Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I have completed my first year at Appalachian State University. This is my memoir.

Leah and I moved in our dorm room on August 21, 2009. East Hall, room 14, sub floor. Classes started August 25, and we had a massive shaving cream fight the next day. I soon realized that the residents of the sub floor were awesome, and I will never be able to thank them enough for making my freshman year so unforgettable.

While the weather was still warm, we spent a lot of time outside. We took multiple road trips to the Parkway, Hebron Falls, Beacon Heights, and Howard's Knob. We went to all the home football games (rain or shine, freezing cold or blazing hot), screamed our lungs out, wore eye black, and fell in love with some guy named Armanti Edwards. We became obsessed with Mario Kart, formed a hatred for all the hills on campus, learned just how much East was haunted, and became indifferent to rain. We climbed trees, played frisbee, watched the leaves change colors, carved pumpkins, and dressed up for Halloween. We watched meteor showers, played Twister and Catchphrase, and built snowmen. Some went diving through the snow with nothing but shorts and flip flops. Somehow, we managed to squeeze in going to classes. We baked cookies and had movie nights because it was too cold to do anything else, we had a hall-wide secret snowflake gift exchange, and then we went home for winter break.

We celebrated the new year with our loved ones back home, we risked our lives sledding down Suicide Hill, we had snowball fights, and we realized just how handy a hack-saw is. Some attempted to build an igloo in 45 mph winds at 10 oclock at night, others actually finished an igloo when the conditions were better. We called the snow hotline every morning before we got out of bed, we rejoiced when our classes were canceled, and we blissfully went back to sleep. We learned that 35 degree weather really isn't that bad, and 45 degrees meant a t-shirt and shorts. We feared for our lives walking under two-feet-long icicles, we celebrated (or boycotted) Valentine's Day, and we went to exotic places over spring break. We watched as the flowers began to bloom, and as the whole campus came alive again. Then, suddenly, we went home for good.

To me, Appalachian is perfect in every way, shape, and form. The people are awesome, the food isn't half bad, the weather is bipolar, the mountains are absolutely gorgeous. No matter how many times I try, I'm unable to comprehend how great Boone is. I know for certain that the friends I made will last a lifetime, and can only hope that my next three years at App will be as fulfilling as the first.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Bad news: 
1. Caleb and I aren't together anymore. I told him I wasn't feeling the same way about him as I once had, and that people grow and change and find out more about themselves and what they want in someone else... I know I tore his heart apart, but I'm glad that we're still able to be friends.
2. My mom and step-dad bought a house in Richmond. They'll be moving in within the next month. Until then, our house in Lowell will sit emptily until someone makes an offer on it.
3. My cat Checkers has oral cancer and only has a few months to live, according to the vet. I'd rather not talk anymore about this though.

Good news:
1. I got accepted into Appalachian State University! Aaaaand, I got into the honors program.  I actually did a little dance when I got the letter in the mail.
2. I love psychology.  I'm taking it at school because Gaston College was offering it, and I love love love every minute of it.  The teacher, the material, everything.
3. I'm graduating high school in less than 80 days.  It's so hard to believe, but I am so ready for it.
4. I'm learning to live life to the fullest and forgive anyone that would hold me back from doing so.  My friends mean so much to me, and I appreciate every second that I get to spend with them.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy New Year!

Photo taken on January 1st, 2009, three seconds into the new year -- Caleb and I played with sparklers and drank sparkling white grape juice while we watched 5,500 firecrackers go off in our yard. Donovan, Holly (his girlfriend), my dad, Caleb, & I all celebrated New Year's at my dad's house. We played Apples to Apples and ate and waited and watched movies till midnight.

Christmas was great. I got a Nikon D60, Uggs, a red pea coat, an art easel, Sweeney Todd on DVD (!!!!), gift cards, money, Burt's Bees stuff, lotion with minerals from the Dead Sea, & much much more. It was by far the best Christmas I've ever had.

On January 5th -- also, the first day back to school -- I went to Hugh's Eagle Scout ceremony in Belmont. Kristen, Leah, Sean, Mrs. Clagg, Mrs. Ward, & his troop were all there. I got to meet his family, too! Hugh asked me to bless the food -- which was was abundant and delicious -- and we all had a really good time.

Two weeks vacation: that's what I get because of exam exemptions. The school changed the schedule because of Obama's inauguration, though I don't know why it would have really mattered if we took an exam on the 20th anyways. Oh well.

What am I going to do for two weeks? I'd usually just sit around and enjoy the time we have off, but that's what I did over Christmas break. I'm planning on visiting App with Leah and maybe going skiing while we're up there, but that's only for a day or two. My dad's taking us out to Charlotte Restaurant Week one night next week, but I guess two more weeks of boredom is inevitable.

Since we're starting a new semester, I won't have Yearbook anymore. I'm going to miss it. I'll probably even miss the stress of deadlines and inadequate captions and sellings ads. I'm still the editor and everything, but it sucks knowing that I can't be there for people when they need me. I know Moon can handle it because she's been doing it for so long, but I hate that I can't be there for me when she gets stressed out. To my staff: I love you, and good luck next semester.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We're on Christmas break. Thank God.

College applications & scholarships are done. I want to go to Appalachian and major in Arts Management. I want to own my own art gallery one day. I'm excited about my future. But I don't want to leave my friends. I don't the only communication we have to be through Christmas cards that are sent once a year. I want to move in with my friends and I want us to all grow up together and have fun. But that's not what reality tells me. Reality tells me that we're never going to see each other again after high school.

I think I want a different life than the one I have now. I want to be free to do what I want, whenever I want to. I don't want anything holding me back from being who I want to be. John Mayer said that gravity is working against me. But I suppose it's wanting more that's going to send me to my knees. I'm ready to grow up. I'm ready for liberty.

I just want to fast-forward my life to five years from now, so that I'll be out of college and hopefully in a steady job. But then again, there are just too many uncertainties to know what I'll want and who I'll be five, ten, twenty years down the road. I guess I'm expecting too much from myself. I know I'm not going to live with my friends when I grow up. I'll probably wind up in some one bedroom apartment out in the middle of some city, surrounded by strange sights and sounds and smells and people. I want to have fun and be free while I'm still young.

But I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Things are changing.  Seasons, priorities, worries, and life in general.

With the weather getting colder, I think about stuff more.  I don't know, it just happens.  Usually during the summer, everyone's so caught up on having a good time and living carpe diem, there's no time to think about the future.  Now, I'm forced to think about my future; college application deadlines are fast approaching.  Neither spending hours and hours on CFNC nor talking to my guidance counselor at school has helped me figure out what I'm going to do for the rest of my life.  I see people around me already getting accepted into schools and getting scholarship money, and I just get depressed.  I know I'm going to college somewhere, but I just don't know what I'm going to study or how I'm going to get there.  The lack of prayer probably plays a big role in my uncertainty.  Why can't a lightbulb just come on?

On top of the college stress, senioritis is already kicking in.  I'm taking 2 AP classes this semester: English 12 and Calculus.  Yearbook II and Spanish II fill the other 3 hours of my school day.  I'm the editor of the yearbook this year, so that just makes it even more stressful.  Talk about a tough semester.  I wish I could just fast-forward to second semester; then I'll have easier classes and all the college stuff done.  But then again, I don't want to miss these last few months of high school.  I want to appreciate them and take advantage of all the time I can get with my friends before I have to leave them next fall, you know?

More and more, I'm beginning to see people I love and care about go down the wrong path.  At church, they'll put on their Christian t-shirt and claim to follow the ways of the Creator.  They look and act like a real Christian during the worship.  They'll play the part quite well.  Once they're out in the real world, though, things change.  They begin to compromise their morals; after a certain point, their standards will be out the window.  They say, "I can control what I'm doing, so I know when to stop," or "It's good to experience these types of things just to see what it's like."  Too bad that's what they thought a few months ago, when they started this whole mess.  When a person gets a certain distance away from the straight and narrow path of righteousness, they see no point in trying to get back on the right track.  "We've gone this far, so what's it gonna hurt if we go a little farther?"  Look: if you're going to conform to the world's standards and break the rules of morality, don't say you're a Christian.  You give those of us who actually want to pursue God's Will for our lives a bad name.  If I could get rid of one thing in the world, it would be the hypocritical attitudes of people who claim to be "followers of Christ."  Give up trying to lead a two-way life; quit riding the fence.  Save yourself--and the rest of us--some trouble and pick one.  But remember: whichever you choose, God's judgement awaits you.  

I just needed to get this out. 

Monday, August 11, 2008


I just got back from our beach trip to the Outer Banks a few days ago. I went with my dad, my brother Donovan, & my bff Morgan. It was absolutely fantastic!

The 8-hour ride over there was definitely boring, but the last half of it was more bearable; Donovan, Morgan, and I watched Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on his laptop. (If you haven't seen that movie yet, I highly suggest you go find it and WATCH IT NOW!) And by the time we got finished watching it, we could see the ocean. Since we didn't take a ferry to get there, we just drove all the way down the Outer Banks to this little town called Frisco (right outside of Hatteras), where we had rented a house for the week. The house was called "Fin & Tonic." Haha.

The first few days, we all went out on the beach for boogie boarding. Our little house was only about 4 lots back from the ocean, so we didn't have to drive anywhere. Except when Daddy & Dono wanted to go to the Hatteras beach to catch waves (they're die-hard boogie board fanatics). Me & Morgan usually slept till 9 or 10 everyday while they went out. (We're die-hard sleeping late fanatics). On Wednesday, we walked out on the pier, and I dropped my chapstick in the ocean. Talk about total heartbreak.

On Thursday night, me & Morg took a walk on the beach at night, where we met two guys named Jusin Vanstaalduinen & Will Miedema. They were cousins down there with their family, who apparently takes trips to the Outer Banks every summer. This was going to be one of the last few weeks they had of freedom before they started their first year of college (Will at Michigan State, Justin at ECU). So we hung out with them for a while, caught some white crabs (which were EVERYWHERE; I think I ended up accidentally stepping on 3 of them), and headed back to the house.

Friday, we ate at a place called the Gingerbread House. Ironically enough, their main food was pizza. But it was good pizza, so I'm not complaining. Friday night consisted of packing and cleaning, and so did Saturday morning. Check-out was at 9:00. I slept most of the ride back, waking only to eat and drive. But all in all, it was a really great, relaxing vacation, and I'm sure me & Morgan will never forget it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I often long for the simpler days.

Back in middle school, when you weren't so pressured to give in to society. Back in third grade, when the biggest thing you had to worry about was learning your multiplication tables. Back in kindergarten, when you became best friends with a kid who you played Legos with for a day. Yes, those were the days.

Some people say simplicity is overrated. They demand to have countless things going on in their life, to constantly be multi-tasking, or else they'll get bored. And I say to them, When was the last time you sat down, chilled out, and just enjoyed life? When was the last time you laid out in your backyard and watched the stars? When was the last time you went down to the lake to simply appreciate the beauty of God's creations? I know summers can get busy with work and camps and going to the movies and hanging out with friends, but everyone needs to have a quiet time sooner or later. Our bodies can only take so much physical, emotional, and mental strain before it gives out. We need constant refueling. And that's where God comes in.

God is the Giver of life, the Restorer of souls, the Redeemer of the fallen. Don't be afraid to call out to Jesus in your time of need. He knows you better than you know the back of your hand. He knows how you overwork yourself, and brush off the necessity of good ol' R&R. He knows when you've fallen away from Him because you're "too busy" to give Him the time of day. The greatest happiness you'll ever find is for the Holy Spirit to dwell inside you. But it's impossible to find that completeness if we're always caught up in fitting in with the crowd and giving in to the pressures of society. God created us to want to feel loved and accepted, and we think that we can find that satisfaction in earthly things. We constantly try anything and everything to fill that yearn of ours, whether it's in a boyfriend or girlfriend or partying hard with friends. And in the process of searching for the ultimate high, we overwork ourselves and forget what we were truly and simply made to be: lovers of Jesus.

I think it's about time we realized that complexity and over-scheduling isn't what life is about. Take the time to appreciate the simple luxuries of life. A bird singing outside your window in the morning, sleeping in and snoozing for an hour, your favorite ice cream on sale at Bi-Lo, the sunshine warming your spirits as you take a stroll through the park, a family of ducks swimming across the lake, a beautiful sunset, city lights twinkling in the night, a shooting star, the reflection of the moon on the river. Whether you realize it or not, God's presence is everywhere. He still works miracles. He's the love to the broken, and He's the joy in the sadness.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy one of the greatest things God has blessed us with: