Perspective Changes

What do you do when you realize you need to change all of your ways because life is moving faster than you expected?

Yes, I am talking about the fact that this school year  I WILL BE TAKING THE MCAT AND APPLYING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL.

It is so unfathomable to think that my friends and I are quickly approaching the deadline to where our timeline of being careless kids will come to an end.  This is also the time in our lives where things get really serious really quickly, and I am already starting to see this harsh reality take a toll on many people, including myself.

First, you may run around having a whirlwind mental break down, because all of your habits and ways of life are coming to an end.

You may even contemplate doing something insane like this:

But please, Don’t.

It is always going to be sad when an important stage of our lives ends and a new chapter begins, but it can also be exciting and unpredictable!

What’s most important, and has been the hardest lesson so far for me, is knowing how to prioritize the things in my life.  I am currently crowned queen of procrastination and have earned the nickname “Last Minute Briana” from both my family and friends.  For a while I thoroughly enjoyed the comedic aspect of what that meant, but recently I have realized that it is setting me up for disaster.  It’s extremely difficult to tell yourself you want to sit in a library and read about posttranslational regulation of enzymes,  when you have so many other fun things you could be doing.  Friends, parties, dinners, boyfriends, movies, you name it!  All of these are the best distractions in the world.  This all sounds pretty immature and foolish of me, and for many people, forcing yourself to sit and study isn’t a problem, however it is a real struggle that many people like myself experience.

But that’s the funny thing about life — I truly believe that eventually, and just in time, everyone finds their way and has this epiphany that checks us into reality and sets us up for what we need to be doing to achieve our hopes and dreams.

I don’t know how it happened, but I have this feeling that living in Spain this summer changed the way I view life, as well as changed my desires for the future.  I saw how wonderful of a life the Spaniards live, and how happy they are just to be alive and how the hustle bustle of the American life does not appeal to them even in the slightest.  It made me realize that one day, I hope to be as happy as them while balancing a successful job and a healthy family.  I also realized that the only way to do this is to just snap out of it, stop procrastinating, and buckle down.  There is no point in putting off what will only help us in our future.

For the past two weeks I have actually stuck to my word about changing my time management habits, and I can’t even believe how better and accomplished I already feel!  It’s incredible how changing one simple thing – my priorities – can change both my perspective and goals.

The point is, life isn’t always fun and games.  We do need to work hard, extremely hard for what we want, and nobody is going to help us but ourselves.  It is completely possible to break out of lifelong habits.  Do this and we will all be awesome.

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Happy Mother’s Day- A Million Reasons Why My Mom is the Best

mom

Today is a very special day to celebrate the leading ladies in our lives, our wonderful mothers.  I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation towards my mom because not only does she put up with my excessive talking, unrealistic ideas, and messy habits, but she accepts them and secretly loves them (I think…).  My mom is the most intelligent, caring, and strongest person I know.  She has always been there for me as a mentor, an advisor, and a best friend to laugh with.  I feel so lucky each day to have a mother like mine, who I can tell literally anything to without judgement.  So here come the Thank you’s…

               Thank you Mommy for:

  • Nagging me about my need to improve my time management skills
  • Doing my laundry 5 times a week while I was still living at home
  • Staying up with me when I had nightmares until I fell asleep
  • Making fun of me for my lack of hand-eye coordination
  • Letting me borrow your makeup
  • Sitting through the Harry Potter movies, even though you hate them
  • Letting me perform songs in front of you in my Snow White costume when I was younger
  • Granting me with the best sister in the world
  • Letting me borrow your clothes when I had a date
  • Teaching me to be overly hygienic
  • Bopping your head back and forth when you hear a song you like
  • Allowing me to dye my hair any color I want
  • Trusting me
  • Staying up on the phone with me while I rant on about my problems
  • Being the gossip queen of the world
  • Being the first person I tell all my gossip to
  • Using “LOL” and other lingo when you text me
  • Taking care of me when I was sick
  • Yelling at me when I don’t put sunscreen on
  • Making amazing Mac and Cheese
  • Dancing on the tables when you go out
  • Supporting me, regardless of how rash or spontaneous my decisions are
  • Telling me when an outfit looks horrible on me
  • Giving me the confidence I have today and encouraging me to follow my heart
  • Letting me smell your hair when you dye it
  • Making crystal light iced tea
  • Believing my opinions are valid
  • Helping me learn what is right and wrong
  • Being the “cool mom” that all my friends in high school envied, because she sat down and talked to them just like anyone else
  • Being an Lebron James groupie
  • Putting up with my singing in the shower
  • Being the most well balanced person I have ever met
  • Giving me the best advice
  • For always loving me and for always being my number 1 fan.

