Monday, September 28, 2015

Monthly Highlights: September 2015

Guess what? I survived another month of college and blogging without exploding! Yes, I’m very proud of myself too. If this is your first visit to Forgotten Featherpen then welcome to the Monthly Highlights where I briefly recount the many wonderful things that have been going on here. I’ll also touch on my ongoing writing projects and things to expect this upcoming month. So let’s get started!

The Blog

I obviously held off on the writing/reading oriented posts this month. This was my first month at college! I had to tell y’all all about it! Even the school assignments and my emerging social life couldn’t keep me from posting once a week.

I shared my some of my story in coming to college in My Time To Fly. It was the optimistic start to my big year of adventure here.

It may come across as sad, but it’s really not! When Wings Grow Weary is just a post that explained some of the real feelings that come along with a change in life. Finally, I shared 5 Ways to Challenge Yourself in College. I’m taking those challenges myself and I can’t wait to see how I grow over the year.

Next month I do plan on posting more than just pieces of my heart with y’all. I’ll probably have fun with some tags I’ve been saving. So make sure to keep coming back. As a side note, I’m so happy to have such a surge of new visitors lately! Not all of them are commenting but I can see you hanging around in the stats. :) Thanks y’all for dropping by. Keep coming!

My Life

If I tried to tell you every new thing that has happened to me since coming to college you would end up reading a short novel. So I’ll try to summarize it instead by saying this: I’m having an awesome time.

First off, I’ve met more writers here at Byran! There’s two groups I should tell y’all about.

1. Logophile

This is a small group of writers that meets weekly on Bryan campus to share their writing and work through prompts together. I was super excited to hear about this because I had never been a part of a physical writing club before. Believe me, it’s way different then the groups I’ve joined around the web or on Facebook. Different in good ways though. When I work up the courage I really want to share some of my work with them.

2. Bryan Bloggers

This should really be a thing, people. Since coming to Bryan I’ve seen or talked at least five people who blog here at Bryan College. Every single one brings unique perspectives to our time here as students. What’s so funny is that we read each other’s stuff online but rarely talk about our blogs in person! Plus I’ve noticed that all the bloggers are girls….why don’t boys blog? Okay, back on topic. If anyone is interested, here’s my list of Bryan Bloggers you should definitely follow.

Miss A Capuzzi @ HE is Truth

Kat @ Kat’s Korner

Brittanyrae @ Inspired Daughter

Karis @ Karis at College

Amber @ His Forever After

Kate @ Confessions From a Servant’s Heart

In other news Fall has arrived on campus! Along with the changing leaves….apparently there’s a lot of things here that I’m allergic to. Just another obstacle for the adventurous soul right? To celebrate the girls in my Hall had a Fall Festival night. We painted pumpkins, decorated cookies, and overall had a fantastic night!

My Story

Okay okay, so maybe I haven’t technically written any new material but I have done a lot of free writing! I was so distraught when my old, bulky story notebook was too big to fit into my backpack with all my other school junk. So I made a move from one notebook to another! I’ve found little pockets of time in-between classes, work-study, and even meals to jot down anything that comes to mind. I’ve worked out some plot issues, developed some characters, and even hit upon the genius idea for a prequel! Because I totally have time for that right?

Thanks for sticking with me here. It's been a great month and a lot has happened. Even more than I could fit into this month's highlights. If there are any other Bryan Bloggers out there that I missed let me know! Till next time!



Monday, September 21, 2015

5 Ways to Challenge Yourself in College

So being a Transfer student has certainly brought it’s share of obstacles. I’m caught in that strange place where I am academically a Junior yet feel like a Freshman on this new campus. I have both experience and inexperience, wisdom and at the same time no clue. But I do know one thing: College is the best place to challenge myself.

This season in life is not for the unadventurous spirit. It’s the time to do the hard, scary things and see what happens! I’ve written down the top five ways I’m challenging myself this school year. If I’m the same by years end as when I started then I’ve let myself down. I challenge you to take a few of them yourself and see how much you grow as a person.

1. Be a New You

This is one of the few times in life that you are thrust into a population of people who have no idea who you are. As scary as that might be for a lot of us…it’s actually a huge opportunity. These people are here for an extended period of time, studying and participating in the same things you are. They don’t know you’re insecure about how you look. They don’t know that embarrassing story from last summer. All they see is another new face in a crowd of strangers.

This is your chance to be a new you! I know there are things about myself that I would love to grow out of. Shake off some of those old habits. Be random and sit somewhere new. Be adventurous and try out for that play or that sports team. You never know what might happen!

2. Learn!

This might come as a surprise to some of you..but you go to college to learn new things. Important things like how to cook noodles in your coffee pot. You learn that too but that’s not really the point. You’re supposed to learn things in class! Hey I know not every class is interesting but heck you paid money to be here! Don’t waste that money by not paying attention in class. Even if you don’t make an A, what you put into the class with your attention and hard work will pay off later in life.

There’s always something new to learn. There is always something, even a little thing, that’s worth learning in any class. A lot of students have lost the love of learning. They’re content to let their brains turn to mush. Don’t be that student! You don’t have to be a genius, just take advantage of the opportunity and challenge yourself to actually learn something instead of just memorizing answers for an exam. You’re brain will thank you later.

3. Work Hard

College is already going to be super busy. I get that. But busy doesn’t always mean that you’re working hard. It’s way too easy to zone out of classes and only apply a minimum requirement of your energy to homework. But you or your parents are paying a lot of money so you can get an education! Take advantage of the opportunity and really apply yourself.

Yes working hard can be….well hard. However, the payoff will be so so satisfying.

4. Make Friends

This one kinda goes hand in hand with being a new you. Some people are really lucky and find a core group to hang out with in the first few weeks of college. Some super lucky people find best friends and even dates before Orientation week is over! I am not one of those people. No matter what type you are don’t settle for less than what could be when it comes to friends.

If you already have a core group, awesome, you’re very lucky and should hang on to them. Don’t forget to reach out to others though and be intentional about getting to know new folk. Who knows they might be super cool. If you’re like me and have difficulty finding a core group or even making more than two friends at a time…don’t give up! Make the effort to be outgoing. Go where the party is or stay around and talk at meals for the purpose of meeting new people and forming attachments. It will be waaaayyy worth it. I promise.

5. Learn to Handle what Life Throws at You

Orientation week will likely be a blur of amazing firsts for you. Then the first week of classes will hit you. Like a semi-truck going ninety on the highway. You'll know pretty quickly which classes you'll live through and which ones will actually kill you. Prepare to jump through academic hoops and sign papers and run all over campus to make it to the right offices at the right times. Long story short: College in general will throw situations at you that you've never had to deal with before.

Mom and Dad aren't here to do things for you. Sometimes they can't even walk you through what to do. This challenge at college is the challenge to grow up and do things on your own. Take charge of your education and make things happen. Keep track of your schedule and handle your time effectively. This is your chance to be an adult and live your life responsibly. Did I just mention responsible and college in the same context? Yes. Yes I did and I don't apologize for it!

Well that's it for now! Five ways to challenge yourself in college. Trying these out will hopefully stretch you and me as people. Experience only adds to maturity and college is the perfect place to grow as a person. Anyone else have ways to personally challenge yourself in college? Don't forget to comment or post your questions below. As always, thanks for stopping by!



Monday, September 14, 2015

When Wings Grow Weary


After the first few weeks of college, I feel a lot like that ruffled little bird right there. It's been a rough ride some days getting used to all this flying and stuff. Lots of fun! But still some rough winds. At the end of the day, one's metaphorical wings can feel a bit tired.

I think that's something we never consider when we use that image of leaping and spreading our wings to fly. Sometimes our wings grow tired. Our novice spirits lack the endurance to push on at first. New obstacles buffet us like harsh and unexpected winds. We might lose our momentum and take a tumble, crash, and bruise. At the end of the day, when we were at first eager, we now ache. No one ever tells you your first experience flying like this can make you sore.

Now I knew going in that college was going to be different than anything else I’d ever experienced. If you read my thoughts last time you know that I already went through a lot before coming to college. I’ve carried full loads in online college and worked retail full time for almost two years. I know stressful! But College? For all the excitement I’ve had to remember that education on a college campus is a totally new and unexplored terrain. College is my first real opportunity to test what I’m really made of. When I took leap I knew it could get rough. I just didn’t expect rough to happen as fast as it did. Here’s the truth of things:

College is not the comfort of my home.

College is not a place where you do everything by your own pace.

College is not for the unadventurous heart.

Sometimes wings grow weary. But God is surely the gentle wind that lifts me back up. I’m ready to fly again today and I'm determined to take hold of the adventure ahead of me. Now's the time to be bold and brave the rough winds!

How are the rest of you holding up in your new circumstances, whatever they may be? How’s college going? If you work through the kinks it will smooth out. Next time I want to go over some challenges I’ve set for myself in college. Don’t miss it!


Monday, September 7, 2015

My Time to Fly

Coming to college is a unique experience in life. A time when young people have the chance to see what they're really made of. Every person approaches the college experience in their own way. Bringing with them their own stories of trials and joys. Our stories are precious because each one is authored by God. He is present in every moment whether we acknowledge His prescence or not. As I've met people in this new place I wish I had the time to sit and hear all their stories. 
With that in mind, I considered my own story. Some of you may already know about my long journey from graduating High School to College. But for those of you who don't, this is some of my story. I hope it encourages you as it does me on every remembrance of how God cares for His Children. 

Have you ever thought a person only gets one dose of incredible opportunity in their life? I have. And I thought I'd already used mine up by the time I was looking for a four-year college education. I seemed to be stuck. Caught in a holding pattern of frustrating, numbing circumstance. God had stopped opening doors. Instead He was actively closing them. If ever an opportunity arose I had a sneaking suspicion that God would hold me back, promising again that He had something better planned. It was hard for me to set my heart on anything. I got tired of dreaming of my future. 

Then there was a summer when I risked it all. The air tingled with promise. This was the summer for change for me and my family. I just knew it! Doors were opening for my family and I had set my sights on a door of my own. I was convinced that the college I had chosen was everything I could ever ask for. Everything about it seemed tailored to everything I loved. Surely this was what God had put me on hold for. So I walked in complete confidence that I would go there. Even as I felt resistance I pushed and pushed, refusing to let this door close when I had waited so long to have this chance. I was confused. Why would God be telling me no? I asked him for clarity and He gave it to me. No.
God crushed a dream of mine that summer. It seemed a lost cause to dream after that. I didn’t put my heart into much anymore. 

That’s why it was such a slow, creeping shock to find out that, a whole year later, I was actually getting to go to a college! The admissions process was bumpy but it didn’t bump us off the road. The finances were frightening to think about, but God provided. The transfer of all my previous years of online schooling was a huge hurdle, but it was a hurdle God took us over. I kept expecting God to shut the whole operation down. But He didn’t! Then, before I could catch up to the shock, I was here at college! 
The morning of move-in I was sitting in the hotel room watching the sun creep over the Tennessee mountains. This was it. College was no longer a distant idea but a reality. The feelings I had were hard to identify. There was something deep beneath the surface, roiling there and troubling me. Unlike my previous experiences, I didn't have bolstering dreams to urge me forward. Was I..afraid? If there was even a hint of uneasiness, was this the right thing for me to be doing? What if I had made the wrong choice? My poor, unfaithful heart, that had forsaken hoping was thrust to this edge and told, finally….

This is your time to fly.
Press on toward your high calling! I have ordained this day for you! I am waiting here for you. Be adventurous. Be willing and trusting. I am here. So jump, I have given you your moment to spread your wings and fly.

That is what I felt God whispering to me. This is why so many doors in my past had been closed. This is why He denied me the dreams of the years before. Because He had this place and this time set aside for His own purpose. I don’t know why I was afraid. But I’ve jumped! I’ve spread my wings. I’m trusting God to lift me up when I grow weary and enable me to truly soar.
Being on a college campus is a unique experience, and one I dare not waste. If God has given you a gift, whether it be a talent or a special time in your life, never waste it. Take the leap and prepare for what He has in store.