Senior Struggle #7: Rejection Can Be Good

I hope that I can remember this every time I face rejection in my life!

Happy Tuesday, readers. Only a few more days until Easter Break – I know you all can push through!

Something that has been on my mind a lot this semester is what to do this summer. It’s on everyone else’s mind too, but especially seniors as graduation is just around the corner. Fortunately, I know what I’m doing this summer so a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, but for many people, there is still the looming uncertainty that summer will bring.

“Will I move home after graduation?”

“When will I hear back from that job that I applied for and really want?”

“When will I know what I’m doing with my life?”

These are just a few stressful questions that I’m sure everyone has been asking themselves, especially seniors. In lieu of these questions, I want to focus on rejection and how it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

People see rejection in their lives mainly by not getting jobs, internships, or acceptance into student groups. Those are the most visible ways rejection rears its head, but there is also rejection in relationships, friendships, and other areas of your life. Getting turned down for a date, being overlooked or losing touch within a friendship, or getting a poor grade after working hard on your homework are other ways that rejection is poignant in life. I’ve experienced all of these types of rejection, and although the rejection stings, in many ways I’m happy the rejection happened.

If it weren’t for the different types of rejection I’ve been through, namely rejection from internships and employers, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s hard sometimes to see the good that comes out of rejection in the moment, but that bad grade or the denial of entry from that student group could open up your schedule for something that you want to live into.

It’s may be hard to see now, but rejection can be beneficial. I hope everyone is able to see that as graduation nears and summer worries start to pile up.

Until next time!

Senior Struggle #6: It’s OK to Want an End

As I get ready to graduate, I have to keep this saying in mind!

Hello, readers! I hope your week is going well so far! We have five weeks of school left, and those weeks are flying by! The time passing quickly is sad as I realize that my final year of college is coming to a close, but at the same time, I’m happy that it will be done soon and I will be able to start a new chapter of my life.

Throughout this second semester, I’ve felt that it hasn’t been okay to feel that I wanted college to be over. College is supposed to be the best four years of your life, right? While these years have been amazing, I feel like there is a reason that college is only four years: because at this point, I’m supposed to grow up. I’ve outgrown communal living where I have to share a bathroom (even though I’m living with my best friends), I’ve outgrown classwork, even though I know I’m learning a lot in my classes, and I’ve especially outgrown the feeling that I have to do everything and be busy to be the best version of myself.

I’m ready for independence. Hope has prepared me well to use the skills I’ve learned in class for internships and jobs. I’m ready to live into things I’m passionate about and I’m ready to say no to things that are a source of stress. I’m ready for my own space; I’m ready to find out who my close friends are, and I’m ready for a new chapter of my life to begin.

For a long time I thought that this readiness wasn’t normal and that I was being selfish because I wanted to move on from college. I would suppress these feelings and try to be sentimental when people asked me if I was ready to graduate. “No way!” I’d say, “I want to stay here forever!” But that wasn’t true!

Although Hope has given me skills and memories that I’m thankful for, I don’t think this feeling of wanting to move on is bad for me. It’s one I’ve definitely had to come to terms with, but I think every senior has been or is going through the struggle of feeling like they want to stay and go at the same time. What’s important is knowing what these feelings mean for you individually, and how they affect you.

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior and these last weeks come and go, enjoy the time you have left at Hope, but also be at peace with what you’re feeling. Until next time!

10-Day Forecast: Studying With a Chance of Snow

Christmas is just over 2 weeks away, snow is in the forecast for the next week, and final exams begin in a few days.

I’m sitting with my housemates as we divide our attention between Hairspray Live and the homework that needs to be done. I have two exams and a research presentation on Monday, my last exam Wednesday, and then I’m done.

Over the next week, in addition to finishing off the semester, I need to pack up all my things, say, “see you later” to all my friends, and leave campus until next Fall.

While I’m excited for the adventures that await me in Rome, for now I’m not looking forward to goodbyes and getting nervous about the transition to an entirely different culture.

