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”

 

Advertisements

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”

 

January Check-in

Hello pretty people, how’s it going? Today is the first truly snowy Saturday of the season for me in Central Michigan. I thought that now would be as perfect of a time as ever for me to check-in with everyone since it’s been a month from my last post.

The transition home has been pretty much what I expected. Some days I’m perfectly fine and frankly too busy to think of missing Florence while other days are extremely hard. I try to stay busy and think of the good times and how lucky I am to miss it on those days.

My semester has started off with a bang as I have moved into my first apartment at school, started classes, extra circulars, and jobs. Somehow I am still lucky enough to have free time during the weekends. I’m ready to get started on some big projects to help me learn more about the professional field of public relations. In addition, I am spending some free time applying for summer internships.

I’ve also found some time to catch up with all my friends here at school. It’s a little bittersweet telling them of my travels and experiences, but I love hearing about their recent semester.

Now, to the less boring part of this post. In part because of my New Year’s resolution (which I will soon post about), I’m hoping to post on a more regular schedule, maybe once a week or once every two weeks. I won’t know until I get a little bit busier and make a more definite plan for myself. I have some ideas to write about my school life and (finally) some that don’t have to do with Florence, despite the fact that it is etched in my being at this point.

If there is anything anyone would like to see a post about, leave a comment below or contact me on any of my social media. I’d love to hear from anyone.

Have a great, long weekend and a happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

As always,

Krystal, with a “K”

Bucket List Checkmarks: Oktoberfest

Ever since we were kids, we’ve had mental lists of things we have to do and the places we need to go. In the past few years alone I’ve checked off numerous places on my personal list, like Lambeau field, the Bahamas, California, New York City, and tons more.

As I’ve grown older and been blessed by my God with endless opportunities to travel and experience life, I’ve been able to add to my list.

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to check off another place on my bucket list that I wasn’t aware was one it until I got to Europe. Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Although it was too short of a weekend, I had the time of my life.

I’ll try my best to quickly summarize one of the best times of my life: After what seemed like extensive and exhausting travel with late buses and hotel complications, I found myself begging that the fest would be worth our troubles. If only I had truly known what I would be in for.

We went to the actual event on a Sunday that started with the impeccable luck of finding a dirndl place actually open (stores in Germany aren’t usually open on Sundays). Once we got dressed and made the trek from our hotel to img_2540

Oktoberfest I couldn’t wait any longer. I have been to multiple large events, for example, the Houston Rodeo, but this, this was different. Carnival games, food, and people of all kinds everywhere.

There may be a catch to this in the fact that half the reason I had such an amazing time was that of the people I went with. I was lucky enough to take my close study abroad friends to meet up with my cousin and his friends. Endless pretzels, beers, and laughter filled the rest of the day. We chose to ride the ferris wheel that overlooks the whole festival and city, and if I could suggest doing one carnival type thing, it would be to ride the ferris wheel.

During the evening my friend Jamie and I  finally got our fix of Starbucks that we’ve been craving (because Germany has theIMG_0586 coveted coffee company that Italy doesn’t want) which helped me feel even more at home in the cool fall weather that was hitting the city. At night we wandered around Munich making our way to the Hofbräuhaus. Drinking beer in the original hall that made it through the World War II bombings is something I will surely never forget.

In the end, all day we acknowledged the fact that we were living in a bucket list moment. My heart was so full from being able to experience the fest with close friends and one of
my cousins who has been like a brother to me. I am definitely not taking Oktoberfest off of my bucket list, as I plan to someday in my future go back, hopefully with more family. Oktoberfest was one of the best days of my life thus far, and I can’t wait for the day I can go again with more of my favorite people.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a “K”

Florence Frenzy

Frenzy (/ˈfrɛnzi/): a state or period of uncontrolled excitement or wild behavior.

Just a little bit over two weeks ago I stepped off a plane in my new home, Florence, Italy. The first 24 hours of my stay were full of uncertainties, fear, excitement, and exhaustion. The lack of caffeine and sleep from traveling left me in a state of shock, and it wasn’t until I had my first glimpse of this Renaissance city’s crown jewel that I knew I was right where I belonged.

img_1056.jpgFrom the Duomo (the so-called crown jewel) to the people I’ve met so far, this city has already captured a huge part of me. I’ve spent most of my first days exploring both the touristy parts of the city as well as the more authentic side. I already have my favorite gelato and coffee places, knowing my order in Italian at both. I have totaled more than 300,000 steps since being here, and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

Aside from exploring my city, some new friends and I adventured out to Cinque Terre.IMG_1079 Literally meaning five lands, this city sits on the northwestern coast of Italy. We traveled with a student travel company (Bus2Alps) to see three of the five towns. The best part of this day trip was the hike from Vernazza to Monterosso (town four to town five). The hike IMG_3805was difficult in the beginning, starting with virtually a straight climb up narrow, makeshift staircases, but the views on the mountainside made it all worth it. Once we got to Monterosso we made our way to the famous, fresh margarita buckets and then to the beach where we swam in the saltiest water I’ve ever set foot in.

My classes are unlike anything I’ve experienced back home in Michigan. I focused on taking classes that would count as electives here so that I could really experience Italy’s culture. IMG_2087The classes are once a week, but they are two and a half hours long each time we meet. I’m working on my Italian both in class and in the city daily. I’m learning about the history of Florence’s architecture in my ceramics class by using the same methods that early Florentines used when creating the city. I’m exploring the wine culture of Italy and discovering that I, in fact, do like some dry wines with two wine tastings each time we meet. I’m learning more about my personal camera and photography in general in my street photography class. Finally, I’m discovering the healthy lifestyle of the Italian people in and health and fitness class where we hands-on learn why this culture is so much healthier than ours.

