College: Spring Term

I know I already posted tonight but I’m going out of town for two days starting tomorrow and so I wanted to get ahead (as if that makes up for my lack of posting for a WHOLE YEAR)!

Spring Term was all sorts of wonderful.  I stayed close with Tay, Adam, and AJ and continued to cultivate my friendship with Dominique next door.  We spend so many nights in Tay and my room just laughing and being silly.  She’s really someone that I’m glad I got to know.  Maintaining friendships was something that came as more difficult for me than I anticipated.  I had a huge falling out with my best friend from all the way back n sophomore year of high school in the beginning of Winter Term, and we took some time apart from each other to do a little bit of growing on our own (thankfully we have since made up and really are closer than ever, something that I am more grateful for than I think even she knows).  It was hard for me to find my footing apart from her and my other high school best friend who was at the University of Iowa, balancing her hated for her school as well as her long distance relationship.  I felt alone for a little while, and then realized that I have so many people who love me and want the best for me, so I promptly stopped feeling sorry for myself and embraced the ability that I was given to find myself – and I think I didn’t do too badly of a job.

In addition to cultivating my friendships, I added a second major!!! I KNOW, look at me go! At the beginning of the term, I decided to add radio to my class list and began to DJ for two hours every Friday night and Saturday morning.  Almost immediately, I was hooked.  (Thanks, Adam)!  Instead of keeping it as a hobby, I decided to pursue it further and am really pleased with the options that are open to me.  As a double major in poly sci and broadcast communications, I have such a wide variety of potential career paths and internships available to me, plus my background in theatre has given me a confidence that many of my peers don’t possess immediately when they’re thrown on air.  Admittedly, I still get MAD butterflies when the “ON AIR” sign flashes red, but the rush of pride I get when listeners call in to tell me they enjoy what I have to say is so immense that I’ll take the butterflies anytime.  Also, it’s so fun to listen to my mom brag to everyone (literally everyone) that her daughter has a radio show.  It makes me happy knowing that she’s proud of me.

Despite some drama involving someone my friend group used to hang out with, Spring Term was mostly smooth sailing.  I worked hard on my grades and buckled down in Sonata.  I was elected as the Social Media Consultant on the Exec Board for the 2016-17 school year and I was so incredibly proud of myself 🙂  It’s still a huge high point in my life. Ed and I found ourselves arguing more and more, however, and almost called it quits a few times.  It got to the point where I think I was holding onto something that wasn’t there anymore – this is certainly not to say that he didn’t love me anymore or that I didn’t love him.  I had more love in my heart for him than I knew possible; he was just evolving into someone that I didn’t know.  In all fairness, I have changed too.  But where I think that my change is for the better, I wasn’t always so confident with his.  We fought about important things and stupid things just the same, and it was taking a toll on me and everyone around me.  I have my mom and Taylor to thank for keeping me sane in those few weeks of crazy emotions…I don’t know what I would have done if they hadn’t stepped up and held me up when all I so badly wanted was to admit defeat and let my sadness overtake me.  I began to think for myself and make decisions that I was proud of.  This isn’t to say that I wasn’t proud of myself before, but I began to take control and not let him manipulate things like when I was finished hanging out with my friends so he could pick me up, or how long I could hang out with Adam for until it got uncomfortable (which is never, ever did).

Spring Term were some of the most emotionally taxing 10 weeks I’ve ever been through, but they were for sure my favorite 10 weeks of college thus far.  I got home from school on June 8th and not two hours later I was dying to go back.

I suppose that this really belongs in a summer entry, but I’ll include it because it had been a long time coming.  On June 10th, I ended Ed and I’s relationship, 12 days before our 1.5 year anniversary.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, without a doubt.  Essentially, I wasn’t confident that the man he was when I broke up with him was one that I wanted to or could spend the rest of my life with; he was worlds different from the man I fell in love with.  And I did still love him when we ended things, and I think a part of me will always love him.  He was my first great love; but that’s the thing.  I want to have many great loves and while I could see a future with Ed, I think at this point I’m too young to settle down without even trying to explore what’s out there!  It has been some of the most emotional days and weeks since the breakup, and I think I’ve been all over the emotion spectrum.  I’m so thankful for my wonderful friends and family who put up with my incessant tears after the initial break up…it felt like I didn’t stop crying for three days.  No one ever got mad or fed up with me though, and I really am blessed to have such a wonderful support system.  Every piece of advice I’ve gotten since the break up is just that I did the right thing, I’m in for a wonderful experience, and that I’m supported.  One of the women I babysit for, a close friend of my mom’s for 3 years or so, told me “be proud of yourself for being brave,” and that brought me to tears.  Since then, that’s been something that I’ve tried to remember when things get hard and I think I’ve made a horrible mistake.  So far, it’s been a different road than I anticipated taking maybe 6 months ago, but it has been a road full of opportunity and experience, and for that I am grateful.

I think I’ll make a separate blog post about how the break up went and how I’m doing almost 2 months since I’ve seen him, but right now I’m absolutely cashed.  Thanks for letting me ramble, and I’ll see y’all in a few short days!

xoxo

FB_IMG_1459733416781

Dominique, Taylor, and I cheering Tay on at her cheer showcase!

Snapchat-8200684335163172270

Adam visited me & chatted on my radio show one Friday night – I didn’t stop laughing the whole evening. 🙂

IMG119047131

Sonata Problem at NIU, opening for the Huskie Hunks.  We sang a 3 piece set and made so many lovely friends that night!

Screenshot_2016-05-07-00-08-07

For Taylor’s 19th birthday, our dysfunctional friend group went to the Riverwalk at 11 pm and WADED in the ice cold water as the clock hit midnight…gotta ring it in big for Tay’s last teenage year!

20160521_174921_HDR

The winsome threesome at Springfest.  We didn’t know it then, but we have plans to hang those license plates up in our dorm room this year 🙂

20160522_150854_HDR~2~2

Me, Noah, and Ed at the Morton Arboretum one Sunday afternoon.  This was probably the Last Good Day, although we didn’t know it then.  I look disgusting in the picture but it makes my heart happy.  Ed and I took pictures of just the two of us but this one is my favorite because Noah was begging to get in the picture, and as soon as Ed’s mom took the camera and started snapping, he was distracted by the frog statues.  Kids, man. 😉

20160527_180521~2

My lovely lovely friend Haley, who is going through Sonata with me as a first year as well.  So grateful for her talented self!

Advertisements

College: Winter Term

Woohoo!  I’m keeping up to speed with the updating, even if it is almost tomorrow.  Did that make sense?  Cuz it’s so late?  Man I hope I’m not this awkward on the radio…that wouldn’t make for much of a career.

Thanks for the positive feedback and thoughts on my previous post!  It’s lovely to hear from y’all even if I’ve been away for awhile.  Winter Term at NCC was the term that snuck up on me and sped by; I blinked and it was already week 8!!  In a way, it was a blessing.  The new year proved to be a bigger challenge than I was expecting it to.  I started Winter Term as an education major enrolled in an Intro to Teaching class.  At the end of the first week of classes, I knew that I had to get out of there quickly.  I didn’t know what my calling was, but I knew that I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher.   I have the utmost respect to everyone who pursues education, because I didn’t have it in me.  Week 4, I had so many meetings with different advisors and professors, who all wanted what was best for me.  With that being said, I withdrew from my education class, dropped the major, and switched to political science.  I’ve always been fascinated with the law and politics, so this seemed to be where I’d be best at home.  As soon as I officially switched majors, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

I faced an unexpected challenge during Winter Term; I’ve always enjoyed the warm months and even into fall because everything is beautiful.  However, after Christmas, New Year’s, and even Valentines Day I get a touch of seasonal depression; nothing serious, but enough to make me dreary and not want to get out of bed some mornings.  It came at an unfortunate time and hit me unexpectedly…I was finally falling into a good crowd at school and figuring out schooling and where I wanted to end up in the future, but something was off internally.  To top things off, Ed and I hit a few rough patches through those 10 weeks.  Valentines Day came and went and, being a hopeless romantic, I was really looking forward to spending the weekend with him.  Our first Vday was perfect; we packed a picnic and went body sledding on a frozen hill by my house, where I used to play as a child.  It was really picturesque and wonderful and so new – I had thought he was going to say the long awaited “L WORD” on Vday but ended up being a bit too nervous and unsure of how I was feeling (HAHA).  But, I digress.

Ed had decided to take the semester off of school to focus on getting a full time job as his child support was increasing as Noah got older, so even though he was looking for a full time job, he was still only getting 14-20 hours at his current job, which isn’t enough to support Noah, himself, and his girlfriend on Vday so we laid low and made cookies on the 13th, and went to his sister’s voice showcase the next day with his whole family.  It was a nice weekend, but I felt like he passed by relatively unscathed.  It seems incredibly superficial, but I don’t think he wished me a happy Vday the whole weekend, which makes me a little sad.  It sparked a huge fight between the two of us but we eventually patched the hole and moved on.

