'The Year of Living Awkwardly' Is The Perfect Back-To-School Read

'The Year of Living Awkwardly' Is The Perfect Back-To-School Read

Our favorite high school disaster starts sophomore year.


"The Year of Living Awkwardly" is the second book in the Chloe Snow's Diary series by Emma Chastain. The first book, "Confessions of A High School Disaster" follows Chloe Snow, a Massachusetts teen, through her freshman year of high school, and this book picks up right where the last one stopped, with Chloe working at the pool during the summer.

At her job, Chloe gets to know incoming freshman Grady, who has a crush on her. However, she is wary of dating a freshman because she's worried about what the people at school will think. It's not until they get back to school that she realizes she actually likes him back, but it's too late, as he is already dating the most popular and low-key meanest girl in her grade.

Chloe's mom, who has been living in Mexico for the past year, is trying to win a custody agreement to have her stay in Mexico for part of the year and attempts to manipulate Chloe through email into agreeing. Meanwhile, Chloe's dad is dating her English teacher/drama club director, and she has to deal with having another woman in the house that isn't her mom after a year of it being just her and her dad.

Fuckboy Mac Brody returns from college, revealing that he broke up with his girlfriend, with intentions to hook up with Chloe. Since Chloe had wished to be with him all last year, while he played around with her even though he had a girlfriend, she decides to give him a chance since Grady is already dating someone anyway. Ultimately, Chloe feels cheap and ashamed to be hooking up with Mac and tells him it's over because she deserves something more serious.

Chloe also has to deal with her best friend Hannah becoming friends with the same mean girl that is dating Grady, and Hannah not believing Chloe about her being mean. Her other best friend Tristan is heartbroken because his college boyfriend didn't want to keep up a long distance relationship, but agrees to go out with Elliot, a nice boy that's in drama club with him, Chloe, and Hannah, that visibly likes Tristan more than he likes Elliot.

After a subpar audition, Chloe is dismayed to find out that she's going to be part of the ensemble in their spring musical, "South Pacific," after playing Maria in "The Sound of Music" last year. She decides not to quit because she'd miss her friends too much if she did. Chloe additionally thinks, during a warm-up exercise backstage before opening night, that being in the ensemble has led her to get to know a lot of the people in the cast, and now she actually cares a lot more about the other people doing the energy circle with her, as opposed to last year when she only interacted with the other leads.

I would highly recommend this book; Chloe is a very relatable character that goes through emotions we can all understand and has experiences that are very familiar to any reader.

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It's Time We Gave Collegiate Bands The Same Respect As The Football Team

Collegiate bands are unfortunately overlooked and under-budgeted by their universities. They receive little appreciation, despite being such an important aspect of a college community.


It's a beautiful day in the middle of October, and you're at a college football game. You see the sun shining down on a sea of fans, everyone wearing the home team's colors. The smell of hot dogs, pretzels, and other greasy food drifts through the air, as a cool wind blows against the back of your neck. But what is it that you hear? Overpowering every other sound in the stadium, the band is blaring their brass horns and beating their drums. Invisible but everywhere, the music fills the stadium when the team scores, excites the crowd when the game intensifies and provides the soundtrack to your favorite college traditions.

Now, imagine that game without the band. No one is there to play the fight song when a touchdown is scored, or play a victory tune when your team wins. Yes, there would still be music, but it would only be generic pop stuff playing over the speakers. It wouldn't be the same, because you don't get to experience that special kind of energy that comes from live music. Unfortunately, the band does not get enough credit for what they do. Compared to an athletic team, the band is typically overlooked and under-budgeted — especially by the universities themselves.

While the university is busy pouring all money and attention to athletics, the band is left to scavenge for support. Athletic teams receive millions upon millions of dollars, while the band gets next to nothing. My university's band has resorted to requiring each member to raise money on their own and selling $1 chocolate bars, because they receive so little funding. Just a small cut from the athletic budget would make such a vast difference in the lives of the band members. And it's not like the band doesn't deserve it - they most certainly do, with how much they add to a college community. A college without a band is like a belt with no buckle. With no band, you'd be missing a key piece of unity during a game.

The band and athletic teams work just as hard as the other, and both spend so much of their lives committed to their craft. Just like a football team, the band devotes several hours of their day to practicing. Similar to a basketball team, being apart of the band requires precise coordination. Like a soccer team, it is necessary for the band to have high endurance. And as it is with any type of athlete, it is obligatory for each member of the band to value hard work and determination. And must we not forget, the band is at nearly every sporting event, plus more. Unlike several sports, band is a year-round activity — there is no "off-season."

So you might ask yourself, with such similar characteristics to an athletic team, shouldn't the band receive at least some benefits? But here we are, athletic teams receiving all the money and perks, and the band seeing none of that.

The band is such an important aspect of sporting events and pep rallies and is greatly responsible for the fans' emotions and entertainment throughout a game. Unfortunately, most universities fail to see this and don't appreciate how much a band adds to the atmosphere and energy of a college community. Instead, the band continues to be brushed aside, no matter how talented or entertaining they are. I can only hope that in this day and age, with fine arts starting to gain more recognition, that the band will finally receive the respect they deserve.

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This Isn't Target Practice, This Is College Football, So Stop Aiming For Alabama's Star Players

Aiming for someone's achilles heel is just wrong in any sport especially SEC football.


You would have to be blind not to see that beloved quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is currently the target of any team the Crimson Tide plays. Being a frontrunner for the Heisman is undoubtedly the biggest honor any college football player could have, that along with having not one, but two National Championship rings in two years. But all that could be lost if the elephant in the room is not addressed, and I am not talking about Big Al.

It has been ongoing in the issue since Tua first sprained his knee a few games ago. However, in recent games against LSU at Baton Rouge and Mississippi State at Bryant-Denny, it became clear that Tua is the bright crimson target, so fans wonder if maybe Tua should keep playing when he isn't needed as much. In a recent interview, Saban addressed the concerns and said that Tua is fine, and we all get it because he has the rings, and we don't. Still could playing Tua against a team like Citadel still be fatal. Maybe letting Tua join Jalen Hurts on the bench might be the safe bet.

Tua deserves the Heisman (sorry to my Buckeye dad). Having his name along past winners like Herschel Walker and Barry Sanders would be huge. In the entirety of the Heisman, only two players from Alabama have won. Tua deserves this. I might seem like a broken record, but he does. He plays with heart and with determination. Without him, who knows what the outcome of the last National Championship would have been or what this season would look like (probably still pretty great, it is Alabama). But other teams and their fans sure would like to see Tua incapacitated.

LSU fan Darriel from Columbus, Georgia called the "Paul Finebaum Show" and said he believed the secret in beating the Crimson Tide is to, "take out Tua's knee." He went on to say, "Who cares about a headshot? Take out a knee and you got them beat." Finebaum found this as despicable as any sensible and moral person would. Finebaum responded by saying, "Anyone that would call into this program or put on Twitter a suggestion in doing serious injury to a college football player is disgusting. It may be legal, but it's despicable.

I can't believe you would even write that down." The problem is that Darriel the LSU fan isn't alone in his opinion. There are obviously other people who are so green with envy and so twisted in their own fanaticism in supporting their team that they don't see the harm in this. Anyone who would even consider or encourage harming another human being for something as frivolous as a football game is not sane. Look at the repercussions and consequences of the actions of the two LSU fans who killed the Alabama fan. What is this world coming to?

I have no doubt that Alabama is going to succeed in the playoffs and in the potential National Championship. But an injured Tua and an injured Jalen could create mass hysteria especially if they are the targets of a violent football conspiracy. Alabama fans are tried and true, and we will support our team and our coaches regardless.

Alabama's football team is the pinnacle of the football universe. They're good, we know they're good, and they do it with grace and with the love of their fans. However, if the situation presents itself and if needed, it is clear that freshman quarterback Mac Jones can hold his own on the field until Tua and Jalen get back, after all, they are a team of many. Let's just hope we don't need to find out.

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