To those obsessed with Social Media.

Most of us would like to think that social media is unimportant and a waste of time. In some ways, it really is. That doesn’t change the fact that it has become one aspect of our daily lives that can strongly impact us in ways we never expected. However, it can also open many doors, as well. Social media can bring out the best in people, but also the worst. It can uproot friendships and relationships, unleashing jealousy and lack of trust. But, it can also be an opportunity to share precious moments with the people in your life.

In my opinion, I think the most important idea behind social media is much too overlooked. We are not supposed to let it engulf our lives, nor let it define who we are as people. We don’t need to share every moment of our lives. People take numerous selfies (I am guilty, everyone already knows this,) just hoping to capture the attention of the people on our “friends” list or even people we might assume might stalk around on our profiles. People obsessively keep track of who is “liking” or “friending” who, when in reality it doesn’t mean anything but the 3 seconds it took to scroll past a post.

At it’s core, social media is meant to network and to keep in touch with people you might not see often. I’ve noticed that more often than not, it’s simply an engine for drama and low self esteem.  You don’t need the approval of others to validate your life. You don’t need 50+ likes on your photos to know you’re beautiful. You don’t need to obsessively stalk your significant other to know you can trust them.

It might be hard for my generation to understand this, but a life outside of social media is much brighter than one spent scrolling on Facebook, editing your Instagram selfies, or cultivating your newest Tweet. If you spend all your time on your phone or computer, you might be missing out on some of the most important memories you are supposed to make.

Get out and enjoy real life, know you’re beautiful, trust the ones you love.

Don’t let what’s on your screen tear you apart.

x

Thoughts of a Scatter-Brained Creative Writing Major:

WRITE, they say, JUST WRITE.

But suddenly, you’re drowning in a sea of empty thoughts. There is an anchor attached to you, that anchor is called writer’s block.

That’s my life right now, anyway. I have a hundred ideas, until I sit at my computer, tablet, pen & paper, primitive cave drawing, ect. and realize the words are trapped in the deep crevasses (or crevices, I’m not really sure what’s actually up there,) of my brain.

I become overwhelmed by the abyss of nothingness in my thought-processes, and sit there with a blank face, staring at the blank page until finally I open up an internet tab to distract myself with baby animals, DIY pallet projects, or miscellaneous quizzes with no relevance to anything of substance. It’s time to wake up and smell the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s of the cramped and crowded coffee shop I sit in on campus!

GRADUATION is t-minus one semester and two additional courses away. GRAD SCHOOL isn’t far behind that.

Grad school?! Shit. What were my top choices? Am I actually going to get accepted? WHO WILL WRITE ME A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION?

By now, my head is spinning like a load of heavy towels in the dryer on the highest speed. I laugh nervously and pretend that my Midterm for Advanced Fiction is going well, but in reality I’m scribbling doodles of bats and spiderwebs for Halloween in my planner instead of progress notes.

It’s October. I NEED to pass my classes. That’s all I need right now. But, a Chick-fil-A just opened and that sounds more enticing than staring at a blank page.

FOCUS.

You can do this, you can write the shit out of that midterm. You can analyze the shit out of that 17th century American Lit. assignment as though you actually read the weeks readings. You can do anything, but first, you better go grab another overpriced-venti-double-something-mocha that you probably can’t afford anyway. But tea is better for you, and it’s cheaper. Better do that. OH DEAR GOD… I’m becoming my mother…

Or, I mean, I could just write my Midterm.

 

Fall 2016 Bucket List

Because my Summer bucket list was an epic failure, let’s try this again. Who’s willing to cross some of these off with me?

