“I Deserve This!”

It’s been a couple weeks since my last post, and this time I have a legitimate reason: for the past two or three weeks I’ve migrated to the Cabell Library at VCU, spending hours upon hours making flashcards, doing those readings I said didn’t matter during the semester, researching and writing papers. Running around with these high levels of stress and too heavy backpacks with books I forgot I owned yet suddenly needed, I couldn’t help but notice me being in line at Starbucks getting fancy lattes I almost never drink, and scavenging my backpack for any forgotten about Halloween candy I had stored away earlier. As I’d sit and sip in the library and watch people walk by (secretly hoping one of my friends could be turning the corner and save me from these sociology terms), the other fellow sleepless students brought Chipotle and triple shot espressos, whispering to each other, “it’s exam week, we deserve this”.

Of course I agreed with these basic white girls and boys. Stress levels tend to run crazy high during this time of the semester, and since food and coffee are known panaceas, it’s quite the social norm to splurge for a burrito bowl or two…or seven… However, there’s something I would like to change. Let’s forever keep this “treat yo self” attitude that recently evolved on social media and put it in our everyday lives.

Let’s think about it. How many times did Wheelchair Jimmy tell us that we live? Once. Exactly. You only live once. That’s the motto. YOLO. That song is really dumb and like five years old, I know, but it does drive home the point. You only live once. Do you want to live it sad, off in the corner, with no laughter, cake, flowers, or VCU basketball, sulking, eating celery and go to ODU? Or would you want to be a happy person, who looks for the positive, eating the good food in life, and enjoys themselves? We should be looking at everyday as a reason to celebrate, “Hey, I’m alive and breathing, in mild to amazing health, I can get out of my bed and go to my job and/or schooling, which I am really lucky to have. I deserve a good cup of coffee, a pretty amazing lunch, and a great way to end the night. Because I’m alive and kicking, and I’m one pretty decent human being, at least by my standards, and those are the only ones that actually matter”.

Now as a poor college kid, money is slightly an obsession (you never have enough of it, the school is always asking too much of it, and your major needs to make enough of it), so I can’t and don’t suggest eating out all the time for every meal, but there are some ways to work with that. Restaurant it out as much/little your wallet allows, (I would suggest enough so that you can sample Richmond’s food scene, but it’s up to you). But cooking though. Cook your favorite foods. Try new recipes. Don’t say that you can’t cook. Cooking is an important skill to adult-ing and comes with practice. Plus, it’s going to be a lot cheaper than eating out, while still allowing you a great food experience. Check out places like Food Gawker and Pinterest for lifetime’s worth of new recipes to discover. Yeah, that $23 dinner plate at Can Can is going to blow your pants off, but how much cheaper could you make something similar at home?

Channel your inner Beyonce and you can do anything!

Also, the mini dietitian in my head is asking for a paragraph to advocate health. Treating yourself with food can be healthy, it’s not always chocolate and sugars. You like spinach, feta, almonds, and grapes? Hello, perfect salad right there! You’re a chicken kinda person? Bake it with some carrots, onions, and celery in a white wine sauce. It’s bellisima. Few things are as perfect as biting into an apple you picked yourself, but homemade honey-almond granola is a top contender. Treating yo self shouldn’t have to involve diabetes.

Plot twist: Treating yourself isn’t always about great food. Bear with me here for a second, let me explain: there are other great life experiences other than a Tres Leches Kuba Kuba cake. They’re often known as friends. Friends are important. Don’t forget about them. In school, it’s really easy to disappear and hide in the library, work, or your bedroom because life takes over, and really we can’t let that happen. You forget that your friends exist, and that there’s a life outside of your Primary Sources paper. This happened to me and my friends for about two months this semester and it was a really crappy time. We’re still recovering from this. School seems so important, and it is, but don’t forget to have fun. Go to concerts, meet up and play Cards Against Humanity, hey cook for each other, and don’t forget to bring a cake!

CAKE

But seriously, you should live like even Monday is a holiday. Get a job that you actually like. Live with people you have fun with. Study a subject that you enjoy outside of school. Enjoy your friends. Do more of what makes you happy. Because seriously, it’s not going to do anyone any good if you’re not enjoying your life. So if you don’t mind, I have some Phillippa Gregory novels and a pint of Blanchard’s coffee gelato from Celesti (a perfect marriage from two local businesses) in the fridge and I’m going to have a perfectly amazing Sunday night with my cat.eaticecream

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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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Stress and Exams

Oh, Richmond weather. You never cease to try to screw me over. Did you guys see what happened on Sunday? I looked out my window to a lot of cold rain, ice, the leaves were frozen over, and a little bit of snow, and I couldn’t help but wonder, Who actually likes winter?!? Is there anyone looking outside going, yep, good idea, Weather Gods, we should do this more often. I had heard that it was going to be a bad ice storm, but I kinda ignored everyone’s worrying because it kills my mellow and it’s still summer in my head. So, like many other college students, I was studying ridiculously for my History 101 exam until late at night, until I decided I knew enough and it was time to sleep. My body thought otherwise, and I just laid in bed, maybe getting a few minutes here or there. At one point, I looked at my clock, which read 4:45. Then its light when out, and the fan slowed down to a stop.

I should’ve listened to my mother a little more closely when she kept me in lockdown on Sunday and fretted about losing power. I thought she was stressing out too much over something that may not happen, and there we were, in the darkest dark. At 6:30 she came knocking on James’ and my doors and handing out flashlights, “James, get up. I’m taking you to school. Claire, have fun getting to school.”

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Well me and my little icy car made it to VCU, perfect timing to stumble upon Hannah in the parking deck and hang out in the library before hand. Then I walked into MCALC without my Blue Book and my eyes flashed to that line in the syllabus where it says you will lose 10 points on the exam if you don’t have one. I tried to explain this to my professor, who told me to go to 7-11 and buy one. “You need a Blue Book?” My metro hipster friend asked me, and pulled out an extra one. Aw, the first time he talks to me in weeks and he’s being nice! I paid him a quarter for the book and offered him a mint, before we both kicked the exam’s butt back into history.

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Then, to beat the stress, Janey, Sean, Hannah and I played with puppies in the ballroom!! (You are never too old for animals)

enhanced-buzz-15360-1386260711-8 (No corgis there, they’re just awesome). Then Janey left us because she has an awful UNIV 112 class that is asking her to write papers during exam week, so the rest of us went to the library- intentionally to study, but come one, we are sleep deprived, brain fried, college students. We just ended up making fun of each other and going to Bleecker St Cafe.

While Hannah and I were talking to Sean about his boys, we asked if we could hang out with his roommates again, which Sean replied that we would actually have to talk to them. Doesn’t he know that not only does that involve effort, we also have no idea how to boy.

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I then realized while Hannah and I were making our fun winter break to do list, that we’re pretty much in a relationship. I don’t know how Alison is going to feel about that since we’re getting married, and at the same time, Janey might leave Sean and run into the kitchen with me to make Thai Iced Tea and cookies. No seriously why I am sitting around asking for a boyfriend when I have friends that are actually insanely awesome now? (Also can I see my other friends before you leave me for break?)

Image(If you click it’s more than just Chandler!) (BTW sorry about all of this clicking problems, the elite blogging team is working on fixing this. So if any computer geek knows how to fix it, please let me know. I pay in love and baked goods)

Okay class, so what did we learn here today? Claire can’t function without her coffee and Good Morning America, serendipity is on your side during exam week, and we should forget about waiting for boys when we can bake and go to concerts with our best friends. Okay, I might sleep now to make up for lost time. Plus side of college: month long breaks, which means more time to blog! Good luck with exams, I believe in you!

~Miss Gerloff

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Ending Your First Semester

I think I ended my first semester on the right foot: I met my husband last week.

So I was in Starbucks before Italian one morning (like always) and there was a really attractive guy in front of me so I tried not to stare while we waited. When my little barista friend asked what he wanted, he told them a chai tea so I internally went haywire like omg pretty boy that’s my favorite drink stop we’re meant to be then regained normalcy so I could order coffee. So Mike, as I found out his name from his Starbucks order, and I met up again at the table in the back and we both poured honey in our drinks and I got all a flutter at this reinforcement that we’re meant to be. What a cutie, he probably likes scarves and the art museum and is majoring in English or something other liberal art. Mike and I are getting married now, at our wedding the cake will be layers of chai tea and espresso cake with a honey buttercream frosting. Starbucks baristas will be the flower girls, but they’ll toss tea leaves instead of flowers and instead of throwing rice at the end, there will be baskets of espresso beans. Don’t stain my dress or Mike will beat you up.

willyoumarryme

I’m sad the semester is ending for more reasons than all the Starbucks stalking for husbands. A couple of days after I registered for next semester, I realized that it meant three things.

1. I never have to take math ever, ever again. I took my one and only math credit and I’m done. As a wanna be art kid, my notes typically ended up like this:

mathnotes(you’re gonna wanna click to enjoy it!)

Thank the Jesús Christo no more logs and regression or whatever that stuff is that I learned this semester. More time for Italian, political science, art and of course, HISTORY!

spongebob-math-1

(Click this too!)

2. I’m taking new classes next semester with new people. As in I won’t have math with  the two friends I made in that class anymore. Jordan and I won’t sit there and refuse to do the work and Brice won’t explain everything to us. And my metrosexual hipster friend won’t spend another history class online shopping while I furiously try to write down everything the professor says. (Okay so he spent the last class google searching something on images and I couldn’t tell what it was- trees, Grecian pottery, and houses came up). New people does mean more chances to meet cute boys, and Hannah and I were just talking about how we need new chances for boys.

cuteguyalert

3. Sean, Vivian and I aren’t going to have 10:00 free together anymore. No more meet ups in the Commons! What am I going to do without my bidaily visits with my small Asian friend and best guy friend? At least Sean is in my Italian 102.

It’s so strange to think I’ve almost finished my first semester here. I’ve learned as much as I would’ve in a year long class in high school. The first semester surely wasn’t easy, but I made it hip hip hooray now only…nine more to go? It’s not going to be easy or cheap, but it’s going to be hella worth it when I get out with those degrees. All though I wasn’t happy at first to commute, it ended up better than I thought. Dorm life reminds me too much of hotels, plus I still had mini experiences of it with Honors Dorm sleepovers with Alison. Meal plans for commuters are also extremely dumb because your friends end up with 145 swipes with two weeks left to go so you just end up leeching off of them. And at times I felt like I wasn’t getting the full college experience, working twenty hours and always being home, but like I said earlier, it’s going to be worth it. I have a Sean and a Hannah and an Alison plus more amazing friends that are going to make the next few years here bearable, and the new friends I am going to make.

Okay, it’s exam week so I’m going back to Starbucks to drink more coffee and find Mike (can’t lose my husband again!). Meh, why must my 11:00 have a Monday morning exam at 8:00? Cool logic, bro.

hipsterwedding Do you like our engagement photo?

 

On a more solemn note, Happy Birthday to my Granddaddy. I love you and miss you so much. Thanks for supporting me then and being my angel now. 420757_3393812243094_2100858870_n