The Mountains That Covered My Face This is a post about acne. This is a post about my personal experience with the personal hell that is acne. It is lengthy, because my experience with the red abomination was just about the greatest time in my life. Just kidding...not at all..that was sarcasm...Sorry I'll continue now. Lately, I have been feeling as if my acne scars are becoming redder. If my face gets too oily I have minor panic attacks about the red splotches and bumps returning. I flash back to the pain that happened when my acne was very much present, and washing my face made me cringe with pain. Acne is atrocious, I honestly thank God quite often that people have made different medications to help get it off of your face. I haven't thought too much about acne in this past year though, due to mine subsiding and my face not being a lil' butt and breaking out every other day. However, the acne scars will most likely always be there. Reminding me of that joyous time. Also, recently on a trip to Indy, I had to use my iPod for music on the bus due to my data being used up. (Props to my brother, sister, and I for being Millennials and using up all of our data for the month) Fortunately, I was able to relive last years music fads due to not updating my iPod since getting an iPhone. Back to what I'm actually writing about... On my iPod I had taken a video and some pictures of how bad my acne was the Summer of 2014. That summer I had gone to France twice, so who can complain too much about it right? I ended my freshman year of college with minor break outs, just the occasional devil here or there. I didn't think too much about them, figured I was only 19 so it was completely normal. Hormones and such. My body decided to kick it into overdrive during the summer. I began breaking out more and more. Instead of heading to the dermatologist right quick, I was determined to fix it myself with at-home masks. Pinterest was my best friend with all of the home remedies for acne they have. None worked. Fast forward to me leaving for France for the first time. All was well. Acne was present, but not embarrassingly horrible. Flying home I noticed it was a bit worse than when I had first went there. My mom and aunt picked  me up after my trip from the airport. I noticed a few larger red bumps on my face and was semi-concerned. Ignored it though. A short time later, I was in immense pain. I had huge red zits all over my face. Luckily, it was contained to my face, none on my back or anything. I had a hard time washing my face in the shower due to the water pressure hurting the mountains that were covering my face. I refused to ask my mom to make a dermatologist appointment, for some reason I believed I could definitely fix it myself. Why on Earth I thought this is still a mystery to me. Thankfully, my mom called me one morning during the summer and was like, "Hey, don't be mad but I made you a dermatologist appointment for later this week." God Bless Linda. I was so relieved when she told me that. I knew it was a lot of money for my parents to get an appointment and what would follow after with medications and such, which was one major reason I didn't want to ask for an appointment. My dad took me to the appointment and sitting in the room having this stranger stare at my face for a half an hour, with and without a magnifying glass, was not the best experience to have when you're used to hiding your face. Finally, he announced that I had one of the worst cases he had ever seen. Fantastic. He told me that on top of just having bad acne, I also, had exploding bacteria on my face. One word that instantly popped into my mind: EW. Next words that popped into my mind: **not appropriate for this blog** I was put on heavy medication and my dad had to tell the doctor that I was leaving for France again in two weeks. The dermatologist was not happy about that because the  medication I was going on could cause bad emotional side effects, such as depression and a myriad of other lovely things. So, my mother dropped me off at the airport with my sister and instructions that if I felt "weird" it was just the medication and I would be fine. My sister was told to make sure I was fine while abroad, but she's my older sister so she's use to looking after me. Thanks Em. A few points in this trip I was definitely happy my mom had given me that advice. I had sensory overload a few times and needed to just take a few deep breaths to get through those moments. I was very appreciative to have my sister there, she anchored me to reality. My acne subsided somewhat during this trip due to the medications, however, on my return home it was still not to where my dermatologist had wished it to be. He then took me off my first medication to try another medication. This one had a booklet that came with it describing things you could and couldn't do. If you stayed on it too long your liver would explode. (It wasn't that extreme but to my lack of medical knowledge and a lot of medical terminology being thrown at me I just assumed the worst.) I soon found that this medication would dry out my entire body and my water intake increased by ten fold. My emotions/hormones were affected by this medication, as well. Shout out to my roommates who lived with me sophomore year, and decided to continue to live with me this year. The rest of the summer was taken up with getting a job at the local Kroger and preparing for my second year at college. My self confidence was not hit as hard as I would have thought during this time, thanks to my friends who treated me normally and hung out with me daily. However, when you're the cashier at the local grocery store a lot of comments are made. People tried to sell me Proactive on multiple occasions, my smile suddenly became more beautiful than anyone had ever seen, and one lady told me to just keep smiling because it will pass soon. I know they were all trying to be helpful and nice, but sometimes I would clock out of work with my face aching and it'd be too much. Country roads, country music, and windows down helped soothe those teary moments. Luckily, the medication kicked in. The acne went away, leaving only a few scars and not many indentations on my face. (A miracle in itself) So as I sit here today, thinking about that moment in my life, I feel for anyone struggling with acne. Your self confidence, no matter how strong, takes a major hit. If anyone out there dealt or is dealing with acne, let me tell you, just keep your head up and your friends and family close. They are a huge help. I have pictures of my acne and I'm actually glad I took them, people don't believe me now when I tell them how bad it was and I like to see how far my face has come. Which sounds weird, and it probably is, but oh well. Everyone is beautiful. Embrace the awkward and practice reckless optimism. Robin  
Class Presentations, and Those Who Give Them Its that time of year again where snow falls and Christmas Break is on the horizon. People are merry and bright. Unless you are participating in a little thing called college. Then the library lights are bright, and you're merry when someone goes to grab coffee with you so you can get a study break...and caffeine. Mostly, caffeine. The amount of projects and class presentations accumulate faster than you can believe. When you look around the library, or are sitting in your classroom watching other nervous 20-somethings giving their presentations, you easily see the many different ways people approach them. You have the hard-core student. They have  prepared for every possible event, and have the note cards to prove it. This student is the one you want to present before so that by the time they're finished no one will remember how you mispronounced your own name. If you are unable to present before them, then I would suggest waiting a presentation or two after theirs before volunteering to go. Next we have the lucky person who is able to BS their way through a presentation on DNA cloning. Gifted with the ability of speech, this student is usually the class favorite for presentations due to their ability to entertain. They're a nice break from our next student. The most common student is the Average Joe. This student had to spread themselves thin in preparing for multiple presentations. They slowly walk to the front of the class with their few note cards they hastily prepared 10 minutes before arriving to class. They stammer out random facts on the subject given to them, just barely make the time limit, and then quickly slide back into their seat to stare at the note cards for their next class. Lastly, we have the completely unprepared. Rolling in to class late and, sometimes, being surprised that today is in fact the day that presentations are taking place. They stand in front of the class and you can't help but sit in your seat and feel bad for them. A few times it has been painful to watch this student present. So, happy presentation season everyone. Go grab some coffee and find a comfy place in the library. Embrace the awkward, and practice reckless optimism. Robin