A thank you letter to Athens, Ohio

For one city to change your life, it has to be pretty magical. Little did I know, three years ago, when I chose to transfer to Ohio University to pursue a degree in Spanish Education, just how much magic this little city in Southeastern Ohio had. 

I didn’t have a traditional senior year, not in the slightest, and, if I had it my way, I’d be getting ready to graduate right about now, probably reminiscing on college memories with my friends. Instead, I’m crying at my desk in Chicago. Funny how life has different intentions than our own. Despite this, I still have a lot I want to say to that magical city before I’m technically a graduate. 

There’s so many people, restaurants, homes, dorms, etc. that I could thank but there aren’t nearly enough words in the English language to thank each of them for all they’ve done for me… but I’ll try. 

To Adams Hall, when I first moved into my dorm on August 25th, 2017 I was absolutely scared out of my mind. Going away to college once was a lot to handle… but twice! I didn’t think I could do it. Thankfully, room 143 blessed me with the absolute best roommate a girl could ask for and to this day is still one of my closest friends. Although we didn’t talk much junior year [no thanks to either of us], I’m so glad we rekindled our friendship senior year because a friend like Olivia only comes once in a lifetime. If I ever need a late night run to Walmart for a fish or to find a roomie if I ever move to LA, Olivia is my girl. Thank you Adams Hall. 

To the Patton College of Education, I never knew if I wanted to be a teacher… If I’m being honest, I’m still not 100% sure and now I have a degree! Nevertheless, you gave me some of the best professors and classmates to prepare me to become a teacher. Anna, Paige, Sara, and Maddie were the biggest help in getting me across this finish line. Long nights of group projects, studying for exams, and the longest portfolios ever were made possible because of these people. Anne Scott, however, is the real reason I’m ready to be a teacher. No one has ever believed in me the way Anne does. She is a gift to this university and I’m so fortunate to have met her. Thank you PCOE.

To McCracken Hall, some of my latest nights were spent here. As much as I hate to admit that, they were. Thank you for being arguably the best and nicest building on campus with the best study rooms which definitely got their use out of me. I’m glad to never use one again, but I appreciated the resource when I needed it. Thank you McCracken Hall. 

To the Office of Global Opportunities, most college students don’t get to study abroad once, let alone twice. I’m forever grateful for both my Spain trip as well as the COST program and learned more about myself and the world abroad than I ever did in any classroom. Thank you for giving me Mary, Allyssa, Kayla, Rory, Alejo, and so many others. You don’t meet people as good as them very often. Thank you OGO.

To Donkey Coffee, I spent a lot more time here than I ever did in any class [or anywhere for that matter]. From CHAARG coffee dates, to Sunday study seshes with my gorls, and even first dates, you were always there with a red iced tea and a vegan chocolate cherry cookie when I needed one. I’ll be back one last time to spend all my donkey points 🙂 Thank you Donkey Coffee.

To Boyd Market, I mean… where do I even begin? I met some of my best friends through this on-campus job that I only applied to because OU claimed it was the most vegan friendly place on campus. Some of my best times were spent inside of Boyd Market from finding dead birds behind Smooth Moves, writing the newsletter, making Tik Toks, register 1 tea parties, and of course WORKING [on occasion]. I never would have met my Boyd bestie Olivia, which would have meant I would have been drunk a significantly less amount than I was. To the Boyd student leaders, thank you for welcoming me into the group, always being down to hear gossip, making Tik Toks, taking pictures, and going to  PigSkin and Overhang. I’m forever grateful for all of you. Thanks BM 😉

To CHAARG, thank you for saving my life. I was in a terrible place when I got to OU and you really helped me get out of it. Not necessarily by yourself, but by giving me mental health resources, my best friends in the entire world, and an all around lovely [usually] community to send wine drunk videos in the group chat or make fun of myself whenever deemed necessary. Thank you for teaching me how to be a leader and deal with shitty people. Thank you for teaching me how to take a stand for what I believe in and to never back down. I am who I am today largely due to CHAARG and I’m forever indebted to this wonderful org. Thank you CHAARG. 

