Taking Advantage of Opportunities

Hey everyone, sorry it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted. Between midterms and exams I needed a little time off to refocus. Hope you are having an awesome Sunday and are ready to take on this week!

Taking advantage of opportunities has never been my strong suit. I always want to stay in my comfort zone where it’s nice and warm and familiar. Living in Chicago these past 11 weeks has been a huge adjustment. The days have flown by but at the same time I feel like I’ve been here for ages. It has been such a whirlwind of emotions but I wouldn’t change a thing. Being here has already taught me so much about myself and how much I can do on my own. During these last few weeks the homesickness has hit pretty hard. So what did I do? I did my very best and took advantage of those yucky sad feelings and turned them into happy things. Some days were definitely better than others. I always have done better on a schedule, a daily routine to help me stay on track. I began researching, looking for anything to keep me busy while still getting to explore this amazing place I am currently living. I mean that is the reason I chose to come here in the first place, right? I looked up delicious restaurants, things to participate in around campus, and just about anything that caught my eye. After these four years are over (which I’m already almost through my first semester how did that happen?!), a lot of these resources I have won’t be as easily accessible. I have to take advantage of my time here and make it one to remember. So here are some of my most memorable days so far in the last 3 weeks or so. There is still so much I have to look forward to and discover and I’m very excited to see what that entails.

This night was one for the books. We went out to celebrate my friend Julia’s birthday and ended up at an amazing Italian place, Quartino. I had  a ton of people recommending it to me and it was worth every bite. It was an awesome atmosphere and really great food. Highly recommend getting a reservation though, it was packed!

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After our dinner we headed over to the classic Chicago stop, Portillo’s, for dessert. The cake shake is the way to go. How could you not like a milkshake with cake in it?

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Fall break came up fast and I went home with Julia to spend break with her and her amazing family. I can’t thank them enough for welcoming me into their home for those 4 short days. The weekend was filled with baking, Mexican food (which I somehow survived 2 months without?), home cooked meals, and really good company.

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A project for my freshman seminar had me spending a day in Boystown, a block away from Wrigleyville. The point of the project was to introduce us to different neighborhoods of Chicago. This ended up being a super cool experience making me want to see what other places are out there!

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Brunch seems to be very trendy these days so of course that means I’m all about it. Julia and I were in the mood for some avocado toast one Saturday morning. I googled “best avocado toast in Chicago” and Summer House came up first on my list. It was probably one of the cutest places I’ve been in a while and I will definitely be going back soon.

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After brunch we made a quick pit stop at a small farmer’s market selling some pumpkins. We picked up some of these cute ones for our dorm rooms, only $1 each!

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Donuts will always have a special place in my heart as one of my favorite treats (a very long list). We stopped by yesterday morning at Firecakes, a very small shop with an array of tasty donuts. They were priced at $2-3 a piece and definitely a a decent size as you can see this one is about as big as my face. Super yummy and will for sure be back.

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Now perhaps the strangest thing of them all. I ran a 5k this morning. For those of you who know me at all know I don’t run, and when I do I certainly don’t enjoy it. This was probably my first big race like this and I am so happy I did it. The snacks made it all worth it at the end, not to mention getting to see the sunrise as I was struggling to catch my breath. Thank you Julia for forcing me to do it. Can’t wait for next year!

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