Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Joyful Redemption, Tips, and Random

My last post was sad... so now that I'm feeling better I need to redeem myself.

We all go through some low periods, sad times, and often for no reason. That was mine. But I'm good now. Back to focusing on how AWESOME things really are. Enjoying the small things. Like red nail polish. The thought that eventually, I will wear a sweater and not melt. There are crunchy leaves! Not the good kind, but their existence whatsoever makes me smile.

I still really miss my family, just for the record. It is so weird being away from them... but I will be home for Thanksgiving in 49 days. And I can't wait to tell them all about my life here and catch up with those wonderful people over delicious food and football. And I WILL be wearing a sweater. Because it is Tennessee and it will not be 80 degrees...I hope.

(taken last Thanksgiving)

It's funny how certain songs can bring back such vivid memories. I was listening to Christmas music (don't judge me. : P ) and the First Noel came on. I was instantly taken back to about 2005, Christmas night. I was in my bedroom in my Samantha nightgown with a snow globe/music box my dad had given me. I remember at first being upset, because it wasn't what I had thought to be in the package. But that night, I turned out all of the lights in my room, turned on the little light on the globe, and wound it up. I watched as the little flecks on snow fell gently on the glass angel inside as "The First Noel" played. And I cried. I felt so bad because I was disappointed in a gift. I realized I LOVED the snow globe and I was so selfish and ungrateful for not being excited about it to begin with just because I thought it was going to be something else.
Now. Fast forward to 2012, the night before we left for Tampa. I had climbed into bed, all of my lights off. I turned on the same snow globe that still sits on my nightstand, 7 years later. It illuminated my room with the warm glow of that Christmas night. And I cried. Because I was so thankful for everything I had and the memory of being so ungrateful for something beautiful given to me by someone who loves me... And I was just overwhelmed with how lucky I am to have him. I also realized how lucky I was that not only does my father love me like no one else, my Father loves me even more... Even though I mess up. I make mistakes. I go against His word. Yet he loves me, and forgives me...accepts me with open arms. How blessed are we? To have such a forgiving God. It hit me that, yes I was scared to move 700-800 miles away. Yes, I would miss my family. But God would make me strong. He would protect me and my life, if I put it in His hands, would be grand. Trust in God can get you so far in life, and I am so thankful for Him and His love for me.

Now for some tips for my lovelies who are filling out college applications.

1. ) Be yourself. Let your personality AND intelligence come through that essay. If they feel like they know you, they'll want to give you money. So get a little casual with it; talk to them. But not too casual. You don't want to look stupid. : P

2) Moving far away from your family and friends is a lot harder than you may ever imagine, but it's also very rewarding. Just don't forget where you come from. (I'm think about you, Maddy. Chicago is far away. ; ) )

3) Always keep snacks in your dorm. You get hungry at the weirdest times.

4) Be nice to everyone. Even people you don't know or people who aren't nice to you. It puts you in a really good mood.

5) Don't go to class in sweats. It's unclassy, and you'll get to cozy and fall asleep, wasting the class period. (although, chances are, you'll fall asleep in class at some point no matter what you wear. But dressing nicely = compliments that make you feel good and giving off a good impression that you want to be viewed as professional and you care about your appearance (to a point. Don't be vain..or have low self confidence).

6) Make friends! Reach out to people...see someone sitting alone? Chances are, they're scared, too. Make the first move and help someone feel better. You'll be glad you did.

7) Always love Erin. ; )

Tomorrow our Future Falcon is coming for the weekend. I can't wait to show her how kick butt FC is. Wasn't too long ago, I was a "Future Falcon", too. Now I'm just one of 532 Falcons. And proud of it!

Then, Saturday we're going to down town Tampa. So I might actually have a more interesting post next week. : P

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Restless Thinking

I've been here for one month and 10 days. And I'm pretty proud to say, I've just started to get homesick. Don't get me wrong, I've missed my family and friends since the day I left, and this new place does feel like home. But it's funny how when something of the slightest nature throws you off course and you get upset or stressed, all you want is familiarity, or that sense of comfort you've always known. (I say you as if everyone feels the same way. It's possible, no, it's fact that we don't. But...this is how I feel, so roll with it). When I was at home and something was a little off, I experienced a disappointment, I spilled my heart to my dog, Badge. And Kristina always makes fun of me for how much I love my dog, but my life is so much easier with him. I can talk and he just listens. He lays his head on my leg and looks me in the eye when I talk to him. He doesn't judge, doesn't offer up advice, he just listens. And sometimes I need that. A cuddly thing to love and talk to who loves me back and listens like he cares.
(Now prepare to be plagued with pictures of my canine psychiatrist)

He's such a goober.
I'm not going to talk only about my dog, here. I promise. He's just a lead in.

