WEEK EIGHT: ARE WE REALLY ALMOST DONE WITH FEBRUARY?

Dear Reader,

I took some steps this week, and for once I felt like it wasn’t one step forward, two steps back. In fact, it was probably more like two steps back, one step forward, one step back, three steps forward, one step back, and then two more steps forward.

Maybe. I don’t know.

But I don’t really have any pictures worth showing this week. Most of them were either embarrassing selfies, pictures of snow, or funny text screenshots–none of which you need to see. And then I took a picture when I completed bucket list item #26, but you can just go to that page if you’re dying to see what it’s of (I promise you, though, it’s not worth it).

Anyway, I’m doing something different this week! I feel like I’m always doing something different, but this is in direct correlation with the post I wrote on Monday.

I’m going to set weekly goals! And acknowledge what goals I accomplished.

So during week eight I:

  • prioritized & downsized my workload
  • completed a bucket list item
  • stuck with what I gave up for lent
  • went completely out of my comfort zone and took a big step forward (as much detail as I’m willing to give at this point, but I’m sure I’ll elaborate in due time)

And in week nine I will:

  • finish a book
  • go to every class prepared
  • go to the rec twice
  • write 10 pages in my novel
  • write my weekly review on time

Well, thanks for sticking with me through this project! I’ll do my best to make the next 44 weeks worthwhile.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Need a pick-me-up? Listen to this song 🙂

LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN

Dear Reader,

I’ve recently had the chance to deeply reflect upon myself and the habits I’ve formed thus far in life. And, surprise surprise, I’m not too pleased.

I know this will probably read like a typical “New Year’s Resolutions” blog post, but that’s okay. It’s never too late to set goals for the year. There’s no such thing as an inappropriate time to improve yourself.

So without further ado, here are my goals for the rest of 2nd semester:

GO TO CLASS

I don’t skip class too often, but it does happen. Sometimes I really am sick, and sometimes I do make mistakes and sleep through my alarms, but there have been times where I’ve just not gone. But I’ve decided I don’t want to be known for that–not that I am as it is. I just want to be known as the person who never skips class. And who is always present in every class she attends–well prepared, fully attentive, eager to learn. Even if it is geology.

COMMIT WHOLEHEARTEDLY

I am the kind of person who likes to be involved, and here at Miami, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do so. I’m in AIESEC, Phi Mu, and Sigma Tau Delta. I write for the Miami Student and play with the club tennis team. I’m a student manager at a cafe on campus. And I’m proud of all of this, but I know I could do more.

I want to do more. I want to be proud when I see my name in print, regardless of the story I’ve been assigned. I want to help change lives by sending people abroad and being there every step of the way. I want to grow as a person with Phi Mu, as well as grow with my sisters.

I want to leave my mark on everything I do here at Miami, and the only way that’ll happen is if I stop half-assing it.

START BEING HEALTHY

And I mean it.

Let’s just say I don’t exactly treat my body like a temple. Unless you allow your temple to eat everything in sight, then force it to pull far too many allnighters, overall messing up it’s sleep schedule, and refuse to make it go to the gym.

So yeah, enough of that.

GET ORGANIZED

Pretty self explanatory. My life is a mess. I’d like for it to be neater. Let’s make it happen, new Sammy.

READ AND WRITE MORE

I was killing this resolution over J-term… and now I have 6 times the credit hours. But if I’m ever going to finish #3 or #38 on my 2015 Bucket List, I’m going to have to make time for these things.

COMMUNICATE BETTER

When it comes to answering texts/emails/missed phone calls/facebook messages/you name it, I may be the worst person in the world. There are many possible reasons for this, but it’s a simple fact that I need to get better.

This one might be my hardest goal to reach.

TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF EVERYTHING IN LIFE

I am in college: one of the only places where it is my number one priority to become educated–to devote every day to learning. Luckily, because I’m going to become a teacher, it shouldn’t be hard to remain a lifelong learner. But these are the glory years, and I want to come out on the opposite end knowing I did everything I could to soak it all in.

This semester, I want to become intelligent, determined, inspiring, spontaneous, enthusiastic.I want to be hungry for adventure, and fun, and knowledge. I want to become the person I’ve always dreamt I could be.

