An Unexpected Visit

Last Saturday, I woke up at 6:30 AM – got dressed, ate a donut, and headed out into the crisp mountain air with my roommate to deliver a “package” to two people who I adore.

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Courtney’s dog and I as we prepare to head out!

Before I get into that – they say that life works in mysterious ways. Recently life has been knocking my soul around, showing me signs of divine guidance; This spiritual feeling of “angel guidance” was rekindled about two weeks ago, when a random idea spat out of my mouth to my roommate without even thinking:

“Can I go home with you this weekend?”

A question so simple, yet I have no idea where it had come from.

This past summer, my roommate Courtney and I started messaging each other through social media, realized we had enough in common and requested to room together.

As the first month of school unraveled, we also unraveled more and more similarities that sort of opened our eyes to how life works mysteriously – possibly guided by something spiritually.

Courtney is from a small town about 10 minutes from where my grandparents live, a place that a lot of people would respond – “I’ve never heard of it before”.

So, to us, the chances of her living so close to my grandparents was baffling. Every summer since we were little, we had been on the same exact fair grounds without even knowing it – I have even driven by her house numerous times.

So back to my question – those words slipped out of my mouth so fast and of course Courtney accepted without questioning it. As I sat and started to think, I got a feeling of utter happiness – I could completely surprise my grandparents this weekend.

Surprising my grandparents would be something I have never, ever done – since they live about four hours away from my hometown, it is hard to make time to see them (especially with my summer job I had this past year).

So, after our tennis practice on Friday night (yes, Courtney and I even play tennis together) we packed our bags and headed to her home. Some may say that going on a three-hour car ride, spending two nights sharing a bed, and meeting their family after only about a month of knowing them is odd – but honestly, it felt so natural.

As we braced the crisp Saturday morning to drop me off at my grandparents, I would have never expected the emotional and spiritual reaction I was about to face.

As I rang their door bell, hazelnut coffee grounds in hand for my mom mom (her favorite), I began to feel that overwhelming wholeness run through my body.

My pop pop opened the door, looked at me with open arms, and said “Is it really you?”, that overwhelming feeling hit me like a truck.

The feeling of love was so incredibly awesome as “happy” tears strolled down his face and he continued to embrace me in a bear hug (I have never seen my pop pop cry before).

The rest of the day was an absolute blast filled with a big breakfast, antique shopping, and going out to dinner including Courtney.

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A set of antiques I though looked pretty.

My love for my grandparents grew more than I thought was humanly possible.

And to think, this whole day of love and spiritual healing began with the random question that came out of my mouth – as if someone else was controlling my thoughts and actions.

Another spiritual and amazing symbolism I endured that week was when Courtney and I arrived home after a long tennis match away (before I visited my grandparents).

Outside of our dorm room, something big caught Courtney’s eye and that “something” was absolutely gorgeous.

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Dragonfly outside of our dorm room.

Right in front of me was the biggest dragonfly I have ever seen in my entire life. I was in complete shock and in that moment, I knew something BIG was about to change in my life. The dragonfly appearance also reaffirmed that I needed to go home with Courtney to see my grandparents.

Now, as I sit here and write this blog post, I believe that the “big change” has something to do with how I view family matters and my spirituality. I have already started digging deeper within myself and only expect more to come.

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My College Experience: First Month

Hello to all, I hope life has been treating you well these past few weeks since my last blog post!

I have been in college at Penn State Harrisburg for officially a whole month now and it has been the greatest experience of my life.

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Move-In Day!

