Category Archives: school

Freshman Year Recap

Well, it’s that time of the year again. No, not the time when I apologize for writing so infrequently. I’m talking about the time of the year that students dread. The one that features an excessive lack of sleep, an unhealthy amount of coffee, and probably some embarrassingly delirious late night Snapchats. That’s right. I’m talking about finals.

This finals period in particular is pretty significant for me because I have now almost finished (read, “survived”) my freshman year of college! It has been one wild ride, my friends, and in case you want to take a break from your own finals studying, or if you’re just bored, you can go ahead and read this recap of freshman year that I have drafted for just such an occasion. Here you can find all of the new fads and personal highlights of this year, from finstas to dorm life at Tulane. Enjoy, and happy finals week!

  1. The Boot
    If there is one place every Tulane student is familiar with, it is the Boot, a seedy college bar/club (don’t worry, it’s 18 and up) that somehow made it onto BusinessInsider.com’s 2015 list of the Top 40 College Bars and was ranked #1 by USA Today in 2013. All this despite the fact that the men’s bathroom features urinals and no toilets. I suppose the true draws are its 6am closing time, its nightly drink specials, and the pizza and crepe establishments flanking it on either side. Either way, I am no different in that I have become intimately familiar with The Boot and its frightening toilet paper deficiency.
  2. Mardi Gras
    It happened. It was a lot. If you want more info on this New Orleans staple, see my last post.
  3. Finstas
    I assume we all know Instagram. In case you’re an older reader or perhaps a recluse, it is a social media site where people exclusively post pictures. This year, someone out there decided to make a fake Instagram account (a finstagram, if you will, or simply and affectionately, a finsta) and it spread like a rash. Like an itchy, annoying rash you cannot get rid of. A finsta, for those are not plagued by them, is like a pseudo account, almost like an online alter ego. People keep them private so that only those they approve can see it, and it is designed to be a place that you can post all of your embarrassing, ironic, and/or under the influence photos in a funny way. At least that’s the goal. I, however, am of the opinion that if you want to say something, say it, and if you need to make a secret account to say it, then probably don’t say it at all.
  4. Dorm Life
    I live in the picturesque Monroe Hall, a place where the garbage truck comes loudly at 8am, the elevator often breaks or is home to condom wrappers and beer cans, and sewage problems and shower hair abound. Add to this the fact that New Orleans has pipe issues in general and the water shuts off fairly frequently, and you’ve got me counting down the amount of showers I have left here.
  5. Rush
    Yes, I’ve #GoneGreek. Tulane rushes sororities in the spring though, so I came back from Winter Break and spent two weekends standing in lines outside houses and chatting with complete strangers. It was all worth it though, as I am now a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the first and the finest. Yes, we were founded in 1851, making us the first sorority on this planet, so use that as your next factoid.
  6. Trivia
    This year trivia nights became my friends’ and I’s THING. We’ve been to several at Dat Dog, a gourmet hot dog restaurant near my school that is home to perhaps the best business plan ever, as well as a few other scattered ones at other places. The real highlight, however, was on Spring Break when two of my friends and I went to Vail and won trivia night. Even though we probably did it by a sheer lack of teams (around 7) and by betting zero points on the final question, we still got a $50 gift card, so I’m going to go ahead and call myself a trivia champion anyway.
  7. Crawfest
    One of Tulane’s crowning glories is Crawfest, a day long music festival with bands, food trucks, and LOTS of crawfish. For the low, low price of being a student (of which the price is not low at all), you can get a wristband to a day full of music and all you can eat crawfish, which if you haven’t tried them, are pretty yummy and thoroughly horrifying. I have probably sworn off of crawfish, as I cannot eat meat if it looks like the animal it is, and it took me around 15 minutes just to be able to pick up one. Crawfest is still a good time though. They also give out vegetables.

    Save a crawfish, eat some corn
    Save a crawfish, eat some corn

    And there you have it. Everything you needed to know, but mostly what you did not at all need to know, about my freshman year of college. Hopefully as summer rolls around I can have time to write more often, but I am hoping to get a job so we’ll see! (If any business owners in the Denver area are reading, I would be a fantastic hire.)

