Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Thoughts on Connecticut...

This weekend has been an emotional weekend for our country. We have been faced with one of the saddest tragedies that has hit home in a very long time. 20 children were murdered, as well as 6 adults in an elementary school. I'm not going to lie, when I was watching CNN the other day and Anderson Cooper was stating the names and ages of the victims, I found myself crying.

It's true. As he stated the names of those 6 year old's who wouldn't go home to their parents that night. It is sad, even though I didn't know any of the victims at all. I found myself crying because it is just one of those times in our lives that makes us cherish every single thing that we have...and remind us that it can be gone so quickly.

There has been a huge debate over the last few days about gun violence and how a ban on weapons would make a big difference. But this is how I see it, no matter if you ban all guns or just some from being legal...this is still not going to stop those who commit these crimes from using them. See, this is how I see it, schools are gun-free zones, but this didn't stop the array of school shooters we have seen in the past few years from bringing them on campus. Banning guns in general may make it a little harder to get the guns into the hands of those who will use them for evil...but it won't stop them. Criminals don't follow laws, that is just plain an simple.

As for arming teachers, that is good and all...but I know many who would never touch a firearm. Then there is always the worry about having them within reach of the children. Either way, yes that could help in the cases that teachers feel up to using them, but it still won't stop the violence.

I totally agree on the mental health argument. Yes, mental health services are under funded and not seen as important as they are. But they are very important. As someone who has studied mental health in my last 4 1/2 years in college, mental health is important to an individual. Sometimes its something as much as a chemical imbalance that can be remedied with drugs, that could be the difference between someone being suicidal and a normal functioning member of society. But even with the expansion of mental health services and more knowledge of the signs of someone who could cause great harm to others, this still won't stop some of these from happening.

I am sorry to say this, but there is no sure fire way to stop these individuals from walking into our halls of learning and causing great harm. This is because no matter if we get rid of guns, we allow teachers to carry, we expand mental health knowledge; there will still be those out there who will fall through the cracks. There will be those who will still break the law. Even amping school security won't stop all of these kind of attacks.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't try what we can. Don't get me wrong. Adding additional security to schools could help in so many other aspects of daily life. Making guns harder to obtain could help stem them getting into the wrong hands...though some will always find ways around that. Will it stop outright? No. But we don't need to spend our days living in fear. Though school shootings have been more prevalent in the past decade than ever before, they are still few and far between. Send your kids to school.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


This weighed heavy on my mind last night. As I was trying to bust out a term paper for my Crisis Intervention class, I sat there and remembered why I was staying up until 4am to finish it for.

Because in under 6 months time, I'll be a college graduate. I'll have culminated the last 5 years of my life in a ceremony where I can finally say, "I did it!"

But last night, I found myself laughing because I have spent the last 5 years of my life...for a piece of paper. This paper shows that I paid out the nose to get education. But I laughed, because I have spent the last five years for a paper.

But what does this paper mean to me? It's interesting, looking back, at the changes that I have gone through in the past 5 years. I am 100% not the same Amelia who graduated from Lapeer East High School on June 6, 2008.

This was on my last of high school, I'm with my friends Katrina, Courtney and Sarah.
In the past 5 years, I have moved 6 times. By the time I graduate in May, I'll be working on my 7th move (and hopefully the last one for a little while). When I turned 18, I moved out of home and into an apartment in Charter Oaks. That year was a year of big change. Some of my friends left me, others stayed and I even met some new ones.

Fall 2008 brought about new experiences in life. For once, I had control over what I wanted to do for most of the day. I drove myself to and from school and could do what I want when I was there. I could go out to eat where I wanted to. I could try new things. But I didn't try too much because I was well...scared! Everything was so big to me then. I had the ability try many things. But I didn't.

Fall 2009
Zach, Shannon and I in fall 2009.
Staying in Charter Oaks for another year, this was the year I also lost someone that I loved dearly. This was the year that I realized that Music Education was just not for me. I didn't go back for performance classes but changed last minute to nursing classes. I remember struggling through Anatomy and Physiology among other classes. Life was difficult.

But this was the year that I really got close to a couple of the friends that I spend so much time with not, Abijah and Tanisha. These two lovely ladies came into my life at the beginning of Freshman year, but it wasn't until my 2nd year at the university that I actually got to know them. I am so glad I did, as I love these two dearly!
Tanisha and Abijah in 2010

The summer after this year was the summer I began working at The Fowler Center for Outdoor Education. This eye opening summer brought new experiences with campers that I would have never met anywhere else. Cabin 4, the pirate cabin, was the best of course, and it was just an amazing summer. I made some amazing friends that summer.

Fall 2010
Fall 2010, from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 premiere

This was when a change needed to happen. Charter Oaks was always rough for me. For one, it had many memories. I lost some good friends while living there, and I spent a lot of time to myself in that apartment. It was time to move out of the walls that held so many memories. So, I moved to campus. Okay, maybe not on campus but close to it. In Fall 2010, I moved to Riverfront Residence Hall, my current residence. Who knew that living here would open up so many opportunities for me and shape me into a better person? Tanisha also joined me as we moved into 1104, our first apartment. It was a 3 bedroom and we didn't meet the last roommate until a few days after we moved in. Mindu would come to be one of our favorite people!

