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Over the summer I have been living at my parents house since my sorority house closes for the summer. I loved being at home this summer since I got to spend time with my brother before he left for college and spend time with my parents (and my dog). My family and I spent a lot of time together and it was so much fun.

This past weekend I moved back into my sorority house. This will be the second year that I will be living in the house.

My sophomore year I was elected Vice President of Philanthropic Service for my sorority which meant that I would serve on the executive council. Each member of the executive council is required to live in during the last semester of their term. So when my junior year of college began, I moved into my sorority house.

To be honest, I thought I was going to hate living in my sorority house. I grew up with a brother so I had never lived with girls. I thought that it was going to be constant drama everywhere and that people were going to steal my clothes and make up. My friend Jen, who was serving on the executive council as Vice President of Programming, and I decided to room together and we chose a room upstairs in the sorority house. We chose to live upstairs because it has a big bathroom and there are only 4 girls who live upstairs compared to the 24 girls who live downstairs.

Living in my sorority house is the best decision that I have ever made. It was nothing like I thought it was going to be. Of course there is the occasional drama because there are 28 girls under one roof. But no one steals clothes, and actually everyone is so generous that you have 27 other closets to choose from when you are looking for something to wear. Before I was elected president, I knew that I was going to live in again my senior year.

This year, Jen and I are going to continue being roommates, but we actually moved downstairs even though we swore we never thought we wanted to. I really do think that I am going to remember my days living in my sorority house forever. I have met and gotten close to people that I would have never expected. I have had some of the best nights that were so spontaneous. I have had 27 girls who are there for me and have my back when I am having a hard time. And most importantly, I have chefs to cook for me and a cleaning service that comes twice a week.

I am so glad that I was elected to the executive council my sophomore year which led me to living in my sorority house for 2 years in a row. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Living in a sorority house can be difficult. During midterms and finals week, people are definitely stressed and you can feel it all throughout the house. And sometimes it can be loud when you really wanted to have a quiet night in. During those times, I leave and go to my parents house or I go find my balance somewhere else.

How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

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Softball to a Sorority

What’s Next?

At the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been blogging about my journey to find balance. Since I started college 3 years ago, I have been working hard to find my balance with school, work, extracurricular actives, seeing family and friends, going on those much needed vacations, taking my “me” days, and even managing my stress. And for the most part, I have it down. I know that after a weekend that was full of many sorority events, that I need to go home for a little while and visit my family since my balance was off due to only having a weekend full of sorority events. And I know that after midterm or finals week which is consumed with school everything, that I need a “me” day, or I need to spend some time with my friends.

For the most part, I have found balance in being the president of my sorority. Some weeks are harder than others and sometimes shocking events happen that need to get handled quickly. But I have enjoyed being president of my sorority for the past 8 months and I can’t believe that I only have 4 months left. I feel like being president has changed my life and has changed who I am as a person. I feel that I have more respect for leaders and what they have to deal with. I have learned to delegate tasks better, because I couldn’t do this without the rest of my executive council or the rest of my chapter. I have also met people and have become close to people that I never thought I needed in my life.

But what am I going to do when I am not president anymore?

I think that it will be a relief and it will feel good to pass the position on to someone once that next person is elected. But it will definitely feel weird to not be a leader in my chapter anymore. During that last semester that I am in my sorority before I graduate college, I will have to find a way to become involved in a different way. This could be through an internship or maybe even another job.

So what am I going to do when I graduate college?

To be honest, thinking about graduating college sounds pretty scary. I feel that I have made the most out of my college experience. And most importantly, I have found my balance in this stage of my life. But I know that graduating college will lead to bigger and better things and I think it will be exciting to see where life takes me.

I think that it is important to find balance. But I think it is more important to adjust your balance and find it at different stages of your life. When I was in high school, my balance included volleyball, softball, school, student government, friends in family. In college my balance changed, but included school, friends, and family. It adjusted to add in my sorority, college life, and other clubs that I am involved in.

So what does my future have in store? I guess I’ll figure that out soon enough.

How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

Stress Management

In a recent blog post, I discussed “Me” Days and the importance and taking a day to yourself every once in a while. But we cannot take a “me” day every time we are stressed or after every bad day that we have.

Everyone gets stressed and overwhelmed. And how could we not? There is so much that each and every one of us has to get done each day. Maybe your job is stressing you out. Or maybe it is school since you are taking 15 credits and they are all upper level courses. Or it could even be due to all the different extracurricular activities that you are involved in that can be pretty demanding at times. Stress is everywhere. So managing stress can lead to a much happier and healthier life.

