As I told you all last week, this week for me was midterms. This meant that my days were filled with exams, study guides, essays, and the occasional freak out. So by the time exams were over, my friends and I were so ready to do something fun, and so we decided to venture out to Brooklyn and have an adventure.

After practically sprinting out of our final Health exam, we all immediately went to the locker rooms to make ourselves look a little more presentable. Since we had been allowed to be out of uniform all week, combined with the reality that we go to an all girls school, we had all been showing up to school looking like we had just rolled out of bed. So we decided to change and fix ourselves up before leaving, instead of walking around DUMBO in our sweats when everyone else looks like they’re on the cover of some super cool indie album. Hipsters can be intimidating too, ok?!

We had originally planned to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, but we were all so exhausted that a long walk did not seem enticing to any of us. Instead, we took the lazy route and just caught a train. We got on the train, played with snapchat filters, dropped some gum, endured the suspicious smells of the F train, and eventually found ourselves in Brooklyn.

I still don’t know how I did it, but I somehow managed to navigate all four of us to Brooklyn, around to everywhere we wanted to see, and back to the city again. This is a serious accomplishment on my part.

We stepped out of the train station and immediately started looking for photo-ops. We found the infamous street were every man and their dog seems to get their pictures in front of the Manhattan Bridge, and stood in the middle of the street for what felt like forever. We took SO many pictures, and they all looked exactly the same haha (except for the ones of us running away from cars, those are pretty funny). We literally chased down this girl who looked like she would take good pictures, and got her to take some group shots (we’re so annoying, I know). She wasn’t too friendly, but the pictures turned out great so we couldn’t complain.

Eventually, we made it to Shake Shack, and excitement levels were very high. We ordered way too much food and all ended up feeling like we were about to throw up, and laughing so much that we almost peed or spat something out. Not too lady-like, but fun nonetheless.

Later, we walked along the water, sang 2000’s music, took artsy pictures for strangers, fell over from the wind, ran around like crazy people, and made our way to these swings + the coolest playground/workout spot ever. It was seriously so much fun, and the best thing to do after such an intense week.

Walking back to the train, we were all talking about what we wanna do this year, and we all realized that you don’t need to spend a lot of money or go somewhere super cool to have a great time. Adventure is all around us, and it’s up to us to find it.

I am so looking forward to many more adventures with my friends this year, and encourage you to do the same!

Talk soon.

 

Sincerely,

M. xo.

Ahhh, midterms. The most stressful time of year next to finals. I would be lying if I told you I’m totally cool, calm, and collected during the weeks leading up to my exams. At the moment, I can’t seem to think about anything other than doing well. And while I’m not saying this is a bad thing, I am saying there are better ways to deal with stress than to spend every second of every day focused on succeeding. Exams can be majorly intimidating, and so today I’m sharing my tips for surviving the chaos of midterms.

 

 

Make Study Guides (AND FLASHCARDS!)

OK sure, this one kind of goes without saying. HOWEVER, it is so important to rewrite class notes numerous times. I personally like to make a full study guide with most of the material, and then make flashcards to review more specific details. I have found this way of study is the easiest for me, but of course, everyones study habits are unique to them, so find your groove and get your study on! (Disclaimer: While Quizlet is amazing and helpful and all things great, it will be way more effective to handwrite flashcards. Trust me on this one ;)).

 

Take Some Time to do Something For You

I know this sounds ridiculous. Really, I do. But honestly doing something that gets your mind off of exams is going to help big time when it comes to stress. Go for a run, play the piano, have a pamper evening, or even watch your favorite movie. Doing something along these lines will give you some time to reenergize and refresh before your exams, which is something I am sure that we all would benefit from.

 

Review With Classmates

Comparing study guides and notes with my friends is something I have been doing for years. Not only does it help to talk over and explain concepts from class, but studying with a friend can help reinforce things you didn’t totally pick up on by yourself. Also, if there’s a topic you know you struggle with, don’t be afraid to ask for help! There is no shame in admitting something is hard.

 

Retake Old Tests and Quizzes

This is a big one! Make sure to look back on what you got marked down for on previous assignments, and that you understand why you got it wrong! It might seem tedious and annoying, but it will help so much. (Also, it is not a bad idea to make a practice midterm. It helps, I promise)

 

Get Some Sleep, Girl!

…AND EAT WELL! Seriously! Getting a full 8 hours and eating real food full of nutrients will make the world a much better place when you’re halfway through your early Algebra 2 exam.

 

 

OK people, I actually have to go practice what I preach now and continue studying (lol), but I do hope that your exams go well (for those, like myself, who have yet to take the dreaded midterms). Remember to breathe and trust yourself. You got this!

Happy studying!

 

Sincerely,

M. xo.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I don’t know what it is about New Yorkers, but I think that we all sometimes forget that we live in freaking New York City. It sounds crazy, I know, but that’s the only explanation I have to justify the fact that most of us barely venture out from our neighborhoods, unless we need to. Me personally, I’m a total uptown girl. I feel most comfortable surrounded by the high-end stores and the overpriced smoothies of Madison Avenue. Uptown is easy for me, I can navigate myself like nobody’s business. Take me below 14th street however, and we have a completely different story. Because of the inevitable stress that comes with venturing downtown, I tend to avoid it at all costs unless I’m with someone who knows what they’re doing. That is, until this weekend.

That’s right, yesterday, I totally left my comfort zone and went to SoHo with some of my friends. Unsurprisingly, it was seriously beautiful (and cold). We are all uptown girls, so we checked off  as many things from our Downtown NYC Bucket List’s (yes, we have them too) as we could. We shopped in too many stores to count, laughed at practically everything, low-key fell asleep in Urban Outfitters, thought we saw Vanessa Hudgens in Dean & DeLuca, reacted to drama, and basically did everything any group of teenage girls in NYC should do.

One highlight was heading to Two Hands, an Australian café in Chinatown. The food there is legitimately INCREDIBLE, and if it weren’t for the snowstorm outside, I would’ve felt totally at home ;). It was kind of refreshing to hear so many Aussie accents in one place, and to be able to order “avo toast” and not receive a confused facial expression back from the waitress.

It was so much fun exploring new parts of the city yesterday, and it totally motivated me to do so again. Maybe 2017 will be the year I leave my comfort zone of uptown and give downtown a go!

Hope you all have a marvelous long weekend!

Talk soon.

 

Sincerely,

M. xo.

Goodness me, I cannot believe we are already at the beginning of 2017. It’s such a weird feeling to be sitting here on January 3rd, reflecting on the year gone by, as it feels like January 1st, 2016 was at least 3 years ago, but at the same time it feels as if the year slipped between my fingers. It’s kind of funny how two extremely different realities can exist within one’s mind simultaneously.

Anyway, I didn’t have any real goals for 2016. I kind of just had expectations instead. Expectations of what this year would bring, and at what time it would do so. And although nothing happened the way I thought I wanted it to, I can honestly say, I sit here now as a better person because of this year.

Last year was undeniably the most overwhelming year of my life. There were more days than I wish to admit, where I sat on the floor crying, practically shattering under the pressure of my own personal battles. I had never felt so out of control of my life as I did last year. Literally everything I have comes from Above, and I honestly believe that although I’ve been through some serious trials, I will be blessed because of it. Coinciding with this, there were at least twice as many days where I was so overwhelmed with deep joy. I am seriously in awe of the opportunities God placed in my path last year, and the strength He gave me to successfully accomplish said tasks. I am so humbled by the love of my God, and that He chose me to go on the journey I’m (still) currently walking. My God is SO good! And I am honestly the happiest I have ever been because of Him alone.

2016 was a year of unpredictability. I had to learn how to live one day at a time, and to focus on the things directly in front of me instead of being intimidated by the hugeness of the full task ahead. Last year really taught me that the best things come unexpectedly. I didn’t go into 2016 expecting to become who I am now, but I am so thankful for everything the year held.

If there is anything that 2016 gifted me, it would 100% be the amazing new friends I have made. I cannot believe how quickly I formed some of the most precious friendships I’ve ever had, but I am so thankful for all of them. I certainly lost some good friends this year, but I was so blessed to grow such deep and beautiful friendships that I know will last forever. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, you can’t out-give God. It might be hard to believe this but it’s true. I promise.

I am seriously so thankful for the year I had, no matter how hard it was, and I cannot wait to see what 2017 holds.

Let’s make 2017 amazing!

 

Sincerely,

M. xo.

 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 preset

These photos are from the Summer, but they were taken on one of my favorite days of 2016, that was filled with so much unpredictable beauty, so I see it only fitting to include them in this post.