Jacksonville, FL

I promise I’ll be off my Florida kick after this post. I just miss the warmer weather so much!

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This big blue bridge made me feel like I was back in San Francisco.

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I love all the palm trees.

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Duuuval!

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St. Augustine

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Last weekend my friends and I traveled to St. Augustine for fall break at UGA. The weather was absolutely perfect. I had friends up north talking about how it was snowing early this year while I was basking in the sun in a tank top and shorts. I was living the life.

My friends and I rented a small air bnb in one of the…sketchier…areas of the city. Favorite part? All the abandoned houses really set the scene for Halloween and the feral cats made it feel extra spooky. The homeless people were really a catch. “Y’all seen Cletus?” was the most quotable part of the trip; however, we still don’t know who or what Cletus is. Lol.

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The history buff in me not only loved the aesthetic of the city but also stopped to read each and every historical marker. Needless to say, I was the straggler of the group.

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Seeing as this was a “school trip” for the big game on Saturday, I felt that taking a picture with the U.S.A.’s oldest wooden schoolhouse was obligatory.

While I didn’t get the best pictures, the cafes I visited were super trendy and Instagrammable. My favorites were the Cuban Cafe and Bakery and Dreamboat Coffee. If anyone is in the neighborhood, pick up a sweet cream iced coffee from Dreamboat! The barista is the nicest person, and her bubbly personality left me feeling full of giggles, even after my six hour drive to the city from Athens! I totally forgot her name, but shoutout to her because she rocked my world Friday night.

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The above photo was the view from our porch…Now that I’m back in Athens, I want to return more than anything!

My Everyday Life

Life has been super crazy, as it always is during October. Between midterms, Homecoming, birthdays, weddings, and so much else I feel like I haven’t taken a deep breath in about three weeks!

Without further ado, let’s jump right into some real time footage of my everyday life this fall.

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Homecoming came and went in the blink of an eye. This was my last year on the executive board and being able to plan all of the events will definitely be something I will miss about being an undergrad.

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Will celebrated his birthday in Atlanta this year. Both of our families were able to get together for brunch and we had so much fun!

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Fall is here and I’ve broken out my favorite leopard print loafers to celebrate.

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Celebrating with friends after midterms couldn’t be more fun. So thankful for all of the people UGA has brought into my life!

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The Arbitrary Nature of Success

College students strive for success. Sometimes that means not failing that hard science class. Other times it means maintaining a 4.0 over four years. Sometimes it just means graduating. Success is a word that means you’re good at something, but most of the time when a friend thinking about their future says they want to be successful they mean they want to make a lot of money, have a nice house, drive a fancy car, and go on expensive trips.

Success looks a certain way. If you close your eyes and think of the word success you might picture someone in a suit, a celebrity, or a world leader. Maybe you think of a business man like Elon Musk or maybe you picture a public figure like Emma Watson. Whoever you choose, you almost certainly think of who they are now rather than what it took to get them there.

Forbes named Kylie Jenner as one of the world’s richest self-made women. The controversy surrounding this includes the reason behind her riches: her family’s wealth. Having already famous parents and siblings, or even just a handful of good connections, give you a leg up in reaching “success.” We don’t start from the same place. While we do all have the same amount of time each day, where we come from, where we start, and where we plan on going forces us to utilize those same twenty four hours very differently. The most motivated person might have to work two jobs to pay off their student debt and not have the time to follow their dreams. Another motivated person might have the money to spend their free time pursuing their education and working towards their dream job. All in all, the money can make the success story but the success story doesn’t always make the money.

A successful person is often seen as a busy person. They’re the ones with the busy schedules, the color coded planners, the phones constantly buzzing with updates. The successful ones eat, sleep, and breathe accomplishing mountains of work. In college, this can mean that you schedule your days jam packed with activities and meetings. You may tell your friends your schedule and find pleasure in the shock on their faces. It may feel like you’re winning an invisible game. But truth be told, the busiest people aren’t always the most successful. Spreading yourself thin leads to lots in involvement but little participation. If you have twenty organizations all demanding your attention you never put your heart and soul into what you’re doing. You may be known for lots of things, but if you’re asked in depth about your experiences in one of the organizations you’re a part of, what answer will you give?

If what you’re doing with your free time is only to boost your resume and not boost your quality of life, that’s not true success.  True success is getting what you want out of your life. To all the freshmen I mentor: true success looks like you.

Success is a series of small wins.

Success is a mountain of small accomplishments that felt meaningless at the time. Think back to graduating high school. It took a long time to get from A to B, but you did it. You took your classes, did the math, survived the dreaded beep test in gym, and had some fun along the way. But before high school you had middle school and before that you had elementary school and before that you had preschool and before that you had to learn to talk and walk. All the little things we do each day, like making goals for ourselves and eating breakfast, can amount to something monumental if we want them to.

Right now, freshman year is a stepping stone. You’re adjusting to college and trying to figure your life out. Some of you probably feel a little lost. College often feels like two steps forward and one step back. It’s slow going. In the end, even if you don’t think you’re going to get to where you’re going, you’re going to get to where you need to be. The universe has a funny way of making that happen.

