Finals: I’m Too Tired to Think of a Clever Title

My fingers are dragging over the keyboard. My eyelids are in slow motion. My body is screaming nap time but my mind is whispering the final assignments that are due in a few days. Finals week, this battle has been hell. I will not let you win but you can throw a hefty left hook. I just need a minute to catch my breath.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Yes.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Yes.

For those who are in college good luck. For those who aren’t, I’m sure you have felt another comparable, stressful situation. I didn’t think much of finals when I was a freshman and I didn’t think college was too difficult until I got into my major and realized all of the work that has been demanded from me.

Today is the day that positivity needs to be carved into my skull. The days I lose motivation and the grey skies win over my mood. The days that textbooks seem a thousand pages thicker and words seem much too difficult to string into a coherent essay. The days I drag myself around in an attempt to be functional. Man, I am burned out. College is hard. It’s not a new revelation I’ve made, but it deserves to be said.

So for those of you who need to hear it, you can do it. You are almost there. You have a few days left and if you keep up the pace and push yourself until that last minute of that last exam, you will be so proud of yourself. It will be worth it. Take a deep breath and keep trucking. You are almost done. Then you can scream to the skies and let the sunshine hit your face.

Think of summer. Think of how great it will be to enjoy the summer knowing you pushed yourself to the last possible hour of the Spring Semester of 2015. You will jump in the air and time will freeze in your happiness. Okay, maybe not quite that blissful, but you can grab a glass of wine and watch Netflix without feeling guilty for the first time in months.

The simplest pleasures. They are quite worth it. Keep pushing.

Until next time,

Anna Marie

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Unexpectedly… My Leadership Class Helped Me Find Myself

I’m a leader. WHY? Because I’ve been told so.

No, really, that’s valid.

This semester of college has provided me with a business course that is all about learning what kind of leader you have the potential to be. Honestly, I didn’t enroll in this class on purpose, I just begged the business department to put me in an elective for my minor so I could graduate on time. Call it fate? Call it luck? Call it desperation?

Anyways, I went into this class with no expectations at all of what would happen. I sat in the front on the first day with a bright eyed teacher that was bursting with content and excitement. “We are learning about leadership and how to become a better leader through practices you will  use in and outside of class.” She said, “Some will blow this class off, some of you will be changed by it.”

Seemed basic enough. Little did I know, this class was going to help me find myself in the midst of my college years of chaos. She wasn’t kidding, I was changed by her course.

Ever since high school, I wanted to know who Anna was. I heard things from others, felt things on my own, but I never really understood what it was to be me and why I did the actions I did.

In this Leadership class, we took a lot of self-evaluations, personality tests and created charts of goals and values. The year started with recognizing what huge events in your life transformed your energy and either rated a 10 on the scale of happiness or a 1. We worked through how those significant events might make us better decision makers or choose a certain way of thinking or feeling.

When I looked at these huge events, financial instability, bad family relationships, adventure, first year of college, I realized a lot about myself. I am a stickler with my money and where I spend it because I have seen what money loss can do to people. I value close relationships because I haven’t always had the best relationships in my immediate family. It was a lot to take in and a lot to learn about myself.

We continued these practices and I continued to learn who I was.

We did practices like sitting down and listening to someone completely and devotedly. We learned how to apologize to someone sincerely. There were a lot of random practices that sound like you wouldn’t get much out of them but let me tell you something. Going into our professional and personal lives, we were asked to practice these exercises and when I tried it out, it changed the way I communicated with people. I put down distractions and got into deeper conversations and put meaning behind “I’m sorry”. I was able to strengthen relationships at work and at home because I learned how to become a more effective communicator and listener. In a leadership class.

What does that have to do with leading?

Scholarships awarded for my leadership excellence and for being a great student.

Scholarships awarded for my leadership excellence and for being a great student.

Leading isn’t just about power and brains, it’s about compassion and gaining the respect and trust of people so they want to follow you. If you don’t understand yourself, how can you begin to understand others? Knowing yourself will allow you to recognize how you need to interact with someone and what they might need from you. You will  know what kind of values you need to honor and what skills you have to offer. That is when you will start to realize how you can put yourself in the best set up for success.This is how you learn what kind of leader you are.

If you learn how to communicate with people and can contribute a meaningful conversation whether it’s telling them what to improve on, praising them or asking them for something, people will start to recognize those strengths and come to you when needed. Learning how you can function as a better leader will make it easier for those to follow you.

We did goal setting and career sheets to help us recognize what we want in our lives and what we can do today to start chasing our goals. Isn’t that incredible? Your goals don’t just happen, you have to start doing what you can today to make them a reality. For some reason, this was a huge moment for me when I realized that I am in the process of some huge dreams I value and can start working towards others right now. I found out that I am doing pretty damn good right now. I realized that I am in a really strong place for my career and can continue to shoot for the stars.

One of my favorite projects had us request three stories and statements from those close to us. We had them describe what they think makes us different from others and we had to compile the feedback into a consensus agreement. When one person tells you that you are a hard-worker, you smile and feel good about what you are doing. When twelve people email you back and tell you that they see how hard you work, you realize that it isn’t just a compliment, it’s one of your strongest attributes. I found out that not just one person thinks I am caring, but 8 out of 12 people emailed me back with examples of just how caring of a person they see me to be. This made me feel good and confident in how I was presenting myself as a person.

Throughout all of these reflections and assignments, I came away with an insanely in-depth evaluation of who I am. I learned how to communicate more effectively, what values are important to me, what I dream of and how I can achieve it, what goals are priorities for me, that I have about 15 dream careers, that I am a positive, caring, hard-working person in the eyes of others, that I am really good at planning and not so good at intense pressure situations.

I learned more about myself in this semester and honestly more content in this class than I have ever learned in a class in college. I learned that by understanding what I need and who I am, I can educate myself easier and through engaging in practices, I have learned much more valuable lessons then by reading a text book.

This class was the most valuable I have ever taken and I only wish this professor could be cloned and teach everywhere. I found myself as a person and understand a lot about why I do the things I do and more importantly, how those things will help me succeed in my dreams. (CHEESY). But seriously, this class was inspiring.

I had to gush because this class rocked my world.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie ❤

Too Busy to Write a Blog

I’ve said it. I’m swamped. I am ocean deep in projects and papers that are due too soon, swimming in loads of tasks for my job and overwhelmed by friendships I am keeping or not keeping up with. I am a crazy busy person and I will blame it on those pesky college years where you’re expected to devote your lives to being a super student.

In reality though, let’s break one week down.

My teachers say I should spend at least 4 hours a week looking over material, doing homework or reading for a class. 4 hours per five classes I am taking.

Well, there is 168 hours in a week, 20 should be spent on studying and doing course homework, I work 20 hours a week as well as another 4 volunteering which brings me down to 104 hours.

I spend on average 9 hours a day sleeping, 1.5 hours a day eating/enjoying a meal, 2 hours a week showering, 9 hours working out per week and 13.5 hours a week in a classroom which leaves 26 hours of free time in a week. Now try calculating all of the time I spend getting ready to go somewhere and actually traveling somewhere and you could probably cut that down to 19 hours of free time.

What would you do with 19 hours a week? About 2.5 hours a day? Well, sometimes it feels like I don’t have the determination to write this blog. After papers and projects, the last thing I want to look at sometimes is a computer. So in this hectic last month of my Junior year of college, bare with me if the blog posts are shorter or I skip a day. After all, I’m human you know.

So today I might be a hypocrite. I don’t like saying “I’m busy” because usually it means that you’re not making time to do something you would like to but in this case, breathing and alone time over trumps some things I really enjoy. I truly am I frantic kind of busy in these approaching weeks.

So if you’re a student as well, best of luck to you and stay strong in your semester. If not, give a college kid a hug next time you meet one, they probably need it.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

P.S. I love irony.

282 Words About Office Drama

I work in a professional environment at a University and the drama and gossip I hear is outrageous. I hear half of my co-workers bashing co-workers and roommates talking about each other behind their back the second one of them leaves.

Honestly? It’s driving me insane. I am one of a few staff members who sits quietly and listens to all of this but after everything I’ve heard these past few months, I am about ready to scream. I have no idea how this behavior will work in the real world when we graduate college and must be adults in our careers. I love my job but some times the people make it quite disappointing.

I know the real world will have some of these offices too, but I will never choose to be a part of one. Quite frankly, I’m really sick of listening to people say one thing and act another.

So rising above it? Yes. I’ll keep my mouth shut, eyes wide in disbelief, and make mental notes that I would never befriend these people outside of a work environment.

I could confront them. Yet, is it really worth it? I make them mad, they don’t listen, they continue to talk. So I won’t say anything until they hurt a friend. I’ll talk with the workers I’ve gotten to be really close to and do my best to plug my ears to the words of those who must talk poorly about others.

It’s sad that in my college career, I sometimes feel like I’m back in high school.

If you have any glorious pointers for what I could do, please PLEASE comment below.

Until tomorrow,

Anna the Frustrated Student-Worker

Photography and Video Editing: Doing is Learning

I am currently a student in media production and a volunteer learner of photography. So what better project could come along when my professor told me that I would be creating a still image project with only two seconds of video and at least three layers of audio? A creative project, that is.

It’s time to talk about one of my biggest passions and inspirations. I love creating video projects. I’ve been editing since I was in 8th grade and shooting pictures for as long as I can remember. I have always had dreams of using my talent in a career and I still dream of the day I can live that reality.

So here below, I wanted to share some of my photography from the shoot and ultimately the finished product. Comments are welcomed. Enjoy!

54 a39 DSC_0011 DSC_0033 DSC_0096 DSC_0113 DSC_0115 DSC_0287 DSC_0537 DSC_0539.2 DSC_0653 DSC_0656 DSC_0684 DSC_0720 DSC_0738 z21

And as promised… this what happened when hundreds of these photos came together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM1TTtEPC6w

I hope you enjoy my project and thank you for stopping by Inspired She Lives!

Until TRAVEL TUESDAY tomorrow,

Anna Marie ❤

Your College Bucket-List From a Soon to be Senior

It’s true when they tell you college is the time of your life. You are thrown out of the nest and start to grow your own wings. You experience the stress of finals at 4 am and the doubt of being able to graduate in four years. College is the best experience and do you know what else is true? It flies by way too fast.

Coming from a soon to be college senior, there are so many things I did throughout the past few years at my university that I hope and pray freshman will do as well. So here are ten things I couldn’t have left college without doing.

THE COLLEGE BUCKET LIST

1. Meet people every year and don’t stop making new friends. College is a lot bigger than your high school and your friends will come and go, just make sure you hold on to the good ones. Be open to people you haven’t talked to before.

2015. February.

2015. February.

2. Go to a sporting event that you know has the loudest pride fan section. At my school, it’s hockey. The cheering section for every other sport sucks but when it comes to chanting for our hockey team, we go wild. There are chants, taunts and horrible sportsmanship but it is one of the most fun ways to spend a weekend night. 

3. Join a club, even if you only go to one meeting. Joining a student org not only gives you the opportunity to meet new friends, it also gives you opportunities to volunteer, become an intern or at the very least some free food (sometimes). Even if you don’t stick with it, it’s good to have at least tried something out.

4. Join an intramural, if only for a semester. I don’t care how bad you suck at sports, intramurals are such a good time. You can play in the fun league and meet so many nice people and make lots of great memories.

5. Try to get at least 3 teachers to remember your name by the end of your college career. This isn’t as easy as you would think, especially as an underclassman taking general education courses. Going into the last few semesters made me realize that a letter of recommendation from a professor would look really good on a job application so sit in the front of the class for once and talk a little.

2012.

2012.

6. Live in the dorms… and then live off campus. Living in the dorms are so much fun. You get to know your community and get offered tons of free programs. There is never nothing to do in a dorm. Living off campus provides you with learning opportunities and a place to call your own. You learn a lot.

7. Travel. Either study abroad or traveling on your own, now is the time to go if you can afford to. Even if it’s just for spring break, take advantage of the free time you have while you are in college. Once you graduate and start your career, your traveling is going to be much more limited.

Cancun. 2013.

Cancun. 2013.

8. Take advantage of anything that’s FREE! You get so many college perks it’s ridiculous. Free concerts, movies, comedians, fitness classes,craft-nights, etc. Our campus even gives you free condoms so find out what’s free and take advantage of that!

9. Say yes more than you say no. One of the greatest ways to make memories is to say yes when people ask you to do things. Walk through a park, coffee at a cozy shop, study date at McDonald’s, whatever it is, do it. You will not regret the quirky memories that come from those nights.

10. Take a class for fun. This sounds so ridiculous to take a class for fun but trust me, since you have general courses you are required to take, it will be easy. You have options in so many different broad areas so pick something you need to graduate that you know will give you a good time.

One of the most important things to remember about college is why you are there. Don’t get lost in the atmosphere all the time because you do want to graduate with a degree. You are in college to learn, grow and prepare yourself for your future career in the real world. Bask in that.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie