Pinetrees and Orange Juice

i just want to see the world.

2017 Travel Wish List

I never knew how important travel would be to me until this past summer when I voyaged alone, visiting New York City and Toronto. It was a small, but very effective start to my love for travel and adventure. And now having left Denmark last week, I’m itching for more. I want to have clear goals for this year to make it the best yet. I want to make this year count, to learn from others, and to come to understand that the best way to spend your life is by getting to know the world and the people in it. So here’s my travel wish list for this year. Who knows if I’ll make it, but I’ll sure as heck try!

  1. Puerto Rico Related imageImage result for san juan puerto ricoIt’s the raw beauty that draws me in. The lively culture, wonderful food, and glorious people. Oh, and the beaches. From San Juan to El Yunque, I plan to make this an adventure of a lifetime. Puerto Rico here I come!
  2. Boston, MA
    Image result for boston
    Image result for boston summerWhen it comes to Boston, I’m drawn to the history. We hear so much about its richness, its inventiveness, and I’ve never been able to revel in its wondrous past. It would be perfect for a nice weekend trip from Baltimore. Using Megabus, I’m bound to pay no more than $40 roundtrip!
  3. Philadelphia, PA
    Image result for philadelphia summer

    What I’m most excited about is the Silent Philly Party (you get headphones with unique music and jam out so everyone’s dancing but to different beats!) and Oval Opening Day where the Oval is lit up and beautiful.

  4. Montreal  Image result for montreal attractionsImage result for montreal attractionsWhen I think Montreal I think quirky and out-of-this-world! I want to see street art, local shops, and trippy sunsets. For this I’m thinking a week- any suggestions?
  5. Iceland
    Image result for reykjavik iceland northern lightsI’ve dreamt of seeing the Northern Lights in person for the longest time. What a way to see the world! To be in a place where all that matters is the night sky and warm cider, no place is better. The time to go is next winter, with a puffy jacket and a smile to go.
  6. Oslo, Norway Image result for oslo norway fjord
    During my trip to Denmark, we were able to make a weekend trip to Sweden but couldn’t include Norway. But Oslo is the way to do it! The plan is a two week trip to Reykjavik followed by Oslo and ended with Dublin. I can’t end the year without visiting their world-famous fjords, now can I?
  7. Ireland
    Image result for wicklow national parksEver since I first watched P.S. I Love You, I have been OBSESSED with visiting Ireland. Wouldn’t it be wild meeting the love of your life while strolling through Wicklow National Park? And don’t get me started on the pubs. I’m way too excited for the beer- sign me up!
  8. Brazil Image result for salvador brazil
    I hope to end the year on a warm note by checking into Brazil, preferably on a study abroad trip. I’ve been taking Portuguese for the past 2 years and it’s about time I put my skills to use. Caminhar na praia e bebendo caipirinha- legal!

Now go out there and make some goals for your 2017! It’s about time we all take charge of our lives and really make the most of our time here- seeing wonders and truly living life!

A Tale of Two Brothers

Beyond the border.

You always hear the tales of people coming into the United States in hopes of a better tomorrow, in hopes of attaining the “American Dream” for themselves, for their children, for their country. But you rarely hear the stories of the people that have to leave — especially the stories of people who don’t know life beyond their suburban home in Florida or the Kroger’s in Texas. These stories are lost or hidden beneath the illusion of wonder and beauty that blankets outsider perceptions of the United States. To them, the U.S. is seen not as a place in need of repair, but as a place where everyone’s dreams come true and everyone can achieve them if they just work hard enough. But we all know that is not the case. It is not the case for those millions incarcerated every year, for those families who are broken by deportation, for those who fear walking alone at night. But this is not about everyone. This is about my story and how deportation broke my family. This is the story of my two brothers.

It didn’t happen all at once. Time was meticulous in its winding course and decided it best to allow us to collect memories before erasing the future.

I was born in sunny Jacksonville, Florida, along with my younger sister, in the late ’90s. My parents and my two older brothers, however, arrived here roughly 20 years ago with minimal knowledge of the country and even less about their futures. They received their visas and from then on had to walk on eggshells to ensure their stay in my country. My brothers soon enrolled into a neighborhood elementary school, and my parents began searching for work. It was a nice life, and I remember laughing while we bounced on a trampoline, sticky from the summer sun, and played Barbies together in ways only children know how. I remember their toothy smiles and the way that Marco liked to mix his mayo and ketchup as dressing for steaming french fries, and how Jose’s go-to snack was a spongy Twinkie. I remember them getting older and bigger as I did the same. We stretched into the sky with hands grasping for stars and possibility. Little did we know the stars would lose their light and possibility would turn into heartbreak.

