motivational haiku

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As this turkey feast

comes to an abrupt, bitter close

may we survive finals.



Obviously, I am no poet. I am, however, hoping that each and every one of you had a restful break; full of food, family, and zero politics (excluding those sublime Joe Biden memes. What a glorious man).

I also hope that you spent today wrapped in a post-turkey radiance. I personally spent this afternoon basking in the glow of Christmas lights, while my dog and I caught up on all the Netflix we missed out on over the semester. Sometimes there’s nothing more delicious than letting yourself have a break.

Until next time,

Tress

thankful thursday

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I know that we’re still a week out from Thanksgiving, but I am feeling overwhelmingly content. This period of life moves so quickly, and things change rapidly, but it’s pretty rad. (Side note: I signed my first lease this week, and my brother got engaged. c.r.a.z.y.) I’m trying to savor every moment of it– after all, there comes a point where being broke and not having your life figured out is no longer charming (terrifying)!

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I am so thankful that I get to attend a university where students are not only encouraged to create, but are provided opportunities to showcase their work.

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I’m thankful to be living in a country where I’m free to pursue an education. Right now in history we’re reading books about women right’s in parts of Asia and the Middle East. The oppression they deal with is incredible, and I take my own freedom for granted way too often. In fact, there are actually more girls than boys in my physics and genetics classes right now– how cool is that?! #WomenInScience #Wow

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I am so, so, SO thankful for the people that I get to do life with. My family, friends, and my hamster make my life so bright. The world is filled with beautiful people, but I’m pretty sure that I get to be around the best of the best.

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Snapchat from The 1975 concert we attended– it was honestly the highlight of my semester.

I’m thankful for music. For good books. For color and sunshine and fresh flowers.

I’m thankful for my job. For the crazy, completely overwhelmingly full days. For lazy, Saturday mornings. For sturdy mugs and stronger coffee.

I’m thankful for my wonderful church family. For my dog. For roommates that are down for baking and Netflix sessions after rough days.

I am thankful.

Tressia

self-care for busy students

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We’ve all opened our planner (or google calendar, or long to do list) and been completely overwhelmed by what we’ve seen.  For me, that’s usually followed by a downward spiral into panic and chaos, and I spend most of the day completely frazzled.

But I’m learning that this can be avoided altogether by finding quiet moments throughout the day.  I’ve also discovered that when I feel more ‘balanced’ I am more productive while I’m working and more present when I’m relaxing.  It’s pretty rad.

I didn’t used to take time to carve out little moments, because I didn’t think that I had time for them. However, going hard 100% of the time is not ultimately sustainable.  Eventually you crash and burn.  Scheduling in some down time is actually more efficient– and it makes life more enjoyable.

When I was little, a lady at my church told me that she “always felt better about life” when she had a pedicure.  At the time I thought that was strange and unusual, but now I get it.  She was indulging in some much needed self-care.

So set aside daily quiet time. Take that Friday afternoon power nap.  Go out (or stay in) on the weekends. Take a bubble bath, watch some Netflix while you get your workout in.

Treat yo self.  I swear it’ll make you more calm, successful, and well rounded.

Tress

quality over quantity

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My junior year of college begins tomorrow.  It’s so surreal.

This school year, I’d like to get rid of all the extra.  I want to downsize everything– the amount of clubs I’m involved in, superfluous acquaintances, etc.  I want to spend my time zeroing in on the things that are actually important to me: my close friends, my classes, my leadership positions.

In semesters past I have been so focused on building an impressive resume that I’ve completely overloaded myself.  You can’t be involved in IM sports, three different clubs, and two campus ministries in addition to being a double major.  You can’t do all of that and expect to constantly be performing at your best.  It just can’t be done.

Instead, I’ll be doing what I love wholeheartedly.  I’ll devote my time and energy to causes that I’m interested in.  And I will get an A in physics.

Last weekend I donated most of my clothes, and created a capsule wardrobe.  It seems like such a small, silly start, but it’s already been so freeing.  I have more time in the mornings.  My room is less cluttered.  Best of all, I finally get to live solely in shades of white, black, and gray.

I’m learning that less is more; that simplicity is beautiful.

What are your goals for this school year?

Tress

 

3 keys to a fab road trip

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Keys?  Road trips?  Get it?

I’ll stop now.

In all seriousness, there are 3 simple things that you can do to achieve optimal road trip success.  Let’s get into them.

1.  Create a detailed budget.

I can’t stress this one enough.  Having an extensive budget was a lifesaver, especially as a broke college student.  Setting limits for yourself really helps curb frivolous spending, and it’s comforting to have an estimate of how much gas will cost, etc.

Do your research.  I am a HUGE fan of TripAdvisor.  It’s layout is simple, and it makes it easy to find cheap hotels and fun things to do. You can also pack most of your food, to help cut down on eating out.  (It adds up quickly, especially if you’re paying $10+ for each meal.)

Plus, there’s something nostalgic about eating PB&Js and drinking cheap wine on the beach.  But maybe that’s just me.

 

2. Have a general itinerary– but be flexible.

Just jumping into the car and aimlessly wondering sounds pretty romantic, but in practice, it’s kind of boring.  On the flip side, you don’t want to be overly ambitious and wear yourself out. Pick out 1 thing that you’d like to do each day, and just be spontaneous the rest of the time.

When I go on road trips with my best friend we have 2 rules:

A. Only eat at local places

B. Stop immediately if anything along the way looks interesting

Doing both of the above has lead to some pretty wacky (and memorable) experiences.

 

3. Remember where you stayed and what you enjoyed most.

Last year, the BFF5everrrr and I decided to spend one of our days at this cute lil beach.  We ended up loving it so much that we went back this year for an entire weekend.

It also helps to remember where you stayed, and how much it cost.  That way you can return to the places that were clean and reasonable, and skip the places that were questionable.

 

4. Take pictures. Bring friends. DO NOT, under any circumstances, forget the bug spray and sunscreen.  (This one’s for free!)

Happy road tripping,

Tress

august in books

As always, you can stalk my literary selections here. 

When I was a little girl, I loved fiction.  I spent most of my summer days reading in the sunshine, dreaming of pirates and dragons.  Somewhere along the way, my wild imagination conked out, and I no longer found fiction enjoyable.

In retrospect, I think I just had difficulty finding well written adult fiction.  It was always easy for me to find excellent YA lit. However, at first glance, the grown up literary world seems to mostly consist of bad romance paperbacks. (Side note: what is up with that whole Amish romance phenomenon?!)

Ergo, I swore off fiction at the tender age of 17.  I also basically stopped reading after high school.

However, I have made it a goal to read at least 3 novels this summer.  So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

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The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion

I read the Rosie Project in 2 days.  I can’t even remember the last time that happened.

Even though it’s a romance book (heaven forbid) it’s incredibly engaging and cleverly written.  It’s about a geneticist with Asperger’s, who begins a scientific endeavor aptly titled “The Wife Project”.  Simsion has managed to create a completely unique novel, and I highly recommend it.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Okay, I’m not sure if this counts as one of the 3– it is, after all, a YA book.  Even so, I’m really enjoying it.  It’s kind of an anti-The Fault in Our Stars, and it’s refreshingly written.

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  Then We Came to The End by Joshua Ferris

This one’s been on my list for a while, and I’ve heard wonderful things about it.  I’m looking forward to beginning it.

What are you reading this month?

Tress

 

us vs. them

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*Note: I am not at all writing this to push my own political agenda– there’s enough of that on the internet already.  (Just check your Facebook feed!) 

Now that the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Conventions are over, I’d like to touch on a disturbing trend that I noticed throughout both conventions; the predominating us vs. them mentality.

Let’s take, for example, Trump’s wall. (Again, I don’t really want to comment on the merits of his policies… This is merely an example.) He has heavily used rhetoric throughout the entirety of his campaign that demonizes undocumented Hispanics as a people group. Trump has painted every single one of them as lazy, often cruel, and lawless.

He is pushing such descriptions to deepen the fears of those who are already frightened, therefore giving them a false foundation upon which to justify their prejudices.

Depicting Hispanics (and others) in such a way leads to a viscous cycle; one that is full of snap judgement and unfounded fear. A cycle that takes the humanity out of good and earnest people, and makes them out to be monsters.

In all fairness, the left is guilty of this as well.  In fact, most politicians from both parties spend more time finger pointing and blame shifting than they spend discussing solutions.  With such a divided political climate, it’s no wonder our government is so inefficient.

This kind of thinking drives a wedge between us.  Such a mentality fosters hatred, bigotry, and violence. We all just need to remember that, at the end of the day, we stand united– no matter our race, religion, or political views.

Don’t let yourself be fooled by hatred inspired stereotypes.  Don’t be fearful.

Do choose to assume the best about others– even if they look or believe differently than you.

Tress