Stylish School Supplies You Need

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After enduring 11 years of school, I’d say I’m somewhat of an expert when it comes to school supplies. Here’s the things I absolutely need going into each new year:

Pilot G-2 Pens // Hands down, the best pen on the planet. Whether you’re a 0.38, 0.5, or 0.7 thickness person (personally, I prefer the 0.38), the G-2 is consistently smooth, crisp, and doesn’t smudge.

Blue Sky Academic Planner // I wasn’t a “planner person” until I bought this. It’s geared toward students and centered around a September – June school year. What I really love about it is how it’s organized by day – perfect for writing down assignments and test dates.

Herschel Classic Backpack XL // Nothing like a giant backpack to stuff all those papers, binders, and pencils in! The design of this backpack is classy and clean, and most importantly, it’s durable.

Zebra Mildliners // The bullet journal community is obsessed with these, and I agree. Normal highlighters are boring and honestly, kind of hurt my eyes. The fifteen cute, pastel colors can almost motivate me to stop procrastinating.

S’well Water Bottle // Yes, a water bottle is a back-to-school supply! It’s a little extra, but this water bottle is downright beautiful (those gentle curves!) I own one already, but I’m eyeing the S’well x Urban Outfitters ones. How else will I distract myself in class?

On Growing Up.

Surprise – growing up is hard to do.


16 is a wonderfully terrible age.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been waiting to be 16. It’s not even an exaggeration, because 16 is such an ubiquitous age in our culture. Obviously, you can drive for the first time, a huge deal in itself, but I never thought of that when I was younger. Mostly, it was all the “firsts” that quirky teenage protagonists in movies and on TV (Gilmore Girls, 16 Candles, Easy A, a bevy of Disney Channel made-for-TV movies, and even the Princess Diaries) were experiencing when they were 16 – from Tiffany charm bracelets, to kisses, to new best friends, to crushes-turned-boyfriends, all things I longed to have. To me, 16 seemed like the beginning of the rest of my life, the time when my life would stop being ordinary, and start becoming fabulous.

However, so far, that prediction is looking very un-fabulously false. Nothing earth-shattering or major has happened in my two months of being 16. There was no giant sweet 16 party, no three-layer cake, and no orgasm-inducing presents. I can’t drive yet, because I procrastinated taking my drive test. There is no bad-yet-sensitive Jess Mariano or adorkable-nerd Michael Moscovitz suddenly apparating into my life, Harry Potter-style.

The one major thing that has unfortunately happened is, for the first time, I’m becoming aware of the the mounting pressure of The Future. It might seem like a silly thing to be worrying about after a mere 6,000 or so days on Earth, but when you turn 16, you become acutely aware that the things you do – the grades you earn, the friends you spend time with, the memories you with – have become more than just a passing blur in the autobiographical film Sofia Coppola will eventually (hopefully) make of your vaguely imagined yet fabulous, incredible life. They become painfully important.

Before 16, you are still a kid. The things you do can be chalked up to being young, or not having enough agency to determine otherwise. You have SO MANY excuses. But after 16, the rug is pulled out from under you. You can make your own life choices now, and now there’s no “I was a stupid middle schooler” excuse to use. For the first time, you can start making changes and choices in your own life, which could potentially set it on infinite different courses, and despite common sense telling you otherwise, you feel the immense pressure that this, this right here very moment, is your only chance to get it right – with your college major, with your future partner, even with your forever memorialized (lucky us) social media profile.

The moral of the story is that it’s freaking hard being 16. So many things in my life that I don’t want to change are changing – higher stress, higher expectations, general anxiety about the future – and the things that should be changing, according to the CW’s teen dramas, are resolutely remaining the same.

So, what’s going to be my plan for navigating this? I don’t know. I think for now, I’m just going to be myself, and let my future, whatever marvelous and terrible plans it has in store for me, follow. It worked for everyone else, right?




Jenna’s back, tell a friend!

sunset, berk

Dear lovely, lovely reader,

I’ve traveled a long, long distance since 2016, and I’m so happy to be home!

I started blogging in 2013, when I read a book called The Clique. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a fluffy series of paperbacks about a clique of middle school girls who are, in sharp contrast to the plucky heroines of the world, shockingly materialistic and mean. They loved lip gloss, Seven for All Mankind jeans, and put-downs, and everyone (include me) loved them. Looking hungrily online for more of Massie, Alicia, Dylan, Kristen, and Kuh-laire, I found the wonderful world of blah-gging.

I eventually moved on from writing about The Clique to writing about their interests. My focus shifted to a little project some of y’all will remember as “Black Hat Belle”, which was shaped around a pseudo-fictional fashionable socialite, who, very predictably, was not accurately portrayed by a thirteen year old. Black Hat Belle mostly gave (terrible) makeup recommendations, posted about designer brands she definitely couldn’t afford, and lied about her age.

When I graduated middle school, I decided I needed a reset. I chose the name “Swallowed in Serendipity”, partly because it was alliterative, but also because it was very, very true for what blogging had become to me. Serendipity is basically a happy coincidence, and it was certainly a very happy coincidence that a series of books about snobby preteen girls from upstate New York had brought me to a medium where, for the first time, I could write whatever I wanted, and people would see it, reply, and maybe actually – a la *gasp* – like it! In a world where middle school girls are not exactly viewed as the most capable or intelligent, it shrouded me in anonymity and gave me a platform for my voice to be heard (even if it was just ice-cold takes about feminism and reviews of drugstore makeup).

For a while, I was very “swallowed” in the blogging world. I posted almost weekly, worked laboriously on headers and backgrounds, and even made feeble attempts to market myself (unfortunately, fourteen year old me was no Kris Jenner). But as I started high school, and was confronted by the wide world of Friends, Boys, and School, because it Really Really Matters Now and Oh Shit, Your Future is Right In Front of You, my blogging fell off.

It’s been a very long road since then. In no particular order: I discovered lattes, learned how to do eyeliner, got my first boyfriend, dumped my first boyfriend, grew apart then closer to then apart from friends, experienced Failure (with a gosh darn capital F!) for the first time, changed my favorite color from peach to baby pink, watched a sunset on the balcony of a sorority house in Berkeley, California (pictured above), pulled all-nighters to do procrastinated projects, watered down my political views to please the cutthroat world of high school, and kind of lost who I am.

Here’s what I still know about me, the work in progress – blogging is one of the few things I really, really truly loved to do, and it deserves another shot. Also, I bought a $50 domain name and everything, so I have to stick to it now, So, reader, if you’re still here two years later and after this long diatribe, let’s do the damn thing!



P.S. – I also learned Spanish!