EATILY (Italian Eats)

I don’t know if you know this, but Italy’s food is SO GOOD.

Go to a restaurant… the food is delicious! The atmosphere is charming, and each plate is too picturesque not to photograph.

This is a panzerotto, which is pretty much a pizza calzone. It’s a piece of fried pizza crust with melted cheese and tomato sauce inside… otherwise known as heaven!

As mentioned in a former blog post, restaurants in Italy are the best because you’re encouraged to stay there a while, even after finishing your meal. The waiters and waitresses don’t rush you to pay the bill; in fact, sometimes it’s difficult to get them to give you the bill!

Even the supermarket food is delicious. The fresh artisan meat and cheese sections are to die for, and the groceries are generally healthier and tastier. The portion sizes are often smaller in both restaurants and grocery stores than those at American ones.

Even non-Italian restaurants in Italy are Italian-styled; even though the food is imported, the customs of Italian restaurants apply to the atmosphere. The restaurants are relaxing, and the people

Chocolate cake at a sushi restaurant? Yes, please!

there spend endless time chatting and enjoying themselves.

The best part of Eataly in Milan is by far the aperitivo. When going out for them, the customer pays for a beverage and receives an entire complementary buffet of food! It’s really the best.

Restaurants in Italy make you feel like a tourist! Eating there is a great way to relieve stress at the end of an intense day. This is especially the case in the City Center, the inhabitance of the Piazza del Duomo. Surrounding restaurants are just as relaxing, mostly because the majority of their visitors are tourists from other parts of Italy or other countries. Going there

A: Water these? A: Fountains! It’s quite common to find them positioned in parks and on street corners.

makes you feel like a tourist as well, and you can’t help but to smile because everyone there is happy!

Lastly, the best food in the entire world is gelato. Every time I go out for a gelato, I photograph it because gelato is just the best! Here’s the album I’ve collected so far (even if I’ve already used some of these photos in previous blog posts!):

Eatily is amazing! You should all experience it one day 🙂 ❤

xoxo

Advertisements

“Good, but Not the Best” (and Other Italian Trends)

Arguably the most popular Italian pop song at the moment is “Bene Ma Non Benissimo,” a catchy song by Italian Pop Star “Shade.” The song’s title translates to “Good, but Not the Best.” The song has invoked mixed reactions, given that its music is catchy, but its lyrics have next to no meaning. To read them for yourself, tap the link below:

https://www.google.it/amp/www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Shade-14/Bene-Ma-Non-Benissimo/translation/english/amp

To listen to the song, tap this link:

Italians also adore sushi. This fact is evidence of the beautiful way that globalization is affecting this world.

Italians love to ride their bikes and motorcycles instead of driving. It saves energy, and it’s easier to find a parking spot. If they don’t have a bike or a motorcycle, they buy a small car and park it on the sidewalk when there are no parking spots left. 

The parties here are all super late. Usually, the clubs open at 7 to 10 at night, and they close at 5 or 6 in the morning. So much for a normal sleep cycle!

Italians are so adorable because they sometimes sing random songs in public. Last Saturday, a group of Italian young adults chanted a traditional song from their hometown. About twenty meters away, another group of Italian young adults continued the songlike chant, and they continued back and forth. It was so cute! ❤

This is slightly off-topic, but Italians (as well as people of other cultures) sometimes have such random ideas! I saw a man standing up on the back of his friend’s bike as the friend rode it. Also, a few nights ago, some friends and I walked through Bocconi’s campus at about 12 A.M. on our way home. In the parking lot, we saw a parked car running with its internal lights on. And inside? A man playing the flute! We couldn’t believe our eyes. He was so concentrated, but we all burst into laughter because something so random really would happen only in Italy :’)

Italians are forced to study math… therefore, so am I! This is a huge adjustment; in the States, I learned math and practiced it with excercises. Here, we learn math and study it. We even memorize theorems word-for-word…it’s so strange! 

Lastly, something Italians don’t do: drink cappuccinos after dinner. In America, people commonly consider this the “Italian way” to finish a meal. Here, Italians shake their heads with disappointment when the American and Canadian tourists finish their meals with coffee. Well, now you know!

Thanks for reading, and see you next week! ❤

xoxo 

#onlyinItaly

Since my arrival to Milan, I’ve discovered so many lovely and spontaneous parts of Italy! If I were to mention all of them, I’d have to write a book. Instead, for the purpose of this blog post, I’ll stick to a few memorable occasions.

To start out with the basics, there are always young men doing pushups on rocks in the middle of the park near my residence. There are always those random guys who try selling roses to people in Milano Navigli, an area beside the canal where there are tons of restaurants and shops. And with that, there are always Italians who get angry at the mentioning of “Hawaiian pizza.”

