Back at Emory

It’s my second day back at Emory and I honestly don’t know how to feel about my second year here. It was great to see everyone and catch up with friends but this year is going to be the deciding year for my major(s)! Move in was crazy and the elevator at Woodruff has never smelt worse. I’m so glad that I had early arrival and did not have to deal with all the hectic craziness.

Heading Out

Last couple days home. Procrastinated with packing and bedding and stuff so that’s pretty much what I’m doing this week. Leaving on Thursday (driving) and moving in Friday. One suitcase is filled to the brim with clothes, the other is halfway full so far with clothes and shoes, and i still gotta find space for my xbox, n64, radio, and all that random stuff too. I forgot how stressful this all is.

Mixed feelings about leaving home too…. Definitely excited to get back to campus with everybody but at the same time it’s always difficult leaving home, especially after such a great summer.

Seriously, though, with a sweet internship, seeing all my family in Turkey on a great vacation, and a great 5 day conference I just went on this weekend, I will miss summer. Still, the fact that summer lasts only three months makes it that much better because you appreciate it much more, and it makes you appreciate school that much more as well. Next post will be from campus. See you all there!!!

15 Days Until School…

Feels weird that summer is almost over. Just got back from a two week vacation in Turkey and now I only have a couple weeks left at home. I’m already all over OPUS for some last minute class changes and have started getting back into a school mood and getting ready to go back. Still have a lot to do though (like going to all my favorite restaurants, getting school supplies, etc) and not much time but i’m sure i will figure it out.

Another big thing coming up soon is declaring my major. I guess I have been pretty set on business and psychology since first semester last year, but Im definitely going to make it official right when I get back to campus. I’ve wanted to do business ever since i applied to Emory and am getting ready to apply to the b-school, but I got interested in psych after taking Psyc 111 with Lilienfeld in fall 2009, which is a great course. I also ready this really good book about the psychology of snap judgements and first impressions this summer called Blink, which pretty much solidified my interest in psychology. Inception might have played a small role too.

I might try to use these two majors together and go into marketing after I graduate. I worked at a marketing agency in NYC this summer that actually works with Playboy, which is awesome, and that got me interested in the idea of marketing. I am also really into finance and international business and I know that psychology will help in general with life, if not directly with my career.

Still, on a finishing note, this was a great summer. Pretty sad that it is ending, but school this year will be a good time. 15 days…

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” [Reflections on Freshman Year ’09-’10]

June 5, 2009—I just graduated from a suburban public school in Sugar Land, Texas, and was ecstatic to attend Emory, my first-choice.  I spent the summer cherishing the comforts of my hometown while revamping myself to deliver the perfect first impression in college.


March 31, 2010—I’m happy to say my Emory experience thus far has exceeded my expectations and given me a great deal of personal growth.

My first semester yielded an unprecedented wave of success— I found the perfect transition through attending Crossroads retreat; soon after that, I recognized and acquainted myself with a variety of freshmen, was elected to Student Government, and reluctantly yet faithfully underwent my first substantive relationship.

My second semester was not as smooth sailing— I faced rejection in extracurricular positions, roadblocks in academics, and a dissettling re-evaluation of myself.  I was unsure of how to find a single close group of friends while others settled down in groups or Greek organizations.

Luckily, a welcome break came during my spring break when I stayed on campus.  I had peace of mind in a deserted Harris Hall and the chance to relax with some quality people and new friends.  I was also able to explore Atlanta attractions that I would not have time to otherwise—the Coca-Cola Museum, Georgia Aquarium, Perimeter Mall, and local restaurants.

After Spring Break, I was appropriately re-energized and celebrated my re-election and acceptance as a MORE mentor.  I expect to tackle any difficulties with full steam and a considerate perspective.

“Venice Beach and Palm Springs, Summer [2010] is everything.” ~Snoop Dogg

June 16, 2010 – Well the previous two introductory entries were required for pre-screening to become an SYE blogger.  Now that I’ve gotten approval, I’m ready to start writing about my summer so far!


I’ve been home for a month in Sugar Land and it has been very relaxing.

I have two unpaid internships that are pretty flexible and undemanding: one at a Burnett, a human resources staffing firm, and another at Raymond James, a brokerage company.

Seeing as how I literally gained the Freshman Fifteen,  I also subscribed to L.A. Fitness for a month, which so far has done me good by pressuring me to exercise daily.

I’ve visited my high school teachers and Color Guard dance team, receiving a lot of encouraging advice and remarks on how much I’ve changed.


Of course, my leisure time is spent with old friends, the majority of which include:

Yaasha Hasan—my best friend who I got close with my upperclassmen years of high school.  She is gorgeous, funny, and deep.  She’s also coming to Emory as a freshman next year!

Samantha Advincula— another close friend I’ve gotten to know senior year.  She is extremely sociable and enthusiastic, finding excitement and meaning in everything she does.  I’ve adopted this spiritedness and it has helped me through the best and worst of times J

Elizabeth Blanke and Mollie Tillman—whom I’ve both known since seventh grade, my oldest lasting friends in Sugar Land.

