Beyond a Bucket of Inspiration

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Before I dive into writing any blog post, I like to do a bit of googling and find some definitions that not only usually make me laugh (thank you urban dictionary), but also to give me something to work with. Today’s defining word, brought to you by (yup) urban dictionary: bucket list. 

Here is what it says:

Definition: A list of things you’d like to do before you die, like visiting the Grand Canyon, falling in love or falling into the Grand Canyon.

I’m not so sure that it would be on my bucket list to quite literally fall into the Grand Canyon… but any who…

Have you ever created a bucket list before? I find that in this generation, and what I have been working on getting out of my head, is exerting ourselves to adding in every little thing to our bucket list. Whether we see someone online who has been to a specific location, jumped from out of a plane, or hang-glided with the birds of Arizona (is this actually a thing? because I might ACTUALLY consider it)… it has the potential to butt heads with what we actually want on our own personal bucket list. We have been granted with so many gifts and abilities that we need to challenge them in order to really grow into them. It’s easy to keep watch of what others are doing and just add it onto our list, imagining that maybe one day we’ll get around to it or truly want to do it before this life comes to a forever halt.

It goes without saying that there is a feeling of accomplishment checking something off of any given list. Whether it be doing the chores you forgot to do the week before, an essay you’ve left until the last minute, a book you’ve yet to open or a phone call you’ve been dreading to make, checking them off clears up more space in that big ol’ brain of yours. This much needed space is the same for a bucket list. I know for me, I used to have a note on my computer that had all sorts of interesting things on my bucket list, but I never truly believed I would challenge myself to cross them off. This was mostly because I didn’t actually have that much of an interest towards them, which in turn, didn’t motivate me to make any advances to. Sure, you’d think that’s my own problem, but once I revamped my bucket list to achievable goals that inspired me to challenge myself everyday until I got there, it became so much more exciting.

Going back to the definition urban dictionary so cleverly provided for us (totally aware it’s not the BEST resource), if you keep scrolling and searching the word bucket list, it changes. There’s never really a set in stone meaning for this kind of list. Yeah, it’s best described as a list for things to do before we die, but if you think about it, a bucket can be used to carry a multitude of things. I also know that when a bucket is overflowing, it gets extremely difficult to carry (you don’t say!?). Seriously though, what if there was a way to lighten our loads and achieve more with this list?

This week I was reading a daily devotion that touched on bucket lists and the verse they focused on was this,
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
— Romans 12:10

As I continued to read, it posed the thought of how one can possibly make a bucket list self-less. This really got me questioning… how many of my dreams and goals focus on others rather than myself, if any at all?

We have all experienced a moment of giving in our lives in some form or another, and humbly speaking, it has never once left me disappointed. I believe that so much of what we wish to do before we die focuses on leaving some sort of legacy in terms of how far we’ve travelled, how much money we’ve made or what we’ve accomplished (and so on). By no means am I saying that we cannot have these things on our list at all, but would the load of our stresses to achieve these goals not be much lighter if we chose to give away some of the gifts we’ve been given? I’m still challenged by this question everyday, because by nature, the list is our own and we will always have the power to perceive it how we want to. But I want it to be beyond a bucket of inspiration.

When I first started this blog, my intention was to not only encourage people, but to keep growing and stimulating myself through the challenges I attempt to constitute to those who decide to read what I have to say. However lately, even as I write what I believe speaks to a select few out there, I’ve felt as though the kindling is slowly starting to run out (reference to not being able to keep a fire going without kindling — hope you caught on to that).

Needless to say, I got a nice kick in the butt with this message. So naturally, I want to challenge you to ask yourself the very same question (and NO… this ain’t no April Fools joke!!!!),

How many of my dreams and goals focus on others rather than myself, if any at all?

Bye for now,

Lizzie

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What’s Your Why?

“90% is just showing up… but you’ve still got to do something and participate. Thats the point of self-growth.”

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with watching TedTalks on Youtube. Everyone knows that once you start watching something on there, it becomes a wormhole of videos. Hours go by and the only thing that snaps you back into reality is your stomach growling for some grub. Nevertheless, many of you may be sitting back, totally not relating to this, wondering why I would do such a thing – why waste my time? Ultimately, what’s my why?

Throughout my life, I’ve struggled a lot with the why question. It can be difficult to pinpoint why we do things, and when push comes to shove, our motives behind them. A big one that I will continually talk about on my blog until my fingers fall off or my computer blows up (even then I’ll probably still find a way to write about it), is self-care. Whether it’s mentally or physically, we will always ask ourselves those why questions.

For years I had tried to find some sort of routine that worked for me regarding self-care. What I always attempted to formulate was eating healthy, exercising my body and my brain, creating healthy relationships and healthy habits and so on.

You’re probably thinking, “okay, so.. that all sounds fine. Actually, it sounds more than fine. What’s the problem?”

To my dismay, how I went about “taking action” almost always led to the complete opposite: self-sabotage. Finding your why is the first big step, but how you take action and participate in it can either stunt your self-growth, or help you to soar.

From a young age, although it’s a tad fuzzy (much like my hair in third grade), I remember being criticized for my ‘chubby’ exterior and my tom boy clothing choices. I had stained in my brain that I would always be this chubby kid who wore gym shorts and cotton t-shirts for the rest of my life. My why was because that’s all that I felt comfortable in. It’s what bratty kids in my class pointed out, and something that I didn’t think would ever change. When middle school rolled around, I started to hide behind this invisible veil. What was so concealed to everyone else, only became more of a violent turbulence in my own head. I had the same hair style for years – a failed attempt at a ‘duff-puff’ – and the same gym shorts and cotton t-shirts that hid my belly and confidence. My why started to turn from ‘it’s what I’m comfortable in’, to ‘i’m terrified to wear anything else’.

Fast forward to high school, I remember the day that I took down my hair from that flat attempt at a hair puff, put on a stolen pair of lulu lemon pants from my sisters closet (that I still have today – shhh..) and a long sleeve cotton shirt that read ‘Hollister’ down the left arm.

“OH-MY-GOSH!” I said to myself looking in the mirror that day (yeah, I’m laughing too).

I felt like a whole new person. It was terrifying, but exhilarating at the same time. I had grown taller since middle school that somewhat facilitated distribution of said ‘chub’, and I started wearing a little bit of makeup (black eyeliner was VERY in). I felt sweaty and nervous, but good. When I got to my french class, I received positive compliments rather than the negative and condescending comments I had gotten so used to and almost expected. All seemed fine and dandy, but I still didn’t dare take down that veil. I was in (and feel like I still am in many ways) an extremely vulnerable position. My why shifted from comfort, to fear, to now reassurance from others. Though I decided to put those gym shorts and cotton t-shirts in the back of my drawers, my actions steps weren’t for myself at all, and it slowly began the longest season of sabotage in my life.

I understand that for many people, this was a similar reality in their lives as well. There’s a never ending reflection on our lives, whatever circumstance or experience, and like I said before… how you take action and participate in it can either stunt your self-growth, or help you to soar.

Coming back around to the endless hours on YouTube, my why is because I am just so eager to learn and get inspired after so many years of self-sabotaging. But here’s what’s different:

“Forget about your “boundaries,” there are no limits, only those that you created in your head. You don’t need them anymore. But if you give up on yourself, you will become a prisoner in your own life suffering from all those missed opportunities that were in front of you, that you should have just had the courage to realize.”

-Nora Oravecz (Huffington post writer, talking about Tony Robins – The Why Man – seminar topic)-

I used to watch these awesome inspirations with the intent that they were the ones that were going to motivate me to get going. That they were going to help me form this routine of eating healthy, exercising my body and my brain, create those healthy relationships and healthy habits… but I was so far from being correct. The only person that can build on the belief that you are worthy enough, motivated enough and sow the seeds of a driven life is you. YOU are your why, always.

Now, I watch with a pen and paper and write down their tips with the intention of using their advice to remind myself that it’s okay to feel unmotivated sometimes. When I feel myself slipping back into a season of self-sabotage, I choose to take action steps and participate in my self-growth instead of sitting there waiting for someone to tell me what to do.

A little side note; my blog is very faith driven, so a huge part of my personal life, worth and strength come from God and what He has to say about me. After experiencing the school environment I grew up in, and what I continually struggle with everyday, the why for my life is to keep growing in the image He has planned for me to be – with all the recalculations in between. I make my own choices everyday, but when it comes to living out my why, I am always brought back to my faith. My OWN faith is what motivates me to keep going, and promotes self-growth in the best way possible. A verse that I love and will always turn to when I am struggling in my routine is this:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin.

Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

-Matthew 6:25-34 –

So tell me… what’s your why?

Bye for now,

Lizzie

The ‘Good’ Stuff

Let me just begin by posing a question: What would you consider to be ‘the good stuff‘ in your life?

Coffee, cats, and salted caramel. 

The 3 C’s written above barely even cover what I consider the good in life. However, there are no ifs ands or butts about it when; fresh coffee wakes me up in the morning, a fuzzy feline falls asleep in my lap, and when an entire tub of salted caramel cashew cluster ice-cream (say that 10x fast) mysteriously gets gobbled up to the bottom of the barrel during a movie.

Sometimes though, it’s hard to focus on the good stuff, whatever we may classify as something being ultimately good. As I began this blogging journey, one of the first posts I had written was about the reality of a life in drive – attempting to drive forward into the good and reversing out of the bad. I talked about happiness, which is usually something that is automatically categorized as part of the good stuff. However, I also noted that happiness is completely temporary and can change in an instant. This is the part where the bad stuff can easily saturate much of what was once considered good in your life.

The reason I use the improper word ‘stuff’ is because, periodically, we collect it. We collect the good and the bad stuff, which for me, can eventually become a huge mesh of both in the worst possible way.

Let me back up…

Do you ever look around your room, or your house, and just glaze over the multitude of random things? Maybe it’s a jersey hanging on the wall, maybe it’s a plant – dead or alive – it’s still there. Maybe it’s even a huge stack of books you have planned on reading… for three years now… or even worse, a stack of cups that you just can’t be bothered to bring down to the kitchen (we’re ALL guilty of this). Notably for me, I tend to buy things for the future. Whether it’s a salad bowl, a piece of furniture, or a decorative piece – I’m enticed. In the moment it’s a euphoric feeling of receiving stuff, but over time, you’re not really sure what to do with them until you might need them. Ahem, so you stick them in a corner of your room. For the cup situation, you know what you should do with them, but you keep them there anyways. We keep this stuff for that much longer, hoping that you will find use for them eventually or that they will magically rid themselves.

I looked up some synonyms for the word stuff and giggled because it gave the options of both “goods” and “junk”. Like umm… which one do I categorize this in? What makes perfect sense to me with that though, is the fact that it’s the same with how we classify the ‘good‘ and ‘bad‘ stuff in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes what we consider to be good, can actually just be junk. Like that candle we love so much, but find ourselves never burning it? What good is that when you can’t enjoy it? At that point, it’s just junk sitting pretty on your counter. Other times, what we may consider the bad stuff to be, can actually be one of the GOODEST goods (totally not a word) of all the good stuff. Like that horrible week we just had, when you learn to accept you can’t control every little thing and keep moving forward, it becomes the greatest reward.

Look back at the 3 C’s I mentioned; coffee, cats, and salted caramel. Too much love towards this stuff can lead to jitters, painful scratches, and a really big flippin’ belly ache. In many ways, all aspects of our lives need consistent moderation of what determines the good and bad stuff, or the goods and junk.

All in all – burn that dang candle, take those cups to the kitchen, read that book, drink that coffee and don’t let this stuff that just never seems to leave you alone.. define you, or force you to choose.

Now that’s what I call the STUFF.

Bye for now,

Lizzie

 

#10ReasonsWhy: It Takes Courage to Grow Up and Become Who You Really Are

d3adc7c9fbfad2858a18350660b8c54aEdward-o Cummings wrote it beautifully, much like all of his other writings, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are”. Fortunately, while we venture in life – every decision, action, and future plan is a part of growing up. It takes courage to move forward and ultimately… move on. To leave behind whatever it is you need to grow from.

Sometimes in the moment, we don’t realize how badly we actually need to step away from a situation, a relationship, a job…. the list could go on, but you get the jist.

Recently transferring schools, I had a complete shift in my responsibilities and priorities. I started commuting to school, which was seriously a struggle when it came to hearing that dreaded alarm go off at 4:30am just so I could beat the busy commuters traffic. Once this really started to become a routine in my week, I found myself creating really bad habits; not preparing any food for both commute days… which in turn made me spend too much on food, drinking WAY too much coffee, not drinking enough water, and definitely not getting enough sleep. This completely threw me off. Not only did this affect my physical health, but also my mental health. Having classes only two days per week, I would get home and think to myself, “ahhh… I have the rest of the week to do my readings!”

