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Posts Tagged ‘College’

The trade-off: new dresses means cereal for dinner for the next 2 weeks. I still say it's worth it... Image from http://www.displayfakefoods.com

“So wait, you can’t buy a 50 cent candy bar but you can buy a rack of dresses every week?” SLJ was judging me. Perhaps taking my allotted grocery fund for the month and putting into a few new wardrobe items wasn’t the greatest idea, but there is something undeniably gratifying about new clothes that canned soup and yogurt just can’t compare. I do recognize that unlike living without food, I can survive without that glass bead necklace from that boutique downtown, but what would the quality of a life like that be? I justified my decision to SLJ by telling her that I need to wear dresses and jewelry for my job, and therefore it is a career investment. Then again, I could probably quit my job and quit shopping, and still breakeven in the end…

It’s not that I buy particularly expensive things. Any designer brand in my closet came off a clearance rack or from a discount retailer (embrace the inner Maxxinista). And when it comes to the groceries, a bowl of cereal is a perfectly adequate dinner, and averaging $4.00 a box, I have a week’s worth of dinners for about 50 cents a meal (even McDonald’s can’t beat that).

SLJ will roll her eyes at this post. But I figure for at least two years of our college career, my roommates and I survived on nothing but toast, pasta, ice cream, and cereal (with the occasional pizza thrown in when we wanted to splurge) and we all managed to make it through just fine. Now I still eat like a poor college kid, I’m just better dressed.

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College student play time!!! $40,000 of tuition not wasted...

 

Every semester, on the first night of finals week,  an on-campus organization called VIRGO (Volunteers Interested in Reaching Out and Guiding Others) hosts an event known as Stressbuster. Apparently, they’ve decided the best way to reach out and guide us is by giving us a ridiculous amount of free* food (the cost of entrance is $1 or a canned good) and letting us play with foam shapes and fabric glue. And it’s freaking epic. Literally, there is a mob at the door trying to get in because what better way could your time be spent  than taking two hours before a major exam to color and eat pizza?

I’m not sure if every school has implemented some form of event like this, but they should. It’s a reminder that we need to relax and enjoy a few breaks while cramming in all that knowledge we were supposed to have accumulated over the past semester. It reminds you that even though you’re an adult, you’re still a kid. So my recommendation? Put down the textbook for a minute and pull out the coloring book, sit back, and remember that in the long-run, it’s just a grade.

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Death by Finals.... from http://themarcottes.com/

It’s the week before finals here, meaning that people have set-up camp at the library. Being the only place on campus open 24 hours, it’s become the place to be whether or not you actually have work to do.

There are four types of library dwellers: herders, wanderers, foreign settlers, and loners. Herders are 3 or more people, generally friends or group members, who come to the library to distract everyone else. They come in and out with large styrofoam Ma’s Donuts’ coffee cups and occasionally Taco Bell. They get absolutely no work done, but complain continuously about how much they have to get done and how unreasonable their professors are. They almost always agree to pull an all-nighter, but typically work on and complete their projects between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., and complain to everyone about how long it took.

Then there’s wanderers. If any herd is actually able to get work started, a wanderer is sure to stop them. These are the kid’s who don’t really have any reason to be at the library but are there anyways. Their sole purpose is to distract anyone attempting to work. They see their freshman-year roommate’s best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s cousin’s ex-girlfriend who they sat behind in Politics before they dropped it after four days and they have to say hello; it’d be rude not to. Yes, we all know one. We may even like one. But if you want to get to bed before 4 a.m., avoid them at all costs until finals are over.

 Foreign settlers are the kids who want to get work done but have  no one to do it with. They’re either not quite secure enough to be loners or they can’t find a single seat, so they join a herd that’s already formed. The only problem is, these kids have nothing to do with the herd. They’re not in the group, or even in the class, yet they try to make it work. They sit their awkwardly, trying to join the group conversation but have no idea about what’s actually going on. Foreign settlers tend to have the same effect on groups as wanderers except that they don’t leave. Ever. Then they’ll typically ask for a ride home.

Then there’s the loner kids. They hate their roommates; they hate their classes; but most of all they hate everyone else in the library. They are on the brink of a nervous breakdown. They just want to study, but cannot think over the sound of the herders and they keep getting distracted by wanderers. No, they don’t want a coffee and they don’t want to help you edit your religion essay. They just want to do work and you just won’t let them. They will kill you. They might be the nicest people in the world any other time. But we’re talking about finals here and if you ask them one more question, you’re dead.

It’s 2 weeks of dark circles, caffeine, and distractions.

Happy Finals!

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Your contributions to global warming.... from inhabitat.com

Let’s face it, we could all be a little greener. I know that even though I try to be eco-responsible, I still find myself creating more waste than necessary. I could use environmentally friendly laundry detergent or reusable tampons, but those are changes I’ve yet to make (and as far the tampons are concerned, I never will). There just hasn’t been any real, driving force telling me to change. And generally speaking, that driving force I’m talking about is guilt. When I gave up purchasing bottled water 4 years ago, it was guilt that got me to clean up my carbon footprint. I figured out that I went though over 20 bottles of water a week, that’s more than 80 a month, and that if you do the math, it’s pushing close to 1,000 a year. The more I thought about it, the more I realized all the wasteful things I do that are essentially killing the planet.

So I’m working on it. Eileen, however, just recently got guilted. An organization at the university recently put up a displayof water bottles with a sign thats says, if everyone here drinks 1 bottle of water a day, 2,000 bottles would be wasted. And that’s the moment she got guilted. She thought of how many bottles she actually goes through in a day and realized that she was part of the problem. She’s also working on lessons to teach kids how to recycle and care for the planet (mild hypocricy guilt?). So her first step: she’s going to buy a reusable water bottle. So maybe the guilt is good.

