Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things Come to An End

    As the Spring semester comes to a close, students everywhere are in a blind rush to the finish. For some, the end of this year brings graduation and life after college; for others of us it just brings another summer of work, saving money, staying up too late, and going back to school in the fall. Sometimes the chaos of the end of the year can get pretty overwhelming and students really have to remember to take a break every now and then so they don't get worn down by finals, projects, papers, packing, and everything else one has to deal with.
    So, this afternoon I was doing just that: laying on my bed, eyes closed, blocking out everything except the low hum of my box fan and the gurgle of Jude and Gilbert's water filters. I thought about the rough parts of my year: dealing with my dad's deployment, multiple family kerfuffles, drifting away from some people who I thought were really good friends. And then I thought about all of the reasons I've been blessed this year: dad returning unscathed, all of the new friends (and two awesome roommates) I've been blessed with this year, all of the old friends that I've stayed close to, the opportunities to learn new things, all of the constructive criticism I received in Sophomore Review. I've realized that, all in all, even through the low points when I felt lonely and overloaded, I've had a pretty good year and I'm looking forward to an even better summer!
    So, bring on Summer 2012 and my Junior year. I can't wait.

Friday, April 20, 2012

On College, Friends, and Growing Up

    One of the most interesting things about college thusfar, is how differently people mature. Some people step into college with the mentality of a 44 year old bank executive, some are figuring it out as they go along, and some people are stuck in the immaturity and insecurity of high school. 
    It's always frustrating when someone gets on your case about something you did (or didn't do) and it's either A) not your fault, B) not your problem, or C) they had a part in the issue as well and seem to be dumping all of the blame on you. I'm sure that I'm not the only one this has ever happened to, but it gets exhausting after a while and it's happened to me several times in the last week. I, however, am not going to let it ruin my weekend. All I can do is be as good to people as  I can, and if they want to cut me down and abuse me, I just have to cut them out of my life, because you're only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
   What about you? Have you ever had someone jump all over you for no good reason, or worse yet, about something that was partially their fault? And if so, how did you handle it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Dos and Don'ts of Laundry in College

    For those of you in college or about to be in college, there are certain things one must know about doing laundry in college, especially if you live in a dorm. Abiding by these rules will not only help you out, but will make the people you live among like you better.
  • DO wait until you have a full load of laundry. In the vast majority of schools you have to pay to do laundry, and at the bare minimum cost of $1 per load, it's best not to waste money. Try to only wash a full load unless you desperately need something clean. On that note...
  • DON'T wait until the last minute to do laundry, especially Friday or Sunday nights; those are the prime nights for people hastily washing clothes for the weekend/week that they forgot they needed until the last second, and I promise you the washers and dryers will be packed.
  • DO read the directions on clothing care labels AND detergent bottles. Some clothes need to be dry cleaned, and some detergents aren't suitable for use on some types of clothing, also some types of detergents need to be diluted before you put in your clothes so that they don't eat holes in the fabric.
  • DON'T put stained clothing in the dryer. If you've only washed it, there's still hope to get the stains out, but heat permanently sets stains, thus making the dryer a poor idea.
  • DON'T leave your clothes in the washer/dryer for hours at a time. People WILL take them out and potentially throw them on the top of the machine and/or the floor. Plus, it's just rude to monopolize the machines that a whole building has to share.
  • DO wash new clothes separately! Dyes in new clothing can bleed and transfer on to other clothes, meaning one red t-shirt can make a whole load of pink socks.
  • DO say hello in the laundry room. Sometimes it's just courteous, and sometimes you can make new friends you wouldn't have made otherwise.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We are barefoot because we are blessed.

    Today myself, twenty or so of my schoolmates, and thousands of people around the world participated in TOMS One Day Without Shoes. TOMS is a One for One company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in a needy country for every single pair they sell, One for One. In the last year TOMS also expanded to include an eyewear division which donates glasses, vision care, or even surgery for every pair of sunglasses they sell. From the TOMS website:

One for One Movement

In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers.

Why Shoes?

Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk:
•A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases, and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.
•Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.
•Many times children can't attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don't have shoes, they don't go to school. If they don't receive an education, they don't have the opportunity to realize their potential.
    Shoes are a vital part of life, more so than we realize. Most of us have been blessed enough to never have had to worry about debilitating diseases that we could catch from walking barefoot in the dirt or worse yet, not being able to give our children something as basic as a pair of shoes so that they can go to school.
    So, every year, thousands of people like you and I kick off our shoes and not only raise awareness for the need for shoes, but we celebrate our own blessing and the ability we have to give back to others. So I encourage you, if it's still April 10th when you're reading this: kick off your shoes! If not, check out all of the awesome products that TOMS offers and learn more about their mission, and keep an eye out for One Day Without Shoes next April!

Friday, April 6, 2012


    Easter will be here in a few days and this time of year always gets me thinking about selfless sacrifice, our Savior's and others. I think about all if the people in my life who have given something up to make sure I got what I needed or even just wanted. I think about all of the soldiers who sacrifice time with their families, and some even their lives, to make sure I can live in peace, pursuing my art degree and enjoying the freedoms that their service ensures. I think about all of the times my parents gave up time they could have used to clean or work or relax to come support me in choir or show choir or plays or musicals or art shows or ballet recitals or t-ball games or any of the million other things I have tried throughout my life. 
    All of this to say that I'm emphatically grateful to all of my family, friends, teachers, and everyone who has ever helped me, supported me, taught me, and encouraged me to be everything that I can be and to do the best I possibly can. So in this time when we're thanking God for the sacrifice of his son for our salvation, also take a moment to thank those around you who have made a difference in your life, and thank God for putting them there.
    Now, get off my blog and go be with your family. Have a great Easter.