Friday, August 28, 2015

Surviving the 1st Week of Classes

The first week of class is officially over! This is my 3rd year at the University of Arizona and I’d like to think I’ve learned a couple things in my time here. The 1st week has always been fun for me because there’s so much anticipation. Everything is brand new and sparkly, and I temporarily forget how incredibly stressful the next four months will be. That doesn’t last too long but I’ll be damned if I let myself ruin the 1st week by worrying.

To help ya’ll reach the same healthy state of mind, I’ve got a list of tips that’ll make the 1st week easier.

Don’t buy books beforehand. Seriously, don’t do it. They’re not necessary for the first week. Also, avoid the official bookstore if you can. There are a bunch of websites that offer discounted and even free books!

Go to office hours!!! This one is really important. A lot of people say you should introduce yourself to the professor after the 1st lecture. Don’t do this. Everyone’s heard this advice and you end up in this awkward line where the professor remembers nothing but a row of faces. Showing up at office hours shows that you care enough to take time out of your day to introduce yourself. It leaves a much better impression.

Make a good impression. Dress up. Do your hair. Look your best. I love knowing I look good. Starting off the semester on a high note is incredibly important. It sets the tone for the year! Do it right!

Talk to people! I’m still working on this. I get a little quiet when I’m in new situations, but some of the best friends I’ve made here have started with a hello in a class.

Don’t feel bad about slipping on workouts. It’s a busy week, and there’s a lot going on. Do what you can and feel good about it!

And most importantly…

Get involved! I was too busy being overwhelmed my freshman year to actually become active in the community. I got it together my sophomore year and joined a couple clubs, but even that wasn’t good enough. So this year I’m determined to do everything I can! It’s important to give yourself a support base of strong friends, and it’s hard to do that if you don’t go out and meet people.

I’m on my last two years here, and time seems to be going crazy fast. Hopefully I can take some of my own advice and make the best of my college career. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hey There Tucson

It finally happened! I had my summer fun, said the hard goodbyes, and now I’m back in Tucson where I belong (for nowJ). I love that nervous rush I get when I’m starting a new adventure. It makes me feel like I’m living life right; meeting new people, moving into a new place, and experiencing all the new feels! There’s nothing like it.

Now that I’m here the hard work begins. The first steps I take now will set the tone for the entire year! So I’m gonna get on it. 

Here’s what my goals are for the last days of August:

Decorate the apartment. This is where I’ll spend so much of my time this semester and it’s incredibly important to make it feel like home. These white walls are a little too sterile for me so I’m gonna pin up some sarongs, steal some paint squares from Home Depot and print out a bunch of pictures!

Get close with the new roomies. The most important part of making a place feel like home is having a family. I didn’t have the greatest experience with my roommates last year and I’m determined to make this semester better.

Get back in touch with the old friends. Good lord I missed those fuckers. One in particular is my person and I can’t wait to wrap him up in a big ole hug.

Foooood! Is there anything more depressing than an empty fridge? Probably, but not to someone as hungry as I am.

Get a job. The thing about food, gas, food, rent, food, and college is they cost money. Hence the need for a job.

Enjoy the new classes. The major plus of being a junior in college is I’ve moved through all my gen eds and am finally getting to the good stuff. Classes I chose myself and am very excited about.

HAVE FUN! It’s important to have a plan going in, but I always consider my plans more of guidelines. Something new and unexpected will always pop up and there are zero things wrong with that. Whatever parties I’m invited to, whoever new shows up and wants a friend, I’ll roll with it and enjoy the process

What are your first priorities when you move somewhere new??

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Stress-Beating Strategies

Earlier today I posted about the kinds of things that stressed me out. Some of them, anyways. I didn’t even start to cover insecurities about my college life, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I mentioned my worries, but I didn’t go into a lot of detail about how I break out of that mode and get back to myself—my happy, positive self.

I have a few different strategies, and I use them all in different situations depending on just how low my self-esteem has sunk. I hope some of them come in handy for those of you who occasionally struggle to remember how fucking amazing you really are.

Take some extra time to get ready. When I wake up in a bad mood and know I’ll be self-hating all day I try to nip it in the bud as quick as I can. I make sure to take a long shower, do my makeup extra nice, and cook myself a good breakfast. I wash away the negativity with anything that can be good in a morning.

Lay on some tough love. This is for when I’ve been in a mild funk for a long period of time. I look in the mirror and tell myself, “Enough. You’re beautiful and it’s time to accept that. Now pull yourself together.” I can’t do this for anything worse than being sort of down. There’s a fine line between tough love and verbally abusing myself.

Exercise. I don’t mean I take a light run and feel better. I work.the.fuck.out. I play the most intense, badass playlist I can find on Spotify—something that makes me feel out of control angry—and I go hard in the gym. I’ll spend two hours in there running, lifting, stretching, anything that gets my blood pumping and my muscles crying. If I can walk a straight line when I get out of there, I didn’t go hard enough.

Take a breath. A really deep one. The best advice I ever got when I was going through a rough time was “Keep breathing.”

Have a cry session. Sometimes I reach the point of no return. I find a private spot and I let the tears flow free. It’s really therapeutic when I stop bottling everything up and let it loose.

Ask for help. I hate the mindset that anyone who asks for help is weak. I’m guilty of this sometimes and I need to stop. There’s nothing wrong with going to a friend and letting them help you out of a worry hole. Even if they just listen to you vent or give a good hug, let them be the good friend they are and help you out!

These work for me, but everyone has different needs at different times. I think an important moment for me is realizing what kind of mood I’m in and knowing that (if it’s bad) I shouldn’t take myself seriously and it’s time to employ any number of these tactics. That way I can return to actually being me J

What do you do to beat stressing out? Leave a comment!

Some Days I Worry

Have you ever felt that it shouldn’t take as much energy as it does to keep you happy? I feel that way a lot. My life is pretty damn good, I have loving parents, and I’m out working towards my goals; so why should I have to force myself to look on the bright side of things? Does that make me selfish?

I guess no matter how great things are, I know there’s always something I could be doing to make it better. I have high expectations for myself I guess. I could work harder, do more for others, be less of a mess. Sometimes the things I love about myself turn around and become what I’m most critical of. I hate it when that happens, but I’m human and things aren’t always sparkles and rainbows for me.

I made a list of all the fears and worries I have (rational and irrational) that keep me up some nights when I should be sleeping in a happy bliss.

I’m alone.

I’m not super skinny.

I’m not as smart as I think I am.

I’m too lazy to be truly good at anything.

I’m a disappointment.

I won’t make new friends.

I’ll hate wherever I work.

I’ll fail.

I don’t have a good body.

I’m not good enough.

These are just ten of my worries, but they eat at me sometimes, usually when I’m at my most vulnerable. Logically, I know I’m a good person. I’m smart, I love my body, and I have a great personality. The problem is, negative thoughts only attract more negative. When I get into this mode it takes an incredibly amount of effort to remember anything good about myself.

But I do put in that effort. I drag myself out of the dumps and focus on everything positive. Sometimes I have to keep repeating it to myself over and over, just to fill my head with something nice. I have to remind myself that I don’t want to be super skinny and lose my killer ass. I enjoy having my alone time. And the rest is just false. I believe it doesn’t matter how far you fall as long as you can bounce back, so that’s what I try to do.

Do you connect with any of these worries? Comment any thoughts!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Awkward and Okay With It

I am awkward as fuck. I know because I’ve been told this on multiple occasions. I think it’s one of the side effects of growing up with parents who accepted every phase of my life with love and support, even when I had weird curly side bangs and listened to Nickelback.

People are quick to see my fun, derpy side because I never learned to hide it. By the time it hit me that not everyone is weird it was too late. I’d already let that love and encouragement provided by my parents and friends turn me into the awkward person I am today. For that, I’m incredibly grateful. Some of my classmates figured out that there’s a certain type of person society tells us is normal. They put a lot of effort into making themselves that person and I hated watching it. They were so stiff and constantly worrying about their level of perfection that they forgot to enjoy the moment they were living in.

I’m not saying I never went through those years of self consciousness and horror known as puberty. You can actually see the moment it happened in my school pictures. I went from a beaming, and I.Mean.Beaming kid who’s just happy to be there to a fearful girl-child who thought smiling with her teeth made her look funky. I’m glad I got out of that frame of mind as quick as I could, because there are so many amazing things about being awkward and goofy and a total nerd!

For instance…

I’m always memorable. Weirdos stand out and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. No one ever said “hey remember that girl who looked and acted like everyone else?”

