Posted in college, greek life, rambling

Spring 2018 Midterms Week

Midterm Stress is basically the Worst Kind of Stress Ever. Except maybe Planning for Disney World Stress.

It doesn’t help that I’ve got 4 events for my fraternity this week and an extremely busy weekend ahead.

I’m dealing with it One Thing At A Time–which, includes, dropping one of my classes.

I used to think dropping a class was shameful, or a sign of weakness. But mostly now I see it as Prioritizing Properly.

When I take only 12 hours per semester, my grades are significantly better than when I take 15. If that means I have to supplement with summer classes, then so be it. I would rather have shorter breaks, graduate in four years, and never worry about failing a class again–because with only 12 hours in my pocket, failing a class is basically out of the question.

In other News this week, I got my Littles last night! Matching was long and stressful, but I now have Twins. It’s exciting, but also a little bit stressful; I have to get them their first bout of gifts for Thursday.

If there’s anything I’m learning from this week, it’s that Meal Prep is basically impossible in the face of Midterms.

I’ve got four recipes I want to try, none of which are in the works to be made. I pulled out all the spices to season chicken, but then I realized I was behind on my Bullet Journaling and blogging.

I’m not sure if I’m struggling because of midterms or because I’m trying to track too much, but I haven’t been prioritizing BuJo’ing the way I normally would.

Think it’s time to take a step back and focus on maintaining my Habits. My Goals this Week are simple:

-Go to All my Classes (Successful so far!)
-Do Yoga M – F (Not successful so far)

Short list, small accomplishment, slowly steering myself back in the direction I need to be.

Progress and success are not linear.

Neither are Midterms, it seems.


Posted in college, greek life


If there’s anything I’m learning, right now, it’s that forgiveness is damn-near impossible.

There are a lot of people I haven’t forgiven:

  • My dad
  • My ex
  • My fraternity

And I don’t know what’s holding me back from doing so. In some ways, I think it’s because their affect on me is still relevant. But am I supposed to forgive them in some indeterminate amount of time, when all of the things that have been done to me or that trigger me or upset me finally stop doing so?

I don’t think so. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to forgive them in order to get to a place where I’m not upset anymore.

I went out on a girls’ night last week and when I talked to my Friend about my frustration with forgiveness, I said a lot more than I thought I would: “How am I supposed to forgive someone–how do you just do that? How do you forgive someone who isn’t even saying sorry? How do you forgive someone who isn’t even here to hear it or respond to it?”

She told me that forgiveness isn’t about the other person. That forgiveness doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten, nor does it mean you want to be friends with your Offender. Forgiveness “is saying, ‘You don’t control me anymore. You don’t affect me anymore. I am letting this go.'”

She made is sound really Simple and Easy. She went on to clarify that it isn’t, and that sometimes forgiveness can be impossible or take a lot longer than you expect.

It’s been my experience that time allows me to forgive more than anything else. It took me almost 3 months to forgive my Sister for something awful she did, but I’ve forgiven her. I didn’t have to talk about it with her, I didn’t have to rehash things or cry or anything. I just took a lot of time, and went through my feelings, and stayed away for as long as I needed.

The problem is that some of these things are a lot harder to get away from than others. Particularly my frat. I have requirements to my fraternity that I’m obligated to fulfill.

I’m trying to get to a place where I can focus on the event, and what it means to be a Brother, and focus less on the people there and what they’re doing that makes me feel unwelcome.

So right now, I guess forgiveness looks like waiting. Waiting and focusing on other things.


Posted in college

Study Tips from a College Junior

Despite contradictory evidence from previous blog posts, I’m a very good student. I went to an academically challenging high school, I was (briefly) an Honors College Student. I have a pretty good GPA. It’s not a 4.0, but I’m not ever worried about being put on Academic Probation. Over time, I’ve developed a few things I think help me in terms of being a good student/staying on track. Further, I’ve recently discovered things that help me continue being a good student while also being able to not destroy myself in terms of mental health. [It’s a hard thing to do, especially in college.]

I have often googled “Study Tips” and tend to find the same, broad ideas repeated. I tried to avoid that, and instead make these a little more direct. Hopefully something here is something you’ve never tried before–and if you do try it, I hope it helps!

