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!

An Open Letter to High School

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Dear High School,

I can’t believe the time has gone by so fast. Four years ago I started high school and now I’ll be graduating.

I’ve learned so much in these four years, about myself, about my family, about relationships and friendships, about God, about the world. I’ve grown in ways I never would have expected. I made new friends, gained confidence, tried new things. I lost some friends too, experienced grief, and had to say goodbye to some amazing people.

I know that even though I’ll be leaving an amazing school, the relationships that I’ve built will always be there for me. It was in high school that I found my best friends, people who have pushed me closer to Christ. It was in high school that I stretched myself and became friends with people from many different groups. I know that all of these people are going on to study at great colleges and universities and will always be just a phone call, text message, or Insta picture away.

I am so grateful for the teachers as well, as they have taught me, not only about history and government, French and religion, science and Spanish, but also about life and the importance of following Christ along the way. These teachers have been praying for me and I am certain that they will continue to pray for me and the rest of the 2018 graduating class.

I think the parts that I’m going to miss the most about high school are the memories that we made together. From the camping trips at the beginning of the year, to the spirit weeks with crazy inflatable dinosaur and Baymax costumes, to the time we skipped class to play in the snow, the grades bonded together and laughed together. I loved the senior pranks, the photography class field trips, the picnics, and the prayer chapels. I loved the school trip to Peru, the movie days in French class, and the time my friend ran to Aldi to buy icecream during lunch. I loved the surprise parties, the dance nights, and the musical bells between classes. These are the things that I will miss.

And even though I am sad to leave all of these amazingly beautiful people and memories, I can look forward to the days when we will all reunite again and reminisce about the best four years we all had together.

Thank you High School, for giving me these times. Thank you for the lessons. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the friends. But, most of all, thank you for the opportunity to grow.

signi

An Essay on Stars and God’s Love (Guest Post)

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Breaking news: I love space. Also, God loves us enough to make stars for us, so that’s awesome.

I do not know why I love the stars so much.

My first memory of the night sky is standing on the driveway, the rough cement beneath our feet and the night like a blanket and my father pointing up to the heavens, tracing the stars into the constellation.

“Cygnus,” he would say with absolute confidence and a little bit of awe. “Orion.”

Why, I always asked. They don’t look like anything but pricks of light. Who was the first person to gaze up and see people?

My parents explained once upon a time, there were no lights. Every night, the sky seemed like it was on fire with the stars. There were more of them to see and trace.

Maybe that was what lit the passion inside me.

I have looked through a telescope two times in my life. Once, the neighbors down the street— a single mother and her teenage son— invited us to glimpse the heavens through theirs. I do not remember what we looked at. Perhaps it is only a dream. I only remember the coldness of the night and the darkness of the sky.

The second time, we went out with our friends the MacMillians to the golf course by their house. It was a bad place to look at stars; there was so much light pollution. But we had just finished a unit in school on astronomy and space and they had a telescope they had acquired from somewhere. We looked at the Moon, I believe, and tried to find Jupiter or Mars.

I remember lying on the golf course and staring up into the blackness with coats bundled close. We couldn’t actually see anything, but we imagined we could.

When I was older, we went to a planetarium. The animated heavens wheeled over us. They drew lines between the stars in the constellations. I did not like the fake stars. I wanted the real stars.

When I was nine and at summer camp for the second time, I was sick in the middle of the night. Most of what I remember is the walk with my counselor down to the infirmary, her hand clutched in mine. I looked up through the trees and it took my breath away.

Stars!

But what stars!

So many more than the skies at home. I could only see pieces of them through the treetops, but I longed for more.

Maybe it was just the mystery. Maybe the reason I love the sky so much is the fact that I have never seen it. I have only seen pieces of the heavens. I keep coming back for more, straining my eyes into the navy, looking for the milky way.

In New York City in 1965 the power went out for a night and all the people went up to the top of the buildings and looked up at the stars— spread out over the cities like they are every single night but visible for the first time in a century.

What a sight.

It seems to me that every time I have been out in the night I have only sought after the stars. I do not know why.

They are beautiful but they are distant. They might not even exist anymore. Their light takes eons to reach us; the actual star could be gone by now but the light is still traveling across space, thundering along at 300,000,000 meters per second but space is so massive it hardly makes a dent.

When I was younger, I wanted to be an astronaut. I have no idea why.

Space is beautiful but it is beautiful in the same way wildfires are beautiful. It is bone-chillingly terrifying as well; as unforgiving as the ocean.

Perhaps that is why astronauts and cosmonauts share their root in ‘sailor’.

Perhaps the younger version of me wanted to sail— to sail to all the fantastical planets no one has ever set foot on; to glide up to the distant stars and wave hello.

But space takes from you.

Space is unforgiving emptiness— silence and loneliness and coldness.

It is beautiful and breathtaking to look at space— those pictures from the Hubble telescope where every prick of light in the image is not a star but a galaxy, with a hundred million stars its own— they bring tears to my eyes.

But space is also wrong in some fundamental way, like watching an orchestra play without sound; the Wizard Of Oz with Kansas in color.

It is beautiful but it is terrifying once you get out in it, just like the ocean.

Maybe I am in love with space because of the book I had as a child. It was all about space exploration. I fell in love with the space race— with the scientists and their rockets. I could almost feel their emotions— disgust as their ideas were ignored, triumph as their vision was realized.

And under the stars, it seems as if the world is clearer.

The sky is high, higher than the ceilings in the great cathedrals of old. The grass is soft under your bare feet. Above, the stars glimmer down— millions and millions and millions of them.

Why are there stars?

Why did God decide to make stars? We wouldn’t know the difference.

We would never know the difference and yet I like the think that God thought it would bring us joy to look up upon the beauty of the sky ablaze as night.

I like to the think that God thought of me and my friends at our school retreat, lying on the cold grass staring into the heavens in unspeakable joy and thought, “I’ll make stars for them!”

I like to think that he saw me and my friends from camp sitting around a dying fire and canning our necks up to the heavens, filled with awe and thought, “I’ll make stars for them!”

I like to think that in all his planning for the world, he knew that the stars would fill us with wonder and amazement and a tremendous desire to see and to know, and so he, with hands so old the stars themselves seem like the lights of fireflies, spun them into the great blackness.

He hung each one in the heavens and thought about how it would bring us joy.

And so I am in love with the sky at night, with the stars, with the heavens.

I have never seen it in all its glory, but I know I will someday.

I know I will be driving through the empty lands of Montana some clear, clear night and I will pull the car over the side of the highway and get out and look up at the sky.

And I will not have words.

The sky will be on fire.

I will see the Milky Way, spread out like diamonds, each star so far away and yet looking down on me with unwavering light, older than the rocks I stand on.

And from above, God will smile. “I made them for you,” he whispers. “So you could have this joy.”

—The End—


Hello, everyone! I would like to give many thanks to Hollis Thundercroft from Rag Tag Essays for writing this guest post!

Hollis is a high school senior who writes essays in her free time. She enjoys running, quilting, and sleeping, as well as playing with her two new cats. Her favorite smell is after the rain, her favorite planet is Neptune, and her favorite rocket is the Saturn V, which, she says, you probably shouldn’t bring up in conversation because she will never stop talking about it.

I absolutely LOVE Hollis’s blog and all of her writing. I find her essays to be very powerful, true, and passionate. Please go check out her blog here and leave a comment!

signi

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My 2018 Goals

Hello, friends! You have survived the first week of the new year! Yay! How has it been so far? My days have been pretty crazy as my second quarter of school ends this week and we are scrambling to have enough assignments in the grade book.

2018goals

It’s that time again to reflect on the past year and make goals for the future. 2018 is going to be a big year for me, as it is the year that I graduate high school and enter the world of college. While I am very excited for this year, I know it’s going to include lots of scary and uncomfortable changes. But that’s what life is full of! So the best thing is to make this year a great year. You with me? Here are my 6 goals to make this year great.


1. Grow in my devotion to God.

Every year I have had a different theme representing who I wanted to be and focus on for the year. Last year, my theme was peace and the year before it was hope. This year, my theme is devotion. As I looked back on 2017, I noticed how my relationship with Him has faltered a bit due to doubt and personal struggles. What I realize now is that I was resisting God because I wanted so desperately to be in control of things in my life. But, I’m not in control, God is. This year, I want to work on growing closer to God and trusting in Him for my future.

2. Keep my family relationship strong.

My family isn’t perfect but they are wonderful and I love them. We are already seeing the stress that senior year brings but I don’t want that to hinder our family relationship. This year, I want to continue to keep our relationship strong, even while I’m at college.

3. Stay connected to my friends.

I have been so blessed to have great friends who are very involved in our community as well as each other. But that also means that we are constantly busy. While we may not be around all of the time, I still want to stay connected to my friends and keep my relationships with them.

4. Finish Senior year strong.

Senioritis is real. I didn’t realize how real it was until I got my first acceptance letter. Although there is a lot of pressure among my senior class to give up and stop caring now that I’ve been accepted to college, I need to continue doing my best work in class and outside of class. To do this I will:

  • Set priorities
  • Stay organized
  • Stay motivated

5. Invest in myself.

I believe that a healthy mind and body leads to healthy relationships and a happier life. This year, I want to really make an effort to invest in myself. This can include getting back into photography as a creative outlet, writing music as a way to de-stress, and learning to say no when I am stressed and in need of rest.

