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Sparks Miss Washington Count y

Issue No. 7 May 2014



CONTENTS 06 12 14





Features 16 22 24 26 28










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LET'S GET TOGETHER YEAH, YEAH, YEAH… AND WELCOME MAY! Finally after a cold winter and rainy April we've tiptoed into warm weather. For some reason, the warmth always gives me a feeling of comfort and confidence. During the colder months, I hibernate. I'm seriously like a bear—I eat too much and sleep too much (hey, I can work off those calories during spring, right?). But when the sun is out and I feel it's embrace warm me from the outside and in, I'm ready to express myself! And good news for you, that's the unofficial theme for this issue: expression. Today, there's tons of noise anywhere you go. Think about how many tweets go through your Twitter feed in an hour. Or how many Snapchat pictures your friends take when they're bored. Even the most basic forms of communication, like chatting with a friend in-between classes, happen so frequently that we sometimes forget that we're constantly expressing our uniqueness—our voice—to the world. We've got you covered from creating a stellar blog post (page 22) to learning how to communicate in workshop groups (page 24) to controlling how your dreams unravel (page 26). So go ahead, write it on the walls… or even your shir t (page 12)!

Shelby Newsome

Founder & Editor-In-Chief



Drop us an email (, tweet us (@tote_mag), or write on our wall to let us know how YOU express yourself!

Would you like to contribute to Tote? Contact Shelby at

OUR TEAM CONTRIBUTORS Elaina Clarke Marketing Director & Vice President Colleen Kochesfahani Managing Editor Caro Romero Graphic Designer Hannah Rudow Social Media Intern

Rachel Parker Photographer Leanne Rowe Beauty Expert Emma Matthews Writer Caroline Cassard Writer Eva Niessner Writer Emily Kong Writer Aja Frost Writer Paige Rowley Writer Katie Lemon Writer



You know what they say, April showers bring May flowers. Floral prints are a fun way to add a touch of femininity to any aspect of your life. – Shelby Newsome, Founder and Editor-in- Chief




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12 1. Favorite Floral Sneakers, $20.99, Forever 21 2. Tarna Dried Bouquet, $6.99, Ikea 3. Ted Baker Carli Orchid Print Dress, $305, Van Mildert 4. Softy Bath Bomb, $6.40, Lush 5. Flower About Face Foundation with Primer, $13.98, Walmart 6. Floral Chevron iPhone Case by Allyson Johnson, $35, Society 6 7. Fishs Eddy Floral Italian Wine Glass Gift Set, $61, Liberty London 8. Handbag, $69.99, Mango 9. Pastel Peach Floral Headphones, $30, Ankit 10. Rifle Journals – Set of 3, $12.95, Paper Source 11. Hibiscus Lid, Charles Viancin 12. Vintage Fleur Sticky Notes by Cavallini & Co., $14.95, Papyrus



Kick off your spring with accessories in vibrant yellows and neutral greys. – Caro Romero, Graphic Designer


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1. Alpine Shine Tee, $27.99, ModCloth 2. Elisabeth Michael Chevron Cotton Pillow, $91.40, AllModern 3. Saturday Morning Mug, $10.00, Kate Spade Saturday 4. Gray Sweater, $24.95, H&M 5. Apple iPhone Case, $19.99, Etsy 6. BAGGU Canvas Duck Tote Bag, $30.00, Urban Outfitters 7. Linen & Lace Cosmetic Bag, $19.00, Etsy 8. Macbook 15in PRO Case, $29.90, Etsy 9. Mustard Leaf Earring, $5.00, Etsy 10. Mustard Yellow Clutch Purse, $25.75, Etsy 11. Mustard Felted Planter, $21.00, Etsy 12. Madre Mother's Day Lettering Card, $4.00, Etsy



Swim in a pool of pastels this season with these soft-hued products. – Emily Kong, Contributor

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1. NARS Matte Multiple in Anguilla, $39, Sephora 2. Luxury Notebook, $12.95, Cotton On 3. Pastel Mason Jars, $18, Etsy 4. Vans Era Pastel Sneakers, $67.75, ASOS 5. Ankit Pastel Tie Dye iPhone Case, $24.99, Amazon 6. Dotz Cord Identifiers, $4.49, Amazon 7. Sugar Town Cluster Stud Set, $4.80, Forever 21 8. Pastel Hair Chalk, $12, Sephora 9. Pastel Blue Midi Skirt, $38.17, Chic Wish 10. Geneva Women’s Platinum Light Pastel Silicone Watch, $25.99, Overstock 11. Pastel Speech Bubble Sticky Note, $3.95, MochiThings 12. Pastel Animal Shadow File Folder, $7.95, MochiThings 13. Mini Cooler, $69, PB Teen 14. Tweezerman Mini Slant Tweezers, $15, Sephora tote






Revamp your wardrobe and express yourself with an easy way to redesign an old tee. Don't worry, no artistic skills required. But by all means, if you want to freehand this, we've got some serious respect for you!

WHAT YOU NEED: • A tee (darker colors work best) • Bleach pen • Xacto Knife • Tape • Cardboard • Sheet of paper (to make stencil—or you can pick up a pre-made stencil at your local craft store)


WHAT TO DO: 1. Print out your design on a sheet of paper. 2. Using the xacto knife, carefully cut out your stencil. Remember positive and negative space? That will come in handy for this. Whatever you don't cut out will not get bleached i.e. will stay the same color as your tee. 3. Make sure your tee is ironed (we don’t want any wrinkles!) and then place a piece of cardboard inside it. This is so the bleach pen doesn't seep through to the back side of your shir t. 4. Tape on the stencil to your shirt wherever you desire it to go. 5. Using the bleach pen, color in the stencil. 6. After you let the bleach dry, rinse it off and then throw it in the washer and dryer. 7. If needed, touch up spots that didn't come out light enough (we're guilty of having to do this!) and repeat step 6.


Your words. Your design. Your voice. Pretty cool, right?




MINIMUM Less is more when it comes to summer. So trade-in heavy makeup and flat irons to achieve a beachy, minimalist look.

Text: LEANNE ROWE Summer is almost here which means it's all about minimal makeup. Don't worry, I have you covered with my summer must-haves to keep you looking fresh faced and beautiful all summer long. We are going to star t with my absolute most important must have... sunscreen! I'm sure you’re sick of hearing about how sunscreen is so impor tant, but the increase in skin cancer diagnoses is proof that if we do not protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, we will suffer the consequences. That painful sunburn that lasts a couple days could lead to a skin cancer diagnosis 10 years from now along with wrinkled, aged skin. With each and every burn you are increasing your chance of skin cancer. So this summer, leave the tanning oil behind and reach for a good quality sunscreen that is going to do the job. A sunscreen you can't go wrong with is Sun Bum. Sun Bum sunscreens come in liquid form or spray form and are paraben free, anti-aging, oil free/ PABA free, won't clog pores, and are photostable. It’s definitely one of the best sunscreens on the market. We all want to look glowing and dewy in the summer, without having a makeup melt down! Try a lightweight



foundation or BB cream instead of something thick and heavy to avoid caking in the hot summer heat. For combination skin, try Urban Decay's Naked Skin Foundation. This is a light to medium coverage foundation. For oily to combo skin I recommend Estee Lauder Double Wear Light. It is also a light to medium coverage foundation; I wore this all of summer 2013 and really enjoyed it. Now, for you dry skin girls, definitely aim for a BB/CC cream because this will be the most hydrating for you while helping you achieve that summer glow. For a full coverage BB cream, try Jane Iredale. For something more lightweight try Bare Minerals Bareskin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation. Mineral foundations are also a great option in the summer because they are not liquid which means they hold up a little better on those 90-degree days. For an extra glowing complexion, bronzer is a must. My favorite is Too Faced Chocolate Soleil—it's great for many skin tones. Our makeup should be more colorful in the warmer months compared to the cold months. Instead of our basic black or brown eyeliner on our bottom lash line, try something bold and bright such as NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Metallic

Aquamarine or Seafoam Green. These beachy shades are sure to make your eyes pop! Don't forget about those lips. Coral is flattering on lots of different skin tones and also a great shade for summer. One of my favorite lipglosses for the summer is Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Fiery Coral. These glosses have a nice minty taste and scent, with a pleasant plumping effect. The most important step in a summer makeup routine would have to be a setting spray. This is what is going to keep your makeup looking fresh all day and night. My go to? Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray. Now that you have my makeup musthaves for summer, let's move on to hair. During the summer I like to give my hair a break from the heat tools so I need products that are going to work with my hair’s natural wave. Moroccanoil (or Moroccanoil Light if you have fine hair), Living Proof Full Thickening Cream, WEN Sweet Almond Mint Styling Cream and a sea salt spray are all I need to achieve beachy tresses. Some of my favorite sea salt sprays are, Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Texturizing Sea Spray, TIGI Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray or Bumble and bumble Surf Spray.



Just remember your body is perfect the way it is and a healthy/ safe skin tone is the prettiest skin tone.



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QUICK TIP Coat your hair from


your ears down in your favorite conditioner before getting in the ocean or pool. This will keep the ocean salt, pool chemicals, and sun from drying out your hair. I also apply a little when I get out. Since I live by the beach just a few miles from a "resort area", the summer months are full of people baring skin. If you're a local, you're one of the tannest people on the beach in the same bikini from last year or the year before. You can be found lying on your faded beach towel with a bottle of Banana Boat Tanning Oil next to you, baking away before heading to your job waiting tables or hitting the local bars later. That used to be me, but since I have been on and off of intense acne treatments the past couple of years, I have been forced to trade my tanning oil for sunscreen and my faded beach towel for a faded ball cap, sunglasses, and a chair under an umbrella. So I achieve most of my summer color from my trusty St. Tropez self tanners. They have so many options for face and body you can definitely find one that works for you. My favorite is the Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. As summer 2014 is quickly approaching we are all stressing about getting the perfect "bikini body" and a sun kissed tan. Just remember your body is perfect the way it is and a healthy/safe skin tone is the prettiest skin tone. â–







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1. SPF 70 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion, $15.99, Sun Bum 2. Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation, $39, Sephora 3. Double Wear Light, $37, Estee Lauder 4. Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream, $48, Jane Iredale 5. bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation, $29, bareMinerals 6. Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer, $30, Too Faced 7. NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Seafoam Green, $24, Sephora 8. NARS Larger Than Life LongWear Eyeliner in Metallic Aquamarine, $24, Sephora 9. Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Fiery Coral, $18, bareMinerals 10. Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray, $30, Sephora 11. Moroccanoil Treatment Light, $16.50, Nordstrom 12. Living Proof Full Thickening Cream, $26, Ulta 13. WEN Sweet Almond Mint Styling Crème (Set of Two), $41, QVC 14. Awapuhi Texturizing Sea Spray, Paul Mitchell 15. TIGI Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray, $17, Amazon 16. Surf Spray, $26, Bumble and bumble. 17. St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $32, Sephora




BRUNCHING Whether you're hosting a special celebration or just gathering up the girls, read on for five tips on how to make every brunch your best.

Guest Contributor Kelsey Hay wood from Bacon & blush 1. Plan for perfection.

2. Rise and shine.

Selecting the perfect haunt requires a bit of recon. I love to research new restaurants—check out menus, read reviews—and ask friends for recommendations. Here are some things to consider when picking a place: Is the menu a la carte or prix fixe? Are there drink specials or a bottomless option? Is there a limit on how long you can linger after finishing your dishes? Plus: parking, general dress code, reservation policy. Oh, and there's a biggie—make sure to book a reservation if you can—even if you think you don't need one, your experience will always be better when the staff is expecting you and your party.

It's not always easy to feel brighteyed and beautiful on a weekend morning, but there are a few tricks that'll get you looking gorgeous on the fly. My best tip: Take off your makeup and drink a full glass of water before bed every night, no matter what— your skin will seriously thank you. In the AM, perk up your peepers with some cooling eye pads. My eyes tend to look exhausted easily and I swear by Repechage Eye Rescue Pads ($38, repechage. com). Then it's a one-two punch on dark circles with a dab of camouflaging concealer followed by a bit of brightener (I love Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant



Touch, $41, And the f inal three basics: cream blush, a few coats of mascara and your favorite lipgloss—right now I'm loving Stila Lip Glaze in Apricot ($22, There's an unwritten rule somewhere that it's definitely not okay to wear winged liner before 3pm, so leave your cat-eye at home.

3. Step out in style. My love of really great fashion is matched only by my love of being comfortable—which is why you'll frequently find me in dressed-up basics, easy dresses and great flats. I live for a great brunch ensemble, which balances equal parts cuteness with comfort. To

Kelsey Haywood is the beauty editor at Girls' Life magazine.

On why I started the blog I'm a writer by both passion and profession—so while I create content all day, every day for a magazine, I also wanted a creative outlet that was my own and purely personal. Bacon & blush combines something that I love to do with my background in beauty and lifestyle. tote


pull it off, just keep that ratio in mind: pick one glam item—like a fur vest or sparkly statement necklace—and pair with cozier, more understated basics. Or if you just can't leave the heels at home, keep the rest of your outfit simple by pairing with a slouchy statement tee and oversized bag.

4. Set (great) expectations. When hosting any affair, it's key that your guests understand the occasion in advance. Is your crew meeting for an AM yoga class and then heading out for green juice and kale omelets? That's a very different beast than hitting a trendy spot in DC and ordering bottomless bevs for the table. Share all the details when you extend the invite—or better yet, send out a cute Paperless Post invite (check out paperlesspost. com for free, stylish e-vites) so the group can plan accordingly.

5. Sip, sit and savor. And now for the fun part: Enjoy yourself, your meal and your company. I think the best brunches balance a sweet and savory selection, so start with an app to share (if you're nice) and then order the alternate for your main course. Pair it with a boozy beverage—a mimosa with freshly -squeezed OJ never fails, or try a bloody with Hendrick's gin for a refreshing twist on the classic. Talk. Laugh. Take your time. Tell another story. Order another round. This is a meal meant for indulging and catching up with the people you care about. And Instagram your beautiful food—it feels kind of silly, yeah, but it's all part of the memory. ■ 18


On the importance of brunch The philosophy behind Bacon & blush is that brunch isn't just a meal; it's a lifestyle. Yes, everyone needs to eat— but brunch is never just a quick bite. It's this really leisurely, indulgent activity that can be so incredibly rewarding when shared with friends. The beautiful thing about brunch is that it can be whatever you want it to be—a carefree and casual catch-up session with your girlfriends, or a fancy affair to celebrate a special occasion.




CONNECTED Join us on all of our social adventures.



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College is over for the year and you’ve got heaps of free time on your hands. From a dip in the pool soaking up those sunny rays, to a classic chill-out night scoffing popcorn with your favorite girl pals, there’s an endless array of activities to get involved in this summer. So use your summer break wisely and be proactive. If you’re an action enthusiast, book a weekend-away at a campsite. If you’re a beach fanatic, grab a board and go surfing. Or if you’re a tech-buff, start a blog and get creative! Admittedly the term ‘blog’ may sound geeky but really it’s anything but. A fresh, hip way to share your passions, hobbies, and interests, girls everywhere are signing up to free blogging sites like and, to give others a glimpse into their busy, hectic schedules. The latest lipstick, a brand new top, that purse you’ve been longing after for a while now, blogging is a fun past time that allows girls to delve into topics their other half is getting fed-up of hearing about. ''I love that blogging brings like-minded people together. Star ting my blog helped me find people to share my opinions and thoughts with,'' says beauty and lifestyle blogger Abi Kempen, from Kemples. In fact, it’s this community of ‘like-minded people’ that makes blogging such an enjoyable get-away from everyday life and tedious routines. Cocktails in Teacups’ Amy Marie says: "I star ted my blog to keep a small par t of my life dedicated to life prior to becoming a mother. It has kept me sane through some of the toughest times of my life and now it's my livelihood. I am so glad I started and stuck with my blog as I have met some amazing people along the way." Sure, the idea of sharing your thoughts and feelings online may seem a little

daunting, but with a hearty dose of community spirit and our step-by-step guide on how to write a successful blog post, you’ll be a pro in no time. Here's how to get started.

