Hey guys, welcome in! My name’s Alexis and I’ll be helping you today. Get ready to experience first-hand my four years of college, starting a month before my first day. You’ll learn all about my procrastination skills and social anxiety very, very soon. In the meantime, let’s begin this journey together as I actually start to learn how to run my own blog.
Alright guys, who would’ve ever thought *I* would be a sorority girl? Not me for sure. But here I am, a Sigma Kappa sister in the ASU Theta Omicron chapter, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice!
I mean throughout High school I was in the marching band and stuck with a small group of friends within each organization I became a part of, but I was never one for parties or large groups of girlfriends. The college experience has changed me in more ways than I could’ve thought.
Since I received my bid after a long week or so of recruitment, I have been to a sisterhood retreat, a trampoline park date party, multiple chapter meetings, a philanthropic softball tournament, big/little reveal, founder’s day, and initiation. It’s been a wild couple months for sure.
For those of you who don’t know, most sororities have a system of “families” within their sisterhood. As new members are integrated into the weekly activities of the chapter, they meet with and get to know the initiated members. After a good month or so, new members find their families within the chapter through the big/little process.
We walked into our chapter room to find it packed full of presents and gifts, all from loving bigs surprising their littles. After two more days of gifts partnered with clues to help new members figure out who their big is, we arrived at big/little reveal. It was nerve-racking to run out and find your new family, the sisters that will always be by your side. I had made a special bond with my big, Jessica, and I just knew it *had* to be her. After our reunion with my new “Shark Fam”, we all went to Oregano’s and not only did I gain a big, but I got a grandbig, an aunt, a few cousins, and a twin!
I know. It sounds very confusing. Trust me. It’s actually amazing.
And now, just a week or so after big/little reveal, it’s the 2017 Fall Semester Pledge Class’s Initiation Day! The Initiation process is sacred, and so are the secrets shared during the ritual, so I can’t share much. But I can say that I’m proud to be a Sigma Kappa sister and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me in this sisterhood!
Alright listen up, I know this blog is literally titled “Blogging Through College” but gosh dangit it’s hard to blog through college guys.
I’m finishing up my 9th week in my first semester of college and life has been insane.
Below are my first semester classes, all of which were requirements for my major.
- CIS236 Honors Information Systems
- A computer information systems class involving business processes and the technology behind forming a business. This class honestly scared me at first, it was my first honors class and it was on computers, WHAT?! I didn’t know anything about computers and of course, I have a quiz on reading before I even have my first day of class. But after a week or so I learned to love this class and the professor instructing the 30 of us. He yells, jumps, and curses us out all with laughter bubbling in the room. This has to be my favorite class of the semester by far.
- HON171 The Human Event
- A required course for all Barrett Honors students, it’s really just a combination of philosophy and English. The class is entirely discussion-based with three essays per semester, and while I do enjoy the discussion and interaction, I don’t necessarily enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would.
- MAT117 College Algebra
- This class honestly makes me feel stupid. It’s a completely online class with required computer lab attendance. I barely even talk to the professor. If I had known the class was going to be a hybrid-online-course, I would’ve never signed up.
- PSY101 Introduction to Psychology
- Okay listen up, this professor is crazy. He puts up a live stream of giant pandas before class starts, admits he gets drunk the night before lecture, cancels *all* Thursday class attendance, and signs all of his emails with “Your Pal Steve.”
- SOC101 Introductory Sociology
- So I share this lecture session with one of my roommates and I wouldn’t be able to survive in here without her. Our professor talks in such a monotone way, it’s hard to focus and stay focused in this lecture of 400 people.
- WPC101 Student Success in Business
- WPC101 is a Mandatory Intro to Business class for every W. P. Carey student on campus. We’ve gone over available course options for next semester and created a business entrepreneurship challenge in the past weeks, it’s a very nice introduction into the business world, I feel like we’re well supported within ASU’s school of business.
Apart from academic interests, I’m now a member of ASU’s Sigma Kappa Theta Omicron chapter! It’s been an amazing journey finding a group of girls I can relate to and find my role in. Knowing myself and knowing how I interact with others, it was really an interesting decision for me to rush into the Panhellenic community. I’ve never been a *very* social person, in other words, I would rather sit and chill in bed than go out to a party and hang out with a large group of girls. But I’m extending my limits and encouraging myself to socialize more with people. It’s proven to be a difficult process but I think I’m getting there! This past week has been SK’s philanthropy week, We hosted multiple percentage nights along with a grill-out and a softball tournament. Next week is a huge week for Sig Kap though, I have something going on almost every day! There’s chapter, our weekly meetings, on Monday, big/little reveal on Wednesday, our second social of the year on Thursday, and a sisterhood pumpkin patch photo shoot on Friday! I’ve got a crazy week coming and I couldn’t be more excited!
