BTS Series: Buy this, not that

There are hundreds of options for ‘things to buy’ for your college home. When making these decisions, here are a few things you should buy contrary to popular belief.


Buy a French Press, Not a Keurig

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One of my biggest regrets is buying a Keurig. They take up a ton of space, I only drink hot coffee in the dead of winter, and they can produce a TON of waste. Op for a more sustainable and small coffee maker such as a French Press. French Presses make a cup or two of coffee, they have zero waste AND CAN BREW ICED COFFEE. Once you perfect your perfect French Press cup of coffee, there is ~no~ turning back.

Buy Decomposable K cups, Not non-decomposable

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If you already have a Keurig [hi, me too], try to minimize that waste by buying compostable K cups. I get mine at Costco but Amazon has them too [same brand] and I’m sure with a bit of searching you can find your favorite blend of roast and save the planet at the same time.

Buy a Reusable Water Bottle, not a Brita Filter

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I bought a Brita for my freshman year of college and used it once. Then, I discovered the water bottle filler station on my floor and just used my reusable water bottle for the rest of the year. Then, that Brita sat on my fridge for the final 9 months of my time in San Diego. Before you buy things that are ~optional~ wait until you’ve moved into your dorm // wherever you’re living to see what luxuries you have. Then, you’ll save some money and space and will still be hydrated.

Buy Tide Pods,  not Liquid Detergent

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In high school [and today still] I watch hundreds of college dorm tour videos where YouTubers boast their new rooms. In every one of these videos, these girls had Tide Pods. Being 17 and very persuadable [and wanting to be trendy] I knew I had to have them. I love Tide Pods and I still use them today. They are quick and easy to throw right into the washer when you’re in a rush!

Buy a Wired Printer, not a Wireless Printer

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Both years in my dorm I had no printer for the first few weeks of my Fall Semesters. The reason for this, a wireless printer. Wireless printers need wifi to work, however, you cannot connect them to dorm wifi for some reason unbeknownst to me. So, until the USB cord came in the mail, my roommates and I were paying for printing. Just think ahead and get a wired printer to start, so you aren’t stuck without a printer for weeks like I was.

Buy a Mesh Shower Caddy, not a Plastic One

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This is something that a lot of people overlook. Shower caddies are necessities for communal showers and saved my butt during my first two years. The problem my freshman year, the plastic shower caddy took up so much space in my dorm and got everything wet. My sophomore year I decided to size down [about half the size] and opted for the mesh caddy. Not only can a mesh caddy be folded to fit wherever you need, but it is also full of holes that get most of the water out before you leave the shower so that you don’t have puddles in your room and aren’t slipping and falling in your room.


Obviously, to each their own, but these six things, while minor, greatly improved my dorm life and I would recommend them to everyone! What are some college item you would buy in replace of traditionally popular items.

❤ Alicia ❤

BTS Series: Prepping for back to school

Back to school can be stressful. Back to college can be even worse. Having to fit your whole life into a tiny dorm room or apartment may seem impossible but with these quick tips can make a hard day [or week] a breeze.


Make a packing list

In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is start willy-nilly packing the day before you leave for school. A well-thought-out and organized packing list is what every college student needs in order to have an easy move-in day. Once you’ve accumulated all of these products you’re bringing, group them together [bathroom items with other bathroom items, all of your clothes together, etc.]. This way you’ll know where everything is on move-in day and you’ll be able to unpack and organize your dorm or apartment with ease.

Don’t pack things you don’t use at home

My most toxic trait as a person is when packing for school, packing a shirt I’ve worn one time in the past two years ‘just in case.’ If I don’t wear it at home, why am I going to wear it at school? Don’t do it with clothes, shoes, books, etc. If you do not use something at home, don’t bring it to college.

Contact your roommates

Things you don’t need in a college dorm or apartment: 4 printers, 2 Brita filters, 45 rolls of paper towels, etc. When you find out who your roommates are [if you didn’t pick them or sign a lease with them] make sure you shoot them a text, email, or Facebook message to talk about what things you are bringing and what they’re bringing. That way, everyone is spending less money, packing less stuff, and will have more space in your new home to put things you really want.

Get into a routine

I know that as a college student you take advantage of having no commitments those following Monday mornings. That being said, I also know you’re staying up until the sun rises and sleeping the days away. Unless your first class is at 3:00pm [not likely] you have a big storm coming. By working on your sleep schedule and creating a daily routine [gym, homework, class, studying, eating, and everything in between] you’ll have a much better chance of transitioning to your school schedule instead of sleeping right through both of your classes on the first day of school.

Check all of your syllabi

Depending on your school and your professor, you might start using books [or having assignments due] on the first day of class. To prevent an Elle Woods moment, make sure you’ve read all of the syllabi for all of your classes, contacted professors with any questions, copied assignments and exams into your planner, and get to work on completing those summer assignments if you get them.

Explore ways to get involved

When I transferred to OU, the biggest thing that kept me up at night was that I wouldn’t make any friends or find an organization or job that clicked for me. I explored every single student org before deciding on a few, as well as jobs until I stumbled upon my current place of work. I applied for the job and joined the clubs through the school before school even started so that I could start making money and getting involved before I even started my first semester.


What tips do you have for preparing for a seamless back to college season?

❤ Alicia ❤

Back to School Series: Intention setting

Hi all, for my last year at OU I wanted to do another Back to School Series. I did one two years ago and it was really successful so for my final year of undergrad, let’s end my Back to School seasons on a high note, shall we?


If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know I’m a goal-setting girl. Through my favorite org in the world, CHAARG, I’ve learned to change the word goal to intention because intentions are something you can build upon, not something you cross off your list all the time.

I think setting intentions [or goals because why not??] for a week, month, semester, school year, etc. can be extremely beneficial. Once I’ve created my intentions, I print them out and hang them on my wall or write them in my planner so that I can always be reminded to be working on my intentions whenever I can.

A big tip I have with setting goals or intentions is not to reach for the stars. If you’re a straight B student, don’t set a goal for a 4.0. If you’re just getting into running, don’t set a goal to run a marathon, etc. Start small + build up. If you’re a straight B student, set a goal for 2 As this semester or to take a certain amount of time out of your week to study. If you’re starting to run, set the intention to run three days a week. Then once you can do that, build upon the intention and run for 5 days a week [aim for three As, etc] until one day you do build-up to those initial goals you wanted. Always keep those in the back of your mind but don’t get disheartened when you can’t achieve something right away. Hard work and patience will get you where you want to be.

My Intentions for this semester are:

  • Follow through on things I begin.
  • Get stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Try to live in the moment when with others.
  • Pour my heart into the things I am passionate about.
  • Write & read; as much as I can, when I can.
  • Make an effort to use less screen time, especially during the week.

What are your intentions for these upcoming months?

❤ Alicia ❤

Estoy en España!

Hi all and long time no write. Since I’ve last written here, I have in fact still been writing. My best friends and I started another blog [yes, with all the free time that I’ve had haha], LVNG Limitless, which you should all go ahead and follow ;). I love that blog dearly and being in charge of a group of 10 people and getting to edit is something I have always wanted to do, but there’s still something about sitting down in front of a  blank word document that requires no editing [other than by myself and spell check of course] that makes me absolutely giddy.

As far as this post goes, I figured I’d give the usual life update, share that I’m still alive, stressed, and thriving, but with a twist this time! I’m doing well in almost all aspects of my life

I really well actually. It’s been a while since I’ve said that and truly meant it. Mentally, I’m doing great. Physically and emotionally I am also doing great. Socially I’m doing great. This is the type of glo up I’ve needed and I’m sure how long it will last but for now, I’m doing spectacular and it’s all I could have hoped for.

This semester I made the absolute best friends to walk this Earth and they are the greatest support system a girl could ask for. I finally have what I’ve always wanted, a solid group of amazing human beings that I can tell anything to and do anything with and it feels like we’re having all the fun in the world.

I finished my semester from hell of 8 classes with a 3.85 GPA, 7 As and one damn B+ but honestly, I’ll take what I can get. I finished my term on CHAARG’s exec team, have already bought my membership for next year, and am now studying abroad in Toledo, Spain for the next 7 weeks [I got here a week ago today].

I already love Spain and my Spanish is doing a lot better [according to the many people who have complimented my skills // accents, which yes, went right to my head] and I love all of the people on my trip. My host family is great as well and they have a daughter who is also 21, and her name is also Alicia. Funny how things like that happen.

I’ve officially decided that I have no time or need for boys, no matter how many romcoms I watch and how my heart aches for that cliché shit. I’ve really come to terms this semester that I need to focus on myself first and foremost and until I can take care of myself in all aspects of my life with ease, I have no right to be trying to add another human being to the mix.

I will be turning 22 in a month from today and I’m hoping to be in Paris that weekend. A birthday weekend at the Louvre, macaron in hand… what’s better than that?

I can’t wait to keep up here with all of my Spain adventures, which surprisingly there have already been quite a few in my short week here, as well as my other adventures I take this summer before I start my final year of college. Maybe post-grad, I’ll have enough free time to keep this bad boy running like a normal blog instead of my 1 or 35 posts a month that I currently have.

It’s funny, isn’t it? I started this blog almost 4 years ago to document my college experience and transition to veganism, and here I am, almost 4 years later, talking about my last year of college and life post-grad. Really never thought I would keep up with this blog for 4 years, let alone my whole college experience but since this really is like my little child, it’s hard to give up on it when I’ve come so far on here.

Now, until my next post, head over to LVNG Limitless to check out some of my posts [as well as my friends’].

Much much much love,

Alicia

Cloudy

As I sit here, perched in an almost empty bus without much leg room, somewhere in Indiana, I gaze longingly out of the beautiful picture window, my eyes focus on one thing. The clouds. I’ve related to clouds quite a bit recently. Or cloudy days I should say. The sun may peek out of the clouds for 10-15 minutes and during that time, all is right in the world. The other 23 hours and 45-50 minutes, gloomy, somber, dreary. That’s been my world recently.

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for the past few days but where do I begin? It’s hard for me to share how unhappy and unfulfilled with my life I’ve been. I like to come off as this happy-go-lucky, positive, individual who always has her shit together, however recently, I’ve been quite the opposite.

In my need to lead post, I mentioned how I applied for OU CHAARG’s ambassador [the equivalent of president]. By the tone of this post, you can all assume that I didn’t get it. You’ve all assumed correctly. I was crushed. I still am if I’m being honest. When you pour your heart and soul into an organization to not be recognized back; it’s heartbreaking. I could sit here and list plenty of reasons I think I didn’t get it, I could let my friends tell you the system is corrupt and that I deserved it more, but honestly… what’s the point? It’s over and done with and there’s no changing the decision that was made.

I told myself that if I didn’t get ambassador I wouldn’t apply to be a regular exec member. Why did I do this? Why do I want one position over the other? It’s because, since last year, I’ve pictured myself as ambassador. I’ve had so many people say “When you’re Ambassador…” so it’s become an obvious next step for me. I was beyond excited. I’d started planning out next year already: from my team, our events, our workouts, our meetings, our bonding, my gifts to everyone, my last events, everything. Yet, when I read the  rather impersonal email I was honestly a little relieved. As gut-wrenching as it was, there was still a bit of relief that coursed through my body and I knew exactly why.

Last semester I PREACHED about how I was pouring from an empty cup how I was done pouring from an empty cup. Yet, here I am, not satisfied with any aspect of my life, STILL pouring from that same empty cup. What am I doing wrong? Am I still putting all of my energy into the wrong things?

I love so many things. I can’t recall the last time I did many of them. I love reading, writing, hiking, creating, baking, seeing my friends. I can’t tell you the last time I did any of things without CHAARG in mind. I don’t really see my non-CHAARG friends anymore, I don’t read, I haven’t written about anything besides CHAARG, I only bake for CHAARG events, etc. I haven’t been myself in far too long + it’s time that changes.

I love CHAARG, which is why it takes up such a substantial part of my life. Despite this, CHAARG is taking the biggest toll on my physical and mental health. If I love something so much, why is it doing me so much harm?

