Colleen Bierstine

Colleen Bierstine

Public Relations major

Food & fitness enthusiast

Passionate about cooking, baking, eating, and working out.



12 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About College

Oct 17, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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Most of our knowledge comes from experience. That’s why a lot us will look back on events in our lives and say things like, “If I only knew then what I know now.” We tend to think about things in retrospect – what we could have done better if we had known more at that present time. But of course, this never really does us any good because, try as we might, we can’t go back to those moments.

Now that I’m about to graduate this semester, I have been thinking of a lot of things that I wish I knew going into college, things I wish someone had told me. Although, even if someone had passed this knowledge my way then, would I have listened? Who knows? My hope is that, in sharing these tips with you, you’ll trust me and take it to heart so you can get the most out of your time and money.

  1. Take the classes that matter to you.
    I am going to be completely honest. Every semester, when it came time to build my schedule for the next semester, I focused only on a) what was required to graduate, b) what was most convenient time-wise, and c) what was easiest. This worked out to make my time here quite efficient, but all of a sudden, it dawned on me that I have taken all of the classes that I will take.
    I wonder if I missed things. I took a couple easy A courses, but did I take things that would be practical and applicable? Yes, but not as many as I could have. Do whatever you can to broaden your horizon now. Take communication, business and writing courses, no matter what your major is. These will help you so much. Then be sure to fit in things you find interesting.
  2. Class attendance is crucial, but your health is the most important thing.
    This past semester, I got hit with mono. It took me a week or two to get diagnosed, but I knew something was severely off. The type-A part of me was saying, “Go to class!” But my body was physically incapable of movement. I did the right thing and went to the doctor instead of class, then brought my professors a doctor’s note. When you have a serious illness like mono, you have to put your health first.
  3. The best way to do well in a group project is to take charge.
    We all know that, despite professors’ best effort, group work is never an equal division. And if you don’t get to pick who you’re working with, there’s no guarantee the people you work with have the same work ethic or concern for their grades as you do. Therefore, if you want to do well on a group project, the only way to do so is suck it up and take the reigns. You need to be in control, be responsible, and be aware of dates and requirements. As harsh a reality as it is, that’s just group work for you.
  4. Your professors want you to succeed.
    It feels like they’re out to get you when they hand you a research paper assignment, but I swear, they want to see you do well. They will do everything in their power to help you if you show you’re willing to work and to reach out to them.
  5. Make time to see your family.
    A lot of kids want to get away from their families when they go off to college. And even if that wasn’t the case for you (it wasn’t for me; I didn’t want to leave), it’s likely you’ll assume you have your entire life to visit your family, and you won’t make it a priority on breaks. The thing is, life is going to keep changing and more and more things will get in the way of spending time with them, whether it’s jobs or distance or whatever. Take the time while you have it and be with your family as much as you can.
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  6. Get at least one person’s phone number in every class you’re taking.
    This will come in handy on many levels. If you’re stuck in traffic and going to be late, you can text someone and ask them to let the professor know (make sure you pull over to do this though!). If you miss a class, you can reach out to them for notes. If you’re confused about something, you can ask them for clarification.
  7. Pens exist only to be sucked into a black hole when you’re not looking.
    Seriously, buy a million, because they’ll all be gone in a week, even if you don’t lend them to people.
  8. Learn to cook.
    This is for men and women. People like people with food. It will help you take care of yourself, make friends, get on professors’ good sides, and you’ll look smooth on dates.

    A Loaded Cheese Fries Grilled Cheese from my blog.

    A Loaded Cheese Fries Grilled Cheese from my blog.

