Around the Web

Happy Monday! The October weeks are passing so quickly. This past weekend was homecoming weekend at my college so it was filled with lots of amazing friends, a concert and good food. I really needed that time with some of my close friends and it has motivated me to plan some time in the coming year to spend with them.

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Revisionist History: I am really surprised that I haven’t shared this one in an earlier ATW post because I started listening to this podcast about a month ago and I absolutely love it. I went through the whole first season in about a week and now I am working through the second. Every episode is about something different, a small part of history that was either largely neglected or misinterpreted in some way. It is amazing! I could really write an entire post on this podcast alone. I do really want to do a post dedicated to great podcasts that I have listened to in the past year, as I have mention in a previous Around the Web post, but I just couldn’t help but share this one. I think my favorite episode is still the very first one of the first season, The Lady Vanishes, because it touches on some big problems women have dealt with. Every episode is very worth the 30-40 minutes.

Lupita Nyong’o on Harvey Weinstein: The news has been filled with harassment cases against Harvey Weinstein and sexism in Hollywood (eg. James Toback). In this article Lupita accounts her own encounters with Weinstein. Even though she was able to get out before it turned even worse, the conversations made me shudder. I get very worked up knowing that women need to be nervous (for good reason) in conversations with many men in power.  We are no where close to equality for women especially in the work force and that can be a very scary thought.

National Geographic’s Jane Goodall: As a lover of animals and science Jane Goodall was definitely a hero throughout my childhood. I am very excited to see this new film on her life and revisit some of her work as a woman in a male dominated field. Her persistence and drive to do what she wanted is incredibly inspiring. It is such a great reminder for me right now since I definitely feel like lots of people are telling me I should do certain things or I can’t do certain things.

H&M Outerwear: I am not sure why this has been on my radar this week but I am loving the H&M outwear selection right now. Having some great jackets for fall and winter can really bring an outfit to the next level, however they are ofter pricier. H&M has some pretty affordable options right now. I love this biker jacket and this khaki green parka as lighter weight options. Also this wool blend and this felted coat are classy options for both work and nights on the town. This faux fur hooded jacket is another great one plus it is a statement piece and looks very warm.

Shawn Johnson’s Word On Miscarriages: This video of Shawn Johnson’s experience with a miscarriage has been trending since it was posted. It is pretty long but I think the point of including it in the roundup for me is that although it can be an incredibly difficult and emotional experience, miscarrying is actually very common. Also most of the time it is because something was not developing how it should and it is not anyone’s fault. I guess the message is that some things are out of our control and learning to accept that can be hard but it is important.

Have a great week!

Erin

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Facing Homesickness in College

Homesickness is something that effects everyone in very different ways. It also shows up at different times in our lives. It is however very common to feel homesick during college, especially freshman year. I decided to write this post on how I coped with homesickness during college and some good was to face that feeling.

The end of the fall semester and the beginning of spring semester of freshman year can be the toughest time for many students. This is when the novelty of the college experience wears off and a sort of reality sets in. You are on your own and are responsible for keeping your commitments and making decisions. College is definitely a cushion from the ‘real world’. However, realizations of your independence can cause a great deal of homesickness, especially since for many people you are also physically far away from the people who cared for your for your whole life.  It can be a really tough time despite the fun you may be having in college. It is especially hard if you have not found your niche of people quite yet. There are several things that helped me a lot when I was homesick during college.

Friends and mentors are really helpful in dealing with personal feelings. This can be tough in the first year of college because you may not have made friends yet that you trust enough to talk to about how you feel. I recommend trying to find a mentor, someone who is older and already has gone through similar experiences. This may be a sibling, a professor, a coach or community member. There is no exact formula for finding your right mentor. This can be really hard for people if you aren’t comfortable reaching out to people. It is important to know that there are many people out there who are eager and excited to share their experiences. Try volunteering or speaking to an advisor/professor. Not everyone will be open with you but you won’t know until you try. If you don’t want to find someone new, reach out to an older sibling, cousin or aunt/uncle.

My biggest way of combating that homesick feeling was staying busy and focusing on the present. There is so much to do in college beyond just classes and homework. I highly recommend finding some sort of hobby/club/class etc… that you really love. Something that really lets you be present and not be thinking about home. It may be soccer, painting, photography, dance or maybe you love to learn about a certain subject.

An important part of dealing with homesickness is also facing it, not just burying it. Your hobbies/passions are really important especially for the moments you are feeling unmotivated and sad however you will create a much healthy environment for yourself if you stop ignore the feelings of homesickness. I did this my creating a balance in my life between my present life in college and my life at home. I called my parents and friends from home around once a week. This gave me space to adjust but also helped me keep up my relationships back home. Creating a physical space that encompasses positive parts of your life back home can also be really helpful. Decorate with pictures and other items from home. Another great strategy for facing homesickness is to work a meditation or reflective journaling exercise into your daily routine. This allows you to get the thoughts you are having out and really reflect on what you are feeling and why you are feeling this way. College can be a busy time but just allow 10 minutes every morning or after dinner to give your thoughts some reflection. The important part of facing homesickness is creating a balance.

If the environment is right for you, that homesick feeling will grow into a positive relationship with your family and hometown. I say grow because being homesick is really part of becoming independent. You aren’t leaving everything in the dust, you are growing into your own independent human being, with your own life. If homesickness is affecting your performance in school and your relationships I recommend first trying some of these techniques for dealing with homesickness, but if you still feel that way, asses your environment. It may not be the right school for you, for many reasons. This doesn’t mean transfer right away. It just means assess what is going on around you and see if it meets your values and how you want to be living.

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I just wanted to make a few notes on the outfit and location from these photographs. This is the historical location for Gennett Records in Richmond, Indiana. The studio was very well known and recorded many famous musicians (including Louis Armstrong). The tribute now is very beautiful! These are my new favorite pants. When I ordered them I loved the color but was definitely nervous about being able to pull off the style. I am still getting used to the fit just because I have never owned anything like it before but they are so incredibly comfortable and I really like how they fall. So cute and great for looking dressy but being very comfortable.

Thank you for reading, I hope this was helpful. The process for writing this piece was actually incredibly reflective for me. It helped me think about my college experience more and how I have changed throughout the past four years.

Erin

Around the Web

Good morning! I hope you are having a good start to your week. I just spent half the weekend watching Harry Potter films on Freeform and the other half watching Broadchurch (my first ATW pick). I guess its a strange sort of mix but both are amazing and for some reason Harry Potter always reminds me of the holiday season. I love it! Here are my picks from around the web this week.

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Broadchurch: This show is on Netflix right now and it is amazing. My friend kept recommending I watch it so I finally got the chance to watch it this weekend and I am totally hooked. We binged the first season (luckily its only eight episodes) and the second is already so good. The characters are all so intriguing and relatable plus the mystery just keeps on coming. The premise is basically the journey of two detectives trying to solve the murder of an eleven year old boy in a very small coastal town, where everyone knows each other and everyone has something to hide.

Eco-Friendly Brands: I am always looking for lists like this because I love supporting brands that are conscious of the environmental impact humans have, especially the fashion industry. I have been really into Reformation for a while but they can be a little bit pricey. I hadn’t heard of some of these brands before but I will definitely be using them in the future.

Fall Photographs: This photos on the National Geographic website are very beautiful. They are depictions of fall in different places. I felt that they are different than your typical fall foliage photo but really inspirational and gorgeous. I think upstate New York will be my goal destination for next fall. Such gorgeous photos.

On Just Being You: I really respect this stylish woman’s take on being you regardless of age. Society puts such a huge pressure on everyone to look very young and youthful but she makes the point of saying she just wants to be herself, to look her age and a very positive way. I enjoyed looking at the posts in general on Advanced Style because it is such a different aspect then a lot of what is out there, a different generations take on current style. It also reminds me of my grandmother who had a major influence on my life, especially on my love for style.

Stranger Things Season 2: Yes this one has been seriously anticipated and I am so excited. It official comes out on Netflix on October 27th. The trailer has me hyped and I am sure it won’t disappoint. The timing around halloween is perfect (although I know very planned).

Erin

Brunch Outfit Ideas

So I wore this black skater dress the other day for a Sunday brunch with some friends and I felt so Audrey… so Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It was perfect. I went all out with a top knot and pearls. We made scrambled eggs, potatoes and pancakes, adding strawberries and homemade maple syrup. We topped it all off with some mimosas and lots of good girl talk.

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Dress similar, Sweater Brooks Brothers, Flats Zara, Bag Nordstrom, Sunglasses similar, Pearls vintage

So I compiled several other great brunch looks, inspired by all sorts of different things including TV shows, movies and current seasonal style:

The Casual look: This is the perfect look for that casual brunch with friends. It is classy so you can go anywhere or stay in and make some delicious food.

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The Fall look: This look is perfect for those foggy, pumpkin filled fall brunches. Don’t forget some apple pancakes and warm maple syrup with hot coco or pumpkin spiced lattes.

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The TV look: These first looks are inspired by that upper east side brunch look feature in Gossip Girl. Its all about classy white dresses with small lace and embroidered embellishments. It is definitely the upscale look, the fancy Sunday brunch with grandparents at the club or an event brunch.

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Once again, brunch is my favorite as I absolutely love breakfast food and I love getting dressed up even just to eat a delicious meal. I hope you enjoyed and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Erin

5 Classes to Take in College Regardless of Your Major

So while I was in college I took some amazing classes that were not in my major. I decided to compile a list of classes to take regardless of your major. These are the classes that really changed my perspectives and got me thinking about so many things I have never thought about before.

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  1. Psychology: Some of the most interesting class I took were in the psychology department. It wasn’t my major but I had heard great things about the professors in the department so I decided to take Intro to Psychology in the spring of my junior year. I loved it so much that I ended up taking two more throughout my last few semesters. I honestly think I might have been a psychology major (or at least doubled) if I had taken the class freshman year. I just learned so much about how humans think and act. Seriously, it is such a helpful class in just understanding how people interact and how to effectively interact with people.
  2. Environmental: In today’s world learning about the environment has become critical yet it is much easier to ignore it now. I found the several environmental studies classes I took to be incredibly fascinating. I also took lots of biology classes (my major) including ecology classes like ornithology which gave me such a different perspective on the things we see in nature every day.
  3. A music or art history class: I actually took both an art history and a music history (The History of Rock) class and found both to be eye-opening. Those classes were unlike anything I had even taken before. They were really fun and I learned a lot about our cultural history. Many things surprised me and I am very glad I got some perspective on different cultures and societies through an art form. The origins of rock music, for example, come from old jazz and blues which can be traced to old slave music.
  4. Education: I took a class called Pedagogies of Place during my senior year and it was amazing. It was an education class with an emphasis on experiential learning which was exactly what I needed. It combined many environmental aspects with educational techniques and concepts. Taking a class on education can really put things into perspective. Most people spend the first 15-20 years of their lives in the education system and learning why and how the systems we have were formed is very interesting.
  5. A writing class: This is one thing that I feel like I really lacked in college. I took two writing intensive classes but I wish I would have taken some sort of creative writing course to really help develop my voice on the page. I realized how much I loved writing far too late in my college career. Even if you do not like to write, it is such a useful skill to have. Being able to adequately express yourself in writing is useful in almost any profession, it is a great way to have an impact in your field.

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Erin

 

 

Why I Love to Backpack

This is most definitely a very different post than any other I have done, however this part of me is so important that I decided I want to include more of it in my travel posts. Some may not take me for the type of person to pack up the essentials, throw it on my back and head into the great wilderness. The outdoorsy side of me is a major part of who I am and it is why I grew and changed in the ways I did. I think it is so important to have something that let’s you forget about our society for a brief period of time. Here I will share why I love to backpack so much:

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It allows me to clear my mind and free myself from consumerism for a bit: Don’t get me wrong I love to shop, the hunt for my favorite items of clothing and decor is way I do love to spend my time. However, I think it is important to find that place, activity etc… where everything else goes out the window and you can truly be yourself. No one judges and no one is watching. It is my way of unplugging from all of the noise for a bit in order to re-organize my thoughts and stay in touch with myself. So after my first backpacking trip 7 years ago I realized how free I feel when I am out there just with a few friends wandering the mountains. I have everything I need with me so all I have to worry about is slowly making my way to the final destination.

I gain lots of perspective: A part of what I gain on each and every backpacking trip is perspective on so many different aspects of life. Most of all though is perspective on myself relative to the rest of the world, how small I am in such a great world, how small humans are. There are so many other living things in the world and it does me lots of good to be reminded of how we as humans are not the only ones. It also reminds me to be grateful for everything I have. The wilderness can be a very humbling place as you can surround yourself with the sublimity of nature.

It is a relatively cheap way to travel: So there is a lot of gear involved in planning and implementing a large scale backpacking trip but there are lots of ways to do it on the cheap. Also, once you do have gear it is a very cheap way to travel. Over the years I have collected various pieces of backpacking equipment however there are ways to find things or rent for cheaper. Many colleges and universities have rental systems. Definitely not all places but those that have outdoor programs are sure to have a center which will rent to students and employees. Many also rent to community members. This is a great option if you have never been before and are not sure you will like it. Make sure, however, that you learn how to use equipment prior to going into the field. The Sierra Trading Post is a great place to find deals on gear as well as the REI garage sales. Clothing items (quick dry, fleece etc.) are things that can fairly easily be found in thrift stores. I may do a longer post on this in the future but in summary backpacking can be a great way to travel and see beautiful places without breaking the bank.

There is so much time to really get to know people: Backpacking trips have been the best way to truly get to know a person. There is so much time and space to talk and there is nothing to hide behind. I have made some of my best friends in having experiences like this, it really takes a friendship to an entirely new level. Going by yourself can be rewarding as well but I love backpacking with other people. It brings another aspect to the experiences and you can learn so much about the people you are with.

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Erin

Around the Web

Happy October! It is now truly fall and I can really get into my halloween movies and pull out my favorite sweaters. I can’t wait for some pumpkin carving, cider making and walks on those crunchy leaves.

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With all the fall excitement however I do want to acknowledge the tragedy that struck Las Vegas. There is so much injustice across the world and I could never cover them all largely because I do not understand much of the conflict and its history. What happened in Las Vegas is tragic and I cry for those effected as I do for those all around the world. When it happens so close to home it really wakes me up and reminds of how far away we are from being a great country full of freedom and justice. So many people are not free, not even close. The biggest realization for me is how much we should work to help and support those who are in need, all across the world, because there is so much hate. Love is the best way to fight hate. I needed to address this because it has all I have thought about since it happened, by no means is this event more important or tragic than many others in the United States and across the world. A Cup of Jo did a short post inviting people to comment and share their feelings, they also linked How to Help which lists things you can do right now to help if you feel like you need to be active about it now (eg. donating, writing to senators etc…).

I also included the above statement because it is much of what is flooding the news here (rightly so) and therefore seemed appropriate for this Around the Web post. Now I will move on to some lighter topics. The following are the internet reads which caught my eye over the last week:

The College Prepster’s 20 Fall Outfits: Carly chooses her favorite fall outfits over the years and they are fantastic classic looks with many pieces that really bring the prep. I definitely got lots of inspiration by browsing her looks.

Friend Dates on the Cheap: Coming up with fun things to do with friends that are within budget can be a challenge. This article gives some great ideas of things to do with friends that won’t break the bank.

Events Through the Eyes of Trees: This New York Times article (and photography) highlights trees is significant locations throughout human history. Trees don’t speak for themselves so understanding there story is incredibly difficult, they have ‘witnessed’ many human stories unfold. I had not really though of this before so it is a very interesting read and the photographs are beautiful.

Podcasts for that Commute: This list of 10 podcasts for your commute gave me some great ideas for new podcasts that might intrigue me. I have got into podcasts recently and am trying to come up with my list of favorite podcast. I still feel like I don’t really know what is out there though because there are so many great ones. I had not heard of any on this list so it was a really useful one for me.

A few travel articles: So now is definitely not prime travel time but it is the off season which means it is possible to do trips for significantly cheaper. I found this article on traveling on a $1000 budget which can definitely be a stretch but reading it did give me some ideas on saving money on future trips. I also found this one which is just a fun post on Instagram poses and pictures for traveling. It is a great read if you are looking to up your Insta game.

Fall Centerpieces: I wanted to end with something that circles back to our gorgeous fall inspiration. I have been trying to come up with some easy ways to decorate for the season without spending much. I couldn’t find the article I was looking at earlier in the week but this one also has some great fall decor.  From simple to extravagant these photos are sure to give plenty of ideas on spicing up your home and table decor for the season.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks internet round up! Please feel free to share any other thoughts and ideas. Once again, happy October.

Erin