A big blessing that I got during Winter Term was finding my close friends.  Taylor and  I became close with two boys our age on the football team, Adam and AJ.  The boys weren’t roommates but lived on the same floor as each other, and Tay and I grew close with many of the boys on Seager 2; however, she and I both say that Adam and AJ are our favorites.  We are still close to this day and I consider them two of my very best friends.  We’re actually all in the same residence hall on the same floor (!!!!) this year, and I can’t wait to have practically all my best friends living in such close proximity.

I know Winter Term was a little on the lame side, but it honestly was such a blur and went by so quickly.

OH!  I ALMOST FORGOT!!!  For Christmas, my parents surprised me with two meet & greet passes to my FAVORITE artist Ron Pope’s show in Chicago on February 26th.  Initially I was going to bring Ed but decided to go with his little sister Maggie instead.  We had the most amazing night and Ron Pope sang my favorite songs, gave me three hugs, and absolutely positively made me fall in love with his music all over again.  That was the third time I have gotten the privilege of seeing him perform live and it never gets old.  I’ll be showing my children his music one day.

Alas, I’m losing motivation for this one.  All in all, Winter Term was a good one.  I’d give it a 7/10 – and that’s with the gross weather!

xoxo

IMG_4251

My roommate/best friend/partner in crime was being a SASSY bitch and took SO many sleeping Rachel pictures during Winter Term.

IMG_4374

Taylor, AJ, Adam, and I at the Brunswick Zone near school.  This was one of the first nights we all hung out (not pictured are all of our other guy friends lol) and it was a BLAST!

IMG_4397

Sonata killin’ it at Clash of the Sequins Showchoir Competition – 2.13.2016

IMG_4399

The only picture we took on Valentines Day, and it was actually the night before.

IMG_4502

Mags and I waiting for Ron Pope! We were actually the front of the line and were FREEZING by the time we got in.  Ron actually walked past us a few times and said “can’t wait to see you in there!” and I nearly passed out.

IMG_4501

AHHH!!!  RON FREAKING POPE!!!!  I still get butterflies when I think about this moment.  PSA: He’s a really good hugger.

1457221510900

Awwww my lil fam.  This was the day after the RP concert and even though I had a huge helping of Post Concert Depression, they helped make it better.  (Adam, AJ, Me Tay).

College: Fall Term

Alriiigghhhtttt…since I have so much to update you all on (and by “you all” I mean the 4 people who used to read my entries), I’m going to break it into sections.  I’ll start with each of my 3 terms of freshman year and then work outwards to social life, relationships, etc.  Sound good?  Good.

Moving in was a day with so many emotions.  Mostly, it was bittersweet.  I remember standing in the middle of my empty bedroom, the place where I have spent the majority of my life for the past 11 years, and just being baffled that even though I was moving out it still looked remotely the same.  Like, isn’t everything supposed to be wildly different once you move out?  For me, I was shocked at how much it still looked like my room.  In a way, it was comforting because I knew that I could come back home and have it still be home.

There were a lot of tears when I said goodbye to my family; they helped me unpack and get my side of the room ready for when my roommate finally arrived (I moved in a week early for a theatre camp in downtown Chicago), we sat and suffered in the heat for three hours because the air conditioning in my building was apparently not turned on yet, and then we ate hotdogs and tried to socialize with all the other camp participants and their parents.  Eventually, I had to go to the opening ceremony for my camp and it was time to say goodbye to my family for the first time in my whole 18 years.  (I should note that I’m getting anxious and choked up just thinking about this moment).  I walked my parents and little brother (who is 16 and towers over me at 6’0) to my dad’s car, and that’s when we pretty much fell apart.  I don’t remember who I said goodbye to first.  I think it was my brother Michael, who laid his head down on my shoulder and shook with tears.  We have a pretty close relationship now as we are growing older, but hadn’t particularly gotten along always growing up.  However, his raw emotion is something that I felt so strongly and since then, I have a new appreciation for my brother who is fixated on making sure his hair falls nicely and gives me crap about literally everything I do.  Up next was my dad, who gave me a hug, let me cry on his shoulder, and tearfully told me that he would text me so we could get lunch soon.  I have seen my father cry a handful of times in my life; twice when his older brother and father passed away, twice when we put our dogs down, and once when my aunt passed away.  I can add the day he moved me in to NCC as one of those days and I was not expecting it.  Like Michael, my dad’s emotion rocked me.

I knew saying goodbye to my mom was going to be the hardest thing for me – over the past four years we have grown closer than I could have ever hoped and ever thought I wanted.  She is my best friend (I know I’ve mentioned this before).  I clung to my mom as though it was going to be the last time I saw her ever (even though I only go to school 20 minutes away from my house).  She told me to be strong and that she was proud of me and of course, to call and text her whenever I needed/wanted to.  She was so strong, and I could see through her tears that she really was proud of me.  Everything I do, I do it for my family.  They are my biggest support system and I could do nothing without them.

I went to theatre camp and it ended up being a little bit of a bust – mostly it was an awkward weekend spent with people I didn’t know, competing to impress the theatre department chair.  I look back on that weekend and I think that’s when I started to become more unhinged from theatre.  It was a gradual process but doing that camp definitely set it off.  I did meet a really great friend, though!  Elizabeth and I got each other through that weekend and although we aren’t as close anymore, she was my first friend at NCC and I have a special place in my heart for her.

Honestly, first term was such a blur.  There is, of course, the awkward stage of getting to know your roommate, balancing social lives with academia, trying not to get lost on campus or in the buildings, accidentally sleeping through your 9 AM finite mathematics class, getting sick the first time away from home, inevitable homesickness, and getting used to the craziness that is college.  Not all of it was bad, though!  I met so many amazing friends and have a lot of crazy memories with my roommate Taylor from first term (ones that we do NOT expel to just the average reader).  Something that I struggled with a lot that I didn’t expect was balancing school friends with Ed, my boyfriend at the time (more on that in a separate post).  While Taylor didn’t mind him hanging out in our room or being on campus with us occasionally, I didn’t particularly enjoy mixing the two groups of people in my life.  At the time, I didn’t understand why; however, I think looking back, I liked the fact that I had a life separate from Ed and wanted to maintain that for as long as I could before I had to be back in a twosome.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved hanging out with Ed.  It was just harder to balance the two than I thought it would be.

A huge blessing in my life came to me the second week of freshman year, on September 22nd to be exact (I remember because it was Ed and I’s 9 mo anniversary).  I auditioned for a coed a cappella group on campus.  At this point, I had no idea about collegiate a cappella other than what they show in Pitch Perfect.  I went into the audition mildly terrified but also very excited – essentially they had us sight read a verse and a chorus of Pompeii by Bastille and sing, individually, a verse and a chorus of a song of our choosing.  I decided, haphazardly, to sing Sun by Sleeping at Last.  Nervous doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling but as soon as I got onto that stage and started the song, I felt good – like it was destined that I was supposed to be singing one of my favorite songs for a bunch of random strangers.  By the grace of God, I was selected from 60 people to be 1/8 new members of Sonata Problem.  I don’t know how to describe how amazing they are, but I love each and every one of them, past and present.  But more on them later!!!

First term of my freshman year of college (so weird, still) was a whirlwind of activity and emotion packed into 10 short weeks.  There were times when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and scream; other times, I felt like I could conquer anything and everything, and dared anyone to tell me otherwise.  It was probably my least favorite term this year, but in retrospect I don’t think that’s fair to say because I wouldn’t change any of it – every single thing that happened in those 10 weeks made me into the person/student/friend/daughter I am today!  And that’s pretty darn cool.

I know this wasn’t a super in-depth rehash of first term but it’s honestly a little foggy.  I told the important parts, but mostly it’s important for anyone who is gearing up for their first (or second, third, or fourth) year at school to remember that even when your world feels like it’s crashing down onto you or you’re holding your 16 year old brother by the shoulders and telling him that all he has to do is drive 20 minutes to see you, college is such an incredible experience and to get ready for the best 4 years of your life (so far)!  All the struggle, stress, anxiety, money, exams, cram sessions, all-nighters, everything is so freaking worth it.

That’s all I’ve got tonight.  I’ll be back tomorrow to rehash my second term (and maybe my third if you’re lucky)!  For now, I’m going to listen to sad music from the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack because sometimes, it’s what you need.

xoxo

IMG_3278Elizabeth and I on our second-to-last-day at Theatre Camp, at Navy Pier in downtown ChicagoIMG_3616

I love this picture…it’s me, my roommate Taylor, and our next-door neighbor Dominique. This was taken in November and little did we know, in a matter of months we would all be best friends and would be rooming together in the fall of 2016!

IMG_3669

SONATA PROBLEM at our first gig!  Well…a tiny fraction of us.  But still!  We are here!!

IMG_3966

IMG_3970

The above two are Ed and I on our one-year anniversary.  We went ice skating and just spent time together at his house, coincidentally getting each other the same gift of scrapbooks and photo albums (because I love scrapbooking and he knew how much I loved pictures).  This was probably my favorite day spent with him.

12419187_1241130775901139_6260777130784743902_o

Starting off 2016 the right way!