A few days ago, I asked an Italian how he felt about Hawaiian pizza. He looked at me right in the eye, and he said:

Pineapple does not belong on pizza! It’s disgusting! If you ever talk about Hawaiian pizza in Italy again, an Italian will chop you up, cook you, and put you on a pizza…and it will still taste better than Hawaiian pizza!

In fact, Italians aren’t too fond of foreigners messing with their cuisine in general. I was out with some friends for an aperitivo, a common Italian tradition of having a drink and a buffet of appetizers. Two of the appetizers included tiramisu and french fries. I decided to mix the two by dipping the french fry in the tiramisu. I was at a table with five people, one of which was Italian. Never before have I seen so much confusion at once. (Really though, you should try it! It’s delicious.)


You know what else is delicious? Gelato. In the past week that I’ve been here, I’ve had a total of three gelatos. I’m actually proud of myself because I had four gelatos during the four days I traveled in Rome last year. Gelato is just so delicious here; the pistachio flavor is amazing, and I don’t even like pistachios!


It’s beautiful that the food in the supermarket is delicious, even if it’s just supermarket food. Supposedly. There’s an aisle with packages of gourmet gelato, and there’s an artisan meat and cheese section. There’s also an entire aisle dedicated to wine and beer. Only in Italy would you such a thing.


Honestly though, aperitivos are the best. Usually friends go out for an aperitivo before dinner or before an event. As previously mentioned, they’re the best at Milano Navigli; if you’re going to have an aperitivo, you might as well have one with a beautiful view of the water while being surrounded by vibrant nightlife, right?


I asked an Italian guy to say “It’s me, Mario!” in public. He did it, and it was fantastic.

The Piazza del Duomo is also amazing. It’s filled with tourists and a beautiful cathedral surrounded by a triangle of beautiful shops.

img_6961.jpg
Fun fact about Italy: people don’t walk consistently on the right side of the sidewalk. It’s more of an adventure during which you must predict which side the person approaching you will choose to take. Then, you have to take the opposite side. Make sure you know this before coming to Italy so you don’t almost get run over by a bike and run into by a sprinter like I did… :’)

A half-liter water bottle at a restaurant costs one euro while a six-pack of two-liter bottles costs ninety cents at the grocery store.

Italians don’t use coffee machines… they use mochas. That’s the secret to delicious Italian-styled coffee.

More updates coming soon. Ciao! ❤

xoxo Carly

 

 

Europeans Are Awesome! Here’s Why

Of course this blog post is a MAJOR generalization, given that the Europeans I’m basing my opinion on are the Italian and international university students I’ve met so far in Milan. These students come from Italy, England, Germany, Poland, Moldova, Montenegro, France, Belgium, Denmark, Bulgaria… you name it. Here are some qualities I’ve noticed (and have come to majorly respect) about Europeans.

They’re Beautiful People — Inside & Out

Europeans are beautiful: they’re well-groomed, they iron their clothes, they dress nicely, and never in a million years would they think of wearing a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and sneakers out in public unless all of their other clothes were stolen or destroyed. Europeans present themselves well; life is short, so it’s important for them to dress to impress.

The phenomenon is that, although Europeans dress well, they aren’t obsessed with social media like most American teenagers. In America, it’s seen as strange if someone goes to an event without creating a post about it. As they commonly say, “pics or didn’t happen.” In Europe, the joy comes from spending time with friends and going to events. The satisfaction doesn’t come from the number of likes received on the photo about the event. Actually, I’ve noticed that finding photos for this blog post has been difficult because I’ve barely taken photos since I’ve been here. I’ve kind of forgotten about it because it’s so uncommon here!

Additionally, European teens don’t use their phones when they spend time with friends. Of course they’ll check the occasional text message or change the songs on the playlist they’re listening to, but never will they dare to ignore what you are saying to check Instagram or send a Snap Chat. It’s too rude, and it’s antiproductive because they already chose to spend time with the people they’re with. 

When you share a meal with a European, you don’t just share the meal; you share most of the night. In America, it’s common to go with some friends to a restaurant, eat food, maybe order drinks, and then go home afterwards. In fact, the waiters and waitresses usually prefer that you leave right after you finish your meal to make space for other diners. In Italy, this would be crazy talk. It’s common practice to go with some friends to dinner, order the meal, and stay for several hours. Then, after the meal, Europeans spend several more hours, if time provides, together at home or out and about. In Milan, there are endless places to go — the infamous Piazza del Duomo, tons of shopping areas, the beautiful Milano Navigli, gelato shops, squares, bars, and restaurants where people tend to take the party. It’s wonderful how people here truly use meals to bond and take the opportunity to talk about intellectual topics, exchange stories, and spend time with the people they’re out with. 

