28 May 2010

Regular Reading

As an English major (who recently made the Dean's List! Sorry, gotta toot your own horn once in a while) I am most definitely a reader. Books, magazines, and with the advent of blogs, I'm hooked. In that case, I thought I would share my (recently organized) list of regular reading links.

So, I'll drop a link here, and then give you a quick blurb about why it's a good read. They are sort of ranked by frequency of posting. You may notice I also updated my links on the right there, so you can click them even after this post is long gone. Here goes nothin'!

Young House Love: John and Sherry's blog is very well written, gives great money saving ideas and tips on home decorating that you can use even if you are living in a dorm. Plus, their new baby is ADORABLE.

Melissa Jill Photography: I'm a lover of great photography, and I came upon this blogger while trolling the 'net for some beauties. Not only is she a fantastic photographer (and a great writer), but she uses her blog as a platform to aid in Autism research and awareness.

Geek In Heels: Probably the funniest blog on my list. Jenny writes with a smart hand and enough sarcasm and wit (and geeky content!) to make anyone laugh. I love the writing, and especially her honesty and willingness to share her faith.

Steph Barber: The blog of a friend from school, Steph is a talented and improving photographer. I love reading about her recent shoots, and especially her posts of recent design projects, like invitations and other paper products.

In Color Order: Though this blog is a recent find, I'm sure it will stay on the list. Covered in delicious photos of quilts and pretty pyrex, I love the hands on approach to crafting here.

A Cup of Jo: Certainly well known in the blog world, Joanna Goddard's blog is always full of handy links to some of the neatest things on the internet, plus she's just adorable.

Stephanie Fay Blog: Another photography blogger (now you believe me that I'm obsessed!) who repeatedly posts images of people who just glow. Quite the writer, too!

Well, that about covers it. Minus the random blog I get sucked into about once a week.
Am I the only person who feels compelled to read EVERY POST the person has ever written when you find a good blog? Hm.

25 May 2010

Graduation Optimism

Today, just a few thoughts for those graduating from high school (and those who have, and those who will).

My friends:

This is only the beginning.
Graduating from high school and starting college is an opportunity that will only happen once in your life. That doesn't mean you have just one chance to get it right. It means this is an experience and an environment unlike any other, so use it! Where else are so many bright and intelligent and curious minds gathered all in one place? College is a place where you can really make a difference, and all you have to do is try. With all those people in one place, you are bound to find someone with something in common.

This is only the beginning.
It's a cliché to say that you make your closest and best friends in college, but that doesn't mean your first friend is going to be the best and closest. In such a large community, you can meet a new person every day. Ten new people every day! So, do it. Colleges are unique in this respect as well -- very few other places can claim the diversity of ideas, races, causes and beliefs as a college campus. Befriend the girl sitting next to you in your Chemistry 101, or the guy in your group in Anthropology 221. You never know where that friendship could lead.

This is only the beginning.
Though it’s a little frightening, just consider it: the friendships and connections you make here could last for the rest of your life. What if the guy in Anthropology is your future husband or the girl in Chemistry your first boss? In that case, doesn't it make sense to be yourself and be truly honest with the people you meet? In high school people may act differently to fit in, or refrain from sharing what they really think to avoid arguments. But college doesn't do that. College is an arena where you can be exactly the person you have always been on the inside and your beliefs (while they may spark discussion) are always welcome.

This is only the beginning.
Your beliefs should be a big part of your experiences after graduation. Though they say that many people lose their faith in college, the number of people who decide to follow the plans God has for them is impressive. In college and really, anywhere you go after high school, you have a choice to make about your impact. That choice comes down to "Do I say yes, and change the world with God?" or "Do I say no, and let my life go on as it is?" College is a chance to shake things up in your life and in the world. When it comes down to it, it’s the only choice that really matters. What opportunity are you going to take?

This is it.
This is your time.
This is only the beginning.