end-of-year celebrations

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How’s everyone doing? I can’t believe school is over in just two short weeks – I’m almost not ready to let go of junior year. Last week I reflected on the year, but today, I wanted to share with y’all the crazy events I’ve been attending! I don’t think I’ve ever been invited to so many cool things in such a short period amount of time; they’re mostly end-of-the-year banquets held by student organizations, but it still gives me and excuse to dress up. The weather’s been absolutely lovely too (that photo above is from my run to Gasworks Park!!).

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Two weeks ago, I attended a spotlight dinner held by my business school: it’s where we highlight faculty, students, and the organizations for the year. It was a pretty nice event! I’m wearing my grey dress from Banana Republic (old) with a huge bow in the back. This was the perfect event to wear it to!

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Last week, my business school held a Pub Crawl and I went mostly in part because my student group was running it, but also because I’ve never been on a pub crawl! I showed up late because I was at a scholarship reception in Bellevue, but for the time I was at the pub crawl, I had a great time meeting new people and catching up with old friends.

The next day, I was invited to a social for one of the accounting firms and y’all, it was at the Columbia Tower Club!! I’ve been to the Skyview Observatory (way cheaper than the Space Needle, and it has a view of the Space Needle itself), but the club is two floors higher and has an event space. Before attending, I had heard to visit the women’s restroom – like it was a must. Curious, I went, and indeed, I see why:

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Is that a view or what?!

Later that night, I went to my good accounting friend’s sorority formal and danced the night away in Capitol Hill. The next day, I went to a business fraternity banquet with one of my close friends in my sorority. It was so fun! I wasn’t able to get good pictures at the venue in South Lake Union, but I did take a mirror selfie before I left the house:

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Spring quarter is never-ending with the banquets and celebrations – in fact, I’m going to another one tonight, lol. Looking at my calendar, it looks like tonight’s is my last one, but I will be heading to a gala in a few weeks (eep, that means long dresses!!). Thank goodness though because it’s definitely time to buckle up and study for finals for the next two weeks.

What have you been celebrating these past few weeks? As always, thanks for reading!

Jen

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junior year x reflection

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Junior year’s been confusing.

It’s over in a little more than three weeks, which still blows my mind. This year flew by. I don’t even know where it went: just a year ago, I was getting ready to embark on my three-month long Europe trip, and now a full year has gone by and I feel like it was just yesterday.

Throughout this entire year, I felt like I was in a weird funk. I wasn’t myself, not how I used to be, at least. It felt like I was wading in the dark for awhile, but I didn’t necessarily know what I was looking for. I kept up appearances – and I think I even tricked myself into thinking I had my stuff together most of the time – but to be honest, I don’t think I’ve found what I’m looking for. Part of me is attributing this confusion to coming back to the states after being abroad for three months, like, did it really change me? Is this extended reverse culture shock? I can only use my being abroad excuse for so long. Maybe I just need to face the fact that I really am in a transitional phase right now.

I’ve come to the realization that people are coming to me for advice now, and I should probably have things to tell underclassmen. I’ve given pretty good answers so far, but now that I’m thinking about it, what have I learned in my three years as an undergrad? What advice do I have to give that will help shape a freshman, sophomore’s time remaining? What can I say that will make them look forward to learning more?

My priorities are different now. I meet younger students and see my old self in them: curious, sheltered, and even a little naive. I think that’s when you know you’re not the person you were before. It makes me want to shake their shoulders and tell them to open their eyes because there is so much out there.

I hate how angsty I sound right now, but I’m really just shook by how much growth there seems to be in challenge. My classes were really hard this year, and I’ve been struggling. What used to be above-average grades are now transitioning into average, and even a few times, below. But there are so many other amazing things happening in my life that I can’t seem to justify to keep my grades at top-notch standards. Sometimes I really do feel like opportunities were lost because I had to stay in one too many nights to study for a test, and I really think I’m done doing that. Don’t get me wrong – school is still extremely important to me, but not just my classes: it’s about relationships and community-building, too.

And yeah, I was really good at maintaining my goals for the year for all of winter quarter, but then spring quarter happened and I barely R&Red – and it sucked. This past weekend was the first time in awhile where I got to breathe and have (almost) nothing on my Google Calendar. I watched Riverdale for three hours and it was awesome.

My proudest accomplishment? I think I helped a lot of people this year bring a lot of clarity into their lives. It sounds weird, but it feels really good to help other people. I love it. Giving advice and helping others reach their goals, especially when you know they have so much potential.

Was junior year the best year of college? No. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted all the time, but I think it was a realistic portrayal of post-college life. From here on out, I will have to continue learning how to juggle more things at a time and maybe even step my time management skills up a notch. I remember the days when I had a clear inbox; nowadays, I have to set aside time to answer all the emails I get. I must say that junior year has been my healthiest though: I’ve been sleeping a lot (6.5-8 hours every night!) and I haven’t caught any colds this year, so I’m pretty happy about that.

I’m excited about the things I accomplished this year. There were definitely some downs, but so many UPS! I think mostly every minute of hard work has paid off, and I know once I finish my last final, it’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I’ve already scheduled some end-of-the-year plans with my friends to celebrate (they’re before my last final though, so, woops). I’m savoring every last bit of college because I’m graduating early from my senior year – what a thought.

How was your year? I’d love to know. And as always, thanks for reading.

Jen x

 

top 5 things i’ve learned about being in a sorority

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Hey y’all!

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was pretty busy: I hate using that word but it really was. I feel like I’m low-key struggling to stay afloat right now but I’m just trying to maintain positivity!! I have a midterm and a quiz this week in my classes so I tried to devote some time this past weekend to study, but my sorority went on a retreat this weekend!

I wanted to share the fun photos we took at Gasworks Park, but I also wanted to share with you all the top five things I’ve learned while being part of a sorority. I feel like people always have these pre-conceived notions about sororities, that it’s some cult-like group where everyone’s catty. People sometimes look down on sororities, but I’m here to prove y’all wrong. The sisterhood retreat this weekend was focused on – well, you guessed it – sisterhood, and I’ve had some time to reflect on what being in a sorority means.

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Obviously everyone’s experience is different, and being in a sorority is not for everyone. I’ve had a really positive experience thus far though, and if I can help ease anyone’s mind about going through sorority recruitment, that’s good enough for me.

  1. You grow outside of your comfort zone: In my freshman year when I wasn’t in a sorority yet, no one was pushing me to try new things, or I just didn’t feel like they were the right people to try new things with. In a sorority, I was more likely to find people who are somewhat similar to me, and wanting to try the same things. Having a buddy sometimes really helps, and finding the comfortable before doing the uncomfortable was just what I needed. I always like to emphasize independence, because I can definitely see how some young women can grow used to always having someone there to do things with and not being able to do things by themselves, but finding that balance has been pretty seamless for me.
  2. You don’t need to be outgoing and loud to be in a sorority: I was definitely worried about this going into recruitment. Being introverted and needing my alone time more frequently than others, I knew I might run into conflicts. I talked to one of my sorority sisters this weekend about it though – and she’s definitely one of the quiet ones – and even though that quiet time is needed, she was able to find it. She was also able to find friends who respect that time, and her personality. As long as you’re willing to listen, you might learn more than if you’re chatty all the time.
  3. Someone will always be there to listen: one of my favorite things about being in a sorority, to be honest. Even though I’m not 100% best friends with everyone in my sorority, I feel like I could talk to anyone about my problems, achievements, or just catch up.
  4. I love helping others: I learned that I love helping people through being in my sorority. I think everyone will discover their “role” in the house after a year or two, but through my leadership position in the house, I discovered that providing advice is really what I love to do. I’m still shook when girls tell me they look up to me as a role model. I’m humbled and it’s made me more inspired to continue helping people.
  5. I’m blessed with the most loving girls: Even though I have close friends outside of my sorority, I know that these girls will be life-long friends. As cheesy as that sounds, no one else will have shared these experiences and moments with me. I think it’s natural for large groups to gravitate into smaller groups; I’m purposefully avoiding the word “clique”. I have my closer group of friends in the sorority that just get me, but I know everyone tries to be friendly with everyone.

