Being the “Extra” Friend

Originally posted on April 12th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

“You’re so extra!” Extra what? That’s up the imagination.

Is it an insult? Is it a compliment? No one knows. Welcome to 2017 where nothing a millennial says makes sense anymore, and I am LIVING for it.

I personally take being called “extra” a compliment. In fact, I have made it my goal to be the Most Extra Ever. How will I accomplish this you might ask? Well the secret is, I already am!

In high school, everyone knows each other and you can be judged for almost anything. Living in fear based on how you dress, act, or exist, isn’t a fun feeling, and being “extra” probably isn’t a good thing.

Meanwhile, in college, you are free to be whoever you want to be and the more “out-there” you are, the more likely you are to have a good time.

I have taken the liberty to stop living my life in fear and start living as extra as possible, and from some help from me, you too can be extra as h*ck.

Step 1: Acquire Glitter

This is essential to having an amazing day. Wake up, sprinkle some glitter in your hair, pop some in the inner corner of your eyelids, and keep a handful in your pockets for emergency surprises, and Voila! you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of others. Not only are you extra as hell, it’s scientifically proven that you’re going to be 326% happier now that you’re adding a little sparkle to your step (and to those who trail behind you).

Step 2: Purchase a fur vest

I personally purchased my fur vest from the kid’s section in Target. Does that get me bonus points? Of course, it does! Even more bonus points? It’s pink. Now I’m not saying that you also need to purchase a ridiculously colored fur vest, but I am currently in the lead for being the most extra, so it’s up to you. With this fur vest, you will take the world by storm and look amazing while doing it.

Step 3: Delete your filter

Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from expressing yourself. Say what you want to say. Do what you want to do. Live life out loud, loud enough for those around you to stare and wonder why they aren’t as happy as you are. Be who YOU want to be, and do the most. The only way to be the most extra ever is to let loose and not let anything stand in your way.

With these three simple steps, you will be well on your way to being extra af. Of course, I couldn’t give away all my secrets, but hopefully these treat you well because they are the essentials. Don’t live your life in fear of judgement. Let everything out, because if your personality shines, you will open those around you and ultimately change the world. Just remember to never leave home without your glitter, and you’ll do just fine.




Diaries of an Emotionless Robot

Originally posted on April 14th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

People think of you as heartless. Friends don’t reach out to you for help due to your lack of empathy. You build up a shield, hiding from those around you, pretending nothing affects you. You label yourself as emotionless to ease the pain of others calling you it behind your back. You appear to not have feelings, but deep down inside, everything hurts.

As emo as that sounds, I am a generally positive person. I live an amazing life and look for the good in everything that happens to me. That being said, I’ve never been the best at expressing my emotions, good or bad, to those around me. No matter how excited I am about something, I will mostly likely have a straight face. My insides could be jumping for joy, but to any passerby, it looks like just another bland moment in a day to day setting.

Same goes with sorrow. Sad things happen all the time, but the phrase “I don’t cry”, has slipped through my lips one to many times. My friends and family around me have taken note and have passed me off as unappreciative, apathetic, and passive, when in reality I am the complete opposite.

When around people, I pass off emotions as unimportant and stay strong, no matter the situation. Yet this has given me a bad rep. Being labeled as emotionless is fun and games until people start to hurt you because they believe you don’t care anyway and it won’t affect you.

Well it does.

I am both emotionless and full of emotions, and I can flip the switch easily. When people are around, I put on this mask that hides everything deep down inside. Happy or sad. Exciting or upsetting. Surprising or demeaning. Nothing passes through that mask. It appears that nothing affects me. Yet everything does.

Every little thing that someone says or does affects me. So many positive and negative things occur every day, and when it appears that I’m not acknowledging them, I am deep deep down inside. The second I’m alone, I let it all out. I jump for joy over the compliment I received. I cry into my pillow over the rejection I face. I curse out my window to those who wronged me. I express more emotion than anyone could picture.

As soon as I’m alone, I am no longer the passive, straight faced robot that I appear to be. I let loose and let my emotions run. I even get emotional about my emotions. I’m your typical hormonal teenage mess, and I’m proud to admit it.

