How I survived my first semester of college

AHH, there is nothing like sleepless nights before you leave and the last cuddles with your dog on the couch. The last home cooked meal and the last wave goodbye to your house as you move on to start your new life. All those things seem to be gone and forgotten as you move on. But remember those things will never be gone and you get those home cooked meals again, cuddles with your dog and you will see your house again. At first, I thought college wasn’t for me and that I couldn’t succeed here. Those thoughts still consume me but time and time again I have proved myself wrong. It sure hasn’t been easy. Lots of late night studying and missing home but nothing ever good in life came easy. There has been a lot of highs this semester but a lot of lows. My friends like to tell me the lows are just funny memories… I would agree haha. It’s all about making memories and living in the moment. These are moments, days, weeks, months, years we are never able to get back. Once we’re out of college it’s the real world so make mistakes, study hard, try new things because oh so very soon it’s all over. I can do this thing called the college and so can you! College is amazing, hard, stressful, fun honestly there are so many words to describe it and nothing like I have ever imagined. As much as you prepare you really don’t know what it’s like till you get there and that’s okay. That’s why I have created these tips to ease your mind about this big life-changing transition.

Keep your door open- When living in a totally new area away from people you know, it’s essential to find some friends on your floor. It’s so comforting to know you can have friends right down the hall for a shoulder to cry on, extra coffee creamer or just to watch a movie. I am beyond thankful to have some of my best friends so close to me and I could never thank the Dennison girls enough.

Don’t go home- Yes. I said it. I know I am such a homebody telling you not to go home. Shocking! Yes, it’s important to go every once in a while for a break or to see your mom. But whether you like it or not this is your new life. I always tell myself you can’t run home when things get tough. Every time I have gone home this semester I have cried leaving haha …so it’s better just to stick it out here. Plan a few trips home with a friend and for holidays get excited for those but remember to live your life here to the fullest.

Stay BUSY- Distract yourself and get involved. Join a club to fill your time and work hard in your classes. Here in Oxford things to do seem limited but there are so many fun things to do if you try hard enough. Plan a movie night in, go out for dinner, get your nails done or attend a football game. If you stay busy you will think less about home and work harder to create the life you want here.

Healthy habits- This does not only include healthy eating but things your body needs. Exercising, emergency c when you feel sick, vitamins, tea and lots lots lots of water. If you don’t feel your body with nutrients and exercising you will get sick and be unhappy. The freshman 15 is real and yes I have had some sort of cold all 4 months I have been here haha. It happens tot he best of us but eating healthy and staying active could lessen your symptoms or prevent sickness.

Self-care- Self-care and healthy habits can go hand and hand. But self-care includes more things like face masks and painting your nails. It’s important to take care of yourself and look the best you can. Doing self-care activities can reduce stress and overall make you feel more comfortable in your own skin here.

Push yourself- Push yourself to go out, hang with new people, work harder in your classes. College is all about independence and self-determination. No one is going to tell you what to do or how to live your life. You are in charge of creating your own life and picking your own path. Please make sure it’s a good one.

Find some friends- It can be tough freshman year first semester finding your niche or group and that’s okay. You don’t need to stick to one group. Bounce around. Study with different friends goes out with different people until you find people that you feel good around. Friends are so important in college they become your family. It takes a village to do college and you need the support of some friends. Lucky to say I have found some great ones that hope last a lifetime.

College I have heard is some of the best years of your life. I mean really have you ever heard of someone not liking college lol? I can’t wait to spend the next 3 and ½ years here it’s going to be a crazy ride. I hope you all stick around for this journey… I promise you won’t want to miss it.

Self LOVE

 

As a person who always put others needs first, I tend to forget about my own. I have been left shaken and lost these last few weeks, as I became so used to putting all my love and energy into everyone else. As the summer is beginning to wrap up with everyone is working and moving on with their lives, I have been forced to only worry about taking care of myself. Though this is quite sad for someone like myself, who thrives off others energy, in the end it may be very beneficial.
I have forgotten how to love myself.
Lately, I have been very insecure about my body and just my overall personality. These insecurities are something I really want to work on before I go off to college. Granted, all my insecurities won’t be fully fixed in these next two months, but I hope to see at least some improvement. Every girl- actually every person-has insecurities. However, nobody would ever know because for some reason no one talks about it. Why is not socially acceptable to share our flaws? Why do we all make ourselves seem perfect? Why, when someone opens up to you about an issue, you just pretend you have never felt that way before? Why are so we so scared to be imperfect and why are we so scared to love ourselves before others?
I have done tons of research on self-love/women empowerment over these past few weeks and have compiled the best tips THAT ACTUALLY WORK to begin your journey of self-love.

Be kind to yourself
When you mess up or do something embarrassing, rather than beat yourself up about it, learn from it. Figure out what caused this mistake.. Were you tired, hungry, overworked or jealous, and then figure out what you can do next time to see better results. Being hard on yourself sometimes is needed when you need a little boost, but it can become overpowering and you can become filled with an insane amount of self-hate.

Pamper
Now, this doesn’t mean go to the spa and blow 300 dollars on a massage even though that may sound nice. Pampering yourself after a long day of work or school could mean taking a bath, watching your favorite show, getting a grande instead of a tall at Starbucks… something little to cheer yourself up and boost your spirits. Pampering yourself physically or mentally are both great ways to relax and show yourself a little extra love.

Surround yourself with positive people
Being around confident good people will inspire and motivate you to love yourself. Life is all about who you surround yourself and nobody can do this on their own. You need the support and love from people around you. Positive energy is contagious.

Clear your mind
Get to know yourself and truly understand your current beliefs and values, and what they mean to you. If your beliefs and values are not fulfilling, think about why you are still clinging onto them. There are many different activities that can help you clear your mind such as meditation, read a book, workout, talk to a friend, or color.

Journal
Journaling is a very individual activity and can be very therapeutic. In a world filled with social media, it is really difficult to unplug. Journaling can also boost your mood and recharge your brain. But if you journal daily, it can be the perfect excuse to get away from all the technology and to only focus on yourself.

Celebrate
When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back or said you were proud of yourself? Maybe you aced your test, made the sports team, made a new friend or got a new job. Recognize all of your accomplishments every day and take a few moments to praise yourself! Taking some time to realize our strengths/wins, our self-esteem will be boosted and our confidence! Celebrate the wins!

Good luck with your self-love journey!
Xoxo

Words to live by

 

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Flight ANXIETY

With spring break just around the corner, many of us will be traveling all over the world to beautiful places. The main transportation to get to your tropical destination is airplanes.

I have always had major flight anxiety ever since I was little. I love airports and the free peanuts they give you on flights. But being up in the air away from all( maybe not all but most)  connection from the world below makes me very anxious.

Below are some tips to ease your nerves while flying-

*don’t let any anxious thought stop you from traveling the world*

#1 Think about the facts

Remind yourself that the most dangerous part of your travel day is the drive to the airport. Your chance of being in an air disaster is approximately one in three million. While knowing the facts may ease your nerves don’t read up on the latest airplane crashes or the rate of people dying while flying before you step on the plane.

#2 BREATHING!

Breath! Breath! I can’t say this enough. When you feel anxious especially in a contained space your breathing tends to become faster. It’s important to listen to your body and slow your breath. Slow, big breaths can help you relax the body, and the mind usually follows.

#3 Distract Yourself

Flying takes up a good amount of time, enough time to work yourself up with anxious thoughts. Before departing, create a small checklist of things you want to accomplish while up flying, and then work hard to check those items off. There are tons of things you can put on your to-do list- read a chapter of your book, draw, do some work/homework, listen to music or a podcast and surf the web.

#4 Erase negative thoughts with positive ones

Now, this skill is hard it takes time, practice and commitment to get rid of all those anxious thoughts filling your brain. “What if we die” or “the plane will crash” those are common things moist anxious flyers state but change those thoughts into “what if we don’t die” or “what if the plane lands safely”. Changing your negative thoughts into more uplifting one’s will improve your mood and drastically decrease your anxiety.

#5 Practice

Of course, this one is harder as flying is expensive and not always needed. But the more you do fly the better you will be at it.

As you embark on your journey remember positive thoughts and following these tips will make your flight so much better.

Xoxo

*Safe travels*

 

5 Habits of SUPER productive people **How to become productive** ​

 

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#1 Take BREAKS!

 

When faced with a lot of work we tend to get overwhelmed and want to sit down and do it as fast as possible. But contrary to popular belief taking breaks actually makes you work faster and more efficient. Taking breaks re-energizes you and allows your brain to rest from all the work you have been doing. People say study breaks/work breaks should be around 15-20 minutes … a long enough time to recharge but not too long to where you become unmotivated. Also, A quick break can dramatically improve focus, productivity, and creativity. So take breaks!!

 

#2 Schedule EVERYTHING

 

Knowing what you have tomorrow or a few months from now is super helpful in becoming a productive person. Make sure you own a planner, notebook or even use google calendars on your phone or computer… one place to store all your information (personally I love my target planner and bullet journal- I don’t use any online organization thing. It helps me to write things down because I am more inclined to remember them)  If you know you have a test in a week you can start studying early for it or if you know your family is coming to town soon you can start organizing as well as cleaning ahead of time. With a planner or a schedule, you are prepared for almost anything.

 

#3 Take CARE of yourself !!

 

Life is full of pressures and stresses but you have to remember to take care of yourself first. Getting enough you time, sleep and exercise actually increases productivity levels and makes you more awake and alert. Taking a night for yourself to rest or get a few things done on a Friday is beneficial so you stress less during the week. 5-minute meditation, watching your favorite show, reading a book, playing a board game or going for a walk allows you to relax and forget your worries for a few moments.

 

#4 TO DO LISTS!

 

I can’t stress the one enough. This by far has made me the productive person I am today. I write a list of everything I need to do for the day even on the weekends in a blank journal I own. You could also do this in your notes on your phone. Some people have sections in their planner for to do lists but I personally like doing them in a separate journal so I can have a separate space. I separate my to do lists into two columns urgent and non-urgent. Urgent is stuff I have to get today and non-urgent are tasks I’d like to complete today but can be pushed to the next day. To do lists let you stay on task and help you achieve your goals for the day.

 

#5 Say NO (sometimes)

 

When feeling overwhelmed with many projects, schoolwork or plans Its okay to allow yourself to relax and say NO! This is a skill that takes a lot of time … personally, I have major FOMO but sometimes saying no to plans is better for your sanity…  make sure to say it nicely though.

 

I hope these help. Let me know in the comments if you have any other productivity tips! LET’S DO THIS!!

 

xoxo

 

Hannah

2018 Resolutions ​

2018

With a new year comes many new resolutions. I thought it would be interesting to share not only my 2018 goals but many of my friends as well… enjoy! Happy 2018!! xoxo

Alexis B-Get over brain seizures and begin driving

Grace S- stop gossiping

Kenna W- take care of skin and teeth

Abby K- read more and go to church

Julia M- learn to love herself more

Rachel K- make more money and work out more

Maria M- get more sleep

Claire D- allowing to make mistakes

Lyssa M- do what makes me happy

Alex B- smile more

Grace B- self-care

Camryn N- work out more

Alex D- read more
Mine-

Healthy lifestyle- food and working out

Live in the moment

Stop caring

Learn to say NO

Becoming more independent

Pushing myself

Don’t let anxiety control me

The BEST advice I have ever received

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The best advice I have ever received was from my mom many years ago “learn to be okay with spending time by yourself”. That little sentence sounded like awful advice at the time … why would I want to be alone? My whole life I have been pretty outgoing, loud and a people LOVER! I love being surrounded by friends, family, and neighbors all the time. I hated being alone until last year: I realized being alone at times is vital in my life to keep me sane lol.

 

Curling up with a good book on a Friday or taking yourself out for ice cream is all perfectly OK. Learning to be your own best friend is such an important life skill. As harsh as this sounds nobody is ever going to want something more than you do, and nobody is always gonna be there for you like you are there for yourself. It is all good to take time out of your schedule to have a spa night by yourself or reflect on the past weeks and plan for future events coming up.

 

I think since becoming my own best friend I have learned how to be a better friend. I know when to give people their space when they are upset, and I know when to step in if something is really wrong. 

 

This last year just by spending time alone I think I have become more independent. I’m not scared of going places by myself like the pool, gym or target haha. In the long run, in college and in the future, I will thank my mom for giving me such important life advice at such a young age.