Do’s and Don’t’s of College Packing

Summer is almost over which means it’s time to start packing for school. My first year at college, I definitely overpacked and filled my dorm room with a bunch of things I never touched. At the same time, there are some things I didn’t bring that I really wish I had. If you’re going into your freshman year of college and you have no idea what to bring for your dorm room, here are some do’s and don’ts.

DO bring a rain jacket and rain boots.

Initially, not only did I not bring either of these things, and I didn’t own them either. In high school I never would have been caught dead in rubbery rainboots, but in college when you’re walking around campus they are essential and will save all of your cuter shoes from being damaged.

DON’T bring a ton of books.

You might think you’re going to read them all, but I assure you, you won’t.

DO bring medication.

Create a little first aid kit for yourself with your vitamins, Advil, bandaids, etc.

DON’T overdecorate.

Decorating your dorm room is fun and decorations might look pretty, but the truth is you’re being put into a very small space with limited room. Too many decorations will just make your room look cluttered.

DO bring a full length mirror.

You’re going to want to check out your full outfit, and a little vanity mirror just won’t do.

DON’T bring a ton of jewelry.

Odds are you either won’t wear it or you’ll end up lending it to someone and not getting it back. Bring a few key pieces you know you’ll wear, and that’s it.

DO bring reusable water bottles.

Instead of wasting money on plastic water bottles, bring a reusable one that you can fill up with water fountains.

DON’T bring multiple pairs of heels.

You’re not going to want to wear heels walking from class to class and no one really wears heels to frat parties. Bring one neutral pair in case of a special occasion.

DO bring one or two nice outfits.

Bring one nice dress or a pencil skirt and blazer because you never know when you might have an interview or a formal occasion.

DON’T bring a ton of school supplies.

Most of your college work will be done online, so there really isn’t much use for a ton of binders. Instead, bring a few folders for loose papers and a notebook or two.

DO bring two sets of bedsheets.

When you wash one set of sheets, you’ll be able to replace them with a new, clean set.

DON’T bring an iPad.

An iPad isn’t necessary in college as long as you have a cell phone and laptop.

DO bring a steamer.

I used my steamer a ton in college. It’s a useful thing to have in case all of your folded tops get wrinkled.

Packing for college is exciting, but stressful all at the same time. It’s exciting to know college is so close, but if it’s your first time leaving home you might not know exactly what to bring. Hopefully you find these do’s and don’ts helpful. Good luck!

20 Things I’ve Learned by 20

Each year we grow older, we grow wiser as well. There is so much to learn about ourselves and the world. Every day of life we learn more and more. Over time, we learn valuable life lessons that better who we are. Over my 20 years of life I have learned many valuable lessons, here are 20 of them.

  1. Take more pictures. You’ll enjoy looking back on the memories.
  2. Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel. Your feelings aren’t something you can control and you have every right to feel the way you do.
  3. Don’t waste time on someone who doesn’t value your feelings. Instead, find people who care about you and who are genuinely interested in your company.
  4. You don’t need to have it all figured out. Life is a journey and you will figure things out along the way.
  5. You will change, and you will grow. Don’t fight it. It’s for the best.
  6. You can’t depend on others. People will let you down. The only person you can depend on is yourself.
  7. Be yourself whether others like you or not. Those opinions of others really don’t matter as much as you might think they do.
  8. Everyone has a bad day, but that doesn’t make it a bad life.
  9. If you truly want something, you have to work for it. Not everything comes easy in life. Putting effort into something you want will lead to reward.
  10. There are tons of mistakes to be made, and even more lessons to learn. Don’t dwell on mistakes or things you could have done better. Just know for next time.
  11. Nobody knows anyone completely. Even if you think you know someone inside and out, you don’t. You have no idea what this person has happening in their head and all the backstory of this person’s life.
  12. Always be honest. If something is bothering you, don’t deny it. Speak up. People fear the truth far too much. Honesty is an admirable quality.
  13. Expecting others to make you happy will more often than not lead to disappointment. Happiness is a choice only you can make.
  14. Figure yourself out before you try to figure out others. Growing up teaches us a lot about ourselves. Learn about who you are and what you are interested before you try to learn everything about someone else.
  15. Surrounding yourself with good people will make yourself a better person. It’s important to have friends that give off positive vibes. Make friends who aren’t afraid to be themselves and are free of judgement. Don’t make friends who care too much about what others think and who make you feel bad about yourself.
  16. Take care of your body. Eat healthy foods and go for a run. You will feel healthier and happier.
  17. If he doesn’t like you for who you are, he doesn’t deserve you.
  18. Odds are, whatever is bothering you now won’t be important in a week, so let it go.
  19. Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Life is short, and you never know when someone may leave.
  20. Stay true to yourself. Don’t let others dictate your life. Be yourself and honor your values.

Each year brings new and exciting adventures that teach us a lot about ourselves. Over my 20 years of life, I’ve learned so much from my experiences. Still, there is so much in this world I haven’t yet seen and that I can’t wait to learn.

Goal Completed + Tips on Finding an Internship

A few months ago I posted an article about a goal I had to find a summer internship. I wanted to announce that I have successfully completed this goal and found a summer internship! After a lot of stress, searching, and submissions, I finally found a great internship opportunity for myself.

Trying to find the perfect internship was extremely stressful. Originally, I landed an internship opportunity in New York, but decided to not follow through due to the travel and housing expenses. I found an internship closer to where I live that has the possibility to grow into a job opportunity and I am super excited! I am now interning for The Power of the Patient Project that you can learn more about here.

Finding an internship was difficult, and while I’m no pro at this, I would like to give some advice for any of you looking for internships.

  1. Stay open minded. Apply for jobs that may not even be in your field. There is a lot of experience to be learned.
  2. Apply for as many internships as possible. Even apply for internships you might not seem too interested in because you can use each interview as practice to nail that important interview you finally get.
  3. Watch out for scams! Use websites like glassdoor.com to search companies and read reviews. It’ll save you a lot of time and travel.
  4. Use sites like LinkedIn and Internships.com. They are very useful and make finding/applying for jobs so simple.
  5. Follow your gut. Interning is important, but if you find an internship that you just don’t think is right for you, don’t take it. Keep applying and you’ll eventually find something better suited for you.
  6. Don’t give up! Even when you think there’s no hope, there is.

I will keep you all updated with my intern experience, and good luck to all of you searching for internships!

 

31 days of self love

Loving yourself is important, and sometimes a lot us struggle with. Happiness stems from acceptance and love for ourselves. We cannot depend on others to make us happy, and we cannot force others to love us. However, we can love and take care of ourselves and our own well being. I challenge and encourage you to complete these 31 days of self-love, and to hopefully take a step further to love and acceptance.

Day 1: Write out your feelings. Write about what makes you happy and unhappy. Write about what you love about yourself. Write about something you need to let go. Let it all off your chest.


Day 2: Post a picture that makes you feel pretty.


Day 3: Wear your favorite outfit.


Day 4: Cook yourself a big, healthy breakfast full of your favorite fruits.


Day 5: Take a long bath with lavender oil.


Day 6: Watch a movie that makes you laugh.


Day 7: Put on a face mask and paint your nails. Pamper yourself a little.


Day 8: Stretch. Do some sun salutations in the sunlight.


Day 9: Forgive yourself for a mistake that you mad.


Day 10: Talk to someone who makes you smile.


Day 11: Belt out your favorite song as loud as you can no matter who’s listening


Day 12: Write down all of your dreams and aspirations and set goals toward achieving them


Day 13: Pick up a book you’ve always wanted to read


Day 14: Organize your closet, strip your bedsheets, clean every corner of your room till it is sparkling.


Day 15: Go to bed an hour earlier than normal


Day 16: Wake up early and watch the sunrise


Day 17: Try a new food


Day 18: Call up an old friend you haven’t talked to in awhile


Day 19: Do something you enjoy


Day 20: Make a conscious effort to be more positive


Day 21: Stare in the mirror and list 5 things you love about yourself today


Day 22: Spend the day outside. Go for a walk. Sit in the sun. Enjoy the beauty around you.


