Living, Learning, Dreaming

Making Time for God in College

By September 12, 2016 Living

College feels like it never stops. There is never really much downtime during the week. You are running between classes, studying, writing papers, and doing crazy things with your friends. Oh, and somewhere in that time you are supposed to get 8 hours of sleep! Finding a spare 20 minutes, or even a spare 10 can seem like an overwhelming task at times. We all know we should pray and read our Bibles daily but, when the alarm goes off it’s very easy to sleep through those few minutes. Making time to get to know God is completely worth it but, it will take a bit of effort.

Here are some tips to help you start this habit:

1. Plan time into your schedule

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to get up with the sun to read your bible every morning. In fact, if you are not a morning person, this is the last thing you should do. Pick a time that works for you and plan it into your schedule like you would a class. You know when you learn best. If you are a morning person, great! I’m right there with you. I love getting up in the quiet of the morning and praying. If you are a night owl, mornings are probably the worst time for you! (I wish my brain functioned past 10 pm too!) Take some time at night instead. After dinner, after a work out (or even while you work out!), or right before bed are all great times. Just be careful to not wait until the last minute. You don’t want to fall asleep reading! 🙂

2. Join a prayer group/ Bible study

While time on you own is very important, so is community. Take time to meet with a group. You can get together to pray, read through a study book and discuss it, or read through a book of the Bible. Groups with people from different backgrounds are a great way to hear other perspectives and may even gain you some new friends. Carving out this time in your schedule will be difficult so, try bringing along one of you usually study buddies. There’s no need to feel guilty about missing homework if it’s only an hour a week. Once you start, you’d be surprised how easy it is to go and still get work done.

3. Start a reading plan 

One of the greatest things about technology is the limitless access to information. You can buy a book/ ebook to focus on or even find free reading plans online. A good starting point would be the Bible app which has tons of reading plans and will even remind you each day to read.

4. Ask a friend for help

Give a friend permission to ask you how your reading is really going. Text them every few days to check in and tell them what you’ve read. This forces you to remember a few days worth of information. On occasions where you’ve struggled to keep up, your friend will encourage you to keep going and stop what you are doing to read.  I would highly suggest that you make a point to talk to this person in depth at least once a week. Let them know where you are struggling and what distractions you are facing. My friends and I call each other to pray while we are at different colleges so, don’t be discouraged if your best friend isn’t someone you see everyday.


Any time spent in the Word is better than no time. Take ten minutes each day to implement these suggestions! You won’t regret it! If it is hard at first, try changing up when/where you have your prayer/reading time.

Click here to see the one year Bible I love for my daily devotions. It breaks reading down into easy to read segments from the Old and New Testaments as well as readings from Proverbs and Psalms.



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Depression and College

By September 8, 2016 Living

College is going to be a huge challenge. It doesn’t matter if you are full time or part time, a traditional resident, or online learner. If you expected college to be a fun time where you meet new people and do crazy things all while maintaining a 4.0, I’m sorry, but the movies have lied to you. The truth is, college is hard. You are encountering new ideas and heavy course loads all while trying to stay healthy and go on adventures with new friends. One of the oldest jokes about college outlines one of the greatest problems with college. You have the options of sleep, a social life, and good grades. Now choose the two you want because there is no time for the third. Sound familiar?

The challenges of college are heightened by depression. Depression can often leave you feeling drained. It can cause problems with sleep (either you need to much or get too little), cause irritability, isolate you, take away joy from normal activities, and overall just make it difficult to achieve any of the three options — let alone all of them! This is not an all inclusive list of symptoms and I am by no means a professional, but if you are experiencing these or other symptoms of depression, please reach out to a counselor. Unfortunately, depression is often linked to a problem with chemicals in your body, and while living a healthy lifestyle that involves getting enough sleep and exercise can help, it is not always enough.

Taking the time to put yourself first and seek out help is one of the biggest challenges. I’ve gone to great lengths to hide from my friends that I was seeing a counselor while in college. I’ve left to go study at random places and times so when I did need to run off to an appointment it wouldn’t seem so odd for me to leave. I’ve even skyped counselors to avoid the stigma of people seeing me go. One of the problems with mental illness is that people tend to see it as a character flaw and that has to stop. Another problem with depression is that a lot of the symptoms initially look like you are just a hard working student. People who skip out on fun things to do work and lose sleep to study are often glamorized as being the best students. This unhealthy lifestyle could be an indicator of depression without you even realizing you have it!

If you are a student struggling with depression, here are some things you can do to alleviate some of the problems:

  • Consider reducing your schedule – Many schools offer the opportunity to do a reduced course load while you are struggling with mental illness. There is also the option to go part time, but be aware that this will effect federal aid.
  • Switch to online classes- many schools now offer online degree programs. This is my first semester with online courses and I love it! I have the option of going one or two classes at a time and the schedule is more flexible. There are still deadlines, but they are much more manageable and when I am having bad days because of depression, it rarely effects my coursework because I don’t have to be in class at a specific time. It also helps that if I have days where I need to rest and it is difficult to get dressed, I can work on easier assignments in my pajamas.
  • Take time off- this is a scary option for many. There is often the fear that if you stop, you won’t go back. If you are actively seeking help from mental health professionals, the odds of you never finishing your degree are slim.
  • Work ahead- This option is a lot more difficult, but if you are planning on sticking to a full course load, it will be beneficial. Work to get as much done as you can on good days. Take advantage of those moments of high energy and channel it into getting coursework and chores done. Plan ahead as much as you can so when you are having a bad day, it will be less stressful knowing that it won’t put you behind.

Most importantly: be a friend to yourself. I completely understand that this is easier said than done and I will admit that I still struggle with this. If you mess up, it’s okay. Try not to be too judgmental of yourself. If a friends messed up and couldn’t get homework done or was having a bad day and had to stay in bed, you wouldn’t tell them how lazy and stupid they are. So, don’t do that to yourself! You are valuable, loved, and overall an amazing person with the potential to make a difference in the world. No one can fulfill the role that was meant for you. Please don’t give up. Getting help is a long process and sometimes it seems endless, but it’s worth it.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with mental illness, please seek out help. It takes a strong person to reach out and ask for help. If you made it through this article, you can make it through the phone call to make an appointment!



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The Importance of Health in College

By May 8, 2016 Living

If you don’t have your health, college quickly becomes a nightmare. That is the experience I’ve had this semester. Although I did not realize it at first, I have been dealing with depression this semester. One of the symptoms of depression is abnormalities with sleeping. This is different for every person. Some people sleep excessively while others barely sleep at all. I am in the latter category. By the time Easter came around, I had gone nearly two months without any restful sleep. College students notoriously do not sleep as long as they need, but this was extreme. I could be taught something on Monday and Wednesday and sincerely believe I had never seen it before when it showed up on Friday’s quiz. At my worst moment, I struggled to even remember how to sign my name. Because the insomnia became so extreme, I had to take the rest of the semester off.

Leaving college while all of my friends are still there was incredibly difficult. I was constantly left out of the loop as my texts and emails often remained unanswered. This has given me a lot of alone time. It is incredibly lonely sitting at home all day with my dog. Sure, dogs are great company, but they don’t talk back. After a few weeks, I’m starting to learn that this is a time of growth that everyone goes through during college. As I go through my journey to recover my health, I have the opportunity to explore more of my interests.

One of the problems college students run into is that health is often ignored. My friends had no idea that I was dealing with anxiety and depression because no one knew the signs. Over the next few posts I will be sharing some common problems students deal with in college in an effort to help students be more aware of what others go through and maybe even what they are going through. It wasn’t until someone described depression to me that I realized that I was dealing with it. I hope that my sharing this information it will encourage those who need it to seek help and will help everyone to be more better prepared to support friends who may be in need of a little extra help themselves.

