Mood Board Monday

Monday Mood Board 6

mood board 6
All photos from Pinterest

I’m so excited that it is officially spring here in North Carolina which means I get to wear shorts, study outside by the lake, and enjoy the beautiful views on my campus. This excitement clearly was channeled into my boho spring mood board.

One of my favorite things about spring is spending time outside on either a bike ride or appreciating the flowers. Luckily, my campus is ridiculous when it comes to landscaping so there are tons of pretty views to see.

I included the gladiator picture because they are my favorite shoes to wear in the spring but my ones from last year officially died. So if anyone has any recommendations on great stores to buy some new ones, hit me up!

What is keeping you all excited this Monday morning? I hope you all have a great day and a week filled with sunshine!!

Be sure to check out my friend Kendal’s monday mood board too. 🙂

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Book Worm

Camp Nanowrimo

camp 1

April 1st marks the start of Camp Nanowrimo. Check out the website here

For those of you who don’t know, Nanowrimo occurs in November and is National Write a Novel Month where in 30 days you attempt to write 50,000 words of a new novel. I have participated three years and only completed the challenge once. Throughout the year however, Nanowrimo holds ‘camps’ which are less intimidating because you pick your word count goal.

This year, I will be working on a new YA fantasy novel I’ve had mulling in my mind for a few weeks and my word goal is 30,000 words which I think is do-able. I’m super pumped because one of my good friends is also participating with a goal of 30,000 words so we can be each other’s support system. I wanted to share this super fun opportunity for those who haven’t heard of it and share my tips for doing well and having fun when participating in Nanowrimo!

 

Talk about the process with friends

As I mentioned, one of my friends is doing this challenge. It really helps us to chat about it and keep ourselves accountable. Even if you don’t know anyone participating, tell your friends about it. Tell them what you’re working on and your story ideas. They’ll help keep you encouraged and motivate you to keep going. Plus there’s nothing like having a great sound board for ideas when you’re hit with writer’s block.

 

Set a realistic word count

The great thing about the camp challenge is that you set the goal. Look at your April schedule and see if you’re super busy or if you can push yourself to write more. Also, keep in mind how much you write normally. If you barely write now, asking yourself to write 2,000 words a day may be too much whereas asking yourself to write 750 words a day is more realistic.

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Avoid getting behind

From past experience, every time I have quit these challenges is when I became days behind on my word count goal. It becomes an insurmountable challenge in my head and becomes more like a chore. To avoid this, make sure you write at least twenty minutes each day, even if you’re just writing character description rather than the story.

 

Use the Camp Nanowrimo resources

The website has tons of resources including forums and emails from authors. My first time participating, I was overwhelmed and made little use of them. But now, I love seeing what other aspiring writers are saying, working on, and struggling with. Hearing their tips and experiences helps me with my own process. So take some time to explore what the site has to offer and the community of the other ‘campers’.

 

Schedule time

Try to set up time throughout the day to commit to your writing. Also, always have a notebook on you so you can make use of your random twenty minutes between classes to write down a short scene or idea you had.

 

Be proud

You are writing a story – that is amazing and you should know that!! Even if you don’t write a full novel in a month, even if you only write 1,000 words, that’s 1,000 words you didn’t have before you started.

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Let me know about your guys’ nano experience and keep me posted throughout the month. My Nanowrimo account is jdafgek so feel free to buddy with me on the site!

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School

School Work Music

Nothing can keep you motivated while doing school work quite like the perfect playlist – except of course coffee 🙂

The music that I choose to listen to greatly depends upon the work that I am doing.

 

Making Study Guides Based on Old Notes

My friends definitely tease me for this playlist but something about Eminem rapping always makes me feel like a badass even if I’m just organizing and re-writing biology notes. It helps me stay motivated.

Writing a Paper

When writing a scholarly paper, I prefer music without words. I find that Spanish guitar is a bit more energizing than classical pieces like Mozart or Bach.

Reading the Textbook/Taking Notes

Disney keeps me happy and I can hum along to my childhood favs without being too distracted.

Creative Writing Class

For writing poetry or stories for my creative writing class, I love these songs because they are all pretty emotional but I know them well enough that I don’t get inherently distracted by them playing in the background.

 

What do you listen to when working? I’m always look for new recommendations so hit me up in the comments with suggestions!

