Tag Archives: Getting It Together Thursdays

What I Learned From Being in a Sorority

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

This isn’t the post I had planned for today. I hadn’t even thought about writing it until my dad asked me what I thought about what happened at my alma mater, West Virginia University, last week. I am not going to give my opinion but I send my condolences out to that student’s family and friends. What I will give my opinion on is how Greek life is often mistakenly painted in a negative light.

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

Sisterhood after college… DC Half-Marathon with Alexis.

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

Turkey trotin’ with my sister Kayla last year.

The one thing I told my dad was that all of Greek life shouldn’t be punished for what happened. I feel like WVU might remove all of the sororities and fraternities from campus because that is the kind of rash decisions that are made after catastrophic events. Would you remove all freshman from campus if this happened in a freshman dorm?

Where else on a college campus can you find an entire community that requires their members be better people through volunteering, academics and holding themselves to higher standards than the average student? At WVU, members of Greek life have higher GPAs than those who are not affiliated with a fraternity or sorority. Study hours are required for new members and if you don’t have a high enough GPA as an initiated sister, you are put on standards.

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

An initiation my junior year. Can you spot me?

Being part of Greek life is not all about partying. It’s what you make it. I really wasn’t into hanging out with fraternity boys (incase anyone hasn’t noticed, that isn’t my type at all) and I never lived in the sorority house, but being a sister of Sigma Kappa made me a part of something bigger.

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

My pledge class… what up Fall Sigma (I think).

No matter where I am, if I called any one of my “sisters”, they would be there if I needed them. I wasn’t necessarily close to every single girl in my chapter but I have never hung out with one of my sisters post-grad and not had an amazing time. I’m 3,000 miles away from school but I have plans to get lunch on Sunday with one of the girls who pledged my senior year. What other organization nourishes that kind of a bond?

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

I still consider Courtney and Jessica two of my best friends… and I wouldn’t have met them without Sigma Kappa!

I can’t tell you how excited and proud I was when my cousin Madison told me she was going to go through Formal Recruitment at Alabama this past fall. Although there wasn’t a Sigma Kappa on her campus, I knew that no matter where she ended up, she was going to have a rewarding and enriching experience. I ask any young woman who is entering college if she plans on rushing – and if she isn’t, I encourage her to at least explore joining a sorority.

what i learned from being in a sorority | almost getting it together

My Greek fam.

During this conversation, I realized what I learned from being in a sorority. I learned to be a better version of myself. 19 year old me who walked into that house during formal recruitment in September 2008 was awkward, unconfident and a little high strung. The girl who walked out was way more laid back, self-confident and on the path to turning into the type of girl she admired. She knew how to walk away from a situation that wasn’t serving her, to be a friend and sister no matter what past events may have happened, and how to run in high heels. She learned how to be the best version of herself through the love and friendship of her sisters.

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No comments, just your thoughts! (Unless you have a question about sorority life for me!)

Getting it Together Thursdays: What’s Next

san francisco | almost getting it together

The hardest part about actually getting my life together, in a sense, was keeping it a secret. I dreamt of the day for so long where I would have a new job, would be leaving Pittsburgh, etc. etc. I truly thought it would never happen. I would get so frustrated and cry and feel like I wasn’t good enough to ever work anywhere else again nor was I really ready to freelance full time. I’m moving to San Francisco at the end of the month. I’ve wanted to move to SF for the past two years, to be completely honest.

san francisco | almost getting it together

Spotted this while in SF two weeks ago.

I’m leaving social media, which took a lot of soul searching to feel like I was comfortable doing. Like I mentioned, I was feeling a little disenchanted with it, and even though I’m a marketer, I hated how it had just become all about making money and not about branding. I like to do both at the same time. If you couldn’t tell, I really try to limit the ads on Almost Getting it Together, I turn down sponsored posts and giveaways that don’t make sense, and really keep my social media profiles pretty focused. I’m all about the personal brand.

So, as you’re reading this, I’m either en route to San Francisco with my dad to look for an apartment or in San Francisco looking for an apartment and crying over the insane housing prices.

san francisco | almost getting it togethersan francisco | almost getting it together

Me in SF two years ago which started my love affair with the city.

