I have so many things I want to write about and have gotten a ton of motivation to do so recently. However, my laptop has officially gone to shit so I’ve created a new nook in my room at my desk [after rearranging all of my furniture… a very typical high school Alicia move] for writing at my desktop. Albeit more difficult for me here, I spent most of my laptop owning days lounging on my couch and writing as well as watching TV and talking to people, I think this change in scenery [my neighbor’s house midst consturction] will be good for me.
So… I graduated college? Technically, I’m a college grad but due to coronavirus and the actual ceremony being postponed indefinitely, it doesn’t feel like it. Nevertheless, my Instagram bio now says “OU alum” so obviously it’s official 😉 I’m also heading back to Athens this weekend to move out of my apartment which will, of course, entail taking some graduation photos and crying on every part of campus. What screams college grad more than this scenario?
Posting this is beyond weird for me. I started this blog almost five years ago [how??] when I was a wee little freshman in college. Now, I’m a college graduate [sorry I’ve said college graduate like twelve times I’m just proud]. This blog was created to document my college experience, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Little did I know I’d still have it almost five years later and I’d be documenting my college graduation.
When I first started this blog, I was pretty positive I’d be leaving San Diego, but I had thought I’d be moving to Phoenix to go to Arizona State University to study chemical engineering. I only thought about SDSU and ASU because I wanted to be closer to my then best friend [funny what’s important to your 18-year-old self haha]. Little did I know I’d be transferring to a school much closer to home [and a hell of a lot colder] to study Spanish and Education.
And as of Saturday, I am officially an alumna of Ohio University, with a double major in Spanish Education and Spanish Language who will most likely be taking a teaching position in Galicia, Spain, or the upcoming school year 🙂
As for the fate of this blog, I’m going to keep her alive, documenting all my post-grad endeavors of course, because nothing is more me than that. 🙂
For one city to change your life, it has to be pretty magical. Little did I know, three years ago, when I chose to transfer to Ohio University to pursue a degree in Spanish Education, just how much magic this little city in Southeastern Ohio had.
I didn’t have a traditional senior year, not in the slightest, and, if I had it my way, I’d be getting ready to graduate right about now, probably reminiscing on college memories with my friends. Instead, I’m crying at my desk in Chicago. Funny how life has different intentions than our own. Despite this, I still have a lot I want to say to that magical city before I’m technically a graduate.
There’s so many people, restaurants, homes, dorms, etc. that I could thank but there aren’t nearly enough words in the English language to thank each of them for all they’ve done for me… but I’ll try.
To Adams Hall, when I first moved into my dorm on August 25th, 2017 I was absolutely scared out of my mind. Going away to college once was a lot to handle… but twice! I didn’t think I could do it. Thankfully, room 143 blessed me with the absolute best roommate a girl could ask for and to this day is still one of my closest friends. Although we didn’t talk much junior year [no thanks to either of us], I’m so glad we rekindled our friendship senior year because a friend like Olivia only comes once in a lifetime. If I ever need a late night run to Walmart for a fish or to find a roomie if I ever move to LA, Olivia is my girl. Thank you Adams Hall.
To the Patton College of Education, I never knew if I wanted to be a teacher… If I’m being honest, I’m still not 100% sure and now I have a degree! Nevertheless, you gave me some of the best professors and classmates to prepare me to become a teacher. Anna, Paige, Sara, and Maddie were the biggest help in getting me across this finish line. Long nights of group projects, studying for exams, and the longest portfolios ever were made possible because of these people. Anne Scott, however, is the real reason I’m ready to be a teacher. No one has ever believed in me the way Anne does. She is a gift to this university and I’m so fortunate to have met her. Thank you PCOE.
To McCracken Hall, some of my latest nights were spent here. As much as I hate to admit that, they were. Thank you for being arguably the best and nicest building on campus with the best study rooms which definitely got their use out of me. I’m glad to never use one again, but I appreciated the resource when I needed it. Thank you McCracken Hall.
To the Office of Global Opportunities, most college students don’t get to study abroad once, let alone twice. I’m forever grateful for both my Spain trip as well as the COST program and learned more about myself and the world abroad than I ever did in any classroom. Thank you for giving me Mary, Allyssa, Kayla, Rory, Alejo, and so many others. You don’t meet people as good as them very often. Thank you OGO.
