“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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Let’s De-stress

From everyone I’ve talked to (but Alison) lately, I’ve heard the same thing: this semester is so busy. I remember last semester I heard people talking about staying up late doing homework and I rolled my eyes like “time management much?” but nope here I am, trying to manage my time yet still am spending nights more often than not, up doing readings, papers, and studying. I think I’m finally understanding this “college” thing. UNIV 200 is the actual death of many of us, work gets crazy, and hey why not make every application deadline due within a few days of each other? I can’t be the only one stressed out of her bones, so I thought I might help out my fellow Rams on calming down(and others who don’t go to VCU) (omgomg here comes another list :)): 

  • Listen to music. Now this can go two ways and I advise you to do both. First is to put on your Jack Johnson, Colbie Caillat, or other mellow melodies, close your eyes and zone out for a couple minutes, then let the low and steady rhythm guide you through your work. The other option is to blast your power music, lock the door to your room, (pray the people across the hall don’t get mad) and let it all out. Sing it, dance it, do whatever you want. May I suggest “Brave” by Sara Bareilles, “Roar” by Katy Perry and “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield?  Continue reading

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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Stress Needs Love

One of the side effects of being superhuman is stress. I’m at the end of the tunnel of my two job lifestyle, the midpoint of a ten day work haul, and still am no where near being ready for college. I have a laptop, one book, and my parking pass. Classes start in 12 days. 

So today, after leaving the pharmacy, and I jumped in my car oh so excited to go home and snack, however, my car would not start.  I was exhausted from working so hard for five days straight, so I called my mom, feeling a bit defeated. My superhuman mother, who thankfully was just five minutes away, came to my side and a kind soul in the parking lot gave my car the boost it needed after it’s mysterious meltdown. I was cranky and hungry, so I drove myself to Chick-fil-A to keep the battery going and my belly happy. 

What I’m trying to say here is that, no matter how independent I may be, there was no way I could’ve gone home in my car without my mom or the sweet stranger. When you’re stressed out, your perspective on the world is shifted and you need someone to remind you what peace is. 

When I told my mom about my final crazy work schedule, she asked if I really do need the money. College has a price tag, it’s a burden to us all, but should I give up my temporary sanity for my minimum wage hours?

I’ll let you know next week.