DITL: Senior in College

7:40am: Most weekdays, I wake up sometime between 7am and 7:40am. Today, I was able to sleep in until the latter time because it’s Thursday and my internship doesn’t start until 10am. The first thing I do when I wake up is shut my window, because I usually prefer to sleep with it open (until I wake up freezing!). Then, I get up, wash my face, brush my teeth, and do all those general hygiene things. Because I shower at night, I don’t have to spend time on that in the morning.

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That early-morning train life.

Surprisingly, I am able to get up relatively quickly without feeling groggy or tired. This is probably because I used to suffer from severe insomnia, and now that I’m getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night, my body is SO happy to get up in the morning feeling rested and grateful. Anyway, after I get dressed and do all my bathroom stuff, I will usually put on a quick face of makeup. I love making time to put on a full face of makeup in the morning, because it really feels like “me time” and it helps me to relax. This morning, I listened to “The Vanished” podcast while I got ready.

8:40am: A little before 9am, I walk to my college’s closest shuttle stop so I can get to the train station for work. The train isn’t too far from my dorm, but while the weather is still cold and slushy, I definitely prefer to take the shuttle instead of taking the walk. I haven’t eaten breakfast yet because I’m not really hungry when I first wake up, so I had some orange juice instead while I waited for the train. My train commute is about 30 minutes or so, and then I walk an additional 15 minutes to get to my work.

9:45am: I usually get to work about fifteen minutes before my shift starts so I can make myself a cup of coffee and wake up slowly for the day. As many of you probably know, I prefer to drink my coffee hot and black, and I also had a CLIF bar for breakfast. Now that I’m settled into work, I’m ready for all of the meetings, marketing projects, and writing assignments coming my way!

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1:00pm: I have my lunch break at 1pm. Because I work in a building that is also a school, we get free lunch every day at the cafeteria! Today I’m eating sesame tofu, mixed grilled veggies, and raw broccoli for lunch. Raw broccoli is my favorite vegetable, so I tend to eat it A LOT throughout the week. I had a great conversation with my co-workers about queer theory as well, so that was really awesome. 

4:00pm: I wrap up my work for the day at 4:00pm on the dot, so that I can book it back to my university before the sun goes down. I always love my commute home for some reason; obviously leaving work is a nice weight off one’s shoulders, but for me, I also find the walk at sunset extremely calming and reflective. I definitely associate this walk with good energy.

6:30pm: Depending on the day, I’ll eat dinner between 5:30 and 6:30. Today, as you can see, I went a bit later than usual so that I could eat with my friend Arria. My dinner tonight was definitely not well-balanced; I had a handful of raw cauliflower and half a slice of pizza. Nonetheless, I was happy to catch up with my friends, socialize, and share gossip with each other. 

7:30pm: I don’t actually have any homework due tomorrow, so I’m able to relax and leisure for the rest of the night. Sometimes I’ll go over to my friends’ dorms to hang out for the evening, but tonight my social battery was low and all I wanted to do was watch Netflix in bed. I also take my nightly shower sometime between 7pm-9pm, so that my hair can air dry while I’m sleeping.

11:30pm: I take all of my medications and supplements around 11pm or so, including my melatonin and unisom, so that I can fall asleep instantly by around 11:30 or so. I’m definitely a night owl, but my rest is very important to me. I like to have audio on while I’m falling asleep, and lately, I’ve been listening to Poppen Atelier doll repaint videos. Goodnight, everybody!

PMDD, Fatigue, & Valentine’s Day: Sarah’s Weekly Newsletter

Monday, February 10

I can definitely tell that my PMDD is starting to rise up again out of the woodwork, but at least I can be prepared and remind myself that this storm passes. I’m feeling pretty alright in general, but my motivational drive is at a low point and I’m definitely a bit edgier than usual. When my PMDD starts to act up, I tend to get ticked off by the littlest of things and overthink every aspect of my life. Oh well, all I can really do is continue to forgive myself and take care of my body the best I can!

