I’m Learning to Butter People Up with My Journalism Skills

Sometime last week, I had to explore the city of Boston for a Journalism assignment. I swear some of the journalism professors love sending students out for stories here at Emerson. But besides that point, I had to do a story relating to food trucks so I headed down to The Chicken Rice & Guys’ restaurant on Bedford street. They have several restaurant establishments and food trucks and that was my story angle. Usually, when we are sent out to find stories, we go out in groups, but this was an individual assignment, so I went alone. It’s already nerve-wracking for me to go up to a stranger and ask them for an interview.  So I followed one of the top rules of journalism about getting an interview. Small talk.

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Kind-Of Romantic Comedies for People Who Kind Of Don’t Like Romantic Comedies

For someone who’s pretty sure she doesn’t like romantic comedies, I sure have seen all of them. As in, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen just about every classic rom-com, plus a few of the ones no one would ever venture to call classics, plus a few of those weird ones literally no one has ever seen that exist in infinity on Netflix.

Most of them were not very fun, or good, or anything. Some of them have a certain charm, I guess, but in much the same way as you can think that a family Christmas party objectively has charm at the same time you want to spend exactly zero minutes attending it. In short, I have long assumed I am Not A Fan of the romantic comedy.

So imagine my surprise when I was thinking up my list of all time favorite movies and I realized several of them are, categorically, rom-coms, kind of. And thus I must kind of like romantic comedies after all? Or at least only kind of not like them.

Without further ado, here they are: Kind-of romantic comedies for people who kind of don’t like romantic comedies.

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The Books That Changed My Life

I find that a majority of my life-changing, though-altering, “big-bang” moments have happened after reading a book that has struck a particular chord with me. Honestly, I’m not even sure where I would be in my life right now if it weren’t for reading the books on this list. I don’t mean in a geographical sense, because I’m a home-body and where else would I be but inside my house, probably reading a book. #Bookworm4lyfe.

I mean the above statement in a more metaphysical way. Maybe the story has changed my outlook on something in society; maybe it’s empowered me in some way; or, maybe, it’s made me feel a little less alone in this journey we call life. Whatever the case, the following stories have brought me quite a lot of joy in my life, and I wish to share them with you all in the hopes that maybe they’ll help you, too.

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How to Stay on Top of School (Without a Mental Breakdown)

When it comes to school, I have precisely two modes. Either I am living my life as if I have never before attended school, as though for all intents and purposes I am the human equivalent of a tumbleweed, drifting through life with no burdens or responsibilities; or I am a sleepless zombie editing the same sentence of a paper that isn’t due for three days until the sun rises. There is absolutely no in between.

Since high school, I have dedicated all of my energy to making sure that I do not revert into Anthropomorphic Tumbleweed Mode, which means it’s been all school obsession all the time. In the hopes of preventing a mental breakdown or two, I’ve been trying to chill out a bit. Here are some of the ways to maintain that balance.

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The Common Guide to Being Sick

“Aah choo,” you sneeze and you find your nose running. Your body temperature is either way too hot or way too cold. You can feel the chills of a cold tingle through your body. The cough has now turned into this aggressive battle to clear out your throat. You feel less active and the bed is now calling your name. You’re rummaging through your cabinets and all of your room, but you don’t have any source of medication there. Your parents aren’t here. You are away at college and your own for the first time. You have no one to guide you in what to get, where to go, and how to get it. Now you’re forced to make the awkward and confusing trip to the store to try and find the best things to fight being sick. If you are new to the common cold/ flu struggle, here are a few tips.

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How to Transform Your Desk Space

Just a few days ago, I came into my dorm to find my suitemate doing her homework on the floor of her room (love you the most, Katie). I was pretty confused until I took a look at her desk; it was in absolute shambles, with books, papers, clothes, and random Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup wrappers strewn about.

Now, this is not a roast of my suitemate, because I feel like 90% of the dorm rooms desks I see are in the exact same shape. When I ask people why this is, the answer most often has to do with how boring and bland dorm room desks are. And, if you’re not creatively inclined, or don’t have any clue as to how to decorate and organize a desk, you’re at an even greater disadvantage. It seems that when a desk isn’t “homey” or conducive to productivity, people are less likely to work there.

Conversely, I do a majority of my work at my desk, but that’s only because I’ve made it an environment that I want to work at. While I keep my desk strictly organized, I have also added some little knick-knack things that remind me of home and that make me smile whenever I look at them. I’m here today to give you a sneak-peek as to how you too can make your desk a space that you actually want to work at.

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Favorite Fall Reads

The best reading season is inarguably fall. Summer is sometimes nice for reading outside, except that actually it’s super hot and sweaty and buggy and awful. People glorify “beach reads,” but books get all sandy and suncreen-y and warped just from being near the ocean, I guess. (Insert Danny from The Mindy Project shouting “I fear the ocean out of respect” here.) Reading in the winter is terrible because it’s constantly freezing, and if you’re wrapped in a blanket, your hands are exposed in order to hold the book. Unless you’re in possession of a Snuggie, months of suffering ensue. And spring is mostly just Winter: The Sequel.

But fall…fall is the best. It’s a mix of nice days—you can read outside and the trees are pretty!—and brisk days—you can read inside and be super comfy! Also, hot beverages make their triumphant return, and everyone knows that there is no better way to read than with a cup of coffee/tea/cocoa/cider.

Luckily, there are also a ton of books that fit perfectly with fall. Whether they take place during the season, are ideal to curl up with, or just feel cozy and atmospheric, some books just scream “autumn.” (And not just because they’re thrillers or horrors and therefore feel Halloween-y. That’s the coward’s way out of a fall recommendation list. No, we’re going genre by genre.)

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The HUBWeek Experience

It was just a casual night as my roommate and I did our typical nightly routine of walking through Faneuil Hall. This time, there were flashing show lights displayed outside of an event with large crowds of people. As we made our way to the entrance, we were informed that it was closed for the day. We gave each other the look of “Oh man” and walked away disappointed until one of the staff members informed that we could come by tomorrow. Continue reading The HUBWeek Experience

How I Stay Inspired as a Writer

Writer’s block—it happens to the best of us. You’re furiously typing on your laptop, running with an idea for this story you’ve been toiling over, and then… silence. No more hasty tapping on keys, no more listening to the cogs whir in your head. The quiet is deafening, but you’ve hit this wall in your head, and new ideas are trapped behind it.

It’s hard to muster up the motivation to climb over that wall or destroy it completely. When it comes to creative writing especially, it can be hard to overcome a lack of ideas. What’s going to happen next in the plot? Where will your characters go? Will your main character like classic Mozart, or the new Nicki Minaj album?

Decisions, decisions.

Writer’s block is a dream killer and a productivity suck. Instead of lying down and surrendering, however, I’ve come up with some ways to stay inspired as a creative writer that I’d like to share with you, my fellow authors.

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