Summer Goals

I essentially have three goals for this summer.

1) Learn “Let It Go” and other songs in German. I was torn when making class decisions for college on whether to take a) Shakespeare’s Sisters, an English seminar that I really did not need but would enjoy, or  b) German 201. If I enrolled in the latter  it would prevent the loss of any of my German skills by waiting to enroll in the class at another time.

I was really close to going with the English seminar, which I had my eyes on from the first time I looked at Gettysburg’s courses, but I ended up making the more rational decision and choosing German 201, which I believe I will love. I plan on taking an English course to fulfill one of the liberal arts curriculum goals, and using Introduction to Creative Writing as my arts requirement. My schedule at the moment, other than German 201, includes Math 111 (Calc 1), Bio 113 (the fall companion to an application-only research based course in the spring, Bio 114 Phage Genomics), and Chem 107 (Chemical Structure and Bonding). The schedule is pretty busy. Math 111 meets Monday thru Thursday; other than lectures, I have labs for both Bio and Chem and a German conversation/discussion once a week. However, I am very excited about all my classes.

2) Come up with at least one question to ask my Biology professor. He sent all of us (from the Bio 113 class) an email concerning general Gettysburg advising on housing, buying books, etc. He also discussed our homework over the summer, which was good, because I completely forgot about summer homework and would not have even thought to ask my other professors (which I will do now).

Finally, he said we are free to ask him whatever questions we want, whether it’s about college, our courses, or general science questions. I want to look at all the information he has sent us and ask a really good question; I’ve had issues with asking questions/asking for help in the past so I want to break that habit as soon as possible. A fresh start for college, yanno?

3) I want to speed walk as fast as my paint crew supervisor. I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but I did get the same summer job as last year, painting for the school district. He has decided to wait to name managers to see who can handle it all best, so I am not sure if I will procure this position. I am not a very take-charge type of person, which is why I am dubious of my chances. Besides, I don’t think I really want to be a manager anyway (grr stupid lacking ambition when it involves something new or taking charge).

Anyway, you do not understand this man’s speed. He does not even pump his arms-he just goes. You literally run to keep up with him or else he will turn a corner and you will not know where he went. The only way you know he is coming before he gets to you is the keys he keeps on his belt all the time jingle and jangle obnoxiously loud. You can hear him from down a hallway, which gives you just enough time to turn off any inappropriate music you may have been playing. Last year my friend’s IPod was magical. We had it set on the musicals station, and when the supervisor was not around it would play Avenue Q and Spamalot, but just before he would walk by it would play Aladdin or the Little Mermaid.

I digress. It’s good to have goals, right?


The Cotton Anniversary

It has been over two years since I started this blog in my Internet and Web Page Design class. So, I’m going to do what I did on my one year blogging anniversary (blogiversary?), relating 33 ways I have changed/33 things I have done in the past year.

1. I have engaged in therapy to treat depression and anxiety.

2. I have become, not of my own will, single again.

Wow I kind of started off really depressing. I promise it will not all be that bad!

3. I attended my first All Time Low Concert, which was friggin awesome. I started listening to more alternative/alternative rock music.

4. I won a $2,500 four-year scholarship from my dad’s union.

5. I got my first summer job, which was painting buildings for the town’s school district. Basically our paint crew went to different schools and repainted hallways, rooms, cafeterias, gyms, parking lots, etc. It was a really great job, 40 hours a week, and a little bit over minimum wage. This year if I do it again I’ll be paid even more!

6. I survived AP English. That is a huge accomplishment. Not only that, but I improved my writing skills tremendously.

7. I applied to seven different colleges: I was not accepted to Dartmouth College or Johns Hopkins University (woah big surprise there), but was accepted to the University of Rochester, Gettysburg College, The College of New Jersey, Pittsburgh University, and Arcadia University.

8. We attempted to visit TCNJ but I was having an emotional low and my stomach felt bad (which could have been a side effect of the emotional low), so we ended up driving up there, driving around the campus, and coming home. We also visited Gettysburg where I got a fantastic feeling, and the University of Rochester, where I had thought I would be attending but when I got there the feeling was not right.

