If my House could talk

Recently, I’ve been thinking what my dog would say if she could talk.What she would say to me, my mom, my bird, etc. Mainly because I miss her and was wondering if she misses me too. Yet, I came to realize my dog, while extremely cute, is an idiot and would probably just ask for more food. My house, however, I feel like its story would be one worth listening.

If my house could talk, it would tell me the story of my mom and I visiting it in 2004, and how much I hated it. It didn’t have the purple tree that I wanted so dearly. It would tell you that although it wasn’t our first choice because of the butterfly wallpaper in the bathroom, flower wallpaper in the kitchen, and blue carpet, it had everything we needed so we bought it.

It would tell you of the days we spent painting. My aunt, mom, sister and I took on multiple rooms of that house. Painting bedroom walls purple and yellow, and my mom tidying up the house before move in. It would tell you of my neighbors coming to the door to greet us and the song they sang to us. While neither of us can remember the words to the song, the gesture will be long remembered.

It would tell you of the day we moved in. Its walls hadn’t heard a child laugh in ages and the soft laughter of my two-year-old sister as she navigated the house made it feel young again. As I marched through the house with a sense of urgency, guiding everyone carrying boxes of toys, clothes, and furniture to where they need to go. They adorn sloppily scribbled phrases of “kitchen items” and “Alicia’s toys” written by me in sharpie. After we had put boxes in their places, made beds, and put pillows on couches, we made our way outside, used our fridge and stove for the first time and the house was finally becoming ours.

It would tell you of how I tore off that ugly butterfly wallpaper and blamed it all on my sister. It would be our little secret. It would tell you how black paint ended up all over my sister’s carpet and I actually took the blame for that one.

It would tell you the story of the day we got my dog. As my sister had gotten a bit older she had stopped screaming and crying over everything. Now we had a puppy. A crazy dog who would instead of scream, would bark at every fallen leaf and squirrel she saw. How she was afraid of ceiling fans and would chew on the door stops that we didn’t notice until there was a hole in the wall.

It would tell you of all of the friends I gained and lost in that house. Some friends would come and go but others were over every day for years and then they would be gone. It would be able to tell you of every Hannah Montana or Say Yes to the Dress marathon, to sleepovers and late night walks to the kitchen for chocolate covered pretzels.

It would tell you all of the bad things. From the hour-long fights and screaming matches that happened far too often. It would tell you of the times I snuck out of my house or got back past curfew. It would tell you of the night my mom walked out and was gone for the week. It would tell you about every tear my pillow came to know.

But most importantly it would tell you that within those 4 brick walls, a family was built, tested, and made it out alive. And if that’s not something to be proud of, I don’t know what is.

Until Thursday

Alicia

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Who Made the Cut?

Time magazine has a massive following, most well known for their goose-bump inducing cover photos and their annual list of influential people. Year after year, a handful of controversial men and women make this list, 2016 not being an exception, especially with the election a few short months away. Yet, on the other hand, some are on this list for clear-cut reasons. Here is why I believe that these select men and women deserve to be on this list for 2016, despite how much controversy they do (or don’t) bring along with them. The full list can be found here

Caitlyn Jenner. A household name in most cases and has been in the spotlight since she came out as transgender in March of 2015. When she created her twitter and sent the world spiraling with a groundbreaking tweet, “I’m so happy that after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world of Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.” This tweet was retweeted over 250,000 times and has around 400,000 favorites, one of those from my own twitter. As far as Pioneers go, Caitlyn Jenner is far up there. In June of 2014, when Laverne Cox was the first transgender person to be features of the Cover of time Magazine, this event stirred controversy and all of Time’s reader, and it’s no wonder why Caitlyn being on this list has done the same. Caitlyn’s controversy sparked due to the fact that despite being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, she does not support gay marriage. Caitlyn also has not had to go through the oppression and fear so many women go through and had the audacity to tell millions of people that the hardest part about being a woman is “figuring out what to wear.” Caitlyn has bashed both of her biggest supporters communities. The LGBTQ+ community and the entire women population. Despite these things, there is no doubting that everything Caitlyn Jenner has been through in the past year definitely earns her a spot on this list. She has overcome so much, she really needs to work on learning what to say about the people that had supported her from the start of her transition.

The “leader” category of the list this year, contained many presidential candidates, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton. It’s sort of a given that these four made it on the list and for all good reasons too. However, I believe that Bernie Sanders deserved this the most(had Time only picked one candidate). Being a Bernie Supporter myself, I have seen countless images of Bernie rallies from last summer to this Spring. What changed? His amount of support. Look at him even as the primary has just begun. Hillary had dominated leaving Bernie supporters in shock and terrified he wouldn’t come close to winning. Look at him now, down by less than 800 delegates. Bernie has shown people across the country that Socialism is possible and that it’s something we need to strive for. Yes, change is scary, but so is the wealth distribution in our country. Change can be a good thing and we need a Future to Believe In. Do I believe that Bernie deserved this solely because I support him? No. Bernie Sanders has created a revolution across this country. He has inspired people everywhere to change how they think and to believe in Socialism and equal rights. He has raised millions of dollars from his supporters alone and does not rely on big banks and businesses like his opponents to support him.Whether you are a conservative or you’re as liberal as they come, you can see that Sanders has changed this country and the sheer amount of people that support him, support this notion. Bernie is a revolution all in himself. That is why Bernie Sanders triumphs on this list.

On February 28th, 2016, the life of a man was changed forever. This man being Leonardo DiCaprio. There are not many people who doubt that Leo should be on this list. After waiting long and hard for 20 years to receive his Oscar, and coming close to death while trying to do it, The Academy finally listened to America and Leonardo DiCaprio won his Oscar for best Actor in the movie The Revenant. DiCaprio has been in countless phenomenal movies and has given it his all since his first movie in 1991. Leo defeated all odds, never gave up on his dreams of winning an Oscar, and 25 years after he started his career in the movie industry, his dreams came true. DiCaprio has inspired people across the entire United States and the world to never give up on their dreams, which is exactly why he landed a spot on the 2016 list of Time Magazine’s List of Most Influential People.

Each and every one of the 100 people on Time’s List are extraordinary people who have done extraordinary things not only this year but throughout their entire lives and deserve spots on this list. Despite what anyone says about them as a person, and the controversy they carry with them, there is no doubting they have influenced the entire world with their presence.

 

Until Sunday

Alicia

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To my ex-best friend (The Queen),

Each time I see people sharing links with this title on facebook, I immediately think of you. I click on the link quickly, trying to see if their relationship was anything like ours. If their ending was anything like ours. It never is. Upon reading at least ten of them not one of them is relatable to how we stopped being friends. I like to think it’s because our friendship was unlike any other, so if it had to end, it would unlike any other as well.

Where does one even begin? At one point in my life, you were there for everything. From my bad days, my good days, and everything in between. You stuck by me through my awkward days and how you did that I have no idea and truly can’t thank you enough.

I had never had a friend like you until I met you and I don’t think I’ll ever have someone to compare to you after the years of friendship that we had. For years, I told you everything. I told you every minuscule detail about my life. From each boy I was in love with  that week, to what so-and-so said about me. Everything. That’s what best friends do; they tell each other everything, the good and the bad. From how I aced my test or that it didn’t look like you had brushed your hair this month. And that’s just what we did.

We had our weddings planned out. We’d be each other’s maid of honors. Not telling our sister yet of course 😉 We spent almost every waking second together. You’d picked bridesmaids dresses to ensure that they were a color I would look good in. We had our lives planned out together. After graduating from college we were moving to Hoboken in a small apartment waiting to find true love and high paying jobs.

I will never forget the day I met you in 6th grade in Science class.  You know I’m not much for believing in fate, but we were both in the process of losing best friends. I’d like to think we entered each other’s lives to lessen this burden and to take on the best friend title. I will never forget how you came to my house in 7th grade, and we took photo booth pictures together with my sister. Or in eighth grade when you came over on the snow day and we built such a pathetic snowman, but it was great because I made it with my best friend. I will never forget our summer bucket list blog and how we tried cramming the last 30 items on the list into 3 days. I will cherish those memories forever.

I want to thank you. I want to thank you for being my rock and my best friend. I want to thank you for always believing in me and helping me achieve my goals, one baseball pun at a time. I want to thank you for being the best friend I have ever had, and probably ever will. You have given all of my friends, present and future, such high expectations to meet, even if they don’t know it yet.

I want to thank you for opening up your home and for letting me befriend your entire family, even if I was always afraid of your dad. When I saw your dog died on facebook, I cried. Calby was such a sweetie, and while he was no Gracie, he was still a cute pup. When I saw your mom got diagnosed with cancer, I cried and I called my mom. I knew I had to text you. I knew it wouldn’t matter to you that I did, but she was my second mom for so many years, and I wanted to make sure you were both okay. I just want to thank you for impacting such a stressful and amazing time of my life, for the good and for the bad.

I also want to say that I’m sorry. I know we’ll never be friends again and I’m not saying that’s what I want. We’re different people than we were junior year.

I’m sorry we ended the way we did. Everyone says that friendships end because they drifted apart or they were too different. We weren’t different or drifting apart. We were basically the same person (other than the fact that I wore sweatpants every day and you wore dresses) and we were spending even more time together than usual.  We starting hating each other, slowly and then all at once, the tension in every room we were in could be cut with a knife. We had more bad days than good days and I couldn’t take it. But I couldn’t tell you that. I hate discussing feelings (something I’ve improved upon since we stopped talking). We were both too afraid of feelings and confrontation that we avoided each other until our only way of communication was through letters and our friends acting as carrier pigeons.

Now remember, I have nothing against you, and I want to say that the time being your best friend were some of the best years of my life. I wish you nothing but the best in life, whether I’m in it to some extent or not is fine by me. I just wanted to for once in my life being open with my feelings (like you always told me to be) even if it is 2 years late.

Much love and summer fun
(Princess) Alicia (Jane Catherine) Heninger
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P.S. the turtle I named after you died. Thought you should know

20 tips for freshmen attending San Diego State University next year

Hi everyone, my best friend from home came to San Diego this weekend to visit a few colleges before the deadline to decide on a college for the next 4 years, May 1st. She still hasn’t decided and is between Pepperdine University in Malibu and the University of Indianapolis. Obviously I hope she picks Pepperdine so she’ll be closer to me but obviously I hope she chooses the place that is best for her. So, for those of you people who know that you’ll be attending SDSU in the fall, here are some tips for all of you to survive, Hope they help. 🙂

  1. Even though San Diego is the stereotypical Sunny and 75 all the time, pack sweaters and bring an umbrella. YOU WILL NEED THEM BOTH.
  2.  While some people think that Greek Life is a huge deal at State, don’t feel pressured into rushing. There are so many great people who don’t rush and are just fine. Greek life isn’t for everyone.
  3. Just because Greek life isn’t for everyone, it doesn’t make it ok to put it down. They did nothing to you and making people feel bad about something they enjoy is rude.
  4. Be social and put yourself out there, I didn’t my first semester and I missed out on so many friendship opportunities
  5. That being said, don’t worry if you haven’t found ‘your group’ after the first month… or even the first semester.
  6. This is going to sound super cliche, but get involved. That’s the only way you will meet people with your interests. I’m good friends with people on my floor but my closest friends came from getting involved.
  7. Don’t forget about your friends back home. They know you better than anyone you meet at school. And they’ll be there when you have to rant about your new friends.
  8. While going home is great every once in a while, don’t go home every weekend. You miss a lot.
  9. Don’t be afraid to go to professor’s office hours. You will need letters of recommendation at some point, and professors are more likely to write better letters (instead of a cookie cutter version) on students they know.
  10. GO TO CLASS. It doesn’t matter if professors say class isn’t mandatory/don’t take attendance, or whether they post all of their lecture slides on Blackboard. If you want an A in the class, you have to go. Missing one or two classes a semester won’t kill you but don’t turn into the kid who just shows up for exams.
  11. The Turtle pond is one of the best places on campus. You can look at all of the turtles and fish or you can just sit on the grass to relax or study Bonus! If you get sunburnt easily like me, there is all kinds of shade for you
  12. Don’t feel restricted to campus. Go out and explore. Whether you go to Sunset Cliffs or just to Normal Heights, take in all San Diego has to offer.
  13. Go to Sporting events. Whether it’s a basketball or swim meet. Every Aztec has so much spirit and we support all of our sports teams.
  14. Do not bring a coffee maker to the dorms. They are not allowed and you will get in trouble if you are caught with one. Also, Starbucks (3 campus locations) and BCB (5 campus locations) are on the meal plan.
  15. Utilize the Storm Hall terrace. It’s my favorite spot on campus to get homework done and the view of the sunset there is always impeccable.
  16. Go to the Farmer’s Market on Thursdays. It’s a nice change from dorm food, and even though it’s not on the meal plan, it’s completely worth it. There is food that ranges from Western Africa to gluten free desserts… Something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
  17. Don’t wait until 9:30 to go to the market to spend your meal plan money. You will wait for a really long time (I waited once for half an hour) and if the line is long you won’t be let inside. So, here is when your umbrellas and sweaters come in handy.
  18. Cuic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s good the first few weeks, but you will get sick of it
  19. Speaking of Cuic, when it comes to meal plans, Flex 7 is the way to go. On Meals Plus you will have so many Cuic swipes at the end of the semester you will end up wasting your parents money and bringing your entire floor to dinner there.
  20. Remember, when Hepner hall looks really good because of the angle of the Sun, snap that picture. No one will judge you. We all do it. Who doesn’t want to brag to all of their Instagram followers that they go to the prettiest school in the country?
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Hope these tips helped you, and for those of you still deciding on a college, good luck and stay true to your hearts (and wallets)

Talk to you Thursday

Alicia

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Rainy Days

Rainy days in California are rare, and almost nonexistent.However, upon checking the forecast for the upcoming week and seeing the raindrops dance across my screen, I can’t help but smile as my roommate grimaces at the thought.

The days leading up to the what Californians may call ‘gloomy’ day, are days of anticipation for me. It’s like the week before going home before a break or before a holiday.

Coming from  a place where rain was not necessarily an everyday occurrence, but sure occurred more than most would like, to a place where rain has fallen from the sky about fie times in the past eight months, you cannot help but miss rain: the scent, the air before and after it rains, the calming noise it makes as it hits windows, trees, the glow it gives everything it graces.

Rain reminds me of home. At least once a week, winter spring summer or fall, rain washes over our city. With rain brings a new beginning. It washes away the snow of winter, brings flowers to life in spring, washes away chalk drawings of summer, and pushes the crunchy fall leaves down the road.

My midwest self had become so accustomed to the rain that the absence of it saddens me. Never did I think a day would come that I missed rain. But waking up to the pitter patter of raindrops on my ajar window and the cool breeze entering through my window,gives me a sensation that I can’t quite describe.

As the rain hits my mesh covered window, and the occasional drop pecking my face, I hum in admiration. Rain is different here. As sunny and 75 days are rare in Chicago, rainy days in California are just as rare. I admire the both of them equally. While Californians proclaim their hatred of rain, with the knowledge of drought in the back of their minds, they can;t help but smile at the necessity of rain and the thirst of the earth being quenched. Even if this just happens once a month.

Everyone says that rain makes them sad. How can you be sad when the earth is being given the beautiful gift of water to make the plants grow bigger, the snails emerge from they long hibernation, and the hope that a rainbow could peak out behind the clouds after it has rained all day?

I’m not sure how rain saddens people, but I am sure of one thing. Rain doesn’t sadden me. Thunder on the other hand…

Until Thursday
Alicia

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Appreciating Home

Many apologies for the lack of posts the last week. I had planned on blogging at home, but I was too busy seeing my friends, family, trying not to die ( curse my sister for infecting me with sickness). I was thinking that yeah, i did have free time to blog, times when I was watching Fixer Upper or Finding Carter on TV and not doing anything necessarily productive. However, due to the fact that I attend college 2064 miles from home, I need to appreciate the time I have at home and not waste it away on things I can be doing anywhere.

I didn’t notice this so much over winter break, since I was home for a little over a month. But Spring break flew by. I had so little time to see everyone, do everything, and still manage to catch up on all of the sleep I had been lacking.

10 days. 10 days to do so many things. From celebrating Easter, to dog-sitting, to seeing all of my high school friends, community college friends, and friends with coinciding spring breaks, to a wedding, and seeing my city and all of the new tourist garbage I could take in n such a short time. Not to mention, catch up on all of my recorded TV shows, inhale as many fruits as I could, and try to beat the playstation Spyro game. Do all of that in 10 days? And still blog? No.

Coming home for Spring break has made me cherish all that is home. It makes me cherish every moment I spend with my sister, dog, friend, family member. I think that’s what  love most about going to school so far from home. Before going off to school, I never had a good relationship with my family. My dog was my favorite family member. She still is, but I get along so much better with my family now. It’s a nice feeling, being at peace with my family. We don’t fight as much anymore. We both know that I’m only home for 4 months of the year and we don’t want to waste that time arguing.

I cherish my friends. I know that one day we don’t all live in Chicago suburbs or even Illinois for that matter, and that alone has left me thinking. We go to school across the country and don’t get the same weekend sleepovers and pool parties whenever we want. We all work in the summer and if finding time to see each other is hard now, it will only get harder.

I have learned to appreciate time with others. At school there are people around me constantly, and finding a peaceful hour or two alone to really get productive is difficult. However, at home, I will squeeze in time with any friend. You’re free for that hour and a half that I’m free? Ok, let’s get brunch.

Well, 6 weeks until my first year of college. Wish me luck

Talk to you Thursday

Alicia

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