April 29, 2013

How it feels to be graduating from college...

How it feels to be graduating from college

by Vett Vandiver

People won't stop asking. So I can't stop thinking about it. And of course had to write about it.

"How does it feel to be graduating?!" Most people ask with a huge genuine smile on their face (probably thinking back to their personal graduation experience). And then others have a Joker smile, like they know something about the real world that we don't find out until we walk across the stage at graduation.

I'm currently feeling more emotions than they have names for. What do you call [anxious for life after graduation + grateful that I never have to register for classes again + already missing my friends + curious about other Starbucks locations off-campus + already freaking out about my next next step]? Exactly...not in the dictionary, nor on Google (I tried).

Tech has been the white and gold-laced bubble I've lived in and fallen in love with over the past four years. It's perfect for those who appreciate it. 

Besides the actual campus, I will miss the feeling of unity that everyone on campus creates just by being Tech students. That feeling that "we're all in this together," and "we'll all get out eventually." That feeling of sending an email at 3:30am, but feeling completely normal because we get a response five minutes later from someone else having a similar night. That feeling of craving Waffle House on a Wednesday night after chapter and it being socially acceptable to have a second dinner. That feeling of accomplishment when we somehow submit an assignment on time after a week full of meetings, lacking in sleep, and pouring over with coffee.

I'm going to miss that feeling.

As we all go off to graduate, some of the things that were not only acceptable in college (but encouraged and expected) will no longer be normal. People will text the GroupMe less often and gatherings that used to just require a walk down the street will now require a plane ticket, a security check, and a flight. Maintaining friendships will take actual effort because once we graduate, we will no longer share the same home, the same base. There will be no more "coming back to campus after break." Campus will no longer be our home, but a home that once was ours...

And that frightens me the most.

Before you stop reading and start crying, hold the Kleenex! Graduation is a magnificent and thrilling moment in life that not everyone experiences. We've all worked so hard for our personal goals and future dreams. I've fallen in love with the dreams of my best friends just as much as I've fallen in love with mine. I get so excited hearing the extremely diverse future plans of my friends with all different majors. People are going to California, New York, South America, China, and some are staying here in Atlanta like me. People are getting engaged, getting married, having children, buying houses, and some are not even thinking of the previously mentioned (like me).

Yes, these four years have been absolutely and insanely fantastic. But think of our known plans and unknown plans, and believe that the best years are ahead of us

This feeling of knowing that life goes on after graduation...there are more things to experience...even better things...that thrills me.

We're young. Elementary, middle, and high school - we did that. College...we've done that. Although our plans may not be drawn out and colored in...they will come together. We'll all end up where we're supposed to. 

Some of the people who think they have it all figured out are often the most lost. And of course, not all who wander are lost. We applied to Tech with plans, dreams, hopes for opportunities, and determination. It only makes sense that we leave with the same mindset. I'm leaving Tech feeling accomplished, not just in the academic sense, but in the personal sense of accomplishment. 

I'm a different person than the Vett who applied years ago. Yet, I feel like I'm the person I should be at this point in my life. And that makes me grateful

We can feel however we want about graduating as long as we come to the realization that it's coming...it's here. This chapter of our lives has happened, and hopefully it's been incredibly monumental - full of ups and downs. 

College has shown me that I can do anything, regardless of my original plans. I can create my own path, even if there are currently trees in the way. We can change our minds and our plans. It's the undying sense of possibility that makes the transitional periods of life so beautiful.

Every ending is another beginning. And we won't be able to completely enjoy the next chapter of life if we're still stuck on this one. 

How does it feel to be graduating from college? For me, it's a feeling that only I understand because only I have my personal experiences that will make the close of this chapter so special and the perfect conglomeration of emotions. When the tears come down my face on graduation day (and I'm sure they will), they won't be tears of sadness nor of happiness. They'll be tears of realization that the past four years have really happened.

Congratulations, Class of 2013. We did it...we're doing it.

Vett is a fourth year senior graduating from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture and minor in Spanish.

2013 Falcons Football Schedule

With all this talk of the NFL draft, I can't help but get super excited for the upcoming Falcons season!!

And, now that I know I'll be in ATL during this season, I'm even more excited to attend games and watch my favorite team have another incredible season. I created a schedule from the different formats I've found online...I think this one is easier to read :)

I'm so ready to RISE UP!!! <3

Pandora station playlist {study edition}

All everyone at Georgia Tech is talking about are final exams, studying for finals, wishing we didn't have to take finals, etc. It's been really hard for me to focus on finals this semester with the excitement of graduation and everything that comes with it.

I've had to seriously isolate myself from others so that I can focus on studying and finishing school with the best grades possible. One thing I can never give up in terms of studying...music. I keep a tab open for Pandora. I have over 75 stations (kind of embarrassing), but I have a few favorites that I play while I'm studying/reading/writing/blogging.

I've listed the ones I'm playing this week to focus!

What's your favorite music to listen to while studying? <3

April 28, 2013

Finals Week Preparation

Finals Week is finally here.

It's bittersweet, mainly bitter...because the fact that this coming week is a week full of final examinations also means it's the last week of school and the last finals week of my undergraduate career!

Typically during finals week (or any hectic week), my diet consists of coffee and anything I can put my hands on to snack on. But this week I'm coming more prepared! I went to the grocery store and prepared some meals and snacks for the week :)

Continue reading for some snack and study suggestions!  

Healthy Finals Week Snacks


Finals Week Tips

My favorite finals week studying tips

Keep a water bottle during your finals week!

Eating in ATL {Flip Burger}

I'm graduating from college in less than a week, eek! Expect a countdown (and some mushy posts) on here until that happens because it's so exciting and crazy to think about. 

The other day I met up with my friend Norquata, who I also refer to as my "little" because she's like my little sister! We hadn't caught up 1-1 in a really long time so this date was necessary. 

With Norquata

We went to Flip Burger because I know how much she loves milkshakes...and food in general (just like me!) Flip Burger has such a fun menu and their burgers/sandwiches are so so so good! When I went to California, there were burger places everywhere, but Flip Burger is still one of my top choices.

I ordered the turkey burger with their famous onion rings,
and a sweet tea to drink! 
Yum yum yum!!! Their special sauces are incredible.

Norquata ordered the same burger, like Big, like Little :)

I want to relive this meal!

She also ordered their famous Krispy Kreme milkshake.
 I tasted it and it's seriously a KK donut in a glass, ahhh!

What's your favorite burger place? <3

April 27, 2013

Gifts for Mom {Bday or Mother's Day}

Happy happy happy birthday to my beautiful mother!

I'm so proud and blessed to call this wonderful woman my mother! She knows me better than anyone else and if I grow to be half the woman she is, I will feel accomplished. I'm so grateful for the lessons she has taught me and for her unconditional love and support! Love you, mommy! Enjoy your day! <3

"Our mothers always remain the strangest, craziest people we've ever met." - Marguerite Duras

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." -Abraham Lincoln

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."

I'm excited to spend time with my mom for her special day and to give her presents, even though she deserves any and everything

Mother's Day is coming up soon, so I've put together some classic gift ideas for the special women in your life -- whether they be your mom or someone who has played that role in your life :)

April 26, 2013

{Giveaway} J. Crew gift card $100

It's my first big giveaway -- $100 gift card for my favorite store, J. Crew! It's been a super successful month for the blog and for my book sales, so I want to give back to my amazing readers! Enter NOW and tell a friend! :)

Senior Year Update

I keep telling people how graduation is just days away (May 4), but it hasn't really hit me yet.

Georgia Tech football stadium
School and my organizations have been so busy these days that time is moving more quickly than normal. These past few weeks have been full of projects, homework assignments, late nights studying, late meetings, organization events and banquets, and more! 

Student Government banquet
As an extroverted introvert, I don't mind being social...but it takes so much energy. Check out some photos from the past few weeks! So excited to be a Georgia Tech graduate days from now :)

After taking some senior pictures of my roommate, Jade!
Puppies on campus, just because!
Awards banquet 
Georgia Tech football clinic where I met head coach Paul Johnson!
Student Government banquet
Student Government banquet 
So sweet that one of my professor brought in a
cake and drinks for the graduating seniors! :)
How's this month going for you? <3

April 24, 2013

Techturized Inc. {innovative hair technology}

One of the reasons I started this blog was to use it as a platoform for college students and college grads who are doing incredible things. When I heard about Techturized Inc. and Madame You, I knew I wanted to blog about them. Read below and see what these young African American engineers & entrprenuers are doing for the black hair care industry! You can also support them -  I love it! <3

"Female African American Engineers Take Back the Hair Care Industry and Create Innovative Hair Technology"

Techturized Inc. Launches Providing a Personalized Haircare Experience

Founded by female African American engineers, Techturized Inc. is the new uprising in hair, beauty and lifestyle discoveries. Techturized Inc. is a hair technology company that creates innovative solutions for women of color and will revolutionize the hair care industry through their conceptualized technology solutions. The Atlanta based technology company has successfully incorporated science and technology to transform the way women interact with their hair, information, and
each other.

Co-founders Chanel, Candace, Jess | Photo Credit: JasPhoto

The first product introduced and powered by Techturized is Madame You. The founders’ personal hair experiences allow them to resonate with their target market in a unique way, acknowledging the vital role that beauty and hair plays in a woman’s identity. 

Madame You addresses women’s needs for a personalized hair care experience as a highly engaged social network. The platform is a portal for African-American women, with all hair types, that seamlessly blend e-commerce and social space to give the user resources, influencers, products and tools for their hair directly. After sharing her “hair journey”, the user will be provided with the best bloggers, youtubers, shampoos, conditioners, stylers, and tools that will best fit her lifestyle and hair needs.

Madame You has launched a crowd-funding campaign to fund its research and development. The company is seeking $25,000 to provide “1 million black women with personalized recommendations for hairstyles and products.” The ultimate goal for MadameYou.com is to be the go to source for hair where women can talk, shop, and share in one space. Support the movement and donate today.

Photo Credit: JasPhoto

April 22, 2013

Eating in ATL {Longhorn Steakhouse}

I've been eating out a lot recently. 

It's the perfect way to catch up with friends during this super busy time of the year (less than two weeks until graduation) because I have to eat, right? So why not do it with friends. And while there are countless Atlanta-based restaurants, sometimes I love eating at well-known traditional chains. 

One of my favorites that happens to have a location in Buckhead...Longhorn Steakhouse! The service and the food are always top notch and so satisfying.

My best friend, Shayla, and I had dinner at Longhorn after a crazy week and it was such a great time. We ordered an appetizer, the Texas Tonion, and it was a great starter.

Shayla ordered the stuffed portobello mushroom chicken with a
sweet potato for her side. I really wanted to try some!
I ordered chicken parmesan and got a side of veggies.
Loved the salads that came with our meals, yum!

Have you ever eaten at Longhorn? <3

April 20, 2013

Eating in ATL {Chow Baby}

It's hard to find ATLiens who've never eaten at (or at least heard of) Chow Baby. They have several locations in the Atlanta area, it's a fun and interactive dining experience, and it's a popular spot for dinner parties. To celebrate the end of the school year, I went to Chow Baby with my friends/organization members!

There's a surprise factor that comes with eating at Chow Baby because while you are responsible for choosing your ingredients from the bar (see above).

After choosing your rice/pasta + vegetables + other ingredients + meat (all optional), the waiter brings out your cooked dish! I love seeing how my creation turns out :) I also usually add a piece of Roti Bread (it's an additional charge, but so delicious)

They cook the food in an open kitchen so you can easily see how your dish is coming along!

Seth's creation!
The prices aren't bad for how much food you can get!

Enjoy! <3

April 19, 2013

The effect of U.S. violence on young children

OK, I had a fun and happy post scheduled for today, but I felt silly...almost stupid pressing the publish button to post about eating in Atlanta when I went to sleep reading horrific reports of a shooting at MIT (a school very well-known and respected by Georgia Tech students), and waking up to even more saddening news.

TGIF. This week in America has been framed as the most catastrophic since 9/11 by both the news media and the social media of average citizens.

Whether we want to believe it or not, incredibly awful acts of violence occur on a daily basis every single day on continents such as South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Asia. We know it's happening...we see those tweets by CNN Breaking News too...but we gloss over them thinking "oh, just more people being killed in Iraq, #NBD"

But now that people are dying on American soil: we can relate, we care, we are reacting, we are admitting to losing hope in "mankind," "society," "our nation," and saying these things in front of our children.

I was heartbroken to see my preteen niece post an image on Instagram that listed the "awful things that have happened this week," and say how terrible our nation is.

This is not the America I grew up in. And not the America I want my future children to grow up in.

Of course I agree that the violence is brutal and unnecessary, but we have to teach our children that there is still hope and beauty in life. We should teach them about the heroes of these stories, instead of focusing purely on the villains, the blood, and the terrorism.

I am disgusted by the lack of filtering in the media this week, and frankly over saturation of information and images that have trickled down to children as young as four years old. These young children are soaking in everything they've seen and heard this past week, and it will affect them.

Though we may not see the signs of the exposure of these traumatic events on our American children, please believe they have been traumatized.

I hope that the news media and citizens of America better handle future situations for the mental stability of the youth who are also very aware of everything that has happened this week, yet lack all of the knowledge and experience that the people so viciously sharing this information possess.

By Vett Vandiver

April 18, 2013

Atlanta Tastemaker Magazine feature

This week has been full of fun surprises and events! I was so excited when I received my subscription of the April/May Tastemaker Magazine. Since I won the Girls Inc. contest (thank you thank you to all of you who voted for me!!), the magazine included this little bio section about me with a photo. 

Very exciting and such an honor because I respect the Girls Inc. organization and I'm a new fan of Tastemaker Magazine! Check out their newest issue!


April 17, 2013

Ten Thousand Villages {Sustainable Fashion Night}

So, I just recently learned about a very cool store, Ten Thousand Villages, that is hosting a very cool FREE event, a Sustainable Fashion Night! The event is this Friday from 6-8pm. If you are interested in fair trade retail and/or fashion, listen up:

  Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit, Fair Trade retail store working to empower and provide economic opportunities to artisans in developing countries. This year the Atlanta store celebrates 20 years of Fair Trade in Virginia-Highland. Fair Trade provides under- and unemployed artisans with an opportunity to earn vital income and improve their quality of life by establishing a sustainable market for their handcrafted products. Ten Thousand Villages is a founding member of the WFTO - the World Fair Trade Organization, a global network of more than 350 fair trade organizations in 70 countries.

Check out the invitation below, it's sure to be a fun and worthy event:

Join Ten Thousand Villages for a Sustainable Fashion Night! We are keeping the store open an extra two hours on Friday, April 19, 6pm – 8pm! This is your chance to swing by the store on your way home and learn more about Fair Trade by checking out all of our Fair Trade jewelry, scarves, handbags, and other personal accessories. 

Some of the items you can expect to see at their store!

Sample delicious chocolates and sip coffee as you look for the perfect Fair Trade birthday, Mother’s Day, and graduation gift. This will be a time to exclusively preview the new April collection and its beautiful, vibrant hues. Boards highlighting spring’s hottest trends will be in the store for inspiration and Courtney – fashion consultant and owner of the glamorous Bridge Boutique – will be there to answer any and all of your burning fashion questions! Through SPAN funding, this event is made possible in part by Emory University’s Center for Community Partnerships, a proud co-sponsor.



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