Friday, October 28, 2011


“Every artist was first an amateur.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everyone starts out as an amateur, right? No one can start out being a professional in any career.  There are certain qualities that a person must obtain for specific careers.  Sometimes a person can get lucky. But, in geek speak, you cannot go from being a ‘noob’ to mastering the game within a short amount of time.  Unlike video games, where you can use cheat codes, life is pretty hard to "master."
Life would be much easier if it operated like the game The Sims. In the game, teenagers become adults and move effortlessly into the work force. Sadly, this could never be possible.  But would we really want it to be possible? I think not.  Although real life isn’t as addicting to play, the Sims is a computer game and you don’t get enjoyment or praises from your achievements there.
“Your sim got a promotion? Congrats. But still not as impressing as you getting a promotion!” Hint, hint; nudge, nudge. Take that as a way of them saying, "you haven't bathed/slept in days, get off the couch and go to work."
You’re naive if you believe that life is going to be easy; life is never going to be easy.  You can’t jump straight into a career once you graduate and get consistent promotions until you’re at the top of the food-chain.  You have to work hard to achieve greatness.  Think it's going to be handed to you on a silver platter? It’s not happening, buddy.  You’re not going to operate on your first day after you’ve just graduated from medical school, you have to work up to it. When you’re starting a career, you’re starting at the bottom.
As the quote at the top says, “every artist was first an amateur,” meaning that no one is going to start as a professional.  I am going to be starting my career as an amateur who has been practicing writing for a few years prior.  Will I have a novel published within a few days of having finished it? No. Will I be given a novel to edit within the first few days? Doubtful. We all start out as amateurs but we will work up to where we want to be in life.  Today I’m blogging but within the next ten years I may have a novel published.  What goals will you set for yourself?
"Success doesn't come to you, you go to it."
-Marva Collins

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." -Louisa May Alcott
Aspirations -- they’re different with everyone.  Mine just so happens to be similar to what I’m doing here:  writing.  Coming across this opportunity has turned out great for me; I’m doing what I love in my free time and practicing with my writing skills.  Many people aspire to do something great with their lives, but it’s all about how we get there.  The journey to our goal is just as achieving as the goal itself.
Writing has been a big part of my life since the age of thirteen, when I started writing fanfiction.  For those of you who do not know what a fanfiction is, it is a fan written story that is based off of a novel/movie/comic/TV show/etc that already exists.  I have experienced a lot through my years of writing fanfiction, including constructive criticism which can be your best friend and worst enemy at the same time.  The main thing I have learned, however, is that not everyone is going to like what you write and you have to deal with that.  The brutal honesty is that if you cannot handle criticism, then you shouldn't be a writer.
One thing that I experienced first hand is being told that I wouldn't succeed.  Downing someone's dream is pretty much the same as telling them that they’re not good enough.  When I first told my family what I wanted to do they all said the same thing, “why would you want to do that?” By saying that, it made me feel like my writing wasn’t up to standard and I was going to fail before I even started. Do not listen to them! I took everything they said as a challenge and look at where I am now.  I graduated high school with honors, I’m currently in the FSU's honors program, and I’m doing what I love.
Focus on your goals and plan to do what you love.  It doesn’t matter what others think or how far-fetched this aspiration seems to them.  I’m taking on my writing career one step at a time; first with fanfiction and now with blogging.  Every step you take is just one more piece added to the puzzle of your life.  For those of you out there who are following your dreams, what is your aspiration? And what steps are you taking, aside from school, to work toward this goal? Also, though I hope this hasn’t happened to any of you, has anyone ever doubted you?
"My favorite puzzle is trying to work out the parts myself, after all it is a solo effort. " -Adrian Belew

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” - Theodore Roosevelt.

“Failing will eventually result in more failure,” is what a concerned parent would tell their child while growing up.  We were taught from day one that failure is bad, that it would ruin our chances for a good future.  I see things differently now; I have learned that it is okay to fail. Without failure no one would succeed.  The path to success is not always as happy and clear as people would like to imagine, there are mistakes that must be made to lead us to where we want to be.
Imagine if someone has their life planned out:  what classes they’ll take in high school, where they’re going to college, what they’ll do for a living, etc.  They’ll see failure as the worst possible thing to happen to them, so they avoid it at all costs.  But really, they’re setting themselves up for failure.  Their plan would go accordingly until something would happen to throw them off.  Where would they go from there? They had never taken failure into consideration and so this small setback would ruin everything.
Failing can send us back on the right path if we want it to.  If you were never really sure about what career you want and end up failing in the one you pick, you know that it wasn’t the right one for you.  It’s the same with certain ways you choose to study for school; if your current technique isn’t working, you know to change it.  That’s what brought me onto the topic of failure:  my studying techniques.
My whole life I’ve been a ‘poor studier,’ avoiding it at all costs as if it were the plague; but I’ve always seemed to do fine on my exams... until now.  This failure, instead of being a setback for me, is pushing me to do better.  I now know that what I was doing before is not what I should have been doing.  Studying is a major part of classes and I had been lacking a lot in that department.  This failure has given me the motivation to change that part of myself and become a better student.  Sometimes it’s better to embrace the failure; after all, failure is what makes us human.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Perspective

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

People often say that “some things just come naturally.”  I often wonder about this saying and its meaning; my way of understanding it is that some things come easier than others.  I may be wrong about the meaning and its original intention, but everyone perceives things differently.  College feels natural to me and I’ve adapted to it pretty quickly, therefore I feel as though the phrase is right.
During high school I had the schedule where the same classes took place at the same time, everyday, for the whole week.  The administration obviously felt the schedule to be effective, because they continued to use it, but a person can get tired out if they have the same class schedule every day with no breaks in between. When students are tired and worn down, they tend to lose focus. My college schedule is better. It is similar to an A/B block schedule:  I have the same classes every other day.  When you compare the two, the A/B seems to look like the better schedule.  However, according to an article I read, high school teachers feel that the A/B scheduling “vastly overloads their students.”  Overloading a student is not the intention of any administration, though they may unintentionally do so.
Classes are probably the easiest part for me, seeing as almost all of my past classes were similar.  Most college classes, as I have seen, consist of lecturing/note taking.  I have been taking notes in classes since middle school, so it was fairly easy to keep up with.  When you take a class that you show no interest in, it’s a lot harder to follow along and take notes.  I absolutely hate history, possibly because of all the dates you have to remember.  I’ve never liked it; I’ve always been an English/math person.  One of my classes this semester is about learning the history of the area, which tires me out easily; luckily, I have an amazing brother who lent me his digital recorder.  Even if I lose concentration, I’ll always have what my Professor said recorded.  I recommend investing in a digital voice recorder (if you don’t already have one) in-case you can’t pay attention in class or don’t want to waste paper by taking notes.  Also, for those of you who own an iPhone, I’ve heard that there is a recording app you could just download rather than buy a recorder.
Although what I’m advising may help, if you just don’t like the class and think you may fail because of that -- drop it.  It’s a big decision, and don’t let me talk you into it, but considering it could be very helpful.  I deem it pointless to take a class when you feel like you’re going to fail, it’s a waste of your time and your education.  In addition, do not overload with classes.  For every credit you take, three hours of studying time is recommended.  For example:  seven classes with three credits for each; you would have twenty one credits total.  Imagine studying sixty three hours per week for seven classes! Seven classes may not seem like a lot at first, but think about the effects in the long run:  tons of homework (no free time), you may excel in one class but lack the enthusiasm to do so in another, and having seven finals! Finals are something that, despite who it is taking them, will not come naturally.  I’ve given my thoughts and wish you readers the best in whatever it is you decide.