August Wrap-Up

This past month has definitely been...Interesting (yes, that is with a capital I). Up until August 1st, I had spent my days procrastinating packing for college, freaking out the fact I was technically moving away, and spending as much time as possible with my family and friends. Once August hit, college started to become more than just what was going to happen in a few weeks. Reality decided I needed to wake up from the nice long nap I'd been taking since high school ended. I absolutely dreaded it, but you know what? It hasn't been so bad. In fact, August was pretty good to me this year. Here are a few highlights of my month:

Saying Hello and Goodbye // I definitely miss how everything was back home: wake up, go to school, see friends, go to meetings, come home, do homework, play with Sammie, eat dinner, go to bed. It's weird to not see the same friends and teachers everyday, not to eat the same lunch food at the same table everyday, not seeing my family everyday. I have been to plenty of summer camps over these past few years, so being away from home like this isn't something new. The different pressures and environments are what make this experience different. I'm starting to make a lot of new friends and develop my own little routine here; I think pretty soon I will have found my niche. I'm really excited about some of the clubs I've joined and can't wait to share some of them with y'all!

Back to the Daily Grind // College is...different. Getting back into a routine was a bit hard, but adjusting my sleep schedule before I moved was a really smart decision. Having expected the worst out of my course load, I was expecting to be completely sleep-deprived by Labor Day weekend - and yet, here we are, not as sleep-deprived as expected. And. It. Is. GREAT. Classes are definitely not what they were in high school, and neither are the schedule nor the homework. But, I am managing pretty well thanks to my Lilly planner and my phone's alarm clock. Right now I have my Friday schedule down to where I can sleep in a little bit, get Starbucks, and still be ten minutes early to class. Morning tea and croissants are a great way to start a Friday (especially one with three classes!).

Daily Exercise // This summer I made a really big effort to go to the gym. I had heard so many people tell me the "Freshman 15" is not just a story to scare freshmen into getting gym memberships, and I heeded their warning. I chose not to buy a bike nor a skateboard/longboard so I have been walking to all of my classes for the past week. While I hadn't completely anticipated the amount of walking I would be doing everyday, *at this point in time* I don't regret not buying one because despite the heat, the campus is beautiful and forcing yourself to walk means you have more time to look around and absorb everything going on around you. Just remember not to lose yourself in the scenery during a rush time! That is one of the easiest times to get run over by bikers and boarders.

Bestie Birthdays // This month three of my amazing friends had birthdays! I absolutely love celebrating/making my friends celebrate their birthdays! They are the times to *more emphatically* rejoice in the fact that we are living our lives to the fullest we possibly can. While I sadly couldn't have been with two of them on their special days (one turned 19 and the other turned 18), I was able to be with my new friend Tech Princess on her 18th. Yesterday she was really unsure about doing anything special for her birthday so we decided to take her to Cheesecake Factory! I had never been there before and I had a great time. The food portions are enormous, but it is all so delicious you will wish you had a bigger stomach.

And last, but most definitely not least:

Starting Something New // This month marked a lot of beginnings for me, one of the biggest being starting this blog. For the longest time I have thought about starting my own blog, since my freshman year of high school if I really think about it. Four years ago, I hadn't really seen other blogs or even had a real idea of what blogging was - I had just heard a friend talking about it and I thought it sounded intriguing. Fast forward about four years and voila, here we are. I know it's small and simple (sorry I'm not as great with electronics as Tech Princess), but this is my own little space of the entire internet and I'm pretty proud of it. What has happened this past month that you are proud of? Let me know down in the comments!

Catch you next time.


Freshman Five: Tips for the First Week of College

"Life is all about learning experiences." This is what one of my favorite high school teachers used to always say. To say the least, this past week has definitely been one huge and interesting learning experience. I have already met so many different people and the environment is truly unlike any other. Classes technically started last Thursday, but it already feels as if I have been here for months (If only that meant the semester was almost over!). Here are a few things I have found to be helpful in my first week as a bonafide college student.

It's *Kind Of* Okay to Talk to Strangers! // This is college! Although a large proportion of my high school graduating class came to the same school, it is very easy to drift off as if they aren't even there. Of my friends from home, I've only really been able to hang out with my best friend Theatre Geek. Coming to a new place means you are going to be around completely new people - it's okay to prop your door open once in a while when you're working on homework and just yelling out "Hi!" when somebody passes by. Sometimes people will respond and walk away while others will stop and share a pleasant conversation. The people on your floor could have similar majors or be in some of your classes. Don't be afraid to reach out! Sometimes people are just as shy and/or awkward as you might feel.

Pay Attention When People Talk About Navigating Their Schedules // A new campus means you will probably be the person with a color-coded copy of the school map plastered to your face. There's nothing wrong with this, but it is really helpful to listen when other people talk about how they get to their classes. You never know when you'll overhear the mentioning of a shortcut between buildings, or a street that has much less traffic and thus is better for using during a busy class hour. You might even find out somebody has a class down the hall or a building over from yours - BOOM instant walking partner!

Get to Know Your CAs // Instead of RAs, I have CAs! Community Advisors are upperclassmen living on your floor for the sole purpose of helping you in adjusting to college life. I live in a dormitory with a high concentration of Business majors. Coincidentally enough, one of my CAs and my floor's Peer Programmer are both Accountancy majors like me! The CA has studied abroad in Italy and held a prestigious internship last summer! Make sure to take advantage of the little opportunities that come your way, even if they don't seem to be very big at first. Talking to upperclassmen can be very helpful when trying to navigate the campus, deciding which classes to take, and how to adapt your study habits for certain professors.

Don't Be in a Rush to Rush // It's always in the movies, all over Twitter, and on the flyers plastered around your dormitory: Greek life. There is definitely a certain appeal to having a piece of family to fall back on while you're away from home, but don't rush because you don't want to feel left out. You have four years of college ahead of you, get your feet under you first, then decide if you want to join a House. One of the things I have seen when reading up on Greek life is that not too many articles put an emphasis on the actual time-commitment it is. If you adjust well and know what you want to do, by all means go for it. But, if you are unsure of how you feel, I suggest waiting until the Spring or even until the following Fall. There's no harm in waiting if you don't feel comfortable. The sorority or fraternity that's right for you will take you even if you're not a freshman.

Be Open-Minded to Trying New Things // High school was a very busy time for me. I had club meetings and practices every single morning and afternoon that I began to stop thinking in terms of actual days! Now that I am in college, I have found that there are thousands upon thousands of different student organizations at the university and it can be quite overwhelming. Don't be afraid to go talk to a member of a club you never thought you would be interested in because you think they are going to force you into a commitment. That isn't what club fairs are about. Club fairs are put on so that organizations can publicize their club and try to find new people who might like to join. It doesn't hurt to talk to somebody for five minutes about something they are passionate about - who knows, you might find something you'd like to try! This also goes for events - I never really went to football or basketball games in high school but I think I'm going to give them a try! Tonight is the first game of the season and I'm actually really excited so we will see how that goes!

Hope these tips help you in any way possible! Let me know in the comments how your school year is going so far! :)

Catch you next time.


It's Beccy With a Bow's Birthday!!

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She also has an awesome Instagram: @thebluegrasschic
A few summers ago, I met one of the most amazing girls who would become one of my best friends! 

She is one heck of a debater who loves monograms, is obsessed with Diet Coke, and her taste in music often makes me think we might just be twins. She is sassy, loveable, and the type of person you can talk to about anything. Although we live on far sides of the country, I know that I can always talk to her about anything.

Today is Beccy With a Bow's birthday!! I hate that we live so far apart, thus making it impossible for me to really spend time with her, but social media can help you do wonders in terms of staying in contact with friends. I know she's probably having quite the the day - she just started her first day at University! She loves nail polish, Lilly, and fashion so go check out her blog and wish her a very happy birthday!

Catch you next time.


Quote of the Week: Talk About a Case of the Mondays

I absolutely love this saying - more than once has it been a mantra to help me when I'm feeling very stressed out or overwhelmed with the mere idea of having more work to do.

Simply put, today was a very long Monday.

Keeping in mind I had a mandatory assembly the following morning, I woke up early and dressed quickly to go to breakfast with the hope of no line - the line wrapped around a row of tables! I gave up on a proper breakfast and went back to my room for an apple (I know, not the best choice but I really didn't think it was worth the wait). The assembly ran a little long and I have the worst luck when it comes to raffles so that wasn't a total let-down. The speeches of some of the college faculty mostly revolved around the same three basic ideas: go to class, do your work, and work to give yourself the life you want. As the day went on, I started working on printing syllabi and meeting with my Academic Adviser. Throughout the day, I experienced little moments where I felt really overwhelmed but this little saying really helped me get through it.

