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Sweet Summer Time

{The normal summer of a College Student}

Like so many people my age I spend the majority of my summer working, taking classes, and trying to work off my freshman 15. Besides those three things I tried to spend time with my family, boyfriend, and friends from home. Going home for the summer after spending months in Mount Pleasant was very… weird. But overall, I had a wonderful summer and here are some highlights about what I did from May until early August.  

Work: Camp Harstad is the Summer Day Camp I worked at for eight weeks of the summer. Specifically, this camp is for kids in Special Education and it provides them a place to adventure, have fun, and be in a structured environment throughout the summer. On a normal week we would be at Camp Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday while Thursday was field trip day. A few of these field trips included Public Safety, the Pocket Park, and the Movies. At camp we would take beach walks, do arts & crafts, play games and sports, have free time, and swim at the YMCA. During swim time, there were many days when the camp counselors got pushed into the pool so as the kids said, “we could have a pool party”. Also, every once in awhile, we did yoga on the beach! Everyday I learned more about myself and my passion for special education and everyday was a different journey. Working with the kids everyday and seeing the world through their eyes was the best. The staff I had the opportunity to work with became my second family and we always joked around and had one another’s backs. I loved everyday of working at camp and the experiences I had have changed who I am today. I could not ask for a better job, even if some days things got a bit crazy.

Classes: English 102: Research Writing online, the Bay College equivalent to Central’s English 201. English was my first summer class and it ran for six weeks through my Bay College in Escanaba. This class was honestly more interesting than I first expected it to be. This online course provided an opportunity to research topics I am actually interested in and write papers I was passionate about. Also, I worked a lot on my writing skills which will come in handy when I start writing papers in my Central classes this year. Also, it was helpful to take this class through Bay because it freed up time in my schedule at Central and saved me some money which is always a bonus! Statistics 210 which is the equivalent to Statistics 218QR here at Central. Like the English class, taking this class during the summer freed up time in my normal schedule at CMU and saved me money. However, the biggest reason I took Stats at my community college was for the super small class size in the summer. My class was a 2 hour night class with only 4 students in it. It ran for six weeks and was a fast paced intensive course. Taking it at Bay gave me the huge advantage of an almost one on one learning experience.

Family, friends, fun: Besides work and classes, and had to make time to work out and spend time with my friends & family. Derek and I made two trips down to my family’s cottage on Douglas Lake and spent time with a lot of my extended family. I also ate my weight in food while there because two of my all time favorite restaurants are there; The Douglas Lake Steakhouse, and we can’t forget the highlight of breakfast at the Small Town Grille in Pellston! Along with going to the cottage, I made sure there was time to go to the beach, kayak or just spend time with everyone from home. I ended my summer with a bang at the UP state fair this year because the opening night was the night before I left. Due to that, I had to eat all of the important Fair food like mini donuts & cheese curds all in one night.

All in all, I had a wonderful summer and I am ready to take on my Sophomore year at Central Michigan University.

Here are some wonderful photos from working/ having lots of fun at Camp & a few other fun summer activities because why would I take photos of me sitting is class (:

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To my beautiful Mentee

{Books! And Cleverness? There are more important thing – Friendship}

I thought it was only fitting to start this blog with a quote from our one of our favorite fiction characters. Anyways, welcome to the family! I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to welcome you to Central and LAS. You are about to make one of the biggest changes of your life and I, my friend, will be right with you the whole way. While at Central, you will embark on the journey of finding your passions, best friends, and yourself in many ways.

Everything happens for a reason, my mentor Em and I both believe that. Em and I meeting was fate and today she is my everything. But neither of us were expecting what happened with us to happen again. But my dear it did and the universe graced me with you. Maybe it was not the universe but it was Michelle who is always looking out for me. From the moment Michelle introduced us I knew you were a special human and that I wanted to be a part of your journey through Central. I also knew that you would be a perfect addition to our little LAS family and would fit in perfectly with all of our love and quirkiness. You were such a genuine person who was also super funny and kind that first day we met. When you left I went up to my room and gushed about meeting you to my roommates and told Em all about you. I was so happy that after competition day we started talking and began to get to know another. Today you are the strong, independent, passionate women I have gotten to know. You never fail to brighten my day and you are truly a blessing in my life.

I know these past few months have been difficult but you are a part of our family now and we will always be here to love and support you. Anything you need I and everyone else in the family will be there for. We already are so obsessed with you and can’t wait for you to join us at Central! Our wonderful family includes you, me, your G Emily, GG Danielle, and your GGG Clare who just graduated (also others but I don’t personally know them lol). So excited for you to become a part of out little family and come to Central with us. 

