Monday, June 16, 2014

It's great to BU

I recently returned from my college orientation at Boston University. Upon my return home, I have really reflected on everything the university represents and I am now more sure than ever that this school is the absolutely perfect place for me to call home.
I began my romance with Boston when I participated in a program called Common Ground the first day I was in town. The program was created in reference to Howard Thurman, a world-renowned educator, a philosopher and a poet and Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University from 1953 to 1965. Thurman spent his life working to break barriers of divisiveness that separate people based on race,culture, religion, ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity. He wanted to find "Common Ground." The program had groups of 16 people [completely random, unfamiliar faces] to go around the city, locating certain points programmed into a handheld GPS. These tasks required us to use the train system around the city and become familar with Boston's diverse and historic neighborhoods. In my group I made a few of my [new] closest friends. It was spectacular.

   That night, the miraculously high-energy students advisers [think camp counselors on a caffeine high] led several excursions around the city, and we were able to choose one to attend. The options ranged from a movie showing in a historical theater, an improv show and coffee night, a trip to Coolidge Corner, etc. My friends and I chose to go to the North End to sample the famous Italian cuisine. Eight of us decided to sit down in the first restaurant we saw, and it was nothing short of spectacular. We were seated by the most grandmother-ly Italian woman named Claudia and immediately given fresh bread and salad in true family style. The huge portions of pasta were almost comically gigantic but the hilariousity of the situation did not stop at the food. We were further serenaded at our table by a dynamic duo of two charmingly elderly Italian men. When we thought it couldn't be any more similar to a rom-com plotline, the owner of Modern Pastry [a very popular bakery in the North End that is characterized by long lines and mouth-watering desserts] came across the street with a platter of cannolis- one for each of us! It was unbelievable. I was already making "back in college" memories with a group of girls who I know I will remain close with in the fall. We most definitely found "Common Ground."
  The next day, "real" orientation commenced. We were ushered into Agganis arena where we listened to the band play, were introduced to each student adviser and inspired by the several speakers including my personal favorite, the Provost. She taught us that Boston University is an educational facility, not a vocational training school. To educate, from the Latin root "educe" or "draw out" means to allow students to bring out their full potential in areas they never explored previously. We were divided into groups of 12 by major and were set on our way.
   The student adviser of my group, Lauren, was stellar. She was fun, knowledgeable, and most of all realistic about what our new lives as COM [school of communication] students would be like. She took us to several meetings where we learned about everything from rape culture to health centers to financial planning to living arrangements. Throughout the day we were greeted by the unbelievably personable dean of students, Kenn Elmore, fed a beautiful catered lunch on the lawn of the COM school, and even scheduled into our classes for next year! I pushed myself into taking 18 credit hours and with a few AP credits an my testing out of Spanish, I am even able to take a Journalism class. After a long day of learning, spontaneous dance parties and frequent coffee stops, we were able to let loose a little at that night's festivities in the George Sherman Union. We first watched our student advisers in their self-written mini musical, which was filled with so much humor, talent, and pure wit. I was so impressed! We then went to see an improv show and an accapella performance, which showcased only a fraction of the great extracurricular opportunities BU has to offer. We stayed in the dorm that night, and I fell asleep in Rich Hall with a smile I couldn't wipe. 

my new home!


free cannolis from Modern Pastry!

the group <3

   The next day was short and sweet. We walked through the pouring rain to get our Terrier card [student ID] photos taken [frizzy hair was not even a question] and were able to sign up for club information at a miniature fair in BU central. I bought Boston Calling concert tickets, signed up for BU Hillel and applied to be on the Daily Free Press newspaper staff. After a closing ceremony complete with a video montage, a musical performance, and a handful of inspiring speeches, we said goodbyes to new found friends and made our way back to Chicago. 
  All in all, orientation taught me so much more about BU than I thought I knew before. It reaffirmed the fact that BU really focuses on educating students to become well-rounded, successful adults and truly values the purity of great education and interacting with great, big world. I know at this university, I will be challenged and pushed to be the greatest version of myself. I know that with the countless opportunity only BU offers, I can make myself the worldly, intelligent journalist I strive to be. It's amazing what one weekend away can do. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saying goodbye (for a while)

I've been having a hard time lately because there are so many people I want to see and make memories with before I leave for college but I'm also trying to bond with my family more while simultaneously struggling to keep up with my summer reading list, book club assignments, packing for my summer job and packing for college. In 10 days, I leave for the rest of the summer and I just don't feel emotionally [or physically] prepared for anything at all. I have no summer clothes, a single item for my dorm or even toiletries I seriously need for my upcoming adventures. 
I just really need to get my life together. And see my friends for possibly the last time. And read. Sigh.