Mindu and Abijah :)
1104 will always hold wonderful memories of amazing nights with friends and laughter. That was also the year that I decided that I just wasn't going to make it in Nursing and officially switched my major to Psychology, my final major. I learned that if I took one class, I would have a minor in medicine...so I took it, but that was the last "science" class I would step into. (I have the ""'s because some would argue, like me, that psychology is a science, just in a different way.) I was finding my niche in the world and it felt amazing. 

2011 began with a bang, while I joined some friends in Luna's basement for some fun times. Earlier in that year, I learned about the death of my father, a week of my life that would show me just how strong I was dealing with certain situations. I also got my first tattoo (and currently only one) with my cousin that year. In summer 2011, I went back to TFC for almost the whole entire summer, but ended it with some time with friends in Saginaw.

Fall 2011
Welcome Back Picnic 2011
Fall 2011, and my 4th year at UM-Flint came and I was excited to be moving back to Riverfront and to see my "Flint friends" again. In August, I began work at Riverfront at the front desk. I got to meet so many more people who live in the building through my work at the desk. Some would stop by and have a chat every so often and it was a lot of fun.

Tanisha, Mindu and I were now living in 512 which was exciting because it was a much larger apartment. In October, I turned 21 and held a wonderful party full of friends (and family because Molly was there). THAT was a fun night! This was really the year that I stretched the bounds of my freedom. Sometimes you have the ability to do things, but you don't really do them. In my 4th year, I finally realized just how much I could do and how much I could really enjoy life. So I would take trips out to see Molly in Lansing almost once a month, I went out on the town on Thursday nights, I met new people, I tried new things. I embraced the life that I was given and learned to enjoy every second of it.

And it was an enlightening experience. Because of my new lease on life in 2011, I got to know one special guy that I had known for awhile, but never really got to know. Kevin. Kevin and I met in fall 2010. We had a Nursing class together...back when I WAS a nursing major. We were actually in the same group for our big project because our last names were close (and the teacher assigned them by last name). Through that time, I never really got to know him, but he was there. Abijah knew him through ITS so we invited him to parties and he always made me laugh. He was invited to my birthday party and came to bring some major entertainment. Later in 2011 for my Christmas party, we finally sealed the deal and began dating. This upcoming Monday will be our one year of being together. I ended my 2011 with a new relationship and some amazing memories.

Fun times with friends old and new :)
I started 2012 with new ideas with how I wanted to run my life. I faced some demons that I had been haunting me for years. I basically pushed some people out of my life that I sometimes regret pushing, but it happened. But I also welcomed the renewing of relationships some old and some that I never thought would be possible. I added another set of people to my friend group through the addition of Zac Sanborn, someone who opened my eyes up to many new things. 

The summer after this year, I gained a new job experience that I have had much enjoyment out of these past few months. I became an RA! Sara was in need of someone, and I had applied before, so after the interview process, I was hired. In June, I began my work as a mentor and friend to many different students all over the building.

Fall 2012
Molly and I on Shopping day!
Fall 2012 has been an interesting experience, one that has dealt with the balance of life. At the beginning of my college experience, I felt like I did nothing. Because I didn't do anything. I spent a lot of time at home, just sitting. Looking back on that time now, it was so much easier. These past few months I have had to schedule anything. There have been days that I would have loved to actually just sit at home and be lazy, but I just don't have the time! Between working 2 jobs, as an RA and front desk worker, full time at school (which has been difficult because I am taking harder classes in order to graduate) and time with friends, my life has been chaotic lately. But I love it, all of it.

As I look forward, in the next week I will finish exams for fall 2012 and begin another year here in a couple weeks. This next year brings graduation in May, a date that I am anticipating and scared of at the same time. May 5th, 2013 will release me from the chapter of my life that I have been safely in for 5 years. I will be out there to the world and well...all of it's unknown ways. That piece of paper they hand me on this day will include all that I have talked about and remembered. It will show that I have worked my butt off for a small slip of paper that will take me farther than I could ever imagine.

It's interesting what life does to people. It's interesting how my journey to get to May 5th has had many twists and turns along the way and how much work it would take to get there. The journey of life is a beautiful thing, and has so many lessons ans triumphs along the way. But it's here...and that is just crazy to me.

Enjoy some of my favorite moments from the past few years:


Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Dirt on Roommates

So, I have been pretty lucky when it comes to roommates. Other than an awkward few months in Charter Oaks, I've had some pretty awesome roommates. Mindu and Tanisha were awesome people to live with. We all worked together, worked everything out as it went and just had 2 very awesome years living together.

As an RA, I learned that not all roommate relationships are like this. In general, as we head a floor, we learn which rooms are the ones that have those harmonic relationships. At the beginning of this year, we all had to sit in with the rooms on our floors and do roommate agreements. For us, it was a way to get to know each residents and we created a space for each roommate to talk about what they would need for this upcoming school year and for each other to get to know the others' schedules.

This was the moment that we as RAs could kind of pick out which rooms were going to be difficult throughout the year. By the end of the year, we all had a mental note of those rooms that would need some extra attention and possibly conflict resolution later in the year. So, here is a list of roommate issues that may happen in college:

1. The messy roommate

One of the worst things, if you are a clean person, is the messy roommate. This is the person that has the clothes all over the floor, doesn't do their dishes as they use them and basically leaves a trail everywhere. This is the person who works better in a mess. I admit, I am one of these people. I am not the most organized when it comes to my personal items, but I always know where they are at.

