I was able to see Rivers Of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom and was blown away! I hope you enjoy this inside look at the outstanding new show!
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How to get through the best Hump Day get together.
What would Wine Wednesdays be without wine? Grab a bottle of red and a bottle of white so that you have some variety. If you feel like splurging, get a bottle of Rosé too.
A DIY craft: One you and your friends can do on your Wine Wednesday is making your own wine glass ID tags. Below are some examples:
(PLEASE do not drink and craft)
Cheese and Meats are a MUST: You can have a pot-luck where everyone brings cheeses, meats and crackers OR you can make a dish of meat and cheese to share with your friends.
Pick out a movie: You have your wine, food and friends. Gather around your television/laptop and pick out a few movies to watch together.
Pick out some music: If you don't want to watch a movie, pick out some songs and dance with your friends to the rhythm of wine.
(Lady Gaga wine costume is optional...)
Just remember that the night is about friends, making memories and enjoying your Wine Wednesday.
Every day of the week is unique, to say the least. Although they don't have to get up for work or go to class on a Monday, dogs truly relate to the struggle we face every day. Here are the days of the week as told by the cutest pups around:
The worst day of them all. Trying to get out of bed is actually the biggest struggle. How many more days until the weekend again?
Okay, getting out of bed on Monday is very hard, but you know what's harder? Staying awake in class on a Tuesday. The weekend is really hitting you now.
HUMP DAY!! So close, yet so far. We all need some serious assistance getting through this day.
Thirsty Thursday, the ultimate tease for the weekend. At this point, it's hard to contain one's excitement.
An accurate representation of everyone submitting their work so that they're free of responsibilities and can start pre-gaming.
Friday was pretty cool, but Saturday night is sure to be better. A full day to yourself without any classes. Where's the party?
Sunday, the day where it is a competition to see who can accomplish the least amount of work. This dog completely understands. No matter how hard someone tries, they will NOT get up. Wake me up when the week is over.
The hump day of your college years.
I remember freshman year like it was just yesterday. I remember frantically walking to my first class with my highlighted map of campus in hand trying to get there early to get a front row seat. I remember learning that college exams are very different from high school ones. Studying the night before an exam just doesn’t cut it like it used to. Through the good, bad and the ugly of my freshman year, I knew everything was going to be OK because I was only a freshman. I didn’t know any better! It was only going to get easier right?
“I’m Not a Freshman Therefore the Freshman 15 Doesn’t Exist”
Also wrong. Just because you are not longer a freshman, unfortunately doesn’t make you immune to packing on the lbs your second year at school. Some people are so psyched that they didn’t gain the obligatory 15 pounds freshman year that they just assume they’re in the clear for the rest of their time at college. Sophomore year might even be an even more difficult to keep your health in check. If you now live in an apartment with your own kitchen you might have to pay for your own groceries and skip the meal plan. This could be either a blessing or a curse when it comes to eating healthy depending on how much time/money you’re willing to spend. Cooking healthy meals takes a lot of time and it is expensive! Meanwhile fast food is dirt cheap and very quick. So don’t be fooled by the catchy saying, you can most definitely still gain weight even if you have been spared the “freshman 15”.
The Apartment Life
For many, sophomore year means ditching the dorms and becoming a real human and live in a real life apartment. Whether it be on campus or not the transition from a dorm to an apartment is a big one and takes some getting used to. You no longer have paid staff to clean your bathroom, you have to cook for yourself, and all while being a college student! The apartment experience really does depend on the types of roommates you have. Luckily I get along with mine (right now) but you will inevitably get annoyed with your roomies sooner or later. Your roommates are going to forget to buy toilet paper, or not put another bag in the garbage after taking it out, or not take the garbage out at all. It will drive you crazy. You will survive. What I miss most about living in a dorm was that I was basically living with my ten best friends my freshman year. Now my closest friend is about a seven-minute walk from my apartment. Not ideal.
“Put That Beer Pong Down”
During the first few weeks of my sophomore year I have come to the realization that frat parties aren’t as magical as they were when I was a freshman. I remember my first frat party * sighs nostalgically *. It was all so cool and foreign. Plus I no longer had a curfew so needless to say I was excited to be going out as a college student for the first time. I was star struck. There was cool music, there were cool guys and free beer (even if it was luke-warm natty light). My first semester of college I learned the hard way that going out three days a week does in fact take a toll on you (and your GPA). Although I was having a great time, I found that with every frat party I went to throughout my freshman year the magic of them was slowly wearing off. At the end of my first year I couldn’t help but think to myself “I am too old for this.” Don’t get me wrong you will probably find me at your local frat party this weekend, but I do miss the magic.
“Help Me, I’m Poor”
Being broke is basically a rite of passage as a college student. The four years you spend as an undergraduate student is probably the only time in your life it will be socially acceptable to be dirt poor. Everyone knows the struggle and no one will judge you for eating Ramen for every meal for a week straight. Something I noticed is that my parents were much more eager to give me money during my freshman year than they are my sophomore year. My phone calls home last year were a lot different than they are now. Last year, my mother would answer the phone enthusiastically, so happy that her loving daughter decided to phone home. If I even hinted that I was pressed on cash, she would send me money in a hot second. After a year of that, my mom isn’t so enthused about shelling out money to me. When you’re a freshman, your parents miss you and are happy that you still need them. But after a year, they’re used to having you away from home and are getting tired of giving away money. This is why you have to make the most of your freshman give outs and try to save up for when you’ll really be needing it.
Being a sophomore is awesome because this isn’t your first rodeo, you know what to expect but you don’t have to be worrying about your resume or internships just yet. Being a sophomore is difficult because you know what to expect therefore more is expected from you. Classes get harder and being a freshman isn’t a viable excuse anymore. My advice: make the most of it! You’re almost half way through the best four years of your life. Don’t waste it!
Why August is the longest month and the transition to fall is warmly welcomed.
August was a long month. This year, it was probably my longest month. It felt never ending. The end of the month felt so far away.
I’m not the kind of person to wish away time. I am someone who strives to savor seconds, minutes, days. But I simply couldn’t wait for August to end.
The single month of August was filled with more life changes than I’ve been through in my entire life. I lived in my house for only nine days in August. On the night of August the 8th, I told each one of my closest childhood friends goodbye. On the morning of the 9th, I told my home, my street, and my little sleepy town goodbye. Two days later I moved into a new kind of “home” and I met a new group of friends. I drove down a new street; I found myself in a new sleepy town. Just a few short days felt like an entire year’s worth of change.
And so the new adventure began. New roommate, neighbors, coffee shops, pizza places, stop lights, faces and ice cream shops, all within the same month.
Three days later and my family was on an airplane back home. A family of four flying home with just three tickets. All within August.
Two days later and classes started. A new school, new teachers, new desks, new classmates, new white boards. All within the same month. It felt like weeks and weeks had gone by, and yet it was still August.
And then slowly, reality began to set in. The missing your best friend reality. The missing family dinner, missing your favorite food places, missing your nightly driving route kind of reality. And so you thought to yourself, “Surely it’s September by now. It must be October. So much time has passed, right?” And yet it was still August.
Time just felt so stagnant. Like I was stuck. August made me think about the goodbyes. Summers on the beach with my best friends. Family cookouts in my backyard. Aimless nights spent driving in circles with the windows down. And yet here I was, trying to start something new, but feeling so conflicted. Like I couldn’t really start because August means summertime, not school. It means starting a new grade with your forever friends, not thinking about which stranger to sit next to in your next class. August felt long and still and nothing felt real. Nothing felt permanent. August felt like a dream.
So I really can’t explain how excited I was for September to start because September means the fall. It means routine. It means something new. And it sets the tone for the rest of the academic year. It wasn’t until September 1 that this new place started to feel just a little bit like home.
So August, I am glad you are over. I am glad that the goodbyes and the moving and the uncertainty and the big changes are over. September, I am excited for you. I hope you bring cooler weather and changing leaves and lasting friendships and exciting football games and just a little bit of clarity as to what I’m doing with this new stage of life.
My incredible experience from the summer I spent in Arizona (and California).
On July 9th, I flew from humid and slightly hot Illinois to extremely hot Phoenix, Arizona.
When I got off the plane, my friend, Carolyn, told me to stay inside until she got there unless I wanted to melt. When she got here and I went outside, it was extremely clear to me why. In the shade of the pick-up area at the airport, it felt like I was standing in the sun in the middle of a paved parking lot at home.
Fortunately, we left for Flagstaff almost immediately, which ended up being a lot cooler and a little closer to the weather I was used to. After getting up at 5:00 a.m. for my 9:40 flight, only for it to be delayed 2 hours, I was pretty exhausted so throughout the day I had to get my caffeine fix. By the time we got to Carolyn's apartment in Flagstaff, I was feeling a little better but I was still pretty exhausted. It was a pretty quiet first day.
Our second day, we went to downtown Flagstaff and wandered around all of the stores. It doesn't take long to fall in love with Flagstaff, at least for me. It's located in the mountains, all the restaurants we visited were good, and there were lots of places to amble. Since it was still pretty early in the day, we decided to go to Sedona, where we had planned to go, but didn't have time to, when I was here in January. It was so hot and bright out but it was still cool to get to see, even with all the little tourist shops.
Monday started, as did most of our days, with a stop for our caffeine fix. Dutch Bros Coffee, which I had never been to, was donating all profits towards the Second Chance animal shelter. Carolyn, her roommate, Molly, and I all went out for coffee and stopped by Fractured Prune for some of the most delicious donuts. The rest of the day was mostly dedicated to wandering around downtown yet again. Tuesday, we planned on going to the Grand Canyon extremely early, which meant taking it easy for the rest of the day so we could handle getting up.
On Wednesday, Carolyn, Molly, and I went for a (short-lived) hike and spent the rest of the day watching Food Network, as is our way.
When I was here in January, before Carolyn had graduated, she showed me around the Northern Arizona University campus. We went around again, stopping by the bookstore, and the Comm Building she spent the majority of her time in. Shortly after, we went to downtown Flagstaff, as we frequently did. Spending so much time down there made it really clear why it would be so hard to leave. I always knew leaving Arizona was going to be difficult because it meant leaving Carolyn until we could both manage to see each other again, but leaving Flagstaff was difficult in its own way. It's beautiful and unique and I loved every second i spent there.
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign