How to Get Enough Sleep in College

IMG_1954

Remember how I claimed not to know a lot of things? And all those times I mentioned how lost I was? Well, ignore that, because now we’re talking about something I actually know quite a bit about.

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT DRINK COFFEE. I do not require caffeine to survive. I’m so sorry if this makes you sad. I can’t help you. Maybe stop drinking it; that’s one of my tips, anyways.

Hitting “pay” on those tuition fees means a lot of things, some exciting, some not so exciting. Something not so exciting that comes with the college experience is the amount of sleep you can expect to get on a daily basis: not much. Between hard classes, tons of homework, nightly excursions, and maybe not the best food choices, it’s almost impossible to get enough sleep each night. Hopefully this post will help you make some lifestyle changes that can help you achieve the goal of sleeping more, because ultimately it will do wonders for your attention span and GPA.

The first step to take is to accept that you will never sleep as much as you would like to. Use those weekends at home to sleep! College is not the place to shut your eyes for 12 hours and eat breakfast at 2 p.m. Of course, we’re all guilty of doing that once in a while, and I can’t say I didn’t do that often freshman year. In general, oversleeping like that makes you feel worse and more lethargic. So, make it a point to get up early on weekends, a.k.a. definitely before 10 a.m. This gives you time to run errands, do work, nap, do work, eat, go out, sleep, and repeat. Likewise, during the week, set a limit for yourself on how long you can sleep. I like to get up between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.; it works for my classes, and I can either get up on the earlier side or late side if necessary. Setting windows rather than a specific time allows me a slower, more relaxing morning and feels less pressured.

Also, try to get the most sleep when it’s dark out. Like I said before, naps should definitely be a part of your routine if necessary, but if you take a five hour nap in the middle of the day, it will be difficult to fall asleep later, and it will mess up the following day completely. Also, our bodies are programmed to sleep when it’s dark out; it’s a routine we’ve been following for well over a decade. That being said: do not pull all- nighters. Just don’t. Get your shit done in advance; it’s not as hard as it sounds. Choosing to pull an all-nighter usually means you made poor sleep choices in the past few days.

Now that we’ve got our general outline for a routine, now we will address the common problems that come with maintaining a routine in college. One of these, especially for me, is simply not being able to sleep. I find myself laying down to sleep and not being able to, whether it be due to excessive screen time typing out a paper or overthinking. I have a few solutions for this issue.

First, never underestimate the power of music. I find that ambient music like Flume, King Krule, Frank Ocean, and artists that have more ~chill vibes~ help me go to sleep more than nature or ocean sounds. Listening to this music at the tail end of my homework for the night or while tidying up my room puts me in a mindset more geared for sleep. That being said, never underestimate the power of ASMR. I know a lot of people think it’s weird, and it definitely really is, but that shit is POWERFUL. I have been using it since junior year and a good video can knock me out in 5-10 minutes.

I also like trying to associate certain actions with going to sleep. For example, make tea, whip up a bowl of oatmeal, or write in a journal every night before bed, or at least on nights you have trouble sleeping. You may find that all you needed was a warm feeling in your throat or a mind dump to put you to sleep. Plus, these actions make you feel more cozy and that in general can put you to sleep. Put on mood lighting, like a small lamp or Christmas lights, and pick something to do. Even smoking weed sometimes does the trick. Find your local freshman boy and coerce him to go outside and give him $3 for a few hits. Instant sleep.

Going off of that idea, taking melatonin at night also helps. It regulates your sleep cycle and acts as a placebo, like less intense NyQuil. NyQuil should only be used as a last resort and only if you’re sick. One thing to stay away from if you have trouble sleeping is coffee. Coffee can be really bad for some people depending on your chemical makeup and I always find myself sleeping horribly if I have coffee.

If you think regulating your sleep isn’t the problem, excessive napping is, I’ve been there. The key to prevent excessive napping is simple: stop going back to your dorm during the day. Maybe if you’re older or wiser or something, you’re laughing at this tip, but freshmen especially do not follow this rule. I overhear freshman girls getting stressed out at their napping habits but it’s just because they don’t stay on campus and get work done! It’s so easy. If you’re prone to sleeping in public places, wear a semi-uncomfortable outfit, like jeans. I never fall asleep in jeans.

If you absolutely do need to nap, do not nap until all your classes are done. I am 100% more likely to skip a class if I wake up groggy 30 minutes before. Waking up with that feeling is HORRIBLE and not conducive to a learning environment. One of my professors asked me if I was drunk after coming to class post-nap. You are not your best self. Also, I feel like I’m the only one that needs this tip, but you need to remember that extra-curriculars are optional, and if you NEED sleep, choose not to go to them and take a nap or do work then. I always feel really bad about this but in the grand scheme of things it will not matter.

Lastly, you might be having the problem where you’re too hyped up or preoccupied at night and can’t sleep. I can say I’ve experienced this, and it’s almost more frustrating than any other sleeping problem. Two things that help: eating healthy dinners and going to the gym. It’s no secret that we all feel better when we eat healthy, so this will clear your mind and make you feel good about yourself. If you can’t force yourself to eat healthy, find some vegans and get dinner with them. They’ll pressure you into getting a black bean wrap or something. Also, going to the gym tires you out, so this likens your chance of going to bed a little early. I find sleep comes faster when I do both of these things.

If you get anything out of this post, please remember that if you are burnt out, just sleep. If you’re going through depression or any emotional issue, work on your sleep. It doesn’t matter that you’re behind on work; work on your mental health foremost. Get what you need done for the following day and lights out. Also PLEASE make sure you’re doing at least one fun thing a day. For me, this means seeing a friend, watching Youtube or Netflix, writing, making a video, painting, etc. Even if you’re super busy, make time for yourself. It’ll make so much of a positive difference.

I hope all of these tips helped, and shout out to Sophie for requesting this post. Sleep tight, ladies.

Some of my favorite Spotify playlists for sleep:

~Chill 420 vibes~

Nostalgic end-of-summer vibes

Doing work and concentrating but also getting ready 4 bed vibes

Fall night in Vermont vibes

Some of my favorite ASMR channels:

Gentle Whispering

ASMR Requests

Springbok ASMR

Advertisements

June 2017

I’ve taken a break from posting on the blog and gave it a little makeover a few days ago. I think it looks a little bit more mature and it’s a breath of fresh air. I created One Thousand Lemons a year ago this month, and my first posting anniversary is coming up mid-July. I’m also making some changes to the way I post content; for example, this is going to be modeled after a “favorites” post but it’s going to be looser and encompass experiences more than things, because how I used to write these posts always felt inorganic and annoying.

IMG_9634

I remember when I met you / Salt in the summer breeze

You helped me draw the borders / When the ink, it starts to bleed

You’re my only harbor / When I’m drifting out to sea

Wanna wash up to the shore and / Bring you home to me (x)

To be listened to: baking in the sun on your favorite beach, with sunglasses and hair flying everywhere on Route 1 after a Bradley and Wall lunch, in the shower where all the sand in every crevice of your body is washed clean

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I read Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler this month of June, either engulfed in cold sand or by my bedroom window with the incessant pattering of rain as my background music. I underlined a lot; “Let’s just say I was born in late June of 2006 when I came over the George Washington Bridge at seven a.m. with the sun circulating and dawning, the sky full of sharp corners of light, before the exhaust rose, before the heat gridlocked in, windows unrolled, radio turned up to some impossibly hopeful pop song, open, open, open.” or “Do you see how, up close, it’s blurry and passionate? And from a distance, whole?” or “Was I a monster or was this what it felt like to be a person?” Recovering from it, this book is probably one of the best I’ve read. I felt connected.

IMG_9635

I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you / Take me back to the night we met

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, haunted by the ghost of you / Oh, take me back to the night we met

And then I can tell myself / What the hell I’m supposed to do

And then I can tell myself / Not to ride along with you (x)

To be listened to: directly after sunset on Old Orchard Rd, at 2 o’clock in the morning with someone you love but know you won’t have for long, driving through suburban Rhode Island in bright afternoon sunlight with your head out the window

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I went to Friday’s shows at The Governor’s Ball Music Festival in Manhattan, New York on Randall’s Island. I found myself in the middle of a mosh pit during ScHoolboy Q, felt liquid gold and chills down my spine up front for Flume, and ate sweet french fries very far from the stage with Wyatt, singing along to my favorite Chance the Rapper songs and felt pure happiness. I made a video of the performances I recorded. If you are considering dropping money on a music festival, I highly recommend it.

IMG_9636

Found a cure for loneliness, I’m forever immune / Stuck in my walk and in my head and I hum her tune

Yep, she got rhythm, it’s like / Some things don’t need words

You know you’re living / When it all becomes a blur

Can’t be explained, and there ain’t no reason to / Something strange just takes over you

One million lovers to choose from, but none like her / The only one for sure (x)

To be listened to: screaming the lyrics with your best friend on the drive to Dairy Queen, after 11 p.m. closing at work and trying not to cry having nowhere to go afterwards anymore, singing to yourself around the house when making oatmeal

Riley introduced me to the beauty that is a baguette and Mascarpone. I’m obsessed. I rip off a slice of bread, open it up with my fingers, slather on the Mascarpone, and it’s heaven. Serve with dark chocolate and a huge glass of water or seltzer for the full experience. Foodwise, I’ve also gotten back on the Annie’s fruit snacks grind, and it’s cherry season so you know where to find me.

IMG_9680.JPG

I like to watch the world, the world is looking good today / And it’s almost like I’m sleeping, I pull my head back to the sun

Clean my house from big fat flies / Dreaming of the city

Clear my head, clean my bed / Dreaming of the big city, big city (x)

To be listened to: swaying on a boat wearing white linen pants holding a glass of wine, driving to a seafront dinner wearing your nicest summer dress and wedges, screaming out the window on the way back from Hammonasset Beach after a sun-soaked day

FullSizeRender.jpgIMG_9683

I bought the eyelet top at American Eagle in the month of June and it has quickly become one of my favorite shirts. It happens to go perfectly with my favorite jeans in the whole entire universe, the Gap boyfriend jean. The rips in the leg are perfect, the jeans are amazing quality, and the cuffs are a little ripped too which give them character. I wear these at least twice, maybe three times a week. Here I paired it with my new large J. Crew sunglasses and my favorite casual sandals from Target.

IMG_9684.JPG

I don’t get weak in the knees, hundreds spread out like a fan / Vert feel like some Gucci sandals, open the sky, get a handful

Torso marked up like a vandal, how you not fucking with cash? / God gave you what you can handle, gave you what you could handle

I got the grip like the handle, and I’m biking / I’m biking with me and my Daniel

Hades got the angels, TV’s got the angles / I’m braking (x)

To be listened to: biking in a wet bathing suit and ratty t-shirt, wet hair drying messily in the wind, in the morning making breakfast home alone, when you want to smile for no reason because Frank Ocean is a god and his voice is honey

The first half of June was packed with rain, which of course led countless hours of Youtube browsing. I discovered Margot Lee and watched pretty much all of her videos this month, and I rekindled my love for Rachel Bryner, who is just too good at being aesthetically pleasing. And, don’t even get me started on Katy Bellotte. I’ve loved her forever, and she’s been updating her blog more, which is so exciting. I feel like she gets me on another level, and since this month has held some disappointments, her musings on life make me feel refreshed.

IMG_9685

Something bad is ’bout to happen to me / I don’t know what, but I feel it coming

Might be so sad, might leave my nose running / I just hope she don’t wanna leave me

Don’t you give me up, please don’t give up / On me, I belong, with you, and only you baby

Only you, my girl / Only you, babe (x)

To be listened to: half singing along alone laying in bed, journaling experiences and feelings, reading new blog posts on The Messy Heads, waiting in parking lots, at gas stations, for directions, feeling disconnected

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Overall, June taught me a lot and I can’t believe it’s already over. Summer is halfway over. I started buying things for my sophomore year dorm; a new duvet, laptop skin, poster, sweatpants and sweatshirts. June taught me a lot about who I am as a person; how I want men to treat me, whether or not I should act on my desires, who in my life is actually there for me and cares for me, and how much it takes for me to give up on something I’ve already started.

And don’t forget the little things in life, like Fruity Pebbles, a new silver necklace, book club, trashy novels about Connecticut housewives, other people’s dogs, causeway sunsets, the one depressing Spotify playlist I have turned up to full volume in my car always, the marinated chicken sandwich at Shanks, Catlen’s pool, yoga, and acceptance.

Both Sides Now

I have such a fascination with life, and hopefully it shows in everything I do, say, and create. It always strikes me how unpredictable and difficult life can be, and how we really, truly only have ourselves. For me, I know I have me, and some people I can count on the most, like my mother, father, brother, and sister. I know they have to and want to love me and care about me and my wellbeing, because they feel tied to me through blood and familial relation.

As much as I absolutely value the connection of friendship, and how I recognize that without my closest and even farthest friends I would not be who I am today, friendship is so fucking fleeting. They end over the smallest of things, or end quietly and you didn’t even notice. A lot of times, I find myself running away in friendships, blocking and unblocking them on Instagram, removing their photo on my lockscreen, avoiding eye contact or snapchats. And it’s so much harder to not care about people because of social media. Social media is fucked up in that sense. I want nothing more than to have some people out of my life. But the kid who falsely accused me of raping him in high school just updated his relationship status on Facebook, and my ex roommate posted a cute picture of the room she redid when I left. It’s. So. Hard.

And I was just saying today that I need to do things alone. I am creative when I’m by myself and I am more myself when I am alone. I can look at things differently when I’m alone and am fully immersed in my own voice and thoughts. I watch the videos and movies I want to watch, I pick and choose what I want to wear regardless of what others may think and what I want to listen to and not have to worry about who doesn’t like rap music.

Another part of me is always like Who are you kidding, you need humans to survive. And I know that. I know I am so reliant on human interaction. I love it and I thrive off of it, and I love making friends and seeing people’s posts on Facebook and VSCO. I love knowing what others are doing because half of it is curiosity and insecurity and the other have is just gathering genuine inspiration.

But then I get a mean text, or a side glance at the dining hall table, or an unanswered snapchat chat, and everything changes. I see the red minus symbols next to their heads like I’m playing Sims. And everything changes. I go back into my hole and I listen to Frank Ocean like it’s eighth grade all over again. Then I discover new parts of me and enter the real world ready to repeat the cycle all over again.

But this is also when I am most vulnerable. When I am all alone I feel fully powerful in a completely vulnerable way, like my soul is standing naked at an open window during a winter storm. And this kid came over last night, we ate chips and drank and talked about our childhoods, and I forgot what it was to feel like this. It’s such a thrill but also makes me want to cry myself to sleep. And that’s when I realized that that is love. Not love in the traditional let’s-get-married, we’re-soulmates sense, but the hey, I love life and so many other people do too and we all experience it different ways love. The kind of love that recognizes Manhattan and Philadelphia as someone’s childhood cities instead of Manhattan and Boston. And that’s the best way to think of it. Yeah, you might not have gone to concerts in Philadelphia on the weekends, but you did go to the Met, and so did he, and you both donated $1 like bad patrons and stared at the art like you were trying to become it.

Love is the vulnerability I feel turning on music I was too afraid to listen to because it reminds me of my old suitemate that I didn’t let myself have feelings for. Love is thinking of the three instances you have watched Pepperoni Playboy with people; one with Amanda on a senior snow day falling asleep, one with Olivia in Peter’s bed high off your ass, and one at 2 a.m. with a boy from New Jersey wearing olive green pants. Love is life and connection and disconnecting for a while and not always having to bring things full circle, because you know that the universe will do that for you and it will fill you with awe and raw emotion. Fascinating.

Yes, I’m Gone to Connecticut in My Mind

My opinion of myself and what is best for me always changes. It changes based on new revelations I have within myself but most often it changes due to influences from people around me. This is probably that one defining character flaw that would lead to my demise if I was a Greek goddess in a mythology tale. I can never seem to trust my own instincts until it is too late.

I need to transfer. Financially, it makes sense. I need to go back to Connecticut and get an undergraduate degree at the best college for the lowest amount I can. I have been denying myself the right to say “need” instead of “should.” This is where I will consciously recognize that I need to transfer. This is my record.

Watch this movie clip if you want to understand the next few paragraphs.
I have been tearing myself up about this since the day I stepped foot on campus. But I knew it as soon as I boarded the airplane for Washington, D.C. I got the exact feeling that I felt when I was a little girl watching What a Girl Wants, when Daphne leaves a voicemail for her mother to listen to while she leaves the country to find her dad. I have always wanted to feel that feeling, the complete serenity in my head and heart that I know I’m doing the right thing, even if it seems hard and like I’m breaking a lot of rules.

As I type this in my bed, rewatching this scene over and over again, there is a reason five-year-old me loved this movie so much and this specific scene. I used to rewind it and watch it until my mother got tired of it and told me to cut it out. I would like to thank my younger self for drilling into my head that I should always follow my heart and my instincts. Even if I don’t remember to most of the time, whenever I get the feeling that I do when Daphne leaves Manhattan, I know that whatever I decided was right for me.

Going to school in D.C. eventually is going to be one of the biggest goals I have ever set for myself. And I intend to accomplish it. Not in my undergraduate years, but in my graduate years. Someday I will sign a lease for an apartment on some street that begins and ends with a letter of the alphabet or the name of a state. And I’m going to sit there and be thankful that eighteen-year-old me had the guts to go against my outside influences and follow what I know is right for me and me alone.

I don’t regret coming here and figuring out all there it is to figure out. I learned how to live with multiple personalities under one roof, three separate times. I learned what I don’t want and what I do want. These two semesters, even as this one continues, just keep changing me into the adult I will eventually fully become.

I would like to thank two of my good friends here in Vermont for reminding me that this isn’t just me. UVM’s retainment rate is pretty low. I’m still going to be dramatic and upset over this decision, just because this is who I am, but I’m not alone.

For Being Dramatic About Transferring

…(because there is a playlist for everything)

Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson                          For the First Time – The Script

I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross                       Butterfly Fly Away – Miley Cyrus

Landslide (Live) – Fleetwood Mac               Carolina in My Mind – James Taylor

Wide Open Spaces – Dixie Chicks                My Eyes – The Lumineers

Out of Place – Gavin Thorpe                          I’m Like a Bird – Nelly Furtado

Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield                So Yesterday – Hilary Duff

The Girl Who Falls Asleep Last at the Sleepover

Every time I come home I’m on edge. I have trouble concentrating and barely eat and basically just sit in my room trying to distract myself from reality. I always attributed this to my discomfort at school, and over break I got to forget about school and basically pretended it was just another Christmas break during high school since all of my friends were home.

Now I understand why.

I came home last night and my little sister and I talked for hours sitting on the couch in my room. She hugged me really tight and told me that she missed me so much, and she is sad that she can’t come into my room and talk to me about anything when I’m gone. I haven’t cried a lot since I used to call my parents in tears last semester, but that made me cry a lot. I hate not being there for her. I can see that she’s going through the same tough middle school experiences that I had and it breaks my heart that I can’t physically be there to support her.

She slept over in my bed tonight and we watched 10 Things I Hate About You. It was her first time seeing it. I thought of the first time I watched it during my sophomore year by myself in my room. I discovered a lot of things that way, like Freaks and Geeks, Clueless, Almost Famous, Perks of Being a Wallflower, the list is endless. I can always transport back to the exact moment, remember the position of the furniture in my bedroom right down to the posters and tapestries, and what boy I was pining over at the time. I feel like when I’m home I never really left, and when I watch these movies again and hear the stories it’s like I never really left that moment.

Every time I come home I’m on edge because everything is different, but everything is so very much the same. I can drive by Maggie’s house, but she won’t be in it. I can find the key in the hidden spot on her front porch and go inside, but she won’t be there watching movies or making dinosaur chicken nuggets. I can sit in the parking lot of the old Morgan and watch traffic go by but never get in another traffic jam at 2:13 whipping out of the parking lot. I can lay in my bed on a winter afternoon and watch the hours tick by but Michael won’t be coming over with homework to do or a town meeting to attend.

