Done With Dead Week

dead week

This past week was ROUGH. Wow. I had a 12 page lab report to write, a 10 page paper to also write, a genetics disease presentation to prepare, and a pile of chemistry homework to complete. On top of that, I have two finals to study for. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with dead week.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, dead week is lovely name given to the week before finals in college. This is typically where final papers, presentations, and speeches occur so it’s awful. On top of this professors are all trying to cram in that last little bit of information to make your brains actually explode.  

As usual, I managed to get sick the week before finals.  I think that’s stress-related and probably also ties into the fact that I’ve been running on very little sleep lately. This all seems so perfect with dead week. Being sick makes me feel like I’m dying sometimes because of all the coughing and sinus pain and throat pain. So much fun, haha. I’m ready for a six-week long break. At this point I know I deserve it and I bet many other of you college students out there can relate. I just need a long break from dining hall food, my dorm, and campus itself. I love my school and all of the people I’ve met but this break will actually save me from going insane. 🙂 Hopefully people can relate to this. 

After my two finals are done, I’m done with my first semester of college! Oh my goodness, that flew by! I’m almost there and so are you college kids out there reading this! Best of luck to you all on finals. You’re all going to do so well! Stay healthy, stay strong, and let’s get this semester done!

My Vision for the World

My vision for the world

There are a lot of ways in which our world is in a great place. There’s better access to medicine and treatments for people all over the world. People are living longer. The quality of life for many has improved. While all of this and more is true, there are also plenty of ways in which our world needs improvement. There’s so much hate. People are so sensitive nowadays. No one listens to anyone. People are more worried about themselves and their stupid online profiles than how they actually appear in real life. 

There’s a lot of things I wish I had the power to do on my own to make this world a better place for all. I know that I can’t individually change the world, but I know that with the help of people like you (thanks for being here!), we can make the world more of what we want it to be. For this world, I see:

  • No hate. Be good to one another, please. 
  • Kindness. The header on my home page says it… Have courage and be kind. 🙂 Please share this message. I keep this in mind every day. I think it’s so important.
  • Celebration of differences. We’re all beautiful and wonderful individuals. We need to take time to recognize this more often.
  • Good education for all. Knowledge is power. By being educated, we all make better decisions and have a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. 
  • Self-love, and when I say this I mean the healthy kind! It’s important to appreciate yourself for who you are. It’s important to love your body for what it is. You’re perfect for who you are and there’s absolutely no need to compare yourself to others because everyone is different!
  • Less talking and more doing. People, take action if you see something you don’t like! If there’s something you know you can help change, go out and make that change!
  • Respect for all. Even if you disagree with a person and their opinions, you should respect them. Be professional and work with people even if you don’t get along. You can hate them all you want, but when you’re around them, you should be respectful, caring, and pleasant.
  • Good health. Mentally, physically, and emotionally!
  • Healthy relationships for all.
  • No anger. Selena Gomez says it best in her song, Kill em’ with Kindness. “No war in anger was ever won.”  
  • Peace. If there was less anger and less fighting we could have this. Agreeing to disagree would also help us have a more peaceful world.
  • Honesty. I feel like if we all stopped trying to please everyone by telling white lies every so often, the world would be a better place. With honesty, I think it’s also important that we all learn to be true to ourselves! Honesty is something very important to me and I feel like I’ve made myself a better person by being as honest as I am with myself and others.
  • More smiling. When I become an orthodontist later in life, I hope that I can help people feel good about themselves and smile more. In addition to this, I just want more happiness in the world. We could all use some more happiness. 
  • Gratitude. Tying back to my Thanksgiving posts, we all need to be more thankful for everything we have. There is SO much to be thankful for.
  • Unity. If we all celebrated our differences, learned that it’s ok to disagree, and had some respect for one another, I think that we could be a more united world.
  • Love. Mark 12:30-31: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.

As I said earlier, I think the world we live in is a pretty amazing place but there’s so much potential for it to be even better for everyone. I hope you keep these things in mind and find little ways in which you can make a difference in the lives of those around you. I hope you can find ways to make the world around you the world you want it to be. Have a great week everyone 🙂

A Much Needed Break

A much needed break

That was a WONDERFUL break, oh my goodness. I hope you all enjoyed time with family and friends this past week, and especially on Thanksgiving. I sure know I did!

When I first got home from school last weekend, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Marty, Boo, or Bobo so excited. I’ve been home for weekends, but I think they could tell I was staying for a longer period of time, which was adorable. My mom, dad, and sister, were excited too of course! I really missed seeing them every day. 🙂 I love my family and I’m so glad I chose to attend an in-state college. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t come home on weekends.

At the beginning of the week, I got back into the swing of tennis which was amazing. I played like I haven’t played in a few weeks so it was quite the scene, but I enjoyed it. Hitting with my dad and sister again was so much fun. Just in general, not having to think about chemistry and my typical pile of homework was FUN!

As usual, my family and I went to New Mexico to spend time with my aunt, uncle, and grandpa for Thanksgiving which is always a great time. I’m sad we had to come back early this time around though. The weather was crummy yesterday and I had to be back to school today, so we drove back yesterday.

The time I get to spend with family is always great though. Even though it’s short, we make the most of it. Thanksgiving itself was filled with A LOT of great food and of course, my favorite, pumpkin pie. I get a little too excited for dessert on Thanksgiving because I absolutely love pumpkin pie. I’m pretty sure I ate an entire pumpkin pie by myself throughout my weekend in New Mexico. My family and I played fun games, ate some more, went on a ride with my grandpa (he loves going out to see the airport), and caught up with my aunt and uncle.

And of course, there was homework for me to do too. I had a speech to write, project to watercolor, and a gigantic post lab to finish for my chemistry lab. I got it all done, but doing homework over break really sucks. I can’t wait for winter break! There will be no homework for six whole weeks and when I come back to school, I’ll be in totally different classes. I’m pumped.

Only two more weeks til finals and then it’s winter break! Once again, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and if you were on break, I hope you enjoyed that too. 🙂 Have a great week everyone, and remember to find something to be thankful for every day.

Thankful

thankful

Thank God this past week is over! Wow was that rough. All of my professors and TA’s decided this week was the best week to turn in papers and lab reports and also take exams. I’m SO glad it’s over.

As we approach Thanksgiving, once again, I just wanted to take some time to talk to you all about the importance of being thankful. When I say this, I don’t mean that we just need to be thankful on Thanksgiving. Being thankful for EVERYTHING is important on a daily basis. There is so much that we take for granted from day-to-day, and that’s not how life should be at all. It’s a miracle that I’m sitting here writing this blog to you all and it’s a miracle that you’re sitting on the other end reading it! 

Throughout the month, I’ve taken time to reflect on what I’m thankful for every day. I was really wanting to add this list up to 30, for each day of November, but I feel like this is something I’ll continue doing anyway. By taking time to recognize all the good in my life, I feel like there’s really not a lot I can complain about! 

Here are 18 things I’m thankful for:

