Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The CU Tales: Rush Week - Round 1 (Day 3)

Another exhausting day finished, another one set for tomorrow. My day started at roughly 7am again, and I tried to pick out an outfit that was sufficiently cute yet stand-out... ish. If I recall, I was wearing a blazer with a sequin top, and of course, I accessorized with my creepy person necklace. I had a bit more confidence than I did the day before, but I instantly became more self conscious about what I was saying.

I started to plan out in my head exactly what I would talk about with the various girls in each house. Looking back on it, I think that was something I should've limited. The more I thought into it, the more I got freaked out and the conversations became more awkward and less free-flowing. So, a word of advice to anyone forced to interact with multiple people at a time for about five minutes each: try not to be creepy, or try too hard. If they like you, it won't be because of your ability to shoot out random topics as quickly as people.

The houses I visited the second day were AChiO, AXiD, Theta, KD, and SDT (I previously stated that I visited KD on the first day, but I realize now that I listed too many). The same process occurred at each house, with slight variations. Each house served a beverage of some sort, and a couple steered away from the hot chocolate. I remember loving the apple cider some houses gave. AXiD ended up offering either cucumber water or Shirley Temples. When one of the girls offered me a drink, I reluctantly had to tell her I was allergic to cucumbers and cherries. Awkward...

Moving on, I remember bits and pieces from various conversations I had, and I even made a few horror stories. At AChiO, I was talking with one of the girls and was chewing on a Lifesaver, you know, for my stank breath. So, I start to break it up into tiny little pieces and as I'm having a conversation with the girl, I end up spitting up a piece of the candy and I see it falling in slow motion directly onto her lap. I didn't know what to say for about five seconds, but it seemed like she didn't notice, so I tried to just move on. Otherwise, I was known as the creepy girl who likes to spit up various objects.

Overall, I ended up not loving most of the houses from the second day as much as the first day. Still, I knew which houses I thought had potential for me. I wanted to see what would happen with Kappa, Theta, AXiD, and KD even though I didn't really fall head over heels for them. At SDT, I had a fairly awful experience with one of the girls there. She clearly wasn't listening to anything I was saying, and I honestly didn't think there was much going on up in her head anyways. Still, I knew this would probably be a tough decision. I ended up liking pretty much all of the houses in some way, and I couldn't help but wonder how my opinion could completely change the next time I visited. I knew I had to choose wisely.

After Round 1, we finally had to fill out a form. There are 11 houses, and we had to put down eight 1's, next to the houses we'd want to visit again. Then, for the last three houses, you would rank them from 2 to 4 based on preference. You could get a maximum of eight call-backs for Round 2. I put down Alpha Phi, AEPhi, Theta, DG, KD, TriDelt, AChiO, and Kappa as my eight 1's. I really did like AXiD, but I couldn't see myself fitting in with a lot of the girls I saw there. So, I put it does as 2. Then, I put PiPhi as 4 and SDT as 3. And now it was up to the sororities. After we handed in our sheets, it was their turn to pick and choose. And so we waited until tomorrow, to see how the next day would turn out.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Cu Tales: Rush Week - Round 1 (Day 2)

I got up at around 7:00am so I could have a full face of makeup, presentable hair, and fashionable outfit by 9:00. I just have to add that my first class last semester started at 1:25PM, so waking up at this ungodly hour was even more painful than I hoped it would be. For Round 1, all of the PNM (Potential New Members) have to visit all 11 Panhellenic Sororities. Round 1 is actually split up into two days; you visit 6 houses one day and 5 houses the next. Depending on your Rho Gamma group, you might visit the 6 houses visit, as in my case. Today was the first experience I had ever had with rushing. And it was... insane.

The 11 Panhellenic sorority houses in Cornell are (in no order) Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEPhi), Pi Beta Phi (Pi Phi), Kappa Alpha Theta (Theta), Kappa Kappa Gamma (Kappa), Alpha Xi Delta (AXiD), Kappa Delta (KD), Delta Delta Delta (TriDelt), Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma (DG), and Sigma Delta Tau (SDT). For my first day of Round 1, I visited AEPhi, Alpha Phi, Kappa, TriDelt, DG, Pi Phi, and KD.

Like I said before, I came into the process with an open mind. I tried not to think too much about the houses, and I figured that in the end, I would end up in the house I was meant to end up in. Otherwise, I just wasn't mean for the sorority life. Before I even visited the houses, I already had a few preconceived notions about each of the houses, and the first house I visited (AEPhi), was already at the bottom of my list. From what I heard (and read), I led myself to believe that I could never fit into a place like AEPhi. It was known as a JAP-py (Jewish-American Princess) house with a lot of stuck up and pretentious girls with whom I could never seem myself having fun. And so we waited outside, in the freezing cold might I add, and we waited. And boy, was I REALLY not prepared for what was to happen...

Before we even went into the house, dance music of epic proportions started blaring. Behind the closed door, we heard screaming, cheering, and we feared for our lives. The sisters pounded on the wood, as if they were going to destroy us as soon as the door opened. After about five minutes, the insanity was finally unleashed on us. Sorority sisters shrieked and yelled as we walked into the house. They continued to clap and dance, and soon a sister would personally come up to you and grab you. I didn't know how to react. Where was this damn lady taking me? What da eff is going on? I had never been more frightened by my own gender in my life.

After the girls took our jackets, we sat down in a room full of chairs and were individually situated with a sister from the house. It was immensely difficult to hear what the girls would be telling us, as other girls would still be walking into the house and the music would still be blasting. It felt... unreal in a way. But here was a girl, right in front of me, waiting to talk to me. Surprisingly, the conversation was very easy and relatively relaxing. I expected something completely different. These girls wanted to get to know me, and I thought they would just look me up and down and simply judge my outer appearance. It just wasn't like that at all. I talked with the first girl for roughly ten minutes, and I talked to about three girls for each house on average. At AEPhi, I talked about my obsession with Hello Kitty and the Jersey Shore, and I left the house feeling relieved, to say the least.

Rush wasn't anything like people had told me. These girls would simply strike up conversations with you about anything and everything, and really just wanted to get to know you. They weren't judgemental or catty in the slightest. And I realized that I would be able to make my own call on a lot of the houses, and that my initial notions about each house were probably biased and false. I soon looked forward to going to all of the houses.

Still, that didn't necessarily override the harsh conditions of rush week. PNMs had to walk around in single digit weather, walking for maybe 7 miles a day just to visit all the houses. The hours were long, and the journey tedious. The first day of Round 1 didn't end until 6:00pm. Still, I wouldn't have taken back the experience for anything.

After AEPhi, I then visited Alpha Phi and Kappa. As I continued going through the houses, I saw just how some of the stereotypes were put into place. Most of the sisters were ridiculously gorgeous, and I felt disfigured just in their presences. Still, they were just as real as any other girl, and most of them were hilarious and interesting. I didn't really know how the houses eliminated the PNM's, but I soon began to form my own list of top and bottom houses.

At the end of the day, I ended up loving DG, Kappa, Alpha Phi, and AEPhi. I didn't particularly like Pi Phi or TriDelt. I clicked the most with the girls I talked to at those sororities, and I soon realized just how cut-throat the process must have been. I only talked to roughly three girls from each house, and if even one of the girls didn't like me, I was probably cut from the house. S Also, it was hard to have any particular opinion about a house. Having even one terrible conversation with an awkward girl from one of the houses could completely ruin my opinion for the entire sorority, even if it might've been just a fluke. Still, I kept telling myself that if it was meant to be, it would happen.

