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The Future

Anna

Ten Things I’m Thankful for

by Anna on November 21, 2016

in College Life

Thanksgiving is just one week away!  It’s probably my second- or third-favorite holiday; I can’t decide between it and Easter.  Anyway, now is a great time of the year to count your blessings, so to speak.  I know it’s nearly the end of the semester, you’re probably exhausted, and you’re looking forward to some time with family…but in these busy moments, I think it’s especially important to look at yourself with a positive outlook.  In a world of negativity and brokenness, we, Fontbonne as a community, can spread some counter-feelings of optimism, respect, and encouragement.  And what’s a great way to start on that track?  Look inward, outward, and all around you, and see what’s good in your life.  I’d like to encourage you to make a list of your own in the next few weeks; maybe it would be appropriate for in between studying for finals…a nice way to take a breath, relax, and appreciate everything a little more fully.  It can be as short and simple as you like!

So here’s my “top 10” list of things I’m thankful for, in no particular order, by the way!

  1. Fontbonne:  I love the faculty, staff, my fellow students, the opportunities to pursue one’s passion and “serve the dear neighbor”, and the entire atmosphere in general.  Even on days when I’m really tired and just not feeling too upbeat, my mood ends up brightening by being on campus, going to class, and knowing I’m surrounded by wonderful, supportive people.
  2. My family & friends:  My parents, brother, godparents, and other friends (young and old) bring me so much joy.  They’re patient, kind, loving, encouraging, funny, and genuinely interested in hearing about the latest topic or subject I’ve covered in class.  I may not have a huge social web, but the relationships I have with my relatives and companions are deep and permanent.
  3. My horses:  Dear, sweet little Pearl-baby and Blondie-girl, who have been so cooperative and easygoing about my lack of time for them since school started.  They’re happy to just be groomed, petted, hugged, loved on, and told how much they mean to me.  Owning a horse is so much more than riding; in fact, it’s really quite irrelevant to me.  I think it’s way more important to have a strong relationship, built on trust and respect, than a surface level “hop on and ride off into the sunset” sort of thing.
  4. Good health:  I’m grateful for the ability to exercise every day and not be compromised in any way by injuries or illnesses.  My first semester at Fontbonne is nearly over, and I have not gotten so much as a sneeze, which I’m pretty proud of…especially considering how little sleep I’ve recently been getting!
  5. Freedom:  I’m thankful for all of the men and women who have served or are currently serving in our military, protecting and preserving my rights.  I’m really glad for my, your, and everyone else’s ability to voice their opinions and beliefs.  Now more than ever, we need to ensure this right does not get lost or suppressed for anyone; but even more importantly, we need to be civil and respectful when speaking with someone who may hold a different set of beliefs.
  6. Faith:  This ties into #5 above (freedom).  Every Sunday morning, I can go to church with my family to experience communion and fellowship with other believers.  I can be refreshed for the coming week, forgiven of my sins, receive the Lord’s Supper, and encouraged to live a life of grace and love.  My right to worship is not infringed upon, and for that I am appreciative.
  7. Sunrises & sunsets:  For all the darkness and gloom surrounding winter, you have to admit we have some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets.  Colors of red, orange, golden, blue, pink, purple, and more set the sky on fire and always make me hopeful for the day ahead.  In that quiet stillness, there is peace to be found.
  8. Home sweet home:  I have a roof over my head, heat and air-conditioning for all seasons, abundant clothing, running water, electricity, Internet service, and so many other creature comforts.  We take these for granted far too much.  Remember that there are millions of people all around the world who do not and may never experience these everyday conveniences.
  9. Food:  Once again, just how many people do you think do not have access to quality food and water like we do?  I’m not trying to shame you for enjoying the bountiful feast your mom or grandma prepares for Thanksgiving…I think it’s one of the best times to come together as a family for fellowship and yummy goodness.  But maybe after that final piece of pumpkin pie, consider volunteering for a food pantry or donating to a charity that seeks to improve the lives of people who aren’t in the same fortunate position we are.
  10. The Future:  I’m thankful to be able to pursue my studies in dietetics and history, two passions of mine, and eventually help people live their lives to the fullest.  I’m thankful for classes that challenge, push, and mold me into a version of myself I never dreamed I would be.  I’m also thankful for the opportunity to share my musings about the future with all who read this blog…you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings,

