Dreams Can Come True: One Baby Step at a Time

For a class assignment, I had to have three sessions of career counseling with a classmate of mine. Going into the session, I did not know what to expect. In the beginning, I felt awkward. I blabbered on and on. By the end of the last session, I felt empowered. Why? Because my ‘counselor’ had pushed me to think of my career dreams and aspirations. It was amazing to see what I wanted to do on paper with the steps I need to take to get there. I am still in school, so I am not going to achieve my dreams tomorrow but I can take the steps to get there faster once I do graduate!

Career counseling can extremely helpful for many individuals. It is not strictly about ‘career’ but about the barriers a person is facing that is preventing them from reaching their goal(s).

Even though I felt a bit awkward about the sessions (because of my anxious babble), I left with a happy and contented feeling. I knew what I wanted to do and the steps I need to take to get there. AND, I now have a greater belief in my abilities to reach my goals. [STARS, HERE I COME!]

To get to know a bit more about me, here are a few of my dreams:

1) To help others dream and empower individuals to act beyond negative stereotypes.

2) To counsel and implement a support system including support groups for expecting moms who have been through trauma (specifically sexual abuse, domestic abuse, etc.)

I know that I am idealistic and all and have so many dreams that I hope to achieve. What are some of your dreams and what are the steps you are taking (or need to take) to get there?


Lessons I Learned From the Freshman Year of College

Lessons I Learned From the Freshman Year

Guest Post by: Sakshi Raina

Today I complete the first week of my sophomore year. Yes, it was STRESSFUL. Do I miss the freshman year of my college? To be honest, I have bittersweet memories attached to the last year but I have grown a bit wiser and mature. Here are a few things I learned and some tips for freshers:

1. No one cares who you were in school:

Maybe you would have been the topper of your school or perhaps the queen bee but no one really cares about it except you. You’re now a blank canvas and have the full control on how to paint the picture.

2. You’re going to lose your old friends:

Not all of your friends from school is going to enrol in the same college as yours and while you promised to stay in touch with them irrespective of the distance, you will lose touch and ultimately lose them. People come and people go and new people would arrive in your life and you would have someone to let all your secrets out at 3 am or just watching the stars shine up in the sky while contemplating life.

3. The friends you make in the beginning might not last till the end:

You’re going to meet a bunch of cool people in your first semester and this does not guarantee you that you’re still going to talk to them in the semesters to come. The college campus is huge and students are much more diverse and maintaining your social life can get tough.

4. You need different kind of friends:

I have my batch friends, photography enthusiasts friends, literature lover friends, 4 am friends, roommate friends, class and/or hostel acquaintances and I have realized that you need all of them to survive. Everyone has different priorities and schedules and having a large network of diverse people to connect with can be helpful. Psttt.. sometimes even overwhelming.

5. Not everyone will like you and that is okay:

You just CANNOT please everybody. There would be times when you will offend someone by refusing an invitation but only you know how tired you get by the end of the week. There would be girls who would envy you and guys who would backbite about you just because you did turned down his romantic proposal. It’s okay. At the end of the day, the one person whom you should really like is yourself. The real friendships would find their way into your life despite all the obstacles.

6. You have to learn to do your chores on your own:

Your dad is not here to wake you up early for your classes nor your mom is here who is going to take care of you while you’re sick. No one will bother to care about how well you’re doing or simply if you’re fine or not. So stop being a princess and take responsibility of your own life.

7. Study hard and go to classes:

I have missed so many classes in the first year due to my damn too many extra circular activities. While it is good to get some professional and life experiences, not working smart enough can really affect your grades. I met so many people, got involved in so many activities that I made studying my last priority and I suffered. So involve in such things only if you can juggle your social life, work, studies and your peace of mind all at the same time.

8. You will feel homesick and lost:

Living miles away from home and out of your comfort zone where there is no one to guide you, at some point of time you will feel lost and homesick. You will miss the delicious meal cooked by your mum and bear hugs from dad and also wet kisses from your dog and it is okay. You’re not alone. Everyone goes through this. Call your parents, let them know how grateful you’re to have them, take a break and get back to action.

9. You will wait for weekends but not for partying:

College life seems so interesting and exciting on the big screen with parties every weekend, hooking up with some random guy on the street but welcome to real life baby. I wait for weekends because I get so exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally by the end of the week that I need a break. Most of my Sundays are spent by waking up at noon, giving myself some me time, binge eat pizzas and chocolates and reflect on the week gone by.

10. Your body and mind health is so important:

Nothing can be at peace if you aren’t at peace with yourself. Start taking care of yourself. Have meals on time. Don’t drink caffeine at the night of an exam. Don’t pull all-nighters. Just take care of yourself and do everything in your power to keep yourself happy.

The transition from high school to college is huge. You realize that the world is a cruel place to be in and humans are the worst enemies of humans. Once you step out in the real world, challenges doesn’t stop coming in but it would make you better each day. The speed of your maturity will increase at a faster rate and looking back you will be a different person that what you were when you first entered college.

Gear up, these days will pass sooner than you think. One year down. Three more to go. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride!

About the Author: Sakshi Raina is a perfectly imperfect person who is comfortable under her own skin. An engineer in progress, writing is her escape from reality. She is in love with books, coffee and you would generally find her spending time in nature. She blogs at Capturing Sunshine (http://imcapturingsunshine.blogspot.in ) and rants at (http://twitter.com/capturesunshyne) .

