“10 Delicious Vegan Dinners to Try”

Whether you are interested in being vegan or not, you can still make an impact on the environment by trying out some vegan recipes. When you eat vegan, you are actually helping the world reduce energy consumption (it takes a lot of energy to raise animals), purify the air, and it forces you to think more about the nutrients your body needs and live a more healthy lifestyle. Now, there are so many alternatives that exist for meat and dairy products that is easier than ever to be vegan. To help you dip your toes into this lifestyle, here are 10 quick and easy vegan recipes to try:

Vegan Tikka Masala

This recipe is sooo creamy and scrumptious. If you like Thai food, this meal is for you! The ingredients you need include 28 ounces of extra firm tofu, 1 cup raw cashews, 1/3 cup of some water and 1tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger, 4 crushed cloves garlic, and tomato sauce. Check out the link in the post above for more details on how to make this delicious dinner!

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Pasta

This is pasta is packed with nutrients and will have your mouth watering. It is also very simple and takes only 15 minutes to make! The only ingredients you need are 8 oz whole-wheat spaghetti noodles, 4 tbsp olive oil divided, 16 oz cremini sliced mushrooms, 2 shallots peeled and chopped, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp thyme leaves, 1/4 tbsp fine sea salt, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1l coconut milk, 5 oz spinach, and 1/2 lemon juice.

What more can you ask for than a healthy vegetable medley? All you need for this quick meal is some yellow squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, mushrooms and chickpeas of any amount you choose to put in your bowl. Top it off with some hummus, preferable Trader Joes’ Tabbouleh Styled hummus, and you’re dinner is served!

Vegan Quesadillas

This is hands down one of the easiest meals on this list. If you need to make something and you’re on the go, try out this recipe! Just grab some tortillas and fill them with vegan cheese, black beans, corn, and guacamole. Pro tip: If you want to make tacos instead, do the same but add some sautéed peppers and vegan beetles beef!

Brussel Sprouts

While the taste of Brussel sprouts is somewhat controversial, I find them delicious. All you need to cook some Brussel sprouts is some cooking oil (I like to use olive oil) and add some salt and pepper on top when frying them over the stove top or cooking the sprouts in the oven. I like to slice the sprouts in half to cook them faster and I also like to add some garlic powder and vegan feta cheese on top when they are done cooking. Serve over some rice and you have a meal!

Avocado Toast with a Twist

I couldn’t NOT put avocado toast on this list. This may be seen as more of a breakfast meal, but I eat avocado toast for dinner all the time and have no shame. All you need is one bread (I prefer whole wheat or sour dough), sesame seeds (optional), thyme, lemon oil, and tomatoes (you can them and mash them up into the avocado if you want). In this recipe, they put Trader Joes’ za’atar seasoning on top. I recommend this or Trader Joes’ Everything Bagel seasoning, which I think really elevates your basic, every day avocado toast. Enjoy!

Vegan In n Out Burgers

If you do decide to go vegan, it is really important to not forget to eat protein. A black bean burger is full of iron and protein to sustain your body and this recipe copies in n out so what more can you ask for?? Check out this In n Out Vegan Burger Recipe here to copy this meal.

Mushroom Tacos

These Saucy Satay Mushrooms are to DIE FOR. The yummy sauce for this recipe takes about five minutes to make and includes some coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, garlic, turmeric and other additional spices you can add. Then, you fill your tortillas with sautéed mushrooms, cabbage, peanuts (this is optional), some fresh herbs, and drizzle your sauce on top. Yummmm.

Vegan Massaman Curry

This Vegan Massaman Curry is the perfect amount of spice and savory. To make this, all you need are tofu, red curry paste, baby potatoes, cumin, coconut milk, coconut aminos, cooking oil, peanut butter, and some cinnamon or other recommended spices in the recipe. If you are looking to perhaps go out of your comfort zone, I highly recommend making your own curry!

Vegan Waffles

What’s better than breakfast for dinner? These pakora waffles are made out of chickpea flour and totally vegan and allergen friendly! Check out this recipe if you are craving a dinner that is sweet and comforting- like a Sunday morning.

