1/31/2015

Bid Day Spring 2015

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you would know that yesterday was Bid Day for my Fraternity!



For those of you who are newer to my blog, I am a Brother of Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed Professional Business Fraternity. It's mostly like regular Greek life except it focuses more on personal and professional development, networking, and community service.

After a week of Rush/Recruitment events (one of which I directly planned!) and a slew of interviews, the Delta Sigma Pi, Gamma Omega chapter was proud to extend bids to fifteen outstanding individuals we believe would be wonderful additions to our organization.

Prospectives are people who are interested in joining Greek organizations and rushing is the attending of events of the specific organizations a prospective is interested in. In most organizations, bids are extended by the organization who wants the prospective after the rush/recruitment process and a round of formal or informal interviews.

I have gotten to know some of our bids fairly well over the past week and I am very excited to see how they interact and develop during the pledging process over the course of this semester. I know that my pledge semester is definitely filled with many memories that I will never forget! I am a Deltasig for life.

xx
Catch you next time.

1/30/2015

Little Discoveries

Good Morning, Happy Friday!! This week has been quite interesting to say the least! Today is Bid Day for my Fraternity so even though I don't have classes today I am getting up a bit early to go help hand out bids to our newest pledge class! It's so weird to think that my own Bid Day was only five months ago - I was soooo nervous when I found out haha the only way I can describe being on the other side is just weird haha. Well, now on to my week's discoveries:

Hermione Granger: More than the Gryffindor Princess

      

I started off with this one because it's kind of my favorite thing that I've discovered! Emma Watson is so BEYOND perfect for Belle! The picture on the right is a *beautiful* piece of fan art that has been floating around Tumblr for a few years now, I believe, meaning (you guessed it) fangirls are going crazy over wanting Tom Felton to play opposite our dear Emma! I personally would love this (Guilty die-hard Dramione fangirl), but if it doesn't happen I know it will be an amazing movie either way.

Raising Awareness About Sex Trafficking

On Monday, the All Walks group here at Arizona State kicked off their sex trafficking awareness week! The general consensus of most studies conducted by researchers suggest that spikes in sex trafficking occur in the same areas as large events like the Super Bowl. Shared Hope International (SHI) has been throwing its two cents in with its "Children Aren't Playthings" campaign, with a 7 foot tall exhibit in which young women have volunteered to stand in. The box has made the rounds to a couple different areas, including Grand Canyon University, Glendale Community College, and downtown Phoenix.

Welcoming Another New Disney Princess


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I found this one Thursday morning and, suffice to say, my suitemate was not too happy to be woken up to my squeals of excitement! The Latina Princess Elena of Avalor will be Disney's newest addition to the Princess family in 2016, and she's getting her own TV show on Disney Junior! Even if it is a Disney Junior show, I will probably be taking peeks to see exactly what kind of Princess has been created.

On the Road Again: Guess Who's Back

"On the road again, Just can't wait to be on the road again" - Is it too mainstream to say that Eddie Murphy is bae? I haven't seen or heard much about him in a while, but I was thrilled to hear that he would *finally* be returning to the stage on which he debuted his big career! Eddie Murphy hasn't been back to SNL in 30 years, long before I was born! I haven't been trying very hard to keep up with SNL lately, but I haven't been super impressed with what I've seen (I'm biased to the classics) so I'm excited to catch the show's 40th anniversary special.

Apparently It's Hot in the Great Southwest



Cory McCloskey. Does the name sound familiar? He was one of the men who played Scrooge in Hale Centre Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol that I saw last month! The FOX10 Phoenix weather map was having a few glitches and McCloskey got a little creative - 2960°F in Cave Creek? Sounds a bit hot.

Can ASU Get a Keurig Girl, Please?

Madison Collins at Auburn University has made quite the name for herself. What started as just wanting to have coffee with her has turned her into the Keurig Girl. When she's up late studying, she just brings her Keurig to the library with her - no waiting in line or worrying about Starbucks closing!

Canadian Scientists Say Drinking Wine is Like Exercise

I will say this once: I'm eighteen and I do not drink. I just found this article intriguing - I mean if drinking red wine is equivalent to exercise, I might try it in a few years! Researchers from the University of Alberta conducted the study, but of course, like anything else, moderation is important - don't go run and drink a whole bottle of red wine!