  1. Distribute your work
    I cannot stress this one enough. Avoiding all nighters is completely achievable! I think distributing work evenly over a series of days is the best way to do it. An example: On Monday, if you are assigned to read Chapters 1 & 2 by Wednesday, then read Chapter 1 Monday night, and Chapter 2 Tuesday night. If you have a large homework set, split it in half! Don’t wait to do it all the night before. Small bouts of various topics is way less draining than doing one thing for hours on end.
  2. One Thing at a Time
    I’ve recently changed up my way of distributing things, and I’ve found it incredibly helpful in terms of productivity. I used to distribute my work a month at a time and panic to keep up with the distribution. I’d end up re-working my schedule four times in two weeks, which I found incredibly counterproductive. It was also a lot harder to see my accomplishments. My new system is great! I have deadlines listed on the spread for that week, and then I distribute my work each morning. Homeworks have been shifted around a lot this semester because of weather problems, amongst other things, so every morning I check my list from the day before, check off what I completed, move or remove what I didn’t, and write out my to-do for the day. It’s allowed me to be a lot more realistic about what I can do in a day. I started this system because of a YouTuber from Boho Berry.
  3. Be Realistic About Distractions
    Don’t study at home if you can avoid it. Home is like the Pennacle of Distractions. I recommend a library; it’s meant to be quiet. Bring everything you could need for a long, extended work session if you need it! Laptop/phone chargers, blankets, earbuds, comfy clothes–and also, food!
  4. Eating
    Food is so important when it comes to studying. First off, you wanna make healthy decisions before you even start getting ready to study. Unhealthy foods can make you sluggish, grumpy, and fatigued–not a great start to a productive day. But you should bring snacks that will keep you full, are yummy, and won’t drain you! Some possible ones: nuts, fruit, jerky [protein keeps you full!]. Personally I like crackers, or pretzel chips. I also, on a really long night, will bring a yummy soup to heat up in the library that way I don’t have an excuse to take a two hour break to go out to eat!
  5. Music
    I find instrumental music the best. Personally, I like a lot Vitamin String Quartet. I also love two playlists from Spotify: Instrumental Study and Brain Food. A good one with music with words is Study Zone. If you don’t care for music but don’t like the silence of the library or there’s noise around you, I really recommend thunderstorm sounds. I thought it would be weird, but it’s incredibly calming and helps with relaxation/concentration so much.
  6. Listen to Your Body
    When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re thirsty, drink (I cannot stress a Water Bottle enough! So important for a productive work day). When your back hurts, or you feel antsy, or you need a break–take a walk. Your body can handle what you’re putting  it through, and so can your brain, but you have to listen to it. Sometimes that means a ten minute break, and sometimes it means completely changing where you’re working. Either way, listen to your body. It knows what it’s doing.

All of this comes as a result of me, wearing my Big Girl Prioritizing Pants, spending Mardi Gras break doing work (somewhat?) instead of Mardi Gras-ing.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!


Posted in college, feelings, friendship

Stop and Hear the Viola

The past few days have been rough. This week has been pretty stressful academically and fraternally. I’ve been feeling very Middle School, this week (I was literally crying when the words, “Why don’t they like me?” came out of my mouth). But I’ve been taking a few days for myself and getting back in a better place mentally.

Doing that partially included a form of Self-Care that I never considered Self-Care before.

A good friend of mine is graduating this semester. He’s a music performance major–specifically, he plays the Viola. He invited me to his Senior Recital; it was the first date on the Reminders Section of my February Cover Page.

Frankly, I hadn’t wanted to go. Okay, I did want to go. Until I actually had to. I hadn’t been sleeping well, I had Make-Up Work out the Wazoo, and I had about four things I wanted to do that weren’t school work After his Senior Recital. I took a twenty minute nap, and then put on my Big Girl Pants.

Except, nowadays, my Big Girl Pants look different on me now. Not sure if it’s the Girl or the Pants that has changed, but something is new. Instead of Putting on my Big Girl Pants and Getting Over It, I put on Big Girl Prioritizing Pants.

The Other Commitments could wait. The Wazoo Make-Up Work could be done in enough time to sleep early if I Prioritized them. And the Senior Recital was Priority Number One. It’s his last recital. He’s a good friend of mine. It’s rare that I get to see him, and I pretty much never get to hear him play.

I made a Decision. Man, did I make a Good One.

The theater was small, and we sat in the back as the other handful of supporters sat Up Front and Center. A pianist would accompany him; a stand with his music stood under the spotlight.

