Surviving College When You’re Sick.

So you’ve caught the dreaded “common cold.” 😷 Being sick in general sucks, but being sick in college, where your mom can’t pull you out of class or make you chicken noodle soup is quite possibly the worst. Especially if attendance effects your grade. During my entire first semester of college I was blessed to not catch any of the illnesses that were spreading threw out campus, however this semester I have already caught that achy, stuffy cold where your this mix of too hot and too cold all. the. time. There are a few tips I can give you for surviving any bout of illness you may fall into.

  1. Healthy eating is vital. 🍎🍊🍌🍓As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  2. Drink chicken broth. 🐔 I don’t currently have any 😞 but if I did I would be having that all the freaking time. Did you know theirs actually something in chicken broth that helps to prevent and combat the flu? Cool right!
  3. Drink tea and water! 💧☕️ Water is great to keep you hydrated, and tea is great when you’re sick of the tasteless, clear liquid known as water.
  4. Relax! Overworking yourself when you’re body is fighting an illness is never a good idea. Netflix and chill with yourself. Take some you time and bing watch your favorite show, don’t push yourself beyond your limits. The more stress you put on yourself the longer it will take you to get better.
  5. Take meds if needed. 💊 I’m one of those people that likes to not take medicine and complain about how miserable I am. However, in the past few years I’ve begun to break down and take meds because it make myself and everyone I’m around happier.

This is how I have been surviving my first time being sick without my mother around, I hope you find these tips to be useful and am sending you all healthy vibes.

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I’m A Coffee Addict

There, I said it, but they say the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem… except I don’t think it’s a problem, and I most certanly do not want to recover from my coffee addiction if I am, in fact, addicted.

I suppose I was doomed to fall in love with this tiny, magical bean given the family history I have. From as far back as I can remember coffee was something you woke up to and enjoyed in the midafternoon when you took a break from what ever it is you’ve been doing so that you could reconect with family and/or friends. Coffee was, and is, something that brings people together. An excuse to reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in a while, or to regularly meet with a good friend. Coffee is also one of those things that is great paired with a good book, tv show, or movie, and it’s fantastic when paired witih early morning or late night study sessions. I can not tell you how greatful I was for coffee this past semester.

Putting all of the above aside, coffee also has some great health benafits. Here are just a few:

  1. Coffee contains a lot of important vitamins and minirals.
  2. Studies have shown that coffee lowers the risk of type II diabeties.
  3. Studies also show that coffee protects against Alzheimers and Dementia, as well as lowers the risk of Parkinsons.
  4. And finally, coffee can fight depression.

These are just a few of the awesome health benefits of coffee. Thanks to Authority Nutrition for this awesome list, follow the link to find out more.

How I Made The Deans List as a Freshman

Did you know that most college freshman actually lower their GPA during their first semester? Yeah, they stressed this during my orientation weekend so that we would all strive for good grades. When I heard this I vowed to myself that I would not lower my GPA, and in fact, I would raise it. So here’s how I not only maintained my GPA from high school, but actually raised it and made the deans list in my first semester of my freshman year.

  1. I Studied. A lot. It’s not just about studying though, it’s how you study. It’s important to study the right way otherwise it’s just gonna be a lot of wasted time. It’s important to put away all distractions (silence your phone and do not watch Netflix) and find a way to motivate yourself. Maybe reward yourself with some candy when you make it threw a certain number of pages or questions. Or you could mark where you are and where you need to be.
  2. Make healthy choices! There are four healthy choices you need to make. 1. Get good sleep. 2. Eat! Yes, eat. I’ve made the mistake of skipping breakfast and then not being able to eat for 5 hours because I had back to back classes. It’s a lot harder to concentrate when your hungry. 3. Eat healthy foods. You need to eat, but you need to eat healthy food. 4. Exercise! Going for a run/walk or joining a group exercise class like yoga or kickboxing can help you blow off steam and/or relax.
  3. Take. A. Break. It’s important to make a little “me time” for yourself. Studying 24/7 without any breaks can burn you out and make the studying less effective. 
  4. Have goals and strive for them! Setting goals for yourself is a great way to keep motivated. At the beginning of the semester I set a goal of making the deans list. In order to do that I needed to get a 3.5 GPA. I finished the semester with a 3.6 GPA. 
  5. Keep track of your grades.

