Friday, May 9, 2014

Have a Great Summer!

Finals are FINALLY over! Now, everyone will get a chance to relax. Whether you're out for the summer, or having a break before the summer semester starts, you don't need to worry about homework... at least for a little while.

Now is when everyone likes to reflect on the previous school year and feel kind of nostalgic... at least I do! The seniors have presented their capstones, and are now graduating. Having only completed my freshmen year, that seems so far away for me... but I know it will sneak up on me before I know it. From what I've heard, four years go by pretty quickly!

I know this year has certainly gone by fast. It's hard to imagine that only a year ago, I was graduating high school and had absolutely no idea what college was going to be like. I had no idea who my roommates would be, if my classes would be too hard, or if I'd like my professors. Now, it's hard to imagine life away from RSU. I will miss it and all the amazing friends I've made, but I definitely can't wait to catch up on some summer reading, Netflix, and eat lots of snow cones!

Now that finals are over, Kelsey, Austin and I are going home! You won't hear from us for awhile, but we'll be back. Make sure to have an amazing summer! Hopefully, we'll see you around campus in August!

Gabby G.

Peak of the Week:
Getting a chance to start on some FUN reading! (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green)

Challenge of the Week:
Having to say goodbye to my AWESOME roommates as we all move out! It's super sad.

Quote of the Week:
"Some infinities are bigger than others." - John Green

Pic of the Week:

A few friends and myself at the Honors Senior Night! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Breath of Fresh Air!

For RSU students, finals are just around the corner! Whether you're Hillcat or still in high school, I'm sure everyone is buried in homework and anxiously awaiting summer. However, that doesn't mean you can't still have a little fun!

Lately, I feel like I can't get enough of the outdoors! Whether it's playing games at Big Things Day, or just taking a walk in the nature reserve, I have been enjoying the good weather whenever I can. In my last post, I talked about when stress is good... but sometimes it gets to be too much! I think this is how everyone starts to feel around finals time. So, if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, here are a few things you can do to relax and take advantage of those sunny days (whether you're on campus, or not!):

  • Grab a book, a journal, or a sketchbook and spend some time in the nature reserve! I love to sit out by the pond and watch the water. You're bound to see turtles, deer, and birds of all shapes and sizes.
  • Play volleyball! Or basketball... or any type of outdoor game! Exercise definitely helps to relieve stress, and it's fun too. 
  • Go take a walk or run around the Claremore lake! Or.... you can be like me, and grab some ice cream and sit on the swings...
  • Spend time with friends! My roommates and I spent Saturday morning shopping, then we spend the rest of the day outside, playing with my roommate's dogs and sitting by the pool. We had a great time!
  • Geocaching! If you haven't heard of it, you should check it out here. It's basically like a treasure hunt.
These are just a few of the ways I like to take some time off, but the possibilities are endless. You should take the time to find out the best way for you! 

Good luck on finals and all end of the year activities! 

Gabby G.

Peak of the Week:
Watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in Cinema. It's one of my favorites and I was really surprised we got to watch it!

Challenge of the Week:
Having to do an impromptu speech in my speech class. We had to take a piece of paper with a category out of a bowl, and then had only five minutes to prepare!

Quote of the Week: 
"I thought girls were supposed to be cleaner than boys, but then I saw their dorms." - Jerry Hogue

Song of the Week:
"Lean on Me" by Bill Withers

Pic of the Week: 

To go with the outdoorsy theme, here is a picture of a few friends and myself right before heading to the Honors/PLC Olympics last Sunday!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stress... but the good kind!

Usually, it's best to avoid stress. You don't want to stretch yourself too thin, but sometimes a little stress isn't a bad thing... as long as it's for the right reasons.

I have a tendency to want to take on WAY more than I can handle. It may seem like a bad idea the nights that I get home from a long day of class, work, and theatre rehearsals at ten or later, only to stay up doing homework, but I can promise you, it's rewarding. I do feel quite stressed from time to time, but I wouldn't trade any of the amazing experiences I've had at RSU for anything! Sometimes it IS worth it to take on a bit more than you thought you could handle.

I think one of the very best examples of this is theatre. Last semester, the very first production I was involved with was Lion in the Winter. I was responsible for purchasing and painting props, and helping out with scene changes during the show. Overall, it didn't seem like a lot of work, but the show happened to be around midterms, and I already had a lot on my plate. I remember it was two of the most stressful weeks of my life! I really regretted committing myself to so much. Then, opening night, I was absolutely terrified. I was sure I would forget how to move the props, or trip and fall in front of the audience while moving things around. I was a nervous wreck! We went through the show, and I did mess up once... BUT it wasn't a disaster. Before I knew it, the final scene came to a close, the actors were going out for the curtain call, everyone was clapping... and it was one of the most amazing moments of my life. I had never felt so accomplished and proud of everyone who had helped put the show together! In that moment, I knew it had all been worth it, and I couldn't wait to do it again.

This semester, I remember that moment anytime I feel too overwhelmed. I learned so much through all the experiences I had because of the opportunities I took. I now have even more to do than I did those two weeks that seemed so awful, but this time I know everything will turn out alright! Now, today is the opening night of the first play I've stage managed, Speech and Debate, and it had been MUCH more work than helping with props... but, I know how amazing it will feel when we finish that final scene!

The thing is, you don't have to be in theatre to get that feeling. You just have to find what is meaningful to you, and work hard at it. I have that feeling when I get a good grade on a test I studied hard for, or when I give a tour to someone and can help them learn more about what they're interested in.

Peak of the Week:
Opening night!!!!

Challenge of the Week:
Trying to lower a disco ball and turn on a fog machine at once... and timing it right.

Quote of the Week:
"Hey guys, let's do something crazy." - Hayley Gipson

Song of the Week:
Love Club - Lorde

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Something Different

Let's mix it up just a bit this week! How about less words and more pictures?

Going to The College on the Hill it is common to have sunsets like this. This picture was taken from my dorm room on campus.
When we give tours, a "fun cup" is provided with assorted RSU 'swag' inside the cup. Instead of using it for the intended purpose, Gabby and I decided it would be best to use the cups to make a pyramid. 
Exhibit A
Going to class day in and day out can become tiresome, especially with a difficult course load.  But something amazing happens where your mind becomes sharper, quicker, and all in all you change. During down time, your brain is still working and its more creative. I desired to take up a hobby so now I build various 'man crafts'. See exhibit A ^. Its a wall mount coat rack
Exhibit B
And why not build a 3 string cigar box guitar.

College is full of surprises. Some you see outside your window, others are random work experiences, but the greatest you discover within yourself. RSU has fostered a different creative side I never thought possible. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Don't let the weather wither you down!

        Like most people with a Pinterest account, I look at cool things that I want to wear all the time. Why not write about it today? If you were to access my Pinterest right now, you'd find all of my collaborative outfits for my summer study abroad trip to Spain all packed into one pinning board titled "To Wear." The way you present yourself is important. I have turned into an advocate for the notion that what you wear leaves a huge impression on those with who you come into contact.  
        When I was younger I would fight day in and day out with my mom about what I was going to wear to school. Now I realize why she cared so much! Last year during spring semester I found myself resulting to sweats as a presentable option. This is a NO NO, and I heard my mom's voice in my head telling me to get my act together and look like a girl. It is so tempting, I know, to throw on that hoodie 5 minutes before class when it's raining and windy and your professor lectures about boriphil. However, as my Nana always asks me when I do the hoodie and sweats shuffle, "What if the President is there?" Not very probable, but maybe your future spouse will be there, or the executive that wants to offer that internship you've been eyeing for months. First impression is key, so save the PJs for the dorm and strut your style through finals! 

All the best and wishes for less stress,

Kelsey K :) 

Peak of the week:

My 20th Birthday is Sunday, so that's kind of fun! 

Quote of the week:

"Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world." - Professor Minerva McGonagall 

Song of the week:

"Ocean" by John Butler

Pic of the week: 

I can't wait to make these for summer! (See? Pinterest.)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Snow Day!

This Monday RSU students got a special treat... a SNOW DAY! Sunday afternoon, my roommates and I anxiously watched the snow fall out the window, and obsessively checked our email accounts for a notification that school would be cancelled. Just when I had given up hope, my roommates came screaming into my room to tell me that we had a three day weekend! We went to action immediately to prepare - we ordered pizza (and tipped them generously for driving in the snow), moved all of our blankets into the living room, and decided we were going to stay up ALL night (even though we knew it wouldn't happen).

First, we invited a few friends over to watch the Oscars! In our Cinema class, we all predicted which movies we thought would win, and we were excited to see the results. My friends and I love Ellen DeGeneres, so we couldn't wait to see her host the show... and we weren't disappointed! When she posted the selfie on twitter and asked everyone to re-tweet it, we all panicked when Twitter shut down! We also had a very dramatic sing-a-long to Let it Go from Frozen (that didn't end when Idina Menzel stopped singing).

After the Oscars ended, my roommates and I decided we were going to watch the entire first season of Bates Motel on Netflix before the seasons two premiere on Monday! Ever since watching the movie Psycho for our Cinema class, we were super interested to see how this series turned out. We became addicted! If you haven't seen the movie or the new series, you should check it out! It's a bit scary, but we couldn't stop watching. The cliffhanger ending of the season two premiere was so shocking, we all screamed at the TV!

Monday, we all slept in, drank hot chocolate, and watched TV all day! It was a super lazy day, but we couldn't have been happier!

How did you spend your snow day? :)

Gabby G.

Peak of the Week:
The snow day, of course! 

Challenge of the Week:
Trying to stay focused studying for my Speech midterm! But I ended up getting an A!

Quote of the week:
“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ."” 
― C. S. Lewis

Song of the Week:
"Rain Drops Keep Fallin' On My Head" - B.J. Thomas

Pic of the Week:
Our giant bed we created for our snow day!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Adjusting to Dorm Life!

Moving from home to a dorm room can be a REALLY big change! Before I started college, I felt like I was completely prepared for the transition. In High School I knew how to cook and do my own laundry, I did the dishes every night, and I was responsible for making sure I got up on time and did my homework. I really didn't think college would be that different... but I was completely wrong!

While I was already pretty independent, there were so many things I took for granted while living with my parents. I never had to do the grocery shopping, or clean the bathroom, or remember when my phone bill was due. There will be many times where you miss home, even just simple moments where you come back to your dorm after a busy day, and realize mom isn't there to cook dinner... and no matter how tired you are, you have to fix it yourself. While constant calls and texts from your parents may SEEM annoying at first, I promise you'll grow to look forward to the moments you actually have time to talk to them.

There are some aspects to the adjustment that are just unavoidable, like feeling a bit homesick every once in while, but there are some things you can do to make it a BIT more bearable!

  1. When moving into your dorm, be sure to bring at least a few things that remind you of home. I have an old stuffed alligator I won in the 6th grade, some pictures of my best friend and I from High School, and some art work I've done. While it's not exactly like home, it's enough to make it feel familiar!
  2. Meet NEW friends! It may seem scary, but it will make your first year so much more enjoyable. It's a lot harder to be sad when you're having fun. Plus, you'll have people to talk to on the days you feel down. I don't know how I would have gotten through my first semester without my new college friends!
  3. Make sure to check in with family and old friends. It probably will feel like a nuisance at first, especially when you're busy getting settled into your dorm, meeting new friends, and going to campus events the first few weeks, but it will help!
  4. Start new traditions! Every Thursday, my friends and I started having “Family Dinner Nights.” We all get together and make a home cooked meal! It's super fun, the food is delicious, and we all get to exchange our favorite recipes!
  5. Last, but not least, it's perfectly ok to feel homesick and sad sometimes. It's bound to happen at least once! Just find your strategy for dealing with it. Sometimes I like to just be by myself and listen to music, other times I like to talk to someone, it just depends on the situation!
If you want even MORE tips: 30 Things You Need to Know About Dorm Life

Starting college is a big change, and there is certainly going to be a few bumps along the way. At least that's how my Freshmen year has been! Even so, it's an amazing experience. I've met a lot of awesome people, and made so many memories already. My first year of college has been one of the best years of my life so far, and I can't wait for the next three years!

Gabby G.

Peak of the Week:
Saturday, I volunteered with Rogers County Youth Services with a group of Honors students, and it was SO much fun! It was a beautiful day and we spent it wandering around the nature reserve and playing games. I had a blast!

Challenge of the Week:
Friday, the representative for our Student Theatre Organization couldn't attend the Student Government Association meeting, and I had to try to find a member who could attend last minute. I couldn't go since I had work at the time of the meeting, and I had trouble getting in touch with other members... but thankfully I found not one, but TWO members could could go! 

Quote of the week:
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”
--Hermann Hesse

Song of the Week:
Breezeblocks by Alt-J 

Pic of the Week:
Franklin! My new friend.
I'm pretty sure he's gotten bigger since when I first got him... and he's going to need a bigger home! Especially since he's super swimmy. I don't think he's ever still for long. 

P. S. High school seniors - good luck on your last semester of high school, and the college application process!