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!

His Plans Are Perfect

Have you ever had a situation in your life where the path or the plan didn’t really make sense, the pieces didn’t seem to fit, but somehow God worked through it and presented you with a final product better than you could have ever hoped for? For me, this is exactly what happened in my homeschool/high school transition experience.

As I had mentioned earlier in this blog, I was homeschooled for a while. But, when I started thinking about going back to school, there was a huge part of me that really didn’t want to go. And I mean really didn’t want to go. In my Sophmore year of high school, I went to a sleepover with one of my best friends. She asked me “what if we went to school together?!” Outwardly I said “that would be so much fun!” but inwardly, I was thinking, “there’s no way I am going to switch schools again.”

It’s a good thing God didn’t listen to me.

A couple of days after that sleepover, I applied to a private Christian school and got accepted four weeks before the first day of school. God opened door after door on my way to the school. That in and of itself was a huge miracle because I had applied late and there wasn’t much space for more students. Even though it was last minute and all of the available spots in the school were filled, I was able to obtain a spot and was admitted into high school. And it was the one of the best things that happened to me.

It was through this journey that I met some amazing people, building friendships that I never thought I would have. I met mentors and was pushed to study harder and better. Eventually, I graduated and now I will be attending a Christian university with some amazing fellow English majors and a whole world ahead of me.

Way back in Sophmore year, I never even thought I would some day end up sitting around a lunch table with some close friends or dancing in a room filled with classmates at prom or even traveling on a school trip to Peru. Those things just didn’t seem even remotely possible to me.

Looking back, I am so glad that I said yes to God’s plan even when I didn’t want to and it didn’t make sense. Homeschooling was great, but it was only to be a part of my path. I loved being at home and spending time with my family, but I wouldn’t have been able to grow so much if I had stayed. Not in the ways I have.

When God’s plans for you don’t make sense, remember what Proverbs 16:4 says: “the LORD works out everything to its proper end.” He wants you to grow in your trust for Him as He shows you His will for your life. But it’s important to remember that the things that don’t make sense now are only just the beginning of a wonderful adventure in God’s perfect plan.

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

Calling Writers and Bloggers!

Hello everyone! I am so excited to announce that I will be taking applications for Guest writers and bloggers!

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If you are interested in guest posting on Happily Abi, I’d love to get to know you a little bit more and hear about your blogging or writing journey. To apply, please use the link below.

Be a Guest Blogger/Writer!


I’m excited to hear from you! Have a great day!

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. :)

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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

A Blank Sheet Of Paper – A Poem

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A blank sheet of paper.
Oh, the possibilities
That lie within my mind.
I’m afraid to write
For once the ink is applied,
There is no going back.

signi


So I think this poem needs a little bit of an explanation. I wrote this poem way back in June. I attempted to write letters to friends but never did because I didn’t know what to say, how to say it, or why I wanted to write them in the first place. This poem came out of the struggle of not being able to make up my mind. :) Anyway, that’s the story! Stay happy. :)

10 Things On My Bucket List

Hey, everyone! How are you? Today was AMAZING! My a cappella team got to meet with a college a cappella team to learn and sing with them. It was a great experience and we learned a lot about getting the songs to feel how they should sound.

Also today, I wanted to share 10 things on my bucket list. My actual bucket list is very long. If you want to check out the entire list, click here. ;)

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  1. Learn sign language. – I think sign language is really cool! Some of my friends know a bit of sign language so maybe they can help me. ;)
  2. Spend an entire day watching Disney movies. – Disney movies are really fun! There are so many that I haven’t seen in a long time and would love to see again!
  3. Have a beach bonfire. – The beach is so beautiful at night with all of the stars. It would be a lot of fun to have a bonfire with some friends on the beach under the stars.
  4. Visit Mount Rushmore. – Mount Rushmore is a must-see.
  5. Visit all seven continents. – I love traveling! It would be awesome to visit every continent.
  6. Go to a midnight movie premiere. – I’ve always wanted to do this. :)
  7. Stargaze on a roof. – I LOVE watching the stars!
  8. Participate in a color run. – I’ve seen pictures of color runs all of the internet and it looks like a lot of fun! My cousin, C, ran in a color run and she said it was really cool.
  9. Read 1000 books. – Reading is a great thing to do. :)
  10. Write a book. – I really like writing. Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of writing and publishing a book someday.

What are some things on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below! Have a great day! :)

signi

Blue – A Poem

Hey, everyone! So I’m starting a new series on my blog called Writing Wednesdays. Just like with the Motivation Monday posts, I will post a Writing Wednesday post once or twice a month. Anyway, enjoy!

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Blue
Like the
Sea that stretches
Out as far as I can see.
I long to reach the
End where the
Water stops.
The blue
Water
Breathing
Steadily in and
Out, never ending.
It is the home
For many
And
The
Comfort
For me. I can
Not explain how
I long to see the end
Of the clear, blue
Sea. The waves
Move in and
Out. I sit
And
Watch
The world
Around me,
A beautiful shade
Of blue.

signi

21 Day Self Portrait Project Days 6-10

Hey, everyone! In the last post, I introduced you to the 21 Day Self Portrait Project that my photography teacher challenged me to. I also shared the results from the first five days. Here are the results from Days 6-10! Enjoy! :)

Day 6

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A couple of years ago, my aunt gave me a mirror. I call it a compliment mirror because it has words written on it. Here’s a sample of what it says:

“Oh, how beautiful you are! You’re charming. You look gorgeous! It’s fantastic. I think that you are fabulous, just fabulous! You are absolutely delectable. Your hair is really stunning, it sparkles with life! I love the way that you do your hair, that silken head of curls and waves is glorious. In a subtle way, your hair is immaculate, it looks so natural, it seems so springy and full of vitality! You are the most perfect creature that I have ever seen. You look great, you are great! You really are a very special person”

This mirror is a reminder that I am beautiful even when I don’t particularly feel like I am.

Day 7

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I hate driving. I absolutely detest it but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t learn to do the things I’m terrified of. My dad has always been really passionate about my development as a person – especially when I really don’t want to do whatever it is that he wants me to do.

In the beginning of October, my dad challenged me to drive every day. So I did and eventually I got better at driving. I still hate it. I still need some pushing but I’m learning that I can take those tiny steps as long as I keep moving.

Day 8

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I have a family friend who has been with my family through the thick and thin. She would watch over me and my sisters when my mom was sick. She would bake with us and celebrate our birthdays. She always remembered my birthday and took the time to get to know my interests. On my fifteenth birthday, she gave me a necklace with my birthstone and a piano charm on it. It was a simple gift, but it was a meaningful gift.

She taught me that little things can make a big difference. She cared for me and my family when no one else did. It didn’t take a lot of effort or time on her part, but it made a huge impact on the happiness and hope in my family.

Day 9

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Life is full of hard times and dark nights. But every day has a flicker of hope and every night is full of stars. When I am going through hard times, I try not to think of the darkness, the uncertainty, or the pain. Instead, I focus on the hope, the light, and the stars.

“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.”     – Martin Luther King Jr. –

Day 10

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My aunt is an amazing friend and my role model. She is a writer. She has traveled to so many places. She has been to the Olympics over five times. But my favorite part about her is her ability to connect with everyone she meets.

When I was frustrated with having so many people over for Christmas, she encouraged me. When I felt like my writing was awful, she encouraged me. When I really needed someone there, she encouraged me. She knew exactly what to say and how to say it.

I don’t get to see my aunt very often but when I do, I remember all of the wonderful times we had together.


I loved the last couple of pictures and oddly enough, they were accidental. Hehe :) Anyway, I hope you all have a great day! And let me know if you are going to do the project!

signi

21 Day Self Portrait Project Days 1-5

Hey, everyone! So, in the beginning of November, my photography teacher challenged my class to participate in the 21-day self-portrait project. Every school day, for 21 days, we would take a self-portrait picture that somehow connected us with a family member, friend, teacher, anyone who influenced us. Then, we would write a story, quote, etc. explaining how that person influenced us.

I really liked the project because it helped me to push myself to take better pictures. Here are the results from the first five days.

Day 1

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My blog followers have made a big impact in my life. When I first started blogging, I only had five followers, four of which were my family members. I didn’t blog very often and I was discouraged when my blog posts that I did post didn’t get very many views. In the beginning of this year, I made it a goal to post more frequently. Eventually, the readers visited more often and my follower number grew.

I now have 231 followers, all of whom I have gotten to know and cherish. Each one of them has made some kind of impact in my life either in the comments they’ve written or the emails they’ve sent me. They all encourage me to keep writing. My blog followers are my motivation. They are my encouragers. They are the ones who I go to when I need to talk.

This picture is my main picture for my blog because I feel that it portrays how happy I am when I have the chance to reach another person with the truth of God through the words that I write.

Day 2

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There’s something about losing a parent that makes you feel lost. But when you find a family that you can be a part of, a part of you is restored.

Learning to live in a new family has been difficult. My parents aren’t perfect but they love me and that’s the important part. We celebrate our adoption anniversary every year. On our five year anniversary, my parents gave us all pearl earrings. These earrings are a reminder for me that difficult times will come but I will be stronger in the end.

Day 3

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My fifth grade Sunday School leader played an important part in my adoption process. She helped to spread the news that my sisters and I needed a home. She prayed for us even when I didn’t know it. I really believe that my Sunday School leader was an angel sent from heaven to help put all of the pieces into place.

I still talk to her every once in a while. Every time she sees me, she comments on how she loves me and prays for me and loves seeing me. I don’t know where I would be without her. And thanks to her, I have a family and a place to call home again.

It only takes one person to make a difference in somebody’s life.

Day 4

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“There was a flower in her heart, it just needed more room to bloom. And when she let it free, she showed the world that sometimes the most beautiful things can grow in the darkest of places.”

– R.M. Drake –

Day 5

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When I was in seventh grade, I had to read “Kisses From Katie” by Katie Davis for school. Reading about Katie’s life encouraged me to make a change in the lives of children. So in eighth grade, I created a website to sell bracelets online to raise money for Katie. I was able to raise over $400 for Katie and her orphanage in Uganda. This whole experience started my love for serving and writing.


So that’s it! I hope you all liked this post. Let me know if you are thinking about doing the 21-day self-portrait challenge. It’s totally worth it. ;)

signi