Dear 17-Year-Old Me,

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First of all, you look great! Stop obsessing about your body because you look hot now, so enjoy that. Stop trying to starve yourself into a Kate Moss body when God gave you a Christina Hendricks-ish frame.   (You probably won’t understand that reference until you really get into Mad Men.)

I know you’re worried about dating. You shouldn’t be. By that I don’t mean you’re going to date a lot or meet Mr. Right immediately freshman year, because that’s not the case. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t going to be nights when all of your friends and roommates are out on dates and you spend the night watching a sad movie on your laptop (I’m past the statute of limitations on that, right?) and sighing into a Cup-O-Noodles. You’re going to get your heart-broken, more than once. You won’t be a stranger to the sting of rejection. It makes you a stronger person, but don’t let it make you hard-hearted and cold. In fact just don’t worry about it. In the words of Amy Poehler “Too often we are told to visualize what we want… Try to care less. Practice ambivalence. Learn to let go of wanting it.” Do you want to know what happens when you stop worrying about how you’re ‘not dating’? That’s right, you meet the man of your dreams. Oh, and throw away all those notes about how you’re supposed to act on a date (yes, you actually pay tuition to take notes on stuff like that, but that’s a rant for another time) or how you’re supposed to look, because he loves you for you. Just the way you are, quirkiness and all.

Let loose and have some fun! You’ve always been a rule-follower so what I’m about to say is probably going to blow your mind. The memories of college that’ll make you smile aren’t the ones where you’re following all the rules. Be sensible, but do something a little crazy every once in a while. It’s good for you.

Love Love Love,

You(24 years-old)

P.S. Maybe put a little more effort into your spaghetti bridge project for physics. I’m married with a baby and people still talk about how awful it turned out. So, don’t procrastinate, seriously.

 

 

It was my junior year of college, I, like every other
student, couldn’t wait for the short Christmas break that marked
the end of a particularly rough semester. I had just started seeing
somebody, nothing serious at that point, but I really liked him. He
was different, and by different I mean he someone I found
interesting for a change. It was the first time I wasn’t going to
be headed home right away. Because of work I would have to stay an
extra ten days on campus before I could go see my family. I told
myself it wasn’t a big deal, that I could handle it. Who was I
kidding? I had a chapel date for the annual dismissal service,
which was good because it would keep me from throwing myself a pity
party and letting myself sulk in jealousy for all those who would
be on their way home to food with flavor and private showers. It
was a good date, we laughed at the jokes, joined in with the
timeless carols, and enjoyed each other’s company, no sulking. We
watched  Mr. Evan’s dismiss with his infamous solo. All of
the students eagerly waited for the  “Have yourself a merry
little Christmas… NOW!”  The line was sung, the chapel
emptied, and we sat enjoying the chaos. I wanted to sit there
forever. I didn’t want him to go home. It was a nine-hour drive to
Northern Michigan, and he had his car ready to go. But he didn’t.
Instead, he walked with me to the dining hall where we ate bland
food on styrofoam plates. Every morning for those ten days, he had
breakfast with me in the Square where we played endless games of
Scrabble and talked for hours. I couldn’t believe it. Every morning
there he was, sitting on the other side of an uncomfortable booth,
drinking bad coffee with watered down creamer. With me. He chose to
stay with me. He didn’t have to. We had been “dating” less than
three months. He had no obligation to stay. But, he did. Those ten
days felt like nothing. Do you know why? Because every morning I
would get dressed and walk into that little campus restaurant and
see him sitting at that booth with two coffees and a Scrabble
board. A year later, he asked me to marry him. Stephanie &
Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Lake Portrait 045

Fall Fever

fall

When I was in college I hated being there, so I took to daydreaming. I guess I didn’t think of it as daydreaming, but more of a visual plan for the future, and it was among these “future plans” that I stored plenty of mental slides of what autumn would look like  as a newlywed. Of course in all things imagined instances I was dressed fabulously with one of those tasteful pattern-mixed ensembles PInterest addicts everywhere would approve. Also, my hair was that perfect length  where the ends are five fingers above the elbow ( yes, I just used “fingers” as a standard of measurement) and they’re curled into perfect spirals.  My husband always looked great too, in a blue gingham shirt with a pumpkin under his arm that we just bought from an orchard, and we would walk hand in hand to a nearby Starbucks to pick up some lattes.

Truth. It’s Autumn and my hair still sucks. Not really, I still have some of the highlights from my wedding, but it’s a few inches off from being that perfect length. I was always too lazy to curl my hair in college, marriage hasn’t changed that about me either.  Due to my new job most of my outfits have consisted of red and khaki so, while I do try to look cute for work I’m sure I’ve let the imaginary fashionista-pinners down with  my boring Target uniforms.  I dress up for church sometimes, but I do miss having friends that tell me my outfit look nice. Is that totally lame? Probably. Moving on.

