Hi, friends! I’m currently bundled up under a super soft blanket listening to some Christmas tunes while I write this post. I hope everyone has had a lovely November, and in the spirit of reflection and practicing gratitude, I’m coming at you today with a recap of my month!
To sum up November, I would use three words: busy, challenging, and wonderful. Even though it has been an absolutely insane month work-wise at school, I’ve done a lot of super fun things that I’m beyond grateful for.
I took an absurd amount of exams this month. One goal I set for myself was to shift my standard of good. In high school, as ridiculous as it sounds, if I got less than a 95% on any assignment, I would be in tears for days. I know now that a level of perfectionism such as that is unhealthy. Since coming to college, I’ve been working just as hard, but accepting that as long as I’m trying my best and am happy, the grades will come. If I score a little lower on an exam than I was hoping, I just keep a smile on my face and instead focus on how hard I worked as well as how lucky I am to be here.
Papers have also taken off this month. Along with multiple 6-page papers on novels for my first year honors class, I had to write a really interesting but challenging research paper for my abnormal psychology class. I had to do a case study of a movie character, diagnosing them with a psychological disorder, analyzing treatment, and discussing the movie’s depiction of psychopathology.
One aspect of college I really love is that although the workload at times seems overwhelming, the assignments are usually purposefully challenging, and they are interesting. There is no busy work in college. Everything has intention, and I love working towards greater goals.
I went home for a lot of weekends in November, in part because of requirements and in part because I just needed time with my family. The more intense school becomes, the more we need to pull back and spend time with the ones we love. My mom, my sister, and I went to see A Bad Moms Christmas. Anyone who knows me knows just how obsessed I am with the movie Bad Moms, and the second movie was just as amazing! Love the cast. The next weekend, I ended up meeting my grandmother to go see it, since she wanted to see it and I had a free weekend!
Lindsay, my younger sister, and I had our classic, epic dance parties. Nothing beats dancing around the kitchen and living room and everywhere in between to music that is way too loud. I miss that lil’ bean while I’m at school. Also, whenever I’m home, she’s been braiding my hair for me, and then I come back to school with a head full of curls! (I normally have super straight hair, which I love, but it’s nice to switch things up).
My grandmother, one of my best friends, celebrated her birthday this month. We went out for dinner and it was a lovely evening!
Thanksgiving break rolled around (after the craziest two-day week ever! Featuring 3 exams, a quiz, and 3 papers due!) and my family headed to the beach. It was a phenomenal long weekend. We ate a ton, as we often do, and spent a lot of time just relaxing, wandering, shopping, and of course, taking ridiculous Snapchats every spare second.
Coming into college, I felt terrified that I wouldn’t make friends. However, I was wrong. One of my closest friends at school is Kerri, an absolute doll who knows me really well. We spend a lot of time doing homework together, but also take a large amount of spontaneous trips to Dunkin, to wander downtown Frederick, and more specifically, to eat at an Italian restaurant that is SO GOOD. She’s hilarious and kind and so smart.
Another of my closest friends, Dustin, is an amazing person. He is loyal and kind beyond belief, plus he is absolutely hilarious. He is so unabashedly himself all the time, and it’s so joyous to be around him.
I really love that in college, there are so many people to meet. If you ever feel lonely, you embrace the friends you have and always can try to make new ones. I’ve made lots of friends, and lost some along the way because we just didn’t have the same values, but it’s been a good learning experience!
November Life Updates
I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching and reflection. College is rich with opportunities to grow and change. I think I’m going to try being an English major instead of a science major. Before you say it: no, it’s not because science is too hard. Although it is a stressful and difficult subject, I’m doing well in my science classes. Rather, I’ve been exposed to opportunities in writing that light passion in me. I have professors, brilliant, kind people, who tell me they believe in me and think I should pursue something in writing. Oh, and psychology might be my second major. Psych is just so, so cool. I’m really lucky to have supportive parents who encourage me and push me to follow my dreams.
Some of you may know that I was accepted to a staff writing position for a local newspaper, the Emmitsburg News-Journal. It has been an amazing opportunity. I love every second of the meetings, the writing, the brainstorming, and the things I get to do because of it. Plus, it pays well, which is always a sweet bonus! If you are interested in reading my articles, check out the link here! (Click on Kaitlin Marks!)
I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip with the seminary at my school, in which we delivered Thanksgiving meal groceries to families in need in the communities nearby. It was an incredibly humbling, lovely experience, and I will absolutely do it again next year. Plus, I had the privilege of writing about the event for my school’s newspaper, the Mountain Echo.
Being in a place as beautiful and abundant with brilliance as the Mount brings about a sense of serenity. I have a professor who says a prayer for us, the students, and the world before each class. She cares deeply for every student on a personal level and is challenging, but in a good way.
Finally, right at the end of the month, Lindsay and I managed to pull off a sweet birthday surprise for my mom! We planned for Lindsay to take her out to breakfast on Thursday the 30th, her birthday. What she didn’t have any clue about? I showed up! I think it worked out really well and I hope she loved it. Happy birthday, Mom! Hope you know how much we love you.
I got to attend an alumni banquet for a historic high school in Emmitsburg and interview alumni (the lady I interviewed was the coolest and so inspiring and smart!).
Spending time exploring downtown Frederick. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s there, but it’s a great time!
Kitchen dancing, and movie nights.
Spending a lot of time writing. It soothes my soul.
Being back at the beach.
Time with my puppies.
Coming home to a surprise: lindsay decorated my room for Christmas!
I hope that everyone has had a lovely November! I’m so excited for what December will bring. Thank you for reading.