So as you can see, you are hands down the best mom in the entire universe.  I love you and Happy Mother’s Day!

Equality For All

Today marks one of the most important days in our country’s history.  The Supreme Court will soon rule whether or not gay/lesbian PEOPLE will be able to marry the ones they love.

equality

I stress the word PEOPLE, because that is exactly what they are, people who are no different than you or me and have every right to share the same experiences we do, including a celebration that joins two people forever.

Democrats and Republicans aside, this is an issue of human rights and separation of church and state- simple as that!

I am not going to be the one to tell those who oppose that their opinions aren’t valid, however this issue hits close to home for me.  I am lucky enough to have grown up in an area with a fairly large gay population, and what I want more than anything is to be able to attend my friend’s weddings – ALL OF MY FRIENDS.

The point is, the union between two people who love each other is a beautiful thing, whether it’s between a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a woman.  So please, spread the peace, because all you need is love.

marriage

A Little Inspiration

There are times when there are so many things going on, and we feel as if we haven’t been able to stand still for days.  We put too much on our plate and try our very hardest to juggle around what life throws at us.  Sometimes all we need to get us through the day is a little teaspoon of inspiration.  I found this video through a friend and I thought it was just the sweetest thing!  This kid looks no older than 6, yet he has a better understanding of life than many of us do.

So here is a little pick me up that I thought I’d share:

 

Out of My Element

out of my element

What do you do when you feel your life is becoming stagnant?  I am 20 years old and my sophomore year in college is half way done.  I already spend too much time conjuring up fantasies that I think I should be having, where there is always an adventure to be had, incredibly interesting people to meet, and a whirlwind romance.  Of course most people don’t lead this kind of life, but I can’t help but wonder if it does exist.

I started my first few days of 2013 with not the best attitude – I was becoming restless from sitting at home in South Florida and I dreaded returning to school to have the same boring routine I had fall semester.  I wanted to have something exciting to look forward to everyday, or at least to be busy enough where I wouldn’t think about being bored.  I mostly wanted to be able to look at each day and see something special or intriguing in it.

I asked for some excitement in my life, and boy did I get it!  Spring semester began this week and I had just been given a research position working with leukemia cells.  I show up to the lab on Monday and am taught many procedures and experiments that we will be conducting in the next few months.  There were new people to meet, equipment I have no idea how to use, and tons of publications to read with terminology that can’t possibly be English.  I was extremely overwhelmed and completely out of my element.  I have never been more intimidated in my life, and yet I haven’t been this excited about something in ages.  As stressful as this semester will be to find time to balance difficult classes, research, and maybe sleep once in a while, this was exactly what I wanted and what I need.

I realized that as sudden as all of this seemed to creep up on me, I do have to give myself credit for taking the initiative to go out there and find something new and exciting to do with my life.  A new research position contained everything I had wished for; a challenging activity, new people to meet, and the certainty of never having a dull moment.

Although this week hasn’t even ended yet, I have learned a few valuable things:

Do not be afraid to ask questions: I have always been a prideful person and would sometimes avoid asking a question because I didn’t want to appear unintelligent to anybody.  That is a foolish thing to do and the only way you can learn and grow is by asking questions.  There really is no dumb question and people in face appreciate your questions because it shows you are truly interested and committed.

Do not let intimidation control you: Most of us take advantage of the comforts we usually have where we are aware of our surroundings, and understand everything that is going on around us at any point in time.  Stepping out of your element can indeed strip you of all your comforts.  Instead of shying away and being afraid of the unknown, embrace the challenges you are facing and just know that in time you will understand things you never thought you could before.

You really need to work for something you love:  Like myself and many others out there, most things in life have come fairly easy to us, and I for one have certainly taken that for granted.  Until recently, I have understood everything I was taught almost instantly and did not really need to study for long periods of time to do well on tests.  However, that glory of being successful without effort becomes meaningless and unfulfilling.  When you find something that intrigues you, let it suck you in completely and work harder than you ever have before.  The feeling you get when a lightbulb finally turns on in your head and you understand something beats any easy A I have ever achieved.

I have a good feeling that this semester, and even year will definitely be an adventure for all of us. We just have to remember to appreciate the opportunities given to us and to make the best of them!

