Lifestyle · Personal

Luna; The kitty that made me a cat mom

It was November 17th when my roommate moved out. She was taking her cat Angel back with her to her new place. I’ve only lived with her a few months at this point, but having her take away her pet that I became so close to, sucked.

I was sad that there wasn’t a pet around to play with, cuddle with, and take care of. I love animals, especially cats. I haven’t had my own cat since I was younger.

I remember being so sad, and my boyfriend turned around, looked at me and said, ‘you wanna go to Petsmart?’

My eyes lit up. I knew what he meant by ‘going to Petsmart’. We were going to get a kitty. Weeks before, we were looking at cats at shelters and Petsmart because I wanted to get one so bad. My roommate’s cat had feline leukemia, so I couldn’t have another cat of my own around hers. We were looking for one to get once she moved out, but couldn’t find the right cat.

We decided to head to Petsmart and start looking again that night for another cat.  I couldn’t contain my excitement. We drove up to the store and my heart was already beating fast in anticipation.

We get there and I run inside to the cat section. And there. she. was.

She was curled up in a bed. I always feel so bad when I see cats in shelters because they have such small living spaces. She was curled up in her bed in her little cage. I didn’t even care, all I knew is that I wanted to take her home with me.

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They let us interact with her for a bit, but I knew I wanted her right away. They told us that she had feline herpes, to see if we still wanted her. I didn’t care. It’s easy to help control. But it broke my heart when they said she was returned because of this condition. Feline herpes happens, but it doesn’t mean the cat is defective.

We purchased all of her items, got her a carrier, even a cute little heart shaped name tag. We took her home to welcome her to her new life with us.

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The first night we had Luna. 

I’ve had Luna for almost a year now. We’ve dealt with ear mites, a move into a whole new apartment, and many other adventures and experiences. I love cats, and I love my kitty. It’s nice to have a pet that will always be there to comfort you, and cuddle you. People might think that cats are just ‘stupid animals’ but they’re not. They’re so much more. Adopt your own kitty and see what I mean.

-ss

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Personal

I suffer from a mental illness. #EndTheStigma

Trigger Warning// Self-harm & Depression.

“My name is Sara. I’m 23 years old and I suffer from social anxiety, general anxiety disorder, and depression,” I typed into the Twitter text box, then paused. Should I be so open about my mental illnesses? I have always been shamed about it, or told to be quiet. 

It is hard to talk about mental illnesses. Some people can be quite accepting and helpful when we tell them; for others, it is a different story. 

When I was 19 years old, I decided to finally ask my doctor about my anxiety and depression. For years, I just thought I was over sensitive and sad. I was always told to ‘just get over it’. Well, I figured if it hasn’t gone away in 7 years, there must be a problem. 

I talked to my doctor and she prescribed me a generic version of Zoloft. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office trying to explain my depression and anxiety to her. It was hard trying to open up to someone. Especially someone I’m not really close to. It honestly made me tear up. After the appointment, I felt better though. I felt like I was actually making an effort to control my illness. 

At this point in life, I was still living with my mom. Little did I know, I forgot my pharmacy called my mom’s house phone once the prescription was ready. She knew I had just picked up my birth control the other day so she knew it was something else. She asked me what it was, and I told her it was medication for my anxiety and depression. What she said still hurts till this day, honestly. “You’re too young to have depression. What problems do you have?”  

It hurt a lot knowing that even my own mother refused to acknowledge my problems. I wanted to get help, but at this point I felt stupid for asking for help. Asking for help is hard sometimes.  

I wanted to go see a therapist, to see if that would help me. But, living with my mom still, I was unsure where to look. What places would take my insurance? Would my mom find out and get mad at me again? 

I stayed on the Zoloft for about a year until I tried to convince myself I didn’t need antidepressants, because people made me feel bad for using them. I was even involved with a guy who told me I didn’t need them, because ‘you can heal depression naturally’. Ok. 

So I stopped taking the pills. Did I get better? Of course not. 

It seemed to just get worse. I ended a not-so-great relationship. I never felt good enough, I hated myself, and he cheated on me, which lead me to self-harm because I never felt good enough. I hate the feeling of not feeling like enough for someone. After ending the relationship, things got somewhat better. I then moved, and homesickness got to me. I moved three hours away from home to pursue my college degree. I felt lonely because I didn’t have many friends for a while when I first moved here. I was lonely, exhausted, and homesick. I didn’t get out much. 

This past winter, seasonal depression hit me hard. I failed a class the previous Fall semester, I hated what I was majoring in, and other emotions. I had no motivation to do anything over Christmas Break, I didn’t have much money to my name, and I couldn’t buy many Christmas gifts for my loved ones. I spent most of Winter taking long naps in my comfy bed. I didn’t want to leave home. Self-harm happened some days.

