Living Life in Fast Forward

One of my favorite movies is Stuck in Love, which my favorite quote comes from. Samantha Borgens, played by Lilly Collins, says:

“I never enjoy anything. I’m always waiting for whatever’s next. I think everyone’s like that. Living life in fast forward. Never stopping to enjoy the moment. Too busy trying to rush through everything so we can get on with what we are really supposed to be doing with our lives. I get these flashes of clarity, brilliant clarity where for a second I stop and I think ‘Wait, this is it, this is my life. I better slow down and enjoy it’ because one day we’re all going to end up in the ground and that’ll be it, we’ll be gone’”.

Until watching this movie for the first time, I never thought about how I do not live in the moment. We anxiously await whatever is next, not making the most of the current moment we are living in: whether it’s an hour, a minute, or even a second. Make something of it that you’ll be happy you did. It feels as though we wish our lives away, spending too much time anxiously awaiting something that might not even be worth the build up. There will always be something to focus on in your future: college graduation, marriage, having children, or something as simple as a birthday or planned vacation. Don’t forget about your present. Focus on the now, because before you know it, it’ll be your past, and you cannot go back and relive the moment or make it better.

6 Easy Ways to Help Stress Less

After finishing my first semester of college, I’ve figured out what helps me to stop stressing when I’ve been in the library or studying for hours on end. These six tricks are simple and easy and make me feel so much better. When you’re feeling sad or stressed out, try these to make you feel better:

  1. Play Better When I’m Dancin’ by Meghan Trainor. It makes me smile and get up and dance around. It’s a feel good song.
  2. Take a walk. As a college student, I simply take a walk or go to the gym when I’m feeling stressed out. It’s nice to get some fresh air after spending hours on end in the library and it makes me feel better. It helps to relax and clear my head.
  3. Call your mom. If not your mom, another family member. It’s always nice to hear the voice of someone close to me when I’m feeling down or need to relax. Tell your family member or friend how you’re feeling and you’ll feel better.
  4. Watch Noah Ritter videos on YouTube. When I need a study break, I watch videos of a young boy known as the ‘apparently kid’ on YouTube who Ellen sends on trips. I promise you’ll laugh if you watch any of them. Here’s the original one to start you off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz5TGN7eUcM
  5. Breathing Exercises. Breathing steadily or doing breathing that is done in yoga classes helps your body to relax and clears your mind. Simply taking a few minutes to concentrate on your breathing makes a huge difference.
  6. Watch puppy videos that no doubt appear on your Facebook newsfeed. Sometimes all you need for a study break is a video of puppies playing together to make you smile.

10 Things I Learned in my First Semester of College

I am currently on my winter break after my first semester at Stonehill College. Let’s just say I love being a college kid. I have made such great friends and I’m looking forward to taking more classes, especially within my major. College was not only about the academics, but adjusting to living without my parents, and being responsible for myself: establishing more independence. I learned many things just from my first semester that I couldn’t learn anywhere else.