I could see his nerves as he walked out: a hint of a smile, antsy legs. Through the first half of the first song I could see his grimaces, uncertainty. And then the climax of the song happened, and I saw him in twenty years. I want to tell–I hope to one day tell him–that he will stand on a Bigger Stage in front of a Larger Crowd, that he will still be Nervous, but he will be even more Awe-Inspiring. I hope to one day tell him of the stage presence, charisma, talent, and passion I saw in his performance. I hope to one day see him on that Bigger Stage and admire his Presence once more.

When I got home, I checked the “Self-Care” box of my Habit Tracker. I hadn’t done a Face Mask, or a Bath Bomb, but instead I had cared for myself in a much more interesting way; I cared for myself by Supporting Someone I Care for, and by actively trying to understand his passion. I put on my Big Girl Prioritizing Pants, and I Heard the Viola.

And My, but it was Beautiful.

In case you’re interested, the first song he played was “Zwischen Berg und tiefem Tal,” the first movement in Paul Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher.


Posted in boyfriend, college

Grumpily Apologetic

Finals week is difficult.

I know, revolutionary statement. But it is! For a plethora of reasons, none of which are muffled when you’re in a relationship.

Over the past year, I’ve learned something I didn’t know before about relationships: they involve two separate people.

Two separate people, taking finals, and attached at the hip.

Oh, yes, there’s been a lot of stress-fighting.

In the year we’ve been together, I’ve never been more shocked than when my Boyfriend, hugging my head to his torso (I was sitting), said plainly, “I love you, but you’re being so aggravating.”

Even now, it makes me laugh. I couldn’t help it! My stress levels live at a 7, plus 2 for finals, plus 4 for social situations (we were in the PACKED library) equal Too Damn Much for me.

We’re fine, if a little grumpily apologetic. And, after 7:30 tonight, we’re done with all written finals! (I have a speaking final on Friday.)

So here’s to being Aggravating–
You’ve been okay, Fall 2017…
But thank God you’re over.


Posted in anxiety, college

Better Tomorrow

I have not had a moment this Bad in months. Hell, I haven’t had a moment this Bad in over a year.

Being overwhelmed manifests itself in a lot of different ways when you live with the kind of anxiety I live with.

I’m taking a class that’s basically taking over my life this semester. It’s great in that I’m really enjoying the work that I’m doing. It’s unfortunate in that it’s causing me an unbelievable amount of stress.

I thought going to an event for my fraternity–or even for my historians society–would be the relief I needed from the never ending words and confusing structures and half-thoughts I’m not even psuedo-confident in. I thought jumping into something and enjoying it–something that didn’t have to do with JFK’s Assassination–was exactly what I needed.

I was Wrong.

Fighting with my Boyfriend before the event didn’t help. But I thought I could sit through it, regardless of how aggressively the fist-sized Cotton Ball of Frustration was trying to punch its way through my Throat.

I was very Wrong.

Suddenly I was 18-years-old again, spending an hour prepping myself to leave my dorm room for an event. I was swallowing words and tears and taking full gasps through my nose. I was fighting the tears as hard as I could, trying to contain the waterworks. But I was 30 minutes early for the Event; there’s no way I could stick it out for an hour and a half.

So even though I didn’t want people to think badly of me, I didn’t want people to see my breakdown even more. Without talking to my Boyfriend, or Anyone, I packed up and left.

My legs couldn’t move fast enough. It was like sprinting away from that football game I tried to go to Freshman year all over again. Everyone seemed perfectly fine, seemed completely in on this idea of what it’s like to be Normal and I was just pretending to function long enough to get to my Hiding Spot.

So I’m hiding now. I’m crying and I’m hiding. I’m overwhelmed and I’m angry and I don’t want to function anymore.

I will finish crying. I will work on German homework instead of staring at citations I don’t know how to do and documents I’m not sure I’ll actually use.

I think I’m going to get Cane’s for dinner.

I will forgive myself, and do better tomorrow.


Posted in college

A Good Year

Twas the night ‘fore Fall Semester
And all through the Dorms
Not a textbook was stirring
Not a syllabus, or Form

Except for in my apartment, where I’ve printed two syllabi and already marked due dates in my agenda. I’ve picked which notebooks and binders belong to which days and classes, and packed my backpack even though my first class isn’t until 11:30 tomorrow. You could say I’m a little excited.

The cool thing about wanting to be a teacher is that I want to be a teacher because I like school. I like the rhythm of the day, the way the school year is structured. I like going to class and engaging. Although I’m not the best at making friends in a classroom.

I’m hoping for a good year, and it’s already starting on a pretty great foot. I just got a job offer that I’m ecstatic to take, I’m taking a manageable amount of hours and I’m excited for all my classes, and I’m looking forward to seeing the people in my fraternity this year. I didn’t realize that I was excited to see them (I’m still harboring some bitterness about not getting the position I wanted) until I saw two of them by accident today, but I am.

This year will be good. I’m…95% sure of it.


Posted in college, feelings, rambling, religion


My friend Cameron wrote about the girl she was in high school not too long ago, but I (as usual) was late to the game reading it, and only got to it just now. I really liked Cameron’s post. She talked about her edges being softened as she opened her heart to God. It made me feel good reading it.

There aren’t a lot of things that make me feel good, right now. There are moments, yeah, and days, even, where my edges don’t feel rough and my brain doesn’t feel like it’s going a thousand miles a minute. But I feel like I keep trying to climb my way out of a hole that I’m actually, accidentally, digging for myself, somehow.

So there’s that triangle of balance that’s not actually a triangle, right? Where the expectation is that you only have to balance Social Life, Grades, Sleep–but the reality is that you have to balance Family, Friends, Relationships, Grades, Money, Sleep, Health, General Ability to Feel like a Person. I wish life were as simple as a triangle.

It’s probably something more like an icosahedron.

I keep trying to find a thing that feels like it can create balance. Right now it feels like if one thing is wrong (and something always is) then I’m turned inside out, or sideways, or backwards, or upside down. Nothing feels small. One thing feels…colossal.

I remember this feeling from high school. This burned out, End of World feeling. I remember being stressed about my grades, my future, a boy, friends, family, my body, money. I remember thinking that One Day I was going to be not quite an adult yet, renting a house with like seven of my friends just off campus, going to class, kicking ass, and taking names.

I guess that’s why I need to quit daydreaming because One Day is Now, and it’s definitely Not That.

I’m not saying that Now is bad. I love my Boyfriend (so much, it’s kind of gross). I love my friends (they aren’t plentiful–but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality). I love my family (I’m going to be an aunt!). I love my classes (which sounds like a lie–but I really, genuinely do). But I still feel like I’m missing something.

It makes me wonder if Jesus is the answer, the way Cam talked about.

And I shit on my Boyfriend about his religion, a lot. So I’m sure when he reads this he’ll expect something harsh or rude or insincere.

Because frankly, religion makes me uncomfortable. The idea that an Omnipotent Being is Judging me is terrifying. Mostly because I’m already pretty busy judging myself. Likewise, I think the rules are dumb. I don’t think any God will love His children any less for not believing in him. What a narcissistic dick, amirite? But, further, I don’t think any God will love His children any less for loving someone of their sex, or for not identifying their Sex with their Gender, or for eating Meat on Fridays during Lent. I don’t think God gives two shits about whether or not you come up to me and talk to me about Him, I really don’t. Because you know what I think God cares about?

I think God cares about how you made me feel when you walked away. Or how you’ve made anyone feel ever.

I don’t think God cares about things we do that don’t actually hurt people. I think God’s got bigger fish to fry, if you will. Like perpetuating Love. Like perpetuating Happiness. Like perpetuating Change. I digress.

My God doesn’t really fit the mold of any religion I know. Every God I’ve heard of has these arbitrary rules. Every God has this Black and White way of looking at things: Did you follow all the rules? Heaven. Did you break any? Hell.

But if God made us, then doesn’t He know we’re not Black and White Creatures? Does one action really define a person?

I hope not. I am not a bad person, by any means. But that doesn’t mean I’ve always done good things, either.

But I don’t think stealing a rubber pencil from the library in elementary school means I can’t kick it with the Big Guy Upstairs. That’s just me, though.


Posted in college, rambling

Being Un-Abnormalized

I always have things I want to talk about–like my experiences with the Tangle Toy I just bought, or the fact that my boyfriend and I almost broke up on Saturday–and then I sit down to write, and something else takes over. So I want to talk about my philosophy class, and the way my professor invalidated and trivialized what I based a large portion of my value on last week.

