Greetings from the airport! The time has finally come for me to head off to college!
In just 4 days, I’ll be on a plane headed to New Hampshire! My days are getting crazier and more jam-packed as I get closer to leaving for college. There’s so much to do and stress about that my last week seems to be flying by.
Despite how fast the days seem to be counting down, I took some time out for reflection. This summer has been spent gaining a sense of self and practicing solitude. I thought there was no better way to sum up my summer and start focusing on the future by coming up with some goals for freshman year.
Time seems to be both flying by and moving at a snail pace.
I start college in less than 30 days, and that thought brings on a whirlwind of emotions–fear, excitement, hope, apprehension.
I’m not a planner by nature. I prefer to live life a little bit more on a whim. But, there was so much build-up of excitement for college that I had already started picking my dorm’s color palette a week after my acceptance letter came in. I was focused on college all through Senior year. This summer, I spent most of my time watching college vlogs and drinking up every article I could about surviving freshman year.
Somehow, I still feel wildly unprepared.
Thoughts and questions run rampant in my mind, and this is where time seems to be doing all too much and nothing at all. On one hand, I just want to go to college already. “Less than 30 days” still feels way too long, especially when I spend my days overanalyzing and making up scenarios in my head. There’s so much unknown about what to expect in college. I can’t ever know the answers until I finally get there.
“Less than 30 days” also feels entirely too short. I don’t feel quite ready for this new journey. I think I was eager to do all my “growing” this summer before I stepped foot on campus so I didn’t have to experience those infamous freshman year blunders.
I wanted to arrive already socially adept, charming my way through the social scene and finally feeling like I belonged somewhere. I wanted to have a mind that was already developed so I didn’t have to struggle my way through classes. I worry all the time that my affinity for non-challenging and fluffy young-adult books have put me steps behind my peers academically. I wanted to throw away my whole closet. Irrationally, I believed if I didn’t have a wardrobe made up of J.Crew and Vineyard Vines, nobody would respect my place in the Ivy League.
In a moment of clarity, I realized that all the fear and unnecessary expectations I’ve put on myself this summer is bullshit.
I’m here for adventure, not for a perfect path. The blunders will come, but more importantly, the successes will come too. My mom keeps reminding me that my happiness is inside me. I don’t need the perfect condition or the perfect environment to find peace within myself.
Where I’m going may not meet all of my lofty expectations, and that’s okay. I may not meet my own expectations, and that’s okay too. It’s how I handle these challenges that will really make or break my experience in college. I know that I’m in for the best 4 years of my life because it’s entirely up to me. I’m choosing not to worry anymore.
No, I’m not prepared for college because I can’t tell the future, but I am prepared to stop fearing the unknown and to face whatever is coming.
I can’t wait for the adventure I’m about to go on, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
You might have noticed that I have a new look! I changed my theme to something a little more functional and a little more me. My color palette is now navy blue, pink, and grey, and I’m totally feeling the preppy vibe! I think it’s perfect considering I’ll be moving up to the East Coast, a.k.a Prep Central.
I have also decided to discontinue newsletters for a little while and see how I like it. Anything that I’d share within the newsletters will now be on Macarons in the Morning! Normally, I’d write a more personal post like this one in the email. But, I think it’s much better to create our little community openly and I look forward to talking to you guys more on here. If you want to keep up with my posts, I suggest following me on Bloglovin or Twitter, where I let you guys know as soon as I hit publish!
Thanks for all your support lovelies, I hope you like my new look!
“What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.” -Ellen Burstyn
Our generation is filled with people who are so afraid of being alone. It’s filled with people who don’t know how to be alone. We often think that solitude equates to loneliness, which is far from the truth.
In high school, I was scared of being alone too. In an environment that celebrates extroversion and deeply misconstrues the opposite, I struggled with my own introverted tendencies. I thought there was something wrong with me when I preferred to go home and read a book while my friends were going out and seemingly making the most of their high school lives.
I quickly learned that my time spent alone was putting me miles ahead of my peers. I gained wisdom and an understanding of myself and the world around me that was noticeable to others. Solitude gave me the opportunity to think, reason, and discover myself in ways that couldn’t be possible if I was constantly interacting with people. This doesn’t mean that I never go out and never socialize– it just means that I value alone-time and thrive during these periods.
There are so many benefits that come with being alone. Even if you’re an extrovert who may not need alone-time to recharge, learning how to spend time with yourself can improve your relationship with yourself and others. I’m here to teach you how alone-time can ultimately help you, and how to embrace it without fear.
