Somehow I Ended Up With A Different Tea From Each Relationship

Somehow I Ended Up With A Different Tea From Each Relationship

Evidently, the way to my heart is through tea.
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I'll preface this by attempting to convey just how extensive a collection of teas I possess.

I despise monotony. I love to have a wide variety of teas at my disposal so I can select from an array of different options, depending on my mood.

Thus, I have boxes and boxes of cheap tea bags. There are black teas and green teas and herbal teas. Whimsical chais and strong Earl Greys for socializing or watching movies. Lemon-gingers and spicy echinacea blends for when I'm feeling sick or soothing a sore throat. Fruity strong teas with raspberry or lemon for focus while reading or writing. Light, refreshing jasmines and greens with peach or mango or apricot for when I need to calm down and relax.

A few nice loose leaf blends have also made their way into my collection. One is a souvenir from a historic house, another is an experiment I purchased at the grocery store to practice brewing with a diffuser. But several were given to me by friends, or more-than-friends, and these are the teas that have the most interesting stories behind them.

The first is a chai green which was given to me by a dear friend last summer. We met through our summer job and ended up spending a lot of time together and becoming close friends. Early in our friendship, he picked up on the fact that I am a passionate tea lover. So before we went our separate ways, he gave me a lovely little sample of some delicious chai green that he'd bought especially for me at a tea shop when he'd gone home one weekend.

Even though we were never more than friends, I still have the rest of the chai he gave me, and it still reminds me of the happy times we spent together that summer.

Next to his chai, I have another little bag of loose leaf that I picked up the same summer, from a different connection with a different guy. This fruity white tea came from a tea shop in the little town where I lived for my summer job, and it turned out that the lady who owned the shop was the mother of a boy that took me on a few dates that August. Even though this brief relationship ended within a month, that bag of tea I bought from his mother is still in my collection.

To solidify this trend of teas connected to boys, my most recent love interest and I bonded over our mutual love for tea. He bought me a few different boxes of tea bags—a caramel chai black tea for one night when I was feeling down, an herbal echinacea tea for the week I got sick with a bad cold. But then, he gave me a very nice loose leaf tea sampler for Christmas—far nice than I knew what to do with.

We shared many a cup of this high-end tea over the span of our time together, and now I have three tea tins' worth of memories from this boyfriend to add to my collection of relationship-teas.

Evidently, the way to my heart is through tea. Potential friends and suitors, take note.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Corso

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To The Girl Who Doesn't Party In College

They are rare, I know.
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I know what you all are thinking, she is just writing the article to brag on herself or to show the world the kind of person she is. No, I am writing this article to the girl out there who feels as if she is alone.

Not being a part of the party season is not the most popular thing to do on a college campus. Most people spend their days thinking about what they will do at night. Life pretty much revolves around the next party. But for people like me, it isn't spent thinking about alcohol or the next party I'm going to attend. And that can get pretty lonely.

It is not like I sit and wallow in my sadness or ever feel like my friends leave me out because I don't drink. I have great friends that support every decision I make. But, some are not that lucky. Some girls don't have the support system like me and I am here to tell you to never compromise the person you want to be just because you don't fit in. If you don't want to party, don't give in just because your friends are pressuring you into. Not to sound cliche, but find new friends because they are not your real ones. Choosing to stay true to you will pay off in the end, and you won't regret it. I promise.

I don't know why you choose to not attend the party scene, but I would be hindering my calling if I didn't tell you why I don't. I know this guy, and his name is Jesus. He is my best friend and the person I talk to about everything. It is because of Him that I decided to not party, to set an example for the people around me. But, I am also not 21. So I don't think, by any means, that me having a margarita when I turn 21 is hurting my reputation or my testimony. I firmly believe that alcohol isn't a sin when consumed in the right ways. I also don't ever see myself as a partier, 21 or not. Partying is a way of conforming and a way of becoming what this fallen world deems acceptable.

So to the girl who fails to be the typical college partier, I commend you. I look up to you. I respect you. I want you to know how rare you are. You choosing to not party and rise above the college standard is something you will never regret. I don't believe that my college years are boring because of the way I decide to live my life. I wish that I could befriend each and every girl relating to this article. So, when those Friday nights get boring, remember that you are not alone. You are rising above the standard.

Sincerely,

The girl who doesn't party in college

Cover Image Credit: Krisztian Hadi / Flickr

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A Tribute To The RTS Bus

As New York prepares to retire its longest-running and most unique transit buses, it's worth taking a look at how they have become icons of the city.

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Later this year or early next year, NYC will say goodbye to one of its most recognizable transportation icons. Although few New Yorkers know them by name, almost every New Yorker has seen and rode on one of them. Since they debuted in 1981, the classic Rapid Transit Series (RTS) buses have transported New Yorkers over 2 billion miles on almost every bus route in the city. With their distinctive design and legendary reliability, they have become not just an icon, but a symbol, of the MTA and NYC in general.

A RTS bus in service in Manhattan during rush hour.Greg Huang

If you're a typical transit rider, you probably take bus riding and buses in general for granted. Virtually all of my friends see a bus as a bus and not much else. I hate to say this, but in the 21st century, they actually have a point. Go to any American city and most of the buses you'll find are literally boxes on wheels. Styling is sacrificed for economics. Ride comfort is sacrificed for accessibility. A bus could literally bring a sense of guilt to its occupants—it's as if they have no other choice but to ride in that flavorless, boring box.

Many modern transit buses are boxes on wheels, with minimal styling.Greg Huang

However, the RTS is anything but a box on wheels. It was born in the 1970s, when the USDOT was pushing bus manufacturers to design a "bus of the future". Back then, public transit was not frowned upon like the way it is today, and the futurism of the space age was a recent memory. Out of this environment, General Motors designed a bus that was groundbreaking yet controversial, and futuristic yet practical. And with that, the RTS made its debut to the world in 1977.

The RTS was revolutionary when it debuted in 1977. i1.wp.com

With its sloped front end, curved side windows, smooth bodywork, and modular design, the RTS was quite unlike anything else on the road at the time. Its styling was so radical, in fact, that GM had to offer the more utilitarian Classic alongside it. In addition to its futuristic styling, the RTS also boasted state-of-the-art amenities, including a "kneeling" feature, automatic temperature control, and an optional wheelchair lift.

In addition to the sleek design, the RTS came with multiple state-of-the-art features. farm8.static.flickr.com

In the four decades since, the RTS has served almost every city across America. But in New York, it not only fulfilled its mission, but it did so with flying colors. Between 1981 and 1999, the MTA ordered over 4,000 RTS buses, and at its peak, the RTS made up almost 90% of NYC's bus fleet. The RTS stood out not only to commuters, but also to the MTA itself. Among buses purchased in the same year, the RTS was always the last to be retired. Many individual RTS buses ran for over 20 years in service, when the average transit bus lifespan is 12 to 16 years. And two decades of carrying passengers in NYC is no walk in the park. For two decades, these buses transported New Yorkers in stop-and-go traffic and on long and fast express routes, and through freezing cold and scorching heat, through rain, snow and sleet, and everything in between. Frank Sinatra said that if you could make it in New York, you could make it anywhere. The RTS not only made it in New York, it found its home here.

A 1996 RTS bus, still running strong in 2018 after 22 years of service. Greg Huang

Four decades later, the RTS has largely been replaced by newer "low floor" buses, both in New York and elsewhere. In New York, the once 4,000 strong fleet is now down to about 200 buses. However, the design is still unmistakable. The unique curved side windows give the illusion of flying in an airplane, and make the bus feel open and airy. The once-futuristic bodywork is the perfect antithesis of the modern boxes on wheels, and the once state-of-the-art amenities have become standard. While modern transit buses emphasize practicality over style, GM amazingly integrated both within the same bus. Today, the RTS bus is not just classic, it's iconic. It represents an era when bus transportation was more glorious. It represents the future as seen from the past.

New York will never be the same without the RTS. It is to NYC as the Routemaster double-decker bus is to London. In other words, they are inseparable. And before NYC and the RTS separate for good, may New Yorkers and visitors to New York appreciate and admire these remarkable buses one final time.

The RTS is truly an icon of NYCGreg Huang

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