But for someone who is the opposite, I understand how being in a dirty environment can actually not help your concentration whatsoever. So, the dirty roommate can actually become an annoyance. This can lead to disagreements.

Solution: The only thing I can say to try for this type of roommate is talk to them. Sit down with them and explain how you need a cleaner environment to be able to focus. Ask them to try to keep the mess in the common areas to a minimum and pick up after themselves for a bit. You can't fix it all at once, but they may not be aware that it makes you uncomfortable. If they don't listen, or get offended, it may be worth bringing in someone else (like an RA if you live in a dorm). Sometimes, just speaking up can make a difference.

2. The Naked Roommate

So, maybe they won't be Hugh Laurie, but this is ACTUALLY something that happens. This is the roommate that loves to walk around in the nude. In some cases, this person may just like to sleep without clothes. But, in some severe cases, they will walk around at night...and even the day...without covering themselves up. And don't get me wrong, this happens with both sexes!

Solution: Set some boundaries with them. If it makes you uncomfortable, remember that it is your rights they are invading because you live there too. If the person likes to sleep in the nude and they share a bedroom with you, state that they need to either get a private room or put some clothes on while asleep. You share that room with them and it is your right to not have to see that.

If they walk around in the nude, that brings another problem. You can't have people over because you are afraid that your roommate may come out without clothes. Ask them to at least wear a bathrobe when they are walking in the common areas.

3. The Loud Roommate

We all know them. As an RA, we come to resent those people who like to be loud well into the night. These are the rooms we go knocking on to tell them to quiet down. In some cases, they get written up due to their excessive noise. Sometimes, people talk loud. We all know that person who just never learned to use their 6 inch voice.

Solution: Ask them to quiet down. In many cases, when the RA comes by and asks people to quiet down, they do! Some people don't know that the music they are listening to is loud, or that they are being loud. If it is bothering you in your bedroom, then it is probably being heard out in the hall and infringing on the rights of others in different rooms.

Make a noise complaint! So, it may seem bad to make a complaint about your roommate...but in a dorm experience, the RA doesn't mention who made the noise complaint. I know, in our building, we will say "someone made a complaint." When they ask who, we just say we don't know who it is. So it is safe for you call and make that complaint.

4. The Party-er

This is the roommate who is drinking, smoking, having people over and just partying their way through college. I won't say that I don't go to parties, I have attended my fair share in the past 4 years. But this is different. This is the roommate who spends a lot of time on the "party" experience and less on their school work.

Solution: In general, if this person goes out at night and comes back, there is not much you can do. Ignore that situation. If they are loud when they come back, make a complaint. But, if they are drinking in your room, having people over all the time, etc. You CAN do something. For one thing, if your dorm is dry....report it. You can also do this secretly. The rules are in place for your and everyone else's safety. If your dorm is not dry, well try your best to ignore it. The next day, it may be worth talking to your roommate about their habits.

5. The Gamer

This is the roommate that stays up all times of the night playing games. In many cases, they keep to themselves. But, in other cases, these games can really ruin your concentration.

Solution: If this roommate's games has you awake all hours of the night, ask them to turn down the volume. If they are sharing your room with you and the flashing bothers you, ask them to move out into the common areas of the dorm (and to shut the bedroom door). Talk to them about the sound. Sometimes when you get into a game, you don't realize how loud things are, or how bright the screen can be and how it can bug others.

6. The Quiet One

Normally, this isn't an issue. But as someone who likes to get to know everyone, this can get frustrating. This is the roommate that never leaves the room. This is the person that the RA's begin to worry about as the semester goes on. This person never comes to events and we never see them walking in the halls...so sometimes we can think that things are no okay. In general, as RAs, we don't hear much about this roommate. But, if you like to know who you living with and form friendships, these introverts may make it harder.

Solution: Many of the "quiet" people express that they don't get invited places. Just because they seem happy to sit in their room on their computer or with their nose in a book, doesn't mean that they don't want to spend time with you. Invite them, and keep inviting them. They may decline, many times, because their likes are different than yours. But, there may be one time that they will join you. Don't forget about them! 

Or, ask them what they want to do. Many introverts want to get to know you, but may be too shy to instigate. Ask them if they want to do something, and what they want to do. You may find something fun that you never even thought of!

7. The Klepto

There are many varying degrees of this roommate. This may be the person who borrows a shirt and never gives it back, or eats your food without replacing it; to the one who packs away many things that are yours at the end of the year and leaves with them when you are not around. Sometimes this goes unnoticed for months before you begin to see things missing from different spots.

Solution: Make a roommate agreement. If you are not comfortable with sharing clothing, food, personal care items, etc. sit down with you roommate(s) and say so. If you make it in writing, you can use it later when you start finding those "missing" items. If you do this at the beginning of your stay together, ground rules are set. If you are okay with sharing, specify how you want to be asked (if at all) and if there is any way you want the borrowed thing to be returned. If damages were to happen, if the borrower would need to replace or repair. Anything that goes along with this.