Marco went first.

It happened all at once. I was getting ready for school when, as I was pinning back the last baby hairs to my scalp, I heard rapping at the front door. It was my other brother’s girlfriend telling us that there had been an accident with Marco. A swerve-and-miss type of car accident but nothing grave, just a few scratches and shattered glass. But that trite moment was the moment it all changed for us. He was escorted away in a vehicle I knew all too well was not where you wanted to end up. He was away for a while, and we longed for his presence and his laugh and his compassion. He would send us letters on prison stationary telling my sister and me to be good in school and to listen to our mother.

On the back of the letter, there would be sketches of roses and thorns, a reminder that life’s troubles seem to have a meaning in the end. Or at least that’s what he believed. I remember my mother driving down the nine hours to Miami in hopes of appealing his case. She would do this a number of times that year. It was a long year. I accompanied her once with my sister. It was the last time she would go to Miami.

I wrote a heartfelt letter begging the justice system to have mercy and to not take my brother away from me. To not take away the person who taught me how to read, who took me to the doctor’s office when I got sick, who took me out for breakfast before school. We got a chance to look at him on the sad monitor (as he was not allowed to be present) after he was denied and he looked so thin and pale. He was diagnosed with diabetes as a preteen and, in a system where not enough money is allocated appropriately, I can only imagine the emptiness he felt. I remember crying.

I remember crying salty tears and not knowing how to stop them from rolling down my puffy cheeks. It was worse on my mother, who had my brothers very young and cared for them on her own until she found my dad. She was always very fragile. He was sent away to Mexico, where most of my family lives. He was loved by everyone, no doubt, but our family was fragmented by then. We were a bright red rose that lost its petals, never to hope for their return. I never got to see him afterward. He got sick, and that was the end of it.

Then came Jose, the oldest of the two.

He was always very rowdy and rebellious but I loved him nonetheless. He dropped out of high school along with my other brother. I like to think that it was because the education system does not cater well to immigrants or to Latino boys in particular. I like to think that it was because they wanted more in life than the school could offer. He’d gotten in with a not-so-good crowd and made some poor decisions, but I don’t see his white equivalents bearing the same consequences that he did. On numerous occasions, he was incarcerated, but I don’t think from his own merit. I mean, whose fault is it when a room full of students can’t seem to pass math? The students or the teacher?

The last time was the final time and as simple as that, he was deported with the swish of a pen. It was immensely difficult for him. Not being able to write in Spanish was hard enough, but being perceived a delinquent by both the town and our family was another. He left behind a pregnant girlfriend. Three years later, his son has never even seen his face and maybe never will. I hardly talk to him because I have no words for the loss in my heart. I have no words for the confusion I feel and the injustice I can’t seem to shake away.

It’s a difficult thing to talk about. You’re taught it’s shameful to have an immigrant family. It’s a shameful thing to be illegal. You’re taught to forego Spanish and learn to be American in every way imaginable. You’re not educated on your rights, on your parents’ rights, on anything worth learning. I hope that one day they will listen and stop breaking apart families. I hope that those families broken apart will receive justice.

I hope that organizations like the Esperanza Center and La Familia keep fighting and that more narratives are brought into the light. I hope that we no longer have to mourn the loss of our brothers, of our mothers, of our children, and that this will truly become the “land of immigrants” and the “land of the free” we’re always claiming it is. I hope we educate ourselves about our past, about the United States’ past, about our laws, about our rights. I hope we never again have to worry about losing the people we love. And I hope we never lose ourselves and never believe our stories aren’t worth sharing.

For more information on Immigration non-profits, Immigration Laws and Deportation in the U.S., check out these links:


Esperanza Center

Immigration Law in the U.S.

My Immigration Story

American Immigration Council

Immigration Legal Resource Center

‘Orange is the New Black’ and the Black Lives Matter Movement

Warning: Content Warning and Spoilers.

Sitting on a caramel-colored couch, leaning as far forward as my body allowed and clutching a colorful, plume-stuffed pillow. Teeth clenched, popcorn strewn across the coffee table and floor, and the faint but rhythmic beating of my heart. That was me binging the ever-so-intense “Orange is the New Black” when it came out on June 17.