Read Writing an entertaining blog post isn’t always easy. It can be particularly challenging if you’re stuck for an idea or have little experience communicating your views in an engaging and well-written way. But fret not, there are plenty of things you can do to overcome these hurdles. The first being, read. Whether it’s another blog, magazine or even the local newspaper, reading will help you generate ideas, as well as teach you new vocabulary about different topics or genres.

Research You have your idea. So now what? Research. It may sound a little tedious but it gives writing depth and provides your readers with the vital information they want to know about your chosen topic. That dress may look nice. But where’s it from? How much does it cost? Is it in trend this season? They’re all the questions girls are going to be asking when they read your blog post—so include pictures, links to product pages and facts and figures about prices. Research doesn’t have to be boring. You can make it fun by looking at magazines, collaging ideas on Pinterest, or even interviewing your favorite bloggers.

Write Arguably the most difficult part of this whole blogging phenomenon is writing the actual post, but if you’ve done your reading and researched your heart out it should be a piece of cake. When writing, always keep your audience in mind. If you’re writing to a group of females about a new mascara, the language you use is going to be drastically different to the language used when talking about football to a group of boys. Likewise, it’s just as important to check your post once you’ve finished

it. Look out for things like spelling, grammar, and repetition.

Plug So you’ve finished your first post and, respectfully, you’re pretty proud of it. Now the only thing left to do is plug it. Don’t worry; we’re not talking about spamming all your closet friends. Instead, be savvy and share the link to people you know want to read about the subject matter. A good social network to use is Twitter. This way you can share the link via relevant hashtags like #fbloggers (fashion bloggers), #bbloggers (beauty bloggers) and #lbloggers (lifestyle bloggers). Equally, you can also mention accounts that act as a platform for bloggers by re-tweeting links to your post—a few of our favorite ones to use are @FBLChat, @BBloggers and @BloggersBranch. As well as plugging your post on social media, you can also do it by commenting on other girl’s blogs. No one wants to see #Follow4Follow, #Like4Like, or #TeamFollowBack but there’s nothing wrong with leaving a relevant comment and putting a link to your blog as a signature.

Thank You’ve read, researched, written and plugged, and your blog post has been a success. People have commented on it and you’ve received lashings of positive feedback—go you! Now all you need to do is thank people. A great way to encourage regular visitors is to interact with them. Whether it’s replying when they tweet you or showing gratitude when they spare 5 minutes to read your post, online-interaction is an essential must in the blog-sphere. After all, blogging’s about building ‘long-lasting friendships’, right? We’ve given you all the tools you need, now the rest is up to you—so get productive and be proactive! ■




HORRORS How to deal with workshop personality tropes.

Text: CAROLINE CASSARD Writing workshop classes overflow immediately. During the registration free-for-all, we don’t bother to check, taunted solely by the tiny 1 followed by a 2 that denotes class size. But months after course registration, after we arrange chairs in a circle and run through the mandatory icebreakers, workshops can take a downhill turn toward awkward critiques and uninterested students. The trite stereotypes that emerge before the first weekend arrives can taint a constructive class environment. Whether you anticipate a friendly fiction workshop this summer or are already brainstorming nonfiction-focused ideas for fall, you can rescue your class environment (and your sanity) by handling these classmates’ criticisms and confusions like the put-together lady you are.



The Marshmallow

The Latecomer

She loves your lede. The nut graf grabs her. Your descriptions: So vivid! Every aspect of your piece is so lovely and deserving of illustrated hearts and stars that you wonder if she really thinks the story you finished minutes before deadline is comparable to Hemingway. “Don’t change anything!” she says. But when the professor stamps the same story with a procrastination-worthy “C,” you wonder if this softie actually read the same piece. Her words of adoration might not be helpful for editing. But in the big picture, accept the compliments. Workshop classes force you to release your writing into a sea of criticism. A compliment, no matter how unconstructive, always cushions the atmosphere.

He arrives twenty minutes into each class. Off to the side, he shrugs at your stack of marked-up workshop papers. “I never read these,” he scoffs. “Who has time for that?” Never accept goodytwo-shoes accusations for actually doing your homework. At the tuition rates per credit, you want to at least get your money’s worth. And when a classmate doesn’t respect your time, you don’t have to give it. Save the 30 minutes it might take you to read through his piece twice and get some sleep instead. Unlike him, you’ll be able to get to class on time.

The Sarcastic Cynic In a short story’s three separate mentions of an elderly woman in a deli, she writes in large, capitalized

letters: “STEREOTYPE, STEREOTYPE, STEROTYPE. HAHAHA, this is soooo unoriginal.” Whether or not lunchtime eateries are correlated to age or gender, the laughing notes contribute no constructive help. Unanswered questions emerge from unclear critiques: Should the writer swap the ham for tuna? Should the old woman eat an ice cream cone instead? Will the mention of a different food group make her character more complex? If a handwritten comment mocks without suggesting change, ask your classmate after class: “I’m sorry, I can’t read this note. What does this say?” Asking her to read her comment aloud will allow her to rethink unhelpful critique methods.

The Avenger Any critique that crosses the “maybe switch up sentence structure?” line upsets him. It not only weakens his overconfidence in living the clichéd “writer’s life” of cluttered ashtrays, recreational drugs, and a black coffee-diet, it also dismantles his masculinity. He’ll prepare a comeback in advance, tearing apart the writer rather than the writing. “I expected better,” he might say after receiving a less than rave review on his own story. Taking the matter to the professor might seem elementary. But if personal attacks or inappropriate comments appear within your tower of stapled edits, let the professor take a look. Without creating drama, cut to the point, address the issue, and move on.

The Whisperer In writing, she suggests helpful tweaks in wording, highlights grammatical errors, and notes opportunities for structure changes. Arrows direct to tiny scrawled notes that begin, “Maybe you could…” or “If you’d like….” but in class, she has nothing to say. Before assuming she’s unprepared, consider that she may hesitate to join class discussions, second-guessing her ink-blotted edits. See if she’s free outside of class. Compliment her eye for copyediting and ask her directly: “What should I change in the story? Would you like to see more description? Can you help me cut down on word count?” Unlike when she’s put on the spot in front of a group, she may appreciate the less-intimidating oppor tunity to speak up.

The Genre Scholar He likes your use of suspense but wants you to take it fur ther. “Engage the reader,” he says, listing a few literary tools for you to pull into the plot. Next week, he distributes his own story about alien whales that live in bathroom pipes on Mars, and his scholarly persona dissolves. But don’t let his unconventional taste discredit his previous edits. Make changes in your own writing. Experiment. Marine Mammal Science Fiction might be the next literary craze, and his suggestions can lead you to take a more creative route in your writing. You’ll never know until you give it shot.

New to workshops?

Developing thick skin takes practice. When workshopping others’ pieces, the sandwich method is the most efficient: Open and close a critique with compliments, making note of what’s working. In the middle, focus on where the writer can improve in plot, sentence structure, level of detail, and story framing in general. A little sweetness goes a long way. Take interest in other students’ pieces, and they’ll put effort into workshopping yours. ■

Whether you anticipate a friendly fiction workshop this summer or are already brainstorming nonfiction-focused ideas for fall, you can rescue your class environment (and your sanity) by handling these classmates’ criticisms and confusions like the put-together lady you are.