One of the silliest, yet most life changing things that I read freshman year was a tumblr post about a dog begging for a chocolate chip cookie. It goes along these lines: imagine you are enjoying a chocolate chip cookie while at home with your dog. He’s going to whine and pout and whimper trying to get that cookie. You wish you could give it to him to make him happy, but you know that if you do you could end up hurting him. There’s no way to make him understand that what he wants is bad for him. That’s like your connection to the universe. Whatever higher power is out there knows what’s best for you. You can want that metaphorical chocolate chip cookie more than anything else in the world, but if it’s going to hurt you then sometimes the universe will step in and protect you. You’ll never know why, and you’ll be just like that dog whimpering and hurt because you worked hard for something you didn’t get. And that’s okay. That’s life. That’s success. Successful people have to fail in order to succeed because nothing ever really works on the first go around. That’s freshman year for most people. It’s a trial run for college, and college is a trial run for adulthood. Even if the whole way is two steps forward and one step back, you’ll still get to the finish line if you just keep going.

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For more of my thoughts on success during college, check out an old blog post I wrote by clicking here.

Your Best Bullet Journal

 

Your best bullet journal

I set up my very first bullet journal in December of 2015, over two years ago, and I haven’t used a store bought agenda since. Bullet journals are fully customizable agendas. They can have monthly calendars, daily and weekly spreads, habit trackers, lists, and more. It seems really daunting at first, but once you start it doesn’t take much time or creativity at all.

Most of the bullet journals on Pinterest, tumblr, and Instagram are highly artistic, meticulously organized, and very detailed. Your’s doesn’t have to be! I can’t stress that enough. So many people look at my bujo (shorthand for bullet journal) and think that I spend hours each week decorating and planning each page. It may take me half an hour if I want to make it look artsy, but if I’m simply putting down what I need to do each day it takes all of five minutes. It can be messy, black and white, perfect, colorful, or anything in between.

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I use a monthly agenda and weekly spreads. I set up all my months in December and then make each weekly spread on Sunday the week of.

For my monthly spreads, I start with a grid base. In a Leuchtturm 1917 A5 hardcover with a dot grid, each weekday of the month is eight grid spaces over and six down. Each weekend day is seven grid spaces over and six down. I do this part in pencil so I can count out how many days I need and make sure they’re in the right MTWTFSS spot.

step-by-step bullet journal creation

After I make the grid, I outline all the days I need in black pen. Then I decorate the black space. I try to do different designs for each month. I typically use stickers, washi tape, and doodles.

 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! I’ve found that a lot of my friends are tentative to even start a bullet journal because they’re afraid it’ll look  messy or that they’ll somehow screw it up. There’s always white out, or some way to improvise. Even then, most people that look at my bullet journal don’t pay attention to the mistakes (and there are plenty of them).

April bullet journal monthly spread

Looking through my new bujo, this is my favorite month so far, as far as the art goes. Below is another I did for March. I erase all the pencil guide lines after I finish decorating (the final step when creating my monthly spreads).

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My weekly spreads tend to look very different week to week. I typically write down the day and date and underneath it put down all the things I need to do, with an open circle for tasks/homework and an open square for events. When I begin the task I color the circle in half way, and once it’s complete I color it in fully.

Bullet journal set up - July

Recently I’ve been using Tracy from Shutterbean’s weekly layout.  It’s much simpler and usually leaves a big chunk of room for me to doodle on.

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Another reason I love to bullet journal is because it can be turned into a scrapbook. I tape movie tickets, flowers, and other little memories in on the weeks I do those things. So not only do I have a physical thing to remind me of a happy time or event, I have the time, date, and name written down.

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My sorority sister (and little) Rachel just started her bullet journal. Her tip for newbies is to experiment with different layouts and spreads to find what fits you best. She also highly recommends stickers and stencils for people that aren’t good at drawing. She got all of her’s off of Amazon!

Click on the links for these stickers, this washi tape, these markers/pens/brush pens, and this stencil set to view some of my favorites off Amazon. You can also get the Leuchtturm journal I’m using by clicking here.

As far as inspiration goes, I search tumblr for the hashtags bujo and studyblr. Pinterest has some good ideas as well. My bullet journal Pinterest board is always evolving. Tracy from Shutterbean is also a big source of bujo inspiration for me.

If you’re interested in seeing how I organize my busy life, check out this post: The Big Three: How to Stay on Your A-Game During Summer Break.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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While Thanksgiving isn’t one of my favorite holidays, I’ve always loved the idea of bringing all your family and friends together for a meal (or a flag football game). As the fall semester of my junior year of college draws to a close I am finding more and more things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for…

My wonderful, supportive family

All my friends, old and new

The opportunities I’ve been given at the University of Georgia

Will

My cat, Chocolate, and my dogs, Boo and Blue

Books, and the authors and editors that make them possible

The mentors I’ve had throughout college that are helping me figure my life out one baby step at a time, haha IMG_0736.jpgIMG_0735.jpg

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Thoughts About Self Care and Competition

A friend recently asked me “how often do you write?” To which I responded, “not enough.”

We’d been talking about how everyone everyone has been a little obsessed with Lady Gaga at some point. He mentioned that he liked how she’s unobjectively herself. I mentioned that I really appreciate that she’s learned how to be herself without having to be forceful about it (I wasn’t a fan of her during her meat dress faze, to say the least). You can be yourself without throwing yourself into a random party outfit generator each morning. You can be quirky and not have your outfit scream to the world that this is who you are. There is courage in doing that, yes, but there’s also courage in being firm in who you are without having to prove it to the world. And I think that’s where Gaga is now.

Getting back to the point: I was analyzing the evolution of her lyrics with my friend as we drove to dinner. Not to be cocky, but I could overanalyze anything. One could call it my hubris. But tonight, it worked out in my favor. My friend started asking me about my writing. Now, I love to talk about loving to write and all the plans I have for novels that aren’t going to go anywhere and how I used to perform slam poetry blah blah blah, but this conversation, for whatever reason, made me realize that I wasn’t doing what I loved as often as I thought I was. 

I created a motto for myself this school year: Do more of what makes you happy. By not making the time to write, am I not following my motto? By making the time to write but not writing what I am really passionate about, is that also breaking my motto? Sadly, I think so. It’s not that I am intentionally depriving myself of some mental need to obtain joy via the written word (*insert sarcastic eye roll here*), it’s that I am missing out on extra joy because I subconsciously internalize my want to produce literature. I don’t make time for writing, other than my blog, because I feel like there are so many better, more productive things to be doing. I could be studying for tests, or reading for bookclub, or calling my parents. I could do my laundry, cook real food for dinner, or vacuum. It feels like there are a thousand more important things in my life right now. But more important to whom?

That’s the catch right there.

I care how people perceive me. I overanalyze it to the point of lunacy. There’s this little voice in my head telling me that if someone caught me spending an hour a day writing for pleasure I would be stripped deserving the titles I have. If I spent an hour a day relaxing by planning out my next novel instead of preparing for Homecoming or reading over my UGA tour notes or creating guides for my next-to-impossible biology exams someone is bound to say that I don’t work hard enough for what I have.

I know I’m not the only one that looks at the things that make me happy and push them to the side because there are “more important” things to do. Part of this, from what I can tell, stems from how competitive my graduating class is. I remembering being in high school where people would brag about not sleeping for days, or using Adderall to stay awake long enough to do weeks worth of homework in a single stretch. I didn’t want to participate in things like that, so I did what I could to keep my grades up and still be a functioning human being. I got into college and that same thing kept going on and on and on. I’m even friends with people that still post on social media each time they’re up in the library past 2 am studying for a test. It’s a competition to prove that you’re the best student because you work the hardest, and it’s not healthy.

We, the collegiate millinials, have an unhealthy competitive edge (that’s probably going to lead us to early graves if I’m being honest). We care too much, and because we care we work to impress others (whether others actually care or not) rather than to fulfill ourselves. I am not asking everyone to become self involved workaholics. I am simply stating that doing self-fulfilling tasks with the fervor you put into your studies and extracurriculars would be a nice change of pace. So, instead of glorifying not sleeping or studying until you nearly collapse, let’s glorify doing things for not other reason than that they make us happy.

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My Life: October

October was crazy. I had three weeks of midterms, Delta Gamma Initiation, Homecoming, Delta Gamma Low Country Boil, Will’s 21st birthday, my mom’s birthday, and my roommate’s 21st birthday. It has been a month. But there’s only one thing left: Halloween! Whether or not I’ll actually celebrate is still undecided, but we’ll get there when we get there.

I went to the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia at the beginning of the month to complete a biology scavenger hunt. This was one of the required pictures I had to take.

Botanical Gardens

My little and grandlittle at Initiation

DG Initiation 2017

My parents came down for my Homecoming, the UGA v Mizzu football game

The Marshalls at UGA v Mizzu

During Homecoming week, coffee was a must

Coffee

I got to participate in Dawg Walk with the cheerleaders and football players

UGA Cheerleaders

Here’s the 2017 Homecoming Committee and Court!

Homecoming Committee and Court

And here I am on the jumbotron with the UGA President, the Homecoming Director, and the 2016 Homecoming King and Queen

Me on the UGA Jumbotron

We all saw my pumpkin patch fun in this post from the other day

Milledge Baptist Pumpkin Patch

A snap of me in the Fine Arts theater building after work one day

Lazy Day Work Outfit

A friend from outside my GA house

Georgia lizzard

 

I went home for fall break and look how much the leaves have changed!

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An “early” morning sun

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I walked to Starbucks and passed the building I (as a small child) wanted to live in when I grew up

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Home wouldn’t be the same without Chocolate!

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My tomato plants from this summer finally made tomatoes! And then were promptly killed by yesterday’s snowfall…

Baby tomatoes

Happy Halloween!

Beary Scary Halloween

xo Bailey

Fun Things

It honestly feels like life is moving at fifteen mph above the speed limit.  It’s been one of those “please, for the love of everything sacred, slow down!” weeks. And it’s only Monday. But the good news is that the Internet is always helping me find cool ways to distract myself from how overwhelmed I actually am.

North Carolina Forest