Life Under California’s COVID-19 Lockdown

I’m challenging myself to write down my thoughts/feelings and the activities I do each day during the California lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic. This state shelter-in-place is an interesting social experiment and I think it will help me stay motivated and inspired if I document each day! I’ll update the post for each day I am under lockdown.

3/19: Day 1

Today I took my last final and it was luckily the only final I ended up having to take this quarter since my other ones became optional due to the coronavirus. It was for my Judicial Process pre-law class and it went pretty well and wasn’t too stressful since it was open book/open google (you get the idea). Other than that it’s my first day home and I’m actually not terribly bored yet and it’s been nice seeing my family again : )

3/20: Day 2

I actually wrote a blog post about things you can do while self-quarantining mostly because I was trying to brainstorm ideas to keep myself busy while under lockdown. I watched the news for awhile (I didn’t have cable at college) and caught up on some YouTube videos. I finally worked out, which I want to do every day while at home, ate some good food, and went to sleep.

3/21: Day 3

I was pretty lazy today- I made myself a mocha in the morning and started to watch season 3 of “Atypical” on Netflix. I hung out with my brother for a bit, worked out, ate, then slept once more.

3/22: Day 4

I started to think about redoing my room and went straight to Pinterest. My family is redoing a ton of other spaces in our house right now and it’s kinda making me want a change as well. I also took my clothes out of my suitcase and hung them up, finally accepting that I won’t be back at Cal Poly SLO for awhile.

3/23: Day 5

Today was the first day where my spirit was a little low. The new reality of being under lockdown for who-knows-how-long is finally sinking in. I’m starting to miss friends, but I’m still grateful to be with my family and for good health. The virus is really starting to get bad now, with 46,477 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 2,246 cases in California alone. In my college town (SLO) there are now 33 cases and in my home town (San Diego) there are 230 cases. I’m starting to get a little more worried as these numbers continue to rise. I’m starting to feel like we might be under this lockdown for quite some time.

3/24: Day 6

I’m feeling better today and not as negative about the lockdown. I started to read again and I feel like it’s really helping me by bringing my back to my roots and prime form of entertainment (I used to read every night as a kid). It makes me feel more at home and comfortable with how things are right now.

3/25: Day 7

I’m really starting to get in the routine of things- I wake up at 11:00am, eat some brunch (usually toast with avocado or bananas with peanut butter), do something creative then watch Netflix, eat dinner, workout around 7pm, then relax once more. It’s a really light schedule to say the least, but it helps me stay focused and feel like I still have a purpose.

3/26: Day 8

I finished a painting of a sunflower I had been working on for my room back in college. It’s just been nice to work on different creative projects each day- whether its reading, playing guitar, painting, selling clothes on Poshmark, etc.It just helps me stay busy and honestly the painting turned out better than I thought (drawing is my weakness) so I was kinda proud. I got out of the house for a bit too and went to Starbucks with my mom (the only one left open in town) and also got some decorations at the dollar tree for my brother’s 16th birthday coming up. We went on a nice family walk, I worked out, I went to bed. Today was productive.

3/27: Day 9

I baked a cake and a TON of cookies with my mom to prepare for my brother’s birthday, which is tomorrow. It was nice to finally eat some chocolate chips and cookie dough since I’ve been trying to be super healthy otherwise during quarantine. I worked out later in the day and for the most part, I was in good spirits.

3/28: Day 10

It was my brother’s birthday so I woke up early around 6:45ish to help decorate. I took a day off from working out and I didn’t really read the news or think about what’s going on in the world much. I just stuffed myself with cake, cookies, and ice cream; it was a good day and it was nice to be with the fam.

3/29: Day 11

I ate some cake for lunch it really was the greatest decision for the day. I worked out some too, tanned outside, read, and played some nerf with brother. It was just another chill day and its still been nice hanging out with the family. I’m enjoying the coronacation for now.

3/30: Day 12

I’m really tempted to do some online shopping. I already accidentally bought a Kate Spade purse (in my defense, it was technically a birthday present for myself) so it may go downhill from here with all this free time. I’m still trying to follow a very broad schedule and get up around 11am and workout around 7pm. It’s been going very well and it’s kept me sane. I went on a walk down my street with my family and had some good tacos for dinner. How nice a Mexican restaurant sounds though right now!!

3/31: Day 13

My family discovered one of the only Starbucks left often in San Diego so we just had to make a stop there this morning. We were all nervous about going to a drive through, but after we were glad we supported a local business and the coffee was amazing and really brightened my day. I worked out (I’ve only missed a day during this quarantine) and read a book outside. I’m still enjoying this break, but now the news says the peak of the coronavirus may not be till mid- May and that we will most likely be in shelter in place till especially May 3rd. This makes me worried that I won’t even be able to go back to college/SLO town in May and stay there for a month or two.

4/1: Day 14

The governor decided to end the shelter in place policy… April fools! Still in lockdown and its just yet another day for the world battling the coronavirus. Today was a lazy day full of self care, which is highly needed during a time like this. I ordered a hair mask just for fun on amazon (make sure to wash your hands after receiving packages) and some textbooks for school as well. Everything is just so surreal to me right now, especially how my school is now going to be virtual.

4/2: Day 15

I finally finished the book I have been reading, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. I have two more books on the list for this quarantine that I still want to read as well, and I may do another post about all three of them since they are all self help books. Anyways, today I facetimed a few friends and it really brightened my day. I think FaceTiming a friend at least once a day is super important to stay connected right now and stay healthy mentally.

4/3: Day 16

Today was the first time I became a little sad again. I was going over my class schedule since (online) school starts this Monday and it just hit harder that I have now been away from my friends for quite some time and will probably not be able to see them for quite a long more time. I’m really starting to miss everyone and the people I love from college.

4/4: Day 17

My attitude was super positive today and I had a ton of energy. I started to miss someone from school a lot later in the day and my energy then felt a bit off, but it was pretty good for the most part overall. I worked out a ton (for about an hour 1/2-2 hours) and read so it really helped ease my mind. I also did a face and hair mask, doing a little spa night for myself to make me feel less stressed.

4/5: Day 18

I started to go a little crazy today. This morning I was super anxious and felt really upset. I decided to get out of bed and workout for a bit outside even though it’s really cloudy. School starts tomorrow and I just wish I was actually back at campus with my friends. I’m going to make some chocolate chip cookies now.

4/6: Day 19

Today is the first day back to school (well, online school)! I only had one class in the from and I was actually done by 9:30 because it ended super early. The class in person would have been so much more fun and I wish I could interact more with my classmates, but it wasn’t too boring.  I started a new book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck” and let me tell you, it’s pretty entertaining.

4/7: Day 20

20 days??? I can’t believe it’s been that long actually it went by somewhat quickly, which is surprising. I had my first full day of classes and they seem easier than if I were to have them in person, which is nice. I’m glad school has started because I think I would’ve felt more bored today since it’s been raining and I can’t really tan or anything right now in the backyard. I’m actually starting to get used to this quarantine life though, which is weird.

4/8: Day 21

Whelp, I made cookies for the second time so that’s where I’m at. Literally cannot stop eating sweets. Like it’s bad. Eating healthy was not an issue for the first two weeks but my diet has since gone downhill. Honestly, weight should not be a worry during quarantine- we have a global PANDEMIC going on in case you forgot. Just be kind to your body, but (in my opinion) still eat well so you can feel good. Have a treat every so often, but remember, you will ultimately feel better by taking good care of yourself. Beyond that, this season of “Survivor” is absolutely iconic. Period.

