Taking Back My Initiative

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

It’s been a very odd week here in SLO. After heading home for maybe 8 days, Nick and I got back to SLO on Sunday. Let me tell ya, summers here are much quieter than the school year. I mean, there is space to park outside my house… That never happens. 

So much open space outside is starting to remind me that while I know change happens quickly, I kind of forget about it until it hits me in the face. A couple years back, sophomore year of high school I think, I convinced my parents to let me get a bunny while running errands on the way home from a track meet; after all, we found ourselves in a feed store and still had a cage left over from previous rabbits at the house, so when I saw all these little floofs in a cage running around in the store…

Gotta love impulse buys. Fast forward a couple years, I’ve been meaning to bring sed rabbit here with me to college but I’ve been worried about neglecting her. Beyond that being sad, rabbits legitimately need a lot of physical love and time around their humans if they’re going to stay healthy. Last week, I finally realized that this summer would give me the time to hang out with her and she could cool off from 100 degrees to 70s the whole time too. A win-win if I do say so myself. 

Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

But the dream didn’t last very long at all. Long story short, she died on Tuesday morning of a fly strike (if you have a rabbit and don’t know what that is, please do check out the link here) and Nick came running into my room at 7am just in time for me to hold her and give her company. My bun, along with all those little moments and hopes I had for our summer together, were gone in under 2 minutes.

It may seem small, but add onto that a 180 with the 6 month old german shepherd mix that my brother and I are dog sitting. I forgot what it was like to have a pet around that–unlike a small rabbit–has so much uncensored energy, let alone his compulsion to steal our socks constantly and take naps with me on my bed. 

Just like that, my plans changed. And I’m starting to realize that I’m tired being the one it happens to instead of the one that makes it happen.

After throwing myself into a different kind of change, my junior year was full of me constantly moving, completing tasks, starting new ones, connecting to this person or that one, trying new things, and more often than not, surrounded by a whole lot of people.

So I figured this wee would be a much needed change. At least I had hoped it would.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

See, my plan for the summer was to work on my writing (crank out another novel, maybe two), teach myself to animate, working on storyboarding and art, painting, etc. You know, actually doing all the things I don’t have time to do during the year. And I’ve done almost all of it in just this week, minus the whole novel part. 

The challenge, though, is finding company to do it all with. Now I have to figure out who is here, who’s free/who would actually enjoy spending time with me, or where I can go make new friends. I mean, the thing about me is that I love my free time as much as anyone else, but spending my free time doing almost anything with the people I love is almost always preferred. 

In good company, any time can be a good time. But I’m also awkward in newer relationships to find sed company; without knowing where the boundaries are, I can’t always be sure if I can call someone at 11pm to drive around town with the windows down and the music up, or pull someone into late night shenanigans to attempt baking some random pastry at 2am because why not.

I can guarantee I’m not the only person who’s like this, especially in college or when our worlds become a revolving door of people and personalities. I told you, this year was the most social year of my entire life and the year ended just as quickly as it started up—while wonderful in the moment, such a thing tends to leave a little whiplash as to what just happened or what we’re left with at the end of it all.

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

After this year compared to so many previous years of feeling insecure in my friendships, these changes are hard. Going from group to group before landing on something that feels secure only for summer break to get in the way, it’s exhausting. And a girl gets tired of being tired after a little while, you know? So I decided, maybe I’m going to take a little bit of my control back. I might edit that summer plan a little—take out a novel, add in some extra people with a pinch of my own initiative around personal happiness instead—and see where it takes me.

Before I end up in the “real” world and have a legitimate job tying me down, here’s to taking the wheel back in the last summer of this freedom we’re told that we hold.

Could be fun. Happy Friday.  

5 Must-Do’s Before Summer Ends


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 Today, we’re going to talk a little about the average college student’s favorite season— summer.

If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of your summer working or in class— maybe both— and summer is finally winding down to your last few free moments. Even on quarter system, my summer kind of ends when all my friends leave to go back to school and that’s coming up a little too soon.

So how do you make the most out of the time you’ve got left? I’ve got just a few ideas for you.

Take a Trip


Photo by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

If you shop around online and plan it out just right, there are a whole lot of trips cheap enough for the rest of us broke college students that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re trying to get across the country, get out of the country, or road trip down the coast of California (it’s the perfect season for beach bonfires), there are plenty of options.

