Being Back at College

After taking a semester abroad, I didn’t know what to expect when I came back to my home university. There’s a lot less excitement, a lot more classes, and it’s back to normal life. It’s been a real wake up call compared to Ireland.

Now, I am trying not to be one of those people who dwell on their experiences abroad and how much better they were than those in America. This semester won’t be any easier if I just keep looking back at what an amazing time I had while I was away.

Getting back into the swing of things at school has been busy. I came back on a Sunday, had four classes and work that Monday. Life is busy. I’m taking a lot of credits this semester since I dropped a class last semester. I just want to make up for it now rather than next year, honestly I just want the easiest senior year possible.

Friendship and professional relationship wise it was really easy coming back. I think it helped that I talked to Eric most days while I was away, and then over winter break as well. I didn’t feel like I missed anything in their lives to catch up on, he kept me in the loop for the most part. I kept in touch with my adviser while I was away as well, so there wasn’t a lot I needed to tell her either. I think my transition back has been rather simple for the most part.

The weirdest thing about being back is 1) not seeing my new friends every day, and 2) seeing people I’ve never seen before every day. I guess at a lot of schools number two wouldn’t really be that big of a deal, but I go to a very small school where you usually at least recognize everyone if you don’t know them personally, now I don’t recognize or know so many people because a whole class entered the school while I was gone, and it’s just really weird walking around. The first week was almost surreal, it didn’t feel like my school anymore, now I feel back to normal.

I’m glad to be back, I’m glad to be back in a normal routine and schedule. I hope that you’re all having wonderful semesters so far!

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Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 20

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I’m exhausted. Just like physically exhausted. My IT class has already kept me up until 2 am two nights ago and until 12 last night and it’s only the second week of classes.

This semester is going to be long. I just know it. Maybe this light dusting of snow will give me a delay tomorrow, I would not complain. I would like to have a week off due to snow delays and days off in total because they added a week to our calendar. We’re supposed to get this huge snow storm this weekend, but I have a feeling that it won’t happen. Also, I hate that, weekend storms are the worst. I always have to move my car through the icy campus and they wait until Sunday to actually plow/salt anything. Maryland doesn’t do snow well.

My classes thus far are interesting, yet I know they will be challenging. I’m already learning new things in nearly all of my classes, which is great because usually it’s still a review. I’m glad that I’m finally getting interested in what I’m learning about. Advanced Reporting is probably  my least favorite class, but Online Journalism is probably my favorite, we all know I have a little obsession with the internet.

This weekend I have a lot to do, and I would like to do some scrapbooking. I know I live a fascinating life and you were all dying to know that I just want to scrapbook. I want to try and get a head start on my homework that way I’m not procrastinating. This week when I tried to get ahead on my IT homework, the site was down, so that didn’t help my procrastination at all. My philosophy is this semester the farther ahead I get the easier life will be in the long run. We’ll see how that works out.

I really want to get into being more creative. I feel like I’m just letting all of my creative energy fall to the wayside while I don’t do much with my free time. I need to devote more of my free time to creative things and less to Netflix and doing nothing.

I don’t know if I’ve written this anywhere, but I’m very glad to be back at school with my friends, but it does take some adjusting. I hardly recognize anyone and all of last week I just felt like I had to leave soon. I think it’s just starting to sink in that I’m not going back to Ireland anytime soon, however, I am glad to be back. You can’t dwell on the fact that you’re back in the US, otherwise you’ll never move on in life, so I’m just accepting it and moving on.

Everyone seems to just be going back to school, but how are your semesters going so far? Or jobs? Or just life in general?

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Late Night Blogging with Mary: Part 19

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It’s been officially over a month since I’ve done an LNBM, which means that bloggers block is fading away, we will see if that sticks once school picks up on Monday. Eek. However, because of that, I feel  like there hasn’t been a life update in a while.

I start classes on Monday, that’s insane. My break has flashed by in the blink of an eye, which is good and bad. Good because I hate waiting for things, bad because I didn’t get to do half the things I wanted to do. That’s partially because I got way more hours over break than I did over the summer, which is really good, but I’m also very tired.