I can’t wait to get to know you even more and to become mentor and mentee. You will love Central so much and LAS will be a wonderful program to be a part of especially since we have one another. Your college experience will be amazing and I can’t wait to share that with you. Fire Up Chips! To end, here is a quote from a show we are both obsessed with ♥

See you soon love!

{You’re my family. What is you, is me. There’s nothing you could ever say to make me let go. I love you.}

Welcome to the Fam Bam!

 

Community

Alpha Sigma Tau

{My home away from home}

With all of the stereotypes about sororities, here is why I joined one and how my experience is nothing like what you see in the movies. If you would have asked me as a senior in high school if I would be a part of Greek Life I would have laughed and said heck no. I, like so many other people, had these crazy ideas about sororities until I met my mentor, Emily. She is and was then, exactly like me but she was involved in Greek Life. Through her, my knowledge of sororities grew and I went through recruitment my Freshman Year.

September 30th, 2016 was the day I, and multiple other girls, jumped home. I found my home in the Central Michigan Chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau. Here, I fell in love with the colors Emerald Green and gold, sisters, Anchors, and philanthropy. I have so much love for my sorority and the women in it, I have no idea how to put it into words but I will attempt.

AST has given me so much this first year, and I always try my best to give back. For my new member class, I was the Historian, along with Shelby and we made the scrapbook, anchor, and teacup for the chapter. It was fun being able to see everyone’s different photos and have digital evidence of my class blossoming into our chapter. Currently, I am the Director of Fundraising and planned our Grilled Cheese Fundraiser. The Grilled Cheese Fundraiser is something my chapter does every semester and the money we raise goes to our philanthropy, Pine Mountain Settlement School. This year I planned our first ever Philanthropy week which was absolutely amazing. If you want to know more about Grilled Cheese and our Philanthropy week, there is a specific blog all about it! Also, I participated in the 2017 Greek Week, other chapter’s philanthropy weeks, and endless AST events. On Central’s campus, Alpha Sigma Tau has over 1,000 hours of community service for this semester, the highest GPA, and members from all parts of campus. We are a tight-knit, passionate, and welcoming group of people. Alpha Sigma Tau and all of my sisters mean the world to me. They always have my back and I always have theirs. When something happens to one sister, it happens to all of us because we support and love one another. Being a Tau is part of who I am today, it has made me more confident, compassionate, and strong.

Through AST, I found so many important people in my life, and yes they will probably be my future bridesmaids. First to my Twin Carly… after your sister told us we look more like sisters than you two, we started saying we were twins. Without all of our constant texting, a sleepover, forcing you to go to Leadershape, and being “mom’s” together I don’t know what I would do. You have helped me find my voice and place in a sisterhood of 70+ girls. My best friends Michelle and Ellen. With Garrett, we make our little Greek Life family. You both are always there for me when I need you most. Thanks for being my family and keeping me sane. My crazy G Brenna… without you I don’t know where Em and I would be. You make sure both of us have fun even when we are stressed to the max. Thanks for the endless HAPPs dates and laugher. Finally, the most important, my Big Emily. Em was my mentor even before I joined AST. After joining the same sorority as her, we only became more close. The past few months have been hard but we always have each other and I don’t know where I would be without her. There are countless more people who have come into my life and made an impact but it would take me years to go through everyone.

My version of “What is a Tau?”

A Tau is a mixture of a boisterous little girl, a troubled adolescent, a charming young woman and a wise old lady. She is a streak of gold and a flash of green. She is a Leader Advancement Scholar, Centralis Recipient, an Athlete, and anything she wants to be. She is a shoulder to cry on, never-ending “your mom” jokes, and a friend. You can find her studying at coffee shops, cheering on the football team, and scootering through campus. She is involved, kind hearted, driven, and passionate. A Tau is all of this and more. A Tau is my sister ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random

A much needed break

Spring Break 2017 • Random little update about Spring Break

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Well first off Spring Break was far too short. However, I had a fabulous time in Florida soaking up all of the warmth and sun with my family and boyfriend before coming back to snowy chilly Michigan. Throughout the week, we ate wonderful food, laid on the beach, went to Sea World, slept in, went to Aquatica, and relaxed.

Here’s a little bit about what I did during my Spring Break in Florida. First, one of the most wonderful parts for me was being able to run outside instead of on a treadmill. I got to wake up every morning and take a run on the beach in the salty air instead of running in Michigan on the salty side walks. It was very refreshing and helped me get out of bed in the morning. Also, we went to so many good restaurants that are my personal favorites in St. Augustine. It was so nice to have something other than cafe food because it gets old pretty fast. Besides beach runs and food in St. Augustine, I showed Derek around Downtown one day and we walked through the historic part of it. We also ate some super delicious ice cream downtown at Ben and Jerry’s, which honestly made my trip because I had nondairy peanut butter ice cream. After being in St. Augustine for a few days with my family, Derek and I went to Orlando. While there we were able to go to Disney Springs and do a dinner and movie in the AMC theater. That was super cool experience. We saw Logan there and it was the perfect ending for Hugh Jackman’s career as Wolverine. The next day we went to Sea World to ride roller coasters and see all the different animals. Personally, I loved watching the dolphin show and seeing the connection and trust between the trainers and dolphins. The next day we spent time at SeaWorld’s water park Aquatica, going down the water slides and chilling in the lazy river. That evening we traveled back to St. Augustine to spend our last few days in Florida with my family.

Being in Florida with the people I love was truly rejuvenating and definitely a much needed break from my fast paced life at Central. It gave me a boost of energy that I need to finish the semester and was a nice time to just chill.

Here are some lovely picture from the ever beautiful Florida!

Family & Friends

Distance Sucks

As I sit in Mt. Pleasant reflecting on the year thus far, I wanted to blog about what I have really struggled with as a Freshman in college. That biggest struggle is the distance with my loved ones ♥

As I said above my number one biggest struggle is the distance from my family and boyfriend. My family, mom, dad, and brother, live in Gladstone which is in the U.P. and about 5 and a half hours from Central. It really is not bad coming from the U.P and growing up driving many hours to get places but when you get homesick and everyone around you is about 2 hours from their family it becomes a struggle. Then my boyfriend Derek goes to Michigan Tech which from Central is about 7 hours. Due to the distance between my boyfriend, the fact that neither of us have cars, and that we are both very busy people we only see one another on breaks. Overall, it has been a very rough adjustment from seeing all of them basically everyday to rarely ever seeing them. Both my parents occasionally have work downstate or come to Central for games and such so I see at least one person in my family about once a month. So thankfully I do see my parents but I rarely ever see Derek which has been very tough.

Anyways, many people talk about how you get homesick in college. But I could not imagine how hard it would actually be for me and really how close I am with my family. Also, I feel at home in Barnes and at Central, I have made the most wonderful friends on this earth who are always there when I miss my loved ones. SO instead of home sick I feel like I am people sick or loved ones sick if that is an actual thing {don’t get that confused with sick of people though}. I have noticed it much more this semester probably because it the fact that I am in college and independent is really starting to sink in after all of the craziness of the first semester. This semester I have also noticed sometimes how hard it is to have everyone around me talk about seeing their boyfriends and families all the time. Not to be a dower because I love my friends here and I am so happy they can see the people they care about, but once in a while it really gets me down and I have to remind myself that I am here for a reason, I love what I am going into, and I do love it here with my whole heart. BUT, it is hard sometimes all I need is my mom or boyfriend to cheer me up when I am stressed or upset and phone calls or Facetime are nice but I truly appreciate face to face time now.

The hardest part for me has been missing the important moments. In February, within two days of one another, my mom turned 50 and Derek turned 20. That week I was unable to see both of them, yes it was because I was doing something I am truly passionate about but it still hurt all the same. For my mom especially, since I have been old enough I do all of our Claes family traditions that she does for everyone else in the family. We have a birthday cake candle that’s always out on someones birthday, I get all of her presents, I make dinner, etcetera. So this year when I was not there I was number one stressed because I was unable to do all of these things from downstate, number 2 upset I could not be there for such an important birthday, and number three honestly worried my brother and dad would forget and not do anything special for her. As for Derek I just felt bad for being unable to be with him when he went from a teenager to a 20 year old because that is kind of a big deal. However, I did get to Facetime him at 11:20 on Friday night until Saturday at 12:30 so I was the first person to say happy birthday and we could at least see one another on his special day.

Finally, I just wanted to say that I love being at Central and it was one of the best decisions I have made for myself. I have grown as a person and I appreciate many things so much more now. I have found my “new” home here and the best friends I could ever ask for. I have a huge support system whenever I need it and I have many wonderful connections. I do miss my family and boyfriend a bunch but I know that every time I do see them it is the best hour/day/week ever. I made the right decision for me even though that means I am apart from my loved ones it only makes our bond stronger and our love deeper.

I just want everyone who’s in college or getting ready to go to college that it is okay to love your school and what you’re doing but also miss the people you care about. There probably will be times that are worse than others ex. being sick or stressed but you can get through it. There also may be decisions that involve you either doing something or going home for a bit from what I have experienced I would say do something exciting, fun, and create those life long memories and then go home the next time. opportunities only come once in a while so you have to take them while you can, your family/ boyfriend/ friends/ anyone will understand and support whatever you do. Remember that even though there may be a large distance between you and them that “distances means so little when someone means so much”. The love I have for my family and boyfriend grow exponentially each and everyday and through them I know I can do anything even though we are miles apart.

To close here are some {kind of a lot} fabulous pictures with the people I call home ♥