Throwback to Simpler Times: What I miss from my childhood

It’s nearing the end of the semester, which means finals are upon us. Whenever it gets to this point of the year, and I’m THIS close to a long break, I can’t help but think back to my younger days when I didn’t know what finals were, and my biggest problem was when I struggled to punch a hole in my juice box. It’s so weird to think about how some of my favorite things to do fizzled out as I got older thanks to the endless tasks that seem to pile higher as I get closer to graduating. These are the ten things I wish I could go back to, and what I enjoyed as a pipsqueak. 

1. DQ after games and meets 

It wasn’t just orange slices and juice boxes all the time. Back then, it was so common for my team to head to the local DQ and sit on the brick wall, getting the cars to honk at us as they drove by. I would get the same thing every time, a small cookie dough blizzard that I could only get halfway through before it turned into soup. It didn’t matter what season it was; softball, basketball, or gymnastics, DQ was always the go to spot after big tourneys or meets. I miss these days because going to DQ meant that I actually had the time to do this, and not immediately go home and start my homework like I had to as I got older. I also was able to participate in both gymnastics and basketball at the same time because I wasn’t in gymnastics competitively yet. Some of my best memories were made with my different teams over the years, and every time I drive by that brick wall, I picture my team sitting up there still. 

2. Saturday game day

I have no idea how or when this tradition got started, but every Saturday morning after I watched Spongebob with my cup of cereal and sippy cup of orange juice, my dad, Christopher, and I would play a board game before we got ready for the day. While a majority of the time it ended in a cat fight between me and Christopher because I wanted to win, and Dad put us on the steps for a five minute time-out, it was still a good time. We had so many games to choose from that my dad had to build shelves to house all those game boxes. Some of the most frequently played games were Uno, Life, Jenga, Chutes and Ladders, Pretty Pretty Princess (yes the guys did put on the clip on earrings and necklaces), Monopoly, American Girl, Sequence, and Slamwich (this one ended in tears from my hand getting slapped “too hard”). I always wanted to play Twister, but no one was ever eager to lose to the champ. We never played Operation because the loud buzzer freaked us out. I can’t tell you the last time any of those games were touched, as we never are together on Saturdays anymore, but it’s definitely something I wouldn’t mind having back. 

3. Webkinz

This honestly was my life. I spent so many hours on the computer taking care of my 40 pets. Yes, 40. Back then, I remembered every single pet’s name, all of my brother’s pet’s names, and was so addicted to getting more coins, spinning the Wheel of the Day, trying to make it to level 14 in Bananza -which I finally did and took a picture of it as proof, and making sure my pets didn’t die. I used to try to fit all of my pets in my bed with me at night which did not work very well in my tiny twin bed. While I can still remember my username: 6570L (hit me up in the arcade), I can’t remember any of those pet names, or how to even work the website anymore. I still remember the day my brother and I gave up Webkinz for good because we thought we were getting too old for it, and didn’t have the time. Back then it was still set up where they would die if you didn’t log on everyday to take care of them. My brother and I took turns getting on the computer and putting all of our pets in bed like the Titanic, setting them up for their slow death. It was a very emotional time I’m not going to lie. If there was an app for this, I’m pretty sure all of us 2000s kids would pick it back up again! I’d take a virtual dog to take care of over no dog. 

4. The swing set

When I wasn’t playing Webkinz, I was out on the swing set until I was forced to come inside. That swing set was used so much that I frayed the rope on the saucer swing, ripped out all the grass under the swing from the many times I tried to get myself to slow down, and broke off handles of the trapeze swing. I spent hours swinging; trying to see how high I could get, making up games, doing back flips off of it, trying to reach the trees with my feet, and swinging to my favorite Jonas Brothers songs. Swinging was my relaxation technique back then, as I would spend hours thinking about things-mostly gymnastics and my crush of the week. All my friends in my neighborhood had a swing set, and they were essentially the hangout spots. Sometimes I wish I could just go outside and have a swing session like I used to, I definitely took it for granted, and it’s great for the arms!

5. Worksheets

Back in my elementary school and middle school days, I would despise every single worksheet my teacher handed out. I absolutely hated those word problems about apples and oranges. I remember having a “homework folder” because all I would get was worksheets to complete. In reality, these worksheets were usually one-sided, with a maximum of six questions that really didn’t require thinking at all. Fast forward to now. I don’t need to have a homework folder anymore because there is no way to put the task of writing a research paper, creating a consulting project, conducting psych research, or reading several chapters into a folder. My homework now takes me on average several hours on a good week. Back then, my homework took me an hour tops, and that’s including needing my dad’s help with writing a fraction for how many green marbles were in the bag. I would take a worksheet any day over the ten page research paper I just finished up. 

6. Recess

When asked what my favorite subject was in school, I would say recess. When asked again to answer with a real class, I would say gym class. I have always been active, and recess was that time I could release all that pent up energy from sitting inside all day. First through fifth grade, I did the same thing at recess every single day. There were two horizontal bars out on the playground, and that is where I would go. I loved to practice my gymnastics tricks, as well as treat it as extra practice time. Luckily, the bars were right next to the “1,2,3 kick-up” spot on the hill (it’s a handstand contest). Sometimes my teachers would even come over and watch me do gymnastics. When it got cold and I could no longer grip the bars without getting frostbite, I would go sledding on the giant hill behind our school. Not many schools had this privilege, but I was so glad that I did. I guess I could go play at the playground down the street here at Gustavus in my free time, but it just isn’t the same, as it is not preceded by chicken giggles.  

7. Scootering

My brother and I used to be such a scooter fanatics that we each had two Razor scooters (twice the amount of hitting myself in the ankle with it too). Part of the reason I had two was because I was starting to wear the wheels flat on one of them. My brother and I used to create chalk roads on our driveway for us to drive our scooters around on, and come up with new jumps or tricks to do on them. A majority of the time, we were flying down the big hill in our neighborhood. When I say big hill, I mean to the point where I would be scared to ride my scooter down it now. I had no fear of what could happen (thanks to gymnastics). I loved to see how fast I could go, and once I got to the bottom, I would make the hike back up to the top again and do this for hours. My scooter traveled with me to my brother’s baseball games to help me pass the time, as well as on many trips to Kentucky to scooter around Centre College’s campus. Again, I could easily pick it back up again now, but unfortunately, 20 year olds are supposed to choose car as their form of transportation. 

8. Swimming and snow

There’s a point in every girl’s life where they transition from a water bug, or down to be out in the snow for hours, to laying out in the sun in order to avoid getting wet, and being an old lady about being out in the cold. Sadly, I am now one of those girls that gets all ready to go to the pool, just to sit two feet away from the water, or maybe dip my toe in. When it comes to snow nowadays, I’d just rather not deal with it! I don’t know why this love died off, but I loved swimming and being in the snow when I was young. My thought process now is that I don’t want to look like a raccoon from my mascara when I jump in the pool, or I’d rather not get my hair wet. I closed the waterpark down sometimes just because I didn’t want to get out of the pool. In the winter, my brother and I would spend all day sledding with the neighborhood squad, rolling snow to see how big of a snowball we could make (usually ended up ripping the grass out as well), and making luxurious snow forts (which were surprisingly warm). A little bit of it has come back now that I’ve gotten to Gustavus, as traying is very hard to pass up. 

9. Appearance

When I think back to what I looked like when I was in elementary school, I can’t help but cringe because it was not good. Between losing all my teeth except for my front tooth, growing out my bangs, and getting glasses, I was thankful for a glow up a few years later. What I miss about this though, is simply the fact that I didn’t care what I looked like. Obviously I cared a little, but I didn’t care what others thought about my outfit, hair, or what I did, like I do now. I would get inside from recess, all sweaty, and just keep going about my day. I didn’t spend a good chunk of my time in the morning putting on makeup or choosing an outfit (my mom chose for me for a while, I had no fashion sense). I ate whatever I wanted without thinking about how it could affect how my body looked. Kraft mac and cheese was my meal of choice. Back then when none of that mattered, it was a lot easier to feel great about myself, because I felt no need to change myself or compare myself to others. As a psych major, I’ve often wondered what age those evil thoughts of “caring” (seems ironic to say, right?) started to occur, and why. To sum it up, I miss the days where I could roll out of bed with no makeup, put on sweats, and give no thought to it at all! 

10. My “problems”

Back in the day, my problems seemed absolutely ginormous. Some examples of what I considered to be a huge problem were the printer is out of ink and I can’t print my assignment, there is not french vanilla flavored yogurt in the fridge, I have to do five tumbling series on beam tonight at practice, my pre algebra math assignment is impossible, my American Idol contestant got voted off, I can’t find the other matching sock, getting dragged to Christopher’s all day basketball tourney, my favorite leotard isn’t clean, the boy I like has a crush on someone else, it’s raining so I can’t go outside, etc.. you get it, they weren’t actual problems! Now, I wish that I had those problems. My pre FND life was such as a breeze (with the exception of learning my kip on bars). I took too many things for granted back then, just because I didn’t know that life can actually get hard sometimes, and there are bigger problems than not having matching socks. I was so naive back then about all the bad in the world, and all the adversity that could happen. I’ve overcome so many things; socially, health wise, school wise, you name it. Looking back, I’m glad that my problems weren’t real problems back then, because I was healthy, and a goofy little kid as all kids should be. 

Even though I had a few bumps in the road, my childhood was stellar, and that’s why I would give anything to go back and live a day in the life of Lauren back then. There are some things I am happy that I have grown out of, but a majority of it I definitely would gladly take back. I’d like to think that each of our experiences is what helps to prepare us for what is to come, and that is what gets me through the long papers, finals, and studying. Playing board games taught me how to follow the rules and sportsmanship, worksheets eased me into these giant papers, recess set me up to remember to stay active, and DQ taught me to celebrate my victories. While, I can’t really make a connection to how Webkinz has helped me become a top notch student, a lot of those things I did as a kid were important just to give me good memories to look back on when things get tough, and what it is like to truly be happy. My goal is to channel that child-like happiness during the times where school stress is at an all time high, like now! 

Have a fantastic week, my friends! Go get a DQ after finals.


10 Things to be Thankful for

With Thanksgiving this Thursday, it only seemed right to make a post about what I am thankful for. When we are asked to think about what we are thankful for, I bet that 95% of us say the staple “friends and family” response. I thought I would go beyond that and actually think about the things, both big and small, that I truly am thankful for.

1. Friends

Saying that I am thankful for friends and family is not just a go to response like “good” is when someone asks how you’re doing. I truly am beyond blessed for the friends that have stuck with me through thick and thin. When I say friends, this includes a lot of people. It is so much fun to live with my Big, Perry, as well as my roommates Quinn and Kristen who are sorority sisters as well. Perry gives everyone life @Sigmas. Having people to come home to everyday that will force a smile on my face after the Terrible Tuesdays is a blessing. My Little, Kristen, will forever be my workout buddy in Lund as we try to survive the horrible workout equipment early in the mornings. Coming home for a break is so much better when I know I get to see my friends Paige and Blake that I’ve known since middle school. It’s always like nothing has changed at all every time we have a reunion. Lastly, my best friend since birth (literally), Anna. While she may be in South Dakota a majority of the year, that doesn’t stop us from having our coffee dates every time we are both home, sending snail mail, feeding our Mama Mia obsession, and snapchats of our inside joke about macaroons. I hope you all actually read my blogs, I don’t give shoutouts to just anyone 🙂

2. Family

I couldn’t say something about friends without mentioning anything about family. Once again, this includes a lot of people, but I am so incredibly thankful for the Casey clan (and the Bechanan clan out in Kentucky). I’m so thankful for all my dad has done for me over the years including putting up my trampoline every year only for me to use it about two times, building me a gymnastics bar in the basement, teaching me important life skills such as my car won’t turn off unless it’s in park, and how to work the heater in my car. (Many car things). I also can’t forget the number of times my mom has been there for me when I needed her, even if that meant driving to GAC late at night, the loads of laundry done, meals made, and so much more. I will never stop saying how thankful I am for my brother, and my dog Gracie, who I probably squeeze too hard when I finally get to see her coming home from Gustavus. Lastly, shoutout to my family in Kentucky! Even though I see them about once a year, the times I do see them, I make the most out of it! A lot of people are thankful for so much thanksgiving food, but my Grandad was always the one who taught me to truly be thankful for the food on the table, as he would always say “bless the ones who have prepared it, and bless those who have grown it.” It made me realize that the food doesn’t magically appear on the table everyday like I used to think. It takes family! Some of my greatest memories have been made with my cousin Fielden, as we make fun of each other’s accents, test out grip strength during the prayer at meals to see who can squeeze the living daylight out of each other’s hands the best, and make up really embarrassing dance routines. I’m pretty sure that tradition will continue until we are old ladies.

