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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Baby Steps

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Saturday, September 8th, 2012

It’s sometimes difficult to truly capture the feelings I have towards college life in words, but here’s an approximation. Everything is great, seriously; my classes are engaging and meet that sweet-spot between challenging and within mental grasp, there’s so much to do down here it’s stunning (I’m taking Salsa lessons, have joined the Secular Alliance, and To Write Love On Her Arms (a depression awareness and suicide prevention group) and other random organizations), my floor-mates are easy to get along with and I’ve gotten to know some really great people. I’m enormously thankful to have the chance to experience all of this and I’ve got to thank my awesome parents for making this experience go so much smoother than it would have been without the amount of support they’ve given me. I am really grateful to be In Bloomington with so many opportunities floating on the horizon.

The thing is though; I don’t really know what I want out of life.

For now I’m living in the moment and tackling responsibilities that need to be taken care of for the short term: Grades, absorbing class material, getting involved, and making sure I’m on stable track. I’m also likely to get a job at Goodwill soon since having money is a nice thing. As far as ULTIMATE LIFE GOALS go though, I’m running a bit low. I have a general set of interests but I’m having a bit of trouble forming them into a viable career plan. However, it certainly seems that the more I do around here, the more ideas I get for the kind of a life I could lead. It’s become a process of tightening my interests, tying them together, and clearing the fog around what is needed for the future.

Don’t be misled; none of this has got me worried. In general I’m feeling smashing :D Spacing out what I need to do and taking on my short term goals has put me on a smooth-ish road so far. I remember to go by the three E’s: to Experience, Engage in, and Enjoy all I’ve got going on for me now.

And, to my awesomely politically knowledgeable cousin George, don’t worry; I’m remembering to have FU :D :D :D

Not including some sort of spectacular link would be heresy at this point – http://www.kiriakakis.net/mused.html this guy will have you questioning the meaning of questions O_o

Sweet Home Chicago… or Bloomy?

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Never did I anticipate going home so early! I didn’t think I’d be that homesick! My expectations were so off.

Thursday morning, 9am Bloomington, 8am Chicago.
ME: Is it possible for you to maybe get me a ticket home for the weekend? I don’t want you to worry by any means! I was just wondering if possible…the seats are probably all taken though.

9:30 Btown, 8:30 Chi
MOM: I’ll check…
MOM: I thought you were going to the game on sat and hanging out with katrina??? Are you ok?
MOM: Call me please

10:30 Btown, 9:30 Chi
ME: i’ll call when i’m out of dance

A call later, my mom tells me all the tickets have been sold out and she refuses to pass up an opportunity to have me home. She decided to drive down 4 hours on Friday from chicago to pick me up and surprise my sisters. Gotta love the “Far, but close enough” distance. I was so excited.

Going home means:
-Free laundry!
-Mom’s home cooking!
-Dancing at my old studio!
-Shopping with mom!
-Visiting friends going to school in Chicago!
-Laughing with my sisters :)

Instagram Photo

I realized I missed everything about home more than I knew. I do wish my sisters didn’t have rehearsal all weekend so I could spend more time with them, but I’m thankful for the time I was with them. There was one downfall to the weekend…

As my family wasn’t initially expecting me to be home, they had already RSVPd to my cousin’s birthday party on Saturday. No going out for Lorena. It was nice visiting my family but a little weird I was missing the first home football game of the season. As I’m at this family swaroise, I’m checking Twitter and Instagram (Shoutout to @iub_admissions, GO FOLLOW THAT!!!) and look at all the fun people are having there while I’m at a backyard birthday party. My floormmates and I have a groupchat going on, and I kept getting updates on everything. But even they thought the floor was too quiet since so many people were gone. I knew at that point, I missed my floormmates too. You can’t always have the best of both worlds, but you also don’t know what you have ‘til it’s gone.

Instagram Photo

I’m riding back to IU now as a matter of fact, but I don’t regret going home for one second. I can’t wait to be reunited with the Real World: Forest 10B, but it’ll soon be Fall Break and I’ll be itching to go home. I don’t wanna see my family leave me again, but this weekend was definitely a blessing. I don’t know what I would’ve done if my parents made me wait til fall break to come home. YAY for mom being willing to drive 8 hours just to see her baby.

PS. the first picture is from when I visited my old dance studio and took class. The second one is from a picnic me and my friend had at Millennium park. YAY CHICAGO.

Load ‘Em Up, Move ‘Em Out!

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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Hey again everybody!

I am writing this from the comfort of my dorm room at Eigenmann! It’s official: I’m a college kid. :]

Moving in was crazy stressful for me, as well as my parents. I actually chose to move in a day before the actual move in day, and I’m so glad that I did. It would have been insane trying to move in with everybody else. My day started by loading all of my possessions into the back of my mom’s mini van. Everything fit! It was truly a moving day miracle.

My dad drove me the 2 hours up to school, and then proceeded to do ALL the heavy lifting once we started to unpack. Getting the futon into the elevator was quite a sight. :] I’d say it took us a little over 2 hours to get everything settled in my room. My roommate Hannah, and my parents made fun of me for bringing so much stuff but everything fit just fine. (SO IN THEIR FACE!)

My room is really cool because it’s basically like two rooms. One side has our beds on it, and the other side has our futon and our TV. As far as dorm rooms go, I think I got really lucky. This is the bedroom side of my room:

I cannot wait for things to get started around here! From the looks of it, this year is going to be awesome.

Ellen <3

+ Experience Points

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Monday, August 6th, 2012

Since these are my first days as a college student I thought a short list of random lessons I learned throughout the week would be a good way to relay my experiences. All of these items are situations I found myself in at one time or another which is something I’m not necessarily proud of +_=
Also, I’m not saying you HAVE to do this or you MUST avoid that, but hey, it could help.

+ When biking to a place, bring your bike lock to keep it safe or else you’ll be worrying the whole time while you’re in the building (please let it be there please let it be there please let it b-).

+ Don’t try to bike with a hot cup of tea in your hands unless you’re a practiced professional.

+ In the morning and at night, do what personal clean-up things that can be done in your room, in your room. No need to bring you’re entire bathroom collection to the floor restrooms and no one wants to watch you comb your hair while they wait to use a sink.

+ Check out all the food selections in a dining hall before you pick something up and slap it on your tray. That way if you run into something you would rather have there’s no problem with returning any items.

+ Before you sit down to… relieve yourself, make sure there’s toilet paper in the dispenser. And if there is, test to see if it actually dispenses properly -.-’

+ There’s a certain entertainment value to sitting next to someone who compulsively needs to hold a conversation and remaining silent while eating granola. They fidget a lot. This is bad advice for making friends, but great fun.

+ Don’t leave anything you bring with you outside you’re immediate sitting area. For instance, under the table and out of site was not a good place to leave my water-bottle.

+ Don’t walk down the middle of the sidewalk. Take to the right or left, or else you risk being biker road-kill (and the bikers here are a hard-core bunch).

+ When at the register to pay for your food, make sure they don’t overcharge you. I caught someone charging me the price for a foot-long sub although I only picked up a 6-inch. Not saying you should be paranoid, just observant.

+ If you have a question, about anything, be persistent about getting a clear answer.

+On an exam and for any assignment, read ALL the directions. Then, read them again. Make sure you understand every  facet of what is being asked because it could mean the difference between a 21/30 and a 29/30. HHNNGGGG!!! +_=

+ If you have, say, personal problems (like missing home terribly), it helps to talk with someone. Keeping it in sucks. A lot.

+ My final point for the week comes from my cousin Ben, seeing that it’s solid advice: “Study hard and don’t slack off for a second. You’ll have the tendency to slack off the week after a test, but don’t. Every point counts.” Very true. I felt a gnawing urge to lounge around on Youtube right after my first official college exam (of which I studied for whilst listening to this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmPzbZVUp3g&feature=related ) but there were definitely better ways to spend my leisure time that day.

I’ll probably continue these sort of lists in the future because making mistakes and learning from experience is absolutely 100% guaranteed as a freshman in college. Now, on a different note; as a test of will power and mental substance, how long can you withstand this man’s verbal barrage? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WAOxKOmR90 (you don’t want to know my record)

 

Transitions

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Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Maybe it’s a little extreme and sentimental to declare a certain moment in time better than any other ever experienced, but this summer has been the best 2 months of my life. I couldn’t have dreamed of having so many great times with so many wonderful people. I’m very thankful that I can launch myself into college coming out of some of the best moments I’ve had to date.

But this is the Freshman Year blog, not the “Brag About How Fantastic Your Summer Was” blog. So onto business > > > > >

The transition from home life to dorm life was relatively painless (save for my mom’s reaction) and I was surprised by how much space I actually had to place my stuff. After meeting my room-mate and strewing my belongs about the bed, my parents and I made a mad dash to the downtown mall to purchase a bike lock. Words of wisdom: buy everything you’ll need the day of move-in BEFORE you reach town.Otherwise you’ll be crunched on time and miss things like picking up your book for class before the store closes >.< So tonight I have to borrow my room-mate’s book to study up on my Intensive Freshman Seminar (IFS) course “Foundations of Leisure.” These courses are offered three weeks before the actual semester begins to students who want to get a head start on credits and a taste of college life. I decided to sign up for both reasons and I’m hoping the choice pays off. Although, it was a little frightening to hear our professor Dr. Mowatt explain that we’d be cramming in a semester’s worth of work and study into 9 DAYS…

… O_O’ Updates on that to come if I survive.

After some more goodbye’s with my parents there was a floor meeting where the RA and an assistant had us play a “get to know each other” game before they talked about obvious things. Maybe I should have been more attentive but besides a few random guy’s majors the only thing I remember is RA Chris’ unintentional pun, “We have an open door policy because we want to FOSTER an environment where meeting people and making friends is easy.” See, we’re all staying at the FOSTER residence hall. Aha. AAAAAHahaha. Funny!? No? Oh. Well, never mind.

Final comment – if you’re a sentimental person, I’d bring some items to remind you of the great times and the great people in your life. I find it motivational. Taking along and taping up an amazing letter about this summer from my close friend certainly helped me write this blog tonight; along with pictures I have from prom, my stuffed raccoon from childhood, the bracelet my sister gave me for Christmas, and my brother’s sunglasses. Well, actually, I just stole those because I needed them. They’re his though so it counts for something right? Hm. Sorry William! STAR PUNCH

2 weeks, 4 days

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Thursday, July 26th, 2012

I honestly can’t believe I’ll be living in Btown (Forest, for those who are really interested) in less than 20 days. Like, is this real life? Answer: Yes. It appears that way.

Once you leave for college, everything is going to change. I know for me it will. Everyone you leave behind moves on, and it’s the hard truth. My room will no longer be mine, as the tiniest sister of us 3 girls has been making living arrangements since last August. While my family has driven me wild for the past year going on about college, it’ll definitely be a challenge getting by on my own for once.

MTV came to me and told me I’d be on one of their shows. Luckily I’m neither 16, nor pregnant. but rather True Life: I’ll Miss This Place.

Sweet home Chicago, how I’ll miss thee. I was born and raised a city girl. The food is always exquisite, and the skyscrapers are unbeatable. And who can forget about Lake Michigan? The only downside I can think of living in the city is taxes. Those suck. I’ll miss my dance studio and everyone who shared the same passion for dance as I did. But I’m confident I’ll find more people like that here at IU.

I’ll miss my friends, even though I’m sure they’ll all be having fun at their own schools too. It’s hard to imagine I won’t see my best friend in the choir room everyday at 10am for homeroom/best class ever. I have to make an entire new crew to hang out with, which can be difficult. Luckily, there is a Twitter account set up for the class of 2016 for everyone to meet and talk with other classmates. Needless to say, I’m very excited to meet my floor mates!

I’ll miss my family. A. LOT. I am the oldest of 3 girls. I’ve shared a room with my younger sister, Thing 1, since I could remember and I hate to be separated from her as she continues on in high school. I’ll miss the late night talks we have when we’re in over our head with dance, school, or our parents. I’ve never really been close to the littlest sister, Thing 2, mainly because she’s at that age where she believes its okay to be sassy 24/7/365 (It’s not. Unless you’re Beyoncé, then it’s always okay), but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss her pouting and stomping around the house. I’ll even miss my parents! The longest time I’ve been away from home was for 4 days at girl scout camp back in the 3rd grade/Brownie status. They didn’t prepare me to leave until Thanksgiving. Watching Dirty Dancing with my roommate won’t be the same as watching it with my mom (Sorry, roomie!). That part will be hard. I am, however, glad my dad taught me how to do laundry. I’ll make ya proud, dad.

While I have rambled on and on about my home, I hope you take this one piece of information: Never forget who you are or where you’re from. I’ll be making best friends with Skype. I’m going to have tons of pictures to remind me of home. The first few days I’ll lay low so I can make friends and get a feel for life without everyone helping (This is the time to find myself, right?). And as move-in day slowly creeps up, the 4 hour drive to Bloomington seems a lot farther than I had imagined.

 

I love Saturdays!

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Monday, July 16th, 2012

I had so much fun today! Today, my sisters and I went to the Plato’s Closet near us because they were having a huge sale! How it worked was basically anything that you could get anything you could fit in the bag for $15! We ended up getting five bags worth of stuff! If there wasn’t a sale, we would have spent $280 dollars, but instead we got everything for $80! :) Then we had McDonald’s for lunch, which I love :) Saturdays are always so much fun :)

A Preface

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Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Hello!

One way or another you’ve managed to stumble upon one student’s freshman year blog out of the many on display here for IU Bloomington. This blog exists alongside hundreds of IU related articles and amongst thousands of other college related blogs throughout the nation. Zoom out even further and the blog I’m running here simply becomes a drop amidst the ocean of social interaction the internet provides (The more you say the word “blog” the more disgusting it starts to sound). Recognizing this, I have no fanatical dreams of winning the internet through shear blogging power. The point of this project, for me, is to relay the most accurate freshman year experience I can in an open, honest, and hopefully entertaining manner. If even one person gets something out of this, I’d be thrilled. SO, prepare to be AMAZED, SHOCKED, ROCKED, SICKENED, SHAKEN, STIRRED and most probably BORED by ALL you’re about to read.

It’s been quite a mad rush since High School ended and the pace has only accelerated while counting down the days until I’ll be entering college. I’m starting my IFS seminar in a little over 2 weeks and by then I’ve got to: figure out all this Bursar account stuff, learn how to use Onestart, memorize my student number (do that as soon as you get it, don’t be me), fix my bike, fix my laptop, fix my keyboard, fix my mind, make sure I’ve got all my dorm necessities purchased, buy clothes, buy shoes, spend time with my family, spend time with my friends, research job opportunities on campus, sign up and find sponsorsforDanceMarathondothesummerassignmentfor IFSmakeittomyeyeappointmentattemptnottopissoffmyparents- It’s a lot to keep up with and I’m fairly stressed. I felt like I was on top of most things college related until the amount of tasks needing completion started to exceed my initial estimates of time needed to complete them.

The majority of my summer has been spent trying to maximize the amount of time doing things I’ll miss once I’m a college student. Not being able to see my friends or family in K-town on a regular basis is going to be a tough transition. I have a really tight group of friends back home that have helped shape who I am today and I’m incredibly thankful to have grown up with them. The days especially won’t be the same without my sibling’s shenanigans (my little brother has a mental YouTube meme library in the back of his mind he accesses constantly, enraging my sister to no end. It’s truly wonderful). Sasha, I weep for our separation and I’ll miss your roomy interior and practical user interface, but it’s for the best. I’ll miss so much and I foresee inevitable bouts of melancholy in the future. However, the future also holds my life as an independent individual. My life as a capable young ADULT. SO…

+ Goodbye to the lifestyle I’ve developed for high school, hello new college routine.

+ Farewell to mind-numbing high school classes, hello excruciating college courses.

+ Goodbye five-minute commute to school, hello to trekking across campus on foot every day.

+ So-long sucky high school lunches, hello IUB’s wonderful food options!

+ Goodbye regrets for the things I didn’t do in High School, hello new chances to excel.

+ Adieu to the bland, boring pop radio stations of Kokomo, hello 92.3 WTTS!!!

+ Cheerio past fruitless relational endeavors, hello future fruitless relational endeavors :D

+ Goodbye personal space, hello dorm life

+ Adios procrastination, hello… no I’ll probably still end up procrastinating.

+ Goodbye comfort zone, hello college.

Memorial Day week/weekend

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Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Two weeks ago, I had all of my schedules set up for my involvement in the research project as well as volunteering at Westminster. I’m excited to be at Westminster because I get to lead all sorts of activities such as reading, nail painting, or Zumba classes. I can’t wait to meet people who I’m sure will have a really positive impact on me.
Also, Memorial Day weekend was really nice. I had family come visit from Ohio and it was really cool to have other people from outside our immediate family to spend the holiday with. There were three young boys that also came to visit, so for Memorial Day, we spent the day at the park, went out for pizza for lunch, and went to a Chinese buffet for dinner. It was so much fun because we do not do those things often.

Past graduation ceremony!

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Last weekend was awesome as well. A lot of my friends who are graduating from high school this year are having graduation parties and I enjoy seeing them and congratulating them on all their hard work. It’s so weird to think that I was just in their situation one year ago. It’s so surreal. Last Sunday was also their graduation ceremony! My boyfriend is also a part of this class and it was great to watch him walk across the stage as well as all the pictures that occured after the ceremony. Hanging out with his family and watching all my other friends walk across the stage was great; I’m so proud of everyone! I don’t know why graduation is such an emotional time, but I love thinking about celebrating it with everybody.

Our freshmen bloggers are checking off items from the IU Bucket List! Want to catch a basketball game at Assembly Hall? Study in front of the fireplace at the Union? Experience it all for the first time with the Class of 2016.

Check out the We Are IU blog. Our student bloggers comment on everything from the best study on campus to who has the best pizza in B-town. Check in regularly to see what's happening on campus!