This past week, in the midst of midterms, I have dealt with a surprising amount of something that no one wants to talk about or engage in: confrontation. While it is in no way a fun subject, it is something that I feel we all face through our college career, whether it is with family, friends, or even professors. For me, this past week has sadly been fraught with a lot of confrontation, from all areas of my life. This time of year, everyone begins to feel the pressure of school, work, and home life. That is why I have decided to share my personal examples and ways of coping with confrontation.
Let me start out with a couple of disclaimers! First of all, while I may sound like I am just the expert on confrontation, I am in no way comfortable with it. To be honest, when I am confronting someone about a problem, my face turns red, I sweat like it is the middle of July, and I tend to get a fast heartbeat and even stutter a little bit. I am telling you this because I want you to know that no one likes confrontation, but it is necessary to maintain healthy relationships and even your own self esteem. Secondly, when I say “confrontation” I am not necessarily talking about a Facebook fight or over-the-top “drama.” I consider confrontation a mature dialogue between two adults that maintain their respect and dignity. With that in mind, let me tell you about how I deal with confrontation! Read the rest of this entry
As a junior in college, there are certain decisions about my future that I have to begin thinking about. Not only am I thinking about these decisions, but it is apparent through class discussions that my peers are as well. The decision that has been the topic of most of this discussion is graduate school.
I learned recently in my career planning class that there are three different types of majors: those that are a direct path to a career (such as veterinary technology or pre-med), those that are sort of a guide to a career (such as psychology or biology), and also those majors that could allow you to do almost anything (such as English or History). Keeping this idea in mind, a psychology major typically leads people to earning a Master’s or PhD, because specialization is important in my particular field. I fully understand that that in order to get a high-salary job in the field psychology, I will need to continue my education after earning my Bachelor’s degree. The only problem is… I don’t want to go to graduate school (yet)! Here are my reasons why:
I want to get married:
It is no secret to my readers that I am in a long-term, serious relationship with my boyfriend Jared. We have discussed marriage very seriously, and both agree that we would like to get married sometime in the next two or three years. With this in mind, Jared will still be attending UT earning his nuclear engineering degree when we marry. I want to be able to support both of us, and in order to do that I need to get a full time job.
I don’t have the money:
Graduate school is not a cheap endeavor. Even though I have been able to attend college thus far with minimal expenses, there is just not as much scholarship and financial opportunities in graduate school. Jared and I have both agreed that it would be foolish to start out marriage (and ultimately my own financial life) accruing thousands of dollars in loans. While there a great opportunities in graduate school to receive funding for tuition (such as being a graduate assistant), I just cannot imagine working full-time, attending graduate school, and also working part-time to earn my tuition.
My school options are limited:
If y’all can recall, I am earning my Minor Certificate in Gerontology. While psychology is my major, my real passion involves working specifically with the elderly. This is why I don’t want to earn my Master’s in a general psychology degree, but rather specifically in gerontology. The catch with this decision is that there are not as many options close to home to receive my Master’s in Gerontology. In order to do so, I will either have to move to a different state, or earn my degree online. I haven’t decided which route I will take yet, but I feel that I will be in a better state to make this decision a few years from now.
So, what do I do now? It is largely agreed that not going to graduate school would not be my smartest option, but obviously I don’t plan on attending graduate school right after graduation.
Here is my tentative plan :
Ok, let me just say that I know that life doesn’t always work out according to plan, but this is what I hope will happen! First, I plan to have three internships completed by the time I graduate. I am hoping that my experience, respected reputation for LMU’s psychology program, and specialization of my minor will give me an edge in getting a job. I would like to get a job soon after graduation, and get married soon after that. Jared will finish his degree two years after I graduate. In the time between my graduation and his, I would like to work, save money for graduate school, and practice the GRE (which is like the ACT for getting into graduate school). After Jared begins working, I can then go to graduate school.
I am not saying that you should not go to graduate school!
Let me just say, I am not advising my reader’s to not attend graduate school. In fact, I would highly recommend graduate school for all college graduates. Not only will it further your career possibilities, but it will also make you a more sophisticated, educated, enriched individual. I, myself, want to attend graduate school, but in my case I have to do what is right for me, and that is waiting a few years.
Are you feeling the pressure of making graduate school decisions? Please feel free to comment or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to speak with you!
Lately during my daily Facebook sessions, I have noticed another trend that is buzzing through social media : character quizzes. Many have been coming from one sight- Zimbio. Personally, I love seeing the results for these. There are a few different reasons for this. First, it helps me relate to my friends knowing that they enjoy the same shows/movies that I do. Even more than that, I particularly love seeing the results and deciding for myself whether the result the quiz gave them is accurate. It’s also interesting to see your own results! So, for kicks and giggles I decided to take five different quizzes about shows that I enjoy! What I didn’t expect was for these quizzes to teach me lessons about myself that were long overdue.
1) Once Upon a Time:
For those of you who haven’t seen the show, be sure to check it out here! As for Snow White, she is the leading lady of this fairy tale show!
What I like about myself as Snow White: She is fierce, loyal, and incredibly independent. She will do anything for those she loves, and is one of the most compassionate people I have ever seen in a television series.
