Toushae

Month: January, 2014

West Virginia University is more than a party school..

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Photo via @westvirginiau. Photo by @xxalfreyxx

Another party school ranking is out and it’s no surprise that my social media newsfeed was spammed by people posting the results that West Virginia University topped the list.

For years, I have watched people post these articles and flaunt it as if it’s something to be proud of. These articles make my heart crumble. I always look at images of outrageous parties knowing that there is so much more depth to West Virginia University than alcohol, half naked girls, house parties, bars fights, twerking, and clubs. I’d even go as far to bet that WVU is more than that to most of the people posting these articles.

When I reflect on my time at WVU, of course I see a few typical parties in my past… what college student doesn’t? But for me, my memories of WVU aren’t waking up every morning with a hangover like the media likes to portray. No, instead, I remember waking up and grabbing breakfast at Hatfields before class and drinking their watered-down lattes. I remember passing Woodburn on my way to class and admiring the way it still managed to gleam with radiance on any particularly gloomy, rainy day. I remember spending hours in the J school crafting news stories in a lab full of shiny Mac computers. I remember waiting in endless lines at the Mountainlair for dinner with friends and enjoying touchdown tosses at football games. I remember watching the women’s soccer team win Big East and Big 12 titles and watching a talented dance team become national champs year after year. And I remember WVU Football going against all odds and defeating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl under Coach Stewart and let’s not forget squashing Clemson in the Orange Bowl.  I remember enjoying conversations with professors who encouraged me to be the best I can be. I remember working out in one of the best student rec centers in the country. I remember starting my own student organization and landing the internship of my dreams at a national office… And when I remember these things, I have this unfathomable pride to be a Mountaineer. I know, without a doubt, that feeling is not just unique to me. We all know that feeling..

Yet, when I graduated last May and was interviewed for job opportunities, I was still asked about my school’s party reputation. They saw the Osama Bin Laden riots, they saw the “I’m Shmacked” videos, they know the reputation of our men’s head football and basketball coaches, and they saw our student section throw a quarter and hit Pitt’s assistant basketball coach. I was forced to answer to things I had no part in.. things that many of us didn’t have a part in.

It sucks to sit and watch a university you love be degraded to such a low status. I even once overheard someone from out of state make the argument, “If you don’t want to party, don’t come to college here then.” Talk about disgusting? I didn’t realize I couldn’t go to the college in MY HOME STATE that I admired wide-eyed from childhood. West Virginia University was my dream school. It’s the only school I applied to and NOT for partying’s sake. Growing up, I bled blue and gold. I knew that this University held so much academic and professional promise for me. I knew there was no other school for me.

When you pull back the rotten exterior layers from West Virginia University’s appearance, there you will discover a rich, ripe campus producing more than just broken beer bottles, neon lights, and empty gallons of liquor.

West Virginia University is a place of endless possibilities that fosters success and helps turn dreams into reality and it’s time we start showcasing it as the nationally competitive university that it could be. Please stop sharing our party school ratings and share something worth exhibiting to America..Oh, I don’t know.. maybe like Katherine Bomcamp, WVU student featured in Glamour Magazine as a Top 10 College Woman of 2013.

Let’s help show off what it means to really be a Mountaineer.

Once a Mountaineer, Always a Mountaineer.

Sincerely,

Proud Alum Shae Snyder

Cooking Adventure FAIL.

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I debated not to share my embarrassing cooking fail from this past weekend, but life is about embracing your flaws right? If not, no one tell me differently!

This past Saturday, I woke up early and made my boyfriend a three-course breakfast with a cup of coffee on the side all while looking flawless and sexy in my nightie.

HAHAHAHA. Not.

Instead, I managed to pull myself from bed before noon, which I would consider an accomplishment, but I can’t since it was 11:55. I rolled out of bed and refused to put on any pants. In my oversized sweatshirt, I groggily found the button on my Keurig to make my latte. While waking up and sipping my coffee, I pulled up the Cinnabon pancake recipe I had found on Pinterest earlier in the week.

I read the instructions and pulled all the ingredients: flour (which I keep in a sealed  clear container), eggs, butter, milk, powdered sugar (which I keep in a sealed clear container), cinnamon and brown sugar. Simple. I carefully measured out my ingredients and began to whisk, whisk, whisk obviously flinging flour and brown sugar everywhere. Sigh. When the pancake batter was finally combined, it looked like I had chocolate milk. What in the world?… This is supposed to be thicker, right?

Of course I picked up my cellphone and called my Italian grandmother asking her if I could just add more flour. She laughed and instructed me to only add a little at a time, chuckling as she hung up the phone. So that’s what I did.. I added a little at a time… until I had poured my ENTIRE container of flour into the bowl and the mixture wasn’t much thicker. I thought I’d try it anyway.

I poured the pancake batter onto the frying pan, only for it to caramelize. Ugh. So I threw it away and tried again. And again. And one more time and then I finally accepted defeat. I stared at my disastrous counter covered in flour, sugar, egg yolk, and milk.

Disappointed, I popped some cinnamon rolls in the oven. Don’t worry, they were pre-made Pillsbury ones. At this point, Jaron was waking up and I explained my crisis. Confused and barely awake, he listened as I went on and on in confusion and proclaiming it had to have been a bad recipe!

As my cinnamon rolls were baking, I started to clean up our kitchen so I could make homemade cream cheese icing for the cinnamon rolls (something I had done before). I was going to save this Saturday morning with one spoonful of icing at a time. Ready to make the icing, I grabbed my clear container of powdered sugar opened it getting a whiff of flour. OH. MY. GOSH… I didn’t just.. Yes, yes I did just use powdered sugar instead of flour to try and make my own pancakes. No.. Yes.. Noo. Okay, wait, so do I admit this or defend myself with the bad recipe excuse? Without hesitation I burst into laughter.

Jaron looked at me puzzled and questioning my sanity.

“I just used powdered sugar instead of flour to try and make pancakes,” I admitted.  Needless to say, he is still making fun of me and it’s nearly Thursday!

As I came to terms with my error all I could do was keep laughing at myself. And although I was laughing, I couldn’t help but think about how nice it would be to be perfect. I was going to make these awesome pancakes from scratch and my boyfriend was going be in awe and love me for my impeccable breakfast making creativity. They were going to turn out just like I saw on Pinterest.

I should have known better, but that’s beside the point. If they would have turned out perfectly, what would the fun in that have been? A good breakfast, sure but one minus some humor and imperfection. And isn’t that what life is about? Being able to laugh at yourself and your failed attempts along your pursuit of “growing up”.

Smiling at my failure, I pulled the cinnamon rolls from the oven, scooped one from the pan, and placed it on a plate. I sheepishly handed Jaron his cinnamon roll and noticed he was just as pleased with his easy-to-make cinnamon roll as he would have been with the complicated, made from scratch Cinnabon pancakes.

It was Saturday morning full of ditz and failure, but an irreplaceable one.

PS. NO ONE tell my mammaw my mistake. I still can’t bring myself to admit that one to her.

My weight has been something I’ve never had to monitor — well, until now.

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My weight has been something I’ve never had to monitor — well, until now.

I breezed through high school barely coming in at 100 pounds. My first year of college, the freshman 15 seemed to be a myth. And the following three years to come, I ate what I wanted and watched my waist line shrink.

Somehow, someone forgot to warn me about the post-grad 15. They forgot to mention that my metabolism would probably slow down. They forgot share a beware of all the leftovers in the office kitchen. No one even mentioned all the lunch meetings, dinner meetings, and meetings over coffee. Good lord, let’s not forget all the irresistible candy throughout the workplace. Or better yet, the staff meetings and holiday parties full of food.

I should go ahead and note that I’m no where close to overweight.. and that’s the problem. I have put a little bit of weight and my body has started the natural process of becoming a woman. So why do I feel like I could stand to lose 20 lbs?

I guess I am writing this for all you women out there with the New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, including myself.

Halfway through this year, when most of us have long given up on our resolution to become skinny, we will have a renewed hatred towards all the thin girls in the media. We will spout things across social platforms like Jennifer Lawrence quotes that read: “In Hollywood I’m considered obese. I’m considered fat. I’m never going to starve myself for a part.” We will include hashtags like #rolemodel and #happywithme trying to convince ourselves we ARE happy with our body types.

But we are the same women conforming and rushing out to the gym the first of the year, overanalyzing what we wear to workout, and hating more than our bodies while we are exercising — hating ourselves.

So here we go ladies… here’s my call to action.

How can we be proactive about loving ourselves and our body types if we are the first ones to rush to gym and resolve to lose the weight the media says we need to lose? How can we become comfortable with who we are if we are trying all those fad detox diets as a quick fix? What about all those fit instagram accounts you follow? How can you love yourself if you’re staring at super-fit bodies that work out more than most of us really have time? We are just feeding into the media frenzy of brainwashing us into believing what we are suppose to be instead of accepting who we are. Because let’s be honest, for 95% of us, a year from now.. will we not be in the same boat? Proclaiming the same things? “2015 is my fit year!”

We have to commit 100%. Not to the gym, not to losing weight, and not to getting that impossible Victoria Secret body, but instead to becoming comfortable in our own skin, becoming healthy/fit, and becoming content.

We can’t go buying up all those fad diets and gym memberships, and then throw rocks at the media when they post things like this:

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Yes. They called that girl plus-sized, making us all feel extra insecure about ourselves.

I will note that I am in no way making an excuse. If you need to lose weight to be healthy, you really should try to take that step for yourself. BUT do it for YOU, not because you feel obligated and the media “tells” you should be doing it. Trust me, if it’s not genuinely for you, it won’t last.

Besides, even when I was extra skinny, I never felt skinny enough. My body still didn’t match up to that of a Victoria Secret Model and to me, that felt like failure.

It’s time for us to stand up for what is realistic  and for most women that’s being healthy.. not perfect.

This year, don’t let anyone tell you what you should look like. Don’t look at the scale.. Who cares about that number? Get to where you feel healthiest, get fit, and be happy with you.

I have gathered some videos, quotes, and photos to remind right NOW just how beautiful you are as you are. Read, watch, and realize right now what’s important.

Happy Healthy New Years, Ladies.

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