This was drilled even harder into my head when I attended the Peer Mentor Mixer. At the beginning of the summer, I signed up to be a part of a "family" comprised of two upperclassmen mentors and a few underclassmen mentees. After some fun (and at some points, slightly awkward) ice breakers, we were really able to start clicking as a group. This made the more serious conversations easier to have among ourselves. One of the topics we discussed was finding the motivation to stay away from completely destructive decisions and beyond severe procrastination. This saying was perfect for the discussion and it was really nice how the message the various Deans of the Honors College easily flowed into our own conversation.

Catch you next time.

Playing a Little Catch-Up

I know, I know I am a truly awful person. Exactly a week ago I promised I was going to post about moving in, my dorm room, etc. but these past few days have just been crazy!

I did eventually have everything packed up! I actually ended up taking most of my clothes down with me (real shocker, huh?) and SpaceBags are my new best friends. Still waiting for the kicker? Here it is: I barely filled half of my closet! Crazy. As my suitemate cleverly mentioned to me, this is probably a great excuse to go buy more clothes. I mean, we are only three minutes away from the beautiful mall I am notorious for not leaving until I've bought quite a bit of stuff (this is the same mall where I bought my prom dresses for Junior and Senior year). Unfortunately, I'm not yet completely comfortable with driving around this gigantic city and I am gearing up for classes to start. Great for the wallet, not necessarily for closet morale.

Personally, I dreaded packing for this particular adventure not because of the work nor the need to organize everything by purpose, usage, and size, but because of what it meant. Growing up is scary (hello Peter Pan, would you like to take me to Neverland?). I did try to give myself a little fun by packing certain t-shirts in my boxes to give myself something to smile about when I finally unpacked the boxes in my new room. As you might have seen on my Instagram, I put my awesome Big Bang Theory shirt on top of my school supplies. Not much more says "Nerdy and Proud" like a shirt that has "Bazinga!" and Sheldon Cooper's face. 

This is honestly one of my favorite shirts ever and I could not bring myself to just leave it behind! Dr. Sheldon Cooper has been a great motivator for getting papers and various assignments done on time.

Leaving home last Friday was a really tough experience. I have been working on thinking of college just like any other of the camps I have attended these past few summers, but the reality of the situation seems to be too heavy to allow me such a luxury. That day was made slightly better by a few things though: monogrammed towels, my best friend, and surviving the drive.

A week before I left, I took the towels I ordered for college to a great little shop that does custom shirts and embroidery to have my towels monogrammed. The towels were light blue and dark navy, so we decided to cross the thread colors to give a more cohesive look.

The fact that the "S" looks like a treble clef sealed the deal for me on this font. I also played with the positioning of my first two initials because the regular straight placement seemed too awkward.

My best friend of seven years, Mariah, was the last person I saw before I left town - she actually drove straight from work to see me off! There really aren't very many people that will drop everything and rush to say "See you later", so treasure them dearly when you do find them. She is such a beautiful and amazing person, and I am absolutely positive she will do great in university.

The Polaroid camera my parents bought me for my sixteenth birthday continues to be one of my favorite birthday presents ever - we made sure to use the rest of the film to take pictures right before I had to leave.
The number of times I have driven the whole time from home to the Phoenix area is extremely low. Managing to *safely* drive the whole distance at the end of a very emotionally exhausting day gives me hope that I may be able to survive driving around on my own.

Moving in this past weekend was pretty awful. A large number of students also checking-in and moving into their dorms plus one hundred and fifteen degree weather plus awkward humidity and overworked air conditioners did not exactly create the best environment for a happy Saturday.

Sunday started off and ended fairly nicely. I finally had the opportunity to have breakfast with a friend I hadn't seen since Orientation in April, met some nice people in my building, said goodbye to my family, spent time with my other best friend who is done here enjoying SunDevil life with me, saw the beautiful little church on campus, and spent more time meeting new people. It's not always easy trying to make new friends, so we will see how this goes - I can already picture the title now: Adventures in Friendship-Making. It will be epic. When I write it after making new friends. It will probably take a while, but it will happen! Did you move into your dorm this past weekend? Shoutout your college in the comments below!