  9. You really need to check your email.
    Ask any professor; students don’t check their emails. That’s because our generation is accustomed to texts, and email seems like a thing of the past. However, you have to remember that your professors still use email avidly. It never fails that the one day you don’t check your email is the one day you got a class cancellation notification, but missed it and drove to school for nothing. Plus, you need to look out for weather and campus safety updates. All kinds of important stuff goes to your UC email.
  10. Establish credibility with your professors.
    This is especially true for professors you know you’ll have again. Even if someone rubs you the wrong way, you want to be on their good side. Prove to be diligent, motivated, and responsible by consistently handing assignments in on time, showing up to all classes on time, and participating in class. Always hand in your best work and be friendly. That way, when an unfortunate circumstance does happen, your professor trusts you and is willing to work with you. For example, I got rear-ended on the way to a midterm a few semesters ago, and was consequently a few minutes late, but my professor knew what kind of student I was, and he understood.
  11. You are never “too busy,” so ditch that excuse.
    The saying is true: if you really care about something, you’ll find the time for it. When you tell someone you were “too busy,” you really just didn’t see the thing you didn’t do as priority. I don’t care how much crap you take on – I’m the queen of taking on too much – you will find a way to do what matters to you.
  12. It never hurts to ask.
    A lot of people refrain from asking for something they want/need if they’re sure the person will say “no.” I have always adopted the mantra that it doesn’t hurt to ask, and it’s almost always been helpful to me. When I’m feeling like things are going south in a class, I see if there’s anything a professor can do to help me, even if I think they’ll say “no.” Nine times out of ten, I get surprised. The same goes for anything. I’ve expressed to professors that the whole class could benefit from a couple days extra of studying and gotten tests moved back. This semester, an incredibly understanding professor was willing to work with my teaching schedule at the gym. People will surprise you, and if they say no, so what? You should ALWAYS ask.
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20 Things That Inevitably Happen When It’s Your Last Semester

Oct 12, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine
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My big girl backpack.

Fingers crossed, I should be graduating in December. Am I excited? Yeah. Am I scared? Terrified. It’s taken 3 1/2 years, but I have realized several things this semester. In fact, I’d say this was the first semester I finally felt like I knew what I was doing. Now, why couldn’t that have happened sooner?

These are a few of the things I’ve noticed now that it is my last semester here.

  1. You’re outraged when you have to do a big project or paper because you’re just so over the whole thing.
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  2. No one, and I mean no one, can match your procrastination skills.
  3. You’ve started making sleep a priority again because you’re basically an old person now.
  4. Everyone on the planet wants to know what your post-graduation plans are.
  5. Seriously, that is the only thing anyone wants to talk to you about anymore. Um, hello, can we talk about something happier, like food?
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  6. You’ve realized your “I’m in college” excuse time frame is dwindling, and are therefore milking it for all it’s worth while you can.
  7. You’re trying not to countdown, but it’s impossible.
  8. You’ve mastered the art of doing as much as possible with as little effort as possible.
  9. You’ve convinced yourself there’s some way to avoid entering the real world. I can win the lottery in the next three months!
  10. People have decided it’s their business where you’ve applied to, how many jobs you’ve applied to, and how every bit of your job search is going.
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  11. You finally know your best, most efficient study methods.
  12. You don’t understand how you’re about to adopt an adult life when you still feel like a child.
  13. Your mind is so far ahead of you that you keep forgetting it’s only October, and you still have schoolwork to complete.
  14. You’ve become an expert schedule builder, learning to craft schedules according to your own preferences.
  15. Professors, co-workers, and loved ones make (mostly) empty threats about sabotaging your grades so you can’t graduate yet.
  16. You don’t remember how you were ever able to get up so early in high school. It’s 10 a.m. classes and later all the way.
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  17. If you stacked up all the revisions of your resume, you could build a skyscraper.
  18. You laugh at the juniors who are freaking out about their graduation, as if THEY have it bad.
  19. When you go to events that alumni attend, you can’t help but think how you’ll be one of them soon.
  20. You’re both ready and not ready at the same time.

Fellow seniors, what worldly knowledge have YOU garnered?

Note: all photos were taken & edited by me. The watermark “SCC 2014″ refers to my personal food blog, The Smart Cookie Cook.

Should I Capitalize It? A Quick Lesson

Oct 2, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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The art of whether or not to capitalize is a confusing one at best. Sometimes, it can feel like you’re taking a shot in the dark. I do a lot of editing and reading, and it unfortunately seems that people make the wrong choice more often than not.

Capitalization rules do vary across platforms. For example, in public relations, we have a whole set of rules that fall under AP style and dictate what does or does not get capitalized. However, whether you’re a PR person or not, AP style is great to follow because it is the guide for the majority of news and media platforms. So, if you’re a blogger or even writing a paper, it may be a good guide to consult. You can buy the AP Stylebook, or just Google questions you have.

Which brings us to our next point: If you’re unsure of it, Google it. It’s not 100% accurate, but as long as you find yourself a reliable source like Purdue OWL, you’re golden.

