Monday, December 13, 2010

What do you do when you're supposed to be studying?

It is finals week, which means a lot of studying -- or in most cases, doing a lot of crap to avoid studying. I started studying last night around 6 and here's what I've done since then:

-- Made dinner
-- Went on Facebook while dinner was cooking
-- Called Daniel
-- Ate Dinner
-- Went on Facebook
-- Talked to Dan on the phone for a half hour
-- Sat down to study
-- Started studying
-- Made a playlist on to study to
-- Listened to the playlist as I looked up lyrics to all the songs on the playlist
-- Checked Facebook
-- Checked my e-mail
-- Checked
-- Studied a little more
-- Watched the Disney Channel Original Movie "Tru Confessions" on
-- looked for my Psychology book (unsuccessful)
-- printed out study guide
-- Washed dishes
-- Put dishes away
-- Moved to the living room in hopes of avoiding distraction
-- Studied notes
-- Went on laptop and listened to the song "Strip Me" by Natasha Bedingfield 3 times
-- Went to bed
-- Woke up
-- Made breakfast
-- Watched 2 episodes of Boy Meets World
-- Did 2 loads of laundry
-- Went on Facebook
-- Found Psychology book
-- Studied (well, sort of)
-- Made lunch
-- Watched Ellen
-- Went on Facebook
-- Checked e-mail
-- Watched music videos
-- Studied a little

Now, I'm blogging. What do you do when you're supposed to be studying?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Can We Drop the "No. 1 Party School" Shenanigans Already?!

After a weekend of canning for THON, I think I'll reflect on Penn State for just a moment.

The idea for this post came to me a while back when my boyfriend came to visit for the weekend. That particular weekend, the THON 5k was taking place. For those of you who do not know what THON is, it is a student-run philanthropy at Penn State that raises money for kids with cancer. The THON 5k takes place each year on a Sunday morning at about 11 -- but people show up anywhere from 8-10 to get ready. SO MANY PEOPLE SHOW UP. This year was my first year participating, and my boyfriend and I walked at our own slow pace, and there were TONS of people behind us. My point being is, it is not just a 5k for runners to participate in because they like to run. All different kinds of people participate because it is for a good cause.

Which brings me to my point.

At one point my boyfriend turned to me and said (this might be a good time to add that he does not go here), "Honestly, I don't believe Penn State gets enough credit. All I hear about is how much Penn State students party, and they don't care about anything, but looking around, there are thousands of people here, early on a Sunday morning, and they all look an awful lot like they care."

That meant so much to me, because he's right. And I don't think we hear that enough.

For those of you that haven't heard, we have been rated by an online-survey (open to any college student that wanted to vote that day) that we are the No. 1 party school, and frankly, I'm sick of hearing about it(it was almost 2 years ago!!). If that has not gotten us enough media attention, NPR did a lovely broadcast on Penn State that was not flattering in the least bit (in fact if you have a few hours to spend listening to it, don't!).

Yes, Penn State, along with every other school I have ever visited, and ever heard of, parties. We just have more students so it seems like we do it more -- well, we don't. It also is not uncommon for me, as well as many other students I know, to stay in and do work all weekend because it is a necessity. I am here to learn and get a degree.

Aside from all that, we do a lot of good. This past weekend thousands of students traveled hours away and gave up a weekend to stand in the cold (many, including myself, in snow) to raise money for kids with cancer. Rephrase, we spent HOURS (my grand total is 7 for this weekend) raising money for kids with cancer. Many people said to me, "What are you doing out here? Go inside!"

The point here is not for me to complain, it is to show that Penn State is about a whole lot more than just drinking. THON is not the only good cause on campus, there are plenty of others. There are other organizations, clubs, and even jobs, that students spend their time with. So don't judge us on the bad media coverage we are getting, because for every article that shows us in a bad light, I can guarantee there are 3 other articles that could show us in a good light, they just don't seem to get published.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since today is all about the giving of thanks, I decided to blog about what I am thankful for...

1. I am thankful for boots because they make me look cute.
2. I am thankful for cologne because it smells so good.
3. I am thankful for Uggs because they keep my feet warm.
4. I am thankful for iPods and iPhones because they are awesome...

Ha! Just kidddding :) For real now:

1. I'm thankful for my mom, who does anything she can to lend a helping a hand, who is always there to listen, who always has time, who always cares.

2. I am thankful for Dad for always being there as well. He helps me through every problem and helps me make smart decisions. He keeps me in line!

3. As always, I am thankful for the rest of my big ol' family. For talks with my sisters, for laughing with them, for jokes, for spending time with them and knowing there will always be someone around.

4. I'm thankful for Daniel, who puts in so much time for me and who is ALWAYS there for me; who keeps me happy; who has taught me so much; who makes my life so much better.

5. I am thankful for my friends, my roommates, the people who accept me completely for who I am -- good or bad. The people who work out the rough spots and who enjoy the great times. The people that make my life a brighter place each and everyday.

6. I am thankful for Dunkin' Donuts Gingerbread Lattes. (No really, I am. They are going to get me through the winter)

7. I'm thankful for the summer, which makes me remember that there is life outside of this gray, cold, world we currently live in.

8. I am thankful to everyone who wants to make the world a better place, who is trying even when it isn't the easiest thing to do.

9. I am thankful, finally, for everything that makes me who I am.

I know that was a little heavy but I really think it is important to say what you're thankful for sometimes, no matter who thinks it's cheesy. It keeps you grounded, it reminds you of all the positive in your life in a world that is so negative. It makes you remember all of the people that help you out and make your life better daily.

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What not to wear (According to the opposite sex)

So I thought I would switch it up a little...

I always think it is interesting when guys talk about the types of clothing girls wear, and how they do not seem to understand why we wear the things we wear. So I decided to get some input from each gender. What do guys and girls wear that the opposite sex just does not understand? What types of clothing are ugly? What types are just plain stupid to the opposite sex?

Some articles of clothing may be obvious to you, but you'd be surprised by some of replies I got back. Some came as a shock, and some are just plain hilarious. I made up some extensive lists for each gender. Although I will keep answers anonymous, some will be direct quotes because I find them humorous... Hope you enjoy!

Listen up ladies! This is what the guys just DON'T UNDERSTAND:
(especially as pants)
(especially over-the-top ones with stuff on them like polka-dots)
- Heels
("Why do girls need heels? I just don't get it...")
- Uggs
("Because girls look like they are going to break their ankles in them)
- Uggs with Spandex/leggings
- Skinny Jeans
(SHOCKER?!! Watch out Katy Perry)
- Tight clothing and revealing clothing
(Whattt?!! "I never understood people wearing clothing that is too tight
and exposes some extras")
- Jeans w/ rips in them
- Clutches
("Especially when they cost like 7K")
- Giant Bags
- Make-up when no one is even around
- Gothic clothings
- Big hoop earring, a lot of rings
- Poofy shirts
- Shirts that only cover one shoulder

But... for the amount of things guys don't understand -- there is just as much misunderstanding amongst the girls!

This is what the GIRLS just can't stand:
- Skinny Jeans!
(aka "Nut Huggers")
- V-Necks
- Shirts w/o Undershirts
- Scarves
- Thick, gold chains
- Lugz
- Tims
- "Jeans with fresh-white Ghetto Kicks"
- Baseball caps with the stickers still on them
- Black and Navy Blue together in the same outfit!
- Sandals
- Man Capris
- Shirts with cheesy saying on them
- Flannel shirts
("Especially when they wear them every day!")
- Doubled-up polos
- Running shoes with Jeans
- "Cuff Links and Bubble Jackets"

That basically sums up what not to wear ;) According to the opposite sexes, of course! Feel free to comment anymore you can think of that aren't on the list. I don't know about you, but I find it pretty amusing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hold on & take this ride...

Over the past few weeks, I've had many decisions I have had to make. Some were a little more important than others, but for me a decision is a decision and I don't take them lightly. I'm an easily stressed person if I feel like my life can change when I make a decision (most of the time my life won't really change, but in my eyes, it will). Besides making decisions, there has also been a lot going on. I know that is very vague, but basically I've been in situations that are a little more tense than normal. I always try to do what is best for myself and for others, but sometimes that is hard -- and I think that is something we all struggle with in life.

Sometimes we have to make split decisions, because we do not really have time to think things over. Sometimes decisions take forever, and sometimes we toggle with decisions. We go back and forth, and sometimes it seems like we may never come to a conclusion. I think that this is mostly because we second guess ourselves so much.

I am going somewhere with this...

When I am making a decision, or I need advice, there are a few different people I go to depending on what that situation is. I usually go to my boyfriend, my older sister, my parents, and my friends. Those are the main people.

Friends are great, they really are. The only thing is, many times their perspective is similar to my own perspective. We are all college kids that just entered our 20s, we're all scared to death of the future, and no one wants to piss anyone off. No one wants to stand up for anything. We've been taught through social situations that keeping quiet is better than confrontation, because confrontation is "drama" and who wants that?

That is why I go to my parents and my older sister for advice. It is refreshing to get a view outside of the college-town view. Getting perspective from someone that has lived a lot longer, has been subjected to almost any situation and has lived to tell the tale grants a lot more honesty and a lot more reassurance -- "calm down, it's going to be okay".

Because, honestly, it is going to be okay. We have to believe that.

As a generation that just entered our twenties, we are still so young. Don't believe it? Take a trip back to your old high school, those kids look like babies, I swear! And yet, we have this mind set like we are so old and we know everything.

But the truth is... we don't.

So I'm suggesting we all take advantage of the people around us that have different perspectives. Next time you need advice, no matter what it is, go to your parents. Talk to them like real people, and not like people who are supposed to make the world better for you. Ask them what they think based on their life experiences. When you get advice from a different maturity level, it is giving you a better basis to make a decision. The opinions are not those of just people our age, people who are worried about so much, that are so scared to make mistakes. Older people have already made the mistakes, so they understand that it WILL BE OKAY.

It is so reassuring.

Use the people around you to help you out. Life isn't as scary when you have other people to help you ride it out.

Monday, November 15, 2010

freshman 15?! not if it costs me 50 bucks a week...

I talked this over with a friend once...

We were talking about the AmeriCorps, and how it was an awesome thing for people to do but it is hard to survive without money. Then we talked about how a lot of people who are in the AmeriCorps are benefited by being able to obtain food stamps monthly in order to still by food.

The reason I bring this up is because -- in my opinion -- this is refreshing. I know many people are on Food Stamps because they need them, and it is a great way to help people in need. However, statistics show that there are also many people that abuse the system, and get them when they aren't really needed.

After talking this over with a friend, we discussed that people in the AmeriCorps are dedicating years of their lives to service, and since they are willing to dedicate their time to the betterment of the country, with little to no pay, they should at least be able to get food for free. I mean, isn't the military based on the same principles? When they are in active duty they get food for free.

Then we started talking about something relevant to our lives -- education.

The way I see it, is we are dedicating 4 years to our life -- half of us because we feel we have to to survive, not because we necessarily want to -- to also better this country. Many political leaders focus on education and how important it is for our country. Not only our country, but the economy of our country. We need education for research, we need it for survival now, and we need it to provide for ourselves and our families. Without it, most of us will need assistance from the government -- maybe in the form of Food Stamps.

What I think is ... students should be helped out by the government. Students have it really rough right now in case you haven't noticed. We are in so much debt when we come out of school, and the job market is scary right now. We are poor and we accept it. We are going to be poor for a really long time.

So I propose this:

Since so much of the cost of college is in food -- whether it be food for your apartment or food for your meal plan. It's expensive! Many students can't hold jobs while in college .. and coming from me, who does hold a job, it is hard! It is hardly enough to help out with all expenses...and one of the highest expenses is food.

