Two​ ​days​ ​late!​ ​Awesome!​ ​I’m​ ​so​ ​good​ ​at​ ​keeping​ ​to​ ​my​ ​schedule.​ ​But​ ​I​ ​have​ ​a​ ​really 
good​ ​reason​ ​this​ ​week,​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​that​ ​I​ ​moved​ ​into​ ​college!​ ​I​ ​spent​ ​all​ ​last​ ​week​ ​running​ ​around 
frantically,​ ​and​ ​then​ ​I​ ​left​ ​Saturday,​ ​moved​ ​in​ ​Sunday,​ ​and​ ​have​ ​been​ ​going​ ​nonstop​ ​since. 
   Despite​ ​my​ ​busy​ ​schedule,​ ​though,​ ​I’m​ ​loving​ ​college​ ​so​ ​far.​ ​I’m​ ​doing​ ​a​ ​special​ ​program 
through​ ​my​ ​school​ ​that​ ​helps​ ​freshmen​ ​get​ ​acquainted​ ​with​ ​the​ ​campus​ ​and​ ​college​ ​in​ ​general, 
so​ ​I​ ​haven’t​ ​had​ ​anything​ ​really​ ​hard​ ​yet,​ ​but​ ​what​ ​I’ve​ ​been​ ​doing​ ​is​ ​great! 
   Anyway,​ ​for​ ​those​ ​who​ ​may​ ​not​ ​know,​ ​I’m​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​fan​ ​of​ ​Gilmore​ ​Girls.​ ​It’s​ ​easily​ ​my 
favorite​ ​television​ ​show.​ ​And​ ​in​ ​the​ ​episode​ ​in​ ​which​ ​Rory​ ​leaves​ ​for​ ​college,​ ​Lorelai​ ​does​ ​a 
jaunty​ ​little​ ​walk,​ ​which​ ​she​ ​calls​ ​the​ ​“going​ ​off​ ​to​ ​college​ ​walk.”​ ​​ ​For​ ​some​ ​reason,​ ​possibly 
because​ ​I​ ​watched​ ​it​ ​so​ ​many​ ​times,​ ​the​ ​going​ ​off​ ​to​ ​college​ ​walk​ ​stuck​ ​with​ ​me.​ ​So​ ​when​ ​I 
moved​ ​in,​ ​I​ ​tried​ ​to​ ​embody​ ​the​ ​spirit​ ​of​ ​adventure​ ​and​ ​excitement.​ ​I​ ​hoped​ ​that​ ​in​ ​doing​ ​so,​ ​I 
would​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​take​ ​on​ ​Lorelai’s​ ​confidence​ ​and​ ​start​ ​college​ ​off​ ​on​ ​the​ ​right​ ​foot.  
   Of​ ​course,​ ​college​ ​move-in​ ​day​ ​is​ ​not​ ​easy.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​people​ ​all​ ​over​ ​the​ ​place​ ​carrying 
everything​ ​they​ ​own​ ​packed​ ​into​ ​boxes​ ​and​ ​all​ ​kinds​ ​of​ ​crazy​ ​things​ ​going​ ​on​ ​everywhere.​ ​But​ ​I 
did​ ​my​ ​best​ ​to​ ​remain​ ​optimistic​ ​and​ ​confident​ ​that​ ​this​ ​would​ ​be​ ​a​ ​good​ ​thing,​ ​despite​ ​the​ ​fact 
that​ ​my​ ​room​ ​was​ ​a​ ​mess​ ​and​ ​I​ ​had​ ​absolutely​ ​no​ ​idea​ ​where​ ​I​ ​was​ ​going​ ​most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​time.​ ​I’m 
proud​ ​to​ ​say​ ​that​ ​after​ ​three​ ​days​ ​on​ ​campus,​ ​my​ ​room​ ​is​ ​mostly​ ​organized,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​know​ ​how​ ​to 
get​ ​to​ ​at​ ​least​ ​four​ ​buildings​ ​(other​ ​than​ ​my​ ​dorm),​ ​without​ ​getting​ ​too​ ​lost. 
   To ​me,​ ​the​ ​going​ ​off​ ​to​ ​college​ ​walk​ ​shows​ ​what​ ​it​ ​means​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​college​ ​freshman; 
you’re​ ​excited​ ​and​ ​dorky,​ ​and​ ​you​ ​have​ ​no​ ​idea​ ​what​ ​you’re​ ​doing,​ ​but​ ​you’re​ ​definitely​ ​excited 
about​ ​it.​ ​I’m​ ​that​ ​freshman​ ​right​ ​now,​ ​but​ ​I’m​ ​certainly​ ​not​ ​alone.​ ​Every​ ​freshman​ ​I’ve 
encountered​ ​thus​ ​far​ ​(which​ ​is​ ​a​ ​lot)​ ​seems​ ​just​ ​as​ ​jumbled​ ​up​ ​as​ ​I​ ​am.​ ​So​ ​really,​ ​it’s​ ​okay.​ ​Now, 
if​ ​you’ll​ ​excuse​ ​me,​ ​I​ ​need​ ​to​ ​go​ ​do​ ​the​ ​walk​ ​some​ ​more​ ​because​ ​it’s​ ​actually​ ​super​ ​fun​ ​(really, 
you​ ​should​ ​try​ ​it).
   So, it's Tuesday. I wrote this post yesterday and was all ready to post it, but then I realized I hadn't posted a review last Thursday. I totally thought I did, and I guess I was just lying to myself for four days. But, anyway, let’s talk about packing for college, because it’s actually the worst thing ever.
   I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I’m one of the three people in the entire world that actually likes packing. I enjoy folding up my clothes and seeing them all tidy. I like packing my suitcase in creative ways to see how much of my life I can fit into a tiny little space. For that reason, I think I could totally live in a tiny house, but that’s another discussion for another time.
   Long story short, I like to pack. I find it relaxing. Stressful, but strangely soothing. But packing for college is nothing like packing for a trip. Instead of packing clothes and other items for the activities you plan on participating in, you must pack everything you’ll need to live on your own for weeks or months at a time. That’s super difficult because you’ve never lived on your own, and you have to figure out every single thing that you use throughout the day, and then try to fit it all in a teeny tiny dorm room, one whose dimensions you may not actually know.
   Once you’ve identified all the items you think you’ll need, and by that I mean you’ve pored over list after list on the internet from sources whose credibility is based only upon the fact that they once went to college, you have to get everything. And there are so many choices! You want a desk lamp? Okay, here are fifty different desk lamps of various brands, styles, colors, brightnesses, and prices. Do you sacrifice price for an LED lamp that you won’t have to buy a bulb for? Do you want one you can clip on your bed? Do you want one that has power outlets? There are so. Many. Choices. And that’s just for lamps.
   So you spend what feels like six hours at Walmart, Target, Ross, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, IKEA, The Container Store, Marshalls, Michaels, dollar stores, etc. And I’m not just talking about one trip, either, because you won’t be able to find everything at one store, and you’re going to keep thinking of new things you’ll need that had never occurred to you before.
   The stuff begins to pile up in your bedroom, or your living room, or your car, or wherever you’re storing it, and it then becomes impossible to clean anything around it, so you’re basically living with all of your possessions in full view at all times, and if you’re a clean freak, you might start to lose your mind at this point.
   Then, finally, you have to pack it all up to take to school. But how? In boxes? Backpacks? Tote bags? Trash bags? The bags in which you purchased it, so you can carry it in like groceries? Some combination of all of those things?
   And then, after all of that, you move in, take it all out, and hope that it’ll fit into your shoebox of a room, along with everything your roommate (if you’ve got one) deemed worthy of bringing. I’m not at this stage of the process yet, but I’ll be there real soon.
   Basically, packing for college is stressful. It is actually fun, though, because you get to pick out new stuff, and the packing gets you excited about everything you’ll get to do. It stinks in the moment, but it’ll be worth it in the end. And even if you end up with all the wrong stuff at college, at least you’re not alone; no one knows what they’re doing.
   So, this was supposed to be posted last Thursday, but I completely forgot I hadn’t posted anything. I totally thought I was right on track, but apparently I’ve been lying to myself for days. It makes me wonder what else I’ve forgotten. But anyway, here it is.

   I bought this book after seeing one person’s review of it on the internet. I don’t remember what they said about it, but I know I was moved enough to purchase this book. I let it sit on my TBR pile for a while, though, because I wasn’t super excited to read it. That was clearly a mistake. I read this book in a day, though not all in one sitting, because I had things to do, but still. It was that good.
   It was a quick read because it’s not very long and it has fairly large text, but I flew through it because the story was amazing. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here’s a brief overview: there is a young Pakistani-American girl named Naila who has been raised by her very conservative immigrant parents to know that their word is what goes, and that she will have her marriage arranged for her when the time comes. She sees hope, however, when she is about to graduate high school and start college with her best friend and (secret) boyfriend. However, right before graduation, her parents plan a sudden trip to Pakistan, which seems like a vacation and slowly turns into something more sinister, as they have found a boy for her to marry.
   I don’t relate to any of the characters in this book. I do not come from a family where my parents have complete control over my life. I don’t have to worry that they could take away my happiness, and I definitely will not have an arranged marriage. I don’t know what it’s like not to have any say in where your life is going.
   That doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, though. It’s not a secret that other countries (especially ones that are not prosperous) have arranged marriages to ensure that their daughters will be taken care of, but it happens in the U.S. too. Thousands of girls are forced to marry people against their will every year in the most developed countries, and no one is telling their stories.
   Saeed sheds light on an issue that we don’t think about often because no one else talks about it. With all of the negativity around us every day, it’s easy to run to the happy books that tell light, fluffy stories, but we need to remember the issues. Sure, we can talk about political corruption, police brutality, and the fight for acceptance for diverse groups of individuals, and we should be talking about those things, but there are so many more things we’re not hearing about.
   I think this book would be a good read for anyone, but it’s especially important for young women who have their future ahead of them because it shows that there are people who don’t have the same choices, and for different reasons than we might think. But the bottom line is that we need to be reading more books like this one. We should be reading more books about issues that are silenced and discussing the issues themselves as a society. There are so many stories to be told, and we need to hear more of them.

   Two days late! Way to go, Brittany! I’m doing a great job keeping to the schedule I set for myself to post articles. It’s okay, though. At least I’m posting something. The only excuse for my lateness with this post is that I’ve had stuff going on for the past couple of days.
   On Monday, I had to babysit, so I should have posted in the evening. BUT, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came in the mail, so I kind of had to read it instead of doing anything productive. Tuesday, I went to my grandparents’ house to make ice cream and hang out with them, which is always fun. And, you know, ice cream in the middle of the day. Win. I’d planned to write something after dinner, but I wasn’t feeling good. I’ve been having frequent headaches lately, and I’m not sure what’s causing them, but they’re rather annoying.
   So, long story short, here I am, posting on Wednesday. I could not think of anything to write about, so I figured I’d just talk about what’s been going on recently. I leave for school in about a week and a half, which means I have a lot of stuff to be done. I’m splitting my time between cleaning and packing, spending time with my family, and just freaking out about how much I have left to do, which I realize is not a good way to spend my time, but there it is.
   One of those things I’m freaking out about is textbooks, because Oh. My. Goodness. They are so expensive. I’d rather not buy new textbooks if it can be avoided, so I’m searching far and wide on the internet to find cheaper, used books I can rent or buy, but they still cost so much money, and you often can’t get the online access codes if you get a used book. I don’t know which professors will actually require me to have those codes, though, or have the books at all for that matter, so I don’t want to buy any books before I get to class and find out what’s really necessary. But at the same time, I don’t want to wait so long to get my books that I can’t find cheap copies anywhere. Struggle.
   Okay, textbook rant over. But seriously, college is stressful. I haven’t even started yet, and I’m ready to pull out my hair already. The only thing getting me through is that I know I’m going to get a great education and a good job, and I’m going to learn a lot of stuff and meet people and have a lot of fun. So, I guess in the end, college is probably a good choice.

P.S. I promise to come back next week with a more focused, less crazy post.