Today I had the sudden inspiration to create something I’ve been thinking about for a long time- a vision board. A vision board is a collection of images that represent your goals or ideas. I made one for the month of May (or the summer, really) to help me visualize a summer that is fun and vibrant even in the midst of social distancing. Some of the images I used, like a bonfire with s’mores, a girl relaxing in a pool, and a picnic, are all things I can do at home or with family. If you’d like to create a vision board to manifest your ideas, keep reading!
Step 1: Curate your board! I did this by creating a board on Pinterest titled “May vision board” and pinned photos of quotes, pools, ice cream, and other things that make me think of summer. I also purposefully tried not to avoid photos of groups, because sadly we can’t be doing that right now.
Step 2: Print your photos. Pinterest is a little tricky so I did this by taking a screenshot of my board (on Mac, hold shift, command, 4.) I took 3 different screenshots to get all my pictures and it actually worked out because it made all the photos different sizes.
Step 3: Cut. I cut out my photos in different shapes, rounding the edges or perfect squares. I wanted my board to have a collage feel, so I tried to vary shapes and sizes.
Step 4: Put it all together! I used a piece of mixed media paper, so I would have a solid background. It also would work with construction paper or any paper that won’t bend easily and can hold the weight of the photos. Before securing them onto the page, I layered the photos until I liked my design. I used tape to attach my photos but I would highly recommend using a glue stick instead. My finished board is at the top of this post!
Have fun creating! I hope this brings you a little joy and positivity right now.
As strange as it sounds, I have found a great deal of comfort in following influencers and seeing their lives during this new normal. I hate that everyone is affected by this pandemic, but seeing the people I follow and look up to adjust to their lives as well has made me not feel less alone. These are my top 5 favorite Youtubers to watch right now while working from home. Their content is so genuine and positive, so give them a follow.
1. Danielle Carolan
2. Brooke Miccio
3. Kaitlyn Ringe
4. Lindsey Rem
5. Kris Hui
Coming home from college and being back in your hometown is challenging. Returning home in these circumstances is even more problematic. With the current crisis, college students all over the world are returning home, leaving their dorms and apartments, friends and roommates. I chose to return home to save money, hold my family close, and overall feel more secure with all this uncertainty. But if you’re like me, you’ve struggled with the feeling of returning to the past. Being away at college teaches you to take care of yourself and become independent. Coming home, especially right now, can feel like you’re morphing back into a childlike dependency.
I definitely am not the star example of someone who is handling this Pandemic extremely well, but I wanted to share my 4 ideas on how to keep your identity and independence intact during this time of quarantine.
1. Update your space to reflect who you are now
In the first few weeks of being home, I started going crazy in my room at my parent’s house. I felt so out of place and almost became disgusted at my decor. 'When did I think this looked good?' Before I knew it, I took everything off all of my walls in my room and tossed it on the floor. My floor was covered in photos, paintings and posters that I had no clue what to do with. I started cleaning and decluttering, and it was therapeutic. I felt like my space didn’t match who I was anymore. I redecorated and moved furniture around in my room and voila- the room matched the girl. I highly suggest making your space more functional, like adding a desk if you’re doing work from home. For decor, simple is better, and make sure you add some photos of your college friends. Make the space match your identity now, so you don’t feel like you are quite literally living in the past.
2. Let yourself remember, but remind yourself that you aren’t in that same place in time anymore
It’s okay to come home and feel nostalgic. I always go through my closet and pull out old scrapbooks and keepsakes. I like to look through old photos and appreciate the things I didn’t appreciate back in the day. But, I remind myself that I have moved on from those times in my life, and I am a new person now. Sometimes I come across a photo of someone who hurt me in the past, and I have to remember that time has passed. Things that happened in high school are insignificant now, and you shouldn’t give it the power to bring you down anymore.
3. Keep in touch with your college friends to remind you who you are
Keeping in touch with my friends has been a huge help through all of this. Even on the days where I don’t feel like talking, I always end up feeling grateful that I answered the call. These friends remind us of who we are at school and what we are working towards. My friends and I are already making plans in the fall to be more supportive of each other and make the most of the time we will have left. Give your friends a call and remind each other that life is still going on, even if we can’t be on campus anymore.
4. Let your family know what you need
This tip is something that I personally struggle with, in general. Sometimes telling people what we need is hard, because it can feel like a burden. In these uncertain times, we all need to be compassionate with each other and how we are coping. Let your family know what you need to be successful while working from home. Do you need quiet space? Help organizing your stuff? Or do you just need someone to keep you accountable every day? Someone to keep you active and check in on you? Usually, students just come home on breaks, but now we are all here all the time! It's very different for everyone, including your parents and siblings. They might not be adjusting well with you being home either, so start a conversation about what you need from each other. Depending on your family dynamic, this time can be a blessing because it's probably the longest time you'll spend at home again before graduating and getting a job. Everyone’s home life looks different, so make adjustments as needed. If you don’t have a supportive family to go back to, do this same step but with your friends.
You can do it, sending love.
With everything going on, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Devastating, disappointing, scary, frustrating, these are all words that come to mind when I try to figure out how to articulate how I have been feeling. While social media can be filled with everyone’s cute quarantine pictures and videos, it is not telling the full truth. I don’t need to tell you all the terrible things going on in the world, you already know. With me specifically, people online don’t see the times I break down and sob. They don’t see the arguments between my family, the frustration coming out in little ways. They don’t see the long drives I take just to be by myself and out in the world. They don’t see the hours of binging Netflix just to pass by the hours and numb the feelings. Basically, I’m having a harder time than I imagined.
Some days are better than others. One day I got to see my sister’s new puppy. I got to try on one of those crazy T-rex costumes that people always wear. Some days I feel productive and content. Other days, I feel lethargic, bored, and angry. Anytime someone mentions this going on longer than 6 months, I cry. Not at anger towards them, but at the fear that I lost my amazing time of my life forever.
I feel guilty admitting that, but whether or not someone has it worse than me doesn’t make it less of the reality. College students like me have been torn from their lives at their universities to return home to unsupportive families (which I don’t have), a lack of purpose, and a sense of returning to a place in life that a lot of people worked really hard to move on from. It feels like a defeat, a great loss. I’ve seen a lot of people talk about how we are grieving, grieving the loss of people, our normalcy, our milestones. I think it is all true.
Some people around me try to say that this is a conspiracy, a hoax, an overreaction. It frustrates me to hear them talk about it because it does nothing to help the problem. Honestly, I just care that it is happening, and it is affecting every single one of us.
Even though I don’t want all my writing to be about the virus, I still want to document this period of my life. I want to write about how I feel and let it out so it doesn’t boil up out of me. About a week ago, I wrote a little diary entry about how I was feeling. Here are some segments of it.
“I’ve been home for about 4 weeks now, and it's really taking a toll on me.
I get sick to my stomach. I can’t fall asleep because my heart is fluttering, not in a good way. I can’t control my temper when people talk about the possibility of not going back to school in the fall. My entire life was left at my university, and now I feel like I am building a new life all over again and honestly I hate it.
I miss hugs from Chelsea, and talking for hours with Bailey. I miss walking to get coffee with Mitchell, and watching The Bachelor with Bekah and Griffin. I miss all of my best friends so much and now I’ve developed a new anxiety where I am afraid that I’m not showing them I love and miss them enough. I’m afraid that I’m putting on a front, while also being afraid of overbearing them.
As soon as this is over, I want to give everyone hugs. I’ll even kiss people. I want to go to more concerts. I want to go out every weekend even if I just drink water all night. I want to go on a state-wide road trip. I want to visit my grandparents. I want to go abroad again. I want to get brunch. I want to go to the beach. I want to celebrate all my friends’ birthdays all over again. I want to hold hands with my pals and have family dinners.”
Sending positive vibes to all my students out there. Stay well and know that however you are feeling is OKAY.
As we all know, the world has been turned upside down in the last month. On NYE, I would have never imagined 2020 to turn out like this. In fact, as I was celebrating with all my favorite people in the world, I felt the shift from one decade to the next. I could feel change coming, and I was excited about it. But I was not excited for this! I had no idea I would be living back at home, doing online classes and Facetiming my friends who I was supposed to have 3 more months with. But even while everything is changing and we are continuously dealing with grief, I have a lot to be thankful for. I still have online school, a roof over my head and a safety net. It has made me appreciate the privileges I do have in my life. While I adapt to all these changes, I have created a new routine to let myself settle into and feel more at peace. So let me take you through my morning!
Every day, I wake up around 8:30. Now you all know the drill, so commence montage of me in bed scrolling through every social media I have on my phone. Once I feel awake enough, I get up, make my bed and get ready to have a workout. Lately I’ve been using the app FitOn for at home workouts. It has been great and I completely recommend it! There are all kinds of different workouts, levels and equipment v. no equipment. Now that I have more time in my day, I made it a goal to focus on getting back into working out.
After a workout, I usually begin making breakfast and checking my email. Now that I have classes completely online, checking my email first thing has become even more important. So as I sit and eat waffles, oatmeal or cereal (breakfast is my favorite meal) I scroll through emails and read the news.
