Mari's Notebook

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Monday, September 30, 2013

why am I feeling so good?

Okay, so I am confused. I've been at school for over a month and I wake up every morning refreshed. I am excited about full, long days ahead. I have not once tried to calculate my grades and GPA. I have midterms, essays, projects and my stress levels are not sky-rocketing like always.

I've just been feeling so good. And this is such a prolonged emotional high--I hope it becomes the new normal for me. I want to keep myself in this healthy state, and the past couple days I've been doing a lot of thinking of why junior year is going so differently from freshman and sophomore years.

1. For the first time, I feel like my passions are nicely aligned with my course of study. 

With the revival of Yale's Education Studies department and finally being able to dive into the Sociology major, I feel like my studies have that focus and purpose I've been looking for. All the classes I've taken so far have been wonderful and interesting and thought-provoking--but I feel like I've found that perfect combination of studies that best represent my spirit and interests.

2. I'm excited about my extra curriculars and new projects.

Again, I feel like I'm really devoting my time to things I care about, things I see relevant to my future and things that challenge me. I am truly energized by my work with The Leadership Institute at Yale and my involvement in Kappa, so I'm focusing on these things and letting go of clubs that I simply don't enjoy as much.

 3. I'm getting full nights of sleep. 

This month I've been learning to let things sit. Those emails, that reading response, the pile of dirty laundry--they can wait and I will get to them tomorrow. This year more than every I've been prioritizing sleep. I have not once considered attempting an all-nighter.

4. I have 9 a.m. classes every day.

This is the earliest classes can start in my school, and around here 9 a.m. classes are considered killer. But I absolutely love it and I wish I had 9 a.m. classes during all my other semesters. My days are longer and I feel like I have the energy and time to do everything I want to do.

5. I'm keeping a fairly full(er) schedule. 

I've always been the type of person who likes lighter schedules--I cherish the day where I have no appointments or classes and all I have to do is focus on one project. I'm not one to naturally jump around.

This year, however, I've made a change. And honestly this wasn't a conscious change at all. I've started saying "yes!" to events and new experiences--not "I'll see if I can make it" or "I'm kind of busy." If I can physically be there and have the time to afford, then I'll make it. This may or may not be a side effect of the Fear Of Missing Out syndrome we all seem to be getting (okay, it probably is), but I'm actually liking it. Each day is different and there's always something to look forward to--Master's Teas, grad school information sessions, improv shows.

6. I refuse to apologize for taking a break.

Coffee runs, froyo dates, a late night Lifetime movie, shopping for Halloween decorations at Rite Aid? Yes. And I'm going to enjoy every second of it.

7. I've traveled outside the campus bubble. 

This past month, I went away for a leadership retreat in Milford, Kappa Leadership Academy in Ohio and an independent school fair in Stamford. In just a month, that's a lot of traveling for someone who is used to staying on campus during most of the school year.

I thought all this time away would actually stress me out--after all, these are precious days that I could be studying and catching up on reading. But in the end, they've been great. Stepping out of the Yale bubble really puts things in perspective. Life goes on and my entire being does not actually hinge on getting a good grade on a quiz.

8. Autumn is here.

It's crazy how much weather can affect our emotional states. The arrival of my favorite season full of chilly evenings, falling leaves and cozy lumpy sweaters has been such a mood booster for me.

The bottom line: I'm seeking greater balance and diversity in what I do day to day. A strict sleeping schedule is a must, and I've also learned that I feel so much better when my actions and my projects--from academics to extra curriculars--seem purposeful.

Honestly, I just had to give myself time to get to this point. Freshman year, I obviously wasn't going to figure everything out right away. And I'm still figuring things out. My priority right now is keeping on this groove and challenging myself more and more.

September, you have been a gift. October, it's nice to see you again. Here's to getting out of the sophomore slump!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

on the road to running


I mentioned in my last post that I'd like to get into running, and seeing as running a 5k is in my 30 Before 30 list, I think now is as good a time as ever to start in on this new adventure. I'm quite excited.

As someone who really can't last on the treadmill that long, this will definitely be a long-term goal with many ups and downs along the way. I imagine successes and lapses, rushes of adrenaline and out-of-breath aches. I imagine myself always being one day closer to my goal.

Why running? It's simply something I'd like to be able to do. It also makes you healthier (in so many ways!), helps relieve stress and makes you feel happy inside. Running is something that doesn't require particularly special equipment--anywhere I go, anywhere I travel, I'll be able to run.

So I think one of the best ways to motivate yourself is to think about your end result. For me, it's being able to take on a 5k. Right now, I am waiting for my breakfast date in the dining hall, but I am picturing myself crossing that finish line--actually, many finish lines. Sometimes the finish line is in some small town in New England on a crisp fall day, other times it's in some big city with skyscrapers and taxis all around me.

I really do hope this is the beginning of a lifelong hobby. Who knows? But here are some pretty cool running events that I would love to participate in one day.

Electric Run. A nighttime run with dancing lights and blasting music. That should really keep the energy up!

Disney Princess Half-Marathon and the Tinker Bell Half-Marathon. So much Disney spirit! With these events, you can run around the Disney's Magic Kingdom, get high-fives from Mickey and not be judged for wearing a tutu.

The Jingle Bell Run. Okay, let's be honest. You can get me to do almost anything if it is holiday themed.

The Color Run. This would be a great beginner's 5k. The run celebrates "healthiness, happiness and individuality" and with each kilometer you complete you are doused in a different color paint. So fun!

The Hot Chocolate 15/5K. You had me at "chocolate." This would be wonderful to do during the fall.

I'm so pumped for everything ahead.

Do you run? What's your favorite thing about it?

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful weekend.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

life lately...

...has just been a bit crazy, and about to get crazier.

The view from the Friday night hayride at KKG Leadership Academy. 

1. Um, so first of all we are already mid-way through September. What.

2. I've already had an essay and an examination turned in. So I guess we've reached that point where us students have to be accountable for what we are reading.

3. I just got back from Kappa Kappa Gamma Leadership Academy.

I feel so honored to have been able to represent my chapter at this annual leadership conference. It was wonderful to meet so many new sisters--some current students like myself, others who are proud mothers, grandmothers, marathon runners and business leaders. Spending an entire weekend with these ladies to discuss ways to model leadership, ways to bring a vision to life and ways to up our standards to a whole new level has been so inspiring.

I learned so much this weekend about my leadership style, how to inspire and involve others, and how to look beyond my own objectives. I've really thought about how I've been contributing to my chapter and how we can make it better and better.  One of the most surprising things I learned was how awesome I feel when I am channeling my energy into one specific thing. It was kind of nice to step away from everything for a while and just focus on Kappa. I took a break from school work and my other extra-curricular projects and just dived into the sorority spirit.

But now I guess I have to re-enter the real world.

4. And because I haven't looked at a book since last Wednesday afternoon (and I'm writing this Sunday night) and there was no internet connection in the lovely (but cold) woods of Ohio, this means I have to get back to the mountains and mountains of reading, emails and appointments I have to do. 

5. On top of the fact that we are about to start Kappa recruitment this week and it is also a particularly busy week for the Leadership Institute at Yale. 

6. But what I REALLY want to be doing is walking around campus, enjoying the crisp air and sipping salted caramel mochas. 

7. So I've made a bit of a compromise-- During my study breaks you can basically find me perusing this fall-themed tumblr.  Also this one. And this one

8. My time on the planes and the latest issue of Health magazine has really made me want to give running a good honest try. So I guess what I actually really want to be doing is enjoying the crisp air, sipping salted caramel mochas and hitting up that treadmill. 

9. And not gonna lie I really want to just trade in my wardrobe for all Kappa all the time. 

I'm going to bed now. 

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September Goals

Happy September everyone!! We are finally coming into the more autumn-y months so I am super excited for everything to come--classes, extra-curriculars, cooler weather and tons of school spirit.

This September, I'd like to...

work out at least three times a week
create a Yale bucket list for my last two years of undergrad
find a new student job since they got rid of my old one :( 
end each day with something fun and relaxing 
keep on top of all my work 
try out new hairstyles (I seriously can't keep wearing my hair in a bun everyday)
get to know some of the new freshmen

*The photo above was taken on our trip to Maine. We stayed in Ogunquit and spent a day whale-watching, shopping and eating in Kennebunkport. Our visit to Ogunquit was perfect. The food was delicious, we were right on the beach and the weather was comfortable. It was a great way to spend my last few days before I went back to school, and it was nice to get out of the house after having to say goodbye to Harry. The small town provided a perfect escape to get away from everything else that was going on and to focus on enjoying my family's company. I have a feeling Maine will be a very special place for me and my family, and we definitely plan to visit again. 

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