The Lalagirl Writing In Notebook

Emma Off The Record: The Flip Side

Did I ever expect to be writing my last “Emma Off the Record” at home from the comfort of my own bed? I’m sure you already know the answer to that, and I’m sure most of us expected to be somewhere else at this point in time, too. This year, the whole world experienced an unexpected plot twist of epic proportions. For some, it came as a shock to the system and sent us into a nervous/anxious meltdown (read: me) and for others, it was a shrug of the shoulders and a succinct “Oh, well.” 

Fortunately, I came to my senses eventually and realized how grateful I was that I have the ability to fly back home to my family and attend the now iconic Zoom University. I don’t want to go down too preachy of a path, but to put it bluntly, this experience has already given me a whole lot of perspective––not just in terms of the bigger picture of life, but also of how I’ve grown emotionally, too. Looking back at myself sitting on the floor of my new apartment in South drowning in a puddle of my own tears, I don’t feel one bit of shame or regret. I remember the tears beginning to well up in my eyes after reading the email that sealed everyone’s fate for the rest of the semester. I had the temper tantrum of all temper tantrums, and fortunately, my boyfriend, who had the not-so-fortunate front-row view, took it like a champ. 

I think the main reason I felt like everything was crashing and burning was that I had quite literally a whirlwind of a school year. I had moved dorms three separate times, I started my very own radio show with one of my closest friends while taking over as a DJ for my first show, I was trying to write as much as possible for my school’s art and music zine, and at one point, I was taking three classes for my journalism major at the same time that were all pretty demanding. And that was me trying to “take it easier” this year.



Imagine receiving this family holiday card in the mail...🥰❄️💌 #HCBUXO

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Second semester was shaping up to be my best yet. I was taking classes I loved, settling into my new apartment, and making the most of my last year with my boyfriend while he was still on campus. I also made new friends in unexpected places, I went to some pretty unforgettable concerts, and I spent some quality time getting to know BU better. When I broke down back in March, I figured there’s no reason to punish myself for feeling frustrated and sad about the whole situation. I was thriving! And I was really, really happy for the first time in college! So, of course, I was going to cry about it, and there would be no reason to tell myself not to. In retrospect, I definitely could’ve handled it more gracefully, but c’est la vie. 

Flash forward to now, and I'm sitting in my childhood bedroom during finals week. Describing this whole experience as “surreal” is laughable at this point. Being home, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs, good days and bad days, moments of stillness in my mind, and scattered thoughts, but letting myself feel all of these emotions has allowed me to get to know myself a little better. As a result, I have discovered a few more healthy coping strategies that help me find my cool and be more patient with myself in times of crisis. 



Auguste Rodin

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As my sophomore year at BU comes to a close, I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing, but not in the traditional sense. Instead of dwelling on all of the things that I miss about being back at BU, and all of the things that were supposed to happen this year, I keep thinking about how I’m going to feel after this is over. I know for sure I’ll be more appreciative, but hopefully, I’m calmer, too. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but thinking about my future feelings is one of the ways I’ve found that’s helped me when I’m not in a great headspace. For some, this might be a more stress-inducing brain exercise, but for me, at least, it brings me a little bit closer to accepting whatever the uncertain future holds. For a planner like me, this is a big deal. Of course, I have never had complete control over my future and this has always given me lots of anxiety. On the flip side, that uncertainty has also shown me how to channel my emotions into more effective ways of coping with future curveballs.

Writing this music/life column continues to be my favorite form of stress-relief and a way for me to connect with other people who are going through somewhat similar experiences, especially right now. To those of you who have made it this far, thank you for sticking it out and reading all 26 articles featuring my musings on life and music.

Ah yes, the playlist you’ve been waiting for. I'm reminiscing on way back when I described how I make a playlist every semester filled with all of the songs I discovered/really connected with during that period of time. All the songs on this semester’s playlist represent specific moments I hold near and dear to my heart from throughout this year, but I’ll spare you all the explanations and let the music speak to you directly. Without further ado, here is Second Semester Sophomore Year:

This last article of the semester is a bittersweet see you later. I might be studying abroad next semester, if all goes according to the plan I once had, but I have mentally prepared myself for whatever does end up happening. It has been an absolute honor to share my thoughts with you all every week and I really will miss it dearly if I do end up leaving for a semester. Either way, I will return, but who knows if I will decide to try out something new altogether.

The future may be uncertain, but that just means there’s plenty of room for growth. See you all on the flip side, my friends!


Emma :)


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