Every year on the last day of classes, IV has this thing called Fourth Year Share. That’s exactly what happens. Fourth years share what they’-ve learned from their college experience. Due to a beautiful concert my first year, I didn’t get to attend that fourth year share and thus did not collect any material from that experience. However, these last two years I have attended and have written notes on what people have shared. I am not going to share what fourth years have said but I will give the gist of it and I hope it will be of some help to all of you.
So here’s the post you’ve all been waiting for, or at least the post I keep referencing in my last few previous posts - my reflection on my third year of college. This one is hard to write, and maybe that’s why I was sort of putting it off. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write it but writing it means I have to come face to face with the fact that I technically am a college senior (or as TJ would love us to say fourth year). And that’s wild to me. I started this blog in the winter of my first year, and being so near to the end - whew! I’m just not ready to confront that fact quite yet. But this post needs to be written.
I have just finished How I Met Your Mother this week and it’s been weighing on my mind - stained glass and broken parts. There’s a flawed logic in HIMYM. Not everyone’s story gets wrapped up so wholly. Sometimes we’re left with are questions and fragments of memories. I think that’s the thing about consuming TV shows and movies and novels - somewhere along the way, you start thinking life has perfect beginnings, ends, and middles. That everything always gets wrapped up in a tight little bow. Maybe I need a break from consuming for a while. A little detox. Detoxing the idea that things will have conclusions and give me closure.
I’m currently in the middle of reading The Winding Path of Transformation for the second time. The first time I read it was first semester of second year. It was transformational like the title states. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but I’ve never written a whole post about it. It’s one of those books you stumble onto, and you wonder how you stumble onto a little diamond hiding out in the rough.
Back in March, I wrote a post on journaling prompts and I gave you 5 questions to write about during your week in order to be more intentional and reflective on where you are in life. I wanted to do another one of these because journaling is such a good way to process ideas and turn thoughts into an action plan. It’s also great when you feel overwhelmed with your emotions but don’t necessarily feel like unloading on someone when you are full of emotion.
Hey friends! These last few weeks have been so hectic and chaotic - filled with a lot of moving and exams and activities that I haven’t had the chance to sit down and catch you up on my life - so here’s my life update!
Welcome back to Studying Life with Gigi! Due to moving back home to NYC, traveling fatigue, and adjusting to a relatively new environment, the blog has been a bit quiet lately. Finals and moving and saying goodbye to friends took tons of time and mental energy, so I didn’t have it in me to keep the blogging going. But now that I’m trying to figure out my summer 2021 routine and plan out the next few months, things seem to be steady enough to type away at my laptop again about a few good sweet days in my life.
I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I’ve been loving my Next Right Thing Guided Journal. I truly recommend it if you ever need some questions and guidance to help you journal. And of course, I have tons of blog posts on journaling. But for me, I’ve been noticing this theme of returning grief. I wrote about grief a while back in this post. And while that was super helpful to get off my chest, it doesn’t feel quite finished.
As someone who has wanted to start a blog and then started it, I love writing. I love putting words on a page and making the thoughts in my head coherent. But academic writing has always been the sort of writing that was draining instead of life giving. I have loved all of my English teachers immensely. They’ve boosted my love for literature and I don’t fault them for my troubles with academic writing.
While the initial New Year’s buzz is fun and exciting, launching off a new year with whole new possibilities, those possibilities are improbable to become reality if we don’t stop and reflect on what progress we’re actually making. If something isn’t working for you, change it. It’s that simple. I want to take it a step further. If you made a New Year’s Resolution but now feel out of alignment with that goal despite many attempts to accomplish it, change your goal. I’ll go first.
As you all know (or can tell), I love a regular day in the life post. These are so simple to write as a college gal going through paper ~szn~ and it’s sweet for my past self to look back on. I definitely will get back to writing the deeper questions type posts when school dies down and I come up for air. It’s actually been a hot minute since I’ve done a deep dive post and I’m definitely missing it.
This weekend, I went home to New York City. I know, travel in the time of COVID is controversial. It’s important to be safe and not contribute to spreading COVID by reckless outings. But since my parents were planning to come to me, I figured it would be safer for me to come to them. I took a test before traveling and I made sure to travel safely.
There weren't a lot of pictures so bear with me as I describe my Friday. I woke up at 7:30 because I have my Sociology of the Family at 8:00, and this Friday I had a debate on whether or not marriage makes women happier and healthier. Since I was on the pro side, we went first. I think it went super well. My partner and I were super in sync even with the technology hiccups. Because Zoom, you know?
This is the story of how I decided seeking solitude in isolation was a good idea. UVA has been doing Break Days for students’ mental health and because we no longer have a week of spring break off from school due to the pandemic. For my break days, I told myself that I would not want to do work or make it a catch up day. It’s tempting to use the day off as a way to get back on track with classes or even get ahead, for overachievers. But the way I see it - these break days are few and in between. I want to use them wisely and maybe challenge myself in how I spend my free time.
If you’ve been here awhile on the blog, then you know my love for journaling. I consider reflection and stillness to be an important part of life in order to truly learn from the past and be present in what is to come. I decided a 5 day journaling prompt challenge would be in order. I want you to save this post and keep it with you as you go through your 5 days.
I am not a poetry gal by any means. I love fiction and short stories and sometimes essays, but I am not drawn to the art that is poetry. Nevertheless I bring to you a Richard Siken quote - a first in my quote series. About change.
For the first time in a long time, I’ve been struggling with what to say. It’s not so much that I have nothing to say but that I have no aim. Usually there’s a topic floating around my brain that I just want to share, so I do. But this time, I feel like I’m at a loss for words. Maybe it’s because there’s so much I want to share. Or that the world keeps changing so quickly that my brain hasn’t quite processed fully.
Last week I thought I was sure of my class selections, and then yesterday, I made the switch again. I refuse to take classes that I can’t balance well alongside my other ones. Today we’re bringing back the series of books & songs with books and songs at the beginning of spring 2021. At the end of my first week of classes and being back at UVa, Ms. Hayley Williams released her second solo album. I didn’t see it coming, but I’m not mad about it. (Actually, it would be kind of nice to have a new Paramore record. Just saying.) So that inspired this post! Here are some things I’ve been reading and listening to lately.
Given some reading I’ve done, The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay, a lot of my conversations with friends have circled around how our upbringing informs our relationships. I’ve been lucky to have been going on walks with friends and getting to have conversations about on these sorts of things. It’s intensely personal but getting … Continue reading Our upbringing informs our relationships in a remarkable way
I’m back in Cville and classes have started up again! Here’s my first day of third year second semester. Woah, that was a mouthful, or a typeful. Anyways, I just wanted to show you a little day in my life. I have a few of these on the blog now, and I feel like the blog has become a place to write this all day and get a little snapshot of my life, especially when I look back on my college life.
Hey friends! As January nears its end and February picks up on a Monday, I wanted to write an New Year's Resolutions reflection guide. It’s a new year (yay 2021!), so it’s important to track your progress and get down to the core of your feelings. Maybe January has been a month where you fell back into the bad habits you ended 2020 with. Or maybe January has been a month of slow growth in the right direction. In order to move forward, you’ve got to assess where you’ve been. Do you like how you’ve been doing?
Everyone has that show that they love. For some it’s Friends. However, for others it’s the Office (for reasons I still don’t understand). For me, it’s How I Met Your Mother. Ted Mosby tells his kids the long, long, super long story of how he met their mother. The show has incredible storytelling features and is set in New York City (my hometown), and to the joyful displays when it means to be friends and do life together.
After a week of being in class again, I just wanted to update you all on a month and some change - the end of December and some of January. Just some thoughts, not a true life update but just a check in of sorts
We’re back again with the series of books and songs - this time during winter break. Funny enough, Taylor Swift released another album(!) and so she inspired another post where I must rave about my favorites from evermore. I definitely love evermore more than folklore. It has a sadder, lyrical vibe that I just flow with more.
Good riddance! 2020 is finally over and we’re so lucky to come out the other side. This time of year is when there seems to be the most hope. After the delight of the holiday season, we get to look forward. No more time spent looking at the past and all the wayward things of 2020. We get to usher in 2021 and we get to set our intentions for the type of year it’s going to be, and create some New Year's Resolutions.
I took a little mini break from the blog for the holidays and honestly, to relax and not think about being on my computer. But I’m back! 2020 has been a weird, strange, crazy year and we’re almost at the end. Congratulations! You’ve made it through!!
Hey friends! I know this holiday gift guide post is coming on a different day than usual, but I figured that the earlier that I got it out, the better. I only just finished up my Christmas shopping and I realize a lot of people are mostly shopping online to avoid potentially getting sick.
Hey friends! It’s finally that time of year - a time to reflect on the past semester and relay to you all what I’ve learned. I actually had some trouble writing this post for some reason. This semester was different than what I thought my third year would be. Given how much a pandemic factored into my experience, I’d say that I made the best of this semester.
What are we collecting? For my final art project of the semester, I wandered into my mother’s old sewing studio. Most of the random assortments of fabrics had been moved and the equipment no longer cluttered the floor. Strangely, a different collection remained.
Hey friends! I thought I’d take you through a week in my life - not down to the minute - but the moments that I captured on camera and what they mean to me. Also, just giving you questions to reflect on as time passes by. I hope that as much as you live in the moment, you also live with discerning eyes, eyes that hold this moment eagerly and reflect in order to do the next moment better.
Given the fact that I’m coming down to my last few days of my fall 2020 semester, I wanted to capture a weekend in my life in order to look back and reflect on it in later times.
2020 has been rough. *ahem* That’s an understatement. 2020 has been one hell of a year. With COVID going all across the country, lockdowns, doing work/school from home, not to mention the general uncertainty, it’s a strange time to enter the holiday season. School is currently wrapping up for me. I have 2 more weeks of classes and then a week of exams before I get to fully rest up and recover from the 14 weeks of Fall 2020.
I am up late on a Monday night because I got locked out of my room, which spurred a wonderful conversation but I truly lost track of time, and so here we are and it’s almost 1 am. Oops. Given the uncertainty of the state of the U.S., I wanted this post to be more chill - exploratory and fun. I honestly had my emotions swing from low to high today and so, I felt like giving that range of emotion vs music.
Every night, surrounded by twinkle lights, I flip the pages of my journal to a blank one and begin writing. Some days my pen scrawls back and forth across the page, moving slower than my mind can think. Other times my pen is still, eager awaiting my thoughts to formulate an idea, any idea.
I’m in the pivotal stretch of life. Actually, arguably all of life is pivotal because everything hits hard in the present moment. Anyway, aside from that tangent, I turned 20 in August. Hooray!! I have now entered my 20s in the middle of a global pandemic and will be graduating college in 2022. If I’m being honest, I’m a little overwhelmed, stressed out, and just nervous for what’s to come. But lucky for me, I came across The Defining Decade after seeing 2 people I follow on Instagram read it.
In my first year of college, I used to be really bad at this. Cultivating boundaries. Relaxing when I needed to. Doing work when I was supposed to. Having time to eat and take walks and chat with friends and study. We are all really bad at this. Cultivating boundaries. When was the last time you didn’t feel guilty for sitting on the couch? For watching TV without the looming fear of your work week? When was the last time you didn’t dread Sunday? You didn’t frantically check your email to get ahead? You didn’t wish your weekend was longer?
Hey friends! Given the busyness of the semester (can you believe it’s already the 7th week of the semester!), I didn’t have it in me to write a well thought out post this week. If you have any blog post ideas, feel free to send them my way! My life has been pretty okay. I think I’m still experiencing some ear pain from the first presidential debate, and I’m feeling a little tired today. I spent ~lots~ of time with friends this weekend and though that’s nice, I really need to hunker down for the week.
3rd year and honestly my whole college experience has not been what I wanted. I thought it would be full of adventure and I will feel more secure and certain in my future and friend groups and that’s just not what happened. In fact, COVID hit and made it even more difficult to connect with people and just to be a student, trying to learn and study and grow.
I decided to do a Sunday day in the life of college because each day is different, and I honestly never know what it’s gonna be like by the time the end of the day comes. I also figure that when I look back on my college experience, it would be nice to have some days in my life for remembrance’s sake. I’ll probably end up doing a few of these this semester.
Welcome to my 3rd year dorm tour! The dorm tour that should’ve occurred in August but COVID’s been turning this year upside down. It’s ~finally~ here!! Woooo!!! Maybe I’m the only one excited because when I look back on my college years, I won’t have to use my faulty memory to remember what my room looked like and how I decorated it. So ultimately I write for posterity.
So, I’m finally back in Charlottesville. I was supposed to write a post updating you all on the fact that UVA pushed back its move in date and that’s why I didn’t have a dorm tour for August. This post isn’t a dorm tour because, well, my dorm isn’t quite ready.
As a college student, I’ve had no choice. I’ve had to figure out this whole time management. In between classes, 3 organizations, this blog, friends, my mental health, and whatever else you can think of, I have to do homework, study, and enjoy my time at UVA. I have a long list of tips to … Continue reading How to Improve Time Management as a College Student
Life in quarantine hasn’t been great.
Lately I’ve been hit with some disappointment about my 3rd year and being at home for so long. My mood has been so low that sometimes I don’t really have the desire or energy to do anything.
Lately, I’ve been chewing on the idea that I want to live a good life. Not a great one. Not one with tons of fireworks and dramatic flair. Just a good one. With good people. Good food. A good time all around.
Even for the few days August has arrived, she has come with a heat all on her own. She leads many to porches and backyards, eager for a breeze and fighting off the mosquitos that are desperate to take their land back
I love reading books and I love listening to music. For the most part, I try to stick to reflection, intentional living, and college posts on the blog. But every once in a while, I’ll get super into something and I want to share it. I’ve decided to start a new series: books & songs.
Most of your choices you never even think about. They’re automatic. You reach for your phone when you first wake up. You head to the kitchen and make coffee (or tea - if you have taste lol).
The uncertainty of this time feels scary and out of control.
*cue thunderstorms in the background*
I’m not trying to be dramatic, but especially since the world’s gone upside down, it’s so hard to make any decisions. I keep checking my email, waiting for something to change. Waiting for news that’s supposed to come.
It's been a hot minute since I've written a life update. Given that I'm still in quarantine, you have to wonder what the heck I have to update you on. Well, there are plenty of things that have changed. I finished Zoom University online for the spring semester, getting the best grades I've seen since I started at UVA. I have since had about a month to relax and work on my own side projects. As of now, I have started summer online classes, taking Media Ethics, Podcrash, Writing for Television, and Multimedia Production. I'm only taking two classes at once and I am also doing an internship, learning about dialogue and how to navigate difficult conversations with people who are in conflict with one another.
Maybe some people aren’t like this, but I spend a lot of time in the past, some time in the future, and not nearly enough time in the present.
Life these days is shaping up to make me even more like this. Dreaming of classes full of students, off campus trips downtown, and weekends away from Cville. Dreaming backwards.
I have been journaling for the past 5 years. It’s been a WILD journey. I wasn’t consistent at first, but I grew to love it, made it a New Year’s Resolution to do it everyday, and now it’s a part of my everyday life. There’s definitely a lot that I have learned from journaling and … Continue reading What I’ve Learned From Journaling
This year I hopped onto one of the hottest trends. I got an iPhone and swiftly fell into the world of podcasts. I’m honestly terrible at finding new music for myself to listen to - I like what I like, why would I want to change? - and so, when I get tired of listening to my music, I really like to listen to someone else speak on a variety of things - Faith, love, life, etc.
In quarantine, we have an opportunity to live differently than before. We have the option to do less or to live at a less hurried pace. Even for those with children and work right now, every day doesn’t have to be a sprint. We can choose the pace at which we live in order to add more peace into our lives.
I often feel a sense of dread when people ask me about the future. I’m not some genie or fortune teller, eager to tell stories of the upcoming year with ease and laughter. I am the girl who is more afraid of the unknown than I am afraid of most things.
The black men and women being slaughtered at the hands of the people who are supposed to protect them, and the hundreds of years of oppression that have kept black people burdened and shackled to lives born out of systemic injustice.
Often as I walk around Grounds to go to class or head off to the library, my headphones are tuned in to my latest obsession at the moment - podcasts.
In quarantine, we have the opportunity to examine the state of our lives before all the upheaval and how we want to move and act when things return to normal.
College. The time of your life. Where you meet your best friends, where you have your late night adventures. Where you figure the next few years of your life.
In the dull moments, where life gets repetitive and things are just not exciting, like quarantine right now, it’s easy to wish time away and hope it would all end.
Right before my big trip back to Virginia for spring semester began, I was overcome with emotion. I had traveled to school on my own before. I had been apart from my parents for many months.
My generation has a new addiction. With shiny smart phones, fancy laptops, and all the other technological dreams we could ever need, our instant gratification problem has lent itself to the destination addiction.
In this extra time found in the confines of our homes, we enter one of two tendencies - the sense to be uber productive or to veg out and completely cut off the outside world. Some are trying to rebuild their routines so it fits this new reality.
This last month has been so strange and it has taught me a lot as our lives turn into the quarantine rhythm. At the beginning of the month, I was so excited about spring break and I had one more week to get through in order to get to rest.
Life is a mess. It is filled to the brim with the beautiful, the boring, and the broken. The things that break us.
Our feet hit the floor one morning without a single clue that when our head returns to the pillow our hearts will be fragile once more. Things breaking, that’s normal. And it’s sad that that is our reality, but it is. It hurts.
In this time of Facetime calls and working from home, we are disrupted from our regular routines. All the plans we had made are erased and swept away as the Coronavirus sweeps across the nation.
While we are all feeling the effects of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus, we need to take precautions seriously. Since my university shut down classes and extended spring break for a period of time, this is a great time to begin practicing social distancing.
So with my life update, I updated it mentioning how I had to go home given the shutdown of UVA, and the school saying how it decided to move classes online until further notice.
I started off the weekend in Charlottesville, and my parents had come to visit me. We took a lovely trip to Kroger, where I saw a funny display of a rabbit. I am always really impressed by the people who do these kinds of things.
It's spring break for UVA students, and I've been spending it by volunteering at middle schools, tutoring kids. It's the middle of the semester - spring 2020. Feelings - it's all going by so quickly.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot across the internet about books that have come out recently. To Hell with the Hustle and the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry and Less is More.
Love is everywhere.
It’s in the embrace of friends, it’s in the first moment of holding hands, it’s in mother’s kiss to her son’s cheek. It’s been in the air before Valentine’s day and it won’t stop after.
A few months ago, I heard this story on Invisibilia. I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts but none like this before. None where the story returned to my mind, days and weeks later.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of YA books. I know they are fiction but characters can feel so real - their mannerisms, their figures of speech. My imagination brings them to life.
Every now and again, you need to reset. You need to start over. When you feel like you’ve been living life doing the same things over and over, when you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, when you feel like your brain is a mess, you need a reset.
Hey friends! This blog post is about my past weekend spent in Indiana at the Kelley Business School for a case competition representing UVA.
Hey friends! I’ve recently been scrolling through the world wide web as one does, and I found some really interesting questions I wanted to ponder with you all. Instead of answering standard questions for you to learn a little more about me, I figured you all could get to know what I think and believe and learn more about me.
I have no idea what you have in store for me. I know that I’m going to Indiana the first weekend of school, but other than that, there’s a blank hole. And where’s uncertainty, in me, there is fear.
Guess what? It’s my favorite time of the year again. And yes, I am saying that after Christmas has passed.
Friends, this blog post is an exciting one! It’s been an entire year since the beginning of this blog, Studying Life with Gigi. And it has grown to a place I never could have imagined.
Currently I am at home, relaxing after finishing four final exams in Charlottesville. I took an Amtrak for 7 hours and ended up at home, here in New York.
This year has been a wild ride. It’s the end of the decade. It’s the 10th year anniversary to 2009, which had some amazing music. Did someone just mention Kelly Clarkson? Just me, okay.
These days, everyone is on social media, creating content, posting memes, or taking that dog filter selfie. Creating videos, taking pictures, and posting it to the Internet has become the norm, and not the anomaly.
Who am I? It’s such a loaded question - it’s so unfair to be asked. I know that I am more than the sum of certain characteristics - brown eyes, bookworm, there’s just more to me than these ideas in a composite form. But I don’t know who I am.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the practice of vulnerability. I feel like all of my posts come from some journaling and reflecting I’ve been doing and this is one of them. I’ve been trying to figure out how to be more open to those I want to know me more.
This post is a little different from my usual. I just wanted to let you all in on the things I’ve been enjoying so you can enjoy them too! Welcome to my favorites! I won’t be doing this every month, but I definitely will be updating you guys as I go along, some things I’ve been enjoying and why.
After work a few days ago, I decided to watch a documentary on Netflix. It was about these 2 dudes called the Minimalists and how minimalism had changed their approach to life. Here’s what I discovered:
If you are a high school student looking for colleges, or someone who is thinking about a big move, you’ve stumbled across the right post. I’m in my second year at the University of Virginia, and I am from New York. I went from a big city to a small city, and from the North to the South.
One of my friends asked to interview me for her market research class as her team is developing a plan for a mindfulness center at UVA. We ended up having a conversation about the toxic UVA culture and what it means to find rest.
Day in the life: Weekend Day at UVA - Saturday. Doing homework, volunteering, fun activtites.
I feel being on the New York subway leads to some profound thinking. Because at the very least, it’s too loud for headphones. And what better way to spend your time as you sit in a steel machine catapulting you to different boroughs daily.
It's been a hot minute since I've really sat down to write down something substantial. I've looked at my to do list and I honestly either can't do things right now or have just finished them. So, here I am.
Welcome, future freshmen, or should I say first years, that have been scouring the internet, looking to find out what exactly they signed up for. Hello, I’m Gigi, and I will be giving you a report on what being a UVA student really means.
I actually did this activity for my freshman year and it was so good to look back on and it brought on all the types of memories. It’s also a good way to get out all of the intentions and the little things you want to remember.
Faith isn't easy. Despite the perception of burying your head in the sand and believing what you want, this world won't let you. There are mass shootings, millions of immigrants and refugees, the deterioration of the earth due to climate change, political corruption, and more.
The post you’ve all been waiting for. The dorm! Currently, as a UVA student, I decided to spend my second year at one of the Residential Colleges on Grounds. I live in Hereford, which has its focus on mindfulness, sustainability, and social awareness.
As a college sophomore, I feel it is fitting for me to write out the things I want to accomplish in the next 3 years. While this could have been done as a first-year (or in my freshmen year), I think learning all the things I could have done helped me create a bucket list that both honors UVA and myself.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done one of these. So, here it is - a life update. I have moved back to Charlottesville. I came on Monday and Wednesday, I fully moved into my dorm. The process was a lot, and I will most likely go more in-depth into it in my dorm tour.
In my recent post, 15 things you should do before you go to college, one of the things on my list was having goals for next semester. So, here are my goals for the second-year first semester.
One moment I woke up to use the bathroom at 5 in the morning. The next moment I stood horrified at the figure before me - my cousin had arrived home from her night shift at work. For me, this is the thing.
For you, it may be the way your smile doesn’t quite reach your face after a long vacation with family. Or it’s all the picture-perfect photos on your wall. When your room has been messy for a month. It’s going on a walk and finding out that you have dog poop on your shoe as you enter the house.
I started journaling in 2015, kind of on a whim. I’m not even sure why I started. I just remember that my aunt took me to the store and I saw this notebook I liked with “Trust in the Lord” on it. Although I went to church with my parents and attended Sunday school, I don’t think I believed in God. But I picked up that notebook, and my journey started.
Hey! It’s me, the one who has a face mask right now and is still in school clothes, the one who has decided a blog post should be written. Here I am typing to you across the webverse on my little corner of the Internet. I have been struggling with school lately, and it’s some … Continue reading Self-doubt and Impostor Syndrome
During this semester, I was struggling in my French class. I had just received a low grade on one of my exams, and I was feeling stressed. One of my dormmates consoled me and encouraged me. “It’s just one bad grade. You have so many other chances to improve,” she said. In my journal, I’ve … Continue reading Give Her Grace
This is the excerpt for a featured content post.