3 Lessons Learned From Daily Writing

Back in July, I decided that I would spend a small amount of time every day practicing my writing. I started by picking random prompts and setting a timer. When I started doing these writing prompts, I wouldn’t say that my level of confidence in my writing was high. Honestly, after three months, it still is not very high. However, there are a few things that I have taken away from the last few months of writing. I was surprised when taking a look at the process, that it had changed my life in a positive way.

1. Writing is Therapeutic

At this point in my life, I have limited downtime. When I started writing these daily prompts, I was pretty sure that I would be mad at myself for taking away even more of that downtime. I didn’t want to worry about all the work and school work that I needed to do while I was doing my writing exercises. So, I chose to wake up earlier than I once had, set time aside, and become a more proficient writer. I was reluctant at first, thinking that time could be better spent sleeping. After a few months, my outlook is completely different. I go to sleep earlier and look forward to waking up to completing another writing. I have found that I have had less stress in my life because it gives me an opportunity to wake up to doing something that feels productive. There have been a few days that I have missed out on writing prompts and I notice a difference in the way that I orient my day. It is almost a necessity for me to wake up writing at this point, because it makes me feel as though I am the version of myself that I want to be.  

2. It Takes Time.

You won’t notice a change right away, and honestly, if you don’t take a closer look you may never truly notice a change even though it is there. Writing comes easier to some than it does for me. I am still trying to find my voice, and that’s after writing nearly every day for three months. This is a skill that does not come easily and will constantly need to be refined. Successful writers are what they are because they have been doing so for a very long time. The beauty of this craft is that it is different for every single person. My voice is going to sound different than yours, and that is what makes it enjoyable. Everyone has stories, but not everyone gets to tell them. It becomes easier and easier to tell your stories the more that you practice. The payoff is not immediate, not even close. It does take a long time to refine your craft.

3. Creativity Has No Ceiling

This is the most beautiful part of what I have found. Creativity has no ceiling, at least not one that can be reached easily. The world is full of incredibly unique minds that can and have thought of things that no one else has before. The beauty in writing is that the possibilities are endless. In literature, we have seen plenty of different genres become popular. From historical fiction to high fantasy, there are plenty of well-written stories that have entertained us for years. Even stories that have been told a hundred times seem to find a new, creative way of being told. Writing styles change the same way that the human voice changes amongst every one of us. Through the last three months of writing, I have found that my creativity, not only in my writing but in my personal life has grown.

Even if none of the things are terribly important to you, I recommend sitting down and practicing your writing. It is one of the most useful skills to have, and the practice of writing refines so many other traits that you have. Being able to articulate better what you are trying to say is a skill that has a level of importance that we may not realize. Writing will help in a lot of different ways in our lives. Also, its pretty fun.

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Why you should do your student exchange at the University of Montana in Missoula

Photo: Kayak

Do you like a variety of outdoor activities and breathtaking views?

Well, it can’t get much better than this. Firstly Missoula is located close the beautiful Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, which are a must see. Secondly there’s a great variety of close by destinations, such as Lolo Peak, Bison Range, Pattee Canyon etc. If you’re up to exploring other states, Olympic National Park isn’t too far away either. When you travel, you will most likely get to know some locals too, such as bisons, deer and black bears. Remember to bring your camera.

Always wanted to be a part of the sports hype but couldn’t find the right team?

Search no more! Our very own Griz family is open to every single person from a toddler to grandparents. Whatever game (football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, ice hockey) you see, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

Looking for the best academics?

Speaking from experience: Here in Missoula you’ll have teachers who inspire and encourage you. They will help you to succeed in work life after school. They do care for you. (Coming from people who study Communications, Politics, Philosophy, English & Arabics, Pharmacy, Physics and Space Science).

The campus environment for studies is pretty neat too. Where else do you have trees growing inside your study building?

I promise you one thing: If you do come here, you will have the best time of your live.

Delivered to you by one happy exchange student who totally lost her heart to Montana.

Top 5 Hikes In Western Washington

Wallace Falls: Gold Bar, Washington

This beginner to moderate level hike is located in Gold Bar, Washington. It begins on the river banks and slowly acclimates to the top of the falls. This hike has a lower stopping point, a mid-point, and the upper falls final stop. The trail is about 4.5 miles round trip.

Rattlesnake Ledge: North Bend, Washington

This intense hike is located in North Bend, Washington. At about 4 miles round trip, this hike will really test your stair climbing as you gain 1,160ft by the time you reach the top. The view is well worth the hard work!

Dog Mountain: White Salmon, Washington

This trail is right on the border of Washington and Oregon, at the base of the Columbia River Gorge. It is 6 miles round trip, with a 2,800 ft elevation gain to the top. Once you reach the peak, the view is unforgettable! Make sure to go around the springtime to see all the flowers blooming on the mountain.

Blanca Lake: Index, Washington

Blanca Lake is a glacier-fed lake hidden within the mountains. The hike is about 13 miles round trip and classified as difficult. Unless you want to hike in the snow, the best time to tackle this trail is in the summer, but you’ll need to get an early start to avoid the heat for the 3,900 ft elevation gain!

Mount Si: Mount Si, Washington

This trail is located in Mount Si, Washington, and it is another elevated hike. At about 8 miles round trip and a 3,200 ft elevation gain, this is considered a moderately difficult hike. Once at the top, you get to look out and view the Cascade Range.

Your guide to visiting Greece

As some of you already know, I was born and raised in Greece which means I’m pretty much the best person to know if you’re planning on visiting soon. I always get asked for recommendations on what people can’t miss when they visit and today I thought I would put a few of my recommendations in writing. In this blog post, you’ll know the mouth-watering food you need to try, beach bars and clubs you need to experience till 5 am, Islands you can’t skip out on, and a few tourist attractions you need to go to. I hope that by the end of this blog post you’ll love Greece almost as much as I do.

-Emmanuela Mitzalis


The food you HAVE to try:

Gyros, Greek Salad, Tyropita, Baklava…or just all the food


Islands you’ll LOVE to visit:

Santorini

Mykonos

Zakynthos


Beach Bars & Clubs that’ll have you dancing ALL night:

Holy Spirit Beach Bar

Akrotiri Night Club

Island Athens Riviera

Akanthus Beach Bar


Tourist attractions that’ll leave you STUNNED:

The Acropolis – Athens

Temple of Poseidon – Sounio

Epidaurus Theatre – Epidavros

These are just a few things I recommend for you all to do in Greece. There is so much to see and do in Greece so be ready to say yes to anything next time you visit! I hope you gained something from this blog post!

Thank you, Em

7 German Holidays in October.

In Germany, there are 7-10 Holidays commonly celebrated in October depending on the region. Surprisingly this doesn’t include the drunken and wild world of Oktoberfest. 5 of the holidays are observances whereas only 2 are observed holidays. The difference being that on observed holidays one typically gets the day off of work and school. On observances, people celebrate a remembrance, an awareness or for plain old fun. What are these holidays and how do they relate to American holidays? Are they similar, unique, or the same? Scroll down to learn more.

1.) Day of German Unity: The German Unity Day (German: Tag der Deutschen Einheit) is the national day of Germany, celebrated on 3 October as a public holiday.

It commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990 when the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic were unified so that for the first time since 1945 there existed a single German state. The German Unity Day on 3 October has been the German National Holiday since 1990, when the reunification was formally completed.

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To learn more visit the link below: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/germany/german-unity-day

2.) Harvest Festival: Harvest Festival is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, October 6, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in Germany.

The Harvest Festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. Given the differences in climate and crops around the world, harvest festivals can be found at various times at different places. Harvest festivals typically feature feasting, both family and public, with foods that are drawn from crops that come to maturity around the time of the festival.

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3.) Grandparents’ Day: Grandparents’ Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, October 13, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in Germany.

Grandparents’ Day is a day where small children show their appreciation towards their respected elders. They usually give no actual patronage as they tend to have little to no money. It tends to be a day spent in parks or the movies where the small children give little homemade presents to their grandparents. It is important to know that few people actually celebrate this occasion and it mostly goes under the radar. The United States had a proposition made to the Senate floor to institute Grandparents Day, but it died in Senate.

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4.)Day of the Libraries: Day of the Libraries is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours. It takes place yearly on Oct. 24

Take a day to remember the importance that libraries have in the community. The impact they have had in the past and the impact they have today. They represent the knowledge of the people and hold the culture of society. The Day of the Libraries is a day of events, and support of your local library.

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5.) World Thrift Day: World Thrift Day is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours. World Thrift day typically takes place on the final days of October. Whatever the last business day in October is. Normally on the 30th, but has been known to happen several days earlier.

It was decided that ‘World Thrift Day’ should be a day devoted to the promotion of savings all over the World. In their efforts to promote thrift, the savings banks worked with the support of the schools, the clergy, as well as cultural, sports, professional, and women’s associations. Thrift Day is used to teach children and adults to save their funds in the hope of helping their economy and secure their futures. It is a very practical holiday that teaches the importance of frugality. Some say that the Thrift day was just a marketing scheme put in place by the banks to trick people into giving them their money. More money for the banks means they can invest it and gain a higher interest rate on it. In any case Thrift day represents the idea of saving ones money for later consumption all over the world.

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6.) Reformation Day: Germany on October 31 each year to remember the religious Reformation in Europe. It commemorates when German monk and theologian Martin Luther’s proposals were nailed on the doors of a church in 1517. This event was the start of religious and social changes in Europe.

Reformation Day began on 31 October 1517 was the day German monk Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Electorate of Saxony in the Holy Roman Empire. This represents the beginning of the protestant reformation in the Holy Roman Empire. This lead to the separation of church and state for many of the peoples in the 1600s. As Calvinism, Lutheranism, and Protestantism began to take form the Catholic church began to lose control of much of their lands.

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Learn more in the link below:

https://www.themaparchive.com/the-protestant-reformation-and-the-holy-roman-empire-1560-72.html

7.) Halloween: Although Halloween is not a public holiday, businesses and schools may be closed because it falls on the same date as Reformation Day in 2019, which is a public holiday in 9 states.

Many people around the world celebrate Halloween, which occurs annually on October 31. It is the day before All Saints’ Day and is also sometimes called All Hallows’ Eve and Hallowmas Eve. Costume parties are held and many children go trick-or-treating around this time of the year. Germany is relatively new to the Halloween scene and only a few places celebrate Halloween to the extent of the U.S.A. Reformation day is a much more popular and well known holiday that happens to take place on the 31st.

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