8 Tips to Survive College

I am graduating from my higher education world next month, and over the past few weeks I have been thinking about the things I wish that I had known when I started college versus what I know now.


1. Know the location of campus vending machines. Now that I don’t have a meal plan anymore, paying for food on campus is extraordinarily painful. I would rather haul back to my apartment than pay $8 for a two pieces of Wonder Bread, a piece of turkey, and chips. However, knowledge of all campus vending machines can be a vital survival tool. You never know when you will need some Skittles.

2. Don’t go to office hours in your pajamas. When you roll up to your professor’s office in your Angry Bird PJ’s, last night’s bed head, and crumbs stuck to your shirt, it says something about you. I know it’s not fair but, that’s how it is. If you brush your hair, wipe off the crumbs, and put on some clean jeans, your professor is probably going to take you a bit more seriously.

3. Find a good nap place. College is the land of no sleep so, trust me when I say that you should scope out a good nap spot for emergency sleeping. Nothing says, “Hey, come mess with me!” (stolen stuff, being scared awake) more than a student sleeping in a high traffic area so, find a comfy chair in the library facing a wall or window and claim a few minutes of shut-eye.

4. Buy an iron and some Febreze. If you are like me, you may not like to pay $3 to wash and dry a load of clothes. You might save said dirty clothes for three weeks until you can go to your parent’s house and use their washer. You might, at some point, be so desperate for clothes that you pull some jeans out of the dirty hamper. You might need said iron and Febreze to smooth the wrinkles and smell like fresh laundry. This is all hypothetical of course.

5. Figure out where the closest doctor’s office is and where you can get prescriptions. This includes asking your parents where your insurance is accepted. Being sick is bad enough as it is so, don’t put yourself in the position where you have to crawl around campus to find the clinic or use your GMaps app to find the nearest Patient First only to discover you have to pay a $100 co-pay.

6. Put a mini stapler in your backpack. You are going to thank me when you forget to staple your twenty page final paper at home and, your professor won’t accept it without a staple. Also, you can make a profit by selling staples to desperate classmates.

7. Get involved in something that you can put on your resume. Whether you join a club, become a research assistant, get a part-time job, or start an internship, this is the time to build work experience. You might even get credit for some positions and will have something to draw on when interviewing.

8. If you go home all the time, try to work your way up to staying at school longer periods of time. It took me almost two years to stay at my school through the weekend but, eventually I built up a homesickness tolerance. You really get much more involved with campus life and friends when you are there on the boring Sunday’s when everyone is lazing around watching TV. That’s when all the good bonding goes on.

What tips would you give college students?

“Perfect” Bloggers

My life seems to be going down the tubes as of late. If you have missed the depressing post train over the past two weeks, this post is hopefully the caboose. No, no one is dead. I am not in therapy. I don’t have some disfiguring medical condition but, my life isn’t very ideal at the moment and honestly, it kind of sucks.

My hesitancy for writing about this is that it goes against my usual “keep it upbeat” blogging rule. Everyone has problems. My situation could certainly be worse and, I know better than to think that the internet cares whether or not the world seems to want to use me as its personal punching bag.

When I write this blog, I like to talk about happy things or ways to see problems in the light instead of the dark. I like to show the world the chipper side of me because honestly, no one wants to read about someone who lives their life thinking the glass is half full.

But, my life is not perfect.

It’s easy to read this blog and think, oh, her life is good. She studied in England. She rock climbs. She’s in college. She has money to spend on makeup. And I do live a good life, but my world is just as flawed as yours. I fail. I trip. I spill stuff on my clothes. I am not a curly haired cyborg who sits behind a computer and spends her life obsessing over which eye shadow to wear next.

And I am writing this because I feel that the blogging community as a whole has made a rule that it’s not okay to be negative – at all. Bloggers are expected to be these flawless human beings who pretend that their world is brimming with positivity 24/7 when I am willing to argue that some of us are just trying to keep it all together.

I try really hard in life. I am a hard worker and a good friend. I am loyal and smart but, I am not perfect. My life is not perfect. If you read this blog and think that my life is fields of sunshine and daisies, you’ve got it wrong. Some days I just want to curl up and never leave my bed, but I keep going. Isn’t that what all of us do? And if you can say that you never feel the urge to just say – screw this – than please fill me in on your secret.

