Introducing Me

Hello everyone!

I thought as I start this blog it would be a good idea to tell you a little bit about me and my life as I currently know it.

I am a sophomore at Walla Walla University. I am currently studying to obtain a bachelors degree in Strategic Communications with a minor in photography. While I do love the school I am currently attending (and begrudgingly admit it), I wasn’t always so keen on the idea of attending school here. In fact, I started out at a completely different university. The journey of how I ended up at WWU is something I will be discussing on this blog frequently, so I will save those details for later.

I originally was born in Texas, but spent the majority of my childhood in Alaska before moving to the greater Seattle area at the age of 13. While I am currently living in Walla Walla while attending school Seattle is still home base for me.

I am an only child. I love my parents and our adorable Great Dane pup named Patrick. I miss spending time with them while I am away at school, but luckily home is only a few hours away from school, so I can do the drive back more frequently.

I think that is enough about me for the time being. As I begin to post more on this blog, I will be able to reveal more about the things that make me who I am and I hope you enjoy reading.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below! I would love to hear some feedback as to what kind of content you would like me to post.

Makena Kirsten

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Group Shoot: Lexi, Alyssa, Jenn and Hope

Lexi, my roommate this year, wanted to do a photoshoot with her friends to remember this year, as well as just have some nice photos together. Alyssa will be headed to Zimbabwe next year to teach music and English at a school there as a student missionary. Hope, Lexi and Jenn will be returning to Walla Walla University in the fall to continue working toward their teaching degrees.

For this photoshoot, they wanted an urban vibe, so we ventured into downtown Walla Walla. We did a wide variety of backgrounds and poses, and they ended up with about 500 edited photos out of the 1,800 we shot.

Lexi
Alyssa
Jenn
Hope

To see more, please follow me on Instagram and Twitter, @kirstenimages.

Five Memories From My Sophomore Year of College

This is my finals week from my last quarter of my sophomore year of college. To celebrate, I thought I would post some of my favorite memories from this year.

1. Friendsgiving at the cabin

My friend, Luke, has a cabin that we all go and visit sometimes. This year was my first time going to the cabin. It was Luke, Lexi, Ryan, Harrison and I. We cooked, baked cakes, watched movies, and played games. We even got to explore the town of Leavenworth, Washington. We had a “Friendsgiving” meal which we all worked together to prepare, and we enjoyed getting to know each other. We went to a diner that reminded Lexi and I of “Riverdale,” so we had to take a Betty and Veronica pic. Check it out!

Lexi and I as Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper
2. Weezer Concert in Portland

For my boyfriend’s birthday, I bought him tickets to see Weezer. We went with his friends and had a fun time exploring Portland for the weekend. I wrote about it in a previous post, so I won’t elaborate too much here, but it was one of the most memorable things that happened this year.

3. Boise trip

Another friend of mine, Harrison, lives in Boise, Idaho. During a long weekend, Christopher, Lexi, Kailee and I went home with Harrison and were able to explore his hometown. This is another thing I referenced in an earlier post, but I had to mention it again, especially since I was able to explore a new town with my new friends.

4. Joseph, Oregon with my family

One of the first weekends in October, my parents rented an RV and drove out to meet me at school. They even brought our Great Dane, Patrick! The four of us all went camping for the weekend in Joseph, Oregon. We had a wonderful time, despite the cold weather, and really enjoyed spending time as a family to celebrate my mom’s birthday.

5. The many, many photoshoots.

I have done so many shoots this year! I have met tons of people and it made me more comfortable shooting with people I am less familiar with. I have loved all the content I have produced this year. I won’t make you scroll through all the images on this post, but if you would like to see them, please check out my posts on my Instagram and Twitter, @kirstenimages.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my memories from my sophomore year of college. If you want to read more about it, check out my College Journey series under the college tab on this blog, Capturing College, and don’t forget to follow to see more content!

20 Things I’ve Learned Before Turning 20 (Part Four)

This is the final part of my 20 Things I’ve Learned Before Turning 20 series! If you missed Part One, Two, or Three, read those first, and don’t forget to follow this blog, Capturing College, for more helpful hints and advice.

