Well it’s Monday…of Week 9…and that’s enough to have Augustana students groaning at the mere thought of the waves of fatigue, the endless mountain of term papers, and the floods of coffee that will fill the next few weeks, especially finals week as we all know. We all know how awful Mondays can be…but as we go into this dreary Monday of Week 9 I thought it’d be important to take some time out of the day to remind everyone just how far a little bit of optimism can go. It’s surprising how much a smile, someone holding the door, or receiving a compliment can really brighten someone’s day. So why not go through your Monday-or sometimes the whole week-being grumpy and irritated? Mondays happen, and they’re not going to go away anytime soon so why not make the best of them? Mondays are the start of a new week: a chance to start a fresh week off and make a difference in your life and the lives of others. Mondays are the days that set the mood for the rest of the work or academic week. Studies have shown that if people have a bad Monday, subsequently they will view the rest of the week in a negative sense. You have a chance to make and start your week off great. Only YOU have this ability. While it is influenced by the actions of others, it is all on how you perceive and handle these actions. In this department, a positive attitude can move mountains. So, if you wake up Monday morning and roll out of bed and grumble and groan about how terrible your day will be, then it will be just that. With this attitude, how will the rest of your week be? If you go into every day with a negative attitude, how much will you accomplish? How much of the good in daily life will you miss? I understand that we are all guilty of this moaning and groaning on Mondays, myself included. However, Monday is the first day of your school and work week. Why not wake up and dress up and eat a good breakfast and listen to your favorite songs and go to class early? Why not say “Good morning!” or “Hello” to the people you see on your walk to class, or the amazing faculty here at Augie that takes care of you every day of the academic year. Why not offer compliments to the people you see on your walks to class, in your classes, or even when you’re at work interacting with other students and coworkers. Just doing a few simple positive acts on your dreary Monday can really help brighten your day, even if Illinois won’t. (Thanks a lot Mother Nature) So while I know it is Monday of Week 9, let’s all try and put on a brave and positive face Augie. We can get through these next few Mondays. Let’s spread the good vibes and all try a little bit harder to go into these final few weeks of the term positive.
It is always wonderful to find out that winter is wanting to show up late this year! FUN!! Coming back to campus after a long winter break, I find it interesting. It is always that awkward time of year where we are just starting to get back into the role of things. One thing that I have found to be helpful though, I always keep myself busy! Busy? Why would I want to do that when I can be sleeping under my blankets? I have found that keeping busy can occupy me and it also gives me an excuse to put on my running tights (leggings)! I get to run across campus getting from one class to a meeting, all the way to tutoring. There is such thing as good busy and bad busy in this world. I find this to be a wonderful kind of busy. Being busy is a part of being a student at Augustana. There are so many things to get involved in that it just feels wonderful. There is always something to look forward to after classes and or practice. If you want to know my schedule for the next week let me know and I will list out all kinds of things that I have coming up! Hope everyone has a chilly wonderful day! STAY WARM!!!
Let’s be completely honest with one another, being busy just comes with going to Augustana. It’s not a bad kind of busy, it’s just because we all love to be involved in so many things, learn through new experiences, and make connections with those around us. Personally, my week usually entails classes, a few work shifts, sorority meetings/events, occasional Psi Chi duties, and making time for my friends (and up until recently, graduate school applications). But often, I forget to leave time for one thing: myself. I get so caught up in planning my schedule, remembering to attend all my meetings and do all my homework that I don’t schedule too much time for things I want to do by myself. I really love to read, and have a shelf full of books that I’m slowly, slowly getting through. I love to watch Netflix (as we all do), and am currently catching up on a few shows. Now, my mom will tell you that I spend tons of time doing what I want to do, and sure, some days that’s certainly true! But there are so many days that I finish up my day by doing my homework at night, and then I go straight to bed. Yes, it’s a good feeling to be finished with all my responsibilities for the day, but what about that short amount of “quiet time” to re-center myself?
I think it’s really important to schedule even a half hour in your day to do something for yourself. That could be reading, writing in a journal (or a blog post, haha), watching an episode on Netflix, crafting, cooking, napping…whatever you want. Just don’t forget to make at least a small amount of time in your day for the most important person in your life: you.
1st Corinthians 1:18-31
Since I was a little kid I always felt like it was my job to succeed. I wasn’t happy unless I got top grades. I needed to be involved in as many things as possible, and be good at them. I even remember being in elementary school and crying to my mother how I couldn’t finish a book I had chosen, because it was just too hard. She had to explain to me that it was alright for me not to finish the book- that it didn’t make me a failure. It was written for high school students anyway.
So, when I first heard about this faith practice, I was a little nervous. How could failing be good? Was I supposed to fail? How could I find anything good in that dreaded word “fail”?