In these past 4 weeks, I have learned more about myself as a student, athlete, and friend. I want to explain and share how these changes have influenced me thus far into my college career:

  • Academics 
    • College scheduling is a whole new world compared to high school. I have approximately two to three classes everyday, all spread out at different times. This method can seem a little hectic, but for studying purposes, it is amazing for me.
    • College professors teach at a faster pace than high school, which is a little challenging, but encourages me to stay more focused during lectures and to take the proper notes needed to help me study for exams/quizzes.
    • I have also learned to appreciate coffee so much more than I did already!
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      My Keurig set-up for quick coffee access for those sleepy mornings!
    • (Especially after I got pill-induced esophagitis for almost two weeks – where I had to avoid acid and caffeine!)
  •  Athletics
    • Collegiate tennis, like most college sports, is on a whole new level when compared to high school. The coaching is more strict and they expect more dedication and hard-work.
    • At my first college match, even though the team lost to Juaniata College overall, I won my first ever singles match in a tiebreaker (I have played doubles my whole life!). The feeling was unbelievable and I would relive it if I could.
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      My roommate Courtney (left), Me (center), and teammate Soorya (right) after I won my first ever college match
    • Being apart of a team within the first few weeks of college also helped me socially by gaining new friends who I see on a regular basis, whether it be at practice or a match.
  • Socially
    • If there is one thing that surprised me with going to college was: how social I had become when meeting new people and the confidence I had when introducing myself.
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      Went to a girl’s night with other freshman where we had pizza and painted nails
    • In my dorm, I have three roommates and I adore each one in their own way. We have gotten super close and comfortable with each other within only a short amount of time. It also helps that we have very similar backgrounds, even though we are from different towns and states.
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      My beautiful roommates Gaby, Courtney, Me, and Allison!

I wish to post more on my blog to keep my hobby going, after September my schedule should be less busy.

Thank you for stopping by and reading, I have a tennis match today at 4 P.M. against Immaculata University and must get ready to leave soon! 🙂

Comment below with any positive thoughts!! (it is appreciated)

I’m a College Student? (Part One)

Hello everyone! I am super excited to be sitting down and finally writing a blog post about this huge change in my life that occurred exactly one week ago from today.

Last Friday, I moved into my new home at Penn State Harrisburg. I was extremely excited, but totally nervous too.

It took about two hours to drive up, traffic was pretty heavy that morning, and those two hours seemed like forever.

While I was driving my thoughts raced,

What if I get super homesick this weekend?

What if my roommates don’t like me?

Turns out, I didn’t have to worry about a thing.

My family, along with my boyfriend and family-friend Sara, made the transition on Friday so, so easy. They helped with every little thing, making sure I was comfortable and prepared. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect move-in day (besides my room getting so hot), so thank you to them – I love you all.

My three roommates are so lovely, each one different in their own unique way and I love their personalities. We all opened up to each other within days and have formed a solid friendship that I hope doesn’t fade away.

I did not realize how fully supported and loved I was until I moved in on Friday. My family (and extended family) really helped the transition by all the encouragement I got via social media, texts, and calls.

Yes, it was bittersweet saying goodbye to my family as move-in day came to a close, but this change is needed to better my future. I was so reassured after the countless dragonflies I saw buzzing around campus as I moved in. (I kinda miss my family teasing me each time they see a dragonfly)

And to answer your question, yes, I have loved my first week of college.

However, no – (I know what you are thinking) not because of parties, drinking or sleeping in – I love college simply because I am independent.

I love the ability to make my own schedule and do what works best for me. I have chunks of time in-between classes to get homework done, so I am not swamped each night with tons of work. There are so many reasons why I feel so content and happy with college.

I want to write more about my first week of college, with more in-depth topics such as my classes, dorm life, and independence – just got to find the time and brain power!

Be sure to stop by soon for more posts. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Last Day of Work Thoughts

Today marks the official last day of work at the Town and Country Newspaper for me.

I rolled out of bed around 6:30 this morning, showered, did the usual makeup routine, and headed out the door.

I decided I wanted to do something nice for the people who welcomed me back to work alongside them for another summer.

I went to Dunkin Donuts and bought a dozen donuts to share with the office and I was happy.

Not happy that work was over for the summer, but happy due to where I am in life.

Last night, my mom stumbled across a book I made when I was only 9 years old and something I had written down in it struck me as simply “wow”.

Under the “About Me” title, I stated that when I grow up – I wanted to be an actress or journalist.

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“Journalist” in orange writing of the last line.

