My Double Life as a Fashionista-Athlete

“Whoa I didn’t know you play soccer!” is a reaction I’m used to getting when people figure out that I play soccer too. My teammates and I always joke that I live a “double life”: fashionista by day, athlete by night.

For those who know me well, you know that I would NEVER wear my soccer clothes to class for fun. Not that there’s anything wrong with it (for those who do) but personally I don’t like wearing my athletic clothes for fun. This is not because I’m not proud to represent my team, because I most definitely am, it’s just that I prefer to dress everyday because it makes me feel more productive.  I also simply love to get ready in the mornings. Getting ready for the day is like my cup of coffee.

When it comes to the time of the day to transform into an athlete, the heels and makeup come off and the cleats and shin guards come on. Being a fashion blogger and a soccer player isn’t a common combo, nor is it ideal at times.  I start some days in full photoshoot makeup (fake eyelashes and everything) and then completely take of my makeup and change into soccer clothes for practice . . . talk about a major transformation. Balancing school, soccer and a blog has been very challenging but it has taught me how to become an expert of time management. This has been especially hard having two games a week and practice every day but Sunday. But it really isn’t that daunting of a task when you get to play a sport that you love with your best friends. It’s so nice to go to practice and have an escape at the end of the day and forget about all the worries that college brings. 

Although I may not be your stereotypical college athlete that eats, sleeps and breathes soccer, I am still very proud to be an athlete and represent Emerson. Coming into such a new environment has been so much easier because of my team. I have an automatic group of best friends from all years and I get to be with them everyday. I have people who support me on and off the field, and definitely don’t look down upon me for being a little bit of a shopaholic. Sure, they may tease me sometimes but I can also be an easy target at times.

I love the feeling of walking out on the soccer field with my team before the game and then hearing “Freshman Elise Sanchez from Austin, Texas”, but I also love spending the whole day doing a photoshoot for my blog. My teammates know me from when they see me on the field or when I’m taking pictures for my blog on Newbury Street. Yes, soccer is a huge part of my life, but so is fashion. I have never felt the need to identify myself in one category. I am proud to be a “Fashionista athlete,” or as my coach likes to call me, “Gucci girl.” Some days I can literally look like two different people, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

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The Suite Life: 7 Tips to live With Suitemates

Eight people and four rooms in one suite isn’t quite the ideal situation. Life in an eight person suite may not always be sweet but here are seven tips to help live with other suitemates. 

Set up a cleaning schedule

Living in a small space with seven other people can become messy really really quickly. With so many people, it is so easy to set up a cleaning rotation. What my suitemates and I do is assign everyone a cleaning day and then on Sundays we usually all tidy up our own personal dorms. Assigning everyone a day assures that the suite stays in a livable condition and messes don’t pile up.

Learn how to resolve conflict and communicate

Being in a brand new environment is hard enough, but living with 7 people you have never met in your life can bring some challenges. I am so lucky to have gotten suitemates that I get along with and consider my close friends, but that’s not always the case. It’s okay to not be best friends with everyone in your suite. It’s not okay to have conflict within a suite though. As a suite, you all should discuss your conflicts and decide ways to avoid future conflicts. As cliche as this may seem, have “team meetings.” My suitemates and I have them weekly and they are so informal but make such a difference in our suite.

Learn how to share

Eight different people equals eight very different possessions. As a suite, you need to learn how to share. Some things you definitely don’t need to share (like food) but other times it wouldn’t kill you to share a few things. For example, clothes are something that you can lend to a suitemate. But if you borrow clothes always make sure to ask first. One thing I always make sure I do is clean the clothes I borrowed before you return them. It’s a privilege, not a luxury to share, so make sure you are still respecting your suitemates.

Help each other out every once in awhile

Whether it’s marketing homework or makeup for a night out, help out your suitemates every once in a while. That’s one of the best parts of living with other people, being able to help each other out. If I’m having a rough day I know I can always go to one of my suitemates for help, and they know I would do the same for them. 

Don’t be afraid to set boundaries

After living in such a small vicinity with so many people, you may discover some boundaries you didn’t even know you had. For example, I am very particular and in a way possessive about my clothes (because I am so used to my sisters back home taking them without asking). From the beginning I just made it clear that I don’t mind sharing clothes, I just want to be asked first. Sometimes in our suite, it can get too loud, but we all know that we can always respectfully ask each other to quiet it down.

Split up who buys what supplies

 Toilet paper, paper towels, utensils, and basic cleaning supplies are the necessities in our suite. To make sure one person doesn’t buy all of the supplies, we split up who buys what. With a simple rotation of supplies, we make sure everything’s equal. We also have a whiteboard in our kitchen and we make notes on when we need supplies. 

