Here Are 4 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Solitude

The words in Rupi Kaur’s New York Times bestseller Milk and Honey struck my soul in more ways than one. A page that particularly opened my eyes to the internal struggles of the world quoted, “fall in love with your solitude.” This led me to wondering, what is it that makes our generation so terrified of being alone?

I took it upon myself to challenge these fears and defeat the dependence we all drown in throughout our daily lives—this made me realize that being comfortable on your own is practically a superpower. Requesting a table for one gives you the opportunity to occupy yourself with nothing but your own thoughts, feelings, and desires, and it’s absolutely liberating. It can teach us fortitude and the ability to satisfy our own needs, while also bringing forth the longing to explore and confidence to be an individual. So why is there such a negative stigma?

Total solitude is meant to be celebrated—all it takes is one killer experience and you’ll be hooked. So if spending a weekend solo is a prospect you do not find wildly appealing, I’m here to change your mind. Beginners, here’s what to do:

1—Manage your time 

As life pulls you in several different directions, always remember to never let a busy schedule force you to give up the things you love. Write your poetry. Read your books. Go on those nightly runs. Even when it feels like there’s not enough time in the day, it’s so important to make time for yourself.

PHOTO: Emily Truong

2—Find your safe place

In a culture that thrives on constant stimulation, the trick to enjoying the accompaniment of your own mind is to never be bored. Finding a place that satisfies all your needs is key. Intimidated? Take baby steps and try a matinee movie or mid-day shopping trip. An hour a day is sure to keep you feeling refreshed and ready for the big leagues in no time!

PHOTO: Amber Sudra

3—Disconnect

Because we live in an age where you’re reasonably presumed dead if you don’t answer your phone in a certain period of time, airplane mode is truly an electronic saving grace if you want total peace going off-grid. Instead of investing your “me time” in everyone else’s whereabouts on Snapchat, you owe it to yourself to pull the plug.

PHOTO: Daisa Harris

4—Journal 

Now that you’ve ditched your cell, bring a pen. During the loner phase, you’re forced to speak less and listen more—whether that be to your personal thoughts or eavesdropping on the quirky couple behind you, write it down. Self-reflection is the first step to personal growth.

PHOTO: Natalie Miller

No matter what place you’re at in your journey, be easy, take your time, and remember, you can always come home…to yourself. It’s time to start living and spend time just doing you.

Do you crave alone time? If so, let us know how you’re spending it in the comments below!

3 Back-to-School Hacks That Will Keep You Healthy and Energized

It’s that time of the year again—back to school has begun! With the start of the semester comes new classes and new routines. Getting back into the swing of things can be tough, but these three hacks will make getting back to school a breeze. These back to school hacks are all about keeping you healthy and energized, all while saving you money. What more could you ask for?

PHOTO: Amber Sudra

1—Cold brew on-the-go 

Caffeine is necessary for college, specifically coffee. If you are in college and don’t drink coffee, what are you doing? Seriously, get on board! Brewing coffee and trying to get out the door before 8 a.m. can be tough, and normally results in a stop by Starbucks on the way to class. However, if you plan ahead, you will avoid spending $3 a day at your local Starbucks and save money by prepping your coffee at home. Simply brew a full pot of coffee and let it sit out until it is room temperature. Pour the coffee into a pitcher and place into the fridge. Once chilled, this coffee is now cold brew that you can enjoy whenever you need your coffee fix. I love pouring this in a to-go cup when I’m racing out the door and need a pick-me-up.

 

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

2—Free workout classes

When life gets busy, it’s often hard to always get that workout in. However, working out gives us energy and boosts our overall mood, so it is essential to squeeze in while at school. Getting in a workout rut is easy to do if you do the same thing every day. Trying different types of workout classes is a great way to mix it up and try new things. Plus, you can bring all your friends with you and make it an outing. Almost all workout class studios offer a free week trial or at least a free class. Take advantage of this and try out all the studios’ free options. You are guaranteed to not get bored if you have a variety to try out. Some of my favorites are yoga sculpt, kickboxing, and pure barre.