9. Ultimately, I decided to accept admission to Gettysburg College, and am extremely pleased with my decision.

10. I “played” soccer on the Varsity squad; in reality I was a benchwarmer, and soccer made me feel inferior and terrible about myself almost every day, so I am quite happy I will not have to deal with that pressure and negativity anymore. It was not the other players who were negative at all-they were all fantastic-it was just my own low self esteem causing itself to sink lower.

11. I received 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and have made it a life goal to visit as many of these places as possible.

12. I have gotten addicted to gaming videos on YouTube, and regularly follow everyone in Smosh Games. I have also begun watching Achievement Hunter, including Red vs. Blue. I am currently about to start the fifth season.

13. I have also become obsessed with vlogs, some of them including WatchUsLiveandStuff and MostlyMelanie, to the point where during my day I narrate my life as if I am doing a vlog. I have been considering how I would feel vlogging versus blogging. Should I try it? I do not know if I have the right presentation skills or technology, but maybe I can upgrade my camera before college and try it.

14. I survived 18 years on this planet. That also means I upgraded my license and can drive more than one person at a time.

15. For the NHS induction ceremony this year, the teacher I nominated to speak at the ceremony, my AP English teacher, was chosen. Subsequently, I was given the opportunity to write an introduction for her and speak at the ceremony, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because she is such an important mentor for me.

16. I lost my Mommom (my dad’s mom), which has been a complicated and very sad experience.

17. My ex and I came this close to winning our last Science League competition. We were only 8 points, or two questions, behind the dominant school at these competitions, and our two schools had essentially slaughtered everyone else. It was a fantastic way to end one of my favorite extracurricular activities.

18. I felt lonely, unmotivated, hateful, sad and a conglomeration of other negative emotions. I have essentially become a pessimist, which is a bit ironic or funny or whatever because I used to be the most optimistic person I knew.

19. I became a lab tech for my Chemistry teacher. Though most of the work she has given us has been menial, and the fact people always ask my ex for assistance makes me jealous still, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and how chill it is to hang out with the two Chemistry teachers during my SRE and lunch.

20. I saw Frozen, which was really personal for me because of the depression and anxiety Elsa experiences. We also blame Disney for promoting Frozen so much they decided to control the weather and make it the snowiest winter we’ve had in years.

21. Other than on this blog and my sister blog on Tumblr, I still do not share my writing pieces with other people. However, I have given my best friends and my ex (well, when we were together) permission to view my blog.

22. I took German IV (finally), and am so excited to pursue German as a minor in college.

23. I came this close to passing a 2100 on my SATs, but I think a 2090 excellent. Yeah this part of the list is pretty arrogant, but considering how low my self-esteem is, I hope you all will forgive it. Even though it is a worthless number that in no way gauges how smart you really are.

24. I did not attend the senior trip because my two friends did not go; I was not as upset as I thought I would be. I will get to Disney World…eventually.

25. I have decided, for the moment, I want to major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology while minoring in German; I could possibly add a minor in Neuroscience or English.

26. I have been expanding my comfort zone as far as food goes. Previously I have been a picky eater, but I have been trying new foods whenever I get the chance, worrying most of my family to the point that they will put a hand to my forehead to see if I am feverish.

27. I unfortunately engaged in self-harm, though I have been cut-free for months now. I think that deserves a =).

28. I tried to start learning for the knowledge instead of the grade, and to ingrain information in my mind for long-term learning rather than the short-term, forget-about-it-after-the-test thing I have been doing for most of my academic life. AP Chemistry made this sentiment a lot harder.

29. I attended Black and Gold Night, in which the entire high school is separated by last name and the Black and Gold teams duke it out, first in study hall activities like Pictionary and Wii Bowling, and then on Black and Gold Night, where they have a lot of spirit and athletic competitions. And, for the first time in YEARS, Gold Team (my team) won.

30. We successfully pranked my AP English teacher on April Fool’s Day and made her believe none of us had done our homework. It was one of the most amusing events I have ever witnessed.

31. I started watching Attack on Titan. I am not sure if I am in love with it yet (I have only seen the first three episodes), but I really want to find it subbed instead of dubbed, which is all I can seem to find. I abhor dubbed; it feels weird watching anime without the emotion of the original voice actors. Plus dramatic statements in English just sound awkward to me.

