It's that time of year again! Christmas time! When Christmas takes over all the sights and sounds. When the lights are on the house and everything smells like warm cider. How can you forget the sounds of Christmas. Can it really be Christmas time without hearing Mariah Carey playing in a store? Here is a playlist for all those souls who love this season.
It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.
I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.
While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.
The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?
As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.
Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.
The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.
I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”
I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.
The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.
I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.
A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”
Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?
Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.
The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.
But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.
Going back home for the summer and not having to worry about school anymore is an exciting concept, but three months of getting lazy can make it hard to jump back into the grind once fall comes back around.
The best way to keep active and mentally sharp during the summer is being productive every single day in any way that suits your wants and needs. Focusing on yourself and getting the most out of your summer will lead you into the school year with a positive outlook that will radiate throughout the year.
1. Get involved
Having something to do when your friends are busy, or if you find yourself bored most of the time, will stimulate a sense of productivity that will allow for a healthier mindset during a long vacation. Finding a job that allows you to stay on a steady schedule will make it easier to transition back into a semester of classes for your next term. Being able to have something to do while getting paid will also contribute to any activities or shopping carts you have pending. If committing to a job does not inspire you enough, volunteering locally is another alternative to remaining active, while giving you a positive purpose. Having something that gets you out of bed a couple of days a week will balance out your summer while still making it feel like a much-needed vacation.
2. Work out
If you haven't had enough time to work out during finals or the rest of the semester, summer is the best time to begin without being on a time crunch. Physical activity will not only help you perfect your summer body but it will leave you feeling healthy and energetic for the short time you aren't walking across campus every day. Signing up for a gym membership or performing simple exercises at home will keep your mind and body in shape without the stress of classes.
In almost every class, a form of writing is required, and the best way to keep your mind going without stress is journaling. Writing a half a page or more every day about your thoughts or ideas will clear your mind while subconsciously practicing your writing skills. Not having school for three months can get routine without the fast-paced lifestyle that FSU provides, and journaling can become a fun hobby that provides mental health and academic benefits so that you can live your best life during the summer.
With the stresses of assignments and studying during the school year, self-care may not have been your first priority, but summer is the perfect opportunity to rekindle that light within your inner self. Take the time to relax and do things that make you happy, in order to achieve a peaceful and less chaotic mindset. Whether it's nourishing your body, going outside, being with family, or getting your nails done, focus on yourself as much as you can (while you can) so that you can start off the next school year looking and feeling your best.
5. Stay social
Being at FSU allows you to interact with more than just the people in your classes, but with friends who live in the same city every day. It is easy to isolate yourself when you go home for summer because you may not live as close to your college friends, but reaching out to high school peers or individuals near you will bring more positive energy to your summer. Having a couple of people to go on outings with for summer will add more memories and excitement to your days while giving you physical social interaction for a healthier mindset. Making new friends or strengthening bonds is a great way to remain productive for the months where school is in the back of your mind.