Tag Archives: college

Strategic Lack of Effort

You sit around the war room table, ill-prepared for the battles that are about to take place. The leader of one of the neighboring factions reads the rules of warfare to the collective of five divisions. None of you fully understand these mysterious words that are being read, but you feel as if you get the gist of it and cautiously begin your mission to secure borders.

The war begins at a slow pace. The four men you are plotting against claim their territories, while you, the only female, quickly secure what used to be known as South America. You observe as battles break out in the old European territories. One faction leader in particular (a boisterous, bearded fellow who gets quite excited when he wins) seems to be unstoppable. His mark of purple terror spreads like wildfire. You realize that he must be stopped, no matter what the cost.

You send your troops north to invade North American territories, as well as to the east to join the effort in toppling the purple army. You try to defeat the lone soldier, Reginald, in Southern Europe, but have the worst luck you’ve ever seen in battle and lose three men, causing you to retreat. Some battles are successful, others devastating. No matter how the battles turn out though, the bearded general cannot seem to be thwarted by any of the other faction leaders.

Throughout the war, you form a quiet alliance with the dashing leader of the mechanical army to your right. You move past the fact that you tried to slay his prized commander, Reginald, knowing that you must stop the nonsensical violence. As battles rage on, the two of you work together to strategize the demolishment of the tank battalion. While your comrade keeps the enemy at bay, you successfully take over the North American base. Both you and the awkward, new age Nazi leader are now head to head in the race to end the war. The fate of the free world hangs in the balance.

You study the lay of the land to find the best way to victory. You realize that if that you can claim the European headquarters, you can resolve the mindless bloodshed. But, it is your ally’s base that you must invade. In a moment of bluntness, you exclaim, “If you let me conquer you, we can beat Jon!” You don’t necessarily process how odd this sentence is; you are hyper focused on winning this war.

The leader of the mechanical army agrees to your master plan. Through a blatant lack of effort, your comrade loses his headquarters to you, even while the other generals shout at him to not let his biases blind him to the end goal. The end goal though has become larger than the individual: everyone’s mission is to defeat the Nazis. After hours of struggle, you have won the war. You sign the peace treaty, but prepare yourself for the next war that will inevitably break out again in the foreseeable future.

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(Haven’t written in second person in a hot second, so I thought I’d give it a try. This was from a riveting game of Risk: Legacy that was played very late at night with my boyfriend and his roommates. Not gonna lie, was very proud of myself for winning the first of fifteen wars that will be fought over the rest of this semester, even though I thoroughly embarrassed myself with my outbursts. While the future wars are unclear, one thing is certain: we can never let Jon win. Stay tuned for possible new story times.)

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

Thoughts on Twilight…About Ten Years Late

“There’s things you don’t do after a break up: 1) Start doing drugs 2) Start smoking                       3) Read f***ing Twilight.” -A dear friend of mine in the middle of a snow storm

 

Unless you were living under a rock in the mid-2000’s, you probably heard the term, “twilight” thrown around all the time. It wasn’t because society had suddenly found interest in this specific time of day; it was due to the wild popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s romance series Twilight that had recently begun being adapted to film. I was ten years old when the first film was released, but I remember clearly my middle school friends all gawking and fangirling over either the guy who played the vampire or the guy who played the werewolf as the movies gained popularity. Fast forward to my almost 21-year-old self, who has just recently completed the book series and has a few thoughts on this polarizing saga.

48406840_1926730457443444_6715674713009422336_nFirst though, a bit more background. I grew up in a Christian household with loving parents who knew I was an avid reader that inhaled stories. However, as Meyer’s books began to rise in the ranks of pop culture, so did the Christian Blogger Moms rise to write against the story. The wrote posts saying that people shouldn’t be reading these books because they had *gasp* vampires in them (sparkly ones at that). My mom, wanting to do her best for her dorky middle schooler, didn’t let me read the book series. Personally, I had no problems with this. I wasn’t into romance and was more interested in my growing love for Star Wars. Ironically, after letting me read all the Left Behind books (which by the way, REALLY INTENSE), my parents allowed me to read Harry Potter as I would avoid reading the vampire books. So I guess, Thanks Stephenie, cause I really like the child wizard books.

