Making the Tough Choices

To call this semester stressful would be an understatement. It has been a rough semester for me in many ways and it has forced me to make a couple hard choices that I did not want to make.

The first couple of weeks of my sophomore year started out pretty great! I was enjoying most of my classes, I was choreographing a dance for PAC’s Small Show and I was having a great time at dance team practices. Once I got my practicum placement for my education class, the stress levels started building. Long story short: I was assigned a driver but the time I was given wasn’t going to work with my class schedule and there were no times where both of us could get to practicum at the same time. I have 30 hours of practicum I need to complete for my class semester so I was stuck. I did everything I could do within my power to get the situation smoothed out but eventually I ran out of options. Thankfully, I got myself a new placement but I experienced many headaches and moments of anxiety before my situation got straightened out.

My classes this semester have had their fair share of highs and lows. I’m taking my science general education class this fall and it includes a lab. I like my professor but science is definitely not my best subject and my first test grade can prove that. Yes, I just admitted that I did not get a fantastic grade on my first chemistry test of the semester. I will also admit that Intermediate Latin has been kicking my butt in every way possible this fall because my professor gives us take home quizzes that are closed book, sometimes worth 80 points, and she doesn’t believe in partial credit (which is slowly killing me). I know I can’t be blaming my professors for my unsatisfactory grades but I wanted to make it known that my classes have contributed to my rough semester in more ways than one. I’m making some improvements though! My chemistry grade has improved since I took my second exam and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to go up from here. I’m not sure about Latin, but I’m trying my best to participate as much as I can, be prepared with the homework, and I haven’t missed a class this semester.

I have experienced many moments of anxiety throughout the semester because of my grades, my practicum placement and surprising and unexpected issues in my residence hall. I know there are many people who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder and I am not trying to compare my levels of anxiety to those individuals with a diagnosis.

Everything I shared so far brings me to the main point of this post: making the tough choices. A few weeks ago, I decided to put myself on “academic probation” on dance team while I worked on improving my grades in chemistry and Latin. This choice was a hard one to make and I went back and forth on it, but I decided that my grades need to come first. I was a cheerleader in high school and I knew how important the student part of “student-athlete” was to my parents, teachers, coaches and myself. I came to college to get my education, not to dance (but I’m very happy I still can dance at UMW!) so I needed to reevaluate how I would approach my academics for the rest of the fall before thinking about performances with dance team for the rest of the semester.

Last weekend I made the decision to end my season with dance team early, meaning that I am not performing with them at basketball games for the rest of the semester. I don’t want to be considered a quiter because I decided to put my grades first. While I feel like I let down my teammates by making the choice to end my season early, I feel that my decision was a smart and mature one to make. It certainly was not an easy choice for me to make and I hope that my teammates all understand where I am coming from. I am so thankful that the captains of dance team respected and understood my decision.

As an adult, I have to make decisions that I might not want to make. My parents can’t make all my life decisions for me. If there is one thing this semester has taught me, it’s that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and glittery things. There will be rainy days, dark clouds, and… gosh, I don’t know what I could say that is the opposite of glittery things. Uhh, glitter can actually be a pain to clean up off yourself, so I guess glitter stuck in your hairline for several weeks would work? (Does that even make sense?!?) ANYWAY, the point is that life isn’t always going to be easy and I need to face any problems head-on rather than running away from them.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for stopping by and reading!

The Collegiate Catholic Box

I am not being paid to write this post, nor am I receiving any portion of the sales of this box. Thank you to Liz and Allison from the Collegiate Catholic for partnering with me on this post! None of the links I share are affiliate links. 

Hello, everyone! It’s been a little while since I last posted, but classes have kept me very busy this semester! I’ll write an update on my sophomore year soon, but for now, I’m back with a new post! Subscription boxes are so much fun to receive in the mail, and there is a new one that just hit the market specifically for Catholic college students. When I heard about this box, I knew I had to see what it was about. Read on to see what I got in the first box of the Collegiate Catholic Subscription box and what my thoughts are on it! Thank you to the lovely ladies at the Collegiate Catholic, Liz and Allison, for reaching out to me on Instagram. I am so excited to be partnering with them for this post!

Before I launch into what I got in my box, I’m going to share a little bit about the mission of the Collegiate Catholic Box. The mission of the box is “to share the faith and to be a means of encouragement while supporting Catholic religious orders and artisans. The college years are a pivotal point in one’s life. It is our goal to cultivate their faith through prayerfully curated care packages and other Catholic goods.” The box is not monthly like most subscription boxes are. During the fall 2017 semester, the box will be shipped out twice before the team starts shipping out three times a semester after Christmas break. Each box will contain a devotional, a bunch of snacks and treats, Catholic items, a practical item for school, and Catholic art.

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I got my box in the mail at school a few weeks ago and I was so excited to pick it up from the post office on campus. I nearly ripped open the package when I got to my room (I’m glad I didn’t- Otherwise, there would have been blue paper stuffing all over my dorm room!) to see what I got inside.

At the top of the box sat a devotional book titled “Veritas” which means truth in Latin. Each page has a few questions to answer and think about with a Bible verse. I’m really looking forward to sitting down and diving into this devotional now that my schedule has calmed down!

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The next item was a print of St. Joan of Arc. This print is really cool because the shape of it is made up of quotes from St. Joan of Arc. The artist, Kathleen Caswell, can be found on Instagram! Check out her page: @kcaswellco

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Next, I got a beautiful handmade cross made by Rough2Rustic and an image of Our Lady of Consolation in Lezajsk.  Lezajsk is a town in Poland where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1578. My mother’s side of the family is Polish, so receiving this image and prayer was really exciting especially since I had not heard of this image of Mary before I received this box.

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My practical items were pens and a highlighter, which are always handy to have when taking notes. I forgot to take a photo of them, but I think we all know what pens and highlighters look like!

This box contained a lot of snacks! Snacks are always a great thing to have, but I think there may have been a few too many snacks. I got a bag of Skinny Pop popcorn; a bag of Synders mini pretzels; a package of Milano cookies; a pack of Orbit gum; a packet of honey peanut butter (which I am so excited to try); a spiced apple cider drink mix; a caramel apple pop; and a bag of granola made by the Little Portion Bakery. I’m really excited to try the honey peanut butter (if you know me, you know I LOVE peanut butter!) and the granola. Granola is one of my favorite things to eat at breakfast so now I have one or two day’s worth of breakfast, courtesy of the Collegiate Catholic box!

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Overall, this is a really nice first box for the Collegiate Catholic box. I’m happy with everything I received in it, and all of them serve a purpose for college students, whether it be spiritually nurturing their mind and soul or (literally) nurturing their stomachs. The box is originally $50 so this is something I’m putting on my wishlist for my birthday or Christmas (hint hint, Mom and Dad 🙂 ). I really love the concept of this subscription box and I cannot wait to see what the ladies at the Collegiate Catholic do next!

Thanks again to Liz and Allison for partnering with me for this post! Until next time, thanks for stopping by!