So I’m taking this Education Philosophy course. It involves a lot of (really awful) dense readings. Last Tuesday my Professor started talking about a bifurcation on Davis’ genealogy–structuralism VS poststructuralism (it’s honestly not even worth explaining what that sentence means, but here’s a link to a description of the book if you’re interested).

She talked about the societal need to ‘normalize’  students. That we give a group of kids a test, and the average score in the room is deemed “normal,” the lower percentage of scores is deemed “at-risk,” and the higher percentage is deemed “advanced.” And then she basically shit on it (it being this classification) for ten minutes.

I wish I had a better way of saying that. Wish I could explain it in intricate, fluffy terms, but that’s what she did. She shit on the only thing that has ever made me feel worth anything my entire life: my intelligence.

I was classified as Gifted when I was eight. My sister was the Dancer, the Nice One, the Pretty One. And those things are all true of her. But I didn’t have those titles. I wasn’t nice. I didn’t dance. I’m not pretty. All I’ve ever had is my brain. So when I was told that my brain really was special, or different, or Worth Something–well, I latched on to it.

So I had a bit of a breakdown, after lecture. Because what she said, in a nut shell, told me that nothing about me was actually Different, or Special, or Worth Something.

I should clarify that I have never been the smartest person in a classroom. My best friend was Valedictorian and is a kind of smart that I can only hope to be. I spent every class for  six years aspiring to be her level of intelligent. So it’s not like my Professor walked into the room and completely crushed my soul.

It was more like she took this thing that I had as an Identifier for the past twelve years and set it on fire.

My sister is still the Nice One. The Pretty One. The Good Cook. The One who Works with Animals.

Now I’m not Gifted. I’m not Worth Something. There aren’t a lot of things I’ve ever wanted people to remember me as–if any, the only ones were Trustworthy, Loyal, Hardworking (oh man, my Hufflepuff is showing), and Intelligent.

So I’ve lost an Identifier. And I know that College is all about Finding Yourself–but this isn’t exactly what I imagined.


Posted in college

Failing and Flailing

I fell asleep thinking about writing this post and, as a result, had a really shitty dream. So I have to write it out now–when I smell like an Almond Joy (because of a coconut oil treatment to my hair) and I still haven’t picked out an outfit for my date with Boyfriend and am overall just stressed–or else it’s going to haunt me all day.

In tenth grade I failed my Chemistry final, but I got a C in the class. That was the closest to school-related failure I’ve ever reached.

This semester I received a 54 F in a class. I will have to retake it.

Here’s the thing. I can blame the Professor–because, well, he was awful. I can blame the material–because, well, it was difficult for me. But the fact of the matter is that I have to blame myself.

I went to class once a week, instead of the three times a week I should’ve been going. I didn’t read the chapters I should’ve read. I didn’t do the project worth 15% of my grade. I didn’t study for the final the way I should’ve. I dropped the ball this semester, and I couldn’t bring myself to care until I saw that big, fat F show up on my Final Grades Report.

Now I’m dealing with those consequences.

There are a lot of factors outside of school that affected my ability to do well this semester–and not just in the class I failed. Before this semester, my collegiate GPA was a 3.75; after this semester I will have a 3.2. Overall, I just did worse academically.

Frat life got in the way, big time. This is my first semester as an active Brother, meaning I let myself get wrapped up in events and sucked into late night dinners when I needed to be studying, doing homework, going to class. I didn’t bother to find a balance; I just prioritized one over the other.

I had a lot going on with my family, and a lot going on with N.A.U.L. I lost a lot of sleep. I didn’t let myself develop good study habits. I prioritized other people’s happiness over my own well-being–which, normally, is how I roll. But I guess I’m learning that I have to find a balance there, too.

Also, my anxiety has never been worse. There were days I couldn’t leave my room without feeling on the verge of crying because someone looked at me. I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until it started to calm down and I realized I had been missing out on a lot of stuff-academically and socially. I’ve been thinking about going to therapy to deal with my anxiety. I just don’t know how to have that conversation with my mother.

Internal and external conflicts manifested itself into a lot of nights filled with “I have to take care of me” instead of “I need to finish this assignment.” I’m discovering it’s about balance. I had forgotten about that balance–had forgotten what it’s like to need it, because it’s been so long since I had socialization and friendship and my mental health to prioritize.

I’m figuring it out. Next semester will be better, and I’ve got a month to figure it out before it has to be.