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I hope y’all gained something from my list of five; as always, thanks for reading!

Have a wonderful week,

Jen

trying something new: capoiera

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Hello! How are things? I’m officially back in school (spring break flew by!) for my last quarter of junior year. Currently, I’m sitting at the library writing up this post, still a little sweaty from a dance class, which is actually what I wanted to share with y’all today.

It’s been awhile since I’ve really tried something new, but this quarter, I’m finishing off my dance minor with a capoiera class. I think it’s really easy, as students, to get caught up in the groove of routine and to forget to try new things/hobbies while being so busy. I was really comfortable with everything for awhile. It was actually my friend that kind of coerced me into taking this class with her, and that’s all the push I needed. I’m so excited to be trying something new.

There’s nothing like a little fear and uncertainty to shake up your routine! I was nervous going into the class today; not a lot of people know what capoeira is, including myself. From what I know, it’s an Afro-Brazilian mix of dance and martial arts, where people can “battle” in a community/dance-like setting. I learned a little bit about capoiera in my dance history class, but I really don’t know much else. I had expected to get a brief history lesson at the start of class today, but we really just dived in to moving.

There was a ton of people in my class, much larger than the usual dance class size. I saw a few familiar faces right when I walked in, so that was reassuring. The teacher, our mestre, is a man of little words. He gave a very brief introduction and then we started warming up and getting into the basic movements of capoiera. Before I knew it, everyone in the class was attempting flips, sweating, and panting. Someone’s foot even started bleeding, haha. It was kind of intense – we weren’t allowed water breaks because he really felt that this class was for hard workers who are determined to train extensively. Y’all, I cannot wait to wake up with sore muscles every week from this class.

I had a great time though; we paired off a lot with different people in the class to practice the movements. At the end of class, my mestre told us that by the end of the quarter, we would be like an established band. We’d know who dances in what way, and how different people can characterize their capoeira style. I’m truly excited for this class for the rest of my quarter.

And I suppose I just wanted to remind y’all with my little anecdote today to try something new. It doesn’t have to be long-time commitment like mine is; it can be something simple for a night or a week.

What will you be trying next? Thanks for reading and have a spectacular week!

Jen

 

#girlbosses in seattle: nastea & co.

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It’s officially finals week and I have my last final tomorrow – I wanted to take a break from blogging but the stubborn part of me wants to keep meeting my goal of one blog post per week, so here we are. I’m so close to spring break!!

Today I wanted to share with y’all something super fun. As most of you know, I’m a business student studying accounting. However, my business school also has an Entrepreneurship option. Students who take that route are required to “create a company” and compete against their classmates to see who has the best pitch. Whoever wins actually gets funded to go forth and pursue the company, and some students go forth and pursue their company idea anyway.

NASTEA & Co. is actually a company that came out of my university! They’re a team of four girls and have really launched their product into Seattle stores. They recently created an influencer package and of course, I love supporting local (and all) #girlbosses. I decided to try out their two products, the white coffee dirty chai and the white coffee dirty matcha.

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I’ve been sipping in moderation because these drinks do have 3x the caffeine compared to regular roasts. One of my friends downed a bottle in one go and couldn’t sleep for two days! (she’s also very sensitive to caffeine, lol 😂)

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The influencer packages came with cute little stickers and a key tag – so adorable!

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I’m a huge fan of these drinks (and the packaging, wow!). If you’re in the Seattle area, you can pick up these bottles in various markets in the city – go here to find where you can pick one up! They also deliver.

Thank goodness for NASTEA because they’ve been keeping me awake during my final exams studying! Good luck with y’all’s exams as well!!

Until next week,

Jen