The Big 100- “Reading Revival” Revisted.

Everyone loves a good Netflix binge. Like, who doesn’t want to watch hours of Stassi vs The World (clearly, I’m watching Vanderpump Rules right now). But, almost a year ago, I committed to refinding my love for reading. And this week, I’m reporting back to say I found it, celebrated it, and have held onto it. 

The number of books I’ve read throughout the summer and semester is probably pretty average. It ranges from 1-3 a month and yes, one of them is always the Girls’ Night In book club pick. At first, progress was slow and it took an effort to turn pages instead of pressing play, but over time, the value of reading started to really show itself. 

“Reflecting on the differences in the characters I was reading about lead me to develop an understanding of narratives from different perspectives. A kind of empathy I could bring to the real world.”

Something I’ve noticed is that in times of self-obsession, like extreme stress or mini-meltdowns, empathy with and an attachment to fictional characters can keep you sane. It’s a distraction without complete distance and isolation from all human emotion. It’s a connection without a charge attached. It’s simple and it’s a way to practice loving when you maybe don’t have all yourself to give. 

“There are other women out there that want to grow from the books they’re reading, too. They want to understand the relationships between characters and relate it to their own personal development.”

I read the best book about two weeks ago. It’s topping the charts and is this month’s GNI book. It’s called Educated, by Tara Westover. It’s about the education of a girl raised by a super religious Mormon family. The real kicker is that it’s a memoir. The other real kicker is that it’s impossible to put down. 

There’s a kind of excitement in realizing someone enjoyed the same thing as you. It’s uniting and powerful. All the women in my family had read the book, or are currently reading the book, and I feel so close to them when we talk about it. The differences in interpretation reveal how we differ but also all we share. I love hearing her favorite subplot or her least favorite chapter. I’m getting to jump into the brains of people I love and it’s all because of 300 pages of words. 

So, I’ll end the same way I did in February 2018.

“So to conclude, read a book. Not optional. Please and thank you.”

Find the original story of my Reading Revival here


Stuck in my head: Golden Age // Houndmouth
Snap it: current read: The Handmaid’s Tale featuring my doggie PJ pants

The Big 1.0.0.

This week I shared my 100th post and I didn’t even notice. Like talk about letting a big moment slip by. Come on, J, let’s get it together here.

I started my blog back in September of 2016 with this post about losing my blog-ginity and how I wanted to develop my personal edge through writing. The “OK, let’s do this now” came from my, at the time, favorite Instagrammer, and the name came from my love for my campus and my city. 

That’s when the creativity took off and I started to develop my voice. I shared about my internships with CAVA, Marriott, and GNI and started to try new things, like going vegan for a week. I dedicated posts to people that make me so happy and vacations that made me really feel like I was living fully. From burnout to pushing through the push-up pain, I’ve found a passion for writing for other people and become a much more reflective, self-actualized person.

In Summer 2017, I felt like I’d outgrown the image I’d created. I wanted to own my female experience and speak more to social media. That’s when The Next Classic was born, in 12 hours, from my parent’s beachside bedroom. The perspective matured, just as I had in freshman year. In this swap, I can hear a change in the way I saw, and now see, the world around me. 

This post is like bringing the cake to the party, it just felt necessary to round up some of my all-time favorite works and bring them back from the blog graveyard. To celebrate 100, I’m resharing two old posts with new insight.

The first one comes tomorrow.  

My blog has seen me grow professionally and personally and I’m proud of how my work and my character have evolved. It’s time to stop and smell the syntax, but not without a true, sincere thank you to everyone that’s helped me along the way. From Instagram DMs to comments on the site, my family and friends are really the ones who built this. I owe all my confidence, and probably a couple internships, to you. 

I’m still impressed with myself from the “stop and smell the syntax line,” so we’re going to end with that. Let’s stop and smell the syntax, friends. 


Stuck in my head: Butterfly // Delicate Steve
Snap it: Herald Square, 2016. It felt like time to bring this back.

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.