college decisions

& how everything could have been different

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Do you ever wish you attended your undergrad somewhere different? When it comes to football and basketball seasons, I do. Don’t get me wrong, I loved attending Winona State University, and now being complete with my undergraduate degree I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Winona was the perfect place for me. Because of Winona the best education, contacts, friends, and experience. Everything I wanted from a college experience, I got.

Without Winona, how would I know if I would be going to Germany on Saturday? Who’s to say I would be in DC or working in government? It is possible I would have done internships in Washington every summer of college? Is it possible I would have rushed and joined the awesome organization of Delta Phi Epsilon? Without Winona would I have still majored in Political Science?

There are a lot of questions to ask, and there are even more variables. Sure all things are possible, but I am a believer that if you take a different path, things will be different. By me choosing to attend Winona State University, I was saying yes to a great unknown and as the unknown unraveled it kept getting better and better. Sure there were times I wanted to transfer and had all of my paperwork ready to be filed, but I never went through with the process. There was such a strong pull for me to stay at WSU, and I couldn’t be more happy that I did. Winona helped me find me discover me. Winona blessed me with incredible friends, awesome professors, a stellar family away from home, a gorgeous view outside my bedroom window and don’t forget an unbelievable education.

It’s strange to think how some decisions impact your life, for example, where you attended undergrad. A lot of things would change, photoheck, I might not even be in DC right now, if it wasn’t for WSU. One big thing in my life, I know wouldn’t be the same is my best friend.  Folks, let me tell you a little bit about my best friend, Paul. Paul is the most down-to-eath, friendly, sassy, genuine witty, ball of fire you could ever have the pleasure of meeting.  Paul and I have known each other for the upwards of ten years. Thanks to Winona we became best friends. I will forever be in the debt (literally–thanks, student loans) of Winona for this awesome gift.

Paul and I went to middle school and high school together. He started life guarding at the YMCA and I was there on his first shift, we were in rotation next to each other, and chatted– we knew each other from a few mutual friend circles, but were never friends ourselves. He made an announcement that he was attending WSU in the fall and leaving the Y. Like I said, a short-lived friendship, right? Life went on, and next fall came around. My mom and I were going on a world-wind tour of colleges on a long weekend, as Winona was on my list I reached out to Paul and asked if he’d show me around in addition to the campus tour. Though, I am sure he thought I was being weird (when am I not weird) he accepted. That trip to Winona changed everything. When I returned home, there were three acceptance letters from colleges waiting for me, one being from Winona– and that’s when I decided I needed to attend.

Let’s be honest, Paul is the coolest dude around. He is the cat’s pajamas. This year we are doing big things. As a celebration of our best-friendship of ten years, and with his 25 birthday right around the corner– we are celebrating and we are celebrating big. In five short days, I will be meeting my best friend in Reykjavik, Iceland and we will be well on our way to Munich, Germany! I couldn’t imagine a better way to to kick off our celebration. Here’s to ten years, and here’s to the multiples of tens to come, Bo!

Maybe decisions don’t mean something to you now, but one day they will. Your life is shaped by the decisions you make daily. Stop and think about the decisions you are making every so often, rather than only making a decision based on giving your Magic 8-Ball a shake.

It’s been said something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world- Chaos Theory

millennials on work-life balance

would you agree?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

You have to check-out this article if you are a Millennial! The Idaho State Journal says that Millennials take a new approach to work-life balance, and I couldn’t agree more!

As said in the article, Millennials continue to be at the forefront of achieving work-life balance – utilizing business travel to discover new cities, explore local cultures, taste authentic cuisines and connect with new people across the country and around the globe. Let’s keep this going. If you have to travel for work, why not have fun and reap the benefits while doing it? Who said work can’t be fun?

Here are a few things you can do to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Sure it’s hard to say no, but in order for you to perform at 110% every day on the job, for your boss and for your team you need to implement this work-life balance. Trust me, it will do you wonders.

Schedule downtime

  • This one is key. I use to never do this for myself, and now I do. It’s honestly changed everything. Now that I actually have “me” time and time to relax it’s a beautiful thing. Maybe its 5 minutes of meditation, reading a book, going on that run, or just waking up ten minutes before you would normally

Cut out valueless things

  • Perfect examples for me: Snapchat and trashy magazines. I use to read Cosmo and Entertainment all the time. I was up on my pop-culture, but it was draining my time and in-turn it was draining me. My friends will be the first to tell you that I’m dumber than a sack of rocks when it comes to anyone famous, specifically TV shows and movies. Snapchat, sure it’s fun, but it sucks up all my time.

Negatives

  • Get rid of people who are bogging you down. It is detrimental to your health both physically and mentally. It’s not fair to you, and it’s stressing you out. Giving these people 5 minutes, is sucking up more time than you already know and they are dragging you onto the negative train as well. Sure we all complain, but don’t make it a habit!

Take a minute…for yourself

  • Just like the downtime, you need to give yourself a few minutes at work as well. Get up, move around! Take a walk when it’s nice out, or reward yourself with reading a Thought Catalog article or something on Thrillist. (Well, those would be my choices)

Lighten the load

  • Hello, outsourcing! When you are treading in water because your boss has you doing 900 things at once, think– is there anyone else working on this that can help me out? The answer more likely than not, is yes! Ask for help. Not asking is only hurting you and the product of your work

Stop reinventing the wheel

  • This one is self-explanatory. When you have a project to do, see if it’s something you’ve done before, or something similar– see what you can use from past projects, articles and so on to lessen your load.

Overall these are a few things I started to implement into my life. Of course it’s hard to say no to my boss when she asks me to stay late, but she is also very respectful of the fact that I have a life and she will in turn let me come in late/go home early the next day. If you let your work consume you, you’re wasting the life you have in an office–don’t you want to get out there an explore?

take it or leave it

“We cannot change the hand we are dealt, just how we play the game.”- Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

that reassuring advice

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Sometimes you seek advice just to reassure yourself. Let’s admit it we are hard on ourselves and it is always easier to accept the truth from someone else. Getting that outsider perspective, that new angle is exactly what we are looking for. When we seek advice, I would argue that most of the time our mind is already made up. When seeking advice, we are trying to reassure ourselves. We are trying to make it right with our conscience.

I have three go-to people who I consider to be my guide. These individuals there there through thick and thin. They tell me how it is; no sugar coating. Without these enchanting individuals I would be a mess. Listen, I like making decisions on my own–as I am sure you do, but sometimes, we need to hear what we are afraid to hear. We need that other opinion regardless if it agree its ours or not.

When faced with a challenge, lately, I’ve been making the bold leap of faith to make my decisions based off of gut and not listen to my heart. Putting yourself into a situation where you don’t bring the element of emotion makes all the difference. Next time you’re faced with a decision, I challenge you to leave your heart out of the equation. Go with your gut. Know that this is best done by making the decision almost immediately when you are faced it. Good luck and may the force be with you.