Tuesday, September 29, 2015

be the best version of you

Anna asked me to be a contributor for her sister's inspiring blog, A Real Girl, and I couldn't pass up the offer! make sure to go and show the post some love, and don't forget to bookmark the blog!


hello sweet, intelligent, brave girls!

my name is Sydney and I am the blogger behind Sydney Huss. my blog has a focus on inspiration, lifestyle, faith, and also just a place for myself to release stress and just write. as for myself, I’m a rising high school junior with a passion for singing, reading, and just being with my close friends and family. this fall I am starting my first year at a residential high school about three hours away from my beautiful home in Charleston, SC. I am thoroughly looking forward to this opportunity, and hope you’ll follow me on this journey through my blog!

growing up as girls in the 21st century, we are constantly and primarily pressured by media sources and other girls to become a better version of ourselves; whether that is by wearing more makeup, buying shorter and more provocative clothing to become “more appealing” to boys, or just by lowering our personal standards for ourselves. we are pressured to be a certain size and a certain weight while also keeping our lives together and our grades perfect and have our future entirely planned out … when in reality, can any of us really do that? do we have that power?in no way are we able to do that.

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can you realistically imagine life without peer-pressure and without media sources telling you how to shape your life? in this day in age, the majority of us find ourselves on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook quite frequently. how many times have you scrolled through whichever feed and wished that your hair looked like that girls, or you wished you had that girls grades, or that girls body, or her height, or have the ability to go on the amazing European vacation she just went on with her family? (those envious wishes are endless!) I know I’ve been there. I can hardly go a day without feeling jealous or having the #FOMO (fear of missing out).
this past spring, I decided to give up all forms of social media for Lent. (Lent is a season in the Christian calendar leading up to Easter, in which you give up something, or take something on, in hopes of drawing nearer to Christ and strengthening that relationship.) I deleted all those platforms that I would frequently click into when I didn’t want to do homework, when I was bored, right before bed (or right when I woke up!) and decided to put my energy and time into something more meaningful. for me, it was focusing on a bible study with my best friend, Claire, and also putting more energy into my schoolwork and grades as Lenten Season happened to fall at a very busy and stressful time school wise. and after those 40 days, as much as I missed being able to scroll through Instagram, I didn’t miss the pressure I felt from my time spent there.

I encourage you to spend 24 hours, a weekend, a week, whatever period of time you feel comfortable with, away from social media. get outdoors, put your energy into what you love. I can almost promise you that you’ll feel more motivated to be a true representation of yourself and who your creator intended for you to be.

be the best version of yourself.

in Christ,


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

jump around // university of wisconsin madison

check out this article (among many other great ones) on Undeniable Report! If you're a blogger looking for an uplifting and inspirational community, definitely look into becoming a part of the amazing group.

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Summer is all about college visits for any student in high school, whether you’re a freshman trying to get a head start or a senior wrapping the last few things up!
While in Wisconsin, I had the pleasure of visiting my dad’s alma mater, UW Madison (go badgers!) and I really enjoyed experiencing my first college tour. My mom set up two tours for my brother and I (keep reading!) and even though there weren’t as many students on the campus, I definitely still got that college feel.

what : University of Wisconsin - Madison
four year, large, public, state university
where : Madison, Wisconsin
cost : $25,000 in state // $45,000 out of state
size : 6,000 per class, 29,000 undergraduate students

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When touring colleges, if you get the opportunity to go on both a campus and dorm/residential life tour, definitely take both. By doing that, you’ll get a lot more information about the dorms themselves and what kind of amenities the college offers on a more extensive level.
UW Madison offers two options when it comes to dorm living - you can choose from Lakeshore, a very suburban feel with lots of greenery and lake views, or Southeast, which is for those students looking for a very urban feel right in the heart of Madison. Whichever you choose, you’re equidistant from the center of campus, so you don’t have to sacrifice the lake views you may desire for a quicker walk to class! Both Lakeshore and Southside dorms offer the same basic necessities when it comes to each room - loftable beds, dresser, desk and chair, bedside table, bookcase/hutch, and even a refrigerator. The residence halls are always getting maintenance done as needed, and so you don’t have to worry about getting the “nicest” residence hall!
One of my favorite things that UW Madison offers is something called “learning communities”. Specific residence halls offer unique seminars and classes to students interested in similar subjects or majors. I was really interested in the “Women in Science and Engineering”, since I’m looking at studying nursing!

