Three Things I Learned in My Third Year

Can you believe that CMU students are only a week away from final exams? I know, I can’t either. This year has been one of the craziest school years of my life. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and everything ordinary in between, I’ve managed to (almost) finish it.

I thought that I would share the three biggest lessons from my third year as a CMU student. **These are not in order of importance, rather an order of how I came up with them**

1. It’s okay to not be okay

As a conversation around mental health has begun to emerge, I’ve heard this phrase a lot. When I first heard this it didn’t resonate with me in any way. I was a relatively happy person, and there wasn’t a reason for me to not be okay. However, as I transitioned from studying abroad in Italy back to Mt. Pleasant for classes on campus, I fully began to realize this quote.

There was nothing wrong with me physically, I have family and friends who love me, and so much more to be thankful for. Even knowing all this, I still felt sad. Once I started to recognize what how I was feeling during my transition home, I began to accept it and work through my issues. Sometimes you just feel sad, and recognizing it is the first step. It didn’t cure my sadness overnight, but I was able to let myself recognize my sadness and do something about it.

2. Saying “no” isn’t a bad thing

This was one of the harder lessons I had to learn this year. I came back from Italy and tried to jump right back into all of my old clubs and organizations. On top of accepting a new job for the semester, I found myself juggling a workout schedule, work, school, and my extracurriculars. Most days I was at the gym before 7:30 am and on campus from 10 am to 6 or 7 at night. Now, I’m not sharing this for anyone to praise me or take pity on me. This schedule is what kept me busy and worked for me. I’m sharing this because if I wouldn’t have learned to let the guilt of the word “no” go, then I don’t think I would’ve survived this semester. I would’ve worked shifts or gone to meetings because I felt like I had to.

3. Find the good in every day

Okay now, this might not always be easy. I had some days where nothing could compare to studying abroad, and my whole day would seem pointless. Those thoughts might be some of the most toxic thoughts in life. No day is pointless, and there is always something to be thankful for whether it be your health or a beautiful sunrise. It’s okay to not be happy at a specific season in your life, but every season has a reason.

There you have it, folks, the top three things I learned this semester. Honestly, I could write a novel on all the lessons I’ve learned. This was one of the most pivotal times in my life. I’m getting ready to close the chapter of my third year and start another. Cheers to new seasons.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a “K”

 

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March Wrap

Holy moly, it’s already the end of March. We’ve made it through spring break as well as the first day of spring. Believe it or not, Michigan’s weather is weirdly spring-ish. Most of the snow is all melted and temperatures are slowly rising.

I’m completely ready to leave winter behind and welcome spring with open arms. I’m talking about dresses, sandals, and light jackets. Unfortunately, it’s not that warm yet, but we will get there.

I thought that it would be a good point to check in. Since finishing the JLo challenge, I’ve been all over the place food-wise. I had a HUGE food-cation in Texas on my spring break. From FRIED OREOS (yes that’s a thing and yes they’re delicious) to my first-ever beignet (also amazing). I was lucky enough to be able to work out every day on my vacation because that’s what life’s about, balance.

Spring break in Houston was another great week. I got to spend it with my cousin who is basically my twin and my aunt and uncle. We always have such a blast. They took me to San Antonio because I’d never been. It was such a cool little city. We also went to the Houston Rodeo and saw Panic! At the Disco. I love the rodeo, and the concert was great.

The past couple weeks back have gone by rather quickly, but truthfully, I’m so ready to be done with the semester. I’ve totally had a roller coaster of emotions with transitioning back from Florence to Mt. Pleasant. I’ve had some classes I absolutely dread, not because they’re hard, but because they’re boring and university credits. That being said, I’ve had some good days with great classes too. One of my classes and some of my clubs have had amazing guest speakers that make me truly excited for my future career.

On that note, my future career. I’ve been working extremely hard towards finding and achieving an internship this summer. That entails applying to as many places that I feel qualified as possible and interviewing with anyone who will ask. It’s hard to consistently interview and interview and not get something, but I know everything will work itself out.

Some other fun things to mention was that St. Patrick’s Day was the weekend after spring break. I went out and spent all of Saturday with friends. On Sunday, a friend of mine had a photography assignment, so we went to Midland to Dow Gardens. We went and saw butterflies, and we spent the day laughing and exploring the canopy gardens in Midland. It was truly a fun, relaxing day.

