Tag Archives: something to talk about

The Challenges of Grad School

9 Jan

It’s true what they say: graduate school is nothing like college.

I was absolutely terrified as the last days of August approached and I prepared to move to a new city to start law school.  I’m not sure what scared me so much.  I’ve always enjoyed being a student and I knew law school was the right choice for me.  I think the unknown was the scariest part.  What would classes be like?  What would my professors be like?  Would I get thrown out of class on day 1 like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde?

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Now that I’ve survived an entire semester of law school, I don’t think it’s scary.

I think it’s challenging:

1) You have hundreds of pages of reading to do in one week.  And you actually HAVE to do the reading before class.  If you blow off the reading, it will definitely come back to bite you.  I read so much this semester that my eyesight got worse and I had to get reading glasses.

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2) You miss your friends from college.  A lot.  I was extremely lucky to have a wonderful group of close friends in college.  I’ve met great people in law school, but it has been really hard to get used to life without my friends living right next door.

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3) You wake up at 5am and you’re ready for bed by 8pm.  Everyone adopts different schedules, of course, but my weekly wake up time during school is about 5-5:30am.  I work out, make breakfast, get ready for the day, drive to school, get to the library by 7:30 or so, then go to my classes.  Naturally, I’m exhausted by the end of the day.  Gone are the days of staying up until 2am and sleeping until noon (sigh).

Life post-college is challenging.  Whether you have a new job, are looking for work, or are continuing with your education, your lifestyle changes entirely.

When I get stressed about schoolwork or homesick for my family I try to remember one thing: to be grateful.  I survived college and now I have an amazing opportunity to further my education.  Even on the worst days, I am so very thankful for that.

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  • Have you transitioned into the “real world” yet?  What was hard for you?
  • How do you deal with stress?

P.S. I get to see my friends from college this weekend!  I can’t wait.

Back to School Essentials

10 Aug

I haven’t blogged in awhile because I have been busy getting ready to go back to school!  It’s weird because I’m not really going “back” to school at all.  Going back to school would mean back to the U of R, back to all of my friends and back to sitting on the academic quad and enjoying the fall weather.

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However, it’s off to Buffalo soon and jumping into a brand new type of school.

I’ve always loved back to school shopping.  New things make me feel ready for a fresh school year.

Some essentials:

  1. New clothes. Especially jeans and sweaters for when the weather cools down.
  2. A new planner.  I just got this jumbo agenda from Lilly Pulitzer and I am OBSESSED.
  3. Toiletries.  Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, lotion, anything you use on a daily basis.  I stock up on a few extras so I don’t run out quickly when I am too busy at school to run to the store.
  4. Food!  Especially healthy on-the-go snacks and pantry basics that won’t spoil.  My staples are oatmeal, peanut butter, almonds and granola bars.
  5. Bedding.  Comfy pillows and blankets make your home away from home a little cozier.  I have a fleece blanket from Pottery Barn that is never left behind.
  6. Wall decorations.  I print recent photos and use bulletin boards and frames.  This year I also got crafty with a canvas and paint.

Aside from purchasing back to school goodies, the most important thing to do before going to school is to spend time with the people you are going to miss.  Go on a date with your significant other or a group of girlfriends.  Cook dinner for your parents.  Visit family you won’t see for awhile.

Last night was date night with Dan.

Flight Wine Bar

And next week I have lunch plans with my grandparents.

I can’t believe I move in 8 days!  It’s exciting, scary and overwhelming all at the same time.

  • What are your essentials for back to school?
  • What do you do to spend time with people before you leave?

Volunteering & Resistance Bands

3 Aug

Is anyone else in shock that it’s already the beginning of August!?

This week was my last week volunteering at the senior home I have been at all summer.  It was a wonderful experience and I’m glad that I could use some of my free time to help others.  My work mostly concentrated in their marketing/PR department, so I assisted with various computer tasks, took photos of residents and improved the organization’s Facebook page.

I know it can be hard to find the time to volunteer as most of us are busy with work, family and other commitments.  It can also be a challenge to devote time to something that won’t result in a paycheck.

What I’ve learned over the past few months is that any amount of volunteering makes a difference.  I volunteered 12 hours a week, but I met some people who gave just one hour a week.  It all adds up.

Find something that inspires you.  Evaluate your schedule and consider whether volunteering is something you could do.  You might meet great people along the way, make someone’s life a little easier or find a new passion within you that you didn’t know existed.

