Wednesday, February 25

life doesn't stop.

Unfortunately, life doesn't stop for birthdays.
I know... right now you're probably thinking, "Congratulations, Julia! You've managed to comprehend the basic laws of how time passes!"
But seriously, it's kind of frustrating.

On Monday I had a birthday.
Not just a birthday, but a sort of monumental one.
I turned 20.
Yup!
Two decades of life.
Ron Kopicko (the SAU chaplain:) and I got a little laugh about it at our weekly meeting on Monday because we were talking about how I don't really like beginnings... I don't like new semesters or change or new year's celebrations and he interrupted me and went,
"Life decades?"
Yup, we've got a pretty good chuckle. Because it's true.
I set up crazy unrealistic expectations and goals and then get super frustrated the first few times that I fall short, even knowing that there is absolutely now why that I can get there.

This year? I'm making little goals. I'm aiming to be more productive with my time. I want to strive for health and happiness in as many instances as possible. I want to dream.

One of my little goals is for this blog: to share a photo a week that represents what's going on in my world.
Probably 90% of them will be blurry ipod camera quality kind of deal.
But here's the one for this, from my first couple days of being 20:
A little bit of explanation on this one: I've recently become an unofficial entrepreneur and started my own business as a way to help cover some college and life expenses. My start-up kid and some AMAZING samples came in the mail and I am seriously so excited.

If you're looking for a way to make a little extra money, let me know and I can get your number to a sweetheart and good friend of mine who can explain the opportunity.

If you read this blog because you're related to me, you know me fairly well, or you like me as a human being, your financial support would mean the absolute world. How? Head to my website and look around. Everything you buy helps me put myself thru school. The stuff is phenomenal, too, let me tell you. Getting this package was honestly a highlight of my week and was one of the best birthday presents I could have gotten for myself and knowing that package #2 is waiting for me at home when I'm in Zeeland for spring break makes me super excited.

So yeah, this is me.
Busy. Business owner (eekk! :). College student. Crazy. 20. Blessed.

Wednesday, February 11

spring semester and life stuff.

FIRST OF ALL.
This blog has been woefully neglected and fallen short of my overly-ambitions plans for it.
Expect some different sorts of post and randomness...I'm hopefully going to get a label/tagging system going on so you can find what you're looking for. I'm also taking down a lot of the old stuff because, let's be honest, you don't really want to read it and I don't really want my high school processing on display for the world. So just hang tight, guys(:
Also, this post is going to be a mashup of a lot of different little things that need to get said but aren't really enough to constitute a post and they're all in my head right now. Again, just hang tight(:


SCHOOL.
My classes are engaging, challenging, and empowering.
Honestly, I love everything about academics here. My biggest class has 40 people in it, my smallest has 15. I'm learning and growing and... it is so good.
What I'm taking:

  • MUS152H : Honors Music Foundations
    • This is one of those gen eds that I roll my eyes at just a little bit. I took 8 or 9 years of piano lessons. I was a little apprehensive coming into it, but Dr. Kim really pushes us. She's a musical genius and expects a lot out of us because we're an honors class, so it's challenging for me, even with my musical background. (I don't know how some of my classmates are handling it! It's a lot of stuff!!) Funny story: We sang 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' about six times as a class different ways. Just a heads up, it does NOT work in a round. AT ALL. So we laugh, we get really confused, we watch youtube BBC lectures, and we listen to music. All good stuff.
  • PSY306 : Adolescent and Early Adult Development
    • The first class period, Dr. Pardee established that "adolescence is a weird time and adolescents are weird and so in this class we're going to do a lot of stuff that feels really weird because that's how you understand the kids." We were put into semester-long groups based on our favorite ice cream; "Go get in your ice cream groups" is a pretty common thing to hear. This class is kind of challenging because I didn't take PSY100 (Intro to Psych) here because of AP credits. I covered all of the same material and retained almost all of it from high school, but we just emphasized different things so I always feel like I'm half a step behind because the basics take me just a second longer.
      But honestly, I really do enjoy this class. It really solidifies for me that adolescents are my target population. I'm becoming more and more drawn to the field of counseling in some capacity and working with adolescents and children. Understanding how brains and personality work and develop and just how crucial those years are are a huge motivating factor in this and I LOVE IT!
  • SWK335 : Interviewing
    • This class is basically "working with clients and asking good questions 101." The Social Work program has a really strong base in the Strengths Perspective [there are a million different foundations for Social Work. Here we start by focusing what the client (which can be an individual all of the way up to a community or organization) is good at and using that to make positive change]. The class size is kept intentionally small (15 or 16 of us) so that we really have to be vulnerable and get to know each other. We learn how to accept help, how to be the best person we can be, how to conduct ourselves as Social Workers working with individuals, what ethical practice looks like, and so so so very much more.
      The professor is also one of the most sought-after profs in the major, especially because it's his last semester teaching Social Work classes. If you've ever heard of Christian author Richard Foster (I hadn't until I landed here and had Nathan), my prof is his son. He's someone that really genuinely believes in our potential as future social workers and has such a passion for personal development that it blows my socks off.
  • SWK340 : Practice with Individuals and Families
    • Individuals & Families is a pairing class with Interviewing. This one we focus more on logistics of working with clients, writing assessments, researching, and other academic-type professional things. It's a night class, which means that it's a lot of reading and then showing up and talking about it for three hours on Monday nights. Bonnie, bless her heart, refuses to just lecture at us because she knows (1) we'd have serious trouble paying attention and (2) we wouldn't retain anything. So it's all group work, conversation, and practical application of stuff we work through together. Good stuff.

  • SWK341 : Trauma Informed Child Welfare
    • I can't actually speak to this one because it hasn't started yet. This is my online class this semester and, I'm guessing, it's going to be exactly what it sounds like. Online classes all follow a pretty standard read, quiz, discussion board format. I'm excited...so excited I may have already read about 1/4 of our textbook. Yeah... #geekstatus.




FINALLY.

I'm very guilty of getting frazzled and running around panicking and chugging coffee trying to {perdone mi franc├ęs} keep my shit together.
I drink a lot of coffee. Probably too much coffee. And if it's after about 7:30 pm, I switch to tea. And then I drink a lot of that, too. I run on caffeine.

This semester is busy.
There's a crap ton going on.
Life is crazy.
Plus, I've got some pretty crazy anxiety issues of my own.
But I am also quite unashamedly in love with every minute of it.
My classes, my friends, my schedule, my future.
This is what I'm supposed to be doing.
This is right for me.

After a really crazy stressful couple of days, I hit a moment of clarity yesterday afternoon:
I love this life.
I can't always say that I've believed that statement.
I haven't always been in this kind of place.
But my little snapshot cross-section yesterday really reminded me of how much I adore it.
It's busy, but it's home, and I am so incredibly blessed to really be able to say that.