a semester in review

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Feelin’ hashtag blessed by a supportive fam.

i. Our fall concert was pretty bittersweet, because I’m taking next semester off from dancing in order to prepare for the MCAT. Choreographing at a collegiate level one last time was wonderful. Getting to share something you’ve created with an audience is completely breathtaking, and it’s an experience that I’ll never forget.

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ii. I moved into an apartment this summer, along with three incredible friends. Not to brag or anything, but we successfully kept (almost) all of our houseplants alive, and only set off the complex’s fire alarm once. All four of us will be parting ways after senior year, in pursuit of either grad school or marriage– it’s made this year an incredibly precious. They each enrich my life, and are such a source of joy and encouragement.

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iii. This semester I FINALLY got to see The 1975 live. I am not ashamed to say that it was one of the highlights of my semester… I plan on seeing them every chance that I get.
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iv. Finally, BOUND raised over $1,000 for human trafficking survivors through our Dressember fundraiser. I never would have imagined that it would have been so successful– it was a total Jesus thing. (Also, you can still donate! Check us out here: https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/team/98832 )

What were some of your highlights?

-Tress

ohh we’re halfway there

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First official pleasure read of the summer! 10/10 would highly recommend, especially to those planning on entering medicine/law with the intent to serve. 

Well, sophomore year is officially over. Praise the Lord, forever and ever amen.

In all honesty, it was a great year. I was blessed to have incredible roommates, friends, and mentors– it was a year of building relationships, and deepening roots. I feel like I’m walking away with a greater sense of purpose, and a more holistic understanding of the world.

That being said, it was far more academically challenging than freshman year. (*cough* organic chemistry *cough*.) While entering summer was bittersweet last year, I feel drained this time around. The next couple of months will be a much needed respite.

That being said, I’ll be keeping busy.  I recently received a job in a nearby bakery, and I’m hoping to line up some shadowing opportunities. I’m also enrolled in an EMT program (SO PUMPED) and I’m taking a couple of summer classes.

That being said, I’m going to spend this upcoming week resting. And I refuse to feel guilty about it.

It’s going to be a great summer.

Tress

 

making space

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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

 

 

the favorites: school edition

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Decomposition Notebooks: I am a firm believer in taking notes the old fashioned way: by hand.  I’ve always been a fan of the size and feel of traditional composition books, and the nerdy designs make them perfect.  Also: they’re made out of 100% recycled material! Yay for the environment! (I currently have my eye on this one for next semester). 

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Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens: Again, I’m a huge fan of handwriting out notes, and I like to color code them when I rewrite/study them.  I liked these so much that I had to buy a second pack, because I used up my original ones. They also don’t bleed horribly, which makes them nice for grading.

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Work Journaling: I’m horrible at keeping an updated planner, or calendar.  I’m also not artistically gifted enough to bullet journal.  Work journaling a la Cal Newport style is much more my speed.

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Actual Headphones: Because earbuds just don’t block out the sweet sounds of noisy hall mates.  (Bright colors are a bonus!)

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Eucerin: This literally saved my life.  Between having 5 labs a week myself and TAing 3 intro labs, I was washing my hands so much that they were constantly chapped and splitting.  Eucerin was much more effective than my normal Bath and Bodyworks lotion.

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Maybelline’s Bit of Berry Lipstick:  I’m a huge fan of lipstick, and this is my all time favorite shade.  It’s not too bright, not too neutral, and helps me pretend that I have my life together.  If I’ve learned one thing during my collegiate career it’s that anything can be accomplished with prayer, coffee, and a pop of color.  (No matter the extent of sleep deprivation!)

Do you have any school favorites?

Tress

 

 

 

rest

The semester finally came to a close last Thursday. And I feel like I have been napping ever since.

It was such a full, satisfying, wonderous semester.  My coursework was both interesting and challenging (pro tip: DON’T take organic chemistry, histology, and microbiology all at once) and I really loved all of my professors. Histology was by far my favorite class– the human body is one of the most marvelously complex structures in all of creation.  I enjoyed it so much that I enrolled in Anatomy and Physiology with the same professor next semester.

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Next semester’s schedule. My adviser even let me enroll in an English elective!

 

 

Being a sophomore feels settled.  I cherish all of my college friendships deeply, and I probably would have gone crazy this semester if it had not been for them.  Sometimes you need people who drag you out of the library to go on spontaneous donut and Target runs.

All though I need to start applying for summer internships and shadowing positions, I think I am going to take the next few days to rest.  There is more to life than school, and I think students (particularly  health science nerds) often forget that.  After all, there are Christmas gifts to be wrapped, cookies to be baked, and shows that need to be binged.

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Current obsession: Jane the Virgin

Tress

 

end of summer shenanigans

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This summer seemed like it would never end– until I finished my intenship.  Since August began, the days have been flying by.  I move back to school this weekend, which is absolutely crazy, especially since I haven’t begun packing or ordering books.  Oops.

I did have the opportunity to go on a mini road trip with my very bestest friend ever.  We hiked, explored, and were complete beach bums.  We saw endless chick flicks in empty theaters, flea marketed, and made a field trip to build a bear.  We ate tons of amazing food, and I am legitimately concerned about fitting into my leotards next week.

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                                                          This was BEFORE I completely fried. #worthit
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We found a gem of a bar up in Michigan; all smokey and filled with old records. Hands down the best burger I’ve had in my life.
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                                                                          Swollen feet = successful day.
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Found this at an international grocery store, after a day of perusing museums… Definitely the weirdest thing I’ve seen this summer.

Though this summer has been short, it has been lovely.  Besides the road trip, I reconnected with a few old high school friends, and we’ve grown close.  It’s funny how people you would never picture yourself befriending end up becoming some of your favorite people.

This week will be bittersweet indeed.  I am beyond excited to begin sophomore year, and to be reunited with my college friends.  (I’m even looking forward to my classes!)  But I feel like this month has all but disappeared.  This last week will be spent wrapping up summer classes, packing, and resting as much as possible.  Next week will bring 8 am ballet classes, and strength training, as we head back for conditioning week.

That is crazy.

Tress

and that’s a wrap!

As unbelievable as it sounds, I have completed my freshman year of college. (At least it sounds pretty unbelievable to me– this year really flew by.)

the lovely biological and physical sciences building, aka where I primarily live.
                           the lovely biological and physical sciences building, aka where I primarily live.

At first I was really depressed that the semester was over.  The majority of my close friends live out of state, so that kind of sucks.  We (especially the biology majors) became more like family than friends over the past semester.  Serious goodbye tears were shed, folks.

The ever lovely freshman dance majors. (Side note: they are some of the most wonderful women I’ve ever met.)

Rooming with this wonderful lady was so fab. Looking forward to many future adventures/obnoxious doors. 💙

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My super fab roomate and I — I SO lucked out. We’re rooming together again next year, and I cannot wait to see her again.

All that being said, being home for a few days has shown me how much I actually needed a break.  After the chaos of finals and our spring concerts, I was more exhausted than I realized… And being able to sleep/binge watch Netflix/ have quiet time has been incredibly refreshing.

typical scenery I get to see on my runs-- look at how vast and beautiful that sky is!
                        typical scenery I get to see on my runs– look at how vast and beautiful that sky is!

I’m also trying to savor the next week or two; my family is moving from the countryside to more of a suburban area, so that’ll be a major change.  I also am starting an internship with a major pharmaceutical company on the 20th, which is a little nerve-wracking.  (Mostly because of the commute… It’s in a major city, so I’m worried that I’ll get lost or something.)

Country roads and wildflowers. Being home is weird (but nice).

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My bestfriend and I.

But for the next few days I am just going to enjoy being home, and all that entails– tee ball games, sleeping in, and the like.

– Tress