My New Years Resolutions

My New Years Resolutions

Taking 2017 and making 2018 ten times better
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New year, new resolutions right? Making a list of New Year's resolutions may seem silly and tedious, but I actually think they're very valuable things to have. It's a great way to get a head start on what you want to say the year was like come December.

This time around, I sat down and really thought about my 2017. What about it was good and I want to continue? What about it do I want to improve in 2018? I truly believe this could be my year and it can be yours too. Here are 18 resolutions I have for 2018. Feel free to take a read and base my personal experiences on what you want to do for your 2018.

1. Travel more

This is probably one of my biggest goals for 2018. If you know me, I am always craving for adventure. From traveling to new countries to wanting to try new places in town, I am always looking to see what the world has to offer. Last year, I had the chance to travel quite a lot and I would love to travel just that much or even more.

When I studied abroad in Italy last summer, it really opened my eyes to the world. I saw so many incredible things and experienced life-changing events. It's only deepened my crave to travel even more and taught me proper travel techniques that I will need if I wish to travel even more. I want to travel to new cities, new states, new countries, new continents, everything.

2. Form more/closer relationships

I can't even begin to describe to you my personality. If you know me you know that I'm incredibly shy, but if you really know me you also know that I'm a huge people person. It's weird. I have many friends and close relationships because of how much of a people person I am.

But I also take longer to form these bonds because of that initial shyness. However, as I've gotten older, I've started to realize that maybe it's not necessarily shyness that gets in the way but rather it's turned into my insecurity that turns me away from forming that close bond faster.

I am always wanting to make more friends and deepen existing ones, but I always convince myself people don't like me as much as others or sometimes at all. This year I want to push those negative thoughts aside and just put myself out there to start forming friends/closer relationships.

3. Stop procrastinating (or at least less procrastinating)

All throughout life I was quite good at not procrastinating. I was always one step ahead. Then college happened. I've never been as involved and busy in my life till college which is what I think triggered the procrastination. I probably don't procrastinate as bad as I think I do, but when I'm so used to this one step ahead idea it makes me think I'm not doing enough. This year I want to learn how to balance not procrastinating and being one step ahead.

4. Respond to people

I have this horrible habit of not automatically reading notifications I get from my phone. I don't have read receipts on and the red numbers that rack up next to apps don't seem to phase me. This year I want to be more on top of it. Feel free to nag me till I respond.

5. Improve my style

All the time I am getting compliments on my style which is very flattering and I appreciate very much. But deep down, some days I actually don't like my style. Sometimes I think its too girly and involves way too many flowers. This year I would like to explore multiple different styles and wear what I feel makes me feel the most confident.

6. Take more photos

If you know me, I love taking photos. I'm always the one suggesting we take photos or you can always catch me taking photos of events. Surprisingly enough, I'm still convinced I don't have enough photos. I want to take more small pictures, capturing the little but important things.

7. Learn more music

Every music majors goal, right? Especially this music major. I just really want to expand my repertoire. For my career but also just for the love of music.

8. Focus on self-love

I'm constantly putting myself down or blaming myself for all the bad parts of life. No more. Sometimes you just need to be your own personal cheerleader.

9. Less focus on weight

Every year the goal is to always lose more weight. Although I want to stay healthy and at least maintain my weight, I'm tired of constantly pushing myself to do whatever it takes to lose weight. Sometimes it's even unhealthy to do so. I want to be confident in the body God gave me and if I'm really falling off the edge then I will push to be better, but for now I just want to appreciate what I have.

10. Attempt to be less overdramatic

If you know me, I'm probably one of the most dramatic people you know. Sorry about that, working on it!

11. Prove my worth

2017 was quite the year for ups and downs. There were times where I shined, but also times where I failed. Everyone makes mistakes. It's going to happen. But no longer am I letting my mistakes define me. I deserve better and I am much better than that. This year I want to prove my worth in multiple areas. Watch out world.

12. Learn how to do makeup better

There are so many people out there that learned how to do makeup from constantly watching YouTube videos and being truly dedicated to mastering makeup from a young age. I've never had that desire till now. I've always liked makeup, but figured I was doing good enough on my own.

I was never really taught how to do makeup. I started doing theatre and just learned from watching the other kids who knew what they were doing. This year I want to learn better techniques and get proper makeup.

13. Worry less about what other people think about me

Resolutions 13 and 14 are pretty much the same but so important. These two are vey big reasons why I am so insecure about myself. This year I just want to be myself and love what I am and have to offer.

14. Stop comparing myself to others

15. Accept defeat

Like I've said, 2017 was full of many ups and downs. I made some mistakes and sometimes you just need to own those mistakes and become a better person from those mistakes.

16. Stand up for myself

Although there are instances where you need to accept defeat, you also need to know when you are being played. I am always seen as the small guy or the nice guy. No more. I'm tired of letting people play with me because they think I'm too soft to do anything about it. This year I am going to stand up for myself more.

17. Do more small things with friends

College just gives us this culture that you should always be doing homework or you should be incredibly involved in clubs or you should always be going to a party on the weekends. But what about little things like getting coffee with friends or going out to a movie? This year I want to do all these things but in moderation.

18. Prepare for the future

It is crazy to think that 2018 is the year that I am going to start my senior year of college. It's so exciting yet terrifying at the same time. I want to focus on preparing for my future and what exactly I want to do after I graduate.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=183890&picture=travel-background

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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5 Reasons It's Always Worth It To Be A Summer Camp Counselor

Summer camps have a special place in my heart, and I'm here to share that with you.

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Since I was 15, I have been a counselor at various summer camps. I have been a Program Aide at Girl Scout camp, a counselor at church camp, and a counselor at a day camp. These were all camps that I attended as a kid, so they already had a special place in my heart when I got a chance to work at them.

After being a camp counselor for five years, there are things that I have learned on the job that has helped me in life. Being a counselor has also helped me grow as a person. It's helped me gain skills that I don't think I would have learned in other jobs. I'm here to share what I love about the job of being a camp counselor.

1. You get to be the leader/role model

As a kid, there were many counselors in my life that I looked up to. They were people that I strived to be alike in my life, but now that I'm older, I get to be that person for the kid. What I say and do will influence how the kids around me act. That comes with a lot of stress, but it's also empowering. You can be a positive influence in a kids life, and hopefully, teach them important life lessons.

2. You can be your goofy self

One thing that I love about working with kids is that I can be silly around them. Kids won't judge you for being silly because they're silly right alongside you. They feed off your energy, and it can help them explore the world around them through communication. Plus, when was it not fun to be silly?

3. You get to hang out with kids all day

This reason might turn people off from the job, but it's a part of why I love being a counselor. Hanging out with kids tires me out at times, but they also motivate me to keep going. They're little balls of energy, and I feed off of other people's energies well. The kids also help me feel youthful and like nothing matters. Everything is fun to them; they help me keep a positive outlook on life.

4. Your coworkers become your best friends

Working at a summer camp can be difficult at times. It's emotionally and physically draining as well. But having a good support team helps with that. The counselors that I have worked with in the past have become my best friends, and I still stay in touch with some. They're there for you when no one else is, and they understand what you're going through. You know that their feelings for you are genuine, and they want to help as much as they can.

5. You get to watch the kids grow

Over the summer, I get to see the same kids every week at my camp. I get to see them grow as people over the summer and it's a rewarding experience knowing that I was able to help them. Watching them become leaders and grow into little helpers by the end of the summer is one of my favorite things.

I'm excited to have the opportunity to work at a summer camp again this year. I know that it'll provide an opportunity to grow as a person and I can't wait to see my favorite kids again.

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