In other news, I have discovered a love for a new-to-me fitness toy…

Resistance bands!

My boyfriend Dan bought resistance bands in the beginning of the summer to do P90X.  I had never used resistance bands until this week when we did a work out together.  We did a circuit that looked like this:

  • Biceps
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • 30 sec. plank

For each set we did as many reps as possible.  We did this circuit a total of five times through, mixing up the exercises each time to target the muscles differently.  It was an effective workout that went by quickly and it was all done right in his living room.

After loving this workout, I knew resistance bands needed to be purchased to come to school with me.  I got the ones pictured above at Target for $19.99.

The set came with three bands – light, medium and heavy.  They all attach to the same handles for minimal equipment and an easy way to vary the resistance.  I’m really excited to use these for at-home strength training and for quick workouts while I’m at school.

Questions for the Afternoon:

  • Have you ever volunteered before?  If not, where would you like to volunteer?
  • Do you ever use resistance bands for strength training?

On Vacation: To Exercise or Not to Exercise?

27 Jul

As I enjoy a vacation of a lifetime in London, I’ve gotten to thinking about finding that perfect balance between rest and activity while on a trip.  The point of vacation is generally to relax, rejuvenate yourself and take a break from your everyday life.  It’s a time to try new foods, see and do new things, or lay around on the beach.  But should your usual fitness routine go completely out the window?

For me, I generally like to maintain some level of activity while on vacation.  If I completely throw that out the window, I usually end up feeling sluggish and crabby as a result of deviating so far from my typical routine.  However, I also think it’s important to cut yourself some slack.  Sleep in and opt for activity later in the day.  Eat a delicious, but perhaps unhealthy, meal that you might never eat at home.  Enjoy some cocktails at the swim-up bar.  Determine what works best for you and will give you the best vacation, while still making you feel healthy and energized.

Last summer, when I went to Sicily with my parents, I went to the hotel gym almost every morning and got a sweat session in before laying at the pool all day. Yet when I went to Jamaica in March with all of my friends, I worked out once the entire week.  And honestly, it was one of the best weeks ever.  Sure I ate and drank things I would usually skip at home, but it’s a vacation I will never forget.

Chillin’ hard in Jamaica.

While in London, I haven’t gotten any formal workouts in.  However, we have walked between 15,000 and 18,000+ steps every day while sightseeing (love the FitBit!).  It’s not “going to the gym” workouts, but it beats laying on the couch all day.  Additionally, I already feel excited to return to my fitness routine when I get home.  Allowing yourself periods of rest can be the perfect thing for increasing motivation and making future workouts count even more.

Traveling is a great way to expand your horizons, create lasting memories with family and friends and fuel your overall personal health.  Get out there and enjoy the world!

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Resisting Change

26 Jul

Last night as I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep, it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks:  I’ll be starting law school orientation in less than one month.  I’ve honestly been freaking out about that long before now, but when I started to think about it last night it became incredibly real.

Part of me is excited for this new phase of my life, while part of me is strongly resisting the change and wants things to stay the way they are.  Why do we seem to do this?  New things are usually exciting and rewarding, but as creatures of habit we are often content to continue on the path we are familiar with.

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If we want to continue to grow and leave our mark on the world, we need to accept new challenges and dive headfirst into life’s new endeavors.  Since this can be difficult, these are the things I try to remember:

  • Everything happens for a reason.  It’s a corny saying, but I truly believe in it.  No matter what gets thrown at you along the way, it all turns out how it’s supposed to.
  • I’ve gotten through other changes in the past.  This isn’t the first change in my life and it won’t be the last.  It’s important to remember what you learned from past experiences and keep that knowledge in mind moving forward.  Reflecting on the past can motivate you to work toward the future.
  • I can always turn to family and friends.  When I feel scared and overwhelmed, it can be easy to forget how much support I have behind me.  Opening up to the people I care about always pushes me forward.  A reassuring talk or a lunch date to take my mind off things can usually do the trick.

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Change is a part of life and most often, it makes us stronger.  If everything stayed the same, life would be so boring and we would never grow as individuals.

So go out there and make the best of a new part of your life, seek your dream job, explore your options and get after whatever it is that inspires you.  Even if it scares you, you might get something you’ve always wanted.

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