An Open Letter To Incoming College Freshmen

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This past weekend, I moved into my first apartment. I don’t know how time has gone by so fast.

It feels like yesterday I was moving into UD for my freshmen year. But then my Timehop reminds me that in reality, that was two years ago.

In some weird way, I’m upset that I’m a junior. I don’t care that I’m an upper classmen or that soon enough I’ll be able to go to the bars on Main Street.

Every year, seniors reminisce on their time at college, and as a junior, I’m now in that mindset too.

I am halfway done with my college career and that scares the shit out of me.

Freshmen year is a way to find yourself. Don’t like who you were in high school? Not a problem. Besides the handful of people you may know at your school, no one else knows you. College allows you to reinvent yourself. Now is the time to discard who you were in high school and find yourself.

When you get to school, don’t be afraid to try something new.

Now is the time to step outside of your comfort zone. Sit with someone you don’t know at a floor meeting or in the dining hall. Sign up for a club with a friend or two. Don’t limit yourself to all that is available.

With no parents or supervision around, you get the opportunity for truly the first time to make decisions on your own behalf. Don’t be afraid to do something that high school you wouldn’t do.

Along the way, you might end up doing some regrettable things. Come morning, you might be thinking, “What the hell did I do last night?” Don’t fret it. Everyone even dear old mom and dad have had those moments. Every college student has had those moments.

Contrary to popular belief, it is okay to get into a little bit of trouble, besides it makes for a great story!

Remember that school is important too. Even though your mom is not there to constantly pester you about doing your homework, you still need to do it.

No one will be upset if you don’t do well at first. Your first semester is a time of adjustment. Don’t feel ashamed or bad if you decide to switch your major, most freshmen come in undecided anyway.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Don’t let anyone – boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, get in the way of your happiness. Go out there and find yourself. Make your college experience on that you’ll never forget.

One day, you’ll be ancient and decrepit a junior like me and longing for the days of freshmen year.

Go with the flow and enjoy where each day takes you. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way into the real world, so make the best of your college experience.

10 Things I Learned From Commuting This Summer

With my internship coming to an end, it’s time to reflect what I have learned from my daily commute…

1. Welcome to the real world! Get used to the commute, you’re going to be doing it everyday at some point.

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2. Yes, sometimes you’ll be forced to sit next to the person who snoring so loudly that headphones don’t make a difference.

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3. Like it or not, the train is always going to be crowded. You’re not the only one trying to get into New York City.

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4. Good luck finding a seat on the subway in the morning.

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5. Have your ticket out and ready, whether it is an actual ticket or on your phone. You don’t want to be that asshole.

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6. No matter how fast you try to get through Penn Station, no matter how early it is, there will always be confused tourists around you who for some reason make you angry.

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7. It’s okay if you miss your subway stop. Yes, it may freak you out, especially if it’s during the second week of your internship, but it happens to the best of us.

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8. No matter how fast you try to run trying to catch an earlier train, you will miss it most of the time, you may even fall in the process.

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9. Mass transit can suck, get used to it.

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10. Relax on your train ride. In total, you spend at least an hour on the train each day. Take the time to unwind while your not at work.

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Summer, wherefore art thou?

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Thanks HSM 2

Across my Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds are pictures indicating that school is coming to an end for most colleges that my friends (okay, maybe not my friends and just kids I went to high school with) attend.

I’ve seen pictures of sorority girls at formals, snapchats about studying for finals, and even welcome home signs. My mom’s best friend is heading out to Michigan to get her son in a few days.

So as everyone is getting ready to jet off for the summer, I’m sitting here in my English 307 class with 3 weeks of classes left.

UD’s schedule is both a blessing and a curse. I love having a long winter break. This past winter, I was fortunate enough to come home for  a few weeks, go to Cabo with my family, hang out again in Livingston for my birthday, go to Italy for 20 days, and then have a week after my homecoming to adjust before heading back down to school.

I’m a homebody, always have been and always will be. I don’t mind that our winter break is longer than the average university’s. I enjoy spending days at home with my two dogs, never getting out of pajamas and watching Netflix all day.

However, as the weather is getting nicer, I have an itch to get out of school.

Mentally, I have checked out. I know that I should care about class, but it’s so hard to. All I want is to be home lounging in the sun, but I’m stuck in a stuffy classroom.

I opted out of taking one of my finals which is great. The downside, the date of my other final. It certainly is cruel and unusual punishment to have a final scheduled for after Memorial Day.

So as I look at pictures of people sunbathing and drinking mojitos, I’ll be inside studying for my Comm final, which is sure to be the death of me.

27 days until freedom.

It’s a beautiful day to save lives, except for Derek Shepherd’s

ABC promised that last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy would be one America would never forget, and they were right.

via ABC

via ABC

Last night’s episode titled “How to Save a Life” was named after a song that has been pivotal for this long running fan favorite.

