On high school: what I’d tell myself if I could do it all again

Written on May 28th, 2015

If keeping a 4.0 requires you to lower the rigor of your classes, don’t. I’m not saying you shouldn’t get good grades, but you definitely shouldn’t compromise your learning opportunities just to maintain a number.

Love, work, play: it’s all about balance

Written on January 21st, 2019

Reliable boundaries and training effort are some of the greatest gifts I can give my dogs. It might feel like “giving them whatever they want” is the way to show love in the moment, but they’ll appreciate my steadiness far more in the long run.

Become the Storm

Written on March 31st, 2018

I feel broken parts of me being reborn / I embrace the fact that when it rains, it pours / I used to be afraid of the weather’s force / but then I decided to become the storm

Salt and Seaweed and Strength

Written on March 24th, 2018

so I sit on a beach I know inside and out / my scrawled handwriting has stayed the same, too / and the sun sinks, my heart sings, the horizon bleeds / I breathe in salt and seaweed and strength

I’m learning to both adjust and honor my voice

Written on March 8th, 2018

I want to maintain my integrity. I have opinions about writing, and there are things I won’t compromise. But I’ve come to see the importance of writing for others. And I’ve come to see that writing for others isn’t mutually exclusive with writing for myself.


Written on February 27th, 2018

this year, I decided to chase courage / in 20 years of life I’ve never seen myself as brave / my hands are soft — I’m still no warrior / but I’ve learned strength is more than the grip to yield a sword


Written on February 27th, 2018

I am not naive. / no, I swear — these self-inflicted scars aren’t accidents of ignorance / they are choices rooted in the deepest parts of my being / there is a difference between expecting reality and accepting it

I see you, Mom

Written on February 2nd, 2018

I see the disappointment in yourself when your body refuses to work, the disconnect between mind and tissue, the chasm deep and wide and lined with shame.


Written on December 5th, 2017

I found myself in the spaces between board games and TV binges / the open curls at the end of our questions, the goofy smiles that chased our jokes / I was given joy in people who know every one of my flaws / but decide to hang out for another night anyway

Nature and nurture: dogs are individuals

Written on November 10th, 2017

When we accept the reality of our pets and work to manage their specific personalities, we open the door to a much happier, healthier life together.

Thank you to my childhood dogs

Written on November 6th, 2017

Though I was too young to fully understand a lot of things about you — like the reasons I couldn’t feed you people food or why you didn’t want to be pushed around in my doll stroller — your presence still taught me about responsibility.

Motivation and dogs: it’s a two-way street

Written on November 3rd, 2017

We hear a lot about how we can better motivate our dogs. There are tons of tips and tricks out there to provide stimulation for your pup, and that’s wonderful — but what about the ways our dogs motivate us? Since Snort came into my life last February I’ve grown into a more stable, open-minded person. […]

My dog’s comfort is more important than your opinion of me

Written on October 29th, 2017

My priority isn’t what people think of my ability as a handler — my priority is what my dog thinks. Having her trust me and feel safe is far more important than what anyone else could say.

What I’ve realized about reaching for a ridiculous GPA

Written on October 19th, 2017

My current GPA puts me in the top 5% of Wisconsin School of Business students — and I hope every day that it’s the least impressive thing about me. When I graduate, I want to leave this university with so much more than a number.

I’m a dog person for good reason

Written on October 6th, 2017

You don’t have to know me well to know that I’m pretty obsessed with my family’s pets, especially our Siberian Husky Snort. I know I might be a bit over the top — it’s not every day that you meet someone who has an Instagram for their canine — but I just can’t help it: I love dogs.

I need to do things that scare me

Written on October 4th, 2017

I’m such a creature of habit that I’m practically married to my routine. On the Myers-Briggs personality inventory, I am as far to the “J” side of the spectrum as one can get. It’s hard for me to shake things up — and that’s exactly why I need to do it.

It’s okay to change your mind

Written on September 28th, 2017

If I’m not constantly reevaluating my own life path and desires, how can I promise to do those things for a company someday? How can I give advice to friends who feel stuck? How can I help my future children decide what they want to do?

Ben Breitenbach: a survival story

Written on September 23rd, 2017

Ben has the look of a man who — despite his 80-year-old age — has managed to stay in shape. His lean frame stands tall, but when he walks me to the living room I see it: a slight shoulder hunch, an almost imperceptible limp, a stiffness that seems to seep from his bones.

Time flies: thoughts on graduating a year early

Written on September 21st, 2017

I feel like I’ve been flying through my years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and as graduation looms closer than ever (only eight months away!) I’ve taken some time to reflect on how this feels.

Adopt or shop? Make your own responsible choice

Written on July 22nd, 2017

Here’s the deal: you can be a responsible owner and get your dog from a shelter or rescue… and you can also be a responsible owner and get your dog from a breeder. These things are not mutually exclusive!

You get the dog you need, not the dog you want

Written on June 28th, 2017

Snort is nothing like Cyber, except for the fact that they are both huskies. Cyber was big and fluffy and boisterous… Snort is small and slim and shy. Their coloring is completely different. Their personalities are far from the same. When my nine-year-old self designed her perfect dog ten years ago, Snort just wasn’t the image she created.

I’m going to make myself proud

Written on May 16th, 2017

So here I am, world: completely imperfect. Totally messed up. Oh, I know it: sometimes I’m downright annoying. But I’m me, and I’m a work in progress. Wherever I go from here, I don’t want to be a mold of ideals – I want to be a carving of love, of passion, of growth. I want to be honest. I want to be genuine. And I want to always, always, always keep improving.

Tidal Waves and Hurricanes

Written on April 3rd, 2017

I do not feel things in trickles or raindrops or teaspoons / I feel them in tidal waves and hurricanes / Raging floods of my humanity that sweep aside rational thought, crests of emotion deep enough to drown / I do not simmer, I burn


Written on April 2nd, 2017

Home is sitting on the living room floor surrounded by parents and pets and pizza /
Leaning onto cushions worn in like the memories of sick days and family campouts captured in pictures on the walls

What I learned from getting rejected by my dream company

Written on March 2nd, 2017

I thought that I’d feel absolutely devastated – and part of me does – but more than anything I just feel motivated. I have a full year before graduation to hone my skills. I have the attitude and capacity to learn infinitely more than I know now.

Life hacks: time management

Written on March 1st, 2017

While I’m by no means a whiz at using all of my time effectively (I watch just as many cute dog videos as the next college student), I do think that I’ve done a pretty solid job balancing 16+ credit semesters with two jobs and at least a semblance of a social life this past year.

I’m overcoming social media shame

Written on February 18th, 2017

Social media exists to give people a platform to share the things they’re passionate about. And yes, passion can sometimes be annoying… but in a toss up between being annoying or failing to fully embrace the things that make me happy, I’ll choose the former every time.

Natural State

Written on January 23rd, 2017

I wonder if loneliness is my natural state / Can years of believing you are an outsider cause you to become one? / Self-fulfilling prophecy, my roommate calls it / Maybe I don’t feel fulfilled unless I’m leaking sadness

Gen-eds and breadth requirements have made me better

Written on January 20th, 2017

When you are in a multitude of different courses on different topics and you find ways to connect the material across academic disciplines and with your own life outside of school, you are becoming brighter. It can sometimes be a challenge when you’re faced with breadth requirements that seem irrelevant to your career goals, but I’ve come to realize that nothing is truly irrelevant if you don’t allow it to be.

Dear Larry: only a dog

Written on January 12th, 2017

I was barely five years old when you waddled into my life with a few inbred genes and far more reasons to be loved. You were my first dog, my first unconditional best friend. You were the first life who loved me day in and day out, no matter my mood or my childish actions.

I’m Sorry

Written on December 29th, 2016

I’m sorry /
But I am tired of apologizing for my softness /
My sensitivity has been the flame in too many burned relationships, I know /
But I swear I can use it better now /

Why should I check my privilege if I’m not racist?

