On the Cover

By Kate, age 19, New Hampshire
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Featured Gold Star Writer BioFeatured Gold Star Writer BioFeatured Gold Star Writer BioFeatured Gold Star Writer BioSDM Staff Intern

Two and a half years and forty-three articles later (and counting!), here I am with four gold stars (and always aiming for more), an internship, and my third time on the cover.

When I first joined the SDM team, I was halfway through my junior year of high school. Now I am starting my sophomore year in college and still writing every month for Sweet Designs Magazine. It has been a wonderful experience so far and I am looking forward to continuing my writing here for at least a few more years!

I believe I have come a long way from when I first started at SDM. My writing has improved greatly, as has my ability to tell stories, be creative, and think outside of the box. I started as a Real Life writer, but I've written for many other categories in the past, and continue to do so, keeping my options open and my articles new and fresh.

Over the last year, I have been writing about my college experience and submitting at least one college related article every month, from move-in day to midterms and finals, relationships, and everything in between. As a person, I grew from my experiences and shared my stories in hope of connecting to some of our readers and other SDM staff about college and what they are getting into!

I went from a lost and depressed teen to a hopeful and happy young adult, and I will continue to strive towards happiness in what I do.

College has, without a doubt, been a life changing experience for me, and it continues to be every day. My first year was an adventure, like it is for most freshmen. I had firsthand experiences with college life, including the work load and dorming with other students. I learned that there is no such thing as privacy and that relationships aren't first priority. Of course, this isn't to say I didn't have my share of boy problems!

Currently, my focus is on my grades. After a tough first year, my goal is to get on the Dean's List and to keep my grades at a respectable level, and, of course, still be an active member of SDM. My classes are a heavy workload, but I believe I can juggle all that needs to be juggled. In college, it's not about the parties or who you know or not getting kicked out. College is all about having a job, getting your work done, and keeping your relationships strong - all at the same time - and I am fully prepared to take on the challenge.

This year, I chose to commute to college, whereas last year I dormed. Personally, I feel that everyone must dorm at least once in their life. For me, dorming was a lifetime experience and a chance to live on my own in the real world. It was tough and stressful at times, but I pulled through. This year, I am hoping that commuting will help keep the stress level down so I can focus on what I need to, instead of the new boy that lives in the room next door.

Of course, I continue to reenact the Civil War time period, and that is always something new for me, even if we've been to the same place at least five times! There are always new people showing up and asking questions about the weapons and battles ... and there are some familiar faces we see every year. And every year, I am always surprised and glad to see the people I see. From young kids asking wonderful questions to older people posing with the gun, like college, it truly is a wonderful experience, and one that not everyone gets to enjoy.

I have also started my own business, which has proved to be quite a challenge, especially in the photography world. Many times I have asked myself, "Why bother? People easily have access to the equipment and take pictures themselves." But, throughout the summer, I have gained personal experience and growth in photography and have figured out various ways of making myself different from the rest. The business is still new and I am working on saving up some money for better equipment, but eventually I believe that this will work out and I will be happy with what I do.

Lately, my writing has been non-existent, besides my articles for SDM. In my first two years of college required classes such as math and science have been controlling my life, leaving me little time to focus on any writing I might have wanted to do. This semester, however, I have an advanced fiction class, which is technically a junior level class - I got permission from my advisor to take it. I hope it will give me a chance to write more, and hopefully send some of my work to share with you.

It's probably corny to say this, but I know for a fact I wouldn't be where I am today without the love and support of my family and my wonderful boyfriend. Through thick and thin, through all the dramas and stresses of college, and through every other moment, they have always been there, supporting me in everything I do, and I am so glad to have them in my life.

And, of course, I must thank Stephanie Lynn for giving me this opportunity to share my writing with others and for the support and enthusiasm she shows in each e-mail she writes me. By the time this gets published, I will have already met with her in person for the first time, and I look forward to working with her more in the future.

Two and a half years and forty-three articles later, here I am with four gold stars, an internship, my third time on the cover, a new life, new goals, and I'm anxiously awaiting a bright future! It is something I am working for and will continue to work for every day ... and I couldn't be happier.

Editor's Note: Kate and I spent an enjoyable six hours together today (August 29th), working on the magazine, doing a photo shoot (some of the shots appear on the cover and this page), talking, and becoming friends. We had an awesome time! We have some really terrific people on our Sweet Designs team. I hope to meet more of you in person, and always enjoy chatting online or on the phone. - Stephanie Lynn

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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