How A Cardboard Box Changed My Life

How A Cardboard Box Changed My Life

I still think about it every day, and the question still remains from my cardboard box.
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As a focused Makeup Artist in Theatre, I have struggled in identifying myself within the department. I am surrounded by many talented people, but no one that has the talent and mindset as I do. I'm used to being unique, but being this type of unique can drive me to feel alone. Some try to interact with me, and I am nice and cordial, but a connection never seems to stick.

In my Creative Habit class, we are studying a book in which inspired the creation of the course, basically, a small autobiography of the success and creativeness Twyla Tharp habitually creates. We read about how she organizes her thoughts with a cardboard box; it becomes an archive of inspiration. We created our own inspiring cardboard box and were asked to make it a reflection of ourselves. Things could be put into the box, and we could add onto the outside of the box, so long as it was what our heart truly felt. Being given the full range of anything my creative mind could conjure up baffled me because I am used to structure, but I was able to use my confusion to create something meaningful to me.

I kept the box simple: it remained white on all four sides, and on one of the sides, I printed out pink, pursed lips and long eyelashes, then glued them on to the box. The lips lay flat onto the box, but the eyelashes fanned out to create a 3D effect. Inside of the box is where I put a little more detail into it. I put the very first makeup brush I bought, (the one where it had been used so much that the top came off if you gripped it too tightly) a makeup brush belt I had used during a competition, a sunflower, two index cards with two separate goals on them, and the most recent picture of my dad and I.

The next day, everyone is sitting with their boxes in their lap, waiting for our instructor to walk in and tell us what to do with them. We ended up spacing the chairs to where the room transformed into a gallery and placed the boxes in the rearranged chairs. Once set up, everyone was given small slips of paper to write a neutral observation or question and place it in the box. Several circled around the room more than once, taking the entire class time. After everyone was finished, we took the notes from our boxes and left. I was very intrigued to see so many slips of paper in my box, because no one really pays attention to me, or seems interested in what I have to say. I shoved them into the zipper of my backpack and rushed to my dorm, so I could read them in private.

I sat my bag down in my room and pulled out the slips, hesitant but also very nervous. The first thing I do is count how many there are, 10. I notice that half of them are written on a different kind of paper than what we were given, meaning they took their time to get extra paper, just so they could comment on my box. This intrigued me further, so I start to read. Here's how they were read, in order:

"Love how its 3D"

"I absolutely adore makeup, so I love your eyes and lips"

"You love classics and simplicity"

"What influences you to keep the box so simple, but also put such a bold statement on one side?"

"A simple exterior.... with fun and creativity"

"The simplicity speaks volumes"

"The eyebrows remind me of my own. Good confidence boost. Very satisfying."

"Truly beautiful woman behind this box"

"Haha, I can find out you are a beautiful girl. I like the red lip."

"Is beauty your way of expressing yourself?"

All of these observations, about me, opened my eyes in a way I didn't think imaginable. They are all anonymous, and I couldn't even begin to think which classmate wrote what. The biggest one that stuck to me, and that I still have a hard time answering, is, "Is beauty your way of expressing yourself?" When I think about it, yes, but then also, no. I chose to focus on makeup for the story it unfolds; it gives visualization and life to a piece that changes the audience's experience. It is a way of expressing myself and my art, but it isn't necessarily beauty.

Being asked these questions, and given these observations, I have come to the realization that before I let myself worry about what others are thinking about me and my art, and how I achieve it, I should worry about myself and my expression to the world, because I'm not sure I even know.

If you are one of my classmates, whether you wrote something in my box or not, I want to thank you. Thank you for allowing me to think about myself and grow as an individual, and as an artist. Specifically to the ones who wrote for my box, please remember that you have an anonymous place in my heart, and I will keep these notes for as long as possible and that I read them every day to reflect. To the future artist that fill my shoes, know that people think of you, but also think of yourself, you'll need it, trust me.

Cover Image Credit: Healing Yoga

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."
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Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."


3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."


4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.


"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.


“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.


Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."


25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.


"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.


"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."


30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.


"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"


32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."


34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."


35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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6 Ways To Decorate Your Dorm Or Apartment For The Holidays On A Budget

Baby, it's cold outside.

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As the holiday season approaches, it's easy to get sucked into the Pinterest vortex of holiday decorations, party favors, clothes and more. Unfortunately most of us college students don't have the money for all of this cute stuff so we have to watch for bargains or DIY it. Here are my six recommendations to get into the Christmas spirit:

1. String some festive lights in your room

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/199565827208188172/

I have Christmas lights hanging up in my room all year around because I love them so much, but you can find some cheap lights at Target or Walmart. You can get snowflake lights, lantern lights, normal Christmas lights or anything else that you want. Use command strips to hang them up, and soon it'll feel more relaxing and you'll be more in the Christmas spirit.

2. Use window clings

https://guide.alibaba.com/shop/merry-christmas-window-clings-north-pole-train-snowflakes-penguins-gingerbread-men-1-sheet-15-clings_1005699551.html

I love window clings! You stick them on from the inside (obviously) and then you can see them from the outside. I have different window clings for almost every season. If you have some old window clings that don't stick anymore, just put a little bit of water on the back of them and they'll stick like they're brand new.

3. Raid the Target dollar section

https://corporate.target.com/article/2015/11/bullseyes-playground

So, this depends on where you live and how often your local Target changes out their dollar section, but you would be surprised in what you could find there!

4. Hunt around for a mini tree (real or fake)

https://www.yourbestdigs.com/reviews/best-artificial-christmas-trees/?nabt=1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

I used to have a fake little green Christmas tree with cute little ornaments but sadly I don't have it anymore nor do I have room for it anywhere in my room. A little Christmas tree in your room or on your dresser just makes everything a little bit more festive. I used to have my little Christmas tree on my dresser until my cat found it. Yeah, you know where that is going.

5. Make easy DIY decorations

http://findinghomefarms.com/10-minute-christmas-decorating-idea-chalk-pen-galvanized-buckets/

Pinterest is the best website for this, well actually they're known for DIY projects. Why spend $50 on one Christmas decoration when you can do a DIY and spend only $20?

6. Use Winter themed candles

http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/e/christmas-gift-guide.html

I love Bath and Body works because they always have the best sales and you can usually get something half priced or sometimes something for free! Plus everything smells so good in that store and it's so tempting to buy everything but if you come into the store with a goal, you'll leave with your goal.

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