Merry Christmas and happiest holidays to you, friends. It’s been quite some time since my last post, and to say my first quarter of graduate school was a whirlwind is an understatement. When I wasn’t reading nearly 300 pages a week or completing several assignments at a time, I was interning as a school social work intern or working in the admissions office at my graduate school. What little free time I had left was devoted to resting and relaxing and not much else. It doesn’t mean I didn’t think about you or have anything to say. On the contrary. This year, I leave 2017 with more wisdom and self-awareness than I thought possible. My only regret is leaving this realization to the very end–I mean, this is literally the last Monday of 2017. If I’m being honest, I think we oftentimes leave reflecting for this time of year, and that’s for better or for worst. Continue reading
Happy Labor Day, friends! Hopefully, you’ve spent today lounging around instead of laboring away, especially since it is the last unofficial day of summer. That’s right! For so many of you, today is likely the day before school resumes and vacations end. It’s likely the last day you’ll get to sleep in and spend more hours than you’d like to admit on the couch binge-watching your favorite series. And it’s likely the last day you’ll get to swim in the pool before it closes for the year. Today marks a lot of endings and quite a number of beginnings, namely the start of a new chapter in your life. Whether you’re going back to school or heading back to work, this next phase brings with it a host of excitement and maybe even anxiety. Just getting closer and closer to my own first day of graduate school, I can’t help but feel those same first day/next step jitters. I think it’s normal when you enter the unknown–a new space filled with some new people, new challenges, and new celebrations, all of which you can’t even fathom. It can be frustrating, uncomfortable, and maybe even scary. Maybe you’ll start to doubt yourself and your ability. Question whether or not you belong. Wonder whether or not you can handle the rigor, the professors, the peers, the colleagues, the boss, the work itself. I know I have.
Happy happy Friday, friends, and what a glorious day it’s been! Today I had a chance to stop over at my old school and see some of my favorite former students as they prepare for their first day of school this coming Tuesday. So many bright faces and so much energy filled the halls as they set up their lockers. I kind of miss those days, or at least the idea of a locker space–a place to call your own and store your belongings so you’re not lugging your entire life around with you wherever you go. Cherish it, people! I imagine the closest thing to that would be having an office, but what about those college and graduate students who don’t have such a luxury? I suppose we have no choice but to bring our essentials, and today, I’m sharing my own! What are yours? Comment below!
Happy Thursday, friends! It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I’ve been a student, and since graduating from graduate school (the first time around), I’ve now spent those five years in between on the other side as a teacher. With every new school year there comes a similar level of anxiety and excitement about what it will bring, and in those moments, I can’t help but ask myself: Will I get through the curriculum? Will my students enjoy themselves and learn the material? Will I finally strike that work-life balance? And while I’m just a few short weeks away from returning to the classroom as a student, I find myself asking similar questions: Will I learn a lot? What kind of learner am I? Will I form meaningful relationships with my professors and peers? Do I remember how to study? Will I finally conquer procrastination and complete my assignments to the best of my ability? It’s so easy to get bogged down with feelings of doubt, fear, and anxiety. After all, change is never easy. Luckily, there are things we can do to help ease the transition. Here are a few tips I’ve shared with students in the past as a teacher and will now be reminding myself of as a student. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too!
Happy Wednesday, friends! We’ve made it to the halfway point of the week, and I think that calls for a quick celebration, don’t you? But a closer end to the week does mean a closer start to the school year, which is totally fine–remember, we’ve got this! I want you to realize, though, that this also means we can’t stay up as late as we want, wake up when we feel like it, or take our sweet time making and eating whatever we want whenever we want it. Time won’t always be on our side when the school year resumes, so we’ll need to maximize and prioritize as much of it as possible. With so much on our plates (pun intended), putting food on it shouldn’t be a stressful and time-consuming ordeal. So keep reading for a quick, simple, and protein-packed dish that will fill you up and cancel out all that ice cream and pizza you’ve been munching on all summer long. You can make a big batch of it and spread it out over the course of the week. At least that’s one less thing you have to worry about, right?
Happy Tunesday, friends! I’m sure we’ve all heard Alice Cooper’s 1972 hit “School’s Out,” right? Epic guitar riffs combined with Alice Cooper’s passionate vocals make us more and more excited to end the school year and enjoy summer break. What about “After Today” from A Goofy Movie? A class Disney tune that truly captures what’s so great about leaving school behind for the summer. With so many songs like “School’s Out” and “After Today” that celebrate this long-awaited, much-needed, and well-deserved respite, I can’t help but wonder if there are any songs that pump us up for a new academic year? I know so many of you have already started or are preparing to head back this week or next. In fact, I’m also returning to school (graduate degree number TWO) at the end of September, and I think we could all use a moment to not only mourn summer’s end, but also–and more importantly–celebrate the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Now, I’m going to be honest, finding back to school songs to pump us up proved to be more difficult than I imagined, but I eventually found some that I hope will at least inspire and empower us as we return to school. Whether you’ve got first-day jitters or question your ability, there’s a song for practically every occasion. Here’s to an incredible school year!
Happy Monday, friends! You know those moments when something overwhelming or ridiculous happens, and people spout the phrase, “I can’t even”? Sure, there are the funny and outlandish times that elicit such a response–oftentimes said through tears of laughter– but then there are more serious things that happen and we respond in the same way. I’m guilty of it, and have actually started thinking a lot about the things I avoid because they’re difficult or stressful. What are my “can’t evens”? Sometimes it’s feeling like I can’t be bothered to work out any more than I already do because I’m not seeing the results I expect. Sometimes it’s feeling like I can’t sit and write a blog post because I don’t see the fruits of my labor. Sometimes it’s choosing not to speak to someone because past interactions have proved to be challenging. But when I choose to avoid engaging fully and believe that “I can’t even,” it actually does more harm than good. By disengaging, I’m missing out on really living and growing. What’s more is that it’s also a form of succumbing to pessimism and negativity.
So, what if instead of saying “I can’t even” we said (and believed), “I can”? How might we approach life and the circumstances it throws our way? Would we feel more empowered? More optimistic? More prepared to conquer? More willing to at least give it our best shot? When we shift our thinking and attitude and start to believe in ourselves and in our own power, incredibly amazing things happen. Maybe life doesn’t get easier, but you sure do get stronger, things feel lighter, and you are happier. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a life worth living. Challenge yourself to “can even” this week, especially for those heading back to school and work, and see what positive changes come your way!