I’m still going to hide behind the mask of no emotions for a while, because right now it’s a safety net. It protects me from the harsh reality of judgement and fear. I wish I could shed it. I’m tired of being viewed as the girl who doesn’t care about anything, because I care more than the average bear. But for now, it remains. Keeping me closed off. Keeping my emotions in, until I’m ready to release them to the world.


Meeting Your Childhood Crush

Originally posted on April 10th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

The Jonas Brothers are playing on the radio. You’re on a three-way call with your besties obsessing over how your future husbands are going to dress in your wedding. You then walk over to your wall covered in tear out posters from Popstar and J-14 as you give said future husband a kiss on the cheek before falling into another daydream about actually meeting your celeb crushes in person.

Waking up eight years later, it’s finally the day you make your ten-year-old self proud. Overwhelmed with adrenaline and excitement, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting your whole life for. The day you finally meet your first celebrity crush.

Last week, I died and went to heaven as I met the man of my tween dreams, Joe Jonas. Yes, the Joe Jonas. Singer, actor, teen heartthrob, and former star of my daydreams. It was an out of body experience, the moment I found out that I would be meeting the members of DNCE. I couldn’t tell you the names of anyone else in the band because I was goo-goo eyed for Joe. He was my Jonas and he was REAL.

Our interaction was brief, but like I said, it killed me. It amazes me how we as humans put other humans on pedestals and worship their every move, but I’m not going to complain about being in the presence of a king.

I could barely contain my excitement, and I still an unable to comprehend the fact that it happened. Sure he might not be the most relevant person in my life now, but there was a time where everything I did revolved around the Jonas Brothers. The fact that I was lucky enough to meet one of them now makes me wish that I could have invited my 2009 self to come join in on the fun.

It meant a lot to me that I could meet such an amazing figure from my childhood. Someone I looked up to. Someone I idolized. Someone with such a huge name in our generation. It’s crazy how after years of not worrying about someone who made such an impact in my life, they can instantly be shot back into it and all the amazing memories followed.

Again, although our interaction was brief, it was monumental, and I only wish my ten-year-old self could have been there to experience it.


Fear of Returning Home for the Summer

Originally posted on April 4th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

I took a leap of faith this past year. I leaped nearly a thousand miles across the country and lived on my own for the first time. I leaped out of my comfort zone and into a sea of future oriented goals. I leaped into my future and away from my childhood. And I’ve kept on leaping ever since.

Living on your own is an incredible step that most kids our age choose to make. It involves being a decision maker, a planner, and organizer, and a doer in order to be successful. And most of the time, it makes for a successful lifestyle change.

College kids get to experience this freedom in short cycles in order to ease their way into their grown up life. August to December, January to May, and repeat. If you’re anything like me, those eight months are not enough to fuel your ambition to grow up. To me, they act as a tease at my future, only to be reset over winter break and summer.

This past winter break, I headed home for a month falling into the same old grind that I was used to in high school. I had to check in with my parents, eat meals during “normal” times, and spend hours in my room aimlessly surfing the internet. Winter break put me into a slump in which I no long had the opportunity to go out and experience everything I could at college. I wasn’t able to just show up at a friends place at four am to eat cookie dough, then leave. I wasn’t able to walk around campus and run into people when I got bored. I didn’t have the freedom to make whatever decision I please and not worry about checking in with my parents.

Winter break gave me a new perspective of my hometown and how fortunate we are to live steps away from our friends in college. The boredom I experienced over break was grueling, and I had to face a month of it in the arctic tundra of western Pennsylvannia.

And now as I flip my calendar over to April, the end of the semester is in sight. Everyone around me is counting down the days until they are free of responsibilities, but I’m dreading moving out and away from my freshman year memories. My dorm room, my friends, and my new home are all things that are going to quickly be swiped from me sooner than I know it. All I can think about is my winter break slump and how I’m about to experience it yet again, this time for three times as long.

Yet I know going into it with a negative attitude only makes things worse, so I have a month to plaster a smile on my face and get excited to go home. The warm weather will bring out the best in me and the memories i have to share with my high school friends will be priceless. As nervous as I am to go home, I know it might be my last time for a while so I must view it as a treat. It’s okay to be scared every once and a while, and my biggest fear is that of boredom. It’s time to close my eyes and leap state by state to the place I grew up. It’s time to leap into positive midset. I must leap into my original home sweet home.


