College

Wow. I’m a freshman in college now.

It’s hard to believe 2 years ago I created this blog for my AP Language Arts class, and now here I am enrolled in a college- the University of Northern Iowa- a school I didn’t even consider my Junior year of high school.

I was thinking about this blog today because I remembered how great it was to ramble on about things that interested me or just my life update in general. A lot of my friends are creating finstas, which are essentially short blogs on instagram available to a select  audience.

Instead of creating a finsta I just decided to log back onto my blog and post what one might on a finsta.

I’m thinking about changing my blogs theme to “life of a college student”. It seems much more fitting and applicable to my life now.

This blog isn’t for the fame and frankly I don’t really want that many people to read it. Shout out to my friend Natalie though because she receives emails everytime I post- what a loyal follower and friend. Anyways, the point of this blog is for me to ramble, rant, and record my findings and advice about college life, because its a struggle man. Lets also be honest that this blog is an excuse to set aside my homework for a little bit.

For those of you who have stayed loyal to my blog, I appreciate it. I haven’t posted in ages. I hope to start posting more regularly because to be honest this blog is a great way to keep up with my mental health.

Hope to write again soon,

Ashlynn

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Healthy Eating

Below is lists of food I plan on eating in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still eating the foods I want.

Breakfast:

  • yogurt with granola and fruit
  • peanut butter toast with a banana
  • oatmeal with peanut butter and a banana
  • toast
  • cereal
  • eggs

Snacks:

  • popcorn
  • protein bars
  • cereal
  • trail mix
  • nuts
  • dried fruit

Lunch:

  • sandwich with mixed veggies and an apple
  • leftovers from dinner
  • salad with fruit, string cheese and pretzels
  • pita bread and hummus with mixed fruit and celery and pb
  • hard boiled eggs with fruit,veggies, and string cheese

 

Attitude impacts everything

The number of times I’ve been told to “change my attitude” in my teen years is nearly impossible to count. Whether it was back talking my parents,or having a negative attitude towards school, somehow the words would always coming flying back to me.

It took me a while to really understand how to change my attitude. Many times at a more immature age I would just roll my eyes and proceed to do what I wanted. Now, I finally realize what it means.

Attitude is everything.

Your attitude changes your day, mood, lifestyle, and other people. Having a negative view on life creates a negative atmosphere for not only yourself but others around you. Many times we blame things that we come across in life as a reason for our “bad mood”. But thats not the reason whatsoever. Its YOUR decision whether you’re happy or not. Life throws obstacles and you have to decide how to take them.

Be happy. Learn how to make a bad situation a good one. Theres always something to learn from difficult encounters. Instead of developing a negative attitude from a difficult situation, reflect on it and learn how you can grow from that experience.

Self reflection is not easy but it is one step closer from being a better you and living a more fulfilling life. Start out the new year right!

 

Reflection of Summer

As school is approaching and summer is coming to an end I’ve come to realize it has not gone as I expected it would back in May. The biggest goal and expectation I set for myself was to continue my healthy style of living. I managed to obtain the style of living I wanted in the spring. Nearly every week I was watching my portions and choosing healthier options. I lost 10 pounds and felt amazing! I had clear skin, energy, and confidence. People were even complimenting on my appearance.

My goal for summer was to continue my healthy living style and focus even more on eating the right foods and exercising. Learning about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle interested me, so I figured I would have no problem. Boy was I wrong.

I’m not sure when my eating took a turn for the worse or when I lost control of my healthy habits. I managed to gain all of the weight I lost back and I don’t feel as good as I used to. Not to mention every time I eat unhealthy I put myself down for it.

From vacations to parties, I forgot how to eat healthy. I ate bigger portions and worse foods all summer. It was one of the most difficult things to keep up with when I thought it would be the easiest.

I know something about the habits I made this summer need to be reserved. My hope is that when school starts I will have more of a routine.

I hate the position I was in and what I’ve come to realize is that I’m obsessed. Im obsessed with being healthy and eating right all the time. Its gotten to the point where its getting in the way of life.

From the process of eating right to the completely opposite I’ve learned that living a healthy lifestyle is important but beating yourself up about it and annoying friends and family with  your obsession is not worth it. A reason I started blogging again was because I needed to get out my frustrations with my lifestyle and emotions towards my eating habits, as well as reflect and maybe even relate with some readers!

I hope to turn my attitude and lifestyle around.

 

 

My struggle With a New Routine

Recently I have been struggling with my confidence and health. I have yet to get used to a new routine. With school coming to an end my daily routine has been skewed. Maybe the bend in my routine has caused me to lose track of my health. I’m not quite sure. That’s why I’m blogging again. In a sense,blogging is a way for me to track me feelings and look back at what I was doing correctly in the past or what I need to fix on my journey of living a healthy lifestyle

This past week has been an odd one. Monday through Wednesday I woke up at 7:40 in the morning in order to make it to cross country practice. Cross country practice was extremely difficult those couple of days. I thought for sure I would kill the workouts because I have been running and keeping up my fitness level. Boy was I wrong. I struggled quite a bit with the workouts. My legs felt heavy and I was out of breath.

Everyday after I came home I had horrible  headaches. The first day I didn’t think anything of it. It was just an average headache that would go away the next day, but the next day after practice I had yet another headache and same with the day that followed. I noticed that my headache only developed after I went for a run.

I decided to do some research. I found that caffeine before a run, no food, and dehydration can be causes of a headache after working out. It still didn’t quite add up though. The first day I didn’t have caffeine or food and I was most likely dehydrated. The second day I didn’t have caffeine and I ate a granola bar before practice and I drank 5-24 oz water bottles thoughout the day, but I still had a headache. No matter what I did I seemed to have a headache. I still can’t figure out what is up with that. I’m about to go on a run in an hour so I will see if I still have a headache then. Meanwhile, if you’re reading this and have an idea it would be much appreciated if you could share your thoughts with me.

My normal eating pattern has been messed up too since summer. I have been eating at much different times. The foods I have been eating are different as well. Throughout the week I munched on different foods, went out to eat a lot more than usual, and at times ate much less. This weekend has especially been a struggle with eating healthy. I was out of town for the whole weekend so I was forced to eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I felt terrible after meals. Not to mention, since it’s summer I have been spending more time with friends and I think they have influenced my food decisions. I can definitely notice that I have been eating unhealthy this week. My stomach isn’t as hard, I have been less energetic, and I have felt more crappy.

My goal for this week is to eat much healthier and continue my excercise pattern. I’m tired of feeling crappy and self concious. Hopefully this week will change for the better. I am also praying the headaches after my runs also go away.

Hello, again!

A few weeks ago I thought I would officially be done blogging and be done with this blog. Originally, this blog was for an AP class. I’ve been out of class on summer break for a week and I haven’t been required to write a blog since May. Being required to write a blog changed my attitude towards blogging. I didn’t want to do it. Now that I’m no longer required to blog I realize that I actually miss writing three blogs a week. For my last post I wrote a farewell blog post. I intended to be done with blogging except for maybe the occasional place to vent. 

I’m writing again because reflecting on the past 9ish months I have come to realize I actually enjoyed blogging. Blogging was a way for me to spew my thoughts. I was able to write about whatever I wanted, and my mind was free to wander. 

Blogging also allowed me to reflect on my life and strengthen some of my passions. I expanded my knowledge on subjects that interested me. I connected with others that shared similar interests. 

I shared most of this in my previous blog post, but instead of saying farewell I’m saying hello again! I am going to start blogging again. For myself. Enjoy!

Farewell Post

With the class AP Language Arts and Composition coming to an end, I’m afraid my blog will too. I am no longer required to write 3 blogs and 1200 words a week. I’ve gained many more followers and supporters than I ever thought I would. Writing a blog has been a leaning experience, and I can honestly say I’m glad I was forced to write 3 blogs a week.

By writing this blog I’ve learned how to…

  • quickly bust out a 400 word blog post before it was due
  • brainstorm ideas
  • make a post more interesting
  • gain followers
  • write informally
  • and much more

I’ve learned more about the topic I’ve been writing about: beauty and health.  Writing this blog has also pushed me to try new experiences I wouldn’t have normally tried. I’ve tested out recipes to share with my followers. I tried the gussy down challenge and wrote a reflection. My blog has become a great experience.

Although there were a lot of times I didn’t want to write a blog post, overall it was a great learning experience. Before coming into this class, I always wanted to have a blog but I never kept it going. Because this blog was apart of my grade I was forced to keep posting, and I finally was able to experience being a blogger.

Maybe I’ll keep posting throughout the summer, but I can guarantee it won’t be nearly as much. I will admit blogging has allowed a lot of relief and in some ways made me appreciate writing even more. I’ve never really had to write quite so informally in a class before, so this year has been refreshing. After writing research papers and book reviews over and over again it was refreshing to write about my experiences without worrying about citing 18 million sources.

Writing this blog had also sprung more interest into my topic to the point where I’m considering majoring in exercise science or something along the lines. I never thought this blog would influence me so much, but it did. I can now take an experience with me that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t take the class.

Thank you to my followers for reading my blogs (even the most painful ones that I wrote quickly before I went to bed). Thank you Dr. Ayers for forcing me to write these blogs every week. Maybe I’ll continue to write throughout the summer, you’ll have to check in to see.

Bittersweet Feelings

The end of the year is finally here. Its a bittersweet time of the year, because while im excited for summer, I have to say goodbye to all of my senior friends and retiring teachers and that means I’m one year closer to graduating. Next year, Ill be a senior and its hard to believe. I remember in 1st grade asking my teacher what the 17 I typed when I logged into the computer meant. I couldn’t believe it was the year I was graduating because that seemed too far away. Now in a little over 6 months its here.

It is going to be difficult saying goodbye to all of the seniors I hung out with this year. Of course I will see some of them over the summer, but some are already moving. One of my good friends, Sarah, is already leaving today. I’ve been friends with her since the moment we sat next to each other in chemistry class. Everyone is growing up so fast. Graduating next year has finally hit me, and I’m the one that will have to say goodbye.

Meanwhile I still have another year of high school left. While many of my peers  are ecstatic to get out of high school, I am content. Saying that I don’t love living with my parents and eating the food they make would be a lie. Leaving high school means I have to become independent, and while I’m ready to be independent I am also satisfied with where I am at now.

Reflecting on the past year, it is crazy to see how far I have come. I am a whole different person. It will be interesting to see where I’m at next year considering the growth I have made in the past. I’ve learned so much from all of my classes and teachers this year. I am thankful for all of my experiences this year.

Next year will be even more exciting. Senior pictures, prom, and graduation will all take place. Everything I have worked for will be honored next year. I cant wait for my final year at Kennedy with the people in my class, and I hope to get to know them even better before graduation.

The end of the year has made me reflect on my life. watching the seniors graduate has made me realize I need to appreciate my friends and high school more. I’m excited for my senior year and I can’t wait to get to spend one last year at an amazing school.

Preparation for Prom

Prom is in 3 weeks and I’m ecstatic. I’ve been planning my hair, makeup, and look ever since I got asked. Although prom is all about the experience I want to feel confident that day too, so I found the hair, makeup and dress I want to make me feel that way!

Finding a dress was a never ending stressful process. After it felt like I went to every store in my town that sold prom dresses, I resulted to ordering a dress online. Although when the dress came, I hated it. It didn’t fit correctly and looked really cheaply made. I was not pleased and I didn’t want to wear it to prom. Not being able to find a dress that made me feel pretty within my budget just added more stress to my life. I decided to revisit a store I had already looked at. Of course, the second time through I found the dress. I knew right away when I tried it on it was the one I wanted the only problem was- it was way over my budget. I later found out the dress was on sale and it had some minor damage(a hole along the seam- an easy fix) so I ended up getting it for $120 off the original price. After looking for a dress for so long, it was relieving to finally find a dress I liked.

I had already set up my hair appointment before I even found my dress. I was tired of doing my hair for every dance and stressing out when it didn’t look good, so I figured handing the task to someone else would be relieving. I made the appointment through a beauty school so the price of the updo I would get would be a lot cheaper. Normal beauty salons prices are $40 and up, while at Capri college it only costs $25. I found inspiration for the look I want from Julianne Hough. I’m excited to see how it will turn out.

For my nails, I want to go on the cheaper end and buy fake stick on nails from target. Nails aren’t all that important to me so I figured this would be the way to go. As for my toes, im planning on taking my mom to get a pedicure with me on mothers day.

I could not be any more excited for prom. I can’t wait to wear the dress that took me forever to find, and I’m anxious to see how Capri College does my hair.

Do Beauty Standards Cause Health Issues?

It’s not a surprise there is a correlation between health issues and the standards of beauty. Beauty standards not only can cause physical harm, but psychological as well.  With the media, it’s nearly impossible to go a day without seeing a photoshopped image. Even driving to school I’m exposed to billboards and ads that show unrealistic body images. Although it is not proven beauty standards and media cause eating disorders, it definitely harms self-esteem.  Not only are there psychological effects of beauty, but there are physical ones as well too that can cause diseases and health issues.

I don’t necessarily think the things we do to beautify ourselves should be avoided, I just think being cautious is important. For example, being tan in modern times is a fad. Everyone wants a glow like we see on celebrities in magazines, and people who are tan are always considered more attractive. Obviously, tanning isn’t amazing for you because it can cause skin cancer and premature aging. Although there are some benefits like aiding in winter depression and being exposed to vitamin D. Because this is a trend, its important to be aware of the risks.

There are risks with nearly everything it seems. As you can imagine, there are risks with using cosmetics too. Some cosmetics have correlated to causing cancer and other health issues. Other people are allergic to some products and can develop irritations and rashes. Another important thing to note about cosmetics is they’re only tested for short term effects and the long term effects are unknown.

Is the media and unrealistic images harmful psychologically? The truth is, there are no proven facts for this question. There have been some correlations between eating disorders and the media, but that doesn’t mean anything. I personally think the media is harmful to people’s body image. We are given unrealistic expectations and a photoshopped image is considered normal. While photoshopped images haven’t been proven to be harmful, I think they can cause self-esteem issues.

Do beauty standards cause health issues? It seems there are no studies that can prove if cosmetics or the media cause health issue, but there are definite pros and cons to tanning. Overall I think beauty standards are something that we should be aware of but shouldn’t excessively worry about. Most things are going to have risks it just depends if you’re willing to take that risk in order to meet society’s beauty standards.

Check out these articles:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/cosmetics

http://www.livestrong.com/article/50155-pros-cons-using-tanning/

http://www.hamilton.edu/news/story/the-medias-effect-on-womens-body-image