What I have since gotten out of this practice is a central part to my faith. While I don’t always like to say that there is a “divine plan”, I do realize and believe that God works for good to come out of every situation. And that situation can even be failing. Failing on a test can show you that maybe your studying habits aren’t what they should be, or maybe the major you’re pursuing isn’t where your talents are best suited; going through that may give you a better future career. Failing in a relationship can show you what you truly need in a partner, or how you can better care for others, which makes your future relationships that much better. Failing an audition or a tryout can open up your time for God to fill it with other things – things that may become life long passions.
What I’m trying to say is that failure isn’t an end – it’s a beginning. It’s a chance for God to lead you in new and better directions if you allow it. Failure isn’t a time to wallow in self-pity or blame circumstances, it’s a time to pray and listen. A time to see where you can grow and go, into a future that is brighter and more God-filled. Let failure make you more attuned to yourself, the world around you, and God. Fail constructively.
If you’ve talked to any senior lately, you’ll know that we all have this weird paradox where we often talk about our plans after Augustana (grad school, finding a job, going abroad, etc.) yet we keep denying that we’re graduating in May. I’ll admit, sometimes I’m the stereotypical senior that complains about wanting more time here and wanting senior year to go by really slow so I can truly enjoy it. But, I’m not a wizard, so I can’t make that happen. Instead, now that my senior year is almost half over, I’ve started reflecting on some of the best things Augie has given me or has taught me. The list is incredibly long, but I’ll highlight a few here.
1. It gave me some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I know that’s 100% predictable and cheesy, but it’s really true. And not only are they there for moral support and to help me when I’m stressed, but they also do things like invite me over for mac and cheese or ask me if I want to go to the farmer’s market in Davenport almost every weekend or tell me when my outfit’s a hot mess. With these friends, I have walked into massive spider’s webs, won Harry Potter trivia competitions, and cried when our favorite tv show characters broke up. I have had some of the most odd, crazy relationships here, but they were all fun nonetheless. So a special shout-out to Catie N, Ryan S, Jessie Z, Amy P, Hannah K, Eleanor N, and Alli B. You guys have accepted all my odd quirks, and I can’t thank you enough for making me feel like a part of something as wonderful as this. I know I’ll be there for the important times of your lives to come, and you will be there for mine.
2. It gave me sisters. I have one sister-in-law at home, but we aren’t very close. So, I’ve always wanted sisters. I found them in my sorority. I never felt truly alone walking through campus, because I could always guarantee that I would see at least 1 smiling face on the way to class, or I would always have someone to sit with in the brew and do homework, or someone to grab lunch with. Especially with my pledge class, although I don’t hang out with each one of you all the time, I know if I asked you to do something with me like dinner or shopping or a hike, any one of you would say yes in a heartbeat. I’m really thankful for that.
3. I have had to step up in so many different places in my life. I had to buckle down and work extra hard on my academics junior year when I switched majors and had to “catch up,” per se. I learned that working really hard for a couple hours with no breaks paid off when you got to go home and have the rest of your night. I can proudly say I have not pulled even 1 all-nighter to finish my homework. So, Augie, thanks for teaching me to manage my time in order to be able to sleep at night! I also stepped up to the position of President of our school’s psychology honor society chapter, Psi Chi. If you had told me freshman year that I would one day be a President of a group, I would’ve had a deer-in-the-headlights look for at least 5 full minutes. I never would’ve believed that I would have the drive to step up to something like that. Thank you also to all the professors who believed in me too, and told me I could do all of these things.
4. I have grown so much as a person. Just ask a few of my friends freshman year (who thankfully have stuck by me), I wasn’t always the best at dealing with conflicts in relationships (no, Ryan, you’re not allowed to comment about it). Thankfully, I have people who love me enough to tell me when I’m not being fair–both to others and to myself. I have learned that not everything is someone else’s fault; it’s important to own up to my own faults as well. I have learned to be more patient (although I could always get better at that) and realize that we all have a lot on our plates, especially coming to a school like this, where everyone is involved in a couple majors/minors, clubs, athletics, jobs, etc. It’s not that my friends and I never get into arguments. It’s just that we now know how to handle them better and approach them in a way that won’t end a friendship over something so small.
5. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder. Every break, I am usually texting/calling my friends a few times, and I get so excited when I see them again. I now realize this will be a test for the real world. When we graduate, we all have different plans. I hopefully will be moving to grad school, some friends are going abroad potentially, some trying to find jobs. We won’t be able to see each other a ton…it’ll be like extended breaks from school. (; Two of my friends will be going to Australia following this winter break, and I am going to miss them LIKE CRAZY. But, I know I can Facebook message them here and there on their trip, and they know I am so excited to hear about their adventures when they get back. Although I’m going to miss them, I know this is an experience of a lifetime for them, and they will gain so, so much from this. So, I can’t be too selfish with missing them. (:
This is a pretty long blog post, so I’ll end it there. If you’re reading this as a senior, I hope you’ll look back on your 3.5 years so far and count the things you’re thankful you had the opportunity to experience. If you’re a junior, sophomore, first year, TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY you can to strengthen your relationships with your friends and professors, to strengthen your relationship with yourself, and to enjoy yourself. I know academics are so, so important–believe me, I know. I’m actually going to keep writing my SI after this. But, college is also the BEST place to find lifelong friends, to figure out what your dreams are, and to do some stupid things. So go–go get Steak N Shake at 3 in the morning, even though you have class early (still go to class though). You’ll remember that night more than you’ll remember being a little sleepy the next day. Because eventually, don’t you want to be able to tell your kids or grandkids or friends or whomever that you loved your college experience? That you don’t regret anything?
I still remember singing “Don’t Stop Believing” at 2 am in the hallway with my best friend freshman year. Although I don’t really recommend you do that (people like to sleep), I recommend you go out and find your own “snapshot” memories.
Three years ago, I had no idea what I would be doing in college. I was interested in trying everything and anything that the school had to offer. When I saw the school had a radio station, I immediately jumped on the chance.
Being a WAUG DJ is awesome to say the least.
Not only are the fellow staff members of WAUG stupendous, but there’s so much energy that the group offers. Everyone is very excited about music, diverse in their music interests, and eager to bring out the best that WAUG has to offer.
Beyond the group itself, being on the radio has been one of the highlights of my college career (so far!).
Every week I look forward to being on the radio for an hour. I love announcing my show name (Late Nate) and my DJ name (DJ Natertot), playing music, talking sports, news, or other subjects, and playing around with different themes and ideas for the show.
The great thing about WAUG is they really promote individuality on shows, whether it be having a talk show or just a solo show where you call the shots and play whatever music (that is not explicit) you want!
I’ve also found that I never know how many listeners are tuning into my shows. And I’m completely okay with that because it’s fun no matter how many people are listening.
WAUG is truly one of the most unique experiences on campus and I would recommend to anyone that even has the slightest interest to give it a chance.
You never know what may happen if you don’t try!
Like many college students, especially pre-vet majors such as myself, one of the first questions I asked myself was whether or not I would get a fish in college. Fish are perhaps the perfect candidate for dorm room pet, as they are low maintenance and fun to watch. Throughout my childhood I had plenty of fish, but they were mostly goldfish. I knew that when I came to college and set up my tank that I wanted something different. Upon coming to this realization, I decided on a betta fish. Bettas are absolutely gorgeous fish, and they come in a plethora of colors with large feather-like fins. Sounds pretty cool right?
So on the 9th of September, I embarked on my journey as a college betta fish owner. This was the day that I welcomed the handsome Mufasa (Named after my favorite Disney movie and character of course) into my dorm and my life.
Mufasa has been with me just short of 3 months. He has made trips home with me twice , and will also come home with me for fall break, as will the newest edition to the tank: Zazu, a blue mystery snail! (Also named for the Lion King character of course)
In 3 months, a lot has changed in Mufasa’s life. He went from living in a small plastic cup no bigger than a softball, living in unfiltered water to now living in a large 2.5 gallon aquarium with a filter for cycling and cleaning the water. Mufasa and Zazu’s tank also features two live plants, as well as an ancient war helmet decoration (Go Vikings!), two inches of natural colored gravel, and a leaf hammock. Mufasa, or “Fasa” as I affectionately call him, is often seen laying on his leaf hammock or resting on the live plants in the tank. He spends his nights resting in the helmet cave, where it is dark and he can have his alone time. Zazu spends both day and night roaming the tank (at a much faster pace than most would imagine).
After Mufasa had been here about a month, I started to notice something about his behavior. When I would come home and would sit down at my house, Mufasa would eagerly swim out of hiding to greet me. Ever since he has begun this habit, he has not stopped. Whenever I am in the room, he is always looking for attention. As I type this post right he is resting on his leaf hammock and watching me do my work. While some may say that fish are not intelligent and do not notice things or cannot comprehend schedules, I do not believe any of that. Fish are much smarter then we give them credit for. Mufasa knows when I am going to feed him, before I even show him the jar. Fish are intelligent, and while they may not be at the same level as dolphins, they are smart beings who make good companions.
Ever since I brought Mufasa back home from Thanksgiving Break, he has been vigilantly working on a bubble nest. Now raise your hands if you have no idea what that is? A bubble nest is exactly what it sounds like: a nest of bubbles that male bettas create on the surface, used to attract female bettas. So in other words, Mufasa is looking for a girlfriend. While Mufasa’s bubble nest is small and still a work in progress, many male bettas make very large bubble nests for attracting mates. Sadly Mufasa will not get his wish, as I am not equipped at the time to have another betta, especially a female and babies. While the bubble nest is in vain, it is still incredibly cool and fun to watch as he work on it.