Commonly asked questions:
How are your dad/grandparents/family handling it?
Dad and I had a total crying fit on Friday because I mean, we’re best friends and all. He is excited that I will “be so close to Hawaii”. He’s already talking surf trips so it’s cool. My family is worried I will no longer like Pittsburgh sports but promise to visit lots.

Are you sad to be leaving your friends?
Uh, duh. I feel like in the past year I really found my groove and core group of friends whom I actually like in Pittsburgh. There have been a lot of emotional text conversations with all my friends and apparently, two bouts of crying with Angela on Sunday night. Also, my apartment is always open to everyone who wants to visit. Please do so frequently. I promise to feed you well.

So like, I’m trying to be an adult and getting it together. Don’t worry though, I won’t have it all together, I can’t change this blog name.

san francisco | almost getting it together

OH SHIZ, MY NEW HOME.

Chat with me:
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY NEWS? Do you live in SF? Do you want to be my friend? (I am totally looking for friends right now haha.)

How to Survive Long Flights [and a Giveaway!]

tips for long flights | almost getting it together

Step one: Don’t let your heart stop beating.
Step two: Arrive at destination.

Just kidding (kind of).

I’ve done my share of long flights: DC to Buenos Aires, New York to Hong Kong, Atlanta to Hawaii and of course, the ever-classic Pittsburgh to Portland. Yes, some of them are miserable and feel like they will never end, but funny story, they always do, some way or another.

tips for long flights | almost getting it together

Sad airport moments in San Francisco because I’m getting ready to sleep sitting up.

There are some ways to handle these flights so you aren’t tempted to never venture further than 1,000 miles from your home again.

• Don’t fly drunk/hungover
I know, it sounds fun in theory, especially if you have a 6 a.m. flight and don’t want to pay for another night in a hotel in Kuala Lampur. “I’ll totally pass out on the plane!” Yes, yes you will… and you’ll wake up a few hours later with a hangover that is so memorable that I’m writing about it five and a half years later. Altitude + dehydration = feeling like death. I think I can leave it at that.

tips for long flights | almost getting it together

Wine sounds like a good idea… but don’t go overboard.

• Dress smart.
I don’t mean wear sweatpants. You’re getting on a plane, not sitting on your couch watching House of Cards. I’m a proponent of wearing heels to the airport because it a) takes up less space in your suitcase and b) you’re just sitting there so why do your feet need to be comfy? “What if I need to run to my gate?” Well, if there is one thing being in a sorority taught me, it’s how to run in heels.

tips for long flights | almost getting it together

Fun fact: This is what I wore flying home from Nicaragua – chino shorts from J Crew and a Dolman Shirt.

Back to the point at hand: if you’re on a long, overnight flight… feel free to wear soft pants, boyfriend jeans, or leggings. Those are okay because they aren’t sweatpants. Hell, wear joggers! I’m also a fan of a chino or soft short in the summer. Wear a comfy t-shirt or sweater and wear a cardigan over it. Then either tie a long, wide heavier knit scarf around your bag or go invest in one so you can use it as a blanket. Trust me, it really helps with the whole sleeping sitting up thing.

• Download a white noise app.
I need background noise that doesn’t involve other people’s conversations or screaming children to sleep. Even at home I sleep with a fan on for noise or use my white noise app if I’m traveling. I’m bad at sleeping which also means I’m a super light sleeper – the slightest thing will wake me up. I use Relax Melodies. You can make your own background noise from dozens of different combinations. The one I use is city ambiance and urban rain.

• Have entertainment.
I’m pretty positive I have ADHD but I’m also too distracted to go get tested for it. Luckily, being on a plane gives me some uninterrupted time to write (which is when I’m actually writing this post). I’ll also download a movie I want to see from iTunes or download a new book, but 99% of the time I never open the book or watch the movie. Whoops.

• Pack your own food.
Airport and plane snacks suck. Airport and plane food sucks in general, unless you’re in business or first class, then it might be slightly edible and less full of preservatives, but typically doubtful. They’re always out of whatever I want anyway. I’m insane, so I pack overnight oats for breakfast then a salad or sandwich for lunch/dinner because those things get through security pretty well and I know that no matter what I end up eating when I land, I ate something that probably involved fruit, vegetables, fiber and protein prior.