Of course, these aren't the only roommates that you will come in contact, but theses are a few of them that may come up in your college life. If you have any roommate experiences that I haven't shared, and maybe some solutions too, feel free to comment. As always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Election: A Reaction Post

So, here is another post about the election...yup I know, you are probably tired of this election by now. But, we all have our own opinions on how we wanted things to go yesterday and well...I feel like some things need to be said.

Our new President of the United States is...

Barak Obama. I'm pretty sure you know this by now. And while I have some friends who were upset that our President is going to be around for another 4 years, I am not. Yes, I voted for President Obama.

In general, I tend to lean towards the democrats. My views and their views seem to line up in general. But, I also like to be informed. So, I listened to what Romney/Ryan said in their speeches and debates. I listened. Some of the things that Romney said were not okay. As a woman, I was not in agreement in the overturn of Roe vs. Wade for one. That huge court case gave women rights in general. I am not here to fight for abortion (or against it), but that court case gave women more rights than just abortion. It showed that we are important and that what happens with our bodies should be our decision.

Planned Parenthood, though they do offer abortions for women where it is legal, also does many other services for women AND men. They test for STDs, offer mammograms and cervical cancer screenings and help keep us healthy...at a fee that is based off of your income so it is affordable for all Americans. I have used Planned Parenthood for birth control, and while some people don't believe in birth control, some people need it. I have a friend who actually has hormone issues and their use of birth control is for a medical issue. She shouldn't have to pay out of pocket for that, and I agree. Insurance coverage of birth control is a very important issue near and dear to my heart.

As a woman, I couldn't even let myself vote for Romney as the differences in interest was just too much. Obviously, there are other things I was unhappy in what the governor said, but I am not going to beat this into the ground. Am I happy that Obama won. I am not going to drag Romney supporters through the dirt since some of them are very near and dear to my heart. You can believe what you believe and well...I guess you can complain about it too.

This is all I want to say. Obama won, you can't change that now. It is time to take the next 4 years and let things happen! I remember reading how Congress was filibustering EVERYTHING these past few years so that "Obama would be a one term President" and tried to use that argument that Obama got nothing done. He didn't get it done because you wouldn't let him.

So, lets come together. Let's be nicer to our fellow man, no matter if he is a Republican or Democrat (or Libertarian, or Green!), and be a little nicer. Karma is a crazy thing but it will come back to you when you are nice to people. In another 4 years, you can rise up and choose whomever you want for President and there will be all new candidates. Just some food for thought.

Ballot Proposals...

So, Michigan had a lot of proposals on the ballot. And they all failed. Now there were a couple I didn't want and I voted no for. I mean, I don't care if they want to build a bridge to Canada without hearing from us. I pay taxes too! But they have money for these bridges and if the people don't want it...it still just sits there. Part of our budget is for that international bridge.

Collective bargaining...really? You didn't pass it? Don't you remember the Flint Sit-down strike? Our state is built upon unions with our huge ties in the auto business. Unions BUILT our state. And you are going to deny those the ability to get together and bargain? Really?

As for the home health care proposal...wow. One of the major things that proposal would give was a list of home health care workers who had background checks. Home care is cheaper than sending our elders into a  home and research shows that many have a better life living at home than in the home. Depression in nursing homes is a major thing that accounts for much of the decline of our family members. Why wouldn't you want a list of qualified individuals who are going to be taking care of YOUR parents? They are going to come in and care for their needs.

A step towards equality...

Last night, we elected the first gay Senator. Three other states also made gay marriage legal making a total of 7 states that it is now legal in. That for me is awesome.

I have many friends who are homosexual and I am close to them. I hope that eventually Michigan will join the bandwagon and I can see these friends marry. This is my basis, if you don't believe in gay marriage...don't get gay married.

I am happy that we have made some strides towards a new tomorrow of equality for these individuals that want to express their love.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Credit Cards, Payday Loans and Other Stuff

College is an exciting time. For many, it is the first time we are away from home for longer than a short time. Parents aren't there to tell us what to do. This is the first time that we get to actually make our own decisions.

Most of us have also just turned 18. This means that you are now a legal adult. You can vote, join the army and even buy cigarettes and porn. But this also means that we can legally sign a contract to just about anything we could want. This is a big time to make some very bad decisions that you may regret later down the road.

Credit card companies are not stupid. They know that all these 18 year olds are newly on the market and they can now sign for their cards. Most students don't know about interest rates and other parts that come into a credit card.

At 18, I thought credit card was money that I didn't have. Many students are like me and they will sign for a credit card because they will get a $500 or a $1000 credit line. Once that plastic is in their hands, they will spend it on everything they want. They won't think that they will have to pay that back, with interest (which means you'll end up paying more than it would have been if you saved up for it), in a certain time. Many of these students are freaked out when they get that first bill in the mail and they don't realize that they can't even pay the minimum.

So they won't. I did it, trust me.

They will ignore the bill, and the next one. Soon, they receive notices of being very late, of the company trying to settle their debt, and later that the bill has been sent to a debt collection company.

Then the calls begin. Debt collection companies buy the debt that a credit card company for a smaller price than what the debt is. These companies will bug you via the phone and the mail over and over and over again. They just want your money and they want it now.

I ran into this problem. When I was 18, I got a Discover credit card with a $500 credit line. Instead of keeping it in my back pocket for "emergencies," I spent the money stupidly. I do admit this. Then I couldn't pay the bill, so I ignored it. For over 2 1/2 years, I ignored calls and letters from debt collection companies. This past December, I finally settled the account with the debt collection company.

