OK Ladies.

Girl gang. Squad. Club. Group message. They’re all synonyms for whatever you call the set of basic bitches that make up your speed dial. Even before TSwift and the ladies that grace her Instagram, girls have depended on girls. We flock to each other. And nothing makes me happier. Call me a girl’s girl or a feminist or whatever.

There’s something so incredible about the loyalty and love that grows in female friendships. Being in college, I’ve seen a lot of shambly things: missing shoes, slices of pizza bigger than my face, girls tumbling off picnic tables. You name it, there’s a good chance it’s on someones’ finsta somewhere. But through it all, there’s always a knight-ess in Urban Outfitters picking up the pieces. And probably another one recording the entire thing to play at your wedding in ten years.

I know it’s only been a week, but this semester has tied me to a lot of really amazing women. From my srat-star sisters to the five salsa loving ladies who let me keep three hummuses and twelve loaves of rye bread in the fridge at a time, I am honestly floored when I think about how College Park has evolved into my home because of these people.

Just to clarify, it’s not like I’ve never been in a lady gang before. I did say to call me a girl’s girl (@ my high school mamas). But due to a little summertime sadness and a lot of adjusting to a new, more #yolo, state of mind, I’ve needed my team to stick by my side and help me pick out a killer outfit. And, I can proudly say I have NOOOOT been disappointed. “Hoes before bros” has never been so legit to me before. 

To the people that support my Kardashian obsession, eat pho with me, and make every moment in between that’s so full of lady love it’s almost disgusting: I. Love. You. All. 


Stuck in my head: New Rules // Dua Lipa
Snap it: Home Sweet CP (with my little Snoop Dogg, Lauren)

 

Passing Down the Pom Poms. 

Growing up with a sister is basically having a servant, a best friend, and a number one fan by your side constantly and endlessly. So it’s every little diva’s dream. Lucky for me, I didn’t just get a sister, I got Callie. There is no one more agreeable in the entire world than that girl. She played with all the ugly Barbies, ate all the burnt chicken nuggets, and still smiled like she was just handed the key to the world. 

My Dad always tells the story that right before she came home from the hospital, he sat me down and told me it was time to step into the big sister role. He claims I maturely adjusted my personality and it was a perfect fit. What I really think happened was I learned that by being around Callie I could get more attention. Nonetheless, we became glued at the hip. The Kit to my Kat. The green vegetable to whatever was for dinner. The Dinks to my Baby (our childhood stuffed animals).

As she’s matured over the years, out of her skulls and punk rock phase into a more classic middle school era, so much is exactly the same as the brown eyed baby that changed my life fourteen years ago. Same sense of humor that leaves you teary-eyed and hunched over. Same scary level of maturity that makes college kids forget she’s actually still in middle school. Same love for our family and commitment to making people happy. Our closeness is one of the reasons going to college was so difficult. It created so many holes in my life I didn’t realize she’d been filling. And what sucks is that I know this will never get easier, it’s just part of growing up and accepting change. 

I can only imagine it being hard to live in the shadow of an older sibling, yet Callie’s never been one to follow exact footsteps. When she started gymnastics years ago I really thought that was the end of her living my same adventures. And while she created her own memories and gained skill and strength that continuously shames me into the gym, I always wished for her to experience high school the way I did from the 50 yard line, poms in hand, team of amazing girls by my side. 

When Callie decided to pause her gymnastics career and tryout for Poms this year it was really everything I could’ve asked for. After such hardwork, I’m proud to say I’ll get to swap places with my best friend and cheer her on from the sidelines. Warning: I’ll probably be bawling my eyes out.

Callie, you have such a strong, positive energy to you and I can’t wait to see you bring this to everything you conquer in life. This post is sounding more like a Bat Mitzvah speech than a funny, lighthearted tribute to you, but you’ve been asking for a post and I definitely owe you one. I’ve never doubted your ability to succeed, and I can’t wait to see you make this your own. Love every second of it, even when it’s miserable and painful, because it’s over so fast. Every high V, every turn, every C-Jump. You’re in for such an unforgettable ride. I’m so grateful you get to live this part of my journey. 

No, I’m not crying. I’m just allergic to my sister growing up. 


Stuck in my head: Superbass // Nikki Minaj
Snap it: National Gallery of Art, DC

Coach Kaleigh, if you see this, Callie is much funnier than me, but PLEASE don’t like her better. I still need your love. 

BRB, Netflix is on the Line…

When I say I used to be passive aggressive I mean I used to be ~passive aggressive.~ In a culture of feminine politeness and submission I was always worried to say what I actually wanted to say at risk of offending someone and being the bitch in the room. Even if we were just talking about where to get dinner. The dreaded “…” was more common than a Juicy Couture sweatsuit in the early 2000s. Just use your imagination. 

So, here comes a tribute post to the person that taught me the importance of *true* communication- the one and only MC. 

When we started dating it was hard for me to say how I felt about anything because all I could think was that if I said something wrong he’d run for the hills like the Von Trapp family Sound of Music style. But something that really changed my perspective on the whole thing was when he straight up asked me not to play the passive game. And at first I was stunned. I hadn’t really ever been called out for it before, but once he said it I realized my whole friend group was guilty and I was the “Queen of the Dot Dot Dot.” BRB, Netflix is on the line, they want to create another Making of a Murder show but starring me called Making of a Passive Aggressive Sass Monster. They’ve already casted Mindy Kaling.

Since then we’ve mastered communication together and it’s been the biggest reason we’ve made it this far. Sure, I cry every time we disagree but that’s just me and my overactive tear ducts. Let me bottle it up for a couple days and then we’ll talk it out better than Dr. Phil. Problem, meet discussion. Real game changer.

When I sit down and think about it, the whole thing has made me more candid and less avoidant in other friendships, too. I’ll be the first girl in the room to tell you if something doesn’t look straight off the runway or if that lunchtime salad munch is hanging around in your teeth. No playing. No “uuuummmm.” No reason to flirt around what I actually want to say. It’s a kind of security in what you think that makes you realize everyone is entitled to an opinion and you should share it if it’s A) not totally evil and B) something you care about.

Dear world, just say what you actually want. I can’t listen to the pretending not to care if we go to mall when all you really want to eat ice cream in our pajamas and watch the Bachelor. Just let me know & I’ll bring my Lactaid pills.

So MC, I guess I’ll add this to the list of things I’ve gotten out of our relationship. Right below back scratches and Cava date nights.


Stuck in my head: I Can Feel a Hot One // Manchester Orchestra
Snap it: Adams Morgan

Trading Words for Memories

I’ve always thought I’ve been good with words. From professional diction in an essay to casual slang on the street (okay, maybe not so much this one), I’ve never struggled to say exactly what I wanted to say. But sometimes things happen that can’t really be expressed in a single thought or series of characters or emojis or GIFs.

My grandfather was old, there’s definitely no denying that, and I’ve watched his decline through my high school years. Yet, as such a hopeless optimist and lover of all things family, I never really thought the day would come where I wouldn’t be able to bring over a chocolate chip cookie and tell him about my latest academic achievement.

While the pain of losing someone is intense and new, the pain of knowing he left so many people who love him hurts more. There’s a part of me that wants to fill every hole he left in someone’s life– husband, father, grandfather, friend- but I think his memory and influence will do more good than an overemotional 18 year old trying to be her Dad’s dad. 

I want to keep this short and sweet and take time to live in the memories I have with him. I was so gifted to have him around for my bat mitzvah, to hear about my graduation, and to watch me grow and mature. My favorite moment I shared with him was the day before I left for college, sitting at the wooden table in the nursing home. My father and I both had tears in my eyes as we realized I was really leaving the following day, and my Grandpa looked so proud. He couldn’t express anything, but I knew. He was so proud of me. And it was such an amazing feeling.

No one wants to admit the positives in death, and in this second I don’t want to either. But staying true to my everything-happens-for-a-reason spirit, I know that all change comes with lessons and love. I am inspired to preserve my relationships with everyone, forgive and forget, because life is short but love lasts so long. Undoubtedly, the best thing I got from my Grandpa was definitely my Dad. Good job Gramps, you raised a pretty good one. 

So, enjoy the afterlife, Zaida (super jew term for Grandpa). I hope there’s tons of cookies and cakes, and a giant flatscreen with a massage chair so you can watch the world in comfort & style. Oh, hey and if you want to like write a letter and tell us what it’s like you can probably clear up a lot of mysteries and rumors down here and they’ll probably make a movie about you. I will personally fight to have Zac Efron play you. It will no doubt be Oscar worthy.

But in all sincerity, I really believe that each person in your life shapes your character. Thank you for making me who I am today. I know you’re proud, and honestly so am I.


Stuck in my head: Anna Sun // Walk the Moon

Snap it: Airplane over somewhere, Florida

 

15 Ways You Know Your Roommate is Your ~One True Love~

College can be super scary. Not going to lie, the first couple weeks were an adjustment. I had a horrible cold, less friends than fingers, and no idea how I was going to balance everything I’d committed to this semester. Looking back there are definitely some things I would change, but overall I’ve built a pretty good foundation here. Master freshman year- check. 

I really never thought I would find friends as funky and go-to as my high school buddies, and maybe I just got lucky, but I can’t imagine school without Lauren, Molly, Sabrina, Averie, & Olivia. There are still so many people out there to meet & I can’t wait to find more goofballs, but I love these girls. Now that the semester is ending I’m kind of panicking, what am I going to do without them for over a month?

I really want to focus in on one friend in particular, my lovely bed buddy, Oliveoco. Here’s the cutest/creepiest roommate story of the centry, so get ready. It’s totally When Harry Met Sally meets The Lovely Bones.

I found Olivia’s Facebook profile while stalking the UMD Scholars group online. She was one of 3 girls at the time. Me, some wierdo, and her. I friended her because her profile pictures were artsy, cute, and fun- three things I definitely wanted my college experiences to be. Little did I know that she was a high school poms captain, too. Was it fate? Duh. We swapped competition videos and thus began our six month internet friendship. Our first date was a group hang, where I met her two best friends, Molly and Dina, and she met some of mine. We shared sandwiches and Korean Tacos & explored Olney and DC together. I told you we were super adorable.

From late night dorm room chats to our usual table with Lauren in the dining hall (RIP us. Please mail food it’s already too cold to leave the dorm. We will probably starve this winter if you don’t send anything), I literally can’t imagine learning how to vacuum with everyone else. Besides agreeing to get married if we are both 50 and single, here are 15 ways I know I’m meant to be with my roommate forever… 

  1. She gives me the large amounts of attention I need to survive daily.
  2. She lets me keep tofu and quinoa and cheese sticks in our fridge… and sour patch kids in our freezer.
  3. She talks to me in her sleep because she loves me just that much.
  4. She motivates me to go to the gym when I so totally don’t want to.
  5. She doesn’t judge my candy addiction.
  6. She throws away all her extra candy because she knows I will want to eat it and she values my health & dental hygine.
  7. She can identify all my high school friends by name and college (bonus points if she knows their Instagram handles).
  8. She listens to me cry for no reason and doesn’t want to kill me afterwards.
  9. She sends me good luck messages on the reg. Nothing gets you pumped for an exam like a “you’re gonna kill this” text. If Olivia says you’re going to kill this, then you are 100% gonna kill this.  
  10. She also leaves me good luck sticky notes because goals.
  11. She has the same taste in music and has amazing Spotify playlists (Sleepy & Sad all the way baby).
  12. She lets me talk about subjects I’m definitely not super informed about (aka politics) just so I can practice sounding smart (the election was a thrilling time for room 2112 Cambrige Hall).
  13. She’s always down for a dorm room dance party & chill kind of night
  14. She gets extremely over excited about the little things in life & never fails to brighten your day.
  15. This list could honestly go on forever.

Transitions are always a little rough. Middle school to high school. Team member to captain. There’s sometimes a lot of bad that comes with the potentially good. I guess I just want to thank my internet friend/roommate/future fish owner (we’re going to adopt a fish eventually) for giving me a semester of bff memories. Love you from the chapel to the XFinity center.

And to all my other UMD sisters from other misters, your blog posts are coming, don’t you worry. 


Stuck in my head: White Blank Page // Mumford and Sons
Snap this: Union Market (again ugh just so photogenic and beautiful)

Blogging instead of studying? Totally going to kill this finals thing. 

For Sarah…

16 is a weird age. On one hand you have this newfound self-declared independence that the SATS and driving bring, but on the other hand you basically still know nothing about anything. Life is standardized testing and late night talks with the friends that shaped your childhood. 

Let me just say at 16 I thought crack and marijuana were the same drug, so I’m a little more innocent than your average Samantha Baker (hellooo Sixteen Candles reference, duh). Buuuuut, I’ve learned a little more than proper drug classifications since the big 1-6. 

Let me give a little background here. Being part of a team in high school connects you to so many different people. I spent most of my time on poms being the mini-me, there were so many people to learn from and look up to. It wasn’t until my senior year I finally realized I had my own little buddy.

She’s bold and courageous and hopeful. She reminds me of my Taylor Swift days. She’s asked me for some advice over the months, and it’s really helped me reflect on my personal growth and appreciate all I’ve become. So this list is for her. I don’t have all the answers. Honestly I don’t have most of the answers. I’m still very much so learning, but here’s just a couple notes I’ve collected. Enjoy

1. No matter where you end up in life, with a positive attitude you can have it all. I know it’s so daunting, working towards college applications and acceptances, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. No matter where your path takes you if you go with good vibes and happy intentions you will always have the best time of your life.

2. Not every boy is the right boy and to be honest, you don’t really even need a boy. Teenage girls are so much stronger than they think they are. I had no idea the growing I had to do when I was 16- TBH I thought that if I had my license I had it all.

& It wasn’t until I started dating that kid named MC, (remember him?) that I started to understand how a relationship really worked. You have a find someone that builds you up constantly. But before you even get there you have to learn how to build yourself up first. Be your own best friend and find your best boyfriend later. He can wait, I promise.

3. School is really hard. There’s no fancy way of wording that, but it’s really important to remember that success comes in so many different forms. School might not be your strong suit, and I’m in no way saying you should not try and work really hard, but find a world where you shine. Everyone has the potential to be amazing at something. For me it’s giving advice I don’t usually follow myself and eating candy, for you it could be something you never imagined. Try it all and don’t be afraid to fail. You may be surprised by what you love.

4. There are so many people in the world.  Some friends will be there forever, from pitfalls to parties, others will disappear overnight and it will hurt and be confusing. Every relationship has something to teach you. Every person you meet can change who you are and help you become your best self. For me, some ends drive me to be the best version of myself, others are just memories that will always be worth it.

The most important thing to remember is that you never stop changing. I’ve learned a lot since 16 about independence and self positivity, but those are only two out of the thousands of lessons that are in store for me. Love every second of every experience. We’re all still kids, so let’s act like it.


Stuck in my head: Naive // The Kooks
Snap it: Union Market, DC

Here’s What Happens When You Get 12 Hours With Your Given. 

Some teenagers live in angst and hate their families and write poetry about how tortured they are. I would classify myself as the opposite kind of person. I would trade a night on the town for 98% lean hamburgers with my parents any day. And no, it’s not just because free food. Okay, it’s a little but because of the food but mostly because they just get me. They really get me.

Last night, for the first time since school started, our family was almost whole again. With the exception of my Aunt Kris’s crew, my family as I knew it before college came together and had another entertaining dinner where topics ranged from dairy-free ice cream to the boy my Grandma wants my cousin to marry (Max Flax, am I right?).

I don’t think I realized how different home would feel without my cousin/partner in crime/best friend. Let’s call her Sara. But only for storytelling purposes. The first family function was strange, not going to lie. And no, not because conversation revolved around vodka-soaked tampons, that’s relatively normal, but because my sister still had her best friend there, Jake was still a loner, & now I was talking college midterms with my uncle instead of high school drama with my best friend. It honestly felt like a major loss to me. Was this a funeral or Rosh Hashana dinner? Okay, funeral is a little extreme, I mean she’s just in Ohio and we Facetimed her in, but still… loss is loss.

The funny thing is Sara and I barely ever talk outside of opinions on what to post on Instagram while we’re at school. I couldn’t tell you the names of her best friends before this weekend (I could tell you their Instagram handles though) and I had no idea she’d tried going to the gym twice since school started (So proud. Keep it up!). So when she crossed the street and gave me a hug outside the DC food truck festival we were meeting at I expected it to feel like a magical reunion, but instead it was more like “Why are we hugging? We never hug.”

Bottom line, it felt like no time had passed. She was still my mini, snot-filled, super trendy cousin. And we were in DC pretending to be hip 20-somethings eating fancy ice cream. Typical. 

Family has always been #1 to me but I think it didn’t hit me that I was not going to college with Sara until she came back to visit. & I know she’s having an amazing time, but the selfish monster inside me hopes she decides to transfer and come back home. Not actually. I mean Ohio State seems amazing and she has such an awesome life there. I just miss her. Sue me if that’s so wrong. 

Sitting around the table on Sunday night everything was totally old-school for a minute. I had my person to make eye contact with when our Dads made uncomfortable, overly sexual jokes. Saying goodbye was like when we said hello- it didn’t feel real. I’m not wishing her well until Thanksgiving. That’s crazy talk… But it’s also real talk. 
So I guess what I’m saying is college is great and I’m so happy you’re happy, but I miss my given. Until this year you weren’t going anywhere, you were a guarantee, but all of a sudden there’s 403 miles between us and I’m not totally a fan. I mean who else is obligated by blood to hang out with me and take long trips to the bathrooom with me and  finish internship projects with me? It’s only 2 months of 4 years, and I bet I’ll get used to it, but right now I just can’t wait until Winter break & the adventures that await us. Even though it’ll probably more like Christmas movies and Buredo in my bed because who actually likes the cold?

So here’s my only request- Don’t forget about our plans to move in together after school. You still say NYC but I’m team DC now. Guess we’ll see where we end up.  I just hope it’s together in a trendy little apartment that we’ll barely be able to afford. Because to both of us, being broke in city is just training for being rich in the city. 

Will I keep missing you? Buck yeah. Are you still my given? No doubt about it. 


Stuck in my head: Kids // MGMT
Snap it: DC Food Truck Festival

Doodie!! Miss you always!! Keep me updated!! I promise I will survive! 

“Doodie”- (affectionate nickname, f) The female version of dude, term for best friend, sometimes also referred to as “dood”, not to be confused with Doodoo or dudette

How Does One Title 8 Years?

I think a person’s childhood can be defined by a couple things that make up their most important memories. For me it’s candy, my family, the beach, & some standout influential people I’ve met along the way. One person in particular has been on my mind a lot recently because I can’t get over how long I’ve known her and how far we’ve come.

Setting the scene: Bunk 26, 2009, two rather chubby 10 year old girls & a J-14 magazine

Arielle and I met during our time at sleepaway camp. I was, lets say, round and pale and awkward, and she was about the same but with tanner skin because hello, Israeli. We became quick friends as I showed her squirrels weren’t evil and she tested my already embarrassing hebrew. (The one word I still know is fish. I’ll let you know if this ever helps me in life.) I came home with stories of the Dead Sea and a (nonworking) email address to keep in touch with her. Luckily, summer after summer we kept coming back together, beds next to each other, like time had never passed (brief disclaimer- so her dad was the executive director of the camp but fate is a more romantic story so just work with me here).

Over the years we’ve had our personal victories and losses, 5,893 miles separating our experiences, yet we had the same struggles and conquests. High school brought boy troubles and ex-best friends to both of us, even though her story was in Hebrew and mine was in English. We we’re pretty bad at the whole keeping in touch thing- the 7 hour time difference was our worst enemy, and we could never really figure out international iMessaging.

This past summer we both worked as counselors & the hardest part of all of it was that our priorities had to be the kids, not each other. For the first summer in 8 years, she didn’t sleep, eat, and stargaze by my side. Saying goodbye on the last day was emotional, but she promised to come celebrate my birthday with me at college in the fall. Cue tears (think metaphorical rainstorm with Celine Dion playing softly in the background).

& as she promised, I got to sit across from best friend in my college dorm room, eating shitty pizza like it was totally normal. We spent the day decked out in UMD apperal, doing “american college” as Arielle puts it- aka tailgating and football. I couldn’t have asked for a better homecoming weekend because College Park really felt like home.

