Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Critics Need Not Apply =)

I had forgotten just how freeing it can be to just let go and draw.

I heard the song "Stars" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals while I was studying for an exam that I have, ahem, tomorrow, and I was inspired. I don't mean to sound pretentious - I am not often struck by inspiration, as it were. And the art work isn't necessarily that technically good, so I'm not really boasting; probably no one would hang it on their wall.

I don't care.

I don't care because it feels GOOD to have an idea and then be able to represent it visually on paper. It is cool that a song can speak to you in such away that makes you see things, feel things (not in a way that is psychologically concerning, of course =P).  Also it feels empowering to be able to put something down on paper and not worry about whether it's good or not. It does not matter because it is mine and no one is grading it, for once.

I am my own harshest critic, as many people are these days, but the little voice inside my head is definitely augmented by people critiquing me and my work (school and otherwise) and my life everyday.

Where is this writing going? I am rambling a bit; I have not blogged in quite some time.

My point is:
Create something for yourself.
Do something that makes you happy and don't worry if others like it - after all, it doesn't matter, right?

Also, listen to this song. =) So long for now! I'm sure it will be months before I'm inspired to blog again. <3

Ironically, I proofread this blog before posting. I kind of want to kick myself and pat myself on the back at the same time... Okay, bye for real!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Best Advice I Can Give Right Meow

Hello all. I don't blog very much anymore. Rats.

Time to break that cycle, at least for now. I'm going to give some advice. People don't seem to like it when I shove advice in their face in person, so I'm going to give it to the public to read at their leisure. baha

As many of you know, I am in college these days. This puts me in new situations all the time with people I've never met, having new experiences left and right, blah blah blah... So it has somewhat given me a new perspective on how to deal with people and certain things. Hmmm. That's vague. Anyway. On to the advice. (Hands up if you can tell I'm not in an English class this semester!)

Another preliminary disclaimer: This list is totally random. A lot of things will come out of left field, but they still have merit! Roll with the awkward order. Get it, girl.

  • Pour your own drinks. Always. Always. Make this a rule. Alcoholic or not, YOU should be in charge of any liquid you consume. Stay safe, yo.
  • Never, ever cheat on someone. It sucks getting broken up with. It sucks being the one who breaks the relationship. What reeeeeally sucks is getting cheated on. Don't be the cheater. Be the better person and just cut it off before things get worse than they have to be.
  • Don't count anyone out. In life, and especially in college (WHOA grandiose statements, yay), you'll meet a lot of people. Whenever you approach someone new, try to see the best in them and you might be surprised at the connections you'll make with random people all over the place. The tiny, seemingly insignificant connections with strangers are what make new friendships. Well, they're a good start anyway.
  • Don't pass judgement on people's religious views and/or sex lives. It's not up to you. The sooner you figure that out, the better off you'll be.
  • Always say hi to everyone you know. Don't let it get weird - if you see someone, wave or smile or say something right away. Otherwise you might get that awkward "Did she see me? Should I say hi? A little bit late now, huh Darce? She can't see you waving now. Crap. That'll be fun when I see her in class tomorrow." Yep. Just a wave, man. Makes life easier.
  • Let your freak flag fly. People in college are weird. The people who have clear senses of themselves and are outgoing get noticed and are appreciated. Make a weird joke, say what's on your mind. If people laugh, you're in good company. If they don't, move on to the next group that will laugh at your bad jokes. (That's what I do. Ha. Ha.)
  • Going along with the last point... speak up in weird places. In the elevator, the line at the food court, in the classroom before the professor gets there... Another great way to meet people and be obnoxious and get away with it. Oops. Did I type that?
  • Go to class. Duh, right? Wrong. Even if you don't *always* read the textbook, you'll learn so much more having the material be put into more colloquial terms by the professor. There's some research that I heard about once upon a time that I never actually saw any study to back it up, BUUUUUT it said that you have to read/see/hear something 17 times to learn it and remember it. Something like that. Well, I don't know how accurate that is, but hearing something once more in class sure doesn't hurt!
  • Talk about what you're learning in class with friends. It gives conversation a lot more depth, and it will make your discussions much more interesting. Not to mention, you understand concepts and ideas so much better when you explain them to someone else.
  • Never use "text speak" when writing a paper. Even if it's just a rough draft. Don't write sentences like the one I typed immediately before this one. (Whoops.) if u do, it makes u look stoopid, lol jk but 4 realz. Also, don't write things like "This essay will blah de blah," or "In this paper I will cough cough cough." It's obnoxious. Show me, don't tell me. (You're welcome, Mrs. J.)
  • Have someone you can talk to who is removed from your group of friends. It might be a family member or friend back home, or even someone nearby you like talking to but runs in different circles. You can vent, discuss, get a different perspective and/or reality check when things get dramatic or weird. It's nice.
  • Get out of your room to study if you can't concentrate there. You do SO MUCH in your room, so it's easy to get distracted. Eating, facebooking, sleeping, talking to your roommate... See? Find a new space to study, where your sole purpose for being in this place is to study. That is precisely what the library is for. Or you can find a different quiet building on campus to frequent when you need to hit the books. You need quiet, comfortable seating, good light, some sort of table or writing surface, and a new location dedicated ONLY to studying. Check? Good to go.
I feel kind of pompous writing this. Hmmm. It's not like I'm an expert at being a college student or anything. I'd say I'm middle of the road. But we can all learn from each others' triumphs and mistakes, right?

Cool. See you around. =)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

College Packing List ala Darcy

Hello dudes! I haven't blogged in forever, yes, that is true. This post will HARDLY be considered a blog... It's a list. Are you surprised? I like me some lists. I typed up this list a while ago, in an effort to get back to blogging (ha!), and just saved it in a Word document.

This is my list of things to pack for college. By no means is it a complete list, but I'd like to think it has plenty of random helpful tips scattered throughout. =) I'm back to college in all of two days, and I absolutely cannot wait! I'm actually going to use this list as a guide since, you know, I made it... Ahem... Moving on!

To the list!

·         TOILETRIES:
o   I suggest you take an entire week and write down everything that you used. You’d be surprised how many products you use!  Most people can’t get away with just shampoo, body wash, and deodorant!
o   Shower caddy
o   Shower flip flops – buy new ones at the dollar store. You’re only going to shower in these, so they don’t have to be fancy.
o   Toothbrush travel cover – just an extra precaution in case you drop it or anything.  I like to keep my toothbrush in my caddy, so it’s nice to have it covered.
o   Towels and robe (if desired) – if you get a bathrobe, make sure you’re comfortable enough with the length to walk to and from the bathroom.
o   If you’re living in an apartment or a suite-style dorm where you have a private bathroom, you might need to provide your own hand soap.
o   Kleenex
o   Sunscreen – You might take for granted just how much time you’ll spend in the sun walking around campus. Be careful! (I recommend SPF 30 or higher, with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. BOOM!)
o   Clorox wipes, Pledge
o   Dish soap, sponges
o   Laundry detergent, dryer sheets or fabric softener
o   Clorox Color Catcher sheets
o   Vacuum (little Dirt Devil for $15!)
o   Paper towels
·         AROUND THE ROOM:
o   Small (ish) futon or chairs make a living space homey. If you get a circle or butterfly chair, they are easy to stow away so you can save space.
o   Big oscillating fan – VITAL if you are going to be in a dorm without air conditioning! And even if you do have AC, dorms get stuffy so it’s nice to keep the air moving.
o   Small personal fan – great to have close to your bed so you don’t get hot at night. Added bonus: serve as white noise so you can block out some of the typical sounds around the dorm (elevators, chatty neighbors, etc).
o   Rug – if your room is not carpeted, it will be very cold in the winter. It might be a good idea to leave the rug at home for the warm months, but when winter rolls around you’ll be sick of the cold tile on your tootsies!
o   Desk lamp and light bulbs – It doesn’t have to go at your desk, but rather anywhere that you need a little extra light.  Most of the lamps they target to college students have bendable stands. I hope you know what I’m talking about. These are very good! Much more convenient than stationery lamps.
o   TV dinner folding tables – so many times I wished I had one of these in my dorm. They’re easy to stow away so they don’t take up much space, and it’s nice to have an actual table to set your food on instead of eating off your lap.
o   Storage – taking advantage of vertical space is KEY in dorms. I like milk crates or towers of drawers.
·         FOOD TIME:
o   Reusable water bottle – I cannot emphasize this enough. Living on campus, you’re probably walking around all day. You’ll get thirsty. Don’t be a noob and buy disposable plastic water bottles. You’re killing the earth, yo. I highly recommend the Camelbak bottles – the top is like a straw so it’s easy to drink out of and it’s convenient to carry around.  You can find them at Target (and probably at Walmart). If they sell them at your school’s bookstore with your college’s name on it, don’t buy it. They’ll charge you ten more dollars for having their name on it. Pfft.
o   Microwave
o   Mini-fridge
o   Toaster (if desired)
o   Plates and bowls
o   Silverware (at least 2-3 of each)
o   Cups/glasses
o   One big coffee mug – hot cocoa or some instant soups live in this guy. Or coffee, if you’re gross like that.
o   Peanut butter – It will save you again and again. Trust me. Throw some jelly in the fridge, and you’re golden.
o   Ramen – cheap. Enough said.
o   Food mostly depends on personal preferences, but these are some basics to get you started. When it’s late and the dining halls are all closed, you’ll want something to snack on that you can prepare/microwave easily.
o   Ice tray – if you’re someone who always wants ice with your drinks, then you will save so much money by making your own ice instead of paying for a bag.
·         BED TIME:
o   Your bed is your home away from home, your escape from (initially) scary college life.  Make it express who you are; make it a place where you want to go each night. That being said, make it comfy and cool looking.
o   Mattress pad – this is VITAL. Dorm mattresses aren’t always the most forgiving, and the funky looking foam pads make a world of difference.
o   Extra-long twin sheets – I suggest a lighter color because they tend to look better.
o   Comforter – Again, get one that you like to look at. Whether it’s just a fun pattern or it reminds you of home, it will make it more inviting when you go to sleep at night.
o   Pillows and pillow cases – obviously. As many as you want to make it yours.
o   Stuffed animals – but don’t overdo it. Take one or two (or none!) of your favorites. I took a bright blue teddy bear and two small matching sheep. (Sounds like Darcy, right?)
o   Extra blanket – sometimes when it gets cold it’s nice to have an extra just in case.

So that's that. Right. Not blogging much. I love how my awkwardness is coming through the text. RIGHT ON SISTA. Or BROTHA. We don't discriminate here, nope.

Alright. That's enough of that.

Anyone who is going off to college for the first time... You're going to have a blast. Smile and hang in there - none of the other freshmen know what they're doing either. =)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Update in the Overall Direction of My Life

Yay for overly grand titles!

I was looking over my blog and realized I literally hadn't posted in months. This saddens me. I read through a couple old posts and realized I really missed writing these crazy little rants. Today's blog is taking the form of a life update as opposed to advice-giving or heavy-duty topic-discussing post.

My friends on Facebook all probably saw that I finally declared my major - sociology!

Now I've heard. The social sciences are soft. You won't make any money there. What can you do with that?

Honestly, I don't quite know just yet. The plan for now is that I want to literally be a sociologist, conducting research, and possibly teach social sciences classes at the college level.

In order to do this, I have to go to grad school. If I want to teach, add a professional or doctoral degree on top of that. Yeesh. That all sounds a little overwhelming to start, but I have always loved school. I loved learning from before I ever started school all the way to now. I even told my friends (before I had some semblance of a plan) that I just wanted to be a scholar, but no one pays you to learn stuff anymore. *sigh* haha

I took a career orientation this semester that kind of helped me put some things in order. It made me look at interests, skills, and values as well as personality type, all to help me figure out what my best occupation would be.  All those things considered, sociologist fit. Whee!

I kind of knew ever since I took an exploratory sociology class in high school that soc was what I wanted to do. I entered my college as an open option student to figure out if anything else would tempt me more than sociology. Nothing did. Alas, Darcy is a sociology major. =)

The thing that helps me know that I would enjoy this job is that I would feel like I was actually making a difference.  There are some serious large-scale issues in society that are scary.  Did you know that human trafficking goes on everywhere in the world, including the United States? Including Iowa? Including the town where I go to school, even? It's disgusting, it's wrong, and I want to stop it. Maybe I can. THAT is what I want. Believe you me, there is a post on human and sex trafficking coming soon, but that is not this post.