Will everything feel that wonderful again? Or will I keep having to avoid the old Taylor Swift songs, the sad ones, that make me cry because I know my childhood is over? I just want everyone to come home and make everything the way it was again. A senior in high school I work with always complains to me about how she is just SO ready for college, and yes, college is great, but there is so much that I gave up to get there. I feel like I traded in the great parts of my life for smaller moments of joy that come less often. Freedom comes at the cost of comfort, security, and deep connection. I don’t know if anyone’s truly my friend if they haven’t come over and lied in my bed at 2 p.m. on a Sunday watching movies. My teachers don’t know my entire family, let alone my aspirations in life or what I eat for breakfast every morning. All of my teachers always knew that.

Wasn’t it easier in your lunchbox days / Always a bigger bed to crawl into / Wasn’t it beautiful when you believed in everything / And everybody believed in you?

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room / Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home / Remember the footsteps, remember the words said / And all your little brother’s favorite songs / I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone.

I hope someday I become like everyone else and forget about all of this, because it hurts to be the only one who cares. It hurts to look at my wall of a thousand memories and realize that I don’t know what my friends are up to all the time. I can’t ride my bike to Riley’s and I can’t drive by Saldamarco’s and see if her car is in the parking lot. We’ve all moved on. Some of us in mind, body, and spirit. I know it’s not cool to not have moved on, but I haven’t. There is too much good here to forget about it so quickly.

I was never one of those kids who said they couldn’t wait for college anyway.

Wisconsin Ave & M Street

My heart is truly pulled in two directions.

img_6525Going to Georgetown again (and just to clarify, I mean the neighborhood, and not the school) made me fall in love with it all over again. Seeing it in the crystal blue mornings of early September, when it was still hot enough for me to wear shorts and a shell shirt, and I ate the ice cubes in my coffee to quell my thirst, I knew it was something special to me. It was hot, and everything was bursting with life and pretty women in dresses with dogs and farmer’s markets. I spent the better part of that Saturday just walking around by myself trying to understand why I felt so comfortable and elated there.

Georgetown in the Late Summer

Foreign Lovers – Ra Ra Riot                   10,000 Emerald Pools – Borns

Can You Tell – Ra Ra Riot                        Dissolve Me – alt-J

Bryn – Vampire Weekend                         Something Good Can Work – Two Door Cinema Club

No No No – Beirut                                       Young Lion – Vampire Weekend

Shake Shake Shake – Bronze Radio Return     Blue Boy – Mac Demarco

The reason why I’m so shook about Georgetown: when I am walking around, in my head I hear these songs. And I consider these artists or songs to be at the core of my being. Every time I hear them, I feel how I feel when I am feeling most myself. I feel an inexplicable warmness in my heart and all of my worries scraped out of my mind. I feel warm sunshine and a cool breeze and a good hair day. I look at the brick and mortar of Georgetown and know that I am in the right place.

Georgetown in Mid-Winter

Love is Blind (Sam Gellaitry Remix) – Lapsley      Sweet n Sour – Waterbed

Dance Yrself Clean – LCD Soundsytem                   Love Lust – King Charles

Gold (Moon Boots Remix) – Bondax                        Gibraltar – Beirut

Good Old Fashioned Nightmare – Matt & Kim     The Glory – Kanye West

A Game – Ski Lodge                                                       Perth – Beirut

img_6524I think of how I felt in sixth grade when I visited Philadelphia. Surrounded by my classmates, I started to cry as we walked into the Independence National Historical Park. All anyone cared about was whether their mom chaperone would stop to get authentic Philly cheese steaks or not, but, clutching my copy of the Declaration of Independence to my heart, I hesitantly grazed the Liberty Bell, a gasp uttering under my breath as I retracted my hand. A guard was smiling at me from the corner. I smiled sheepishly and held back tears of fright.

I think of how I felt when I was fifteen and roamed around Provincetown with my best friend. We thought we were so grown-up, walking around by ourselves. I took a million pictures of the ocean and the old boats and the lobster roll shacks. I flipped through maps of the Cape, outlining the best places to go clamming and the best restaurants for oysters (Wellfleet, obviously). I remember sitting in the library, climbing all over the boat built into the second floor like a child, watching the rain flow down the battered red, white, and blue flags.

I think of how I felt when I was a senior in high school and my humanities teacher took us on an April tour of New Haven and Yale architecture with this man who has written three or four lengthy books on the topic, and even proposed to his wife on top of the Harkness tower (if that’s not me…). Walking past the old churches in the damp, cold heat, we strolled through the Yale old campus and I listened to snippets of Mr. Serenbetz’ conversations with other students. The day ended with the museum and Rothko and a breezy bus ride back to school.

I get these feelings in the gentrified portions of Brooklyn, in the commercialism of Newbury Street, and the streets paving the way to the Met on the Upper East Side. I feel it in the way my heart fills listening to I Just Wanna Be Somebody Else, thinking of grilled cheeses and New Haven. But nothing will every truly match how I feel in Georgetown. Writing this now and listening to Vampire Weekend’s first album in the clattering chaos of my dining hall, I can dream. I do like it here. I love the mountains and the trees and Church Street. I love my friends and wearing snow boots and Ben and Jerry’s. But a huge part of me wishes I was in Georgetown. Realistically, right now I couldn’t get into the undergraduate program at Georgetown University, let alone afford it.

Every time I hear a chord of a Vampire Weekend song or look at the M5 filter on VSCO or sit for hours at a cafe in Burlington looking out at the mountains and Lake Champlain, I’ll get the feeling. And I’ll remember that soon I will feel that all again, by way of a bus, train, plane, or grad school.

The Women’s March on Washington

img_6597

Before the Women’s March was created, I had planned to go to D.C. for the inauguration services. Regardless of who won the presidency, I was slated to get to D.C. that Thursday and come home Sunday. Despite the fact I was pretty upset with the presidency, I still planned to go because it is history. The last time a candidate won the presidency but not the popular vote was George W. Bush in 2000, garnering one more electoral vote than Al Gore. Granted, the popular vote was much less divided than Clinton and Trump, but the fact that these events occurred within twenty years of each other is placing many faults in our electoral college system.

I’m going to spare you the debate on whether the electoral college is good or not: take a political science course and you’ll realize there are no easy answers. But I was interested to see what Trump’s inauguration would look like when the majority vote was pretty starkly won by Clinton. The pictures do not lie; honestly, on a regular sunny day at the National Mall, there could have easily been the same amount of tourists there. And the rhetoric that all of Trump’s supporters were “working” because they have “jobs” as opposed to liberals is flawed, but most of Trump’s supporters do come from places where accessibility to travel is limited. Most of the East Coast didn’t vote for Trump, whereas they could have easily shown for Obama in 2009 without breaking the bank. So I understand why Trump’s inauguration was not the fleshy turnout they expected; the silent majority had their reasons.

img_6646

The following day, I woke up around 8:30 a.m. and went down to cement my place in front of the stage. Getting there, I was about four blocks away from the stage. Large screens projecting the speakers and performers were erected in the middle of Jefferson Drive and everything was set into deep contrast against the white-gray D.C. fog. I had never seen this many people in my life. I had been in a packed 82,500 seat arena when I saw Coldplay, and in the midst of a gigantic tailgate at the Harvard-Yale game, but never in my life have I seen 500,000+ other people all in one concentrated place. The sheer number of people was so powerful that it made the voices of Angela Davis, the Five Mothers, Janet Mock, Scarlett Johansson, Alicia Keys, Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, and every other woman speaking that much more intense. That much more empowering. I couldn’t believe that so many other human beings cared about the same things that me and my closest friends have been fighting and are willing to fight for.

A lot of people had ideas about what the march was supposed to be, and to put it simply, it was about intersectional feminism. Intersectional feminism, as Kamala Harris indirectly pointed out, is about looking at each global issue and how it affects women of all backgrounds and abilities. Because yes, each global issue is also a men’s problem, and it is also a people problem. But as women we need to be aware of how each issue is directly affecting us. As a white woman, I want to encourage every other white woman to start caring about other women. In this country, we are stunted because of stigmas and unequal pay and gendered criticism, but these issues affect minority women and disabled women in a completely different way than they do to us. It is so much harder for them. And this march was important in reminding all women that there is a struggle, but the struggle is complex and different for everyone. And we need to fight for everyone. img_6645

Siesta Key, Florida

“Do you remember when we ate summer like watermelon until it turned our cheeks pink? The ocean tangled its fingers through our hair and the sun painted our shoulders with brushstrokes of honey. At the end of the day, our skin smelled thick, like salt and sweat and home…” (x)

img_6416

I spent a week in Florida with my cousin and uncle, right on the beach. The second I got off the highway and onto the thin little island I jumped in the ocean, splashing around. Anyone who knows me well enough knows I love the ocean more than anything else on this planet. Siesta Key is on the Gulf Coast, and I had never swam in the Gulf. I saw sand dollars and dolphins and sharks and pelicans. I ate donuts and ice cream and everything smelled like real-life Bobbi Brown Beach perfume (which is my favorite). I don’t think I could ever live in Florida because the urban sprawl is horrendous and they act like they don’t care about their land at all with how much they develop it. Besides the ocean it is strip malls and university parks and hotels and resorts. It actually gave me a new appreciation for Vermont and, as always, made me love Connecticut even more.

Below is some writing I did when I was there and on the plane, and a playlist that I think encompasses the feeling of sunset more than anything else I have ever made.

img_6415

January 10, 2017 |

I don’t know how to write about sex. I don’t like writing about sex. I am still in the mindset that it’s dirty and shameful. I don’t know how to write about a female’s body. I don’t like writing about female bodies. I feel like I am objectifying myself on the brink of pointlessness because there are legions of other things to write about. Laying out half naked with nothing to do, burning layers of my skin so I can go home bronzed. Looking in the mirror when I get home, about to take a shower, my entire body tender except the stark white parts. It’s funny. What we keep quiet, what we hide from the world is so darkly contrasted from what we let the world see. You start to question if all of the guys who have seen the parts that don’t become sunburnt matter, and you start to question if other people think about this too. I thought about all the times I wanted to cry to my mom but I couldn’t because I don’t want to know what the look on her face would be if I told her. I thought about laying alone in my dark dorm room, Polina fast asleep, in my big t-shirts and dirty hair and messy thoughts. I wanted to cry to my mom, to anyone, to someone. I am so alone in this body, I am trapped beneath flaps of skin and courses of blood and I am not sure who I am. I think about the time my father called Jenny from Forrest Gump damaged goods. I don’t know how to write about sex. I don’t like writing about sex. But sometimes I can’t believe it.

IMG_6420.jpg

January 12, 2017 |

I love planes because you have no choice but to think about your destination. The plane takes off and a few words rush into your head, either “home” or “the beach” or “school” and certain emotions fill your heart. A sense of relief, terror, heartbreak, or just the opposite. As you listen to your liftoff songs and look at the moon, everything seems renewed and you leave behind who you were where you were and have the opportunity to become something completely different… I don’t know if I’m ever going to feel truly comfortable anywhere besides the northeast.

Impression

Summer Heart – I Wanna Go

Baby Bash – Suga Suga (Soysauce Remix)

Henry Green – Electric Feel (Gespleu Downcast Edit)

Ben Phipps – I Don’t Think So

ODESZA – White Lies feat. Jenni Potts (Filip Flip)

Meltycanon – Happy End

Jovani Occomy x Olmos – Electric Feel & Gooey

Arcade Fire x Flatbush Zombies – PalmTreesInTheSuburbs

Washed Out – It All Feels Right

Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing (Kygo Remix)

Libby Knowlton – Florida Kilos x Stay High

 

 

2016 Reflection

I’ve been reading a lot of posts that in one way or another reflect on the past year. My therapist also had me write a little bit about how this year went through some guided questions. But honestly, I feel the most effective way is going through month by month and digging up the experiences and lessons that challenged me or changed me.

In January, I started out with a lot of New Haven trips. It was midterm season and break. I painted a lot with my friends and burned a lot of candles. January’s are consistently filled with baths and movies and writing. For some reason I always feel super inspired. The break is rejuvenating, and it is especially more so now that I have a whole month. January brought me more of the heart of fencing season. Fencing season was an important part of me becoming obsessed with Connecticut.

February was interesting. All I can recall are awkward dates, my red peacoat, No More Parties in LA, really really cold bike rides, and a snowy trip to Boston. February increased my love of trains and public transportation. My favorite memory of February was probably visiting Hopkins’ campus outside of New Haven. They have the hands down best view of the skyline, and I’ve climbed East and West Rock. This is the month I realized I had no idea what I was doing when it came to college. My applications were sent in and I realized I had no interest in Cambridge. Or really anywhere I applied.

March was really the beginning of the end. It started to get increasingly warmer and I would lay in my bed with my skylights open, birds chirping, writing about how much I’m going to miss high school. I also became increasingly apathetic. And I wore sunglasses a lot. On St. Patrick’s Day I went to the Met for the first time and we also had the chicken hat during that trip. I also didn’t eat for two days during this month because I was being sad and dramatic about a boy breaking up with me. Mac Demarco got me through March.

April was Tame Impala’s Currents. That’s pretty much it. Also, the Lumineers’ new album. Ophelia to be exact. I committed to UVM in April. I bought a blue dress with pink flowers on it that I wore every day pretty much. This is also the month of the Vampire Weekend renaissance, and track. I also finished Gossip Girl, which was huge. This month was a lot of loopy handwriting and reading Gatsby in Humanities. I saw Bernie Sanders speak at a rally. It rained a lot.

May was just a lot of crying and sunshine at the same time. Also Change the World by Mac Demarco. Also, more Dairy Queen visits. I miss sitting at Dairy Queen for hours with my friends talking to the other kids who came in and roasting people. Everyone painted their lockers during school in May and the Senior Courtyard was filled with people again. Coloring Book came out. I remember crying riding the bus up route 79, sitting by myself listening to Blurryface on the way to my last track meet. I didn’t even like track too much but it was so sad. Rothko and increased beach days. The smell of my driver’s ed teacher’s car. My 18th birthday. Resonance.

June was a lot of the same. Changes. Lasts. Graduating. Getting spray tans for two proms. Muhammad Ali dying. Making mistakes. Seeing twenty one pilots and screaming my heart out. Getting emotional 24/7. Graduation parties. Perks. 10,000 Emerald Pools. There was a beautiful day during finals at Stony Creek that I spent with Wyatt and Michael. It was probably one of my favorite days of the year. It was also the day the wind was absolutely incredible, and we were getting blown away down at Lighthouse Point. I took some great photos that day. I was so happy. Late nights, last dinners, smiles and tears. Gilmore Girls. Rt. 222. Jesus Camp. So many amazing, happy memories.

