Personal Life

An Open Letter to the Girl Who goes Home Every Weekend

You’re the biggest hypocrite.

You spent your entire high school career working for scholarships and good grades to get into your dream school.

You spent your time not dating boys because you knew you’d find the one in college

You bragged to your friends about how you could not wait to leave home and find yourself.

College isn’t what you expected, though.

The first month was fun. You met new people. Went to class. And it was just as you imagined it.

Until you got sick. Not a physical cold, or 24-hour flu but a painful mental illness. You cry and cry and cry. You feel so alone even though you have 50+ “family” members at school rooting for you to succeed. Even though you have your loving and supportive family at home.  Even though you have three beautiful roommates who push you to have fun. Even though your professors and faculty are doing everything they can for you to succeed.

You want to go out with your friends but you can’t. You want to stay the whole weekend but you can’t. You hold back the tears, you put on the smile and you pretend to be having the time of your life. But you’re not.

Going home is nothing to be ashamed of. Your mental health is more important than the parties or the football games or the social gatherings. You take care of your brain before you take care of your expectations of college.

Crying is okay. Going home is okay. Taking care of yourself is okay. Working to be the best person you can be is okay.

People may judge you, they don’t mean to upset you. Ignore the snarky comments about how you’re going home AGAIN. They don’t understand and you shouldn’t expect them to, you didn’t understand it just a few short months ago. They don’t know the pain you go through. They don’t understand the panic attacks you experience walking into a crowded room. Or the exhaustion you experience from just attending class. Depression and anxiety are not easy.

You had it easy in high school. You didn’t fully understand the effect these horrible mental diseases have on people. You couldn’t fully understand people who didn’t want to hang out, or couldn’t physically get out of bed. But now you do.

You now have a new perspective on how mental illnesses can create an everyday struggle. Mental illness is not understood or even talked about in today’s age. It has made your transition into life at college a horrible experience, and you wish there were more options for people like you to seek help. For you, the best option at this point is to go home every weekend.

To the girl who goes home every weekend. You’re loved. God loves you, your family at school and home love you and the staff at your university love you.

Everyone handles this transition in a different way. College is about finding yourself; whether that be how you have fun or how you take care of yourself.

Even if you aren’t suffering from a mental illness it is still OKAY to go home.

Home should be your safe place. Home should be somewhere you want to go. But you also need to learn that the real world is calling and you can’t be at home forever.

But for now, do what you need to do to survive your first year at college.

I’ll be working on it, and I hope you do too.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:6-7
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Community · Leadership Development

Sophomore Year Service Learning Reflection

For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, I am required to receive 30 hours of community service. This year for my 30 hours I did a multiple of different activities and events.

One of my favorite service opportunities that I did was mentoring a 4th-grade girl. We met every Tuesday at 4 o’clock. We went to the local library, the discovery museum, bowling and even to one of the study rooms in my residential hall. I love being able to make a positive impact on her. Tuesdays are one of my favorite days of the week.

IMG_3810I also did a lot of mini volunteer projects with the RSO I am a part of called Rotaract. We made Valentine’s day cards for a nursing home, passed out encouraging cards to students around finals, pulled weeds at a local park and held a dodgeball tournament to raise money for future

service events. It was such an amazing experience working on the Eboard of such a generous club. We were continuously searching for our next volunteer opportunity. One of our future projects is building a bathroom for the Women’s Shelter in Mount Pleasant. We received a grant to help aid us, and we are going to help contractors finish the project soon!

I have learned so much this year through my service projects. I’ve learned how to come out of my shell when asking for donations, how to lead an individual project, and most importantly how I can improve other people’s lives.

Leadership Development · Leadership Education

HDF 110 Reflection

If I could recommend any class to take a Central Michigan University, it would be Michele Lee’s HDF 110: Roots and Oppression.  This class not only taught me important information that was crucial to being inclusive, it also made me take a step back and evaluate myself. We learned topics such as racism, ageism, ableism, sexism, and topics on the LGBTQ community.

Professor Lee taught created a safe place in her classroom. Students were able to voice their opinions, contribute to dialogue and answer questions freely and openly. The classroom was filled with respect and openness. Professor Lee was super knowledgeable about all of her topics she taught. I learned so much in such a short semester.