I didn't know that I wanted to be a social activist a year ago. It's always a good thing when I get really mad about something - that means I must care. A lot. And care I do!

I'm not sure where I would want to specialize because sociology is an extremely broad field, but I have at least three years for that.

Back to more tangible updates - I'm considering picking up another major in psychology, anthropology, or (gasp! dare I say it!?) political science. Also, I think I would like to minor in Spanish. I desperately need to study abroad, and Spanish is my in! ha HA!

As for making my future awesome, I need to start networking and get involved in my field. I really need to get an internship doing some sort of research or really anything in a social sciences field. If any of my beloved readers know anything or anyone in this area, please please PLEASE let me know. It's detrimental to my getting into grad school and ultimately getting a good job. (Heavy, much?)

By the way, I am finished with my freshman year of college! I absolutely loved it. Had a blast. I love being in such a diverse place, seeing and interacting with all different kinds of people (hello, sociology major). I also love the coursework - it's so different from high school.  I feel like I spend more time actually learning than doing worksheets like it was in high school. Ya dig? It's more challenging, which I enjoy.  Yay college!

Alright. I'm rambling now. There's my suuuuper long update. Comment, yo! Make my day. =)


Sunday, January 29, 2012

First blog in a while? Let's make this uncomfortable.

I don't have much time to blog anymore.
Correction: I don't make time to blog anymore.

However, I am in Soc 219, which is the Sociology of Intimate Relationships and Sexuality.  It's a fascinating course, if you wanted to know. But it brings to mind some issues that are especially pertinent to people my age. I am not going to apologize for how sudden or harsh this blog will come across because quite frankly this PISSES ME OFF.

Did you know that one in four women in college will be victims of attempted or actual sexual assault by the time they graduate? Think about that in terms of women you know how have graduated from college, and then the statistic seems even scarier.

Before you begin to tell me that these cases are the women's fault, consider this.  What if your sister or close friend got a little out of control one night at a party? Maybe her shirt was a little too low cut, her skirt riding a little too high. At a party she mistakenly trusts the wrong person, and she becomes a victim. Would you blame her? Would you tell her it was her fault, that she should have been more careful? Or would you have a bigger problem with the rapist? If you are more upset with the victim, that is very revealing of a major problem in our society. (I apologize for the grandiose statement, but it's true.) For some reason, we seem to believe that if a woman is dressed in a risque fashion or has had too much to drink, she is immediately responsible for being assaulted instead of the actual assaulter. 

I'm going to go ahead and say this right now. No person, male or female, straight or LGBT, ever deserves to be violated. The circumstances don't matter. They were too drunk to say no. Perhaps they were dressed slutty so they were "asking for it". Maybe they liked someone, but in the heat of the moment things happened too fast.

That being said, if anyone ever confides in you that he or she was sexually assaulted, your first questions shouldn't be "What did you do?" or "How could you let this happen?" Instead, be supportive. Your friend needs your help now more than ever. Encourage the victim to call 911 and report the rape. This is important because most people do not sexually assault. However, serial rapists exist, and if they go unpunished, they could potentially keep on abusing other people.

Back to helping your friend. Talk to them. Don't judge them. The assault was not their fault. It's hard and it's scary, but it is so important to be there for your friend. If you or any of your friends have ever been a victim of sexual assault, I am so, so sorry.

But what can we do about it? I'm only one person. On my own, my opinion can only go so far. This problem goes deep... It is perpetuated in jokes like "If she didn't say no, it's okay" and other sayings like that. If you ever see or hear of immoral practices going on, speak up. Voice your opinion. This won't change unless we make it happen.

Phew. First blog in a long time, and I choose an issue like this? Goodness. Anyway. If any of you want to talk about any of this, ask me questions or argue with me, by all means. It's so important that we talk about this issue and get it out in the open.  Thanks for reading, guys. ♥

**I apologize to all of my grammar-crazy family and friends about using 'them' as a singular pronoun over and over, but I didn't want to have to distinguish between men and women. baha