To Donkey Coffee, I spent a lot more time here than I ever did in any class [or anywhere for that matter]. From CHAARG coffee dates, to Sunday study seshes with my gorls, and even first dates, you were always there with a red iced tea and a vegan chocolate cherry cookie when I needed one. I’ll be back one last time to spend all my donkey points 🙂 Thank you Donkey Coffee.
To Boyd Market, I mean… where do I even begin? I met some of my best friends through this on-campus job that I only applied to because OU claimed it was the most vegan friendly place on campus. Some of my best times were spent inside of Boyd Market from finding dead birds behind Smooth Moves, writing the newsletter, making Tik Toks, register 1 tea parties, and of course WORKING [on occasion]. I never would have met my Boyd bestie Olivia, which would have meant I would have been drunk a significantly less amount than I was. To the Boyd student leaders, thank you for welcoming me into the group, always being down to hear gossip, making Tik Toks, taking pictures, and going to PigSkin and Overhang. I’m forever grateful for all of you. Thanks BM 😉
To CHAARG, thank you for saving my life. I was in a terrible place when I got to OU and you really helped me get out of it. Not necessarily by yourself, but by giving me mental health resources, my best friends in the entire world, and an all around lovely [usually] community to send wine drunk videos in the group chat or make fun of myself whenever deemed necessary. Thank you for teaching me how to be a leader and deal with shitty people. Thank you for teaching me how to take a stand for what I believe in and to never back down. I am who I am today largely due to CHAARG and I’m forever indebted to this wonderful org. Thank you CHAARG.
To 14M, the best apartment and roomie combo you could ever have hoped for. I treasure our nights spent in the living room watching The Good Place [much to Liz’ shagrin], listening to our good vibe playlists, and our Homecoming and Santa Fest gatherings. I wish we could have built the gingerbread houses. Sorry I spoke to the ceiling in Spanish 😉 Liz and Anna, I love you both. 14M, keep the next gen girls in good hands. [also I included Kelsey in this section and you know why hehe].
I’m including kelsey in this and you all know why hehe
To my gorls, I know we all aren’t the closest right now, but that doesn’t change how much each of you mean to me. All five of you helped me make it through college in one piece thanks to our donkey dates, Biddle study nights, every CHAARG event, post CHAARG dins at Shively, the choffice, and Harbour the Band concerts. Kenzie, I’m so excited for you to go to LA and make it big in the film industry. Don’t forget me when you’re famous. Jess, you’re going to be the best journalist to walk this planet and I’m glad you’re following your dreams and not going to Law school rn. There’s always time to be Elle Woods another time 😉 Hannah, you are one of the most kind and beautiful souls I know and I’m honestly honored to be your friend. I’m so proud that you’re graduating a semester early and I know no matter where you end up, you’ll succeed at whatever you do. Grace, oh Grace, I’m sorry I didn’t follow you back when we were bolt babes lol but look at us now! I’m so proud to be your friend and to cheer you on from the sideline for all of your victories from LVNG Limitess, By Her For Her, BackDrop, Cincy Mag, and whatever else along the way that you take on. You’re going to be a phenomenal journalist and I can’t wait to keep reading everything you write. Finally, Sami, I’m not too sure what happened to us but I’ll always consider you one of the best friends I’ve ever had. From bonding over One Direction, to you being in my small group, to getting a job at Boyd and everything that went with that, I’m always glad that I was in your life for at least a bit, even if that’s over [I honestly don’t know if it is l o l]. I love all five of you with my whole heart and I’ll never forget any of you. Much love for my gorls.
Finally to Athens Ohio, five semesters in the best city is not nearly enough. Thank you for packing my five semesters full of great people, places, and memories. Athens has truly shaped me into who I am today and I would be nowehere without at least one of the things I mentioned above. Although my time in Athens is coming to a close, I’m fully prepared for wherever the wind takes me. Thank you for that, Athens.
*sidenote: I wrote this post a month ago but never posted it so to my friends or whoever that read this: imagine you read it last month or at least pre-Greece.
