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Living My Best Life: The Landslide Brought Me Down

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Written by Emma Grosskopf

For anyone who knew me during my sophomore year, I am truly, truly sorry.

In my youth (two years seems so long ago!), I was living a lifestyle that was far from sustainable. There were random Thursday mornings where I would wake up on a couch in a Blue Ridge common room in a shirt that I didn’t fully recognize, or Friday afternoons where my mother would be headed to RC to pick me up for fall break where I would have to spend 45 minutes in the shower trying to rid myself of the grime of the night before, before she could see it and be disappointed in her only daughter. Yikes.

But don’t get me wrong. That was a blast.

But those times have passed. In the words of the genius of Fleetwood Mac: “Time makes you bolder, children get older, and I’m getting older, too.”

They had it right. Not to be dramatic, but I feel SO old. Practically elderly. Ancient.

Actual age-wise, I am 22. Physically, I feel 55 and emotionally, I am like a wizened old hag who grumbles constantly about the annoyance of youth.

Back in the day, my ideal Friday night would have been to hang out with friends, go out to a party and get pretty wild. Even if I was staying in, back then I would have been acting up somehow.

And Saturday nights? LORD HAVE MERCY, don’t even get me started.

But now that I am a grandmother (and the 11-year-olds that I tutor in French LOVE to remind me of how much older than them I am), I give a full-body eye-roll-and-exhale combo if someone has the audacity to suggest that I go out on a Friday AND a Saturday. The only time that I go out during the week is to College Night, which is one of the perks of being 21+ in the bustling metropolis that is Salem, VA, and even then I can only go out to flaunt my wares sometimes, because every other Thursday is layout night for the BA!

It’s 2018, and we are securing the bag, people. I can’t just gallivant all the time, and I wouldn’t have the energy even if I could!

Going out twice in a weekend is a rare occurrence for me now, when I would rather curl up with my husband pillow in bed, watch Phantom of the Opera (again) and go to bed by 11.

That isn’t to say that I won’t be out here busting a move during my senior year of college. I will be both out AND about, but y’all can’t be expecting me to be make an appearance at every event. I have to pick and choose my social obligations, and sometimes, I’m sorry, I’ll choose my bed over a sweaty basement, warm beer and falling down the steps at a party. I’m only human, people.

Whatever. I’m not here to lecture about the passage of time, but I just want to stand in solidarity with all of the other grandmamas and grandpaps out there: go ahead and put away that bottle of Malibu during the week. Wave goodbye at the youngins as they leave for the night. Go to bed at 10 p.m. on a Friday.  

We’ve all earned it, and let’s face it: We’re not as young as we used to be.

Bringing Babe Home For the Holidays: Holly Jolly or Ho-Ho-Hopeless?

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Written by Caisi Calandra

It’s that time of year again! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ōmisoka — anything, really — the holidays are meant for recharging after a busy and stressful semester. A lot can change after the fall semester, especially if you’re a freshman.
Relationships between old friends change as you make new ones, hopefully, with the people you’re spending so much time with in classes (and at college in general). If you weren’t dating before you left high school, and you are now, you might be in for a surprise during the holidays with your newly acquired cuffee.

If you’re lucky enough to live in adjacent states (or in the same one), traveling to see each other over the month-long break might seem worth it. Even if you don’t live close, you might think a plane ride is necessary. Besides travel, the one thing that life doesn’t prepare you for is bringing your SO home for winter break to meet the fam.
One of the most important things to remember to address before bringing your SO back home for winter break are your fears and expectations. If your family is usually wack, which is unfortunate, then they’re probably going to continue to be wack during winter break, and thus make your winter break with your SO wack. If your family is supportive of you and prepared for your SO, they’re probably going to be fine.

You shouldn’t let your fears or expectations hold you back, though. If you’re fearful of a poor outcome, but you already figured it would happen, then you can’t control the way your family reacts to your SO. It sucks, but it doesn’t hurt to remember that you can’t control how others perceive you, and that goes for how they perceive everyone else, too.

The next important thing would be to remember to tell your SO how your family behaves, and vice versa. It’s kind of like when you wanted your mom to let one of your friends sleep over, and she had to know all the details before she even considered it. The same goes for the boy and/or girl your bringing home for the holidays. The more you let your family know about your SO, the more likely they’ll be ready to receive them.

Also, if you let your SO know who to talk to and who to avoid in your family over the holidays, it’ll make for a much, much smoother affair.
At the end of the day, though, bringing your SO home is like giant stress ball of a test. You shouldn’t have to deal with it, but if you think it’s time for the SO to meet your mom and pops, then it’s time! You might be able to see your SO in a new light (hopefully not a negative one), and you’ll probably get the 411 from your parents. Even if it’s negative, it all comes down to your love for your SO and vice versa. Remember, how your family perceives you and your SO is out of your control, so, with that in mind, try to enjoy the holidays to the best of your ability!

Highway to the…FriendZone?

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Written by Shamira James

The friend zone.

In a nutshell, it’s when someone feels like they had a shot with someone romantically, but it’s quickly dismissed when they realized that that person wants to keep things as platonic as possible.

A look at any social media platform will tell you that this entire thing is nothing but a misogynistic construct that forces women to consider relationships with guys who are just nice to them, but hold on! What about the girls who feel like they were friendzoned? I mean, certainly if a guy and girl flirted in person and via text before, and now she’s getting dapped up like a homie, there’s definitely some compartmentalizing as far as who he does and does not want to sleep with. So just where is the line between playing the “nice-guy” card and actually getting rejected?

A lot of it has to do with the idea of feeling like you are owed something. Guys who play the “nice guy” card tend to feel like the acts they do for a girl, whether romantic or not, should ALWAYS result in a reward. While it feels nice to be recognized for doing a good thing, you don’t get special treatment for having basic manners and being a good person!

Girls who feel owed something might feel this way based on an ambiguous (but obviously flirty) text. However, the communications border between girls and guys is vast. We have such different communication styles that even when we’re speaking directly to each other, it’s not quite picked up. So that “Can’t wait to see you when we get back” text with a smiley face from him could send her into a full on schoolgirl crush, but he could’ve just been being an actual nice guy.

Another facet of it is being direct. Everyone can appreciate the coyness of the cat-and-mouse flirtation style, but everyone also just wants to know what the hell is going on once in while. While directness can be sexy, it can also be scary and even off-putting, and why wouldn’t it be? The English language has so many wonderful and better ways to say “we should have sex after this party!”. So why be direct when you can be cute?

Here’s why: because being direct will save everyone a lot of time and disappointment. So when she says you’re like a brother to her, you can roast her about her weird laugh and let it roll right off your shoulders, or when he calls you dude, you can fire right back with bro and act like nothing happened.

So, is the friendzone a bottomless pit of nothing but girls getting called dude and guys having girls always tell them that they wish they could find good guys like them? Or is it a way to make people feel bad for not giving someone the instant gratification they so desperately crave?

It’s neither. The friendzone is one big misunderstanding. If that guy could get his head out of his ass, he’d realized that holding the door open for a girl isn’t a one-way ticket into her pants.

If that girl could get her head out of the clouds, she’d realize that that boy talks to every girl like that, and he’s playing the game sis (very well). In today’s world of dating, it would be foolish of someone to go around thinking that they’re owed for every nice act or indirect act of flirtation, so don’t do that to yourself.

Be smart about it, do nice things (but not because you want rewards, but because people appreciate someone being nice to them), be coy, but not so coy that no one one knows what’s happening and for the love of God, DON’T GO USING THE WINKY FACE ALL WILLY NILLY!

Commons, Cavern, and…Kroger?

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Written by Lorin Brice Hall

Everyone’s hungry and sometimes we don’t want Cavern, or Commons isn’t open. So we go to Sheetz or some other all night greasy place and spend too much money on food that will probably make us feel like a wreck later. There is a simple solution to not resorting to stuffing yourself with unhealthy comfort food: Cooking!

Cooking is much more rewarding and enriching than any burger or large fries, and much cheaper too. The best places to purchase groceries, in this writer’s humble opinion, are the two Krogers located conveniently close to campus! The Kroger on Main Street is 24 hours, and the Kroger on Electric Ave. closes at midnight. But Kroger is an exemplary place to shop because it’s cheap! If you plan on shopping there regularly, then I suggest that you get a free Kroger Rewards card in order to save more money.

While at Kroger, though the items that the casual cook should pay attention to are: eggs (an 18 count carton of Kroger brand eggs goes for only $2.18!), bread, other basic sandwich materials, soup (you could also get broth in order to make your own soup, which is ridiculously easy to do! Just throw some stuff in a pot with broth and bam! Soup!), pasta and some fruit to fend off scurvy!

If you were looking at picking up some drinks then I recommend purchasing 2 twelve packs of Kroger Brand sparkling water for only $5! That’s 24 sparklers for five dollars! Shoppers should avoid purchasing microwave meals, as those are less cost-effective, but the Kroger brand frozen pizza is less than $3.50, so that right there is a steal! So instead of turning to grease to fulfill those midnight munchies, use some complimentary taxi vouchers to get to Kroger and whip up a great meal for a fraction of the cost.

The Swipe Out: Easy Like Sunday Morning Brunch

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Written by Shamira James

I want to preface this entire piece by saying I am 21, tickling 22, and am allowed to drink inhumane amounts of the alcohol of my choosing. Now let’s begin.

I hate the end of weekends, especially after a good weekend. You know the kind. The kind where you sleep enough to shake off that test you failed Wednesday, where you get to do a little retail therapy and you end every night going to a party or bar of your choice. Waking up on that Sunday morning knowing that the scaries are just around the corner and that hangover you have will stick with you all day until you take a three hour steaming hot shower. There’s only one beacon of light on this seemingly worst day ever – SUNDAY MORNING BRUNCH.

Since I’ve turned 21, hungover Sunday morning brunch has always been one of my favorite traditions here at RC. You and your pals try to not think about how much Natty Light you consumed last night. You moan and groan as the walk to Commons seems longer than you remember while whatever weather condition it is has suddenly become the most annoying and inconveniencing one to ever exist, but then it changes. You see what’s on the menu and your spirits are lifted. It’s chow time. Unlike my last columns, I won’t tell you what I hate at brunch, mainly because the more I say it, the more it pops up (I’m looking at you General’s Chicken). As I write this, my mouth is watering thinking about my ~perfect~ meal.

Bacon is a must. Meat is a hangover’s enemy, the Shamira to General’s Chicken, if you will. Not only is the it a top contender for the ways dear old Roanoke has served me well, but it’s unlimited, which is dangerous for my skinnty levels, but great for my happiness – BRING ON DA PORK.

Wing dings make my heart sing. Wings are truly the answer to every problem you could ever have. On a Sunday, when I can barely crack my eyes open because the crust is sealing them shut, these are the end-all be-all of happiness.

MYO Waffles are a blessing in buttery and syrupy goodness and should be treasured as such (except for that pumpkin spice mess, she’s gotta go). Everyone at the waffle station is so nice! It’s not like the laundry room, where people move or just steal your stuff – although that would create some good internet content. We are peaceful waffle people.

LITERALLY ANY FORM OF POTATO! Hell, it could even be potato salad and I’d still be grateful. You gotta be careful though – potatoes turn that “yeah I’m going to the library after this!” to “THIS NAP IS ABOUT TO BE THICC AND LOVELY!”

So before you already start thinking about how dreadful and god-awful a Sunday is, just count your lucky stars and the wonderful Commons workers who save our souls with that bountiful feast.