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As far as the actual university goes, there are 21 different schools/colleges to choose from within the university itself - you’re bound to find the perfect major that suits you. One of the most comforting things I learned during the tour is that whatever combination of major(s)/certificates (equivalent to a minor) you desire, the staff there will work hard to make that dream of yours work out so that you will have the most rewarding experience possible.
If you’re looking for that college football experience, UW Madison is a Big10 school with a generous handful of athletic events you can choose to attend. From experience, Badger Athletics are a blast, (jump around!) and you’ll always find students cheering on their peers.
If you’re concerned about getting work done amidst this amazing campus, don’t worry. There are over 30 libraries to choose from - you’ll definitely find a quiet place to study with whatever book you might need. Learning communities (mentioned above) can definitely be helpful when it comes to studying as well, and professor's open office hours are always beneficial.

what colleges have you toured so far? what has been your favorite?
in Christ, 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

these are a few of my favorite things

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I love making lists - I almost always staple a list to my agenda each week so that I always have one with me to mark things off that I can’t forget, I love making packing lists and lists of things to ask people … the options are endless. for the next few posts, I’ve done a lot of list making, which is right up my alley so I’ve loved writing these.
inspired by one of my favorite youtubers, katy bellotte, these are ...

10 things that make me happy :

Jesus // when I get to sit down and just be with God in my quiet space, I am so filled with joy that I just want to dance around sometimes! what about eternal and everlasting love isn’t to love?
new books // when I get to open a new book and I’m the first one to “break” the spine, realizing that I’m the first one to read that copy of the book, it makes me that much more excited to dive into the story.
singing // I love singing in a group of dedicated singers, as well as just by myself. getting lost in the performance and at the end, hearing the applause (or if I’m in a lesson, some kind of constructive criticism) fills me with contentment and the want to continue improving and working.
clean sheets + made beds // I don’t make my bed as often as I should, but when it’s been a long day at school and I’ve finally finished my homework, being able to turn down the sheets before crawling in make me that much more excited to get to sleep and start the new day.
coffee // I’m a caffeine addict - I don’t like starting my day without a cup of coffee in my hand. while getting coffee at a fancy shop downtown is even better than a cup from a keurig, starting my day off with a burst of energy helps me believe that nothing can stand in my way.
the smell after a thunderstorm // walking outside after a summer storm and smelling that fresh and clean scent is something I wish I could bottle up and have as a fragrance on my bedside table.
kissing // when you get to share an intimate moment with someone you love and it’s filled with so much love, it’s a really special moment. and getting to experience that with someone you are really in love with makes the experience that much more special.
looking at old photographs // when I flip through old photographs, or change out the pictures in my frames, I am always filled with the memories that that photo contains and I love being able to reminisce about that time, even if it’s just for a few seconds. whether it’s remembering that great experience with someone, or just the friendship I share with them, it’s bound to put a smile on my face.
snail mail + writing // with being away at school, I’ve really enjoyed being able to sit down and write letters to friends and family at home, just for a change from texting and calling. I still get excited when I hear there’s mail for me - it’s like a mini present!
intellectual + insightful discussions // Adam (s/o to you! miss you tons!) has really taught me a lot when it comes to deep conversations, but the feeling of contentment I’m often filled with after one of those talks is really rewarding and I love knowing that I’ve learned something. it doesn’t matter if it’s over the phone, in person (my favorite), or through texting, I love getting lost in talks with great people that have something to teach me.

in Christ,

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