An Introvert’s Tips for College


introverts[republished from 2 years ago. still accurate]

College is a stressful enough change for anyone, but for an introvert, it is particularly harrowing. There are hundreds of new people to meet and interact with, not to mention nowhere quiet to hide. Social interaction becomes a necessary part of almost every moment of the day, an exhausting condition for people who thrive on some amount of solitude. It might be different for everyone, but for me, losing the haven of my quiet room was the hardest. After hours of dealing with people, I could only retreat to…a building with a few hundred more people. And 3 of them in “my” room. After having survived three years of college, here are my tips for introverts at college.

1. Pick one place of solitude. For me, it was my bed. I had heavy-duty curtains and I often made use of them to block out my roommates and the entire rest of the world. I am seriously in love with my bed at school.

2. Limit your social interaction. Regardless of anyone’s expectations or pressures, take the time and space you need. There’s no point in going out for the night if you will Continue reading

Lyse Likes


First full week of the semester = finished! However, it also means I don’t have the endurance for a long, coherent post. Instead, I’m just going to share a myriad of things I have enjoyed recently.

The Iliad ~ The Frozen soundtrack (particularly applicable in below freezing weather here in the South!) ~ French ~ extra credit ~ surprise raccoons ~ quirky professors ~ chocolate ~ Thomas (his posts make me think and always strike some cord of connection) ~ yoga ~ friends who aren’t afraid to challenge me ~ short stories ~ my bed ~ scholastic bowl 😀 ~ jobs ~ overachievers ~ Wikipedia ~ packages (even if they’re just text books) ~ Orion

Genre Discrimination


Are you guilty of discriminating against a genre? Maybe you just think anyone who reads something from *that* genre is a little beneath you…or at least has bad taste. You would never pick up a book from *that* genre because it just isn’t your “type.” I think all of us have done this at some point. However, I try to read broadly. Probably the only genres I purposely avoid are horror and paranormal YA romance. I have my personal reasons for that, and I don’t judge people who do read those genres. But sometimes I do forget that some people never read outside a certain genre. I’ve had friends and certain boyfriends who were like this. To be honest, it drives me insane.

Why am I thinking about this? I read, as many of you may have, Nic Waldham’s post about why writers should read outside their genre. I was a little surprised when I ran across the post. I had assumed that his conclusion should be obvious to people, especially writers! But apparently not.

In a short form, why read other genres? Because they’re different. Different plots, characters, styles, vocabulary, maybe thoughts. You might find another genre boring or funny or thought-provoking. But without question, it will be different. Visit a new section of your library or bookstore and take home something new!

Which genres are you biased against? Are there any you kind of want to try, but haven’t?

Limbo (Also: I might be crazy)


After 1 entire week of no job or classes, I am back at school. I came early for work training, but that’s all over today. Classes don’t start until Wednesday. Work doesn’t start until Monday. It’s just me, alone in my dorm room, with nothing to do.

That’s not quite true. I have books I could read, paperwork I could fill out, organizing I could do, and naps I could take. But I have nothing I must do. And it feels so weird….

I forget how to function when I don’t have a demanding schedule. When my mind is not full of a never-ending task list. I can’t sleep at night, because I’m not exhausted. I could read…but without looming deadlines to make that recreational reading seem precious, I have no desire. It has been like this since I left my full-time job at home a week ago. I didn’t even pack until the day before I left, because there was no urgency.

I am ready for school to start. I want schedules, syllabi, textbooks, an agenda. I thrive on meeting deadlines and completing assignments. I am crazy.

Romance vs. Reality: Facebook


Do you ever wish you could give people a reality check? Really high on my list of said people would be Facebook couples. You know the ones I’m talking about. So, things I would tell them, if I could.

1. Literally no one cares about the 67 billion nearly identical and/or “cool” couple photos you post. Except maybe your mother/grandmother.

2. Nobody wants to read daily mushy statuses. We get it. You’re “happy”. You have a girlfriend/boyfriend. Now please shut up and stop telling us.

3. Private messages. Text messages. Email. Phone calls. There are a million other ways to tell them any of those things you posted on your significant other’s wall. Ways that will not trigger my vomit reflex.

4. Speaking of posts on walls – if you insist on posting about your separation anxiety (for the 50 minutes your bf/gf is in class), I will judge you. Not sorry.

5. If you insist on posting about your separation anxiety over the summer, I will laugh scornfully at your pain and refer you to my friends whose spouses are on duty overseas.

There it is. 5 things I would tell Facebook couples if I could. In case you’re wondering, this is not single bitterness either – I am happy in a relationship and I choose not to sicken my Facebook friends with it. And yes, I realize that I can hide/unfriend them and I do take those steps. But don’t you ever just want to tell people how it is???

/End rant. What do you guys think about relationships and social media? I barely scratched the surface here!

Words of Trust


This blog has been host to many of my ideas and interests, but I have kept one thing off of it – my religion. I have mentioned it vaguely, briefly, but never explicitly. There are a myriad of reasons for this. When I started my blog, I was not particularly strong in my faith – like anyone, I experience ups and downs in my walk, and that was a down point. Another reason is that I did not want to turn off readers who dislike religion. However, there are some reasons I am going to talk about it now. My faith in Christ is deeply engrained – it is a huge part of who I am, and affects every turn of my life. I have no interest in hiding that. I don’t purpose to offend anyone, but I also don’t promise to be someone different just so that people will agree with me. Even if you are not Christian, or believe in no god at all, I don’t mean to convert or offend you, and you may be interested in the perspective my faith can provide.

In the last year, there have been many, many times when I felt my world spinning out of control. My only defense has been trusting God. However, I’m extremely bad at that unless I am constantly reminding myself why I trust God – His goodness, His love, His perfect plan. Outside of Scripture reading, music has been my go-to help for times of trust. The worship-focused melodies and lyrics run through my head incessantly, encouraging me to constant peace and trust. Today has been one such day. I am basking in the words of trust, reminded of how marvelous, incomprehensible, and close my God is. I wanted to share with you my playlist specifically for trust songs. Perhaps they can be an encouragement to you as well.

1. Make My Life An Alleluia – Soundforth (A Quiet Heart)

2. Trust in God, My Soul – Soundforth (Depths of Mercy) – This song has become one of my very favorites over the last year. The words resonate with me and remain in my head for days after. I often find myself listening to it on repeat, trying to burn the attitude of faith into my own heart.

3. Blessings – Laura Story – I just learned this song at school, first from my friends, and then from my new church. It took on new meaning when I watched our music director, whose son lay close to death, lead us in a praise service with this song.

4. Immortal, Invisible – Laura Story

5. In My Weakness – Soundforth (A Quiet Heart)

6. Renew Me – Matt & Christy Taylor (A Gentle Voice)

7. I Run To Christ – Anderson & Habegger

8. Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer – Galvin Evangelistic Team (Consider Him)

9. Mercies Anew – Steve Pettit (So High the Price) – “May this journey bring a blessing, may I rise on wings of faith, and at the end of my heart’s testing, with your likeness let me wake.”

10. Merciful God – Steve Pettit (So High the Price)

11. More Love – Steve Pettit (Higher Ground)

12. All I Have is Christ – Galvin Evangelistic Team (By Faith)

All of these songs have special meaning to me. I could take a single post for each one and explain why I love it, but I won’t. They are all available on Grooveshark, or if you are interested, feel free to contact me and I will share my playlist with you. Obviously, there are many more terrific songs out there, even on the subject of trust. These happen to be the ones I fall back on. I would love to hear your favorites or your thoughts on religion and trust. The only thing I ask is that you remain respectful. My religion is my choice and while I never mind discussing it, I have no intention of arguing about it.

Home is Where the Heart Is


You know that saying about having the “best of both worlds”? I’m feeling it…in reverse. I don’t know where my home is anymore. Whether I’m at school or at “home”, I miss the other one. At “home”, I’m surrounded by strangers who have known me my whole life. At school, I’m just surrounded by strangers. At “home”, everything is comfortable, familiar. But I built habits and memories at school too. I miss my church there. I miss early morning walks. I miss working out with my best friend. But when I’m at school, I miss my little sister. I miss walking my dog. I miss the guy I love.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it will probably be this way for all of my college career. It is a strange waiting period – my parents’ home is no longer fully mine, but neither can I start building a home yet. I used to think that I wanted adventure, I wanted to go places. Nowadays, what I really want is a home – somewhere I feel is always mine, with someone who loves me. I used to think that I wanted a career. I had grand plans for going places, making a name for myself. Now I just want to build a home, cook for my husband, raise my kids. It’s strange how growing up changes our priorities…

I go back to school in about a month. I’m excited! I want to see my friends again. I have a crazy schedule this semester and I cannot wait to push myself again. But I dread it. I hate goodbyes. I’ll leave my little sister behind, missing her goofiness and the way she is always there for me. I’ll leave him behind and try not to stare wistfully at all the attached-at-the-hip couples at school. I’m torn in half – and I don’t see it changing for another few years. Sometimes growing up hurts….but I wouldn’t trade it. I just throw myself in and enjoy every moment I can.

 

Side Effects of Bibliophilism – Part 1


It seems like such an innocent hobby when you’re young…read lots of books, become smart in the process, experience super cool stories, nothing bad here (except the staying up late and parents telling you you read too much (I know, seriously?), but that’s not important). Now a little older, I recognize a few side effects of such obsessive reading. I’m not saying the side effects are good or bad, simply observing that they exist. Also, there are obvious side effects (did I mention excelling at some school subjects?), but I am not dealing with those.

