My Survival Kit

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Lately, several people have asked me the same exact question, and I began to realize that this might make a really interesting blog post. People catch a glimpse of my overflowing list of of day-by-day tasks on my weekly planner and look at me wide-eyed…

“How do you do it all?”

My reply is always the same: “I don’t even know.” In reality, however, I guess there really is a method to manage this madness, but it is not easy! I will be completely honest and tell you that there have been many nights that I have gotten under four hours of sleep as deadlines crept up faster than expected, so I don’t want you to get the impression that I have mastered these strategies because that is far from the truth. For the most part, however, I think this survival kit has really been the reason that I have been able to “do it all,” so I thought it might be neat to share with you.

1: Staying Organized:

My agenda/weekly calendar is actually color coded so that I can quickly see the homework load for each class. I also write down the important projects, papers, quizzes, and exams for that week in a black pen and highlight it in bright yellow so that I don’t accidentally miss them or forget to study. My friends think I am a bit crazy, but I actually color code my notes as well by the units or lectures.

2: Managing Time:

I always go to the campus library at least 30 min (sometimes even an hour) before my class begins to get a head start on homework for that day. I use every free moment that I have to get things done, so I frequently work Friday nights or even weekends as well. Time management is extremely important, so use extra time to your advantage!

3: Routine:

I also think following a routine helps me a lot because my body has gotten use to the wake/sleep times. This doesn’t mean that I am never tired, but it just means that I don’t feel like a walking zombie everyday because my body has gotten into a relatively consistent schedule.

4: Support:

Family and friends have significantly influenced me to keep working hard because I know they believe in me. This ultimately helps me believe in myself too, and it really does feel good to have someone there to encourage me through difficult times with a “you can do it!” attitude.

I also wanted to let you all know that I am scheduled to get my braces off on March 15!!!

I hope that you enjoyed this post, and thanks for reading!

How do YOU manage your schedule? Would you like to know my tips for studying late at night without getting tired? What was it like to get your braces off? 

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College Lessons: Semester 1

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My first semester of college was such a neat experience, and I am just so grateful to have this opportunity to attend classes as a dual-enrolled student. Although it was quite stressful and exhausting at times, I am excited to continue working for my degree and getting to know all of the amazing people around campus. It is a bit late, but I thought you still might enjoy this post… These are lessons that I have learned from myself and other students throughout my first semester of college. Hopefully you find this beneficial!

Read the Syllabus: You can’t expect the professors to remind you about homework assignments or specify every upcoming due date in class. They provide a detailed syllabus at the beginning of the semester that contains a list of everything you must complete and when. If you don’t look through it, you will likely have a lot of missing homework assignments which definitely won’t help your grade.

Learn on your own: In two of my courses, there was not enough class time to cover all of the material on the exams, so it was extremely important to read and look over all of the chapters on our own. DO THE WORK! It was definitely not fun to be reading textbook pages at 1:00 in the morning, but it really paid off in the end.

Meet New People: The experience is so much more enjoyable if you establish a small group of friends to spend time with between classes. It is also quite interesting to learn about different people and their post-graduation goals, so talk to the person sitting next to you! Build relationships with other students in your classes, and you will have a much more enjoyable experience.

Stay Organized: I don’t know about you, but I get really bad anxiety when I try to keep track of too many dates and times in my head. I was, honestly, shocked with how many students didn’t have an organized method to group all of the day’s assignments together. Many people just scratched things off of the syllabus, but that means at least four important packets must be carried around everywhere (and not misplaced). It is also easy to skip or miss things especially when you’re taking multiple classes. I recommend a weekly planner or agenda!!! You will relieve yourself of so much stress…

Ask for Help: Don’t be hesitant to ask your professor or other students for help! My friends thought I was a bit ridiculous, but I got almost every paper read by another peer or professor before I turned it in. I learned so much more by taking feedback, and I was much more staisfied with my grades when they came back on those assignments.

And lastly… BE YOURSELF:

“Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, and magical person that you are.”

~Unknown

If you have any questions or things to add, feel free to drop them in the comments. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Alice in Wonderland Casting!

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We are switching gears at the studio as we begin to prepare for our February production if Alice in Wonderland. The Nutcracker, snow, and peppermint offerings have been replaced by a giant Cheshire cat, mushrooms, and small cups of tea… Right after the busy weekend in the theater, casting was released, and we started to learn the first few dances of this ballet. I am looking forward to performing as Alice’s sister, maid, and deck of cards lead. I am so proud of my friend who was cast as Alice, and I cannot wait to watch her shine on that stage. It is going to be a great show, and I am excited to watch this magnificent story unfold.

One More Week…

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I see the elaborate tutus hung on the racks and admire the glittering tiaras set in careful stacks. The props in the basket are so very sweet. This show will definitely be a treat!

It is hard to believe that opening night for “The Nutcracker” is exactly one week from today, but I am looking forward to performing in the very first show of the 2018-19 season. I am so humbled to have been cast as the snow queen because it is one of my favorite roles in the entire ballet. As much as I love it, the snow pas de deux is has been very challenging physically and mentally as I try to get as close to perfection as possible. I want to leave the audience in awe this holiday season and perform to the best of my ability. I have one more week. Wish me luck!

A New Perspective

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Looking back, I am so thankful that I pushed all of the hesitation aside and took advantage of the opportunity to choreograph HOUR LIVES. This experience gave me a new perspective of my role as a dancer…

*I realized that the dance is a puzzle and the dancers are the pieces. If one of those pieces are missing, the entire puzzle is incomplete.

*I learned that is very important to “sweat the small stuff.” Little details (like angles and head placement) might seem insignificant, but they glue the entire dance together.

*I found out how crucial communication between the dancers and choreographer is. If there is a problem, it is important to speak up so that it can be corrected as soon as possible. Sometimes, the only way to fix a problem is to change the next sequence of steps, and that is very difficult to do on limited time.

This was definitely not an easy task… There are many moving parts in a dance that all need organization and separate movements, and it was very stressful at times. However, the reward of watching my “vision” come alive was absolutely incredible. This is definitely something that I will consider doing again in the future, and I want to thank all of my dancers for being so understanding with me. You all were amazing, and I couldn’t have wanted for a better group. Thank you!

Spinning… Spinning

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The 2017-2018 season is quickly coming to an end, and we are mentally/physically preparing ourselves for our last two productions before the curtain closes for the summer. Rehearsals, however, have been delayed, and we now find ourselves trying to whip these shows together before we head back to the theater. On top of all of this chaos, finals week is rapidly approaching…

My brain is spinning…spinning

This is turning into a crazy week!