Hey Momma

Today’s the day.

You know

The very happy birthday of my one and only dearest mother!

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I don’t know how to not make this your typical sappy “happy birthday Mom” post, so instead I’ll tell you some stories.

Before my junior prom, I was extremely preoccupied with a dumb vision of having a perfect date. Momma asked friends, coworkers, anyone really, if they had teenage sons who were single, “My daughter’s looking for a prom date!” Maybe hearing stories of how my mom looked for dates for me wasn’t my favorite thing, but now that I look back, it was a really sweet thing. My mom was going out of her way to help me find a date so I could have a good prom.

Momma has hella good music tastes. One day, I asked her one day for a music recommendation for our trip to North Carolina. Hours later, we had gone through all the vinyls and CDs in our basement, and she sent me upstairs with Continue reading

Final Freshman

I’m going to be completely honest here: I’m more upset to see my freshman year of college go then I was to see my freshman year of high school go. Nothing wrong with Saint Gertrude, it was just a tough year for me, transitioning and emotional hardships. But college though. College. Such learning.  So tuition. Much busy. Wow. The SGHS to VCU transition wasn’t so bad, but I wish I had known a few things before:

  1. Saint Gertrude has prepared you for college (Actually, Saint Gertrude prepared you to rule the world, but the world isn’t quite ready for you yet so you should really stick to college for now). Classes aren’t hard, just compressed, just remember to show up and pay attention. True, colleges don’t have the calendar that Saint Gertrude teachers use to schedule tests around so I have, on multiple occasions, ended up with exams, quizzes, and projects due on the same day, but you have the tools to do them all well
  2. You can’t forget to take care of yourself. I ended up at the student health clinic more times in the past month than I have at my primary care doctor in five years all because I wasn’t taking care of myself. You have to eat real meals (not just apples and granola), and actually sleep. Trust me, good grades are all I care about too, but they can’t be my whole life. If stress didn’t get to you in high school, it will now, and it may appear now in the form of a high pulse and heartburn. 
  3. Your professors are actually real people. Before college, I thought all professors had long beard like Dumbledore and had offices that looked like libraries and didn’t know any of their students. It took me a while to get used to my math professor last semester, a 20-something with an almost bowl cut and jeans because he looked like he could be one of us. And do you know who one of my favorite professors is? A bisexual woman who has her PhD in philosophy and has a soft spot for Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. True, I’ve never said three words to my lecture hall professors, but I can’t befriend them all (I did manage to get called out for talking in my huge lecture class- but that’s another story). Once I made the effort and finally got to know my professors, I felt like I could make a connection with them like at Saint Gertrude.

    Turns out not all college professors have phoenixes in their offices, either

  4. At times, it feels like everyone is in a relationship. Sometimes I do sit around and cry with my friends over pancakes about everyone else’s relationship and why are we all single (hey cute boys we’re nice girls who like to bake), but I don’t let that last long. But that’s when I sit and think about all of my friends, and most of them are single. And I realize that I’m not alone. And that’s it’s okay to be single, especially when college is overwhelming and you’re pretty much in a relationship with your job because someone will come when the time is right. (Also, it has been concluded that art students and engineers are dumb. Now accepting other majors/VCU baseball players) 
  5. Even in a school of 33,000 people, I don’t feel lost. Just crossing the street going to class the other day I ran into friends from class, the cute writing center tutor, and Luke (I tried to yell at you but you were too far away). 32,999 other students isn’t 32,999 people to get lost in, it’s 32,999 new friends to make!  (But beware of those other girls also in love with your far-away love. He’s yours to never talk to and stare at as he walks by) 
  6. You’re not the only commuter student. Commuters are like attractive guys, they’re everywhere. Don’t rush it, you’ll run into them.I think I know like twenty gajillion.  You’ll band together and become friends because you’re sick of everyone saying “I’m sorry” when they hear you live thirty minutes away with your parents and have to explain that it’s actually okay. 
  7. You’ll discover that you and your classmates have a lot more in common than just going to the same school. You have no idea how excited I was to find people who also understand the importance of singing and dancing to twenty one pilots in the parking deck, geeking out over Russian history, and love you for your other weird quirks. I love my Gertie girls, they’ll forever be special to me, but there’s something about VCU kids that I adore. 

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Wowzers

I don’t even know where or how to start.

You’ve Experienced Richmond If… got so much traffic over the past couple of days, Word Press broke a couple of times on me.

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I think this means I went viral?

I’m beyond surprised and extremely confused. Readers are finding me on tumblr and Twitter, social media that I don’t have; I’ve gotten over 18,000 views in the past three days, and I know maybe 18 people? So who do I owe all of this love, affection and views to? You beautiful souls, my lovely readers. You guys blew my mind letting this post go insane, sharing it at least twenty times on Facebook and letting it run rampant on Twitter and tumblr. I’m still overwhelmed by a class of 350, so I can’t even fathom 9,000 people reading this in one day. Continue reading

You’ve Experienced Richmond If…

  1. You’ve been to the James River with your friends during the hottest days of the summer. One of you was almost swept away by the current, and another one got hit on by one of random guys with tattoos and a dog (and this happens actually multiple times)
  2. But you know Belle Isle is the best place for tanning and you keep going back anyway
  3. You love your friends, but secretly resent them when they ask you to hang out somewhere thirty minutes away from you
  4. You can’t stand the idea of change in the city. No, we don’t need a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom. No, Benedictine shouldn’t have moved. 
  5. You have a few bad experiences with bridges
  6. The sunrise over the James River takes your breath away, but still manages to scare you because you’re driving across the Huguenot Bridge and don’t want to stare too long (Photo credit to Chris Johnson- this is speculator!!)
  7. Almost every car you see has an RVA sticker on it, and you analyze the rest of the car if it doesn’t to figure out why notRVA1
  8. You know where the safe parts of the city are
  9. VCU or U of R. You know it’s one or the other. Unknown
  10. You’ve unexpectedly run into Chris Brown, Shaka Smart, or the VCU basketball team, promptly took a picture with them and put it on Facebook to brag about it
  11. When you’re in a bad mood, you remind yourself that Shaka is never going to leave and it instantly peps you up
  12. You’re an expert at making hipster jokes, but you still fit the hipster stereotype 
  13. Your favorite shirt is still your “VCU undefeated football” shirt comic-vcu-large
  14. There’s 1.25 million people in the Greater Richmond area, yet you still run into the same five every where you go
  15. This is your reaction to “Olive Garden has the best Italian”
  16. You’ve taken your significant other to Maymont dates
  17. And you’ve taken your best friends there when you were single to not feel so lonely
  18. Thanks to Ukrop’s 10K and Easter on Parade, strange costumes and extravagant hats on Monument Avenue are a norm to youUnknowneaster02
  19. The constant frustration over the baseball stadium, and the fact that this location war has been going on since Parker Field closed in the 1980’s
  20. You get mad if your friends get Belmont or Mary Angela’s pizza without inviting youpizzawome
  21. Your first time driving in the city, you went the wrong way down a one-way street
  22. Your favorite coffee place would never be Starbucks, you’re more of a Lamplighter/Blanchard’s/Urban Farmhouse/Alchemy/Crossroads/Ellwood Thompson kinda person 
  23. You’ve lived in the Fan, talk about living in the Fan, or currently live in the Fan
  24. At one point you liked shopping at Stony Point…until they got rid of American Eagle…and Starbucks…and Champs…so only stores like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany’s were leftcantbuysale
  25. You can wait a couple of  months to see a movie if it means you only have to pay $2 at the Byrd
  26. You understand the invisible lines between Church Hill, Dogtown, Scott’s Addition, the Fan, Oregon Hill, Museum District, etc, and are quick to correct anyone who confuses them.
  27. It took some time to sink in, but now you’re okay with Ukrop’s changing to Martin’s only because they kept the cakes, rainbow and butterstar cookies and White House rolls 
  28. You have to explain to non-Richmonders about how we like to have extremes of all four seasons in a week, and it’s actually a pretty normal thing
  29. You’ve become a pro at parallel parking from all the time you spend in the Fan
  30. Your initial reaction to the words “Short Pump on a Saturday” is 
  31. In a city where we celebrate bacon in June, watermelons every August, and chicken wings starting this September, there is no such thing as too many festivals.
  32. A huge part of the reason why you love Richmond is the food culture 
  33. You’re totally okay with waking up early on Saturday mornings, because it means farmer’s markets
  34. The art and music scene is the biggest reason why you and your friends plan on staying. If locals like Vince Gilligan  (Breaking Bad producer) and Dave Matthews started here, so can you 
  35. You’ve seen [one of] your favorite band[s] at a sold out show at The National, and experienced probably the closet things to a mosh pit you’ll get to
  36. You don’t mind Carytown traffic so much if it means you get Carytown Burger and Fries and Bev’s Ice Cream and get to hit up stores like Ashby and World of Mirth. 
  37. You’ve ended (or maybe began) your night with some hot, late night cookies from Red Eye
  38. No matter what age you are, whenever you go to For Love of Chocolate, you are five years old
  39. When you hear someone say “Richmond is so boring” you can’t help but respond:

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What Every College Student Really Should Read

No matter where you go, who you are, or any other circumstances, I think we can all agree: college is insane, and that’s lightly putting it.  It’s all thrilling, a game of can we all survive on caffeine and no sleep?, but I’m here to tell you that it’s really not that way.  I balanced out fifteen-twenty hours working, classes, gym time, homework and a mediocre social life last semester, so I thought I could do it again this semester. I signed up for one more class than I did in the fall, and none of them are jokes. I ended up in the library often, doing homework and munching on a bag of carrots for lunch, scheduling my life for SI sessions around work, gym time on free days, and was up until at least 12:00 finishing up work each night, something I hadn’t done in high school.

About two weeks ago, I was in the middle of class when my lower right side was hurting. I had no clue what was going on, so I told myself it was a weird case of PMS and moved on with my life. Two days later, the pain came back on my lower left side, but more intense. I almost walked out of Italian, unable to handle a fast foreign language and the unknown pain. I called out of work and went to VCU Student Health, running into half of the 13th floor of Rhoads and their norovirus. A doctor quickly saw me and trapped me in her office for almost two hours as she ran extra tests, but everything kept coming up negative. She told me to get rest and see her the next day. Continue reading