The Betrothed and Ice Princess

Sorry if you haven’t been a huge fan of all the TV and movie content lately. Currently, it’s what’s working but I promise that I have something different coming next week. The Betrothed is actually a book title, not a TV show title, so that’s a little different I guess. But this week, I wanted to share one of my new favorite Disney movies, Ice Princess, and a new book, The Betrothed by my favorite author, Kiera Cass.

Ice Princess, in opinion, is a Disney hidden gem. I think it was made around the time I was a young girl, so it would’ve been a movie I really enjoyed growing up, but since I grew up with satellite TV and very little exposure to Disney Channel, I didn’t know it existed until now! And oh my goodness and I absolutely LOVE this movie. It’s about a teenage girl, Casey that’s a physics whiz and it’s basically all set for her to attend Harvard and live out her mom’s dreams. Casey has the opportunity to complete a summer physics project and win a huge scholarship for the physics program at Harvard, and so she decides to analyze the physics of figure skating. Through her project, Casey becomes so involved in figure skating it turns out, she has incredible natural talent within the sport. She eventually begins competing as a figure skater and gives up attending Harvard to pursue figure skating.

Not only did I adore this movie for the beautiful costumes that Casey wore on the ice, but I really enjoyed the character of the girls in the movie. Instead of being jealous as Casey made leaps and bounds in figure skating, the other competitive skaters supported her and truly helped her out. They made her feel at home which was totally shocking for a movie like this. In most movies, you would except the main character to face some evil, horribly-mean posse of girls, but that wasn’t the case. It was so wonderful to see girls supporting girls in the right way in a movie like this. I loved it. 🙂

I also never realized how much I loved Hayden Panettiere until this movie! Yes, she was much younger in Ice Princess, but she was so pretty and still a very talented actress then. After seeing this movie, I’m much more interested in shows and movies with her.

Overall, I totally recommend Ice Princess. It’s such a good movie that motivates you and just makes you feel so good.

Now we’re gonna flip gears and talk about one of my favorite authors and her newest release, The Betrothed. I would first just like to say that my sister and I ordered a signed copy of the book. THAT’S how much we enjoy her work. Secondly, this book was not exactly what I expected and I’m not totally sure how I feel about it. If you are interested in reading, maybe skip this last part, as it will contain spoilers. 🙂

The Betrothed follows the story of Hollis, a beautiful, strong, young lady coming from a noble family who eventually finds herself betrothed to the king, Jameson. In my opinion, Hollis and the king are a PERFECT match. Anyway, a strange family comes to seek refuge from a neighboring kingdom, and asks the king to take them in and make them members of Coroan society. Hollis is tasked with the decision since the king puts her to little tests, seeing how she may do as queen one day. Hollis allows the family to stay in Coroa and they live in the castle for some time, sort of on a “probation” to see if they truly have good intent in Coroa. During this “probation” period, Hollis has several small interactions with one of the sons of this family, who is extremely talented in sword making. Somehow, she begins to doubt her relationship with the king and falls madly in love with Silas.

The king gives Hollis the queen’s apartments, beautiful tiaras and dresses, and all of his love and support, but Hollis eventually turns all of that down, just before Jameson plans to propose to her and runs away to be with Silas. I wasn’t too happy with this part, especially because the love Hollis claimed to feel for Silas, just didn’t seem fully supported if you know what I mean. Hollis and Silas had maybe interacted like three or four times and had kissed once, and suddenly Hollis wanted to give up BECOMING QUEEN OF A NATION, to run away with some suspicious, mysterious, and beautiful boy from a neighboring nation.

Hollis and Silas end up married and Jameson is devastated but moves on to be with Hollis’s best friend and former lady-in-waiting (which was REALLY weird and uncalled for, in my opinion). You might think, the book ends here, right? Wrong!

Shortly after the wedding, Silas and a majority of the people at the wedding, including Hollis’s parents are brutally murdered, leaving Hollis devastated. Silas’s mother and younger sister survive the attack but then decide to return to their former country, in hopes that their king may be merciful that they will not be found and killed there. Hollis initially plans to go back to Jameson for comfort, just to live as a member of the palace, but then decides to chase after Silas’s mother, and follow them back to their former kingdom, to meet with a friend she had made in the palace during a royal visit, and to possibly uncover if the king (not Jameson) had been behind the attack on her family.

