I’m Doing Too Much… What Else is New?

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Not me, but it kinda looks like me…

So, for those of you who don’t know me, I’ve always taken on too many responsibilities, too many activities, too much of everything. In 6th grade, I played piano and flute, took ballet classes, and did gymnastics. In 7th grade, I stopped doing everything except gymnastics, practicing 12 hours a week. By 9th grade, I was up to 25 hours of practice a week. Those 25 hours, during competition season, became 30 or 40, with meets, travel, and physical therapy and doctor visits. For comparison, if I had a busy gymnastics week, that was the equivalent of a full-time entry-level job. By the time I was 16, I was spending more time than ever doing gymnastics and I was beginning my full IB curriculum. I never got home before 8pm, when I would scarf down my dinner and start pounding out my homework, never going to bed before 1am. After I hurt my back and had to quit gymnastics, I had what I considered an easy senior year: a job as a teaching assistant at the preschool at my synagogue, circus arts classes twice a week, IB classes, college applications, SATs, and IB and AP tests.

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This one is actually me, just baby me on a balance beam.

Until this semester in college, I’d never taken fewer than 16 credits (our maximum is 18). I’ve always worked 9 hours a week at the dining hall, and often committed myself to various clubs at once.

This semester, I thought I was “taking it easy.” Until today. This semester I’m only taking two 300-level academic classes. The rest of my credits are made up of smaller classes. I’m taking pilates, preparing to present at a sociological conference in New York City in March, working my usual 9 hours at the dining hall, doing two internships, and traveling to NYC to visit my boyfriend every other weekend (and later this semester I’ll be taking a web design class and an e-book design class). I’m also keeping up with my blog, Unwritten, and being the campus coordinator (basically the editor in chief) of Skidmore’s chapter of Her Campus. Oh and preparing to take on the future. You know, applying to jobs and stuff.

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The beautiful front of my new work. Photo taken from my Instagram.

Aaaaanyways, today was my first day working both my internships on the same day. I got to the local paper, The Saratogian, at 9:45 this morning and worked in the local library reading and reporting on microfilm from the newspaper 100 years ago today (1915). After those three hours, I took myself to lunch at our local bagel place, Uncommon Grounds, to work for an hour on Her Campus posts, emails, and letters of recommendation for past employees. Finally I went to my other internship at Saratoga Living magazine. I worked on spreadsheets, printed addresses, and stuffed envelopes. Oh, and of course, went on a coffee run (classic intern, right?). I came home to do more work and make dinner.

Yesterday I was skyping with my boyfriend and I said something along the lines of “today was a really long day” and he responded by telling me “every day is a really long day for you.” I hadn’t thought about it, but he was right. When I got home from work today, I was 200% overwhelmed, but am I going to stop doing any of this stuff? Nope. Yesterday I even considered applying for another on-campus job for this semester (and even though I promised my boyfriend I wouldn’t, I still feel guilty not doing it).

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My first day outfit.

Needless to say, I’m taking on too much this semester. What else is new? I guess this is what the real world is like. I’m definitely not ready. But here goes nothing.

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The Truth About Studying Abroad

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“It’s the best time of your life.”

“It’ll be the most amazing experience.”

“Studying abroad was the best decision I ever made in college.”

“When else in your life do you get to spend four months living in a foreign country this easily?”

“You’re going to love it.”

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One year ago today, I boarded a flight from New York City to Johannesburg, South Africa. After 20-something hours of travel, I arrived in Cape Town, exhausted, excited, and full of anticipation about what the next four months would hold. In the months that followed the first day, I traveled the southern coast of South Africa, I sun-bathed on beautiful beaches, I went to museums, I climbed mountains (okay, just the one), I went shark cage diving, I shopped at amazing markets, I ate way too much frozen yogurt, I went paragliding, I played with monkeys, I made best friends, I saw lions and giraffes and elephants on safari with my family, and I had the time of my life. I also trudged through the rain to class, I studied hard in my bed at night with wifi that could barely be classified as sub-par, I fought with my roommate, I shivered under the covers in my freezing cold apartment, I felt worlds away from my family, friends, and boyfriend, I had panic attacks that were so intense I threw up, I dealt with the grief of a classmate/floor-mate passing away, I spent a lot of time alone, and I cried.

