Coronavirus

Wherever you are, I hope you are staying safe, washing your hands (which you should have been doing regardless), and being mindful of others.

I’m currently spending week one of spring break at home with my family. We’ve been watching all the latest updates on COVID-19 and preparing for what may come. Are we bulk-buying toilet paper? No, but we are making sure we have what we need before it’s all picked over by the impulsive panic-buyers.

My university, like I said before, is on spring break this week. However, they have extended spring break another week and planned for online classes to begin the following week amidst positive coronavirus tests in our county as well as surrounding counties. While other universities have closed their doors for the semester, ours is planning to return to regular in-person lectures April 10th.

In the meantime, I ask everyone to practice good hygiene (I can’t believe I’m asking this) and be mindful of precautions established by the Center for Disease Control. You don’t need 50 rolls of Angel Soft or 20 boxes of Mac and Cheese… at least I didn’t see that on their website!

Also, for those who are not in the “risk group” for the virus, please keep in mind that while it may appear to be a simple cold that you will get over, you can easily pass it on to someone who cannot recover as easily, if at all.

Please stay home if you are sick.

To learn more information on COVID-19, click here to visit the CDC website. 

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Books I NEED To Read

I’ve never really had the time (or interest) to read. I used to love reading, but as I grew older, I felt a shift where I almost never picked up a book unless I absolutely had to… and even that was rare. But I recently decided that I want to change that.

I took my biweekly trip to Target with my sister the other day. It was one of the first times in a while that I wasn’t being rushed, so I thought I’d stop at the book section. I found myself drowning in so many options. My sister was not getting me out of the aisle no matter how hard she tried.

Unfortunately, groceries were top priority, so I could only get one book that trip. After ten minutes of going back and forth, I finally chose Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley. It’s a beautiful book so far. It’s all about overcoming pressure and getting past whatever is holding you back. I really needed to read it right now. Perfect book, perfect timing.

But, like I said, there were a ton of books that I wanted to read. I was sure to jot down all the titles and authors so I could remember them all and start checking them off a list. I even looked online for even more books I may want to read.

 

The Little Book of Otter Philosophy by Jennifer McCartney

The Joy of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton

The Art of Breaking Up by hitRECord

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Let Love Have the Last Word: A Memoir by Common

10% Happier by Dan Harris

The World According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers

Make Sh*t Happen by Alex Martin

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I Learned My Enneagram Type and It’s Wicked Accurate

In the past week, I’ve made several discoveries.

  1. I like the smell of cactus flower and coconut.
  2. I operate terribly when I pull all nighters.
  3. I am a enneagram type four.

I never really got into enneagrams and all that jazz because for the longest time, it confused me. I didn’t really understand what it meant or where it came from. But I finally caved and did a little research.

For those who don’t know, an enneagram is “a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people conceptualize the world and manage their emotions,” according to Truity.com.

To determine my enneagram number, I took this quiz. It was short and FREE!

I ended up being a type four. What does this mean? Is it accurate?

Type Four is known as the individualist. This person is “self-aware, sensitive, and reserved,” according to the Enneagram Institute. I think I’d have to go ahead and agree with this one. Anyone who knows me knows that especially in new environments I am very reserved and try to stay pretty self-aware.

“While it is true that Fours often feel different from others, they do not really want to be alone. They may feel socially awkward or self-conscious, but they deeply wish to connect with people who understand them and their feelings. The “romantics” of the Enneagram, they long for someone to come into their lives and appreciate the secret self that they have privately nurtured and hidden from the world.”

Ok, that hit me like a truck. I can’t agree with this anymore. I love having time to myself, but I don’t like being alone/lonely at the end of the day. Wanting someone to appreciate my “secret self” is my ultimate dream, and in recent months, I’ve found myself worrying that I’m too different for someone to appreciate me in that way… which is another characteristic of a type four. Wild, right?

Addictions include, “Over-indulgence in rich foods, sweets, alcohol to alter mood, to socialize, and for emotional consolation. Lack of physical activity. Bulimia. Depression. Tobacco, prescription drugs, or heroin for social anxiety. Cosmetic surgery to erase rejected features.”