Spend quality time with each other 

Actually spend time with your suitemates and get to know them. Have a pizza and movie night, or go for a picnic in the common. You got placed to live with these people so why not get to know them better? Also, living with your best friends just makes the whole experience ten times better.

I am beyond lucky to have gotten seven amazing suitemates. During this exciting time in college, being in a whole new environment has been challenging sometimes but my suitemates have made my transition so much better. I hope my seven tips were insightful and can help you and your suitemates have a suite life too.

Transferring is Haaaard

Let me paint you a word picture. Remember fall/winter of your senior year of high school? Ah, memories. Memories mainly of the grueling, painful, next-level difficult college application process. Perhaps you did not vehemently hate applying to college, and perhaps even did not irrationally procrastinate doing so whenever possible, but if that is the case then you and I are not the same.

Despite this immense struggle, I persevered and applied and got into colleges and accepted one with great joy and relief and thought that was over and done with.

But then I got to college, promptly helped myself to a heavier and more all-encompassing workload than the one I had in high school, and thought, Hey. You know what would be fun? Doing my least favorite thing I’ve ever had to do again, while also having a barely feasible amount of work.

Thus I started up that glorious process again, while living it up in the second semester of my freshman year of college! It was an utter blast, and I definitely didn’t stay at the library until closing three nights per week or anything.

In all seriousness, there is no human emotion on this Earth quite like logging into the Common App website as a college student. I have never experienced full-body disgust like I did at the moment I was forced to enter the abyss of the College Board website and once more pay $15 to send each AP score to each school on my list. (What on this great green earth could those fifteen dollars possibly go to? They don’t even have to print anything! Just inform four post-secondary institutions of the grade I received on a U.S. History exam I took three years ago, please!)

I am already way more excited about Emerson than I was about my last school (air of mystery here so as not to start any drama), which makes that terrible period of my human existence worth it. However. Things did not suddenly become easy, which was a disappointment because I hope constantly that life will abruptly transform into a 24/7 walk in the park.

Being an Emerson student is pretty great so far, but being a transfer student can be hard. It is often like being a freshman, but with none of the youthful glow and optimism. All the knowledge you built up about your last college is suddenly totally useless. (I haven’t needed to keep up a mental ranking of preferred shower stalls in the second-floor communal bathroom of my dorm building in five months, and yet here I am today, constantly aware that the one closest to the window is by far the best in terms of amount of space and adaptability of water temperature.)

But this breadth of knowledge is not the worst thing that does not transfer, because if you start attending Emerson YOUR GPA DOES NOT TRANSFER. This is truly the worst thing I can possibly imagine. Not only does it feel like all the work I did last year has disappeared before my very eyes, but I have much less time and fewer data points now. In other words, a required class I didn’t want to take in the first place suddenly matters a whole lot.

If there is one thing in the entire world that rivals the loss of my existing GPA for unpleasantness, it is having to make friends once again. As a process, it is so hard and weird! But here I am in a new city, at a new school, and apparently socializing is expected, or something. This is especially difficult because it is very tempting to lay on the floor and use Snapchat and Instagram to watch the lives of my friends from my last college and/or my friends from home as they happily begin their second year at the same school. With friends they’ve already made. What a luxury!

But even with all of those mildly depressing negatives, I still really recommend transferring if you feel unsatisfied. Because we all pay wayyyy too much money to get anything other than the best four years of all time.

The Problem with Emerson Attendance Policy

We’ve all been there. You open your eyes at 9:20 am, knowing full well you have your elective at 10. But you also know that your head is pounding, your throat is drier than the Sahara, your nose is running faster than your legs ever could and you feel like ten bricks were just chucked at your body. Nope, you’re not hungover; you’re sick. But you also know you only have one unexcused absence left and…there are two months left of the semester. Groaning, aching and melting in your own skin, you reluctantly roll your limbs out of bed and begin your routine.

Emerson’s attendance policy is, needless to say, strict. It’s said that most professors assign a policy of 3 unexcused absences and unlimited excused absences. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve had professors only allow 2, 1, or even no unexcused absences for the entirety of the semester. And when the pool of reasons from which excused absences can be drawn is so small, it becomes increasingly difficult for Emerson students to maintain a good grade in class while still tending to their physical and mental needs.

I have never before experienced such a hard-working, dedicated environment of students who will go to class through so much. I myself have sat through classes even with treacherous stomach bugs and eye infections. The scary part to me is that it seems the school would prefer we come to class with our contagious illnesses than stay home and rest. It’s clear the quality of our work in class is greatly diminished during these instances, and yet, we still push through.

I find it absurd the inconsistency between professors’ policies. I’ve had professors who have excused people for public transportation issues, colds and picking up extra shifts at work, as well as professors who have refused to grant excused absences for family deaths, funerals and weddings. As adults between the ages of 18 and 22, students should be given enough responsibility and respect to come to class on their own terms. With such strict attendance policies, it feels like the college doesn’t trust us to manage our own educations. And it’s saddening that professors will often assume dishonesty or laziness, no matter the excuse a student gives.

When a professor once addressed my class on the first day with “You will be given no excused absences. You are adults, and if you want to come to class, you will,” it was unbelievable to me. Being absent from class is so much more than merely not wanting to come. We as adults understand the economic toll our education has on our lives, and we know to take it very seriously. Yes, there are days when we are tired, bored or hungry and don’t feel like going to class, but professors need to start taking our health more seriously. Nothing, no not even your hour-and-45-minute-long seminar, matters more than our health.

At the end of the day, students are in control of their education. They will take as much, or as little, from it as they desire. It is not a professor’s job to force students into their classroom; if a professor is being respectful and fair, then students will naturally want to come to class. It’s as simple as that. Health is wealth, and us Emerson students are going to be needing some major wealth if we dream of funding our expensive undergraduate educations.

What Sophomore Year Has Taught Me

College is quite a wild ride. I never expected to learn, change, and grow as much as I did. Sometimes, I feel like a completely different person. Other times, I feel merely like a more mature version of my high school self. Regardless of the impact college has left on you thus far, it’s inevitable that its going to teach you a few important lessons: some in the classroom and some in the broader sense of life.

Friendships are hard to maintain, but so valuable.

What everyone always told me about college is true: you do meet people who completely change your life, for the better. One of the absolute best parts about Emerson for me so far is the opportunities I’ve gotten to befriend some extraordinary people. It’s so rare to meet people who make you feel loved, supported, and cherished, but that’s what Emerson has done for me. However, I’ve also learned that friendships are hard. It’s easy to call someone your friend when you cross paths with them every day during the semester and can easily meet up at the DH after class or run down two flights of stairs to their room in LB. But, as soon as it hits summer, it honestly gets so difficult to see a lot of those people you still call “friends.” When you have to really go out of your way to make plans and schedule times to meet up with someone off-campus, those friendships might face a four-month hiatus. It’s disappointing, but I think it really proves to you, deep down, who your best friends really are. They are the people who you genuinely want to see and with whom it’s never a hassle to make plans. They’re the gems that college has given you.

Never take family for granted.

Family can mean something different for everyone. It’s not just the conventional family that we all expect; families can come from friends and organizations, too. Regardless of who it is you call “family,” college has taught me that those are so rare and meaningful. Family is the people who you know will support and love you unconditionally. And, as a college student when life is turned upside down often, it’s nice to have something like that. As most other high school people at that time, I hated being at home during high school. I was constantly out of the house and rolling my eyes about my parents. Now, I often can’t wait to go home and just lay around the house with my parents and sister, reliving old memories and laughing about things only we’d understand. Having a constant in my life has been such a breath of fresh air in the swirling vortex that can be Emerson. I’ve come to appreciate my rich culture and the caring parents who raised me in it. I feel wiser, stronger, and more independent because of my family.

Putting yourself out there is everything.

My first semester of college was, to be brief, a tragic mess. I, someone who was a social butterfly my entire life, finally felt like my wings had been clipped off. Starting fresh in a completely different environment was a major stress on my life. I didn’t know how to make new best friends when I’d known my best friends from home since the sixth grade. It wasn’t like I was holed up in my room alone every night; I just only really spent time with my roommates and went home every other weekend. I owed that solitude to the fact that all I did was go to class and come back to my enclosed dorm. I wasn’t a part of any organizations and didn’t have any opportunities to make friends. That simple idea of not putting myself out there by joining any new organizations and clubs almost led me to transferring from Emerson. However, second semester rolled around, and I got accepted into Emerson Noteworthy, an a cappella group. Finally having a group of people outside of class to see regularly and be myself around changed everything for me. Because that’s all it took: having an outlet where I could do something I was passionate about and also have people with whom to share it. That slowly led me to opening myself up more. And here I am now, a member of 6 different organizations and thriving (in most ways).

Nothing is certain, and that’s something you just have to embrace.

It’s really terrifying looking into the future and having absolutely no idea what it holds. That future for most college students is in the post-grad life; for me, it also includes the next two years of my life at Emerson. Since coming here, I’ve changed my major, made and lost friends, and had so many of my perspectives on life questioned and completely flipped around. I thought that I was going to graduate with a degree in Journalism to go on and pursue a career at a news station as an anchor. Now, I’m working towards a degree in Marketing Communications, hoping to someday be on a marketing team for one of my favorite brands (maybe even a CMO someday, or at least that’s the ultimate dream). I’ve had some best friends come and go with semesters and others remain permanently rooted in my life. I came into college extremely skeptical and uninterested in Fraternity and Sorority Life, and I am now a proud member of Zeta Phi Eta. It’s truly impossible to predict your every move in college. As you shift and grow, your likes, dislikes, beliefs, and opinions will shift and grow, too. I used to be the kind of person who needed to know exactly what was happening, when it was happening, and where it was happening. While I’m still like that at times, I’m learning to recognize that there are just some things that cannot be controlled. And while it can be disappointing and heartbreaking to lose people who meant the world to you once and have your entire future plans halted and turned on their heads, it’s also exciting. It’s thrilling that life can take so many twists and turns and that every decision can lead to a million wonderful things you never expected. Life is so moldable, and that’s quite beautiful (especially for an arts student).

So, regardless of if you absolutely love college or if you’re dying to get that diploma, it’s obvious that where you go to college, the classes you take, and the people you meet can have a huge impact on your life. It has an eerie mystery to it, yet that mystery holds so many unseen opportunities. It teaches you to exemplify your strengths and improve your weaknesses, making you a stronger and wiser human being. In the end, college is a brief time in your life, but it’s a special time that can really influence your path in the future.

Making The Most of This Summer Without An Internship

Being at Emerson, it’s likely that you’re constantly surrounded by freshmen with more on their resumes than your parents. That’s just the way it is here, which means there can be a lot of pressure to build up your own portfolio through internships or other professional experiences. However, as we all know, starting out can get a little tricky—especially when you don’t get that call back from a position you really wanted. The truth of the matter is that sometimes things just don’t work out, but fear not. Even if you didn’t land the perfect internship position, there are still a lot of ways to stay productive this summer. Here are just a few ways that you can make the most of your four months off from school.

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Challenging the Literary Canon

After years of being assigned books to read for school, have you ever wondered why the same authors find their way onto every English teacher’s syllabus? I can still remember most of the books I was assigned in high school, throughout my years of Honors and AP English classes. As a freshman, I can recall reading Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. My sophomore English syllabus emphasized Shakespeare, Hemingway, and Victor Hugo. Junior year was my AP Language course, which consisted primarily of analyzing speeches from great men of times past, such as John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln.

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Inside Emerson’s New Dorm Building

This past year, there’s been plenty of talk about the construction happening on Emerson’s Boylston Street campus. From the building of a new dining hall to Little Building being closed for renovations starting this May, to a new dorm building with its entrance in the Boylston Place alleyway—change is definitely coming to Emerson. But, how much do Emerson’s students actually know about these construction projects? Particularly, how much do students know about this new dorm building? Many students will call 2 Boylston Place their home come next semester, and yet they might not know much about what the Boylston Place dorm will really be like.

As a student who is now a junior, even I’m a bit confused about just what is happening with this new dorm building, regardless if I might not have the opportunity to live there. Still, I’ve been watching this construction happen since I started at Emerson. The sounds of drilling and workers shouting over the noise of their equipment have become all too familiar to my peers and me.

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Backstock for Standing Rock with Pub Club

It has always been important to take action, but now is an essential time to be advocating for social and political change. That includes taking action here on Emerson’s campus, in the greater Boston area, or beyond.

But, sometimes advocacy can mean showing solidarity. Or fundraising in support of an issue or movement. That’s why Undergraduate Students for Publishing (or Pub Club) has decided to spend a week selling its back stock to fundraise for Standing Rock. If you’re unfamiliar with Standing Rock, here’s a brief summary: The Standing Rock protests are in response to a proposal to build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). If built, the pipeline would threaten the water that many indigenous people in the area depend on. Despite the freezing weather, protests have continued at Standing Rock for months now.

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Upcoming Changes to the Emerson Campus

If there is one thing Emerson students are accustomed to seeing, it’s scaffolding. I don’t remember a time that Emerson’s campus wasn’t dominated by rows of scaffolding that hang ominously above as you wait to cross at the Boylston-Tremont intersection. Scaffolding has been a fixture outside the Little Building (LB) for a long time now. This is to be expected, given it’s an old building desperately in need of some sprucing up. Thankfully, Emerson will begin the renovation process of LB next semester. Starting in January 2017, though, the lower-level of the building will be closed. This means that both the campus fitness center and the Cabaret (at least in their current locations) will be closed as well.

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