Also, I can’t believe I’m going back to my school tomorrow. I spent all of last semester saying to my friends “oh I don’t go there” to be funny, but like now it feels almost weird to be going back. I’m afraid I’m not going to know anyone, which is stupid because my school has like just over a thousand students, so that’s only like 300 or so that I won’t recognize. However, I also switched buildings, which I realize I’m about to sound very stupid, but there’s like a whole new system I have to learn. I don’t know which showers to use, there’s going to be different people in the halls, it’s just going to be different. It feels kind of weird just walking into school in the middle of the year, I know it’s a new semester, it just feels strange.

I am so excited for a routine again. I have a babysitting job lined up for next semester. I just have schedule that will be generally the same everyday and I’m really looking forward to it. There’s something that I really look forward to about starting back up again. While there are certain classes that I’m really nervous about, there are also a lot that I’m really excited for. I’m glad that I’m finally done with all of my gen eds and I’m finally like moving up into just classes for my major and then classes I actually want to take.

I guess this post could have been called “back to school” but it’s past 7 pm so it’s technically LNBM. When do you go back to school? Some people are already back, some people still have a week or two, they took a week away from us, so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little upset, but maybe it’s for the best!

Okay, now it’s bed time, I’m leaving at 7 am tomorrow!

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Average Adventure: Sevilla, Spain

Well, this has been well over due. I went to Sevilla back in November to visit my friend Molly who was there for the semester. I would say that this is easily one of my favorite trips and most memorable trips that I made while I was away. I think it’s probably because I was going to visit one of my really good friends and it was the first time I was with someone who knew me really well for the first time in months, it was great.

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There were orange trees everywhere. This was something that really puzzled me. They aren’t eaten. I don’t know why that bothered me so much, it just did. I just thought it would be so innovative if there was just food all over the city. I don’t know.

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We did a lot of sightseeing on the Friday that I was there. We got there Thursday but our train form Madrid left super early and we were exhausted so we saw more of the city and then looked at more stuff the next day. This is the view from the top of a church. A church. I believe it was the Cathedral de Sevilla. It was a Catholic church too, which was cool for me. The top picture was taken in this area that had a lot of holes for me to trip in, which I tripped in most of them, but it was in the church. The church was absolutely massive.

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This was the wall tile in a building somewhere, I thought it was pretty.

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That evening we went to see the sunset on the top of the Metropol Parasol. It was absolutely amazing. It was one of those sunsets, or maybe even moments that you can’t even believe is real.

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I believe this is the Plaza de España. This was an area of a lot of wedding pictures.  It was very pretty. I love this last picture of Molly and I because I’m like totally ready and already posing, but I have no idea what she’s doing haha.

One more post from my trip coming eventually!

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A Year in Review: 2015

It’s that time of year again. The time when I reflect back on my year, 2014 was a reflection, but I prefer the Year in Review of 2013, so that’s the title of this one. All in all, 2015 was a strange year, a good year, but a strange one. Looking back at it, it’s like I lived this life that wasn’t mine, I don’t know if that makes sense. For the most part my anxiety has greatly subsided and only surfaces at the most inconvenient of times, like parking lots, highways, riding bicycles through London, and when I have too much stuff to be done. My blogging hit a creative roadblock for a while and that was really hard for me to deal with, I just wanted to create great things and I couldn’t. Recently, I’ve been feeling better about that though and that helps a lot. 2015 brought the biggest adventure of my life yet, I lived in another country for three months, and that was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done. If I had to describe 2015 in a phrase it would be: unexpectedly expected.

January

In January it seemed as if I was going through some self-evaluating. I had almost all classes for my major and minor and it lead to some major self reflection and evaluating. This was the semester that I went back to school and I felt content for the first time about that. Before there was always that bit of dread, but not that semester. Molly, Eric, Logan, and I all went on a little day trip to a bookstore in Harrisburg and to Chocolate World.

February

February is when the not blogging every day kicked in and I started to slack. I celebrated being single with two Galentines days I think I failed the 3-5 days a week. In order to try and combat this I started the 30 Day Blog Challenge. This is also when my blogging rut began. There were highs and lows of it throughout the year. However, because blogging had hit a rut, I was enjoying my life. This is also the last month that I would go home for the job that I hated so much.