  1. It’s November! This year has really flown by.
  2. The fact that I get to help my mom volunteer at COMOM tomorrow.
  3. My mom who helps keep my teeth in good shape and a family that can afford dental care.
  4. Time with family, especially my health and ability to play tennis with my dad and sister 🙂
  5. Pre-dental club and wax whittling (I’m a dork)
  6. The fact that I can handle an honors section biology class. I’m also extremely thankful for Harry Potter and that entire world. In my honors seminar on children’s literature we are reading Harry Potter and I love it way too much. Proud Gryffindor 🙂
  7. Wednesdays. It’s almost the end of the week!
  8. Fun and cool lab substitutes for my honors section biology lab
  9. Fun emails from my dad about foxes creeping into peoples’ yards
  10. Weekends! Sleeping in is pretty great too
  11. Brunch with my roommate and honorary roommate (I say this because she’s in our room more than she is in her own)
  12. No more homework in my honors recitation! Good meetings with pre-health advisors are great too. I feel so much more sure of what I want to do in my life 🙂
  13. Discipline to study hard and hopefully do well on my biology exam (Thanks Mom and Dad!)
  14. My adorable sister who is so so so excited for me to come home (Me too Allyson, I can’t wait!!)
  15. My lab TA for chemistry. He’s a really good guy and he’s also not bad looking (haha). He’s helped me a lot this semester. 
  16. Getting an 85% on my chem exam! This last exam was super duper hard and a bunch of people I talked to failed the exam. I’m thankful for my abilities to study (once again) and go with my gut. Hard work pays off!
  17. BEING HOME! I missed my family and also my doggies and bird. 
  18. Showering without shoes. I’ve been showering in flip flops for the past 3 months and the communal bathrooms are pretty nasty. They’re cleaned daily and I’m so grateful to the cleaning staff (I couldn’t do what they do!) but the fact that a bunch of other girls use the same shower that I use kinda freaks me out.

Even the little things in life mean a lot. It’s all about perspective. If you ever feel like your life sucks or you’re hitting a rough patch, find one thing to be thankful for. I bet you that someone in the world has it much worse than you do, so that’s important to recognize. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week and I hope that you all get to enjoy some quality time with friends and family. If you’re in college, like moi, and are on break, you deserve it! I don’t know about you, but I SOOOO needed this break. Honestly, everyone deserves this break. Have a great week everyone! Don’t forget to be thankful. 🙂

T-Minus One Week Until Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving Break

Man has this semester flown by! It feels like I arrived at CSU, blinked, and now I’m sitting at my desk watching the snow fall trying to not be stressed about all of the stuff that’s happening this upcoming week. I need it to be Thanksgiving break!

This upcoming week I have a chemistry exam as well as a biology exam. On top of that, I have a paper due for my honors’ seminar (which is already done) and a lab report due for my biology lab. I’m feeling ok for my tests, but we shall see what happens. I would love to hold my A’s for both classes heading into finals. 

So after this week, I’m on Thanksgiving break (woohoo) and then when I come back from that, I’ll have 2 weeks of classes and then finals and then WINTER BREAK! I’m so excited for college winter break because it isn’t the tiny thing I used to get in high school. Oh no no. In college, or at least at CSU, we get six whole weeks off! I’m very excited. I see a lot of tennis in my future. 🙂 

I’m going to have to end this blog here today, because I have a lot of work to do. I hope this wasn’t too boring and I hope that those of you also getting ready to go on Thanksgiving break are surviving. Have a great week everyone!

I Love COMOM

COMOM
All rights for this image go to the Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM).

Yesterday, my mom and I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at the Colorado Mission of Mercy, also known as COMOM. COMOM is a dental event that occurs annually and provides free dental care to those who cannot afford or access it. From dentures and flippers to extractions to basic cleanings and oral hygiene information, COMOM does a wonderful job getting people the help they need. 

My mom and I volunteered in the oral hygiene education department, so we were responsible for educating people on how to care for their extraction sites and how to care for their mouth in general. We discussed proper brushing and flossing techniques, the best products to use, and addressed any questions that patients had. 

As a pre-dental student, I was worried that I wouldn’t know enough to help the patients. I’m very thankful to have a mom in the dental field because she has taught me so much about everything, so I feel like I was educated enough to provide patients with proper home care instructions and advice. So many of the people were so grateful and I just hope that I was able to give them enough information to take care of themselves and improve their dental health. I imagine that many of the patients are unable to regularly see a dentist or afford one, so for some of them, COMOM is the only dental help they receive. 

It’s saddening to know that some people can’t even afford dental help and I wish that there were ways to make dental care more affordable for all. Everyone deserves to feel good about their smile and I’m glad that at least COMOM can give people that opportunity. There were so many good people, doctors and patients, and it was incredibly humbling to be around so many good people.