This semester I had the opportunity to work as an RA with Hope’s Residential Life, something I’ve had hopes of doing since freshman year that I’ve enjoyed very much. It introduced me to a team of new people on Hope’s campus and helped me really focus in on how I can better serve those around me.

I have been able to live with some of my closest friends. The laughter, homework help, tears, holiday decorating, stories, movie nights, and so much more have filled this semester with so many good times.

I am looking forward to the ways my experiences abroad will help me grow. And I am thankful that I have another year here at Hope to continue to process what I learn next semester and keep working toward finding a place for my next steps after graduation. All alongside the people I met two and a half years ago that became friends who are more like family that made Hope more like home

Thanks for reading,
Erin

I Have a Coffee Dependence and I’m Not Proud

This blog post is about to be majorly overdramatic.

It all started when I was just a wee young lass. My grandma is a big coffee drinker and my grandpa loved his gas station cappuccinos. They live across town from the house I grew up in, and they’re totally the kind of grandparents who love to give their grandkids “treats.” I’m pretty sure we were all raised on caffeine. I’m serious, my brother was drinking black coffee at four years old. Recently I’ve started wondering how much taller he would be if that hadn’t happened. He would probably be in the NBA and/or a really good men’s volleyball player.

In junior high I started discovering the wonder of Starbucks Frappuccinos on youth group trips. In high school, the same brother introduced me to the campfire mocha from Caribou Coffee (I will love you forever, Caribou). I took a Keurig with me to college but only used it when I wanted coffee, not because I felt like I needed it to stay awake or function well (HOWEVER, Dr. Pepper was a different story – it is free with every meal in Phelps Dining Hall and I gave it up for Lent my freshman year, gave myself caffeine withdrawal migraines, and had to compensate with coffee).

Junior year is when things started to change. My friend Sarah and I discovered that the best time for us to do homework is early in the morning – And the best place to do it was at Lemonjello’s. Of course, we couldn’t just sit in LJ’s at 6:30 every morning and not buy anything (for more reasons than one) – I quickly realized that my morning cups of coffee were super beneficial in getting my homework done.

But really, the blame falls almost completely onto the shoulders of my friend Niall. He was my co-program director for day camp at Covenant Harbor this summer. The guy used to work at Starbucks. He orders everything with an extra shot of espresso and knows exactly how to make it taste really, really good. I brought a car to camp this summer and he did not, which means that any time he wanted coffee that wasn’t from camp (which was pretty much every day since coffee and camp are not exactly the best mix), I had to drive him to Starbucks, ergo I ended up ordering stuff there almost every day too. I quickly made the jump down from cold brew to iced coffee (so much cheaper) and then up from iced coffee to iced Americanos (almost as cheap and way more effective). I was drinking a cup of camp coffee in the morning, an Americano later in the morning (sometimes with a refill), and sometimes more coffee in the afternoon. Bad. Helpful in my tiring job, but bad.

This semester, I haven’t needed coffee to function like I did over the past year. There was one day that I didn’t drink it at all, and the next day I had a horrible migraine all day until I pumped myself up with enough caffeine to replace what I had skipped the day before. That’s when I realized the crazy coffee consumption was an actual problem. I don’t want to depend on coffee in order to be a functioning human. I went back to drinking a moderate amount of coffee every day in order to prevent myself from getting any more migraines, but the back of my head was like, “But should I actually…”

This week, I decided I don’t want coffee to rule my life anymore. Two days ago, I didn’t drink any coffee at all. Yesterday and today I’ve had a cup of decaf. I’ve heard it takes three days to stop the withdrawal headaches and I’m determined that I’m going to do it. I’m really not sure why I picked right now; I think I just figured I might as well. I’ll still drink coffee occasionally just because I like it, but I do not want to depend upon it anymore.

It’s a whole new world! I can be a functioning human without caffeine!


Thanks for reading! Make sure to keep up with me on Twitter and in my Etsy shop.


“Praise the Eternal, all nations.
    Raise your voices, all people.
For His unfailing love is great, and it is intended for us,
    and His faithfulness to His promises knows no end.
Praise the Eternal!”

—Psalm 117

Your “Back to Hope” Playlist

Over the summer I got to thinking about Hope blogging. I felt as if every year I wrote the same posts: back to school, the Pull, Winter Fantasia, Nykerk, SAC events, etc.

This year, I’m vowing to make more unconventional and creative posts. My first is this one, a playlist perfected for that perfect back to Hope College feel. These are songs that I hear around campus, give me a special Hope vibe, or are always played at any Hope social event.

I’m starting junior year off with some feel good tunes, and now you can too! Listen to it on Spotify or follow the list of songs below.

  • I Wanna Dance with Somebody – Whitney Houston
  • Brand New – Ben Rector
  • More Like Love – Ben Rector
  • I Lived – One Republic
  • Shut Up and Dance – WALK THE MOON
  • Hold My Hand – Jess Glynne
  • Wake Me up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
  • Let the Good Times Roll – Ben Rector
  • Love on Top – Beyonce
  • Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Easy Love – Original Mix – Sigala
  • I’ll Be There For You – The Rembrandts
  • Where You Lead – Carole King
  • Classic – MKTO
  • Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  • Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root
  • Downtown – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  • I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
  • Yeah! – Usher
  • Where Is The Love – The Black Eyed Peas
  • Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah) – Andy Grammar
  • Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne) – Clean Bandit
  • Bright – Echosmith
  • Best Day of My Life – American Authors
  • I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Geronimo – Sheppard
  • Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
  • When Can I See You Again – Owl City

These are all songs that get me pumped to be back at Hope. I hope you enjoy listening to some of them!

Best,
Brooke

What Are the Chances of One Making a Career in the NHL?

In the recognition of the start of the 2016 NHL playoffs, which is highly popular on Hope College’s campus, since the Red Wings made it to the playoffs 25th in the row, here are the mathematical odds of one actually making it to the NHL.

Every parent of a hockey player likes the idea of their kid playing in the NHL or how hockey players say “in the show.” Hockey is one of the hardest sports to master because body is doing a lot of different movements at once. But what are the odds of making it to the “show”?

They made the 0.02% cut.
They made the 0.02% cut.

The study is focuses only on Ontario, Canada, but we can apply it to the general hockey audience. In the study were 30,000 players. Out of all 30,000 players in Ontario, only 48 were drafted, which is 0.16%.

Out of the 48 players who got picked by some NHL team only 39 got signed to entry-level contracts. This means that players sign for example 2-year, $750,000 contract, but they get the money only if they play certain amount of games in the NHL. So if one get drafted, the chances are 81.25% that one will get signed, not played in the NHL.

But only 15 out of 48 players actually make carrier in the NHL. When I say career, I many 400+ games played in the NHL, which gives us percentage of 0.02%.

So the chances of making a career (400+ games) in the NHL are 0.02%.

Cornelius, Emily. “How Hard Is It to Make It to the NHL?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 11 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

The Seven Wonders of Someone Halfway Done With College

I often find myself wishing that time would stop, or at the very least that things would shift into slow motion for at least a week or maybe five minutes.

When they say that your time in college flies by fast, they aren’t lying.

It’s scary yet exciting to know that in the same amount of time that I have already spent at Hope, I will be leaving and venturing off into the real world.

Here are seven things I wonder as I think about leaving Hope in two years:

  1. What’s the real world really like?
    • Let’s be honest, we all wonder this.
  2. Are there other places like Hope?
    • I like the welcoming and supportive atmosphere that Hope has, but will I be able to find that somewhere else?
  3. Will I find the same faith community?
    • This is one of my biggest worries about leaving Hope. I’ll have to venture out and find a faith community, perhaps even create one, instead of having one built and placed right in my lap.
  4. Will my best friends stay my best friends?
    • I’m really crossing my fingers for this one. I know some pretty great people here and I hope they’re my friends for life.
  5. Where will I live?
    • Will I go back home? Will I make somewhere new my home? The world may never know. Until I graduate.
  6. What will my job be?
    • Really though. I have my plans but the more I talk to alumni, the more I realize that you often don’t end up doing what you thought you would.
  7. Can I just stay here a little bit longer?
    • The answer is, yes, you can stay here two more years. Maybe it’ll be enough, but right now I love Hope and wouldn’t trade it for any other place.