IMG_3785.JPGRecently though, my mom decided to start listening to Twilight books on the Libby app, which is this nifty little thing that my local library is linked through. After listening to her talk about them for a few weeks, I rolled my eyes and started reading the first book before bed. Now, let me remind you all I am a full time college student and was working three jobs at the time when I started reading this, so it wasn’t until about two weeks after starting the book that I was able to focus on it over Thanksgiving Break. I had a long car ride and was able to finally get the idea as to why so many people liked the series. In an odd way, the mediocre romance between the klutzy human girl and the attractive vampire dude was fun and a way to let my brain relax and enjoy reading for fun again, which I haven’t gotten to do in a hot minute.

As finals creeped closer and life kept throwing massive curve balls at me, I began listening to the audio books for the last three books. Let me tell you, when you’re spending hours on end at a computer animating or walking about a half mile to the fine arts building every day, it’s nice to have an engaging story to listen to through the day. Over the course of three weeks, I managed to complete the series and I can honestly say I don’t feel like I wasted brain cells on these books. Yes, the writing isn’t the greatest; we all know this. But it was fun and something I was able to use as an escape from what seemed to be constant chaos around me. And a lot of fun things came from me reading the books in my relationships.

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  • I was able to bond with my roommate over how frustrated I would get over fictional characters.
  • I was able to make one of my buddies laugh many times with my overview of the series.
  • My suite mates watched the first movie with me the day before a much needed snow day, and enjoyed a lovely pizza night while watching New Moon.
  • Making observations with my parents on the films, such as, “Wow, that CGI wolf truly is a better actor than the actual guy.”

 

Twilight is not a masterpiece. However, the themes of sacrificial love and the power a woman has truly were inspiring to both read and watch on screen. Granted, I am thankful I did not read these in my formative years. The obsessive love between Edward and Bella is *not* healthy in the dating stage of a relationship. Our culture is saturated with the idea of the “perfect partner.” Think of Jim in the hit TV show, The Office. He’s the dream guy, right? He’s funny, cute, charming, smart, chases after the girl he’s in love with… and has a script. People don’t talk like they do on screen or in books. There are times when we can get caught up in looking for the picture perfect match when we really need to be searching for the other flawed human being that can weather the storms of life with you faithfully. However, the love that Edward and Bella share is a love that should be strived for with your spouse. While it takes time to achieve, this love comes after intentionally learning the other person, through better or worse. On top of all this, Bella is not a damsel in distress. In all four books, she is the hero who always puts the needs of others above her own. She and Edward complement one another, working as a team when things get tough, but in Meyer’s narrative, the author shines a light on how powerful a woman can be. I feel that the books do a wonderful job of showing that a woman can be powerful while also working alongside a man, which is how God intended us to function in our married lives.

There’s so many more words I could write about this series, but I will choose to leave it here for now: a fun adventure I dove into during a hard time in my life. And hey, finding biblical truths from books about blood sucking dudes that sparkle in the sunlight? Not a bad way to spend Christmas break. Twilight made me excited about reading again, and I look forward to spending more time enjoying a pastime that has shaped me into the person I am today.  

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

P.S. Alice is the best character in the whole dang series and I will fight anyone who tells me otherwise.

Lessons Learned from the Hardest Semester of my Life

Walking out of my math final at 2:43 Thursday afternoon was the best feeling in the entire world. This semester was by far the hardest semester of school I have ever stumbled through, and I feel as though I have learned a few things that might be able to help others who decide to make the journey through the insanity that is college.

1.Grades do not define who you are. 

Heaven’s sakes, everyone needs this hammered into their brain. You’ve probably heard this before, but the grade you get does not tell you whether or not you are smart. You can get a D on a test and still be a really intelligent human being. Yes, it can really suck (trust me I know), but that red mark isn’t a reflection of your intelligence.

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2. Avoid starting online classes during the week you need to save China.

In translation: try to avoid starting a class during a very busy week where you can’t focus very well on it. Lesson. Learned. Starting my online class the show week of Mulan was very crazy, and I am so very thankful for wonderful friends who put up with me that week while I was dying.

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3. Let sleep happen.

There are some nights where it feels like you feel like you need to stay up till 3am studying, but there are times where you just have to let yourself catch some zzz’s. Yes, there will be late nights, but try not to let them happen too many nights in a row.

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4. Literature teachers are really hard graders.

I’ve taken upper level classes before, but word of warning: if your English/literature/History teacher seems super chipper and really passionate, they will be the hardest graders EVER. Writing is kind of my thing when it comes to school work, so getting an 82% on my first essay was kind of a wake up call for me. Granted, it was still a decent grade, but I was not crazy about getting a “B” on a writing assignment.

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5. You can make the greatest friends by bonding over your suffering. 

Whether it’s the people at your work table in an art class or the girls in your row in math class, connecting with people who are on the same struggle bus as you can be crucial to making it through the semester. Don’t be afraid to talk to the people around you; you never know when you’ll be meeting someone who will help you through the craziest of times.

(I’m looking at you, Hailey and Emily ;D)

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I am so extremely relieved to be done with this semester, but looking back at it, I am grateful for the many lessons I’ve learned over the course of it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to focus on the really important stuff: STAR WARS OPENS NEXT WEEK! Time to marathon!!!!!!

 

Until Next Week,

 

Abby

Lord, Carry Me

Overall, life is wonderful right now. Compared to where I was at a year ago, it’s like I’m a whole different person. I have changed and grown and learned so much in this past year, and through ups and downs, I have come out stronger.

The last few days though, I have found myself constantly whispering, “Lord, please carry me.” Juggling school, work, Mulan and my spiritual life has been a struggle this past week especially. The biggest struggle has been with my math class; trying to figure out what the heck is going on in that 90 minutes has been a little rough the past five weeks. On top of that, tests freak me out. To put it this way, I would rather write a 15 page research paper than take a 15 question test, (and I know how long is takes to write 15 pages).

While I’ve been creating the habit of getting in my bible every morning, I’ve found it a lot easier to just talk to God. Through the day, I find myself thanking Him for little blessings, and asking for little  boosts of energy to get through the tasks at hand. It’s amazing how much He communicates with us through little whispers throughout day, whether it’s sending someone to say just the right thing or it’s finding 50 cents on the ground to help you pay for another cup of coffee. I’m learning more and more that God really is always there,we just have to put in the effort of building a relationship. And what’s really awesome is that He wants that relationship from all of us. He’s always ready to lift us up and carry us through situations in life, because He knows that we can’t make it through all alone. He’s already doing His part; we’re the ones who need to invest in growing a friendship with Him.

As I type, a pile of homework is sitting in a stack right next to me, waiting to be completed, and I am again finding myself pleading with God to carry me through my final study time before the day is over. I am so thankful that my God is a God that is alive and active in my life, and that He is the one that will never, ever, ever leave me hanging 🙂

I hope to be back to regular blogging soon! Stay tuned for new updates 😀

Until next time,

Abby

Redoing Homework

I am now in full swing at school, which means homework. It’s not super terrible stuff, but my literature class takes a little bit more time than other classes have in the past. So, today, I did my homework in the office of the art lab, planning to print it out there so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it at home. Well, due to the the annoying fact that school computers are the not the most reliable machines to store homework on, when I went to the library to print it out, the file was gone. Nowhere to be found, even though I saved it three times. Needless to say, I was a little less than thrilled.

Obviously, there’s a chance that I made a mistake when I was trying to save the file, but this isn’t the first time this has happened to me at school. Also,saving files is a habit now. I’ve been doing it since elementary school. It’s been engraved into my brain for the last ten years how to save a Word document, so I don’t know how I screwed it up on the computer at my college. Due to the file running away at school, I had to come home and redo the work, which was frustrating, since I had spent an hour and a half at school getting it done the first time. It’s done and printed out, ready for my class tomorrow morning, but as I reflect on the day, I have come to some conclusions.

My day was pretty swell up until 4:30 when the fiasco with my homework happened. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have two art classes, and it’s wonderful. I had worked on two projects that day in Design and Painting, and had gotten some really great feedback from my teachers.

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“After Paris” My line project for Design Project

Monocromatic Painting WIP

“Peach and Flower Still Life” WIP of my first oil painting

I let lost homework almost ruin my entire day. Something that took me only 30 minutes to redo almost messed up six hours of awesome studio time and meeting new people. Often times, I let little things screw up the good things that are going on in my life, and that’s something I’m working hard to fix.

