How can it only be September?

Wow, have there been a lot of changes since the last time I posted anything on my blog. My dorm has become my home, and the first few quizzes have been done for classes. So yeah, the school year is already well on its way. Already this school year seems a little overwhelming as I have very little time on my hands. May I just say that professors seem to forget that students have more than just one class! Anyways, here’s how the past few weeks have been going.

First off, I got a job on campus! This will financially help me pay for this atrociously expensive adventure that is a private university education. However taking on 20 hours a week, most of which are done on weeknights, seems to be a little much. But being busy is helping me to make every second of my day count. Part of making every second count is making sure that homework gets done. This task is a little harder than I initially thought, since my professors are assigning at lest two hours worth of homework every class. This just means that instead of spending lots of time with friends, this semester is dedicated to school first.

Besides the usual changes that come with a new school year- new classes, new living space, new neighbors- life has been pretty routine. Since finishing my internship, I have a new appreciation and love of what I’m studying. For the first time I can see that there IS a future after graduation, and frankly I’m excited for “real life” to begin.

As far as my dorm this year, it’s much different from my living arrangement from last year. To begin, my roommate and I get along great, but we also live separate lives. I also feel as though even though this dorm is much smaller and I don’t have my own bathroom, it feels so much more like home. I finally was able to make my space feel just that, mine! For once I don’t feel as though I’m stepping on egg shells walking around my own room.
88

I know, the picture is awful. But this was the best possible lighting I could get.

Anyways, I hope that everyone is having a wonderful transition from Summer to Fall, regardless of if you are in school or not. Lots of love from Milwaukee!

89

12 Hours Until Sophomore Year

Hangry, it’s the latest catchphrase that exemplifies the feeling of being so hungry that you’re angry. Well I have a new word too, Strangry. There is no other word to express the emotion I’m feeling because it combines STRESSED and ANGRY. It’s nearly midnight right now, which means that ideally I’ll be back to campus to move in in fewer than 12 hours.

Everyone else going into their sophomore year seems to be thrilled to go back and conquer another year on campus, but I’m just stressed. Somehow this time around I am more scared than I was last year. In theory I shouldn’t be since I know campus, am friends with my roommate, HAVE friends, and have a job. Yet, with this knowledge comes my unsettled fear. I know just how hard it is to move all my stuff; I know how hard it is to be in my major; I know that these will be very stressful months. So right now more than anything, I am overwhelmed.

The stress about moving back to school isn’t anything that just came up though, as I began packing two months ago to try and relieve some of my anxiety. Since that time my future roommate has been texting me every Saturday with the number of weeks until move in with the phrase “I’m sooo excited” afterwards. Truly, I wish I could be excited about moving back, but it just leaves me feeling anxious. It’s inevitable that once I get back I’ll feel some relief, and that will only get better as time goes on and I adjust to being back on a college campus. But in the mean time, I’m just trying to get through the next 12 hours!

Sophomore year, whether I’m ready or not, it’s here!

Decorating a Dorm Room

As I begin to make the preparations to head back to school in August, I am realizing that this year’s list of “What to Bring” is much different from the past year’s. So I decided to show and explain what my freshman dorm was like, and then explain what is on my packing list for this year. By the way, at my school it is required to live on campus in the dorms for the first two years. :p So last year of dorm living here I come!

Let me start out by saying, I was lucky! My freshman year dorm was in an apartment style dorm which meant that for three of us in a room we had a bedroom, living room, bathroom, two HUGE closets, and a kitchenette. This was exactly what I had been looking for since I couldn’t even imagine living in a tiny 10’x12′ box (which most of the other dorms were). Below are some of the pictures that I took of the room. Understand that I took these around Easter time right after my roommates and I had begun moving some stuff out. So no, it was not always this clean and “open.”

Image

Our bedroom. My bed was the single one on the right, and it was lofted on bed lifts so that three large plastic bins could be placed below it.

Image

Another view of our room. On the wall you can see one of the two closets. And yes, we had a space heater, this polar vortex was a rough one and that stayed on from January until April.

Image

This was what you would see as you walked into our room. On the left was our bathroom and on the right was another closet. We decided to hang a curtain in the doorway into the bedroom since there wasn’t a door there.

Image

Our bathroom. We were lucky to have a full shower/tub, and another small closet in here.

Image

The living room. Don’t mind the garbage, that seemed to be the one thing that was always in our room- a full garbage waiting to be taken out. Normally our room had multiple strands of Christmas lights strung throughout, just like the ones in the picture, and we often used only those instead of the overhead lights.

Image

The kitchenette, probably one of my favorite areas! This area was great since it had so much storage to place all of our random bits of food, coffee, teas, cups, cleaning supplies, and garbage.