Submitted with undying love for,
Tulane, freshman year, a nicer dorm for sophomore year, corn, ADPi, and NOLA,I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

A Glimpse at the Mardi Pardi

Greetings friends and Internet users. Happy almost Spring (she said hopefully) (although I know I’m no one to talk, since I live in beautiful New Orleans)!

I’m here today to talk about everyone’s favorite holiday! What, Valentine’s Day? No, not THAT piece of Hallmark trash. I am talking about everyone’s favorite rowdy, outlandish, no-holds-barred schmooze fest that I experienced for the first time this year. That’s right–Mardi Gras.

For Christians, Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday, the last “hurrah” before Ash Wednesday and Lent when they are expected to give up something they love until Easter. For most New Orleanians (and for myself, staunchly secular in her beliefs), it is approximately six days, give or take, of parades and mild debauchery. Now mind you, the debauchery part mostly stays in the French Quarter, that wildly mystical land of balconies and booze. I, however, along with my friends and most of the other college kids stick to Uptown, the area along historic St. Charles Avenue near Tulane where the parades still go, where the walk to and from isn’t too grueling, and where, oddly enough, we intermix with families and old people alike.

Mardi Gras is a pretty crazy time–people literally fight over strings of plastic (ok, not FIGHT fight. You’re more likely to get a black eye from being hit by a package of beads thrown from a passing float). And this post is not designed to be a guide to surviving the melee; those posts are far over done, and is there really such a concise list that can provide advice for what’s to come Mardi Gras weekend? No, this post is merely a glance at some notable moments in my Carnival experience this year–I am now still sick enough post-Mardi to have time to comb through my pictures. So please enjoy this scrapbook of sorts, and if you ever come to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, remember to never pee in public.

  1. The Chicken
    Krewe of Muses
    Krewe of Muses

    At a Mardi Gras parade, much more than beads are flying. There may be cups, trinkets, capes, stickers, bags–you can catch any number of things really. Here I would like to direct your attention to the jacket zipper on my friend at the right there. Yes. That is, in fact, a plastic chicken. No, not a rubber chicken, although it looks like one. It is actually, and stay with me here, a plastic model of a rubber chicken. That’s right. And my friend Henry here didn’t catch it so much as it landed in a patch of grass enclosed by a fence behind him and he dove to retrieve it. So that is a hard earned plastic model of a rubber chicken.

  2. The Plunger
    Endymion Parade
    Endymion Parade

    Speaking of crazy parade finds, yes, that is a plunger. And despite my friend’s unicorn ears or my other friend’s wig that resembles a pom pom, or even my bright yellow tutu, I think it really makes the picture.

  3. The Selfie (of the Selfie)
    IMG_2692
    The Tulane shuttle

    Now I do not use the term “meta” lightly. But if you can make out my features in the washed out bottom left corner, you can see that I look–shall we say bemused?–at my capturing of my friend Allison taking a gung ho selfie (in the middle of my selfie). It doesn’t get more Millennial than this, folks.

  4. The Y
    Loyola University New Orleans
    Loyola University New Orleans
    IMG_2674 (1)
    An undisclosed location

    Here we have before and after pictures of an apparent “tradition” that seems to take place every year. You see, this is Loyola University, a school right next to Tulane (they practically share a campus). On our way back from the parades one night, we thought we would take a picture on the Loyola sign. Running over to the letters, we noticed some other kids flocking over as well, thinking they were following suit. As we stood on the letters, one mildly drunk boy started pulling on an O next to me. “Excuse me!” I shouted to him and his friend, who was close behind. “Sorry, you can try and steal the letters all you want, but could you take a picture of us first?” It took some prodding, but we managed to get a picture on the letters–right before most of them were stolen away in the night. Apparently Loyola reinforced them with more concrete this year, as I guess this is not the first time “LOYOLA” has become “L   LA” come Friday morning of Mardi Gras weekend. They also must literally have a stash of concrete letters and a concrete guy on hand because by the next afternoon, they were Loyola once more. And I won’t tell you how Henry came to be in possession of this Y.