Well, there you have it! Cooking up each of these ten vegan recipes will definitely keep you busy and heathy during quarantine. Trying out new foods and getting out of your comfort zone can really open your eyes to finding different ways to fuel your body and enjoying the journey all the while. Good luck to my fellow chefs (and if you’re not a chef, you’re about to be)!

5 Ways to Know if a Change of Major is Right for You

Choosing a college major can be intimidating- there are so many options and it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Many people do not know what career they want to have in the future, so it can be difficult to choose a subject to focus on. It is completely normal to change your mind about what field of study you want to focus on. In fact, it is actually common for college students to change their major at least once. Here are a few signs that you should change your college major: 

  1. You Cannot Pay Attention in Your Classes to Save Your Life

If you are sitting in core class for your major and find yourself online shopping every two seconds or scrolling through your Pinterest boards, this could be a major sign that your major is not right for you. If you are not enjoying your classes, why are you taking them? If you have no desire to engage during lectures for your major courses then maybe it’s time to look into some other ones.

  1. You Want to Try Something New

Perhaps since the ripe age of six years old, you have always wanted to be a doctor. Maybe you always thought that this was your path, but then when you got to college, you found yourself being interested in other subjects such as journalism or computer science. It’s okay to explore other interests- in fact, it’s better than working toward one thing for so long, only to realize later in life that this is not your passion. It can be rewarding and enjoyable to step out of your comfort zone and explore different subjects and potential careers. 

  1. It Feels Impossible to Succeed in Your Classes 

If you spend countless hours preparing for your classes and your grades are not reflecting your efforts, this may be a sign that you should switch to a different major. It is not worth it to continue to take major courses that you make feel stressed and discouraged more often than not. It’s okay to struggle sometimes, but make sure that the challenges you are facing in these courses are worth overcoming. In the end, it may suit your skills better and give you a breath of fresh air if you try to pick a new path of study. 

  1. You Only Picked Your Major to Make Big $

Some people want to live comfortably enough to buy a Lambo or Prada bag in the future. It makes sense to desire a career in which you can make the money to indulge in these things. If you only picked your major because you thought it could help you land a job where you make some big bank, this may be the reason why you should switch. It is important to have a job that sustains you in life, but it is also important that you love that job. Do not sacrifice your talents and passions for money because in the end, you may not only lose the cash, but you just may rob yourself of being happy in life. 

  1. You’re Just Not Feeling It

Sometimes, you have to listen to your intuition and go with your gut. If your heart is telling you that this major is not right for you, have some faith in yourself and take the leap to trying a new major. You may find that it will be the best decision you ever made in college.

If you make the choice to love what you are learning, you may just find your perfect future career. It is important to soak up the wonderful opportunity to explore courses that interest you. By delving into a subject you are passionate about, you will enjoy the process more and make the most out of your time at college. If you find the signs above relatable, have faith in yourself and don’t be afraid to change your major!              

4 Natural Remedies to Increase Your Focus During Finals Week

As finals week approaches, there are several ways you can help yourself increase your focus while studying. When preparing for exams, it is important to take care of yourself so you can stay mentally and physically strong. Taking steps to reduce your stress will lift your mood and help you feel better overall, putting yourself in the best position to perform well on exams. Here are few remedies to make sure this finals week will run smoothly for you as you ace your tests (because duh, you rock!):

Remedy #1: Eat Right

It is important to fuel your body with liquids and foods that will help increase your energy and focus. Some fantastic energy boosting foods include bananas, salmon, brown rice, eggs, spinach or kale, and sweet potatoes. Some snacks that will lift your mood as well include apples (1 apple has equal caffeine to one cup of coffee!), some nuts, and even popcorn. As for liquids, you can have a cup of coffee or green tea, grab a Yerba mate, and most importantly, drink lots of water to help yourself tackle your work. Also, if you’re really feeling it, treat yourself to some dark chocolate that is filled with antioxidants to help blood move throughout your body and increase concentration. 

Remedy #2: Take Time to Clear Your Mind 

Another way to ensure you stay focused and productive during finals week is to set aside some time to clear your head. It may help to create a schedule for the and put all your thoughts on paper. To start, you can write down the tasks you wish to complete and goals you wish to accomplish throughout the entire week. You can even get specific and label which days you need to complete these tasks, or you can just lay it out more simply to see a bigger picture of the week at first. As you begin each day, pull out your notebook or computer (wherever you are writing your schedule), and write down all the work/activities you wish to complete that day. It is helpful as well to set specific times for these tasks to hold yourself more accountable and be more productive. You can even make a separate list at the bottom for “maybe’s,”which are jobs you can complete if you end up having some extra time.

Remedy #3: Be Active

Throughout the week of finals, it is crucial to take little breaks from studying so you do not get burnt out. I recommend taking these breaks to workout! In the mornings, you can relieve your stress and anxiety by following a guided meditation or perhaps, doing some yoga. I recommend searching for these videos on Youtube and finding a style that suits you. If you want to be even more active, you can get some fresh air and take a quick run outside or even go on a hike with a friend. As well, it is understandable if you have to limit your workout time during this week. However,  just taking small moments to breathe or perhaps do a ten minute workout will be beneficial for your overall focus. Heck, you can even do some planks while you rewatch lecture videos.

Remedy #4: Practice Self-Care While Studying

Even while you are absorbing information from your classes, you can treat yourself and relax at the same time. Some tips I have is to put on a face mask while you’re studying, drink some calming peppermint or chamomile tea, or even turn on a diffuser if you have one and throw in some citrus or lavender scents to help you concentrate. As part of your study routine, you can finish the night off by journaling and let out your feelings on paper to alleviate your stress and clear your head for a good night’s rest. It is so important to prioritize your mental and physical health, and sleeping can help your body recuperate after a long day’s work and sharpen your mind for your exams.

With these remedies in mind, finals week will be a breeze as you tackle your tests head on with a strong present mind. Your body and heart will thank you as you prioritize feeling good along with doing well in your classes. Know that nobody is perfect, and you are going to be okay no matter what. Work hard, try your best, and believe in yourself- not just this finals week, but always.

6 Ways to Relieve Anxiety

Ever since the pandemic, I have been experiencing this strange feeling. I will be simply be walking through my neighborhood, doing a workout, or even lying down and suddenly feel my heart racing. Too. Fast. My chest tightens, I feel light-headed, and I can hardly breathe without my breath being slightly shaky. I worry about what is going to happen next.

I have never experienced this before until these past three months and I wonder if it has something to do with COVID-19. Maybe it’s something I’ve always had. Either way, I’m in the process of learning how to deal with this sudden feeling. I’ve found some helpful tips to relieving anxiety and thought it would be beneficial to share some ways to manage stress in your life. Even if you have never experienced a feeling like this, these are all great ways to let go of negative feeling and embrace positivity to help your mind and body simply feel good.

  1. Yoga

I cannot begin to describe the benefits of yoga. This exercise builds strength, endurance, and confidence. It has a spiritual aspect that makes you feel loved, such as the movement of holding your hand over your heart. It makes you feel relaxed by helping you focus in on the present, release the tension in your muscles, and focus on your breathing.

2. Meditation

Learning to breathe is a great tool for calming yourself down. Meditation can also help with breathing and put you in a more relaxed, even spiritual if you’d like, state of mind. I have not personally tried much meditation yet, but I will begin to try. I think it would help me become more patient and be valuable in some way for you as well.

3. Drinking Hot Tea

Drinking a cup of hot (or warm) tea when waking up or before bed can start and end your day with you feeling less stressed. Drinking hot tea is like feeling a warm hug all over your body. It makes you feel cozy and happy. Apparently, chamomile tea can even relieve physical pain such as cramps (ladies, you know what I mean). Green tea is also good for clearing your skin as it is has inflammatory powers due to containing antioxidants. I would recommend it mostly for in the morning, as it gives you a burst of energy with caffeine.

4. Gratitude Journaling

Writing down how you feel is therapeutic. Take the time to take out a trusty journal and write down just a few things your grateful for. It will help you gather positive thoughts and focus on what you have and living in the present moment. Writing down how you feel will help you accept your emotions and recognize the feeling as being okay and natural as well, allowing you to figure out how to relieve your stress or anxiety.