To 14M, the best apartment and roomie combo you could ever have hoped for. I treasure our nights spent in the living room watching The Good Place [much to Liz’ shagrin], listening to our good vibe playlists, and our Homecoming and Santa Fest gatherings. I wish we could have built the gingerbread houses. Sorry I spoke to the ceiling in Spanish 😉 Liz and Anna, I love you both. 14M, keep the next gen girls in good hands. [also I included Kelsey in this section and you know why hehe].


To my gorls, I know we all aren’t the closest right now, but that doesn’t change how much each of you mean to me. All five of you helped me make it through college in one piece thanks to our donkey dates, Biddle study nights, every CHAARG event, post CHAARG dins at Shively, the choffice, and Harbour the Band concerts. Kenzie, I’m so excited for you to go to LA and make it big in the film industry. Don’t forget me when you’re famous. Jess, you’re going to be the best journalist to walk this planet and I’m glad you’re following your dreams and not going to Law school rn. There’s always time to be Elle Woods another time 😉 Hannah, you are one of the most kind and beautiful souls I know and I’m honestly honored to be your friend. I’m so proud that you’re graduating a semester early and I know no matter where you end up, you’ll succeed at whatever you do. Grace, oh Grace, I’m sorry I didn’t follow you back when we were bolt babes lol but look at us now! I’m so proud to be your friend and to cheer you on from the sideline for all of your victories from LVNG Limitess, By Her For Her, BackDrop, Cincy Mag, and whatever else along the way that you take on. You’re going to be a phenomenal journalist and I can’t wait to keep reading everything you write. Finally, Sami, I’m not too sure what happened to us but I’ll always consider you one of the best friends I’ve ever had. From bonding over One Direction, to you being in my small group, to getting a job at Boyd and everything that went with that, I’m always glad that I was in your life for at least a bit, even if that’s over [I honestly don’t know if it is l o l]. I love all five of you with my whole heart and I’ll never forget any of you. Much love for my gorls. 

Finally to Athens Ohio, five semesters in the best city is not nearly enough. Thank you for packing my five semesters full of great people, places, and memories. Athens has truly shaped me into who I am today and I would be nowehere without at least one of the things I mentioned above. Although my time in Athens is coming to a close, I’m fully prepared for wherever the wind takes me. Thank you for that, Athens. 


Much love, Alicia

One month left in Greece

Eep! I’ve officially been in Greece for two months! It’s crazy to me that I have one month more and then I head home and then I’ll head back to school for graduation. Honestly, I can’t wait to go home. Greece has kicked my ass and honestly, all I want is to be home, eating Chipotle and drinking Gatorade while cuddling my dog.

I got the flu [the entire school and I believe it was actually coronavirus that we all had because it was more similar with that than the flu so… I survived the coronavirus 😉 ] and kept my fever and cough for about a week and a half after. I completely lost my appetite which meant I was eating one meal a day which left me absolutely exhausted and going to bed at 6pm each night [and still waking up at 6:30 the next day just as exhausted as the day before]. Greece sucks when it comes to having comfort flu food. All I wanted [needed] was an orange popsicle and a yellow Gatorade and honestly, I think I would have been cured [my grandma always gave me popsicles and my dad gave me Gatorade when I was little and sick, and they worked like a charm]. Alas, Greece has neither [at least the nearest grocery store to me doesn’t which is the only place I could walk to when I was dying] so I had to settle for blue Powerade and quite possibly the worst strawberry popsicle smoothie thing that I’ve ever eaten.

My computer crapped out on me. My sweet MacBook is almost five years old and I knew she was on her last leg. Every time I turn my laptop on I do a small little prayer in my head that all is well and that she lives to see another day. A few weeks ago [right in the middle of my edTPA mind you] I turned my laptop on, and my keyboard and trackpad did not work. Only the power button worked. I turned it on and off countless times before shedding a tear that half my life and my entire edTPA was on that computer. Somehow, three days later, I turned the computer on again, and it worked. It’s been hit or miss each day but most days but usually, after shutting it off and turning it back on five or so times, I have a fully functioning computer and can get some work done. I would go try to get this checked out, but, with the lack of Greek I’ve acquired, I without a doubt could not manage in an electronic repair shop.