 I could really go in and tell you how accurate this is, but I’ll just touch on a few areas. Ok, so the first part- sweets. I have a decent sized candy jar in my room that is stocked up at all times. So you tell me.

Alcohol? I’ll be honest… I’ve indulged a few times as a coping mechanism. Not something I’m proud of, but it’s something that’s real accurate. There was a time where I fell off and found myself reaching for the bottle regularly. I cleaned up nice, though.

Finally, cosmetic surgery. I’ve said so many times that I want to get my nose straightened and smoothed out on the bridge. It has a really weird flat top and itty bitty bump that I’m not a fan of. I’ve also talked about getting lip filler because my bottom lip is the size of at least three of my top lip and it looks insane.

Finding out what my enneagram type is was really exciting. It really helped me see my life in a whole new light. Reading certain traits made me feel a lot better about the direction I am heading in and the way I behave in certain situations.

I highly encourage you to take the quiz and learn what type you are!

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How to Ace Online College Classes

Online classes are a blessing and a curse for the busy student.

It took me a while to get the hang of taking online classes. At first I thought it was going to be super easy because I could log in whenever I had free time, but I think we can all agree it isn’t that easy. Being able to work at my own pace was super beneficial for me but then I started procrastinating like no other.

1. Manage your time well.

This goes without saying but I’m saying it anyway. It’s pretty much a golden rule for college. Online classes require a lot of dedication because unlike in-person classes, you don’t have a specific time to take the class. You have to make the time for it yourself and stay disciplined.

2. Take notes.

A lot of students like to breeze through the lessons and not pay attention because, well, who needs to when you can use the book for everything?! Taking notes helps you make sense of what you’re learning, and it’s saved my butt quite a bit with my online classes.

3. Spread out your lessons.

I’m guilty of having the mindset that if I cram a bunch of weeks worth of lessons into the couple hours of free time I have, I can finish the class sooner and have one less thing to worry about. What I don’t take into account is the fact that I’m paying good money for these classes and need to actually retain the information. So take this tip from someone who makes this mistake always. As long as you’re meeting deadlines, take your time to learn the material!

4. E-mail your professor

This one might seem a little odd, but hear me out. In in-person classes, you may not realize it but just by being there, you’re already building some sort of relationship with your instructor. They’re seeing the effort you’re putting in (or not putting in) and associate that to your capabilities in a work setting. Use emails as a way to introduce yourself to your online professors so they, too, know who you are and what you’re like as a student. I mean, recommendation letters don’t write themselves!

Those are my tips on how to ace your online classes! I know there’s so many other ways you can achieve that A, but this is what works for me. If you have other tips, let me know!

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Here’s What Will Happen When You Fall in Love with Someone Who Can’t Love You

Short answer? It hurts like hell.

Long answer?

Things won’t feel right for a while. It’ll feel like you’re going through the motions. You’ll be checking your phone to see that they haven’t called or texted you. You’ll feel like you’re missing something in your day.

You’ll catch yourself thinking about them when you shouldn’t be. Any little thing will remind you of them- the shirt you wore that one time when they came over, the spot on the ceiling you looked at while they held you in their arms, the balled-up gum wrapper sitting on your bedside table. Everything becomes a trigger of a memory. You’ll know that you can’t keep thinking about them, but it’s out of your control.

You’ll wish you could talk to them. Maybe you can. Maybe they’ve said you can text them any time, but you know deep down that they said that just to be polite. Communicating is not something they really care about. If they did, they would’ve been honest with you from the start.

You’ll keep the photos for a while. Probably because you don’t want to let go. Or maybe because you’ve started to feel better but seeing their face washes away the flood gates and you feel all the feelings again. Their face will live in your phone until the feelings are such a distant memory that you forget they’re even there.

You’ll catch yourself falling even more. You know it won’t work, but that won’t stop you from thinking about how happy you two would be if. 

You’ll sleep more. Being awake leads to overthinking. Any time you open your eyes, you’ll shut them again and force yourself to go back to sleep. You won’t want to be awake. You may even feel a pain in your stomach when you think about taking on the day.

You’ll look at things differently. That quote from some philosopher whose name you can’t pronounce might start to have a heavier meaning to you. It might get you thinking. The sad parts of cheesy Hallmark movies might hit too close to home.

You’ll decide to make a change. Changes don’t just come out of thin air. You have to work for them. You have to make them what you want them to be. You’ll see that the position you are in is no longer serving you and want to change that.

You’ll eventually feel ok again. All this pain subsides in due time. I can’t tell you that it’ll be quick or easy. I can just tell you it’ll be right. If you hurt for months, that’s what is right for your path. Days? Hours? Same thing. You’ll start to feel normal and maybe even better than before. You’ll go out more, experience more, love more. You’ll be more you. You’ll love yourself how you wished they would have loved you.

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You Don’t Earn Your Depression

The other day, I came across an article on Odyssey called “You Don’t Need A Reason For Your Depression, It’s Still Valid if Your Life is Technically ‘Good’“and it really got me thinking about a conversation I had with someone recently.

I was talking to a friend about how hard things have been and how badly I wished I wasn’t here. I vented about everything because I felt like I was talking to someone I could trust… someone who would help. Instead, I got the grand old “there are people who have it worse than you” lecture.

And in that moment, I felt disappointment and guilt. Disappointment because that wasn’t at all what I wanted or expected to hear. It was like I was reaching for help but they were stepping on my fingers. Guilt because now I felt terrible for taking everything I had for granted. Even guilt for speaking up about how I was feeling.

I spent a few days feeling awful about feeling awful.

Now I’m finally realizing how wrong that is. I mean, I always thought it was messed up for someone to say you’re not allowed to be upset because people have it worse than you. It’s like saying you can’t be happy because someone has it better than you. But something about the way it had been said to me that night was so manipulative that I was immediately convinced it was the truth.

My poor brain was doing flips. I kept shaming myself for overthinking or feeling pain. Any time I was sad, I told myself I was wrong. It added another layer of problems for me. It was like trying to put out a fire with more fire.

If you’re ever told that you shouldn’t be reacting a certain way because “someone else has it worse than you,” or “someone else would kill to be in the position you’re in,” know that your feelings are valid. It is not your job to base your pain on the pain of others. It is not your job to turn off your feelings at the flip of a switch because someone says you shouldn’t feel that way.

I hate what this person said to me. I hate this person’s mindset. But I don’t hate this person. I actually love them a lot. So, as you can imagine, it really hurts me that I can no longer feel comfortable talking to them about my struggles.

I didn’t want to write about this at first because I was afraid it would cause problems with the person who said it, but at the end of the day it needed to be said. Someone else might need to hear this. I hope the person who said this to me reads this. Let’s be honest, they’re probably going through some shit too.

Please, reach out to your friends. Make sure they’re ok. It isn’t easy to ask someone for help. By showing that interest yourself, it invites and reassures them.

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1-800-273-8255

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My Travel Bucket List

I’ve never sat down and thought about places I’d like to visit… at least not until I started spending more time with people who are all about traveling.

I’ve only ever really left the country once and I was too young to remember much of it. I hope to make more trips out of the country in the future (hence some of the locations I’ll mention), but the U.S. also has some gorgeous locations to explore!

 

1. Chicago

2. Los Angeles

3. Amsterdam

4. Santorini

5. Miami

6. New York City

7. Toronto

8. Brisbane

9. Paris

10. Barcelona

 

Do you have a bucket list of places to visit? Where would you go?

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Let’s Talk

Hi guys! I missed Monday’s upload intentionally. I felt it wasn’t a genuine post. I wanted this week to be all about genuine, raw emotions. I have a lot to talk about today. I want to address a lot of things and catch you up to speed.

It’s been chilly in Cleveland! As I’m writing this, I’m watching snow flurries out of my apartment window. I knew this warm weather was too good to be true. A good friend once said he’d take snow over rain because “at least the snow is nice to look at,” so I’ve been trying to follow that perspective while I put on my winter coat in the mornings.

School has been a little hard this semester. I missed my first week of classes to be with my family after the sudden and unexpected passing of my uncle. I won’t go into detail on that, but I’ll just say it was a very hard time for everyone. Then, only a couple weeks later, I got extremely sick and couldn’t go to classes. That put me yet another week behind schedule. I try not to get overwhelmed by things out of my control, but it’s been tough lately. I ultimately decided to drop a class that felt nearly impossible to catch up in. I am now taking 12 credit hours rather than 15. I’m still considered a full-time student and I still have a lot of work to do!

I’ve been using this week to pinpoint what makes me happy. I’ve spent so much more time with friends, which is wonderful. I’ve gone out to dinner, sang in the shower, treated myself to lots of desserts, etc. It’s been great. I feel so refreshed. I really wanted to give myself a break from the mess that 2020 has been thus far.

Clearly, not everything is great right now. There’s some things I’m dealing with that I don’t want to make public. But I want you to know that it’s not “all good in the neighborhood” because I’d rather be transparent than portray a false image of my life.

Next week’s post will be up on Monday as usual. It’ll be back to routine I promise.

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First Week of Spring Semester: CHECK

Spring semester is here and I’m thriving! So far, I love all of my classes and my instructors seem so nice and knowledgable. I’m super excited to put my all into this semester. Typically, I have a not-so-great first semester where I’m getting back into the swing of things after summer break, and then a really good spring semester. I hope that’s the case this year too.

Along with classes, I’ll be applying myself a lot more with content creating! I recently got this rush of motivation and I think it’s going to really help me kick my butt into high gear. I’ve been planning like crazy so I hope you guys enjoy everything I share!

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Apps That Make College Life Easier

I’ll be the first to admit that my eyes are glued to my phone. But I look at my phone as a tool. I have ways to stay in touch with family, ways to keep my day-to-day life organized, ways to give and receive important information, etc.

I’m only sharing apps that I personally use and enjoy. There are all apps I use regularly or feel that other students might.

Quizlet

I’m a big fan of flashcards. But when I don’t think my handwriting is good enough, I can end up rewriting the same thing a million times. It ends up being a waste of time. That’s why I use Quizlet now. I can get all of my notes transferred very easily into neatly printed flashcards that I can print OR access through my phone moments before my exam!

Venmo

Going out with friends is a constant game of, “I forgot my wallet. Can you spot me?” Venmo is a huge lifesaver in those moments. I’m almost always using Venmo.

Spotify

Walking to and from classes is so painfully boring without something to listen to. For college students, Spotify premium is half the price and includes Hulu and Showtime!

Calendar

I prefer to use Google Calendar for my planning and scheduling. It’s super easy to use and I can use it to schedule so many different aspects of my life by color coding. For example- blog related events are purple. I can scroll quickly through my calendar and the bright purple labels help me see right away when something needs to be done.

Postmates

When I’m rushing to get assignments done, I can never find the time to make myself something to eat. That’s why I worship at the feet of Postmates. Postmates makes it so east to get food from nearby restaurants delivered to your door. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used Postmates since I’ve been in college. It’s almost routine!

Blackboard

My university uses Blackboard as the platform for classroom communication and access to materials. I use the blackboard app to see what’s on my syllabus when I am not around the printed copy. I can also use it to communicate with professors and classmates, check due dates, and submit projects I complete on my phone.

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Reflecting on My 2019 New Year’s Resolutions & Making New Ones For 2020

At the end of 2018, I wrote 2019 New Year’s Resolutions where I listed my goals for the incoming year. I’ll be honest with you- I forgot I even posted that until yesterday. I figured today I would go back and see if I succeeded with any of them.

2019’s Resolutions

Life

“Give myself more time to relax”

I knew I needed a lot more me time so I did all I could to make that happen. I gave myself breaks from going out with friends and family as a way to decompress from everything. Sometimes that meant staying in bed all day watching tiktoks and other times it meant writing content and planning out upcoming months. Very soothing.

“Don’t push things off until the last minute (plans, school, etc.)”

Oh, I’m the best at procrastinating, so I promise you no adjustments were made here. Just this last semester, I waited until the day before a final project was due to even look at the assignment. Cool, right?

“Get active”

I sort of got there. I do a lot of walking, and I did some exercising for a little while, but nothing crazy. My sister, Rianna, and I have talked about going to the gym more this year, so hopefully I’ll get that squared away.

