I moved back into school on Sunday.

Talk about bittersweet. Part of me is like, “Yeah! Alcohol and friends!” while the rest of me is just grossly sobbing under a table somewhere. If you’re not a real life acquaintance of mine, you likely aren’t familiar with my current predicament regarding college.

See, I don’t hate being at school, per se. I’m an FMA major at Temple University, which has an esteemed film department and a faculty whom uphold a decent array of credentials. My dorm is disgustingly well equipped for four adolescents who still sit around the kitchen table at two in the morning eating macaroni and cheese, and my best friend of eight years lives three floors below me. Everything I need is either located in my building or a few blocks away. All in all, life should be relatively awesome.

The thing is, it’s not.

I don’t want to host the world’s least warranted pity part right now. I know that I’m beyond privileged in my circumstances and, according to everyone, I’m supposed to be having the time of my life. But it’s kind of hard to do that when you can’t bring yourself to leave your bedroom.

I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression since I was a little girl as a result of some pretty intense bullying. I tried as best I could to overlook it until senior year, when everything came crashing down—family problems, college applications, my mom accidentally left for two months (which I’ll get into at a later date). Basically, I had about twenty mental breakdowns an hour.

Summer rolled around, and with every new essay and placement test, I found myself drowning in a sea of deadlines. By the time I moved into my new home, I was, as my roommate would so kindly put it, a mess.

How is school? Do you like your professors? Have you made any friends? Any boys that caught your eye? What kind of job do you expect to get? Why bother with a degree? You’re useless. Useless. Useless.

Horrible. No. No. No. None. I don’t know. I know. I know. I know.

Being depressed is something I would never wish upon anyone. It swallows you whole, and even when it fades, there’s a dark taint to everything you once loved. Memories become painful. Everything sucks.

There was a period of about three months where I just laid in my bed and stared at the ceiling. I skipped classes, gorged myself on shitty food, and ignored the steadily rising numbers in my email inbox. It got to the point where I would have a panic attack at the mere thought of checking my TUmail account, which only served to push me forth until I was teetering by my tip-toes on the edge of a mental cliff.

My friends would try to coax me out on weekends, and I’d continuously decline their invitations in favor of wallowing in my room and thinking about my failure of an educational career. There were several instances on which I decided, fuck it; I’m going to have fun—until I found myself walking home alone through the streets of North Philadelphia at one in the morning, slightly intoxicated and hating my pitiful existence more than ever.

Everything culminated one afternoon over lunch with my parents during Thanksgiving break. We were gathered around the table, eating our respective lactose-free turkey potpies and chatting idly, when all hell broke loose. I don’t want to delve too far into it, but let’s just say that somewhere in the midst of a dispute concerning my whereabouts for that weekend, my mother uttered a phrase that made me lose my shit:

“You have enough fun at school.”

There was a lot of crying and a lot of screaming and a lot of me writhing around in my pajamas with tears streaming down my face like a giant, hideous eight-year-old. Looking back, this may have had to do with the fact that it was my time of the month. Them crazy hormones. I’m tellin’ y’all.

After about four hours spent curled in a fetal position on the kitchen floor, my parents and I came to the conclusion that it would probably be best for me to withdraw for a semester, or drop out entirely, if it came down to it.

On the occasion that I’d choose to leave school, I would end up moving back to Manhattan with my parents and picking up a fulltime job. It’s not a glamorous lifestyle by any means, but it’s something different, and I think that’s what I need right now. For the time being, I’m going to complete this semester before making any radical decisions.

At the moment, though, I’m trying my best to be optimistic. I’ve rearranged my dorm, strung up some fairy lights, organized my school supplies, and bought a planner because I’m a responsible adult now. (Sike. I’m actually just a huge baby disguised as a semi-competent cat-human hybrid.) My first class is Philosophy, which is located on the literal opposite side of campus. Have I mentioned it’s snowing like a bitch outside? Because it is. Snowing like a bitch, I mean. 

Wish me luck.

☯ songs about that person you want to simultaneously make out with and punch in the face 

  1. call it off ➜ the films
  2. au revoir (adios)  the front bottoms
  3. love is blindness  jack white
  4. cable rat king ➜ tom milsom
  5. the weekend ➜ modern baseball
  6. sun hotel ➜ the menzingers
  7. y’all boots hats (die angry) ➜ glocca morra
  8. never saw it coming ➜ tigers jaw

listen here »

I thought I’d try something a bit different today. Inspired by the lovely Marissa who runs youngpoorcoutore, I’ve decided to do the occasional fashion post!

Yesterday’s gloomy weather meant I was able to break out my beloved Deena & Ozzy multi-buckle combat boots, which I snagged for $40 at the Urban Outfitters in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, they seem to be sold out more or less everywhere online. Sad face. I paired them with some disco pant leggings, a chunky knit geoprint sweater, and a black circle scarf.

My staple piece for this outfit was my new favorite item: this Throwback Longline Denim Jacket from Forever 21.

It’s absolutely gorgeous in person, not to mention incredibly adaptablelightweight enough for spring, but somehow still warm during winter. I can tell it’ll be great for the upcoming breezy summer in England (unless there’s another massive heatwave, in which case you’ll be able to find me crying in the corner beside the nearest air conditioner), and I love it dearly. I’ve had a lady boner for acid-wash lately. Don’t ask me why.

And, finally, on my lips I’m wearing Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Shameless, a beautiful vibrant violet color, which I’ll likely be doing a full review on because I’m effing obsessed with them. I went out and bought three the other day. Literally addicted. Send help.

Big thanks to my compadre Dylan who helped me to photograph this. If you have the time, I’d highly advise you to go check out his band Sharing Stereo, because they’re super rad and the guys and I spent the entirety of last week slaving our asses off over a music video that will hopefully be released soon…ish.

Hope you all have a fantastic day! Toodles.

 songs that make you drum your fingers and nod your head 

  1.  ⇉  unbelievers † vampire weekend
  2.  ⇉  next in line  walk the moon
  3.  ⇉  the weight of living pt. ii † bastille
  4.  ⇉  not your fault † awolnation
  5.  semi-automatic † twenty one pilots
  6.  ⇉  binary mind  ra ra riot
  7.  ⇉  disparate youth  santigold
  8.  ⇉  spaceman  the killers

listen here »

 songs that make you wanna roller skate really fast 

01. backflip ≈ the front bottoms
02. let’s dance to joy division ≈ the wombats
03. wreckin’ bar (ra ra ra) ≈ the vaccines
04. rock & roll queen  the subways
05. i bet you look good on the dance floor  the arctic monkeys
06. flathead ≈ the fratellis
07. animal ≈ the pigeon detectives
08. re-do ≈ modern baseball

listen here »

Hating yourself isn’t glamorous.

Before you continue to rhapsodize about your inherent unsightliness or social incompetence, take a step back and think about it. Why do we reject flattery? Why is it easier to humor our flaws as opposed to embracing them? Why is it so hard to accept a compliment without sounding haughty or bigheaded? Inadequacy is relatable; we aren’t good enough because we’re told don’t deserve to be. 

I’m not sure when romanticizing self-deprecation became trendy, but here are a list of things you can do to counteract the recent wave of negativity:

  1. Next time you try to find parallels between the size of your waistline and the reason you’re single, eat another slice of pizza and tell that niggling voice in the back of your head to fuck off.
  2. Sit up straight. Posture can make or break you, no pun intended. Head back, shoulders squared, chest out, chin up—give it a try and feel the power coursing through your veins. You can rule the world like this.
  3. Stop neglecting yourself. Go for a walk around the block; go to bed before midnight and wake up before noon. Staying up all night for the sake of saying you did was cool four years ago. Trust me, your body will thank you later.
  4. Get shit done. Instead of utilizing your desk as a vanity or an elaborate picture-holder, actually sit down and finish that essay you’ve been putting off for two weeks. Even if you’re one hundred percent sure it’s the worst thing you’ve ever written, you’ll feel better knowing that there’s a first draft floating around your Documents folder.
  5. Don’t forget to give yourself a break! Instead of chugging Red Bulls like it’s your job and powering through those four labs that are due next week, stand up. Stretch. Crack your back, your neck, your knuckles. Try to touch your toes. Reach towards the ceiling. Feel the circulation in your fingertips. Isn’t that better?
  6. Think about how awesome you are. Because you’re really, really awesome.
  7. Have breakfast—and not just a cup of coffee, either. Break out the frying pan gathering dust in the back of the cupboard and make yourself a delectable-ass omelette. Bacon, too, if you’re feeling adventurous.
  8. Do something ridiculous. Book a flight to Reykjavík, Iceland and see the Northern Lights. Splurge on special editing software or some pretty underwear even if you’re sure no one else will see it. Hey, you never know.
  9. If a song you’re embarrassed about liking comes on the radio right as you’re about to pull into your driveway, put the car in reverse, back up, and take another loop around the neighborhood. Turn up the volume and sing along like a lunatic. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know all the words or if your neighbors hear you blasting Black Eyed Peas at eleven o’clock at night. We all need a little Fergie, sometimes.
  10. Next time someone tells you that they like your ____, say thank you and mean it.

Hope this helped. Enjoy your day, you super cool human being, you.

I’m posting this at 12:31 A.M. because otherwise I’ll pass out in Chris’ basement.

Since Monday night I’ve slept for approximately 9 hours in total. My diet has consisted solely of coffee, and I’m about 80% sure I can see through time. I no longer possess the ability to process coherent thoughts or articulate ideas.

If this video isn’t the best thing since sliced bread I’m going to throw myself into the ocean. 

Spent the last two days brainstorming for Sharing Stereo's new music video before deciding to rent a Canon EF 14mm lens to spice things up. By the end of our first day of filming, we were freezing, starving, and painfully exhausted, so we popped into the local pizza shop and grabbed a few slices to fuel us through the next few sleepless nights. This was the result.

This is a selfie.

It’s pretty standard—raw, unedited, straight off my iPhone and uploaded to the Internet for all the cyber-universe to see. The image quality is appalling and my expression resembles that of someone with a shovel rammed three quarters of the way up their ass. Still, it’s my face.

There is no way in hell that I would ever look this decent in a candid photo. Like, none. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nein. If you’ve ever browsed through my tagged pictures on Facebook (which I highly advise you don’t), you are most likely under the impression that I’m some sort of rouge scientific experiment escaped from a government containment facility. I mean, I am, but that’s beside the point.

I don’t smile with my teeth because it gives me a double chin. I’m wearing moisturizer, concealer, blush, bronzer, lip gloss, eyeliner and mascara. My head is tilted at just the right angle to maintain the illusion that I am actually somewhat attractive. 

Everything is calculated. Posed. Deliberate. 

Selfies are designed as a means of self-validation. I don’t think that’s news to anyone, but regardless, it needs to be said. Is “selfie culture” disgustingly narcissistic, objectifying, or both? Here’s the thing: it’s neither.

When you post a picture of yourself to Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr, you generally expect a degree of feedback. Your followers dictate your desirability with the tap of a finger. Ten likes, twenty, fifty, one hundred. How many people need to call you beautiful before you start to believe it yourself?

Some people know they’re hot. That’s fine. Magnificent, even. I’m happy for you. But for the rest of us average Joes and Janes, we’ve become masters at faking confidence in a dog-eat-dog world. I don’t think this makes us frauds; it makes us human.

There are some days where I wake up feeling cute. I want to document said cuteness, so obviously my initial response is to snap a photo or twenty in front of my bedroom window where the lighting is most flattering. I literally cannot even begin to describe the treasure trove of lost selfies laying discarded in the depths of my phone.

Does it make me vain that I want people to reassure me that I am capable of being cute? My best friend rolls out of bed in the morning with her big blue eyes and wavy hair and perfect skin, and then there’s me, flopping around in the sheets like a fish out of water before soaking my retainer in denture cleaner. I think we know who wins, here.

The point I’m trying to make is that we’re all allowed to be a little supercilious on occasion. Do your dimples look especially prominent today? Awesome. Is your natural hair cooperating for once? Sweet. Did you just get your braces off? Radical, dude.

Take a selfie. You deserve it. 

On New Year’s Eve of 2012, I had six kisses when the clock struck midnight and drove home tired, cold and sober at two in the morning. On the way back, I listened to that one song by the Airborne Toxic Event everybody knows and gripped the steering wheel so tightly my knuckles turned white.

I remember parking in the driveway and sitting in my car with the heat off for a full forty minutes. My neighbor’s dog wouldn’t stop barking.

By the time I got in the door, my hands were shaking, fingertips tinged blue with cold, and in that moment I realized I could punch something. I could literally turn around and dent the fucking wall and scream until my lungs gave out and nobody would hear me. Nobody would care.

Instead, I went upstairs and threw my bra and the floor and crawled into bed with all of my clothes on.

And thus began the New Year.

It’s difficult for me explain where I was emotionally in January 2013, because at that point, I didn’t really feel…anything. If you’ve ever experienced depression you might understand what I’m trying to articulate. If not, I’ll do my best to clarify. 

Imagine a 100-floor building. One day, you get in the elevator with the intention of heading up to the penthouse at the top. That’s where everyone else is—your friends, your family, your boss—and they’re all eagerly awaiting your arrival.

Once you reach the 50th floor, however, the elevator comes to an abrupt halt. The doors swing open to reveal an empty room. It’s completely deserted aside from a desk in the corner with an ancient, dusty computer and a metal stool; otherwise, the whole place is barren. It’s a bit creepy, if you’re being honest.

Sunlight filters weakly through the enormous glass windows overlooking the street below. You wander over, bewildered, and peer down at the people bustling to and fro.

They’re so small. Like ants in a colony.

Time seems to slow down as you observe them carrying out their trivial lives. If we’re all this infinitesimal in the grand scheme of things, you wonder, then what’s the point? Doesn’t that render our existence essentially meaningless? We’re specks. We’re insignificant. We’re nothing.

The elevator doors are still open, still waiting, but you’d much rather spend the next few hours here. It’s peaceful. You could get used to this. 

And so you do. In fact, the hours turn into days, and days to weeks, and weeks to months. Your hair’s too long and you’re kind of hungry, but the sensation is dulled, so you don’t really feel the need to do anything about it. Everything is…less, here.

I was less, there.

I don’t know if I was trapped by choice or by circumstance. Part of me wanted to stay in this isolated reality, separate from the inconsequentiality of living; I could exist on my own plane, in my own division of space and time. It was a simple fate, if a slightly inconvenient one.

And then there was another part of me that wouldn’t stop screaming. 

Banging on my walls of my skull with an iron fist, threatening to split my head in two, telling me that I was stupid, useless, that life was futile and nothing I did would leave a mark large enough to be worth noticing. Telling me what I already knew. 

It took a long, long time for me to gather the strength to leave that room. Let me tell you, though: the ride up to the penthouse wasn’t an easy one. Not at all. 

But that’s a different story for a different day.