2017: My Year in Review

year

Hello, lovelies!  Before you know it, here we are at the beginning of the year 2018!  While blogging has definitely taken a back burner in the latter half of this past year, I assure you that plenty of productive things have taken its place.  So to say farewell to the old year and to give an update on my life, here are my highlights of 2017!

Getting into my degree program

In February, I had a very early morning, during which I auditioned for the faculty of the theatre department.  The audition consisted of a short dance call, 2 songs, 2 monologues, and a brief interview.  Just a few hours later I got an email that I was accepted into the BFA in Acting program!  That day was definitely one of the best this year.  The support of my friends, family, and classmates was amazing.  Of course, this was only the beginning…

My first professional audition

I had never auditioned for any professional theatres before last spring.  In case you’ve never heard of a “cattle call” audition, it means you audition with hundreds of people for several theatre companies at once.  Kind of scary, right?  I attended the Twin Cities Unified Auditions with the understanding that the most important thing I would get out of this audition was experience itself.  It was actually the most fun I’ve ever had at an audition before!  I ended up getting a couple callbacks and a job out of the whole ordeal.

year

All staff reunion at camp

In case you haven’t been reading my blog for a while, working at my childhood Bible camp was definitely a highlight of my life.  This past summer celebrated 50 years of the camp’s existence.  Bluewater invited any and all former staff to return for one weekend in June to celebrate.  It was so fun to return and see old friends that I had worked with and several of our predecessors that made Bluewater last to 50 years.

year

I made my professional debut

My school provided the opportunity for me to be a Mersister in The Little Mermaid for their professional company.  The role of Margot in Legally Blonde was the gig I got from my professional audition.  Legally Blonde happened to be at the summer stock company in my hometown.  Both of these shows were so much fun and I learned a lot from both of them.  I got to cross these two off my massive list of shows I want to do.

  • The Little Mermaid- This show was the closing show for the summer season, which means it was a big cast and a lot of fun!  I was so excited to play not one, but five different characters in the course of the show.  The whole two hours consisted of me changing between a mermaid, a lionfish, a flamingo, a maid, and a princess.  I was practically changing costumes the whole time!  I had a blast working with my classmates without the stress of school and all our other classes.  Not to mention, the audiences loved this show.  There were so many little kids dancing around in the aisles!
  • Legally Blonde- This was hands down the most fun I have ever had in a show ever.  Unlike Little Mermaid, I didn’t know most of the cast before rehearsals started.  It’s amazing how close everyone became after only ten days of rehearsal.  I was incredibly impressed by how professionally this little company conducted themselves.  From this experience, I now know actors from all areas of the Midwest and learned a lot from working with them.

Wig by Cam Pederson Costume by Angela Sahli

I got a really cool job

Completely unrelated to everything else I did this year, I started a really cool part-time job on campus. The Adventure Education Program at MSU is responsible for the indoor and outdoor rock walls and the high ropes course.  I especially like working with corporate and educational groups out at the ropes course.  While I work at the rock wall during the school year, this job was especially fun during the summer.  Finding something I’m good at that is completely unrelated to theatre is so rewarding.  I have a lot of great coworkers and overall, it’s a pretty laid back and fun job.

And some small details…

  • I was thrown from a utility vehicle
  • Became 51% fluent in German
  • Tested several vegan coffee creamers and hated all of them
  • Saw Wicked again
  • Listened to a lot of 80s music
  • Only cut my hair twice this year
  • My sister broke a foot and a wrist- but survived 🙂

All in all…

2017 was a pretty good year with many, many blessings (and a few things that weren’t very fun.)  It’s true, most of my highlights have to do with school or theatre, but I feel like I hit so many milestones this year, I have to mention them.  I can hardly believe all the progress I’ve made, and it makes me all the more excited for 2018!  I’ve heard a handful of people say they have a good feeling about this year, so I’ve decided to adopt that feeling too!

What have been some of your highlights of 2017?

Some Words on Positivity

positivity

Positivity is something that has been on my mind a lot recently.  It’s just so easy to be happy when it’s a beautiful outside and you don’t have to go to class.  But, I have found that embracing positivity consistently takes a lot of thought and effort.  I am going to try to not be too “preachy” with this.  I just have a lot of information that I genuinely want to share with you guys for the sake of everyone’s well-being!  Friend to friend.

