Looking Back at the Spring 2017 Semester


I did a look-back last semester and since it happens to be one of my favorite posts, I figured I should do one for Spring as well.

Looking back at your life is eye-opening to say the least. It’s like looking into a rear view mirror and seeing everything you’ve done in that specific timeframe: all the mistakes, all the successes, all the stumbles, all the lessons. I try not to miss out on an opportunity to look back at things if I can help it, but this might be just be because I am a terrible overthinker.

But even though I’ve only been home for a week, Spring semester seems so far removed, like it was lifetimes away. Maybe my mind is so preoccupied by other things, or maybe there are things I just don’t want to remember, but it seems like I have a slight haze over the past semester. January just seems so long ago.

February is a bit clearer, at least. I took a family trip to Punta Cana with my family, which meant tons of quality time, a great sun tan, and time off from school. I came home and celebrated a whole two decades of myself with one of the best birthday celebrations I’ve ever had– at least until I sprained my back playing Just Dance (beware the Rasputin dance, kiddos). In all seriousness though, my birthday totally rocked, so thanks to my incredible friends for everything.

birthday
Seriously, my birthday was incredible.

The next few months honestly kind of blur together. I saw Panic! at the Disco in concert (incredible, in case you were wondering). I saw The Lion King on Broadway (also pretty incredible). I went to some awesome campus events, like Strawberry Fest, where you get all these delicious strawberry-centered foods to nibble on, and Roth Regatta, where teams build cardboard boats and race in them across a pond on campus.

As far as my academic and professional lives are concerned, I got a real job doing social media for Stony Brook’s residential safety program. I also joined Her Campus Stony Brook‘s social media team. I got another internship at the school paper, the Statesman, this time as their archivist. I got to really test out my photo-taking chops at work, in class, and for some friends. I worked really hard in my classes, and got some really great grades. Overall, this semester was really a time of growth and fun.

studio
A snap of me in the photo studio while I was taking my final project

That being said, this semester was not without its lessons. From January to now, here are some things I’ve learned.

  1. It’s okay to ask for help: I used to have this notion that if I couldn’t do something on my own, I shouldn’t do it at all. I often used this argument for why I didn’t need to speak to a therapist about things that made me sad or anxious, or why I didn’t need to see a school advisor. The thing is that this argument doesn’t make sense. Sometimes, you need to get a little assistance, either because you need the support or because you’re not an expert in the topic. Getting assistance isn’t a bad thing, and shouldn’t be seen as such. In fact, asking for help should be seen as a strength, because someone is comfortable enough with themselves to admit when they’re just not sure about something.
  2. But trust your gut: Sometimes, though, you just are right. No matter what anyone else says, don’t let them dissuade you if you’re confident in yourself and what you’re doing. If it fits with your standards, morals, ideals and values, stick to it. Don’t let anyone knock you down.
  3. You’ll never know everything: But also, don’t ever think you know everything, because you just don’t, and that’s okay. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn whatever you can, but remember that there’s always so much more out there to learn. This is a silly story, but it really made me realize just how much I don’t know, and how much more open-minded and humble I have to become: I was still in school when my friends Torie and Lauren had finished, so they decided they’d take a trip to Stony Brook to visit me one morning. We wanted to go hiking, and one place that came highly recommended was Avalon Park and Preserve, somewhere I had already visited with my friend Alyssa. I assured Torie and Lauren that the park itself was just a brief nature walk, not an actual hike, but online sources said otherwise. Despite my protests, we decided to visit Avalon anyway. I was skeptical about the so-called “hiking,” but found myself eating my own words when we stumbled upon an actual hike and then some. The truth was that I didn’t know everything about Avalon, just like I don’t know everything in general, and I can’t claim to be the expert on anything. And that is okay.

    torie avalon
    A shot of Torie and I as we took a break from hiking (yes, hiking) at Avalon Park and Preserve.
  4. Think outside of yourself: Consider how your actions affect more than just yourself. Could they hurt or offend someone? Then maybe it’s best to avoid that action. During this semester, I got into a huge fight with one of my closest friends because I didn’t consider how my actions might have affected them. I truly regret how I let myself become so self-consumed that I didn’t even notice their feelings. I don’t think this is an experience I’ll ever be able to forget, and because of it, I’m trying harder to recognize the affect my actions can have on others.
  5. Communication is key: If something is bothering you, the only way to make them better is to communicate. People can’t read minds… well, most people anyways. You can’t expect something to get fixed if you don’t try to talk to someone about it. Also, if you’re working with a group or a team, you need to be prepared to communicate, and to do so ahead of time. You can’t be giving people orders the day you want something done. Communication means success.
  6. You can change and still be you: Just because your interests or passions change, doesn’t mean you do. When I first came to Stony Brook, I was convinced that all I wanted was to be president of Greek club. I didn’t care about any other extracurricular, as long as I got that position at some point. Now, did I really want that position, or did I just want it because everyone knew me as the Greek girl? I’m not really sure. But now I’m a part of other clubs and activities that I love as well, and I’m beginning to wonder if this me, the one that loves doing social media for Her Campus Stony Brook and the one that loves planning events for the School of Journalism Advisory Board, is the actual me. Not necessarily a changed me, but a self-realized me. Of course I still love being Greek and being a part of Greek club, but that doesn’t always have to be my defining factor, nor does it have to be the only thing about myself that I chase. Changing your passions, your goals and your dreams doesn’t mean you’re not yourself anymore. It just means you’re doing what makes you happiest and most fulfilled in that particular moment.

    sojab
    A photo with this year’s and next year’s School of Journalism Advisory Board (affectionately known as SOJAB) at the banquet that we planned.
  7. Sometimes plans are too ambitious: Take my 2017 resolutions, for example. I could barely get myself to blog once a month, let alone once a week. I was just too busy (sorry, guys). Even more than that, I made a goal to read as many pages of fun books as I did school books. Well, guess what: that didn’t happen. Not that I didn’t want it to, I just couldn’t find enough time in the day to get it all done. My plan may have come from a good place, but it just wasn’t a good fit for my actual life. And that’s definitely something to keep in mind for future plans and goals.
  8. Spread your love: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s so easy to get comfortable with just one group of friends. They become your safe place and, especially in college, meeting up with them takes almost zero planning (thanks, GroupMe). But if you spend all your time with the same people, and never make time for anyone else, like those random friends from your math class or the girl you sometimes talk to at club meetings, you might be missing out on the friendship of a lifetime. Make an effort to spend time with and get to know other people outside of your inner circle. It’s refreshing to hang out with a new face, and it can be even more helpful when you need a brief escape from the people you’re always with. In all seriousness, expanding your circle doesn’t hurt, and you’ll be better for it.

    bria
    A Snapchat of my friend Bria and I. Bria and I had three whole classes together this semester and managed not to kill each other! Jokes aside, we got even closer than we were before because we got to spend so much time together.
  9. Take (calculated) risks: I’m not saying you should run on train tracks or ride a motorcycle without a helmet. What I’m saying is that sometimes, doing something out of your comfort zone isn’t always bad. When my family started planning the trip to Punta Cana, I told them to go without me. I had to be in class and couldn’t risk missing any material. What if I missed a homework assignment, or worse, a test? The problem was, I couldn’t even imagine missing out on what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for my entire family to go on vacation together. Plus, I would have serious FOMO if I knew that all my aunts, uncles and cousins were sitting on the beach with my parents and brothers, getting their tan on. So I thought about it and realized that the pros of me going heavily outweighed the cons. So what I’m saying is that sometimes it’s okay to risk what you know to be safe and easy, as long as you’ve calculated to make sure that your risk is worth it.

    cousins
    Vacationing with my brothers and cousins was so worth missing class!

 

With Spring semester finally over, I’m excited to finally turn my attention over to summer, which means high school friends and camp! I’m overjoyed to say that I will be returning to my camp, Camp St. Paul, for my fifth summer, this time as an admin team member. I will be running a session all about service projects, called Diakonia, as well as the camp store. I can’t wait to head to Connecticut and unwind at my favorite place for five weeks, but until then I’ll be home making some Diakonia lesson plans, hopefully hitting the beach, and catching up with some friends.

I’m also going to try to keep blogging. I have a few things lined up for you all, but like I said in my last post, if there’s anything you’d like to see up on Tantalizingly Tasteful, please let me know! Until next time, Tasters!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful

Pinterest: @TTasteful

Facebook: Tantalizingly Tasteful

Snapchat: @TTasteful

Looking Back at the Fall 2016 Semester


After a three-week hiatus, I am happy to say that finals are finally done and I am finally back in action. Now, I’m all yours. At least for the next month or so.

On Friday, I moved out of my dorm room and back into my bedroom. It’s weird not having my friends in the room right next door or a (half-service) Dunkin Donuts a few feet outside my window, but I’m looking forward to getting a chance to clear my mind and get my life back in some semblance order. Plus, I’ll finally get some time to catch up with my friends from high school.

I learned some really great things this year, academically and professionally speaking. Between my (favorite) journalism writing and reporting class and my internship at the school paper, the Statesman, I feel like I’m really starting to hone in on my reporting skills. I love going out and getting to hear people’s stories. I was fortunate enough to serve as a Teaching Assistant for an Honors 101: Introduction to Stony Brook class and it helped me realize how much I love working in a classroom setting. I even got the incredible opportunity to assist a visiting journalist with research for a biography she’s been writing. It really was an incredible (and incredibly busy) semester.

But academics and work aren’t everything this world has to offer. In honor of the end of the Fall 2016 semester, the first semester of my sophomore year, I’d like to share some reflections and inner musings I’ve accumulated from August to now.

  1. It’s never too late to make friends: I really thought that after my freshman year, the friends I had would stay my friends and that there would be no changes. Though my core group has stayed the same, I’m really happy that I’ve met and gotten to know some super awesome people over the last few months. I’m excited to see how our friendships grow as we get deeper into the journalism program and the Honors College.
  2. Or to find a new hobby: College really is the perfect time to find out what you’re interested in and good at. I’ve always been interested in photography, but never actually learned the necessary skills. I finally took a photo class this semester (two, technically, if you count my journalism multimedia course), and I feel like I found something I love and might actually be good at. I love having the ability to capture beautiful moments. My new-found love led to plenty of impromptu photo shoots and thousands of pictures over the semester. The moral of the story is that if you’re interested in learning something new or picking up a new hobby, it’s worth putting in the work to learn the new skill and make it a part of your life, no matter how late in the game you or others might think it is.

    15289158_1092547074198327_2818345758278471916_o
    Nature pictures are some of my favorites to take. This was taken at the High Line in Manhattan.
  3. Being involved is great: Like I said, this was a busy semester. I interned at the school paper, served as a teaching assistant, assisted with research for a biography, served on the School of Journalism Advisory Board, and served as the treasurer of the Greek and Cypriot Student Association. I’ve learned that it’s the activities you take part in outside of the classroom that make the college experience what it is. If I didn’t have these things to participate in or work on, I would be so bored and un-busy. I love being busy (even if I do complain about it in the moment.) Really, I’m not myself unless I’m busy and running around like a maniac. I thrive in chaos. Plus, being involved in things you’re passionate about helps you meet new people and make essential connections. Being involved in university activities is a great way to distract yourself from the mundane every day of the college experience while still being productive.
  4. You can’t let your mental state control your life: I am way too guilty of this. If I start feeling down, I’ll let the mood take over my life entirely. I won’t get out of bed, I won’t clean my room, I won’t eat, I won’t hang out with my friends, etc. It’s an awful downward spiral. I’m beginning to learn that sometimes you have to force yourself to stay positive and be motivated even if you’re feeling exactly the opposite. Sometimes the only way to get things done and get yourself out of the slump is to not let yourself give into your negative mood. This is definitely something I need to work on in 2017.

    Just found this on Pinterest… Pinterest always has exactly what you need when you need it!
  5. Only buy as much produce as you will actually use: Not as deep as usual, but still important. Long story short, I tried to eat healthier this semester, and in the process, brought way too much produce (sorry, Mom and Dad.) I seriously wish I had bought less. Just trust me and learn from my mistake. It’s much better to have to buy more than waste food.
  6. It’s okay to play Just Dance by yourself: It’s okay to do anything by yourself, really. Even though people thought there was something wrong with me when they walked past my dorm room door and I was dancing by myself, it was kind of fun. So was going to the campus art gallery right now. And eating dinner by myself. And going to the gym. I think there’s something really powerful in doing things alone. It’s easy to fall into the idea that you have to do things in groups or else you’ll be judged, but I think this makes it a lot harder for us to get to know ourselves as individuals. Seriously, treat yourself to some time alone and get to know what you’re into and what your inner thoughts are telling you. We spend so much time working on our relationships with other people, so why can’t we spend some time on our relationships with ourselves?