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On a more upbeat note, I’m super excited to sell my Nikon d3500 so I can buy a new stylus for my surface book! I’ve been wanting to get back into digital art for a while now, but it’s essentially impossible without a new stylus. So hopefully that’s something I can get into in the future! I will say, even though I’m very moody and emotional this week, my art and creativity has been really interesting and fresh as of late. I think there’s something about being vulnerable and emotional that really improves the quality of art, what do you think?


Tuesday, February 11

The weather has been cold and gray here for a few days, but as long as I’m indoors, I don’t really mind. Right now, I’m gearing up to start work at my internship, so that will keep me busy enough for the next six hours. Once I get back to campus, I’m going to crack down on my ethics homework and my essay due for my sociology class. The best thing for me to do when I’m combating PMDD hell week is to keep as busy as possible, so that I can distract my mind from getting too anxious or self-critical. Also, sleep is a big one too! I’m definitely aiming for a full nine hours tonight, because the seven or so hours I got last night is barely cutting it. When I was sitting on the train this morning, I could barely keep my eyes open!

Anyway, I feel like I’m still in a pretty good place, given the circumstances. I facetimed my friend Lily last night, and she always cheers me up no matter what I’m dealing with. As I said last night to her on the phone, “We’ve reached the point in our friendship where we can silently sit on facetime at 11pm and text boys who don’t love us.”


Thursday, February 13

The last couple of days have been very positive for me emotionally, so I’m hoping this means I’m going to have a decent cycle of PMDD this month! In fact, the only negative side effects that I have noticed lately are increased appetite (I’ve been eating way more than usual), and I feel absolutely fatigued. No matter how many solid hours of sleep I get, I wake up feeling exhausted to the point that I wonder if I can even get out of bed. As of right now, I’m struggling to keep my eyes open, hence why I’ve decided to try writing to see if that gets my brain going. I’ve also drank most of my coffee, but it might be time for another one. It’s frustrating to be tired, because I do get decent sleep now and it makes me feel like I’m not trying hard enough when I spend the entire morning feeling sleepy. There is definitely a level of guilt that comes with hormonal-based fatigue, even if it’s not my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it. I would be terrified to call out of work due to fatigue, because I wouldn’t want to let anyone down or make people feel like I’m incapable of doing my job. Anywho, I’m not a big napper, but today may be a Nap Day after I finish up at my internship. We shall see how I’m feeling tomorrow. 


Friday, February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or Galentine’s Day, I should say. It’s about ten in the morning right now, so I’ve been up for three hours. Even though I’ve already had my coffee, the PMDD fatigue is still hitting me hard. I’m hoping it lets up soon, because Lily and I are planning on going to the MFA for a friendship date. I’ll see if I can squeeze in a nap before I get ready, at least.

Besides the fatigue and constant sleepiness, I’m feeling pretty okay! My anxiety levels have been really low lately, so I’m grateful for that. I’ve also been trying to get out more and do more social things with my friends, so we went to Target last night and goofed off. I’m so lucky to have friends who not only appreciate my chaotic energy, but match it as well. 

Regardless of how you celebrate your Valentine’s Day, remember to practice self love first and recognize your worth! You are stronger than you know!


Saturday, February 15

This week has just flown by, and I’m so happy that the weekend is here! I hope you all had a wonderful, happy Valentine’s Day with your friends and partners. I had an absolutely lovely evening with my friend Lily; we started out our night by going to one of my favorite restaurants, which is a vegan Chinese place called Grasshopper. Everything on the menu is 100% vegan, even if it has a traditional “meat” name (for example, I ordered this amazing vegetarian lo mein with “chicken” in it). It was absolutely superb, and pretty affordable as well. I’m looking forward to visiting again.

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After that, we went to the MFA because we get in free with our student IDs. I was hoping to see some works by my favorite artist, Edward Hopper, but the museum unfortunately was not showcasing any of his paintings at that time. Nonetheless, we viewed some really interesting pieces and had an overall lovely time. Lily is also extremely funny and animated, and she made me laugh so hard I cried a few times. It was such a feel-good night, and it reminded me that I am actually totally okay with being single. Sure, it would be nice to have somebody, but I love myself and my friends enough that I don’t really worry about it/get hung up on it. After our museum trip, we got some cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and hung out in my room (and I’m eating my leftovers as I write this).