Are There Any Tagalongs Left?



Have you heard the good news? Girl Scout Cookies are BACK and their price has gone back down to $4! A Girl Scout Troop has set up camp in the W.P. Carey School during this past week, but I never had the chance to buy a box of cookies until I walked out of my 4:30pm class and saw them packing up. Somewhat shamelessly I admit I ran over and bought a box of Tagalongs (my favorite!). Some brothers from my Fraternity bought over 10 boxes of Thin Mints a few days ago!

The Super Bowl is Sunday and I'm personally quite excited but slightly nervous - I'm not sure which team to root for and all I want is to watch a good game of football! Please be careful, safe, and responsible this weekend, lovelies!!!!

xx
Catch you next time.

1/28/2015

Freshman Five: How to Avoid Getting Sick

I know we all love those days when we lay back in bed with Netflix and hot soup, but not when we're feeling awful! I'll admit that sometimes when class gets cancelled I do a happy dance (depending on which class it is, of course). But missing class is not fun when you're stuck in your dorm with an unsettling stomach and a quickly growing mountain of tissues.

The word is out: Everybody's sick! Getting sick in high school was very different from getting sick in college - you're on your own and sadly, Mom isn't there to stay home, make soup, and watch movies with you. I'll be doing a post later on about what to do if you are sick, but first, let's work on prevention, shall we?


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Wash. Your. Hands. // This is kind of a biggie. I know it's simple. I know Mom and Dad have taught you this since you could understand what the sink was. But seriously, wash your hands! This is considered one of the TOP reasons people get sick! I especially recommend you wash your hands before you eat - you may say "I know where my hands have been" but you really don't know what was on all of the things you've touched throughout the day. Do yourself a favor and just take the time (sing the ABCs twice while rubbing the soap in!) to wash your hands. Better safe than sorry, right?

Hand Sanitizer // I have a full-size hand sanitizer at my desk, and mini ones in my backpack and in my *multiple* purses. If you really can't wash your hands (i.e. after pushing the elevator button or using the pen attached to the cashier counter), then at least use some hand sanitizer. An alternative is using hand wipes! You can get a travel pack at the store for pretty cheap and they're flat so they fit into tight places in purses and backpacks. Honestly, some sort of quickie sanitation is a nice thing to have because life can get crazy and you never know what can happen!

Eat Often, Eat Right // Have you ever skipped a meal because there's too much to do and not enough time? *Guilty.* Skipping meals in addition to eating not-so-healthy meals when you do eat is awful for your body! How is it going to fight off the bacteria and viruses? Not eating weakens your body and causes it to be more vulnerable, making getting better (when you do get sick) that much harder. Make sure you eat healthily, and if you're not getting your vitamins then maybe you should consider taking supplements!

Go Exercise, Or Outside For a Walk // Going to the gym is hard, but you don't have to go to the gym for a little exercise. When you have a jam-packed study day, schedule in a break or two and spend them walking around outside. It sounds scary, but I promise you'll be fine. Walking and soaking in the sunshine is not only healthy (hello, Vitamin D!), but it will also help you relax and have a clear mind when you go back to studying.

Stay Up-to-Date // IHateShots. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. BUT you kind of need them. You're actually not allowed to attend some (most? I'm not wholly sure) public universities without being up-to-date on your shots. When you're in college, you're absolutely surrounded by so many people that the risk of getting sick is really high. Going to the doctor is a hassle, but it's a lot less of a hassle than missing a test or falling behind in class! Some universities even offer quick on-campus vaccinations during flu season, check to see if your health center or a nearby pharmacy offer them!

BONUS TIP: SLEEP. // Lots of us love sleep. I know I love sleep! Sleep is super-duper-├╝ber important. According to some studies, a good night's sleep the night before a big test is more beneficial and helps you out a lot more than cramming and pulling an over-nighter. But, keep in mind this applies to regular nights, too! (Going out on a weeknight sounds adventurous, but it's not as fun to think about when you're late to class and forgot about the exam the next morning!) When you're not well-rested, not only is it impossible to concentrate in class, but your body is tired and under more stress.

Hope these tips help! Stay healthy and have fun!

xx
Catch you next time.

1/26/2015

On My Playlist

Happy Music Monday! I know I say this often, but I. Like. Love. Music.

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Here are some of the songs I have been listening to over and over these past few weeks! I know some of these are current radio repeats and others are a little on the older side of the music timeline, but that's one of the things that is just amazing about music - a catchy song doesn't just suddenly become uncatchy.

Making this playlist was fun because there's a nice variety of "get up and dance right now" tracks mixed with a few "this just makes me feel happy" and "catchy but heartbreaking" songs.

Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars)
Sledgehammer - Fifth Harmony
Sidekick - Walk the Moon
Take Me to Church - Hozier
Uma Thurman - Fall Out Boy
I Like It - We The Kings
Paris - Magic Man
Riptide - Vance Joy
Ghost - Ella Henderson
Burn - Ellie Goulding
Outside - Calvin Harris (ft. Ellie Goulding)
Jet Pack Blues - Fall Out Boy
Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

What have you been catching yourself listening to lately? Share any of your new favorite songs down below in the comments, I always love to find new music!

xx
Catch you next time.

1/25/2015

Pinterest Party: Lauren Conrad

Happy Sunday! It's been a while, but here's another Pinterest Party! Lately, I've found myself leaning towards pastel colors (is it Spring yet?!). I love Lauren Conrad's style as well as all of the products she has been releasing in her Kohl's lines. Here are a few of my favorite photos from Pinterest! The third one is a picture of her adorable living room and the last one is a DIY mermaid costume from Halloween!

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Although I follow many bloggers' Instagrams and websites, I love following different people on Pinterest for random inspiration because you never really know what you'll find! 

xx
Catch you next time.

1/23/2015

Little Discoveries

When I started writing this post, I have to admit I was really really super excited because there have been quite a few things that have popped up on my feeds and screens that as soon as I read them, I knew I wanted to share them with y'all!

A Very Nerdfighter Proposal

If you want to get straight to it, start the video at 1:28. Though the video itself has a few jokes and can be quite funny at times (come on, it's John Green circa 2009, of course it's funny!).


This is such an adorable oldie but a goodie. A few years ago, a man named Phil asked videoblogger John Green (you may know him as the author of The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines) to help him propose to his girlfriend, Kelly. I was disappointed there isn't a video of Kelly's reaction, but nonetheless this is really heartwarming - I love unique proposals!

Baby Names: A Competition of Creativity

I am very excited to announce that I am now a godmother - my godson was born a few days ago in the amazing country of Canada! I love babies, baby names, and random facts. And apparently John, Michael, and James used to be girl names? One of my Fraternity brothers found this article, and though it's about a year old, it's still really interesting to look at the different fads and trends!

Faith in humanity being restored

{Here's the story that started it all}

I love Brandon Stanton, the Humans of New York (HONY) photographer. Stanton not only takes pictures, but records and shares the stories of people he meets in New York. I love following his blog as well as his Facebook page, reading about all of these diverse people and learning of their stories. Recently, Stanton helped start a crowdfund to help start a yearly field trip to Harvard to help inspire underprivileged students to work hard for their education. So much money has already been raised to make this program a permanent part of the school's curriculum, but extra money will also be used to help create a safe summer program environment for these children as well.

Nordstrom gift cards are nice

Katie and a slew of other bloggers are having a huge giveaway for $500 to Nordstrom! All you have to do is follow many of these beautiful bloggers are various modes of social media for entries - it's that easy! There are literally so many possible entries, it may be time-consuming, but just a bit of your free time (and you get to browse a few of the blogs!) for the chance to win $500? That's not too shabby.

I think I follow too many fashion Instagrams

But that should be okay, right? I love following different Instagrams because everybody has such different lives, I love seeing the little things that make their day unique and special. Some of my favorite ones to follow are Ashley Brooke Designs, Pinch of Em, Corals and Cognacs, and Rosie Londoner. There are always such colorful pictures on my feed, it makes me smile when I'm feeling a bit down. If you'd like to follow me, here's the link!

