(seventy) or spring break

Spring Break is finally here! I hate flying more than I hate a lot of things, so I try to leave as early as I possibly can in order to (hopefully) miss some of the turbulence. This meant that yesterday I left for the airport at 4:30 am. However, my fear of flying was abated when I finally landed in South Florida!

It’s always really funny to get off the airplane and feel the instant humidity of Florida. It hits you like a wall. For me, it’s a “Wow, I always forget how dry the air in Pennsylvania is.” The next thing you’ll notice is the sun. It’s so sunny. Like crazy sunny. You’re going to need to invest in a pair of sunglasses if you don’t already own them, otherwise you’re going to spend your days squinting and trying to block out the rays just to do simple tasks such as driving.

It feels really nice to be home, but it’s still this weird mix of knowing that I’m moving out and this is the last college break I’ll have for the foreseeable future. I have my list of things I need to complete before I return to Bryn Mawr, but it’s still this heavy feeling that I’m carrying around with me. Spring Break has always been a weird time for me because it’s so close to the end of the term that you’re thinking about what you need to do before courses end, but you’re also thinking about what you need to do before summer begins. It’s also the time when I realize that some of the people I love the most are graduating- but this time, it’s ME!

Spring Break is also the time of my birthday! I’m excited to be spending it with my parents, but I also have been with Pam only once on my actual Birthdays, and I’ve never been with my college friends. It’s kind of silly, but birthdays used to be such a big thing when I was younger and now they don’t feel like anything special. I supposed this is another perk of growing up.

In other news, my lovely cat Effy seems to have gained some weight. Normally I would attribute it to his fluff, but this time I think I can safely say that his size is pure fat content. As my father so eloquently put it, “When I see Effy trying to run I imagine a dump truck trying to take off and fly.” My poor little kitty cat. He’s currently sleeping on the chair across from me, unaware that I’m informing the inter webs of his recent weight gain. I don’t think he’d mind really. He doesn’t seem to care much of his appearance, unless we’ve gotten him recently shaved. In which case, he walks around with his little tail up in a happy question mark (?) formation. I think he enjoys his summer shave to be honest.

(sixty nine) or test anxiety

Despite being an institution not focused on grades/comparing ourselves to others, I’ve noticed that a lot of students (myself included) still have test anxiety. Test anxiety is when you feel anxious during, after, or leading up to an examination. For me, I’ve always felt this way. However, I’ve realized that a lot of social factors play into this feeling of anxiety before taking a test.

Seeing as I have my Sociology midterm today, I’m going to analyze testing with a sociological lens! I am, how they say, “killing two birds with one stone.”

So first off, institutions view tests as a necessary part of the way that professors can accurately measure how much someone has progressed in a course. Using Durkheim’s structure-functionalist theory, we can see that tests contribute to the macro level of a college’s functioning. Testing also creates group solidarity and collective effervesce, though things such as displayed feelings of anxiety about the exam, but knowing that we’re “all in this together.” Finally, by using tests to see how well students are retaining information, we are preserving the status quo by using the same methods over and over again. (Luckily for me/all of us in my class, Professor Nolan likes to spice things up and use other methods which give students other types of chances to demonstrate knowledge. I love her.)

You can also see testing as symbolic-interactonisim. Goffman is attributed to this! Students come into the testing space “costumed”- by this I mean we are all wearing comfy clothing. But! Students don’t look too comfy- we are the perfect level of comfy and put together. We want to show other people that we are competent social actors, and therefore we are trying to display the perfect level of “I’m chill and I got this” and “I am still nervous like you all, which makes me part of the group.” Through this we are also showing front stage behavior. We want to be presented as capable, but we may secretly be feeling nervous or anxiety beyond belief! What we keep inside and show when we’re not in front of a lot of people is called back stage behavior.

We can also apply Marx’s social-conflict approach. This one may not be as obvious as the others, but try to hear me out. Within our classes we have diversity of knowledge. This creates power and inequality within the classroom. For example, for some people, this test will be something totally new and strange to them- they would represent the proletariat. For other people, they’ve tested in this subject before and are now taking this course- they would represent the bourgeoisie. The social-conflict approach focuses on the macro-level structures and institutions in society that maintain inequality and how tension between groups manifests in social behavior. You may have a group of students who are resentful because they know another group of students doesn’t have to try as hard on the exam because they have already taken courses that allow them to perfect their thoughts and understanding. (Luckily, I don’t think thats a feeling within my class! I think we have more group solidarity than that.)

During a test we can also see Gemeinschaft. Gemeinschaft is having community and unity despite separating factors. As the class takes an exam, they are physically together within the room, but they are also mentally together, thinking about the exam and concepts of sociology. As we complete the exam, we are still thinking of each other and wishing each other well.

