Impossible Shoe Deals at Target

Occasionally, I’ll browse the Target site looking for good deals on cute shoes. However, this time I was super shocked to find so many pairs of Target shoes that looked just like some of my favorite brands.

look alikes

I’m dying for a pair of J. Crew Etta pumps, but the price tag has always been a little steep for me, especially because a lot of my heels end up ruined anyway. But these Target pumps are an almost exact match, with a much friendlier price tag.

And those Rag & Bone booties. The quality might not be the same, but the booties from Target have the same look and would be absolutely perfect for fall.

And the rain skimmers. You know when it’s still summer and it’s way too hot for rain boots but you don’t want your feet to get all gross and wet? Skimmers. And these Target ones are just as cute at a fraction of the price of Chooka’s.

I know where I’ll be going when I go home in a few weeks. If I can keep myself from ordering those pumps before then.

I’m An Adult?

happeningEveryone always says how great your twenties are and how college is the best time of your life, but as someone who is (almost) 21, it’s just confusing.

There are times when I’ll do something so adult and responsible, like take care of my electric bill or take out a loan. Other times I still feel like a child and as if I still need my mom’s guidance. The other night I texted her and asked if I could buy myself a ticket home so I could say goodbye to Andrew before he moves. She laughed as she responded, saying of course  I can come home. I still live there of course. And it’s my own money, so it’s not like I’m even asking them for anything.

It’s just weird to think that after twenty one years of depending on my parents, it’s almost time for me to cut the cord completely. Of course, I am confident that I will be able to find a job and be an adult, it’s just scary to think that someone as young and internally confused as myself is allowed out in the world of grown ups.

I can barely drive a car for crying out loud.

Of course, being young is an amazing thing that I’m trying to enjoy as much as possible. Having no one to look after except myself (which is, sometimes, an enormous task), being able to bounce back after only getting a little sleep, being able to travel and move around and try new things as much as I want. Those are all amazing things. It just seems so weird that I don’t need my mom’s guidance or my dad’s permission before I do these things.

I’m just waiting for the day when I wake up and feel like a grown up.

How Am I Just Finding Real Friends?

the love we deserve

Coming to college with a long-distance relationship has been hard. I know it’s not common for such relationships to last, but mine has, and I plan on it being a part of me for a long time.

I had heard a million times what a “bad idea” relationships are, but, in true Kelsey Fashion, I ignored all the warnings and went my happy way with Andrew in Buffalo and myself in the Bronx. Of course it was hard, but it was something both of us wanted and we were (and still are) willing to work at it.

What was really hard the first few years was reconciling my relationship with my (at the time) friends’ desires to go out and go to bars and be wild. I didn’t want that, but I also had a hard time articulating that I didn’t want it. So I went along with it until it caused problems so large that I had to reconsider friendships and relationships.

Fast forward to this year. I still don’t want to be wild. Of course I want to enjoy my senior year, but that doesn’t mean I suddenly feel comfortable going out on weeknights or going to crowded bars. So when I expressed my feelings to my current roommate, I felt terrible for essentially blowing her off and expected her to be upset with me. However, she reacted in such an understanding way it totally overwhelmed me.

And then I realized, this is how friends are supposed to act. No one should make anyone else feel bad that they don’t want to go out on certain nights or do want to go out others. I’m so grateful to have friends like this now, and so excited for the times we will have. It’s also upsetting to think that I thought it was normal for people to disregard me and my feelings so much. I’m sad it took me so long and ruined some parts of my experience, but I’m also so glad that I figured it out at all.

The quote, “We accept the love we think we deserve” really speaks here. I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and so much of it made sense. This too, made me think. Did I think that it was okay for people to just disregard me and walk all over me? It’s not what I wanted, but I definitely must have thought I deserved it. But after a lot of trouble and thinking about what I want, I started valuing myself more, and then the good friends started coming.

A Stroke of Luck

stroke-of-luck

All summer, I was super stressed about my internship situation for this semester. At the end of last spring, I determined that I wanted a paid internship this fall. Also, after a series of emotional breakdowns regarding my future, I decided to not only pursue editorial positions, but public relations ones as well.

I worked hard, constantly applying to paid internships. While it was always relatively easy to get hired as an unpaid intern, paid internship positions are far more competitive, mostly because so few companies are willing to pay interns at this point. By the end of my search, I had applied to around thirty positions.

It was frustrating. I would get requests for interviews and not hear back from the reps for days. I would have interviews and not hear anything back for weeks. I was very stressed and very discouraged. But I continued to try my best, be honest, and I continued to apply places. My parents were proud of my persistence, and continually assured my that my determination would work out for me in the end.

I was even offered an unpaid position with a company I would have really loved to work with, which I kept as a last-resort type option, but because I set my sights on a paid internship, I couldn’t settle just yet.

Just as I was running out of motivation and hope, I heard back from a company I had completely forgotten about asked me for an interview. And as I talked to the team, I found myself being completely honest with them and laughing along with them as we spoke. And in the car on my way to school, they contacted me asking me to stay on the team for the fall.

And the funny thing is is that it’s a publicity internship— something I have no experience with, but lots of interest in. I’m so excited to start and to meet everyone and work the amazing events. I’m excited to not have to constantly count my pennies and to be able to save up for next year.

I’m going to be busy, there’s no doubt about that, but I can’t wait to see what this semester holds. I’m so lucky nothing before this worked out and I’m so happy that this did work out.

Back To School Playlist

I’m headed back to the Bronx today for my senior year — EEK. I’m sad it’s almost over, excited to see how my life goes, sad to see summer end, excited to have friends, sad to leave Andrew and have him travel to Atlanta, and a little nervous about how this year is going to go.

But! Whether you’re traveling six hours (or more!) to school like me, or if you’re looking for a mix of songs to keep you interested through late summer/early fall, this is perfection.

back-to-school-playlist

Listen on Spotify!

image

I’m a Dot-Com!

behind door 6

Last week I registered the domain “kelseyodorczyk.com”! Now, instead of going to behinddoor6.wordpress.com, you can just type my name and there I will be.

It’s the little things.

How To Pack For College

Get ready for a long and extensive post….

On Friday I’m loading up my parents’ car and heading back to the Bronx for one last year. My first year, I had no idea what I was bringing. I showed up and my mom had to immediately mail me things I needed. And then had to bring even more things every time they visited.

My sophomore year I had it together a little better, but I still ended up with way too many clothes and not enough of what I needed. Junior year I got into my swing and really started developing my own personal style and I’ve finally come to know what kinds of things I need, and what I don’t.

So, after a lot of planning and cleaning and sorting and list-making and list-editing, I finally compiled my first comprehensive college packing list.

clothes-for-college

For Clothes and Accessories, I’ve learned to keep it relatively simple and basic, especially when I first move in in the fall. A combination of light sweaters, jeans, shorts and button downs are perfect for transitioning, as well as a blazer and a vest, for when it gets a little chillier. And a rain jacket and wellies. Because nothing is worse than being unprepared for rain. Or hurricanes.

I usually go home around Columbus Day, so I don’t need a lot of my winter jackets and riding boots. A pair of basic flats and a shorter pair of boots are my go-to’s, as well as a pair of sandals that I can wear with anything.

Regarding accessories, I have a large Longchamp Le Pliage that I use for my books and for work, and then a clutch that I can carry my keys and ID around in. For nights when I go out and don’t want to lug a huge bag, I also have a cross body bag. That way, I can just sling it over my shoulder and toss in some cash, my ID and maybe some lipstick and be off for the evening.

toiletries

Admittedly, I have a lot of toiletries. It’s always a challenge to fit them all when I have to pack to come home, but these are the things I typically use on a daily basis. I swear by Dove shampoo and conditioners, as well as It’s a 10! leave in conditioner. I swear it saved my hair. Not to mention, all of the makeup I’ve been acquiring since I started to grow my collection.

electronics

Electronics are pretty self-explainatory for college. A phone, a computer that can handle four (or more) years of heavy use, and chargers are essential. Until this year, all of my roommates have brought a printer that they are more than happy sharing, so long as I pitch in for ink and paper. I did get one this year from Target for super cheap.

In regards to a TV and fridge, I’ve always split them with my roommate. My freshman year, I brought a mini fridge and my roommate brought a TV, and we just shared both. Now that I don’t need a mini fridge, my sister can take mine to school for her and her roommate.

school supplies

I’m pretty basic when it comes to school supplies shopping. I get one folder and one notebook for each class, and then a few pens and some highlighters. One thing that I do think is really essential is a planner. In high school I’d always throw mine out after the first day, but in college it’s something I can’t live without. I write down all of my assignments and appointments and it keeps me organized when everything starts getting frazzled.

One thing I totally forgot about packing freshman year was a stapler. It just wasn’t on my radar ass essential, but after a week or so, professors started getting annoyed with my unstapled papers.

Another one of my school supplies lists can be found here!

dorm-decor

Storage is key. Most dorms and apartments are small. My freshman year I had my mom ship me extra hanging shelves and they have been lifesavers. And the plastic drawers? I couldn’t live without them. When a room only comes with a desk, a closet and a dresser, extra space is essential. I’ve also had this over the bed storage unit since sophomore year and it is amazing.

I’ve had a rug since sophomore year that has seen so much nonsense and is still in great shape. Every summer I give it a good vacuum and shampoo and it’s good as new. It’s best to get a pretty neutral color though, so it doesn’t show as much dirt throughout the year.

Also, how perfect is that Kate Spade bedding? I’m very seriously considering ordering it for when I graduate and have a big girl apartment.

I’m sure dorm shopping varies from person to person, but these are the important things I remembered. I’m no expert and I’m definitely still learning but this should help anyone struggling to get ready.

Wrapping Up the Magic Summer

magic summer

I wrote a while back about magic summers and how I thought this summer was one. And I was right. Between the nights spent with friends and my excitement for things to come, this summer was happy and silly and all-around perfect. And I never saw it coming.

I had one hell of a junior year. And then I came home and instantly busied myself. I swore this summer would be one where I just worked nonstop, hardly saw my friends, and would be extremely left out. But that wasn’t the case. At all.

The friends that were home made the summer amazing. Every time we were together we were appreciative of each other’s company and just had an amazing time. Maybe these people were my escape from stressful days at work and confusion about my future. My friends at home are my family. I grew up with them and I will always love them. They were there for me to make me laugh every time we were together and have deep and meaningful conversations when we were feeling contemplative.

friends

I learned a ton about myself this summer and I think I matured. I’m nervous to be a senior, nervous to be a real person, but I’m also excited. I’m so happy we had this summer, especially knowing that after this year we will all be going our separate ways. I love them all and I’m so lucky to have had this time with them.

Image courtesy of my great friend Erin

A Few Words on Confidence

perfect

I am not a very confident person. It has been a major issue throughout my life, stemming from anxiety about being the ‘wrong’ kind of person. While I have taken steps to work on myself and have started forcing myself into uncomfortable situations by faking confidence, something my dad said to me one night really stuck with me.

I made a joke about how I am (almost) 21 years old, and I still need to text my mom frequently to make sure my outfits are okay. My dad laughed, but then told me, “You really need to be more confident. Either that, or learn to just not care.” I laughed for a second but since then, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

Similar to my realizations with the Supposed To’s, it got me wondering what I really worried about. I don’t really care what other people think, but I really do want to get everything right. But then, what’s right? What’s right for one person might not be what’s right for someone else, so should I even be worried at all?

I’m an extremely anxious person and I worry about most things. I realize that there’s no set path for me, and there’s no rules for how or who I’m supposed to be. It’s confusing and stressful, but that’s part of the point. If we all followed the same path, we wouldn’t figure out  who we’re supposed to be. Which is what I keep telling myself.

So if I can’t be confident, I can at least fake it and not care what anyone else thinks. I’m forging my path and becoming myself, and I think that’s something to be proud of, not self conscious of.

Straying From ‘Supposed To’s’

DVF

This morning on Carly’s blog she wrote about her experience with the “Supposed Tos,” and something about it really resonated with me. For a long, long time, I followed the Supposed Tos, because that’s how I felt I needed to live in order to be successful. If I wanted to be a writer, I was Supposed To go to New York and get a job at one of the major magazine publishers. I’m Supposed To have that wild college experience people are always talking about. I’m supposed to live in New York City after I graduate and work at an impressive company that everyone’s heard of. I’m Supposed To be an athlete and be involved on campus.

But after the rough year I had last year, and a lot of just general soul-searching, I’ve started moving away from the Supposed To’s that have been set forward before me, and just thinking about what I want. I don’t want to work at a huge company, feeling like I’m just on a magazine production line with a hundred other robots. I want to work somewhere where I can be creative and work hard and really be a part of something I love. And I don’t have to do that in New York. That was a huge  realization for me. Knowing that I can go anywhere I want and be successful was kind of a huge weight off of my shoulders.

Another big Supposed To was the whole college-experience thing. For the first few years at school, I couldn’t figure out why I was so miserable and why I didn’t really fit in with my team. Then I realized that they were looking for a college experience I just really wasn’t comfortable with. As soon as I broke away from them and found friends who weren’t looking to get blackout every weekend, I was much happier.

It’s easy to follow the Supposed To’s, especially while you’re young and confused about what you’re doing and where you’re going. But I have a clear idea in my head of the woman I want to be, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be her. I’m okay with breaking the “rules” so long as they fit in with my values and help me to get where I want to be.