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)!

rehearsal

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.

physics

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.

1975
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

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mini blog: midterm madness

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It’s currently Friday morning, at about 3 a.m.  I am frantically reviewing for my last two midterms (anatomy and cell biology) and chugging espresso like my life depends on it.  I haven’t made it to the gym all week, and dry shampoo has been unfortunately necessary as of late.

But none of that matters, because spring break begins in about 13 hours.

Friends and fellow students, we’ve almost made it.

Look at us go.

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.

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

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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

making space

coffee

Life moves quickly.  Although that’s painfully obvious, it became even more apparent to me earlier this week.

I realized that deadlines will always exist.  Work and school will not be slowing down– at least not any time soon.  Dozens and dozens of tasks and people will always be clamoring for attention, and the to do list will always be forever long.

However, that is not a valid excuse to neglect relationships.  At the end of the day, it’s not going to matter what your GPA of profession is.  People will remember how you treated them, and how you made them feel.  And they’ll definitely remember you repeatedly blowing them off.

But all too often I forget this.  I devote hours and hours to practicing organic chemistry problems, and then feel guilty if I choose to watch a movie with my roommates, or volunteer.  It  shouldn’t be that way.

Being driven and work oriented is valuable.  But it is only valuable because it opens doors to serve others.  Serving others– that’s the entire point!

Having downtime is valuable too.  Constantly striving for As, volunteering, working, and keeping up with friends wears a person out eventually.  Sometimes you need to put down the textbook, and go to the gym.  Or read a book.  Or take a nap.  (Which is another thing that I forget!)

Balance.  That’s already such a hard thing to find, even as a silly undergrad.

Tress