Life

How To Make Your Study Abroad Romance Last

The sun is shining, summer is almost here, and with it, comes the question that thousands of college couples will face: should we stay together over the summer? In this week’s installment of Ro&Co, Arushi is back, and sharing her tips for handling a long-distance relationship.

featured _ LDR.png

Hi! I’m so happy to write for Rosana’s blog again. Dating in college is a popular topic of discussion. Should you break up with your high school partner? Should you jump into a long-term relationship one week into college, or ~discover yourself~ and keep things casual?

I can’t answer those questions for you, but if at any point in your college life, you have faced the break up versus do long-distance dilemma, then I can help you get some clarity. I met my boyfriend when I was in Italy for study abroad, and although I’m back in Chicago now, we have been happily together ever since.

LDR Europe.png

The short answer is that there is no magic formula. There are many articles online that attempt to answer this question, but I didn’t find anything that I didn’t already know. Yes, you need to communicate well, have a long-term (or semi long-term) idea of where the relationship is headed, and know when you will see each other again. That’s the easy stuff. How about handling the stressful, emotional, hormonal, intoxicated mess that is college?

Every couple has different expectations and a different story, so I won’t tell you what you should do. Instead, here are 5 golden don’ts Google searches never told me:

Don’t be petty

I would highlight this point and have fifty neon arrows pointing toward it because that’s how important this is. Sometimes college can push you to the brink of absolute frustration, or you might be surrounded by people with their on-campus partners. It is also possible you’re occasionally jealous about people your partner interacts with in their social or professional surroundings.

While I can’t give you one specific solution on how to deal with all of that, I can tell you one thing: don’t be petty. If the good ol’ be-petty-to-get-attention monster creeps up on me, I usually check myself with this question: If he did the same thing, would it bother me? Doing or saying something just to get back at your partner never helps, and it is even harder to resolve when you cannot physically be with each other. Some people I have talked to told me they found themselves harmlessly flirting with people whenever they fought with their partner. As a general rule of thumb, if you fought with your partner this morning, intentionally leading on that flirty barista later on in the day is not going to help your relationship.

Don’t be stupid

You would think this is an intuitive one, but it’s really not. When I say don’t be stupid, I mean it in two ways. The first is more obvious: don’t put yourself in a situation that could end badly. Take your common sense–and if necessary, a friend you trust–to your ex’s party, for example.

The second way is not so obvious, but equally important. Don’t be stupid and forget about the other parts of your life that are important as well. College has so much to offer professionally, intellectually, and socially. Although long distance relationships require effort, it’s important to hold onto the other aspects of your life. You can Facetime the partner after your midterm tomorrow, and you can make time for lunch with your friends if you really try to. I usually maintain this balance by allotting time slots to things. For example, I could set an hour aside today to Facetime him, three hours for homework, and another hour to get food with a friend.

LDR Chicago.png

Don’t do it because “Why not?”

Temptation is everywhere, but college is notorious for bringing out the demon. If your reason for doing long-distance is “why not?” or because you want to try and see how it will go, then it’s probably not a good call. If you don’t think that the person you’re with is your perfect match, and the only one for you, then that uncertainty will haunt you on bad days. This could lead to either resentment with an eventual breakup, or to one of you cheating with an eventual breakup. In my case, my boyfriend and I did not question the decision to do long distance for even a second when it was finally time for me to leave Italy. In fact, that certainty is what makes our bond stronger with each passing day.

Don’t forget it’s 2018

I’m not just talking about how lucky we are to have Skype, Facetime, instant messaging, and faster transportation. Indeed, in 2018, we don’t have to wait for our trusted owl to fly back with our lover’s winding letter written on the finest piece of parchment in all the land.

We also don’t have to forget to appreciate our partner once in a while. Sometimes, when my boyfriend is stressed about an exam, I order his favorite food on an Italian food delivery app and it reaches him while I’m sitting in another continent. On important days (anniversaries, birthdays, etc.), or when we just feel like it, we use Amazon or other websites to send small (or big) gifts, flowers, or anything else to show that we’re on each other’s minds even from so far away. Of course, this costs money, so we also remember to appreciate in non-monetary ways that aren’t exclusive to just 2018–like literally telling each other!

LDR Italy.png

Don’t give up at the slightest inconvenience

The internet will tell you not to give up on your relationship when you are deciding between starting long distance and breaking up. I’m telling you not to give up on your relationship at the slightest inconvenience when you have already made the decision to do long distance, i.e. don’t give up on the relationship just because it gets rough sometimes! Even the worst fight in the world can be overcome if you just communicate and remember how much you care about each other. Note: This does not apply if you’re being mistreated or abused.