And my credit score suffered. One thing that young adults ALSO don't understand is that you have a credit score. This score is what companies look at to give you a loan for a house, or a car, or even school. At this time, because of my 18 year old stupidity, I have harmed my credit score for at least the next 7 years.

Credits cards can be helpful. As an 18 year old, you don't have any credit. Credit cards, if they are used wisely and payed off on time, can help give you a credit score which will help you in the future. Sometimes it's okay to charge something, as long as you can pay the minimum balance on your credit card on time. Once you begin to default, you are on a downward spiral.

Another huge no-no that many college kids fall into are payday loans. These companies, like  Check N Go, give you cash money on the spot. These loans are even worse than credit cards. For one, the interest rates are high. I remember reading one where I would receive $500 and in 30 days I would have to pay $800 back.

And the 30 days is an issue. Most students don't make $500 in 30 days, so they totally don't make $800! These companies are ruthless. I know I haven't actually gotten a loan, but you give them your information. I know I had some issues with someone trying to scam me because they got my information from a company I tried to get a loan from. It was a nightmarish day where I ended up making a police report with the Michigan State police, the FTC and the FBI.

Basically, if you want something that you don't have (and it isn't necessary for life), save for it. Get a job! Wait, it may get cheaper. One thing to remember is you don't have to have the newest things. These past few times, my new stuff have been because I have saved the money for it. I didn't get my new phone until September because I couldn't afford it when the new upgrade became available in July. It was something I wanted and I saved up for it.

Here's some tips from my experience:

1. Use cash. I find that if I keep cash to buy food/stuff on campus with me, I'll not overspend. This is because I only have a certain amount, and if I want to make that last for a few days, I can figure out how much to spend at a time. If you use your debit card, you may not remember how much is on the card at that time, and you may actually overdraft your bank account (giving you fees that you will lose).

2. Read the contract. Don't sign something blindly. Take the time to read the whole contract. I remember my car insurance lady telling me that it was smart that I took the time to read the whole thing. Sometimes companies will try to hurry you into making a decision and signing the contract. Stick to your guns. If they don't have the time to sit there with you, ask to take the contract home and return it when you have the time to go over it. There is also no harm in asking questions and even having a lawyer look at the contract.

3. Don't buy everything because it's the newest, greatest thing. I know, we all want the brand new thing so that we can tell all our friends. If you don't have the money to have it (and cover your living expenses), don't buy it. Many times, the newest electronic is also very glitchy. It's worth waiting for the company to get all the kinks out AND saving the money for it.

4. Remember the important things. You need food to live, so make sure you have money for that. You need to live somewhere, so if you don't want to be on the streets with your TV in hand, make sure you live somewhere that you can afford the rent AND pay that rent (and other living expenses like heat and electricity). You do need clothes, but you don't need the most expensive clothes. There ARE nice things at Good Will and Salvation Army! You don't need a car usually, as there is public transportation in many cities. You don't need the internet or a phone (though one is nice to let your family know you are alive...but you can get internet ON a phone for rather cheap now!)

5. Find cheap activities to do. There are plenty of activities around campuses and in close cities that are rather cheap (if not free!) Don't pay an arm and a leg to participate in things. Getting together with friends can be more fun than other things AND cheap!

6. Coupons! I know, I know. It seems like something that is for moms, but it isn't! For Christmas, my Aunt Linney gave me a book called the "Entertainment Book." This book was a huge book of coupons that had anything from free meals, to free movie tickets, to free carwashes. It was pretty awesome and saved me a lot of money this past year! Find one in a nearby city near you. It is $30 and has saved me more than that in just movie tickets! It is also worth clipping coupons for food you eat, toiletries that you use and places you like to go. Anywhere you can save a couple bucks is worth it. Also become a member of store savings clubs. Kroger has the Kroger plus, VG's has a card and Meijer has mbucks where you can clip coupons online and enter your phone number at the register and it will apply any that count. Totally worth it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Month of Giving Comes to a Close

So my birth month is over (boo D:) but it was a fun month for sure. And of course I was finishing my random acts of kindness! See them below!

You may also notice the little dog in my photos for this installment. That is Spot! Each week, the RA's pass Spot around as a weekly recognition of someone who did something nice or was just really awesome for the week. This week, I got Spot! Nick gave me him because of my calm handling of last week's building evacuation/fire issue. So Spot got to join in on the fun this week :)
Spot couldn't decide what he wanted at Starlite the other night!

17.  Safe Trick-or-treat for kids in Flint

This past Sunday, Riverfront put together a safe trick or treat for kids in Flint. This event provided a safe environment (away from the dangers of crime) for kids who can come from some scary neighborhoods in this city. We had about 70 kids and their families come by to join us for halloween games, a coloring contest, a costume contest and LOTS of candy! It was adorable seeing lots of little kids in their costumes (at the age where they are excited to get all dressed up) and giving them candy!