No one ever believed the Netflix Original series would make it big — not the writer, not the producer and not the actors themselves. Some of the actresses, like Samira Wiley, even kept their old jobs because nobody knew whether the show would be received well, let alone become the most-watched show on Netflix to date. Four years later, people are still raving. You see Halloween costumes of “OITNB” crews, books being published about it, and articles galore.

The reason that so many people love it is because it’s different. It’s compelling because it delves into the power of prison dynamics, because it revolts against the system and injustices that permeate it, and because it portrays women as strong and fierce and beautiful. The storyline began as a WASP’s journey through prison, facing her ex-girlfriend, crazy inmates, unhelpful guards, and a useless fiancé. And while that may excite the small percentage of rich, middle-aged ladies who get more manicures a month than I can count, it certainly doesn’t stop there. The show targets any and all women, men and human beings alike because it is so diverse and unique. The show that started out white-focused grew into a platform for conversation about Latinx and black lives so beautifully that I couldn’t understand why nobody had thought about doing it before.

The show creator, Jengi Kohen, sought to humanize prisoners and shed light on the prison systems, drenched with cruelties and injustices like solitary punishment and ineffective counseling. Through flashbacks, the audience is able to connect with the characters and understand that the shootings and the killings and the social disarray in our world involve real people. Learning about Taystee’s experience with the foster care system allowed me to understand why she’s so grounded and family-oriented. Going through Daya’s pregnancy with her illuminated the lack of dignity prisoners receive. Knowing that Bayley, the kid who used to scoop ice cream, was the one responsible for Poussey’s death made our feelings all the more difficult to process. It’s supposed to be complicated. Life imitates art, so they say. And here, they did a fine job representing that.

But this is not about me and why I like the show. This is about the bigger picture. This is about how “Orange is the New Black’s” new season could not have come at a better time. Amidst all of the news reports of mass shootings, murders of transgender women of color and police brutality, there was no better way to reach a more diverse audience than through television. The show drew us into it, into the lives of the many inmates, where we experiences love-hate relationships with Pennsatucky and Piper, full-on hate relationships with Vee, and never-ending love for characters like Taystee and Poussey. Through portrayals of injustices within a confined space like a women’s prison, “OITNB” writers and producers allowed for an organic dialogue to be produced about social injustices. Season Four’s focus was on the Black Lives Matter movement. Four years after the murder of Trayvon Martin and the hundreds of other individuals whose lives have been lost to hate crimes and police brutality, the movement has only grown, gaining more and more support for political reformation and police restructuring.

In Season Four, we follow the “OITNB” crew through a “White Lives Matter”/Nazi-based movement accidentally led by Piper Chapman, clear guard preference for white inmates, and Poussey’s tragic death. Chapman’s development as the “annoying” and often-cringeworthy character is not accidental. We’re supposed to learn from the mistakes of people who believe themselves better than others, from those who do not value loyalty and friendship, and those who don’t know real compassion. We grow to love Daya for her kind heart and love for useless Bennett and her newborn baby. We sympathize with Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” because she’s locked in a sea full of crazy, suffering from mental illness, yet not receiving the help she needs. We realize that hateful people exist, and that by allowing hatred to fester (much like Piper did), movements like the “White Lives Matter” plague grow and create an unforgiveable culture of travesty and brutality.

Through television, “OITNB” is able to tackle the microaggressions faced by the Black and Latinx communities and dissect what it means to be marginalized and disempowered — a powerful effort, especially within a women’s prison, where civil liberties are often ignored and where people are forgotten by the greater society. Instances include scenes like like when the Latinas were more likely to be frisked than the white crew, where the first person tackled during the peaceful protet was a black woman, where a transgender woman of color is pushed to attempt suicide because of ongoing harassment, and where the white crew defends their TV rights by calling the Latinas degenerate and discriminatory names. This is the world we live in. The final blow, the accidental murder of Poussey during the final episode, culminated seasons’ worth of discrimination and name-calling into a single moment, forever etched into the memories of viewers everywhere. We are supposed to feel angry and scared and like we’re close to vomiting. We’re supposed to want to fight back.

These acts of violence transgress the cement prison walls and wire fencing into our own lives. We see it every day. We notice that police presence has increased in predominately black neighborhoods and that blame on crime rates is placed on the neighborhoods in which they occur and not on the system that birthed the crime itself. We notice that significantly fewer Black and Latinx folks attend schools like Johns Hopkins, even though the city’s population is majority black. We notice that foundation brands carry colors only from “Ivory” to “Sandy.” We notice these little things that construe a culture of fear — a culture where Black and Latinx folks must walk about with eyes on the backs of their heads, fearful of police and fearful of authority because it has failed us and our people so many times before. We live in a world where trauma and tragedy occur on the daily, where young white cisgender boys are excused of brutal rape but where an innocent and defenseless black man can be shot at the blink of an eye simply for being black. We feel the rage and the sadness and the fear that the inmates feel because we’re supposed to rise up. We’re supposed to stand up for what we do not like and for what is wrong in our society. We’re supposed to fight back and reclaim our freedom and demand justice.

It is shows like “Orange is the New Black” that provide a platform for conversation about the social failures of our society that continually disempower Blacks, Latinx folks, and people of color in general. The rise in social justice-oriented television and film work educates people who otherwise wouldn’t understand what it’s like to be discriminated against, who don’t have black friends and who don’t quite know how to ask the proper questions. It is shows like “OITNB” that illuminate the systematic oppression faced by millions of people for nothing more than the superficial or the undeserved.

Black Lives Matter is not a moment, but a movement meant to inspire revolution and systematic reorganization of our society and our world. The movement aims to eradicate the institutional and almost secured fatal targeting of black people and secure a lived equality for all. And if creating a show about a women’s prison brings us one step closer to revolution and equality, then so be it. I will stand behind my Black and Latinx people every step of the way.

15 Myths About College

  1. You have to do it. College isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. There’s no point in paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for doing what you don’t like. Many people say “it’s for the experience” but I don’t know of any experience worth $300,000, do you? (I personally love college and only am doing it because I want to)broke.png
  2. You’ll be going out EVERY weekend. This is only true if you make it true but…. don’t be that person. You need to set aside time for proper studying, really hanging out with and getting to know your friends. Also being trashed 24/7 is hardly good for anyone’s reputation. study.jpg
  3. You won’t gain any weight. This is the biggest lie I’ve heard in the history of the universe. I haven’t weighed myself but my pants tell me I’ve been putting on quite a bit. And that’s fine, it’s justifiable. College = stress. Plus food is everywhere you go, especially if you have unlimited meal swipes. Lucky for me I only have 14 a week! fresh15.jpg
  4. You should have your major declared when you walk through the door. I’m a sophomore now and I’ve literally changed what I wanted to do about 10 times in the last month. I’m sure this will continue until the day I “declare” officially and that’s fine. Right now I plan to just remain calm and let life take me where it must. dog.jpg
  5. You’ll remember everyone’s name. I avidly tried to remember everyone’s name. I used all the tricks Google could offer and still I only managed about 80%. Not bad right? Tell that to the 20% that called me out on it. Yeesh, we’re only
  6. You’ll find the love of your life. Well, I don’t know about this one but you shouldn’t bank on it. It’ll consume you like fire, so best to just let destiny unfold. love.jpg
  7. High school prepared you well for college. Absolutely not. 8-3 daily classes, cliques, order, school buses, etc. Here you wake up as late as possible, there’s no time for cliques, everyone’s always everywhere, and no school buses in sight. It’s a blessing but I wasn’t prepared for this craziness. Oh, and I think I have to file taxes this year?!
  8. The professors are amazing. Some can be. I have exactly 2 that are. The rest are either rude, I’ve never spoken to them, or else they’re pretty intimidating. But all is well. Oh and did you know that teachers teach while professors simply profess? What am I paying this money for then? prof
  9. You should overpack. No, just no.  over.jpg
  10. You really need that drying rack. Who doesn’t love wrinkly blouses and faded jeans?
  11. You won’t ever have problems with your roommate/suitemates. This only happens if you let it. Set rules and don’t be passive aggressive like me and complain about them to your friends. I actually like them now, go figure.
  12. Everyone will LOVE you. They might! But don’t expect it. Just give love and ye shall receive.       smile.png
  13. You’ll be staying up all night, every night. I haven’t done that yet, but then again I prioritize sleep above all else so….
  14. You don’t need a planner. My planner has saved my life countless times. I have 2: one to act as a calendar (what is going on when) and another for to-do lists (not a real planner I suppose). plan
  15. You should just break off High School friendships. You will probably stay in touch with max 5% of high school friends. I’ve stayed in touch with 3. No shame.

