Five Things for Freshman Kira

Today I graduate from Wake Forest University, virtually and a year early.

Here are five things I would have liked freshman Kira to have known: 

1. They say that college is the best four years of your life, but just know that it probably (and hopefully) won't be. You will certainly have fun and you will definitely make friends, but the kind of fun you have and the friends you make will be different than before. There will be sleepless nights of being with people you only have just met, spontaneous trips and lots of outfits that should not be seen anywhere but in a room lit by LED lights, but there will be also be sleepless nights from loneliness, not remembering a time where the last time you left campus and many many hours staring at your computer screen dragging papers out word by word on a blank document. College is fun, but college is hard

2. College is hard, but only you make it hard. There will be weeks where there is no end in sight for the amount of reading you have to do, papers you have to write and assignments you have to complete all while thinking carefully about what's in the future, taking care of your mental and physical health and keeping up with family and friends. The weirdest part about college is that this feeling of drowning with no end in sight becomes normal and you get used to it because you will learn to adapt your life to it. Eventually you figure out that no matter how many people you say "Ugh, I just have so much to do." you will not get sympathy nor can it be used as an excuse because simply everyone has a lot on their to-do list. You will figure out your system, your routine, what works for you, your favorite study spot and your favorite time of day. Most importantly, you will learn that you cannot pour from an empty cup and there comes a point where you must step back and let the to do list be. 

3. Busy culture is toxic. You will be tempted by the colors of Google Calendar to fill your day to the brim and feed off the buzz of everyone talking about meeting after meeting after meeting. The best secret that you will learn is the power of actually working smarter not harder - not just saying that you are but really making it an active practice. 

4. Some professors will be in your life forever, others you will want to only see during the one hour classes you have twice a week. The relationships you make in your academic settings do not define you, what defines you is your work ethic and consistently bringing into the classroom what interests you. Always connect what you are passionate about to the subject at hand because that's how you make the most boring subject have a spark. Also, rules are made to be broken (to an extent). Sometimes the prompts are boring and you want to talk about something else for a 10 page paper ... but remember to ask for permission not forgiveness when your grade counts upon it.

5. Your college experience does not have to look like anybody else's. Study what you want. Be friends with who you want. Rush a sorority or don't. Regardless of what you do make sure that these decisions are yours and not anybody else's. This period of your life is for you, so make sure you really truly act like it. Take advice but sift through it with caution. Form your own opinions and use your own voice. Ask for help when you need it


(Still) At Home

Not that I am becoming anything of a fashion blogger or anything, but I have time on my hands, a few more assignments to procrastinate and some really cool clothes in my closet that I have forgotten about. I really have enjoyed getting ready and shopping my closet for pieces that I have forgotten about or rarely wear. 

Clothes have always been an investment for me (both in time and money) because of my height and my body build. Whenever I go shopping I always have try on a bunch of pieces in hopes that at least one thing will fit and if nothing does I have learned to simply just say for myself it wasn't meant to be. I am well above the average height of a woman and am small for my frame but standard sized clothing just doesn't fit how I am proportioned.  I have had countless moments in the fluorescent lights of dressing rooms hating every single inch of my body, agonizing why the hell nothing fit me and being furious about having to do life in this body. 

Over the years of dressing and growing older I have learned a few things about how to navigate the clothing market and how to choose the environments where I shop so that I don't walk out of every store in tears like I did when I was sixteen. Investing in quality pieces of clothing is something I have chosen to do for myself, but it has come at a cost of how I spend my money on clothing. I really don't have a lot of clothing and each piece that I own I will wear until it is literally falling apart. In getting ready for the adult world I am realizing that my sense of style is a little all over the place, it's trendy and inspired by my time living in Europe. I am excited to keep playing dress up and shopping my closet to refine my style to make it more appropriate for the DC work environment when I will soon be a part of. 

Despite the fact that the governor of South Carolina and the city of Charleston are starting to alleviate some of the restrictions of our "stay at home" order, I am going to continue to remain at home because this pandemic is far from over and I am choosing to put the safety of the world above my personal wants.

It's definitely not ideal, but trust me when I say that I literally have dreams of the day I can dress up and go get a glass of wine with my friends either here in Charleston or in DC. 

Blouse - Madewell / Shorts - GANNI / Shoes - Golden Goose 

These shorts are from my favorite store here in Charleston called Hampden Clothing. When I was younger I used to model for them and had a lot of wonderful opportunities to work with some top notch designers and photographers in the fashion industry. These shorts are actually a from a Danish label - I love selecting pieces from Scandinavian companies because I have found the Scandinavian industry is made more for us tall and lanky gals, plus it's very nostalgic to wear clothing from Denmark. 

Dress - Scotch & Soda / Boots - Stuart Weitzman 

I am not afraid to invest in quality pieces, but at the same time quality pieces are very expensive. Stores like Nordstrom rack and Saks Off 5th - where I actually purchased these boots when I was in DC this past winter - are wonderful places to find labels that I like but at a fraction of the cost. More recently, however, I have found myself in consignment stores. The best purchase I ever made in a consignment store was here in Charleston where I found a brand new Burberry trench coat with the tags on! 