Ultimately, I enjoyed the book because I always enjoy the work of Kiera Cass, but I was a little disappointed. I live for the glamour that comes with every Kiera Cass novel. The dresses she describes and the lifestyle of a palace is just so appealing and her imagery is just so vivid, that I imagine myself with America from The Selection, or Eadlyn from The Heir, and even Hollis from The Betrothed. With that said, so much happened in this book, but at the same time, it feels like nothing happened. I personally would have really enjoyed if Kiera Cass gave us the life of Hollis Brite, becoming the queen of Coroa and one of the women that she had seen immortalized by Coroa for their excellent leadership and character but she didn’t take that route. That’s perfectly fine but I would have enjoyed a slightly different story. Hopefully the next one will be better. I guess we’ll just have to see when it comes out! Maybe read along with me and we can see what happens next together! 🙂

Have a good week everyone and stay healthy and safe!

It’s Been Nice to Catch Up on Some Childhood Favorites

Childhood favorites
Courtesy of Susan Holt Simpson on Unsplash

Amidst the chaos that is my life right now, I’ve really enjoyed being able to catch up on a few of my childhood favorites during my spare time. You might be asking yourself, childhood favorite whats?? I’m talking about TV shows and movies, but mostly TV shows.

Lately, my sister and I have really been enjoying Kim Possible, Wizards of Waverly Place, Sonny With a Chance, and Phineas and Ferb. If you’re looking for some truly enjoyable Disney shows to watch, I recommend all four of these.

Growing up, my sister and I never had cable TV. We were the kids that grew up watching shows like Arthur and Cyberchase on satellite TV. The only true exposure we had to the magic of Disney Channel was at our grandparents’ house in New Mexico. On every trip, we watched a lot of Disney but we didn’t grow up with the Wizards of Waverly Place knowledge or Hannah Montana knowledge that a lot of other kids did. There’s nothing wrong with that, but at the time, Allyson and I definitely thought that there was. We were missing solid chunks of storyline and plot!! Looking on it now though, I’m glad with the amount of TV exposure my sister and I had, because we enjoyed much more time playing outside, being in the real world.

More than ever, I’ve found it very relaxing and beneficial to my wellbeing when I take a study break. I do a lot of studying and attending online lecture so it’s definitely needed. Having a chance to feel nostalgic by watching some of little Ana’s favorites and escape from the chemistry and biology and biochemistry that has consumed my life lately is pretty wonderful. I’ve also found that going on walks is really therapeutic and a great way to utilize a study break. 10/10 would recommend.

Well this post is much shorter than usual and that’s because I have an exam tomorrowwww. Yippee. Have a good week everyone and maybe check out some of your childhood favorites this week and share what they are with me! 🙂

Unpopular Opinion: Hamilton Isn’t THAT Good

Hamilton
Picture from Hamilton on Disney+

So Disney+ released Hamilton on its platform yesterday. What did I think of Hamilton? I’m going to be honest here. It wasn’t my favorite show, I’ll start by saying that. And I know that a lot of people are going to come after me and say a lot of things about how incredible the show is. In some ways I agree! I’ll share what I liked. But overall, I don’t really like the hit musical, Hamilton.

If you aren’t familiar with Lin Manuel Miranda and his work on Hamilton, I recommend you either watch the musical or at least make yourself familiar with the show before reading this post. There will be spoilers! 🙂 But for the most part, I’m pretty confident that everyone and their grandmother knows what Hamilton is so I’ll dive right into what I liked and didn’t like.

I’ll start with the positives. I really enjoyed the set and all of the effects. From that perspective, Hamilton was incredible. The use of movement with the stage and the use of LIGHTING in this production was phenomenal.

Each of the actors and actresses were incredibly talented too. I really enjoyed watching the young lady that played Eliza. She was phenomenal and I loved her voice. I also loved Jonathon Groff’s appearance as King George. His vocals suited the role extremely well. His work with Frozen has definitely not gone unnoticed by me and the same goes for his work in Hamilton.

And now onto what I didn’t like as much in this hit musical. I’ve never been that big a fan of rap and that’s basically what most of the music is in Hamilton. That’s just a preference thing. I’ve never really liked the beat or tone of rap and for an entire musical to be that way just wasn’t my cup of tea. It felt so repetitive at some point. There definitely were a few songs I liked from the show, but in general, the music was just a pass for me.

Lin Manuel Miranda has an interesting sound too. I’m not sure if I like it or hate it, but personally, I thought his sound was just a bit odd in Hamilton. He is clearly a very talented and brilliant man and I must give credit where credit is due. He spent years putting this show together and it has definitely paid off. Do I enjoy him as a performer though? Most likely not.

I really wasn’t a fan of the ending either. This is REALLY where the spoiler is going to hit if you aren’t familiar with the history of the United States or the show so if you’d prefer to see for yourself, then stop reading here. 🙂 In the end, they sing a song called “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” after Hamilton is shot by Aaron Burr in their duel. I did enjoy the duel rap though, I must say. Anyway, after Hamilton is shot, Hamilton’s life is played out before us. The show ends a few minutes later with Eliza singing about how she started an orphanage to help kids that remind her of her precious Alex and then she screams in horror (I’m assuming because she has learned that her husband died in a duel) and the show fades to black. Personally, I feel like the show could have had a greater impact if it ended right after Hamilton was shot and then the stage went black. Does anyone else feel that way about the end? I’d be curious to know.

I did mention my opinions on the set and the lighting from the show and I’ve touched briefly on the talent of Hamilton but the biggest reason I don’t think Hamilton is all that great comes down to the fact that the show just didn’t have that “wow factor” that a lot of Broadway shows seem to have. The music was just constantly going with the rapping and dancing and I found myself zoning out occasionally. There just wasn’t a whole lot of different within the show if that makes sense. Hamilton would rap and they would dance and then someone else would rap and then it would just repeat and to me, it felt like that for the two and a half hours following the opening song. It got kind of old kind of fast and I found myself wondering WHEN the show would be over about forty-five minutes in. That hasn’t ever happened to me when watching a Broadway show before. Again, that could just be because I just don’t have the taste for Hamilton like others do.

I’ve mentioned this before but we are all entitled to our opinions and if you really enjoyed Hamilton, I’m happy for you! I wish this were a show that I could learn to love and appreciate as much as a majority of the world, but I unfortunately don’t find myself in that population. If you haven’t seen Hamilton yet and you own Disney+, I recommend checking it out for yourself and I’d be curious to hear your opinions! Have a good week everyone, and happy belated Fourth of July!

I Go to Argo and We Spend Time in the Mountains

This past week, my aunt and uncle visited from New Mexico and it was wonderful to see and spend time with someone other than my dad, mom, and sister for a change. While they were here, we spent some time in Idaho Springs and Georgetown and also at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. I go, you go, we all go to Argo! Let me share. 🙂

My aunt and uncle drove in Monday afternoon and that evening was a pretty chill one. We hung around the house and caught up with one another. After all, the last time we saw each other was around Thanksgiving! We usually see each other over Christmas break and sometimes spring break, but things were different this past year, and so those visits didn’t happen. Fortunately, we were able to make this work, with all of the craziness in the world, especially with this virus.

Tuesday morning, we drove up to the small town of Georgetown to catch the Georgetown Railroad Loop train ride. We were required to wear masks at the park, which was an experience in itself, but it felt wonderful to be with family and to be outside! We were the first on the train and it was fun to pick where we sat before anyone else got that chance. We chose to sit in an open top car, which was ultimately a great choice because we got to experience a little bit of a breeze and the sun which was nice. I didn’t realize how much I missed the beauty of the mountains until this train ride. Colorado is a beautiful state and I feel so lucky to call such a gorgeous state my home. Following the train ride, which was about an hour and fifteen minutes long, we stopped for lunch near a lake where some fishermen were hard at work. It was a pretty spot and the chicken croissant sandwiches were a perfect lunch that day. Side-note: If you’re ever looking for something yummy to try, I HIGHLY recommend the chicken salad and croissants from Costco. That’s a pretty good meal if you ask me.

Georgetown Loop Railroad

Following lunch, we drove about twenty minutes back to Idaho Springs for a tour at the Argo Mill and Tunnel. This was a place that reallllly taught me not to judge a book by its cover. Driving in, I’m not going to lie, I thought the tour was going to be horribly boring and lame. It was actually quite the opposite. The Argo Mill was the only mill in the United States around the time of the gold rush to pump out any gold products with 95% efficiency, which is a REALLY high number, especially for its time. The Argo Mill was able to produce so much gold because they used a combination of mercury and cyanide to pump out A LOT of gold. The mill’s interior was built from the wood of EIGHT redwood trees and still stands today. Most if not all of the mill is maintained to this day and it was incredible to see how permanent, strong, and truly powerful the mill was. I can only imagine what it looked like in its glory days. While there, we had a wonderful tour guide, named Brooks, so if you ever get a chance to check out the Argo Mill and Tunnel, I recommend it and if you can get Brooks, he’s a super knowledgeable guy, both on mining and on the Argo itself!

Argo Mill and Tunnel

There were two stories I really enjoyed from our time at the Argo. The first was about a teacher. At a time when the mill worked consistently, women were not allowed to work there let alone travel in the mine. There was a young woman who could not get to teach at her school without traveling through the Argo Tunnel, so she took a mine cart to then get to a platform that would take her to her classes. There was one day where her skirt got caught on a part of the wooden platform as she was headed up from the tunnel and to escape doom, she twirled out of her skirt, exposing the wire hoop under. Luckily, someone was able to lend her another dress and she got to class. Now, THAT was dedication. The second story was about a water burst at the mill. There are a series of pockets or wells near or under or around the Argo Tunnel and while working in the tunnel, it was assumed that there was twenty feet of dirt and rock between the tunnel and wells, when it was actually only ten. There was a bunch of water in the wells and the pressure was so great that it burst through the layer of rock at an insane velocity. Four men working in that area were killed. Three miles down the tunnel, near the entrance, another man was working and heard the sound of the water coming. Fortunately, this man made it out, but the water had caught up to him by the time he made it to the mouth of the tunnel. I’m horrible, haha, I don’t remember any names! The water shot out of the tunnel at such a velocity that it crossed the valley and sprayed across the valley at the same velocity and with the same insane amount of force for six days. It was apparently, A LOT OF WATER. A really, really, really, strong and supported concrete wall now holds back all of that water.

Stories like these and more are some of the things you will hear about and learn about if you take a trip up to the Argo Mill and Tunnel. While the mill may really not be the most exciting thing in the world, it was certainly interesting and a good change of pace from what I usually like to learn more about.

The next day of my aunt and uncle’s visit we went up to Rocky Mountain Arsenal and walked around Lake Mary and Lake Ladora. It was pretty, but very dry. It was also hot because we made the foolish mistake of heading out around 10 am, when the sun was already really starting to beat down. Thank goodness for water bottles though, am I right? While the views were great, and the company was even better, let’s just say that I was really happy to get out of the heat. When we got home and when my mom got home from work, we had a really good dinner and then played Just Dance together on our Nintendo Switch. It was a lot of fun.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

My aunt and uncle had to head out on Thursday morning which was sad, but it had still been great that they got to come. And if you guys are reading this, we look forward to having you again and I’m so glad we got to spend a couple of days with you!!

If you get a chance to and you’re in Colorado, check out the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Argo Mill and Tunnel, or Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Or all three! Do what you please. 🙂 Have a good week and I’ll see you next Sunday!

I MISSED MY OWN BLOGAVERSARY!

As I was prepping a post for this weekend I realized, I MISSED THE BEGINNING OF JUNE AND MORE SPECIFICALLY I MISSED MY OWN BLOGAVERSARY! To those of you that are relatively new here, hi, and welcome! 🙂 To those of you that have been here a while, you probably recall that I do a yearly blogaversary or blog anniversary post. Things have been so crazy lately and even though I’ve been doing most things from home lately, things seem to be moving so fast, maybe too fast.

June 7, 2014 was the day my first blog was posted. I was so little then if you think about it. 🙂 Just a naive, little scared freshman in high school. And now here I am, a junior/senior at university getting ready to take a big exam to take me to the next potential chapter of my life. Time does fly! On that day, I didn’t really know where this blog would take me but I did know that I had a love for writing and a strong passion for editing too so I took advantage of the opportunity my dad gave me.

Since that day, I’ve posted almost every Sunday. That’s so crazy to think that I’ve been doing this for SIX YEARS now! Six years of worth of Sundays are quite a few Sundays if you ask me.

One of my favorite things to do is look back and see what my writing was like in 2014 or 2015. I’ve removed a few posts just because they didn’t seem relevant to my blog as much as they did when I was 15 but it has been really interesting to also see where the world was at and where I was at then. I was in a boot at one point and then I was getting ready for surgery and then I was stressed about all three of my AP exams and then I was applying to college and then I was getting ready for college and then I was beginning college and all of the sudden I’m here. Crazy, right?!

Blogaversary

And so it’s a happy belated blogaversary to me! Haha. 🙂 As I post this, my blog has 13,016 views and 300 posts. Thank you all so so much for your time and for letting me share my life story and also my passion for writing. It’s been a blast. 🙂 It’s exciting to see how far I’ve come and I look forward to the many more posts and adventures to come! If you’ve got any ideas or there’s something you really want me to talk about, reach out! I’d love to hear from you!!

Thanks for being here on this journey with me. I appreciate you spending time here. Have a good week and I’ll see you next Sunday!

Random Thoughts

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Hello everyone! I hope you’re staying healthy and doing alright. I honestly wasn’t too sure what I was going to post this weekend and then it hit me, let’s make it random! I’ve been writing down all of the random thoughts and questions I’ve been asking and thinking about lately and thought they would be fun to share. Here goes. 🙂

I heard someone saying their three year old was at the perfect age to go to Disneyland the other day and I just wonder, is that something they’ll even remember? My first time going to Disneyland was when I was 15 or 16 and I had a fantastic time and remember my entire trip! I get that a three year old might be more immersed in the Disney magic but that’s not a trip they’ll truly remember in a couple of years. So what is the perfect age to go to Disneyland? 

What is the out-of-bounds area in Animal Crossings? I keep hearing about it and I’m curious. What does it look like? If I were to somehow get into the out-of-bounds area, would my game break?

Why are pineapples called pineapples? They don’t resemble apples… Where’s the pine part of the name coming from? I really enjoy pineapple. That’s about it on that one, haha.

How different would our world be if modern-day technology, specifically smartphones, tablets, computers, and our methods of communication didn’t exist but all of our other modern-day amenities and ways of living did? How different would our communication still look? Would we still be relying on something like the Pony Express? That would be kind of fun. I wonder what it was like to not hear from family for like six months and then suddenly receive a letter and then have to wait a few more months to hear back again.

Why is it that adulthood seems to bring a lack of things we enjoyed as kids? I watched a video by Buzzfeed a while ago where adults tried gymnastics for the first time since they were kids and in the end, they all reflected on it and most of them mentioned how enjoyable their experience was. They wished that people in the “adult world” felt more comfortable letting loose, being silly, and having fun like they did when they were kids. It would be interesting to see how different society was if more adults found ways to express their inner child a bit more. I’m not saying that we should all start running around and acting like toddlers again, but maybe we need to feel okay having a bit more childish fun. 🙂

And one other thought I had lately, what’s the process like when it comes to making really detailed decisions for a house? Does it matter if the woods all match or is it okay if they don’t? I personally believe coordination is key and I’m satisfied when things match but I know that isn’t how everyone feels. And when it comes to cabinets, do you match all of those in your house or is it okay to change it up from room to room? The process of putting a house together seems complicated…

And that’s about it for this week. What are some random thoughts you’ve had? I’ve honestly really enjoyed jotting down all of the random thoughts that I’ve had recently and it would be fun to share those again if you’re interested! I hope you all have a wonderful week and I’ll see you next Sunday!

The Wonderful World of Animal Crossings: New Horizons

Animal Crossings

I hope you all had a good week and are staying safe. I know that things have been a bit rough lately and that the world has seemed a bit darker than usual, so I thought that I would share favorite game as of right now and that would be a good way to turn the focus to something a little different for at least a few minutes. Four words: Animal Crossings: New Horizons.

My sister and I have been big fans of the Animal Crossings franchise since we were really little and the Nintendo DS was a big thing. We started our Animal Crossings journey with Wild World and then from there, we played City Folk on the Wii when we got our Wii. Both games were really fun and we both put a lot of time into our towns.

For those of you that don’t know what Animal Crossings is, it’s a video game where you play as a person that lives amongst a bunch of animals in a town or on an island. It’s basically a life simulator. You catch bugs, dig up fossils, fish, plant trees, shrubs, and flowers, build relationships with your fellow residents, and are always pay your loans off to this evil raccoon (he’s not actually evil), Tom Nook. He’s always making the loan on your next house a RIDICULOUS feat to pay off. The game occurs in real time. Some may say that Animal Crossings is a boring game because it’s really repetitive. They’re not wrong in that the game can be quite repetitive but Allyson and I always find ways to keep it fun and that repetitiveness is also what makes the game so fun to both of us.

When the new game, New Horizons, came out, Allyson and I were there to get the game that day. And on that day, our cute little island, Burrito, was born. We both made characters and our adventures began. Our native fruit is the peach and our first two villagers or residents were Tank, a sporty little rhino, and Diva, this really freaky purple frog. Our goal was to get rid of both villagers pretty quick, not gonna lie, because they weren’t that cute to us. We successfully got Diva to move, but Tank, to this day has still loved living on Burrito. Other villagers we have include: Julian, Bangle, Stella, Kiki, Bam, Spike, Amelia, Annalise, and Agnes. They’re all a lot of fun.

Allyson and I worked diligently to get our island to a 3 star rating so we could bring K.K. Slider, a guitar-playing dog, to our island. After that, we worked to get our island to a 5 star rating, and to do that, we worked hard to terraform our island and dress it to the nines. It was all looking pretty cute and it still does look pretty cute. The tough thing about the game is that if you want to move a house or a different building, you have to pay 50,000 bells (the game’s currency) to move that structure and you can only move one building a day. The process is realllllly slow.

Some of the things we’ve included on our island include a cafe, garden showcasing our rare and hybrid flowers (including gold roses!), a carnival, a beach party, a campsite, a workshop, a bamboo forest, a rose forest/garden thing, and a special residential area. We’ve both really enjoyed being able to find various ways to terraform and decorate and make our little Burrito, the cutest island it can be.

If you have the Switch and don’t yet have Animal Crossings: New Horizons, you should check it out! It’s so fun. 🙂 And if you’re interested in becoming friends, let me know in the comments or on my contact page and we can share friend codes. 🙂 Have a good week everyone!

Let’s Be Mindful

My heart hurts for our country right now. It hurts for those affected by the recent events. It hurts for those suffering from coronavirus. It just hurts. Everything that has happened recently has just made me sad, I find it the most saddening that people think rioting and violence will solve our issues. In my opinion, that does nothing. It creates more tension, more hatred, and it discredits those trying to peacefully evoke and promote change. I believe in peaceful protest and the freedom of speech but there is a HUGE difference between that and destroying your lovely downtown to make a point.

More than anything, I think that the hatred and anger really needs to come to a stop on social media platforms. I understand that social media and technology are an extremely influential and easy way to share information and opinions in our day and age. There are MANY great ways in which social media helps spread positivity and promote change. With that also comes a lot of negatives too. People, myself included sometimes, tend to be a bit more courageous online. People seem to think that there is a barrier between them and the world and that what they say truly has no consequences or repercussions, so they say whatever they feel comfortable saying. There are consequences though! Real people are on the other side of that screen and words you say may not hurt you or that video you post may not bother you, but it may offend others or remind them of past traumas that they’d prefer to not be brought up.

I know that with recent events, MANY people were posting videos that should not have EVER been shared on social media. I understand the anger and I understand the true frustration but videos like those that many people my age were posting on Instagram were triggering. The intent was good, but the impact was devastating and extremely inappropriate.

As mentioned before, I firmly believe in speaking your mind. But I also believe in respect, not only for others but for yourself. I believe in being MINDFUL- mindful of yourself and others. The things you post online, whether that be words, a picture, a video, or even a series of emojis, WILL IMPACT OTHERS. Your intent may be something different from how people are impacted so it is important to be mindful of that.