+ Visit a winery
+ Spend a weekend on the Northshore
+ Watch the stars by a campfire
+ Go to an orchard/pumpkin patch
+ Carve pumpkins
+ Go for a drive to see the changing leaves
+ Hike around some state parks
+ Renaissance Festival
+ Visit the zoo
+ Watch scary movies while drinking apple cider
+ Zombie Pub Crawl
+ Haunted House
+ Valley Scare

What I’m striving for…

I’ve always been the kind of person to plan. I shoot for my goals and don’t give up easily… But, with that in mind, I’ve also always been the person to come up with back up plans too.
Here are some goals I have put in place for myself in the next year in no particular order (and a half? I mean… wiggle room is great.)

  • continue to achieve my fitness goals (I’m proud to say I’ve been consistent so far, so lets keep that up!)
  • get some of my work published (short stories, poetry, and non-fiction.)
  • graduate (this one is a given, and on track.)
  • get  an internship in editing/publishing (or a full-time job preferably.)
  • buy a Jeep Wrangler (and hopefully start customizing it.)
  • surround myself with positivity (no more insecurity, no more toxic people.)
  • be confident in myself and my abilities without second thoughts (getting better already!)
  • travel (anywhere, anytime. I crave adventure.)

I try to set goals that aren’t outlandish or unrealistic. I try to live within my means and do all I can to be a better person. For most of my life, I have not focused on myself very well. So, why not start being better about that now?

I hope this has maybe inspired some of you to also make a list of personal goals that you’d like to achieve in the next year or two. Good luck to you all!

x

As a writer, I wonder…

I write about people, whether it’s blatantly in a journal, or just stolen details about them to write into my stories. I’ve written about both strangers and people I care about. I’ve written things from memories and things from imagination. I’ve seen a glimpse of a person, and written an entire character around them. I’ve lived a memory and taken inspiration from the people involved. I’ve imagined the lives of others around me, and challenged myself to think as they might. But then I wonder, has anyone done this for me?

I wonder if anyone has written something because I’ve inspired them.
I wonder if anyone has written about me, or made a character that resembles me in someway.
I wonder if anyone has written memories of me, or made some up instead.
I wonder if anyone has written about how I’ve made them feel, or how they’ve made me feel

I just can’t help but wonder.

Summer

I have had people tell me that they “don’t have summer” anymore. They say this because they work full time, or don’t get a summer break from school. It’s honestly one of my pet peeves to hear people say that they “don’t have summer.”

Summer is a season, it is a time of year. Saying you don’t have summer, is like saying you don’t have a birthday. It exists, whether you work or not. For us here in Minnesota, we are lucky if we get 3 or 4 solid months of warm weather. We get those 3 or 4 months to enjoy being outdoors. We get those 3 or 4 months to make memories that we cannot accomplish in colder weather.

I hate when people make excuses not to do things in the Summer. Such as, “I’m too tired.” Suck it up, buttercup, and get outside. Go do something while you can.

If you don’t enjoy the summer while it is here, you have no right to complain about being stuck inside all winter.

How far have I come?

To those who don’t know me, I may seem lazy, slow, or unmotivated. Somedays, maybe that is true. We all have those days. I will also admit, I know I do not work to my complete potential, but that’s because I know my limits. If I work as hard as  I know I can, I know I will burn out. That’s not fair to me or those around me.

This year has been hard for me; seeing many other people I graduated high school with now graduating college. I am still here, with a year of undergrad left. I have fallen behind, but not for lack of effort or lack of intelligence. I fell behind for lack of direction and lack of passion.

I should have graduated this year, and had I not changed majors three times, or transferred colleges late in my education- I would be graduating this spring. Looking back on this last semester especially, I have noticed that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I am finally in the major I love, working in a job I enjoy, and am moving ahead to the path I want to be on.

So, even if I am graduating a year behind schedule, at least I can be confident in what I am doing. As an English major, I have received more support, praise, and encouragement from my professors, my peers, and the people in my personal life than I ever have before. My grades are better than they have been since high school. I am happier, as a person, in general. But Ultimately, I feel like I am finally where I belong, so no, I do not regret being “behind” a year. If anything, I am grateful for it.

We all stumble at times, but what matters is how we pick ourselves back up and who helps us along the way.