This is Your Life. Find a Passion and Pursue It.

As the semester’s end draws near, we’re only concerned with two things:

1. Finals and papers with impending due dates.

2. Being jealous of everyone whose already home and wanting to go home as soon as possible.

In doing so, we forget the real reason we came to college. We forget why we’re studying so hard, or rather procrastinating so much, because we just want our finals to be done so we can go home.

But I urge you to remember that college only happens once. Life only happens once. In the words of  Louise Carey, “Be happy. Live for today. And above all … make every moment count.” In the midst of your stress and packing, make time to enjoy the simple things in life. Take a study break to reminisce about your favorite freshman-year stories. Drink a glass of wine, even if it’s from a box of Franzia, and laugh until your stomach hurts. Dance like no one is watching. Follow the instructions of a YouTube video to give your roommate the perfect massage. Eat frosting out of a bowl. Play “never have I ever.” Carve your name into the kitchen table. Go to Denny’s at 1 AM.

College is only once. Life is only once. You should really make the most of it.

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spotlight: Paris London

Is she cute or what?

Paris surprised me and Alison at the library today with peppermint mochas from Starbucks! Yum!

After a long morning of studying, this definitely lifted my mood and made my whole day better. Thanks P for the treat. You are the best!

More than just a good friend who brings me some coffee though, Paris is a brilliant and talented artist. She inspires me to do great things and be a better person every single day.

Below you can check out a short film she made last year; The Individual Within the Flock is definitely one of my favorites. Paris uses slash-tilt photography animation to bring to life the aspirations of our fellow peers at the University of Michigan. This short film is wonderfully executed and really motivating! What are your life goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

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spread your smile: challenge 2

Yay!! Time for challenge 2. I know you’ve all been looking forward to it. And this one should be really great!

Today’s challenge is titled Positively Postcards (I’m sure by now you can tell I’m a big fan of alliteration). Any who, the concept is simple: you buy a postcard (or a few), write an inspirational quote on it, attach a small gift to the postcard (maybe a candy cane, a dollar, a drawing, a flower, be creative!), and then send it off into the world. You can hide it for someone to find at the library or pick a random address on Google Earth. The point of the project is to have fun and bring a smile to someone, somewhere, on any part of the planet.

There is one requirement, though, you must write this on the postcard:

To whoever finds this,

You have just received a postcard that is part of our random acts of kindness challenge, called Positively Postcards! It is now your turn to attach a gift and send this postcard off into the world again in whatever way you choose (hiding, mailing, etc.). You are also encouraged to make a new postcard of your own.

I hope you enjoyed finding this card and welcome to the project.

Share your story of finding the postcard at danielledoes.wordpress.com.

Sound good? Well start sending! It’s super easy and it can be a really cool and effective project. If you don’t want to buy a postcard or spend money on stamps, just make a postcard at home and then hide it anywhere you want. Don’t just read this post, think it’s nice, and then forget about it. Spread some smiles and send a postcard!

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what I’m thankful for

So maybe I’m a little bit late on this, seeing as how Thanksgiving has already passed. But Christmas is just around the corner and that also reminds me to be thankful for all of the wonderful things in my life.

Here’s an assortment of images, quotes & pictures that just make me plain happy!

Spending summer with my boyfriend

Having the greatest roommates in the world

Holiday drinks at Starbucks

Autumn weather and colorful leaves

Chocolate and peanut butter

Puppies and Christmas time

Inspirational quotes

My business fraternity

Innocence and my baby brother

Having the opportunity to travel

Feeling safe

My best friend

Love

Family

A sense of peace and calm

Being silly

The sound of rain


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think positively. give generously.

Worried about finals? Convinced that because stressed spells “desserts” backwards, you can eat all the candy and chocolate you want, but now you just feel tired and lazy? Well here are a few tips and stories that really improved my mood today!

1. A message from my roommate, dispelling the negative air in my household and cheering all of us on to think positively and push ourselves to do well:

“I will not stand for this negativity in my household. People would kill to be in our places. Danielle, you just had an interview with L’Oréal. That is AMAZING. Laurel already has a job at Target. Paris is interviewing for her dream animation job in Soho. Anna will be traipsing around France with an amazing internship. You are incredible people and studying for finals is going to pay off when you are able to work hard in your dream jobs. So YAY positivity!  Positive thinking yields positive results. Pure fact”.

2. My mom’s voicemail, telling me about a complete stranger that walked up to her today while on line at the Christmas Tree Shop and handed her a coupon for $10 off any purchase over $25. Apparently the store was mobbed with people, but this woman just so happened to pick my mom out of the crowd. My mom was so excited by this generous gesture, asking the woman why she had chose her out of everyone in line. The woman said she just felt this positive vibe emanating from my mom, telling her that she could really use the coupon. Interestingly enough, my mom was buying toys to donate to Toys for Tots. Isn’t that really great?! It’s pure proof that positive moods are socially contagious! My mom was doing something nice and feeling pretty good; this carried over to the other woman in the store, inspiring her to do something nice as well!

In a study conducted at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, researchers found that when a person becomes happy, a friend living close by has a 25 percent higher chance of becoming happy themselves. A spouse experiences an 8 percent increased chance and for next-door neighbors, it’s 34 percent. When one person becomes happy, the social network effect can spread up to 3 degrees – reaching friends of friends. So check it out. Who are you near? Are the people around you smiling?

3. The Free Hugs Campaign, an amazing, feel-good video, especially when you need a hug!

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the little things

I’m so happy to hear some of your responses to the first spread your smile challenge! I found that a key theme among many of your stories was the importance of the little things. It’s always the little things that have the power to really make a difference in someone’s day, week, or even life.

This inspired me to sweeten up someone’s day. I bought a couple of giant chocolate chip cookies at Amer’s and I gave them to some of my friends who always make me laugh or go out of their way to help me out. People love to be reminded of how much you mean to them, so this small gesture definitely made them happy and of course it made me feel good too!

Be on the look out for the next challenge and keep smiling, it’s contagious 🙂

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Brock Mealer

While yesterday’s challenge was to spread your smile, today’s video just might bring you to tears. Brock Mealer’s story is incredibly touching and inspirational. Having been at the Big House many times, I can’t imagine a more powerful moment than this. It really makes you think, impossible is nothing! Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. You can do anything you set your mind to.

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