And now, here’s my Capitalization Guide for you:

  1. Article & Blog Titles Yes. Ex: “In Defense of Cat Lovers.” Titles should always be capitalized, even in informal mediums like blog posts.
  2. Names of people – Yes. Any time you use a person’s proper name (Ex: John Smith, Jane Doe) you need to capitalize. Joe is a dude’s name, but joe is a cup of coffee.
  3. Brand name placesYes. Ex: McDonalds, Starbucks, Utica College, etc.
  4. Generic place names – No. Ex: school, pizza place, the mall. Exception: When we talk about UC in certain mediums, we may say “The College.”
  5. Majors – No. It’s public relations, cybersecurity (which is one word, FYI), accounting, etc. – always lowercase. Exception: Languages are always capitalized (Ex: French major, English major).
  6. Schools within the College – Yes. Ex: The School of Business and Justice Studies.
  7. College Building Names – Yes. Ex: Strebel Student Center, Frank E. Gannett Memorial Library, Romano Hall, etc.
  8. Languages & Nationalities – Yes. Ex: I speak Italian. I am Italian. I majored in Italian.
  9. Months – Yes. Always, even if they stand alone without a date. Ex: August, January, February, etc.
  10. Days of the week – Yes. Ex: Monday, Friday.
  11. Time of Day – No. For example, in AP style, always write “a.m.” and “p.m.” Those are lowercase. You also write “afternoon,” “morning,” and “evening” as lowercase. Even when paired with a day of the week (Ex: Monday night), it’s still lowercase.
  12. Seasons – No. This is one I see a lot, but generally, seasons are lowercase. Ex: My favorite season is fall. I hate shoveling snow in the winter. Exception: As a specific date, you usually capitalize. Ex: Fall 2014, Spring 2002, Winter 1989.
  13. Occupational Titles – Depends. Generally, but not always, if a formal title comes BEFORE the name, you capitalize. Ex: President Obama, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences John H. Johnsen, Director of Media Relations Christine Leogrande. If the formal title comes AFTER the name, it is lowercase. Ex: Obama, president of the United States, spoke at the event. John H. Johnsen, dean of the school of arts and sciences, has been at UC since 1977.
    Informal titles like “blogger Colleen” are lowercase, and titles without a name are lowercase as well (Ex: The custodian cleaned the mess).
  14. Book, Song, & Movie Titles – Yes. Ex: Both the book, “The Maze Runner,” and the movie, “The Maze Runner,” are capitalized. Exception: Unless they appear at the beginning of a title, never capitalize words like: the, a, of, for, to, from, and, or, in, on, at, etc. (Ex: The Hunger Games, Alice in Wonderland, If I Stay, The Wizard of Oz).
  15. Regional/Directional – Depends. If you use north, south, east, west, etc. in the sense of direction, it’s lowercase. Ex: Drive north two miles; I live south of Canada. However, if you use them in a regional sense, they’re capitalized. Ex: My family loves the Southeast region; I hate the Northeast winters.
  16. Class year – No. You are a junior, sophmore, etc.
  17. Events - Depends, if they’re specific. Ex: Making Strides, Homecoming Weekend 2014, The Executive Lecture Series, etc. Exception: non-specific events. Ex: Every college has a homecoming weekend / I want to be in a parade / There is a dance next weekend.
  18. Relatives Depends. This is like the titles rule. If it’s before a name, Yes. For example, my Aunt Becky and Uncle Jesse. If it stands alone, no. For example: my aunt and uncle. Exception: if the title stands to replace the name. For example: “Put your clothes away,” Mom said. Mom is capitalized because it replaces her name.
  19. Website, Social Media Platforms, & Apps – Yes. Ex: Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yahoo!, Angry Birds, Student Voices, etc.
  20. Clubs & Organizations – Yes. Ex: Asa Gray, UC Concert Choir, Alpha Phi Delta, Student Senate, etc.

Did I miss something? What capitalization questions do you have?

In Defense of Cat Lovers

Sep 19, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

IMG_20140629_145406 I don’t know if I’d go as far as to categorize myself as a “cat lady;” I only have two, and when I think of a cat lady, I envision someone whose home is crawling with a dozen of them. However, there’s no denying that I love cats, and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t get one more if I had a bigger place.

