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!

Built From the Ground Up

Watching something be made or built has always fascinated and excited me. From Refinery29’s videos on how lipstickeyeshadow, and nail polish are made, Lush’s How It’s Made playlist, WIRED.com’s How the Tesla Model S is Made video (which is so cool!), Roadshow’s Tesla Fremont Factory Tour, to any show the Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott, has done on HGTV, seeing with your own eyes something being made and then seeing the finished product is always pretty exciting! But there is something even more exciting when you get to see a family member’s new home being built from the ground up on a website.

For the last year and a half, my grandma has been involved in the building process of a retirement apartment community that she will be moving into in the fall. The retirement community has a time lapse and pictures of the construction site updating every 10 minutes so you can watch the construction happening from the comfort of home. It’s been exciting to watch the building come together over the past few months online and talking to my Grandma about the progress during our phone calls.

A few weeks ago, my dad and I drove up to Pennsylvania to visit my Grandma and help her with some packing in her garage. We were able to also attend an open house the community was hosting for the “founders” or first owners of the apartments on the new property. I was very excited to see Grandma’s new place in person! We drove to the nursing home which is adjacent to her new apartment and took a shuttle bus that took us to the building site. We were able to see the garage units and drive around the building to see where the courtyard and other amenities would be located. Once we got off the bus, we were directed inside where we got to see three furnished apartments so the future residents could see the final furnishings and take measurements.

The most exciting part of the afternoon was when we climbed up two flights of stairs (the elevators haven’t been put in yet) in search of Grandma’s apartment! The doors have not been put in but each purchased/claimed apartment had a sign over it reading “Welcome Carolyn Cooper!” (Just to be clear, not every apartment had “Welcome Carolyn Cooper” on it. They had different names for each one!) I can brag a little and say that I was the first grandkid to see Grandma’s new place even if it was the bare bones of it. It was very exciting to see what will be her new home in a few months. Once September rolls in, she will be moving in!

Building something as big as an apartment building can take some time, but watching it come together is pretty amazing especially when it’s for family. I can’t wait to create new memories with my Grandma and the rest of the family in her new home in a few months after the construction is complete.

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Going Back to Campus: What’s Coming With Me

Hello, everyone! I hope you had a great New Year! This year, I’d like to bring some new content here to the blog. That includes some beauty, lifestyle, and review posts. Today’s post is going to be slightly beauty related!

Over my break, I’ve been slowly gathering up items that I need to take back with me to campus for the next semester. Some of the items I’ve gotten are items I have bought myself at Target and Walgreens. Others, I got as Christmas gifts from friends and family. Read on to see some of the stuff I’m taking back to campus next week!

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