I laughed at what everyone had told me before the first day. It was nothing like what they had told me. They didn't make us do anything self-deprecating, or treat us like trash. Instead, they welcomed us with open arms. They offered us hot chocolate, took our jackets, and tried to get know us for who we really are. I saw myself really liking the entire sorority experience. I ended the first day of rush week with a sigh of relief and excitement for the next day, which was a continuation of Round 1.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The CU Tales: Rush Week - Day 1

So, I'm finally back in Cornell, and it's already the second week of classes starting tomorrow. The most reasonable thing to do at this point would be to do homework, but let's be real: it's not like I would do anything so blatantly useful at this point. So, with a minor headache and aching body, let's go ahead and talk about rush week.

Rush week is a week before classes start. I came back to Cornell on January 17th, and we had our first meeting at seven that day. I have to say that I was extremely excited to come to Shithaca, NY. As of late, my personal life has been in a serious shithole, and I had been feeling... a mixture of things. Seeing my friends after an entire month instantly brightened up my mood, and I was surprisingly excited for what was to come. Still, I could help but be a bit apprehensive about the whole rush situation...

Everyone has heard horror stories about girls rushing sororities. The most infamous one I can think of is how girls have to sit on a laundry machine butt-naked and have the other girls circle the parts that jiggle. One of the lesser-known but much more horrifying involves child pornography of some sort and newspaper... Yeah, I don't think anyone wants me to go into more detail. Moving on, I really didn't know what to expect. I knew a lot of my friends were rushing, but I wasn't worried about them by any means. They're all friendly, sweet, and outgoing, and ridiculously gorgeous. I felt like I was going to be thrown into a pit full of vicious Chihuahuas. Or something similar to those lines.

The first meeting was just a general one; we were placed into our Rho Gamma groups (a group of about 20 girls with whom you visit all the houses the first two days) and met our Rho Gamma leader. Oddly enough, I ended up being in the same group with one of the girls on my floor. We were fairly good friends before the rush experience, and I couldn't be more thankful that I actually had someone to talk to without feeling awkward this entire time. At the meeting, everything seemed... official. It was intimidating, to say the least. The process seemed very cutthroat, and honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a larger congregation of uteruses (or is it uteri?) in my entire life. It turned out that over 700 girls decided to rush this spring semester. And there were only 11 sororities. Each sorority accepts roughly 40 girls into their respective pledge classes. This meant that roughly 260 girls wouldn't even get a bid at the end of the whole process. Freak-out ensued.

I didn't really get much sleep that night, and just wondered how everything would go down. Would these girls judge me based on my appearance? Were my Forever 21 clothes mediocre at best? Would my obnoxious personality clash with all of the other sororities? Would they all hate me? Still, as much as I did think about the whole process, I didn't really care for it all too much. If I joined a sorority, that's great. If not, it wasn't the end of the world. I tried to go into the whole process with an open mind, thinking that this process wouldn't change me in the slightest. And so I woke up the next day, and Round 1 was about to begin.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do I Like It?

Of course, every makeup aficionado starts out with the basics, and slowly work their way up. I started out with makeup wearing strictly eyeliner. I only applied eyeliner on my waterline and it was single-handedly one of the most painful experiences of my life from time to time. From there, as I became more accustomed to putting on eyeliner, I began using concealer, which led to powder foundation, which then led to various other products. Nowadays, I pretty much use almost every type of makeup product possible. Would I say I'm good at it though? Mmm, probably not.

Anyways, I think that the first thing to start off with, before applying anything else, is to have a clean base. Any eye makeup or blush will pop underneath relatively smooth and flawless looking skin. You want your skin to be the perfect background to everything else. I tried out countless foundations, in the quest for the appearance of amazing skin. In the end, I do think that the texture and condition of the skin underneath is the most important factor in the appearance of a foundation. Still, foundation does help for those who don't always have the nicest complexion (like me =D)

The product I wanted to review today is one of most well known products in the makeup world: the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation. Now, what is it? In a nutshell, the foundation is a product by Make Up For Ever that claims to create flawless-looking skin that will look impeccable even under the close scrutiny of HD camers. Do I believe this claim? Not quite. BUT, I will say this is quite possibly my favorite foundation to date. Be warned, however: it is not for those on a budget. This lovely product costs 40 bucks for an ounce of product... Yeap. I cried when I wanted to get Chipotle the next day and had no money for a burrito.