Since I was 9, I have wanted to be a freaking journalist and now I am one. (I also wanted to be an actress, but that dream died after joining my middle school play of Robin Hood in sixth grade!)

I wanted to be a journalist so bad when I was younger I created a newspaper for my neighborhood called “Wiztopia” and a classroom newspaper titled “Peeps Press”, which actually gained enough popularity that my principal allowed me to stay in during recess and create publications for the whole grade level.

In fourth grade, we held a “wax museum” where we chose from a list of notable people who were from Pennsylvania, dressed up as them, and gave biographical blurbs to parents and teachers as they walked by. And of course, I chose a famous journalist (who I am trying so hard to remember and find pictures of me dressed up as!)

In middle school, I was apart of the school newspaper, “Jefferson Street Journal”, which met after school.

In high school, I took a journalism/mass media class and wrote for the school newspaper edition called “Tribal Tribune”. I also landed an internship at the Town and Country Newspaper during my junior year (with the help of my favorite teacher – thanks Q!)

I never realized what a huge impact this passion had on my soul, it’s as if this is my destiny, and I didn’t quite understand until I walked in the office doors this morning holding a box of donuts for my coworkers.

I am happy, as well as, proud. 

A Trip Down Memory Lane

On Saturday night, my cousin and his girlfriend were heading to a concert in Camden and asked if I could watch their new puppy, Coco.

Of course I was delighted, a whole night of puppy time. However, I got an unexpected surprise out of the visit.

My cousin and his girlfriend recently moved in to my grandparent’s old house. A house that I once lived in too, (for approximately one summer and month going into 5th grade.)

My parents at the time thought it was a great idea, having a big yard and in-ground pool. After some time though, with our old house still on the market and rough period adjusting to new schools and community, we moved back.

And while I was walking Coco through the big backyard that cool Saturday night, nostalgia hit me.

I remembered vividly going down the edge of the property where the creek sat when I was a kid, finding “cool” rocks, pretending to be damsel in distress, and trying to lure the outside cat Misty to the water.

I remembered the sound of the lightly flowing creek that now sits patiently still among the fallen tree limbs and overgrown plants at its edge.

The aged volleyball net and tether ball game we use to play on hot summer days, gone. All five fury kittens that Misty had and I loved dearly, gone.

However, despite the waves of nostalgia, I felt content with Coco prancing by my side.

This house always made me feel content in some way, – this was the house that my mother and her siblings grew up in, it was a house of memories and love.

I had not realized how much this property had changed over the past seven years, for I had not realized how much I have changed these past seven years.

In that moment I felt as old as this house. I felt all the old memories, the laughter and joy, the egg hunt activities on Easter, the hot summer days spent lounging in the pool – I felt it all.

As I sit here writing this post, I have exactly eleven days until move in and my unexpected gift that I didn’t know I needed was this trip down memory lane, one last time.

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“What are your Demons?”

Publishing your inner thoughts for other eyes to examine, pick apart, or ridicule is simply gut wrenching. It’s an inevitable feeling of crippling anxiety entangled with endless unwanted thoughts. Clicking that blue “publish” button on the top right corner of the dimly lit screen is a moment of sincere dread. Turning in your fresh, vulnerable article to the editor is utterly daunting.

 

Am I going to be heard?

“Are my words going to be appreciated?”

“Are the ones who I love going to help raise me from this foundation or utterly make fun of me?”

“Do I want to put myself in this position of potentially ruining my self-esteem for my one true passion?”

 

These fears creep into my mind as I finish pounding words of thought and deep emotion into my keyboard.

“I am not enough”

“Why am I a journalist? I can’t compete with others”

“Everyone hates my blog anyways”

“No one cares about what I have to say so why even try?”

 

I feel the tension, the exasperation of family, friends, and coworkers who subtly hint at me that they don’t care about my words or thoughts.  

 

“People hate seeing my stuff online”

“Stop writing, you are just a nuisance”

 

But as I sit in this aged chair with rain drops starting to make it’s appearance on the glossy office window, I slowly understand the magic behind the challenge.