Finally, school is just hard. I love all of my students [they are the only reason I wouldn’t want to leave Greece if I’m being honest] and they love me as a teacher which is the sweetest thing but I’m having trouble with a few adults at the school that I’d really prefer not to mention specifically just in case somehow someone from my school sees it. Working with adults is harder than working with children and I’ve decided that department meetings will be harder than actually teaching in my future because adults are just so damn stubborn and close-minded and NOT open to change.

I’m currently focusing all of my energy on getting through the next month unscathed and unstressed.

❤ Alicia

How I set up my planner

There’s absolutely nothing like the feel of a new planner. Having the opportunity to highlight, draw, scribble, sticker, and more to the hundred or so pages of a planner is unlike anything else. Before heading to Greece, I bought a new planner which was unlike all of my old planners. After seeing my schedule for the semester and realizing that it was different every single day, I decided to get a Day Designer from Target, which is a weekly hour by hour planner with additional room for to-do lists and other things to keep in mind. This planner is by far my favorite planner I’ve had and I’m using the HELL out of it. I still haven’t mastered my schedule so when I’m in five different classrooms in one day, this planner comes in handy. I wanted to share with everyone the layout of my planner to hopefully give some inspiration to those of you who have written three things for the whole year in your planer… in black ink.

Monthly view


My old planners are scary compared to this one. Before this semester I had 334923957382 things on my plate each month, so the month view had white-out, scribbles, and 7 different colors of marker to sort my life out. This semester, while I feel a lot busier, I have a hell of a lot less to do. I have four obligations: school, lesson planning, blogging, and my trips. Really that’s it, besides the hell of the edTPA which will be over soon. Each of these things has color in my planner and that’s that. School is blue. Blogging is red and trips are pink. I also add birthdays and holidays which I keep in black so that I don’t overload my senses. I also decided to finally use the stickers that they gave me in this planner [as well as my last planner too] to spice it up. Who doesn’t love a good sticker… or 20???

Weekly view


This looks like an absolute cluster, but I can tell you it’s organized. Day to day I have a lot going on and the only way I could keep it nice and organized was by highlighting, highlighting and more highlighting! My breaks are written in pink [just like trips because it’s a nice time to relax for me]. ESL is orange. Spanish is blue and Planning is yellow. Then, everything else from the monthly view transfers over to the weekly as well so that I know what I’m doing and what’s happening and when. I use the same colors for monthly and weekly so I can write fewer words and still know what I’m talking about i.e. I can put “None” in blue and know I’m talking about school because of the color.

All in all, I love this planner. If you have the same schedule day to day this planner isn’t all that necessary. However, for those of you who do have a lot going on day to day, BUY THIS. It comes in a bigger size which I didn’t buy solely because I wanted it to be smaller for travel purposes. Out of the 5 or so different planners that I’ve used, this takes the cake as being my favorite. I’m not sure if it’s better or because I’m actually using it every day, but this planner gets an A+ in my book.

What is your favorite planner? And why?

❤ Alicia

Exploring my options: What does post-grad hold?

I’ve done a lot of reflecting during the time I’ve had this blog. From what I’ve done during college, outside of school, and before college, it’s one of my favorite things to do. However, in less than four months [WHAT??] I will be graduating college. What comes next? I know a lot of what I don’t want to come next, but I’m not certain what will come next. I have options. A shit ton of options actually and it’s terrifying. I’m almost positive everyone has as many options as what I’ll mention in a minute but everyone takes the typical path: grad school or a job because they’re easy and the proper ‘next’ thing to do in life. If we’ve made one thing very very clear from my time of writing, it’s that I never do the proper thing. So, what the hell am I going to do in four months? What the hell are any of us soon to be graduates going to do in four months? Beats me, but at least I have options and the ability to make a pro-con list. So, let’s have at it.

Grad school

I know that one day I will have to go to grad school. Whether I go to grad school for education, Spanish, business, etc. who knows? But I’ll have to go eventually. A month or so ago, my advisor told me she has recommended me for grad school into the Spanish department at OU. This would entail a “TAship” which would mean free tuition. I would still have to pay room and board but I would also be paid for being a TA so I would be able to manage on that salary. I wouldn’t be able to save much if anything, but I could live off of that.

I always knew I would go to grad school. However, I NEVER thought I would go for Spanish. I could do it, obviously, and it would be tremendous for my Spanish skills and teaching skills [since I would have to teach an intro level course] but it’s never something I thought I would do. I need a year off. So I would, if I took this opportunity, start in the fall of 2021.

Be a “Cultural Ambassador” in Spain

This is also a new option for me which was shown to me by my linguistics professor who is a liaison for the program here. I’m not 100% confident on my teaching abilities because I really still haven’t taught a class by myself even though I’m supposed to [lol] so I would like a bit more practice [which could change come the end of the semester] before taking on my own classroom. This Cultural Ambassador program would basically entail me being a part-time teacher in a classroom in Spain teaching about my language and culture. I would be making a living wage and living in Spain as well as having time to travel. It’s also very nice because it’s only a 9-10 month commitment so it’s not too much pressure for me to adore the job because if I don’t want to renew the job, I don’t have to. I can apply starting January 30th [which I will be doing] and if I get it, as long as I don’t get offered another job, it is probably what I will be doing right out of the post-grad gate.

The Peace Corps

The Peace Corps has been something I have always wanted to do. Since I first heard about it five or six years ago, I knew it was something I had to do before I die. My only concern with it is that it’s a 27-month program. I have a few friends I know doing it right now, so I want to talk to them before I do it in the near future. I will do it eventually, but I want to know if now is the time for it or not. Obviously, if I do it soon, I would probably go and teach. However, if I ended up going later, what I did would definitely depend on my career path then.

Get a job in America

The education job fair is in April and I will probably not be back in Athens for it so my advisors will give my resume and portfolio to schools of sizes, locations, etc. that I’m interested in. If I get offered a job either close to home or somewhere I could see myself living, I might take it. I would LOVE if they could pay // help pay for grad school. We will see what April brings.

Get a job abroad

There are two former COST students turned teachers here in Thessaloniki and it sounds like a dream. Having a year by year contract so you can go home or somewhere else to teach whenever you please is amazing. Not to mentions living in Greece and having ample time and places to travel. It would be great to live here but obviously, that’s not really up to me. If I were to get offered to stay here, I’d have to think it over, but I think I’d eventually take it. Who wouldn’t?

Something else??????

My dream would be to move to the Pacific Northwest, get a tiny house and a dog, and work at a vegan restaurant and write and read in the woods in my free time. However, I do not think that a small vegan restaurant or bakery salary could pay for the lifestyle I would love to live. So, this might have to wait.

As we can see, I have options upon options. I need to keep my focus and not let anyone or anything influence my decision for post-grad life [as I did with college] so that I can do what I want and be one happy camper after I graduate.

❤ Alicia


*sidenote: I wrote this post a month ago but never posted it so to my friends or whoever that read this: imagine you read it last month or at least pre-Greece.


Bittersweet. This semester has absolutely flown by and I don’t know how I feel about it. I’m officially done at Ohio University and next semester I will be headed to Thessaloniki Greece to student teach for three months alone. I’m beyond excited to teach in Greece but I can’t help but feel melancholy to leave Athens and all my friends behind. Five semesters in one location is honestly not enough. Five semesters in a place that’s become my home is 110%, not enough time. I love Athens Ohio, Ohio University and every single person that I’ve met in my five semesters there with my whole heart and being away from them for the next four months is honestly not something I’m looking forward to. As I said, yes I’m excited to go to Greece [how can you not be excited to spend three months living out your Mamma Mia fantasy and seeing all of the history this country has to offer?!] I am so pumped I’ve made a packing list already, I’ve booked my flight, I’ve got my apartment and everything else is in the works but going to Greece and being separated from the people that I love more than anything is kind of a shitty trade-off.