Now of course, if you’re going out of the country just make sure you have a good way to get back in and a valid passport. Once you’ve got good company and a great destination, book that trip and you’re set to go. If you need something to start you off, check this out.

Take to the Pages


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Sometimes, traveling isn’t an option; at least not literally. There are cases when you really can’t get away, whether you want to be around family for a little longer or there are obligations holding you back. One of the best ways to still get out of town and your own head in the process is to read a book— I know, of course I would suggest such a thing.

But don’t doubt the power of settling down for maybe an hour or two every day, maybe even a half hour, and just reading about a life that doesn’t belong to you. It’s the cheapest form of travel in my opinion, all it takes is a good book and a little imagination.

Take to the Streets


Photo by Anurag Arora on Unsplash

Now when I say streets, I mean exploring where you’re at. I’ve lived in my hometown for most of my life (at least what I remember) and there are still some hidden gems or lost relics that I haven’t been to.

Maybe the world looks different in the mornings, it could be the perfect night for a bonfire (controlled please, we don’t need any more fires), maybe there’s a watering hole right down the street that I’ve never ventured through. I find that in knowing some place or being familiar with it allows for ignorance, it allows us to take the beauty of a place for granted. Take a day and go explore a little, who knows what you’re going to find.

Take to Planning

If you don’t have the time or the money to do any of these things right now, one way you can still technically use your time is to plan for good times in the future. Look up concert listings or plan a trip to Disney, take a peek at your bucket list and plan something that lets you cross another thing out. Wherever you’re at now, plan something to look forward to— even if you can’t slow down now, you’ll have a reason to later.

Take your You Day


Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

Now after all of this, maybe you just don’t have space on your calendar for these things right now— I’ve got an option for that too. Whether you’re stuck in the house, have obligations, have no time to go anywhere, etc. The only thing you need for this one is yourself and a few minutes to spare.

Find something you love to do and relax, put your feet up, treat yourself to breakfast, or go for a run if that’s what floats your boat. Summer is an entirely different atmosphere, even for those of us still in school right now, so use this time while you’ve got it. Before the season really ends, take some time and invest it in yourself, whatever that may look like to you. Make it worth it.

August is a new month of both endings and new beginnings, and that’s kind of an exciting position to be in. But it only lasts a little while, so do yourself a favor and make the most of it. I know I plan to.

And In case you were wondering, like I said last week, my comment section is absolutely still open for any suggestions or requests of what you would like to hear about on my blog!

Happy August everyone. See you Friday.

What it means to have Pride

Welcome to June, the month I finally get to begin my (short) summer, the weather really starts heating up, and the world gets to celebrate something very important.

Welcome to Pride Month.laura-ockel-197421.jpg

If you’ve been on Google today you might have seen the rainbow colors on their doodle for the day, that is something special. Those colors represent the birthday of Gilbert Baker, the man who designed what is now known as the flag that represents LGBTQ+. Though he passed away just this year in March, his activism and his flag, has spread through this world in a way that is very much alive.

That’s what this month is about.

For those of you who do not know, Pride month itself and the celebration of its essence began back in 1969 with the Stonewall Riots: a stand against police harassment towards a group of gay customers in Greenwich Village, New York. At the time, most states had laws passed against the group gathering of LGBTQ+ people, gay bars, and public homosexuality. This riot began in protest of discrimination in the Stonewall Inn, and as people shouted “gay power”, standing up up for their own human rights, they stated something they never saw coming.  

Protests lasted for days with even 1,000 people attending at once. Ultimately, this led to the Gay Liberation Movement and Christopher Street Liberation Day which happened on June 28, 1970; the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with as well as the first Gay Pride march in U.S. history. It covered an entire 51 blocks through to Central Park.
F3FH5XYZY0Known as the “Mother of Pride” for her help in organizing the march, Brenda Howard originated the celebrations  and festivities held every June and also coined what we now know as the term

From there the movement spread, as all movements do, to San Francisco and LA, then Boston and Dallas, and so many more places before the culture behind it had shifted completely into something global. Something stronger. Here in the United States, it took us until our 42nd President, Bill Clinton, to recognize Pride on June 2, 2000. Since then, both Clinton and Obama acknowledged this month, however, President Trump could have been the first Republican President to do so. The future of that possibility is yet to be seen.

Around the world, we celebrate the people who make up the 7.4 billion population we are surrounded by. Among those who have passed away, many of the most incredible people were also a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Have you ever heard of Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues, and one of the highest paid black entertainers of all time? Maybe you know of, Tennesee Williams, writer of the Glass Menagerie? Or how about Sally Ride, the first woman in space? Each of them were a part of LGBTQ+ history, a part of what this world has now come to celebrate, and major contributors to the music, entertainment, and accomplishments of the United States.

We cannot celebrate our history without recognizing all the pieces of it. Just like Black History Month or Women’s History Month,

sorasak-217807 (1)we celebrate Pride as more than a month, but an appreciation for every person it applies to. Because no matter what a person identifies with or what defines who they are, they just might change the world someday. I know some LGBTQ+ people who have already changed mine.

Before Baker’s flag emerged in 1978, the symbol of gay pride was a pink triangle— Hitler made homosexuals wear them as a tag during World War Two. We have come a long way, legalizing gay marriage two years ago, but there is still a long road ahead as the world around us becomes more accepting of what being an “American” really means. From accepting that racism is still an issue to coming to terms with the status of our Earth’s climate, things have changed a lot since I was born, but not as much as I believe they will in the future.

One way or another, an easy way to bring change is with education— today, I hope you learned a little bit more about what Pride Month really means. Whether you identify with, support, or simply understand the community, know that like any other identity in this world, it deserves to be respected at the very least. If you join in on the celebration this year, at a Pride parade or anywhere else, it’s important to know the boundaries not to cross— how to appreciate without accidentally discriminating. Like Gilbert Baker believed when creating the flag, “We needed something beautiful, something from us. The rainbow is so perfect because it really fits our diversity in terms of race, gender, ages, all of those things.”

Not only did he create a beautiful flag, he created a safe space for more equality, brought people together, and probably changed so many lives in the process. Because thdimitar-belchev-235925at is the beauty change in this world and the ability people have to come together in communities. In a world of 7.4 billion people and 12 months to celebrate each of every one of us, this one is for LGBTQ+. And that is the beauty of Pride.

P.S. If you want to learn any more, click on all those blue words and it’ll take you right to the info!

Time Flies When…

And just like that, week 6 of the quarter is now over. I would say finally, but it seems a little too bittersweet for that. We are now over halfway through our final quarter of freshman year here at Cal Poly and the atmosphere is starting to change ever so slightly. You know those moments when you know something is coming but nobody wants to talk about it? Everyone is gearing up for the end, the mass exodus from the dorms and the entirety of our first year here. But just as excited as people seem to leave, we all seem to be holding on just a little tighter too.stefan-kunze-26932.jpg

It’s almost as if the stress, the lack of sleep, and the never-ending midterms are all worth it in the end when the pay-off is bigger than us— we get the ultimate experience. Think about it, we live with all of our friends, food is maybe a 2 minute walk away (unless you live in the towers or apartments), you can get up late and still make it to class on time, and if you’re looking for a party, you don’t have to go too far. Despite the occasional burnt bag of popcorn that leaves a room smelling like fire for at least a week, the freshman set up really isn’t so bad. I guess you could say it’ll be something worth missing.

But maybe that’s the point; the closer to the end we get, the more we realize how much we might miss something. As my parents like to “suggest“/remind me of, college only lasts for 4 years, and I have to take this opportunity to make the most of it. Is that why I went to a concert on Wednesday night when I had a midterm Thursday morning? Maybe… The point is that we all have to live our lives in a way we won’t regret all the things we didn’t do by the time we start really missing the youth we will no longer have.

Even though I’ve been a college student for about eight months now, I’m just starting to realize that college life really is a world of its own. This is the in-between. We are largely unsupervised, but still hold the integrity of paying for whatever we walk across that maria-mekht-149860.jpgstage with. We come in knowing barely anyone and leave in less than a year with people who know us better than some of the people we spent the last eighteen years of our lives with. And for some people, we left trying to get out of a town that we can’t wait to appreciate nine months later.

So here I sit, third floor common room just like I started out this year, and I am writing one of the final blog posts of my freshman year. As I look at the calendar, there are only five Fridays left here before I head back home for five weeks of summer before my summer session classes begin here. Five weeks seems like forever, but so did an entire three quarters here. And look where we are now.

Time flies when you’re…

When you’re what? I’ll be honest, this year has not been as much fun for me as I’m sure it was for some people. From a major science struggle to basically changing the direction of my future and building friendships I wasn’t sure would survive, fun is not quite the word I would use for this year. But the thing is, time still did pass me by a lot faster than I was prepared for. Like I said, I will only be a freshman for five more weeks. I guess it makes me wonder, how did the seasons change so quickly? Maybe it wasn’t all fun, and yes, it was a struggle, but it was still my life for the past eight months. And that counts for something right? So how about this:

Time flies when you go to a concert despite a midterm the next morning, time flies when you spend three hours in bed talking to your roommate about Harry Potter, time flies when you have exams to prepare for and classes to admittedly sleep through…arno-smit-83025.jpg

Time flies when you remember to live— So this year, I hope you remembered to do the same.

P.S. If there are ever any topics you want to hear me write about or anything you want me to cover, feel free to leave it in the comments section below! Keep and eye out for a Mother’s Day post on Sunday 🙂

The Beginning of the End

Happy Cinco de Mayo, or what is actually the celebration of a battle victory from back in 1862. We are celebrating a lot today, from the beginning of May to the end of the school year. For a lot of semester colleges, this is the end of the road for their year. If you’re a senior, this is the end of an incredible journey— welcome to the beginning of the end.

It’s been a long time coming, but before you know it, summer will be upon us. Summer means heat, sun, and a whole lot more freedom;loreta-pavoliene-2175.jpg at least I’d like to think so. Whether you’ve been working, going to classes, or just working your way to something better, this is it. This is the beginning of the end for all of us.

For the Class of 2017, high school and college alike, take a look around— you made it. This month will fly by even faster that it seems like the rest of your life already has. All the hard work and the late nights, just a few more weeks for a lot of you, and it’ll all pay off in your hands. For high school seniors, this is the last time you’ll walk around campus for a while and really know most of the faces you see. The last time all your teachers will know your name and the entire school will feel like your own stomping ground. The last time the title of home belongs to a single place. Don’t forget to appreciate it all. And for you college, graduating seniors, congratulations. I looked up to a lot of you as a high school freshman and somehow, four years later, you made it to where you wanted to go. It’s time to graduate and assimilate into this world to be the person you set out to be. Nothing says carpe diem like graduation.

So to all of you, seize the day and never stop.

As a student on the quarter system, I’ve still got another 6 weeks of classes before I can be released into the full summer spirit. For a lot of you however, this is it. This is the end of our freshman year. They all told us it would go by quickly, but I know I didn’t really get that until now. Because today, today friends are flying home or taking their last day of classes, people are saying goodbye to friends for the next few months, and everything is wrapping up with all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. Just like that, freshman year is flying by and I barely saw it go. To all my friends finishing up classes, I’m so proud that you msarah-crutchfield-549.jpgade it through the year with flying colors. Welcome to summer. And to my fellow quarter system people, I promise we’re almost there.

I used to think that summer was only important for the kids in school, we’re the ones who got 2 and a half months off with no real responsibilities (before this whole adulting thing). Now though, I’m starting to understand how much the adults, and more specifically our parents, needed it too. Because the longer I think about it, the longer this road of life seems to get. We start off in elementary school, the basic knowledge we need for middle school. Then middle school, honestly, I really don’t know what we did there, and high school where we did everything we could to get into college. I used to think that’s all we needed to do. But then there’s college to get a good job, and a good job to raise a family or just build a good life for ourselves, and the work never really stops from there.

For our parents, the work never really ended did it? Those summers were for them, the vacation they might have saved up over the years and that week or two off they finally get… Those were all for the adults. Considering my parents may be vacationing without us this year, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Because my parents have done a lot for me, even being 6 hours away while Nick and I are here at Cal Poly, they still send care packages or come all the way here for our birthday. annie-spratt-135307At 19,I have to say, adulting isn’t all that great. But all the adults I know… they work their asses off and a vacation during the summer is well deserved. So for all of you who will finally get that break, make the most of it. And thank you.

May means a whole lot of things, like today I had a calculus midterm as a friendly reminder that we’re in the middle of a midterm season that never really ends. But it also means a break, a little more time, hopefully more sun, and a whole lot more relaxing. So for those of you who are finishing up your semester, congratulations on the end of another year. And to the Class of 2017, this is it— I hope you’re ready.