Handling Rejection with Grace: Jobs, Relationships, and Life

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Hello, World.

It seems only fitting the banner image for this post is a street in New York, a city that can eat people up and spit them out. New York City isn’t for the weak, but it is somewhere many people go with a dream that may or may not come to fruition. At the end of the day, some people will inevitably fail while pursuing the dream they so desperately want. Inevitably, we all fail in some aspect of our lives. We won’t just fail once, either. We will fail multiple times in different aspects of lives. However, how one handles that failure says a lot about their character. On the same vein, some failure results from rejection. The rejection that rears its ugly head at the worst, most earth-shattering times is the most damaging, but rejection in any form, even the insignificant, can impact us.

When we want to succeed so badly it hurts, someone telling us, “no, now is not your time,” stings a bit extra. It’s like getting lemon juice in a papercut. So, how do we handle rejection with grace while also subtly saying, “that won’t deter me, but nice try!” to our nay-sayers? Well, I think the biggest thing we can do is not let people in our heads. Don’t let someone’s comments or “not good enough,” insinuations get to you. You can take constructive feedback, but if the comment is just flat out hurtful and beyond the nature of constructive, it’s perfectly fine to disregard. I was scrolling through Twitter the other morning, as so many law students who aren’t ready to face mergers and acquisitions reading do, and I noticed a thread from the author of The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney that immediately caught my attention and made my thumb lift from the lit-up screen. Her tweet said this:

“When I heard When I heard an agent say a ‘middle-aged woman in a writing class’ was not a client he wanted & I thought I’LL SHOW YOU #misfitsmanifesto”

When I read this, I wondered what had spurred it. There wasn’t anything in particular that preceded this in her feed that indicated it was a response to something. However, following this tweet, there was another:

“So don’t listen to dummies and don’t be discouraged. Just make your manuscript the best you can.”

I liked the sentiment of the tweets because the author is encouraging people to ignore those that say such rude, condescending things, and keep pushing forward. The agent who said this was rejecting D’Aprix Sweeney as an author, belittling her work in the process, but D’Aprix Sweeney, rather than curling up and crying, said, “hm. let me prove you wrong.” She may not have said it to the agent’s face, but she took action to become a successful author whose novel is the topic of book clubs and Goodreads threads around the world. This is, of course, just one example of someone handling rejection well. However, handling rejection isn’t easy…handling it well is even harder.

Rejection is just part of life, unfortunately. Whether we’re working hard in law school to get that big firm job, or on every dating app in search of something, or trying to maintain friendships we can feel are failing, we set ourselves up for someone to tell us “now is not your time,” over and over. However, success is kind of like lightning in a bottle. You’re not always sure what’s going to happen, how you’re going to get X, but once you hit it just right, it’s pure magic. So, we have to put ourselves on the rejection chopping block time and time again to see if this time we’ll hit it just right and find success. Handling rejection with grace isn’t some equation or perfect step-by-step process. If anything, handling rejection with grace is saying, “thank you for your time,” walking away and trying again tomorrow. While someone can say no to you, they can’t rob you of your gumption. So for every “no” uttered, remember you only need one yes to get somewhere.

I grew up in an environment where I was told, “the worst they can say is no,” every time I was hesitant to do something – talk to a romantic interest, apply for a leadership position, go after a job, apply to law schools I knew may not take me, etc. It created a less scary aura around everything I wanted to do – if they said no, bummer but I could move on. If they said yes, well, I got what I wanted! Being fearless but realistic is important in handling rejection. We cannot be so scared of rejection that the fear alone is the biggest roadblock in our lives. We have to keep going, putting ourselves out there, and remember that we will get what we want if we work toward it strategically. If you can’t get X immediately (I know, hard to believe in the instant-gratification world we live in), maybe try getting to X the long way around, by starting with Y, moving to Z, and attacking X tangentially.

I’m not going to tell you rejection gets easier or that you become immune. Rejection is discouraging as hell and by the fifth or so “thanks, but no thanks,” you can feel your ego bruising. However, if we stop putting our name out there and let the few rejections push us so far down they become the end game, we’re letting ourselves down.  So, how do we handle rejection with grace? We say, “I understand,” take the night to drink a glass of wine [or a scotch, neat], take a bubble bath, listen to some James Arthur before getting up in the morning, putting on our big-girl pants and showing the world it cannot shake us.

Truly,
Callie leigh

 

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Read This When You Feel Like Quitting – A Guide to Overcoming Failure & the Fear of It

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Photo by Andrew Robles via Unsplash

Hello, World.

Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to quit things. If I signed up for a sport, I played the whole season, even when I realized I would rather do math problems for 10 hours a day than play (see: softball my freshman year of high school). I think the first thing I was allowed to quit was the school band because my band teacher wouldn’t teach me music, and being in the band with no knowledge on how to read music is pretty much a waste of a time. This mentality, of not being allowed to quit, had its advantages and disadvantages. Obviously, I stick things out for a long time… sometimes too long. However, the thought of quitting takes a long time to enter my mind. I try and try and try, and it’s not until I feel like any semblance of hope has disappeared that I think, “Maybe I’m in the wrong _____? Maybe I should just let this go.” The word quit doesn’t even come up necessarily, sometimes it’s just that I feel I need to shift focus. However, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that as we get older and things get harder with higher stakes, quitting seems worth it.

Why? Why does quitting seem like the best option? Why does it feel like there isn’t another way to make something work? Why does “stop while you’re ahead?” seem like a popular mantra? Well, I think people’s thoughts of quitting sometimes relate directly to our fear of failure. I think if when we’re doing okay at something (career, relationship, etc.), not spectacular but not on life-support either, we think, “maybe we should get out now so that we still have some control over what happens.” By this, I mean that quitting keeps the power in the quitter’s hands. Failing seems to place the power elsewhere, like whoever sees you fail has somehow had a hand in your failures and is laughing at you on your way down. It can be really frightening to take a leap of faith and go for what we want, fighting against anyone and anything that stands in our way. Sometimes we get so many “thanks, but no thanks,” or “you’re so qualified, but we still don’t have room for you here,” messages, that we think, “let’s just change it. Let’s get out while we’re relatively unscathed.”

But let’s think about this for a minute. Feeling like a failure is probably the sh*ttiest feeling we experience in most aspects of our lives. Failed relationship? Ugh. Failed career? Even worse. Failed before you even got to the career part? Double ugh. The thing is, most of our failures leave open the tiniest sliver where change and greatness creep into our lives. Every time I’ve “failed” in my life or something didn’t work out, it was a turning point that led to something much greater. Think about all the people who probably felt like epic failures at one point in their lifetimes, only to go on to become household names that so many people envy.

J.K. Rowling was living on welfare and suffering from depression when she penned Harry Potter. Numerous publishers rejected the manuscript before a publisher’s daughter at Bloomsbury recognized the potential contained in its pages. In 2004, Rowling became the first billionaire author in the world. Imagine if she’d stopped after writing a few lines on a napkin whilst on the train? What if she stopped after the first few pages? The first few rejection letters? But she didn’t. She kept pushing forward. She didn’t quit.

Marilyn Monroe, one of Hollywood’s most notorious sex symbols, was told to find secretarial work because she would never succeed as a model. She easily could have quit right then, looking for secretarial work in the classifieds but she didn’t.

As mentioned in National Treasure, it took Thomas Edison over 10,000 tries to create a lightbulb. If he stopped at try 9,999, who knows when we would have had electric light.

Stephen King threw a manuscript in the garbage, feeling so discouraged by the rejections of publishers. His wife dug the manuscript out of the trash and urged him to keep moving forward.

The point of telling you the above stories is not to imply that if we keep going we will reach astronomical success. Rather, the people above were regular people who probably never dreamed of living the lives they lived or having the legacies they have, but the fact that they stared failure down and kept pushing led them to where they are.

When we feel like quitting, it’s important to remind ourselves that the stories we hear of “overnight successes” probably required a lot of work on the person’s end that we will never hear about. Sometimes things take a long time to get going, but once they start picking up, suddenly there is an overnight success aspect. There’s a reason social media only highlights our best moments. Even before social media, the only times we heard about things was when something really good or really bad was happening. We report our extremes. So, we fear that intense failure because we know people will know we failed, and failure or success seem to be our only options. However, there is a spectrum there, dots along the line that mark important movements toward or away from a particular end. Those moments, the ones in which we keep chugging along, are the moments that decide our fate and which we have complete control over. How we react to a setback or a step forward is critical.

Sometimes quitting is completely called for – like if you’re living a life you hate or returning day after day to a job that leaves you feeling empty or trying to work out a relationship that you know died a long time ago. If you know that the only thing that’ll make you successful or happy is quitting, quitting may be the right choice. However, other people telling you you aren’t enough or won’t be successful is NOT a reason to quit. If anything, it’s a reason to prove them wrong and push even harder.

Because I’m in law school, the story of perseverance that comes to mind regularly is that of Elle Woods. For my fellow law students or lawyers reading this, I imagine we can all share a collective eye roll. Sure, there are wildly unrealistic aspects of Elle’s story, but I still find it commendable that a woman who was told, repeatedly and by many people might I add, that she wasn’t smart or good enough, went and showed everyone they were wrong. She easily could have said “okay,” and let Warner go to Harvard and never follow up on that. She probably could have said “bye, Harvard,” after wearing a playboy bunny costume to a party with a bunch snobby students in brown polyester who thought she was a bimbo purely because she was feminine and bubbly. However, she didn’t quit. If you take anything away from the somewhat silly movie, it’s that Elle doesn’t quit – she proves you wrong. So, the next time someone tells you that you aren’t good enough or can’t do something, let it sting for a moment, then get out there and make some magic (I mean, J.K. Rowling literally invented her own magic to deal with all the stuff in her life that was dragging her down).

Truly,

Callie leigh

 

The Double-Edged Sword of Perfectionism

Hello, World.

Today I want to talk about something I feel has greatly affected me in the past, and in many ways, in the present. Perfectionism. Perfectionism is the refusal to accept any standard short of perfection. People who suffer from this very real condition are probably people who you look at and say, “wow, such an overachiever,” or “she’s always so perfect,” or “why don’t you ever let people see you as anything other than perfect?” You probably get annoyed with people who are perfectionists without even realizing that it’s not easy for them to be perfectionists. Perfectionism can be debilitating because we, those who like to be perfect, have to actively work at not letting people see us sweat. And it’s a totally double edged sword because we don’t want to mess up and we like people to think we have it all together, so the minute we’re shown as humans who make mistakes, well, people judge and ridicule the mistake we made because we hardly let them see us as fellow humans who make human mistakes. I’ve always worked very hard, and I’ve always liked to be the one who had it all together and I hate making mistakes. I’m a private person, so I don’t feel the need to shout to the world “HEY I MADE A MISTAKE TODAY!” People who are upfront about life, and the mistakes they make are amazing, brave individuals, but just because I, and others, don’t share as much about our mistakes, failures, etc. does’t mean we’re any less great. You don’t have to advertise your mistakes or trials to be a strong person.

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For me personally, I share my life on the internet, and for me that’s so far out of my normal comfort zone that it seems weird at times. However, I should also say I tend to share the highlights because I don’t know many people who love reading about people’s hardships. Sometimes reading those posts, about a time someone failed a test or class, or a failed relationship, or whatever else are part of life can be reassuring, but it really depends. The people who share those, and the people who don’t, are opening themselves up to immense amounts of criticism. For every comment saying, “you’re amazing! Go you!” there are seven more saying, “you’re awful, go away, why are you so pathetic?” Being on the internet is scary, but that’s not what I want to focus on, today I want to talk about those of us that tend to pick the highlights not only in our internet presence but in our everyday life.

When I was in high school, I didn’t drink and I didn’t [and still do not] do drugs. I didn’t think this was a big deal. I just went about my business. But then, I started losing friends. Friends stopped inviting me with them because there would drinking or smoking or whatever. Here’s the thing though: just because I didn’t do those things didn’t mean I thought less of the people who did. At the time, I didn’t necessarily understand some of the choices, but I tried my best not to judge them.

In college, I wasn’t into hook up culture. I had friends who were because let’s face it: hook up culture is prominent in college. But I didn’t judge the people who partook because frankly it’s not place to judge them. If they feel empowered or feel like it’s best, then they should do it. But I had friends who stopped telling me things, acted nervous that I would judge them, and wouldn’t understand. To that, all I have to say is I may not relate perfectly, but again, it’s not my place to judge. Just because I don’t partake in something doesn’t mean I will vote to burn you at the stake if you do. I wasn’t perfect, I made mistakes, but I think because I often kept them to myself, my friends weren’t as comfortable sharing their lives with me because they thought their actions weren’t perfect, and so I wouldn’t approve. I cannot count the number of times people said, “oh, you’re perfect. Oh, you don’t make mistakes.” I don’t say this to brag because honestly to me this is more of an insult. I want to yell, “No I’m not. I’m just like you,” but doing so isn’t really in me. I project an image of myself that is true, but is also a more refined version of myself. I care far too much what people think, I have countless insecurities, and so I keep many things to myself because sometimes I don’t want to deal with other people’s opinions.

In all honesty, I don’t think I ever really thought too much about my battle with perfectionism, except when my need to be perfect began to affect my relationships with other people. Then I started to feel utterly alone, and while I wouldn’t settle for less than an A in a class, or having the perfect outfit everyday, I started feeling like maybe my social life was less than perfect. To be honest, the first time I really started to think that maybe my perfectionism had gotten out of hand was when someone said to me, in so many words, “you project a certain image of yourself. You’re all about you all the time, and you never let anyone see you as anything less than perfect. It makes people feel judged.” While I was already thoroughly irritated with the person who delivered this message for various reasons, this particular chain of thought gave me pause. I wasn’t sure what to say. I remember crying. I wanted to say, “I’m not perfect. I’m not judging. You don’t understand that I can’t control my need to be perfect.” I cried for a long time because my perfectionism was really affecting my ability to connect with people who made different choices than I did or felt that I was judging them. I think in many ways my perfectionism became a point of insecurity. I didn’t want to talk about my grades or what I was doing at family functions and I didn’t want to let my friends see me cry over a perfectly fine LSAT score because I knew the comments that would follow would be similar to “you’re so perfect. Why am I not surprised? Are you really crying? It’s not a big deal.” For the record, telling someone with perfectionism they’re perfect doesn’t actually help them. At all.

I’m not looking for sympathy by posting about this, but rather I’m hoping to give a voice to those who have perfectionism. I’m also hoping that people who think I’m perfect or feel I’m always judging will understand I’m just a normal human too. I think I felt compelled to share about this because I went to a “How to be a Successful Law Student,” and one of the speakers was talking about a girl she thought was perfect and totally together her 1L year. Later, when they were talking, the girl who seemed perfect admitted to crying everyday of her 1L year. I know it’s cliche, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover! Just because people seem one way, doesn’t automatically mean they are that way. Remember: people probably think all kinds of things about you, but do you think everything everyone has ever thought about you is true?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Enjoying the Single Life in Your 20s

Hello, World.

Something that’s been on my mind lately is the fact that it seems like everyone around me is either getting engaged or getting married. So many people I know are making serious moves in the dating world, and even though I’m seriously happy for them, I’m getting sick of the dating questions I always get. Countless people ask if I’m seeing anyone, or when I think I’ll get married (hello, I need to be dating someone first), and I can’t even tell you how often I hear “you’re going to meet the love of your life at law school and get married and never return to CA.” I mean, never say never, but also, I’m not banking on this. I actually like being single. This may be shocking, but some women in their 20s don’t mind being single. This doesn’t necessarily mean we’re closed minded to meeting someone, but unless the person really stands out, I’m okay just working through school and doing my thing. Powerful women are okay, single women are okay, and driven women are okay. But anyway, I wanted to share some thought about why it’s completely okay to be single in your 20s if you haven’t met anyone or aren’t even looking!
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Don’t feel discouraged when you are single, instead embrace it. I feel like being single in college was one of the best things for me. In high school, I dated or liked someone really often. I felt like I needed a significant other or I was doing something wrong. How immature that thinking was. I did the most learning about myself, and became more confident in who I was when I was single in college. I focused on my girlfriends, and I focused on being happy and being content with being myself. I focused on my goals, and got to a point where I didn’t want to compromise anything for anyone. I wanted to make decisions that felt right with myself. Going to law school was a big decision, and I knew that if I was in a relationship, I would have had factors I didn’t want (like how close or far I would be from my boyfriend, or how to deal with long distance or whatever factors come with having to factor someone in). In season 7 of Gilmore Girls, Rory and Logan have this big talk about factoring each other in when making decisions about jobs and graduate stuff. I knew that was a conversation I didn’t want to have, as in I didn’t want to factor in anyone but myself and my family. I liked having to only answer to myself.

Now, when people ask me about dating in college, I say to keep it casual, keep it to a minimum, and to focus on yourself! Your twenties are your time to be selfish. Enjoy the time to yourself! Learn about yourself, learn about the world, travel, eat good food, drink good coffee, do what makes you happy. You do not need a significant other or counterpart to complete you. When I talk about this, I say, when I meet someone who really catches my attention, I’ll date them or see where it goes, I’m not opposed to the opposite sex, but I’m also not dependent on it either. I will date someone when I feel like I should or want to see where something goes, but I am also completely okay being single, and not in a rush to date. Again, if you meet someone you want to date, date them! If nobody is catching your eye, stay single. Don’t rush or force a relationship because you feel like you should be in one. The last relationship I had, I wanted a boyfriend, I wanted someone to call my boyfriend, so I ignored the red flags and pushed myself in to something that wasn’t healthy and ended poorly. Sure, the experience gave me a lot of perspective, and showed me what I definitely did not want, but it also turned me off to dating just long enough for me to realize the positives of single life.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I like having a boyfriend. I like the idea of going on dates, having someone to talk to, or be romantic with, and whatnot. But I also don’t want a boyfriend that doesn’t make me ridiculously happy or doesn’t treat me well. So, I wait. I will say I think the dating culture for 20 somethings right now makes it difficult to find what I see myself having. If I decided tomorrow I wanted to start dating, and I DO NOT mean hooking up, but actually dating, the kind of dinner and movie shenanigans most people treat as the most archaic practice, even more than what we see in Game of Thrones, I think it’d be trickyMost people my age don’t want to seriously date, and it’s sort of like, why buy the cow when you get the milk for free? If so many people partake in hookup culture, there’s no point in a guy trying to date a girl. I’m not saying there aren’t men who want to date seriously, but they’re harder and harder to come by.

So, if someone comes along that really just makes you want to date, go ahead and go for it. But it’s also completely okay to stay single in your 20s and do all the things you want to do without having someone romantic. There’s nothing worse than getting caught up in a relationship and then feeling like maybe you missed out or resenting the relationship if it doesn’t work out and you put yourself on hold during its duration. It’s okay to put yourself first, and live life, and be happy. Do what feels right, and live each day as best as you can!

Truly,
Callie leigh

Senior Spring… So Far

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Hello, World!

It’s the third week of my senior spring semester (AKA my LAST semester). I’m really loving my classes, though I am having a bit of trouble adjusting to my class schedule. All my classes are right in the middle of the day, which I’ve never had before. I’m also only taking three classes (insert the praising hand emoji). It’s a great semester so far. I have some of my favorite professors, and I really love each of my classes. But alas, as the chapter that is undergrad begins to close, the next chapter is still being written.

I’m in to law school, so I know I’m for sure going. I’m just not completely sure where yet. I haven’t heard back from all my schools, and I’m hesitant to make final decisions without having all offers in front of me. The fact that where I’ll be next year is still up in the air is slightly concerning (read: totally scary and stressful). I like having a plan, so it’s hard when my plans are not solidified. However, I’m going to an admitted students weekend at one of my schools on the east coast at the beginning of spring break and I’m so excited (read: ecstatic and stalking the school social media everyday).

Given that this is my last semester of college, I keep having a lot of nostalgia and thoughts. A lot of things have changed since my first year (THANKFULLY), but I also am thankful for everything and everyone that’s stayed consistent and by my side. I’m looking forward to soaking up the final months of my time at my college. I want to thoroughly enjoy my classes, succeed, and finish with a bang. I also want to really take advantage of being in the same place as my college friends. Some friends I can already feel distance with, and that makes me sad, but I’m hoping we can turn it around before we graduate, and spend some quality time together.

