Senior Blues

I am a proud pirate of East Carolina University, but the finish line is approaching at an alarmingly rapid rate, and I find myself reflecting on the last three years in the purple and gold nation.  There have been some ups and downs, much like every part of your life will have, but college is a totally different time in your life than any other.  On one hand, you are mostly thrown into adulthood.  Unless you are extremely fortunate, you have to find a way to pay your way through school, you have to start paying your own bills, and generally being more responsible for yourself and your well being.  However, you are still part of a tight knit community of other people who aren’t quite ready to embark upon the real, real world either.  College is the time that people can take the time to discover who they really are outside of their hometowns and away from the people that they have known their entire lives, but all while being productive and attempting to obtain a future for themselves.  College students somehow find a way to balance all of their classes, meetings, clubs, homework, studying, partying, working, and general friend time.  Looking back on the last three years, there are things I wish I had done, things I wish I had done differently, and things that I maybe shouldn’t have done, but such is life.  The closer that I get to leaving, the more that I realize things will never be the same.  I won’t have a meal plan that I can swipe whenever I want.  I won’t see most of these people ever again.  I won’t be able to stay up until 4:30 in the morning doing random things with my friends anymore.  Somehow, this is okay.  The truth is, we all knew when we started college that it would have to end sometime.  The real purpose of all of this was to come out on the other side with a degree, but I will come out with so much more.  I just didn’t realize how bittersweet it would feel until it snuck up on me like this.

In May of 2016, I will walk the stage, dressed in my purple gown to accept my diploma, probably bawling like a little baby and half wanting to run back across the other way and start all over.  I will be the first person in my family to graduate, and I will get to be what I have always wanted to me; a teacher.  And I will have 4 years of amazing memories under my belt.  I could not be more proud to have spent the last three years, and soon to be four, as an East Carolina University Pirate.  I vow to make this last year one to remember, no matter what.  So, here’s to the sports games, the nights out, the nights in studying way too hard, the late night trips to get caffeine for studying but getting sidetracked and not coming home for hours, eating in the dining hall, meeting new people, and anything else that comes my way.  Here’s to the university that will have prepared me to walk that stage when the time comes and here’s to all of the people that attend this beautiful university.  Enjoy your time here.  Soak it all in, because one day you won’t be a student, you’ll be an alumni.

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Going Rogue

undercoverBAT's Blog

playground

They’re not my kids anymore, but they’ll always be mine.

True, I don’t see them day in, day out like I did the year that they were in my classroom. But there are still snatches of time during the day where we can reconnect–a quick conversation as we pass each other in the hall, first thing in the morning when my classroom has more former students than current students.

In my mind, they’re just slightly taller versions of the child I saw every day for ten months, maybe with a few more teeth and a different hairstyle. But then I’m reminded that they’ve been thrown into a whole new existence.

The testing world.

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As promised- puppy pictures!

delilah1

Meet Delilah Rose, or Lilah for short. She is a jack russell terrier mix and, as the breed might indicate, she is a rambunctious little thing. She was born on January 8th of 2014, so that means she’s almost a year and a half.  I adopted her from the Elizabeth City ASPCA this week and I am already in love.

delilah

I mean, how could you not be in love with that face?!  She is very sweet, and she loves everyone!  I was watching the series finale of my guilty pleasure show, Gossip Girl (judge me), and I was in tears, so she came up and cuddled with me and licked my hand until the show was over and I got up.  She’s already so spoiled too, but she deserves it. I’m sure there will be more pictures to come as I share bits and pieces of my life on this blog, because I can tell she is going to be a very important part of my life.

A college student’s perspective on mental illness

One of the many reasons that no one thinks there is a mental health crisis in America is that most people believe they understand these two words and all that they mean.  They think that if they label them correctly and believe in treatment that they are supporters, but for the most part, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Do you believe in treating mental illnesses?  Yes?  But then do you cringe when you hear that someone had an anxiety attack that landed them in the hospital?  Do you think that people are “milking it” when they take anti-depressants or seek therapy?  If talks of panic attacks and suicide attempts make you think about cries for attention, then I don’t think you really know what depression and anxiety mean for those who are diagnosed.  Further, I don’t think you understand that it IS a mental illness that DOES need to be treated.  Superficially you know what those words mean, but not really.

When I think of depression, I think of the feeling of utter hopelessness. I think of trying my hardest to succeed every single day, but never having it be enough.  I think of myself during my sophomore year of college, wanting nothing more to succeed, but also hating every aspect of myself and feeling like I could never have the energy, motivation, or willingness to face the world around me.  I would know that I needed to get things done, and I would want to do them, but at the same time, daily tasks like taking a shower and feeding myself had become too much to bear, and I didn’t think anyone could ever understand. People would just tell me to get over it or to fake it until I made it, but they didn’t know how hard I tried, or just how much faking that I did.   The worst part for me, was the feeling that I could never be happy.  I have always been an optimist, but depression took away my ability to see the light at the end of my dark tunnel, and even my favorite things could no longer make me happy.  Nothing could.  Although I never seriously contemplated suicide, I understood for the first time why someone would want to.  Whether you believe that the worst case scenario in death is living again in the firey pits of Hell, or plain nothingness as one ceases to exist… both of those seemed better than what I felt everyday.  I persevered because I held out hope that better days would come, and they did, but too often, those with depression never live to see the light at the end of their tunnel.

Then, there is anxiety and there are panic attacks.  When I had panic attacks, it could be over something simple, but it never felt like a small problem in that moment.  I couldn’t breathe.  I would feel like the air around me was disappearing and not being replaced.  The walls around me would get closer and closer, but I couldn’t move.  I would start crying and hyperventilating, wishing nothing more but for everything around me to stop.  I would have my conscious screaming at me that my behaviour wasn’t rational; that if I just took a second to think about it, everything would be fine, but the part of me that was being irrational was too strong for that.

Depression and anxiety, both, are all-consuming and dangerous.  They are not problems that people wish to have or over-exaggerate.  They are just things that most people don’t understand unless they have lived through it, so they don’t understand mentally not being able to just “get over it.”  It is a chemical imbalance in the brain, so maybe we should start acting like it IS the disease that people pretend to understand it being.

Resolutions and New love

Hello everyone 🙂  It’s been a long time since I last posted, but I have decided to make it my goal to post at least once a week.  I was on Pinterest last night and I saw a list of 25 things that every person should do before they’re 25 and, somewhere on that list, it said that every person should make a blog about their life and update it frequently because it will be a great way to reflect on the greatest times in life.  I have always loved the idea of preserving a memory, not just for myself, but for my current and future family, which is why I scrapbook in my free time.  So, with that in mind, I have resolved that blogging isn’t just something I like to do when I remember to do it, but something I want to do frequently to help preserve my memories, thoughts, and dreams as they happen.

Now, on to that new love that I talked about in the title.  Matt is on his way to pick up my new doggy Delilah right now! I could not be more excited.  She is currently at the ASPCA in Elizabeth City, NC and if everything goes smoothly with the adoption paperwork, I should see her here around 1 or 2 PM today! She is about a year old and was abandoned at the shelter for being “too energetic.”

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” am I right?

You should all be seeing pictures this week of Delilah and her new home, which is all ready for her to come home to.  She has a pink crate, some toys, dog treats, shampoo, anti-allergy wipes, and just about everything that I could think of her possibly needing.  I also may have gone overboard, so don’t judge me too harshly.

Anyways, until next time…

I hope you are all having a great Wednesday ❤

Christmas :)

mickey

Christmas is ever so rapidly approaching and there are really only 11 days left until that most wonderful day arrives 😀 Yes, I am one of those upbeat and bubbly girls that loves wearing the dorky Christmas sweaters with reindeer antlers and drinking eggnog while watching the 25 days of Christmas on ABC Family. Tomorrow, I will be bringing over some of my best friends to watch all of our favorites with spiked hot chocolate, egg nog, and cookies. That will be our reward for getting through another day of finals. This year, the university announced that they would be extending school by another 10 days, pushing the last day of finals to the 18th of December. There are people in the dean of students office that clearly want to ruin my holiday BUT ITS NOT WORKING. I have my Sociology exam tomorrow and my Diversity exam later on in the week, but then I’m done. Normally, that would mean three more semesters until graduation, but with me having switched my major twice, I have another year tacked on to my undergraduate sentence. It’s a great thing that I love college and I really love my university.
Anyways, I like to ramble and get off track, but the point of this post was to say Happy Holidays to everyone. I, personally, celebrate Christmas, but I hope that whatever you celebrate is amazing this year. Always remember to let go of your grudges, because there is no use holding hatred in your heart with life being as short as it is, and be charitable. If you are in a decent enough financial situation to do so, please go to Walmart and buy even one toy to donate this year. Walmart has little donation boxes so that orphaned children living in group homes or children whose parent’s simply can’t afford Christmas all get to enjoy the holidays as well.

A Quote

‘M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right

-NFL Player Benjamin Watson