 

New Year, New Outlook

new eyar

When the clock strikes midnight each year, my stomach drops and I get this crazy sensation and even worry that yet another year has flown by right before my eyes.  When you take a second to reflect, it’s actually astonishing how so much can happen in one short year.  2012 for me could be described as rocky, yet a million things happened to make it exciting all at the same time.  I do not really believe in new years resolutions, however I do think it is important to make changes that will improve our lives, and not just one year.  The key to a great year consists of a few little things that will automatically make us happier.

  • Do not sweat the small things:  Learn to be able to let the little things that bother you slide by because in the long run they are not worth your aggravation and they most certainly are not worth fighting over.  Going with the flow is the best method to live your life, because there are no expectations, and therefore no disappointment.
  • Prioritize:  Determining which things are most important to do at specific times is crucial to enjoying your life.  Sometimes that means studying for an exam instead of going to a party, or sometimes it means canceling a night with your guy in order to help a friend who is in need of a little cheering up.  There is no exact order at which certain tasks should be ranked in importance, for situations change all the time and it is up to you to do what is best for yourself and those around you.
  • Take risks:  Our lives are built up on memories and the only way to make our memories, well memorable, is by doing things we wouldn’t normally do and by going places you have never been.  It is very important to step outside your comfort zone and try new things, whether it be joining a new club, learning to dance, going on a date, or even exploring the rainforest of South America.
  • Accept change:  Believe it or not, change is inevitable and it is what makes our lives healthy and lively.  To be in a strict routine is not a proper way to live, for your life becomes stagnant and without purpose.  There is no doubt that change can be hard, but as long as you embrace it and accept it as much as you can, transition won’t be as hard.  Let go of all the hate and resentment, forget those who have wronged you, and look forward to a better chapter.

No matter how amazing, challenging, awful, or exciting 2012 was for you, this next year will for certain be an improvement on the last and we only have great things in front of us!  I am certainly looking forward to spending time with friends (old and new), starting a new research position, and trying new things that will allow me to enjoy my life.  2013 will be our year and I can’t wait to see what is in store.  Cheers to a wonderful new year!

Life is Fragile

Words cannot even begin to describe how devastating our world can sometimes be.  What happened today in Connecticut is unfathomable and such a tragedy.  I can’t seem to understand how sick a person must be to believe that they have the right to take a way a person’s life, let alone the lives of 20 children!  My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families, and all those affected by this detrimental shooting.

When things like this happen it really makes you take a step back and realize that most of us take our lives for granted, especially when our lives could be ended in a split second.  I think it is crucial to remember that no matter how hard life seems to be, and no matter how angry you might be at someone, there is always someone else who is worse off than you are.  Life is definitely precious yet extremely fragile.  I for one will make more of a conscious effort to appreciate my life more and love both the good and the bad.

Make sure your life is fulfilled each day, and don’t wait until your older to be happy and enjoy your life, for you never know how short life can actually be.  Forget about grudges, laugh a lot, and say I love you each day to the people you care most about.

Beating the “Finals Blues”

It’s that time of year again…

The dark and gloomy weather, the empty bars deprived of attention, the Starbucks’ that run out of coffee, the overcrowded 24 hour libraries, and the purely delusional students who are either sitting in a corner crying or sleeping in their books.  That’s right people it is the end of FINALS WEEK!

finals

This is a perfectly accurate depiction

 

For some people, finals aren’t a big deal and therefore continue to carry on life as usual…

finals1

 

But for most of the students at my school, including myself, finals are both a trying and detrimental time of our lives.

finals2

 

Never before have I seen people do the strangest things, and think the most obscure thoughts then during finals week.  Clearly this delusion we all experience takes a toll on us and we treat ourselves horribly when, we in fact should be doing the opposite in this crucial time.

Finals are important, for they push us to the very edge and teach us many things.  For example, they cause some people to realize they hate their current major, while on the other hand they can motivate people to want to learn even more.  In my case, they caused me to have a severe case of paranoia, yet motivated me to become further involved with activities involving my major…aka cancer research.

Finals week has an act for bringing out the worst in people.  We treat our bodies horribly by getting only 2-4 hours of sleep a night, we drink way too much caffeine, we eat only 1-2 meals a day which consist of something fattening and fast to eat, and we are basically immobile for a week or two.

After doing this to myself this semester I decided that I will never do that again, and change my ways.  I think that with a few simple changes, we can get rid of, or at least reduce our “finals blues.”