    14563498_1060633717389663_4499886652696267146_n
    I took this when I went to an art exhibit by the Guerrilla Girls on campus… alone. And I have to say, it was oddly refreshing to walk around the gallery by myself. No pressure, no distractions. Just art.
  7. Writing is hard but worth it: I’ve always loved writing, but sometimes getting words on paper is easier said (or thought) than done. This semester, I became a lot more serious about and devoted to blogging, and also participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November, in which you “win” if you write a novel of 50,000 words or more. (I didn’t win, in case you were wondering, but I’m still proud of my progress!) Writing well is definitely a challenge. It can be hard to make characters come to life or convey the right feeling. It can be even harder when you’re inspired and motivated to write but you don’t have the time to do it. Even writing my stories for the Statesman and my reporting class was challenging, especially because I wanted everything to be perfect. This semester, I really learned that even though the process can be challenging, writing stories and blog posts is worth it, because it’s something I love. Being able to record my thoughts and communicate stories through the written word is one of my favorite parts of this life, and one of the biggest parts of who I am. So yeah, in a nutshell, even though it is definitely a challenge, sometimes the most challenging things are also the most valuable and enjoyable.
  8. I’ve got things to work on: Yes, this one is totally obvious. Everyone has things they need to work on, but I think this semester really helped me narrow down a couple of things that are at the top of the list. I’m beginning to understand that I can’t control anyone or anything except myself, and I can’t always fix other people’s issues. I’ve realized that I have a tendency to romanticize and idealize situations and forget the bad things when the good things come along, but I can’t keep returning to situations that hurt me. Also, relationships go two ways, and I can try over and over again to fix things, but if the other person isn’t doing their share, it’s not worth it. Basically, I’ve learned that I need to work on seeing my own value, that I’m not someone to be taken advantage of just because I care so much about other people, and that I don’t need to change myself in order to fit other people’s ideas of what I should be. I am who I am and I should be proud of and happy with that. I need to learn that it’s okay to put myself and my opinion first sometimes. Now I just need to actually figure out how to work on these things…
  9. Experiences>stress any day: I’d rather make memories than stress out over classes any day. Ten, twenty years from now, I’m going to remember the stupidly fun things I did with my friends, not the extra hour of studying I could’ve gotten. I’m not even going to lie, I cut class once this semester to go on an adventure at a local park and preserve with my friend Alyssa. Was it the best idea for my education or grade? No, probably not. But Alyssa really wanted to go and it was beautiful out. And you know what? I don’t regret it. Just like I don’t regret getting midnight bagels. Or midnight McDonald’s. Spontaneous adventures with my friends are the highlight of my life. Grades, classes, and work aren’t everything, guys. Don’t let society make you forget that. Live a little. Do what you love.

    15252746_1095226090597092_5607421724351580410_o
    Here’s a picture I took of Alyssa when we went on our adventure. Not pictured: Alyssa bonding with the geese. Honestly, this is one of my favorite memories of the semester.

With Fall semester finally over and Spring semester so close, I’m glad I had these thoughts now and left room for more improvement come January. I’ve got great things to look forward to next semester too, including the next phase of the journalism program, another photo class, more Greek dancing (finally!), and more! In the meantime, I’m taking an online business class over the winter break just to get some credits out of the way. I hope you stay tuned for more life reflections and upcoming holiday and New Year posts! Happy holidays, Tasters!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful

Pinterest: @TTasteful

Facebook: Tantalizingly Tasteful

Snapchat: @TTasteful

Friday Finds: Pinterest + New Fitness Plan!!


No day is better than Friday. I don’t have classes on Fridays (ha!), so I usually spend my time sleeping late, going to the gym, and browsing social media. So, why not  peruse social media AND be productive by blogging about it?

Welcome to the first of (hopefully) many Friday Finds~

Basically, I’m just going to list a few cool things I found on the social media of my choice that I think you guys would enjoy. Please don’t forget to tell me what you think and share your Friday Finds with me!

OH and make sure to stick around till the end so you can take a peek at my new fitness plan 🙂

FRIDAY FINDS: Pinterest!

Pinterest is my source for information, motivation, inspiration and creation. I am highly addicted and love trying out the new ideas I find on there. Here are five pins that I’m loving this week:

1. Morning Yoga in Bed: Let’s be real, I am definitely a lazy girl. So if I can spend just a few more minutes in bed AND stretch at the same time, you can count me in! This awesome graphic, originally from Fit Girl’s Diary, demonstrates some easy yoga poses we can do to stretch and energize our bodies before even rolling out of bed. What’s not to love about that?

yoga-in-bed
Wish my bed looked this neat… Make sure to follow Fit Girl’s Diary on Pinterest, @fitgirlsdiary14!

2. Rainbow Smoothie: Yeah, this is pretty darn cool. Not only are these multi-color smoothies totally Insta-worthy, they’re also naturally good for you! Complete with fruits and veggies like bananas, mango, beets and spinach, this smoothie by The First Year will give you plenty of essential nutrients. Can’t wait to give this one a try!

rainbow-smoothie
If you try this super cool smoothie, make sure to let me know what you think! Check out more of The First Year’s recipes on Pinterest, @thefirstyear!

3. Work, Work, Work: This week has been a little rougher for me than others. I was so ready to jump right into my new plan and work to achieve some goals, but come Monday morning, I was feeling under the weather and dealing with some unwelcome drama. This little quote right here kept me going through the week. I didn’t miss a single gym day and kept eating well instead of giving in and saying, “Oh, I’m sick, I’ll just start over next week.” It’s all about mindset, and honestly, this image kept me in the right one all week. Thanks to skinny-healthyme.tumblr.com (now http://www.nutrifitblr.com/)  for the original post!

staying-in-shape-yay
Had this up on my computer all week… just saying. Repinned from @standouthealth

4. Dutch Sister Braid: I am always looking for new ways to wear my hair to the gym instead of resorting the the same old ponytail, especially since I go to the gym after/in between classes now. This super cute braid and pony combo from MakeupWearables is trendy and chic, but more importantly, practical. So excited to test this look out!

dutch-sister-braid
How can a hairstyle be so pretty, easy and practical all at the same time? Make sure to follow them on Pinterest, @makeupwearables!

5. SCARVES: Just because I’m adding some new content doesn’t mean I’m not still going to post about fashion! Yesterday was the first day of autumn, and I am so excited about the change in fashion that comes with the change in seasons. The layering, the boots, THE SCARVES!! Yes, I have a slightly unhealthy love of scarves. What I love about this look found on Wachabuy is that I can totally imagine myself wearing it and still being totally comfortable and practical. Most of my gym times these days are scheduled after or in between classes, so outfits like this that can transition from the classroom to the Arc Trainer are perfect for me. And a scarf makes it even better! Just gotta trade the Starbucks for my water bottle and the tote for my backpack…

fall-outfits-and-scarves-yay
Lovin’ this outfit inspiration… Check out @wachabuy on Pinterest for more ideas!

 

If you all love Pinterest as much as I do, make sure to follow me and let me know what you’ve been loving and pinning!

And onto the next bit, here’s…

MY FALL 2016 FITNESS PLAN!!

So, after a lot of research and thought, I finally put together a plan for myself to follow on my journey to a healthier lifestyle. I compiled some (more) Pins I found and took my own schedule into account to decide how I should work out and when.

So without further adieu, here it is! (I color-coded it just for you guys:))

fitness-plan-fall-2016

My cardio usually consists of the Arc Trainer, which I set to “Women’s Weight Loss” mode. It gives me the option of “Hill Climb” and “Speed Bump” (I think), and I generally alternate between the two. Sometimes, I use the bicycle machine or go on a run instead,  but the Arc Trainer is my preferred method of exercise.

As far as my other workouts, basically all I did was pull ideas from the following three pins and combine them based on what I thought I could handle physically and what my schedule allowed.

exercise-circuit-schedule
This pin that I repinned from @POPSUGAR served as the basis for how much time and what body parts I exercise each day.
weekly workout circuit plan.jpg
This graphic from cocolifestyle.tumblr.com is the framework for what exercises I use to work out each body part. I ended up changing some of them a little bit based on what I can handle physically and what I can actually do in my dorm room (like I don’t have weights so I can’t do tricep extensions), but it’s definitely a good place to start.
30-day-abs-and-squats-challenge
I love challenges with particular outcomes in mind, so I definitely wanted to add this 30 day challenge from Fitness Republic so I could consistently work my problem areas.

So far, I’m really loving my new plan. I do my cardio at the campus rec center during the day, either after or in between classes, and then do my strength exercises when I get back to my room. I’ll go through one circuit, then do my sit-ups, then another circuit and crunches, then the last circuit and squats, and then I’ll end with the killer one minute plank. (Yes, I am weak and shake the entire time, but I’m working on it!) I won’t lie, it is pretty exhausting, but it’s totally worth it and my body already feels better. I also make sure to record everything I eat and every exercise I do in the MyFitnessPal app. It helps me keep track of my progress and everything I’m doing.

I hope that one of these pins or my new plan inspires you to try something new in your life, whether it be directly from something you see online or something you have to manipulate to fit your lifestyle better. Remember, we’re not cookie-cutter people, so not everything is going to work exactly the same for everyone. Don’t forget to let me know what you thought about these pins and what you’re working on at home! Until next time…

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful

Pinterest: @TTasteful

Facebook: Tantalizingly Tasteful

Snapchat: @TTasteful

#MotivationMonday: Fresh Starts


Mondays suck. We all know that. Especially rainy Monday mornings like this, when you’re sleep deprived because you couldn’t sleep due to a throat ache and totally fogged down by the dreariness outside. That’s my case today anyways. But…

img_5812

Mondays mark new beginnings. The weekend is over, and it’s a chance to seize the week and make it your own. Sure, it’s back to school and work, but who knows what this week could bring?

Start out on a positive note and set yourself some goals. They don’t have to be large, broad goals, but even the small stuff will make a difference. My goals for this week are to implement my new workout plan (stay tuned for a post with some details later on this week!) and to blog three times. I’m already off to a good start on both of those, so I’m hoping this week I’ll stay productive and motivated!

img_5813
It’s only 8:05 AM, but I’m already feeling productive. Got my laptop running and my tea next to me… repping the Stony Brook J-School!

My advice is to start your morning off right. I’m a firm believer that if your day and mood are good from the beginning, nothing will be able to bring you down. For me, that means starting my morning early, sitting by my dorm room window, and getting stuff done. Just writing this is motivation enough for me. Oh, and don’t forget the tea!! (Same Lipton tea I drink at camp by the way, so that’s boosting my mood too). Do whatever you have to do to get yourself in the right mindset, whether that be drinking your morning coffee, going on a quick jog, or simply catching up on social media.

Remember, this is your journey, no one else’s. Set yourself goals you think you can achieve, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are your own person with your own set of talents, life experiences and challenges. If you’re going to compare yourself to anyone, compare yourself to your past self, so you can see the progress that you’re making.

img_5814

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the difference. You can’t expect yourself to make an entire life overhaul in a day and be successful. Baby steps are great and totally acceptable. As playwright John Heywood said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Be patient with yourself as you work towards your goals, and keep going if you stray. One mistake can’t take you completely off track. Nobody’s perfect, so just keep going. You’re totally worth the journey, the effort and the patience. I know you can do this!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Monday and productive week ahead! As always, keep me updated on your thoughts and progress! See ya in a few days 🙂

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful

Pinterest: @TTasteful

Facebook: Tantalizingly Tasteful

Snapchat: @TTasteful

College Life: My Tips for Starting College


Hey there, Tasters!! It’s official, I’m a college student! I moved in on Friday and started class yesterday, so I’m just starting to get situated, but I’ve already learned so much about how to meet new people, get along with roommates and suite mates, be prepared for classes and so much more, so I figured I’d share them with you guys. Take a look!

  1. Introduce Yourself to Everyone: Literally, everyone you talk to. Whether you just introduce yourself to a random person sitting next to you, or throw in a random “By the way, my name is” after asking someone a question or making small talk. All freshmen are looking to meet some new people, and everyone is having the same internal debate you are. Just man up and take the leap, you won’t regret it.
  2. Set Up a Suite or Room Meeting: Whether you and your suite or roommates are already meshing or not, it totally helps to set up a time for you all to sit down and talk things out, preferably before classes officially start. All seven of us from my suite sat in our common room the other night to exchange phone numbers, discuss bathroom and bedroom boundaries, plan our weeks out and just get to know each other. The people in your rooms and suites will (most likely) be constants for you this school year, no matter who your friends are, so try to make time to hang out with them. My suite mates and I are planning to have a weekly meal together just so we can all keep each other up to date, and we also agreed on being totally honest with each other if something is bothering us. I think that deciding these things as a group will help us prevent arguments and keep us as close as possible.
  3. Definitely Decorate: Guys, this one’s a no brainer. If your room isn’t decorated, you’ll feel less at home and more uncomfortable. I highly recommend posters, pictures and banners, as well as colored bed spreads and throw pillows. Just make sure you follow your building or school’s guidelines!

    dorm room
    A picture of my bed in my dorm room!!
  4. Check Your School Email: Most professors, school and building administrators, and even apps send reminders through your school email, so make sure you check it at least once a day so you don’t miss any announcements, assignments or opportunities.
  5. Check the Weather: Realistically, you’re going to be out of your dorm most of the day walking from class to class. Make sure you check the weather the night before so you know if it’g going to be super muggy or rainy the next day so you can plan accordingly. It’s never fun getting stuck in a rainstorm without an umbrella, especially when your dorm is fifteen minutes away from your last class!
  6. Bring a Sweater With You: While it may be sweltering during the day, a lot of professors crank up the air conditioning in their classrooms to make up for it. If you’re likely to get cold, pack a sweatshirt or jacket. You definitely don’t want to be uncomfortable for a whole class.
  7. Keep Your ID and Key On You: At least at my school, Stony Brook University, my ID is my access to absolutely everything. Without it, I can’t get food or books, get into my building or go work out. I keep both my ID and my key on a lanyard that I wear every day everywhere I go, especially to the bathroom and shower just in case one of my roommates leaves and accidentally locks me out of my room.
  8. Have a Reusable Water Bottle: You definitely do not want to get dehydrated, and buying a ton of water bottles can totally add up. I have a reusable Camelbak insulated water bottle and a reusable coffee cup that I can fill up time after time free of charge. Just yesterday, I filled my coffee cup up four times, and my water bottle up three times, which equates to a total of fourteen cups of water!  I bring either of those with me wherever I go in case I get thirsty (it’s still super hot out!) and so I don’t have to buy another drink when I go to grab lunch or dinner (although I am still guilty of buying a Dunkin iced latte or two!) Another plus? The coffee cup is perfect for practically any drink (I use it for tea!) and the Camelbak bottle is perfect for the gym!
  9. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: Honestly, try new things! I know it sounds so corny but it’s absolutely true. You won’t make friends, impress your professors or get to take any new opportunities unless you put yourself out there. And who knows? You could find a brand new passion or talent, or at the very least make some new friends!
  10. …But Don’t Compromise Your Values: You are who you are, and that’s great. If your friends are doing something that you’re not comfortable, don’t join them. I don’t necessarily mean that you don’t have to be friends with them anymore, but if they’re drinking, for example, and you are completely against drinking, don’t force yourself to drink to impress them. You should always feel comfortable with your decisions.
  11. Don’t Spend All Your Time with Your Roommates: It’s absolutely great to be close with your roommates or suite mates, but the more time you spend with them, the more likely you are to step on their toes and pick up on slight idiosyncrasies that drive you positively nuts. Try to make some friends in your classes and major so you have another group of people you can chill with when you’re not hanging with your roomies.
  12. Go to the Gym: Going to the gym won’t just keep you healthy and looking fierce, it’ll also give you something to bond over with your friends, plus it’s a ton of fun. Even if you and your crew split up to go on different machines, you’re still going to have a great time. And if you go alone? It gives you a reason to introduce yourself to someone with a common interest. New gym buddy alert! And if no one’s around or you don’t feel like talking, just turn up your tunes and get to it. Studies show that exercising can help you manage your stress, sleep better and improve concentration, making you feel fit, look phenomenal and become a better student!