LUCID DREAMING Text: EVA NIESSNER In dreams, anything is possible. Literally anything. You can win the Super Bowl or fight Darth Vader or summon up the courage to talk to someone you like—something that sometimes feels more impossible than the other two. My point is, there's no limit to what you can dream about. In a lucid dream, you realize you're dreaming, but you don't wake up. If you're good enough, you can control what's happening in the dream and star t flying or turning into a wolf or anything you want to do.

until you wake up. But I could have gathered that just by watching the "Inception" trailer. I needed to go deeper, I thought, not realizing that I stole that one from "Inception" too.

and find patterns. If you see that you dream about being a Game of Thrones character a lot, you might be able to snap to lucidity the next time you find yourself with a sword.

That's a gross oversimplification, but that was all I knew. I was no dream-ologist (actually an oneirologist, which spellcheck says isn't a real word, but spellcheck also doesn't think spellcheck is a word). I had never successfully had a lucid dream—at least, not one I could remember. I'd never even seen "Inception". I was as much of a dream rookie as I could be.

I consulted the Internet's leading expert on everything—WikiHow. Accompanied by little anime drawings were different tips and tasks that dreamers were advised to try in order to get better at lucid dreaming. If you start doing 'reality checks' during your waking life, or setting little reminders out for yourself while you're awake, you might be more aware of your mind when you dream. For example, if you do something that has a guaranteed effect, like flipping on a light or leaving a provocative comment on an Internet ar ticle, and that effect doesn't happen— the light doesn't come on, nobody calls you a horrible name—you might be able to convince your dream-self that this is a dream.

So I started doing a little research. Generally, when you're dreaming, you don't realize it's a dream, even if you're doing the impossible, swinging a lightsaber or talking to the attractive guy in your astronomy class. It doesn't seem strange

Another piece of advice that lots of sources I looked at suggested was to keep a dream journal. Write down what happened as soon as you wake up, the sooner the better. That way, you can analyze your dreams over a period of time

Of course, there are some scary things associated with lucid dreaming too. Sleep paralysis is something lots of people have experienced, and it can be really, really freaky. Apparently, your body will lock up while you sleep, so that even if you're dreaming you're doing some wicked karate chops or fishing for bass or something else that's really full-bodied, you won't thrash around and hurt yourself. Which is great for whoever is sleeping next to you, but not so great if your brain starts to wake up before your body. For a little while, you're stuck, sometimes with really creepy hallucinations that you can't get away from. It can be so jarring for people that in the old days, it was thought a demon was sitting on you and preventing you from escaping. Luckily, it can't hurt you in any way.



Despite the risk of the spooky stuff, I wanted to give the lucid dreaming thing a try. If it worked out the way I wanted it to, I could be kissing

Chris Hemsworth while riding my friendly dragon in no time. I did my reality checks and asked myself if I was dreaming. I asked that a lot when I found myself missing the bus, but sadly, I was awake every time. Okay, so maybe I needed to try a different tactic. Another way to supposedly help get your brain ready to lucid dream is to listen to binaural beats. Theoretically, if you listen to two very similar tones with headphones, so different tones are going into each ear, it can improve your brain function and help you reach a meditative state. I used the highly scientific method of choosing the Youtube audio track that had the most views. It did make me sleepy, but I didn't have any lucid dreams. Sigh. The most successful trick for me—and my success was pretty limited— was imagining what I wanted to dream about in great detail. It was all well and good to want to ride a dragon with Chris Hemswor th, but what did the dragon look like? What was Chris Hemswor th wearing, and what was he saying in his marvelous Australian accent? Researchers have found that counting sheep doesn't help put people to sleep, but imagining a pleasant and relaxing setting in as much realistic detail as possible does. If your brain is holding onto the story you're working on while you're awake, it might cross over to your dream. If you realize you're not looking at your ceiling or your pillow, you might snap to lucidity, and get to steer your dream. I still hadn't managed to get that far, but I was having some great dreams, at least. ■

Cheat Sheet To recap—I didn't do so well. But maybe you'll do better. Remember the things to try and do: • Check your surroundings, and ask if you're awake or dreaming. • Listen to binaural beats. • Keep track of the dreams you're having. • Think about what you want to dream about. • If you do find yourself lucid dreaming, stay calm and try not to wake up!



Summer is the break we countdown till, the season’s weather we dream of, and the fun we plan for year round. The warm weather, tourists in almost every major city, and the endless possibilities are some reasons you should do as much as you can during the summer; because if not now, then when? Yes summer comes around every year, but we’d like to argue that the best summers of your life happen while you are in college. While in school, you don’t have as many responsibilities so you can spend an entire summer abroad, or traveling with friends. When you graduate and enter the workforce, you need to save up vacation days, request time off, and coordinate with friends who need to work around their schedules as well; that’s why they say take advantage of your time now because it won’t last forever. So what are you waiting for? We’re sharing five ways to make this the best summer yet!

1. Soak up that vitamin D Sun of any kind is good for you. Vitamin D makes you happier and gives your skin a radiant glow, that is, according to my non-medical opinion. There are medical benefits from Vitamin D, such as regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in our bones and aiding in cell-to-cell communication. Getting these essential nutrients is as simple as walking your dog for 30 minutes, going to the pool, or simply sitting outside on your porch with a stack of magazines, a cold drink, and a music playlist.

2. Go somewhere new, go somewhere old It’s always fun to venture to familiar places and find new things you didn’t see before, but it’s equally exciting to go to new places! You never know what you could discover by returning to a place with existing memories. New places are somewhere to search and explore, a new experience that



can make your entire break. So take advantage of your free time, or lack of school responsibilities. Go somewhere during your break that you aren’t able to go while school is in session.

marathon. Other rainy day activities we love include: baking up a storm, window shopping at the mall, holding an impromptu photo shoot, or having a beauty/spa day.

3. Float around in the water 5. Do plenty of DIY crafts Summer tends to bring up images and recipes of beaches, water parks, boardwalks, and tropical vacations—all water-filled destinations. And for good reason. You should be spending as much time as you can in the water. It’s summer! The weather is warm, or blistering hot, the sun is out for longer hours, and you have plenty of free time to road trip. The question isn’t why you should spend some time in the water, but WHERE you should go. Relax, float around in tropical waters, take a plunge at a water park, or just breathe in the salty air.

DON'T LET THE RAIN BRING DOWN YOUR MOOD. WHEN THE WEATHER GETS DREARY, THAT'S THE TIME FOR YOU TO GO ON INDOOR ADVENTURES. 4. Go on rainy day adventures Rainy days are inevitable; no summer is completely rain free, no matter where you are. Don’t let the rain bring down your mood. When the weather gets dreary, that’s the time for you to go on indoor adventures. Take a trip to your closest major city and walk around the museums! The Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. are free, close to one another, and there’s a museum for everyone. If museums aren’t your thing, an all day movie marathon with friends is in order. We recommend tackling a whole series in one day (Harry Potter anyone?) or going for a chick-flick

Don’t break your summer budget on expensive luxuries. Instead, why not make cheap, personable alternatives to products you see on the market? Those printed denim shorts at Forever 21? You can make them yourself. The crafts you see in the dorms? Try them out this summer. They’ll be ready for when you move back in this fall. Many of my friends have hand painted quotes on canvas that they hang in their dorm or apartment. These cost a few dollars to make compared to the roughly $20 cost to purchase. Not only do you save money, you get bragging rights for being so artsy. If arts aren’t your thing, keep up with a healthy diet by making fruit smoothies. If you’re feeling adventurous try a green smoothie! Not only will these make you feel good, but your complexion will benefit too. One of my favorite parts of summer is the outdoor barbeques. Grilled foods are healthier than fried, so grab a recipe from online and grill up a meal to share with family or friends. Not only will you gain the chef title for the night, you’ll also get some quality time outside and remember what we said about that vitamin D! Take a trip to our multiple DIY and recipes boards on Pinterest to see our favorites! Don’t let this break fly past you. Summer is the season you dreamt of during the polar vortex, multiple snowstorms, rainy days, group projects, assignments, and papers. The weather should make you want to go outside, the freedom should make you want to make plans, and the openness should make you want to do more. Take advantage of the time you have and try out the five suggestions I listed above in order to have one of your best summers ever. ■







