Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wake up Sleepy Head

     I have always considered myself a morning person. Sure, I don't like to wake up really early but, I mean, who does? I may not have the energy or the will to get out of bed in the morning, but I am no means a snoozer. When my alarm goes off I am awake. I just have so much to do in a day and I feel like by snoozing, I am taking up a good chunk of time. But for future warning, you can bet that if I hit snooze in the morning I am either 1. tired to the point where I can't function meaning that I will not be getting out of bed or 2. deathly ill meaning that I will also not be leaving my bed.
     I thrive on routines. I wake up at the same time on certain days, eat at certain times and go to bed at certain times. Over the years getting into a routine has been tough, especially with unexpected late night homework sessions, binge watching YouTube videos or just pure insomnia. But through all of those obstacles I think I have found a few tricks to becoming a morning person and, if you already are one, a better morning person.

ONE// Don't Snooze. This is probably the hardest step, but I promise, it makes a world of difference. It is proven that our brain basically knows our snooze button. Chances are when you hit it in the morning you will fall back into a very light sleep because your brain is expecting your alarm to go off in a few short minutes. This, in turn, messes with your sleep cycle. It might sound crazy, but my alarm has a built in snooze. If I know that I have to be out of my bed at 7am, I will set my alarm for 6:50, sit up and take time to check social media or do what ever I want. As soon as the clock hits 7, I must get out of bed. It gives me time to sit and relax for a little bit while still being on time.
This is way too common for many of us.
(via)


TWO//Sunlight. The best way to wake up in the morning is to be woken up by sunlight coming through your window. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy. When exposed to the sunlight, your body is signaled to stop the flow of it. It is the way that I wake up in the morning, but if you are concerned about the sun waking you up before your alarm goes off, buy and eye mask.

THREE//Pump up the jams. As said in one of my previous posts, which you can find HERE, I talk about Spotify. Man, do I love Spotify. When I wake up in the morning I normally play one of their suggested playlists just to wake me up a little more. When you have music playing you will be too busy dancing around your room to be upset about having to wake up. Haven't heard of Spotify? That is totally ok! It is completely free to download. If you are interested, you can download it HERE.
     Some of my current favorite Spotify playlists are:
       -Afternoon Acoustic
       -Viral Top 50: US
       -Morning Commute
       -Mood Booster

FOUR//Power Down. An hour before you plan on going to bed, turn off all electronics such as TVs, your phone, iPads or computers an hour before you want to sleep. These screens will make it much harder for your brain to wind down. So snuggle up with a good book or chat with friends before you go to bed.

FIVE// Hydrate. Every night before I go to bed I put a large cup of water by the side of my bed. Drinking water as soon as you wake up not only helps to combat sleepiness but it also kick starts your metabolism to get you read for the day. During the day it is great to drink a lot of water, so this helps with your daily hydration.

SIX// Do things at night. I am the type of person that showers at night. It gives me more time in the morning to slowly drink my coffee or to check social media. I also pick out my outfits the night before so that I am not racing around my room trying to pick out something to wear.

SEVEN// Have something to look forward to. Be it a run, a hot shower or a steaming cup of coffee, having that one thing that makes you want to wake up will make it that much easier to stumble out of your comfy bed.

     Being a morning person is not for everyone and that is totally ok. I am just telling you what works for me. I find it nice to be able to wake up and go to class without the worry of possibly falling asleep during a professor's lecture.

Love,
Susanna

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Plan for the Busy Weeks

Classes are slowly starting to pick up. Sometimes I find myself looking at my planner and thinking how the heck am I supposed to finish all of this? It just seems like sometimes there is not enough time in the day to complete everything that needs to get done. You know those weeks when you have some assignment due, some meeting scheduled, some practice to go to, on every day of the week? Yep, well that is how it has been here.
     Currently I am taking 16 credits of class (which is normal here), blogging, playing a sport, giving tours and maintaining a healthy social life. I guess what I am trying to say is that things get busy, but everything is manageable.

ONE// I know I say this a lot but, USE A PLANNER. If I did not have a planner I would probably die. Whether you use a paper planner or a planner on your iPhone, just make sure you have one. During really busy weeks, and I mean really busy weeks, I can even organize things down to the hour. This may sound weird, but I have two planners. One is my normal one that I use on a daily basis and the second one is one that I use primarily on Sundays. My Sunday Planner, as I call it, is a more broad planner. I write down all my assignments for the next week along with all meetings, practices and activities that I have to be at. This planner is organized into three categories:
     Could Do's- tasks that could get done if I had extra time, such as non-mandatory meetings and events and shopping.
     Should Do's- important things that I really should do, such as meetings or events. But these things can be rescheduled if need be.
     Must Do's- my non-negotiables such as assignments, studying, practice, mandatory meetings, class and keeping in touch with friends and family.
Upon breaking it all down into these three categories, it is also color coded. Each category has a color and then each day something is due has a different color. As you can probably tell, I am a very visual person.
My daily planner.