5. Eating Healthy & For Your Body

You need to eat good to feel good. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and trying to eliminate processed foods will give your body the fuel it needs. Also, make sure to eat enough food to sustain your body and its functions. Drinking plenty of water is super important as well (and I am sooo guilt for not doing this) to keep you hydrated, focused, make your skin glow, help you just FEEL good.

6. Doing the Hobby You Love

Some great hobbies that you may love and may reduce stress include playing an instrument, painting, photo editing, photography, hiking, traveling (obviously during this pandemic this is not the best option), reading, surfing, etc. Doing something love will make you feel happy and more alive. It will keep you busy and keep your body/mind in shape.

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.

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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.

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! : )

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

 

Open Letter to High School Seniors- Choosing a College and Major

As a senior in high school, it seems like the only conversations I have with friends and family members these days is about college. They ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

When I was little, I always had an answer to that question. Some years it was an author, others it was a teacher, for a year I wanted be Nancy Drew, and for a few months after an interesting appointment, I found myself wanting to be a dentist. However, things change. Now, I feel stuck. As high school comes to a close, how is one supposed to suddenly figure their life out?

My hardest decision at the moment is deciding on what colleges I want to apply to and attend. There are so many different colleges- large or small, private or public- in so many different places. I don’t know whether or not I want to continue playing sports in college. Do I want to pursue a sport I’ve played since I was four years old or branch out and cater to other activities I am passionate about? So many choices, with so little time, and with such a great cost. Deciding on a college could decide my fate in terms of who I become friends with, how happy I am, where I may live in the future, and what my future job may be.

From deciding on what college I go to all the way to figuring out a major for a potential future career, I keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason and I need to just make a decision that feels right in my heart. I need to let be what may be and everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to in my life. At the end of the day, I will be right where I belong. If you are feeling down because you are indecisive about something or scared of choosing the wrong path for your future, the key is to remember that “everything happens for a reason.” So smile, breathe, and listen to your heart.

Back To School Tips

It’s that time of the year again… back to school! Silently, I count the days I have left of summer and realize it’s all coming to a close. Senior year is around the corner and I just want my schedule NOW, but the counselors unfortunately are making sure that won’t happen for a couple days. The summer assignment that has been sitting on my desk abandoned for two months is finally finished and I’ve found time to workout and shop to better myself and style for the year. However, there are still a list of things that need to get done in the final days before school starts so just for you all, I made a list:

Re-stock on necessary supplies: This one is pretty straight forward but hey, it’s time to go to the nearest Target or Staples and grab all the necessities. Pencils, pens, highlighters, a binder, eraser, or maybe a new backpack (you know the drill)

Don’t forget to re-pack your backpack: What I usually do before the first day of school is I empty everything from my backpack that I haven’t touched in two months and throw it in the washer machine. Once it’s dry, I’ll evaluate everything I had in it before and pick out the things I’ll absolutely need this year. Pro Tip: A backpack usually a day to dry naturally (I wouldn’t put it in the dryer because it can shrink)

Make sure you have all summer assignments or books in your bag: This is super important because on the first day, you want to make a good impression in class to make your life easier the rest of the year. However, if you forget that one summer assignment that’s due or a book you had to read, not only will your grade drop immediately, but the teacher will view you as a student who is unprepared to take their class.

Pick out an outfit the night before: To make it easier for yourself to get up early, have a vision of your outfit or set it outside your closet on a hangar the night before so that you don’t have to think too hard in the morning. It also allows you to have less stress and not be late on the very first day. Tip: Don’t forget to set your alarm!

Eat a good breakfast and pack your favorite food: I love food and I hope you all get just as excited about eating as I do every day. For breakfast on the first day, have pancakes, waffles, a smoothie, or whatever makes you happy and motivated to get out the door. You can add some protein or drink some coffee to get you more energized. Also, pack food that you enjoy for snacks or lunchtime. It always makes the day better if you’re eating good. You can also do this the night before to save time.

Hope you consider these tips and won’t screw up on the first day! Haha jk good luck and have a good school year : )