Home from Camp

Hi friends. It’s been awhile. Over a month in fact since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been away at camp as a camp counselor! We have limited access to internet so there was really no way for a blog post to happen. But that’s okay.

This summer was one of the best summer’s I’ve had at camp. It was also one of the hardest. Camp is such a special place that I can’t really put it into words. I’ll try anyway:) I decided to collect some of my favorite camp counselor quotes and create a few of my own to try to express how amazing and unique this experience is.

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“Three and a half weeks flew by. I already miss being called Elf, the basically non-existent water pressure in the showers, laughing with my co (counselor) until we cried by the end of the week because our children were just that crazy, fighting to get my girls to sleep, carrying my sleeping campers back from campfire, starting one match (more likely one box) fires in the rain. I miss the family I have at camp and pigtail Thursdays. Now it’s back to real life where socks with crocs aren’t actually fashionable and sleep is  an actual thing (until college starts).”

“My backpack could rival Mary Poppins magic carpet bag.”

“Silent conversations across the table with my co are the key to survival.”

“Chocolate and Jesus get me through most of my days.”

“Camp has taught me more than I could learn from anywhere else.”

“Camp breaks you down farther than you ever thought you could go, but somehow you always leave refreshed.”

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This summer, I was a mother, a teacher, a cook, a firefighter, a nurse and a doctor, a friend, a confidant, a cleaning lady, a horse wrangler, a student, a singer and an actor, an author, and so much more. Where else could I go to get the same experience? And why would I want to?

 

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Fitbit Charge 2 Review

Hi friends! So we are in vacation down in Virginia! I meant to write this two days ago, but Monday ended up being a pretty lazy (much needed!) day so now I am finally getting around to it.

I’ll probably try to get a vacation post up sometime next week with all the pictures, but for now, I have a review of my new Fitbit Charge 2! I got this about a week ago, and I absolutely love it. I got one of the special edition colors, lavender and rose gold, which are two of my favorite colors/color combination. I am very glad that I went ahead and spent the little bit of extra money to get this color.

I have been charging it every other night, but it could probably go every three nights before needing to be charged.

Things that it measures: 

  • time
  • steps
  • heart rate
  • miles traveled
  • flights of stairs climbed
  • active minutes per day
  • sleep
  • water intake

Other features:

  • tracks exercise/different kind of exercise
  • stopwatch
  • guided breathing
  • “silent” alarms
  • bluetooth connection to your phone

 

This is what the app’s home screen looks like. It’s very user friendly.

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I don’t know what it’s thinking with the weight tracker. I haven’t put my weight in…

 

Okay, so I think I will walk through each of these features and give a run down of sorts about what I like about it and what I wish would be different.

Starting with the time…the Fitbit app gives me several different options for how the clock face can look. This is how I chose to have mine:

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Since my “main goal” is steps, that is what appears on my clock screen. That number “48” is the number of steps per hour. Maybe I should get up now if I’ve only walked that in 45 minutes:)

One thing I really like about this Fitbit is that one of your goals is to get 250+ steps every hour. I have mine set to send me reminders if I haven’t reached that goal 10 minutes before the hour. And it sends reminders from 9am-6pm. You can change both of those settings, but I have found that it really works for me like this. Right now, my goal is 8,000 steps every day. I haven’t reached that goal yet, but I’m hoping that once I get home from vacation, I’ll start hitting it most days. I know that I will for sure get over 10,000 every day at camp and once I get to college I will also be doing a ton of walking.

Like most Fitbits, it also measures heart rate. In the app, I can see my averages for just sitting and also working out. I’m pretty sure that it uses heart rate to calculate my “cardio fitness” a.k.a. how fit I am.

I am still trying to figure out how/what Fitbit counts as a flight of stairs. For instance, it doesn’t count me going down a flight of stairs, which makes sense. But sometimes it doesn’t count me going up the stairs either. I have to figure out how to move my arms in order for it to count the stairs I guess. I have my goal set to 14 flights each day right now, and I have been reaching that goal most days!

The active minutes per day. It counts the minutes that you are “moderately active for more than 10 minutes at a time.” My goal right now is 30 minutes every day which is the recommended amount. This is fairly simple to reach the goal every day for me. If I do a 30 minute workout along with a warm up and cool down, I’m easily at 40 minutes every day.

This is probably the coolest part of the Charge 2. It measures sleep! Every morning I wake up and look at my stats from the night. I set my goals: 8 hrs of sleep every night, bedtime 11pm, wake up 7am. I also set it to send me a “bedtime” reminder at 10 pm every night. It shows me how much sleep I got, time awake, time in REM, time in light sleep, and time in deep sleep. It also tells me if I met the sleep goals that I have set. Here are my stats from last night.

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I had a Fitbit Charge HR before the Charge 2 and from what I can remember, the Charge HR didn’t have an easy to use button for tracking workouts. With the Charge 2, I scroll to the workout screen and tap through the options such as “running, elliptical, biking, intervals, or treadmill” to name a few. I just have to press and hold for the workout timer to start. I can click the button once to take a rest, and press and hold again to stop it. By doing this, it will track the time, the steps, and the calories I burned for that workout. Then when my Fitbit syncs to the app, I can see charts with all of that information.

The guided breathing is pretty cool! Options for 2 minutes or 5 minutes. Once it “recognizes your breath” you have to inhale and exhale along with a circle that gets bigger and smaller. When you breathe to the right rhythm, you get sparkles! If you don’t breathe to the rhythm, you don’t get sparkles….and I love my sparkles:) I haven’t used this yet (except to test it out), but I think that it will be very helpful when my life starts to get stressful again.

The silent alarm option just means that it vibrates on your wrist so it won’t wake anyone else up. I loved this with my Charge HR, and I love it with the Charge 2. I don’t know about you, but hearing that same song come on my phone every morning gets obnoxious very fast. It’s loud and repetitive. If you’re like me and leave it on snooze and then leave your phone upstairs, it is frustrating to go find your phone to turn it off. Anyway, I love the vibrating alarm!

When I had a Charge HR, I didn’t have a smartphone so I’m not sure if it had bluetooth, but now I have one so I connected my Charge 2 to my phone. It gives options for everything. You can turn on/off whether you want calls, messages, and calendar events individually. For instance, I have messaging and calls connected, but I decided that I didn’t want calendar events coming to my Fitbit. With the messages, I can choose from getting notifications of my text messages, hangouts (not even sure what that is), or Facebook messenger. I chose my text messages since that is my main communication.

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I also started playing around with the community part of this today. You can add friends for a little competition and join groups of all different kinds. For example there are weight loss groups, healthy sleep groups, and healthy eating groups. There are also groups in the major cities like Chicago, NYC, Sacramento, etc. So many options!

One more thing. The Fitbit actually detaches from the wrist band to charge which also means that I can get other fun bands!

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Overall, I would definitely recommend this Fitbit to a friend. It is perfect for me, and how I want to use it.

Here is the one that I bought from Amazon. I got it in a size large. I have pretty small wrists, but I wear it comfortably on the first hole.

Have a good Wednesday friends!

 

 

Music Monday *All the Feels*

It is still Monday for 12 more minutes so I’m taking advantage of it! I wanted to give you a look into the music that I listen to. I decided to start with one of my Spotify playlists called “all the feels:)” Weird name? Maybe. But it perfectly describes the type of songs I have on it. Enjoy!

*Update: my internet decided to take a nap and it posted literally right as it turned June 6th. I’m still going with Music Monday though*

Paint the Town Green- The Script

Castle on the Hill- Ed Sheeran

Lord, I Need you- Matt Maher

Hall of Fame- The Script

Hey Pretty Girl- Kip Moore

Hallelujah- Pentatonix

One Call Away- Charlie Puth

All of Me- John Legend

Story of My Life- One Direction

Messiah/You’re Beautiful- Phil Wickham

CCP- Senioritis

First of all, I changed my site tagline from “high school senior” to “college freshman”. !!!! So if you’re reading this in your email then head on over to the actual website and check it out! (It’s the little things that make me happy.)


sen·ior·i·tis
ˌsēnyəˈrīdəs/
noun

humorous
 1. A supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.

2. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as Graduation. -Urban Dictionary


 

Senioritis is real. Even for good students. And it is awful. However, I am convinced that something similar happens to everyone at the end of the school year. The difference here (I am sure that is is worse for college seniors) is that seniors are at the end of something. They don’t have next year to come back to. They have something new coming, huge changes, they get to/have to leave. And that’s hard for most people. They have been working HARD for the past 4 years to get into “that” college or get “that” job, and now that they are accepted to “that” college. Do the last few months of senior year even matter?? It is hard to find motivation to finish out the school year when it has hardly any impact on their future plans. Cue the Pinterest and Instagram..


 

And then once we realize the quotes aren’t really helping we decide to open our books to study.

HA actually that’s not how it works.

Once we finally close that Pinterest app, we probably go and annoy our friends/family or whatever unfortunate soul happens to be around us by complaining about all of the work we have to do. Once they banish us from their presence, this is where the tears come in. Or the chocolate. OR BOTH.

If we ever finally sit down with our work, we’ll probably proceed to make at least 10 to-do lists about the things that we have to do and two separate count downs to the end of the year. Now, to outsiders, this may look like we are being productive and organized. Au contraire. This is the oldest trick in the book for a procrastinator, which all seniors seem to be.

Once we realize that there are no more to-do lists to be made *gasp* we’ll tackle that first (and probably easiest) item on our list. After finishing that, we’ll think “YOU ARE AN AMAZING PERSON. YOU DESERVE MORE CHOCOLATE AND A NICE LOOONNG BREAK FROM THE WORK THAT YOU JUST CONQUERED.” When, in reality, we just set out our notes and made our desk look pretty and took a picture of it all.

Okay, okay this may (or may not) be an exaggeration of the events that actually take place during one’s senior year. But now that I have lived through this (that makes it sound like the worst thing ever, which I’m sure it’s not:D) I have a few tips to give soon-to-be seniors.

  1. Get the “Forest” app for studying. It works wonders. You basically set a timer for how long you want to study. If you close out of the app, you get a dead tree. But if you stay in the app for the entire time, you get a healthy tree added to your forest. They also have white rain sounds (city, rainforest, etc.) for you to use. *Tip- don’t answer phone calls because it will kill your tree:D* You can also set a “break timer” so that you can get in that Pinterest time in order that you don’t go crazy. This was the biggest way for me to stay focused during finals week.
  2. Take study breaks to exercise or eat (good food). Don’t try to eat while studying. You’ll just get distracted, trust me.
  3. When you’re hard core studying, don’t listen to music that you could sing along with. Keep the throw-back songs (:D) for when you’re just copying notes or making flashcards. Pandora has study music stations. I’m sure youtube and Spotify do as well. Or use a white-noise app. (OR THE FOREST APP). My favorite way to study though is with The Strive Studies on YouTube. Go check her out,. It’s amazing how helpful it can be to “study with another person”.
  4. Enjoy life. You only get high school senior year once. Go to homecoming and prom. Go see your last sports games. Hang out with friends and do absolutely nothing or go out for a fancy-ish dinner on Saturday night. Eat pizza. Wear sweatpants to school. This is your last year.
  5. But do say no to some fun things. If you know that you have a big test the next day, don’t go out with friends that particular night/don’t watch the newest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Everyone is going to find ways that work for them. But you have to work to find those ways. My biggest tip for any student is this: TREAT EVERY TEST OR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT LIKE IT MATTERS TO YOUR FINAL GRADE. Because it really does. The first test at the beginning of the semester will set the tone for the rest of the class. If you do well on it, you’ll give yourself a cushion for when the material becomes harder. Start each semester with a good work ethic, and you’ll do fine. But don’t slack just because the material is easy now, because (especially for you CCP students) it will get 10x harder within the next week. Trust me.

Okay, longer post than normal, but those are some of my thoughts on senioritis. It can be a challenging time for most people, it definitely was for me. Please, please, please don’t beat yourself up about it. This goes for you straight-A students. Don’t feel like you’re a failure for not wanting to do the work anymore. But even if you don’t want to do it, do it anyway.

The last few months of senior year still matter. Your college gets to see your final transcript.  Show them that you are the student they think you are. Work hard, and then enjoy your summer. Time does pass. Before you know it, you’ll be graduated and at college. Don’t waste senior year complaining about it. Enjoy it.

Life Flies By

Happy late Friday night! Well, I am FINISHED with my classes. I have finished high school. Eep!! I took my last final (Econ, bleh) yesterday *I had a window seat, and it was raining, and the curtain was open, and it was great* I think my finals went pretty well, but I will get all of my grades by next Wednesday.

I can’t even put into words how happy I am to be done with this part of my schooling career. Just…well…15 more years minimum. >4 years undergrad (at Albion College!), 4 years of med school, 5 years of general surgery residency, and 2 years of pediatric surgery fellowship< That’s my plan for now at least.

So here’s a picture from the beginning of finals week…

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If I look exhausted…it’s because I was

And a picture from the end of finals…

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#treatyourself

 

This morning, I was super lazy and watched TV all morning before I had to venture out into the down pour to go volunteer at the hospital. But it’s okay because I haven’t done that (well at least guilt free) for awhile. Starting Monday, I have A LOT to do, at least it feels that way.

Let’s see…finish Albion placement tests, schedule out some blog posts and *hopefully* get some written, clean my room, organize all my school stuff from the last four years, clean out my clothes and see what I need to get, make a college supply list…

Okay, okay that’s not all happening on Monday, thank goodness. But I do feel like I need to get it all down on paper and really organize it in my mind to see what I need to get done this summer. I am also really excited to be able to workout consistently now that school is done. That should feel good.

Even though I have finished my classes, I have to wait until June 3rd to graduate. Oh! That brings a whole other list of things I have to work on: plan decorations for grad party, find dress for graduation, plan food for party, finish learning my piano pieces for my senior recital.

So yes, I will probably be just as busy if not more than when I was in school, but I love, love, love this kind of stuff so I am ready to get started!! Also, it has been raining almost nonstop for the last two days and is supposed to keep raining the entire weekend. IT’S PERFECT!!!

Also (final “also”, I promise), I wanted to say congratulations to my cousin who graduated from college today!! (Even though he doesn’t read this:D)

Have a safe weekend, friends ❤

 

When the computer doesn’t work…

So this is a Happy Easter, 18th birthday, almost finals week kind of post.

The weather was beautiful for Easter! It was one of the first really nice days we had had in awhile so we were able to wear dresses…without the sweaters!! 😉 I had pictures to put up which would have made this more interesting, but for some reason they aren’t uploading…oh well.

I turned 18! Again, I had pictures, but my laptop has a mind of its own sometimes. If I can get it to work, I’ll put them up at some point. But anyway, my dad got me a beautiful locket! And my mom got tickets for us, my sister, and Noni to go see Julianne and Derek Hough on their tour!! I am beyond excited 🙂

And this is my last week of real classes, next week is finals. So I am pretty sure that we have learned all the new material and now it’s just all review. It’s crazy to think that in two weeks I’ll be done with high school! And in just over a month, I will officially be graduated!

Now to get through those finals…

DSP- Part 3: My final college decision!

 

Hi friends and happy Friday! Today, I have my final college decision for you. I wrote about my weekend at Albion college this week. Monday I posted about my day in general and Wednesday, I posted about the other sessions I went to. Go check them out!

That day was one of the biggest factors in my final decision. Everyone made me feel so welcome and at home. I learned about all of the amazing opportunities offered to me, and I feel like I will fit right in.

Needless to say, I have officially committed to Albion College! Class of 2021.

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#Albion2021

 

Here are the areas that I want to get involved in:

  • Honors program
  • Gerstacker institute
  • Healthcare institute
  • Equestrian team (either western or hunt seat)
  • Christian campus ministry
  • Greek life (sorority)
  • and other student organizations/clubs

 

My major: exercise science

My minor: ???

My track: premed, with plans of going to medical school and becoming a physician (right now, I want to be a pediatric surgeon, neonatologist, or Ob/Gyn)

I’ve been talking to a lot of people in my class, making friends and finding potential roommates. I have 9 weeks left of high school. Eep! I want to enjoy this as much as I can and get the best grades possible.

Senioritis is a real thing guys:p

But it’s Friday, I’m finishing up my Spring Break, so I’ll be back at it again come Monday.

#GoBrits!

DSP- Part 2: the other parts of my day

Yesterday, I talked about the Distinguished Scholars Program at Albion college in general terms, and today I wanted to talk more about the other sessions that I went to before my actual presentation. Here is yesterday’s post if you want to catch up.

 

First, I met with the Honors program correspondent. The honors building is by far my favorite building on campus so far…besides maybe the stables;) It is a small, old building. Right inside the door is the honors classroom: wood, big board room table, chalk board, radiators, etc. Then the stairs (an old narrow rickety set of winding stairs) lead up to the two offices and little sitting area. It was cozy and quaint AND they have a resident dog. What could get much better than that??

I learned a lot about the honors program. Every honors student (a group of select students are chosen based on their honors application each year) are required to take 4 honors classes, and complete an honors thesis. The classes sound amazing. The professors generally don’t give exams or homework (how great is that?!) because the class is purely discussion and reading based. These classes count towards graduation which means that they aren’t extra classes that are taking time away from classes that “count”. For the thesis, students can do it on anything even if it’s not within their major. They typically spend junior and senior year working on the research and writing their final copy. One student did a 10 page math proof, and another even wrote a 500 page novel. In fact, one student actually wrote hers on how a college would benefit from having an equestrian program. Guess what?? A wealthy lady read it and funded it! So that student now is the founder and director of Albion’s equestrian center!! Honors just has a lot of opportunities for students. For instance, they have a special study abroad program in Scotland (I have always wanted to go there). Honors students can apply and if they get accepted, they study at the University of Edinburgh for a semester and earn credit for Albion. They have the opportunity to study with other international students and travel Europe. How amazing does that sound??

