Four Reasons I Value Surprise

Four Reasons I Value Surprise

Mystery and anticipation trigger excitement in that single snapshot during the surprise.
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Imagine a time in your life someone surprised you. Surprises are a magical experience. When people surprise us with a gift, we feel important and supported. Our emotions instantly change when we suddenly become surprised. Keeping us on our toes, surprises force us to experience the unexpected.

Recently my best friend asked me, "Why surprises are special to me?" I had to stop and think of why surprises are so special to me. I came up with a list of four reasons below.

1) Freeze in time. Surprises catch you in the moment and force you to alter your emotions. I love the rush of the unexpected adventure you instantly anticipate once your brain recognizes what is going on. It is similar to an adrenaline rush. In that very moment, nothing else matters, but what you discovered. Surprises demand us to pay close attention and make us more aware of our surroundings. Our brains release dopamine when we are surprised which makes the experience better, and things seem grander. Mystery and anticipation trigger excitement in that single snapshot during the surprise.

2) Discovery. When you are surprised, you discover something about yourself but also about the other people involved. You begin to realize that if someone surprised you with a sweet card that they must care about you because they took their time out of their day to form the words on that paper and give it to you. When someone surprises you with a gift, you instantly feel important. As an education major, I am all about some learning. Surprises act as a catalyst to intensify a desire for learning. The idea of a surprise means that we did not know that such a thing existed and our mind begins to ponder various questions. An intense rush of emotions takes place. You begin to understand the care that person has for you, and you feel loved. Moreover, you feel overflowing appreciation for the people involved.

3) Shifting mind gears. Your brain works like the manual transmission in a car. You start the day off with the first gear, and then gradually throughout the day you alter your gears according to your drive. When I get a surprise, I quickly go from my current gear to the highest gear within seconds. You gain a new perspective once you receive an unexpected encounter. Thoughts of that person cross your mind, and you see a greater understanding of who that person is. If you were to think that all beaches were the same, and then you arrive at a beach that challenges your expectations. The change in your current state of mind allows you to shift perspectives and see that all beaches are different. We build a tolerance for the unexpected and that reduces anxiety in our lives.

4) Returning the favor. I love surprises because I can then share the experience with that person in return. We live in a big world that is constantly changing, so we have to embrace the uncertainty. Personally, I love the reward from living in the unexpected. I am a planner, and I love having control. Recently I have been reminded over and over again that I cannot control everything, and I cannot plan everything. I just have to live, and quite frankly my favorite memories take place when I have participated in unexpected in activities or gotten gifts that I did not anticipate. I love sharing that feeling with people. Sometimes you have to surprise yourself and take a spontaneous day trip somewhere. Furthermore, you could try something new. That feeling of "new" and out of your comfort zone is exhilarating. Why wouldn't you want to share that feeling with those closest to you or even with strangers? I am a letter writer, and I love hearing how surprised my sailor is when he receives a letter. At this point, he probably expects letters because I have sent him so many, but he does not know the words that will fill that paper. I love hearing his happy voice when he tells me he got a letter, and how much he appreciated. Those are the moments of surprise I live for.

I encourage you to live a little on the edge and with that you will be surprised. I also challenge you to surprise those around you. Stick a random note of kindness on someone's car, or send a relative you have not talked to in a while a gift. Surprises are something to live for. It sparks creativity and happiness. Go be bold!

P.S. To my best friend who asked me to write this article, I hope you enjoyed it. I love your surprises more than you will ever know. You manage to surprise me daily which is crazy, but it makes my heart so very full. I am thankful for your adventurous soul that pushes us outside of our comfort zones and forces us to live in a state of surprise. You have opened my mind to this idea, and at times, I hate it. I am by nature a person who clings to control and resists vulnerability along with uncertainty. However, when I am with you I am reminded that I only live one life and I might as well live it full of adventures because after all, the cure to dying is living. We have encountered some great memories that started out as, "I wonder..." and "What if...?" We actively turn on wonder and curiosity through that we feel the most alive. Thank you for sparking the inspiration for this content post. I know I am on this surprise kick right now, but this is no surprise- I love you. Continue to surprise the people who surround you and surprise yourself.



Cover Image Credit: Demi Agresta

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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12 Ways To Save Money During The Summer When All You Want Is To Spend It

Saving is important year round, but it's most important in the summer

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Over the summer, everyone normally has more free time than during the year, and that means more time to spend more money. Saving money over the summer is important, not only so you can be prepared to pay for things in the future, but also so you can enjoy your summer and no be stressed about how much money you've spent. Saving money is something that should happen year round, but it's especially important to do in the summer.

1. Create a budget

Starting the summer off on the right foot is super important to stay on track throughout the rest of the summer. A budget is something that you should have year round, but it's important to adjust it for your summer plans.

2. And stick to it

Not only do you have to make a budget, but you have to stick to it. If you don't follow your budget, you're wasting time and money, and it's hard to keep on top of finances.

3. Take advantage of student discounts

During the summer, college students find themselves with a lot more free time than in the school year. When you're planning what to do with your extra time, make sure to look if the place offers student discounts or not. Why pay full price when you don't have to?

4. Don't always go out to eat

College students tend to spend time with their friends going out for food or for drinks, and that adds up fast. If you have friends over to cook dinner, it can be healthier and cheaper to do.

5. Sublet

If you have an apartment you're not going to be staying in, or need to stay in Columbus, it's beneficial both ways to sublet. Neither way do you have to pay full price on an apartment, and any discount, no matter how small, saves you money

6. Take day trips

Obviously, no one wants to stay in one place the whole summer, but travel is super expensive. By going on day trips you get to see more of the state or city, but you don't have to pay for lodging overnight. It's a good way to get out without eating into your budget.

7. Walk around

Columbus has great parks and trails that not enough people think about using when they're planning what they want to do. If you walk around outside, you can spend as much time you want there and you don't have to pay anything.

8. Split costs with friend

Do both of you need a Hulu and a Netflix account? Why not share the costs and the passwords with each other, so that you both can save some extra cash in the future. This doesn't just have to be with streaming services, but it can apply to food and parking costs as well.

9. Don't impulsively buy big items

Maybe you've worked a ton recently to start saving for summer, or you have graduation money flowing in. You feel like it doesn't matter how much you spend, but it does. If you hold off on those purchases, and you save your money, you'll be in a better spot financially at the end of the summer.

10. Get a job

The obvious one. If you're doing an unpaid internship or your normal job isn't offering you many hours, then getting a second job where you can work to have a little more money can help you achieve your savings goal.

11. Don't be too hard on yourself

The hardest part of setting goals is when you don't achieve them. Even if you haven't saved exactly as much as you wanted, making even a small change can help your financial wellbeing and can be enough to make small changes in the future.

12. Don't force yourself to make big changes

Everyone's saving tips to Millennials are to stop getting coffee every single day from places like Starbucks. While cutting down on spending in these ways will greatly help you save money, it's not the only thing that will help. There's no reason to make yourself miserable in order to follow the rules of someone else for a small change financially.

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