“A bad day in London is better than a good day anywhere else!”

I left my study abroad program in London due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 15. At this point, almost two months after leaving London in a hurried mess, it all feels like it was a fever dream. My time in London was exhilarating, wild, and transformative. When I decided to study abroad there last September, I never could have predicted how great the people would be or how profound the experiences. From the moment my plane landed at Heathrow, gazing out on the sun rising over the city as the plane landed, I felt overwhelmingly secure and calm. I am an anxious person; I overthink and overanalyze every decision in my life. But for once, when my newfound friends and I deplaned and made our way to Regent’s University London, sitting in a black taxi cab squished between our suitcases, I was confident that this decision was going to result in the best experience...

November 1, 12:01 am. Sleeping soundly in your bed, something conjures your mind to consciousness. You sit up, bleary-eyed and groggy. You hear something in the distance—faintly, but it’s there. It sounds almost like… bells. A melody sings its way to your window and settles into your room. You recognize it. It gets closer, and closer, until suddenly, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is blasting. Garland and ornaments explode along the walls and you find yourself dressed in an ugly holiday sweater and a Santa hat. 

Halloween is over—and there’s no turning back. This is it. The holiday season has begun.

Each year it seems that hints of Christmas creep further and further into early November. It feels like there is no space for thoughts that are not centered around Christmas during November and December. A trip to Target finds a swarm of holiday pajamas, each adorned with reindeer and a caricature of Santa’...

To be clear, the first meeting went great.

The 30-minute drive to her office was a blur of heart palpitations and anxious thoughts. I could barely believe the situation I found myself in. This actress who I was going to meet wanted me, of all people, to write her autobiography: her story, but my name on the cover. She wasn’t super well known, not outside of New York at least, but she was still someone. Someone who saw the potential in a college freshman’s small portfolio of writing and decided to take a chance. She was my way into the writing world. I wouldn’t let this opportunity fall to the wayside.

We met at her small office and nothing went amiss. It was a petite office with blue walls and minimal decorations except for a large analog clock directly behind her head.

This woman meant business. She’d already tried to get her story written multiple times. An exhausted sigh foundering out when she said She wanted this st...

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