Europeans in Italy

Of course, I’ve only been in Milan for three days, so there’s no way I can speak for all of Europe (or Italy) with the experience I’ve had so far. However, one of the characteristics I’ve noticed about life in Milan is that everyone is so relaxed; it seems like everyone here is on vacation. In the States, if you go to the supermarket, you’re bound to find several employees who hate their lives and don’t want to be at work. You’re also guaranteed to find some stay-at-home mothers yelling at their children to stop playing with the toys in the toy aisle, and you’ll probably find some businesspeople using their Bluetooth devices for after-hours meetings. Although many people are relaxed, there are always people who are stressed, overworked, or focused to the point at which they seem stressed.

In Italy, I can safely say that no one is (or appears to be) stressed. I’ll take the supermarket, for instance. The employees at the supermarket I’ve visited four times in my first three days here are extremely friendly and helpful, and their smiles are truly genuine, not forced. The cashiers have chairs, so they can scan the customer’s items in comfort. The employees working around the store always smile, and they are extremely happy to assist customers in locating any product. Even the people in the store seem like they are on vacation. Everyone walks not at a slow pace, but at a pace indicating that they’re in no rush to leave. Going shopping, as any activity, is seen as a time to relax and bond with the people they’re shopping with. Even on the city streets, buses and trams, and practically all other public areas, it’s evident that the Milanese and residents of Milan are happy to be here.

Life here is different, but it’s beautiful! Thanks for reading; there will be more posts coming soon.

xoxo Carly ❤ 
DISCLAIMER: Americans are awesome, too. 

Benvenuti a Milano!

A lot of amazing people have asked me, “How was your flight?! How was your first day in Italy?!” Well, there is a lot to say, so I figured I’d make a blog post about it!
PART ONE: The Struggle

Originally, my mom, my aunt and I were scheduled to fly via a connecting flight from Philadelphia to Paris and then from Paris to Milan. The flight from Philadelphia to Paris, which was scheduled for 6PM, was delayed to 7 PM. No big deal… or so we thought…

Then, upon our arriving one hour late to the Paris airport, we suddenly realized that the layover was only supposed to be one hour and five minutes! It was about 8:48, and the flight left at 9 AM! We sprinted through the airport with our overstuffed carry-on bags. We found our terminal! And it was…

Empty. 

The plane had taken off without us.

Thank goodness the French customer service desk scheduled us for the next flight at 1:30 PM. We were grateful to receive any flight at all, really! We stationed our belongings at the new gate, only to find that my aunt was missing her carry-on bag!

Sometimes when life gets you down, you have to CRYssant (cry, but stop crying because the chocolate croissant you’re eating is just so beautiful).


She and my mom searched the airport for it for an hour or so. Finally, they found it in customs; she had forgotten to take it with her. Relieved, we went to the lounge area, we ate some chocolate croissants, and my mom and aunt sipped on French wine while we waited for 1:30 PM to roll around.

While we waited, we admired the French fashion. Every French person we saw was dressed impeccably. It was as if the French had style in their DNA.

On the way back from the café lounge, we returned to the new gate. It was strange because the sign read “Athens.” Then, we remembered that the flight’s gate could be changed before the arrival of the aircraft. I exited the gate to see if the new flight to Milan had changed. On the way there, I ran into the only other girl from Pennsylvania who will go to Bocconi as a freshman! Shortly after, I found that the gate had, in fact, changed. Oops!

We boarded the flight to Malpensa, the airport just outside of Milan. On the flight, I found myself sitting next to the CFO of an Italian company that created gluten-free foods! The man was so vibrant, kind, and interesting to talk to. Then, I found out he was a Bocconi alumnus! What a small world. 

We arrived in Malpensa, and we boarded the express train to Cardova, the center of Milan. It was a struggle carrying four stuffed suitcases the whole time, but it was for a good cause. We then transitioned from Cordova to the Porta Genova station via metro. No, the metro was not young. 

When we exited the metro station at Porta Genova, we were welcomed with the surprise that our phones, which supposedly had ulimited international data, did not have service. Hence, that added an extra layer of fun to our attempt to find the apartment we were going to rent from Air B&B. 

When we found the apartment two hours later, we carried the suitcases up several flights of stairs and collapsed on the couch. But the day wasn’t over yet. In fact, the party had just begun. 
PART TWO: The Fun Part

At about 9 PM, the one and only Andrea Maffei and his lovely mother met me for pizza. Actually no, it was better… we met for fried pizza. Fried pizza is pretty much really chubby pizza, except it’s extra crispy on the bottom of the crust. It was absolutely amazing.

