Tag Archives: College

The Only Thing Constant Is Change

Standard

I’m back! School has been a tad crazy these past couple months and I’m only now reaching the point in the school year when I can catch a quick breath before I become a hermit and change my mailing address to that of the Perry-Castañeda Library.

Now that my little forward is out of the way, I’d like to draw your attention to an issue of utmost importance: relationships. This is not to say that I don’t like or don’t approve of relationships, this entry will serve more as an op-ed based on personal experience versus outwardly judging other people and their relationship preferences.

Let me preface this by saying that prior to coming to University, I had a wonderful boyfriend who was more than anything I could have ever imagined (we ended up dissolving the relationship about a month or two into first semester due to distance and time). But for real though, I couldn’t say a single bad thing about him.

For me, the final months in high school were sheer bliss; I was safely in to college and spent the majority of my time with my friends and then boyfriend because I knew my life would never be the same. (I also had just found out that my family decided to move back to the good ole’ U.S. of A., which only resulted in the separation being more painful.)

I recently read an article that described first semester freshman as ‘9th semester high school students’—it’s a transition period. College aint’ easy, honey; learning to think and act like a university student takes time. True to the description, I tried my hardest to cling on to the relationships I built in high school, when I should have been focusing more on forming new relationships.

Right around the time we broke up, I realized something that has carried with me to this day: the only thing constant is change. I no longer had time for two hour Skype conversations and I often found myself talking about the same mundane topics, where as we used to talk about anything and everything. What I didn’t realize then, was that he, along with my friends, and myself, were changing.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something was different. We are in new cities with new people and new adventures. As time went on, it was harder to make conversation because what we shared were memories, not new experiences.

After the relationship ended, I began to truly enjoy my freshman year; I was free to do what ever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I no longer felt the need to skip parties just so I wouldn’t miss the chance to tell him good night. Suddenly, I could make my own choices without having to consider what he thought—I was changing.

Here is my advice to those who wish to continue life in their perfect high school relationship is this: Good freakin’ luck.

In all seriousness, it’s your relationship, not mine. If you think you and your significant other can power through, be my guest. Don’t expect it to be easy. Try it out! See how you do. Relationships aren’t for everybody, but that’s not to say it doesn’t work!

So, here I am, still single (and enjoying every minute of it, duh), with only one month until I complete my freshman year. I can safely say I have made it through my 9th semester and have shed my high school self.

Occasionally I’ll glance back and some of the early messages he and I exchanged while we were dating. Sure, we romanticize our high school relationships, and hope they last forever, but hey, life happens—it’s all part of the fun.

A Nocturnal Out Of Her Element

Standard

If you haven’t guessed from title, I’m in uni—University of Texas to be exact. With that being said, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m nocturnal.

What college students’ eyes don’t tear up when the first light of day hits their red (and often bagged) eyes?

However, like any college student, I do enjoy some elements of that dreadful time you civilians tend to call **wince** the morning.

Alana’s list of semi-tolerable aspects of mornings

  • Coffee- Mmmmm. How can one not like coffee? It’s essentially over priced, hot caffeinated happiness, wrapped up in a disposable cup ready to be consumed by nocturnals all around the world. (If it has a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Starbucks, or Blenz logo on it, even better.)

The blog, Stuff White People Like, said it best: “I promise you that the first person at your school to drink coffee was a white person. You could kind of tell they didn’t enjoy it, but they did it anyways until they liked it – like cigarettes.”

Coffee. Awesome.

  • Brunch- (Sorry, mom. I’ve never been a breakfast person. But if I wake up at 11, that makes my first meal breakfast…right?). For my family, brunch always meant Sunday mornings (and by mornings, I mean at 12pm) over at the grandparent’s house. The food was always the same: bagels, eggs, blintz casserole, fruit, and fresh juice.

Tell me this does not sound amazing: One everything bagel (obviously from a Jewish bagelry), toasted twice, cut in to 4ths, with tomato, avocado, lox, and a smidge of onion. Or if you’re not in to a s#!+ ton of carbs first thing in the morning, a two egg, one egg white Denver omelette with hash-browns, toast and fresh fruit sounds equally as delightful.

Brunch was made for the nocturnals. Who in their right mind wants to wake up and immediately dive in to lunch? That’s right. Nobody.

Brunch, my friends, is the answer to all of your worries.

_______________________________

… I spent at least twenty minutes trying to come up with a list of semi-decent aspects of the morning, and besides food, jack nothing came to mind. Whoops.

Sorry I’m not sorry, early risers. If you can think of anything remotely positive about that ungodly span of time between the hours of 6am and 12pm, be my guest.

I speak on behalf of the nocturnals out there when I say that night-time is our time to shine.

This One’s For the Girls.

Standard

As I sit in my semi-clean dorm room on a Sunday night (well, morning), I contemplate my clothing options for the following day.

While this doesn’t happen every night, I try to make a conscious effort to make sure that I don’t look completely homeless when I walk out of my dorm.

And no, I have yet to bust out the sweats in public…besides in the library that is.

Most people don’t understand that after wearing a strict, Gossip Girl-esque uniform for the past five years, I, along with many like minded people, get a little fatoosted* when given the freedom to pick out my own clothes.

This was my life for five long years. Clearly I was a tad excited to go to Texas. Hook em!

This was my life for five long years. And yes, I’m aware my skirt was unreasonably short.  Clearly I was a tad excited to go to Texas. Hook em!

Hell, I get worked up just thinking about which of my three pairs of neutral colored, Rainbow flip flops to wear!

Jeans? Sweaters? Shirts? Shoes? Shorts? Tanks? Dresses?

The options are endless.

However, if you are a sorority girl at U.T., you only have one option: norts*, oversized frat t-shirt or tank (frockets* are a must), mid-calf white, ribbed socks, and Nike free-runs.  Oh, and if you’re feeling really stylish, you might as well bust out your Ralph Lauren baseball hat.

If that doesn’t scream “top of the line fashion”, I don’t know what does.

I wonder who was the brilliant individual who decided that ensemble was legitimately cute.

Austin is supposed to be one of the coolest and most unique cities in the entire U.S.. I mean, come on, Austin’s slogan is, “Keep Austin Weird”.

Why must people conform to such fashion atrocities? What happened to being unique and making a statement? College is supposed to be about finding yourself, not blending in with the masses.

If going to an all girls’ high school taught me anything, it taught me to cherish the years where I have the complete freedom to pick out whatever my heart desires to wear. Because let’s face it, soon enough, we’ll all be rocking the “business casual” look on the daily.

And trust me, as adorable as grey, blue, and black pants suits are, I’d much rather have the option of wearing my Austin City Limits t-shirt and jean shorts.

So, fellow fashionistas, I’ll leave you with this:

I, Alana, the sorority girl, triple-dog-dare you to wear something new instead of the same old same old. Be different! Take a risk! In a city whose slogan is “Keep Austin Weird”, I doubt your outfit of choice will cost you any friends.

No guarantees on that last part, but what ever, you get my drift.

*Fatoosted: Immensely frustrated (Yiddish)

*Norts: Nike Shorts (I know, I didn’t know it was abbreviated either)

*Frockets: Front + Pocket = Frocket

Throwback Thursday

Standard

#tbt #throwbackthursday #throwbackthurs #TBT

What ever you call it, it’s that time of week again, folks. It’s Throwback Thursday.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting all week to see another picture of what you looked like during your awkward stage. As if last week’s picture of you slow dancing with your your “camp boyfriend” wasn’t sufficient enough, this week’s picture of you flashing the peace sign at your Britney Spears themed birthday party will surely take the cake. I realize how hard it must have been to take the time to dig through years of photos and private albums on Facebook to find the perfect TBT picture.

What an ideal TBT should look like: a perfect balance of sass and awkwardness

What an ideal TBT should look like: a perfect balance of sass and awkwardness

I appreciate your braces, flat chest, and acne. I really do—Girlscout’s honor.

While I’m not entirely sure when exactly Throwback Thursday started, I imagine it went something like this: a couple months ago, a cool kid decided to show off his or her semi-adorable childhood pictures and thought to him/ herself when captioning said photo, “Golly, I love alliterations. #throwbackthursday it is!” Then, by the grace of god (or by the hundreds of likes kids these days get), the trend of #throwbackthursday spread like lice in a kindergarten class.

Nowadays, the really cool kids simply hashtag, “#tbt”

One hashtag. No caption.

Wow. Cool.

Recently, I’ve noticed people are abusing the Throwback Thursday trend. To combat against this blasphemy, I’ve made a list of simple #TBT rules to follow.

  1. Throwbacks must be at least two years before the current date…TBT is not meant for you to bring back pictures from this year’s new years eve. Trust me, nobody wants to revisit that quite yet—too soon my friend, too soon.
  2. Please, for the love of all that’s good and kind in this world, NO landscape pictures from that vacation you took years back. “wish i was in france right now #tbt”…………no
  3. One Throwback Thursday picture per week. End of story.

Now, my friends, go forth and throwback ‘til your heart’s content. I won’t judge.

While you’re thumbing through piles of pictures, here’s my 90’s playlist to put you in Throwback Thursday mood.

Rush. Oy.

Standard

(I’m sorry, this is a long one. If you aren’t planning to go Greek, you can skip right over this)

Before I go in to this, allow me to make myself clear.

I am not a typical UT sorority girl. I, unlike a solid 80% of Greek girls, refuse to wear t-shirts down to my knees; I only wear Nike running shorts if I’m running, and I don’t own a pair of Nike Free Run’s. I joined a sorority to have an immediate community of friends. Not going to lie though, themed frat parties and raves are the highlight of my week. (More on Greek life/ style in another post)

If you have the heat tolerance of a fully protected fire fighter, U.T.’s Formal Sorority Recruitment is the weeklong event for you. But bless your poor, naïve soul if you think your hair and makeup can withstand that heat.

We received our bids by ripping them out from under the chairs we sat on in the auditorium. Definitely one of the more nerve-wracking moments of Rush.

Let me take you back to last summer, when I was scrambling at the last minute trying to get everything together for Rush.

Coming from that far away country to the north, commonly known as, Canada, I hadn’t the faintest idea of how Rush worked, what I needed to bring, or what to wear. So, like any other 17-year-old girl, I had a minor freak-out and sought out my mom’s help. She, the more rational female in my family, turned to the invention we like to call e-mail, to contact any and every sorority alum she knew—a brilliant decision on her part.

I quickly learned that I would need to compile a “Rush Packet” for each sorority I liked. It included: professional pictures, which my mother so aptly rolled her eyes at, a “social resume”, recommendation letters to make sure I wasn’t socially inept, and my transcripts. Why I needed to submit transcripts after being accepted in to University is beyond me.

After sending off my nicely compiled Rush packets, a full week of shopping commenced.

As previously mentioned, Formal Recruitment, or “Rush” is a five-day event. For those who want to participate in Formal Recruitment in upcoming years, here is what your schedule will most likely look like:

Round One: Open House (Days 1-2)

  • You travel from house to house with your group and recruitment counselors (called Rho-Chi’s)
  • Parties are about 25 minutes each and you basically have the exact same conversation at every single house.
  • Clothing: Depends on the school, but UT had all PNM’s (potential new members) wear khaki shorts and a t-shirt that they gave us. They’re not the prettiest, but hey, they’re equalizers.

Round Two: Philanthropy Day (Days 2-3)

  • Each sorority presents what their chosen philanthropy is and you do a little activity for it…you mostly drink lemonade and have the same exact conversation you had yesterday but with a different person
  • Length: About 35 minutes
  • Clothing: day/ sun dress, wedges or sandals, NO DENIM

Round Three: Skit Night (my favorite!) (Day 4)

  • This is the night when the sorority gets to show you their personality
  • Length: About 45 minutes
  • Clothing: Dressy, but not formal. Time to trot out those Kendra Scott earrings!

Round four: Preference Night (Day 5)

  • This is the most formal and personal round
  • Members of the sorority will write little speeches about a certain person in her sorority or what her sorority means to her
  • If you’re the emotional sort, bring out the tissues
  • This is really the first point in recruitment where you have an actual say in whether or not you want to side with a specific sorority over another
  • Clothing: Black dress, formal

    Even after Rush ended, I still keep up with multiple members of my Rush Group

    Even after Rush ended, I still keep up with multiple members of my Rush Group

Bid Day!

  • WOO! You made it!
  • All PNM’s gather and receive their bids
  • Clothing: Casual sun dress

After each round, you rank the sororities you want and which you don’t want and as the week progresses, you end up with fewer and fewer parties to go to.

What’s in my Rush Bag?

  1. Comfortable change of shoes
  2. Makeup/ hair products
  3. Portable fan (in Texas, it makes a world of a difference)
  4. Map of the school, or at least make sure you have a map on your phone

Over all, this is what I took out of Rush

  1. Each round, the drinks get better and better; don’t resist the urge and if you have to use the bathroom, GO!
  2. Don’t get your hopes up for a certain sorority. Go in with an open mind.
  3. Accept the fact that your hair will frizz and your makeup will sweat off…it’s all part of the fun.
  4. Yes, you do have the same conversation for five days in a row. You’re not imagining things.

The University of Texas website published a little handbook online that really helped me when it came time to prepare for Rush: Your Guide to Sorority Life

In conclusion, here’s a toast to all upcoming potential new members: Cheers to those who voluntarily subject themselves to the hottest of summer days only to impress the sorority of their choice. May the level of humidity remain below average and may the odds be ever in your favor.