Feel Good Tunes

So school officially started today and my first class (sadly) is statistics. I’m generally a math person, but for some reason, the very thought of statistics strikes fear in to my little heart. It might be because of all the abstract concepts, or the fact that my lecture is three whole hours long, but either way, I’m more than a little nervous to start off this year!

When I woke up this morning, to get myself ready for my first day, I played some of the most upbeat and cheerful music I could think of. It really did wonders to pick up my mood, amazing what a little dancing or singing along to your favourite music can do when you’re in a low mood!

So, to all of us students who have some difficult and stressful days ahead of us, here are some feel good tunes that never fail to pick me up (and will hopefully do the same for you)!

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  1. Feel Again – OneRepublic (this one never gets old I swear)
  2. Wherever I Go – OneRepublic
  3. Future Looks Good – OneRepublic (clearly you can tell I love OneRepublic)
  4. Bailar – Deorro ft. Elvis Crespo
  5. Catch & Release – Matt Simons (Deepend Remix)
  6. The Greatest – Sia
  7. Side to Side – Ariana Grande
  8. Kids – MGMT
  9. Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5
  10. On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons (P.S. This video is actually so good)
  11. This Girl – Kung’s and Cookin’ on 3 Burners
  12. Dog Days are Over – Florence + The Machine
  13. Budapest – George Ezra
  14. Hymn For The Weekend – Coldplay (love this collab with Beyonce)
  15. Adventure of a Lifetime – Coldplay

Those are some of my favourite feel good tunes, and I really hope they can lift your spirit like they did mine this morning! Never underestimate the power of some good music, it really does wonders!

Here’s to (finally) starting this new school year! I can’t wait to see what second year has in store!

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Back to the Grind I Guess

LANDSCAPES | PORTRAITS | BLACK & WHITE | PANORAMA

Well, I guess it’s finally happening, a new school year is upon us and while I’ve been looking forward to it for a while, it is a little bitter sweet. Summer vacation is now officially over for most, and the call of Professors and textbooks is all too familiar.

I won’t lie, I’m a little nervous for my second year of university! Things were pretty crazy in my first year and while it was totally awesome in the end, I don’t know what to expect going in to this year. Either way, I’m looking forward to more boundary stepping and comfort zone pushing this year, let’s make it a great one! However you feel about this next chapter in your life (if you’re nervous like me, don’t worry about it too much), I hope you face it with a smile, because you’ve totally got this!

It’s so odd, I remember moving in to my dorm last September. It was crazy, my first year! I could hardly believe it! I was so shy that I stayed in my room all day until my roommate finally moved in later that night, we’d met a few weeks earlier and she was the only person I knew in my residence. I’d never been away from my parents more than a week (wasn’t a camp kind of kid) and had no idea what to expect from living in a dorm. It was a crazy year, filled with ups, downs, and a couple of 360 loops, but I’m here now, a year later, and I’ve become an entirely different person.

I sat down a couple days ago to write this post and didn’t exactly know what I wanted to say. I’ve written a lot over the last month about advice, and what you can do to be successful academically in university, but no amount of articles or tips will prepare you for the crazy so many of you are about to embark on. Even if you’re not going in to first year, and instead are stepping in to high school or middle school for the first time, the feeling is much the same. Everything is different, and there are so many unknown unknown’s that it’s overwhelming.

I guess if there’s anything I really want to tell you, it’s good luck, and I know this is going to be an incredible year for you! I hope you are faced with neat challenges and that you step out of your comfort zone, even if it’s just a tiny bit. I hope you make new best friends, go on adventures and make awesome memories with them, and I hope you make time to take care of your mind and body, that you get enough sleep every night, drink enough water every day and exercise even though it sucks some times!

This year, I hope you take a great big step towards becoming the person you want to be. Join a random club, talk to the girl sitting alone in the cafeteria, and study hard. It probably won’t be all fun and games, but even when it gets tough, I’m sure you’ll be able to soldier through.

If you’re looking for more detailed advice, here are some posts I’ve written about school:

Good luck to all you guys in this new school year! You’re all going to kill it!

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2016 // Get It Girl

2016 has become (to my surprise) a year of action. The “Get it Girl” year I’ve been pining for. The last few months of 2015 were incredibly trying for me and as New Years came and went, I decided I was sick of feeling powerless in the face of my life, like I didn’t have any sort of control over what was happening. The exact opposite is true of course, my life is in my hands, and the moment I realized that, everything changed.

I’ve made some lofty goals for myself, and while it isn’t impossible to implement them all, New Years resolutions have never been my forte. In an attempt to make sure I stick to all this good stuff, I decided to share them with you good people of the internet, not only to hold myself accountable, but to hopefully inspire one or two of you to stop saying “tomorrow” and finally do the things you’ve always wanted to (Nike was right guys, Just Do It).

One of my favourite Instagramers Karla Reed (a fabulous/hilarious/goals worthy mom and blogger) inspired me to follow in her tradition of picking a word/quality to focus on in the new year, and through some weird coincidence, we picked the same one: JOY. After a difficult 2015 full of changes and some not so great stuff, focusing on joy and cultivating self-love seemed like the perfect plan of action. When I say I want to focus on joy, I mean looking at the little things, the blue sky or chirping birds; finding and enjoying the beauty already in my life, more than I have been.

I’m excited to see what happens when I start appreciating these little joys more regularly and I’m excited to see who I’ll leave 2016 as. I’ve written a bit of an essay here (#sorrynotsorry) so bare with me here!

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Journal More

I recently started journaling because I’ve heard so much about it’s therapeutic effects, I figured if it helped me get things out on paper (something I often find difficult to do) it would be worth while. Journals aren’t judgmental, they aren’t going to yell at you for bad ideas, or bitchy thoughts. What they will do, is egg you on and never get tired of listening to your problems. You can go on and on about so-and-so and what’s-her-face without the thing batting an eyelid; essentially, it’s a cheap therapist.

While it’s been difficult to get into a steady journaling habit (university, need I say more?), the time I have taken to write, has been good. It’s been emotional, fun, healing and it’s let me figure out some things that I would’ve needed longer to process on my own. I hope that throughout the year, I can get in to a groove (even if it’s only writing a couple times a week) at the very least I can actually use all the pretty notebooks I’ve hoarded throughout the years!

Be More Active

This is probably the world’s most popular New Years resolution, and while I’ve said this every year since middle school, for some reason in 2016 I’ve finally acted on it. Miraculously, I now workout six days a week school permitting (my parents are just as surprised as I am). I’ll do a more in depth post on this change in my life at a later date but let me just say this: boy was Nike right when they said “Just Do It”. Honestly people, pushing yourself to get up and move is one of the most rewarding and productive feelings and I can only hope to keep my motivation up throughout the year!

Take More Me Time

Throughout my first year of uni, I’ve learnt that me time = sacred time. In between readings, homework, assignments, tests and like, a billion other commitments, the only me time students seem to work in regularly is checking social media or going to bed (if they’re even that lucky). This year I’m making me time a priority, be it taking an extra half hour before bed to do yoga and read a book, or an entire day to relax and do the things I love to do (shopping, eating, crafting…the list goes on).

I know as a student things pile up and taking time away from studying seems scary and impossible, but when you take a moment to clear your head and relax, it’s amazing how much more productive and motivated you’ll be when you come back to your to-do list (again, an in depth post about this is also on the way).

Be More Creative

It’s become my opinion that stress (read: school) kills creativity. There doesn’t seem to be any time to craft, or read, or write anymore and that makes me sad! While this one kind of goes with my “me time” goal, I’m also trying to find smaller ways to be creative. Taking more pictures of the beautiful things I see everyday, finding things that inspire me in the ordinary and not holding my life to unattainable standards, but enjoying it for what it is.

Creativity is, I believe, something you make yourself with what you have, and while Pinterest, magazines and the internet in general are great for inspiration, it’s also really easy to get caught up in comparing your peaches to someone else’s kiwis. All this fancy wording to say, I want to focus on my own form of creativity, my uniquely “Lauren” ideas, without worrying what anyone else thinks of them. This is certainly going to be easier said than done, but we’ll see what happens.

Surround Myself With Beauty

This is a pretty simple goal really. I’m already surrounded by beautiful people and places, but this year, I want to expand this a bit more to the little things (like fresh flowers and scented candles) and to my general life. I like to call myself a positive person, but in the last couple of years my positivity hasn’t been around much. In 2016 my goal is to purge the negative vibes/people/habits/shoes/clothes etc. from my life. Anything that doesn’t support or make me feel strong, has to go.

I think as I’ve gotten older this has been an easier thing to do. During my first semester of university, I was really hit with how temporary some things and people are, whether you want them to be or not, and while it’s hard and sad at first, I’ve learned to accept that sometimes, even when it feels crappy, getting all that bad stuff out is better in the end.

Cherish The Little Things

This is exactly what you think it is, no hidden meaning here. My mom has always been a big believer in “Gratitude Journals” so as part of my journaling goal I’d like to start doing this (maybe I’ll make a series on the blog?).

Find New Hobbies & Explore Them

This definitely ties to my creativity goal, but throughout the year I’ve found a love for sewing and working out (among other things) and really want to explore these hobbies and work them in to my life in a more significant way.

Appreciate The Wonderful People In My Life More

This is also pretty straight forward, but the world is so busy that sometimes amidst it all, we forget to take a moment and thank the people who help keep our heads above the water. I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing friends and family and I don’t tell them nearly enough how important they are to me. I definitely have to up my game here!

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So, those are my goals. I’m sorry this post was so wordy and essay like, but I really wanted to get in to (more for myself) the nitty gritty of this stuff, to explore it a little bit.

Do you have any goals for 2016? Let me know in the comments because I’d love to hear them!

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