On Failure- When one door closes…

Reach schools are supposed to be dreams that are slightly out of reach but just in sight. So, when I got rejected from William and Mary in high school I was crushed but I also understood. But, by no means was I giving up. William and Mary had been my dream school since I moved to Virginia in eighth grade, so I was not going to give up so easily. That is where Richard Bland College came into play.

Being recruited for women’s golf at Richard Bland was a silent miracle. It cut down on the cost of college while giving me that second shot at William and Mary that I was searching for. I was not going to just let that dream go so I started researching the schools and found my chances of transferring were extremely high. With hope in my heart and determination in my soul I signed for Richard Bland golf and worked hard the last two years so that when I filled out my William and Mary transfer application I would have the best chance of getting accepted as possible.

Now with a week left until I hear back from William and Mary I am content in my knowledge that I have tried my hardest and gave my all to fit all the requirements necessary for the four-year college. Between athletics, honors, PTK, clubs, and excelling in classes I am confident in myself like have never been before. It just goes to show that with any failure, if you care enough and want it enough that you can find your way to it. I found by hidden path around failure, I apply this mentality to many aspects of my life and deeply believe in “when one door closes, find a window.”


The Transference of Knowledge

Over the years, I have come to realize how interconnected each class it to another and how we can learn from assignments to work on ones in the future. One such instance would be the lessons I was taught in Ap Literature and how to write different types of essays ranging from research to analysis. Throughout the class I developed a new understanding of developing sentences, transitioning through paragraphs, and writing thesis essays. This transitioned into many of my future college classes including English, science, and history.

History has seen most of my writing improvement based on what I have learned in Ap Lit. I can write a response paper easier because I have a deeper understanding of how to organize and dissect the literature. It is also a lot easier to figure out how to work with different essay types after I have gone through an entire class that focused on it.

I try to use lessons learned from similar assignments to enrich my academics and even use some lessons in everyday life. This allows me to ensure I am learning from all angles and helps me develop a profounder love for each lesson I learn.

On My Story

You know how sometimes significant events can lead a person on an amazing journey or inspire them to go into a certain field? Well my event was more a lifelong issue; and it was hardly exciting. Since a young age, I have been to the Optometrist, as my eyesight could be compared to a bat; dismal and lacking. These reoccurring visits gave me a deep seeded respect for the field and after watching the waiting room video on different eye conditions and treatments I found myself wanting to follow in their footsteps.
Here I am a decade later studying to pursue the same career I have loved through many stages. No matter what the week’s fascination was, be it architecture, design, cooking, or engineering, I always came back to Optometry. I never would have found my love for the eye without those waiting room videos many years ago.

On my path towards Optometry school I have found a few opportunities to expand my knowledge on the topic and learn more about my future career. One summer in high school I found a volunteering job with a local Optometrist office that allowed me to organize paperwork and be invited into some sessions to view different eye conditions in the office. My favorite was the year after when I got a job as an assistant secretary at another Optometrist office. I dealt with paperwork, appointments, insurance, and a previously unventured area of opticians. Although few personal sit ins with patients I got to learn some of the prescreening techniques and the background in many optometry offices. I enjoyed seeing the reality behind the office and being the support for the Optometrist.

My goal is to get some further experience in the area; perhaps in a different setting. I am looking for opportunities in either a hospital, larger office, or store area. I think it is important to see the difference between the offices and how each works with the on-staff Optometrist.

I would have never thought my first interactions with glasses, contacts, or CRTs would lead to a career that will allow me to help others while enjoying my job. I will forever be thankful for each of those visits and their inspiration to succeed in the medical field; without my bad eyesight being a part of me I would have never found my true calling.

On High School Reunions

If it has been firteen years since I walked out of my high school’s front doors and across the stage to recieve my diploma, I have truly accomplished a lot. Since graduation, I embarked on a journey to Richard Bland College of William and Mary where I pursued an Associate in Science and played collegiate women’s golf. I met many life long friends and professors who’s encouraging words I still think of today. With the end of my two years at RBC I transfered to William and Mary where I expanded my knowledge and took part in many clubs. My friends from RBC came and visited me frequently and, along with some new friends, we made the most of those two years. The road was tough and heavy in coarsework but I graduated with a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. The friends I made and the paths I took helped me grow as a person and break out of the shy shell I had back in high school.