Today was a pretty long day (more details to follow in my next QOTW) but I did get to end it with meeting some nice people and spending time with one of my other lovely best friends. Em and I went to Gammage and watched previews for the upcoming Broadway season! The leads for Cinderella, Kinky Boots, and Phantom of the Opera came and each performed one of the iconic songs of their respective musicals. We were lucky and sat just four rows away from the stage! Now I'm really going to try harder to get season tickets because I was really quite blown away. Fun Fact: The actor touring as Raoul this upcoming Broadway Across America tour is a SunDevil alum! He was presented with the 2014 Rising Star Award and the look on his face was priceless. Whether I can get tickets to all the shows or not, Phantom of the Opera is definitely on my "Going to Happen No Matter What" list.

Catch you next time.


Farewell to Our Dear Captain

"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."

What a day today has been. My morning was simply spent watching Netflix and washing my new sheet sets for college. After making myself a nice sandwich for lunch I spent some time on Pinterest and wrote my earlier QOTW post. I soon left my lovely air-conditioned house to pick-up my younger siblings from school. We even passed by Wal-Mart to grab a snack. It wasn't until I arrived back home hours later that I really took the time to check my phone. Covering my screen were the the heartbreaking notifications: the amazing Robin Williams had left us. I was absolutely speechless. 

Robin Williams has been an actor unlike many others - he infiltrated our lives in the best way, making a place for himself in the hearts of people everywhere. Not only was he generous in kindness and humor, but he worked hard to share his passion with others. He has been in so many parts of my life, from wanting to be a Disney princess and wanting a friend just like Genie to wishing I went to a private boarding school with my very own Mr. Keating. It's awful to think about the circumstances surrounding this goodbye, but it's amazing to stop and think for a minute about the impact he has had on people in his sixty-three years.

Here are just a few pictures from some of my favorite Robin Williams films:

Aladdin was the first Disney movie I can remember watching! Jasmine has always been one of my favorite Princesses, but Genie always had a special place in my heart.

The amount of sass Robin Williams showed off in both the original and the sequel is enough to make almost anybody break out into a fit of giggles.

Jumanji is definitely a different type of film, but the spirit with which Robin Williams brought the lost and out-of-touch Alan Parrish to life gives the film a little more depth.

I've always felt that he was perfect for Peter Pan. He was able to truly keep in touch with his inner child in a way not too many other people have. 

This is such an iconic scene that has been referenced, meme'd, and watched an infinite amount of times. My English teacher junior year showed this film in class during our Transcendentalism unit. I was already excited over Emerson (I know, Nerd Alert!) but watching Dead Poets Society opened me up more to other authors, including Walt Whitman.

Good Will Hunting is an amazing movie; moments such as this one just made me love Robin Williams even more.

Farewell Mr. Robin Williams, our Alan Parrish, Sean Maguire, Peter Pan, Mrs. Doubtfire, Genie, and Mr. Keating. O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills.

Catch you next time.

Quote of the Week: Wise Words on a Monday Afternoon

This is such simple but amazing advice - sometimes you just need little reminders to relax and have fun.

Like many other girls around the blogosphere, I absolutely LOVE Pinterest. As much as I can go on and on about all of the lovely things on Pinterest, one of my favorite parts is all of the different inspirational quotes that appear on my dash. I came across this particular one and felt like it really resonated with me a bit. I just couldn't help but feel I should share it.

I've always loved Emerson's work since I was introduced to a bit of it my freshman year. Suffice to say, I was elated when we read several of his essays my junior year - Self-Reliance became one of my favorites as it helped me get through my very long and stressful year. I hope it will do the same this upcoming semester! I'll probably stress out and take everything too seriously at the start, but with Emerson and my best friend by my side, I'll make it out alright.
Catch you next time.


Zumba: Not Just Cardio

Last night, I had to say goodbye to the awesome Zumba teacher at my gym. He's leaving on an extended vacation, so I won't see him until I come back home to visit during a school break. This farewell forced me to realize that I leave for college in a week. One. Week. That is terrifying! When I got home, I started to think about how I got into his class. It's funny to think he told me "Never stop dancing, hija! You always have a smile on your face when you do!" given that in my life I've sort of been the awkward turtle when it comes to dancing - I'm there, but a bit slow.