“Do something out of my comfort zone”

I tried my best in 2019 to do things I wouldn’t usually do and it was a lot more difficult than I expected. Anxiety is a bitch, as I’m sure a lot of you know. But I actually am very proud of myself for the progress I made in 2019. I went to concerts with my sister and made new friends, both of which are usually terrifying to me.

“Be more confident in myself”

In 2019 I learned that this may be up and down for a while. Some days I loved myself and had so much confidence and other days it pained me to look in the mirror. If I look at things accumulatively, I suppose I was a bit more confident in myself in 2019 than the year prior.

“Read more”

I definitely read a lot of textbook material this year, but not a lot outside of school like I originally wanted to. It was one of those things where I just couldn’t find the time to open a book that wasn’t poetry.

“Journal”

I gave up on that one pretty quickly. I journaled whenever I was going through things and it helped me get over whatever was going on, but I never really journaled about positive things.

“Take lots of pictures”

Oh, trust me, I nailed this one. I love taking pictures to capture moments. I have so many pictures from the past year! I also have a lot of videos!

“Eat healthier”

I was back and forth with this one. Some days were good, but then I’d go into a dark hole filled with potato chips and chocolate bars. Yikes. I’ll do better this year. I promise!

“Drink more water”

After I got myself a cute reusable to take to all of my classes, I was never without water. I kept hydrated pretty easily and my skin thanked me. Now if I go a couple days without drinking lots of water, you can tell by the inevitable volcano-like pimples I get on my face!

“Stop using plastic straws”

I did really well for a while with this one by carrying my reusable metal straws with me wherever I went, but then it became a chore and- sad to say- I failed. I’m trying again in 2020, so we’ll see if I do any better this year.

Blog

“Follow a posting schedule”

I was able to do it for a while, but life got a little chaotic and I stopped. It was on/off for a few months, but I still got posts out at least a couple times a month, I think.

“Only post what makes me proud”

I’ve gotten better at making sure my content is something I’m truly proud of instead of what I think I should be posting for either clicks or approval. I think I’ve really narrowed down how I want to run this site and what kind of media should be on here. 2020 will bring a lot of changes!

“Be more confident in my writing”

Some days I was, others I wasn’t so much, but looking back at all I got posted in a year, I’m very proud of myself for keeping up with it more than I had any year before.

“Post at least once a week”

Haha. Well we all know that didn’t happen.

“Meet more fellow bloggers”

Yes! I met so many awesome bloggers who I’d consider good friends of mine now! They helped me figure out where I was wanting my blog to go and what I would have to do to get there. They’ve also given me a lot of inspiration and motivation.

“Take risks with my work”

I definitely took a few risks with things I wanted to do with my blog and some really paid off. I also made a lot of plans for things that I want to do that will take more time. But I guess the idea for said “risks” were made in 2019, so I’ll count those too.

2020’s Resolutions

Life

Eat healthier

Go to the gym

Devote more time to my studies

Gain more confidence in myself

Present myself in a kinder light

Donate a lot of my clothes that I don’t wear anymore

Travel

Blog

Venture into other types of content

Share more photos

Write about unique experiences

Follow a regular posting schedule

Do something huge

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Paying Homage to 2019

Can you believe this is my third year writing my yearly recap? I can’t!

So for those who don’t know, at the end of every year I like to highlight some of my highs and lows of the year (see Paying Homage to 2017, Paying Homage to 2018). I started in 2017 as a casual post, not thinking I would keep up with it the following years. I always consider the third time to be what establishes something as a tradition, so here we are guys! It’s officially a Megann Louise tradition!

In last year’s recap, I said I was going to make 2019 my bitch. Well, we win some, we lose some, right? Whenever I look back on this year I get a bad taste in my mouth. I know a lot of great things happened, but I also experienced a lot of heartache. I’d consider this year to be one of great growth for me.

At the start of the year, I got to see Cody Ko and Noel Miller live with my sister and friend James. Their Youtube videos were what got me through a lot of hard stuff so it was wild that I was in the same room as them.

In May I finished my first year of college at CSU. I ended up making the Dean’s List, which I would not have expected at the beginning of the year. I finally decided on the right major for me in that time too- communication.

