a whole new world

That’s what college should feel like, right? A whole new world.

In the media, we see college presented in a way that makes us think we’ll make instant best friends, go to parties every weekend, rarely go to class, and somehow have time to do every possible cool thing ever. 

I had high expectations for college. I imagined myself making tons of new friends, breaking out of my shell, going out a lot, and getting involved on campus in numerous ways.

The reality is that building relationships takes time.

The reality is that for the first week or so, I buried myself within that shell that I wanted to destroy, hiding myself away from everyone.

The reality is that I don’t have time to get involved in everything that I want to because I have class and other obligations.

But college is by no means worse than I expected. Somehow, it’s actually better. Stepping onto this campus did not instantly transform me. I’ve had some great laughs. I’ve destroyed my feet during long walks in ballet flats and sandals. I’ve learned new things in my classes and thought about my life in different ways. I’ve allowed myself to simply live without worrying so much about my future. I’ve met some amazing friends. I’ve embarrassed myself. 

And in the midst of all of this, everything feels so familiar. Within what felt like seconds, I caught onto the rhythms of this new place. I fell into beat as though I had been here along. I made this place my home. And that’s because I’m still me.

I’m still awkward. I’m still an introvert at heart and happy that way. I’m still trying to branch out and talk to more people. I still have big dreams that I’m trying to put to acting in some shape or form. 

College has already opened my mind so much, but nestled within those new lessons is the same girl I’ve always known. Here, she feels free. Here, she feels refreshed. Here, she’s still learning. Here, she can be anything. But I haven’t fully taken advantage of that yet. The movies could never emphasize that enough: You don’t automatically become a new person when you start college. If you want to abandon a piece of your past and improve yourself, you have to put some effort in. You have to start by seeing yourself as more than what people thought you were. You have to start being the person you want to be, rather than watching movies and imagining yourself as the person you want to be. Stop limiting yourself to what people saw within you before. Start showing the world what you see within yourself. Or better yet, what you feel within yourself.

I have to keep reminding myself that I can talk to people. That I can start conversations and that it’s not weird. No one here knows me as the “shy girl,” yet I’m letting myself fall into that all over again by restricting myself to the expectations of my past. 

This is a whole new world. So why would I confine myself within the boundaries I used to live in when I could explore? 

Dream big,

Paige 

 

risk

I want to be the kind of person who takes risks. Sometimes, I pretend I’m the kind of person who takes risks. I convince myself that the actions I take are risky, even though they probably aren’t, and I pretend not to worry even though I spend all of my time worrying. The reality of it is that I am afraid of a lot of things. The reality is that instead of taking risks, I play the board game RISK with my friends. The reality is that I am always the shadow of a person who takes risks, trying to follow along but always lagging behind. Always less bold. 

What are you so afraid of? I wonder to myself.

Everything. Absolutely everything. I’m afraid that nothing will work out the way that I want it to. I’m afraid that nothing will work out the way that it should. I’m afraid that I will constantly fear everything that I also love. I’m afraid that things will stop being the way that they always were. I’m afraid that nothing will change at all. I’m afraid of every possibility, when I could see so many chances within those possibilities instead. 

In my mind, those possibilities exist for the kind of people who take risks: both the good possibilities and the bad possibilities. In order to achieve something good, we must take a risk and accept that not everything will turn out how we imagined it. The reality of it is that I can’t avoid possibilities. I can’t avoid the world and everything in it. The reality of it is that by avoiding risk, I do not protect myself; I stop myself from getting what I want.

The reality of it is that I should stop trying to be the “type” of person who takes risks and instead, simply be a person who takes risks when she believes in something. Be a person who still fears what she loves, but loves it enough not to let the fear stop her. I am not the shadow of the “type” of person who takes risks. I am the shadow lagging behind who I want to be.

What are you so afraid of? That I’ll never catch up. That I’ll always follow the path of what I wanted without immersing myself in it. Without leading the way.

I’m trying to leave the fear behind instead. I’m trying to guide the fear and let it motivate me and encourage me and challenge me and even scare me without letting it control me. My fear exists; I can’t deny that. I feel it. Often, even. It belongs to me. But it doesn’t have to encompass me. 

Dream big,

Paige 

 

skimming

Today I was talking to my brother about my ideas for research projects. He responded by saying, “you’re such a nerd. Who thinks about that while they’re drinking coffee?”

I do. 

To me, “relaxing” means taking time to just think and reflect and look at the world. I do this by coming up with my own ideas, but also by reading stories. I love reading the news and keeping up with world events. However, sometimes I’m so busy that I feel as though I’m missing out on a lot of news. When I go a whole day without checking the internet for news, I feel uninformed. But I don’t want to spend the whole day online, scrolling through my twitter feed. 

This is where The Skimm comes in. The Skimm is an amazing email newsletter that comes on weekday mornings. I can read it while drinking my coffee without feeling the need to constantly check twitter. I’m usually so focused on whatever it is that I’m focusing on. So focused that drinking coffee just becomes some sort of routine. So focused that the conversations I have are muffled, even nearly muted. So focused that I start doubting myself. I love thinking, but lately, regret has overwhelmed my thoughts.

What am I even doing?

And why?

What if…?

What if…?

What if…?

I don’t want to have regrets. I don’t want to spend all of my time online. I have this problem where I think I have to do everything and know about everything. I’m so concerned about “everything” that I miss the something. I completely disregard how important that “something” is-how important the possibility of “something” is. Sometimes, I want to focus. Sometimes, I just need to sit back and skim. And that’s okay.

I’m learning that it’s okay. 

Interested in receiving the news in your inbox daily? Sign up for The Skimm here

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Dream big,

Paige

The Liebster Award

Admittedly, I had no idea what the Liebster Award was until I was nominated by the amazing and talented Laura (thank you, Laura)! Luckily, I was able to find out more about the Liebster award from Laura’s blog after my Google search showed numerous varied results. When someone nominates you for the Liebster award, you write 11 facts about yourself, answer 11 questions written by the person who nominated you, nominate people, and ask them 11 questions. I’m actually pretty terrible at answering questions about myself, but I’ll try. 

liebster-award

11 Facts:

1. I love to dance even though I am absolutely terrible at it. I go to zumba classes even though I am easily the worst dancer in every class. Hey, you’ve got to learn to “dance like no one’s watching,” right?

2. Live music is one of my favorite things. I can go to just about any show and be inspired by it. Musicians pour so much passion into their performances and it’s just incredible. 

3. Good Will Hunting is my favorite movie. 

4.  In middle school, I dyed a portion of my hair hot pink and wore neon pants pretty much every day. 

5. I love analyzing poetry. 

6. I’m a vegetarian.

7. I love fiction and nonfiction equally. Sometimes, I love to tell my own stories and other people’s stories. Other times, I just really enjoy making things up.

8. I love magazines and I am not ashamed. Of course, that’s not to say that I love all magazines.

9. Sweaters are my favorite clothing item. I try to wear them during every season, but that doesn’t always work out well. 

10. I pretty much check my email every 10 minutes. 

11. I am basically an expert at cleaning art supplies and mixing paint. (new skills for my resume?)

11 Answers:

1. Why did you start your blog?

I originally started my blog based on the idea that everyone has a voice, regardless of how he or she expresses it. I use my blog to express my voice, hoping that it inspires other people to think about how they share their stories. 

2. You are going out for brunch with your favorite celebrity – what do you wear?

Probably a black dress because that’s what I wear 85% of the time. 

3. What is your favorite thing to read on other blogs?

I love reading about people’s feelings and experiences. 

4. What is your biggest pet peeve and on the contrary, what is the best quality you think a person can/should posses?

My biggest pet peeve is when people criticize something but make no attempt to improve it or do it differently. For example, when people criticize free events that they could’ve helped plan but didn’t. I think sense of humor and honesty are super important. 

5. Do you like anything that most other people dislike? If so, what?

Yes. Public transportation, pop punk music, young adult books, and small towns. I even like the school bus; there are so many stories there! I’m a big fan of Blink-182 because sometimes pop punk just makes sense and expresses complicated feelings so simply, kind of like young adult books do. I love small towns even though I love big cities too. 

6. Who is the most influential person in your life?

My parents, but I’m inspired by everyone in some way. 

7. What is your favorite twitter account?

The Poets House twitter page 

8. What color nail polish do you have on, if any?

Maroon

9. What singular word would you use to describe yourself?

Passionate

10. What is your go-to food for a snack?

Does coffee count? 

11. Where do you see your blog in 5 years?

I honestly have no idea. I hope to see it become a place where people can interact and share their stories somehow. 

11 Questions:

1. What do you hope to learn more about within the next year?

2. What’s your favorite way to express yourself?

3. What songs inspire you the most?

4. What’s your favorite newspaper or magazine and why?

5. Why do you think blogging is important?

6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

7. How do you make time for blogging?

8. Have you ever felt brave while writing? How and why?

9. What inspires you?

10. Do you use social media to promote your blog? Why or why not?

11. How has your blog changed since you started it?

Nominees:

1. Alex- The College Lifestylist

2. Chloe- Part of Chloe’s World

3. Felicia- Thoughtful Minds United

4. Hannah- Fragmented Youth

5. Peggy- Nuances & Nostalgia  

6. Kim- Mainely Fashion

 

Dream big,

Paige