Then Sunday rolls around…

Panic sets in. I left it until the last minute, I need to go to bed at a good time tonight in order to wake up at a good time in order to get to school on time, so I don’t fail my classes, so my body doesn’t hate me……. *SLOW…. CLAP….CLAP…*

Then the Ontario college strike rolls around…

At this point, vacation mode had set in and my books were left in my backpack to collect dust. One week, two weeks, now three weeks… the strike still hadn’t ended. My laziness had only heightened to new levels, and my eating habits had seriously taken a turn for the worst. My bank account started slowly reducing, and my part time job had just barely begun (that I ended up quitting two weeks later) *QUE SMALL VIOLIN PLAYING*

Foggy, I woke up one morning and read the time on my phone – 12pm.

Where has my motivation gone? The months leading up to school, I was so passionate in my thinking and so excited for the school year to begin so I could clean up my act. I could finally set up a schedule for myself.

Unfortunately (but also – thank goodness for these moments), sometimes we just need to let reality sink in and alter where we’re at – with a little bit of courage.

I sort of just trailed off into a rant, but with that being said… here are #10ReasonsWhy it takes courage to (and will continue to) grow up and become who you are:

1. Struggles are inevitable (keep trying, pushing and struggling.. even if you don’t have a clue what your goal is yet)

2. As much courage as it takes to speak up, it also takes just as much to sit down and listen.. Thanks Winston Churchill 😉

3. Admit to your mistakes, you’ll feel a heck of a lot lighter

4. Courage defines all other human behaviour

5. You’ll be surprised with how many unlikely places courage is hidden

6. Courage is strengthened by use… so freaking use it!

7. You’ll be encouraged to act instead of react

8. Concern for keeping your “reputation” will dwindle (in the best way possible)

9. You’ll learn to ‘saddle up anyways’.. even if you feel like you’re going to pee your pants in fear

10. The opposite of courage is *gulp* conformity… and let’s be real, where’s the fun in doing what everyone else is doing?

 

It’s a learning process. Embrace it!

Bye for now friends,

Lizzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since when?

I came to know the tempo of my hearts fulfillments when

I saw your familiar smile,

and when the words from your lips made me erupt with jovial laughter.

 

What I never came to understand,

though,

still curious,

is how those same lips spoke so unmelodious.

 

Was it the eery sounds of paws shuffling through the silence,

a barricaded door to escape it,

or the clink of a fork on a textured fish shaped dinner plate?

 

Since when did sadness start to suffocate the better part of the heart?

 

Maybe it was the selfish defence,

the pity,

drinking too much coffee,

or the washing of one’s hands.

 

Since when did friendship become the contamination you wanted

so badly scrubbed away?

 

Surely abandonment is easier when you only allow yourself to see the water

going down the pipe,

like tunnel vision.

As if it’s not already a waste,

you turn to the tub and slowly turn the handle,

observing with glazed eyes.

 

Since when did a hot bath become possible without a plug?

 

Watching the water fall quickly,

bubbles bursting,

shivering and still,

in the same filth.

 

Since when?

 

– Lizzie H.

#10ReasonsWhy: New Years Resolutions Should Be Taken Seriously (for the most part)

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Our New Years Resolutions should be something to look forward to, a chance to renew our minds and a chance to trim the fat (lol get it.. cause everyone wants to lose some weight this time around.. AHEM.. sorry.. ok..).

This post, I’m hoping, will be put up on January 1st… if not sooner! Exactly a month after my first #10ReasonsWhy post. My excitement to actually accomplish this is so REAL… only because I tend to slack off when it comes to monthly posts (hence why it says in my first #10ReasonsWhy that I may or may not post once a month) and also, truthfully, just posts in general. It would be pretty cool if I kept myself accountable for even a small thing like this.

—-Disclaimer: Written on Christmas Eve (December 24th) 

Again, in no order, here are some of the many reasons why I believe that New Years Resolutions should be taken seriously – for the most part.

1. Much like an anniversary, New Years Resolutions inevitably happen EVERY year.

This one is super obvious, but you just can’t avoid them. The New Year is HUGE. It’s too big of a deal to just ignore, so why not partake? Each year, as cliche as it sounds, is a new opportunity not to ‘start fresh’, but to humbly build yourself up, take responsibility and reflect on the previous year(s) that  you’ve lived through and learned from.