Hampden: The Classic Charmer

Having been I Baltimore for almost 2 months has allowed me to see some pretty cool stuff, visit some wonderful places and meet some of the best people EVER! But I think one of my favorites has been going to Hampden. It’s within walking distance of my school (which I found out shortly after paying $10 for an Uber to drive me 5 minutes there). It’s like no other place. The buildings are so classic, like the way you see in 80’s movies. There’s a charming aroma of people flocking about here and there with a feather-like demeanor about them. Then there are the places. Oh the places you’ll go, a good friend once said.

The Charmery

The minute I walked inside I was welcomed by genuine smiles and the sweet smell of ice cream. Thank goodness for me they had a most decadent Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream that made my head spin! It’s a city favorite- seriously everyone knows about it. It is definitely charming

Stay Humble Tattoo

I’d had a bad experience in a tattoo shop in Baltimore the previous week and so was a little nervous coming here. But I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Mr. Fran is the best of the best. He made me feel at home with his lovely stories and diligent work that in the end made me feel special. The artists there are clearly talented and genius- I recommend them over anybody.

Osiris's Gardenia tattoo by Fran Massino of Stay Humble Tattoo Company in Baltimore Maryland
I MADE IT ON THE WEBSITE!!!! (I’m way to excited for this)

Atomic Books

Ever since Jacksonville I’d been looking for the perfect bookstore. My ideal is antiques and with a grandfather smell. While that hasn’t yet happened, I did stumble across a super modern and clever bookstore perfect for college kids who need their nerd fix on the daily. This is absolutely perfect for the happy-go-lucky and the adventure-oriented.

Grano Pasta Bar

Never had I had an experience like this. A beautifully lit and romantic dinner (by myself, of course) coupled with lovely staff and yummy food. I may as well have been in Italy. My knack was penne with Pomodoro sauce (vegan and classic)!!

Harmony Bakery

I first encountered a Harmony donut while at Waverly Farmer’s Market on a rainy Saturday morning. I’d been searching for breakfast with a friend when we stopped to check out a booth right in front of a lemonade tent. I struck up a conversation with the apparent owner of the company where we discussed Baltimore’s beauty, the weather, and family. I ended up walking away with a bag full of donuts, brownies, and various other goodies. That clearly made my day 🙂

So this has been my limited experience. It’s been a blast but I hope to hear recommendations as to where I should go next?! Fells Point? Maybe Barclay? Whatever my adventure, I welcome it with a big old smile.

College Money Saving Tips

Broke college kids. It’s a new kind of broke. Sure you have food, light, water, etc. But you can’t go out partying every night and going out to Taylor Swift concerts every time she’s in town which is pretty much broke. And as a college kid, you owe it to yourself (and your parents) to save a bit of dough. You can use that to go to graduate school (just kidding) or skydiving or traveling the world. That’s what I want to do! Here are some simple and effective tips I use that have helped me save bundles.

  1. Keep a piggy bank. Really! Mine is a little wooden treasure chest with a world map all over so I don’t lose motivation. I dump any loose change I may have and a few dollar bills every once in a while.

2. Make coffee yourself or just go to the dining hall. I mean, you’re saving a crap-ton of money. I don’t drink coffee but I have many friends who do. I’m more of a tea person but even so I make it myself in my dorm. Super yummy!

3. Don’t plan hangouts around food (unless it’s in the dining hall). Seriously you aren’t 30 and have no reason to go to dinner with your friends. Be college kids, order some pizza, and binge-watch Netflix together.

4. Limit yourself to spending only on the weekends. I found that when I do this I don’t just go to he store “out of boredom” and pick out random stuff like Kleenex ad paper clips. I also have more time to focus on school (which is the reason for being there right?!).

5. If you work, or your parents send you money, deposit/save a certain amount each week whether it be $100 or $10 it will add up by the time you graduate. Say hello to a trip to Taiwan!

6. Rent or buy used textbooks. And also don’t purchase them before school starts like my eager self did. I ended up buying books, having to switch classes, buying again, and switching again. So I ended up with books I didn’t need. Don’t be me.

7. Stop going on shopping sprees. In high school I would go shopping all the time, like every weekend. Oh lord! There’s no reason for it; you don’t have the money and you don’t have the space for it. Instead read your textbook or start that essay due in 2 weeks.

8.Keep records! In my planner I have a sheet titled “Financial Tracker” where I log down purchases I make so at the end of the week I can assess where I need to cut back or where to shift budget. Also my bank has this phone app where I can see how much I’m spending at what store and when and also what category (clothing, food, entertainment, etc). Cool!

9. Don’t carry more than $60 cash anywhere. You won’t be tempted and honestly you won’t need to! And limit big purchases (new mini fridge because the old one broke down) to your debit card so you won’t use it on your Chipotle lunch.

10. Take fruit and snacks from the dining hall. Just put it on your plate so you can stick it in your bag and munch on later. You’re already paying for it anyways. Tip: Bring a backpack and stuff those yogurt/bananas/whatever-else-you-can-find and stick them in there.

11. Attend the FREE events at your school- many dp concerts, art shows, comedy shows, food festivals and everything in between. Invite friends and have a blast!

10 Ways to Be A Better Person

Now I am in no way qualified to tell you what to do or to say that these tips are scientifically proven to work. I strive to be a good and charitable person because it’s what I believe we’re supposed to do in this world- make it better! I have my faults and am not perfect but I try to be better everyday and with these tips I’ve managed to become a happier person who is incidentally a better version of the person I was yesterday.

  1. Volunteer. Pick something you find interesting and that you love and help others! Maybe you like playing guitar. Now go play for kids in hospitals. Or you’re into art. Teach an art class to kids or at a senior citizen home.

2. Smile. More often and to everyone.

3. Learn something new. Become a smarter and more knowledgable person than you were yesterday.

4. Make a new friend. Learn their story and tell them yours.

5. Give money to someone in need.

6. Give a compliment every once in a while. You like his shirt or her smile? TELL THEM!

7. Love yourself and everything about you because you are a good person who’s worthy of love.

8. Forgive

9. Pass on your knowledge…to your sister… to the dog… to the world.

10. Never stop dreaming and hoping for a better tomorrow.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got A Pixie Cut

I first chopped my long locks when I was 14. It was an accident really? I’d tried to give myself a cool haircut and ended up having to get a pixie. I was devastated. But little did I know it would be the most amazing thing that could have happened to me. Here’s what I learned while having a pixie cut.

  1. It will look odd at first- but only because you know nothing about your hair. So look at Youtube videos and don’t get the same pixie haircut your 50 year old stylist has like I did. It doesn’t look that bad, right?!


2. Everyone will be talking about it for the first few days. Enjoy being center of attention.

3. You dad might hate it (mine still does). p.s. that’s not my dad

4. You can pull of headbands like nobody’s business.


5.And different hair colors

cute2 cute12 cute3cute14

6. You become the “pixie” off all your friends. They come to you for advice on hair.

7. Your hair will be healthier than it was before. My long hair was so dry and had so many split ends I couldn’t bare it. My pixie hair doesn’t and is so shiny and silky. I love it!

8. It takes FOREVER to get it looking good. Seriously!


9. You look good in everything! And not everyone can pull it off. But you did, Sunshine!

cute   cute13

10. You will fall in love with it and probably never want to grow it out! (I unfortunately do, maybe).


Bonus #11. You look back at old picture and can’t even remember having long hair.

cute9     cute11

10 Tips to Teach Yourself A New Language

I believe it’s super important in this day and age to be cultured and knowledgeable about the world and the people in it. One way to get this done is to learn a language. Be bilingual, trilingual, quintelingual.All that jazz. By using these tips I was able to become a beginner ASL and Portuguese speaker over the summer. Of course I’m no genius but with enough time I can become a fluent and effortless speaker. So here’s what I did.

  1. Make a friend (who speaks that language).
  2. Get study tools (like books, CDs, Youtube videos, etc).
  3. Become motivated and excited- be an active learner.
  4. Have a goal! Do you want to learn how to write? Speak only? Read and understand? It’s important to know what you’re working towards.
  5. Take a class, maybe? Although I’ve been teaching myself I am a person who does better when they’re taught by another person so I’m taking a Portuguese class in college. I learn faster!
  6. Don’t be afraid to practice (in public if need be)
  7. Go back to High School (as in using flashcards and posting words with definitions all over your house)
  8. Practice Practice Practice
  9. Get a pal who can learn it with you too. There’s a boost of motivation to learn and practice often.
  10. Don’t get discouraged, it takes time!

Now I’ll start teaching myself Italian. Ciao!

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