I’d Take This Over a “Night Out” Any Day

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It started out innocently enough. About three weeks ago, just before I was about to embark on my week of spring break craziness, my little invited me over for a nice dinner at her parents’ house. She informed me that a couple her parents were friends with, and whom I’d met before at a previous dinner, would be there. It seemed like a nice, relaxing evening — the perfect “calm before the storm” that would be my week in San Diego.

Boy, was I wrong.

On the evening in question, I joined my little, her parents, and family friends for a truly lovely dinner over a few glasses of red wine and champagne. Who could complain, honestly? And as pre-dinner cocktail hour, game hour, dinner hour, and post-dinner cocktail hour came and went, the family friends realized it was time to head home. The rest of us, however, were just warming up — my little’s parents included. So we did what any normal, fun-loving people would do: we invited more guests over.

Unfortunately for my little’s parents, that particular evening was a Sunday, meaning most of the working adult world had to get up and go to work the next morning. In other words, none of them were down for a little late-night Sunday Funday. Luckily, my little and I knew of a ragtag bunch of college students who were.

See, at this point in the semester , several of our friends had already departed for their own spring break excursions, and those of left in our college town formed a makeshift crew of misfits, dubbed the “Reno Spring Break Crew.” Side note: I was swiftly kicked out of this group text the moment I boarded my plane for San Diego.

Fast forward to the crew arriving. We showered them with the leftovers of the evening’s preceding events — remnants of food, wine, and dessert to catch them up to speed. Those of us who had been there the entire time (Ahem, yours truly) continued at the pace we had been all evening. Needless to say, things got out of hand pretty quickly.

Before we knew it, someone spilled red wine over a white table cloth, and my little’s dad got it in his head that he could complete that trick where one pulls a tablecloth off a table in one swift motion, as to leave the table setting completely intact. The first try wasn’t all that successful, nor was the second, or fourth, or tenth. By about his thirtieth attempt, however, my little’s dad was getting the hang out the maneuver, and by about his eightieth time, he had all but mastered it.

This continued for hours, and none of us grew tired of it. (Okay, maybe my little’s mom was slightly wary at first, but even she joined in the fun.)

By the end of the evening, we were sitting around the bar in their home, sampling shots of expensive foreign liquors, pretending to be interested in the “bouquet of flavors,” or whatever. The evening was perfect.

Fast forward to yesterday, Easter Sunday — exactly three weeks after the previously recounted evening. The same group of friends (plus those of us who had since returned from spring break), gathered at our friend, Taylor’s house for a day of brews, brunch, and bunnies.

After our Easter services ended, we all slowly began to trickle into Taylor’s — bringing with us an assortment of brunch foods, desserts, and drinks. We spent all day laughing, playing games, and enjoying the splendor of togetherness. As the day went on, as they all do, the crowd whittled away. By about 5 p.m., what was left was a core group of eight best friends (many of the same ones from the first evening), who spent the next seven hours bonding together.

Until about midnight, the eight of us sat around Taylor’s outdoor fireplace, reliving cherished shared memories, making plans for the summer, laughing together, and talking about the future. We shared blankets in the cold, downed a few beers, ate far too much food, acted silly at times, and grew closer than ever.

Those are the kinds of evening you can never replace, and you will never forget. Those are the types of evenings you can’t get from going to a bar or a nightclub. Not that I have anything against bars or nightclubs, but they can never produce the types of memories, love, and friendships that our friends made yesterday.

As my time in college winds down, I’ve realized that it’s not the college bars or the massive parties that I’ll miss. What I’ll truly miss are the irreplaceable nights with the people I’ve grown so close to. They say you can’t choose your family, but I know the friends that I’ve made in college are just that — my family. The core eight of us rely on each other on a daily basis, and operate as one. We believe in each other, support each other, and spend as much time as possible together, even if it means doing nothing for hours.

For anyone who thinks that people see college as the best years of their lives because of downtown nightlife, I urge you to reconsider your friends. Are they people you only drink with, or can you actually talk to them about real problems? Do you only see them on Friday and Saturday nights, or do you study together during the week? If, by the time you graduate, you don’t find yourself surrounded by a group of incredible, loving, fun people, then you haven’t taken advantage of what college has to offer.

To me, a home is only a home because of the people there. That’s why it was so hard for me to leave my parents’ home, because everyone I loved was there. Now, as I get ready to leave my college town — my other home — I find it difficult because it means leaving my other family behind. I’d give anything for another day like yesterday.

What does home mean to you? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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To Auld Lang Syne

Hello my little blogger babies! First and foremost, I would like to say thank you to all of my readers who have been faithful to my blog since I started it in October. Although I created it out of necessity for a social media class I was taking, I fell in love with blogging, so I have decided to keep Diaries of a Super Senior going through my graduation in May. Besides, I have, like, soooo much wisdom left to share with all of you. Really, this is my Christmas present to you. You’re welcome.

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So, as you might have guessed, this post is all about New Year’s. Ahhh, what to say about New Year’s…

Well, for one, it’s a holiday about reflecting on the past year and seeing how our lives have changed, both for the better and for the worse. Maybe you finally dumped that boyfriend who considered the McDonald’s drive-through a nice date, or maybe you worked really hard and got a 4.0. Ahem, like your girl over here. Thank you very much.

Maybe this year, you lost some people you love, or maybe you found out that someone close to you is sick. Maybe you learned a lot about yourself, how strong you can be when faced with adversity, and what’s really important to you in life.

Whatever happened for you this past year, I truly hope your 2014 was filled with love.

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Let’s not forget that New Year’s is also a time to make resolutions for the future. Many people set out to lose weight in the new year, kick a nasty habit, or take up a new hobby to improve their lives.

I always try to be very specific and realistic with my New Year’s resolutions, so as to not fall short. In 2012, for example, I opted to floss every single day. Not only did I meet my goal by flossing every day in 2012, I have now continued the habit well into 2014 (and hopefully 2015 and so on), and now floss twice per day.

My resolution for 2015 is to improve my posture, which, granted, is not terrible. After standing for long periods of time, however, I often forget how I look. I hope to be more mindful of this in the new year. What are your New Year’s resolutions? Tweet them to me and I might retweet you!

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But to me, the most important part of this holiday is undoubtedly the celebration leading up to (and following) midnight. New Year’s is supposed to be a holiday filled with friends, family, fancy attire, glitter, confetti, fireworks, noisemakers, silly hats and glasses, music, dancing, laughter, and lots and lots of champagne. And who doesn’t love a glass of champagne?

Unfortunately, I haven’t always gotten along with New Years. The first big New Years Eve I can remember is when I was seven years old and the world rang in the new millennium. After that, my New Year’s celebrations haven’t been that memorable. Even my freshman year of college, I stayed at home with my parents and fell asleep after the East Coast celebration. My sophomore and junior years, I partied with my friends in Lake Tahoe, but I wasn’t 21 yet, so I couldn’t get into any bars. Last year, I didn’t make any plans, then tried to wing it the night of NYE. A piece of advice: never try to wing a holiday like New Years Eve.

So this year, I’ve organized a party bus for thirty of my friends to drive around the Reno/Tahoe area while listening to some music and drinking the abundance of champagne we have stocked up. Hopefully this year will finally be a New Years Eve worth remembering. I hope yours is, too. Cheers!

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101 Ways to Enjoy Christmas Break

1. Listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” even if you have to play it on the jukebox at your local watering hole. Definitely not a true story…

2. Make a gingerbread house.

3. Read The Polar Express.

4. Go shopping for Christmas presents. Buy a little something for yourself.

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5. Bake some snicker doodles.

6. Watch my all-time favorite Christmas movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

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7. Wear one of those stupid ties with the Santa Clauses on it.

8. Find the perfect Christmas tree.

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9. Decorate said Christmas tree.

10. Send hand-written Christmas cards.

11. Wear an overwhelming amount of tartan.

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12. Make some peppermint bark.

13. Go see The Nutcracker Ballet live.

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15. Drink some warm apple cider. Fireball optional.

15. Sit on Santa’s lap.

16. Have a snowball fight.

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17. Turn off your television and have a real conversation with someone.

18. Bake a cranberry swirl cheesecake.

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19. Write and send your Christmas wish list.

20. Decorate you home with Christmas lights.

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21. Bake shortbread.

22. Make snow angels.

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23. Hang a wreath on your front door.

24. Watch Frozen. Bonus points if it’s the sing-along version.

25. Attend an ugly sweater party. Because that theme isn’t overdone or anything.

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26. Make Christmas tree ornaments.

27. Listen to Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song.”

28. Roast chestnuts on an open fire.

29. Give away unwanted coats, socks, etc. to the less fortunate.

30. Catch snowflakes on your tongue.

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31. Drink egg nog. Whether or not you spike it with bourbon, make sure you don’t buy any of that low-calorie nonsense.

32. Watch Love Actually. Tissues recommended.

33. Take a stroll down Main Street all decked out in holiday décor.

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34. Bake a fruitcake. Realize how disgusting it is. Throw it away. Wonder why that is a Christmas tradition in the first place.

35. Reminisce on Christmases of the past.

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36. Wrap Christmas presents for your loved ones.

37. Cozy up by a fire.

38. Eat a whole box of candy canes.

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39. Go see a nativity play.

40. Listen to Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka” and dream about a holiday on the islands.

41. If you live in New York City, take in all the wonder of Christmas in NYC. If you don’t, just dream about it.

42. If you can, go see the Rockettes live in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Otherwise, watch it online.

43. Watch Home Alone.

44. Watch Home Alone 2. We all know the second one was better, anyway. I mean, how jealous of Kevin McCallister were you during this scene…

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45. Bake some gingerbread men.

46. Give presents to your neighbors, your mailman, your paper boy, the security guard in your office building, and so on. Tis’ the season.

47. Go sledding.

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48. Go to your hometown’s Christmas parade.

49. Bake an apple pie.

50. Wish “Merry Christmas” to everyone.

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51. Play card games and board games with your family, like this Christmas trivia game.

52. Watch A Christmas Story.

53. Catch up with old friends over a drink.

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54. Decorate your home with fresh garland, Christmas decorations, and scented candles.

55. Watch the cartoon version of Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas.

56. Drink some hot cocoa.

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57. Attend a white elephant gift exchange party. If you don’t know of any, host one for your friends!

58. Watch Elf.

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59. Drink some Bailey’s Irish Cream.

60. Hang some mistletoe. You never know what could happen…

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61. Dress up your pets in silly holiday attire. Laugh. Snapchat it. Laugh some more.

62. Find a container of these cookies. Eat three before realizing they’re kind of gross. Wonder where they came from. Repeat.

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63. Watch Jingle All the Way. Wonder how Arnold Schwarzenegger ever became a governor.

64. Bake these yummy oatmeal butterscotch cookies from my friend’s blog, Fit Foodie Life.

65. Go ice skating.

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66. Keep an advent calendar countdown unit Christmas.

67. Donate to Toys for Tots or adopt an angel through the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas tree program.

68. Listen to Bobby Helm’s “Jingle Bell Rock.” Do the dance from Mean Girls. Or don’t. Whatever flies your sleigh.

69. Watch the cartoon movie Frosty the Snowman.

70. Build your own snowman.

71. Take embarrassing holiday photos with your family.

72. Pop lots of corn to make popcorn balls and popcorn garland. Try not to snack on the popcorn along the way. Fail miserably.

73. Watch The Santa Clause.

74. Drink a holiday-inspired Starbucks drink from one of their infamous red cups.

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75. Warm up some mulling spices to give your home a cheerful aroma.

76. Find out where Santa Claus is right now!

77. Bake a pecan pie.

78. Watch the black-and-white version of Miracle on 34th Street.

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79. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Have no shame in doing so.

80. Hang your stockings by the fireplace.

81. Go Christmas caroling.

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82. Make fudge from scratch.

83. Eat peppermint ice cream. Realize how terrible it is. Switch back to candy canes.

84. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

85. Stock up on holiday-inspired beers.

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86. Watch Die Hard, if that’s your thing. I’ve never seen it, but apparently it has some Christmas-y elements?

87. Go skiing or snowboarding.

88. Listen to Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

89. Bake and decorate sugar cookies.

90. Pretend you’re a kid again and leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus. Believe.

91. Read The Night Before Christmas.

92. Attend a Christmas Eve service.

93. Watch Disney’s Christmas Day Parade on tv.

94. Spend quality time with your family. After all, Christmas is all about togetherness.

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95. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life.

96. Drink some mulled wine.

97. Savor a lovely Christmas dinner with your family.

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98. Score some amazing deals by shopping the day after Christmas.

99. Start planning out your new year’s resolutions.

100. Ring in the new year with good friends, a sparkly dress, a midnight kiss, and lots of champagne.

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101. Relax and enjoy having no homework!

What are your favorite ways to spend Christmas break? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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A Look Back at This Semester

It seems like just yesterday that I returned home from Washington, D.C., moved into my first apartment, and embarked upon my last Fall semester as an undergraduate. Sometimes, we all get so caught up in school, work, clubs, our social lives, our families, our relationships, and our daily to-do lists that, before we know it, an entire 16-week semester has passed us by.

If you read this post, you know that I love taking time to reflect. So, in the spirit of personal reflection, let’s recap this semester, shall we?

There were new beginnings…

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My bedroom in my new downtown apartment

And chapters closed…

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I turned 22…

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Oh, Zephyr Cove

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And caught up on much needed beauty sleep…

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There were surprises…

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Celebrations…

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And remembrances…

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In memory of the lives lost during the 9-11-2001 attacks

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There were big moments…

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Serving as the Chapter President for the College Republicans

With Reno's Mayor at the time, Bob Cashell

With Reno’s former mayor, Bob Cashell

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At the Nevada Governor’s Mansion before walking in the Nevada Day Parade

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With Nevada’s 2nd District Representative, Congressman Mark Amodei

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Presenting my “idea worth spreading” to the University of Nevada

Little moments…

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And sassy moments…

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There were group projects…

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Early morning classes…

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Long days at work…

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Long days in the library…

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And lots and lots of Starbucks…

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via Twitter

I spent far too much time with this guy…

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And not enough time with these guys…

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There were quiet indulgences…

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Christening my new apartment with a margarita

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And rambunctious ones…

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There were Sunday mornings in church…

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And Sundays watching football…

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There were campus events…

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Football games…

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Weddings…

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Festivals…

Reno's annual Italian Festival

Reno’s annual Italian Festival

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And birthdays…

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I added to my stuffed giraffe collection…

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And had a few good laughs…

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There were new places…

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Familiar faces…

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New friendships were formed…

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And apparently I took a selfie to commemorate it all!

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Looking back, I’m reminded of all the wonderful memories I made this semester. When all is said and done, I think this semester was a successful one, and maybe even one of my favorites. Clearly, I had a lot of happy moments, and I learned from my moments of doubt. I reminisced on the time I spent in D.C., and I made a little home in my new apartment. I must say, however, that my favorite part of this semester was being surrounded by such incredible people.

Now, I have one final semester of college to look forward to! Ahhhh, that feels so weird to say!

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What was your favorite part of this semester? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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