Written on December 12th, 2016

I am a white upper-class woman. I never owned slaves, and neither did my parents or my grandparents. I can’t control the socioeconomic status into which I was born any more than anyone else can. I may not be racist, but I still check my privilege – and I think we all should. I feel very passionately that becoming aware of the power we have been granted but have not earned is one of the most important things we can do. Here’s why.

If you just believe

Written on December 12th, 2016

I’m a 19-year-old college student who likes to think she’s pretty reasonably-minded – and I wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus. You heard that right; in fact, Jolly Old Saint Nick has an extremely special place in my heart. I believe in him now just as much as I did when I was five, and I’m not afraid to tell the whole world.

What teaching has taught me

Written on November 30th, 2016

It’s absurd to think that in just a few weeks my job as a TA will be over, and part of me wishes it could go on indefinitely. The joy of connecting with other students and staff in such an influential manner has been overwhelming. And while my job description has been to teach, it’s safe to say that I’ve also done a good deal of learning.

Dear Larry: I wasn’t ready, but you were

Written on October 2nd, 2016

Your tail wags and I can’t help but wonder if your pain is an illusion, if we are wrong, if your life is still happy enough to go on. The vet said that you have reached your average lifespan and I want to shout at her that you are not average, that you have never been average, not for one minute since the day we first welcomed you into our home.

I’ve been creating competition where it doesn’t need to be

Written on September 28th, 2016

I struggle day in and day out with comparing myself to others. A habit born out of a desperate desire to always be “good enough” in every context, it’s a dangerous pattern that consistently erodes my happiness. I can’t seem to look at any accomplishment outside the lens of how it stacks up to what others are doing.

I’m taking ownership of confidence

Written on September 15th, 2016

I’ve come to believe that attempting to hide parts of yourself only makes them more evident; the awkwardness of someone knowing you’re lying is far worse than the slightly weird look you might get if you tell the truth. Sure, I’m not proud of all of my bad habits – but I do feel proud when I take responsibility for them.

Fear of feedback

Written on August 30th, 2016

Recently an article I wrote about my summer internship experience garnered over three thousand shares on social media as it was passed around an online community of journalists. Though this may not seem like expansive reach in the grand scheme of the internet, it was by far the largest audience any of my pieces had ever received.

Give them a break: what I learned from my summer at a news station

Written on August 19th, 2016

This past summer I worked as a marketing intern at WAOW-TV 9*, a local news station in my hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin. Although I spent some time in the promotions and sales departments, most of my days played out at a desk in the newsroom where I kept up with the station’s social media and overall online presence. These are some of my biggest takeaways.

How I learned to love myself

Written on March 28th, 2016

I am still learning to love myself. There are days where my insecurities rear their heads just like they used to, moments where I wish I could sink into the floor, sometimes entire weeks where I feel as though everything I do is wrong. I still have anxiety about making friends.

Thank you to the teachers who inspired me

Written on March 10th, 2016

Thank you. Thank you for arriving early and staying late everyday. Thank you for exercising more patience with your students than we’ve ever deserved. Thank you for dealing with our drama, our preconceived ideas, our stubbornness, our unwillingness to always appreciate our educations like we should.

To the student stressing about standardized tests

Written on March 3rd, 2016

This is not the end of the word, even if it feels that way. You are more than your test score. I understand that society’s expectations of how you should be able to demonstrate your learning are weighing heavily on you right now; I understand that you’re stressed. But I’m here to tell you that the ACT and SAT can’t measure the most important things about you. One number will never define you. One number never could.

Advice for incoming college students: ignore most advice

Written on February 23rd, 2016

As my freshman year comes to a close at an alarmingly quick pace, I’ve realized that a lot of the advice I heard before I set foot on campus never actually turned out to be very helpful. Sure, all of those listicles are great for getting you excited about the years ahead, but there were some things they missed that I really wish someone would have told me.

Choose to be open — please

Written on February 18th, 2016

Because here’s the thing: you’ll never grow if you disregard everything that makes you uncomfortable. You don’t have to believe in an idea’s truth to appreciate its importance. You don’t have to become Amazonian to value their culture. You don’t have to start believing in spirits and transformations to still take away something valuable from a fascinating lecture.

I’ll probably never be a famous writer. That’s okay.

Written on February 16th, 2016

The things that our society pays the most attention to are not necessarily the things I want to focus on. Don’t get me wrong – I love celebrity gossip and college sports rivalries and viral videos of adorable pandas as much as the next girl, but I don’t want to devote my life to writing just about the whims of the public. I want to write about things that matter.

Invisible illness: as told by a daughter

Written on February 4th, 2016

Four years ago my mom underwent a hysterectomy to take care of some ovarian cysts she had. It was nothing too serious; it went well and was as minimally invasive as possible, and my family wasn’t truly concerned about her long-term recovery. Taking health for granted, we had no doubt that she would be fine. We were wrong.

An open letter to the ‘gifted’ kid

Written on August 14th, 2015

When I was in the first grade I was tested for and admitted into the ‘Gifted and Talented Program’ colloquially referred to as the ‘Challenge Program’ in my district. It’s purpose was to help students of above average intelligence, creativity, and motivation fulfill their complete potential in the classroom with an accelerated curriculum. It’s a wonderful opportunity for young students and I recall my elementary school experience with extreme fondness, but there was a lasting side effect: from that moment on I was branded as ‘smart’.

Thank you, Mom and Dad

Written on August 11th, 2015

Everything I am I can trace back to you – moments of your support, your morals, your teaching. You are, and always have been, my foundation in this life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A tribute to the Water Walkers

Written on July 10th, 2015

“Who are we? THE WATER WALKERS! And what do we do? WATER SKI!”

This cheer has become a staple of not only my summers but my entire childhood. Every single show, just before we close off the night with our final pyramid, my ski team shouts these words at the top of our lungs towards the stage.

Volunteering in college is for more than scholarships

Written on July 2nd, 2015

Volunteering in college is so unbelievably valuable, and it’s often overlooked because of the stress of school, impending debt, and working to actually make an income. But there’s something fundamentally amazing about the act of selfless service that can enhance your college experience like nothing else.

Hey look, a website!

Written on June 7th, 2015

So, Clompish is a thing again! Sort of, anyway. I’ve been really longing for a place to put all of my writing, and I want to actually share with people whom I might never get the chance to meet in person. So I’m bringing my old, old website back… just with different motivation. No more […]


Written on April 10th, 2015

every morning I have to wake up to a vacancy sign / in the place where your support is supposed to be / I don’t know what’s worse – / the emptiness, or the burn in my throat that’s all too real

Dear Curling: an open letter to the most “rock”-ing sport

Written on December 11th, 2014

You’re full of beer and competition and perpetual lameness, but you don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Seventeen Years

Written on November 5th, 2014

seventeen years has taught me that / too much planning is not a good thing / and that the Buddhists were not wrong / when they said desire is the root of all suffering / because it is the expectations of what you want / that hurt worse than anything you get / (absence is the most bitter of all tastes)

Who am I as a writer?

Written on September 20th, 2014

As a writer, I am an insomniac, intruder on the sky’s sorrow as rain falls at night, present in the middle of its rage as lightning attacks the world outside my windows and the battle cries of thunder make it past what I can assure you are not soundproof walls.

It’s like dreams don’t matter

Written on March 24th, 2014

Dreams are underrated. No elementary school goal making sheet about the number of pages you want to read in a given month will ever truly be capable of instilling in young people the meaning of achievement. For all of our praises of the sweet concept that ‘anything is possible’, too many of us don’t act like that’s what we believe.

What they don’t teach us

Written on November 11th, 2013

What they don’t teach us in school is this: we are never told how to get out of bed the morning after everything has gone wrong, or how to use our sewing needles from seventh grade FACE to patch up our mistakes. They don’t tell us what it will be like the first time you lose a best friend, or the second, or the third.

Grieving for the grievers

Written on April 21st, 2012

One of the hardest things is being there for someone who doesn’t know what they need. Because you don’t know either. You know what they’re going through, but you don’t understand what that means exactly. They lost a loved one. How do you react to that?