However, once we leave the testing room and begin to focus on our other things, we begin to exhibit Gesellschaft. Gesellschaft is when you are physically together, but not mentally. So after my exam when I go to the library to study for another exam, although al the students are in the library together, their minds are in a thousand other places, which doesn’t form mental community.

I’m feeling a lot better about my midterm, and I’m hoping you all got a fun sociological insight into the testing classroom.

(sixty eight) or i am still sick and only slightly angry about it

It’s been almost a week since I’ve gotten sick and I’m only 40% bitter about it. I am eternally grateful that it wasn’t the stomach bug, or I would have 100% called my mother and asked her to come stay with me. Fevers and aches I can deal with like an adult- pure pain I can not. It stinks because it seems like my entire hall is sick. I actually would want to expand statement that to all of Rhoads- I feel like out of all the dorms we were hit hardest by the flu. One of the first years worriedly asked me if I thought we would be quarantined, and luckily I was able to pass some reassurance on and assure her that they would not do that just for something like the seasonal sickness.

Bryn Mawr was quarantined once, however! I wish I could remember all the details, but I learned about it in my history course last semester. It seemed that the area surrounding Bryn Mawr College had a horrible outbreak of the influenza, so M. Carey Thomas decided to quarantine the school in an attempt to prevent the college from breaking out. Apparently it worked.

Anyway! Being sick and in school is such a bummer because you want to be able to actively participate and do the 1000 things that you normally do, but unfortunately you’re just so tired and out of it constantly. One of my professors told the corner of sick students that if we needed to leave and go back to our rooms we could, but we just responded in a serious of coughs and affirming head shakes.

I’ve always struggled with this strangle sensation that if I’m not in class I’m not a good student. I’ll go to class when I’m feeling awful, but in my mind that’s justifiable because at least I made it to class. I’ve only missed 2 classes, both of them my senior year due to sickness. I think that this is one of the things that I’ve had the hardest time learning at Bryn Mawr- if you’re sick, like actually sick, you can and should take a day off to rest and get better, not just power through.

I think that’s something I wish I could tell first year Angela. I totally had days where I probably shouldn’t have been in class, but I felt so much pressure to go. I think that’s something I wish I could really emphasize to others.

(sixty seven) or thoughts on unfolding events

I’ve always been the kind of person to confront things that I think are unjust head on. When I was little, I would run around in my fluffy party dresses pushing down kids who were bullying others. I even spit orange juice onto a birthday boy’s suit because he was being mean to his guests. It’s not because I had a mean streak or enjoyed violence, but rather I had no other ideas (or language skills- I was 4) to get the bullies to stop what they were doing.

As I’ve grown older my actions have changed. I’ve become the type of person who will relentlessly try to educate people on why something is bad, or why it’s hurting someone else. Past the days of pushing down bullies, I’ve come up with new (and probably more gentler) approaches. But as I’ve entered college it’s a bit harder to see where the lines between good and bad are. A lot of it falls into ambiguity, and it’s harder to really see where you, or others, stand.

But one thing I am sure about is that Professor Bridget Nolan deserves some stability in her life, which correlates to her position here at BMC. I’ve talked about her before- she’s one of my favorite professors, you need to take a class with her, etc. etc. etc. This may be her last term teaching her, and I don’t want to let her go without some sort of effort done on my part to prevent it.

Granted, it’s harder now. I’m not fighting school yard bullies for my crying peers. I’m engaging with a group of people who want to keep her, but can’t seem to make the financial decision to extend her contact from one year to three years. Having talked to a lot of people in power, I have to leave some questions unanswered for you. But it seems to myself and others that a viable option has been made for it to work out for both the institution and Professor Nolan. It’s sad because I know that I’m missing some information, some things are withheld from me, and so forth, but the student body is coming together to beg the administration for Nolan to be kept here, at her home. And they seem to be listening, but they don’t seem to be acting on it.

It’s hard because I recognize that they aren’t trying to be the school yard tormentor. They’re trying to make decision that they think are best for the institution. But the choices they make are still directly impacting the lives of their undergraduates, as well as their faculty/staff. By continuously offering her a one year contract they’re perpetuating the systematic issues of hiring Professors repeatedly on one year contracts offering them no upward mobility within academia or within their respective fields. I also recognize that I am an outsider to this process as a student, but as someone who is directly benefiting from this institution, and hopes one day to be in academia, I think that active change needs to take place. It can happen, but we just need an institution to take a leap of faith. And I think that leap of faith should be with Professor Nolan, who has proven time and time again that she is a leader and a mentor inside and outside of the classroom.

It’s disheartening as a senior to have so much love for who I have become here, but so much disappointment in the structures that prevent amazing people like Professor Nolan any sort of support.

(sixty six) or am i sick or is it allergies?

The annual question has arisen once again- am I getting sick or is Spring playing it’s first trick on me? Getting sick at college is by far one of the worst things that can happen to you. Not only do you feel horrible, but you’re 100% alone in your misery. Friends can come to check in on you and drop off food/medication, but at the end of the day, you’re still the one who can’t sleep at 3am waiting for the sun to rise. Your parents can call you everyday but realistically you can’t hold an intelligible conversation for more than five minutes without repeating questions over and over. Your only option is to return to your bed and lay looking at the ceiling until you start to feel good enough to look out your windows.

Then again, you could just be experiencing one of the first signs of seasonal allergies. Your stuffy nose, sore throat, and weird headache could be your bodies response to the cute little flowers that have began to peek their heads out through the dirt. Unfortunately for you, you’re unable to really enjoy the magic of spring because the moment you step outside you sneeze so violently you get rocketed back inside. You convince yourself that you have a cold because otherwise you feel silly for letting your ~*allergies*~ to control that much of your life. Trying to stay away from everyone in case you get them “sick” your allergies last the entire season, and only towards the end do you realize your mistake.

If you’re like me you could also be experiencing a little bit of both- a double whammy that only comes once a year! Not only do you feel like someone’s replaced your brain with cotton cloth, but you feel like your body is super sensitive to every little amount of pain. Is your room a few degrees too cold? Instantly you’ve become an icicle. Did you have a harder time than normal swallowing? It’s because your throat is closing up and you’ve got about 5 minutes to get some Benadryl in you. Regardless you’re gonna feel out of it completely and you might as well be able to breathe.

Now, chose which one of these applies to you, mix it in with classes, social life, health habits (such as eating and sleeping). Added mix ins include jobs, post-graduation plans, midterm exams, and/or Dorm Leadership positions. Overall am experience that you don’t want to experience, but you’re gonna have to at some point.

(sixty five) or off campus isolation

Ellen and I have been talking about getting off campus for weeks now. With a lot of planning ahead, we finally were able to make a day that we could dedicate totally to ourselves, and spending time with each other.

We decided to sleep in, and then get brunch in Erdman. After that, we went to King of Prussia Mall. The weather outside was gorgeous, so we drove with the windows down. It’s been pretty cold for the last week or two, so just being able to go outside with the sun shining was amazing.

We walked around the mall for a bit, window shopped, tried free samples of things, and split a smoothie. We stopped by Lush to get face masks, and then got a few free samples from them as well.

On the way home, we decided to have a picnic behind Rhoads. It was the perfect way to enjoy the sunset.

Later in the night we put on our face masks and watched a movie called “The Mask You Live In” – a film about the sociological effects of America’s narrow definition of masculinity.

Overall it was just the day I needed. Ellen and I got to spend some really good time together, but we were also able to get off campus and really reground ourselves in what matters to us. Time spent with Ellen is always time well spent, and I’m so lucky to have her in my life.

Below are some photos from our day.

(Music Ellen introduced to me- you should look them up, they’re really good)

(Ellen and I both agreed this was the prettiest dress)

(The nice lady at Sephora gave us free samples of this face wash- thank you so much)

(I can understand why people at Lush mistake the soaps for food)

(One of my all time favorite stores)

(Ellen and I post smoothie)

(The really cute candy shop at KOP)

(Ellen and I really like the advertising. The women featured were unedited and had things like stomach rolls and crooked smiles. It was wonderful to see.)

(The view from our picnic.)

(Our picnic dinner.)

(sixty four) or wtf week

Happy Hell/WTF week! The name still confuses me a little bit, but as is life. With time it will all filter out and everyone will use the same name. I’ll probably still refer to it as Hell week, so I apologize in advance. Regardless, I’m really excited for this last and final tradition. My freshmen year I had an amazing time and I really felt welcomed into the community. I had asked my two best friends, and they crafted an amazing week for me. I felt comfortable and accepted into Bryn Mawr. It was such a special time and I was excited to go through it.

This year, I have a surprise hellee! I was looking forward to being the hands-off senior who just watches the fun from afar, but I am honored to be helling Martina.

I’ve known Martina since I was 6 and she was 3.

This is us as children. Please note the two pink dresses. It was our way of matching, but we didn’t have the same clothes, so we asked our mothers to help us out. This was their solution, which resulted in a really cute photo.


ANYWAY! Martina is now a first year at Bryn Mawr. Having grown up together, we’re now in college together. I’m excited to give her this experience, and hopefully she has lots of fun.

This is one of her first tasks from last night- a search around campus! She documented it though photographs at each major stop we took.

I’m a bit busy (ok like super busy) but I’m looking forward to the rest of this week.

(sixty three) or weekend wonders

Pam and I are being proactive and adult-ing again! Let me rephrase- Pam and I are both adults, yes, but whenever we need to do something particularly emotionally draining I like to tease her and say we’re adult-ing. 90% of the time I say it under my breath, but the 10% of the time that she hears me she looks at me like the wide-eyed emoji and scoffs. Anyway!

This weekend we continued our hunt for a home. We looked at another apartment and decided that we wanted to pursue it. We’re gonna talk about it a bit more, and crunch more numbers, but overall I’m happy we’re taking these steps together.

In some of our space time, we wandered in the furniture shops around Philly. Most of the time the items in the shops were out of our price range (1,000$ for a bed frame?? Are you joking???) but it was still nice to just walk about and get ideas. We found out that we have very close taste in things, which is always reassuring.

Although I’m still having trouble uploading photos (Diana! Help me!) I was able to upload these two above. Pam and I went to Nora’s on south street to get dinner one night. These burritos were HUGE. I went in expecting a burrito sized burrito but instead I got a baby sized burrito (as in the size of a baby, not a size for a baby). Luckily for us our two burritos translated into six meals which was pretty amazing and highly cost efficient.

This upcoming week will be WTF week. I’ll be sure to update you all on my adventures of my last time “Welcoming The First-years”

(sixty two) or bmc ski school

Today we had the first snow day of the year! My freshmen year we had snow days for what seemed like every other week, but this year we’ve been abnormally warm and sunny. However, last night it snowed and snowed and snowed, and here we are- safe and warm in our dorms with a winter wonderland outside.

I’m personally super happy that classes were canceled. I love classes, but I got to admit, I still get excited at the prospect of sleeping in, waking up when I want, and then having time I didn’t think I would otherwise have to do work.

Today I woke up super early, checked my email, and was suddenly filled with adrenaline because the news had broke; the college is closed, no classes. Instead of going back to sleep, I rushed out of bed, put on my warmest clothes, and went to friend my friend Lillian.

Lillian had promised me that she would teach me how to ski. I’ve never been skiing, and therefore have never learned how. Apparently it’s a lot of fun, and people really enjoy it. So Lillian told me that when she got back to BMC after winter break, she would bring her skis with her and would teach me how to cross country ski.

AND SHE KEPT HER PROMISE!! Today she and I went out to Merion Green, and she strapped me into her boots. I wasn’t super good at it at first. I kept knocking the skis together, and because I was so concentrated on what was going on below me, I wasn’t looking where I was going. Luckily Lillian stayed close to my side warning me of trees, correcting my movements, and overall giving positive encouragement.

She gave me a solid “C” which I was happy with seeing as this was my first time strapping myself to two metal gliders hoping I won’t be thrown down a hill. I didn’t really get a hang of the “gliding” motion that Lillian was so effortlessly doing, but she said that I did move my weight around and bend my knees. So that’s a plus.

After a few …”runs”… I relinquished my reigns to Lillian who whisked around the snow like a total pro while I chased after her. I quickly realized that she would be an excellent target practice, as the snow was perfect snowball condition.

Today I learned how to ski, and I also learned that my aim is a bit better than I would have normally given myself credit for. I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend, and I’m so HAPPY that I have more time to get ahead of my work.

(sixty one) or spa day

I never thought of doing this until last night, and I really regret not thinking it day one of my freshman year. Beauty magazines are always marketing at home recipes for spa treatments that you can make with things from your kitchen, and yesterday I realized that I have all the ingredients at hand to make some easy DIY beauty treatments. And, to make it better, it’s FREE! Get yourself a take out box and craft away with these recipes.


It’s winter time, and my lips are always chapped. To make a lip scrub:

  1. Mix equal parts sugar and honey together.
  2. Rub along your lips.
  3. Rinse off.
  4. Repeat.
  5. TAH-DAH! Exfoliated lips.



If you’re staying up late for classes, you’ll notice that your eyes tend to get puffy and swollen. Help calm them down by:

  1. Soak green tea bags in warm water- not enough for the tea to brew, but enough for the bag to get warm.
  2. Use the tea bag as an eye compress, and put them over closed eyes for five minutes.
  3. Rinse with warm water.



If you’re like me, your body will get dry in the winter. Make this hydrating scrub to exfoliate your skin by:

  1. Mix coarse brown sugar, lemon juice, and equal parts olive oil and honey in a container.
  2. Open up a chamomile tea packet for the smell and the soothing effect of the tea.
  3. Exfoliate skin in shower.
  4. Rinse off with warm water.


Although you’ll look like you have mayonnaise on your face trust me, it’s worth it. Just make sure you choose clean ingredients (unlike the blob of heavy cream someone spilled on the floor!)

  1. Mash 1 banana, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, 1 and a half tablespoons of honey into a bowl.
  2. Apply to face.
  3. Let dry!
  4. Rinse off with warm water!



All of these spa treatments have been tried and tested by yours truly. You can get the ingredients in either dining hall, so you can eat dinner, and then grab some ingredients for your own spa night on the way out. Honestly, it was super fun to come up with ideas, and I’m 100% going to do this again.