If you’ve hung around me in the last couple months and happened to ask what my plans for school/life in general are, you probably got to hear me lament the fact that I had no idea where I was going to live, the prospects weren’t great, and that I was basically ready to go live in a van down by the river. If you didn’t get that reference, the rest of the conversation was probably pretty awkward, and also I’m sorry, but your pop culture references are pretty lacking.
( http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/matt-foley-van-down-by-the-river/3505931?snl=1 if you were still wondering)
Unfortunately, my van plan didn’t go as well as anticipated, but I did find a new apartment in Provo that I got to move into last week! With a new apartment, new semester, a bunch of new roommates, a new ward and basically all the new, I decided it would be appropriate to pick sort of a motto for the semester— So I settled on this one
(Image courtesy Lettered Lessons)
Honestly, I didn’t pick this one because it was the cutest thing I could find on pinterest- there’s actually a bit of backstory on this one.
So, after spending some time interning back in California this summer, it was time for little Sydney to head back to Provo. I was nervous and excited, but my overall feeling was one of “oh crap what am I getting myself into”. But I was determined to be happy and positive and totally own this semester. 18 credits and a whole lot of new stuff couldn’t be too hard, right? Well, the crazy didn’t even wait till school started. Pan to me re-packing all my stuff in the airport terminal, and wearing my winter coat onto the plane which almost left without me. Great start, huh? I couldn’t move into my new apartment until about a week after school started, so I got to live out of boxes for a while, which while it wasn’t terrible, definitely was not how I wanted to start things off. Then the time came to move. The day I was supposed to move into my new apartment, I had been up since 5:30 A.M., gone through a whole 8 hour day on campus, hadn’t eaten, and I was in a bit of a time crunch because I was supposed to be mildly presentable for a thing at 8 PM.
I was alone moving all my stuff, and I’m not sure if it was the low blood sugar or the fact that I’m a total crybaby now (really, who am I? I cried at a University of Phoenix commercial the other day), but I was standing in the elevator and I was feeling SO DOWN on myself. I was just thinking how terrible this was, how I didn’t have any help, how I was so tired and this was just the dumbest thing ever. My new apartment was totally trashed and dirty from the last tenants (there were literally scrambled eggs on the floor and a nice ball of hair in the shower ) and I did not want to be doing this.
And then the thought occurred to me- Sydney, you can make a decision to be sad, or to suck it up. You can sit on the floor of your nasty apartment and have a pity party about how hard your life is when it totally isn’t, or you can put your big girl pants on, see how fast you can move this stuff, and just own it. Either way, you’re going to have to do it, so why not do it with a positive attitude?
Anyway, I got it all moved in, everything is put away, and while I’m still scrubbing away with the bleach, I think this is going to be a great opportunity 🙂
To quote President Thomas S. Monson-
“So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment. … We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude”
(read the rest of the talk here)
We all have times in our lives where we might feel sad or depressed, where we might be lonely or angry, where there might be scrambled eggs on our floor (literally or figuratively), but no matter our circumstances we can always determine our attitude. Put on your positive pants 😉
With all the drama out of the way, I think the best part of moving in to a new place is always decorating! When you’re on a budget, it can be easy to just settle for something from Ikea or Walmart, but not only are you getting something that is cheaply made and probably more expensive than it should be, it also looks like the decorations everyone else has. Thrifting can be an awesome way to find special touches for your space as well as staples.
I found this poster at an antique shop in Spanish Fork, framed and ready to go for $5.50. I love this poster because not only am I kind of a total art history geek, but the fact that it’s from the De Young in San Francisco makes it special because I have lots of good memories of attending exhibitions there with my mom.
Sometimes you get lucky and find pieces that are already unique and ready for your walls- I actually got these off of a yard sale page in a college town for about $15. They are super cute little hand painted canvases, and I love the big ornate frames.
Other times, it’s difficult to find artwork that you actually like. However, instead of settling for cheap plastic-y frames from a big box store, you can often find cool frames for your favorite prints. Add a little spray paint for a uniform look on a gallery wall!
One thing that absolutely drove me crazy when I moved into my first apartment was that everyone had similar silverware, so at the end of the semester it was always all mixed up, or someone couldn’t tell the difference between them and took all yours too when they moved out. I found lots of cool utensils in different ornate patterns and painted all the handles to make a cute set. I always knew which ones were mine and they were way cuter than the 5/$1 flimsy ones.
Find an easy DIY for these guys here
I’m a firm believer that just because you’re living in student housing and probably eating ramen most nights doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have pretty things around. One thing I can’t help myself from buying is pretty cut glass containers. Whether you use them to store your jewelry, cotton balls, or find a cool punch bowl to keep your apples in on the counter, they can add a little something special to your space. They don’t have to be your grandmas crystal either; I love finding pieces that are a little more mod with cleaner lines.
Check out my Pinterest for more printables and decor ideas!