Sometimes, things go wrong. It’s inevitable. But the way that we choose to handle those situations is up to us. God doesn’t ever give us anything that we can’t handle, and through the sucky times in life, He is always there to carry us through them. He cares about every part of our lives, and He wants to helps us through our trails, even if they are smaller ones, like having to redo homework. He doesn’t get mad when we get upset, in fact, those are the times when we can draw closer to Him.

So, what have I learned from today?

  1. I need to put a flash drive on my lanyard and use it all the time.
  2. I need to take my laptop with me to school to avoid the school PCs.
  3. Having to redo homework is not the end of the world (even though it really sucks)

Until next time,

Abby

Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.

Tips to Having Fun at Community College

I am have a lot of friends who are starting their first year of college, and instead of going off to a four year college, they are doing community college (which is honestly probably one of the best decisions that you can make when it comes to getting gen. eds out of the way without burning a huge hole in your pocket). Since I am going into my third year at my current school, I thought I would share a few things that I have picked up during my time at community college.

Join a club. They are so much fun. You make new friends, and often times, there is free food. (I hear that Art Club is lots of
fun.)

Find out when there are events during the week. Most colleges have 3-5 activities per week, and often times, there is free food. (Are you seeing the theme?)

Do your homework. Now, this isn’t a fun activity, but by getting your homework done sooner rather than later, you will have more time to breathe and not feel like you are going to die. Also, this is a great time to eat food.

Play out on the lawn between classes. This might just be at my school, but every now and then, one of my friends will start a game of catch or hacky-sack out on the lawn in the middle of campus. These almost always lead to awesome conversations and/or everyone ending up cracking up because of how bad you all are at hacky-sack. (This is also an ideal time to eat food)

Talk to the humans around you. Seriously. Humans are the best! At college, you’re going to meet so many different kinds of people, so take advantage of this and make new friends. At community college, you will have a lot of opportunities to meet people who are older than you, and these can be the best people to have study groups with. Broaden your horizons and introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. You might find that you have a new person to eat food with!

To all those going back to school this week, I wish you the very best of luck and I hope you have an incredible semester! Make sure that you sleep and feed yourself to keep your brain happy and ready to learn. Let me know if you have any other tips for having fun at school 🙂

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Until next time,

Abby

Why My Parents Don’t Care What I Major In

Right now, I’m in community college, but technically, I’m a junior in high school. In the United States, there is a lot of pressure on high school juniors to figure out exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives career wise.

And that’s freaking scary.

 

Let me get this straight America: You are asking teenagers to decide what they want to do for the next 50 years, and then put thousands of dollars into a place where they will get a piece of paper after four years that is supposed to make them successful. And this doesn’t sound kind of crazy?

Often times, we get caught up in things that seem extremely important now, and we forget the most important thing: Our identity in Christ. ACT/SATs, grades, college applications,  after school activities, and jobs can take up so much of our time and fill up our thoughts. We forget that the only thing that truly matters is what God thinks of us. Our lives are supposed to reflect Him, not the score we get on a test or the college we get into.

I am currently in the process of nailing down my major and finding the college I will attend. It’s terrifying that within the next few years I’ll be out of the house living in a dorm or apartment. On top of that, I am getting a degree that is considered by others to be “impractical”. Art is a hard thing to make a living on. There’s going to be a lot of hustling and odd jobs in my future. But thankfully, my parents are very supportive and want me to do what I’m passionate about.

Here’s the reason why my parents don’t care what my major is: All they want for me is that I have a relationship with Jesus. Everything else is extra. Granted, my mom and dad want me to be a hard worker and to apply myself, but they know that I want to glorify God through art and writing. As long as I’m following Christ, they’re happy. Nothing else matters more than my eternal destiny.

Big changes are coming in my life, and while it’s freaky, I’m excited to see what’s going to happen next. God has opened so many doors for me, and I’m eager to see where I’ll end up in a few years. When you feel stressed about future plans, remember that the only thing that truly matters is my relationship Jesus. Everything else is going to fall into place, and it’s gonna be awesome.

Until Next Time,

Abby