Bittersweet. This semester has absolutely flown by and I don’t know how I feel about it. I’m officially done at Ohio University and next semester I will be headed to Thessaloniki Greece to student teach for three months alone. I’m beyond excited to teach in Greece but I can’t help but feel melancholy to leave Athens and all my friends behind. Five semesters in one location is honestly not enough. Five semesters in a place that’s become my home is 110%, not enough time. I love Athens Ohio, Ohio University and every single person that I’ve met in my five semesters there with my whole heart and being away from them for the next four months is honestly not something I’m looking forward to. As I said, yes I’m excited to go to Greece [how can you not be excited to spend three months living out your Mamma Mia fantasy and seeing all of the history this country has to offer?!] I am so pumped I’ve made a packing list already, I’ve booked my flight, I’ve got my apartment and everything else is in the works but going to Greece and being separated from the people that I love more than anything is kind of a shitty trade-off.
I cried every day last week. I cried saying goodbye to my friends I cried listening to songs about leaving and new beginnings. I cried at bars. I cried in my apartment. I cried in my classes. I cried at work. I cried in front of professors, friends, strangers, etc. I’ve just been crying.
I want to end this with a little bit of a thank you. It’s impossible to thank every single person that has impacted my life at Ohio University, but I do want to thank the ones that have truly made by Ohio University experience the best experience of my entire life.
To my gorls, thank you all for always being willing to get donkey, hit the gym, and let me spill all of my tea. To Grace, thanks for introducing me to Harbour the Band and for always getting me to lift arms even though I never want to. I’m sorry I never texted you back when we were CHAARGmas babes however I’m really glad that we’re friends now and I consider you one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my entire life. To Hannah, you are the most beautiful human being I’ve ever seen in my entire life and I know you don’t always believe that, but I hope one day you do. You make my day every time I see you and you are such a bright light in my life you have no idea. To Jess, thank you for being the mom of our friend group and for always keeping us all in check. You were going to do the most amazing things in life [and at law school] and I cannot wait to be there for all of them. To Kenzie, I’m so glad you awkwardly snapchatted me that one night in February because I gained an amazing friend from that. Thank you for always letting me know that it’s okay to treat myself even when I definitely shouldn’t be. You can always use a little or a lot of treat yo self in your life. Finally, to Sami, the CHAARG gods [Grace] were really thinking about us last fall when they put you in my small group. You have become one of my best friends over the past year-and-a-half so thankful for that. From our nights out to our Friday shifts at Boyd and everything in between I’m so thankful to have you as a friend. Try not to die next semester.
To CHAARG, you’re the reason I stayed at Ohio University. When I transferred here I had no friends and was worried I would never make any at all during my time here. Thank you for giving me five of the best friends I could have ever asked for.
To Boyd Market, Thank you for the best 5 semesters of cold Monday morning shipments, dead birds, ‘crackhead’ hours, 10-2 smoothie shifts, Register 1 pow wows, Friday afternoon tea parties, ladies of Boyd tik toks, and the best people I’ve ever worked with.
To Olivia Labenne, you were my first friend at Ohio University and I’m glad that I can still call you a friend 5 semesters later. Thank you for dealing with me 24/7 from late-night coffee runs to Walmart fish shopping and of course the Adams first floor. I would not have survived sophomore year without you.
To Olivia Hovan, you made working at Boyd Market bearable and you were the reason I did not quit that job. I’m so thankful to have made a friend as great as you and I can’t wait to come back in April and work with you again. I’ll see you at Palmer 😉
To Anna and Liz, last year I didn’t think I could be friends with my roommates ever again however you guys changed that for the better. You two have become two of my absolute best friends and you got me through this fall semester, and I don’t know how I’m going to get through spring semester without you both. Thank you for always listening to my rants about my life my classes my work and my friends and never complaining. Sorry I can’t help but fall asleep on the couch.
To my instructors, thank you for challenging me, shaping me, and giving me support during my time here. I had the absolute honor of learning from some of the most intellectual, cultured, and compassionate people Ohio [and abroad] had to offer.
To Anne Scott, you are the reason I am graduating from this university. Without your constant support, guidance, and tools I would not be where I am today. I cannot wait to be the best teacher [or whatever I end up doing later on] because of you. I will always be grateful to you.
To everyone else not listed above. Thank you for dealing with my constant sarcasm, my snoring [now fixed thank you sinus surgery], my major changes, and everything else in between. I cannot wait to see where life takes each and every one of us. See you all at Homecoming [maybe 😉 ]
As I sit here, perched in an almost empty bus without much leg room, somewhere in Indiana, I gaze longingly out of the beautiful picture window, my eyes focus on one thing. The clouds. I’ve related to clouds quite a bit recently. Or cloudy days I should say. The sun may peek out of the clouds for 10-15 minutes and during that time, all is right in the world. The other 23 hours and 45-50 minutes, gloomy, somber, dreary. That’s been my world recently.
I’ve been thinking about writing this post for the past few days but where do I begin? It’s hard for me to share how unhappy and unfulfilled with my life I’ve been. I like to come off as this happy-go-lucky, positive, individual who always has her shit together, however recently, I’ve been quite the opposite.
In my need to lead post, I mentioned how I applied for OU CHAARG’s ambassador [the equivalent of president]. By the tone of this post, you can all assume that I didn’t get it. You’ve all assumed correctly. I was crushed. I still am if I’m being honest. When you pour your heart and soul into an organization to not be recognized back; it’s heartbreaking. I could sit here and list plenty of reasons I think I didn’t get it, I could let my friends tell you the system is corrupt and that I deserved it more, but honestly… what’s the point? It’s over and done with and there’s no changing the decision that was made.
I told myself that if I didn’t get ambassador I wouldn’t apply to be a regular exec member. Why did I do this? Why do I want one position over the other? It’s because, since last year, I’ve pictured myself as ambassador. I’ve had so many people say “When you’re Ambassador…” so it’s become an obvious next step for me. I was beyond excited. I’d started planning out next year already: from my team, our events, our workouts, our meetings, our bonding, my gifts to everyone, my last events, everything. Yet, when I read the rather impersonal email I was honestly a little relieved. As gut-wrenching as it was, there was still a bit of relief that coursed through my body and I knew exactly why.
Last semester I PREACHED about how I was pouring from an empty cup how I was done pouring from an empty cup. Yet, here I am, not satisfied with any aspect of my life, STILL pouring from that same empty cup. What am I doing wrong? Am I still putting all of my energy into the wrong things?
I love so many things. I can’t recall the last time I did many of them. I love reading, writing, hiking, creating, baking, seeing my friends. I can’t tell you the last time I did any of things without CHAARG in mind. I don’t really see my non-CHAARG friends anymore, I don’t read, I haven’t written about anything besides CHAARG, I only bake for CHAARG events, etc. I haven’t been myself in far too long + it’s time that changes.
I love CHAARG, which is why it takes up such a substantial part of my life. Despite this, CHAARG is taking the biggest toll on my physical and mental health. If I love something so much, why is it doing me so much harm?
I think about CHAARG 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and I am stressed out of my mind because of it. I am in love with this organization and it’s really changed my life in so many ways, but I need to know my limits. I need to know when to put myself first. It’s time. I’m still going to be in CHAARG during my final semester on campus. I’m going to be the best damn general member this chapter has ever seen.
Big things are coming from 2 of my best friends and myself very soon. I’m excited for it. I’m studying abroad in Spain this summer. I’m completing my student teaching abroad [not sure where yet] next Spring. I’m excited. I’m going to apply for grad school for something besides Education. I’m beyond excited. I’m going to be the best + most involved regular CHAARG member next fall. I’m so excited. I’m going to relate to sunny days instead of cloudy days. I am SO fucking excited.
So CHAARG exec, thank you. Thank you for teaching me so much, for shaping me into the person I am today, for testing me physically, emotionally, mentally, and most importantly: for giving me my two best friends.
However, it’s time to be Alicia + it’s time to make myself a priority for the first time in quite a while.
Hi all. It’s been a while. I have had roughly zero time to write recently. Between being gravely ill not once but twice, 7 classes which all include an obnoxious amount of work, my job, CHAARG, 4 Paws, and trying not to have more than one mental breakdown a week. Remember how last semester I told myself I wasn’t going to be pouring from an empty cup? It’s happening. So, today I wanted to come on here and figure my shit out [take a shot every time I’ve said that].
The concept of leadership is frustrating to me. I crave being a leader. I think I’m a natural born leader with a lot of self-doubt issues paired with crippling anxiety which makes me a rather awkward leader. When I’m confident about something I find leading easy. I’m able to make decisions on the fly and have the confidence in every decision I make. When I’m not so confident I tend to overthink my decisions, become indecisive, look to every possible source for advice [my whole college career], and may come off as a poor leader. I’m not sure if that’s true or if it’s my brain telling me it’s true, but it’s what I think.