So I think that the government could in the least help us out with food. Why not allow college students to apply for food stamps? We have little to no income, we are already pouring so much money into our education, and most of us our getting little help from our parents and financial aid. Why not help us out? Some of us need the money more than abusers of the system...

Food for thought.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

the complex book of faces

Do you remember older generations -- whether it be our parents or grandparents -- telling us about how after you graduate high school there will be so many people you'll never have to worry about or see again? ... Well, I remember, because in all truth I was looking forward to it. Not that I never wanted to see anyone again, and it's not like I didn't have my friends that I wanted to continue to see. But let's face it -- we all have those people that we wouldn't mind forgetting about.

Well, thank you Facebook, you destroyed another social script for the human race once again. Because those people I was talking about, yanno, the ones we all want to forget about?? No longer an option. Make no mistake, they'll be on your Facebook page whether you chose to delete them or not. They pop up in pictures and comment on people's statuses. Facebook is so creeper-friendly that you can't get away from them.

Now let me backtrack. I know I sound pessimistic and rude... carrying on about people I never want to see again...

But let's think of it in a different way.

When I used to go shopping with my mom we always ran into SOMEONE she knew. She was always pleasantly surprised because she hadn't seen that person in so long, and who doesn't like the warm feeling you get when you see someone you haven't in sooo long?

Facebook killed that feeling.

Now we randomly run into people on Facebook. And we're interested in people so we creep. Pretty soon we know more about people we haven't seen in 5 years than we do about our friends that chose not to succumb to Facebook.

It's sad and it's awkward. Because when you do run into that person in real life, and they tell you a little tidbit about themselves, it sad because Facebook probably already informed you. For example, you probably already knew that they broke up with their boyfriend of 5 years and they are fighting over the cat they bought together and why does life have to be so hard? .... So when they mention it to your face, it's awkward. You have to pretend you don't already know... and if you're anything like me, you're a horrible liar, and they can tell you were creeping just 5 hours earlier because of the look on your face. You almost want to tell them that their ex posted on their Facebook status that they flushed the fish you bought them down the toilet.

And who hasn't made the Facebook Slip?!

Ya'll know what I'm talking about -- someone tells you something and you reply "Yeah, I know," to both their shock and yours. Because they know they didn't tell you... and then they want to know how you know.


If you're quick on your feet you might make something up. Or you'll panic, and say Facebook. Ultimate creeper? No, not really. We all do it, but it still sucks to bring attention to it.

Pointblank... Facebook makes every aspect of our life more complicated than it needs to be, even 5 minute hellos at the grocery store.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a white frame house in college town

It's funny how even during the craziest times, times when your life feels like the farthest thing from normal (which seems like every day for me), you can look around and find comfort.

This morning, as I was drinking my morning coffee (which doesn't seem to do much for me anymore, how did I become immune to coffee @ the age of 20?!), I looked out the window and saw the mailman. Call me crazy, but it brought me comfort. In a crazy college town crawling with kids everywhere, it's nice to look around and notice that life as I knew it before Penn State still exists.

If you think about it, it doesn't get more normal and comforting than seeing the mailman. When your dog dies, on your wedding day, your first day of college, and during the best and worst of times, the mail man will always be there. When everything in your life seems so crazy that you can't keep up... just remember there's still a guy out there doing a job so common that we all hardly notice it (unless your dreading the arrival of a bill the comforting mailman might be bringing with him... I don't know that side of the mailman yet).

I know it sounds crazy, but in a world where everything is changing, changing fast -- technology, relationships, the world itself -- it's nice to know that somethings stay the same, even if they are small things. We all need something to count on, even if it is something totally unrelated to us. I encourage you to find that thing you can count on, however small or crazy it might be, and just notice it. It'll bring you more comfort than you think.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Real Beauty"

Please watch this before reading any farther...

