This month I spent a ton of time relaxing, working on the blog, and reading. I’ve been enjoying not having much to do until camp starts at the end of June. In case you missed it, I’m going to be a camp counselor this summer and I couldn’t be more nervous/excited! I’ve never been a counselor before but it has always been something I have wanted to do. I used to go to camp a lot as a kid and I looked up to the counselors so much. I can’t wait to be able to be a role model for some kids this summer!
Other than hanging out at home with Grace, I’ve been able to see my brother play a few high school baseball games. He verbally committed to play college baseball at the University of Virginia this week and I’m so proud of him! It has been a long recruitment journey but I’m so excited to see him so happy and ready for this next step in his life. He still has one more year of high school ahead of him, but it’ll be nice for him to relax and not have to worry too much about his post-high school plans.
This month I ended up finishing FOUR books. I’ll hold for the applause. Lol jk. But seriously WHAT?! Granted, two of them were really short 150 pagers but that’s still a pretty good accomplishment for just one month. I think I probably could’ve read more but I was just too busy doing blog stuff #sorrynotsorry I’m definitely going to do a post on these books and give a more in-depth review BUT I will tell you what books I finished this month:
Never Never part 2 by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Never Never part 3 by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
10 Tips for a New Semester (AP the PA) — Aashna shares her top 10 tips for getting ready for a new semester. I stumbled across her blog a few weeks ago and I love it! She blogs about her journey through PA school and it’s so interesting! I highly recommend you check out her blog.
My Summer 2016 Reading List — Y’all. This post TOOK OFF. I didn’t expect to be getting this many views from it but hey, I’m not complaining. Check this out if you wanna see what I plan to read this summer! There have been plenty more books added to my TBR list since this was posted but, what are ya gonna do? Follow me on Goodreads if you want to stay up to date!
I’m not a huge country music fan. I typically roll my eyes whenever someone puts on “The Highway” or 92.5 XTU. However, this summer, I’ve been putting on a brave face and I’ve found that I’m actually sorta into country music? My brother is a baseball player and you know that they’re all about country music. My parents have also been embracing his new interest in country and have been playing it every time I’m in the car with them. I know some people are always like, “I love every kind of music, just not country”. And I promise you I was one of those people. But I’ve gotta tell ya that it’s really not that bad. You just have to find the good songs! And hopefully I’ve done all that work for you. Here are my top 5 favorite country songs right now.
My Church — Maren Morris
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this song the first time I heard it but it has easily become one of my favs!
Wasted Time — Keith Urban
I love jamming to this with the windows down! It was on repeat on my way home from New York. It’s such a great song to drive around to.
Confession — Florida Georgia Line
FGL is one of my favorites. I love how they incorporate rap and country music! Confession is another song that I love to jam out to while I drive!
T-Shirt — Thomas Rhett
Besides Thomas Rhett being absolutely dreamy, this song is definitely my top favorite country music song right now. I’ve been playing it for weeks and I still haven’t gotten tired of it!
I Like the Sound of That — Rascal Flatts
Always love listening to Rascal Flatts! This song has been my jam for the past few weeks, too. I love the chorus, it’s so easy to sing at the top of your lungs 😉
This summer, I’m trying to be more deliberate with my goals and I hope to stay more organized in my approach to the blog every day. I have a few more weeks to devote my time solely to the blog and then I will be working on it nights and weekends (mainly Saturdays). I wanted to get my thoughts down on paper (well, you know what I mean) and share my plan of attack with all of you!
Figure out a post schedule that works for me.
I’ve been so back and forth with posting. I used to post MWF and then I started doing Monday/Thursday, and now I basically just post whenever I have something written. This isn’t cool for me anymore and I want to do a better job at being consistent and making sure I’m posting new stuff for y’all on a regular basis. I know there will still be some instances where life or school gets the better of me, but I really hope those days/weeks are few and far between going forward. I love blogging and I hope that life never becomes too overwhelming to continue doing it!
Newsletter, newsletter, newsletter.
I have a newsletter (if you’re already a subscriber — THANKS!) but I don’t send it out nearly as often as I should. I want it to be more than just a blog post recap but at this time, there’s really nothing else I can think of putting in it. So I stopped sending it out. I’ve been considering doing a weekly recap similar to my monthly recaps but I’m not sure if that’s something people will actually want to read. If you have any ideas, let me know!
I want to start vlogging this summer. I’ve always wanted to vlog (my boyfriend Ryan used to be a pretty big YouTuber), but I’m so awkward on camera! I decided that after this post went semi-viral, that I want to start book vlogging. I love to talk about books and I think doing it on camera where I can physically show y’all the book and talk about it will be really fun! I still plan to blog about books but I hope to incorporate a video version as well! I’d also love to continue to do the Guys Behind the Blog linkup but on video instead. Ryan is really charismatic and it kills me that you all don’t get to see that! I want to share our relationship with y’all because he’s great and I love him!
If you’re interested in seeing some videos this summer, you can follow my YouTube page! I don’t have much up yet, but you’ll be the first to know when I do.
Get through an e-course and #BlogBossBabe videos.
I bought Helene’s e-course Quit Your Job to Blog a few months ago and haven’t had much time to really dive into it. I have gone through a few modules and have learned a lot! The next one is all about SEO which is something I know very little about so I can’t wait to continue to go through the sections and put what I’ve learned to good use! I also just became a member of Helene’s new website Blog Boss Babe. It’s really awesome so far and I want to make sure I’m getting as much out of the community as I can. I hope to watch a few videos per week and finish the e-course sometime this summer!
Have a blog routine.
I spend a lot of time bouncing around doing blog work. I’d love to figure out a set routine that I do whenever I sit down to work on blog stuff. I’d also love to have it timed out, too. 1 hour to comment on blogs, 1 hour to work on a newsletter, 1 hour to write a post, 15 minutes to schedule tweets, 30 minutes to take Instagram photos, etc. I think this will make me more productive and hopefully I will always be devoting enough time to each aspect of the blog.
What are your blogging goals for the summer? How do you keep yourself on track?
Today I’m bringing you the first of (hopefully!) many blog posts about grad school for speech-language pathology. (Get caught up about why I’m blogging about this in the first place!) Now that I can officially say I’m a senior in undergrad, I think it’s time to get started on those grad school applications and the first step to doing that is to figure out where I’m going to apply in the first place!
Now I’m gonna be honest (because I’m always honest with y’all on this blog o’ mine) and say that no, I haven’t actually narrowed down my choices yet. And I think it’s hard because I have literally no preference of where I want to be for grad school (location wise and university wise). HOWEVER, I’ve been researching and asking around and I’ve come up with some key ways to help narrow down the choices of where to apply for SLP grad school!
ASHA’s EdFind is the perfect place to get started! It lists all of the schools that are available to you which is awesome. It’s also a really solid, comprehensive website to be able to find some basic info on each school. There are some aspects that I’ve heard are out of date, though so make sure you hit up the school’s actual website to learn more information!
Look at cost
I will be taking out loans and paying for grad school all on my own so I’m trying to be a little bit more conscious of the price tag of schools. Figure out where you want to be price-wise and don’t torture yourself by looking at schools you know you can’t afford to go to!
Location, location, location
For me, this isn’t a HUGE factor but it is definitely important for a lot of people. Do you want to commute to school? Do you want to be somewhere warm (like me)? Do you want to be close to an airport? Do you want to be able to drive home if needed? All of these factors are huge when it comes to choosing ANY school (not even just grad schools!)
Also think about what setting you want to work in. Choosing a location based on that is also a smart idea!
This is another thing that doesn’t affect me too much but if you have a preference of big school vs. small school or private school vs. public school, this is something to keep in mind as well!
Research Opportunities/Research Focus
If you’re looking to do research at a school, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the different types of research that goes on in the department to see if it’s anything that particularly interests you!
Some students want the option to get their degree online. Not all schools offer this, of course, so if you’re looking for something like that you’ll have to do some research!
Full-time or Part-time?
Not all schools allow you to attend part-time so this is also something to consider when looking at schools!
Average Admission Statistics
My plan is going to be to apply to around 5-8 schools and hopefully they’ll range from “safe” schools to a few “reach” schools! Looking at the admission statistics is definitely not the end-all be-all (keep in mind that some people get accepted/rejected when based on statistics they shouldn’t have been), but I think it’s nice to keep that in mind when you’re picking out your set list of schools!
Have questions? ASK!
If you’re looking for a particular detail at a school and you can’t find it, reach out to them and ask! It’s nice to have your name out there and it’ll look good that you’re doing your research and are really interested in the program.
I am extremely excited to be able to read more books this summer. Last summer, I read quite a few but I spent most of my time BUYING a lot of books instead of reading them. This summer, I’m making it my goal to read as much as possible. I’d love to be able to get through a book each week but sometimes I have weeks where the last thing I want to do is read (this usually only happens when I’m forcing myself to get through a book, though). I have 16 full weeks until my fall semester at Temple begins so I’m making it my goal to read 12 books. Hopefully I can surpass this goal but we’ll see how busy I end up being this summer!
Some people believe that summer reads should always be light and easy to get through. I don’t necessarily have that belief. I will pretty much read anything that interests me over the summer from memoirs to young adult books. I also have way more books on my summer reading list than I know I’ll get to. I like to have options, ya know?
Also, before I get to my summer 2016 reading list, here’s a shameless plug for you to MAKE A GOODREADS ACCOUNT AND FOLLOW ME! Goodreads is basically like Facebook for books. It’s amazing and I find so many good reads through this site!
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all. (via Goodreads)
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. (via Goodreads)
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life–and her relationship with her family and the world–forever. (via Goodreads)
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named Leila. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.
Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth—sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way. (via Goodreads)
Landline by Rainbow Rowell (currently reading)
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point.
Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.
That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts… Is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened? (via Goodreads)
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. (via Goodreads)
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
Imaginary friend Budo narrates this heartwarming story of love, loyalty, and the power of the imagination—the perfect read for anyone who has ever had a friend . . . real or otherwise.
Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He’s been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.
Max is different from other children. Some people say that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, but most just say he’s “on the spectrum.” None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy. (via Goodreads)
Never Never (Part 2 and 3) by Colleen Hoover + Tarryn Fisher
Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. Complete strangers since this morning. He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget. (via Goodreads)
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Release date: August 2nd, 2016
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. She graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant and has a total soft spot for Lily; and the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his no dating rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan, her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened. (via Goodreads)
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? (via Goodreads)
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Release date: June 7th, 2016
In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.
On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.
Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.
That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.
Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly? Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying. (via Goodreads)
Swear on this Life by Renee Carlino (currently reading an ARC)
Release date: August 9th, 2016
When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.
Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.
That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.
The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction? (via Goodreads)
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….
Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal… (via Goodreads)
Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova
Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease.
Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?
As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate. (via Goodreads)
The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
In his most extraordinary book, “one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century” (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. Oliver Sacks’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.
If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do. A great healer, Sacks never loses sight of medicine’s ultimate responsibility: “the suffering, afflicted, fighting human subject.” (via Goodreads)
The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future. (via Goodreads)