How I Stay Active in College

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I have never had a rigorous workout routine. I was not much of a high school athlete and when I did play soccer in elementary and middle school, the workouts were contained to practices. I was the occasional treadmill-user and would go to a yoga class every now and then but consistency has never been my strong suit when it came to working out. Surprisingly, college changed that! I find myself doing something active every day of the week!

1// Walk Everywhere

I live on a very small campus so I don’t have to drive to any classes or any meals. The size makes it super easy to walk everywhere! In fact, walking is pretty much the only way you can get anywhere. It has been a super easy way to get my daily step count pretty high.

2// On-Campus Workout Classes

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday a group of us go to a kickboxing class on campus. It has been a super fun way to get some cardio into my week and I’ve met so many awesome girls through the class which makes it an easy decision to go workout.

3// Hit the Gym

I’m going to be honest, before college I don’t think I have ever used actual gym equipment. I know that sounds a little crazy but now I know how to work a lot of the equipment and feel more comfortable in the gym. That comfort has been helpful because previously I didn’t know how to use anything so I felt too nervous to go to the gym and make a fool of myself! Now I go to the campus gym on the days I don’t have kickboxing.

I know it can be hard to find motivation to work out but I found a good group and we motivate each other to stay in shape and workout consistently, making it an easier decision to get active!

What are some things keeping you motivated to stay active?

xo Carolyn

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Tips for the First Semester of College

 

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Obviously I am no expert on college, but I’d say I have learned a thing or two to pass along. My first semester wasn’t too bad. I performed well in school, made some great friends, and got involved in a couple activities I plan on continuing throughout my undergraduate years. So here are a few lessons I learned to have a great first semester.

1// Make the first move

Making friends can be hard, especially if you are going to a school where you don’t know anyone going in with you. But the easiest way to put yourself out there is to make the first move. Ask someone to lunch, invite someone to study with you, propose coffee with someone, etc. Chances are, there are plenty of people in the same position just waiting to be asked to hang out. Everyone needs a lunch buddy!

2// Prioritize

This can be tricky, especially with so many options for the different ways to spend your time. I made it a point to put my classes above my social life but I put mental sanity above everything and sometimes that meant taking a break and hanging out with friends. It’s all about balance! It can be hard to choose between doing all the different things the new environment has to offer, however you have to decide what is most important and what can wait.

3// Don’t be afraid to go to a meeting alone

There are so many different opportunities and sometimes taking advantage of those means going to an introductory meeting alone. I know in high school it would take some serious mental preparation before I could go to a meeting where I didn’t have a friend with me. I found that every meeting can be a good way to get to know more people and get involved in something new!

4// Join something

This goes along with number three in that you have to go to meetings in order to get involved in something. But keep in mind that college is not like high school where it is so easy and encouraged to get involved in every single club and hold every single leadership position possible. In college it’s best to just choose one or two things to devote your time to because as I found out, the classwork takes up a good chunk of time, making it hard to devote more time to extracurriculars.

5// Talk to your professors

Believe it or not, they want to help you and after every discussion I had with my professors, I felt more confident and better off. I discovered that as scary as it can be to talk to a professor, in the end they are the ones determining your grade so it can be helpful for them to see you are actually putting an effort into the class and desire to learn and grow.

As I said, I’m still learning and working towards a successful college career. However, these are a few of the things I found to be most important in finding my place in a new college life.

Let me know what helped you in your first semester of college and feel free to email me with suggestions for content you all want to see!!

xo Carolyn

How I Relax (without technology)

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Sometimes decompression is necessary.  After a long day of getting work done or running around, an hour or two of rest can feel so good!  I have certain goto ways to decompress that have so far worked wonders!

Read//

I’ve made a couple posts about books I enjoy (this one and this one) so clearly reading is a good goto for me!  There are so many books out there that you can decide if you want some light fluffy reading or something more serious or thought-provoking.  Depending on my mood, I like to mix up the books I read.

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Knit//

My grandma taught me how to knit and it’s so relaxing!!  I like to knit while listening to music (preferably the John Mayer Pandora station) with a nice cup of tea next to me.  Once you get the hang of knitting, the repetitive motion let’s your mind wander and you it’s such a good decompressor.

Card Games//

A good card game can fun!  Especially if it doesn’t get super competitive and is just a fun way to relax.  It does involve finding someone else willing to play but if you can do that, you’re golden!

Life can get busy and work can get hard, but finding ways that allow you to relax without pulling out your phone or turning on the tv can work wonders on calming down the mind.

How do you like to relax?

xo Carolyn

7 Tips for a Long Drive by Yourself

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I’ve been making longer drives by myself for awhile to my hometown in Kentucky and to my college and know these drives are going to get more frequent after starting school.  I’ve never driven longer than seven hours by myself but any long drive can get rough by yourself.  Luckily, through trial and error, I’ve developed some strategies for making the drive easier on the mind and body.

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1// Be Prepared Mentally

If you start the drive by accepting that it is going to be long and could be rough in parts you’ll be much better off.  Yes, you probably will run into traffic and no you don’t have control over a lot of what goes on along the way so it’s okay to play some things by ear and be ready to change gears.  Alternate routes might become necessities and as long as you know that’s a possibility you’ll be fine.

