September Favorites

for your eyes

University of Vermont’s “Black Lives Matter” Flag– I am so proud of my school!!!! AND so pumped to have been mentioned in Rookiemag, one of my favorite things ever in early high school. A lot of controversy was sparked and the flag was stolen, but the Student Life Director and his wife painted a new one and subsequently flew it among our other flags once again. I couldn’t make the solidarity photo because of class, but how fucking cool is this:

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Lexie Lombard’s “what high schoolers are ACTUALLY wearing” Video– This video was the cutest thing I have ever seen, because everyone was so honest and unabashedly themselves. I have watched countless “What to wear back to school!” videos since I started watching YouTube, but Lexie has been putting out unbelievably real and entertaining content lately, and this is a gem.

MediaFile D.C.– When I was in D.C. I met the kindest, sweetest, smartest person ever- her name is Swetha, and she recently took a position as the technology writer for this publication. She hasn’t published anything yet, but the site is so interesting, my favorite article so far is this one released today on media bias. It’s not long and beaten to death with academic language, it’s quite accessible, which is nice.

France did a really cool thing!!!!

The second weekend in September was ArtHop, a very-Burlington Burlington event. I left with a vintage YSL necktie and images of organically flower-dyed $300 sleep shirts in my head. I discovered what exactly what Battery Street Jeans is, and I got to see this wonderful painting by Robert Gold, pictured below. It’s called NYC Starbucks. I really like it because of its pink light and how he played with the reflections of the outside and inside. Go Robert.IMG_4241.jpg

for your ears

Glass Animals’ How to Be a Human Being– My suite mates played this vinyl to death, and with good reason. I liked a few Glass Animals songs before, but this album is an absolute masterpiece… each song is about a person they met on their tours since their last album was released, which is super interesting, because I love people and each of the stories in the song lyrics are distinct and unconventional.

STRFKR released two new singles- Tape Machine and Open Your Eyes, a follow-up to earlier this year’s Never Ever. They’re all really good at getting me to walk places at 7 o’clock in the morning.

Fearless by Taylor Swift– I think the time where college feels most lit for me is when I come home from long days, lay in bed, work on homework and listen to this album really. loudly. Also, The Way I Loved You is one of the greatest songs of all time.

I’ve really been feeling Washed Out’s Paracosm lately, mostly because of the kind of hot/kind of not/early sunset weather we’re having. Yesterday I played It All Feels Right with the windows down on I-189 after a wrong turn around golden hour, and everything felt exactly as it sounded.

everything else

Shelburne Farms– During parent’s weekend, my family and I went down to Shelburne,  a beautiful suburb of Burlington with rolling hills, grassy knolls… the typical Vermont thing. They have an elementary schooling program which is kind of amazing. It’s a small class and kids learn sustainability and farm skills while getting a classical education, I have a friend who went who can totally vouch for that. And I had the best cheese ever-aged smoked cheddar cheese, the 6-9 month kind. I literally ate it off the block without Triscuits or anything while watching Gilmore Girls yesterday. It’s gone now!

Mac and Cheese and Chips- After a bad day, going down to my dorm’s cafe and getting a bowl of mac and cheese and Deep River kettle chips is heavenly. I don’t even bother getting a spoon; I use the chips to dip into the macaroni, and the cheese adheres the noodles to the chip, forgoing “compostable” utensils.

Running Your Fingers Across Flower Bushes- I came up with the perfect alternative to picking flowers (which is bad- let the flowers live #uvmstudentthings) which includes taking your bare hand and just running it across a flower bush. You get the same physical effect and your hands and wrists will smell good for like an hour. I swear, I do this whenever I pass one which is a lot.

Saxby’s– On a particularly rough early Sunday in D.C., I immediately hopped in an Uber to Georgetown and found this place while wandering up and down the side streets of Wisconsin Ave. I got a blueberry bagel with peanut butter and a caramel iced coffee. It saved my life and they even played that song from the 2000s- the “listen to your heart, before you tell him goodbye” one. It’s kind of like the Starbucks of the DMV/Philly area. Thanks, Saxby’s. Hoya saxa.

