This is it.

The first day of my final semester of college.

Actually, I got off a bit lucky.  My only class of the day was cancelled due to the professor being in Canada, so I don’t actually have classes until tomorrow.  Due to this luxury, I decided to extend my break by a day.  So, while all my friends and roommates were busy moving in on Sunday night, I was at home eating cheesecake, watching the Golden Globes, and reading brain candy into the wee hours.

This morning, I got up early, threw my bags in the car, and made the three and a half hour drive back to the frigid prairie.  I arrived at my tiny little on-campus apartment around noon to find it pretty much empty.  No roommates to be found.  (Well, Katie was there briefly, but then had class.)  Taking advantage of the solitude, I unpacked and settled in.

Wanting to stay on top of things, I went to pick up my textbooks at the bookstore.  Immediately, I regretted it all.  The box was HEAVY.  My arms were already tired from hauling all my luggage from the car to the apartment and didn’t appreciate the extra load.  It was a struggle getting from one side of campus to the other.  There are only so many ways to carry a massive box, so despite constant shifting, my muscles had no break.  I finally made it back to the apartment, dropped the box on my bed, and heaved a sigh of relief.

Then I opened it.

22 books and a Shakespeare anthology.

I AM GOING TO DIE.

But, hey.  It’s my final semester, so I might as well take advantage of the last opportunity I have to kill myself with literature.

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The final semester approaches…

In just a few days, Winter Break will be over and I’ll be packing up my car and driving to Morris for one final semester.

Honestly, I’m dreading it.  Mentally, I’m done with school.  Although I’m looking forward to my classes, the idea of being back makes me feel like someone put a giant rock in my stomach.  My years of Morris have been challenging and wonderful, but I’m ready for a change.  I’m getting pretty tired of almost everything in the tiny little town.  Honestly, the only thing keeping me sane is that when this semester is over, it’ll be over forever.

I’m ready to move on.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reconnecting with many of my oldest and dearest friends.  While out for coffee with my camp summer partner, Eva, I expressed my dread of school.  She (having graduated last year) gave me a knowing look.  “The final semester is the worst.  Like, the absolute worst.  Going back after Spring Break is hard.  But you’re so close!  You can do it!”

I’ve been giving the future a lot of thought over the past month.  I know where I want to go, but where do I start?  I’ve been looking into various opportunities, drafted my resume, have sent emails to potential options, and even have some meetings set up to discuss employability.

In many ways, the future is a big, scary place.  But it’s also new and exciting.  Who knows where I’ll be a year from now?  Who will I meet?  Where will I live?  What will an average day look like?  I have no idea, and it’s exciting.

So, even though I’m dreading going back to Morris and everything that comes with it, it’s only for a few more months.  I can do this for a few more months.  Hopefully.

Still, I’m determined going to enjoy my last few days as a stay-at-home couch potato.  College is coming, but not quite yet.

Sketchbook Corner (Watercolor Edition)

Or shall I say… Watercolor Corner?

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a set of new watercolors from my little brother.  For the past few months, I’ve been scraping by on an eight-tint Crayola set that is five years old.  Yuck.  The new set has a massive array of colors and when I combine it with the big set of brushes I got for my birthday, I’m capable of achieving so much more with my paint.

I’ve been exploring some different techniques/subjects, which has been a blast.  Since this is a watercolor-only edition of SK and I’ve put a lot of thought and time into all these works, let’s take things one by one…

(Please excuse the crappy image quality)

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These mountains were the first thing I painted upon receiving my new paint.  I gave this one to my best friend as a belated Christmas gift.

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I had a blast painting this sunflower on Christmas day.  I gave it to my summer partner, Eva, (who loves yellow).

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This is my amateur attempt at capturing The Lonely Mountain from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  It took forever to paint–so many layers!  I rewatched one of the films while I painted, staying up WAY too late to finish.  But, gosh, am I pleased with the result!  I loved it so much I sent it home with my older brother, who shares my love of Tolkien.

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Okay, so the picture quality is REALLY crappy here.  It looks much better in person.  This was my first real attempt at painting people since getting the new brushes and paint.  I originally started out doing lots of people (see previous Sketchbook Corners for examples), but it was difficult with only one brush to work with.  I started this one on a whim–the basic sketch took only a couple minute.  I finished her up at a sleepover, which was actually pretty challenging as I had to balance the paints on my friend’s couch while avoiding her over-excited pomeranians.

Did this one last night as well.  I wanted to experiment more with painting people, and I'm quite pleased with the result!  I've been reading several YA fairytale retellings, so I imagine she's either Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, or has a story of her own.

I painted this last night while watching the premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter with my mother. I wanted to experiment more with painting people, and I’m quite pleased with the result! I’ve been reading several YA fairytale retellings, so I imagine she’s either Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, or has a story of her own.

Finally…

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This took FOREVER.  I did the background and sketches of the trees before New Years and didn’t pick it back up until last night.  The details on the trees took what felt like hours.  And yes… it’s inspired by a Taylor Swift song.  (My favorite on her 1989 album).  Painting all the black got annoying and adding words with white felt like a risk, but I’m definitely pleased with the result!

That’s all for this edition of Sketchbook Corner!  Check by in a few weeks to see what else my hands come up with.  If you haven’t seen them, do look at my previous SK posts and see how I’ve improved!

Also, because I’m curious… What painting is your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!