Dorm Tour

After living in a double and sharing a bathroom with three other girls last year, I am very excited about my current housing situation. When you walk into my dorm, you are faced with a long hallway. The first room on the left is my walk in closet and the second room on the left is the bathroom. The first room on the right is the kitchen and the room attached to it is my roommates. Finally, the room at the end of the hall is mine.

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I am so fortunate to not only have a kitchen almost entirely to myself, but my own bedroom! At my school, this almost never happens and the room I ended up with was by pure chance. Many of the rooms in my building are so tiny that girls need to bunk their beds to make everything fit, and here I am with my own space! While it’s not the biggest room, I get a door to close at the end of the day as well as a window that does not overlook the city street (thank God!). Stringing up various fairy lights along my walls combined with letting natural daylight in make the space feel a lot bigger.

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I ended up reusing all of my room decor from last year; I’m still in love with my pink and preppy Lilly Pulitzer themed room. The furniture my room came with was new and simple. A bed, mattress, desk, chair and bureau, which I deconstructed and placed underneath my bed. I also added two stacked boxes under my bed for some extra storage.

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The one new item I bought this year was a mirror, since I didn’t need one last year thanks to the half wall of mirror that my double came with. I ended up getting a great deal on it at TJ Maxx and strung some star-shaped fairy lights over it for an added touch. Under the mirror is my carpet which I am absolutely anal about keeping clean. Yes, I am one of those people who makes you take your wet and dirty shoes off before stepping foot on my carpet. In just three weeks, you don’t want to know how many times its been vacuumed.

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Because my desk also serves as my vanity, I like to keep it clean and organized. This means that only the essentials are allowed to be stored on it: makeup, sticky notes, a pencil cup, a stapler, tape, as well as my laptop and agenda. Everything else, such as textbooks and notebooks are stored under by bed in a desk organizer or under the desk in a little cubby.  The wall above my desk is still bare and I can’t seem to decide what to do with it. I’m sure as the year progresses much less of my wall space will be empty but for now, I’m still brainstorming. I’m torn between adding a large calendar, assembling a wall of prints, or adding a large collection of framed personal photos to the area.

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Now onto my favorite part of the room, my bed! My bed is always made. If there is a wrinkle in my duvet or if one of my throw pillows is crooked, I will fix it immediately. My bed is made with a heated blanket as the first layer and topped with a Lilly Pulitzer duvet cover. My two ‘sleeping pillows’ are dressed in white pillow cases with lace detailing and further accessorized with my Lilly Pulitzer pillows, a monogram pillow, and my bear Berry.

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Above my bed, I hung my hot pink wooden vine monogram decal. It really dresses up my room while personalizing it in a classy way. I love how it ties in with the monogram on my throw pillow and centers my bed. I ordered it online from Monogram Lane and got the 18″ size. It’s called the “wood script monogram.”

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I am once again in love with every aspect of my room. It expresses my personality and it the perfect inspiring place to be productive, creative or relax.

Fairy Lights // Carpet // Adgenda

Heated Blanket // Duvet // Lace Detailed Pillow Cases

Left Back Pillow // Right Back Pillow // Pineapple Pillow (reversable)

Front Rectangular Pillow // Monogram Pillow

Monogram Store

I get commission for purchases or clicks made through some links in this post.

Decision Day

By May 1st, college bound high school seniors everywhere will decide on a school and submit their deposits. Last year, I made my decision that very day. It was a choice that completely changed my life and that will continue to influence it as the years go on.  I was completely torn between Boston College and George Washington. Nobody in my family knew what I would decide; in fact, my grandparents had a bet going on which college I would choose… and for the record, Grandpa won. Looking back, I regret my decision, but at the same time I know it was the right one and am glad I made it. Picking a college is tough; here are some things I wish I knew last year that would be useful for anyone trying to do so.

There is no right decision, but the school you pick will significantly impact your life, the people you meet, the degree you pursue and the job you will eventually get. This being said, do not take this decision lightly.

Make the decision for yourself. It’s hard not to ask your parents what to do, but at the end of the day this is your decision and you have to make it for yourself. Last year, I knew my parents each had their opinions on where they thought I should go.  I thought Mom wanted me to go to GW so I’d have more options even though she actually wanted me to choose BC.  I thought Dad openly wanted BC, since  I’d be close to home and on a campus he’d toured and felt comfortable with even though he actually wanted GW for the dorms. I can’t tell you how many times I asked my mom to tell me where to go and how many times she refused. What she did help with was listening to my thoughts about each school and helping to create a pros and cons list, a tool that, in my opinion, is crucial to making any big decision.

Don’t make it based on finances. Based on the situation, this one may or may not be feasible. In fact, making the decision based off of finances may make the decision 10x easier. However, the best way to choose a school is by picking the one you’ll be happy at. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending how you look at it) GW and BC would’ve cost the same amount for me which made my decision harder and ensured it was my own.

Don’t be a follower. You are the one who is going to be living at this school, you are the one moving away from home, and you are the one who is seeking an education. Make your own choice in your own best interest, not anyone else’s. Just because your best friend is going to a school they’re in love with doesn’t mean you should follow them there and hope to fall in love with it.  Don’t follow your friends to college! No matter where you go, you’re going to make new friends and probably won’t even end up talking to the people you followed there. Chances are, you’ll end up wishing you went to your own dream school and end up transferring out.

Don’t let your comfort zone limit you. Coming to DC was totally out of my comfort zone, which is why I chose GW. BC was the epitome of my comfort zone: a closed, Catholic campus close to home. Every time I visited GW, I felt overwhelmed by the size of the city and could never find my way around the campus. Meanwhile, when I visited BC, I knew where everything on the campus was to the point that I was already bored with it. Even though moving 7 hours away from home instead of 1.5 scared the living daylights out of me, I knew I had to do it to grow as a person and become more independent. Once you arrive on campus, you have to adjust and because you’ll be forced to make it work, you will. You’ll adjust, function and grow comfortable with your surroundings (even the insane city driving). You’ll adjust to college just like you adjusted to high school.  The best experiences that you can grow and learn from involve taking a chance and stepping out of your comfort zone. Just go for it. 

Go with your gut. On paper, both schools were a good option for me and I couldn’t justify picking one over the other. I loved them both, yet I made a choice. After mass on May 1st, my priest asked me where I was going next year and I jut said George Washington. I didn’t even know that I’d made up my mind yet, it just came out. An hour later I was committing to GW.

Remember you’re going to have to live there. This doesn’t mean pick your school based on the dorms, but if you’re claustrophobic, picking a school that has tiny dorm rooms and communal bathrooms (like BC) probably isn’t the best choice. Conversely, if you like to cook and are a picky eater, picking a school with no kitchens (like BC) probably isn’t too wise either.

If you do regret your decision, you can always transfer. All summer and over winter break there was nothing I wanted to do more than transfer to BC, be close to home and get away from GW. However, looking back I’m glad I didn’t. Although part of me is still uncertain whether or not I made the right choice, I know that there is no right choice… there is not right or wrong way to go in life and you have to make the best of what you decide. However, if you are absolutely miserable with the school you chose you can always transfer… just wait until after the first year, not semester, to make sure you’ve fully adjusted and are absolutely certain you want to switch schools.

When it comes down to it, the decision is yours and you’re going to have to live with it… for four years. Think back to who you were freshman year of high school and how different you are now… college is going to be the same way. The school you pick will shape you in one way or another. Your college is going to become your home and your classmates are going to become your family.

Only 2.5 weeks left until decision day… GOOD LUCK!

Snow Angels Fly Home

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Today was a blur. This morning, I had a midterm in Physics II and then another in Introduction to Criminal Justice.  I likely failed one and aced the other. On the shuttle in, it was snowing heavily which was a total surprise. Fortunately, it didn’t amount to anything;  in a couple of hours I’ll be surrounded by snow anyway! I’m currently in the airport waiting for my flight home. Even though I only get four days at home, they’re going to be packed. I have nearly every day planned out both for seeing people (and horses) and eating. I’m traveling home with Georgetown Cupcake, of course, and have plans to get donuts from Allies, Chinese, chocolate mouse and birthday cake, just to name some highlights.

Today marks one month of me being back in DC and I couldn’t be any more ready to go home. I had a rough start to the semester, and depending on how my midterms went, things may or may not be getting better. However, the only thing on my mind right now is getting four days of escape from my school routine, even if I did just (finally) get adjusted last week. I’m definitely in desperate need of a vacation. Taking regular vacations from school is crucial for me. I unplug completely and even delete my email off of my phone. Even though I love going to school far away, I live for my trips home; I’m a total homebody. Getting away from school, even if just for a weekend,  makes the semester seem more manageable and gives me something to look forward to. I can’t wait to get home!

New Beginnings

dsc05880Starting a new semester and schedule is never easy; in fact, it’s quite a challenge. Nobody likes change, especially change that comes with so much pressure. Coming back to school after winter break was a challenge. Knowing I’d be going back to a brand new routine, topped with cooking for myself, doing dishes and being on my own  once again was tough, especially after spending a great month with my family. Being at the tail end of a bad stomach flu certainly didn’t help either.

When I got back to school, my inner ambitious perfectionist kicked in and I decided that my schedule wasn’t good enough. During registration, I had been determined to take the most challenging classes and pursue a pre-med track, even though I currently have no idea what I want to do with my life. I started dropping classes and trying to add new ones, which, to my horror wasn’t possible because every interesting class was closed! The classes that weren’t closed had waitlists that I joined, despite being place 7-38 in line.  My entire first week was spent in a panic. I had early morning classes and barely slept. I was swamped with biology homework and had no time for the gym or the barn. I was absolutely miserable.

After a great inauguration weekend, a miracle happened. I found an open class that I was interested in and I got off the waitlist into another. I finally gave myself a break and dropped biology. Since doing so, a great weight feels as it has been listed off my shoulders. I am sleeping well, Facetiming friends again, and back in the gym. After a stressful week wondering if I’m doing enough to explore my options and wondering if I’m being too ambitious or too lazy, I finally have closure. This semester I am going to focus on myself. I’m going to make sure I get enough sleep and take time to do my work for each class well. I’m going to explore my options and go home as much as I can. I am going to focus on making good friends and thoroughly adjusting to life away from home so my future transitions will be much smoother.

No matter how many times I go through it, change is still scary. Starting a new semester and therefore a new routine is challenging and uncomfortable but it’s something we all have to do sometimes. Practice makes perfect. In a way, I have conquered another first, perhaps the most daunting type of change. Although I’ve already experienced my first time moving away from home and my first semester of college, I’d never experienced moving back to college after being home for a long period of time before now.

New beginnings are hard and stressful. You don’t know if you’re doing enough or sometimes even what to do. They’re the worst,  but there isn’t anything that any of us can do about it. All we can do is plow forward and do our best, be our best selves and most importantly be kind to ourselves and relax. There’s no point in getting worked up over nothing, no matter how significant that thing may seem at the time. It’s just waisted energy and a waisted appreciation of the great potential of a new beginning.

How I Survived my First Semester at College

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On Saturday, August 27, 2016, my parents packed up the car and dragged me to DC to move me into college. I tried to bring my cat, they wouldn’t let me. Nearly four months later, my first semester is finally over.  This is what I learned and how I survived.

College is basically a colony of young people who are free to do whatever they please, no matter how questionable it is. Their dumb ideas get even dumber as the night gets later which is why I went in prioritizing sleep. It was one of the best decisions I made. I never needed caffeine because I was energized every day and ready to get to work. Additionally, not following the crowds of idiots was key to my first semester success. I’m glad I stayed true to myself, my morals and my passions. I continued to go to mass every weekend and rode every chance I got. Although my school and home city/situation changed, my activities and habits didn’t.

Only being in school for a few hours each day allowed for a lot of free time that I knew had to be filled with studying. I treated everyday like I would any other school day to avoid staying up late or not having time to make dinner. Cooking was an outlet for me and allowed me to save money while eating healthy. Out of the $2,000 I was allowed on my GWorld for the semester, I only spent around $650.

When I was tired, stressed or wanted to go home, I did, either via FaceTime or in real life. Talking to my parents, a friend or both for around a hour each day provided me with a sense or normalcy and family connection. Although getting to know everyone in my building to a point where we became close friends made me feel very at home, nothing will  ever beat my real home. Counting down the days to my next trip home, wether it would be for four days (Fall Break), a week (Thanksgiving), or three and a half weeks (Christmas), seeing a light at the end of the tunnel got me through.

Staying (or trying to stay) stress free was important for me in managing my workload well. My happiness did not lie in my grades. If I got a B on something, I wouldn’t care; it wouldn’t be the end of the world. This outlook worked well; I never got anything below an A. Knowing that I was doing my best, and that that was enough was everything.

In all my classes I made friends. Everywhere I went I talked to people and by doing so, developed a diverse group of friends who came from different parts of the country and world. I didn’t just talk to people to learn things about the school or to make friends; I was also forced to talk to people to survive and stand up for myself. If the heater broke, I had to call someone and complain. If someone was screaming drunk at 3am or bouncing a basketball on the floor above me (loudest noise ever!) I’d have to speak up and tell them to quiet down. If something went wrong with my rental car, I’d have to call and get a refund. If I wanted food, I’d have to go out into the city to get it and interact with other people like an adult. Although it was not fun, learning to effectively and comfortably advocate for myself and others was one of the most important things I did this semester. If something didn’t live up to my standards of excellence, I would make sure it did.

The final thing that got me through this semester was the constant reminder from my mother to have fun. Going out and taking advantage of living in DC was something I didn’t do enough, but when I did was a great deal of fun. Taking breaks and taking care of myself was crucial. Nobody else is going to do that but you. I can’t believe my first semester away is over. I officially survived.

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