Apartment Inspiration | Bedroom

Technically I don't move into my apartment for another two-ish months, but I am still super excited about living in my first apartment. It's a little weird because I know I am going to live in my apartment at the most two years and maybe only one even since I am hoping to live in my sorority house at some point my junior and/or senior year. Because of the deadline for living in my apartment, I know I don't want to do too overboard with decorating because it's just going to be a pain to move in and out. With that being said, I, however, really want my upcoming apartment to feel more like home than my dorm ever did. I never felt like I truly settled into my dorm, which made freshman year a little bit harder for me.

Luckily I have a while until I need to figure out everything for my apartment, so until then I get to play interior designer for a bit! Today I am sharing some inspiration for my room, and maybe over the summer I will share some inspiration for our living room.

xx, jKm


How to Prepare for Sorority Recruitment

Hey y'all! It's hard to believe that this time last year I was stressing about recruitment, and now here I am preparing to go through recruitment on the "other side." Worrying about recommendations, outfits, and the hot weather that I knew was coming took up a lot of my time last year. I mean, it was second semester, and I was basically already done with senior year. Today I am going to share how I got "recruitment ready."

If you're new here/didn't know, I am about to be a sophomore at the University of Alabama, and I am a Kappa Alpha Theta. I didn't come from a family that was huge on Greek life. My mom was in a sorority, but she didn't love it and ended up dropping, and my sister went to a women's college. I knew that I wanted to be in a sorority, but I wasn't sure exactly what I was getting myself into. Being me, I researched and researched and researched. I spent hours upon hours reading about what to wear and what happens and what to talk about. I was obviously still nervous going into recruitment, but I defintely knew exactly what I was preparing for, which was really nice. 

What is a recommendation? A Recommendation/Reference (also called a REC or RIF) serves as your introduction to the sorority, so their members can get to know you in advance of formal recruitment in the fall. (via Alabama's Panhellenic website) 

One of the greatest helps I had with recs was my local Alumnae Panhellenic Association. There was a day where they held an information session, and girls came and talked about their experiences, but the alumnae also helped you with getting recs. Like I said, I am not a part of a huge Greek family, so I didn't have legacy connections. My friends and teachers did help me out, and I posted on Facebook asking for help, but recruitment at Alabama is huge. You can send up to two recs per sorority. That can mean needing at most 32 recommendations. I would highly recommend checking out your local alumnae association to see if they can help, especially if you are going to a school where recruitment is a big deal like Alabama or other SEC schools. 

The alumnae association requested that we create recruitment packets which included an information form, a headshot, and a resume. I included all the same stuff plus a transcript for the people writing me recommendations outside of the alumnae association. This is a really great article about what to included in a rec packet. Alabama suggested to include the resume, transcript, picture, and a thank you note! For people who I could directly give the packets to, I printed everything out and put it in a folder. For people who I had to contact over social media, I just emailed them everything.

Here's the thing about recommendations: They can't hurt you. They only help you. A rec is like extra credit, so you don't have to get them, but they are highly recommended, so if you can get them, defintely get them. 

One of the first places I found a ton of information about sororities is Sorority Sugar. I would spend days scrolling through the pictures and reading about everything. Their Rush Wear guide was my first step to figuring out what to wear. Cross reference with your school's rush wear guide, and that will give you a good head start on finding outfits. Alabama's is really good, and so is UGA's. 

First I looked at what I already had in my closet, and then I spent the spring and summer picking up dresses that could work for the other days. By the summer before recruitment, I really only needed one more dress because most parties at Alabama are two days. There's no need to buy an entire new wardrobe/designer clothes. Find outfits that you are comfortable in because when you feel awkward in what you wear, people can usually tell! You want to be focusing on the conversation, not whether or not your dress is about to fall down or if your dress is digging into your skin. Keep in mind that the days get fancier as you go on with Preference Night being the nicest. Also double check if your school requires a certain color dress for Preference and/or Bid Day because I know UGA and Kentucky both do. Again, you can see what I wore here.

This is probably what I was most nervous about. I am not the best at meeting new people. Sometimes my nervousness results in me talking, which works for recruitment, but sometimes I will legit shut down and not talk. Once I learned how structured recruitment was, I felt a lot better. Sorority Sugar also has great tips about questions to answer and questions to ask. Go through the questions and practice general answers, so you have a feel of what to expect. A lot of the first day is answering questions like What's your major? Where do you live? What did you do in high school? What did you do over the summer? Another thing that helped calm my nerves is that the girls who are "rushing" you are also nervous, so don't worry too much! Just be prepared to put your best foot forward.

Here's my Pinterest board all about Recruitment!
Definitely check out Sorority Sugar's ABC of Formal Sorority Recruitment. 

If you're going through recruitment, good luck!!
xx, jKm


Updates + Friday Favorites | 5/26

Notice anything different? This past week I spent some time going through the process of redoing the blog for a couple reasons. The first and foremost was that I wanted my blog to be my name. I think it's just more professional, and I wanted my blog to be a full representation of myself. So sassdelsur --> juliannakearn, which is easy to remember because it's all of my social media handles. I am still working on some of the aspects, mostly my "About" page, but I am super excited because I feel like I don't have any limits anymore with my blog.

This mom's Instagram is one of my absolute favorites, oh my gosh. Her two year is so funny and precious, and you've probably seen some of the videos other places across the Internet. 

But I think this French bulldog Instagram might actually be my #1 favorite. French bulldogs are my favorite kind of dog because they look like an old person and a toddler at the same time, and I think it's so funny. 

I think Dorothy's tassel earrings might be one of my DIY projects this summer. But if DIYs aren't you thing, these tassel earrings from RiffRaff are...just...wow. *heart eyes*

Mike Trout is without a doubt my favorite athlete, and this New York Times article does a good job of explaining why I love him so much.

Speaking of baseball, this Charlie Southern shirt is perfect for summer games.

Since I wear leggings basically all the time when I'm at school, I am always on the hunt for cute ones. I love these capri ones from Target. I also love this pair.

This article is about my two favorite things: the Phillies and social media.

Happy Friday!!
xx, jKm


Friday Favorites | 5/5

Happy, happy Friday!! I am so excited because this is the first Friday I'm home for for the summer! As much as I have loved school, I am definitely ready for a three month break and to see some of my friends from high school. Right now I am in the process of not only unpacking but trying to get rid of a ton of stuff. My closet is filled to the brim with clothes and so is my dresser, and I swear, I don't wear half of it, so I am trying to pair down everything and find a good place. Anyways, here's all the things I've been loving this week!

Not enough people are talking about Caroline Kennedy's Met Gala gown.

One of my goals for my life is to support more small businesses, and I've found my first one! Luella is the cutest online store, and the pastel pink and fun shirts are to die for. This Queso Queen shirt might find its way into my wardrobe soon.

As much as I've loved my Lilly planner for the past five years, I want to switch it up in the fall. While it may be way too soon to start looking at a new planner, the Blue Floral Planner from 1Canoe2 is definitely #1 on my list.

Dana Schwartz is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter, and she just released a book! I preordered it, and I just started reading it yesterday. It's a young adult novel, and I am really enjoying it so far. After following Dana Schwartz on Twitter for a while, I can definitely feel her voice in the book, which I really like.

If you need a graduation gift for someone in your life, check out Dorothy's post! I think it's important for a graduation gift to either have sentimental value or be really useful or else it becomes another piece of junk, and all of Dorothy's picks are great. 

Harry Styles's new song. That's all. 

I am totally up to do a wall crawl in Atlanta with some of my friends this summer.

Happy weekend!
xx, jKm


Freshman Year Reflection

I cannot believe freshman year is basically over. Today I have my last (and only) final for my accounting class at 8 am, and then I am officially done with classes and am moving out tonight. This past school year challenged me a lot. Between going through sorority recruitment, realizing college isn't perfect, and missing my family and some of my friends way too much, freshman year was without a doubt harder than any year of high school.

College wasn't necessarily harder academically for me (except accounting, which kicked my butt), but it was harder emotionally. I wouldn't necessarily say I was more anxious, and I really didn't have that many anxiety attacks after the first couple of months, but the first year of college was definitely emotionally draining in a way that I have never experienced, and it was filled with way too many unknowns. I am definitely a creature of habit, yet for the entire year, I never felt like I got truly settled. I mean, I do the exact same stuff every single day essentially, but I never like I had a set routine or felt like I hadn't just been uprooted. That was a really hard feeling for me because I've never felt like that. Moving to Tuscaloosa for college was the first time I had moved in my entire life. I've lived in the same house in the same room for 18 years, so moving into a dorm was weird, and it never truly felt like my space like my room as home did.

