5 Ways to Enjoy Halloween Without Being a Jerk

Halloween is surely a magical time of the year: Pumpkins, scary movies, costumes and candy are just a few of the many reasons Halloween is a much loved tradition. Unfortunately, with Halloween comes the temptation to do the wrong thing, but fear not! I’m here to help you figure out the basics of having a happy, safe and controversy-free Halloween.

1. Don’t dress up like other races

Seriously, it’s not cool to paint your face another skin color, and it’s definitely not cool to dress up as a stereotype. Caricatures of someone else’s culture are both unfair and offensive. It’s okay to be a person of color you really like for Halloween, but don’t mock them by trying to change your physical appearance to match theirs. Study some classic Hollywood history, and you’ll see just how wrong black-face, brown-face and the like are.

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(https://westsidescholar.files.wordpress.com)

2. Be careful who you’re taking photos with

You probably don’t want a picture of you and the most offensive costume of the night all over social media. After all, the internet is forever, just like my insatiable need to write list-formated blogs. We all remember this photo with Taylor Swift—please be smarter than Swifty.

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(http://www.dailystormer.com/)

3. Don’t drink and drive

This is an easy one, but it’s unfortunately rarely followed. Do not drink and drive on Halloween. I’m serious. Call a cab, an Uber or find a DD. As with any major party holiday, it’s a horrible idea to get behind the wheel after you’ve just had a night of drinking. Not only are you more likely to get busted for it (you shouldn’t be doing it anyway), you could really hurt someone, you know, like those kids out trick-or-treating trying to have a fun, harmless night.

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(http://img.pandawhale.com)

4. Don’t dress up like Caitlyn Jenner.

Seriously, this one just isn’t funny. Whatever your feelings on the Jenners/Kardashians may be, it’s not fair—or right—to make fun of someone’s trans journey. To many people, including myself, Jenner is a hero of transgender awareness and progress. So, get out of my realm with your ridiculousness.

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(lockerdome.com)

5. Don’t vandalize anything

Keep the egging, window breaking, slashing of tires and other mindless destruction out of here. As adults, it’s definitely time to know better, and you don’t have the right to ruin anyone’s Nov. 1 because you decided to be a terrible person on Oct. 31

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(http://www.excusememe.com)

So with that, please have a wonderful Halloween weekend, and remember, make good choices!

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Why Interviewing is Basically Dating

Before I met my boyfriend, I really hated dating. All of the anticipation, anxiety and doubt of trying to find someone really into me was not something I was much of a fan of. In short, I pretty much think dating sucks, but it is an art—and it’s an art that can be mastered. If you master the dating world, you’re bound to find someone you’re meant to be with somewhere down the line.

As 2015 is heading into the fall, I’ve been on about seven interviews during this year, and in my seven interviews I’ve realized one thing: interviewing is pretty much the same thing as dating. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think interviewing sucks. In fact, I’m beyond grateful for every interview I’ve had the opportunity to attend, but there are some striking parallels between the two.

1. You want to look interested, but you don’t want to come off as desperate

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Hey, so, I really would like you to hire me because I would sell my kidney to work for this awesome company, but I’m not needy. I swear.

2. You have to dress the part because first impressions matter

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Look at me I’m professional, much business casual!

3. Some interviews are really uncomfortable, just like some first dates

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We have all had an awkward date or an awkward interview. Flat out, they’re awful. At least it’s a way to figure out you wouldn’t be the right fit for the company’s mission anyway. Just like I wasn’t the right fit for the guy who had a tattoo of a magician’s face on his right shoulder.

4. And some interviews feel really natural

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I love a conversational, comfortable interview. You’re excited to be in the interviewer’s presence, and they’re excited to have you! It’s just good energy all around.

5. But you still don’t end up getting the job and you can’t understand why

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That interview seemed to go so well, just like that one really great date you had. Yet, neither of them called you back, and it definitely stings at first, but you get through it.

6. Some interviews make you realize “I don’t think I want to work here after all.”

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It’s just like how some first dates allow you to realize the person is a train-wreck before you get too deeply involved. Sometimes not getting the job is a bullet dodged.

7. And some interviews have you leaving with hearts in your eyes

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And just like going on a date with the guy or girl of your dreams, you know they’re the one, sort of how you know a job would be perfect for you! This company is where you belong. These people are YOUR people!

