To Creative Courage.

It takes a certain type of personality to feel comfortable with creativity. It’s a daunting thing to speak your ideas despite fears of rejection and criticism. There’s a lot of nervousness in sitting as others dissect your every thought, logic, reason. So here’s my take on finding creative courage. Sharing your thoughts. Controlling your narrative. Using your voice.

In school, I think we learn to associate creativity with simplistic art forms. You have drawing, painting, sculpting, photography. I really feel like it was all black and white. Either you had the hand of Van Gogh, or you shied away from any kind of expression. I also think that approach to a creative mind prevents people from exploring other, sometimes lesser known, avenues. Basically, if you’re not gifted from the minute your pen hits paper, give up, you’re probably a math kid. 

But in recent educational experiences, specifically in internships and business school projects, I’ve learned that the creative energy I’ve found through writing has helped me develop comfort with talking others through my ideas. I’ve also come to find that it’s something a lot of people face insecurity with.

I do think a lot of being vocal about your ideas and initiatives is personality based, but it’s also built out of that fundamental idea that you’re either creative or you’re not. I personally think that everyone is creative, but some people ignore it due to fear of judgment. There are principles and recommendations developed by innovative design firms that explain how to pull the inventive energy out of people, but I think it’s simpler than that. It’s about learning to accept feedback productively rather than as an attack and singing into the microphone, even when you don’t know the words. Because you never know what note might inspire the person next to you. 

All in all, explore your options. There’s more to developing your creative potential than what meets the eye. Some of my close friends use Instagram to put their ideas into action while others create their own yoga salutations that meet their needs. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but once you find it, it’ll change the way you present your voice. I’m not saying you’ll find your visionary passion and automatically be able to scream your ideas from the rooftops, but it might just show you that an innovative mind is something people really value. No matter how crazy and out of this world your suggestions may seem, they’re inspiring, they’re empowering, they’re adding to a greater conversation.

And, something I’ve come to accept is that you don’t have to be perfect at something to use it as a creative outlet. I’ve started sketching and using the Adobe Suite, mostly for graphic design, to try to build my artistic eye. Am I great at either? Not really. Is it something to channel stress and inventive energy into? You bet. 

So this Thanksgiving, I challenge you to share an idea at your table. Whether it’s your suggestion to solve global warming or your take on if all the Kardashians are really pregnant at the same time, see where it takes the conversation. Finding creative courage only takes two steps: open your mouth and speak. 


Stuck in my head: Wait // M83
Snap it: Washington, DC

A Modern Tragedy

It’s been an exciting two weeks over here in College Park full of sleeping, hydrating, and constantly forgetting the days of the week. No, I’m not drunk. I’m concussed. 

Today we’re going to discuss the importance of tuning into how your body’s feeling. I’ve learned recently that it’s a skill I viciously lack. And I’ve paid the price for it.

Let me set the scene for you: it was 6:30am and I was walking into the gym with my girl, Averie. We were chatting and totally wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking. Classic. Except for that this time, instead of colliding with a person like normal, I walked face first into a large metal pole. Enter nose bleeding and an endless headache. And just as you would expect from me, I did my workout anyway.

Fast forward a week, despite being highly functional, my symptoms were out of control. I had trouble staying awake for the entire day, a pounding headache that made my skull tender to the touch, light sensitivity, and forgetfulness. Yet, I was still exercising and still pushing my body to perform my daily life at a high level. The entire thing was absurd, but I couldn’t admit that something was wrong with me for two reasons: 1. I had a huge accounting exam that could either save or destroy me academically. And 2. I wasn’t paying attention to how bad I was really feeling.

Now here I am, almost three weeks out from the initial smack, still suffering from the same symptoms. Each day gets better, but it’s also a direct tradeoff of how I treat my body. I’ve been cleared for light exercise (thank god) but if I push too hard, I know my brain and my well-being will pay the price. It can be frustrating to have to listen to you’re limitations when they require you to give up something that brings you so much happiness. But it’s 100% necessary. Hardcore workouts are being put on hold.