INTERN DIARIES Sometimes internships can feel like a contest of who can get the most before they graduate. Sure, a list of internships looks great on a resume, but aren’t we forgetting quality over quantity? In a world with a “Go! Go! Go!” attitude it can be hard to know when to ride out a wave and when to hop onto the next one. If you’ve got a killer internship why not stick with it? That’s exactly what Laurise McMillian did. “I really wanted some out of the classroom experience so I just googled up to see what was in my area,” Laurise says. The 19-year-old adver tising major at Harford Community College decided to take matters into her own hands. She knew she wanted to intern at a magazine so she began her search for one. When her search directed her to Girls’ Life she was surprised because she didn’t know they were based in Maryland like she was. “I ended up finding Jess, the fashion editor’s email and I emailed her over and over again,” Laurise says. “But since she’s always out of the office doing shoots I got a bounce-back email saying that if it was an emergency I should email Kelsey —my [now] boss. So I emailed Kelsey and she interviewed me.” Having some magazine experience already under her belt from her previous position as art director for her college magazine was enough to impress Kelsey. “My boss at Girls’ Life, Kelsey, she was impressed [that] I was able to bring in a physical copy of my school’s magazine and she was able to see that I was familiar with magazine terms,” Laurise says. Through Girls’ Life, Laurise has been able to write advertorials for clients and design graphics for social media. “I’ve learned so much just by taking on jobs that I never thought that I would be doing,” Laurise says. Point in case, Laurise wasn’t as familiar with fashion as she is design but when

Jess needed extra interns to help out at a fashion shoot, Laurise wasn’t shy. She was able to lend a hand all while becoming more familiar with the fashion side of the magazine. With a mindset like that, it’s no wonder Girls’ Life asked her back for the following semester, including a promotion to senior intern status. In between semesters, Laurise was able to snag another coveted internship with Seventeen Magazine in New York City. Serendipitously, she happened to be on Twitter when Seventeen tweeted they were looking for a web intern. So she applied. “They were really impressed with my Girls’ Life experience,” Laurise says. “The stuff I was doing there was entertainment based and I was able to show her clips of the Catching Fire/Willow Shields advertorial that I had put together with Kelsey.” Her Girls’ Life “family” was right there cheering her along. Laurise says that they didn’t care that she would be interning for a competitor during her winter break; they just wanted the best for her. Laurise is officially no longer a rookie when it comes to internships. And she’s got the tips to prove it. “Be that guy who doesn’t want to go home. Be that guy who when you have to clock out at five but they need a transcription done tomorrow you’re the one that stays til seven to get it done because that makes all the difference.” While Laurise makes it clear that you definitely want to prove that you are indispensable, the same is true for the opposite end. “Another thing, I mean, it should be second nature, but don’t complain at your internship. It’s your job, whether you’re getting paid or you’re not getting paid, it’s your job.”

Laurise has been back at Girls’ Life this semester (she plans on staying until the end of summer) but she still manages to find time to contribute to her college magazine as chief designer. She’s also been training the new art director to fill her shoes. When it comes to experience, her internship isn’t the only thing teaching her a thing or two. When Laurise went to a conference in New York City through her school, she took away tips that would also help her with her Girls’ Life work. “I was able to get feedback on how to address certain situations that happened on the Girls’ Life Facebook that I didn’t know how to deal with,” Laurise says. “Say two readers are fighting on our comments and I wasn’t sure how to handle that but I was able to get help from other people [through the conference],” Laurise says. This coming fall will mark the official end of her internship while also marking a new beginning. Laurise will be continuing her adver tising major at Savannah College of Ar t and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia. She’s excited to have found a program that fits what she wants but will definitely miss home and Girls’ Life. However, Laurise hopes that the bonds and experiences through her internship will help her in the future. “I feel like I would be able to have Kelsey in my corner if I needed some help,” Laurise says. But Laurise still seems to be certain that this isn’t the end for her contributions to Girls’ Life. “I’m hoping that I may be able to do some side things with Girls’ Life while being away at SCAD just because I love Girls’ Life so much,” Laurise says. Laurise is definitely riding out this wave. ■



Little MISS









Sleep is a rarity for 20-year-old Monique Sparks. It’s no wonder ; she’s got more extra-curriculars than we can count on one hand. Just shy of junior-year status, Monique has already amassed a resume that seasoned college vets would be envious of. Topping the list: numerous beauty pageant titles. When I meet up with Monique a couple of weeks after she is crowned Miss Washington County, she is all smiles, even though our outdoor photo shoot takes place in thirty-degree weather. When we warm up indoors, with coffees in hand, Monique is ready to talk pageants, school, and her other accumulated passions (she definitely keeps busy!). What star ted out as a way to pay for college ended up being a game changer. Monique was able to accrue an impressive eight grand to pay for her first two years at Frederick Community College (located in Maryland) through winning pageants. However, her experiences have since transformed her. “When I started it was definitely the scholarship money,” Monique says. “But the more I got involved and the more I invested myself, the more I fell in love with the organization.” She first got involved with the Miss America Organization (MAO) back in 2011 competing for teen titles. As a teen she won Miss Urbana Outstanding Teen and was first runner up to Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen. When she moved up to the miss division Monique was able to snag Miss Frederick, Miss Anne Arundel County, and most recently, Miss Washington County. The Miss America Organization has been a humbling experience

for Monique. Each contestant is required to have a platform, something that they stand for. Monique was attracted to volunteerism. She wanted to be involved in all types of volunteer work, which is why she star ted Igniting Action—Volunteer Maryland. “It’s an overall effort to get volunteer work out to the public,” Monique says. “Making them aware of different opportunities that are coming [up] in their area, and encouraging them to get involved.” Monique uses her MAO appearances strategically to help her boost her platform. “When I go in, I try to make some sort of networking connection where I can form a relationship with somebody else who can connect me with a volunteer opportunity,” Monique says. Besides having a platform, when it comes time for the actual pageant, the contestants undergo five areas of competition: an interview with a panel of judges, onstage questions, swimsuit, evening gown, and talent. Monique was able to bring an old hobby into the talent section. About three and a half years ago she pursued competitive ballroom dancing—she even won a waltz and swing competition with her partner in Pennsylvania! While the MAO didn’t allow her to have a partner, she still found a way to use dance as her talent. “When I asked them if I could have a partner they said no and I was kind of devastated but I was like, It’s okay. This is another opportunity for me to expand my repertoire of dance.” So she decided to take on belly dancing. Monique watched huntote


dreds of Youtube videos to learn the technique. Along with being self-taught, she also choreographs her own routines. Her proactive, go-get-‘em attitude can account for her success thus far. While Monique is enjoying this ride, she’s definitely not one to coast. This coming fall she hopes to transfer to Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a degree in forensic nursing. “The forensic nurse is basically the liaison between the judicial and medical fields,” Monique says. “They deal a lot with rape and abuse victims. So, I feel that as a personal calling—just people that really need that help that need someone stable to right a wrong and I would love to be that person.” But Monique isn’t just going to stop there. She also hopes to get certified to become a personal trainer. “I’m in the gym six days a week at least. I love it. I do it for me,” Monique says. Becoming a personal trainer would be a side job for Monique, more of a hobby. That’s all in the future. For now, Monique is sticking to her part-time job, which she created for herself. When she was younger she had fun helping clean her friend’s house, which eventually lead to her entrepreneurial epiphany. “I finally got to the point where I was like, I need to start making more money,” Monique says. “What can I do? I don’t want to work at fast food or waitress. My time is wor th more than minimum wage. So I decided I was going to star t cleaning.”