This is a great ad, and to many females, very relieving and even exciting. Finally a real ad that doesn't make us feel like crap about our bodies.

Currently, Dove has made a killing off of their "Beauty" campaign. It was a genius idea from PR people @ Ogilvy. However, don't get too carried away with the ad...

Because the truth is...

Dove supports many lines of beauty products -- some of which include L'Oreal, and basically any beauty product made by Procter and Gamble (which, if you feel like looking it up, is a lot.) They put millions of dollars into supporting make up and hair products... Which also means that they are, in part, paying for the advertising for these products. Like that new mascara we see Beyonce wearing and shell out $8 for... or that hair dye we all by because we really believe that blondes have it better.

Sooo.. for every Dove "Beauty" commercial that makes you feel great about yourself, think of all of the other commercials that Dove endorses that make you feel like crap, that you need another product to make yourself look beautiful, and so on...

Sorry to ruin a good thing for ya, it's just the truth! But the real truth is that we shouldn't need products to make us look beautiful. We should all know that we already are :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

maybe life was better when I was five...

I remember when people were just people. The good ol' days. People weren't married/divorced, Democrat/Republican, rich or poor. People did not have mental disorders and people were not good or bad. People were just people, at least in my eyes.

Most people can't remember back that far, back enough when all of the judgments placed on people did not matter. The sole reason they did not matter, is because I did not know what they were. My friend was crazy, sure, but I did not feel the need to make a mental diagnosis of what disorder he might have. That was just his personality. Ah, the good old days.

I would not spend my days talking about a friend that just recently got divorced, and divorce would not taint a person in my mind. Hell, in my family divorce was normal, so wasn't it normal for everyone's family? What is the difference anyways? Did it really matter? Not to me, not to a child.

It might strike many people as normal to judge people... but if you look around, you'll start to notice how much we actually do it, how easy it is, how we don't even think about judging... it just happens. Why can't we get back to that point in our life where things did not matter? When playing on the playground was fun, whether you were with a girl of a difference race or not. I mean, my sisters were always too cool to play with me, so I considered finding any friend in any form on the playground as a good day. A day I wouldn't be so lonely.

Ah, there it is, the big L word. And no, I am not talking about Love. I'm talking about loneliness. Own up to it, we've all felt it. And it sucks. But think about it... maybe we all wouldn't be so lonely if were weren't so concerned with how we pick our friends. Walking across campus, I mentally think to myself -- "sorority girl", "what is she wearing?", "oh, he must be an engineer." So yes, I am not perfect, and I'm guilty of quick judgments as well.

At the same time, I don't consider myself as someone who makes friends easily. I feel awkward. But maybe if I wasn't so concerned with things such as if some one is in a sorority or what kind of clothes they are wearing, maybe I'd have more. Maybe I would be able to rely on more people, and kill the loneliness. I could go back to being that girl that just wanted a friend, no matter who they were.

I do not know why society is the way it is. I do not know why things such as sexuality, racial background, clothes, and hell, even hair color are so important. I do not know how we, as human beings, became so programmed to tick off judgments as we walk across campus. And if you think you don't, catch yourself next time and what your thoughts are. We all have them, because we grew up this way.

We need to get back to the place we were when we were kids. Before our culture molded us into being the human beings we are today. The people who are scared, who talk about other people because they are scared to be talked about first. The people who need to use facebook to post how they feel about the world because they are afraid to do it in real life. The people who are so disconnected with each other because of these tiny judgments that put us in categories.

In light of recent events, discrimination is no longer only a racial problem. It is a political party problem, a sexuality problem, a religious problem, and more importantly, an everyday problem. Let's get back to where we were before we became so "educated". Before the world was so tainted. Before we cared.

Let's be those people again, those people just looking for friends. Because friends make the time pass, they make us laugh, the make us imagine, they make us better people.

Let's stop the cattiness, it is only halting our own productivity. The world is in bad shape. Maybe if we could all just forget for a little bit how to fit people into categories, we could understand each other for who we are, not for the labels we've created.