Last Undergraduate Days

Classes are OVER.

The title is correct— I’m done with undergraduate classes! But I’m not graduating yet. I’m in the 6-year physical therapy program, so now that we’re done with three years of our undergraduate classes, it’s time to move on to the graduate portion of the program for another three years (but we still walk with the Class of 2018).

Halfway done!!

Here are some scenes from my last undergraduate days, which look quite similar to some of my freshman days…

As I did freshman year, I am once again hoarding bananas from both the grocery store and the dining hall, so there are many frozen bananas and banana-pb breakfasts (surprise!). You’d think I lived through a banana famine in the past.

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plain Greek yogurt mixed with apple sauce (I have a big jar that needs to be used, so it’s going into everything), cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, strawberries, banana, granola, pb

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strawberry banana overnight oats with granola and sunflower seed butter

This is me doing laundry when things are getting desperate (read: I have no more pants to wear and almost no underwear left). I don’t know if this is reminiscent of freshman year, but it seems like something a freshman would do. And apparently a junior.

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This is me taking my vitamins (basically candy, which is the only way I will take vitamins daily), opening up my laptop to do work, and then taking a nap instead.

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In this post from freshman year, I stated, “I still need naptime and snacktime, so I’m basically in preschool.” ← still true.

Snacktime in class, exhibit A:

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I’ve had many dining hall meals to use up these past couple of weeks, so it’s been fun feeling like freshman/sophomore me, going to the ol’ d-hall every day.

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The server gave me, like, three servings of barley on that plate, but I ate it all because I was so hungry. It was one of times when I could feeeeel the glucose nourishing my brain.

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Zoe put her cookies in there on purpose

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pepperjack mac and cheese!!!

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look at all our salads + mac and cheeses

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snickerdoodle cookie x2 because they were that good

I would say that the dining hall draws me to eat more desserts, but we all know that’s not true.

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a cup of two different kinds of gelato that I bought on sale before Easter 🙂

It’s been nice not having to buy as many groceries as the semester closes out and I have dining hall meals to use, but that means that when I do eat at the apartment, it’s usually eggs or canned fish of some sort.

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egg sandwich with sun-dried tomato butter

The weather has been very mild and quite nice recently. The trees are bloomin’ and beautiful!

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But just like freshman year around finals week, my allergies are up the wazoo! I can’t stop sneezing and crying.

Some days I go to the gym or work out outdoors, and other days, I take it back to dorm workouts on the mat. Like this 30 minute yoga from Fightmaster Yoga!

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Ya know how I don’t love running? Or at least how I always say I don’t love running? Well I’ve been running with my friends once or twice a week for these past few weeks, and I can dig it.

Convo with Sarah:

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Just like freshman year when I started running 4-5 miles for a few weeks randomly, even though I claimed to not like running. Well it had been over two years since I had run 5 miles, and I did just that with Sarah yesterday morning. ‘Twas glorious!

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perfect running weather

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I do like running. I do. I think I like it more now because I don’t pressure myself to hold a certain pace, I enjoy running with friends, and I play it by ear. If I wanna run, I will. If I don’t want to, I won’t. NOVEL CONCEPTS.

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We also discovered that we got matching blisters after our run.

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wimpy

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I thought it was necessary to show you all that we got a blister in the exact same spot on our feet (the spot is innervated by the medial plantar nerve in case you were wondering #GrossAnatomyStudyingALLTHETIME).

And now I should continue studying. Blogging was a great break as always. My friends Domenica and Nico did Uptown Funk Zumba with me for 5 minutes just now too. Keeping life zesty.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! Good luck to my fellow college students who are facing finals. Forge on!

p.s. I think I lost my early bird streak the night after I posted my last blog post lol.

So tell me:

Have you been running outside recently?

College friends: What’s life looking like for ya?

What is the best thing you’ve eaten this week? That mac and cheese wins.

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Living Life on the Edge of a Cliff

Ireland keeps one-upping itself.

Just when I think, “THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE PLACE EVER,” I go to another place, and I have to say the phrase again.

This weekend, I went to two of {seriously} my two new favorite places ever— Howth Cliffs and Cliffs of Moher. You could say that I was living life on the edge.

Thursday— Irish Sports

Before I get into the cliffs, I need to tell you about how we played Gaelic sports on Thursday morning. Instead of 2.5 hours of sitting in class, our contemporary Irish society class headed to the “pitches” for some traditional Irish sports (praaaaaise).

Sport #1: Gaelic football. I would describe this as a cross between soccer, American football, and rugby, played with a volleyball. I was pretty bad, but it was fun to try.

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[source]

Sport #2: Handball. The drills for this were a pain in the ass, but playing the actual game was fun! I liked this one the most. It’s basically squash without a racquet and with a softer, smaller ball.

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[source]

Sport #3: Hurling. Sounds horrendous already, doesn’t it? Well I played horrendously too. It’s like lacrosse + field hockey + baseball + do whatever the feck (← apparently an acceptable curse substitution here, even on daytime TV) you want. Just kidding, there are rules, but there are too many rules to remember for a rookie.

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I learned afterwards that our young instructor for the day was one of the best Irish sport athletes in the country, so… good. He saw me miss the ball about 10 times.

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that chin sweat.

Despite my skill deficiency, I had such a blast learning about the history of the sports and how to play them! Irish moves and grooves, I dig it 🙂

Friday— Howth

Howth is pronounced with a long ‘o’ sound. So like “oath” with an ‘h’ in front. Just FYI, because I wouldn’t have known.

My mom got back from her two-week tour around Ireland, and her sister was also in town! I met up with them on Friday morning for breakfast at Restaurant 104. I opted for a big, late breakfast including a goat cheese, spinach, and red pepper omelette. Then mom and I split a scone with butter, jam, and CREAM (← game changer).

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We had no plans for the day, but my aunt asked us, “Have you ever been to Howth?” I had not been, but Rachel told me I had to go, so Friday was the day! We took a fairly short rail ride out to the beautiful fishing village, and just did our tourist thing. Lots of looking around and photographing!

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The highlight of Howth is the cliff walk, so I took off on one of the paths while my mom and aunt stayed back at the beach. I wish they came along to see the beauty of the cliffs, but it was a blessing in disguise to do a solo hike.

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As I walked up the initial road, I saw some gorgeous properties along the coast. I told myself about 100 times during the whole cliff walk, “I want to live here.”

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wild blackberries!

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help, no one here to take photos with me

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I cannot explain how at peace and in awe I felt throughout the 1.5-hour walk around the cliffs. The wind was strong, the ocean was mystifying, and the solitude was rejuvenating. God exists, man.

On the walk down, I passed by some more cute houses and an abbey.

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I would have done the longer hike path, but I didn’t want to keep Madre and my aunt waiting too long. Plus, I was so parched. I ran out of water early on in my walk, so I needed hydration ASAP.

I met up with the ladies at Starbucks for some water and snacks, and then we popped into a lovely tea house for afternoon tea and cake. My aunt and I shared a pot of wonderful spearmint tea, and then we all shared a scrumptious slice of carrot cake.

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some of the best carrot cake we’ve ever tasted!! SO moist, and I’m not sorry for using that word.

Our eating schedule was weird with our late breakfast and dessert-lunch, so we ate dinner about an hour later at a restaurant called Deep. All the seafood restaurants looked fantastic, since we were in a fishing village after all.

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literally right from the boat to the market to the restaurant

We share calamari to start, and then I ate a decadent “open fish pie” for my entree.

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It looks like it’s just mashed potatoes in a dish, but there was so much fish underneath! Cod, salmon, and some others that I could not identify. Comfort food at best. Mom also shared a big piece of her fish + chips with me. The crust was perfect!

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My meal also came with a dessert (“my preciousss”), so I ordered the apple crumble. It was hot and the perfect sweet ending to a pretty sweet day.

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Thank you so much, Madre and Auntie Xay for an incredible day in Howth! And happy birthday to Auntie Xay as well 🙂

Saturday— Dublin

I had some work to do, so I laid low with Madre in my dorm room. She basically filmed a documentary of my life to show Pop, which I thought was hilarious. I did some homework, laundry, and a nice dorm workout in the morning/early afternoon. For my workout, I did a slowish 12 minute workout, followed by the first day workout in the free CodyApp KaisaFit challenge! I ♥︎ Kaisa.

After a shower and finishing up laundry (mom spoiled me and folded it all for me while I worked!), we walked to a late lunch at the Lovely Food Co.

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I ordered the superfood salad for some veggie power in my life. It was everything I could have wanted and more. I think it had roasted veggies, broccoli, seeds, homemade croutons, and halloumi cheese, among other things.

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Mom had the smoked salmon and crab sandwich per my recommendation. She shared a quarter of it with me + some of her tomato soup.

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And since Lovely Food Co. has some of the best desserts, we had to order one to share. She chose the spiced pear cake, which was another score. Moist, perfectly spiced, and just sweet enough.

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We went grocery shopping for my week ahead, and then an hour or two later, we walked to Mass with my friends Megan and Cristen. Then it was already dinner time at Dall’Italiano! My aunt also met up with us after her day of touring Dublin city centre.

We all craved pasta, and we left satisfied.

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I got the fettuccine with beef fillet, onions, and mushrooms in a red wine sauce. Molto bene! I have 1/3 of it in my fridge for leftovers 🙂

Then it was time to say farewell to my mother for three months (and my aunt for even longer probably!). So sad, but it was great to spend so much time with her in my first month in Ireland! She had a lot of fun on her tour too.

That night I FaceTimed with two of my favorite people too— Rachel and Joe! I’m not that homesick, but I do miss my friends dearly.

Sunday— Cliffs of Moher

FaceTiming Rachel until late at night made the 5:50 wakeup call a little rough. But a nice 45 minute walk to the bus stop was enough to wake me up! Plus overnight oats.

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ugliest breakfast ever, but one of the most delicious

Megan, Cristen and I took a Paddywagon Tour, which was informative, entertaining, and eventful. One person needed to pee really badly (not me this time! although I very much empathized with her), one person got bus sick on the side of the road, a couple people almost got left behind, and the tour guide was great but also passive aggressive.

I’d recommend the tour though!

We brought our lunches, which we ate at 10:30am on the bus due to our early breakfast.

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red pesto, cheddar, hummus, basil, and rocket sandwich (threw whatever I had in the fridge into this thing and it was so tasty!!)

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Our first stop was a revisit of Dunguaire Castle, where Megan and I experienced a medieval banquet last weekend. It was just a quick photo stop this time, but it was extra pretty with this cool cloud effect going on.

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Our second major pit stop was the Burrens and the Mini Cliffs. The views were stellar even there.

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The wind was straight-up concerning though. Cristen is a very petite lady, and we all agreed that she should not come close to the edges of the mini cliffs, because there was a legitimate possibility of her blowing off.

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can you see what I mean?

Our bus driver then rushed us over to lunch in Doolin, where we all had dessert, since we had already eaten our lunches. I bought this huge slice of sweet and rich berry bakewell gateaux.

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holy moly way too much sugar for one person

Then it was time for the CLIFFS. OF. MOHER.

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They really are as phenomenal as people say they are. It was too magnificent to be true, especially since we lucked out with the weather!

So Rachel came to the Cliffs over the summer and took a jumping photo with them, so I obviously had to take one as well. Take one: too narrow of a pathway and way too windy for comfort.

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Megan: “Alison I don’t think you should jump.”

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Me: “Yeah you’re right. Safety first.”

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Compromise.

But then later, we found a less windy and broader spot for the photo.

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Then Rachel posted this photo to her social media:

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mirror image, I say 😉

It was a nice steep climb to the highest point of the cliffs, but man was it worth going up there [twice].

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Megan: “Gets to the peak. Drops on knees in prayer.”

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As always, photos can never do these kinds of places justice. If you ever get the opportunity to go to Ireland, go experience the Cliffs of Moher for yourself.

We stopped by Bunratty Castle before our 2.5-hour trip back to Dublin.

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Manmade things are just “meh” now and forevermore.

I wanted all the movement and all the veggies and protein for dinner at around 9pm. Before I ate, I did a quick 10 minute HIIT in my room to get the blood flowing and to spend some extra pent-up energy.

I finished up my big bag of rocket (arugula) with a can of salmon + hummus, tomatoes, and some unpictured carrots.

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I ended the night with blogging and FaceTiming two more friends from Boston— PJ and Louis. YAY!

Monday— WorkWorkWorkWorkWorkWork

So many things to do now, so little time!!

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But this weekend was more than worth it.

Hope you all have a marvelous week!! Go outside and feel the wind in your hair if ya can.

So tell me:

Have you ever played a foreign sport before?

Have you ever taken a solo hike?

Have you ever been to the Cliffs of Moher?

What is the most beautiful natural phenomenon you’ve ever witnessed?

Two things you did this weekend!

Weekend Confessions: So College It Hurts

Thank you for your love and support on Friday’s post. ♥ 

weekend confessions

Confession #1: My gynecology appointment on Friday was good, terrifying, confusing and disheartening all at the same time. I’m going back this Friday, and I’ll leave it at that.

Confession #2: I went to a formal workout for the first time in a long time, and it was FUN.

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A new fitness group on campus hosted an outdoor workout in the middle of campus, so I decided to stop by and join them [10 minutes late]. It wasn’t anything crazy; it was just wonderful to be active outdoors with fellow Terriers.

Confession #3: I waited in line for 1.5 hours to see a comedian I hadn’t even heard of before.

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Are any of you fans of the show Parks and Recreation? The comedian we watched was Retta from the show. We definitely had some good laughs!

Confession #4: I don’t want to say that the weather has been perfect these past two weeks because I don’t want to jinx it. But here I am saying it anyway.

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Confession #5: My roommate had her birthday dinner this weekend and I felt like I was at a celebrity’s birthday party. 40 people at a trendy hot pot restaurant for THIS MODEL.

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suite mates

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Confession #7: I cooked the vegetables that so many people at the party didn’t want to eat, and I took them home as leftovers. Then I ate them cold. #dontwastefoodplease

Confession #8: Sandwiches are baaaaaack. 🙂 The no-fail meal option.

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Confession #9: I have dessert practically every day here in college. Apparently “sophomore spread” is a thing, (like, my fat is supposed to spread out all over the place? all I can think of with that term is Jabba the Hut), but I think we’ll be okay.

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We walk a lot.

Confession #10: I brought my own peanut butter to the Catholic Center pancake brunch on Sunday.

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“Alison, you did NOT bring your own peanut butter.”

“But alas, here it is on my pancake.”

Confession #12: I spent $5 for public transportation to see fireworks. ‘Twas worth it because of these beautiful people.

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Confession #13: I’m reading more text (that’s not on a blog) than I have in a long time. SO MUCH DENSE READING. SO LITTLE TIME.

Confession #14: I went to the gym for the first time in several months. I felt somewhat lost because a) they moved and added a lot of equipment; b) I hadn’t touched a weight in forever. I’m still not doing anything near what I used to do, but I did use some light kettlebells.

Confession #15: It took me a total of 4 hours to do laundry because apparently, college students like to do laundry on a long weekend. Who would have thought? Not me, evidently.

This weekend was so college, it hurts— studying, dining hall food, and events that require investments I would deem unreasonable outside of a college setting.

I hope you all had a fantastic Labo(u)r Day if you celebrated. Full force ahead!!! (<— me pretending to be enthusiastic about 8AM classes)

So tell me:

What is the most exciting thing you did this weekend?

Do you bring nut butter with you where you know it will be applicable?

Have you ever eaten at a hot pot restaurant?

Please explain what “sophomore spread” is supposed to mean. 

What It Feels Like To…

College is all about new experiences. We have the big ones like moving into the dorm, joining new clubs, passing those incredibly difficult exams, and graduating (whoa, far into the future, eh?). But we also have all the little ones in between. This weekend I reflected on some of the small, new things I experienced, both good and not so good.

After this past week, I now know what if feels like to…

Have Thanksgiving dinner before Thanksgiving day.

It feels kinda wrong, but oh so right. Thank you, dining halls!

Stuffing ♥ ♥ ♥ 

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pumpkin pie + white chocolate cranberry cookie!

Cook a steak.

I felt so flustered. Have you ever thought about how you might feel if you were thrown into the show Chopped and you got choked up? Yeah, this was that feeling.

The people for whom I work asked me to cook up two steaks that they had in the freezer and I agreed since they had so much faith in me. LOL.

I was looking up “how to cook steak” and “how to defrost frozen steak” on my phone and trying to decide the best/safest ways to do both and ahhhhhhhhhh. I think I did okay with the defrosting and the initial sear on the steaks, but then I overcooked the steaks in the oven. I gave them well done when they requested rare and medium rare. *facepalm*

They said it was really good, but I think they were being nice. Maybe the baked potatoes and tuna salad I also made for them redeemed me.

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This was actually delicious!

Be at a hockey game where Boston University Terriers pull out an awesome win!

So much pride.

We won 3-2 against University of Maine at overtime!

Watch a quality romantic comedy.

ALL THE FEELS. I watched About Time with a bunch of friends on Saturday night, and it might be one of my new favorite movies. Watch it if you have not yet!

Have America’s Next Top Model as a roommate.

It’s fantastic for the self-esteem, really. (jokes jokes.)

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© Christina Chu

(I also know what it feels like to basically have a pro photographer as a friend!)

She might not actually be America’s Next Top Model, but she totally could be, right?! She modeled for a fashion show this weekend and I heard many rave reviews that she killed it on the runway. Evidently. I live in the same room as this beautiful person!!!

Run five miles.

Besides feeling kinda uncomfortable because I needed to go to the bathroom the whole time, I felt amazing! That’s the longest I’ve run without stopping to date. Yay!

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I started the GPS about ½ a mile into my run, so the 5 miles were hit, I promise!

Oh, and for the record, a “running high” is quite similar to a burpee high… But the view and fresh air that comes with running is a wonderful bonus 🙂

Pay over $3.00 for just the dry cycle for my laundry.

That feeling would be rage-y.

One extra long cycle apparently wasn’t enough for my load of laundry (which wasn’t especially large or anything), and I was still left with super damp clothes by the end of it. I contemplated air drying it all, but there’s no space in the dorm for that and all the clothes were too wet anyway. Thus, I bit the bullet and paid for another full dry cycle. That totaled to $4.75 for laundry.

Life.

So there you have it! Some of my latest and greatest new experiences!

Something I’ve been thinking about doing is posting shorter yet more frequent update/musings kinds of blog posts instead of longer, spaced out dump-my-life-on-you posts. I don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity, but I’m hoping to spark interesting conversations about things that pop up during my day that I find worthwhile putting into a post. Does that make sense?

Basically, I want to try to post more often with less content (unlike this lengthy, random post) while having a more specific focus in each post. If that still doesn’t make sense, then we’ll just see how this all unfolds, won’t we?

Have a marvelous Monday, friends! I’m going home for Thanksgiving tomorrow what whattttttt.

So tell me:

After this weekend, I now know what if feels like to_________.

Do you like tuna salad?

(I can post the recipe for the tuna salad I made if ya want! It’s pretty bomb if I do say so myself.)

What is your favorite romantic comedy?