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.
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!
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!!
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!!
“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.”
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.
It’s been awhile.
How have you guys been? I know this isn’t the first (unintended) hiatus that I have taken this semester, and it probably wont be the last if I’m honest. However, I really hope that you guys stick around because I am not abandoning the blog! Life has just been quite crazy lately…
I have spent more hours in the school library than I can even count, and chemistry is definitely proving to be an “adventure.” I like all of my classes and professors a lot, but the work load/studying is much more intense and time consuming than previous semesters. I also took my SAT this morning, and I am beginning to narrow down universities that I want to apply/transfer into. I am really anticipating the score because it was my first time, and I really wonder where I will end up… On the other hand, I forgot to tell you guys that the college, where I am currently dual-enrolled, has selected me into The National Society of Leadership and Success!! I am incredibly honored to be a member of this reputable program, and I am so humbled for the opportunity.
Lastly, The Nutcracker will be brought to the theater in one month, so that is quite nerve-wracking. Rehearsals are well underway, but there is still a lot of work that has to be done! I will be sure to keep you all posted, and I hope that you are doing well. Also, an October playlist will be released very soon, so keep an eye out for that…
What have you been up to? How are your classes going so far? Are you a member of the NSLS? Are you planning on watching or dancing in The Nutcracker this season? Thank you for reading this super long post if you are still there!
*Photo: Flashback to last year’s family trip up to the apple orchard.
Small problems have a tendency to invade our minds as we obsess, overthink, stress, and worry about them… Over time, it becomes hard to stop these negative thoughts, and the small problems ultimately end up feeling much bigger than they actually are. However, I have realized that most of the things that are stressful right now wont even matter in a few months, and our brain often over-analyzes situations that are actually quite simple. Everything will be sorted out the way it is suppose to with time, so don’t allow these thoughts and situations to create unnecessary chaos in your daily life. Instead, remind yourself that most of the stress that you are feeling right now is simply a cluster of small problems that the brain has manipulated to feel much bigger than they actually are.
“90% of what you are
stressing over today won’t
even be relevant in a year.
What are your thoughts on this? Was this post helpful to ease some of the tension in your life? How do you deal with stressful situations? Happy Friday!
“I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sun burnt leaves.”
September has arrived, and the first day of fall is right around the corner. I always look forward to the cool evenings, savory spices, and vibrant colors every year. The “small things” like falling leaves remind me to pause for a moment and breathe in the midst of all of the chaos. The fall semester is certainly stressful, but the autumn season really helps offset that tension because it is so beautiful.
I have created this month’s playlist for you guys, so I figured I would just release it now. I hope you enjoy, and happy September!
- Dark Green by Children of Indigo
- Rollercoaster by Bleachers
- It Goes On by Zac Brown & Sir Rosevelt
- Good Things Fall Apart by Illenium & Jon Bellion
- Next Year by Donovan Woods
- So Far Away by Staind
- That Old Truck by Thomas Rhett
- More I See by S. Carey
- Suit and Jacket by Judah & the Lion
What are you listening to this month? Do you enjoy autumn? What is your favorite thing about this time of year? Can you believe 2019 is almost over? Thanks for reading!
I spent my long weekend in the mountains of North Carolina where I embraced the peaceful solitude and experienced the traditional artwork and culture of the great Cherokee Indians. It was nice to leave all the stress behind so that I could recharge to tackle another crazy month. I will admit that the lack of phone service during the trip was a struggle for me, but the beautiful weather, scenery, and memories definitely made the trip worthwhile. I especially loved exploring the cultural district of Cherokee where I watched some of the native dances and admired all of the amazing artwork. Hand painted bear statues decorated the town, and the detailing of this one in particular caught my eye. It was also fun to peek inside the small shops and see all of the beautifully handcrafted jewelry, baskets, and pottery.
Hiking up Mingo Falls was another highlight of the trip. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the waterfall to be as big as it was, so I was really surprised when I saw the view. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I am so glad that I was able to see it.
I hope that you all had a Happy Labor Day! I have lots of exciting content that will be released very soon, so I hope that you stick around. Also, Nutcracker casting came out last week, so I will reveal that very shortly as well. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for reading!
How did you spend your holiday weekend? Have you ever visited Cherokee, NC? Do you enjoy the mountains? Are there any special post requests?