Monday, July 30, 2012

High School Counselors, Yay or Nay


So this post is, of course, is about my worries about college. I mean, obviously, I think about it a lot, especially as the moving day draws near. Anyway as I was thinking I started to think back to where my college journey began, in high school senior year with my parents and my counselor. Remember that meeting, the meeting of the future that will set your life in stone for the next four years and, well, that pretty much includes how the rest of your life too. Okay, maybe it's not that bad but you're still making big decisions or at least starting to contemplate big decisions. Anyway so I was thinking, my high school prided itself on preparing it's students for college. And I mean they really prided themselves on it. Wait a second.....they prepared me for college?! Uh, no. Okay well we were a college class school, meaning our classes were set up like college, the work load and how the teachers taught. The counselors prepared us to get into college, the applications and such. So all was good, I kind of wondered at the time if we were going to get any other helpful tips or meetings about college life and adjusting a whatnot but it never happened, we did get a going to college magazine though.

Prepared for college! What! What do you mean you prepared me for college! Every day my mind wanders to college and how it's going to be and I'm totally freaked out. Where were all the helpful things and advice about actually moving out of your parents home and into a 8X8 room! (Size of room varies per college). Oh wait a minute, I'm sorry, that's right, they gave us a 24 page magazine. How could I forget. Silly me. I read that a while ago. Wait a second, I read that a while ago and I'm still freaking out! Where's the section on orientation day, or making friends, community bathrooms!  Oh my God, I'm going into college almost 90% blind. Crap!

Okay so now for the serious side of this post. Basically it amounts to high school and high school counselors only being good for getting you in to college, after that it's like they say "sigh-a-nara (I have no idea how you spell that word) baby!" "Good luck, congratulations on graduating." "Thanks for attending our high school." Well gee thanks so much for all your college preparation. Seriously, I feel like they did absolutely nothing to prepare me for a very important part of college, living with many other people. So I have one roommate, was two but one already got moved (of course the one I could actually find on facebook). Anyway, nothing about life. Like I said the magazine thing helped a little but most of it was common sense. So now it looks like something I'll have to figure out for myself. Thank God for youtube and the internet so there is some info out there about things like community bathrooms (my worry of the day). So basically don't count on your counselors to tell you much, at least not if you don't ask.

Again this post went a little different than intended. (Yes, I've got to stop doing that). So hopefully I'll get my original ideas out later.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

So let's talk.....

My last week! Four days left! My work life will shortly be coming to a very temporary end as I get ready for school, attend countless family events, and try to visit every one before we all leave into the scary unknown. I'm really excited to not have to worry about being somewhere by a specific time and working my personal schedule around my work one. That said it's also kind of sad. I am going to miss all of the dogs so much! Especially the big ones since we only have little ones, they were my big dog fix until I could have one of my own. I will also miss a lot of people there. I have met and become close with a lot of people and it is going to be sad to go, hopefully we'll keep in touch and maybe I'll visit during my time at home. Even though work has been hard the last six months, and added stress since the beginning, there was a lot that I've learned and will take with me throughout life. I wish the business well and hope they continue with their amazing success!

Originally I had planned a different post but my mind always seems distracted with work and school. Speaking of school, right now I'm reading The Naked Roommate by Harlan Cohen. Yeah, I know it's very cliche, whatever, it's making me feel a little more prepared. While there's a lot of common sense, smack yourself on the forehead really hard if you haven't already thought of it stuff, a lot of it is also stuff that you may not think about. Or if you have thought about it but are reluctant to do whatever it is then it helps you see why it's important to do it. Personally, I like the college students advice, because you know it's from them trying to give you their story and advice to use....not just an author trying to sell a book. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Cohen decided to write this book, but it's nice to know that without incentive their are people who were in your shoes that sincerley want to help you, give you advice, or maybe just get their name in a published book, either way it had to be good advice to get in their so it works. Anyway very helpful book but more on that later as I have to go to work, like I said four more official days (including today). Later!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Leaving Home....and Fifty Shades and Anna and The French Kiss

I have to tell you that as scared as I am to be leaving into the unknown I am so excited to be leaving home and my family. I know that sounds terrible but I really need to get out of here. My relationship with my parents is kind of strained. We're definitely not close but it's not like we're living separate lives either. We just don't get along, which is normal but it's like we never get along. I love my family, I do, but the only one I'm really close to is my little sister. I think once I leave we'll be able to appreciate each other more. I don't know if anyone else feels that way about leaving home but I'm super excited and terrified.

There are two situations I hear about. The first and most common is that the parents are really sad to be leaving their kid(s) and their relationship thrives. The other one is the person is so ready to leave because the relationship is like mine, a little strained. I actually know of a mom and daughter who have had that relationship and they both said that their relationship did a 180 turn for the better. That's what I hope happens to my relationship with my family, and I think it will. However, since we're really not close as it is I don't know, I think at the least it will become much more cordial. I don't know what will happen but hopefully this changes for the best!

On that kind of depressing note I really want to move to Washington state!
Ahhh, so exciting! Well, it will be if I actually do it. So what brought on this spur of the moment decision? A few things actually. One is I was just there in June for the first time and I loved it. We were in Seattle for a day and I just loved the feeling of it. And I loved the weather, I actually like the cold so this was perfect for me! So there's that and the fact that, like I said I love the cold. I've been trying to decide where I may move after college, the problem is my family wants to move down south, south east to be specific. You can also get a lot more house for your money down there but it's so damn hot and humid, like death! I just don't know if I could deal with that, and no snow! How is it a Christmas without snow? Anyway so I want to stay somewhere where you experience all the seasons. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous! So beautiful. I'd really loved Seattle but I'd want to live about an hour away maybe. So, my next reason is the books I'm Fifty Shades of Grey, is set there. And thinking there could be some gorgeous CEO who will sweep you off your feet, not to mention Christen and Ana's relationship is exactly what I want in a relationship. I know some people think it's crazy and hate this book but I really enjoy them because it's exaclty what I want. Thank God I don't have any followers because I'm sure some people would have something to say about it. The thing is, I'm not a feminist at all, now I do believe that women should and can kick ass and be a beast in the business and work world. I just think there's something nice about feeling protected and loved. Maybe a post on that later. Anyway, I really want to move there, I think. This will probably blow over in time, just like my dog. And tears will be shed. But right now it's a nice dream to have.
Anyway the thought of Washington which lead to Fifty Shades led me to the main characters Christen and Ana, Christen who happens to have a sister who lives in Paris while learning to cook. And all this related to Anna and the French Kiss, a book I'm also reading right now. First because Anna = Ana, and second because she's going to a boarding school in France! She has connections to Fifty Shades and me because we both are leaving are family. Anyway my fellow book bloggers have been raving and raving about this book since it came out in 2010. So I'm finally reading it, only 18 pages in but I just started it yesterday and was more than a little occupied with Fifty. But I really wanted to get it read before I leave for college. I'm really glad to find so many similarities between us, well the whole new school away from the family thing anyway. Hopefully it'll make me feel a little better about leaving. I should probably get back to reading.....and finding a dog breeders/ resuces. Yes, I know, I'm hopeless! Have a GREAT day!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Work College Summer and Anxiety

Life. It's what we live every day. Some aspects of life are work, college, summer and, you guessed it, anxiety. I actually have a lot of that, anxiety. Which is not the best thing for anyone's health. So my solution is to have a great rest of the summer, starting in a little over two weeks. Why two weeks do you ask? Or does two weeks sound like a familiar time frame? Well it is, because today I will be putting in my two weeks, except it's a little more than two weeks, to quit my job. 

Why is this so important in my life? Well first of all I'm actually really excited about it! I will have had this job for a month short of a year and I am ready to just move on with my life and have a few weeks to hang out with friends before the BIG moving day comes along. So all of this gives me a little anxiety but it's all working towards the life that I want for myself. 

Work. So it's been a little stressful lately, well actually since day one. Mostly because this was my first official job, I babysat regular hours every week for some neighbors for three years, and I was a senior in full IB. Yeah, it probably wasn't the best idea to get an official job during an already stressful time in my life. But yeah, I got the job. Anyway, lately it's been just a tad more stressful. And on top of that, I've been missing my summer! All my friends keep going on vacation and then to be leaders at summer camps and other things. This is great but my job often conflicts with time to get together so I haven't seen much of anyone. This is why I'm excited to be quitting, even if a little earlier than expected. I'll finally get to have a real two week relaxing summer without worrying about where I have to be and when. It'll be so nice! Especially before the craziness of moving away to college. 

College. This is also giving me major anxiety, as it gets closer and closer t the moving date. I know I've said before that I'm pretty freaked out, and I feel like a total alien because of it. Now, I'm a natural worry and the kind of person that always pictures the absolute worst scenarios. This is kind of good because usually everything is much better than expected, but I get tons of anxiety about it. By the way, speaking of anxiety and being freaked out, I have to take a speech class, next semester thank God, but still I'm so freaking scared, I HATE speaking in a formal large group setting. Back to college. So it's scary, I'm a decent ways a way from any family with a whole group of new people. The most scary thing is probably the roommate. Before anyone asks, yes, I have my assignment but no I have not called her yet. I might do it in August, or I may even just text her. Hopefully she's more outgoing and gutsy than I am and calls me first. Anyway, think about it. You have no idea who this person is or what they're like. At the worst you'll have some crazy psycho stalker serial killing roommate. At best you'll become best friends! :) Then there's all the in between. I bought a book during the school year called My Naked Roommate. I've was slowly reading it, now I'll have to speed it up so I can finish i before I leave. So, this book talks about tons of college stuff with one chapter devoted to roommates, which I have read. According to this book there are all types of roommates. I know everyone's best scenario is to become best friends, I mean, we all see it on TV and in movies so that's what really happens right? Well I guess that's more rare than we all think, shocker TV manipulates real life situations. So yeah, most likely most people get a normal person whom they live with but don't become friends with, best friends anyway. What I want from my roommate is just not a partier who has a boyfriend is over all the time and anytime I leave the room the sign goes up and I'm kicked out. I've heard many stories like this and it sounds like it sucks. I really want to make a really good friend out of my roommate but realistically that probably won't happen. Which is fine but I just want there to be boundaries that are respected on both sides. Some advice my uncle gave me recently was that people are different, but more importantly raised differently. You may get a total neat freak who wants your side of the room completely spotless too, or a total slob who's stuff always seems to be crossing the line into your domain. You may have someone that's been raised very respectfully or a person who is very blunt and sugar coats nothing. I can tell you this, all the scenarios in the book were, not "bad" scenarios, but realistic and more along the lines of not what you will for sure expect but some things you may expect and how to deal with them. Like I said, I'm just really hoping that this goes smoothly and everything to work out for the best. I'm sure this isn't the last time I'll be writing about roommates before I go to college, as I'm thinking about it a lot and will have more time to once I leave my job. 

That leaves us with summer. So, like I said, leaving my job is going to be hard because it was a great job, but I feel it's in my best interest to spend all the time I can with family and friends before leaving for school. It'll also give me time to prepare better and get everything ready and not be scurrying because I only have a week before I leave. What it will also give me is the opportunity to sit back not worrying about scheduling and have a good relaxing rest of the summer. To be quite honest, I can't wait! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

No Dog plus Reading

So after my weak day, I was strong enough to decide that getting a dog and only having about two months to train and get to know her/him would be super unfair of me put all that on her/him and my family. Sadly no dog now, hopefully right after college I'm in a place where I can finally have the dog of my dreams! And hopefully there will be another Sweet Cheeks out there somewhere, cheaper would be nice too!

Onto reading. I think I mentioned that I love to read, but let me clarify, I LOVE to read. Therefore I'm on Goodreads and have another blog all having to do with books. I used to read so much, until a program called IB, or International Baccalaureate, came into my life. It's basically like AP except instead of advanced placement it's all college courses for high school. Anyway I was full IB, meaning all my core classes plus extra were IB, except criminal justice which I just had to take, and I'm glad to have taken it. So after that my reading slowed and slowed into just reading textbooks. Slowly but surely I was trying to get back into it but since it's summer I've really been trying. Back to Goodreads, every year I've been trying to complete their challenge of books per year. And so far I've lost, the first year I set the goal of 200 books, my first year of IB. Yeah, definitely didn't accomplish that. The next year it was 100 books and my second year in IB, that didn't work either. This year I thought I'd make it a lot simpler and go for 35, I'm not sure why I didn't make it a more general number like 25 but whatever. So far I've read 10 books and am 10 books behind. But this post is all about progress.

Progressions are being made! One of the things I've had a major problem with is buying books. What many people don't realize is how expensive they are, about $10 a book! So five books is $50, that's kind of a lot, and a summer or two ago I was on a buying spree. Now I have tons of books and tons not read because of my lack of reading. This summer I've been trying to rectify that. My real goal is to read the books that I was super excited to buy because I've noticed that, personally, if I let a book sit on my self I become a little un-excited/un-inspiried to read them. I also have a slight problem starting books, because I know that there are a few chapters worth of boring character setting.