8. After the interview comes the waiting game

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Most times after a date you have to play whatever dumb rules exist in the dating world. This is pretty similar in the working world. It’s very rare that you’ll get hired on the spot. Typically they give it a few days or even a week before they let you know that you da one.

9. Sending out thank you emails is just like sending out that “I had a great time last night” text

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You’re really eager to let them know you’re grateful for the opportunity, and you had an awesome time. On one hand, it is proper etiquette, but there’s a fine line between looking appreciative and desperate!

10. And when you don’t hear back, your anxiety doubles

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You did the right thing sending that email, but it can make you feel really unsure when the email doesn’t solicit a response. Not to worry though, professional people can be pretty busy. It doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate the gesture, or that they aren’t interested in you.

11. Sometimes you get too antsy and decide to contact your interviewer before they contact you

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This could go horribly wrong, but you need closure! This is the same after a date when you wonder, “So did they like me or not? I need to know!”

12. And sometimes you set yourself up to get rejected on the spot

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In this situation, it did go horribly wrong, but at least you can move on with your job hunt, or love hunt, or whatever.

13. Or you might be pleasantly surprised to find out they were just getting ready to contact you with an offer!

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This is a deep sigh of relief; you got the job after all! All of the stress and anxiety wasn’t worth your time. It turns out they were feeling you from the beginning! This is just like the guy or gal or was playing the 3-day-rule before they contacted you! Sometimes, it really just takes time.

14. Either way, if you didn’t land the job, you’ve learned some valuable tips and lessons to take on your next interview

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When you have a series of ups and downs in the dating world, you (hopefully) learn from them. It’s the same thing in the search for the perfect job. You learn from your interviewers, about yourself and what you really want from a job or career. So fear not, you win some and you lose some; that’s truly just life. But In the end, you might score an amazing internship or job like I scored an amazing boyfriend and some awesome work opportunities along the way! Never give up on your job or love hunt, the perfect opportunity might be closer than you think.

15 Reasons Why New York City is Awesome

As some of you may know, I’ve just returned from New York City. I can describe my trip with the four E’s: exciting, enthralling, exhilarating and exhausting. While the Big Apple isn’t perfect, it’s pretty close to being the perfect big city. I’m totally lucky to have enjoyed such a wonderful experience (and at a pretty low price tag too!) Here are 15 contributing factors that make NYC uniquely amazing!

1. It reminded me a lot of London

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(i2.cdn.turner.com)

London is a place near and dear to my heart. Being in this world-class city reminded me of being back in Central London. The parks, the transit, the fashionable people, the museums, etc., were all similar to each other. Having the chance to visit New York brought back all the nostalgic feelings of traveling to the Gem by The Thames. (Yes, I just made this up, and it’s cute and catchy. Can I trademark this?)

2. The subway is efficient and cheap 

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Would your rather pay $2 and some change to ride a subway that can take you literally anywhere you’d want to go? Or would you rather pay a taxi fare each time you need to get somewhere? Take your pick, but here’s a professional tip: the latter is going cost you way more money. And that’s money you could be spending on something better, like pizza.

3. The food is amazing

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(opendining.net)

Almost everything I munched on in NYC was delicious—especially the pizza (Check out Sottocasa in Brooklyn if you ever have the chance.) I ate Italian food, mac and cheese and so much Pizza; it was glorious. We were also staying down the street from a Trader Joes, so I got my share of fruits, veggies and healthy snacks, too! Life always rules when you’re surrounded by yummy food.

4. Classy French and Italian wines are available at every bar and restaurant

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“Why yes, I’ll have the house Italian Chardonnay, please.” Here in California we are blessed with an abundance of, you named it, California wines, but it can be a little difficult (and pricey) to get our hands on European wines, particularly at restaurants. I definitely realized how lucky I was to order a good French Rosé for just $7.

5. New Yorkers are proud of their city

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It’s a cool feeling to be somewhere that people actually like living. New York is a really cool place and New Yorkers want to see it stay that way. I admire that.

6. The city has cleaned up since the grittiness of the 1970s and 1980s

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(gizmodo.com)

We’ve all seen Martin Scorcese’s “Taxi Driver.” And if you haven’t, shame on you, but back in the day, the city definitely had it’s dirt, crime and grime. Times Square was practically the red light district and the subways were a war zone full of violent crime. These days, that New York is a thing of the past.

