I Feel So Blessed

I Don't Always Think About How Lucky I Am, But I Don't Have Much To Complain About

I felt lucky when I had to leave places and people I love.

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If you sat me down and told me I'm lucky, I would believe you. I am lucky. I am in the 48th percentile. I don't base my luck on that, though. I am also a survivor of a brain tumor. I am a survivor of seizures. I am a survivor of a school shooting. I am a survivor of life.

I am lucky.

I felt lucky a few weeks ago when my test was actually in two days. I woke up in a panic because I remembered we had a test this week, but I couldn't remember what day. I ran into the Disability Services and asked if I had a test scheduled. I did not. I ran to my class, sweating, and asked a classmate if we had a test. "No," they said. "It's on Thursday."

I felt lucky last week when I barely missed being hit by a car. I was walking on the sidewalk five minutes before a car went racing down the street and popped the curb. I could've been right there when it happened. I don't know if my body would go into a fight or flight mode, but I can only hope it would.

I felt lucky three years ago when I was asked to lead junior high students. I surely didn't think I was qualified, but I have loved every moment of it. I have loved the hard stuff and the stuff that makes us dance! I still feel lucky about it. Someone saw potential in me to lead a group at camp and still saw potential in me to lead a small group during the school year. I'm lucky.

I felt lucky when I had to leave places and people I love. It hurt because I loved it all so much. I knew at that moment, I was lucky to have what I had. I was lucky to have people who poured into me at all times. I'll never stop thanking them for that.

I felt lucky when I got the last of my favorite cookie dough at the store. Sure, there was probably some in the back, but I didn't have to ask and I loved that! I felt lucky when I also went to the ice cream aisle and my all time favorite ice cream was still there. It's the little things.

My most recent "felt lucky" moment was sitting with friends. We talked about our plans for the future. Even though that is incredibly scary, it's good. We poured our dreams out on the table for the hundredth time. We encouraged each other in those dreams. I am beyond lucky to have friends who believe in my crazy dreams. Honestly, sometimes, I don't. I'm lucky.

I can only hope you feel a little bit of luck in your life. Whether it is something small and simple or grand. I hope you know life has treasures every day. We need to start seeing those treasures. Whether it is the sound of birds chirping again or talking to your favorite person, I hope you have a moment of luck and treasure in your everyday life.

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

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One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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You Don't Have To Love Your Freshman Year Of College

It wasn't the best year, but it certainly wasn't the worst.

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Everyone comes to college having the highest of expectations. All the movies about that first year of college when the characters go to the best parties, meet their best friends that they will have forever, and find the love of their life are so ingrained in our minds that it makes us expect these things automatically. And maybe you are one of the few that have encountered and crossed off all these things, but many don't.

Like most, I expected to have this picture perfect year. Spoiler alert: I didn't. I'm not saying that I didn't have a great year because it was pretty good, but it definitely didn't exceed my high expectations.

That's okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not having the best first year. After all, the environment that everyone is just thrown into is completely different from anything that anyone has ever experienced. It is very similar to a sleep-away camp but with the school part in the mix, it adds much more stress. Not only do you have to keep up with a very difficult workload, but you also have to maintain a social life, which is easily just as difficult as the school work.

College is nothing like high school. I was never one that struggled much with making friends because I am a talker. Whenever I run into someone I know, they usually expect to be talking to me for a while. Once you get me started, I don't stop. In high school, I always talked to the people around me. So much so, that sometimes I would get in trouble for it. The number of classes I didn't talk in, I can count on one hand.

In college, it's more difficult to do that. If you attend a smaller school with smaller classes, it's easier to make friends. But, I do not go to a small school nor do I take classes with less than 50 people in them. In these large lecture classes, I don't have time to be chatting it up with my neighbors. There's too much information that I have to learn and too many notes to be taken in 50 minutes that if I tune out for split second, I miss something important.

Instead of making many friends right away, it became more of a challenge to make them and keep them. After realizing that making friends became a new struggle, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was something that stressed me out more than school. I couldn't believe that I was having trouble making friends. Me, of all people! This new-found stress affected me big time, and it almost ruined my year. Suddenly, I began to question everything about myself. Then, I was reminded of something that is extremely important: it's not the quantity that matters, it's the quality.

Once the semester ended, posts flooded all of my social media feeds from people expressing how great of a freshman year they had and how they can't wait to go back. Seeing these posts upset me. Why didn't I feel the same way? What we all have to remember is that the ones who feel the same as I do don't post. They don't express their love for their freshman year because, well, why would they?

There are so many people out there that don't have the best freshman year and I want to remind them that there is nothing wrong with that. Things can only get better. My advice is to let everything happen the way it's supposed to. I know it's cheesy, but everything really does happen for a reason, so try your best to have as positive of an outlook as you can.

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