College Life Lessons

Hey guys, as I’m approaching my senior year (sobs) I thought I would share some of the things I have learned from being a university student. As a high school senior, I could not even begin to comprehend how much I would change, in a good way. You learn through the good and bad. P.S., sorry I haven’t posted in awhile, my class seriously took all of my time.

1. Take the Intiative

It’s really easy to just sit back and ride the wave. I learned that wouldn’t necessarily work for me my Freshman year with academics, but throughout my college years, I have started applying it to my own life. Tackle the problem head on. If you have a question ask it. If you need help, seek it. Start off with some academic things. For example, my freshman year I was really struggling with my English class. Usually, I just sit back and hope things get better, but I forced myself to go in and see my professor, and it helped so much. Now, I can extend this beyond my academics. If I feel like something is wrong, I go and try to find the problem and solve it as best as I can. If you want change to happen, you can be that change. I know it sounds cheesy but really give it a shot, you’ll be surprised what you are capable of.

2. Be Curious

The whole reason you’re in school is to gain knowledge, ask questions! If you want to know more about something, go and learn more. Be curious about people too. It’s the small things that count. You don’t have to ask them weird questions. You can ask “how was your day?” I find that people are the most interesting things you can acquire knowledge from, listen to their stories. I struggled my first couple of weeks at my school (like crying to my mom every day struggling). One day, which seemed like the same old bleak day, one girl in my class just asked me: “hey what are you doing tonight?” Like what? This girl, I barely knew was asking me to hang out with her? You’ll never know how much that made my day. She wanted to know more about me and that made me feel like I was actually worth something, imagine you doing that for someone else.

3. Be mindful of what you say/do

Even if it’s just a post on Facebook or a side comment, always think about what you are saying. Opinions are opinions and everyone is entitled to them, I understand that. But do not make assumptions about anything until you have done your research. Countless times I have seen people sharing Odessey articles like it is from the mouth of God. Technically, anyone can write an article on that website. You may think you know your audience but you might not know everything. Yes, you can have your opinion, but don’t state it if it tears down someone else’s opinion. First of all that’s just darn rude and words like that can stay with someone for a long time. Plus, I’ve heard some employers check your Facebook so you better watch what you say!

4. Learn how to say “no”

College is all about the amazing experience of course, but sometimes, we have to say no to certain things for our health and academics of course. When I first came to school, I had some trust issues and had some trouble making friends. It was weird because I even sabatouged relationships intentionally. Every time I felt someone get close to me, I would back off. I felt like I was alone. Once I joined my sorority, I thought that would change, but it didn’t. One of my sisters pleaded with me one night to come out with them and I gave in. Let me tell you, it was one of the best nights ever. I started to become close with people I never thought that I would. Then, it almost became hard to say no to things. I didn’t want to let people down, and it came at a cost. I took on two positions, went out a lot, and wasn’t making healthy choices. Sometimes, we have to take a step back and say no to some things. It’s better to take on one position and put everything into it than take on multiple and not give it your all. Some nights, while going out may seem tempting, you should probably get to work on that paper or study for that test. It can be hard, but you’ll be happier in the end.

5. Plan Ahead

From the moment you get to school, start planning. If you don’t have a planner or agenda of some sort, GET ONE. You can even use your phone, I prefer Google Calendar. But make sure you use it. Like write down (or type if you prefer) everything. The first thing I do when I get a syllabus is write down every due date in pencil because sometimes dates change and you can erase something without getting it messy. If you have a big project coming up, I find that if I break it up into smaller chunks over a longer period of time, it saves me a bit of hassle and I feel like I can breathe. Because I’m a nerd, I have to plan out my social time too. If I want to go out one weekend, I make sure that I get the majority of my work done before hand so I can a) have a good time and not worry about it and b) feel accomplished. I also plan out what days I’m going to clean stuff, what meals I’m going to have, and pretty much anything else that I can. For me, leaving things until the last minute causes me unwanted stress and when I haven’t planned out something that makes it even harder.

6. People Love in Different Ways

So we always have a dream of how the perfect significant other shows us love. Or how a friend shows their loyalty. Guess what? We all have different pictures in our head. Just because someone doesn’t do exactly what you want, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. My therapist told me about this thing called “love languages.” There are a bunch of different types like gifting, acts of service, words, touch, and quality time. You can even have two. I’m definitely gifting and acts of service. If I see something in the store that my boyfriend or friend might like, I give it to them. For a while I was frustrated with not getting the same back. I’m not saying that I’m this material person who just wants things, what I wanted was to feel like someone was thinking of me. I could care less what the item is. For someone else however, showing love may come in the form of words. This might not seem like it is much, but for them, words mean something really important. Once you know your own love language, it can be easy to see what other peoples love languages are and you can appreciate their type of love better.

