To the Girl I’m Leaving Behind.

Exactly three months out from move-in day. Most days, packing up and leaving early sound like a dream come true. Between working at a retail store that is in the process of liquidating, juggling a social life, parents who are only frustrating to say the least, all while trying to maintain some sanity has been practically impossible. I’ve got twenty years of life and history in this little old town and the surrounding area. Lived in this very bedroom i sit in now all twenty years of my life. My family is here, my friends are here, everything is here.

Everything, though, doesn’t always carry positivity behind it. Some of the worst days of my life have been here. Losing family, break-ups, arguments with friends. The very best and worst days of my life have all been spent in this tiny radius of space. I have no plans to just become this whole other person while I’m away at college, but this is a chance to really figure out who I am, what I want in life. The person I am now could be worse, but i’m also not a huge fan of her at this very moment. over stressed, over worked. I’ve got a big mouth, an even bigger attitude. I’m always looking to pick fights and when I’m mad, i’m horribly mean. I lose motivation easily, I’ve gained a lot of weight that I have little motivation to burn off.

To the girl I’m leaving behind, you’ve been the me I’ve only ever been familiar with. twenty years in one space, unable to really start fresh. no matter how many times i’ve tried to change, there is no such thing as a fresh start in the same place. especially somewhere where you grow up around the same people. So, to the me i’ve been for the past twenty years of my life. You’ve gotten me places I may have never dreamed to go. I’ve also put myself in a rough spot once or twice before because of this attitude and my lack of filtering thoughts. It’s been a rough go, and while moving 1000+ miles away doesn’t mean life is automatically easier, especially being it’s for college, it does mean people don’t have a preconceived notion of who i am or what i’ve been through. this isn’t an attempt to be fake and present myself as a perfect human. this does, however, give me a chance to change how i treat people, how i see myself. more confident, less mouthy. more active physically and emotionally.

there’s so much i’m scared about in moving away. the debt, how i’ll even afford it in the first place. not having a single familiar face for the first few months while i surround myself with strangers. a new town that is small but nothing like home. however, there is so much more potential in every single bit of it.

now’s your chance, don’t screw it up.

xx bw

2017 thus far.

Other than the glaring fact that I haven’t posted since October, hi, how are you all? Hopefully your lives have been bearable if not better. 2017 so far has been the worst, the best, and the in between for me.

Five days into the year I lost my aunt. For some, maybe even most, your aunt is extended family who you see on holidays and who, if you’re lucky, calls you to say happy birthday. This strong, beautiful woman I call(ed) my aunt was and is forever someone I continue to consider such a strong influence in my life. (Almost) two months later and I will admit I am still struggling greatly with this loss my family and I have taken. I can’t listen to Carrie Underwood without wanting to break down. There’s a woman on an air mattress box at work that for some reason looks like her in my eyes and I avoid that box at all costs. Early January seemed unreal for me. This time last year we had just mourned the loss and celebrated the life of another aunt of mine. One who I didn’t know well but who I knew didn’t deserve the suffering she experienced. Now, one year later here we were in shock that we had lost a loved one to a cancer that was supposed to be treatable. One with higher survival rates than the rest. It will be a long time until I can even speak of or write about my aunt without an overwhelming feeling of sadness and anger.

Ironically enough, though, in the same month that the universe stole a life from under our feet, it delivered the same gift to us. My third niece was born at the end of January and needless to say it was both relieving and heartwarming to see that sparkle in my mom’s eye again as she took the roll of excited granddiva ( that’s what the girl’s call her ) and relieved her position as grieving sister. A precious baby girl with lots of dark hair, big eyes, and a countless number of people who adore her with more love than one can hold.

In February, my life that seemed to have a clear path which was without excitement but with a plan, took a sharp right turn onto a new and thrilling journey that is slow to approach. I got accepted into Utah State University earlier in the month. A fairly ‘easy’ school to get in to, but the one I only had dreamed of actually attending. I applied for the fun of it. Little did I think I would actually take the jump and register for the fall of 2017 as an incoming freshman. 1,370 miles and 22 hours (by car) away from the only place I’ve ever called home for the 20 years I’ve been around. I am just as my parents want me to be, nervous and worried for taking such a big risk. However, I’ve never been so hopeful and excited for my future as for once it seems as though it may be taking a turn for the very best. College for most is just a mediocre journey on towards a larger picture. For some reason or another college is more than mediocre for me. Getting to move straight across the country and compare a new area of life aside from mine is both thrilling and nerve wrecking. Being a 20 year old freshman and a transfer student is like asking to be purple in a crowd of blue. I have my concerns but I am more hopeful than anything that I’ve made the right choice in Utah.