Suit - Ted Baker / Shirt - Free People / Shoes - J. Crew

Clothes definitely tell a story. This suit here was a purchase in Covent Garden in London last summer and I wore it when my family went to the Henley Royal Regatta. 

Dress - Free People / Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell / Headband - Local Boutique

Sweatshirt - ?? Thrift Store in New York City / Joggers - Lululemon / Shoes - Air Jordan 1 Retro High
I honestly cannot believe that I am ending this post with a "groutfit" (all grey outfit). This is for sure more of a combination I would wear to class on a Friday back in college and maybe to make it a little bit less of a "just rolled out of bed" look I would throw on one of my cool over-sized puffy jackets or even a blazer. The shining star here are the Jordans. I have become quite the sneakerhead since living in Europe where I realized that sneakers weren't just for working out, they could be worn for that instant cool girl factor to any look. I have been known to wear sneakers with really anything ... even to a wedding in the winter I wore these sneakers with beautiful navy cocktail dress from the Danish label Baum Und Pferdgarten.  


Wearable Stories

Travel Memories
Left - Antique 17th Century Berber Ring from Marrakech, Morocco / Right - 18th Century Cameo from Sorrento Italy

My parent's wedding anniversary is on New Years Eve and I remember as a child every year going with them to a fancy jewelry store to look at the sparkly treasures behind the glass casings. I would watch my dad help my mom try on gorgeous necklaces and earrings dreaming about the day where I, too, could wear pieces on my body that reminded me of a a princess. Going to the jewelry store was always such an elegant experience and even now when I think about these days I always associate jewelry with happy memories, celebration and love. A part of growing up has been a journey of what kind of sparkly things I have started to put on my ears and my fingers like my mom except now I am starting to associate my own stories with the pieces to make them my own.

It all started with a beautiful turquoise ring I got when we were in Sedona, Arizona a few years ago that my fascination with the story telling power of jewelry and realizing that what I put on my body doesn't isn't just for show - they are symbols of memories that I have collected throughout my adult life. 

Today, I wear a lot of pieces that I don't take off and have twelve piercings total in my ears. Each hole and each piece of jewelry has a story attached to it. The collection of metal on my ears has grown as I age and each hole holds a piece of jewelry accumulated sometime throughout my travels from Europe to the United States. But it's not just my jewelry that makes my story, its the jewelry of my mom that I am starting to be passed down, some of the ones I watched her try on in the jewelry store as a child. To me, jewelry is not only beautiful its a story and the collection that I wear every day makes me feel like a walking gallery of memories of my own and of my family. 


Last Week of College: At Home

One of the aspects about going to Wake Forest that made college different for me was the fact that people actually dressed up for classes. Whenever I came home my high school friends would get all wide-eyed when they heard this. The uniform of most other southern schools is leggings and a sweatshirt in the winter and an over sized t-shirt and shorts in the spring. At Wake Forest, however, the uniform for the wintertime were puffy coats and leather leggings and you knew it was spring when it seemed like every girl was wearing some kind of floral skirt with trendy sneakers.

At my soon-to-be alma mater, every day was like living in a fashion magazine at Wake Forest. Wake girls sure do know how to dress that's for sure, even when they are dressed down in sweatpants they found some way to make it chic. It made everyday fun because I always got inspiration for the next outfit I wanted to put together and you always had something to talk about while waiting in line for coffee at the ZSR Library Starbucks. While I have had my days of looking like I just rolled out of bed (especially on Fridays;), I'm glad that getting dressed up everyday was a part of my college experience because my style grew as I did.

I have continued to put on real clothes even while in quarantine to make the days seem more like they would if I were at school. I'm not much of a documenter of my outfits besides a mirror pic every now and then (everyday, ok fine), but if I were to have a whole moment of taking photos of what I am wearing, this week seemed like a good one. I present to you what I wore the last week of college while in quarantine.

Monday - verbal presentation for Business French for Management class via Zoom (FRH 330), starting a final essay for my Ethics, Technology and Violence class (POL 252)

Top - Free People / Jeans - Madewell / Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell

Tuesday - last Conspiracy Theories in Latin America class via Zoom (POL 242) and finishing my essay for Ethics, Technology and Violence! (POL 252)

Sweater - J. Crew / Skirt - Free People / Shoes - J. Crew

- last French and Francophone Prose Fiction class via Zoom (FRH 364), completing last written assignment for Business French for Management (FRH 330), completing final essay for French and Francophone Prose Fiction (FRH 364) 

Top - J. Crew / Jeans - J. Crew / Shoes - Golden Goose 
Friday - eased in after a day completely off and worked on a final essay for Conspiracy Theories in Latin America (POL 242) and selected my time for moving out of my apartment back at Wake Forest, took time to breathe 

Dress - Free People / Shoes - Frye 

© Kira Tabor | All rights reserved.