At COMOM, there were so many oral surgeons, hygienists, dentists, dental assistants and students, and other dental specialists who dedicated their time to volunteer and I thank each and every one of them for being there. A big event like COMOM would never function without the organization and help of all the volunteers. Some people wouldn’t get the dental help they need without COMOM, so I’m very glad to know that something as amazing as the Colorado Mission of Mercy exists. 

If you live in Colorado and are interested in dentistry, I highly recommend volunteering at this wonderful event. Next year, COMOM will be in Glenwood Springs on October 4th and 5th, so if you are available, please consider helping out. If you would like to learn more about COMOM and their mission, please check out their website

I look forward to helping out at COMOM in the years to come. I know that it makes such a difference in the lives of many and it’s great to know that so many people benefit from it. There is so much to be thankful for in life and I ask you all to keep this in mind as you move along in your lives. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

My Miss Colorado Experience

This past weekend was finally the weekend! The Miss Colorado USA pageant happened and I have a lot to share. Overall, the experience was wonderful. I had a lot of fun and it was empowering to be around so many beautiful, funny, and strong young ladies. 

Yesterday morning, my mom, sister, and I arrived in Greeley for registration and I had a chance to meet the 2018 titleholders who were both very sweet. Shortly after, we had a pageant briefing and it was awesome to see how prepared Future Productions was for the event. It was extremely professional and I felt like I knew what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to be at all times thanks to the amazing pageant staff and chaperones.

After the briefing, we got right into interviews with the judge panel. I was pretty nervous for this, but I walked in to meet the judges, we talked about all sorts of things, we laughed, and just like that my interview was done. And the interview lasted maybe 2 minutes? It felt so short and it really was. Following the interview competition, I participated in an optional competition for spokesmodel. Why not give it a try, right? I enjoy talking and being in front of a camera so I gave it a shot. 

Next up was rehearsals for the big preliminary show that evening. There was a lot of walking in heels. Like, A LOT. I was surprised that my feet even made it to the preliminary show! All of the practice was worth though because I felt extremely prepared and confident in what I needed to do when I stepped on that stage. All of the girls who had competed before were very helpful and willing to show me where to go on stage which I really appreciated. There wasn’t a cutthroat, competitive atmosphere that is sometimes associated with pageants. The atmosphere was still competitive but everyone was there to make friends and help one another feel confident and beautiful, which I loved.

Finally, it was time to prepare for the prelims and then the show began! We all first walked out and did our intros in our fun silver and black outfits. My heart was definitely beating out of my chest and I was so so so nervous but I was having fun so the nerves went away quickly. It was a feeling similar to the adrenaline rush you get before stepping out to play a tennis match. I love it! After the miss contestants finished intro, we rushed back to the dressing rooms to change into swimsuit. Yes, swimsuit. 

There has been a lot of controversy over the swimsuit competitions of many pageants and I believe that there shouldn’t be. To me, I see the swimsuit competition as an opportunity to display all the hard work you’ve put into bettering yourself. Wearing a swimsuit in front of a large crowd, like the one I walked in front of, was empowering. I’ve been working out a lot since I was cleared from my injuries forever ago and I’ve changed a lot about my eating habits to make my body what I want it to be. I was proud to walk in my swimsuit, because like I’ve said, I feel like I was showing off my months and even years of hard work. There was so much energy in the room for the swimsuit competition and walking in a swimsuit in front of that crowd was so much fun.

After swimsuit, I had a little bit of a break. The teen contestants had to complete their active wear competition as well as their evening gown competition. I had a chance to catch my breath in the dressing room and then I got dressed in my evening gown. My dress was the same dress I wore to prom senior year of high school. It’s a dress that I feel comfortable walking in and I just really love the color. When the time came to walk in our evening gowns, I had a really good time out on stage, once again. I was a bit more nervous about my dress however, because when I practiced walking in it, I occasionally stepped on my dress and guess what ended up happening during the show? As I was leaving my last spot, I stepped on my dress. I don’t think very many people noticed but that definitely made me a bit nervous about how I walked overall. 

And with the conclusion of that competition, the prelims came to an end. I was exhausted after yesterday and when I got to the hotel and my head hit that pillow, I was out. The next day was finals! Woohoo! Going into today, I knew that regardless of the outcome, I would be proud of myself. I had a feeling I wouldn’t make top 15, considering the experience that many of the other girls had with pageants. When finals came around, I did not make top 15, but I still got to participate in the final show which was a lot of fun. I also didn’t receive any special awards and that’s ok! This whole experience was an award to me and I learned so much from my first time competing at Miss Colorado USA. 

I would like to thank Future Productions and the Miss Universe Organization for giving me the opportunity to compete at the Miss Colorado USA pageant. I really enjoyed my weekend and met so many beautiful and awesome women who I hope to see in the future. This experience taught me a lot about myself and gave me confidence that I thought I would never have. Congrats and good luck with your year to the new titleholders, Miss Colorado USA, Madison Dorenkamp, and Miss Colorado Teen USA, Sydney Boehler! You’re both going to do amazing things. I would also like to thank my family and friends for their support throughout this process. You guys gave me the confidence to compete at Miss Colorado. I can’t wait to see where this experience takes me and I look forward to competing at Miss Colorado next year. Have a good week everyone! 🙂

Turning 19

And just like that, another year is gone and now I’m 19. This year has been a year of good and bad times, like all and I learned a lot going into my first technical year of “adulthood”. So here’s to 19 and all the wonderful memories of being 18.

  • For one, shortly after my birthday, I got my wisdom teeth out. Woohoo! (I hope you’re picking up on the sarcasm here.) And guess who got to fill out her own paper work? This girl!
  • I ended my career in juniors’ tennis. 🙁 While I haven’t been able to play as much tennis now that school is in full swing, I plan to stay around the sport for the rest of my life. There’s no time to be sad about this though! With the end of my junior career comes the beautiful opportunity to kick some booty in the women’s divisions. This past summer I won the Longmont Open in the 3.5 singles and the Boulder Babolat Open in the 4.0 singles divisions. I started low just to see where I truly fit in, and I think I’ve figured that out now. I love tennis!
  • I graduated from high school! That was pretty cool and I also got to speak at graduation which was such an honor. And shortly after graduation, my aunt and uncle took me on the trip of a lifetime to Oahu. I am forever grateful to them for that beautiful trip. So many wonderful memories and also I’m totally not addicted to Maui Sweet Onion Chips or Honolulu Cookie Company cookies now.  

This 18th year was spent with family and good friends and just good people in general. I hope that I’ve been able to have an impact on their lives in the same way they’ve impacted mine. I can’t wait to see what this next circle around the sun has in store for me. I’m so thankful for the wonderful life I’ve been given and there’s a lot I have to accomplish. Here’s to 19! Have a wonderful week everyone! 🙂

Seeing Fall Colors at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Another weekend at home made for another fun adventure with my family. This weekend, my sister had to hike for one of her classes, so we did that! We ended up going to Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Commerce City and hiked around several of the lakes there. 

Saturday was a beautiful day here in Colorado. It was a little breezy but it was still shorts weather (yay!) so all was good. Our first hike was around Lake Ladona which is one of the larger lakes at Rocky Mountain Arsenal. There was a large, paved main path and then heading into the grass, there was a more narrow and natural trail. I decided to take the more narrow trail that lead through the grass. I thought we were going to get lost while on this trail but thank goodness my dad was paying attention and found an easier dirt trail along the way! Along the trail, we saw deer hoof prints, cattails, a variety of bushes, and of course trees. It was wonderful to see the trees displaying their orange, yellow, and red tones for fall. That’s my favorite part of fall. The trees are always so pretty!

