Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's been real, 2014

What a year. 2014 has been full of milestones, memories, and good times. Although 2014 also had it's downs, this year was truly one for the books.

For starters, I graduated high school. I made the most of all the "lasts" with my high school friends, and was able to maintain my high school friendships even after high school ended in June. I graduated with highest honors, and all my hard work over the earlier part of 2014 paid off.

Me & my high school friends. I'm 4th from the left :)
From Kindergarten to senior year

I also made one of the best decisions of my life, and chose to attend The Ohio State University, where I started college this past fall. I met some great people, got directly admitted into the business school, went to my first OSU football game, started college as a sophomore due to AP credit, and successfully finished my first semester of college. And speaking of football, I got to experience my school's football team crushing Wisconsin in the B1G Championships, and experience them making it into the first ever College Football Playoffs.

Just me and my 7,024 person freshman class @ the Welcome Week Convocation
My friend B and I at a Dan + Shay concert in Columbus

The transition from high school to college was harder for me than I expected, and I sure had my fair share of homesickness. I also grew a lot as a person though. I'm stronger than I was before, and I've definitely become more independent. I think I'm ready to close the door that is 2014, leave behind the not-so-good things that may have happened, and embrace all that 2015 has to offer.

It's been real, 2014.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter Break To-Do List

Now that Christmas has come and gone, it's time for me to start crossing things off my ever-growing to-do list for the rest of winter break. I have less than two weeks left of break, and like most people, I'd like to pull ahead with the New Year and get some things done before spring semester starts up.

Here are some of the things on my winter break to-do list:

Reform my resume. -CHECK- This was the first thing on my to-do list, and guess what? Already accomplished! I sat down earlier this afternoon and just busted it out. This was something I kept putting off all fall semester, but it was surely a must because I needed something more professional than my old and outdated high school resume.

Finish ordering & buying textbooks. -CHECK- I know that a lot of college students try to hold off on buying textbooks to make sure that they're actually needed for class, but I just went ahead and saved myself some stress in the beginning of the semester and bought my textbooks. To save money, I ended up buying used books from some people I know in the business school at OSU, and for the books I had to buy new (because of those darn online access codes) I used to find the cheapest price. Definitely glad I got this over with.

Fill out internship applications. As a business major, it's super important to have some solid internship experience. Although I'm in my first year of college, I'm credit-wise a sophomore and am on track to graduate in three years so it would be amazing to get an internship for summer 2015. There's a couple of internships I had in mind to apply for, with one of them at the company where my Aunt works at in downtown Chicago. If I don't get one, it's okay, but there's no harm in trying, right?

Research short-term study abroad options. I'm on track to graduate early, so unfortunately I won't be able to go on a semester-long study abroad trip. However, there's still summer, "May-mester", and other short-term options to look into! I definitely want to experience studying abroad, so it's probably a good idea to research my options now before I miss out on a golden opportunity.

Fill out Scholarship applications. Ugh. After senior year, I never wanted to have to fill out another scholarship application. They can be such a tedious pain. But hey, the more scholarship money I receive now, the less I have to pay back filling out those scholarship applications it is. 

Reform this blog. When I started this blog, it was to document my college years and anything else I feel like posting. I want to add more of a personal feel to the blog, instead of the "cookie cutter" vibes I think it has now (ie posting about generic blog post topics that everyone seems to post about). I want to incorporate my voice into it, and post about things I truly feel passionate about. Maybe people won't enjoy reading my personal thoughts and college experiences, but I feel like this blog would be more meaningful to me if I had a more personal touch. 

Also, I truly haven't given this blog the TLC it needs with all the stress and craziness of my first semester of college, so I'm going to try to come up with blog posting schedule to stick with. 

Visit more with friends and family. I've gotten to spend a lot of time with family lately with Christmas and all, but after being away at college for the past four months, any time I've spent with them doesn't seem like enough. I've got a couple things set up to meet up with some of my high school friends, but I still need to see if I can meet up with some others before winter break comes to an end!

So what are some of the things on your winter break to-do list? 


Monday, December 8, 2014

And....It's Finals Week

I hope you all had a great weekend! I know I did. My school's football team won the B1G Championships by a landslide, and are now off to the NCAA College Football Playoffs. On Sunday when ESPN announced the top four football teams that would be in the playoffs, it seemed like literally everyone on campus stopped what they were doing and were crowded around their TV to see if Ohio State got in. It was absolutely silent right before they announced that we were the fourth spot in the playoffs, and then everyone went crazy. I was in my dorm room watching it at the time with a couple other girls on my floor, and you could hear the cheering and shouting from in the dorm and outside once we heard OSU made the playoffs. So I guess you could say that it was a good weekend to be a Buckeye fan! :)

Anyway, finals are here. My last day of school is tomorrow, and then finals start up Thursday and end for me the following week on Wednesday. Like a lot of people at this point of the semester, I wish I studied a little more and worked a little harder earlier in the semester. Now there's a lot of pressure on me to do really well on these finals.

I have 4 of finals in total (2 of my classes don't have finals thankfully), and I spent my lunch break today making a study plan for myself of when I should study what, and set aside study time for each class. If I didn't do this, I'm pretty sure I would feel really disorganized, unmotivated, and would probably have a mini breakdown by the time finals started.

So as of today I'm all set, organized, and ready to start studying and preparing for my finals. I only have 1 1/2 more weeks left of the semester...I can do this.

Have a great rest of the day and if you have any finals to study for, good luck!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Break Recap

Happy December! I can't believe that Thanksgiving break has already come and gone, and that in a short 2 1/2 weeks it'll be winter break and the semester will be over...but until then, I still have a lot to get done including one more midterm and finals!

Anyway, I just thought I'd do a little Thanksgiving break recap. I didn't do anything spectacular, but it was so nice to finally go home after 3 months of being away at school!

Last Tuesday, I took a flight home to Chicago. I hadn't been on a plane since I was 2 years old, so I guess it was cool experience for me! Thankfully, I met and became friends with a girl on my floor who is from the Chicago suburbs as well, and we got to fly on the same plane together. Without her, I'd probably be a lost cause in the airport by myself (even though the Columbus airport is pretty small). When I landed in O'Hare though, it was another story. It took like 5 calls to my Dad in order to find is O'Hare easy to get lost in!

view from the plane (over Illinois)
On Wednesday, I got together with one of my best friends from high school for lunch, and then met up with a larger group of friends for fro-yo. It was great to hear about all of their experiences in college so far, and I was relieved to see that most of my high school friends haven't changed. However, it was sad to find out about what happened to some of the people I knew in high school, and to hear that some of them already sort of "went off the deep end" with it not even being 1 full semester into freshman year yet. But other than that, it was great catching up with my high school friends. I didn't get to see all of them, but I can't wait to hang out with them more over winter break!

As for Thanksgiving Day, I went to my Grandma and Grandpa's house as usual. It was great seeing all my uncles, aunts, and cousins on my Mom's side of the family! Many of them didn't think I was coming in and that I was staying in OH with my Dad's side of the family, so it made it into a nice little surprise that I was there. I of course was bombarded with a bunch of college questions, which makes me a little nervous about future family parties closer to college graduation when my family is going to keep asking me about what I'll be doing with my life...But I'll just worry about that when the time comes. Other than that, the food was absolutely delicious as always, and I can't even believe how much I ate! :)

Black Friday was a day full of shopping with my Mom and my sister. We spent a whole day of it, and I got to pick out some of my Christmas presents from my parents. I also bought a new winter coat which was very much needed (even though yesterday when I came back to OH it was 60 degrees...go figure)!

Saturday my Dad and my sister drove me back to OH and we all stayed at my other Grandma and Grandpa's house for the night, before dropping me back off on Sunday. We celebrated my sister's Birthday (which is this Wednesday) and had a second little Thanksgiving with my Dad's side of the family in OH. We also watched the Ohio State (my school) vs. Michigan game, which was pretty exciting! Although I'm of course glad OSU won and will be going against Wisconsin in the B1G Championship Game this Saturday, I was so sad to see our quarterback get hurt! Hopefully OSU will still be able to pull off another win this Saturday! Go Buckeyes!!

The welcome arch into Ohio
And there you have it...that was my Thanksgiving break in a nutshell. It was great getting to see my family after not seeing them for 3 months! I was a little nervous about going home and feeling like an outsider in my own family, but thankfully that was not the case at all! And I was so glad to see that my friends haven't changed a bit. :) The break made me remember how grateful I am for having a great family and good friends!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving as well!

Talk to you soon,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Thoughts I've Had Now That Winter Has Set In

The winter weather has officially set in here in Columbus, OH. The temperature was in the low teens today, and it was extremely windy. Although I should be used to the cold winters being from Chicago, I don't think I'll ever get used to the cold. 

View outside my dorm window. Sorry about the glare!

Here are 10 thoughts I've had now that winter has set in:

1. *looks out window* *checks temperature on phone*  Nope. Not getting out of bed today.

2. Walk to the dining hall? Nah, that involves getting out of bed. I'll order pizza for delivery instead.

3. Humans can hibernate too, right?

4. I deserve a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha for trudging through this blizzard to get to class. 

5 .YES! I can finally wear my Uggs without being judged.

6. Why on earth did I think it would be a good idea to wait until Thanksgiving break to bring my winter coat to school? Until then, I will now freeze to death.

7. After college graduation, I am officially moving down south.

8. Snowball fight? Snowball fight.

9. Should I go out with friends or stay in my cozy pajamas and watch Netflix on Saturday night? Netflix it is.

10. *Gets Snapchat of ocean from friend who went to school in Florida* -_-  --> :( 

Anyway, I hope you had a great start to your week! I have one more midterm on Thursday and then I'm flying home Tuesday for Thanksgiving! Now that I've been away at college for 3 months, I can't wait to finally go home!

Thanks for reading! If you're in a place where it's cold, stay warm!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TheSkimm: A Great Resource for College Students

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I don't know about you, but I have a lot on my plate right now. I have two big midterms coming up on Friday, and I'm still not even finished with the reading for one of the classes. And then of course is homework and stuff for other classes, and a meeting to go to for one of the organizations I'm involved in. So to say the least, these next couple days are going to be long ones. 