7. You win a lot more with honey than vinegar

So, I’m naturally kind of a cold person. I’m not like mean or anything, but I tend to be a little more on the shy side especially when I’m meeting someone new. But I’m working on it. Sometimes you might get angry with a group partner or your roommate or even a friend. It can be really easy to just snap at them and say everything they are doing wrong. I’ve definitely made that mistake. By pointing out everything in an aggressive way, what is that going to accomplish? Yeah you might feel a little better, but that might have put an even worse strain on the relationship. I had a situation where I felt like one of my partners for a group project was not doing their part. I was frustrated and angry and just wanted to yell at them. But, I thought that it would be more beneficial for me to just talk to this person. It turns out that my partner was having health problems and was constantly going to doctors appointments. By sharing that information, we were able to make a constructive plan. Of course there are going to be people that don’t really have an excuse to act the way they do, but just reaching out in a friendly way is going to solve the problem instead of just making it worse.

8. Use your resources

I cannot stress this enough. In college, you have so many resources at your disposal to help you succeed. Professors have a wealth of knowledge and most are willing to help you. Just by stopping by their office your getting answers to your questions plus some, demonstrating that you want to do well, and are building a relationship to your professors. They always say that only a few people come to their office hours, which just seems silly to me. Librarians are also AWESOME. If you’re writing a paper, most of the time they will help you in planning your research. They have whole positions dedicated to helping their students with research. It can save you a lot of time and hassle. This even goes beyond academics. If you are on an executive board, reach out to other members and see what things you already have, chances are you have a lot of materials for whatever project you’re doing. Also reach out to other clubs, it can make your event have a bigger pool of people, you get extra help, they can bring in their resources, and you can plan more events together in the future.

9. Find quality friends

Throughout life, we meet people that we may think are friends, but really just drain us. I’ve encountered a few of those. Find that friend who always supports you (no matter what), listens to you, and that you enjoy hanging out with. Having a few quality friends around you makes your college experience so much more enjoyable and fun. When you hang out with those who disappoint you, you are saying that it’s okay for people to disappoint you. That friend may make a mistake, that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of them. If you’re friends you still accept each other.

10. Be that quality friend

When trying to find that quality friend, it helps if you are a quality friend too. Accept them, NEVER judge them, and always be there for them. Even if you want to stay at that party and your friend wants to go home, GO HOME. Never leave your friend. If your friend needs you to pick them up from somewhere at 2 am and you’re tired, PICK THEM UP ANYWAYS. If your friend is not making healthy choices, HELP THEM. Your friend would hopefully do the same for you so always be there. Even if your friend is with a guy you don’t like, support her and don’t bash him even if you really really want to and you just know this guy isn’t right for her. Let her figure it out.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed! Let me know some life lessons you learned in college!

 

 

Clinique: A hit and a miss…

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a great summer so far! I’ve mostly been working and completing two summer courses, so I’m clearly having a fun-filled one!

Anyways, I wanted to talk about a brand that I just love: Clinique. So I’ve always been a huge fan, because of their hypoallergenic qualities and it’s what my Mom usually uses on her face. I’ve just always been exposed to it. I’ve managed to try a boat load of their products between my Mom and I and I’d like to share some of the products that have worked for me and some that just missed the mark.

Hit: Eyeshadow Quads

I always run into the problem where shadow quads are literally just the same color in different shades. Like I want something unique and different, but can still make something cohesive. Clinque does this pretty well. If I want to go for a simple neutral look for work or school I can do that, but it also gives me some options for a going out look. My absolute favorite quad is one that I have pictured below.

 

**Note all of these shades are just part of other duos, so I’m listing what those duos are. Top left-Sand dunes; top right- morning java; bottom left- limited edition gold shade (not part of a duo); and bottom right shade- on safari

That gold shade is my life. Like it’s just perfect. It looks like I haven’t used the darker shades a lot, but really it doesn’t take much of them to show up! I frequently turn to this quad for a smokey going out look whenever I hit the bar with my friends, but I’ll swipe on that gold shade for a ready day look. It might be hard to tell but the safari shade has little gold flakes in it so it matches so well with that gold shade!

Miss: Lip Chubby Sticks

Okay so no lie I own like five of these and still wear them from time to time, but I do have some problems with them. I have some swatches below.

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From left to right: 03 Fuller Fig; 02 Whole Lotta Honey; 09 Heaping Hazelnut; (from the intense line): 06 Roomiest Rose

All cute colors, but I cannot seem to make them last on my lips for more than a few hours. I still wear them if I’m running a quick errand, but I do find that if I wear them I have to take them with me to reapply.

What products by Clinque were hits and misses for you? Let me know!

 

Book Review: The Book of Life (Book 3 of the All Souls Trilogy) by Deborah Harkness

the book of life

“It’s one thing to wander in the darkness because you know no different, but it’s quite another to enjoy the light only to have it taken from you,”


Author: Deborah Harkness

Publisher: Penguin Books (Viking Adult)

Publication Date: 2014


Goodreads Summary:

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’ enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.


My Thoughts:

Okay, so for this review, I’m going to sort of bounce back and forth between looking at this book itself and the All Souls Trilogy as a whole.

So this whole series for me was a love-hate relationship. Sometimes I was super into it and couldn’t put it down, but other times I was dragging my feet through it. This last book was again a little bit of both, but to be honest, the last half of the book was fantastic. I kept looking at it going, why couldn’t the rest of the series been like this? These books are pretty intimidating because of the size and the font is super duper small. I was determined to finish it. The second book was mostly me dragging my feet through it, but it was really the plot that kept me going.

It is obvious that Harkness has done her research. There is so much detail written into these books, like so much. So much in fact that it can sometimes bog down the story for me. I cannot determine what is necessary to remember or not. I just found myself at times going, really? Was that necessary to go on for a page? It wasn’t. This is probably due to her background as a professor. I have to admit that it sometimes did read like a textbook. I just wish that more of that energy was focused on witches and had a bit more of a creative spin on it.

The plot was original and appealing, with a mix of sorcery, vampires, alchemy, and history (and even some references to other literary works). I liked the spin she took on witches, like Diana’s abilities and the witch hierarchy. I just wish that there was MORE ABOUT WITCHES. Like vampires are cool and stuff but COME ON. I want to learn more about that! I do feel like this would make an awesome television series though.

The one thing that bothered me a lot (and if you read some of the other reviews it bothered other people a lot), was the relationship between Diana and Matthew. It just did not seem okay or healthy. I know that vampires being predatory and territorial is a part of the plot, but it still didn’t make some of the things he did okay. I just felt like Diana’s identity was lost sometimes throughout the story. She became “Matthew’s husband” instead of “Diana Bishop.” He was so incredibly controlling that I just wanted him to go away. I would be okay with this if Diana stood up for herself from time to time, but mostly she allows herself to be treated in a certain way. I will say that in the last half of the book she won me over a little bit more.


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Review: Christie Brinkley Daily Facial Exfoliating Polish

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Hey there everyone! This is one of my first makeup/skincare reviews, so if this seems choppy or just like not good in general. I’m going to go ahead and give it my best shot.

So I received this little bottle here in a Birchbox pretty recently. I’ve been trying to use up most of my little samples just so I can say that I’m not throwing my money away for a cute box and tissue paper. But speaking of which, my latest Birchbox did not have any tissue paper. Is this a new thing they are doing? I liked it when they have tissue paper because it feels more like a little present.

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Okay, okay, back to the actual product. So I’ve used exfoliators before, but not one that has been advertised as being used “daily.” I’ve always been told not to exfoliate everyday because it strips your face of some of those essential oils. I was afraid this product would dry up my face, but again it says that it is “gentle on all skin types.” This little thing lasted me a little more than a week.

 

The formula wasn’t anything special, it had that sandy, yet creamy texture to it that it typical of most exfoliators. A little did go a long way, but this is about how much I would use on my face daily. It felt nice after my morning workout and that scrubbing action made my skin feel so nice. So I would apply it in little circles all on my face and wiped it off with warm water on a washcloth.

Looking back, I should have posted a before and after pictures. I will say that I did not have as much acne using this product every day. The full size product (3 oz.) is around $34. Do I think that it is worth the $34? It might be something to look into if you have sensitive skin that is acne prone, but for me, it’s kind of a toss up. There are so many exfoliator products out there I want to try, but I’ll definitely keep this one in mind if I’m ever in the market for one.

Most Intimidating Books in my TBR Pile…

So I follow several different booktubers and this tag came up a lot. Basically these are just three books that I’m a little afraid to read (for a variety of different reasons) but I really want to read them. These books are either going to require some extra focus or determination but I think I can get through them (and hopefully enjoy them!).

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

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Uh can we just talk about this cover for a second, I’m in love. I’m all about a fairy tale spin-off, and Gregory Maguire is known for them. And unf just listen to this plot description on Goodreads:

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings — and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Euridyce can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is After Alice.

Cool right? But honestly, I don’t know if I will be able to handle his writing. I read Wicked and that was brutal. Not that it was bad, it was just A LOT. Granted, this one is smaller than Wicked but I’m still a little nervous. It just sounds so cool so I hope that I’m engaged. And it’s just so pretty. (#priorities)

 

Walk on the Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

IMG_4417I think I’ve only read short stories by Rae Carson, if anything. I’ve heard her writing is good and the plot of this one sounds pretty unique:

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

Here’s the thing: 1) it’s a big book, 2) I’m not familiar with the author, and 3) it’s the start of a series. Some people get so excited to start a series, I get a little nervous. I have this tendency to not finish them. I have book commitment issues. I’m hoping that the writing and plot will be so good that I’ll just have to keep up!

 

Ink by Amanda Sun

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COVER. Oh my gosh it is so pretty. So this book isn’t very long, and it’s got a decent sounding plot (plus it takes place in Japan):

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

Okay so this is a part of a series so there is my book commitment problem. But also, I’ve heard pretty mixed reviews.

 

What are some books on your shelf that seem a little intimidating? I want to know! Have a great day guys!