Traveling Woes

I was going to write about my grandparent’s farm. It’s a beautiful, beautiful place that I love very dearly. I wanted to share it with all of you as I do, in word and picture.

But I want to spend time on that, since it is so important to me. And time is not something I exactly have, because of this:

Traveling WoesYup. Those are boarding passes. And no, I didn’t collect them. They are all from Sunday, in my attempt to get to San Jose with my boss for a conference. I say “attempt” because it took this many boarding passes (only two used) and a car to get to our destination.

Delayed, missed flight, delayed, cancelled, five-hour drive. I wasn’t reunited with my bag until this afternoon, much to my chagrin. There was much rejoicing in the kingdom when we were reunited.

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How to Stay in Touch with College Friends

CollegeFriends2

Last week I got to see two of my best friends, Jordan and Hattie, for Jordan’s 21st birthday. We all met up at her house and spent the afternoon on the lake, visiting Jordan’s grandmas, and wrapping things up with her birthday party! It was great to see them again (we’d met up earlier in the summer to see The Fault in Our Stars and to have dinner), plus I was pretty busy the first half of June and it was nice just to get away for a day and do nothing but hang out with my friends.

That being said, it’s hard for me to keep up with my college friends over the summer. “Out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t really apply. It’s mostly just that I have so much going on that when I think about checking in with friends and seeing when we can meet up it’s in the middle of something. But, that’s no real excuse and being proactive about keeping in touch with my friends is something I need to be better about.

So here are a few things Jordan’s Birthday Extravaganza taught me about how to better stay in touch with my college friends:

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7 Apps that Make College Easier

My iPhone

When I got to college, EVERYONE had an iPhone. And yes, I mean everyone. People walked around with tiny computers in hand, always knowing the instant classes were canceled or when someone wanted to go to Starbucks. Me, I wondered around with a slid-up Samsung, blindly receiving texts only and furiously checking my email on my laptop in the mornings to make sure class wasn’t cancelled. I claimed I loved my Samsung, I claimed I would never cave.

And yeah, I caved that January.

I can’t say I’m sorry. Yes, sometimes I hate how connected I am all the time (I had to turn off email notifications). Yet it really is helpful to have a sidekick around whenever I need to look something up for class, a meeting, or my homework in the library. I don’t tote my laptop around everywhere I go, so my phone often replaces it.

As I’ve used and worked with my iPhone, I’ve found a few apps that really make a difference for me at school and for my summer jobs. Here are my favorites for college students:

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Making the Most of Summer

The summer before your freshman year can feel like a strange lull. No one really wants you as an intern, and without a year of college under your belt or a high school job, no one wants to take you on for three months. So, I’ve complied a few ideas to help make your summer exciting when you can’t work or aren’t working:

  • First off, don’t do what I did. I sat around my house all summer, doing absolutely nothing until it came time to buy all the stuff and make all the lists before moving to my new home. I watched a lot of TV, read a lot of books, and did a lot of sitting. There was absolutely no character building, life skill making, or college preparing happening. Okay, yes, part of this is because I was in denial that I was moving away from home in August. But a large part was pure laziness. I look back at that summer and think, “what a waste.”
  • So, set goals for yourself. Maybe this is when you’ll learn to cook. Or master decorating skills for your future dorm room. Maybe you’ll learn to garden. Perhaps you’ll even start a blog (that’s totally not what’s happening here… ;))! Whatever it is, you’ll feel better about the end of your summer if you’ve learned something new or have improved a skill.
  • There’s also the age-old option of creating your own job. Be it lawn mowing, babysitting, car-washing, house painting, or dog walking, you can earn a little bonus cash before school. While this was never my thing, being the introverted person I am, I know a few classmates who went this route before heading to school. It’s a good way to get some cash so that you can go into college ahead.
  • Volunteer! There’s a place for every passion, and very few places will turn down free labor. A quick Google search will show you what’s available near where you live, and show you the kind of change you could make. This is typically pretty flexible too, so you would be able to hang out with your friends whenever you wanted and still have an activity.
  • Speaking of high school friends, for goodness sake hang out with them. No matter what everyone says, things will not be the same when you come back from college. Of course there are exceptions, but things will be different once you all move away (not necessarily bad, but different). Even friends who go to the same college can end up meeting new friends and forming different lives. This is the time to live up the relationships you have now, and treasure them. You’re about to embark on a crazy adventure, and having a support system the first few months, before you really get to know your new classmates, makes the transition much easier.

I hope these ideas help the incoming freshmen out there! What are you doing this summer? What are your suggestions that I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments :)

leeann