3. Wireless earbuds

Alright, now that I’ve got friends and family out of the way, let’s move onto the little things of life that bring me more joy than they probably should. Wireless earbuds have absolutely changed my life. I can’t even begin to explain the struggles I had with earbuds that had that long cord. First, when I got a new phone, my earbuds no longer were able to plug in without an adapter. This wasn’t a huge problem, except for the fact that I always forgot the adapter, leaving me with silent and sad workouts. Second, trying to run with a cord dangling in front of me drove me nuts. On more than one occasion, I would accidentally get my hand caught in the cord, launching my phone to land on the treads, and shoot back off the treadmill. Lastly, I’m pretty sure it took me longer to untangle the cord, than it took for me to finish my workout.

4. Hot showers

There are times where I am convinced that it isn’t water coming out of the shower head, but magic. Hot showers have the ability to make everything better. There is no better feeling than hopping in after a long sweaty workout, only to come out refreshed and basically a whole new person after. This also goes neck and neck after a long, cold, MN day, and being able to relax and stand there under the water. Usually this helps me turn from a nice dark shade of purple, to a somewhat normal color again (bad circulation at its finest). Don’t deny it, the reason we take a long time is not because we are thoroughly shampooing our hair as we should, it is because we are just standing there in order to solve life’s problems, have some more alone time, warm up, have a crying session, jam session, or recite speeches for class like I used to do…and still do. Showers are not just for cleansing ourselves physically, they also can wash away our mental and emotional struggles, and for that, I am thankful.

5. My car

Just like the shower serves as more than what it is intended for, so does my car. Yes, I am thankful for the fact that my car gets me places, because that would be a long walk from Gustavus to Eagan. My car has been through a lot. It was first my dad’s before it was handed down to my brother, and then me. I can guarantee I have given that car more wild rides than the two before me. As I mentioned, the MN ice made my car smash into a neighbor’s mailbox (totally not my fault, let’s make that clear). My car has also served as a prop for my physics music video, we have a close connection as you can see. I consider Goldie a safe haven sometimes, as it is a great place to get away and be by myself if I need it. One of the most therapeutic things is plugging in my aux cord and jamming out on long drives (I should say putting in my aux cassette tape, it’s a 2004 and not quite “techy”). I’ve been thankful for my car on scorching hot days, and when I can blast the AC, as well as blasting the heat if I can figure it out (I usually forget what my dad tells me) on the frigid winter days. My life would be significantly different without Goldie! Lastly, my car is my prime spot for phone interviews.

6. Leggings

I remember my first pair of leggings. They were from PINK, and I was the most excited 7th grader that you ever did see. It was from that point on that everything changed. I used to wear jeans every single day, all day long. Now, I can barely wear jeans two times a week, and even then, I don’t even last the whole day. Leggings give me the opportunity to dress up or down, go to the gym, and not feel like I’m wearing a form of torture. I wish they were popular when I was growing up, because as a gymnast, I would frequently do the splits and random cartwheels around the house. Definitely not the easiest in denim. Leggings are the happy medium between jeans and sweatpants. I’m pretty sure that all girls agree with me on this one, leggings are a lifesaver!

7. Make up

Alright ladies, we have all had those days where we have woken up and looked in the mirror, only to be frightened at what is looking back at you. At this point, you believe there is no hope in looking good for the day. I’ve had more than enough of these days whether it’s because I’m sick, tired, stressed, or simply just look like a zombie that day. It still amazes me just what a little mascara can do. I’m so incredibly thankful for the times makeup has helped me cover up imperfections, even though psychology says that’s just the spotlight effect and no one actually cares. Make up serves as one of those “fake it till you make it” kind of things, as I feel a lot better once I have it on, including when I am sick. Now, I’m not saying that I need it in order to feel good about myself, and neither should the rest of the female population, but it really can lift some spirits and make you feel on point more often than not. Overall, I’m thankful that it prevents others from asking me if I’m sick when I don’t wear it (yes this happened)!

8. Poshmark

Once I found out this site existed my first year of college, it totally changed the game. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by using poshmark, but at the same time improved my wardrobe significantly. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is essentially an online garage sale for brand new, new without tags, or barely used items. I now get all my workout clothes, Lulu and Athleta gear, jeans,…really everything, off this site. In return, I’ve sold my things and made some money as well. It is so simple to use, making it addicting. If I am ever looking for something, whether it be simple, or name brand, I don’t go to the store anymore. Why pay full price if you don’t have to?

9. Treadmills

I’m not crazy, just hear me out. I am thankful for treadmills because whenever I go on a run outside, multiple things go wrong. First, the weather is always all or nothing. In the summer, it is always scorching, no matter what day I go. On the other hand, you will never catch me running outside in the winter. Never. A treadmill is great for those people like me that aren’t hardcore runners. Second, whenever I go on a run, I always forget that however far I run, I have to run that distance back. More than once, I have decided to go on a seven mile run. I finished my seven miles, but for some reason it did not occur to me that my car would not be there at the end to take me home, so that seven mile run turned into 14. With a treadmill, I don’t have to worry about going anywhere. Third, there are no geese to run after me when I am on a treadmill (they did make me run faster though which improved my endurance). Fourth, this may be personal, but I can’t be the only one that has to “go” in the middle of a run. This serves as a huge problem when you’re outside running along a city road and are seven miles away from home. Lastly, I am one of those people who likes to watch the Today show in order to distract myself from my burning lungs. To my Gusties reading this, if you ever walk through Lund and the middle TV in front of the treadmills is turned on Channel 11, chances are, that was me. 

10. School breaks 

I thought I’d save the best for last. I will be forever thankful for Thanksgiving Break. As much as I’d like to say that Thanksgiving is the reason I am excited for this break, that is just not the truth, it is the break itself. I do not take my breaks lightly either. I go from  an on task, studious, busy college student, to absolute couch potato. This is simply because I really am so exhausted, and NEED the break. It can be so tough being on my best game every week, and it is so refreshing to just stop worrying about deadlines, article quizzes, meetings, laundry, cooking etc. After all the test questions I answer throughout the semester, I couldn’t care less about the dreaded “do you have a boyfriend?” question that we all get asked by all family members at the Thanksgiving table. I have been thankful for breaks throughout my whole career as a student, not just in college, but in college, it means I get to spend more time with my family.

It can be so easy to let weeks go by without appreciating those/things that you are thankful for. I don’t think my shower cares if I let it know how thankful I am for it, but my family and friends do, and I’m sure yours do too. I find it kind of sad that it feels awkward to go up to someone and tell them you are thankful to have them. Really, what are they going to do?Reject you for letting them know that they make a mean casserole? This holiday season, I want to try to make it something that is not against social norms! Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!I may just have to make a #FitnessFriday post for next week so we can shed off those extra pounds of mashed taters. 


Advice I Live By

Advice is one of those concepts that seems to go in one ear and out the other. So many people give it, but it is never really received or processed. When I think about why I am the why I am, it all points to the advice I have been given by people that I respect and look up to. I now realize just how big of an impact it has made on me. A lot of advice is so cliche that we chuckle and brush it off, but when you actually think about what the string of words mean, it makes a lot of sense, and is a logical way to live my life. In this post, I want to highlight just ten of the most important, perhaps cheesy, pieces of advice I have gotten over the years, and why they have been so important to me.

1. “If it isn’t fun, don’t do it.”


Seems simple, right?  Growing up, this is what my dad would tell me and my brother often. Usually, it applied to in-house sports. While he doesn’t say it much anymore, he doesn’t have to, because it has stuck with me ever since then, and has generalized from beyond the days of orange slices at soccer practice. It’s pretty vague, but it applies to so much. While it seems like a “well, duh” kind of thing, it is harder to follow than most would think. This is due to expectations from others, feelings of failure, not knowing what you really want, and self standards. I have been stuck in situations where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue with what I was doing or not, and ultimately, the decision was made because of this. Choosing to retire from gymnastics was a giant decision that I had to make. I was going back and forth for weeks, and I still remember my dad coming up to me and dropping this advice as he had years before. When it was put that way, the decision was made clear for me that being in pain wasn’t fun anymore! Just because you have loved something for a long time, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. My dad always assured me that choosing not to do something anymore because it wasn’t fun doesn’t mean failure, and that is what has validated my decisions all these years. Unfortunately, this did not apply to mandatory things such as math classes.