Some of these things may not seem like they’re related to studying, (like the “healthy choices” section) but they are. But I think the most important thing for you to remember is that you are not a number. Yes, grades are important, but if you don’t get an A in your hardest class you are not a failure. Even if you don’t get an A in your easiest class, you area till not a failure. Good luck you guys, and I hope your semester goes well!

My DCP Application Process So Far…

Disney College Program applications dropped just two days ago on the 23rd of January. How exciting is this? Now that they’ve dropped and I’ve actually, physically began the application process I’m going to begin documenting it here so you guys can get some sort of idea as to how the process works so that you aren’t going into it blind whe/if you apply. This post is an overview of everything that’s happened since I applied.

I personally have read many blog posts and watched plenty of videos about the application process and many of them have me some insight o was really grateful for. One thing they told me was that Disney email survive can run a bit behind, which is understandable because they’re probably reviving and sending more emails Ina day then most people do in a lifetime, but this means that they may send out the notification email that the apps are open several days after the fact. If you’re hoping to be one of the first people to submit an app then your going to want to kee and eye out on there Facebook page, which is much more timely with app updates, and the website itself. I found out the day apps dropped threw there Facebook site, and didn’t recover the email until the next day. I know one day doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the sooner you apply the better your chances are of getting in.

I found out about the apps around 12 pm during my one and only break between classes. Rather than rushing to fill out the application I wrote a reminder in a notebook and filled it out when I get back to my dorm that evening. The application itself  didn’t take that long at all and was not at all complicated. Several CP alumni have said that they received an invitation to take the web based interview with an hour of submitting their application, so for the next hour I was sitting on pins and needles hoping to receive an email, and about an hour late I did. Of course at that time I was in the middle of homework, so I decided to brew some coffee, finish my homework, and take the web based interview, because their was no way I was sleeping knowing that I could take it. Immediately following your completion of the interview your are brought to one of two pages one says “you have been selected for a phone interview” and the the days “thank you for applying, but you are not a good fit at this time” or doe thing like that. I was invited to take a phone interview and have scheduled mine for Sunday at 2pm. I’ll post more detailed posts about the individual steps in the application process later, and will update you all on the phone interview next week. On a side not, I may be adding a video aspect to my blog, maybe a once a week video post? I’m not sure yet, but keep an eye our! Have a good week guys and keep chasing your dreams.

What’s In My Backpack?

What’s in your backpack? A better question yet, what should be in your back pack? The obvious answers is your textbooks, but I would argue that their’s a few other things you should have stowed away in that backpack of yours.

  1. A planner and small notebook for reminders. Did you pass by a flyer for the talent show on Friday? Pencil it into your calandra. Did your professor give a tip for a summer job opera unity? Write the info down in that handy little notebook you have with you. 😉
  2. Note taking supplies. You should have notebooks for your classes, pens, highlighters, pencils, an eraser and an eraser. Also! You should have a mini stapler. Some professors will ask for paper copies of reports or homework. If have a mini stapler you won’t have to panic when you go to turn in your papers and realize you forgot!
  3. Think about your health! It’s a good idea to bring a small container of hand sanitizer, Chapstick, cough drops, and tissues. A water bottle and ibuprofen are two other things that I would recommend. 
  4. Finally I would suggest some headphones and a tablet if you have one. Your phone or laptop work as well but a tablet is a better size than your phone screen and a better weight than your laptop. The tablet is great because it allows you to check on your school email and class updates while you’re away from your laptop and the headphone are just, you know, good for telling people you’re not interested in small talk.

So there you have it. These are the things I keep in my backpack other than my textbooks, and I would strongly recommend you keep them in your too.

Peanut Butter Power Balls

So my sister made these amazing peanut butter power balls and I just had to share them with the world.
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So first things first you’re gonna need to grab a couple of things out of your pantry.
You’ll need:

  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
  • and 1 and 1/2 Oats
    (You can switch out the half cup Oats for a half cup of unsweatened coconut. If you happen to have a sweet tooth like I do you can also add up to a half cup of chocolate chips.)

Once you have all your ingredience out of the pantry and onto the counter/table/where ever it is you make your food. You’re gonna want to have a large bowl that you can dump it all in to, because that is the next step. Youre gonna dump everything into one bowl in no specific order and mix it together until it’s all evenly combined. Then you’ll want to shape them into balls and chill them in your fridge.

These power balls are so fun because you can mix in so many different things. I’ve sone plane peanut butter, peanut butter and coconut, peanut butter and chocolate chips, peanut butter with coconut and chocoalte chips. You could mix in craisins and white chocoalte, or you could use almond or cashew butter. It’s really up to you. They’re also filling in a healthy way. When im running late for work and don’t have time to grab breakfast I’ll grab two power balls and a piece of fruit and I’m set until lunch.

I hope you enjoy these power balls as much as I do. Let me know what unique ingredient(s) you added to yours!

What Is Acting Anyways?

First I want to dig into the actual word “acting” because I strongly believe that words are intricate masterpieces. If one takes the time to study them they explain themselves. Let’s take our knowledge of the English language and find out what we can about acting from the word itself. If we dissect the word into syllables we see that it has two, act- and -ing. The first syllable, act-, tells us what kind of word it is. The second syllable, or suffix, -ing, tells us the tense. We can see here that this is a verb in the present tense. Verbs are action word, which means that they describe an action that has, is, or will take place. When I think of an action I usually picture someone doing something or moving in some way. It could be simple, like breathing, or complex, such as a summersault. The body is moving, muscles are contracting, and an action is taking place. So based on the previous text we can assume quite confidently that acting involves motion or movement.

Clearly what I just described is a very technical approach to the question, “What is acting?” however acting is not all technical, nor is it quite as simple as carrying out an action. It may also be emotional. The reasons behind the actions and the emotions being conveyed threw the actions are what make it acting. Sure there are different acting techniques, and yes there is often a script, but these are merely the building blocks actors use to create their characters and scenes.

Another extremely important part of acting is imagination. Acting is like one giant game of make-believe, and based on this definition no one acts more than children. A little girl might take on the role of a mother, changing her baby dolls diapers and cooking food on her play kitchen stove. When her mother comes in and attempts to address the situation as a childish game the girl might protest, “Quiet mommy, my baby is sleeping!” The mother, then understanding that her little girl is no longer a little girl but a mother herself, may ask, “May I hold your baby?” This simple act of playing along will nurture her daughter’s imagination and acting skills as she rocks the doll in her arms as carefully as she would a real baby.

The fact that actors are paid for spending hours on end playing make-believe is often one of the draws for adults looking into acting as a profession. However, once you have reached this point, it becomes a much more sophisticated game of make-believe. An actor will spend hours rehearsing a part so that they are sure to hit every note, remember every line, and not miss a single cue. They will also take time to strengthen their ability to empty themselves of their own thoughts, opinions and knowledge and allow the character to truly possess their entire being. Every action they make, every thought they have is based on the knowledge and mannerisms of the character they are portraying. Say you are cast as Belle by the Walt Disney Company. When you put on your costume and you walk on stage you are no longer yourself, you are Belle. You are in love with The Beast and you have a talking candlestick and clock for friends. You know nothing of the world outside of the classic fairy tale. You do not own a cell phone and you did not grow up with air conditioning, you deal with the heat and when you need to communicate with someone you do it in person or you write a letter. When someone asks you to take a selfie you cannot delve into your personal database of knowledge but must consider, does Belle know what a selfie is, and answer accordingly.

Of course, before an actor can get to the point of actually being cast they must first go through the audition process. How does an actor prepare for an audition? There are a few things an actor might do. They might read over the script for the show they are auditioning for, if it is available to them. If it is not they may at least look for a synopsis of the show so that they have a basic feel for what type of show it is. Is it a comedy, a drama, is their singing or dancing at any point? This will help those auditioning to pick appropriate musical pieces or monologs for their audition. They may also familiarize themselves with the casting director. If they know what his or her pet peeves are they can make an extra effort to avoid any during their audition.  Of course, practice is probably the most important thing an actor will be doing before an audition because, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

To sum it all up, acting is the professional form of playing make-believe. Some people play pretend and become the very thing they pretended to be as a child. A man may have spent his childhood running around with a plastic fireman’s hat on his head and a loaded squirt gun in his hand only to grow up to be a fireman. A little girl may have spent her afternoons in the kitchen cooking up new concoctions, pretending she was on a cooking show and that her mother was the judge, only to own her own restaurant later on in life. Actors don’t become what they pretended to be as other children do, rather they fall in love with the game itself and refuse to stop playing.

