Thursday, June 30, 2016

I Made a Cake!

So this week's schedule is kind of wonky. I got back from VidCon super late on Sunday and wasn't able to finish editing and posting my video for it until Tuesday, which meant that the VidCon post was up late. I make no promises that I will post tomorrow (Friday) though I have a post planned, as it is going to be my first day in Italy! And with the time difference honestly who knows how everything will work out. So thank you for keeping up with my crazy schedule and my sporadic posts, I will work on that as I travel!

After being away at college for nine months and rarely having access to a kitchen I was dying to be able to cook and bake. I am a stress baker, not a stress eater; I don't eat a lot when I'm stressed, I bake. My friends and I in high school had this in common, and we would always show up to school with various baked goods. It was a nice thing to look forward to during finals weeks and after crazy tests. My mom is a great cook and I love her dinners but know that she gets tired of cooking every. single. night. So since I'm such an avid Pinterest-er with a board full of recipes, I decided to take over last Friday night. Pardon the low quality pictures, I was a bit all over the place!

I made this Smothered Chicken Casserole recipe and this Coffee and Bailey's Layer Cake. After reading through so many recipes and finally deciding on these two, I decided I need to follow a lot more cooking blogs. They're so much fun, so pretty, and so delicious!
I knew I was being a bit ambitious with these recipes because although I love cooking, I am by no means an actual cook. Having four plus pans on the stove at one time and pots in the oven (the picture above was only the beginning) I was super overwhelmed. I could only use the timer on the microwave for one item at a time so I had to keep track of a lot in my head and on my phone. I was very all over the place but everything ended up turning out fine!
The above picture is a half eaten Smothered Chicken Casserole. I modified the recipe a bit, using chicken breast instead of chicken thighs because I prefer that and using asparagus instead of broccoli since we had eaten broccoli the night before for dinner. Pro tip for this recipe: use chicken thighs. One of my chicken breasts never ended up cooking all the way through and the asparagus and pasta were drying out at that point. Also, don't make the entire box of pasta. It was a lot.
The cake I ended up modifying a lot but not on purpose! It ended up turning out great considering I thought I messed everything up! The frosting was a bit chunkier that I would have liked, as the recipe was a bit above my level of baking. The cakes turned out really nicely even though I originally thought I had messed them up. I added a bit more Bailey's to the frosting and the cake than was in the recipe, since in her comments the original chef had said to do so if you liked the taste of Bailey's.

It was an eventful and fun night and I was so happy to be able to bake and cook again. Though my recipes didn't turn out perfectly I am always looking to improve them and try out new things. I think I'll try this more. Hopefully those cooking classes during my study abroad in Italy will help out!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

VidCon 2016

This past weekend I got to experience VidCon for the first time! VidCon is a convention that has been going on for seven years, quickly growing year after year. After starting off in a small rented out area its first year, now in its seventh year, VidCon has grown to over twenty thousand attendees and is hosted at the Anaheim Convention Center. This gathering of YouTubers, Viners, film industry members, and fans was created by John and Hank Green (Yes, that John Green) when they decided they wanted to bring the reaches of the internet into one place, so the community could interact in person.

VidCon allows fans of online video creators to meet them in real life. Beyond that, there are a plethora of activities to do. Besides being in sunny Southern California and being only a half hour from the beach, VidCon has set up activities within the vicinity of the convention center from eight in the morning running all the way until past six at night. There were food trucks lining the outside streets, stages for musical guests to perform, lecture halls filled with famous YouTubers for panels ranging from beauty to gaming to mental health and everything in between. Inside the center, hundreds of sponsors set up booths to promote their products. There were booths to buy merchandise, but also booths from sponsors like HGTV, The Food Network, Nyx Cosmetics, and Nickelodeon providing free video games, free makeup, free food, the list just goes on, but you get it. Lots of free stuff. It wasn't uncommon to run into one of your favorite YouTubers as you got something to eat or walked through the sponsored booths.

Because I was at a convention for video creators, obviously I had to create some content of my own! Check out my newest YouTube video here to get an inside look into VidCon and how it all works. Check out tons of videos and pictures from the weekend! Watching this video back, I definitely need to work on transitions and being a better "narrator" or "storyteller" throughout the video. The vlog gets choppy sometimes because I just jump from one moment to the next! I got a nicer camera than my phone or computer though, so the quality is already much better!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Review: Finding Dory

No spoilers I promise! If you have to know anything about me, it is that I love Disney and everything to do with it. There will be a post coming up about my infatuation with the worldwide franchise, but for now we start smaller. Disney and Pixar teaming up is one of the best things to ever happen to animated movies. I've been a fan of pretty much ever Pixar movie from Toy Story to Cars to Monsters Inc to The Incredibles, Inside Out, Finding Nemo, and now: Finding Dory.

I had high expectations for this film after waiting thirteen years for it, but I know the masterminds behind the film know how to make a movie good. Finding Nemo had a certain feeling of magic to it. The undersea landscapes and jazzy music made the film relaxing in the tension of Darla and P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. It was the perfect mix of anticipation and love for family and the clear blue ocean. Finding Dory centers in on the blue tang not as a "sequel" to Finding Nemo in the traditional sense. Finding Dory is more of a continuation.

The film opens with a wide eyed young Dory, playing with her parents and learning to live with her short term memory loss. We find our way through this flashback leading up to Dory meeting Marlin, which is seen in Finding Nemo. We flash forward to the present. Dory is cohabiting with the Clown Fish and participates in life with them. The story takes off from there, with Dory have faint instincts that she is forgetting something or someone. We get to see many flashbacks to young Dory with her parents and where she came from. Finding Dory follows the story of Dory attempting to find her parents with the clues from her faint memory and by extension finding herself.

Overall Finding Dory was a lovely film with laugh out loud moments. The end got crazy and unbelievable and they went full forward with that hilarity. It was so ridiculous you didn't even care at most points. The lovable additions to the cast included one near-sighted and one echolocation-less whale, a octopus that is actually a septopus, a loving group of blue tangs, and hilariously loud sea lions. I loved every second of it and am so glad this sequel finally made it's debut! Highly recommended to anyone who loved Finding Nemo and needs some lighthearted laughs emotional triumphs.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June Ipsy Unboxing

Happy Wednesday! This edition of Love by Meagan brings you another YouTube video! This video is my unboxing of my June Ipsy GlamBag. It's much shorter than my last video and also includes a short makeup haul at the end of products I picked up while out and about at the mall this past weekend. My goals (which I will include in my July Goals I'm sure) for this channel are to figure out how to make high quality videos. Not only in content, but also in lighting, editing, and quality of the camera I am using. This is certainly a journey that will take some time.

Luckily, I have some good resources! I've joined many new blogging groups recently and have connected with some YouTubers. I will also be attending VidCon in Anaheim tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday! I hope to be able to befriend and network with creators and community members alike and further my YouTube career as well as grow my blog's audience. This is all so fun and new to me and I can't wait to discover what it holds for me in the future!

In terms of my Ipsy Bag: I show all the products in the video but below I have included pictures and names of each product. You'll have to watch the video to get the review though. Thanks for reading and watching and always supporting me!
Rebel Rebel Theme
Everything Balm by Delectable by Cake Beauty
Nail Polish in Wingwoman by Formula X
Eyeshadow in Fireball by Urban Decay
Crease/Smudge Brush by Royal & Langnickel MODA
Happy Hibiscus Blush by Seraphine Botanicals

Monday, June 20, 2016

What to Bring: College Edition

One of the number one tips you hear in college posts and videos about packing is not to overpack. I am notorious for overpacking, I will literally pack an entire suitcase to the brim for a weekend trip. I just never know what I'll want to wear! What if the weather changes? Plus, on top of clothes I have to pack shoes, makeup, skincare products, and hair products. It is so easy for me to overpack. So just imagine how I felt packing for nine months and moving to another state without the comfort of being able to go home in case I forgot anything. My solution was to pack everything. DO NOT BE ME! As I was packing to go home and hadn't seen half of my clothes since I moved in, and random items were lost forever. Here's a super quick list so you can check off some of the musts that I loved having my first year in college!

1. Storage drawers
I got super cheap yet super helpful plastic drawers from Bed Bath & Beyond (note everything in this list was probably bought and can be found at BB&B unless otherwise noted). There are so many different kinds for any of your needs. The ones above are stacked already, but there are also drawers that you can unstack and move around which is what I opted for in terms of utilizing my dorm room space to the best of my ability. I kept so much in here
2. Business casual clothes
Even if you don't think you'll need more formal clothes or if you live in a beach town or will be in a super snowy climate, you will probably still need them. You might join clubs that have formal meetings or end up going in for an interview or go to networking opportunities and job fairs where you'll want to look nice! This wasn't a problem for me because I exclusively wear dresses, but it really helped out when I needed to dress up too!

3. One set of towels
If you're like me you will only need one set. My mom and I originally bought two sets and I honestly ended up losing one of them. The idea is that you can use one while the other is dirty/being washed/dried/etc. but it was just so not necessary. Save yourself the money and the space and only get one set, and wash them. Please. Wash them.
4. Mattress pad/bedbug protecting mattress cover/duvet/sheets/extra blanket
These are pretty obvious but some might not come to mind at first! Though you can always pray your dorm/apartment will not have bed bugs it's better to pick up a $20 mattress cover than risk them! It stays on all year, doesn't need washing, and gets rid of a super big headache automatically. Mattress pads that make less than desirable, used mattresses nice, duvets and sheets that keep your bed cozy and cute, and an extra blanket for cold weather are all musts!
5. Dish soap
If you intend on bringing and having dishes in your room, just know cleaning them is going to be a bit annoying. Having dish soap will make it so much easier, especially if you have a sink in your room or right down the hall. You'll thank me later.
6. Fans
This is dependent upon where you are going. If you live in a usually cold area like I did, the dorms might not have air conditioning, just heaters. It got up to 100ยบ during Spring term though as we approached summer and all of us were dying. Fans saved my life. Vice versa, if you're in an area that is usually hot you might not have heaters in your room. A space heater or just extra blankets and some comfy pillows and a jacket would be recommended for this situation.
7. Laundry bag or bin
I got a super cute turquoise polyester bag that said "wash me" with a smiley face drawn on it as my laundry bag. People also had pop up laundry "bins" that were necessary to transport dirty clothes to the laundry room. I also ended up keeping my detergent and dryer sheets in here for convenience! (Pro tip: dryer sheets) A good idea after drying your clothes is to fold them ASAP, if you live them in your laundry transportation device they will wrinkle and you won't look cute.
8. Day planner
Just do it. I know it sounds kinda high school-y but it saved me. I would go through my syllabi at the beginning of each term and write down any and all assignments on the day they were due so I would never forget them. Some people put assignments in their calendar on their phones which also works, but I found writing down the assignments and being able to quickly flip through and see highlighted tests, projects, and papers and when they were due to be super helpful.
9. Not candles
Does this count? Maybe I'll make a what not to bring list, but seriously check out what isn't allowed in your dorm before moving in. I had to send my thousands of candles (okay maybe it wasn't thousands) home because they weren't allowed, even unlit, even without a wick. It was tragic but I somehow survived.

This is obviously not a complete list, there is so much that is up to how the dorms work at your school and what your roommate might be bringing to the table (hello mini-fridge!). I highly recommend running down this list at Her Campus to make sure you have absolutely everything you need. Feel free to leave any questions you have about the dorm and move-in process as well as what to get below and leave anything I might have left off this list! Happy shopping!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Welcome Love by Meagan to YouTube!: Ipsy Catch Up

For the post today I decided to do something a bit different. Linked here is a link to my first video for this blog! It is an overview of the past year of Ipsy bags that I have received. If you're not familiar with Ipsy, it's a monthly subscription bag filled with makeup and beauty goodies. I've been with them for a year now so that is what is featured in the video. I hope you enjoy this format and hopefully I will be coming out with new videos to slowly create a YouTube channel!

I realized that I highly overestimated my ability to create a YouTube video! I had about an hour of footage that I ended up cutting down to twenty four minutes. That sound super long but because I'm showing you twelve bags that's only two minutes per bag! I also need to stop saying "um" so much and doing weird faces and fidgeting and making unnecessary sounds! I didn't notice any of this until I was editing and now I'm worried I'm that annoying in real life. I also learned there's a ton of Ipsy products that I've received and haven't tried out that I should try out!

I know I have a ton to work on in the filming department: lights, camera, equipment, editing, how I present myself, etc. It's hard work and even though I have some good ideas for videos the logistics behind it confuse me! Luckily, YouTube is partnered with Google as is Blogger so my blog, emails, and channel will all be connected to the same account and will be easier to manage.

I know no one wants to watch all twenty four minutes of me ranting about Ipsy but please feel free to scroll through and check out my opinions on the products and see where they have all ended up in my year with Ipsy! This is really a big tester video to see where I will go with this, so thank you for putting up with this for now! I will be receiving my June Ipsy bag soon and will be doing an unboxing video of that that I'm sure will not be as long! We will see where this YouTube channel takes me but for now, thank you for watching and please let me know what you'd like to see in the future on my YouTube channel!

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Tony's 2016: A Recap

If you are not a huge musical nerd like I am, you might not know that the 70th Tony Awards were last night. Don't worry though! I am here to fill you in on my thoughts on all the performances of the night!

I really liked the intro! I'm a huge fan of James Corden so I was expecting to like it and I did! The intro didn't really feel like an intro (but I'm also very used to NPH's intros) but it was still good! The ensemble was really on point and there were some great little jokes in there. It kicked off the show with some high energy which was really fun! The transitions between the songs/between the kids to adults were also very clever.

School of Rock
I've seen the School of Rock movie (years and years ago) and I had listened to some of the music from the musical that hadn't really thrilled me. Not that it's not good music, just not anything that I would put in a playlist. I really enjoyed watching the performance though! It was very high energy, the lead guy was very talented as were all the kids, and they put on a super energetic performance. The jump at the end really amazed me because I would've broken everything and he does it eight times a week.

"Shuffle Along"
I just love Audra McDonald so much. That is all. I didn't know she could dance and I was impressed. Honestly though I didn't know much about this show besides the fact that Savion Glover was a part of it. This performance was a tap dancing sensational production of smiles and fun and energy and some amazing dancers giving their all and it was really really fun to watch. I didn't know Audra or Billy Porter were in this show so I was happily surprised. The ensemble were really great at doing what they do.

She Loves Me 
I REALLY LOVE ZACHARY LEVI. I really love him and I know being part of this show and being nominated for a Tony means so much to him and I'm just so proud of him. Also Laura Benanti has a lovely voice. This performance was very classic and nice to watch! Tons of talented and honored performers who kill it every time.

Fiddler on the Roof
The Peter Pan fiddler really made me laugh at the start of this performance. I really liked that they didn't just do "To Life" because I feel like that's always the go to for this show and the rest of the show is really so superb and beautiful. The dancing done by the wedding ensemble was insane. It was so good. Tevye popped up out of nowhere and made me smile because Tevye always makes me smile he so full of love and life and joy. Great performance. 10/10. Will always root for Fiddler.

Bright Star
Okay I'm going to be real I knew nothing about this musical before and now I want to know everything about it. I was thoroughly blown away by the talent exemplified and everything else that came along with it including the sets, costumes, and lighting. They sang "If You Knew My Story" and I highly recommend going to check it out. I really loved the music and am now going to go obsess about it for a while bye thank you for listening.

The Color Purple
I've never seen this musical and now I really wish I would've seen it already. I'm really happy this Tony's show is introducing me to so many new shows. The harmonies and vocals were so impressive and wholesome in this performance. It was getting to the point in the telecast where you were hoping they would wrap it up soon (to be fair I was tired so maybe it was just me) and this performance just shoved a lot of energy and inspiration in my face and I woke back up. The costumes also stood out to me as really beautiful.

On Your Feet
I was confused as to why they were using hand held microphones but like the dancing was really good and the costumes were very eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing. I don't think it was my favorite performance but they definitely put on a phenomenal show. It just felt more like a Vegas show than a Broadway musical.

Spring Awakening
Spring Awakening is such a wonderful show to begin with and I hadn't actually gotten a chance to see a performance of Deaf West's revival of it so I was so happy that they got the chance to perform at the Tony's! ASL has always really fascinated me and I've wanted to learn it for years so this performance obviously intrigued me. The vocals weren't as strong as the original production but their production as a whole is very strong and I loved being able to see them perform!

I really like the songs from Waitress and the story that goes along with it! Jessie Mueller is such a talented singer and actress and she blows me away every single time. I felt like how they staged this performance though was kinda eh? They started off with an upbeat opening number that they cut down to a short half a minute and then transitioned to Sara Bareilles singing the power ballad of the show and then transitioned to Jessie singing that same song and it was just very jolty. Still impressed with the show as a whole though.

This performance did a really wonderful job of showcasing a ton of the leads as well as the ensemble. The choreography was really fun to watch as it hadn't been showcased too much in other Hamilton performances. The musket-less performance was a nice gesture to the Orlando and LGBT+ community, of course as well as the rest of those who have been affected by gun violence. I also liked their song choice! The medley-esque song that showcased "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)" was very strong and overall a great performance!

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of last night! I enjoyed watching and reviewing all the performances and can't wait for another amazing show next year.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Love by Meagan's Plans for the Summer

As I have mentioned before, I will be studying abroad in Italy this summer! More details to come later in this post, but I thought I'd give you all a heads up for what that means for Love by Meagan this summer. As part of my homework/project assignment for the study abroad trip, I will be required to post about six blog posts about my experience in Italian. I fully intend on posting these posts in both Italian and English so you don't have to rush to a translator to figure out what I'm saying (also Italian weirdly doesn't translate super well directly to English).

My plan for this summer is to post on Mondays and Fridays, with the Friday post being about Italy and including the required posts for my project. Though I have been posting three times a week since I started this blog, I think at least for the beginning I will need to scale back. There's going to be a nine hour time difference as well as limited time for posting and writing, as well as limited internet access for all I know. I don't want to bombard my readers with only travel posts, especially since this isn't a travel blog, so I will keep Monday posts (for the most part) strictly about lifestyle.

In Italy, I will be taking intensive Italian language classes for three hours each day for two months. The program begins at the beginning of July and ends at the end of August. I will also be taking cooking classes once each week and will be taken on explorative trips each Saturday with the program. I will be going to Lecce, Italy which is in the south south south of Italy. Pretty far away from any major cities that come to mind when you think of Italy (e.g. Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence, Sicily, Naples, etc.) but hopefully I will be traveling a bit on the weekends to see these cities. One of my best friends, Caroline, will be studying abroad in Paris which obviously a ways away from me but hopefully I will be able to meet her halfway somewhere! My other friend, Fatima, will maybe be visiting family in Florence so I will hopefully be able to see her too.

Obviously I just said "hopefully" a lot, so clearly that means there's a lot up in the air right now and also a lot going on. The fine details are still a bit vague and unclear to me, but long story short, I am extremely excited to be going on this adventure only to come back to a whole new adventure in Southern California! Thank you for coming on it with me and be sure to comment and let me know what you'd like to see or hear about while I am abroad!

Also, be sure to check out my guest post on fellow blogger Amelie's blog today!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How I Study for Finals

Hi all! So this post is being posted literally as I am taking my last final of my freshman year which is sort of funny to me for whatever reason. As you read this I will be taking my College Algebra final. My current university is on the quarter system which is why I'm still in school. I'm really quite terrible at math but this is the last math class I ever. have. to. take. Thank goodness. Because the rest of my finals were last week I spent Saturday through Tuesday solely focusing on math. My methods vary from finals week to finals week since sometimes I will have a one final schedule like this, where other times I will have a final every day or two finals on one day. In general though, this is how I study and the materials I use to do so.

1. Don't leave it all to the last minute
This one is a tip we hear our entire lives, and although I quarantined myself for four days for my math final, it helped tremendously that my notes taken in class were so well organized, with the most important information highlighted and the highlighted sections being color coded so I knew exactly where to find formulas, theorems, and other items of information just by scanning the page. Stay organized and study as you go!
A page out of my class notes in my math notebook
2. Microsoft OneNote
I'm a huge fan of notebooks, I think they're pretty and I think writing out notes is more beneficial than typing them, especially if you're not one to read over your notes more than when you take them and maybe right before tests. Typing notes, however, is super helpful, and being able to quickly and easily compile and find information as well as being able to print and save it in a binder (easier than a notebook to move pages around) is super helpful. I never truly was able to find a program I liked taking notes on though before Microsoft OneNote. I had tried Evernote which just wasn't my cup of tea, as well as Microsoft Word which is hard to keep track of each page of notes. Microsoft OneNote allows you to create notebooks for each class, tabs for each notebook, and page for each tab. You can highlight, subscript, superscript, insert to-do lists, graphs, tables, and more at the click of a button. You can type anywhere on the page without having to worry about margins or alignment because each note is easily moved around and confined into a text box. It's really the best out there and helped me tremendously.
My math "cram packet" for the final made on Microsoft OneNote
3. Cram Packet
Cram packets were something I discovered when I started taking AP classes in high school. Some wonderful souls compiled lists of cram packets for each AP test. Cram packets are basically detailed study guides with topics and then everything you need to know listed directly under. I now create one of these for each of my finals and midterms because they helped me so much in high school. The above picture (also an example of how Microsoft OneNote looks like) is part of my cram packet for my math final. You can see that each of the chapters have their own page on the right side and I quickly switch between them. I can also search for anything I need in the search bar which is super helpful when I'm looking for a specific concept.

4. Test yourself
This is going to change for each class. Math is obviously going to have more actual problems than an language class is going to have. If your teacher doesn't give you practice problems or a sample test, create your own! Creating your own challenges you even further than simply completing a given sample test, but either is going to help you prepare a ton for the test.

5. Figure out where you messed up
Look at old tests, quizzes, essays, and projects and make note of where you went wrong. Was it a tense, or a formula, or a specific concept? Did you make that mistake multiple times or was it just a slip up that one time where you weren't thinking. Go over those problems and make sure you can do them now!

There you go! Now you're all set. This goes for finals, midterms, and really any other major tests you have in a class. Remember to do the obvious things like getting good sleep, (pulling an all nighter is not going to help. Sleeping is.) eating meals, staying hydrated, and emailing your friends and teachers if you have any questions you're stuck on. Happy studying!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Beach Playlist 2016

I've spent the past few weeks building up my playlist to take the beach this Summer and I think it's finally bulky enough to be able to share! These songs are geared more towards my memories of the California beaches I go to with friends, but they're all laid back, fun, and reminiscent of laying in the sand with the waves crashing near your feet. It's about two hours long so perfect for a road trip to the beach or if you're lucky enough to have the beach right down the street, perfect for relaxing in the sun for the day! Listen to below, I hope you enjoy it! Hopefully more playlists will be coming soon!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Transfer Student Tips: The Before

As many of you know, I'm going to be a sophomore in college this fall starting at a new school. I will be transferring from the University of Oregon to Chapman University. I thought I'd do a few posts on the process for anyone out there who is thinking about transferring and confused about the process. I know there are people who transfer going into sophomore, junior, and even senior year, but because I am transferring into sophomore year, this will be a bit more from that perspective. There are universal tips though!

Unlike senior year, when there's a plethora of information and it seems like there's a never ending list of places to apply and a never ending hoard of people trying to help, transferring is a bit more minimal. The application part is standard and the same, but there's much less information. You don't have a college counsellor to guide you along, nor are there many statistics on transfer students at many schools. Even now that I've received my admission packets they say "Welcome Class of 2020!" I am, obviously, not the class of 2020. There will be specific transfer checklists but besides that, everything is geared to incoming freshman. This only makes sense, the majority of students do not transfer. The majority do not even apply to transfer, so information is a bit more difficult to find. Below is a list of tips and tricks that will hopefully make the process a bit easier!

1. Don't be scared to reach out
The transfer counsellor at Chapman was one of the biggest helps ever! I asked her so many questions and she was able to answer them all which made the process much easier. When I went to campus for my in person audition, I also talked to my auditor a ton! She was very friendly and happy to communicate with me and my grandma about the school and the program. It's nice to have a friend you can reach out to for help, even if it's just their job!

2. Get your recs together
Honest to goodness I still get anxiety attacks if I think too much about my recommendation letter process. I had to get letters for the Common Application as well as my separate theatre applications so I'm sure my process was a bit more strenuous but seriously I had to jump through some hoops to make it all work. Everything got in by the deadlines but just barely! So have a person you know will write you a good letter and then have backups and ask them ASAP! Give them all the information you have and you'll be good to go.

3. Start early
Everyone is a little bit different, but starting as soon as you think you might want to transfer will help a ton. If you decide not to transfer you can always pull your applications or decline an offer, but you can't go back and apply after the deadline is over. Starting early will save tons of stress and leave your mind at ease knowing you have options.

4. Know what you want
One of my biggest fears is that I will transfer and not like it and will have made a mistake. Obviously that is always a possibility, but to avoid a "mistake" as much as possible, know what you don't like about your current school and know what you are looking for. Is it the people? Your major? The location? The environment? Any reason is justified, just make sure you know why you don't like your current school or why somewhere else is better. Don't just apply to Harvard because it's an Ivy. Apply to Harvard because of their great this or that program or because of their awesome architecture or because you know the people are super nice! Idealistic, but you get it.

5. Write down everything
I have so many lists. So. Many. Lists. But gosh dangit if they didn't help me. Names, emails, addresses, deadlines, everything.

6. Plan, plan, plan
Personally, it is important to me to graduate in four years. Because I plan on double majoring and transferring, this suddenly seemed like an unattainable goal. Still, I wanted to make sure I could graduate as close to on time as possible.

7. College Confidential
It sounds crazy and slightly sleazy because so much of college confidential is just parents gossiping about the schools their child is applying to but some of it is super useful and it's a great community to talk to if you're unsure about some things! Lots of people also start "Such and such university applicants of 2016" or "Such and such university admits of 2016" you get the picture.

8. Keep your grades up
Unfortunately, though freshman year is experimental and we hear about everyone failing at least one class their first semester, we don't get to do that. We don't get to party every night in our freedom from home and slack off and miss class. We're still trying to get in somewhere. So buckle down and get it over with. Your next year will be so much more worth it, I promise.

9. Make a checklist
Because your teachers and administration, your parents are peers are not longer nagging at you about the process, it is all up to you. I was terrified I was going to forget to submit materials. Because of this, I wrote down the address of each admissions department at each school I was applying to for reference as well as all of the materials that each school needed. Luckily, most schools will be on the Common Application, they all were for me, which makes things more condensed and easier to access. If that isn't the case for you, this step is even more important. Put deadlines in your calendar and have an alert to remind you a week or more before they're due. This will be your lifesaver.

10. This is not high school
You don't have to apply to 26 schools like you did in high school. Oh that was just me? Okay let me rephrase that. You don't have to apply to multiple schools like you did in high school. You can apply to just one and completely focus on that application. On the flip side, though most people who only apply to one college know that that's where they want to go, but who knows, maybe you did that too. In that case, maybe apply to a few more colleges. We've been through this before. Do things differently than you did the first time around, fix your mistakes, modify your approaches, and go!

11. Be patient
I know this is nerve wracking. I know for some of us this feels like our last chance, our last out, and that we have to get in somewhere. If this is truly what you want and what you need, you will get in somewhere. Put as much effort and time into these applications as you can and you will succeed. I applied to some ambitious schools, schools I wouldn't have gotten into my senior year, and here I am getting into them.

I hope you liked these! Even if you have no plans on transferring, I hope they offered some insight into the world of a transfer. I'm so honored Chapman and Chapman's School of Performing Arts decided to welcome me into their community and I am so so thankful. I'll be posting a follow up blog post after I start school on tips and tricks as a transfer student starting at a new school, making new friends, and getting into the groove of things as an upperclassman!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

June 2016 Goals

June is an insanely busy month for me, and unlike my 101 in 1001 post, I actually know what my short term goals are. A quick overview of my schedule isn't so quick. Unlike every other university ever apparently (this is me being bitter that all of my friends are home without me), my finals are in June. So I have this last week of school that I am currently in and then I have a week of finals to get through. In between now and then I have to pack literally everything ever that I have with me to take home since I won't be back here fore quite some time. I have to make the ten hour drive home after my last final and once I'm home I must unpack and then begin to repack to leave for Italy at the end of the month. I really can't complain, it's just a lot to do! So here are my goals to keep me sane:

1. Pack everything as neatly as I possibly can
This might seem obvious, but I am a terrible packer. I could be a good packer if I wanted to be one, but typically I end up packing very last minute and just shoving everything into the suitcase at odd angles. This results in wrinkled clothing and an annoying unpacking process. Because I have so much to pack and so little time, because I have to unpack everything and immediately repack it, I am going to try my best to pack everything as nicely as is humanly possible so more fits and everything goes quicker. This goal also goes for packing for Italy. I don't want to show up at my host family's house with a bag about to explode!

2. Not overspend my budget
Being home with friends, I will be going to a lot of brunches, lunches, breakfasts, dinners, wine nights, and late night donut runs. What do all of these have in common besides being delicious? Money. The last time I was home I had a job. This summer, I will not. Therefore, budgeting is essential.

3. Practice Italian
Because my last Italian class before going to Italy for my study abroad will be this Friday, yet I do not leave until the end of the month, I need to make sure I can still speak Italian by the time I leave. I plan on going over my notes, re-reading my textbook, practicing on Duolingo, and communicating with as many Italian speakers as possible in June.

4. Ace my finals
This one might be a bit harder to achieve and certainly up to interpretation. I have a final in dance that I've already completed, a final in Italian that is this Friday, a final in math that is next Wednesday, and a final in my writing class that is due next Thursday. Realistically, I am setting a goal to get an A on all of these finals and a B on my math final. I really would like to finish the year strong!

5. See all of my friends
By friends I do not mean my Facebook friends (seeing over 1,000 people in a few weeks would be difficult) I mean actual friends I haven't seen in months! We have so much to catch up on and there's honestly so many people that I would ideally be able to see every day.

6. Get at least halfway through the first Game of Thrones book
I have really been dragging my feet here. I don't read when I'm stressed like I used to (my default now is Grey's Anatomy and baking when I'm stressed) so I haven't had a chance to fit much reading into my schedule. I really want to make a dent in this long book though! That thirteen hour flight to Italy might help!

7. Spend time with my family
Just as much as I want to see my friends that I've missed, I want to see my family. I'll only be home for June during summer and by the time I get home, I will need to be whisked away to my new school. This doesn't leave much time for family (even though they will be visiting me in Italy for my birthday!) so I want to be able to see them as much as possible and do everything I can't do in Italy or Southern California with them!

8. Cook some dinners
My mom hates cooking, I love cooking, it's a match made in heaven. Just because I like cooking though, doesn't mean I am good at it nor that I know how to do it. I really would love to try some new recipes now that I'll have a budget and full kitchen at my disposal to make cool dishes.

9. Complete an academic advising appointment
Since I am transferring, I need to meet with an academic advisor either over the phone or in person. Ideally, I will be able to visit Chapman in Southern California in person for a weekend (perhaps during VidCon?) to go over my schedule. I recently did the math and I can probably graduate on time. Crossed fingers. I can't wait to get my Fall class schedule and officially add my second major!

10. Look at the positives
My best friend Maggie, who I really don't see as often as I should, has been super inspiring to me my entire life, but especially in the past few years. Her positive outlook on life and desire to get through hardships with a smile on her face is exactly how I want to be. I know it isn't easy and we're all going to have our moments, but she really helps me think consciously about easing my stress, complaining less, and always keeping an upbeat outlook on the world around as and what it has to offer. So that is my final goal for June 2016. It will probably carry over as a goal to July 2016, but I might as well start working on it now!

So there you have it, quite a few goals for a short month that will go by quickly, but there's a lot to accomplish! Just because school is out doesn't mean life stops!