    gym
    Getting busy (snapchatting!) at Stony Brook’s Rec Center! From left to right: (bottom) Nicole and Kayla; (middle) me; (top) Random person and Arianna
  13. Always Look (At Least Somewhat) Presentable: You never know who you might run into: a new crush (college is full of possibilities!), a professor you’d like to impress or even a future employer! Looking like you care about how you look is half the battle, because it makes you look neat and organized. But while you should worry about your own presentation…
  14. Don’t Judge People By Their Appearances: Just don’t do it. Sure, you can totally admire someone’s outfit or hair and think to yourself, “Jeez, I’d love to be friends with that person!” but definitely don’t rule out introducing yourself to someone simply because of their appearance. By doing that, you can keep yourself from meeting some of the nicest people on campus, and steer yourself towards the wrong people.
  15. Be Proactive and Take Action: If you’re interested in something, don’t wait to make it happen. Find something you’re passionate about and reach out to someone in charge to get more information about the cause or organization. If you’re falling behind on work or not understanding your lectures, talk to your professors or ask a friend or acquaintance for help before it’s way too late. The sooner you have something done (with the maximum amount of effort possible), the more comfortable and happy you will be.
  16. Be Memorable: Introduce yourself to your professors and show interest in their work and lectures. They have so many students, and it’s super easy to fade into the background. Don’t let that happen. Shine your brightest and just be yourself.
  17. Keep Your Door Open: If you’re not busy and just hanging out in your common room or dorm room, keep your door open. People will walk by and stop to say hello, potentially adding to your list of friends and acquaintances. It’s never a bad thing to meet more people!
  18. Be Respectful: No one is going to like you if you correct your professor or judge them for what level classes they’re taking. Professors deserve incredible amounts of respect, so if you’re going to correct them or ask a question, do so tactfully and modestly. Believe it or not, you do not know more than them, and they are indeed experts in their fields. Professors love to answer your questions and debate topics, but not if you’re incredibly rude, pushy or demanding about it. Also, make sure you respect your roomie’s boundaries and schedule. If they need some alone time to study or FaceTime in the room, extend them that courtesy, because you would want them to do the same for you. work hard
  19. Be Your Own First Priority: One of the most important things to me is making my college experience about me. Everything is my decision, my call and my life. I’m an adult now and I have to prepare myself for the world that lies ahead. I can’t compare myself to others anymore, and I have to worry about how I’m feeling emotionally, mentally and physically, not necessarily how my friends are feeling. You’re not going to feel comfortable at school if you’re worrying too much about other people’s lives. Do what you have to do to achieve your goals and focus on what’s going on in your own life.
  20. Take Power Naps: Naps make me groggy and nauseous, not to mention that they’re super hard to wake up from, but 15-20 minute power naps have been doing the trick for me. They’re just long enough that I wake up feeling refreshed and energized, but short enough that I’m not totally out of it when I wake up.

Now I’d like your feedback! I hope this post gave to a little bit of a peek into my college life and gave you some ideas about how you can rock your first year of college! What did you think of my tips? Do you have any ideas about more tips or questions you’d life to ask me? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email to tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! You can also follow my brand new Facebook page, Tantalizingly Tasteful! Don’t forget to follow my Tumblr,tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account,http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram, @tantalizinglytasteful! Love you guys, thanks for reading!!

My Last Few Days as a High School Senior!!!


Hey everyone, happy July!! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. This summer is a really exciting summer for me because it’s my chance to transition from high school to (gulp) college. I graduated a week ago and I already can’t believe how fast the time is flying. To start off this summer, I’m going to share some of the details of my last few days as a high school senior with you all!!

Thursday, June 25: Senior Prom

Thursday was the day that started it all. Senior prom is the day that everyone spends their high school years dreaming about. It’s the things that (high school) fairy tales are made of. But no one ever tells you how much work it takes!! I was out the door by 10 AM to get my nails done, grabbed a quick coffee and lunch (to go!) with Torie, ran to my hair and makeup appointments at an Ulta store twenty minutes from my house and got home with barely enough time to get ready before my family was supposed to come take pictures with me. And I was still three hours off from the beginning of prom!!  To spare all the grueling details, I went to pre-prom at my friend’s house (where three of my amazing friends surprised me with a stunning corsage!!!) and then at school, where we climbed onto a super cool party bus that fit 29 of us! The half hour limo ride to Floral Terrace, where prom actually took place, was great, the cocktail hours was nice and the real party was incredible! I can honestly say that it was one of the best nights of my life. I danced all night, took great pictures with my friends, enjoyed delicious food and just got to reminisce about my four years in high school. Looking back at it now, I can’t even believe how quickly it all passed! Shout out to all the incredibly people who made this night possible!! Check the end of the article for details on what I wore!!

Couldn’t resist a selfie!!
Torie and I attempting one of our signature poses!!
My outfit!!
Some of my best friends!! From left to right: Lauren, Me, Dani, Emily and Torie
Posing with props that Torie made! From left to right: Emily, Me, Arianna, Torie and Dani

Friday, June 26: Afterprom

When prom was over, we took the party bus back to Arianna’s house and stayed for the night. We ate yummy mozzarella sticks and pizza bagels, laughed and danced… And didn’t get to sleep until the early hours of the morning!! In the afternoon, we took a ferry to Fire Island, where we spent the day lounging on the beach and going swimming (the water was freezing!!) We grabbed dinner and ice cream, and while most of the crew grabbed a late night ferry back to “the mainland,” four of us stayed overnight in a borrowed house! Back at the house, we chilled out on the back porch and ate late night mac and cheese. It may have been a long day, but it was incredibly fun and enjoyable!

Deliriously happy after prom!!
Emily and I enjoying the beach!!
Emily, Dani and I posing for pictures!!
Saying goodbye to the crew at the ferry!! From left to right: Me, Torie, Dani, Emily, Lauren and Arianna

Saturday, June 27: Return from Fire Island

Saturday was by far the most relaxed day of this particular weekend. The four of us who stayed over in Fire Island woke up at 8, ate mac and cheese for breakfast, cleaned the house and then took a nap. No pressure, no tight schedule. We grabbed pizza and ice cream and caught a ferry back to Long Island. That night, Torie and Emily came back to my house to finish decorating our caps for graduation the next day. Even though they were at my house until midnight, I was glad they came by to keep me company.

FullSizeRender
Our finished graduation caps! Mine is on the left, Torie’s is in the middle, and Emily’s is on the right!!
My cap in all its glory!!

Sunday, June 28: Graduation!!

Sunday was THE day… the end of four incredible years of high school, the end of the memories. But it was also the beginning of a new stage in my life, a stage that I am so excited for! It was such a bittersweet day, complete with caps, gowns, selfies, laughter and tears. It all went by in a flash, it was honestly so hard to believe. The only thing that ruined the day was the it was nearly impossible to hear the speeches, which I had really been looking forward to hearing, from the stage. All in all, it was incredibly fulfilling day, knowing that I successfully finished my high school career and have so many awesome opportunities and events ahead of me. I really am so proud of myself for doing as well as I did and doing the different activities that I did, and I am so grateful to everyone who got me there. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me as I go on to college at Stony Brook University!!

Torie and I posing with our honor cords!!
Showing off our caps after graduating!! From left to right: (top) Amanda, Emily, Torie, Dani and Lauren; (bottom) Arianna and I
Some of my closest friends!! From left to right: Me, Emily, Grant, Max and Torie

Now I’d like your feedback! I hope this post gave to a little bit of a peek into my life! What did you think of my prom look?  Did you recently go to prom or have your graduation? Do you think I should write more posts like this? Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email to tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! You can also follow my brand new Facebook page, Tantalizingly Tasteful! Don’t forget to follow my Tumblr, tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account, http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram, @tantalizinglytasteful! Love you guys xx

In This Article:

Prom:

Women’s Poplin Cami Fit & Flare Dress in Multi Print, $25.00 at Old Navy

J Kara Aqua Sequined High Neck Gown, $289.99 at Estelle’s Dressy Dresses

Not Rated Bering Strait Wedge Sandal, $34.94 at DSW

Silver headband, New York and Company (similar here)

Silver stud earrings, New York and Company (similar here)

Urban Expressions silver faux snakeskin clutch, DSW (similar here)

Afterprom:

Xhiliration olive green crochet-top maxi dress, Target (similar here)

Browline Round Sunglasses in Black/Silver, $7.90 at Forever 21

Black and gold crossbody bag, Forever 21 (similar here)

Graduation:

Garden Party Panache Dress in Noir, $41.99 at Modcloth

All supplies for graduation cap, Michael’s