Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to School

EEEK!!! I head back to Hofstra in just under 3 weeks and I cannot believe how quickly summer has flown by! I feel like my trip to Korea was years ago, and the new semester is creeping up on me. I have friends who have already headed back to school, and I haven't even thought about packing...

Speaking of packing, I wanted to put together a little post about what to bring to college. This is mostly helpful for those starting freshman year, but even if you're a senior who just can't remember what you need, you may find this list helpful.

This was my dorm freshman year- can you tell I color-coordinated?

What to Bring
  • Bedding: this seems obvious, but you need more than just a set of sheets. Make sure to pack a mattress pad, a mattress topper/egg crate, and a blanket because dorms are COLD. Even when you can control the temperature in your own room, sometimes the school keeps the AC on until November...
  • Towels: whether you have your own bathroom or you're sharing with the entire hallway, a few big, fluffy towels are a must.
  • Bathrobe: for running down the hall to catch the next open shower. 
  • Shower shoes: I cannot stress this enough- if you are using a communal bathroom WEAR SHOWER SHOES. Don't even try to think about what could be on that floor.
  • Books/DVDs: I know you think you'll be out every night with your awesome new college friends, but sometimes you find yourself at home alone and need something to do besides homework. Don't bring your entire movie collection, but a few favorites can really zap your homesickness.
  • Medicine: If you take any prescriptions or even just need an Advil every now and then, bring it. You never know when you'll need them and you don't want to be wandering through the school's convenience store coughing up your lungs and paying $12 for some cough syrup.
  • A winter coat: If you are going to school anywhere above the Mason-Dixon line, you will need your coat. A lot of people recommend leaving your winter clothes at home and swapping them out at Thanksgiving break. These people are either a)crazy or b)did not go to school in New York. I needed coats, sweaters, and boots around October, and that was a mild winter. Don't pack every sweater you own, but if you're headed north you definitely won't need that bikini. 
  • Slippers: Tile floors are cold, and sometimes it's just too much effort to put on real shoes to run down the hall to your friend's room. 
What to Leave at Home:
  • Your entire wardrobe: I was the worst packer ever my freshman year- 90% of what I brought was clothes, and I think I ended up wearing about 30%.  You will end up wearing a variation of the same few outfits all semester, whether you intend to or not.
  • T-shirts: Also a mistake I made- I brought 12020481204810 t-shirts, saying, "I'll need these to lounge around my dorm!!" Much like my regular clothes, I ended up wearing the same 5 shirts all year. You will also accumulate shirts during the year from various clubs, sporting events, and giveaways, so keep your freshman year drama club shirt at home.
  • Formal wear: leave your prom dress at home; formal events are usually scheduled far enough in advance that you will be home on break to pick it up or will be able to buy another one (this is almost always true....). Take one or two nice outfits that you could wear to an event such as a dinner, initiation, presentation, or interview. This goes for heels- stick to one or two pairs that will go with your nice outfits. 
  • Every accessory, beauty product, headband, pair of socks, etc. that you own: While you won't be wearing sweatpants every day (at least I hope not!!), you most likely won't get dressed up as often. And if you need something, you can always buy it! Unless you are going to college atop the Himalayas, you probably don't need your massive collection of eyeshadow or 47 pairs of underwear. You'll be fine.
After the 2 day car ride from Texas- this is actually in front of the admissions office where I now work!

There is no way I could put into one list every single thing you need for college. It's one of those "you'll see when you get there" things. I know, it makes heading off for freshman year even more stressful, but you'll get through it!

People aren't lying when they say that college is waaaaayyy better than high school. College is AMAZING- you will meet so many new people that share your interests and come from all over the world. I had a blast my first semester, and I am not exaggerating when I say that each semester has become exponentially more awesome. I have made incredible friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime, become a part of amazing organizations, and done some pretty crazy things.

No matter where you're going, you will love college. Just remember to get out there, meet people, go to class even at 8 am, call your mom, and study at least a little. But most importantly, have fun!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tips and Tricks: Travel Style

There is nothing worse than being on a plane for several hours in an uncomfortable outfit, or lugging your overstuffed suitcase through the terminal in inappropriate shoes. Looking good when traveling is something that takes more effort than one would think- you don't want to show up in your pajamas but you also can't be expected to travel in cocktail attire. So, I've put together a few traveling outfit options to ensure you look cute and comfortable while up in the air.

on the road

1. A big, comfy sweater is a necessity since planes always seem to be much colder than you expect. 


2. I usually have a thing about wearing dresses/skirts/shorts on public transportation, but a knee-length flowy dress can be soooo much more comfortable than pants. I'm also in love with this iPad case that also holds your phone and headphones. Note the denim jacket; I don't think I have ever taken a trip where I didn't bring mine along. It goes with pretty much every single outfit, keeps you warm and stylish at the same time, and is a perfectly timeless piece. 

comfy travel

3. I'm really digging the pineapple trend lately, and everyone loves a good graphic tee. And who can travel without a classic pair of sunglasses?

While everyone has different styles, not just for traveling, I tried to put together a few things that work for almost anyone. Even though you will probably never see most of your traveling companions again, make a good impression! If nothing, the flight attendants might be nicer if you're well dressed. 

As summer winds down, I'll have less and less to post about, but I'll be back at school in just a few weeks (eeek!!!) so hopefully I can kick it back into gear! This semester is going to be a little crazy, between my jobs, my internship, classes, and all my clubs, but I can't wait to see what the fall has in store for me!

Friday, August 1, 2014

24 Hours in Austin

Only a four hour drive away, Austin is great for a quick weekend getaway. With so many of my friends attending UT and my grandparents living just outside the city, I've always got an excuse to visit. This past weekend, Clarissa and I headed down for a quick trip; we didn't plan a whole lot, but it's fine because there is always something to do!

A very 'Texas' mural on South Congress, one of my favorite streets in Austin. It's full of crazy shops, vintage treasures, and cool food trucks. On the weekends you can hit up the outdoor flea markets, with vendors selling handmade crafts, jewelry, and anything else you could want. 

I may or may not have screamed, "Gatsby!!" when we parked near this beauty. 

This awesome planter (I'd love to do this as a DIY project) was in the backyard of the TOMS store on SoCo. Yes, the TOMS store has a backyard, as well as a front, since it has taken over an old home. Half of the house is set up like a store, while the other half features a coffee shop (with amazing iced lattes) and a little seating area in the back, where you can look out over the yard. 

I didn't even know the TOMS store existed, and we were a bit confused by the "TOMS Roasting Co." sign out front, but we needed air conditioning and a drink so we figured we'd give it a try. I would love to go back just for the atmosphere; very cool and very Austin. 

Our next stop was the capital building. Ever since Girls State in high school when we visited the capital (and held a legislative session inside the senate and house chambers!) I've loved stopping in every time I'm in the city. It's free, and you can pop in for an hour or even just a few minutes, but its worth it if you're interested in Texas history and politics. 

You know you're an architecture major when you slap the side of the building and declare, "That's good stone."

Each of the circles represent the Six Flags of Texas (Six Flags amusement park? Yeah, that's what it's named for). Texas was underneath the flag of 6 different countries: Spain, France, Mexico, Texas (we're the only state in the union to have ever been our own country in case we haven't reminded you enough times), the Confederate States, and the United States of America. 

The House chambers; the Senate chambers were closed, unfortunately- I was a senator at Girls State so I'm a little biased. 

We left the beautiful grounds of the capital for a very different part of town; Castle Hill Graffiti Park, the only spot in the city where you can legally spray paint to your heart's desire. If this all looks familiar, we stopped by Castle Hill last time we were in Austin. In between we stopped for lunch at Kerbey Lane- make sure to order the queso!

Castle Hill looks completely different every time I visit, as people are painting new things all over the park every day. This exact spot looked completely different in January. Also that is not our spray paint, someone had left it and it seemed to add to the picture. 

It's kind of a hike to get to the top of the park (there aren't any stairs and you have to maneuver up a very tiny and very overgrown pathway straight up the hill), but the view of the Austin skyline is completely worth it.

"All you need!!"

I always love heading down to Austin, even if it is only for a quick girl's weekend! Hopefully I'll be back in August before school starts, there are still so many things I want to do!