Support charities and get cool shirts. 



One of the reasons I love Stephen Amell so much is that he is such an amazing person! He has done so much to help raise money and awareness for different causes. Right now he is running another Represent campaign to raise funds for increasing mental health awareness and helping train service dogs! This shirt is especially awesome because "sinceriously" *technically* isn't a word, but in the process of raising money for charities, Amell is trying to make this an official word by getting it added to the dictionary! They have already sold almost 7000 shirts in 6 days, go support these amazing causes and get a pretty cool shirt to show your support!

Heard of the Andromeda Galaxy?

I love the Hubble Telescope! It's so crazy to imagine that it's a telescope that we sent into outer space to take pictures of other galaxies! Pictures are cool, especially when they're zoomable! There's even a video, too!

xx
Catch you next time.

1/21/2015

The Liebster Award

Considering I just started my blog a few months ago, I was very surprised and honored to find out I was recently nominated by Rachel, the Quirky Collegiate, for the Liebster Award!

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The Liebster Award is an award for bloggers, given by bloggers to promote communication and the discovery of new bloggers with less than 200 followers. I answer the 11 questions handed on to me, then I nominate 10 more bloggers to pass on the award to! Let's get started.

How did you decide on the title of your blog?
Okay, warning: this story is a bit crazy. When I finally decided to start a blog, it took me a really long time to find a name because every single name I thought of was already taken! I tried to be witty and play on my name, but even that didn't work out! I was super frustrated so I switched browser tabs to my university's course catalog and started looking for any fun classes to add to my schedule. Lo and behold, I came across the Southwest Home Gardening course, which (weird as it sounds) instantly inspired my blog title!

What made you decide to start your blog?
The summer before my junior year of high school, I met quite a few different girls who introduced me to the world of blogging. It started off mostly as I loved having more unique material to read, seeing amazing pictures of people's outfits and their travels, and I was just fascinated. I had been encouraged to try my own hand at blogging, but I put it off because I didn't know what I would write about and I didn't want to start a blog only to give up on it because I didn't know what to do. Two years later, I decided to start my blog because I was feeling overwhelmed with the prospect that I was officially a college student, moving away from home and beginning to develop my life. I am not the most crafty person in the world, but I do enjoy being creative - this is my little outlet to experiment and keep that piece of creativity within me alive.

What is your Starbucks order?
Grande White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino, extra whipped cream. Oh, and a warmed-up chocolate chip cookie or a couple of cake pops (depending on the day, of course). Hey, a girl can indulge a bit, right?

Where is your favorite place to shop?
To be honest, I don't have one. I have my regular stores that I look for when at the mall (i.e. American Eagle, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, etc.), but I don't particularly have a favorite place to physically shop at. However, I have seen so many pictures of the inside of Lilly Pulitzer stores that I have a feeling that if I ever visit one it will probably be my favorite! I just love classy prints and colors, who doesn't?

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
At this point in time I don't have a super specific place I'd like to go, though I would love to travel Europe! London, Paris, Dublin, Rome, Amsterdam, I want to see them all! I love learning about new cultures, history, and architecture - ooo, I love architecture. I never really developed an interest in architecture until around my sophomore/junior year, and I'm not too sure why, but now I just love it. A few landmarks I hope to see in my life are the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the canals of Italy, the Sistine Chapel, Buckingham Palace, and more. It's really cool that it's so easy to travel between countries in Europe and I hope to one day experience what it's like to be in Prague one morning then ride the train to Vienna!

What is your guilty pleasure?
I am a huge geek/nerd over a lot of things, but especially superheroes (both DC and Marvel). Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America, the Flash, Arrow, you name it. As unfashionable as they are, I have Batman socks. Yes, I just typed that. They're super thick and great for cold weather so I don't wear them often, but I have them and I love them. Favorite TV shows at the moment? The CW's Arrow and The Flash! Stephen Amell and Grant Gust are just amazing. Oh, and I'm a nerdfighter (if you understand, DFTBA).

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Five years from now, I hope to be working on achieving my Master's of Accounting and preparing for the CPA exam and law school.

