Breaking News: the News is Heartbreaking

Drugs, politics, scandal, murder, mayhem, traffic, and weather.

It’s no wonder I rarely watch the news considering the weather is the only potentially pleasant topic (and if it isn’t sunny and 80 degrees than the weather can barely be deemed an agreeable subject).

I remember waking up unnaturally early in the morning all throughout my grade school career and turning on the news and toaster as soon as I stepped downstairs to the kitchen. I probably could have slept in an extra 10 minutes if it weren’t for my partiality towards Eggo waffles with a light amount of butter and a liberal amount of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, and the morning news, but it was worth a bit of missed sleep to happily greet the day.

wjzWhile gulping down my waffle and trying to keep my sugary fingers limited to the area around my napkin, I would tune into WJZ channel 13 news, and aim for a level of knowledgeableness that those as young as I was rarely achieved. True, the information I was retaining was more about local stories, such as the year’s Polar Bear Plunge, interviews with local businesses regarding the effect of whatever weather pattern we were in the midst of, the Raven’s chances at bringing another championship back to Baltimore, and the musical styling’s of a particular club or charity group, but I loved greeting my city each and every morning through channel 13.

puppies and rainbowsAnd now, it saddens me to turn on the news once so full of charm and energy. Maybe society has increasingly given into the lawless ways that were once so forbidden in the past, maybe I just never noticed the doom and gloom almost ever-present on the television as a child, maybe now our society is more attune to the serious and seriously disheartening subjects, or maybe I just keep tuning in right after a happy story about rainbows that lead to puppy friendship and happily ever-afters with more rainbows.

But really.

Things have got to change people, and fast, because if I have to listen to one more story about a corrupt/cheating/drugged out politician, I may be in danger of spitting out my Eggo waffle in an almighty rage before proclaiming to the neighborhood a distaste for my negative perception of the media and then proceeding to light my house on fire (with the cat toted away to a safe location) as I gleefully watch all of my televisions melt into a dreary heap.

And that’s not a story you’d be pleased to see on the news.

Shake My Sillies Out

When I was little I remember singing along to one of those tacky cheesy obnoxious yet catchy-as-all-get-out songs, “Shake My Sillies Out”, while wiggling around in my car seat and flailing my limbs out towards my poor brother.

However, as I’ve aged, my affinity for those tacky cheesy obnoxious yet catchy-as-all-get-out songs has far from decreased. Occasionally I find myself looking humming “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” while strolling through by some flowers, and I’ve been known to break into a chorus of “If All the Raindrops Were Lemon Drops and Gumdrops” at the sight of a candy bag or a particularly intense rain storm. But over the past month it’s been “Shake My Sillies Out” that has really taken hold of my imagination.

Because I have a lot of things to shake out. Mostly, my worries, which are just plain silly (see, it’s a totally relatable song).

My silly worries:

  • I am worried because I once again have the winter blues.
  • I am worried because it is my last semester of college ever.
  • I am worried because I need to make more concrete plans regarding a job after this last semester of college ever.
  • I am worried because my boyfriend is delaying his summer job plans which greatly influences my summer job plans.
  • I am worried because I have not been sleeping well.
  • I am worried because I have been steadily gaining weight and ignoring exercise.
  • I am worried because my new spring internship has me starring at the computer for 8 hours a day.
  • I am worried because my cat has a bad scratch on her belly that keeps reappearing.
  • I am worried because of my brother’s lack of direction for the future.
  • I am worried because my mother has slipped into worse unhealthy habits than I have.
  • I am worried because when I go through my childhood photo albums with my father it strikes me exactly how much of my life has already gone by, and how I never truly appreciated it to the best of my capacity.

This past month I’ve done a lot of shaking, though sadly none of it counts as exercise.

But I feel better, and now I can hopefully start to sing some more age appropriate songs.

The 6 Stages of Final Exams As Told by Harry Potter

We are not alone in the fight again Those-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named. (……finals…..)

As Told by Laura

1. Denial

Finals? Hahahahaha! Please. I’ve still got an entire week left. Do you have any idea what I can accomplish in that short amount of time? Seriously, there’s nothing to worry about. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna’ go paint my nails like little zebras.

2. Anger

Okay, it’s not like I’m mad about finals or anything, but seriously? A comprehensive test? How unfair is that?! And it’s worth, like, 96 percent of my grade. I’m too mad to study. School is so stupid. No, everything is stupid. LET’S START A REVOLUTION!

