Five Weeks of Classes Left

It’s almost March, 2018 is cruising by. In just a few short weeks, five to be exact, I will be finishing up my lectures for my Master’s degree. It feels like only yesterday, I moved to London. I’m happy with where I stand with my coursework but know that I can continue to improve my work and hopefully (fingers crossed) publish some of my work in the near future. These next five weeks will go by in the blink of an eye, but I must say, I’m extremely excited for the month of April.

The entire month of April, I do not have any classes due to the Easter holiday. My final examinations will take place at the beginning of May and the following week, I will be starting my clinical placement with the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder team at the Michael Rutter Centre, within the Maudsley Hospital. The Michael Rutter Centre is an outpatient service for children and adolescents with mental health disorders. This centre has an international reputation for the specialist treatments and services they provide, as well as vital research. I am very excited to begin the next step of my education at this centre, working with an astounding team. The clinical placement is only eight weeks long but if my classes went by this fast, I can’t imagine how quickly my placement will go by. Not to mention the amount of experience and knowledge I will gain; it’s an incredible opportunity.

As for my time off, I will be studying for my exams but I’m looking forward to spending some time with Nicholas. He will be returning to London at the beginning of April and we have already started planning our break. Well, I’ve been planning and organizing it. To be honest, I don’t need to go anywhere extravagant during my time off, just some quality time with Nicholas is all that I could ask for. Plus, I’ll be in the height of my training for the London Marathon (April 22nd), so I can’t go to a place where I’m just going to want to lay on a beach all day. That would not be very helpful in my training.

As for the last few months, I’ve been going to classes and working A LOT. I have really enjoyed all my work with KIND and I’ve met some wonderful people. I must say, spending a day within the Estee Lauder Head Office as pretty great. I was pretty much in awe the entire time I was in the building. I started off my morning walking into an office building with a very fancy fireplace in the lobby. It was a good start to the day.

One of the best things about London is, clearly, London Fashion Week. It started at the end of last week and is just wrapping up. I love that King’s College is the building right next to the fashion week events. Just walking out of class and being embraced in the full fashion experience is simply bliss.

During my countless work hours, I was able to meet Dame Katherine Grainger. She is a five-time Olympic medalist for Great Britain’s rowing team. She is also Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian. I’ve been able to see The Chainsmokers and Fat Boy Slim’s concerts. Next, I’ll be heading off to Dua Lipa’s

As for the rest of my future, I’m only looking a few months ahead. At the end of June, King’s College will be celebrating the anniversary of my master’s program. Alumni from all across the world will be coming back to London to present and celebrate. There will be a debate discussing Western countries views of psychology and it’s impact in other countries. I’m excited to be working with two of my fellow course mates in organizing this event and to be presenting as well.

I’m very excited to see what the next few months of my life, here in London, will look like.

xx

L

 

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The Year of Love

2018 is the year of love. Giving and receiving love, learning to love. Loving yourself, your partner, your family and friends. Healing. Growing. Recovering. Loving your life and all in it. 2018 is the year of love.

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My 2018 Resolutions:

– Self empowerment

– Become a better cook

– Decrease the amount of material things I own (clothes, shoes, etc.)

– Decrease amount of screen time (non school related)

xx

L

2018 is Upon Us

At this moment, I am very grateful to be in London instead of Minnesota, this winter. Today was a high of 60°F (15°C) while Minnesota sat around -20°F (-29°C). I believe I’ve put some quality 23 years in Minnesota; I feel as though I deserve a break this season.

Alright, so here’s the latest and greatest of my life…

My first semester of graduate school officially comes to a close this January, with our final exams on the 9th and 11th, while lectures ended the second week of December. I quite enjoyed my courses this semester, especially Research Methods, but I’m excited for the in-depth knowledge of psychological disorders coming next semester. I’m very  appreciative of the fact that my research paper has officially been submitted but I rather enjoyed the time I spent researching and writing the paper, mainly due to the subject of conversation. One of the reasons why I love graduate school is the opportunity to study and research areas of psychology that I fancy over the broad/general knowledge of undergraduate.

With the conclusion of classes, I’ve spent more time running around London. I traveled to Liverpool, Wales and Manchester, seen Conwy Castle and reveled in an early premiere of the Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. I’ve discovered my favorite restaurant in London, Banana Tree and my favorite desserts, Ruby’s of London at Greenwich Market.

Christmas time in London is absolutely beautiful. Every street is covered in lights, massive decorated tree line every inch of London, and markets/mini festivals are everywhere. I even had the opportunity to show off my ice skating abilities at Somerset House.  It was strange not to experience a white Christmas but Nicholas and I made the most of it. We cooked a fabulous Christmas breakfast and dinner (check out the bottom of the blog for links to our recipes). We also have a spectacular New Year’s plan including, of course, fireworks and the New Year’s Day parade.

With 2017 coming to a close, I suggest we all take some time to reminisce on our year. I know I faced my challenges but also rose above them. I found new strengths but learned new weakness. I created new friendships and lost others. But it’s always best to go out on a high note, so below are a few of my life events this year…

2017 Highlights

Attended Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival

Left my job as a residential treatment counselor

Traveled to Mazatlán

Camp Cambria – Year 4

Ragnar Relay –  Round 3

Moved to London, United Kingdom

Started Master’s at King’s College London

Toured Warner Bros. Studios London – The Making of Harry Potter

 

As for 2018, I have three resolutions (listed below). Likewise, I’d like to change up my diet by eliminate diary and focusing on a vegan diet. This is largely due to my intolerance of dairy products here in London. It’s quite sad. Aside from that, I’d like to continue to focus on my education and travel a bit more. I have a list of places yet to see. More importantly, I want to adventure around London more. One can never experience the same day twice here.

2018 Resolutions

Become a better cook

Decrease the amount of material things I own (clothes, shoes, etc.)

Decrease amount of screen time (non school related)

I look for to my upcoming courses and my clinical placement. As well as completing my ethics application and dissertation in the coming months. As for now, I will continue to enjoy my winter holiday, while studying for my exams but also look to the month of April, to which I can enjoy an entire month off of classes. So, if you have any time off and want to travel, hit me up!

I’m serious 🙂

xx

L

Here are the links for our recipes. Thanks Pinterest!

If you want more recipe ideas, check out my ‘For the Love of Food‘ and ‘Veggied Out‘ boards.

Winter Isn’t Here, Yet…

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Now that I’m two months into classes, things are really taking off. Let me tell you a little about my professors…

Sir Michael Rutter was the first child psychologist in the United Kingdom, the “Father of Child Psychology”, and has produced world-changing research (ex. Isle of Wright, Maternal Deprivation Reassessed, Romanian Adoptees Study). If you don’t know who he is, I suggest you look him up. He’s a genius in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry world. Professor Robert Goodman invented the Strengths and Difficulties Questionaire (SDQ), as well as the Development and Wellbeing Assessment (DAWBA). Some of my other professors include Dr. Barbara Maughan, Dr. Anula Nikapota, Dr. Gorana Milavic and Dr. Eric Taylor. I’m blessed with world-renowned researchers and inspirational professors.

As for my own research, I’m currently in the process of writing my systematic literature review. Only 2,500 words, simple. My topic, The Heritability of Eating Disorders.

On top of this, I’m currently working with Dr. Darren Cutinha, who is a child and adolescent Psychiatrist within the eating disorders clinic at the Michael Rutter Centre, Maudsley Hospital. Dr. Cutinha is also my academic tutor and will be collaborating with me, as I complete my ethics application. My 15,000 word dissertation is currently in the works as well.

The fact that I can reference my own professors tells me, I’m in the right place.

Outside of school, I am working at KIND Snacks within the product development and marketing teams. My American friends should know all about the goodness that is KIND. Did you know that Daniel Lubetzky, the founder and CEO, created KIND because he wanted to build bridges between people in conflict. How cool it that? Check out this podcast, if you want to know more! Do the KIND thing!

Because being a student with a job isn’t enough, I am also a part of three groups on campus.

  1. I am a member of KCL Marrow (Anthony Nolan Charity), which focuses on recruitment for donors for blood disorders and cancers.
  2. I am a committee member (Communications/Social Media) of the IoPPN Student Forum. The Student Forum represent all students who study at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College. We ensure that the student voice is present in all the big decisions; working with course representatives, staff and even the IoPPN executives.
  3. I am also a committee member (Publicity) of Friends of MSF; which works with Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières).

Don’t worry, I still have time to experience all that London has to offer. The museums and art galleries are particularly my favorite. Exploring all things Harry Potter doesn’t hurt either.

Halloween is over, so it’s straight on to Christmas here in London. I know there’s snow back in Minnesota but London is still experiencing a wonderful Fall. Don’t worry, I’ll still be celebrating Thanksgiving with some of my fellow Americans.

That’s all for now.

xx

L

 

The Write Dose

The world today is full of so much hate and negativity; much of which is directed towards young women. I thought we’re supposed to learn from the past. So, how come we let so many girls face the same challenges and struggles that we faced growing up?

Today, I’m here to tell you about a site that a good friend of mine has created: The Write Dose.

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The Write Dose is an online community of intelligent, brave, and strong young women sharing their stories through their version of art. Our mission is to empower, inspire, and unite women through the content we create and the stories we tell. We hope to shift the dialogue with young women towards a more meaningful and uplifting message of spreading self-love and expression. We welcome writers, photographers, and artists alike to contribute to The Write Dose.

I’m very excited to share that my friend has designed The Write Dose, a site that aspires to be a positive online community for young women. Everything from vegan recipes to women’s issues in politics to an ask column to fashion to positive body image to literally everything, will be discussed. This site will be a voice and will give perspectives of all women. I’m excited to say that I have joined Brittany and a handful of women, to help refocus on who we are as women today. The Write Dose officially launches today, October 9th, at 7:00 PM EST!! Follow us and help bring a positive light to young women today!

L

Website: http://thewritedose.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheWriteDose

Twitter: @thewritedose

Instagram: @thewritedose

 

“Lookin’ Good, Beautiful.”

I’ve been an athlete my entire life. With that came a grueling schedule of exercise, which kept me lean, and in shape. Because of that, I had all the confidence in the world. Not only was I a great athlete, I had a great body and when you’re young, unfortunately, those are the kinds of things you focus on. Just like most girls, my body started to change when i got into high school. However, my body changes weren’t due to puberty or adolescence. I had developed an autoimmune disease. This disease required medication and that medication caused me to gain a severe amount of weight. The disease and the medication changed my body in ways I was prepared for.  I lost my confidence. I lost my identity. But what I couldn’t lose the weight. With the added pounds, I found it hard to feel comfortable in my own skin. My body looked foreign to me. And to be honest, it took me years to be comfortable with my body again even when I eventually lost the weight.

All those years of self-induced body shaming has caused me to become more observant of the way the media portrays the female body. And looking back, maybe it affected the way I looked at my body back then too. When you’re that young going through uncontrollable physical changes looking at “perfect” women being portrayed as skinny and tall, having lusciously long hair, and flawless skin you can’t help but think negatively about yourself. But we, as women, know that most women don’t look like that, and even if they do, it doesn’t mean they don’t think negatively about their bodies too.

Knowing that still doesn’t take away those negative thoughts we have every time we look in the mirror. I try my absolute hardest to stay completely positive throughout the entire day but it’s not always possible. When I’m getting dressed, I find it to be the hardest time to be kind to myself. I’ll say things like,  “My hair looks stupid,” “these pants are too tight,” or “you still have those dark circles under your eyes.” Now think, do you say these statements out loud? I don’t. Would you say these things to your friends? No. Have you ever said thank you to your body? No. Instead of focusing on the size of your thighs, say thank you for carrying me through my day. Tell your legs thank you for allowing you to run, walk, or dance. It’s not easy to always stay positive and to be kind to yourself but in those moments you have to be. You have to look in the mirror and compliment yourself instead of picking yourself apart.

Over the years, I’ve discovered different methods to help bring positive thoughts to my mind. I have found that these methods not only help me think positively about my body, but they also help me stay positive throughout the day. I have found that if I compliment myself out loud, I start to actually believe what I’m saying. I put sticky notes around my apartment in areas that I pass by everyday. Seeing them helps me stay positive with my body image and as a bonus, they help me stay positive throughout the day too!

L

Positive Body Affirmations

“My body deserves love and respect.”

“My self-worth is not determined by the number on the scale.”

“I am worthy of love.”

“It’s okay for me to like myself. It’s okay for me to love myself.”

“Self-respect is underrated.”

“Being skinny or fat is not my identity. I am identified by who I am on the inside, a loving, wonderful person.”

“Getting older makes me smarter.”

“My brain is my sexiest part of my body.”

“Just because she’s beautiful, doesn’t mean you aren’t.”

“Workout because you love your body not because you hate it.”

2 Weeks Down, 50 To Go

It’s only been two weeks, but it feels as though it’s been a month (cliché, I know), and with school finally on it’s way, I can tell you that my level of excitement has only increased!

Orientation and Welcome Week allowed me to meet individuals from all walks of Earth and levels of intelligence. I have met people from varies parts of Australia, Chile, China, England, Greece, India, South Korea, Switzerland, and even the good old United States. I had the opportunity to meet a 23 year-old man, who has recently completed his medical degree and will continue his education within my own department. At first, I felt intimidated but since honored to be a part of his journey through the psychiatry department. I am excited for the opportunity to study with and learn from him.

Beyond the classroom, King’s College and the City of London provide countless of opportunities that have peaked my interest but sadly, I can not partake in all of them. During the next few weeks, I will be attending different events in order to dwindle my list down. As for the time being, societies including the Harry Potter Society, LINKS, Neurscience Society, and RAG have drawn the most interest from myself.

This semester, I will be attending four different modules (classes) while taking on varies roles in the classroom and the community. I will be attending Italian classes as well as an extra course, Caring for People with Psychosis and Schizophrenia. I will be working with TeamUp as a mentor, and with Widening Participation (King’s) and the IoPPN Student Forum as a student ambassador. Finally, I will be taking on two more opportunities to enhance my academic degree; the Associate of King’s College London (AKE) program and one of the King’s Experience Awards. Before you start freaking out, the majority of these will take place over the course of my academic year.

Don’t worry, I have scheduled trips around Europe already. I have to have a little fun while I’m over here.

Only 50 weeks left in the academic year!

L