Stylish Academic’s Guide to Avoiding Drama in College

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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!

Callie leigh




Stationery and Coffee

Hello, World.

Do you ever wonder what happened to the art of writing? So many people prefer texting, facetiming, or simply liking a status in order to keep in touch. One of my favorite things is receiving a hand-written letter. There is something so personal, genuine, and loving about someone taking time out of their day to send me a sweet handwritten note. I’m hoping to spend more time in the next few months taking time to send various people in my life sweet little notes. One thing that makes sending notes easier? Cute stationery! I wanted to share some of my current favorite sets.
Kate Spade // Linda & Harriett // Lime Green Rhinestones
I really, really love stationery. Something that make writing letters easier? Good coffee. I kind of have a mug problem. I buy too many mugs, and I have too many travel cups. I just really love mugs. Recently I discovered The Trendy Sparrow etsy shop, and I’m totally hooked. The mugs and travel mugs are so great!
il_570xN.670532191_lokpil_570xN.718395041_70ddil_570xN.711052162_9u40Any brand that carries items with Gossip Girl references or Gilmore Girls references is simply the best brand. Also, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I typically hashtag photos #buildingmyempire. I am having a major internal debate about whether or not to add this mug to my collection. I recently ordered the travel mug edition of the Gilmore cup. I’m IN LOVE with it!

What are you favorite things right now?

Callie leigh

To-Do List: Summer Edition

Hello, World.

As I’ve alluded to many times on this blog, last summer was awful. It was probably one of the worst summers I’ve ever had, and in part it is because of things that were out of my control. I started this blog, which was awesome and put my time to effective use, but I also was far away from many people, my dad was in and out of the hospital, and I really missed being at school. This summer, however, I’m taking my life back, and I’m making things happen. I’m not letting anything or anyone get in the way of what I want to do this summer. I want to actually look back on summer come August, and feel like I did something other than wait around for nothing. So, I’ve complied a summer to-do list and I thought I’d share because I make too many lists, but I was hoping that maybe some of you have summer lists as well.


I didn’t want to make a list that was way too long, and impossible to get through, but I wanted to set enough goals that I felt challenged throughout summer. So here we go:

1) Redesign blog, post consistently, and make friends in the blog community! Also, complete the Blog Life e-course by Elsie and Emma from A Beautiful Mess.
2) Go to the beach as much as possible, which includes swimming, tanning (if I can?), and playing beach volleyball.
3) Get an internship, and learn as much as I can from it.
4) Read 13 novels (originally 12, but I have to read one for my job in the fall).
5) Write the novel I’ve been talking about for a year.
6) Go on a walk or run every day. Being fit makes almost everyone feel better.
7) Go on Barnes and Noble/ T. Bar dates with my mom.
8) Hangout with friends more. I have the tendency to spend a lot of time with my family during the summer because I miss them so much during the school year, but I want to start hanging out with my friends from home more!
9) Visit my friends from school! (Especially because my best friend, Holly, is studying abroad in the fall).
10) Complete on creative project a month. First up? My sophomore year scrapbook.
11) Learn more about photography, and improve my skills.
12) Try something completely outside my comfort zone.
13) Help my sister finish her first house’s remodel project. Also, once finished go there once a week to hangout with her, her boyfriend, and their animals.
14) Write handwritten letters to my friends. I feel like this is a lost art that I would like to pick back up. I love receiving handwritten letters, but during the school year I am horrible at responding to them because I get so busy.
15) Have no regrets. This one is probably the biggest goal for summer 2014 since summer 2013 is riddled with them.

What are you hoping to accomplish this summer?

Callie Leigh

Bohemian Prep?

Hello, World.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my friends and I went shopping this weekend to get some new spring clothes, and just look around. While shopping, I told one of my friends that I have this internal struggle with either having really preppy style or totally bohemian, hippie style. She shared my struggle, and it got me thinking… is there such thing as bohemian prep? Does a style like this exist? Is it possible to love the tailored, clean lines of Audrey Hepburn’s era, but also adore Kate Moss? I love fashion, but sometimes I feel like style can be treated like genres, and you must fit within a certain box, or you confuse your peers. Now that I’m thinking about it, my music taste shares this struggle where I like a ton of different genres…maybe I’m just a constant confusion? I don’t know, but what I do know is that if you look at my Pinterest Board, Fashionista, you’ll realize why I feel confused by my clothing habits. My closet is filled with tailored shirts, clean line dresses, but also has a ton of oversized sweaters and tribal print. Below are some outfits I absolutely adore:

I’m a sucker for the preppy look. I love collared shirts and bean boots, and monogrammed necklaces, and perfect layers. Image

I love my Hunter rain boots, and I love skinny jeans of a medium wash, and I love plaid scarves. I love it all. I also have yet to figure out how to properly do a sock bun, but I want to learn because I like the look. Image
Also, nautical fever? I have it. Red, white, and blue anything. Actually, my sister always teases me that I’m too patriotic because my closet is 80% navy, red, or white hues. But seriously, Blair Waldorf is amazing in this sailor-inspired dress. Image
I love oversized sweaters and chunky scarves, and ankle boots, and scrunchy socks. My hippie side is rather tame, but I feel like I still have the tendency to buy a lot of “hippie” or “Free People-esqe” clothing. I also love colored pants in deep, warm tones. I feel like preppy clothing tends to be very bright and in your face, which I love, but I also admire the warm, earthy tones in my closet.
I love layering, but I also love the “comfy” look that is in the two outfits above. They feel effortless, yet still fashionable. Also, ultra preppy outfits are hard to accomplish if you can’t layer much, you don’t feel like wearing much jewelry, or you can’t wear a blazer or vest because the weather does not permit. As an English major, I feel super cliche when I dress on the more “hipster” side, but I feel like there is a level of creativity and calmness that is ingrained in this style.
Can we just take a moment to admire the lace top, cuffed jeans, and ankle boot look? I love it, and even though its getting warmer lately, I would love to create an outfit similar to this next fall. When it gets colder, this kind of outfit holds so much comfort.

If I had to choose the perfect style combination I would choose to cross Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl, and Aria Montogomery and Spencer Hastings from Pretty Little Liars. In most of the episodes of these shows, I always identify with both character’s outfits, and try to model my looks after a hybrid of the two. We all struggle to find our personal style, but I think we have the tendency to find someone (a TV show character, an actress, a writer, a celebrity), and try to be similar to him or her. If I could have my pinterest closet, my style would be much more effortless. I guess what I’m saying is, don’t be afraid to mix styles. In fact, try to combine all the different styles you love together. Be happy with your style, and be happy with who you are. I believe fashion and style is an extension of the self, and says a lot about who you are. I saw a quote the other day that said, “who cares about the rules. If you like it, wear it.” That’s something I need to start reminding myself! So, join me on my journey as I create my very own “bohemian prep” style!

Callie leigh