Mood Board Monday

Monday Mood Board 5

My bestie Kendal and I are still obsessed with making weekly mood boards. I find just the process of choosing a focus and photos that go along with it helps get me into the ideal mindset for the upcoming week.

mood board 5
All photos from Pinterest

I’ve really been gravitating towards blue lately – specifically the light washed denim shade of blue so I knew I wanted that to be my color theme. Then, I found this picture of Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy in blue scrubs and knew that my mood board would focus on my aspirations of one day becoming a surgeon like her. With that in mind, I chose photos that invoked professionalism, determination, and fabulous note taking abilities.

After a beautiful and relaxing spring break, I think I need this focused, driven mindset to survive my first week back in classes.

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School · Uncategorized

My Cadaver Experience

It’s officially the midpoint of my  last semester of college (eek!). For this last semester, the class I am most excited about is my anatomy class which also has a gross anatomy lab meaning that I get to work with 3 human donors or cadavers to learn about the material. I wanted to share with you all about my experience working with these donors and what I’ve learned from it.

For those of you who are a little squeamish or freaked out by the process of dissecting bodies, proceed with caution.

anatomy lab

I was more unnerved the first day than I expected to be.

I had seen human donor labs before and had participated in lots of animal dissections so I didn’t really think I’d be too upset or nervous. But there are a few things that throw me off in lab. For example, one day I was dissecting the back of a cadaver’s neck but cutting it made me sad because I could see the individual’s hair. When I get thrown off, I usually put my instruments down, take a step back, count to ten then get back to work. I’m still new to this experience so I’m never embarrassed when I need a moment to collect myself.

The smell can get to you.

The chemicals used to preserve the body have a strong smell that can be overwhelming when in the lab for many hours. If you need to excuse yourself for a few minutes just to get away from the smell, that’s fine. Also, a tip that I use is to only wear the same sweatshirt in lab (it’s super cold) that way only one of my clothing items smells like the lab. But don’t worry, a turn in the washing machine and the smell disappears!

Beware of the splash zone

This sounds kind of crass but when your dissecting a body, sometimes ‘juices’ from the body can spray on you so make sure to wear an apron and do not wear an outfit that you care a lot about. Most labs also offer goggles to wear over your eyes. My best advice is just not to think about what may or may not be spraying onto your T-shirt.

Take a moment to realize how freaking awesome this is!

A few weeks ago, I got to hold a whole human brain in my hands. Part of me was anxious to accidentally drop or break it. Part of me was terrified I would never memorize all the required structures within it. The other part of me was mystified. In my hands, I held someone’s entire life – their memories, their motor control, their skills, talents, and beliefs. I am literally tearing up at the memory.

Blunt dissection can be better

Blunt dissection means that you mostly use your hands rather than scalpels. The first few weeks, I only wanted to finely cut with a scalpel because I have a Grey’s Anatomy obsession (no apologies!) but often times, its more efficient just to use your fingers to separate muscle fibers and connective tissue. Also, this lessens the possibility of accidentally cutting something you don’t mean to (I say because I cut the cephalic vein two weeks ago…)

Human donor labs are overwhelming, but they are such an incredible opportunity to see how the body works that so few ever get a chance to experience. It is a privilege.

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Mood Board Monday

Monday Mood Board 4

 

mood board 4
All photos from Pinterest

This week’s mood board is all about my glamping trip which I am just about to leave for in thirty minutes! I am so excited to be heading up to a log cabin with my friends and just read, take photos, write, and explore the mountain trails of NC. I pulled pictures that made me feel excited to just unplug and enjoy nature and fulfill all of my wanderlust.

I hope you all have a fabulous week and make sure to get outside some, because if you’re anything like me, it’ll make your day that much better!

Book Worm

Committing to Being a Writer

As I mentioned earlier this week, my creative writing professor gave my class advice on how to commit to our writing and it has left me inspired. My desire to write has been reinvigorated and I’m happy to say that I’ve already written the first three chapters of my new book (*squeal of excitement*). I’ve compiled the advice offered from my professor and other writing friends on how to focus your energy on writing and take your writing seriously.

Call yourself a ‘Writer’

Make this word part of your identity. You don’t have to be published or famous to be a writer. See yourself as a serious writer and you are one step closer to becoming one.

Join a writing group

There are official writing groups you can join (similar to book clubs) where you workshop and get feed back. It’s great to have fresh eyes look at your work and it keeps you accountable. Even if you can’t find a group or don’t have the time, find at least one friend who is willing to read and provide honest notes.

