Hello everyone! So I finally concurred one of my biggest fears and got into the music studio to record some music. Click the link above to listen to a cover of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” from the Bioshock Infinite Soundtrack, as preformed by three fellow Marywood Students. Accompanying me on this track are Joey Kane- vocals and guitar and Bob Hannon- vocals.

Well it’s official. School has been back in session for a total of two weeks now. I’d like to say that it’s been an easy transition, going back to the life of an average college junior, but it hasn’t. Much like last semester I find myself facing a tremendous amount of work. In the last two weeks I’ve finished two novels, and the better part of two large lengthy in depth text books. As if reading, papers, and group projects wasn’t enough, this semester I’ve been given a challenge in my voice lessons. I’ve been given 2 arias, (one in Italian and one in French) another French piece, a German piece, a Spanish song cycle, and a Broadway piece. I’ve also been given the task of performing in a general recital on campus (to most people I guess this wouldn’t be all that big of a deal, but I on the other hand am petrified of singing in front of people so you can see the problem this is creating here). While I’m always up to facing a challenge, you can see that my stress level is already at an all time high.

Also making this transition harder is the weather. Negative temperatures make leaving ones warm, cozy bed almost impossible. On the same note walking completely around campus (students have to take a major detour trying to walk around campus as there is a giant pit in the middle of our school grounds that’s currently fenced off due to the construction of our new library) when it’s this cold outside isn’t a task looked at fondly by any student.

While the transition hasn’t been an easy one, I can honestly say that I’m happy to be back on campus. I’ve missed my friends, and I’ve missed learning (yes I’m aware that I’m a bit of a nerd). I’ll be trying my best to stay positive, stay motivated, and most importantly stay warm. I suggest you do the same my fellow readers.

Keep Calm & Carry On

~Erica

Photo One: My Hello Kitty tree on display in my bedroom.
Photo Two: The lovely presents I received from my boyfriend.
Photo Three: My Uncle Jeff and I show off our new Christmas hats. Photo One: My Hello Kitty tree on display in my bedroom.
Photo Two: The lovely presents I received from my boyfriend.
Photo Three: My Uncle Jeff and I show off our new Christmas hats. Photo One: My Hello Kitty tree on display in my bedroom.
Photo Two: The lovely presents I received from my boyfriend.
Photo Three: My Uncle Jeff and I show off our new Christmas hats.

Photo One: My Hello Kitty tree on display in my bedroom.

Photo Two: The lovely presents I received from my boyfriend.

Photo Three: My Uncle Jeff and I show off our new Christmas hats.

I write this enjoying the last six days of my winter break, while an impending blizzard approaches. I can’t believe we’re already two days into the new year and that our spring semester of school starts in less than a week. Time really does fly when you’re having fun.

So I’ve been asked “What have you been doing over break? How have you been spending your time?”

Well I worked a lot. I’m still doing two part time jobs. While the holiday rush was indeed chaotic, I was blessed to receive a promotion at my second job. My sales lead and cashier team gave it their all and together we were able to breeze through the last minute Christmas shoppers.

When I wasn’t working I finally found some time to spend with my boyfriend. We exchanged gifts and spent out time together watching countless movies. One of the presents my boyfriend bought me was the Sims 3 video game for my computer, so much of my free time as been spent there.

My Christmas Eve and Christmas were spent with all of my family members from both my mom and dads family. It was nice to sit down with everyone and catch up on things. I feel like we often take family meals and family gatherings for granite. When instead we should cherish those moments, cherish them for all they are worth, because eventually we’ll no longer have those family dinners (or the dinners the way we always remembered them). I received some great gifts from my family and my sister who really surprised me. Her gift to me was a makeup set I’ve wanted for a long time, something I know she saved for a while to be able to get me.

This week has been spent ordering school books, emailing professors, preparing for the upcoming semester, and trying to make plans around the nasty winter weather we’re currently facing. It’s crazy to think this time next week I’ll be back in school doing what I love most.

Cherish your time with your family and loved ones my fellow Pacers. We head back to The Wood in 6 short days. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014 and a great spring semester everyone!

Keep Calm & Carry On

~Erica

So I guess I’ll go back a month and talk about finals week, or what I remember of finals week.

This semester was the roughest one I’ve ever had. I’ve been told that your Junior year of college is the hardest. I didn’t believe what I was told until I got about three weeks into this semester. Then I realized 18 credits were not going to be as easy as I originally planned. Many nights were spent reading novel after novel, practicing major and minor chords for my music class, and of course writing paper after paper. The perks of being an English Major.  I could often be found napping on a couch in our student lounge, my poor boyfriend serving as not only as someone to sit next to but he also made for the perfect pillow.

Finals week came. Study guides were completed. Final papers were handed in along with final projects. Free time was non existent. Text messages went unanswered. I pretty much went into lock down mode. I didn’t slept (much), I ate just about as much as I slept, and my stress level was over the top. However despite almost having a complete breakdown and throwing in the towel completely I stayed strong.

So how did I do this semester? I passed all of my classes (lowest grade being a C-) and had a 3.1 GPA. Proof that hard work, dedication, and large volumes of Wild Cherry Pepsi can get you through anything. You just have to give it your all sometimes, make ultimate sacrifices.

The Spring semester starts in less than a week. While I’ll be sad to see break go, I’ll be happy to be reunited with the friends I’ve been deeply missing. I love school. I love learning, so even though I know I’m going to go right back to being stressed I can’t wait to get back to work and accomplish all that I can.

