthand and didn't get so stellar grades. I'll admit it. I was a little worried and really embarrassed at posting this, but hey, I'm not going to cover it all up with sunshine and rainbows-- my GPA suffered simply because I wasn't adjusted to a college workload. I had never experienced classes where there were only four exams and that comprised your entire final grade, or classes where you had 70 pages of reading expected for each class. Everything about college classes is different and I had trouble.

Every single assignment is very important, and you need to treat it like so. There's no such thing as busy work in college because everything is assigned for a reason and serves a purpose in your learning. Just because you can wait until the last minute and get by with homework doesn't mean you're actually learning it. Take time to absorb the material and do assignments to the best of your ability-- there's no room for slacking on one assignment because it can really bring down your overall grade. Also, there's not very much daily homework, so it's important to keep ahead on papers and readings.

Actually do the readings. In half my classes, the readings weren't explained in class, they were just there to aid the discussion, and if you can't add to or understand the discussion, then you're really missing out on valuable time.... because the second half of that is that you'll really only spend about two and a half to three hours IN that class per week. This is both the downfall and the blessing of college; more information is covered in a short period of time so that you technically have more "free time" to spend how you choose, but that free time is expected to be spent studying, reading, and working. That was something I never realized in high school, the fact that even if you don't have an actual assignment to be working on, there's always work that can be done.

Participating in class is scary, but necessary. I like to talk, so this was never something that really bothered me in high school. But coming to college freaked me out because everyone was so smart and I felt pressured to always be right all the time, so I was hesitant to participate in discussions, which really isn't tolerated in college. The best way I learned to combat that was to be as fully prepared as possible. Do the readings, print out the guides offered, and get ahead in work in whatever way possible. You don't always have to be right with what you say in class, but when you know what's going on, you can tackle it a little more confidently.

Your grades can't be checked in a snap like they were in high school. Some professors post their grades online to sites to Blackboard, some don't, and it can kind of be up in the air with how you're actually doing in the course. Every article you read about college will tell you to take advantage of office hours, which I highly encourage as well, but don't be afraid to talk to your professor about how you're doing and how you can improve. Don't wait until the very end to ask, but if you talk to them several times throughout the semester, you'll be doing much better and at least have a game plan for improvement.

Don't skip class. I thankfully never missed a class last semester, but I know people that did and it hurt them. Especially at a smaller school like UR, knowing and following the attendance policy is crucial for success. I had significantly more sick days in high school than in college because I could always make up stuff afterwards. My rule of thumb in this is the Momma Scroggin line- "unless you're puking, suck it up".

Caffeine doesn't help you work harder. You help yourself work harder. It's a great aid when you're about to fall asleep, but becoming physically and psychologically dependent on it is not glamorous or fun, it can make you sick and irritated and it doesn't actually fix your work ethic.

FOMO, the fear of missing out, is definitely real first semester. I was always worried I would be missing out on friendships if I didn't stay in the library or go out or even have a meal with someone who had asked me to. It kept me kind of exhausted at times and I really don't know how to fix this, but just know to stay open minded and listen to your body and your needs. Missing one thing doesn't change your whole college experience.

And on a few lighter notes, I found a few things I wrote halfway throughout last semester that gives me the chills to read now... oh how I feel like I've adjusted.

1. Your feet stay dirty. Nail polish is just there to cover the dirt, and you have to build up a lot of callus after the cuts and blisters are there. (Obviously written when I was wearing sandals everyday.)

2. You will sweat a lot and there's just nothing you can do about it.

3. You WILL make friends, whether it's because of their dorky adjective during orientation or someone in your class or anything. 

4. You somehow find unique ways of doing absolutely everything quicker or more efficiently.

5. Nothing is stopping you. From anything, for better or for worse. Make of it what you will.

6. You will most likely be teased about where you're from and you'll start to notice geographically based quirks in everyone. 

7. Laundry is like house arrest.

8. You may not see your roommate a lot. Yes, you two live together, but there's a chance you just don't have the same schedule and don't see them. I remember last semester, my roommmate and I didn't ever see each other on Wednesdays until 10 or 11 at night.

9. High school is not the best four years of your life (chances are you already learned that).

10. Your phone rarely gets to 100%.

11. Getting mail is legitimately the most exciting thing ever.

12. You really just can't escape germs.... the germaphobe in me had to learn to not let it bother me as much as it used to.

13. You'll miss your old friends in the most random ways you had imagined.

14. You will get injured or sick and someone will take care of you, though it won't be your mom. Funny story- I had never really talked to one of my now good friends on my hall, but at the beginning of the year, we were going to get our computers set up and I, of course, laptop in hand, missed a step and totally twisted my ankle. We didn't even know each other but she ran and got me ice and wrapped my ankle and sat and laughed with me. Or like a few weeks ago when I couldn't move out of my bed because I was so sick and my friend brought me soup and didn't even let me make it myself. People just take care of you when you're in need, and you do it for them without even thinking about it.

15. The gym is now a prime people-watching place.

16. You'll meet plenty of people and just not remember their name, especially at the beginning of the semester. I also didn't know anyone's last names for the longest time.

17. Calling your college or dorm 'home' will give you goosebumps the first few times.

18. You will start to find the most ridiculous outfits for themed parties. Tutus and colored spandex are obviously just essentials... okay Mom?!

19. You don't care about who sees you without makeup anymore.

20. You will have so many more closets and you'll share everything with everyone. It's wonderful.

And most of all, you'll just change. I can't explain it, but there's just something about it that I can't really pinpoint. You'll realize that you're becoming so close with people so quickly and it baffles you when you realize that these are your people, and your people that you're going to spend the next four years with. Everything changes, but in the best way possible. 

And heck, it's pretty great.

xoxo,
Meredith

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

I got to wear a blanket in public

As I write and publish this, this very grass and sidewalk is absolutely covered in about 15 inches of snow. Oh, Kentucky. And I mean I guess I'm back in Virginia with a little less than half of that, but still, just lots of snow everywhere. My mom has posted so many photos on Facebook of our house and cars that make me very grateful to be here and not trapped in my home. 

But these photos were taken over break and never posted (oops), but I figured with the inches of snow, it felt appropriate to post a cute outfit with Bean boots. I'm definitely guilty of not diversifying my use of Bean boots and just wearing the same leggings or jeans with them, but I absolutely loved wearing this at home. A fairly simple and comfortable outfit was aided by so many fun accessories and winter-ready clothes, so you could easily change it with any other things and keep rocking it.






This blanket scarf has an unknown origin, but here's a similar one from Target. I had a random long sleeve shirt under this (because it was just so cold), Also, similar sweater, similar skirt, just simple black tights, and Bean boots. The earrings and headband are both old things of my mom's, but here's a similar pair of earrings on Etsy

Of course this was also paired with a huge puffer coat and would probably need a few more layers than that now!

Stay warm, friends.

xoxo,
Meredith

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Anyone? Anyone?

*Ferris Bueller's teacher's voice* Anyone? Anyone? 


Is anyone still paying attention to this little blog of mine? Do you still remember Meredith who used to get on her blog and write about every second of her boring life? 

But as I went to Google that Ferris Bueller GIF, I realized a lot of that movie (probably my all-time favorite movie) had some good moments that have totally captured how I've felt during the first part of the year.


Everything's been moving pretty fast. 2015? You cray already. It's mid-February and that's mind boggling to me. I'm trying to do a little more of this stopping and looking around once in a while and have found those beautiful moments where everything just seems so right. 


And then there are days that seem more like this:



And there were a few days of something flu-like where I definitely felt like this:



Days of wondering about everything:



There have been moments of the two extremes of confidence, from this


all the way to this.


 vs. 


Which has gotten me a little:



Because a lot of the time, there are moments of


THE FUTURE, Y'ALL. WHAT ON EARTH AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE TOMORROW OR NEXT WEEK OR IN TEN YEARS?!


But you know what? I felt like that a lot too much last semester. Stressed about minor things and with the silliness of the first semester of college:


And I really think that I was just in a little shell, afraid to do anything. This GIF means a lot more than you'd think-- I've been trying really hard to not be afraid of anything that life throws at me. I could go on with tons of Cameron quotes from the first part of the movie, but I think I adjusted my attitude a little more towards the best part of this classic movie. We all have a little bit of both Cameron and Ferris in us.



And we all need a Ferris in our lives to keep us going.


I mean, did anyone not love Ferris?



Even if you know you're a little too dorky or nerdy like I most definitely do...



...you've still gotta act like you're the queen.


It's totally okay. Honestly, that's how I've been feeling all this semester-- trying to completely own and take back everything about myself. No wizard that there is or was is ever going to bring me down....wait, wrong reference here, but still applicable. But there have been some bouts of confidence that I feel like I've tried to regain this year and I'm so glad that's what I'm working on. New Year's Resolutions? 

1. Don't let people walk all over me and 

2. Own what I love and everything about it.

Among others, these two stick with me and they're the ones I have to make a conscious effort at. Dropping things that don't make me feel good about myself and continuing the good ones, throwing myself into the things that make me happy and not holding back. 

I saw this the other day and really felt compelled to share:


And I know this was a lot of Ferris Bueller GIFs that don't really make sense (but are they ever not accurate or applicable?) and lots of selfies that were maybe a little unnecessary (and maybe this is the most unprofessional blog post I've ever written), but hey, life is great and I just wanted to relay that in some way. 



Hey friends-- make sure to stop and look around once in a while. Life is pretty dang sweet.

xoxo,
Meredith