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If you’ve ever studied abroad, you’ve heard (and maybe said) more than one of the statements above. Now that I’ve come back from studying abroad, I’d wholeheartedly agree with all of this. But what nobody tells you before you study abroad is that it’s HARD. It can be scary and sad and lonely. I cried in public more than once. Hell, I cried in public more than five times.

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My experience may have been different than other people’s experiences, but I think I speak for more than just myself in saying that studying abroad is not all sunshine, mountain climbing, cafes, and museums. Nobody talks about the hard stuff. All you hear before going abroad is how much you’re going to love it, how you’ll miss it when you leave, and how everyone is so jealous of you for getting to go on this amazing trip. And while it is all of those things – incredible and fun and the most wonderful experience – it is also one of the hardest experiences. You leave your family, the friends you’ve made over the past few years at college, and all the norms of the country you grew up in for an entirely new culture, school, and maybe even a new language. You have to start all over in a new place, and while that can be the most freeing, exciting feeling in the world, it can also be terrifying.

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Studying abroad was without a doubt the most amazing experience of my life. It’s easy to say this in retrospect – when I was there, it usually did not feel like the most amazing experience. I expected a lot from my abroad experience, so any time it did not live up to expectations, I was disappointed. Looking back on it now, I wouldn’t change my abroad experience for the world – I learned a lot about South Africa, about what it’s like to go to a large school, about how to make new friends, and about myself. It was the most enriching experience of my life, but I recognize now that I played a big role in that. Going abroad taught me how to love a place, how to love from afar, how to productively miss people. It taught me to be okay with being alone, with being myself, and doing what I wanted to. Going abroad made me a stronger person, and for that, all of the hardships were worth it.

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New Year, New Semester, New Page in Life, NEW BLOG THEME!

Well, it’s official. 2015 is in full swing. January is almost over, I started my last semester of college, I’m working two internships and a part-time job, applying to jobs for the future, apartment-hunting, traveling to NYC every few weeks, and attempting to keep my life together. That being said, I have been feeling the need for organization and control – so what better place to start than with my blog? I hope you all like the new, more professional, more organized theme. I’m trying to make myself seem more job-worthy. Let me know what you think of the change! Bye bye Balloons Theme, hello Sela!

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I Don’t Get Wasted and I Don’t Do Drugs and That’s Not Allowed to Bother You

I blow bubbles, not smoke rings.

I blow bubbles, not smoke rings.

I’ve never done any drugs. This surprises a lot of people, given that I come from an upper-middle class liberal background and go to a small liberal arts school. I’m from Eugene, Oregon, hippie capital of the US, and go to Skidmore College, ranked number 1 for marijuana usage by the Princeton Review in 2015. I’m not saying I never will smoke pot, but I’ve never felt the need to. I’m aware that I’m part of the minority. I can count on one hand all the people I know who have never smoked weed. And that’s 100% okay with me.

Marijuana doesn’t bother me. High people don’t bother me. I have no problem whatsoever with people who smoke – that’s everyone’s personal decision and I have no opinion on marijuana usage. Smoke if you want to. Don’t smoke if you don’t want to. It really makes no difference to me.

So what’s this blog post about, then? If I have no problem with people who do drugs, what the hell am I writing about?

The problem I have with people who do drugs is that some of them feel they have the right to tell me I should do them. I have been told by multiple people on multiple occasions that they want to “corrupt” me. They think I’m “innocent” and “immature” for not doing drugs. I have had people roll their eyes at me when I said I don’t smoke. Someone once told me that she wouldn’t go out with me because I was sober. Another person joked that they would slip weed into some of my food since I wasn’t going to smoke on my own. People often tell me I’m “too sober” or “not drunk enough” when I go out. Just because I’m young and in college doesn’t mean I’m missing out by not partying more. I still go to parties and I get drunk, but that’s not enough for some people. For me, going out and having fun doesn’t mean I need to be under the influence; it’s about the people I’m with, the places I go, and honestly it’s about whether or not I get to dance.

People judge me for my choices and that’s not fair. I respect other people’s decisions to do drugs, to binge drink, to go hard. So other people need to respect my decision not to.

