I just realized I never uploaded these pictures.
For my inspiration this week I hiked up Mount Taurus in Cold Spring, NY with a friend. The full hike was about a 5 mile loop that passed through a pond with thousands of chirping frogs on the way up, spectacular 360 views of the Hudson River, the mountainous surrounding terrain and the Hudson valley at the top, and an amazing waterfall on the way down.
At the top of the mountain you could see lots of smoke emerging from a point right across the Hudson river. When we were at the bottom of the trail, we noticed lots of police cars driving North with their sirens on and that the road ahead was closed off. It was cool to see the whole fire situation from a birds eye view. Another outcome was muscle soreness and realizing my current state of cardiovascular strength. It made me realize that I’m not in the physical shape I’d like to be and need to workout more.
I did not go into this hike with a certain inspiration in mind. However, as I ascended up the mountain, needing to take a few breaks to catch my breath, I became more and more determined to reach the top. I suppose the aspect of inspiration that I could take from the 3/18 reading is challenge. Climbing mountains is something I have done all my life, but in recent years, I haven’t done any major hikes. This hike refueled my love for reaching the top of mountains and reminded me of how fulfilling it is to overcome muscle soreness and loss of breath when you finally reach the view at the top. I have gone on a run today, which is a direct product of my hike yesterday, and will continue challenging myself physically as long as I can.
One thing that used to play a really large part in my life was running. I ran track from 6th grade to my senior year. I really enjoyed it too which was the weird thing. Most people ran track for a workout or conditioning, but I actually liked the feeling of running and running out of breath trying to win a race.
Coming to Bucknell I thought I was going to continue running track given the great facilities like Fieldhouse and the colorful outdoor track. However that wasn’t the case. I found myself playing basketball more and even trying out volleyball. I lost that love for track, so I thought why not go out on a nice day and run a mile.
Running that mile inspired me that I truly need to work harder. I was running out of breath after just the first half of the mile. I ran a 5:45 in highschool and I clocked at a 6:32 on Sunday. I was truly astonished but it humbled me. I was inspired by the fact that I knew that I could be doing better if I applied myself to something and truly put in a good effort.
x This morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise. I was always a morning person in high school since class started so early, but I quickly grew accustomed to sleeping in for later college classes. As I was sitting on the quad, the clouds started clearing up as the sun began to rise. I saw the beauty of the sun rise by myself, on an empty quad, in the middle of a quiet campus, and realized how much time there is in a single day. I realized that sleeping till noon already makes my day half over, and that lying in bed playing with my phone subtracts so much time I could potentially use to be productive. Although I don’t plan on waking up that early any time soon, watching the sunrise definitely made me more in touch with my time management.
For my inspiration post this week, I decided to turn all of my lights off in my room. Open the window, lay on my futon, and do work. I never let myself sit. Just sit and do work. I quickly realized how much more relaxed I was without the lights on. I wasn’t looking around at my room or the other work I had to do. It was just me, my writing assignment on my laptop and the dark. I think when I am usually doing work in my room I am constantly thinking about whats next. I either see something that distracts me, or I decide to clean my room, or go see who is next door. Through the simple act of turning off all the lights, I realized how much more focused I was. I continued to write my assignment and come up with ideas.
Allowing myself to focus on one thing is difficult for me but I realized that this inspiration technique is something I can do to help me focus. Not only did it help me focus and create new ideas, but it also really helped me relax. Even though I was doing work, I felt at peace with the work. I was actually alone and enjoying myself as I wrote my assignment. I think this is something I will begin practicing more.
This week I decided to get lunch with a friend from freshman year that I have not seen for a while. Sitting down and talking to someone that you haven’t seen in a while can often get you to think and reflect on past times. It is healthy to keep relationships and check in with people who have touched you throughout different wavelengths of your life. We decided to walk downtown and try the new restaurant, Nido. This experience reminded me how amazing it is to be able to catch up with people no matter how much time has gone by.
This week I decided to try to meditate. Right before I left for college my mom decided to hire someone to come to our house and teach us how to meditate. She wanted my brother and I to know how to properly meditate and hopefully use the skill in college. However, unfortunately I have not really meditated since I originally was practicing, so I decided to try again.
I sat down on my bed as I had been instructed to find a comfortable sitting place. I closed my eyes and started breathing slowly. The point of meditation is to let go of all thoughts and just focus on your mantra, so that’s what I tried to do. Every once in a while I would have thoughts and stressors float into my mind about the day, but I would calming try to release those thoughts and focus again on my mantra. I did this for 20 minutes. Just breathing and being. When I finished the practice I felt such a sense of calmness and mental stillness. That is a common theme that I am experiencing when seeking inspiration. I suppose it is because of the particular practices that I choose for myself, so maybe for my next post I will try something more active. I do really enjoy the outcomes that I have been experiencing though. I think clearer when I relieve myself of some stress and therefore can be more creative.
At school, I tend to eat a relatively healthy and controlled diet. Especially as a college student, I have limited funds and try not to eat out. However, as strange as it may sound, one of my greatest passions is good food. I am definitely one of those people that “live to eat” rather than “eat to live.” In light of this, this week I decided to treat myself to good food this week. I went to Ard’s Farm and got a really great meal. Although this may not seem like a typical form of inspiration, for me it was. Having a good meal that I had to spend my own money reminded me how important it is to treat myself at times and allow myself to indulge.
Just as important as it is to have self-control, it is also incredibly important to allow myself to let loose and enjoy the things life has to offer. Spending money on myself is something that does not happen very often, and when it does it should be on something that makes me happy.
For my inspiration this week, I wanted to do something that I used to do a lot but haven’t done in awhile. Throughout my childhood, I took voice lessons and had a strong passion for singing. Every since coming to college, I lost touch with singing as I would have to go out of my way to find a quiet place where no one could hear me. I decided to go to the music building and use a practice room and sing a few songs because singing used to be such a huge part of my life and something that I really loved.
I’m really glad that I decided to do this for my inspiration this week, because it really showed me how doing things you used to love can bring back a lot of positive emotions. It inspired me to think about things that I used to do a lot and don’t do as much anymore and also to think about why I don’t do these things as much. I think that bringing back these positive emotions towards things in my past is a great way to get inspired about how I can continue to work them into my present life.
This was a little tricky to capture in a single picture, so I included a few pictures from different angles and a video to help see it more clearly! Also, all the paper IS far enough above and away around the tea light and it’s wick so it would NOT catch on fire if you were to light the candle within this holder #safety.
Last night, my sorority had an impromptu recruitment video filming session on our suite. Within twenty minutes, the majority of my pledge class showed up dressed crazy with wigs, metallic pants, headbands, and sunglasses. The usually shy girls that keep to themselves were having so much fun dancing in front of the camera and being comfortable with everyone around them. I also dressed up fun, and collaborating together to figure out funny clips of us made me feel very free.
One thing I realized was the difference in personality in people when they dress up in costume. Some girls have alternate names they call themselves when they wear fun wigs because they get to come out of their shell. It was inspiring to me because I can see how changing my outer appearance to something totally new brings out a new side of my personality.
This week I was getting stressed out about my exams that I had coming up and was thinking of ways to decompress. I thought back to what I would do when I needed to clear my head in high school and remembered the scenic drives I would take down Ocean Ave, a road that is right on the ocean for miles. So I got in my car and drove around towards the golf course. I continued that way until I was driving past houses surrounded by large fields. It was a different type of scenery then I used to look at but it began to relax me. Music was also a major part of the drive I chose Tame Impala’s new album and enjoyed the views.
Afterwards I felt much more relaxed about my impending exams and ready to get back to work. The drives are something I forgot about and I would do with friends before lacrosse games to get hype or alone to think. I will begin to reincorporate this when I need to clear my head and get motivated to do something.
This week for inspiration I decided to set 30 minutes aside as a brain break while doing my homework over the weekend. I was not being productive doing my work so I decided that that was the perfect time for my inspiration for the week. During this time, I listened to music and had a mini dance party in my room by myself. I had planned for this to only last about 30 minutes but it ended up lasting almost triple that amount of time. This small brain break that I allowed myself to have eventually allowed me to be more productive at the end of the day. It successfully cleared my mind. From this experience, I truly learned to understand the quote “sometimes you need to take one step back in order to take two steps forward.” When I do my work I normally try to just forge ahead and continue on without taking breaks in order to just get the work done. But, I have noticed that I am so unproductive while working in this way. This has unstructured inspiration has inspired me to take more brain breaks in order to become more productive.
This week I really struggled with what I should do for inspiration. I felt as though I had already done all the things that come easily to me, so I decided to read some other peoples’ old inspiration posts for ideas. I noticed that many people use exercise as a form of inspiration, so I decided to try that. I went to the gym and decided to ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes while listening to music, and then do some abdominal work outs. This was my high school workout when I was injured so I knew I could do it easily.
While I know a lot of people feel inspired while working out, I just did not. I think I was so focused on the workout itself that I didn’t have time to think of anything else. I felt bad about this because this was the first week that my inspiration practice hadn’t really helped me become inspired at all. I hope that the next time I do my inspiration practice, I choose something that actually helps me become inspired.
This week, I had a hard time thinking of ideas on my own of things to do to get inspired. I usually get inspired in ways that are unplanned, so I find it challenging to actually go out and intend to get inspired; it seems very forced sometimes. Since I was lacking ideas, I decided to google “ways to get inspired.” I looked at a few articles, and there were some common responses: write down your thoughts, spend time in nature, create artwork. However, none of these sounded appealing to me. In the end, I decided that I would write a list of goals for myself. This included both goals for the rest of the semester and more long term or personal goals. While it felt good thinking of and writing down these goals, I don’t think that I found inspiration in doing this. It felt more organizational than inspirational.
I think that in the future, in order to get inspired, I won’t go into an activity with the intention of forcing inspiration. Instead, I think it will be more beneficial for me to, more often, put myself in situations where inspiration is possible but not the sole reason I am doing that activity. I think that this would be beneficial for me as when I actually gain inspiration it will feel more meaningful.
For this week, I really struggled as to what activity I wanted to do to get inspired. However it came to me on Monday, when I was doing work for another one of my classes. I am taking a Hip hop and blackness class and we were assigned a reading for homework, and then had to connect that reading to a rap song and write a short paper on it. I was immediately worried for that assignment because I don’t really listen to a lot of rap – and this is when I got inspired.
I’ve always loved music and I feel like it’s something that can mean so many different things to different people. Therefore, I decided through listening to types of music I typically don’t I could be inspired to feel different things through these new genre types. I began with rap, as I had had to start listening to rap for my assignment, however then it turned into listening to and learning about older music. My friend constantly makes fun of me for not knowing literally any old music, so I referred to her and I actually really enjoyed it.
I typically only stick to listening to current pop music and artists I am a big fan of, but this weeks inspiration activity made me realize it’s okay to explore other music – and you never know what it will do for you! Honestly my friend and I have now been listening to old songs all week, which couldn’t have happened if I didn’t decide to be open to these new songs which do give you different feelings and perspectives.
For seeking inspiration this week, I decided to section out 30 minutes a day for the last week to read a book. I ordered the book “Where the Crawdads Sing” because one of my good friends said it was a good read. I would typically read right before bed, which I enjoyed because it helped me wind down from the day, but I also read in the library several times. I found myself reading more than just 30 minutes and also (occasionally) whenever I had free time during the day. I guess I used the book to substitute for my phone when I was looking to be entertained. Doing this for the past week was refreshing because it helped me take some time out of my day to slow down and relax. It was also interesting to me how eventually I started reaching for the book rather than the Netflix or my phone. This has inspired me to definitely read more in the future!
This past week, Natalie Notz approached me and said she wanted to do something with me for our inspiration post. I thought that was a great idea! I had done a lot of inspirations alone, and I thought doing it with another person would give me an opportunity to be inspired, but also look at inspiration through another person’s eyes. And inspiration, to me, not only comes through activities that I do alone, but by interacting with other people and connecting my ideas with theirs. Therefore, on Wednesday night, Natalie and I decided we were going to make homemade pizza and bake cookies. We didn’t think that was enough though. So, we decided to put our phones away for the whole time. We made pizza, which was a little confusing at first, considering neither of were were really good chefs. However, it turned out to be really good! As we ate, we talked about controversial topics around the world. It was really refreshing to talk about things like this. (My first inspiration post, I talked about being inspired to have conversations like these at Bucknell. I definitely think I’ve been doing this a lot more.) It not only gave me the opportunity to voice my opinions, but it also gave me the chance to look at things from the other side. While Natalie and I didn’t agree about everything, we talked about why we believe in what we believe in. This experience really opened my eyes to how we can initiate such great conversations by just doing daily activities.
This week was pretty stressful as I had two midterms and was not feeling well from being sick last week. I felt like I had to find a way to destress, which I would normally resort to painting for that, but it was raining at the time and I didn’t feel like walking to makerspace. I decided to try meditation for the first time.
I used a video on youtube for a guided meditation, but I could not concentrate for the entirety of the video and lost motivation. The video had a voice over of a woman talking through scenarios to follow in your head, but I had a different vision for what meditation is and could not bring myself to follow her instructions. When I tried a soundtrack for medication on itunes I had more luck. I simply sat on the floor, turned the music on, and let my mind wander.
The “song” was about 10 minutes long and I could only bring myself to concentrate for about 6 minutes before I had so many thoughts in my mind I could not listen to the music anymore. While I did feel slightly more relaxed and revived I realized how stressed I was. I could not let my mind free of thoughts for even ten minutes. This inspiration post did not bring me direct inspiration at the moment, but instead brought me more motivation to not worry about all the small things I have to do and take one step at a time.
For the past three weeks for my inspiration, I have been alone, so this week I thought it would be a good idea to be around my peers. Amisha Chhetri and I decided about a week ago that it would be a fun idea to cook from scratch and not use our technology. This past Wednesday we went over to Kress and put our phones in Amisha’s room. From there we made homemade pizza and cookies. It was challenging to figure out the recipe and how long it was supposed to cook for but that motivated us to be creative with our approach to making it. Fortunately, it ended up turning out really well. While we ate we just conversed about topics in the world and our viewpoint on it. It was nice to get another perspective about world issues. This week inspired me to stop being on my phone as much and just take in the world around me because not only will it allow me to be more creative with how I approach things, but it also allowed me to connect more with the people around me.
This past week or so, I’ve been feeling really stressed as homework, midterms, and dance performances seemed to be piling up with no hope for a reprieve. The constant stress has been making it a bit hard for me to concentrate as I feel that my mind is always 100 different places at the same time. For my inspiration assignment this week, I decided to work on letting go of that stress and clearing my head. In order to do that, I settled on doing a writing activity I used to do a lot in high school called a “free write” in which you take a piece of paper and a pencil and you set a time for yourself, I chose 15 minutes, and the pencil isn’t allowed to stop moving for the entire time. You just keep writing, anything, it doesn’t, whatever is going on in your head you just put onto paper. This was really helpful to me in terms of inspiration since I had been feeling stuck on a lot of the projects, papers, choreo, that I had been trying to work on since every time I would get into the zone, my mind would jump to a different place and break my ability to focus on thinking deeply about what I was trying to do. Having a clear mind is important to me for inspiration, and so this free write assignment gave me the opportunity to focus on all the random things going through my mind, look at them, examine them, and then discard them. By the time that the timer went off, I had two pages filled with random song lyrics, repeated words or phrases such as “bread” for whatever reason, but my mind felt clear for the first time in about a week. This assignment gave me the opportunity to press the restart button on my mind and go back to my assignments able and ready to tackle them again.
This week for my inspiration, I found myself starting out in a bit of a rut. Recently, I’ve been doing lots of reading of many genres, but I suddenly found myself feeling stuck and bored of what I was reading (something not ordinarily in the genre I read). So, I got two new books- one from my friend and one for my own to get back into reading. But, I found myself “unable” to really start reading! I found myself constantly doing work/ studying for my midterms this week that after I was finished, my eyes felt too tired to sit down and read some more. So, instead of reading I decided to watch something instead. I got really into one show, but after watching (maybe a few too many) episodes in one day, I grew bored of it. I then decided to switch up the genre COMPLETELY from snippy rom-com with emphasis on comedy, to a documentary type show about improving struggling restaurants.
Surprisingly, I got really into it, but limited myself to two episodes so that I would be productive and not grow tired of the show. I then felt “sparked” on the subject of food and improving cuisine (like on the show). I changed up my daily smoothie recipe again and again, and began looking up restaurants in different places of the world because I found it fascinating for a variety of reasons- ex the restaurants in Italy versus the Italian restaurants in NYC. Then, I found myself drawn to my upcoming trip to NYC and my upcoming summer there, and began making a huge list of saved places on Google Maps that I wanted to visit and go to, beginning with restaurants, and ultimately expanding to a variety of other places and activities (such as attending live tapings of shows). By switching up my routine again, and by watching something new, I became inspired by learning about and seeing another topic (cuisine and the lives of other people since these restaurants in the show were in Malta and then in China). This led me to start doing research, and also to me getting excited. It also led me to start conversations and planning with other friends about what we want to do during Spring Break in NYC and over the summer there when some will live there too and when others will visit! Overall, I feel excited about experiencing new things- stemming back to after I watched this show about improving restaurants.
We do not have official practice on Wednesdays so we have the option to run whenever and with whoever, so for this weeks inspiration, I decided to run on my own for practice on wednesday instead of with the team. I also decided to run on my own at 6 am which was way earlier than I needed to, and would allow me to watch the sunrise on my run. Waking up this early sucks, even if I get a lot of sleep the night before, but once I was awake and ready, I felt really awake yet relaxed. I ran a somewhat hilly six mile run called turtle creek, and once I was at the top of turtle creek, I could see the orange orb of the sun just over the horizon. It was a clear day out and it was a really beautiful view. Running alone allows me to enter a sort of flow state where time seems to pass by quickly, and my mind drifts. It feels like meditating. At the end, I showered and went to the caf and took an hour to eat breakfast instead of my usual 30 minutes that always feels rushed. Switching up my morning routine inspires me to think about other changes I could make to my daily routine, and how they could make me better.
This week for inspiration I decided to do something different than my past posts. Yesterday around 5:30 I went to sit on the Quad and watch the sunset with my friend while listening to music. We sat on those stone benches above the admissions building. Originally I wanted to people watch and see if that gave me any inspiration, but there weren’t many people outside because of the rain. We sat there for about thirty minutes, but couldn’t see the sunset that well because of the clouds.
I was not very inspired by this because I found myself getting distracted by my friend and talking more about our plans for the week instead of thinking outside the box. It was difficult to stay on track and not just talk about things that we talk about all the time. I would not say that this was a good way for myself to inspire new ideas, but I did enjoy spending the time with my friend and it was helpful to learn what was not conducive to inspiration. Next time I will stick to thinking by myself, but I will continue to try and find new methods of inspiration.
This past Sunday, I was feeling a little down. I was super overwhelmed by the work I had for the week, but could not find the motivation to do anything. I called my mom in distress to which she told me to get a coffee and go for a drive. She told me I needed a brain break and seeing something new would raise my spirits.
So I got in my car and went to Starbucks, grabbing a venti iced coffee and hit the road. I turned on the road behind the hospital and queued up my summer playlist. The air was a toasty 60 degrees, so I decided to roll my windows down as I drove through the surrounding farmland. I had no sense of direction as I turned down whatever street or road appealed to me. I took in my surroundings and got lost in the music; I began to feel bliss. Once I found myself back to good spirits, I turned my car around and drove back to campus.
When I got back, I was able to complete my work and other Sunday duties that I could not find the energy for earlier in the day. I had realized that my Sunday morning sadness was a result of feeling trapped and alone in my small dorm room. I needed to get out and feel the sun on my skin in order to feel like myself again. I think that I am definitely a victim of seasonal depression, as many of us are, and because of that I am often sad for no reason. Luckily, this past week has been beautiful and I have found opportunities to escape my cold, brick-walled dorm to go explore the beautiful outdoors. I really enjoyed my weekend ride and because of my positive experience, I plan to do this every Sunday afternoon for the rest of the semester in attempt to clear my head and find peace in the great outdoors.
Note from Dean- Sick
I was sent home on Wednesday morning after going to student health and on my way home my dad drove the car. I slept the entire way home and woke up feeling even worse. Those next few days at home I did nothing besides sleep, eat and watch Netflix. Some might see this as a nice break, but after the first day, I was bored and even found myself missing class. I didn’t realize how much my happiness and excitement relied on my activities and friendships at school. Once I felt better, I decided that I would return to campus on Sunday.
My dad drove me back to Bucknell, but this time I decided to use my time in the car to think. I slept the first hour of the trip set an alarm so that I would wake up around the time that we would get to the farmlands in Pennsylvania. When I woke up I put in my headphones and listened to music while looking out the window. I felt bad ignoring my dad, but I felt so relaxed. My mind wandered and my eye caught certain things I had not noticed before. I really enjoyed looking at the rolling landscape and the farmlands. I wondered what a simple lifestyle like farming would be like in comparison to my energy-filled college life.
Although I was not very productive during this car ride, I still did find inspiration in taking time to realize that happiness and excitement can come from things that you take for granted and do not notice every day. When I got back to Bucknell I made sure to tell all of my friends how much I missed them.
This week for inspiration, I decided to leave my phone in my room whenever I left my building for the day. At first, not having my phone made me feel like I was missing something and made me feel uneasy. I kept wondering if I was missing an important phone call or text from someone or an urgent email. After a while, I got used to it. I walked around campus looking up instead of down at my phone. I said hello to people I knew that passed by me on the sidewalks and I got time to mentally prepare myself when I sat down in class and waited for the professor to begin.
We are all so used to being connected 24/7 and feeling lost without our phones. I think it is very important to try and separate yourself from your phone every now and then to really notice what is going on around you.
Not having my phone on me got me inspired not only to practice this more, but to look around me and focus on what is going on in real life rather than on social media, also to actually speak to someone rather than communicating with them via cell phones.
This week, I decided to go for a run without headphones in. I thought that it might be inspiring, however, I was so focused on the sound of my breathing that I could not think about much else. After a little, I stopped and started walking and this is when I began to notice things. Although I was really inclined to take out my phone, I didn’t let myself and I began noticing things like the way the houses looked and how interesting the architecture is here. I saw very interesting colors and it kind of reminded me of New Orleans style design. I noticed that there are a lot more trees than I have noticed around here and how close together the stop signs actually were. I started thinking about the house the I wanted to live in and since I started watching a British competition show of interior designers, began thinking of cool ways that this style could be translated into a room like on the show. Although I don’t know how to make furniture or how I could actually apply this, it was cool to see how much I was learning from watching this show. Turns out that the combination of watching this show and walking without headphones (instead of running) was how I found my inspiration.
Inspiration this week was a little bit harder to think about because I feel like the past two weeks I have really stepped out of my comfort zone and branch out. Then I realized I needed to be inspired to work harder in the classroom. We are hitting that point of the semester where it is becoming increasingly harder to continue to push myself to apply myself to each class and give my max effort in each to succeed. 6 am workouts are beginning to take a toll on me and I’m finding myself very lazy during the day. So I decided to basically interview my mom about how she goes about her work life.
My mom works at a computer software company and we usually don’t talk about her work because it is too confusing to me. I decided to interview her because she wakes up at 5 am everyday to get to work and works til about 5 pm. I wanted to know what has kept her so motivated to get up and work every single day and not have a lack in production. After the conversation I learned a lot about what drives her, which is mainly fear of letting herself down, and she is able to have that mindset. She sets out personal goals for herself weekly to meet a certain deadline or get a deal done, because she never wants to be satisfied with her performance. This inspired me to set little goals for myself for each class so I was motivated to let myself slip through the cracks the rest of the semester. I feel as though this fuel me coming back from spring break and as spring ball starts.
For this week’s inspiration, I didn’t have an idea until later on Wednesday afternoon. This past weekend I had the flu and have still been recovering and not feeling fully better up until today. I had also recently bought a diffuser for my room after being sick to try to make it smell nicer and revitalize the energy in the room. For my inspiration, I decided to spend thirty minutes resting in my bed with my eyes shut, but not sleeping. I turned on my diffuser with an essential oil that was meant to balance, energize and stabilize the energy of the room. I had just bought new oils that I was excited to try although I am unsure of if they actually would work or help to revitalize my energy and body. In these thirty minutes of resting my body and my eyes to try to give myself time to reenergize and let my mind wander for a short period of time with no distractions. I ended up struggling a bit at the beginning because I felt restless and kept moving around and wanting to get up. After five to ten minutes I finally became comfortable with resting and just letting myself sit with my mind and my thoughts. I ended up actually feeling very peaceful and like I spent my time well with this inspiration practice because I felt it was beneficial coming out of a sickness and also for mental health. I was able to just relax my mind and forget about any school work or anything else personal I had to do that day, even within the next hour after my rest. This was one of my more successful and exciting inspiration practices because I felt like I really benefitted from it and I will probably try to find time to do this more often.
Last Wednesday, I went to the men’s basketball game against Colgate. I wasn’t expecting to find inspiration in such a loud, hectic environment, but when I reflected back on my week, I realized that I did feel inspired during those two hours. My roommate and I always try and go to as many basketball games as we can, and Colgate and Bucknell have a pretty tense rivalry –especially because of last year’s Patriot League Championships– so we thought it’d be a great game. When we got there, the student section that usually is pretty sparse was completely filled. This was unusual to us, as we’re usually two in a handful of students watching. There were a lot of cash prizes to be handed out though, so that’s probably why so many people came.
The game started out with Bucknell in the lead, then in the beginning of the second quarter Colgate started to catch up. After a lot of nerves and loud cheering, Bucknell won by a one-point lead. The crowd went absolutely insane!! It felt so amazing to be a part of something that made me feel more connected to other Bucknell students than ever. Bucknell isn’t your typical tailgate school, therefore seeing so many faces and so much support at the basketball game from locals, fans, and students made me extremely proud to be a student. I feel like although we’re a small school, there is a pretty decent disconnect between Bucknellians and Bucknell, believe it or not, and our school spirit could use some amping up. Yes, classes and the social scene connects students a lot, but experiencing something like a sports team win is totally different and very refreshing. It’s something that a majority of people can relate to, and it demonstrates how capable and talented the Bucknell student body is. During my remaining time at Bucknell, I’m making it my mission to try and go to a game for every single sport (if possible)!
At home, whenever I am stressed, I always go for a drive around my neighborhood to clear my mind. I usually only go for about ten to twenty minutes, however, it acts as a destressor and always distracts me from all of my responsibilities. This Sunday, I realized that I had a lot of homework and assignments due this upcoming week. I started to get stressed and decided that I should find a way to relax, so I decided to go on a drive around Lewisburg alone. I started playing my favorite songs on shuffle, and started driving throughout different areas of Lewisburg. I did not have a destination in mind; I was randomly making right and left turns, or continuing straight depending on where I wanted to go in the moment. I started out in downtown Lewisburg and ended up in the middle-of-nowhere with farms surrounding me. By the farms, I saw multiple buggies, which I would never see in my hometown. I ended up getting lost, so I did have to put my navigation on, however, it was fun to choose where I wanted to go and not feel any pressure to go to a certain place at a certain time.
Instead of stressing about my assignments, I decided to focus on myself and recollect my thoughts to ensure that I could be more productive later in the day. Also, each part of the world is unique in some way and the only way to fully experience its uniqueness is to immerse oneself in that location. This gave me the ability to see where I go to college outside of Bucknell and how Lewisburg differs from the Bucknell campus and my hometown. Most Bucknellians, including myself, tend to get caught up in the Bucknell Bubble and do not experience the town outside of campus. It was also important for me to go alone, not only to clear my mind, but also to gain a sense of control. I had the ability to choose my own music, pick my own destination and direction, and choose the amount of time I needed to get away from campus.
I decided to deep clean my entire room yesterday after looking for all of the junk in it that I could create an invention out of. This may seem like a weird task that can give you inspiration, but it makes yourself feel cleaner and more organized when your belongings are. I blasted music and wiped everything down making sure everything was wiped and vacuumed up. This just gave me time to think and be alone, as well as think of creative ways to reorganize everything in a way to make sure that I was using up all my space perfectly.
This week to seek inspiration, I decided to sit on a bench outside. I rarely just sit with no purpose and because it has been cold, I really am only outside to get from one place to another. But because it has been really nice out recently, I went outside and just sat. Occasionally I’d see people I knew and would say hi, but mostly, I just sat silently, not looking at my phone, to experience peace. I tried to ignore the fact that it might look weird to people walking by. While I was sitting there, I experienced a really visceral sense of gratitude. I was looking around at trees and the beautiful architecture on campus, and everyone walking seemed to have a little pep in their step because of the good weather. I feel like so rarely I am alone on campus completely relaxed, unplugged and my favorite part, outdoors. I was grateful to just enjoy a moment of quiet happiness. I was also feeling really grateful just to be here. Out of all the places that I could be, I am in this small corner of the world, and what a gorgeous, privileged place to be. Sometimes, because life moves so fast here, going from class to meetings to the library to parties, I miss out on the simplistic beauty of my day. I’m really grateful I gave myself the opportunity.
For this week’s inspiration, I decided to do more of a set task rather than letting my mind wander and find inspiration in something else. I set time aside to completely clean my room. I vacuumed, reorganized my desk drawers, did laundry and rearranged the layout of some parts of my room. Although this was more of a mundane task, it gave me an opportunity to slow down and have a set task to complete in a set time. I was able to slow down my life and forget about other things like school work or personal issues and feel collected and put together. This changed my normal schedule by allowing me to go out of my way to do something very specific in a set time that I don’t normally do. I usually just clean my room whenever I can or whenever I have time rather than setting aside specific time to do so. In setting aside a time and really putting my mind to it, I allowed myself to become fully engaged in what I was doing and tried to actually feel good about it. After rearranging my desk drawers, I felt much more organized just with my life in general because a lot of the things I use in my daily life and routine are in my desk. Setting aside the time to do this and my laundry, I felt much more in control of my life and what I had for the rest of the day. Even though this was a specific, set task, I still felt like it inspired me because it allowed me to relax and collect my thoughts and feelings. Given that my room will continue to keep getting messy, I think I will actually use this in the future and continue to set time aside to do things that help me feel more secure and organized in my room and in my general feelings.
For this week’s inspiration I wanted to evoke my mind and just think about life and where I’m at. I decided to go on a bike ride this past Monday, one of the few days where the weather was really nice. One thing I usually do whenever I ride my bike is make a playlist of music. However, I wanted to switch things up so I decided to go onto one of the music apps I don’t use as much: soundcloud and click shuffle.
As I was riding my bike so much clarity came as I got nostalgia from some of the songs I heard. It put me back into that time period when I discovered it, and made me think about how much has changed since. I really enjoyed this bike ride because it provided me a get away from Bucknell and the environments I’m always in.
Recently, I have let my room get really (really) messy. Even though my room is rarely completely organized, I don’t like when it is so messy; it can make my room feel like a stressful place to be in. I know that cleaning does not take that long to do, but when I get back to my room after a long day of class or doing work, I do not feel motivated to clean. Last night, I decided to give my room a deep cleaning. I took out my trash, cleared up my desk, washed my sheets, rearranged my closet, and vacuumed my rug. When I was finished, I felt a huge sense of relief because my room finally returned to being a place where I could feel relaxed in (and I didn’t have to clean any more). In the end, it was worth taking the time to do even though, in the moment, I would have rather been doing a lot of other things instead. I think that cleaning can be inspirational because it can give you the feeling that you have some sort of control over your life. I have been having a very stressful and busy week, but something as simple as cleaning my room made me realize that I can find methods to deal with feelings of stress that are productive.
This week I decided to go to the makerspace and paint. I’ve always loved art and I took art classes all four years of high school. My first semester at Bucknell I took an art class and every once in a while my friend and I would go to the maker space activities. Since then I haven’t done much art at all. While I usually tend to like three dimensional art, I also really like mindless painting. Once I got there I decided what I was going to paint a simple canvas. Since I wanted the painting to be more mindless and less detailed I decided to do a sunset. As I sat there I realized how focused I was able to be on the painting. I wasn’t worried about what other work I had to do that afternoon or what time it was. I was finally fully consumed by something I enjoy and find relaxing.
After realizing how focused I was on the painting I began to question if it was actually leading me to inspiration. At first, I thought I was too focused and therefore unable to let my mind wander and be inspired. I then realized that even though my mind was focused I was still thinking. I think more than anything this exercise was a reset button for me which allowed me to destress and open up my mind to more inspiration. In general, I think art is a huge form of inspiration for me and I do not do it enough.
This week, I went to late night yoga after a really stressful weekend. There was a lot of drama with my friends, so I decided to go to clear my head. We did a meditation after the session with the lights off, and it gave me time to reflect on and process everything that happened. I realized that I am constantly surrounded by people, and I rarely have quiet times by myself. Living with my sorority, I am never alone, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, I need to have time alone to come to my own realizations.
I was inspired to be more independent and to do my own thing without needing people to always be with me. I love spending time with my friends, but being by myself makes me feel more zen and relaxed. I don’t want to depend on other people to be there with me if I want to do my own thing. Having my own solo experiences is something I look forward to doing more in the future.
This week I struggled to come up with something to do to get inspired. I had already done all the easy ideas that had come to my mind, but, I realized that I had to read a novel for one of my other classes, so I thought maybe that would help. The novel was Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. When I was about to start reading it, I realized how nice it was outside and decided to try and read it in one of the chairs in the quad. When reading the novel, since it was a fictional story, I felt like I was able to escape into the world of the book for a little while. I think this helped clear my mind a bit, because afterwards, when I was trying to think of what I should create out of stuff in my room, I found my mind flooded with ideas. The final idea I settled on, creating a big, origami flower, was definitely inspired by the book I read, since the first line of the book is “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”
I feel like I used to read a lot of fiction books in order to escape for a little bit, but lately have found that I never have time to read novels that aren’t required for classes. I hope, in the future, that I am able to set aside some time for this practice again, and start reading more for leisure rather than school. I think this would help me become more inspired, more often.
I work at the 7th Street Studio & MakerSpace, and last Thursday I decided to make myself a custom sweatshirt with our vinyl cutter. I browsed through Pinterest to find a cool design that I liked, then began using a software on our computer to trace the design and make it printable. I wanted to have each letter of my design be a different color, as I thought that would really stand out on the white hoodie that I was going to print it on..
I had to make sure each letter of my design was in the center of my sweatshirt, as well as aligned, and that took way longer than I predicted. Many times, I would successfully place each letter in the correct position, then when I would transfer it to the heat press, it would move the slightest bit out of position. Since I’m kind of a perfectionist, it took me around one hour to press each letter into the right position. By the end of it, my shift was halfway over, and I was fully sweating from how hard I was concentrating and from the 360 degree heat press.
My job in the MakerSpace is pretty easy, and my boss lets us create projects during our shift. However, when I was making my sweatshirt, I essentially blocked out everything else that was happening in the space around me. Students were walking in and out, printing projects on the 3D printers, making lots of noise, yet nothing distracted me from what I was creating. No students asked me for help–maybe that was because they saw how concentrated I was, or hopefully it was just because they didn’t need any help (I’m usually a good employee, don’t worry!!). Because of this one hour of pure concentration, I felt like I was in my own bubble. I believe that whatever environment one is in, if they’re enjoying what they’re doing and dedicated to it, nothing can possibly distract them. Maybe that’s just me, as I like a little background noise when I’m doing work, but I want to find things in my life that I enjoy doing so much that I’m able to do it without distraction in even the loudest of places. I felt extremely inspired that my passion overcame the distractions around me, and I will continuously look for projects that make me feel that way.
As these weeks continue, I find it harder to find different things to do by choice that will inspire me. I don’t have a car on campus, but this week I asked a friend to go on a drive with me to the rural parts around Bucknell. I have been doing inspirational acts by myself, but realized that one of the things that makes me happiest is being around people I love. My friend and I drove around blasting music and looking at farm animals and different sights in the area.
Reflecting on this made me realize that as it is important to take time out of the day for myself as an individual, it is also important to spend time with friends. I did not realize how most conversations I have with people are oriented around a topic of conversation. It was so different to talk about literally nothing and just spend time being happy with a good friend. I realized how important it is to maintain relationships with others through leisure activities and to just enjoy life together.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to ski for the first time ever, but that’s a story for another time. Right after class on Friday, I packed as fast as I could, hopped into a car, and drove down to New York for the weekend. We planned certain stops for food, grabbing Chick-fil-A and aimlessly driving around for Scranton to find Krispy Kreme. We decided to give up however, because we wanted to get to the ski house we had booked as soon as possible. At the ski house, the 30-something of us stayed up until the early morning hanging out and having a good time.
I had originally planned on returning Sunday morning/afternoon, but a spurt of impulse guided me to drive back to campus Saturday evening. We dreaded the nearly 5 hour drive back and planned on stopping as little as possible so we could get in our comfortable beds immediately. About 2 hours into the drive, however, the fatigue built up from both the lack of sleep and skiing all day, meaning I had to stop to refresh myself. When we stopped for gas, we realized that we could make the drive more fun if we stopped trying to beat the ETA and looked for different places to explore. We finally made it to campus late at night; we were exhausted but our little road trip created fond memories.
By deciding to leave the evening after a long day, I had concerns over how tired I would be while driving and the risks we were making in driving through the pitch-black backwood roads. After having to stop and by talking to my friends, I realized that the fatigue I was faced with wasn’t from the lack of sleep or the exhaustion from skiing. Those factors definitely contributed, but what was really killing me was the anxiety and stress in getting home as soon as possible. Making an impulsive decision to leave the ski house in an exhausted state helped me gain a first-hand experience of the saying, “It’s not about the destination, but the journey.” As all good things take time, we meandered throughout New York and Pennsylvania taking weird routes and stopping at weirder places. Making this drive helped me realize that the best outcome isn’t rushed, but rather it takes time and a good attitude.
This week for inspiration I decided to cook lunch with my friend. We went to the hillel and used their kitchen to make breakfast for lunch. It was really nice to be in a real kitchen and have space to move and hang around that is not a space I sleep or do my work in. The meal was great and super fun to make but I realized at this time how much I miss having a third space like this. This space had no specific association in my mind and allowed me to feel more free in the space. This not only gave me more appreciation for types of spaces like this but also gave me the realization of how easy and quick it can be to prepare your own meals.
Lately, I have been feeling very unsatisfied with the food option on campus and always thought that cooking my own food would take up too much time and be too complicated to organize given that I do not have space or my own kitchen. But, this experience allowed me to realize that if I were to just put a little bit of effort into making my own food it would not take up too much time in my day and would be very enjoyable. During the time I spent cooking, I felt less stressed and was able to not think about some of my pressing responsibilities such as upcoming tests and assignments. I was able to fully enjoy the hour I spent cooking as opposed to what I thought would be me feeling like even more stressed that I was wasting my time.
Growing up with computers, phones, and other electronic devices, we have grown to rely on them a lot more than we intended to. I can say, with experience, that I use my phone on a daily basis, whether it is to check the time, check the weather, check social media, or even check up on a loved one. On top of that, we use our laptops all the time. We’re assigned homework on our laptops, we use email, etc. We’re always using some form of technology, though not all are for bad reasons. It helps us become more efficient. Personally, if I’m on my laptop for a long time or even my phone, I get this intense headache. Therefore, for this week’s inspiration, I decided to lower my screen time. This would help with my headaches, while also giving me a chance to live in the present and broaden my opportunities to get inspired. I set the screen time settings so that most of my apps would not open before 10am. This forces me to get up without being on my phone for 30 mins. The same apps would close after 10pm. Therefore, I can’t go on my phone before going to bed. This has actually been a very healthy step of improving my quality of life. I let my mind wander before bed, rather than watching videos on instagram. This also limits my exposure to blue light. I will continue doing this for several weeks in order to create a habit. Then, I want to see how much of an impact this makes to my electronic usage.
For my inspiration this week, I wanted to do something a little different than what I have been to see if I can get inspired in different ways. So far, I have been actually doing things like taking walks and driving around, but this time I decided that I wanted to do absolutely nothing. So I decided to take a half hour out of my day, and sit on the floor in my room and just let my mind start producing thoughts. This was definitely a very different experience because there was nothing else keeping me occupied like walking or driving, so all I could do was focus on my thoughts. At first, my mind automatically started to think about everything in life that I was stressed about. I tried to push away these thoughts, though, and think about more positive things and ideas. I really enjoyed this way of getting inspired, because it really allowed me to focus on what was going on inside my head rather than anything else. I definitely don’t think this is the only way one should be inspired; I think doing an activity like this where you solely focus on your own thoughts in combination with an activity that allows you to get an idea of other’s thoughts would be a really good way to find inspiration.
After hearing Professor Smith talk about how he looks back at photographs and posts on Instagram a collection of many different things, I was interested to reflect on my time abroad. This past summer as part of a Bucknell sponsored program I interned at an accounting firm in Dublin. I took over 900 pictures during the three months I was there and compiled them into an album but I never actually looked through the album. The first thing I put in the album was a video of my two roommates and me walking through our apartment excited for the summer ahead. It had a picture of us at a Gaelic Football game and touring a museum in Dublin that had bog bodies. I saw the videos I took at the Action Bronson and Gunna concerts that I went to. When I saw that I remembered that we didn’t realize that there are two Dublin Academies, one being the concert venue and the other being a school. We first took a cab to the one that was an actual school and sprinted for ten minutes so that we could make the show on time. I also had dozens of photographs from my visits to Barcelona, Dubrovnik, London, and Amsterdam.
Looking back at these pictures reminded of so many fun and funny things that happened while I was there that I would have completely forgotten if I did not take photos. I was reminded of the awesome opportunities that have been afforded to me that let me have these memories. I reached out to one of my roommates who I have not spoken to since returning abroad and we reminisced about all the interesting things that we saw while abroad. This time of reflection was helpful in appreciating my time abroad and thinking about how important it is to explore different cultures.
This week, to get inspired, I decided to do homework outside. I was struggling to come up with something to do this week, and honestly it just kind of came to me once it was nice outside. On Sunday, which is always a very busy day for me with meetings and such, I realized I wanted to sit outside and do work.
Although warm weather for some is a distraction, for me it’s not. Honestly, it inspires me to do my work better. I feel so much more at peace than stressed about what I have to do, because how could you be stressed when it’s almost 60 degrees outside?
Although this experience couldn’t necessarily inspire me to sit outside and do work more, because I can’t control the weather, it definitely just made me have a more positive outlook. It is so calming and comforting when the weather is warm outside, and it just reminded me that warm weather is coming and I just have to grind on my work right now in order to get there.
This week I decided to try to meditate. I’m not sure if it works how it was supposed to, but when I failed to do it right I just ended up alone with my thoughts. Normally, there is so much going on around me that I don’t have the time to be alone with my thoughts. I felt relaxed and began thinking more deeply about the things that are going on in my life. When it was over, I felt like I was waking up from a deep sleep. I may not have had any life changing revelations in this experience, but it was really nice to have a time to think and I think that it motivated me as It gave me the time to think about my life, what I wanted, and what goals I wanted to set for myself. I realized that I wanted to start paying more attention to my health because I find this harder to do at school and it made me decide to clean up my room so I felt more put together. Overall, even though I might not have done meditation correctly, I think that this experience was helpful for my overall mental health and happiness in the stressful environment we have on campus.
In my pursuit of finding inspiration in the last week, I decided to go for a run outside rather than in the stuffy, crowded gym. It was a really nice day and I have never tried going for a run outside in Lewisburg (because I was scared I would get lost), but I just went for it because you never know when another nice day like this would come around again. I started at Hunt Hall, ran down by the playground, took a right on St. Louis Street, took another right on Third Street, turned on to University Ave, and looped back around to Hunt Hall. I don’t like to bring my phone on runs, so I was proud of myself that I didn’t get lost and I was not as directionally challenged as I thought!
I’m definitely going to go for runs outside more. Now that I know I can do it and I have an establish route, I feel more comfortable running around Lewisburg. When I was running, I noticed that my headspace was completely empty and clear. I was just focusing on one foot after the other rather than thinking about what I had to do later that day or what assignments I have (which is what I would be doing in the gym). It was nice to just have a blank mind for an hour and be stress free. This exercise has inspired me to run more outside in the future if I’m ever overwhelmed or sad or mad because my mind is completely clear when I run outside and it can be a small break from the Bucknell bubble for an hour.
I really like picking out the clothes that I am going to wear the next day the night before. I like to look put together and it helps me save time in the morning not having to spend it worrying about what to wear. I felt like I was starting to get into a little rut of wearing the same few outfits over and over again when I have a whole closet of nice clothes. I did this with my best friend at home over break where she helped me clean out my closet and help me either donate pieces I never wore or showed me new ways to wear pieces I already had. I had the idea to let my friends pick out my outfits for a week. The rules were that I couldn’t talk when they were planning outfits and that I would have to wear the outfit all day until I went to practice. I wanted to see if I could get inspiration from my friends from new outfits from the clothes I already have.
While I really liked the idea, in practice it didn’t succeed this week. I was only able to get one of my friends who said they wanted to help in this experiment to come to my room, and Tuesday and Wednesday I was constricted in my outfit choice (Tuesday was presentation and my group chose to wear black turtle necks and jeans and Wednesday I had a lacrosse game so I had to wear our travel gear). While I didn’t get a whole week’s worth of new outfit inspiration, my friend Serena who picked out my Monday out chose my favorite outfit that I already wear and added a jacket to it that I had never thought of doing before and wearing it with different shoes. I hope to do this experiment again a different week so that I can actually see if it works and what clothes I will start wearing more.
For my inspiration this week, I spoke on the phone for half an hour with a Bucknell alumnus who works as a Marketing Lead for Pfizer. In my pursuit of a summer internship, I decided that reaching out to someone in a marketing role would be a productive way to learn more about marketing jobs and broaden my network. I reached out on LinkedIn and asked a variety of different questions ranging from how he got to where he is today, his experience and challenges in his current job, to his time at and relationship with Bucknell.
The conversation went smoothly and was quite interesting. He explained to me his roles in leading marketing teams and what goes into to planning a marketing strategy in pursuit of brand building, product launches, sales planning and other roles. I noticed that he attended business grad school asked him whether he recommended graduate school. He explained how it really depends on what field and jobs within marketing you’re looking to pursue and urged me not to attend business school until/unless I knew exactly what field I was looking to go into.
I found how he collaborated his knowledge regarding pharmaceuticals and his marketing expertise together inspiring. All in all, he recommended going into a field you are genuinely interested in and not to jump the gun on graduate school. It was inspiring to learn about the business and marketing of pharmaceuticals, as this was a field I did not know much about and talking about his work really did interest me. I think this experience will inspire me to reach out to more Bucknell alumn to learn about their jobs.
For this week I decided I would try something that wasn’t as active as the past weeks. When reflecting on what I thought would inspire someone one the first things to come to mind is music. Normally, I don’t listen to music that often so at first I thought I would just commit an hour to listen to one of my usual playlists. However, to take it one step further I thought it would be a good idea to listen to music that I don’t typically prefer. That kind is rap. Typically I like listening to music that’s easy to follow, and rap is usually word heavy and hard to memorize. After sitting down and playing “Chill Rap Vibes” on Spotify and solely focusing on the music I started to really enjoy it. By listening to a different kind of music has inspired me to try new things because you never know what you’re missing until you try it.
For my inspiration this week, I decided to record my dreams. The inspiration for this came from my having really vivid dreams the last few weeks, so I wanted to write them down and see if I could be inspired by them. In the first dream that I recorded I was babysitting, and the kids had a duck sized model ladybug that you had to put together with parts made of rice crispies. it was sloppy but when put together it transformed into a ladybug that you could remote control, then it was a duck, and I threw it across a field and it flew and then I woke up.
The other really memorable dream I had was kind of scary, I was sleeping in my bed and I woke up and saw a big spider/scorpion on a giant web in the corner of my room, then it jumped onto a web right next to my bed. I jumped off my bed and through the web and then went outside and called psafe. I also realized I had a bite/sting on my forearm that was swelling up, but since it was like 5 am I just forgot about it and went on with my day. I was at a buffet for breakfast with some of my friends and then psafe came over and said they killed the spider scorpion. Then I went to a class that was taught by a big tiki head that could talk.
I was inspired to do the project for today’s class based off of something from my dream, and so I looked at the things I had available in my room, and I decided to try and create the tiki head that taught my class, even though it was only a small part of my dream. I enjoy having interesting dreams, and I’m hoping to find more inspiration from them in the future
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to go home. I am from Chicago, so going home isn’t as easy as it is for most Bucknell students, as our demographic is made up of students from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
At home, I found myself sitting on the subway. At first the cart was empty, however, as I got closer to the loop, the car began to fill up. At each stop a new group of people piled in. I was almost taken back by the diversity in people’s style. I had not realized that I had been away from the city for so long that I had forgotten what “expressing yourself” looked like. At school, I feel that I must conform to what the typical Bucknell student should look like: simple makeup, skinny, lowkey outfits, etc. Naturally, I do not have crazy style, but I also don’t feel confident to express myself with elaborate makeup or accent pieces if I wanted to. I feel that can be attributed to the Bucknell bubble and the desire to conform to fit in.
I feel like this is something we must change at Bucknell, especially being at a liberal arts college. College is a time to experiment and discover who you really are, so I would like to create an environment that stimulates it. I think the only real way to do this is to change the culture of Bucknell, but that is a very hard thing to overcome. At this point, the best I can do is try to gain the confidence to express myself and encourage my friends to do the same.
This past Sunday, I went to a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout class at Bucknell. I enjoyed the class, so I decided to take another workout class taught by the same instructor. On Tuesday night, I went to the Glow Spin and HIIT workout class, which I have never attended before. I was anxious about the class, as while I enjoyed the class on Sunday, it was still difficult and this class on Tuesday incorporated spin as well. In the past, I have taken some workout classes at Bucknell, but I did not enjoy the instructor or type of workout. I also tend run outside or in the gym to workout, rather than taking a class. After leaving my Tuesday night class, I realized the importance of working out and also the value of taking a workout class over my own running schedule. During the class, I was invested in the workout, so I was fully distracted from any of my responsibilities that day. I realized that when I run or workout in the gym, I find myself constantly thinking and stressing about the assignments I need to complete that day.
Also, after the workout class I still had to finish my homework. While my body was physically drained, my mind was clear and energized from this workout. I am inspired to find more time to not only workout and clear my mind, but to sign up for more workout classes, as they enable me to focus on myself rather than just my responsibilities. This workout class also inspired me to support other classmates involved on campus and to take advantage of all opportunities offered at Bucknell.
This week for inspiration I went to bible study. Growing up and in high school, I attended church weekly and participated in bible study groups. In bible study tonight, we discussed a feeling called “retreat high” in which several of us described the feeling of union, clarity, and love during and after returning from either a mission trip or a church retreat. I had several experiences similar to this growing up and I remember always feeling super inspired after these trips to live my life less judgemental and clearly. So, I decided to see if I could find some similar inspiration again this week.
The bible and its teachings have never been super fundamental in my life, but instead I have always enjoyed how it brings people together. Tonight we worked together and talked about problems on campus and ways in which we could work on the division between certain groups by discussing tangible ways to help resolve these issues. Tonight’s discussion really inspired me to be a more active voice on campus and to do the little things to make people and different groups feel united.
This week, I decided to go out of my way with purpose to disrupt my “usual” schedule and seek out inspiration. On Saturday, I went to go see “Little Women” which was playing at the campus theater. I walked there and tried to be especially mindful of my surroundings during the walk, and I really enjoyed the movie. It isn’t one of the types of movies I would normally or as commonly watch, but I really enjoyed watching something that is a little different than something I would ordinarily pick out on Netflix. Then, we had some beautiful weather on Sunday, so I decided to go for a walk around campus and downtown. Once downtown, I decided to sit in the bookstore and do some work, then I went to order coffee. Instead of ordering my usual iced mocha, I decided to order something I’ve never tried, and tried a custom cold brew recipe with one pump of vanilla and one of mocha. It was not what I was used to at first since it was less creamy and less sweet, but then I actually decided that I like it far better! I don’t think I’ll be ordering a normal iced mocha again now that I’ve (finally) tried something different. After I walked back to my room on Sunday, I then decided to do my work standing up (I put my laptop at the edge of my bed like a standing desk sort of set up), and opened up my windows to continue enjoying the weather.
On Sunday and throughout the next days, I was in an extra good mood and reflected on my weekend and what I did differently. I also continued to work through my “happiness: journal from last week’s inspiration post. I noticed that I was being more observant of my surroundings, more appreciative, and overall inclined to continue trying new things and not following the same pattern of motions from day to day. This relates to inspiration because by seeking out new experiences, I was able to discover how I felt about them and was inspired to continue trying new things and enjoying some of those new things I tried. My mind feels like it’s opening up to new possibilities for the future, and I also feel aware of this ability to adapt to change and enjoy these “disruptions” to such a routine schedule by adding novelty to them, and even just tweaking small things like putting my phone away during walks between classes to appreciate my surroundings.
Last week it was very inspiring to take the route of branching out and trying something new, and that was faith. So this week I decided to branch out and try something that my best friend has tried to get me to do for years, and that was attend a black student union meeting. I have always felt alienated by the black community here because of the expectation that because of my skin color I must immerse myself within the community and attend every event they have. Since I had my team I never felt the need to but was always friendly with everyone, but I never became apart of BSU.
Sunday I finally decided to attend a meeting to see what it was all about and support my friend, and I knew most of the people because I had been to some events they held before. I wouldn’t say being there was out of my comfort zone but it was out of my realm of knowledge because they were talking about the importance of the black vote and current political situation. I myself don’t follow politics, but it was eye opening to me to see how our community could stand together and try to have an impact on this upcoming election. I learned so many things I didn’t know about the candidates and what to look for, and it inspired me to become more immersed in the current political situation. These elections (General down to Local) will affect my future and way of life in this country and I want to stay up to date so I can have a reasoned say in it.
I love attending Bucknell, however at times I feel that I get bored staying in Lewisburg and going through a constant routine, never escaping the “bubble”. I last minute decided that in order to feel better and less stress constantly running around on campus that I would take a break from Bucknell and go home for the weekend. The comfort of being with family and surprising them for the weekend helped me reset and relax. The ability to have New York City, ski mountains, and hiking trails so close to my home allowed me to have an active weekend that I usually do not experience on campus. I felt inspired to fill my few days up turning my phone off and hitting the slopes, enjoying a little vacation. Coming back to campus I felt excited to continue to soak in everything Lewisburg has and continue to enjoy everything that Bucknell offers.
It is hard for Bucknell kids to escape the bubble and go out of their way to consume everything that the area has to offer. Just from experiencing this weekend I realized that I need to step back on campus and change the way I face every day, forcing myself to be exposed to new things.
For my inspiration this week I attempted to do yoga in my room as well as meditate outside my house. I found both activities to be pretty similar, so I tried to do both and see what I enjoyed more. For the yoga, I followed a YouTube video that provided directions on what poses to do and how to breath and think. Along with physical benefits from stretching, the yoga as a whole made me feel relaxed mentally. Although I didn’t expect the yoga stretches to be so difficult; Some poses left me out of breath or somewhat starry eyed.
As far as the mediation, I did not have such a productive experience. I sat down on the ground in criss-cross applesauce and closed my eyes, attempting to not let outside thoughts into my head. I had a lot of trouble not allowing any thoughts into my head and strictly focusing on the sounds I hear. I couldn’t do it for more than 5 minutes before opening my eyes and deciding this activity wasn’t for me. I didn’t have the discipline to go longer and couldn’t see the point or benefit of it.
I decided to try yoga for physical training reasons. I’ve had some back pains recently, and the yoga training, unlike the mediation, really resonated with me and prompted me to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist. This may have inspired a lifestyle of routine stretching for me.
The reason I decided to try meditating is because I was inspired by a friend who mediates to try these modes of relaxation and mental wellness. He acknowledged meditating as difficult explaining that the brain is a muscle, and just like any other muscle, it requires training to get it stronger and be able to have more control over it. Perhaps I’ll be more serious about it one day.
This week for inspiration I wanted to go for a drive and listen to music that I usually would not. The music I decided to choose was classical, because I enjoy listening to classical music while I am studying or doing other work, but I had never listened when nothing else was occupying my mind. Usually when I drive I listen to music I can sing to, so listening to music with no words was definitely a really difference experience. I feel like it really cleared my head and allowed me to focus on my surroundings. It also gave me a whole new perspective and appreciation for classical music. Usually I use it as a tool to tune things out, but this time I actually got to listen to it carefully and appreciate all the different instruments and melodies. Driving around Lewisburg with no destination gave me to opportunity to really take in all the sights as well as people. There are a lot of things that you might not even know are in the Lewisburg area. I found a cute food place in Milton that I now want to go try. Reflecting on my drive and decision to listen to classical music, I now realize that sometimes in order to get inspired you need to let yourself take a break from your regularly scheduled day. I felt inspired after this drive because I had a clear head and let myself take a break from life for a little while. Allowing myself to let my thoughts flow freely and let any stressful thoughts out really helped me. I think allowing myself to have some free time to relax and do things that calm me down is definitely a good tool for getting inspired.
This week I was unable to do what I had planned so instead, I went to a physics talk. This talk is titled How do we know what is going on in the world of a super super super small: testing QED in neutral beryllium – 9. During this entire talk I was relatively confused because I have no technical knowledge of this subject. But, I still found it really inspiring. I was able to expose myself to another subject that is so different from the subjects that I am directly studying. I learned that although quantum mechanics is useful in helping us understand the universe something is missing from it and it is partially incorrect. Through this whole lecture I learned that so many theories within physics are wrong but can be tested to be true. There are two theories that are tested in labs and both prove the other to be impossible but both are true. This craziness of the world around us is so inspiring to me. I learned that everything is possible and things just have smaller or larger probabilities. For example, if it possible that if you touch a boiling pot of water your hand would get colder but, it is just extremely extremely unlikely. This was really interesting to learn about and has inspired me to broaden my horizons. The benefit of going to a liberal arts college is being able to explore different perspectives and become a more well rounded person. I find that I sometimes get caught up with the things I am directly interested in and dont always use Bucknell’s libreal arts curriculum and resources to benefit me in the best ways. After this lecture I am inspired to go to more lectures like this and make a greater effort to embrace the liberal arts education.
To seek inspiration, I decided to color with my pastels. Last year, for my birthday my friend bought me a coloring book and pastels, and I have used them a few times and really love to, but I haven’t in a while. So, I decided to dig out my pastels, sit in my room alone and draw. Because I am not the best artist, I like to pull up a picture and then try to draw that. I pulled up a picture of my best friend at the beach and started drawing. It was so nice to give myself the permission to just relax and draw. I felt peaceful.
My mind was wondering about all different things, but I didn’t feel stress, they were just floating thoughts, coming and going. I made myself refrain from looking at any notifications that popped up on my phone, I just swiped them away and kept working. I so rarely really let myself ignore what is going on in my phone as if each notification is pressing and important, but when I finished drawing, I realized how little any of those notifications mattered. It made me think about the way in which I act on default most of the time and made me want to change that a bit. Instead of worrying about the little things, I think I should focus more on the big picture, because at the end of the day there are only a few things that really do matter in life, and I don’t want to waste my time sweating the small stuff.
This week I decided to foster some new inspiration by combining two things that I really enjoy, talking and nature. I asked one of my friends to get sandwiches and bring them to a spot near the river. We drove to Jersey Mikes, ordered two subs and then began discussing possible outdoor places to sit that might have a nice view. I decided to just drive around while we discussed and in the midst of that we drove by a few benches. My friend suggested that we just pull over to eat there. I liked the spontaneity of the location and agreed. As we sat I explained the premise of the project and why it is actually beneficial. My friend and I’s conversation spiraled into a very interesting discussion or the many elements of this class in comparison to other majors.
While it is not unusual for my friends and I to grab lunch together it is somewhat unusual for us to go out of our way to find a spot outside, of campus to just sit. I think this inspiration activity was beneficial because it is a realistic activity that I can start to do more. I also liked how this inspiration incorporated other people because I think we often think that we need to be alone in order to actually think”.
For this next inspiration post I am targeted my stress-filled, anxious college student and attempted to find the relaxed kid I once was. To do this, I took a walk downtown and admired the beautiful houses; looking at houses is one of my favorite activities. It felt so nice to walk leisurely with no rush or need to get anywhere. It was also nice to do this by myself because I did not feel the pressures of keeping up with a conversation, but rather be able to just settle in my own head. This walk reminded me how important it is to take time out of my day for myself and just allow myself to relax while also stimulating my brain in one way or another. I felt inspired to later do my school work with a more positive mind, and recognize that I am in college for myself and for my own future. I realize how important it is to do things recognizing the value it has for you and why you are really doing something.
For the second week of trying to get inspired, I went to Walmart and purchased a watercolor paint set, some brushes, and some paper. It was something I’ve been meaning to get for awhile because I like to paint/draw from time to time, but the semester has been super busy and I have never tried watercolor! That evening I sat down in my room and got everything set up, but I had no idea what to paint! I was looking around my room for inspiration, because at this point I would paint anything. I’m watching a Mcdonald’s commercial on the TV in my room and a Big Mac pops up on the screen and the light bulb went off. I was going to watercolor paint a Big Mac. With careful detail and technique, I think I painted one of the best looking Big Mac water color paintings ever known to man.
Reflecting on this, I think finding inspiration for what to paint and then settling on a big mac taught me to not take things so seriously and when it comes to relating to inspiration, sometimes the answer is simple and is right in front of your face! Designers in the real world must look for things that inspire them and it can come from a variety of places. It also shows how my inspiration fueled my watercolor design! I really enjoyed this experience over all and it showed me that sometimes you don’t have to look far to get inspired.
This week, for inspiration, I went to Hufnagle park in downtown Lewisburg to try and escape the stress of classes and clear my mind. I sat in a gazebo and turned off my phone to completely disconnect from technology for about an hour. During this time, I tried to just focus on being in the moment and hear the birds chirping and watching squirrels act wild. During this time, I felt inspired to grab my sketchbook out of my bag and try and draw some of the things I was observing. None of the sketches were that good, but I felt like the action of just completely focusing on what I was seeing helped me take my mind off of the assignments I have due and upcoming exams and presentations that I was stressing about.
I feel like this was a very good way for me, personally, to try and get inspired. When I am trying to draw something from observation, I completely focus on trying to capture the picture, so I do not focus on anything else. This really helped me clear my mind and hopefully open up some room for more ideas and inspirations to come to me.
Yesterday, I ran on a treadmill for thirty minutes after hearing from classmates how much they enjoyed the runs. I ran indoor track in middle school and remember hating it because as I saw it I was torturing myself. However, yesterday when I was running I felt relief and my body felt more alert. After I completed my run I realized that running was not all bad and definitely not torture. Though I usually workout four times a week, the way my body felt was a different type of sore which was good. After this experience I think I will try to run at least one time a week but I will try next time to run outside. When I was on the treadmill I felt contained and very restricted running in place. I think running outside will give me similar enjoyment to my walk around campus. This experience is one that will benefit me physically and more importantly mentally.
When I thought about what I wanted to do for an inspiration post, the first thing that came to mind was either doing yoga, or going for a walk by myself on the rail trail. Although, when I thought about it more I decided that I wanted to do something away from working out because that is what I did for my last post.
When I traveled to Milton to meet with our client for our website, I arrived at the Daycare excited and unsure what to expect. After seeing the kids playing and having fun, I decided that I would do something creative for my inspiration post. I decided to go to 7th street and draw on my new nike sneakers. I enjoyed going to seventh street and just relaxing without any pressures.
At first I felt a bit out of place going to seventh street, and it was weird working alone, but I enjoyed the music that they played. This inspired me to take more time for myself throughout the week and make sure that I am giving myself time to focus on enjoying alone time and focusing on my own happiness. I did not realize how much I enjoyed being creative and how much I missed it. Being around the little kids at the daycare really inspired me to always work on my creativity because it is a great way to escape the pressures of life.
This past Monday was no different from others. I woke up, showered, and went to my classes for the day. I had a sandwich for lunch and started my walk back to my dorm to do homework. I made a slight detour to my car to get something when I saw a lady aimlessly looking around behind Roberts Hall. I took out my earbuds in case she would ask me something, which she did. She asked where Tustin Hall was and I guided her in approximately the right direction. As I turned around, she asked me another question about how I like Bucknell as a school. I answered her truthfully and told her of the struggles I had my first year being far away from home. She said that her daughter, who was doing the “ Day in the Life” program that day was nervous about being far away from home too, seeing as they were from California. In what I thought was supposed to be a single question and answer turned into a full conversation about my thoughts on Bucknell and the experiences I’ve had. She ended up missing the program she was planning to attend, and I offered to give her a tour of the campus. She gleefully agreed, wanting to get a personalized tour of campus from my point of view. As we were walking through campus, we met up with her daughter, who joined us. The mother’s friend and her daughter, as well as a new friend they made that day, joined my impromptu tour as well. I guided them throughout the academic buildings, athletic facilities, and everything in between. The crowd seemed engaged in everything I had to say and asked lots of questions. I led them to the ELC where the rest of their program was starting and said my closing remarks and my goodbyes. My underqualified, unplanned, and very impulsive decision reopened my eyes to something I had long forgotten about.
As students progress through their time at Bucknell, we tend to forget about the small worries and questions we had as we gain traction towards our new lives. By accidentally giving a tour, I was able to give an unstructured, personalized experience for people who aren’t familiar with the University. I was reminded of the hardships I faced as a new Bucknellian and how I overcame them, as well as being able to share my fun experiences with people who helped me though such times. I realized afterwards that I had gotten so lost and focused in my life now that I forgot about how I got to this point in my life. The transition we make into college and adulthood isn’t something everyone takes lightly or can cope with easily. In my tour, I was refreshed in the excitement and fear both parents and new students face in coming to a new environment. This inspired me to think more holistically of everything around me, and to not forget the people who helped me get to the point where I am today. Lessons and experiences shape a person’s character. It’s easy to forget such encounters in the past when you’re focused on the “now,” and I’m glad that I could help the new college parents and students, but also that I have a better sense on the different thought processes that happen throughout time.
This past weekend, I was home for a surprise party. On Sunday, we were out of things to do and decided to try something we’ve never done before. We went to the escape room in my town. I wasn’t expecting to learn much from this experience as I assumed that it was a situation where you would mostly be applying knowledge. However, I learned a lot in attempting to find a way out of the room. My family is not so good at teamwork and we are all pretty stubborn. There was a lot of fighting and not much teamwork, but once there were only 15 minutes left, we started actually working together and thinking on the same level rather than spreading out and finding things on our own. I also noticed that my brother had accidentally opened a lock and I remembered how error is so important to innovation. This accident ended up opening a pretty important door which ultimately led to us getting out of the room with 5 minutes to spare. Another thing that I gained from this experience was an idea for a paper in one of my classes. I was pretty stuck on what to focus on and one of the paintings in the room that we had to find a clue in actually was a historical one and I realized that this might be a good thing to use to prove an argument. Overall, this experience inspired me in that it led me to think about how teamwork and error are more important than I had previously thought and it led me to ideas for a paper that is due soon.
This week, in order to get inspired, I decided to go for a run. All of high school I was a runner and actually had to run every single day for practice. Running was a way of freeing my mind, and I rarely would go for runs with music on so it provided me a time to just think but also push myself. Although hard at times, I loved the feeling it provided me with of breaking my own records, as well as the discipline required to stick with it and show up everyday.
Once coming to college, I tried to stick with running as much as I could. Soon after my arrival, however, my schedule was taken up by classes, homework and exams, clubs, and friends. I tried going to the gym as much as I could — but it wasn’t the same. The treadmill isn’t my favorite place to run because it’s so monotonous.
During class on Tuesday, when we had to go around and say what our plan was for this week’s inspiration post, I quickly on the spot decided I’d go for a run. And on Wednesday, when it was pretty nice out, I actually went for a run in the middle of the day! It was honestly so inspiring and such a great feeling to get back into something I used to love, and was an outlet for anything I was feeling in my life. Having that time to just think about whatever is going on for me right now was amazing — because I never get time to just disconnect and be present with myself. It really inspired me to not forget about the things I used to love, no matter how busy my schedule gets. Hopefully as the weather gets nicer I can get back into running outside and around campus — and continue on an activity that has always been super important to me in the past.
For my inspiration this week, on Monday, I went over to Hufnagel Park at about 12:30 in the hopes that I would be inspired to find an idea for a paper for my Queer Studies class. After spending several days re-reading articles and trying to come up with ideas, I was at a loss and figured that there was no harm in trying to find inspiration for that while completing this assignment. So, I grabbed my MP3 player and my headphones, and I headed over to the park to people watch. Once I got there I put on some Green Day and sat back to watch. At which point I realized a rather critical thing – no one was there. The entire park was empty. Unsure whether I should just head back and try again later, I decided to sit and wait for a couple of minutes, see if anyone came. As I sat there, listening to music and doodling in a notebook, my mind started to wander a bit until, for whatever reason, that old riddle “If a tree falls in the forest and no one was around to hear it, would it make a sound?” suddenly popped into my head and got me thinking. One of the articles I had read by Judith Butler was about gender as performative, and along the lines of the tree question I started to wonder, “assuming gender is performative, if you were alone with no one around to interact with, do you still have gender?” and all of a sudden I had my paper idea. This activity relates back to inspiration for me since it reinforces that inspiration can come from anywhere and anything, even if that’s a lack of something. For days I had been trying to force an idea and trying to make connections to no avail, but by taking some time to sit back and do nothing, in that stillness was an idea. I think that in our lives we spend so much time rushing from one thing to the next, that we never stop to think that taking time to do nothing and just exist is just as important to idea creation as actively forming ideas.
For my inspiration this week, I decided to shoot a roll of film for my photography class. I know that this is something I had to do eventually anyway, but I made the decision to look for inspiration while doing it so I thought it would be a good thing to write about. What I did was drive all around Lewisburg and the surrounding areas with a friend of mine in the class looking for animals to take pictures of because it was a portrait project. Since we just learned how to take pictures, there weren’t super high expectations for our pictures, but I wanted to find ways to make it good, so I decided to look in nature for inspiration. I ended up realising that animals could make better subjects than humans when I stumbled upon a duck pond, and after that I was inspired to look for animals to take pictures of. My favorite one was of a horse we found looking out over his fence at the road. I thought that it had really beautiful eyes and I took a close up picture of his face focused on his eye, and I was able to create a beautiful shot that shows emotion and tells a story.
This past week, I made a concerted effort to do something that I rarely do and that I thought might invoke inspiration. A friend and I went to the maker space to make art and design our own sweatshirt. I ended up struggling a lot because I could not find a design I really liked and wanted to wear. I didn’t know where to start or what to look up to find a design that I would like because I went into it with a blind eye and didn’t think about what I wanted beforehand. I eventually found a design I liked, but I felt like I was just settling for that one because I couldn’t find anything else I was ecstatic about. Once I found the design, I had to reprint it at least three times because it wasn’t cutting correctly on the computer editor. I started to feel very frustrated and discouraged because I wasn’t finding much inspiration in creating the sweatshirt because I hadn’t even started yet and it had already been a while. I successfully printed the design and started to carve it out on the material that would be placed onto the fabric of the sweatshirt. There was another problem. The tweezers that were supposed to pull the excess material off and make the design pop were very faulty and could barely pull the material off. It was taking me a long time and I eventually gave up and decided to come back another day when I had thought more carefully about what I was trying to do and what my goals were. This was something that I wasn’t expecting, especially because I went into it trying to be inspired. Although this was a failed attempt at inspiration, I now know for the future what I will need to do to make a sweatshirt and how I can potentially allow myself to be successfully inspired.
Last Thursday, I went to Susquehanna University to teach an Entrepreneurship class about the Design Thinking Process. Before I went, I was very nervous about presenting about the Design Thinking Process and telling the students to do DTP activities, because most of them were older than me. So, it felt off having to teach others about a subject. After I did it, I realized that there’s nothing to be nervous about. Even though they’re older than you, you’re teaching them about a topic that they didn’t necessarily know about. And this doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from them either. Diving deeper into the Design Thinking Process, I realized that I found it very interesting. Yesterday, Ryan, Taylor and I were practicing for the second part of the presentation that will occur tomorrow. The more I looked at the information, the more I found it interesting. Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test. I, first, learned about the DTP in the pre-orientation program before college. However, I hadn’t understood it the way I did yesterday. I definitely don’t understand it fully, but I’m starting to realize the importance of it. So, I hope that tomorrow won’t be the end of my exploration of the Design Thinking Process. I will try to learn more about it.
For my inspiration project this week I had no idea what to do. When Monday came around the corner with the sun shining and the weather being abnormally warm for February I thought it would be a good idea to take a hike, something I had never done in this area before. I drove 10 minutes away to Dales Ridge mid-afternoon and began my journey. The farther I went into the 2.5-mile trail, the more immersed I felt with nature. I began noticing small details in the trees like woodpeckers as well as my other senses were heightened as well. I had not felt this sensation in a very long time, not just because I have been inside for most of the winter due to the cold, but because I have normally been too focused on work or other distractions. By completely freeing myself from both distractions allowed me to reignite my senses and start thinking and feeling in a new way. Going forward, I would like to make more time to completely break away from distractions like my phone or work so I can allow more time for my brain to relax, allowing for the possibility to be inspired.
For this week, I was planning on going to the Makers Space to paint. While I know this is relaxing, for me it is still a familiar activity. I wanted to find my inspiration this week in something calming, yet unfamiliar. A couple weeks ago, I saw the Makers Space had a jewelry making event. So I decided to ask the staff yesterday if I could use one of the kits.
This was something I had never done before, but I had found the activity surprisingly calming. I was able to make three rings of beads that I can now keep and wear with me. Since putting beads on a string takes very little effort and focus I was able to let my thoughts drift as I did this. I found that this cleared my mind and eased my stress levels. This week I have many larger assignments due, quizzes, and deadlines. I felt overwhelmed. After beading the strings for about 30 min, I left feeling calmer and more secure that I could complete everything I needed this week.
Following the activity, I was more productive and felt like I was doing better quality work. It was almost a source of motivation. What I wish I had done differently: I wish I could have done this activity in an unfamiliar environment as well. I believe it would have been more interesting to gaze at new scenery.
When trying to think of ways to get inspired today, I thought about ways that I have found inspiration in the past. And to do that, I did what I usually do when I am bored or want to procrastinate; I went onto YouTube. Although most of what I watch on YouTube may not be inspiring, this made me think of a time just a few months ago when I actually was unusually inspired when I came across a Youtube channel called “Yes Theory.”
Basically, Yes Theory is three guys who go on adventures and voluntarily put themselves in uncomfortable situations for the sake of making memories and a positive impact. Their videos range from traveling to the least visited country in the world, to asking strangers to go skydiving on the spot. My favorite videos of theirs are the ones where they get strangers to do something spontaneous/crazy with them. For example, in one of their videos that I watched today, they were trying to convince strangers at the airport to ditch their travel plans and go somewhere else with them (anywhere in the US where they want to go). After many rejected offers, the Yes Theory guys found a family who was willing to ditch their flight to Atlanta to go to Hawaii together. Essentially, just because this family decided to say yes, they were able to have a crazy and amazing experience together.
While I personally may not ever be spontaneous enough to go on a last minute adventure with strangers, I think that it is really cool that some people are willing to put themselves in an uncomfortable situation where the experience is worth it in the end. Being spontaneous and taking risks is something that I often find myself having a hard time doing, but seeing videos like this is inspiring to me because they show how rewarding it can be to take chances and make impromptu decisions. Also, watching these uplifting videos makes me want to travel, meet new people, and try new things.
For this week’s inspiration, I actually got a little book/journal (I’ve attached pictures of it to this post). Inside of it were areas to answer little prompts, that while small and short, actually got me thinking and reflecting on my life and what makes me happy in it, and how to make others happy In turn. There were also areas to doodle in and color, which helped spark my thought along the way. So, I spent some time just working through the journal and taking this time to reflect as I did this. The outcome was me being more mindful about who and what are in my life, my relationship to them, and how they make me happy. By working on this, I can better make other people around me happy, and work on bettering the relationships my life due to this reflection and mindfulness. This is related to inspiration because it helped put me in a state of reflection and made me feel inspired to go out and change my actions to better the relationships in my life and make others happy.
In attempt to become inspired this week, I went for a walk outside. This was something I used to do all the time back home, but stopped for some reason when I got to Bucknell. I took my attempt a step further and left my headphones at home, opening my eyes, ears, and attention to my surroundings. I decided to take a walk through the residential area surrounding campus. I felt back at home as I passed homes and windows filled with happy families and barking dogs.
I began to realize how different my life is at Bucknell compared to home. Living in a dorm with a hundred other people is no comparison to living in a house with your loved ones. While college doesn’t offer the convenience of living in a house, I realized I can make little changes to my lifestyle to help myself feel more at home, at school. As I looked through the windows, I noticed how much I missed home cooked meals. One way I plan to feel more at home is cooking a meal at least once a week in my kitchen. I also noticed I missed my dog. While I can’t bring him to campus, I know there are therapy dogs that come to campus roughly once every other week, so I think getting to see a dog will make me a little less homesick.
I feel that it is so easy to get caught up in the Bucknell bubble and feel disconnected from home. I hope that by implementing these little changes, I can improve my happiness and comfort here at school. I hope to share my inspiration with my friends and teammates so that I can help others feel at home in the chaos that is college.
This Sunday, I went to the gym at 10:30 PM. I normally don’t go to the gym so late at night, but I was getting tired from doing my homework, still had a lot more to do, and needed a pick-me-up. As I expected, the gym had little to no people when I arrived. I went up to the second floor, and to no surprise, I was the only one there. I went on one of the treadmills, started walking to warm up, and then put my headphones on. But the second I turned on my music, my headphones started to shock me. I then went to grab onto the treadmill– right where the metal heart rate monitor is– and it shocked me, too. Turns out, it could have been from the wires rubbing against the nylon of my clothing or the dryness of the environment.
Because my headphones were shocking me, I spent my entire thirty minute cardio workout listening to the sound of my heavy breathing. I’m the type of person who needs to listen to extremely hype music when working out, as I don’t feel motivated otherwise. However, being alone on the second floor of the gym and only having my own footsteps and breathing surround me was kind of… peaceful. I didn’t have lyrics distracting me, and I realized that I’m actually able to think about things and let my mind wander when there isn’t a voice screaming in both my ears. Instead of trying to run to the beat of some song, I was running to the rhythm of my feet hitting the belt. The thirty minutes passed by way quicker than I thought, and I consider it to be one of the best runs I’ve had. In the future, I think I’ll try and run without listening to music more often.
For this week’s inspiration, I decided to sit down for an hour and a half and read. Growing up, I used to love to read and would read very often- during class breaks, long car rides, or before going to bed. It used to be an outlet for me to escape everyday life and imagine a whole new world. My life now is much more stressful and chaotic than it used to be, so I thought what a perfect opportunity to sit down with a book and forget about my daily stresses for a bit. Not only did it help to relax me, but it inspired me to do this activity more. I plan on not only finishing this book, but to continue to take time out of my days to allocate to reading for fun. Reading today has reminded me how much I used to enjoy imagining myself as a part of the various stories that I used to read. Even though I have less time in my day than I used to, I think that reading is so valuable because it enhances one’s imagination and enables a creative way of thinking that can carry over into many different aspects of a person’s work. I feel much more inspired this week to continue to read and see how this helps me in other parts of my day-to-day life.
Last week I did something much more structured and already planned into my weekend. Taking the advice Professor Allen has pushed to us I decided to go out of my way to try and spark my inspiration for the week. I fortunate enough to have my Uncle and Grandma live 5 minutes away from campus since my Uncle is the head wrestling coach here. I often neglect going to see my Grandma since I want to try and live and college life away from family. She constantly invites me to bible study on Tuesday nights and I always find a way to get out of it since I am not as religious as her.
This Tuesday I decided that I would join in on her bible study with her friends and my Uncle and go spend some quality family time and learn some things I didn’t know. After an hour and half bible study I realized how many great lessons I could learn from the Bible and how I can connect them to sports and my life and general. I’ve always been very shut off from faith but it opened my eyes to some valuable lessons. I was inspired to incorporate a little bit more faith into my life, not fully agreeing on all aspects, but maybe a few verses of the Bible a week to keep up.
This week, I initially planned on volunteering with Bucknell Buddies on Monday. However, the kids are off from school due to President’s Day this week so I needed to find a different option. After sitting in my dorm room with one of my friends, I asked her if she wanted to go to the Maker’s Space and do some arts and crafts. She said yes, so we went later that evening.
When we got there, I bought a $1 canvas and filled up a plate with a bunch of random colors. After staring at the canvas for a few minutes, I started scrolling through my VSCO account for some inspiration, but I remembered something. I knew this was familiar. Freshman year, whenever I would get anxious, sad, or mad, I used to go to my friend Luisa’s room to listen to music and draw pictures that we would tape to her wall. This was a huge way for me to deal with my emotions in a healthy and creative way.
This reminder made me smile and reflect on my memories in her bedroom last year. I spent so much of my time there, and it was always a positive and healthy environment. Now that she has moved out of that room, I found that I lost that way to cope with my emotions. Going to the Maker’s Space and painting reminded me that this is a productive way to relax and refocus myself after a hectic week. I had so much fun with my friend that night trying to figure out what to paint, what colors to choose, and who we wanted to give our pictures to. I like to gift my pictures to other people because my favorite part of drawing and painting is the face of the person that I give it away to.
This past weekend, I, along with five other Bucknell students, traveled to Chicago for a training conference for our sorority positions. We had different training sessions throughout the entire weekend, where we learned about leadership, communication, collaboration, and goal setting. On Saturday, each member was signed up for a specific training track based on their position. I am the Director of Primary Recruitment, so I attended the Recruitment track. I learned a lot about my position and ways to accomplish my goals for this year, however, I realized that while I enjoy the opportunity to be a part of a Greek organization, I was not nearly as passionate about my sorority as other members from different schools and chapters. Their passion and excitement for their position and sorority inspired me to value my position more and find ways to improve Recruitment from past years, and to also find other interests and leadership positions outside of academics and Greek life. I realized that while I may be passionate about fashion, music and traveling, I have never actually pursued these passions. This trip has inspired me to find more classes, subjects, sports, books, and other things I may enjoy, and find a way to incorporate them in my daily life, as it is important to take part in something that I value beyond my academics.
On a long bus ride for a lacrosse game, I went onto Disney plus to watch something to pass the time. I came across a documentary series called “the Imagineering story” which is about the Imagineers who created Disneyland and Disney World. I decided to watch it because it sounded cool to see how “the Happiest Place on Earth” was created. Also, I really loved the idea of “Imagineers,” which sounded like an engineer of imagination.
Watching the first episode, there were somethings that stuck out to me. The first is I loved how Walt described his workplace as an Art studio, think tank, design center, an innovation lab. It’s a cool concept that his workspace was not just another office building, but truly a place where creativity lived and could be explored, and where he said he didn’t work, but rather where he played. The second was that he encouraged the Imagineers to stand in line and follow children around the parks to have the curiosity and mind of a child in order to help improve the parks. Lastly, there was “creative chaos” to it all, in the sense that it was super organized creativity without being strictly organized linearly. This allowed for so many flowing and moving parts to work at the same time. I think this is an important concept because of how when things are too organized and strictly linear, it hinders the creativity and imagination of the mind. After watching the show, it was really interesting to see how some of the most creative minds in the world work and I will keep these concepts in mind when I am trying to be imaginative and creative in creating things.
In a quest to seek inspiration I decided that I would walk around campus and take in the wonderful sights Bucknell has to offer. I left my fraternity house and ventured towards the water tower and the new fraternity row. As I walked I thought of how pretty our campus is even on a gloomy day. The trees and open fields were reminiscent of the scene in the Sound of Music, I was very tempted to dance and sign. More seriously I enjoyed walking past all of the new buildings at the back of campus. The area was far less crowded and much quieter than other places at Bucknell especially where I live. I thought about how lucky I am to be able to attend such an exceptional school with regard to academics as well as its visual appeal. I felt a great sense pride knowing that I am able to say that I go to Bucknell. This inspiration that I felt made me want to utilize the many amenities that Bucknell has to offer including the countless academic resources such as the Writing Center and Career Center. I was surprised how much thinking can be done on simple walk when it is just you and your thoughts. I felt relaxed and had a much clearer mind after. I plan on walking more frequently to decompress from the stressors of school.
When I think of inspiration, I think of the different environments I enjoy being in because that’s where my inspiration thrives. Going to a university in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania has been an adjustment in terms of getting used to being in basically the middle of nowhere. However, one thing that Bucknell has taught me is that adapting to new settings can provide spaces to gain inspiration from.
One place that I enjoy going to is the Diversity and Inclusion space in the ELC. It’s where I’ve attended many meetings and workshops. This office has offered me a space where I can collaborate with other students and gain insight on campus related news. Currently the Bucknell African Student Association executive board has been meeting there to plan for our upcoming events. When we last met we thought about how we wanted to execute our annual BAS bash which is an annual event celebrating the organization and the cultures contributing to it. We discussed what type of things inspired us as a community and how we wanted to highlight them in the show.
This experience allowed us to share our unique ideas and help us see through different perspectives. It was important for members to share what they thought was valuable because seeing things through different lenses allows us to get a better understanding of what we want.
When we use the word “Inspiration” we often think of someTHING that gave us that inspiration. This assignment gave us the task of finding inspiration. As I brainstormed for this activity I found myself finding things that inspired me instead of times where I can help ignite inspiration. Eventually I settled on one thing that has always been an outlet for me. Ever since I could start driving I have loved the feelings of just going for a drive. Something about the fresh air and clear roads is so freeing. A purposeless drive that simply lets your brain work through whatever it is thinking.
On Monday afternoon I volunteered at ElmCroft, a local nursing home. I find that whenever I leave volunteering I have a mixed bag of emotions. Gratitude, happiness, sorrow, appreciation. I thought that this would be the perfect time to look for inspiration. I was already in my head thinking deeply and I knew if I went on a drive my brain would continue to do so. I decided to take some back roads but I had no goal for a final destination. At first I was too focused on the assignment and the pressure I felt to come up with new ideas. After I “gave up” I realized my brain was thinking of things on its own. I started to hone in on these ideas and think more freely. Going on drives has always been a place where I find myself coming up with new ideas, remembering things I’ve forgotten, or working through problems. I’ve come to realize that I can intentionally plan on going on drives to lead my mind to wander.
This past Sunday I went to the gym after doing work in the library for five hours. My whole life I have been an athlete, and I came to Bucknell recruited to play lacrosse. When I had to stop playing this year due to injury I struggled to find something else that gave me as much happiness. I realized that I was much less productive and creative without my sport. Although this might be a weird connection, it is what helps me insprire new ideas. I began running, and going to workout classes offered through the Bucknell Gym. I found my grades were improving and it gave me a way to release my stress and focus on myself. When I’m running my mind wanders and I find myself planning out my schedule, and relaxing. I always feel so acomplished after I workout, and I instantly am energized to complete anything I did not want to before. In the beggining, working out without a reason or coach yelling, was like ripping off a bandaid, but when I realized all of the benefits and opportunity it created, it has become a passion.
Running is related to innovation because it is my way of freeing my mind, and organizing my thoughts. When I dont run for a few days I find myself in a rut and not productive. After working out on Sunday I was so much more productive.
I always have been a night owl. The word “bedtime” often made me throw a tantrum, begging my mom for any last seconds I could be awake entertaining. Fast forward to today, my social skills have continued to develop and have allowed me to embrace everything that comes with college. But, I knew that I needed to find a passion that exhausted me by the end of the day. High School sports pushed me to work, sweat, and collaborate with individuals on and off a field. I feared going into college without the backbone of athletics constantly in my day to day schedule. I began to feel anxious in my freshman year and put my sneakers on one day and just simply ran a route. These runs would soon become the backbone to my routine at Bucknell. It has allowed me to build up my miles, two to four to eight… traveling through back roads and abandoned farms, experiencing Lewisburg. Learning how to work hard at something on your own has played an essential role in my ability in believing in myself, knowing that I can run on any path and sprint any hill. The challenge in our day is that kids always look past their shoulders, sometimes too much. The ability to experience being on a sports team is a blessing, but running has inspired me to learn how to be independent. It gives me a structured schedule that allows me to be a night owl, but also helps me look forward to resting. After running 13.1 miles in a race, and looking forward to my full marathon I will be running in 2021, I remain inspired knowing that I can control any route my life takes.
This past Sunday I decided to re-watch the Nationals World Series Game 7 victory over the Houston Astros (cheaters!). Even though I knew that the Nats would win, watching my favorite team rally from down 2 to up by 4 will always give me chills. The inspiring nature of the Nationals season lies in their worst to first finish (they were 24-32 after the first two months and went on to win the World Series a few months later.) The theme of their season, to go 1-0 every day, resonates with me since it’s relevant to my experience at Bucknell as well. However hard the work gets, it’s important to take everything one day at a time and focus on doing something productive every day. By adopting that mentality, I found that work doesn’t pile up and I get much more sleep.
This past weekend, one of my friends made me a playlist filled with their favorite songs, ones that I have never listened to before. It had Mac Miller, Frank Ocean, Leon Bridges, Khruangbin, and Allen Stone on it. When I played it for the first time, it was extremely hard for me to get into the music. It was mostly slow, chill, songs, and I personally like songs that have a stronger beat in the background. However, when I played it in the car on my way to Target on Sunday, I began to pick out some songs that I enjoyed. Allen Stone, as my friend had described to me, was a little like a modern day Stevie Wonder. The three songs by him that were on the playlist were the ones I found myself replaying over and over again in my car ride. I began to think about how even though I consider myself pretty knowledgeable in music, there are so many artists and genres that I’ve never listened to before. I love Allen Stone now, but if my friend had never shown me his music, would I have ever found him myself? I felt inspired by the knowledge that everyone is their own personal music guru, in a sense. When I meet someone new or see someone I already know, I want to be able to see their musical aura floating around them. I want to be able to experience all that music has to offer, because what I know about it is a fraction of what is out there.
This weekend, I spoke to one of my sorority sisters, Lena, about this volunteer program she does called “Bucknell Buddies”. Twice a week, she volunteers at an after school program at Meadow View Town Homes. There, she helps underprivileged kids with their homework and plays with them until their parents can pick them up after work. She has been volunteering there since her first semester Freshman year, and as a current Junior, she told me how much of an impact this club has had on her. This inspired me to sign up for the club and go at least once a week. I haven’t been able to go yet this week due to my course schedule, but I plan on going after our class on Thursday!
In the Inspiration article, it discusses how all work and no play is counter intuitive. Instead, having a “playful view allows us to view the world in a different way” (21). As a college student, I am constantly doing work and having little time to relax. Taking time out of my day to literally play with children is a change from my current environment and routine. I am excited to see what comes from my experience on Thursday and for the strong connections to the kids I will make that Lena gushed so much about.
On Friday, I went to my fraternities regional meeting for executive board members. The meeting we were attending was meant to improve ourselves so that our chapter could be bettered by what we learned. The ride to the hotel took a few hours so during the brief moments of silence in the car as we drove past the farms and wooded areas of Pennsylvania, I took time to reflect. I would put my headphones in to listen to music that calmed me and usually listen to when I study. I wanted to have a clear mind as I was thinking. As I looked out at the fast-moving landscape, I thought about what I could I do personally to better myself. I began to recognize flaws of myself that if corrected would make me a more a better and efficient person. Afterwards I realized that many things that I do like watching TV during the day rather than studying produces avoidable inconveniences such as doing homework later in the night rather than going to bed early. Putting things off during the day causes my future self to be annoyed with my past self constantly. If I finished my work early in the day the stress of school would be alleviated after my classes for the day were completed. This relates to inspiration because my reflection on myself has opened my eyes to being a more productive student and person. I have inspired and motivated myself to become a more structured and consistent person. On days, I don’t want to work out I may skip that day but now I feel that is a necessary part of my daily routine. These times of reflection motivate you to want to be better because you get to imagine how life would be with those flaws gone and goals reached.
What’s a better way to get inspired than meeting new people from diverse backgrounds? This past weekend, I had the pleasure to go on a retreat with about 130 other people on campus about an hour away from campus. This retreat happens every year and is known as the Posse Plus Retreat. Last year, this retreat was held in Lancaster at a 4-star hotel. This year, it was at Camp Hebron in Halifax.
When the Posse Foundation announced this year’s theme for the retreat, I was not excited to attend. However, during the drive there, I realized that this was just another opportunity to hear various voices, perspectives and opinions. Although I am required to go as part of my scholarship program, it is not necessary for me to participate. Some of my friends did not attend the workshops, but I made sure that I was present and contributed to the conversation. It was interesting to hear all of the different issues that people face on campus and how they felt. It was powerful to be included in the discussions regarding these issues. It was inspiring to hear everyone speak up about their struggles.
Inspiration happens all around us. As humans, we are inspired by things that we see everyday, whether we know it or not. The energy that was in the room and on the campsite transferred from individual to individual. Ideas bounced around the room. You could literally feel the passion in everyone’s voice. I had the opportunity to meet new people and make connections with them. Hearing everyone speak in the room about issues they personally felt passionate about was extremely inspiring for me. It was so inspiring that I did something that I thought I’d never do– stand up in front of about 130 people and talk. (If you know me, you know I absolutely hate public speaking. It’s a miracle that I stepped out of my comfort zone.) If I wasn’t inspired by the energy in the room, I don’t think I would have done so.
This past Thursday, I actually made myself dinner for the first time in a while. I live in Larrison, so I therefore don’t have my own kitchen and probably haven’t made myself a dinner meal since the summer. My friend recently moved into a gateway, though, so I had the opportunity to cook dinner.
I decided to cook as a result of this exercise. After brainstorming for a while, I remembered how much I love cooking and how it really has the potential to inspire you. My friend and I decided to make curry – as her family loves to eat this regularly. This was somewhat out of my comfort zone in terms of ability, as I had planned to make something like grilled chicken and vegetables.
Not only was the curry so insanely good, but it inspired me in more ways than I could’ve predicted. It reminded me how I want to travel, and study abroad in somewhere unique. I want to learn about new cultures and foods — and try new things along with that. Previous to Thursday I hadn’t had curry in a long time I couldn’t even remember if I liked it or not, but now I’m asking my friend if we can make it again every night.
Bucknell being a small campus, I never really thought about the places I could go that I have never been. The other night, I decided to take a walk with a friend and go around to really random parts of campus that we would never go to unless we were intentional about it. We put our phones in our backpacks and just explored late at night when no one was around, so it was very quiet and peaceful. We ended up discovering a lot of really cool and beautiful parts of campus that we could have never seen if we hadn’t gone on a walk. It was also really interesting to walk around campus when absolutely no one else was around. I think that experiencing new things creates a lot of room for thinking and thinking definitely leads to some sort of inspiration. Since we also put our phones away, we had a lot of time to talk and reflect about random aspects of life and this is where I think inspiration comes in. I think that reflection and inspiration are two things that go hand in hand. I think that reflecting on various aspects of life makes room for a lot of inspiration to happen. When we reflect we often think of a lot of issues in life, and I think that reflecting on things that make you angry/uncomfortable is a great place to get inspired to make a change.
I spent this past weekend at a campsite for the Posse Plus Retreat. I went into the retreat with a very negative outlook which I based on last year’s experience. Upon reaching the grounds, I was placed in a 10-person cabin, mostly with people I wasn’t familiar with. When the program began, I was reluctant to do any icebreakers or engage with other attendees so I stuck with my friends and avoided extra interactions.
My crowded cabin turned out to be a lot of fun as people came in and out throughout the night, leaving me and my roommates with little-to-no sleep. The next morning I felt more inclined to talk to different people, probably as a result of both my sleep deprivation and spending the whole night with a plethora of interesting people. Towards the end of the night, everyone was tired and conversations became more and more emotional. After spending some time writing letters to our future selves, we got the chance to share what we wrote in front of the whole program. As people were sharing, I heard a lot of reminders for self-love and perseverance but one quote in particular stuck with me. It came from an international student from Ghana who recited a quote he grew up hearing: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” When I heard this, I felt like I got hit with a brick wall. All throughout my life I’ve always wanted to do everything myself so I had full control and went at the pace I wanted. I’ve always appreciated companionship, but I never looked at it as a necessity for the longevity of success.
Inspiration comes in different ways such as a scenic view, a meaningful conversation, or a substantial event. Hearing this inspired me to change the way I perceive success and how to be more trusting and engaging with people, because maybe I can learn a thing or two from someone else.
Coming up at the end of March is my dance team’s annual signature event Bisonette’s Ball. As a member of the team, we’re encouraged to all perform a solo piece as a part of the event – the only problem being the fact that I’m not a huge fan of choreographing. I decided that instead of choreographing the way I usually do, finding a song first and then choreographing, I decided to try it in a slightly different way. I found three of the most random songs I could – an indie punk song, a rock song, and a pop song – and started just dancing. I would choreograph about sixteen counts to one song before trying to do the same choreo on one of the other songs to see if I could adapt the moves to a different style, different beat, different tempo, etc. What I found was that as I switched the songs around and reworked the moves to match I was actually able to come up with more ideas and more variety of moves than I typically think I do. I was using different styles and finding ways to mesh them together into a coherent final product. For me, this relates to the idea of inspiration since I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and forced myself to find new ways of doing old tasks. After doing this for a couple of hours, I found myself a lot more comfortable with the idea of actually choreographing a public piece after playing around and finding new ways to mix and match my favorite aspects of dance and music in ways that I otherwise never would have thought to do.
As a kid I was known for having the craziest dreams of everyone in my family. I would write them down and draw pictures into a movie script. The idea of dreams is really interesting to me and for some time in my life I used to analyze my own dreams as well as others as I believe they can tell us more than we realize. However at school, I don’t normally have the time to write my dreams down anymore or even the time to think about them. This past week I wrote down all of my dreams that I remembered and thought more deeply about what my subconscious was trying to tell me in order to try to gain inspiration. I found that my dreams were telling me my fears in life: to have a job where I’m unhappy and where my life is boring and unadventurous. This dream reminded me to stay creative and to keep doing what I want rather than what might be the easier route. Although this might not seem like direct inspiration, it is a reminder as to what I’ve already been inspired to do. It is easy to forget things sometimes when we’re busy at school, but dreams can be helpful in giving us a wake up call and possibly some inspiration.
Before coming to Bucknell, I spent a lot of my time creating art. I took art classes both in school and outside of school, and often made art in my free time as well; drawing was my main hobby. But, since being here, I have unintentionally let go of a lot of my hobbies, including drawing. When thinking about it, I realized that the most amount of drawing that I have done this whole school year has been the quick drawings that I include on my MIDE mind maps. Although I may not create art while at Bucknell, I look at and analyze a lot of art since I am minoring in art history. The art history class that I am currently taking has prompted me to want to draw again, however I never actually take the time to sit down and create something.
Last night, when I was unoccupied, I decided to finally draw something. I spent about an hour filling a piece of paper with drawings of flowers (my favorite thing to draw), and I was proud of my finished product. When I was looking at my completed drawing, I was reminded of why I enjoy drawing so much: I like drawing because a lot of time, I am able to impress myself with what I am able to create. I am not usually confident in most of my abilities, but the one thing that has always been a source of confidence for me is my artistic ability. My experience drawing last night inspired me to want to reclaim this hobby of mine because it is something that makes me feel good and can take my mind off of situations in my life that feel stressful or pressing.
This week I was able to get off of Bucknell’s campus to attend the annual Posse Plus retreat located at camp Hebron about two hours away from Bucknell’s campus. As a person who grew up in a city, I am not always used to being in a secluded forest like the location the retreat was at. I decided to use this opportunity as a “Play somewhere else” experience to foster creativity and inspiration.
Being in the forest and in cabins allowed me to clear my head and gain new perspective on my week. There was also no cell service, which made me rethink how much I actually “needed” to be on my phone during the day. Coming back to school on Monday, I noticed I was significantly more productive as I realized how little I was on my phone. The most surprising part, I didn’t miss my old phone habits and felt refreshed coming from a new location and back onto campus.
To practice inspiration, I decided I would make it an objective of mine to go for a run each day. From the past, I have noticed that exercise always helped me work through problems and sort out solutions quickly so I thought I would make it a regular activity. After doing this exercise for about a week now, I have noticed that I have been inspired to start tackling my homework assignments in a more organized manner. Due to this motivation, I am now a week ahead of schedule with my homework. This has led me to have more time to hang out with my friends and get their perspectives on certain topics like pop culture events, which in turn will allow me to be inspired to do more fun things. In addition, it has allowed me to go to bed at a more decent hour. Allowing me to reach serendipity.
At this stage in my life, there is a fine line between getting myself inspired and motivated. Inspiration tends to apply to music production and personal business endeavors while motivation tends to apply to school work, my health, and chores. Often times, my methods of inspiration work against my progress in completing school work, however my motivational mindset also applies to my inspirations. This is an issue I’ve been making an effort of working on; bringing inspiration to my school work.
Making beats on my computer is a hobby of mine that requires myself to be inspired. In order to get inspired, I simply listen to music on Spotify or my own beats to stir ideas and fuel interest. It generally works; often times as I am listening to others’ successful work on a professional level, I think to myself, “I could make something like this.” This past week I used this method and made a pretty gnarly beat.
I’ve found that once I actually get myself to begin working on something, no matter what it is, inspiration follows next. One way that I get motivated to start something productive is just thinking about the fact that future self will appreciate that I’ve gotten it finished or worked on it. Just thinking about my future self and telling myself that ‘once you get started on something, you tend to enjoy doing it’ helps me get motivated and ultimately inspired.
When I think about doing it, or when I feel myself needing to get my thoughts in order, I love to write in my journal. I usually go through phases where I will depend on writing almost everyday, and then go months, if not years, without writing again. Recently, I have not been writing that often in my journal, so I thought that a good way to intentionally seek some inspiration would be to write a little bit. When I put my thoughts down on paper, I feel like I have a better grasp on my emotions and am better able to tackle any issues or anxieties that I am experiencing. After I finished writing tonight, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders and some clarity for my current situation. I feel like this relates to inspiration because after getting some of the busy thoughts in my mind out of the way, I was able to make room for calm and random thoughts to enter my mind without being distracted with what had previously occupied my mind. Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed or distracted with certain feelings, I can let them consume my mind, but all it takes is a simple written analysis and I am better suited to listen to myself, work through new, subtle ideas and be creative.
This weekend, I had a strong urge to get out of Lewisburg and do something different from my usual weekends here. I googled “fun things to do in PA”, and after some scrolling, I found “Kaos Fun Zone” in Williamsport, PA and although I haven’t been to an arcade since I was a kid, I thought it would be the perfect place to go. I found a good friend that would commit to going with me and once we got there, it was an absolute zoo with children running around and more arcade games than the eye could see. We bought some tickets and played all the games we could. Once we were done with that we walked to the front desk to cash our tickets in for some prizes and noticed a sign reading “Trampoline Park this way”. There was no way I was going to leave that Williamsport Kaos Fun Zone without ample time bouncing around in the trampoline park. So thats exactly what we did. Although we were probably the oldest people in the park, it was so worth it.
Taking a spontaneous trip to an arcade in the middle Williamsport reminded me that there’s so much more to do around Bucknell than most people think and you just have to look for it. It was super refreshing to get away for a few hours and channel my inner child. The trip inspired me to be more spontaneous in my every day life rather than going through the motions and not straying from what I usually do and also reminded me that not everything I do has to be planned in advance.
This relates to inspiration because I put myself in a completely new environment and out of my typical weekend routine in order to get out of my comfort zone a little more. I got in touch with my more child-like and spontaneous side which has inspired me to do more fun random things in the future!
I often find that when I lack inspiration, exposing myself to new media and scenery can really help. This past weekend, I took a trip up to Penn State University to get a change of location to maybe jump-start my mind and inspire me. On the drive up, I went into my music app and chose an album that a friend of mine had once recommended to me but I had never listened to. By driving along a route that I had not been on before and listening to music that was new to me, I was hoping to introduce some new ideas into my mind and hopefully inspire myself. After both the drive up and back, listening to new albums on both trips, I decided to open up an old, unfinished Illustrator file on my laptop that I had lost interest in a while ago. Feeling stupid, I realized that if I had just used some techniques that I had not been as skilled at before when I had initially started the project, that I would have been able to finish the piece faster and more simply.
I often find, when I am in an art block or unable to do work, that if I move my location and listen to some music, the work becomes much easier to do. I think it can be attributed to the stimulation this introducing to my mind, but cannot be sure. I want to try and use some other methods of inspiring myself though, such as exercise or listening to podcasts instead of music, and see how the effects of these on me differ from my traditional ways of inspiring myself.
This weekend, I attended the Sophomore Brunch. This gave me the opportunity to network with alumni in a more casual setting than most of the networking I have done previously. I sat at a table with three different alumni working in all different fields. I learned about what they did and how they got there and it truly showed that the major you choose in college does not define your job for the rest of your career. I had recently been contemplating whether or not I wanted to double major because I did not see it having a close connection to what I want to do in the future. But, listening to them speak, I realized that if I enjoy learning about it, then I should pursue it and not worry about whether it will help me in the future. Having this conversation with the alumni also helped me to realize that networking is not as stressful as I have made it seem. This has inspired me to reach out to more alumni and think of networking as a more casual event than a formal thing I have previously thought. After this brunch I have made it my goal to reach out to more alumni to learn about what they do and ask them for advice on how to reach my future goals.
In trying to practice inspiration, I decided to make a concerted effort to make lists of my personal goals, future accomplishments, and basic daily tasks. I wanted to do this to try to become more personally organized on a day to day basis, which will help me in the long term with school, health and both my personal and social life. In doing this, I began to think of goals and things I wanted to which I might not have thought of before, on very specific and personal levels as well as more broad, general thoughts. Although this isn’t necessarily practicing inspiration directly, I found inspiration by thinking more deeply into myself and what I truly want or need. This weekend, specifically on Sunday, I was able to get more done within my day because I made more of an effort to be aware of what I thought needed to be done and what would be most productive and personally inspiring. This was just for the short term, but I have continued with doing it and I believe it will help me be more personally creative with my goals for the future.
Similarly, it is rare that I will try to forcefully make myself feel inspired. However, when I think of ways I might feel inspired, I might listen to music or watch music videos with something unique and special that might make me feel differently. If I can combine this with my new productivity from my weekly and daily organization I will be able to be more aware of those more spontaneous and natural inspirations.
On Saturday, I attended the sophomore alumni brunch, which provided sophomores the opportunity to meet and talk to Bucknell alumni. We were randomly seated with different Bucknell alumni, graduating from varying years, majoring in different concentrations, and working in various industries. My two friends and I were seated at a table with two alums, one working as a financial advisor and the other as a technical writer. I was exposed to two new people that shared both similar and different experiences to myself. They provided career and academic advice, and shared their favorite experiences and academic path at Bucknell. This event not only exposed me to other individuals with different interests than myself, but it opened my eyes to the importance of networking, communication, and collaboration. While I have always known that networking is essential, especially as a student, I never fully understood and appreciated its value. Being in a more comfortable and casual setting allowed me to fully share my Bucknell experience with these alum and receive advice on my academic goals and future career path. This experience inspired me to reach out to different alumni and apply to many internships and jobs for the summer. They also mentioned the importance of remaining true to oneself and your interests, and that inspired me to take Bucknell as an opportunity to find multiple passions or fields of interests.
Inspiration for me does not always come from trying new things, but instead by doing things that calm me or distract me from the stresses of everyday life. For me this includes drawing. I not only like to draw because I am somewhat decent at it, but I enjoy the relaxation that it gives me and the mental break. After class on Thursday when we were introduced to the weekend assignment of finding inspiration, I decided to sit down and draw. The best ideas typically come to me when I am on a creative-high and less stressed. This could be because of the lack of pressure that I am under when I am just drawing for fun and letting my emotions out on paper. By taking this mental break this weekend, I was able to realize how much more motivated and eager I feel to accomplish things when I am able to take a breath and relax a little. It is important to take moments for yourself and get a better perspective. I was inspired this weekend to take little breaks every now and then, especially during a busy day or week, to destress and create a clearer headspace so that I can accomplish things more effectively moving forward.
When initially thinking about what inspires me, I immediately think about what truly makes me happy. I do this because, in my opinion, happiness sparks motivation and inspiration. As a child I was always known as being the creative one; excelling in art classes and drawing captivating doodles on the side of my notebook. Not to mention the plethora of crafts I would take on each weekend. Since then, I have felt myself becoming less and less of this creative and artistic child, and more so an organized and structured college student. Though I have picked up good habits for the future, I sometimes wish I could crack into this adolescent side of me. In one of the MIDE 300 classes at the beginning of the semester, we were asked to “make an apple picking machine.” This task was loosely structured to the point that I felt myself enjoying class time more than I had in years. I was able to use play-dough and different crafts to build what ended up being a robot squirrel. Just holding these childish crafts in my hands got my creative juices flowing.
I decided to look for inspiration simply to enjoy life more and overall feel more motivated in day-to-day activities. In order to do this, I chose to reach back in time to the creative little girl I used to be and freely paint. I ended up painting an abstract, rainbow canvas. I did not even care about the outcome, but just the relaxing act of taking time out of my day to step away from life’s stresses and paint was extremely satisfying. This simple act made me feel so inspired by just reminding me of the importance of creativity and individuality. I am excited to see how doing crafts such as this will inspire me going forward.
This past weekend, I decided that I was in a rut. I was sick of the same old thing every weekend: practice, party, homework. So I did as any bored teenage girl does and went to Target.
I am from the city so Lewisburg can get a little boring. I am fortunate enough to have a car on campus so I decided to make the 15 minute track down to Selinsgrove for a taste of civilization. It wasn’t Chicago or New York, but I got off campus. I was wandering down the aisles of target when I ran into a display that made me feel “zen”. There were plants and candles and healthy snacks. In that very moment I decided college was no excuse for me to change the person I am back home: a girl who uses all natural products, eats healthy, and is overall a positive person.
I was inspired. I realized that these past few weeks I had been uncomfortable as I transitioned back into school. I missed the accommodations and diet I had back home which made me sad and cranky. I pledged to change my lifestyle a little bit every week to get back to who I was: starting with my positive outlook on life. I will practice my positive attitude by getting more involved in class. It is so easy to be lazy and not do the readings or participate. That will no longer be me. Bucknell culture makes it so easy to become distracted and thus not give 100% in class. I hope my participation encourages my classmates and alters the culture a bit. I will use my Target inspiration to grow this semester and overall improve my Bucknell experience.
The most inspirational thing I’ve done recently was that I listened to a podcast while I was working out. I occasionally listen to podcasts, but usually I just listen to music when I workout, so this was different for me. The podcast I listened to was the Joe Rogan experience #1080 with David Goggins. Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL who lost over a hundred pounds to join the Navy and after retirement started running ultra marathons, and broke the world record for most pull ups in a day. In the podcast he pretty much told his life story, which is incredibly inspiring on its own, he didn’t even need to go in depth on his career in the SEALs to make the podcast inspiring, but what he focused on was his work ethic and his mental ability to achieve any challenge presented to him. The outcome of this is that I started working my ass off. I went home for Christmas break and had all the free time in the world. While home it was my job to train for the upcoming track season, but I also wanted to do more pull ups. I started doing the Armstrong pull up challenge, which involves doing push ups every morning and pull ups every afternoon/evening. Look it up for a more detailed description. After the morning push ups I’d go for a run or do the running workout that our coach sent us for that day. After the workout I’d eat a light meal and go to the gym where I would get a lift in. I would start with the pull ups then do other upper body lifts then core then get my legs and lower body. After this I’d buy 2 pounds of the marinated whole foods chicken, go for another run, then cook and eat the chicken. Sometimes I’d have another meal later in the night. While I didn’t do all of this every day, I did it a lot, and I’d work hard all day no matter what. I’d like to say it all paid off and I had a great indoor track season after this kind of training but I got in a really bad ski accident the day before I was supposed to go back to school and I haven’t fully recovered yet, however the same “work my ass off” mentality has helped greatly in my recovery and staying in shape when I couldn’t run. It has also helped me be better in every aspect of my life. Instead of constantly doing things that are fun and easy, I’ll spend my days doing things that I feel like will make me better somehow, and as a result I’ve never been happier with myself. S/O to Goggins because his story is what really kick started this mentality for me.