PHOTO: Rachel Zuckerberg

 

3—Backpack snacks

I know what you’re thinking. Backpack snacks? But trust me, this is a lifesaver! With a full day of classes, it’s tough to find time to run home for a snack or sit down for a meal in the middle of a busy day. Just taking a few minutes in the morning to throw a few snacks in your bag will save you from making a vending machine purchase when you’re hangry. You will save money and have healthier options if you have something packed. Some of my favorite snacks to pack are mixed nuts, RX Bars, and carrots with hummus.

 

Which hacks are you trying this semester? Comment below with your tips!

5 Tips to Revamp Your Morning Routine in the Transition to Fall

As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, habits can be created and broken. With the responsibilities of school, work, and some sort of social life, everything can get stressful. Dedicating the time in ourselves wisely in order to be productive, efficient, and most importantly happy is detrimental in having a successful semester. By trying these my five tips to have a better morning routine your fall transition will be a breeze!

PHOTO: Amber Sudra

PHOTO: Amber Sudra

1– Fuel Your Body

We are all guilty of hitting the snooze button a few more times than necessary, thus leading to a highly stressful and messy rush to get to class. Making it a priority to wake up not only early, but with enough time to sit down and enjoy a small and healthy breakfast will radically improve your day. Breakfast comes in a variety of ways, and it’s okay to experiment with what works best for you and your appetite.

PHOTO: Rachel Zuckerberg

PHOTO: Rachel Zuckerberg

2–Take Care of Your Skin

I’ve learned that our skin routines must continuously be tweaked in order to protect ourselves from harsh weather. Hence, in the colder weather, it’s extremely important to moisturize! As you get ready in the morning, just throw on a low-maintenance face mask to keep you hydrated.

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

3–Dress for Yourself

I get it, it’s dark outside and you’d rather go to class in your pajamas and get some extra z’s in the morning. Trust me, I understand. But I will tell you that I have 10x more productivity on days that I actually put a little effort in my look rather than not. By dressing more purposefully it boosts my confidence and allows me to tackle the day with focus and pride.

PHOTO: Hanna Benoski

PHOTO: Hanna Benoski

4–Do Something for You

By waking up with a little more time and a lot less hurry, you create an opportunity to invest your time into something just for you. With just ten or fifteen minutes, I can dedicate my time to cultivate things that are important to my mental health. Reading, listening to a podcast, or even putting make-up on can change the way I view the rest of my day. Cherish this time and ensure that it’s incorporated into your routine.

5–Prepare Ahead of Time

Finally, my favorite tip and the most important, plan ahead. Utilize the time you have before bed to meal-prep your lunch, pick out what you’re going to wear, and what you’ll need for classes/work the following day. Planning in advance will remind you of things you would have forgotten in the morning as you rush out the door. This step will ensure a smooth morning routine and a stress-free semester.

PHOTO: Cassidy Clark

PHOTO: Cassidy Clark

The seasons to come are full of adventures, achievements, and wonderful memories; don’t miss out on them! These easy tips have helped me get through the cold months and will help you too.

Tell us how these morning routine tips worked to help your fall transition in the comments below!

Featured photo by Lex Kelly.

5 Simple Tips for a Happy and Healthy Lifestyle

Between pulling all-nighters, gaining the freshman 15, and overindulging in coffee, college life can be stressful and unhealthy. It’s no secret that these habits are detrimental to your mind and body in the long run. Try incorporating these five simple tips into your routine for a happy and healthy lifestyle.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

1—Meditate

When you’re feeling upset or anxious, release all the pent up negative energy through meditation. It provides time for introspection and relaxation to boost your mood. Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and slowly take some deep breaths. Try going to a local park with a yoga mat and sitting calmly without the distraction of social media or school work for 15 minutes. Even a little bit goes a long way in improving your happiness and health.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

2—Stay hydrated

Coffee is a staple of college life, but too much negatively impacts your health. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially if you are an avid coffee drinker. Carry a reusable water bottle as a reminder to constantly drink water when you’re on the go in between classes and other activities. It’s such a simple step with so many benefits that will add to a happy and healthy lifestyle.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

3—Exercise

Though your schedule may feel overbooked, routinely exercising is absolutely necessary for a happier and healthier lifestyle. You don’t have to engage in intensive training; try easing into a more active lifestyle with a 15-minute walk and 5 minutes of planks. Anything that gets your body moving and your heart rate up will improve your mood and productivity levels. Throw on a cute activewear outfit and start exercising your way to a happy and healthy lifestyle.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

4—Eat healthy foods

It may be easier to grab a slice of pizza or indulge in some late night junk food, but eating healthy foods is a key part of living a happy and healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a balance is crucial to feeling better about yourself and staying healthy. Try sticking to a regular eating schedule that involves a mix of all the different food groups.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

5—Appreciate the little things in life

When it feels like the entire world is against you, take a step back and appreciate the little things in life. It’s totally okay to have a bad day or even a bad week, but when it feels like everything is spiraling out of control, there’s always something positive hiding in the background. The best thing you can do is take a step back and think about all the little things that make you happy. Turn off your phone, go for a walk, and appreciate all the beautiful little things life has to offer.

How do you maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle? Leave a comment and let us know!

Finding Balance in the New School Year

With school starting again, it’s easy to get swept up in the endless sea of homework, work, and extracurricular responsibilities. Let’s face it, everyday college life can often leave us feeling a little overwhelmed. I’ve compiled a list of four ways you can help keep your physical and mental health in check and find balance in a world full of pop quizzes and eight-hour shifts.

 PHOTO: Kenia Viezcas

1—Find time to exercise

Exercise can quite literally help you find your balance. Even if you only have thirty minutes to spare, make sure you squeeze in some sort of workout. Whether it’s just going for a long walk or completing a complex workout at the gym, make sure you get that heart pumping and those muscles moving so you can reap the multiple mental and physical benefits exercise has to offer.

2—Try to cook as much as possible

Look, I get it; we’re all immensely busy, so cooking three square meals a day isn’t always practical. But I find that when I find the time to make myself an omelet rather than just tossing a protein bar in my bag, I tend to feel fuller longer and I feel a small sense of accomplishment knowing that I can do adult things like feed myself. When you cook for yourself, you also know what goes into your meal, unlike those tasty yet mysterious cafeteria and restaurant dishes, which often hide added fats and sugars. Along with your health, your wallet will also thank you for those home-cooked meals because fewer trips to McDonald’s (sadly) means more coins in the bank.

3—Make time for friends

Make time for friends.Even if it means just walking Catherine to stats, or grabbing a coffee with Sam when you have a second. Laughing with friends is one of the best ways to keep your sanity in this crazy college life. Although we’re all super busy, let’s make sure to occasionally put down the textbooks for a girls night out.

4—Find hobbies that interest you

I’m learning to play the guitar, and it has become a massive stress relief for me. While I’m playing, I clear my head so I’m not thinking about anything except how everything sounds. After, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges may come my way for the rest of the day. Find time to do something you enjoy each day, whether it’s meditating, reading a book, or painting.

I’m sure we’re all planning on studying hard this semester and getting those As. Taking the time each day to practice self-care will keep us in the right headspace and physical shape to do just that. Here’s to the new school year; let’s crush it!

How do you find balance in everyday life? Let us know on social media @Cfashionista!

Additional photos by Kelly Rogowski and Valerie Cammack.

Can We Stop Thinking of “Routine” as a Bad Thing?

Some people dread going back to school; but to be honest, a lot of people (including myself) love this time of the year. While, I must admit, I will miss the luxury of sleeping until 2 pm, there is something comforting about the structure that comes with a new school year.

With the start of school, a new routine is set for the semester. Routine sounds negative, but it can actually be a beautiful thing. Routine creates a rhythm for school days. By having a class schedule, you can know what time you need to wake up in order to have your morning coffee in order to make it to class on time. Having a daily procedure can help decrease anxiety, worry, and can establish confidence in knowing what the day will most likely bring you.

Books, Glasses, Headphones, Routine

PHOTO: Kenia Viezcas

Having a agenda or schedule makes it way easier to plan. Being back in the classroom means that we have a very solid idea on when we will have time to go out for brunch, schedule work shifts, and more. Maybe the school season does not allow for sleeping in really late or spending the whole day sitting by the pool, but it does make it a lot easier to know what you are doing or where you will be at a certain time. Schedules make it easy to write down your plans in that cute new planner you bought for the school year!

Book, Pens, Stationary

PHOTO: Kenia Viezcas

I know it’s hard to trade in those lazy summer afternoons spent by the beach for sitting in a boring and plain classroom. However, going back to school and back to a routine is not as bad as it seems. Routines have a lot of beauty—so go out and see the beauty in your routine this school year!

How do you see the beauty in your daily school routine? Comment below or show us on social media. Be sure to tag @CFashionista.

6 Ways to Destress After Your First Week of College

It’s only the first week of college classes and you’re already stressed to the point where you’re looking forward to winter break. Don’t worry, we’re right there with you. Whether you’re a freshman in college or you’ve got three years of experience under your belt, none of us can escape the stress the first week of class brings. So, here are my friendly tips and tricks on how to de-stress and avoid a total meltdown before the first set of tests have even come over the horizon.

PHOTO: Anna Coke

1—Stay organized

Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. Staying organized can save you from so much stress! Buy a planner, get some sticky notes, use those brightly colored pens, and keep track of your busy schedule. I’ve found writing lists of things I want to accomplish releases that stress from my mind.

2—Treat yourself

Take a lesson from Donna and Tom and “treat yo self!” There’s nothing wrong with taking an afternoon off from studying to do something you enjoy, like grabbing a coffee or shopping with some friends. It’s important you’re prioritizing yourself and not getting lost in your to-do list.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

3—Meditate

Studies have shown meditation has a plethora of health benefits. It reduces stress, improves concentration, and increases self-awareness and happiness. Plus, it also slows aging as an added bonus. If you’re new to the meditation game, you can start off small by doing a couple minutes of meditation a day. You can also look for meditation classes in your area.

4—Be active

If meditation isn’t your thing then find another way to release pent up energy by being active. Whether it’s yoga, soccer, jogging, or Zumba, exercise stimulates your brain and leaves you happier and more relaxed. Try a group fitness class at your gym or go for a 30-minute power walk with a friend.

PHOTO: Kenia Viezcas

5—Find your happy place

It’s important you have a place on or near your campus where you feel you can unwind and relax a bit. I like to call it your happy place. I have two happy places at my university, one on campus and one off campus (both are coffee shops, of course). Find a place you love and make it your go-to location for some R&R.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

6—Explore

Try something new! If there’s a place you’ve walked by and thought “I should go check that out,” then you should totally do it. Take the time to explore places around you. It’s an easy way to de-stress and to get to know your campus. You don’t have to limit exploring to just physical locations. Explore new ideas, new opportunities, or anything that sparks your interest.

How do you like to de-stress? Let me know in the comments below!

Hometown Getaway to Manhattan Beach

Living in the beautiful city of Angels has its many perks. One of which is being a short 30-minute drive to the golden Pacific Coast. My favorite thing to do on the weekends is to take a day trip out to the beach with my close girlfriends.

I love the vibe of beach life: the cool salty breeze, shouts of beach volleyball players, and bells of beach bikers. One of my favorite beaches off of Pacific Coast Highway is Manhattan Beach, a charming coastal community with bright blue waters and soft sandy beaches.

After circling for parking for close to an hour, my friends and I decided to recharge with a good latte. We ended up trying out a cute new spot located at the end of the pier called Vitals Coffee, formerly the Aquarium Cafe. Great coffee I must say!

We then headed down to the beach to claim our spot in the sand and soak up some sun. I never forget to bring a big beach tote filled with all the essentials including a cute bathing suit, my favorite pair of sunnies, some flip flops, a beach blanket, hydrating sunscreen, water, and some snacks.

I usually take the time to find some color at the beach and lay out. I like to bring a portable speaker to play some tunes and a good book or magazine to occupy my tanning time. Then when it gets too hot, a nice dip in the ocean does the trick!

I would have to say one of the hardest things about going to school in Wisconsin is being away from my home, the beach. I love California for so many reasons but its sunny golden coast takes the cake! However, the surfers don’t hurt either!

What’s your go-to hometown getaway? Let us know in the comments below!

Finding My Roots and the Aftermath

I’m a first-generation Latina. However, I would consider myself Americanized. I speak English, and my Spanish isn’t the best. Growing up in Southern California, I experienced snippets of Hispanic, Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures through friends and through travel. Even though I grew up with so much culture, I never truly experienced my own roots.

That changed this summer. For the first time, I was going to travel to Mexico for a family trip. However, it was more than just a family trip. I was going to see where half of my genes came from, I was going to meet some family members for the first time, and I was going to a place where English was not the primary language. People here valued different things.

Aguascalientes, Mexico, or Aguas for short, is sort of similar to Los Angeles in that it is a center for business, tourism, and night life. Deeper into Aguas is Pabellon—a smaller city that lacks the urban feel of the center of the state. Despite this, it was everything you would want as a first impression of your roots.

If I could describe this place in one word, it’s humble. It is small but lively. The architecture here is old but simple. The people here are generous, despite not having tons to give. The food is high quality, and super inexpensive (in American currency).

This place was nothing like anything I imagined. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. I looked like the people from here, but at the same time, I didn’t. My clothes were different, my style of interaction was different, but even with my differences, everyone was accepting and no one intentionally made me feel out of place. I spoke broken Spanish, but the residents of this city made every effort to understand me.

One thing I learned from this trip is that family is extremely important. The unity between my newly introduced family was unreal, and frankly very respectable. The bond between this family is unbreakable, and I felt like I was inducted into this life-long bond during my week-long stay.

Another lesson I learned was the value of our surroundings. Getting to know my familial roots was incredible, and getting to know my geological roots was a sight to see. The buildings here were so vibrant and simple, but breathtaking all the more. The land was green and healthy. Mother Earth surely takes pride in this area.

Pabellón: "Proud of this land, its people, and its history."

The photo above says,”Proud of this land, its people, and its history”. There are many wonders of the world, but one of the most valuable and heartwarming experiences is getting to know your roots. Take the opportunity if it comes your way. You won’t regret it.

Have you ever visited family out of the country? Let me know where in the comments below!

How to Channel Your Inner Biker Babe

For many, including myself, the arrival of summer equates the arrival of some free time. Being away from school allows for the opportunity to do things you normally wouldn’t have time or energy for during the academic year. I myself have been slowly checking items off my summer bucket list. One of the said items was getting my motorcycle license. My dad has ridden bikes practically his whole life and being a bit of an adrenaline junkie myself, I couldn’t wait to learn to ride.

Like any good Fashionista, my next thought after passing the motorcycle safety course was an obvious one… what do I wear? Safety is incredibly important when riding a motorcycle. The proper riding gear is not only smart but in many cases, and in several states, it’s the law. So, the question remains: how do I wear clothes that are both safe and fashionable while riding?

For this outfit, I wore a black bodysuit from ASOS with some high-waisted track pants from Boohoo. I paired these with fishnet socks and classic Vans. I accessorized with some retro white sunglasses and a baker boy cap I thrifted from a local market. Finally, no biker ensemble is complete without a leather jacket—mine is a classic black moto jacket from Forever 21.

Keeping in mind that it is summer, I chose to wear a backless halter top bodysuit. However, when riding, it is important to wear both long pants and long sleeves to provide an extra layer of protection if you were to fall from the bike, which is where a leather jacket comes in handy. Not only does it go with everything, but leather is one of the most durable fabrics and could make all the difference if you get in an accident.

You should always wear closed toed shoes when riding for the same reasons you should wear long pants and sleeves. The more comfortable they are, the better, which makes a pair of Vans a good option. It is also recommended to wear boots or at least high-topped shoes since they will provide extra protection and support for your ankles.

When you aren’t posing for pictures like I was, it’s crucial to always wear a helmet, preferably a Department of Transportation-approved one. This means it meets the Federal Motor Vehicle safety standards. Unless said helmet also has a visor, which is a clear face shield, it is also wise to trade in the cool sunnies for a pair of shatter-proof riding glasses or goggles. Although many states do not require the use of a helmet when riding, it’s a good habit to get into. The last piece of riding gear you’ll need is a pair of gloves. Again, the idea is to cover vulnerable and exposed areas in the event of an accident.

Finally, a swipe of red lipstick isn’t mandatory, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. As the saying goes: put on some red lipstick and live a little!

Motorcycles aren’t for everyone, but knowing you can keep up with the trends while riding makes it less scary, right? Share your thoughts in the comments below.