TRAVEL

It’s not easy to take time away from college, but you can incorporate travel into your life in many different ways. You can still stay local and get the sense of adventure that comes with traveling. Trying out a new bar, restaurant, or neighborhood in your area may feel like you’re traveling to a completely new place.

One weekend, my roommates and I took a road trip to Vermont to stay with my sister. It was a few hours to get there, and we had an awesome time the entire drive, singing along to our favorite songs and laughing about old memories. We spent the weekend shopping, cooking, and trying out local beers and ciders, and it will always be a special memory for all of us.

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If you have the chance, you should take advantage of the ultimate travel opportunity—studying abroad. I was lucky enough to travel to Australia, spending four months living in Sydney and traveling throughout the country. Living in another country opens your eyes to new cultures and adventures, and the memories you make while abroad will stay with you forever.

Whether it’s traveling to another state for the weekend or across the world (literally) for a semester, I think traveling is extremely important for college students. You have to get out of the place you live sometimes in order to truly appreciate it.

Ok– if you had a weekend to travel anywhere (let’s be somewhat realistic here), where would you go? With who? Why? Let’s share ideas!

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Paint Bar

Recently, different paint bars have been popping up all over Boston. The idea is that you pay a certain amount and get to take a painting class and drink at the same time. My roommates and I all purchased a Groupon for the Urban Art Bar and went this past week. The painting for the night was of Fenway Park. Our instructor led us step by step, and our paintings actually came out much better than expected! It was a great way for my roommates and me to come together and do a fun activity. It’s not often you get to do this kind of thing!

Watch a brief video of my friends and me at the Urban Art Bar Below:

If you could be instructed to paint anything, what would it be? I think mine would have to be something involving elephants…

Take A Drive

It’s not a common thing to have your car with you in Boston, but I am lucky enough to have a roommate that does. She is nice enough to let us use it for groceries and other errands, and sometimes we don’t even need an excuse to use it.

Something I’ve found that makes me happy this semester is just taking the car for a drive with no destination. Getting in the car, rolling down the windows, and blasting some music let’s me distract myself from whatever problems I’m facing back in my school life.

You should especially take a drive if your car is super cool and has three front seats, like my friend’s does:

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Suggested car jams for your joy ride:

Anything by Ja Rule

Classic 90’s songs

The Beatles

Let It Go from Frozen

 

Enjoy!

Meditation

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The inspiration from this post comes from my post about trying out yoga from a couple months ago. Yoga can be a work out or a time to relax, it depends what kind of classes you take. Today I want to talk about the calm, relaxing feeling that comes from yoga,-specifically, meditation as a practice.

Studies have shown that meditation is a productive way to get the body and mind to settle and relax. But many people find it daunting because the whole point of meditation is to let go and not think about anything, which is really difficult for some people.

My mind is constantly buzzing with to-do lists, so sitting down and simply not thinking is actually extremely difficult for me. So I’ve adapted my own meditation practice into something that works for me. I sit on my bed, burn some candles, play some relaxing music, and close my eyes, focusing on my breathing. When I find my mind straying somewhere else, I try to bring it back and just focus on breathing.

People wonder—why waste time doing this? I could be more productive doing homework, exercising, cleaning the house, etc. But it’s incredible what five or ten minutes of sitting down can do for you. After I meditate, I feel refreshed, awoken, and clear-headed. I worked on meditating at least every other day this week, and truly felt a difference in my mood—I absolutely felt happier.

Have you tried meditating before? What was difficult for you? Was there any part of it that you hated, loved?

I encourage you to try your own meditation practice. Whether it’s sitting on the floor, in bed, or even trying out a walking meditation, just try it! There’s no right or wrong way to do it.

Thinking About The Future…

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You know what has been bringing me a lot of happiness recently? Thinking about my future.

Ok—don’t panic. Not too long ago, the mention of the word “future” sent me into a full-blown anxiety attack. But I’ve learned there’s a healthy, positive way to think about the future that can keep you more relaxed and optimistic.

Unlike most of my friends, I haven’t been spending this semester applying to jobs. I already know that I’ll be returning to my summer camp this summer as a camp counselor, and I know I am not ready to jump into a career right after.

Instead of stressing about what comes next, I’ve decided to get excited about the fact that I don’t know what’s coming next. And it’s exhilarating.

I’m constantly urging my fellow seniors in college to take a deep breath, relax, and try and find the positives in not knowing what comes next in life. We have an incredible opportunity ahead of us… we can do whatever we want. Well, maybe not whatever we want, but close! I can apply to jobs, I can live at home, I can move back to Australia, I can open my own business, I can go back to school… the possibilities are endless.

Instead of shying away from my unpredictable future, I am truly embracing it with open arms and STAYING POSITIVE.

 

How do you feel when you think about the future? And I’m not just asking you college seniors out there. Does it overwhelm you? Excite you? I may be alone in how I feel, but it’s always nice to know how others approach this subject! Any dreams you can’t wait to pursue? Tell me all about them! I love hearing about people’s passions!

Break That Bar Routine

This post is short and simple, but also true!

My last post, which you can find here, was about staying in instead of going out. And while I’m a firm believer that sometimes we all need a night in, I’m also a firm believer in getting out every once in a while!

It’s easy to fall into a routine, especially here at BU. We frequent the same bars each week because they’re close, familiar, and relatively cheap. We have fun, but it starts to get boring after a while. We all talk about trying out new places, but it’s hard to push ourselves to actually do it.

So I made a pact with friends to try a new bar each week, and it’s been working out extremely well. We’ve even made one of the bars a new “regular” of ours.

I urge everyone to push out of your comfort zone in terms of the bar scene. It’s so much fun going to a new place, surrounding yourself with a new crowd, trying a new drink, etc. Sure, it’s a little more effort to get there, but it’s almost always worth it in the end 🙂

Anyone have some favorite bars to try in Boston? Let this girl know puh-lease!

Why Not Stay In Tonight?

While I was abroad in Australia, I was going out to bars and clubs more often than not. Every time I complained about being tired, my friends would pressure me by saying “you’re only in Australia once!” I often caved to the pressure.

I’ve been getting the same kind of treatment since returning to Boston for my senior spring—friends all around me keep telling me that it’s senior spring, that I’ll regret it if I stay in! And most of the time I agree with them. But, personally, in order to stay happy, I often need a night in.

The perfect recipe for a night in is as follows:

1. A good movie. Recent choices have been Frozen (because we all wanted to feel like kids for a night), Memento (a classic we had all heard about but never seen), and About Time (a typical romantic comedy).

1a. If you can’t get your hands on a movie, a television show marathon will do—think Law & Order SVU or Modern Family.

2. One (or several) good bottles of wine.

3. Snacks—lots of them. Salty (popcorn, chips & salsa, cheese & crackers) and sweet (brownies, ice cream, the works).

4. And finally—good company! You better enjoy the people you’re spending this night in with.

 

What are your necessities for a night in? I’m always looking for new snack ideas to share with my roomies!

Channeling My Inner Olivia Pope

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My palate has come a long way since freshman year of college. Back then, I enjoyed sweet mixed drinks and sweet wine and pretty much any alcohol that tasted sweet/not like alcohol at all. Over time I’ve learned to appreciate the taste of alcohol and the amazing drinks that can be made with it.

While studying abroad in Australia, I took an Australian wine class, and that really helped me understand and appreciate it. At one point, I could taste a wine and tell you what kind it was!

The truth is… sometimes you just need a big fat glass of red wine to cheer you up (re: Olivia Pope in ABC’s hit show Scandal). I have no shame in saying that—and I know others agree.

If anyone understands this like I do, it’s my friend Brenna- check out her blog, “No Whine Just Wine” which is dedicated to the delicious drink, here.

That’s all 🙂

Oh, and I’ve got to ask– what are your go-to wines? I’m always looking to try more!

Giving… is Better Than Receiving

The happiest people in life are the givers, not the getters.” – Tom Krause

I’ve always felt uncomfortable receiving things—compliments, money, really presents of any kind. I would much rather give presents than receive them. I get more excited about friends’ birthdays approaching than my own because I genuinely enjoy the thought process that goes into gift giving for them.

Last week, my best friend turned twenty-two. She is one of the most thoughtful people I know, so I wanted to put a lot into her present. I went in on a group present with the rest of my friends and also bought her an intricate bracelet, but neither of the two presents felt like enough.

So instead of purchasing a generic card, I wrote down a list of 22 reasons why I loved her. It took a lot of time and thought (although it was easy for me to come up with the reasons), but when I was done, I felt so happy because I knew she was going to understand why I love and appreciate her so much.

She texted me a few mornings later telling me she had read the card and thanked me for how thoughtful I was. I won’t lie—it’s nice to get recognition for doing nice things, but that is not why I do them. I genuinely become happy seeing others becoming happy. That is the best gift I could ever receive! I urge you to practice this sense of giving rather than receiving and see how it feels to you!

What is the best gift you have ever given?

Reconnect.

Four years have flown by. I think back to September 2010 when I came to college, a naïve freshman excited by the city and new opportunities. I didn’t really know who I was, what to expect in college, or what I wanted. I was clinging to my high school-self, attempting to stay in touch with everyone from past years while simultaneously moving forward with my journey.

But as time passed, it was more and more difficult to maintain those relationships and continue growing in my new city and home. It wasn’t necessarily anyone’s fault—we all get busy with our new lives and lose track of how long it has been since we’ve talked to our best friend from home, our camp friends, or our high school friends.

When the opportunity came for my best friend from high school to visit for a few days, I instantly said yes. In a way, I was almost nervous. We hadn’t seen each other in years—would it be awkward? Would our conversation flow like it always used to? Would I still make her laugh? Or had we grown apart over the last few years and become completely different people?

The next few days were incredible. We spent our days reminiscing on old times, discussing our present day situations, and fantasizing about what the future had in store for both of us. As I had hoped, as soon as we saw it each other it felt like no time had passed at all.

I was so sad to see her go, but as soon as she did, I vowed to be better about catching up with old friend. This semester, I’ve made an effort to reach out to an old friend at least once a week. We get so caught up in studying and working, but keeping in touch with people is so important. I’ve found that these friendships have strengthened so much, even from a brief conversation. It feels so good to say you’ve spoken to someone within the last few weeks or months, not years.

Do you have friends from the past you wish you could reconnect with? Have you reconnected with them? What was your experience– awkward, seamless? Let me know!