What to Do When Your Dream Rejects You

so as some of you may know, I got rejected from my last grad school last week. So I made a list of ways to cope

  1. Cry

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2. Tell your friends so they can tell you how awesome you are anyway I love y’all

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(and they can hug you when you cry)

3. Cry some more (it’s your dream – you’re 100% allowed to be really upset)

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4. Pull yourself together and come up with a new (and improved) game plan:

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In all seriousness though friends, being rejected is hard – especially when it’s from what you think you’re supposed to be doing with your life. How you move forward and reconcile will go on to make the next few days, weeks, months, or years, a lot harder or easier.

I’ve chosen to put grad school on hold for the moment – maybe I need more experience. So I’m going to work on my book, (thanks mom – I pretty much have the most supportive parents) and try to get experience working with some non-profits in the Detroit/A2/(and eventually) Toledo area that support and raise awareness for literacy, education, stuff like that.

But for now, I’m still a senior trying to graduate.

-Julie

January 18, 2017 looking at January 20, 2017

You know, I woke up this morning and while it wasn’t my very first thought, one of the first few was: “I need to write a blog post today.”

But about what?

I have a few planned for later this month/going into next, but today, I am a blank canvas who can’t stop thinking about one thing. The inauguration where we will officially allow an individual I don’t believe fits any of the requirements to lead a nation, into an office of power and influence.

Even though this is one of the most pressing weights on my mind right now, I don’t know what to say. This may be in part because I’m still sick, (ugh will it never end?) but I also don’t think I have the vocabulary to express the deep pain, fear, sadness, and horror I feel as the time draws closer.

I’ve (obviously) been able to pull myself out of the near-catatonic state I was in the days following the election, but it’s always close to the surface and I didn’t have the right words for what I felt then either. Language, while very freeing and an amazing way to open yourself up to others, express ideas, and explore new concepts, is also incredibly stifling when it comes to feelings because despite the hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, there still isn’t a right one for the way I feel right now, or the way I’ll feel on Friday, or the way I felt two months ago.

And I don’t want to presume, but I have a feeling there are a lot of people who feel the same way. So to you, the others who are feeling something but may not have words for it, or that feeling may be too strong and powerful for words: I love you and we can get through this.

J.K. Rowling gets a lot of hate, (some of it justified and some if it not) but this will always be one of my favorite quotes from her and so today I will leave it with you:

“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Love and blessings to you all,

Julie

Preparing for a New Semester

As I write this, I’m sick, in bed, and trying to muster up the strength to get as far ahead in my work as possible so I have less to do tomorrow. And part of the getting ahead is writing a blog post so that’s one less thing to worry about!

This post happens to be about preparation and planning, which, conveniently enough, is also the topic of my program tomorrow. At least among my friends and staff, I’ve gotten a bit of a reputation as one of the most organized people around. I’m not upset by this, though I find it funny sometimes because internally I’m a mess – I think that’s why externally I’m so put together. But I’m not a psychologist, so who knows. 

Anyway! My planning process: it’s very organic and kind of just happens, but there are a few things I always do before a new semester:

1. Gather my supplies, which this semester included recovering some old notebooks to repurpose for new classes (a great way to make something fit your style and not spend a bunch of money!) 

2. Set up my planner. Currently I’m using a bullet journal, which is a DIY planner, so it takes a little more effort than a traditional one. But the end effect is so much better for me. 

3. Transfer any notes that I’ll need still/review information. This is especially important with my Latin 102 class as it’s the second half of the class I took last semester and we’re starting up right where we left off! So I prepped by rewriting Vocab and reviewing the grammar (the hardest part)


And that’s it! Well, not really, but that’s the basis of how I get ready for a new semester with some nice pictures of what I’ve done so far. And now I’m going to go do another vital part of preparing for a new semester, which is rest so I can hopefully not feel sick in the morning. 

Best wishes to you all!

Julie

My Last First Day

I still remember the pure joy that came from my last first day of high school. It was like the entire school was buzzing because my grade knew that after that day, we were done with that whole coming back to the same classrooms, and hallways, and people after every summer. In a year, we would be across the country, in different classrooms, walking down different hallways, with different people. It was all anyone could talk about, everyone was Facebook and tweeting it, (was snapchat a thing then? not really that I can remember – not yet! but if it was, we would have been snapping it too). It felt like the beginning of the rest of my life, this pinnacle of a day that I’d been waiting for forever.

My last first day of college is a lot quieter. Because it isn’t everyone’s last first day and it isn’t that it doesn’t matter, (because it very much does and believe me, I was just as excited to wake up this morning as I was four and a half years ago) it’s that it doesn’t matter as much as graduation will. Because graduation, the culmination of my hard work, tears, late nights, stress, heartbreak, the last four years of my life, that is what I’m looking forward to more now.

Academically, high school was easy for me. I wasn’t challenged, I was lazy, I didn’t push myself, and my diploma was just a piece of paper that I didn’t really work for, (at least that’s how it feels). I have worked, I have put in the hours, I have stretched myself beyond what I thought possible, for my undergraduate degree. And you bet, I will be so unbelievably proud to receive it, (sometime this summer once they’ve officially approved me for graduation because no one actually gets it in April lol).

So my last first day, while special, signals the start of more work, not less. I didn’t want to skate by my senior year, I didn’t want easy semesters, I wanted to keep pushing and that’s what I’ll do because I am so grateful for every second I get to spend in the classroom with people infinitely wiser than I am. This day is a little bittersweet in that respect, but thankfully next fall I should be in the classroom once again – for my graduate degree, this time.

I hope you all had wonderful first days, (or will have great ones when they happen) and I am so excited to be a part of the class of 2017.

Julie

A Year in Review

This is, of course, not the entirety of my feelings re: 2016, because I have a lot of feelings, but it is a short look into how this year has been for me personally and how thrilled I am to be moving into 2017. Wishing you all the best and happy new year! -Julie

Happy Holidays & The Imaginary War on Christmas

Whether you’ve noticed it or not, in the past few years there has been a gradual switch from saying “Merry Christmas” commonly to “Happy Holidays”. And instead of “Christmas” break, we have “Holiday” break. Many have taken offense to this change, and other changes, and called this “political correctness” or “PC-Culture” an “attack on traditional values” (along with marriage equality) and the “War on Christmas.”

Personally? I couldn’t be happier about these changes. And in my humble opinion, militant Christians need to take a step back and understand two things:

  1. Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated during December, (or even on December 25 – Hanukkah takes place partially on that day this year too, along with the twelve days of Yule!)
  2. Christmas wasn’t even the first holiday to be celebrated around the winter solstice, (shout-out to the ancient Greeks + others, probably).

But other than the factual inaccuracies in the logic used by people who believe that our country is going to ruin because of red Starbucks cups, the holiday season is a time that I was raised to believe is when people should be especially open, accepting, loving, and at peace with those around them, (even the ones you don’t agree with – like that family member who just won’t shut up about that actor you hate). And when someone tells me “happy holidays” with a big ol’ grin on their face, that’s what that says to me. It says that, regardless of our differences, I wish you a time of happiness and blessings, from whatever deity or force you may or may not believe in and in whatever way you celebrate, (if you do choose to do that).

They are not trying to get rid of Christmas. I repeat, people who say “happy holidays” are not trying to get rid of Christmas and, in fact, I’m sure some of them even celebrate it.

So I guess the point of this post is that maybe the next time you think about “correcting” someone who tells you “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas”, perhaps give the meaning behind their words a thought and don’t bother to “correct” them at all because, honestly? I’m sure you have bigger problems to worry about, (I know I sure do).

Blessings to you all, I hope finals went well, and happy holidays!

Julie

So it’s Been Awhile (V-Log 12.6.16)

Hello friends!

So this blog has been on the backburner for the past few months, and I really am sorry about that because it isn’t something I want to stop doing as I enjoy it a lot. But life has been incredibly hectic with NANOWRIMO, (which I finished!!) scrambling to make sure everything gets done for my grad school applications, (easier said than done) and finishing this second-to-last-semester of undergrad as strongly as possible.

That being said, with finals and then break coming up, I should have a lot more time to write and share with you all and I’m really looking forward to it! In the meantime, please enjoy this v-log!

Julie

P.S. yes I did cut off all my hair and I love it!

Grad School Update;

So just to keep everyone in the loop, I am still in the process of applying for grad school. I am applying to three different schools, Salem State University, the University of Vermont, and the University of Connecticut all for the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program. It’s a two year program that focuses on the history, issues, and general overview of HESA in the U.S.

I definitely found the inspiration and interest in this program and the different career paths it can lead to through working in Residence Life, so it’s kind of cool that it has had such a huge impact on my life. Don’t get me wrong though, I definitely still want to teach literature.

It’s kind of a terrifying but still really exciting process – though I can say as of right now my biggest piece of advice to anyone thinking about going through the graduate school application process while still in their undergrad – start early. I started early, and I still feel overwhelmed, so. But I can say that as of last Saturday, (10.29) I officially submitted my application to SSU and once my transcript, letters of recommendation, and all that are in, I will be under consideration.

It’s so wild that this is really my life right now, but it’s also such a great feeling to be really taking hold of something that I want and going for it. That being said, I do have two applications to finish, so you’ll catch me working to finish those by the mid-November point.

-Julie

NaNoWriMo 2016

So in an unexpected twist, I have decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Now for those of you who don’t know, this stands for National Novel Writing Month – November, to be precise.

What this means is that I’m attempting to write a novel in a month. 50,000 words in 30 days, which is roughly 1667 words per day.

Why am I doing this when I have about 100 other things I could be doing instead for school, work, etc?

Well, because I want to. Some people know this about me, others182 don’t, but I don’t just love to write literature papers. I have always loved creative writing. I even used to average about one novel draft per summer when I was younger and the depression wasn’t so bad. Lately I’ve been writing a lot more poetry than I ever have before, but I’ve missed my novels.

With how, relatively speaking, good of a handle I’ve had on my mental illness stuff lately, I thought that now would be a good time to try and get back into it. So far, it feels really good. Yeah, it’s only been 4 days – but I’m on track, (a little ahead actually) with my word count, I’m enjoying what I’m writing, and it’s actually giving me a really nice break from stress so far.

If you’re doing NaNo and would like to be my friend on the website, here is a link to my profile and I figured I would give y’all a weekly, maybe bi-weekly, update on my word counts:

One: 1824 words

Two: 1932 words

Three: 1683 words

Four: (so far) 2023 words (!!)

Total: 7464 words

Altogether this is the most I’ve written in quite awhile so while it may not seem like much to some, I’m really proud of myself for keeping with it so far. Honestly, the beginning and figuring out the start of the plot is always one of the hardest parts. But I’m pushing through and that’s what matters!

Are any of you trying NaNoWriMo? First time or have you done it before?

-Julie