Here’s the thing, if you’re sitting in your bedroom or house alone, you have nobody to socialize with except your conscience. You can finally hear yourself think, and for some, this is scary. You learn who you really are when all of those external influences fall away.
Being alone forces you to accept yourself, quirks and all, because everyone wants to enjoy their company.
It won’t happen immediately, but the more you get to spend time with yourself, the more you’ll become comfortable in your own skin. Your worst critic is yourself, and if you can please that one, your confidence will skyrocket. As a result, people will gravitate more to you simply because of your positive demeanor.
The nights in high school that I spent alone, I became more and more me. I learned what being an introvert meant and that it was okay to be one. I dove headfirst into creative adventures, and I was amazed by the many talents and strengths that presented themselves to me. I’m much more confident in my abilities. I love hanging out with myself because my own thoughts and revelations make me a very entertaining companion.
When you learn to appreciate yourself, the self that comes from the inside and isn’t influenced by your peers, you have won life.
There is nothing you can’t do when you reach a deep level of self-awareness and allow it to manifest externally.
This is important especially if you’re going into college for the first time. I expanded on the significance of self-awareness and how it relates to your next 4 years of college here.
Fact: You will never be lonely if you know how to be alone.
I have lots of friends who can’t stand being by themselves for more than a few hours. If they are, they feel friendless and become miserable.
This kind of lifestyle isn’t sustainable. Unless you force your friends to abandon their lives and stay in a giant house with you, at some point or another you will be left alone.
If you know how to entertain yourself, you will never have to be reliant on others’ presence for your happiness again.
Friends are amazing to have and to be around, but they have their own stuff going on. They won’t always be accessible to you.
I stopped listening to the voice in my mind that told me I wasn’t a “normal” teenager if I wasn’t constantly surrounded by my peers.
I stopped feeling the need to fit in. I never succumbed to peer pressure because I wasn’t desperate for friendship.
This allowed me to form quality relationships instead of worrying about the quantity.
If you’re someone who is a serial dater (gets in relationships after just leaving one), or always needs social interaction to feel whole, I seriously recommend practicing being alone. You’ll be so much happier once you realize that you can be whole on your own.
Statistically, you work better alone. Without the judgement of your peers or social pressure to conform, you are likely to become more creative. You’re free to discover and try new things. And, if you mess up? No one is watching! Boredom breeds creativity, and when you’re alone, you will get bored. That’s when you really start to have fun. One day I was bored, so I started playing piano again. I drew cool stuff, I wrote, I started a blog.
I was able to tap into a reserve of creativity that I had no idea was hiding there.
“People who do a job that claims to be creative have to be alone to recharge their batteries. You can’t live 24 hours a day in the spotlight and remain creative. For people like me, solitude is a victory.” -Karl Lagerfeld
I also found myself becoming smarter. When you’re interacting with someone, you’re taking in so much information, but you don’t really get to process it. When I got time to myself, I could analyze and notice so much more about my surroundings.
You will gain a perspective that is like looking in on the world from the outside.
You’ll be able to make strong decisions and judgements from a logical standpoint rather than letting circumstances control you.
You’d be surprised how much your brain can do without the distraction of others’ presence and own ideas.
Now that you’re sold (hopefully), you’re probably wondering how you can maximize the benefits of your alone-time. I’m going to discuss some of the things I like to do when I’m alone. That being said, I encourage you to come up with your own activities and do things that you love because that’s the best way to grow.
Disclaimer: Don’t become a hermit. You do still need to go outside, and social interaction is important. Just to clarify.
Lately I’ve been interested in self-help and Philosophy books. I’ve started to stray away from fiction books because they can get repetitive especially in the Young Adult genre. Instead of switching between Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat every 3 seconds, I try (keyword being try) to pick up a book instead. Books are hands down better sources to build up your brain than social media. Find ones that will challenge you in some way (intellectually, emotionally, etc).
I am the master of starting new things and abandoning them. That’s okay, though. I still learn a lot in the process even if I don’t quite get to the end. Start projects, dive headfirst in them, and enjoy every moment. Find out what you love, and what you’re not so good at. You’ll discover and build your strengths here.
Let yourself get bored, then battle the boredom. I mean, come on. We have the world at our fingertips, you can learn anything, do anything, and be anything all by yourself. If you’re bored for more than an hour, you’re not doing life right. Social Tip: If you bore yourself you probably bore other people. So once you learn how to be interesting on your own, people will find you interesting too.
People often use their alone-time to simply chill out. This is an effective way to rebuild your energy and sense of balance. Watch Netflix, take a nap, have a luxurious bath, or journal. Take part in activities that center and calm you.
This is probably the scariest part of learning how to be alone. Going to events by yourself can make you feel a little awkward and a little self-conscious. You might think that everyone notices that you’re alone, but in reality nobody cares. Go to a movie or café by yourself. You might meet new people who you would otherwise have never gotten to talk to if your friends were around.
In a society thats full of people who fear themselves, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone. I challenge you to unabashedly become your best friend, to love who you are inside and out. Do something different. What is life worth if it’s spent doing what literally everyone else is doing? Remember, being alone is not lonely if you enjoy the company you’re with.
Cherish being alone, because that’s where you are truly free.
So, tell me: How do you like to spend time alone? Let me know in the comments!
Getting in shape and staying in shape can be difficult for your average, lazy girl. Am I the only one who doesn’t find waking up early in the morning to go to the gym appealing? Maybe, it’s just me, but I love my bed. I’m definitely a do-15-squats-and-sit-down-because-Grey’s-Anatomy-is-back-on type of gal. Can I get an amen?
Because of this oh so fabulous lifestyle, I’ve found a few hacks to getting in shape and becoming more confident in your own skin without having to leave the house, or even leave your room, for a long time.
Water Is Your New Best Friend
Keep water next to you at all times. And since you aren’t moving much, that shouldn’t be very hard. The power of water is seriously underrated. Not only does it clear your skin and balance the fluids in your body, it’s a very powerful dieting agent.
A lot of times when you’re craving those unhealthy snacks, you’re actually just thirsty. While water shouldn’t replace the very necessary meals in a day, try drinking a glass before reaching for that donut and see if you really need it afterwards.
Eat Like a Bird
A lot of people use this saying to describe someone who picks at their food. But this is being used in a very different way here. Birds are eating all the time, but in small amounts.
Be like a bird.
Why? Your body will not metabolize 3 large meals a day effectively if you aren’t doing anything, like heavy exercising, to help it along. But eating several small portions a day gives your body less to do at any given time, plus, you can eat more! You’ll stay full throughout the day, and will feel less urge to pig out at each meal.
Avoid Eating Out and Delivery
Home-cooked meals are 100% better and healthier than most fast food menu choices. There are far less ingredients involved that are harmful to your body, and you can see exactly what you’re putting in your mouth. Your home-cooked meals don’t have to be anything fancy, either. Staple meals like salads, sandwiches, and pasta can be dressed up and remixed easily with a change of ingredients.
Okay seriously, did you think this article was about getting killer abs in bed? Sorry to let you down, but you still have to do a little bit of work. You already spend 8 hours a day watching Buzzfeed videos on Youtube, why not mosey on over to a Blogilates video while you’re at it?
Now, let me tell you about my girl, Cassey, the owner of Blogilates. Cassey’s workout videos on Youtube are creative, positive, and very approachable. They’re all exercises you can do at home in around 15 minutes with a simple yoga mat and a positive mindset. I don’t even finish the whole video sometimes and I start to see results quickly. She also has a lot of workout calendars on her website to follow along if you need help getting started.
Get Creative With Your Diet
There are so many healthy foods out there that taste good and are easy to make. I too, gag at the thought of steamed brussels sprouts, so things like that won’t be in my kitchen.
Fruit and veggie combination smoothies are the best if you’re looking for something that refreshes you. Meals that incorporate salmon and grilled chicken are filling and yummy. There are lots of websites and Tumblrs that have great recipes to try!
Also, try your best to cut down on high-fat and high-sugar foods. I try to eat moderately all week and allow myself a treat at the end.
Don’t overestimate yourself and try to jump headfirst into the dieting pool. Start slowly integrating more healthy foods into your diet until it becomes a plausible lifestyle for you. A big reason why diets often don’t work out is because people try to incorporate too much change into their lives and get overwhelmed.
Getting in shape can be pretty easy with these tips. It’s important to remember that a healthy lifestyle beats any 30-day diet or rushed workout promising to get you that bikini body. You can maintain these tips all throughout the year, too!
Do you have any great tips for staying in shape easily? Let me know in the comments!
-Lots of Love, Lola