Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Moving Away from Home

Almost everyone does it at some point. Maybe it's to go to college, join the military, or get a job. Whatever the reason, moving away from home can be scary.

There are a few things you can do to make the transition a little easier, though. In fact, moving away from home can actually be a fulfilling and exciting experience! Here are some things I did that helped make moving out a great experience!

1. Use your time
By this, I just mean don't spend all your time sitting around soaking in your self-pity about being alone in a new place. Fill your time with fun things and you won't have as much homesickness.

2. Put yourself out there
Join a club, get involved in church activities, introduce yourself to the girl who runs on the treadmill next to you. How you do it isn't important. What matters is that you put yourself in the position to make new friends. People most likely aren't going to come looking for you, so get on out there and meet some people.

3. Make wellness a priority
Take time to focus on your spiritual, physical, mental, and social health. Don't let all the new freedom cause you to eat ice cream for dinner every day (once in a while...) or throw your sleep schedule out of whack. Take care of yourself!

4. Don't forget about home.
It's important not to spend all your time focused on the people and things from where you came from because you'll miss out on all the great things your new home has to offer! However, it's also important to maintain those relationships. Call your parents. Stay in touch with old friends. Frame a few snapshots from where you came from. Just don't forget your roots.

I hope these tips will be helpful for some of you who are nervous to leave home. Tell me in the comments section below: What are you most anxious about when it comes to leaving home? Or, if you've already passed that stage in life, what are some tips you have for people leaving home for the first time? Can't wait to read your thoughts!

For more back-to-school fun, check out this post on note-taking, this one on how to maintain your health in college, or my post about how going to a community college is not lame!

"A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer." -Novalis

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Take Notes Like a Tutor!

 One of the most important (yet not taught) skills to be successful in school is good note-taking. If you take notes correctly, it can help you focus on the lecture, study more effectively, and ace your tests! I've worked for three different areas on a college campus, helping students with issues just like these. Here are a few of my tips to help you take notes like the tutors do!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pizza and Starbucks and Ice Cream, Oh My!

Ahh the dreaded Freshman 15.... If you're (like most college students) trying to avoid gaining those pesky college pounds, these tips are MUSTS. 

But being at a healthy weight is not the only thing important to your wellness at college. What about all the new stress? And possibly some homesickness? Do these things and your overall health and wellness can even improve during your college years!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Why Going to a Community College Isn't Lame

Well, it’s that time of year again. Back-to-school time can be quite the mix of emotions.  I’m thinking back to two years ago when I first started college. I was a little nervous, sure, but I was also not expecting it to be very exciting. You see, I had planned my whole life on getting out of high school and jumping into a huge or prestigious University. I had gotten letters from Yale, the University of Illinois, MIT, and more that would have been a dream come true.

But my life’s journey took a different path. I got married right out of high school and moved to live with my husband who was stationed 2,000 miles away from home.
Oh, and there was not a University within a three hour drive. If I wanted college, my only option was a small community college.

I didn’t tell very many people because I was embarrassed, but when I first drove around at the college that I would be attending, I cried. It was nothing like the beautiful University campuses I had toured! There were no huge rallies going on. No fraternities or sororities. There wasn’t even a football stadium. And they assured me that classes would have around 20 students. Great. I thought. I graduated high school and now I’m back in high school.

Some of you in a similar situation might understand. Everyone encouraged me that it was such a good choice (my only choice, but I didn’t tell them that), but I didn’t believe them because I thought they didn’t understand.

So I’ve decided to help you avoid that feeling by giving you my opinion of the junior college experience. I honestly loved it. Really. And here are eight reasons why.

1. Instant Networking
The idea of “being able to know your professor” that all the small colleges brag about did not appeal to me. I didn’t care if I knew my professor. But it turned out to be such a blessing. I had two jobs. GOOD jobs. In one of my jobs, the deadline to apply had passed and I didn’t have a degree, where all my coworkers did. I got that job 100% because of a professor who had me in class and loved me. I can think of lots more instances where networking paid off thanks to being at a small college.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Few Awesome Things from July

July was a wonderful month! It's hard to believe it's over, along with my birthday and anniversary. I am both dreading and excitedly awaiting what August has in store for me. I will be going back to work at the college (I work in a grant-funded position assisting a professor and leading group study sessions for students) which is exciting because I truly love my job. I'm dreading the heat though. Arizona in August could be the title of a horror movie. It's just so hot. Like, don't-go-out-during-the-day, burn-yourself-on-your-car-interior kind of hot. But enough complaining about the heat. I have plenty to be grateful for, including this list of awesome things from July! Enjoy!

1. Dove Clinical Protection Deodorant, $8

This stuff held up even in the hot, humid, Dominican Republic weather. I put this on before bed and my regular deodorant on in the morning, and it really made a noticeable difference! 

2. Paperless App for iPhone

This is quite possibly my new favorite app. The basic concept is just an organized place to store lists. I like having my lists handy everywhere I go instead of in some wandering notebook. It's such a simple idea that works so well and is so helpful for me. Try out the free version first to see if it's something you're interested in. I'm hooked!

3. K9 by Rocket Dog Vesta Strappy Sandals

Got these at JCPenny for $20 on sale over the 4th of July weekend. My husband thinks they make me look like a Roman soldier. Hahahaha. I love them though. They go with everything, are on-trend, and make me feel cool. They're comfy too.

4. Michael Kors Fulton Carryall Wallet
Photo: Ahhhhhh!! :D My sweetheart got me the wallet I've been wanting for my birthday!!!! And he even gave it to me a few days early since we won't be able to go out on my birthday!! ❤️

You saw this picture on Instagram (if you don't already follow me, follow me here!) but I just have to mention it! This beauty was a gift from my man for my birthday. I feel so luxurious every time I open it! He got it from the MCX on base, but you can get it at Nordstrom. I love the amount of card slots and all the organization inside. Plus it looks so fancy!

5. North Carolina

Can a state make it into my favorites list? I say yes. We went to North Carolina for a wedding and got the opportunity to do some touring while we were there. This photo was taken on our anniversary. What better way to celebrate than from 2,280 feet in the sky at Chimney Rock State Park? We also toured the U.S.S. North Carolina and went to Carolina Beach. Fun, fun, fun!

6. Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Penny Lane
Smashbox - Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner
The concept behind this eyeliner is so genius. Twisting the cap off sharpens it so it is literally always sharp. I got it in "Penny Lane," which is a pretty coppery color that I like to wear as an everyday liner because it's not as intense as black but looks soft, effortless, and fabulous. I also haven't had any problems with it running/smudging/disappearing/melting/etc. so that's a plus! You can get it at Sephora.

July was a great month for me. What did you love about July? What are some of your favorite things from last month? I'd love to hear your recommendations in the comments section below!

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." -Nelson Mandela

Thursday, July 24, 2014



I've been traveling and preparing for a friend's wedding. Yay!

I'll be back to my regular posts next week (hopefully)

Thanks for understanding and have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Mission Trip Story: La Republica Dominicana

Hello everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful month of July so far! For today’s post, I’m going to jump back in time to last month to share a story about a trip that changed my life.

I went to the Dominican Republic with other team members from my church on a mission trip and it was WONDERFUL.