    Okay fine…he caught it in a parade…

  5. The Puppy
    St. Charles Parade Route
    St. Charles Parade Route

    Mardi Gras can be a rough time. There are a lot of people, there is a lot of noise, there is a drastic shortage of bathrooms, and you are never immediately near some amenity you may need. This is my friend Siena right after she fell, hitting her elbow pretty hard, scraping her knee, and ripping her leggings in the process. We got her up and were not but a few steps along when we ran into two nice young men holding the cutest puppy I’ve seen in my young life. Now by this time, Siena is having trouble keeping it together–she is in a lot of pain and we are all pretty astoundingly sleep deprived. So she asks to hold this puppy and just about loses it. You can’t really tell, but she is literally sobbing into this puppy. But I mean look how adorable it is.

    So there you have it. Mardi Gras 2016. I may be suffering right now from the worst sore throat I have ever experienced, but I must say it was worth it. Probably. (Seriously I am in so much pain.) Until next year, Carnival.

Submitted with undying love for,
Mardi Gras, that puppy, Loyola University, NOLA, and getting two days off of school to watch parades,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

CEOs and Corporate Strong, Empowered Women

Well hello! It’s me, your favorite unreliable blogger, back from her hiatus settling into college (which has been great so far, and if you have any specific questions/requests regarding that, you could comment/email me, and maybe I will write about them)! College has brought all kinds of new experiences so far, and today I address one of them: frat parties.

Besides a loud, sweaty mass of desperate young people, frat parties are also an environment in which the gender norms and outdated views of society are painfully emphasized. This is demonstrated the most with their many party themes. These themes usually provide a choice of “costume”, with one presenting a clear expectation of being for males, and one expected of females.

For example, last night there was a party with the (optional) dress theme “Yoga or Toga”. Fairly self-explanatory, it’s options were stereotypical-Animal-House-style-toga-made-with-your-bedsheet-that-you-probably-will-still-sleep-in-later or spandex/lycra/any-other-tight-clothing-that-one-would-wear-while-sexily-bending-in-different-positions-on-a-yoga-mat. Furthermore, while not stated specifically, it is the general understanding that the toga option is for guys, and the yoga option is for girls. This makes it really easy for a guy to be already practically shirtless and and for a girl to wear tight, form-fitting clothing with the possibility of a sports bra sans shirt. Speed things up, why don’t we? However, are we really–as fully functioning and aware college-age women–supposed to ignore these obvious practices as reinforcing our position as sexual objects?  As things meant to be looked at and used as men see fit and as available at their disposal and for their enjoyment only?

Also last night, there was a different party with an even worse–and more obvious–theme: CEOs and Corporate Hoes. Besides the use of a derogatory term for women, this title also implies that women cannot be CEOs, but are simply in the workplace to fulfill fetishized schoolgirl/sexy secretary fantasies. In 2015, at the actual #41 school in the country (a ranking that could and probably will move up in the coming years due to a graduation rate overcoming Katrina), we are really expected to play to the stereotype that women can not be both beautiful AND smart, or that we should not be taken seriously in a workplace? We are the closest we have ever been, as a nation, to having a female president for god’s sake. If we aren’t going to legitimize women now, then when?

While I am fully aware that these juvenile party themes are only meant to be fun, and not necessarily to say anything about our society as a whole, it is difficult to ignore their implications. I find it hard to believe that there is no way to throw a party (even a themed party) free of misogynistic overtones, despite the fact that said party is thrown by a group of males. College girls are already throwing themselves out there enough in their normal party attire without having to wear a half open button-down and thigh-high socks.

Submitted with undying love for,
writing again and being the party pooper that points out perhaps meaningless flaws in the system,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Criss Cross Applesauce

Today was a good day.

Why? Because for my last week of high school (what?), we have senior dress up days, and today was Kindergarten Day. I got to dress like a six-year old. I got to carry around a teddy bear. All day. My friends and I got kids meals for lunch. I ate a PB&J and drank chocolate milk. I smiled. A lot. I got to be a little kid.

The reasons why this is appealing are obvious. Little kids have more fun. They have no responsibilities except to keep their rooms clean (maybe), no stress except for about what they want for lunch (PB&J), and no fears except for the dark (which is scary). All a kindergartener has to do is have fun. Play with their friends. Go to soccer practice or Girl Scouts. Probably learn to read or spell a big word. As we age, our worries increase exponentially. We forget how we were as children. We look back fondly on days gone by, reminiscing nostalgically that those days are gone. It’s time to go finish that project or pay that bill or run that errand. And where did I put those keys…

It’s true, in many ways we can never be quite like we were as little kids. And why should we? The world has more and more to offer as we age too. But we should strive to maintain the way we saw the world as children. As new and magical and wonderful and exciting. And why should the loss of innocence equate to a loss of spontaneity? It’s fun sometimes to throw on your overalls and go to a park instead of studying. It’s invigorating to rip off your shoes and play in the rain rather than sprinting, head down, to your car. It’s important to hug your old teddy bear and remember that everything is going to be okay.

In today’s society, we are constantly put under pressure, judged on our appearance and our lifestyle, scrutinized from all angles, and worried about each little thing we do/how it will be perceived. Isn’t it time we shook that off? Of course, those things never fully go away, but it’s fun to pretend. And it’s possible to at least make them fade a bit. When was the last time you wore overalls or played in the rain or hugged a teddy bear?

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Submitted with undying love for,
being a kid, kindergarten day, overalls, rain, teddy bears, letting go of worries, being spontaneous, and four more days of high school,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Roll Green Wave

Hello readers–long time no blog. Sound familiar? It is, because lately that’s all I’ve opened my posts with because I’ve been too busy or too lazy or too uninspired to write. So here I am again with a fun announcement about college…

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year again: college commitment time. I realize this only affects a teeny tiny fraction of the population at large, but for those of us affected, it’s huge. May 1st, the commitment deadline (for most schools anyway) is fast approaching. By this time just two days from now, most of the world’s high school seniors planning on attending college next  year will know where they’re going. *shudder* Change is terrifying.

As for me, I am proud to announce that you’ll find me in the fall at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, or Nawlins, as the locals refer to it. As paralyzingly, cripplingly scared  as I am, I cannot wait to be throwing beads at trees during Mardi Gras, spilling on myself at CrawFest, or embracing the “Freshman 15” (or 50) with all of the Southern food. Ever had a beignet? Well go to Cafe Du Monde and get one.

Yes, in just a few short months, I will be a college student, and the friends I see every day will be flung all over the United States. I’ll be living largely alone, choosing a major, and maybe starting to figure out what I want to do with my life. Stop me before I have a panic attack.

In all seriousness though, I am also really excited to move to Tulane. It’s horrifying and thrilling. It’s awful and liberating. Wish me luck! I’ll be studying and “ya’ll”-ing with the best of them.

Submitted with undying love for,
beignets, festivals, jazz, a new chapter, Magazine Street, Audobon Park, saying ya’ll, NOLA, Nawlins, and all its other names, and the Tulane Class of 2019,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Theatre Things

Hello all,

So sorry I have not written in what seems like forever. I have been incredibly swamped with my school musical! I’ve mentioned a few (thousand) times on here that I do theatre, and more often, technical theatre. I am on construction crew and run crew, so I build the set and then move it around during the show.  I am also an actor, but I have not been in a show in a while. I have found instead that lately, I more enjoy filling my hands with splinters, getting immensely frustrated trying to build secret swinging doors, barely sleeping whilst finishing a set, wearing all black, handling dry ice because our fog machine broke (?), and making faces at people onstage in the hopes that they have to quell their laughter in the middle of a line.

In case you didn’t catch that part about barely sleeping, it’s true. Seriously. I have barely slept. Closing night was two days ago and I am just now starting to catch up on sleep. During the week before the show, or tech week (also referred to affectionately as Hell Week), I stayed at school building things until midnight, and then as late (early?) as one, two, three, and four AM. We would literally leave each other with a fond, “Have a nice nap!” and “See you in a few hours!”

I know most of my readers are probably balking at the absurdity of this. And for all you parents out there who are reaching for the phone and looking up the number of my school principal, hold on. None of us are forced to stay that long, and only a small group do. But we all do it because we want to. I love this stuff. I live for this. This whole week and half or so where I am drinking iced coffee like it’s water, experiencing an emotional roller coaster from lack of sleep, rushing to get things done, trying not to act on my mental “Show Week Hit List”, and neglecting all of my homework is my favorite time of the year. The thing for me about theatre is that I love it even when I hate it. Even when I am crying behind a set piece during the entire second act or making up mental threats for people who yell at me because they are just as stressed as I am, I live for this. Crazy? Maybe. Odd? Without a doubt. But I would not have it any other way.

Segue: This is why I’ll be majoring in theatre (and something else, who knows really?) in college. Which college, you ask? Tulane University, Class of 2019! I am very excited and paralyzingly horrified–refer to some of my other posts.

I think this gets you pretty much up-to-date with my always fascinating life. Remember to find my email in the “About Me” section in the top right corner of this site and email me with post requests or general business queries!

Submitted with undying love for,
theatre, construction, dry ice which you can in fact touch with your bare hands (just not for long), knowing where I’m going to college, and Tulane University,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

The College Craze

Good news: I received a request! So here it is: The College Craze (almost called The College Crawl, since I have visited twelve so far…).

The burning question is: what I am most looking forward to in college?

Well. What indeed?

Despite my growing unease and, consequently, growing efforts to quell the panic, I am really excited about college. New people, a new place, endless clubs and opportunities, study abroad, figuring out my life (that’s the goal at least), and those ca-raaazy college football games and parties and what have you! But I think it all boils down to one thing.

Independence.

Even now, I’m a rather independent person. You will rarely catch me asking for help–no, I can carry these various items just fine on my own, thank you very much!–and I honestly prefer being alone sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with my friends, but I like my space. And although my parents are lovely people (and not just because they read this!), I am extremely excited to live largely on my own. My mother is not at all a “helicopter mom”, but I cannot wait to make my own decisions. To come and go as I please, to lounge around in pajamas all day if I want to, to be able to eat cookie dough for dinner, to make big choices about my future! Actually, that last part sounds terrifying.

As a senior, I have a lot more friends in college now than I did in past years, and while seeing their rollicking fun on social media instigates a fiery panic inside me, it also makes me yearn to graduate and move on! So to my readers: I am most excited about independence in college. And to my future roommate: I hope you like cookie dough.

Submitted with undying love for,
pajamas, cookie dough, independence, the part of my that is excited about going to college, six months until graduation (WOAH), and you for reading, my dear friend!
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

My Senior Year Bucket List

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying the beginning of your summers! I actually just have one more final before freedom, so in these last couple days of being a high school junior, I am contemplating what life will be like next year. I am almost a senior, which, despite the grueling college applications and anxiety of hearing back, is supposed to be a pretty important year, I guess. So I have decided to make a sort of bucket list for senior year. (Just so you are aware and don’t think I am 100% lame, I won’t actually be checking back with this list or anything. It’s more for my present entertainment.)

1. Participate in all the Dress-Up Days!
This one has been on my mind for a while, actually. At my school, we have dress up days for Homecoming week, Wish Week (a fundraising week for the Make A Wish foundation), and we also have two different weeks of dress up days for only seniors. These often include country club day, skier day, “senior” citizen day, tacky tourist day, what you want to be in 10 years day, and more! That last one is often the most entertaining because many people like to have fun with it. Being a part of the theater department, lots of people dress homeless. I’ve even seen one girl with a Starbucks apron and a sign reading “want to read my manuscript?”. Obviously, I haven’t been allowed to dress up on senior days (yet) but I am allowed to for Homecoming week and Wish Week. For some days I dress up, but for most, I opt out. However, it is my goal to dress up for every dress up day this year, and I don’t care how ridiculous I look! Because I’m a senior and I do what I want!

2. Go to Putt Putt
As I mentioned, we have a Wish Week, where we dress up and raise money for the Make a Wish foundation and the Wish of a Lifetime foundation. Throughout the week there are restaurants who will donate part of the proceeds to it for us and there are a few events at school. One is putt putt golf one night of the week. I have never been in attendance, since it is usually populated by the…er…type of people I don’t associate–excuse me–am not really friends with… But I’ve decided, why not pull together some people I actually like and go for my last year? If only because I’m super curious as to how they transform one of the buildings at my school into a mini golf course. (Will there be a windmill!?!?) And I will do it even if my lack of mini golf skills are laughed off the course (court? field? stage?). Because I’m a senior and I do what I want!

3. Go to the Homecoming Pep Assembly
I think most schools have this, so I won’t explain. But for us,the assembly is optional, so most people (at least upper classmen) who are not interested in school spirit (me) or who don’t associate with “pep” (me) or who have a car and can leave and go to Starbucks instead (me) don’t attend. I went my freshman year, but after a pretty uninteresting hour sprinkled with chants of “Go Home Freshman”, I figured I had seen it all. However, I’ll admit that there are some fun events and things they do, I can always just laugh at the cheerleaders/poms team, and they make a big deal about the seniors. So maybe I’ll go and be pampered and indulge in a “Go Home Freshman” or two. Because I’m a senior and I do what I want!

4. Be in the Talent Show
During that Wish Week thing I mentioned, there is a school wide talent show, which, for attendees, is basically the only time non-theater kids are caught dead in the theater! Score one for the Thespian cult! I mean troupe! I went my sophomore year, but I have never auditioned, so I figure, why not try my senior year? I’ve got nothing to lose! (Other than my dignity!) However, I’ll definitely try out with one or more other people, so that then I’m not losing my dignity alone. And if it isn’t singing, it’ll be my flawless stand up comedy routine or maybe juggling and unicycling (actually that’s a real act every year–we have a club for it). Because I’m a senior and I do what I want!

In a somewhat pathetic turn of events, I have taken the time and energy to think of only four things that I even vaguely want to do next year. Other than get into college of course. So this is where our list ends. But I hope you got a kick out of my unfulfilled high school life thus far. Because what on earth was I doing if I wasn’t playing mini golf in the hallways??

Submitted with undying love for,
(almost) being a senior, dressing up like a mermaid for “what I want to be in 10 years day”, perfecting my juggling routine, and the hatred of pep,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Everything You Need to Know About Prom

So recently (last night) I went to my first school prom (woohoo, what a milestone). And I thought I would compile a list, since I seem to be fascinated by lists, of everything you ever really need to know about prom.

1. The Dress
Note that I am a female, and therefore, I am dishing out advice on prom dresses. If you are a male and are looking for info on tuxedos, you have come to the wrong place and I sincerely apologize. So for the dress it depends what people at your school do. At mine, most people wear long dresses for prom, but a few wear short. Either is fine, whichever makes you comfortable! Get one you think is pretty and flattering and comfy, etc. etc. The important thing here is that you can dance in it. DO NOT BE THAT STUPID KID REFUSING TO DANCE. Did you really spend a ton of money on prom to stand in a dimly lit and well dressed room doing nothing?

2. The Group
Who you go with to prom is possibly the most important aspect of going to prom. Remember, you’re going to be hanging out with them for a lot of straight hours! If you have a date, rock on. If you don’t have a date, rock on. Go with just your date, go in a group with several other couples, go in a group with some couples and some singles, go with a whole group of single people. Don’t sweat about not having a date–you could go in a big group of girls (or mixed gender singles or whatever) and have an awesome time! (Plus, dates are overrated [unless maybe you have a steady significant other]. Like I have to hang out with this random person the whole time? I don’t want to babysit some boy all night.)

3. The Transportation
While cars are fun, limos/party buses are REALLY fun. Now I realize not everyone can afford such a thing, and that is understandable (don’t worry, it won’t make or break your prom experience). But if you can get a lot of people, split the price, get a deal, cut down the amount of time the limo is needed, etc. I recommend getting one. And if possible, I recommend a party bus, as it, clearly, brings the party wherever you go (I mean who even needs the actual dance, right?). However, please note that many party buses come with a stripper pole in the middle. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can get one without. If you’re into that, go nuts. Just make sure the windows are very tinted before you get too crazy.

