Our Last Year.

The beginning of a person’s senior year of college is bittersweet. It’s the beginning of the first of the lasts; the last first day of school. The first game in our last football season as students. The last fall semester we have on Ohio State’s campus. Inevitably as we make our way through this year, the list will continue to grow. Our last Mirror Lake Jump. Our last home football game as students. Our last sorority recruitment. Our last semester.

I’ll admit – it’s hard not to get sad when I think about all of this. This life that we’ve grown so accustomed to over the last three years is coming to an end and there’s not much we can do about it. College was the first time we all left home and lived on our own for the first time. However, we always went back and when we went back there was never anything to worry about. We aren’t yet truly on our own.

This all being said, I believe my senior year of college will be my best year. I’m surrounded by my best friends. The Ohio State Buckeyes are the Undisputed National Champions. We are more than established with our respective organizations, serving as those people who the younger members look up to. I think back on the last three years – especially last year – and I think, “How am I going to top this?”

I’ll tell you. I’m going to live 100% in the present. I challenge you to do the same. There are too many things about college that we take for granted that once these years are finished that we will never going to have again. Cherish every moment you can get with your friends. One of your best friends asks you to go grocery shopping with him? Go. That’s more time spent together because who knows where you both will be this time in a year. Go to that OUAB event despite having an exam the next day. Hell, go out to Toos on Tuesday despite having an exam on Wednesday. These are the final months spent in the place that has become our home, and we need to take complete advantage of that.

This year will be filled with stress, anxiety and definitely a lot of tears. But through all of that, this will be the year that I make the best memories with my best friends at the best school in the country. I am so insanely excited. So here’s to senior year; to the last times we spend too much money spent on shitty alcohol at campus bars, to the last times we actually worry about preparing for exams and to the last times we will willingly go into establishments like Bullwinkles. It’s going to be a great year. Go Bucks.

50 Shades of Tinder.

I don’t know about all of you, but I think that Tinder is incredibly entertaining. My favorite thing about the app is how similar the pictures that pop up can be. While every guy is different, there are definitely distinct categories of men. It’s also funny to see what men think we as women find attractive. Vise versa, I’m sure men are equally entertained by our profiles. This being said, I want to take a moment to outline a handful of the common personalities based on the first picture that appears.

The Nature Boy – We all know this guy. His name is probably Travis and he’s the guy who pops up holding some sort of dead animal. These animals can range from fish to deer, and usually he is decked out in camo. I’m still trying to figure out why guys think we females like to see pictures of these dead creatures because honestly, the second I see a dead fish and/or a bloody animal carcass I swipe left.

The Prom King – This guy is great. Although I am 21 years old and have my age preferences set at 20-24, there are still guys in this range that have pictures of themselves from high school. His name is Zach or Ryan. Sometimes his pictures are from prom, but other times they are pictures from when he used to be the star player for his high school football team. I can dig it; there’s about a 50/50 chance I’ll swipe right.

The Family Man – This guy is either really awesome or he’s super sketchy. I haven’t quite decided how I feel about him. Often named Matt or Aaron, he will post pictures with pretty girls around his age or small children. Yeah – a little weird, right? I think so. But my favorite part is in his profile when he makes sure to answer the question that he thinks we all have: “we’re not dating she’s my sister” or “they’re my cousins not my kids.” Thanks, Matt/Aaron. I really appreciated that clarification. I might swipe right.

The Social Butterfly – This guy is so annoying and like Travis, he gets an automatic left swipe. His name is Ben or Jake and his first picture is of a group of guys so you can’t tell which one is him. Well guess what, Ben/Jake. I don’t have the patience to click on your picture and look at your individual profile to figure out which one you are. This means you’re getting the axe. The only exception comes when I think every guy in the picture is attractive. That’s when you might get the right swipe. But only maybe.

The Yo Pro – “Hi my name is John and here is a picture of me in a suit at my job.” Hi, John. It’s nice to meet you. I’m glad you’re taking to Tinder to let me know that you have some cool corporate job and that you live a cool yo pro lifestyle. While the boasting is half annoying and half impressive, John usually tends to be pretty attractive. He normally gets the elusive right swipe.

The Mirror Selfie – This isn’t even worth an explanation. I do not care about what your abs look like in your mirror, Kyle. I swipe left. I always swipe left.

35 Favorite Things.

For those days when you need a pick-me-up. Here’s to the little things that always warm my heart in this great big world;

  1. Curling up in bed with a Nicholas Sparks novel and a cup of tea
  2. Spotify’s Acoustic Morning playlist
  3. Meditating
  4. Newly painted nails
  5. That high right after you finish your run
  6. Playing frisbee on the Oval on a sunny day
  7. Taking a walk through your college campus during the summer
  8. Seeing your puppy for the first time after being away from home
  9. Buying tickets to see your favorite artist in concert
  10. Watching fireworks on the 4th of July
  11. Fresh Chipotle
  12. Shopping with your mom
  13. New bath towels
  14. Walking barefoot in the rain
  15. Breaking open a new bottle of wine
  16. Football Saturdays in Columbus
  17. Bendy straws
  18. Finishing your to-do list
  19. Leftovers
  20. When a man wears the perfect amount of cologne
  21. Christmas lights
  22. Correct grammar
  23. Conversations with kids
  24. Your favorite oversized sweatshirt
  25. Unexpected friends
  26. Eric Church’s “Springsteen”
  27. Fuzzy socks
  28. Chasing fireflies during the summer
  29. New cultures
  30. The first day of classes of the school year
  31. The last day of classes of the school year
  32. The first hug after being apart for a long period of time
  33. Pay Day
  34. Street lights on wet pavement
  35. When someone calls you by name in conversation

Parenthesis.

“We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” – Paul Coehol

There’s nothing quite like being 30,000 feet above the world. As I travel home from a weekend trip to Dallas, TX, I can’t help but find my thoughts wandering. It’s late; as I gaze out the window, little patches of lights from far away cities clutter the ground thousands of feet below. The occasional flash of lightning illuminates the sky. Time seems almost frozen.

Whenever I fly, time has a tendency to stop. When I’m up here above the earth, I’m disconnected from the world below. I’m left alone with my thoughts. Being suspended in the air has an incredible way of putting things into perspective.

The Paul Coehol quote above has recently found its way into my heart. As many of you may know, recently I have been grappling with a broken heart and the end of a friendship. I go through phases of hurt, anger and sadness. I’ve found myself questioning whether or not I regret the time spent with this man. How can I find the silver lining in a friendship that has ultimately caused me so much pain?

Coehol’s quote is a poignant reminder that the world is so much bigger than ourselves. It’s a realistic statement that puts our time here in this world into perspective. We are only here for a moment. In our lives, we are meant to experience happiness, pain and hurt. They are the core emotions that are felt across all of humankind.

To regret meeting a person takes a lot of energy. I’m a firm believer in the idea that you meet everyone for a reason. I’m an even bigger believer in the idea that you form relationships with certain people. To regret someone entirely is unrealistic. At some point, that person brought something to your life that you valued enough to keep around for however long you did.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that even though this boy has made it quite clear to me that he doesn’t want me in my life, I’m still finding it very difficult to fully regret opening up to him as much as I did. That being said, I hope that he realizes that this is a two-way street. Although he’s the one responsible for ending everything, I hope he doesn’t regret our friendship. I hope if he regrets anything at all that he regrets telling me that I’m not a priority. I hope that he learns from what he chose to say to me. And I hope he’s learned never to utter those words to a friend ever again.

Reflection pt. 2

It’s June. Summer is in full swing. Campus is empty. Living in Columbus is a lot more relaxing during the summer months than it is during the academic year; the bars aren’t overly crowded, my apartment complex isn’t nearly as loud as it normally is and everything just feels slower. This last semester turned out to be a lot more difficult for me than I expected, and because of that I haven’t given myself the chance to reflect on it.

Coming back to school in January is always exciting because PHA dives headfirst into formal recruitment. By the end of the month, each house welcomes upwards of 55 new members through its doors. These new members eventually become littles and grandlittles, and they are slowly sewn into the fabric of their chapter. This semester my family grew by two when my littles became bigs, and suddenly our little lineage isn’t so little anymore.

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For spring break, my best friends and I drove down to Gulf Shores, Alabama. With every piece of Ohio State gear we owned in tow, we made our way down south. Whether it was hanging out with our Georgia Tech SAE friends Chad and Arthur or getting yelled at from salty Alabama fans, we managed to have an amazing vacation that turned out to be everything I expected and more.

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The last few weeks of the semester snuck up much quicker than I expected; formal came and went, and then suddenly graduation was only a few days away. My big, along with the class of 2015 officially became alumni of The Ohio State University on May 10th, which then makes me the unthinkable: a senior in college.

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All the good came with some bad; if you have read any of my previous posts you understand what I’m referring to. To be hurt by someone is one thing; for that person to not understand what they’ve done is what can really leave an impression. The hardest thing for me over this last month has been coming to terms with the fact that the individual who has caused this hurt doesn’t seem to understand – or perhaps doesn’t want to understand – why I’ve been hurt. This leaves me anxious and unsure about what to expect in August when he returns to campus. I don’t know if he wants to still be my friend or not. I don’t really know what I want either.

Color Wheel.

Anger

When I think anger, I think red.
I think lightning and raven skies and stormy seas.
My heart is a ship being tossed back and forth across the choppy waves.
Anger is the emotion that fills your veins, burning you from the inside out.

Pain

When I think pain, I think black.
I’m helpless and I drown in the stormy seas of anger.
My heart is a delicate teacup unexpectedly dropped, shattering into a million little pieces.
Pain is the emotion that consumes your lungs, strangling you from the inside out.

Sadness

When I think sadness, I think gray.
The charcoal skies become lighter, turning into an ashen overcast.
My heart is an old childhood toy discarded in the back of a closet and left to develop dust.
Sadness is the emotion that blankets your soul, exhausting you from the inside out.

Forgiveness

When I think forgiveness, I think green.
Quenching myself of you and the poisonous concoction of anger, pain and sadness.
My heart is a piece of paper after it has been crumpled up into a ball and smoothed back out, ready to be used again.
Forgiveness is the emotion that breathes new life into your bones from the inside out.

Peace

When I think peace, I think blue.
I think newly washed sheets and warm candles and freshly brewed coffee.
My heart is hammock hanging from palm trees drifting in a beach breeze under a hot summer sun.
Peace is the emotion that centers your soul, calming you from the inside out.

Heartbroken.

“Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Fallen Angels

To be heartbroken is to experience a loss. It can occur when someone you trust breaks you, exposing you to the most protected parts of your soul. It’s uncomfortable, it’s painful, and it’s terrifying. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I thought I had been heartbroken once before. However, the last few weeks have proven to me that that boy from freshman year did not break my heart.

Heartbreak is universal. It can affect anyone at any time; it doesn’t matter how young or old you are and it doesn’t matter where in the world you call home. It doesn’t just have to be at the hands of a significant other; a friend can also break you in ways you never thought possible. It is a common human emotion that has the power to be felt across all preconceived societal differences. In the words of one of my closest friends: “It’s the worst. [It is the] literal definition of ‘sucks.’”

This may sound pessimistic, but I think it at some point in your life, you have to experience some sort of heartbreak. If you are reading this and already have, I’m sure that person who caused you that comes to mind. But as that quote says above, experiencing a broken heart is something that changes you. Yes, when someone breaks you, you learn how to put yourself back together. However, like the quote says, you aren’t going to be the same person you were before.

A broken heart will change you. It forces you to confront some of the most vulnerable parts of your person and reevaluate yourself. Like a ripped up piece of paper, it’s possible to tape your heart back together, but it will never be perfect again. There will be scars, just like the paper will always be crumpled with jagged edges. The challenge is to figure out how to make yourself strong again.

This strength comes from self-reflection and time. After all, they say time heals all wounds. I have four months. At the end of those four months, I will be starting my senior year at The Ohio State University. I do not plan to start my year timid and scared of meeting new people; I plan to begin my senior year confident and strong. I will not shy away from the man that broke me, but rather I will greet him as a completely new and better version of what I am now. No one controls my happiness except for myself. And if you’re reading this sir, once again, you know who you are by now. Have a wonderful summer. I look forward to meeting you all over again in August.