Schedule it in

Set up blocks of time to write and take it seriously. Maybe tell close friends about the times so they know not to disturb you while you’re writing. Also, get away for the writing – don’t do it at home with all of your distractions ready to pull you away from your story

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Unfortunately, you can’t always wait for inspiration to strike… otherwise you’d never write a word

Read and underline

Read as much as you can, especially books or poems similar to how you want to write. Underline lines and parts you love to pull inspiration from.

Always have a notebook on you

I have a page in my bullet journal dedicated to random ideas for poems or books. Additionally, whenever I’m on campus I try to have a small notebook stashed in my backpack so if I have a spare moment I can write.

Find resources that work for you

There are a lot of online resources available to provide support and inspiration to aspiring writers. I use Pinterest to find writing prompts for practice and often use the fashion and model posts to find images that help me decide what my characters will look like.

I also LOVE The Most Dangerous Writing App (find it here). The app allows you to set a timer and you have to write for the entire time otherwise it deletes everything you’ve written so far. It sounds crazy but it really forces you to push past your writer’s block. I usually shoot for 5 minutes at a time on the site.

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My game face when using the Most Dangerous Writing App

So, I hope some of these have been helpful. Keep me posted on how your writing is going and let me know if you have any of your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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School

Second Semester Senior Slump

Well, if any of you are like me, you are a second semester senior currently struggling to stay invested in your classes and keep up with your academic work. There’s just so much temptation to slack off – either you’ve got a job lined up, you’re burnt out and tired of schoolwork, or you’d rather spend your last few months with friends.

I get it and I’m compiled a list of tips to hopefully help both you and me stay motivated to end our undergraduate experience on a high note!

 

Relate class to what you will be doing

If you’re anxious to get started in your graduate program or in your career, find ways to see your classes and assignments as training for your future rather than another hurtle to overcome before you graduate.

 

Take more frequent breaks

Take shorter but more frequent breaks while studying or working to keep from draining yourself. For every thirty minute of work, take a ten minute break rather than a longer break every hour.

 

Study Groups

Working with other students will help you  stay focused and invested. Even if your besties aren’t in your classes, just doing work by each other will still feel like bonding time and you can finish your homework.

 

 

Mood Board Monday

Monday Mood Board

My bestie Kendal and I are getting super into creating Monday mood boards to keep us motivated throughout the week.

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All pictures found on Pinterest

I’m a senior and I finally fit in a creative writing course and I have been loving it! My professor this week gave us a nice perspective about committing to our writing and finally calling ourselves ‘writers’ so this week I am recommitting to my writing. I recently started my new fantasy novel and I’m hoping to be able to get knee deep in it this upcoming week – especially with spring break coming.

With this in mind, I pulled pictures that inspired me to curl up with a notebook and bring some characters and stories to life. I absolutely love the two pillows and may have to ask for them for my upcoming birthday.

My friends Victoria and Emma are joining me on a glamping trip in the NC mountains where we’ll be drinking wine, relaxing, reading, and writing. I am so pumped. The middle picture is hopefully what I will be doing – writing with some beautiful scenery and freshly brewed coffee. I can’t wait!

What’s keeping you all inspired this week?

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Uncategorized

Bullet Journal Spread

So, as many of you know, I LOVE the bullet journal system. Check out how I set up my journal this semester here.

I usually create my weekly spread the week before so I thought I’d share my next week spread because I’m super excited for it!

bujo 4

 

I use Maped Graph’s Pens, specifically the fine point (.4 mm) to create the entire spread. I love the two green colors which is why I used them but it’s also perfect for St. Patty’s day.

The right page has all the different days of the week. This is where I’ll put appointments and assign specific tasks to complete each day. I love the simple leaf decals that just add a bit of color to the page. I’m really happy with how the alternating of the light and dark green came out.

The left page has three sections for homework for each of my classes, a notes section, and a general to-do list where I put tasks not associated with school such as sending emails or grocery shopping. I love the trend of writing over highlighter and I’m really pleased with how it came out. I think it’s a nice, clean look while still having some color.

I added some little succulents at the bottom for some visual interest. I found these doodles on Pinterest and attempted to recreate them as I am still working on my artistic abilities. Then I included the quote as my inspiration for the week to keep me excited.

Since I am not perfect, you can see some smudging along the ‘E’ of my inspirational quote but overall I’m pretty happy with how it looks.

One of the mistakes I made with my last bullet journal was making all of my weekly spreads way ahead of time. Now, I take it one week at a time so I can adjust how I make them to my own needs. For example, I’m making my homework sections larger as I have more assignments this year than expected. If I have something coming up the next week, I’ll just put it in my notes section and transfer it over once I make that spread. This works much better for me.