I'm generally a positive person. While people (*cough* Mrs. Williams *cough*) joke that I am negative, but seriously. Overall, I really try to see the good in the bad and make the most out of situations. I get up, and even if I don't feel tip top, I tell myself it will be a good day and I will be happy, is. and I am. So, yeah, I'm a positive person. But by being so positive, and often forcing positivity upon myself, sometimes I just get so overwhelmed out of no where and have a little break down. My mind is flooded by thoughts of all of the unpleasant or "unfair" times in life, my thoughts are scattered and...angry. I feel so RESTLESS. I just want to scream and cry and punch things. And generally it all comes out in a big ball of...tears. I came in from a study session to see my dad got online, so I Skyped him. It was so nice to actually see him, and even my mom for a few minutes. It cheered me up. Until I hung up. Then I just cried. And wished so badly I could just go home for a little while. Hug my dad. Hug my dog. Sleep in my bed. Eat my Mimi's food. But I can't, and it felt like a big punch to the gut. These aren't really feelings I know how to get out to another human, and because Badge isn't here and the squirrels around campus aren't great listeners, I keep it in. I just let it grow. Honestly, I did cry when I hung up...but not for long, because everyone else in my suit would be coming in because of curfew, and as much as I cry, you'd think I'd be used to people seeing me cry, but I'm still not comfortable with it. Actually, I think it may be I don't like explaining why I am crying. I am POSITIVE. I don't let this stuff bring me down! But I do. I secretly feel awful inside. At least right now...for the past week-ish. I know it will pass, but in the meantime, I just want some okra and good cuddle with my dog! Is that too much to ask?

A few days from now I'll be OK. But this hasn't been the easiest week of my life, and there's really no point...and I'm getting awful dark circles from not going to bed until after 12 and crying or holding back crying...
Thanks for letting me rant.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified; do not be dismayed. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9




I miss these people something awful.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Little Perspective.

Sometimes, it is a lot easier to focus on the struggles in life or what we don't have rather than the blessings. Thinking in such a negative way can definitely bring a person down, and let's face it, no one wants to be sad... So I have decided to start a project. I don't know if you have heard of 365 Grateful or not, but it's pretty awesome. (I won my Fujifilm camera from the blog that goes with the site). I don't think I'd have the time to do a picture a day, so I'm going to start out small.

Thankful 10's.

10 things I am thankful for in my past.
10 things I am thankful for in my present.
10 things I hope to achieve in the future.

30 items total. Not too bad, right? And it isn't that I have a bad outlook on life...I'm actually a pretty optimistic person. It's just nice to have the reminder. To have it there when I need to be reminded that life isn't all about what I don't have and that rough times come to an end...and even happier things lie ahead. So, before I get to my beach post, I will start with this.

*I am thankful for my imagination...Some of it still exists, but sadly, a lot of my creativity was lost when maturity was earned.


Now, onward to the current happenings. : ) On Saturday, Beta got together to pull weeds. Which wasn't particularly fun...but it was satisfying.Our territory looks much better. The real fun began when we went to the beach together as a society.


It was a great day indeed. Even though I got sun burned...after applying SPF 70. But oh well.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Blessing, Indeed.

Just a short thought for today...

Today marks one month since I moved to FC. One month away from my family, from my friends in Tennessee. This is the longest I have ever been away from my family, but I am not the awful puddle of emotions I expected to be at this point. You know why? Because I am blessed. Oh so blessed...Blessed beyond my own comprehension. The people I have met...the experiences I have only ONE month. I can feel the shift within me, I know I am changing, growing into a stronger Christian and an adult. Even though I miss everyone in Tennessee, and although I still have difficult times, I look at what my life has been and what is has become and think "How did I get so lucky? How do I have such an amazing life? Why have I been so blessed?" and I realize, I cannot look at my past or present, or think forward to my future and be disappointed in this life I am leading. How could I have such amazing friends and family, have such an INCREDIBLE God and not be happy? How can I not praise His name for what I have?

In this month, I have already learned so much... I have new friends who I feel like I have known my entire life. I love where I am. I look forward to going back for a visit, but I know I will be ready to come back here to this new home away from home.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


My favorite time around here is the evening... When the sun is only half up and a breeze brings the muggy temperature down a bit. The light is glorious at this time of day and I can't help but drink the beauty Florida has to offer. Different from Tennessee's beauty, but still beautiful. I had been trying to capture this sunkissed time of day, but it has been so humid that my lense just fogged over...But it happened finally. I got pictures! I can't get over how BLUE the sky is at this time of day... Maybe I don't notice it as much in the middle of the day because the sun is so bright everything looks white? Either way, it's ridiculous.

                                       See the sky? So. Blue.

It's funny. Florida lanscaping and vegetation is not particularly exciting to me... Everything looks pretty much the same. Once you've seen one palm tree, you've seen all palm trees. And Spanish moss is really only "myseriously pretty" for a few weeks. But I still enjoy the scenery.

 These things are EVERYWHERE.

 And for entertainment purposes, here's Kristina with her ukelele.
As we get farther into September...I really start to crave fall. A Tennessee fall. With a warm palette of reds and browns...the smell of fall. And I'm really saddened by this 90 degree weather. I WANT TO WEAR SCARVES. I mean, Starbucks has its Pumpkin Spice Latte out! I want fall! It's too bright here...too...summer. Summer is my least favorite season. -_- So to create my own bit of autumn, I've been drinking spiced apple cider and looking at pictures I took a few years ago on my uncle's mountain.

There's just something about Tennessee in the fall that makes me feel...cozy. And not Tampa weather could ever replace my love for autumn in the mountains.

My all time favorite autumn memories are when my parents and I would stay in my aunt and uncle's camper on the lake. Every morning, bundled in hats and sweatshirts, we would light a fire and sip cider while breakfast cooked on the grill. Every season is prettier on the lake. The early morning autumn sun over the water while we relaxed and fished...or even the comfort of the heat in the camper when we settled down to watch a movie and enjoy each other's company, only to start over the next in a routine that was as comforting as the warmth of hot cider on cool mornings.


Not only do I miss spening time on the lake that is now closed for camping, but I miss the way things were. place everything felt in life. How I was still a child and didn't have the worries I now face every day... Autumn brings back the feeling of being a child, so faithful and full of wonder for the world. The desire to drink up information and grow to the best of my ability. It brings back the tastes, the smells, the pictures of a simpler time. And not that I don't love my current life; I do. I really do. But it's different, and sometimes I miss what was. Fall brings bit of that back every year.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Heeeeey, PSI BETA!

Monday the 3rd was Society Night. Now, before I really get into the goings on of this iconic FC event, I'm going to explain what a society is for those of you who don't quite get it.
A lot of colleges have sororities and fraternities. These groups are well known for the hard core "let's get wasted" parties and some other promiscuous and immoral/inappropriate actions that FC obviously does not approve of. Also, sororities and fraternities are separated by gender. Well, societies are one of the few co-ed things here. (Not really...It's not like they make us eat in separate cafeterias or anything. We just have separate dorms and sports teams...)
So. What have we learned?
  • Societies are co-ed
  • Societies have fun but do not have wild parties as generally thought of with college groups
Good. Now, let's move on. FC has 6 societies: Kappa Omicron, Omega, Arete, Phi Sigma Chi, Zeta Phi Epsilon, and Psi Beta Gamma. During the year, the societies compete in various things including sports, attendance, community service, and a whole slew of other great things.
  Society night is when everyone interested in joining a society gathers in Hutchinson Auditorium to watch videos created by the officers of each group. Then, we all run to the other side of campus to sign up. I joined Psi Beta Gamma along with most of my friends.
Here's their video.
Incredible, right?

Thursday was the first society event: Kickball. We were playing KO who is known to be one of the most intense societies athletically...and we're Psi Beta. We aren't known for being great athletes. But it produced two great and amazingly fun games! KO Girls and Guys both won, but we had an awesome time cheering on our team mates and getting to know each other. We didn't even notice it was pouring down rain!! ; )

With love,

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