Stylish Academic’s Guide to: Making the End of the Year a New Adventure

Stylish Academic's Guide to- Making the End of the Yar Count.png

Hello, World.

I saw a few tweets recently that said something to the effect of, “90 days left in 2017, make them count.” This made me think about how my favorite time of the year is also the end of the year. I live for October, November, and December. As soon as the leaves change, the air gets chillier, and I need a jacket to go outside, I immediately get giddy. Still, everyone always acts like the only time you can have a new beginning is in January, when the magic of the holiday season is supposed to wear off and we’re supposed to go back to reality. I’m all for new year’s goals or resolutions, but I think we can work to be better throughout the year.

So, I wanted to share my thoughts on making the end of the year count! Although many people are very busy with school, life, and holiday obligations, we should make time for new things and new traditions. I think Serena van der Woodsen once said, “traditions aren’t traditions if they’re new,” and while I agree with the statement on face value alone, I do believe we can and should start new traditions. So, rather than simply go through the motions of the holiday season and the end of the year, one way to turn the end into a beginning is by actively pursuing new traditions and memories.

One thing I’ve always wanted to do is go apple picking – it looks so fun and seems like the essence of fall. My roommate and I are hoping to go in a few weekends! So, while I could easily not go apple picking and instead spend those hours working on law school-related obligations, I’m choosing to take a few hours to make memories and enjoy the season! The end of the year always goes so quickly – it makes the first few months of the year feel like they took forever. So, it’s important to slow down, enjoy the moments, and make sure you’re making the most of the time.

One of the tweets I saw recently said, “90 days left of 2017. Make the most of it!” So, if there are resolutions you didn’t complete or you wanted to do things this year you didn’t do, don’t wait and just add them to next year’s goals list. You still have time to make a change. Whether it was giving your two weeks notice, applying for the job you’ve always wanted, going to a movie alone, overcoming your fear of rejection and applying to the reach school, ditching graduate school plans, or taking the plunge and applying Oxford, etc. There are many things that we tell ourselves we will do come January 1, but by December 31 we somehow say, “Oh, didn’t happen this year. I’ll just have that goal roll over to next year…” until suddenly its ten years later and we’re wondering why we didn’t do it sooner because it’s too late now. So, do what you’ve always wanted to do! Do not let the “end of the year” be an ending. Rather, use the time that is left in 2017 to accomplish your goals, try something new, or continue traditions but make them better.

How do you make the most of the final months of the year?

Truly,

Callie leigh

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Two Thousand Fourteen

2014
Hello, World.

Today 2014 draws to a close. As I get older, each year feels like it goes by faster and faster, and it often feels like I didn’t even do all that much. However, 2014 was a great year. I reached a lot of goals, and I did a lot of new things. This year had a lot of ups and downs. The year started off strong, and got even better toward the end of my sophomore year in college. Summer 2014 was phenomenal, and I completed my first ever internship! Fall semester of my junior year brought a lot of changes, a lot of tears, a lot of desperate calls home, and a few great nights with my closest friends. The only thing missing from fall semester was my best friend, Holly, who was living it up in London for the term. Fall semester was my hardest semester… well, ever, including all schooling before college. I’m not sure why it was so difficult, but I think it had to do with the fact that I was consistently running on less sleep than normal, taking four upper division courses, and I was a Resident Advisor for the first time. I love my job, but it’s definitely much harder than I thought it would to juggle a full schedule, a social life, and a job. I also had some tension with some friends toward the end of the semester, so that was hard to deal with. I found myself resigning to things, and putting up with being walked over in ways I’ve never allowed in the past. I think sometimes people assume that because you’re not being combative you’re not strong, however, this is untrue. If there’s one thing I learned in 2014 it’s that some personalities have to be dealt with in a delicate manner. However, my fall semester doesn’t encompass the entire year, and I want to reflect on the positives as I take a final look back at 2014.

I would like to break down my year into a few major items to discuss.

Friends.

This year was seriously weird for friendships, but in the best way possible. At the beginning of 2014, my friend group from freshman year was still fairly solid, though it was having some trouble. My friend group by now, the end of 2014, however, is exactly how I want it to be. I read an article a while back about college friends and true friends, and I was happy to realize that my closest group right now fit the article perfectly. I’m not saying the article knew everything about friendships, but I think I’ve realized in the last year that selfish and dramatic people don’t get you anywhere. If you find yourself thinking, “wow, you only ever talk about yourself, and really can’t listen to anyone,” you may want to re-evaluate. My friends right now are affirmative, hilarious, supportive, and genuine. I don’t have to try really hard to keep them as friends and we don’t feel awkward or distant after time apart.

Family.

