the hum

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As a biology major, I fall pretty solidly under most premedical student stereotypes.  (You know, type A, always chugging coffee, easily upset by A-, type).  I really do love my major though.  I love learning about the inner workings of the human body.  I enjoy discovering how molecules polymerize, and pouring over minute details of the cell.  I especially like all the opportunities we get to go out and serve the community.

I like working hard.  Being challenged drives me, and I find pleasure in working with both my mind and my hands.

That being said, I have come to the realization that I am, perhaps, a mini workaholic in training.  I will gladly spend hours in the library, or spend time with and serve complete stranger– but it can be difficult for me to prioritize personal relationships.  (Strange, I know!)

This semester, I decided to change my ways.  I have been blessed with many beautiful friendships, and I was letting them fall by the wayside.  (All in the name of organic chemistry!  How sad!)

Leading a more balanced life has been wonderful.  I feel more at peace, happier, and more fulfilled.

However, I did have a rough test this week.  And it was likely because I was up late the night before, sipping organic herbal tea and discussing Biblical translations until the wee hours of the morning.  (There it is!  The most pretentious sentence I have ever written!)

61kdor9ymul-_ux385_ BUT I think that it was worth it.  While the hum of hard work is temporarily satisfying, it is not ultimately fulfilling.  At the end of the day, we have to let ourselves be defined by greater things– our relationships, our actions, our faith.

Yes, I will continue to work hard.  But no, I will not let the the fear of being rejected from medical school consume my life.

Life is such a gift, and we should enjoy it wholeheartedly.

Tress

P.S. I am straight up loving this Ted Talk by Shonda Rhimes.  All you hard working nerds should go check it out.  She’s a boss lady.

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thursday thankfulness

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Standard breakfast.

This week, I stumbled upon a hidden campus dining service gem: the peanut butter protein shake.  I am pretty gosh-darn thankful for those beauties– mornings are 75% less stressful when you can eat your breakfast while walking to class.

I am thankful for great roommates.  One of them started doing morning pre-sunrise devotionals, which has forced me (in a good way) to become more accountable with my quiet time.  The other one stays up late talking about science with me, and both are always down for spontaneous taco runs.  It’s a pretty great setup.

I am thankful for wonderful professors, who give extra credit lectures on the scientific accuracy of the Jurassic Park movies.  Biology is literally the best major.

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DNA extraction in cell biology lab.

I’m thankful for cool labs.  I really do enjoy them, even though they can seem unending at times.

I am so thankful that I dropped my dance major.  I actually have time to sleep and eat now.  Plus, it made it possible to add a Women’s Studies minor, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now.  (I’m still taking dance classes on the side for fun though. 😉 )

I am so thankful that tomorrow is Friday.  (It’s little sibs week too!)

I am also thankful for those peanut butter protein shakes.

They are straight up magic.

Tress

 

unpopular opinion: women and the draft

Marines

Even though the United States does not currently enforce an official military draft, all young men are required to register for Selective Service once they turn eighteen.  Recently, proponents of feminism and gender equality have begun to advocate for a mandatory female draft– a topic which sparked much discussion following the most recent GOP debate.  

Though I am a huge supporter of gender equality, I think that requiring women to register is foolhardy.  Quite, frankly, I think that requiring anyone to register (regardless of gender) is unconstitutional.  The U.S. Military is currently ‘all volunteer’, and it should remain as such.

Before proceeding, I want to make something clear: I firmly believe that women and men are equals.  Members of both genders possess the same social and intellectual capabilities, and are equally competent when it comes to making sound decisions.  Therefore, everyone should have equal access to all opportunities.

However, it is foolish to believe that men and women are physical equals.

Now, I do not want to downplay the bravery of women who freely choose to serve.  They are heroes, and should be recognized as such.  Their courage matches– and likely surpasses–that of their male colleagues.  All women should have the freedom to pursue a career in any military branch.

That being said, women are, as a rule, physically weaker than men (though there are exceptions).  Combat situations could potentially be higher risk for women, as they may be more easily overpowered.  Therefore, I do not find it offensive that my gender is not currently required to register.  On the contrary, I feel honored that our country values us enough to want to protect us from the horrors of war.

Furthermore, data from the Marine Corps shows that all male squads outperformed mixed squads “in 69 percent of the tasks evaluated”.  Not only were all male squads more efficient, they handled their weapons with greater finesse, and were less injury prone.  Again, it is not my intention to disregard the contributions of women in the military– I am simply suggesting that forcing women to register might not be the most lucrative way to strengthen our military.

I’d love to hear any thoughts on this topic, or on military registration in general.  Is requiring women to register empowering?  A necessary evil?  Unneeded?

Tress

 

on being okay with yourself

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Though I’ve proclaimed the benefits of self-love and self-acceptance for many years now, I feel like I am just now becoming comfortable with my many flaws.  (Newsflash: I am a hypocrite!)  While it is easy for us to shower love on our friends, family, and even complete strangers, it is more difficult to cut ourselves some slack.

I think this is especially hard for women in westernized cultures.  With the recent acceptance of male-female social and cultural equality (a.k.a feminism) women are now expected to take on many roles.  After all, the modern ‘ideal woman’ is the love child of June Cleaver and Hillary Clinton; the perfect blend of wholesomeness and ambition.  She has the ability to keep a perfect household and raise well-behaved children– all the while climbing the corporate ladder, clad in her tasteful, DSW pumps.

Realistic, right?

Even so, it is hard not to be hard on yourself.  (Wow, so eloquent, so deep.)

Today, in all honesty, was not exactly my personal best.  I missed my 9 am, because I was up late studying, and slept through my alarm.  I had THE BIGGEST zit on my nose. I lost my phone.  I spilled coffee on my jeans, and had to go back to my room and change (thus effectively making me late for work).  I ate a cookie at lunch, and skipped going to work out with my gym buddy, because I was so tired.  And to top it all off, I got a rather expensive haircut and splurged on a new Bible and nose ring.*  It’s now 11:30 at night, and I have yet to do any homework, but you better believe that I have watched 2 straight hours of Jane the Virgin.

But you know what?  I am okay with today.  I am going to cut myself some slack, and go to bed.  Tomorrow is a new day– though I will still be the same flawed human.

And I am okay with that.

Tress

*Perhaps not the most conventional of purchases

 

 

rant: why (some) americans are terrible

colbertamerica

I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend lately, particularly among those belonging to my generation.  At some point, it became trendy for young adults to take the freedom that we have been blessed with for granted.  And it’s truly sickening.

Now, I’m not trying to go all super patriot– I realize that this nation is not perfect.  We have some pretty major issues that need to be addressed (e.g. the national debt, inequality, unfair taxation, etc).

However, an increasingly large amount of people are becoming blind to how fortunate we are.  Consider this:

Most Americans (80-90% in the majority of the states) obtain a high school diploma.  College enrollment is also on the rise. Plus, you know, women actually have the option to attend school– which is not a thing in many countries.  Lack of education is a huge contributing factor in human trafficking/violence against women and children.  THIS IS A BIG DEAL PEOPLE.

We don’t live in fear constantly.  Mothers and Fathers don’t typically worry about their kids being kidnapped from school, along with almost three hundred other classmates.  Children are not burned alive in the streets.  Globally, 1 child dies every 4 seconds due to hunger, poverty, or a preventable disease.  While hunger does still present a problem for some U.S. citizens, it is not an everyday concern for most. Also, mass evacuations do not occur in America, but they sure as hell happen elsewhere.

I know that the price of healthcare is a controversial subject.  But, let it be known that 87.9% of Americans have a usual place to go to for medical care.  In 2011, 84.8% of American women received prenatal healthcare.  What do you think the infant mortality rates are in third world countries?  I’ve seen them, and trust me, they’re less than ideal. 

Finally, at least 80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a day, and almost half of the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day.   We are rich– rich beyond belief.

So please, continue to share your pretentious (and completely biased) political opinions, while sipping your $4 specialty Starbucks.  You’re TOTALLY right.  America sucks, and we should all move to Denmark, or whatever.*

Tress

*It goes without saying that I will be moving to Denmark if Trump is elected.  I may love this country, but even I have my limitations.

 

mini blog: 99 cent happiness

This weekend has been utter madness, between preparing for upcoming exams and rehearsals.  However, none of that matters, because…

A) I found the entire collected works of F. Scott Fitzgerald (my favorite author) on iBooks– for 99 cents.

B) A nearby gas station discounted their cappuccinos for students attending my university.  They are also now 99 cents.

I’m hoping that this trend continues, particularly since the traditional night-before-exam-burrito-run is swiftly approaching.  *crosses fingers*

Hey, a girl can dream…  Right?

Tress