Whatever you decide to do with your love life, remember that at the end of the day, your happiness matters the most. If you think being with your partner regardless of the distance is what will make you the happiest, then you know what to do! Much love.

Life

DTM’s Guide to Online Shopping Like a Pro | Ro&Co

This week’s installment of Ro&Co features very special guest, Anita, who recently started her own blog, DTM! Anita shares her tips to level up your online shopping.

pinterest dtm guide online shopping

Hi guys! I’m Anita, one third of the DTM Blog. Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I’m constantly online shopping and this summer I will be working for Adidas in their E-Commerce department. So… I guess you can say I know a thing or two about navigating the online store. I’m here to share some tips about getting the most from your online shopping experience, hope you find them helpful!

anita1.jpg

Why shop online?

A lot of people prefer the in-store shopping experience mainly because you can try things and get what you want instantly. While I agree with this, there are several advantages of looking online for your next purchase. Online retail sites, make it a lot easier to compare prices between multiple websites, find deals and check reviews in a way that can’t be done in a brick-and-mortar store.

Often times, you get a lot more information about the product online than you do in store, as the sales associates don’t always have in depth knowledge about the products. In addition, there are no long checkout lines to deal with, and it’s a lot harder to ignore the price tag and make an impulse buy online, when the price is right there.

Know your body measurements

This is key in making sure you’re buying the right sized clothing, and not being surprised at delivery. I recommend buying a tape measure so you know what your basic body measurements are- waist, hips and chest (this one on Amazon is $2.97 with Prime) then compare with size chart on the website. This makes understanding what your size is in each store so much easier, especially because you can’t try the clothes on and sizes tend to differ from store to store.

Take advantage of filters (price, size, color)

This makes the whole process less time consuming and more focused on what you want to find and what’s available in your size and/or style you like. Take advantage of the specificity of these filters, they are there to make you shopping experience so much easier.

anita4.jpg

Sign up to mailing lists

But ONLY to stores you will actually shop at, you don’t want your mailbox to be full of retail promotions (like mine lol). This is really helpful in knowing when there are special sales, discounts, and new collections. A lot of stores also offer discounts towards your first order when you sign up to their mailing lists, so you’re also saving money.

Be open to inspiration but know what you’re looking for

These might seem like seemingly opposite things, but this is especially true if you don’t want to spend hours scrolling through products. Online shopping is a chance to explore different styles from different brands from the comfort of your couch; it’s a great way to be inspired so it’s good to be open to new styles and silhouettes you can try. But, there are a lot of products available online and it’s helpful to have some kind of idea of at least what item you’re looking for so it’s easier to narrow down choices.

Download store apps

It’s a quick, easy way to look through items on the go.

Don’t ignore customer reviews

You should always, always, always read a customer reviews when they’re available. They’re an honest insight into the product that you might not be able to get from online pictures. Obviously, they should be taken with a grain of salt because people’s motivations behind writing them can differ greatly, but it’s helpful in figuring out whether an item runs small or large or whether the color is the same as how it looks online.

anita2.jpg

Follow people with similar styles to you on social media

Social media platforms especially Instagram, have made it really easy for us to find, connect with and follow the styles of different kinds of people. There are celebrities, bloggers, stylists and even regular people that can inspire your style and help you find new stores you really like. Often, these people also share cool deals or special discounts to online stores.

Follow your favorite store’s Instagram

Almost every retail store has an Instagram, and it’s a great way to connect with a brand and learn a little more about their culture and general vibe. It’s also good for style inspiration on how to wear some of their products and how these items look on real people.

anita3.jpg

 

Have fun!

Online shopping shouldn’t be a chore! Whether you’re looking to refresh your style or you’re just bored, I hope this tips help make the process a lot easier and less overwhelming.

If you’d like to learn more about me, catch my posts on DTM, and follow us on Instagram @dtmblog.

Life

Table for One: A Guide to Brunching Alone | Ro&Co

This week’s installment of Ro&Co features Samira’s guide to making the most of that sacred weekend morning meal:pinterest_ samira brunch.png Brunch!

 

So you’ve finally worked up the courage to do it alone. Brunch, that is. The one thing where you just HAVE to go with friends and catch up on all the wild (or tame) things you’ve done over the weekend, the one meal it’s actually socially acceptable to be incredibly loud and obnoxious. Switch gears for a second, though. Remember, this is something you decided to do alone this time. You made a reservation on OpenTable, and booked a table for one. Or your friend cancelled on you 12 hours in advance, but that’s fine. Who cares? Not you! You are a BAMF.

