"Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion." -Pride and Prejudice

I’m Back!

And it’s been one heck of a year. I’ve finished up my first year at the University of Virginia and I can confidently say that I am a new creation. As written in my last post, God has taken me into His hands and has led me on a path that promises so much hope and joy. He has redeemed me. From someone who was so broken and unwilling to change, to someone who has purpose and a new way of living. The dead has truly come to life.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  – Galatians 2:2o

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To New Beginnings in My Religious Life

Disclaimer: The point of this post is NOT to bash catholicism or advocate christianity. It is merely a record of my experience with both denominations.

I was raised in a catholic household. My family goes to Mass every Sunday. I say grace before every meal. And I attended Sunday school from first to eighth grade. I was the stereotypical catholic girl, but that was just it. Everything I did was out of habit. And the environment I grew up with enforced that mentality. People kneel when they are told to kneel. They stand when they are told to stand. And they sit when they are told to sit. No one even sings at my church, which may not seem like a big deal but it’s sign of insecurity and lack of trust within the community of people in my church. I see it in the glassy eyed looks of the people who come to Sunday mass. It’s no longer about coming to worship God, but to keep up appearances of being “catholic”. That being said, I’m sure not all catholic churches are like this. In fact, I’d like to think that the majority of them aren’t but that kind of optimism isn’t enough for me to continue calling myself a catholic. And you could argue that my love for God should be enough to counteract the bad examples, but it’s not. If I continue on this path I don’t see myself becoming closer to God, along with the fact that I’ve come to disagree with some of their beliefs.

As a result, I’ve started to explore Christianity via two christian fellowships at my school (chi alpha and gcf). And I can honestly say it was the best decision I’ve ever made for my spiritual life. People are dedicated to living their lives in  accordance to the Lord. They are passionate about the word and they desire to be enwrapped in His love. Going to both of their meetings, was truly an eye opening experience. It has rejuvenated my Faith and given me hope.

So what does that make me now? I am (and always have been) a child of God. Only now, I classify myself as a christian. And I hope to live my life in accordance to His plan and learn to be more accepting and loving towards people.

Isaiah 40:31

20 Days Until Move In Day

A couple of months ago, I opened my fifth grade time capsule. I had a pretty good idea of what I had put in it, so you could imagine my surprise when I found this letter.

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Yes, that is a drawing of a UVA cheerleader.

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Low Self-Esteen Equals High Standards?

I am a moderately insecure person when it comes to academics. In comparison to other students in my class who have already been accepted to prestigious institutions such as Northwestern, Harvard, Duke, West Point, and MIT, I don’t see myself as super smart or anything out of the ordinary. How could I? How could I have the audacity to even think that I am someone worth looking at? Sure, I’m enrolled in six AP classes, so are 50+ other people. I also hold a leadership position at my school, along with 20+ other people. I play a varsity sport, but I’m not good enough for colleges to care. My insecurities are to the point where I disregard anyone who isn’t as smart or ambitious as I am. In my mind I think, “If I can do it, why can’t you?” I don’t think that I’m better than everyone else, but rather I expect everyone to be better than I am. So when I say, “How can you not get this?” It’s not out of arrogance but out of honest surprise.

At the same time, I accept that there are people smarter than me. It’s humbling. In addition, I believe people should have more humility when it comes to academics. So what if you’re in the top 5% of your class? No one will care when you’re in college because everyone will be approximately at the same intellectual level as you. Therefore, in some ways it’s ok to have a low self-esteem because it prevents a person from ending up with egg on his/her face, figuratively and literally speaking. Not that I would ever throw an egg at someone’s face… That would just be silly, but I digress.

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Here’s a collage of my friend and I during our last season of high school swim.🙂

Tell me what you think. Is it possible for a person to have a high self-esteem and still be humble about where he/she stands with other people? Does low self-esteem equal high standards? And have you ever had the same problem as me with deciphering between the two?

Fangirl Friday: Awesome Authors on Twitter

cropped-final1.jpgIt makes me happy to know that the authors I love are also really cool people online. For example, I follow a couple of my favorite authors on twitter and they’re so funny!

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Love love loveeee Patrick Ness *__*

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Like what? It makes me wonder where Amy Tintera lives…

It also makes me really happy when authors reply/like my tweets to them. I get all excited and then end up showing everyone the tweets, which may seem lame but oh well.

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Seriously, I can not wait! Is it May 13th yet?

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Lastly, the most recent reply I received came from AG Howard, author of Splintered. It’s only been a couple of days since I’ve finished Splintered and oh my gosh this book needs more hype! It’s super original and has really nice world building.

Does anyone else tweet authors? If yes, who do you tweet and do they reply back?

Fangirl Friday: Top 5 Topics that Won’t Make Me Pick Up a Book

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  1. Memory Loss: I hate waiting for the protagonist to figure out his/her past memories. It’s even worse when I figure out what’s going on before he/she does. From my experience, these types of books always have lot of filler chapters and repetitive scenes. Yuck!
  2. Suicide/Cutting: I’m not a sympathetic person. Therefore, if I’m introduced to a moody character, before getting to know him/her, I instantly get turned off. These types of books also have the same problem of being repetitive.
  3. Motherhood: This includes teen pregnancy ya books. It doesn’t interest or relate to me.
  4. Religion: There have been way too many books that have tried to include religion, when they didn’t need to. It’s a topic that can too easily be turned preachy.
  5. Grief: This includes books with characters who try to get over deaths of close companions. The main problem with these types of books is that they focus too much on what happened before the companion died and not enough on the after.

I guess you could say I don’t like wasting my time on repetitive and/or depressing books. What topics do you try to stay away from in books?

Fangirl Friday: 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

cropped-final1.jpgI love love LOVE the Olympics. Whether it’s the summer or winter Olympics, I will wake up at 4 am just to see my favorite athlete compete live. It’s invigorating to watch these athletes who have dedicated most of their lives towards a single moment in the spotlight. I feel obligated to support all of them and not just the few who win medals.

Ice skating and short track are my two favorite sports to watch. I saw the men’s free skate today at 10 am and just wow. A lot of skaters were falling down and just messing up all over the place. I understand the they’re performing at a high level of difficulty, but it’s the Olympics. Carpe diem. My two favorite skaters did not medal, but they performed beautifully.  Continue Reading->