End of the Semester

So as all of you know, the end of the semester is coming very soon and honestly, I couldn’t be more excited that this school year is almost over.  For me, if I’m being honest, this year has kicked my ass.

Of course I love VCU, I love my friends and the memories that we’ve made together.  But despite all of this, I’ve gone through a lot this year, especially towards the end of the first semester and the beginning of the second semester, where I was just feeling really depressed, which has happened before but it was never that bad before.  I never felt like doing anything for both school and in my social life and I felt like I had taken a backseat in my own life, like I was on autopilot everyday.  But eventually, after talking a lot with my therapist and trying to take better care of myself, I’m doing a lot better now, even though I still have bad days.  But by the time I had recovered from all of this, it was about a third of the way through the semester, and my grades were already so low, some irreversibly damaged.  I felt like I had really blown the semester, so I tried to pick myself back up and work really hard and for the most part, it has really worked and my grades and my overall happiness are a lot better

I just can’t wait to not have to do any school work anymore because I really need a break from this workload.  But with finals coming up, I just have to get through this last push before the semester is over, and then, finally, it will be summer!

Avengers Endgame (no spoilers don’t worry)

So unless you have been living under a rock the past few months, you have probably seen commercials and people talking online about a little film called Avengers: Endgame.  You may be wondering why this movie is such a big deal to so many people, well I’m going to tell you why.

I started reading comic books when I was very young, and immediately I was drawn to Marvel comics (although I do agree that DC does have better plot lines in their comics) . So in 2008, when Marvel announced that they were going to make a movie adaptation of the Iron Man comics, I was really excited.  Looking back, this movie was pinnacle in the now famous Marvel Cinematic Universe, or the MCU.  If Iron Man didn’t work or wasn’t good, the future of the MCU would have never been.  However, this movie was a huge success, earning Marvel a whopping 585.2 million dollars in the American box office alone, and thus the Marvel Cinematic Universe began.  Through the first four years, we were introduced to major characters such as The Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow, until, in 2012, it all culminated into The Avengers.  The Avengers was one of the most anticipated superhero movies of all time, and was extremely ambitious, combining 6 strong personalities that were supposed to work together to defeat the villainous (but not really because he was brainwashed by Thanos, who we’ll touch on later) Loki, the adopted brother of Thor, who was the leader of an alien army set on destroying Earth.  This movie really delivered, perfecting Marvel’s movie formula and earning Marvel 1.519 billion dollars in the United States, the first movie in the MCU to do so.  As amazing as this movie was, the real surprise came at the end of the movie during the mid-credit scene, a signature in the MCU.  In this small scene, we see a purple giant sitting in a golden chair looking out on the universe and smiling.  This may seem extremely insignificant to some people, but for die hard fans, we knew what was coming, Thanos.

After 6 years of amazing stories and adding more heroes, the MCU was ready for Infinity War, and Thanos, the greatest villain the Avengers have ever had to face.   In Infinity War, Thanos is trying to collect all of the Infinity Stones, which are six elemental crystals that control a different element of the universe, soul, mind, reality, time, power, space in order to wipe out half the population because the universe is overpopulated and he thinks that this is the only solution.  So it is up to the Avengers to save the universe from this fate, a task that they are unfortunately and more surprisingly unsuccessful at, and thus 50% of the universe is killed, including a few of the Avengers as well.  These leads us to Endgame.  The three hour finale to 11 years of a cinematic universe and, for many people, the end of an era.   This movie is so important to fans because after Infinity War, fans were shocked to say the least, and were very upset that some of their favorite heroes were dead, for now.  In Endgame, we are hopefully going to see the fallen Avengers back in action and none of the original Avengers are dead (I know they’re probably all going to die) . So please, if you see Endgame spoilers, don’t share them, because Thanos demands your silence

living with a conservative family

I’ve always been different from everyone in my family.  Just a little too curious, just a little too ambitious, overall, I was just different from every other member of my family.  Before I get into this I just want to give a quick disclaimer, I’m not saying that all conservative families are like this, but in my personal experience this is what I have observed.

In my house, no one is outright intolerant to any group of people.  My choice of the word outright is very distinct because although they never say that they don’t like a certain group of people, they have backhanded ways of telling us that they have certain biases.  The first memory I have of this is when, one time, after my sister got a new boyfriend, my mom asked me a strange question, especially since I was about 10 years old.  My mom asked me “Is he white?”  This question kind of threw me for a loop and I responded with “What does it matter?”  This kind of shocked my mother, that I was actually talking back to her, but eventually I answered and said that yes he was.  This was just my earliest memory, and there are many more like it, but because of this, I’ve always been scared to be myself around my family.

Around senior year I realized that I was bisexual.  This was something I think that I had known for a long time, but coming to that realization was kind of shocking, because I had never thought that I could ever be comfortable with sharing that information with anyone.  By the end of junior year, I had come out to basically all of my friends, but I agreed that it was something I would probably never tell my parents.  I was very into gay rights and I believe that every person, no matter their sexual orientation or their gender identity should be granted equal rights and protection.  I believe that we are all equal and should respect each other.   But they don’t seem to see it that way.  One time, they even said that transgender people “weren’t people”, a comment which disgusted me. Because of these comments and many others, I still feel like I have to hide a pretty big part of myself from them.

My parents sometimes tell me that I’m too ambitious and that I want too much from life.  It’s because I’m fiercely independent and I don’t like having people very close to me romantically because it takes up too much of my time.  I always felt like the black sheep in the family because I am the only person who has ever had the guts to speak for what I believe in, which includes racial problems and I think it’s something that my mom and dad were never comfortable with, because it made me stand out among my family members.  I love my family, but I am someone who still wants to fit in with my family, but no matter what, I have to stay true to myself no matter what they think of me.

thinking of changing majors

So in this past week, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the future, more specifically if I chose the right major.  Right now, I’m majoring in Forensic Science, because I have a passion for solving crime and helping people.  However, for my major, I have obviously had to take lots of science classes.  But this is where the problem arise because I have realized that I am not good at science.  Now this may seem funny (even I laugh at it sometimes) but seriously, I thought based on what I did in high school, that I would be good at science, but now that I’m in college, I’m really struggling in my science classes.  This semester, if you read my last blog, I failed my Chemistry and last semester I struggled in biology a lot.  But I am uncertain if I really want to change majors based on this fact because I’m not sure if I will actually do better in my major classes than I am doing now.  But I have been thinking about if I was to change majors, what I would want to change my major to.  I think that I would want to stay in the same vein, and do something related to criminology or criminal justice, my number one pick would probably be criminal psychology, thought the only reason I wouldn’t want to do that major is because I don’t know what kind of job I can even get with that major.  But I don’t think I am going to change majors quite yet, because I am taking a forensic science class next semester, and if I don’t like that class then I may change majors but I may stick with it if I do like it.

why I love makeup

When I was in middle school, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup because I went to a small, private school.  It was against the rules of my school to wear makeup “in excess” so I never really explored wearing makeup until going to high school, and even then, it was very minimal, just a little mascara on most days.  But as I got older, the idea of wearing makeup and doing really colorful eye looks became really intriguing to me.  But the problem was, since I had such little exposure to makeup, I had no idea what I was doing.  So I went on YouTube and searched probably something like “colorful makeup looks”  and I fell down a rabbit hole of video after video of various makeup gurus explaining their way through the complicated pieces of art on their eyelids.  From then on, I was hooked.  I went out to Target and bought the cheapest stuff I could find and the first look I did was, well for lack of a better word, atrocious.  I remember not understanding how to match colors that looked good together so the first couple eye looks that I did were REALLY bad.  But after lots of practice I got the hang of it and I fell into a comfortable routine.  I would throw on a pretty simple brown look for every day wear and the colors that had interested me before really scared me now.  I was scared I was going to look like a clown.  That was until I got the James Charles palette for Christmas.  If you’ve never seen this palette of eyeshadows before, it has about 40 shades and half it pretty tame browns and some reds but the bottom two rows have the brightest rainbow colors I had ever seen.   Now that I was equipped with tons of rainbow colors, I felt like I could maybe, just maybe, try a rainbow eye look, just for fun.  But I didn’t want to go full rainbow yet, so I started with my normal brown smokey eye, then put a pop of blue on the lower lash line, and I was in love with color again, the fear of it dissipating.  I then graduated to doing rainbow looks and I loved the feeling of making something I was in love with but would soon be gone.  That’s why I love makeup.  For me, it’s about artistic expression, not about fixing your face and trying to change it.  I love makeup for the same reason a painter loves to paint, because it is the way that I express myself artistically.

What I’ve learned from failing a class at VCU

We all know the feeling, checking our grades and seeing that we didn’t  do as good as we thought we did.  But I had this moment a couple of days ago.  If you’ve ever been in a class with a not so good professor, you know that you can struggle with getting good grades in the class.  I’ve had this problem with Chemistry all semester.  I’ve tried so hard to get good grades in the class, doing my homework and studying really hard for the tests, but try as I may, I can’t seem to get good grades in this class.  All of this hard work culminated into mid term grades.  I was so nervous about midterm grades being published but I was confident was at least passing.  Boy, I was wrong.   I went online to check my grades and I saw that I was failing the class.  I wasn’t exactly surprised but I was disappointed.  I was so upset  because after struggling last semester with adjusting to college life, I had promised myself that I would do better with my grades and do better of taking care of myself.   But this was the bombshell that made me really upset because I felt like I had failed not only myself, but also my parents, because they are paying for my education, and I felt that I had wasted my parents money, because if I had to withdraw, I wouldn’t get my money back.  I still don’t know what to do about this situation, I don’t think I’m going to pass the class, not matter what I do, but I also don’t want to waste the large amount of money that each of these courses cost.  I had to talk to my mom about this, which I was not looking forward to, but I finally go the guts to tell her that I was failing.  I thought I was going to be in huge trouble, but she was actually really understanding and she said that she knew that I was trying my best and that it was something that didn’t need to happen again, but she undertsood that this wasn’t because of my lack of trying.  I’ve learned through this experience that it’s okay to struggle and fail, as long as you pick yourself back up again and ask for help when you need it.  My advice for anyone who is struggling in a class to get help early and to make sure that you study really early to make sure that you understand the material.