Anyway, enough about me, I wanted to talk to you about a great resource for college students (or people of any age) called TheSkimm. For those of you who haven't heard of it, TheSkimm is an free email newsletter that is sent out Monday-Friday giving little blurbs about current events. Each newsletter is short and to the point, and the way TheSkimm lays out its content makes it interesting to read. 

As a college student, sometimes it's hard to keep up with what's going on with the world around us, and often times we don't have time to watch the news or tune in to see what's going on. When current events are sometimes brought up in class or by our peers, it can be a little awkward if we are hearing about things for the first time through them. 

For me, I'm in a Global Politics class where current events are talked about all the time, so it's been really nice getting to read a little bit about current events through TheSkimm before class. I usually find time to read the TheSkimm on my phone when I'm waiting in line at the coffee shop every morning, or even when I get to class early.

It never hurts to stay on top of what's happening in the world, so if you would like to sign up, there's a link up above. If you're not sure you'd want to sign up or not, feel free to check out today's Skimm (for Oct. 15) here.

I initially found out about this news resource from a girl I went to high school with, who also goes to the same college as me. She's a year ahead, so she's given me some great tips for college, such as telling me about theSkimm. 

Reading TheSkimm everyday and keeping up to date on current events really helped her in the long run, like earlier this year when she attended one of our college's internship fairs for the business school. While at the internship fair, she ran into some representatives from a company she had read about earlier that week in TheSkimm, who just underwent some great company merger. While talking to the reps, she mentioned what she had read about their company on TheSkimm, and they were really impressed. 

So honestly, you never know when you might need to know a thing or two about current events, and it never hurts to be informed, either! Whether you try it out or not, let me know what you think about it in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

*This post was not sponsored. These are just my own, honest opinions.

Friday, October 3, 2014

October Goals

Happy October! It's finally starting to feel like fall now that the the leaves are changing, and pumpkin spice everything is out in full force! [Oh, and for those of you who have seen Mean Girls, happy October 3rd! :) ]

Today I thought I would share with you a few goals for myself for the month of October.

View outside the window of my dorm room

1. Get outside my comfort zone. Now that midterms are over, I feel like I really need to put myself out there a little more. I think I really just need to relax a little and start enjoying the college experience more by hanging out with friends, meeting more new people, and maybe joining a couple more organizations. At my school, formal Sorority recruitment is in the winter, and the sign up starts this month. I'm still trying to decide whether I should rush or not...any thoughts about that from people who are in sororities?

2. Keep up better with school work. I always get my work done, but I have a tendency to push things off and procrastinate, which leads to me staying up really late to catch up. I need to do a better job at managing my time for my reading and homework, so it doesn't get too overwhelming for me.

3. Go to the gym more often. The first 3 weeks or so that I got to college, I was really good about going to the gym everyday. But now that the school work has piled on, I haven't been as good with it, so I'm setting a plan for myself to go the gym at least 3-4 times a week. I don't have an excuse either, because there's a gym literally right down the street from me.

Anyway, I really hope I can accomplish these goals this month in one way or another! I have a feeling this month's going to be a good one for me...between seeing Gone Girl tonight, having The Best of Me (another Nicholas Sparks chick flick) come out in a couple of weeks, going to more OSU football games (but this time with fall weather), and going to a Dan + Shay concert near the end of the month, I'll be keeping myself pretty busy!

Do you have any goals or fun things you'll be doing this month?

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 29, 2014

What I Need to Survive Midterm Week

Well, this is it. My first ever college midterm week. I had one midterm so far, and thankfully it went well...but man, are they stressful. Unlike high school where your grade is padded by homework, most of my college grades are determined by two midterms and a final exam, so there is a lot bearing on doing well on my midterms. But of course, just like in high school, I haven't outgrown my procrastination tendencies. I guess I've just come to find that I work better under pressure, especially when I have to get things done. And yes, I'm procrastinating right now in writing this post while I should be studying for my econ midterm tomorrow....but hey, I need a little break!

Anyway, here are a few things I need to study my best and survive midterm week:

1. A quiet place to study. I get easily distracted when the people around me are loud, so this is a must for me. Currently, I'm in one of the designated quiet study rooms in the basement of my dorm.

2. Highlighters. Highlighters are my best friend while studying. I use them to highlight important content in my notes and for checking things off that I already studied.

3. My Agenda. I need my agenda to keep my life together, especially during stressful times such as midterm week when I really need to get things done.  

4. Food. For me, food = brain power. So when I need a little bit of a boost, or even a little motivation, this is what I use. 

5. Coffee or Diet Coke. For when I really need brain power or to stay awake, I drink coffee or Diet Coke to get that extra boost. 

6. Mini breaks. I try and divide up my studying into sections, and then give myself a little 5-10 minute break in between each section to go on social media, eat, go to the bathroom, or do whatever. This way, it'll motivate me to finish each section, and it'll keep me from constantly fooling around on my phone. It'll also keep my mind refreshed and less exhausted than if I studied constantly for hours on end.

If you have midterms coming up, good luck and I'd love to hear about what you need to survive midterm week!

Monday, September 22, 2014

15 Things I Learned My First Month of College

I've officially been at college for a month, and I can't believe that I haven't posted about college yet. But truth be told, this first month of college has been a blur. So much has happened, and it all went by so fast. It's crazy that September is almost gone already!

Anyway, I have a couple midterms this week, so I'll have to keep this blog post short and sweet. Here are some of the biggest things I've had to learn since I've been at Ohio State:

1. It's okay to go to places alone. Whether it be for lunch at the dining hall, or attending a meeting for a new organization, it's okay to go by yourself. Little did I know, no one cares if you go places by yourself. It's what a lot of people do, actually. Soon enough you'll meet people to go to organization meetings with, and even if your lunch or meal schedule doesn't coordinate with any of your friends, it's okay. There's a bunch of people who go to the dining halls alone.

2. It's important to communicate well with your roommate. I had one little incident where there was something in the room that I truly wasn't okay with (since we could get into big trouble if it was found in our room), and so I talked to my roommate about it. Thankfully she was really nice about it, and removed it from the room. So talking things through with your roommate before anything else is a great way to keep up a good roommate relationship.

3. Don't worry about what people think. It's okay to look like a bum sometimes to your early morning class. It's alright to eat that extra piece of pizza. And like I said before, if you want to go somewhere by yourself, it's okay! You only have four years of college, so it's important to make the most out of it and do everything that you set your mind to do.

4. Don't get behind in the reading for your classes. Ugh I've only been at school for a month and I've already gotten myself behind and procrastinated heavily on my Global Politics reading. I had to read 96 pages in one night + do my other homework, which obviously didn't lead to a very good night.

5. If you're going to decorate your dorm room, make sure you have a plan before you get to school.  I love to decorate, but didn't really spend any time over the summer planning any DIYs for my dorm room. So while my roommate had all these cute posters and stuff up, my side looked kind of bare. But thanks to my Aunt's DIY gifts she gave me and some binge Etsy shopping, my room finally (after a month) is starting to look pretty good and more home-y. It's not quite finished yet and I'm still waiting for some things in the mail, but I'll definitely show you some pictures when it's ready!

6. Keep a little food in your room. Odds are, you'll get hungry late at night at some point, and going to the dining hall just won't be an option. It's also quick and easy for when you really don't have the time to go anywhere else.

7. DO NOT wear your freshman orientation shirt to class/around campus. Please. You will get a lot of crap about it from the upperclassmen, and that's just not the kind of attention you want to get. (Just wanted to put it out there that I wasn't the one who wore it out, but I've seen some freshman wearing it get called out for it by people).

8. Use the buddy system. If you plan on going out at night, having a buddy system is important for your safety. Also, if your campus is in a city like mine, there can be some pretty sketchy people about so it's important that you try and stay in a group.

9. Don't start skipping classes. Once you start, it'll be the beginning of the end. Last week I decided to skip a lecture because I had a horrible cold and desperately needed cold medicine, which probably wasn't the smartest idea. But oh well.

10. Watch out for squirrels. On Ohio State's Oval (which is like what other college's call a "quad"), there are some pretty pesky squirrels. They're like so accustomed to being around people, that they walk extremely close to you when you walk near them. My roommate's friend from a different school had one jump out of a tree and nearly hit him, so trust me, be aware of squirrels.

11. Don't wear heels,wedges, or other uncomfortable shoes if you have to trudge all over campus. From having to wear black heels with my business suit, to stupidly wearing high wedges when I had a far walk, I'm sure my feet are not happy with me right now. I have a couple blisters that keep reopening, so unless you have to, don't wear those adorable heels anytime you have to walk real far.

12. Keep your door open. It's the easiest way to meet new people on your floor, and I wish I would have done so more during this first month.

13. Don't forget about your fruits/veggies/ways to get calcium. It's important to get your nutrients and vitamins, so make sure you still find fruit and veggies to eat in the dining hall. I haven't been eating the healthiest of things, so I need to start doing this more. Also, I've realized that I've hardly ever been drinking milk, and I usually don't get enough calcium as it is, so I'll have to start drinking milk more often in the dining halls.

14. Stay in touch with your friends and family back home, but don't overdo it. Don't be that freshman who is just constantly texting and Snapchatting their friends from home, and not making any effort to make new friends and meet new people. It's okay to talk to your friends and family from time to time, but being excessive about it is a real disservice to you because it will look like you don't want to make friends.

15. You're in college, so it's okay to have a little fun. It's okay to break out of your comfort zone, and have fun in college...just don't forget about your school work! ;)

Thanks for reading my list of things I've learned my first month of college! There'll be much more college-related stuff to come, and I'll make sure to include some pictures of my dorm room when it's finished!

And with that, I'll leave you with a lovely picture I took at an OSU game I went to:

Talk to you soon,

Friday, September 5, 2014

Influenster Vitality VoxBox Product Review

Well, it's official! I've been a college student for just about 3 weeks now. It's been a hectic few weeks with just one thing happening after another, so I apologize I haven't posted in a little while! I'll be sure to tell you all about my college life soon, but for now, I wanted to review the items I got in my Influenster Vitality VoxBox

For those of you who don't know what Influenster is, Influenster is an online company who sends out boxes of products to try out for free. Basically, all you have to do is connect your social media accounts and fill out surveys to boost your online impact score. And based on that score, Influenster chooses who to send VoxBoxes to. 