4/9: Day 22

Today I have eaten so healthy and I’m honestly super proud since I got off track lately. It’s not bad at all to not eat super 1000% healthy all the time, but it got to the point where my body was starting to crave food that wouldn’t make me FEEL good. Anyways, this entire quarantine I have worked out every day and failed to mention my routine. I do the Alexis Ren ab and butt workout each day and on top of that, I run/walk/jog for about an hour. Lately, I have also added a workout by Chloe Ting if I’m really feeling it. These videos are all on Youtube and super helpful- I’ll prob do a post actually about them in the future : )

4/10: Day 23

Last night I lied and after I wrote my post for the day I proceeded to eat… five pieces of candy. Anyways, I ACTUALLY ate healthy today, despite my dad making egg free brownies (they were delicious) and having a piece or two. I read a ton for school and pretty much studied all day. Online school is pretty easy so far and I really hope that trend continues, because I’m here for it.

4/11: Day 24

I have my first two quizzes for online classes coming up and I’m kinda nervous, but I’m hopeful they will go well. Anyways, I’ve been watching a little bit of Netflix during this time and I really recommend “How To Get Away With Murder.” Watching TV, taking morning walks, baking, doing yoga, and working out consistently has all kept me sane. I’ve had a few moments where I thought I was going crazy, but overall, life is still good and there is much light at the end of this quarantine tunnel.

4/12: Day 25

Happy Easter! Today is one of the happiest days I have had since the start of this quarantine. Maybe it was the sugar rush from all the candy I ate, but I truly feel so grateful for my life and this time with my family. I feel so lucky that my family isn’t struggling during this time and just really appreciate what I have and the life God has created. Our world may be a mess right now, but surely God has a plan for us all. Anyways, I just feel such a strong sense of self right now- I know who I am, what I want to do, and have an idea of what I want to be. I am so fulfilled and thankful to be alive today. Life is full of challenges, but that’s what makes us who we are and we are defined by how we face these challenges. I strive to face my challenges head on, with grace, positivity, and gratitude. Wow, this got off on a tangent- so sorry about that- no matter your religion and whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you enjoyed today and see the positives in your life.  : )

4/13: Day 26

I actually felt pretty off today. I think it might be because I had SO MUCH sugar yesterday and it’s just catching up and making me feel terrible today. Anyways, I’m trying to still eat healthy, but I’ve been pretty lazy today. Much Netflix needed.

4/14: Day 27

I honestly still did not feel that great today and after the hype of Easter I realized how much I really miss my SO and friends back in college. It’s been a long time now and it’s really hard not knowing at all when I will see them again. I’m just trying to stay focused and do the best I can in school in the meantime.

 

Finish your school year right with 31 Days of Wellness

May just might be the time of the year where summer is right around the corner, but it’s also Mental Wellness Month!

To ensure students focus on their wellbeing in the midst of midterms and finals, Cal Poly is putting on its annual 31 Days of Wellness. The event was planned since January by Kathryn Villareal, the coordinator of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, along with student Gabby Rolph, the Co-Coordinator of the Wellness Ambassador Program.  For the next 31 days, they hope to raise awareness about health resources on campus for students.

The event

The kickoff to the series of events started Monday, April 29th on Dexter Lawn. Clubs and organizations such as Poly Fit, Men & Masculinity, PULSE, Health Services, FNL, SLO Food Bank, and more set up booths to inform students about how they can reach their needs and the activities they will be putting on.

At one booth, there were “quit kits” for smoking being offered to students. The kits contained pamphlets on methods to quit smoking, a card with the phone number for the California Smokers’ Helpline, along with breath mints and gum. Students could pick one up for themselves or for the friends.

“I hope to connect students to resources for their needs to quit smoking, but especially vaping,” said Nasseem Rouhani, a Health Education Specialist who works with the Tobacco Control Program and was running the booth.

Also in attendance, the Cal Poly PD was on Dexter Lawn and for the first time ever, is teaming up with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for the 31 Days of Wellness event.

The reason behind the collaboration

Their biggest goal: “We’re trying to educate students to be more consciousness when crossing streets and biking,” said Frankie Herrera, a police officer for SLO PD.

Along with mental wellness, it is also national bike to work month, which promotes health living and a clear mind through increased exercise. However, students biking on campus often present danger to those who are walking.

According to SLO PD, most tickets given out on campus are written due to student bikers who are distracted on their cell phones, not adhering to stop signs or cars, not following the walk zone on Polyview, and those who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Awareness methods and prizes

Several actions will be taken to promote bicycle safety as well as the wellbeing of students who walk on campus.

“Students will be wearing sandwich boards with the tagline ‘why take a chance, stop, take a glance,'” said Kathryn Villarreal, who is leading the Department of Environmental Health and Safety in its collaboration with SLO PD.

Dum dum lollipops will also be handed out to bikers who are seen not following regulations- students should be alert or they will be called out!

Along with these lollipops being handed out, free prizes and gifts will be handed out throughout May.

There will be a raffle at the end of the month where students can win gift cards for a massage, Woodstocks pizza, Doc Burnstein’s, and more.   The grand prize of the rifle: a brand new bike and helmet! Tickets to submit for the raffle will be awarded to students by SLO PD and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety who are following safety regulations on campus to promote health and wellness. Students can also visit the office of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety to receive a ticket for the raffle.

“As a reminder, staff and faculty should also look for free lab safety glasses on Thursday at Building 180,” said Villarreal.

According to student Gabby Rolph, the Co-Coordinator of the Wellness Ambassador Program, Cal Poly Students should follow @myCPwealth on Instagram for more updates on events for the 31 Days of Wellness and how to get involved.

Quarter vs Semester System- Cal Poly SLO

Cal Poly is the only California State University (CSU) remaining that runs on the quarter system.

The other 22 CSUs follow the semester system, which runs sixteen weeks long. Cal Poly’s schedule comprises of 10 weeks per quarter. Students are in a constant rotation of classes on the quarter system in comparison to the semester system. From this, several pros and cons in terms of how the quarter system impacts life on campus have emerged.

Amy Lan, a freshman Public Health major said the transition from the semester system at her high school to entering college on the quarter system was “fine first quarter, but really hit second quarter.”

“There was just so much work and it was very stressful … with only 10 weeks to accomplish everything. It is a lot pressure – your whole grade can be determined by one final,” Lan said.

She also said breaks would be nice, but because of the fast pace of the system, she has become more focused on spending more time working and admitted there is “less procrastinating” since there is hardly any extra time.

A downside to the quarter system, however, is that teachers tend to take longer to put in grades. There is simply less time to grade papers since there are only 10 weeks before final grades are reported. Due to this, there tends to be fewer assignments that count for more so a grade may only be based off of a few components instead of several.

On the semester system, Lan said students along with teachers have more free time so students have the ability to redeem themselves if they receive a bad grade and teachers have more time to collaborate with their students, instruct, and review their coursework.

On the quarter system, some students said there is pressure on students to perform well on every single exam and for teachers to get through material as fast as possible.

“No one really enjoys the quarter system, but it’s not too bad,” Lan said. “The fast pace of the quarter system makes you work hard and learn more.”

Agriculture business freshman Grace Pagliuso had a different take on the quarter system.

“I love the quarter system because it allows me to take more various classes throughout the school year,” Pagliuso said.

For her, she said the adjustment from high school to college was made easier due to AP classes she took that consisted of heavy work loads. The fast pace of the quarter system was not as much of a shock and Pagliuso said she finds it enjoyable.

“The quarter system makes you prioritize and it allows for constant exposure to new ideas since you are switching your classes so often, which is something I like,” environmental earth and soil sciences junior Monique Rae said.

A simple chart that better outlines the difference between the quarter and semester system was found on Quora.

Unknown

The shortness of the quarter seems to also put an intense pressure on students to manage their time well, especially if students want to fit in outside activities. Students have to squeeze in participating in clubs or sports within their fast paced study schedule.

Professors, like students, also like the quarter system on varying degrees.

“One of the things I like about the quarter system is that it moves so fast – you can do lots of different things in the span of the year, but it also prevents you from having in depth kinds of investigations of topics,”Professor Steven Ruszczycky from the College of Liberal Arts department said.

According to Ruszczycky, faculty do not have to submit grades until the Tuesday of Spring quarter so they only get four days off.

“I have to turn around and prepare to teach whole new sets of classes. Winter and Spring end up feeling like one gigantic quarter, or one gigantic term so its exhausting,” Ruszczycky said.

Prior to Cal Poly, Ruszczycky taught in New Zealand on a semester system that was 14 weeks long. Students would attend classes for six weeks at a time and then have two weeks of a break between each semester.

“It was nice to have that rest,” Ruszczycky said. “It would be nice if there was something like that institutionalized even with the quarter system.”

In terms of change, there was a survey that circulated around asking staff if they would be interested in having three day classes per week, such as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday rather than a two day class schedule. Classes would be 90 minutes rather than 110.

This is a benefit of the quarter system because teachers and students would be in the classroom for shorter periods of time. This would give everyone a breath of fresh air and slightly lessen the pressure of having to focus for such a long period of time in class and consume or teach a large chunk of information all at once.

The results of this survey distributed by the Cal Poly Administration were not available and no change has occurred after it was given.

A complete change in the system would be a tremendous amount of work due to the complex conversion of units from the quarter to semester system, because students would only take eight classes a year versus twelve.

The conversion would benefit transfer student however, because it would align their requirements or units up with several other CSU’s, making the switch a lot easier.

For now, the the Cal Poly administration is committed to to keeping the university on the quarter system.

“Cal Poly has carefully evaluated the quarter system and believes the pace and variety of courses taught by our esteemed faculty is essential to Learn by Doing and prepares students for a lifetime of learning and success,” University Spokesperson Matt Lazier wrote in an email to Mustang News.

Still, Cal Poly welcomes a new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs this year, so the debate between the quarter and semester system continues to linger and is always very much on the table.

Coming home from college for the first time

It’s that time of the year again- college freshman are finally heading back home for the first time since starting their adventure on campus. Ahh this November break has everyone on the edge of their toes, with some wonder if they will fall victim to the dreaded turkey drop (aka break ups between high school sweethearts), or feel caged inside their homes after experiencing so much freedom at their new school. Perhaps, the fall break is music to your ears because you have been homesick the last few months and just can’t wait to see old friends and your family. Well, whatever the case may be, here’s a list of the feelings and changes you might notice once you come home the first time from college:

  1. You will notice everything that moved around in the house

That picture in your room was moved to a different spot on the wall by your mom?? You’ll notice it. A new decoration was hung in the kitchen? Your eyes will jump right to it.   The smallest changes will be made and they will feel huge to you- like a blow to the face. You no longer live in the house and it feels as if everything is moving on without you. Just realize you’re moving on from it, too.

2. Your group of friends from high school will gradually become smaller

The people that surrounded you in high school were your world- that is, until you came to college and there were fresh faces everywhere you turned. There is only so much time to see your best friends- the ones who will stay by your side through thick and thin!

3.  You may be slightly out of shape

The freshman fifteen is real guys. Going to college is a transition and often, it is hard to find time to workout in the middle of meeting so many people and trying so many new things! Honestly, give yourself a break if you haven’t done your normal trip to the treadmill. Just try to eat well and begin to set a plan for yourself that will help you stay fit- a little goes a long way. Working out will relieve stress from school and make you feel not only healthier, but happier as well!

4. Everyone got older

I came back from college and my little brother had grown so much- I couldn’t believe it!! It may be a slight shock to see people you know grow up in the time you’ve been away. It may be even more of a shock that YOU have grown up and people see you now as a young adult now. Like I still feel 16 what happened??

5. Freedom is everything

You will crave freedom. Coming back home means coming back to live under your parents’ roof- and their rules. You can no longer go to Taco Bell at 1 am. You may not be able to crack open a cold one with the boys (I mean a soda) or have a day with the girls without reporting what time you will be coming and going and where. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may be frustrating to some. Have patience and know that it is temporary!!

6. You will appreciate everything more

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room…. Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home…. that’s right, Taylor Swift said it best! She wished she had never grown up and sometimes, you get that feeling when you come back from college. So appreciate those home cooked meals, laughing with loved ones, and going to sleep in your bed. You never know how much time you have, until it’s gone.

Fall Playlist 2018

 

At least in Southern California, the fall vibes aren’t always real evident because the sun is still shining and the leaves haven’t fully changed colors yet. With that in mind, I wanted to feel more fall-like so I put together a playlist that puts me in the spirit! Here’s a list of some songs that is just the right kind of mood for this season- it makes me think of the smell of pumpkin spice and a rainy day : )

Sunflower- Rex Orange County

Best Friend- Rex Orange County

loveee rex orange county forevaaa

PCH- Jaden Smith

My Boy- Billie Eilish 

(or any other song by her)

BTSTU- Jai Paul

Berlin- RY X

Stay- Post Malone

so hard to not sing along ahhh

Hope- XXXTENTACION

Boy- Willow

Marceline- Willow

Chanel- Frank Ocean

From The Dining Table- Harry Styles

or just listen to his whole album

Fire Escape- Foster the People

Like Real People Do- Hozier

Landslide- Smashing Pumpkins

30 Hours- Kanye West

Writer In the Dark- Lorde

any Lorde will also do

City of Angels- Miguel

Sleep on the Floor- The Lumineers

The Weekend- SZA

a bop

R.I.P SCREW- Travis Scott

Loving Someone- The 1975

White Ferrari- Frank Ocean

Lost Boy- Jaden Smith

Snaggletooth- Vance Joy

Wash.- Bon Iver

bon iver will always set the mood

Sweater Weather- The Neighbourhood

Autumn Leaves- Ed Sheeran

Everything Has Changed- Taylor Swift

a fall anthem

Red- Taylor Swift

Roslyn- Bon Iver

Holocene- Bon Iver

From the Morning- Nick Drake

Run and Hide- Sabrina Carpenter

In the Airplane Over the Sun- Neutral Milk Hotel

Cherry Wine- Hozier

sooo pretty

Lego House- Ed Sheeran

River (feat. Ed Sheeran)- Eminem

The A Team- Ed Sheeran

 

My Interview at Tilly’s

Heyyy sooo I recently got hired to work at Tilly’s! I love this store and I’m super excited to have this job : )

The interview process was pretty interesting. I found out about the job first by going into the store and asking the manager if he was hiring, which he was! I actually filled out the application the day of, went back to the store, and then did a mini one-on-one interview.

I came back the following Monday for a second interview, this time with a group of other potential employees. An employee asked us general questions about why we love Tilly’s, what activities we are involved in, and why we would be a good fit to work at Tilly’s. It was very relaxed and my nerves went away pretty quickly.

Then, it got really fun and kinda intense. The employee asked us to walk around the store and pick out an outfit that a girl would wear to a party. When we had all our items, we then had to pretend to sell the products we picked out! After the simulation, the employee asked me and two other people to stay at the store because something was wrong with our resumes. I was scared when she said that haha because I didn’t want that to effect my chances. Anywaysss it turns out that nothing was wrong with our resumes and instead, we were chosen to be hired!

Overall, it was a pretty fun and quirky process and I’m sooo glad I get to work at Tilly’s. They have super cute clothes and everyone there is so sweet! If you have any specific questions about the process or just any retail questions in general, feel free to ask!

Coffee & Matcha Run

Hey everyone!

Today I was with my friend who I have known since PRESCHOOL (and through softball) and we decided to go check out Communal Coffee (Coffee + Flowers) and Holy Matcha. Both places are pretty well known because of their aesthetics and we thought it would be fun to go and see if it was all really worth the hype. Turns out, it was!

7B897A2E-6157-4E7F-A5F2-CBCFC66B47A0

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
I got a lavender honey latte and Jen got a vanilla latte

7D5E7878-3F33-42E8-A900-88877393F058

2C53E4D6-04C2-43F5-9020-8A3950284356

The coffee tasted actually really good and the menu was very unique so it was fun to  order something I’d never even heard of before.

Next, we went to Holy Matcha because we had some time on our hands to explore the area (both shops are located on the same street!).

C71322D9-A0A3-424D-AA3B-1A6C3B2E403C
strawberry lavender matcha drink w/ Cda

FFD444E6-9745-4389-A84A-F1E5199F8ABAC53F9140-CD11-4EE8-8259-6E1555F233FD

3D3AF276-BAC5-45DA-AF4F-BA6B17CFBCB6
my strawberry vanilla donut… yummm

It was such a great day and I’ll miss roaming around SD when I move to SLO! I guess I’ll have to find some more coffee & tea places there…

Anyways, let me know if you have any  suggestions on new places to try out!

 

 

Cat Eye Sunglasses

 

Okay but I love black, cat eye sunglasses! I reallyyy want to invest in a pair this summer. They have such a classic, stylish look to them and go with literally ANYTHING. I love this trend and if you have a heart shaped face like me then the cat eye shape also fits your features really well. I think Forever21, H&M, and Urban Outfitters have some good ones so I’ll probably look there. In the meantime, I’ll try and find a pic of a cute pair so I could post it down below and maybe give you some inspiration.

My Trip To Maui

It’s finally summer… and what better way to spend it than in Hawaii?!

Two weeks ago, I flew to the Kahului Airport in Maui. I spent ten days living the island life, which mostly included me hiking, exploring Maui’s waterfalls, lounging by the pool, going to the beach, and of course eating a TON of good food. I stayed in two hotels- the Westin and the Ka’anapali Beach Club. It was such a fun trip and I never wanted to leave the island!

A few highlights from my trip…

 

Black Rock Beach, Kaanapali

0f3fbf87-52dd-4265-8a79-fc5f2511fcbd.jpeg

The photo above is a little blurry, but that’s because it is a screenshot of a video of me jumping of the rock! That’s right, at Black Rock you can cliff jump on both sides. It’s pretty slippery to get up to the top and you have to watch out for sea urchins (a guy nearby me stepped on one), but overall, the feeling you get when you jump makes it worth it.

 

Road to Hana

582C8DCA-1251-400B-B1B8-8E5FD05310D0

This is one of Maui’s most popular activities and for good reason, too. The road to Hana start on the Hana highway and ventures onto a windy, narrow road. The drive was harrowing (so many one way bridges) and an all day tour but it was absolutely beautiful. The road has a ton of places to stop so my family had to pick and choose what places we wanted to stop and look it. A good tip for if you ever do the road to Hana is that there is an app for it. It’s complete with a tour guide, audio, background of Maui’s history, a map, and tells you all the spots on the road, even saying what places are a “must see.”

 

Black Sand Beach, Hana

6fde753b-88a0-4071-9fd2-20d8b556a09a-e1530295002635.jpeg

The first “must see” place that I recommend everyone who does the road to Hana should stop at was this gorgeous, inlet beach. The sand has a rich, black pigment to it from all the black rock there and it makes the beach unique. The water has a slight rip current and I got there in the morning so there wasn’t too many people there yet.

 

Ke’anae Arboretum

63172AA4-F116-4736-92E5-5DF8D1B1056D

890F2971-0C31-47E3-B2FA-D8A3DCEC1B0C

This arboretum is a good stop if you want to see the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees (pictured above) up close. There’s a good amount of parking at this spot and it’s just a short hike off the road where you can learn about the different plants that grow in Hana. There’s also the Garden of Eden, which is another pretty arboretum, but you have to pay to get in.

 

Wailua Falls, Hana

358C4473-8058-4517-8CE2-0DE46F9FB21B

Wailua Falls is located near the end of the road to Hana and it ended up being one of my favorite stops. You can see the falls off the side of the road from a one lane bridge and there’s not a lot of places to stop so I would try and get there early. What makes this place so special is that I found a hidden trail, located at the front of the bridge, that leads down towards the waterfall. I followed the rugged path and ended up sitting on these rocks, right above the waterfall!

 

THE BANANA BREAD (anywhere on the road to Hana)

35c7305f-2b98-4ad5-8988-d6207d437b49-e1530296640719.jpeg

img_4518

The banana bread is AMAZING in Hana. There are endless cute shops along the road to stop at where you can buy the bread. I wanted to stop at Halfway to Hana- a well known shop along the road- but it was unfortunately closed so I went elsewhere to buy the bread and it did not disappoint! Other good things along the road include Hana coffee, beef kabobs, and chocolate, but this is BY FAR the best thing you can buy (and a must in my opinion).

 

Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls (end of the road to Hana)

img_4391-e1530302391524.jpg

img_4511

 

Napili Beach & Kapalua Bay, Kapalua

 

e2b847a8-7eb5-4976-b289-5d698ce414cd.jpeg

Napili Beach and Kapalua bay are located almost next to each, with one or two hotels and restaurants in between. Napili Beach is more secluded and less crowded but the beach itself has slowly gotten smaller over the years and there isn’t a whole lot of sand there anymore. Kapalua Bay is bigger, more crowded, slightly rocky, better for snorkeling, and has a bigger beach. The water is calm, clear, and feels like a bathtub in both places and the scenery was exquisite.

Ululani’s Shave Ice (scattered around Maui)

55a56611-6072-4d54-81f9-481c2e1bf903-e1530297676901.jpeg

mmmm to put it simply, I have never had a better shave ice in my entire life. They crush the ice to a smooth, snowlike powder that melts in your mouth. There are a variety of flavor- from your average cherry, blue raspberry, and orange all to the way to flavors like green tea, wedding cake, and tamarind. I found myself at Ululani’s in Lahaina and Hana.

Make sure to let me know what summer trips you are going to be taking!

Why I Chose Cal Poly Slo

Next year, I will be a freshman at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo! While it is bittersweet to move away, I’m really looking forward to the new year and I feel more than ready for the change. emilydalybl

My close friends and family (and now you after reading this) know that before I chose Cal Poly, I was committed to play softball at a private university in Washington. It was a really brutal decision, but I decided I no longer wanted to devote my time at college to the sport I love and instead, explore other interests of mine- such as music, writing, and public speaking. Still, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to play softball at the collegiate level and I learned so much from the recruiting process. Actually, I will probably write an article in the future for advice on how to get recruited if you do want to be an athlete in college.

Anyways, I applied to Cal Poly SLO last year and if I am being honest, I didn’t think much of the school at first. I had driven by the school a few years prior and it looked nice but being an English major and all, the whole “tech” vibe of the school threw me off. I still thought playing softball in college was the path I would be taking and so I didn’t bother to actually stop and walk onto the campus.

Flash forward to the college acceptance (and rejection) letters! I soon had it narrowed down to four colleges- my top two being the school I had my softball scholarship at and Cal Poly. I then went to the Cal Poly Open House weekend for admitted freshman and it really opened my eyes to how the school would be a great fit for me!

First of all, Cal Poly SLO’s teaching method is “learn by doing.” I’m really drawn to this because I want to go into the fields of either law or journalism in my future and experience/internships will help me gain insight on what career I could have in the future. In terms of campus size, the school is pretty big but class numbers are small to average so you are really getting the best of both worlds. Also, despite the school being known for Engineering and Agriculture, the English department is a hidden gem and has some of the best teachers on campus that have won several standout awards.

Another plus of Cal Poly SLO is that there’s an endless amount of activities at and around the college. It has an amazing choir and well put together newspaper which I am hoping to join in the fall, as well as ASI (the student body/council) that interests me. There is Morro bay, Pismo beach, and Avila beach to explore and endless amounts of hiking trails in the area. There’s a bubblegum wall, the SLO-DO-CO donut shop, and a really cute downtown. It has a college town feel and all the students that I have met so far are friendly and have made SLO already feel like my new home.

I can’t wait to make the move in September and I’ll keep you all posted when I do! I’ll soon be able to share my new life and all its adventures with you. I wish you luck if you are going to college next year as well and feel free to ask me any questions you may have about SLO, college, or really anything else. In the meantime… go mustangs! : )

1728BB8D-0E5D-4011-AA50-2AC10FDDEE61

On the left is me and I’m next to my best friends, Sebastian (middle), and Grace (right)