Alyssa J Freitas

Monday, January 26, 2015

Current Inspiration

I am certainly not unique in my love of Pinterest so I thought I would share some of my current inspiration from this wonderful site! Here are my favorites from each of my boards.

Wear: I've been pinning very neutral outfits lately and this sweater just looks so cozy.

Inspire: I'm not one for spending extensive time in nature, but I sure love pretty pictures of it. 

Words: I love all of these suggestions and intend to embrace them!

Home: Just like the outfits, I've been drawn to rooms with a predominance of grey, white, and navy. Even though it's a long way away I've been dreaming of how I'll decorate my first place that doesn't have the cinder block walls of a dorm room haha

Pattern: I just made this my phone background and love how it looks great but isn't a distraction from my apps.

Men: It's Shahrukh Khan. Enough said.

What has been inspiring you?


Friday, January 23, 2015

5 Ways To Avoid Stress This Semester

Back to school we go! I absolutely love school and planning for the coming semester is a joy, but like everyone else, I too find myself stressed and frazzled after the initial excitement wears off and work actually starts to pile up.

5 Ways To Avoid Stress This Semester |
Here are my top 5 tips for staying sane this semester:
  1. Plan ahead. I can not say enough about the value of knowing your obligations completely and having detailed what and when everything needs to get done. I keep a digital calendar (iCalendar) with color coded categories including work, class/school, PSE, Business Peer Mentors, blog, and other. This is mainly so I know where I need to be when, and in terms of class obligations I only put tests on this calendar- otherwise I would be totally overwhelmed! I keep the relevant information about assignments in my DIY notebook and keep a running list of all the tasks I need to complete aside from school.
  2. Know your limits. I have the tendency to overcommit resulting in my work suffering and my poor mother having to listen to me tell her how there is simply too much to do; this is no one's fault but my own though! Take some time to reflect on past semesters to identify what areas you excelled in, where you need to dedicate some more time, and what made you happiest. From there arrange your activities and obligations accordingly (with school as the top priority, naturally). This will allow you to avoid feeling overwhelmed and, if done right, should give you ample time for everything. Don't feel locked in however; if you see that you are being pulled in too many directions have the strength to cut something.
  3. Stay positive. Not everything will go perfectly according to plan but if you fail to stay positive, stress will be inevitable. Knowing that you are working to the best of your ability and have your priorities correctly in order can provide you with the peace of mind which will allow you to stay positive. Worrying when things go wrong is usually a waste of energy and a cause of stress. 
  4. Take a break. As an ambitious college student it is easy to work yourself into the ground without a moment of rest. In the spring semester of my freshman year I continued on the path of overextending myself to the point where I was not only mentally but physically effected (acne for the first time, a cold for a good two months #sonotfun). Although I accomplished great things and wouldn't change that semester for anything, moving forward as a wiser woman I can appreciate the value of taking a break when it is needed. 
  5. When all else fails, take a deep breath. Remember that everyone (even the people who seem like they have it all together) gets stressed out; you're not alone! Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and get back to work doing your best.
How do you avoid stress when the semester picks up?

For more college posts click here. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How Did I Live Without...?

Seeing as I just talked about spending and how to do less of it in the last post, how fitting it is that today I am going to share a purchase I made in the past year that I can't live without (irony is fun isn't it?). I've joined a monthly linkup through The Well from The B Bar and the first fun prompt is to answer the question: What did you purchase in the past year that became invaluable to you?

How Did I Live Without...? |

My all-time best purchase was my iHome many, many years ago. I love listening to music at any time of the day and have gotten more enjoyment out of that item than anything else I have ever owned. It's not surprising then that my favorite purchase of 2014 are my SE215 Sound Isolating Earphones from Shure.

I go to bed relatively early when I'm at school (between 9:30 and 10:30) but quiet hours don't start until 11. As a CA I could go into the hall and demand quiet, but I don't want to spoil my residents' fun and I know that my sleep time is unusual for a student. After expressing this problem to my father he went on a hunt for the solution and came up with the earphones.

They. Are. The. Best. When I put them on and turn up my music a bit, all of the background noise goes away and I am able to fall asleep! There is no doubt that these earphones do everything they claim to and do it well. Now my residents are happy because I'm not shushing them and I'm happy because I can go to sleep without hearing them.

What was a purchase you made in 2014 which turned out to be invaluable?


Check out the other bloggers who are part of this linkup!

Monday, January 19, 2015

How To Save Money While In College

I have an interesting relationship with spending and money. The problem, you see, is that I love to save money but I also want to go out and do a million things. Spending causes me stress and anxiety and whenever money goes out I spend hours trying to justify it and come up with ways I will get my bank account back to its original amount. This is especially relevant in college when you don't have much money coming in but many temptations to allow money to go out.

How To Save Money While In College |

Although money and I have our problems, I have had a successful year and a half of spending and saving in college. Here are the ways I have figured out to maintain a balance.
  • Spend on experiences not things. This is certainly something you have heard before, but it is so true! In college you will have amazing opportunities to do fun things with your friends because of the flexibility of your schedules and the resources available to you (like discount bus trips and on campus shows). It would be a shame to use your money to buy things, like clothes (not very fun), and then be unable to go out with your friends (wicked fun) so choose carefully.
  • With that being said when you must spend on things, do so wisely. Student discounts are really a thing. Just yesterday I got 10% off at Banana Republic and Nine West so always be sure to ask. Also, plan ahead when you go shopping. Identify what you really need and then figure out where you are most likely to purchase those items that way you can check for coupons before going. It also helps to go with a strong friend who will tell you not to make purchases that haven't been pre-approved (shout out to Katie who is the best at helping me there).  
  • Don't pay retail for your textbooks. You can check out my extensive post on that here
  • Try not to eat out if you have a meal plan. It is easy to decide to grab a bite with friends, especially when I've just encouraged you to spend on experiences, but you've already paid for your meal plan so utilize it! Try and plan activities around meal times to make sure you are on campus when you need to eat. 
  • Carpool to save on gas. I don't think this warrants nor requires an explanation. 
  • Remember what you are working towards. You are most likely going to college to learn a skill to get a job to make money. Remember that when you get out of school you will have more important and pressing expenses so you will be glad that you took the extra effort to save now. Your future self will thank you.
How do you save while in school?


Friday, January 16, 2015

A Day In NYC

My friend Kevin and I decided that we wanted to spend a day in New York City so we set about making plans of what to do. We booked tickets for a show, decided which restaurants and museums we would visit and how we would get to each one. After getting off of the bus and exiting Port Authority, we confidently started on our way with our plan in place when suddenly everything changed.

While walking past Madame Tussaud's I spotted a poster with none other than Shahrukh Khan on it (if you don't already know, I LOVE Shahrukh! You can check out a whole post here about the best night of my life and how it was all about him). Stopping dead in my tracks I approached the man at the door and asked if it was really true that a wax version of the man of my dreams was sitting in that very building. After he got over the initial surprise that I even knew who Shahrukh is, he confirmed it and gestured us inside. Kevin was kind enough to acquiesce to my request to change our plans, and after convincing the man at the door to give us a discount, we got our tickets and started the day.

Before we got to Shahrukh, I was excited to see Harrison Ford and "James Bond." But then the big moment was upon us.

First I gasped,

then I checked out every angle,

then I kissed him,

then I stared lovingly at him. Needless to say I was excited and on a high from the experience for the rest of the day! 

Some other highlights include discussing theories with Einstein,

hanging out with Woody Allen,

and escaping from the Hulk. 

After that it was off to the New York Public Library to check out the free rotating exhibits. One was about photography and the other one was about propaganda during World War I which we both throughly enjoyed. On my parents' recommendation we went to the Hourglass Tavern for dinner and it was superb! The food, pricing, and atmosphere were just right.

Then it was finally time for the main event of the day: seeing Les Miserables. I have the majority of the opera memorized (now if only I could do that with my school work...) and I could not wait to experience the show in person. We were blown away by the caliber of the performance (except for Eponine, disappointingly), not to mention the seamless and fluid set. It was Kevin's first time seeing a Broadway show so I was incredibly pleased that we got center orchestra seats; they were perfect. 

All in all we had a successful day!

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