Living Spontaneously

Originally posted on March 24th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

I’m a huge proponent of planning every detail of a day, week, trip, or lifetime. With planning, comes great responsibility, yet it’s an activity that calms my nerves and gets me excited and organized for what’s to come. It gives me time to look ahead and see what resources I need and I what I will have to accomplish in order to achieve said goal. Yet recently, I have been exposed to the complete opposite, which happens to be spontaneity.

The fear of the unknown has always held me back from doing things “for the hell” of it, yet starting about six months ago, I decided, to heck with it, and began living in a new way. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t through my organization out the window, I just reevaluated and opened myself up to new adventures.

These spur of the moment decisions I have been making have been some of the most exciting and memorable ones to date. I’ve been able to live life in a new way and makes so many new friends throughout the process. I have been able to set up last minute vacations and travel to new destinations. I have been able to go to Disney world within an hour of the idea popping into my head. I have been able to change my look up with a short trip to the hairdresser instead of months of stressful planning.

Spontaneity has taken the stress out of dealing with time constraining activities. It allows you to make decisions on the spot, and follow through with them immediately. It eliminates the endless deliberating that eats away at your soul. It allows you to have unconditional fun in the moment. In every moment.

I love planning because it eliminates the consequences of things going wrong, but I have learned to love living my life spontaneously because not everything requires a heavy decision.

As long as one learns to live a life full of balance and happiness, they will live one of success.



Once the Happiest Place on Earth, Always the Happiest Place on Earth

Originally posted on March 8th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

I was recently asked by my dad if the magic ever goes away for me. As an annual pass holder for the Walt Disney World resort, it’s easy to believe that weekly trips to the parks could minimize how special this place is to my heart. Yet this question really made me think. How could the most magical place on earth ever lose value? Does the magic go away as you get older? Will there ever be a day that I enter the park without a smile on my face?

The answer is no. Disney is more than just a vacation destination for me. Disney is my happy place, where I can be free to express myself and my love for all things whimsical. Am I a kid at heart? No, not really. Yet when I enter the gates, all my worries go away.

As arguably the most popular tourist destination in the world, most everyone has had their favorite memory that they can reflect on from one of their trips to the house of mouse. Families will shell out thousands of dollars after years of saving up in order to experience this glorified amusement park, and continue to repeat this cycle year after year. What makes this park so special that it keeps bringing guests back even after they have done everything?

The memories, the laughter, the escape from reality. All the most popular reasons guests give for returning to this magical place. The Disney company prides itself on exemplary guest service that sparks interest for guests to come back year after year. There’s just something magical about walking under the train station on Main Street USA and getting the first glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle whether it’s your first time there or your hundred and first time.

As you walk through all the lands, you become part of the story as you interact with your favorite characters and explore their reality. It becomes your reality for a moment and you share a bond with those surrounding you. Each ride you step foot on transports you to your favorite world as you are blown away with magic involved in making these dreams a reality. Every step you take brings you closer to a new adventure, and not a day goes by without a huge smile plastered across your face.

That’s what’s so special about this kingdom. No matter how many times I ride Space Mountain, I will always walk off excited to ride it again. No matter how many Mickey ice cream bars I ate, I will never get sick of the chocolate coated vanilla ice cream on a stick. No matter how many times I meet Goofy, I will never fail to run into his arms for the biggest embrace in the world. No matter how many times I watch the fireworks, I will never fail to belt out “WISHES!” at the top of my lungs. There’s something there that makes every experience a magical moment.

Yes, pass holders and cast members get the luxury of being able to go to the parks on a daily basis, but does the repetitiveness minimize the magic? Not in the slightest. I am extremely fortunate to be able to spend so much time in such a magical place, and I hope someday to be able to be part of the magical team responsible for making this place so inviting. Walt didn’t just create a vacation destination, he created a home. And to all who come to this happy place, welcome!


How to Deal With the Haters

Originally Posted on February 17th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

One of the greatest things about living on a planet with seven billion people on it, is that there are seven billion personalities out there. With so many people to interact with, it’s amazing how many connections can be made. That being said, there are many circumstances where personalities clash, leading to a less than ideal situation. We all know that drama is the least popular dessert at the party, but why do we continue to let it into our lives?

I’ve noticed a trend in petty fights and dramatic people, and it’s no secret that dealing with it involves lots of uninvited stress. It’s increasingly unfortunate when drama is created because two personalities just don’t mesh well together. Fights break out over nothing more than the fact that there was a loss of connection, leaving both parties pointing their fingers at each other. We’ve all been in these situations and we’ve all experienced haters during all the checkpoints of our life, but what can we do to fix it?

The first step to dealing with a hater is realizing that you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not your fault that they don’t like your sense of humor, backwards compliments, and extra behavior. If you’re a people pleaser, it might be hardtop restrain from correcting yourself to make them happy, but that is not the healthy solution. If this situation occurs, it’s best to just slowly avoid them to skip unnecessary conflict.

The second step is to ignore the drama. It’s easy these days to get wrapped up in what others are saying about you, but be the bigger person and stand above the rest. Resist the urge to subtweet. Refrain from texting them big long paragraphs. Ignore and stand strong. If you are being targeted in one of the aforementioned forms of mockery, keep your chin up and keep scrolling. Don’t give them the satisfaction that they crave by firing back.

The third step is to learn to move past it. If someone puts so much effort into hating you, you don’t deserve to have them in your life. Take it as a form of flattery that they are spending all their time talking about you and don’t dwell on the past. A lot of times, haters are ex-best friends so it might seem like an impossible task, but moving forward is the most crucial step.

If communicating isn’t an option, don’t sweat the small stuff, or the small people who think they are making a statement by dropping you. Some people thrive off of drama and create it wherever they see necessary. If you’re ever in a situation where someone is mad at you for no apparent reason, think long and hard about how much you value that friendship and make the appropriate moves forward to make things good for yourself. The great thing about living on a planet with seven billion people on it is that you’re destined to find people who love you for who you are.


25 Pieces of Advice That Will Change Your Life

Originally posted on February 16th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

I was recently told the most life changing piece of advice, that I have included down below, that truly changed my outlook on how I view things. After hearing this, I gained a more positive outlook on life and started to wonder, what other words of wisdom are out there to explore. So I set out to discover what advice others have given or received that has changed their life, and the results captivated me in a way I never knew possible. So here are twenty-five of the most unique outlooks on life, and hopefully some of them change yours as well.

“If you want to be outstanding, you have to live an outstanding life.”

-Kyle M, 20

 “‘Life is short.’ That simple saying has had a huge impact on my life, especially where I am at this point. Ever since those words were said, I have had a new perspective on life. It’s such a simple thing to say, and many people use it as an excuse to do stupid things, but I believe it means so much more than that. Don’t live a life full of regrets and “what-ifs”. Wanna have desert? Have dessert. Wanna make new friends? Put yourself out there. Life is SHORT.”

-Julia F, 18

 “Not everyone you lose is a loss.”

-Ashley W, 18

 “As student body president, I gave the incoming freshman a piece of advice I wish someone had given me when I was a freshman. I told them to not be afraid of failure because the fear of failure can paralyze people and keep them from doing big things.”

-Will S, 19

 “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

-Anna D, 19

“Do as much as you can because you’ll never know your full potential until you reach failure.”

-Josh E, 18

“Whatever is meant to happen, will happen.”

-Samantha Y, 20

 “’Don’t deny yourself the simple pleasures.’ I’m not sure where that originated or how it got into my brain but ever since that piece of advice got itself lodged in the back of my head, I’ve been a lot happier. I don’t deny myself the candy bar in the grocery checkout line or the walks to the mailbox on nice bays. I’ve lived my life very happy and relatively stress free with that saying in my head.”

-Jess R, 20

“We will have faith in you, as long as you have faith in yourself.”

-Megan P, 19

“Don’t forget to floss. Wash your face every night. Be the nicest person in the room. When you think of something nice to do, do it! Don’t delay, just do it, regardless of how it’s recognized or received.”