2. New Years Resolutions aren’t supposed to magnify your failures.

A lot of the time, resolutions can make people feel extremely disappointed in themselves. Some believe that this long list just magnifies their failures in the past, attempting to go another year to try and succeed at them once again. A well-known and high up on the list example is losing weight. You usually see more people at the gym the first few months of the New Year, but again, those same people (most of them, at least) also tend to quit and mark this resolution as another failed attempt, hoping the next year will be more or less,  different. It’s a vicious cycle that TRULY needs resolving, not in the next New Year, but in the very same year. Just because you’ve failed after a few successful months, doesn’t mean that the entire year is going to be a let down. Don’t let it happen!

This leads me into my next point.

3. A New Year can in fact, mean a new you.

Not what you possess, or how successful you’ve been/ will be, but your new attitude going into a New Year. Not only does a positive attitude in our entire life create a happier and healthier you, but making a small change in your attitude to a specific area in your life often spreads throughout the other areas in your life. It can be tough to find joy in all circumstances, but whatever this New Year brings, a positive attitude can make your resolutions seem a whole lot more attainable.

4. We learn to set and obtain goals by making resolutions.

Personally, I feel a tad hypocritical writing about this point. I find it very difficult to set and obtain goals in my life even when I’ve made resolutions. For many, like myself, we like the idea of a resolution to say we have one to follow through with. Much of the time, our goal(s) are too big to really fit our head around. We never really set a specific goal… therefore… we can’t obtain it.

BUT! Creating smaller goals that stem off of this big goal can actually help quite a bit. Each small goal, that in our mind seems more attainable, creates healthy habits each time we conquer them. Each small goal that is stemmed from the big goal gets less scary every time we tackle them and by the end of the year, we are surrounded by so many positive habits that we are ready to face another year. A New Year. A year that this once “big” and “scary” goal we saw as impossible, is now broken down and CAN be attainable. Sometimes resolutions can’t be completely solved in a years time. It’s so important to understand that with each healthy habit maintained from previous years, healthy solutions to our next “big” thing can be set and obtained using our method from the years before.

Does that make sense?

“Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”

– Psychologist Lynn Bufka

5. Talk about it… ask for support!

Most of the time, family and friends are in the same boat as you. The stress of resolutions happen to the best of us. The good thing is, we are all in different stages of life and can offer advice to those that feel unsure of where to start. Encouragement is everywhere you go, whether it be joining a support group, a workout class or learning something completely out of your comfort zone. Resolutions are not supposed to be a stressful thing, but an encouragement in itself to better ourselves and to create a positive outlook on life with each New Year.

With that, resolutions should be taken seriously for this very reason. When we make them and strive to achieve (for the most part) them, we grow. With growing, we slowly walk into different stages of life – learning from past behaviours and reevaluating how to handle future situations whether it be in our own lives or not.

6. Make a list.

For me, I would consider myself a list maker. From grocery lists to music lists to 10 year goal lists to #10ReasonsWhy lists… I’m guilty. I’m human for heavens sake! But sometimes lists can create unnecessary stress. angus-phil

Write the list, check it twice, but don’t expect it to all be completed in the first few months (or to be nice!). You, in your head, start from January 1st and take a look at the 12 months remaining. Lists are much like trying to lose weight. You look at what you need to do, you know what you need to do, but you say “I’ll do it on Monday” or “I’ll start it after this weekend”. Which, unfortunately, seems to come faster than you’d hoped.

For resolutions, that “Monday” feeling will probably never go away. Why aim to “start” on January 1st, when you know it needs to happen now? Lists are a great way to just outline your goals. Start one before the New Year so you can brainstorm ways to actually slowly start before that dreaded “Monday” feeling takes over (and creates a vicious cycle).

7. Don’t make the same resolution year after year.

Been there, done that. Not only does the same goal you’ve “failed” time and time again make you feel bad, but it takes away from the resolutions that could really benefit you.

For as long as I can remember, every year, much like many others, I surrounded my resolutions with how I looked – how I wanted to be in better shape and to eat better. With each year that “failed”, my attitude failed. I became bitter and jealous of those that were successful with their goals, even if they weren’t appearance based.

That is why this year will be different for me. I am choosing kindness and balance. I’ve always had difficulty managing my time and money appropriately, which results in bad habits and bad attitudes. By choosing kindness and balance, no matter my weight or what I look like, I pray that it not only heals me, but others as well. Kindness is what gives others hope and balance is what keeps one sane in order to be kind… am I right?