Jekyl and Hyde Review

Personally I feel that the musical Jekyll and Hyde has such a powerful message that it is primarily meant to probe the human condition and cause the audience to think, rather than to entertain or provide an escape. However, if something is not entertaining enough it will not have an audience; and without an audience, there is no one to give the message to.

As stated previously, I don’t believe that the musicals primary goal was to entertain the audience, although it most certainly did. I want to make note that many of the more entertaining moments took place near the beginning of the musical. I believe this is because as we made our way deeper into the plot, the tone of the musical became more serious, driving the moral issues deeper and more permanently into the audiences minds.

Two moment’s I found particularly entertaining took place at Ms. Carew and Dr. Jekyll’s engagement party. Ms. Carew make’s a sarcastic comment towards Lady Beaconsfield, saying that, “Comments on style should never be made by those who have none.” This is in response to Lady Beaconsfield’s comment on how it is not fashionable for one to be late to their own engagement party, referring to Dr. Jekyll’s tardiness. Later that same evening, after Dr. Jekyll has finally arrived, there is a comical exchange made between the couple. Dr. Jekyll jokingly says that he tries not to miss any social gathering that Lady Beaconsfield is attending, and then asks if

Ms. Carew knows if there is a Mr. Beaconsfield. Ms. Carew plays a long and tells him that there is no longer a Mr. Beaconsfield, for he died 30 years prior. Dr. Jekyll declares him to have been a sensible fellow.

Moments such as the ones I have described allow us to see into the personalities of the characters, making them more realistic to the audience, and there for easier to relate to and connect with. I believe that this ability to connect with the characters as realistic human beings is one of the ways a production can be entertaining.

Another element of the musical that I felt was particularly entertaining was the music. While many of the songs had deep messages that often hit on some element of the human condition they were also very entertaining because they were so captivating. You couldn’t help but listen and watch as the actors and actresses sang about pain, sadness, selfishness, etc. One song in particular that I think is particularly captivating is the song “This Is the Moment.” While Dr. Jekyll may not have made the right decision when he sings this song, choosing to experiment on himself and not thinking of how his actions might effect others, you can not help but see where he is coming from and also be filled with the same sense of determination and excitement that he is feeling.

Their was so much in this show that probed the human condition. With in the first thirty minutes I had picked out at least six things. Since the goal is not to write an entire paper on how this show probed the human condition I’m just going to go over the points that stuck out to me the most.

First of, there’s this song they sing called “Façade” and the whole thing is great, but there are two lines in particular that stood out to me. One says, “Each man you meet on the street isn’t one man, but two.” The song talks about all the ways people lie about who they are, what they want, and why they do what they do. The other line that stood out to me says, “There are preachers who kill, there are killers who preach. There are teachers who lie, there are liars who teach. Take yer pick dear, ’cause it’s all a façade!” The song really makes you think about the people you know, and yourself. Who are you? Who are those you call your friends? Are you putting on the mask society has deemed you should wear in order to appease others?

Another line that stuck out to me is a line said my Dr. Jekyll during the scene in which he is proposing his experiment to the Hospital Board of Governors. He says, “The only thing constant is change.” This one line triggered my brain to recall the last few months in which I’ve been at school, and all of the change that had occurred in that short span of time. Then I was thinking about the past year, and then I thought even further back to my high school graduation which took place nearly two years ago, and I realized that I am no where near the same person I was when I graduated from high school, and I expect that in some ways I wont be the same person I am today when I graduate from college. Dr. Jekyll is right, in many ways the only thing constant is change. His point being that we need not fear change, for we have gone threw it many times before, and we will go threw it many times again. Change can lead to some of the greatest discoveries, and this is what Dr. Jekyll is hoping achieve.

Later in the same scene Dr. Jekyll implies a question. Is it better to sacrifice one man by means of experimentation in order to save many suffering members of the society, or to allow many to suffer in order to spare one man? This question has been asked many times for various reasons throughout history. Sometimes man has decided one way, and other times he has gone the other. I don’t know that I personally have the answer to this question, but the musical Jekyll and Hyde has definitely made me think more about it.

