Review: Grace’s Guide by Grace Helbig

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This is new isn’t it? I’m sure you are all taken aback by the fact that I am not giving you a buzzfeed-esque list this week. Well, the seasons are changing and so am I….for now.

This is a review of Grace’s Guide by Grace Helbig. First, some background:

Grace Helbig is an extremely popular YouTube personality. With almost two million subscribers on her channel ItsGrace, she has created hundreds of video blogs over the course of six years (otherwise known as vlogs) about life, relationships, jobs, food, fashion, beauty and sometimes nothing at all. She has been praised for her light humor, quirky yet somehow merited advice and her cheery and bright personality. Her book was released this fall and has instantly become a bestseller. This can not only be attributed to her overall greatness, but the rising Internet generation.

Kids (including myself and let’s say ages 13-21) love seeing the people they follow on the Internet in real-life, even if that means in the pages of a book. It becomes a more personal way to fangirl/boy over someone that doesn’t tour the country (i.e. One Direction). YouTube celebrities have taken pop culture by storm. Look at Tyler Oakley, who now appears on television and is a well known advocate for LGBT youth. Or Bo Burnham (definitely my favorite), who became a comedy star with two successful albums, created a television show on MTV and wrote a book of poetry that became a best seller. And Michelle Phan, a beauty guru who is now the spokesperson for Lancôme. YouTube itself is changing the game. And Grace Helbig is just one of many players.

Now onto Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up

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This book is great. Greater than great even. It speaks to me. It says, “Zoe, you’re not the only person out there who dreads certain social situations and likes to wear comfy clothes at maximum comfort levels even in fancy meetings and events.” And that’s the theme of the whole book really. It’s saying us weirdos aren’t alone, and here are some tips on how to make our weird behavior more acceptable.

Grace does really well in downplaying her YouTube celebrity status. She talks about how her job essentially is to speak to a camera from the comfort of her own home with or without pants on. She talks about her college years and days working various restaurant jobs. She brings herself down to our level, and it makes her seem so much more familiar to me. This is a woman I have been watching on YouTube and following on social media for at least three years. And this book basically strips away any pedestal I had her standing on, not in a bad way. It makes me feel like I could be just as successful, smart and hilariously charming one day. And it brings me hope that I will find a job that will be something I actually want to do for the rest of my life.

This is no biography. Although I would put it on the same humor level as Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants, it is in no way similar to it. Grace does tell various entertaining stories from her childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. But with these stories comes advice (lists AND acronyms to remember them what more could you ask for) for us, the readers, and it is safe to assume Grace has taken each of these tips herself.

However funny this book may be, I have found myself learning how to deal with certain situations I was otherwise unsure or afraid of. For example, job interviews, anxiety-inducing circumstances, etiquette in certain awkward situations, and travel tips.

I have always considered Grace to be comedy gold. But after reading this book, I see her as more of a role model. It is all summed up in this bit from her introduction: “I’m here to support you. I’m here to help you grow and remind you that stupid is fun and failure is rewarding.”

Go buy Grace’s Guide. It is witty, charming and comforting. I give it two thumbs up and an approving, yet awkward smile.

-Zoe

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All Wrapped Up In

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Hi Friends

Long time, no talk. I hope all is well with you, and I am thinking of you fondly. So today I want to share with you a few amazing recipes I have stumbled upon but have not had the time to make all of them. My hope is that one of these will interest you enough to make a homemade treat/meal this week and share it with someone. November is the month of thanks so the theme of all of these recipes is that they are to share with the ones you like, love, admire, or maybe hate but are trying to pretend and like. Few things are better than sharing something delicious, unless you don’t like to share in which case you are more than welcome to eat all of these yourself

Baked French Fruit Crepe , would be amazing for a brunch with good friends over the weekend, or if you have time during the week to wake up and make this than I admire you.

BEER BREAD yes yes yes. I do not even like beer, and I love this bread. It is so simple and delicious. So not only will you get to share this, but people will be so impressed you made bread and have no idea it only had 6 ingredients in it.

Tomato Soup This is my go to tomato soup recipe, it doesn’t involve a lot of cooking, but it does require a lot of waiting. It is worth it tomato soup is a comfort food as it is to many others, and a warm grilled cheese (which obviously cannot be shared since you’ll want the whole thing) make this a conversation topic.