Once I am done with breakfast, I usually begin getting ready to work on online classes for the day. In order to put myself in a productive headspace, I have to get dressed into normal clothes and put on some makeup to feel normal. For the first week of staying home and adjusting to this new normal, I didn’t do my hair or makeup at all. It left me feeling more sad and unproductive than ever. My outfits now are usually comfy-cute, and my makeup is minimal, but having on a cute pair of leggings and some mascara makes things so much better.
Last but not least, I make my favorite drink, an iced chai latter. I make mine pretty small, just ⅓ cup of Tazo chai mix and ⅓ cup of 2% milk and I am good to go. Once I have my latte, I find my at home study space of the day and get working on my classes!
Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you are adjusting to your new normal as well. Sending good vibes to all my fellow students trying to make it through the rest of the semester. <3
From the time I first learned how to write, I knew I wanted to write for the rest of my life. I remember confidently holding my pencil, writing on the lined paper with extra lines so you knew how tall to make the letters. I grabbed notebooks from my father’s office and hid them in my room, filling them with random stream of thoughts coming from my my head. I began writing songs and stories. Even if I didn’t become a ‘writer,’ I wanted to write for myself, recording my life and those around me. Little did I really know how much writing would be a huge part of my life and my high school career, and how I actually would turn out to pursue writing for a career. Nothing grounds me more, nothing brings me closer or sometimes far and back from myself than being able to tell a story. I prefer to tell someone else’s, but this time I’ll tell mine.
Sophomore year in high school, I heard of the summer program GSA, or the Governor's School for the Arts. It was a summer program where you stayed at a college and learned about your specific art form in depth, in that magical looking way. It looked like an artist’s dream, so my friends and I all applied. For that whole year, I compiled all of my poetry (because my creative writing was limited to poetry and nothing else) and went through the interview process. It was long and stressful, and while my mother was encouraging and fostering, my father didn’t like the idea of my being gone for almost the entire summer. I knew I loved writing, but through the whole process, especially the group interviews, I felt alien to them. Everyone talked like a movie script with huge words and could easily craft anything out of thin air. I felt I wanted to write, but the grasp they had on creative writing was much different than the hand I held. I wanted to find a story, brew on it, and bring it to life in my own way. I didn’t realize it then, but my love for another kind of writing was forming, and the wheels were only beginning to turn.
The same year I applied to GSA, I began working on the Dragon’s Tale newspaper. My 8th grade year, I wrote for the little newspaper, an after school club that printed a tiny paper for free. But the Dragon’s Tale was much different. The DT was realistic; it had deadlines, article assignments, and a senior Editor-in-Chief (once again, the wheels were turning.) From the moment I sat in the class and started taking notes on News writing, I was falling in love. Even though I was one of the two youngest in the room, I felt like I was apart of something important. And I felt important. It was a risk I am glad to say I took. Later that year, I wasn’t accepted into GSA, and even though I was devastated that all my hard work went nowhere, I realize now that it happened for a very clear reason. That reason came to me in a text message in my first period, asking me if I wanted to apply for an internship at Louisville Magazine.
Louisville Magazine was quite possibly the coolest, hippest creative place I had been to. The office was simple, but the minds that worked there were so inspiring, and I could see in their eyes that they felt the same way I felt inside. It was a dream come true. I was only 16, barely had started driving, and I was getting interviewed to work at a magazine downtown. I probably listened to Welcome to New York or Empire State of mind about a hundred times, daydreaming of what it would be like. Surprisingly to me, they were really impressed that I wanted to work for them, and my young age actually gave me an edge. I became the youngest intern they’ve ever had. That first day I got on I-71 and drove into downtown Louisville, I was super nervous. I wasn’t used to the aggressive traffic and I felt like I was going to forget how to get there. But while my mind was racing with a hundred thoughts, the highway bent around the trees, and right in front of me was the tall downtown buildings, glistening in the sun. Everything else fell away, and I was ready. No matter what had happened in my life before didn’t matter-- I was working at a magazine. How cool was that.
My time at Louisville Magazine was short and sweet. I was thrown out of my comfort zone real quick, but I was able to take so much away from it. I learned to interview, and understand that people are just people. I learned that a productive day can sometimes only consist of brainstorming on a wall sized chalk board. I learned that my messy handwriting and writing habits were normal and encouraged. And of all things I learned the most important thing was that I needed to keep following the path that I was on.
After the internship, my junior and senior year of high school was entirely about the newspaper. The DT became my most precious project, and I fought long and hard junior year so that by senior year I would be Editor-in-Chief. And I did it. Being Editor-in-Chief was the greatest challenge I have faced. I went on with my best friend, who became my Assistant Editor-in-Chief, and I’m telling everyone right now that me and Chelsea will one day run a publication together again. We managed to work together for an entire year, create a website, redesign a whole newspaper, and love each other even more. I couldn’t have done it without her. Even though I had a lot of fun with Chelsea, it did get hard at times. I had a little trouble separating myself from being a writer to being an editor. I missed being able to focus on my own story instead of managing everyone else's. But by the time we figured out our systems and started redesigning, I had enough time to write again, and I was able to write about things I was very passionate about. I wrote an open letter about President Trumps travel ban, and it was by far the most vulnerable thing I have published. I put my very controversial political opinion out there, and was able to fight for what I believed in, even if it was a little scary going up against someone so big. It was empowering, and it was one of the many things that being Editor-in-Chief made me feel strong for.
Having to leave the DT and give the Editor position to someone else is sad, and actually kind of hard. I have to hand my legacy off to someone else, and hope they don’t ruin it in the process. But I do know that the next Editor-in-Chiefs (next year there will be 2 co-Editor-in-Chiefs) for the 2017-18 year are perfect choices, and they will wow me. I have a lot to look forward to in the meantime. Recently I have been able to work as an intern at TOPS Louisville magazine. I’ve already done a little work with them and it's been incredible. It really doesn’t feel much like work anymore. In the fall, I’m going to study journalism (what else.) I know that I will be in such great hands, and I’m ready to start. I’m ready to go and make mistakes and learn and embarrass myself.
If there's one last thing I could tell anyone in high school, it's that you have to remember that while the whole world will seem to turn against you, the wheels are only turning. High school sucks, and not in that angsty-teen way, but just because it does. We get older, we have original thoughts and we start to realize that the world isn’t what we thought it was. We get our heart’s broken and realize what it is everyone’s been talking about when they say love. We see our parents for who they truly are and how mortal they are, and we see ourselves as these broken pieces that need to be fixed. But there’s so much more than that. Eventually, you will look back at all your struggles and heartache and see it for what it was. The whole world isn’t against you; it’s shaping you into your true form.
Ella did not disappoint.
After the silences that followed post electro-pop Pure Heroin, people were really beginning to wonder if Lorde could top her first album.
Then came Melodrama.
Melodrama, Lorde's sophomore album released June 16, is a call for some soul searching, to those who feel heart broken, whether it be losing the one they love or losing a part of themselves.
She has the ability to make an album centered around losing love light up. From the moment you turn on the first song of the album, Green Light, to Writer in the Dark and Liability, you can hear that she crafted pain into something absolutely beautiful.
For me, this album struck me more than Pure Heroin ever did, and I LOVED Pure Heroin.
Whether it be relatable life experiences or the sheer talent and ability of Ms Ella, Melodrama let me find myself in every song.
Here, I'm going to break down some of the songs on the album, excluding those that were singles prior to the albums release (cause at this point what's to say about those, everyone already knows they're amazing.)
Homemade dynamite- Homemade dynamite strikes a chord for the young and fearless. It tricks you into thinking you are finishing the song, only to suck you back in and give you one more great ending. It's upbeat and feels the most "Pure Heroin" of all the others.
Hard Feelings/loveless- I love this because A. it is a BOP B. it's the bitter taste left in her mouth post breakup. "When you out grow a lover, the whole world knows but you," is beautiful. It also splits between Hard Feelings to Loveless, with Loveless like another song added at the end.
The Louvre- The only slightly negative thing I have to say about this entire album is about this song. When I listen to the song, I enjoy it. It's a song to turn on and dance to. But the moment I turn it off, I find myself quickly forgetting about its existence. For some reason to me, it doesn't stick. But despite that, the quality of the song is still A+. Maybe after a little more exposure, it will begin to grow on me.
Writer in the dark- This song is almost hard to write about, but it's the one I want to dive into the most. It's my favorite, mostly because it speaks to apart of my life that was so dear to me. Breakups man, what are you going to do. Her vocals in this song sound so raw, like she's right there next to you. In this case, the intimacy of the song calls for that closeness. It blows me away quite honestly, that Ella is able to be so raw and honest. "But in our darkest hours, I stumbled on a secret power,
I'll find a way to be without you, babe."
Supercut- My first thoughts when hearing this song were "You want him back. But no girl, no you don't. But you kinda do." You can do it Ella. The most interesting thing about this one was the connections I thought of relating to the track 400 Lux on her Pure Heroin album.
In 400 Lux, she mentions being in the car in a positive way: "But you keep the car on/While you're waiting out front/You pick me up and take me home again" and then later in Supercut, "In your car, the radio up/We keep trying to talk about us." While the connection could be very unoriginal, I could imagine this was the same car, with the same guy, but Supercut is her updated version.