I cried every day last week. I cried saying goodbye to my friends I cried listening to songs about leaving and new beginnings. I cried at bars. I cried in my apartment. I cried in my classes. I cried at work. I cried in front of professors, friends, strangers, etc. I’ve just been crying.

I want to end this with a little bit of a thank you. It’s impossible to thank every single person that has impacted my life at Ohio University, but I do want to thank the ones that have truly made by Ohio University experience the best experience of my entire life.

To my gorls, thank you all for always being willing to get donkey, hit the gym, and let me spill all of my tea. To Grace, thanks for introducing me to Harbour the Band and for always getting me to lift arms even though I never want to. I’m sorry I never texted you back when we were CHAARGmas babes however I’m really glad that we’re friends now and I consider you one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my entire life. To Hannah, you are the most beautiful human being I’ve ever seen in my entire life and I know you don’t always believe that, but I hope one day you do. You make my day every time I see you and you are such a bright light in my life you have no idea. To Jess, thank you for being the mom of our friend group and for always keeping us all in check. You were going to do the most amazing things in life [and at law school] and I cannot wait to be there for all of them. To Kenzie, I’m so glad you awkwardly snapchatted me that one night in February because I gained an amazing friend from that. Thank you for always letting me know that it’s okay to treat myself even when I definitely shouldn’t be. You can always use a little or a lot of treat yo self in your life. Finally, to Sami, the CHAARG gods [Grace] were really thinking about us last fall when they put you in my small group. You have become one of my best friends over the past year-and-a-half so thankful for that. From our nights out to our Friday shifts at Boyd and everything in between I’m so thankful to have you as a friend. Try not to die next semester.

To CHAARG, you’re the reason I stayed at Ohio University. When I transferred here I had no friends and was worried I would never make any at all during my time here. Thank you for giving me five of the best friends I could have ever asked for.

To Boyd Market, Thank you for the best 5 semesters of cold Monday morning shipments, dead birds, ‘crackhead’ hours, 10-2 smoothie shifts, Register 1 pow wows, Friday afternoon tea parties, ladies of Boyd tik toks, and the best people I’ve ever worked with.

To Olivia Labenne, you were my first friend at Ohio University and I’m glad that I can still call you a friend 5 semesters later. Thank you for dealing with me 24/7 from late-night coffee runs to Walmart fish shopping and of course the Adams first floor. I would not have survived sophomore year without you.

To Olivia Hovan, you made working at Boyd Market bearable and you were the reason I did not quit that job. I’m so thankful to have made a friend as great as you and I can’t wait to come back in April and work with you again. I’ll see you at Palmer 😉

To Anna and Liz, last year I didn’t think I could be friends with my roommates ever again however you guys changed that for the better. You two have become two of my absolute best friends and you got me through this fall semester, and I don’t know how I’m going to get through spring semester without you both. Thank you for always listening to my rants about my life my classes my work and my friends and never complaining. Sorry I can’t help but fall asleep on the couch.

To my instructors, thank you for challenging me, shaping me, and giving me support during my time here. I had the absolute honor of learning from some of the most intellectual, cultured, and compassionate people Ohio [and abroad] had to offer.

To Anne Scott, you are the reason I am graduating from this university. Without your constant support, guidance, and tools I would not be where I am today. I cannot wait to be the best teacher [or whatever I end up doing later on] because of you. I will always be grateful to you.

To everyone else not listed above. Thank you for dealing with my constant sarcasm, my snoring [now fixed thank you sinus surgery], my major changes, and everything else in between. I cannot wait to see where life takes each and every one of us. See you all at Homecoming [maybe 😉 ]


Mindfulness & life updates :)

I’m working on being mindful. Something that keeps me grounded is writing. I get a real sense of peace when writing and after these past few weeks I need a bit of peace.

It’s amazing what doesn’t happen even though you think it will. Balancing work, school, orgs, blogging, life after college, LVNG Limitless, exercise, eating, sleeping, having fun, and probably more is HARD. I will be the first to say it. This semester I will admit, my class load is pretty easy. However, I have three exams that I am taking in the next month that will determine whether I graduate and become a licensed educator or not. I spend almost all of my free time either doing homework, working, or stressing about what on this green Earth am I going to do after I graduate [not to mention the fact that I still haven’t received my placement for next semester].

In August, I had planned out almost all of my content for 2019. I had four and a half months of blog content READY to go for myself. The sole thing I had to do was sit down in front of a blank word document and actually do the writing. And, here I am, roughly a month later, with all of this blog content ready to be recycled for some other point in the upcoming months. Anyway, here’s a little life update // rant post that I know everyone desperately missed.

I started my senior year of college! YAY! I’m almost a quarter of the way done with my final fall semester of my undergrad career. Bittersweet, to keep it short. All of my classes are going pretty well, photoshop is a BLAST and I’m learning so much. The rest of my classes are a lot of reading.. which is what I’m using to justify the fact that I haven’t read for pleasure since the first day of school L

CHAARG is in full swing. I had my first small group [a group of 5-15 girls who get together at the same time every week for a workout, coffee date, etc.] on Monday! I have five ladies who I get to spend every Monday morning from 7-8am with AND I LOVE THEM. We wrote letters to ourselves on the first day and chatted for an hour and a half about anything under the sun.

Work is a lot. I’m working 25 hours a week at the campus market where I’m a manager as well as my Learning Community Leader job. It’s all fun and I love everyone involved with both of my jobs, however, it’s still a lot for me.

I still have no idea what side of the planet I will be on in the Spring. I’m really trying not to think so much about it because it’s something I can’t control and I’ve been trying to not focus so much on the things I cannot control, but COME ON. This is a BIG thing happening and I have absolutely no idea when I’ll find out where I’m student teaching in the Spring.

I’m sick again! A mere two days after I got off the antibiotics, I got congested again and I think I have, yes another, a sinus infection. At this point, I’m pumping Dayquil and Benadryl into my veins until I can see the doctor again and get this whole sinus issue sorted out. This isn’t anything I’m not used to though, so I’m not letting it put a damper on my final semester in Athens.

I got a pet! This is a bit of a complicated [and also sad] story so I apologize in advance if it makes little to no sense. At the end of every summer, my family and I head down to visit my dad’s side of the family for a weekend because they have this festival, carnival, parade, flea market shindig that we have always attended. At the carnival, there is always a cup pong type game where you have to throw ping pong balls into this little fishbowl, and you can win fish. They also have a special bowl on top where if you land it in there, you can win an iguana. Now, knowing me and my inability to say no to a cute animal, my family and I spent roughly $50 to win this damn iguana because I KNEW I would take better care of it than a five-year-old and their mother. Unfortunately, I did not win the iguana [I did win 18 fish so obviously I’ve learned one thing in college 😉 ]. This other boy who was probably my age or a little older won the iguana. AND THEN HE GAVE ME THE IGUANA. Honestly, the realest one Illinois has ever seen. I took that iguana home [much to everyone’s chagrin], spent roughly $200 on his terrarium, lamp, food, etc. and then he made the trek to Athens with me. Unfortunately, again, he passed away a few days after I got to school because he had stopped eating. I really should have expected this because carnivals take already sick animals for these games since they know most people would have killed them anyway [I will fight pet stores let me tell you]. Short story long, I had spent all this money on a now-dead iguana [RIP Spyro], so I got a Leopard Gecko. Her name is Apple and I absolutely adore her. She loves to cuddle on my shoulder and run around.


So much love,

Alicia ❤

BTS Series: Guide to transferring Universities

I preach about how much I love Ohio University. Which I do, of course. However, I didn’t always have this bobcat pride that I do now. My first semester at OU was downright miserable and there were tons of times I reconsidered my decision to attend this school. Looking back on it, I don’t know how I ever felt this. On the other hand, I made a lot of mistakes my first semester that, had I known my parents would kill me if I wanted to transfer again, made me want to transfer schools for the second time. With the price of college these days, paired with students’ inabilities to choose their university [or major] for the ‘right’ reason, transferring has become quite the hot commodity. Whether you transfer from a community college or another four-year university, transferring can put a ton of challenges on the student, myself included. I want every single transfer student to love their new home [or hOUme in my case] and to not once regret this decision. So, here are my tips and tricks to transferring universities [that I wish I had when I did it].

Make a list of must-haves

My senior year of high school, a huge must-have for me was a football game. My freshman year in San Diego, I went to one football game. When I was college hunting the second time around, my must-haves were more focused on things that actually matters – the major I wanted [or majors I might want], the access to vegan food [OU is in the top five most vegan friendly college campuses in the nation], a wide variety of student orgs [I cross-checked orgs from both schools I applied to because I was very interested in a few… yes CHAARG was one of them], and finally cost. In the end, I chose OU because it as half the cost of the other school and I’m so glad I did.

Get involved

My freshman year I made roughly zero friends. I also only joined one club second semester. When I transferred, I joined orgs out the wazoo but didn’t really get involved until my second semester. Had I gotten involved my first semester and started making friends, I’m certain my first semester would have gone a lot different and never would have second-guessed this decision. Join clubs, go to meetings, go to events, talk to people!!!

Don’t feel pressured to rush

Rushing is a great way to get involved, don’t get me wrong. However, don’t feel pressured to do so. Just because half of your floor is set on joining a sorority doesn’t mean you have to as well! When I transferred, I thought the only way I would meet people would be to rush. I ended up dropping out on the last day because it wasn’t for me. Rush [and do everything else in your life] because you want to, not because everyone else wants you to.

You’re going to cry

I cried on my first day at OU. I cried weeks in, and I cried the second semester too. It will happen. Let it happen. Embrace it. Cry tears of happiness. Cry tears of sadness. Cry tears of everything in between.

You’ll want to go back to your old university

I missed San Diego when I moved into OU. I still miss San Diego now. It’s okay and it’s normal. You spent one or two years at this place, why wouldn’t you miss it?? I miss San Diego but I’m so lucky that I’m in Ohio now. I definitely want to go back to San Diego, visit my old campus that I know like the back of my hand. However, I’d much rather be in Ohio now and I’m so glad I am.

Get a job

My freshman year I didn’t get a job. I was ‘adjusting’ to college life. I SHOULD have gotten a job freshman year. I slacked off, spent way too much time watching Netflix, etc. When I got to OU, I got a job. With this job, came a newfound sense of responsibility. I had more responsibility and less time so I worked harder and more often and spent less time doing things I shouldn’t have been doing. I’ve also met some of my best friends through my job! Apply early and to multiple jobs so you’re sure to get one and that you can start right when school starts!

Put yourself out there

Going to college is hard. Transferring is even harder. You HAVE  to put yourself out there [in whatever way that means to you] in order to succeed at this new school. Do something you never thought you’d do, talk to people outside of who you’d normally befriend, add a minor just because you have free space and you want to… anything! Grab your new school by the horns and make it yours. You’ll find your rhythm and love this new place in no time.

BTS Series: College Packing List

Packing for college can be tough. What do I bring? What do I leave at home? Here is my ultimate college packing list from three prior years of tries and tribulations.


Have you made a college packing list? Are ours similar or different?

❤ Alicia ❤

BTS Series: A guide to move in

The first real day on campus. Hauling your entire life up a ton of stairs [maybe with the help of an elevator if you’re lucky]. You’re sweaty, tired, and moving as quickly as you can to get moving in finished up. While I can’t do anything about tired and sweaty, move-in doesn’t have to be miserable!

Pack like items together

My biggest flaw freshman year was throwing whatever square items together in boxes surrounded by smaller items to fill in the gaps. When I got to school, I unpacked these desk items, but the things to hold my desk items were three boxes deep and I had crap out in my room until I unpacked every single box. I know it may seem easy to throw it all together, but you’ll thank your past self on move-in day when everything is in its place [labeled even] move-in day won’t seem like a big deal at all.

Coordinate move-in times with your roommate

If your roommate is moving in at noon, don’t also move in at noon. Having a room filled with boxes of one person is a shit show, but two? Absolutely not. Ask your roommate what time they plan on heading over to school and plan accordingly by coming two hours before or after they are getting there. That way when the second roommate gets there, the first roommate’s things are set up, put away, and the other roommate can work on filling the room with their boxes.