I moved out of my first apartment in May, too. It was the ending of an era, I suppose. That place became my home. I made so many wild memories in apartment 509. As sad as I was leaving, I felt a weird sense of relief too. I was leaving behind a piece of me, which was sort of sad, but I knew I was starting a new chapter.

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In July, I surprised my sister with a party for her 18th birthday. It was pretty last minute, but all her friends pitched in and helped me make things work. I was so grateful for everybody’s help in making it such a success. Being able to do something like that for my sister was so special to me.

Then there was a bump in the road. I said goodbye to a nearly two year relationship. Things just don’t work out sometimes and it’s for the best. I still have a ridiculous amount of love and respect for my ex. He’s a great guy…. just not my soulmate. And that’s alright. It took me a while to move past the heartbreak, which is to be expected when you were with someone for a long time. He is genuinely one of my best friends and I’m so lucky to still have him to confide in whenever I need him. While some would expect me to be sad that the relationship ended, I’m glad that I’m still lucky enough to have a friend in him.

For a while after the break up, I was in a really dark place and couldn’t seem to find the way out. I didn’t feel half as confident as I once did. I suppose it’s normal (but in no way healthy) to dog on yourself after a break up… at least for a little while. After I was finally able to get myself out of bed, I was going out to get my mind off of everything. That’s where the fun came in.

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First, we went to see Granger Smith. The story behind that one is a little random. We had gone to Walmart and there were two tour buses in the parking lot (which obviously isn’t a normal thing). Turns out Granger was at Walmart! We didn’t get to see him there, but we took it as a sign that we should buy two tickets to the show that was only hours away.  I have to say that that was one of the best nights I’d had in a while. The rush we felt after buying the tickets was insane. We immediately ran to get ready and blasted Granger throughout the house.

The very next night, we were invited to tag along to a Foreigner concert. I didn’t know too many songs (I know, what’s wrong with me?!) but I still had such a good time. I think that’s one of the first nights where I was able to fully drop every bad thought at the door and enjoy myself.

In late August, I moved back to Cleveland with my little sister for school. We got a new place with two other roommates that’s a lot nicer than the one I lived in the year before. I started what is the second semester of my sophomore year. Rianna, my sister, began her first semester as a freshman! The semester came with a lot of adjusting for us both and somehow we made it through all of the headaches.

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For the second year in a row, my dad, sister, and I went to the Cleveland Air Show. When I was little, my dad always talked about taking us. Then finally last year, we got to go. I’ll be honest- I didn’t think I’d enjoy it all that much. But it was so much fun, that I was jumping up and down over getting to go again this year. I’d love for this to become a tradition!

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To reward ourselves for kicking butt the first few weeks of school, Rianna and I went to our first Cleveland Indian’s game! I’ve never been a die hard baseball fan, but the atmosphere was so fun and I really enjoyed myself. I was still trying to recover from a lot mentally so that night was a breath of fresh air for me. Fun fact- I also bought my first legal drink at the game!

School got progressively more challenging and I went into a downward spiral. I started doing things I swore to myself I would never do. I just lost control of who I was. That’s when I reintroduced myself to faith. I let myself stray from religion in the past few years and by coming back, I felt myself finding closure and motivation to overcome everything I was facing.

Then I did something out of my comfort zone. After having several deep talks with my friend Kaleb, I found motivation to share my story. I went live on Instagram. I came clean about everything I had been feeling because I hoped being transparent would not only help me, but help someone watching. I was open about things that most people would consider taboo. Laying it all out on the table really helped me see the bigger picture. I even got some super sweet messages from people who watched to livestreams. There was so much support and understanding. It was beautiful. I don’t imagine I’ll ever get over that.

Shortly after, I reconnected with a friend I made during my first semester of school at CSU. We got lunch and caught each other up on our lives. We both had some wild stories to tell and a lot of laughs to share. I was really excited to have this friend in my life because he was absolutely hysterical and genuinely a great guy to be around.

I’m so excited to be saying goodbye to this transformative decade. I’ve got a lot of goals for 2020. I want to make it a year of hard work and big steps. I refuse to end 2020 in the same place that I start it. It’s time to grow, baby!

Thank you to everyone who stuck around for another year as well as those who stumbled upon my site this year! You guys make each and every year so special. I hope you all have a magnificent new year and get all you want and need!

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