Other than that, I’ve got some big projects in almost all my classes coming up since we’re winding down the year. I only have six weeks of classes left, and I’m getting anxious to know where I’ll be this summer work-wise. I hope to update ya’ll with some more posts before school lets out, but you never know.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a “K”

 

Things I Wish I Knew When I Graduated High School

As the high school year ends, seniors everywhere will be switching their tassels from one side to another signifying they are officially high school grads. Just two years ago I was one of these seniors. Life was so good, and I felt like I was on top of the world. I had no idea that my life was going to change so much once I moved away to college, so here is a short, in no particular order, list of things I wish I would’ve known when I graduated high school.

Change is imminent, growth is optional

This is one of the biggest lessons in my life and something my dad has been saying since I was very young. When I graduated high school I had this gut feeling that life was changing, and I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Little did I know that this change was actually going to be one of the best things ever.

The summer before college really is the “last hoorah”

Sad, but true, the summer before you set off for a new life is one of the last summer’s everyone is together. You feel like you’re on top of the world, but the following summers turn into working, losing college weight, and maybe even online classes. After high school ends, summers become a time where everyone is trying to catch up or get ahead for the next school year. It is important to do as much as you can with the people you love the summer before freshman year.

Your friends will change

This is something people always say, “your high school friends won’t stay that way forever.” Again, sad, but true. Enjoy the time you have with the friends who are at the same points in their life as you are.

Some friends are forever

Although this does contradict the last tip, I do believe some friends stay forever. The girls featured in the picture above are still my friends. It isn’t always easy, but sending a text or sharing a tweet every so often is a good way to check in with the people who truly are meant to be with you for the long haul.

It’s okay to not know what the hell is going on

This is also a big one for me. I got to college and felt like everyone knew what they were doing with their life, and I was so wrong. Everyone (for the most part) is just as confused in life at the start of college as you are. It’s not a bad thing. Run with the fact that you don’t know what’s going on, and try as many things as you possibly can.

You are going to meet some crazy people

I don’t know how to say this any other way, and crazy isn’t used in a negative connotation. Whether you go to a small school or a huge school, you are bound to meet people from all walks of life. It’s important to keep an open mind and remember that not everyone was brought up or as lucky as you.

Learn as much as you can

Learn in the classroom. Learn from your peers. Learn from the social setting. Learn from it all. Remember that you are extremely lucky to be attending a higher institute of education. Take school seriously in all aspects, and just learn as much as you can about life.

Stay true to yourself

My first year of college was crazy. There were new things and experiences everywhere. At the end of the day, if you don’t want to take a class or don’t want to succumb to a peer pressure don’t. I know that it’s easier said than done, and it is a good thing to change and grow. All I’m saying is that it’s also okay to stay true to your values because they are your values.

Get active and participate on campus

This is huge. Get to know your professors and peers. I was so nervous to join clubs and participate in anything on campus in fear of not knowing what I was doing. The best part is that other students or professors were once like you, and they will help you along the way. The more you participate in clubs or registered organizations on campus, or even in your classes, the more you can learn and put on a resume later on. You meet so many cool people that you’ll become friends with, and in my case, I feel so much more welcome on campus.

Call your parents

They were young once too. Call them often. Tell them you love them. If something bad happens they can help. Your success is all they want.

In the end, have fun. You are about to embark on a crazy, fun, confusing adventure. These are just some of the tips I can think of off the top of my head. There is a lot more you will probably think of once you make it too. College is a love-hate relationship; just remember that.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a “K”

Reasons I FALL for CMU

Where has the time gone? It has been about 2 months since my last blog post. In short, I have been extremely busy with school. Originally, I started drafts for some posts a couple weeks ago, but I never got around to posting them, much less finishing them.

Seeing as I have been at school for almost 2 full months now, I thought it would be a good idea to let everyone know why I love my school. Fall is my favorite season with all the football, pumpkins, warm flavors, cooler weather, nature’s beauty, and so much more. Spending my falls on the beautiful Central Michigan University campus makes life that much sweeter.

Central Knows How to Tailgate

Anyone who knows me knows that I love football. Whether Central does well or not, there is something to be said about wearing my favorite maroon and gold around campus screaming “FIRE UP CHIPS” everywhere I go.

Central’s Campus

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picture from cmichphotostore.photoshelter.com

If you have ever been lucky enough to walk through CMU’s campus during the peak of fall you know that this campus is beautiful. Between the maroon and yellow mums placed around campus to the rows of trees boasting their fall colors, there is so much beauty on this smaller Michigan campus. I try to savor as much time along the colorful paths before winter comes to town.

There is Always Something Going On

The beginning of every new year means every club on campus wants you to join. There are so many ways to get involved on campus, especially during what ends up being the busy season. Clubs offer various opportunities to volunteer, join them, and best of all free food. People and clubs are always outside of the UC offering ways to get to know campus better.

Even More Fun Off Campus

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The second one leaf on a tree changes from green to orange or yellow people go crazy with anything fall related. Central is surrounded by a community that also offers activities during the fall. There is a local pumpkin patch as well as small businesses that offer fall fashion or fall inspired foods and beverages. Not to mention, there are various parks where you can enjoy even more of the season’s beauty with a nice walk or even hammocking under the falling colors.

As you can see, there are multiple reasons I love my school and its community. There is something unexplainable about the feeling I get when walking around my campus on a sunny day with the colors all around me. As we celebrate our 125th anniversary as a university on campus I hope that students, alumni, and future students fall for the traditions and beauty that is CMU.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a “K”

Dear College Friends

Dear College Friends,

At this time last year, I had no idea you even existed. I had no idea that you living just a few doors down from me would be a lifesaver. I had no idea that we would become friends over the mutual hate of a class, and that even though we don’t see each other in class every single day doesn’t mean we aren’t friends. I had no idea that you would push me out of my comfort zone to meet new people and try new things.

This isn’t high school anymore, and you guys quickly helped me realize that we need to grow up a little, meet new people, and learn something new about ourselves.

I won’t lie, some of my best friends here at college probably have no clue that they mean so much to me and others didn’t necessarily like me at first. Being placed on the floor that I was in the dorms and the class sections I got into full-heartedly reinforces my belief in the fact that everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that the people I have met and bonded so well with were put into my life each for a different, but very specific reason.

The people on my floor have taught me so much about myself, the person I strive to be, they’ve challenged me to think outside myself, and more. The people who have lived with me or right next to me have pushed me to be myself because there isn’t anything better than being comfortable with the things you do and the person you are. Each personality on my floor is just that; a big personality. I feel lucky to know people who are so unique and who unwillingly deal with me every day. It is crazy to me how everyone on my floor is so different from me in the facts of where we came from and how we were raised, yet we are all so similar that it just kind of works. I know that we will never have another “Dungeon” like this again, but I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have been put in this room, with the roommates that put up with me, and the neighbors that became my best friends. I never knew that the first time I meet them, less than a year later my heart would ache at the thought of leaving them for the summer.

The people who I consider friends in my classes have helped me to branch out in different ways. Before college, I thought I was such a people person because I could talk to anyone about almost everything. Once I started to attend college classes I felt like a voice lost in the a sea of other voices, so I talked way less in classes and kind of thought that I wasn’t as good at making friends as I thought I was. This all changed when I was put into groups in certain classes (thank you professors) or I sat next to the same person everyday in certain lectures. I am so thankful for the implied “unassigned assigned seats” rule because without that I don’t think I would have made some of the friends that I have. It’s funny that just by sitting in the same seat everyday I found people who have so much in common with me. The people in my classes may not know that they had such an impact on my first year but I think that the only reason I can remember certain classes is because of these people.

To all the others who happened to stumble into my life; whether it be through a mutual friend or by my pure luck, thank you for the endless laughs and adventures. I feel sad knowing that I have to part with the people I meet and came to love in the past couple of weeks, but I have faith that we will stay connected. I am lucky to live near so many of my new friends, and I hope we can hangout at some point this summer.

I really am sad to leave all these people I once called strangers, and I don’t know what it will be like not seeing them every day. I do know that we live in a generation where those who are important to you can and have the abilities to keep in touch, and I am confident in the fact that I will stay in touch with the ones who took the time to get to know me and love me during this first year.

Thanks for everything,

Krystal, With a “K”

 

 

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Dorm Room Essentials

So, I have talked about moving into school in previous posts, and now that I have been here over a month I thought that it was fitting to talk about some things I already know that can’t live in my dorm room without. I moved into Central Michigan University over a month ago now. The dorms here are larger than most expect. I mean don’t get me wrong, they are way smaller than the bedroom I was used to at home, but they are larger than most other universities. We have four girls living in a suite style, so the list below is a collection of what we believe every dorm should have. These are in no specific order of importance and are not in any specific category.

1. Keurig – coffee, DUH!

2. Mini Fridge – you really won’t always want to walk down to the caf, and midnight snacks are always a great idea

3. Microwave – you will need to warm up those leftovers from that one time you went out. Wasting food in college should be illegal!

4. Fan(s) – if you think that universities pay for every room to have air you need to reevaluate your life

5. Christmas lights – if your dorm is anything like mine then you won’t always want the harsh main light. Christmas lights give a cozy feel to the room

6. Under the bed storage – long story short I have enough clothes to fill a dorm by itself so storage for underneath my bed allowed me to bring more clothes to school

7. Command Strips & Hooks – your walls WILL be bare if you don’t bring these. Our posters, picture boards, flags, you name it wouldn’t hang without command strips

8. Futon/chair (extra seating) – I like my dorm room and so do some other people on our floor, so they need a place to sit (or sleep if they stay) when we are all hanging out. Also, sitting on only your bed or only at your desk can get redundant

9. Body pillow(s) – pillows that fit to you are a gift from above and make my bed 100X more comfotable

10. Shower racks – it allows us to use the most of our space and store more

11. White board – it’s nice to know where everyone is, so if you hang it somewhere that everyone in the room will see it you can write where you are when you aren’t in the room. It is also nice to do math problems on it for your homework on so you don’t waste paper/notebooks

12. Brita/ Water Filter – I want to know that the water I drink is safe and this way I don’t have to go down the hall to a water fountain everytime I need to fill my waterbottle

13. Cleaning supplies –  dirty dorm rooms, ew!

14. Air freshner – I brought a Bath & Body Works Wall Flower and just having that in our main room freshens up the dorm and can make you feel so much better. Plus, you can change the scents and most people come in and compliemnt how the room smells

15. Rugs – our floors are tile, so it makes the dorm cozier with the rugs. Also, to wipe your feet off when you come in the door eliminates a lot of dirt that can be tracked around the room

16. Towel Wrap – my roommates and I all have 2 towels and a towel wrap which you can find at Target. In case you don’t know, towel wraps are these towels with velco near the top so that you can walk around in your towel without havind to worry about it falling down

17. Wall Decorations- Wall decor is a must because nothing feels like home more than putting up your favorite posters, pictures, flags, and more. Plus, the walls are so bare and who wants to stare at a bare wall?

It seems like a long list, and you are thinking “how do I fit this all in a tiny dorm room?” Well you can make it work; we did! These help to make living in a dorm an easier adjustment from home, and everyone on your floor will love your room just as much as you.

Pictured above are some of the items in my dorm that I listed above.

-Krystal, With a “K”

Now That I am Here

Move-in day has come and gone. I have squeezed my life into a small box with three other people, and we are surviving. It has been over two weeks, the honeymoon phase is over, and classes have begun. My schedule is both good and bad, filled with both jam-packed days and lazy days. I will not lie to you and say that it was so easy to conform to college, and that classes are a breeze. My roommates and I don’t agree on everything all of the time. My classes give a good amount of work, and yes it is every single day. College isn’t high school. Everyone is here for a much different reason. You don’t have your mom and dad telling you that you can’t go out because your homework isn’t done. The change has been much different, but I am getting much more used to it. I have already met such amazing people who are changing my perspective. I’m learning more than I thought I could and I’m only in GenEds. I have had so much fun, yet I have had to learn (and am still learning) to balance my time. I want to do well in school, but I am also a typical college student who thinks that they are on top of the world. College truly is like anything you’ve ever experience. There is so much freedom and much responsibility. I honestly love it, and can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds!

–Krystal, with a “K”

Goodbyes Suck

Saturday, August 20th will mark a major day in my life; college move-in day. Where did senior year go? What happened to summer? I never expected everything to be done quicker than it started. Although I know that I have so much to look forward to, as my parents and I shove as much of my life as we can fit into a dorm room with someone else, it is all very bittersweet. I never thought about what this day might actually be like. Originally this was just another date on the calendar, something I didn’t put much heart into because it wasn’t happening yet or I would say “we’ll deal with it when it comes”. Well, now it is here. As the last couple of weeks have come it has hit me faster and harder that I will be gone and people’s lives will go on whether I am by their sides or not. That sounds so harsh and sad but it is what has motivated me to spend time with the ones I love as long as I can. Seeing the title of this entry you already know where I am going with the rest this. You can’t hangout with friends without leaving. Every gathering comes with a really hard goodbye. Every hug brings uncertainty of the next time you will see one another. It becomes really hard to even hangout with people because you don’t want to leave them. I am here to say that I have always hated saying my goodbyes, yet I get through them anyway. What I have learned is that it is okay to be sad and it is okay to cry. It is okay to miss your parents and its okay to miss your friends. I’ve come to the conclusion that you need to tell everyone how you feel about them and you can’t let words go unsaid. If you love someone then tell them. Life is too fragile to not tell people how you really feel. So, hangout with your family, sing your favorite songs at the top of your lungs with your best friends, and cry even when you’re happy with others because it will be gone before you know it. In the end, I will most likely have a tantrum more embarrassing than the 3 year-old at the grocery store when I leave my favorite people, but I don’t mind. Life is just too short to care what everyone around you thinks, and I care too much about the ones I love to not  make a scene.

–Krystal, with a “K”

Here are a few pictures with some of the hardest goodbyes (excluding my family).