power

photoshootr

“No one is you and

that is your power”

—Dave Grohl—


Photo: Richard Jean-Louis

A New Decade

journey

A new decade has begun, and a new journey awaits… No matter how 2019 went for you, do not forget the lessons and experiences that helped you become the person that you are today. I hope 2020 is a great year, and I am excited to see what it has in store for all of us.


I am astounded at the growth of this blog within the past twelve months, and I could not be more thankful for the tremendous amount of support. This site topped 8,000 views this year, and I received visitors from all over the world! I am so glad to be part of this community of writers because you are all so talented and inspiring. My most popular post in 2019¬†was ‘Don’t Be Beautiful’ so be sure to go check that out if you haven’t already!

Beyond the blog, I also want to give a shout-out to all of the people in my personal life who were always there for me and made the year so memorable especially my mom. I don’t know what I would have done without you guys, and it means the world (you know who you are.) 2019 definitely wasn’t an easy year, but it was one that I wont forget because it truly changed my life.

Here’s to a new year and a fresh start. Happy 2020!

Fall Semester 2019

fallsem

This semester was harder than I ever expected, but I learned more life-lessons within the past sixteen weeks than any of the other semesters combined. Looking back, I am not really sure how I made it through everything, but I couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences that helped me become who I am today despite the challenges.

I always use to tell myself that nothing is impossible and that I could do anything I set my mind to if I was determined enough. This helped me achieve great things in the past, but this semester humbled me to realize that some things truly aren’t possible. I was pushing myself harder than I ever had before, and I was setting unrealistic expectations for myself. This year, I took a full semester at the college through dual-enrollment while dancing full time as a professional trainee ballet dancer. Though I had done this before, my academic courses were more difficult this time, and the demands were a lot higher. I was only getting about five hours of sleep every single night just to keep my feet on the ground, and the exhaustion/stress really started to take a toll on my health.

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I learned that “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”

The problem was, I was trying to give 100% effort at both school and dance because I didn’t know where I would end up or what I even wanted anymore. A professional career in ballet is extremely competitive, and universities are also highly selective; I needed to be perfect at both. It was about mid-October when I realized that something had to change because I physically couldn’t do everything anymore, and I was wearing myself out… I had some big decisions to make. After thinking everything through, I decided to no longer pursue a professional career in ballet after Nutcracker which was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to make. Even though it is a huge change in my life, I know that I made the right decision, and I did what it best for me. Since then, I am so much happier, and I passed all of my classes!

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Through it all, it truly was bittersweet to walk off campus for the last time knowing that some of my friends wont return in January… From the coffee shop shows, Friday morning laughs, “flying squirrel” (inside joke), study groups, and hot chocolate chats, I couldn’t have hoped for a better group of people to hang with. I made some great friendships, and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful memories! It certainly wasn’t an easy semester, but we got through it together. The Fall semester is officially complete. I can’t believe it, but we did it!!

in the end…

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“in the end, she became

more than what she expected.

she became the journey,

and like all journeys,

she did not end, she just

simply changed directions

and kept going.”


*quote: r.m. drake

*photo: richard jean-louis

Study Tips: Finals

finals

It is finals week!

Before you surround yourself with a monstrosity of textbooks and attempt to recall that lecture back from August, I want to share a few study tips that might be beneficial to you… I have compiled a small list, so I hope this helps!

1) Write with red ink

I have read several articles that the color, red, is most effective for enhancing memory, so I write in red ink when I am studying important concepts or formulas that I need to memorize. I believe it really works!

2) Go to the library

Honestly, it’s really difficult for me to study for a long time at home because I constantly find excuses to get up or become distracted with something else… I am much more productive when I go to the library because I am surrounded by people who are working as well. I get more done, and I am more focused in the end.

3) Keep a paper and reread it constantly

Everyone has their own way of retaining material, but it really helps me to write down all of the concepts that I am struggling on a few sheets of paper, keep them with me, and reread them several times throughout the day. It keeps the material fresh in my head, and I am able to recall it much quicker.

4) Set aside a specific amount of time

We all know the classic excuse: “I ran out of time to study…” That mentality just leads to cramming the night before an exam which is the worst (believe me.) Therefore, I set aside a specific amount of time each day, and I study for that full amount of time even if I don’t do it in one sitting.

I tell myself: “Set a time. Make it a priority. Do it. No excuses.”


The semester is almost over, and we are right at the finish line… We can do this! I really hope this post was helpful, and please don’t hesitate to share your own study techniques in the comments. Good luck on your exams!!

Give Thanks

turkey

It is so easy to look around at all of the things that we wish we had and all of the things that we wish we could do… Honestly, we spend so much time focusing on what we want that we often loose sight of everything we have. This is the time of year to be grateful for the little things in life, pray for those who are struggling, and give thanks for all of our blessings. I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving 2019!

Decisions

grounding

“Decisions. We can think about things, turn them over in our minds a million times, play out possible scenarios, but really when it comes down to it, you have to go with your heart and move forward. Maybe things will go well. Maybe they’ll turn out poorly. Every decision brings with it some good, some bad, some lessons, and some luck. The only thing that’s for sure is that indecision steals many years from many people who wind up wishing they’d just had the courage to leap.”

~Doe Zantamata


It can be scary to make a decision especially if it entails major changes in your life. Sometimes, you are put in a situation where you are given two very different options, and you are forced to choose which path to take. You are not sure which one is “right” and you don’t really know where you are meant to go, so you spend time contemplating the alternatives. Days go by, followed by weeks, and even months. Your gut feeling tells you which path to take, but you are too paralyzed to actually make things happen because you worry that you are wrong and fear the pit of regret. However, you cannot spend your entire life dwelling on the unknown because the truth is that you are never going to be 100% sure of every outcome. It is not possible. You are wasting so many opportunities if you let fear take complete control and if you allow other people to sway your direction in life. Do what you want to do, and go where you feel like you should be. Definitely consider the outcomes, but don’t spend your entire life sitting around waiting because you are afraid.

Make a decision. Make it happen.

Reflection from the week…

*Photo Credits: Claire H.