Anyways, it’s Sunday and you’re getting ready to go to your brunch for one. There are a million things you could be doing instead, like sleeping in or doing things where you actually look like you have friends, but you’re doing this instead.

Tip #1: Grab a print(ed material such as but not limited to a book or magazine)

You don’t want to be the sad person who’s only ever on their phone. You’re brunching alone, you’re sad enough as it is. So bring something to take your mind off the fact that no one is staring at you or judging you. Bring a fiction book, a couple of magazines, maybe a newspaper with the crossword not yet done. Hey, if you’re feeling ballsy, bring a self-help book or Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Tip #2: Eat for two

The best part about having a meal buddy is that you usually order two different things. My strategy for brunching with a friend is to order one sweet and one savory thing and share. When you’re eating alone, you can’t exactly share with someone, unless the person at the table next to you is particularly friendly. You can get away with ordering a smaller dish as well as a main brunch dish, but if you’re not really feeling the whole “more is more” thing, you can always ask to see if the restaurant does half portions, or you can take a look at the pastry menu to placate your sweet tooth. Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself because you can’t steal a bite from you brunch buddy.

Tip #3: Sometimes, you just have to avoid “the corner”

If there’s a corner of the restaurant that is particularly boisterous, you might wanna attempt to seat yourself further away from that section. I personally prefer sitting at the bar (if available) or in an area that is quieter where I can actually enjoy being alone. I also just hate to be reminded that other people have better persuasive techniques because obviously they were able to get their friends to come while I am all by my lonesome.

It’s Saturday at 11am. What are you doing if not brunching? #TheAllis #SohoHouse

A post shared by The Allis Chicago (@theallischicago) on

Tip #4: What next?

You’ve survived the brunch and are waiting for the hints that you’ve overstayed your single welcome. These can come in many forms. The one that usually tends to do the trick is being brought the cheque and being told to “have a great day” when the restaurant is still relatively empty. At this point, if you’re ready to face the world again, you should pay, get up, and leave. Proceed to exploring the area you’re in. Walk around, try and find something that looks fun, follow interesting-looking people, and explore. You might come upon a cool coffee shop or a bookstore.

At the end of the day, you’ll feel more refreshed and relaxed than you would have had you not given yourself this treat of a meal. It’ll feel awkward at first, but eventually you too will see the appeal of brunching alone.

Life

Thrift Shopping 101 | Ro&Co

Welcome back to another installation of Ro&Co! This week, Jessie is back and sharing her tips for thrifting to help you prepare your spring wardrobe!

pinterest_thrift shopping.png

Why Thrift?

There are a number of reasons why I love thrift shopping. It’s good for the environment to recycle. Stores carry not just what’s in trend but what used to be—an fashion goes in cycles so it’ll probably be in again. I find unique things I wasn’t looking for. It’s a cheaper way to expand my wardrobe. And, it means I’m not dependent on flash fashion for cheap basics.

You Don’t have a Size:

Let go of that number/letter which tells you which pants/tops will and won’t fit. More often than not, stores have clothing sorted by color rather than size anyways. While this seems annoying at first glance, remember this store contains last season’s designer clothing, elderly grandmother’s vintage, flash-fashion from china, things which have shrunk or stretched in the wash, etc. Basically, size no longer exists. Besides, enough of the clothing has an itchy tag cut out and you don’t know the size anyways.

If you’re insecure about your size, this is a relief. If you’re proud of your size, you’re going to have to let go of the ego which won’t let you try on an XL. (this was very hard for me)

It’s gotta’ fit

Good clothing is important, but it has to fit.

This goes for all clothing—you will not shrink or grow into it after the 8th grade. It needs to fit your waist, chest, shoulders, hips etc. Moreover: you need to know how a piece is supposed to fit. By all means: go for bigger jackets and men’s clothing sections; BUT before you bring any piece home you need to make sure it fits your frame exactly how you want it to—or you’ve gone large enough that a tailor can make it fit you—I recommend at least an inch on your shoulders, arms, chest etc. If you don’t know how a blazer/pencil skirt/flapper dress or some other kind of clothing should fit, ask your mom or google.

This means you probably want to be able to try stuff on. If your thrift shop has a dressing room—take advantage of it. If not you use what you have. Firstly, find a corner so if you mess up stripping not too many people will see you. I often bring a friend and make them hold up a blanket (most thrift stores have a linens section. Otherwise, a long skirt you can wear over your lower half while you strip will protect your modestly while you can try on pants, shorts etc.

In this same corner, a tight tank will let you try on most shirts (I recommend wearing one ahead of time). Dresses are like shirts and then you take off your pants after.

Take Your Time

While you are saving money by buying used, the cheaper the thrift shop you attend, the less well organized. You can go to The Buffalo Exchange or Second Time Around if you’re looking for the thrifting experience without a few hours to dig through huge racks—but you’re paying about 200% markup for someone else to organize the clothes and decide which ones are or aren’t on trend. I find sorting through the racks is therapeutic, and allows me to get out my shopaholic without spending the same kind of money—as well as coming home with things I’m really excited about. In addition, part of the fun of thrifting is buying strange and unique things like a woolen hounds-tooth blazer or a red trench coat. It takes me almost an hour to get through the jacket section of the thrift store, because there are always so many unique pieces.

Thoroughly Inspect What You Take Home

Everything in the store is a good deal, and I am often grabbing everything at the beginning and need to do a lot of cutting at the end. Some people set themselves a budget, limit themselves to ten items etc. This has never worked for me since I find stores have good and bad days, and there are good and bad stores. I also know I will buy up to any budget even if I don’t like all the things as much.

Instead, I search every item for a reason why someone might tell me I shouldn’t get it. This includes: stains, tears, signs on wear, and fit (as mentioned above). Finally, I have to think of an occasion/outfit to wear with this, as well as the question all shoppers must ask ourselves “Do I need this? Do I have something similar? Will I really wear this?”

Your Aesthetic won’t change

I walk into a thrift store and desperately want to become the kind of girl who wears: maxi-skirt, bootcut jeans, large necklaces, tight leather pants, pink casual dresses, high heeled boots every day…whatever nice things I happen to find. These are nice clothes, at good prices but…unless its something which you can fit into your every day wardrobe or have an occasion to wear, it’s probably not worth the money.

Me, I don’t dress like a hipster. If you do, that’s rad. But me, I prefer neutral colors; I like tight pants and loose tops; I will not wear heels everyday. Nothing about you wardrobe preferences will change by the fact that the boots are three dollars, or this shirt is so hipster. If it isn’t you, you won’t wear it. If you don’t wear it, it takes up space in your closet and wastes your money.

29243131_1224652867670211_1644975486_o

 

Huge thanks to Jessie for sharing her tips! You can find her on Instagram here!

Life

4 Coffee Shops for Studying in Chicago | Ro&Co

Finals week studying have you down? In this week’s installment of Ro&Co, Marianne Dolan shares her top 4 coffee shops to study in around Chicago! Make the most of your reading period and explore the city while you work!

pinterest coffee shops

Perhaps you’re not a fan of brutalist architecture. Or maybe it’s just demoralizing that you get more social interaction on the first floor of the library during finals week than you’ve had the entire rest of the quarter. Be antisocial yet adventurous with these gems of coffee shops.

FullSizeRender

Peach & Green – South Loop

Peach & Green is like the Zendaya of coffee shops. Just as I genuinely wonder if there’s anything Zendaya can’t do (she can literally sing, dance, act, trapeze, and woo Zac Efron), I wonder what this South Loop oasis can’t do for me.

Wanting to feel ~trendy~ and healthy? You can take a ginger turmeric shot. Wishing the weather was more like California and wanting to overcompensate with cold pressed juice? Also in luck. Perhaps you, like me, are so basic beyond denial that you embrace it by regularly indulging in matcha drinks and avocado toast. Again, this place has essentially everything, including matcha lattes and smoothies and three different varieties of avocado toast.

If you just want an honest cup of coffee, good wifi connectivity, and comfy chairs, this café has you covered. They even have great selfie lighting so everyone else can know how productive you are. Peach & Green is the perfect setting to spend the whole day entrenched in work while being peak millennial.

Sawada Coffee

I consider Sawada Coffee not a café but rather a life ideology. Where else can you make a visit post-Soho House brunch (which is right across the street), get coffee, booze, or boozy coffee while eating barbecue brisket under twinkle lights? It encapsulates the work hard play hard mentality that you definitely won’t have this finals season. Still, it’s nice to know that others do have social lives and perhaps one day this could be you.

Art on the go. #sawadastyle #sawadacoffee

A post shared by Sawada Coffee (@sawadacoffee) on

I know this was a place I would return to the moment I saw multiple different varieties of Chai lattes and tasted their pour over coffee. My one warning is that outlets are rare here as people not adorned in hipster glasses. They exist; they’re just hard to find. I recommend this for the prepared planner who makes clutch West Loop brunch reservations on Open Table and actually remembers to charge their electronics.

Volumes book café

Nothing more makes me feel like I’m in the midst of a Hugh Grant rom com (specifically Notting Hill) than stepping into this cute book store/cafe hybrid. Rather than the warm smile of a movie star, you instead may encounter the stares of confused hipsters who think you’re too mainstream to be at an artsy cafe in Wicker Park.

#heygirl #mycanadianboyfriend #loveknowsnobounds

A post shared by Volumes Bookcafe (@volumesbooks) on

Still, the moment you taste their coffee or browse their vast selection of tea you will start to feel butterflies as you realize that you can indeed buy happiness. It costs approximately $4 and is otherwise referred to as the best matcha latte I’ve found in Chicago. Bonus points given for the fact that you can spend your study break browsing books you don’t actually have time to read.

Eataly (yes, it’s more than a restaurant)

Hear me out on this. Imagine a morning where you are greeted with the aroma of Nutella and faced with the challenge of whether you get an affogato or the healthier (and still flawless) Italian espresso. Sitting at one of their comfy booths, your greatest dilemma of the day is whether to venture across the street to Shake Shack or ride the escalator and get pizza when hungry.

A different alternative is the strange musk of the A-Level and Domino’s. We’ve all been there, but very few have considered the full potential of Eataly. You can change that this finals week.

Huge thanks to Marianne for sharing her favorite coffee shops! You can follow along with her adventures around Chicago on Instagram @mariannedolan!

Did you try a new workout? Do you have an awesome study hack? You too could be featured on Ro&Co! Shoot me an email xoxorosana@gmail.com or DM me!

How do you prepare for finals? Do you take time to destress? Do you rigorously plan out your schedule?

Let me know on twitter @xoxorosana_blog or tag me in your study plans on Instagram @xoxorosana.blog!

Life

Tinder 101: Surviving the Most Perilous of Dating Apps| Ro&Co

In this week’s edition of Ro&Co, Claire shares her crash course for success on the infamous Tinder as a college student. Check out her previous post for Ro&Co about making it to the gym in the cold!

pinterest _ tinder 101

 

Hi Everyone! Today I’m gonna talk about how to build a Tinder bio. I’ve been an emotionally unavailable gal on the go for several months nows, so I’ve had a bit of time to experiment with my Tinder game. Here’s some of my advice for crafting a bio, and some my tidbits of advice and biggest pet peeves.

 

 Image-1

Bio

In my opinion, the bio is the most important part of any Tinder profile. It is usually the conversation starter for the first message that gets sent to you; so make sure it’s something you’re down to talk about. I’ve had a lot of experience with tinder bios (because I make my bio the funniest I’ve seen or thought of lately) and I’ve had a range of responses. A George Bush quote was a great intro for me, whereas the phrase ‘too competitive for three-ways’ led to a lot of creepy messages.

Currently I have the bio “known mansplainer” which is really just a description but it’s really fun to see what people message me about that. Basically choose a bio that reflects your personality and involves a topic that you’re willing to talk about with 3/4 of your matches.

Whatever you do though, PLEASE make an original bio. The best bios I’ve ever seen are funny things that separate you from everyone else. Some of the great bios I saw this week said things like “sponsored by Soulja boy”,  “pretty much only looking to get married”, and “avid sleeper”. A longer example from one of my friends is “once sprained my thumb on a soap dispenser; message me if you’re interested in going my class action lawsuit”. 

 

Unknown

Photos

The next step of building your Tinder profile is the photos. I think that the first picture should absolutely be a solo shot. No one wants to wonder who their swiping on. Additionally, you need to have three or more photos. When I see a bio with one pic, I assume that a) I’m being catfished, or b) that picture is not an accurate representation of you. Finally, I try to have at least one or two photos of me and others (not the first photo obviously) to imply that I have friends.

Image-1-1

Strategy

I like to be aware of the vibe I’m sending with my photos. If I’m looking for a casual hookup, I try to make my profile a smidge more risqué than I would if I were looking for friends. Obviously my profile cannot and should not be assumed to mean consent or interest in anything, but I remember that I have some control over the people I’m trying to get matches with. For instance, if I really just want people to send memes, I will literally write that in my bio. If I’m just looking for sex, I make that clear too.

You don’t have to precisely spell out “I am using this app for sex” but there are definitely funny ways to make this clear. For example, one bio I read during my research (lol) said “physics student; I’ll help you with your math and science homework if you help me understand some content for my physiology class.” This boy managed to say “I AM HERE FOR SEX” while still making me laugh, and that’s a win.

Image-5

Tinder Dates

I think that one of the biggest Tinder mistakes you can make is refusing to ever go on any dates. I hear this a lot from my friends for a lot of different reasons. Some say that they’re scared to commit. Some only want to use the app for an ego boost. Some people are just afraid of meeting strangers from the internet.

My advice is to give it a chance. If you really click with someone, then maybe grab coffee. I once went on a Tinder first date where I clicked with the guy so well that we sat in a coffee shop for 4 hours talking! A lot of the people on Tinder are normal and just looking for the same things we are. That being said, I’m super scared of being killed by a serial killer so I definitely recommend having this Tinder date in a public place (instead of a secluded park at midnight).

 

Are you afraid of Tinder serial killers? What are your bio tips? Let me know on instagram @clairedrigs.

Check out Claire’s previous post on Ro&Co about making it to the gym in the winter!

Life

10 Ways to De-Stress Before Midterms

With midterms around the corner, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the work. With that in mind, I asked my friends to share what they do to de-stress during midterm season and beyond.

pinterest 10 ways to destress before midterms.png

1. Bubble Baths

Since it is absolutely freezing outside, the one step I’ve taken this quarter to de-stress is to take a weekend night to myself where I run a bubble bath, light some candles, and listen to some music. It also forces me to disconnect from my electronics and helps me to go to bed earlier. I don’t sleep a lot during the week so trading a weekend night of going out for one at home with my bubble bath and an early sleep really helps balance out my week.

Emily, from No Repeats or Hesitations, does face masks and drinks tea as a part of her de-stress ritual. Like Emily, Jenny always drinks barley tea when she wants to de-stress because the flavor reminds her of home and the other times she de-stressed with barley tea.

2. Exercise

When she gets stressed, Samira makes sure she exercises regularly. Exercise can be a great way to work through nervous, over caffeinated energy, even though it’s often one of the first things to go when school ramps up. Even in the middle of the worst finals week, taking 20 minutes to move around can do wonders for your mental clarity and helps you to keep from being overwhelmed.

3. Clean

Kelsey loves to clean her living space to destress. She likes the way it feels productive without being school work. Often having a clean bedroom and apartment, can be wildly helpful in making you feel like your life is more together than it actually is. Especially if you’re still in a dorm room, with limited space to work in, its important to keep your desk as clean as possible.

4. List Making

Claire likes making lists with all her to dos. It helps her to organize her thoughts and she feels better when she can cross things off the list. It can be a small step, but having a list with everything you need to do can be comforting because you know you aren’t forgetting anything

5. Be Alone

When Yoo Jung gets overwhelmed she likes to find a place where she can be by herself. It can be easy, especially when you have roommates and always study with others, to forget that you haven’t taken time to just be by yourself.

6. The Interwebs

When Madeleine gets stressed, she likes to spend some time roaming the internet. One of her favorite things to do is online shopping without buying anything. In high school, I used to keep endless wishlists on all my favorite clothing website and would periodically send them to my mom just in case she needed to find me a birthday present or something.

On the other hand, Isaac likes to watch YouTube videos about something he’s interested in “to get [his] mind thinking of something else and appreciate something”. Even though he doesn’t play too many video games, sometimes he likes to watch videos about game design because he finds it interesting.

Kaela takes short breaks, but makes sure she always spends them watching funny YouTube videos. If she’s barely keeping her laughter quiet in the library, that’s a good break.

7. Go Somewhere New

Marianne loves to get off campus to discover a new place. By changing up her working environment and disconnecting from what can become a bubble of stress, she refreshed and more productive in the new place. Last year, she went to a coffee shop in Wicker Park by herself to study.

Jorge likes “going to a coffee shop alone and enjoying being in the moment… I make myself be present and I try to focus on just breathing and clearing my mind by planning the week ahead of me. It makes me feel like I have a better hold on things.”

8. Meditation Breathing

When Emma is feeling stressed, she takes a few minutes to center her breath and sometimes even does a mini-meditation. Deep breaths or even a guided mediation on an app helps her stay sane when schoolwork gets to be overwhelming.

For Jake, breathing exercises actually make him more stressed. Instead for him, “the best solution is focusing on the immediate. Like if I’m in class, I focus on being a good student. Or if I’m with friends, I focus on being a good friend.” He also finds that eating Nutella straight from the jar is helpful.

9. Morning Routine

Christina likes to go through a routine when she’s feeling overwhelmed. Her morning routine is particular important in getting her day off to go a good start, and when her work gets her down sometimes she’ll start the routine from scratch to give her a fresh start and renewed focus throughout the day.

10. Be Creative

Sydney loves to take time and draw when she gets stressed. Creative outlets can be a great way to release built up stress and can help clear your mind.

For me, calligraphy has always been sometime that helps me to disconnect from the world around me. In classes, I’ll even focus on my handwriting while taking notes so that I can still be productive without getting too frustrated if I don’t understand exactly what’s happening.

