Final Reflection

It’s so insane to think that the semester is coming to an end.  Even though my challenges made some weeks more difficult than others, and sometimes feel like they were never-ending, they really flew by and opened my eyes to a lot of changes that I needed to make in my everyday life.  I’m the type of person that can easily make fun of myself or point out my own flaws without a problem, as you probably picked up on while reading my blog.  I tend to make jokes about myself to make people laugh, but when people point out my flaws I get offended and defensive.  So throughout this semester I really brainstormed about the things that either I make fun of myself for, or things that other people poke fun at me for, and each week I tried to better myself and prove that I can do anything if I really focus and put my mind to it.

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If I’m being completely honest, after some weeks I was so relieved that my challenge for the week was over that I would go straight back to my old ways once I was done with the challenge.  For example, for the first week when I did probably the simplest challenge, not eating bagels, when the week was over I went right back to eating them.  I still remember how great it felt to eat a healthier breakfast without the bloating and regret at the end of my meal, but if this blog made me realize anything it’s that some habits take much more than a week to overcome and get rid of.

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As the weeks of the semester went on, though, my blog started to become fun and I really did challenge myself harder and harder each time to keep up with what I was trying to accomplish.  It started to be more like a game and I got my friends involved to help push me through and keep me motivated and on track.  They got really serious about it too and would actually get disappointed with me if I would mess up my challenge before the end of the week.  Throughout the semester while writing this blog I learned how important it is to have a support system around you that wants the best for you and how much it helps when you are trying to reach goals that you have set for yourself.  For example, I could have never gotten through my challenge where I went to the gym every day for the week if it wasn’t for my friends pushing me and working out with me to make it less excruciating.  In the beginning of that week I was super determined to get through the challenge because working out more is something I really do want to incorporate into my daily life.  Towards the middle of the week though, I started to make up dumb excuses, and they were the ones to push me to reach my goal and reminded me how upset with myself I would be if I didn’t get through the week.

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My commitment issues blog has taught me so much about myself and the things that do and don’t work for me when it comes to motivation and perseverance.  I’m always going to keep this blog in mind and how proud me and my friends were when I would finish one of my challenges, especially the ones that were super hard for me but I got through anyway.  When I did get through a challenge I felt so great and couldn’t wait for the next week to challenge myself again.  I hope you all were as excited as I was for my challenges every week, and that maybe I gave you some motivation to challenge yourself a bit and leave your comfort zone, even if it’s just for a week.

 

 

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Challenge 10: Procrastination Queen

For my last blog, I decided to do a challenge that is probably most difficult of all for me (even though they were all pretty tough at times).  I attempted to not procrastinate any of my work for the week and get it done the day it was assigned.  Since I take 2 online classes, all of my work for the whole week for those classes are due on Sundays.  Me, being the piece of shit I am, naturally waits until Sunday afternoon to start all of this work.  It’s all fun and games during the week when I get to go out and have my fun, but when Sunday hits, let me tell you, it is scary.

library study GIF by Davidson College

Day 1:  So for one of my psychology classes, I have a forum post assigned each week, but they are not checked and graded until the last day of the semester.  So of course I haven’t done one in six weeks, which means I planned to cram it all into the last couple days before it was due.  I took today to finish these posts so I don’t have to worry about them when finals week comes around.  These forums have been in the back of my mind every week and still I pushed them off, so the relief I felt after I submitted the last one was unreal.  I COULD HAVE just done them when they were assigned and saved myself some anxiety and time like a good student, but of course not.

james corden smh GIF by The Late Late Show with James Corden

Day 2:  I have a final 5 page research paper due in one of my classes next week, which I already started because the professor collected a rough draft, but I have to make many revisions and do a lot more research.  I have been DREADING even looking at this paper ever since I handed in that draft because I knew how much more work needed to be done.  Today I sit my ass down in the library (haven’t been there in a minute), turned off my phone, and typed away for about an hour and a half, and I was so in the zone that I surpassed the page minimum of 5 pages.  My phone is always a huge distraction while I’m doing work so if I don’t turn off notifications it almost never gets done.  Sitting in a quiet place and getting rid of distractions is super helpful if you tend to procrastinate because then you have no opportunity to focus on anything but the work that you need to do.  I finished the paper and handed it in a whole week early… I kid you not I have never done such a thing.

