College told by the McDade Babes

College is such a unique experience that I do not think anyone will ever have fully figured out. But here is our shot through graduation pictures:

When you see that cute boy around campus and you make it real awkward:

IMG_8541.jpg

 

When people ask what you are doing with your life and you say being a kid forever:

IMG_8572.jpg

 

You will walk and walk and walk and walk the same paths again and again:

IMG_8574.jpg

 

When someone asks you if you want to get food: 

IMG_8799.jpg

 

Sometimes you need to find a new perspective: 

IMG_8630.jpg

 

Crosswalks SUCK as a pedestrian and a car: 

IMG_8663.jpg

 

When you are faking it until you make and your professor has no idea: 

IMG_8754.jpg

 

You may watch your GPA fall like confetti, but you won’t be as happy: 

IMG_8697.jpg

 

When you tell your friends embarrassing stories: 

IMG_8735.jpg

 

When your favorite song comes on at Back Bar: 

IMG_8838.jpg

 

Sometimes college might feel like it is going to kill you: 

IMG_8570.jpg

 

But do not fret, you WILL make it through. A different and hopefully better person:

 IMG_8764.jpg

I absolutely love these people, this town, this college! So much so that I will be staying around another year. Throughout this bitter sweet time I am choosing to be joyful, because I know that life is just beginning!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

[Photo Credit: Noah Granger]

Life is Ruff When We’re Apart.

This spring season more than ever I have been hit in the face with puppies and dogs galore. Springs in Chapel Hill are beautiful by themselves, but add a dog running through the bright green quad and boy do you fall into a sentimental mess so quickly!

Then I begin looking up all the pictures of happy dogs I can find and I beg my friends’ with dogs to let me doggynap them for a bit. This is because I LOVE dogs and while away at college I am ALWAYS missing mine. Her name is Oreo. **Side note: my dog before her was named Twinkie, I think this shows my dad is obsessed with food!**

Oreo and I have been the best of friends since the fourth grade. We met because someone had dropped her and her brother in a box on the side of the road in my childhood friend’s neighborhood. After begging and begging my parents, she was welcomed home a few days later. Since then she has been a intricate part of our family, bringing lots of goofy joy to our house. After being inseparable day-after-day for nine years, leaving her for college was one of my hardest goodbyes. But now each trip home makes me excited for our reuniting party and the fun times have not stopped since college began.

She occasionally wears cheerleading outfits to support me at my games and never refuses to take a selfie with me!

Oreo never denies a chance to go on a field trip to visit Chapel Hill even if she hates car rides and hot bricks! On this tour around campus she was not about stopping to pose at the historic places, so instead I had to snap a pic when she was walking by. She is still lookng mighty fine, so I am okay with it!

IMG_3856

She ALWAYS makes a bad day better, as I think most pets do. As she continues to get older I miss her so much and get sad thinking about not spending some of her last few years with her. I hope she knows how loved she is and understands that my absence is not abandonment.

If you are in the same situation remember to show your four-legged friends just as much love as your human ones! You can’t call them. And plus nothing beats seeing the joy come to their face when you walk through the door. She is my favorite welcoming committee and has taught me invaluable lessons about unconditional love, playfulness, loyalty and forgiveness!

Wish we could be together more often, but revisiting the pictures of our selfies will have to do!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

7 Things to Know About the NFL Draft

So recently I went to an event that was a smaller-scale, replica of the NFL Draft. It was so interesting, but I quickly realized that I knew nothing about the real draft. Although I would consider myself a pretty informed and enthusiastic sports fan and sports is the job field I am most interested in, I found my flaws.

Now I have educated myself, but here are 7 ways to help you not be illiterate about the NFL Draft:

  1. It has been a special event since 1936. The aesthetics have evolved, but it has always been a major event.
    dm_140430_nfl_1964Draft
    Photo Credit: fanspeak.com

    2. Representatives from each NFL team is in attendance at the same time.

    table01
    Photo Credit: blog.redskins.com

    3. “On the clock,” is a common term referring to the amount of seconds teams have in between picks to chose their player.