3. Procrastination

I’m just gonna’ go over to Tiffany’s for a quick study session. I always do my best work in groups. Oh, and Jennifer, Michael and Josh will be there too, but we’re definitely gonna’ get stuff done. Definitely…

4. Cramming

Okayokayokay. Two hours left until the test. I have four Redbulls in the fridge…

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Working on My Passion

fireman wishIn kindergarten I wanted to be a veterinarian, because I thought that all girls were vets and all boys were firefighters. I knew that my mom and dad didn’t perform either of these jobs so it’s a bit confusing on how this notion came to exist.

In fourth grade when I realized that not all animals were as friendly as my cat, I decided that I would like to be a real estate agent. We watched a lot of HGTV in my home.

In the ninth grade my mom wouldn’t lend me the necessary capital to flip a house, so I decided to settle for being a teacher. I’ve never really want to be a teacher. I’m impatient. I already want this blog post to be finished with itself.

And now, after I’ve learned that flip flops are better suited for the beach than decision making, I am stuck having no solid idea of what I’d like to be “when I grow up”, which according to my impending college graduation date, will be in a few months.

I blame my lack of a career direction entirely on being too well-rounded of a person (it’s not a brag if it’s also a fact). I love history and anatomy and math and science and reading and music and health and theatre and technology and different cultures and writing and I’m always interested to hear what new information someone has to share on even the most foreign of topics. I have no specific topic that drives me to wake up in the morning, and even though I like any excuse to sleep in I can’t help but wishing that there were something more.

I don’t want just any ol’ job. I want the best job on the planet where I have to use that cheesy line about it “not being work” and everyone laughs but I glow on the inside knowing that it’s true and that I’m really quite happy where I am and that my life is contributing to something that I never want to leave. Also it should pay a million dollars an hour.

But where does one go to find one’s passion? I’ve been looking for a good part of my 21 years and haven’t found anything that I’d love to be involved with for the rest of my life. I’m an English and Communications double major because I like to read and I like to talk to people and because the university made me choose. I’m also involved in Terp Thon which helps the kids at Children’s National Medical Center, I loyally attend the UMD athletic events, and I’ve long been involved in sign language club and gardening. But to focus on solely one of those aspects? It wouldn’t be enough. Which leads me to believe that I haven’t found the one. The one passion that overcomes all other interests until it consumes my whole being with desire.

I know that it’s not realistic to expect such fulfillment from a job and that I’m quite spoiled to be in a position where I can afford to question what I truly want from my career, but when you’re spending the majority of your life working you don’t want to waste time with emotions of any lesser caliber than sheer joy.

I’m not willing to settle for any long-term career that I’m less than passionate about. And I’m certainly not willing to settle for any pay range less than that million dollars an hour.

So for now I’ll just have to keep searching and figure out how I can make room in my resume to express this sentiment.

Writing Exercises, My Kind of a Workout

When I was in the seventh grade, I had an English teacher named Mrs. Stroloski. Mrs. Stroloski made us learn and memorize the most difficult of vocabulary words (though I was completely enamored with the word disheveled), encouraged us to read from books far overreaching our comprehension level (in my expert opinion as a middle school student), and bid us to write in cursive at all times during her class period (a skill I hadn’t put to use since the fourth grade). Aside from her gorgeous handwriting and affinity for the color purple, I was never too fond of Mrs. S.

However, there was one writing drill that she would instruct the class to complete every Friday, and thanks to this exercise, I can look back on my seventh grade English experience with a little more appreciation than most of my middle school counterparts.

strong pencilHere’s how it worked: For 5 minutes, you had to write. No stopping. No pausing. No delays. Just words and letters. Even if you couldn’t think of your next sentence, you just had to repeat the same word or the same letter until your thoughts continued to flow. Nonstop. No limits. No topics. Just you, and the constant movement of your pen writing sloppily half-forgotten cursive down on your composition notebook.

writing drillLooking back now, I can’t remember most of what I wrote as a seventh grader. I remember complementing Mrs. Stroloski on choosing the color purple to adorn the classroom, I remember talking about how excited I was that they were serving pizza in the cafeteria right after an eventful and delicious taco day, and I also vaguely remember reading A Christmas Carol in her class and expressing my love and devotion to Santa Claus. Riveting stuff, I know. I may have even used the word disheveled a time or two or ten.

But I think that’s the moment when I realized that it felt good to write. I did not like how my cursive capital letters looked, but I sure did like expressing myself through the written word.