4. The Pictures
The all too important prom pre-requisite includes not only all of the pictures you take, but all of the pictures of others that you Facebook stalk! Sure, it’s fun to spend an hour taking lots of low-quality pictures of two people putting a corsage on each other or a row of dressed up girls in various poses, but it’s MUCH more fun to sit on your computer and look at everyone else’s pictures (of the same things). Why should the party end when you get home?

5. Never Say “Prahm”
You’re not funny.

The rest, my friends, is up to you. Get some dinner, dance the night away, and make good choices! (Even when there are stripper poles involved.)

Submitted with undying love for,
prom, Facebook stalking, party buses, and surviving the night the tween girls fantasize about,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken

Tips for Relaxing from a Very Stressed Teenager

Welcome to Detox 101: How to Relieve Stress in the opinion of one very stressed out teen. I hope you refer back to this list whenever you need to just chill–because life can be hard. From constant homework to immature peers to interminable AP tests (5 1/2 hours, AP Spanish? Really???) to people who cannot walk in the halls (see post #3: Hallway Horror) to bothersome teachers/bosses to a college search creeping up behind you whenever you check the mail, and more, the life of a high schooler is rough. However, this guide is designed for stress relievers of all ages. So sit back and relax.

1. Light Candles
One of the oldest techniques in the book, but take it from someone who has a counter full of a growing candle collection–it works! I recommend scented ones (my favorites that I own are pine, lavender, and some random gardenia and tuberose thing in a jar). Scented candles make your room smell fabulous, and if you leave them burning for long enough, your room will smell fabulous even after you blow them out. It’s like that dog that follows you home and sits outside your door even after you’ve told it to go home (but you secretly want to keep it). Actually I don’t think that analogy related at all.

2. Drink Tea!
Not just for Brits or old ladies anymore! If you’ve read my About Me section or my Meet Me post, you know I consider myself to be something of a tea aficionado. A lot of people think it doesn’t taste good (I used to agree with you!) but I resolve that you are just not drinking the right ones. There are some really flavorful ones and they are actually so calming. See the Meet Me post for my favorite teas and recommendations.

3. Watch Gossip Girl on Netflix (or another TV show of your choice via the outlet of your choice)
Watching TV is a great way to wind down. We all know that. However, I personally recommend Gossip Girl simply because it is exactly what the readers scoffing at me right now think it is–ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But it is utterly, obscenely ridiculous. It is a good de-stressor because you get completely swept up in the complicated lives of “Manhattan’s elite”. They have so many constant and far-fetched problems that you honestly start feeling as if your problems cannot possibly be so all-consuming as the stuff you are witnessing. “Two thumbs up.”

4. Sit Outside and Read a Book
Here comes the chorus of teenagers: “Ew, I don’t read for fun.” Well, you should. Similarly to the TV thing I just mentioned, when you read a book you thoroughly enjoy, you are transported to another world with a whole new score of possibilities, personalities, and adventures. Find somewhere nice (PREFERABLY OUTSIDE IN NATURE SOMEWHERE) and just sit and read. Lay down, nap, sun bathe, lounge, allow yourself to just be. It sounds stupid, but if you do this even for fifteen minutes and rid yourself of all your worries and responsibilities, you will be so much more carefree.

5. Listen to Angry Music
Yes, you read that correctly! It sounds a bit counter productive, but when I am really pissed off, I listen to my “angry music”. (This, for me, includes a lot of Three Days Grace, Skillet, and some other assorted artists. It generally is more “metal” and has a fast beat that I can angrily walk to in the hallway.) While this can sometimes work you up, it also actually does just the opposite. For me, it is a kind of outlet where I can release those emotions just by listening to music that mirrors my feelings. Try it some time. Just for fun.

Some other popular and useful stress relievers include, but are not limited to:
-bubble baths
-blowing bubbles
-hanging out with friends
-baking
-singing
-punching things (like pillows–please, please don’t punch a wall)
-tequila (JUST KIDDING! Unless you are over the age of 21 that was a total joke!)

I hope you appreciate and draw inspiration from this user-friendly guide. The next time you are feeling stressed, remember to head on over to this website and refer to “Tips for Relaxing from a Very Stressed Teenager”.

Submitted with undying love for,
candles, tea, and Gossip Girl, (my three main loves)
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken