August 23, 2014

College Orientation as an Introvert

My dorm is definitely photogenic.
High school orientation was more terrifying than college orientation and understandably so – the high school I attended was pre-school through 12th grade and I was entering as a 9th grader. Some of the girls had been there forever. I am not good at making friends! I am not good at social interactions! And it’s worse when everyone around you seems to already know each other. But college orientation was nothing like that.

I’m writing this mostly because I had no idea what to expect for orientation. Mine was just a two day event during the summer and wasn’t going to be like the move-in “Welcome Week”. Google failed me when I tried to find a post about what other college orientations were like and the truth is your orientation will be different from mine. But hopefully it’s a little comforting knowing sort of what its like?!

The purpose of orientation is just so you know kind of what’s going on. You’ll kind of know the campus. You’ll kind of know about all of your resources. The main point for my university’s orientation was to register for classes and a chance to meet your academic advisor. This isn’t your only time to make friends! It’s extremely awkward having to introduce yourself to random people. To me it seemed forced and unnatural. For some reason I was extremely irrational and thought orientation was my only chance to make friends – that’s not true at all.

But your university will probably make it ridiculously easy to meet people. You’ll be split up into groups and probably play lame icebreaker games (they are dumb but they have a point)! Mine was based on what college we were in within the university, so I was with a ton of other social science and humanities majors. I ended up exploring Boston late at night with two other girls I met in my orientation group and I was actually being social. That is so unlike me because normally I would have gone back to my room to blog. This is so trite, but university is the perfect time for a fresh start. I’m an extremely anxious person, but my “trick” for being social is to pretend like I’m an actress playing an confident and outgoing person. At orientation it was a lot easier to sit down next to complete strangers and introduce myself because they had no idea who I was. I could be anything. I was terrified for lunch because I thought it would be like in the movies where I’m the sad girl who doesn’t have friends, but everyone is in that position. I went up to a group of girls that were already friends and they were welcoming! Anyone who is worth your time won’t say “you can’t sit with us.”

I forced myself out of my comfort zone numerous times during orientation, but if you’re introverted it’s also important to give yourself some alone time. There were optional socials late at night that I would stay at for 20 minutes and then allow myself to go back to my room if I was feeling overwhelmed. It was a lot to process in those two days and at first I felt guilty for being “anti-social” – but it’s not like I was intentionally trying to keep to myself! It’s natural for me to want to have time to recharge before another social interaction.

Okay, so I’m trying to write this as a guide but it’s not flowing that well so I guess I’ll just share random “highlights” from orientation. They give you a lot of free food which is awesome, but it’s also a cautionary tale of how accessible unhealthy food is at college. The best part of orientation for me was bonding with other economics majors. There was about 10 of us and we each had to meet with the academic advisor, but we were allowed to leave once our session was over with. The problem was that we had no idea where we were on campus so we all waited for each other. How precious is that? It was so easy to talk to them, which is comforting considering we’ll have most of our classes together. I am so hyped for college to start.

(This is a super vague post because my orientation was July 27th - 29th and I can't recall vivid details. I'm sorry I procrastinated this post so much!)

Cheers, Katrina

July 24, 2014

Being Weird

Let's all aspire to be The Log Lady.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of strangeness – about what makes people feel uncomfortable. No matter what world we exist in there’s almost always the role of the eccentric oddball. I was intrigued by Luna Lovegood because she was weird in a setting that was already hard to believe even within the cannon world of Harry Potter. Was believing in nargles really that much more hard to accept than thestrals?! That’s not a completely fair comparison because Harry actually witnesses thestrals whereas nargles are never “seen". I don’t want to talk about Harry Potter or how we are lead to accept truth. It’s boring to me right now.

The people who live outside of these societal norms are far more interesting than that conversation.

“I don’t think that people accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense. I think it makes people terribly uncomfortable." - David Lynch
I think that’s why I’m so intrigued by fashion. I’m drawn to people who wear things that you can’t find in a mall – items that are outdated or just plain bizarre. It’s a signal to me that maybe their thoughts somewhat resemble what they’re wearing. These people are going to have perspectives that are outside the realm of suburbia. Or maybe right inside of it. I recently watched Blue Velvet a movie my mother warned me was going to be WEIRD and it was! And I loved it! I’m fascinated by the concept of a perfect society having a dark underbelly. I have some deep rooted resentment towards soccer moms and I’m extremely satisfied imagining them thrown into a Lynchian world.

I have oscillating feelings about the concept of weirdness and oddballs. I used to think maybe they’re trying too hard to reject normal. If you do everything the very opposite of what’s mainstream isn’t that just as bad as following a herd? Then the added layer that in the past few years of the concept of being “hipster” – that is, alternative, but to what I don’t know – has been commodified by nearly every industry. I’m not sure where that falls into this. There are people though that will continue to be strange no matter what the current view on being alternative is. Those are the people I absolutely love. The ones who exist to make “perfect” communities question their reality. To wonder why beige on a house is acceptable, but a hot pink house is completely out of the question. That’s a horrible example, but it transcends to nearly every aspect of life. I think that’s why people are so uncomfortable by people who are different because they look at themselves and wonder “Is this even authentically me? Do I like this?! Or do I like fitting in better?”

An example of not fitting in and me realizing that I am just talking about my recently watched movies.
And in that way we all share a little bit with Patrick Bateman. A poignant line to me is that he explains that he keeps working to “fit in”. The words themselves feel vulnerable, but the way it’s said is as if he’s frustrated that his fiancée can’t realize that’s what everyone is doing. People work jobs to fit in. Wear clothes to fit in.

And being weird doesn’t even need to be that outlandish. Max Fischer from Rushmore is one of my favorite characters ever and I find it so endearing that he continues to reflect the little world of Rushmore wherever he is. He wears his uniform in public school! And yeah maybe it was a little pretentious of him, but it’s adorable that he continues to wear this blazer / tie combination and the fact that dressing in a traditionally nice way is weird in public school. Everything is relative!

A message to the haters.
Eccentricity is also strangely tied to being pretentious. I love overdressing because I’m incredibly bitter than we can’t still wear dresses like Marie Antoinette, but dressing like that comes with people saying “OH SO YOU THINK YOU’RE BETTER?” People seem to think it means you think you’re super creative or artsy now and my response to think is 1) those people are idiots 2) maybe I’ve always been a creative genius and you’re just now noticing. I just love people who are able to fully embrace their love for obscure parts of culture and esoteric subjects. It shouldn’t be associated with pretentiousness at all because those people are more willing to question what society hands to them and defines as normal interests. It isn’t a bad thing to care about what your interests say about you!

Maybe it’s weird that I think this much about the concept of weirdness. But how meta!

A final thought-provoking question.
Cheers, Katrina

July 4, 2014

The New Girl

I'm just going to pretend this is my first time introducing myself to the internet  that I'm the new girl in school / the ~blogosphere~ as if I have no previous online presence. Chances are you probably already know who I am from my various social media accounts, but I want the mystique of being the new girl in school. In a way everything is new for me, I always envisioned starting this blog being some sort of stylish wunderkind but I am mourning the recent death of my adolescence. As a result, I impulsively deleted all old posts on this blog and fun fact this has actually been in existence since 2008 WOW!

So this is how I want you to picture me.

Spoiler: I am not actually a muse for French New Wave films! I'm not going to post an actual picture of me right now because I still want to be mysterious (even though I link my Instagram all over this page).

I should have made this blog a decade ago when it was really cutting edge to have a blog. Now the internet is oversaturated with blogs and does anyone actually read them? Or do we just read Tumblrs now? My point is I am doing this because I love blogging. I mean yeah I am hoping that in the near future blogging comes back in style and has a sort of retro appeal like vinyl currently does (seriously though I am so happy the vinyl/turntable industry is being revived).

I'm not going to tell you the mission statement of my blog just yet. I'm still figuring out what clique I want to join. Get it! My new girl analogy is so lame. I'm going to list some things I like just so you kind of get a vague sense of who I am. Twin Peaks! Mad Men! Vladimir Nabokov! Vampire Weekend! The Middle East! Coffee! Carl Sagan! David Lynch! Macarons! Steve Jobs! RFK! Astrophysics! Phoenix! Saint Laurent Fall 2014 Ready to Wear!

I apologize if I sound pretentious at all! The truth is I am just a sloth.

Here's my aesthetic:
Macarons & pastries from Ladurée because sometimes I like to pretend I'm a prima donna.

Audrey Horne & I love plaid skirts and FBI agents.

Sofia Coppola films! Marie Antoinette!

Cheers, Katrina