    NFL-Draft-2014-On-The-Clock.1a-e1401113506649
    Photo Credit: dynastyfootballwarehouse.com

    4. There are currently 7 rounds, where 32 teams pick one player each round.

    Draft_PickList_2015
    Photo Credit: steelers.com

    5. The pick order is determined from the previous year’s post season results.So the worse a team did the closer they are to the first pick.

    hqdefault
    Photo Credit: youtube.com

    6. If the President speaks that does not mean the President of the United States, so don’t look for Obama. It means the President/ Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell.

    nfl_2013draft_08.jpg
    Photo Credit: espn.go.com

    7. There are table runner, which I got to be at my event, who delivers the hand written pick to the Vice President to review and announce.

    hi-res-167513705-detail-of-the-draft-card-with-the-name-of-dee-milliner_crop_north.jpg
    Photo Credit: bleacherreport.com

    There are many many more details and rules to the draft, but they still confuse me so this is a start. My biggest advice would be to tune in to ESPN starting on April 28th at 8 P.M.

    Keep choosing to learn about the fields you are interest in. Therefore, I’ll be watching too!

    Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

    ~Carly

     

16 Things to Learn in College

As the dawn of LDOC (Last Day of Class) quickly approaches, my time as a college student is coming to an end. Everyone always said to enjoy this time of your life because it would go by fast and of course I never believed them. Come to find out it was true!

While people gave me insight about taking everything in, they did not prepare me at all for the adjustment to college life. The transition to college was super difficult, and looking back there were many things I wish I had known.

So here is my list in the midst of reflection:

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others.
    • We all came from a different background and are all headed in different directions.
  2. Tests won’t matter much
    • If it goes bad be upset for a little bit, vent to someone if needed, then move on! Really, MOVE ON!
  3. Go to sporting events and actually YELL!
    • Bodies don’t make much of a difference, we need noise for a home field advantage.
  4. Take your eyes off the screen
    • Life is happening all around you, not on social media
  5. Do your research on classes & professors before you enroll
    • Not every professor-student relationship is a good fit; find yours when possible. It can make or break your experience!
  6. Don’t get caught up in the partying
    • But don’t be scared of it either. Find a good balance! An employer might not be impressed on how fast you can chug something, but it might be a nice conversation starter at some point.
  7. Find those friends that will gladly join you in spontaneous, embarrassing actions, but will also pick you up when you are down. 
    • They will last after college. Shoutout to you McDade Babes, De’Nasia, Tyler.
  8. Spend time in an empty stadium, especially Kenan Memorial
    • Great place for quiet studying/thinking on a beautiful day.
  9. Be kind to everyone you see
    • The world is harsh to us already, don’t add to that.
  10. Eat your veggies!
    • Your parents aren’t there to remind you, but a balanced diet makes your body feel so refreshed!
  11. Choose socializing over homework occasionally.
    • This becomes natural by your senior year.
  12. Give up some sleep!
    • Get enough rest, but stay up late when it is worth it! “When you’re older you will remember the memories from the nights you stayed up too late, not the ones you got a good sleep!”~Myra Gebbie
  13. Don’t put your worth in worldly things!
    • People and things will eventually fail you
  14. Always maintain a student-learning mentality.
    • It is an attractive characteristic for employers
  15. Never skip breakfast!
    • You will regret it all day and will not be able to focus.
  16. LOVE yourself! ❤
    • YOU ARE AWESOME & INCREDIBLY LOVED BY THE MAKER OF THE UNIVERSE! There is nothing more or less that you can do to change that.

 

I hope this list gets to someone who needs the advice. But heck, some of the fun was figuring this out firsthand. Everything you experience shapes and molds you, so be joyful and embrace it!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

Coincidence or Nah?

Welcome to another post that reveals more about myself and shares some of the nonsense that goes on in my brain just so you guys do not think I’m too serious! If you asked I would definitely consider myself one of the funniest people I know, not because I’m actually witty and say funny things but more from my quirkiness on a day to day basis.

So my favorite color is orange! Yea yea, I know what you’re thinking “Ew. Why. No one likes that color.” Well it partially started in middle school when I wanted to be different from my peers. Pink, blue and purple were just so ordinary. So back then I choose yellow because it reminded me of sunshine and it was my best friend’s favorite color too! While I realize that contradicts my previous statement, it was totally cool to match everything your bff did back then. Trust me!
Somewhere along the way my favorite color turned to orange, still close to the same family but a revamped change.

Now when I am referring to orange being my favorite color this does not mean I want to start wearing anything orange I can find or paint my room orange, because let’s face it there can be a thing as too much orange! It is also a hard color to pull off depending on the shade. Once I wore an orange shirt that I guess was a little to bright for some people’s liking, because the janitor at school told me directly “Better watch out I might hit ya because you look like a traffic cone.” #hurtful or maybe it was good advice not to wear it again. I just think orange is a pleasant color for accent things, such as binders, pencils, pillows and towels.

Looking back I’m not sure when or why exactly the color transitioned from yellow to orange. I think too many people were liking yellow (can you say #trendsetter??, totally kidding), so obviously I had to move on. But now I have realized that most of my favorite and most frequently eaten foods are in the orange family. Admire the list below:

Goldfish (Snack crackers)
Oranges
Cheese
Mangos
Cheez-it’s
Sweet potato fries
Humus
Bell Peppers
Sunny D

Sorry I feel like I just gave you my grocery list. No, but for real this is serious. Now I’m conflicted and do not know whether I like orange because my favorite foods are orange, or if they are my favorite foods because I’m drawn to the color. You may label this as a minute issue, but I was actually asked about this in an interview the the other day so it deserves thought!

Maybe it is just a coincidence, but goldfish will forever be Bae because of everything about them (taste, color, smiles)! I also wonder if anyone else has ever noticed this about themselves? If not, I am okay with choosing to acceptance my weirdness and find joy in food!

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

Day of Births

It’s my birthday!!!

April 13th has come again, but this time it feels a bit different. And no it is not because I am a year older and it feels sooooo different now (cue sarcasm). Usually, I am one of those obnoxious people who have a countdown until the day…sorry to all my high school friends who had to endure that. This year life has been moving in such a whirlwind that my birthday just crept up on me and *poof* appeared!

Nonetheless, I believe birthdays are so special and should be celebrated over the top!

Here are the four things I love about having a special day to celebrate you:

  1. THE FOOD! Many birthday celebrations revolve around good food and even tastier desserts and my belly could not be more pleased! I mean calories don’t count on your birthday, right?

200330064-003

2. Dancing around to obnoxiously loud music all day because it’s your birthday dance! 476806075

3. Responding to everything with “It’s my birthday I can do what I want.” Even if you are not a sassy person, it is still fun trying to pull the princess card for the day! crown-1157720_1280

4. Most importantly, my favorite part of birthdays is feeling loved by so many people! Whether it is sent through a phone and social media, or felt in person it means so much. I rarely feel more special than when my family and friends get together just to celebrate me! 524384551

Thanks to everyone for making me feel so loved and blessed! It was a truly joy filled day!  I’ll try and limit my celebrations to a few days, not my usual “Birthday Week.”

Spread continuous Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

 

 

Nixing Exclusivity

Exclusivity.

That’s a word a I do not like. It’s more than a word really; its meaning is much bigger than to be classified as just a word. Exclusivity has the power to evoke so many emotions, usually negative.
Exclusivity creates walls or barriers if you will. The definition states “shutting out all others from a part or share.” I see this word played out best through the illustration of a crowd of middle schoolers looking with disgust at a non-member of their group who tries to join in. The crowd rejects the other middle schooler who is just trying to fit in because they “don’t belong.” Whether it’s because the new person does not dress the same or is not pretty enough or cannot join in with all the jokes, the reasons do not matter. It all just creates a divide.
Honestly, I think it is part of our human nature. We all have a desire to feel as if we belong to something and to feel valued by others and sometimes it does not matter at what cost it takes to get it. Once we attain this feeling we try endlessly to keep it, because we would never want to go back to being the “outsider.” Blinders are built around our eyes blocking out anyone who tries to jeopardize our position, and we forget what it was like to feel like them: lonely, rejected, unwanted. It is sad that we are so forgetful about certain moments and emotions in life that we will so easily create this divide among people. I don’t blame people though, because I know I have fallen to it too.
When you are on the positive receiving side of exclusivity it feels good. You feel popular, valued, purposeful, powerful, etc. But I think it is important to remember that those feelings will eventually become fleeting because they are driven from others’ opinions of you, and opinions change. Once you’re “in” the group it does not make everything perfect or your insecurities go away, instead it only masks them for a while. Now you find that what you once prided yourself in is not longer your answer of relief.
If this has never affected you then count your  blessings, but we have all at least seen it. I wish I could say exclusive groups does not happen after middle school, but this is something we will always face whether it is on a team, in the workplace, at church or so on… But as we grow up what we can do is be more aware that it is happening in order to limit the spectrum.
My message is to promote inclusivity, inviting all people in! Stop building barriers that keep others out. The world alone makes this life hard, so why should we make it even harder on one another too? If we all believe we are pretty cool people with some stellar positive qualities why not choose to show that to everyone? As you go throughout this week let us all try to be more aware of how we exclude others. Put down the blinders and turn up the nozzle of our emotional intelligence to be conscious of how people surrounding us, not in the group, are feeling and acting! Make an effort to spread the joy!
Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.
~Carly

Last Time, Best Time.

So March definitely brought the Madness that spewed over into April. This past month or so has honestly been one of the best times in my life! Although it was filled with every emotion on the spectrum: feeling like I would pass out before every game from nerves, going hoarse from cheering too loud (is there such a thing?), getting anxious before every trip, not mentally being there in my classes even when I was home, the excitement of adventures, the awkwardness of some events, the thrill of winning and celebration, the high of surviving to the next round, the hope that there is still a chance, the heartbreak and sadness, the deeper love now felt for my teammates and our team…the list could continue on and on.

Everything I was able to experience was absolutely UNBELIEVABLE! It is something so special that I cannot even begin to put it into words. I wish I could, but I do not think I could do it the proper justice.

And in these moments now where the traveling stops. the games end. and everything is supposed to just go back to normal when I am not sure what that is anymore I am kind of lost. There are so many things that I am feeling about my favorite basketball team ever and the end of a cheerleading career that I do not know how to express nor do I really want to.

I don’t have any profound words to say, because so many have already been said. So here are some links that best hint of what myself and many others  are feeling.

Lucas: Proud

#GDTBATH

Tweet

steph's insta.png

Maddie's Insta.png

“I’ve had some really, really good teams, and some really, really good players. I’ve never been as proud of a group as I am of this group right now….But I wouldn’t trade my team for anybody. “ – Roy Williams

“Well, the whole four years means the world to me. I wouldn’t trade any of the losses, any of the games… It’s hard to say, but even including this one, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s hard because at some point tonight I have to take this jersey off and I never get to put it back on. I just have to rely on all the memories I have with my teammates….

I’m telling you, this is the most fun year in my entire life.” -Marcus Paige

Well said Marcus, well said!

I’ll get back to finding joy, don’t worry.

~Carly

Gratitude.

Photo Credit: GoHeels.com

FinalFour_UNCvVillanova_00277
Photo Credit: JD Lyon/Tarheelphoto

Do you see my emotion in this picture? It’s pure happiness! How could I not be that thrilled when I got to cheer for the best university and best basketball team in the National Championship!

I never dreamed this would be part of my life’s plan, but boy am I glad it was! Cheering at Carolina has provided me with the most unbelievable friends, supporters and experiences! This last year has truly been one for the books. I will forever cherish this team, my teammates who have become my family and all the memories!

The uniform may be off for good, but my heart will always be with UNC and this smile will always be here! Thanks to Roy’s Boys for taking us on the best journey of my life! So proud.

Spread contagious Joy & Laughter.

~Carly

Away for the Holidays

Hello beautiful people! Sorry if you feel like you have not heard from me lately, but I have definitely been thinking of you! As many of you know it is half way through March Madness, one of the greatest times in sports, and I have been lucky enough to be traveling for the majority of my days lately.

While I would not trade any of these emotional roller coaster games for anything in the world, I will be missing my first holiday with my family, ever. I have a very small immediate family so around the holiday seasons if one person is missing you can definitely tell. My parents go all out for holidays! Like Santa still wraps all of my presents, the Easter Bunny still drops off a basket after dying eggs and I get to celebrate a birthday week (not just day)…and I am almost 22.

Therefore, holidays always have a special place in my heart. Of course the true meanings behind the holidays are the main focus, but I love the worldly aspects of bringing people together and food too!

Similar to many of you I am a creature of habit and do not always deal well with change. On my eighteenth birthday and Easter Sunday I woke up early for Sunrise Service to open my Easter basket like always but this time it felt so different and lonely. It was the first holiday that my brother, who is 6 years older than I, was not present for. I opened my basket alone and it all felt empty. Additionally, my boyfriend (I know I haven’t really mentioned him before, but yes he exists) was in Spain making it difficult to communicate leaving me all in my feelings. I remember going to my room and crying. Crying because things were not the way they had been for the previous 18 years and they never would be anymore.

Tomorrow I will be missing my first Easter at home. I won’t have the familiarity of going to my home church, instead I will be visiting one where I know no one. There will be no home cooked Easter lunch. and no family around. My fear is that it will be easy to forget that it is such a special day among all the crazy events happening. While this is mostly a one time thing, it kind of represents the reality of changes happening as I soon enter the real world.Life will be all about the hustle and bustle and I won’t be at home anymore. But when finding the positive, it opens doors to the excitement of making new traditions and building more discipline of giving proper time and focus to these important days!

The first day of change starts tomorrow! Here we go!

Choose to bring an abundance of joy to this world everyday because of the gift of joy we have been given through the resurrection!

Happy Easter

Spread continuous Joy & Laughter.

~Carly