So, I've been trying to read some of my series books. I tended to buy lots of books in a series but then not read them for a while, because I would book/series hop, so to speak. I also did it so that I would have time in between to think about the series and appreciate it. Hence my current series reading streak. That and like I said before, I've been trying to read all those books that I've read bought, especially before buying more to add to my selfs. Within the past year I've been pretty good about buying books too. I have however bought some. My latest issue is I have a few continuation of series books that I really want to buy as well as some new ones. All together I got it down to 17 books at about $160, without tax. I'm not really sure what to do as I don't want to spend that much money, however I did get a small bonus from work, obviously not near enough to cover the cost. But even if it was I always feel guilty spending my money.

Anyway, like the dog, we'll just have to see what happens.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Okay so I'm the the blogging mood......(Something on my mind)

Okay so I just couldn't stay away. Even though I'm pretty sure my last post was not even an hour ago now. So I thought I'd post about something that's been on my mind, particularly today. So as I mentioned in my last post, I'm obsessed with dogs. Well actually, I'm pretty sure I said love but in reality it's more like an obsession. My family currently has three little dogs. Zoe, our 11 year old Bichon , Esme our 3 year old rescued Teddy Bear, and Rylee our crazy 6 month old back toy poodle.

Now I love all dogs but I'm definitely a big dog person. So having three little ones, the biggest at 16 pounds, just doesn't do it for me. I'll be quitting my job soon to go to college and I won't be getting my big dog fix. This created a problem. And I have a crazy solution. One of the things I do when I'm really bored is to go online and research certain breeds, and try to find potential breeders and rescues to go back to when I'm ready to get a dog. So naturally I've found a few puppies and dogs from breeders and rescues that I've just fallen for, but not like this week. This past week we had a St. Bernard that went home, she's so sweet and I absolutely fell in love with her. So I wound up online, yet again, just looking around. It was all a far far dream until I saw a little girl nick-names Sweet Cheeks and I was done for. I don't know what it is about her that I love so much but there is something that just got me about her. Now I've always pictured my first dog being a big black Great Dane, coming to me after college of course. Now, for some reason I'm so in love with this little St. Bernard and I really want her so badly. (Before anyone thinks anything, yes I know this seems completely irrational and I know and understand the responsibility of having a dog as well as the having one in college. I am not in denial and will elaborate that further below.)

Obviously, this is a big problem but is most likely to never going to happen. But maybe this post will snap me out of my love and crazy notion that I can get this dog. I know that it would definitely be a huge challenge in the next few years which is why it would be a terrible idea. So the problems:

1.) I will be living in the dorms, at least for my freshman year. Solution= My parents and two siblings would have to take her. I already told my sister that I'd be willing to pay her monthly for taking care of her. However, I know my mom doesn't like big dogs and will not like the shedding or drool that St. Bernard's have. Convincing my mom would be a huge thing, and I know, even if she said yes, that she would only be doing it out of love for me and not the dog. Not the best situation, plus I'm pretty sure my dad would be the one to really put his foot down. Plus I would feel so guilty if I got a call regarding my dog that wasn't good. I'd try my best to get her fully trained before leaving, by myself because puppy classes were $175 at the place I would have taken her. That's the biggest obstacle that I face.

2.) Dogs are expensive. I'm paying for college by myself, which is why I got my job at the beginning of senior year. I wanted to start saving now, and work throughout college years, so I could pay off my debt as soon as possible. While I definitely have more than enough money to pay for her, it's a huge expense. After initially paying the breeder, which is already expensive, there will be the next few set of shots and then I'll get her spayed. A lot in vet bills right there. Then there's her food, crate, bed, collar, leash, toys, etc. It all adds up so fast. I added everything up today, well an estimate that I tired to price a littler higher to get a higher accurate reading and it was about $2,000+ just for the first year. Like I said I have about double that saved up so it wouldn't be a big problem but it would screw with my plans of paying off my college debt. Solution= I will be paying a much lower car insurance rate for the next few years because my driving will be minimum, because of that my gas expense will also be cut significantly. However, I know that I may not get as many hours as I did before at my college job. I will also want to spend money on food and other things. I don't think that all my money will be going to other things and that I'll be saving most of it. So I could realistically afford her. At the very least I will be paying for her food and my sister for taking care of her. But that's at the very least.

Those are my biggest problems, at least the money is. I know people who've said that living on campus is more expensive than living off campus so I was going to look into that anyway, if I got a dog I would definitely be looking into it for my sophomore year and beyond. But I would also need to find an apartment that allows big dogs and roommates that wouldn't mind having a dog around. Or I could find a dog friendly place by myself, but it would be more expensive. Plus all the bills that come along with off campus living.