I happened to be one of the people Influenster chose to receive the Vitality VoxBox, so let's get started on the products inside:

// The Softlips Cube ($3.49 in stores) was probably my favorite product from this VoxBox. I got mine in the scent Vanilla Bean, and it just smells amazing! On the package, the Softlips cube says that it's for 5 in 1 Lip Care, meaning that it hydrates, replenishes, smooths, protects, and adds shine. And from what I've found, it does all 5 of those things. My lips feel really soft after using it, and it helps a lot with preventing chapped lips.

If you're wondering how this compares to eos lip balm, I would say that the Softlips Cube is a little better. With eos, I felt like within a half hour after I applied the lip balm, my lips were already dried out again whereas with Softlips, my lips do stay hydrated nicely. 

In the VoxBox I also received two coupons for a $1 off a Softlips cube, and I think I might actually use it! This is definitely a product that I will be buying once it runs out. 

// Another product I received was called Bikini Ready Energy Gummies ($14.99 in stores...pictured above is a sample size), which is supposed to be a B-12 vitamin supplement that gives you a boost of energy. It also says that "with a healthy diet and exercise program" the gummies are supposed to "help boost your metabolism and increase your energy so you can maximize your workouts." 

I was a little tentative to try these since I don't normally take any supplements, but when I finally tried them, I honestly don't think they did too much (if anything). They had a weird medicine-like taste to them, and I didn't feel any more energized after taking them. I probably wouldn't recommend these to anyone.

//  The next product I received was Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea. Pure Leaf Iced Tea is said to be made from "real brewed tea for that fresh brewed taste." Now I'm not a big fan of tea, but thankfully my roommate likes tea, so I gave it to her to try. She said she loved it, and a couple days after I gave her the tea, we walked up to CVS and she ended up buying another couple bottles of Pure Leaf Iced Tea! So for tea lovers, it must be pretty good!

//  Next up is the Elizabeth Arden FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide Caplet Serum ($60 for 1.0 fl oz...pictured above is a sample size). This Elizabeth Arden Serum is supposed to keep your skin looking flawless by reducing signs of wrinkles, reinforcing your skin's moisture barrier, and even skin tone and texture. When I tried it, I think this product did help brighten up my skin a little more, and it definitely made my skin feel moisturized. However, I don't think I'd spend $60 on it. 

//  Another product I received from this VoxBox was the Playtex Sport Fresh Balance Tampons ($3.99). I have to say, my roommate started cracking up when she saw that I got a box of tampons from Influenster. But anyway, I already use this brand of tampons, so I was happy to get a free box! I think they're pretty good as far as tampons go. :)

// Alright and the last product I received was the First Degree Advanced Burn Cream ($5.97-$8.99). This burn cream is supposed to help repair skin damage from all types of minor burns. I haven't had any burns recently, so I haven't had a chance to really use this product. However, I did just put a little on the tip of my finger anyway, and it really does feel cooling (even without a burn). So I guess this will come in handy if I ever get a burn!


And those were all the products in my Vitality VoxBox! I was actually surprised by how many products were inside, and I think I'll definitely be using or buying some of these products again! 

I hope you all have a great start to your weekend!! I'll be going to my first college football game tomorrow night (football's a really big thing at my school), so I'll be sure to post about that and my other college experiences that I've had so far soon!

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes*

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I hate goodbyes.

It's 1am as I'm writing this now, and I don't even know what to say. There's only 3 days left until I leave for college, and 4 days until I actually move in. My Grandma and Grandpa invited my family for over for dinner this past evening so that they could see me before I head off, especially since the first time I'll be coming home won't be until winter break in December. I'm glad they invited us over, and that I got to visit with them for awhile.

But the thing is, I'm terrible at goodbyes. I've never once left home for more than a couple nights, and I've never moved before. I've never had to truly say goodbye to someone. I know it's only saying goodbye for a few months, but it's just such a weird feeling. After seeing these people all the time during the first 18 years of my life, it's going to be so different going off to college knowing absolutely no one.

Anyway, now that one of my best friends has already left for college in Virginia and my Facebook newsfeed is filled with goodbye statuses and pictures of dorm rooms, it's finally starting to hit me that there are some major changes coming ahead, and especially in the next few days. I'm thankful that I got to see some of my friends before we all go our separate ways, but again, it's just so strange seeing people I used to see everyday for the the past several years leave for colleges in different states (and for one of my friends, a different country).

I'm definitely going to miss so many people, and I'm starting to realize that college is going to be quite an adjustment. However, I know that deep inside, I'm ready for it. I'm ready to meet new people, make new friends, and embark on new opportunities and adventures. Although I have to say goodbye to some people for awhile, I get to say hello to a whole new beginning.

Thanks for listening to my rambles,

Thursday, August 7, 2014

6 Tips & Tricks For Applying to College

Welcome to post #2 of my little High School Series. If you missed post #1 about the Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew In High School, check it out here!