Finals week and Winter Break got the better of me. However my fellow followers don’t fret. I’m back in action and here to pick up the pieces of where I left off the last time I made a post.

Yesterday unofficially was the start to our Thanksgiving Break (I say unofficially because school was let out early due to expected bad weather). Regardless of that fact today marks day one of our “official”  Thanksgiving Break. Being that Thanksgiving is tomorrow I’ve been asked the age old question by many family members and friends “What are you most thankful for this year?” Typically I answer the same way every year. I’m of course thankful for my family. I’m thankful to be going further with my education, having a roof over my head, having two jobs, nice clothes to wear, and a bed to sleep in at night.

This year however I’ve had to face a number of different challenges in my life. So yesterday when I was asked “What are you most thankful for this year?” I completely switched the context and changed the question all together. My change came to “WHO are you most thankful for this year?” While I’m still grateful for my family, my home, jobs, and education this year proved to me that I’m grateful for four very important people in my life: Bob, Jim, Desiree, and Kaitlyn.

These four have helped me through so much. From homework to personal issues I know whenever I need help these four are just a phone call or text message away. Every morning I’m greeted to text messages, Snapchats, andimage

Facebook posts. I couldn’t ask for a better support group even if I tried. I love them all so much. <3

So my fellow readers, instead of taking the time out over the course of the next couple days to list WHAT you are thankful for, maybe take that same time to think of WHO you are thankful for instead. Those people might not even know how much they mean to you. Make them aware.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and Break everyone!

Keep Calm & Carry On

~Erica

I was battered black and blue, but you got, you got me through.”

The last two weeks of my life have honestly been the roughest weeks of my life. I always thought it was just a rumor when people would come up to me and tell me that “Your Junior year of college is the most difficult one.” But I can now confirm that this is in fact a solid truth and is by no means a faulty rumor or a lie. I’m currently balancing an 18 credit semester (which qualifies me as a full time student), 2 part time jobs, a social life (or sometimes my lack of one), a new relationship (which is awesome by the way), and continue to play my role as group mom (this will be explained later on in the post). Needless to say my work load the last two weeks was overwhelming. Pile on top of that the aspect of two jobs and you have a recipe for disaster. It also didn’t help that earlier last week one of my closest friends wound up in the hospital. Now I know that it sounds like I’m complaining about my life. But in all actuality I’m doing the opposite. While the last two weeks of my life have been brutal they’ve also shown me how truly lucky I am, and here’s why:

My Friends: I honestly have an AMAZING group of friends. While it’s true that we constantly make fun of one another, at the end of the day we are one big family. I’m typically classified as the “mother” of the group. I’m always listening to everyone’s problems, and giving advice and hugs. Bi-Weekly we try to get together and do something fun, it might be bowling or going to a movie, but the end result is always us going out for a “family dinner”. This last week an event occurred that brought us all even closer together. The quote in bold that started off this post sums up how grateful I am for this incredible group of people, without them I honestly wouldn’t have made it.

Incredible Professors: It’s comforting to know that there are professors you can rely on. Last week proved that to me in more ways than one. I went into the office of my favorite professor pretty much in tears. She sat me down, let me vent about all of my problems and assured me that everything would be okay. I left feeling so much better about EVERYTHING in my life. You hear so man horrible stories about awful college professors, ones who don’t genuinely care for their students, let alone learn their name or their problems. I’m beyond blessed to say that I have such a professor in my life, and am even more blessed to say that she’s not the only one in my life. A good majority of my professors are some of the most understand and compassionate people I have ever come into contact with.

Thanksgiving Break is just around the corner. The semester is winding down. Soon all the added stress and never ending pile of school work will be temporarily eliminated. So my fellow readers, take the time out now or over break to realize what it is that you’re thankful for. The little things sometimes mean the most, we often don’t realize it until too late.

Stay Positive.

Keep Calm & Carry On

~Erica

Many of you have asked me what kind of music I like, being that I’m a music minor and all. To be honest my taste in music is vast. Currently this is one of my favorite songs.

The Killers-Shot At The Night

The question I was asked most frequently over the course of this week has been “Erica, how are you?” My answer to this question has been consistent from both my friends to professors.

I can honestly say that I’m wonderful. I finally recovered from my battle with laryngitis and am able to sing once again. Tomorrow I go back to work at both jobs after enjoying some much needed and appreciated time off.  I’ve been working extra hard this semester, honestly giving it all that I’ve got, (sure I’ve missing many needed hours of sleep, and my load of school work keeps growing as the semester draws to a close). Despite the complaints of many of my fellow class mates I was actually able to register for all the classes I needed for the upcoming Spring semester without any massive problems. It only took me a good majority of the semester but I’ve finally found a balance between school, family life, and having a social life.

So guys, I know things are tough. There are only four weeks left to the semester and it’s crunch time. But we all have to look past our massive work loads and stress levels. There are SO many things to be thankful for everyday, some of those things being those that we would normally take for granite. This weekend, take the time to appreciate the little things. Maybe your mom will make you a sandwich or your room mate will help you study for that philosophy exam you have on Monday morning. Your boyfriend might watch your favorite movie with you, or maybe you’ll join your family and eat a meal together.

Regardless of what events take place in your life this weekend, appreciate at  least one of them, if not all of them. You never know how quickly the things you hold so dear to you could so easily be taken away. So next week when someone asks you “How are you?” I want your response to be “Wonderful”.

~Keep Calm & Carry On

-Erica