Staying Distinguished in College and Beyond - by Kinsey

Hello ladies!

This past weekend, I was back in my home state of Ohio at the 2012 Distinguished Young Women of Ohio program.  It was absolutely wonderful to meet the Ohio Class of 2012 and to be reminded of the incredible nature of the Distinguished Young Women program.  One of the participants, Brianna Barnes (who was actually the first runner-up!) asked me a very wise and, I feel, important question while I was getting to know the girls.  She said that she was aware of the fact that most participants in the Distinguished Young Women program hold themselves to a high moral standard or follow a higher Power, and she was wondering how I have kept my morals and “stayed distinguished” throughout my first year in college.

My precious friends from Lakeview, my home church, getting ready for an Auburn football game! War Eagle!
The honor of “Distinguished Young Woman” does not have an expiration date.  Being distinguished, which means to be marked by eminence or excellence, is a life-long goal that we must strive toward.  Our college years may be viewed by some individuals as a time to “party it up” or have as much fun as possible while squeaking by in our classwork – living a generally selfish lifestyle before the “real world” sets in.  However, I believe that our college years should not be squandered by being filled with activities that don’t impact those around us for the better!  We can accomplish SO much during our college careers, and our time is precious!  After college, we may find ourselves with a full-time job, a husband, or even a family, and time will be limited.  So, I propose that we stay distinguished in college and don’t lose sight of what’s truly important in life.  

 Some of the AU Singers and me, getting ready for one of our Fall shows.

 The first way I’ve been able to stay distinguished throughout my freshman year and keep my moral standards high is by finding good friends.  One of my biggest worries coming into school was the unknown of finding friends who have the same beliefs and standards that I do.  While it is good to branch out and have friends who are different than we are, it’s also essential to surround yourself with good influences.  Don’t condescend to others’ moral standards because it’s the easy thing to do.  Instead, hold those high standards for yourself, and choose friends who will encourage and inspire you!  It can be easy to “settle” and hang out with the first few people you meet, but the distinguished young woman will be patient and wait, forming friendships with those who will challenge you to become your best self.  

 Friends from Lakeview at our Valentine's Day party :)

In order to find good friends, being involved in activities you enjoy is a great place to start.  The very first weekend I was away from home, beginning my college career, I got plugged in to a local church.  The Lord has blessed me with my very best friends stemming from my small group, all of whom I met at Lakeview, where I attend!  If you get involved in things that you love, you are going to find others who love the same things!  I also auditioned and was selected for the Auburn University Singers, which is the show choir here at Auburn.  I was instantly connected with 35 other people who loved to sing and perform, and we had much in common from the very start!  Because I got involved in two of my biggest passions – my faith and music – I have found amazing friends who are great examples for me.

Be true to yourself in college!  Don’t lower your standards because it’s the easy thing to do.  Find good friends, get involved, and be distinguished!


Kinsey Crow is a college freshman at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama majoring in Nursing. Originally from Mount Vernon, Ohio, Kinsey was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Ohio for 2011. Learn more about Kinsey here!

From Freshman Year to Freshman Year - by Megan

Between freshman year of high school and freshman year of college, the amount of learning I have done has been overwhelming. Whether it be about academic materials, life in general, or myself, these past four and a half years really have proven to be “the best years of my life.” Although we hear this all the time and think, “This is horrible” or “There’s no way this is the best,” looking back at them now, I have a completely different outlook.
So, here’s just a list of ten things I’ve either done or found out about in the last four and a half years and what I’ve learned from them.

1. Make a bucket list.
This past summer I got bored and found the idea of “101 Things in 1,001 Days.” This is a list of 101 long-term or terrifying things you want to do within the next two and a half years that you have either been needing to or wanting to do. I made this list over the summer and so far I’ve crossed off 18/101. My list included things ranging from ice-skating to mailing in a Postsecret to meet someone from every state (which is actually pretty easy in college!). Not only do you have what you want right in front of you, but there’s nothing like the satisfaction of crossing something off of such a huge list.

Ice Skating for the first time ever – Completed 11/18/11

2. Don’t let a relationship ruin you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you won’t meet your future spouse in high school,
but it’s not a big deal if you don’t. I’ve had friends in high school that got so involved in a relationship that they even chose a college based on their boy and later broke up with him. While having a significant other is a wonderful blessing, it can also be a curse. Don’t be upset if you’re single on Valentine’s Day. Take the day to celebrate YOU, and NEVER change because you think it’s what someone wants. You’ll only regret it in the end. I had a wonderful boyfriend in high school and we’re still friends, so make sure the boys you do give a chance are worth it. To this day we Skype and he gives me the best advice. (It’s also true you can be friends after!)

Before Senior Prom
Last week's Skype session!
3. Whatever you do, do for you.
The only person you need to make happy is yourself. As long as you are happy, others around you will be. If you’re choosing a college, pick the one you are most in tune with, not what your friends are in tune with. I moved 10 hours away for college to Nashville. Coming here I knew absolutely nobody; however, it is one of the best things I have ever done. My friends wanted me to stay in West Virginia and attend state school, and if I had chosen for them I wouldn’t be where I am now.

4. Take risks.
Don’t do something too crazy, but never be afraid to have fun or step out of your comfort zone. For instance, my first semester, a friend and I decided to take an impromptu trip to Greenville, Ohio with only a days notice. Although I was terrified of traveling and unsure of what was happening, it led to some of the best memories I have from freshman year.
All packed and ready to go!

5. Get involved!
Whether it’s sports, speech team, theatre, Mathletes- whatever. Get involved. Being a part of a team or club will be the best way to meet people and make friends. My freshman year of high school I wanted to try out as a cheerleader, but was intimidated because I couldn’t tumble. So, instead I joined choir and theatre and met three of the best friends I have. Even if it’s something you’ve never done, it could turn out to be something you love. (I’m actually considering a Theater minor at the moment.)

Seussical '11 Cast

6. Quality over quantity
It’s true when they say quality over quantity. In high school we all want to be the ‘popular’ girl. In high school, I was far from it. I was what many would call the "overachiever" or the "teacher’s pet." I was friends with people from all types of groups, but when it came down to it, the ones who would be there in a minute were what mattered. When it comes to friends, be there for the ones that are there for you.
7. Hold the door! The little things matter.
I’m a firm believer that no good deed goes unpunished, so every time I get the chance I hold the door for people. It’s amazing to see the shock on people’s faces and hear ‘thank you’ after.

8. Find fun in unusual places.
If you have a test the next day, don’t be afraid to go out with your girls before. Plan a study party together or something in order to prepare, but don’t take life so seriously. Make sure your academics come first, but don’t overload yourself to the point of exhaustion like I would do so often.

A fundraiser turned fun junior year!

9. Being above the influence is common.
We’re all told that "everyone is doing it," but I was in the group of kids that didn’t drink or smoke in high school and college. Never feel pressured to do these things. In fact, more people DON’T participate than do. So think about that next time you’re trying to choose between what’s right and what seems cool.

10. Have fun. HAVE FUN.
I can’t stress this more. Wake up every day with the thought that this will be the best day yet. Wake up thinking you’re beautiful and you can do anything. I promise you’ll be a happier person in just a week of this. If you have a day where you feel like crap, feel like crap. But get back up the next day and tell yourself you can do this. Without happiness and optimism, life will be more dull than it needs to be.

Governor's School for the Arts 2010

Is there something you’ve done that you look back on now and see as a learning experience? 

Megan Jack is a college freshman at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee majoring in Entertainment Industry Studies with a minor in Mathematics. Originally from Moundsville, West Virginia, Megan was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of West Virginia for 2011. Learn more about Megan here!

Fashion: The Greatest Outlet for Self Expression - by Veronica

Click, click, click, click echo her boots as she walks purposefully towards her next class. She appears to be genuinely happy and confident, growing increasingly so with each step she takes. Clad in bold colors and bright metallic, this girl seems unstoppable, but also approachable, determined – and certainly going places. As obvious by her dazzling and sparkling style, it is evident that her fashion sense is unique and completely her own. However, this style is a true reflection of the incredible individual that this girl is, no one else, just her. By portraying her personality through her clothing choices, we can make an insight into the fabulous person that she is. So the question to ask is this - what does your style say about you?

Fashion is undoubtedly my favorite topic to discuss. As a current fashion merchandising major at the University of Delaware, it truly is something I have a huge passion for and want nothing more than to make a career out of someday. But, contrary to what some may think, I am a firm believer that fashion is something that makes people unique. Just because a certain style may be trending, or all the racks in a store may be stocked with a particular item, fashion is something that you completely can make your own. Who says you can’t shop at thrift stores and turn a tacky old lady sweater into something fresh and fabulous? Fashion has unlimited possibilities and has something for everyone.

I truly believe that fashion has the power to give anyone confidence. But, it’s not the clothing that makes the girl, but the girl that makes the clothing! If you are comfortable in your own shoes and completely love your own style of clothing, then you will rock anything and everything you may wear. In high school, I wrote a fashion column in my local newspaper, where I would take a current trend or style and talk about how it could work for anyone. Each column I would close with my signature phrase, “Fashion is what you make it to be, and dress to be YOU!” Even now as a writer for my college’s fashion magazine, I encourage everyone to never feel like they have to compromise, settle, or fit a certain mold. Some may believe that fashion is society’s way of having everyone conform and to look the same, but I believe the exact opposite. Fashion gives each and every one of us the power to do something bold, beautiful, and brave. With it, we have the opportunity to not follow the crowd, but to be a trendsetter and a trailblazer, embracing who we truly are by the way we dress.

So fear not, whether you are lacking in the cash department, have no time to shop, are afraid of what others might think, any of that – it’s time to focus on you and put your best foot forward, whether it is a stiletto heel or a ballet flat! Distinguished young women aren’t afraid to be confident individuals, not dressing to impress others, but dressing to impress themselves. Be a fearless fashion leader in your own life and watch your confidence level rise through the roof. A wise man once said, “Confidence comes not from always being right, but by not fearing to be wrong.” So what are you waiting for, fabulous fashion divas? Get out there and change the world!

Veronica Townsend is a college freshman at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware majoring in Fashion Merchandising. Originally from Dagsboro, Delaware, Veronica was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Delaware for 2011. Learn more about Veronica here!

Jacky's Tips for Mastering College: Some Random and Some Profound

  1. Master your Schedule 
  2. Master the BUN 
  3. Master your goals 
  4. Master your resources 
  5. Master the laundry 
  6. Master your Friendships 
  7. Master a dance move 
  8. Master your stuff 
  9. Master your mind 
  10. Master your life
Jeremiah 29:11-13

Blessings and LOVE <3

Jacky Arness is a college freshman at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota majoring in Political Science/International Relations with a minor in Theatre Arts. Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Jacky was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of North Dakota for 2011. Learn more about Jacky here!

Bras - by Amanda

There are two girls that will never leave you no matter how much you complain about them, or wish they would change. They aren't just any girls; they're THE girls. That's right. I went there. With so many girls exposed to negative images of what being a beautiful woman is really about, I believe it's important to emphasize what we as girls love about ourselves. This entry is not to be interpreted as “risque” or “inappropriate” in any way; my intention is simply to be realistic and celebrate just some of the things that make us beautiful. There is a three letter word that can solve 99% of the problems we as girls are faced with today, and no it isn't “man.” It's BRA.
I went shopping the other day with one of my sorority sisters, and we walked into Victoria's Secret; I was immediately reminded of the first time I walked into this iconic store. Simply put, the first trip to VC left me feeling horribly unqualified. Frankly, I was flat. I was not gifted with a chest that left people staring in insane jealousy. I was left thinking I wasn't as beautiful as Miranda Kerr or Giselle Bundchen, (but really who is? They are like freaks of nature, beautiful freaks of nature). Realizing the differences between me and the model in the photo, I started to feel less beautiful, less feminine. I became very insecure about my body. Was I too skinny? Was I too fat? Were my thighs too big? Suddenly I found that every magazine cover, and every TV program that featured people like Kim Kardashian or the hotties from the Hills was leaving me with an unhealthy sense of self pity. I had small boobs, and there was nothing I could do but complain and be patient in hopes that God would eventually give me the same equipment He blessed these models with. Naturally this was all at the tender age of thirteen.
On my seventeenth birthday, I was peering up at Miranda Kerr. Naturally she was modeling some kind of lingerie, which naturally I was not interested in. I was not interested in buying something cute to model to my nonexistent boyfriend; I was not interested in making my boobs each the size of Jupiter; I was not interested in making sure I had the perfect leopard print bra that would make all the girls in gym class jealous. I was on the hunt for self esteem, and there was only one place that could help me. So I took the plunge and opened the glass door rimmed with gold metal that resembled the entrance into some kind of palace. Immediately this experience was different than my first encounter with the undergarment underworld. I was still intimidated by the overwrought sexuality that surrounded me, but I was focused. Nothing could distract me from the quest to conquer my insecurities. I began the hunt. I didn't need anything basic like a white, black, or nude bra (EVERY GIRL SHOULD INVEST IN A WHITE, BLACK, AND A NUDE BRA), but I am also just a teenager who isn't known for being particularly wild or sexy, so there was no need to seek out a lacy, risque bra. After briefly glancing about the store, my confidence started to dwindle. Gradually, I became increasingly discouraged. Then suddenly, in a last ditch effort I opened the only drawer that was labeled with my size that I had not opened. Every bit of my being was praying that this drawer held my sacred holy grail. As I peered into the drawer I heard angels singing a Lady Gaga anthem behind me, and I knew immediately that I had found the bra for me. It was from the Incredible Collection. It was perfect for me, because I live in t-shirts, and this bra is so comfortable and has a playful rainbow animal print pattern. This was my bra. As I walked towards the register, I felt as though the other girls and the employees were applauding me. The pride I felt after that is incomparable.
On this most recent visit that I took accompanied by a sorority sister, I greeted Vickie as an old friend who played an intricate role in me defeating low self esteem. When I was talking about this with a friend, they laughed and inquired why a bra was what I needed to feel beautiful. She added that it was a silly idea because I was the only person who saw my bra. That's true. I don't gallivant around town in just my bra, but the fact was, I see it. I wear it, and it is just something that makes me feel beautiful. So maybe it doesn't solve 99% of girls' problems. That may have been a tad bit far fetched, but I bet that there are just a few problems a girl will face that a trip to Victoria's Secret can fix. It fixed my self esteem, and after I buy a new bra, even though it's not “sexy”, I still feel like a million bucks. Who knows, maybe this is the key to curing female insecurities forever. What's most important to remember, is that everyone needs to find what makes them feel beautiful, no matter what it is.

Amanda Wineman is a college freshman at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama majoring in Political Science with a minor in French. Originally from Cut Bank, Montana, Amanda was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Montana for 2011. Learn more about Amanda here!

Room Design

If you are going to convert another room for your home theater, then planning that must be considered too. Having selected the place, you need to consider the design that you will use. The areas can be divided up with the use of furniture or book cases and wall units. Many times soft walls are often used to divvy up the spaces. If you do not have a center point then you unfortunately individuals place large items in the room first but this is the wrong thing to do, you want to start with small items and work your way towards larger ones. The modern living room design Modernist art like home décor and framed iconic images tread on wall coverings lightly. Geometric shapes tend to dominate furniture, wall coverings and carpets.
The southwestern living room.
Reds, yellows and green are used as accents to this amazing living room theme. Adobe is used on many western themed décor materials and animal figurines are common table decorations that permeate the display areas.
Country cottage.
Accent colors are simple contrasts to white like cream eggshell and moderate grey. The minty fresh look and crisp clean lines are accented by antique furniture’s and crackled paints that denote age while still being brand new.
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House Design

Customers interested in buying home floor plans from Great House Design have the benefit of being able to talk directly to designers, the moment they choose to make contact. It is important to decide the budget before starting the new home designs plan. This is an absolute necessity.
-You must contact a reputed and experienced home design contractor for helping you out in the designing plans. In Thailand the demands from local governments can vary so before start anything asks what is needed in your area. How much is too much? Know your neighborhood before doing any renovations – especially your kitchen. If homes in your neighborhood are selling for Two Hundred Thousand dollars with nice, functional kitchens, for example, then you don’t need to spend Fifty  thousand dollars worth of renovations and upgrades.
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Interior Design

No longer you need to pay thousands of dollars to an interior designer to make the choice for you. Now you can easily find the theme you like the most and decorate your home that way, saving a lot of money. Zen Interiors UAE focus on Bespoke Interior Design, which is tailor made according to the customer requirement. You can find many books and photo galleries there with many pictures you can get inspired by. So whether you enjoy modern or traditional, cozy or elegant, Japanese or European styles in decorating your home and kitchen, you can simply find many free galleries online. Here some interior design pictures you might like.
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Cozy Interior Design
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