32. I ate at Panera for the first time ever, and have discovered their magical macaroni and cheese. Seriously, the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had. The macaroni, which I think is just spaghetti shells, is soft and the cheese is so gooey, a small cup of that with a piece of bread is enough dinner for me (but then again, I like eating multiple small meals).

33. Though my friends circle has, I suppose, shrunk a little, I still have the best friends in the world and love them dearly. For example, I was emotionally distraught this morning and just laid around the house all day. After telling them what was wrong, they came home over my house for a quick visit to hug me and tell me I’m perfect. They are the reason I have the energy to finish this blog (and hopefully complete other tasks throughout the day).

Well, that is probably the longest list I have written in awhile, so thank you if you actually read through all of it! Happy two years, Just Me and My Thoughts, and here’s to another year of blogging awesomeness!

In a Bad Place

This weekend, from about Friday around 4pm until yesterday evening, I was in a pretty bad state of mind, as you can see by this poem I wrote Friday night.

Help me


Somebody please help me

I don’t know where to go from here

There’s darkness clouding my mind

And I’m drowning in the fear


But no one even turns their head

And I’m left alone once again


But I’m back now. Saturday I went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland with my family because they had an information session/campus tour for prospective students. This is probably my number 1 college right now-like seriously, walking around felt like I could actually belong there. The issue, of course, is getting in, because it’s a top notch school.

The sucky thing is, from what I’ve gathered, they only look at the Critical Reading and Math sections of SAT, which I got 650’s on for a total of 1300/1600 (which is eh in my opinion, considering the quality of the school). I got a 760 on my writing portion. Yeah, fantastic. I have some options for making it work though, and of course SAT scores aren’t the only thing. I have really good grades from junior year (and all years I suppose) so I’m hoping for the best.

Plus it’s the number 1 research university in the nation, and receives the most funding from the federal government to support this, which means that I’ll have opportunities to pursue my own interests inside biology in addition to classwork. The campus is the perfect size, Baltimore is a phenomenal city, and it also has German, which I want to minor in.

It was my first college visit, and I really just fell in love.

One Year of Blogging Later…

Wow, it’s crazy to think that a year ago in class I started a blog, and, though I haven’t been as dedicated to it as I’d like to be, I’m proud to have kept this commitment and hope to continue to blog and write for another full year. In celebration of my second year of blogging, I’m going to take my first post ever-a class assignment, 33 things about myself-and create a new list, listing 33 things that have changed in my life since I began blogging.

This year, I…

1) got accepted into my school’s National Honors Society.

2) went to Austria and Germany, which included my first plane ride and traveling by myself (without family) for the first time.

3) acquired my driver’s permit.

4) acquired my driver’s license.

5) became both an honorary theater kid and honorary marching band member.

6) got a rifle (I only realized this after this post has been up for a few weeks…a COLORGAURD rifle, not a real rifle!) and Big Time Rush concert tickets for my birthday.

7) went to a Big Time Rush concert.

8) expanded my love of different artists and different genres of music

9) bought Taylor Swift’s RED album on ITunes-crazy how, once again, all her songs directly related to my life’s situation at the time.

10) got a boyfriend and continue to maintain a relationship with him

11) went to junior prom with my boyfriend and wore the most amazing dress-only about $30, it made me look beautiful without showing excessive skin, being excessively short or tight, or being the run-of-the-mill looking prom dresses.

12) haven’t used script, word, or anything to make a website, other than unsuccessfully trying to use script in this blog, since taking the Internet and Web Page Design class.

13) joined Science League

14) made some new best friends while subsequently losing others

15) was a semi-finalist for the New Jersey Scholars program but was ultimately not accepted

16) (hopefully) improved my public speaking and presenting skills

17) was too nosy and completely regretted it

18) got Halo 4….what, it’s important!

19) saw Wreck-it-Ralph, which was like, the best animated movie in a long time

20) couldn’t take German IV this year because it conflicted with other courses in my schedule

21) have continued to write, but unfortunately not as much; my journal has been barren for most of the year

22) took the PSAT and became incredibly jealous when I missed the National Merit by one or two points while another boy in my school became a Merit Scholar

23) took the SAT twice; still waiting for the most current scores but I got a 650 in reading, 650 in math and 760 in writing. Go figure.

