4 Things I Learned in My First Weeks of College

Hey everyone! How are you? I’m doing pretty well! I just finished my second week of college and it’s was amazing. I loved every moment of it. I’ve met so many people and had so much fun getting to know my classmates and hall mates. Through all of it, I’ve learned quite a bit about life and relationships. Today, I wanted to share 4 of the major lessons I’ve learned these past two weeks on campus.

1. It’s Okay To Say No

There are so many activities set up for the freshmen during the first couple weeks of school. Sports games, parties, gatherings, and meals were some of the events set up at my school. It was a lot of fun, but it was also overwhelming. There were so many people to see and talk to and so many names to remember. At one point I had to say no to a group contest event, and instead took some time with a few friends to go to the lake for the day. It was so relaxing and a great break from being around so much noise and so many people. That’s okay. Yes, I want to make friends, but I also want to take care of myself.

2. The Syllabus and Textbooks Will Be Your Best Friends

One thing that is very different from high school is the use of syllabuses. In high school, a syllabus was something that the teacher gave you but never used. In college, however, the syllabus is your road map for the year. Lose it, and you’ll be lost. I’ve found that some professors won’t even mention homework at the end of the class because they assume that you are reading and following the syllabus. The same goes for textbooks. Just read everything and make sure you’re on top of it!

3. High School Friendships May Change

I had a great group of friends in high school, and at the end of Senior year, we all agreed to stay in touch and still be friends. Things change, though, and people change too. Not everyone wanted to stay in the group. And that’s okay. Give them space and continue growing the friendships that you have on and off campus.

4. It’s Okay To Push Yourself

For those of you who don’t know, I am an English Literature and Digital Media double major and Honors student working part time. I get asked a lot why I chose to do so many things, especially my first semester Freshman year. The short answer is this: because I know I can. I believe that college is time to grow your interests, to learn about the world and yourself, and to push yourself to be better than you were. For me, that means double majoring. For others, that might mean something else. I could have chosen to wait to decide to work or double major, but I have the time and the mindset now. Why wait? That doesn’t mean that it’s not hard – it is sometimes – but it also doesn’t mean that you can’t push yourself.

Those are the four major lessons I’ve learned so far in college! What are some things you want to know about college? What have you learned so far? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

21 Day Self Portrait Project Days 16-21

Good morning! I hope you’re having a wonderful day so far. Here are the last 6 days from the 21-day self-portrait project. I liked these couple of pictures because they had really great stories behind them. Enjoy! :)

Day 16

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My Oma has taught me the importance of prayer. My grandmother is a prayer warrior. When life is crazy, she prays. When life is great, she prays. And when life is hard, she prays.

My Oma loves listening to my stories about my life and when I share a story about stress or disappointment, she reminds me to pray. It’s really encouraging to be reminded about the importance of turning to God in every situation.

Day 17

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Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to learn to play as many instruments as I could. When I first moved into my new home, my dad taught me how to play a song on the piano. I then was able to teach myself to play other songs. My parents realized piano lessons would be a really good opportunity for me so I started taking lessons at a nearby University.

My piano teacher was really nice and patient with me as I learned and practiced difficult pieces. I remember once I was having a really hard day. When I showed up for piano lessons, I was on the verge of tears. When my teacher asked me how I was, I burst into tears and for the entire lesson, she played piano for me to make me feel better.

My piano teacher taught me to express my feelings through music. I also learned to pick up different sounds in music, voices, and notes. She also taught me the importance of using music instead of anger. Without her, I wouldn’t be as far along as I am in music.

Day 18

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I took online classes for three years but it was lonely and difficult trying to study at home where my bed is like two feet away and way more comfortable than my desk where I studied. I played around with the thought of going back to school for a while, mainly because I wanted to have experience being around people before I went to college.

I was at a sleepover with my friend when she asked me, “What if we were in the same classes together?!” I laughed half-heartedly and said, “That would be cool.” I didn’t actually think I would go back to school part time nor did I have any intention of doing so. But I went along with it.

The next day, I told my mom about it and she said, “Well, do you want to check the school out?” and I was like, “I guess.” The next thing I know, my mom is calling the school (keep in mind that this is in late July) and I am sent to take an entry exam. By then I realized, “This is actually happening” and I started to get excited about being back at school full time.

Three weeks before the first day of school, I was accepted. Even now, I’m not really sure how this happened but I’m glad it did. I go to an amazing school and the people are all so nice and friendly. All of my classmates have gone out of their way to get to know me. I love the school so much!

Day 19

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Social media has a huge impact on the teens and children of this age. The social standards can totally destroy a person’s self-esteem. I know, because it did that to me.

For the longest time, I didn’t feel pretty enough, I didn’t feel any self-worth, compared to the girls online. I thought that in order to be “popular”, in order to feel loved, I needed to do whatever society said I needed to.

But my mom helped me to see the truth; I am beautiful the way I am. My mom taught me to look to the Bible for hope and encouraging. She encouraged me to memorize Bible verses so that I could remember them whenever I feel bad. And I’m so glad she did.

Through the Bible, I was able to remember my self-worth, to know that I am beautiful because God made me.

Life is hard. People are mean. And words hurt. But God still loves me. He still cares about me. He still wants me.

Day 20

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One thing I love about Christmas is how beautiful the world gets. As a child, my Christmases weren’t beautiful or full of gifts. Christmas just another day to me. But now that I am a Christian, I see the beauty in Christmas day and now that I have a family, I have the opportunity to celebrate this wonderful celebration of Christ’s birth.

Day 21

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“Look for the good in everyday life and share that spark with other people. You never know when someone else will need a little bit of happiness.”

– Abi –


There you go! I had so much fun with this project. If any of you are thinking about participating in the 21-day self-portrait project, you totally should! It’s worth your time. :) Have a great day!

signi

Life As A Student During My Busy Week

Hey, everybody! So I was trying to do Blogmas this year but I missed a post yesterday(!!!) and so yeah, that failed. Oh well. Anyway, life has been pretty hectic this week and it’s only Tuesday. Instead of a Blogmas post, here’s a life update and a glimpse at my life as a student during the busiest week of the year. :)

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So let’s see. Last weekend, I started working on a painting for my Oma. My mom thought it would be nice if I made a painting with a Dutch Prayer on it. I am about a quarter of the way done so I’d say it’s going pretty well!

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Yesterday was pretty crazy too. I had school as always but you know those weeks when the teachers are like, “It’s almost the end of the quarter and I don’t have enough things in the grade book!”? Yeah, it’s that kind of week. Except I have an exam on Friday! Yay! So I was assigned a lot of homework but it all worked out because I was able to get some things done before and during school. Then, after school, I went to my induction ceremony where I was inducted into the National Art Honors Society! Fun, fun! So that means, I’ll be able to post more about art because I’ll be doing more art. The ceremony was a lot of fun. The president and vice president gave out flowers to everyone who was inducted. I loved mine! It’s so pretty! :)

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Today, I woke up early to finish an essay for my Bible class but I feel really good about it so the grade should be pretty okay. Every Tuesday, my school has Chapel but because there is a Fine Arts’ Chapel tomorrow, the principal bought all of the students ice cream and played Christmas music on the intercom for 30 minutes! It was a great way to start the day! And the rest of the day was fun too. After school, I went to the dentist and it was pretty scary for me (because you know, sharp objects!) but my mom encouraged me to remember Bible verses so then I was okay.

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So that was my week so far. I have a busy rest of the week ahead of me, with two quizzes, a test, and a performance tomorrow, exam reviews on Thursday and my first exam on Friday. And there are fun things too, like Christmas parties, projects, performances, and birthday parties. But, the great thing to keep in mind is that in 8 short days, all of the exams will be over. :)

I hope you all have a great day and rest of the week! Keep being happy and hopeful. :) ~Abi

How is your week so far? Do you like these types of posts?

signi

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Why I Switched From Homeschooling To Private Schooling

Hey, everyone! So ever since I posted this big news post, I’ve gotten questions pertaining to homeschooling and my big switch. So I decided to create a mini-series and answer all your questions. This is part 3 – Why I Switched From Homeschooling To Private Schooling.

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One question that I get asked a lot is, “Why did you decide to go back to school?” That’s a pretty fair question. So here’s the short answer: I missed being in a social setting.

Here’s the long answer: I believe that there is a time for everything. I loved being homeschooled and being at home with my family. There wasn’t anything about it that I didn’t enjoy, but as high school graduation drew closer to an end, I felt that I needed to go back to being in an actual brick building school.

“Why didn’t you just go to a public school?”, you may ask. I wanted to go to a school where I could share my faith openly, somewhere I could feel comfortable in, somewhere I could have a Christian education. For me, that meant going to a Christian school. I also wanted a place for me to make great friends. As a homeschooler, I didn’t have much social time so it was really important for me to be able to have that. So, I chose a Christian school where my friend goes to.

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Hopefully, this post helped you all understand my decision. If you still have any questions, comment or email me at happilyabi@gmail.com

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25 Things I Loved About Being Homeschooled

Hey, everyone! So ever since I posted this big news post, I’ve gotten questions pertaining to homeschooling and my big switch. So I decided to create a mini-series and answer all your questions. This is part 2- 25 Things I loved about being homeschooled.

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I absolutely loved being homeschooled and everything that came with it.

  1. You don’t have to wake up early every morning.
  2. But you have the option of waking up early to get everything done before 11:00 so you can have a free day.
  3. No school lunches – Homemade meals are the best!
  4. You can learn what you are actually interested in.
  5. Field trips to the coffee shop! Any time of the day.
  6. No dress code! (Although I could only wear my pjs on Fridays).
  7. Birthdays are holidays.
  8. Hot chocolate and homework in front of the fireplace? Yes, please!
  9. You can spend more time with family.
  10. There is no busy work.
  11. You can take naps when you really need it.
  12. You don’t have to rush in the mornings!
  13. PE = doing pilates in the comfort of your home WITHOUT the uniforms.
  14. Did I mention that I didn’t have school on Fridays?
  15. You’re not confined to a classroom.
  16. There’s freedom to go on fun trips in the middle of the school week.
  17. There’s more time to do the things you love to do.
  18. Homeschooling in high school gives you opportunities for great scholarships for college.
  19. Never getting stuck in traffic.
  20. Three, four, or even five-day weekends. Yes, it’s possible!
  21. Graduating early is totally an option.
  22. You can learn the way you understand.
  23. There are lots of opportunities to travel.
  24. It’s the best way to learn how to be self-motivated.
  25. You can do fun things like starting a blog!

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Homeschooling was awesome and I absolutely loved it. If you have any questions or a suggestion for this series, email me: happilyabi@gmail.com

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My Homeschool Experience

Hey, everyone! So ever since I posted this big news post, I’ve gotten questions pertaining to homeschooling and my big switch. So I decided to create a mini-series and answer all your questions. If you have anything that you would like for me to include in this series, check out this page. Without further ado, here is part 1 – My Homeschool Experience.


Many people have asked me to explain the curriculum that I used for homeschooling and have gotten confused when I said that I was duo-enrolled, so I thought that I would try to explain my homeschooling experience in more detail. If any of you still have questions, comment below and I will get to them or email me here: happilyabi@gmail.com.

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When I first started out homeschooling, I taught myself using a curriculum that was already prepared for me. It was great… in the beginning. But when I missed a deadline, I fell more behind due to procrastination. I loved being at home and being my own teacher but during those months, my favorite line was, “I’ll do it later.” So that didn’t really work all that great for me. My mom started looking for something else for me to do that was more structured.

My mom found out about Veritas Press Scholars Academy through a friend and it was perfect for me. VPSA was a great Christian program for me because I would have to log on to classes at certain set times and turn in assignments during the week. The best part, the classes were live which meant that there was a teacher to interact with as well as classmates to talk to. The classes were harder of course but I loved it.

After two years of taking classes through VPSA, I decided that I wanted to go back to school. Again, my mom found a part-time, college style school that I went to every Tuesday and Thursday. On Monday and Wednesday, I continued to take VPSA classes and on Fridays, I had the day off. Going to school 2x a week reminded me of how great being at school was and how much I missed it so I started playing with the idea of going back to school full-time.

With that thought in the back of my mind, I enjoyed my summer. It wasn’t until my friend said, “Abi, what if you went to my school and we had classes together?! That would be so much fun!” that I actually started seriously considering going back to school. A couple weeks later, I applied to a private Christian school and got accepted four weeks before the first day of school. That in and of itself was a huge miracle because 1) I applied way late and 2) The Administration Office said that there probably wouldn’t be space. Still, I got in and I thank God for it every day.

I already have met so many amazing and friendly people at the school and I love going there. I even wrote a post about all the things I learned in my first week of classes and how things have been going transition wise. (Check it out here.) Being back at school is a learning process. It may be hard and stressful for me at times, but I really feel like I now have the opportunity to be myself.

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Hopefully, this post helped you all understand my crazily complicated school experience. If you still have any questions, comment or email me at happilyabi@gmail.com

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5 Things I Learned In My First Week Of School

Hey, everyone! So today is Wednesday which means that I’ve successfully completed my first week of regular school. If you had asked me last month, I would have said that I was totally prepared to quit homeschooling and go back to school. What I didn’t know was how much of a shock it was going to be for me.

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The first day of school rolls around and I’m super excited. I figure since I went to school part time last year, I would be able to adjust quickly and be ready for anything school threw at me. Boy, was I in for a treat.

 1. Going To School Five Days A Week Is Nothing Like Going To School Two Days A Week

What happened last year was, I stayed home on Monday and went to school on Tuesday. Then I stayed home on Wednesday and went back to school on Thursday and had Fridays off. This year, I am going to school every. single. day. Which probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to you but it’s a huge one for me. After a long day of learning, I don’t get to sleep and take my time doing homework. I have to get back to school the next day, meaning I have to actually get things done. It’s time for me to say goodbye to procrastination.

2. Names Are Important

If you were to ask me what the best part of my school was, I would say that it’s how welcoming the people there are. The way they do this is by addressing each other by their name. They take the time out of their day to get to know you and remember your name. I love it.

3. There Are These Things Called Lockers… They’re Important Too

There is no possible way for me to carry all of my books around all day. My locker has saved me more than once this week. Thankfully, I was able to have a second locker on the first floor of the high school building that I share with several friends.

4. Always Bring A Blanket

It’s so cold in the building that we sometimes bring blankets to keep us warm. That gave one of my friends the idea for Blanket Fridays. Blanket Fridays are when we bring blankets to lunch and have a picnic under that stairs in the lunch room/student commons. In general, blankets are just a good idea.

5. Friends Are Everywhere

One of the goals I made for myself this year is to meet more people, to be open and friendly and welcoming to everyone. Having one friend in a new school was all it took to make the connections and meet TONS of amazing, kind people. I’m an introvert. But that doesn’t mean I have to hide in a corner and not talk to anyone. Being an introvert means I have to stretch myself and be willing to try to remember everyone’s names. You wouldn’t believe just how many friends are waiting right behind your classroom door.

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Well, that’s all! I have to get back to my homework but I hope you all have a great day! signature

What are some things that you have learned in your first week at a new school? Or, what are some tips that you would give to new students at your school?

 

P.S. This post was inspired by one of my great friends. Thank you M for always being there for me! <3

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