My list of things to accomplish for the week.

TWO// Make other lists. Along with my very intense planner, I also make lists for each day. These are often broken down by time segments (morning, afternoon and night). On this list I write down all the stuff that must get accomplished for the day.
I do this every day in a plain, spiral bound notebook. It just helps me to be a little bit more organized throughout the day. 

THREE//These weeks are the hardest time for me with social media. I get distracted so easily so once I open up Facebook it often sucks me in for a few hours. During my busy weeks, I often have to limit my social media usage.

FOUR// During busy weeks I often forget to take time to myself. Balance out your caffeine intake with water. Schedule when to sleep at night or when to take a quick nap (I love naps). Take breaks during the day to go for a walk, listen to some music or talk with some friends.

FIVE// Planning ahead is one of the things that I often forget to do. if you know that you have a busy week ahead of you, do your laundry before the week, get little assignments out of the way, or if you have meetings or appointments that can be rescheduled, do it to clear up sometime. Also, if I know that I have a busy week ahead I will clean up my room a bit so it makes me feel less cluttered.

Love,
Susanna

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Best

     Holy guacamole. It has been nearly four weeks since I have posted. WHAT THE HECK SUSANNA. GET WITH IT. But seriously. I am so sorry for the lack of posts lately. The past four weeks have been a whirlwind of moving in, preseason, classes, rugby and just a whole bunch of other things. I am happy to say that I am finally starting to feel settled in my new living situation for junior year and I am currently loving every second.
     So, as stated above, I've been a tad busy. So, to kind of narrow things down I have picked a few of my favorite things lately. They range in topics, so just bear with me.

SONG// Wowza. I have been listening to A TON of music lately. I have a strange taste in music. I  pretty much like everything. A perfect thing that often helps me find new music is Spotify. Man, I love Spotify. It's pre-made playlists are amazing and it helps me to find new music that I would have never heard of otherwise. Some of my recent favorites are:

     -Shut Up and Dance: Walk the Moon
     -OctaHate: Ryn Weaver
     -Beware the Dog- The Griswalds
     -Don't Wait- Mapei

SUITE// ohhhhmygoodness. I love my suite. But seriously. It is pretty much the best place in the world. I am living with amazing people which makes everything 1000xs better. We finally finished decorating our common room and we are all in love with it. Honestly, we spend way too much time in the common room. On Tuesday and Friday nights we are pretty much all sitting in there watching TLC and just joking around. My room is also amazing. This is my first time having my own room at SMC and granted it gets lonely at times, but it is nice to have my own space. Plus, I loved decorating it!
MY ROOM! I am literally in love with my room. 
(our amazing common room. We have finally finished decorating! Thanks to Candice for taking the picture)



SCHOOL// If you haven't already guessed by my previous posts, I love school. I really do. And this semester is no different. I adore all of my classes. This semester I am taking Photo Journalism, Philosophy of Ethics, Early Latin America and Race and Ethnic Relations. Even though they are a lot of work already, I really enjoy the work that I am doing for them. They constantly keep me engaged and the material is extremely interesting.

RUGBY//  Rugby has been amazing the past couple of weeks. Our first conference game was yesterday and we were all very pleased with the outcome. We beat Providence College 62-5. It was so nice to be out on that pitch again playing with some of my best friends. It was also great to see a bunch of alumni that came back to watch the game. Preseason happened a few weeks ago and it was amazing. Although it was really tiring it was so much fun. We had a camp during the weekend of preseason and Jamie Burke, a USA Women's National player and Candi Orsini, a USA National coach came and taught us some amazing skills. It was a long few days but it was so worth it.
(Rugby camp with the Burlington Women's team.)

TREATS// I don't normally gravitate towards sweets, I tend to prefer salty things. But one of my friend's mom made some AMAZING treats for us in the past few weeks. Her homemade granola bars were heavenly and just when we thought it couldn't get any better we were given cookies and cream cupcakes. HOLY GOODNESS. They are so good.