Here’s to the home stretch of undergrad!

Truly,
Callie leigh

Chunky Necklaces and Sperry Topsiders

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Hello, World.

On Saturday some friends and I went shopping because we really needed some retail therapy. Life lately is insane, and most people feel super stressed about so many different things. Going shopping was a nice stress reliever because it let everyone just talk, look at clothes, and hangout without any school pressure. Since we were in my roommates hometown, we stopped by one of the major wineries because she is always talking about how beautiful it is. I really like living in the Bay Area because there are so many different, awesome places to explore all the time. I also am enjoying getting to know more people, and forming friendships with great people. Sophomore year of college is going by too quickly, but it’s been a great year on a lot of levels, and I know that my junior year is going to be even better, if not the best year yet.

I know I’ve posted a lot of outfit photos with my navy vest, but it’s seriously one of the best pieces of clothing in my closet right now. I love it so much, and it’s the perfect article of clothing for slightly chilly yet still warm days. I’m going to be really sad when it starts getting too warm to wear a vest, but I’m also excited to start wearing shorts and sandals. Summer outfits feel much easier to put together, but alas, fall or winter outfits will always be my favorite. ImageImageImageImage
Speaking of the fact that spring is coming, lately I keep thinking about where I was just a short year ago. My life was so different, the relationships in my life in much different places, and my hopes for summer and other things so much different. Things have changed so much, but its definitely for the best. I’m so happy, and things are really working out for me lately, which makes life so much easier. When years begin with a lot of hardship, sometimes it’s hard to see how it can get better, but if you just hold your head up, and keep pushing through, karma will reward you.
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I’m really enjoying where I currently I am, and although I’ve struggled with my major this year, my life plan, and my personal relationships, I feel like I’m figuring out who I want to be when this whole college thing is said and done. Hard work pays off, so every time I begin to question myself, I remind myself to keep pushing forward. I have so many goals, and I love all the things I’m currently involved in, so I just need to keep going after what I want. Also, I’m happy with who is in my life right now because for the first time in a long time, I feel like the people I surround myself with are 100% genuine.
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wearing- Vest: J Crew // sweater: LC Lauren Conrad // necklace: Poison Apple Salon, Chico // Jeans: Lucky Brand Charlie fit // sunnies: Kate Spade 
Photo Credit: Kate Walera
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Truly,
Callie Leigh

Why Getting to Know Professors in College Matters

Hello, World.

Today I wanted to share my thoughts about an aspect of college life that is often treated as… well, not a priority: Professors. A lot of students seem to forget that the person standing at the front of the room is not only a professor, but also a mentor, reference, advisor, and, most importantly, a person. Professors love when you take time to get to know them, and getting to know them is highly important while you’re in college. I go to a college where the faculty to student ratio is 13:1, so I have an easier time getting to know my professors than students at colleges or universities where the ratio is 25:1. (Admissions tip: while looking at colleges, make sure you look at this ratio and consider if you want to be a person or a number).

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I know it can be difficult to get to know professors when in school because you have extracurricular activities to go to, friends to hangout with, family members calling to talk, and sleep to catch up on, but know that college is ultimately about education. All of the things in your life are important, but a major part of succeeding in a class is the professor. If you know the professor well, you’re more likely to admit when you don’t understand something or when you need help studying for an exam or while writing a paper. In light of this, I wanted to offer some tips about how to get to know professors!

First, make a point to participate in class. By speaking up, your professor will know you care, that you are paying attention, and they will remember your name more easily.

Second, ask questions. While constantly spewing information is great, asking thoughtful or challenging questions will show your professor you are engaged, and have a desire to learn more about the subject material.

Third, go to office hours! I can seriously not stress this enough. In my experience, professors are much more laid back in office hours, and are willing to really talk with your about the class or just about life if necessary. Also, by going to see your professor on your own time, instead of going on a coffee run with friends, they will see that you really want to learn from them. This is another way of getting them to remember not only your name, but also who you are as a person and a student.

Fourth, ask them about themselves. Find out where they went to school, what their experience in college was, or how they feel about the subject matter you are studying. Asking about them opens them up a little, and allows for a greater bond to grow than just “I’m your professor, and I will teach you about the literature produced during the Renaissance.”

Lastly, read some of their work. Almost all professors, unless they are new, have published something about what they teach. If you’re interested in the material they are teaching, and want to know what they think about it, read up on them. Reading their work will also show you how successful they are outside of the classroom. Also, a lot of professors write about things that may not be in the curriculum of the class, but is still super interesting!

So, get to know your professors! If you plan to go to graduate school or get a job after college, professors are great recommenders. You do not want to get to the final stage of college, and realize you aren’t close enough to any professor to ask him or her for a letter of recommendation. Also, the experience of college is simply superior if you have good relationships with professors because you will get way more out of your classes. Professors are seasoned veterans in whatever field of study you pursue, and they are at your disposal, so take full advantage!

How do you get to know your professors?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Recharging & Motivation

Hello, World.

I don’t know about you, but lately the motivation to do homework is lacking. Sometimes I go through lulls where I just don’t feel like I’m accomplishing much, or I just feel generally unmotivated. I’m not sure why I get like this, but I feel like everyone has their moments when things just aren’t going how we planned, our classes aren’t the most interesting thing we’ve ever taken, and we just feel…stagnant. When I ended Jan Term, I was feeling awesome. I felt like I knew what I wanted to do, I loved reading again, and I felt like I had something to say. But then Spring Semester came, and all my classes are kind of overlapping, and I’m filling my science requirement, and I just… don’t want to do homework. I’ve read much of the material assigned this semester in previous classes (ex: John Smith, Founding Brothers, and accounts of the encounter with Cortes). Yesterday, however, a guest speaker came to SMC to give a talk about religion’s role in the justification of slavery, and his resume was five pages long, and he was so knowledgeable, and you could tell he was really passionate about the topic, and I couldn’t help but think that I wanted to be like that someday. I want to do something I love, I want to know a lot about something I care about, and I want to be able to research topics I love, and that aren’t required. However, I understand that this college experience is important, and a major step to getting to be as successful as the historian that visited my campus (Paul Finkelman, for those who would like to read his books). The thing is, no matter where we are in life, we’re going to have lulls. We’re going to have moments when motivation is a foreign term, and when we feel like we’re just standing still as time passes around us, and we’re going to feel like we’re not accomplishing anything. These are natural feelings in life. Here’s the thing though: It’s okay to feel this way. It’s completely okay to feel unmotivated for a few days, but try to make it fall on a weekend. Okay, just kidding. Just hold your head up, and try to get your spark back.

Here are my favorite ways to get my motivation back when it’s lacking:

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First, make a four-year plan. Even if you don’t end up following it exactly, making a four-year plan will get you thinking about the future, the things you want to accomplish, and how you’re going to accomplish them. This may overwhelm some people, but I personally love doing this because it makes me refocus, assess what I really want, and forces me to think of ways I can do all of the things in the plan.

Second, reading a few chapters from my favorite book allows me to decompress, remember things I love and have a connection to, and allows me to remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Honestly, this is a great stress reliever, and stress is usually one of the reasons people become unmotivated. When I’m stressed, I tend to get overwhelmed, and while I still manage to get everything done, it’s much more difficult.

Third, I go running. Yes, you read that correctly. While I’m not a HUGE runner, it is actually one of the first things I turn to when I’m unmotivated. Running pushes me, it allows me to clear my head, and it gets my endorphins going. All of these help me find motivation again.

Fourth, turn on some music (your favorite group, perhaps?), and just think. Maybe do a creative project while listening to music, or just decompress so that when you start to work again, you feel refreshed and ready to tackle a project. This may seem like a weird way to get motivated since I’m essentially telling you to get motivated by doing nothing, but I promise you, it’ll recharge your dead motivation battery.

Fifth, do something that is purely creative and purely you. When I’m really lacking motivation for homework, I take a few minutes to write a short story, or to write a poem, and sometimes I even get weird wild ideas to write a play. I find that if I completely lack motivation to do homework, it’s better to just take a break, work on something else, and come back to the original task. When I’m not motivated, I don’t concentrate as well, and then I don’t focus, and then I have to go back and re-read things. This ends up just taking more time, and is actually harmful to my study routine. So, if I need a break, I take one. Also, working on something creative can get the energy going, and the original task seems much easier.

The methods for regaining motivation I’ve listed should all have a time limit. Feeling unmotivated? Take fifteen minutes to an hour to do one of these. Don’t let yourself just go completely off track and spend six hours on something creative because then you’ll be too tired to work again. Think of these activities like a nap, but instead of sleeping you’re doing something productive.

What do you do to regain motivation?

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Support Systems in College

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Hello, World.

Something that’s consistently on my mind lately is support systems, specifically in college. If you’re like me, and went to college just far enough from your family that you notice their absence, then you know that sometimes it’s hard not having the constant support of family and lifetime friends around you constantly. I am one of those people who tries to talk to their mom or dad everyday, and when I’m really upset, I immediately call my mom in desperate need of reassurance. Most people assume that college friends kind of assume the role of your family, and that they will inevitably be your support system. Sometimes it’s hard, though, because if you’re going through something really heavy, or are super proud of something but you just feel a little unsupported, finding you “support group” on campus can be difficult.

At home, my friend Rossy is always happy for me, always accepting of me, and always willing to lend an ear when I’m upset. In college, I have a similar support system with my friends, but sometimes I feel like I’m dwelling on things too much, and I can feel them becoming bored, and I hate to feel like a burden. But again, I’m not saying I don’t have a support system in college, I’m simply saying that sometimes is can be hard to adjust to having a support system that is predominantly people who have known you forever, to people who have only known you for a year. It can be a change, and it can be difficult, but I wanted to offer some words of advice about finding your niche, and ways to feel supported while away from your main support system.

First, I’m a huge advocate of journaling. I find this a little more therapeutic than talking to people, because it gives me the opportunity to vent about life, and just get all my thoughts out without having anyone give me advice. This also removes the possibility of people being negative about something you’re happy about, or saying something that comes off as rude, even if it was not intended to be rude. Journals are the most forgiving confidant, so if you’re “having a lot of feeling,” don’t make a cake of rainbows and smiles, but pick up a journal (Barnes and Noble has some really beautiful leather journals).

Second, call someone you love. With all the technology available today, it’s much easier to bring your support system to you, even if they’re not physically with you. There’s also Skype, FaceTime, and other forms of communication where you can see the person if you prefer that to just their voice. I really enjoy talking to my family when I need to talk to someone, but don’t feel like to talking to someone at school.

Third, I would suggest being your own best cheerleader. I know that sounds ridiculously cheesy, but honestly, sometimes we have to keep our heads up, even if the rest of the world is trying to dim our shine. If you don’t believe in yourself, and know your values or goals, then no one else is going to know either, and therefore be unable to offer you much comfort or advice. Being proud of who you are is important, so remember that if you accomplish something awesome, to remind yourself that you’re capable of whatever you set your mind to! I feel like this post relates a lot to my thoughts about Drama, and ways to avoid it. Part of finding a support system is finding people who love you, support you, and compliment you when it’s appropriate. Make sure you surround yourself with positivity because positivity breeds more positivity, and you want people who encourage you to be yourself and be successful. Try to avoid people who are constantly negative because that will make your support system negative, and well, a negative support system isn’t a support system at all, is it?

How do you make sure you feel supported in college?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Meet Me in the City

Hello, World.

Jan Term is almost over, and I couldn’t be more sad about it! This month has gone by so quickly, and this week is crazy busy. I have a 10-page paper due Friday by noon, a Resident Advisor application to complete, an Orientation Leader application to also complete, three review boards, and you know, a life to maintain. So I’m starting to go insane, but I wanted to share some photos from a trip to the City last weekend! I love the City, and I love days with my friends where I’m not utterly stressed out even more. During this trip I had my first macaroon, saw the Painted Ladies, and got sushi (which is always a great thing). I like to explore new places or things every time I get to go to SF, so I’m really happy it was a successful day!
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Wearing: blazer: Nordstrom (old) // shirt: Lucky Brand (similar) // jeans: Lucky Brand // Boots: Miss Mooz (old) 

Have a great Tuesday! I have to get back to revising that paper I was talking about.

Truly,
Callie Leigh