100th Anniversary of Harlem Renaissance

With a month down in the new decade, it’s a time of reflection upon the past. When choosing my subject for this piece, I was originally gonna do the roaring twenties as a whole. But one, that’s been done to death and I didn’t want to follow tradition in beating that dead horse. Two, it didn’t seem like an interesting way to analyze the culture of a hundred years ago that would seem still relevant to our modern culture. So, I decided to cover the period of music known as the Harlem Renaissance, which was one of the first popular African American artistic movements.

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement that took place within the Harlem neighborhood of New York City from the early 1920s’ to the mid-30s’. It began after another movement called “The Great Migration” which is when approximately six million African Americans migrated from the Southern, rural states to the more urbanized cities. The Harlem neighborhood in Manhattan became one of these hubs where people flocked to, creating a vibrant, creative culture within those five blocks. While there are several art mediums that were touched by this group, today, we’ll be focusing on the musical contributions.

Jazz was still fresh and controversial during the beginning of the twenties, but the Jazz that came out of Harlem sounded much different than anything F. Scott Fitzgerald would’ve placed under West Egg. Before the 20s’, with their all brass instruments and taboo-breaking, Jazz was looked down upon by the upper crust and white society. However, the invention of the “Harlem Stride Style”, which added a piano to jazz elevated the status of Jazz from the seedier scene to the socially acceptable mainstream culture. Despite these groups of musicians being tied with the overall Roaring 20s’ as a decade, they still carved out their own unique and timeless identity. One of these musicians was the “Hi Di Ho” Man himself, Cab Calloway.

Calloway gave birth to one of the most enduring tropes in musical culture, the charismatic frontman, taking the audience by the collar and throwing them into the performance instead of passively listening to them play. His voice, his signature Hi Di Ho’s and smooth vibrato make your bones rattle with how crisp yet shaky it was. In his knee-length jackets and loose pants, he was as if the music itself had taken human shape and was shooting off rythems in all directions. This can also be tied to his signature dancing style. Calloway spun in circles, moved his arms as if he was caught in a windstorm, and his signature move of bending low on both knees. They even rotoscoped him into a Betty Boop cartoon in 1933.

It’s very fitting because Calloway was basically a Fleisher Cartoon come to life, in looks and attitude. While not in the rockstar hall of fame, Calloway definitely inspired some of the early rock n rollers, Little Richard is one of the most obvious with the outlandish clothes and yelps with falsetto.

Two of the most legendary voices that came out of this scene are arguably the most unusual and distinct voices, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holliday. These two are legends who’s lives have been documented, biographed, and adapted into plays and movies. However, their music still stays relevant and part of the modern American songbook. Armstrong (a.k.a Satchmo, Pops, many other nicknames) was an already established musician by the time the Harlem Renaissance rolled around and Holliday was just getting started at the beginning of this scene, performing around Harlem in her early teenage years. While they were both at different places individually, they both shared two unique vocal stylings that would come to define jazz as a whole. Armstrong, much like Tom Waits, objectively doesn’t have a good voice. It’s hoarse, weak and a bit awkward to listen to at first. Armstrong still has a magic charisma that flows into his performances, my personal favorite being his cover of La Vie En Rose.

His trumpet playing is spectacular, but his gravely harmonies still find their way into my heart every time I hear this version.

Same with Lady Day as well, who’s voice still has raspy qualities to it but definitely more easy on the ears. Her voice, with such graceful and powerful presence, is so captivating in both audio and actually watching her perform. My favorite of hers is probably her performance of Gloomy Sunday, a song that’s a legend in and of itself, but a total somber yet beautiful performance in her hands. You can almost see her with that iconic gardinia and stage presence, singing to you.

Another runner up would be her version of I love you Porgy from Porgy and Bess, a cute, sweet version of a Broadway staple.

It’s hard to do the entire Harlem Renaissance justice in just one article since it had such a deep impact on musical culture and African American history as well. But below, I’ve compiled a playlist of some of the best cuts in my opinion that can create a great jumping-off point to exploring more music, which is my job.

Featured image: Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet, courtesy of the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division.

A Lesson In Accidental Minimalism

If there is one thing my first semester of college has taught me, it’s the valuable lesson of “less is more.” 

I first came to campus bright-eyed and seemingly unprepared, and I noticed it right away. From having hardly enough clothes hangers to finding myself frustrated by the presence of things I didn’t see myself needing, I knew from very early on that I would have to evaluate what was worth having in my tiny slice of northeast Ohio campus life and what wasn’t. 

The first item of business I set about accomplishing was a complete dorm overhaul. I cleaned and carefully placed every little possession and by the time I was finished, I was exhausted by the amount of time I had put into my organization and purging of items only for it to feel so fruitless just a few days of college mess later. That’s what drove me to the “less is more” mentality. Because even after all my efforts, I still found myself holding onto less of what I needed and more of what I wanted, rather than finding a healthy balance between both.

In about a week’s time, I got an aloe plant. I paid essentially a penny to print photos of my dearest friends to string up. And I filled a box full of extra supplies, clothes and room items that didn’t feel necessary anymore. It took me almost the entire semester to really process my understanding of minimalism; when I began with my overhaul and reorganization steps, I didn’t view what I was doing as “minimalism” in the slightest. The difference between the individual I was at the start of the semester versus at the close was made obvious by my change in mentality and outlook.

When I have read about “minimalism,” it is described as being intentional, deliberate and done out of passion and on purpose. Quite oppositely, I’d say coming to college made me an accidental minimalist. 

When people picture the textbook definition and the foundations of minimalism, I’d assume they envision stark white walls and barely anything at all. For me, that understanding has changed, as I have come to find that minimalism is the personal satisfaction in knowing that while I may not have a dorm stocked with millions of pillows, decor, an overflowing wardrobe and items intended for single use, what I do have is exactly what I need. Nothing more, nothing less.

I found comfort through the ups and downs of my first semester of college in the people who helped me understand that material items don’t carry nearly as much weight or sentimental value as do your choices, your deliberateness and your feelings during times of togetherness or solitude.

“Fewer” really can mean more: fewer belongings, fewer worries and a closer circle made up of the people and ideas that hold the greatest amount of weight in your heart.

Follow Emma on her minimalist journey here.

Illustration courtesy of The Burr’s illustration team.

Playlist: Teen Angst Tunes

Words by Augusta Battoclette / Cover Art by Sarah Riedlinger

“Canyon Moon” by Harry Styles

To start off a playlist with all my current favorite tunes, I included the best song off Harry Styles’ sophomore album. While others might opt to keep “Cherry” or “She” on repeat, my choice of poison is “Canyon Moon” because of its unique folk sound. None of the other songs on “Fine Line” have this same sound, which makes it stand out to me.


If I am being completely honest, despite being fully aware of BROCKHAMPTON before hearing this song, the first time I heard this song was on TikTok. Featuring Ryan Beatty’s vocals, this song is the perfect thing to play when you are trying to lull yourself to sleep. Or you can listen to it on TikTok as you mindlessly scroll through videos for hours upon hours.

 “Fire, Ready, Aim” by Green Day

At first listen, this song might seem to be about the band’s political stances, but, while that may play a part, it is actually about the NHL. As funny as it sounds, Green Day recently entered into a partnership with the NHL and “Fire, Ready, Aim” is the opening theme song for NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Hockey. Basically, this song combines my love for Green Day and hockey into one fiercely poetic jam.

“Dennis” by Roy Blair

This song is the perfect song for college students because Roy is struggling with maintaining relationships while coping with depression as his life is rapidly changing. He worries the person he is talking to will not stay long enough for him to get out of his depressive state. I love this song because it has a deep message hidden behind a pop-dance track.

“Coffee Talk” by Broadside

Taking it back to 2015 with this rock anthem, “Coffee Talk” is sort of the polar opposite of “Dennis.” With the crooning rock vocals of singer Oliver Baxxter, this song reflects on the best parts of relationships—“Lately, all I wanna do / Is lie around with you / And complain about the youth / How we’ll never leave your room /Tell me everything that bothers you.”

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” can be interpreted in many different ways, but I like to think of this song as a reminder that people grow apart and relationships change. While our careers and ambitions pull us away from the ones we love, we must either adapt to the change or fight back and write our own future.

“In Repeat” by Wanderwild

Wanderwild is a small indie rock band from Georgia that is carving out a new sound for themselves. “In Repeat” is the exact kind of song I imagine playing in an ‘80s coming-of-age film, and the guitar riffs make me want to jump on my bed like when I was a rowdy kid who did not want to go to sleep.

“Liability” by Lorde

This song is a soothing lullaby, perfect for playing at bedtime. It is no secret that Lorde is an amazing singer-songwriter, but this song really proved that “Melodrama,” could hold its own against her debut album, “Pure Heroine,” which was arguably one of the biggest generation-defining works of art.

“Dance, Baby!” by boy pablo

This song is about being lonely, and nothing in it is more telling than the line “Faking a smile now / Been here for a while now” which, if you listen closely, is a play on the part from Colbie Caillet’s “Bubbly”: ‘It starts in my toes and I crinkle my nose / Wherever it goes I always know / That you make me smile, please, stay for a while now.’

“I Wish” by Hayley Kiyoko

I will be the first to admit that I loved Hayley Kiyoko since she was in Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Lemonade Mouth,” but in the last couple of years, she has shown that she can also take over the music industry. Her latest album release, “I’m Too Sensitive For This Sh*t,” proves just that, and “I Wish” is the standout song in my eyes.

“Ain’t Together” by King Princess

Mikaela Straus, stage name King Princess, is no stranger to hit songs, as “1950” was played on the radio every day for weeks on end last summer. “Ain’t Together” is perfect for every situation. Straus says it herself, describing the song as “cute and sad, perfect for any occasion. Wedding, funeral, corporate function, lesbian séance.” Catch her opening for Harry Styles on the European leg of his world tour this summer (finally!).

“Hot Rod” by Dayglow

Dayglow is the product of 20-year-old Sloan Struble and, while Dayglow literally does not have a bad song, “Hot Rod” is by far my favorite. It is the perfect groovy indie song and radiates happiness, making you feel warm and fuzzy inside. That being said, it is very fitting that the album’s name is “Fuzzybrain.”

“Something For Your M.I.N.D” by Superorganism

Superorganism is a chill electronic DIY group, and this song is a trippy mashup of many different sounds. It is a fizzy and refreshingly futuristic take on electronic music. If this song is not your new favorite song now, I must be doing something wrong.

“Anarchist – Unplugged” by YUNGBLUD

YUNGBLUD is known for his intense, head-thrashing songs, but the unplugged versions offer a special look into the lyrics and the meaning behind the beat. Especially with the song “Anarchist,” the unplugged version gives you a look at how dangerous drug addiction is and how it makes you undeniably delirious. 

“play the part” by ROLE MODEL

This song talks about fake friends and not knowing whether people’s intentions toward you are good. Brooding singer-songwriter Tucker Pillsbury is a unique gem in the music industry, and his newest project “oh, how perfect” will inspire you to become the most honest version of yourself possible.

Louis Tomlinson proves he is a true artist in new single “Walls”

Louis Tomlinson first emerged into the public’s eye in the manufactured boyband One Direction. While all the members of the band contributed to writing various songs, Tomlinson wrote the ones with arguably the most poetic lyrics and best sentiments. Now, a couple of years into the band’s indefinite hiatus, he is gearing up to release his debut solo album, “Walls,” and the title track was released last week.

“Walls” starts with a classic piano/guitar combination and a retro vocal sound. As the chorus comes in the instruments swell into a rich orchestral sound. The elegant yet simplistic sound sneaks up on you while you are listening.

“It really hit home when I was in the studio to hear the strings being recorded,” Tomlinson said in a statement. “There must have been 25 musicians in there, all for my song. It was a proper tear-jerking moment already and I’ve never felt a shiver like it.”

Tomlinson has an array of different sounds and genres under his belt, which can be attributed to all the music he has released since One Direction went on hiatus. 

His first single “Just Hold On” came out in 2016 right around the time his mother passed away. 

“Back to You,” “Just Like You” and “Miss You” all came out in 2017. Another single, “Two of Us”, came out in 2019 right before one of his sisters also passed away, and “Kill My Mind,” “We Made It” and “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” all came out in 2019 to promote the album. 

While “Walls” is a power ballad, “Kill My Mind” is a dynamic rock song, “We Made It” a tender indie number and “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” an 80s pop-rock track.

Tomlinson’s lyrics are just as powerful as the music. The opening line in “Walls,” nothing wakes you up like waking up alone,” is a raw feeling that everyone can relate to sometimes. While the beginning of the song is quiet, the lyrics are melancholy, as Tomlinson is missing a person who left him behind. Then as the music picks up, the message does too: “These high walls, they came up short / Now I stand taller than them all / These high walls never broke my soul.” He is resilient and fighting through whatever life throws at him. The high walls are barriers in his life that were put up to stop him and make him lose hope, but his strength and love are enough to power through them.

Youtube: Louis Tomlinson VEVO

The song ends the same way it started, with “nothing wakes you up like waking up alone.” It highlights that allowing yourself to process all your emotions, the good and the bad, can help you make peace with your past and move forward. The message I got from the song is that it is far better to have loved and lost than to never have even tried to love.

Tomlinson is not just a performer or a singer. He is a songwriter, a lyricist and a poet. “Walls” only further proves my point, and I am beyond excited for the album to grace our ears.

Louis Tomlinson’s debut album is out January 31, 2020 and you can pre-order it here. Watch the music video for “Walls” now.

Responding to a Daunting College Inquiry

Words by Lillianna DiFini

Every student has been asked the same daunting question before, regardless of whether they are an incoming college freshman or a third-year student coming back home to visit family members on a holiday break. It seems as if everyone probes this question to all college students, regardless of their relation to the person asking. Strangers, friends, family members and even professors all inquire about this same exact question. 

This particular question, for some, is quite easy to respond to with a clear-cut answer that they planned for years leading up to their college career. However, for others, this particular topic of discussion brings upon feelings of anxiety and a rush of thoughts surrounding their future and whether or not they will ever be able to choose the correct pathway for themselves. “What is your major?”

Throughout my senior year of high school, not only was everyone curious where their peers chose to go to college, but everyone wanted to know what their classmates would be studying. Especially during the few months leading up to move-in day, I was constantly asked “What is your major?” by seemingly every individual I talked to. From my perspective, this question was very difficult to answer. However, I am here to tell you that there are plenty of other students who are in the same exact place.

From my personal experience, I was not an incoming college student who knew exactly what they wanted to study for the next four years. However, there are a few helpful tips I can provide to students who are in this same place and who may be struggling to decide what major to choose. These tips helped me significantly in decreasing the number of major options that did not pertain to my personal interests. Ultimately, this led me to choose a major that I am extremely interested in and love. 

Narrowing down your interests is the first step in determining a major that you would be interested in and would be beneficial to your own personality. In my experience, I knew I wanted to work around people and avoid desk jobs. Taking your interests and passions into consideration is a great way to rule out any majors that do not fit your specific personality. 

Another great tip for students who are confused about choosing a major would be to take a look into your own personality. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Do you prefer to work face-to-face with others, or would you rather communicate over a screen? Assessing your own personality will help you narrow down potential majors that will lead to careers that match your own personal traits. 

However, if this seems a bit too daunting, it is always a great idea to take a look into completing online personality quizzes. I know this sounds exactly like what a high school teacher would say, but there are several personality tests online that also recommend careers that fit your personality. These tests will give you an idea of careers that fit your own personality traits that you may never have thought of before. 

Although choosing a college major may seem like a life sentence, there are several ways to switch majors and choose a pathway that you truly love. After following these tips, students who are confused about what major to choose will be more in tune with their own interests, ultimately leading them to be several steps closer to finding a major that fits themselves the best! 

I took Buzzfeed’s “How Privileged Are You?” Quiz

Words by Jason Cohen

I took Buzzfeed’s “How Privileged Are You?” quiz to check my privilege. The quiz consists of a checklist of 100 “privileges” spanning different areas such as race, sexuality, gender, wealth, education, travel, family, ability, mental health, body image, religion, bullying and self-acceptance. 

I expected this quiz to be an opportunity to reflect on my privileges with gratitude and validate some of the struggles I deal with and have dealt with. While it did generally fulfill these expectations in terms of gratitude, it was not much of a validating experience for me. I think Buzzfeed’s intention with the quiz was to highlight the privileges, and lack thereof, they feel are most impactful and which the quiz taker may or may not agree with. 

I make it an important part of my life to be grateful; I even have a gratitude journal that I write in every day. I was hoping for this quiz to be another practice of gratitude for me. However, some parts of this quiz had the strange effect of provoking me to focus on issues and blow them out of proportion as lacks of privilege. This may just be my experience and I will share some examples to illustrate what I mean. 

The first privilege is “I am white.” I am Jewish and my skin is not white and I do not consider myself white. However, I will not go into the debate on whether Jews are white here, but instead just focus on appearance. People often ask me my ethnicity and tell me I look Middle Eastern, which is certainly possible, as many Jews are descended from Middle Eastern countries. (I just submitted my 23andMe kit so soon I will find out my exact origins and I am very excited!) However, many people do identify me as white, and I do not consider my olive complexion or my religion or ethnicity to represent a lack of privilege. Therefore, for me, it is not something to harp on, though this may be different for people who are not Caucasian whatsoever. 

Another privilege is “I have never been the only person of my race in a room.” I am from New York City, so this was a fairly common experience for me. Once again, I did not consider this to indicate a lack of privilege, but it was a privilege I could not check off. Being the only person of my race in a room was maybe uncomfortable, but it just wasn’t too big of a deal to me. Perhaps being “racially unidentifiable” was a reason it was not a big deal. Thinking about my racial identity like this makes it seem like more of a privilege than a disadvantage. I can definitely see why it would feel like a lack of privilege to others, but to me, it does not. 

The race section was complicated and did not make me feel grateful or validated, but instead confused me and made me question some aspects of my life. Next was the sexuality section, which was easy for me to answer and did make me feel grateful. I am a heterosexual man and identify as the gender I was born as. If this was not the case, I would have likely faced many issues that the quiz brings up such as hiding, being bullied and worse relationships with parents. Therefore, I am grateful that our society doesn’t discriminate against my sexuality. 

The next sections were related to wealth and education, which also made me feel very grateful. While I did acknowledge that I have felt poor before, it was because I went to a private high school in New York City, and I was comparing myself to other students rather than the population as a whole. I have realized that since coming to college, so it was not a new revelation for me, but it is still important to reflect on. Besides that, I recognize and am grateful for the privilege of not wanting for anything monetarily. Regarding education, I am also grateful and privileged to soon be a college graduate. 

The next section was about travel. I have had the privilege of traveling to Israel three times, studying abroad in Florence for a semester, studying abroad in Poland for spring break and visiting a friend in Mexico City. These were some of the most amazing experiences of my life, so I am extremely grateful for them. 

 The next section was family, a section in which I was hoping to receive validation.  My mom and dad divorced when I was three years old due to my dad being a drug addict. My mom then remarried, but I had a rough time with my stepdad. My dad died of a drug overdose when I was nine, and my brother is currently suffering from substance abuse issues. Of course, I am grateful for my family, because I have a great relationship with my mom and brother, but I definitely seek validation for what I feel is the most significant struggle I have faced. I also believe family is the most important thing in life. As a result, I feel this quiz does not do the issue of family justice at all. It has only three items about it: “My parents are heterosexual,” “my parents are both alive” and “my parents are still married.” I think there should have been more items about this topic, and I did not feel particularly validated. 

This quiz did allow me to reflect on how grateful I am for my privileges, confused me about the extent I have privilege because of my racial identity and briefly validated the areas where I do lack privilege. The quiz values each privilege equally, which I do not think is accurate. It is also confusing that the quiz is so black-and-white about evaluating privileges when there are different levels to them. An example is that, while I cannot say that I have never been told I am too skinny, I do not consider that to be a lack of privilege. However, if I were significantly underweight, I probably would consider it a lack of privilege to be told this.

In conclusion, take this quiz to reflect on yourself but not to be an accurate measure of your privilege. I scored a 58/100, but I feel much more privileged than that and also feel like the privileges should not all be valued as one point each. I think it would have been more meaningful to have the items weighed differently. My dad dying is much worse than not traveling internationally at least once a year and should be valued as such. 

Scoring a 58/100 earned me this message: 

I roughly agree with the message. I do consider myself quite privileged, but I do not agree with the quiz authoritatively telling me “overall your life has been far easier than most.” I think a quiz like this should be sensitive and that is not a sensitive thing to say. It is good that it says being privileged is nothing to be ashamed of, because it is not. Privileges are either things you cannot control or things you earn, so shame is not a suitable reaction to privilege. However, I do agree that those with privilege should appreciate their privilege and work to help others who do not have as much privilege.

Take the quiz here

No more ‘do it laters’: set your goals now 

Words by Kaitlyn Finchler

New Year’s resolutions have been around for as long as anyone can remember, but who decided they were effective? People nowadays are coming to realize that they are not as practical as they are made out to be.

Goals are more feasible when it comes to thinking about and achieving what we want in life. Can you imagine a business setting New Year’s resolutions? Just waiting a few more months to start doing something that could be started now. 

The mindset of “I will do it later” or “maybe next time” is exactly the nasty mindset people tend to have when thinking about things they need or want to do. Imagine wanting something so badly but waiting to do it later. 

According to Mind Tools, a website that produces content regarding management, leadership and personal excellence skills, you need to “consider what you want to achieve and then commit to it.”

This goes along with my point of committing to something, rather than forcing yourself to accomplish something. Resolutions have a harsh undertone and set unrealistic expectations. Goals can help raise your motivation and self-confidence, as you see your abilities growing before you.

Think of what you want out of life. Do you want to look back in regret or look back and sigh in satisfaction after realizing you lived life to its fullest potential?

 Is there something you specifically hope to achieve? Changing your career, travelling more, saving up to pay off debt? No matter what it is, it is achievable. Update your resume, look into achieving some random skills that could impress a future employer, take more out of your paycheck for savings instead of ordering take out. 

The only person holding you back is you. It sounds cliché, but no one else is planning your life. No one is saving money for you. No one is looking out for you more than you are. Think about that next time you have something in your life you want to change.

My Fall Bucket List + Fall Activity Ideas

Words by Marisa Santillo

There is no denying that fall is my favorite time of the year, and I have also noticed that it is a lot of people’s favorite season as well! There are certain things that are a must-do for me during fall every year, and hopefully, some of my ideas will get you into the fall spirit! 

1. Pumpkin patches

Pumpkin patches are my favorite way to celebrate fall! The apple cider, fun fall snacks, corn mazes and cute Instagram photo ops are the best! 

2. Haunted houses

There is no better way to celebrate spooky season than by going to a haunted house with your besties! 

3. Fall Starbucks drinks

I love the seasonal drinks at Starbucks! I always have to get them all at least once per season. My new favorite and go to right now is a hot salted caramel mocha. 

4. Buying new sweaters and boots

One of my favorite things about fall has always been the perfect sweater and booties weather! I also love updating my sweater collection a little bit every fall! My current favorite types of sweaters right now are the ones with the frayed and distressed ends.   

5. Halloween costumes

Halloween is such a fun time especially here at Kent! Having the perfect Halloween costume is always the best feeling. Remember to take cute pictures! 

6. Spending time in the leaves

On a beautiful fall day, one of my favorite things to do is sit in the leaves and work on my homework, relax or hang with my friends! Something about being outside with all of the fallen leaves is so peaceful. Blanket hill is the perfect spot for this right now! 

7. Baking

One of my favorite things to bake right now is the festive Pillsbury cutout cookies. Plus, they are super simple to bake even in a residence hall kitchen area! 

8. Carving pumpkins

 Carving pumpkins with my friends or family is always one of my favorite fall activities! I love getting to make a new design every year and being creative! Also, baked pumpkin seeds are a yummy snack! 

9. Football games

Football games can be a lot of fun! I always like to go to at least one every year! 

10. Fall festivals

I love fall festivals! I love getting to see the fun crafts, food and just getting to walk around! 

Hopefully, some of these activities will help you get in the fall spirit like I am!

Instagram & Twitter: @marisaaa_rosee | YouTube: Marisa Rose

What Autumn Shows Us

Words by Marisa Santillo

Fall has always been my all-time favorite season. From Halloween to pumpkin patches to cozy sweaters and the crisp air, there is nothing that I do not love about fall. One of my other favorite things about fall is that it is truly the season for a fresh start. 

“Notice how the trees do not cling to their leaves. Fall is about releasing the old to make way for the new.” – Unknown

The thought of the trees letting go of their leaves every year gives me a sense of peace. It serves as a reminder that, like the trees, I too have grown and blossomed another year, and there comes a point every year when there are things I have to let go of to continue my growth. Autumn has always been the season that inspires me to let go of things I am unhappy with, try new things that help me grow and blossom into the person who I am meant to become. 

“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go” – Unknown

The act of letting go is one that is beautiful and graceful. One of my favorite sights to see is the leaves beginning to turn into a beautiful arrangement of colors, and after they do, they decide to let go so delicately. Over time, a new life begins. Seeing the leaves fall always gives me the greatest sense of peace within myself and reminds me that after letting go there is an opportunity for “new life” to begin through a new job, memories, friendships, relationships and even giving more love to myself. It is only after we let things go that we are truly able to grow. 

“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

Fall always reminds me to keep a thankful and grateful heart. Instead of focusing on the things we are unable to have, it is important to appreciate the people and things that we do have. Being grateful for every opportunity and every day will allow us to truly have the fresh start that fall welcomes. 

Autumn has the power to show us many things if we have the courage to find them.

Instagram & Twitter: @marisaaa_rosee | YouTube: Marisa Rose

Ramen Noodle Packet Four Ways

Words by Natalia Cruz

Growing up, I was always in the kitchen, from helping my mom bake cakes to making my own creations. One of my favorite things to play around with was ramen noodles. Mainly, because they were so cheap, I didn’t feel bad if what I made didn’t turn out. Unfortunately for me, I learned later in life that I have borderline celiac disease. My time with ramen had to come to an end, but during my time at boarding school, I thought my friends a few tricks on how to shake up ramen noodles. 

Ramen Noodle Mac and Cheese

What you’ll need: 

  • any type of cheese, but if you are able to find it, I recommend getting powdered cheese
  • 1 TBSP of butter
  • 1/2 – 2 TBSP of milk 
  • 1 noodle packet
  • Water (enough to cover the noodles)

This is a fairly easy recipe to do, and for the most part, if you don’t have measuring utensils, you are able to eyeball it. Now, the important part of this recipe is remembering to save the flavor packet for later. So, once you have boiled and cooked the noodles, you add the butter, milk, cheese, and flavor packet. This gives you some flavorful cheesy noodles and it is a cheap way to mix up the staple ramen noodles. 

Crunchy Salad

What you’ll need: 

  • Plain ramen noodles (1 packet)
  • Bowl of leafy greens of own choice
  • A handful of shredded carrots
  • 1- 2 Hard-boiled eggs
  • soy sauce

This recipe is best fit for when go to the dining hall to get a salad to go and forget to put in crotons or if you are one of the people who want to feel better about enjoying uncooked Ramen. 

Now, all you have to do for this is break up the noodles into chunks and keep the seasoning somewhere else, because you can use it for another recipe. Alternatively, if you desire, you can sprinkle the seasoning on top of the salad. For the salad mix I recommend in this recipe, I picked some of the elements of pho, in order to give the salad an abstract pho vibe. 

Flavored Rice

What you’ll need, 

  • Personal serving size of rice (I recommend microwaveable types)
  • A little bit of butter (optional)
  • The seasoning packet
  • Cheese (optional)

If you are like me and have a gluten intolerance or allergy, but you still crave those flavor packets, then this is the recipe for you. It is also a way to gain more nutrients, especially if you are using brown rice, compared to ramen noodles. For this recipe, you can make it two ways. The first way is to prepare the rice and then add a little butter in order for the seasoning to stick better to the rice, then adding the seasoning. The second way is to also add some shredded cheese. This creates flavored cheesy rice, and it is one of my favorite things to eat on the weekend when Prentice Cafe is closed. 

Ramen Noodles and Meatballs

What you’ll need, 

  • 2 packets of Ramen noodles
  • 1 lb or less of ground beef/chicken/turkey/plant-based ground
  • Pepper
  • ¼ cup of Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • Sauce (optional) 
  • Cooked spaghetti (optional)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Greased Cookie sheet
  • Ziplock bag

This isn’t a quick recipe, so if you plan on making these meatballs, make sure you have at least an hour. The first thing you’ll need to do is set the oven to 400 F and make sure the meat is defrosted. Next, get a ziplock bag and place the 2 noodles blocks in them, then use something to crunch them up until they are all in little pieces. I recommend using something heavy like a hardback textbook. Once those items are prepped, place your choice of ground meat into the bowl, then add the milk and egg. After that, add in all of the dry ingredients. This includes pouring in the seasoning and crunched up noodles into the mix. At this point, you can either use your hands or a fork to mix everything up. Once the egg is thoroughly beaten in and the noodles are evenly dispersed, you can start making balls. I recommend the standard of 1 ½ inch, but if you please you can make them bigger or smaller. On the sheet give them at least a half-inch in between balls for growing room.  If you chose to make them the standard size, let them cook for 20-25 minutes, for the smaller one you would probably do 15 minutes and for bigger ones 30. However, the most important part is checking to see if they are actually done, once the time has elapsed. This is because different ovens can add or quicken the time. After they are all done and ready to go, you can pair them with a sauce, pasta, or even put them in your ramen noodles.