When dealing with stress, the number one thing that I try to do is have a positive attitude. When you are starting to feel stressed, take a deep breath and try to have a positive attitude. If the stress is about school, think about how good it is going to feel when you finish the project or when you finish taking that test. If the stress is about work, think about your job and the parts about your job that you love. And if you are like me and your stress is mostly because of extracurricular activities that you are involved in, think about why you are doing this for your organization and why it is important to you.

Another way to manage stress is to exercise regularly. Exercising regularly is good for you because your body can fight off stress much better if it is in shape. Exercising regularly is a good way for you to take a break from all of your responsibilities and do something for yourself. For me, when I get stressed and have a lot going on, exercising is the first thing that I give up because I feel like I don’t have an hour of my day that I can sacrifice. But I have noticed that after working out, I feel more relaxed and can get a lot more done, which in turn leads to reducing stress.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

One of the key factors when it comes to managing stress is eating healthy. Our body relies on the food that we put in our body for fuel to get us through the day. When I am stressed out, eating fast food or candy always feels like the perfect option for me. But in the end, the bad food will lead to more stress because we aren’t fueling our body efficiently. Here are 7 healthy foods that can help with stress relief:

  1. Nuts. Stress removes vitamin B from the body and nuts replenish vitamin B. We need vitamin B to stay happy.
  2. Red Peppers. Red Peppers are full of vitamin C which helps lower blood pressure.
  3. Salmon. Salmon is full of omega-3s that your brain needs to reduce anxiety.
  4. Spinach. This vegetable is full of magnesium which can help remove stress.
  5. Oatmeal. Oatmeal helps your brain administer distressing serotonin in your brain.
  6. Dark Chocolate. Perfect for when you’re craving that unhealthy candy. Dark Chocolate is known to lower cortisol levels in our bodies.
  7. Tea. It has been discovered that tea drinkers can destress faster and it can lower cortisol levels in our bodies.

Lastly, one of the best ways to manage stress is to get more sleep. And I know that sleep is the second to go (after the gym) when we get stressed. But our bodies need sleep to recover from stressful events that had happened that day. If you never catch up on sleep, then your body is going to keep getting more and more stressed out.

Stress management is a huge part in finding my balance. How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

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Studying Abroad

Cinque Terre, Italy

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but I will say it again. If you have the opportunity to, you need to study abroad. Studying abroad is an amazing experience and I highly recommend it. At no other time in your life will you have the opportunity to pack up your life for a couple months, move to another country, take unique classes for college credit, and immerse yourself in a different country’s culture.

I studied abroad in the summer of 2016 right after I finished up my freshman year of college. I decided to study in Viterbo, Italy, which is a little town about 2 hours north of Rome and 2 hours south of Florence. I only went abroad for the first summer session and then I decided to travel for 2 weeks around Europe afterwards. If I could do it again though, I would recommend going for the entire summer or a semester. 5 weeks was not enough time.

During my time abroad, I lived inside the city of Viterbo while taking an introduction to Italian class, and an Italian architecture class at the Universita Delgi Studi della Tuscia. I learned so much about Italy in these classes and I thought my Italian professors were amazing.

What’s great about Europe, is that once you get there, it is so cheap to get all over the continent. During my time abroad, I flew to Athens, Greece for only 59 euros. The trains are also fairly cheap. From Viterbo to Rome, the train was only 5 euros. And the fast train from Rome to Venice was only 25 euros. You can even stay in nice hostels in different cities around Europe for a cheap price. My hostel in Greece was only 39 euros a night and it was a very clean and comfortable place.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are the top 10 reasons why you should study abroad:

  1. As a college student, you have no baggage. You don’t have a family of your own yet and so you don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself.
  2. There is no better way to fully immerse yourself in a culture.
  3. The food. That should be a deciding factor on its own.
  4. You will get to see the world. Again, once you are in Europe, its cheap and easy to get to other locations.
  5. Experience other types of education.
  6. Potentially learn another language.
  7. Gain independence and learn more about yourself.
  8. Be spontaneous and adventurous at any time.
  9. Learn to appreciate your home, university, and family more.
  10. You will get to make friends and meet people from all over the world.

After studying abroad, I realized how much I love to travel and experience different cultures all over the world. I have so many more places that I would love to go to one day, and I know that traveling is a good way to help find my balance.

How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

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Away for College

I spent this past weekend in Illinois with my mom, my dad, and my brother Scott, to help my brother move into his dorm and help get him ready to start college. My brother is attending school at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois on a football scholarship. Joliet is about 45 minutes outside of Chicago and is a beautiful town. My parents and brother visited the school and town this past April before my brother committed to play football at the school. But this was my first time seeing the school and town, and it was even my first time being in the state of Illinois.

University of St. Francis, Joliet, IL

My parents and brother drove 27 hours from Reno to Joliet, Illinois earlier this past week. I flew into Chicago Midway on Thursday since I wasn’t able to miss a whole week of school and class (and I didn’t want to do the 27 hour drive).

After picking me up from the airport, my family and I went straight to Joliet so that I could see the town and the University of St. Francis for the first time. Joliet is a lot bigger than I expected and it is a beautiful town full history. Joliet is actually well known for the prison that is in the town. The Joliet prison was built in 1858 and was in operation until 2002. The prison is featured in season 1 of Fox Network’s Prison Break and the Blues Brothers Movie. The town is going to start offering tours of the prison on August 25th, so when I go back to visit my brother I will definitely be taking that tour.

My brother showed me around the University of St. Francis. The University of St. Francis is a small catholic university that has about 2,000 students enrolled. I was very impressed with how beautiful the school is and I think that it is a perfect fit for my little brother. That Thursday night, my family and I drove to Arlington Heights, Illinois and had dinner with some of our family that live there. It is nice to have some family close to my brother since my parents and I are about 1,700 miles away from him.

On Friday, my brother started his fall football camp which pretty means that he has football for 12 hours straight for the next 17 days (until school starts). My parents and I got to see his first football practice and his team looks like they are going to be pretty good this year. Lucky for us, the first game is at Sacramento State so we will all be able to drive the 2 hours to see my brothers first college football game. I am also going to Joliet in October to see one of my brothers football games and to visit with him as well.

My family and I are so proud of Scott, and we think that the University of St. Francis is a perfect fit for him. But him being away from college is going to be a huge adjustment for all of us. I didn’t go out of state for college, I went 20 minutes away to the University of Nevada. So I have been able to go home whenever I need and I see my family a lot. The 4 of us are pretty close and we love spending time together. So my brother being half way across the country, in a different time zone, will be different for all of us and we will have to work together to find balance between this new situation. What makes us all feel better, is that we know the University of St. Francis is perfect for Scott and that he is going to be happy there. And we do get to see him at least once a month while he is gone this first semester.

It will be hard at times, but I think that my family and I will be able to find balance on this new arrangement. How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

Bad Day?

Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

We’ve all been there. Every one of us has had that day where everything keeps getting worse and worse. Maybe you woke up late which caused you to be late to work and then later in the day you got a test back that you thought you were going to get a B on, but you actually got a D-. Maybe you left your coffee on top of your car and drove away and then had to go sit in a 3 hour class where the professor only reads off of a powerpoint but takes attendance.

A bad day can be anything, it can start anywhere and they are the worst. But after a bad day you are able to go to bed and start over the next morning. Bad days are even worse when they lead to bad weeks, to bad months, to bad semesters, to a bad year. And sometimes, those bad times are inevitable and just happen. A family member could pass away, you and your boyfriend could break up, you lost your job, and or maybe you failed a class.

I think an important part of finding balance is knowing that bad days are going to happen but not letting bad days turn into bad weeks and those to bad months and those to bad semesters. I’m definitely not writing this blog post to tell everyone how to fix their bad times because I have no idea myself. But if I had a bad day yesterday and can feel myself feeling bad the next day, it is time to ask myself the following questions:

  1. Is it worth being in a bad mood about?
  2. Have you vented about it yet?
  3. Has this person/situation led to a bad day before?

If your answer to #1 is yes, then go ahead and continue on with your bad day. Hopefully you’ll be over it soon. If your answer is no to #2, then find someone from your support system and vent. We have a support system in our lives for a reason. If your answer is yes to #3, then maybe it is time to remove yourself from the person or the situation. Remember, you are the most important thing in your life. If you are constantly in a bad mood over another person or a situation, get out of there.

And again, we’ve all been there. Everyone has had rough weeks, terrible months, horrible semesters, and bad years. Bad times are a part of life. But it is important to try and move past these bad times.

Here are a couple things that might help you if you’re going through some bad times.

Bad day:

  • Vent to someone
  • Eat some junk food
  • Watch a movie or a TV show that can cheer you up

Bad week:

  • Go visit your parents or a friend you haven’t seen in a while. They will cheer you up.
  • Do something for yourself

Bad month:

Bad semester:

  • Have a week straight of “me” days
  • Go on a little vacation

Bad year:

Bad times are always going to happen, but it is important for your balance to recognize these bad times and do something to change it. How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

Support System

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I remember hearing this quote a couple years ago and since then the quote has stuck with me. I think that people are greatly influenced by relationships in their lives whether the relationships are good or bad. These relationships affect the decisions we make, the opinions we have, the way we feel about ourselves, and even our way of thinking. Everyone is their own person but these relationships that we have in our lives are more influential than we think. These people also contribute to the things you say and the way you act.

Have you ever done something or said something and thought to yourself, “wow I’m turning into (insert friends name here)”. Or “wow that was such a (insert friends name here) thing to say”. That is because we are like the people we surround ourselves with.

Think about the 5 people in your life who you spend the most time with. These people can be your parents, siblings, your boyfriend or girlfriend, friends, roommates, and even co-workers. Now think even harder. Are these 5 people positive, supportive, and people who are rooting for you to succeed in life? If they aren’t, it is time to consider if these people are really worth being in your life.

It is important to think about these things because these 5 people are your support system.

Photo by Kevin Delvecchio on Unsplash

We need a support system in order to get through life. We need people who are going to be here for us during hard times and fun times. We need people in our lives that we can count on. We need people in our lives who can listen to us, but also give us honest feedback and advice. Everyone has gone through hard times in their life and I think that we can all agree that we couldn’t have made it through those hard times without our support system.

To my support system (and pretty much my only blog readers/supporters), thank you for all you have done for me in life. I know that I couldn’t have gotten through my bad days and hard times without you.

And to everyone else reading this, reach out to those 5 people today and thank them for being your support system

I believe that an important part to finding balance in life is having a great support system. How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

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Vacation Time

My family and I have always tried to go on a vacation together at least once a year. Between the four of us, our lives are pretty crazy with work, school, sports, and other responsibilities. So once a year, we pack up and go on a much needed vacation together.

In my last blog post, I discussed the importance of “Me” Days which are important to finding balance in life. But I believe that vacations are also a vital part of finding balance in life. Vacations are needed so that we can get away from everyday responsibilities and take a break. Vacations don’t have to be to a far place for a long period of time, but I think that it is necessary to get out of town and escape your responsibilities for a couple days.

This year, my family and I decided to head to the east coast and visit Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C. My family and I are die hard Red Sox fans, so we decided to follow the Red Sox and attend a game at Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and Nationals Park.

Fenway Park

We began our vacation in Boston and were in the city for 3 days. We have a lot of family just outside of Boston, so we were able to visit with family members who we had not seen in almost 10 years. My Uncle Michael took us to Gillette Stadium (we are also die hard New England Patriots fans), Cape Cod, and even out in the Atlantic Ocean on his new boat. On our last night, we went to Fenway Park and did a tour of the stadium and then watched the Red Sox beat the Angels 9 to 5. This baseball game was probably our favorite of the 3 because we got to see J.D. Martinez hit a 3 run homer.

Yankee Stadium

From Boston, we took the train to New York City. That night, we had dinner close to Times Square and then saw Aladdin on Broadway (which was amazing). If you haven’t seen a Broadway play in New York before, I suggest adding it to your bucket list. The next day we took a motorized scooter tour of Central Park. Our family went to New York a couple years ago and felt that we had done pretty much everything except Central Park. The scooter tour was a perfect way to see most of Central Park in a good amount of time. That night, we took the subway to Yankee Stadium and watched the Yankees completely destroy the Red Sox 9 to 1. We wanted to see the Red Sox beat the Yankees at their home field but it was probably the best for us Red Sox fans since Yankee’s fans can be brutal.

Nationals Park

The next morning we took the train to Washington D.C. That night we did a Segway tour of most of the monuments. The Segway’s were surprisingly super easy to navigate and the tour was great. We got to see everything from the White House, the Washington monument, and even the FBI Headquarters. I do have to say that Washington D.C. in July is unimaginably hot and humid especially for people who are used to the dry Reno heat. We did go to Arlington National Cemetery, but for the rest of our time in D.C., we decided that being inside was best. My family and I went to the Holocaust Museum and the NEWSeum during our time in D.C. and both museums were incredible. On our last night, we took the metro to Nationals Park and watched the Red Sox beat the Nationals 5-3.

My family and I concluded that our vacation was the vacation full of different forms of transportation. We took planes, trains, subways, a boat, a motorized scooter, and even a Segway throughout the east coast.

Vacations are an amazing time and a great way to take a break from responsibilities and find balance. If you haven’t taken a vacation in a while, I suggest you start planning one now.

How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

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“Me” Days

Have you ever felt like you have been going non-stop for months? That you are constantly running on 5 hours of sleep and 2 cups of coffee? That you’ve been so busy that you could shut down at any moment?

I think that we have all been there. We have all had so many things going on in our lives that we haven’t been able to sit down and relax and do something for ourselves in months. And how could we have time to relax? We all have work, school, and many other activities on our plate that we have to get done or attend.

But this is when people start to burn out.

Like I mentioned in my blog post “High Achiver Land” – Lindsay Boccardo , I live in “High Achiever Land” and I’m always going to find a task, accomplish it, and move on and find a new task to accomplish. But high achiever or not, no one is superman and no one can go on for months end without rest. That is why everyone needs a “me” day every once in a while.

Last semester, I began to feel that I was burning out. I felt that school was becoming so overwhelming, I was almost always running late to work, and all the duties I had to complete for being president was getting to be too much. I think it is important to be able to recognize that for yourself and know that you have had too much and just need a break, even if it is just for a day. So I decided that instead of having a break down from being too overwhelmed, I needed a “me” day.
Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

A “me” day can consist of anything, as long as you are able to refill, reboot, recharge, relax, and recover. I think it is easy to get caught up in being there for everyone else, but we need to remember how important it is to be there for ourselves too. A “me” day can be anything. It can be treating yourself to a manicure or pedicure, going on hike with your dog, taking yourself out to dinner, and even going to see a movie. A “me” day can be having a movie marathon with your friends, going home and seeing your parents, or even going to a coffee shop and reading a book.

This past Friday I took a “me” day and took off work, put away my school stuff for the day and went on a hike down to Tahoe with my mom, brother, and dog. It was nice to get a break from my responsibilities and spend time with my brother before he heads off to college.

I have realized that taking a “me” day is really important for finding my balance. And hopefully after reading this article you will think about how important “me” days are, and that you should take one too.

How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

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Softball to a Sorority

Growing up I played softball from the time I was 6 years old until my senior year of high school. I loved the game. I played in the Sparks Fastpitch league until I wanted to get more competitive and play travel softball. This meant that I would travel to places like Northern California, Southern California, Oregon, Utah, and Oklahoma to play in tournaments. Being on a travel team meant longer and harder practices, extra hitting lessons and workouts, and being out of town for a tournament pretty much every weekend. But it also meant playing the game I loved, hanging out with my teammates in hotel rooms, and having so much fun.

As I grew up, softball came with me. In high school I continued playing on various travel teams and I began playing high school softball. I made varsity my sophomore year and during my time as a Reed Raider, my team and I won three regional titles and a state title my senior year (which was awesome and one of my favorite memories from high school).

My good friend Leah and I after winning regionals in 2014

But once I finished my senior year season of softball, that was it for me. And it was hard for myself and my family to not have softball in our lives anymore. We had built so many friendships and had so many great memories built around softball so it was sad. Softball brought me leadership, structure in my life, competition, and most importantly it brought me friendship.

I started my freshman year of college at the University of Nevada, Reno as a former softball player who was ready to immerse myself in the college culture. I lived in the dorms, took 15 credits, got a job, and of course made some really great friends.

But something was missing.

Here I was with all this new responsibility, this new freedom living on my own and I was bored. In high school I had always been overly involved and here I was in college feeling like I had too much time on my hands. I felt that my balance was off and I knew I needed to change it.

In the second semester of my freshman year I went through spring recruitment and I joined my sorority, Sigma Kappa. The sorority immediately brought structure to my life. There are weekly meetings that each member is required to attend along with other mandatory events.

Leah and I after I joined Sigma Kappa in Spring of 2016

Sigma Kappa then brought me leadership. In the fall of my sophomore year I became the Vice President of Philanthropic Service. This meant that I was a member of the executive council of the sorority and that I would be putting on 2 major philanthropy events along with helping my chapter get involved with the community. Some of our volunteer work included raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association, volunteering at Arbors Memory Care, and the Food Bank or Northern Nevada. It brought me even more leadership when I was elected president of the sorority for 2018.

Sigma Kappa even brought me competition. I get to play softball again in Tri Delta’s Triple Play philanthropy tournament where all proceeds go to St. Jude’s. Sigma Kappa has won the last 3 years in a row and in this tournament I am able to put my cleats back on and let my competitive side come out.

But most importantly, Sigma Kappa has brought me friendship. If I went on about each friend Sigma Kappa has brought me, this blog post would be too long and everyone would stop reading it. My sorority sisters are my biggest supporters and are always there for me in a heartbeat.

What I can say though, is that Sigma Kappa has brought me so many great friends, memories, and a home (this isn’t in a cheesy way, I live at my sorority house and its amazing). I truly couldn’t imagine what my college of experience would be like if it wasn’t for me joining my sorority.

Softball and a sorority are very different from each other but they also have so many similarities. Both of them have brought balance to me during different times of my life and I am so thankful for both of them.

How do you find balance? Comment below and let me know!

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