Since I'm just entering my freshman year of college and have recently been through the college admissions process, I wanted this next post in my high school series to be on tips and tricks that I would've found helpful in applying to college. So if you're getting ready to apply to colleges either this year or the next couple of years, you've come to the right place! And even if you've been through the college admissions process already, you can feel free to share any of your own tips or experiences in the comments below! :)

It's easier for me to do this in list form, so here goes:

1. Start Early

Seriously. If you don't read any of my other advice in this post, PLEASE follow this one! It's important to start early in visiting colleges and doing research on schools so that come senior year, you have an idea of colleges you want to apply to. It also helps to start early when applying to colleges. Once you've come upon your senior year of high school and are starting to apply to colleges, make sure you know when the deadlines are for each school's application. Although many school's applications have a priority deadline of November 1st, some school's have a different deadline (so make sure to do your research). This means that you don't want to wait until midway through October to start your applications, essays, and asking for teacher recommendations. You want to start as early as you can, so if somehow there's a glitch and the applications website is down, your high school forgot to send your transcript, or any other unforeseen event happens, you won't be stuck and you'll have time to fix it. This happened to a girl in my AP Gov class senior year, who applied to one of the same school's I had applied to. We both got in and everything, but the thing was, there was a delay in her transcript being sent so although she had her actual application in by Nov. 1st, the school declared her application as not being fully complete by the priority deadline. This meant losing out on a $14,000 automatic academic scholarship for out-of-state students that she could have gotten if she had everything in by Nov. 1st. So what I'm trying to say is, make sure you start on your applications as soon as possible during senior year so that you don't run into any issues. 

2. Write down your passwords!!
If you're applying to several colleges like I had, it's important to write down your log in passwords for each online application you fill out. Each school is different, but for many of my online college applications, colleges had a multitude of requirements for creating a password. Due to these various requirements for creating a password, I had to create new passwords for myself that were pretty difficult to remember. Since I was the first one of my siblings to apply to colleges, I didn't think to write my passwords down. I ended up forgetting them a lot and having to reset them. However, on one of applications, there was a limit on how many times you could reset your password, and I ended up having to call that college for help since I couldn't log in to check my application's status. And I have to admit, it was pretty don't make the same mistake I did!

3. Apply to a safety school
What I mean by applying to a safety school is to make sure you apply to a school you like, and that you're almost positive you'll get into. That way, if all else fails and the unexpected happens where you don't get into some colleges, you won't be stuck. 

4. Have someone read over your essays
I had my Mom read over my college application essays, and I'm really glad I did! She caught some mistakes in them that I hadn't noticed. Be sure to have someone read over your essays, whether it be by a parent, a teacher, or a friend. It's good to have another set of eyes read your essays so that you can make sure your essays are the best they can be! On a college visit I went to, one of the college admissions counselors there told us about several mistakes they have seen in application essays. For one of them, a guy was supposed to write an essay on what he wanted to be when he grew up. And in the essay, the boy said that all his life he wanted to be a couch. Although he probably meant "coach" the admissions counselor said that she and her colleagues got a good chuckle out of that one (and she later said that no, the boy did not get accepted). Although the essays aren't everything and most colleges try to use a holistic view of you, don't make awkward mistakes in your essays that could have been avoided if you had someone look over your work.

5. Be patient

Especially if you had your application sent in early, it can take a few months to hear back on your decision. I know it's hard to wait, but don't waste your time thinking about everything college when you should be enjoying your last year of high school. College will come sooner than you know it, so take the time after you have finished all of your college applications to just relax and enjoy your senior year. Also, do yourself a favor and avoid sites like College Confidential. I know you may want to read what other people who applied to the same college you did have to say, and read when everyone the previous year heard their admissions decisions. But please avoid yourself the annoyance. A lot of people post their stats (like ACT score, GPA, and a list of like 15 clubs they were ever remotely involved in) and ask others if they think that they would get in to whatever college. When you read these things, you might start to doubt whether you will get into so and so college. But don't doubt yourself. Again, most colleges use a holistic view, and even so, who knows whether these people who post their stats are even being truthful. Whatever will happen will happen, so be patient for your decision and don't let others cause you to doubt yourself.

6. Remember: Everything happens for a reason
Throughout the whole College Admissions process, please remember that everything happens for a reason. Many people have a first choice school that they've dreamed about going to all their lives, and don't get in. It happens, and it's a fact of life. But the good thing is, even if you don't get into your first choice school, there is another college out there that is meant for you. And I can guarantee you, you'll end up where you are supposed to be. 

For me, I was lucky enough to get into all 5 Big 10 colleges I applied to and I was pretty set on one of those schools ever since I was little. My Dad had went to grad school there, and each summer since I was real little, we'd visit. It had a really pretty campus, and I was already accustomed to the school's traditions. Although I got in to that school, there was no way I could afford it. It was an out-of-state school that didn't have very many scholarships to give, so I wasn't able to go there. But the funny thing this, I think because I was so set on my first choice school, I really didn't give the other 4 schools a chance. 

It's ironic actually, on how I came to choose Ohio State. I had applied to the 4 other schools way back in September (2013) of my senior year, but didn't apply to Ohio State. The first time I visited, I thought it was wayyy to big, and it was a little bit overwhelming (I visited back in April 2013). But in about mid-October (2013), I had this inkling that I should apply to one more school. I talked about it with my parents, and they both suggested that I apply to Ohio State since it was a good school and it was near where my Dad's side of the family lived in Ohio. So I ended up applying to Ohio State a little late, but still before the Nov. 1st deadline. 