2// Snacks and Drinks

I make sure to have easy to open snacks within an easy reach, generally in the passenger seat.  I also always have water in the cupholder, again in an easy to open and drink out of bottle.  I don’t want to have to be fiddling with wrappers or water bottle lids while on the interstate.

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3// Good Music

A playlist is the way to go.  You don’t want to be fiddling with the radio every time you change cities and you don’t want to deal with commercials so developing your own personalized playlist is the way to go.  Make sure you update the playlist the night before so every song is something you’ll want to hear because you don’t want to be skipping through every song you own trying to get to a good song.  I use Spotify and have different playlists for every trip I’ve gone on.  I can share those in a later post!

4// Podcasts

The last drive to Centre I listened to a podcast the majority of the drive and let me tell you it made the ride go by much faster than I expected!  I prefer podcasts with a storyline and not just interviews or information.  The last one I listened to was S-Town and I would highly recommend it!

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5// Stop When You Need To

This is something I’ve struggled with.  The very first long drive I did by myself I had to drive through a horrible torrential downpour for 45 minutes and by the time the rain stopped, I had no desire to get off the highway so I never ate dinner and just barely made it to my destination with the gas I had.  Since then I’ve made sure to take care of myself and my car by trying to coordinate when I ate and got gas.  Luckily for me I’ve been making the same long drive so by now I know the best exits for stopping.  That’s something you’ll probably have to discover along the way.  It’s hard to prepare for this sort of thing.

6// Give Yourself Plenty of Time

If you are trying to get somewhere by a certain time, make sure you give yourself at least an extra hour and a half for stops and random traffic jams.  Hopefully you won’t need that much extra time but it’s better to be early than late because you didn’t give yourself enough time.

7// Wear Comfortable Clothes

I would hope this goes without saying, but wherever you are headed you can wear comfy clothes.  Even if you are driving straight to some formal event, there will always be a bathroom to change in.  I’m all about comfort when it comes to driving on mini road trips.  There is hardly ever a time when comfortable clothes won’t work.

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Traveling is what you make of it.  If you let yourself get stressed out or nervous about it, it won’t be fun.  Long drives by yourself don’t have to be horrible!  Jamming out to your favorite songs in the car without fear of embarrassment can be the one thing making the drive bearable!  I wouldn’t say I look forward to long drives, but I’ve learned enough to not stress or be worried about it.

xo Carolyn

Perfect Travel Outfit

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Traveling seems to be the theme of the week!! I find myself doing a lot of traveling in the summer and fall with my family so I’ve pretty much figured out some staple pieces for any kind of travel, whether it be a flight or a long car ride.  It always amazes me to see how some people dress for travel.  I definitely go for practical and comfortable any time I’m traveling.

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I pretty much always wear leggings.  Super comfy and also warm which is great for those  cold airports and planes.

In the summer I wear a tank top or t-shirt with a sweater or sweatshirt over top.  Like I’ve mentioned, airports tend to be cold but the destination can be warm so the sweater/tank top combo is practical and comfortable.

If I’m going on a plane, I like to keep my shoes easy to slip on and off through security.  It can be a pain to take off and put back on a pair of tennis shoes so I stick to my Birkenstocks.

I’d love to hear other tips and trick for traveling outfits!

xo Carolyn

Top (similar)// Sweater// Leggings// Shoes

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Carry-On Essentials

 

Image-1.jpgIn my opinion, the carry-on bag(s) is the most important bag you bring with you.  You have it with you the whole trip so you have to make sure everything you are going to need the whole time traveling is included.  I always bring some sort of big bag and my purse.  Generally the big bag is a backpack but on a couple trips I’ve opted for my Longchamp bag instead.  Whether I take a backpack or tote, here are a few things I always make sure I have, no matter how long the flight or drive is.

 

Headphones//

One of the most important things to remember.  I just use the earbuds that come with my phone, nothing fancy, but they get the job done!

Chapstick//

The dry air in planes can really take a tole so I always make sure to have chapstick on me.  Honestly, chapstick is something I have with me no matter what.  I believe it is a life essential.

Book//

I like to have something to read, especially on short flights.  Listening to music and reading can be the perfect way to kill time waiting for a plane or on the plane!

Water Bottle//

I always take an empty water bottle through security and then fill it up at a water fountain or get water somewhere once I find my gate.  Staying hydrated is definitely important during travels.

Laptop//

For longer flights I like to rent movies on my computer and other times I can be super productive during flights!  Either way, it’s always a good idea to have your computer with you for work or entertainment.

Sweater/Sweatshirt//

It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees outside, I can always guarantee the airport and plane will be cold.  Sometimes big sweaters can double as blankets!

A lot of times, people will write about how they bring a change of clothes and basic toiletries, maybe I’m too trusting but I’ve never done that.  I try to keep my carry-on bags light and at the size where I can just shove them under the seat without having to worry about overhead storage space.

What are some things you always make sure to have with you during flights?

xo Carolyn