The episode started with Derek doing what he does best, saving people. This time, on his way to the airport to step down on his brain mapping initiative in D.C. he encountered a terrible car accident. After saving those involved, he was blind sighted literally by a tractor trailer.

From here on out, Derek cannot talk. We only hear him narrate what is going on at some random hospital that is far from the level 1 trauma center that Grey Sloan Memorial is. He tells us that everything these doctors are doing are wrong, and that he knows he’s going to die.

This week online, rumors were flying that McDreamy would be leaving the show. He was accused of being a diva just like Katherine Heigl who played Dr. Izzie Stevens.

If your a television fanatic like myself, you know that Patrick Dempsey, along with all of the original cast members of Grey’s signed a 2 year contract at the end of season 10. When I read the rumors, I knew that he was signed on for another season, but a contract can be broken.

As I watched the man who used to be Derek Shepherd disappear in front of my eyes, I felt sick. I had a pit in my stomach and felt like I was going to throw up. It was terrible watching Derek on life support. I knew what Meredith would do. The two made a pact that if anything were to happen, they would not like their life continued with the aid of machines.

“You were like coming up for fresh air. It’s like I was drowning and you saved me. It’s all I know.” – Derek Shepherd

By this point, I was crying. And by crying, I mean in full hysterics. I was rocking back in forth. I tried to text my mom. She proceeded to make fun of me. I know Grey’s Anatomy is just a tv show, but at this point, it feels like the characters are my friends.

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I know that I am not alone. I know thousands of other people are just as upset including my aunt and grandma. #TearsofGreys.

If you know Grey’s like I do, you would have recognized the music featured in the episode. “Today has been ok” was played twice in this episode. It has been featured on the show twice before, most known from the episode “Into You Like A Train”. The episode ended with a somber version of “Chasing Cars”, which any diehard fan would know played in the season 2 finale when Izzie refused to leave Denny’s body.

I cried. And I cried, and I cried. I needed Xanax to stop. Yes I did just say I had to medicate myself. I know it’s a tv show, but a part of me feels empty.

I have no shame. My mascara ran all the way down my face. #TearsofGreys

I have no shame. My mascara ran all the way down my face. #TearsofGreys

As the preview for next week’s episode appeared, I knew that the life of everyone at Grey Sloan Memorial would forever be changed. For the most part, each character has their own unique relationship with Derek Shepherd. I wonder if Derek’s little sister Amelia will turn back to drugs. I wonder if Meredith is going to turn into Ellis, but that’s just something I have to wait and see.

In the beginning of the episode, Derek said his catch phrase, “It’s a beautiful day to save lives”, unfortunately, it just wasn’t a beautiful day for him.

Rest in peace McDreamy. I’ll love you forever.

1966 – 2015

Diem Brown – More Than Just A Reality Star

As many of you know, I love reality television. I started watching at a young age, and I was (and am today) a huge fan of The Real World and The Challenge. In May 2006, The Challenge was known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge, and the season was called Fresh Meat.

via People Magazine

via People Magazine

Fifth grade Brett thought this show was the best thing since the invention of sliced bread. This show would also start Brett’s commitment to watching The Challenge. One of the newbies or “fresh meat” was Diem. Diem was a tall, beautiful blonde with a heart of gold. Spirited, respectful, and kind, she was the type of person you wanted to be best friends with. I’m talking about Diem as if she was a friend of mine, but after watching her participate in almost a decade’s worth of shows, I very well feel that she could have been my friend.

While on her rookie season of the MTV hit, Diem revealed that she previously had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at age 23. Never though in her run on the shows did she play the cancer victim card. Viewers first hand were fortunate to see how this fighter won her battle of against her illness. I remember so clearly the episode where she took off her wig after finally being in remission. Her bravery was truly awe-inspiring even to a middle schooler.

Diem’s journey with cancer was not a short one. After beating the disease once, she was diagnosed again. In Summer 2014, she was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. This time, her case was more serious.

The past few years, Diem Brown was featured as a blogger for People Magazine. On the site, Diem would share her feelings and open up to readers about very intimate life moments. She shared a video of her hair falling out when she tried to brush it. She revealed that she had her eggs removed and frozen. But she never pitied herself. She was a fighter. I know I keep saying that, but it’s true.

Nothing says that your a fighter quiet like shaving it into your head! via People Magazine

Nothing says that your a fighter quiet like shaving it into your head! via People Magazine

This past Friday, I was sitting in class and went on Facebook. Right there in front of me was an announcement from People saying that Diem had passed at the age of 32. I was in shock. I was upset and I couldn’t believe what was going on. I grew up watching Diem on television. How could she be gone?

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My tweet after hearing the news

I knew that these last few weeks had been difficult, and her last tweet sent out portrayed that she was in need of prayer. After reading what her last few hours were like, I know that she was okay. It sounds silly but after watching her for years, everything that was done, all of the conversations had, and the memories reviewed sounded exactly like bright and bubbly Diem.