proud self five GIF by Zara Larsson

Day 3:  So today I took a break from the school work, and finally made my Christmas list that my family has been nagging me about for almost a month.  This literally wasn’t hard at all considering I only am asking for 5 things, but still I somehow managed to keep putting it off no matter how many family members asked me to send it to them.  Every time someone asked me I would say “I’m really busy today, I’ll send it to you tomorrow” and then never do it.  I’m happy I got this done with because honestly if I waited much longer I probably would not be receiving any gifts this year and I’d have nobody to blame except myself.

high school ugh GIF by Film Society of Lincoln Center

Pushing myself throughout this challenge showed me that it is so worth it to do my work as soon as possible and takes so much unnecessary stress and anxiety off my shoulders.  Doing things last minute is not only extremely stressful, but it is never done to the best of my ability because I’m usually rushing to get it done by a deadline.  Setting aside some time and doing a little bit of work each day is so important in college to keep yourself on track and make you feel like you’ve got your life together, because take it from me, there’s literally no worse feeling than having one day to do a whole week’s worth of work.

Challenge 9: Bare-Faced

This week I decided to attempt a challenge that is definitely out of my comfort zone, but something that I’ve always wanted to do to see if it is beneficial in any way.  I challenged myself to not wear makeup for the week.  This may be something that a lot of people do anyway, but I’ve always been insecure about the imperfections and acne on my face that I’ve had since middle school, so I tend to throw on at least a little bit of makeup most of the time.  My routine is pretty simple; B.B. cream, bronzer, blush, and mascara, but it still consumes some time in the morning that I could be using elsewhere.  Another reason I wanted to try this challenge is because I was curious if laying off the face makeup for a bit would help my acne and therefore make me feel more comfortable about wearing no makeup more often.

Day 1:  Today I had work before class, and normally I’m rushing out the door to get to work because I overslept and have to get dressed and do my makeup.  However, today I got dressed, brushed my hair and teeth, and was ready in an impressive amount of time.  Taking makeup out of the equation gave me time to actually relax for 5 minutes and grab some breakfast before leaving the house.  Since I work at a salon, there are mirrors everywhere, and it felt weird to keep getting a glance at my bare face.  I seriously felt like a naked mole rat.  I know it’s something I need to work on, but makeup makes me feel so much more confident when around other people, and being at work without it felt like I just wasn’t myself.

is that what i look like meryl streep GIF

 

Day 2:  Like I said, most of the time I throw on a little bit of makeup in the morning, especially if I have a pimple that looks like it could actually speak (which is a lot of the time), but there are some times where I’m just too lazy to, especially if it’s just to go to class.  All I had to do today was go to one class, so I slept until noon, rolled out of bed and got changed, and got on the bus.  The major plus side to not wearing makeup is how quick it seems to get ready before leaving the house.  Although my little makeup routine doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes, it still is a process and sometimes feels like forever when I’m in a groggy state and have no motivation to go to work or class.  While sitting in class without makeup, I looked around and realized that A LOT of girls weren’t wearing makeup either, and although their skin wasn’t perfect and their lashes weren’t 8 miles long, they still had smiles on their faces and wore cute outfits and looked super pretty.  I wondered if anyone thought the same about me.  Then I realized I was in sweatpants and a huge sweatshirt and looked like the grim reaper so… prob not.

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Day 3:  Today is my first day home from break, and also Thanksgiving Eve, which means it’s time to see a lot of people from high school that I’d rather gauge my eyes out than come in contact with, but for some reason force myself to do it anyway.  In my town there is a big Thanksgiving Reunion at a local tavern the night before Thanksgiving, and EVERYONE goes.  So you can probably understand why I want to cry at the fact that I can’t wear any makeup.  Deep down we all want to come home from school and show everybody how well we’re doing and how good we look, especially because my ex was going to be there and ya know.  But I stuck with my challenge and didn’t wear makeup, which again decreased my getting ready time to like, 3 minutes, which was nice.  When we got there, everyone honestly treated and looked at me like they normally would, I didn’t notice any weird looks or comments like I expected to.  I’m sure some people thought to themselves, oof she really let herself go.  But hey, I had a lot of fun regardless and didn’t have to worry about my makeup sliding off my face halfway through the night.  I also wore a cute outfit and did my hair, which definitely are confidence boosts that help when you’re feeling a little doubtful about your face.