My point is that – I am not perfect. Despite how much eye shadow I own or how much money I can spend on clothes – I have as many problems as the next person. Bloggers are humans, not robots. Just because someone is posting about drinking smoothies, traveling across the country, or waking up at 5 a.m. to do yoga does not mean that their life is somehow devoid of the problems that each of us face.

It’s easy to project what we think about someone without finding out the real story. How many times has a friend approached you with a problem and, you find yourself wondering how you never noticed that anything was wrong? It’s harder to deal with reality than relying on constructions that we form for other people with or without their consent.

I urge you to consider the masks that people wear in life and the internet. I urge you to think hard about the “perfect” people in your life and ask yourself if you are really, honestly, looking. I urge you to take each blog with a grain of salt, to avoid comparing yourself to a perfect construction that has come to represent only a small portion of someone’s reality. But most importantly, I urge you to be kind to yourself.

This life is short and, there are a lot of hills to climb. Every person on this planet has problems so before you bury what you are feeling, consider talking to one of the other millions of people on this planet – one of whom has probably walked a similar path. You will never know the truth about someone unless you ask to them.

You might be surprised what you find.

Face of the Day

On Sunday, I was wearing shorts, flip flops, and a tank top – this morning I woke up and there was ice on my car. I don’t understand you, Weather. Despite this, I am ready to embrace some spring makeup shades.

Usually, I stick with neutrals but, I must have had some kind of personality shift when I was at Target last month because I decided that I missed the non-neutrals in my life and bought a purple palette from NYC.

And surprisingly enough, wearing purple shadow again hasn’t given me have flashbacks of being a tortured teen in high school with braces, jelly bracelets, and t-shirts for bands who screamed all their lyrics. There’s nothing like a good makeup throwback.

samandro1 purple eyes

Revlon ColorStay Concealer in Light Medium

Revlon ColorStay Lipgloss in Peony

NYC Eyeshadow Palette in SoHo Grand
CoverGirl Clump Crusher in Brown
NYX HD Haute Definition Eye Primer
Rimmel London Exaggerate Eye Liner in Sable 211


Happy Spring(ish)!

It Gets Better: The Ups and Downs of Life

Life is a constant stream of ups and downs. I have lived my life long enough to know that nothing stays the same forever. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. What goes up must come down. You get the drift – a static life is an unlived one. Life will always have low notes. There are always going to be periods when you just want to throw up your hands and give up. There are going to be tears and meltdowns and bad days, bad weeks, bad months, but things will always get better – if you let them.

There is something to be said about grief. Grief is important. It is our way of saying this situation sucks. I don’t agree. I don’t want to deal with it. Leave me alone. Grief isn’t just about death – it’s about ended relationships, losing a job, failing, feeling defeated. To me, grieving is part of encountering unexpected complications, about feeling the sting of what should have been or could have been.

it's going to get harder

It’s okay if you need to cry, to stay in bed and watch Grey’s Anatomy, to sleep till noon, but only for a little while. The beauty of life is that it keeps going but, you have to keep moving with it. There are periods of life that suck – that’s all there is to it. The bad comes with the good but, grief is not meant to last forever. There have been many points in my life when I thought that the world was over and thought grief would overcome me but, every time, every single time, I’ve gotten through it.

Two weeks ago, I was having a really bad week, a week where everything and anything seemed to crash around me. By the end of the week, I finally just cried and cried and cried. I stayed in my pajamas, watched Grey’s, and just grieved for all the things that shoulda/coulda been.

But, the next day I got up and kept moving, and now, two weeks later, I am making it through it. The things that seemed like the end of the world two weeks ago don’t sting as badly now. Not everything is resolved. The world isn’t instantaneously a perfect place but, I am dealing with it, searching for the good rather than letting the bad weigh me down.

Don't forget you're human, it's okay to have a meltdown, just don't unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.

Life will always get better if you let it. Being sad is part of life but so is letting go. When we unpack our problems, we have to leave them behind. You wouldn’t empty your suitcase from vacation and then just keep your dirty, smelly clothes would you? Bad parts of life are like dirty, smelly clothes. Wash them. Throw them out. Do something with them. Don’t just let them sit in your suitcase forever.

The big secret of life is that it will get better, always. It gets better with age, experience, time. You are going to encounter really shitty parts of life, things that just knock you off your feet. But, I promise if you just keep going, just keep moving, just keep breathing – one day you’ll look back and realize what you would have missed if you had gave up and sat down when you wanted to.

Life gets better – but only if you take the first step.