Hello lovely people of the internet! It has been quite a LONG while since I’ve been here on To Style, With Love speaking to you. Not at all because I didn’t want to be but, because I didn’t feel that I could be. As my blog and Instagram posts started going up more and more infrequently you would have learned that I had relocated to Washington D.C for the majority of the year because I started college at Georgetown University. Embarking on the journey of moving all the way across the country and throwing myself into an academic atmosphere that was the polar opposite of my high school experience was quite the change for me. I easily could have stayed in LA to go to college and not had to face so many changes all at once, as I’ve talked about many times it was a close decision for me between heading to the East coast to go to Georgetown or staying here in LA and attending UCLA. Going to UCLA had been my plan for many years and a little more than a year ago after I received my acceptance letters I was fairly certain that I was going to stay. However, life has a funny way of pointing us to where we are really supposed to be and once I visited Georgetown and got a better feel for the school I took the chance of leaving behind everything that I know and am comfortable with. In the end Georgetown was the best fit for me, but I can’t say that it was the easiest fit for me right from the beginning. After talking with some other girls who are sophomores etc I realized that it wasn’t just me that was having such trouble adjusting. While it seemed like most people just made immediate best friends and had it all worked out I guess that’s just something we trick ourselves into thinking so it will be easier to quit in the end.
Something that people find kind of hard to believe is that I am not actually the most social person and most of the time in new social settings I am fairly reserved and sort of shy about warming up to new people. It’s not that easy for me to jump right in and immediately bond with other people initially but, I found that once I really put my self out there and stepped out of my comfort zone I had a MUCH better time at school than when I was isolating myself because I didn’t have bonds with people like the ones I had at home. I had to learn to understand that I wasn’t going to immediately have new friendships that felt like the ones that I had with friends I grew up with and had known for years. With all of my trepidation, hesitation and isolation I just didn’t feel creatively inspired about posting here on To Style, With Love or even on instagram and I began to question my abilities because of how behind I felt at school. Any work that I was producing I didn’t feel was the best of my ability and I am an extreme OCD perfectionist so this only made me feel even more isolated from the things that I love the most. So I felt it was better to step back and wait until I felt restored and ready to do the things that I love the most again….. get ready because IIIII’MMMMM BAAAAACCCKKKKK! I know this post is long and probably most of you skipped it or skimmed it at best but, I wanted to let you in on what’s been going on and where i’ve been in the last couple of months.
Based on my experiences during freshman year I wanted to share some tips/ideas and thoughts with the girls out there who are struggling in the hopes that maybe your start at college can be more successful or just help you out of your shell a tiny bit. I learned a lot from being stubborn so take it from me that college is really fun once you get the hang of it. And I never thought that I would say this because if you told me first semester of freshman year I wouldn’t of believed you but…I can’t wait to go back in the fall!
keep reading . . .
Since I didn’t come from a similar academic background (being homeschooled) as 99.9% of the population at Georgetown getting adjusted to the school schedule and staying on top of things was really difficult for me since I was so used to doing things on my own schedule and time. Once I grasped how to get organized I felt a lot better about my academic standing and overall well being and mental health when it comes to the stresses of school.
- AGENDA-JOURNAL-PLANNER // While you may have always seen amazing bullet journals on tumblr it’s time to bring that into reality and get your self a daily planner. On Sunday or Monday of each week go through all of your announcements and syllabi to write down all of your work, class times, meetings etc. I like having a journal that has a full page for each day so that I can write small notes or to do lists. Since managing time in college can be really tricky you might even try to map out other things you might do in the week from hanging with friends, going out to dinner, shopping for parties, seeing a movie..anything really. Keeping on top of tasks is a #1 priority at college and will help bring your stress levels waaaayyyy down.
- PERSONALIZING YOUR LIVING SPACE // Being in a totally different place is hard enough and when you don’t have an area to call your comfort space at the end of the day, whether it was stressful or not, can be really harmful. This was one thing I think I did successfully when I first moved into my dorm freshman year. Even though I technically only had half of a tiny room I did my best to make the space really personal and comfortable for me. College is already expensive enough but investing in quality pieces for your bedroom you can use for the next 4+ years is totally worth while. You want a room that you feel comfortable in and that at the end of the day feels like a temporary home.
I thought perhaps the home sickness would manifest in the form of being away from my parents being too difficult or missing hanging out with my friends. But, for me it came in the form of just generally missing my hometown. Everything about from my parents to my friends and everything in between. I should have gotten one of those university memory blankets, maybe that would of given me a sense of home. I missed the places we used to go regularly, the social circle that I was apart of, my favorite restaurants, my dog . . just name anything to do with home. These are the top 2 things that helped me when I was really feeling blue.
- FACETIME // I ended up making talking with my mom and dad an almost daily ritual. Late at night because I was on the East coast and they were 3 hours behind, I would get comfy into my pj’s, mist my linen and lavender sprays on the sheets, grab my teddy bear and call them an hour before I was going to go to sleep. Making it a ritual and talking with them most days made me feel like I wasn’t missing out on anything and that they were always right there with me. When it comes to friends they might be at home or away at another school so the best thing for me was to schedule Facetime dates with my friends a day before or so. This way we could plan a time that we both had free to catch up and talk about all the things we were going to do over the summer.
- PLANNING TRIPS // Having something to look forward to was always really positive for me because I knew the next time that I would be seeing my friends, family and boyfriend. There are a lot more long weekends in the college year than you might realize and if you plan accordingly these are the perfect times to jet off for a few days and catch up with your loved ones. Feeling like you’re not always so far away from home can be extremely comforting and can help with feeling like you miss the way things were before you left. Even thought I live on the other side of the country if I could make the trip home I defiantly would take the opportunity.
The most important thing that completely changed how I viewed my college experience was being a social butterfly. As I said above, this is not the most natural or easy thing for me but, it was absolutely the BEST thing for me at school. Having a healthy social to school like balance is really important at an academically driven school like Georgetown. Too much school can drive a person crazy and we all need to let our hair down a little bit.
- GREEK LIFE AND CLUBS // Even though in the beginning of the year I didn’t have the healthiest social life the things that kept me from feeling like a total outsider was my participation in clubs and joining a sorority. The first thing that I became a part of was my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma! When I went to school I had no intention of joining Greek Life, for one it’s not a huge thing at Georgetown like it is at most state schools and two the idea of being around a big group of bitchy girls being competitive with each other sounded awful to me. After I met some of the girls and went to the first rush mixer I actually became really excited about joining and having a solid group of girl friends in the blink of an eye. The sorority is nothing like it is in the movies, I mean we do have chants and wear a LOT of KKG stuff but most of all it is truly a sisterhood and where I met most of my closest friends at school. In addition to Kappa I joined a club with a focus on Retail and Luxury, uhmmm perfect fit for me right! It was really amazing to join a club and find people with similar interests and passions, this defiantly made me feel less “different” than the scene at Georgetown I just had to find my people. I even met my KKG BIG in this club!
- REACHING OUT // I’ve never been a big texter and I am perpetually the worst at texting people back but, it’s mostly due to anxiety and not feeling secure in these friendships just yet. One of the biggest lessons I learned at school was that it’s perfectly fine, if not over the top amazing, to reach out to other people and make plans. From spur of the moment, “Hey! Do you want to go get lunch at Bluestone?” to “Can we please go out to Heist tonight?” it never hurts to find out what your friends are up to and to get in on the action. You have to get over the paranoia that you’re not close enough with them and they’re leaving you out because the only person leaving you out of things is yourself!
I hope I can be somewhat helpful to some of you or at least inspire you to make the best effort to have an amazing college career. If you have any stories, questions, fears or are looking for advice make sure and leave me a comment below!