10 things I’ve learned are…

  1. You don’t get tired of being with your best friends all of the time. They are like a second family because you are now at your home away from home. Find these people; however, sometimes they find you. I had friends in my room all the time and did homework with my friends when I could allow myself a little distraction. You’ll want days full of laughs and your best friends will almost guarantee that. You’ll never get sick of it.
  2. You are more independent than you may think you are on move-in day. I have always been a homebody, so I thought moving in would be a scary adjustment. It was scary, I won’t lie, but it was a very smooth transition for me, even though I never spend long periods away from home ever before. literally ever. I realized I was completely confident taking care of myself, even though I had never done my own laundry until college. Oops.
  3. Sleep is a must. Personally, I am not someone who can function on little to no sleep. I need 6-8 hours to even wake up in the morning, let alone listen attentively in my 8:30. Do not procrastinate and pull all nighters writing papers. It really takes a toll on you.
  4. Do homework on Fridays. It sounds silly, but, trust me, come Sunday night when you can go to bed at midnight instead of 1am, you’ll be thanking me. Even if you can get a couple hours of work or studying in, it saves you a little less to do later in the weekend. The weekend flies by even faster than it does in high school. Take advantage of Friday afternoons if you have the free time. Some people are still in class, so you won’t be missing out on any fun.
  5. You learn about how true you are to your values. Before entering college, do not set extremely high expectations about how you will act and behave in college if you cannot commit to them. College is such a different environment that most people are familiar with when beginning their first semester. If you believe in something, stick with it.
  6. Freedom. Freedom to be yourself allows you to find out who genuinely cares about you as your true self. Not only freedom to possibly discover who you are, or become someone you always strived to be, you are on your own. You are the only person who is going to tell you to write that paper, or do that homework. Teachers and guidance counselors and parents make sure you do what you are supposed to, including simply going to class. No one is going to hold your hand and help you through in college; it’s all you. Go to class, do your laundry, and do your homework. You’ll succeed.
  7. Those people that care about you? Your friends? They are your rocks. Your friends care about you because they love you for who you are. They have your back no matter what; they help you at your worst and cheer you on at your best. Special thanks to these friends of mine, I wouldn’t have made it through without you guys!
  8. Take time for yourself. Although I never got tired of being with my friends 95% of the time,-okay maybe 98% of the time-I forgot to take time for myself. I am an only child living in my house-I have two older siblings living on their own-so it was a huge adjustment being around so many people all of the time. I didn’t take too much time for myself this semester, but I did a couple times. It allowed me time to reflect on what was happening in my life, and let me be left alone with my thoughts. It’s refreshing when you haven’t been alone for a long time.
  9. Bring your favorite chocolate treat to school. My sweet spot is for special dark Hersey kisses. When you are up late studying and have a serious chocolate craving, a couple Hersey kisses will do the trick. Satisfy the craving and you can continue your work.
  10. Breathe. It gets incredibly stressful, but everything will be okay. Remember that. Breathe. In and out. In and out.

“New year, new me”

If you’re like me, you’re probably rolling your eyes at this blog title. People like to use the new year as an excuse to say they’ll become a new person. That’s not what a New Year’s Resolution is for. A New Year’s resolution is meant for someone to give themselves a starting date for a new goal, something they wish they did in the previous year. A new year is not meant to be a time when you completely change. If someone truly does not like who they are, they could make the change as soon as they want to. They don’t need a new date to do that. In fact, no one needs a new year to start setting goals. However, I think having a set date and making a resolution gives someone determination to start their resolution as the new year begins.

Making this blog was not a New Year’s resolution for me; I just did it. In fact, I did it six days into the new year. January 6, 2016 is the day I created this blog. Here are some helpful tips and motivators for a variety of goals:

  1. Exercising? Here’s my work out jam that always gets me off my bed. Start with jumping jacks or a jog to the mailbox. Headphones in now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JCLY0Rlx6Q
  2. Eating healthy? Try eating almonds or cashews when you need a snack instead of potato chips. Replace soda and energy drinks with ice water.
  3. Simply working harder to achieve your goals? Motivation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXsQAXx_ao0
  4. Being happy? Read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  5. Reaching out to old friends? Pick up the phone and call them. “Hey, would you like to get together for coffee on Saturday? I miss you.”
  6. Less time on social media? Delete the apps or log out for a certain amount of time each day and dedicate that time to something else. Live in your world rather than aimlessly reading about everyone else’s.
  7. Apply to college? https://www.commonapp.org
  8. To do something kind? Treat the person behind you in line for their coffee at Dunkin Donuts, hold the door open for someone, or ask the person working in the cube next to you how their weekend was when you see them bright and early Monday morning at the office.

You do not need a new year to start working on your goals. Start now. Literally right now. Go.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

We start hearing this question at a very young age, normally sometime during elementary school. I still hear it today-I’m almost nineteen-although in some other variation. Most of us when asked this question think about what job we plan to have, and if we’ll be married with kids, etc. But who’s to say that when you’re out of college and starting the rest of your life that you’re all grown up? Every second of every day we are all growing. As people, we develop not only in height and age, but our personality and maturity develop as well. I think the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” should be more about what we want to continue to be as we grow. For example, I want to continue to be kind as I grow as a person in my life. We are still growing even when we’re about to turn eighty years old and watching our grandkids grow up. There’s always a chance to change, and become someone you’ve always wanted to be, or do something you always planned. I was determined to go to Italy the summer following my sixteenth birthday, but I didn’t get the chance. It doesn’t mean I won’t go! I’ve always had an interest in animals, and have wanted to go to Africa and be a zoologist. Most likely when I get out of college, I will hopefully find a career in publishing or something along those lines as I continue my journey to become an established author. Just because I might be considered “all grown up” and set in my life, doesn’t mean I can’t get another job and expand my horizons and travel to Africa. We are always growing and there’s always chances to do what you want. You just have to pounce on the opportunity when you get it. If you miss it, you’re still growing up even when you’re married with kids at 35, it’ll come back around. You just have to be brave enough to take it.

I think one of the scariest things about growing up is not knowing where we’re headed, or what will happen to us. Will we be successful, or fail miserably? It’s all about your approach. You make your bed, and you have to lay in it. Strive for something. Make a difference and make sure you succeed. Don’t put your life in the hands of fate. I believe in fate, and that everything happens for a reason. But fate won’t bring you success if you don’t even try to achieve anything. As for me, I’m afraid of the future, I think everyone is a little, even if they won’t admit it, but I kind of like the idea of not knowing. It’s scary and thrilling at the same time.

As a tween, like many other girls, I was obsessed with the Twilight Saga. I read the books, and watched the movies. My point here is that the valedictorian’s’ graduation speech is something I want to add to this: “When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were things like, Astronaut, President or in my case, a Princess. When we were ten, they asked again.  We answered rock star, cowboy or in my case, a gold medalist. But now that we’ve grown up, they wanted a serious answer. Well, how about this – who the hell knows? This isn’t the time to make hard and fast decisions, this is the time to make mistakes. Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere. Fall in love – a lot. Major in Philosophy because there is no way to make a career out of that. Change your mind and change it again because nothing’s permanent. So make as many mistakes as you can. That way someday when they asked what we wanna be, we won’t have to guess – we’ll know.”

I just love that speech. We’re expected at 17 or 18 years old to know what our career is, what we should go to college for, and where life will take us. No one knows! Career plans, majors, and passions all change. It could change within a few years, or within a few minutes. Find something you’re in love with, passionate about, and something you get excited talking about. If you can’t stop yourself from talking too fast because you’re so excited, or if someone tells you you’re eyes light up when you talk about it, do it. Do what you love, because your happiness trumps everything.

What I wanted to be when I grew up changed several times. I started with being a dance teacher, to horseback riding instructor, to zoologist, to journalist, to psychologist, to writer. Ever since elementary school, English has always been my favorite subject. I’ve always had a passion for writing, which is evident in the fact that I spend my spare time writing pieces like this. I feel writing is a good way for me to express myself, and all of the things I’m afraid to say. As a writer, I don’t just have to focus on one thing, I can write about anything that inspires me. I can write about the art of dance, or how I’m so against horse racing, yet can’t help but watch the derby. I can go on a trip to Africa, take pictures, and write about my experiences. That’s one of the things I love about writing; it doesn’t restrict me, I can go anywhere with it.

I’m not really sure how I ended up here with this piece. I began with growing up; but somehow I, again, ended up telling you about my passion for writing. But I guess that’s just it. Growing up is about discovering your passions, and finding out who you are and what you want to make of your life.

So the next time someone asks you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” don’t think there’s only one opportunity to ‘grow up’.

Hello, it’s me.

Hello readers.

I’m new to the blogging world; I finally found the courage to create this, seeing as I want to have a career as a writer. I’ll be mostly writing about life experiences, and my thoughts on subjects. I hope you enjoyed my title of this blog post; I love listening to Adele.

Enjoy!