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Meditation: Does it Live Up to the Hype?

By January 13, 2016 Living

As you go from campus to campus, you will quickly find that there are a lot of people with opinions on meditation. Some people are up early in the morning chanting away for a half hour while others write it off as a ritual belonging to another religion or something only hippies do. Most people, however, are unaware of middle of these extremes and the possible benefits associated with it.

Meditation is more than sitting on the floor with your legs crossed chanting om for a certain amount of time. It is a pursuit of mindfulness. What is mindfulness you ask? According to the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, it is “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment. ”

By practicing mindfulness everyday, you will begin to experience a variety of benefits. According to Headspace, mindfulness meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety and helps to increase creativity and focus. It can even help you improve your relationships. Another group found that meditation may have positive affects on the brain and immune function (1).

In life, there will always be stressful situations. Whether it’s exams, jobs, medical bills, or car troubles, things will go wrong. Sometimes they will all go wrong at once. In these situations, it is important to do everything in your power to stay healthy. Health has such a big impact on how you react to these situations. It is really easy to get caught up in problems and forget to work on your emotional health. Meditation is an easy way to help you deal with stress.

Personally, I have a crazy schedule. Taking 3 lab sciences this semester basically means any time not spent in the lab is spent studying for that class or preparing for the next lab. Some days I have two 75 minutes lectures followed by a 4 hour lab and a night class. Taking 10 minutes every day to practice mindfulness has been a huge help with stress relief and I would highly recommend it! 🙂

Still not convinced? Try it free for yourself!

Headspace will give you 10 free lessons to teach you the basics of meditation.

Let me know what you think!



(In case you were wondering, I am not affiliated with Headspace. I just really believe in their approach to mindfulness.)

(1) Davidson, R., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S., . . . Sheridan, J. (2003). Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 564-570.


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Surviving Syllabus Week

By January 10, 2016 Learning

It’s that time of year again!! Everybody’s favorite: Syllabus Week! Syllabus week is simultaneously one of the most important and most boring weeks of your semester. How you treat this week can make or break your semester. This is the time to catch up with friends you missed on break and get organized for a long semester. Here are some tips that have helped me make the most out of syllabus week:

Print them out!

Take the time to print out each and every syllabus. This will help you stay organized and prevent you from constantly downloading a new copy of a syllabus. When you need to check a policy (or a grading scale) you will have the copies ready to go in your desk drawer.

Organize your planner

After the day’s classes are over, take the time to write exam dates and finals into your planner. These dates may not be set in stone but, it will help to get a time frame of when to start studying for the big tests. (My classes haven’t started yet and I already know I have a chemistry test in less than a month! Yikes!) In college, your planner is your best friend. If you have struggled to use one in the past, a new semester is the best time to start the habit.

Get a jump start

It’s pretty likely that you won’t have much due this week and anything you do have will be a small assignment. That makes it pretty tempting to watch Netflix/Hulu and blow off the start of classes. Do NOT do this!! Take the time to read and take notes on the beginning of your textbooks. You will thank me for this later. Break is over. It’s time to get back into study mode so, when you have the chance to go out and have fun with friends, you won’t feel guilty.


Flashcards are your best friends come exam time. If you make them three days before the exam, they are of no help to you. Chances are you have at least had some lecture for your classes. Time to start writing down vocab and key points from your notes. Start making flashcards as part of your normal study sessions. The sooner you make them, the better. I hope you have plenty of time to use them!

Make a master time sheet

The most valuable sheet of paper I have any semester is my list of important hours. These include hours of the campus coffee shop, store, and post office as well as any places my roommate visits. Then, we have a list of all of our professors office hours. This is a tremendous help when you need to run to speak with a professor in person or get quick help on a homework problem. (You’d be surprised how often people stop into the room just to look on the sheet.)


I hope you have a great week! Good luck with all of your classes! Happy syllabus week and may the curve be ever in your favor! 🙂


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Lessons I’ve Learned from my Roommates

By January 7, 2016 Living

One of the trickiest parts of living at college is learning how to share a room. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably had your own room for most of your life and are very used to being able to turn on lights and play music whenever you want. Learning how to accommodate someone else’s schedule has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. Now that I’m in my second year of college, I’ve had two roommates. The first one was assigned to me and the second one was a friend I chose to room with this year. Living with another girl in a tiny space for an entire year can be extremely challenging and rewarding. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from my roommates.

Boundaries are a MUST

Boundaries are extremely important and they need to be established early on. If you don’t have a boundary conversation within the first two weeks of classes, things will be very awkward when problems arise. Luckily for me, I’ve never had much problems with this, but some of my friends have. You need to learn to say no to people and more importantly, you need to learn that the campus does not revolve around you. Does your roommate leave the light on at night because they go to bed later than you? Get a sleeping mask. Little compromises like that can make or break a good roommate relationship. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, but don’t be unwilling to bend either.

Being Spontaneous is Great… Sometimes

There will be many nights when you are tempted to blow off work and do something fun with your roommate. That’s perfectly okay as long as you can go back to work after the break. Take a few minutes to chat and paint your nails when you are stressed. If you both don’t have classes the next day, watch a movie together or bake a cake. (My roommate and I could write an entire book on all the ways to make a terrible cake in the dorm.) Ten minutes until the store closes? Better make an Oreo run! (Yes, we did this too and yes, we literally ran.) However, if you have a test the next day, hanging out and going shopping together is not the best use of time. Be willing to say yes to crazy ideas as long as they are not dangerous or keeping you from doing work all day.

Study Sessions

Having a roommate who is in most of your classes is always great when it gets to be exam time. You can encourage each other to study and quiz each other on material. Chances are, you will be able to fill in the gaps for each other.


Don’t worry if you are not best friends with your roommate. A lot of people come to college expecting to be BFFs with their new roommate and are shocked to find that this is not the case.

Sharing a living space with a stranger will be challenging at first. Be sure to communicate with your roommate and the two of you will be on your way to making great memories!!

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LLD is Now on Bloglovin’!

By January 6, 2016 Uncategorized

I am pleased to announce that my blog is now part of Bloglovin’!! Thank you all for your support!
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5 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

By January 6, 2016 Dreaming

In a world of busy schedules, it’s acceptable and sometimes encouraged to sacrifice sleep in order to get work done. This is  not okay! A consistent lack of sleep can have negative effects on your health. Dorm living can make getting enough sleep especially tricky. My roommate used to lay in bed for nearly two hours before she fell asleep! Whether or not you are getting the recommended 7-8 hours per night there are some things you can do to make sure the sleep you are getting is truly restful.

#1 Get into a routine

Routines are important. When you are exhausted from the day, it’s super tempting to just flop into bed. Taking the twenty minutes to wash your face and prep for the next day will make a huge impact on your morning. Packing your backpack and picking out your outfit will help you to start off a new day on the right foot.

#2 Change your environment

If you are a light sleeper like me, all it takes is one loud noise or a roommate flicking on a light to wake you up. When you are going to bed, make sure your room is quiet and dark. If you share a room invest in a sleeping mask!! (Here is the one I use and love!) This makes things easier for you and your roommate. They don’t have to get ready for bed in the dark and you won’t get woken up. I also have a hard time falling asleep when people are loud. Let’s face it, not everyone respects quiet hours. I’ve found it helpful to have a fan blowing next to my bed. The noise of the fan drowns out the other people in the dorm.

#3 Avoid electronics

This is super important! At least on hour before bed, stay away from your computer, TV, phone, e-reader, and any other electronic device you own. They emit high frequency light that messes with your brain and keeps you awake longer. If you absolutely must finish that paper before bed,  use an app such as f.lux to convert the light to a lower energy wave. This will reduce the light’s impact on your sleep.

#4 Learn to love lavender

This tip is a bit unconventional but, it really helps. I’m a big fan of essential oils and have been a member of Young Living since May 2015. Trust me when I say it’s worth the hype. Diffusing lavender into our room has helped me and my roommate get a much more restful sleep in the dorm. A word of warning: be careful of the supplier. There are different levels of quality surrounding essential oils. Be sure to get them from a supplier whose quality you trust. (I am obviously biased toward Young Living but, there are a few other companies out there that offer high quality.)

#5 Relax

If you have a hard time falling asleep, there are some techniques you can try to help you relax before bed. A lot of the time the worries of the day and long list of things to do tomorrow will race through your head. Keep a notebook by your bed to write down whatever is on your mind and commit to checking it each morning. This way you can stop focusing on the chaos and give yourself permission to go to sleep. If the stress of the day is still bothering you, you can meditate before bed. You may also find it helpful to get into bed and tense all of your muscles. Then, slowly relax them starting from your head and moving toward your feet. This will help your body to let go of all the stress you’ve been holding onto.

Follow these techniques and you are well on your way to a good night’s sleep! Happy dreaming!




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How to Set a Goal and Follow Through

By January 3, 2016 Living

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! It’s that lovely time of year where everyone is reminded of the importance of taking a step back and creating a new list of things to accomplish this year. If you are like most people, this years list includes several items off of last year’s list which was probably mostly items from the list of the year before. Sound familiar? A New Year starts off with many grand intentions that usually fall apart by the middle of February. There a few steps you can take to help you achieve your goals this year.

#1 Start small

As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t expect to lose 50 lbs in a month or “get healthier” in a week. You need to set small, easy to accomplish goals that are realistic. If you are like many people looking to lose weight, work toward 1 -2 lbs per week rather than worrying about looking good for the summer trip to the beach. If you aim too high too quickly, you will likely be overwhelmed.

#2 Be Specific

How do you know when you have gotten healthier this year? more organized? closer to God? Your goals need to be measurable. What does healthier look like? For example, I don’t eat enough vegetables every day so, I’m not getting all of the nutrients I need to be healthy. For me, being healthier would mean this week I will try to get one serving of vegetables a day then next week two and so on until I’m getting the 3-5 I should be.

#3 Have Accountability

Change is difficult to make. It takes nearly a month to form a habit and the first week is always the hardest. Don’t try to rely on your own strength. I promise you will fail. Instead, share your goals with someone and ask them to help keep you on track. Give them permission to be honest with you and give you some tough love. Whether it is a friend, relative, or even an roommate, accountability is essential to achieving your goals.

Following these few simple steps will make achieving your goals possible. Come February, you will be able to proudly state that you are still following through on your New Years resolution!

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Chasers of the Light

By December 29, 2015 Dreaming

As part of my Christmas present, my mom said here is some cash to spend at the mall. The trip to the mall brought me to Barnes and Noble and resulted in me buying books until I could no longer carry them all. (If you are a book worm like me, then you can probably relate.) During this adventure, I decided that I need to read something outside of my comfort zone. After about a half hour, I finally left the history section and headed on over to fiction. This is where I stumbled upon a magnificent end cap displaying poetry. When I was younger, I loved poetry but, too many years of honors English had made me reluctant to pick it up again.

And that is when I found “Chasers of the Light” by Tyler Knott Gregson

I flipped through the book and saw some cute pictures and noticed that everything looked like it had been done on a typewriter. It was a short book and relatively inexpensive for a hardcover so, I bought it.

Buying this book may have been the best choice I made in 2015. It was so refreshing to read a work that felt incredibly honest. This book was filled with poems of encouragement and romance. It is unlike anything I have ever read. Even if poetry isn’t your style, give this book a chance to speak to you. I promise it is worth the read.

To give you an idea of what you are missing out on, I will add one of the poems:

2 sometimes

I cannot say enough good things about this collection of poems. Everyone reading this should go buy it!! 🙂




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