March

At school March means spring break, which usually means a week of working, for me, it meant quitting my job. I had never quit a job before so it was this huge step for me in my life. I was kind of afraid, but also so glad that I did. I quit in order to go Florida with my friends for spring break, which was a great decision if you ask me. This was also the month where I honestly almost stopped blogging if I’m being honest. I hit a rut, I didn’t always enjoy blogging, I stopped doing the 30 Day Blog Challenge, I was at the peak of my creative roadblock. March was a month of highs and lows.  However, by the end of the month I felt that I was slowly climbing out of my rut and onto better. This was also the month I found out that I had been accepted to go to Dublin for the semester, it was official that I would be studying abroad in the fall.

April

To be honest. I don’t remember anything about April.  April is a weird month where nothing really happens. We had May Madness at my school and it was like 45 degrees outside. I don’t know why we had May Madness in April, I think it had something to do with finals week. Other than that, I feel like April is such a filler month. It’s project after project and paper after paper, other than that there’s not much to it.

May

May means the end of school. This year, I went home without a job and with fewer friends waiting for me than I was leaving, and it just felt weird. Normally I go home to a routine and this time I was going home to job application after job application. All of this time was good for me to start to get ready for studying abroad. I went on some hikes and just took some time for myself. At the end of the month, I was back working at my new job that I love.

June

 

I started LNBM in June which is the best and worst thing I’ve ever done for this blog. While it greatly feeds my laziness in the blogging department, it always seems to decently well with readers. I also continued my visits to Frederick to see Logan, Molly, and Eric. They also came to PA a few times, it was easier for me to go there just with schedules and everything. June was another month of severe bloggers block. However, this was the first time I didn’t keep it a secret. I was open and straight forward about it, which I think made it easier to write.

July

In July I went back to Florida, this time with my family. I got to accomplish a life dream, to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and see the giraffes from my hotel window. I also got to experience the magic of the updated Harry Potter World, which was absolutely amazing. The bloggers block start to wear off a little bit and I felt like I was doing good in the blog world.  I always start to get a little restless in July. I’m ready for a set schedule and this summer I just never really got that. I like structure, and there was not a lot of structure in my life this past summer, which was probably a good experience.

August

August was a month of restlessness. I felt stagnate.  Everyone was getting ready to back to college and I was just waiting. Do you know that night before you leave before you go on vacation? That’s how August was for me. To me the world was paused, crawling until I made it until September when I could finally go to Dublin for the semester. I did go on my first solo trip to the beach which was the type of relaxation I really needed. I don’t like to wish away time, but at the time I was just wishing that August would just hurry up already. I celebrated my 21st birthday and going away with family and friends.  My friends slowly started returning to college and I continued to work, just waiting for the day that it was my turn to leave.

September

September started with two visits to Hood. I finished working, went down for Eric’s birthday and then the next day I was off for Dublin. This was the start of my greatest adventure. This was the part of the year that I was looking forward to the most. After all of the paperwork errors and thoughts crossing my mind that I would never be able to actually go, it was time for me to go. I left on September 13 and got to Dublin on the 14. Right away we had walking tours, bus tours, and just sightseeing things. I had my 21st birthday in a different country where it doesn’t really matter because the drinking age is 18 there, but still I turned 21, that’s a big birthday, or so they say. I visited the Cliffs of Moher and just explored Dublin.

October

October was when life started to get crazy. I went to Howth which is a small little suburb type place of Dublin. I went to Paris to meet up with my dad who was on business, how many 21 year-olds can say that? Then I went to Galway, another little seaside town for a night with my friends. I ended in October in London, England. That’s just absolutely crazy. I did so much in one month.

November

I feel like November was yesterday, it went by literally in the blink of an eye. I went to London (again) and Brighton. I also went to Madrid and Sevilla. I was away from Dublin for a whole week and then I made the decision to not travel again while I was away and enjoy my last four weeks in Dublin. This is the first time any of my pictures from Sevilla are being posted, the adventure post will come soon. My family came for Thanksgiving and I got to enjoy more time with them which was great. When I said at the beginning that looking back on this year it’s like looking at someone else’s memories, that’s what November is for me, it’s so surreal that it seems like someone else’s life.

December

December brought an end to my biggest adventure. I spent my last two and a half weeks in Dublin with final assignments and seeing as much of the city as possible, going to all of my favorite places and just taking everything in before I left. Then I headed home. It’s still weird being home. It’s been about two and a half weeks now and it’s still just weird. I’m not used to it yet. I’ve been trying to see all of my home friends and family before I head back to school in a little over a week. I went to Frederick for an interview

2015.

All in all, 2015 was great. It was just a whirlwind of a year. It was a year of new friends, new people, new experiences, and new places. The last fourth of 2015 could be described as the year of new, and I want to keep that going. 2015 was great, but I’m ready for some more change. I don’t like change, but I don’t know, I feel like 2016 is the year of change. Resolutions to come tomorrow!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 6- Last Minute Gift Ideas

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We’ve all been in that place where you just can’t figure out what to get that last person on your list and suddenly it’s the 19th and it’s crunch time. Here are some ideas for when you are completely and utterly stuck for ideas!

  • Gift cards- Although they seem rather impersonal sometimes the best thing to do is just let the person you’re shopping for pick their own present.
  • Those impulse buy items I told you not to buy yesterday. If you’re stuck sometimes it’s best to make a little gift basket of little useful things, not the junky things that will get thrown away, but makeup bags, anything that could be used everyday makes a good gift. If someone just moved out little things for the kitchen, anything really.
  • Donations in their name- If you are buying for someone who would rather give than receive find out their favorite charity and give the money to that instead.
  • Food- Okay so maybe this only works for teenagers/college students/younger people with a small income, but they will love it and cherish it for as long as it lasts.
  • Anything useful. Think about their life and what they need, and if they really don’t need anything go back to the donations.
  • Inside jokes-  I love when people get me things that have meaning. For example, for my birthday Eric got me a Maryland state flag because I always make fun of it, and cow gummies because of the time I thought cows exploded, and that made me laugh and I loved it. This shows that you pay attention and appreciate someone.
  • Something funny- If all else fails just go the joke route. While it will probably be junk that will go in the trash in a few months or years it’s fun in the moment and it will always be good for laughs and memories.

What are your last minute gift ideas?

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When you know something’s ending, like for good, do you feel like yourself?

Eric requested that this be the title of my last blog post in Ireland, while this isn’t the last blog post about Ireland it’s the last one while I’m here. Again, I messed up flight times, so I’m at the airport with some time to kill and I thought that this was fitting.

I’m not sure I quite understand this. I told him last night on FaceTime that I don’t know of any times where I haven’t felt like myself. It is an interesting question though, I know I’m walking away from something great and now part of me will always have a special spot for Ireland, but I wouldn’t say that I don’t feel like myself.

This morning so far has been interesting. I tried to change my flight for earlier but alas no luck so I will be lucky if I’m back home in Pennsylvania by midnight. My prayers were answered and my bag was not overweight, just very full. It was not until I was already at the airport that I realized my flight didn’t leave until over an hour later than what I thought. I don’t know what I read that made me think it was at 11:30, I swear when I checked yesterday it was but I would have gotten an email if it changed and I did not get an email. When I was going through security I bumped my laptop of the counter, and the corner broke. Thank goodness it still works because everything I love is on this thing.

I’m very ready to go home, but saying goodbye to people was sad, I don’t know why I thought it would be easy. Now I have friends all over the US now so that’s really nice because there’s about 10 or so states that I can visit people in during my more domestic travels. I’m excited to eat my favorite snack and bake and see everyone I love for the holidays. I start work again on Monday, I don’t know  my schedule yet, but it will be interesting that’s for sure.

I’m so glad and blessed that I got this experience. I’m sad to be leaving, but I also can’t wait to come back someday with my own family eventually. So this is just an extra post with a last slán (goodbye) from Ireland. Maybe I don’t quite feel like myself today, maybe just a little off.

America be ready, I’m almost back!

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 5- Last Minute Gift Buying Tips

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Now, I’m not a last minute kind of person to be quite honest. However, there were a few Christmas presents that I couldn’t get in Ireland so I will be doing some last minute shopping when I get home. I thought maybe it would be nice to give my tips on the best way to do last minute shopping.

  • Go in the morning. The sooner you leave the more people are still running late, so get to the mall or Target or Walmart or wherever you need to go as soon as it opens.
  • Have a list. It’s too late in the game to try and wing it, you need to know what you’re looking for otherwise you will be stuck there forever.
  • Walk with purpose. Those pesky mall kiosk people are less likely to ask you a million questions if you’re walking with a purpose. I know they’re just doing their job, but you still have presents to wrap and places to be, get it done and get out of there. Unless you want to meander, then meander!
  • Only go into stores that have the things you need. If you’re shopping for your mom there’s no reason to go into American Eagle, instead you’re just going to end up buying yourself a sweater that you don’t need and spending the money you should be spending on other people.
  • Don’t give in to the impulse buys. If you don’t need it don’t buy it. I feel like those little stations of impulse buys are everywhere at Christmas time and that’s because they know people cave. Those are good stocking stuffers and little presents for friends, but if that’s not what you’re looking for, walk away.

What are your last minute tips?! I’m going to struggle with the not getting distracted part since I haven’t been to Target in months it’s going to be hard, but I can do it.

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 4- Analyzing Christmas Songs

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One of the best and worst parts about Christmas is the music. As my dad says, there are about five good holiday songs, now we probably disagree on which songs they are, however all songs have some interesting lines so today I’m going to analyze them.

  • “All I Want for Christmas is You”- I guess you could almost call this a Christmas classic at this point, anyone my age loves and adores this song it seems. “And I’m just gonna keep on waiting Underneath the mistletoe,” well first of all I don’t think her “baby” is coming to be honest, but also if you keep waiting under the mistletoe you are wasting a lot of time. Also ask for some books, or maybe someone that will come see you for Christmas. I do like to jam out to this song though, but I don’t want anyone for Christmas, just some books will do.
  • “Santa Baby”- Now if you ask me, this song is just creepy. First of all, compare this to “All I want for Christmas is You” this lady wants a lot and she wants Santa too! If you asking me she is a tad greedy and a little bit strange. “Santa baby, a ’54 convertible too, light blue; I’ll wait up for you, dear; Santa baby, So hurry down the chimney tonight,” this is just one of the first lines, I mean that’s a little bit strange.
  • “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”- There’s nothing wrong with this song, it just makes me sad. “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.” Sad. Sad. Sad. I just want the poor man to be home for Christmas.
  • “Frosty the Snowman”- In general to be quite honest Frosty is just an upsetting story. The Snowman dies and leaves all of his children friends, how depressing! “Frosty the snowman knew the sun was hot that day, So he said, ‘Let’s run and we’ll have some fun now before I melt away'”  That’s a little strange, you have to admit. He was going to die, so come on kids, let go run around! That’s strange.
  • “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”-  This is a fun Christmas song in my opinion.  The only thing that I find a little bit strange about it is the actually “Rockin’ around the Christmas tree” part just because I just picture a bunch of people dancing around the Christmas tree and in my head it looks quite strange.

Analyze your favorite Christmas song in the comments, I would love to see some other ones!

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12 Days of Christmas: Day 3

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Christmas in Ireland

Christmas in Ireland is great, lot of lights, and Christmas Markets. Where I live there aren’t extensive Christmas Markets really, at least not that I know of. The only Christmas Market that I can really recall going to is the one in New York City, now my mom might text me to let me know that I’m wrong, but I think that’s the only one I’ve been to until recently. I love markets, I just love seeing handmade stuff, good food, cheery people, the whole shabang. In Ireland I have been to two which is great. So that was a newish experience, and the lights are just a great addition to that.

Dublin:

Well obviously we have to start with Dublin, that’s where I’m living! But I guess only for the next few days which is crazy! For some reason I only took two decent pictures. I literally have no clue why I only took two good ones, my camera was out almost the whole time. P1100622

This is Jayden, one of my really really good friends here in Dublin. We were enjoying our hot chocolates in cold, windy, Dublin.

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And here is the market. There’s a lot more to it, too. This is one of the only places in Dublin that sells soft cookies, and they were so good. I might have to make a stop back there before I leave.

The lights in Dublin are pretty cool.

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Belfast

I’m sorry to say Dublin, but I think that Belfast won the Christmas Market contest. They had the best food.

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I love this picture, but that poor lady does look a little confused or lost or something.

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This was amazing. It was brownies with hot Belgian chocolate poured overtop.

Christmastime is Ireland is quite nice, it would be lovely to experience Christmas here, however, I don’t think I could miss Christmas with my family.

What’s the best thing to do at Christmastime near you?

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