6. Invest in my blog.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might have noticed that I took a couple of breaks this year. Part of that was because of my sanity, the other part being health-related. While I don’t know what this year will have in store for me, I want to put in a greater effort to be involved in this lovely blogging community. Specifically, I’d like to:

  • Host a giveaway!
  • Comment on 200 posts through the year.
  • and Host guests for collabs!

So that’s what my 2018 looks like! What are your goals for the New Year? Are there any things that you are really excited for this year?

signi

3 Years of Blogging

Hello everyone! Today marks the anniversary of my very first blog post. In the three years that I’ve been blogging, so much has changed not only in my life but also on my blog.

blogiversary

When I started blogging, I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about. With more practice and more posts, I’ve been able to find out what I like and develop my blog to how it is now. To those who have recently started their own blogs, keep it up! It might take a while for you to get it to where you like but it will be worth it. Also, don’t be afraid to take breaks. Sometimes taking a step back can give you a better picture.

I’m super excited to start this 4th year of blogging! I hope you’ll follow me along!

signi

Looking for something to read? Here are some of my favorite posts:
Travel Journal//Europe ~ May Memories ~ Travel Journal//Florida ~ Blue – A Poem

 

May Memories

Hello, everyone! Let’s talk about May. The last month of school. Crazy and utterly exhausting but SO full of happy memories! In a way, I miss it but at the same time, I’m so glad it’s over!

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The first week of May was full of happy friend memories. One of my best friends made me a beautiful pillow in between her study times. How she did it, I have no idea, but it’s beautiful and I love it so much! AP exams weren’t fun but it came with excused absenses and trips to Aldi’s to get ice cream. My 6 friends and I shared a whole tub of ice cream and it was amazing! A couple of days later, I started my new bullet journal!

bullet journal new

For Mother’s Day, my family and I took a trip to the mountains for the weekend. It was beautiful and a great way to spend the day celebrating my mom. We were even able to see a couple of geese in the river!

Next came a couple of pool parties with some amazing friends! My sister celebrated a birthday with some of her friends. Then I hosted a couple of last minute parties with my friends before school ended. I loved hanging out with everyone and can’t wait to make more memories with them this summer! Then came May 25. The day my exams started. I had my French exam first and did pretty well! After that, I had 3 more exams, British Literature, Chemistry, and Spanish. My last exam was yesterday! So glad to be done! :)

summermay

Other Things I Loved

  • Smores Frappuccino from Starbucks (all time fav!)
  • All of the blooming flowers!
  • Celebration donuts at the end of exams!
  • Getting our piano tuned
  • And then having a mini concert :)

How was your May? What are you looking forward to in June? I’d love to hear from you! :)

signi

Writing Wednesday – Sisterly Memories

Hey, guys! How are you? It’s been a while since my last Writing Wednesday entry so I thought I would share one this week. This one is all about memories. :)

ww-sisterly

I remember the day when we laughed until our sides hurt and when we screamed with joy and made funny faces. I remember the day when we spent hours talking in different accents and dancing around the kitchen. The day when, as I went about my work, you were there making life fun. In those few moments, we were free. Now that we are older, those days are fewer, but I’m looking forward to the day when we can do these things again; when we can laugh until our sides hurt and when we can scream with joy. I can’t wait until the day when we can spend hours talking in different accents and dancing around the kitchen. May these memories forever be in our minds and the hope forever in our hearts.

signi

March Memories

Hello, everyone! As I’m writing this, the rain is pouring outside and my sister is playing violin. My mom is working on starting a fire and I have a big cup of tea waiting for me. Talk about perfect writing time! This past month have been filled with tons of adventures and excitement.

marchmemories

In the beginning of the month, my mom and my sister and I drove to surprise my sister at her first away game for soccer. It was great except we ended up going to the wrong school! By the time we made it to the right school, there were 3 minutes left in the game. Bummer! But, we were able to see my sister play for a little bit and it made her really happy that we were there, so I’d say it was well worth it! :)

On the 5th, we hosted a missionary family for dinner. The family was really sweet and had lots of fun stories about life on the mission field and their many puppies. On the 12th, there was snow but it all melted within a couple of hours. Still, it was really pretty!

The next week, I had a friend over for a sleepover. We went to the park near my house and saw a beautiful tree! (Pictured below.) While we were at the park, a little girl, about 5, ran up to us and asked us to play with her. She was so adorable and I loved running around with her on the park playground! The next day, we met with another friend and went to walk on the campus of a nearby college, getting a feel for the college-life. It was a great experience and I learned a bit of what it’s like just to be on campus.

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Next came the Florida trip! My whole family spent our Spring break in sunny FL by the beach and it was beautiful! We were also able to go on all kinds of adventures including going to the Everglades. (I even made a video of it! Click here to watch it.) We got to see dolphins, birds, and aligators. A couple of days later, we went to Disney! I loved all of the rides but I especially loved the firework show at the end of the day. :) (Read the Florida Trip Travel Journal here!)

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After getting back into the rhythm of school life, I focused on memorized more Bible verses. This time, I memorized Isaiah 26:3-4 which says:

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
 Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
-Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)

Last week, my sisters and I took a spontaneous trip to my friend’s house! We spent a lot of time playing with her dog, :) but we also spent time outside making floral creations and talking about life. It was a wonderful way to spend my Sunday and it was pretty relaxing too! :)

Some Pictures from March:

That’s all! How was your March? Did you have any fun adventures? Let me know! I would love to hear from you! :)

signi

 

February Memories

Hey, guys! Happy March! The weather outside is beautiful and I’m so ready for Spring Break! February was full of fun adventures and memories. I can’t believe it all went by so quickly!

february-memories

February started off great with my birthday! I hosted a vision board party, hosting two things off of my goals list for this year. I had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends and family. Shout-out to my wonderful mother who created a huge meal of tiny sandwiches for my birthday lunch!

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A couple days later, I went to watch the play from my high school! It was a lot of fun and I saw a bunch of people that I know (shout-out to M, A, M, L, and H).

On the 11th, I headed over to the park with my sister to walk around and take pictures. It was so beautiful outside and it seemed that everyone was out enjoying the weather! The light reflecting off the water took my breath away. Plus, there were so many dogs – an extra bonus! ;)

Valentines Day came and went without a mishap. My sisters and I made breakfast in bed for my mom and we each got a little bouquet of flowers from our dad. On the 16th, I spent the day writing letters and making cards for my friends and family. And the next day, I went to my first college visit – very exciting.

Then came the big mountain trip! We spent three days in the cool weather with rivers and plenty of trees to sit by. (I even made a video about it. Watch it here.) I ended up spending a lot of time writing which was really fun for me. It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to let my dreams take shape in writing form. ;) Our short trip in the mountains was a fun one and I can’t wait to go back.

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February closed with lots of flowers; flowers in my friends’ hair, flowers in vases, flowers outside, flowers everywhere! I love how such little things like flowers can brighten up the world. :)

I also tried to continue the Photo A Day Challenge this month but then I missed a day. Still, I was able to take some really pretty pictures. Here are some of my favorites. :)

Other Things I Loved

Beautiful right? How was your February? Is the weather getting warmer where you are?

signi

January Memories

Hey, everybody! How was your January? It was a great start to a new year with new goals and a new mindset. For me, January went by all too fast.

january-memories

I started off January with my friends. We had an amazing time ringing in the New Year and laughing together. On the fourth, I worked on my scrapbooks! I’m so close to being finished with the last one. Then on the seventh, it snowed. It was so much fun even though the snow didn’t stay long.

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Picture Creds: Sis

On the ninth, I received my business cards from Vistaprint. I was so excited and so pleased with how they turned out! And two days later, I received my Vistaprint Promobox. I totally forgot about it so it was an amazing surprise to receive in the mail. :)

cards

Then my friends and I started a Bible study type thing for us all to memorize Bible verses together. So far we have memorized Matthew 10:28 and Philippians 4:4-8. To help me memorize my Bible verses, I started a journal. On the left page, I write the Bible verse and my initial thoughts. On the right page, I write a “React and Respond” section where I write my thoughts at the end of the week and things that I want to remember about the verses that I studied.

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On the thirteenth, my friend (shout out to A) taught me the basics of video making. Then on the seventeenth, I uploaded my very first Youtube video! (3 Things You Should Know About Me) I am super excited about my Youtube channel. Ya’ll can expect some great things coming soon! Also, I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY! (More about that here.)

My school had to move the piano into the common area for an event and they decided to keep it there for a couple of days. It was wonderful hearing so many people playing songs and everyone connecting over the music.

This month I also participated in a Photo-a-day challenge. It was a lot of fun! Here are some of my favorite pictures from this month.

Other Things I Loved

  • 52 Lists Project book
  • 52 Lists To Happiness book
  • Pinterest “tried it” button
  • VSCO
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • Sherlock Season 4

That’s all! How was your January? What are you looking forward to this February?

signi

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