I just adore my family. Honestly I couldn’t have made it through 2014 without my unfailing support system. I’m not entirely sure how my mom is so unwavering in her ability to deal with me calling at random times in the day, venting about something that got to me, crying about the fact I feel like I’m failing, or just rambling on about absolutely nothing because I need to just talk for a while. Spending the last three weeks of 2014 at home with my family has been so rewarding. I love the holiday season, but I especially love it when I’m home with my family. I loved every single T. Bar, coffee, and Barnes and Noble date I shared with my mom this year. I loved spending time with my dad, too, whether it’s at a Giants game, driving around town, or when he visits me at school. My sister got engaged this year(!!!) SO I will be spending 2015 planning and attending a wedding! She’s marrying the perfect guy for her, and I’m so happy she’s happy.

 Sophie.

We got a puppy! By we, I mean my family. She’s part cocker spaniel, and part poodle, and she’s 100% pure joy. We’re still working on potty training, but other than that she’s an adorable little bundle of cuteness. She’s got major spunk, and she’s hyper most of the time, but she also snuggles and gives cute little puppy kisses. I always hate going back to school because it means I won’t get to see her for a while. She makes me so happy! I forgot how much I love puppies until we got her.

Saint Mary’s.

I have a confession: I’m a three year person. I can stay really into something for about three years before I start looking forward…thinking about what’s next, where I’m headed. I absolutely love Saint Mary’s, but I feel myself already starting to look forward at where I want to go to law school, what my career will look like, etc. I want to make sure I get to enjoy Saint Mary’s my final year there. I want to make sure I get to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, and I want to spend time with my friends before we all head to different places in search of our dream careers. This may take some tough choices, but I think I’m ready to make them come 2015.

Bottled Creativity.

Have I mentioned how much I love this blog? I love having a creative place to share my thoughts, explore my style, and connect with inspiring people. I thank every single person who has read my posts, encouraged me to keep going, and inspired me to blog. I want to especially thank my wonderful friend, Kate Walera, for putting up with me through countless photo shoots, and my other amazing friends for putting up with Instagramming and photographing everything. This blog makes me confident, and makes me feel like I’m doing something meaningful. I really love blogging. I was so scared to start a blog, so scared to put myself out there, and yet I’ve never been more excited to do something. In 2015, I see myself growing the brand of Bottled Creativity, reworking the design a bit, and connecting with more fellow bloggers. I’m so excited for the next year of blogging! Thank you for sticking with me, and I look forward to getting to know you better.

All in all, 2014 was a growing experience. I feel blessed for the opportunities I’ve received. I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store for me, and I’m excited for the new year to start. Here’s to a new beginning, and a new start.

Cheers to the new year! Be safe in whatever you do to celebrate.

Truly,
Callie leigh

My Favorite 2013 Moments

Hello, World.

In light of the New Year, I’m doing some posts about 2013, and what I have planned for 2014. Although, if I’m being totally honest, I have no plans and no expectations for the New Year, and I’m completely and utterly content with that. If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s having expectations kill the organic feeling of life. If we expect too much, we’re bound to be disappointed. If we expect too little, we’re more surprised than we should be. But anyway, I’m going to wrap up 2013 by sharing my biggest moments of the year. These include milestones, but some are just small moments that affected my life in one way or another.  Image First, I went to the aquarium in Monterey with my residence hall, which was awesome. Mostly. Aside from some petty, first-year-of-college drama, it was a great experience. I’d never been to an aquarium, and it was really cool! I got to spend the day with some of my favorite people, and got to see jellyfish and sharks and penguins!
ImageThe Gonzaga versus Saint Mary’s basketball game was intense, and my school may have lost, but it was still such a great experience, and a must for my first year of college. The crowd was SO loud, and so invested in the game, and our boys played their best. I also made it on TV, which was my goal for my first SMC basketball game.
ImageThe Giants’ games. Yes, I got to go to two this year. The first was in the beginning of the year with two of my closest friends. The other in August, with my lovely parents and my uncle. I’d never been to a professional baseball game before, and it was awesome! I loved it, and I’m hoping to go again next season with my friends.
Image I stayed in San Francisco for a week during the month of May, and it was honestly my favorite time period in all of 2013. I really fell in love with the City in that week, and I found out so many things about myself. It was also the first time I really enjoyed the City. Before that, visiting the City always felt a little stressful, because it was a day away from everything, but then I would return, and all the things that were bothering me previously came rushing back into my head the minute I stepped foot on Bart. But this week, this one week, changed things. Everything felt secure, and happy, and easy, and real…at least for a little while. In the words of Elena Gilbert, “But then the sun came up, and reality set in.”
ImageI took a little road trip from school to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day. It was the first time I drove home, and I got to visit home the weekend before finals, and really enjoy being around my family before things got crazy. I’m so thankful my best friend decided to go with me because the drive would have sucked by myself. Also, we made a bomb playlist, so that helped.
Image Moving out of Saint Mary’s, and my first dorm room was so sad! My first year flew by, but I loved every minute of it, even the bad moments. Sometimes I feel nostalgic about moving out, wishing I could back to this room, and repeat some of the moments of my first year. Everything felt so easy, and everything was so new and exciting. I have some beautiful memories in this room, with people I will never forget, despite that many things are now so different than just a few months ago, when I was packing up this room, and closing it’s door for the very last time.
ImageMeeting Sarah Dessen was probably one of the coolest things to happen all year. I read all of her books, and I hope that no matter what career I end up in, one day I can write novels that matter, and be half as successful as her. She was just as sweet and amazing as you would think, and I’m so grateful my mom accompanied me to the Bay Area this summer to let me meet Sarah!
ImageBeing a WOWie was an amazing experience as well. I know I’ve said that about every moment so far, but there were a few great gems this year, and this was one of the big ones. I got to meet so many new people, and really connect with Saint Mary’s, and what it means to be a part of such a unique community. Although the experience was different than I thought it was going to be (in a few ways), I felt honored to be a part of the experience. I hope the first year students loved their weekend!
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ImageMoving back into Saint Mary’s. I love love love my new room, and my roommate is pretty awesome. Moving in was a bit like moving out, bittersweet to say the least. I was thankful to be back on campus, but I could also feel just how different things this year would be. But alas, I love my school, and I’m happiest when I’m walking through this campus.
Image I became good friends with this amazing gal. I will admit, I can be hard to get close to, I have a lot of trust issues, and I don’t really let people in, but this girl is like my kindred spirit. We just get each other. She’s been there for me so much this semester, and is always willing to listen to me rant, rave, cry, and laugh, and I’m thankful for that! I also appreciate that she is a great photographer, and is willing to take hundreds of pictures for me so I can keep this blog interesting.
ImageI went across the Golden Gate for the first time. This may seem silly, but I thought it was cool, and an important part of living in the Bay. Thank God for great friends, who go way out of their way just so you can accomplish this.

