Stylish Academic’s Guide to Avoiding Drama in College

Avoiding DramaIn College.png

Hello, World.

Remember when Gossip Girl sent a blast announcing the Upper East Side crew wasn’t done with her upon high school graduation and that she would be following them to college? I think we all inhaled and exhaled so sharply in that moment. Bummer for them, but that meant we had more seasons of Gossip Girl! When you think about one’s first year of college, it’s hard to remember that in August, after moving into your dorm room, you’re really only three or four months away from high school.

Some behavior that’s sometimes normal in high school isn’t always welcome in college. The first being drama. Everyone’s life becomes a lot easier when the drama is stuck in a TV show and doesn’t permeate a person’s real life. Note: though this post is focused on college, I will say that in all stages of life minimal drama is desirable. If I notice someone loves drama and does whatever possible to create it, I quickly side-step interactions with them and minimize my exposure to them. So, I think it’s relatively easy to avoid drama in college, but sometimes it can be difficult because everyone is living in close quarters and if you’re at a small school, most people know each other.

I remember when I moved to my college, I thought it was huge compared to my 300-person high school, but others who went to much bigger high schools thought it was too much like high school [pro tip: size of college is something to really consider when choosing where to attend]. College gossip is real and college drama happens, but I want to share my top tips for minimizing drama:

  1. Surround yourself with positive people. Negative people brew drama like it’s a house roast. Whether intentional or not, negative people tend to create drama because their negativity either rubs off on others OR people vent about the negative person, thus brewing drama.
  2. Keep venting to a minimum. People will annoy you most likely, at one point or another. However, if you’re having issues with someone, either vent to someone you really trust, like your closest friend or your friends from home, or keep it to yourself. The more you vent, the more drama will form.
  3. Acknowledge issues as they happen. If someone annoyed you or hurt you, tell them. Handle your problems with people with them directly. There is no worse thing to do than telling everyone but the person that you’re upset. The more you do this, the more you send two messages: (a) you create drama and (b) you aren’t mature enough to handle your issues responsibly, quickly, and effectively.
  4. Focus on individual friendships. Some people believe the best way to live is to be friends with everyone all the time. That may work for some, but it didn’t work for me or many residents I had in college. When you nurture and develop individual friendships, they tend to be longer lasting and more genuine. I’ve never been someone who could hang out with 5 people at once all the time. Sure, I had “friend groups,” but I always made a point to schedule one-on-one time with all my friends. Whether it was coffee dates, study sessions, shopping outings, etc., I wanted to get to know the person as an individual and not just as a component in a larger group. This way, you know what each person is offering and adding, and you can discern if someone fits well in the group, but isn’t someone you want to seek out one-on-one. This also clarifies who the trustworthy friends are!

Four easy steps to an as-much-as-possible drama free college experience. I think the biggest thing is remembering that people talk. You don’t want to build a reputation as someone who talks negatively about people or stirs drama. Additionally, if you realize someone isn’t a good fit for your life, you can slowly step away from them. This may be difficult, as sometimes they’re very present in your life, but I think minimizing interactions is a great start. That way, it’s not some huge dramatic blowup, but rather a mature departure from the relationship. Drama can come about in ways you weren’t expecting, but it’s always best to be the bigger person! Or, if that doesn’t work, you can do as one of my duty partners did in my RA days: ignore it away!

Truly,
Callie leigh

 

 

Advertisements

Read this when… Someone Massively Disappoints You

Read This When Someone Massively Disappoints You.png

Hello, World.

A few weeks back, I published a post called, “read this when you feel like quitting.” I like the concept of “read this when…” articles, so I thought I might make a series out of them and offer my advice on pivotal moments that happen that lead to a need for encouragement. Hopefully, I can be that encouragement for you when the things that I write about happen (when you feel like quitting or when someone disappoints you).

If you read my article on dating, you know I have “unrealistic expectations” about relationships. When I was younger, and well into adulthood, people have also told me I set too high of a bar for friends and other people in my life. I’m impossible to please. I, personally, don’t think this is true, but do we ever think negative things about ourselves are true? Regardless, I do expect a certain amount of respect, understanding, compassion, and authenticity from the people in my life. If someone misses the point and allows me to second guess their intentions, their character, or their investment in our relationship, I will cut them off. Cold turkey.

This might seem harsh, and it probably is, but as I’ve gotten older, I do not stand for being made to feel silly, unimportant, or betrayed. I don’t really throw the “bully” word around with much frequency, but I didn’t have an easy childhood when it came to friends. I was consistently friends with people who made me unsure of where I stood. Would I walk into class and have my best friend smile or glare at me? Then there was the time in middle school that I got to school and no one would talk to me and no one would tell me why they weren’t talking to me. It was like the scene in Gossip Girl when Serena is trying to talk to Nate after Blair finds out about Serena and Nate’s hookup, and Nate literally refuses to acknowledge Serena. He just won’t speak or look at her. I’ve been there and it’s the worst feeling in the world. I later found out that some girl was annoyed at my friendship with her friend, so lied and told her that I had said a bunch of stuff I had never said. Classy, right?

Then came high school and friends weren’t much better there. I had a few people who I really liked, but some hurt me and I continued to be wary of trusting friends too much. Then came college and holy shit. I had female friends that were badasses who I trusted wholeheartedly and who were so positive. They also communicated with me when we did have disagreements or something happened that hurt one of us. It wasn’t me guessing what I did. Instead, my trusty friends said simply and calmly, “hey, you did a thing, it hurt me, and I want to talk about it.” So we talked about it. We apologized when we knew we should, talked about misunderstandings when they were the cause of the argument, and validated each other’s feelings. It was crazy.  I mean, who knew female friendships where you built each other up and respected each other existed? Before college, I didn’t know they did. I don’t want to glorify my college friends, but most people pale in comparison to them if I’m transparent. But what I want to talk about today is the moments when you get that call or text or cold shoulder that you don’t understand and how to handle it.

We don’t intentionally hurt people (unless you’re a psycho, in which case you have bigger problems). However, sometimes we just do. We just hurt people because of a miscommunication, misunderstanding, etc. When we’ve hurt someone, we have to be accountable for that. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, it’s a matter of recognizing you hurt someone and apologizing and trying to understand their point of view. The absolute worst thing you can do when someone expresses that you hurt them is getting defensive and saying, “I’m sorry you’re hurt.” That’s essentially the most mansplaining way of apologizing. So, what happens on the flip side? When we haven’t hurt or disappointed them but they hurt or disappointed us?

Well, let me begin that conversation by offering a little anecdote. When I was an RA, my team and I had a strategy for dealing with residents who broke the rules. Rather than say, “I’m so mad at you! How could you?!” or get really heated, we said calmly, “I’m just disappointed.” There is something in the word disappointment that hits people in the gut. Well, it hits them in the gut if they respect you enough that they don’t want to disappoint you. So, when residents acted out, we pulled that ever-present parent card of “you disappointed me.” That line elicited far more actual apologies than anger, annoyance, etc. The residents who didn’t apologize didn’t really like me, so I wasn’t surprised when they didn’t apologize or express upset at disappointing me.

In friendships, we hurt people. Friendships with no disagreement are like relationships where the couple never argues. It seems fake and unrealistic (see? I don’t think perfection is indicative of strong friendships or relationships!). When you’re friends with someone, especially for a long time, you’re probably going to have issues at some point. There are certain areas that lead to conflict in friendships: religious differences, political differences, moral differences, personality differences, the girl code, etc. I remember when Landon on Southern Charm said there was no girl code, and I disliked her even more than I already did. No wonder she doesn’t have many female friends, right? She doesn’t believe in having respect for other women’s relationships and lives. All of the differences can be mitigated. Your friend is very religious and you aren’t? Well, if religion isn’t discussed 24-7 it probably won’t be an issue, especially if you have mutual respect for each other’s beliefs. However, there are some things you just can’t come back from and that is when that gut-wrenching, head spinning feeling of disappointment washes over you.

I’ve woken up feeling hungover on more than one occasion, and not because I drank too much, but because someone I considered a friend massively disappointed me. It’s a terrible feeling, but you know what’s worse? When you bring that disappointment and hurt to their attention and they explain your feelings away. Like I said earlier, conflict in friendships should never be about who is right or who is wrong. It should be about understanding why and how the person is hurting, apologizing for causing that, and acknowledging that regardless of intention, the hurt happened. Apologizing to a friend isn’t about going through the motions. If the words, “I apologized, what more do you want?” leave your friend’s mouth when you’re hurting, take a good, long look at them, appreciate the good moments, and then walk away because they were never really your friend. Your feelings are not an inconvenience and even if they believe that your hurt is irrational, they should care enough to make it right, genuinely and fully. The ‘friend’ doesn’t get to decide whether or not she hurt you, all that she gets to decide is how to make it right and if she fails, she fails. A good friend will listen and apologize when you’re hurt. She doesn’t get the right to say what is and isn’t hurtful to a person. When a friend wrongs you, s/he loses the right to tell you s/he didn’t wrong you.

The feeling of disappointment that comes after an argument with a friend is hard to recover from and feels a bit like you’re just floating, weightless and unsure, trying to find a firm footing, but realizing the rug’s been pulled from beneath you. Trying to recover is difficult. My advice when someone massively disappoints you? Allow them a chance to explain. If they are receptive to your hurt, attempt to understand, and genuinely say you are important to them and that they will make it right, give them another chance but be cautious. If, however, they explain away your feelings, tell you or imply you’re irrational, or insist hurt is a matter of right and wrong, you have the answer you needed and that answer is that your life will be better, healthier, and more positive without their influence. Again, it can be a very difficult battle to fight the urge to let someone like that back in because you — at one point — thought they were important. I’m here to tell you, they are not. In ten years, you’ll be happy you let them go now. This is an active step, which helps you lead a more active life.

How did you deal with a friend disappointing you?

For more on toxic friends, see here.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Celebrating Without Gloating: Thoughts on If It’s Possible & How to Celebrate Your Successes

Celebrating Without Gloating- Is it possible-.png

Hello, World.

Have you ever had a friend who constantly gloated? Have you ever been that friend? People often get annoyed when people celebrate their own successes, and it’s a fine line between celebrating our triumphs and being the “gloating” friend who stops being invited to things because she’s too self-involved. I’m of the belief that women should support women. We should champion our friends and encourage their dreams. We should be happy for them when things work out and celebrate when they take a major step in their careers. However, there does seem to be an unspoken rule about the line that separates celebrating and gloating. When does a friend relishing her own success turn into gloating? I’m here to share my thoughts on the topic and offer a little advice on how to celebrate yourself without coming off as self-involved or narcissistic.

To begin this discussion, I think it’s important for me to acknowledge the first time I thought, “ugh, how many more times do I have to tell her congratulations before I can stop hearing about this?” I will say this didn’t happen in high school. Sure, I had friends who were a little conceited, but I was usually happy for them and I never felt annoyed by their comments about their own successes. However, in college, I did have a friend who was constantly making comments about how smart she was how she did this well or that, etc. Again, most of the time it rolled off my back and I just nodded, internally rolling my eyes but thinking that eventually, the self-centered comments would subside. In law school, I’ve noticed that being happy for other people is limited. Law school, for better or worse, is a competition ring. Sure, higher education doesn’t have the same formalities as the Roman Gladiators, but there is a constant undercurrent of competition. Suddenly, someone has a great first semester, and there’s a quiet, steady rumbling of dislike directed their way. Or, the guy that sits next to you is constantly asking you and those around him to stroke his ego (that’s not a euphemism, some people really just need positive reinforcement).

However, there are other people who do well and succeed and we applaud them without hesitation. This double standard, where we eye roll and ask “when will it stop?” about one person’s success but congratulate and admire another’s – I’m not sure what the root of the inconsistency is, but I have a strong feeling it has to do with the person’s actions. How someone handles their individual success is informative for how those around them will respond. As soon as someone begins saying, “I mean, I got all A’s. It’s not that hard,” you can cue the collective eye roll of their peers. If someone doesn’t say a word, but suddenly graduates Order of the Coif, we’re all thinking, “she’s humble. Hell yeah! Congratulations.” When we hear, “I got another interview, ugh,” those students who haven’t gotten one are going to feel resentment. The actual person the resentment is aimed at doesn’t matter much. The fact of the matter is this: people feel annoyed with people they feel are purposely bringing up their successes purely so they can talk about them. Therefore, whether you get the eye roll or the praise boils down to how others perceive your intentions.

If people perceive you as arrogant, you get the eye roll. If people perceive you as humble, you get the praise. If people perceive you as a know-it-all, you get the eye roll. If people perceive you as genuine, you get the praise.

However, how you’re perceived probably had a lot to do with the insecurities of the other person. In all honesty, I believe that people perceive someone as more arrogant when they are insecure about something. For example, if someone is upset that they’re not doing as well, they may take someone’s comments about their own successes far more personally than if both people were confident in what they’re doing. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some people who are just flat out arrogant a**holes. The type is easily recognizable. Look for the person who doesn’t have many friends, who people who hardly know they person refer to in a distasteful manner, and who pursues other people’s dream just to prove they can do it even if it means nothing to the person. That is the person who will, no matter what, get the eye roll. However, sometimes well intentioned people get placed in an arrogant box. This is rare, but it does happen. When this happens, I attribute the placement to the fact that whoever perceived them as arrogant, gloat-y, etc., may have just taken their actions a little more personally than necessary.

So, if you want to celebrate your successes, tell your support group the exciting news, get dinner or drinks, relish the moment, then keep it to yourself. Write in your diary. Go for a drive where you blast your favorite song and sing your praises. Then let it go. While it may suck that people may not be super happy for you for an extended amount of time, the chances of being classified as arrogant will likely decrease. Also, those who truly matter will continue to be happy for you. Those who believe you shouldn’t be allowed to express your excitement about your successes are probably temporary.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Are the Bad Boy and the Bad Friend Really Different?

If a friend treats your with the same tenderness they'd treat gum on their shoe, they may not be your friend..png

Hello, World.

I was in the fourth grade the first time I was friends with someone who consistently hurt my feelings. This may not seem unusual, I mean fourth graders can be pretty rude little creatures. The thought of my precious niece having to deal with “mean girls” in elementary and middle school makes me physically sick. I dealt with mean girls from a pretty young age. I used to think something was wrong with me. I used to think it was always my fault that something was going wrong with friends. Then I realized that kids change their opinions on literally everything so frequently, it’s hard to know if changing their mind about friendship is personal or not. However, when you’re a fourth grade girl who hangs out with her best friend one night after school, getting stomach cramps from laughing so hard, only to walk into class the next day and have her glare at you and ignore every attempt to talk to her, it’s hard to see that behavior as anything but personal.

Fourth grade and my twenties aren’t that different when it comes to friendships in all honesty. People say romantic relationships are riskier than friendships… I disagree. I personally invest far more of myself into a friendship than I do a relationship. Maybe this will change, but when I make friends, I want to be friends with the person for a long time. Also, I think it’s easier to feel less afraid of a friend hurting you than a potential suitor. How many of us go into friendships with the same guards up as we do when we’re dating someone new? We aren’t as guarded because we haven’t necessarily been scorned the same way by our friends. Sure, friends have falling outs as the years go by, but friends drifting apart is natural. It’s something that people typically don’t bat an eye at in life. Oh, you grew apart from so and so? Ms. Whatshername stopped calling after moving to a new place? That’s just part of life! I once wrote an open letter to the friends I’d fallen out of touch with, and I think falling out of touch is healthy sometimes and it really is normal. As frustrating as it can be, sometimes life just takes people different places and you’re no longer speaking the same language.

However, sometimes we don’t drift apart from people, even when we should. Some friendships seem great on the surface but are actually terrible for us. Why is it that we can recognize a bad boy a mile away, and know immediately the boy is bad for us, but when a bad friend is staring us down, we pretend like the boy and the friend are not made of the same cloth? We’ve grown up hearing about the exception to the rule in men. The Mr. Darcy versus the Mr. Mayer. There is a nice guy out there, just waiting to be found. Yet we don’t have the same scrutiny when it comes to friends. We accept friends like free samples handed out in the mall. We meet new people, find a common interest and bam! We’re friends. There’s so much less fear, no endless moments of thinking, “am I doing this right?” I’ve had a lot of unhealthy friendships in my life. In fact, those mornings in fourth grade made me scared that I was going to walk up to my friends one day and have them not like me, partly because the pattern that started in fourth grade was repeated in eighth grade and sophomore year of high school, until one day I decided to just stop trying to be friends with people who couldn’t decide if I was worthy of their friendship. If they couldn’t decide, they didn’t deserve my friendship. However, when I got to college, I encountered a group of people who were constantly rude to me for no apparent reason. My fourth-grade insecurities came to a head, and I ended up ugly crying in my towel to a friend. That’s when I made the decision final: if someone was going to treat me with the same amount of concern they would treat gum stuck to the bottom of their shoe, they didn’t need to be my friend.

Toxic friendships are hard to spot. They come in all different forms, some friends are passive aggressive, some are aggressive, some are so hot and cold the constant fluctuations give you whiplash. The first time I saw a toxic friendship play out in a big way was in the movie Something Borrowed (book and movie). Ironically, my oldest friend and I joke that we are similar to Darcy and Rachel, but not because of the toxicity of their friendship. We’re just opposites who happen to be best friends [the similarities stop there, though. Trust me.]. Anyway, Darcy and Rachel seem to be best friends on the surface, but the deeper you dig, the more you realize the friendship is incredibly draining and Darcy is consistently acting in such a way as to belittle Rachel. Though they seem like such great friends, the friendship is killing Rachel. No friend should belittle you. I had a law school friend who I talked to a ton first semester but took a step back from the second semester. The perception of myself as a law student, without their influence, was a stark contrast. I no longer felt like I was doing something wrong for not getting something immediately. I don’t want to go too far into it, but let’s just say I realized, with some distance between us, that their small comments were actually contributing heavily to my self-doubt and feelings of incompetence.

I’d like to conclude with this: you may not recognize a bad friend with the immediacy you would recognize a bad boy, but you should develop enough confidence in yourself to know that if someone is making you feel less than or inadequate or like they’re doing you a favor by being your friend, you’re most likely better without them.

tumblr_oil2n7EPSV1siu46ro1_500

Have you ever had a toxic friend? How did you know? What did you do to change the situation?

Truly,
Callie leigh

An Open Letter to the Friends I No Longer Talk To

Hello, World.

Today I want to talk about friendship, but not the positive, building each other up, being there always friendships. Instead, I want to focus on the friendships we lost. A lost friendship can take on many forms. Sometimes we just lose each other because our interests become so divergent we sit in awkward silence at every meet up, and sometimes we lose friendships because people can only have so many friends at a time, and sometimes we lose friendships for seemingly unexplained reasons, which are the losses that hurt and confuse the most. There area lot of things I could say to people I fell out of touch with, but to sum it up quickly: I mainly say “I hope you’re getting everything you wanted out of life, and I hope you’re living your life fully, and I hope the world treats you kindly.” But today, I want to address those friendships that I lost for apparently no reason, the people who stopped calling, despite desperate attempts to pretend like life just got too busy and it wasn’t personal. Let me tell you: it felt personal. It felt like you just stopped caring, and I was easily replaceable in your life, and also, it’s extremely obvious when you’ve been talking shit but don’t want to act like you have. There are some friendships that stand the test of time. I have two friends that I still try to talk to regularly from high school. We’ve lived different lifestyles, we’ve changed a ton over the college years, and yet, when we get together there is nothing but love and appreciation for what the other person is doing. Those are my personal friendship goals: to stay immensely interested in the people I care about, and tell them I care about them, even if our lives are in slightly different places.

tumblr_muq8gqtnle1ry50ioo1_500.jpg

To use a pop culture example, Serena Van Der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf declared war against each other more times than I can count in the six years that Gossip Girl was on the air, and yet when one of them needed something, the other ran to their rescue. They knew that friendship, and friends who are like family, are the most important thing. They never let their differences divide them, and they never let a little time or hectic-ness kill their friendship. They made a point to be in each other’s lives. Let me repeat: they made a point to be in each other’s lives! Even when they couldn’t relate perfectly, or were doing different things, or were making poor decisions, they remained there for each other. Damn. I don’t know many people like that. I applaud this fictitious friendship, even if it had unhealthy moments. I think one thing that made their unhealthy moments redeeming was their ability to communicate and call each other out.  The more you can openly communicate hurt, frustration, or outright irritation with a friend, the better. Anyway, let’s get back to what I would say to those people I miss, but have somehow lost along the way. tumblr_o7fvdigwsw1uazrj9o1_500

Here’s to those friends I want to call, but don’t know if it’s worth it:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that we both made less and less effort. I’m sorry for the times you tried, and I was awkward because I was hurt and frustrated, but didn’t feel like you’d hear me if I tried to explain. I’m also sorry it became so painfully obvious to everyone around us that there was a wedge between us. When I’m hurting, it’s easier to listen to the friends that are there for me, and they were all reiterating what I was already feeling, which is that you stopped trying to be my friend, and had clearly replaced me. When we were in public, and you just walked past me, that’s the first time I felt a serious sting. Sure, there had been moments when I felt weird around you, but I hadn’t flat out felt like I’d been unknowingly kicked out of your inner circle until I was standing there, and you just walked past without so much as a hello. I tried for months to blame someone other than you or I, but that soon failed because the more we interacted, the more I realized it wasn’t our busy schedules or living apart or anything but the mere fact that you’d found other people for your circle, and as a result there wasn’t room for me anymore. I’m sorry that I texted you for multiple months straight, only for a majority of texts to go unanswered. I also felt a little [read: a lot] unwanted or excluded when you repeatedly used terminology meant to imply a group I wasn’t a part of.

I felt hurt and annoyed when I asked you almost daily for almost a month to hangout and the response was that you had to touch base with your other friends, like hello am I not fun enough? I also just want to say that when I see you in public with our mutual friends, and they act weird, it feels like there are [negative] things being said when I’m not there. Also, I was friends long enough to know this assumption of shit talking wouldn’t be unfounded. I also knew we weren’t really friends anymore when I stopped knowing the big things going on in your life, and you never asked about mine. We may have been dealing with different stuff, but the fact that you stopped being there for me in most ways, signaled to me you didn’t care if we were friends or not. Casually mentioning you miss me and we should hang out doesn’t cut it when I openly expressed to you months prior that we were drifting apart and it felt crappy. I hate cliques, and I don’t like terminology that implies cliques. If you want a clique, more power to you, but I’ll go ahead and bow out of it. I want to reach out to you, ask where we went wrong, but I already know it’s pointless. You’ll point to reasons like “busy lives,” “work,” and when I acknowledge your friendships with your roommates didn’t change at all you’ll say, “I wouldn’t see these people if I didn’t live with them,” which in my opinion is a lame excuse.

I have friends I didn’t live with that I remained as close to or got closer to. For the record, once you get out of college, you probably won’t live with those people anyway. I think the biggest reason I’m sad is that we had some really good times together, and I really enjoyed your company, and  felt like we would be friends for the long haul, and then all the sudden everyone and their mother seemed to interest you more than me. I’m sorry if I offended you when I said certain things, but you offended me when you cut me out of your life without a care in the world when I didn’t do anything. Though I suppose I wouldn’t know if I did, since you didn’t let me know, which you could have since we were close. I’m sorry if I was boring or not interesting enough, but we used to always have fun together. I was the person you called when your other friends were annoying. I don’t know when I stopped being that person.

I wish you nothing but the best, and I wish we still talked, but I also now understand why you lost certain friends throughout the years.Yes, I have high standards for my friends, but I feel like if you cared enough, you would have risen to those standards. Also, next time we’re at an event, and you can’t find the people you came with, don’t come to me and expect me to act like you’re not with me because your first option isn’t in sight. Either be all in or all out. I’m tired of pretending we’re still friends when you are so clearly checked out when it’s not a situation where I’m the only person around. People change, maybe we changed, but I think if our friendship mattered, we both would have fought harder to keep it. I wish one of us would have had the guts to address the distance between us, and not just cover it with fake niceties. I don’t really know what else to say other than I miss you, and I hope you have a great life, and maybe one day we’ll talk, and it’ll be easy like it used to be.

If you could say something to a friend you’ve lost, what would it be?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

Hello, World.

Sometimes you just need a whole day to be with your friends and relax and not think about all the impending checklists coming your way. For me, that day was a few Saturdays ago when I went wine tasting in Napa Valley with some of my close friend! We met through being RAs together, but over the last year and three quarters, we’ve become great friends! There is something to be said for bonding with fellow RAs. Being an RA is difficult, and it’s hard to fully explain why unless someone is held the position, so we really bond over our work life. Anyway, Megan (Who is wearing the Hunter boots in the photo below) is from Napa, and we’ve been talking about wine tasting there for months. Being RAs, we have to plan everything, so we all sat down at the beginning of March, and picked a weekend that worked for all of us! April 9th was the only weekend we all had free, so that’s when we went, and even though it was raining, we still had the BEST time.

IMG_3427.JPGIMG_3404.JPGIMG_3366.JPGIMG_3390.JPGIMG_3361.JPGIMG_3386.JPGIMG_3367.JPGIMG_3428.JPGIMG_3417.JPGIMG_3420.JPGIMG_3422.JPGIMG_3423.JPG

We went to 3 wineries: Grgich, Mondavi, and Beringer Vineyards. At Grgich we tasted their simplest flight, which had a chardonnay, sav blanc, merlot, and cabernet sav. I really liked the sav blanc and merlot! At Mondavi we each bought a glass of wine, with two of us getting chardonnay and two of us getting sav blanc (my go-to!). It was nice to just sit and drink a glass of wine and hangout and talk without feeling the pressure of responsibilities. Megan’s mom was so sweet and volunteered to be our DD, and she drove us around and took photos. Following Mondavi, we went to Gillwoods Cafe, which was SO good. We got breakfast, even though it was 2pm, but it was good to eat a little after wine tasting for a while. To end our official wine tasting, we went to Beringer Vineyards, which had a great flight of several wines. We were able to take our glasses and walk around. The winery was beautiful (even in the rain!). We all laughed and chatted and Megan’s mom was nice enough to take tons of photos of us! We were all joking that we should have just done our senior pictures that day. After Beringer, we wanted something sweet, so of course we went to Bouchon. Because Megan and her Mom are Napa residents, with Napa IDs, we were able to use the Napa Neighbors deal, and all of our tastings were free!

IMG_3374.JPG

Bouchon Bakery has such great sweet treats and great coffee! I’m obsessed. My favorite thing? Macarons. They have divine, large macarons. I bought five (insert see no evil emoji) to consume over the coming week, which was already looking stressful. I also got a Forget About It (they have a cuter spelling for it, but I can’t totally remember it). The thing is life changing. Let me just explain: it’s a rice krispie, with a layer of caramel, dipped in milk chocolate, with sea salt on top. I know, you’re probably thinking, stopppp. Well, if you’re near a Bouchon and need a little pick me up or just a treat, I totally suggest getting it.

The day was pure bliss, and I’m so thankful for the lovely company, and so grateful that Megan’s mom was willing to drive us around! It’s days like this that I will cherish long after my time at Saint Mary’s College ends. I’m incredibly blessed with amazing peers and friends and I can’t wait to end the year strong with them in the next month!

What’s something you’ve done recently? Have you been to Napa and have recommendations for my next trip?

Truly,
Callie Leigh

As a general disclaimer, everyone in the photos gave me verbal approval for the photos to be posted on this platform, and we are all of age, drinking responsibly, and had a DD. Just in case anyone is concerned!

Brunchin’

Hello, World.

Today is the last Sunday of January Term, which means a lot of SMC students are either recovering from a long weekend of celebrating, preparing to board a flight from Europe or Asia, or are simply enjoying the last Sunday of being as stress free as possible before another grueling semester begins. As for me? I spent most of today sleeping, lounging, and then brunching. Three of my friends and I went to this adorable little breakfast and lunch place in Lafayette called Millie’s. It is hands down one of the best brunch places in town. They also have great coffee, so I of course drank it.

I keep trying to start a brunch tradition with my friends because brunch is probably my favorite meal of the day, and I think it’s fun to take a little time each Sunday to hangout with friends and enjoy yourself. Far too many Sundays in college are spent enclosed in your dorm room with a pile of books, espresso, and tears. There is something about brunch that I just love. I’m not a huge lunch eater, so I prefer dinner or breakfast, but brunch is divine because you can get a big helping of some delicious meal, and not have to eat lunch!
IMG_4930
Brunch is a great time to spend chatting with friends, reading the morning paper (if you’re alone), enjoying a steaming cup of coffee, and, most importantly, enjoying great food! There are a lot of great brunch places where I go to school, which is awesome because the place we go can change weekly. It’s also nice because we can try lots of different things, and find out which brunch meal is our favorite!

A lot of people have their favorite meal, and I used to think mine was dinner, but as I get older, I’m realizing brunch is truly my favorite. As I’ve become a bigger coffee drinker, and started liking eggs and such more, brunch is something I crave. No matter what I have for brunch, whether it’s Eggs Benedict, a scramble, or oatmeal, I’m always satisfied. So, I challenge you to get a group together, and go to brunch next Sunday! Just enjoy each others company, good coffee, and delicious food!

What’s you favorite meal of the day?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Tea Talk: Long Distance Relationships (friends edition)

Image

Hello, World.

Remember last summer when I wrote a post about long distance relationships? Well, things have changed since then. Almost every couple I wrote about broke up because the distance got to be too much, and people that were close to one of the people in the couple got too intriguing to ignore. It turns out, long distance relationships are harder than I thought. They usually involve a series of quietness, when people are beginning to understand the relationship is hitting a wall, and it continues until the fateful phone call or encounter that ends it all. So, in light of this discovery, I decided to write a post about long distance relationships with FRIENDS. As a college student, I am cursed with spending nine months with my close friends, then having to go home and not see them very much for three months. People can change so much in three short months, but friends are really good at staying close despite the distance.

Friends, and I mean true friends, are able to go months without speaking, and as soon as they’re reunited, they pick up as if no time passed. I realize this sounds cliche, but in all honesty, it is one of the biggest truths I’ve learned in my experience thus far. One of my closest friends from home, Rossy, is the friend who constantly checks in with me to make sure I’m surviving, and she bugs me about when I will be home next (which I greatly appreciate). I love friends who keep in touch, and I’m not so hot on friends that, well, don’t. This year is fairly easy as far as staying in contact with my friends because all but roughly three of them live within walking distance of my residence hall. Next year, however, will be a bit of a difficulty for various reasons.

First, I will be a Resident Advisor on campus, which is time-consuming, and means I will be living in a first year residence hall. I am so excited to hold the position, and I feel so blessed with the opportunity. This position simply means my friends will be a little farther away than normal, though I go to such a small school its not a big deal. Anyway, I will be busier next year, and  I want to make sure I am maintaining my friendships while being the best RA possible.

Second, my best friend on campus, Holly, will be studying abroad in London during Fall Semester, which is completely awesome, but means there will be an ocean between us. In this regard, I have to make sure facetime is always working, and that the art of letter writing is picked back up because I want to make sure we are staying in consistent contact. I’m not sure how it’s going to be not living with her anymore, but I’m excited for her study abroad experience.

Third, a few of my friends are moving off campus, which will signify the first time any of my friends aren’t living on campus with me. It’ll be an interesting adjustment, but I plan to make sure I still go on coffee runs with them between class, or invite them over for dinner on nights I’m not on duty as an RA.

Most people don’t have to figure out how to actively maintain friendships until graduation, when you will not be physically with your friends for extended periods of time. My friends and I have to figure it out halfway through our college career. It is an interesting adjustment, but my roommate and I keep discussing it, and we believe it’ll be the time when we really figure out which bonds are worth working for. I love my friends, but busy schedules and distance can test people more than any written exam in a classroom. I want to make sure I am keeping in contact with them, and hanging with them whenever possible.

I feel long distance friendships are 100 times easier than long distance relationships, but I think both take work on the parts of both people. Friends who truly care about one another never stop putting the work in because the bond is slightly stronger than being in a relationship, or maybe there is just less pressure, I’m not sure. Regardless, friendships are important, and friends make people happiest, so in the next year I want to make sure that distance makes the heart grow fonder! Keep in mind that once college ends, people are going to be leaving for jobs, graduate school, programs, etc., and you want to make sure your bonds are strong enough to withstand the distance. With the amount of technology permeating today’s society there are really no excuses for NOT keeping in contact with the people who are important to you.

“True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.” -anonymous

Truly,
Callie Leigh

September Recap

Hello, World.

Today is the first day of my favorite month of the year: October. October brings pumpkins, Halloween, horror films, candy, orange leaves, sweaters, boots, and scarves. Basically, I love everything about October. But, September treated me pretty well this year, and I thought I would share a few of my favorite moments from the past month!
Image
When I went to Peets at the beginning of September and realized their pumpkin chai lattes were back, I almost cried I was so happy. Pumpkin is the ultimate representation of autumn for me, and when I get to go have coffee with my favorite people, and just talk about life over a warm beverage, I am seriously one of the happiest people ever.
Image
I hiked to the cross on campus with a new friend, and had such a beautiful view of campus and the sunset.
Image
I found a really cute little reading spot for in the morning before my Bible class. I love the sound of water, and reading near this fountain is so relaxing. Not to mention I think campus is absolutely beautiful early in the morning.
Image
Starbucks date with two of my good friends, Ashley and Andee. I think I drink too many coffees, but what the hell, I like my chai lattes and talking to my friends. I have a lot to say, apparently.
Image
I got a letter from my friend, Kyle. Luckily he’s understanding of my ridiculously poor skills at responding to letters because otherwise I would never get mail. But I adored getting a handwritten letter, showing me he cared. I’m working on a response, and hopefully I can get it in the mail before October passes.
Image
I finally purchased Elsie and Emma’s photo idea book! I am thrilled, and cannot wait to try some of the photo challenges and whatnot. Both Elsie and Emma are so talented, and I am excited to read their first book!
Overall, September was a great month. I had so many beautiful moments, and I wish I could include all of them. September was a month of change for me, getting used to things that were different, getting used to a new class schedule, new professors, and new friends. Sometimes I wake up and can’t help but think, how the hell did I get to this point? So much changed in such a short time, but to be perfectly honest, I’m the happiest I’ve felt in a long time. I love everyone in my life with all my heart, and I love who I am at this point in my life. When September started, I felt detached, and like a part of me was missing, but luckily I located the missing piece, and even tweaked some things I didn’t like, and now I always feel content. I’m not a fan of unnecessary drama, and I’m so thankful I can trust and love everyone in my life unconditionally each and every day.
Truly,
Callie Leigh

The Color of Friendship.

Image

Hello, World.

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately. When it comes to friendship, I consider myself to be a bit of a chameleon, meaning that I can usually get along with most people. I rarely dislike people, and I try my best to avoid conflict. Friendship can be hard though, because being a chameleon has advantages and disadvantages. Despite the fact that I get along with a lot of people, I’ve always been someone who has very few close friends that I spend a majority with my time with versus a ton of people I hangout with. Maybe because I’m an introvert I have  hard time really connecting with friends.

In my lifetime, I can count on two hands the people I felt I truly clicked with, and whose friendship and opinion I really value. Something one of my best friends and I have in common is that we often have fallings out with friends, and this can be really upsetting. When your friends with someone you invest so much time getting to know them, sharing your life with them, sharing memories, and then suddenly, something shifts and you look at the person and can’t help but think of the quote, “we’re not friends. We’re strangers with memories.” Losing friends is one of the most depressing things, and although my mom tries to cheer me up by saying that if you lose a friend over something other than murder, significant other stealing, or lying about something huge (i.e., I’m actually a con artist who is only friends with you to steal all your money), they weren’t really your friend to begin with. But regardless, it’s hard to accept someone vanishing from your life.

When I entered college, my Resident Advisor was a girl named Charlotte, and she was the sweetest, kindest person. She offered a lot of people similar advice about college friendships, especially during freshman year, and it went something like “you may think you really know someone because you’re spending so much time with them. But usually around January or a little later secrets can come out, and it’s either exactly as you thought or different.” This advice was welcomed, but to be honest, I kind of took it and then didn’t really pay attention. But then, as the year went on, I noticed friendships changing. Friendships where people were inseparable suddenly became separable and then some. There were times when people disliked each other suddenly started getting along. And friendships where you loved the person’s company at the beginning of the year, but then it suddenly felt like spending time with a stranger.

I’m not saying all friendships change, but people do, and that little fact changes everything. Friendship, true friendship, should be judgment-less, and each person should always want to hear about the other person’s life without trying to knock their spirit, or make some rude comment. Friendships are not something that should be superficial.

Friendships that have jealousy or hard feelings cannot be everlasting friendships. Trust me. And friendships should be natural, always. My best friend is someone I only see once in a while, and although we don’t hangout every minute of every day whenever we do see each other it’s like no time has passed, and we never have this awkward tension that I felt in other past friendships. She is always happy for me, and always has my back, which is something I both appreciate and love about her. I saw a quote once that I adored, and it said, “Friendship isn’t about being inseparable. True friendship is being separated and nothing changes.” This, my friends, is what I think is the mark of friendship. If you spend a little time away from someone, and when you try to hangout again they seem mad at you, irritated, or act like you’ve changed, maybe it’s time to revaluate why your friendship feels that way.

In my personal opinion, friendships that lack the natural, loving, open feel should be cut off. When do you cut off a friendship? When you lose all hope that the person you became friends with is the person you’re currently friends with. Or when life happens and two people change and go in two very different directions. Now, I’m not saying that friendships can only happen if two people never change or grow, but a true friendship allows the person to grow, doesn’t ridicule the changes, and doesn’t feel weird around the person because they’ve changed. Change is inevitable, part of life, and so it shouldn’t be something that is absent from friendship. However, you sure as hell better bet that if someone starts doing something I don’t do and they make me feel guilty, alienated, or unwanted because I’m not “cool” like them, they won’t be on my friend list for very long (and I don’t mean my Facebook friend list, although I have been known to delete people when they irritate me. I’m human?). Friendship gets people through life. It is a form of comfort, assurance, love, and happiness. We want friendships that will last, and we want friends who love us for who we are, who we will become, and who are willing to stand by us through every hurdle we face in this life. But something that should constantly be a little gem in the back of your mind is that it goes both ways.

In order to have friends, you have to be a friend. I’m not a perfect friend by any means, but I try to get as close as I can. I’ve recognized that some friendships are pointless, which explains why some people aren’t in my life anymore, but I’ve also failed to try with some friendships and lost people I wish I could still call on some days and just talk to. The important thing is that you recognize which friendships can be let go with nothing lost, which friendships you should work at, and which friendships will remain steadfast through everything. Another thing that makes a strong friendship is commonality. I think in many cases, opposites can attract, but in order for friendship to last I think two people should have similar moral codes. I think morality is where the basis for friendship lies, and although it may be overlooked for a while, in order for a friendship to get past the initial, getting-to-know each other stage, each person should have a similar sense of morality.

We could discuss friendship from now until the end of the world, but everyone is going to have some input on what makes friendships last, and what makes a good friend. For me, there are ways of recognizing a true friend, and those are: time doesn’t change the friendship, there isn’t jealousy or competition, each person loves hearing about the other person’s life, honesty with one another, and acceptance of differences. There are also, I’ve noticed over the years, ways of realizing which friends aren’t your friends and those are: jealousy, one friend has no desire to hear about the other, dishonesty, lying, getting really distant and angry when one of the friends brings someone into their life that the other doesn’t like (or boyfriends/girlfriends), and time does change something.

Your thoughts on friendship?

Truly,

Callie Leigh