And the journey starts today.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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WEEK SEVEN: WOULDN’T SNAPE ROCK A MAN BUN?

Hello dear reader,

Welcome to my corner of the library.

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Yep, this is where I’ve been spending my nights. Don’t worry, I’m not having any roommate troubles, and I’m still sleeping plenty (I’ve actually been sleeping too much lately). But after work, I like to come up here and hang out and do my homework. I have to use the library’s computer charger (I lost/someone stole mine) and MAC 143 book anyway, so I stay here. It’s quiet, comfortable, and it means I don’t have to walk back to Brandon in the cold and dark.

Yeah, it’s been really cold here. But at least we’re getting snow again!

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SO pretty.

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I’m in a pretty big minority of people who actually like being out in this weather, but even I have to admit that it’s getting uncomfortably cold.

It also makes me sad that we have all this snow now, when I don’t think I’ve had a white Christmas in 5 years. I mean, come on Ohio. Get your act together.

It’s been another typical week at college, though. And I’m sticking with the theme of repeating the good and trying to forget about the bad. So here are some good snap shots from my week.

We got serenaded by the Pike boys, which was pretty hilarious.

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I also got to hang out with some friends this weekend who didn’t rush. (Also, for anyone who is ever scared they’ll drift apart from friends who made the opposite decision than them regarding rush: it is ridiculously easy to remain friends. I mean, it’s comical. Anyone who loses friends because of rush probably had some underlying problems)

And then when I went to open this Monday, I was greeted by this wonderful note from my coworker Ellie.

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It’s the little things. Like this picture I found on twitter that made me smile:

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And this gem popped up on my timehop the other day. Please note that my brother spelt our last name wrong.

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Also, I FINALLY updated my about page the other day! It may not be up to snuff with the ones I featured a few months ago, but it’s better than it used to be!

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And then the rest of my week has looked like this:

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Courtesy of MAC 143 and our first exam being tomorrow.

So that was my week, but that’s not all! I’ve become obsessed with so many things this week, I thought it’d be appropriate to share them with you all.

FIRST UP are my two new favorite instagrams:

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and Hotdudesreading

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WordPress isn’t letting me upload all the screenshots I want, but trust me on this. Follow them and enjoy.

I also watched this video that I couldn’t finish because I was in the library and didn’t want to cry in front of everyone.

I found this because the lovely Meghan shared this on her blog, Jump Rope (I sincerely hope you check her out–she’s awesome!) I have yet to finish it because I could feel the tears a comin, but it did inspire this tweet that I’m particularly proud of.

What’s that? You want another blog that I’m obsessed with? Well, alright. Allow me to introduce you to Celina (I’m assuming is her name). Each week until she turns 30, she is doing something new. From speed dating to bubble soccer (so jealous), and she budgets it all to keep under $1,000 as well as recounts each experience.

Seriously. Check her out.

Someone else that inspires me? Fun for Louis. If you haven’t heard of this man, SHAME ON YOU. Just kidding, but he is everything I aspire to be. Sooo… I’ll just leave this here.

Here’s another video of him made by another inspiration: Dan the Director

Also, some favorite songs:

And then here are the posts I wrote this week:

Well, that’s all I’ve got for ya. I hope you catch a nice sunset and something makes you cry from laughter this week.

Sincerely,
Sammy

18 IMPORTANT THINGS TO LEARN FROM PARISIANS

Dear Reader,

I finished the book How to be Parisian Wherever You Are a few months ago (I actually wrote a blog post about it, as it was the second book I finished for the empty shelf challenge), and I promised a follow up entry. Because it’s just. That. Good.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite tips that these four fascinating, Parisienne women gave:

  • Wear a black bra under your white blouse, like two notes on a sheet of music.
  • Don’t follow trends. (Trends follow you.)
  • Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow.
  • Make it look easy. Everything you do should seem effortless and graceful.
  • A Parisienne never hires a babysitter who is pretty, always finding the less attractive one to be far more competent.
  • If you believe that tears are a vibrant sign of you vulnerability, think again. Forget the notion that they are heart-wrenching in any way. Crying is not a weapon, it’s little more than noise and needlessly wasted energy.
  • Your look should always leave one thing left undone–the devil is in the details.
  • You don’t have to spend a decade’s worth of salary on your wardrobe, or flaunt designer brands the whole time. All you need is one signature item: the one you wear when you need to feel strong.
  • Never wear you glasses, especially if you’re nearsighted. That way you won’t have to acknowledge people you know. You’ll have that aloof look, the one that seduces men (but annoys women because they see right through you).
  • When meeting someone for the first time, never say, “What a pleasure,” but rather “What a pleasure to meet you.” (You never know what the future might hold).
  • A Parisienne always has a good reason to be sitting on a bench (Like when she wants to read a book and be seen reading a book)
  • She is alarmingly honest and answers “terribly” when asked how she’s doing.
  • Beauty in France is epidermal–nobody cares that much about makeup, it’s what’s underneath that matters.
  • The Parisienne retains her little imperfections, cherishes them even (the gap in her smile or her slightly crooked tooth, her prominent eyebrows or strong nose): these are the signs of a certain strength of character and allow her to feel beautiful without being perfect.
  • It’s her personality that sparkles like nothing else: the signs of intellectual wealth.
  • Age should never be an excuse to go to bed early.
  • Too much cleavage leaves too little to the imagination. It’s like serving dessert before anyone has even touched their appetizer. It tries too hard, shows its hand too quickly, and betrays a certain lack of self-confidence. Like a girl who talks so incessantly there’s nothing left to ask.
  • Be your own knight in shining armor.

And then my favorite sentence in the whole book: She concludes that you can indeed by orphaned by a fantasy and feel abandoned by a perfect stranger.

Sincerely,

Sammy

WEEK SIX: SRATS, SELFIES AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

Dear Reader,

Hey remember a few weeks ago when I said that I had a really bad week but I wanted to focus on the good because I probably wouldn’t remember the little details if I recorded them? Well, this week was worse, so let’s do that again!

Good thing #1 of week six is this: I JOINED PHI MU!!!

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I’ve talked about rush a little bit here and there, and there will be an entirely separate post about it later, but I could not be happier to be a phi mu! I was really worried because I could see myself fitting in any of the last three sororities, but I couldn’t go to their last events because I was so sick on Saturday (one of the bad things, so we’re just going to skip over details).

But bid day was fantastic! I feel right at home and really lucky that I chose phi mu, because I fit in a lot more than I thought I would. And these girls are so friendly, and I’m already so inspired by a lot of them! I just can’t wait to see what my future will become with this amazing group of women. 🙂

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Yeah and then the rest of my week definitely had good moments, but a lot of it was just really bad. It’s just crazy how much of a rollercoaster my emotions are on in college. I mean, I had some moments of true happiness this week, but then I would just think about something and I’d go right back down.

That’s actually what a lot of it was–just me in my own head. And the hardest part was that my computer was dead for a few days so I couldn’t write about it–not that I would necessarily blog about it, but I have a private journal that I’ve been writing in for seven years now, and it just helps me through things. I like writing for clarity. So it was just hard not having that this week when I really needed to sort stuff out. (I tried to on pen and paper but it was just not happening)

But I had some productive, though sleepless nights.

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And I checked off another item on my bucket list because of it! (I watched the sunrise, but the best pictures I took were still when it was pretty dark out so here ya go)

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And I’ve decided I want to dye my hair blue! So either this

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Or this

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So yeah. Big things are happening here in Ohio. There’s always something to look forward to.

Sincerely,

Sammy

IN DIRE NEED

I need spring break. Not your typical college spring break with just me and some bffs on a beach in Florida surrounded by half- (if not more) naked drunk people all day. I need a vacation.

I need to escape life for a little bit, just one week, and be alone. I need to reflect on myself and buckle down and get some work done. There are too many distractions around here, and they’re drowning me.

I just want to drive to Florida and live in a small beach house–even a beach shack would do–and spend every day waking up to the sound of the ocean. I would go for a walk on the beach, maybe even a run if I felt up to it. I would lay out with a book, and when it got too hot I’d go inside and write. I’d eat primarily fruit and vegetables dipped in ranch, and I’d buy myself strawberry ice cream for dessert and bundle up in my blanket with a chick flick and turn in early.

Then I’d wake up the next day and do it all over again.

I’d take bike rides into the quiet town and find hidden locations. I wouldn’t have to be with anyone I didn’t want to see–I wouldn’t have to make forced conversation or come up with substantial smalltalk. I’d talk to myself sometimes, but I wouldn’t miss not having another person around to cloud my personal thoughts. It’d just be for one week, anyway. And I’d like to rediscover what I really think.

I’d like to return a changed person. I think this is just the sort of trip that could change me, or perhaps refresh me. I’ve been running pretty low lately and this seems like the perfect solution.

Of course, this isn’t going to happen. It’s not like I have access to a beach house in Florida, or even a car of my own for that matter.

So I guess for now I’m stuck in Ohio, dreading certain people and responsibilities that I’ve never been able to avoid, living this life miserably, waiting yearning for warmer days and the appearance of the sun.

WEEK FIVE: A SUNDAY I’LL NEVER FORGET

Dear Reader,

Wow. A long time it has been. I’m about halfway through week 6 as I’m writing this, but WOW these past weeks have been crazy busy. Sorry again for the lack of pictures, but let’s just get in there.

There are three major events that occurred during my fifth week of 2015:

#1: The beginning of rush. 

I am going to write an entirely separate post all about my rush experience sooner or later, but I will say these few things. First and foremost, I am SO happy where I am (no spoilers, you’ll learn in week 6).

Second, if you struggle with major self confidence issues, rush MAY NOT BE FOR YOU. Then again, a lot of things may just worsen your problem, so it’s best if you just get over it and learn to love yourself. And if you do so, please let me know how.

And lastly, much of what you hear about rush is true. It is the worst week (or two weekends, in my case) of your life. Cuts will hurt tremendously if you get too attached too quickly, which I’m so thankful didn’t happen to me (not the getting cut part–that definitely happened). People will judge you and your opinion MAY be persuaded if you listen to the wrong people. BUT if you go through with an open mind, be yourself, and choose a place that wants you just as much as you want it, you will find a home.

Sidenote that must be stated: sororities are not for everyone and they do not make or break your college experience. You are not better than anyone if you are in a sorority, nor are you more independent if you go without.

All, of course, will be followed up in a future post.

#2: Murder/Suicide at Miami University

The tragic story goes like this: a girl had just broken up with her boyfriend, and he was coming to see her. She knew this and called the cops, worried he might do something. They showed up and escorted him upstairs, where the pair talked everything out and the cops were eventually dismissed. The girl let him stay the night because he had drove so far. Then in the morning he shot her twice, and then himself.

My friend lives in the room directly below the girl’s and woke up to the shots, but because we live in Oxford, a seemingly safe community, she thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.

Now, many people woke up to this horrible news and feared for their friends at Level 27. I, on the other hand, was lucky enough to wake up to something else.

#3: The birth of my niece. 

On Sunday, February 1st at 1:02 AM, Molly Ann Cox was born, weighing 7 pounds, 10.8 ounces. She and my sister and the rest of my family are happy and healthy, and I am so fortunate.

But these two events happened on the same day. The tragic loss of Rebecca Eldemire, which shook the worlds of many. Think of her family, friends, and anyone who knew her or the man who shot her. And then those still living in that apartment complex, fully aware of what happened.

As well as everyone else in Oxford, a town safe enough for me to walk home at 3 in the morning from the library without so much as a second thought. Obviously that’s a different situation, but the people around us can hurt us–even those who may say they love us. And our lives are so fragile, they can be taken in an instant.

Although I never knew Rebecca, I pray that her family, friends, and loved ones make it through this tough time, just as I pray that people realize something. No, it’s not okay to compare anyone’s problems or successes or obstacles. But it is okay to realize when you’re taking something for granted. And many people take for granted how precious life is.

So on one day, I heard this heart-breaking story (as well as the concerns from my friend having to live directly below the scene of the crime), I got dropped from 9 sororities, and I was blessed with the birth of my first niece.

I don’t think I’ve made as distinct of a point as I wanted to make, but some things matter and some don’t, and it’s good to realize it and take every day as the gift it is.

Sorry for no pictures this week, wordpress wouldn’t let me upload any, and I wanted to take this post in a different direction anyway.

The one I upload on Thursday will be like the ones I posted before.

Have a wonderful, safe night everybody.

Sincerely,

Sammy

JOIN IF YOU HATE IT

Dear Reader,

Someone said something to me the other day that really surprised me. We were talking about some club on campus and this girl says, “if you hate it, join it.”

So I’m thinking how does that make any sense? But she explained.

Don’t join clubs about things you hate, necessarily. I mean, if you can’t stand to write, you probably shouldn’t join the newspaper. But her point was that you can change things.

I feel like a lot of people don’t realize the power they have to change things. Of course you have people like Martin Luther King Jr and Steve Jobs, who challenged the way things were and evoked true change, but they’re one in a million, right?

Well maybe not. Maybe the only true difference is that they believed–I mean truly believed–that things can change and that they can be the ones to prompt it.

So why don’t we all think like that?

I mean, think about something you hate and think about why you hate it. Maybe you hate your student government because the rest of your grade doesn’t care, or maybe you hate modern rap because the messages are always vulgar and meaningless. But maybe you actually love leadership and decision-making or amazing combinations of rhythm and rhyme.

The point is that you can change it! I truly believe if you are passionate enough about something and remain hardworking and dedicated, you can achieve anything.

And yes, I realize I’m coming off as a huge cheese ball, but think about it!

I was thinking about this the other day in one of my classes because we were discussing modern architecture for an hour. And I hated it. And I thought how are people fascinated by this?

But then we started analyzing premodern architecture designs, like cathedrals that took hundreds of years to build because of all of the intricate details. And I thought this is beautiful. This is art.

And then I got mad because I hate modern architecture. I hate how everything changed just to put functionalism first. Sure, it’s great to have functional buildings, but that doesn’t mean they have to be ugly.

And I started thinking, if I were really, truly passionate about architecture, I could change things! I could inspire people to start making buildings like they used to, while still being functional. I mean, why not? There’s got to be some solution that could work.

So I don’t know, maybe this isn’t making much sense due to my incredible lack of sleep, or maybe this is nothing new. Maybe you’ve heard it all before. But it’s a pretty new idea for me.

In my life, I feel like everyone around me are ruling out certain occupations because of things they hate. I’m an education major and believe me, there is plenty to hate regarding the way our education in the US is changing, but I’m not going to quit because of that. I’m passionate about teaching and evoking the kind of change in young people that I wish had been evoked in myself.

And yeah, common core sucks and deciding teachers’ fates solely on test scores is wrong, but that doesn’t have to be our future.

So this is my point: Do you hate how photoshopped the models in magazines are these days? Do you hate greek life because you think everyone hates each other? Do you hate how every teen novel these days seems to have a love triangle? You may not be able to change The Hunger Games or Twilight, or force everyone on campus to be best friends, or convince everyone in charging of editing photos for those magazines to go on strike, but you don’t have to. You can write your own book, publish your own magazine, or at least try and inspire others to coexist.

You can be a trailblazer. You can do big things and make real change, even if it seems impossible from where you are now.

It’s possible.

Just don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

Sincerely,

Sammy

I HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK

Dear Reader,

Help!

I’ve been at the library since 2 and, while I’ve been socializing, eating, and working on some schoolwork, I’ve primarily been trying to write a blogpost. I was working on about three or four different ones because I kept starting over and changing ideas and every sentence I wrote seemed to be an inadequate display of what I was really feeling.

I don’t know what to do. I wanted to knock out an entry today and talk about something that mattered, but I ended up here: writing about having writer’s block.

So, yes, I’m lame, but what am I supposed to do? What do you do when you get writer’s block? When I was younger someone told me that headstands helped–I don’t know, something about getting the blood to literally start flowing in your brain. But I’m in the library and have a feeling that might be frowned upon.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll Google it and come back with some ideas. But seriously let me know if you have some!

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Sincerely,

Sammy