If you need extra snacks, I’m obsessed with Kind Bars. They are low in sugar, high in protein and taste like a candy bar… except they are good for you. Keep reading for your chance to win an 8-pack!

tips for long flights | almost getting it together

First Class Overnight Oats (because even first class food isn’t the best).

• Stay hydrated.
Duh. Seriously. Just pack a refillable water bottle. Usually if the flight attendants like you they’ll fill it up for you with bottled water once you drink all yours.

• Get an aisle seat.
I can’t sit still. Whatsoever. Plus then my knees and hips start to hurt. I literally will do laps on planes. “What if I disturb someone?” I’m sorry, walking down the aisle won’t disturb anyone and you have to do what you have to do to keep yourself healthy and happy.

• Pack a tooth brush and face wash.
I have slight tooth brushing OCD if you weren’t aware, i.e. I brush my teeth approximately 8-10 times a day. I’ve been doing it since I could brush my teeth on my own. My parents took me to a psychologist when I was little because they were so concerned… anyway, I brush my teeth and wash my face before I land because I feel like I get oily on planes. I also use Evian Rehydrating spray to get some more moisture back in my skin.

• If all else fails, take melatonin.
I carry melatonin with me when I fly across time zones. It helps with jet lag and puts (and keeps) me asleep. It also doesn’t leave you with a sleeping pill hangover like Tylenol PM or Benadryl or a real prescription sleeping pill.

I’m partnering with Kind Snacks to giveaway an 8 pack of Kind Bars, perfect for traveling! This contest is open through August 6th to US residents only (sorry, international friends!).

tips for long flights | almost getting it together

This actually happened coming home from Portland on Tuesday.

Win an 8-Pack of Kind Bars!

Chat with me:
Did I leave any good tips out? What’s the longest/worst flight you’ve been on? What do you wear to the airport?

Guest Posting at Nutty For Life

bastille pittsburgh nutty for life | almost getting it together

While Angela is enjoying Wild & Wonderful West Virginia, I’m guest posting for her at Nutty for Life. I’m talking about doing something I was good at for a long time – being single – and why it is such a stigma in today’s age. Go take a read and be sure to give me your thoughts.

Getting it Together Thursdays: Collect Moments, Not Things

stonehenge england | almost getting it together

What do you remember more – that amazing Spring Break trip you took with your girlfriends in college or the sweater you bought last week? If you’re anything like me, you don’t realize you own two-thirds of the things in your wardrobe, so it’s probably the trip.

I love to travel. I was bitten by the travel bug at an early age. I am very lucky and blessed that my family puts importance on spending time together doing things rather than buying things – while most people asked for a new MacBook for high school graduation, I schlepped my two-year old laptop to college and instead, asked for a trip to Europe. The laptop I eventually did have to purchase a week into school now lays forgotten and unused in my basement, but I still fondly remember visiting Versailles with my grandmother just about every day.

My friends often ask how I have money to travel so much – the simple answer is that I am really cautious about where my money goes: I pack my lunch everyday for work rather than buying it, I make my coffee instead of stopping at Starbucks for a latte every morning, I live at home (I know, this isn’t something to necessarily be proud of at 25, but I save so much money) and delete those sales e-mails. Think before you buy – do you really love it? If not, don’t buy it. That money could go to something more meaningful.

Maybe you don’t have the travel bug – you can still collect moments with your friends and family. Each birthday and holiday, I try to buy my friends and family something that requires us to spend time together. I bought my grandmother a spa package this Christmas, took Friend Emily (who seriously I have to have guest post about her Green Trekker) out to brunch and a mani/pedi for her birthday and bought tickets to a concert for Angela for all her hard work over the summer.

In college, I drove a beat-up Ford Taurus (because I was a terrible driver, it was purchased for me in perfect condition) and all I wanted was a new car. After a summer trip to Italy, my dad told me “I was going to buy you a new car this summer, but I decided the memories you would make in Italy would be worth more”. Think about that next time before you spend money – will you remember what you buy or will you remember that trip or event you are saving money for?

Chat with me:
Do you collect moments or things? (It’s okay to collect both :))