Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Decision Making

As a coxswain, decision making is an important  part of what I do.  A lot of decisions i make in the boat are snap decisions- a boat is coming straight at me, time to move to the side.  Others I make without even realizing it- there's a wind, or a current, so I'll point the boat in another direction.  Sometimes the decisions that I make when coxing are just gut reactions so when I'm right, we're all good and when I'm wrong I have to not do it anymore.  
While coxing decisions are relatively easy, I could not feel anymore different about real-life decisions. I am AWFUL at real life decision making. It's hard enough for me to decide what to eat for dinner, let alone make big decisions.  
     So I know pro and con lists are not unfamiliar to anyone- but in my opinion, they can't be overestimated!  I'm partially a visual learner, - making charts of any variety help me to follow an idea through.  I love flow charts, venn diagrams, or graphs.  
This is an example (screenshot of my housing decision for next year)-  I decided to live on campus a little while ago- and I've come down to choosing between living in  a single by myself, or a suite with two of my friends.  My friends have been roommates with each other since freshman  year- they really like living with each other!  Lucky for me, they've said they are happy to live with each other in the one double room and let me have the single.  We'd have a shared common area and bathroom.  You can see from my chart that this is the option I've decided to go with! I highly suggest all of you who are still in college take some time to think about where you're going to live in a calm and logical manner before housing selection  begins because it can get cra-a-a-a-azy.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Why I'm a Prep

*First of all, "prep" isn't exactly how I'd try to describe myself.  Usually I like to leave labels to the FDA and just let people be.  But I definitely have some tendencies I want to address here. Because sometimes my whole life feels like one giant sociological experiment.  
**I'm trying to be as open and honest as I can, without giving out buckets of personal information on the internet.  This is difficult for me, because growing up as I did, the main philosophy I was taught was basically "don't tell anyone anything" and there's a lot of stigma that still exists and a lot of stigma that I, personally, carry with me.  

Let's begin. 
Growing up, I wasn't a prep.  Growing up, the preps were the kids who were mean to me. They were way too cool for me to hang out with. And though you might think that it's simple emulation that led me thus far, it's more than that.  It isn't about them.  It's about me. 
See, growing up, I was also more or less the poster child for "troubled teenager".  Every single stereotypical teenage girl issue you could think of, I probably had.  And I dressed it too.  I had a goth phase.  And a punk phase (to be fair, most of high school).  And I was tough.  My fifteen year old self could probably beat up my 21 year old self.  I mean, I'm mentally tougher, probably, but I'm pretty much a stereotypical girl. I'm not half as hardcore as I once was.  Generally, I obey laws, and the most "troubled" thing I do is a tendency to wander aimlessly around the city at all odd hours when I'm having a rough night.  Which, to be honest, I've always done.  Oops. 
Growing up, my life was a disaster. 
My family was a disaster. 
Everything was a disaster. 
That's the truth.  It isn't easy for me to say these things, because for some reason people find it impossible to think that a little white girl might actually have a rough life.  That's always kind of been the problem.  Adults and authority figures who were supposed to be a safety net for kids with major problems would always glance straight over me, because, well, I couldn't possibly have any troubles or thoughts of my own behind my quiet exterior.  Some people would probably argue that the excessive amounts of studs and black and combat boots were my way of trying to send a sign that I was in a bad place.  I don't buy into that theory, but I'm well aware of it's existence and that is why I choose as a twenty one year old college student, to embody just about every preppy stereotype when I get dressed in the morning. 
First of all- I look damn good in clean cut, British, tomboy-ish clothes.  And second of all, you don't exactly magically leave your problems behind when you graduate high school (it was a let down for me to find this out and more or less why I dropped out during the first few months of my freshman year- in case you were wondering why I'm only a junior. That's why. ) So I got sick of fitting a stereotype.  I started looking as clean cut and country-club ready as possible.  
I am an amalgamation of contradictory stereotypes. I wanted to take the heat off all the punk kids.  
The equation, somewhere in the back of my brain looks like this. 
If I have problems and a look like a punk/goth/emo/whatever than that enforces stereotypes that "those" types of kids are the ones with problems.  This will lead to the continuation of the philosophy that kids who present themselves in high school as somehow alternative, don't actually need help.  Say if they're extremely angry, which, as you should know, is a sign of depression in kids, than the adults in their lives might assume, it is part of their tough-kid act, not a sign of a serious problem. 

I'm not willing to let high school kids with psychological disorders figure it out on their own. 
I have enough baggage from doing just that. 
One of my friends committed suicide.  Save your apologies for her family. I don't want to hear them.  
Because the thing about being a stereotype is, you can always change the way you present yourself.  Everybody knows that.
Yep, even your teenage kid knows. But once you're dead? 
Well, the problem with suicide, isn't it? 
 It's pretty much irreversible. 

Thanks for sticking with my soapbox. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014


As much as I play with Polyvore on the internet, as it turns out I really, really, hate shopping! I hate everything about it.  In fact, if I ever get rich, I'm going to employ someone to shop online for me so that clothes turn up at  my house every month that I can wear.  That would be amazing.
I would have to get really rich... that might be a problem. Minor roadblock here.

Anyway, as a result of this I have just about nothing I can actually wear in public.  Well, I have a ton of t-shirts either from sports teams I was on in highschool (or middle... or elementary.... I really don't grow.  Ever) I also have a ton of t-shirts from crew or that I just got free from some event in college.  So I'm all set for a) the gym b) crew practice 3) lounging 4) class, provided I don't need to impress anybody.

But I don't have any "going out" clothes.  I don't even mean partying, because I do have this one sparkly silver shift dress that I got at a thrift store and it's pretty good for clubs/bars not that I ever go to any...
I'm talking like Saturday with friends at the Cheesecake factory.  You want to look a little nicer than sweatpants.  That's my problem.
Anyone want to go shopping for me?
Just buy the most midgety sizes of everything.

I will pay you in coffee.

just kidding.

(or am I...)


Friday, 10 January 2014

Top Ten Things I Learned in College

I recently realized, with no insignificant amount of shock and horror, that I am almost done with college.  I have one more semester as a junior, than my last year of college. (Gah! I know! I'm not ready!) 
So, with out further ado, I present you the list  of the top ten things I have learned in college.  

1: Don't ever, ever listen to anyone. 
I know this sounds like terrible advice, but I'm serious.  I'm not saying don't listen to maybe you're wisest best friend or your grandmother but you have to be really careful.  Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.  I absolutely 100% believe in trusting your intuition.  This applies in crew (sometimes listening to my coach gets me in more trouble than if I ignored him and just did what I was going to do in the first place) and it applies even more with your peer group.  Whether it's your best friends, your enemies or buzzfeed (buzzfeed hates me) everyone has a set of deadlines that you absolutely must reach by 21 or 22 or 35 or whatever. Yeah right! Believe me I read the article on Buzzfeed called "22 Reasons being 22 is Awesome". Ok, none of them apply to my life remotely.  And I'd be willing to bet that there are a ton of people out there in their twenties who's lives don't fit this pattern.  In fact, I know there are.  So the moral of the story here is don't worry so much about keeping up with the deadlines we create for ourselves.  And don't let yourself be pressured into doing things you don't want to do.  (If you are about to start college this goes for you especially!!) 

2: Being a geek is cool! 
You don't have  to be all about school- you can be a geek about anything.  Baking, football, playing the guitar, fashion, really, anything you want.  My point is, find your thing/things and stick with it.   I'm a geek about plenty of things.  Crew. Books. Dogs... you can pretty much guess! 

3: Manage your time
I know people say manage your time well, but that can be hard when you're overloaded with homework or internships or social obligations or, more likely, all of the above! When I have multiple things to do at once, it becomes really hard to get anything done and I get anxious and start procrastinating.  I find the best way to get what I need done is to dedicate the whole day to my work.  Although that sounds like a lot, I take a lot of breaks.  For instance I might work for thirty minutes and do a fifteen minute exercise video, work another 45 minutes and go get coffee work for thirty minutes, chat with my friend on facebook for fifteen minutes, work, take a lunch break, work, etc... You should really experiment to make sure you find out the best technique for you. For some people, frequent breaks would drive them nuts! So whatever works for you, make sure you arrange your schedule that you have time to finish your assignments and studying in the way that works best for you. 

4: Branch out
You don't have to go crazy, but it's nice to try something new now and  again.  I'm the type of person who has anxiety about the unknown, so I like to set a requirement for myself- I try something new every year.  That's how I joined Amnesty International and became an SGA rep. I'm thinking of volunteering at an animal shelter next semester or more likely over the summer when I have time.  

5: Your life= Your business
Other people's life= not your business
According to my sister, I take the principle of minding my own business to the extreme.  But I think your job is to work hard to be a good person and live the life you want to live.  Gossip isn't really any of your business.  There's a lot of gossip going around my life, just because of the nature of sports teams. I'm not against listening to friend's who want to vent.  In fact I think it's good to vent. But I try to be civil to everyone regardless of personal feelings and anything you tell me, stays with me. 

6: Try to stay organized
But really, your sanity will thank you. 
ps: if you're bad at this, like me, Pinterest has a lot of ideas to make it easier.  Also, the college prepster has this tab on her website that is literally devoted to organization.  I wish I had her skills! 

7: Take care of yourself
By now I've figured out my body pretty well.  I have to workout at least once a day or I just don't feel right.  People are different. I know my body.  If I don't eat at regular levels my blood sugar gets all wacky and I get headaches and blurry vision.  I like barely eat meals! It's weird, but I'm definitely a grazer. Whatever it is for you, maybe you need to eat a balanced meal three times a day, maybe you absolutely must shower twice a day, maybe you have to talk to your friends every day, you know yourself best. 

8: have a little faith!
You just have to believe that everything will be ok! 

9: Nobody's perfect 
Making mistakes is good! Try not to beat yourself up over your mistakes- they're how you learn.

10: Have fun! 
Sometimes you have to relax and enjoy the ride.  

And there you go. My ten best tips for surviving college.  


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

And in other news, CREW

Yes, we're back at it, folks. I didn't have internet in Pittsburgh, so yikes.  And I've been laying pretty low over break.
But we're back in action.
I have to work at a swim meet this Saturday, which is difficult because I'm dog-sitting.  I mean, technically I'm dog-sitting my own dog, because my mother has to fly to Pittsburgh to work on the house.
I sense this needs explaining. My mom and two sisters live in Boston.  This is recent.  We all  lived in Pittsburgh, that's where I grew up.  My dad lives in an apartment in Pittsburgh, as does my grandmother.  My mom flies back to Pittsburgh almost every weekend to take care of my grandma and work on selling one of two houses. She rents a place in Boston, this is why I can see my dog without "going home".  It's weird, because growing up all the way through high school I never felt like I had a home and I still feel like that. I can't wait until I have my own house or at least permanent apartment. And I'm constantly moving because you have to switch dorms every year. GAH! I hate moving!
In other news, we are having another coxswain meeting. I'm sorry, I know I need to be patient with freshman but these have gotten SO annoying.  Why must we constantly talk about the same useless issues! They're not getting solved! Ever! They've been this way for years, before I was here probably.  Just get used to it. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.  The meetings aren't technically their fault, but they're the reason we keep calling them.  I wasn't important enough to teach anything to.
Not that I'm bitter or anything.
Jokes on you, coach.
 I wrote to TRRA in Pittsburgh.  I really hope I get to cox there this summer, even though I'd have to move back to Pittsburgh for the summer but it would pay well! Which is a major advantage because I only made like $500 dollars last summer.
Am I supposed to not talk about money?
Isn't that one of the things you're not supposed to talk about?
Not that I didn't totally love the teams I coxed for last summer, but you know, there's no gaurantee that they'll want a coxswain again for next summer and I'm SO bad at leaving things up in the air.
I also need a job. Which would be solved at least for the month if I got paid to cox.
Indoor Jobs?
Unless I can nanny over the summer, which is fine. I can handle that. I just need to cox.  I know I'm kind of obsessed with that.  It's know my feelings on my coach.  I love coxing but I don't necessarily enjoy being on my team.  I love my teammates but, as we know, I've gotten the short end of the stick a lot in boating arrangements. (I'm not just saying that, you can ask my rowers if you don't believe me!) I feel like I get bullied a lot by my coach. Actually full on bullied and singled out to be humiliated in front of my team. Yeah. It sucks
But summer is so much fun! I basically LIVE for summer.  Coxing is great and it's kind of the ego boost I need after another terrible semester.  Maybe I'd best stay in Boston. At least I know there's teams here that I love coxing...
oh I don't know.
Ok, I have to make some coffee and then go babysit.


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

An Open Letter to My Extended Family

Dear Extended Family, 
Hallelujah. The Holidays are over. That means I have a whole 365 days to recover before this conversation happens. 

You guys: Are you gay? Where's you're boyfriend? What do you mean you're not gay? oh, you're totally gay. 
Then I have to be like 
"Nope, guys, not gay. Sorry." 
And it's just an awkward situation for everyone. 
For so many different reasons.  And how can I even explain this, aside from the simple fact that I'm not gay. I think guys are really hot. Many guys.  I don't really feel the same way about girls.  I mean, I believe sexuality is more about gray areas than little boxes that you check for "gay" or "straight", but really. I'm a girl.
I've been known to dress like a boy. 
But I'm a girl who, 100% falls in love with boys. 
Too much, almost. 
And the thing is, when people ask me that, I don't really want to belabor the point.  Because I'm not gay, but I don't want anyone to read my denial as gay bashing either. I mean, lesbians are awesome. Fact. But a lot of times when people say that, they aren't doing it in the nicest way, like it's somehow bad to be gay. 
So, seriously. 
Can we just stop with the stereotypes already? 
Why can't a girl wear baggy t-shirts and guys pants without people calling her a dyke? This is a point from my childhood. I'm looking at you, big sis. 

One: it's not fair to lesbians. Most lesbians I know have way better fashion sense than I do. 

Two: It's not a bad thing to be gay, so can we please stop harassing girls about whether they're feminine enough?  Also, same goes for boys. Can we stop harassing them about whether they seem gay or not? Cuz really, unless you're about to ask them to sleep with you, how is it relevant? 

(SIDE NOTE: TO MY FAMILY. Since you are hopefully not asking the above, could you please just stop asking? Kay thanks, bye. )

Three: what I wear, how I dress, and who I date is MY BUSINESS. 

Four: even if I had a boyfriend, I would not bring him home to meet you, because... oh yeah, you'd probably tell him I was gay. And finally...

Five: What are you guys, the Spanish Inquisition??


Friday, 20 December 2013

Quads. Quads. OW

I just did 1 1/2 hrs of step ups/ stairs.
Well, we have a crew workout challenge but the only thing that counts is erging, running, and step ups.
Because rowers.
And naturally I feel obligated to compete
even though
1: coxswain
2: why can't pilates count?
3: why can't yoga count
This is geared towards rowers, but I feel a need to participate so I can be all hey guys- are you gonna let your coxswain beat you?!" so bleh.
Now I have to run.
which I sometimes do anyway, but step ups? erging? Blech.
Who has time for that? I just wanna do pilates dammit!