So as the year goes on, my short term goals include paying off my credit card debt, losing twenty pounds before August, and finding a way to make it through the day at work without wanting to run to the back and cry before someone sees me. As for the bigger picture, I’ve got a lot of small goals leading up to a successful first semester come this fall. I can’t wait to take you all with me as I go.

 

With love and wishes of good health,

xx bw

Tips & Tricks for staying organized during midterms & finals.

It’s midterms week for many, including myself, and instead of actually studying here I am writing to you all. Though, I swear I have a logical reason for it. Personally, I’m the kind of person who is an absolute freak about being organized. This isn’t about me, though. I am here to hopefully help you all succeed and improve upon your academics through being organized! ( these are not my own ideas and by far are not in any way scientifically proven anywhere. these are things I have tried at home and noticed help me in my personal studies. ) Without further ado, let’s get into it!

  • USE AN AGENDA!! you guys, this is my number one tip for a reason! Agendas may seem like just another notebook you have to lug around with some extra lines and words in it, but this will seriously be a life saver. Agendas not only are a glorified, adorable notebook to write down your thoughts and important dates. It also means you have all your important dates, times, appointments and so on in one place. So when you go to look up what time you scheduled that study session with your friend from psychology class, there’s your friendly reminder that the day after that you have your next midterm. how useful is that?
  • Color code // doodle in your notes – okay so you’re probably reading this and thinking, huh? yes! draw all up in those notes. put bubbles around the main topic, lines under your sub topics. use purple on the definitions, green on your bullet points. Color coding and doodling has helped me immensely when it comes to taking notes and remembering certain things. If you have messy handwriting, colors can help the important things pop out so you’re less likely to miss it. If you have lecture and you type out notes, use colors and highlights with bold letters in word. Whatever makes note taking fun to you will help you absorb that information better!
  • Spread out the studying // take breaks – Cramming for tomorrow’s history exam at one in the morning and then throwing back three cups of coffee before you even leave the house is NOT the right strategy to get you a solid A on the test. It may seem like the best  option at the time when you’ve just gotten back from dinner with a friend or a party at the frat house but I promise you, nothing gets retained like it should. Instead, set aside a couple of hours in your day to study. Take on one or two chapters at a time depending on the length, read and take notes. Then, PAUSE! stand up, stretch, meditate. Turn on your favorite song and dance like nobody is watching! Whatever you need to do to de-stress and take a few ‘you’ moments can help you start back up on new information like you just sat down.
  • Fuel up – So maybe I’m being biased because, well, I love my food. That being said, it is so important you eat and do it right so you can keep focused while you push through those dreaded three chapters of science homework you have due. However, throwing back a big meal like a turkey dinner or eating a piece of cake that makes you feel all sorts of full won’t do you any good. You’ll simply become lethargic and ready to crawl into bed. Instead, things like apples and peanut butter, or maybe a small salad loaded with yummy vegetables will help you keep satisfied but also still alert while you finish that homework.
  • Location is key! – Sitting in your bedroom or your dorm with the tv on, or your comforter thrown over you like you’re about to fall asleep likely won’t help you focus on your study guide in front of you as much as it will put you to sleep. Find a desk or  a nice straight chair and keep good posture so that blood keeps flowing and you keep thinking! Something as small as a straight back can make the biggest difference in your attention while working on that homework.

I’m no scientist, nor am I an expert on studying strategies, but I’d like to think that in my 10 + years of schooling, I’ve learned and developed good habits of study that have helped me achieve better grades and ultimately feel better about myself as a college student. Hopefully you try out some of these tips and see a difference in your perfomance, too! If you try any of these comment below because I’d love to see what works for you.

 

XX BW

My favorite musicians and bands

It’s Monday, and if you’re like me all you want to do right now is go right back to that ultra comfy spot you just woke up from and pull the curtains on the rest of the day. However, I know one thing that always seems to put a little extra pep in my step when I’m trying to get motivated for the day; Music! These are a few of – but not limited to – my favorite artists and bands that really know how to make my Monday blues become a distant memory.

