The Leaves they are a Changin’

Hello, World.
Today was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect… not too hot, not too cold. I also decided that I wasn’t going to bother with homework or schoolwork today because I am not about to start doing school seven days a week. We are supposed to have weekends for a reason, and I would like that think that reason is so we can relax and gain our bearings before another week of the grind. But alas, today was great. My friends, Aly and Andee, joined me for brunch at Millie’s a great local diner that has phenomenal breakfast! Breakfast was delicious, and the conversation was funny, which is always nice. Then we returned to campus, and hiked up past the Redwood Grove, and took some photos. After, we ran to get coffee, but the coffee place was out of soy milk, so I didn’t get anything. Overall, it was one of the funnest days I’ve had in a long time. Being stressed is one of my least favorite things, and I love the moments when I don’t feel completely deranged and can just enjoy the company of good friends. Here are some photos of today’s outfit, and of the beautiful place we went exploring.
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The final photo features my lovely photographer of the day, Andee. She’s such a doll, and a wonderful photographer. She really has an eye for great photos! Personally, I think a profession where she typically has a camera in her hand is in her future, but who am I to say? Anyway, my saturday was brilliant, but sadly I know tomorrow means homework…lots of homework. But it’s only 8:30pm so I still have a few hours of being carefree left. Enjoy your Saturday night or Sunday morning, and maybe take a few minutes this week to go explore somewhere or something new!

Sweater: element via Urban Laundry// white top: Lucky Brand// circle scarf: Anthropologie// jeans: Lucky Brand// Boots: Frye via Urban Sole 

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Life Lately

Hello, World.

The past week of my life consisted of endless cups of pumpkin tea, reading of various texts (Greek Tragedy, the Bible, etc.), coffee dates with new friends, and realizing that exactly one year ago I was in a very different place than I am now. For better or worse, things are different, although I have a funny feeling that I’m exactly where I should be, and that I have exactly who I should have in my life. It’s funny because sometimes when certain people exit your life, it sets off a firestorm of new people coming into your life, and they’re exactly who need at an exact moment. But, besides my mini-rant, life is going swell. Whoever decided it was a good idea to take four reading heavy classes this semester, however, should be slapped in the face because I’ve read more in the last week than I have in a very long time…and that’s an accomplishment for an English major.

I’m currently taking Seminar, The Bible and Its Interpretation, Introduction to Literary Theory, Historical Methods, and a quarter-credit book to film club class. So, basically I read all day every day. It’s a little stressful, but I manage. On the bright side, I’ve met a lot of new people through my classes and I feel like I have a bunch of new friends after WOW, so I’m feeling pretty good right now. I feel like it’s really interesting how you think you need someone in your life, but then once they kick themselves out of your life, you realize they’re exactly what you don’t need. So, for all my new friends, I love you all and I feel so blessed to have you in my life.

Here are five things from the last week of my life (one for each day I suppose):

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1)   Drinking coffee and reading a mountain of history material. I hardly ever drink coffee, but after going straight from WOW into classes, my sleep schedule is a mess and so is my level of alertness. Also, the mug is from Anthropologie and I’m completely obsessed with it.

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2)   It’s beginning to look a lot like autumn in Moraga, and I absolutely love it because I am a cold-weather gal to the core. Peets’ study sessions have started again with my close friends, Ashley and Steven. The study sessions used to be a little different, but I still love going there to study. I am so much more productive when in a coffee shop than in my room.

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3)   My friend that I roomed with at a summer program at Stanford University sent me a lovely birthday gift and letter. I mentioned a while back that I was hoping to invest in a few midi rings, and she sent me two beautiful rings! I loved hearing from her, and I’m so thankful that time hasn’t changed our relationship at all. I feel like time and space changes a lot of relationships, but I’m glad she’s not the kind of person that is away from someone for a bit, and forgets about them.

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4)   Reading, lounging, and reading about reading the Bible again for the first time. Going to a Catholic school entails a required religion course (or two). Normally this wouldn’t be my favorite class, but I have a good class and a great professor so it makes it okay and less boring. And yes, I find reading about the Bible a bit boring…sue me.

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5)   Spending time with the people close to me is probably my favorite pastime. On Friday, I went shopping with Steven and Ashley and it was so much fun! We went to Lettuce, this super healthy food place that is also amazing, and then we went to Cream, a delicious ice-cream sandwich place (that has gluten free and dairy free stuff). I adore both of them, and I’m so glad my friendships with them have sustained summer and whatnot.

Truly,

Callie Leigh 

Life as a Gael, 2013 Edition.

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Hello, World.

From August 18-September 2, I worked as a Weekend of Welcome (WOW) Leader at Saint Mary’s College, which I mentioned in my last post. What exactly is a weekend of welcome leader? Well, a WOW leader is someone who is enthusiastic, inclusive, loving, and awesome, and our job is basically to make first year students at the college feel as welcome as possible their first weekend, or in this case, first five days, on campus. When I first applied to be a WOW leader, I was a little hesitant because I’m not the most enthusiastic, goofy, and fun person on a day-to-day basis. However, as I started training, I began meeting new people whose faces I had seen on campus before, but had never interacted with, and I realized that being a WOW leader is a lot more than those five days of welcoming first years to campus. Being a WOW leader is being part of a family, a family composed of so many different personalities, perspectives, work ethics, and well, ways of showing charisma. While the job was basically all day, everyday, and I got little sleep, I am still so incredibly honored to be part of the Saint Mary’s WOW 2013 community. Last year at Saint Mary’s, I was really happy, and I loved all of the friends I had, and I thought that college couldn’t possibly get better. I was wrong. WOW introduced me to people who have touched my life in ways I can’t fully explain, and it taught me that I can be fun, silly, spontaneous, and happy even when I’m going through some really shitty stuff.

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As far as my actual group of first year students, they were all so sweet! I had the English majors (naturally), and they were a bit quiet at first, but definitely warmed up to me by the end of the weekend. I remember during my own Weekend of Welcome I was petrified of the 60 students who were yelling and screaming every five seconds, and asking me all kinds of questions about my major, what I was excited for at SMC, and how my day was going (at 8am). I didn’t understand how they had so much energy, and was even more scared that college was just an endless blur of coffee cups, textbooks, and pens. However, after being on the “other side” of WOW, I realized that 60% of the energy is driven from a place that has nothing to do with welcoming students. Instead, us WOWies are able to have that much energy simply because we all love each other and Saint Mary’s so much. While we may be sitting through an event thinking our feet are numb, and that the only thing we really wanted was our beds, the moment the event ended we were right back on our feet, yelling “ahhh yeahhh Saint Mary’s!” and talking with students about anything they wanted.

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The end of WOW entailed a lot of clean-up, tears, and hugs. Saying goodbye to my fellow WOWies felt like I would never see them again, despite the fact that I would probably see them around campus the next day. It’s really difficult to go from seeing someone everyday, talking to them about anything, to being unsure if you’re going to see them, and if you do see them, being unsure of whether they’ll talk to you. But I know that I’ve made friends that will last me the rest of my years at Saint Mary’s, and even beyond. Some of the best moments of my SMC experience happened within the last two weeks, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be part of this family. I have never felt happier, livelier, and included than I have during WOW. 

Being a Weekend of Welcome leader for Saint Mary’s College of California was truly my best experience in college thus far. I love every single WOWie, and am so incredibly blessed to be part of such an amazing, inspiring group of people. Welcoming the Class of 2017 was so much fun, and I hope each student enjoyed WOW as much as I did. I’ve never felt more like a Gael, and I’ve never been prouder to call Saint Mary’s my home.

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What’s your best college experience?

Truly,

Callie Leigh 

Changin’

Hello, World.

I have two full days (counting today) left until I get in my car and drive back to school, and as excited as I am, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much different going to school this year feels. There are so many things that have changed since last August. Some things changed for the better, some for the worse, but alas, the past year of my life has been riddled with change. Last August, I was packing quite chaotically to leave for school, and I consistently reminded people of when I left so that I made sure to see everyone before I was gone. This year, I have been so stressed out that I kind of forgot I actually leave on Sunday. In my mind, I still have time to spend with my family, I still have time to see my friends, and I still have time for last minute packing. Last August, I always had this giddy/nervous feeling in my stomach because I knew I was leaving home, and all the things that were familiar, to start a new chapter of my life with all the lovely gems that are the Saint Mary’s family. . I have this ball in my stomach, a bundle of nerves and excitement, and I know it’s because I have a lot of responsibility waiting for me on campus. I’m going to be a Weekend of Welcome leader for the incoming freshman this year, which is why I’m moving back so early, and this idea is both exciting and nerve-racking. I’m so excited to see my friends, though, and all the people I grew to be so close to in the last year. I feel like I always get a little nervous to see people I haven’t seen in a while, maybe because I fear it’ll be different than I remembered, or maybe I just fear something has changed.

It’s funny to me, though, looking back at all the events that transpired last year, and what the outcome of those events did to shape the person I am now. I feel like unless something obviously major happens, change is subtle. A lot of the time I feel like I’m not actually that different, and things around me aren’t really changing, but then I take a moment to step back and really evaluate my life at a given point, and I realize just how much I’ve lost or gained.

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Change is inevitable, and everything in our lives is basically a crossroads, where we have to make a decision that will carry us in a certain direction. But sometimes the roads are blurry, and they begin to look the same, and it’s impossible to know which road to go down because the outcomes are so frighteningly unknown. Most the time people say that they make a decision because it’s what’s right, or it’s the right thing to do, but how do we really know? We can’t go back and unmake a decision to figure out what would have turned out differently, which is why I think it’s more that you make a decision based on what appears right (but may not actually be right), and then you just go with it, and deal with the outcome when you find it. I think there are two philosophies that people live by, though, when making decisions: 1) choose whatever is going to protect, benefit, or help you and 2) do what you believe to be right, but that also takes in the consideration of others.

Decisions yield change, and I feel like without decisions, we wouldn’t make progress, we would never change course when we need to, we wouldn’t be able to see that the road you chose originally is wrong, and that you should backtrack slightly and take a left instead of a right. The quote from Just One Day, “Sometimes the best way to figure out what you’re supposed to do is doing what you’re not supposed to do,” comes to mind. So, maybe if you’re having trouble what’s “right” do what you think is “wrong,” and see what happens. It may surprise you, it may frighten you, but it may also bring you peace. The scariest thing in life is decisions, but hell, without them you may never know what you’re doing, who you are, or who you want to be. Some food for thought, I suppose. How do you make decisions? Or do you even make them?

Truly,

Callie Leigh 

Birthday In Review

Hello, World.

My birthday was on Thursday, and although I wasn’t super excited about my birthday initially, my day ended up being wonderful. I always feel a little extra loved on my birthday, which I guess is how it should be, but I mean loved in the sense that I receive happy birthday texts from all my friends, and I especially love the texts from people I haven’t heard from or seen in a while. I hardly ever plan anything with friends on my actual birthday because I usually devote the day to my family, but this year was different. On Thursday, I went to lunch with my aunts, sister, and mom at T. Bar (the best restaurant in Chico in my humble opinion). I love spending time with my family, so it was nice to have a relaxed lunch with the ladies. On Thursday evening, I went to sushi with two of my friends, and then followed our meal up with a romantic comedy movie night. Sushi dates are probably my favorite because sushi isn’t overly filling, and I always feel more engaged with the people I’m eating with since we share rolls, conversation, advice, experiences, and on occasion, some awkward stories about life.

I’m an introvert, so I am a big advocate of small groups, which is why I was kind of excited that one of my friends couldn’t make the lunch I had planned for today, and suggested she and I, and our other friend, Emily, go to sushi instead. I like giving my full attention to people when I hangout with them, and sometimes in a big group I get overwhelmed and quiet. But alas, my birthday was a success. As for gifts, I received so many lovely things from my friends and family! Giving and receiving gifts is something I enjoy because I like spending time finding the perfect things for my friends, and I feel like gifts just say, “hey, I was thinking about you.” My parents blessed me with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i this year, and I was utterly grateful, surprised, and happy to receive such a gorgeous camera. As you may know, “be more creative everyday” is one of the items on my bucket list, and one of the ways I hope to be more creative is through photography. I’ve never considered myself to be an overly creative person, but I would like to feel more creative in the coming months/years/etc. My sister and I are going to the park today to play with my camera and take fun photos, so there will be a post with some of those photos in the future! Anyway, I have to finish getting ready for lunch with some lovely ladies.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Truly,

Callie Leigh 

Scrapbook Love

Hello, World.

I mentioned before that I was working on a scrapbook of my first year at Saint Mary’s, and I finally completed it! It turned out great, and I’m looking forward to taking it with me to school this year, and showing my friends (especially the friends that are in it) our best and weirdest moments captured on film.

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When I graduated high school, I said I would make a scrapbook, but ultimately never did, and now I wish I had. Having a scrapbook is fun because it has all the photos, tickets, and random things you collect over the course of a year in a single, organized place. I spent a lot of time on my scrapbook because I really wanted it to be special and creative, not like something I had just slapped together in 30 minutes.

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One thing that I learned about myself while making my scrapbook is that I’m really good at taking photos of events, and of my friends at said events, but I’m really quite terrible at taking of myself and friends, or of myself at events. Hopefully I can improve, and take more pictures of my friends and me at events this year!

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I had such a wonderful year at Saint Mary’s, and despite the ups and downs and challenges I faced, I think overall I was successful this year. Looking through the pages of my scrapbook I can see myself visibly changing, but I also know that a lot of change happened within. I’ve grown a lot as a person in the last year, I’ve matured, and I’ve learned how to better handle situations that make me uncomfortable. Being able to look at all the moments that composed my first year in college, and the moments that left an imprint in my character, is not only a fun experience, but also (for lack of a better term) an awe-inspiring experience.

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Another thing I love about my scrapbook? That I can watch my friendships form, get stronger, and my relationships with fellow Gaels grow as the pages turn! It’s a weird feeling to see my friends and I at Oasis in September, when we had only just met, and looked slightly stiff and awkward, then to see us at the Giants game in April, looking so close and goofy and happy together!

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As far as my method for scrapbooking, I printed almost every picture I took in last year, went through and divided them into events/categories, then went and got some fun supplies and paper. I started with my favorite events or days, and went in that order before I organized them chronologically to bind them in the scrapbook I picked. I’m a big fan of journaling, so while I did use premade, glittery letters and whatnot, I also added my own handwriting and random thoughts about events. For example, at the end, on the final page, I wrote a couple sentences about my first year, and the fact that I cannot wait for the next three. I’m hoping to make a scrapbook of each year, but that may be more ambitious than I currently realize, so we’ll see!

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Do you like to scrapbook? Or journal and scrapbook at the same time?

Truly,

Callie Leigh