Day 23: Listen to new music


Day 24: Dye your hair the color you’d like


Day 25: Buy yourself flowers and watch them bloom


Day 26: Realize that you should be doing things for yourself and not for others.


Day 27: Lie in the sunshine and daydream about life.


Day 28: Buy yourself a new dress and go out with your best friends.


Day 29: Fill in a coloring book.


Day 30: Bake cookies. It’s okay to treat yourself every once in awhile.


Day 31: Reflect on what makes you happy. Continue doing things and spending time with people that make you happy. And remember, most importantly, to love yourself every step of the way.

Formal Recruitment Tips

Continuing with my formal recruitment posts, here are all of my best tips for formal recruitment! Fall recruitment is on its way and these tips really helped me through recruitment, and I promise they’ll help you as well.

TIP # 1: My first tip is very important and that is to be open minded. Don’t judge the sororities until you meet them. When I first began recruitment, I found a sorority I originally didn’t think I’d like to end up being one of my favorites and even being my #2 in the end. Stay open minded because you don’t know what each sorority has to offer just yet. Along with this, don’t pick a sorority based on reputation and rumors you heard. Decide for yourself how you feel about each sorority and pick one where you truly feel like you’d fit in.

TIP #2: This is a piece of advice I was given during recruitment when choosing for the final round. If you left your coat at one of the houses, which house would you feel most comfortable knocking on the door? This is something to think through recruitment. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable knocking on the door asking for your coat, then it’s not the sorority for you.

TIP #3: When going through recruitment, make a list in your mind of possible subjects to ease into the conversation. Think of an interesting fact or two about yourself to make yourself more memorable. For example, mine was that I met Rob Lowe at an airport and made it onto his Instagram. Another one is that my dad lives in Italy. These interesting facts started a unique conversation that made me more memorable. Other great facts to bring up about yourself is any community service you did in the past. Sororities love hearing about these kinds of things because it means you would be great in helping with the philanthropy.

TIP #4: Have questions prepared. Unfortunately, awkward silences are inevitable during recruitment. The sister you are talking to might be just as nervous as you are and might run out of things to say. If this is the case, have a few questions prepared. Ask about philanthropy or the house. My go-to question was “What made you choose this sorority?” It’s a question that always really made the sister think and the answer is something I genuinely cared about and made an impact on my decision.

TIP #5: Don’t gush about a sorority, and don’t diss another. When you’re talking about a sister, don’t tell her how much you love a sorority, even if it’s her sorority. And don’t diss any sororities either. It’s okay to express that you’re having a good time, but don’t be like “OMG I can’t wait to call this place my home I TOTES belong here!” because you will freak her out. Stay calm, and stay neutral.

TIP #6: Avoid name dropping. Name dropping could be great for conversation starters, but it could also be very dangerous. For example, you realize the sister you’re talking to went to the same high school as someone you know back home. You ask her about it and it turns out, they hate each other. That doesn’t reflect well on you. Along with this, the sisters are trying to get to know you not your mutual friend. Name dropping could lead to talking more about this person than yourself, and this is the one time it’s crucial for you to be talking about yourself.

TIP #7: Be respectful. Be kind to the sister you’re talking to, even if you have no interest in that sorority. Even if the conversation is boring and awkward, do not, and I mean do not, pull out your phone. That is extremely disrespectful. The sisters worked hard preparing for recruitment and you should give them your full attention.

TIP #8: Don’t talk about the 3 B’s- Boys, Booze, and Blunts. You should remain very modest during formal recruitment. Both in the way you dress and the way you speak. Don’t talk about boys you’ve kissed and parties you’ve been to. It’s simply inappropriate. Sororities won’t have much interest in recruiting someone who only talks about their boyfriend or alcohol.

TIP #9: Wear a standout accessory. Wear something bold that will make you more memorable. Sisters meet a ton of girls during formal recruitment and sometimes it’s hard to remember everyone. Make yourself a little more memorable by making a fashion statement. For me, I wore a bold necklace for the first and third round. For the second round, I wore bold tights. Find what works for you.

TIP #10: Don’t go out the weekend of recruitment. You can survive one weekend without partying, I promise. The last thing you want is to run into a sister you talked to earlier in the day while you’re totally plastered or be extremely hungover the next day during recruitment that your head hurts too bad to hold a conversation. Give up partying this weekend. It’ll be worth it.

TIP #11: This tip really only applies to those rushing in the winter, so if you are bring a coat, sweatpants, and comfortable shoes. Keep your heels or flats in a bag and when it’s time to go in the house, do a quick change and hand your stuff off to your Pi Chi. It’ll make the recruitment process all the more bearable.

TIP #12: Have faith. Recruitment is scary and you might be totally unsure of where you’ll end up. You might be rejected from your top choice, or realize you love sororities you didn’t think you would. Don’t be nervous, and follow your heart as cheesy as that sounds. I assure you, you will end up where you belong.

To all you lovely ladies going out for recruitment, have fun and good luck! If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to ask!

All You Need to Know About Formal Recruitment

Hello PNM’s! (aka potential new members). Rush week is on its way and if you’re going out for recruitment this year, I’m sure your feeling a TON of mixed emotions just as I did when I rushed. Recruitment is so exciting, but also so nerve wracking. You want to make the best impression you can with your fave sororities, while still being true to yourself and it’s intimidating. But one thing you need to know is you WILL find your home. You might not end up exactly where you thought you would, and you might end up favoring a sorority you never thought you would. No matter what happens, I assure you everything will work out the best it can for you.

Alright so if you are unfamiliar with the way formal recruitment works, here is a rundown of the events. Please keep in mind every school works a little differently and the way my school does formal recruitment may not be exactly the same as the way yours does. For example there may be more rounds or more sororities to choose from at your school. Still, I’d assume each school has a very similar recruitment process, so here was mine!

For me, I went out for recruitment in the winter/spring because as a freshman, you are not allowed to rush your fall semester because it would be best to make friends outside of greek life and to get involved in other clubs. This was great for me because I made loads of other friends and got involved in really cool clubs, like my school’s magazine. Along with this, I was given a whole semester to learn about the sororities. If you aren’t rushing until spring semester, I would highly recommend attending different sorority open houses and such so that way you have a feel of where you belong before formal recruitment. Also, if you’d like to hear more about my personal experience, please let me know in the comments because I’d love to write a post about it!

Before recruitment, you will be put into a group with several other PNM’s and you will be assigned a Pi Chi. I know the name of this may be different at other schools, but they all do the same job. Basically what a Pi Chi, or whatever it be called, does is help guide you through recruitment. They are girls who temporarily disaffiliate from their sorority in order to help you feel at ease and help you though the entire process. They walk you from house to house, hold your bags while your inside, are there to listen and give you advice when you’re upset or confused, and give you advice on what to wear. Basically they are your best friend during formal recruitment. The catch is that you don’t know which sorority they belong to. Think about it this way, if your Pi Chi is in ZTA and you go to ZTA and hate it, you won’t want to tell your Pi Chi that. However, it’s totally okay to be open and honest with your Pi Chi because they are only there to help you and your decision.

During Round One of recruitment, you will most likely, depending on your school, be given a tee shirt to wear from house to house. Your Pi Chi will walk you and the rest of your group to each sorority house and you will rush each one. You’ll be put into a line with the rest of the girls in your group and it’s important to stay in this order! The sisters you will be talking to are also in this order and are already expecting to speak to you. The sisters will welcome you in with singing and dancing and you will match up with your sister. You guys will talk for awhile and it’s pretty basic conversation such as “where are you from?” and “what’s your major?” and then soon another sister will arrive and take her spot. This round only lasts about half an hour per house and is very casual. Not too bad. However, round one can take multiple days depending on how many sororities your school has. Once you see all of the houses, you will rank the houses and they will rank you. At my school, there were seven sororities and I ranked my top 5 to go back to. So this part is a little confusing, but here is my best explanation: if you’re going from 7 to 5, you would rank your top 5 in no order and eliminate 2. Those 2 you eliminate you would rank in order. If one of the 5 you chose did not choose you, but the one you ranked as #6 did, you would go back to the #6 house instead. At most, you can go back to 5 houses, but that doesn’t mean you will. It depends on who calls you back as well. I REALLY hope this makes sense.

Okay, Round Two. This round is the more business casual round fashion wise. You will be slightly more dressed up and you will have more time talking at each house. If you need ideas of what to wear, you can check out my previous post here. This round is called Philanthropy round. What you do is you will be given a schedule from your Pi Chi’s and you will go to each remaining house. If you are wearing heels or anything, there will be Pi Chi’s out front of each house that will hold any bags for you so that way you can wear comfortable shoes to walk to each house and change when you get there. SO Philanthropy round. During this round you will talk to a sister and she will tell you about the sorority’s philanthropy. You might be asked to do some sort of craft with the sister to support the philanthropy. Again, you will most likely be talking to multiple girls. Also, if the sorority has a house, this is the round where you will be given the house tour. This round you will learn a lot more in depth detailing about each sorority. Once you visit each house, you and the sororities will rank again. The next round only allows 2 sororities which means at most, you’d be eliminating 3. But again, this varies from school to school.

Round Three is the final round before bid day and definitely the most formal. This round you will be expected to dress up in formal attire, but remember to keep it modest. The final round is called Preference round and you could be at the house for an hour depending on your school. You will most likely be with one girl the entire time, but another girl you may have met in a previous round might also come to join you guys. There will be a very sentimental presentation where sisters will give speeches and you might cry. It’s an emotional and personal round that has a huge impact on your decision. After visiting each house for the last time, it’s time to choose.

Bid Day is the most exciting, yet also the scariest part. You ranked your #1, but the question is, did they rank you back? Will you end up at your #2? Will you be okay with that? What if you don’t get a bid at all? All of these questions will run through your mind, whether you feel like you hit it off with that girl or not. However, just know that if you didn’t get a bid, your Pi Chi will most likely call you beforehand to let you know. Once you’re at bid day, it means you certainly have a bid from either your #1 or #2. You’ll be given an envelope with your invitation inside and open it and afterwards you’ll all run to your new sororities house and take your bid day picture and it’ll be a dream come true.

Formal recruitment is such an incredible experience. No matter where you end up, you’ll meet so many diverse people in each sorority and make so many new friends. Get excited and be confident because it’s only a matter of time before you find your family.

If you have any requests involving formal recruitment posts, please feel free to let me know!

 

 

Friends & Expectations

In my short time of living on this earth, I have learned time and time again to not expect anything from anyone. No one in this world owes you anything. Not your brother, not your best friend, not your teacher. And while I think it’s important to be independent and not rely on anyone else, I think like should be full of people who care about their friends as much as they care about themselves.

While I totally think it’s okay to be selfish here and there and to always do things in your best interest, I think it’s equally as important to be a good friend through thick and thin. You should be there for your friends in there time of need whether they expect you to be or not. You should always be in touch with your friends and know what’s going on in their life and how they are feeling. Really, it should be easy. If you really value a friend, it shouldn’t be so hard to reach out every once in awhile and simply ask “how are you feeling?” and it shouldn’t be such a hassle to ask your friend out for a little birthday dinner to celebrate the big day. Friends shouldn’t expect anything, they should just be there.

Friendships are easy to maintain as long as two people put in the same amount of effort. If one friend is always reaching out to the other to make plans or to even just communicate, the other friend should reciprocate. It’s a relief honestly to rid friends that seem uninterested in having a relationship.

And while I stand by no one owes me anything, not even my friends, I don’t want friends in my life that feel like reaching out to me and understanding me is work and a responsibility. I want friends in my life who are there for me and do things for me because they want to and because they care about me as much as I care about them. It’s very unfair when you value a relationship, whatever the relationship is, more than the other. It’s unfair when all you want is the best for someone, but you can’t help but notice them falling into a very dark hole. It’s unfair when you are trying so desperately to keep a relationship going for someone you’d do anything for without question, but this person has completely changed and not for the better.

However, what I’ve learned is that people will always let you down, and that’s okay. Letting someone down doesn’t make someone a bad friend or a bad person. What makes someone a bad friend is picking fights when your friend should be happy, and constant canceling of plans last minute just because you’d rather be doing something else, and not answering text messages just because you didn’t feel like it, and not caring about your friends problems because you have too many of your own.

When I encounter bad friends, instead of dwelling on a broken relationship. I let the relationship go and surround myself with my better friends. New people are everywhere and so are better friends.

Now am I the most amazing friend out there? Absolutely not. But I do care about my friends with every fiber of my being. And as time goes on, I’ve gotten lazier about maintaining friendships which is mostly due to the fact I feel like friendships I have to work to maintain aren’t friendships that belong in my life. People grow a part and that’s okay. If a friendship is meant to last, you will both reach out to each other and keep in touch. It won’t only be a one way street.

So what can I do, and maybe you all as well, do to be a better friend?

Pay attention to your friends– When you’re with your friends, be with your friends. Don’t call your boyfriend or FaceTime your friends. For me, this is especially essential with my friends back home since my time at home is so limited. When I’m with my friends I’d like to have their full attention and not be ignored so they could talk to their boyfriends and other friends they see constantly.

Have compassion– It’s important to do your absolute best to understand your friend and where he/she is coming from. Keep in mind your friend’s emotions and fears and quirks before getting angry with them

Don’t judge– Although you might not always agree with the decisions your friend makes, the best thing you could do is not judge them. It’s okay to be honest that you don’t support the decisions your friend might be making, but you can’t stop your friend from doing what he/she wants. Your friend needs to live and learn. The best thing you could do is be there for your friend to talk to, without judgement.

Show gratitude for your friends– I don’t think gratitude is something that needs to be shown with money. I think it could be as simple as shooting your friend a quick text saying you miss them, or making them breakfast in the morning. Even just telling them how grateful your are to have them as a friend is something.

Be reliable– yes, we shouldn’t depend on anyone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to be someone your friends can always count on. If you make plans, stick to them. If your friend is going through a hard time, be there. Be someone your friends can depend on.

Always be there– Always be there for your friends whether if they have something super exciting going on in their life or when something awful just happened. Be there for your friends even if they’re getting married and being a bridezilla or acting bratty trying to get there birthday party to be perfect. Just be there.

Talk about issues maturely– If you have an issue with a friend, be an adult about it. Don’t text paragraphs in your group chat about how your friend is a total bitch or is a shitty friend. Don’t argue with your friend because you’re so great for your small acts of kindness  and they do nothing. If you value your friendship and if you are mature in the least bit, you will realize blowing up about something that probably won’t bother you in two days could actually ruin your friendship. Instead if something is truly bothering you, call up your friend and tell them calmly and without blame on them and praise on yourself, what it is that is bothering you.

Be there for that person in the same way you’d hope he/she would be there for you- If you wouldn’t want your friend to bail on you or ignore your messages, don’t do that to your friend. We learned this in kindergarten so I don’t know why this is so hard. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.

Love your friend even for his/her worst qualities– No one is perfect. We all have imperfections whether it be our snarkiness, an annoying fear or phobia, or bad habits. But if you value your friend, these bad qualities shouldn’t matter to you and you should be understanding.

I think you know when you found a true friend when you guys are able to lose touch for awhile and be able to pick back up like nothing has happened and when your friend is always there to support you no matter how much time a part. Time changes people. People change people. When we get involved with new crowds we begin to learn things about ourself and find that we clique better with our new friends rather than our old. Sometimes we also realize that there are friends out there who will treat you better and value more than your old friends ever had. People come and go out of our lives, but it is all with reason. There are people out there who will want to always be there for you. Value these people as much as they value you. These are people that belong in your life.