8. When others see you striving towards your goals, they too have the potential to strive for their own.

Throughout our lives, we’ve heard so many different opinions on resolutions – bogus or a blessing? This can lead to disregarding our own thoughts and feelings on this form of renewal, whether we think so or not.

This post by no means is to conform anyone against resolutions to suddenly become a believer in them, but those who struggle with or feel stuck in life can either really benefit from someone else’s perspective or can really be damaged by it. It’s proven that as humans, when we see others striving or struggling… we reflect.

In some form or another, we all need to reflect on the previous year. Why not reflect by making resolutions to better ourselves in order to better others that need encouragement?

 9. Whoever you are leading by example will also be lead by your way of systematically handling things.

11-10-child-looking-upFor example, if you have children – they watch your every move! By building yourself up now, whatever point in life, children and those who you lead by example will greatly benefit. Teaching yourself to celebrate success with grace and how important it is to see yourself as a (humble) winner will, throughout time, encourage those who look up to you.

10. Ultimately, there is a plan and a purpose for your upcoming year.

The utmost important factor to a successful year is to believe there is a purpose. Through each and every disappointment or achievement, be thankful. Understanding that you have a purpose in this New Year will teach you in ways that is beyond what you can fathom.

 

Final Thoughts…

I hope that as you enter into this New Year, you will be fortified with strength – list or no list. I encourage you to seek out support when your motivation begins to fail and that you find joy in whatever comes your way.

See you next year… 😉

Lizzie

The 3 Stages of Exam Season

leed-practice-exam

For many of us students, myself included, there are 3 stages we tend to go through (or at least what I went through) during the exam season. This semester was my very first as a University student and the pressure was truly on. I sort of forgot how to manage my study time and it really didn’t help that my exams were scheduled so closely knit together.

Disclaimer at the end*

Here are the 3 very exciting stages that I came up with…

Stage 1: The Relaxed Stage

This stage usually develops after your last class before the following week off to study for our scary exams. I remember getting so excited leaving my International Development exam review, looking forward to sleeping in the next day and having the time to relax and just study at my own pace. I felt so free and told myself I had TONS of time to look over those notes from the entire semester. It wouldn’t be that hard.

Little did I know that this relaxation would turn into…

Stage 2: The Panic Stage

Ahhh… what a University NOOB.

Sure, a couple of mornings could be utilized to catch up on lost sleep, but when you realize that half of your week has been spent watching Grey’s Anatomy and napping – you become a little more panicked that you know more about how to remove an appendix than all of your courses combined. Don’t get me wrong, I did in fact open up my notebook and prepare some notes to study – but I seemed to neglect actually absorbing what was on the notes. I’m not sure I left my house that entire week to be quite honest – not my finest time.

Not only does that panic you, but the night before an exam usually doesn’t help much either. It doesn’t involve much sleep. You toss and turn, going through the equation in your head for what you need on the exam to pass the course and the content that you hope stays fresh in your mind by the morning.

Even worse, though you plan on waking up early to test yourself one last time, you realize that you forgot to set your alarm the night before and wake up 20 minutes before your exam. This happened to me. PANIC would be an understatement.

Stage 3: The Light in the Tunnel Stage

Each exam that comes and goes gets you a little closer to that light. You treat yourself to a coffee (that you ACTUALLY savour) or really frothy drink from Tims or even Starbucks if you’re feeling extra good about what you just wrote. The light gets brighter each exam that doesn’t seem so stressful now that you’re done. At this point, you’ve either accepted the fact that you may have just failed that exam OR you’ve given yourself a pat on the back for getting through this stressful season.

By the time we finish all of our exams, our back seems to be a little straighter and our smiles become more genuine (rather than the “I’m smiling but crying on the inside” look).

Final Thoughts…

I applaud all University students who have gone through these stages! This was only for fun and I hope you enjoyed reading them. Though exams can be stressful, once you are done, you can begin to relax. You have worked so hard – regardless of the outcome. You showed up. You wrote it. I have learned even in this short first semester that this University experience does not define ME. I came here to learn – not to prove that I am “worthy” of my degree.

Best of all, God is there with you every step of the way – talk to Him. He’s always listening and He’ll be there if these exams don’t turn out as nicely as you imagined. Rest in Him.

The following video is an encouragement and a reminder to those that bubbling in answers on a multiple choice test will never define your creativity and determine your success. Every gift deserves an equal chance and a school program shouldn’t control your dreams.

ENJOY your holiday season with friends, family and JOY!