Hello friend! Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about moving to college, and the transition between living at home and living in a place by yourself for the first time, especially as college admissions are rolling in. There’s a lot I could say about this topic, but today I thought I would start by writing down some of the most important things that I’ve learned living alone at school.
A little bit about my background: I attend a public university in the United States, so that’s where I am coming from. I was homeschooled from K-12, and while I currently live in an off-campus apartment with friends, I have also previously lived in a dorm for almost 2 years (I didn’t get to finish out my second year due to the pandemic). I still live in the same state as my family, so I’m able to see them as often as I like, which was very frequent in the beginning and less so as I’ve become more independent.
Obviously I don’t have all of the time or space to cover all of the intricate details about living alone and moving out and all of that, but today I thought would give a broad overview about moving out and some tips I would give to someone who is thinking about moving out for college, particularly in a dorm, but also just in general.
Own who you are and where you came from. Moving somewhere new is always the perfect excuse to reinvent yourself, and start a lot of your things in your life afresh: your friend circle, your likes and dislikes, and a lot of small pieces within your personality, and that’s great! As you do that, though, don’t try to completely reinvent yourself. Hang on to the parts of your personality that make you who you are, and although it might be tempting to completely start over, own who you are! Own your story, and don’t be afraid to share it with the people that you meet. Chances are, they’re going to think it’s cool instead of strange, and if they do think it’s strange, well, it’s their loss.
Listen to your body and don’t overexert yourself. The first month or so of moving to college, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make friends, and be constantly hanging out with people, afraid to miss out on anything. While it’s definitely important to put yourself out there and make friends, also listen to what your body is telling you. Is it telling you to sit alone in your room while your roommate is out and reading a book? Then do it. Is it telling you to sit in the lounge, but not participate in the conversation? Do it. Although I went into college an extrovert, by the end of my freshman year, I’d become a hardcore introvert. What changed? When I was homeschooled, I’d never had to be around someone else 23 1/2 hours of the day, but when I got to college, that changed: when I wasn’t in class, I was with friends, and if I wasn’t with them, I was with my roommate. Even the bathroom was a floor-wide communal one, so even in the bathroom I wasn’t completely alone. Your mental health is important, and you don’t have to be hanging out with people constantly if your body is telling you not to.
No one is out to get you. A lot of the narrative about going to college, especially to a public university from being Christian and homeschooled, is that people will constantly be drinking and doing drugs and having sex blatantly, and that they’ll try to get you to join. Nothing is farther from the truth. While there are definitely people who go out partying, and who smoke weed in their room, no one is going to pressure you to do anything you don’t want to do.While there are certainly people who might be like that, my personal experience is that everyone is very respectful with your boundaries and choices, and so long as you’re clear about your boundaries are to yourself, you will be fine. (Obviously still be alert, because once people are drunk, they might do things that they wouldn’t normally do, so definitely keep yourself safe! but in general, it’s way less of a problem than people make it out to be.)
Keep an open mind. You are going to meet so many people who have had different life paths and stories than you. They may have made different personal choices than you that you don’t agree with. Listen to their stories. Listen to what they have to say, and don’t dismiss what they have to say just because they have made decisions that you don’t agree with.This particularly applies to topics such as homosexuality, race, and money. Just as you don’t want people interfering with your life choices, don’t interfere with theirs.
College (or wherever you’re moving) is not your mission field. When I was getting ready to start college, I had a lot of people say that they were praying for me to “be a good witness” or “show Christ to others”, and while being Christlike is obviously SUPER important and if people are interested in what you believe in, seize that opportunity to tell them about the gospel, but you are not responsible for the salvation of your friends. That is simply too much pressure, and if sharing the gospel in where you’re living is your calling, then 100% go for it! When I first moved to college, I felt a huge sense of responsibility for the people who I lived with, and I eventually realized that it was not a healthy mindset to have. Simply being a Christlike example is enough, and the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of those around you with your witness as an example. My first roommate was not Christian, which we discussed the first day we lived together. She was very respectful of what I believed in, and while she wasn’t interested in becoming a Christian, we had a lot of good discussions about what I believed, and why I believed it. At the end of the semester, she understood the gospel a lot more and had a much more favorable perspective about Christianity than she did in the beginning. Is it important to hold tight to your morals and faith? Absolutely. Do you have to convert your roommate and friends to Christianity? Absolutely not.
So those are my top 5 tips that I would give to someone who is worried about moving away from home for the first time! I would be more than happy to answer any more questions that you might have, and if you have any more topics that you would like me to share about, feel free to suggest topics for me to talk about!
If you haven’t moved away from home yet, what are questions you still have about living alone? If you have moved away, what is something you would tell yourself at the beginning of your journey? Is there anything else you want me to discuss? Leave a comment and let me know!
P. S. I have a new video up on my YouTube channel! It is a productive day in my life, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out, so I would love if you checked it out!
Hey everyone! Today I’m back with a fun blog post about books! I’m collaborating with Emily Mundell to bring you a fun duo of posts: Emily is a writer, and I am not, so we thought it would be fun to share different perspectives on different tropes in the bookish world! I will be talking about My Top 5 Book Tropes I Like To Read on her blog, while she will be talking about the Top 5 Book Tropes She Likes to Write here!
Please welcome Emily as she talks about tropes she likes to write!
Happy Friday, all! Today I’m taking over Hanne’s blog to talk about my Favorite Tropes to Write! If you would like to hear all about her Favorite Tropes to read, swing on over to my blog where she was kind enough to share all about it.
Without further ado…
The Chosen One
I know that this one is SUUUUPPPEEERRR trope-y, but it’s honestly one of my favorite things, especially when you get to twist it, like Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars for instance.The chosen one idea may be cliche and overdone, but it can almost always be interesting, especially if you bring a fresh new take to the table. Maybe by using more than one chosen one? Or that people messed up who the chosen one prophecy was about? Or even go the Darth Vader route and the chosen one is “bringing balance” in a way that actually makes them the villain instead of the hero. However you choose to do it, reading about and writing “The Chosen One” is almost always one of my favorite story tropes, especially for fantasy and sci-fi.
In both of my published works, as well as many of my WIPs, projects, and plot bunnies, I employ the idea of “dueling protagonists” to tell my stories. In The Sorceress and the Squid, Estrella the sorceress contrasts strongly with the human soldier, Jalen. I write from each of their POV’s, going back and forth between their voices to tell the story of their grand and magical adventure.
In Faithless, my recent adult novel, though my female MC Saagar is the only POV character, her husband Damien is also very central to the story, and he contrasts both her experience and her actual character. These are just two examples of many other story ideas of mine, and I don’t know exactly what it is that draws me to this trope, but it’s honestly one of my favorites and permeates nearly every one of my stories. The contrast of a male and female MC telling their versions of their shared story is just so interesting to me. I find that you get such great depth between two protagonists, especially if they are different genders and come from different backgrounds or even different sides of the fight/conflict.
Grumpy Older Character vs. Soft Innocent Character
There’s nothing that melts my heart like some hardened soldier/warrior/farmer/etc who stumbles upon a young, bright-eyed child who turns their whole world upside down overnight. Anne of Green Gables does a great job of this, and it’s something I like to employ in small doses throughout my own books and novels.
Young Character with Extraordinary Powers
Is there anything cooler than revealing that the most powerful being in the story is actually a little child who may or may not be a bit out to lunch and possibly a sociopath? Usually plagued with some traumatic backstory, this kid looks cute, precocious and normal, if not a little weird, but they will soon reveal to your audience just how insanely powerful they really are – and it will definitely be epic.
I love this trope because I love underdogs. I love watching those perceived as smallest and weakest come out on top of an exchange with someone who thought they had it all together. In real life, my favorite example of this is my youth group dodgeball team, which is made up primarily of small 13 year old girls, going up against other youth groups who rely on only the male players on their teams and do not realize just how stacked our team actually is, since nearly every one of our players is strong in their own right. This feeling of satisfaction carries over to my fiction, where I have several small but mighty characters in the works in future projects.
The Love Triangle
Another super cheesy one, but love triangles can actually be really, really fun to write – or maybe I just love drama too much. In my fantasy epic, one particular subplot of the first book revolves heavily around the MC, his young fiancee, and his cousin, and the relationship between the three of them that is confusing at best, and full of more than a little rivalry and bad feelings. However, what I enjoyed doing with this love triangle is giving the central female the true romantic affection for only one character, while feeling simply like she is trapped into doing her duty to the other. It makes for a lot of fun angst and that is what I am personally all about when writing. xD
Enemies to Lovers // Enemies to Friends // Friends to Enemies // Lovers to Enemies
However you want to slice this trope, I find it practically irresistible (hence why you’ll probably find some version of it in every one of my books, lol). There’s just something about the crazy emotional rollercoaster that your characters and readers go on when such drama afflicts a relationship. Any time there’s feelings this powerful and complex involved in a story, you know it’s going to be good.
There are a lot of voices in the book community who speak out against tropes and cliches, for valid reasons as they are usually overdone and uninteresting. However, I think almost any trope or cliche can be fresh and exciting with the right spin put on it, and that’s one of my favorite parts of crafting a new plot, character, and book!
What are your favorite tropes to write all you authors out there? Let me know in the comments! And of course be sure to go check out Hanne’s favorite tropes to READ on my blog here!
Emily Mundell is an INFJ, a farmkid, an artist, and an indie author, with two current published works. She likes to ride ponies, climb mountains, take photos, and create/absorb new worlds and stories. Find her at:
Hi everyone! How are your Januarys going? We are HALFWAY through January, can you believe it? I go back to college next week, so today, I’ll be telling you the BEST productivity apps that I use to keep my life together.
I use all of these in a combination with my bullet journal. Some features of each app are better than others, and I don’t necessarily use ALL of them together all the time, but all them are apps I SWEAR by! These are (almost) all apps that have a mobile app, as well as an desktop counterpart, because I need apps that sync over between my phone and my computer!
I mean. Of course. Google is the BEST thing out there. I use my Google Calendar much like Abbie does: I used to do calendar blocking in my bullet journal, but when I started college, so much of what I needed to use was online that I needed something that I could access both on my laptop and my phone, so I switched over to calendar blocking on Google Calendar. My Google calendar is also synced to the calendar that comes with my (android) phone as well as the calendar on Windows 10, and that’s been really helpful as well (I can never forget what I’m supposed to be doing at any given time!😅). Plus, Google also has Tasks and Keep which integrate into the calendar, and it’s AWESOME for keeping track of everything!
I used Habitica wayyyy long ago in early high school, but stopped. Over winter break, I started to use it again. Habitica is a role-playing productivity app, where you getin game rewards for completing your real life tasks. The tasks are divided up into Habits (tasks where you get rewarded/penalized based on if you accomplish a task), Dailies (tasks you must complete daily in order to not dealt damage), and To Dos (which are exactly what they sound like). There is also a groups, or “guilds,” feature, which are essentially chat rooms on various topics, such as short term productivity, knitting, or gaming! I don’t use Habitica for school: I find inputting individual assignments into Habitica too tedious and ends up counterproductive, but it’s great for keeping me motivated when I don’t have school!
(disregard all the overdue tasks lol those were assignments from last semester that I didn’t check off) This app literally SAVED ME everyday last semester at college! This app is SO helpful: when I got my syllabi for each semester, I inputted all the assignments, quizzes, and exams into My Study Life, and they were all there for the semester! The dashboard lists my class schedule, a list of tasks due each day, and upcoming exams, all in a sleek and easily accessible place. It also has a feature for building name and room number, AND sends you alerts right before class with them, and that was the most helpful thing ever for me not knowing where anything was yet. If you’re a college student, check this app out. It will SAVE you.
I don’t usually take notes on my laptop, but when I do, I use Evernote. Evernote is the app I use specifically to keep track of my notes for class. The feature I appreciate the most about Evernote is the “Notebooks” feature, where my notes can be grouped into classes. Because it’s my designated note-taking app, I can turn off my internet/turn on airplane mode and just WORK, and it’s amazing. It’s such a simple design, but it works AMAZING.
If you’re anything like me, I waste /a lot/ of time on my phone. So to combat that, I downloaded QualityTime on my phone. It shows me exactly how much time I use on each app and when, and also has a weekly overview version! It’s Quite Scary how much time I spend on my phone!!! The part that I appreciate the most is the notification that stays in my dropdown bar, so every time I swipe down to check my notifications, I get reminded of my usage being tracked, and motivates me to STOP! This goes without saying, but this is just an mobile app: there isn’t a desktop version of this, although I’m sure there’s some variant of it somewhere!
So there you have it! The productivity apps I SWEAR by to get me through college, and the apps that I use to keep my life together! Do you use any of these apps? What is your swear-by app? Let me know in the comments: I’m always looking for new systems to check out!
Hello there! Today, I have a super exciting post to share as a part of Vanessa’s blog tour for her new blog Simple Health Human! I’ll be sharing my top 5 tips for drinking more water!
If you’ve ever seen me in real life, you know that I drink a LOT of water. Although I still generally don’t drink or believe in the recommended “8 cups a day” suggestion, I always try my best to drink as much water in a day as I can. Remembering to drink enough water is tricky sometimes, so here are my top 5 tips for drinking more water every day.
KNOW HOW MUCH YOU’RE DRINKING I generally try to drink about 90 ounces of water a day, and in order to achieve a goal like that, I need to know how much water I’m drinking. To do that, I usually drink water from one set container that I know the volume of, to make it easier for me to count. The container I use is a quart Mason jar with a plastic lid*, which is a HUGE container (and a little bulky to carry around), but I like using bigger containers because they’re easier to keep track of. It’s a lot easier to remember that you’ve had 3 jars of water instead of 8 cups!
CARRY WATER AROUND WITH YOU You can’t have water if you don’t have any, so in order to stay well hydrated, bring a water bottle of some sort around with you! There are so many cute water bottles everywhere that aren’t very expensive, and carrying it around makes it so much more likely that you’ll drink water!
COUNTERACT THE CAFFEINE
Caffeine is a diuretic, so if you have coffee (or anything else with caffeine), make sure you’re drinking water along with it! I *try* to drink twice the amount of water as my caffeine (so 6 ounces of coffee = 12 ounces of water) on top of my regular water, but even if that doesn’t work, I always drink water before and after I drink coffee. Drinking water with your caffeine will ensure you stay well hydrated!
USE A STRAW I find that I’ll drink a lot more water if I’m using a straw to drink it, so I have a stainless steel straw* (save the turtles!!) that I like to use to make it easier to drink my water. Using a straw makes it a lot more convenient to drink water, and is a super easy way to help yourself.
MAKE IT FUN The *only* thing you can’t put in your water is caffeine (so no coffee or tea), but aside from that, you can put other things in your water to make it more fun! Put in some ice, lemon, mint, or even those water flavor drops* to make your water taste better.
Another way to make your water fun is to know how much you need to drink as the day progresses, so you have a way to tell if you’re on track or not and am not stressed about it. You can make a tracker on your water bottle (or even buy a water bottle with a tracker*!) or set a timer on your phone. So long as you remember, do it however works for you!
So there you have it: 5 easy and proven tips for drinking more water! What are some of the tips you have for drinking water? What are some things you like to put in your water? Tell me! I’m always looking for new infused water recipes! Have you checked out Simple Health Human yet?
If you’ve read my rant about life last week, you may have picked up that I’m not very happy with my blogging right now. To help me change that mindset, I’m doing this post. This is a totally original post, one that I’ve literally just thought of right now. I’m so proud of myself for being original and also I really really love that thumbnail
So, here are five reasons that I do what I do!
I can keep track of my goals in my life If you’ve read my blog for any period of time, you know that I often post goals for my life on this blog. And since I’m ultra disorganized, having my stuff on the Internet where I can access them everywhere is very convenient for me. It also keeps me accountable, because I have to do recaps. If I fail too badly, I’ll strive to do better because I know there’s people watching me (even if it is only myself reading my blog, ha!)
It’s fun teaching other people stuff I know how to do. Although I haven’t done this in a really long time, (as in, I’ve been too lazy because DIYs usually require taking pictures and effort) I really really love cataloging the crap that I know how to do—knitting, photography, baking, crafting, you name it. I also have a sense of accomplishment, and I can also look back and go “wow, I didn’t realize I was so talented 4 years ago!”
I get to meet other people who have similar interests to me. Being part of the blogging community is absolutely amazing. There are so many people with similar interests as me, and I pull so much inspiration from their blogs, and I hope my blog inspires others as much other blogs inspire me (and also that’s a lot of inspires in that last sentence). I get to meet people from across the country and from all over the world, and that’s awesome.
I get free books to review. I’m part of a few book blogger review programs. They send me books, I review the books, then I get to keep the books. What’s not to love? I really really love reading new books, oftentimes books that haven’t been published yet, and brand new books are just freaking amazing: the covers, the pages, the smell, the colors, and EVERYTHINGGGGGGG.
It’s fun! Blogging is fun! Although it may not look like it in my life (as in, every Friday I go “UGAHJGFDH I HAVE TO BLOG TODAY DARNNN), it is SO. MUCH. FUN. I love writing my thoughts and opinions, and listing ideas and sharing opinions and taking aesthetic pictures and thinking up blog ideas and basically ALL OF THE ABOVE. It’s pretty awesome having a little corner of the Internet to myself. It also makes me feel accomplished. I have words on the Internet that people are reading. o.O
Are you a blogger? What do you like best about blogging?
As the end of the school year ends (WHAT? ALREADY?!), people are preparing for finals…but they don’t feel like studying! Here are my top 5 resources that help me in studying.
Quizlet– What can I say? Quizlet is just AWESOME! It’s a flashcard tool, and while its functionality as a flashcard tool is somewhat limited to flashcard-y information, its other functions as simply a learning tool are outstanding. There are six ways to learn total, which add up to mastering of information entirely, including two incredibly simple, yet extraordinarily fun and addictive. Sets of cards can also be shared between people in classes, and the progress of various members of a class are able to see and try to beat high scores on games, which makes it much, much more fun and competitive.
Khan Academy– Khan Academy is fairly well known as a study site. The main purpose of Khan Academy is for math, and its math practice is extremely extensive. Recently, though, however, Khan Academey has become much more functional, adding SAT practice, sciences (the anatomy videos are superb), programming, and colinking to Crash Course. It has become a much more active online school (at least for me). The tutorials are especially good for notetaking, which I really appreciate, and they go more in-depth, which I also really appreciate. They do point/badge counting, which is really motivating for me (just 10 more practice questions until I get this badge!).
Pandora– This isn’t a strictly study site, but it helps me a lot in my studying. Pandora is an online music radio. I love the functionality and the radio-like-ness of the site, unlike sites such as Spotify or (maybe) iTunes, where the music is organized into playlists, with set songs. Pandora is radio-like, which means that the songs that you listen to aren’t regulated to the ones you put on the play list, which I really enjoy. I especially love listening to all my stations on shuffle, which gives me a really wide variety of music to listen, ranging from Christmas to CCM to Irish to Classical to Movie scores.
EasyBib– EasyBib is the perfect easy way to ace those bibliographies. Plug in all the spots in the bibliography generating site thing (which is really satisfying–to fill in forms), and EasyBib generates a perfectly formatted works cited page for you! This website is probably the website that has saved me THE most time while working on school papers and stuff by not having to cite all this stuff.
Trello–Trello is a card-organizing device that allows me to keep track of all my assignments. I use Trello quite extensively, tracking my grades and assignments. Trello has a bunch of fun extensions, linking to Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive, which makes it linkable to many platforms and extremely handy. I also use Trello to plan out my blogposts, knitting projects, and the birthdays of my friends. All in all, Trello is a versatile organizing platform that is both easy to use yet diverse. I believe it really helps me plan out and organize my life so much better than a pile of sticky notes would have done, although sticky notes are great too. 😀
Eh…by the time I got to here, I realized how lame some of these websites are. Literally everyone uses these sites. Whatever, I hope some of these sites are new to you and that they help you in your studying! Good luck on finals!
Before I get started, I want to mention that I will be doing the Kings Blooming Rose Give Thanks x7 Challenge for the month of November. I’m still not 100% sure what Kings Blooming Rose does, but I know it does something along the lines of encouraging girls in their walk with Christ through magazines, conferences, books, and stationary/cards and things like that. They have a blog in which someone posts once a month, plus a free wallpaper for a desktop computer every month, which I LOVE. (Who still uses desktop computers, you ask? Me, that’s who. :P)
The Give Thanks x7 challenge is simple. Everyday, record 7 things that you are grateful for in a notebook or a journal, or you can join their online group to share. I’ll record mine in a journal, then at the end of the month, choose a couple or a few a day to share on the blogpost coming out on December 4th.
Now…on to the blogpost!
This is definitely not a “Top 5” post, since I onlyhave 5 blogs. However, I’m posting this on most of my blogs/websites in order to cross-pollinate and to garner attention.
My first inklings of internet posting. It has already been deleted, due to lack of suitable material, and my lack of internet usage at the time.
My “official” website, lying dormant for the time being, but it shall be resurrected before 2017, hopefully by summer 2016. My favorite Science Olympiad event is (and shall always be) Rocks and Minerals (surprise, surprise)! My wish for this website is to be a good reliable resource for those folks also studying rocks and minerals, which was what I was really wishing for while I was doing Rocks and Minerals. At this point, there is next to nothing on that blog, other than a hideously fluffy self-introduction that not necessarily describes me anymore. There is still the old remnants of Happy Little Thoughts, my starting point for my current Happy Little Thoughts (#4 on this post), and I believe there are still some gems in that part of the site. It may be deleted in the near future, but deletion shall occur only when all the useful tidbits of information have been transferred unto my current Happy Little Thoughts, under the title of “From the Archives of Happy Little Thoughts.” http://rockandminerals4him.weebly.com/
Happy Little Thoughts. It’s the only blog that’s not officially called “RockandMinerals4Him”. Just random thoughts that don’t really go anywhere except social media outlets such as Twitter and Google Plus, both of which I’m not too thrilled about.posting about my life on, even though I well know that this is way less private than either of those sites. My goal is to be interesting and to provide some insight into my life, possibly for my future college admissions officers. http://rockandminerals4him.blogspot.com/
My tumblr. At this current moment, I’m only looking up pretty Christian edited photos to reblog, and to post my own edited photos…and a few others, but it may well start to get interesting soon! Tumblr is quite confusing, so I’m still taking my time trying to figure out how the whole thing works. http://rockandminerals4him.tumblr.com/
P. S. Here are some of my newly edited photos! I’m still in the process of learning, so these are farrrrr from perfect, but I just wanted to share what I have so far.