Tuesday, October 29, 2013

advice from the sophisticated one herself

Recently, I have had a handful of people who come to me in want of advice or guidance or comfort of that nature. I have never been one to be the best handler of these situations, but as of the last couple months, I really enjoy it. If you know me in person, know that I am here for you, always. If you don't, contact me please! 
For those too shy/far away to talk to me in person:


here are some photos along with little tips from me. enjoy!
celebrate good times with old friends. always make time for those who've been there since the beginning.

make new friends or connect with people you were never close with before. they might end up being your closest friends [or roomates for journalism nationals!!]

make the most of your workplace. I absolutely love every girl I work with and it makes the time go by so much faster. 

make friends in unexpected places! Robin is one of my closest friends and I met her through Best Buddies at my school. Having an extra chromosome is no barrier in our friendship. 

sometimes, you just need emergency chocolate. it's okay. accept it, eat it, and move on.

order chinese food and don't feel guilty about it. 

snapchat people who make you laugh. nothing beats opening snapchats from Nick and having your day made.

don't procrastinate. you will loathe yourself later. get 'er done. 

online shop for yourself, forget about it, and be super happy about the surprise on your doorstep! it's like your birthday, but you spend the money.  

hug a puppy. self explanatory. 

eat junk food [every once in a while] with friends. nothing makes you smile like MSG filled curly fries and the bloat as a result from pizza grease. 

wear your retainer. you'll feel better about yourself when you don't have to ask your parents for thousands of more dollars to get more dental work in the future.  a perfect smile beats any makeup.

be bffs with your siblings. who else will stick up for you when your parents are yelling about college/homework/life?

if you have the chance, order everything you can "mini." because mini grilled cheese is so much cuter than normal grilled cheese.

apply temporary tattoos to your 25 year old manager's biceps. because it's funny, that's why.

find things that make your heart sing and stare at them. I love typography. maybe you love watching hockey. whatever floats your boat. 

match with your sister so you can post cute pictures and make believe you are twins 

eat homemade Jewish cuisine when you are sad/sick/cold/tired/hungry

visit your friends at college so you can get gigantic s'more cookies from Insomnia Cookies. it'll change your life.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday I'm in love

Friday morning and I've already showered in the communal dorm bathroom, downed a vanilla chai tea at the dining hall, and gone on an all-campus tour of Boston University. While my friend is in class, I am camping out in the George Sherman Union while drinking latte #2 of today and blogging about how in love I am with this university. 
This trip has been one of independence and I couldn't be a happier prospective student. I flew from Chicago to Boston completely alone [for the first time] and have been exploring this beautiful city all day. In a city with 59 separate colleges and universities and a quarter million students, I've never felt so at home. The vibe of the city is so young and exciting and the aura of academia is one that I have been missing so much from my high school classes. Everyone here is happy and excited to learn. Even the professors are excited to teach. The class sizes are small but the impact is big. Boston alumni are some of the best leaders of the professional world. 
Also cute boys. ANYWAY.
I honestly can't think of a school that would fit me better. The city is hopping with local business and sports [THE WORLD SERIES TO BE SPECIFIC] and urban living and I just couldn't dream of anything better.
I have to get in. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

the good kind of senioritis

One of my best friends came home from school for the weekend and after I got out of school yesterday, we went to Starbucks [she is an addict, I'm an enthusiast] to catch up. We talked for hours about college and sophistication and how great higher education is. 
Needless to say, I'm ready to get out of high school.
Her excitement and enthusiasm about her gender studies classes and communication focus is invigorating. She is majoring in journalism [as I plan to] and loves every second of it. She explained to me that in college, you are always studying what you love and it makes it 100x easier to have a drive to try harder. 
My friend and I are very similar in that we are mature, very right-brained, and have a love for learning. Her new-learned excitement, feminist beliefs, and knowledge makes my itch to get out of high school even worse. I never realize just how restricting high school is until I talk to those who've gotten out. In high school, students of all different interests, learning styles, and personalities are shoved together in required classes. I love high school, don't get me wrong, but as I learn more about the opportunities that await me, I get more and more eager for a higher education.
I talked about this topic today with the teacher I aid for. We have very similar beliefs as well, and she is just as excited for my future as I am. She is always giving me pieces of feminist literature, challenging novels, and truly amazing advice. She tries daily to make my high school experience less monotonous and more educationally stimulating. It's refreshing to have such amazing women in my life to help me along, pave me the way, and excite me about all that awaits me after graduation.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Be a Wo[man]

As I may have mentioned before, I am a teacher aid for my former AP English teacher, who happens to have similar feminist views and opinions as I do. She told her class at the beginning of the hour that she was in a terrible mood and that she would not be "taking any one's bullshit" today. She has a tastefully colorful language when she is in the right mood. 
When she sat down at her desk to let the class work on their assignment, I asked her what put her in such a bad frame of mind. She expressed to me that at lunch, some other teachers were completely bulldozing over her opinions and not taking anything she said seriously. When she tried to be assertive and stand up for herself, the reaction was negative. She feels as if because she is a woman, she came off as "bitchy." If she were a man, they might have saw her action as powerful and confident. 
This got us talking about how, in 2013, views on powerful, strong woman are so backward. How woman are still being paid less [in both attention and money] and how female entertainers are just now being recognized for their music, not just the fact that they are women. How people, adult professionals in particular, could treat a co-worker with such terrible disregard. 
We took a walk after class and discussed the topic further. She told me the story about how her 11 year old daughter expressed her interest in being President, but put aside her dreams because "there can't be a girl president." My teacher told her otherwise and they moved on. That little girl has awesome dreams. She's got my vote.
I think having a positive female role model in one's life is important, because without insight from someone of your own gender, one never knows right from wrong. That little girl would go on her whole life thinking that she has no chance of breaking into a male-dominated field of work. I would go one thinking that I was alone in many of my views. Girls all over the world need to start speaking up. I'm telling you- be assertive. Be confident. If you were a man you wouldn't be scared to do so right? 
My rant for the night is over.

late night epiphanies

Ever since my freshman year, when I looked up to the seniors in the theater program, I wanted to be the head of some sort of organization [not necessarily theater] and have freshmen [like me at the time] really look up to me as a role model. I wanted to leave my school better than how I came into it and I was dead-set on having some sort of positive influence on others. I was never sure where I would end up exactly. Until tonight, I was pretty sure I would fail to reach my goal. I have had this feeling lately that I would make a mediocre yearbook, graduate, and be completely forgotten about. No one remembers someone who did not make an impact.
Tonight, 12 hours after I arrived at school in the morning, I was sitting at my desk, grumbling over some sort of yearbook mishap that had fallen upon me at that moment. Outside the room was a parent meeting for our upcoming trip to the NSPA/JEA convention in Boston. Some of the staffers came into our room to be with the editors and team leaders while their parents sat in on the meeting. One by one, they trickled to my desk, sat at my little "visitor" chair or on the floor or on the adjacent desk and just watched me work. I chatted with them simultaneously and it made everything better. Those kids are some of the brightest, most creative, funniest kids I've ever met and I am so honored to call them my friends. They reflect on the entire staff. I stand firm to my claim that the publications staff is truly the best and brightest group of people in the school. These kids sat and watched and learned from my work. We talked about editorship and what it takes to do the job. My advice: "It takes very little experience and very much time and effort." I told them about my very minimal journalistic training and how what you know going into the job matters much less than one thinks. They said they felt "inspired" and "happy" just chilling with me in my little corner of the classroom I call home. In their eyes, I could see the future of the yearbooks to come. I could see the determination and creativity and ingenuity. I could see a better publication. I had left a mark. I would be remembered by the kids who will take my place when I leave. My high school goal was complete. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Does the end justify the means?

I aid for one of favorite teachers' World Literature class, and not too long ago they were discussing Sophocles, one of my favorite philosophers [yes, I have a favorite philosopher.] One of Sophocles' most famous ideas is the question as to if the ends justify the means. Is the work you put in worth it in the end? Are the decisions you make now beneficial in your outcome? 
This idea was brought into mind while I was sweeping and mopping the restaurant I work at. Every night we clean until the restaurant sparkles, only to have it completely disgusting the next night. And we do it over and over again. Do the ends justify the means? The answer is yes. No customer wants to eat in a mediocre-looking restaurant with dirty floors. So that's that.
But this mindset has been much more relevant and thought-provoking in my everyday life. Every night I stay up late working on homework or designing yearbook yearbook pages. At school, I'm often sleepy and not fully 'there." I take naps after school that last hours and hours. Does the end justify the means?
I'm not sure they do. The yearbook pages I put so much time into are awful and boring. My beautiful, creative, visually exciting visions are not coming across on the page. My grades are nowhere near what I wish they would be. My college essays keep getting put off. My perfectly organized life is falling off of its axis. I feel alone in this strange whirlwind of failures, but I know I'm not. I am 109 pounds of pure anxiety.
When will the end justify the means? Maybe it's when the yearbook is published and I'm happy with how it looks. Maybe it's when I get into the college of my choice and can finally let down my guard. Maybe it's when this year is over and I never have to deal with the anxiety I find in high school. Maybe the end won't justify the means and I graduate just as frustrated and anxious as I am now. 

Who knows.