Meet My Sister-Daughter!

 

In my post about healthy big/little relationships, read that here, my respect for that role is pretty clear. Having someone look up to you is such a gift, but a tremendous responsibility. In the craziness that was Bid Day, I found myself without a sister-daughter, but what I did have was plenty of love to give! Through our informal recruitment process, I met the girl of my dreams (sounds romantic, right?). As the coordinator for continuous open recruitment, I was excited about Caitlin since she accepted her invitation. I knew that Caitlin was an Alpha Gamma Delta woman the second I met her, yet I had to let her make her own decisions and meet my other sisters.

Two weeks later, I found out that I had been chosen (okay, maybe I begged a little) to help Caitlin through her journey. If I could have done a backflip, I would have!

What can I say? She’s perfect. Why do I love her, you ask?

  • The girl is so devoted to her faith that you have to find God before you can find her.
  • She wants to be a wedding planner. (So, yes, she does have my dress and ring on file)
  • She picks me up from work to get Chick-fil-a. If food isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
  • She gets just as excited about the Mommy-and-me matching letters we’re ordering. Laugh at me all you want, but she understands.
My perfect little one!

My perfect little one!

Caitlin, I can’t wait to be a part of your life and your journey as a sorority woman.

Make Bid Day like Christmas

It’s not even Halloween and everyone’s (okay, maybe just my) mind is on Christmas! But in the sorority world, Christmas came early. In fact, Bid Day was in September. If you’re a sorority woman, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The decorations, the food, and the family make this day equally magical. How can you get the most out of your celebration and make those new members feel special?

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Presents!!

Each new member is a gift and it’s your job as an organization to love and cherish her. This is the first time this woman witnesses your fraternity from the inside and you want this moment to stay with her forever. Let’s make her feel like the Queen she really is:

Genuine excitement

At this point, you’ve been chanting for days and you’re fairly certain your voice doesn’t work anymore. Your feet have swollen two sizes and you’re running on about three hours of sleep. Always remembers:it is your PRIVILEGE to select the women who continue your values. You better cheer like you’ve never cheered before.

 

For goodness sake, talk to them

Recruitment is essentially like a season of Survivor. You’ve now made it to the home stretch and your job is done. Wrong! These women need to make connections as soon as possible in order to feel involved in the organization. Oftentimes, one conversation can change a new member’s confidence completely.

 

Actual Presents

Your recruitment chair has probably had these picked out for weeks, but always ask if you can contribute in some way to the gift selection. This is the first lettered swag your members will have, so make it special.

 

Family

You and your sisters have spent so much time together that those endearing mannerisms have become annoying habits. This is NOT your new members’ problem. Again, this is the first time  these women see you without your walls up. Show them the good, not your sleep deprivation.

 

Reverence

Despite the food and the get-to-know-you games, your ritual reigns supreme in everything you do. Remember the “reason for the season” and weave those values into your celebration. A great way to do so might be to have posters for each value and have your new members write what that word means to them or how they felt this in recruitment. Another cool idea would be to have new members write a letter to their future selves about their goals and hopes. Then, these letters magically appear at the senior cookout. Making memories at its finest.

 

Just remember, whatever you do, do so in love for one another.

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Clean Out that Closet (And Make Some Money)

I’m a pack rat. There! I said it! Don’t judge me. I have clothes that I swear I’ll wear again one day. I still have my Halloween costume from kindergarten. It’s a problem. But two of my best friends and sorority sisters mentioned to me an app called Poshmark and I’m officially hooked.

Poshmark is a closet sharing app that allows you to sell your old clothes and buy new ones (for 50-70% off). Think about it. The second you drive a new car off of the lot, it’s already lost a ton of value. Same deal with clothes. That’s how Poshmark offers such incredible deals.

The process is simple. Grab that skirt you can barely zip, take a few photos, and price it. Then, if someone is interested, Poshmark emails you a shipping label to send the package right on its way. That money then can be deposited into your Posh account and spent on other purchases, or into your personal checking account. Here are a couple cool features:

Liking

Liking a post will save it for you and constantly update you if there are any price changes or specials. I got an email that my favorite J.Crew skirt has been lowered by 20% and had half off shipping!! Win, win!

Categories

The site has plenty of categories so you can quickly find what you need. (think: brands, item type, size filters, price ranges). I found a pair of Louboutin’s for $225! Started with the brand, filtered it by sizes, and then found a pair that was 70% off. Insane way to get investment pieces (which we’ll talk about in a later post).

Find friends

It’s easy to find friends from Facebook, Twitter, or your own contacts. That means you can see what they’re shopping for, too.

My Purchases

Tracking your purchases is easy with this feature. You receive notifications when the items have shipped and then you must verify with the seller that you got what you ordered before your money is release to them. Double safety check!