I think about CHAARG 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and I am stressed out of my mind because of it. I am in love with this organization and it’s really changed my life in so many ways, but I need to know my limits. I need to know when to put myself first. It’s time.  I’m still going to be in CHAARG during my final semester on campus. I’m going to be the best damn general member this chapter has ever seen.

Big things are coming from 2 of my best friends and myself very soon. I’m excited for it. I’m studying abroad in Spain this summer. I’m completing my student teaching abroad [not sure where yet] next Spring. I’m excited. I’m going to apply for grad school for something besides Education. I’m beyond excited. I’m going to be the best + most involved regular CHAARG member next fall. I’m so excited. I’m going to relate to sunny days instead of cloudy days. I am SO fucking excited.

So CHAARG exec, thank you. Thank you for teaching me so much, for shaping me into the person I am today, for testing me physically, emotionally, mentally, and most importantly: for giving me my two best friends.

However, it’s time to be Alicia + it’s time to make myself a priority for the first time in quite a while.

So so so much love,

Alicia ❤

My need to lead

Hi all. It’s been a while. I have had roughly zero time to write recently. Between being gravely ill not once but twice, 7 classes which all include an obnoxious amount of work, my job, CHAARG, 4 Paws, and trying not to have more than one mental breakdown a week. Remember how last semester I told myself I wasn’t going to be pouring from an empty cup? It’s happening. So, today I wanted to come on here and figure my shit out [take a shot every time I’ve said that].

The concept of leadership is frustrating to me. I crave being a leader. I think I’m a natural born leader with a lot of self-doubt issues paired with crippling anxiety which makes me a rather awkward leader. When I’m confident about something I find leading easy. I’m able to make decisions on the fly and have the confidence in every decision I make. When I’m not so confident I tend to overthink my decisions, become indecisive, look to every possible source for advice [my whole college career], and may come off as a poor leader. I’m not sure if that’s true or if it’s my brain telling me it’s true, but it’s what I think.

Despite what my brain thinks, I always apply for leadership roles. Ever since elementary school I was involved with clubs where I looked to lead, I was on student government in leadership roles all throughout my middle school and high school careers, I was an editor for the yearbook every year I was on the staff, I was golf team captain, I was the president of AST [another club in high school] I’m a manager at work, I applied to be an RA, I’m going to be a Learning Community Leader, I’m on the exec teams of both of the organizations I’m in… I could go on. Almost every single thing I’ve ever been involved in, I’ve been a leader in it. It’s natural for me, to want more. I like to keep working up the ladder as far as I can go. This is one of the reasons I thought I’d excel in Business. I’d be CEO of a company in no time ;).

Why do I do this? Why is it that I feel the need to take on any position that comes my way? Why can’t I sit on the sidelines and let others be in charge? I think it comes from my need to have control. I didn’t really know I had control issues but it’s something I’ve come to notice as of late. I have never sat on the sidelines on anything I’ve been involved in [except for when I first join] because I crave being a leader. I don’t know if it’s because I love sharing my love for whatever I’m involved in with other people, I need to be in control, the whole “You NEED leadership experience on your resume” that’s been shoved down my throat my whole life or a mix of all three, but here I am, having just applied for my newest leadership position, CHAARG Ambassador [the equivalent of the president].

I’ll be the first to say that I’ve been conflicted on doing so. I’ve wanted to apply for Ambassador since last year when I applied for the same role. [I’m glad I didn’t get it but I didn’t know that other exec applications would go out again so I applied for what I could]. After my last semester in CHAARG, I almost didn’t return to the organization let alone exec because I was so frustrated. If I was so frustrated why would I keep moving up the ladder? Why do I still want to apply for Ambassador, intern, CLC, etc. in my future CHAARG endeavors? Obviously, I love CHAARG + all it’s done for me, so naturally, I want to keep at it. But when it’s one of my greatest stressors, is it worth it? I want to keep spreading my love for CHAARG to anyone and everyone I can despite the stress I’m under. I think If I didn’t reapply I’d regret it more than if I kept doing it and was stressed as much as I normally am.

I’ve submitted my application for Ambassador and obviously, I hope that I get the position. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I may not receive it and that it’s going to be okay. I might apply for another exec position [definitely not treasurer though] or I might spend my last semesters at OU as a  regular CHAARG member, once again anticipating newsletters hitting my inbox every Sunday night at 10pm and wondering what exec has planned at all the events.

If I don’t get an exec position it will be weird.  Not having control of something for one of the first times ever will be weird. It will be good too. It will be good for me. To not be in control. Either way, I think I will be okay. I’ll need to adjust but I’ll still love CHAARG. I’ll still share my love for CHAARG. Which is what it’s all about anyway.

In my future, I’m going to need to realize that I can share my love for what I love without being in control. This may be the start of that journey and it may not. But only time will tell.

“The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world is a better place because we have borne them” – Barack Obama

Much Love ❤

Alicia

A new routine

Hi all. I’m back at school and already go go go and it’s only the start of week 2. Between working double what I did last semester, 19 credit hours (7 classes), and being on the exec board of 2 orgs, I’m being hit hard with life. I’m sick already (are we surprised?) and I’m TIRED (I have been taking melatonin to help me sleep and while it doesn’t help me sleep through the night it does help me get to bed much earlier than before so I’m thankful for that). But here I am, still making time to do what I love: sitting in a coffee shop after my class got cancelled to drink a latte, eat a vegan cookie, and write while wearing very cute clothes (all of which I got for Christmas or bought with Christmas $$). Already I’ve become so thankful for the feeling of laying in my bed after not being home for 12 hours and my breaks between class when I can sit and rest for a bit. It’s the little things this semester.

I got back to Athens 2 weeks ago today to start work. As a manager, I had to be back early to set up the store, get trained, and make more money! Then class started last Monday as did all things CHAARG and 4 Paws. I’ve talked extensively about how much I put on my plate and how that needs to change yet this semester is no different. In what I dropped in exec board duties I picked up in classes and work. It has sucked quite a bit but the fact that my next paycheck is going to be over double what it was last semester is definitely a big perk.

I’m doing well coexisting with my roommates. As well as I can when we disagree over the temperature of the apartment. I’m content with 65 degrees. They prefer to have the apartment as hot as Satan’s armpit which I don’t care for but what I really don’t care for is paying for it. After our electric bill was $200 for the month of December and no one was home for half of the month, I’d had it. So, after I blatantly heard them talking about me in my own kitchen while I was doing homework in bed, I walked out, told them they could keep it as high as they wanted, but I was not paying for it. We finally agreed that I would pay no more than $30 per month (which is still excessive, but I really don’t care as long as I don’t have to argue about this anymore) and then I returned back to my room to keep on living my life. We love a good roomie compromise I suppose.

I’ve been eating pretty well + working out when I find the time. I definitely need to make a workout schedule but since CHAARG will be in full swing next week I will have Tuesdays and Wednesdays covered + then a good workout after work on Mondays + before work on Fridays and after class Thursdays ++ I’m all set.

Finally, this new routine of mine allows minimal time to do things I enjoy doing that I haven’t already scheduled ie. Working out. I have to do all of my homework for the week the weekend prior because Tuesdays and Wednesday I have about an hour of free time after I eat, shower, sleep, etc. and that’s not enough time to do the homework for 7 classes. My procrastination habit will really be tested this semester but as long as I can make it through this week alive, I’m going to keep all the classes I currently have and then will only be enrolled in 4 classes next fall. Making my possibly last semester in Athens (more on that later) a feasible course load allowing more time for CHAARG, 4 paws, my friends, and of course, work.

Finally, with my routine, I have a hell of a lot of applications that I’m completing. I applied to study abroad in Spain this summer, and will be applying soon to complete my student teaching in another country (not sure where yet) next Spring. I’m also trying to make these next 3 semesters a little more financially easy on my family so I’m applying to every single scholarship OU offers that I’m eligible for so hopefully I get some $$ and can do all of the things abroad that I want.


A little tidbit I wanted to add here is that  I’m also planning my next tattoo. Whenever I start a new job, I spend my first paycheck in any way that I want. I’m not sure who told me to do this but they should have kept their mouth shut. Anywho, since this manager position is technically new for me, I’m going to spend that money on a tattoo. I’m conflicted about which one I want as my list of potential tattoos is exponentially growing day to day. Currently, I’m between 3 tattoos.

  • a bolt for CHAARG – the entire exec team wants to get them together. I would get this on my inner wrist.
  • Atrevéte a … (soñar, vivir, or sentir) – This means “Dare to.. (dream, live, or feel)” I saw this graffiti on my first day in Peru + it’s meant a lot to me ever since. Therefore, I want to get it tattooed. I’d either get it done on my foot or ribs. I’m also not sure if I want dream, live, or feel. I’m leaning more towards live or feel but who knows?
  • The last option is my personal favorite and the one that means the most. It would also be the most expensive but that’s a conversation for my tattoo artist and I. I want it on my right forearm (sorry dad).  I want a person (torso up) wearing a black and white striped shirt holding a bouquet of flowers with the flowers covering the face. The flowers  I would like are a red rose, a red poppy, a yellow lily, a yellow sunflower, and a pink cantuta. All of these flowers mean something to me + I think this would be so beautiful so once I figure out how much this would be, that will determine which one I get.

If you’re still in school, I hope your back to school is going smoothly and that nothing is too stressful yet. If you’re not still in school, you lucky duck.

Hablaremos pronto,

Alicia

Back to school series: apartment packing list

Hi everyone + Happy Tuesday! If you’ve been a follower for the last year or so, you may remember that I made a Back to School series last August. I got really positive feedback from it so I’ve decided to do it again this year!!! Let’s get started with it!

I am officially moved into my apartment at school + I’m very excited! Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I am living with 3 girls I do not know, all from other countries. One of them has brought her dad to stay for about 2 weeks + removed the furniture last night (unsure why) so I’m just trying to stick to my own schedule and live my own life until school starts.

So, from the title of this post you know I’m not sharing a tour of my apartment today (if I do one it will probably just be of my room) because it’s not fully finished, but it is a packing list for apartments! I definitely forgot some things and I brought things I for sure don’t need. Also, a ton of girls (freshmen) have no clue what to pack but with 22938 different packing lists available for freshmen, I figured I would make one for people in apartments because there are far fewer lists to get inspiration from but a lot more things to get! So, here is this artsy list of what to pack for an apartment (or at least what’s working for me).


Is there anything I’m forgetting or anything on this list that doesn’t need to be?

❤ Alicia ❤

High school ruined me

Hi all and long time no write.

I took a nice weekend trip to Ohio at the start of the month, and that paired with some family issues I’ve been pretty lackluster when it came to writing.

Something I’ve been doing quite a bit more recently is reading. I just finished The Happiness Project last night (more on that to come) and I started wondering why I don’t read more often. I love reading, I love writing, yet I don’t do it nearly as often as I’d like.

When I was part of my high school’s yearbook, I did almost exclusively design. I edited captions and stories, etc. but only because I was an editor and therefore it was my job (despite the thrill I got from turning a paragraph of spelling and grammatical mistakes into a perfect package complete with sparkly bow).

But, you all may be thinking… Alicia… you run a blog, you must like writing. And I do, I adore writing, immensely, it gives me a way to be creative without wanting to rip my hair out over my inability to draw anything better than a stick figure. So, then why did I refuse to write copy for my yearbook unless absolutely pressed to by my writing editor? Well, in my opinion, it’s because I was conditioned to believe I hated it.

School, high school, in particular, forced you to read and write things that you have little to no interest (or at least think you don’t) in and it is downright dreadful. Having to read books that you have no interest in, then having to write a 3-5 page essay in 45 minutes on a book you hated and therefore skimmed is almost worse.

I can remember being in elementary school after visiting the library that week, cozying up in my bed on a Friday night with Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and staying up until the early hours of the morning to finish it because I WANTED to. No one told me to read the book, no one even recommended the book. I read that book because I wanted to. I read that book so many times and for a while, it was my favorite book… maybe it was because it was one of the only books with large font in my library… I’m a slut for large font. Whether I liked the book or merely the font size, there were many more books after that in which I read and loved doing so, but one day it stopped.

In 4th grade, I won a short story contest (and even got it turned into a claymation movie by my advanced class) with a 2-page short story called “Where’s Coco?” My sweet little white dog (based off of the American Girl Doll mascot Coco might I add) who went missing on Friday the 13th… in October nonetheless. While I can’t remember how it ended, I do remember that the title was written in a yellow polka dot angled Word Art font and that it was riveting to my entire class, which is why it won… obviously.

We were given a prompt to write a mystery story. Nothing more nothing less. I poured my heart and soul into that story because I am such a sucker for mysteries that I got that all done in one day (I do that with essays today but more so due to procrastination rather than passion). If I could muster up the idea of an American Girl Doll dog going missing and also find the dedication AND motivation to finish this story, why did I not write anymore? Why do I struggle to blog, when I adore writing? Why?

The answer to this is that high school ruined me. Plain and simple.

Something I always wanted to do was to be a teacher. I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher because I hated learning, or at least I thought I hated learning.

Something I love is learning. So, why did I hate learning if I love learning? Pretty contradictory don’t you think? I think something that myself and so many others my age have come to realize is that high school is not about learning anymore, it’s about getting grades satisfactory enough to get accepted into the university of your choice.

I cannot tell you a single thing I learned from my junior year of high school other than the fact that I can read The Awakening in 90 minutes. The 90 minutes before I had to write my final exam on that book I may add. I can’t tell you so many things I ‘learned’ in high school because I did not learn them.

I memorized them hours before I needed to know them, regurgitated them onto a scantron or scratch paper, and then one by one, they were discarded into my brain garbage can (told you I didn’t learn much in high school).

High school was never about learning, yet I didn’t realize that until much later. I thought I hated learning because high school made learning the last thing I wanted to do.

It wasn’t until my year off that I realized that learning was fun. I learned more from the 6 and 8-year-olds I nannied than in my entire AP US history class. I learned more in my time in Peru than I did Honors Physics.

Learning doesn’t always take place in a classroom. But learning should always be fun.

How fortunate are we to learn that the moon’s orbit affects the seas’ tides? How fortunate are we to learn that you really can start a sentence with And or Because?

I wish high school hadn’t ruined me. I wish I knew my passions 4 years ago. I wish I never thought I hated the things that set my soul on fire. But here I am, still undecided on my life choices with the same fire and passion I had for reading, writing, and learning but this time.. I know I have it.

Alicia

My favorite places in Athens

Hi again everyone!! After reminiscing about my first year at OU, I really began to miss some of my favorite places in Athens! Because of this, I wanted to share my favorite places in Athens (in case for some reason any of you end up in Athens, Ohio or I have some fellow bobcat readers). So, here are my top 5 favorite places in Athens. Enjoy!


  1. Donkey Coffee- This super cute, eclectic coffee shop has the best vegan muffins, cookies and more +++ the best red tea (I’d never had it until I went there)! It’s super cute and has a great atmosphere and I absolutely love studying there!
  2. Brenen’s Coffee- The best-iced coffee I’ve ever gotten in my life! It’s my go-to spot for coffee and they even offer a meal plan (might have to get that in the fall).
  3. Bagel Street Deli- My favorite place to eat off campus! Bagel Street Deli is a sandwich shop (on bagels of course) that have breakfast and regular sandwich bagels which has tons of vegan options! It is one of the best places to eat no matter the time of day and I love bringing my family here when they visit!
  4. Union Street Diner- There are 2 diners near campus, and while the other diner has that typical diner look and feel, Union Street’s Diner wins in my opinion because of the variety of options (especially vegan ones). It’s open 24 hours and I love going there with friends for some late night snacks!
  5. The Athena Theatre- I’ve never actually seen a movie in this Theatre, however, the history and architecture of the building are so cool. The theatre also features a lecture hall on the second floor (I attended an extra credit seminar there) which was beautiful all in its own. But, what’s great about this theater is that they have new (and old) movies for very very cheap which is great for all college students on budgets!

There are so many other places that I could talk about, but I think these take the cake as some of my absolute favorites!!!

❤ Alicia ❤