I have this romper in a different pattern from the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale and I’ve gotten compliments on it from every kind of person, it’s so soft and YOUR THIGHS DON’T CHAFE!!! I ordered it a size larger, and it’s honestly the most comfortable thing I own.

For the Ones Who Stress Shower

Due to my constant and overbearing feeling of terror and loathing while I clomp down L/L’s stairs in dirty Jack Rogers sandals, preparing myself for breakfast, lunch, and dinner spent alone, I have come up with a repertoire of things I can latch onto to make this place feel more like Connecticut, more like a safe space, and more like home. Here are those things:

1. Talking to straight edge people. These people don’t have to have anything in common with you. You don’t even have to like them. You could be a cocaine addict or an alcoholic, it doesn’t matter. But if they refuse to do drugs or drink alcohol, there is a safe bet they are pleasant people. They will remind you that not everyone is scary and most importantly that not everyone thinks vaping is cool.

2. Memorizing a poem or song. Over the summer, I memorized (while procrastinating everything else of course) the poem Bygones by Marina Keegan. The poem has a lot of sentimental value to me and repeating it tonight walking to my dorm with a chocolate milkshake in my hand had real therapeutic value. I also like to play songs in my head, with lyrics flashing up on a screen like a lyric YouTube video, to take my mind off whatever the matter is at hand, which is usually being alone in a crowd of people wearing identical Birkenstocks.

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3. Reading for pleasure. Right now, I am reading Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. I don’t like it as much compared to The Vacationers, but reading a style of writing that is familiar is comforting to me. Making a point of buying yourself new books to read that aren’t for classes is so important, even if you only have five minutes per day to actually read it. Another way to fulfill this need and not spend money is to find blogs and read the shit out of them. I read The Messy Heads and The College Prepster (who also has a shit ton of tips for college students), and when I was an underclassman I read Rookie.

4. Focusing on the future. The weekend before real classes is a lot of waiting, and syllabus week will not be much different. Looking at internships back home and planning concert trips has been one of my favorite distractions. Going off to college knowing I would be visiting Michael in a few weeks and seeing Two Door Cinema Club has given me something to look forward to. I also purchased my passport, and I hope to find somewhere to travel to during Christmas break!

5. Preserving small pieces of your at-home routine. I make the same breakfast as I did every morning junior and senior year of high school (albeit, in plastic containers and with Walmart silverware) here, before my 8:30 a.m. classes or incoming freshman activities on weekends. I also still shower around the same time at night (9 p.m.) and write in my One Line a Day Journal that Maggie got me for Christmas before I go to bed. Small things like checking the Timehop app every morning help, too.

6. Being honest and vulnerable with everyone. College is so good, I’m sure, for so many people. But personally, I’m having a significantly difficult time with adjusting. In a lecture the other day, the speaker said to all of us, “Vulnerability fuels connection.” And something I have been lacking here is a feeling of connection, whether it be to the place I live or the people I live with. I am trying in all ways possible to be transparent with people, and maybe that seems off-putting to the person on the receiving end, but it makes me feel better about my experience.

7. Coffee. It’s the New England thing. It’s the pace of life. It’s what your mother and father and boss and next door neighbor and grandfather and professor and cousin-in-law all crave first thing in the morning. It’s the championing drink of successful, busy, lazy, unsuccessful, stupid, smart, human people. We all share the common human condition that is called “I need coffee.” And, personally, I don’t have the fucking time to use a tea press or whatever that is.

8. Always having your favorite childhood snacks on hand. Yes, I’m afraid of the freshman fifteen, but having a carton of Goldfish and a bag of Smartfood popcorn in my dresser drawer brings comfort to my soul.

9. Finding people from where you’re from. These people will reminisce on your area’s restaurants and highway traffic with you. These people are important and you need them to feel small moments of relief.

10. Never underestimate the power of FaceTime. My entire campus has functional Wi-Fi, so I never really use data, and that makes FaceTime all the more acceptable for my data plan. I FaceTime people walking to and from everywhere, especially when I have no one to talk to. FaceTiming my family is funny and they ask me embarrassing questions really loudly. I like the disruptive power of FaceTiming in public because people give you weird looks, and you should always strive for weird looks, especially in an already strange place because you have accomplished a new level of psychotic. (I have won a few of these and I’m proud.)