First Days of College: First Impressions From an Only Child

Hello interwebs! You are officially reading posts from me in college ( WOO)! As the title suggests, I am going to be writing about my first few days at college and my first impressions as an only child, as well as from a perspective from someone whos kinda shy, nerdy, and full of anxiety.

First things first, of course, I was really nervous about leaving home. If you’ve been reading my college series you know all about my trepidations of leaving home for the first time. From all of those things, I have to say leaving my boyfriend was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a long time. He’s been someone who has been my rock emotionally and mentally so leaving him behind made me really nervous about how I was going to handle college life alone. As someone with Generalized Anxiety, the feeling of being alone is one of the things that makes me the most anxious. I was also worried that without someone to be there for me I’d be overtaken by my symptoms.

As for leaving my parents, that was also incredibly difficult. As an only child, I have a very close relationship with my parents so not having my mom around to talk to has been really strange. I’d like to think that my mom is my best friend so not having her in the other room has certainly been taking some getting used to. However, I have been calling home every morning so It adds a sense of routine and normalcy to this new situation. For college itself, I couldn’t be more excited. My campus here at UPS ( University of Puget Sound) is beautiful and everyone is so loving and inclusive that you can’t help but feel at home. We are currently undergoing a week’s worth of orientation, which is basically them shoving us into groups to make us get to know our new class as well as campus. For the first few days, I’ve been only going to some things and not going to others. I know myself enough to know that I really need to take time for just myself and shoving myself into a bunch of social situations right off the bat will just overwhelm me and I won’t be happy.

As a final statement, I have to say I am very happy here. I was really worried that I wouldn’t feel comfortable here and that I would want to go home within a week. However, I found that I’ve made this place a home away from home and I am falling in love with college life. I wish you all the best in your school careers and I hope that you are all settling into the new school year with ease.

Stay calm and carry on,

Lia

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The Art of Writing Letters: Keeping Letter Writing Alive

Hello, interwebs! Today I am going to be talking a little bit about letter writing and why I am going to be sending lots of letters to my friends and family while I am away in college.

Letters have been a means of communication for a really long time. People evolved and created their own style with handwriting, stationery, wax seals and even stamps. However, over time our culture has moved away from sending hand written notes and toward the technological means of communication entirely. I’ve always loved writing and receiving mail since I was really young. I grew up in the age of computers so there was always this sort of magic and mystery regarding letters and mail in general. When I was growing up, pen-pals and sending post cards to friends during the summer were quite a common thing and I remember always being so excited when I got one.

However, now people have no interest in sending hand written notes and letters. I remember how when I was taking the ACT for the first time that most of the kids in the room didn’t know how to write in cursive, in order to write the statement saying they won’t cheat. This was incredibly surprising to me. As someone who grew up being forced to learn and write in cursive constantly it was unimaginable that people didn’t know it at all.  I digress, as you may know ( if you’ve been following my blog) that I am leaving for college soon. There are a few things that I’m doing while I’m there that I am going to add to my daily routine. Most of those are obvious things, such as skyping my boyfriend and my parents, using my planner, meditation; but there is one thing that most wouldn’t think of, writing letters to my boyfriend as well as my friends.

The reason I wanted to write letters specifically is that a) I love letters and stationery b) think there is something more thoughtful about writing letters and c) as a way to keep in touch with my friends far away that I won’t be able to talk to often. Like I mentioned, I think there is something very thoughtful about writing letters. It tells the person, ” hey I took the time to sit down and put my thoughts on paper” which I think is rather special. I also wanted this as a way for me to show a sort of commitment to my significant other. I wanted the letters to symbolize me thinking about him constantly and making the effort to keep up a normal routine as well as making some things fun and exciting.

To get to my actual point, go out and write someone a letter. It doesn’t take that much time and I’m sure someone around you has an envelope and a stamp. I think people really appreciate it and I am someone who doesn’t want this form of communication as well as handwriting, in general, to go away.

Stay old fashioned,

Lia

 

1 Week Away: Thoughts and Tips about going away to College

Hello interwebs! Today I am going to be continuing with my little series about heading off to college. Since I am leaving in about a week, I thought I would make a post updating you on my thoughts and feelings as I get so close to my final days at home.

 

Like I’ve said from the beginning, college has always been somewhat of an anxiety inducing topic. As an only child who’s never been away from home for long, this is an entirely new experience. However, as I get closer to actually leaving, there is this odd sense of calm. I think it has to do with how insanely prepared I am and my level of anxiety induced OCD. I’ve gotten all of my stuff, I am almost already packed, bought all of my school supplies and not to mention I’m going to the school of my dreams. ( it’s also a nice bonus that I got a super sweet room and an awesome roommate). With the calm and the happiness also comes with an overwhelming sense of melancholy. I am also leaving my family, my hometown, my best friend and my boyfriend as I leave off toward the unknown.

Leaving also feels like some wonderful, great adventure. I’m leaving to become more of my own person and experience people and things that will ultimately impact my life greater than anything in High School. It will make me a stronger person and hopefully, more self-assured. I think college is the ultimate time to figure out who you are and what you believe in. You aren’t surrounded by parental pressures to be one way or the other, which allows you to really delve into who you are on a very intimate level. You also have your future to dream about. What makes you happy? What could you see yourself working on/for, for quite some time? All of these things, with some good introspection and hard work, will come to you eventually.

This is also the time in which we can learn to be individual adults. The first thing I would like to mention is that you really need to take care of yourself. I know you will hear something similar from your parents, but it is important to take care of your health and well-being; both mental and physical. Mental health is really important to your overall health and happiness and like I’ve said a thousand times before, if you need help please do not feel ashamed to get it. You also have to take care of your physical health as well. Staying up all night on Redbull and Doritos won’t help your skin or your brain ( among many other things). This also doesn’t mean starving yourself because you don’t want to gain the freshman 15. Everything of course in moderation and with some light exercise you should be totally happy and healthy.

That leads me to my last point if you aren’t happy, leave. No one wants you to be unhappy and if a college or room mate or whatever is making you unhappy, miserable or depressed; maybe it just isn’t for you. I also want to stress that this is OKAY. Going to a 4 year, big wig, university isn’t for everyone. Of course, I am a large advocate of higher education but if a big private university isn’t for you there are many other options available.

Overall, I am excited for what’s to come and I wish everyone great sucess in college!

Love and hugs,

Lia

Long Distance Relationships: First year of college away from your significant other

Hello, interwebs! Today I am going to be talking about my thoughts on long distance relationships as well as some of the things that we are planning in order to help make the time away not feel so miserable.

 

Long Distance relationships, especially in college seem like this impossible feat. Everyone you know loves to tell you how much it isn’t going to work. However, in reality, like almost all things; if you give it love, attention, and dedication it will work. Of course, this will not work out for every couple as every couple is different but these are just my thoughts and actions regarding my own relationship that may or may not be helpful to you. First things first a little bit about my relationship. I started dating my boyfriend Ian at the beginning of my senior year after both of us crushing on each other for most of the previous school year. The week before school started we started talking, went on one date to the movies and he asked me out two weeks later. We are just about to hit our one year anniversary on August fourteenth and have had a basically bump-free relationship until now. I think the whole thing that I love about us is that we have such a high level of respect for each other and an understanding of each other’s needs ( such as him helping me with my anxiety symptoms and me just giving him love and help with English haha) that have helped us get through without any real hardcore fights.

Long distance relationships take a certain amount of dedication in order to work. I think you really have to take a step back and determine how much you are willing to work in order to keep the relationship healthy. As someone who recently got a promise ring I would consider us rather serious, though of course, you don’t have to be quite that serious. Overall, I think the main thing is that you are willing to take time out of your schedule for the other person in order to continue somewhat of a normal routine.

As for things that we are going to do to help make that schedule, I have a few things. First and foremost, taking time ( scheduling time) to call or skype them every day I think is key. I don’t say texting because you can message them anytime and it certainly isn’t as personal. If you set out an hour every day to call them or video call then this way you can hear their voice and have an in depth conversation like you would if you were actually with them. I also think this helps with the ” angry text syndrome” that happens with long distance couples. If you don’t know what this is, basically from what I understand when you are away from someone for so long you forget their tone when messaging and more things can be misconstrued as angry or mean. If you call them every day to catch up you can somewhat avoid this issue.

Another thing that we are doing is sending letters. This may seem weird for lots of people but I love stationery and writing so to show my work and effort I pledged to write weekly letters and send pictures along with them. Even though it’s from the girl to the guy, don’t underestimate the power of doing something that people know take time. He may be a manly macho man, but don’t think for a second that he doesn’t appreciate you taking an hour to do something as manual as writing letters. It doesn’t have to be this, of course, it could be sending packages once a month, making those ” open when cards” before you leave, or whatever else you can think of. Doing something on a regular basis that makes you stop and think about the other person will definitely help keep things interesting as well as keep you thinking about them in a positive way. As they say ” distance makes the heart grow fonder”

The last thing of advice is to always know when you are going to see them again.When you leave them always say something along the lines of ” see you on ( this date)”. I actually got this tip from Game Theory on Youtube during a live stream. They mentioned how they went through long distance during college and always did this whenever they saw each other. As for my own personal thoughts about this, I think besides being a really cute way of ” saying goodbye without saying goodbye” it helps remind the person that you are going to see them again and it actually isn’t an eternity away. It also makes it something to look forward to in the future.

 

I know leaving for college is already scary, especially when you are leaving someone who has been the backbone of your life for quite some time. However, this will allow you both to grow up and become independent people as well as hopefully, strengthening your relationship even if you aren’t with each other all the time. I wish you all the best with your relationship endeavors. Sorry for the long post but I had a lot of information to get out haha.

Best wishes,

Lia

 

Back to School: My favorite back to school organization items

Hello, interwebs! Today I am going to be talking about how I begin to organize myself for school as well as what I got to use in college.

Many people, especially in college, only end up taking notes and doing assignments on a Laptop or Tablet. However, I am one of those people that 1) cannot type fast at all 2) cannot learn things if I don’t write them down. It is actually scientifically proven that handwriting things is a better method for learning new information, but I’m sure many of you have heard that before.

My first item of business is always a planner. I have always been someone who likes to use a physical planner rather than one on my phone or computer. In more recent years, I’ve got into the whole “Glam Planning” culture ( which you can read more about on other posts here). A good planner does what you need it to do, this meaning organize your daily tasks and events. It might take some time to find what planner works for you and what style you like but basically, you need a place where you can see what you need to do and be able to organize the time to get it done.

Next, I always look toward how I am going to organize all of my class notes. I am someone who has always been known for taking really plentiful and well-written notes. Because of this, I am always looking for the best and easiest way to organize all of my notes. This year, I ended up settling on a set of Moleskin notebooks. I normally won’t get notebooks that aren’t coil bound because they never end up laying perfectly flat. However, I found that after I broke the binding on these notebooks ( this means basically just cracking the spine) they stayed flat enough for me to write neatly. Another one of the main reasons I settled on these is that they were available at Costco! For a 6 pack of notebooks in various colors as well as a set of labeling stickers, it ended up being around $10 which is an insanely low price for moleskin notebooks which are usually $10 for an A5 size.

My final most important school supply is pens. I have always had a fascination with pens and I love finding the ones that I believe write the best. Personally, my favorite pens come into a few categories: Black ink, Colored ink, and highlighters. For Black ink, I’m wavering between the new Muji clickable pens in 0.5 and the Pentel Energel in 0.7. For colored ink, I like the Staedtler pens because of their verity of colors as well as their fast drying ink. Finally, for highlighters, I love the Mildliners because of their cute color schemes even though they do tend to smudge ink occasionally.

 

Alright, that’s it for today. If you enjoyed this post let me know and I might make another post more in detail about how I take notes as well as some of my study strategies.

Study like Hermione,

Lia