“If I could do it again you know I’d do it the same
Not one regret, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
I’ve been feeling like this for the last few days but it is all coming to an end. By the end of the day, I will have taken my last undergraduate final exam and will be an Elon alumni. (Wait, what??)
I’d like to take a moment and be totally and completely cheesy and give you a few words of wisdom. If you don’t want to hear it and just want to get to the good stuff, you can scroll down. I won’t take offense. Too much.
People of the world. All you rugrats who are just trying to get through college, I have some words for you.
Freshman year, I was a basket base. I lived in the library on Friday afternoons and at 2am on the weekdays. I kept peanut butter and bread in my room for those meals that I just couldn’t find time to eat at the dining hall. I had mental breakdowns after anatomy exams and sometimes chose studying over friends. The time that I did make for friends consisted of baking apple bread and banana bread at a close friend’s house and watching Chocolat. There might have been some frozen daiquiris thrown into my freshman year, as well. That was before I met.. the mojito.
Sophomore year, I traveled to Spain. I saw some of Europe and what it had to offer. I drank lots of mojitos and took pictures of everything and came back with long hair and holes in my Toms. I started this bad boy (girl? Do blogs have genders?) and have clearly found a passion for taking pictures of food and writing about my day for total strangers. Wait, does that make me weird?
Junior year, I stepped it up a notch. I had a better grasp on balancing my school and my social life. I took up CrossFit (and man, did I look gooooood) and started my research – which is how I met this fine girl. I kept up with the blog and watched How I Met Your Mother when life got tough. “Legen – wait for it… – dary.”
Senior year, I decided to make the most of it. I dropped biochemistry (not that I am recommending you drop a class) and had so much more free time (and so many fewer mental breakdowns). Time for friends. Time for my blog. Time for me. I got serious with my research [update: chocolate soymilk is comparable to chocolate milk in recreationally active female athletes when performing multiple bouts of cycling; hello, recovery beverage for vegans and lactose-intolerant athletes] and finally figured out how to study and make good grades efficiently. I celebrated my 21st birthday with a great professor at a lovely dinner hosted by Elon and went to New York with one of my best friends. I also got into Drexel for graduate school for nutrition. RD, here we come! And, I took some chances and decided to say yes when I could have said no.
Say yes. Let people in. Listen to your teachers. Get to know them. Ask them to lunch or coffee. They are actually really wonderful and have great insight. There is more to them than powerpoints and grades. Smile at people. Everyone is going through something. Be patient. Don’t snap at people or walk around looking at the ground. Get your work done so you can hang out with your friends. Take a day off to see your family. Use the resources you have and make new connections to improve your experiences. Make time for yourself. Find a new TV show (or 3..?) to keep you sane and provide study breaks. Take a walk. Try something new. Watch the sunrise. Make mistakes. Freak out. Dance in your underwear. Study on the floor. Eat pancakes for dinner.
I’ll get off my box, and onto the topic of cocoa, but I just want you to appreciate it. I wouldn’t take one minute of my undergraduate experience back and I know that this progression occurred for a reason. However, I am happy that I ended on a less-stressful note. I have recently discovered how to breathe, shake the hair out of my face, and take on each task at a time. And, when I do get stressed, I call up a friend and go out for frozen yogurt or a margarita. Just remember that this is all you have. This one life. Don’t look back and think, “Dang it. I wish I had done that.” Because in 10 years, you will not remember what you made on that paper or test or how your presentation went. You will remember the memories you created with people you never imagined would become your best friends or incredibly important people in your life.
Okay. I’m done. For all you who skipped that, you can pick back up with the reading now. So, this cocoa is a celebratory cocoa. An ohmygoshijustgraduatedcollege cocoa. One that calls for sprinkles and whipped cream and mugs that have one color on the outside and a different one on the inside. Fancy cocoa calls for fancy mugs.
This recipe is inspired by Jessica from How Sweet It Is. She is simply amazing. Her food passions are fascinating [insert: bacon, cake batter, brown butter] and I have loved some of her cake batter recipes. So, in regards to this recent cold spell after the 75° weather we have been having, I made some cocoa. For you. To celebrate my graduation.
Cake Batter Hot Cocoa
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp cake mix
1 c plain soymilk (or chocolate would be DELICIOUS!)
1. Whisk together sugar, water, cocoa and cake mix in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
2. Whisk continuously to ensure complete integration of the cake mix, while increasing heat to desired temperature.
3. Pour into mug and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.