When Beyond Stressed, I Write.

The past few weeks have definitely taken a toll on me. Surprisingly not about my personal life, but all with college. When you are deep in group projects, applying to jobs, preparing for internships and traveling to a conference out of state, it gets a little hard to breathe. Let alone enjoy the final semester of college. 

This week was one where I saw the downfalls of being a perfectionist with my work; however, as I have recently told many people, it is because I truly pride myself on the work I produce. This can be difficult when it comes to working on so many group projects in our communication major. Everyone has different perspectives, different motivation levels, and different styles for producing their own work. None of this is necessarily bad, but it definitely is important to understand that work and leadership styles vary from person to person. This is why the past few weeks, and few days in particular, were a great learning experience because I was able to take away personal notes for improvement. I understand what my strengths are, but I realize what my weaknesses in group dynamics are as well, and how I can better cope under stress.

I’ve mentioned this to a few people jokingly, but recently I took a personality test. Yes, it was online, but it was quite a substantial test for something I found shared online. Anyway, the test showed me that I have a pretty high level of anxiousness; however, that level also matched my high level of orderliness. I joked about this finding in that I may get a little anxious, well a lot anxious, during times of stress; however, the project is going to get done, and it is going to get done with 100% of my effort.

Hence, the blessing and the curse of being a perfectionist, and why I have learned over the past few years to not overcommit, to say no, and to remove myself from situations which are not positively contributing to my life.

Mental, emotional, and physical health should always come first. When I have high expectations for myself and others I am working with, it is sometimes hard to distinguish when these three forms of health may be taking a toll because I am so focused on the end product.

What’s cool about understanding all this at my age is that I’ve been able to really narrow down where my passions lie, and what pieces of my life I choose to commit 100% to. Although I’m a little sleep deprived right now, I chose to commit everything to this project because it’s a project that will honestly benefit my passion in the long run. It was a creative project, based on branding and design and I had a leadership role. Although I was not a perfect leader, as I mentioned earlier, I learned a lot about myself during this short project which I can take with me as I move forward in my career. I know you may be wondering why I put so much thought into a silly group assignment in college. Well, this project is just a small glimpse of the type of content, style of project, and leadership situation I hope to see myself in for many years to come, on a larger scale of course.

It’s just another reminder that I’m entering a career field I’m supposed to work in, one that I’ll enjoy working in. 

-Rachel

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Baking and Blogging: Happy Saturday.

I guess you could say I’m lacking in the blogging department due to the fact it’s now been over two weeks since my last post. But hey, maybe that’s a good thing–being busy and all. This is the most “adult-like” summer I’ve ever experienced. Commuting a half hour almost every morning into my internship, leaving during rush-hour, making time for the gym, and finally getting back home for dinner. This structured schedule couldn’t be more different than any past summer, and I have to say, I really enjoy it.

Sure I complain about being tired, about the minimum free time, and the obvious downfall of my gas tank depleting ever so quickly with each commute; but this summer of 2015 is the biggest learning experience thus far. Not just in the internship itself, which trust me has included plenty of lessons just a month into the job, but also through the learning experience of balancing my life. I need the family time when I return home each night and on the weekend mornings (brunching life, am I right?). Then there is the time I spend with my hometown friends who I see only on college breaks, and finally the “me time,” which is something that I believe is beyond necessary when we all have so much to juggle in our lives.

My friends and family have heard me say it before, but in reality my “me time” resembles that of a grandmother. I mean it’s Saturday afternoon and I have no soccer game tonight, so what am I doing? Baking. Then there’s my evening tea while watching Netflix or a movie with my family. Yes I have my daily tea time. No shame, it’s good for the bod and mind–at least that’s what those health mags say.

(Proof of the baking)
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I think it’s the small moments when we make time for ourselves that, to be honest, allow us not to go completely insane. For example, my morning coffee while watching The Today Show is one of those moments. The obsession with coffee is real, and this is one part of my daily routine that I just cannot leave the house without.

Remember that half hour commute I mentioned? On a beautiful clear morning, who knew how relaxing listening to the radio and driving through the country could be (well up until getting on the expressway…).

Then there’s the gym–my ultimate “me time” when I can take an hour before dinner with my family and just focus on my workout. Honestly, it’s the perfect escape from any stress.

As I just finished writing these past few paragraphs, I realized they were NOTHING toward the direction I intended when I set out to write this post. Originally it was going to be all about my Ithaca orientation earlier this week and what not. Well, I guess that just goes to show how much I like to change up everything (big or small) in my life; not a negative thing at all. We can’t let life get boring on us can we?

Maybe the next post will touch on the always dramatic “Transfer Decision” from BU to IC. Or maybe something else will bring some inspiration. We’ll see, we’ll see.

-Rachel

Enjoy the Finer Carbs in Life

It was pretty inevitable that I was going to write a post at some point on this subject matter.

I’m aware many college bloggers tend to speak on the subject of women in regard to dieting and body image, but the issue isn’t disappearing as I witnessed today. While I was sitting in the dining hall—I admit I spend way too much of my time in the Bay State dining hall because well unlimited coffee, cereal and plenty of charging outlets–I couldn’t help but overhear just one of far too many conversations that women my age, younger and even older are having.

I’m not eating carbs right now.“

“Yeah I stopped eating meat to cut calories”

“Wait cereal is bad for you? I eat Special K all the time.”

“Yeah it’s not healthy..”

This was followed by terror from the Special K enthusiast concerned that she can no longer eat her favorite cereal.

Then we have the boys who sit down and pile on the plates, not worrying if it’s too many calories, carbs, sugars or fats. They’re hungry, they like food, so they eat it. Simple as that. Also, I do realize I am generalizing males’ food preferences here, but it’s just from my own observations.

This concern over food is out of hand for females. When a girl goes on a diet, she risks feeling judged by the non-dieters who ask why she even cares what’s in her food. She doesn’t go on a diet? She feels judged by the people who do watch everything they eat while she eats what she pleases. The reality is that we shouldn’t be preoccupied with what other people and women are doing or eating as long as we feel healthy, happy and confident with our own lifestyle.

At this moment, I can hear multiple tables of girls around me not taking this free time to talk about exciting news of their days or even laughing. They are, however, talking about their weight and how they regret what they just ate, or asking if they are allowed to go get the next thing they want to eat.

This can’t be okay. We as females can’t let this be the norm. Women are working so hard right now for respect in the professional world and being treated fairly by men, but what about treating ourselves fairly outside of the workplace? Isn’t it just as important to treat ourselves with respect–to our bodies and to our lifestyles–as it is to have other people respect us?

As I’ve mentioned far too many times before, I love food. I also am guilty of stressing over the foods I eat. I do eat healthy. At least I try to in the college environment. Do I put too much thought into what I eat? Absolutely. I realize now though while sitting in this dining hall that I’m not the only one who spends too much time thinking about what I can and cannot eat. And that’s even sadder to me.

I’m all for eating healthy. I love my fruit and Greek yogurt, my shredded wheat cereal and my turkey wraps. But I eat these because I like them. My body craves these types of foods.

Why though are girls trying so hard to force themselves to eat a certain way because a magazine told them so? Or worse–because they felt pressured by their peers to think so?

I do believe people should strive to be healthy. Eat as healthy as you can, workout by doing an activity you actually enjoy, switch up the cookie for an apple if you really want to improve your nutrition with baby steps.

Except now every time you sit down to eat, maybe think about what your body wants, not just what the magazine says is your diet plan. Meal times might be a little less stressful if you enjoy your food as much as you enjoy your company. These college years are stressful enough without worrying about eating a couple extra carbs each day.

There are plenty of ways to maintain your health in appropriate ways, without over-prioritizing your diet or sacrificing your indulgences.

P.S. A pro-tip from a girl who considers herself a foodie: you can’t go through life eating lettuce and water and criticizing yourself every time you want to indulge in a potato (WHICH BY THE WAY IS A VEGETABLE) yet by the time you finish cutting out all your options, that’s what you’ll be left with.

And we all know chocolate and carbs are in fact the keys to success and happiness.

-Rachel