And it's all down hill from there. I finally realized how much opportunity I would have at Ohio State, from the Scholars program I'm in, to getting direct admit into the business school, to possibly being able to graduate in 3 years (due to AP credit). When I visited again in March 2014, I fell in love with the school. Not only was Ohio State known for good academics, but I also loved the huge amount of school spirit at OSU, and how everywhere you went in Ohio, there seemed to be die-hard Buckeye fans. And the next day after my visit, during the 7-hour drive home from Ohio State, I remember saying to my Mom that day that I finally decided on Ohio State. 

Anyway, I'm not trying to broadcast for OSU. The point is, I just want you to realize that even if things don't pan out with your initial first choice school, it's okay. There's another school out there for you, and you'll end up where you're supposed to be.


And those are my 6 Tips and Tricks For Applying to College. If you're in high school now, I hope this helps! If your're beyond your high school years, would these tips have been helpful? Or do you have any other experiences or tips to add?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Inside My Summer Music Playlist

My favorite music playlists have always been for summer. I just love listening to music during the summer that captures my mood, and blasting it in the car on the radio. I just thought I'd share with you some of the songs that I've played and heard on repeat this summer. Some of the songs are kind of old, whereas others are more recent. I've been listening to a lot of country music (as you can probably tell since 8/11 songs on my playlist are country), which is kind of surprising to me. I was never that into country music before this year, but I've really grown to like it! I was sort of jealous of my coworkers at work who went to Country Thunder back in July...I wish I could have gone! Maybe next year! ;)

Anyway here's the playlist (in no particular order):

Are there any songs that you've listen to on repeat this summer? Any concerts you went to?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

15 Days...

Only 15 days until I....

....leave for college my roommate 

....will be on my own for the first time

....start my leadership program

....leave my friends of 7+ years

....leave my hometown until December

...have to go without Portillo's (my favorite Chicagoland fast food chain)

....officially finish my summer job

....turn in the paperwork for my new job on campus

....have to survive on college dining hall food

....embark on what hopefully will be the best 4 years of my life.

And this list can just go on and on. I know this is a really random post, but I was flipping through my agenda for August and was shocked to see that there are only 2 weeks left until I leave for college. In my head, it still feels like college should be a far way off...but it's finally starting to sink in that my days in the place where I grew up are numbered. I need to make the most of these last 15 days, and yet gear up for all the great things on the horizon. There's going to be lots of changes for me in these last 15 days, but I know I'm ready for them.

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Goals

July went by in a blink of an eye. I had so much going on from work, to spending time with my high school friends, to shopping for college, that July was truly a blur. I did accomplish most of my July goals which is good, though! Speaking of July goals, here they were:

Spend More Time With My Family
I did accomplish this goal, thankfully! Since I'll be leaving home for the first time in a couple of weeks, spending time with my family was really important to me. I tried setting aside time to hang out with my siblings...from watching chick flicks with my sister to attempting to play basketball in my driveway with my brother, I'd say it went pretty well! Some shopping trips and family movie nights were had this month too! :)

Finish College Shopping
I wanted to be done with all my college shopping by August, but that didn't happen. I did get a good bulk of it done, but there are still a few odds and ends that I need to get. The Target and HomeGoods bags have already started to accumulate in my I do have something to show for the college shopping I did this past month!

Start blogging again on Dream It Up Nails
This unfortunately didn't happen either. I've just been having a hard time finding the motivation to paint my nails lately, so I haven't been able to blog on DIUN. In fact, I'm still wearing the same nail polish (although now badly chipped) as I had on for the 4th of July. I've been debating on whether or not I just want to stop blogging on Dream It Up Nails all together, and just post about some nail related stuff on this blog. It's also hard to blog about only nail-related stuff because now that I'm going of to college, I really don't have the funds to just blow on collections of nail polish. I'll have to think about it...I guess I'm still a little attached to my first blog.

Become a member of the Her Campus Blogger Network with this blog
Done, as you might be able to tell from the Her Campus button on my blog's sidebar! Although I was already a part of HCBN with my blog Dream It Up Nails, I wanted to be a part of the network with this blog too since I don't know if I'm going to keep blogging on DIUN. But hey, hopefully I'll meet some awesome people through the HCBN and through this blog! 

Start Working Out Again
Ughhh. I really wanted to accomplish this one, but with how much I was working this month, it just didn't happen. I need to learn some different ways to motivate myself to work out....any ideas?

Go Through My Closet
Done! I had a pretty big pile of clothes to giveaway after I was done cleaning my closet. Now I guess there's room for more! :D

Read A Book
Yep! I haven't finished it quite yet, but I'm almost done with it so I guess it counts! I've been reading a book called Buckeye Rebirth, which is mostly about the 2012 Ohio State football season, as well as the hiring of their coach, Urban Meyer. It's actually pretty good, and I wanted to read it since I bought season football tickets and I thought by reading this book, I'd appreciate the football games a little more!

Do a "High School Series" on this blog
Not quite for this one. I did one post on this in July, so I started the series which is good! I hope to do a couple more posts in this series before I head off to college!

Spend time with High School friends
Check! Not as often as I had wanted to, but I got together for lunch and shopping a couple times with my high school friends! Hopefully I'll have a chance to get together with them a few more times before we all head off to college in different states (and countries in regard to one of my friends)!