Accidental outfit matching!

When I was little, I loved dancing. I begged and begged for my parents to allow me take ballet and tap dance classes, claiming I could potentially be some sort of dance prodigy (how ironic, right?). I was adorable in the costume (smallest girl in the class, I looked like a little doll!) and I loved the classes, but I really wasn't a very good dancer. After I started kindergarten, I stopped the dance lessons, but always played "Ballet School" with my best friends at recess. Time passed and I missed dancing, but I always thought I was too awkward to be helped or that I just looked to weird.

At the end of my freshman year, I auditioned for the different choirs at my school and made Concert Choir. This was perfect for me because not only did I see during auditions that I had become a more awkward dancer than I thought, but I didn't know much about reading music and singing properly. Big, chamber-style choirs are one of the best places to begin a music education. 

When audition time came around, I moved up a tier into Rhapsody, a smaller, all-female, mostly a Capella group. If my surprisingly less awkward audition was anything to go by, my dancing had improved the slightest bit. I hadn't tripped over myself, and I remembered all of the moves with the words. 

My wonderful friend and fellow Mezzo Soprano in Rhapsody.

My ultimate goal, however, was to make it into Mystic Rhythm, the show choir, for my senior year. So, in between my classes, clubs, events, and homework, I started to make more of an effort to not only go to the gym to work out to be healthier, but to try out the new Zumba class I'd heard people raving about. My first class was awful because I happened to come on a peak day at the gym, and the room felt so small and claustrophobic. But I stuck with it. I had trouble at first with all of the moves and different patterns packed into the songs, but being in choir had helped me learn how to count rhythms, which most dancers will tell you is your lifeline. 

Eventually, I got better. I learned how to throw all those little worries away and just have fun. The instructor's energy was just amazing, and he made you smile even though you were aching and dripping in sweat. He made me realize that my biggest problem, the reason I was so awkward, was because I was overthinking everything instead is of relaxing and feeling the music. Now, I realize that is one of the very reasons I loved being in Mystic Rhythm so much this year - even when your heels hurt, your lungs are burning, and your arms feel like jelly, you smile because you are doing something you love.

Gotta love "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"!
Whether I'm still a slightly awkward dancer is definitely up for debate (choreography versus spontaneous dance party!), but the fact that Zumba helped me definitely is not. Zumba has been a fitness idea spreading across the nation for quite some time now, but there are still plenty of people who have never tried it. Every once in a while, I'll invite my girl friend who hates dancing and we'll do the class because doing it together just adds to the fun.

Catch you next time.


Living Life With a Little Lilly

My lovely Apple collection is beaming with my new background - I
am just forever in love with First Impressions. The colors even match
my phone case, though you can't really tell.
Most girls who love preppiness or identify themselves as prepsters know about Lilly. Lilly Pulitzer, that is.

I have always had a bit of prep in my style, but having grown up in a small Arizona town has isolated me a bit from learning more about the prep world. I honestly did not learn about Lilly until my sophomore year when I made my Instagram account and a Lilly picture appeared on the popular page. Admittedly, however, my real love for Lilly didn't explode until I met two of my best friends (the lovely Beccy and Allya!) at the Stanford debate camp the summer after.

To me, the spirit of Lilly is being classy and care-free at the same time. Loving Lilly and letting a bit of your inner prep shine shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. When I can, I like to splurge on little pieces - it’s fun to mix up pieces from different collections, creating a different feel to the outfit. I just love how patterned shorts are so easy to dress up or down with a quick switch of a blouse.

A few months ago, I was thrilled at the release of the Marley Lilly app, and since then I have been playing around with the wallpaper feature of the app on my cell phone as well as on my iPad. I love the Marley Lilly patterns, but for a while I have been trying to find a way to make monogrammed wallpapers with Lilly patterns. For Lilly lovers, who like me, don't have or aren't as proficient in Photoshop, there are great online Etsy shops that can help you out! Recently, I found one that just opened up, called Darlin Digital Designs. Owner Candice Wilcox is a real sweetheart and very quick with getting orders out.

It's always fun to have a little Lilly in your life.

Catch you next time.

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