This past March, I finally saw a therapist. I found a doctor in my new town that took my insurance, and a therapist who worked on site at the doctor’s office as well. My new doctor tested some new antidepressants on me. I am now currently on 20 mg of Lexapro, which has helped me out a ton. I started seeing the therapist, and it was very hard at first to talk to someone I didn’t even know, about my problems.  

 In no means am I cured of my depression, anxiety or social anxiety, but I’m trying every day.

——-

 Depression is hard. It doesn’t just go away. It’s hard to wake up, it’s hard to get out of bed, it’s hard to have any motivation. I felt this way for years, I get it.  I guess the whole point of this post is to end the stigma. We shouldn’t have to hide the fact or acted ashamed because we have depression. Over 3 million people worldwide suffer from depression. You can be a teenager, young adult, or even older and suffer from this disease. I’m not “proud” or anything that I have depression, but I want people to know they are not alone. If one person talks about it, it can be easier for the next person. It could even encourage said person to seek help, if they are too afraid to.  

Talking about our problems can help. It was hard for me at first to talk about my depression to anyone, but it shouldn’t have to be. 

 

-ss

College Life · Personal

It’s OK to Work All Summer.

Lately this summer, I’ve been a little bitter. I’ll admit it.

I’ll log on to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and I’ll see one of my many social media friends who are on vacation. There are pictures of them drinking mojitos on the beach in Italy, Greece, or some other country that seems like a magical paradise I will never be able to see myself. (Well, hopefully I will one day.)

Every time I saw one of these posts; I rolled my eyes. How dare they have fun while I’m at work all day.  I even picked up a second job over summer break, because I just wasn’t busy enough. Also, I wanted extra money to actually pay off my debts. For the first few weeks, I was bummed because everyone around me seemed to be having exciting summer adventures, or going to concerts, or going on exquisite vacations.

I was pretty annoyed by these posts for the first part of my summer, but I got over it. I’m still jealous though. They’re lucky to get the opportunity to vacation in such beautiful places.

I had to keep telling myself; It’s okay to be busy all summer. It’s okay to save up money. It’s okay to work hard all summer.

I graduated high school 5 years ago in June. (Go Class of 2013!) Ever since then, I’ve had a job. Every summer, I’ve had to work. My friends would ask me to go hang out with them, but sadly I would always have to reply “Can’t, I’m at work rn.” It sucked, but you get used to it.

Every summer, I get bummed because I’m busy working, trying to save up money for the next college semester. But I have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay.

It’s okay to be busy all summer. Sure, you may not be having as much fun as everyone else, but in the end it will pay off. I’ll have more money saved up. I’ll be able to focus more on college when the semester starts. I’ll also be able to afford more things if I work more.

If you’re working one, two, or maybe even three jobs this summer. Try to stay positive. There are plenty of people out there who are in the same boat.

We got this.

College Life · Lifestyle

10 Websites & Apps You Should Check Out If You’re In College

Hi everyone! Today I’m going over my list of favorite websites. Some are great for college itself, and others are just personal favorites of mine at the moment.

  1. Goodreads.com: This is the perfect social media website for book lovers. You can find new books, create lists for books you’ve read, want to read, or are currently reading. You can also add people you know to see what they’re reading and suggesting.
  2. Quizlet.com: A lifesaver during exams. Create flashcards for classes, lectures, chapters, etc. You can share them with others to help them as well, or search for other peoples flashcard sets, and maybe you’ll already find some made up.
  3. Grammarly.com: This website is great, especially if you have trouble with editing and spelling. You can also download the Google Chrome app to have Grammarly spellcheck everything you type up online as well.
  4. Ratemyprofessors.com: A popular choice among us college students, this website lets you see reviews of professors from the college of your choice. Search up a professor for a class you are registered for to see what you are in for. Past students review professors to help the people of the future out. (It’s saved me a few times.)
  5. Canva.com: If you are in need of graphics for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any social media website, this is your place to start. You can also create designs for flyers, brochures and more. It’s great for organizations, and it’s free to use!
  6. 8fit.com : Also an app for your phone, 8fit will help you record your workouts, meals, etc. It will also remind you to work out every day you set a schedule. This app also gives set workouts for you to do at home as well.
  7. Easybib.com:  Need help on how to cite your sources? Easybib.com can do just that. We all have to write papers during our college career; Easybib can help you format all your sources if you aren’t sure how to do so.
  8. Mint.com: Also an app, this website helps us track our expenses, our bills, and our money. We could all use help budgeting, and this app is perfect for college kids.
  9. GroupMe: This app is the perfect tool for when you’re put into that group of random people you don’t know, but you all want to get your project done. Use group me to communicate and send pictures. I used it for my last group project because we couldn’t meet up in person all the time.
  10. Honey.com: Add this application to your Google Chrome browser, and start saving money. Honey collects coupon codes for websites you use for shopping, and when you go to check out, Honey will calculate the best coupon code for your purchases. I’ve actually saved quite a bit over the years using this website.
College Life · Lifestyle · Personal

Dear younger self…

Don’t be in a hurry.

I know you’re an independent girl. You want to grow up, move out of your parents house, get your own apartment. You can do whatever you want– even eat cookies for breakfast!

But, it’s not as amazing as it sounds. Sure, cookies for breakfast is great, if you can afford the cookies.

For the love of God, don’t get more than one credit card. You’ll regret it in the end. Trust me.

You don’t need the newest iPhone. You don’t even need the iPhone. Just get a phone.

College is a great experience. ‘Put your stamp on the world.’ But, don’t let a boy hold you back from going to the college of your dreams. He won’t even be around to see you succeed and graduate, anyway.

Speaking of college– pick a major that makes you happy. Not what your parents want you to do, or the world wants you to do. Everyone is a doctor now days. Be different.

Couponing is good. No, it’s not just an old lady thing.

Find a man who is willing to support you. Not one that wants to take everything from you.

Don’t listen to what other people say. Do what feels right in your heart, and listen to your own judgement. After all, it’s your life, not theirs. You’re going to live it. So do it the way you want.

 

 

College Life · Personal

“Tattooed Love Boys.”

A poem.

“You were the first to talk to me.

You were the first to add me on Facebook.

I knew you added me because you wanted something from me.

You messaged me first.

“Hey, what’s up?”

Casual opening line.

We send messages throughout the day.

You send subtle hints towards me.

“Going to the gym is a good work out, but I know a better way of losing fat.”

You think I’m naive.

You think I don’t know what you want from me.

You message me everyday until I tell you to come over.

You come over at 8 a.m.

You sneak in my room so you don’t wake up my roommates.

I play indie music so they don’t hear any noises.

You change the music to rap music.

“I’m from Flint. I grew up with this music.”

I liked the indie music better.

You take off your shirt. I see all the tattoos you hide under your work uniform.

“Fuck,” I think to myself. I love tattoos.

You get underneath my purple comforter. My heart beat increases. My anxiety levels shoot through the roof.

I lay next to you. Your arm is around me. I haven’t been this close to a man since “he who shall not be named” left.

My heart beat increases.

“How are you feeling?”
“Nervous.”

You lean in and kiss me. Tattoo Love Boy kisses me. It’s weird kissing a new boy.

Your hands slide down my body. I feel so in lust.

Things get hotter. Things get sweaty. Things happen so fast.

You’re done. I have to get to class at 11. Is there a quiz today?

You leave. We don’t talk on Facebook anymore. We only talk at work.

But you won’t come over anymore. You got what you wanted.

Tattooed Love Boys.”

 

College Life

10 Things to do when you’re stuck at home on spring break.

It’s spring break for most colleges this time of year. Some students went to Florida, some went out to a different country, and me? I went home for spring break.

My home is a small town, three hours north of my university. My friends and I call it a retirement community. Which means: not much to do except drinking with your friends.

Here’s my list of advice (and what I’ll be doing) to live up spring break while at home:

  1. Visit friends from back home: I just recently visited one of my best friends from back home. It really made me happy to be around good people I’m comfortable with, once again.
  2. Spend time with your family: YES, actually do it. When I lived with family, I couldn’t stand being around them. Now that I’m away at college, I actually really enjoy spending time with family.
  3. Catch up on some shows on Netflix: The first part of your semester has been stressful. It’s OK to take a break and just be lazy.
  4. Take a relaxing bath: Give yourself a spa day. You deserve the relaxation. You go girl. (or guy!).
  5. Go for a drive: Take a drive around town. Let your mind wander. Go visit some old places and let your nostalgia flow.
  6. Work out: It’s not too early to start planning for your summer body.
  7. Finish reading a book: Do it. I’ve been trying to finish The Shining for 6 months now, I’m trying to get it finished by the end of spring break.
  8. Bake: Bake some cookies or some other goodies. Bake with your mom, bake with a friend.
  9. Shop local: Go try out a local store you haven’t been to yet.
  10. Go for a picnic: If the weather is actually nice out; go enjoy yourself and go for a picnic. Invite friends!

It’s the little things that count; make the most of your spring break, even if you can’t go somewhere warm and exotic!

-ss