  1. Matt Nathanson – For a lot of people he might be a one hit wonder through this song called Come On Get Higher. If you’re nodding your head because the lyrics are popping up, bingo! Matt Nathanson was introduced to me in sixth grade through a Pandora station ( ask me to remember which and I’ll tell you I have no clue ). The song was not COGH, but rather a somber toned heartbreak ballad called Bulletproof Weeks. There isn’t much more I can say to describe the sort of feeling I get listening to Matt Nathanson. If rainy days in bed were wrapped up into a musician, he’d be it. With a few sunny day summer songs that could be tied in also.
  2. Ben Rector – No, I did not discover him through that one episode of Duck Dynasty where he performs at Mary Kate and John Luke’s wedding. Though I did die a little inside of envy at that sight. Why can’t I have such a perfect voice at my own wedding some day? This ironically is a spiral affect of how I learned of this artist. I had the Matt Nathanson radio on, on Pandora and low and behold Ben Rector came on ( what song, I couldn’t tell you unless I sit and listen to all his songs until the nostalgia hits me ). Though quite the opposite of the ( usually ) heartbreaking tones and lyrics of Matt Nathanson, Ben Rector has a way to make you fall in love with someone through his music. Usually so upbeat and full of the kind of life I need on a grumpy Monday morning.
  3. The 1975 – I don’t listen to this group often anymore, but every time I turn them on I get that same feeling I did circa sophomore year when I was going through a wannabe grunge phase. Their vampy tones and the unique sound of the lead singers voice have me feeling some type of way!
  4. James Bay – That one guy that performed with Tori Kelly on the Grammy’s. Just kidding, more like that one guy who has the most beautiful voice and way with words through music. Need I say more.
  5. Adele – Now, I have to admit to something I’m not so proud of. Back in the day when Adele and the Jonas Brothers were up against each other for best new artist and Adele won, I professed my undying hate for her because 12 year old me was appalled that someone as good as Adele could beat out the same boy band I voted single-handedly for at least twenty times. In all seriousness, Adele has the best female vocals I’ve ever heard ( in my own opinion, of course ) and long may she live on top of the charts.

We’ll leave it at five, because if I keep going, I may never end. I listen to all sorts of music, arguably every genre except the one where they scream the lyrics violently. Let’s just say I’m not a huge fan of Hot Topic. If you haven’t heard of some or any of these artists ( well if you haven’t heard of Adele, I do apologize for the rock you’re under ) then I do hope I’ve inspired you just a bit to find time to pull them up on YouTube. All these opinions are my own and I in no way intend to say any music you listen to is less superior.

If Mondays could be happy I’m wishing you one.

 

XX BW

The struggles of being a community college student.

Hi all! Happy Thursday (or more excitingly so, happy Friday eve).

Today, I was sitting at school trying to come up with ideas of what to write about next and figured what better thing to write about than college!

For starters, let’s get into the basics about college for me. If it wasn’t already obvious, I attend a community college about fifteen minutes away from my parent’s house on a good day. Community college is basically like high school with more in depth content. At least, that’s how it is for me. There are more people from my high school and middle school than I would have ever liked to say go to college with me. However, the main reason I – like most people at community college – chose to attend was to save money. The plan that I had set up for myself, along with my parents input, was to attend community college for two years and get my gen-eds out of the way before I go to a larger university for the next two years (and likely the last). I did end up taking half a year off after high school for personal reasons and now I’m in my second semester as a college student. So, without further ado let’s get into the very struggles I have encountered so far as a community college student (though most college students in general could relate):

  1. Having an hour or more breaks in between classes and having no dorm to go home to. and if you’re like me, which most aren’t, you don’t drive so there’s not even a way to leave school.
  2. Being surrounded by so many people from not only high school, but middle school also. Maybe for some of you this is a benefit but in my case, it is most definitely not.
  3. Too rich for financial aid, too poor for tuition in full. payments plans are the best and worst thing ever invented.
  4. The lack of social events & opportunities. unless you play sports or are just a very overly-social person, making friends in community college that you didn’t have prior is near impossible.
  5. Working at your job every day you aren’t at school. Now, I totally know that university students who live on campus have like on campus jobs or even ones off campus but living at home always seems to mean more time for a job and even less time for a social life / studying / real college stuff.
  6. Study groups / Group projects / anything related to groups at community college. it’s impossible. plain and simple. one person works Tuesdays but everyone else works Wednesdays, and one person only has the car on Thursdays. oh, but the last person doesn’t even drive. the word group makes me cringe.

Six seems like an awfully random place to stop, but hopefully you all found this somewhat easy to relate to or at least got a good laugh out of it. Feedback is always welcome.

 

XX BW