The entire experience has taught me to be more mindful in my physicality, but I think the principle can be extended to everything we do. Now, before making a decision, I ask myself if this will hurt or help me and if it’s a good choice for the long run. It’s been difficult, I’m not going to lie. But my friends have kept me on track and I’ve maintained my goal of making healing a priority. 

So here’s the take away: first, don’t walk into a pole. Second, pay attention to your body’s reaction to certain things and act accordingly. Third, sometimes a concussion can help you get better grades in accounting than a healthy brain. 

Let’s conclude with a deep quote by yours truly.

“Treat your brain the way you’d want to be treated.” -Jordan Metzman

Amen, Jordan. Amen.


Stuck in my head: This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things // Taylor Swift
Snap it: nyc

 

 

THE IN, THE OUT, AND THE PICK-ME-UP.

October has been a hell of a month so far. And by “hell of a month” I really just mean hell. Think back to back exams, the stress of finding summer internships, and assignments and projects that leave your energy level at “give me some frickin’ coffee now.” If you don’t believe things are that crazy right now, I’ve been doing pre-sunrise workouts just to get everything done in one day. I don’t know if you really read that, so I’ll say it again. PRE. SUNRISE. WORKOUTS.

So this week we keep it short, sweet, and simple. Here’s what I’m into and here’s what I’m so over. 

THE IN:

  1. Girls Night In Club
    This hella feminist, hella empowerment newsletter has been my favorite thing about Friday for the past couple weeks. Written by women for women. Check out their website here and Instagram here. It’s for the nights you just can’t with makeup and social interaction.
  2. Quinoa with diced tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, feta, greek vinaigrette, and 2 poached eggs
    Because life makes you hungry and this is my favorite little fix. No recipe. Literally just boil, cut, mix, and devour. Pairs well with both Seinfeld and textbook readings. 
  3. White Noise
    AKA space noises that play in the background. It turns every space into the perfect study room. Known for relaxing vibes, I’ve started using this as the soundtrack to everything from homework to sleeping to crying into my Halo Top because we still don’t know if Kylie Jenner is pregnant. Find my favorite 10-hour long track here.

THE OUT

  1. Accounting
    Yeah, it’s important. No, I really don’t understand it. Enter the main cause of stress and lack of time for any kind of joy in my life. It’s fine. Who needs college? Who needs a future? Who needs to never make a journal entry again? Me.
  2. “SNR” Snapchats
    So I did a quick Google to make sure I actually knew what SNR stood for, and surprise, I didn’t. But nonetheless, SNR means “Streaks n’ Recents.” Real definition: Your ass just got a mass Snap. Not cool. If I’m gonna put in the effort to keep up a streak it better be reciprocated. This is, like, basic Snapchat etiquette.
  3. The Silence around Sexual Assault
    With all the scandals in the media, it feels good to see women taking a much-needed stand. With activations across campus and across the world, I’m proud that silence is becoming less of an answer. It’s just that little sliver of hope that means we might just be getting somewhere. More to come on this when I figure out what I really want to say. 

THE PICK-ME-UP

If your week is going like mine, please enjoy the pure happiness of me eating a bagel this weekend. So much love for carbs, white on white in the name of football, and best friends visiting my home 20 minutes from home.

 

Totally Unrelated Side Note: Catch my intern takeover on the Smith Office of Career Services this week for a look into my work at CAVA. Find the link above and prepare to be hungry.


Stuck in my head: Waving Through A Window // Dear Evan Hansen
Snap it: The school I love with my best bae.

Exciting News.

Call me Carrie Bradshaw because I’m officially published. So excited to share my article for Marriott International’s blog, Marriott Traveler, featuring my two favorite things: Iceland and Instagram.

So grab a latte and get ready to plan your next vacation. It’ll be one your camera roll will never forget. 