This past week, I got my acceptance letter to the honors program, I’m in!

 

Okay, next I met with the director for the Gerstacker Institute. Albion has these different institutes which are technically concentrations–less work than a major but more work than a minor. The Gerstacker is the business institute. Business and non-business majors can participate. They require certain classes, an internship, and even a summer of summer classes specific to Gerstacker students. They emphasize leadership skills, team work, and professional development. They give students a lot of opportunities to network and strengthen their resumes. There is a lot I could say about it, but that’s basically Gerstacker in a nutshell:) At the end of the (very) informal interview, she actually offered me admission (which, again, I had to apply specially for)!!

And finally, I went to a group session for the Institute for Healthcare Professions. This is, again, a concentration and I had to apply for it. The director ran the session and she was actually one of the leaders of Camp Med. She immediately said hi and hugged me when I walked in:) She made me feel so happy and welcome! I learned a lot about the institute–it is an amazing support system and guidance for pre med and medical school applications. From required volunteering to mock interviews and healthcare centered classes to helping with the actual application. And early this past week I received my admissions letter for that as well!

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I am beyond excited for all of the opportunities that I have through these different programs. Friday, I’ll talk about my final college decision…if you couldn’t tell already:)

 

 

 

Distinguished Honors Program- Part 1

Hi all:)

Last weekend I made the trip with my momma to Albion College in Michigan. I went up there to compete in their Distinguished Honors Program (DSP). You can read more about it by following the link, but basically I was invited up there to present on a topic of my choosing for 15 minutes in front of a couple faculty members. The faculty then had 15 minutes to ask me questions about my presentation, why I chose the topic I did, and other questions about me personally (present and future plans).

I chose to present on SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). I talked about the historical significance of SIDS, the official definition, common factors and precautions, first responders, how it affects parents, and why I chose to present on this.

I was SO nervous. I was sick to my stomach and dizzy and had a dry mouth leading up to my presentation, but I had to sit through several sessions and an informal interview before I could present. It was a long day of waiting:)

When I first got invited to participate, I absolutely did not want to do it. I didn’t want to speak in front of professors and I didn’t want to take that much time to prepare for it. I am glad that I did it though. I had so much fun that day during the other sessions and especially during my presentation.

I was competing for a full tuition scholarship. Sadly, I just found out today that I didn’t win the scholarship, but I did receive a money voucher called an “experience voucher” that I can use on studying abroad, conferences, and other Albion related expenses that aren’t necessarily a college expense. I wish that I had won, but it’s okay, I had fun doing it and that day was important.

I have more to say, but I decided to break it up into three different posts. SO, I’ll talk more about those sessions that I went to later this week! Happy Monday, friends:)

 

Model UN 2017

Good Saturday evening!

Last weekend, I had my Model UN convention. I think I said this, but I represented the Kingdom of Norway on the Committee on Narcotic Drugs. Last year, I was Spain on the Simulation Security Council. I wrote a post with some tips for Model UN delegates then too!

This year was just as amazing, if not more. We had 5 delegates on our team this year. There was only one other person, besides me, who had gone last year which means the other three were kind of lost for the first little bit. But, I have to be honest, I felt way out of my league too! The other delegates just knew so much and knew how to talk and write the position papers and negotiate.

I was able to actually write several clauses in a few papers, which was something I hadn’t done last year, so I was proud of that. But if I do it again, I know that I will research my country better. For example…I had been working on this one paper (in support of  the decriminalization of certain drugs, mainly for the decriminalization of women and girls who were forced into the drug trade through drug trafficking.) After about five hours of work on it, I was researching Norway’s views on a particular law, and realized that Norway wasn’t exactly in support of most of the paper…I had just thought that they were. I went with it, and made sure that I got some of our policy in there, but it wasn’t a very good feeling! Long story short, I’ll do better next time.

Clothes wise… I wore the same thing as last year:)

And we took our “traditional” (if it can be called that after only a few years) picture in front of the water wall.

 

That one is really blurry though…

So that’s it! I have another week of school ahead of me:)