Changing your major isn’t SO MAJOR


I’ve changed my major more times than I would like to admit. Jumping from biochemistry to communication studies to political science to finally settling on government-journalism was a headache. My family has a running joke where every time I visit them back in Southern California. They ask me, “So what are you majoring in now?”

But I don’t regret any of it. Sure I spent more than a year taking classes for degrees I wouldn’t end up pursuing, but I don’t consider it to have been a waste of time.

Writing this blog is giving me flashbacks of the biology labs I had to take, dissecting a number of  animals alongside 30 other wide eyed freshmen. I was a vegetarian (and still am) so you could say it was a dark time in my life.

To get back to the point of this blog, it’s not the end of the world to realize you’re in the wrong major. It may feel like you’re world is turning upside down, but the crushing pain will pass. Take it from someone who crumpled into a fetal position in the hallway of the freshmen residence hall, crying on the phone to my best friend back home when I realized my aspirations had changed.

To remind myself why it was ok to change majors and hopefully help others realize it’s ok to dip your toe in the pool of possibility, I’ve formed a list of five reasons to just do it:

1- College isn’t a race to this finish line. The National Student Clearinghouse reported that only about 56% of students will earn a degree within six years. So why is it that people are so adamant about finishing in four?

2- You’re not alone! About 80% of college students in the U.S. change their major at least once, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

3- It’s an expensive piece of paper! Don’t throw money and time into degree you really don’t want. I have a friend who graduated with a history degree and now works as a sous chef. She doesn’t regret studying a subject irrelevant to her career, but if you realize early on in college that you want to change your major— go for it. It’s ok to start over.

4- Internships, internships, internships. Take your time. This falls in line with #1. Along with completing those degree requirements, use the extra semester(s) in college to intern. There are a lot of opportunities for students to intern…mostly because we’re so young, so full of life and so willing to work for free.

5- The things you learn while in one major can be useful in another. When I was a communications major, I took a philosophy class on how to argue effectively. That class became irrelevant when I became a political science major. But now as a journalist, I can easily spot fallacious arguments in articles.

Four majors later and I finally found my purpose. Now what’s yours? If you find yourself questioning your major, don’t be afraid to consider other options. You will never know unless you take a chance.

 

What’s the fuss with ‘Gilmore Girls’?


gilmore

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I see post after post of “Gilmore Girls” related articles:

“For All The Girls Who Thought Of Themselves As Honorary Gilmores”

“Rory from ‘Gilmore Girls’ Is Actually the Worst”

And my favorite, “Rory Gilmore was a Sham”

Enough.

I’m not going to tell you to not watch the show, nor am I going to tell you how amazing it is.

Frankly, I’m a bit annoyed about the amount of attention this show is getting. And that’s coming from a longtime “Gilmore Girls” fan.

Why do people care so much?

I grew up with the show. My oldest sister, Sofia, started watching it when it first aired back in 2000. (That was almost 17 years ago, say what?) I had no choice but to watch it with my sister, seeing as she would sit on me if I attempted to fight her for the tv remote. As time wore on my complaints lessened and I grew to like it alot.

I couldn’t tell you what I expected from the shows revival. Did I want Rory to find true love? Did I want her to be a successful journalist? Well, I wanted the latter.

It sounds stupid but I saw a lot of myself in Rory. I’m an aspiring journalist hoping to someday work for NPR. I make pro/con lists when I have big decisions to make. Heck, the biggest box I had when I moved to Sacramento was filled with books. And don’t get me started on coffee. Just read my previous blog for more details on that topic.

I suspect that I’m not the only one who identified with Rory. That’s where I think most of the reactions (well, upset reactions) stem from.

To see Rory crash and burn in her journalism career just killed this fantasy I had of how similar we both were. I mean, what the heck? At the end of season seven she was going off to be a part of Obama’s campaign!

I always thought Rory and I would both be met with like challenges and successes. But the reality of it is, not everything turns out how you think it will. And that’s a truth I didn’t want to accept even in tv shows. In a career field like journalism, it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll graduate from college and slide right into a cozy office at the New Yorker headquarters.

Do you know how many times I’ve heard the phrase “journalism is a dying career”? Alot. I guess I just expected someone like Rory Gilmore, who always has a plan, to be successful. I just wanted a glimmer of hope.

A part of me feels ridiculous for dedicating a whole blog submission to this one fictional character. But when this show gets so much hoopla that The Washington Post and Vice are writing about it, I feel the need to jump on the bandwagon.

Rory grew up and became someone I don’t identify with anymore. The girl who was once my idol is now just a cautionary tale.

When coffee runs your life: Confessions from a five cups a day coffee drinker


promiseThe other day, I went into work at the Courtyard Market, an eatery for students on Sac State’s campus. I had this throbbing sensation in my head.

Was it the stress of going into work?

Was it this presidential election?

Was it life?

No. It was coffee. I hadn’t had a cup of the bean water, and it was on the verge of being 4:30 p.m.

A survey by the Zagat Blog in 2015 found that the average American drinks about 2.1 cups of coffee a day.

And that was last year.

In the morning I fill my 16 oz. travel mug with the cold brew I’ve prepared the day before.

That’s two cups of coffee.

And yes, I’m one of those snobby french press owning-straight espresso drinking-coffee hipster-millennials.

Around 12 p.m. the buzz starts wearing off, and I make my way to the nearest watering hole; aka Starbucks or Java City.

That’s cup numbers three and four.

If I work, which is five days a week, I am rewarded by a free cup of coffee.

And that makes cup number five. Yikes.

How did this addiction get so bad? I joke with my co-workers that coffee is a gateway drug. Well, that’s not so far from the truth.

New York States Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services says that, “Caffeine is not considered a ‘gateway drug’, though it is related to heavier cigarette use.” They also note that the withdrawal symptoms experienced from coffee are similar to the withdrawal from drugs including headaches, tremors and fatigue.

I remember being in the back seat of my mom’s van as she drove my sisters and I to school every morning. We would always be in awe of the talent she possessed driving with a large cup of coffee from 7-11 without a lid on in her hand.

And I remember my dad, getting ready to go to work every night by filling his large thermos, which looked more suitable for a truck driver than a grocery store stocker, with coffee. I would look into that pool of dark liquid, smell the bold smoky aroma and cringe with disgust.

When do we transition from despising that smell to craving it daily? And how did it get to the point where I’m intaking five cups a day?

Recently I was reading an article by the LA Times which said that coffee drinking habits are hereditary. So I can blame my parents for my coffee addiction, right?

Well, not entirely. For about a year I managed a coffee shop back home in Santa Barbara. And then when I moved to Sacramento in August I was ringed into a world of local roasteries that offer coffee tastings and home brewing classes.

Out of all the places I could’ve lived I had to choose Sacramento, which just celebrated the dark substance that keeps my life together with a Specialty Coffee Week.

I would like to believe that the stars aligned for a reason and led me to this coffee fixated life.

I choose to accept my addiction and hope to someday lower my daily intake. I’m writing this blog as I drink coffee, so the chances of that happening are slim at the moment.

What about you? How much coffee do you drink daily?

I can’t be the only one who drinks five cups a day. Right?

 

Lights Out movie review


lightsoutA good scary movie is hard to come by. Let me tell you about a movie that not only was a scary $9.95 to see, but turned out to be a pretty good horror and slightly comical movie. Worth. Every. Penny.

It’s called “Lights Out.”

The movie came out in theaters on July 22, 2016. It centers around a broken family who is haunted by Diana, this evil woman like creature.

But only when the lights are out.

The movie is directed by James Wan, who is responsible for childhood nightmares across America for directing “The Conjuring”, “Saw” and “Annabelle.”

The distant “I left the house as soon as I could” daughter, Rebecca is the movie’s protagonist. She swoops in to save her little brother from being traumatized by their unstable mom and Diana, only to be haunted herself.

It turns out Diana was the mom’s childhood friend and now she’s back to visit. And the mom’s cool with it just as long as Diana plays nice with everyone. Like that happens. The story line is very simple but I think that’s what makes this movie a good one. Although there is a twist at the end that you can see coming a mile away.

One would think this movie would have a relatively easy solution- just keep all the lights on.

They tried that. And some mystic force shut off all the lights.

I will say that these characters get really creative in their sources of light. And one character in this film really surprised me. Yay for character development. Cue “light” applause. But you will find yourself yelling at various characters who make stupid decisions throughout the film. What else is new?

Either I’ve seen way too many scary movies that I’ve become immune to horror or I’m just losing it.

I really hope I’m not the only one who found this movie funny.

I won’t describe the specific details of the hilarity- I don’t want to spoil it for you! But get ready to from your heart racing with fear to laughing all in a matter of 10 seconds.

Did I go home and turn on all the lights right when I walked through the door? No. That’s wasteful. But did I think about it for a spilt second? Yes. And you will too.

So moral of the story is don’t shut off the lights.

Or else.

Just kidding.

But, really.

 

Stop what you’re doing, and watch Stranger Things already


strangerthingsFor all of you who have seen this show already, is anyone else still mesmerized by it?

I’ll admit, I was reluctant to watch it at first because of all the fuss over it. I don’t know about you, but I roll my eyes over things that are “trending”. But man, oh man. I would’ve lived with some serious unknowing regret if I didn’t watch this show.

So I hear you if you say, “Meh, I don’t need another show in my life. Plus, school just started to pick up and I really want this to be a good semester.”

But let’s think about this. Did you spend the entire weekend studying? Probably not. So sit down and watch the whole 397 minutes of Stranger Things so you can live your life knowing you have experienced cinematic greatness. It’s eight episodes. That’s it! And you don’t even have to feel guilty about pushing the next episode button! Just look away as Netflix does it for you!

Some reasons you SHOULD watch it:

-The eighties. Sing along to the various songs in the show from The Clash, to The Bangles to Foreigner. And if you’re not all that familiar with the 80’s jams, shame on you. Just kidding. After watching this show, your go-to playlist will be a mix of 80’s music. Especially The Clash. But it’s not only the music that’s amazing. The set is incredible. It’s crazy how much detail the crew added to make it so realistic.

-Winona Ryder. I mean, she is brilliant. Beetle Juice, man. Side note: there is going to be a second Beetle Juice, right? I didn’t just make that up in my head?

-The kid actors stole the show this year at the Emmys. They handed out PB & J sandwiches and opened the awards show singing, and they didn’t even walk away with a trophy. That’s right. Stranger Things was ineligible to be nominated because of strict deadlines for the Emmys. I learned that after scrolling though Emmy winners for ten minutes trying to find awards given to Stranger Things. My dedication to this posting should act as the next reason to watch it.

-Stephen King tweeted about it. Enough said.

-It’s written by twin brothers. How cool is that? My sister and I were born the same year, so for about 2 months we are “twins”. We would rip each other’s hair out before ever creating something as amazing as Stranger Things though.

-Barb. Who is Barb you ask? Probably one of the most relatable characters on the show. I’m team Barb. Who else is with me?! I say let’s ALL dress up as Barb this Halloween and take the city by storm! A parade of red hair and thick framed glasses! And even if we don’t, you can bet your bottom that a great multitude of people will! Once you have seen the show, immediately watch the online video Barb Returns to “Stranger Things”. You will not regret it.

-IT WILL LEAVE YOU WANTING MORE. I said “eight episodes, that’s it!” earlier to convince you to watch the show. But you will say that line in a different tone after it’s all over. “Eight episodes?! That’s it?!?!”

Do not fear, season 2 is in works! Now start watching it! The upside down awaits!