Friday, May 30, 2014

It's been real, LC

Tonight I graduated high school. Photos were taken, hands were shaken, and my diploma was received. I threw my cap and kissed high school goodbye and got the hell out of the Star Plaza theater before the tears started to escape.  
It still doesn't feel real. Between prom, senior banquet and my final days as a high-schooler, the cathartic feeling is overbearing. Here I am, a high school graduate, but it's almost as if I have no idea how I got here or how four years flew by in what seemed like a blink of an eye. 
As much as I gripe about high school, my finest memories did not go down with the bricks as the old building crumbled to dust. I'll always carry memories of walking laps around C-hall with my friends or playing hide-and-go-seek in the pitch-black library with the pub girls. I'll remember performing in improv shows with the most talented thespians and spending 16 hours at school for tech night rehearsals. I'll miss late-night yearbook epiphanies and even hair-tearing stressful deadline nights. Leaving my life-changing teachers and administrators behind is going to be a tough thing to do, but their wise words and lessons will stick with me for the rest of my life. 
So I hung up my cap and put away my chords and medals and turned the page into a new chapter of my life as a high school graduate. 
After all, graduating high school is about saying goodbye to the "good" and saying hello to the "great." 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

On my way up

I hate posting anything sad or negative on social media. I hate seeing myself in such a dark place let alone broadcasted for everyone to see. So for that reason, I haven't blogged in over a month.

But here I am. These past few weeks have felt like years, but somehow I muddled through. The world was crumbling around me and I felt trapped in my own head. The yearbook was going down the toilet, a day didn't go by where I wasn't fighting with my parents, and I lost interest in anything that I once found enjoyable. I stopped eating, cried myself to sleep, and had trouble focusing because the war inside my head was too loud. I kept a happy facade, but inside I felt desolate. I was at my lowest point and I lost my boyfriend, my faith, and my love for myself. I grew 100 years older.

But when I hit rock bottom, I learned that I could only go up from there.

After a little bit of help from an amazing support system, I got back on my feet and started my long stretch toward the girl I used to be.

I now appreciate how the smallest things are what makes life worth living. 
Taking long car rides with my sisters with the top down and The Vaccines blaring. 
Indulging in oversized Reese's peanut butter cups. 
Devouring an entire book in a day. 
Hugging someone you love. 
Traveling to the most amazing city [my future home] and taking every second in. 
Planning a graduation party.
Sharing laughs and tears and hugs with your former English teacher.
Drinking coffee. 
Watching the sunrise.
Having a sleepover. 
Being genuinely happy when things goes your way and laughing at the situation when things don't. [because no matter what, everything turns out just fine] 


Monday, March 3, 2014

Sister Club

   My sisters and I are best friends. They are 14 and 16, but it has always felt like we are all the same age. We help one another out in our own ways, and our very diverse personalities mesh into what I think is a flawless blend. We have a bond that I deem unique as opposed to many other siblings. We are so cohesive and loving and it seems like when one of us is absent or not feeling herself, the other two suffer. It's an enigma how we thrive on one another's company, but I love it more than anything in the world.
   When we were younger, my sisters and I used to have the "sister club," an all-exclusive clique in which all members must be blood-related female siblings. We thought we were the coolest thing to have ever happened in the neighborhood. We hand-made flags, created "spy kits" and wrote several full-length dramatic pieces that we forced our parents to silently appreciate from assigned seats on the couch. We often times got so lost in our own little world that five, six, seven hours of creative play would go by before our parents called us up to take breaks for lunch and dinner.
   We had conjured up dozens of completely original "games" with full story lines and a complex cast list and often would fight our parents to stay up late playing in our fictional fantasy. The sister club had sleepovers, movie nights, and "trade shows" in which we swapped candy for erasers or earrings for stuffed animals. We had [and still have] an inseparable bond. 
  The "sister club" remains strong and vital, even in our high school years. We often go out to dinner, get manicures, or just sit around and laugh at embarrassing videos of ourselves until we can hardly breathe. This past weekend, we made a "sister bucket list" of adventures we want to undertake before I leave for college this fall. 
   Thinking about leaving my sisters next year makes my heart yearn for our younger days of endless Barbie games and "bug hunting" in the backyard. I feel sick to my stomach when I imagine the thousands of miles that will separate our overtired giggles and nightly school outfit consultations, but I know we will remain close when the time comes for me to move out. 
   Currently, my mom and her siblings are having a really hard time communicating and getting along with one another. They barely have phone conversations and rarely see one another. It makes me feel so fortunate to have siblings I can call my best friends. I truly am the luckiest.

here are [quite a few] photos of my sisters and I. we have thousands upon thousands, but these were the most accessible/least publicly humiliating (trust me, I have blackmail beyond belief!)