What I don’t like about myself as Snow White: Snow White is incredibly romantic, and sometimes to a fault. Despite being hurt by her Prince Charming in heart-wrenching ways, Snow continues to put her faith in him. While Jared has not hurt me in any way, sometimes I find myself putting too much stock in his opinion than I do my own.
How we can change: It’s time for Snow White and I to become more confident in our own identities instead of our princes’. If we want to be independent women, we need to put ourselves first sometimes.
2) Harry Potter:
Don’t even get me started on the incredible world of Harry Potter. As the girl that absolutely refused to hop on the bandwagon and read the books until high school, I sorely regret not riding the wagon sooner. The books and movies are, in my opinion, phenomenal, and I am not disappointed with the results of this quiz.
What I like about myself as Hermione: She is incredibly intelligent and witty. She is loyal to her friends and always finds a way to make things work out.
What I don’t like about myself as Hermione: Let’s face the facts: Hermione can be bossy and overbearing at times. She thinks she knows what’s best for everyone. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I do the same things. Even within my sorority, I tend to play mother hen and tell people how to live their lives. Sadly, this does not always encourage fondness or healthy relationships.
How we can change: I think that both my and Hermione’s attitudes come from the need to take care of the ones we love. Recently, I learned that in order to foster good relationships, I should not state my opinion unless I am asked for it.
3) The Disney Princesses:
Hopefully I do not have to explain to you who the Disney Princesses are. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 30-40 years, you have probably heard of the move Aladdin. While I did not enjoy the movie Aladdin as much as I did some of the other classics (like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast), it is not insulting to be branded as Jasmine.
What I like about myself as Jasmine: Jasmine is incredibly romantic, beautiful, and headstrong. She goes after what she wants and doesn’t settle until she gets it!
What I don’t like about myself as Jasmine: Poor Jasmine gets duped. She is naive and trusts the world around her, which eventually gets her into trouble. In the same way, I am an inherently trustful person. I don’t believe that anyone will hurt me, and sometimes this leads to me getting taken advantage of.
How we can change: While I don’t think Jasmine and I need to start believing that the world is out to get us, maybe we do need to start safeguarding ourselves from people who don’t have our best interest in mind.
Ok, so far we have looked at some pretty awesome characters! But to my surprise, the other two quizzes I took did not yield such awesome results. For lack of a better phrase, it’s time to go over to the dark side!
4) Game of Thrones:
In this series, Jaime is not exactly the hero or the villain. He has done some very immoral and disgusting things in his life, yet the reader/watcher can’t help but relate and feel pity for him.
What I like about myself as Jaime: Jaime is very intelligent and witty. He is also loyal to those he loves, and usually ends up doing the right thing if someone knocks some sense into him.
What I don’t like about myself as Jaime: Jaime is narcissistic and full of it. He thinks the world revolves around him and all times and puts himself before others frequently. This is part of myself that is really hard to look at. Even though I do things for others, I have to wonder if I am doing it for them or for the glory. I tend to have the mindset that if people are talking about someone, they are talking about me. Whether it is accurate or just me being paranoid, it is a narcissistic side that I do not like to face.
How can we change: Jaime and I need to learn that there is a world out there that doesn’t know or care about what we think and how we feel. Once I do this, it will be easier for me to foster healthy relationships and not be paranoid that people are talking about me or dislike me all of the time.
5) Mean Girls:
In my opinion, Mean Girls is a classic. I can probably recite the entire movie, blindfolded. But besides that, there are characters in Mean Girls you are supposed to love and identify with. Sadly, I never identified with Gretchen Wieners until now.
What I like about myself as Gretchen: She is trendy, basically sweet, and well-liked at school.
What I don’t like about myself as Gretchen: Gretchen is something I never was in school: popular. Unfortunately, her quest for popularity has left her constantly looking for attention and approval from other people. Similarly, I am a people-pleaser. I look to others to tell me whether I am a good person, whether I am doing something right, and frequently what I should do in situations.
How we can change: Gretchen and I need to start asserting ourselves as individuals and start finding strength within. If I continue to care what other people think about me all of the time, I am going to get hurt a lot.
So there it is : I am apparently a combination of Jaime Lannister, Snow White, Gretchen Wieners, Hermoine, and Jasmine. What have I learned from this? Well, quizzes are usually flattering! But there is also some truth to them. I can be witty like Jaime, loyal like Snow White, a people-pleaser like Gretchen Wieners, smart like Hermoine, and romantic like Jasmine.
Yet, the bigger lesson here is that I need to accept the unsavory parts of me as well. They make up who I am. Without them, I would not be Ashley. We all love the characters, so it is time for me to accept that I am loved too, my flaws and all.
It is nice to be compared to these icons of popular media and see parts of yourself reflected in them. What characters are you? Comment your results, and make sure to subscribe to the blog!
I am not an indecisive person. I’ve known what I want to do with my life since high school, I have been with the same man for four years, and when making decisions I usually think them through and then commit to them for the long-term. So, if someone off the street asks me what I want to do with the next five years of my life, I have an answer for them. It’s not that I don’t acknowledge that my life will change, but I am the girl with a plan. It makes me feel secure to have an idea of what I want out of life. I am not implying that those of you who have no idea what you want are weird people, or even abnormal. In fact, I often feel like the odd-one-out in this college playground. Without further ado, here is my five-year plan!
As winter break comes to a close, I have begun to look back and evaluate what I have done with my time.
There was, of course, Christmas. My favorite part of Christmas is actually Christmas Eve, because all of the family on my dad’s side gathers at my grandma’s house and has a good time. This year, we had thirteen people, the famous lasagna, and plenty of presents. Two new additions came to Christmas Eve this year. The first was my baby cousin Emmett, who was born just a few days after Christmas last year. The second addition was my boyfriend Jared. After four years, both of our family’s decided it was time to start having us over during the “ family only” time. After we left my grandma’s, we actually went over to my mom’s parents, and had a small get-together there as well! Needless to say, I was exhausted but happy at the end of Christmas Eve.
On Christmas day, I began by traditionally gathering with my immediate family and opening presents. After a few hours of being lazy and eating food, I prepared to go over to Jared’s house for the first time on Christmas. There, we opened presents, and then went out to see a movie. At the end of the day, I met back up with my family and had a delicious dinner that my mom had cooked especially for Christmas. Overall, this was one of my favorite Christmases. Being 20, I was finally mature enough to realize that, at the end of the day, I didn’t really care about the presents, but valued the time I got to spend with all of my family and Jared. I am truly blessed.
The second major event of my break was actually New Year’s Eve. This was the fifth New Year I had celebrated with Jared, but normally we chill out at one of our parents’ houses. This year, we actually traveled three hours to one of my sorority sister’s house to celebrate. There were a ton of people I didn’t know, but they sure knew how to have a good time. We played Scrabble, Pictionary, and brought in the New Year with live music and fireworks! Afterward, we watched a movie that I can’t even remember the name of because I was so tired. I am definitely an 11 o’clock girl, and staying up until 5AM was a feat for me. Again, this was one of my favorite New Year’s that I can remember!
Now that the festivities are over, I am looking back at my break and realizing that even though I had some really great times, I have been a really bad procrastinator. Here’s my list of what I was supposed to get done over the break:
- Write my blogs in advance.
- Apply for the Colonel B. Ledford research scholarship, which includes a LOT of paperwork and paper writing.
- Clean my car. And by that, I mean tear out the roof.
- Make flyers for my sorority.
- Assign articles for the sorority newsletter.
- Help my cousin practice for his Learner’s Permit.
- Finish crocheting a scarf and a blanket that I have been working on for months.
Sadly, up until yesterday, I had not done ANY of these things. I am starting to feel the pressure, because I have basically done nothing but work at the daycare and have a good time this break. Because I am moving back to campus in just a few days, I thought it might be a good idea to make myself a list of things to remember that will ease the transition back to school. And why not share it with you too?
Packing your things:
If you are anything like me, you have been living out of your suitcase for the past three weeks, and haven’t exactly been doing a good job at that either. My advice for packing up? Start early. The first thing I do is gather all of my Christmas presents that I don’t really have an immediate use for, and put it in my car or set it aside. Next, as the day to move gets closer, I begin to consolidate my clothes, and even pick out my next few outfits and pack up the rest. I always bring more clothes than I actually need home, but you never know what you may need! When the day to move in comes around, don’t forget all your shoes, your toiletries, and other miscellaneous items that you just couldn’t live without. I am talking about your phone charger here, people.
Preparing for the new semester:
Now, you may want to wait for some of these things until the day you move back in, but nevertheless there are quite a few things you can do to feel completely prepared for the beginning semester. First, find a whiteboard, planner, piece of paper, or whatever you use, and write down your class schedule, including where your classes are. The first week of classes is always stressful, and you do not want to spend it trying to remember when your next class is. My planner is full of my first week of classes and work schedule combined, so that I can get in the groove of my new schedule. Though some people buy all of their books ahead of time, I only buy the books I know I will be using, and wait until after the first few days of classes to order the rest. Some classes may have a book assigned but won’t use it much, and one great option is to split the cost of the book with a friend! This way you save money but also have the material you need. Also, in my case, I write down all of the things I need to do the first week of school, and when, so that my semester starts as smoothly as possible. Sadly, I must incorporate all of the things I procrastinated on over the break as well!
Moving back to school can be crazy, or super simple. I am actually changing rooms this semester, so I have to completely unpack all of my belongings and get my room situated. If you are not switching rooms, there are still some things you might want to get accomplished before the first day of class. Unpack! You don’t want to continue living out of that suitcase your first week back. This includes putting everything where it belongs, finding somewhere for those Christmas presents, and doing your laundry. I know, laundry is hard. Then, I like to go to the grocery store and stock up one the food that I always keep at school. For me, milk granola bars, and snacks are a must! It may feel like a lot of work after chilling out all of break, but you will feel better if everything is ready for your first day back!
My break has been wonderfully lazy and fun, but now it is time to get back into the groove of college. I hope your break has been awesome as well! Feel free to comment your own back-to-school routines!