What is your favorite song at the moment?
Mmm, I love music so this is so hard! Let's break it down just a bit. Current favorite song to dance to? I'm caught between Fall Out Boy's new song Uma Thurman and Maroon 5's Sugar (the video was in my last Little Discoveries post!). Current favorite song to wake up to/study to? River Flows in You by Yiruma is so beautiful, I just love the piano. Current favorite song to feel sad to? A Sad Song by We the Kings - I know this is a weird thing to specify, but I heard it the other day and I just love it.

What is one piece of advice you would give to other new bloggers?
Blog because you want to, because you like doing it - if it begins to feel like too much of a chore, I suggest you take a step back just for a little bit. Blogging should be fun, something that you use as a way to procrastinate whatever else you're doing, because you'd rather be blogging than doing your homework. Okay, that's bad, but still I'm sure you get the point! Once it stops being fun, relax a little and re-evaluate.

Where do you see your blog going in the next year?
I'm not sure, but I hope upwards in terms of just blogging more and developing more content. In my first six months I averaged 9 posts per month, so maybe increasing that to anywhere from 10 to 15 would probably be nice. Honestly though, I care more about having fun and expressing myself than trying to be the next blogging sensation so I will just blog as I go and if I make the goals then that's nice, if not, this isn't the end of the world. As long as I continue to blog and enjoy it while making plenty of blogger friends, I think I will be more than happy.

Where does your blog inspiration come from?
The very first blog I ever read was Carly Heitlinger's The College Prepster. Her fashion posts are definitely great, but I love how the way she blogs is just so... what's the phrase? I'm not too sure how to accurately describe it, but there's just something about the way she writes that you feel connected. I also love Katie from A Touch of Teal and Alex from the The College Life Stylist (their links are below)! All three of these beautiful young women are bloggers who show that you don't have to confine yourself to one area. I don't want to box myself into one blogging category, because that's not who I am.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about me! Now I nominate:

I can't wait to read your answers! Remember to have fun with them! :)

xx
Catch you next time.

1/16/2015

Little Discoveries

Pretty much every time I hop onto the internet, I seem to find some pretty interesting things! I love when blogs I follow do link posts, because with all of us on the internet, you never really know what you will and won't find on your own. So here's to starting a new series: Little Discoveries.

The Royals are on Twitter

Guess who just joined the "Twitter"verse! Prince Harry and our favorite Royal Couple have technically joined us here on the Internet! The accounts are mostly meant for helping promote their charities, but they are also to be used to give updates (and pictures!) on everyone. Go follow Kensington Palace and the Queen.

Wedding Crashers 2: Maroon 5 Edition


Awesome, right? The video was directed by the very same director of Wedding Crashers! This is such a cute and catchy song, I decided to set it as my alarm to get up in the mornings. Watching the different couples' reactions is really great, I know I would love it if my favorite band showed up at my wedding reception!

Feel like falling in love soon?

According to a study conducted by Arthur Aron, asking these 36 questions can help you fall in love with virtually anyone. I don't usually click on links to stories about things like this, but it has been circulating everywhere, so I gave in and read it. It usually takes quite a bit of time for people to become so well and intimately acquainted, these questions seem to fast forward the process.

Concert-Goers Anonymous

A few months ago, I discovered Magic Man! They are a great band with a dance-y, indie rock feel. They have a lot of great music, and they are so nice (my friend met them, and the lead singer is sweet on Twitter). They recently released tour dates for their first national headlining tour and they are hitting a lot of the major cities! Tickets are now on sale - go check them out!


Tom Felton is on TNT's Murder in the First as Erich Blunt, a cocky and wealthy (sound familiar, anyone?) tech company CEO. Tom Felton has always been one of my favorites, so when I found out a year ago that he was going to be on this show, you can say I was more than a bit excited. The show has been out for a while, but I thought that I'd add a little to the exposure and tell y'all!

Meet Pringle, a bearded dragon in Melbourne

I stumbled upon this Instagram earlier this week and I just thought it was really cute and funny! His name is great, he's in Australia, what more do you need to know to check it out?