You don’t have to agree with me on this, but I think that social media shouldn’t be about spreading a political agenda or riling up a bunch of young people to say things that they truly don’t even understand. Social media should build others up and spread positivity. It can raise awareness, but we shouldn’t use social media to “fit in” and we DEFINITELY should not use social media to spread hate and anger, even if that is something that people claim they aren’t spreading. Focus on how that post or that tweet may impact others. Focus on educating yourself on the issues at hand and improving yourself so that we can all make a difference.

Be mindful, stay safe, and have a good week.

Let the DAT Studying Commence…

DAT
Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

This upcoming week is finally the week that things kick into gear. I begin my study schedule for the Dental Admissions Test or the DAT. For those of you who don’t know what the DAT is, it’s basically the SAT or ACT, but for dental school and it’s tough.

There are four sections on the exam, the survey of natural sciences, reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning, and perceptual ability or the PAT. In total, I believe the exam is 4.5 hours and there’s an optional 30 minute break at some point through the exam (Thank goodness!). The highest you can get is a 30 and most dental schools admit students who average a 20 on the exam. From what I’ve heard, the PAT section is the toughest, and based on my study program, that seems to be the case, as there is a lot of focus on the strategy behind that section.

For the PAT, there are 90 questions and you have 60 minutes to answer them. The questions on that section are supposed to include keyhole, cube face, folding, and hole-punch problems that all come with their own twists and mind-breaking characteristics. From what I’ve heard, that section is meant to test how you do with visual things but it’s also meant to destroy you and tire you out mentally. Yippeeeee. I’m most nervous for the other sections.

The survey of natural sciences section is exactly what it sounds like, a survey of all things from basic biology to organic chemistry. The reading comprehension section involves scientific articles and those articles are followed by a variety of questions testing how well you understood the article. The quantitative reasoning section on the DAT is the math section of the exam. As far as I know, it’s supposed to cover algebra through pre-calculus, which is super manageable for me.

To prepare for the exam, I’m going through DAT Bootcamp. It’s a program created by a student who did extremely well on the DAT and has shared their study schedule as well as a BUNCH of incredible resources to crush this exam.

I’m nervous to begin this journey but I’m also really excited because I look forward to the progress I make and all that I get to review and learn this summer. You’re all on this ride with me so let’s crush this DAT! See you next Sunday. 🙂

This Semester is Finally Over!!

semester
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I never thought this day would come after all that has happened in the past couple of months. I did it, you did it, we all did it! This horribly long and dreadful disaster of a semester is FINALLY OVER.

This past finals week I was supposed to have three exams: one for my physiology class, one for my organic chemistry class, and one for my accounting class. The final for my physiology class ended up being optional and I was fortunate enough to have a high enough grade that I didn’t have to take the final. For my organic chemistry and accounting classes, that wasn’t the case, but both of those finals were open note, which was nice. Both finals went well and I’m going to get the grades I’ve worked for which is awesome, but I still feel like my organic chemistry grade could have been even better. With that in mind, I’m still thankful for what I got, even though I struggled quite a bit with the online transition for that course.

I finished everything on Wednesday which was awesome and around this time last year, I was moving out of my dorm and celebrating my first year of college with my family. I was hoping to get to do that this year, but a little virus named COVID-19 definitely put a damper on those plans. It was a bit odd not getting to celebrate all the hard work my sister and I did this past year at a nice restaurant with my family, but a good dinner at home was still fun. Different, but fun.

With all of the stress that came with my course load and also the switch to online classes as a result of the pandemic, I’ve never felt so mentally exhausted from a semester and I can imagine that many of you are also feeling that way. When I hit that “Submit” button on my accounting final, I just remember feeling this wave of relief rush over me. It was all over. FINALLY.

Of course I’m still taking a summer class, but that won’t be starting until June. I still get a bit of a break though and I’m hoping I stay healthy and that my family stays healthy and that humanity starts to gain the upper hand on this troublesome virus so that we get a chance to start our normal lives back up again and enjoy some of our summer. I’m also studying for the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) this summer so that’ll definitely be something you hear about as my test date approaches in August.

I hope you’re all staying healthy and taking care of yourselves! Take some time to celebrate this weekend, whether you just graduated from high school or college or even if you just finished a semester, like me. 🙂 We deserve it. See you next Sunday!