In one of my classes, we talked about doing the right thing because it’s morally and ethically right or doing the right thing for any other reason (fame, recognition, guilt) and discussed if it really mattered the reason as long as you did the right thing. I used to think the morals behind it mattered, but if ethically you can’t convince yourself to do something, maybe guilt is good enough.

If you want to feel guilty, click here to find out what your carbon footprint is. The average American’s footprint in 20.40. The last time I calculated, I was about an 18.20. If everyone lived like me, we’d need four planets to sustain us. That means that I am not only hurting the planet, but hurting my fellow human beings as well because they get less when I use more. And there’s the guilt.

Happy Earth Day!

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Seal of Awesomeness from raspberryrunner.files.wordpress.com

A few weeks back I wrote a post entitled “Reality Bites” which was pretty much an abridged version of how my life was spiraling down the toilet. I am happy to say that since then, I am no longer sleeping on my parents’ couch; my future roommate and I have secured housing for next month; and I even have a job offer (ok, so it’s a part-time, close to minimum wage deal, but it seems like a pretty nice set-up and I’m not going to lie, I’m excited about it).

Moreover, that group project that was giving me legit nightmares (cold-sweat, wake-up-in-a-panic, oh-my-Lord-where-is-the-light-switch-I-think-I’m-awake-but-the-evil-is-still-here nightmares) is almost over. This Friday, it gets copied and sent out to the judges. Next week, we’ll present and then done. So the fear is subsiding and I’m feeling good about the rest of the semester.

Plus, I’ve had like three hot chai teas today. So life is pretty magical right about now.

P.S. If you know where the title of this post is stolen from, you deserve an official seal of awesomeness.

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There’s been a lot of hype around this new book- The Book of Awesome– based on the blog 1000 Awesome Things. And as the name suggests, it’s pretty darn awesome. If you’re unfamiliar to the site, it’s an amazing collection of awesomeness, from “Elementary school science fairs (#544) to “When you’re being chased by zombies and suddenly find a hidden stash of guns and ammo” (#536) to  “Broccoflower” – a broccoli/cauliflower mutant (#1000).

The other day in one of my classes, we discussed how there are a lot of people who just aren’t happy. A study done a few years back by Italy’s Siena University showed that Americans are not as happy today as they were 30 years ago, in spite of living longer and being wealthier.  The cause has to do with longer work days and poor relationships, but I think we’ve also forgotten how awesome life is. We’re a society set on getting things done, and once a job is complete, we start the next task. We don’t know how to relax and enjoy things anymore, and the things we do enjoy collectively tend to be high-tech gadgets or expensive vacations. But how awesome is your favorite old, comfy T-shirt (awesome thing #803)? If we just take a second to think of all the awesomeness that exists, I think we could be a lot happier.

Anyway, the trailer made me smile, so as you take a break from your work and are looking for a little stress relief, I hope it makes you smile too. Because smiling is…

AWESOME!

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Set My Heart Aflutter: Bryce and Me After the Show... Confetti Hearts and Speech Bubbles from Splashup Light

I used to be a teenybopper, with my subscription to J-14 and posters of Blink-182 and Good Charlotte plastering my bedroom walls.  I remember meeting Pierre from Simple Plan and getting a little starstruck; and standing two feet from Mike Dirnt of Green Day, getting so flustered I couldn’t speak, so I just stared at him like a rabid squirrel eyeing  an acorn. Yes, I was that kid at the show- sitting with my parents, rocking my $20 concert t-shirt, screaming my eternal love for Benji Madden. But I am happy to say that I’ve outgrown it. I am almost a college graduate, I’m taking courses toward my MBA; I am a mature adult.  

Or so I thought. But then there is always something to remind me of the fanatic teenager I once was. And his name is Bryce Avary. The sole artist behind The Rocket Summer, there is something about him that makes me revert into a mild version of my teenybopper-self.  

I went to one of his shows last week with my roommate Angelina (see: 2007) . We got there early and decided to walk around rather than wait in line outside the venue. And that’s when I looked up and there he was. I kid you not, my heart stopped mid-beat (which, I’ll let you know, is actually quite painful). He smiled, I tried to be cool with a head nod (yes, I know, I’m lame), and we walked on in opposite directions.  

It was an amazing show, but I won’t get into too many details about how Ang and I were two of maybe a half-dozen people over the age of 21 (judging from the lack of wristbands in the audience) or how I still dance like a fifteen year old boy… Yes, no, we don’t need to get into that.  

Waiting outside after the show, I looked around and knew that I was significantly older than at least a few of the other kids waiting. I know this mostly because of the fact that there was a handful of parents waiting with them.   

He came out the front doors of the venue and made his rounds, taking pictures, and signing autographs. Angelina and I let the high school girls go ahead of us, figuring on the one hand that they’re parents were waiting to take them on and on the other that they might explode if they waited any longer. He got to us and we talked about the show, about his cover of The Beatles’ song Blackbird, about how he should play metal fest after covering Pantera during the show. We snapped a photo, and went on our way. And as we walked away, I looked back and he looked up, I smiled and told Ang we had to walk faster. She looked at me funny, and as we rounded the corner I let out a minor laugh of hysteria.  

We got to the car and my eyes started to well up. Angelina looked at me and started to cry. Yes, that’s right. Crying. Over meeting an artist I’ve already met a handful of times. But the teenybopper inside me couldn’t hold it in any longer.  

And as I Splashup my own fan photo with Bryce, I know I am equivocal to those 14-year-old girls screaming girls. And I think I’m okay with it.  

I can’t feel too bad about my little outburst. After hearing about how much older women (and occasionally men) react to Adam Lambert  or Taylor Lautner , I don’t think I’m that bad afterall.

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