Encouragement From A Fortune Cookie

Encouragement From A Fortune Cookie

These messages weren’t just coincidences, they honestly felt like guidance from God.

“Be patient, pleasant, and open, and you will see more truths.”

I’m not the type to believe cliché sayings written on sheets of paper slipped into little curved cookies, but college changed that. It may sound strange, but with having a Panda Express right next to my dorm building, I was exposed to the crispy treats more than usual. I feel that every time I get Chinese with friends, we would joke about what the secret message inside the cookie could reveal, and if it related to our lives in any way. I’d always wondered who thought of these phrases, and how many people really believed “today would be the day they would find success.”

With college’s rollercoaster of emotions, new experiences, and booked schedules, I found my fortunes to actually be encouraging when I needed them most. Usually I would laugh at the irony of the slip of paper, but mostly because I felt as if I thought myself into believing that the fortune somehow related to my life currently, like horoscopes. However, ever since coming to Springfield, the miniature quotes made me lean back in my chair and think, ‘hmm,’ and not toss them along with the rest of my trash. These messages weren’t just coincidences, they honestly felt like guidance from God.

“Choose your own path.”

A month or so into my first semester, I was taking in all of my new opportunities and trying to sort out my major/minor decisions. I had just attended a majors fair where I talked to different professors about my possibilities in English. I never really knew what I could do with my skills in English, and was interested to learn what was out there. I had occasionally been trash-talked for my adoration of the subject, but it was nice to hear otherwise from students who had gone through the same phase I was. Hours later, I walked out, arms full of informational fliers and a new perspective. On my way back to my dorm, I stopped by Panda Express to grab a late lunch, and snagged a fortune cookie on my way towards the door after picking up my food. Halfway through my meal, I noisily opened the plastic and cracked open the cookie. The paper scraped against the hard edge of the broken cookie unpleasantly, and it read: “Choose your own path.” Vague, but appropriate. My meal, up until that point, was full of my mind racing about all of the different options presented to me earlier. My stomach was fluttering. In that moment, I was in need of encouragement towards my decision of whether or not to include English in my future plans at Missouri State. So, I slept on my thoughts, and woke up to see the little paper sitting on my desk. The following day, I walked down the street into University Hall and declared my minor as Creative Writing.

“A great pleasure in life is doing what others say you can’t.”

My second motivating message came about a two months later, as time was nearing end-of-year finals. It was a time for me to really utilize my newly learned adult abilities and crack down on schoolwork for final grades. There were many times during those weeks before the final exams that I felt overloaded with stress, and predicted I was unable to achieve the letter-grade goal I set for myself. The self-doubt affected my attitude, perspective, work ethic, social engagements, and most importantly, my homework. However, this negativity dissolved with the quick realization from the little fortune cookie quote I received one afternoon. It read, “A great pleasure in life is doing what others say you can’t.” A sigh of relief emerged as a response, but also a satisfactory smile. Self-doubt can be so heavy on a person, both mentally and physically, and I was notorious for letting it get the best of me. The paper was a perfect reminder for me to fixate my thoughts on my goal, and not consume my thoughts with ideas of myself finishing unsuccessful. It was almost humorous how one little slip of paper had the ability to change my attitude towards many different aspects of my life. Small, yet impactful.

Who knew how encouraging fortune cookies could be?

Cover Image Credit: A.R.K. Images

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:

“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:


When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:

"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...


In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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