I am a creature of habit, but I am also a creature of plans, and college definitely doesn't care about your plans. I am the person who constantly has a ten year plan in place, and college has made me accept that planning ten years into the future is not exactly possible. While I no longer have ten year plans, I still have plans until I graduate because I didn't abandon all (or any) of my Type A personality traits. When I came to college, I was a public relations major double minoring in general business and American studies, and I was probably going to graduate in 3.5 years. But then I realized I didn't want to graduate early and double majoring in marketing made a whole lot more sense than having two minors. Now instead of graduating early, I am struggling to fit all the classes I need to graduate on time, but don't worry, I have a detailed color coordinated four year schedule planned out on a nice Excel Spreadsheet. ;)

It's only been a year since I've graduated high school, but I feel like more happened in the past year than the four years of high school combined, and I definitely feel a lot older, which is weird because I almost never feel older. But I also feel like the older I get the more I realize I have no idea what I am doing. College makes you grow up and fast, yet I've quickly realized that while I am 19 (#BamaLegal), I am nowhere near being an adult. I've also come to realize that is okay. It's okay to be 19, living on my own for the first time, and not know what exactly I am doing. I've learned about being an "adult" this year but also about still being a kid. Freshman year went by really fast, and now I only have three more years until I have to be a real adult. Scary, right? Yeah, I have to think about important decisions like trying to get an internship/experience and making good grades, but I think it's good to remember that date parties, movie nights, and Cookout runs are going to be just as vital to my college experience as the professional stuff I do.

As for this summer, I don't exactly know what's going to happen. I'll be back in Tuscaloosa for a week working a communications camp, and I've applied for a couple other things that I am hoping to hear back from soon. **fingers crossed** Other than that everything is a little up in the air. I do know I want to spend a ton of time with my family and friends from high school while also decluttering my life, but I'll be sure to capture every single adventure (or at least most of them...).

xx, jKm


Favorite Documentaries (Updated)

A little over year ago I wrote about my favorite documentaries that I recommended to everyone, and honestly I still highly recommend those to anyone. I don't know why but recently documentaries are some of the only things I watch besides a couple of TV shows I keep up with on Hulu. I guess I feel like even though I am wasting time I at least am learning something along the way instead of just sitting on my bed for three hours and potentially taking a nap.
On Netflix
Abstract: The Art of Design | This will (probably) be the last time I talk about this docuseries, but honestly I talk about it so much because I love it a lot. I just can't get over all the amazing work these artists produce, and my favorite episodes are the ones I don't expect to love like the one on Tinker Hatfield, which I absolutely love and made me more interested in Nike and their industry.

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things | As a self-proclaimed #maximalist, this documentary made me cringe while as wanting to throw all my stuff out. To me it is absolutely crazy that one of the guys featured can fit everything in one bag. I can barely fit what I take to school in one bag. While it stresses me out because I doubt I could ever live like that, it is still a really interesting documentary.

The Hunting Ground | My Southern Studies professor recommended this to me one day after class, and it's an eye opening documentary. Last summer I read Missoula, and it made me incredibly aware of how sexual assualt is treated on college campuses. The Hunting Ground centers around an advocacy group started by two women who were assaulted at UNC. I don't recommend watching this on a Friday night by yourself, which is what I did, but it is worth watching and learning more about the culture on campuses.

Jesus Camp | I have loved this documentary since I was in elementary school. (Is that weird?) When I found out that it was on Netflix, I watched it immediately. For me the entire concept is just all kind of crazy, but it's one of those things I've never experienced, so watching the documentary allowed me to see inside this world that is so different from my own.

Schooled: The Price of College Sports | I think I might have talked about Schooled before, but I honestly can't remember. I know this isn't the best thing to say, but I have always thought the NCAA is pretty corrupt, and I have a lot of opinions about this but that would take too long. I think this is a really great documentary that gets you started in understanding all the craziness that is the NCAA. I don't really know what the solution should be, but Schooled definitely presents the problem.

On Hulu
OJ: Made in America | This is one of the greatest things ESPN has ever done. I've always been weirdly into the OJ Simpson trial, but I think it's one of the most telling trials in American history. There's a lot to be said about how we treat athletes and then also race relations in the 80s and 90s. The documentary is split up into 5 parts with each part being an hour, so it's defintely a time commitment, but 100% worth it. After watching this, I highly recommend watching The People v. OJ Simpson, the FX series. Again really good and interesting.

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week | I'll give y'all what my dad thought about this documentary. It's a different look at the Beatles because it only focuses on the touring years rather than the entire band's history. When you see the amount of touring the Beatles did, you realize and understand the stress and exhaustion that ultimately contributed to them breaking up. What's really great about the film is all the archival footage, and I think even my dad, a man who knows everything about the Beatles, hadn't see all of the footage.

The Business of Amateurs | This documentary was not really what I was expecting when I went into it. I expected it to be more like Schooled, and while it still focused on how the NCAA capitalizes on athletes, it's more geared to the injuries of athletes and how that affects their futures and careers after they are done with college sports. I am a big believer that college athletes are not treated fairly and that the NCAA and universities take advantage of these athletes and their marketability.

xx, jKm