Work during college, is it worth it?

I think that having a job during college has both positive and negative aspects.  Having money is definitely a positive thing because we, as college students, are always in need of having money. Having extra money is really helpful because I feel like I can have more financial freedom and I am able to buy things that I want when I want them, instead of feeling like I can never buy anything because I don’t have any money. It also teaches responsibility and time management, the fact that you have to be somewhere on time and that you have to have your homework done before you go to work. I also have leave school on time to make sure I have enough time to get home, get ready and get to work on time.

However, there can also be negative effects of having a job during college too.  Something that I have experienced is that I miss things that I want to do in college.  Most things in college, like social events and parties, happen on Fridays and Saturdays, which are the days that I work most weeks.  Because of my job, I can’t really go to most of the things that I want to do with my friends at college.  This causes me to feel left out and for my friends to not invite me to things anymore.  Having a job also doesn’t allow me to do homework for a whole day, because I work twelve to thirteen hour days on Saturdays and then on Sundays, I am so tired from working that I really don’t want to my homework or study for any quizzes or tests that I have during the week.  This causes me to have bad grades and to get behind on my work, because I am not able to do my work for most of the weekend.  Having a job has been great for the money and for the friendships that I have made at my job, but having a job has really made me unhappy because I feel left out and behind in both my social and my academic life.

Managing Time and Self-Care

This week I’ve noticed something about myself, that I’ve always known but I’ve noticed it’s gotten worse since I’ve been in college, that I am terrible at managing my time.  This realization that this has gotten worse for me came when I was sitting in my room at about 1 in the morning with about 5 assignment that were due the next day that I was given at least a week to work on.  I wondered what I had been doing in that week, besides not working on my assignments of course.  Now, something that you have to know about me is that I can’t function without at least 8 hours of good sleep and that’s when I realized that, because I wasn’t taking good care of myself by getting the sleep I needed and procrastinating all of my assignments until the last minute, I was really hurting both my personal and my academic life.  It’s a vicious cycle that I am trying to break for my own well being, I don’t get enough sleep because I procrastinated and then I’m too tired during the day to get any of my work done, so I procrastinate it to do later which causes me to stay up later, and you get the picture.  I plan to fix this by first, getting some sleep.  I think that this is the root of the problem and what caused my downward spiral.  I then will hopefully have more energy during the day, which will make me more likely to do my work on time and thus breaking my vicious cycle.   I also think that another factor in this problem is that I’ve been really struggling with my depression these last two semesters.  I don’t really like talking about it with anyone, which after thinking about past experiences,  has probably made the problem a lot worse because talking about my depression with someone has made it a little more bearable in the past for me.  So I think I’m going to find someone, like a therapist, to talk to about my mental health and hopefully I’ll be able to get where I want to be in my personal and academic life.

The Importance of Kindness

This week, I noticed how important being kind to other people can be.  I was at work on Saturday and I wasn’t having that great of a day.  I was overworked and very stressed out because people were being extremely rude on this particular day.  At one point in the day, I was close to tears, we were so busy and I was extremely stressed.  But then this woman came to me, and she saw that I was stressed and started talking to me.  She told me that I was doing a great job and not to stress as much, because it is not as stressful as I was making it, it’s just food.  She then left and I realized how right she was.  I was so worried about people yelling at me that I hadn’t realized how inconsequential what I was doing really was.  I was just serving food, and as long as I was doing my best to be nice and give good customer service, I was going to be okay.  So instead of being stressed out, I took a breath and just tried to be as cheery and kind as I possibly could, even if people came to me with a negative attitude.  I then began to notice that if I spread kindness to my customers, then they would start to be nicer to me.  I realized that day how kindness really does make a difference in people’s lives and it can really brighten someone’s day.

January 25, 2019 Blog

This week in UNIV 112, when we did the fish bowls, I realized that I actually enjoyed the novel The City and the City a lot more than I thought I did at first.  My group had the last set of chapters, which was where the climax of the novel happened and the resolution (or lack thereof) also took place.  I thought that my group brought up some very interesting point about the morality of the people in these two cities.  We talked about how in these cities, you could, for instance, kill someone from another city, and the police wouldn’t care about the fact that you killed someone, but the fact that you breached, or crossed over into the other city.  This is exemplified when the says that a person could die in between the two cities and people would just step over the body, leaving it to rot for fear that if they tried to clean it up, they would breach.  This just shows the culture that these people live in, one that breaching is considered the highest of crimes, both legally and morally.  We also talked about the real world connection to the City and the City, and how we build barriers between other groups of people.  Although the author never goes into detail about why the cities are separated in the first place, we can infer that it is probably because of a conflict, and that conflict caused fear, which, in turn, caused a barrier to be placed in between these two cities.  We compared this to how our current President is trying to build a wall in between the US and Mexico due to the “fear of the other” We also connected this to the immigration crisis which we spoke about last semester and how we are building borders, both physical and mental, between people who are different than ourselves.