My Love for Maroon 5

About a month ago, Sydney proposed the idea of driving to Tampa for a Maroon 5 concert to Beth and me. At first, I was skeptical since it’s an hour and a half drive, it’s during the school/work week, and I have an early class the next morning (Thursday morning). But let me tell you, it was totally worth the drive!!!!!!!!! BEST CONCERT I’VE EVER BEEN TO!!! Matt Nathanson opened–I love his music, but am not too familiar with him. I only know a few of his songs. Maroon 5 and Train were the main attractions. Maroon 5 came out first. Honestly, that’s who I was there for (Adam Levine is beautiful. Enough said.)! I’m obsessed with their music–they have an absolutely fabulous sound and you can tell that they have real talent. I feel you can always tell what artists are truly talented by how they sound live compared to their albums–Maroon 5 sounded the same–absolutely marvelous! Train came out to perform next. Sydney, Beth, and I felt that we would probably leave halfway into their performance because we weren’t as familiar with their songs and we’re not their biggest fans, but boy were we wrong!!! We ended up staying until the very end. Their performance skills were off-the-charts-amazing! And they sounded great. We also realized that we knew more of their music than we thought we did. OBSESSED WITH THIS CONCERT AND THE WONDERFUL MEMORIES CREATED!

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Reflections on Back-to-School

With another semester beginning again, I find much to reflect on. There are so many new beginnings to think about and discuss: for us college students, it means new roommates, new classes, new opportunities, and just a new year (a year older, a year wiser)—a clean slate for a handful of life experiences.

Roommates can be your best friends, but they can also be your worst enemies. Lucky for me, I’ve gotten along with all of my roommates thus far—whether best friends or just considerate living-mates, I am thankful to say that I have not encountered the “naked roommate” or the “crazy overzealous achiever” (who drives you crazy bragging about grades, relationships, involvement on campus, you get the picture…) or any other crazy roommates you can think of for that matter. What’s so wonderful about roommates (at least, from my experience) is that you can all be so different (different religions, have different political views, different family lives, etc.), yet you can all be so alike. You find the things that you have in common and those are what mesh you together—I guess like in any friendship. You get along (or don’t get along) based off of things that you both enjoy (or don’t enjoy/agree upon)… just like with roommates.

The thought of new classes can be daunting, especially since you’ve most likely been on a break all summer. I think it’s exciting, however. Now that I am taking classes that pertain to my major (speech pathology), they’re not so tedious—actually lessons that I want to learn about! (I should restate… I am excited for classes, but definitely not for the amount of work that comes with them.) Summer, you will be missed, but I am excited to see what’s in store for me!

Take advantage of all the new opportunities that you possibly can. I am hoping to volunteer at the American Cancer Society this semester and I am ecstatic! I’m really looking forward to the experience, especially since I can relate it to my major (my goal is to specialize in speech patients that have had a head/neck cancer). New opportunities come in the form of a new job, a new volunteer position, a new internship, joining a new club, the list goes on and on… but, absolutely take advantage of all of your resources and of everything that is thrown your way. Don’t let anything slip past you because I promise all of these opportunities will be valuable today, tomorrow, the next day, and the next…

Good luck, everyone, with going back to school! I wish you all the best!

Summer Excursions

The end of summer is near, fortunately and unfortunately. I am excited to get back into my routine, be on my own schedule, see my friends up in Orlando, and meet my new roommates. but I am sad leave my friends and family from back home. Looking back on my summer memories, there are a few in particular that stand out. I call them my “excursions” and I would like to elaborate:

Excursions

  1. Atlanta- Beth and I have a close, close friend who lives in Atlanta. We went to visit her and her mom for a long weekend and we had the most amazing time. It was so wonderful to spend time with people who seem like family. I have only been privileged to have friends like Shira and her mom, Debra for about 5 years, but it feel s as if I have known them a lifetime. To view more about my experience, click here
  2. Miami- Jill is one of those kind of friends who you know now will be in your bridal party—a true friend. We met in college, but she has since transferred to a different school, much to my dismay. She now lives and studies far away, but we are so lucky we had this time during the summer to spend together. We have discussed a day trip to Miami for at least a year and we finally had our day this summer! It was so much fun, enjoying a delicious meal at a café called Aroma, which made us all reminisce about trips that we’ve all taken to Israel (both together and separately). After a scrumptious meal, we walked around Lincoln Road and went into some of the shops. We all indulged in some freshly squeezed juices that were out of this world and visited a “Chabad on Wheels.” This experience was so meaningful to us because we originally met in our campus Chabad.
  3. Orlando/Gainesville- With Ashley, our confidante since Parkland Kids Camp when we were about 8 or 9, we went to visit our schools and apartments for about 5 days—mine and Beth’s being in Orlando, and Ashley’s being in Gainesville. In Orlando, we visited with some of our friends from school and spent time both shopping in the wonderful outlet malls and being big kids in Disney—Epcot, to be specific. We then drove up to Gainesville where we saw what Ashley’s school life is like. We met some of her dearest friends and devoured a home-cooked Shabbat meal at her school’s Hillel.
  4. Naples- This was my last “excursion” of the summer with my grandparents, parents, sister, cousin, aunt, and uncle. Every summer, we all drive over to the west coast of Florida for a few days. This year, our trip entailed yummy meals, shopping, tanning on a beautiful beach, swimming in a brand new pool, and being with loved ones.

These are all experiences that I will never forget with people I will never forget. Reflecting on this summer, seemed a tad disappointing (I think in comparison to last summer when I went to both New York and Israel, it looks kind of dinky) and not all that I had planned for it to be. BUT, I have accomplished so much this summer—growth as a person and growth in my knowledge and my abilities. So, how could I be disappointed in that? It turns out that I really enjoyed myself and my quality time with family and friends this summer and I have absolutely no regrets—wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Maybe it wasn’t as exciting as last summer, but fond experiences and memories will always be present.

Awesome Atlanta Adventures

Georgia Aquarium

I got to touch these sea anemones, sea stars, and sea urchins!!!!! So cool!

The penguins are just too adorable!

Such pretty colors! I love all the coral! If you look closely, there is a sea horse somewhere in the picture–they’re adorable!

Jellyfish make for such beautiful and interesting photographs, but I wouldn’t want to get too close–they may be deadly!

Nemo!

Coca Cola Museum

Part of the display of worldwide-designed Coke bottles

All of the different Coca Cola brands… there are so many!

The American Idol couch was in the Coca Cola Museum! How cool it is to say that I sat on it along with all of the other famous people who have sat on it before me! (I’m the one on the right)

Babyland General (home of the Cabbage Patch Dolls)

My sister had one named after me!

Cabbage Patch chair

WWF—Words With Friends or WorthWhile Friends?

Now that I have left the Stone Age and entered into the modern world by becoming a smart phone user, I feel so up-to-date and in-touch with the world. I am absolutely in love with my new phone! Like most other new smart phone-users, I have gone app-crazy! There are just so many to choose from… what’s a girl to do! Among my favorites, however, is Words with Friends (or WWF as I like to call it—Words With Friends is just too long to keep repeating).

For those of you who have never played the game before, WWF is very similar to Scrabble—each player builds words based on the seven letters in his/her hand and based on the letters already placed on the board.

Not only is WWF a wonderful game to keep my mind going, it is also a fabulous way of keeping in touch with friends and family! There is a chat tool in the game where you can communicate with the other player (whether it’s to brag about your high score or complain about only having vowels). Because I am away at school most of the year, it is sometimes difficult to keep in touch with friends from home; so, the chat tool (as well as all of the technology available to us today) really helps with this dilemma.

Besides the great fun we have playing the game, my friends provide me with strength, comfort, and the ability to always help me see the best in the game of life; it is essential to maintain relationships with them. I am fortunate enough to have friends that share memories which date all the way back to elementary school and I know that they will be the ones that will be in my wedding party, the ones I will race down the halls in our wheelchairs when we are too old to keep walking. They will continue to always stick by my side for the rest of my life and I will be by theirs. Each one of my friends holds a special place in my heart.

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” – Bernard Meltzer

For now, we’re just happy to enjoy a few rounds of WWF!