Cauliflower BUFFALO WINGS if you have a vegetarian football fan in your life, this is for them, or anyone really. I have been dying to try these, and regret it every football season, so do not miss out on making these delicious veggies.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars These don’t have to be for the athlete in your life, there is no way you can go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! Not only are these super simple but also taste delicious.

I hope you end up wrapped up in one of these with someone special

Goodbye Light Cardigan, Hello Winter Coat

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Disclaimer: I believe, in fact I know, this doesn’t apply to any Californians so I apologize in advance. But if you want to continue reading anyway, that would be grand.

After the first snow of the season last weekend, I realized something. Winter is coming. It really is. And as much as I am holding on to the 50-60 degree days of early fall, there is no stopping it. I love fall, I do, but more than anything, it is a reminder that winter is about to happen at any time. So I might as well get this list solidified now so I don’t have to worry about it in four to five weeks when I’m bundled in all my blankets, freezing. Here are some things to do when it’s cold out:

1. Have a movie night!
One of the great perks of going to a liberal arts school is that there are tons of film students to tell you which movies to watch. Get some movie snacks (may I suggest m&m’s or pretzels?), grab a movie from the library, or from online (I’m not saying I pirate movies, I’m just saying if you are into that I can’t stop you….) and bundle up in some blankets. This can also be a great way to bond with your roommates and suitemates. I suggest picking a movie you and your friends have seen already so you can talk during it and add your own commentary.

2. Make a homemade dinner
Obviously this requires you to go out into the cold to get ingredients first, but it is so worth it. If you’re living on a college meal plan like I am, just one homemade meal can make your day/night amazing. Look up some delicious but fairly easy recipes on foodnetwork.com and go to TJ’s (or Whole Foods if you feel like spending) to get your ingredients. It is an activity within a meal as it is fun to try and figure out how to cook things with your roommates, friends, significant others, etc. Plus it makes for a great food insta, which I know Amali loves and appreciates.

3. Karaoke
Believe it or not, this could be the one thing I have learned to love this semester. My suitemates decided to karaoke one night and have discovered it is probably one of the most fun things to do. In fact, we once got so caught up in karaokeing we convinced not only ourselves, but guests in the suite, to not go out on a Saturday night and karaoke instead. It is seriously a blast and if you are doubting me try it and you will understand. And if you have tried it and disagree with me, then I don’t care for you.

4. Relax
Seriously if you are anything like me you could use a night in to relax. Make some tea or hot chocolate, get a soft blanket and watch netflix. Hell, maybe even lock your door so you can have some privacy. Relaxation and privacy are rare where I am, and perhaps where you are. So take some time for yourself if it’s unbearable outside and it could be a great night.

I hope these suggestions prepare you for what is looking to be another bitterly cold winter. And if you are reading this from California, or some other perpetually warm location, I hope you are appreciating the weather there.

Forever shivering,

Zoe

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Bars

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Hi friends

These are so delicious. These are so delicious. I will say it one more time in hopes you will make them and enjoy them as much as I have, THESE ARE SO DELICIOUS.

Chocolate and Peanut butter were a match made in heaven, the way the salty peanuts and chocolate marry each other to make magic is unreal. I can’t think of a candy I like more that Reese’s cups. Something about the pumpkin shaped Reese’s around this time of year, makes me want to live. So it was only fitting that these cookie bars came to be, they are simple to make. If you are feeling extra lazy, which is acceptable. Feel free to buy store bought cookie dough, the betty crocker peanut butter cookie dough has all the dry ingredients and you add the eggs and oil. Making the process easy, but still giving you the homemade taste!

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Ingredients

For cookie bars:

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup peanut butter

¼ cup shortening

¼ cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

(can use butter as shortening substitute, still taste great!)

 

For topping:

One bag of dark chocolate chips

Any form of reese’s cups chopped into chunks

Directions:

( Heat oven to 350)

  1. Mix peanut butter, eggs, sugar, and shortening until well combined. Add in dry ingredients and combine, refrigerate for at least an hour if possible
  2. Spread dough evenly into a 13×9 inch pan, that has been sprayed or is non stick
  3. Bake for 13-18 minutes, until edges are golden brown
  4. Take out and cool. Then begin melting the dark chocolate ( I just used a microwave safe bowl and mixed it every 30 seconds until melted)
  5. Spread the chocolate on top and then immediately but the reese’s chunks on top! They need to spend some time in the fridge so the chocolate can harden and they will be easier to cut!

Why Harry Potter is the Voice of My Generation

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Harry Potter is one of the true staples of my generation. My childhood and adolescent years were largely spent listening to the audio books as I fell asleep, powering through 700 pages of magic and dressing up for midnight premiers. I know that many of my peers have done the same. But unfortunately, several of my closest friends just aren’t that interested. This one goes out to you guys.

Harry Potter isn’t just a fictional story. It’s not just Dan Rad with a makeup scar plastered on his forehead. It’s not just a chapter book about a magical fantasy land. I mean on the surface, yeah, it is all those things. But it has something more.

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3/4 of my college library.

Harry Potter started as a children’s book. The first and second books were naive enough and followed Harry, Ron and Hermione as innocent and pure children. Once we get to the third through fifth books, the series deals with adolescent angst and larger responsibilities. Finally, the sixth through seventh books (and eighth if we’re talking movies) deal with an entrance into adulthood with tragedy, love and overall uneasiness. And when you really think about it, JK Rowling is writing a story about growing up and the hardships that follow. On the page and on the screen, sure theres wands, potions and and flying brooms. But on a broader scale, JK Rowling is attempting to teach us very non fictional life lessons.

For me, growing up has always been followed with a very real feeling of foreboding. I would love if I could stay a kid forever. I would love to be worry-free and wide-eyed. I don’t think I am idiotic in thinking that many of you probably feel the same way. Reading/watching the childhood of Harry brings us back to the goodness of being a kid. It reminds us how freeing it was to not have the burden of responsibility. However, we still get the hints of hardship when we’re reminded of Harry’s home life with his awful aunt and uncle and the fact that he’s orphaned. It is also indicated that Harry’s fight with Voldemort didn’t end the night he got his scar. It is these little hints that make the story relatable. Every child should have a perfect childhood, but that is not often the case. Most every child has faced adversity in some form. Harry is merely an example of this, and his eventual happiness is a model for overcoming it.

Harry’s adolescence, I think, is a hilariously accurate depiction of the real-life awkwardness of it all. Aside from the Siruis-Black-dementor-Voldemort-rising-from-a-cauldron-godfather-dying of it all, his adolescence is quite realistic. In number three, Harry begins to become frustrated with being a kid and not knowing what the grown-ups are discussing. He gets angry that he doesn’t know who his family is or why his parents died. This very obviously reflects real-life angst and emotions found in all teens, and is revisited constantly in the fourth and fifth books as well. In the fourth book, Harry experiences the burden of responsibility more and more. He becomes responsible for those closest to him and for himself. He also must learn to handle the angst of those around him (i.e. Ron’s jealousy of Harry being in the Triwizard tournament). The fifth book is almost completely dominated by anxiety, emotion and hormones. Harry is disconcerted and angry all the time. He works through his first “fling” with a girl, Cho Chang, including his first kiss and date. Definitely two parts of adolescence that we all go through at some point. But most of all, the fifth book is about coping with death, tragedy and fear. Harry copes with the death of Cedric, and then his godfather. He also must look pure evil in the face (Voldemort) and conquer his fear of it. Now, of course, not all teens deal with death and have to face their worst fears. But just like his child stage, some teens do experience these things and Harry’s ultimate triumph is a sign of hope.

I’m almost done with this rant-stay with me.

Finally, Harry’s adult-ish stage in the sixth and seventh book (and eighth movie, but c’mon we’re talking books here) help lead us into our own adulthood. Harry faces true independence and the feeling of not knowing where to go or what to do. And isn’t that what we’re all feeling like right now? There’s really no conclusion to this ominous feeling however, and JK Rowling is sure to remind us of that. Although Harry eventually defeats Voldemort, a lot of lives were destroyed in the process. It’s a bittersweet ending for sure. But on the whole, I think some of you Harry Potter lovers can agree that there isn’t a clear and happy ending. The epilogue, though it offers some conclusion, doesn’t leave us with a feeling of closure. I certainly would love to know what Harry’s adult life turned out to be in excruciating detail. Mostly because I would like some reassurance that even someone who has experienced more tragedy than the average real-life person, can turn out okay.

OKAY I’M DONE. Take a deep breath that was a lot to take in. But I can’t have written 870 words about Harry Potter and ended up not convincing the doubters out there. Harry Potter is important. And if you haven’t read the books, shame on you (read them!). If you haven’t seen the movies, you aren’t even real.

That is all for this essay.

-Zoe

p.s. stay tuned for JK Rowling’s new Harry Potter short-story about Dolores Umbridge coming out on Pottermore on Halloween.

5 Beauty Products That Will Change Your Life

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You might be thinking “Zoe, how can a beauty product change my life? These are the ramblings of a fool.” Well, dear reader, I am a fool and often ramble, but this is legitimate!

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From left to right: Tattooed Eyeliner, Jergen’s Face Moisturizer, Benefit Foundation and Benefit Brow Kit. Not pictured: Dove Dry Shampoo

1. Dove Dry Shampoo

I never thought I would end up using dry shampoo. I always thought if my hair looked greasy, I would just take a shower. But one morning, after waking up when it was still dark out for my 8AM class, I realized I was stuck. I was stuck going to class with greasy hair. And it was all I could think about for the one hour and forty-five minute class. When I returned from class and was getting ready to go to my next class with my greasy mess, I was offered dry shampoo by a dear roommate. And it worked! My hair looked somewhat normal and no longer embarrassing! I am going to buy some right away.

Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo (it also smells great), $5 at your local CVS or Walgreens.

2. Jergen’s Natural Glow Face Moisturizer

I am half-Mediterranean, so I have never really had to worry about my tan. That is until I spent a winter in Boston. I swear, I was the whitest I have ever been. Over the summer, I discovered this product because my face was really dry from swimming in chlorine. Again, I didn’t need the tanning part of it, but it is amazing as a moisturizer (it also has an SPF). Now, as the sunny days become less and less in Boston, the tanning part is becoming mighty useful.

Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Face Moisturizer, about $10 at Target or Walgreens.

3. Benefit Foundation

This stuff mixed with the aforementioned face moisturizer is out of this world. This oil-free foundation also has an SPF which assures me that I won’t get burned. It also blends into my skin really nicely, even if the color of the product and my skin don’t match up year round. While it is a very light foundation, it does its job and covers up any unwanted redness or dark circles. But my all time favorite thing about this product is that it makes me feel like I’m glowing.

Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow!, $36 at Benefit Cosmetics or Sephora

4. Benefit Brow Box

While I am on a Benefit roll, I might as well bring up my amazing brow kit by, you guessed it, Benefit. I never used to pay any attention to what I did with my brows. I never even shaped them. In the past, I would only tweeze in the middle and leave it at that. But I decided no more! I purchased the simple brow box with the thought that I would have to start using it. It worked. I use it everyday and I have never had better looking brows before. Using tips from the countless beauty gurus on YouTube, I learned how to shape my brows and fill them in. The kit I have comes with pigmented wax for shaping, small touch up tweezers and powder for setting.

Brow Zings, $32 at Benefit Cosmetics or Sephora

5. Tattooed Eyeliner

Recently, a friend and I have started Ipsy, a monthly beauty product subscription that sends samples of products in the mail (I highly recommend Ipsy to anyone who genuinely enjoys trying new beauty products). In the first month, I received a felt pen eyeliner. I have been using cream eyeliner for a couple years now and usually run away from liquid eyeliner, but this seemed worth a shot. Boy do I love it. Not only is it easy to apply, it lasts all day. I still use my cream eyeliner pretty much everyday (Sephora-brand Rio Nights Waterproof Gel Liner). But if I’m too lazy to do my whole makeup routine, I just draw on a sleek line with my handy felt pen eyeliner and I’m on my way.

Skone Cosmetics Waterproof Tattooed Eyeliner, $15 at skonecosmetics.com

I hope this was at least a little informative and I hope I have inspired you to try these amazing products! Go forth and be beautiful!

-Zoe

Every Scone Has It’s Silver Lining

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Hi Friends

The last few months have been tough. My 92 year old grandmother suffered from a stroke in late august, and our lives have been very different since. Between the 5-8 people coming in and out, we each take turns staying the night or afternoon. This can take a toll on anyone, especially with the general concern of making sure my grandma is as happy and comfortable as possible. Of course, no one complains because my grandma has raised 6 amazing children, and been there for all of our big moments and we are going to be there for hers.

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My Grandma and I from 1999

I think the hardest part has been seeing a strong and independent woman, no longer being able to do all of the things she wishes she could do. Even the simple task of going to the bathroom requires assistance, no longer being a simple task. But, there is always a silver lining. My grandma is one of my best friends, and getting to spend four days a week with her has been an absolute blessing.

Not only have I had the pleasure of spending time with my grandma, but also the rest of my family. I get to see my aunts and uncles at least twice a week, usually over dinner or an episode of The Profit. I have come to look forward to this part of my day, coming home and seeing family surrounding not only me but the woman who started it all. I have realized there is nothing better than spending time with the people you love. This may seem obvious, but sometimes it takes an event like a stroke, to bring people together. The last few months have truly opened my eyes to the amazing people I have had around me all my life, but never acknowledged.

My Aunty Liz lives in Oklahoma and she came to visit us this past week with her daughter Riley. I always treasure the time we have together, and one of the ways we share our love is through baking. Scones, more specifically. I wanted to share with you a very special recipe to our family, because these have been our silver lining scones.

The best part of this recipe is you can make it however you want, with whatever you want. The classic and grandmas favorite is candied ginger. But my Aunt has made chocolate chip, white chocolate raspberry, chocolate banana, and we even filled some with apple pie filling!

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apple pie filled scone, rolled in cinnamon sugar

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chocolate chip and banana scone

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Chocolate chip

Ingredients :

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (extra for the tops of the scones)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 sticks  unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, plus extra for brushing the tops of the scones

Directions:

1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400&Deg; F.

2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Plus enough to mix the components. Add butter, and pulse on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is pale yellow and the consistency of fine meal.

3.Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add whatever you would like ex chocolate chips, or dried cranberries. Then pour the heavy cream and mix gently with your hands until combined. Do not over mix!

4. Form the scone mix into balls (depending on whether you want larger, or smaller scones)

5. Brush the tops with the remaining cream and sprinkle sugar!

6.Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, until they are turning brown on top

and you are done!

Give me S’more

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Hi Friends

So lets talk S’mores, nowadays I see people trying to reinvent the s’more, which I am totally cool with. But at the same time, why mess with a classic. On a recent camping trip I went on we made these treats that used puff pastry instead of graham crackers, nutella instead of a chocolate bar, and a toasty ( or in my case very burnt) marshmallow. While it was delicious, it was not a s’more.

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Sometimes you want the comfort and warmth of a s’more without the camping in tents, not showering, and having to enjoy the company of others. So these are my s’mores bars. These are full proof, anyone can make these and they will be amazing. Seriously, anyone. I have shared this recipe I made with so many friends with all different culinary experience, and they always turn out amazing since there is no way you can screw them up, and your friends will think you did something incredible when you didn’t. Which is what we all strive far. So here  are my s’mores bars:

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Ingredients:

3 cups of graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cups of salted butter

1/3 cup of sugar

2 cups of milk chocolate chips (semi sweet or dark would work as well)

3 cups of mini marshmallows

1 9×13 pan

Directions:

These are so easy they don’t even need to be put into steps. Place your graham crackers in the food processor or crush them how you wish. Then put the 3 cups of graham crackers in a bowl and melt 3/4 cups of butter and mix it all together with 1/3 cup of sugar so all the crumbs are coated.Take 1/2 to 3/4 of  the graham mixture and press it down evenly on a pan that’s either non-stick or coated in butter. Then put 2 cups of milk chocolate chips and then the 3 cups of mini marshmallows on top of that and then the rest of the crumbs on top and press it all down, bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Then when they are done press down the whole thing with a spatula. and make sure it has completely cooled before cutting!

Voila! That easy! Also while writing these I was thinking about how delicious it would be to add a layer of peanut butter after the graham cracker crust, so please someone do that and let me know how it turns out!

Home is Where Frankie is

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This weekend was family weekend at my college. Tons of parents, of mostly freshmen, flooded the campus all weekend. And it was a reminder of how relieved I was that my mom came for parent’s weekend last year. I won’t lie, I am a little homesick. During midterms and the start of the cold weather, it is really easy to miss home in a place like California. My sister visited for a day last week and it was really nice to have someone from actual home at my current home. But I can’t help but think of how great the holidays will be spent with my family in a couple months.

I feel like a lot of college students are too prideful or stubborn to admit they’re homesick and miss their parents. I couldn’t wait to leave home after high school. So naturally, it was really hard to admit I was homesick after 6 weeks of being at school. But in my sophomore year, as my friends and I reflect on the last two semesters (for no reason at all), I have learned that everyone felt the same way at that time, though no one wanted to say it. For those of you who have admitted it, or even for those that don’t want to but secretly feel it, I have made yet another list.

Here are some great, non-embarrassing ways to cure your homesickness this fall:

1. Skype

Skype is probably the best way to connect with friends and family from home. Even though there may be difficulty with a time difference, your loved ones will always try to make time for you (key word try). It is overwhelmingly comforting to see their faces matched with their voices. Even more, it is nice to see a familiar setting behind them. Although skype is the best way to cure homesickness, it is also the most difficult. A lot of the time there can be technical difficulties, delays, you can’t find enough time to set aside, or there just isn’t a quiet, secluded place for a skype conversation in dorms.

2. Call often

Some kids I know manage to go weeks without talking to their parents. I really can’t imagine that because calling my parents every night is my main source of comfort. I don’t think I would last 3,000 miles away from home if I didn’t talk to my parents often. Calling your friends is really nice as well. I should started calling my friends from home and the ones at other colleges though, because I’m encouraging you to do it and I refuse to be a hypocrite. Calling is becoming a less popular form of communication, however. Many people these days prefer to text or instant message of some sort, though this method is waaaaay less personal.

3. Persuade someone to send you a care package

It doesn’t even need to be a package. Even a letter is extremely heart warming. But if you find someone that is willing to go through the trouble of sending you a package, have them do it ASAP. I have discovered that receiving a package notification email from the mail room is one of the most satisfying emails ever. Plus you get to strut around campus with your unopened package like you own the place.

4. Pictures

One of the only ways I know how to decorate a dorm room is with tons of photos. But my lack of creativity for decorations pays off in this case because I have so many photos of fun times with friends and family. I probably (actually) have four pictures just of my dog, Frankie. It’s just nice to be reminded of good times, or Frankie times. Print out some key photos from summer and high school and you are set.

5. Find people from your hometown

This was way too easy for me to do, and might not be so easy for everyone. But in my case, being around people from my hometown has been amazing. My roommate is someone I have known since pre-k, and we share a lot of childhood memories. To have someone that will get obscure references from your past or from your native land is a major bonus. For those of you that don’t have it as easy as me, try to find someone that lives near you, or maybe just in the same state. It could be a great connection to home.

-Zoe

My sister made me a "Home is Where Frankie is" picture as a going away present my freshman year. Frankie, my dog, is placed on home, if you didn't already put two and two together.

My sister made me a “Home is Where Frankie is” picture as a going away present my freshman year. Frankie, my dog, is placed on home, if you didn’t already put two and two together.

I’m A Big Fan

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Epiphany!

Today I didn’t do much on my day off school, but what I did do was indulge in my favorite things; my favorite movies, music, books, etc. I am one of those Harry Potter obsessed freaks. I’m an avid One Direction listener and admirer (THERE I ADMITTED IT). I love books by John Green. It is really not hard to guess what my “favorites” are, as many many other people in this world share the same ones.

It is amazing, though, that so many people share an interest in the things I’m interested in. This is what I realized between seeing the One Direction movie and turning on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (both of which I did do tonight): being a fan of something isn’t just an organized group of obsessed weirdos. I am admitting that the things I am a fan of deserve obsessed weirdos, mind you. Being a fan of something is joining a group of people who share the same passion for one thing, who get chills at the same line, who swoon over the same song lyric and who cry every time they read it.

For me, being a “fan” means taking away the sarcasm and dry comments and letting myself literally scream and cry like a preteen. Sharing a fandom with someone means letting them see that embarrassingly bubbly side of me that I otherwise would not let slip through the cracks. It means letting my guard down so I can cry, laugh and squeal out loud rather than in my own head.

I am not surprised that I have subconsciously surrounded myself with suitemates, friends, and on the larger scale, a college community who share the same interests and are super fans of the same things as me. It’s these people that I can feel the most comfortable around in a city that I’ve only lived in for a year.

My advice to you now is to not hold back. I have just admitted to you that I love One Direction. I love One Direction. I am telling you this on a public blog because I want you secret 1D fans to come out of the One Direction closet.

Don’t be afraid to tell people what you love or what you have a passion for. This spans beyond fandoms. Surround yourself with people that will get excited with you. Choose to be around people who won’t judge you look down on you. Build a support system of friends that you know have your back in any situation whether it be buying you a new album or buying you a pint of ice cream to get you through a stressful time.

Allow yourself to be uniquely you, and you will find amazing people to spend your time with.

-Zoe

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