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Time Off

Welcome back! Since we took these photos on UVA campus, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about what happened spring semester (I didn't go back to school). However, since this is a fashion focused blog, I'm going to start off giving my outfit info. If you I had to pick an outfit of the summer, it would for sure be this one. I've been wearing it all the time - I'm sure my friends can second this. This outfit is mostly about the styling since it's made of two basics: white shorts and a light green tank top. The shorts I found online at Princess Polly and the tank top was an old one from Urban Outfitters (similar options here and here). I accessorized with a brown belt (also from princess Polly), which matched with my $13 Amazon sandals (which I highly recommend due to comfort, price, and wearability reasons) and a muted purple head wrap from Free People (similar here and here). The warm brown tones of the look helped contrast with the lighter colors and grounded the outfit. As for accessories, I also wanted to keep them light with a seashell necklace from Urban Outfitters (on sale now!), basic hoops from Madewell, and smaller ones with charms from Urban Outfitters. This look is a little beachy with the color palette and shell accessories - I can't wait to wear it at Sandbrindge this year!

For the longest time, I really didn’t want to talk about it or mention it at all in front of anyone, feeling like they will assume I can’t handle the pressures of school, which at the time, felt true. I never imagined that I would be the one “quitting” school after only a year and a half, and dreaded breaking it to friends and family members. Despite the negatives seeming to way outweigh the positives, I knew I just couldn’t go back by the time January came, so my stay at home continued a little longer than expected.

During my semester off, I didn’t want to overextend myself by any means. I enrolled in only one class at UVA and did just alright. Slowly, without the pressure of school, I rediscovered my love of creating, doing just a little bit at a time. Staying home was frustrating. It was my least productive semester (at least that’s how it felt), and I got to stay at home, watching everyone else complete new projects and take steps to further their careers. However, I finally got the chance to separate myself from my work (which as a designer can be tough).

I spent the semester rediscovering myself and my values. I learned that I actually like school after spending years saying I didn’t. I learned that despite seriously considering it my first year, I do not want to do architecture because drawing sections and floorplans is really not my thing. I learned I can at least pass graduate level courses, and that I am very interested in use of residential space. I also learned that I hate having too much free time, but it definitely was necessary. I hate the stigma surrounding gap years and taking time off. There's such pressure to continue education "on time" while in reality, we are all on different scheules and have different needs.

I’m lucky to be able to put life on pause for a minute because so many people don’t have the means or the mindset to be able to take a break. I feel totally pumped up (well mostly) for this upcoming fall back in Blacksburg. I know I will appreciate my time at school so much more than I would’ve without stepping away for a bit. There is so much pressure to proceed and succeed at life that it’s so easy to forget why it’s so worth it. I feel as if I gained much needed perspective this semester and learned to appreciate the little things. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s so easy to forget to stop and smell the flowers because if you don’t, you might forget their value.

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