In the winter Arielle will be joining the IDF for two years. Honestly, I thought about it for a little bit- becoming a kick-ass army girl with a gun and uniform, taking a symbolic gap year, serving my religion and exploring a new, beautiful country. But, in the end American conventionality won and I am happily studying my brains out while in 2 months Arielle will be the kick ass army girl I day-dreamed (think Miss Congeniality meets Cadet Kelly).

Sometimes it takes a while for something to fully sink in. When I lost my wallet freshman year it only took 3 minutes before the loss hit me. With this, I feel like I still can’t fully process the bravery and strength of my best friend, but also the time that will pass before we’ll be together again. She’s no longer my Summer guarentee. And it scares me to be responsible for maintaining such a special relationship.

“There’s no judgements in this friendship.” Arielle told me as I ate another slice of pizza. Honestly, she should have stopped me because I was already 3 slices in and the food baby was in full swing, but who doesn’t love a friendship like that. No judgements. 

So to wrap this up I want to say cheers to two years of boot camp and celebration. Find your passion and your path. Live it up. I’ll still be here with my candy, my family & the beach when you’re done. Thanks for the memories. Here’s to a whole lifetime more. 

They say if you’re friends for 6 years then you’ll be friends for life. Well, here we are 6+, so I guess I can title our 8 years friendship forever. 


Stuck in my head: Way Back When // Kodaline
Snap it: College Park, MD

Just for Arielle: I promise to never drink the red stuff again.

The Truth about Long Distance Relationships…

Let me first start by stating that I am not a relationship person. Well, I wasn’t a relationship person. Now I probably have to categorize myself as a relationship person because its socially incorrect to have a boyfriend for a year and call yourself “not a relationship person.” Right?

My point- they were all right, long distance sucks. I mean where is this so-called boyfriend when you look smokin’ hot and just want someone to tell you that. I’ll tell you where he is, he is a long distance away. But more than that, I never really imagined it being this hard. I mean MC (that’s him, that’s the boy) and I spent the whole summer apart (RIP summer 16 please never come back) and it wasn’t great, but we survived. Still, college seems to be a very very different ballpark than summer camp. All of a sudden it’s hard to even text because he’s in class and I’m at the gym, or I’m out with friends and he’s eating a meal, and the fact that he is currently living off a flip phone (the “Trap Phone”) makes this all the more impossible.

All of the above aside I’ve learned three things about long distance, and I call them “THE BIG Fs:”

F #1: Fighting. Get used to it. Every sentence feels pointed and offensive sometimes. Don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s not him, it’s distance. It has inserted itself all up in there in your relationship and made you think the world is ending with every word, but it’s not, you are just slowly going insane from lack of constant attention. Or at least I am. Please pray for me.

F #2: Finding. Seeing each other is actually so hard to coordinate. MC and I are only 40 minutes away from each other but we might as well be in different states in different countries on different planets. I don’t have a car, he doesn’t have a car. I don’t have a free weekend until October 6th, he doesn’t like that I don’t have a free weekend until October 6th (don’t shoot the messenger, shoot the business scholars program). As you can see, planning is tedious and horrible and hard and heartbreaking, but you just have to suck it up and pull out your day planner. Yes, I use a day planner. Google Calendar is too advanced for me. I’m working on it.

F #3: Friendship. Honestly, sometimes it feels like we’re back to those unfortunate 3 years before I realized MC wanted to be more than friends because all you can do is text and Facetime. I’m talking middle school level relationship right here. Static. Minimal excitement. Here’s an excerpt from our messages today:
MC: U done?
Me: No ugh so much hw i am dying
MC: its been four hours tf
Me: Econ
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like real good, stimulating, engaging conversation right there. Love that stuff. 

But in the end, that moment when I am finally hugging him and smelling his smell (I am not creepy, after a year I can sniff my boyfriend and have it not be creepy, okay? You date someone for a year and then get back to me.) make every single F worth it. At least for me, when I see guys at school all I can think is “wow, college has really cute boys, but why give up a good thing while it’s still good.”

And that right there erases those miles real quick. 


Stuck in my head: Cigarette Daydreams // Cage the Elephant
Snap it: Reflection Pool, DC

Related but unrelated: Happy anniversary.