Image

The other side of the kitchenette. We made sure to use this side to place the wardrobes that were given to us. Since I was the lucky roommate to not get a closet, I got the far wardrobe and we all shared the closer one for more storage.

 

And that was my dorm room, my home for nine months! If you couldn’t tell, we tried to make that place as cozy as possible. At one point in time almost every inch of our walls were covered in posters or flags. We also made sure to leave our curtains wide open at all times to let in light and to make the rooms feel a lot less sterile. It was also imperative to cover a lot of the ground with rugs. Spills are inevitable, and you have to pay for any damages at the end of the year. All over Pinterest and other blogs I’ve seen people who match their whole rooms with their roommates, but we chose not to do that and I think it turned out fine. It felt good to each have our own defined areas with our unique senses of styles.

Next year I’m going to be living in a much more traditional dorm room. That means that in my future is communal bathrooms and just one small room for two people, 12’x16′ I believe. With that in mind I am being much smarter with what I’m bringing. I’m hoping to not have a TV in my room, since it seems as though no one uses a TV in college. If a big TV is needed for movie nights, that is what the common rooms can be used for. Also, I don’t know if a microwave is necessary-gasp! While I used my microwave a few times, it is not enough to justify taking up that much space when I could just go ask a neighbor to use theirs.

So here I am, already preparing to head back in just a few weeks. Part of me is sad, as this summer of interning and working has been amazing, but I know that I’ll be ready to head back. As the weeks get closer, I’ll make sure to make a post all about what I believe are essentials to moving into a dorm room and what exactly I’m bringing this year. In the meantime, enjoy whatever it is you are doing this summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invest in an Internship

With the school year either closing or closed, many high school and college kids are scrambling to find jobs over the summer. I was no different. For all of high school I spent my summer working full time teaching swimming lessons and lifeguarding. Now that that time of my life is done, I felt as though it was time to move on with my job too. Instead of sticking with the same old job, I chose to tackle the real world of jobs. Even though I am only done with my freshman year of college, I know that graduation is coming quickly and I need to add to my resume as much as possible.

With my resume on my mind, I considered what to do with this summer. Last summer I took on a very part-time internship as a social media intern with a non-profit that continued not only into the school year, but this summer as well. That internship opened my eyes into the world of interning! At first it sounded terrifying, to work unpaid in a ‘real-world’ job. But hey, this is the real world and I need to grow up and take it on. However, I knew that this internship would not be enough for my resume, especially since it has NOTHING to do with my major (biomechanical engineering).

So in March I decided to look into internships that dealt with my major. I have been thinking less about going to medical school, and thinking more of either going to physician assistant school or even going to be a physician assistant. This is crucial since every one of those opportunities needs patient contact hours. Somehow I wanted to integrate my patient contact hours in with my biomechanical engineering major. As I kept thinking and looking for jobs, I decided to email a ‘sports performance training facility’ in my area. Just like that, after a few emails and one in person meeting, I was given an internship! I’ve been working there for almost a month and it’s fantastic. They let me choose which days and hours I come in, and it is as intensive as I want it. I know, most internships aren’t like that, but this still gives me great experience.

The downside that I’ve found with having an internship as opposed to a traditional summer job is that most are unpaid. As someone who has to pay for their education, it’s hard to spend close to 30 hours a week working without getting paid. But, I did get another part time job that will help ease the financial burden. Yes, the 50-60 hour weeks are tiring, but they are also worth it! Instead of focusing on how I’m not getting paid I’m choosing to look at it as an investment in my future. Many students my age don’t have one, let alone two, internships to put on their resume. The way I see it, this can eventually give me an advantage for either a paid internship in the next few years, or a job post graduation.

So this is how I’m spending my summer, working in a gym with top level athletes for no pay. And everyday I do it with a smile on my face because it has been one of the best experiences of my life. Everyday I’m learning more and more about the training process and so much about the human body and the mechanics that are behind it. Basically, I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world! If you’re on the fence of whether to get an unpaid internship or not, I would highly encourage you to do so.

What are you up to this summer?

Last Day of the Rest of My Life

Tomorrow is the big day that I have been waiting for…my last day as a freshman! While part of me is beyond ecstatic about this, part of me is terrified that I will no longer be a freshman. Looking back on this past year there have been extreme highs, and deeply painful lows, some of which just recently occurred. In this past week alone one of my roommates, and a someone who I would have called a best friend, decided to move dorms (with one week left) without telling me. However, I also found out that next year my housing has changed and that I will now be living with one of my really good friends on campus! This week was also exams week, which just for the record are completely awful. But anyways, I’m almost done. It’s been a whirlwind of a year, but it is now (or at least in 23 hours) officially over. And honestly I have no clue how I should feel about this.

Last Year of being a Teenager

Hello there everyone! Over the weekend I celebrated my 19th birthday. For many of my fellow peers in college this first birthday away from home was a rough one, but mine didn’t seem too bad. However, my birthday festivities didn’t just take place on Sunday, my actual birthday, but began a few days early. Since I still close to home, and I have friends who go to different schools within a few miles from me, I made sure to incorporate the best of all my lives into one birthday weekend. The following was a timeline of my events.

Thursday– On Thursday night I went to my usual Lutheran Campus Ministry event down at UWM and my little family there surprised me. It was the 21st birthday of my friend Jacki (from LCM ). So I assumed that there would be a celebration for her, but when I showed up there was a cake and singing for me as well. It was so sweet, I almost couldn’t handle it.

Friday– After a long week of monotonous studying for a huuuuge biology exam, 2 o’clock hit which signals the end of my week. And so began the weekend. The agenda was simple, just head to get froyo with some friends who wanted to celebrate my birthday with me.

Image

Well we got our froyo and so much more. Even more explorations of Milwaukee occurred as we decided to hit up some shopping and then explored Lake Michigan. While we were all the way down at the Lake I decided that it was obligatory to stop at the local favorite coffee shop-Colectivo. Then it was back to campus for some dinner and just hanging out, my ideal Friday night.

Image

Saturday– I went home super late Friday night because my Saturday was going to start pretty early. The one thing that I desperately wanted for my birthday was something that didn’t come as a shock to my parents, to attend the Wisconsin Badger’s football spring game. As a diehard Badger fan who has been to many games including the Rose Bowl, I knew that we had to go to this game. My family rolled their eyes, but did end up going. Yet again I fell in love with the city of Madison, as I do every time I am there. The rest of the day was spent just hanging out with friends and getting pizza at the all time favorite-Rosati’s!

Image

Sunday– It was the day that the whole weekend had been leading up to, my actual birthday! It was a pretty relaxing day spent having the extended family over for brunch and then a family dinner later that night. When I returned to campus that night I found my room decorated courtesy of my roommates. It was super nice, and the icing on the cake of an epic birthday weekend.

Image

Normally I don’t make a big deal of my birthday, but this year I was genuinely excited for it. It was only my second time ever not being on vacation in Florida for my birthday, so it was essential that I tried to have fun while in Wisconsin. I am extremely grateful for everyone who helped me celebrate and make the weekend so special. So here it begins, the last year of being a teenager. Any advice for things that I need to do in this last year?

 

 

 

 

Not your Typical Spring Break

One month ago I was sitting blissfully on a beach. Now I sit in 40 degree weather cramming for a Biology exam. Oh how I wish I could go back! But anyways, I just wanted to explain what I did over spring break since it was not the stereotypical college spring break. Actually, instead of having one spring break, I had two. Yes, I took off a full week of school to have not one, but two spring breaks. I promise though, it was for a good reason!

My first spring break was the same trip that I have taken nearly every year of my life to Naples, Florida. If you aren’t familiar with that area, let me be the first to say that it is beautiful, but also flooded with elderly people. Each and every year I go to the same place to visit my grandma, eat at the same restaurants, and see the same people. And I love it! Naples is truly my happy place in this world. After a long first half of the semester, I could not have asked for a better escape for Spring Break.

Image

Weird encounter that happened on the way down to Florida. The Saturday that I was leaving my school (Marquette) was playing St.Johns and if we lost we weren’t making it into the NCAA tournament. Sadly, Marquette lost. While I was at the airport I actually sat next to the St.John’s team as they were leaving Milwaukee, and I made new friends! 

Image

Anyways, after my trip to Florida I headed back to Milwaukee for a whole 7 hours. I almost immediately left to go on a mission trip to New York City, a place I have always dreamed of. This opportunity was given to me by a group I am involved with down here in Milwaukee, Lutheran Campus Ministry. Weirdly enough, I go to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Lutheran Campus Ministry and not the one at my campus. So while everyone else had off of school for the week, I decided that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and decided to head with them off to New York City.

Image

It was in NYC that I had more fun than I could have ever imagined. We spent our time there volunteering during the mornings and then nights were free to explore the glorious city that is New York. Almost every night I was up until 3 a.m. because New York had so much to offer so late at night and I just didn’t want to pass up any opportunity.

Image

Image

So there you have it, my chaotic yet thrilling spring break trips. Not your stereotypical college trip to party in Mexico, but I had so much fun and plan to continue traveling on these mission trips for the rest of my time in college.

Stay tuned as this weekend is my birthday and big plans have been made. Possibly my next blog post? I sure hope so!