Despite what my brain thinks, I always apply for leadership roles. Ever since elementary school I was involved with clubs where I looked to lead, I was on student government in leadership roles all throughout my middle school and high school careers, I was an editor for the yearbook every year I was on the staff, I was golf team captain, I was the president of AST [another club in high school] I’m a manager at work, I applied to be an RA, I’m going to be a Learning Community Leader, I’m on the exec teams of both of the organizations I’m in… I could go on. Almost every single thing I’ve ever been involved in, I’ve been a leader in it. It’s natural for me, to want more. I like to keep working up the ladder as far as I can go. This is one of the reasons I thought I’d excel in Business. I’d be CEO of a company in no time ;).
Why do I do this? Why is it that I feel the need to take on any position that comes my way? Why can’t I sit on the sidelines and let others be in charge? I think it comes from my need to have control. I didn’t really know I had control issues but it’s something I’ve come to notice as of late. I have never sat on the sidelines on anything I’ve been involved in [except for when I first join] because I crave being a leader. I don’t know if it’s because I love sharing my love for whatever I’m involved in with other people, I need to be in control, the whole “You NEED leadership experience on your resume” that’s been shoved down my throat my whole life or a mix of all three, but here I am, having just applied for my newest leadership position, CHAARG Ambassador [the equivalent of the president].
I’ll be the first to say that I’ve been conflicted on doing so. I’ve wanted to apply for Ambassador since last year when I applied for the same role. [I’m glad I didn’t get it but I didn’t know that other exec applications would go out again so I applied for what I could]. After my last semester in CHAARG, I almost didn’t return to the organization let alone exec because I was so frustrated. If I was so frustrated why would I keep moving up the ladder? Why do I still want to apply for Ambassador, intern, CLC, etc. in my future CHAARG endeavors? Obviously, I love CHAARG + all it’s done for me, so naturally, I want to keep at it. But when it’s one of my greatest stressors, is it worth it? I want to keep spreading my love for CHAARG to anyone and everyone I can despite the stress I’m under. I think If I didn’t reapply I’d regret it more than if I kept doing it and was stressed as much as I normally am.
I’ve submitted my application for Ambassador and obviously, I hope that I get the position. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I may not receive it and that it’s going to be okay. I might apply for another exec position [definitely not treasurer though] or I might spend my last semesters at OU as a regular CHAARG member, once again anticipating newsletters hitting my inbox every Sunday night at 10pm and wondering what exec has planned at all the events.
If I don’t get an exec position it will be weird. Not having control of something for one of the first times ever will be weird. It will be good too. It will be good for me. To not be in control. Either way, I think I will be okay. I’ll need to adjust but I’ll still love CHAARG. I’ll still share my love for CHAARG. Which is what it’s all about anyway.
In my future, I’m going to need to realize that I can share my love for what I love without being in control. This may be the start of that journey and it may not. But only time will tell.
“The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world is a better place because we have borne them” – Barack Obama
Hi everyone + Happy August 1st! Today is the best day ever because CHAARG memberships are officially open!! I stayed up until 11 last night [I’m usually in bed by 9 since I wake up early] to get mine + something I’ve noticed is that some people are hesitant to buy a CHAARG membership // think CHAARG isn’t for them. So, from one ex-CHAARG skeptic to a current, here’s why you should join CHAARG [or at least give it a shot].
Flashback to last August when I got yet another notification from the Ohio University Class of 2020 facebook group from an organization trying to get more people to join. However, this org was different… it was CHAARG. CHAARG is a health + fitness organization that aims to liberate girls from the elliptical + show them that fitness can ++ should be fun by creating opportunities to help them ‘find their fit.’
I like working out, I thought, so I clicked on CHAARG’s website to dive deeper. Reading about Elisabeth [CHAARG’s founder] to Sarah Clem [the director of expansion], + the rest of CHAARG’s story I was sold. A group of like-minded women being fit, hanging out, + enjoying the college experience together is what everyone wants… right?
Well, I somehow ended up scrolling through the OU CHAARG hashtag on Instagram + immediately began feeling anxious. The girls in this hashtag did CrossFit, lifted in the boy’s section of the gym, had run marathons, + more + what had I done?? I did the stair stepper [when the elliptical got boring] + the gym machines with at home workout videos when I was too anxious to actually go to the gym.