Christine LoPiccolo—my friendly high-schooler neighbor who I go run with and update about college life.


Last year I worked as a server at Applebees and a local café, but this year I cannot find a seasonal position anywhere!  I only discovered some network marketing schemes which I (now regretfully) had turned down because of the risk.  As a result, it is quite frustrating to experience my first summer with NO INCOME—especially when it’s needed to fund a 2.4 GHz 13-Inch MacBook Pro.  I had no laptop my first year and made do with desktops at Woodruff, which was not too inconvenient, but I still would like to be able to write essays in my dorm or on the quad.

“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

30 June 2010 [Edited on July 11]

Salut à tous!

C’est moi, Hillary (my name sounds really awkward in French). As my study of French progresses, I have learned a few interesting phrases relating to animals. To never show up to an event you RSVP’d to is called “mettre un lapin” [to put in a rabbit] (I guess like how a magician can make rabbits disappear in their hats? I have no idea.) To have a bad memory translates to “Avoir un cerveau de poisson” [to have a fish brain] (Dory, anyone?). And to stop going off on a tangent means “retournons à nos moutons” [return to our sheep].

So… return to our sheep we shall. Let’s talk about Emory stuff! So, there is a little less than 2 months of summer left until my sophomore year begins. Since I like to go with the flow of things, I don’t really have very many specific goals for next year… except to keep my GPA up. I also plan on volunteering at Skyland Trail every other weekend. It’s a day facility for those with mental illnesses. Since I want to work with mentally ill patients for my career, I’m pretty stoaked to volunteer.

I’m also excited about my classes next semester. I’m taking two Psychology classes (Child Development & Neuropsychology of Childhood Disabilities) and two Film Studies classes (History of Film to 1954 [with Dr. Pratt! He's super rad] & the French New Wave) + Martial Arts…like a boss. I switched French 101 for the French New Wave because I figured I’d know all the French 101 stuff by then… and having tons of foreign language busy work everyday isn’t cool. Plus, I only know about Godard and Truffaut. I need to expand my Nouvelle Vague horizons. But… that means I have an 8:30am class everyday. Be forewarned: I’ll definitely be complaining about that more when school starts! (I’m the college kid who stays up until sunrise everyday)

But I’m definitely looking forward to DJ-ing again. I cohost a radio show (“Ready for the Weekend”) on Fridays from 4-6pm with my awesome friend, Fahad. It’s an electro/synthpop/80s new wave show. Fahad plays more upbeat electronic stuff whereas I love darkwave and heavier beats (like VNV Nation, one of my favorite bands for almost 8 years now). I guess I still have the goth Hillary from middle school lingering inside of me. But I assure you, we aren’t a pretentious indie radio show. We love taking requests and we play some popular stuff (Fahad and I like MGMT, Daft Punk, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Matt & Kim, etc.) and I’ll totally groove to 3Oh!3 and Lady Gaga. But we mostly play new, up-and-coming electro bands. We like to be ahead of the curve. :] And since Fahad is from Dubai, he knows a lot of music that is popular in Europe and Asia but has failed to become famous here.

Random: Seeing as I love film and psychology, I found this small list to be quite awesome: Famous Movie Psychos. All of those movies are great. I especially love Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho”, but who doesn’t love narcissistic  psychopaths who listen to Phil Collins, Huey Lewis & The News, and Whitney Houston when they brutally murder their innocent victims?

And of course there is Alex DeLarge. I wouldn’t necessarily call him a psychopath but he’s definitely not your normal, standard person either.

Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.

Alex DeLarge from "A Clockwork Orange"

Not going to lie. Malcolm McDowell is gorgeous in this movie in some twisted, perverse way.

…There must be someone else who agrees with me, right?

Also, this:

Lego Norman Bates? Hell yes. :]

Anyway, it’s 3am. Time to watch another movie. I’m thinking the classic “The Gods Must Be Crazy”… and so now I’m thirsty for some Coca-Cola out of a glass bottle (the only way it should be consumed!).

À bientôt! :]

“Att fly är livet, att dröja döden…” (To flee is life, to linger is death)

There isn’t much Emory-related news or info worth posting here for the time being. But stay tuned until next time!

It seems like the up-and-coming trend is Steampunk. Finally, a cool aesthetic! I love the Victorian Era. I’m not a big fan of reading (I’m a very slow reader), but I love most British literature during that time period.

My Blockbuster job is still oodles of fun. Whenever I work, I get to pick which film we’ll play on the TVs in the store. The last three times I’ve picked Once Upon a Forest, The Pagemaster, and Fievel Goes West. I love those movies so much. So magical. I very much am in love with a song from each film (“Once Upon a Time With Me”, “Whatever You Imagine”, and “Dreams to Dream” per each respective movie). I live for the goosebumps from nostalgia of my childhood. The movies I watched as a youngster pretty much made me who I am today (my parents and schooling clearly had no influence whatsoever ;] )

…But anyway, my store is officially closing tomorrow. I almost expected it anyway, since everyone knows Blockbuster will go belly up in a year or two. Most Blockbusters are franchise stores nowadays anyway. I’m not upset that I’m losing my job a few weeks early. I’ll just have more time to sunbathe, read, learn, travel some and watch even more movies. =] But I made two really nice, awesome friends there. I’m hoping I’ll keep in touch with them as I go back to Atlanta soon. I really hope they find jobs soon. It’s hard to see and know good people being negatively affected by our current fail economy.

More specifically about movies, a few days ago I finally saw the 2008 Swedish film “Låt Den Rätte Komma In” (Let the Right One In). I fell in love with it. Movies that show the sad life of vampires are my favorite type of vampire movie (like the Southern Gothic film “Interview with a Vampire”). I get easily frightened by horror movies and usually vampires are evil in them. I don’t like that at all. But this film. This film was so beautiful. The score was minimalistic and ethereal. Mostly everything was white. The mobile camera movements were slow. The beginning and end both had scenes of silent snow smoothly fluttering to the ground. It was such a simple film, technically at least.

A bad thing in my life is that there are spiders constantly around and in my house. I HATE SPIDERS. SO MUCH. And they’re not tiny ones. They’re big brown demons from hell. Ever since I saw “Dr. No” when I was 5 or 6, I’ve been arachnophobic. It seems like every night when I come home from work, there is a spider in my garage. Madonna Mia! Hopefully I won’t be dead from a spider bite or heart attack before I go back to Emory.

I hope everyone is enjoying their last bit of summer. I know I am and will!


And Time Marches On…

Ciao, Emory!

I hope you are all having as great a summer as I am. I’ve had a glorious past few weeks doing nothing productive in the slightest. When I got home from Italia, it took me a grand total of TEN days to recover from jet-lag. While my family enjoyed watching the insanity, I most definitely did not have fun. Even at college, I need to be in bed by midnight to be coherent the next day, and suddenly I was staying up the equivalent of 4am or later (Italian time). I became so giddy that I started spelling everything instead of saying it. Now that I am fully recovered (finally), I have been spending most of my free time, whatever time I have between acting as chauffeur and grocery-shopper for my family, creating my “I-studied-for-a-month-in-Italy-and-took-way-too-many-pictures-of-landscapes” scrapbook and watching the second and third seasons of Bones. The creation of my scrapbook was coming along nicely until I ran out of double-sided photo tape after the first ten pages. The organization of 450+ pictures into a cohesive album is a more trying task than I had first anticipated, but I am determined to see it through. Watching Bones is a much simpler pastime. It is a show that never fails to entertain, even when watching three consecutive episodes.

The more time I spend at home, the more eager I am for my second year at Emory. It’s not that I don’t love having some free time and seeing my family, but I miss being in school. I’m an English major and Italian minor, which means I’m studying what I love. I’ve always heard that when your work is something you love, then you never do a day of work in your life, and that is what school is for me. In addition to two interesting English classes and another round of Italian next semester, I’m also going to try my hand at Anthropology 201, which will be the first science I have taken so far at Emory (and, to be honest, likely the last science I take at Emory). I’m a bit anxious about it, of course, but I hope that the fact that I think anthropology is a fascinating subject will balance out the sudden influx of science into my schedule. I am excited to see all my friends again, especially my sorority sisters from Sigma Delta Tau. In number, there is a lot of time left of summer, but we all know that it’s going to slip by before we know it, for better or for worse.

For now, arrivederci. Go out and enjoy that summer sunshine!

Next Year At Emory

As weird as it sounds, I feel like summer is already almost over. My internship at a marketing firm in New York City ends in a week and, after that, I will be out of the country for a while before coming back home and leaving for Emory a couple weeks after that.

Still, going back will be fun. In my sophomore year, I want to balance my academics with a good social life and get to meet more new people. I also want to excel in my extracurriculars and be a leader on campus. I think I mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but between my four or five classes, position on RHA, my internship, my blogging, and my friends, I will have a pretty packed schedule.

I definitely look forward to living on the row, which I am sure will be very different from living in a freshman residence hall. I also look forward to declaring a major, meeting the new students, and being back in Atlanta.

It should be a great year, and  its weird how I’m thinking about it already. Still, if I keep the healthy balance I was talking about, it should be a fun, successful sophomore year. We’ll see in August.

Update on SYE

July has been a busy month! We have finalized the schedule of the SYE Kickoff, and I am excited to see it on the SYE website ( Many different offices have come together to offer an exciting line-up of programs for second year students at the beginning of the year. I hope the students enjoy the events, reconnect with their old friends (or make new ones!), and receive some helpful information.

The past week has been particularly exciting because SYE gained a new staff: Matt Cone! As the SYE Fellow, Matt will coordinate all of the major SYE programs, send out weekly and monthly newsletters, and find creative resources for second years. He will also supervise Woodruff Residential Center as the Residence Hall Director. (Matt just graduated from Emory, and we’re exciting he’ll be working with us for the next year!) If you know Matt, be sure to congratulate him!

The next few weeks will be fun as we advertise and generate some excitement about the upcoming school year. Move-in weekend is in just three weeks, and I’m really pumped to see all the students!