As you can see, there is a lot that I am doing with my time here in Florence. I am in love with my life more than I ever have been before. I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to make my dream a reality. I want to thank anyone who encouraged me to do this, and of course, I want to thank my family for love and support. I will try to keep my blog updated as much as possible with my upcoming travels and Florence discoveries.

Arrivederci!

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”

 

 

fullsizeoutput_13eb

New Year, New Goals!

Every New Year my goals tend to be the same whether that includes losing some weight, trying to overall be healthier, be a better friend/sibling/daughter or any other New Year’s resolution that most people have. This year I have found myself in the same list of resolutions. Since going to college I have put on a little bit of the so-called “Freshman 15”, so of course being healthier and losing weight is on my list. Also, since I will return to school I want to be a better person to those I love or maybe don’t even know.

I know that it is already January 4th, but resolutions can begin at any time as long as you start them and consciously try to make a change.

I am sick of looking at the same list and feeling trapped in the couple things I don’t always feel are easy to change. When I looked at the items on my list this year, I decided that I need some new goals. Of course, I took to Pinterest where there are so many resolution ideas that I am above overwhelmed.

Instead of following one blogger’s specific list or taking a pin and trying to copy it completely, I decided to take goals that seemed to fit into my lifestyle. The goals that I found and put into a single list will, for the most part, confuse you, so let me explain.

In the end, my list sounds a little like this:

  1. Get more sleep
  2. Drink more water (preferably amount needed in a day)
  3. Exercise more regularly
  4. Don’t always say the first thing that comes to your mind when talking to others
  5. Be conscious of what you put in your body
  6. Take more time to get to know me
  7. Be more open-minded
  8. Spread more love
  9. Study more consistently
  10. Choose happiness

Okay, so that was a lengthy list, and the thought of me finishing them all 100% isn’t completely likely. What is great about all of the goals I have are that they fit into what my previous goals were. By sleeping more, exercising more regularly, thinking about what I eat, and drinking more water I will get closer to the weight I want and being overall healthier. The remaining goals fit into becoming a better person.

Now, you may be thinking that I contradicted my whole entry because my goals are broken down versions of my original goals. I’m telling you, THAT IS THE POINT. By breaking down my goals into more in-depth ways to make myself better, I have a place to start!

I hope that this entry helps you to break down your goals that seem impossible. Remember that you have 365 days (okay a little less than that now) to try and make some changes. You will fail, and that’s the beauty of New Year’s goals or any goals: you have a fresh start every day that you wake up.

Go kick butt, and prove to the world and the year 2017 that your goals weren’t useless! Goodluck!

-Krystal, With a “K”

 

 

 

(My) 2016 in Review

Hello all! I hope that everybody enjoyed their holidays and that they got everything they wished for! As for me, I got my wisdom teeth out three days before Christmas, so I spent the holiday in pain although I was surrounded by my favorite people; my family.

As with every year, once you make it to Christmas, the rest of the days fly by and it isn’t too long before everyone is boasting about how 2017 will be their year. I like to take the last few days of the year to chill out, enjoy my family and friends, and reflect on the year I had. Originally, I planned to get this out before the end of the year, but my procrastination got the better half of me.

I have been through and done a lot this past year, so I thought I would write an entry about things I have learned and where I hope the lessons will lead me.

I want to first say that I went into 2016 feeling better than ever because I knew I was only a couple months away from finishing high school. It was a little bittersweet for me at the time and looking back on it because everything I did was most likely the last of it. I tried not to wish away the year, but honestly the last months of high school flew by. By the time May hit (graduation month) I had such a busy schedule. I went to my cousin’s wedding out of town, watched my dad retire from 30 years of military service (it’s a huge deal), and then attend my own graduation, and my graduation party. I had a really busy last month of high school. I was sad to see it go, yet I was hopeful for what my future held.

Once June hit I was working 2 jobs, planning vacations and beach days, and trying to spend every last waking moment with the people I love. It was a busy summer to say the least. I blogged about most of my trips, so I won’t bore you with those details again. I loved summer. I really had to manage time between my family, friends, and work while gearing up for college. As the last days of summer began to wind down, I started to get emotional. It was the first time that I was going to have to work for the relationships that I wanted to keep, and it was very difficult for me at some points to even say goodbye. In the end, I had to leave no matter what, so I had to say my goodbyes while trying my best to stay in touch.

By the end of August, I was moved into Central Michigan University. The first week before classes began I attended CMU’s “Leadership Safari”. It was a great way for me to meet many new people, learn a lot of leadership skills, and get acquainted with my new home. It began with early mornings, long days, and even later nights. My first semester was all about new beginnings while learning the “ways” of college. Let me tell you, it was not the easiest thing that I’ve ever done, but I met some awesome people who helped me along the way. At the end of the semester, it was weird to say goodbye to people that I had spent almost every day with to come home to old friends.

Christmas vacation was the end to my year. I think that I have spent most of my time on the couch, doing nothing. I stayed in touch with some friends but not all. I definitely made some mistakes this year that I am not proud of, yet there is a new beginning after each new day to make things right and make a change. As with each new day there are new years to make new mistakes and chances to grow from them.

2016 was a really big year for me. It was filled with ups and downs like most years. I am confident entering 2017, and I am hopeful for what the year will hold for me and my loved ones. Cheers to 2016; hello 2017!

-Krystal, With a “K”

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”