How do you destress?

Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!!

Good Luck!

Xoxo, Rosana

Life

Do It For the ‘Gram | Ro&Co

Ro&Co is a new series on Xoxo, Rosana where I am teaming up with some of the incredible women in my life to share their perspectives every Monday in January. In this week’s installment Becca Welch is sharing how she uses her Instagram to develop her personal brand.

pinterest_do it for the 'gram.png

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an Instagram feed is a fortune when it comes to building your online presence and brand. I like to consider myself an amateur photographer because I’ve only been doing it for a little over two years and mostly for my friends, but it has definitely given me a new perspective on building a brand as a college student. Something I once found to be just a creative outlet is now something that I can one day show future employers.

In the world we live in, I honestly believe that your social media is just as important as your resume and having an Instagram that portrays your brand (either for a product, blog, or just your self-branding) is essential. I’ve put together my top 5 tips for expanding and growing your Instagram feed to help boost your brand and make it more than your typical college student’s feed.

Don’t Kill Yourself to Perfectly Match Your Feed

Telling yourself that all of your pictures absolutely have to be in a shade of green or only in black or white will seriously limit you in what you can post. If you decide to stick with something more general like pastels or neutrals, you don’t limit yourself as much and can better find a cohesive flow in your feed. Personally, I had a time where I posted mostly landscape, soft colors and neutrals and am now moving into posts that are within the red/pink color wheel.

Take Good Quality Pictures

Photo quality can make or break your feed. When all of your pictures are taken with the same camera (or phone) you are able to really show off your pictures. Plus, when you have high quality pictures, people assume that you have a high quality product (or brand).

Use Your Story as Much as Your Feed

Instagram stories are my FAVORITE thing. Use them to take your followers on a day with you and show them your favorite things. I love to do stories when I travel and when I go shopping because it makes your feed more personal and not so stiff.

Give a Variety of Posts

Throw in different kinds of pictures to shake up your feed. Selfies are great, but a feed full of them gets to be repetitive and lacks creativity. Post selfies, prints, and landscapes to mix it up and make it something for a larger variety of followers as well.

Network, Network, Network!

The best way to increase views on your Instagram is to view a lot of different profiles. My favorite way to do this is to go on the explore page and follow the top 15 profiles that pop up. That way, you get to see profiles you might not have heard of and find smaller pages that will most likely follow back. I typically get 5 followers for every 15 accounts I follow. Commenting on pages can help even more so make sure to drop a simple comment as well as liking a post.

Sometimes brand building can seem intimidating (and it still is for me every now and then) but in the long run, it only helps you. Go that extra mile and put effort into your Instagram and pictures so that one day you will be able to look back and realize just how far those simple posts got you in having your best self-brand.

 

You can follow Becca on Instagram @aurevoir_yall!

Ro&Co is a series of guest posts by some of the amazing women in my life. You can read more about my reasons for starting the series here.

How do you use your social media to create your personal brand?

Let me know on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!

Xoxo, Rosana

Life

Weekend Guide to Miami | Ro On the Go

While Chicago has been experiencing record cold in the week leading up to New Years, I have been hiding out in Miami for winter break! Since this is just about the time to start planning your spring break, here is my weekend guide to Miami on a budget!

pinterest_weekend guide to miami

The Constraints

My weekend guide provides comprehensive, step by step plans, for both Saturday and Sunday. Ever activity and meal will be less than $30 per person. However, this guide does not include hotels or AirBnBs since room affordability varies based on the number of friends you’re traveling with.

Parking in Miami is pretty expensive, so your best bet is to take a ridesharing service between the location rather than renting a car.

Saturday

Start the morning off right with brunch at Greenstreet Cafe! In Coconut Grove, it has plenty of sidewalk seating and is just a couple blocks away from the beach and some wonderful shopping. You’re definitely going to need a reservation because they’re always full.

Once you’re fueled with coffee and ready to take on the day, head downtown to see the Perez Art Museum Miami. With a gorgeous sculpture garden and some iconic picture taking spots, it is one of my favorite places in the city. It is also right next to the Frost Museum of Science, with both a planetarium and aquarium is a must see. Verde, the restaurant in PAMM, is delicious, and is least crowded in the midafternoon.

After you’re done learning, head to Key Biscayne to catch the sunset on one of the mangrove covered beaches. Key Biscayne is an island off the coast of Miami, and the beaches aren’t usually super crowded.

Head home to grab your dancing shoes before going to Ball and Chain. With great Cuban food and a live band playing latin music, it’s a Miami staple. Bring friends because it can get a little crowded and you’ll have more fun with a group.