July was sailing. I got insanely tan. I listened to Wagon Wheel a lot. I watched fireworks and went to weird coworker parties with my family. I took a trip to Bear Mountain with Catie. I went to great restaurants and had a lot of Cohen’s. Manhattanhenge. Getting what I want. I wore my first bitch outfit. First blog post about said relationship. SEEING COLDPLAY. I drove right after summer rain just before golden hour on route 80 to East Haven listening to PGHB. I almost cried at how perfect the moment was. Many, many grad parties. Blueberry Basil Lemonade. The Democratic Town Committee. Capsizing. Slow mornings. Late breakfasts. James Farmacy with Ella in our little corner. Do You Love Me.

August was rushed. August was filled with the pressure of ending summer with a bang. I was so nervous. I drove to Brooklyn and saw Beirut. I said goodbye to a lot of people. I figured out I really love applewood smoked gouda. I was the lead in a play and didn’t totally fuck it up. BIRI. My red dress and buying Jack Rogers. Riding bikes around the island with Ella, Wyatt, Brett and Michael was probably the best memory of that month. The town fireworks. Help Me Lose My Mind. Sailing. Misquamicut and Dave’s Coffee and talks with Kitty. I said goodbye and Brett sang to me in the car and it made me feel so much better. Leaving home was the saddest thing I ever had to do. I went to school and basically immediately bought a plane ticket to D.C.

September was a lot of trying. My new classes weren’t engaging. My professors were cold. It was so hot and I didn’t know what I was doing. I bought too many crepes. I spent way too much money in D.C. I cried on the plane home and when I touched down in Burlington. That’s when I knew things weren’t going to be that okay. I went to the farmer’s markets and watched Across the Universe a lot. I spent a lot of time eating overpriced snacks and watching Gilmore Girls.

October is when things started to go downhill. I got home the first time and felt frantic. I sailed in a regatta and cried driving away from the beach. I cried when we passed the Massachusetts border later in the day. Someone scratched “H2O lean same thing” into the bus window and I accidentally put beer in my coffee. It got super cold super fast and I bought a yellow jacket at Second Time Around. I got to experience Boston two weekends in a row. At the end of the month, I was done for.

November was the most uncomfortable experience of my life. My roommates hated me and I didn’t come home until 2 a.m. most nights because I didn’t want them to yell at me. I got a lot of stress pimples and realized I could not pass math. I became a recluse basically. I did make a few friends but I just really started to miss home. And then I went home after a weekend in Boston and realized I completely lost myself. Then I came back, wore turtlenecks, lipstick, and listened to Cigarettes After Sex.

December was better, filled with realizing things. First semester ended. I went to a few hockey games. I accepted what happened and moved on. I lived with Russian people and sold my clothes online. I suffered through school related depression and became addicted to mushrooms. I got in a car accident on the way home from school and my hands and feet literally froze. I worked, slept, wrote. Started my transfer applications.

2016 was probably the worst and best year of my life. It was filled with a lot of depression and sadness but so many happy things happened in the first half of the year that I can’t discount them. And my travels to Boston and D.C. first semester were positive experiences that got me away from my reality for weekends. I realized where my priorities lie this year, and worked towards them. I can say that I got what I wanted. Or at least I’m halfway there. My experiences this year are so valuable to who I am today that it’s incredible I’m not a completely different person. I have grown up and become more of who I was meant to be.

Public Transportation

I had to write a poem as a final project for my art class. It encompasses some of what I post on here so I thought it would be fit to post it.

Staring out of minivan windows overlooking my old exits

The air conditioner blasting into my dry eyes from the front vent

I was turning fifteen as the train reached Harlem.

I bought a new perfume, stumbling from Gramercy Park

To the Upper West Side, joining a line of girls with hearts on their cheeks.

I was going to miss the last train out of Manhattan that night

But we ran and caught it and went back to where we were supposed to be

Overlooking my old exits, the air conditioner turned off

And my thin black sweater wrapped around my shoulders

When the yellow lights in my small town started blinking.

 

Staring out of bus windows overlooking the suspension bridges

The nicked glass melting in the winter sun

Tea tree oil, coconut and cocoa butter lotion

Prepaid Metro-North ticket in my right hand

A winter jacket, scarf, and jar of water in the other.

I was going to miss the last train out of his town that night

But I ran and caught it and went back to where I was supposed to be

Overlooking the suspension bridges, nicked glass

Reminding me of the wall that separated me and the Fox news

Channel watching and car crashing.

 

Staring out onto 16th Street and Corcoran, Gregorian chant

Wakes me up, my Airbnb man opened the windows last night

Sweat and mascara and pear vodka in my toothpaste

I think he smokes, but only the bathroom smells like cigarettes.

Flight itinerary printed out in the library in my laptop case,

Clothes strewn all over the bed and risks permeating my emptying wallet.

I was going to miss my flight out of Dulles early next morning

But I rolled out of bed and threw on a sweatshirt and the uber came

And I could breathe, and I was going back to where I was supposed to be.

When I hung up my new map and circled in the street corner,

It didn’t feel that way at all.

 

Everything was fine when the piano kicked in,

When I missed the last bus out of St. Paul Street

I wasn’t cold, there was no Grand Central to welcome me in,

No big yellow school bus waiting to take me back to my skyline.

Everything was fine when the piano kicked in

And I will continue to hope it will be because

It didn’t feel that way at all.