Finals Week (Mental) Breakdown and April Favorite Things

GUESS WHO’S BACK? BACK AGAIN.

SPLENDIDLY, KAIT’S BACK. TELL A FRIEND.

That’s right, I’m alive, lovely reader person, despite how rough, tough, and life-threatening this past month was.

So basically: college in April is hell on Earth. Fire, brimstone, all that jazz. Spring semester will have you thinking you’re having the best time of your life! Teasing you with warm weather. Taking advantage of how comfortable you’ve gotten on campus. Parties upon parties upon parties.

And then, March ends and you’re hit with the realization that you only have a handful of weeks to get your GPA in formation and start all of your final assignments.

Yeah. That’s what happened to me.

My last day of school was on May 9th, and all of my finals were due that day. Since I’m in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, most of my classes don’t hold exams, they simply require long-form papers. “Simply.”

I spent my last two weeks of school in the library trying to get my life together. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Procrastination strikes again! Yes, but with a busy schedule and responsibilities outside of school, you are faced with three options: study, eat, or sleep. You can only pick one.

Usually, most choose eating or sleeping because studying can’t be done without a functioning body, right?

Wrong. During the last two weeks of the semester, who needs a functioning body? You become a zombie that feeds off of only MacBook warmth and caffeine.

I slept a total of about six hours across the span of seven days in my actual last week of school. Here’s what my finals week consisted of:

  • One 3 page paper on the experience I had at my internship at NYLON magazine and what I’ve learned over the course of the semester.
  • One 5-8 page paper on the broadcast and social media response to the street artist Banksy and how he disrupts the everyday routines of society and stands as an activist and beacon of resistance in the traditional art world.
  • One creative writing portfolio made up of five poems and two short stories with a minimum of 6 pages.
  • One 8-10 page paper on the Caribbean-American identity and how feeling ownership or claim to the Caribbean as a Caribbean-American or an immigrated Caribbean brings about feelings of betrayal and the internalized effects of colonialism.
  • One 16-18 page paper on France’s connection to the Harlem Renaissance and their dependent influences on Black American culture and the Negritude Movement.

All due on the same day. So yeah, fire and brimstone. *smiles maniacally*

BUT! With the help of many loaves of cinnamon bread, DIY silent discos in the library at 2 in the morning, friends who change your Twitter password to keep you from getting distracted, Peet’s Coffee’s cinnamon buns, the Domino’s Pizza on W 8th Street, Red Bull and Starbucks Vanilla Doubleshot Energy drinks, constant prayer, impromptu dance parties to stay awake, group chats, and the perfect view of the skyline of the city I love from the 10th floor of the library as the sun rises, I survived.

I’m still waiting for all of my grades to be posted, but I think I made it through my first year of college unscathed and triumphant.

I will admit, I had one mental breakdown during the week, where I bawled in the library at 11:30 PM on a Friday because I was homesick, stressed about a paper, and operating on thirty minutes of sleep. But I have the best friends in the entire world and the most rad support system out there, so it only lasted about twenty minutes.

And now I am free!

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I’ve spent the past week and a half recuperating post-finals, and I’ve realized that I owe you lovely reader people an April Favorite Things! As it’s almost halfway through the month of May, I can understand if you no longer want to know what I enjoyed and obsessed over nearly four weeks ago. I get it.

Just like everyone else, Splendidly, Kait has her trash moments. This is one of them. I sincerely apologize.

So, instead of giving you a full blow-by-blow of my favorite things from the strange month that was April, I will instead provide a tiny, compressed version.

BEHOLD MINI APRIL FAVORITE THINGS!

Song: The Trifecta

songcollage

April was a HUGE month for music, as four major R&B/Hip-Hop artists released records, stressing and blessing my life simultaneously. I honestly couldn’t choose ONE favorite song from these three albums dominating my playlist. So I chose one from each. 🙂

Talk Show – Twenty88, TWENTY88

I love rap songs that are conversational and break the traditional structure of a rap song. “Talk Show” does exactly that.

Favorite line? “Let’s not front, in front of all these people, nigga!”

Still Here – Drake, Views

The beat bumps, Drake’s flow on this track is arguably the nicest of the album, and he’s bold and cocky in it. What more can you ask for?

Favorite lines? “Whole lot of sixes, but I’m still like/Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah/6 point star, Lion of the Judah.”

Sorry – Beyonce, Lemonade

I could write an entire dissertation on “Lemonade,” but I’ll spare you guys. This song, along with “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and “6 Inch,” assemble what I like to call the “Remember Who The Fuck I Am” playlist. A great playlist to have handy, indeed.

Favorite line? The entire song. It’s just too perfect. Sorry.

Skin Care Item: Neutrogena’s On-the-Spot Acne Treatment

onthespot

My skin didn’t like me very much during April, and I had around four acne flare-ups within the month. Yet, this spot treatment came in as the clutchest of clutch to save the day for me every time!

It contains 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, the chemical also known as acne’s archenemy. I have dry skin, so I stay away from most acne treatments containing high amounts of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide because they only irritate my skin further, causing redness and flakes.

But On-the-Spot contains just the right amount so that it gets the job done without irritation. Please, order it here and let it up your glo’ too.

App: Timewarp

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I have a thing for Google Chrome apps. This month’s favorite is called Timewarp, and it is a redirecting app that saves you from yourself. It “kindly reminds you not to procrastinate when you need to get things done” by allowing you to create Internet wormholes that redirect you from a distracting website to someplace else.

I self-sabotage a LOT while trying to be productive, so this app has been perfect for me. As you can see in the screenshot from my desktop above, I Timewarp-ed Twitter while I was writing one of my final papers to redirect me to this page.

Download it here if you want to actually #getshitdone.

Buy: My first tattoo

My roommate and now-best-friend Selam was crawling on the floor of my dorm room one day, filling our quota of daily shenanigans (regular college stuff, you know). After a few tries to crawl backwards, she gave up and dismissed the effort, saying, “I was created to move forward.”

Selam is the most spiritual person I know, and the fact that she is so rooted in her faith to speak on her God-given purpose in the silliest of situations resonated with me, a lot. (She’s an inspiration in herself, so shout-out to you, Selam, if you’re reading this. Thank you.)

I told her then, that I was going to get her quote tattooed on my ankle, and she laughed, thinking I was joking.

Until she saw the entire ordeal unfold on Snapchat.

The quote wraps around my ankle and stands as a reminder of my purpose, always. Six words = $110. Faithful ink = priceless.

Picture/Day: It’s a draw

Honestly, y’all… April 2016 was one of the weirdest months of my life.

I decided to actually have fun, to take risks, to destroy my self-made curfew and to not stress over things that aren’t worth stressing over. These decisions resulted in TONS of memories and the most laughter and positivity I’ve been surrounded by in a while.

I did some really cool shit in April. Here’s some highlights: I attended the New York City Pillow Fight, I attended Bernie Sanders’ Washington Square Park Rally, I hosted prospective NYU students for a weekend, I went to Hudson River Park a ridiculous amount of times (like I said I wanted to last month!), and I was in my friend Chris’ music video for his single “CELEBRATION” (click the link to watch it, I know you want to).

I did things Kaitlyn doesn’t usually do and it felt so good. I pushed myself harder than Kaitlyn usually does and it felt even better. I had so many favorite days and took so many favorite pictures that I couldn’t narrow it down. So cheers to April, for kicking ass and taking names.

I’m hoping to keep this momentum of trying new things and jumping outside of my box for the summer months, and I hope you take a note from me and do the same.

Wishing you the best, always. 🙂

Splendidly,

Kait

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