5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Busy While You Do Schoolwork

5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Busy While You Do Schoolwork

By: Christine Cox from http://www.ChoosyKids.com

I can remember when my mom was going to nursing school. I was around 4 and wanted to go to school like mom soooo bad! I am not that old, but my mom had to use a typewriter to type up her papers and as some of you may recall, there is not a delete/backspace on a typewriter! There is also not a save function so that meant whenever she was finished with a paper, there was no going back to add in a comma unless she wanted to type it all again.

I tell you all of this because I remember sitting at the kitchen table with her while she would type. I had a pile of coloring books in front of me, crayons out the wazoo, lined paper and pencils, and books to study from like mom was doing.

I can’t imagine being so good while she did all of her schoolwork. Although, there was that time I colored on her finished paper and she said screw it and gave it to her teacher that way (it was for a childhood class anyways so the teacher was super understanding about it).

I give props to all of you moms out there who go to school while doing the mom thing too. It wouldn’t be easy. But I am here to offer up some tips to keep those little ones busy while you type your papers on the COMPUTER (oooo ahhhhh!)

  • Television – I know you are thinking DUH! But let’s talk about something that is going to keep your children’s attention and get them moving! Choosy Kids has music and DVDs (yes, you can play the CD in your DVD player) that will get your children dancing, laughing and learning on their own. Choosy is a colorful, active and fun character that helps your children to learn about health, nutrition and movement.
  • Gymnastic Mats – I wish I would’ve had one of these when I was little. We just rolled on the floor. These mats are colorful and can stand up or lay down. They make awesome tents or just nice mats to lay on. My 2 year old will jump and flip around on this mat forever (or like 5 minutes in real time). But we all know how precious those 5 minutes can be.
  • Playdough – “I like it!” says my 2 year old as she puts a piece of it in her mouth. The store bought playdough isn’t meant for eating, but check out page 27 of the linked PDF for some easy recipes that you can make that are edible so you don’t have to keep both eyes on your children while they dough. Just FYI – not all of the dough recipes are edible!
  • A Pool of Balls – How many balls do you have laying around the house? I have a million! Think of this like the ball pit at Chuck’E’Cheese but with the plastic or blow up pool from summer and all of the balls you have. If you children are young enough, you could also ask them what kind of balls are in the pool and what other balls they can name. Share your ball pit experience with Choosy Kids!
  • Write a Letter – Letter writing is getting to be as ancient as the typewriter. Getting mail is really exciting at my house though and some days we even meet the mail lady at the mailbox. Have your children sit at the table with you and write a letter to their favorite character. Can’t write yet? That’s OK! Color a picture instead. Show your children a picture of a character and have them draw it on their own. Choosy loves to get mail and we would love to see some of your children’s Choosy drawings. Send us your children’s art to: 3160 Collins Ferry Road
    Morgantown, WV 26505. You never know what Choosy will send back!

I hope these tips provide you with some new ideas to keep your children out of your hair while you try to concentrate on school. I wish you the best on your journey!

Christine Cox Choosy Kids Dysfunctionally NormalAbout the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master for Choosy Kids. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy. You can learn more about Christine here.

Laughing Attacks and Tension Release

Stress Relief

Guest Post by A.S.

(Contact me if you would like to share some of your thoughts and writings!)

~Disclaimer: This professor is amazing, loves her students, and loves what she teaches. I just felt unprepared and got drawn in to the excessive anxiety of my classmates.~

Feeling superbly Dysfunctionally Normal today and it has to do with involuntary tension release! Sounds strange, read on…

I have studied for the past month for a midterm exam that my professor told us would be a regurgitation test: meaning—> be able to recall almost everything on the 40+ pages of the review sheets for the exam. (The study guides were amazing, but I was not prepared for this type of exam). There were no multiple choice questions. It was Essays, Essays, and Essays, and a few short answer question. The professor told us that we would not need the entire 2.5 hours to take the test but was giving it to us just to calm our nerves. So, because she psyched us up so much about this horrendous exam, my nerves started building up tension to prepare me for the worst.

Nerves like this do not help. Not at all. They make things worse. I could not think. I tried so hard to stuff all that information into my brain, but after a while my brain would tell me that it had had enough. Getting the gist…ya not fun at all!

Coming from a community college type undergrad did not prepare me for Graduate School one bit. At times, I felt like I was the dumbest student. After this test, I felt so much better. I felt normalized. I saw that I was not the only one unprepared and overly anxious. But, I did it, and I feel great! I may not have gotten a high grade but I knew more than fifty percent of the material. I feel great because I tried my best and now I know how to better prepare for the next exam and I am super excited for the challenge.

And NO, I do not think that it will be a super anxiety provoking repeat of the first one. There is a smile on my face right now because I know that “I CAN DO IT!”

I will succeed! What resources do you need in order to get through super anxiety provoking situations in order to succeed?

The Dysfunctionally Normal Dictionary: Making Words Up

Dysfunctionally Normal Dictionary

I know I am not the only one to make words up. It is super fun. I probably can fill a page with my words. The problem, some of them I don’t think that I could explain in words!

I have noticed that I add itis to my words often. For example, if I were describing my day, I would tell you about my bad hair day and my horrible pimplitis that I had to cake makeup onto. Ya pimplitis is basically pimples (most probably one or two but of course when we see one, many times it feels just as bad as a face-full). Another itis example is tummytitis. My daughter seems to get tummytitis when she eats dairy. It does not seem to effect her during the day, ONLY at night! She is in pain with a tender stomach, without gas (or gashous substanses).

What are your made up words? I would love to hear them! We can add them all to the Dysfunctionally Normal Dictionary!

Why can’t we make up words? There is nothing wrong with that but to viralize them…that is another story. How ’bout let’s go on a mission to viralize our favorite made up words! Tweet em, Pin em, all the words. Social Media, here we come!

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