-Rebecca S

 “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”

-Hunter L, 22

“When I was going through a prolonged period of trying to change career paths, a number of promising leads appeared but dried up. This went on for a while and the sense of just not knowing where I would end up was taking a toll. My sister said to me, ‘Just think about where you are now and the work you are doing. Five years ago, you couldn’t have imagined doing any of it. It wasn’t even on your horizon and yet here you are. I have no doubt that five years in the future you will be doing work that right now you can’t even imagine and it will be great.’ Somehow taking the long term perspective was enough to get me through the interim churn and frustration. And she was right!”

-Lisa B

“Don’t f*ck up.”

-Hallie B, 18

 “Don’t let the day run you, you have to run your day!”

-Gabriella M, 18

“Whenever you are upset or angry about something, try to think about whether or not it will matter a year from now. It really puts things in perspective and helps you get back to being happy quicker!”

-Claire J, 20

“Six months might seem like a long time right now, but years down the road when you look back on yourself, it will feel like nothing. Don’t miss out on any opportunities right now because you are scared of missing out on six months of your life. Just because it’s not part of ‘your plan’, doesn’t mean it’s something worth losing. Take everything that is handed to you, because you’re only young once and you don’t want to look back and wonder ‘what if’.”

-Lena D, 18

 “Thank the people who have hurt you in the past because they are the reason you are so strong today!”

-Alexa I, 20

“Measure your own success and have a rich and wealthy life. Don’t worry about the material things. What really matter at the end is to be rich with love, surrounded by a loving family, and a wealth of loving friends!”


 “You owe yourself the love you give to give to everyone else.”

-Samantha Y, 20

“Recognize yourself in your overall personal goals.”

-Brennan V, 18

“Another woman’s beauty is not the absence of your own.”

-Shannon L, 23

 “I’m about to graduate from college and, naturally, have spent some time throughout my years struggling with school. I usually always try to get A’s but sometimes that doesn’t happen and it usually devastates me. In my last conversation with my favorite relative, my great-uncle Wayne, before he passed away, he said, “Just get the degree!” That feels especially relevant right now in the middle of midterms of this quarter!”

-Cayenne E, 22

“Spend money on experiences, not objects.”

-Julia T, 18

 “Focus on making yourself proud of you.”

-Justin J, 18

 “Knowledge is the most important thing in life- You can never learn too much about anything, ever. The second most important thing is fashion.”

-Nicole W, 18


Fall in Love With the Word “Love”

Originally posted on February 7th, 2017 on Her Campus UCF.

The word “love” is often feared due to the pressure of emotional attachment. Most would agree that the only thing scarier than falling in love, is finding out that you are not loved back. But what does that mean exactly? Well to one person, it might mean that the guy they’ve been crushing on doesn’t have mutual feelings. For others, it might mean that no matter how much time and effort they put into a friendship, it might not be reciprocated. On the contrary, it could be less severe and mean that the puppy you’ve been admiring in the park wants no part of your attention.

Each of these scenarios lead to drastic changes in how it affects your mood. These downers could last from minutes to months, depending on the weight of the situation. That lead me to wonder why. Why do all of these situations inquire unique changes in one’s mood if they are all based on love? It’s because love is one of the most powerful emotions in existence, and holds the ability to manipulate feelings in thousands of different ways. Simply, no two loves are the same.

If you asked me my opinion on love six months ago, I would have broken down in tears. Fresh out of my first relationship, I was convinced that the two years I spent in it were all fraud. But time goes on and people change, and the growth made is the most important thing that could happen. Two and a half years ago, my best friend at the time turned into my first boyfriend. Still awkward teenagers, fresh out of puberty, our 14 and 15 year-old selves didn’t know what we were getting into. We made mistakes, and we fixed them, but we never knew how to love.

“Love” was a term that we tossed around like a softball, letting it come up whenever and as often as possible. It seemed sweet and endearing, and was always the perfect phrase to use to solve all of our arguments. Yet because of this, its meaning got smaller and smaller with every use. There is nothing wrong with expressing emotion, but throwing it around in the wrong context gave it a new meaning to us. The word holds such a power that is deserves much, much more than this.

I do believe I was in love during my first relationship. We cared about each other and were each other’s best friends. Yet every love is different and I would not use the same word to compare my previous relationship and my current one. As I have grown in the past three years, I have brought the word “love” on the journey with me. Each love is different, as the word holds such a powerful position in society. I love puppies. I love Disney World. I love my family. I love my friends. But I don’t love them all in the same way. It’s incredible that such a term has been used to compare passion towards a human being, as well as a favorite food. Which leads me to believe that the word is one that is ever changing.

I was happily in love in my past relationship at the time. I am happily in love in my current relationship now. Yet these two loves are the farthest things from similar. The love I felt in the past is nowhere near as raw and as emotional as the love I feel now, yet that doesn’t invalidate how I felt in a specific moment 15 months ago. Maybe it’s a factor of time, but I’m a firm believer in the evolution of vocabulary.

The love your best friend shows to their boyfriend is a different love that they show you, yet the power the word holds remains equivalent. Love is powerful and everyone is lucky enough to experience it in it’s different forms each and every day. Don’t let the stigma of the word scare you from expressing your true feelings towards anything and everything. Love your pet. Love your favorite pasta dish. Love your grandmother. Love your fuzzy socks. Love your kindergarten teacher. Love your boyfriend or girlfriend. Love yourself. But most importantly, don’t be scared of the word “love”. It’s powerful, but you hold the right to acknowledge it in whichever means necessary to fall in love with the word “love”.


The Balance Between Showing Affection and Being Clingy

Originally posted on December 21st, 2016 on Her Campus UCF.

The age old question anyone in a new relationship asks themselves before saying/doing anything remotely romantic is “Will they they this is cute or am I moving too fast and making things creepy?” Okay maybe it’s not an age old question and maybe it’s not worded like that exactly, but the idea is still there. How soon is too soon to say/do/act a certain way around your significant other?

Like a snowflake, each relationship is different from the one before or after it. What may have worked for your roommate might give the exact opposite reaction for your SO. So with that in mind, any relationship advice received must be taken with a grain of salt. Which leads us back to the confusing topic at point, how to show affection without weirding out your partner.

In any new relationship, it’s hard to get a grasp for how your partner handles different situations. The beginning stage is made for getting to know each other and always wearing your best smile, because you’re not ready to drop your baggage on their doorstep, expecting them to take it all in. The beginning is also made for cutesy flirting, and caring remarks showing that you appreciate being with this person. Obviously it’s hard to weigh out when this stage ends and a different level of affection begins. Some say that when the “L bomb” is dropped that a gate opens up allowing the relationship to flourish in new ways. Others say when intimate moments are shared physically is when it’s time to share intimate moments emotionally. But again, every relationship is different.

It’s hard to find the balance because you are so focused on making your significant other happy, as well as yourself. New relationships are full of surprises, and anything that could cause irritation or drama is immediately pushed away. Something magical is happening, therefore the two of you want to stay happily with each other as long as possible.

It’s hard to weigh this out in a long term relationship, let alone a fresh one, so it’s important to keep in mind a few things:

Don’t let how you acted in past relationships haunt you into acting a certain way now. This means that just because your independent ex from high school called you clingy, means that your new boyfriend feels the same way about your actions. Each person you date has different opinions on how they would like to be treated, so the best way to figure out how to act is to communicate.

There is no arbitrary timeline of how and when to act in a relationship. Just because Jenny and Bill did such and such two months in doesn’t mean you need to too. If you feel that something is moving too fast, or not fast enough, it’s up to you and your partner to reflect and talk about, not a decision based on outsiders.

Be yourself. If you want to send cute texts throughout the day and surprise them with random acts of kindness, do it. If you’re at the store and see something that reminds you of them, don’t be scared to send them a pic or even purchase it. Everyone loves being thought of, and if you’re holding back because you think that they will think you’re moving too fast, you both lose out. You never know what little thing you do could put a smile on their face. If it’s genuine from your heart, they will appreciate it. And if they don’t, it wasn’t meant to be.

New relationships are both exciting and scary because everything you learn about a person is a new surprise. Don’t let the fear of being clingy stop you from showing that you care. A small thought here or there can make someone’s mood change for an entire day and cause your relationship to flourish to new levels. If you ever feel that you might be taking things a step too far, too soon, ask your partner because they are the only ones who can give you the feedback you need to succeed. If you two truly care about each other, every moment will be one full of affection and happiness.