How I Spent My Spring Break

How I Spent My Spring Break

"I learned that love isn't something that you 'just feel'. It's an active part of everyday life; a piece of me. "

I absolutely love nothing on Facebook more than logging on and seeing my friends having the time of their life. Especially this past week — spring break. People went everywhere! Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Miami, you name it! There was certainly not a lack of sunny pictures, cold drinks, and relaxed smiles all over my social media, and I couldn't stop looking at it. I even caught myself, mid-scroll, encouraging my friends with their adventures saying 'You go, Glen Coco' to myself. But here's what I did instead: nothing (that's a lie, I actually did things).

I am not bitter, nor jealous, at the fact that I went home and did a heaping pile of nothing. I worked for half of my break, then left the second I could to go home. I picked a few good books, packed my comfiest clothes (plus a cute outfit for going to the winery), and turned off everything. For the latter half of my break, I turned off my computer, muted all e-mails from my school, and sat around reading for most of the time. That's exactly what I needed though, a break.

My first night home was great. Driving there, that day had to be one of the most intense feelings of tired that I have ever felt in my life. I was groggy, cranky, and didn't even take my bags upstairs but rather slumped on the couch and read and slept until my parents came home from work that day (roughly 5 hours). My family then went out to dinner with a couple friends. We had great food, many laughs, and of course margaritas! It was then that I realized the sugar on the rim of my glass would still taste just as sweet by the ocean.

The second day, Friday, was almost identical to Thursday. I woke up, went to my grandparents house, whom I haven't seen in a long time, and then got lunch with an old friend - whom I also haven't seen in a long time. It was relaxing. I missed driving and taking the long way 'just because' and not being in a rush to go and do and go and do. I watched my grandmother administer medicine to my grandfather, and I talked to my friend about how life had been in the time we've been away. It was today that I learned what joy it is to not have to keep missing someone.

Saturday, the only day that I had specific plans for, was the day that my boyfriend, my friend, and her boyfriend all headed down to the winery that we had been talking about going to since January. We had so much fun - wine tasting, beer tasting, finger foods, sunshine, and smiles. I learned a couple things at the winery: laughing until it hurts is the best pain you can feel, and 'sharing' wine is a term to be used loosely. We then continued our night at a pizza place complete with dancing (yes, we forced the guys to dance).

The drive home that night was one of those back-road-let's-just-talk kind of drives. Brett, my boyfriend, and I were riding back (thanks for DD'ing) to my house, and I couldn't help but start a deep conversation. One of those conversations about life that it somehow feel so much better on a long night drive. I have struggled for years (more so in the recent years) with depression, and I've struggled practically my whole life with anxiety. I've never been one to open up about my struggles or what I'm going through, but I really am glad that I have found him. I learned this on the car ride home. I also learned that sometimes, to be loved the way that you want to be loved, you have to open yourself and be a little bit raw; to be loved, you have to be willing to let someone fill the spaces that you struggle to fill, and you have to admit to yourself that this can be a team effort ('we're a team, Brett').

I learned that love isn't something that you 'just feel'. It's an active part of everyday life; a piece of me. It's the hard times and the bad times, and it's talking in the middle of the long drive home about your struggles - because you want nothing more than for that person to be there for you through it, and you have no doubts that they want to be that person for you, too. It's like, the best sip of Riesling that you'll ever have or the best bite of pizza. It's like this big thing that you have finally found, and you don't want it any other way, even if some days aren't as good as other days.

(He was really proud to have these socks on)

My last day home, that Sunday, we had all of my family together. My mom cooked, which was delicious, as per usual, and everyone was happy. You see, we all kind of have our own struggles that we face. We all fall off the track sometimes, but I learned on Sunday that family, and the people you love being around you, can get you on that track, and they can fill those spaces quicker than anything else can. And I am glad that I got a chance to come home and feel whole again. That is something that a trip to the beach could never have given me. Happy spring break!

Cover Image Credit: Peyton Reynolds

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Keep Your Wellbeing On Track This Summer With These 5 Health Hacks

Don't waste your time off, use it!


Summertime is here, and for many of us, these three months of vacation mean more room for slacking off with our usual health routines. Between sleeping in through the morning gym alarm, and consuming too many tempting party foods and drinks, it is easy to fall into a euphoria of laziness and lose health as a top priority.

Here's the good news — believe it or not, summer is actually the easiest time of the year to get and stay in killer shape because of all of the extra time you have!

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.

1. Try using the five-to-two rule.

It's easy to forget the difference between weekdays and weekends during summer when every day feels the same. But sometimes it is actually helpful to be aware of what day of the week it is. Just like you would do in school, try to stay on track during weekdays. Wake up at a reasonable time, exercise, find ways to be productive throughout the day, and be conscious of eating healthy. This way when the weekend rolls around, if you choose to indulge in sleeping in, or going out and having a few extra drinks, it's more acceptable than choosing to do so every single night. You will feel more in control, and trust me, your body will thank you for the moderation.

2. Skip the junk food and embrace the fresh seasonal produce.

Summer is the season where all of the nutrient-dense fruits and veggies are in their prime season. Take advantage of this! Skip the fast food, and try cooking since you now cannot use the excuse that you don't have time! Go to the grocery to stock up on fresh produce. There is nothing better than homemade, healthy food, and with so much time on your hands why not try some fun new recipes? Cooking is actually really enjoyable and rewarding. Here are some of my favorite healthy summertime recipes that keep my body feeling fresh and energized.

Healthy green smoothie

Quinoa Salad

Chia Pudding

Salmon and Apple Kale Salad

3. If you're tired of the gym, try alternative forms of exercise. 

Whether it is hiking, kayaking, swimming, or playing a family game of kickball, summer presents you with many more fun active opportunities than the colder, rainier months of the year. Take advantage of that if you are getting bored or unmotivated sitting in a stuffy gym.

4. Build a new routine.

During the school year, we all fall into a fairly consistent routine. We have classes at the same time every week, we have responsibilities, deadlines, and all of those other things that may seem pesky but actually, serve in giving our lives some major structure. For many of us, that structure is much needed. When summer arrives and suddenly we don't have those obligations calling us to get up and be productive, we fall into a slump of doing nothing. That's when it is helpful to set a new routine. Our bodies like routine and regularity and the best part about a summer routine is that you set it how you like it.

How do I build a new routine? Decide on a general bed and wake up time, at least for weekdays. Choose which days of the week you will exercise and stick to them! Plan out your week at the beginning of the week. I like to keep a weekly calendar. Before the week begins I write down all of the things I would like to get done that week and place them on the days I plan to do them. You can even write down your plans with friends or social events.

5.. In general, spend time outside.

Did you know that spending time in the sunshine and fresh air actually has an impact on your health? Nature can boost our moods, make us feel more energized and productive. And everyone knows that a healthy mindset leads to a healthier life. The great thing about summer is that we have endless opportunities to be outside because of the close weather. You can really take almost any activity you want and move it outside. Even as I sit here writing this blog I am sitting outside on our beautiful porch looking out over a lake.

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