Spot was trying to steal all the candy before the kids arrived! Bad Spot :P

18. Cooked for a friend

Last Wednesday night there was a small fire in my building, enough to set off the sprinklers in their apartment and causing a full evacuation of the building into the street for 3 hours. After all was said and done, 8 apartments were moved due to water damage and Nick and I being on duty didn't get to chill out and calm down until after midnight. That was when we realized we had eaten all day. I was cooking dinner when the alarms went off and had to get people out of the building. My chicken was ruined by the time I got up there at 1 am. So, I grabbed some more chicken from my freezer, went down to Nick's room, and cooked Tanisha and Nick some dinner...at 1:30 AM. Either way, they were happy to eat it and Nick and I talked until around 4 am that night. Sleep just wasn't going to happen after dealing with an emergency like that.

19.Took Notes for a friend who was home sick

This fall has been rough. I know that I have spent some days sick out of my mind and home. For my friend Abijah, the poor thing lost her voice and didn't make it into class. So, I took her good notes in the class that we have together, and sent them to her so that she could stay as updated as possible!

20. Gave Free Stuff (including gift cards) to random residents

On Tuesday, I walked over to campus and bought three $5 gift cards for Jilly's Pizza, a pizza place that I know the owners rather well. I wrote out 3 cards and gave the residents a task. I said the first 3 people to stop by my door would get an awesome prize...as long as they said, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good!" Of course, I knew there would be more than 3 people that would stop by, so I filled a basket with bags of chips, bottled water, candy, cookies, and pop so that those who stopped by later would have something else to take with them.

At around 4:45pm (I wrote that it would be between 5 PM and 12 AM), one of my residents texted me and told me that I already had 3 people waiting! Three lovely ladies from the 10th floor (one I hadn't met before!) got the gift cards, and about 12 other people stopped by throughout the night and left with a free snack and a smile on their face. When asked why I was doing this, I just explained how I was celebrating my birth month and they thought it was really cool. Maybe I inspired someone to at least pay it forward
Spot joined me by chilling in the basket of goodies. :)

21. Bought a movie ticket for a friend

Every October for the past few years, there has been a Paranormal Activity released. During the very first one, my friend Luna and her family took me down to Ann Arbor to see it. At that time, it was only showing in 15 theaters in the country, and the theater in Ann Arbor was the only one in Michigan. I always have fond memories of that night.

So, every year since, we have gone to see the next installment the first weekend it is out. This year, Paranormal Activity 4 was playing. And I'm not going to lie, I was excited to see it. And I wanted to see it with some friends. So Luna and I picked a time and invited our friends Hoffa and Jessica. Hoffa was a little short, so I decided, I can just get your ticket for you. I hadn't seen him in awhile and I wanted to...so I did!

22. Donated Clothes

When my old roommate Mindu moved out, she left behind a bag of clothes. It had been sitting and moving from apartment to apartment this summer. So, I decided it was finally time to take it to Goodwill. So I went through my closet, grabbed some clothes that I haven't worn in years and those that didn't fit right, bagged them up, and dropped them off at the local salvation army.

I hope someone enjoys the clothing and it helps them stay clothed this winter. 

Other happenings:

The weekend of the 20th was the big Michigan vs Michigan State game. Michigan barely pulled out the win. I watched it with some friends at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Last Wednesday, we had a small fire on my floor that caused 8 apartments to be flooded and a total evacuation of the building for 3+ hours. And I was on duty. It was an interesting night that ended with me not getting to sleep until well past 4 am.

The fire department received a round of applause by the residents when they arrived.

This past weekend was another Sanborn clan party for Halloween. I dressed up as "accident prone" and had plenty of shenanigans with my friends in Lapeer. 

Sunday night, Nick and his boyfriend Matt and I went to St. Lucifer's Haunted Asylum. It was Nick's first haunted house and we had a good time...even while waiting in the cold, windy line for 2 1/2 hours!

1. Sign of the Times- Three Days Grace
2. What I've Done- Linkin Park
3. Start of Something New- Daughtry
4. Broken Glass- Three Days Grace
5. Payphone- Maroon 5
6. Gangnam Style- Psy
7. Hummingbird- Alex Clare
8. How to Save a Life- The Fray
9. Save Me- Shinedown
10. Broken Crown- Mumford and Sons

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Birthday-ness and More Acts of Kindness!

My birthday week finally got here!!!!!!!! Yay!!! On Monday I turned 22 and had a blast with some friends getting some food. I've been celebrating all week long by doing different things. I love all these people I have in my life :)

Today is sweetest day (a made up Hallmark Holiday that I don't like at all) but Kevin still got me a rose and some chocolates. He's the best.

I've been hard at work on my random acts of kindness. Here are some more below!

8. Helped a worker at the supermarket clean up someone else's mess.
I worked at Meijer, though I wasn't a stock person or anything. But I know through my work there that people are messy. And half the time they don't want to fess up for the messes that they make and walk away...leaving them there.

These people are rude.

Anyway, the other day I was shopping at Meijer and noticed that someone had knocked a bunch of soup cans off the shelf and that someone was rushing to the aisle to clean them up. I hunched down and helped him restack them onto the shelf. He had an appreciative smile on his face as we joked about people not cleaning up after themselves.

9. Renewed my membership to Gift of Life
So, when I renewed my license, I hadn't gotten my heart on it as I had before registered for gift of life. So, I renewed my registration and once again got my heart. Just the small things but you never know, when I pass away, they may be able to use some organ of mine...and save a life.

10. Brought donuts back to the people on duty last weekend.
Saturday evening, I met some friends at Past Tense in Lapeer, a cider mill. I love their cider and donuts and grabbed some. A couple of my fellow RAs were on duty and had a rough Friday...so I brought them back a donut to brighten their day.

11. Congratulated a newly engaged couple.
So, I'm at the age, everyone is either getting engaged, married or having babies. One of my friends got engaged over the weekend, and I took the initave to personally congratulate them on the next step towards their new life together.

12. Adopted a soldier
This is something that I've wanted to do for awhile now. But I used this as a reason to actually do it! On Thursday, I went to the website and registered to adopt a soldier. This morning, I got my email with the information of the soldier I adopted. Though I can't say much as to where my soldier is stationed and such, I did just email him to let him know that a letter and will be in the mail soon!

13. Bought a drink for a friend
It was my friend Cass' birthday this past week also so I bought her a drink at the bar when we went out the other night.

14. Wore pink and donated to breast cancer!
One of our local fraternity houses had a Thursday night party to save the boobies. SO...I donned some pink, donated to the cause and had a nice night out with friends :)

In memory of my beautiful mother! 

15. Shared my food with everyone.
Today, some friends and I went to our local Buffalo Wild Wings and watched the big Michigan/Michigan State game (spoilers: Michigan won!!!) and I got some food that I shared around the table...including an amazing dessert nacho. Seriously, get it in the next time you are there!

btw...those are cheesecake balls in the middle. Rolled in graham crackers and deep fried....
16. Gave our waitress a nice huge tip.
So normally, as a college student, we can give the 10% tip but not much more. Today at Bduds, we were there for like 5 hours watching the game, and our waitress was nice...even giving us a fresh refill of pop after we had not paid attention to it when I was drinking my cocktail. So I gave her a nicer than normal tip. She was very thankful when I got up to leave that she came over to thank me in general. Always nice to make someone smile!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Bulletin Board

Here's a cute idea for residents/students for a fall bulletin board.

Make  a tree out of paper/poster board.

You can get apple cut outs at JoAnn Fabrics/Hobby Lobby. Write healthy tips like "use the stairs, not the elevators." "Drink more water," "Get plenty of rest," "Cook you own meals," etc. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Some More Kind Things, Happy October!

So I haven't been updating recently....SORRY! It's been a busy month! But here are some of the nice things I've done for people so far this month:

3. Helped a lady at Olive Garden With her dropped boxes.

So, A few of us went to Olive Garden for lunch last Saturday. It was a windy, October day just like it really has been lately (Mother Nature is doing her job this year). When we were leaving, one of the workers was carrying out a bunch of boxes to the dumpster when a wind hit her and she dropped most of them. Jasmin and I helped her get them back into her hands so that she could go on her merry way since she had others in her hand that she didn't drop...and would have dropped them if she bent down. With a quick smile, and a thank you, I made her day a bit easier.

4. Donated to a Children's Hospital.

After Olive Garden, we went to Spirit of Halloween to get our costumes for this years upcoming halloween events. After looking around the store, finding what I needed, we checked out. At the register, the lady asked if I wanted to donate $1 to a local children's hospital. Of course I did, it was just a dollar, but adding my name to that wall with others who also pledged the same...made me feel pretty good. Tanisha and Abijah also donated with me!

5. Held the door for everyone that needed it one day.

On Monday, I spent a few extra seconds holding the door for people around campus. It's not a big thing, but people really do appreciate it. Plus, I got to share a smile with people on a Monday...which we all know aren't everyone's favorite days!

6. Gave one of my residents a piece of pie for his birthday.

One of my residents of my floor had his birthday this week. On Monday, I went shopping for food and such and grabbed a caramel apple pie from meijer (because I wanted to give it a try of course!). I remembered it was his birthday, so when I sliced it, I grabbed a paper plate and took him a piece too. He was thrilled and thoroughly enjoyed it.

7. Brightened one of my coworker's day

One of my coworkers was having a bad day yesterday, poor thing. So I gave her my ear and some pudding and helped her feel better. All in a good days work!

Friday, October 5, 2012

2 Random Acts

So it's giving October. And it's been an interesting few days. But I did catch up on a couple acts of kindness!

1. Caught up on birthday posts.

So as I know it's my birth month, I know how awesome it feels when your friends fill up your wall with well wishes that you have lived another year. But these past few days I have had internet issues, little time and such to get on there. One of my ongoing acts of kindness will be to make sure to tell every other October baby to have a happy birthday. This includes those I missed. So I wrote a quick apology, wrote a nice happy birthday and went on my merry way! I hope that even my late message will bring a little smile to their face.

2. Random Wall Messages

So, I also know, as an avid Facebook user, just how awesome getting a random message from a friend on your wall. You log on, see that little red "1" and wonder what's going on. Then you see that someone you did expect has written on your wall and you light up with a smile. Sometimes you continue a conversation with that person to see how they are, sometimes you just give them a nice thank you. Either way, you both get a smile!

I went to my friend's list and just picked 10ish people at random. Feels good!

Month of Giving

I know I'm a tad late getting this up and going...but it's been an interesting couple of days.

So I got this idea from a fellow blogger and I tweaked it to make it my own. 

In my family, we have what are called birth months. Basically, the month that you are born during is a cause for celebration. For me, I spend the month of October getting together with friends, going out to dinner and just having a lot of fun. 

So back to this idea. The blogger stated that for her 33rd birthday she decided to do 33 random acts of kindness on her birthday for people. So, for my purposes to make it a bit easier in general, I plan on doing 22 random acts of kindness throughout the month. AND I am going to be taking photos and talking about it all month on here! Be ready for some new posts!

Why 22? Well, I will be 22 on October 15th! And well, 22 isn't one of those exciting birthdays like 21, or 25. But I AM alive and I think that is a reason to celebrate! I am inviting anyone who wants to join me to do it. Basically, being nice to your fellow man makes you feel good and we all need some feel good this time of year. 

Want to join but don't have any idea what to do? Here are some ideas:

  • Donate used books to the local library
  • Give Blood
  • Buy someone lunch (better yet, give a homeless person what may be their one meal. It doesn't have to be anything expensive.)
  • Visit a nursing home for an afternoon
  • Bring some balloons/stuffed animals to sick kids
  • Help someone whose car broke down on the side of the road
  • Rake leaves/do yard work for an elderly neighbor
  • Hold the door for someone
  • Let someone cut you in line
  • Write (and mail!) a letter to someone who made a difference in your life. If you know their email and want to do that instead, do that! It'll bring a smile to their face.
  • Call a family member you haven't talked to in awhile
  • Volunteer at some kind of community agency (animal shelter, soup kitchen, etc.)
  • Write a letter to a soldier! 

And if you have a facebook, you can join the event here. It's public, share it with your friends! Feel free to share stories all month long!

And have fun! I plan to. Hope to hear some great stories!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Where Did September Go?

So it has been a month since I've updated this. Sorry! Thus is the life of a college senior who is also an RA. September's in college are always crazy busy. One of my fellow RA's affectionately called it "free pizza month" because there are a million events on campus, all different clubs are trying to recruit people and get their name out there to the student population. What's easier to get people to come out than to say you have free pizza. If you plan it right, you can almost get a free meal a day throughout the whole month!

Along with all these events, there have been RA duties. Being an RA is fun, but there are some work aspects to it too that can be hard to juggle. During the 2nd and 3rd week of the month, each RA had to meet with each room individually to write up a roommate agreements. There was also a floor meeting as well as welcome back events all thrown in there.

So here are some updates on my month:
Molly and I went on our yearly shopping trip, Le Epic Day of Shopping. This time, our boyfriends joined us! It was a wonderfully long day down at Great Lakes Crossing. Afterwards, we grabbed some Olive Garden and then joined the gang for some Timmy Ho's Time!
We shopped until we dropped!

One of the welcome back events was an University sponsored walk to the Flint Farmer's Market. Though I have that I have wanted to go for awhile, I have never made it over there. This time, I went with the UM and those who signed up. It was a beautiful Saturday morning to walk over there and we all received a $15 gift card to spend anywhere throughout the market. I got some fresh veggies as well as some beautiful flowers and wine for my apartment.

September 13th was the annual Welcome Back Picnic, a day of food and fun at UM-Flint. This year, they once again had some carnival rides and grilled food. I had no class or work for the afternoon, so Kevin and I spent the afternoon around riding rides, winning prizes, walking around and hanging out with different people during the day. It was a really fun afternoon!

One Saturday evening, I escaped Flint to see Molly and Matt. They had moved to a different apartment and it's so CUTE! I got to spend the night there, we went out for some drinks at Spiral and then just had a chill night. The next morning we grabbed some breakfast at Denny's before my return home.

Molly and Matt outside by the fire at Spiral.
We have had several game nights these past couple weeks in my room. This semester, I added some rather hilarious and fun games to my board game collection. Gloom, We Didn't Playtest This At All, and Cards Against Humanity have gotten some play and have caused some major peals of laughter in my room so far this year.

Here are some more pictures so you can get a taste of just how crazy life has been lately.

Timmy Ho's!

With Abijah, Kevin and Tanisha at the Welcome Back Picnic!

Getting some lunch before shopping.

We do a variety of events for the residents. One was door knob hangers. This is the one for my door!

Nick, Meg and Ben messing around during UM Move in.

This exists in Flint. 

1. Babel- Mumford & Sons
2. Whispers in the Dark- Mumford & Sons
3. I Will Wait- Mumford & Sons
4. Holland Road- Mumford & Sons
5. Ghosts That We Knew- Mumford & Sons
6. Lover of the Light- Mumford & Sons
7. Lovers Eyes- Mumford & Sons
8. Reminder- Mumford & Sons
9. Hopeless Wanderer- Mumford & Sons
10. Broken Crown- Mumford & Sons
11. Below My Feet- Mumford & Sons
12. Not With Haste- Mumford & Sons
13. For Those Below- Mumford & Sons
14. The Boxer- Mumford & Sons
15. Where Are You Now- Mumford & Sons
16. Paper Heart- David Cook
17. Death and all His Friends- Coldplay
18. Yes- Coldplay
19. Paradise- Coldplay
20. Wide Awake- Katy Perry
21. The A Team- Ed Sheeran
22. Pound the Alarm- Nicki Minaj
23. 50 Ways to Say Goodbye- Train
24. Us Against The World- Coldplay