Santana hosts our final MCL News Minute of the 22-23 academic year, and she’s got the details on events coming up before finals including Despedida and a VUCA Finals De-Stress Event.
Why I Love Suzie’s Cafe…
For me, waking up in the morning is no easy task. Many times I groan at the sound of my alarm, roll over and hug my stuffed animal, wanted nothing more to return to the comfort and warmth of sleep. However, what provides me the mental and physical boost to arise out of bed, put on my Ugg slippers, and get ready in the morning is my daily trip to Suzie’s cafe near Central Library. So, here’s why I love Suzie’s Cafe and why you’ll see me with a strawberry iced chai (with extra chai and oat milk) and two banana cakes everyday in class. First, walking into the cafe is always a pleasurable experience: the employees are always super nice, the organized assortment of snacks and baked goods is such a refreshing visual, and it’s always fun to take a look at the trendy drink of the week artwork. Every time I frequent Suzie’s I walk out with an extra pep in my step and bright, replenished eyes… all of a sudden my day is so much better. While the vibes of Suzie’s are immaculate, the same can be said about the food and drinks they offer. The strawberry iced chai I’ve been getting lately is lip-licking delicious, and don’t even get me started on the banana cake AKA the perfect study snack. There’s also something special about their ham and cheddar sandwiches that I actually prefer over the rand-wich (a controversial opinion indeed). If you’re thinking about stopping by Suzie’s, I say walk-not run- to the Central Library location. It’s worth the meal swipe.
MCL Top 5: My Top 5 Self-Care Tips
For someone who gets stressed and overwhelmed rather easily, here are my top 5 self-care tips that bounce me back into productivity…
5) Calling a family member or friend.
Speaking to my loved ones does a great job at temporarily alleviated my stress. Many times I will call to check in or vent, which reminds me that life is so much bigger than whatever class, assignment, or other stressor I’m currently enduring.
4) Going on a walk.
Taking a walk is one of the best ways for me to process my thoughts in a silent and peaceful way. Getting some fresh air and hearing the cadence of my own steps proves for even more relaxation as well.
3) Retail Therapy (specifically online shopping).
The way in which online shopping provides me a certain magical boost of serotonin is perplexing, yet beautiful.
2) Go to Starbucks…and don’t be afraid to get the venti version of your favorite drink.
Sometimes all you need is an iced matcha latte with oat milk and vanilla syrup to get you through your day or to press submit on that ten page paper.
1. Go get dinner with a friend.
An evening conversation with your bestie over pasta or sushi can be so fulfilling, especially when I need to laugh, smile, or spill the tea.
My Monday After Spring Break
It was the Monday after Spring Break. My alarm was screaming at me to wake up at 7:30 am and I was in major distress. I wanted nothing more than to turn to my left, turn off my alarm and go back to the wonderful world of dreams and sleep. However, I got up and walked myself to class… a little less than enthusiastic for the first day of school after Spring Break. I thought after a week-long break I would feel fresh and rejuvenated, ready to bounce back into the finish line of my freshman year: work hard these next couple of weeks and crush my finals. However, after my second class I was beginning to experience what I had somehow successfully managed to dodge the entirety of this academic year: academic burnout. I was already dreading the homework load for tonight. A headache was approaching at the mere thought of opening my computer to read my assigned readings. Checking off my academic to-do list was going to require a lot more effort and grit than usual. Despite my homework taking much longer than usual and my slight inability to stay focused while studying, I still managed to get everything done. I know this week is going to be tough, but I plan to incentivize myself to keep me motivated (treating myself to Starbucks on Wednesday). For people out there that are experiencing a similar struggle to mine, I urge you to give yourself some grace and push through. You got this.
SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships: My Experience
Hi, I’m Santana and this past weekend I competed in the SEC indoor track and field championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Here’s how it went!
The Vanderbilt track and field team had officially taken over the Nashville International Airport. Well, not really…but we had practically invaded the airport Starbucks. We were on the way to SEC Indoor Championships and had all decided to fuel up with some Starbucks drinks. As I sat down in the gate with my teammates and sipped on my iced matcha latte with oat milk, I was bouncing with excitement (or maybe it was the caffeine???) for the four day competition trip.
Although the entire trip was an amazing experience and very fun, the first half of my days in Fayetteville were filled with nerves, drinking lots of water and electrolytes, and being disciplined about my meals, schoolwork, and focus. In the first two days of the trip I had to drink a ton of water to keep myself properly hydrated before my race. I was extra intentional about consuming healthy meals, even though the hotel cookie skillet with cinnamon ice cream (mouthwatering, right?) was incredibly tempting. When I wasn’t at the track preparing for my race, I was in the hotel room doing homework. Although I was tired of drinking water, intensely craving some dessert, and wanted to just sit down and scroll through tik tok, I knew my sacrifices would all be worth it. And they were. I ran a personal best and made major improvements in my race. I could finally order that hotel skillet cookie dessert, de-stress, and cheer on my teammates. Throughout the rest of the trip I was able to explore Arkansas with my teammates and even go to Lululemon! However, I still had to study and do homework, which was assisted by several delicious strawberry matcha lattes our hotel had in the lobby.
While being a student-athlete can be difficult, it’s times like these, where you spend time with your wonderful teammates, celebrate everyone’s accomplishments, and share some airport Starbucks, that makes everything so, so worth it.
A Changed Woman: What Waking Up Early Has Done for Me
Rushing to brush my teeth, barely having enough time to do my hair, my legs burning as I half speed-walk and half jog to class…these were how my typical mornings went in the beginning of the semester. One day, as I sat in my Nutrition class, chest heaving from attempting to make it to class on time (which failed), I realized this rushed and exhausting lifestyle just wasn’t for me. I needed to wake up earlier. The next day I woke up for my 9:05 class at 7:46. I was a changed woman. I was never going back to waking up thirty minutes before my class starts again.
Waking up early has been life-changing. I now have time to do my full morning routine, and even make a morning matcha latte (some days) . I’m no longer tumbling out of bed and stomping into my poor slippers to make a beeline to the bathroom. It’s relieving to take my time and actually breathe as I get myself ready in the morning. I even purchased an ice roller to implement into my skincare routine. I now look forward to ice-rolling my face in the morning, which gives me extra motivation to wake-up early. Instead of inhaling a protein bar on my walk to class for breakfast, I now have time to sit down and eat at Commons or Rand. No more embarrassing stomach growling interrupting class lectures. Walking to class is now peaceful and therapeutic, not a cardio workout anymore.
Setting my alarm for 7:30 in the morning has honestly brought me so much joy in the past two weeks. Yes, I still have days when I want to press snooze and get some extra sleep, but I love that I can start my day with a lot more tranquility and a lot less stress.
MCL News Minute-February 8, 2023
Santana has the details on LOTS of things Vandy students should know about this week, including Vandy Ballroom classes for beginners, a “Where is the Love” Block Party for Valentine’s Day, and the application deadline for Lights on the Lawn.
Valentine’s Day: Single Edition
February fourteenth is just around the corner. While some couples are happily looking forward to the day, excited to gift their fluffy Teddy Bears and sink their teeth into decadent chocolate covered strawberries, I’m anticipating a less fanciful celebration for the holiday of love. Due to my lack of a significant other, I know I won’t be waking up to a “Happy Valentine’s Day” text (except from my parents) or a colorful bouquet of flowers outside my door. Despite this fact, I’m perfectly satisfied. If you’re dreading this day because you’re single, let me tell you why you needn’t experience that “single on Valentine’s Day slump.”
First, you don’t have to worry about the complicated gifting process associated with Valentine’s Day. You won’t have to do mental gymnastics trying to think of the “perfect gift” for your significant other. This means no thirty minute CVS trip roaming the Valentine’s Day candy aisle only to purchase the pink Hershey Kisses you had initially picked out. Speaking of CVS, yes, you might still feel sickly seeing all of the Valentine’s Day decorations, but just think of that post-Valentines-Day sale you’ll have all the access to. February fifteenth CVS candy raid? Yes, please. For singles, this holiday is also an excellent way to practice self-love. All those gifts you would have given to your significant other? Gift them to yourself. Buy your own lifesize teddy bear you can hug and squeeze. Feast on some chocolate-covered strawberries as you watch 10 Things I Hate about You, or your favorite rom-com. Even gift yourself your own Valentine’s Day card. There are so many amazing things about you… it won’t hurt to write them down.
All said, this holiday for romance is no excuse to bring couples down for celebrating their love. Find peace in being single. Let’s not side-eye happy couples on the sidewalk or complain endlessly on your Snapchat private story. xoxo,
MCL Feature: My Love Letter to Stevenson Library
Hi, my name is Santana, and I am a Stevenson Library enthusiast. Here is a piece showing my love for my most adored study spot on campus.
Dear Stevenson Library,
Throughout my first semester at Vanderbilt, you are the building I’ve become the most attached to. You should know that I have tried other libraries and study spots, but for some reason, I’m always drawn back to you. I’m not sure if its the overwhelming sense of productivity you make me feel, your peaceful silence that propels me into a perfect focus, or your highly academic environment that makes my cognitive function go crazy… whatever it is, you are irresistible. I can’t picture my Vanderbilt experience without you. I need you. There’s this intense and emotional connection I feel between the two of us, which is why I’m able to spend hours studying in your presence. While some might be unsettled by your “bit too serious” nature, I am instantly submerged in a studious and scholastic state of mind once I walk through your doors. You manage to complement my study aesthetic perfectly: your glass windows bath my study materials in the warm sunlight, making my homework seem inviting instead of annoying. Your light brown tables create the perfect color contrast with my bright blue Hydroflask and mint green iPad case. As you can see, I am obsessed with every bit of you.
How to Winterize your Dorm Room
We’ve officially reached December! Here are some ways to decorate your dorm to make that winter chill a little more warm…
Make a “hot chocolate station”
Designate a small area of your dorm, your desk, a windowsill, whatever… and assemble hot chocolate packets, a few mugs, marshmallows, and candy canes! Have fun decorating and making your setup cute and cool for immaculate winter vibes!
Make a “Candy Cane” Jar
This dorm accent is super simple: just put some candy canes in a mason jar! You can put it on your desk as a minty snack while studying or display it elsewhere.
Decorate with holiday-themed lights
Adding lights are another super easy way to enhance the mood and look of your dorm instantly. Especially with a cute winter color scheme and some warm lighting… you’ve got yourself one cozy winter dorm.
Display your winter-themed mug
I love holiday mugs! Another little decoration to put on your desk.
Invest in an extra cozy and warm blanket
An essential for escaping the cold to snuggle up nice and warm in your bed!
Add some winter-themed pillows
A nice cozy touch for some additional comfort 🙂
Hang some winter-themed Posters
I love me some good wall decor, especially seasonal posters!