So the much shorter message to this insanely long blog post (I’m sorry!) is that I highly encourage all incoming freshman and current college students to take the risk and get a fish. I know that for me watching Mufasa, talking to him (yes I have conversations with my fish, call me crazy) , and taking care of him helps me to not miss my animals at home, as I’ve always grown up taking care of animals and having them as a strong presence in my life (can you tell?). Having Mufasa makes the dorm and myself feel much more at home! I highly encourage everyone to consider, but it’s not like I’m partial or anything…(hint hint wink wink nudge nudge)
Well until last time, I hope you all enjoyed this blog post and enjoyed seeing Mufasa and Zazu as they make their internet debut! Have a great weekend everyone!
After the Thanksgiving holiday I’ve been thinking about what I’m thankful for this year. Immediately, I think of my roommates and my building. Living in a TLA (Transitional Living Apartment) was an adjustment but an exciting one. I moved in with three other girls I barely knew prior and into a building full of guys. Surprisingly, this was the best decision I’ve ever made. I have come to love and appreciate every single one in our little “family” now. I look forward to spending time watching Harry Potter movies or even Sunday football games. I look forward to celebrating holidays together and making more memories that I will cherish forever. I can’t stress how important I believe building relationships are in college and I’m so very lucky I found a group of crazy people who I absolutely love. I found my Augustana family and hope everyone else has their opportunity to find theirs too.
There are many challenges that get thrown at us every day, but what is it that keeps us tackling those challenges? There are people who roll through challenges like it’s nothing, and then there are people like me, who have to climb mountains and dig tunnels just to find an answer. Does that mean I don’t have a chance? No! You cannot be defined by someone else’s knowledge or opinions. Only you can define you.
I have always felt the need to compare myself to others. Why do I do this? I couldn’t give you an answer. First off, I’ll ask you this: do you often compare your success to that of others? Do you get that constant feeling of failure because you can’t grasp a topic or perform a skill? These questions aren’t meant to throw you under the bus, but what I am trying to get at is that nobody is going to thrive the same way.
Since completing my first trimester of college, I have felt the urge to put my best self forward and stand out in our community and engage myself in my future success. Another principle that has hassled me is knowing that I have a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY towards my goals.
This past month, I retook an ACT due to a requirement for a major in Education. Throughout my learning career, I have taken this miserable test four times. Why would I take a test four times? Shouldn’t I just give up and find another career path? I could find another major, but that would be silly of me because in reality, I don’t have a back up career to lay on. I am one of those people who tend to strive towards something even if it takes me a thousand years. I know that sounds stubborn and selfish of me, but it’s for good reasons.
I was always told to never look back and to keep looking forward. I feel that loving what you do is far more important than money or ease. If I was all about money or if I wanted an easy job, do you really think I would want to go into the field of teaching? NO!
Back to my ACT. Each time that I took that test, yes, I was disappointed, but it inspired me to try harder next time. I currently am about to face the ACT for the fifth time, but with help and support, I know I can knock that test into history. I will say that even though this phase of my life is annoying, my future self will look back on this and make a great story out of it. You can’t go through life having everything roll through like it’s nothing. You need a few piles of bricks to help strengthen you along the way.
Life isn’t easy, and if you aren’t prepared going in, then life will knock you out silly and you will have a “BLANK SPACE” in your life. “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!!!” You get one in a million chances to succeed at life, so make it count and turn your dream into a reality.
I hope everyone’s year is splendid! I apologize for not blogging in a while, but college will do that to you!! One thing I will put out there is that the LAST TWO WEEKS OF THE TERM are STRESSFUL!!! This isn’t HIGH SCHOOL anymore, so you better mentally prepare for all that you are going to receive. There is an abundance of information that gets tossed at me that I sometimes don’t know what to do with it all. I have finals in two weeks, I have another paper due, and a project to turn in! I also had to register for classes. Those are tears that are saved for later. Finally, I had to take an ACT the other day. That was an adventure of its own.
I will tell you that when you register, always have a game plan and back it up with other replacements. Don’t ever walk into registration or a class without mentally preparing yourself for the unexpected. Sometimes classes will be unavailable or classes will taught in a vary strange ways, which I found out the hard way. An example of a personal experience would be my psychology class. I love Psychology, but my teacher’s teaching style wasn’t really my kind of learning, but that isn’t the professors fault. Always know that not all teachers will have the same style of teaching, but I pushed through it and eventually I will end the term with a B, but at least I can say I tried. I am not the worst student and I am not the best, but my mindset is what gets me through. Remember that nobody is perfect. There will be people who are great test takers and don’t have to study. There are students who have to study for long hours. In the end, it all comes down to you.
Good luck on finals! Make AUGIE PROUD!!!