Busy, Busy, Busy with Family, Apartments, and NYC

That wonderful moment when you cat walks across your keyboard and deletes the majority of a new post…

Anyway–the past few weeks have been pretty busy here at home, with two separate sets of family coming to visit. We went to Disney with the first group and apartment shopping with the second. I thoroughly enjoyed Disney, as mentioned in a previous post, seeing as I shy away from actual roller coasters, and my nephew loved it as well, but not as much as he loved Legoland. The second group of visitors reminded me of how terrifying it can be to search for an apartment. My cousin, who is moving to Florida on rather short notice for a job, had basically one day–maybe two if he was pushing it–to go to his new town and find a place to live. Stressful stuff, but exciting nonetheless. My mom, my other cousin, and I certainly had fun on the day trip, though; we tested all the candy at the complex offices. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it…

 

Seeing my cousin look for apartments really made me start to think about what I would want in a law school apartment. No matter where I go, I’m going to have to move, be it across town or across the country. I’ve started to compile a list of ‘wants’ and a list of ‘needs’ in my head about my next place, which is making me feel a bit more prepared. ‘Want’ a storage closet; ‘need’ it to be pet friendly. 

 

I have fooled myself into thinking that this want/need list is enough productivity for now. I should be working more on my law school applications, but it’s hard to find the motivation at the moment. Right now, I’m loving being lazy for the summer. I’m probably going to embrace it for a few more weeks. 

 

Heading off to NYC on Thursday and I’m SO excited. It’s going to be a great trip, but I still need to pack. My friend and I are going to see Once while we’re there, which was a nice last-minute addition. So looking forward to wandering and exploring one of my favorite cities with one of my best friends! 

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Let the Law School Application Madness Begin

Since getting my second and final LSAT score back on Tuesday, I have started to buckle down and enter into application mode. Before, it was hard to really tell where I had a good chance of getting in, since I was hoping/praying/offering to sell my soul for a higher LSAT score. Ultimately, my hard work paid off and I find myself content, at last, with the three fateful numbers reported back to me by the omnipotent LSAC website.

Here are the things that I want out of law school:
1. A school with a good reputation (preferably a high ranking, as well)
2. A pretty campus in a nice area where there’s fun stuff to do (read: shopping)
3. Seasons
4. …

Who am I kidding? I want to go to the best school I can possibly get into. To do so, it seems that I have to apply basically everywhere–I’m being overly dramatic. Probably more like 18 schools, even though my LSAC “school list” is currently at 25. I have a diverse list that I’m looking at, but trying to not get too attached to any single school.

Ultimately, although I love organization and projects, I still feel like I’m still recovering from some serious application PTSD from undergrad applications. I can hardly believe it’s been four years since I did this last; it seriously seems like I was writing personal statements just last year for the Common App. I’m trying to be proactive about things here and have spent the last day or so revamping my resume and reworking a personal statement draft I had written earlier in the summer.

I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life, but it’s weird to think that the time I’ve been looking forward to for so long and preparing for for so long–that is, applications, themselves–is finally here.

Jawbone and Disney

It’s been a busy week so far and we have quite a full house here. My brother’s family is in town and catching up with them has been just wonderful. My nephew is four and a total city boy, so he’s having a blast with all the space in our house and backyard. After a day of boating and swimming in the lake, we took the day yesterday to go to Disney. My nephew had never been and we were excited for him to go (read: my mom and I wanted to see the new castles and this was a good excuse to go).

Disney with William

My nephew and I had some fun while waiting in line for the new Little Mermaid ride.

Outside disney

 

One last shot (a picture and some Starbucks) before heading home.

 

Similarly, it has been a busy week for me, personally, since I got a Jawbone band from the Apple store. I had heard a great deal about these little bands and was curious to know how they worked. I’ve had pedometers before, as well as heart rate monitors that sporadically latched on to my actual heart rate, but they were predominately for use in the gym. The thing I like about the Jawbone system is that it really factors in the activity you do all day long, as opposed to the hour or so I dedicate to the gym four to five times during the week. Summer’s sedentary nature aside, as a college kid on a huge campus, I walk a lot–so much so that I gave up running because I felt like it was just too much (I’m not a natural runner, so this was an easy choice for me). I want credit where credit is due, because during the school year, hauling myself to class is really the bulk of my cardio, even if I do a few runs a week or a spin class here and there.

So, I began my Jawbone experience a few days ago. I originally believed that the “average” 10,000 steps a day would be easy enough for me to complete, since I figure I’m an “average” user–I’m healthy, I work out, I walk a lot here and there. The first few days, it was rather disappointing to see that I did not even come close to reaching this goal, even considering a lengthy strength training gym trip where I consciously walked around more during breaks between sets. Until I actually ran three days ago, the most steps I had taken was around 7,000 steps. On the day that I ran for thirty or so minutes, I only achieved about 120% of the goal–that is, 12,000 steps. And that was with running!

Increasingly frustrated, unsure of how I would possibly reach this “average” while living my summer lifestyle, I wore the band to Disney with my mom, sister-in-law, her mom, and my nephew. I figured that, without a doubt, I would reach and surpass the 10,000 step goal on a day like that. I mean, we didn’t walk very fast, because my nephew is still small and takes little steps, but it still felt like I had been walking for days by the time we made it to the tram back to the car. This feeling might have had something to do with the increasingly hellish temperature here in sunny ole’ Florida, but we also did a lot of backtracking and wandering in search of the new castles. Thus, I was rather surprised to see that, by the time we got to the car, I had reached roughly 90% of my goal–something around 9,000 steps–in the whole day.

In summary, I like my Jawbone. Aside from the issue I’ve been having with it falling out of sync with my phone during the night and the alarms set on it not going off in the morning, I like the device. However, I am coming to accept that their “average” 10,000 steps must be the “average” for super active runners and the like. Oh well. Time to lower the goal to a more reasonable 7,000 steps for the time being and revisit the 10,000 once school starts up again in the fall.

Patience is a Virtue…

…A virtue I sorely lack. Beint patient is something I have struggled with pretty much all my life. Even as a nervous little kid attending my first reconciliation, I remember asking the priest for guidance in being more patient. Even to myself, my lack of patience is incredibly frustration. For example, with the LSAT yesterday, immediately after the test was over, I felt compelled to check the LSAC website to see, at the very least, when scores were to be released (not to mention the lack of patience I experienced when this one boy in my testing room repeatedly ignored directions, adding ten or so minutes to the already-lengthy name-bubbling portion). I restrained myself from actually checking because, of course, nothing would be there. The tests probably hadn’t even left the building we took them in!

Experiencing a lack of patience with test scoring probably isn’t that unusual, especially for anyone used to the immediate gratification of scoring your own practice sections or tests. But the infuriating lack of patience I experienced this morning, for example, when my cat decided to hang out under the cars in the garage and ignore my pleading calls to come back into the house entirely, was an entirely different story. Having entirely no control over a situation is hard for me, as a type-a control freak/perfectionist. Have you ever tried to get a cat to come when you call? Yeah, doesn’t happen.

In many ways, I’m used to relying on myself for things. When working on group projects, I much prefer to carry the bulk of the work than to sit by and let others dictate what we should each do. When writing papers, I prefer to find information online or figure out where in the library books are, rather than approach one of the school’s many librarians for assistance on a topic. My future is MY future so I want to be in control of making it as great as it can be. I suppose in some ways this is a trust issue, too. I trust myself to get things done; I don’t necessarily trust random group members who I don’t know (maybe this is wrong of me, but anyone who has ever done a group project should understand this sentiment). So, when things fall out of my control, it’s hard. When people don’t react the way I wish they would, it’s hard. I can’t affect how quickly or slowly the LSAC scores my exam. There is literally nothing I can do about it. Even if the that thought makes me anxious, I know that I have to accept it. Even though my cat did not want to come out and wanted to sit under the cars for God knows what reason, I have to accept that. And, lastly, there’s absolutely nothing I can do about a girl who is rude about a shirt order I made for my pre-law fraternity, who I now have to send a refund. (This last one is, perhaps, the hardest of the three for me to accept today.)

I remind myself that things happen for a reason and that they work out the way they’re supposed to, but sometimes this little mantra just doesn’t seem to suffice. Now that the LSAT is over, I think I’ll take this awful waiting period between the exam and finding out my score as an exercise in patience. And, next time Louis decides he needs to play in the garage, I’ll try to be more understanding. No promises, though.

Workout Lethargy

Maybe it’s the sticky humidity here in Florida, or maybe it’s my summer-break mentality, but I definitely don’t have the energy and dedication to going to the gym that I would like.

At school, I’m active pretty much all day, which is not the case when I’m home. Between walking to class, walking home from class, and running late to meetings, I manage to get a work out in without even going to the gym. And then, when I do go to the gym (four to five times a week), it’s incredibly close to my apartment. At home, the gym is about ten minutes away from my house, as opposed to my five minute drive at school (I know, I know, the difference is marginal, but it’s enough to make me decide against going). Yoga classes here are at 9:30 AM, where the classes at school are at 10:15 AM. For a morning person, that forty-five minutes can feel crucial.

Furthermore, at school, while I do like to cook, I often favor quick meals (read: scrambled eggs, simple sandwiches, cereal, spoons of peanut butter…) over properly cooked entrees. This is often the case not only because I am often busy in the evenings with meetings for my pre law fraternity and homework, but also because I can just be really lazy. At home, simply because I’m with my parents who eat proper meals because they’re adults, I tend to eat more.

All in all, this is a vicious cycle that I have found myself in every summer since I started college. This workout lethargy is attacking me particularly badly this week because I’m super sore from yoga (plow pose is not for the faint of heart) and feel like I should skip afternoon workouts in favor of LSAT studying (read: life will be much better after June 9th).

Working out is a great thing and I love it 98% of the time (just kidding…probably more like 90%). It keeps me healthy, gives me an outlet for stress, and helps me balance out my love of food with my desire to stay fit. But sometimes, like right now, it becomes an unnecessary stress. It’s important to remember that skipping one or two workouts is NOT the end of the world. It will not make or break one’s health.

I write this mostly for myself, because this is something of which I must constantly remind myself. Life is a balancing act, and summer seems to be no different. Even if I don’t have term papers to worry about and classes to attend, there are still things that need to get done–things that make a gym routine difficult to maintain 100% of the time.

This summer, I’m working on being flexible in two respects: one, physically in yoga, and, two, in my (workout) routine.

 

Pre-Law Preparations

I was going to title this post “Pre-Law Woes,” but I’m trying to be optimistic. As the June LSAT approaches, I find myself with less anxiety than I anticipated. That’s not to say that I’m not worried–this test is huge and I know how much of a mind game the whole thing is–but I know how nerves can negatively affect me in these situations. I’ve done my preparations and this is my second time taking this terribly long and exhausting exam. Now, I just need to practice going through the motions of logic games, reading comprehension, and logical reasoning until the day of the exam. 

Education is something my family has always valued. From when I was a child, my parents always prompted me to read; I was a very curious kid who read voraciously. History has always been a favorite subject of mine, and I have always enjoyed writing. Political Science found me later in high school, but I have come to love this field, as well. As I inch towards my last year of undergrad, I’m forcing myself to reconsider my post-grad plans. I want to go to law school–100% absolutely–but I’m not sure I want to pursue a typical career in law. I’m not argumentative, but I like rules and organization. I’m eager to get started with my study of law, but I’m not sure I want to leave political science and history behind.

Since writing my thesis in the fall of this past year, I’ve begun to reconsider my previous vow to never go into academia. The whole process was a lot of work, but it was incredibly rewarding. Looking back, I actually enjoyed it! I’ve also been coming to terms with the fact that I don’t know exactly what I want to do with my life. My mom still says she’s not sure what she wants to do when she grows up.

So, I am planning to go into the June LSAT with my nerves at ease. I’ve done all of this before, I know what to expect, and this score does not make or break my career. It’s so weird how, by just keeping in mind that I have options and that my career path is not set in stone, that I’m managing to not freak out like last time. Maybe there’s something to this positive outlook, thing.  

Inaugural Animal Post

As mentioned in my first post, I recently adopted a kitten–my first pet. I’ve had dogs before with my family, including “my” dog, Max, whose untimely death will still bring me to tears even after eighteen or so months have passed. Louis, my cat, is my first on-my-own pet. I am entirely responsible for him and, at times, it is stressful, but it is so rewarding.

Having pets around just makes me happy. I like having a little ball of fluff around to play with when I need a break from studying or to sit with while I watch TV. Before I adopted Louis, I did like living alone, but it definitely got lonely at times. Having Louis really keeps these feelings at bay.

Louis is a shelter cat, rescued because someone dropped his little one-month-self off at the Alachua County Animal Services back in September or October of last year. There, he received medical attention and was taken over by a wonderful shelter in Gainesville called Helping Hands. Between these two great facilities, the broken leg he had come in with healed and did not need to be amputated, as was originally thought. Since adopting Louis back in January, I’ve started working with Helping Hands and have loved every minute of it. The few adoption events I’ve been able to help out with inspired me to look for something animal-related to do over summer when I’m away from Gainesville. This led me to the Orlando SPCA, for whom I am crocheting pet blankets to line crates, play areas, and carriers with.

I love to crochet, and I’m getting a lot better with it now that I have projects to work on, continuously giving me something to practice with. However, I’m starting to run low on yarn reserves from around the house (my mom had accumulated enough yarn to…well, I’m not quite sure what you could do with it, but it was a lot…) and buying more adds up fast. That’s why I started a booster campaign (click here to see the page) to raise money for crafting supplies for pet blankets for the Orlando SPCA and, ideally, Helping Hands for when I get back to school. (Also, I wanted a reason to put Louis’ adorable face on a t-shirt!) So, for $15, you can get an adorably wonderful t-shirt and help me buy more yarn for cat and dog blankets (and toys if I get better at all this!). Thanks for your help and attention!

Louis’ Shelter Cat Shirt Booster Campaign: http://www.booster.com/Louis

P.S. Check out Louis as a baby kitty (about 3 months old). Look at the little jacket! They called him Mr. Mittens because of his white paws, which you can see in the second picture, in which he is about 7 months old (and sitting on a cat blanket!).

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L on green blanket