Get there early!

Be the first roommate !! Be !! The !! first !! roommate !!!! Getting there early will save you so much time and effort! You get good parking, no lines, extra help from move-in crews [if you have them] plus you get all the hard stuff out of the way in the morning, have time to take a good nap and then work on organizing and making your room your own.

Use those move-in bins!

If your dorm is lucky enough to have move-in bins… use them! Whether or not you have an elevator these will help you, especially if your car is parked super far from your dorm. Instead of making tens of trips back to your car, with the help of these bins, you’’ make three trips max. Also, with only one bin, your parents can make the trips to and from the car while you get a head start on moving your stuff in. When your parents come back with trip two, give them empty containers you’re sending back home to clear out space in your room. Just remember to give them back when you’re done, there are hundreds of other new students in your dorm wanting to use them as well!

Do the big things first

Do you have things like shoe racks or futons to build? Build them first! Are your clothes taking up half of your dorm? Put them away first! Little things like shower caddies, bedding, and décor do take up a significant amount of space but they can spend the early part of your time for move-in on or under your bed. Do bigger things that might require your parents help and you can save those smaller and time-consuming tasks for once your parents are gone.

I hope these tips help make your move-in day easy peasy!

❤ Alicia ❤

BTS Series: Things not to bring to college

I am the absolute queen of overpacking. I’m also the queen of packing lists. When I was preparing for my first year of college, I definitely overpacked. I also knew that there were a lot of things I shouldn’t have brought in the first place, so I didn’t. Today, I want to use my mistakes and my ability to read posts similar to this one to make a list of things that I believe are unnecessary for college [especially when living in a dorm].

Your entire closet

When I moved in my freshman year, I think I filled three suitcases with clothes and shoes. My sophomore year I bought 50 hangers and filled everyone. Did I wear all of these clothes? NO. I brought so many clothes I didn’t wear at home [which I’ve talked about before], which guess what? I didn’t wear at school. I brought a ton of T-shirts that I never wore [you get a bunch of free ones or you buy ones to rep your school at sporting events] because when I got to school I wanted to dress better than I did in high school and only wore T-shirts when lounging in my dorm or at the gym. Also, don’t bring non-seasonal clothing. Bring a few heavier items for those rare chilly October days but just swap out your warm clothes for cold clothes when you go home for Thanksgiving [or anytime around that].


Not only is there not much room for appliances, but most universities prohibit any sort of appliance from your dorm room. Most dorms also supply you with a micro-fridge [microwave, fridge, freezer combo] so you have room to store and heat food. Don’t bother with bringing another fridge, toaster, blender, etc. because it will be taken from you during room checks. Always check university guidelines and only bring what you’re allowed.

Full-sized vacuum

Do you have space? NO. Do you have carpet? NO. Do you need a huge vacuum? NO. Most [if not all] dorms are tile [do buy a Swiffer you’ll NEED that] and even if you get a rug for your floor, buy a hand vacuum for when you spill popcorn at 2:00am and need to clean that up. A full-sized vacuum isn’t practical and 100% unnecessary. Don’t even pack it to begin with or your parents will be taking it right back home.

Pots and Pans

Microwave meals and dining hall food will be your life. Not only do you not have the longing to cook or the skills, you don’t have a kitchen. Some schools offer communal kitchens in dorms for students to use but these usually include pots and pans and baking sheets… the works. If you do plan on cooking for yourself a bit, make sure you check what your dorm // school offers kitchen wise as well as appliance wise. Then go ahead and purchase a few kitchen items if you need to.

Things you roommate has already bought

Before you go dorm or apartment shopping make sure you shoot your roommate a text message asking what she is bringing for the room and what you were planning on bringing. This prevents two printers, two Swiffers, two coffee makers, etc. It also saves up extra space in  your car for other things and in your dorm for the year. Texting your roommate is a win win!

Did you find any of these items to be necessities? Or are there any other items you found to be useless?

❤ Alicia ❤