2. “Know your worth”


One cannot simply go through life without adversity, or bad news hitting you in the face a couple times. I know I have had my fair share. Maybe you didn’t get selected for an internship, a relationship didn’t work out, you were stuck in an unfair situation, or someone made you feel small. These things can really put someone in a tailspin if they don’t believe in themselves and what their importance is. It has been enforced time and time again that everyone has a gift to contribute to someone, something, or somewhere. My parents have made it very clear what I contribute, and just how important it is to never doubt myself. Being able to know who you are and being confident in what you bring to the table is like hitting life right back in its face. The hard part, is waiting for that someone, something, or somewhere to pick up on it, and realize just how amazing you are, but ultimately, it is worth the wait no matter the situation. Being confident in my abilities, and knowing my worth is how I have the upper hand in tough situations, and it is what gives me power to pick myself up and prove everyone wrong who doubts me.

3. “Stay true to yourself, no matter how hard”


This one can be tough with the constant feelings of peer pressure to be something you are not, fit in, or be anything but different. Through middle school, high school, and college, I have stayed true to my values. This is mostly due to the teachings of my parents, and the great role model I had growing up, being my brother. It is easier to stay true to yourself when you see someone else stay true to themselves, and end up in a great spot while doing so. Everyone’s values are different, but for me, following the rules, and engaging in behaviors that keep me on the right path is a goal I intend to maintain. Choosing the right decision is not always the easiest, but each time I do, it strengthens my integrity, becomes easier, and more people become aware just how much I value my values! I don’t mind being “different” or making the minority decision if that is what keeps me confident in myself and successful. I have the goal of being a model to others who struggle to make the tough, but great, decisions that they ultimately want to make, but just don’t know how to yet.

4. “Don’t let anyone or anything define you”


This one also goes along the lines of being confident in yourself, but for me, it is more aimed at the “anything” rather than the “anyone.” To those of you who have followed me on my FND journey, or have read my FND blog post in the past, this is the piece of advice I got from many people. There have been a lot of opportunities where I could have let my disorder get in my head, and control me. I like to say that while my movement disorder can control me physically, I absolutely will not let it control me mentally or emotionally. Every time it got in the way of gymnastics, school , friendships, and relationships, I could have let it eat at me, but I chose not to every time, and I am stronger because of it. To those of you who are perfectionists like me, or put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well, you are more than a test grade, a bad hockey practice, mediocre gymnastics meet, a lousy inning, or a bad decision. Knowing that I am in control of what I let myself be defined by, is a power that has so much potential. I refuse to let someone who doubts my abilities, or something that tests my abilities, get in my head. Filter out the bad!

5. “Watch for deer”


So far, I’ve talked a lot about being confident in yourself, and knowing what your abilities are. When it comes to deer running in front of your car, NONE of that matters. My family has a running joke about this because every single time (literally every time, I am not exaggerating this) we get in the car to go somewhere, my mom says “watch for deer” before we even have the chance to buckle our seatbelt. My dad, Christopher, and I will not be shy to say we get annoyed of it, that is, until a deer actually runs in front of the car. It is one of those things where you think that it won’t ever happen to you, but living in Minnesota at this time of the year, it is starting to become inevitable. I have avoided a couple run ins with a deer just because my mom’s voice reciting this phrase is like a song that gets stuck in your head. You know what they say, mother is always right!

6. “Take at least five minutes for yourself everyday”

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This is one of those pieces of advice that I can’t remember who said it, but ever since, it has stuck. Five minutes may not seem like a lot of time, but when I am running from class to class, on top of going to meetings, writing papers, working out, cramming for a test, volunteering, worrying, stressing, (I could go on, but you get the idea…BUSY), those five minutes are the most refreshing and glorious five minutes that I have ever felt. Being a college student, an employee, athlete, parent etc requires so much giving, and sometimes, you just gotta take something for yourself. It doesn’t matter how you spend those five minutes, as long as you take them. I’ve spent my five minutes by writing lists, a note to a friend, starting a new blog, stretching, crying, laying on the floor, sitting, a short nap, calling my mom, doodling, social media, and staring blankly off into space simply because I can. It also doesn’t matter where you spend these five minutes. Don’t deny it, we have all taken longer in the bathroom just because it is a safe haven.

7. “Take things one day at a time”


Another great piece of advice that I hear way too often, but seem to have the hardest time doing. This is why my dad tells me this at least three times a week. Being a future oriented, type A person, I am always planning and looking ahead. This is an absolutely terrifying and terrible thing to do, because looking at all the things you have to finish before the month ends is unrealistic, and sometimes I forget that a week is actually longer than it sounds. My parents know very well that I get ahead of myself and don’t “live in the now”  very often. I’m a pro at looking for the next thing that needs to be done. So far I have improved to taking things by a week at a time rather than month at a time. For those of you who struggle to deal with everyday stresses, and days seem to never end, it is comforting to know that each new day is a clean slate, and that some days will be tougher than others. We often always forget to tell ourselves that some days will be easier than others as well. This can be a hard thing to do when it feels like there’s so many things that need to be done, but think of it this way, would you stuff a whole 20 piece McNugget in your mouth all at once and choke? Or would you take it one nugget at a time?

8. “Do yourself a favor and go to bed”

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To college students, this should be taken to heart because we seem to think we can solve all of our problems at midnight. So many of us stay up terribly late to finish homework, cram for a test, or just sit there worrying about everything under the sun. We always complain about how tired we are, and how badly we want to go to bed, so why don’t we? In the end, losing sleep in order to study doesn’t help at all. Sleep is healing, calming, and something we deserve at the end of a long day. As I sit in my room and my watch tells me it is almost midnight, my dad’s voice will now pop into my head telling me this. So if you are one of those people who stay up all night thinking you are doing yourself a favor, but can barely function the next day, do yourself an actual favor and go to bed like a normal person. I promise you, your episode on Netflix will not disappear.

9. “Don’t be afraid to try something new”


After living the same routine of school, gymnastics, and homework for 16 years, it was hard to imagine anything else other than that. When gymnastics was no longer a part of my equation, it gave me a lot of free time to fill. I had the option of not filling it, but because I have always been told to try new things even if I don’t picture myself doing them, it made me want to explore more of my options. I am so thankful that I did. I love writing for the Gustavian Weekly, as it is another outlet where I can voice my thoughts just like this blog is. I will admit, I was hesitant on starting my blog at first, I chewed on the idea for about two years before I actually did it, and I am so happy I did. Think about it, what do you have to lose by trying something new? Maybe a little pride if you fail miserably, but also, maybe you gain the ability to laugh at yourself, or really find what you are passionate about. I joined the Gustavus choir for a good two months before I realized that I would still rather stick to my performances in the shower. It is better to try something and learn it isn’t the right fit, than to leave yourself wondering.

10. “Don’t worry about the things you can’t control”

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No matter how many times I hear this, I struggle with it. Telling me not to worry about something is like telling me not to breathe. Even though I consciously know there are things totally out of my control, I still feel like I have some sense of control over it in some way. The example that comes to mind is the “gymnast lean” (all my former teammates and coaches know what I am talking about). In the gymnastics world, it is so common to see a team lean to one side to try to “help” their teammate performing stay on the beam if they wobble, or try to make it over on bars. We know it does absolutely nothing, but we do it anyways because deep down we believe it does. While I know that I can’t control people’s decisions, or the results of something, I know God can, so I have turned to him when I feel like I need to feel some control. Knowing He has a plan, gives me the comfort I need to let go of my worries. Besides, worrying about something that you literally cannot do anything about is not productive, it is more like shooting yourself in the foot.

It is interesting how certain pieces of advice come to mind when a situation arises that requires it. There is a quote, verse, or advice that can apply to every situation, but it is times where we really need them, that we remember it. That’s how the system works though; when you need a boost, a few string of words are there to give you a boost back to baseline. Even the most cheesiest, shortest, cliche words are all you need to keep moving forward!

Stay warm, y’all!