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

My Favorite Way to Exercise

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I am not consistent with working out at all.  It is a major struggle.  I go through spurts where I’m all in and workout super consistently for a few days (or a month if I’m really good) and then I just stop.  Currently, I’ve been working out consistently and am trying to find a way to make it stick.  If you have any recommendations for keeping consistent motivation for working out, leave them in the comments below!

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Whether I’ve been working out regularly or am in a workout dry spell, there’s one thing I love doing-yoga!  I did ballet all through elementary and middle school and I think I’m reminded of that when doing yoga.  The flexibility and leg strength involved pushes me enough to feel the workout days later.

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In Ohio I’ve gone to 3 Sisters Yoga Studio and at home, I use the P90x3 yoga video.

I’m not the best at yoga but it’s a fun way to workout!  The stereotypes can make yoga seem like a relaxing experience, but not if you make it hard for yourself!

xo Carolyn

My Travel Bucket List

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I love to travel and there are many places I want to explore!!  Moving forward I know I need to take advantage of every travel opportunity that comes my way!

Here are the places I would like to visit at some point in my life (in no particular order):

  • Greece

  • NYC

  • Iceland

  • Texas

  • Australia

  • New Zealand

  • Nantucket

  • Martha’s Vineyard

  • Maine

What are some places you want to go in your lifetime?

xo Carolyn

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

 

My Bullet Journal

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This summer I discovered the greatness of bullet journaling!  I’m an organizer so the idea of creating my own agenda, planner, to-do list, etc. combo notebook is right up my alley!! I bought new pens, found a great notebook, read the official blog, and just started my bujo (“bullet journal”)!!

Before I dove in, I did a lot of research.  Pinterest, Instagram, and many blogs display the prettiest and most creative ways of journaling and at first it’s super intimidating!  At the beginning of my journaling, I tried to make the pages as creative and pretty as the ones I had seen on Instagram but that proved to be impractical for me.  I was spending more time decorating than I was actually organizing my thoughts and plans in order to get them done.  So by now I have resorted back to a simpler way of journaling.  I try to stick to basic lists and keep the decorating to just enough to inspire me to look at the page for what I need to get done.

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I’ve found that my bullet journal is most helpful in planning my blog content.  I use it to keep track of the content ideas I have, the posts coming up, and what I need to do to get posts completed.  However it has also been useful to keep track of running lists.

Supplies//

A notebook- Any notebook works, however I would recommend a Leuchtturm.  I use a blank one and it works beautifully.  The notebook’s pages are thick enough that pens don’t bleed through and it comes with these little inserts that have a grid and lines so you can stick them behind the page to keep your writing in line without the hinderance of lines you may or may not need on a certain page.

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Pens- I use Staedtler triplus fineliner pens and love them! I have a pack with a ton of different colors to keep my bujo colorful and fun!

A go-getter attitude!- A bujo only works if you utilize it!!

Typical Pages//

As you’ll read in any blog post about a bujo it won’t take long to discover there are a couple pages everyone needs in the notebook.

Table of Contents- The great thing about Leuchtturm notebooks is all the pages are already numbered and the notebook already has a blank table of contents so you don’t need to worry about setting up your own!  I like to only put things in the table of contents that I will want to come back to.  Daily to-do lists are not something I’m going to be looking back on weeks later.  To be completely honest, the table of contents is one of the hardest pages for me to keep up with.

IMG_8447.JPGKey- A key helps with task lists and helps keep the notebook consistent.

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Spreads- You’ll see talk of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly spreads.  These can be laid out in whatever makes sense to you!  A spread I’ve started using that isn’t pictured below is a habit tracker.  You can look up “habit tracker” on Pinterest to get an idea of the sorts of things people include.  Super helpful!!  Pinterest can be great when you’re just starting out to give you some ideas of spreads for trial and error purposes until you discover what works for you!

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Bullet journaling can get super overwhelming when you look at how artsy some people make theirs but it doesn’t have to be scary!  A bullet journal at it’s core is a way for you to create the most functional notebook for you!  It can take some time getting used to, and it might not fit all your needs, but it can be worth it to try!  I still have an agenda and use my phone to keep important dates so my bujo basically helps me keep track of everything my agenda and my phone can’t.

Happy bullet journaling!!

xo Carolyn

 

The Last 5 Books I’ve Read

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I love to read and it seems like this year I have started reading more than I used to read.  The last five books I’ve read are all books I would highly recommend!! You’ll see there’s a bit of a theme to the books I’ve been into recently…so here goes!

The Partner by John Grisham

Following typical Grisham style, this book centers on the partner of a law firm who finds himself in a bit of trouble when he is kidnapped and then convicted of numerous offenses.  I was engaged in the novel from start to finish but was very disappointed by the ending.  I won’t give anything away but let’s just say I was not expecting the end result.

The Testament by John Grisham

With a much better ending than The ParterThe Testament was an amazing book!  It starts with the surprise signing of a will and follows the execution of the will all the way to Brazil! I loved every character of the book and would definitely recommend everyone read it!

Camino Island by John Grisham

I have to say I was disappointed with this book because it was so different from everything else I have read by John Grisham.  It felt like more of a summer romance novel than a legal thriller and I was not expecting that.  If you are looking for more low-key mystery and adventure this is the book for you.  I would still recommend it but not to people who go in expecting a typical Grisham book.

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva

My dad got my hooked on this series and so far I love it.  The narrative style is different yet still easy to follow and exciting from start to finish!  The central character is an Israeli operative who is called on to complete a mission.  The suspense and excitement throughout the book make it very hard to put down!

English Assassin by Daniel Silva

I have just started this book and so far I love it!! It’s the second in the Gabriel Allon series.  So far, so good!!

After taking an english class with a lot of assigned readings, it’s been fun to read when I’m interested in before going back to the many assigned readings for school!  I love to read so any recommendations you have, leave them in the comments section!

xo Carolyn