Side effect #1: Treating everyone around you like a fictional character. No disrespect to anyone around me meant by this. Fictional characters are good. 🙂 Realization of this side effect took awhile to dawn on me. I wrote about my fascination with people a few months ago, and started asking “why?”. Why would I look at some people and suddenly want to spend a significant amount of time picking their brain? I wanted to know what was going on in their head, where they had been, where they wanted to go. Duh! What do you learn about a character? Generally, you see some back story, read their thoughts, watch where their life goes. There is no privacy…you see everything. In the space of a few hours, I’ve probed the depths of a (imaginary) person, every tiny secret of their life.

Unfortunately, life outside of books doesn’t work that way. I have no excuse to become so knowledgeable about a person, no basis for probing them. Probably best for them…real people deserve privacy from the intense curiosity of strangers. I watched this side effect play out in my relationships too. The best excuse you have for that type of deep probing is the guise of a relationship. With no conscious intent whatsoever, I believe I may have enjoyed the high of figuring out a few of my partners as much as I actually enjoyed the “relationship.” My depression after those breakups was more from the sudden lack of connection rather than any real hurt. I have yet to decide if that was unfair to the guys…I’m just aware of it for my future relationships.

This side effect is a mixed bag. Is it bad, my desire to probe the depths of a person? Probably. However, my fascination of people leads me to be accepting and more appreciative of humanity, which is clearly a good thing. It balances out…I am fascinated from afar, with no threat to anyone’s privacy.

Has anyone else experienced this side effect? Please tell me I’m not alone!

Magically Ordinary


Confession: I engaged in a highly dangerous activity for a college girl.  I…..browsed Pinterest. If you are unfamiliar with this hazardous practice, I encourage you not to research it. But definitely finish reading this post, because Pinterest actually isn’t the theme. I am clearly desperate to escape my homework, because I worked my way through the humor, geek, and women’s fashion categories before perusing the Quotes. Now, not that I have anything against quotes, but they tend to be…sappy. Also sketchy. How to make a quote pin: Find a random picture, write words on it, slap a name on the end. Voila! But I can’t really diss it, because the quotes did give me a blog idea, yay!

What are the magical moments in your life? Not the “man of your dreams got on one knee and asked for your hand in marriage” magic. The simple magic moments. There are obvious ones: sunrises, sunsets, animal antics, moving sights of nature, etc. But it could be anything. A bright color, a smiling child. I am going to list a few of my favorite magic moments of the past, and then this week I am going to keep a log of my favorite moments, which I will then share next week. I encourage you to do the same…acknowledging magic makes it ever so much more powerful in your life. 🙂

 

*Lying in the backyard with my dog, watching the stars * sitting out in the sun reading * watching snow fall for the first time in my life * having a little boy run up and tackle hug me * the little girl at work who told me I looked like Rapunzel * sitting on a bridge over a creek, soaking up the sun and reading * wandering the library, memorizing the placement of each book * nights at the fair full of laughter and adrenaline * holding my puppy for the very first time * dancing around the living room with my little sister * staring out my window mesmerized by the green, blue, and gold that came through our pine tree * the smell of freshly cut grass and sweat on a soccer field * the running of any water…river, lake, ocean*

What are your favorite magical moments?

Castles


What do you dream? Everyone has different dreams. I’m not asking what your “dream” job, vacation, or partner is like. When you picture your future, what do you see? Perhaps you don’t think about your dream very often. Or perhaps your dream is the glittering light at the end of tunnel, driving your every step.

Dreams are beautiful. They provide goals, a reward, an escape. Sometimes we build dreams we don’t even realize exist. Realized or not, they build a hope inside, a glorious expectation. Our dreams change too, normally in imperceptible amounts, a tweak here or there. Sometimes though…sometimes a dream castle crashes to the ground, demolished by something…anything.

Where do you go without a dream? How long do you mourn the death of your dream? Or….do you continue to dream with the same castle, rebuilding it piece by piece? It is a dream, after all, something that can be hoped for with little basis in reality. At some point though, disbelieving reality becomes pitiful and dreaming becomes delusion.

Dreams…the realm of two-faced Janus, promising either beautiful realization or heart-wrenching denial. How long is it worth dreaming? How many dreams must be demolished before one is realized?

“I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”

Life would not be worth living without dreams. They must be accepted in all their glory and danger. Each crashing castle is simply the chance to build, slowly and painfully, another more glorious replacement. Dreams must, always must be dreamed….in an Inception-like manner, I suppose one could say that the hope of dreams is a dream itself. Regardless, for life to maintain its glitter and potential, dreams must not be forsaken. I do believe in dreams. I do. I do.