College, wellness

Why I Go To Counseling

Hey friends!

Cue the usual, “it’s been so long since I posted” intro.

Today I had such a great experience I wanted to share my thoughts as soon as I got home from lab and could open my laptop. Here’s the deal, I go to the counseling center at my college. It’s something that I’m not necessarily ashamed of but I also don’t share that as my fun fact when I’m meeting someone new. I’ve contemplated sharing my experiences with counseling on here before but I didn’t feel really compelled to do it until now. I briefly talked about it in my post about “The Most Important Lessons College Taught Me” but today was such a great day I just need to put it out there. If you’re reading this waiting for your sign to go to counseling: this is it. This is the sign!

I’ve seen positive changes in myself.

I used to be just a whole ball of stress. It’s actually funny because before exams people would always tell me how calm I was and mentally I would say, “If only you knew.” And here’s the thing, being stressed is good. It shows you care, but too much of anything isn’t good. And there’s a fine line between wanting to do well and obsessing over it. At some point stress isn’t helpful, it only hinders you. Last year the stress was just too much and even during exams if I started to get stressed I’d be sitting there thinking “okay let’s just get an 83” instead of actually thinking about what was on the exam! Isn’t it crazy that we let ourselves waste so much energy going down the negative thoughts rabbit hole.

Fast forward to this year, I feel so much calmer. When people tell me I’m calm I think, “of course I am, I’m vibrating higher.” A whole post on that is coming up soon! I don’t feel compelled to stay up until God knows when reading the slides “one more time”. I can appreciate all the effort I put into studying and when I’m taking an exam I can think through what I do know so that I can logically figure it out. I’ve even seen improvement in my confidence in my practical skills and patient interactions. I’m not saying I never get stressed anymore because that’s just not realistic but I’m much better at reeling it in than I used to be.

Other people have seen positive changes in me.

This was the reason I was inspired to write this post. Today I had a meeting with my academic advisor and she asked me how I was doing this semester. Just to give you a little background, I went to her office maybe four or five times last spring, and I cried three or four of those times. There were some times last year where I was just like I don’t know how anyone can do this, I don’t think I can do this. My advisor has known me since I was a freshman and she told me that prior to starting the grad phase, I had the grades to do this and that I just needed to figure out how to handle all of this new stress. So I continued going to the counseling center and working on myself and when I had my meeting with my advisor today it went completely differently.

When she asked me how I was doing and I told her that I was doing much better in my classes and I was just overall more confident in myself she told me that she saw it too. It’s one thing to have that feeling that you really are doing well but to have that validation from someone else is unreal. A year before she had been my proctor for my modalities check off and I failed. I set everything up correctly and said my parameters but when asked to repeat them I had doubted myself and changed my answer. This semester I had her as my proctor for my mobilizations practical and I went in so much calmer than I had been the year before. Just the mindset I went in with set me so far ahead. When she asked me to repeat the type of mobilization I chose I did so as if there could not possibly be another right answer. And I earned myself an A.

After my advising meeting, I was driving to the library to pick up a book I had on hold and “Good as Hell” came on the radio and can I just say I was 100% feeling good as hell. And once I finish writing this post I’ll be adding that to my vibrate higher playlist.

Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Yes, I’ll say it louder for the people in the back, mental health is just as important as physical health. Maybe it’s just the Springfield College spirit, mind, and body philosophy in me but it’s true! You are your best self when you take care of yourself! You can read more about me talking about how I balance my triangle here.

Life is hard.

I can’t imagine a better reason! I truly believe that everyone can benefit from counseling at some point in their life. Just because you start going doesn’t mean you’re stuck going every week for the rest of your life. I’ve actually gone to counseling twice now, I went second semester of my sophomore year and then I started going again the fall of my senior year.

I think in some cases counseling is very similar to physical therapy in that the goal is to not have you go forever. While there are some people that may benefit for being in counseling for the long haul (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) most people don’t need to go once a week for the rest of their life. Here’s one more tip: your therapist cannot fix all your problems. You fix all your problems by implementing the strategies you learned in counseling.

And there it is, the reasons why I go to counseling. My hope in sharing this is that it adds to the already present conversation that counseling isn’t for crazy people, it’s for everyone.

Just a reminder, a good counseling relationship is just that, a relationship. It may take you time to find someone that you really click with so don’t give up if your first counselor isn’t the one!

Vibrate higher!

xox,

Marissa

College, Friday Faves, Uncategorized

My Friday Faves: Vol. XI

Here is this week’s Friday Faves! This week is all about back to school! Let me know what your campus must haves are in the comments! Feel free to click on the link above which will take you to any of the things I mentioned!

Happy Friday!

xox,

Marissa

College, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

What I’ve Learned in 2018

2018 has been a huge year for me and I am so thankful for all of the lessons I learned this year. I am so ready to take everything I have learned in order to make 2019 the Year of Marissa!

If you didn’t understand that reference I ask that you shut your laptop immediately and start watching reruns of The Middle on ABC. It’s one of my favorite TV shows and if you didn’t already know… I am Sue Heck.

This photo does not belong to me and comes from Trophy Central

Now that you’ve binged watched all 9 seasons of The Middle let’s get on with the lessons I’ve learned…

Lesson 1: Take time for yourself.

This is something that I have struggled with so much this year and will probably continue to struggle with it in the upcoming year. But it is so important to schedule time for yourself every day. And yes, I said schedule it or else it’s going to get pushed to the bottom of the to do list.

