How Many of my Summer Goals were Accomplished?

How Many of my Summer Goals were Accomplished?

Exactly three months ago, I wrote a post title Plans for the Summer. It had ten things on it I hoped to accomplish over the summer. I am writing to you today because my summer is officially over. I started school yesterday and so, as promised, here’s how many of my goals I actually met. (I’ve put the ten goals in italics.)

1. Earn over $2k and put most of it in savings ✖

So guys, all the money I earned over the summer, I put in an envelope, and just wait here for a moment while I go count it up. I’m doubting it’s over 2k but we’ll see.

I’m back. Drumroll please! Okay, so I made around $1800 over the summer. While I didn’t reach my goal *sad face* that’s a pretty decent amount if you think about it. Because I was gone for half the summer. Literally, I was only home for six weeks. I’d go for $300 a week, $40 a day anytime.

2. Write my college essay and perfect it

Ha. . . ha. . . Sike. I didn’t actually do this. Whoops…

3. Learn a cool talent

Okay, yes, if you remember, I wrote that I’d like to learn to baton or a backflip or ambidexturity. And guess what? I’m pretty good at twirling a metal bar around my fingers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I can baton.

4. Attend a pre-college program

Smith college was a great experience. I was a bit disappointed with my classes but the people I met there were amazing. My roommate was from Pakistan and it was so cool to hear about the different cultures. Smith made me realize that there’s actually some good poetry out there and it gave me an appreciation for a different type of writing: screenwriting. Did I mention I wrote a movie? Anybody personally know Josh Hutcherson so he can act in it?

5. Volunteer

I’ve volunteered with my church a handful of times this summer and I went to a summer camp for a week where I was on the media team. The camp was a great experience and I’m definitely going back next year, hopefully for two weeks or ever more. I had to constantly step out of my comfort zone as I was the main photographer and I had to ask kids and their counselors to pose for pictures. I had to talk to people and joke with them so they’d show their real smile. It was undoubtedly hard but so worth it.

6. Keep up this blog

I did this a lot better at the beginning of summer. I published a new post every day of June which I’m mighty proud of if I do say so myself. I wrote 42 blog posts in 62 days. Wow.

7. Finish a novel

I told you guys I’d finish “The Day Hope was Murdered” by the end of summer but plot twist, I came up with this idea for a new book called “The Story of the Moon and the Sun” while I was at Smith. I tried so hard to finish it on Sunday but life got in the way and I’m literally so close to finishing it. Nonetheless, I still failed this goal.

8. Keep playing guitar and piano

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but despite my hopes and dreams of getting better, I only played once or twice a week at most.

9. Narrow down my college list

Interpretation of this goal may differ from person to person. I now have a list of all the colleges I’m applying to. HOWEVER, this list has at least ten colleges on it. Most of them I don’t even know much about. The reason for this being that most of them I got a waived application fee for because I’m a National Merit Scholar. Yay me! I might as well apply if I can do so free of charge. So it’s not really that narrow but here are the colleges at the top of that list: Smith College, Taylor University, Cedarville University, College of Wooster, and Scripps College.

10. Expand my vocabulary

I told you guys I’d memorize two words a day but I don’t think I even did that for one day. I’m so disappointed in myself and my laziness.

SO, those were my goals for the summer. I really liked that I wrote all these out for you guys because in a way, it held me more accountable (at least to some of them). I only accomplished 5 out of the 10 but eh, without writing them all out, I probably wouldn’t have even accomplished half of that much.

Now maybe I’ll write a post with plans for the school year… We’ll see.
Ashlyn Taylour

The End of Summer

The End of Summer

With school less than two weeks away, I’ve been thinking about how I’ve spent this summer. By far, this was the busiest summer of my life so far. Admittedly, the majority of it was spent away from home. Over 6 weeks were. These weeks were a mix of vacationing, working and studying. But I’ve learned a lot.

One, I now know that I love independence. I love being off on my own. With being homeschooled nearly my whole life, I haven’t had a whole lot of freedom. But this summer was quite the opposite. And I loved every second of it. The weeks I have been home were spent working and earning as much money as I can.

I’m officially home for the year though. Just got home today in fact. In a way, school starts for me today. Some of it at least. I take the ACT on September 12th and so this next month will be spent studying my butt off for that. I refuse to take it twice. I’ll also be writing a whole lot. I need to finish that book I promised I would, right?

Other than that, these next few weeks will be spent tying up loose ends, finishing projects I started throughout the summer and filling out the Common Application. For all you other rising Seniors, you know how much stress applying to college can be. I’ve waited till now to start the process and that may or may not have been a good idea. But I have a question for you. Would you recommend applying to a lot of colleges or only a few? I’m kinda lost on this matter.

I hope to keep posting on here during the school year, but God only knows if I’ll have the time then. I hardly even have the time these days. We’ll see.
Ashlyn Taylour

In Desperate Need of Post Ideas

In Desperate Need of Post Ideas

Hey people!
Tomorrow, I will start a journey to the sunshine state, or in other words, Florida!! I will be there for a little over a week. While I’m there, I will still update my blog, don’t worry. I committed to the entire month of June, didn’t I? I can’t believe that I’ve already accomplished almost half of that goal.

And I’d like to know what you want to read from me! Post ideas.

First off, I’d like to do a post where I answer any questions you may have about me. Can be as random as what’s my favorite color to a weird habit of mine. Comment as many questions you have below please.

And other than that, I’m out of ideas. So comment those as well. I’ll include your blog address in the post if you help me in any way.

Thank you and I seriously love you guys.
Ashlyn Taylour

The SAT and Butt Cramps

The SAT and Butt Cramps

I’m currently a junior in the oh so fabulous, high school. This means I’ve had tests upon tests shoved in my face. These tests consist of a seemingly never-ending list of multiple choice questions. I’ve taken the SAT, AP tests, and I will take the ACT soon. Now for those of you who have no idea what any of these are, let me elaborate.

But more specifically, let me elaborate on the SAT or rather, the Scholastic Aptitude Test. I’d prefer to refer to it as the Stupid *** Test, but I don’t cuss, so just pretend I never said that.

Now, the SAT is a pure 3 hours and 45 minutes of torture that I endured through for the first time on May 2, 2015. Just a mere 21 days ago. While I SAT (oh my gosh, aren’t I punny?) there for this time, my butt started to cramp up and it just wasn’t the best day of my life.

I’d rather not give you a whole explanation all about this test, but basically it’s essential that you score well on it to get in any decent college. I’m rather hard on myself, and while I took this test, I often found myself running short on time. At the end of the test, I was feeling rather dejected and my expectations were that I didn’t do as well as I could have.

I just got my results for the SAT this morning. But before, I talk more on that, here’s some background.

My mom is, well, rather strict on me. I’ve taken the PSAT twice in the past (which is basically a practice SAT) and I am a National Merit Scholar. In other words, I scored really high on the PSAT. In addition to this, my mother bought a SAT study guide for me and she made me study for the SAT an hour each and every school day.

To be completely honest, I didn’t exactly adhere to her instructions as well as I should have. But the week before the test, I worked hours and hours expanding my vocabulary (A tip for those of you planning to take the SAT: start learning vocabulary words early. At least one a day. Cramming them all in at the end is just a recipe for failure.) because I’ve always scored lower in vocab sections of tests.

So I did study for this test before I took it, unlike most people I know. And this studying payed off. I got a total score of 2080 out of 2400. And the average for this test is 1500. So I got above average. To put this into perspective: 75% of Harvard students scored above 2100 on their SAT.

I’m happy with my score because while I don’t plan on attending Harvard next year, I do want to go to a higher-end college. My expectations for my test were higher before I went in to take the test and then lower after I actually took it. The test turned out more challenging than I expected.

I will be re-taking this test in the fall and I’m sure I’ll score higher. And this time, I’ll know what to expect. I’m prepared for my butt to ache and I’m prepared to run short on time. Maybe I’ll just bring a pillow to sit on and move my #2 pencil (not mechanical) a millisecond faster.
What is your experience with the SAT? Did you meet your expectations? Or the ACT? I’ll be taking the ACT soon, so please share any advice you have.
Ashlyn Taylour