What if I didn’t fit in with these girls? What if they hated me? What if I wasn’t ‘fit’ enough? About 100 more what if statements flooded my mind until I was so overwhelmed that I closed my computer. Maybe CHAARG wasn’t for me? I’d think it over, of course, + put it on my to-do list before I left for school “Buy CHAARG membership ?”
After going back to that same hashtag probably a dozen times, I caved about a week after school started + bought my first ever CHAARG membership. Once I received the Welcome Packet on the 1st of September my nerves really started to set in. Those what ifs started to hit me like a train again but I couldn’t back out. I paid $45 so I was going to be a member.
That next week was sample small groups [a small group meets once a week for the whole semester with the same group of people on the same day + time to workout, grab coffee, etc.] + I was terrified to go to one. So, naturally, I went to the last possible small group that I was free for. Friday morning at 8:15 am. The night before I texted that small group leader Rachel to let her know I’d be attending + we designated a spot in the gym to meet.
That next morning, bright + early I walked to the gym, probably shaking so hard people could’ve asked if I was cold in the late summer heat.
However, the second I stepped into the gym + saw Rachel [who was probs wearing avocado patterned leggings] I knew I was going to be okay. Rachel [+ everyone else in CHAARG] is so kind, caring, + so positive it’s hard to not love her. We did an arm workout
+ ran on the treadmill for a while as we talked about anything from school, CHAARG questions, family life, etc. until it was 915 + she had to get to class.
I went back to my room, showered, + forced myself to go to a ‘meet the exec’ event at Front Room Cafe an hour or so later to meet Leah + Megan, the then event coordinators. Once again, I was still nervous, much less nervous after I’d met Rachel, but nervous nonetheless. I walked into frontroom, + immediately noticed Leah from the OUCHAARG hashtag + walked over to her + the others at the table. Leah, Megan + I talked about the sameish things I talked about with Rachel: school, CHAARG, home, San Diego, etc. I told Leah that I had just come from Rachel’s sample small group + she said that Rachel had put in their groupme that she met the sweetest girl at her sample SG that morning [ME] + I almost fell on the floor from flattery if I’m being honest.
At this point, I was in CHAARG. That next Tuesday was the CHAARG Welcome Party [which I get to plan this year.. CRAZY] + guess what ?!? I was nervous as shit AGAIN! I walked into whatever building, into whatever room + sat down next to an actual human. I didn’t sit far in a corner + I didn’t make sure to leave TONS of space in between me + another person, but I sat next to a person.
That person happened to be Sydney, my now CHAARG bestie. Sydney + I also made small talk as usual and took the picture you see to your left. Ever since that night, Sydney + I have sat next to each other at every CHAARG event I’m forever grateful I stepped out of my comfort zone because I met her!
Now, as I share all of this + while it seems that all of my nerves were calmed… they weren’t. I went to every small group that semester except 1 [?] + every social that I didn’t have a class conflict for, yet I didn’t go to a single studio spotlight [we contact studios in our area to come + teach class for our members to help in finding their fit]. I was terrified I wasn’t fit enough to do System of Strength + Pound. That I still wouldn’t fit in + so… I never went. I made up the excuse that I had a class conflict or I would get my Eventbrite ticket + cancel it last minute [I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to do that first semester… whoops].
My first semester, I applied to be CHAARG’s Treasurer [+ didn’t get it]. Naturally, I was pretty disheartened by it + I actually thought about not returning to CHAARG spring semester. I was angry that I hadn’t gotten the position + that I hadn’t gotten that life-changing or eye-opening CHAARG experience others had had… was CHAARG really not for me?
However, I knew I needed to try again. Just because CHAARG didn’t work out in my favor first semester didn’t mean I wasn’t going to give it another go. I bought my spring membership on Black Friday + made a promise to myself that I would go to EVERY SINGLE CHAARG event that I could because I was sad + upset that CHAARG wasn’t changing my life the way it changed everyone else’s + that’s just what I did.
Spring semester I realized one very crucial CHAARG fact that no one tells you: CHAARG can’t change your life if you don’t let it. I had to put in the effort with CHAARG in order to receive that life-changing experience in return
My first semester of OU sucked [I actually contemplated transferring again]. I only talked to my roommate, CHAARG girls but strictly at CHAARG events, + some work people. I didn’t eat. I only worked out during small group. I self-harmed time + time again for the first time in ages + I was all around not happy. It wasn’t OU’s fault but more so mine.
I was unhappy before OU so it’s no surprise I was still unhappy in Athens. I wanted CHAARG to change my life so dearly because I hated it but I wasn’t willing to put in the effort.
CHAARG changed my life 2nd semester because I made it do so. I went to every studio spotlight + found a love for Pound, Yoga + Zumba!! I went to every small group + social ++ I met so many kind + passionate people ++ I used CHAARG to my advantage so it did change my life.
I eat now. I workout now [for fun + not for a punishment]. I can walk in public without music or talking to someone on the phone. I can talk in front of people. But most importantly, I’m happy now.
CHAARG isn’t this scary thing that only people who do CrossFit or participate in bodybuilding comps can be in. CHAARG is a place for anyone + everyone who have a passion for mental, phyiscal + emotional fitness whether you’ve just started this journey today or 15 years ago.
Remember this: CHAARG can change your life, but only if you let it.
Happy Summer everyone! I’m back from Florida (posts on that to come) and am SO ready to get back into a routine! I didn’t even bring my laptop to Florida and it was so refreshing + relaxing (although I’m grateful my dad brought his because I had to register for 3 classes while we were down there) and I had a great 10 days just relaxing. However, like I said I’m glad to be back with my bed, my dog, and my own routine.
As some of you (or none) know, while I was in Florida, I turned 21!!! Woot drinking, gambling, blah blah. Something I LOVE reading are those “___ things I learned in ___ years” posts so I wanted to do my own! So, here are 21 things I’ve learned before turning 21.
It is 100% okay to not be friends with people based on their political views – A lot of the times (especially recently) it has more to do with the other person’s morality than their choice of Democrat or Republican.
Cutting negative people out of your life is so hard but so rewarding – I’ve cut out a few negative people from my life and yes, it’s shitty at first, especially if you were ‘friends,’ but week, months, and years later when you don’t have that negativity on your shoulder, your life will be so much better
Always trust your gut – Something I’ve realized is that I’m very decisive. However, I always second guess myself and literally ruin my life choosing between 2 choices. One example of this was with transferring. Once I visited OU, I was certain that it was the school for me and once it had like 100x the pros than DePaul I knew I LOVED OU but what if I didn’t like it later, what if I didn’t make friends, etc. I had to visit OU again and it took 3 months for me to make a choice… UGH JUST TRUST YOUR GUT
Life is too short to not have the nails, coffee, and underwear you really want – These are things I enjoy and I want to enjoy them without having to be stingy. I’ll buy cheaper food and clothes as long as these 3 things I get to enjoy.
But in all real life really isn’t that short – Totally an unpopular opinion but life is literally the longest thing we ever do… so it’s not that short.
Question everything – I’m one of those people whose worldview is based on the last documentary I watched. But, I’ve been learning to question things. I don’t believe something just because a person in power or the internet says something is true.
Snuggling an animal can make any bad day at least somewhat enjoyable
Don’t regret anything- I’ve always been that person who says “what if?” What if I’d stayed in San Diego/never even pick it? What if I never played badminton freshman year and started playing water polo instead? As I ask myself these questions wondering how my life would have been different, I also remind myself that if I never transferred, if I never chose San Diego, if I chose a different sport freshman year, etc. that I would never have met some of my best friends, never would have had so many incredible experiences and my life would be so much different. Would I probably like my life just as much as I do now? Yeah, but I love where I’m at now and the choices I’ve made.
Never apologize for being yourself – people will tell you that you’re too much of this and not enough of that. But you’re you and really, that’s all that matters.
Stand up for what you believe in… even if you’re standing alone – I’ve found that following the crowd is a lot less fun when you’re following for something you don’t believe in. It’s hard to stand up for yourself and what you believe in, especially if no one else is standing with you, however, in the end, it’s going to be so much more rewarding.
Make time for what you love – I can’t stress this one enough. In the midst of school and work, taking time to read, write, or go to the gym is so important and can refuel myself to get everything I have to do done.
Be punctual – I can only think of a few things worse [in my opinion] than being late and committing a murder is one of them. I am always early. Sometimes 5 minutes early and sometimes 30. Whether I head to the bathroom to make sure I still look presentable or I sit and tap away on my phone, I would much rather be early than show up right on time… or even worse… late.
Try new things – Try a new workout, learn a language, try eating vegan for a week [yes a shameless go vegan promo] just anything to switch up your routine and remember – variety is the spice of life.
Not everyone is going to like you – This one took me a LONG TIME to learn. I’m such a people pleaser and want everyone to like me and when someone doesn’t I used to try so hard to get them to. Now, I get it. I don’t like everyone and I know everyone isn’t going to like me, and you know what? I’m okay with that.
Loving yourself is extremely hard but even more rewarding – Self-love is one of those things that seem rather ‘new.’ People everywhere are seeing that businesses all over are making billions of dollars on people hating themselves and we’re sick of it. Loving yourself can be one of the hardest things you do in your life, especially when you aren’t that seemingly ‘perfect’ person as shown in magazines ( even though the people in magazines aren’t as perfect as they are shown ).
Getting enough sleep is VERY IMPORTANT – I know that when I get less than 7-8 hours of sleep I don’t feel as refreshed, healthy, and alert as when I get 8 or more.
Travel – I learned far more about life from being in Peru than I ever have in a classroom. I can’t wait to keep traveling and learn even more.
Staying in on a weekend can be just as (or more) fun as going out – I’m the definition of a homebody. I like to be my own company in my own bed. I’m usually down for a night out but cozy pajamas, a movie, and some snacks can definitely be better.
Failure and rejection are a part of life – This took me until this past school to realize. Coming from a high school where I got everything I applied for, to a place with 30,000 other students and a lot more competition. Now, I have to work my butt off to get things I want and it’s taught me so much.
Taking risks, while scary, can be so rewarding – Going against the norm, being different, and trying something so far out of your comfort zone can be frightening, but can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made (at least all the risks I’ve taken have been)
I have so much to learn – I’ve learned a lot in my first 21 years but I still have so much to learn. I learn something new every day and can’t wait to keep learning
Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. It has exploded on twitter and it makes me smile to know that there are so many people in this world who struggle with the same issues that I do. It also makes me smile knowing that there are so many people speaking out about their illnesses despite society constantly dehumanizing us for having them.
Mental illnesses have always been something I struggled with. Although when I first started struggling I didn’t know they were called mental illnesses and I merely thought I was some emo freak who wanted to die for attention, because that’s what society told me.
I can remember the first time I ever thought about killing myself in seventh grade and how I thought would never be happy. I remember thinking that I belonged in an insane asylum which is why it showed up in every single one of my seventh grade art projects. I laughed it off but secretly thought I belonged in one, because that’s what society told me. I can remember the first night I self-harmed and how I had to cover my arms and legs and stomach at all costs in fear of someone calling me out for being a freak and ostracizing me, because that’s what society told them to do. I can remember defending one of my friends for cutting and saying she was just like us. Each of them told me I was “as crazy as her” for saying something like that, and they were afraid she would kill herself because of the cutting, because that’s what society told them, that everyone who cuts is emo and will kill themselves.
Here I am, 7 years after I wanted to kill myself for the first time. I still do sometimes but I begin to realize that this feeling will pass and it won’t make anything better. I can remember the last time I ever self-harmed, a little bit over a year ago. I remember how happy I was when I was one-year self-harm free and how much I cried on that day because I never thought I would live to see that day.
Today I want society to piss off. Mental illnesses are normal. 1 in 4 people have them. The stigma behind mental illnesses needs to stop. If I post this anywhere, ever, I guarantee most people will not even believe this is something I struggle from, because unlike what society tells you, people who live with mental illnesses can function in everyday society just like those without.
The last thing anyone wants to hear is that it gets better, but the one thing everyone needs to hear is that you are not alone. I needed to hear that 7 seven years ago, I needed to hear that last night. World Mental Health Day exists for people who suffer from mental illnesses to know they are not alone. We may feel like it so often, but we aren’t. This day also exists so that we can end this stigma that accompanies mental illnesses. This stigma is the reason I waited 5 years to get help, the reason so many other wait that long or don’t get help at all. Society has dehumanized people with mental illnesses and this is our day, to show that we are humans and we are just as capable. Everyone fights their own battles, mine just take place inside of me.