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For MTV super fans like myself, we know Diem’s alter ego – Diem in P.M. Diem loved to have fun and loved to dance. Come night time and a little bit of wine, Diem transformed to Diem in the P.M. and nobody could stop her from dancing. Right after she passed away, the alarms went off in the hospital, and her friends and family knew it was her having her own little dance party.

There’s nothing romantic about death. Grief is like the ocean: it’s deep and dark and bigger than all of us. And pain is like a thief in the night. Quiet. Persistent. Unfair. Diminished by time and faith and love. – One Tree Hill

Fellow MTV stars and cast mates have taken to social media to express their emotions; grief as a result of the loss of a friend and remembrance of great times with a special person. It’s truly heartwarming to see all of the great words said about such an amazing, strong, and graceful person.

Diem was more than just a reality star, she was an activist. She single-handedly started the foundation MedGift, an organization that took donations to help those sick like herself pay for hospital stays and other expenses. The past few seasons that Diem was on the show, she would always write MedGift on her arm, and so would her fellow competitors. I don’t think that there was a single person who could say something bad about her, that’s the type of person she was.

I never knew Diem, but at the same time I did. I grew up with her and in a way, I saw her grow too. I saw her at her best in the competition, and at her worst as she fought hard for her life as she shared her journey online. It was a goal of mine to make it on The Real World so I could end up on The Challenge. I loved Diem’s relationship with CT and kind of hoped that I would have my own experience like that too. Even though they broke up, you still were able to see just how much they cared for one another and just how much the other cast members cared for her too.

While she is physically gone, Diem will never be forgotten, and her presence will always be felt amongst her friends, family, and fans. All we can do now is carry out her legacy and live life to the fullest. Diem was more than just a reality star to me. She was an inspiration and role model, and I know I will not forget her. Together, we can carry out her legacy by supporting MedGift and continue to show that she was truly a gift.

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We Interrupt This Program For A Brief Announcement

I’ve been kind of M.I.A. recently and haven’t paid enough attention to the blog, and that’s going to change.

Speaking of change, the ever popular Sh*t My Roommate Says posts will no longer be featured, but fear not. Follow me at @bblee13, and you’ll still get to see the gems that come out of my roommates mouth.

It’s alarming how fast this semester has flown by. I don’t know where the year went. It feels like every year just goes by quicker and quicker, but I don’t know how I feel about that.

With the year coming to an end (okay, we still have over a month), expect to see more posts.

Keeping checking in, and I promise, a lot more is to come.

The Cookie Dough Cafe

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One day when I was at school, I was looking through Snapchat stories. As I was looking, something caught my eye. A girl who is a year older than my campers (side note: I have no idea how she found my Snapchat and added me) had something interesting in her story. She had a picture of what looked like a container of cookie dough.

Intrigued,  I wrote down the name that was featured on the jar of cookie dough and looked it up. The Cookie Dough Cafe is a company that was started by two sisters in Illinois. Something that had me thinking is that on the jar it says “Gourmet Edible Cookie Dough”.

Now if you’re like me, any and all cookie dough is edible. But after further investigation, I found out that what makes this product “edible” is that it is egg free. Now cookie dough can be eaten without risking the harmful effects of consuming raw eggs.

I played around on the website, and I saw that there are some stores that carry The Cookie Dough Cafe and that there are some supermarkets that carry it as well. I scrolled on down to the New Jersey section and saw that there was no store near me that sold this dreamy snack. However, there was a form you could fill out asking your supermarket to start supplying this treat.

I was too much of a chicken to fill out the form, and quite frankly, I forgot all about this. Today though, I was strolling through the refrigerated aisle of Kings and what do you know, The Cookie Dough Cafe cookie dough was staring at me.

This genius product comes in four different flavors. This includes traditional Chocolate Chip, Monster (chocolate chips, M & Ms,  peanut butter, and rolled oats), Cookies & Cream (cookie dough loaded with pieces of Oreos), and Naked Dough which essentially is sugar cookie dough.

Kings had two flavors available, Chocolate Chip and Monster, and since I didn’t feel like dying due to a peanut allergy, I went with Chocolate Chip. I bought a big jar of it, but also available, was a small pack of 4 which is a snack pack and each cup is an individual serving.

As soon as I got home, I went straight for a spoon and dug in. The cookie dough is AMAZING!! It is creaming and light, and the perfect amount of sweet and savory, with just the right amount of salt in it to cut the sweetness of the sugar.

Run out to Kings now and pick this up! This Shark Tank featured product was so good. I’m glad it finally showed up in Livingston.

Check out their website and Facebook page today!

http://www.thecookiedoughcafe.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cookie-Dough-Cafe/239100256137423