16. Everyone is on a different path.

I struggle to remember that I can’t compare where I am at on my journey with other people’s journeys. We are all on our own journey and have our own struggles and trials, as well as our own successes and triumphs. Don’t compare your phase two with someone else’s phase four. Also, don’t compare your phase two to someone else’s phase one. Don’t go around thinking you are so much father ahead than someone else. You may just have an easier path now, and they may catch up or even pass you. Everyone is on a different journey, just be concerned with your own.

17. You can learn something from every situation.

No matter if it is the best scenario, or your worst nightmare, you can learn something from everything you experience in life. You woke up late and missed your first class? Maybe next time don’t stay up late studying and set multiple alarms. Your friend brought you coffee to work today? Maybe follow their example of kindness and bring them a treat next time you go out, or treat a random stranger by paying for their order at Starbucks. No matter how good or bad a situation is, you can always learn something from it.

18. Love everyone.

Life is too short to go around making people miserable. The world would be so much better if we all chose to love each other. Regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs, sexuality, or any trivial thing that may make someone different from you. Love them. Love everyone. Be kind to others.

19. Take risks.

There are two things I have struggled with since I was a child. One is making fast decisions, and the other is taking risks. Ironically, those two things kind of go hand in hand on a fairly frequent basis. When I was a child, if I did all my chores for the week, my mom would let me chose between a mystery present or $10 or something like that. She was trying to teach me that taking risks in life is okay, and they even help spice up my life. I like to weigh all my options as a kid, and if I ever had to make a choice, I would always try to find a way to compromise and get both things. Unfortunately, you can’t always do that in the grown-up world, so don’t be afraid to take risks. It will all turn out the way it was meant to.

20. Do what makes you happy.

I saved this one for last because this is the most important thing I have learned before turning 20. Do what makes YOU happy. This is your life, and it is short. Don’t compromise when it comes to your happiness. If you hate your major now, you are going to hate doing things in that field for the rest of your life, so change your major now while you still can. If you don’t like your school, don’t just sit there and live through it, make a change and transfer schools. Make this life worth living, do what makes you happy. Pursue what you love, whether it be someone or something, a person or a career. Do what makes you happy.

I hope you enjoyed this series. Be sure to check out Part One, Two, and Three if you missed them. Follow me on this blog, Capturing College, for more content like this, and don’t forget to do what makes you happy.

Group Shoot: Sienna, Lexi, Mariah and Kailee

Last year, I came to visit Walla Walla for my friend Sienna‘s birthday. She wanted to do a group photoshoot for her birthday, and it kind of turned into a tradition.

This year, we decided to shoot in the same location, but with a different goal in mind. We didn’t want big group photos to be the focus, so instead we did small groups of two or single subject shots for the majority of the shoot.

Here are some highlights from that shoot. I hope you enjoy them!

Lexi and Sienna
Lexi and Sienna
Mariah and Kailee
Mariah and Kailee

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter, @kirstenimages, and follow this blog, Capturing College, to see more content from me.

College Journey Part Seven: Spring 2019

I am currently just finishing up the spring quarter of my sophomore year at Walla Walla University, and I have to say I have really enjoyed this year over all. I will be returning in the fall for my junior year, and I already have my schedule mapped out for the whole academic year.

This quarter has been tons of fun. I surprised my boyfriend, Christopher, with tickets to go see Weezer in Portland, Oregon, with me and two of his friends, Andrew and Maria. The concert was the first weekend after spring break, and it was totally worth it. Weezer was super entertaining, and we had a wonderful weekend overall.

We also went home randomly one weekend to spend some time with our families. It was a nice break from the grind of school, and I think we both seriously enjoyed it.

Over the course of the quarter, we enjoyed spending time with our friends. We had about a billion cups of coffee and enjoyed the sunshine, which was a welcome change from the buckets of snow from winter quarter.

We went to Bennington Lake with Harrison and Lexi earlier in the quarter, and took some fun photos. Christopher walked away with 17 bug bites, I ended up with 21, and Lexi ended up getting lost. It took us a while, but we managed to help her find her way back to the car.

Christopher and I at Bennington Lake
Christopher and I

As far as school goes, this quarter has been a pretty strong one. I have really enjoyed my classes this quarter, and I even got an amazing job that I love. I am so thankful that I ended up at WWU this year, and I can’t wait for a new year with more amazing memories.

20 Things I’ve Learned Before Turning 20 (Part Three)

This is the third part of what will be a four part series on 20 things I have learned before turning 20. If you haven’t read the first two parts of the series, listing 1-5 and 6-10, be sure to check those out. Also, don’t forget to follow so you don’t miss the final five going up next Monday!

11. It is okay to not be okay.

You are not going to be okay all the time. We will all have our bad days, weeks months, or even years (can you hear the “Friends” theme in your head?), and that is completely okay. You don’t have to pretend you are okay all the time. Also, under the same umbrella, if you are not doing too well, please seek help. There is no shame in going to see a therapist or a counselor. It can really help you think things out and process, and the trained mental health professionals can give you tools to use when you aren’t able to have access to help from other people.

12. Adapt and adjust.

Not everything is going to go to plan all the time. I am someone who plans things in my head all the time, and when things don’t go exactly as I expect, I tend to get a little frustrated. When I was in health class my freshman year of high school, my health teacher told us that we need to be able to adapt and adjust. Whether it may be a new job, a daily plan, a routine, or a move to a new place, we need to know how to adapt and adjust to our situations and surroundings.

13. Friendships (and relationships) are a two-way street.

Friendships and relationships require give and take. Don’t be the only one giving in any relationship, whether platonic or romantic, but also don’t forget you shouldn’t be just taking either. Relationships are a balance. Somedays you may give more than you take, and others you may take more than you give. However, if you feel you are always giving and they are never giving you anything in return, maybe speak to them about it, and if nothing improves, maybe let that relationship fade.

14. It is okay to cut people out of your life.

Cut them out. (I tried to think of a nicer way to say this, but I think this is common language now, so I will stick with it for now.) I have said before that friendships fade and change, and that is true. However, when, in reference to #13, a relationship is always more give than take, and you aren’t getting what you want or need out of the relationship, it is time to let that person go. You don’t have to be rude about it, but maybe say no when they ask you to do something for them, or stop hanging out with them as much. If you are constantly being dragged down by someone, cut them out. If someone is using up all of your energy and never building you up, cut them out. If you do so much for someone and they never do anything in return, cut them out. If they can never be happy for you when you are finally happy, cut them off. It sounds terrible and mean, but you don’t have to be rude about it, please be polite! You just need to realize what you need out of life, and if this person isn’t a good person to have around, you need to let them go, and move on with your life.

15. Not everyone wants your advice.

I know this is pretty silly to say, especially considering this list of 20 things are basically all advice from my life, but it is something I have come to realize recently. I am at a different place in my life than a lot of people my age. I have researched heavily what I want and what I am doing, and I have gone through things that other people I know haven’t experienced yet. I tend to offer advice to people that don’t necessarily want it on a fairly regular basis. Of course, I never mean to overstep or be rude, but if I know that a certain school is over twice as expensive as the one I am currently attending, I am going to caution my friend, or if I know that it is going to rain tomorrow and there is a photoshoot planned, I will give them a heads up. What I have to realize is, some people just need to do this on their own. I have conversations about these things with my mother frequently. I just want to help others, but to them, it seems as though I am an annoying know-it-all that just wants to prove she’s better than everyone else, which is not true! I just love my friends so much that I don’t want them to have to struggle to figure things out on their own. However, I need to realize that people need to figure things out for themselves, and they don’t always want my help or advice.

That is all for this week’s edition of 20 Things I’ve Learned Before Turning 20. Don’t forget to check out Part One and Part Two, and follow to make sure you don’t miss the fourth and final part coming out next Monday!