Today has been a full day of activities, classes, and practice, and it's not over yet! I woke up this morning to my cell phone playing the song "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran at 7 am, letting me know that it was time for the day to begin! I rolled out of bed fully aware of the days obligations consisting of class at 8 am, 9 am, noon, and 1 pm, my University Ambassador responsibilities at 2 pm, and then practice from 3 pm to 6 pm. It is on days like this that we find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of commitments we must follow through with. Dealing with stress is an important part of learning to function in the adult world. Here are some tips and tricks that I find useful on those days when I feel overwhelmed.
1. Take things one step at a time! - when you have a lot to accomplish, you must focus on one task at a time and do your best at that very moment. It is easy to let your focus slip onto panicking about how much you have to do. Instead, focus on what you are currently getting done.
2. Focus on the here and now. - if you have many responsibilities to take care of, they can distract you from the here and now. Stay focused and use those thoughts and energy for later projects to keep your motivation up and your motor running.
3. Feel fortunate to have so many opportunities! - it's easy to get down and have a negative attitude about everything that you have to do. You have the opportunity to become better in many different aspects of life! Be the positive light shining down on the situation. Attitude is everything. Keep a smile on your face. It will stimulate creativity and affect those around you in a positive way.
4. Plan some down time. - we are only able to stay focused and on task for so long. It is okay, even healthy, to schedule 20 minutes of down time to grab some coffee from the Owl's Nest and relax for a few minutes! Allowing yourself to decompress for a bit can help spur you on to a victorious day!
I seriously love all my design classes this semester. I am taking publication design, typography and intermediate graphic design. This puts me at nine credit hours of pure fun in the Mac lab per week. Of course I have other great classes that I am taking as well, including: Website Development, Interactive Web Communication, Gender Communication and Portfolio Development.
My favorite project out of all of my design classes is the Voluptuous Vera perfume and lipstick double page advertisement. I had a little bit of a designer block on this project; have you ever felt similar to that?
Basically, we were given a bunch of pictures to choose from to create this ad. There were many photographs of products, models and even double page ad examples. I was determined to use a specific picture and was working all of the elements around it. After a week of working and getting nowhere, I realized that I needed to step outside my box and try some of the many other options. (Note that I am still just stuck on the one advertisement, and I still had another one to do!)
After putting my personal feelings aside and letting the "creative juices" flow, I was able to create my first advertisement for Vera Wang lipstick.
Some fun facts about this advertisement are that I created every shade of lipstick on Photoshop, as well as changing the lip colors of the models themselves and I created the striped background from scratch.
The next step in completing my assignment was to create another double page advertisement, so then I was back to square one.
I kept an open mind and played around with the techniques I learned previously in class. The result of the Vera Wang perfume advertisement is my favorite out of the two. I changed the model's eye, eyebrow, lips and dress color, and blended her hair into the background for a sultrier look. Also, this model originally did not have any hair showing, for the image was of her lying horizontally on her side with her arm over her face. I rotated her and put another model with hair behind her to create this look.
I am having a lot of fun in my classes this year; I find reassurance every day that Communications and Graphic Design is definitely the path that I should be on with my career.
Could you imagine my advertisements in the folds of your favorite magazine? I always love feedback!
It has been quite chilly here at The Woods! One of the things I love about this campus is that we are small, so it doesn't take long to get to class even when it's cold outside. I can get all the way across campus in less than five minutes! Everything is close and the barns are located right next to campus, so we can walk there too.
This semester seems to be picking up speed. I'm getting used to my new schedule. Last semester I lived in the Cox Science and Language building, but now I have equestrian classes over at the barn, the communications class, along side my science courses.
I am branching out and taking a class in communications called Argumentation and Debate. It has been really fascinating so far. When I heard it was part of the honor's curriculum, I didn't think about it much, but I'm surprised at how much I enjoy it! It is very different from my typical science course load, and we get to talk about current issues and figure out the most effective way to create an argument in favor of one side. All of the bickering with my sisters growing up seems to have paid off... at least a little
Other than my riding class, I'm taking Stable Management and Practical Equine Anatomy and Conditioning in the Equestrian Department. I'm looking forward to the major projects in those classes.
For Stable Management we will design our own facility, whether it be a professional training barn or just a home stable. I think it will be fun to learn about all the different types of things you have to consider. We've started discussing the stall, and I cannot believe how many questions you have to ask in order to design a great stall!
In Practical Equine Anatomy and Conditioning, the major project is to design a conditioning program for a horse (one you own or one you want to own some day). We'll look at not just the actual exercises, but how to build up to a certain conditioning level. I'm excited to see which exercises condition which muscle groups of the horse, and also to learn what kind of diet is the most appropriate depending on age, discipline, and intended use.
Court Warming is coming up at The Woods! We will have events like Minute to Win it, writing letters to soldiers, and voting on the king and queen. The theme this year is Red White and Blue at WWU. I'm most excited for the campus party at Tucker, our dining hall, where they will serve All-American food! All of the events lead up to the basketball game on Saturday. It's a lot of fun because the whole campus really gets involved!
This semester is going by really fast! Here at the Woods we have less than twenty days of class, and Thanksgiving break will be here in two weeks. The weather just started getting colder, the trees are dropping the last of their leaves, and Walmart has put out their Christmas stuff. Everyone is experiencing the end of semester rush to finish up those semester long projects and take the last sets of tests before finals.
My classes are still going well. I'm towards the end of my last set of tests before finals which is crazy! I can't believe that it is already the middle of November and I'm going to be finished with this set of courses in just a few weeks. I enjoy my classes right now and I'm almost sad that they will be changing, but I'm hoping that my courses next semester are just as fun.
Psychology has gotten really interesting over the past few weeks. Right now we're talking about psychological disorders and the previous chapter was all about stress. While the disorders are not really "fun", it is interesting to learn about how many different kinds there are and what each one entails.
In Microbiology I'm learning all about viruses. They are very strange little things and they come in all shapes and do all sorts of different things in their hosts. We just took a test in Genetics on Monday and are between units at the moment. Last week in lab we isolated plasmid DNA, which is extra genetic material that gives bacteria cool little powers that aren't essential for living like antibiotic resistance or warfare chemicals. We finished up the plant research project a few weeks ago. I had normal plants (boring) but there were a few people who got mutants that will help Dr. Hesse with her research!
Organic Chemistry is quite the challenge, but surprisingly it is still interesting. We have done some cool separations and other techniques in lab. Earlier in the semester we actually identified what a particular compound was based on the temperature at which it melts! It is kind of cool that you can figure out what you have just based on one property. We also spent a few weeks isolating clove oil from whole cloves. We did a test to figure out how pure our extraction was using thin layer chromatography and UV light.
I am starting to get excited for Thanksgiving break. Some of the girls from my sorority are taking road trips to see their families as well, and a few of the people who live far away will tag a long and adopt a family for Thanksgiving if they don't want to travel all the way home. Because my grandparents live in St. Louis, my family is flying here from Colorado so we can all be together! My older sister will drive down from her school in Iowa to be with us as well. Over the break my younger sister will turn 16, and when she gets home she'll be able to get her driver's liscence (scary thought).
This weekend I'm going to the St. Louis Science Center with the Biology Club. I think I've gone before as a kid with my grandparents, but I don't really remember it. I'm excited to go see what's there now and hopefully do some exploring in the city!