Back to school series: apartment packing list

Hi everyone + Happy Tuesday! If you’ve been a follower for the last year or so, you may remember that I made a Back to School series last August. I got really positive feedback from it so I’ve decided to do it again this year!!! Let’s get started with it!

I am officially moved into my apartment at school + I’m very excited! Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I am living with 3 girls I do not know, all from other countries. One of them has brought her dad to stay for about 2 weeks + removed the furniture last night (unsure why) so I’m just trying to stick to my own schedule and live my own life until school starts.

So, from the title of this post you know I’m not sharing a tour of my apartment today (if I do one it will probably just be of my room) because it’s not fully finished, but it is a packing list for apartments! I definitely forgot some things and I brought things I for sure don’t need. Also, a ton of girls (freshmen) have no clue what to pack but with 22938 different packing lists available for freshmen, I figured I would make one for people in apartments because there are far fewer lists to get inspiration from but a lot more things to get! So, here is this artsy list of what to pack for an apartment (or at least what’s working for me).

Is there anything I’m forgetting or anything on this list that doesn’t need to be?

❤ Alicia ❤


High school ruined me

Hi all and long time no write.

I took a nice weekend trip to Ohio at the start of the month, and that paired with some family issues I’ve been pretty lackluster when it came to writing.

Something I’ve been doing quite a bit more recently is reading. I just finished The Happiness Project last night (more on that to come) and I started wondering why I don’t read more often. I love reading, I love writing, yet I don’t do it nearly as often as I’d like.

When I was part of my high school’s yearbook, I did almost exclusively design. I edited captions and stories, etc. but only because I was an editor and therefore it was my job (despite the thrill I got from turning a paragraph of spelling and grammatical mistakes into a perfect package complete with sparkly bow).

But, you all may be thinking… Alicia… you run a blog, you must like writing. And I do, I adore writing, immensely, it gives me a way to be creative without wanting to rip my hair out over my inability to draw anything better than a stick figure. So, then why did I refuse to write copy for my yearbook unless absolutely pressed to by my writing editor? Well, in my opinion, it’s because I was conditioned to believe I hated it.

School, high school, in particular, forced you to read and write things that you have little to no interest (or at least think you don’t) in and it is downright dreadful. Having to read books that you have no interest in, then having to write a 3-5 page essay in 45 minutes on a book you hated and therefore skimmed is almost worse.

I can remember being in elementary school after visiting the library that week, cozying up in my bed on a Friday night with Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and staying up until the early hours of the morning to finish it because I WANTED to. No one told me to read the book, no one even recommended the book. I read that book because I wanted to. I read that book so many times and for a while, it was my favorite book… maybe it was because it was one of the only books with large font in my library… I’m a slut for large font. Whether I liked the book or merely the font size, there were many more books after that in which I read and loved doing so, but one day it stopped.

In 4th grade, I won a short story contest (and even got it turned into a claymation movie by my advanced class) with a 2-page short story called “Where’s Coco?” My sweet little white dog (based off of the American Girl Doll mascot Coco might I add) who went missing on Friday the 13th… in October nonetheless. While I can’t remember how it ended, I do remember that the title was written in a yellow polka dot angled Word Art font and that it was riveting to my entire class, which is why it won… obviously.

We were given a prompt to write a mystery story. Nothing more nothing less. I poured my heart and soul into that story because I am such a sucker for mysteries that I got that all done in one day (I do that with essays today but more so due to procrastination rather than passion). If I could muster up the idea of an American Girl Doll dog going missing and also find the dedication AND motivation to finish this story, why did I not write anymore? Why do I struggle to blog, when I adore writing? Why?

The answer to this is that high school ruined me. Plain and simple.

Something I always wanted to do was to be a teacher. I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher because I hated learning, or at least I thought I hated learning.

Something I love is learning. So, why did I hate learning if I love learning? Pretty contradictory don’t you think? I think something that myself and so many others my age have come to realize is that high school is not about learning anymore, it’s about getting grades satisfactory enough to get accepted into the university of your choice.

I cannot tell you a single thing I learned from my junior year of high school other than the fact that I can read The Awakening in 90 minutes. The 90 minutes before I had to write my final exam on that book I may add. I can’t tell you so many things I ‘learned’ in high school because I did not learn them.

I memorized them hours before I needed to know them, regurgitated them onto a scantron or scratch paper, and then one by one, they were discarded into my brain garbage can (told you I didn’t learn much in high school).

High school was never about learning, yet I didn’t realize that until much later. I thought I hated learning because high school made learning the last thing I wanted to do.

It wasn’t until my year off that I realized that learning was fun. I learned more from the 6 and 8-year-olds I nannied than in my entire AP US history class. I learned more in my time in Peru than I did Honors Physics.

Learning doesn’t always take place in a classroom. But learning should always be fun.

How fortunate are we to learn that the moon’s orbit affects the seas’ tides? How fortunate are we to learn that you really can start a sentence with And or Because?

I wish high school hadn’t ruined me. I wish I knew my passions 4 years ago. I wish I never thought I hated the things that set my soul on fire. But here I am, still undecided on my life choices with the same fire and passion I had for reading, writing, and learning but this time.. I know I have it.


My favorite places in Athens

Hi again everyone!! After reminiscing about my first year at OU, I really began to miss some of my favorite places in Athens! Because of this, I wanted to share my favorite places in Athens (in case for some reason any of you end up in Athens, Ohio or I have some fellow bobcat readers). So, here are my top 5 favorite places in Athens. Enjoy!

  1. Donkey Coffee- This super cute, eclectic coffee shop has the best vegan muffins, cookies and more +++ the best red tea (I’d never had it until I went there)! It’s super cute and has a great atmosphere and I absolutely love studying there!
  2. Brenen’s Coffee- The best-iced coffee I’ve ever gotten in my life! It’s my go-to spot for coffee and they even offer a meal plan (might have to get that in the fall).
  3. Bagel Street Deli- My favorite place to eat off campus! Bagel Street Deli is a sandwich shop (on bagels of course) that have breakfast and regular sandwich bagels which has tons of vegan options! It is one of the best places to eat no matter the time of day and I love bringing my family here when they visit!
  4. Union Street Diner- There are 2 diners near campus, and while the other diner has that typical diner look and feel, Union Street’s Diner wins in my opinion because of the variety of options (especially vegan ones). It’s open 24 hours and I love going there with friends for some late night snacks!
  5. The Athena Theatre- I’ve never actually seen a movie in this Theatre, however, the history and architecture of the building are so cool. The theatre also features a lecture hall on the second floor (I attended an extra credit seminar there) which was beautiful all in its own. But, what’s great about this theater is that they have new (and old) movies for very very cheap which is great for all college students on budgets!

There are so many other places that I could talk about, but I think these take the cake as some of my absolute favorites!!!

❤ Alicia ❤

Reflecting on my first year at OU

Hi everyone, I am back home from school and slowly getting back into my home routine. I always forget how weird it is being home… with virtually no responsibilities, being able to sleep in, and not having to worry about school work and studying. It’s nice… but I also feel empty having nothing to do.

Throughout my first year at OU, I’ve done a number of reflections on my time here. I figured that I should now reflect on my whole year at OU, as I am home and 100% done with my first year. While I do want to reflect on my time, I don’t want to get all sappy, so I’m going to share a few highlights from each month was at school!

I won’t lie, August started off pretty rough. I spent the first week of school (and more if I’m being honest) so the only highlight of the month for me was starting class and work and really starting a routine.

While September was still sort of shitty, my routine kept me busy and made me feel like I had a purpose. I joined CHAARG which was and is still one of my best decisions I’ve made this year and through CHAARG I’ve had so many great opportunities, met amazing people, and have really started working on myself.

With midterm season in full swing, October was just a lot of reading, studying and anticipating THanksgiviing Break. The ONLY good thing that happened in October was Halloween. Halloween is a BIG tradition at OU and it was really cool (albeit overwhelming) to be able to experience this tradition for myself with all the people I’d met.

During November is when (in my opinion) I started becoming really good friends with my roommate and started bonding with everyone I’d met at OU. This month, Olivia (my roommate) and I both applied to be on the 4 Paws for ABility executive board and I ended up becoming the Treasurer of the group. This didn’t start until Spring Semester but I accepted the position and started learning about what I had to do I November.

Studying and studying and studying some more. The entire month of December was just filled with studying and reading and making notecards and trying not to die. BUT it all paid off because (even though it wasn’t what I wanted) I ended up with a 3.75 GPA.

Returning to school at San Diego was weird. When I got back for Spring semester I didn’t have many reunions or really get excited to see my friends when I got back to school. However, my favorite part of January was reuniting with all of my friends from last semester. I had lunch and dinner and coffee dates with friends the whole first few weeks back and it was just great to see that I’d made connections and people actually enjoyed my presence.

This next one isn’t much of a highlight; it’s much more of a lowlight. The month of February (and before and after) had a lot of rejection in them. Internships executive positions, jobs, etc. just had a lot of rejection. I was very very disheartened by all of this but I learned one thing about myself it’s that I am great at persevering. I’ve enjoyed where I ended up this semester, rejections and all, and I think it’s taught me a lot about learning to accept more rejection that will inevitably come in my future.

In spite of all the rejection that this year had brought me (even within this organization) the best part of March was being elected to be the CHAARG Executive Board Treasurer. The love I have for this organization is unreal and to be given (to have earned) the opportunity to be on its executive team and to have the chance to improve it and see it grow is such a gift and I can’t wait to see where it takes me this upcoming year.

The one thing that sucks about OU, is that I’m 5-7 hours away from ALL of my friends. The entire month of April I spent appreciating my friends. Getting dinner every night, hanging out even if we were just visiting each other at work, getting coffee, etc. Whatever we could do to see each other would do because not being able to see my buds until August… I’m not a fan but I was grateful for the amount I saw them in April and how much I was able to appreciate them and their presence while I was there.

I came home May 1st, cried a lot, and then sat at my computer anxiously anticipating my grades to be posted. Finally, 8 days later, I finally got to see my grades for Spring Semester. I ended up with 5 As and ONE A-. I ended up with a 3.93 GPA for the semester all because I was .01% away from a solid A in the other class. I’m fine with that grade but come on! .01%.

All in all, I’m forever grateful that I transferred to OU. This past year was beyond anything I could have expected and my year was infinitely better than my time in San Diego (not the weather or the location). I guess location of the school really doesn’t matter, it’s really all about who you surround yourself with and what you make of your time while you’re there.

❤ Alicia ❤

5 tips for staying organized

Hi all and sorry for my long absence. I accidentally set up that double authentication and then couldn’t get access to the code so I couldn’t log on. However, I’m here now and have so much to share! Until I give a bit of a life update (which I also promised that month I think) here are some tips I have for staying organized in this hustle and bustle of finals.

  1. Get and use a planner! I love my planner and I keep it with me everywhere I go. I have a Plum Paper one and it has honestly changed my life. I write down every assignment, meeting, work shift, and workout I have so I know exactly when I can sleep, do homework, and have fun
  2. Make lists!!  (and then utilize them) Every single day I make a to-do list of items. Whether it be returning a t-shirt I bought, buying envelopes, printing something etc. I write everything down the night before and whatever I don’t get done becomes the first item on the list for the next day.
  3. Set aside time in your schedule to plan! Every single Sunday I give myself an hour or so to plan out my week. Do I have a group project meeting? Am I working out with someone at a certain time? Did I pick up someone’s shift at work? etc. I then plan when I can do homework, what homework I have to do, etc. so that I am ready for the week ahead and can have minimal stress in my life.
  4. Use the 8/8/8 method! 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work, 8 hours of play. This is soooo hard in college, however, I try my hardest. Some days there’s more play, some days there’s more work, and on the rare occasion (Sundays) there is more sleep. However, try to stick with this and it’ll help keep a solid routine.
  5. Give each class a color! I know this sounds very circa 2010 but it helps so much!!!! I use one notebook for all of my classes because I typically have 5 classes and use a 5 subject notebook so that works out but having a separate folder for everything (I also have one for important documents + homework) so that NOTHING ever gets lost.


What tips do you have for staying organized?

❤ Alicia ❤

The final countdown

Hi, all and happy Wednesday. Yesterday marked the one month left of school mark. I finish classes April 27th and then will be heading home around May 1st. It is so crazy to see how quickly this year has gone by and how soon I will be heading home for the summer.

This year I started out so unsure. So unsure of myself, so unsure of my university choice, so unsure of my major (still a little unsure), so unsure that Ohio was the right place for me, and so unsure of my decision-making abilities.

Here I am, almost 8 months later. I’m still not sure about a lot of things, but one thing is for sure- I can make good, even great decisions. When I trust my gut and not let the opinions of others change my mind, I can move mountains.

I get terrible anxiety about most things that are uncertain. However, the best decisions of my life I have made have been uncertain. Taking a year off, going to Peru, and going to Ohio have been the 3 biggest uncertainties of my life. They have also been 3 of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Whether I decide to go to school for 2 more years, or just one, go to grad school now or later, leave the country or stay, I know that as long as I make the decision of myself, it will all work out in the end.

Even if this year I didn’t learn how to get marinara sauce out of a white shirt or how to accommodate my teaching for every single disability, I learned how to believe in myself, and in my opinion, that’s an even greater accomplishment.

❤ Alicia ❤


Happy Friday everyone, I made it safely back home and am loving relaxing and taking a much-needed break. In my last post, I talked about how this semester has been pretty tough for me, in more ways than one. One of those ways is rejection.

Rejection is not something I am used to, by any means and until college, I really hadn’t been rejected (other than by boys but I don’t care about them). However, upon entering college rejection is around every corner it seems like.

In high school, when I applied for a leadership position, I got it. When I applied to college, I got accepted to 14 of the 16 schools I applied for. When I wanted good grades, I got them. When I applied for local scholarships, I got every one that I was eligible for. Easy as that.

However, recently, when I want something, really really really want something, bust my ass for it, I sometimes still don’t get it. It’s really humbling really, being rejected. However, it’s also soooo discouraging. Should I not apply for more leadership roles, is studying my butt off for something really worth it if I still don’t succeed? Should I apply for jobs if I most likely won’t get them??

I’ve been at war with myself for some time about this. I keep trying to do things and get experience, however, I keep coming up on the bottom. I’ve been rejected from 4 of the 5 positions I’ve applied for in the last 5 months and I’m almost certain I was one of the only people who applied for the position I actually got. I’m also in the running for 2 things right now so it may be 6/7 but we will have to wait and see.

Seeing that email from the group or place you applied to and having the first word not be “Congratulations!” is always soooo disheartening. You know you were rejected, you still open it and dissect every word from the email like “apply again next year” or “you were such a strong candidate” wondering if they mean that or they’re trying to make you feel better about not giving you the position.

I think the worst part about rejection is you start to hate them. You hate the people that decided your fate, who held your interview, even the person who got your position! You don’t mean to, obviously, but you do. I think it’s more jealousy than hatred, but it appears the same way. You don;t actually hate them and you want them to succeed in the position they’ve taken but you’ve already pictured yourself in that position, created made up scenarios discussing your position, helping others with problems while in that position and so much more that you start to think it’s yours already, until it’s pulled out from underneath you when you thought it was in the palm of your hand.

I’ve decided to do something though. I’ve decided to never stop trying. Fall down 7 times. Stand up 8 kind of thing.

It’s hard to not be envious of those people when you’re in that coulda been position but you have to try. You have to fake it till you make it when it comes to this. Become friends with these people and then you’ll realize that you should have never been envious in the first place.

It’s shitty, rejection is, but in all honesty, there is a reason when you don’t get something and someone else does. Whether they are more qualified, are better at interviewing, or whatever the case may be, but never give up and keep trying because the worst thing you can be told is no.

❤ Alicia ❤