Favorite blog post I read this week

I love Alex's new post on Learning to Love Yourself. Confidence is definitely one of the things many people in my generation are lacking. She makes an especially good point that I believe applies to many of us out there: it's possible to not want to drastically change yourself, but to simply be uncomfortable in your own skin. We all should work on helping other people feel better about themselves, and in turn, I think you'll feel a bit better. So, readers, I challenge you to compliment yourself every day, but to also, look at the brighter side of things and compliment a second person, a different person every day.

xx
Catch you next time.

1/15/2015

Thoughts on the First Week Back

There's something calming about the wind, don't you think? I, of course, am talking about the nice, subtle breezes typical of the Fall and Spring, rather than the 30 mile per hour gusts threatening to pick you up and carry you away. I was strongly considering purchasing a bike for this semester, but to be honest, I quite like walking to class! Not only is it a way to ensure I'm forcing myself to exercise a bit, but also because when you ride a bike, you often move too quickly to take in everything that is going on around you (from the people playing on the intramural fields to seeing a friend walking in the opposite direction).


Well, it is pretty much the end of my first week back to school! No Friday classes means more time for my online courses as well as *hopefully* have a little fun (read: leave my room). It has been a slightly more-stressful-than-usual Syllabus Week considering the majority of my in-person classes are on the Monday/Wednesday schedule and most of my professors decided to give us some work right off the bat.

Luckily my schedule is a lot lighter on Tuesday/Thursday, so I was able to get a decent amount of sleep last night. I actually have only one class on Thursdays (yay hybrid courses!). I decided to take a Public Speaking class to better hone my presentation skills - my professor has had a lot of experience in giving innovative, informational talks as well as persuasive and motivational speeches! (I'm heading over there as I post this now!)

The class I am most excited for this semester is definitely my Women in Literature: Jane Austen class! I love Jane Austen - P&P, S&S, Emma, Persuasion, all of it. I read some of her works in high school, but I can't help but feel that I didn't read as much into it as I could have. My professors are the cutest old married couple (and he's always wearing a bow tie!), and I am so excited! They are so sweet, and really funny - can you just imagine a cute elderly couple arguing over literature?

I haven't been able to blog lately because I was really busy moving back down here and judging (surprise! but wait for the rest) at a national circuit tournament! For me, that's *kind of* a big deal. I love that judging at tournaments has given me a way to keep in touch with what was essentially my world during high school - it makes me feel that although I can already tell being in college has changed me, it reminds me that I'm still me. Still Mikkaela. Just a bit different, well, maybe more than just a bit!

As my course schedule firms up and I happily write-in every single class, event, and essay into my multiple paper and electronic planners, I should be able to develop a regular posting schedule! I'm so excited for this new year, new semester. I have a lot of stuff planned for the blog, so thanks for joining me on this roller coaster that's only going up (I know it's a TFIOS quote, but hey Looking for Alaska's 10th year anniversary edition was just released - go buy it!).

How was your first day/week back to school? Are you taking any interesting classes? Let me know down in the comments, I'd love to hear all about it!

xx
Catch you next time.

1/05/2015

Freshman Five: Checking Off the Winter To-Do List

Morning, lovelies! This morning I woke up with a feeling I haven't felt in a while: the urge to be productive! I just realized that a week from today I will be walking out of my Data Analytics class. (Translation: I'M GOING BACK TO COLLEGE). Suffice to say I am truly excited to have a real day-to-day schedule, see my friends, begin planning events with my Fraternity, etc. but alas, the regular dread of leaving my comfy bed and Netflix-induced coma has arrived. I know a lot of colleges are different, but here are just some general things you should make sure to have done before you go back to school for the new year!


Scan the To-Do List // Every college and university has some sort of website or portal for you to schedule classes, track grades, pay tuition, etc. These usually have a to-do list somewhere - ProTip: Don't ignore it! Here at ASU, they recently instituted a Sexual Abuse and Consent course that all students are required to complete before they can begin attending classes for the new semester. It's very informative and not very long, but it's the little things like this that you need to make sure not to overlook!

Check Your FAFSA // The Free Application for Student Aid opens up on January 1st every year - now you have time to fill this out, but for the best possible amount of aid, you should complete this as soon as possible. There are many scholarships, whether through the university or not, require that you file a FAFSA - it does not take very long and the steps are fairly simple. (If you happen to be a high school student reading this blog, the same goes for you when you're applying to universities - get your FAFSA in ASAP!).