There’s no pressure to impress people. Those amazing people who can appreciate my awkwardness will be appreciated right back. Others can kindly fuck off.

No deciding when to show the man in my life how weird I actually am. He’ll know as soon as I walk in the door.

I know how to enjoy myself without the approval of anyone but me.

All of this because I’ve (for the most part) stopped caring what others think of my personality. What others think of you is none of your damn business. People will think what they think and I can either spend my time worrying about that or I can get over it.

My point is, it’s important to be you. Some people just aren’t awkward; they’re cool and collected and have great personalities too! It’s when awkwardness is squished down for the sake of fitting in that I get riled up. Don’t do that. If you’re an awkward person, don’t just deal with it. Be better! Run with it! Sometimes I make situations awkward just for funsies! Sometimes (all the time) it just happens and all I can do is enjoy the ride.


What’s the most awkward situation you’ve ever been in?

My Punk Gallery Experience

I have a finite understanding of punk rock. I’ve heard some Greenday songs I liked, a few from the Clash, and the Sex Pistols are pretty good. Last night I had my understanding expanded by this amazing exhibit at the Holland Project in Reno. I’ve never been to this particular art gallery, but now that I’ve experienced it I want to go back as often as I can because this place is great. It’s this small building right in midtown Reno that brought an incredible amount of character to the exhibit.

There were a few different photographers featured who were right in the middle of the 80’s punk scene documenting how it came to be this dominating force in Reno. One of them is a close friend of my family’s, which was why I went in the first place. Not only were his photos up close, gritty, and very well done; they did a great job of showing the bands’ personalities. I could actually see how much effort the guitarist of the Thrusting Squirters (great name, I know) was putting into the music.

The photos were great, but what really made me feel connected to this entire movement was this collection of letters and doodles sent across the country by these bands. It’s really personal to read, and good god some of them could use a spelling lesson. Reading them brought me back to that feeling when I was little that no one could understand me, that things weren’t going right but at least I could hang out with my friends and we’d all be misunderstood together. Later I figured out that’s what it means to be a teenager, but at the time it was emotionally exhausting. I worked through my angst a little differently than those kids who got so angry and could only express it by screaming into a microphone, but I kind of like their style.

These singers lived hard and very different lives from me, which is why I’m so impressed with the Holland Project’s ability to connect me to them. I think anyone who’s gone through any sort of emotional upheaval against anything; be it work, or society, or just your parents, should come check it out.


What’s your opinion on Punk Rock? Good? Bad? Never heard of it? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Highs and Lows of Rocking Red Hair

Being a ginger has a lovely amount of highs and a not so lovely amount of lows. I’ve had this wild red hair since I was a wild little kid, and I honestly believe it has helped shape my personality. Those of us who have to struggle with the idea that our beauty doesn’t come in the same shape/size/look as what the media says it should be came out on the other side a little bit tougher. I personally made it through with a lot more confidence than many girls and women my age. So despite the various lows that come with having the sun on my head, it’s been a pretty great ride.

The majority of the lows that accompany my hair aren’t actually about my hair at all. They’re about everyone and their mother’s comments on my hair. Because everyone, and I mean everyone, has something to say about it.

“Oh god I’d hate to be a ginger” Yes someone actually said this to a teenage me. No, I didn’t slap them.

“It’s so pretty! But I wouldn’t want it.” Oh darn, I was totally gonna chop it off and give it to you *insert eye roll*

“Has anyone ever said you look like Brave?!” Firstly, her name’s Merida. Secondly, of course they have! We’re fucking twins! (This one isn’t irritating by itself, but the quantity I’ve received from every.single.person I’ve met has worn off the charm of being compared to a Disney princess.)

“I bet you’re a firecracker/have a temper/are feisty” Golly, I just looove it when people make assumptions on my personality based on my appearance.

These are all things anyone with a basic sense of manners would know not to say, but unfortunately there are those who don’t seem to have this sense. I do my best to respond politely with a smile and move on as quickly as possible. I’m a firm believer in rolling with the punches. These people are in my life for a total of ten seconds and there’s no point in letting a moment that small ruin my day.

The perks last much longer and have a greater impact on my life.

I’m used to having eyes on me, so making presentations or just being in a public space doesn’t cause a lot of anxiety. Thumbs up for that one!

I’m unique! There’s no one out there with hair exactly like mine and I love it. People actually destroy their hair trying to get it like mine. It’s a blessing to have it naturally.

I’m not easily forgettable, and in life that’s exactly what I need to be. I want to make an impact and I can do that from the very start of any journey I take because no one forgets meeting this ginger J

Confidence isn’t as common as I’d like it to be. Our entire media culture is based on the idea that you’re not good enough, and I don’t want to be brainwashed into thinking I should change myself in order to fit in the mold. I like my hair and I want everyone to like theirs too. In fact, go a little further and just like all of yourself.


Who am I kidding, it’s awesome being compared to a Disney princess. This is me officially taking it off the cons list. Thank you to anyone who’s ever compared me to Merida, she’s legit! I love it!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Summer With Savages: Part 1

I’ve never had a job I enjoyed more than this summer at the Summer Program. I’ve also never worked harder in my life or been more exhausted at the end of the day. Working with kids will do that to you.

On average there would be three or four counselors and 70-80 kids in a single room. The first thing I really picked up on is those who don’t deal well with chaos do not belong in the childcare field. Even on the best days that place was a madhouse. We had group dodgeball games going in the middle of the court with freeze dance in one corner and arts and crafts in another. Board games would be scattered all over the place, along with screaming kids who thought it would be more fun to play in the bathrooms than in the actual space designated for playing.


The thing is, once I accepted that the place was gonna be insane whether I liked it or not I was able to relax and do my job without worrying. Dodgeball games are supposed to be ridiculous and energetic. That’s basically the essence of most small children. I liked how bouncy most of them were because it was a sign they were having fun. Taking them outside was the best because I got to sit and have a nice talk in the shade with the teenagers who were too cool to play on the jungle gym and the kids who wanted a little break while the rest of the savages worked off their energy by jumping around on the equipment and launching themselves off slides. I really liked those talks. One day I had my hair decorated with dandelions and was crowned as a flower princess. Another I listened to a girl explain why she had to go to court once she turned 18 because she had to testify against her father who hit her and her mother. Stories like that were hard to hear, and I had to sit through more than one, but it was important that they knew I was there to listen when they needed it. That was half the job, listening to what they had to say. Even if it was a suggestion of what we could do for an art project, I made sure we did it because they needed to know there was at least one place in their life where their ideas could be heard.

Kids really think adults have it together. I honestly wish it were true. They don’t realize that we’re all just living our lives and hoping we don't fuck up too bad. At the end of the day I’m just another idiot trying to help them figure their shit out. It's a pretty great gig.


Have you ever given a child advice? How’d it go?

The Intro

I have a goal for this blog: I want it to be unfiltered. I think life requires people to put a certain spin on what comes out of their mouths (I’m definitely okay with this. Some people need a filter) and this is gonna be my reprieve from all that. What I say on this blog is what I think and how I feel. I don't want to limit my posts based on whether or not the content is PG, and not all of it will be. Everything that happens to me, and I mean everything, has the option of being written about. Because of this I think I’ll be going a little anonymous. Not full blown youcan’tseemyface kind of anonymous, I’m just gonna keep my name on the DL.

So you can call me Ellie Burns J I’m a (mostly) happy redhead and I’m doing my best to live my life exactly how I want it. I’m going to school at the University of Arizona and someday soon I’m going to teach highschoolers. I’m officially warning you that I swear like a sailor and have been known to drop the occasional fuckbomb.  My interests are constantly growing and changing because I’m always open to a new experience. Even if it doesn’t go down well, at least I know for sure what I do and don’t like. I 100% enjoy travel, reading, exercise, and stuffing my face (hence the working out). Actually the list of things I enjoy would take up this entire page, but those are the biggies. I’m close with my family and I have a great group of friends. They’re my lifeline.

The idea of Slightly Flighty popped into my head during a camping expedition when it became clear to me how temporary my life is right now. Since I left for college two years ago I haven’t spent more than four months in the same location or, more importantly, in the same frame of mind. I’ve tried blogging before but didn’t have the motivation to stick with it. That’s gonna change this time around and I can’t wait to see where this thing takes me.

My open mindedness is very applicable to meeting and talking to new people. If you feel like you have any ideas or opinions for my blog, want to write a guest post for me, or just feel like talking to someone new you should feel free to email me! I’m excited to start this thing up and show ya’ll what I’m about.