queen sugar #gimmesugar GIF by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

 

Day 4:  Now Thanksgiving is already a day where most of us feel pretty gross, because if you’re doing it right you have a food baby an hour into the family gathering, and usually bury your face in a pillow immediately after dinner and mess up your hair and face anyway.  So I wasn’t really opposed to the whole no makeup thing, especially because it’s just family and they have seen me at my most horrifying looking.  So I took full advantage of getting ready quicker than the rest of my family, and patiently waiting to go have a good time with my loved ones and not give a shit about how I looked.  When we got to my uncles and saw all my cousins looking all pretty I kinda realized I’m an idiot because now I’d feel like a toad if we took any pictures.  This challenge taught me that I should wear makeup whenever I feel comfortable, and made me question if taking 5 minutes in the morning was really a huge cost to pay if it made me feel more confident and ready to take on the day.  I can definitely do without wearing makeup to class, but when I’m going out, I’d rather take the time to throw on some makeup, because when you look your best you definitely feel your best and it can turn a bad day into a not so bad one.

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Challenge 8: Self-Love

It’s reached that time of the semester where we could all use some serious self-care.  A lot of the time we forget about how important it is to take care of ourselves in the midst of balancing school work and a social life, all while attempting to get enough sleep to function throughout the day.  I know for me this balance can get super difficult, and I decided to take this week to show myself a little love.  If you’re a college student you probably know how it feels to stay up until the wee hours of the morning studying for an exam, or wake up with an unbearable headache because you had a little (or a lot) too much Smirnoff the night before.  It’s so important that we put our own physical and mental health before these things, although it can be hard to find the time or motivation.  Every day of this challenge I did something for myself that I normally don’t take the time to do because I am too busy focusing my time and energy elsewhere, or I’m trying to save money for food (lol).

Day 1:  Last year I lived on Livingston campus and always saw ads for their massage services as well as threading, so I decided to try them out and made an appointment for a 60 minute massage in between my classes.  Normally the price is $65, but for students the discount it to $45, which in my opinion was well worth it.  I felt so relaxed afterwards, and decided I might as well get threaded too, for only $5!!  That’s seriously unheard of.  It’s not every day that we do this type of thing for ourselves and their prices really are the best you’re going to get for those services.  I highly recommend treating yourself to a Livi pampering sesh.

titus andromedon diva GIF by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Day 2:  Today I had work, and it dawned on me that I’ve worked at a salon for 6 months and have never once gotten my hair blown out, even though I have the option to do it for free.  At the end of my shift the salon wasn’t busy and I asked my boss if he could give me a quick blowout… game changer.  I felt so pretty and put together for the rest of the day, and my self-esteem and mood was just crazily increased.  I know this sounds dumb, but changing an aspect of your appearance in some way really can be a stress reliever and a mood booster if you’re feeling overwhelmed and in need of a change.

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Day 3:  There’s seriously nothing better than a good spa night with your girls.  In high school me and my friends used to go to Walmart and buy a bunch of cheap face and hair masks and snacks and have ourselves a time.  Obviously it isn’t always easy to find the time for that now, but tonight all my friends cleared their schedules and we did it.  We may or may not have added some wine to the equation as well (recommended).  This was my favorite night of the challenge because although it’s important to make time for yourself, it’s so much more fun when you have your favorite people to enjoy it with you.

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I only did this challenge for 3 days because it really isn’t practical to do these things on a daily basis, but the 3 days really did make a huge difference.  It put into perspective how important it is to put school and other stressors to the side for not even an hour, at least once a week, and focus on your well-being.  After this challenge I felt more focused and motivated to do the things I have to, knowing that I did some things for myself.  I seriously recommend trying at least one of these things out because we all deserve some downtime whether it’s alone, or with a group of our closest friends and a bottle of Barefoot.

self love GIF by Chibird

Challenge 7: Big Spender

This past week, I challenged myself to spend as little money as possible, preferably none at all unless absolutely necessary.  As a college student who has been in the position of literally having negative dollars in my bank account, I know how it feels to be forced to be frugal with your money and spend it as wisely and strategically as possible.  Instead of taking it day by day, for this challenge I’m just going to talk about what I refrained from spending money on as a whole for the week and what I did instead to save some cash.

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Almost every day I go to Starbucks and get a coffee, whether it is in the morning after I rush out of the house, or when I’m on the go in the afternoon and need a pick me up.  With that being said, this week I stopped myself from spending a ridiculous $6 on a coffee every day and used the Keurig in my house for each coffee I drank, no matter how much I was craving that perfectly blended Starbucks Caramel Macchiato.  This saves a lot of money if you do that math, because buying a coffee a day adds up to almost $50 a week, which is so unnecessary if I can get my caffeine fix for free in the comfort of my own home.  Sounds like a no brainer when I put it that way and I’ll definitely keep in mind how much money I can save if I just make my own coffee at home instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money elsewhere.

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Food is the next thing, and frankly the biggest thing, that I spend a ridiculous amount of money on when I really don’t need to at all.  My sorority house provides me with food 24/7, whether it be home cooked meals, cereal, bagels, yogurt, sandwiches, and still, my bank account is overflowing with charges from food places.  Why am I the way I am?  I couldn’t tell you.  Living in a college town with an abundance of places to eat within walking distance is dangerous.  At my old school, there were no food places nearby, and I was forced to eat only my meal plan and barely spent any money at all on the weekdays, but here it’s basically the only thing I blow my money on, and it’s getting out of hand.  This week I did my best to curve my Tacoria and Hansel cravings and stick to the meal plan I pay for in the house.  I decided to leave my debit card at home whenever I went out instead of keeping it in the back of my phone, which really helped because even if I had the urge (which is seriously always), I couldn’t do anything about it except wait until I got home to eat.  This tactic worked for this week, but I doubt I’ll be able to have this type of self-control all the time.

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After looking at my bank statement, I found that the third thing that I spend the most money on is Lyft.  When you go to a school as big as Rutgers, it’s inevitable that sometimes you are going to have to walk 15 minutes in the freezing cold to get to your destination.  That just isn’t my cup of tea.  Instead, I prefer to spend $6 every time I have to make a trek through New Brunswick, whether it be to get to a house party or to get to class on another campus.  You may be thinking “why don’t you just take a bus?”.  You know the answer to that though.  The Rutgers busses suck.  BUT, for the sake of my challenge, all week I either walked, or took the bus.  Granted, I was late to class a few too many times and may or may not have frost bite on every single exposed body part of mine, but I made it through.  I acknowledge the fact that I could definitely walk more and get some exercise and fresh air instead of Lyfting unnecessarily, because I admit sometimes I just do it out of pure laziness.  When it comes to making it to class I’ll probably stick with Lyft because the bus system honestly may be the reason I don’t graduate on time.

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Challenge 6: Halloweenie

With Halloween around the corner, this week I decided to do a challenge to get in the spooky szn spirit.  Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved scary stuff.  My dad used to always bring me to haunted houses, haunted hayrides, and to see the scariest movies in theatres.  As I’ve gotten older, although I still love the thrill of spooky things, I haven’t taken advantage of all the fun things I could do around Halloween time.  So I thought this week was a great time to try and experience something Halloweenie every day.mean girls halloween GIF

Day 1:  Tonight, I made my friends stay in with me and watch a scary movie.  This may seem like a simple thing to do, but some people don’t have the same love for scary movies that I do.  We chose the movie “Would You Rather”, and if you’ve ever seen it, you know its brutal.  It was even a bit much for me.  My friends that hate scary stuff were literally screaming the entire time and asking me what the f*** is wrong with me for enjoying stuff like this.  Not a bad question, honestly.nervous chewing gum GIF

Day 2: My friends and I decided to do something a little less terrifying today and go to a pumpkin patch.  This is also something I used to do every year when I was younger, but ever since I came to college the tradition isn’t really alive for me anymore.  Although this tradition isn’t as exhilarating as the spooky stuff, there will always be something so satisfying about finding that perfect pumpkin to bring home.  There was also a haunted hayride at this pumpkin patch that I wanted to go on but my friends talked me out of it (babies) so I settled for the boring ass regular hayride.

Day 3: Today we had an event at my sorority house where we painted pumpkins with potential new members.  This was fun because we dressed up in fall clothes and drank apple cider and were being festive af while still having a recruitment event where we could talk to new girls and make new friends.  Although this type of thing could be ~spooky~ if you end up talking to the wrong girl, I had a great time doing something in the holiday spirit that I normally would never do on my own.

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Day 4:  I’ve always wanted to go to a legit haunted house, not just those little pop up ones that I went to in my hometown when I was a kid.  So I booked my friend that ISN’T A HUGE BABY and I tickets to this place called Brighton Asylum.  Basically I just researched scariest haunted houses in NJ, and this place called itself “the scariest place on earth” so obviously I was intrigued.  Yo… this shit was wild.  I’ve been talking like I’m some big macho man who isn’t scared of anything but lemme tell you I was screaming at the top of my lungs the entire time.  Half out of pure fear and half out of laughter and excitement.  Each attraction was something unexpected and scarier than the last.  This was definitely the most fun night of my challenge.

Day 5:  Today I didn’t do anything really Halloween related other than get dressed up as a vampire and go out, but I reflected on how much fun this week was and how I should get more festive during the holidays and actually celebrate, because it makes it so much more enjoyable.  The past couple years I didn’t do anything to make Halloween more fun other than stress out over finding cute costumes and going out, so I’m really glad I took this week to find amusement in the other aspects of this time of year.

Challenge 5: Caffeine Withdrawals

This week I decided to relax with my coffee addiction and attempt to go to sleep earlier to see if it affected how I feel in the morning.  I’m guilty of being a night owl and feel that I’m most productive at night.  I do my homework, clean my room, do laundry… basically everything I should’ve done during the day.  There are nights that I’m awake at 3:30 AM still folding my laundry and running on 3 or 4 cups of coffee, and I realize it’s probably not the most healthy lifestyle to live.  I’m exhausted in the mornings, and like I said in my past blog, I usually sleep in super late to make up for the sleep lost the night before.  Then the first thing I do when I step out of my bed is stumble downstairs and put my caramel café k cup in the Keurig and place it on the largest setting.  I rely on multiple cups of that shit to keep me functioning during the day when I could simply just get to bed at a reasonable time and get more sleep.tired good morning GIF by SLOTHILDA

Day 1:  I got ready for bed last night at around 8.  It was weird for me.  Really weird.  At that time on a Sunday I’m usually starting to finish up my work for the week and put in a load of laundry, but with this challenge in mind I did it a few hours earlier in the day.  I got into bed at 9 and mid Handmaids Tale episode I passed tf out.  This morning I had work at 10, and usually I set my alarm for 9 but snooze it 14 times, but today I was determined to get out of bed and start my day without coffee.  About an hour in, it wasn’t going well.  I was still extremely sluggish and literally dying for my daily morning cup of coffee.  Now I understand why I love that stuff so much.  I seriously felt like a zombie and was barely a quarter through my day.coffee GIF

Day 2:  Yesterday was a long day.  Like torturously long.  So getting in bed early was actually heaven and I had no problem knocking out once my head hit the pillow.  This morning though… lemme tell ya.  If there’s such thing as caffeine withdrawals, I was getting them full-fledged.  It’s not even that I was overly tired, I was just the most irritable human being on the east coast, and my pounding headache wasn’t helping, and all I kept thinking about was how coffee would make me feel a billion times better.  The day went on and I was in class at 2:00 literally starting to doze off.  It isn’t even like I went to bed late so I couldn’t blame my sleepiness on that anymore.  Coffee has just become such a vital part of my daily life (as dramatic as I may sound to someone that doesn’t have this problem) that it’s what keeps me functioning throughout the day.  I never realized what a huge effect it had on me until now.  After class I forfeit.  I walked over to Dunkin’ and got a large caramel iced coffee with almond milk, and girl, nothing has ever tasted so damn good.  I now know that coffee may just be something I need for my mental sanity and well-being.  I’m going to try to limit myself to less cups a day because the way I feel without it is unhealthy, but for now, I’ll continue to turn that Keurig on to start my days.

 

coffee caffeine GIF by Look Human