So now that you’re all caught up for the most part, hopefully, I can maintain a schedule of some sort to post more than I have been. I would love to share my experiences as I go through my first semester of ASU, It’s just been such an insane transition that my blog got put on the back-burner. And maybe that’s the first tip of my college experience, know what you’re getting yourself into before it all becomes too much.
Can’t wait to tell you guys more!
You are my heart, my soul, and my hero. You are the first person I see in the morning and the last person I see at night. While I am so incredibly excited to be living on my own and making my own decisions, I’m still sad to wake up without you down the hall.
Moving in was stressful and heartbreaking, but it was refreshing to begin my new life as a college student with you by my side.
I know that you’ve been struggling with the idea of me leaving since the beginning of senior year, and I know I’ve been a complete a-hole to you about it, but I do it with love. Cause you see, if I succumb to the idea of you being upset then I will get upset and we both know that everything would go downhill if that happened. All those moments today when you would look at me and go “You’re not allowed to do that.” made me realize just how much both of our lives would change once you stepped off campus.
It’s now taken me about an hour to write this.
As a daughter who’s very close to her mother, this has been a difficult move for sure. And I’m trying to appeal to your English teacher origins by keeping this letter nice and proper but we both know I am anything but when I am around you. From quoting outdated vines to insulting each other across the dinner table, we have never been traditional. I like to look at our relationship as something much like the Weasley’s. They constantly nag and insult each other, but every movement and every word is uttered out of love.
And now that I finally got to posting on this dang blog, I hope you understand just how much I appreciate your love and support through this new stage in my life.
So thank you, I love you, and I’ll talk to you tonight.
Alright, it’s been a little minute. If I’m being completely honest, I totally procrastinated writing motivational journal entries. (Which seems contradictory if you think about it too hard, so don’t think too much please.)
Anyways, if anyone has talked to me they know I loved my serving job at Johnny Rockets. It changed my perspective on life and communication with others.
I began my experience with the company as an insecure Junior in High School who started driving too late and couldn’t ask for ketchup without worrying about what the server was thinking about me. Looking back I see how insane that sounds, who the heck cares if you want ketchup or ranch or whatnot, eat your dang fries however you want Past Alexis! But Past Alexis didn’t understand that yet. Getting my first job in such a fun atmosphere made everything so much easier. And pretty soon, I had found a family that didn’t mind when I had a minor freak-out over forgetting to get a coke refill for a table. (Those overreactions went away after a good week.)
So as time went on, I extended my skills as a server. My confidence soared when I put that apron on and I could see the changes in how I communicated with those around me everyday. I knew how to ask others about themselves rather than focusing on myself and didn’t care so much what others thought of me. I understood the concept of “The customer is always right.” (But in all honesty, it really should be called “Let the customer think they are right so you can get a tip.”) I learned to make fun of myself on the job, stumbling over words and laughing about it with my tables. And I taught myself how to lead through communication, making sure those underneath you felt cared for and appreciated.
And now, with my move-in date into my dorm just days away, I’m finding myself thinking about my experiences with Johnny Rockets more and more. I’m looking forward to hopefully working on campus, and if I can serve then I will seize that opportunity. My first job helped me find my true passion, talking and sharing with others. You will not see me in a cubicle, I’ll be out and about, making a difference in people’s lives, one smile at a time. The people I’ve met through this wonderful year and a half are some of my favorite influencers on my life and how I live it. I’ll be back for holiday season, but goodbye for now Johnny Rockets, till next time.
After being away for almost a month, I’ve finally come home to the friends and family I love. While Massachusetts and New York were both so amazing, I really did miss Arizona and the triple digit heat it supplies.
But coming home means facing the reality of school coming closer and work taking up my time.
I mean my younger friends are starting band camp in a week and their next year at Campo in two! Pretty soon I’ll be moving out on my own without my long-time friends by my side. And as grateful as I am to not have to carry a 45 pound set of drums, I really do miss my years in our CVHS band program. So much has happened and it’s hard to move away from the times I had.
But as soon as I got home and unpacked, changing out of my cardigan and jeans (really what was my AZ native mind thinking???), I got my friend, Adam’s text reading:
“Katie wants you to come over rn, she said drop everything”
So I grabbed my wallet and ran out the door, driving the familiar route to my best friend’s house.
My friend Katie is one of the biggest inspirations in my life, even through a shocking discovery of a brain hemorrhage in the middle of senior year, she managed to graduate with the rest of her class just as strong as ever. I’m so beyond happy I was able to visit her as soon as I got home, I missed her so much. So Katie, Adam and I hung out until around 9:30 at night, such a perfect start to my time back home!
It just feels amazing to be home in the dry heat of AZ, after being away for so long I had no idea how much I would miss my hometown, the good old G-town.
But the adventure’s just starting. In only three weeks I’m moving out to be on my own.
The world’s gonna love the new Alexis.
As an AZ native, I never go to the beach unless we’re traveling out of state. So I took this past beach experience with gratitude and watched with joy as the waves crashed.
I was surrounded by laughter, music, and the cawing of nearby seagulls. There was a group of college boys behind us playing with a handball while a family to our left brought a whole table for board games set up. Sitting in our chair on the shore was beyond relaxing, I was in my happy place.
The only dreaded thing about beach days is swimsuit season.
Every girl’s nightmare is not looking your best while out in the waves where *gasp* cute lifeguard boys will be. Newsflash, cute lifeguard boys are A. there to keep you safe (and not in the Prince Charming way) and B. Usually have girlfriends anyways.
Now, this whole season I’ve been scrolling through Instagram and Twitter seeing girls in skimpy suits posing in the most stereotypical way. But some part of me still wants to be one of those girls. I’m still working on accepting that these girls I see on social media and I are not the same person.
When I look at photos of myself at the beach, I see a short, trying-too-hard wannabe. I know that’s not what I am, but sometimes our teenage self-judging thoughts get the best of ourselves. After I took this picture, I immediately saw and criticized the shorts tan line and the overly-pale skin. Too big of a chest size and too short to be in a bikini.
And though I know I’m better than these thoughts, better than the negativity that haunts the social media feeds, I still see those details.
So my Nearly Normal guide to the beach has now turned into a motivational article, much to my own surprise.
As college comes closer, and my trip to the east coast comes to a close, I’m getting ready for the big changes in my life. Self-acceptance is no exception in this case. I know my self-confidence will only grow as I attend my first month of classes. With the fitness center right next-door and amazing food options in the Barrett dining hall, I’ll be able to extend my experiences and hopefully realize the true beauty of who I am. Because self-acceptance is not nearly as simple as saying “I love myself.” It is so much more. Self-acceptance is knowing who you are and what you believe without caring what others think about your decisions. Self-acceptance is a wonderful feeling I hope to encounter within my first few months at ASU.
So while the days at the beach surrounded by bikini-clad models and lifeguards are endless, the days that we judge ourselves off of what others look and feel are soon coming to an end. Self-acceptance is within our reach, all we have to do is work towards the finish line.
Sunglasses: Banana Republic, Bikini top and bottoms: Dillard’s
Alright, our third and final day.
We woke up and it was so beautiful outside, no more rain and not as many people out as before. Mom-Mom and I made our way to the WestWay diner on Restaurant Row, it was quite a walk but it was amazing out so it didn’t bother us.
We went back to the hotel after walking through the Eighth Avenue Flea Market and packed up our things to head home, but we kept our luggage there as we walked around the city.
NBC Studios and Rockefeller Center was another visit as we made our way around, I can’t get enough of the pop culture influences within New York. We continued on down the street and came across the Church of Scientology, it’s so interesting to me! While we were allowed to walk in and learn more, we quickly walked past.
One visit I absolutely loved as we walked was St. Peter’s Cathedral. It was so beautiful, so grand. The architecture inside was amazing, so detailed. There were tons of tourists, but that didn’t stop us from taking pictures of the stained glass in the high walls and ceiling. Absolutely one of my favorite parts of the day.
We made our way back to the hotel, but not before stopping at Rockefeller Center to see where New York traditionally lights the Christmas tree and creates the ice rink featured in so many rom-coms and holiday movies.
Then we were on the train home.
New York was such an incredible experience that I’ll never forget. Everything from singing diners to Wicked on Broadway made this vacation one to remember. I’m so grateful for this experience and I can’t believe I actually got to go!
Day 2, my birthday!
Day 1 was filled with discovery and excitement, and day 2 was a blast, no surprise. We started out the rainy day with a nice breakfast at the 4T5 New York cafe. The rain was coming down in sheets and we were in the thick of it. Eventually I figured out that when you stand close to somebody you’re with, you tend to dump water from your umbrella all over them… sorry Mom-Mom.
