Northeastern Bucket List

I don’t even know where to begin when thinking about this past semester. All I know is somehow I made it out alive on the other side, and that means this is it. I have exactly one year left at Northeastern, 362 days until I graduate and my undergraduate career is over. Real, world here I come.

But before all that nonsense begins, I thought I should at least check in and see how I was doing on my college bucket list so far. Because who knows where the next year will take us. And don’t worry, I’ll keep adding to it and updating the score along the way, in case you care about my progress and want to help.

So here goes nothing.

  1. Go on coop.
  2. Study abroad.
  3. Do the underwear run.
  4. See a game at Fenway Park.
  5. Go to the Homecoming hockey game.
  6. Volunteer at the Marathon.
  7. Join a sorority.
  8. Take a little.
  9. Win Greek Sing.
  10. Go sailing.
  11. Go skydiving.
  12. Jump in the reflecting pool.
  13. Go to Cape Cod.*
  14. Walk the Freedom Trail.
  15. Visit New York City.
  16. Interview President Aoun.
  17. Enjoy a real snow day.
  18. Give an info session in admissions.
  19. Go on Alternative Spring Break.
  20. Go to a Bruins game.
  21. Visit Martha’s Vineyard.
  22. Go to a Celtics game.
  23. Throw an amazing holiday party.
  24. Get drinks at Top of the Hub.
  25. Take a selfie with Aoun.*
  26. Take a picture with Paws.
  27. Take a picture with King Husky.
  28. Take a picture with the husky statue.
  29. Go to the Beanpot.
  30. Steal a set of something from Stetty East.
  31. Dance on the Blackman stage.
  32. Go to the Hamptons.
  33. Celebrate Winesdays in the summer.
  34. Watch the 4th of July Fireworks over the Charles.
  35. Go kayaking on the Charles.
  36. Visit the Harbor Islands.
  37. See a Patriot’s game at Gillette.
  38. Go apple picking in the fall.
  39. Visit Six Flags New England.
  40. See a concert at Fenway Park.
  41. Meet with someone at Google’s Cambridge office.
  42. Go to the New England Aquarium.
  43. Go to a party at Harvard.
  44. Be known by name at Conor’s.*
  45. Be known by name at Our House.*
  46. Tan on the Curry Sun Deck.
  47. Grill on the deck in the summertime.
  48. Go to the farmer’s market at Faneuil.
  49. Go on Jews Cruise.
  50. Do a scavenger hunt around the city.
  51. Hubway in the summer.
  52. Eat in Chinatown.
  53. Go camping in New England.
  54. Go hiking in New England.
  55. Spend a day at Harvard.
  56. Visit Rhode Island.
  57. Day trip to Maine.
  58. Go out in Allston.
  59. Drink in Club Snell.
  60. Go out in Cambridge.
  61. Swim in the rooftop pool at the Colonnade.
  62. Go to the ledge again with juice boxes + nips.
  63. Drink a husky bowl at Conor’s.
  64. Become part of the Huntington 100.
  65. Run for Mayor of Huntington Ave.
  66. Make it into the Northeastern News.
  67. Volunteer at TEDxCambridge.
  68. Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
  69. Finish a personal pitcher at Conor’s.
  70. Play Mario Kart at Conor’s.
  71. Visit the Harvard Natural History Museum.
  72. Go to an away formal.
  73. Go on a duck tour.
  74. Go to the Museum of Fine Arts.
  75. Do Relay for Life.
  76. See a show at the House of Blues.
  77. Have a ‘bonfire’ on the deck.
  78. Ride the swan boats in the Public Garden.
  79. Drink with a professor.
  80. Spend a day on the beach in Naragansett.
  81. Design, organize and facilitate a sorority retreat from scratch.
  82. Go to an MIT party.
  83. Go out in the seaport district.
  84. Road trip to Canada.*
  85. Go to a rooftop party.
  86. Make a movie.
  87. Be in the city when we win the World Series.
  88. Be in the city when we win the Super Bowl.
  89. Get my bartending license.
  90. Do professional photography.
  91. Go shopping on Newbury.
  92. Go ice skating in the Common.
  93. Run to the aquarium and back.
  94. Drink during class.
  95. Win something from Hong Kong.
  96. Go to a rooftop party in Manhattan.
  97. See another show on Broadway.
  98. Go to a drive-thru movie.
  99. Tour the Downeast Brewery.
  100. Tour the Sam Adam’s Brewery.
  101. Tour the Harpoon Brewery.
  102. Eat and drink at Lolita’s again.
  103. See a show at the Bank of America Pavillion.
  104. Go to a toga party.
  105. Win and use a happy hour at Mija’s.
  106. Skinny dip in the ocean.
  107. Drink at the bar that puts ducks in drinks.
  108. Go to Drink (the bar).
  109. Go to SOWA Vintage Market.
  110. Get published on a national scale.
  111. Eat at a food truck by campus.
  112. Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art.
  113. Write for a student publication.
  114. Hold multiple leadership positions at once.
  115. Get into a bar before turning 21.
  116. Spend a summer afternoon on the esplanade.
  117. Spend a spring break on the beach with friends.
  118. Go home with a local for Thanksgiving.
  119. Attempt to cook Thanksgiving dinner.
  120. Celebrate New Years with friends.
  121. Do Vegas right.
  122. Road trip every summer with the babes.*
  123. Run through the reflection pool fountain.
  124. Go bowling.
  125. See a show at Symphony Hall.
  126. See my picture in admissions materials.
  127. Sing karaoke at Our House.
  128. Graduate.