~Anna

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The more I think about my future, the more I realize I’m clueless. My response to this state of cluelessness is to seek out other people to talk to; current and former professors, close friends and significant others, parents, randomly trustworthy strangers… why not?

The thing is, I want to do SO MANY things. I’d love to work a bunch of different jobs for a while, and not even particularly glamorous or well paying jobs. I’d like to work in a loud, noisy, dangerous factory for a while, for the experience. I’d like to work as a waiter for a while for the practice in interpersonal skills. I’d like to work at a printing company to learn more about the printing process and see what goes into the process we so often take for granted in our packaging. I’d like to work as an electrician because wiring things up is just cool, and I’d love to get the skills and know-how to fix up my own house – for the same reasons, I’d like to work as a plumber and an auto mechanic and a carpenter, so I can do so many things myself. I’d like to work as a landscaper and a construction worker to get outside and do things with my hands and sweat. I’d like to be a salesperson, both door-to-door and in a store. So many things! It’d be so cool!

On top of that, of course, there’s the “real” jobs, the jobs where my college-earned credentials are important. I’d love to work in advertising, of course, as an account executive, but also maybe as a planner, a media buyer, a research analyst… And more recently, I realized how much I’d enjoy being a professor, teaching advertising and sociology.

The cool part is when I think about all this, I’m not scared at all. Right now I don’t know where I’ll be in three months, six months, a year, three years… No clue! But I’m not scared. I’m realizing how much I’ve learned at Fontbonne during my time here that isn’t just random skills and useless facts. I’ve learned so much about critical thinking and problem solving. I’ve learned how to learn new things, if that makes sense. So I know that wherever I end up and whatever I end up doing, I’ll be okay.

And that, that’s pretty exciting. So… where are you headed?

(Fifty-two days ‘til graduation!!)

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Have you ever had one of those days when you feel really good about what you’re wearing, you had a good workout, and your grade in chemistry is solid? I was fortunate enough to have one those days today, although I can think of tons of times when I’ve felt like I didn’t ride as hard as I could have on the stationary bike (one of my new favorite pastimes), or that while my brother and I have the same nose, it looks way better on him. In other words, we all have days when we feel insecure for whatever reason. This morning as I was cycling away, I saw on the Today show a little segment about how girls now more than ever are feeling the pressure to be the impossible: the image of perfection. This kind of relates to what I want to do in the future, because I became interested in nutrition through my own crazy pursuit to reach perfection as a super-thin ballet dancer.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do. Although I’m keeping my options open by taking PT prerequisites, I really want to be a sports nutritionist at the moment, because I feel like there’s a ton of cool stuff that I want to do with it! Here are some of my goals that I’ve come up with. We shall see whether or not I can actually do all (or any!) of them.

  1. I want to work with athletes…obviously. I especially want to work with runners, triathletes, dancers, and Olympians.
  2. I want to do some work with ballet students to educate them about eating disorders. This is what sparked my interest in nutrition to begin with.
  3. I want to write articles on nutrition for various fitness and dance publications, like Women’s Health and Runner’s World.
  4. I not only want to specialize in nutrition for athletes, but Women’s health as well. This also kind of relates to eating disorders.
  5. This is my crazy goal: I want to develop my own line of sports nutrition bars for athletes, because I’m obsessed with Clif bars and Luna bars. Why not create my own, right?

What are your goals for your own future? I never knew the sciences of food and sport could make me so excited!

Have an amazing weekend, everyone!

-Carly

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.