Check it out by clicking here, here, or here


Stuck in my head: Mr. Know-It-All // Young the Giant
Snap it: Rangárbing Eystra… aka Iceland

Ode to Egg Whites

I’m what I’ve named “a routine eater.” Same 5 go-to meals. And I love it. Ask me how many times I’ve had an egg white omelet this week and I’ll shamelessly admit every day. Not a morning missed. It’s like the day’s not complete without it. 

College has a strange eating culture. There’s pressure to be down for late night bites but also to avoid a food baby in case the next day calls for that little black envelope skirt. And I’m not going to lie, this constantly poses a problem to my meal planning.

My commitment to healthy eating stems from the way these foods make me feel. Full but not too full. Healthy but not unsatisfying. I make sure to balance protein, veggies, and fruit with the good stuff (peace, love, carbs). And when you get as hangry as I do, you learn to take every precaution to avoid the starving diva inside. Because when she comes out things get ugly and your friends start forcing Halo Top down your throat. 

There’s a stigma around discussing healthy eating because some people consider it dieting. Or worse, they take it as a jab at their own eating habits. But to put it simply, every meal should bring you joy. Some people want to eat pizza for dinner, I want to eat quinoa. Weird, yes. Harmful or worth the judgment, definitely not.

At the same time, the way I eat is an insecurity of mine. No matter how many avo-toast loving friends compliment or try to copy it, I’ll always be a little embarrassed that I’m going to choose Skinny Pop and hummus over a bowl of mac and cheese. 

But I guess this is where new experiences come into play- forcing myself into situations where I have to broaden my in-the-kitchen horizons. I’ve recently found shrimp, cucumbers, and pho and I can’t remember a life without them now.

So catch me munching on the regulars, trying new eats, and slowly expanding what’s on the table. Forks and knives ready. 


Stuck in my head: Between the Bars // Elliott Smith
Snap it: Breakfast Time

P.S. If I ever offer to make you dinner, it’s probably going to be eggs. #sorrynotsorry

The Anniversary Collection.

Well, this is a little strange. It appears that Campus City Classic turned The Next Classic’s birthday is today. And the little bitch is exactly one year old. Bring in the cupcakes, light the candles, pop the champagne. 

It’s crazy to think that at this moment, a year ago, I was thinking about developing my “personal edge,” and struggling to figure out who I wanted to write as. I was also crying in my dorm room due to lack of egg whites in the dining hall. Oh, and VSCO was the biggest must of the moment. So really, a lot has clearly changed since then.

I’ve done a lot of self-discovery through my writing and I thought it would be a good chance to travel down memory lane. When I read my old posts, and yes I read my old posts, I sometimes forget that I was the one who wrote them. It’s like I’m maturing so quickly, and my perception of the world around me is so different now that I can’t always go back to the mindset I had when I sat down with a cup of tea and that idea. I find that a lot in this post from finals last year and this one from when I turned 18.

On the other hand, I love to see how some things haven’t changed at all. Like my love for Crazy Feta or my hardcore, borderline psycho, passion for Instagram. Not to mention my undying dedication to referencing chokers and Carrie Bradshaw.

But I’ve also really grown up in the past year. I’ve pushed myself to understand social media better and to start being vocal about being a strong woman, both in the gym and out. I’ve tried (and failed) at new things, aka Veganism and 100 Happy Days. And I’ve made so many amazing memories, all captured and appropriately Instagrammed.

I think the most bittersweet parts of looking back at it all are the relationships I’ve built, but also lost, along the way. From new friends to friends as old as they come, I feel so fortunate to have so much support and love following me everywhere I go. Not to mention a small fan club of ladies who kick ass at bridge and don’t understand social media, but read every post anyway (Hi Grandma and friends).

In honor of my one year anniversary with me, myself, and my online persona, I bring to you every song from every blog I’ve written. One playlist that brings together all the smiles, snacks, mental breakdowns, and lattes along the way. 

Raise a glass to The Anniversary Collection and another year of me talking to myself. 


Stuck in my Head: Don’t Take The Money // Bleachers
Snap it: Baked and Wired, Georgetown

Honestly in shock about this whole one-year thing. Life is crazy and fun, and blogging about it only makes it even better. Cheers, friends. Thank you for everything. 

Blast From The Fashion Past.

As much as I’d love to write a post devoted to Taylor Swift’s new upcoming album, Reputation, (pause for gasp and applause) something a little more runway worthy caught my attention this week.

If you read my blog I’m going to assume two things. One- you follow at least one influencer on Instagram and you’ve picked up a InStyle recently. Two- You’re at least moderately on top of the current trends. For those of you who are still reading Teen Vogue, these fashion musts looks a little something like knee-high boots, chokers, & bodysuits. The more sheer, the better. It’s a totally retro vibe that Kendall Jenner was made for. And what’s so interesting about all this glam is that these vintage styles are main players in the look book of our generation, too. So, is retro really the right word to describe it?

I think there’s a sense of unity that brings fashionistas of different decades together when happening stores (think Forever 21, Topshop, etc.) carry pieces that bring other generations back to their favorite memories. For some it’s the Woodstock days Free People knows so well. Others it’s Urban for 90s perfection. Basically, it’s a blast from the past that’s becoming the present. I’ll show my kids photos with the same street style my Grandma shows me now. It’s kind of amazing if you think about it.

As times keep changing and new colors hit the displays, it’s important to remember that we owe all our fashion glory to the good old days. Sometimes the best shopping is in the packed up boxes of those who worked it before us. Mom. Dad. Uncle. Second cousin by marriage. The more people you know, the more chances you have of finding something truly double-tap worthy.

So, here’s to the shoppers not yet ready to drop, the social media storm that picks the next big thing, and me bringing 23 pairs of shoes to college tomorrow. Forget a bed, I’d rather have a killer closet.


Stuck in my head: Capsize // FRENSHIP
Snap it: SOHO, NYC

Redesigning & Reimagining.

Well, well, well. We’re coming up on one year of VSCO worthy photos, caffeine-fueled rants, and me building a brand that seems scary close to if Cher Horowitz found Instagram. And while I’m still the same bruncher I started as, I’ve also had a lot of new experiences along the way to blogging bliss.

I’ve decided to finally give my blog the love it deserves because much like Corinne on Bachelor In Paradise, it’s been begging for attention. Gotta update it like a closet. To Goodwill with the old, and to Urban for the new. Unless it’s vintage. Then it stays.

Here’s the rundown. Think of it like the next IOS release. Kinda pointless but worth the wait.

  • Name

Goodbye Campus City Classic. It was nice knowing you. The mouthful is gone, and in its place is a new sleek and ready player to take its place. THE NEXT CLASSIC will focus on the upcoming chapters of my life. Finding my next passions, next favorite moments, and next blog binges. Get ready for some of the same, avocado toast is probably not going anywhere, and some things that are a little different. Being single for the first time in a while is one of them. Eating a spoonful of hummus for lunch is definitely not.

  • Categories

Time to take my love of organizing to the streets. Under the HOME tab on the main screen you’ll be able to navigate to different classified posts. It’s pretty intuitive, but I’ve decided to break it down anyway.

Coffee Chats is my most general category- find your favorite food-fests and open letters here. All Things Socials focuses on my best friend and truest love, social media. Cheers to College is mostly about tailgates and study dates. Dear… are my spotlight pieces on the people who are just a little special to my life. GirlBoss is basically internship porn and Probably At The Gym is my tribute to my favorite pastime. And last but not least, Shutterbugs holds my photo diaries of picture perfect memories.

  • Design

Just keeping it in trend. Stripes haves always been a wardrobe staple so it’s time to bring them to the big leagues. The background photo was snapped in a SOHO H&M, somewhere very close to my heart and my closet. And nothing withstands changing times like black and white with a pop of color.

  • Logo

All the classics have it. Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and of course, Taylor Swift. It was time to join the pack and order the Kylie Jenner lip kit to match. Rumor has it a red lip never goes out of style.

So, welcome to chapter two. I officially own the domain, so we’re not going anywhere. Buckle in for another year of lattes, ripped jeans, and mural hunts.



Stuck in my Head: There’s a Honey // Pale Waves

Props to me for pulling this redesign off in one day. The only thing I’ve ever procrastinated and it looks like it worked out. Maybe I’ll have to try it again sometime. And a huge thank you to Lorde Radio on Spotify and Coco’s Popped Ricecakes for getting me through it. 

Tomato, Sweet Potato.

Everyone loves a good vacation. Whether you’re a sand in my toes or skyscrapers as far as the eye can see kind of traveler, there are very few people who would hate on an escape from everyday life.

I’ve been very fortunate to hit some amazing cities in my life so far, Lisbon and Reyjkavik topping the list. But no matter where the plane lands, my travel goals are still the same. Find the soul of the city. Make a memory. Capture the moment. 

On my latest venture to the ever-so iconic concrete jungle, I started to think about the different values people have when exploring. For some it’s food, others it’s adventure. And it can really change the way a trip unfolds.

Finding the perfect travel companion is like picking the perfect pair of Adidas. The styles might be very similar, but one detail can make the difference. For me, I look for a photographer, a stylist, an honest evaluator, and an eye for a unqiue perspective. Someone ready to hunt for hidden jems to earn a double tap at the end of the day… and maybe split an almond-milk latte in there, too. 

There’s more to all this than just a curated feed. Of course, location (besides company) is everything in an experience. A jungle excursion to Costa Rica doesn’t call for the cutest pair of over-the-knee boots (unless you’re going for a totally Gigi Hadid Vogue vibe), and rainy walks around Key West might require some waterproof, not-so-hot gear. Stepping out of the airport is a commitment to embrace the moment, so strap on your zip lining harness and splash through the puddles with a smile. 

Pulling it back to the main point, travel is different to everyone. You say tomato, I say sweet potato. But in the end, no matter where you go and why, you’re getting the chance to explore the world. And nothing is better than that. Period.

 


Stuck in my head: Woke the F Up (acoustic) // Jon Bellion
Snap it: The Whitney Rooftop, NYC

An Open Letter To Online Shopping.

Dear Online Shopping,

You’re pretty great. I mean who doesn’t love clothes you love at your doorstep in the blink of an eye. My appreciation only grows with the number of boxes that show up on the daily. 

But there’s one thing we have to talk about a little bit. Just a small complaint. Please don’t get mad. Here it goes.

It’s so hard to build a virutal wardrobe when sizing isn’t consistant between sites. There’s no way a size small from Brandy Melville is the same size small from Madewell. And well, it’s kind of frustrating to always have to play this guessing game.

And I know this is a tough problem to fix. But I feel like the illuminati of online retail can come together and settle on standard measurements for the world to follow. It’s not thaaaat difficult. Just one little meeting and it’s all over. Urban Outfitters, Topshop, J.Crew, you guys can spearhead this one, right?

Free returns TOTALLY help. Any site that isn’t free returns can kiss my fashion forward foot goodbye. Free shipping doesn’t hurt either, by the way. But maybe we can follow Birchbox’s lead and figure out a better system for finding the perfect piece. Or we could create a more understandable measurement guide. Something like “If you have the butt of Kim Kardashian but the arms of Karlie Kloss, this dress is probably for you.”

Like I said, you’re truly a life changing. Gotta say, slightly mad at you for putting brick-and-mortar on the fritz because I love a good rack hunt, but the best part of all of this is that you’re still maturing. Everyday there’s something new; from same day delivery to online exclusives, this is only the beginning and you have so much potential. 

So, let’s just fix this while you’re ahead. No pressure, but the fate of fashion’s future rests in your shopping cart. 


Stuck in my head: New Slang // The Shins
Snap it: Madewell, Tyson’s Corner mall

Headphones in…

Before I was ~cultured~, the only iTunes playlist that got any attention was, undeniably, my Taylor Swift collection. In between sessions of fangirling and building my shrine, I downloaded endless hours the pop-country crossover. It was part of my identity. I was Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift was me.

Let me set the scene for you and really let you grasp the scale of my dedication. I turned my room into a photo gallery, pasted her outfits on my mirror for inspiration, left sleepaway camp for her concert (1 of many), memorized her addresses (and took pictures outside when I visited), had fan pages, and blocked close friends on social media for criticizing her. Honestly, this list could go on, but let’s leave me with some dignity.

It wasn’t just her that I loved, it was the way her music made me feel that I fell in love with. Knowing all the words to a song is exciting. Knowing all the words to all the songs on every album is a sense of community. And it wasn’t until my senior year of high school, 6.5 years after the obsession started, that I realized other artists could make me feel the same way.

Discovering new sounds was incredible. Landmark Music Festival was a huge turning point for me, as was growing to love MC and the music he listened to. I’ve found some of my favorite music since then: Houndmouth, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, HAIM, Lorde. My transition from Swift to the streets (this is a reference to the college essay I wrote on her) marked my *true* maturity.

So while walking the Dover Downs at Firefly (a music festival) this past weekend the question that caught my eye was “what does music do for you?” And it took me a hot second to figure it out, but I think music has helped me grow and change and seek new opportunities. It’s taught me that you can always find a new passion, and it doesn’t have to replace an old one.

I’ll always be willing to trade an arm and a leg for another chance to stand stage side at Taylor’s concerts. It’s part of who I am and what I love. I just don’t need to wear an entire outfit with her face on it and talk to pictures of her anymore.

Wow, look at all this adultness. If you knew me between 2011-2015 you probably thought this day would never come. Well, same.


Stuck in my head: Sober II (Melodrama) // Lorde
Snap it: Firefly Music Festival

Losing All My Wisdom. 

Warning: This is just a quick, little life update. No profound epiphanies here. I promise.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past two days, it is that I really really hate being in pain but I really really love complaining about it. 

Yesterday I got my wisdom teeth out. Upon waking up from the surgery, I cried for about 45 minutes straight. I literally sat and bawled my eyes out. Now, most of this is probably due to the drugs, but I was also terrified because 1) I did not think I had a tongue and 2) I thought there was a dog stuck in a video camera on the ceiling. So yeah, probably the drugs.

I’m also always the first person to send an Evite out to my own (self) pity party. I mean, I can do anything I set my mind to, no matter how brutal or daunting a task, but I will shed some tears along the way. Call it a flaw in my character, call it actually showing emotion. You can choose. Bottom line, party will be at 1pm tomorrow. Please bring shmushy dairy-free food. I repeat. No dairy. Let’s just call the fact that I can’t even enjoy a good ice cream sundae during my recovery another reason this party is totally and completely necessary. Also btw, presents not mandatory, but required.

Luckily I have the best childhood babysitter/second mom in the world who has spoon fed me every meal so far and allowed me to be the drama queen of the century. A few other thank yous: the male nurse who held my hand and got me a blanket as I snotted, cried, and shivered in the doctors office, my dad for watching me drool a lot of blood & making sure I didn’t get it on the furniture, my boyfriend for not breaking up with me for being a diva (we’re talking Jenna Maroney 30 Rock vibes), my sister for telling me I’m the most hilarious chipmunk ever, and my mom for planning this whole torturous affair.

I would end this with some adorable videos of me singing my two favorite musicals, Hamilton and Les Mis, while extremely under the influence of anesthesia but we really don’t need that on the internet forever. And I forgot to save the Hamilton one. So life just got a whole lot more tragic. 




Stuck in my head: Reminder // The Weeknd
Snap it: Dolcezza Factory, DC (AKA What I want to eat right now. This second. Please.)