24) have decided i will (most likely) not be attending the senior trip because my best friends do not or cannot go; we’ll just have our own little get-away

25) have started making my own sandwiches for school lunches! It’s a miracle!

26) have decided that I will start my own religion in which a woman can have more than one husband so I can marry Kendall Schmidt, Hunter Hayes and Trevor Bayne; my boyfriend can be my servant. (no, I’m not serious)

27) asked my dad if I could have the 1979 Chevy Camaro my great uncle sold to him (for like, $500) and he’s fixing it, though I should probably help him (blech I’m a terrible child).

28) realized because the car might not be done by the time school starts next year, when I’ll have a parking spot and be able to drive to school, we may have to start looking for a cheap, used car this summer

29) tore my ACL

30) got a bajillion letters from different colleges about applying but have not gone on any tours or anything

31) did go to a seminar for four different colleges, one of which I will most likely be applying to (Johns Hopkins University) because they have a good biology program. Other colleges I’ve been thinking of attending are Pittsburgh State, Gettysburg College, Arcadia, and trying to apply to colleges such as Chicago University, Princeton and even Harvard (because I would totally love it there haha [insert sarcasm here])

32) had my first kiss

33) have been leaning toward either becoming an English major (no clue where I could go from there) or becoming a molecular geneticist (something like that), medical scientist, biological scientist, geneticist or forensic scientist. I also want to have a minor in German and continue to travel.

“A Permanent State of Existential Crisis”

I found this video yesterday (note: I do not approve of the use of any cursing or inappropriate language found in the video). I can definitely relate, even the crazy-colors-and-music part at the beginning  That sort of is how I feel, and I unfortunately act like I’m in a “limbo of misery” sometimes. I think I used to believe that I could follow my dreams to their entirety, but after some humbling experiences in which I realized that I wasn’t as smart and talented as I believed compared to other individuals my age, I sort of lost those dreams and figured I would settle for a less than exceptional lifestyle.

Not that I wasn’t striving to be my best; I had simply accepted that I was never going to be one of the best at what I loved, in any area, including writing or biology or German or history, which were all considerations for my future majors at the time.

My “existential crisis” began this year, a few months ago, of course when I had to decide whether or not to continue to play soccer in the high school next year. That created an additional identity crisis that caused me to rethink my entire being and realize how little I have to call my own (which is untrue, but at the time that is what I thought). Then, because I’m a junior in high school, I also have to think about where I’m going for college, what major and profession I want to pursue, yada yada yada. This all became too much for me. Like Dan, I’ve been going through the motions of which challenge am I supposed to tackle next, and haven’t really given any thought to more meaningful topics (like the rest of my life).

When he began talking about what he has been passionate about but then choosing a completely different career path, it really stood out to me, because I’ve been doing similar things with my life. I’ve been looking more toward what is good in general versus what is good for me. Instead of looking inside and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I kept looking outside at “pointers” such as careers that pay the most money or have the greatest job growth expectations; I listened to what other people were telling me I needed to do to find a career. It’s great to get advice, but some of these people essentially told me to be realistic and not rely so much on my dreams. Which I unfortunately did.

I mean, like Dan says, these things are important too, but I wasn’t focusing on what was really important. Actually, maybe I needed to spend some time looking outside instead of in and wallowing in my existential crisis in order to come to the conclusions I have today.

But that is for another post. I love how he uses “you only live once” in the most serious terms, because honestly people annoy me when they use it to justify stupid things (I’ll admit I’ve jokingly done this). Being a biology geek, I did appreciate his biological “meaning of life”, but, again, that’s not the point for someone going through a crisis.

“Be happy”. It’s something I haven’t thought about in a long time. Honestly, for most of my junior year, making myself happy has not been on my list of things to do; and yes, I have a list. In fact, my motto has been “I’ve never heard anyone say all that hard work didn’t pay off”, and that could be true, but it has caused me to believe that if at every moment I’m doing something-anything-productive, I will achieve what I want. Which I guess has led me to metaphorically bang my head into walls. I’m going to have to try this new outlook on life and see where it leads.

The first thing I will be doing following this post will be to change the note card on my wall on which my “motto” had been displayed and changing it to one that says “Be happy”. Probably with one of these- =D – on the side.