In a little over three months, I will have completed all of the requirements to earn an undergraduate degree in social work from Marywood University.
It’s currently 2 PM the day before the semester starts. I’m laying in bed, enjoying the unseasonably cool weather, wrapped in a comforter, and watching Netflix. I have plans to take my little out for coffee and go see The Secret Life of Bees in theaters. This feels a little bit like the end of times for me. I am very aware that I won’t have summers like the summer of 2016 – full of traveling, lounging, hanging – either for a very long time, or never again. I’m only 20 years old. Maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe I’ll land a job somewhere that will allow me to have leisurely summers off, but really, who am I kidding?
This feels decidedly like the end of my childhood, the end of my young adulthood. Graduating early saves my family a lot of money, for a bunch of complicated reasons that I won’t get into in this post, and that’s important. It’s much more important than staying another semester. I have a lot of decisions to make in the next couple of weeks and months. Grad school or not? If so, where? If not, what next? Even thinking about it now makes my heart start to race.
I don’t know what I want. I’m 20. I’ve only (hopefully) lived 1/4 of my life. First of all, that’s a scary thought. But really, I don’t know if I have a goal or if my goal is just to survive. I don’t like that feeling. My goal, I think, has always been college – now that I’m so close to accomplishing that goal, I need to find a new one. First I guess I need a passion. Just typing that sentence is somewhat defeating because that’s not what passion is. You shouldn’t need to “find” a passion, it should be something that you already know and love and understand to be a passion in your life…
I guess I can start with short term goals. I need to wake up at 7 AM tomorrow, that’s the first goal. I need to set up appointments to take photos of my friends to get started on my final photo series for my online Photography class.
I have gone through many different types of planners, in order to find my favorite one. I still haven’t found it. I use Google Calendar to organize my appointments and daily schedule, but I need a planner to write down my daily assignments and task lists. Here are screencaps of my Calendar spread:
I used the standard planner offered for free from Marywood, but each day all campus-wide activities were listed in a sidebar, and it was way too distracting and took up too much space. Then, I switched to a Ruskerville planner from Etsy. They were similar to Erin Condren in the layout, but were cheaper and smaller.
This worked for a year, but I needed one that was bigger. Before Ruskerville came out with their larger size, I opted to save up for the Erin Condren Life Planner. This was a mistake. I am not the type to decorate my planner every day. I need something durable and simple, yet aesthetically pleasing.
Up next in my planner venture – bullet journaling. If it’s successful, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, check out my planner Pinterest board with some of my inspiration!
Back in November 2014, the “Shit Academics Say” FB page posted
To be or not to be that academic who accepts student friend requests on Facebook.
A lot of academics wrote “not to be,” often in much stronger language. A lot wrote yes with contingencies: former students, alums, select students are okay; current students, not so much. I fall in the camp of accepting friend requests from students, but not initiating them.
I began spending time on Facebook in the early days, spring of 2006, and I did so with student encouragement. It all began during a class break in a Business & Technical Writing course, which met in a computer lab. The students told me about their own experiences with Facebook, and they introduced me to the Facebook wall and private messaging and “poking” (which was not considered a dirty or flirty thing in our class!). Over the next…
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I have many great qualities, and then I have some iffy ones… (name that movie!) but I think no one will ever say that I’m great at handing my money. I had a job for 6 months in my senior year of high school, and aside for some clothes and shoes, I really didn’t do anything responsible with my money, like start to save it.
However, I recently got a job at a Best Buy near my school, and if everything goes well I should begin making money on Sunday! I also recently began separating myself from my joint bank account I hold with my father. It was time I start making my own money and saving it responsibly! I opened a student account at PNC Bank with virtual wallet – highly recommend!
Yesterday I made two giant steps in the right direction. I created a budget spreadsheet and a list of things I want, both using Google Drive. For the moment, these aren’t for any other purpose than just tracking what I tend to spend money on. Once I have that info, I’ll be able to decide what I need to spend less on.
In my To Buy spreadsheet, I list major purchases (I consider them major if they aren’t coffee or gum) in two categories: things I will buy with my own money, and things my dad will buy for me. I am *super lucky* that my dad will still help me out with things that I need for school.
As you can see, the only two items I have listed for my dad to get for me right now are a laptop case and some nail stuff I needed to make my nails presentable before I start work. Items on the left are color coded based on urgency – green for immediate and yellow for priority. First and foremost, my money has to going to paying my dad back for a camera he bought me. However, other things have prior time constraints, like my brother’s birthday which is in 3 weeks. I’m going to have to buy his present before I send the money to my dad, but I want to keep my priorities straight. I will cross out items I purchase.
Next, I have the actual spending tracker. I’m going to make a new sheet each month so I can track the totals.
I have this spreadsheet separated into individual days… I will write the total amount I spend via my shared account or personal, and if I put money into savings, and every time I get paid or receive some sort of gift money.
Hopefully this helps if you have any questions on how to create a budget! Both of these documents only took me a matter of minutes to construct, so it should be pretty easy for you to do the same!
As I am writing this, my roommate is listening to Nicki Minaj on her bed from her laptop. We’re both wrapped up in blankets with the AC blasting. Her candle warmer is spreading the scent of chai around our little plaster room, and the string of light bulbs I stretched around the room are shining brightly and warmly.
I am watching a documentary about modeling in Russia on Netflix and listening to my playlist for autumn desperately hoping for the temperatures to drop.
This summer when I was in Ireland, I met a 21 year old guy named Eric and his brothers Robert and Romke. Eric and one of my friends ended up falling for each other and starting a relationship! This Friday I am going with her to pick him up from the airport so he can begin his first trip to America!!!
We switched around the layout of the room, pics will come soon!
If you’re anything like me (and still in school), your “New Year, New Me” resolutions don’t happen on January 1st. They happen right about now – when school is about to be back in session. So, in the holiday spirit, I’ve decided to share with you all my resolutions and “new year feels.”
- Keep up with color-coding my planner
- Not procrastinate on papers (that always bit me in the ass)
- Be pre-emptive about things like laundry – nothing is worse than being stuck one day with nothing to wear because you forgot to do laundry the day before
- Post on this blog weekly or as often as cool things happen (but no less)!
- Keep rotating weekly to-do lists with short term and long term goals to keep me goal oriented!
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to discuss my new year feels. As you know, I am just about to begin my sophomore year of college at Marywood University. In exactly one week I will hopefully be asleep in my bed in my dorm room!
I have begun the painful and confusing journey of packing my clothing… I am never quite sure what to bring and what to leave behind. In the back, you can see the box in which I am packing my school supplies (something I’ve been really into this year for some reason).
In other news, I will be receiving my Canon EOS Rebel t3i in the mail tomorrow, and will be able to take absolutely stellar pics of my dorm and my life, and if you would be interested in seeing maybe a photo series of something, let me know in the comments!!! I’ll do one of my move-in day!
Wow, this is crazy. In about one and a half hours, I leave my house to go to EWR for a decently long trip to the Emerald Isle. I’m so excited to be in Ireland! I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I’m kind of just laying here in my bed without realizing that I’ll be in a different country very soon. I never got a lot of the stuff I needed because my father wanted me to get it on sale somewhere else, but it obviously never went on sale and I didn’t push it. So I’m missing a camera case, a nice camera strap, enough money, the right shoes and an umbrella/hooded jacket. Sucks.
Of course, that’s why I’m watching House MD on Netflix while waiting for the trip to the lush green country of my dreams. The waiting is the hardest – and the unknown. I’m not exactly sure what this trip will be like. I know what we are doing, like the places we’re going, but I don’t know what it will be like. That’s a terrible description. It’s just that I’ve known everything about every other trip I’ve taken, but I’ve been so focused on the schoolwork aspect of this trip that I guess I haven’t really been “dreaming” of what the trip will actually feel like.
That’s one of the good things about having to take lots of pictures and journal/blog about about everything that happens – I’ll remember it. I really regret not blogging about my other trips, because now it’s harder to remember what happened. I did take pictures, but it’s not the same if you don’t remember the feelings.