I’m sure that incoming freshmen and graduating seniors are also wondering some of these things. Being a sophomore in the middle of it all can make the end seem blind, like it’s never coming. But it is and I have so many thoughts about it.

Thanks for reading,

Brooke

Countdown Until Graduation!

I feel like the past four months have truly flown by. Time will never slow down when you need it to the most. There have been moments lately when all I wanted was time to hurry up, go faster so class could end and I can take nap during my busy day, or so I can have more time to finish my essay.

And yet there have plenty more moments when I wanted time to slow down so I can enjoy the little things, whether it’s walking downtown eating a waffle cone from Kilwin’s, catching up with a friend in the middle of the Pine Grove, or enjoying my daily morning prayer with God. I wish time could stop for those small moments.

Sometimes we get lost in the hustle and bustle of our daily routines at school because we are constantly doing something or having to go somewhere else. This semester has been the busiest for me (naturally since I am a senior and I am taking 20 credits while also being an RA no less), and I have found that it has been hard to just stop and enjoy those moments.

I only have less than 30 days here on campus as a Hope student before I become a Hope alumnae (!!), which is crazy because I feel like it wasn’t too long ago when I was arriving into Holland for my freshman year. I was so excited for the next four years and the memories that would come along each day, each semester, each year. I will most likely write another post (my last!) in the next few weeks, but it will be hard to try to put into words how grateful I am for the past four years here at Hope, how I have changed for the better.  I have a quote above my desk from the great poet/activist Maya Angelou that reads: 

“The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.” 

The horizon is almost in sight, and I am eager to take those first few steps into this new change in my life, in what will lead to a better future.

Me with my graduation cap on

Kissed Goodbye My Inner-Lena Dunham

Leandra Medine. The voice, the human, the spirit animal that makes my commute more bearable everyday. She doesn’t know who I am, and good god even I don’t know who I am, but I think she is another version of me with better taste and skinnier legs… And an incredible life with clothes where a $150 dress is considered as a steal while to me that’s a month of utilities and two weeks of groceries but that’s nothing… Right?

So it is like I’m a plain, glazed donut while she is chestnut glazed donut with sprinkles from Doughnut Vault. My Chicago fellas, you know what I’m talking about right? Ha? Ha? No? Oh okay.

Going off of that analogy, I’d like it to be known that today is my second day of pastry-free diet and I already grabbed my phone twice to call my best friend to cry for a cupcake. Probably some of you are already inclined to close this window thinking, “ugh another girl giving into the bikini season scare” but HOLD ON FOR A SEC. This isn’t about bikinis my friends; this wasn’t a decision that roots back to my self-conscious nature. More than anything, this is about rejecting the new phenomenon “imperfect is the new perfect.”

So, all these years, there has been an evolving understanding about how perfect humans, the ones who “have it all”, are irrelevant to any progressive conversation because they just “want to comfort the societal norms by trying so hard”. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I was one of those people who kind of dismissed the Gwyneth Paltrow-y kind of people simply because they seemed so plastic, aka unrealistically good at this thing called “life”. Again,I am embarrassed.

So after two months into my D.C. experience, I realized that I can’t keep thinking those people aren’t real because as the matter of fact, they are real and technically speaking they run the world as they dominate Washington, D.C., the world’s capital.

So plot twist, I have decided to actually do something about this. My change started with more on the emotional side where I stopped being so feeling-repellent. Believe it or not, the stuff you see in the movies, you know the girl who is clumsy, skinny, cute but emotionally unavailable because of a tough break up? That girl doesn’t exist. I mean, yes she can exist, but in all reality she is just missing out on life and not giving herself what she deserves or basically needs. So I ask you, HOW CAN SELF-DESTRUCTION BE CUTE???

Leandra Medine, my guilty* woman crush, kind of plays with that idea in her podcast about self-sabotage. She even talks about the constant influx in a cycle and not moving any further because there is a certain comfort in being in the same area but also the pretentious movement which makes you think that you are on your way to somewhere.

This is true. Every time I find myself in a good situation, I psych myself out of it probably by the evil powers of my subconscious which signals my brain, “this is too good to be true, it is going to fall apart and you will lose control.” So, I deconstruct everything with my own hands because then I don’t have to feel like I am not in charge. So it is almost like I am thinking to myself, “if I am not trying, how can I fail?”

So when I find myself close to the bottom again, I pick everything up start eating right, doing yoga, going to bed early, emotionally and physically making myself more available… Until my next freak out.

As an outsider, you wouldn’t even notice the difference. There are certain areas that do not get effected by this constant change and that includes my work. However, more people sensitive stuff like relationships and etc. my suffer from my hamster wheel syndrome.

So this so-to-speak self-acceptance, which is supposed to enhance your life, becomes this crippling self-destructive thing which doesn’t let you grow as a person.

Ugh. I know. I just said that and I hate myself as much as you hate me right now, but given my point, it iiiiiiiiiissss trrrruuuuueeeee!

So this is my attempt of being perfectly honest with myself and reminding you all dear readers that you shouldn’t shame yourself for trying, striving and possibly failing. It’s fine. I’m not saying it’s perfectly okay to be a hot mess and lead the life of Hannah from Girls just because you know you can get away with it.

I mean, I could get away with eating 3 donuts a day and still somehow fit in my pants (that’s how I measure “getting away”) but that doesn’t mean I will continue doing it since I know it is harmful to my body.

Get it? Okay cool.

*guilty, because almost all of my other crushes are journalists and political beings.

Rediscovering My Love for Cooking

If there’s one thing I miss the most about home, it’s being able to cook in my own kitchen. You know how it feels when you are so used to a place that when even when you leave for a while and come back, you still feel right at home? It’s not that I can’t cook my own food at my house here on campus, but there’s something about the familiarity of the stove I use, the shelf in cabinet where the flour is, or why I can always find the vanilla extract behind the bottle of ground cinnamon.

During this past spring break I did a lot of cooking and it made me want to try to cook more when I came back to campus! I may not always get things in class or in life, but somehow when it comes to cooking, I am in my comfort zone. Here’s a quick and simple shrimp taco recipe I tried out a few days ago that I wanted to share with all of you out there who want to start cooking! I didn’t have everything you need to make the ultimate shrimp taco, but this was just something I made with the ingredients I had. As college students we know how to stretch whatever food we have a long way am I right?

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 lb. of shrimp (I had a bag of frozen shrimp I defrosted)
  • Garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • *any other optional seasoning you prefer* I used a seasoning mix that had tomato and coriander in it to give the shrimp some color and extra flavor.
  • A few leaves of parsley
  • Lime

Seasonings you need: garlic salt, olive oil, salt and pepper and any additional seasonings you prefer

It’s not pictured here, but the first step you want to do is season all of the shrimp. Make sure they are dry and not wet so all of the seasonings will stick! Mix together in a large bowl two tablespoons of olive oil, garlic salt, salt and pepper and any other seasoning you choose.

Once that’s done, heat a large skillet or grill over medium heat. Add olive oil to make sure the shrimp don’t stick. Shrimp only need to cook about 4-5 minutes and you will know they are ready when they turn an opaque color and look a little white in color.

Cooking the shrimp in a skillet over medium heat

Take the grill or pan off the heat and at this point you can squeeze half a lime to the shrimp and mix together. Heat up your tortillas – I used flour, but you can use whichever you prefer – and chop up a few leaves of parsley to sprinkle over the top. If you really want to get fancy and if you have the ingredients, you can add some chopped cabbage and sliced avocado over the top! I will have to try that for the next time 🙂 Serve the tacos with a side of white rice or by themselves!

Shrimp tacos with a side of white rice

I hope you enjoyed reading and I will be back soon with other easy and delicious recipes! 🙂