This class should be required. In today’s day and age, people need to learn about topics that usually fly under the radar. The problems with racism and homophobia will not improve if they are not talked about.

I am so glad this course was required for me to keep my Leadership Advancement Scholarship. I feel much more educated on topics that are rarely discussed. This class helped me become a better and more inclusive leader.

Personal Life

Favorite Beauty Products

  1. Face Products:
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    1. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion- $22
    2. Tarlette 2 In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette- $46
    3. Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette- $46
    4. Anastasia Beverly Hil Subcuture Eyeshadow Palette-$42
    5. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner- $22
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    7. Loreal LashParadise Mascara- $9.99
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    4. Tea tree Essential Oils- Price Varies
    5. Everyone lotion- $10.99
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    2. Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo- $17
    3. Biolage Volume Shampoo and Conditioner- $22 each
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Leadership Development · Leadership Education

PHL 118L

For my leadership advancement scholarship, I am required to take certain courses that will enhance my understand of leadership and people. One of those courses required my Sophomore year was Philosophy.

I have to admit I was very nervous when beginning this class. Philosophy was a completely foreign subject to me, I have never had a class on this subject. I went into the class with an open mind and tried my best to fully wrap my head around the topics we discussed.

My professor was Gary Fuller. He was a very wise and educated man. He attended Oxford University for graduate school. I always enjoy having a professor that is extremely knowledgeable on the subject they are teaching. I can learn so much from a person that has studied a certain field for years.

Gary was an incredible teacher. He knew so much about this topic and his lessons were taught with such passion. I learned so much from him, he taught me how to open my mind about certain topics, and he taught me how to see arguments from both sides.

At the end of the semester, Gary Fuller threw a Christmas party at his house. It was so cool going to one of my professors’ houses. He played the piano for us, and served us a bunch of pie! I will always remember my sophomore year philosophy class.

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Community

Dear Mentee…

Hello Sylvie, it’s me, your mentor!

I am so excited for this amazing experience for you to begin! As your mentor, I want to help make your college experience something you will cherish forever.

You don’t know this yet but you are in for a crazy year. You’ll experience heartbreaks, laughter, new friendships, new roommates, missing home and of course hard classes.

I want you to know something, I will be here for you NO MATTER WHAT. I have promised myself that your happiness is my number one concern for next year. I want you to be able to come to me with any question imaginable at 4 in the morning, I want you to feel comfortable enough to cry to me when you need to, and I want you to know you have a friend.

LAS is an amazing opportunity. Without it, I honestly do not know where I would be at this moment. Freshman year is very difficult, however, with the support of the LI you can accomplish anything.

I also want you to know that my whole cohort is here for you. Especially my roommates. You can come to any of us at any time and we will be there for you. The resources on campus are unlimited.

I know you are going to be successful by yourself. You are an amazing individual, but I want to make it easier for you then it is for a lot of people! I want you to be the best you can be, and I will be there to help you.

You are beautiful, smart, talented and sweet and I cannot wait to learn more about you. It is going to be a wonderful year creating endless amounts of memories with you.

Love your Mentor,

Riley

Personal Life

Dear Highschool Athletes

You do not know how much you will miss the family, support, and love that come from being on a team. My first year of college has taught me so much, however, I know that the team atmosphere that my coaches have created allowed for me to be one step above everyone else. I learned so much from the short four years that I was on a team. Here is a list of things I want you to live by:
IMG_0103Drama is NOT worth the time: Every single person on your team matter. Do not leave people out, do not create cliques and DO NOT hurt your best friends on your team. The seniors and I from last year still text each other in our group message every single day. We miss each other so much and I know each and every one of us regret ever causing drama among us at some point in time. At the end of the day none of it matters, leave it behind and spend the quality time together that all of us wish we could still do.

Listen to Coach: I know it sucks admitting this to yourself, but your coach is (usually) ALWAYS right. They have been through so much, so whether they are coaching you on your stance or coaching you through a problem not even related to your sport, listen. I regret ever thinking that what I thought was more important than what coach thought. They have a plan; they wouldn’t keep coming back every year if he did not want to see your team succeed. Again, cut the attitude and listen to your Coach. Most of the time they truly know what they are talking about.

Take Practice seriously: I remember those hot days standing by the tee waiting for coach to stop looking so I could stop swinging for a second. Let me tell you, I REGRET IT. I wish I would’ve listened to my coaches and took every swing and every serve seriously. The satisfaction of having an amazing swing or serve is something I wish I could’ve sooner (or if at all) accomplished while in high school. You will never ever have the time again to just go for two hours and play the sport you love. Please please please do not take it for granted.

Do not sweat the small stuff: yeah your coach may be pissed at you on the bus ride home but please do not let that define your character. IMG_0634Buck up, and show up to practice with a good attitude. Work your butt off and prove to your coach that he does not have a reason to be mad anymore. I regret coming home at night after a bad game and dreading practice the next day, I wish I would’ve been madder at myself and allow it to make myself better instead of being mad at my coach for being mad at us.

Appreciate your parents: After a game when your parents are annoying you, telling you how much they love you, please appreciate it. I miss my parents every single day at school and I would do anything to be able to go back to a warm spring night and listen to them brag about how proud of me they are. Thank them for organizing your food for tournaments, thank them for coming to your games. They do not have to do it, but they do it for you!

Take advantage of off season workouts: when you get to college there is no one pushing you to work out. I only wish I could have had a coach setting up different work out regimens for me at school. It’s unbelievable how much those workouts and open gyms help you. I regret not appreciating them enough. Now that I am super out of shape even though I am working out it makes me realize that every single rep or lap helped make me a better athlete. Please attend as many as you can, you are only bettering yourself!

Every year is a new year: It does not matter if you were starting captain of the JV team lIMG_0143ast year. Every year is a new year. EVERY single year you need to push yourself to be an even better athlete than the year before. Show up to every practice, every open gym and every day of tryouts with the best attitude possible. Work as hard as you have possibly worked. Prove to the coaches that you are the best version of yourself that you can be. Trust me, hard work does eventually pay off, even if it does not feel like it all the time. Let the hard work you put into your athletics rub off on your other activities, whether that be your grades, clubs or home life. Everything you do needs to be 110 percent. Do not have any regrets when you walk across the stage your graduating year.

Appreciate the underclassmen: They are the next you! Raise them like you would’ve wanted to be raised. Let the freshman or sophomores know you are there for them, and remind them that they are worthy of being on the team. We get to influence the incoming athletes; we get to practice with them and teach them things that players before, taught you. It is important to play that role both on the field and off the field. Do not influence them to party or do negative things. Be a positive role model.

IMG_0104Do not ruin what you have for a party: This one is so important. Your reputation is so very crucial in the athletic world, however also the adult world. I promise you, that party is not worth it. I promise you, you can say no! Just be smart, you are a role model, and a representation of the Fowlerville Softball team.

In the end, I miss softball, volleyball and high school immensely. I do have to say though I have few regrets when it comes to my softball and volleyball careers. If you listen to my advice listed above I believe you will have few regrets as well. The athletic programs you have been so blessed to be a part of is one of a kind. Take advantage of all the opportunities these programs and school have to offer you. Make your future seasons the best ones yet. Even if that season isn’t a winning one, you will still gain more than you lost from it. Being a part of a team is something you will remember forever. Do not allow for yourself to let it slip away. Good luck this season!

Love,

Riley McGuire #22

Leadership Education

LDR 200L

For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we are required to complete courses that follow along with our protocol. One of the courses is LDR 200L, which is all about leadership theories.

One of my favorite things we learned during this course was how to facilitate. Facilitating means leading an activity or project and then reflecting on how the activity related to everyday life lessons. This class not only taught us how to facilitate, it also gave us resources on activities to facilitate.

This course required us to put together an initiative and put it on for the class. We also were in charge of an entire workshop that taught our peers’ different leadership theories.

This course is different than other college classes. It is very hands on, instead of just learning what something was we learned how to do it and then actually got to do it. I appreciated the way we were taught, and how much support we received from the TA’s. I am so lucky to have been able to take this course with my cohort. It allowed for open conversations, easy learning environment and of course a fun class period.

I learned more in this class than any other course I have taken so far. I learned how to teach, how to learn and more importantly how to lead.

Now that I have taken this course I will most definitely pursue a leadership minor. This class inspired me to follow my passion of leadership. I will take the skills that I learned from this course and use them in my RSO’s on campus and a variety of different ways back at home.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” -John Quincy Adams