Tag Archives: family

13 Reasons I’m Thankful this Thanksgiving!

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It’s that time of year again. The time where we all come together, with friends and family, to celebrate the things that we are most grateful for. Lately, I feel like there are so many wonderful, incredible things in my life that deserve to be noted, but because this is “13 reasons” and not “300 reasons”, I’ll try to limit it to the very best of the best!

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1. I finally have my camera charger back! Silly me, and this is going to sound really bad, but when I moved to college for this semester once again, I forgot a tiny little thing that I would need for my camera: the charger. So I had everything, from lenses, to carrying bags, to my DSLRs that I love so very much, and no charger. For either camera. But since I’m back home and spending this week having quality time with the fam, I was able to charge my camera! It’s been way too long, and I’m going to be pretty snap happy for these next couple of months.

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2. We always have the best, most delicious coffee at home. It’s one of the little things I miss when I’m away at school. I don’t even know what it is that makes it so much better. Perhaps the fact that it tastes a little stronger, even when it’s sweetened? It’s like crack. That must be the secret ingredient or something…

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3. I have time to blog again! With all the craziness of finals week arriving and the closure of my courses in combination with everything else, I have had absolutely no time to write, and I’ve missed it. I do it for you guys because I know you enjoy my work, but I especially enjoy it because in most cases, it feels quite therapeutic to me. Stay tuned for all the new posts coming soon! THEY’RE COMING.

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4. All the positive feedback I’ve received as of late. Even with me being busy and not having as much time lately to write for you guys everyday, you’ve still been so loving and supportive. I’ve barely lost any followers and subscribers, and it means a lot to me that you guys have stuck around!

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5. Sleeping in my own bed. It’s a pile of fluffy sheets and copious amounts of blankets that feel a lot like what heaven would feel like if it were a place to sleep. No bed compares to my bed at home, not to knock my bed in my apartment that highly resembles the hardness of blanketed concrete. But yeah.

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6. The weather is just gorgeous! I came from school, raining ferociously and wind blowing over bikes, to back home, sunny, breezy, and clear-sky-ed. It’s not even boiling hot. It’s a dream, really.

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7. After several months of being away from my family, nothing is more exciting than getting to spend time with them again. I’ve been here for only a couple of days so far and it’s been amazing. I look forward to countless more memories in this week alone, err….these next few days, the last few days…. before I have to head back to take my exams! *sigh*

The child within me weeps at the thought of leaving them and going back to my responsibilities. D*mn you, adulthood.

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8. This is the first time I’ve had an ounce of free time, and I’m clinging to them desperately. My major is definitely for the sleepless, but these breaks help me refocus. I’m keeping my eyes on the prize, even if they’re watery and red from tiredness.

I don’t have a ton of time, but I sure am a professional napper and cryer at this point.

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9. I have access to all my pretty clothes (and BEANIES!) that I didn’t get to bring when I moved away to college. It feels like I have brand new clothes every time I come home because there are so many pieces that I haven’t seen in a while. It gives me inspiration to try new outfits and rewear the clothes that I already have!

See that gif? Yeah, that’s me at college, staring in despair at my overflowing yet empty closet. NOTHING TO WEAR. NOTHING TO WEAR AT ALL.

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10. I can finally catch up on my latest guilty pleasure and the most successful procrastination technique I’ve discovered thus far within this semester: the Vampire Diaries series. It’s pretty dangerous when I have time to marathon on Netflix and when Netflix actually has to ask if I’m still there. Someone send help (Is there a life alert for Netflixers?!)!

Oh, and the answer to that question? College. Yep, yep. Feeling nothing. Team no sleep. Kinda numb. Coffee running through my veins. Sweatpants all day, everyday. It really does things to you…..

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11. I have time to work on building my audience. I’ve been slacking lately and I feel like my blog has come to somewhat of a stat-standstill, so it’ll be nice to dedicate some time to gaining exposure again. It takes a chunk of time and effort to create and manage a blog, and I don’t want to be that person that gives up when time gets tough! I, no, more like WE, will work through this. I have a good feeling.

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12. I’m learning to be much more independent and actually relishing in the independence. I think after a breakup, it’s best to learn how to focus on yourself and what you need to personally accomplish, and I feel like I’m doing that successfully lately. Sometimes I do need to turn my attention to myself and figure out what I want in order to prioritize my own dreams for the future.

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13. Everything feels like it’s falling into place. There are times in all of our lives when we feel fluctuation, when things get bad, get a little bit better, but then revert back to what we’ve been dreading. Lately, though, things are looking up. I feel like I’m cultivating a lot of positivity and I hope to maintain this positive outlook for the remainder of the year, and hopefully extend it beyond that. I can honestly say that I feel good, both physically and mentally. Things are looking up (knock on wood).

So now it’s your turn. Go ahead, tell me.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Comment below!

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Collegiette Clue-Ins: 5 Ways to Be An A+ Roommate Without Being Asked to Step Up Your Game!

Being in college provides many more challenges beyond the educational spectrum that require plenty more than booksmarts. I’ve compiled the lessons I’ve learned living in a college dorm and an on-campus apartment to provide you with some insight on how to be a great roommate to your new roommate and tactics to avoid awkward and uncomfortable situations in your new home! images

1. Take initiative to clean, even if you know that all the crumbs on the counter are from your midnight-munchin’ roommate. And DON’T be a jerk about it. It’s gross, it’s a hassle. I get it. But it can be a difficult thing when there are four people living in such a small apartment (thankfully this fall, it will be reduced to just one roommate!). Even if you all have your own bedrooms, there’s going to be some overlapping in the common areas (inevitably), and with that comes headbutting over where items should be placed. You’re not all going to come into the apartment with the same kind of living style in mind (that would be too easy!)! You’re not always going to have time to clean up after yourself if you’re in a rush to get to that exam you forgot to put on your calendar, but taking the time to clean up, even if it isn’t always your mess, shows your roommate that you’re happy and willing to put in the work to keep the space up to par. They’ll be thankful that you’re avoiding a roach infestation as much as they are (usually). Nobody’s saying you should follow your roommates around with a mop and scrub behind them, but if you see leftover crumbs and dirty spots, wash it down. It’s two extra seconds of your time, and even more importantly, a month without cockroaches! 

Tactics:

  • If the mess is a recurring problem, try to sit down and discuss it with her rationally. Without yelling, throwing things, accusing, instigating, holding a grudge, or talking smack. Keep it chill. Don’t use accusatory language, and if you’re upset about the issue, wait until you’ve cooled off before you confront her. Open communication starts with listening, and if you’re angry, you’re not going to hear her out and be able to reach a conclusion.
  • Keep cleaning supplies in or near the kitchen for quick cleanup.
  • Set an example. If you’d like her to keep her dishes and other items in the common area clean, make sure that your stuff portrays that. Often just setting an example helps avoid the situation altogether.

things-are-getting-steamy 2. Consult (or warn, if need be) your roommate if you have the full intention of stumbling into the apartment with a dude. I’m going to be honest. The walls in college apartments are like tissue paper. I can practically hear you blink. The sounds that you make, no matter how loud, can probably (very likely) be heard from the apartment next to yours. It’s important to voice when you’re going to invite someone in the apartment so your roommate doesn’t end up having the awkward encounter of confronting the dude in a towel or quite possibly running into him, butt naked, in your shared hallway. Who knows, the heads-up might give you the apartment all to yourselves for the night or at least for a few hours. She’ll appreciate the courtesy call you gave her beforehand tomorrow.

Tactics:

  • No last minute warnings. Be courteous and don’t spring it on her.
  • Have a conversation beforehand, like way beforehand, discussing bringing people home. She may be uncomfortable with it, so it’s important to discuss and compromise before the situation arises. You don’t want her to feel like an outsider in her own home.
  • I feel like this is common sense, but let the guy know that if he’s going to use anything or eat anything out of the fridge, it’s going to be something of yours. That would be a major line that shouldn’t ever be crossed unless stated otherwise.

friends_cooking 3. Offer to cook some of their food for them as a treat! College brings on more challenges than you’d think (aside from the endless homework, excruciating exams, and involvement in clubs), and after a merciless day, nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal (aside from Chipotle, which is always a nice alternative if you’re a “toast burner”). When your roommate sends you a down-in-the-dumps text, take that as a queue to be her superhero and do something nice for her. And if you can’t cook, don’t worry. I bet the ramen noodles you’ll make in the microwave for her for when she gets home will still be highly appreciated. At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. Make the thought worth it!

Tactics:

  • Fillet mignon doesn’t have to be on the menu (unless that’s your best dish. Then you’re obligated. Kidding!) She’ll appreciate whatever you make her (as long as it’s not something you made consciously knowing she’s allergic to it).
  • Brownie points for preparing dessert, too! Maybe have a sundae night in with her? How cute would that be?!
  • If you can’t cook for your life, give her a listening ear. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to hear you out. I know that on a really bad day, there’s nothing that comforts me more than getting to say what I’ve been thinking about without getting automatically judged. Good friends are hard to come by, so do what you can to be that genuine person she can confide in if you feel like you guys could be on that level.

happy group of young people at a university college 4. Introduce her to your friends, family, boyfriend, whoever. It may seem silly (and a little awkward) at the time (you haven’t even taken her on a date and she’s already meeting your family?!), but it’s important for her to know her roommate (yes, you’re HER roommate, too!) well enough to be comfortable at home with you. It’s a significantly strange feeling to arrive on move-in day, piles of boxes in hand, and introduce yourself to the person that you will be cohabiting an apartment with for the next year, or maybe even two if it works well between the two of you. That’s a lot of pressure for a good first impression. But if you start off friendly right off the bat, that’s what she’s going to perceive of you. You’re friendly, sociable, and open. Giving her the opportunity to meet the people that are closest to you (and that are probably going to be helping you move in) will make her feel like your new apartment is more like a home. It will feel more inclusive, and she’ll probably be more inclined to be open to you as well, and willing to accept you enough to introduce you to the people she holds close. And, if she’s awkward and doesn’t want to be a part of that whole socialization process, then at least you know that you put your best foot forward.

Tactics:

  • Hugs almost always work better than handshakes. She doesn’t want to feel like she’s going into a business deal when you arrive. The first thing I always say is, “I’m a hugger, not a shaker” and I go in for a hug before it gets weird. It usually breaks the tension pretty nicely.
  • Keep it casual. Don’t push yourself on her. Remember, friendly and sociable, not pushy and obsessive. You know?
  • Make her feel like a friend, not a stranger. She’ll be a stranger at the time, but don’t make her feel like she’s outside of the bubble while you have everyone in your little group going in and out of the apartment unpacking your things. Include her in conversation if she’s up for it!

food-sandwich 5. Don’t eat her food or use any of her stuff without asking her. I can’t stress this enough! Nothing is worse than a roommate that just digs through your stuff and picks out what they want. More often than not, when I’ve been asked for either in the past, I’ve often said “yes”. It’s all about communication. It’s your home that you share. I doubt that, at your “home home”, you have to hide your stuff, so treat this new place in the same way. Anything she keeps in common areas has the same rules as the items you leave in the common areas, unless stated otherwise!

Tactics:

  • If you buy some of the same foods, either label them or have both of you pitch in to get the food to share. If food goes unlabeled, how is she supposed to know whether it’s hers or not if it’s something she buys, too?
  • Bring a mini fridge if you don’t want to share fridge space or would like to keep some stuff in your own room. There’s no problem if you have your own space for some stuff, but I wouldn’t suggest taking up the shared fridge’s space, too. Just be courteous.
  • If you borrow anything (after given permission), return it in the same condition.

 

Do you have any tips for first-time roommates? Share them below! 🙂

Insincerity at its Finest: Humanity Lacking Human Nature

It drives me mad how many times people give insincere “sorry’s” and “condolences”. You might as well not even waste your breath, because the fact that you only care to communicate with me now, and not only that, but spit a half-a**ed “sorry” in my direction, just goes to show that you don’t have an ounce of sympathy to spare. Shame on you and your lack of social etiquette. Stick a fork in it and keep chewing. You certainly don’t need your teeth for talking anyway.

And as for the people who care…Rock on. Do your thing, because you’re doing it right. Those who were there as a shoulder and open arms have been and continue to be my “rock”, so to speak. You were brought up right, and should do whatever it takes to remain sympathetic, empathetic, and caring towards others. More people need to have your kind of attitude. For heaven’s sake, finding sincerity in this world is like picking up a grain of sand on a beach from a pile of millions of ’em. I feel like I have to really cherry-pick my friends, and it sucks. Honestly. 

When did some of you lose your ability to be human, and what the heck did the world do to you that put you in your place that way? When did you stop understanding trying to understand someone else’s pain?

A Life Full of Love is Never Lost: A Tribute to Coral

You were full of life. On your own, with others, in a sterilized hospital bed. You were always full of life. Nothing could contain the happiness that you exerted upon all those that surrounded you. No ailment could hold down your internal spark. Your charisma could be felt for miles in even the quietest, loneliest of places, and was exemplified in the social settings of any situation. I look in the mirror at myself and I see parts of you. I see you in me, your facial expressions, your features, and the way you smile, and still manage to find the good and see the good in the world even in your old age. Many individuals, once they hit their late ages, become increasingly bitter. But you always had a smile, a good story to tell, a memory to reminisce upon, and a laugh to share. You didn’t let age destroy your perception of life, nor did you let it isolate or even demolish your ability to be exactly who you had always been. When I see all these bits and pieces of you in myself, it leads me to a strange, comforting thought that perhaps I am meant to carry on parts of who you are through my own life, as if the torch has been passed from one life to the next. You were always full of gratitude, social with others, and genuinely understanding and interested in the lives of others. Even in your final moments, your ears were attentive and your baby blues were open, scanning the faces that looked lovingly upon you, a smile exhibited in your eyes. Even in the moments when you could not speak, I could feel your words. I could assume your snappy responses, and the way you’d chuckle at our silly, weird stories. Even in your final moments, it was your decision to do what you had to do, rather than the dictation of someone else. You made the decisions that would easily be difficult for anyone to make, let alone the one being affected by the matter. All your life, you had been outspoken, insightful, and most importantly, willful and determined. You knew how you felt and what you desired for your own life, even in the moments when death felt inevitably close. You were unafraid of what was to come, and were willing to make the decision to rejoice with the others who had passed before you. I admire your courage, and could only wish that one day, I will have the same strength to go through what you’ve been through as confidently and dignified as you had. You inspire me to take the reins of my own life, trusting in my own judgment and determined to follow my own heart and head, even in the face of fear. I love you always, Coral, and I am eternally lucky and grateful to have had your presence in my life and to be graced with your name. I will continue what you have started, and do whatever I can to bring to light the kind of happiness you have given to me. It’s hard to believe and accept that your journey has ended in this life, so quickly and forcefully, but your legacy lives on in our hearts and thoughts and will be carried through our lives as a reminder of what a strong woman and mother figure looks like. Our hearts will continue to be filled with the memories of you in life, because if there is truly the existence of an afterlife, you will certainly have the same sense of conviction and admirable character that you had even at the moments of your decided departure. We love you, forever and always, Coral.

Heaven has gained a smiling angel, and for that, we are grateful you are at peace at last.