End of Semester Update: Transferring Regrets?

A few months ago, I transferred from a small, private school two and a half hours away from everything I had known, to a slightly larger state school way closer to home. This decision was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my college career thus far because of the fact that all of a sudden, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. I couldn’t give a definite reason for leaving other than the simple fact that I knew I wasn’t as happy as I could be somewhere else. So I did it, I made a big girl, grown up decision and turned my life around in the hopes that it would change for the better. Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of questions, are you truly happier now? Do you ever wish you could go back? Any regrets? And for awhile, I fell for the skepticism people were throwing at me. Was I really happier? As soon as I moved I lost quite a lot of friends and one of the most important people in my life . . . I did sometimes doubt whether I had made a good decision or not.

But let me tell you the truth, because I’ve done a lot of thinking about it: I am so happy now. I make my own choices now and I never regret them. My friend group has proven itself and I know who will really be there to stick through everything with me until the end. I have a better understanding of who I am as a person and what I value in other people as well. I’ve grown so much closer to the people around me and absolutely love waking up in the small town I call home every single morning. Sure, I’ve had my rough days and dreaded moments being on my new campus, but compared to how I was before, I don’t have any regrets. It’s so freeing to be able to make the choice to be happy, and I recommend it to anyone who needs to make that choice as well. You’re never trapped anywhere other than your own state of mind. As soon as you start choosing happiness your entire life will just transform.

So yes, I do have an answer for those who ask me. I love my new school. I love being closer to my family and friends. I love the decisions I’ve made and most of all, I love myself. I love being happy and you should too.

Why I Choose Not To Drink

Newsflash: not everyone drinks in college. As crazy as that sounds, I’m an example. Sure, the idea of letting go and just having assisted fun for the night can sound appealing, but I’m just the type of person who likes to be able to control what comes out of my mouth. No one told me that I shouldn’t drink, but a lot of people have told me that I should; it made me start thinking, so I asked myself a question: why don’t you want to drink alcohol?
After a little (or a lot) of thought, I’ve come up with my answer. I come from a reallllly big family who likes to party. Some of my earliest memories growing up deal with being surrounded by alcohol at these parties. I remember that when I went to my very first wedding, I had just gotten a brand new Vera Bradley bag. I (obviously, that thing was, like, golden at the time) never let it out of my sight. That is, until my lovely uncle came and sat next to me on the bench I was sitting on. He put his filled-to-the-brim cup of beer next to me and reached over to give me a hug. And guess what happened? While he leaned he knocked the entire thing on my less-than-24-hour old bag, and guess what, folks? The discussing smell of beer never came out of that glorious bag. Man, I don’t even remember what pattern it was before it was drenched. But in that moment, I swore it off, telling myself that that would never be me.
On a less humorous and more personal level, I remember the very first time I witnessed someone absolutely gone because of the amount of alcohol they consumed that night. At another family wedding (yeah, big family, big weddings) I remember watching one of my favorite aunts stumble around the room gathering up her things while a group of relatives collected in the corner whispering about what they should do with her. As the responsible mother of the five kids she brought to the wedding alone, they weren’t sure what to do with her and her kids. The next thing I remember is that I was in my mothers arms as she stood next to the driver side window consoling one of my oldest cousins. This was one of her first times behind the wheel, getting pushed into DD for her mother for the night, and she was crying hysterically. As I peered around my mom’s shoulder, I could see my aunt through the back window, sprawled out practically unconscious in the back of their mini van, as four other sets of eyes met mine looking equally terrified. Of course, I was just a kid, my memory probably doesn’t give any justice to what actually happened, but that fact that those bits and pieces are formed together means something to me. I would never want to get to that point, and never want to hurt or scare the people I love like she did that night. I think I may have associated alcohol and not safe together from a young age, and I can’t just take that back now, soooo here I am today.
Sure, why would my past mean that these circumstances always happen? It doesn’t. But once I got to college and was given an opportunity with a choice, I only needed to see a few more alcohol-involved instances to realize that drinking just wasn’t for me, it was dangerous and could hurt people. The girl laying with her head in the toilet as I walked into the bathroom in the middle of the night to pee my freshman year, my RA and paramedics gathered outside the door waiting to take her to the hospital. The stupidest decisions all of my friends make every weekend, the way it’s changed some of the people I’ve been closest to and how it’s made more than one of my friendships fall completely apart. It saddens me to see the effects it’s had on me in my life, and I don’t ever want to worry the people who worry about me, because I really respect when people worry about me, worrying about them. And it’s just a decision I’ve decided to make.

~E

DIY Dalmation Costume

It’s that time of year again! Sweaters, pumpkin carving, and Halloween parties! October is the perfect time for all of us poor college kids to shine because hello, DIY costumes! This year my boyfriend and I decided to go as … Continue reading

The Outside Looking In: Change

Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the inspiration behind this post came from my boyfriend, Rico! When I asked him what he would write about if he had a blog, he told me he would describe how having a brother isn’t really having a brother anymore. At first, I was confused when he told me this, but after he explained I know I feel the same way with my brother and sister. I just moved away for my second year of college, but both of them just left for their first year. Every time I call or visit home, they aren’t there. I talk to them both occasionally, but they’re typically pretty rushed with their new busy schedules. It’s hard seeing how their lives have changed so much in the few weeks we’ve been separated. I can see how much they have both grown and changed and get to watch as they get involved and blossom into their own persons. I’m so proud of both of them, so blessed that they’re both making good, thoughtful decisions and that they’re both working so hard. But it’s difficult. They’re always been my little brother and little sister – we’ve always been The Three E’s In A Pod (haha, play on names with Elizabeth, Elliott, and Emily). But now, we’re all three separate, individual people. As the oldest, it’s really hard for me to watch them grow up from the outside looking in. I’m so used to being with them all the time that it’s different to watch how they change via social media. Hearing about my brother joining a running team and meeting a girl he would eventually ask out sounds foreign not coming directly from him. Watching my sister step out of her shell and make her faith, future, and life her own mold makes me so proud. Don’t get me wrong, it’s crazy to see the pictures she and her friends upload from football games and parties…she’s growing up. And I’m learning that I have to let her. They can’t both be my baby siblings forever, they have to find out who they are just like I had to.
No matter what the future brings them, I know that they’re both prepared for it. I can’t wait to continue to see how they become even better versions of themselves, and I’ll always love them no matter who they turn out to be!

~E

Pioneer 5k This Morning!

I go to school roughly two hours from my hometown. This is my second year being away from home, but right after I left three weeks ago, my brother and sister also moved out. So my parents (divorced) are both new empty nesters. To say the least my dad really misses me. He decided that he really wanted to see me so he drove the two hours early this morning to pick me up at 7am for a Labor Day road race near campus! Today was the first day that I’ve run a timed 5k (3.1 miles) since probably within this past year. I didn’t finish with my best time, it was actually more like my slowest time ever, but I did win a few prizes! Along with the registration fee that benefited Breast Cancer research, I got a free t-shirt and my name entered into a door prize drawing. Well, lucky me lucky me, my name was picked and I received a gift card for a free one hour facial at a salon down the street! Not only did I win that, but even with my slow time I won the first prize trophy for females aged 15-19! And you know what? It doesn’t even matter that I was the only one in my age group 😉

I’ve had a pretty good day! I hope you did too!

~E

Sophomore Year Dorm Room….So Far!

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Decorating is so hard when you’re so busy! Even though my wall isn’t finished and my bed isn’t made, this is my current dorm room so far! I’ve had so much fun putting everything on the walls and need to order more pictures soon. The quote I used says “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith” and it really speaks to me in my life right now. I used a little craft machine called a Cricut to cut the letters and I think it turned out great!
I would love to see your dorm room DIY’s too so please send me pictures!
Have a great night!

~E

Roommates

The dorm experience is never complete without a roommate…..or two roommates with my case. I originally chose to receive a random roommate so that I could meet new people and expand my friend group from the few people I knew from high school going to my same college. When I found out who my roommate was, the Facebook stalking began. We can call her Jess. On Facebook, Jess looked really cool: nice, friendly, social, she looked like someone who had a personality that I would click with. I thought we would be such a great match and best friends forever, because that’s what always happens with roommates, right?
Wrong.
I mean, she’s not an awful person, but we just didn’t work together and living with her drove me nuts. From throwing away full bowls of milk and never taking the trash out to listening to her headphones just a tad bit loud to never letting me know when she was, um, having an intimate moment with a new male friend, I couldn’t do it. Christmas time came and I packed up my stuff to move in with a friend from high school, Whitney, as soon as the spring semester started.
Whitney and I worked out soooo much better than Jess and I did. Even though we argued constantly and ended up wrestling on the floor for the last bowl of Easy Mac one night (blood was shed), we loved each other and in some crazy way it made us grow closer. Just from my personal experiences I would recommend rooming with someone that you know for your first semester on campus. It’s not permanent and it’s better to have a least a clue about what you’re getting yourself into.
Just remember that rooming with anyone is tough. Two people trying to deal with each other and trying to work together constantly through the stress and busyness of a semester can defiantly bring a not so nice side of anyone out. Patience and understanding is always being practiced but once you learn how to work, having a roommate can be one of the best parts about college. Late night bondings and having heart to hearts while eating every box of Girl Scout cookies you can afford is such a wonderful experience, and everyone should be able to grow that close to someone. Roommates for a semester, friendship for life.

~E