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Tonight I think I’m going to hang out with my friends on campus, and then tomorrow is going to be homework day. I was thinking about going into Boston to see my friend at Berklee tonight, but I’m honestly not really comfortable with taking the light rail by myself at night. I’m also kind of tired from all the traveling I did yesterday, and I do have some work to catch up on, so I think I’m going to stay close to home tonight. Anyway, thank you all for reading! Be on the lookout for more upcoming Analog content 🙂

Dear Public High School, Stop Denying the Existence of the LBGT+ Community

Disclaimer: discussions of sexual topics.

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

This has been an article I’ve wanted to write for a while, but I never knew how to get started or what I should even say. Now that I’ve really put a lot of thought into it, I think I have a pretty well-rounded idea of why my public school upbringing bothered me so much: queer history and education was completely left out of the curriculum.

By the time I was thirteen years old, I knew I had strong feelings for other girls. That being said, I wasn’t comfortable with this realization about myself, and I certainly tried to ignore that this part of me even existed. In fact, I didn’t even begin to really think critically about my sexuality until I reached my first year of college, and I think the way my public school system handled LGBT+ issues contributed to that substantially. So let’s take a trip down memory lane together and discuss how society pushes a heteronormative agenda onto the developing minds of young people!

When I was in middle school and even high school, I don’t remember any LGBT+ characters, stories, literature, and media being brought up in my classes. I don’t think a single homosexual reference showed up throughout my entire curriculum, and I never questioned it when I was growing up. Additionally, when I took my mandatory health class in 8th grade, homosexual health education was never mentioned as well. I never learned about how gay people have sex, or how we queer people also have to protect ourselves from STDs, just like any other human being. In a simple sense, we were erased, and made to feel like our sexualities weren’t valid. Even worse, I felt like just my existence as a gay person in a classroom was inherently inappropriate due to the lack of LGBT+ acceptance and exposure. Because my community wasn’t being brought up, I very quickly got the message that my school (and many other schools) do not see this “lifestyle” as a valid depiction of human experiences. It taught me that I should be ashamed of where I come from and what I believe in.

Dear public high school, including the existence of gay people in a classroom discussion does not mean you are forcing a gay agenda on anyone. Acknowledging all types of sexual wellness does not mean you are “turning students gay.” If you’re a student or a teacher and you really have a problem with the fact that girls date other girls, I think it’s time for you to take several seats and realize that it’s not 1832 anymore. Accepting my gayness does not threaten your fragile heterosexuality in any way. And lastly, if you do have a problem with it, why don’t you just be quiet? Yes, you’re entitled to feel and think however you wish, but I’m also entitled to a fair, informative, well-rounded education. 

In the future, I’d like to see some sort of change or development in health class culture. If you’re currently in high school and you’re going through a similar problem or feeling of suppression, my advice to you is this: Don’t be afraid to speak out. Unless you actively use your voice or bring up to your school the problems you are noticing, things are unlikely (and probably impossible) to change. It can be scary to stand up for what you think is right, but regardless of the outcome, it’s always worth it to try. 

Growing Pains

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I’ve been on this earth for almost twenty-one years, and throughout that time, I’ve learned a few things. For one, twenty is a weird age to be. You’re definitely no longer a child, but you don’t have enough life experience to consider yourself an adult. You understand heartbreak and (maybe) taxes, but things like paying bills and healthcare still have a big question mark. Oh, and you learn that growing is painful. 

Life is so funny in the way it tricks you. The minute you think you have it all figured out, a new obstacle or adversity throws itself into your way. I’ve definitely had so many of these “a-ha” moments throughout my life, only to realize my vision was clouded by innocence and even ignorance. It took me many years to learn one singular important lesson: just because you’re a good person and you do good things, it doesn’t mean life will treat you any more fairly or kindly. We’ll all go through terrible things, and playing a martyr won’t make anything easier. All you can really do is roll with it and accept the reality that you are given.

I spent most of my life believing I was weird, different, unlikeable, and unlovable. In fact, I didn’t let that raw outer shell melt away until my senior year of college. It was a slow, gradual process, and it felt like I was shedding pounds of anger with every year I grew. Regardless of what my public school peers actually thought of me, I was absolutely convinced everybody thought they were better, smarter, and prettier than me. I was certain I would be everybody’s second choice, at best, and there was nothing I could do about that. I spent so much time wrestling in emotional anguish over what other people thought of me; did they think I was cool enough? Was I smart enough? Was I lovable enough? Was I, isolated, enough?

Coming from a loving, strong, mother, but a detached brother and father, I struggled with male-centric attachment issues throughout my life. I always knew I loved women from the day I even understood what love was, but my constant need to fill that male role (and my fear of judgment) prevented me from reaching that goal for almost twenty years. When I finally let myself accept the fact that I could love a woman just as much as I love a man (if not even more, if I’m being honest), those pounds of fear and resistance slowly began to break away from me. 

One of the worst pains I ever felt in my life was the day I decided to cut off all communication with my biological father. For years, the sadness and unease I felt surrounding our relationship plagued me from ever standing up for myself and what was best for my health. It would have been so much easier for me if he was completely and totally catastrophic; I think I would have had such an easier time pausing that relationship in my life if the pain was black and white. Unfortunately, even though the bad outweighed the good, a few happy memories and sensitive spots still lingered (and continue) to linger in my heart. One of the hardest things a person has to do is mourn the loss of a relationship, particularly with a parent who causes emotional and verbal harm. No matter how much you love a person and wish they could change, some things are just out of your control. I grew up about a thousand years that day, and even though I still sob into my pillow for feeling like “the worst daughter ever,” I still accept that this was I step I needed to take to protect my health and my well-being. If he died tomorrow, what would I do with myself? Would I regret ending this relationship? Would it be my fault? These are the questions I am still grappling with as I go through my own adult growing pains. 

Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be dingy and sad, so let’s switch topics. Let’s talk about the beauty of growing pains and going through dark times. 

I hated college for the first two or so years. I was very much still in my Me-Against-The-World mindset, and grew constantly paranoid of the laughing, happy students around me. I was absolutely convinced that everybody hated me; even the people I’d never spoken to in my life. I learned something very interesting this year: most people genuinely don’t even have a fleeting opinion. Secondly, the people who I judged and decided were just “bitches” ended up being the nicest darned people I’ve ever met in my life. And, most of the time, they were more scared of me– the ultimate resting-bitch-faced boss lady of Lasell. It’s kind of an embarrassing realization to come to, but also a very hilarious one. There are so many people I’m now best friends with that I never imagined would give me the light of day before. And it’s not because they changed- it’s because I’ve changed.

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I’ve definitely noticed a positive shift within myself this past year. Funnily enough, I didn’t even notice it happening- but other people did. “You’re so much more confident now,” my friends are saying to me. And I truly am. Like I said, it was such a gradual internal change within myself, I didn’t even actively notice it happening. That’s a huge thing I’ve learned about gaining confidence: you can’t just will yourself to be happier and then wake up the next morning feeling like a new person. It takes time and effort, and of course, it takes growing pains. But now that I’ve reached such a state of comfortability and gratitude for who I truly am, it’s almost like I don’t even have to put in the work anymore. I just live my life the way I want to live it, and the rest follows in suit. 

A Juggling Act & Bisexual Problems: Sarah’s Weekly Newsletter

Tuesday, February 4

Good morning, everybody! Even though I had to be up quite early today, I’m feeling pretty energized and good about my day. I know I said this before, but I actually really enjoy getting up early four days a week. It makes the days feel longer and more meaningful, in a way.

Right now I’m drinking my morning coffee and trying to warm up for the day. I am at my internship from 10-4, and then I’m going to get dinner with my friend Allison at 5:30. It should be a pretty uneventful day. After dinner I’m going to get some homework done, and then I’d like to take an evening walk around my campus. I know some people would be spooked by the prospect of going for a walk around their campus at night, but I actually rather like it. I live in a safe area, and it makes me happy to engage with nature and spend some quality time with myself. 


Wednesday, February 5

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Right now, it’s about 10am and I’m sitting in the campus center. I normally have a class at 9:30, but for some fortunate reason, it was cancelled today. I’m certainly not complaining! Having three back-to-back classes really wears you down.

I’m currently listening to a pretty wide mixture of music, ranging from Michael Nyman’s intense contemporary instrumentals to more light-hearted songs like Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet. I’ve completed and scheduled two posts for the blog, which is fantastic, and I finished all my homework for the week, so I don’t really have anything I need to be working on. 


Thursday, February 6

Wow, this week is flying by. I’ve been keeping busy per usual, juggling my blog, Analog, my internship, my classes, and still finding time for sleep and socialization. I would say things have been pretty placid and harmonized lately- in my professional/academic life, at least. In my personal life, I’m going through typical uphill battles that most young women go through in their lives; feeling like someone is playing games with me, taking advantage of me, etc. Valentine’s Day being in February is a pretty overwhelming reminder that I’m single yet another year. I’d like to find someone to share my life with, but I’m also conscious of the fact that things will fall into place when they’re meant to. I have feelings for a couple of people right now, a boy and a girl (living that bisexual life), and one of them is blowing me off while the other one is being fair and invested in me. Hopefully, one of them will pan out, but honestly, who knows what will happen?

How Much Money Do I Spend in a Week?

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The other day, I was watching a YouTube video by MissRemiAshten titled “What I spend in a Week as a 24 Year-Old.” Now, I’m not a vlogger, a 24-year old, nor do I live in Los Angeles. In fact, Remi and I are basically on opposite ends of the spectrum. I live in a college house on the outskirts of Boston, I make about $10 per week, at most, and I expenses upwards of $20-$30 usually give me a headache. That being said, I don’t pay any bills because I live on campus, so I can take that out of the equation. Here are some other quick facts about my lifestyle before I get into the blog:

-I don’t have a car, so I don’t put in any weekly money for gas. However, I do have to rely on public transit to get to work, which is a weekly expense for me.

-I have campus “dining dollars” that are pre-paid as a part of my tuition, so I’m not going to include dining dollars or meal plans as part of my weekly expenses.

-I pay for two subscriptions, Amazon Prime and Spotify Premium, which are taken out of my account once monthly. I also have a Fab Fit Fun subscription, but that is only billed quarterly. 

If I think of any other important information, I’ll edit it here. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into it!


SUNDAY

I didn’t leave campus today, and I ate all of my meals at the dining hall, so I didn’t end up spending any money. Unless I’m going out with my friends, I usually don’t have any reason to spend money on the weekends, so this was a pretty typical day for me. 

Daily Total: $0


MONDAY

Today is my monthly Analog meeting, so I bought some snacks at Walgreen’s with Lily for a total of $7.75. It was a bit more expensive than I would have liked, but it was still much cheaper than buying a pizza, which was my original plan. Per usual, I ate all my meals on campus so I didn’t have to worry about buying food or drink for any other purpose.

Daily Total: $7.75


TUESDAY

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My train fare from campus to work is $2.40, so round-trip, $4.80. I also stopped at Tatte Bakery to buy a caramel latte, because I had an hour to kill before work and I wanted to stop somewhere to get some blogging done. My small latte cost $4.65 (gasp), but it was delicious. I ate breakfast at Lasell and brought lunch from home, so I didn’t have to pay for any other food or drink today. 

Daily Total: $9.45


WEDNESDAY

Today I had three back-to-back classes on campus, and I only ate at the dining hall, so I didn’t spend any money today!

Daily Total: $0


THURSDAY

Train fare for work is $4.80 round trip. I also made my morning coffee at work, so that was free! I’m also lucky enough that my place of employment provides lunch for us, so I always have access to that for free as well. 

Daily Total: $4.80


FRIDAY

Today I only had one class, and I used meal swipes and dining dollars for all my meals/coffee. I did have to pick up a couple of toiletries at the campus store today, and my total was $6.48 on my card.

Daily Total: $6.48


SATURDAY

I was going to go out today, but I ended up feeling like shit and stayed home in my room instead. It ended up being a good choice, because I think my body and my mind really needed to rest after the crazy week I had. And, of course, it’s always a good idea for me to save my money.

Daily Total: $0


WEEKLY TOTAL: $22

I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with the fact that I lived off $22 this week! Obviously my housing and food is paid for as part of my tuition, but I still think I did a decent job managing my other expenses. The only “frivolous” I would say I made would be the coffee from Tatte, but hey, it was pretty delicious. In the future, I’ll probably continue to bring food and coffee from home so I can continue to cut unnecessary costs. 

Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Foundation & Magic Mini Eyeshadow Palette Review

It’s no secret by now that I’m a makeup hoarder. And in case you didn’t know, Hi, my name is Sarah, and I’m obsessed with buying makeup!

Now, my makeup consumption has been much more frugal lately, because I don’t have an income at the moment and I can barely even afford to buy toothpaste. The last makeup purchase I made was over winter break, and as you may have guessed, it was the Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Foundation and the Magic Mini palette. I have been consistently blown away by Juvia’s Place in the past, so I was super excited to get my hands on these two items. Additionally, they were both relatively affordable. The foundation is only $20, and the palette was only $25. Considering the amazing quality, I consider $20-25 to be a pretty fair price range.

I’d been meaning to try this foundation for forever now, because I’d heard that it’s extremely high-coverage and great for evening out the skin. As someone who deals with sensitivity, occasional cystic acne, and redness all over my face, I knew this could definitely become my new holy grail. Some other important info to know about Juvia’s Place is that they are 100% cruelty-free and most of their products are vegan as well.

Now, I know this bottle may look small, but trust me when I say a little bit of product goes a long way. Because the product is so thick and full-coverage, you really only need a couple drops to cover your entire face seamlessly. The shade I am wearing is “Maricao,” which is for very light skin with peachy undertones. I’d say this shade is a pretty close match to my skin tone, if not just a little bit too warm, but I still think it’s a fairly good match. There are 42 shades in this foundation collection, so trust me when I say you are guaranteed to find the perfect color for you!

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Overall, I’m pretty happy with this foundation. Like I said, it’s very thick, but that’s something I appreciate and look for in my face products. It’s definitely very matte, so if you deal with dry skin, you may want to pair this foundation with a very moisturizing primer. Because my skin tends to be on the oily side (I start to get shiny after the four hour mark), I paired it with my mattifying Dermablend sticky primer. I definitely still have to powder my face throughout the day, but at least there isn’t any creasing or patches of red skin poking through. Overall, I’d give this foundation an 8/10, and I think I’ll definitely purchase it again.

Now, let’s talk about the Magic Mini eyeshadow palette, which retails for $25. I first came across this palette after watching a NikkieTutorials review a few years ago, and I absolutely fell in love with the colors (especially that gorgeous orangey-brown shade, Nana). As you can see, the color range in this palette is extremely colorful and diverse, but it’s still possible to create “normal,” neutral eye looks. My personal favorite colors to wear on my eyes are copper-toned warm smokey oranges and browns, usually with a shimmer in the inner corner. With that being said, I’ve definitely been reaching for this palette 2-3 times per week. Not only do I love that medium brown shade, Nana, I’m also obsessed with the light pink shimmer shade, Osun. Together, they look absolutely stunning on the eyes.

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Just like any other Juvia’s Place palette, these colors are extremely creamy and highly pigmented. Because the colors contain so much rich pigment, it’s not uncommon for the red-toned shades to stain the eyelids after wearing them. Personally, it doesn’t bother me, but I like to put that out there for people who aren’t super familiar with pressed pigments and how the dyes react with the skin. Nonetheless, it’s totally harmless, and it’s fairly common to notice some staining on the lids. 

Ultimately, I’m really happy with these two purchases. The foundation especially has been a lifesaver for me these past few weeks, because it covers everything from blemishes to dark circles. And, although the bottle is quite small, it’s fairly inexpensive and a little goes a long way. I’m also really enjoying the eyeshadow palette, and I can’t wait to make even more fun looks with it in the future. Maybe I’ll even branch out into the greens and blues, if I’m really feeling crazy! 

I’m a little tight on money at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll get around to buying more makeup closer to summertime. What would you like me to review next? Let me know in the comments!