* denotes something technically done, but has room for improvement.

Current score as of December 18th: 77.3% Complete
96 DONE  /  6 HALF-DONE  /  27 TO GO

So what do you think? Is there anything I’m missing? Anything you’re down to help me out with?

This is it, ladies and gentleman. Let’s live it up, throw it down, and make the most of every moment I have left in this beautiful city.

Love always,

Legalize It: 18+ Drinking with a License

For years now, I have been trying to understand the justification behind preventing American adults who can legally support themselves, make decisions about their own lives and even serve the country, from drinking. And today I finally feel as though I can say it—after all the hours of research projects, presentations on the subject, interviews, getting my bartending/TIPS license and turning 21, my opinion has not changed. While I understand the other side better than ever before, I stand by my decision: No matter whether you are 18, 19 or 20, you should have every right to drink as someone who’s 21.

Yes, it’s not good for you. Yes, it’s dangerous. But making it an illegal, forbidden fruit only drives young adults to find ways to consume more and more recklessly. And while this may not be true of every under-ager, step onto any college campus today and it’s clearly the vast majority.

What I believe in today is putting a system in place that provides young adults the option. Very much like getting a driver’s license, a huge responsibility in its own right, they would need to study the affects of alcohol and safe drinking practices before passing a test in order to get their license. Like a probationary license, if they were caught violating its terms (i.e. over-drinking, drinking while driving, providing for minors) it would be suspended for a time period, depending on the severity of the crime. Obviously if they were caught doing either of the last two in that list, for instance, they would be barred from reapplying for one.

Having a system in place like this though would be a huge step forward toward building a culture of fairness and awareness; one where abusing alcohol every time someone drinks is no longer the norm or expectation. I truly think it would be the best way to give 18-year-olds their rights while still demanding a high level of respect for the substance. Because when you look at the statistics that compare things like our drinking and driving rates to those in other countries with far lower drinking ages, the answer is clear: It’s not the drinker’s age causing the problem, but merely their choice to abuse it.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Agree, or disagree, I don’t really care. This is something I just think needs to change and if you feel the same, I’d love to hear from you.

10 Principles for Success

According to Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, “All successful people operate by principles that help them be successful. Without principles, you would be forced to react to circumstances that come at you without considering what you value most and how to make choices to get what you want. This would prevent you from making the most of your life.”

Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anything preventing me from making the most of my life, so I figured might as well come up with principles of my own. Let me know what you think.

10 Principles for Success

1. Do what ever is going to make you happiest. Take the job. Go on that trip. Spend time with the people you care about. Doing what you love is the pinnacle principle for both life-long happiness and success. It may not always be easy, but it’ll always be worth it. Don’t forget that.

2. See part of yourself in everyone you meet. This is also a big one. With everyone you meet, withhold judgement and instead keep in mind that you’d be in the exact same situation had you been through what they had. We are all only human. Give people the respect they deserve.

3. Be genuine. There is nothing worse than people who are dishonest in their interactions with one another. Remember, you are only as good as your word. Think about that next time before you start to put on a show.

4. Be grateful. We only get one life. Take little moments everyday to say thank you for what you have been blessed with, where you are right now, and keep hope for the future.

5. Play often. Go on new adventures. Play outside. Build blanket forts. Go skydiving. Life’s just a big game, anyway. Might as well have some fun with it.

6. Do the world (and your body) good at every opportunity. I’m serious. Your body is your greatest tool and the world our only home. Treat them both accordingly or you’ll have a lot more to worry about then just how to be successful.

7. Always make time to relax, reflect + plan. The sad thing is, you never realize just how crucial these things are until you neglect to do so for a while and end up completely exhausted and overwhelmed. Make the time now. Relax, reflect, and plan to maintain your sanity along the way to future success.

8. Always try to see things from the other person’s perspective. Mentally put yourself in their shoes, even if just for a moment. Understand where they’re coming from. See the world through their eyes. The more we all do this, the more we can achieve together and the better life will be.

9. Take advantage of every opportunity (and make your own). One thing all successful people do is take advantage of the right opportunities along the way. Plan and act accordingly, but don’t be afraid to change course when something truly great comes your way. And if the opportunity you need doesn’t exist yet, create it.

10. Live bravely. Take risks. Stand up for what you believe in. Do what you love. This is your life. Live bravely or resign to a life of mediocrity. The choice is up to you.

8 Reasons to Join Relay for Life at Northeastern

8 Reasons to Join Relay for Life at Northeastern

Walking into Matthews, I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard about the people. I had heard about the games. I had even heard about the music, but what I found in that arena that night was far more overwhelming.

There were massive group zumba lessons. Yoga sessions. Strangers introducing themselves and playing pick up games of cornhole, volleyball and four square. Live performances by our ICCA-winning acapella group and dance groups. Student groups selling baked goods, crafts, and photo opps to continue raising money until the last possible second. People waiting an hour in line just to donate their hair. An emotional ceremony at midnight, and free food and drinks the entire time.

That year we raised $210,000 and became the 7th largest Relay For Life college event in the country. This year we went even further and raised $239,000 as a community. This is the time to get involved. This is your chance to be part of something incredible.

Nearly everyone I know has been affected by cancer in some way. If you’re still on the fence about joining, just do it. I promise you won’t regret it.

Here are eight reasons why:

  1. You get to walk in memory of those you’ve lost to cancer.
  2. You can support your friends as they walk for those they have loved and lost.
  3. For twelve hours you are surrounded and embraced by a passionate community.
  4. And will share an experience unlike anything else.
  5. You will raise awareness for a great cause.
  6. You will be an inspiration to others to take action and join the fight.
  7. You will make a difference in honor of everyone you know who’s life has been affected by cancer.
  8. You will be part of the fight that finds the cure.

8 Reasons to Join Relay for Life at Northeastern

Don’t live in Boston? No worries! You can still show your support for our community by donating to our fight today.

22 Before 22

22 BEFORE 22

With the school year starting and everyone’s agendas already filling up, I thought I’d take a moment and think about what I’d love to accomplish this year. Of course there are the obvious things: building great relationships, excelling with the responsibilities and roles I’ve already found myself in, pursuing future careers, etc. But to make sure I don’t forget to have fun and keep exploring on the way, a list was definitely in order.

I’ll admit, I totally stole the idea from Millennial Abroad. As he said, “The reason I love this project is because Steph has set parameters for herself that fall perfectly in line with one of our favourite mantras: ‘be gentle with yourself’. The list is meant to be a source of inspiration and to put a focus on having new adventures, as opposed to stressing about ticking off every single box,” so that’s the goal. I’ll try to post about each one as they happen, but you know. I’m an ENFP and life happens.

Wish me luck!

  1. Volunteer
  2. Pay it forward
  3. Go on a road trip
  4. Try 3 new recipes
  5. Leave the country
  6. Read 3 new books
  7. Build a blanket fort
  8. Bartend a big event
  9. Help someone move
  10. Learn a full song on piano
  11. Learn a full song on guitar
  12. GoPro something really cool
  13. Start a great research project
  14. Produce a video I’m really proud of
  15. Help someone go vegan for a week
  16. Get Gainsborough to start recycling
  17. Go kayaking in a see-through kayak
  18. Learn what it takes to run a vineyard
  19. Speak only Spanish for an entire day
  20. Meet + interview a complete stranger
  21. Finally watch all the Star Wars movies
  22. Help organize a leadership conference or retreat

What’s on your list?

The Best Compliment

Last night, I was catching up with someone who I only vaguely remembered meeting at a party two years before, when suddenly he stopped, and said, “You’ve changed a lot since the last time I saw you.”

I could see the recalculating interest on his face and for a moment, could see myself from his eyes. Like actually seeing me for who I’ve become.

“Really? For the better I hope?” I asked.


And this was probably the single greatest thing anybody’s said to me this summer. Sure, in my own head I know I’ve been going to great lengths to be that person I’ve always wanted to be and live my life to the fullest, but to have that noticed by practically a stranger? This was big.

Every now and then you have a moment where you are able to zoom out on your life and see just how far you’ve come. Just how different you are today than you were a year ago, let alone four years ago. A moment where you genuinely stop and appreciate everything that has led you to where you are now. This was one of those moments.

About a year ago, I hit a turning point. I decided that if I wanted to be happy, like truly happy, I needed to step things up. So I did. I went completely vegan, instead of that 90% silliness I was at for four years. I pushed myself at work, in class, with friends to give them the best version of myself possible and be fully present everywhere I was, and it made all the difference in the world.

I took on every leadership opportunity that came my way. I was elected to the officer board for my sorority and became an admissions fellow who’s sole job was to give presentations to prospective students on what it means to go to Northeastern. Some times upwards of 400 students a day. I like to think that means I changed lives but who knows.

I not only took on twin littles in the fall but in the spring as well, when we had our first spring pledge class in over 10 years.  I made plans and had the best spring break of my life. Got offered a job on the spot at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Did an entire research project on the phenomena of college dating today. Learned aerial and circus skills, got my bartending license, and went skydiving. Road tripped from Chicago to Austin and back. I did everything I wanted and more, so I guess you could say it’s been quite the year.

Honestly, I’ve never been happier. I’m studying at an incredible university, in an incredible city, living in an incredible apartment with some of the best friends and family a girl could ever ask for. I have a job that not only pays the bills but makes me excited for the future, and every day I get to be the best version of myself possible. I have goals and dreams and ambitions I now genuinely believe will come true. At this moment, I’m exactly where I want to be.

So this is my wish for you all: to find your happiness and never stop reaching for more. More great friends and relationships, more new adventures, more opportunities to be that person you’ve always dreamed of. And gratitude for who and where you are every step of the way.

If nothing else, fake it till you make it. Remember, we are exactly what we pretend to be.

Life’s just a game anyway, right? Might as well have some fun with it.


Love always,

31 Reasons You Should Go to Northeastern

Deciding where to go to college isn’t always easy. Every school may seem great for different reasons, and it can be tough to tell where you will really fit in from a couple pamphlets, brochures, or books full of statistics and dated opinions.

Enter this list. Maybe you’ve heard of Northeastern University before, maybe you haven’t. For the past few months, in between classes I’ve been giving the admissions information sessions to prospective students and families, explaining what going to Northeastern means in a quick 45 minutes before sending them out on tour. And while it’s a wonderful experience, not everyone always has the good fortune of being able to visit before applying, so for the rest, here’s 31 reasons why Northeastern could be right for you.

(Hint: Click on things. You never know where they’ll take you.)

1.  You learn best by doing.

2.  You think the city’s pretty great.

3.  But still want a gorgeous campus.
Northeastern Virtual Campus Tour

4.  And a sweet neighborhood.
Back Bay

5.  And to make money.
Average Co-op Salary

6.  And to start your career.

7.  Because you’re smart.
Northeastern Academic Profile Fall 2013

8.  And love to travel.
Northeastern Study Abroad

9.  And love the idea of having the freedom to choose what you want your education to look like.
Northeastern 4 or 5

10.  And wouldn’t mind an extra year of living the dream.
5 Years, 18 months on your resume

11.  Or having friends from all over the world.

12.  And 3D printers, the oldest indoor hockey rink in the world, the site of the first world series, and the only Taco Bell in Boston all on your campus.
Matthews Arena - Northeastern University

13.  You’re truly great at what you do.
Nor'Easters 2013 ICCA Champions
14.  You know exactly what you want to do in the future.
CEO, Bitch.

15.  You don’t know exactly what you want to do in the future.

16.  You want to get involved.
Campus Life

17.  And be surrounded by people studying engineering, business, health, liberal arts, and the sciences.
Majors at Northeastern

18.  You’re opportunistic.

19.  And cool with walking pretty much everywhere.
Healthy Walking Neighborhoods

20.  You like the idea of living 10 minutes from Fenway Park.
Fenway Park

21.  And everything else you could possibly need.
Nearby Northeastern

22.  You think you’re pretty green.
Northeastern Sustainability

23.  You connect on with husky puppies on an emotional level.
Husky Puppies

24.  You want to stay active.
Stay Active

25.  And be around tons of young people.
Northeastern Underwear Run

26.  And aren’t intimidated by cars. Or buses. Or trains.
Just Cross the Street

27.  Or never knowing exactly what ‘year’ you are.

28.  Because you solve things by thinking outside the box.

29.  And to deserve to get an education beyond the classroom.
21 & Over

30.  Because you want to be inspired by people around you who are changing the world.
Northeastern: Changing the World

31.  Because you’re going to change the world.
Change the World

Photos courtesy of the internet.