“I am more than a girl who is anxious”

“I am a journalist”

“I am a blogger”

“I am me”

 

And as the rain begins to fall harder against the glass, the budding flower outside must learn to understand how glorious it will become with time.

Tickled Tennis Thoughts

All four years of high school I have played a sport that I love and slowly, but surely, I moved up in position on my varsity tennis team to first doubles during my senior year.

Tennis season was always my favorite and as senior year came closer I considered playing in college.

I continuously jumped between thoughts of – “yes, I have to play” – and –“maybe not, maybe it will be too much for me” 

After I applied to a scholarship through my school, I was contacted by the Penn State Harrisburg tennis coach saying her husband saw on my resume that I played all four years of high school tennis and if I was interested in joining their team.

The coach and I talked on the phone for a good hour and afterwards I was super excited.

The season is primarily in the spring, DIII college, with a few night practices a week.

What did I have to lose?

After talking to my parents, I felt very confident and told the coach a few weeks later that I was in.

With 16 days until my college move-in, the nerves are building, but I am so excited to be apart of a team once again.

I will have the opportunity to play the sport I love (just like my older brother played ice hockey for Penn State), all the while traveling and making new friends.

(fun fact: one of my roommates is also going to be playing and I am so happy!)

Do you play tennis? let me know in the comments! 🙂

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A Sign of Hope

I am going to be super real and honest with this post – lately  I have been struggling emotionally with the thought of growing up and going to college.

I know, this is normal thoughts and feelings of a recently turned 18 year old. However, this has been effecting my family as well.

My  mother and I have been having conflicts – emotions clashing with high tension pouring out from our words – this is something we are not use to and do not want three weeks before I leave.

We have always been very open with each other, how we are feeling and why.

For both of us, this new chapter of independence/freedom is straining our relationship, but it is okay. This is needed, for this change is inevitable and we needed to work out our feelings.

After a couple days of not bringing up the topic, we talked.

We talked, expressed our fears/wishes, and we were okay.

After, I left to go to my friend’s graduation party, I saw something that confirmed my beliefs.

Two big, yellow butterflies were flying together across the road while I was stopped at a stop sign.

For those who don’t know, yellow butterflies symbolize emotional growth, as well as, moving through cycle of life and personality.

We are going to be okay and college is going to be exactly what I need.

Ran Out of Data? Don’t Panic

Quick thought- let me just say this – running out of data can actually make your life less stressful.

Yesterday afternoon, I ran out of data and I immediately became:

  1. Annoyed at myself for using that much data
  2. Panicked because I love my social media
  3. More annoyed because I could not use regular imessage or Spotify

Despite my initial response (plus me texting my stepdad asking for another half a gig so that I could survive), I have noticed how peaceful today has been.

No data means I haven’t been checking my phone every 2 minutes to refresh my Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter feed to see what everyone else was up to.

I have been more focused on work at the newspaper, along with contributing to my blog in my down time.

Not having data can actually be nice, it’s as if I have had a mini reality check.

Maybe you should run out of data too.

Amateur Fishing Requires Giggling

Last night around 7 p.m., my boyfriend and I went fishing at one of our favorite spots along our local creek, a  huge rock that we like to call our “special/secret place” (trust me, we know it isn’t very secret)

The water was high and muddy, due to recent storms, but overall in good enough condition to amateur fish.

We took turns casting from different angles on the rock, all the while giggling and making jokes as to how lucky we were for catching our twentieth sunny within a matter of minutes and me somewhat struggling to unhook the fish.

The highlight of the evening was my boyfriend’s wide smile when he reeled in the first non-sunny of the batch, a Rock Bass, to be precise.

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Despite swarms of nats, endless mosquito bites, and the occasional fishing line knots, it was a peaceful night.

The sun was setting, the moon rising, and dragonflies bounced around the fishing lines (it was almost  heavenly). I would do it all again in a heartbeat. 🙂

Do you enjoy fishing? Let me know in the comments.

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