Anyway, if you’re like me and still have dresses from your eighth grade graduation, it’s time to let go. What do they always say? If you love it, you’ll let it go?

 

Happy Poshing! Add me @_laurapeyton

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Why I Hate Philosophy

If we’ve never met, I completely understand why you might be offended by the title of this post. If  your blog post was titled “Why Science is Stupid”, I probably wouldn’t read it, because you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

That being said, as a hard science person, I can’t seem to fathom the purpose of arguing. The first day of class my professor, who I personally think is brilliant, told me that a truth is more true if it sustains the process of being battered by objections. Hmm… okay, I could do this, I thought. Isn’t science the process of seeking the truth? Then, she blows it with “there does not need to be an end point. If you’re looking for a solution, Laura, this is not the right place for you” and being the matter-of-fact person that I am, I text my advisor under the table and ask to drop the class. To my dismay, he says NO. What? He tells me this is one of the smartest professors at the College and that it is a gift for me to learn from her. Fat lot of help he was.

The class itself is an Honor’s course in the Identity of Being Disabled in America, plus there’s a service learning component where intellectually disabled adults come hang out with us. Sounds like a triple win. Service. Honors requirement. General Area of Knowledge requirement. The beauty of going to a liberal arts college is that you pay to take classes you hate. Sounds counter intuitive, but there is so much value in hating a subject. I cannot stand reading these philosophical banters that criticize everything under the sun, but then don’t offer their own solution. Yet, now I know I don’t want to be a philosopher.

On the other hand, I’ve learned valuable lessons as to the experience of the disabled in America. If by some chance I build a building, I won’t neglect the needs of a portion of the population. I feel more comfortable in my ability to communicate with people who are non verbal or have mobility issues. But deep down, this awakens the overall question of what a productive, happy life looks like to me. If by chance I were to conceive a child like the adults I work with, how would I feel about that? What would I do? While I hate splitting hairs over whether ‘disabled people’ is more offensive than ‘people with disabilities’, I am growing.

>After all, no one every learned anything in their comfort zone<

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The Peep Toe Bootie Obsession

Holy fall trend alert!!!!

The peep toe bootie is THE “it-girl” for fall. These heels are not sky-high and are very wide (read: easy to walk in). Meaning these shoes take any outfit from jeans and a t-shirt to edgy street style. Being the college student that I am, I recognize that money can be the biggest obstacle to having trendy pieces. Why spend $40 on cute, new shoes if you can buy a shirt you’ll wear for years? I get it, so I’ve broken it down by budget for you guys!

Only $25 from Zulilly!

Only $25 from Zulilly!

These Kristen Cavarilli look alikes are $150 at Nordstrom and make the perfect fall neutral.

These Kristen Cavarilli look alikes are $150 at Nordstrom and make the perfect fall neutral.

Currently, these lovelies are out of stock but Steve Madden has done it again. Hopefully soon, check them out online at Nordstrom.

Currently, these lovelies are out of stock but Steve Madden has done it again. Hopefully soon, check them out online at Nordstrom.

These Chinese Laundry babies are $119 but oh so worth it!

These Chinese Laundry babies are $119 but oh so worth it!

AMIClubwear.com has these beauties for only $40!

AMIClubwear.com has these beauties for only $40!

 

See, these deals make it easy to bump up the glam this fall. This is one band wagon you’ll want to jump on!

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The Diversity Dilemma

I think it’s the word itself, diversity, that makes everyone so uncomfortable. “Diversity” to most is merely balancing the amount of blacks with the amount of whites and suddenly people lay their heads on their pillows at night thinking all is right with the world. But is it?

This weekend Randolph-Macon College was lucky enough to host Dr. T. Leon Williams for our annual Dream Speak Conference. With over 20 years of experience in the field of multicultural affairs, he was a perfect resource for our predominantly white institution. He began with volunteers whom he asked to recite the very first thing that came to their mind when he said words like “Obama” or “white female” and the anxiety in the room was palpable. What are you supposed to say? There are plenty of faces staring at you, waiting to be offended, yet that fear it what stops us from having those conversations. Dr. Williams wanted to push beyond that.

He claims that diversity initiatives aren’t inclusive and therefore everyone feels left out. Despite the best efforts of many, the programs, or lack thereof, just don’t seem to be cutting it anymore. First, he says, whites are consistently excluded as some sort of payback for inherited privilege. And a sigh of relief goes through the mostly white crowd that deflates some of the tension. Some one said it out loud.

charliebrownracism

Racism is real. So is ableism, sexism, ageism, and any other -ism you can think of. People everywhere are judged for the way they were born. Dr. Williams opened the door for us to reevaluate our campus attitude by changing blame into power.

And for that we are incredibly grateful.

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From Top Dog to Low Man- The College Transition

In the spirit of the upcoming school year, here’s my advice to all the freshmen out there embarking on their new journey!

We think we can do everything. It doesn’t sound like too much, because you commit to each responsibility one at a time. Then, you sit down at your desk and BAM; there is an elephant sitting there. From your chair you look at your to-do list, you stare at this monstrous pile of homework, club tasks, and social obligations and you want to cry. That packed schedule is your elephant and you sit at its feet thinking “there is no way I can eat this elephant”.

 

In some cases, this is true. You may have too many obligations, but more often than not you just are not applying yourself in the most efficient way. Being overwhelmed leads you to procrastinate, because you will never finish it all. Or so you think.

Freshman year is a time of transition, the likes of which you’ve probably never experienced before.

 

1) Your parents leave you. They actually leave you. For the first time, you are the most alone you’ve ever been and that is a scary thought.

 

2) Whatever group of friends or support system you had in high school isn’t here. No one here knows you and, maybe worst of all, you don’t know who to trust.

 

3) Maybe you’re an only child or maybe you’re one of five. Either way, living in a dorm requires a major adjustment. Sharing bathrooms with non-relatives can be like nailing jello to a tree. The food is weird. The bed is hard. And no one cares whether you’re sick or not.

 

4) You want friends, to belong to a group. Due to that perfectly natural goal, you join EVERYTHING. One of those clubs is bound to work out, right? Or, on the other hand, you join nothing. You want to sit back and watch the drama unfold before you decide who you want to be. News flash: both are perfectly fine.

Here’s my freshmen horror story: I met a roommate on Facebook and we both decided to live in the Leadership house, Lambert Hall. Our room was small, but I loved it. Two weeks into the semester, I got strep, two ear infections, and bedbugs. On top of all of that, my roommate wanted to live with someone else. There I was sitting in my laundry basket on the floor of the Hampton Inn thinking there was no way this whole college thing could be any worse. Eventually, I got a new roommate who is my best friend, got a 4.0, and joined a sorority in my first semester. I survived, and you will too.

My guess is that you’re more well-adjusted than your peers. You’ve probably been to a sleep away camp or handled club positions before. That’s great! Yet, college is a completely different ball game. There is no way to tell how prepared- or not- you are for classes and that, my friends, can be a huge variable. You don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s okay, because we do (sort of!).

 

So, how do you actually go about eating anelephant?

The answer: one bite at a time.

Start here:

How stressed do you feel in these areas of your life?

Friends

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I have too many friends to count I have enough friends that I feel comfortable I have good friends but would like to make more I have one good friend, but I would like more I’m happy with the friend I have, but I need more My friends are okay, but I need cooler friends I have many shallow friends, but no good friends I think I need a huge number of friends to be happy I’m worried I won’t meet any good people I’m having a lot of difficulty connecting with people

Academics

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I can comfortably get my work done, attend class, and still have social time I get all of my work done and attend class, but I don’t have free time during the week I get all of my work done and attend class but don’t socialize often I get most of my work done and attend class but don’t socialize I spend most hours of the day doing work, but I get it all done I spend hours in the library each week, skipping sleep I go to class, but can’t seem to finish all of my work I finish my work, but don’t go to class I can’t finish all of my work when it is due I’m having a lot of difficulty handling coursework and going to class

Overall Comfort (dorm life, food, etc.)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I hate living here; I dream of Christmas break I’m very homesick and haven’t settled in I hate living in dorms, but I’m getting used to the college life I sleep well sometimes in my dorm, but I miss my family I’m not quite comfortable, but I’m getting there Some days are better than others, but overall good I have two to three bad days, but other than that, I’m happy I have one bad day a week, but other than that, I’m happy The food could be better, but life is good I feel completely at home here

What are three things that would improve your experience?

  1.   ___________________________________
  2. ___________________________________
  3. ___________________________________

What is your BIG goal for your semester? (It’s okay to have more than one, but be careful not to get overwhelmed):

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now, try this tip:

The Four Square Method

Due Now Due Later

Important

1

2

Less urgent 3

4

This method was taught to me by Dr. Reiner in the psychology department. First, organize your tasks into their respective boxes. Then, when it comes to actually completing the work, do them in order of the numbers in the boxes. This seems counterintuitive, because the tendency is to do everything that is due now first. Think about it. Quick worksheets or a set of practice problems are usually in quadrant three. Therefore, you end up thinking: I have plenty of time for that. Two hours of Netflix later and you still haven’t started it, but it’s okay because it won’t take you long. Not true. Hence, it makes more sense to at least start some of your big projects that are not due until maybe next week. Even writing just an introduction for that big paper makes a difference. You can’t imagine how relieved you will be when the paper is due the next day and you are not looking at a blank Word document.


 

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices on Resistance, Reform, and Renewal an African American Anthology

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