A lot of annoying guys tried making us buy flowers, so we claimed we were allergic and, therefore, uninterested. 

Then, we went to the pub to meet some of our future classmates! It was so awesome to meet people in real life after taking to them for an entire year via WhatsApp. It was also fantastic to meet new people. We spent time together in Milano Navigli, and we had mixed conversations in Italian and English. 

It was amazing to walk along the cobblestone streets of the clear-watered canal while being surrounded by tons of people laughing and chatting. The lifestyle here is so positive and leisurely. I feel like I’m on vacation right now, even though I’m about to start university. 

Tonight, I’ll stay in the hotel my mom and aunt rented. There is still chatter and live music outside of my window, and it’s a beautiful sound to fall asleep to. Tomorrow, I’ll move into my residence. Until then, thanks for reading! An update will be coming soon!
Lots of Love,
Carly 🙂 

Daily Wisdom (from a Cookie)

This evening, I opened my fortune cookie to find the following message:

An optimist is the human personification of spring.

 

This is one of the most adorable fortunes I’ve ever read! It’s one of the fortunes that everyone should actually listen to. Personally, I find that optimism is extremely crucial to a happy life. Hence, I decided to write some advice about how we can dance in the rain instead of hiding in our rooms watching Netflix and sipping hot cocoa.

Love Your Job (Even if It Seems Unloveable)

This is really something I feel passionate about; make sure you love your job! When selecting a place of employment, it’s important to consider the following:

  • The Environment. Ask for a tour of the workplace. Observe the employees. If they look stressed, guess what? That’s what you’ll be like if you work there. If they look bored, guess what? You get the picture. Try to look for a company with employees who seem excited about their jobs and the company’s culture. Ask them what their favorite company traditions are. You spend most of your day at work, so make sure it’s somewhere you want to be!
  • The Job Description. Are the tasks you’ll be responsible for tasks that you’ll be comfortable with? It’s important to learn new things and step out of your comfort zone once in a while, but ensure that you’ll be okay with completing the activities every day. Your job should be something you’re knowledgeable about, yet something challenging that keeps your brain alert. If you’re bored at your job,
    img_0066

    Be sure to consider whether you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural work environment. Do you favor simplicity or simply a city?

    ayou’re doing something wrong.

  • The Location & Hours. It’s important to consider how much time you’ll dedicate to your job, including transportation time. If you are unhappy with a long commute to work, do something that combines traveling with leisure! Whether it be jamming out to the radio tunes, listening to an audio book, chatting with a family member or friend on the phone, or even listening to an audio of that show you forgot to watch last night, there is always something you can do to make your journey entertaining, especially if you can do something during the trip you’d do at home anyway!

If you’ve been employed for a while and you’re unhappy with something about your job, change it! It’s probable that many of the other employees share many of your concerns. Maybe you can work together to find a creative solution! If you’re unhappy with your job description, though, you might want to take the following advice…

Balance Your Life

fortune

Proof that I didn’t just go to secondfortune.com to find a topic to write about :’)

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, there could always be a difficult day at work. It’s important to note that not everyone will enjoy working. If optimism just isn’t working out for you (or even if it is working out), consider the importance of an overall happy life. If your job is boring, be sure to fill your spare time with things you love to do. If you hate your coworkers, spend your time with people you love. If you’re upset with the amount of sedentary time you spend at work, go for a morning run. Take a walk during your lunch break. Work out after work. If your job brings a lot of stress, find a way to relax after work and during break hours. Try some yoga, go stargazing, listen to some classical music. Target the part you don’t like about your day, and be sure to seek out the antidote to it to improve the overall quality of your life.

Have Patience & Humility

Not everything in life comes easily. Difficult coworker? Be kind and patient, and the coworker will change over time and always appreciate your tolerance. Annoying project? Keep your eye on the prize: once you finish the project, you’ll do something that’s way more interesting and enjoyable than the dreaded assignment. Bothersome situation? Every era ends eventually, so if a situation is really that bad, just remember that it can’t get any worse, so it must get better!

As Kendrick preaches, “Be Humble.” It’s hard not to let competition rule our lives. Humans were born to compete. Cavemen competed for food and shelter, and here we are doing the same thing, but we’ve added many layers to the challenge. We compete to be the richest, the smartest, the most well-liked. What for? Healthy competition is good, of course, but only to an extent. When competition rules our lives, it becomes toxic and, often times, contagious. Humility is absolutely vital in life. It keeps competitive spirit under control, and it allows open minds in life. Open minds lead to more knowledge and wisdom. Humility also makes people more pleasant to be around; who wants to hang out with someone who cares only about his or herself?

Cherish Whom You Care Most About

Show your family you love them. Compliment them, do cute things for them, let them know that you care. Thank the people who make your life amazing. Celebrate birthdays. Have heart-to-heart relationships with family members and friends. Show people you

wnnp3190.jpg

If you don’t have any loved ones in your life, consider adopting a cat. Your cat will always love you (unless you do things like this to it). On the other hand, if you want to give your loved on a present, still consider adopting a cat. The bottom line is that you should always adopt a cat to solve a problem from any cat-egory.

care about them. Don’t take anyone or anything for granted. It’s impossible to have a happy life without sharing happiness with others.

Don’t Let Nostalgia Trick You

Perhaps one of the most deceiving liars is nostalgia. It’s a beautiful feeling to look back on the wonderful memories you’ve had in life, but sometimes people feel blue when they think life was much better back then. Always remember how awesome your current life is. Nothing lasts forever; it’s important to embrace change in life. Always remember that the grass is greener on the other side; when you start to feel like life used to be better, remember the bothersome times that came with some of the good memories, and remember that every memory in life is priceless and something to be grateful for.

But Also Be Grateful

Don’t let nostalgia consume your thoughts, but also be appreciative of the wonderful memories you’ve had in life. Each one has helped shape who you are as a person. Remember that in the future!

The Takeaway

If you’re happy with your life, keep doing what you’re doing, and try your best to support those who are struggling. If you’re not happy, find out what’s wrong and  change it. You only get one life, so make it one you’re happy about!

 

Thanks for reading. See you next Friday!

xoxo

Carly

 

 

 

10 Days Left in America

Hi, everyone! I hope you’re all having a lovely summer!


During my next three years in Italy, I fully intend to keep in touch with all of you awesome people. You always hear people talking about those friends from high school they haven’t seen in ages, or that one person that fell off of the face of the earth. Well… I really don’t want that to happen :’D Hence, I will post life updates on this blog each week, and I would love it if you guys kept me updated on your lives, too!

Anyways, since I only have ten days left in America until college, I’ll post ten things I’ll miss dearly about America ❤
The People

Americans are awesome! Granted, so are Italians (and pretty much all people in this world), but I’ll definitely miss my family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, teachers, you name it. However, going off to college requires any student to leave these people behind for a short period of time, whether it’s in America or somewhere across the pond.

The Slang

‘Murican slang is the illest, dawg. I don’t wanna be tripping on these words ‘cuz here, they be comin’ at me at super sonic speed. But in Italy, they don’t use no slang, so I won’t be learning no slang. So please, fam, hit me up with the newest phrases that  the ‘Murican homies be sayin’. It’s gonna be lit. Thanks!

Working

Once again, I would miss working regardless of which college I attend. I used to work at Wawa, and I currently intern at an off-campus housing company in Philadelphia. I truly love both jobs, and I’ll be so sad to leave the encouraging work environments and amazingly kind and intelligent people whom I’ve worked with. I really hope to find some kind of job as an English tutor or something of the like in Italy so I can still work, even if it’s a different kind of job!

Red Robin & Asuka & Wawa

Bottomless fries, bottomless caesar salad, delicious burgers. I will dearly miss Red Robin. The sesame chicken dinner combo special. I will dearly miss Asuka. Wawa fam… I will dearly miss Wawa. I’ll probably be saying this about every Italian cafe, gelateria, and trattoria on my way home for Christmas break, though… :’)

Free Bathrooms

Why do most European public bathrooms cost money?! Let me know, because if European, Eur-a-payin’.

The Water

L’acqua frizzante… why?! However, I love how water bottles are always affordable in public (even in touristy areas like Vatican City)! Bless up!

My Church

It’ll be strange not going to my church every Sunday, but I’m grateful I’ve already found a church to attend in Milan. Astonishingly enough, the pastor is a Baptist from America! It’ll be awesome to learn about God in such a familiar environment.

Gypsy-Free Zones

I’m kind of a friendly person, and my first trip to Europe yielded a few strange encounters with gypsies and other sketchy people! Thankfully, I’ve learned from those encounters, and I’ll know not to talk to random strangers on the street this time…

Spotify

Did you know that Spotify’s free version is illegal in Italy? Oh well, I guess I’ll just need to use Spotify Premium!

The Outlets

I’ll need to use a new plug for my phone charger, my computer, and pretty much anything else that needs to be plugged in. It’s ok, though! It’s part of the European experience.

I’ll miss all of you a ton, but truly, let’s keep in touch! Add me on social media:

Facebook: Carly Cornell

Instagram: carlyycorn

Snap Chat: carlez

YouTube: miLAno
Thank you for being such amazing people. I love all of you! :*

Lots of Love,

Carly

xoxo


Signs and Symptoms of Senioritis [Self-Diagnosis] ft. Snap Chat

It happens to all of us. For some, early. For some, just on time. I present to you… *drum roll please* … a guide to the dreadfully life-consuming Senioritis.

What is Senioritis?

Senioritis is a disease characterized by the lack of motivation and ambition in a student during his or her last year of high school. After being accepted into a college, a senior has no reason to try particularly hard in school because, well, what does it matter?

Whom does it affect?

Studies show that Senioritis affects 99% of high school students entering their senior year. Some juniors have been diagnosed with the disease, as have some sophomores.

What are the symptoms of Senioritis?

Well, I’m glad you asked! Here are some common symptoms with supplementary real-life photos, which were donated by real-life victims.

Stage #1: The student can’t wait to escape from high school. Any and all objects, concepts, or conversations relating to school begin to result in symptoms such as eye-rolling, sighing, quick outbursts, or even the occasional tear…

all you wanna do is get through this one last year

instead of doing your work, you instead tell other people how much you don't want to do your work

lack of tolerance to extreme temperatures

every day you spend at school, you become more and more like grumpy cat

…and every week becomes a long week.

every week becomes a long week

 Stage #2: The student accepts that he/she must, in fact, endure the remaining months of torture. The student finds a coping mechanism. In my personal experience, I’ve found the creation and sharing of corny puns has been a common method.

...because the corny puns scare your friends away

corny puns become your best friend

corny puns become your best... and only friend

PUNS RUIN YOUR LIFE I AM NOT JOKING (you know if the puns get worse and more abundant then the disease is becoming more serious)

stoppp it's not just me ok

Pro Tip: Never, ever, EVER, at any cost, try to exploit the student’s coping mechanism. It will only worsen the behavior and result in a delayed recovery.

ok these corny and cheesy jokes really do start to consume your life

Stage #3: After a while of groping for a handle on life during stage #2, the student begins to embrace life and uncover his/her true identity. 

after completely losing your mind, you begin to realize who you really areand you realize who you've become

Stage #4: Your friends become so confused about your behavior that you begin to befriend your cat. Not out of desperation, but because you want to.

and you find out you're only friends with your cat at this point

If the student doesn’t have a cat, then imaginary friends are always an option.

hate to break it to youeveryone has them, don't pretend they're not there

so the only friends you have left are your imaginary friends

so the only friends you have left are your imaginary oness

Step #5: After the student has accepted who he/she has become, the student will begin to recognize the Senioritis epidemic in his/her peers…

on graduation day, you realize you're not ready to be a graduate

when you take advantage of any and all free time you've got to do what's important

you begin judging people for their remaining ambition

…and the student considers anyone who has his/her life together at this point as a supernatural being whom you are too far gone to attempt to follow in the path of.

you begin to think that anyone who has their life together at this point is a supernatural person whom you are too far gone to attempt to follow in the path of

Step #6: After the student realizes that there is no hope of regaining the lost ambition from earlier on in the year, the student begins to embrace what life has come to with open arms. This may include increased consumption of as much food as possible,

you eat as much food as you can get

throwing away all aspirations to be photogenic and embracing how he/she is meant to look,

you embrace your flaws

realizing that everybody makes mistakes (everybody has those days),

you realize that everybody makes mistakes and that everybody has those days

enjoying the spontaneity that parents bring to life rather than criticizing them and condemning them as “embarrassing,”

when you no longer see your parents as embarassing but you start to love them as people

beginning to replace the word “angry” with “salty” or “sassy,”

when we bother people, we laugh off their annoyance and label it as sass

wanting to look presentable not because the student wishes to impress his/her peers, but because the student wishes to feel self-confident…

the only reason you dress nicely is to take selfies, not to impress boys

(or perhaps because it wasn’t a choice),

if it weren't for your parents, you wouldn't be trying to look good at all

seeing school more as a “laughing matter” than anything,

instead of doing school work, you laugh at school work

beginning to lose sight of the blurred line between “hate” and “love” because it’s all the same at this point,

you begin to love even your worst enemies

and capturing the everyday norms of your friends simply because you can…

you begin to snipe your friends when they do ordinary things because you've completely lost your mind

…but in the end, the student realizes that it’s important to support his/her friends through such a time of need for mutual understanding.

you trust your friends more than anything; you begin to carry each other

Stage #7: The student finds out that seniors from other high schools are graduating before he/she will, catapulting the student into a state of frenzy, confusion, and slight aversion.

then, when other schools end earlier than yours, the claws come out (but at least you're starting to care about something again!)

Step #8: But when graduation day finally rolls around, the student will not stop smiling!

but once it's over, you can't stop smiling

How can I prevent it?

The answer is simple: you can’t.

Okay, then how to I cure it?

The antidote to Senioritis is graduation. Once a diseased student graduates from high school, he or she will be consumed by the excitement of starting college.

I hope this informational session has helped you diagnose yourself or a loved one with this highly contagious disease. It’s important to spread awareness so students know that they’re not alone in this time of darkness, and that it does, in fact, get better.

Thank you for reading, and best of luck with your future senior endeavors.

Carly 🙂

Photography: All photographs represent real-life situations of seniors who suffered of Senioritis. We are here to tell you: it does get better! Never lose hope, and keep fighting till the very end. Good luck!

 

 

Black Friday Shopping at America’s Second Largest Mall

2,900,000 square feet of retail floor area. Five parking lots, three parking garages. 400 stores. All completely full. Welcome to the King of Prussia Mall on Black Friday.

I am proud to call myself a two-time survivor of the crazy madness of Black Friday at America’s second biggest mall. In 2015, a friend and I woke up bright and early, and we arrived at the mall at about 6:00 AM, when many of the mall’s stores opened. The mall wasn’t crowded, the majority of the parking spaces remained vacant, and I didn’t see any of the crazy long lines of crazed customers waiting outside of stores that I had expected from years of watching the media’s portrayal of Black Friday. In fact, I decided the day was highly overrated. My friend and I shopped for a few hours, and we left the mall by 10:00 AM at the latest without a problem.

This year was different.

I figured that, since 2015 was harmless, there wasn’t a point in waking up super early and scrambling to the mall if the mad competition for parking spaces and breathing room in the mall was practically nonexistent. I picked up my friend at about 9:00 AM, and we arrived at the mall at about 10:00 AM.

Finding a parking spot was a bit more difficult. Most of the parking spots were taken, but the huge parking lot near the high-end stores had a lot of available spaces. My friend and I parked and entered the closest store, Bloomingdale’s. No problem.

The King of Prussia mall is so huge that it’s actually two malls – the plaza and the court – which were recently connected by a construction project in August. The fastest way to get to the larger half of the mall, the plaza, from where we were, the court, was to exit the plaza through the Macy’s store, take the walking path between the two halves, and to enter the court. Simple.

So that’s just what we did. We navigated past all of the expensive stores until we finally reached Macy’s, the last obstacle separating us from the plaza. We entered a madhouse swarming with shoppers in every corner. I’d never seen a department store so packed before. The makeup section, the handbags section, every other section: filled with people of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I couldn’t believe my eyes; I’d entered the human Coral Reef.

My friend and I swam past the hustle and the bustle until finally we reached the doors. We let the fresh air flow into our lungs as we made our way to the plaza. Now the good stuff was about to happen.

We hit all of the major hot-spots: American Eagle, Hollister, Cold Stone Creamery, H&M, Forever 21, and our beloved Primark. Now, I’ll break down my experience with each.

If I were to describe Black Friday in three words, I’d choose “American Eagle Outfitters,” hands down. Walking into the store was like attending a concert. Everyone was packed tightly together with barely any breathing space, but they were all there for one reason and one reason only: pure enjoyment. The thrill of experiencing the concert of your favorite band parallels the thrill of soaking in the shopping experience of your favorite brand. You feel disgusted and claustrophobic, and you wonder how the line can be so packed together in such tightly-woven curves. You feel bad for the employees for having to deal with all of these people. But most of all, you feel proud of your favorite brand for the huge crowd it attracted. Its hard-earned fans are all here, fighting for their products, and willing to wait thirty minutes to buy a scarf for half-price (I know, but come on, it was only $12! You won’t understand until you feel the softness for yourself). And you also feel a twinge of excitement that literally everything in the store is 50 percent off.

aeo

If I were to describe Black Friday in three words, they’d be “American Eagle Outfitters.”

Hollister was fairly crowded, but nothing compared to AEO. I found my Black Friday shopping experience there to be extremely frustrating due to its false advertising. “50% off everything!” it advertised. I entered the store, only to find several racks of all of Hollister’s newest and trendiest clothing, whose prices were “excluded from the store-wide sale.” Needless to say, I will not be returning to Hollister on Black Friday.

Cold Stone Creamery was amazing, as always. It’s expensive, but the rich, creamy flavor is worth every penny. I was feeling lowkey salty that it was out of cookie dough at 11:30 in the morning. It’s okay, though; the high quality of the ice cream always pardons them.

H&M and Forever 21 barely had any sales, but they did have the slowest employees ever! I’m not one to complain, but they really should have scheduled more than four cashiers on Black Friday!

Last but not least, we hit Primark, the retail love our lives. I never have a bad thing to say about Primark. The prices are low, the product quality is high, the lines are fast, and it’s really one of the happiest places on earth. Primark was great on Black Friday. And on every other day.

armor

When conquering the crowds, it’s important to suit up and put on your war paint. The trick is to wear something that provides the illusion that you’re trying to be stylish while ultimately providing your with comfortable battle attire. Pictured above is a pair of white converse, leggings, and a long, gray t-shirt, all brought together by a mini white purse. Mildly cute, majorly comfy. Score!

After a long day of fighting the crowds, my friend and I headed to the food court for some lunch. We weighed our two options: a long line, or risky food quality. After walking around the mall all day, we chose to take the gamble. We headed to the station with the shortest line: a Chinese restaurant towards the back of the court. We tried a sample of some type of chicken. The sample was pretty good, so we considered this place our best bet. My friend ordered General Tsao Chicken with fried rice. Then, I asked the employee, “do you have sesame chicken?” The employee nodded his head, took a scoop of the General Tsao Chicken, sprinkled sesame seeds on top, packed it up in a box, and handed it to me. So many question marks darted through my mind. I didn’t inquire, though; we were too hungry.

Finding a place to sit was like searching for gold during the California Gold Rush: it seemed like it’d be easy, but it was actually close to impossible. We waited for about fifteen minutes for a couple to finish their food and leave so we could snag their spots.

We plopped down, and we dug in. I didn’t really consider the taste of the food until about halfway through, when I realized I wasn’t hungry enough to finish the nasty chicken the man had given me. “This food is horrible,” I said to my friend.

“It is! I just ate it because I was starving, but now that you mention it, this is really bad.” We tasted the food again after the epiphany, but we couldn’t consume any more. It was too dreadful. We laughed, and we threw the nasty “sesame” chicken in the garbage.

It was about 1:30 PM by this point. We headed back to the Bloomingdale’s store in the court section of the mall. When we left the building, a perfectly filled parking lot welcomed us. I kid you not, every single spot was taken. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

My friend and I walked back to my car. While loading my trunk with our new haul, we heard an engine sniffle up behind us. “Hey, are you guys about to leave?” asked a twenty year-oldish guy from his car.

“Yeah,” I said, a little creeped out, but sympathetic for the mutual struggle of not being able to find a place to go.

“Thanks,” he said. I pulled out of the spot, he pulled in, and we were on our way.

Early morning Black Friday 2015 and afternoon Black Friday 2016 are two separate worlds.

At school on Monday, another friend was discussing her own experience with attempting to find parking near the King of Prussia Mall. She wanted to find a space in a parking lot of a nearby restaurant, but none was available. Then, she intended to settle for a spot in one of the King of Prussia Mall’s parking lots. When she drove up to the entrance, a parking lot attendant denied her access. “Sorry, you can’t park here. The lots are all full,” he said. I couldn’t help but to laugh; how could every single spot be filled?!

Overall, if I were to rate Black Friday on a scale of sketchers to chocolate cheesecake, I would definitely rank it somewhere close to a new laptop computer. It was fun, exciting, and unlike anything I’d ever seen before. And after experiencing it for yourself, it’s way less intimidating than it seems.

I’ll close this story with a quote my uncle mentioned on Thanksgiving: “Black Fridays Matter.”

Thanks for reading!

Carly 🙂

Places 

I’ve see the place where the sun doesn’t rise 

Where the dirt doesn’t wash off 

And where lonely hearts cry.

I’ve seen the place where mercy calls

But no one answers.

I’ve seen the place where meat is bloody

And where blood is met.

I’ve seen the place where infants cry

Where tears freeze 

Where ice doesn’t shatter

But hearts do.

I’ve seen the place where dust falls from the sky 

And where mud fills empty spaces and empty minds.

I’ve seen the place where the streets don’t meet

And where the only hands given 

Are the broken ones from those who failed to survive.

I’ve seen the place where no one wants to be. 

…….

I’ve seen the place where the willows dance

Where horses run free

Where shy children sing

And where the loud ones listen.

Where bees eat honey

And where honeys can be.

Where friends befriend 

Where lovers love

Where mice don’t hide 

And where wolves don’t hunt.

Where the air smells of fruit 

Where the fruit hugs the trees 

And where the trees breathe in air.

I’ve seen the place where the only walls

Are in the walnuts 

And where everything and everyone 

Is happy, colorful, and free. 
❤