Really nai ling down a schedule and sti cking to that schedule and keeping myself accountable and disci plined [ is how I manage]






On top of competing in pageants, attending school, and maintaining her housekeeping business, Monique also finds time to model. “I’ve done several local boutiques here in Frederick,” Monique says, along with various photo shoots for photographers. So when time is precious, Monique has to figure out a way to manage everything. “Really nailing down a schedule and sticking to that schedule and keeping myself accountable and disciplined [is how I manage].” Sometimes that means getting less sleep, but she’s got her goal in mind and she isn’t willing to settle for less. “I think it’s very important to live everyday like you’re trying to better your future.” As the semester is ending, most of us will be planning our summer vacations. Monique, on the other hand, will be prepping for the Miss Maryland pageant held June 22– 28th in Hagerstown, Maryland. “All the local restaurants feed us that entire week, which is incredible,” Monique says. “The community really supports us. You don’t find that a lot.” This year Monique has the honor of representing Washington County, which is also where the pageant is held. Here’s hoping Monique takes home the win this June! ■








Sometimes we have the best of intentions of majoring in something that we’ll then pursue after college. But sometimes, it’s nice to edge slightly out of the box and try something that’s a little out of our field. That’s what twenty-threeyear-old Cally Daschbach did. This business administration major snagged a job as a market specialist for FedBid, an online procurement platform for commercial and federal buyers (think eBay for the government).

Text: SHELBY NEWSOME How did you get your job? I star ted as an intern last June. There were about a hundred interns hired and I was lucky enough to be hired at the end of the internship in late September.

What are your current responsibilities? My responsibilities are to work the different buys or RFQ’s that the Navy and Coastguard put on the marketplace. It’s my job to source the buys and research the products and services the buyers are looking for and find the companies that can provide them for the Navy or Coastguard.

What was the transition like from interning to working full-time?

more about different depar tments. We were exposed to how everything fit in more once we became full-time. But my responsibilities have essentially stayed the same.

and how to prioritize. I’m always working on multiple deadlines in a day. So figuring out what needs to get done has been a big lesson. Also, just learning to communicate with a number of different parties.

What is your favorite part?

Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?

I think my favorite part of my job is the company culture. I’m surrounded by a lot of similar aged, young, motivated professionals. We have a good time. We help each other out. It’s not a competitive environment. It’s more like we want to work together as a team. It’s just nice having someone who can relate to where you are in your life. I might add it doesn’t hurt that there is a kitchen that is always fully stocked with free breakfast, lunch, and snacks whenever you’re hungry.

I’m really not sure of the specifics. But I know where I am is helping me build skills for whatever job I want to pursue in the future. Hopefully I’ll develop more leadership skills in the future and maybe down the road giving back by teaching whatever it is that I’m working on.

Unlike different jobs where you’re an intern, the internship at FedBid, you felt like a full time employee because you were given so much What have you learned work, your own workload. So from this experience so far? really it wasn’t that much of a Because our days are so busy, I transition. We did get to learn really learned time management

What advice do you have for college girls who are about to enter the workforce? Your first job doesn’t have to be your dream job. I didn’t know anything about government contracting before entering FedBid. It’s okay to take a job a little bit outside of your field. You can learn a lot. ■ tote



TOTE Looking to expand your resume and gain invaluable experiences to help propel your career? Join Team Tote!

INTERN Interested in learning about the inner workings of an online publication? Join Tote’s team and have the oppor tunity to work on various aspects of the magazine. We currently have internships available for editorial, graphic design, web design, and social media. Related majors are preferred. Contact Shelby at with a resume.

CONTRIBUTE Do you love to write? Submit a sample writing along with feature ideas to Shelby at to be considered. You’ll gain oppor tunities to write for upcoming issues and posts on the site.

BECOME A BRA ND A MBASSA DOR We’re kicking off our Brand Ambassador program! If you’re a marketing major or super outgoing and social, we want you! Gain experience in promotions and networking and become a vital role within our team. Interested in applying? Submit a resume to Shelby at to learn more about the program. 44


life & entertainment tote


THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 May 2nd We were already psyched enough at the reunion of star-studded couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and now there’s an addition to our beloved revamp of the Spiderman series starring the duo. Even though Peter Parker tried to honor his promise to Gwen Stacy’s father, he just can’t stay away from the girl he loves. And with high school coming to a close, his life is crazier than ever. All he needs to break the camel’s back is a new archenemy and the return of a spurned friend, which is just what he gets. Will Peter be able to bounce back from this heated series of battles, or is it the end of Spidey as we know it?

NEIGHBORS May 9th We’ve got a feeling this is going to be the eye-candy filled blockbuster of the summer, with cuties such as Zac Efron, Dave Franco, and Seth Rogen. This flick follows new parents (played by Seth Rogen and Aussie actress Rose Byrne) and the trials and tribulations they endure living next to noisy, outrageous frat bros (played by Zac Efron and the like). Honestly, we’re just pumped to see the boys in all their over-thetop, and hilarious fratty glory.









Alright, ladies, please try and keep your hyperventilating to a minimum. Yes, the time has finally arrived for the bestselling young adult novel by John Green to grace the big screen. If you’ve been busy living under that rock of yours and haven’t gotten a chance to read this story, just know that it’s a beautiful and hear tbreaking tale of two star-crossed lovers trying to find their way through the tragedy of pediatric cancer. And yes, you’ll want to bring your tissues.

SHEEZUS Lily Allen May 6th With a daring nod of a response to the groundbreaking 2013 Kanye release, Lily Allen is back with a bang. This spunky rap and pop singer has always pushed the boundaries, and we can tell she hasn’t changed that about herself since getting married and having two little girls. Amen to you, sister, and we can’t wait to tune into your upcoming feisty and outrageously catchy new tracks! If you’re already dying for more, be sure to check out her singles “Hard Out Here,” “Air Balloon,” and (from the track of hit TV show Girls) “L8 CMMR.”



GHOST STORIES Coldplay May 19th It’s been a long and sad three years since Coldplay has graced our “Recently Added” playlist. Thankfully the drought is over! The UK-based but internationally revered rock group promises us fresh tunes mid-May, and we just know it’s going to be like a little slice of heaven to our ears. In Coldplay we trust! We’re just glad they gave us a bit of a tease with the single “Magic” in March. Our thirst for endless Coldplay tunes is hard to quench, but hey, at least they’re trying, right?

Road between Lucy Hale June 3rd

WE WERE LIARS E. Lockhart May 13th The day has come in which the amazing E. Lockhart graces our lives with another beautifully twisted young adult novel. We Were Liars follows the ridiculously wealthy Sinclair family and the very messed-up happenings that transpire on their private island. Yes, you read that correctly. You’ll have to tune in when this read comes out, as you’re not going to want to miss this most recent masterpiece by the queen of the YA world.




Talk about talented! You probably know her as the beautiful and complicated Aria from the ABC Family hit TV show Pretty Little Liars, but Lucy Hale is far more than her acting career. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Lucy has wanted to release an album her whole life. And now in between shooting PLL, our girl is finally getting her chance. Her single “You Sound Good To Me” has already hit the country charts, but we can’t say we’re surprised. We just can’t wait to finally pump her new album all summer long. Who can’t do with some twangy tunes as a soundtrack for these scorching upcoming months?

ONE MAN GUY Michael Barakiva May 27th If you’re in search of a quirky and funny read, this is the book you’re going to want to pick up this summer. This novel gracefully combines the struggle of gay and questioning teens with differing cultural customs that reiterates the message that when it comes to life and love, there’s no such thing as normal. For this read, be sure to bring both your box of tissues and your sense of humor. Barakiva will have you rolling on the floor and sighing in sadness for endearing main character Alek from one moment to the next.

THE ART OF LAINEY Paula Stokes May 20th This read is the modern day Art of War with a romantic twist. When Lainey’s boyfriend Jason dumps her out of nowhere, she is absolutely crushed. Then Lainey and her best friend stumble across an old copy of the Art of War, and they are nothing short of positive that the techniques reported are the perfect basis for Lainey to win back her boyfriend. She crafts a plan to make Jason jealous, but will she be able to keep this fake relationship as nothing more than a show, or will this act of war turn into an act of new beginnings?



My name is Aja Frost, and I had a problem: I was addicted to shopping. My week wasn’t complete without a fresh package from one of my favorite online retailers, and nothing made me feel quite as confident and perky as wearing something new. I shopped when I was sad, happy, or just bored— which meant I was shopping pretty much all the time. Although I was receiving constant compliments on my clothes, my bank account was taking the hit and my student loans were going unpaid. Does this sound at all like you? If so, you may have a shopping addiction. Although fashion is beyond fun, you have to teach yourself to shop responsibly. Think of your wallet as a weapon: it can be used for you, or against you! Here’s how to successfully break yourself of your cravings to buy.

1. Stop the Online Shop One of the great things about the Internet is that it makes buying things incredibly easy and convenient. Of course, for shopaholics, this is also one of the worst things about the Internet. Rid yourself of all temptation by blocking all the online stores you shop from on your web browser. I used StayFocusd for Chrome; Chrome Nanny and Mindful Browsing are also good options. But you can take it one step further. helps you manage your inbox by letting you easily unsubscribe from the constant barrage of emails with tantalizing offers of “50% off!” and “Buy one, get one free!” Out of sight, out of mind.

2. One Day at a Time To help keep myself accountable, I printed out a monthly calendar, taped it on my wall, and drew a smiley-face on every day that I didn’t shop. Seeing the number of smiley-faces grow and grow gave me momentum—several times I successfully resisted temptation by imagining how disappointing it would feel to break my chain. If this kind of visual tactic isn’t your thing, you can try rewarding yourself in a different way. Maybe for every ten days you stay strong, you buy yourself a decadent pint of Ben & Jerry’s, or you give yourself a whole day of



nothing but Netflix. It’s impor tant, however, not to use clothes as a prize, as this will just perpetuate the cycle.

PICK OUT A POSITIVE REPLACEMENT FOR SHOPPING. MAYBE THAT'S DOING YOGA, OR COOKING, OR GOING ON HIKES, OR JOURNALING, OR FINALLY MAKING ALL THOSE CRAFTS YOU'VE PINNED ON PINTEREST. 3. Self-help One of the most essential parts about breaking a shopping addiction is to figure out why you shop. Do you do it as a way of distracting yourself from negative emotions? Do you do it because you love the adrenaline rush of getting something new? Do you do it because you have nothing going on, so you drive to the mall or start adding things to your online shopping cart? Whatever the motivation, you’ll be much less likely to indulge your shopping urges when you know what’s driving them. Plus, once you’ve figured out the cause, you can take the steps necessary to eradicate it. If you shop to cheer yourself up or to boost your self-esteem, force yourself to accept those emotions instead of burying them. Sure, it’s not exactly fun to wallow, but in the long run it’s better for your mental health. If you’re a shopaholic out of boredom, well, figure out something else to do! Which brings me to our next step…

4. (Not So) Irreplaceable Once you’ve “quit” shopping, there will be a void in your life. No, I’m not being dramatic—imagine if you

curtailed other common activities like reading or watching TV. Wait long enough, and you’ll appreciate the extra time you’ll have for more meaningful things, but meanwhile you will definitely feel shopping’s absence. If you’re unprepared, this can be enough to drive you straight back into the arms of Urban Outfitters. Fortunately, you have me to guide you. Pick out a positive replacement for shopping. Maybe that’s doing yoga, or cooking, or going on hikes, or journaling, or finally making all those crafts you’ve pinned on Pinterest. Once you have a healthy alternative to shopping, you can channel your energy into something fun. Resisting the siren call of your credit card will be way easier.

5. Easy Does It Of course, it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll never shop again; even the most devout, thriftiest, only-ifit’s-70%-off people treat themselves sometimes! You’re also going to run out of necessities if you never buy new pairs of socks, jeans, tank tops, etc. Once you’ve decided you’ve kicked the habit, it’s crucial that you ease your way back in. When I decided to end my fast, I was so excited by the prospect of new clothes that I came close to buying everything I’d been drooling over for the past couple months. However, I was able to use my new-found self-control to buy just one thing—a shirt I needed for a fancy dinner. Please don’t negate all of your progress by going on a huge shopping spree after you’ve finished your “diet”! That will just bring you right back to where you star ted: dependent on shopping and unable to stop. I would suggest either setting a monthly clothing budget or rationing how many pieces you can buy in a given time period. Although putting the brakes on your spending habit may seem difficult, and, let’s be real, not a lot of fun, I have faith that you can accomplish it. After all, if the girl who used to spend hours a day on the ASOS website can, it’s doable for anyone. You’ll come out of the challenge happier, richer, and more mentally stable as well. I’ll raise my credit card to that. ■




SPRING FLINGS Text: RESIDENT GUY ALEX Every spring, the flowers bloom, the trees get their leaves back, and guys and girls seem to start mating like birds. It’s just part of nature. Nothing changes because it’s inevitable. You’ll most likely find a guy that either goes after you or whom you’re interested in. Spring flings are great because it’s an exciting time of year. The weather is finally getting warm again and school is coming to an end. Just be weary of what could happen, because spring flings are unfor tunately very close to the star t of summer. Summer means that people go away, work, and become preoccupied with other things like summer class, vacations, internships, and obviously looking for summer love as well. It’s not a bad thing to get involved in a spring fling. Just be cautious and don’t get overly attached. A spring fling was given that title because it was meant to be temporary. Personally, I’ve experienced a few spring flings and they didn’t always 52


end too well. It all depends on what you want and what the guy wants. Some people meet in the spring and then decide to start a relationship moving forward into the summer. Other times, people can agree on ending it once the school year is over.

SPRI NG IS A FUN TIME TO BE OUTDOORS AND HAVE FUN, SO DON'T GET BENT OUT OF SHAPE OVER ONE GUY. Just be cautious and keep your options open. Don’t get sucked in to all the spring time drama, or else you will end up heart broken. The best way to approach this kind of situation is to simply go with the flow and let nature take its course. Spring is a time to be outdoors and have fun, so don’t get bent out of shape over one guy. It is fun to enjoy the thrill and chase of talking

with someone especially during this particular time of year. But you must keep in mind that the guy could just be approaching this with the mindset that it will end before summer begins. The best thing to do is to simply enjoy spring for what it is, and be happy. I know that sounds easier said than done, but if you can stay positive and have fun with whichever guy you run into this spring, your experience will end up a nice one. Regardless of how it ends or continues, spring is typically a hitor-miss kind of phase in the year. Valentine’s Day is the same way, everyone is looking for a valentine, but not everyone is lucky enough to find one. Spring just happens to last more than one mere day. So this spring, I challenge you to go out, be active, and most importantly be yourself. Let these opportunities come to you and when they do, don’t shy away. Welcome them in with open arms because it’s better to go with the flow than put up a guard and deny anyone of being able to reach you. Spring is a time for fun so enjoy it and just see what happens. ■




ask paige Sometimes college can be stressful—balancing school, a job, and a social life. Slippery situations are bound to rise. Whether you can’t manage your workload, or don’t know how to talk to your roomie about a touchy subject, Paige Rowley has advice! I'm having trouble staying alert and engaged during my large lecture class. Any tips for getting more out of the course? –Can’t Focus Can’t Focus, I agree that large lecture classes are a yawn—especially those that take place early in the a.m. My first piece of advice: drink plenty of coffee or tea. The caffeine will help to wake you up, and seasonal flavors make sitting through hours of note taking more tolerable. It is also important to be well rested. Of course, being in college makes sleeping easier said than done; the more time you spend relaxing before class, the less difficult it will be to stay alert. I also find that the only way to enjoy attending a class in which you’re not interested is to make studying fun. Pick up some colorful pens and personalized stationery, and you won’t mind opening your notebook each day. Try to remember that even though the class is boring, you are paying for it, and you will feel much more satisfied knowing that you are getting as much out of the material as possible… Good luck! 54


I recently broke up with my boyfriend, and it's made me realize just how much time I spent with him. It's not that I necessarily isolated myself, but I'm finding that I don't have that many friends to hang out with these days. I'm not looking to get back into the dating game just yet, I just feel like I need to branch out and meet new people to get over the breakup and have fun new experiences. Any advice on how to start? I feel overwhelmed at the thought of just randomly walking up to people. I don't want to look desperate; I just need some fresh faces in my life! –Lonely Ex Lonely Ex, I’m glad you wrote this question, because I experienced something similar last year. I’ve learned that the most natural way to meet new people is when you are comfortable with yourself. Once you grow to love the “single you,” you will feel less dependent upon your ex-boyfriend and more willing to put yourself out there in new ways. It takes time, and “getting over” the break-up has a lot to do with how

much you value yourself and what you have to offer. I think it’s awesome that you’re ready to meet new faces—that’s what college is all about! Some of my closest friends at school are those who I met when I least expected it, during a very transitional period in my life. For me, the easiest way to make friends is within my major. Think of your favorite classes—is there someone you’d like to get to know better? Start there. That girl who lives across the hall with the cute shoes? Ask her if she wants to grab lunch or coffee. You won’t appear desperate; people will notice how friendly you are. Also, now that you’re not dating, you’ll have more free time to devote to a club or sport, if campus activities interest you. Don’t over think it, and look forward to someday meeting the right guy for you (he’s definitely out there). I came into college knowing that I wanted to be a doctor. I'm majoring in biology and am on the pre-med track. But just from my classes last semester and this semester, I'm not so sure anymore. The courses are really intense, but they also just don't

ADVICE interest me that much. Then I think about how long it'll take for me to actually be a doctor, and I wonder if it's actually what I want out of life. So I guess my question is: how do I find out what I DO want to do? Would ditching my major be smart or stupid? I don't think I want to be a doctor, but would I be giving up for the wrong reasons? –Undecided

ten—fifteen years. The number one priority is for you to be happy and successful! How do you keep your relationship with your roommate civil if things are strained? –A Stressed Roomie

Stressed Roomie, Living with a roommate with whom you do not get along with can add unnecessary stress to your college experience. My advice Undecided, I actually think it’s great that you’re would be to first speak with your questioning your major. That means roommate. Whatever it is that is you take your future seriously, and causing strife between the two of want to make sure you’re following you—address it. It may be awkward at first, but chances are you will what is right for you. I am in the Liberal Arts field, so I know almost be able to come to some sor t nothing about medicine. However, I of agreement that pleases both do know that I am very passionate of you. If there are simply too many problems to deal with, and about what I’m studying. Start by asking yourself whether or not you your relationship has become a feel the same way. What is it about threat to your ability to do well becoming a doctor that led you to in school, then I would suggest a room switch, if possible. What is study pre-med in the first place? important to remember is that Do you feel compelled to help others? If so, there may be other areas living so closely to anyone, even a best friend, can sometimes lead to of study that would give you that oppor tunity, without the intense tense situations; however, it is only curriculum. If you are uninterested temporary, and if you know that something in par ticular bothers in the major already, then you are your roommate, try your best to probably right to be considering a switch. A justified reason to change avoid it. On the other hand, small gestures of appreciation go a long your major would be because you way. It is important to take note of no longer want to be a doctor; I would not recommend choosing each other’s preferences—whether it is deciding who cleans or how to a new path simply because the handle having boys over, keeping classes are difficult (any major is meant to challenge you, and there open communication is a must. are always ways to improve your grades), but if you are not in love How do you separate study time from friends/parties to avoid with biology, then yes—I would procrastination? most definitely explore something –Anxious Anne new! Think of other topics that interest you, and consider practically Anxious Anne, This is a classic college dilemma. where you see yourself in five— Learning to manage your time is

so important to succeeding in any class. To be honest, my study time almost always takes precedence over anything else, because my course load is so heavy. What I try to do is break up each day into more manageable time slots; it may sound too over-organized, but having an understanding of what you need to accomplish each week makes writing papers and prepping for tests much less overwhelming. It is important to reward yourself, too. After a long evening of homework, I like to curl up in bed with my favorite shows (Netflix will become your new best friend) and enjoy some much deserved down time. Procrastination is easy to avoid if you establish small goals for yourself and tackle assignments one at a time. You’ll also enjoy going out to a party much more if you are free of the “I have so much work to do” anxiety. It is important to have fun, but remember to take schoolwork seriously, as well, so that you can afford to have fun after graduation. Good luck! ■

Have a question for Paige? Email her at The answer will be in an upcoming issue!



Freshman Files Text: KATIE LEMON Before sitting down to type up this last segment of Freshman Files, I looked back on the very first feature I wrote back in August. There were certain parts where I caught myself laughing and shaking my head. I was so unsure of things back then! But I can’t blame pre-college Katie. I actually need to give her some credit. Sure, I may have been undecided in my major. I may have never been away from my family of six for more than several weeks. I may have still been a child (quite literally). But the way in which August Katie met college head on? That, I have to commend her for. I could go on and on about all of the valuable lessons I learned this year. Such as don’t leave a research paper for two days before the due date (guilty). Or make sure to get at least six hours of sleep most of the time (pre-college Katie is gasping in horror. Oh, the high school days of eighthours-a-night). Really, college isn’t about being a perfect student and person. It’s about learning who you are and what you want in life. In the course of eight months, I chose a major, got a job, went on adventures near and far, and realized what is most important to me. 56


In this life, I want to be happy. I chose to major in English Education because I want to be a high school English teacher. Yes, I am aware that I won’t be loaded with cash. Yes, I know that the job market is competitive. And absolutely, I am aware that the education system in America is pretty screwed up right now. But this past year has taught me to be not only an advocate for myself, but the things I believe in as well. I’ve chosen my path and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

we went to a music festival and explored Charleston. I spent my spring break in Moab, Utah, backpacking and rock climbing my way through both Arches and Canyonlands National Park. I’ve also got study abroad plans in the works for next year. I’ve always wanted travel to be a bigger part of my life, and I’ve been actively working to make that happen.

This year, I realized what really matters to me. Like I said earlier, I want to be happy. But I’ve got goals beyond that, and I’m no I feel like these days I’m taking longer afraid to pursue them. I up more space. No, not literally still sometimes have those days (thankfully I avoided the notorious where I’m bogged down by asfreshman fifteen) but in the sense signments and I’ve got a late night shift ahead at work and I just that I am a more secure and spilled coffee all over my pants brave individual. I’ve always been outgoing, but this year I’ve taken it (this happens way more often upon myself to chase after what I than it should) but I’ve learned to look at the big picture. Life is want and not be ashamed of it. I interviewed for a job and got the quite the journey, and you never position, and from my workplace know where you’re going to end up, because you never do “end I’ve made several close friends up” somewhere. Life only stops and had the opportunity to network within university life. when you’re gone, so it’s actually constantly moving from one place I also somehow found time to to another. There’s never going to travel this year. I spent a long be a point where I am completely still and not changing. Life will weekend in Chicago with friends always be a process, and I will be from college, visiting the Bean too. There’s really no use in being and hanging out in diners late scared or anxious, because in a into the night. I visited my best friend in South Carolina, where second life will flip you in another

Life is quite the journey, and you never know where you’re going to end up, because you never do “end up” somewhere. Life only stops when you’re gone, so it’s actually constantly moving from one place to another.

direction anyway. You might as well meet each change with open arms. I couldn’t be more grateful to Tote for allowing me to catalogue my freshman year these past few months. If you’ve survived your

freshman year with me, I want to thank you for growing with me. If you’re going into college next year, I want you to know what I would tell pre-college Katie right now: relax into yourself. There’s no need to be anxious of who you are, or to even be entirely

sure of who you are. You are you, so why fret it? It’s all about the growth and the lessons and settling into the bumps and curves of your life with the confidence worthy of someone as cool/awesome/kickass as you. Thanks for reading! ■ tote


Borrowed from Pinterest via Stephanie Schoch



May 2014  
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