  • All three meals should be eaten each day, and they should have nutritional consistence.  It only takes about 10-15 min. to cook a meal, and it is not worth it to spend extra money and spare your health just to save you a few more minutes of studying time.
  • Make a promise to yourself that you will get at least 6 hours of sleep each night.  Your brain and body need this sleep in order for you to be a successful test taker.
  • Listen to soothing music as you study.  I recommend instrumental piano or string quartet versions of your favorite songs.
  • DISABLE YOUR FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ACCOUNTS
  • Keep your body as active as possible, whether that means taking an hour of your day to exercise, or even taking a few laps around the library every half our or so.
  • Make realistic goals for each day of studying and make an organized schedule to get rid of unnecessary stress.
  • Try to see the big picture when things may not be going your way; While these finals are important, they are not the end of the world and believe it or not, life will go on regardless of what grades you get.

So congratulations to all who have completed their fall finals and to all a happy and well deserved winter break!

 

Turning the Big 20

On November 8th, I officially left my teenage years and turned 20…I am still trying to wrap my head around this.

For a while now I had been thinking about what it really means to be turning 20 years old, and I found out it’s actually a pretty big deal.  Aside from beating teenage pregnancy, entering your 20’s is a very scary time.  This is the decade that we graduate college, start our careers, buy a house, and even hopefully get married and start a family!  It’s insane to think how drastic my life will be changing in the next few years and it’s all because I turned 20.

In the weeks leading up to my birthday, I started to think of this and it obviously made me have a 1/5th life crisis.  While many others think 20 is still young, and despite the fact that I still look like I am 16, I AM SO OLD!  I keep thinking of where and how the time went by so fast and it is times like these that I am so grateful for my good memory because I can still remember sitting in time out in kindergarten as if it were yesterday.

Nevertheless, despite my anxiety I still managed to have one of the best birthdays yet and it’s all thanks to my amazing friends!

The day started with my friends bursting into my room early in the morning and without letting me fix my hair or put on any makeup, they blindfolded me, dressed me in ridiculous clothes and kidnapped me.  They loaded me into a car and drove around for an hour with many stops that consisted of a donut suddenly being shoved in my mouth and a cat shelter just to name a few.  Finally we came to a stop and I was allowed to take my blindfold off; we were at Bagels and Noodles and my friends treated me to a lovely brunch, while still wearing this ridiculous outfit.

Here was the finishing product…

I have no shame

That was only the morning… I came home to find my bedroom filled with balloons and streamers and of course a chocolate cake!  Later that night I was on my way to dinner with what I thought was only a few friends from my sorority and I walked into the restaurant only to find all of my friends waiting there at the table with presents and a cake!  It was such a great surprise and I had no idea they planned all of this.  The night continued where we all went on a super fun woodser and partied with bubba kegs, a bonfire, and a band.

All in all I had an incredible birthday and my friends went above and beyond!  It goes to show you that no matter how upset or anxious you might be about turning a certain age, as long as you have good friends to celebrate with, any age is a golden age.

So here’s to turning 20 and to an exciting and unpredictable 20 more!  🙂

Election Day

Today marks another monumental day in American history.  Putting aside all of the vicious political arguments, every single American who is eligible, should absolutely be voting in this election.  When you think about it on a personal level, one vote doesn’t seem like much of a contribution, in fact, elections are almost never decided by a matter of one vote.  If every single person thought this way though, these elections would not be as fair chance and there would be millions of people complaining about a man in charge that they did not help to elect.

I believe that this particular election is personally and emotionally affecting citizens of this country because both candidates could potentially change our nation drastically.  While both candidates are trying to please everyone, their beliefs could not be more opposing, and it is important for voters to be educated on these.  These decisions that our next president makes will be directly affecting YOU and your families.  As a young female college student entering the working world not to far from now, I am thinking about job opportunities, health care, energy conservation, if all of my friends are able to get married, and maybe how and when I want to have my own children.

I am not going to explain both platforms of this election, however I strongly encourage voters to be educated before making your decisions, as it takes a mere 10 minutes to research what each candidate plans to do if elected president.  Consider all aspects of how these changes will affect our country; think how they will affect yourself, your future children, your friends, minority groups, etc…

It is important to think of the big picture here.  Choose the person who will help this country to continue to move forward and make changes that will benefit and positively affect the millions of people who live in the US.   The president cannot implement policies himself, however vote for the person who will not give up and will be persistent in giving the people what they need.

After today, we will have a president, regardless of if he is the person you wanted or not.  The ONLY way to help shape this election is for you to vote.  One small vote really does count and we can all have a say in this together.