But what I don’t get is why cat lovers get such a bad rep. Why is it considered crazy to love cats, but not dogs? Dog lovers are completely acceptable in society. If you tell someone you love dogs, no one will bat an eyelash. But if you tell someone you love cats, suddenly you’re a crazy person. I will admit that I might be a little bit insane, but I don’t think it is directly correlated with my love for cats. Can you blame me for liking them? They’re cute, fluffy, and far less judgmental than human beings. Plus, they do the silliest things, which keeps life entertaining. 1609919_10152733959333453_3651476270738979170_n For example, my little Mina isn’t all there in the head, and she likes to hang out in the bathroom with me while I’m getting ready. Specifically, she likes to lounge in the sink and dunk her little head under the running water. 10464403_10152585137618453_3736599998729493757_n She also enjoys hanging out in trash cans, as does her brother, Mr. Poe. He gets himself into all kinds of predicaments, like the time he got stuck in a headband. 10154049_10152410203878453_5129644086988398572_n Even when I’m working out, they’re rolling around on the floor with me or climbing on my back while I do planks. The latter is annoying, but it makes my workout more challenging.

I know cats have a reputation for being little jerks, which is why many people question anyone who likes them, but they’re not all that bad. Mr. Poe sleeps at my feet faithfully every single night. Little Mina runs to greet me the second I get home. They paw at my legs when they want to be picked up. And most importantly, they keep me laughing and smiling.

You have to remember that cats need love too. Are some of the stereotypes true? Of course. Do they do odd things and act like little jerks and troll your life from time to time? Of course, but so do other animal – and so do children for that matter, and y’all still like them. Cats, in contrast, are lower maintenance, less mess, and much cuter. IMG_20140911_1604571-768x1024

Top 10 Best Ways to Procrastinate

Jul 28, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

Procrastination-Cycle

We procrastinators share a special bond; we get each other. Nobody else understands why we put off assignments and tasks until the last second and voluntarily subject ourselves to working under pressure, but that’s okay. No one needs to get it but us.

One of the most annoying problems procrastinators face is when they run out of ways to procrastinate. How are you supposed to justify not doing your work if you’ve got nothing else to do? That simply won’t fly. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ways to procrastinate so you never have to run out of things to do when you should be doing other things.

1. Buzzfeed

This is hands-down the number one reason I procrastinate when on my computer. Buzzfeed is an abyss of procrastination potential, especially because of its infinite feed format. You keep scrolling, but it never really ends.

The site features posts compiled by BF staff and contributing site readers, and there is no limit to the topic of each post. Most of them are “listicles,” meaning that they are articles in the format of the list. Almost all the posts are hilarious, but they do serious, in-depth news articles addressing crucial current events as well.

The best thing about BF is that there is something for everyone. Whether you like food, Harry Potter, sports, cats, Chipotle, make-up, feminism, or whatever, you’ll find posts about it on BF.

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Image from Theivyleaguecoach.com

2. Pinterest

Contrary to popular believe, Pinterest is not just for the ladies. Like Buzzfeed, there is something for everyone on Pinterest. It covers food, tattoos, nail art, make-up, animals, cars, celebrities – you name it.

Some people don’t understand how it works until they actually start using it. Think of it as a collection of online bulletin boards. You find pictures of things you like on the web and then pin them to the appropriate board. For example, say you love cooking and you found this great recipe on a food blog with a drool-worthy photo. You can pin that delicious picture to your “Recipes to Try” board.

The boards are customizable, and you can make any you like. If you’re planning a wedding, make a “Wedding Inspiration” board. If you’re into fitness, make a “Fitness” board.

Pinterest is great for procrastinating because it never ends. Just keep looking through all the stuff you like and pinning away.

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3. Baking/Cooking

This is a great way to procrastinate because it is actually productive. Plus, you can make it a two-for-one procrastinating session if you look on Pinterest for recipes.

If you’re procrastinating, it’s probably because you’re bored with what you’re supposed to be doing. And if you’re bored, you’re probably hungry. It just makes sense that you get in the kitchen and hone your cooking skills. It’s a legitimately useful ability to have!

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4. Online Shopping

Regular shopping works too, but online shopping can be done in the comfort of your pajamas, and there’s less chance you’ll order something online. With the internet, you have every one of your favorite stores at your fingertips. The possibilities are endless.

Go look for those new sneakers you need for the gym, or find a dress for your UC graduation ceremony. If you really want to torture yourself, you can look at adoptable pets in your area. Again, that is actually a productive way to procrastinate because animals need homes!