Sunday

The next morning you might not be up super early, but the best thing after a night out is some Southern comfort food. Head to Yardbird in Miami Beach for farm-to-table brunch!

Your feet might be sore from dancing all night and the museum walking, so this is the perfect time to head to a spa! Miami is really big on their spas, but sometimes services can be crazy expensive. Portfolio Salon in Coral Gables has spa services that are reasonably priced and super quick.

Take your new pedicure to see the murals in Wynwood. Like the Pilsen murals on steroids every wall in this neighborhood is covered with stunning artwork! With cute coffee shops and boutique clothing stores on every corner, it is one of the most beautiful places in Miami.

After visiting Wynwood, head to the Museum of Contemporary Art up in North Miami to see some art off the beaten path. They try to feature exhibits by local artists. Across the street is The Rabbit Hole, the best curated thrift store in Miami. Although most of the products are well over budget, they have a stunning collection of handmade bows for your hair.

Pretty details 💞

A post shared by Miami Vintage Store Instashop (@shoprabbithole) on

A trip to Miami would not be complete without getting dinner at Versailles! The iconic cuban restaurant in Little Havana has been a Miami staple for decades.

It’s lit.💡 📸: @culebro

A post shared by Versailles Restaurant (@versaillesmiami) on

 

Have you ever been to Miami? What are your must sees?

Let me know on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!

Xoxo, Rosana

Life

2018: The Year of Women | Ro&Co

Happy 2018!! Across the nation, and the world, 2017 was a rough year to be a woman. It has never been more clear that women need to actively champion each other. For 2018, Xoxo, Rosana will be doubling down on its commitment to support women and here is what you can do to do the same.

pinterest_year of women.png

**CW: Sexual Assault and Harassment** If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

2017 and #MeToo

Although 2017 was a huge year for the unveiling of sexual harassment and assault in industries such as media and tech, the story is too familiar on college campuses. One in four college women are victims of sexual violence, and only 12% of survivors report the assault to the police. We know these statistics too well, in the stories of our friends. The President of the United States was elected after being accused by 19 women of sexual misconduct. #MeToo has been used millions of times in over 85 countries, according to Time Magazine’s feature on The Silence Breakers.

The bravery of these women in coming forward can and should be praised, but there are many who are choosing not to do the same. Women in Hollywood and tech tend to have the financial security to bear the potential consequences of coming forward, and it is important to keep in mind the women who couldn’t afford to do so.

We, as college women, must prepare to transition from an environment in which college administration’s response to sexual assault on campus is to stop recognizing greek organizations to one where the #MeToo movement only scratches the surface of sexual harassment. One of the best ways to tackle this issue is to make a conscious effort to support the women in your life.

4 Things You Can Do to Support Women

Look out for Freshmen. In every organization you’re a part of, there will (hopefully!) be at least one freshman who just joined. Making an effort to take them to coffee and get to know them will both be an awesome way to welcome them to it, and will mean the world to them. The big-little process of sororities is one of the best examples of how creating a relationship with a new member can really change the way they experience an organization.

Watch your Words. Calling women sluts, bitches, or emotional, undermines them, especially when they’re in positions of power. When you use gender biased terms to criticize other women, it perpetuates the mean girls stereotype. You could also take the opportunity to remind the others in your life to do the same. This is especially important to keep in mind when you criticize other women-led groups like other sororities.

Support Each Other in School and in the Job Search. Often women hold the toxic belief that there are only so many spots for women (in a internship program, a conference, etc) too closely. It pits us against each other, seeing others as competitors rather than as your greatest allies. Work with others on your problem sets, show your friends your cover letter, talk about the things you are doing to prepare for your interviews!

Listen. It’s easy to forget that arguably the greatest strength of women is the capacity for female friendships to bloom from an hour long coffee date complaining about almost anything. Especially as we are constantly reminded of the number of women who haven’t been able to speak about their experiences, it is crucial to develop relationships where your friends feel comfortable reaching out when they need help with anything. If someone comes to you with something serious, the best you can do is to believe them, ask what you can do to help, and let them tell you. There are a wealth of resources available, like RAINN’s online crisis center.

Ro&Co

In an attempt to be more cognizant of how I am supporting the women in my life, in 2018 Xoxo, Rosana is committing to generating female-positive content. To kick off this initiative, I am launching a new series called Ro&Co, where every Monday in January, there will be a new guest post by one of the amazing women I am lucky to have around me.

In addition, my newsletter always features some of the best content from around the web for women. You can check out the latest one here and sign up here!

 

What are you doing to support the women in your life?

Let me know on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!

Xoxo, Rosana