Now that I've gone through my boatload of July goals ... here are my goals for August:

Pack ahead of time for college
Meaning: hopefully I don't put off packing for college until the night before I have to leave. I can just see myself doing that, so I'm keeping myself accountable by putting this goal on the blog!

Keep an open mind 
This has always been a hard thing for me to do, but I think that when I head off to college this month, this will be necessary. I need to be open when it comes to meeting people, since I'm going to a big school with all sorts of different people. I know that in order to make new friends, I'm going to have to refrain from being to quick to judge. Hopefully I'll be able to keep an open mind about activities too, and that I won't write any activities off just because I might have to go to them alone the first time. 

Make Social Media Accounts for the blog
It's probably about time that I make some social media accounts if I ever want to grow this blog! I already created an Instagram for the blog, so I just need to create some buttons for my blog's sidebar, and maybe create a few more social media accounts.

Plan blog posts better
I really need to plan out when to write blog posts, and have a set time in my schedule to do so. I have a growing list of blog post ideas to pull from, I just need to get more organized in actually writing them!

And those are my goals for August. Hopefully I didn't bore you to death from explaining the statuses of all my July goals! It's weird to think that the next time I will be writing a monthly goals post, I won't be in Chicago anymore...I'll be away at college.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! Talk to you soon!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lilly Pulitzer 2014-2015 Jumbo Agenda Review

 All through high school, I was forced to use the plain, black and white daily planner that my school gave me. I could have bought my own, but everyone was pretty much expected to use the planners they gave us. So after 4 years of using a boring planner, I have finally upgraded to a Lilly Pulitzer Agenda, and I am SO EXCITED!

I first found out about the release of Lilly Pulitzer's new line of agendas from Dorothy's post on her blog Prep In Your Step. And after seeing all of the new designs and reading the reviews on last year's Lilly agendas, I knew I had to have one!

I ended up choosing the jumbo-sized agenda in the design Trippin and Sippin. And boy, choosing the design for my agenda among so many pretty ones was such a hard decison! I chose the jumbo size agenda to make sure that I'd be able to fit everything, especially since I have rather large handwriting and I'm sure that I'll have lots of stuff to write in it when college starts in the fall!

If you're wondering what the size of the jumbo agenda compares to, it's pretty much the size of your average notebook. It's about an inch thick, and it is a tad heavy for an agenda. But that's okay with me because I'll be caring it around with me in my backpack or bag, anyway.

So I thought I'd give you a little sneak peak inside the agenda if you haven't gotten one already, and share my opinions on it.

As I said before, I got my agenda in the print Trippin and Sippin. When I bought it online, I just thought there were the pink flowers and such on a navy background, and somehow didn't realize until I got it that there are seahorses and starfish on it, which make it even cuter in my opinion! The hardcover and spiral binding make it seem durable, and the pink strap I'm sure will help it stay closed when I have it in my bag.

On the inside cover, I wanted to personalize mine a little and put my monogram on there. I didn't really feel like buying a monogram sticker, so instead I made my own! All I did was print my monogram out in a cute font, cut around it with a specially-shaped scrapbooking sciessors, and stick it on with a piece of packaging tape. If you're wondering where the elephant sticker came from, it was my favorite sticker from the sticker sheet that comes with the agenda (more on the stickers in second).

The first "page" in the agenda is a page with a flap, sort of like a folder. I don't know what I'll stick in there yet, but I feel like it will come in handy!

Below is a little close up of the inside front cover.

And here's the sticker page!  I just love these cute little stickers. As you can probably see from the picture, I've already started using them!

Oh and here's the Christmas sticker I put together...the agenda came with the tiger and Santa Claus hat stickers separately, but I decided to put them together to make Christmas tiger. Cause why not, right? Who doesn't love a Christmas tiger?

Here are some of the front pages in the agenda. It includes some pictures of Lilly Pulitzer herself, the story behind the Lilly brand, a page to write in birthdays and anniversaries, a list of holidays, and a horoscope page.

 Next, before the monthly overviews and weekly calenders is a Lilly print for each month. I'll show you a few of my favorites:

Next after each monthly print is an overview of the month. Here's mine for August.

Then after the overview of the month is the calender by week. Here's a week in August. Dates and Holidays are printed in a pink cursive.

After all 18 months of the agenda are some pages of plain notebook paper. So far, I've used some of these pages to write down blog post ideas.

I also wanted to touch on the monthly tabs for a second. They're laminated, which makes them hard to bend or rip. This will hopefully make them durable, especially if my agenda is stuffed in my backpack.

 And there you have it. There's your little sneak peak of the new Lilly planner :)

Overall, I just love this planner! I didn't realize how popular the Lilly Agendas were until I bought my own. I had never seen anyone using them before until I came across Dorothy's post, but I initially thought that it was just because I'm from the Midwest. But I guess I was wrong because I've seen quite a few people I know buy a Lilly agenda recently. Anyway, August just can't come soon enough for me to start using it!!

Also, I just got a new laptop, and the picture editing program I used is a little new to me. So I apologize if the pictures above are a little blurry! I'll try to be better next time...

 Thanks for stopping by!