Peer pressure isn’t cool in middle school and it isn’t cool now. You can tell me I’m lame, you can tell me I’m boring, and you can tell me I’ll regret not being wilder when I’m older. But none of those things are true and I’m not going to change for you.

I didn’t drink until I was 17. I like to go out sober sometimes. I don’t smoke weed and I never have. I never drink enough to blackout or throw up. I’m perfectly happy staying in sometimes and not going out to bars. I’m a “good girl.” And that’s okay.

New Year’s Resolutions I Can Keep

I think we can all keep these great New Year’s Resolutions.

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New Year’s Resolutions I Can Keep | Ponies and Martinis I resolve to be more beach-friendly this year.

With the very best of intentions, I start off the new year with an ambitious resolution or two, like working out every day or not yelling at the kids. And slowly, but surely, I fail to keep them. This is why I still carry some baby weight and my kids are deaf.

This year, I have come up with a few resolutions that I know I can stick with.

1. Wear yoga pants more often. I have kept my yoga pants isolated to the gym, but I think I have been severely limiting my comfort. Have you ever worn those things? It’s like rolling in butter and lying in velvet all at the same time. I won’t wear them out in public, like one of those people from Walmart, but, I’ll wear them for lounging, kid drop-off, and girls’ night. Maybe I’ll buy…

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National Championship of College Football: Ducks vs. Buckeyes

Last week was the National Championship of College Football, and being that my mom is the Acting Provost and Senior Vice President of the University of Oregon, my family got the amazing opportunity to go to the game. Even though we (the mighty Oregon Ducks) lost (I don’t want to talk about it, it was a very sad time), the game was really fun! We stayed at the Gaylord Texan Hotel, which is basically crazier than a Disney World Hotel. It has four restaurants, a huge gym (I even worked out for the first time in, like… ever), a lazy river with koi fish, and an enormous atrium with their own Alamo in it. It was insane. Anyways, we  got to do a ton of fun stuff, like hang out with the players in the lobby, go to a community service event, attend a cocktail hour, go to the “fan central,” the pep rally, and the tailgate, etc. It was a blast. So I wanted to share some photos with all you wonderful readers of mine! I hope you enjoy.

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The Brooklyn Flea Market

Last week, my friend from California visited me in Oregon and we binge watched HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” on Netflix. In the show, the artists sell their work at the famous Brooklyn Flea, an amazing flea market in NYC. I immediately knew I NEEDED to check it out. So I texted my boyfriend and told him to pencil it into his calendar – we had to go the flea market. This Saturday we bundled up and loaded ourselves onto the Subway to Crown Heights for the indoor Brooklyn Flea at 1000 Dean St. If you’re in the city, you should definitely check it out. The Brooklyn Flea has different locations during different times of the year, so make sure to check out their website to see where you can find the flea when you decide to go. You can also check out their gorgeous Instagram and see all the cool products vendors bring! Check out the photos below to see some of the fun things I found this weekend!

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The Brooklyn Flea’s logo (they sell shirts and mugs if you love it like I do).

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This wasn’t actually for sale, but was just part of the Flea. I love the industrial look of it.

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Just look at these gorgeous letterpress blocks. Ahhh I’m in love with them.

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Beautiful wooden tables.

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Industrial metal lights.

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Beautiful metal plated mirror.

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Industrial metal letters.

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Decorative metal plates.

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Beautiful metal letters. I want them all.

This Is What Happens When You Try To Dress Like A Store Mannequin

Sometimes you walk into a store and fall in love with a look on a mannequin. But then, when you try it on, you look ridiculous. At least, this was the case for me last week when I tried to find “professional” clothes at H&M. Here’s the outfit on the mannequin:

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Aaaaaand here’s the outfit on me. For the record, I’m standing on my toes.

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Have you ever tried on the outfit off the mannequin? Was it this unsuccessful? Let me know in the comments!

10 All Black Outfits to Wear this Winter

If you find yourself only buying black clothes, you probably get told you need to add some color into your wardrobe. Don’t listen to the haters. Even if you’re not an architect, you can rock the all black look! Check out these ten all black outfits – do any of them fit your style? Chances are you can probably put together these looks with things you already have in your closet; try it out!

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(images via pinterest.com)