There you have my biggest moments of 2013. It was a rough year toward the end, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t absolutely hate moments of the year, but looking back, even the painful memories are important because they helped shape me into who I am as I write this. Even the memories that are painful to remember now were pretty beautiful once. So, here’s to the people in my life right now, and the people who aren’t anymore, but who were part of some of the most important moments of 2013. You’re all equally important to me.

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Thoughts on Moving Forward

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Hello, World.

With the New Year approaching in the next few days, I wanted to do a tea talk. I originally planned to do “new beginnings,” or “reinventing yourself,” or something equally as New Year-esque and cheesy. Every year, I always think I’m going to start over, change everything completely, and become a whole new person, but the past defines us, and I wouldn’t be me without everything that happened in 2013, and every year before that. So, this year I’m changing things up a bit, and instead of talking about new beginnings as totally new, I’ll be discussing moving forward. I wanted to do a 2013 review, so I figured this would be a great space to review my year, and discuss moving forward. 2013 brought a lot of change, as I discussed in my talk on change. If I was to write this post at the beginning of the year, or even halfway through, it would read much differently. The first half of 2013 was awesome, with some downs, but mostly ups. I was completely satisfied with school, so happy I ended up at Saint Mary’s, I had great friends, my first play placed in a script contest, and I even found a little love. But then summer came, and despite the fact that everything in summer is supposed to be easier, everything got harder. Much, much harder. My dad was sick all summer, my sister’s best friend from high school passed away, and I lost love in a matter of weeks. To top it all off, fall semester was by far the hardest semester I’ve ever had in my entire academic career. But despite all of that, I loved being a WOWie, and I absolutely love the people I have in my life at the moment. They are truly amazing.
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Somewhere in the midst of the semester, things started looking up, as they always do after a spell of bad luck. Thank goodness! I’m always nervous that things aren’t going to get better, but what I’ve realized is that things take time so we must be patient. 2014 is a brand new year, and I’m so excited to take all the hardships I’ve gone through this year to make a better me. Time changes everything, and it only took 3 months this summer for my entire life to change, to alter ever so slightly, ever so quickly, that for most of the semester I was left wondering what the hell happened, and why I was screwed over so hard. I’ve never felt so lost before, but I think 2014 will be year of self-discovery, and moving on from a past that seemed horribly important, but really, was just a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things. I’m tired of being unsure, and I’m tired of feeling like I did something wrong, and like I somehow deserve all the crap that’s gone wrong in the past year. So it’s time I take control of my life, and start choosing me. Moving forward can mean a lot of different things to different people. For some, it really is starting over, moving to a new place, and changing themselves. For others, it’s simply changing a specific thing, like your morning routine so that you start each day anew.

For me, moving forward is going to entail accepting my past, but no longer trying to change it. It’s going to mean working out everyday, and refocusing on schoolwork, and it’s going to entail being happy, and not feeling sorry for myself. Moving forward is also going to mean changing some things, like whom I allow in my life, and whom I don’t. John Green once said, “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you.” This year, I’m taking this seriously, and no longer accepting people in my life who do nothing but break my trust…and my heart.

Moving forward feels amazing, and I’m a firm believer that nothing good comes from living in the past. Your past is your past for a reason, and if someone or something was meant to be, it would have been, so don’t get hung up on the “what if’s” or the “could have beens,” because a new year means new chances, and if you’re still living in the past, you’ll miss everything that could be.

Truly,
Callie leigh