After drying off in the hotel for a bit, we got ready to go to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. This was a very special visit to us because my great aunt Kathy was a flight attendant on the first plane, Flight 11. We went through the beautiful museum first and saw everything from the survivors steps, The steps survivors used to escape the North Tower, to artifacts found the day after, receipts, lists, ID cards, etc.
The museum was a terrifying emotional rollercoaster, there were videos and pictures of every instant during the horrific events on 9/11. I thought about the many museums one would visit and how they didn’t effect me as much and I came to the conclusion that 9/11 was such a turning point in American history. This was the first time that video and pictures were readily available to those who witnessed the crashes. There is hard evidence and eyewitness accounts. The museum hit me hard, not just because there was disturbing content and videos of suicides, injuries, and deaths, but because it hurt those around me in ways I’ll never understand.
Not only was my great aunt on Flight 11, but she was mentioned in calls from the other flight attendants on that plane. Kathleen Ann Nicosia was a brave soul whom I never had the opportunity to meet, but I learned so much about during my day at the memorial. My Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop, Kathleen’s brother, were living in New York at the time and saw the smoke envelop the island. It was very hard to understand that the pain from that day comes back to them during visits such as these. I loved and respected the museum and memorial in the beautifully tragic way I could, and I felt the pain that America felt along with New York that catastrophic day in history.
After a quick lunch break, Mom-Mom and I made our way back to Times Square in a taxi. We spent some time in our room playing skip-bo and relaxing before we got ready again to head out and go see Wicked! The set was beautiful, the plot was fun and interesting, and the singing was spectacular! I was so in love with the Broadway play, it combined fairytales, humor, and romance all into one beautiful musical. It was such an amazing choice for my first New York play! I would definitely see it again if I had to, but I would want to see some others as well, I saw the marquees for Dear Evan Hansen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hamilton, and Kinky Boots!
After Wicked, we made our way through the New York nightlife to Juniors, a popular diner near our hotel. we sat and had some salads and sandwiches while we chatted about the play and people-watched. It was an amazing end to an amazing birthday. Couldn’t have asked for more!
Yes, I finally made it to New York!! It’s my first time here and it’s as crazy as I thought it would be.
Mom-Mom and I took the train from South Station in Boston to Penn Station… It was a rocky ride with one game of skip-bo followed by a two hour nap.
After we got settled into our hotel, we made our way over to the highly suggested “Ellen’s Stardust Diner.” The food was amazing and the singing was great too! I was serenaded by a Bieber lookalike and enjoyed a chocolate coke float. We learned that every worker hired has a music degree at some college or university, and all are broadway hopefuls. It was an amazing experience to see such talented people working to get to the top! We heard everything from Disney songs to Broadway show tunes, all while we had our late lunch in New York City.
After Ellen’s, we started walking around Times Square, it was so crowded. But as we walked I saw Radio City Music Hall and NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center! Now being an SNL, Office, Jimmy Fallon, etc. fan, I had to take a picture in front and check it out inside! Security was crazy cause the studios were upstairs but we had access to the gift shop inside, there was an up-to-scale judge’s chair from The Voice and so much Stefan and Dwight merchandise I know I’ll be back before the end of our trip!
So far, New York has been the best, I’m a city girl when I really want to be! I do miss home though, I know Sundae’s missing her mid-afternoon nap with me. I can’t wait to celebrate my eighteenth tomorrow with the 9/11 memorial and museum along with the 8:00 showing of Wicked!!! Can someone say best birthday ever?
Whenever I pack to go on vacation or a school trip, I just know I’m going to leave something at home. Whether it’s contact solution, hair supplies, or a phone charger, I’m always leaving something important at home.
While I don’t think I can give much advice about packing, I know that others have shared my experiences. But I’ve realized that going into college, I have to get better at keeping track of my stuff and making sure I have everything I need. It would be terrible to go to class and realize I don’t have my laptop or assigned reading.
But I guess thats what this blog is for, to help me keep my life in check as I approach the next part of my life.
I thought I was some big-shot in the world of high school seniors, but I’m just one of many trying to understand how to transition into adulthood while still maintaining the life I had.
I understand that some friendships weren’t built to last through high school and into college, I also get that these experiences were meant for high school. I can use the activities and friendships I had in the past four years to help me become a better version of myself the next four.
Because of high school I know how to ask others about their lives and how to be interested in the wellbeing of the friends around me.
Because of high school I know that being 5-10 minutes early is on time and being on time is late.
Because of high school, I understand that there will be others I’ll compare myself to, but no one can be better at being me.
High school taught me so much about myself, and I’m ready and prepared to learn so much more as I continue into my college career. College is a whole new life, one that you can’t create out of dreams. It’s going to take hard work but it’ll be done.