I am thankful everyday for Cosby’s Health Science Specialty Center as I go into Optometry School. The early teachings of the medical field helped me have a headstart in the graduate program and pursue a true passion of mine. Between the rigorous classes and working to pay off student loans I still stayed in contact with my friends from college and we help encourage each other to keep fighting and work towards our goals. I learned that sometimes you have to make the hard decisions, this made my a stronger woman and student. I graduated with a job lined up at a local optometry center.

A couple address changes and a new marital status later I am running my own Optometry office back home in Virginia near my family. I have my own loving family and a bright future ahead of me.I found myself along the way and could not be happier for it. My friends and family helped mold me into the woman I am today but the big changed came from within. Fifteen years after high school and my life is only looking better each and every day.


On Getting Unstuck

Things like papers and projects seem to get more and more complicated as we advance through our academic career; and as they get harder more obstacles seem to come up. Papers get longer, complex and projects require weeks of work instead of days but that is the nature of higher education. Most of the time they go easy and fast with the proper preparation and dedication however, along the lines of writer’s block many times there are problems that pop up.

When one such instance occurs, there are many responses and the one you react with can help or hinder your progress and grade. Some productive responses include: brainstorming, taking a short break, bouncing ideas off someone, and looking outside the box. I use these ways to get unstuck when in a hard spot trying to complete a paper or project. By brainstorming you can organize your thoughts into a more helpful order so as to understand where you got caught up. Taking a short break is a good de-stressor and allows some time away without completely abandoning your academics. I find bouncing ideas off someone helps address the issue from an outside source and sometimes lets you think outside the box. Thinking outside the box is one of the most helpful methods as it gives your work creativity and more depth by coming at the issue from an unusual angle.

During these experiences, you can learn many things like patience, problem solving and self-discipline. Patience is obvious, as you must understand that everyone needs a break or gets stuck occasionally. Do not pressure yourself beyond what you can do or get angry when things do not come to you as fast as you would like. Problem solving goes beyond papers and projects as learning new ways to deal with hard situations can help in your everyday life. Self-discipline is not just giving up on an idea when you cannot figure it out right away. Sometimes it takes hard work and keeping on top of things to understand a concept. Overall, learning how to turn an obstacle into a learning experience will help you become a stronger student and better problem solver in the long run.


On Motivation

Ever since I can remember college has been one of those constants in my future, kind of like you will eventually turn a year older, it was just fact. My motivation to attend college started before I even understood what my parents were saying, as they told me about my bright future born through hard work and college. It was never an option and it was never an argument. I understood the importance of education and even thrive on the knowledge obtained. Now that I am older and actually in college it is more what motivated me to keep attending college. I stay because I know my future is still on the horizon and the only way there is at University.

It is hard not to see the direct connections between what I am learning now and what I plan to complete with my experiences. Through taking natural science and mathmatics courses I hope to major in Biology and use it to go into the medical field, of which requires an abundant amouth of both types of classes. I am currently learning about the body, how it works on a micoscopic level, and the different basic calculations needed in most medical practices.

Ofcourse everything you experiance cannot connect so seamlessly into your life goals. Yes, I am learning directly about the body and that is helpful going into medicine but it is the lessons not taught that make the real difference. I have learned patience from my experiences living with up to seven other girls in one apartment sharing two bathrooms and by being a member of a collegate golf team. Getting along with a larger group of tempermental girls will give you experiences with great loads of patience; from music in the middle of the night to baking a full course mean at 2am. This will be important when dealing with groups or ill-mannered patients. Whereas golf has given me a patience with myself. In golf you must be calm, quiet, and collected. All of these are important when dealing with stressful situations or self-doubt in medical school or beyond.




On Getting Good

With skill you have an interesting backstory has to have taken place. I am not sure how interesting watching Cake Boss is to most but it is my backstory. Of all my hobbies, interests, and skills I would have to say my knack for baking, especially cakes, would be what I am best at. I have worked over the years, on and off, to teach myself batter recipies, mixing icing, and the continued struggle of decorating.

Like many of my generation I found an interest in television early on however, I watched Cake Boss and the Food Network alonside my Disney Channel. I joined my mother in the kitchen when she was baking and learned the basics of the art, but I wanted to work with more than sheet cakes and canned frosting. I found new recipies to try, bought books, and went through hundreds of cake-based websites finding ways to further a growing hobby. And as with anything: practice makes perfect. I found the one activity I did not have a predetermined dislike for practicing. So, I mixed batter and made some broken icing while trying to figure out why I could not make the decorations stay on the cake. Through many trial-and-errors I have gotten good at my favorite hobby. Ofcourse, overcoming the obstacle of being stubborn and thinking you know how to bake after watching television was only one of the many I found along the way. To bake you need many tools, each with a totally different job and all of them somehow have a use for one cake. Not only learning what each tool is for and how to use them is difficult but finding the money to wisely spend on these tools is tricky. So I study and only buy things I absolutely need while making a wish list for holidays and birthdays. Another is how time consuming baking truly is, especially for a student athlete who workes in the evenings. Each cake could take almost all day between mixing, baking, cooling, shaping, mixing again, filling, chilling, crumb coats, icing, and that is before any decorating is even done to the cake. But, I use this particular roadblock to actually help me in my academics.

Since, each step is so time c0nsuming it also give me extensive break periods between them. So I will mix the batter/ put it iin to bake and while that step is going on I am reading for an assignment in psychology next Monday. I use my time wisly so that I am productive and have fun insentives every once in a while. The task of baking is also very calming for me so I also use it when I am stressed or need to clear my head. Many a baked good has poped up in our kitchen from such an event. Just recently I was worrying about a couple assignemts in most all of my classes, so I made a strawberry short cake. I had scheduled time to work on the reading or online tasks while also relaxing from the stress it had me under. At the end of the day I go my work done, made a sweet treat to share, and found it is both fun and yummy to make homemade whipped cream!

President Sydow’s Journey to Leadership

With thirty years of experience and being the first college grad in her family President Sydow is a true aspiration for leadership. She knew college was her way to the top when she saw how her parent’s world was made small due to a lack of experiences. Therefore, she worked hard, left her small town, and found herself with new experiences and travel. Most of her values were born from activities in her childhood and college. President Sydow accomplished her goals one step at a time. She finished college and began teaching English at a two-year college while she finished her master’s degree. Yet, she admits herself that there are no born leaders.

President Sydow’s advice was extensive and work every minute. Responsibility is key. Always know who you are and know how the world preserves you, while understanding time and circumstances shape each of our lives. We need to learn from our circumstances and work hard, manage our resources, and act with courage. One piece of advice I found that hit me hardest was that not having dreams is a sin. Hearing of her success I took her advice to heart and found myself feeling more confident that I was heading in the right direction. I am looking forward to working beyond conventional thought and traveling abroad in the next two years of my college career.

Now, President Sydow had hired more full time professors and faculty to have a brighter influence on Richard Bland’s students. Her touch stone is 100% passionate about education and helping her students grow all the time. This is something I seek and strive towards in my future. With my life, ahead of me I am going to find my principles and hold my morals about all else in the hope that I can help make this world a better place.

Financial Literacy

Since I was younger I have saved my money looking towards the future. Now that I am older, have a job, and in a position to spend more money I have to be careful where each dollar goes. Saving for college is extremely important and takes a lot of the money I am bringing in. Living outside of my parents house has also brought the thoughts of groceries and ‘fun’ money. To keep myself in line, spending wise, I crafted an excel spreadsheet that tracks my income, spending, and savings. Each time I enter a check the spreadsheet distributes the funds into seperate tabs that have a percentage tagged to them. I allow myself 15% ‘fun’ money and the rest goes to college, house, car, and retirement funds.

One thing I can recommend is create some way of keeping your money in check. Be it a spreadsheet or just seperating your funds make sure you know how much you have to spend and where each dollar is going. Never make exceptions because you will continue to keep doing so until your savings goes down the drain.

Academic News

So this semester I opted to have the majority of my classes online instead of in class lectures. This is because I was hoping the extra time out of the classroom would allow me more flexible hours for my golf practice. Unfortunatly, I was still as busy as I was last year. One thing that I found my new schedule gave me was a new persceptive for time management. I throughly enjoy my one inclass lecture and of my online classes I have a surprisingly positive relationship with each professor.

Next semester I am having a couple more inclass lectures but keeping two online classes, as I enjoyed the self-passed style. I look forward to my final semester of classes and the people I will meet in each of them.