It begins with gratitude

The journey to positivity begins with gratitude.  Just taking some time to remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for can seriously change the outlook of your day.  Here’s a challenge: write a list of 100 things you are grateful for.  I am certain that this will help you look at your day to day life a little differently.  There is always someone that has it worse than you do and we all have so much to be grateful for.

Finding gratitude for some of the smallest and most obvious things in life is often incredibly impactful.  Summer weather, the sunshine, and good health are all things that I am incredibly grateful for.  It can be quite moving to just realize how lucky we are to be alive.

Positivity takes effort

I spent a lot of time and effort in high school training myself to think positively, and I am just now realizing how much it is paying off.  Choosing to look on the bright side is always the right choice.

You may not realize how much negativity is engraved into our culture.  It is statistically proven that bad news sells better than good news.  Negativity excites people, but it can also be very damaging in the long run.  Fighting this natural tendency takes some effort.  Ultimately, you have to choose what kind of impact you are going to have.  You can let other people’s negativity influence you, giving way to more negativity or you can choose to inspire positivity for other people in your life.

Know Yourself

You should make an effort to know how you respond to both positivity and negativity.  How do you set up defenses against negativity?  What makes you happy?  I happen to be an introvert, so having some alone time is not only necessary for me, I actually get really excited to spend time alone!  Just taking a walk by myself helps clear my head and refocus my energy.  If you’re an introvert like me then you can probably relate!  No matter what your personality is like, just make sure you take care of yourself.

positivity

 

Keep a Record

Sometimes it helps to keep a record of things that make you happy or things that you are trying to accomplish.  For a while in high school, I would write down all the goals I had for the day during breakfast.  My goals were usually small things like compliment 3 people today, smile at someone you don’t know, get my homework done early, etc…  (I lost the journal I kept these goals in, that’s why I stopped.  Oops. 🙂 )  Even if you never get around to your goals, it helps to focus your mindset on positivity at the start of your day.  You can also keep a Pinterest board with positive quotes or motivational inspiration just to stay in the right headspace.

Rely on God

If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that the ultimate peace comes from our God.  I think keeping positive relies on emotional stability, and for me that 100% comes from God.  God didn’t create us to live in a sludge of negativity.  Through Him, we have so much to rejoice in.  He is the one to whom all our gratitude should be directed.  He wants us to be happy.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  -John 14:27

All in all, it sounds pretty simple to keep a positive outlook, but I’m sure it’s no surprise that many people fail daily at this simple concept.  The good thing about being positive is that you get points for trying!  So, from a friend to a friend, I hope these points were helpful.  Please leave any advice on positivity!  I’m sure we can all learn from eachother.

Mid-Semester Update on My Life

life

Guys, it has been a while since I could sit down at my computer and not feel guilty about spending time on my blog.  As much as I love investing in this blog, my schooling comes first.  Let me tell you, my studies require a lot of time and energy!  It’s good to be reminded that it is important to take some time to do things you enjoy.  We shouldn’t be working all the time.

But seeing myself improve within my program has been so rewarding.  The difference between the beginning of this semester and where I am now kind of blows my mind a bit.  I am extremely proud of the progress I have made and it further motivates me to work even harder.

Things have just begun to slow down a little bit for me, and I am looking forward to a time where I can invest in this blog as well as other things in my life that I really enjoy.  Perhaps these kind of updates are super boring to you, but I feel like I need to explain the changes that have happened in my life in order to prepare for the next chapter!

So What Has Happened?

I got into my degree program

Well, I guess the biggest thing that has happened to me in the last couple months is the changing of my degree.  I am happy to announce that I was accepted into my schools Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program!  Right from the beginning, this has been one of the biggest goals in my academic career.  I know every school runs their program a little differently but in the case of my school, being in the BFA program is exactly the kind of edge I wanted to truly be challenged in my education.  I feel completely ready to take on the extra responsibility of being a BFA student.

I got cast in not one, but two musicals this summer

When I decided to major in theatre, I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to actually get into shows.  They kind of take it easy on you in high school I’ve learned.  But in college, simply getting into a show is a big deal.  I haven’t actually been in a musical since my senior year of high school.  You can imagine how excited I am to be in two this summer.  Through my school, I will be playing one of the mersisters in The Little Mermaid.  I get to be a mermaid!  Who doesn’t love that show?

I also attended my first professional cattle-call audition this spring.  It wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be.  Through this audition, I was cast in the role of Margot in Legally Blonde the Musical for the summer stock company in my hometown!  I am super excited to return home to do a show!

What’s Next?

As I escape the most stressful parts of the school year, I can feel my mental health becoming more balanced.  I am hoping to have much more time to invest in this blog.  I am already coming up with a lot of ideas I would like to bring to life.  I can’t wait!

One decision I had to make was whether or not I would return to camp this summer.  Getting into these shows were a pretty good incentive to not return.  However, I believe I made this decision quite some time ago.  My summers devoted to camp are over and I am at complete peace about it.  Of course, I will be making plenty of visits to see my friends and my brother who will be working on staff at camp. 🙂

Thank you so much for tuning in to this life update.  There will be much more to come and I can’t wait!

9 Simple New Year’s Resolutions

resolutions

Even though it’s the dead of winter, New Years is the ideal time for new beginnings!  New Year’s resolutions are exciting, but the question is: what resolution is right for you?  Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly needs to be done in your life to have a personal revolution.  But why do New Year’s resolutions have to have such high stakes?  If you’re looking for some change with the new year, but not a drastic plan of evolution, consider some of these simple but effective resolutions.

Read More Books

I used to be an avid reader when I was in grade school.  I was absolutely obsessed with several different book series.  I really love reading, but so many things get in the way.  Usually, I make the excuse of not having enough time on my hands, but I can’t really say that when I’m filling it with Netflix and Youtube videos.  I think reading one book a month is a good goal to start off with.  I’m taking recommendations now!  If you’re a blogger (or any type of creative) I would highly recommend Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  You can read my review here.

Try Something New

I think this is a pretty common resolution for people.  Trying to expand your horizons with something new every month, or every week, or every day is an admirable goal.  I think we can simplify this just by changing our mindset towards new things.  Teach yourself to be more open about trying different things and look forward to change in your life.

Be Healthier

This is probably the #1 resolution for many people, but it’s probably the #1 failure as well.  Instead of sticking to a rigorous diet or exercise regime, commit to simply adaptive your daily routine and habits.  Hardcore changes in lifestyle almost always fail, so just make yourself more open to healthier options.  Start by drinking more water!

Use Less

Brainstorm some ways that you can cut back.  Try to take shorter showers or not charge your phone for longer than you need to.  Throw away or give away things that you don’t have a use for or a place to store.  It always feels good to know that your are playing a little part in cutting back on waste.

Pick a Word

I’m a fan of picking a word for a particular season of life I’m going through.  What better time to start a new season than New Years?  I am in the habit of picking one word to let go of for the year as well.  You can read about my focus words for the last season of my life here.  I have found that picking these words have given me something to cling to when my mind and energies are spent elsewhere.  How much simpler can you get than one word?

Go to bed earlier

This happens to be a particular favorite of mine!  I love being in a routine that gets enough sleep with a quiet evening at home.  Who couldn’t benefit from waking up earlier and feeling more rested?  If I had my way, I would be in bed by 10:30pm every night, however, this isn’t always possible for full-time students.  I think turning out the lights before midnight with a good half hour of quiet time beforehand is a good alternative.

Read the Bible More

A New Year is a new opportunity to get into the Word more!  Start this year by making a commitment to spend more time with God, and the best way to do that is to read more of the Bible.  Some other things you can do to have a more rewarding quiet time is journaling, drawing, listening to or playing music, and reflecting on what you’ve learned.  I even have a post about how getting into the practice of reading your Bible can make you a better student.

Reflect

The Honors Program at my college has instilled in me the benefit of reflection.  This is totally up for interpretation.  Maybe you would like to keep a journal, or draw your life, or start a blog.  2017 is a great year to start a blog!  Either way, putting your thoughts into words has always been a beneficial practice for me, especially through this blog.  You’ve got thoughts and feelings that mean something, why not share with others?

Be Friendlier

Sometimes friendliness means going above and beyond what you would normally do as a friend or acquaintance.  Support others and be more open minded.  Be more generous, more encouraging, or more willing to help out.  It doesn’t hurt to be kind!

 

Ultimate Fall Checklist!

fall

I think we can all agree that fall is a pretty marvelous time of year.  With winter around the corner, I wanted to provide you with the ultimate fall checklist to make the most of this beloved season!

If you do any of these let me know!  Is there anything missing that you think should be on the list?  Leave it in the comments below!  Make sure to pin this image and share the fall spirit!

Follow me on Instagram to see the fall activities that I’m up to.