5. Cleaning

The only time I clean is when I don’t want to be doing something else. Even if you don’t live your life like a tornado like I do, there are literally always things that need cleaning. I bet you the top of your ceiling fan needs a dusting, and vacuuming is always necessary. Do some laundry, organize your closet, or clean your oven.

6. Movie Marathon

Pick out your favorite movies, make some snacks, and procrastinate the day away. This one never gets old because there are always new movies to watch. The best thing is binge-watching a franchise like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

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Image from Harbortheatre.net

7. De-Clutter

It’s time to purge the stuff you no longer need. Again, this is  very useful way to procrastinate. I guarantee you’ve got stuff laying around that you’ll never use again. Grab two garbage bags, one marked “To Donate” and one marked “To Trash.” Fill them up and de-clutter your space. It is an especially good idea to get in your closet and do this.

8. Thought Catalog

This is similar to Buzzfeed in that it has articles covering all kinds of topics, and they are all reader-submitted. However, it is in a blog format as opposed to a feed. Honestly, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine because some of the stuff submitted is quality and thought-provoking, but some of it is controversial garbage. It is a ball to read some of the more ridiculous articles, and it’s even more fun to troll through the comment section.

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9. Work Out

If you hate working out, this won’t appeal to you, but it is one of my favorite ways to procrastinate. I honestly don’t even consider it procrastinating sometimes though because it de-stresses me while doing something good for my body, so it really is a necessary act.

Best of all, working out is customizable. You get to pick what you want to do, and for how long. Run for 30 minutes or dance for an hour; it doesn’t matter. You’ll sleep better too, which will help you in the long run when you finally have to finish that assignment that’s due tomorrow.

10. Nap

This has to be the best one. There is nothing like napping when you should be doing a million other things. Naps are fun, refreshing, and anyone can take them!

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The Pros & Cons of Being a Perfectionist

May 8, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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A perfectionist is defined as a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection. Some might also add that they are delusional, generally nuts, and stress out everyone else around them.

But I’m not so bad once you get to know me.

I swear I wasn’t always like this. I think it was somewhere midway through high school that perfectionism started to infiltrate my brain, but even then, it was only in certain areas. However, when I hit college, full-blown perfectionism took over, and just about anyone who knows me now will describe me as a perfectionist.

It is not necessarily a bad trait. I mean, there are a lot worse things somebody can be.  Perfectionism sure has helped me both excel and go crazy throughout my college career, and now that I’ve got only one semester left to my senior year, I can see how it has both helped and hindered me.

These are the pros and cons I’ve discovered to being a perfectionist throughout the years:

Pro – You generally do exceedingly well on assignments and papers because you won’t hand in anything short of your absolute best.
Con – You cannot emotionally handle getting any grade less than an A. An A- might as well be an F, because an A- means you did something wrong. And mistakes mean failure.

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Pro – You go the extra mile, even for things you aren’t necessarily interested in. For example, When I started weight-training, it was not my cup of tea, but I still worked to learn perfect form.
Con – You can never have that “I don’t care about this, so I’m not going to try” mentality. It doesn’t matter if you’re working on a diorama for an art class you had to take for your core credits even though you’re a PR major; you’re going to stress over it.

Pro – People think you’re someone who really has everything together and look up to you.
Con – You are constantly busting your butt to live up to that impossible standard and feel mortified when somebody realizes that you are, in fact, imperfect like everyone else.

Pro – You have motivation, determination, persistence, and drive – qualities that most people find redeeming and can make you a great candidate for landing a job.
Con – You stretch yourself thin trying to exude these qualities in every aspect of life, whether it be schoolwork or getting your hair to look perfect (seriously, that takes some persistence).

Pro – You’re excellent at correcting and editing things because you get a secret joy out of seeking out imperfections.
Con – You’re constantly annoying people around you by correcting and editing everything they do without being asked to do so.

Pro – People admire how hard you’re willing to work.
Con – People don’t understand why little mess ups that wouldn’t bother the average Joe can bring you down so much.

The Perfectionist Scale 3

Pro – You always try to look your best, therefore coming off as put-together and professional.
Con – You can’t just “get up and go,” nor do you have a quick way of getting ready. If you’re going out, whether to a ball or to the grocery store, everything has to look perfect.

Pro – You are willing to try something over and over again until you can do it right. Therefore, you know the incomparably amazing feeling of watching something that seemed impossible become possible. For me, such is the case with challenging yoga poses.
Con – You waste way too much time and energy trying to do these little things, and beat yourself up when you can’t do them on the first try.

Only took me 254,183 tries

Only took me 254,183 tries

Pro – You can seek out and correct the tiniest imperfection in any area whether it be painting lipstick or painting a portrait.
Con – You have no control over your ability to walk away from a task; you end when it’s perfect.

Pro – You never accept failure from yourself.
Con – You never accept failure from yourself.

The Perfectionist's Guide to Results (Lo)

My Mama Rocks

May 7, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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This Mother’s Day will be a little different for me because my mother and I will be apart for it. This is my second year spent separated after my parents moved to West Virginia last year, and I am still not used to it. While I was in high school, my mother and I grew to be like best friends, and we are to do this day much closer than most young adults are with their parents. I think it is because she has been there with me through so much when it felt like there was nobody else.

Although many kids are glad to get away from their parents when it comes time to go to college, I was not one of them. In fact, I lived at home for my first 2 1/2 years and much preferred being close to them. However, when fate intervened, and my parents had to move, I did not even know what to do with myself. I battled back and forth with moving out to stay at school here or going with them and having to transfer.

After endless back and forth decision-making, I wound up choosing to be on my own for the first time while my parents moved 10 hours away to West Virginia. We’ve adjusted, but I still feel like I’ll never quite be used to not having my mother right here with me.

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I have a food blog, The Smart Cookie Cook, and she was always my biggest helper and supporter when it came to that. Now that she is in another state, she cannot be my camera woman or grocery shopper anymore, but she is still as supportive as ever, and it means so much to me.

I still call her every day because I miss having her around for all those little moments of the day. It is a little thing that makes me feel just a bit closer to her. When something funny happens, I want her to be there to laugh with me. When I watch “The Voice,” I want her to be there to comment on the performances. When I order pizza, I want her there to gorge with me.

I am rarely an emotional human being, but I can get very suddenly choked up if I think about how much I miss her, and my father for that matter, for too long.

It stinks that, because of when finals fall, I cannot go down there to celebrate Mother’s Day with her, but I’ll be thinking about her all day. She is the one person I can always count on, and no matter how much we fight, we bounce back like nothing ever happened.

She’s been there for me through everything from birth to high school graduation to all my food blogging endeavors to holding my hand through my third tattoo after she got out of being there for the one I had done on my leg for her. She is consistently giving and giving for both my older sister and I. I think all parents have to be a bit selfless, but my mom goes above and beyond.

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A daffodil, my mom’s favorite flower

My mama rocks. This is a thank you to her for putting up with me and sending me along on the journey to where I am today.

30 Things Every Short Girl Can Relate to

Apr 28, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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  1. People tell you, “You’re short!” as if it’s news to you.
  2. That awkward moment when middle schoolers exceed your height.
  3. You wind up looking about as scary as a puppy when you get angry, and people won’t take you seriously.
  4. You always get stuck with the middle seat because “you’re the smallest.”
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  5. If you gain weight, it’s 10 times more noticeable on you than it would be on a tall person because there isn’t anywhere for it to go.
  6. Heels make you an average height, if you’re lucky.
  7. Flats make your legs look even shorter.
  8. People ask you your height before they ask your name.
  9. Finding a pair of pants that’s the right length is about as likely as sighting Big Foot.
  10. You have trouble fitting in adult clothing and often wind up in the junior section.
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  11. Kitchen shelves and cupboards pose a huge obstacle.
  12. You’re too proud to accept help from a stranger when you’re trying to reach a high shelf at the grocery store.
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  13. People treat you like a fragile doll.
  14. Sleeves are always too long.
  15. Your feet dangle off of chairs instead of reaching the floor.
  16. Finding a pair of leggings that are the right length isn’t much easier than finding jeans.
  17. Most normal-length shirts are like dresses on you.
  18. People judge you for having to pull your seat all the way up in the car.
  19. You just had to go and date the tallest person you could find.
  20. You have to walk in double-time to keep up with tall folks.
  21. You inevitably sit behind tall people in every theater.
  22. When you find that one person who’s shorter than you, it’s like a small victory.
  23. You can pass for younger than you are.
  24. You have a special bond with fellow short folks.
  25. You’ve developed a system for reaching things that are high up, whether it be climbing on chairs or over-extending your arms to the point of dislocating something.
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  26. You’re always looking up at people.
  27. Desks are usually uncomfortably high for your arms to rest on.
  28. Your friends constantly make short jokes.
  29. People you don’t even know constantly make short jokes.
  30. You rock shortness like nobody else can.

Why College Students Should Forgo Tanning

Apr 24, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine
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Photo from Gerlach of Pixabay

Look, kid, you’re young. Should you live to be the average age of a human being, you’ve still got several decades left in the skin you’re wearing. I don’t know many people who want their skin to resemble beef jerky when they’re older, and yet I know plenty of them who ask for that by lying in a tanning bed, AKA a human oven, on a regular basis.

If you step back and think about it, the intentional act of tanning (as in, not when you spend time outside and just happen to get some color as a result) is an incredibly ludicrous endeavor. All the time, we preach about being comfortable with the skin we’re in, and yet we’ll spend hours lying motionless under UV rays just to make our skin a few shades darker. Shouldn’t we instead just appreciate the spectrum of skin tones out there?

Furthermore, tanning is one of the biggest time-wasters. There’s not much you can do while tanning; you have to be still and make sure you’re not using anything that will cause weird tanlines. Basically, your options are to read or listen to music. Why subject yourself to complete boredom for an hour or more if you don’t have to?

You’re also bound to get sweaty, and you’ll probably rub yourself down with sticky tanning oil. It doesn’t make sense that doing nothing would make you that gross afterward. If you want to get sweaty, go to the gym instead. Now that’s a good use of your time.

It’s proven that sun exposure causes early aging, which is why you’ll see many avid tanners with not-so-smooth skin, even at a young age. Think about what happens to just about anything when you bake it: it dries out and shrivels up. Your skin is doing the same thing, except moisturizer isn’t going to save you. You’ll wind up with wrinkles much sooner than you anticipated, which is hardly worth skin a few shades darker now.

But here’s the big reason why college students should forgo tanning: skin cancer. Everyone thinks “It won’t happen to me,” but it can and it does. No one is immune. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “The number of skin cancer cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking.

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Photo from glamour.com

What people really need to realize is how silly it is to put yourself in direct risk of cancer just to darken their skin tone for a little while. It is not like the skin-darkening caused by tanning is permanent; you have to constantly upkeep it, wasting time in the tanning bed and exposing yourself to damaging UV rays again and again.

Take it from a girl who’s about as pale as pale gets: it’s not so bad. I just think about how nice and wrinkle-free my skin will be years from now, and that makes it all the better. I certainly haven’t the time or patience for tanning anyway.

 

So You’re Taking a Summer Class

Apr 18, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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You might think you know what you’re getting into with summer classes, but it’s a whole different game. Summer classes are condensed versions of what you take during a normal fall or spring semester, and they’re consequently that much more intense.

Each summer class runs for about a month as opposed to the four month time span you’re used to. That means summer class professors have to take four months’ of information and squeeze it into one very short month. That’s why your summer class is probably held every day of the week.

I learned the hard way that procrastination absolutely does not work in the summer. In truth, procrastination is never an efficient or helpful method, but if you default to your procrastinating ways during a summer class, you will not survive. This is because you simply don’t have the time to put things off.

In the class I took last summer, we had a weekly exam. It sounds like a lot, but again, it’s a much shorter time span, and it made sense, equating to about four tests. I often put off studying until the night before, and it was always a huge disaster. I wound up pulling all-nighters almost every week, and completely burnt myself out.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Quite simply, just don’t procrastinate. Even if you’re a procrastinator at heart like I was, you just have to remember that you only have to act like an on-top-of-things productive human being for a month. You can handle that.

You’re likely to have a smaller class in the summer, which is great because you can develop a closer relationship with your professor, and there will be more time for questions. You’ll develop a little bond with whoever is in your class because you’re all in the same boat.

You’ll also probably have to be willing to take initiative. There likely won’t be as much time for dissecting things and going over topics as in-depth as you might prefer in class, so you’ll have to be willing to work hard outside of class and get help from your professor. And don’t forget how helpful your good friend the internet is. Can’t figure something out? Try Googling it before you implode.

Most of all, give yourself a pat on the back. It might seem like a drag to take a summer class at first because you’re passing up what’s supposed to be a break, but think of the lighter semesters to come that you’ll have as a result.

Just stay calm and remember to manage your time wisely. You probably cannot go out partying every night and get through your summer class alive. But if you’re diligent, you’ll do just fine.