Sometimes I still practice this drill, as it seems great for relieving writer’s block, but often, I simply reflect on my classroom experience with Mrs. S. and wonder if the other kids that she’s taught over the years still recall this activity and are able to remember what the word disheveled means.

By Chance, Do You Have a Time Machine That I Could Borrow?

Almost three years ago today, I was crying; downright sobbing for my Mommy and Daddy to come and rescue me from this bad bad place, and hardly breathing for fear of the unknown and the change that was now undeniably upon me. Three years ago was my first day of college here at the University of Maryland.

And now, on this anniversary of my sob-fest, my eyes are once more glossing over with tears. Because I realize that these wonderful times at my university have almost come to an end. And there is nothing I can do to get those years back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I would give to return to freshman year and reassure myself that I would find a best friend in my roommate, despite her quirky way of singing Glee and her affinity for warm room temperatures. I would tell myself that it’s OK to step out of my comfort zone, because it’s the only way in the entire world to meet new people and define yourself. Also, you know how you’ve lost a significant amount of weight for the first time in your life? KEEP IT THAT WAY AT ALL COSTS, I HAVE SEEN YOUR FUTURE AND YOUR FUTURE IS PIZZA! I would also tell freshman Katy that no one needs to study that hard for a freshman Bio class, the classes get harder, enjoy the easy ones while you’ve got em’.

IMG_0903Of course I would let sophomore-self in on some information too. I would strongly suggest making friends with the girl living next door, as she won’t be returning for a senior year. You know that job you’re considering taking at the ice cream stand? It’ll lead you towards great and silly friends, but for the love of all things UMD, don’t eat so much ice cream! (though kudos on slowing down with the pizza). Do something you bump on a log! Make an effort in more than your studies, don’t forget to live and smile and laugh and keep those tears hidden because you still miss your cat.

IMG_2058I don’t know if my present self would do so much talking junior year. The first semester, I may encourage past Katy to hit the gym every now and again, but mostly, I’d sit back and smile watching me discover my love of university soccer, find my passion for spreading awareness of domestic violence, get involved in the department of resident life and dining services, and create lasting and meaningful friendships. But I would definitely plant the idea of creating a stupendous and life-altering blog that has the possibility to reach out and touch the lives of hundreds of people, instead of scribbling on this snot rag of a journal.

[This time machine business is all assuming, of course, that if I went back in time I would find a way to reach out to my past self in a way that doesn’t interfear with the space-time continuum and cause catastrophic doom to myself and the planet as a whole. But, as I’ve passed Comm 400, I’m sure that I can manage time travel.]

As far as my last semesters go, I would absolutely love to take a trip into the future to see what awaits my senior year. Personally, I hope it involves being actively engaged in the campus community, constant exercise, a winning soccer team, a plan for my future career, a successful Terp Thon, and time spent hanging out with both old and new friends. Oh, and also good grades if I’ve got some free time on my hands.

Though, before I turn in my time machine, I’d like to take it for a spin back to my high school days to impart some wisdom onto teenage Katy. First words of wisdom, regarding that boy you’ve got a crush on…

A Balancing Act I Don’t Intend to Lose

Come fall, I’m going to be a senior in college.

That means only one more year until I am thrust out into the real world and must find a job in order to keep my head above water. I’ve got to study harder, work longer, and put a serious and immediate effort into my career search.

Come fall, I’m going to be a senior in college.

That means only one more year that I get to spend at the place where I’ve had the best experiences of my life. I’ve got to goof around with my friends while they’re a constant presence in my life, attend UMD activities and sporting events that I’ve grown to love, and take the time to enjoy my classes.

This summer I have two unpaid part-time internships. I love both of them and they are a brilliant and consuming feature of my day. With these internships I am securing a future for myself and fostering a self-sustainable lifestyle outside of school.

This summer I have friends that I’ve made plans with. All of these plans fall on the weekend where I can horseback ride, visit Hershey Park, act out in a murder mystery dinner, and reconnect and baseball games. With these activities I am placing an unmistakable value on friendship and my personal commitment to those close to me.

I feel like this summer is going to determine the course of my life, how things play out for my senior year and beyond. If I can find a way to balance personal relationships and work (a feat that not many can successfully accomplish) I know that nothing can stand in the way of my happiness. But if I let one side overtake the other (as has happened to me in the past), I won’t be happy with how things turn out.

I’m nervous to see how things will progress, but I’m hopeful that it will be in my favor.

beautiful quote about the future

P.S.   Where my healthy lifestyle fits into this is anyone’s guess. Feel free to listen to me gripe about it HERE.