So, what do I like about the product? I used to think that I always needed a heavy coverage foundation because I hated the way my skin looked. After all, I should mask all of my imperfections, right? I find that my face looks a lot more natural when product isn't caked on it and that I wasn't in need of the heaviest coverage. So, the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation was a nice pick. It has medium coverage which is very buildable: you can put on several layers without looking too done up, but still have a lot of coverage. The color selection is fairly nice too: there should be a color for various shades of women. It lasts a decent amount of time on my face, and does photograph beautifully in pictures. You can escape the dreaded white-cast that occurs in flash photography when a foundation has SPF in it.

But of course, there are a few things I also don't particularly like. While you can build up the coverage of the product, I still find that flaws will end up showing through. I can see enlarged pimples still, and it doesn't cover all unevenness. It also gives a very matte appearance to the face, which can typically look very unnatural. Still, my nose and T-zone get fairly shiny about four hours in. It's also not the moisturizing type, and my occasionally dry skin can come out as flaky underneath.

Overall though, I would say that I really do like this foundation. I use it on occasions when I am going out or am taking a bunch of pictures. I do think that it is worth the money if you really like the product. However, I don't think it's the end all and be all of all foundations. Still, my focus has changed from finding the perfect foundation to improving my skin above all else. So, if anyone was ever curious as to what foundation I like to use, well, this is it! =D

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Something old, Something New

As a part of my New Year's resolution, I was hoping to spice up this blog a little. Well, not really. I was just hoping for a regular updating schedule. I plan on trying to update once every week, but of course, college obliterates any type of schedule I try to make. Still, we shall see how things turn out. But, I figured that I was going back on Monday, and that it would be a good idea to knock out one post before I go. I also wanted to mention something I might start doing on said blog....

Besides being an avid college student and professional fail-er at life, I would say that I have a guilty pleasure: beauty and makeup videos on youtube. Yes, it's weird. Yes, it's silly. And I love every second of it. I would by no means ever call myself a professional at applying makeup, nor do I think I even do my own makeup well. But surprisingly, makeup has become a hobby and an increasingly large part of my life. For me, cosmetics are not about... hiding myself with face powders and eyeliner. It's a form of expression, a way to reinvent yourself, in both small and grandiose ways. I figured I could do a few makeup product reviews or just tips and tricks I've learned from watching other makeup tutorials and such. It's just something I really do enjoy doing, and who knows? Someone might find it interesting as well.

Anyways, enough about the silly stuff. Now, on to what I can say about my break in Jersey thus far. Tomorrow is actually my last day in "Da Dirty Jerz", and it can't come at a better time. I don't hate New Jersey by any means. In fact, I think I've grown to love it. People may rag on how terrible this place is all the time, but I've lived here for eighteen years, and I gotta say... it's not half as bad as people say. Then again, I grew up in the 'burbs. How much different could it have been than anywhere else? Still, I would say that my time here has been nice. I love a lot of my friends from back home, and it was really great seeing them. People like them keep me grounded, and remind me that this town isn't strictly assholes. =D

With that said, I think that my life in college is far more fascinating than the one here. Even though I've only been back for a month, I feel like it's been years. I found myself missing Cornell even a week into my break. I think that the time for me to go back is the right time. Any longer, and I would have gone crazy. Any shorter, and I would have been miserable. In a way, I've outgrown my old life a lot. I don't find half the things I found amusing six months ago even remotely interesting. I also realized that I didn't have to settle for a lot things: settle for bullshit from bitches who don't know you, settle for friends who could care less about you, settle for feeling sorry for yourself and thinking you need to feel like this forever.

I can't wait to go back to a life of unpredictability, challenges, and interest. And so I end this post with enthusiasm and hope for my second semester of college. It's been a pretty crazy ride so far, and I... don't want to use a silly roller coaster metaphor to end this =)