7. In fact, NYC is actually considered one of the safest big cities

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(safetourist.org)

New York City has seen dropping crime rates since the 1990s and throughout the 2000s. Currently, NYC boasts all-time violent crime lows, especially in regards to murders and assaults. Taking the subway isn’t much of a risk anymore, and you can easily walk up and down most streets in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island with no issue.

8. People don’t vape in NYC

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This may not be on your list of what makes a city awesome, but it’s on mine. While vaping is maybe? healthier than cigarettes, and it smells better, It’s still pretty obnoxious. I saw one person vaping the whole time I was there. Yup, one. In SoCal I can’t go anywhere without a cloud of cherry smoke assaulting my face and leaving me wondering what chemicals I just ingested.

9. It’s easy to stretch your money on a visit

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I’m a big proponent of not getting suckered into tourist traps during my travels. And you should be too. Why spend money to head to the top of of XYZ building, when you can catch a great, free view somewhere else? You also don’t need to go to a big fancy restaurant every time you need to eat. Also, like I listed earlier, use the subway instead of taxis. And try to fly into NYC on a Monday or Tuesday when flights are cheaper.

10. It has some of the most awesome museums in the world

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New York City is home to the 9/11 museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Natural History Museum, the American Indian Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image. Arts, culture and history are important to me: They’re practically at the top of my interest list. In addition, most of these museums have awesome exhibits dedicated to women, people of color and the LGBTQ community.

11. The Lower Manhattan skyline will take your breath away

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(www.flickr.com)

I remember the first time I saw Big Ben. I remember the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower. Manhattan’s skyline, it’s urban jungle, is another homage to the engineering triumphs of humans. While we are really good at messing things up, you know, like the environment and basic human rights, we are pretty stellar at building stuff. I was definitely preparing myself for the moment I saw the skyline, in fact it was what I was most excited for, and it did not disappoint.

12. There’s a ton of really cool parks

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While Central Park is a dead give away, there are also plenty of other patches of greenery worth your time. Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village and Prospect Park in Brooklyn are must sees. You can walk your dog, sunbathe, enjoy the street artists or catch a concert. Seriously, we saw Interpol in a park.

13. There are concerts, so many concerts.

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(Yes, I know Wayne’s World takes place in Chicago and not New York)

Proceeding my last point, the amount of concerts going on in New York is almost insane. It even kind of puts Los Angeles to shame. In our 6 days in the city, we had the chance to see anyone from U2 to Neil Young, to Modest Mouse to Blues Traveler (But you, why you wanna give me a run-around? seriously, why?) In fact, this September Pearl Jam and Beyonce are playing a free concert in Central Park. Pearl Jam. Beyonce. Free. Could New York be any cooler?

14. The sports fans aren’t fair-weathered

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While New York fans can be a little intense—I’m looking at you Yankee fans chanting DEREK JETER at the top of your lungs on the D train—I do admire their dedication. Plus, being at a Yankee game in the Bronx was pretty incredible, and the new stadium is gorgeous. Back home, LA and OC area sports fans aren’t particularly known for their loyalty. What’s that? You were a Lakers fan last season but now you like the Clippers? Huh? At least New York fans have it together.

15. It’s full of diversity

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(www.bloomberg.com)

New York is full of people from all over the world. Diversity is something that we all benefit from. Diversity promotes inclusion and equality. All ethnicity, races, religions and nationalities can be found in NYC; we still have a way to go, but that’s a beautiful thing.

(all still Images feature link below. All GIFs from giphy)

23 Things to Enjoy at 23

So as most of you may know, the national holiday known as MY BIRTHDAY was on June 21st, and I am now at the ripe, young age of 23! Since this is my Michael Jordan year, I’ve made a list of all the fantastic things I’d like to start (or continue) surrounding myself with this year. Happy soon-to-be 23’s and to anyone who is currently 23, thriving and fabulous!

1. Traveling

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2. Dogs

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3. Blogging

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4. Hiking

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5. Cake

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6. Activism and Social Justice

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7. Craft Beer

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8. Wine

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9. Love

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10. Friendship

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11. MOM

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12. Interning

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(actual clip from Wolf of Wallstreet. Just kidding.)

13. Yoga

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14. Laughing at your Awkward Junior High Stage

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15. Vegan Food

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16. Sulfate-Free Haircare

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17. Kit Harrington

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18. Sunshine

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19. Powerful Female Influences

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20. Giving Back

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21. Showing Kindness

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22. Keeping Your Word

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23. Social Media

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