One of the best ways I’ve been able to incorporate this into my studying is to use the Focus Keeper app. It keeps you on task for 25 minutes and gives you a five minute break. After four rounds of staying on task it gives you a longer 25 minute break.

Another way I’ve born able to incorporate “me time” into my everyday routine is to read every morning for 10-20 minutes. Instead of getting up and scrolling through instagram, I read instead!

You also need to plan time for yourself every week in a bigger way! Whether it’s having a movie night with my roommates or going out to dinner with some of my classmates after a huge test it’s so important to have ways to reward yourself for all the hard work you’re putting in.

Lesson 2: Change your perspective.

This is something I only started doing a month before the semester ended but it has definitely changed the way I think about things. There are always things we think we should be doing to feel the most prepared and that often leaves us feeling inadequate. Now I make two lists of things for the day: things I need to get done and things that would benefit me if I could do them today. By avoiding saying I should do this and should do that ad replacing it with things I have to do today and things that would benefit me I avoid the daunting laundry list of things that if I don’t finish them I will end up feeling overwhelmed.

This next one is one I say in someone’s Instagram story that I plan on using this semester. Replace why is this happening to me with what is this trying to teach me?

I firmly believe that by changing the way you look at things, the things you look at change (Wayne Dyer) and I will share any other ways to change your internal dialogue with you as I come across them!

Lesson 3: Believe in yourself.

If I have learned one test taking strategy this semester it is to go into the exam confidently. I performed way better on the five finals I had in six days at the end of the semester than the seven exams I had in seven weeks during the school year.

During our seven weeks of exams, I constantly felt like I wasn’t prepared. I just took a test and then I only had a few days to go through it all again, it seemed never ending. I constantly felt defeated and I was not ready to take whatever test that week entailed, I was caught up in the “should have done this, should have done that” game. During finals I had to adjust my studying pattern, I knew I wouldn’t have the time I thought was adequate because we were squeezing all of these tests into a shorter amount of time. Between accepting that there wasn’t enough time in a day, and realizing I had prepared myself to the best of my ability I went into these tests much more confidently and it paid off!

Another thing is to not compare yourself to others. In an age where social media is everything this is so much easier said than done. When I was asking an upperclassman for advice we were talking about grades and she asked me if I tole people the numbers I got and I said well yeah we always talk about the numbers (pretty much down to the decimal point) when the grades are released. And she told me there’s nothing wrong with talking about how well you’re doing or if you’re struggling in a class but forget about the numbers. In 2021 it won’t matter what I got in each class (as long as it’s above an 83!) and it won’t matter what my class rank is, I’ll still be able to call myself a doctor.

I hope you enjoyed a look into my 2018 and how I’m going to carry those lessons into 2019! One way I am going to stay mindful of these things so I don’t get caught up in all of the stress is to print these three things out and keep them above my desk.

I’m also going to be doing a goal board with my mom before I head back to school so I will keep you updated on that. 2019 is going to be such a big year for me: in May I’ll be graduating and in September I’m going to be moving into an off campus house I’m renting! This next semester is going to be full of a ton of lasts but I can’t wait to see where this year takes me! Let me know what you are leaving in 2018 and what you have to look forward to in 2019!

xox,

Marissa


Travel, Uncategorized

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A few weeks ago (before I sold my soul to PT school), I took the train to Boston to enjoy one of my last days of freedom. I had never been there before but I had seen a photo of the courtyard on Pinterest and it was so beautiful! I have been to Boston sooo many times I found it hard to believe I had never been there before.

I had learned about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in high school because there was a book (“The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft” by Ulrich Boser) on one of my summer reading lists. While I had picked a different book, every once in awhile I would try to remember the name of the museum that had paintings stolen that had never been recovered (more to come on that later). Then three years later I accidentally stumbled in when I found out college students can get in for $5.

Without further adieu here are some of the highlights of my trip

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Had to stop for Blackbird Doughnuts before I headed over! This time I tried the java berry donut, 10/10 would recommend.

After wandering through some of the Emerald Necklace parks I started heading toward the museum.

 

 

Following the death of her husband, Isabella Stewart Gardner opened a museum to showcase her extensive collection of art. She lived up on the fourth floor of this museum and in my opinion it looks like a regular building, so when I was looking around to figure out where I was supposed to going I completely missed it the first time.

 

 

After looking at a collection in the New Wing, I was confronted with the view I had come to see. Gardner’s “Inside Out” Venetian palazzo. I spent plenty of time just taking in that view as well as watching some people restoring a piece of the collection.

Pictured below is a piece of the woman herself. This picture was actually pretty controversial when it first appeared in the museum. IMG_9549

Two of the themes that I was fascinated by, and it appeared that Gardner was also fascinated by were the dancers and the Christian pieces. I forget if this was a Degas painting but there were a few of Degas’s dancers scattered throughout the museum. They also had quite a few religious pieces and the stain glass absolutely mesmerized me.

 

 

The science lover in me really appreciated this one…IMG_9543

Then, I spent sometime in the garden outside reading. (Go take a look at my review of Summer at Tiffany)

 

 

Here’s the showstopper…

IMG_9551This is one of the thirteen empty frames in the museum. Once a piece entered Gardner’s collection it stayed there. Keeping with her tradition of collecting art, the museum keeps the frames as placeholders.

And just one more picture of the courtyard!
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If you are ever in Boston and looking for something to do, I would definitely head here! It’s such a beautiful place and it’s easy to spend hours wandering through the rooms. I want to keep some element of surprise so I didn’t talk about the layout of the museum but it’s very intriguing!

xox,

Marissa

P. S. If you want to check out my Pinterest, you can find it here!