Posted in Numbers

The Stages of Getting Addicted to an App

If you’ve ever owned a smartphone, these stages of becoming addicted to an app might sound a bit too familiar. If at any time while you’re reading this you find yourself relating to one at the present moment, please proceed to stage 8 for the sake of your wallet, time, and sanity.

Stages:

1. Sounds interesting, I’ll download it. You’ve been browsing through the app store for 10 minutes now, wondering when your pizza that’s in the oven will be done yet. You stumble across a fun looking game with cute cartoons and a high user rating. You look up to the oven clock. It reads: “9:00”. You think, might as well. You download the app to make the time pass.

2. I like playing this game, every once in a while. During every break at work, as you browse through your phone, you may open it a few times and play it a bit. You will leave and come back to it periodically, trying not to ruin the app’s fun-meter by playing it too often.

3. This game is my life. Every second you can spare is put into this game. You have become invested in how the game ends up and the competitiveness in you begins to gradually rise. You have to get to the next level. You have to beat this game. You can’t waste time eating anymore, the game is too important.

4. I’m considering the in-app purchases. To make this game go faster and to get those cool upgrades, you will consider buying the in-app purchases. You will try to convince yourself that this purchase is worth it because “it’s only a few dollars”, but your inner conscious wins you over and you avoid purchasing anything.

5. I’m gonna get the in-app purchase. You ignore your inner conscious and purchase a cool upgrade.

6. No sleep, just play. Now that you have put real money into this game, you cannot lose this game or give up on it. You must put all your time and energy into it. There is no more time for you to sleep because you spend every waking hour playing this game.

7. I’m bored now, I’ve practically beat the game. You’ve finally played this game for a solid month without stopping. You have beat the game. Now you are bored with it and begin to forget that it is still on your phone because there is no sense opening up the game that you have already beat.

8. Delete it. It’s now been five weeks since you last opened the app, you have finally decided that it’s time to delete it off of your phone to save space. You have a final moment of sentimentality before removing it forever…only to download the second version.

Posted in Storytime

Why Spiderman?

In lieu of the new Spiderman movie coming out soon, I decided to give a little story explaining why Spiderman is my favorite superhero.

You’ve all probably heard me say that for at least 5 straight Halloweens, I dressed up as Spiderman. Yes, this little dorky girl dressed up as Spiderman and I loved every second of it. What kid doesn’t want to be a superhero?

But when I was a kid, Spiderman was more to me than just a superhero. He was someone that helped me learn to love myself a little more every day and it all started the first Halloween I dressed up as Spiderman.

I remember that the weather was freezing with a forecast of snow (typical Minnesota for ya) and my mother wasn’t about to let my sister and I outside without a coat. So, that night I dressed as “The Abominable Spiderman” and ran around fully costumed yet covered by a purple winter jacket. The only part of the costume truly visible was the mask that I was wearing.

My sister and I ran from house to house with a collection of neighborhood kids gathering candy like crazy. However, there was this one particular house I ran up to that was handing out little princess key chains and Hot Wheels cars (Ah, the good ole days). My sister got there first (dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz) and received a keychain. The others followed and received their respective items. But when my turn came along, the lady reached into her black, plastic caldron and placed a bright blue car into my pumpkin bucket, “Here you go, dude. I love the costume!”

I was only able to be taken aback for a few seconds for my sister yelled at me to hurry up. I quickly bounced down the steps and ran across the lawn to the next house where she was waiting. I thought, did that really just happen?

When I got home that night. I held that little car in my fingers, running the tires along the palm of my hand and first thought, I can’t believe she thought I was a boy. Then a large grin crept across my face, that’s the first time I didn’t have to ask for the “boy toy”. I thought about all the trips to McDonalds and my mom having to ask for one girl toy and one boy toy, even though she was standing there with two little girls. Honestly, if I wasn’t so hyped up on sugar in that moment, I would have cried.

To some, it may have just been a simple misidentification because of the mask. But isn’t that what Spiderman is known for? Being a dorky little boy whose always made fun of but then puts on the Spiderman costume and he becomes something else entirely, a super hero.

So every time during my youth that I put on that costume, I become someone else. My own superhero. A superhero with the power to hide their identity so people didn’t judge me by the way that I looked or for the gender that I identified as.

Especially when I was younger, people would always feel the need to tell me their harsh opinions on what I needed to change to “fit in” better. For example:

  • “You should wear your hair down, it makes you look more feminine and professional.”
  • “You should get contacts. That way you can see better and won’t have to wear your glasses.”
  • “You need to start wearing clothes that flatter you instead of those baggy ones.”
  • “You need to start wearing make-up to help with your acne.”

And so on…

But all of that went away for one single night wearing one single Spiderman costume.

So, now that I’m older and starting to use the “#adulting” phrase more often, I still think back to why my answer is “Spiderman” when asked who my favorite superhero is. And no matter how cheesy it sounds, Spiderman will always be my favorite superhero because he taught me that even though the world may treat you like an outsider, you have so much more potential then you realize.

To sum it up, just because the world thinks you’re nothing but a weirdo, it doesn’t mean you’re not still a superhero.

Who’s your favorite superhero? Why? Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in Love it or Hate it

Love it or Hate it: Movie Theaters

This is a little category that I like to call Love it or Hate it. First, I’ll tell you the reasons to love it. Second, I’ll tell you the reasons to hate it. Then I’ll tell you my final verdict and you’re more than welcome to comment which one you would choose and why. I would love to hear from you!

Love it

  1. Crystal the Clear Movie screen vs Smudges the Laptop screen. With laptops beginning to include touchscreens these days, the infamous finger smudges are becoming more and more common. Personally, smudges drive me a bit crazy and distract me from viewing my content in the way I want to. I would rather admire the cinematic excellence playing on my screen then the leftover pizza grease smudge from my previous night’s “I’m single and do what I want” pity party”.
  2. “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” *Ears begin to ring with joy*. Being raised in a household where you could hear anyone from anywhere in the house, I have learned to appreciate the sanctuary of sound that movie theaters provide. Because trying to watch a movie while your sister is blasting music, your neighbor is mowing his lawn, and the backyard neighbor’s dogs are yapping, it can be a wee bit hard to focus on the movie. Yes, sometimes it can get a little loud in theaters, but it is better than straining your ear to understand what in the world each character is saying.
  3. Less Distractions (by that I mean your phone…you know who you are). We are all guilty of constantly pulling out our phones and checking all of our newsfeeds for no reason whatsoever. But it’s nice every once in a while to pocket the phones and be transported into another world. That’s what movies are known for, bringing you out of reality into another time and place where for a few minutes your problems/social media drama doesn’t exist. It’s more fun to think other people’s problems that make yours look like a piece of cake to handle. For example, an evil wizard trying to kill you, your father turning out to be a selfish planet, or whether or not to move out of your house after a demon tries to take over your whole family…just saying.

Hate it

  1. Breaks the Bank. Being a college student for over 4 years now, I can tell you that money is a precious thing that I never seem to have enough of. So after a long day of class and work, it would be nice to get together with the gang and go see a movie. But 9 out of 10 times, at least one of those friends will “pull that card”. The “I can’t afford to go to the movies because one movie ticket is the equivalent of about 40 packages of ramen and I need to eat to survive” card.
  2. Popcorn-osaurus Rex. If I had a dime for every time I wanted to turn around and sucker punch the person chomping on their popcorn during the quiet part, I would never have to worry about the cost of going to the movies ever again. Seriously, SHUT YOUR MOUTH! For the sake of my sanity, your unbroken face, and those suffering from Misophonia (look it up), please be respectful when eating at the movies. I don’t care if you scarfing it down during the intense battle scenes, but when my favorite character is taking their last breath, I don’t want to hear you enjoying your greasy buttery popcorn in the face of my personal tragedy (RIP *insert major spoiler here*)
  3. Previews for Days. I always seem to worry when I’m late to the movies. But I always find myself watching at least 30 minutes of previews before actually getting into the movie. By that point, my popcorn is gone and my patience has worn pretty thin with pent up anticipation. Although it is entertaining to lean to the person next to you and give your honest opinion on whatever preview you just watched, I would rather get to the movie I paid an arm and a leg to see. (Maybe they should decrease tickets by 50 cents for every preview you are forced to watch…or do they already do that…)

My Verdict: LOVE IT

To me, movies theaters have always been a place I love. I’ve had a lot of memories with friends going to the movies and without them, I would be lost. Reality sucks sometimes, I know, so it’s nice to relax and for only a few hours imagine what it would be like to be on a pirate ship, to be stranded in a foreign country, or to be madly in love (yep, I went there). Movies will always be magical to me and I will never stop going to them.

So, I just have one question for you:

Movie Theaters: Love it or Hate it? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted in Storytime

A Tree Growing in Winter

The soft crunch of the snow beneath my worn-out boots filled the quiet morning street with life. I watched snow flick off the tip of my boots as I marched across a sea of white. I exhaled and my breath became one with the cold in a burst of fog before thinning into nothing. But before long, my puffs of air disappeared altogether as the warmth of my inner pith faded.

I reached the lone stop sign near what I believed to be the end of the street and I climbed up on the snow drift beside it. Even though I knew fully well that not a single car would cross my path. I planted my feet into the solid ice shell covering the last snowfall and began my long wait.

To keep warm I kept my limbs moving and practiced my greeting.

“Good morning! How ya doing…no, to easy” I muttered.

“Oh, I got it! What about, ‘Hey! You excited for school’…nah too dorky.”

But my practice was cut short as the trudging and scraping of familiar boots interrupted my thoughts.

“What’s up?” he called.

“Hey…” before I could get another word out, he exclaimed, “Why the heck are you standing in the drift? Your feet are gonna be soaked ya know. Geez, your always such goodie-two-shoes, just get on the street.”

He motioned for me to stand next to him on the lightly frosted street, but I just looked down at the snow that was up to my knees. To be honest, my feet didn’t feel cold at all. They were safely cocooned beneath me and I felt no reason to move.

“Suit yourself…” He scoffed.

As we waited in silence, him attending to his precious Tamagotchi, I gently removed my hat from the perspiring crown of my head and nestled it in the canopy of my jacket. The cool air brushed through my hair and whisked it about my head. The fluttering strands danced along with the breeze keeping my mind occupied on pushing it away from my eyes until the bus arrived.

Right on time, as usual, the bright yellow bus appeared in the distance. Shining in dew, it roared to a stop in front of us. I shuffled out of the drift and climbed on. When it took off, I watched the world pass in a white blur until we arrived at school.

The classroom felt the same as it had always felt, a cold and empty space where others seemed to flourish and I fell short. They would fervently raise their hands whenever a question was asked. They would zip through math problems and scurry about in gym. I guess you could say I didn’t have enough energy to keep up.

Even in music class I couldn’t keep up with the beat of the song. I would move my lips to the songs, but never actually make any sound. I was as quiet as the morning snow, but down to the very roots of my being I was trying my best.

I worked harder than most of the students, focusing on how to best adapt my weaknesses. I was the bud that never blossomed at the right moment. Not at the same time when all the other students were being nurtured and cared for. When I finally understood something, it was a long past thought to the others and my accomplishments were flat lined by their taunting blades.

But on this particular day, something amazing happened. Not just any normal kind of amazing like when a child takes its first steps, or when someone catches a Hail Mary in a football game. No, it was more than that.

It was during a typical third grade English lesson discussing the basics of figurative language. My teacher asked us all to write a simile, using the words “like” or “as”. I watched as all the other students scribbled out one idea to the next. They shouted them to friends across the room in excitement proclaiming their brilliance. The car was as fast as a cheetah, the man was as tall as a skyscraper, and the train roared like a lion to name a few.

I sat there puzzled for a few moments. All of those ideas sounded perfect, but they all sounded so plain. Something that had been written before. I stared across the room for inspiration and found myself looking out of the teal-framed window. It wasn’t much of a view though because the thick branches of a tree filled the frame. The thick bark was bare as it held a part of the morning snowfall on its limbs. It cast a billowing, patterned shadow into the classroom as sun broke through the clouds.

After some contemplation, I jotted down a line on my notebook and tore it out to turn it in. But then the dreaded sentence came from my teacher’s lips as she told the class that we would be reading them aloud.

I froze in fear. There was no time to practice and I couldn’t just mouth the words of the poem. My thoughts swirled as each student spoke their sentence and a roar of claps spread across the room. When it came my turn, I gingerly stood up from the safety of my chair and fell into the spotlight.

My fingers gripped the piece of paper as my heart began to practically beat out of my chest. It’s paced beating a cold reminder of the time that was ticking by as I stood in front of all their cheeky expressions. I glanced over to my teacher and she gave me a soft smile and a quick nod of approval to begin. My lips parted, but no sound emerged. I was frozen with fear as the pressure of the eager eyes around me intensified. I drew in a short breath before I slowly and painfully moved my lips and tongue to form the words I had written down,

“The moon rose slowly like a tree growing in winter.”

I quickly sat back down into the comfort of my seat and held my little hand to my chest as if it would quiet the sound of the rhythmic pounding of my heart. When I finally gathered the courage to look at my teacher, she was standing in awe.

There was not a sound among them, not a single hand clap. I felt ashamed because I knew that it was too different. It was probably wrong and I would have to be put down gently by the teacher, again.

But then, the miracle happened. My teacher ecstatically jumped from her chair and exclaimed, “This is exactly what I’m talking about. That was amazing! I’m…I’m in shock…” She trailed off as she smiled at me with bright eyes glowing in pride.

She began to clap and the rest of my pupils followed as the sound of their hands rustled the silence out of the classroom. I felt a warmth spread across my cheeks as I blushed.

I never had thought it possible that being different could feel so good.

That night, as I lay in my loft bed tracing shapes on the popcorn ceiling, I couldn’t help but wonder if a tree really does grow in winter. Or if the moon really rises or simply appears to as it circles the earth. My finger caught a few loose pieces of the popcorn and they fell onto my blanket.

I picked one up and analyzed all of the rough edges and uneven white paint distribution. I rolled it between my index finger and thumb and imagined it as a little snowflake. A snowflake that fell millions and millions of miles only to be stopped from hitting the ground by my thin little fingers.

I then flicked it to the floor of my room, rolled over, and snuggled into the warmth of my sheets. Before I drifted to sleep, I imagined a forest covered in white snow and in the middle of this forest full of tall yet bare trees, there was a little tree, barely a couple feet tall, flourishing with bright green leaves.

Huh, I guess some of them really do grow in winter.

Posted in Storytime

100 Years of Dorothy

A frozen breath curled from my lips and vanished into the cold night air. Above the violet, neon signs and the clustered crowds slurring from bar to bar, I could just barely make out those three familiar dots in the sky. Uniformed in a line amidst the constellation Orion. Even through the clouds of dust, deceit, and murky breath the stars still made their routine appearance over my apartment building. Their twinkling eyes peeking through the fire escape like the steady orange glow at the end of a cigarette.

While walking past Leland and Cecile’s, a patron swung the door open and a waft of cigarette smoke filled my nostrils. Most would find it to be revolting, but for me it was the scent of a memory. Her laugh. Her laugh is what played in my head the most. The nasally, asthmatic chuckling of a dedicated smoker. She was so dedicated that she only quit smoking because the cost was too high. Even when the doctors told her she had throat cancer, she quit for a while, but went back to it as soon as she was cleared. It was this sweet, smell of dirty tobacco that rebelled against her body as she did society.

She lived by no one’s rules but her own. A tough and sassy rebel with the kindest of natures. We would sit in the gazebo out back after my parents would drop my sister and I off for the evening. Her, smiling and leaning in to our eager little faces as she whispered for us to keep this our little secret. Click, Inhale, Exhale. The dirtied breath leaving her lungs as the smell of tobacco invaded the springtime air. That’s when her stories began. How the barn blew away in a tornado, how she survived living in a house with only one bathroom (and raising four daughters in it), and how Great Grandpa Bert went to escape all the drama in the garage and danced around to The Eagles while building furniture.

There never seemed to be a dull moment in her life, that is, until her time on earth came closer to its end. Her lively attitude faded slowly as the twinkling stars did when the morning sun crept above the horizon.

She could barely get out of bed. She said that Bert needed her in heaven and to meet him by Orion, so she replied that she wanted a soda. The daughter by her side followed her bidding and gingerly took her time going down both flights of stairs to the basement. The daughter retrieved the drink and went back upstairs. How strange it must have felt to get a soda that was doomed to be left undrunk. I mean, this tough rebel hated soda. She despised soda. But she loved her daughter enough to leave a lasting memory rather than a lasting nightmare.

As my boots softly padded against the concrete with each step, I couldn’t help but wonder what stories she would have told now. Like how she would have laughed watching me try to swing dance, how she would have pinned my picture to the fridge to show me off to her friends, and how she would have hugged me and laughed when I told her I loved the smell of her cigarettes. The story possibilities were infinite, but this short life we live isn’t.

She would have been one hundred today. For one hundred years she would have been here, making memories. But instead I am left to reminisce the ashes of the ones she left behind.

To the world, these past one hundred years may have looked like progress, smelled like success, and sounded like innovation. But to me, it looked like her, smelled like tobacco, and sounded like a rusty laugh.

 

 

*1st place at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Center for Writing Excellence Spring 2017 writing contest (Theme: Centennial or 100)*

Posted in Storytime

Bravery

In today’s society, bravery seems to be defined as the absence of fear. A synonym of fearlessness. That when someone is faced with the choice to run away with terror or run head on with courage, they choose courage. It’s in almost every movie and storybook that allows our minds to escape our dull daily lives.

The story is simple:

The superhero starts off ordinary. Then they find out they are anything but ordinary. They have special powers that they decide to use for good. A villain comes around, someone who uses their powers for evil, and starts to wreak havoc on the citizens of the world. The superhero must then decide to run away with fear, or run head on with courage. They ultimately decide to face the villain and they win. The superhero is then considered brave and courageous.

But this definition of bravery being fearlessness is flawed. It is impossible to live through life without any fear. Fear is a constant storm that rages in our minds. It never ceases to exist so we must build a shelter to protect ourselves from its wrath. The shelter we build with our hope and strength, however, it’s only temporary. The storm of fear thrashes against it with raining bullets and thunderous punches. It shatters windows with its piercing screams and rams it with howling winds. It’s the temper tantrum of fear that desecrates the walls that we surround ourselves with. We can either let the fear take over our lives, or decide to be brave. To be brave despite the fright and keep building the shelter to protect us from the storm. The storm that is always there, but doesn’t always have to win.

Being brave is exhausting, it is the constant upkeep of our shelter. When someone is fighting a battle there is physical exhaustion of course, but the mental exhaustion is what gets them in the end. The constant battle against fear with the tireless effort to build up the walls that fear tears down. The terror will never go away, so why does society think that being brave means to be without fear?

Being brave doesn’t mean you don’t fear anything. Being brave means that even though you are entirely and absolutely filled with fear, doubt, uncertainty, and terror, you still decide to act with blind courage because there is something more important to you than those fears.

When you have a terminal illness you fear death, but life is more important. When you face depression you fear life, but happiness is more important. When you charge into battle you fear a brutal death, but protecting your people and values are more important. When you have fear, something is always more important.

I won’t be the last to say it, or the last time you think of it, but it is completely and utterly okay to be afraid. It is okay to fear because bravery is not easy. It is not as simple as one would like to believe. It may come more naturally to some than others, but that doesn’t mean that it is not possible for someone to be brave. Do not think for a second that you are not capable of being brave.

You have the ability to be a superhero, just look a little closer at the story of your life. You are led to believe that you are ordinary, but you are anything but ordinary. You have hidden special powers that you can decide to use for good. You have villains that try to destroy your world. You have the choice to run away in fear, or run head on with courage. You can defeat the villain and save your world. You can be brave and courageous.

We all have the capability to fear and conquer those fears. “It’s all in your head” is what they say about fear, but “it’s all in your heart” is what they should say instead about bravery.  Because bravery is not to be without fear, but to decide what is more important: fear or bravery. The choice is yours.

Posted in Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons: Glasses

Glasses are these amazing inventions that can help people to see the world in all of its crystal-clear glory. But then again, they can be a real pain to handle. Here are some pros and cons of wearing glasses.

Pros

1. You can see things. Contrary to popular belief, glasses are not just hipster accessories. They are actually used to see things with somewhat of a degree of comfort. Don’t get me wrong, contacts are pretty awesome and useful, but you don’t see people “putting on their contacts” after a long hard day’s work. I have personally had glasses since 1st grade and I would consider myself somewhat of a “glasses connoisseur”. Without them, I can’t see much other than blurry blobs of color and my glasses give me a clearer picture of the world around me. I am very thankful for them.

2. It’s another fashionable accessory. Yes, so I’ve already made the hipster glasses joke, but glasses can definitely be a fashion statement. You can choose a bright color to add some color to your wardrobe or choose a more neutral color to really make those beautiful eyes pop. Whatever your style, I’m sure that there is a pair of glasses to match. Except avoid extreme choices like an eyeglass, fake lenses, ones you can’t see your eyes behind, or glasses that look like goggles. Leave those to the experts.

3. Impression of intelligence. If I had a dime for every time a secret agent in a movie goes undercover at a college and puts on glasses “for effect”, I’d be rich enough to be that actress in the movie. Glasses have always been associated with intelligence. I don’t have the expertise to tell you why, but I can tell you that this is a fact. Google “librarian” and about 80% of the people pictured are wearing glasses. Not saying that all librarians are intelligent, but the glasses do make them look like they could repeat the entire dictionary by memory.

Cons

1. Easily smudged. The only problem with having to look through a piece of glass in order to see because it is the deciding factor in how clean you are able to see the world. I rarely take the time to clean my glasses (not the best option, I know) so I tend to be the “shirt-cleaner” of the group. You can always pick them out in a crowd because they’ll take off their glasses and grab the edge of their shirt and “clean” them off when the world begins to look like a gigantic fingerprint.

2. No extra glasses such as sunglasses, 3D glasses, or protective glasses. I don’t like 3-D movies. No, not because of the awesome graphics that seem to come alive and jump off the screen. It’s because you have to wear those silly glasses in order to see it like that. Glasses wearers will understand this completely. Having to either choose to be blinded by the sun without sunglasses or being “blind” with sunglasses. Most, including me, will not stoop down to the level of over-the-glasses sunglasses. The idea of being called six-eyes doesn’t sound all that appealing.

3. Misplacing your glasses is like misplacing your eyes. You’re getting ready for the day, about to head out the door until suddenly you realize the world outside is a bit blurrier than the usual. You laugh at the fact that you were almost going to leave the house without your glasses and you run back to find them. Except you can’t find them, you must have put them on your bed, but all your sheets are on the floor. You wish at this point there was an app that would help you. It’s a good thing your carpet is blue, the same color of your glasses. You get on your hands and knees and start raking the carpet like sand until you stumble across them, glad that they’re not broken. Now imagine this scenario but replace glasses with eyes. Pretty much the same thing in a glasses-wearer’s world.

However, even though glasses can be a pain to manage, I still love to wear them. Even though it would be nice to have perfect vision…but then again, it’s much better looking at yourself in the mirror without them, it’s like a built-in filter that makes you look flawless.

Posted in Numbers

The 5 People You’ll Definitely Meet in College

You’ll meet a lot of people when you attend college, but here are five people that you are for sure going to cross paths with:

1. The Partier

Oh boy. Here it comes! They’re gonna do something really stupid this time. I am not dragging their drunkenness home today. Don’t do it! Ah geez, they did it. They did the worm…on the floor…on the nasty bar floor.

There is always that one person at college that seems to spend every single weekend partying. No matter what their doing during the week or if they have to work at 8 am the next morning, they will be out drinking and dancing the night away. The amazing thing about these students is that no matter how much you think they slack off during the week because they party too hard, they will probably get better grades than you. It’s a phenomenon that I like to call “The Slacker but A+ Maker”. It will amaze you that they’re still in school and some nights when you’re at home studying hard, you will wonder why they were gifted with this incredible superpower, and you weren’t.

2. The Marathoner

FRIEND: “Are you good?”

ME: “Yeah, I’m fine!”  

Sweet mother of cornbread I think my lungs are gonna burst. Uhhhhhhh! My body was not meant for this kind of crap! Okay, we’re almost done, I can see the finish line. I can almost taste the sweet victory of the greasy, cheesy bread-sticks I have been dreaming about since we started this stupid run.

FRIEND: “Oh, my gosh! That path looks so beautiful! Let’s take a quick turn here and then we can go back…are you sure you’re okay?”

ME: “Sure!”

WHAT THE F***! I’M NOT MADE OF MUSCLES! ALL I GOT ARE ROLLS OF LOVE!

There will always be the one person that is more athletic than the athletes themselves. Their attire will consist of either flamboyant yoga pants or multi-colored basketball shorts. You will see them all the time when you are on your way to various events, and they will always run by, smile, and wave. And as they pass, you’ll feel really guilty for all the exercise you haven’t done and the fact that you are on your way to get a giant slice of pizza. Don’t feel bad! We all have different exercise routines (if we have them at all) and some are just more excelled at it than others. I can speak from experience. If they ask you to go on a run with them, the answer is “no”. The answer should always be “no”. Unless you want to collapse and puke in front of a campus tour group and make a fool out of yourself (true story).

3. The Complainer

“FRIEND”: “Ugh! My day has been a literal piece of garbage. Like literally. I have soooo much to do. I have to do my laundry, go to work, and I have soooo much homework too. Ugh! And my boyfriend has been a real jerk this week, he laughed when I broke my nail in class the other day. DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW I BROKE IT? It was so horrible, Jeanie was all like….”

ME: “Uh huh.”

Wait, I lost track. How many ceiling tiles are there again? I’ll just count again. 1. 2. 3…

Honestly, as college students we are all prone to complain every now and then. It’s completely normal! Sometimes we have to release the stress of the day and vent to someone. I think that this is a really good way to relieve some stress and get someone else’s perspective. But there is a limit. And some people love to cross this limit. These are the people that will complain and complain and complain. Every conversation will start with “hello” and go immediately into what is wrong with their life. They will claim that they have the worst life ever (yes, because getting a college education is “so awful” and having a roof over your head is “so awful”). It will take a lot out of you to not verbalize these sarcastic remarks. But please don’t be mean about it. Maybe start with something gentle, like “WE ARE ALL BUSY! JOIN THE F***ING CLUB!”

4. The Crush That Goes Nowhere

CRUSH: “Hey.”

ME: “Hey.”

They just looked at me and said “hey”! Were they happy to see me? Or were they upset, maybe they don’t like me. It was the grey shirt, yup, they think I’m a dull freak. But I’m pretty classy…did I have something in my teeth? I’m just gonna adopt a lot of dogs, yup, I’m gonna be alone forever. I’m done with relationships! I’m just gonna ignore them now…

CRUSH: “Hey, do you have a pencil I can borrow.”

ME: “YES. YES, I DO. I HAVE 500 TO CHOOSE FROM. I LOVE Y…YUGOSLAVIA.”

Definitely stick with the dogs.

Ah yes. The allure of young love and romance. You’d probably be lying to yourself if you say that you’ve never had a crush before. I, unfortunately, have had plenty in my lifetime and pretty much all of them have gone nowhere. What I mean by “nowhere” is that you will have a crush on this person for the entirety of your college career, and it will be nothing more than that. You’ll admire from afar, but never get the chance, or maybe the nerve, to tell them. Now, you may be thinking “Why don’t you just talk to them? Maybe they’ll like you back? Why are you admiring from afar? Go get ‘em!” Well, all I have to say about that is: how would their significant other feel? Just saying.

5. The BFF for Life

BFF: “Hey.”

ME: “Hey.”

BFF: “Wanna drink wine and watch Disney movies?”

ME: “Hell yes”

BFF: “Hakuna-freakin’-matata here we come!”

This is the person that will make your life at college awesome. They’ll always be there for you on the days you want to chill, the days when you need to cry, the days when you need to laugh, and on the days when you want to nap on the couch while they watch HGTV. This is the person that you will always hang onto, even when you go your separate ways after you graduate. When you meet this person, you’ll know. And they’ll be the best part about college yet, except for the studying, classes, and educational stuff of course.

All in all, college is a great experience and you’ll meet a lot of awesome people that you’ll never forget!

Posted in Letters

A Letter to My Unruly Hair

Dear Hair,

I know it’s not your fault. Genetics are half to blame for the frizzy mop that you have become. You have Dad to thank for that one. The other half of the blame falls on my general lack of expertise in hair.

You were not blessed with the skill to flawlessly cascade down to my shoulders. You were not meant to produce bouncy curls or soft waves. You were not meant to look like beach waves or straight as a pencil. You were not meant to look like magazine models or the girls on America’s Next Top Model.

The only style I’ve ever really done is tuck you back into a ponytail (our signature look). Nothing too fancy like a French braid, or a regular braid for that matter. No curly cues or crimped up does. No half-ponies or pigtails. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I did give those hairstyles a try before. Don’t you remember those days?

Once, I use to style you in Shirley Temple curls that framed my face. You bounced and were different than my normal look. But the amount of gel it took to get you to look good was extensive. I knew it was the end of the curly hair era when that boy asked that stupid question in our afternoon history class:

CLUELESS BOY:  “Did you just get to school?”

ME:                        “Uh…no?”

CLUELESS BOY:  “Then why is your hair wet?”

ME:                        “It’s hair gel, it makes the curls stay.”

CLUELESS BOY:  “Oh…sorry.”

*He pauses*

CLUELESS BOY:  “I mean it’s okay to say it’s sweat. No need to feel embarrassed”

I have never ended a hairstyle so swiftly.

I’ve also straightened you to a pin. It was the only way I found to be quite efficient and lovely. It was smooth and luxurious. It was easy to handle, flip, and twirl around my finger. I felt like an Herbal Essences model, flipping you around in the wind, eyeing those handsome boys…but then “it” would come.

“It” being any type of precipitation that would fall from the sky. One drop and you decided that it was time to shrivel right back up. I know that you nor I can control the weather, but man, I wished some days I was Pajama Sam and I could at least tweak it for our benefit.

And, to be honest, I’m just lazy. It takes me forever to get you to look like that. I spend at least an hour taming, frying, and spraying. I would rather sleep that extra hour than try to wrangle you into a suitable hairstyle.

Yes, I’ve heard it all before. It doesn’t look professional. It makes you look like a kid. It shouldn’t be an everyday hairstyle. You should embrace your natural hair. You should learn to get faster at doing your hair in other ways, etc. But to all those people who constantly tell me these things…why are you so concerned with my hair? IT’S JUST HAIR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! (No offense to you of course).

Although I may say that I hate you sometimes, curse at the rain, and bundle you up into a ponytail…I do indeed love you.

I love the way you always remind me that I can’t control everything in life. I love when I wake up in the morning and look at you in all your fluffy, frizzy, glory. I love you because you haven’t fallen out of my head, you’ve stuck around for the long run. I love the way you make me feel like I’m in an 80’s hairband in the morning and I can head bang like it was my job. Nothing is more freeing than dancing around to “I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones, swinging my hair around, and singing into my hairbrush.

And when all is set and done, you willingly let me pull you back into my signature ponytail. Then there she is. Me. The reflection in the mirror suddenly becomes the “me” I recognize. The “me” that needs to prove nothing to nobody because she can wear whatever darn hairstyle she pleases because she’ll still be one hell of a beautiful woman.

So, to my future self I say: may your ponytails never snap, may your curls and waves run free, may your hairline stay intact, and may your days be filled with ponytails (and cupcakes too, cause why not?).

Love you lots so never change!

From,

Yours Truly