MEMORY//You are probably sick of hearing about summer camp. But I am sorry, I just can't talk about it enough. I love the place. Earlier today I was looking back at pictures from it and it just reminded me how much I miss it. If you have not considered working at a summer camp, well then, you seriously should. I can't suggest it enough and I miss it every day. The friends and memories that I made at camp are ones that will last a lifetime.
(l to r: Max, Jordan, Me)
Lifeguard training with these two goons!
(Nicole and I at our Fairy Tale staff dinner! She was Mulan and I was Flounder from the Little Mermaid!)
Love,
Susanna

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Secrets to Success: The First Semester

suc·cess·ful: (adj) accomplishing an aim or purpose. 

     One of the things that our society is categorized by today is how successful a person is. Everyone strives to be successful. Personally, I do not think that success is something that can be ultimately reached. More so, I believe it is something that is only chased.     
     As I have been going through my college career, I have sort of been trying to figure out my definition of success. What is the deciding moment between a moment that is successful and a moment that is not so successful? What are the things that I have been doing that have pointed me to those successful moments? It has taken me a little time, but I think I have a few answers. 
     My success secret is simple. A lot of people think it is more difficult than it actually is (I was one of those people until I really thought about it.) And the big secret is........ if you say you are going to do it, do it.
     Honestly, I wish I had figured these things out when I was just starting college. As said in previous posts, my first year of school was rough. I wasn't challenged as much as I should have been in high school so I thought that just skating through college was the only option. I was wrong and my grades showed that. Granted, they were not awful, but they were just not what I wanted them to be. 
     Sure, I do things last minute. Things get stressful. I may cry. But things get done. If I say I am going to do something, come rain, sleet, wind or snow (most of the time its snow up here in VT), I will do it. To be able to do this, I have some tips that I have figured out. 

ONE: Be on time. All of my friends make fun of me because I am always early to things. If I have class at 12:15, I am on my way to that class by 12. I am not sure why, but I just hate being late. Lateness is probably one of my biggest pet peeves and it honestly pains me to be late to something. I find that sometimes this takes just as much self control as it takes planning. You can plan out your exact route and times to do things, but if you hit that snooze button one time or take a few extra minutes on Pinterest, then all of that planning goes to waste. It is all one big compromise. This applies for almost everything in my life, not only showing up for class or tours, but also for submitting assignments and papers. 

TWO: Keep yourself organized. Sometimes it gets hard. Trust me, I am in no way the most organized person. My room looks like a bomb went off with clothes, makeup, hair products and all of my rugby gear all over the place. But when it comes to big things, I am always organized. If I don't write down when something is due, I will almost always forget. I am a big fan of to-do lists and calendar alerts in my phone. What ever you need to do to keep track of our life, do it! 
I am a HUGE fan of planners. I love planners so much that I actually have 2 of them: one for school work and one for blogs and extracurricular activities. To go a little bit further, I even color code them. I know. I'm weird.
(image)

THREE: Figure out deadlines. This one goes hand in hand with number two, so just stick with me. While somethings spell out deadlines for you (papers, exams, quizzes, projects) other things my not be as clear. I find it 10 times harder to be able to complete things when there isn't a deadline spelled out for me. I always do the classic "I'll do it later" thing. Always always always figure out a date that gives you a reasonable time frame to complete a task and stick to it. 

FOUR: Set Priorities. This is a biggie. If I say I am going to do something, I don't want to disappoint anyone by not completing the task. That means that if I have way too many things on my plate and someone asks me to pick up another I have to tell them "no" straight up. In previous years, I thought saying no was a bad thing, but trust me, it's not. Saying no is one hundred times better than saying yes and then having to back out at the last minute. It is still something that I find really challenging today. I always want to please everyone and I feel like by saying no I am letting them down. Through this I constantly have to remind myself that I am actually preventing myself from letting them down by saying no. 

FIVE: Define. What does success mean to you. You can never be successful until you have a clear idea of what it is. I usually start with my biggest, larger than life goal and work my way from there. When good is good enough, I'm done and accept the fact that it is good enough. I can definitely be grouped into the category of a perfectionist sometimes. I want everything I do to be perfect. But in the end, I just have to get things done. 

What does success mean to you?

Love,
Susanna

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Forgotten Things that Shouldn't be Forgotten

I am moving into my junior year dorm in a matter of days. WHAT!? Junior year!? WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE. Where have my college years gone?! But for now, that rant is besides the point. I like to think that in my past 2 full years of college I have compiled a list of things that are necessary for dorm life. Sadly, these are things that I often forget to pack. Therefore, I figured I could compile a little list for all of you!

1. Umbrella/Rain Coat/ Wellies: I PROMISE you that you will get use out of these items. We can only wish that classes would get cancelled over a little rain, but I assure you, they do not. Keep these items in your closet because no one wants to sit in class dripping wet.

2. Baby Wipes: You may be like, Susanna, why the heck would I need baby wipes. I had the same thought so don't worry. But let me tell you, these things are a gift from the heaven. They are great for make up wipes, a quick cleaner to dirty surfaces and awesome for a quick hand cleaner. Trust me, you will not be disappointed with a pack of these in your room!

3. Flash Drive: This one seems pretty obvious but I forgot one my freshman and sophomore year. Good one Suze. I now use my flash drive so often that it always have one (or 2) in my backpack at any given time!

4. Dust pan/Vacuum: As much as I hate to admit it, my room gets messy. A dust pan or vacuum is super quick and helps to pick up dirt and other stuff that lurks on your dorm room floor.

5. Portable Speakers: The past two years I have brought portable speakers with me and they have been amazing. They were great for movie nights in our rooms or shower parties with music.Trust me, loud portable speakers will make you a star at school!

6. Air Fresheners: I like things that smell good. It is as simple as that.

7. Water Bottle: At SMC one of the things that you will see constantly are students carrying water bottles. We ALL have water bottles. They are super convenient and help to keep you hydrated.

8. Door Stop: For the first few weeks this is crucial. You may find it super tempting to sit in your room alone and watch KnightFlix by yourself because it is super easy. Keep your door open whenever your are in your room the first week and it will help you to meet all of the people on your floor and make some amazing friends (I Met some of my best friends my first week at school).

Love,
Susanna

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Too Close Cover HERE
^^Listen to this AMAZING cover by one of my teammates and closest friends Lauren (Pointy). I promise you will not be disappointed!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm at Camp

Hey all, sorry for the lack of posts all summer. Very similar to last summer, I am working at the same summer camp and enjoying every minute of it. Currently I am sitting on the office porch during my off time typing this post while looking out over lower field where there is a group doing yoga. The birds are chirping, the grass is green and there is a nice breeze. I cannot believe that currently there are only 3 weeks left for me here and 4 until I head back up to SMC for preseason for rugby. My goodness, I am SO EXCITED to be back at school. But until then, I am here. I again apologize for the lack of posts but I hope all of your summers are going as well as mine. 
Love,
Susanna

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Living

     It is summer vacation and if you have read my previous blog post (which you should have, but in case you missed it, you can find it HERE) you would know that I have been doing a whole lotta nothing for the past couple of weeks. Today I woke up in my bed and looked down on my floor and realized that I couldn't even see the floor because of all the stuff located there. The difference between today and literally the countless other times I have done that was that today I felt really REALLY angry about it. Passionate anger. I literally sat in my bed and whined, as all normal adults do (note sarcasm). But I soon realized that as an adult* (*I assume being 20 years old makes me an adult, right?) we have to do this stuff all the time.

     As I have realized in the past couple of weeks, I don't want my life to be a monotonous mix of getting up in the morning, brushing my teeth, plopping on the couch, watching reruns of Total Divas (my new obsession), eating some food and then repeating. I NEED TO DO SOMETHING.

     We often queue up our Netflix, DVR, or YouTube all while neglecting to queue up our own lives; the things that matter and that we will actually remember. The process is simple. JUST KIDDING. Its totally not, but don't worry, you can do it, I promise. I guess I cannot give you a solid answer because I am still in the process of defining what it actually feels to BE alive. Not just like the breathing and heart beating stuff, but actually being alive, like I am alive in my own body, ya know, just chillin' on this Earth. I make everything harder than it needs to be. I buy into the crappy infomercials on TV. I get sucked into basically any sale item at Target even if I don't need it. I make things complicated just to add a little excitement to my life. I care way too much about what people think about me.

     Basically, I care too much about getting my life together. If there is anything more overrated than having your life together, then I don't know what is. I care more about my future plans than my plans right now in the moment and care more about how I look in a selfie than having a life that is worth photographing and saving in a picture album to be passed down in years to come.

     I mean, I could just totally forgo all life and live totally off the grid...... HAHAHAHA. No. Not happening. The part that I am struggling with is how to be a "free" human being and live my life freely while also feeling the need to be a functioning member of society.

     How do live the crap out of your life? How do you even know what it feels like to be alive?
    After I sat in my bed whining for quite a while I did what every normal adult would do. I blasted some Iggy Azalea and cleaned my room while I totally ugly danced all over my room while singing into a hair brush. So adult of me, I know. I want there to possibilities and opportunities in my life. I want to create a life that I can be proud of in the future. I am unsure of the type of memories I want or the kind of life I want to create (all I know is that if it includes Channing Tatum, I'm totally game.) All I know is that as I flailed awkwardly around my room I felt alive. Like really alive. And I plan to take advantage of that moment, one ugly dance at a time.

Love,
Susanna

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