The musical Jekyll and Hyde has some gorgeous music. Songs like “Some One Like You” and “In His Eyes” captivate the audience and pull them into the dramatic love triangle that ensnares the characters Dr. Jekyll, Emma Carew, and Lucy. Not only were Andrea Rivette’s (Emma Carew) and Coleen Sexton’s (Lucy) vocal’s breathtakingly beautiful, but the orchestration was equally stunning.

Another moment in the musical that was mesmerizing to watch was the song “Confrontation.” To start off Jekyll is singing a reprise of the song he sang to his father at the beginning of the musical, only this time he is singing it to a portrait of is father, and I personally feel that he is connecting to his father now on a deeper level because in many ways he is trapped in the same darkness that his father is trapped in. After he finishes the reprise “Confrontation” begins and he is essentially singing a duet with his evil self, Mr. Hyde. It’s amazing what the costume designer was able to do to help the audience see that it was both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde singing the song.

This is another area in which I think this particular musical was heavily saturated with content. The three lines that stood out to me the most all took place with in a short period of time.

During the scene in which Dr. Jekyll is proposing his experiment to the Hospital Board of Governors he asks them, “How can we call ourselves civilized if we’re not prepared to help him,

and ever reached soul like him?” This is in reference to a mental patient at the hospital. It’s an excellent question. We have science and medication that we claim to use to help people and for the betterment of society, so how can we call ourselves civilized if we are not willing to use that which makes us civilized in a way that can help those that need it?

The other two lines that stood out to me happen later in that same scene and are both said by members of the Hospital Board in response to Dr. Jekyll. The first is, “Can you change what God has set in motion?” And the second is, “What makes you think you have the right to play God?” Questions such as these can have an avalanche effect, and often times the answers only raise more questions.

The first question, “Can you change what God has set in motion?” is asked by one of the Governors. Well, can you? If you believe there is a God wouldn’t the God of the universe be all powerful? He would most certainly have to be more powerful than we humans, otherwise we would also be gods. So even if he isn’t all powerful, he must be more powerful, but if he is more powerful then can we possibly change what he has already decided is to occur? I should think not since we are not as powerful as he is.

Then there’s the other question, “What makes you think you have the right to play God?” This question is one that many Christians will ask themselves or their Christian friends as a means of checking their attitudes about certain things in their lives, however it is generally asked in a nicer way then it is asked in the context of this scene. It’s essentially the equivalent of a classmate asking me what gives me the right to play professor after I have just told them how unfair I think the grading is and how I would have given someone, possibly myself, a better grade then they had received. What on earth would give me the right to do that when I, as the student, am clearly not qualified to do so? It is the same with the Governors question. A human being, no matter how intelligent or moral they may be, will never be at a point where they are qualified to play God.

In conclusion the primary goal of the musical Jekyll and Hyde is clearly to probe the human condition and cause the audience to think, however it still succeeds at being an entertaining piece of theatre. I never thought I would find a musical that would touch my heart the way Les Misérables did, but Jekyll and Hyde has proven me wrong.

Preparing for College as a Christian

There are a few things one can do as a Christian to prepare themselves before entering into the lion’s den that is more popularly known as college.

  1. Find a study geared towards christian college student and read threw it with a friend who is also going into college, or read threw it with a friend who’s already been threw a year or two. I read threw How to Stay Christian in College with my friend during our senior year of high school. It’s a fantastic book that is well written and extremely encouraging.
  2. Work at a Christian Summer Camp. Doesn’t matter what your position is your summer will be filled with Christ. After spending a summer surrounded by the people of God and receiving his word on a daily bases you will have created a firm foundation of faith that you can continue to build upon in your personal life and threw various christian organizations on your college campus. For anyone living in the midwest I would suggest working at Camp Fairwood. Applications can be found here.
  3. Make devos a part of your daily routine. If devos aren’t already a part of your daily routine now is the time to make that happen. Before the late nights studying, before the morning where you barley get up in time for class, make it a priority now, before you feel like you don’t have time. Make time now, so that later they aren’t something you need to make time for, rather make them something you look forward to.

I hope this helps you as you prepare for your freshman year of college, or as you get ready to return as an upperclassman or graduate student. How have you prepared you heart for college?