Those are the problems, and I have solutions to all but they all require sacrifice. I'm not a partier and would love to have a dog and devote my time to her/him, I'm willing to sacrifice a to have her/him. However I don't want to put my parents out and make life harder for them, I know that they say that three is a lot already, even though they're small. The money also proves to be a huge issue. I just don't know if I can personally justify spending half of my earnings on my dog while previously having a concrete plan to save save save and then get those bills paid.

I did look online searching "college and dogs" and found that there are many people saying it's a bad idea, while a slim few say that they did it or knew someone who did and it worked out fine. I know that anyone could do it, but the right sacrifices are needed, social outings (late night parties), putting your parents out, the money. And in the end is the dog going to be happy? I thought about that one too, and came to the conclusion that our dogs are locked up for 7 hours a day while everyone is gone. Classes aren't too long and there would be breaks in between classes and work to spend time with the dog. I'm not a partier and much prefer to hang at home with a good book, and a dog.  

In reality I know that if I save now and wait that I will probably be in a better financial spot to own a dog after college. I also wouldn't be putting my parents out and I'd be saving money! Yet I find myself in love with this dog, I know that's crazy because I haven't even met her but I just am. In the end I know that there's a 99.99% chance that this will NOT happen, and it may be for the better. Well, even though I'm sad I think I talked myself out of it. Now I'm a little depressed but I'll get over it, and who knows there is a very slight possibility that it could happen now or sometime during college. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens! :)

A history on my obsession for those who are interested:
 I was born. Ever since I can remember I've always loved animals. I had always wanted a horse, which I was privileged enough to have, but we had to sell him due to my going to college and other expenses. Another thing I've been so privileged to have is dogs. We had my first Bichon Frise that died when I was little at 14. A few years later we got our current Bichon, Zoe. A few years ago my mom decided to play a prank on me saying we were going to adopt a dog because she thought she was the cutest thing. Needless to say, I was mad because I was really excited so I thought I'd play on the moment and guess what, now we another adopted Teddy Bear, Esme. Yes, like from Twilight, that's the name everyone liked, it fits her, although Emmit would fit her better. I understand this is getting long. So then I got my job right at the beginning of senior year, which only enabled my love and obsession further. So I found out about this pet expo and took my family. Now in the car ride their I got a whole lecture about "we are NOT adopting any dogs UNDERSTAND!" Blah Blah Blah, "yeah I got it". Well guess what happened, THEY fell in love with this tiny little "yorkiepoo" (She was not a yorkiepoo) and after spending a couple hours with her put in an application. You can imagine my horror when they broke the rules. Anyway long story short we went to their open house a week later to ask if we got her and they said that it was between us and another lady but the other lady got her. I felt bad because my mom was upset and so was my dad, which I couldn't believe. So the hunt was over for a day but the new dog  excitement was too much and we started looking for another dog, eventually settling on a black toy poodle, Rylee. For the record, I did not want a poodle.
WELCOME! This blog is mostly for myself and my thoughts, to document my college experience.  Basically a virtual scrapbook. So for anyone that might happen to stumble about this blog I'm Kate, a recent high school grad and off to college next month! With orientation over and room assignments up I'm so ready to bang out this college thing, okay not really, I'm still terrified. While I'm still a little nervous I didn't apply to Antarctica, like I originally wanted to so we'll just say that I'm in the same country as my parents and phone calls home won't be super expensive. However it's definitely not an easy car ride home, maybe I'll take a train, like Harry Potter! Anyway it'll definitely be a different experience but I'm hoping that soon college will be home and "home home" will become the vacation spot for those off semesters. So a little about me, I absolutely love to read, it's probably my favorite thing to do to pass time. Of course I love hanging out with friends but it will be difficult with everyone going states away. Movies are also a great pass time, as is reality tv, don't let your kids get into that. Photography is another one of my passions, I'm hoping to get more time to do that too. As well as that I LOVE dogs and horses, and all animals really but those two have my heart. I actually work at a dog daycare, which has proved to be really bad because I come home almost every day wanting to have stolen someone else's dog as well as wanting so many different breeds! I have no idea how that's going to work out when I'm older. Anyway, I'm going to be terribly sad to leave my family and little three dogs at home but there only a few clicks away and BAM! We'll be skipping (not a real word)! Honestly, it'll probably be way too much. For now, I'll just stick to my job and trying to have a great summer. Finish strong and start the rest of my life!