But we do have pumpkins! I bought them, at Aldi’s. I was so stoked to see them there.  In fact, I was so excited to buy these pumpkins I found myself pushing two elderly women out of the way as I dove headfirst into the large cardboard stand.  I had to find good ones after all. Don’t worry about the old ladies, we became friends after I made two pumpkin dives for them as well.  They wanted cute pumpkins, and I wanted jack-o-lantern worthy ones, so after we all found what we were looking for we drove our grocery carts our separate ways. Both pumpkins are on my front steps. While they add a small amount of visual appeal to our entrance as is, we haven’t been able to carve them yet.  My husband I bought a pumpkin at an orchard while we were dating with plans to carve it. It didn’t happen. First we attempted to draw on the pumpkin with a sharpie until we discovered how horrible we both were at simple art.  Naturally, we decided that the best fate for the vegetable was to be rolled down the college bowling lanes. We had a grand old time, and I’m pretty sure I bowled a strike or two.  As much fun as it was, I do my Aldi’s pumpkins serve the purpose I bought them for. October isn’t over yet, so I still have hope.

Now lattes. I enjoyed my first pumpkin spice latte a few weeks ago, and now I’m convinced that stuff has crack in it. My mother (also a Starbucks addict) has often joked that the vanilla and cinnamon shakers provided for the customers to alter their drinks are actually laced with addictive substances to keep their customers coming back for more. I used to laugh at her. Now I don’t think she’s that far off.  Ever since that taste of heaven I’m back at the in-store Starbucks every chance I get. I’ve found myself pushing $4.01 across the counter in change with withdrawal-induced shaking hands. Why? I’ve even memorized how much it costs with the employee discount! I’ve gone without eating to indulge myself with that sweet elixir of the harvest season. I mean I’m fine now but what am I going to when winter comes? I don’t like peppermint!

All that said, even though my newlywed autumn isn’t exactly how I pictured it, I love it! I wish my husband and I had days off together more often, but it’s okay because I celebrate my October days off with some horror flicks and errands, by errands I mean mapping out my next couponing expedition.  It’s been great, being married is the best thing that’s happened to me!

Until Next Time.

Honestly Modest

Things Christian College Girls Say: Dress

“I had to wear a scarf today cause this is so not three fingers.”

“I hope she doesn’t check that my slit is pinned, not sown.”

“Pretty sure that girl never wears nylons.”

“Wait, does wearing heels make my skirt look longer or shorter? I forgot.”

“You know, some girls just shouldn’t do the whole no-makeup no-filter thing.”

“Bless her heart, someone needs to teach her how to walk in those heels.”

“White tights should not be worn by anyone who is old enough to read.”

“Do I think I can get away with wearing a skirt under this dress?”

“She dresses like she’s on tour; last time I checked that’s not a compliment.”

“I’m rocking black tights today cause this skirt is a little on the short side.”

“Her skin was showing through those tights. I mean she was practically wearing fishnets!”

“Big necklaces and scarves cover a multitude of sins.”

“Is that guy in college this semester?”    “I don’t think so. He has facial hair.”

“Some guys need to realize that skinny jeans should only be worn by skinny guys.”

“Oh, you mean that guy in our class with the preacher part?”

“Pretty sure the only guys who wear polo shirts tucked into their pants have grandchildren or  a tuition bill due this Wednesday.”

 

 

Four Annoying Girls & How to Deal With Them

  1. The “Giggly” Girls: I think Audrey Hepburn said it best in Sabrina when she is hiding in a tree watching her crush flirt with one of these ditzy types. “I hate girls who giggle all the time” Me too, Audrey. Me too.
    1. How to Spot One:
      1. They are overly optimistic, and are most likely smiling.
      2. They or their friends probably work for the Dean of Women’s office.
      3. Usually morning people. Freshman usually sing in the morning, most likely a Disney song.
    2. How to Deal:
      1. DON’T: Use sarcasm. Most of the time it will just go over their heads. Stay away from comments that you’re going to have to spend more time explaining than delivering.
      2. DO: Use basic words and open your eyes unnaturally wide, while adding an occasional smile or head nod. Mirroring body language makes for more effective communication.English: Studio publicity portrait for film Sa...
  2. Me-Monsters/ One-Uppers: Comedian, Brian Regan aptly labeled this type the “me-monsters”, and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate moniker for this self-absorbed sort. Everybody has a Me-Monster in their life. You can spot them as soon as you start a conversation. Their injury is just a little more severe than the one you experienced, their student-teaching is a little harder than what you have to teach, their day has been just a little more eventful than your day.
    1. How to Spot One:
      1. For every story you share, they have a more severe, more extreme experience that will always top your story.
      2. They only use first-person pronouns.
    2. How to Deal:
      1. DO: Make the whole conversation about them to begin with. Don’t try to share any personal information unless you want it belittled and pushed to the side by some bigger and better experience.
      2. DON’T: Try to “One-Up” their story. They will think of some relative or close friend that has a crazier experience. This will go on until you let them win.
      3. DO: Just walk away. Watch Kristen Wiig’s “Penelope” skits on SNL. You’ll laugh at this exaggerated portrayal of Me-Monsters and be reminded that nobody likes them.
  3. The “Selfie”-Obsessed: Pretty people who feel the need to remind you how good-looking they are by posting at least one picture of themselves a week.
      1. How to Spot One:
        1. On Facebook:
          1. They change their profile picture at least once a week.
          2. They might down play some compliment in the comments section.
            1. “You look gorgeous!”
            2. Reply: “Oh my goodness! I look so gross in this pic!”
        2. On Instagram:
          1. They always take a self-portrait to document menial events in their lives.
            1. “I really need coffee (duck face)”
            2. Inspirational quote + self-portrait
          2. Most of their feed is face shots.
          3. Most of their pictures receive a considerable amount of likes.
      2. How to Deal:
        1. DON’T: Like these pictures. As you can imagine, this only encourages more “Selfie” behavior and posts in the future.
        2. DO: remove these people from your feed if they annoy you. You can keep them on your feed for a good laugh.
  4. The Strained Personality: People who try to be funny/smart/cocky but just aren’t.
    1. How to Spot One:
      1. Most likely this person will try to use unnecessary hashtags on Facebook in an attempt to be witty.
      2. They misuse hashtags by applying spaces between words or apostrophes.
        1. #I’mSuchANerd
        2. #Smart Girl Problems
      3. They misuse Meme Humor in an attempt to be culturally relevant.
        1. The Most Interesting Man in the World
        2. Conspiracy Keanu
        3. Bad Luck Brian
      1. How to Deal:
        1. DON’T: encourage this behavior by liking these posts.
        2. DON’T: Remind them that hashtags are irrelevant on Facebook. You won’t be the first or the last to point this out.
        3. DO: Sometimes the “Do not show in News Feed” is the answer to everything.

On Dorm Life

Every year around graduation time the seniors have to go up in front of the dorm girls, roll out a mini-bio, and give a bit of advice to the undergrads. Without fail, a couple seniors will walk up to the podium and advise against requesting roommates.

Needless to say, I don’t believe that in the slightest. My father always told me, along with a great many things, “If you don’t control your circumstances; your circumstances will control you.” Personally I would rather hold the happiness of the school year in my hands, than trust that to some Master’s student working for the Dean of Women. I mean I wouldn’t want to overwhelm them. They’re probably too busy hunting down naughty girls that make coffee in their dorm room and don’t call dorm supes “miss”. I’m really doing them a favor, if you really think about it.

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I’m not a total control freak! I do believer that everything in life happens for a reason. Everything is either preparing us for something in the future or strengthening our weaknesses. If nothing else, I’m sure it’ll make for a good story some day. As of today there 215 days until graduation. Over the last three years I have had 7 different roommates, lived in 4 different rooms on 3 different wings.

Fortunately, I’ve had really good roommates over the years. Probably cause I followed Principle A stated above, but anyways. The worst things I have had to deal with are girls who drink milk straight out of the carton, were too chatty in the mornings, sang all the time, never slept and cried constantly.  Compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard, I’ve had a great dorm experience.

Well, as good as “dorm experiences” can get anyways. Ha ha ha. Like I said before I’m sure it’s all just preparing me for something I’m going to have to face later in life. Before this I had never dealt with community bathrooms, three-dollar loads of laundry, Nazi dorm supervisors who read the handbook for fun, and of course living out of plastic furniture. It all works out in the end, and if nothing else it definitely makes you appreciate anything you have after this.

Who knows? Living in the dorms might’ve been a necessity for me. Before this, I’d never had to share a room anyone or be forced to deal with problems like this. It’s been a great learning experience. Let’s just say that God knows what He’s doing:)

For the Love of Laundry

Peace and relaxation sound different to different people.  For me, it’s the resounding hum of the washer. Strange? I know. There’s a certain comfort in knowing that your duties are taking care of themselves. It’s almost therapeutic. All I have to do is load it up, turn a dial, and press a button. Simple. At the end of it all, I feel like I’ve accomplished so much by not actually doing too much on my part. I guess you could say I’m easily fascinated. Also, I’m at my parent’s house, so it’s free!

Let me explain how “laundry” works during the average school year. I have a business relationship with the washing machine on my dorm floor:  I debit my laundry card loaded with two dollars in exchange for his services. I get jipped. Every time. The dryer is even worse. By the end of the whole transaction, I have three dollars less in my pocket, and a laundry bag full of clothes that are still slightly damp. For nine months out of the year laundry waits until my underwear drawer is bare, no outfits can be combined from the lone stragglers in my closet, and my wallet actually contains enough cash to put in the machine.I do wash my clothes on a regular basis at college; I know that you were worried there for a minute;)

Now, I’m sure you understand my fascination. You can call me crazy; I call it appreciating what I once took for granted.