Find and Fill Out Applications // While FAFSA technically falls into this little bullet, I'm talking more about general scholarships and any programs you are looking at for the summer or for the next school year. Just because you already received scholarships for your first year of college does not necessarily mean they can all be renewed for the rest of your years. Also, now that you're sort of a college pro, you can start looking into travel programs! I am currently looking to apply for a short month-long study abroad program this summer! *fingers crossed*

Buy Some of Your Textbooks // Now I know that most people tell you not to buy any of your books until after syllabus week, but if you did your research on some of the teachers beforehand, or you can probably do a bit of assuming from your course list, there will probably be at least one or two books that you can buy now. Great thing about Amazon: you can return the books if your teacher says you don't need it! I know a lot of people hate returning things, but I'd much rather potentially return a book than struggle to order it or wait in line at the bookstore hoping to find a copy because you already have an assignment due at the next class.

Relax // If you're like me, you're probably feeling a bit stressed because the approach of the semester means meeting new professors, getting readjusted to college, work, etc. Just remember that you are awesome! The semester hasn't started yet and you have time! If you're usually busy during the semester, reward yourself with a movie or a treat for accomplishing something on your "Before the Semester Starts" list. Go out to dinner with some friends as a farewell to winter. Buy an extra book or two to keep in your room or in your bag if you ever find a free moment. Smile because you survived last semester and you are going to conquer this next one!

xx
Catch you next time.

1/03/2015

Planning for a Great Year

Just before the end of 2014, I entered in AJ Minute's Life Planner Giveaway and it turns out I won! I don't usually win giveaways (and I must admit I've entered in more than my fair share), so I was really excited when AJ tweeted and emailed me! I love my Lilly planner, but I *accidentally* ordered the Jumbo-size and thus have found myself using it more as an overall/portable desk calendar. This Erin Condren planner is amazing and so adorable! I can't wait to use it this year!








Gosh, isn't it just adorable? I love all of the little touches! I already love the concept of the cover it came with, but I am so excited to order a new personalized cover! Sadly, with school coming up and lots of things needing to be done, it may be a bit before I have the chance to sit down and order it, but when I get it I will definitely be putting a picture up! Make sure you go check out AJ's blog, The AJ Minute!

xx
Catch you next time.

1/01/2015

This is the year I will. . .

Hello, lovelies!

This is the year I will be stronger, braver, kinder, and unstoppable. This year I will be fierce.

Photo via A New Kind of Normal
 
This year I am making a promise to myself, a promise to work harder to love and *reasonably* improve myself. We currently live in a world where it's easy to doubt yourself. This past year, there have been more than a handful of moments where I was unsure about what I was doing, scared if I was making the right decision, and doubtful of my abilities when I couldn't fulfill my over-reaching expectations.

This is one of the reasons I actually chose to start this blog. Before creating this blog, I had contemplated blogging for around three years or so. I had met a few people who had their own blogs and they all gave me the same anecdotal advice: they started blogging as an outlet, both for a unique and creative hobby as well as to release their thoughts on their own terms. I love being involved and busy, and don't get me wrong, I love my days of Netflix bingewatching and yoga pants, but many days I feel like I need a slightly more productive way to relax. Voila, the Southwestern Prepster is born.

My goal for the new year is not to become a new me, but to learn to love me. I used to wonder how I could focus on changing a part of myself while saying "I don't want to change who I really am". I have realized that the changes that come from learning to love yourself are not ones that change who you are, but rather how you are. I hope everyone had a wonderful night, and have a wonderful new year! I can't wait to see what's in store for all of us.

xx
Catch you next time.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I spent my New Year's Eve cleaning, organizing, watching The Proposal before Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, and then watching Pretty Woman. Kiss your dog, hug your family, and eat cake because 2015 is here to stay!


May your new year be filled with love, happiness, and endless opportunities. There is so much in store for us all - I can't wait to see how the blog develops (hopefully, well!). As you watched the ball/shoe/crab drop, what were you wishing for?

xx
Catch you next time.

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