As our hike around Lake Ladona came to an end, we got to pass directly over the lake see more plants and algae. I was hoping to see some frogs, but they weren’t around unfortunately. After finishing up the loop around Lake Ladona, we headed over to a smaller lake, Lake Mary. Lake Mary had a lot of beautiful trees and the view around this lake was gorgeous. There were plenty of little areas to go exploring around Lake Mary too, which made it more fun.

Hiking at Rocky Mountain Arsenal is totally a family-friendly experience. The hikes are easy and there are lots of places to stop to rest and also take pictures! At the visitor center, there’s a lot of valuable information about the arsenal and the animals that call it home. One of Rocky Mountain Arsenal’s greatest contributions is to the black-footed ferret population. They’ve helped bring the ferrets back in numbers and do amazing things to educate society on the cute, little prairie dog hunters. 

So if you’re looking for a fun, easy hike, near Commerce City, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Arsenal is the place for you. My family and I really enjoyed our time there. What a fun way to spend time in the great outdoors. Have a good week everyone!

Last Weekend

last weekend

I had a really good idea for last week’s post so that’s what that was. After that posted though, I realized how good of a weekend I had and how happy I felt to be home for the weekend. So now, I’m going to take some time to share about last weekend!

I’ve been going home every two weeks since college started, just because it feels like the right amount of time to step away from college life and go back and see everyone at home. 🙂 When I got home Friday night, my sister was babysitting so I spent some time with Marty and Boo my lovely little doggies, and Bobo my sweet, talking bird. When she got home, we crashed. Sleep was much needed.

On Saturday, my family and I checked out Denver Premium Outlets in Thornton, which is a new, high-end mall opening in our area! Some of the shops there included: Calvin Klein, Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange, and many more. The layout of the mall was very cute and open and honestly, they had a sweet playground. Had there not been as many kids as there were, I would’ve definitely been checking out their jungle gym. This was a great time to just be with family and I really enjoyed getting to see all the people there who were wayyyyy to excited to spend all that money. Funny side-note here, outside the Michael Kors store, there was a super long line. I just thought that was funny. How many people desperately needed a Michael Kors bag?

After our experience at the new mall, my dad and I played tennis which was wonderful, even if I sucked. Not playing for two weeks is tough! I was surprised I got my rhythm back as soon as I did! Tennis was cut short, unfortunately, by a spray tan appointment.

Yes, I did just type that. A spray tan appointment. As many of you know, or now know (haha), I will be competing in the Miss Colorado USA pageant in October. In preparation for that, I wanted to test out a spray tan, because by the time of the pageant in October, my actual tan will be looooong gone. When I hopped in the booth, I was all by myself which was nice but also terrifying. I had instructions and knew what to do based on the instructions on the wall, but I still had no clue what to do. I applied the primer and barrier cream like I thought I was supposed to and then got into the machine. Life was pretty good, until the spraying of the tan actually began. I adjusted quickly, but OH MY GOODNESS, I have never shook so much out of fear in my life. I didn’t expect the spray to come out where it did and then I wasn’t holding my breath at first, so my body definitely freaked out a little. I was fine in the end and got a nice even spray tan out of that experience. Wow, what a time.

Now that this chaos was over, I had the honor of getting my little sister ready for homecoming. I got to do her makeup which was a lot of fun and then I helped with pictures for her and her friends. It felt a little weird honestly, not going to homecoming, but it’s also fun to look back on the wonderful homecoming experiences I had. Allyson looked beautiful and I’m glad that she had a fun and safe senior homecoming. 🙂

Sunday was much less busy. I played some more tennis with my dad and then gathered everything I needed to head back to CSU. I enjoyed a wonderful lunch with my family at the country club I play tennis at and hung out with my sister for a while, and then it was time to head back! Staying at CSU for weekends is great from time to time so that I can focus on my studies but it’s also been a blessing to only live an hour away from home so that I can go back to Broomfield and be with family. I hope you all had a good weekend and have a great upcoming week! 🙂