tour advice


1) have all your info ready and the page up before the they go on sale to get a good spot. Such as email, your address if you want physical tickets, credit card info.

2) research the theater to figure out where it is and maybe even which row to get tickets for

3) The merch line before hand is pretty clear but if the opening starts while you’re still in line you might be screwed. It’s hard to hear the announcements over the screaming but dimming light mean get to your seat now.

4) Be considerate when taking photos. It can be kinda dark but the stage lights are enough for pictures. Don’t use flash.

Also do not hold your phone way up, people behind you want to be able to see

5) Mind the paddles. Last time there were voting paddles, dont wave these randomly in the air, it makes it hard for others to see

6) Don’t bring gifts for the team. Last time they asked people not to because they are traveling in limited space.

7) Be nice to Amy and Katherine. Last time these lovely ladies went into the audience to hold mics for a QnA at the end. Be nice to them, they’re both very sweet and are helping out. Do not shout or grab at them.

8)STAY IN YOUR SEAT! Do not randomly stand up for no reason.You can stand when they’re asking for volunteers and such, but not randomly to shout things. If you need to leave try and stay low to not disturb others.

9) ASK APPROPRIATE QUESTIONS! there are younger people in the audience, i saw some very young kids like 8 or 9. Also people may have their parents there.

10) Dont bring big signs. it makes it impossible for people to see

11) Just be nice


anonymous asked:

What's the earliest a soldier can be told they're going to deploy?

As is often the case, kinda depends on whether you’re looking at early WoT deployments or the current state of affairs, as well as which part of the army your soldier is in. Obviously cadre like drill sergeants and AIT instructors aren’t suddenly going to up and deploy; they’re specifically in that part of the army to train new soldiers. Recruiters too are fulfilling a specific contract for a set time at a set location.

In my branch at the time, we were on deployment rotations. At any given time, one battalion would be leaving the deployment, one battalion would be emplacing in the same location the previous had just left, and a third would be preparing to deploy to said location at a fixed point in the future. It was a constant, so as long as you stayed in the same unit you were fairly certain of how frequent your deployments would be. 

Having said all that:

1. A soldier might be assigned to a unit and then immediately face deployment. It depends on your dwell time, meaning how much time the army is obligated to give you before you get deployed. But because soldiers can waive their dwell time, you could potentially wind up in a unit and ready to deploy a week later. 

2. If a soldier just returned from deployment, they can’t be deployed again for at least twelve months, (although that’s a soft “can’t” and the army has been known to do this anyway) unless they waive their dwell time. Worth noting that allegedly, the average time a soldier stays home these days is three years, but in the surge-era you might see someone deploy for nine, home for six, then go out for nine again.

3. We don’t know exactly when we deploy. Even if we know twelve months ahead of time that we’re deploying. It’s all a big matter of security and such. We know we’re going to deploy in this month-ish, probably within a week or so of x. Don’t worry; we’ve been packed and prepared for months now, so it doesn’t matter how little we know! We only got the official date and time a couple days before; dunno if that’s the standard or just how we were. Then we get the official word shortly before it happens, we show up, and we wait around for hours and hours or a day or however long it takes until they’re ready to take us. So if you want to be really pedantic about it, we don’t know when we’re about to deploy until like an hour or so beforehand.

Naturally we aren’t allowed to disclose exact flight times, locations, landings, etc, even to spouses. “Security.”

Casual reminder: overseas tours to places like Germany, South Korea, Guam, Japan, etc are not deployments, so those places have nothing to do with anything i said here.


If you felt engaged or enlightened by the above post, would you please consider checking out my Patreon? Your small contribution can make a huge difference for me. Thank you for your support!

And so, I say to you, when you start to compare yourself to other people, please change the channel in your mind to something else. Because I think that when it comes to how we see ourselves, other people are really mean, but we’re REALLY mean to ourselves. So it’s easy to get confused; and when you do get confused, and you start feeling like you’re not special, or you’re not different, or you have nothing important to say - we all feel like that sometimes.
What I want you to do right now, if there’s one thing you remember from tonight, remember what I’m about to say. You need to look into a mirror in the morning and NOT tell yourself that you’re not special, or you’re not good enough, you’re not pretty or you’re not awesome.
I’m gonna tell you right now the things you actually are not, okay, these are the things you really are not. You are not the opinion of somebody who doesn’t know you. You are not damaged goods just because you’ve made mistakes in your life. You are not going nowhere just because you haven’t gotten where you want to go yet. Those are the things you actually are not; now, I want to tell you what you are.
You are your own definition of beautiful and worthwhile, that’s what you are. You are someone who is wiser because you’ve made mistakes; not damaged, wiser. You are somebody who is going through whatever you’re going through in your life that’s stressing you out, or confusing you or making you upset, but you got out of bed, and you put on an awesome outfit, and you came to a concert and now we are all having the best time ever on a Wednesday night.
You know it’s not about perfection. It’s about just getting on with things sometimes. Sometimes you just get credit for getting up and going on with things and you don’t have to do it perfectly. And I think that we mistake our mistakes for damage, and we think other people will judge us for them. But I want you to know that the way I see mistakes, they don’t make you damaged. They make you clean.
—  Taylor Swift, 1989 World Tour Manchester, 24th June 2015
Our Hiatus Vacation Stories
Main Episode: Get the GMM Coffee Mug! Get the GMM Poster plus the GMM T...

For all those MB’s who are going to be meeting RandL on the BOM tour, here are some fan stories and pieces of advice:  

According to Rhett:

He will hug you, but don’t break the 12 second rule. 

He will love you forever if you make him a cool gift. 

Make sure to have GMM paused on your phone so you can show him you are a super fan. 

According to Link:

You make it weird, it’s going on GMM. 

He’s willing to sign your peck and shoes. 

He get’s excited if you recognize him when he is with his family. (Gives him a chance to show off.)

Don’t lay your head on his shoulder and cry. 

Maybe you lost someone you never expected you would lose. Maybe you lost yourself, that’s even worse. When you have bad days that just won’t let up, I just hope that you will look in the mirror and remind yourself of what you are and what you are not. You are not your mistakes. You are not damaged goods or muddy from your failed explorations. You are not the opinion of someone who doesn’t know you. You are a product of the lessons that you’ve learned. You are wiser because you went through something terrible. And you are the person who survived a bunch of rainstorms and kept walking. I now believe that pain makes you stronger and I now believe that walking through a lot of rainstorms gets you clean.
—  Taylor Swift’s speech before Clean

anonymous asked:

Do you think we'll see Dean and Jody discuss Cas? Does Jody even know Cas exists? They told her s8 angels exits and she was claire but still i thibk textually they never mentioned his name around her? Im guessing they are gonna discuss Deans feeling about Mary since Jody knew her but Cas?

I don’t know, which I know I say to like basically all questions about speculation but this one is something I don’t really have a clue about and I’m not even sitting on my thumbs pretending not to have an opinion because I’d rather not say anything on the record until I know I’m right or not… I really, genuinely, to the best of my ability to sound it all out and guess from the available information, don’t know :P 

It depends how they handle Cas being gone overall, whether Dean’s openly, loudly mourning him all the time every episode constantly, which is a detail where I’d only be able to offer you a confident speculation on the eve of this episode anyway after seeing the first 2. If Dean goes stoic and jaw-twitchy but quiet about it then probably not but that’s just like… super obvious and short term.

In the mean time, please assume the tin foil hat position you’d take to listen to a conversation that sounds like this:

There’s quite a lot to pack in with meeting Patience, and getting our guys some good face to face time with Jody for any emotional support they need to sponge off her. Sam doesn’t seem to be around so he may be off with Jack, but if he wasn’t, he’d probably want to learn how to be a mom to him from Jody, for all we know :P Thematically it might sort of be that way anyhow - if Patience doesn’t come in direct contact with Sam it seems ridiculously unlikely she’s not going to be thematically connected to him and therefore Jack through an extremely easy join the dots between 13x03 and 1x09. (Sam already kinda went one round with this sort of thing in 12x04 so in a way he’s got his booster shot of dealing with it directly so it can just be storytelling mirrors for him :P)

Certainly Jody is more connected to Mary symbolically and in general the Wayward Sisters stuff has been more about parenting and those dynamics recently, with 11x12 looking at how Jody copes and teasing us with hindsight for Mary’s return with Dean talking to her about wishing his mom had been around, and in 12x06 and 12x22 she and Mary sort of bounce off each other as moms directly in a continuation of that - in 12x16 she’s not around except on the other end of phonecalls but Dean’s carrying on parenting Claire as a hunter a lil bit. 

Of all of those, 11x12 was the only one to make a nod to Cas with Claire holding grumpy cat in one of her scenes, but the show has decided to treat him a lot as just the inciting incident to get her onto the road hunting by dragging her into the life, while Dean does the thing he does around feisty wayward teenagers, and probably was mostly responsible for switching Claire’s amateur detective attempt onto a hunting thing in 10x20. I don’t want to make Claire cringe but I think she thought he was actually kinda cool and inspired her or something, because she had not had any interest in the supernatural side of things before that episode… 

Despite all her connections to Cas I think Dean sort of birthed hunter!Claire, so the story sort of wanders that direction and leaves Cas behind because he’s more like Azazel in Claire’s story than anything, even if a very sad soft squishy Azazel who gave her a stuffed toy for her birthday :P Still they played it like her forgiving and hugging Cas was about the same as Dean finally getting to shoot Azazel, in both case freeing them to go do their job with the angsty backstory resolved…

In any case, I think Cas is probably an emergency contact Jody has for Claire-related stuff, although whether they told her to or not, she’d probably always call Sam and Dean first because she knows and understands them (and has met them), and I think the story is asking us to believe that with this symbolism of Claire getting past what Cas did to her family, she’s in a new stage of life he’s not a part of in the same way even if she does cling onto grumpy cat, and Cas is still family to people who consider Jody as family, who she considers family. Sort of shunting him from awkward dad no. 3 of 4 as per 10x20′s recap and symbolism to a weird uncle or something. (Although if Jody has mom symbolism to both Claire and Dean, that makes them siblings and Cas her brother in law… this found family stuff is really difficult :P)

So there’s all that shaping my expectations - Claire’s not in the episode and she’s our connection between Cas and Jody. Previous episodes have made it clear that Sam and Dean really hate calling even beloved friends with their shit and don’t tell Jody alarmingly huge things like that Mary came back from death. She’s been offering a shoulder to Dean personally while he’s been going through all his stuff, and in 9x08 I think Sam did open up to Jody more than Dean even when they were all in the same room, never mind in that and 7x12 they got split up from Dean and actually bonded (And I think this is also a quote from Kim Rhodes but also just something fairly obvious, that because Sam was the one connected to her more in her intro episode and ended up shooting her zombie son for her, they’ve always had a closer emotional bond via shared trauma). 

I don’t think it’s showing that Sam and Jody aren’t as close now to have her switch focus to Dean but that Jody is determined to get Dean to open up to her *too*. In 12x06 they have really different attitudes about her when Sam makes the comment about Dean’s “animated Japanese erotica” which show how they’ve grown in different directions with Jody. So I think Sam’s closeness to her is fairly accepted fact and now Dean’s the tough nut to crack for her :P Anyway she’s made the offer two or three times now that she’s there to talk if Dean in particular needs her (definitely 10x08 and 12x06… Can’t remember if she said as much in 11x12 although they did also have an actual personal conversation in that episode, so one point to Jody there). I think 12x06 made it clear there’s still an owed conversation of greater than that opening up and spilling the beans on what’s making him emo right now, so there’s that.

And Cas and Mary have been connected all through season 12, in their arcs, in the subtext, in basically everything, and Dean textually named that in 12x22 that in the start of the season he’d “got Cas back, got Mom back” and in 12x23 of course he loses both, again, in a highly inter-connected way, and so again they’re going to be parallel lines to him, though again I think showing how he feels differently about one and the other and hopefully we get to unpack what those individual losses mean by the way of having both at once (and Crowley, who often in these cases is included to put a finger on the scale :P). 

One of the things confusing me right now is of last night’s behind the scenes set peeking which revealed a Turducken Slammer relaunch from the ever-hopeful Biggerson’s, which is not letting frequent murder and mayhem and dodgy meat recalls on its premises stop it from trying. Even if it’s as overall irrelevant to the story in the sense of being mentioned or actually explored as the Mystery Spot sign in 12x01, it’s still telling us something and making connections. I mean yeah it can just be worldbuilding continuity but it’s always picked for a reason and they know what all these signs mean and how to connect them, which is why we have the beer language for example. 

And Jody is pretty deeply connected to season 7 and Dean’s arc. And this connection was obliquely referenced in 12x06 in that moment I already mentioned, where Sam outs Dean’s porn habits to Jody. It was a nod from Yockey that he’d watched past Jody episodes because in every way it was a season 12 style rehash of Sam’s “strictly into Dick” comment, which was from a Jody episode. And… look, maybe this is the best way to explain how I felt the season 12 references were kind of out of this world in their scope and intelligence :P 

For starters, that comment was not just a run of the mill Dick joke, that was a Robbie level Dick joke, which collected up a hilarious character thing for Sam (his fucked up moment when he should have made the barb, his determination to hang onto the Best Zinger Of His Life until Dean next gave him an opportunity and bless Sam’s cotton socks he delivered it like a pro :P) and Dean’s spiralling obsession with Dick as a Dick or Anime thing. Dean’s anime-watching was from 7x01, when he was waiting for Godstiel to blow up the planet in despair, and was at just about the lowest point we’ve ever seen him. In 7x02 Bobby gives him the “You just lost your best friend” pep talk, which is a role of comforting parental figure Dean then went and lost that season when Bobby died. And in the end of 7x02 Dean reveals how Not Fine he is to Bobby’s answerphone, which is important that it’s never commented on again but I think affects how Bobby treats him and in the subtext of 7x09 you have to know all that happened. 

In 7x09 Bobby’s on his farewell tour of comforting advice to his adopted sons, in the last great set of retconning episodes to embed him permanently into their backstory as having always been there for them, to make it hurt juuust that much more than it already does. Towards the end of the episode he has another talk with Dean that mirrors advice Dean will get from Frank and Ness in 7x11 and 7x12, and *that* is opened up by Dean getting drugged by the turducken slammer and going on about how he doesn’t care about how he doesn’t care, and that he feels great for the first time since Cas and the black goo. Like, wow, his depression and hurt and betrayal didn’t go anywhere just because he said he was fine, who knew :P 

And that’s the backstory to Dean’s obsession over killing Dick, who has taken everything from him by this point in season 7, told through the medium of anime and sandwiches and somehow always ending up about Cas and Dean’s feelings for him. The anime was an attempt to not care and not think about it that the slammer actually inflicted on Dean, and was used to get Dean to tell us how he really felt. By 7x12 it’s a joke for Sam to make implying Dean’s into lowercase dick, with one of those false binaries the show loves making. And like in season 13 Dean’s lost a love interest and a parental figure, and now things are really blurry about which one hurts more in this short run of episodes before they both reappear in the narrative and make it confusing. 7x11 makes the hurt most about Bobby. 7x12 subtextually tells us rather a lot about Cas, especially by making a Bobby figure to contrast in the background with the lady in the shop who literally calls Dean an idjit at some point, I think, or some other Bobby-ism, to make it clear that Ness is definitely not standing in for that and all those Cas parallels are probably where it’s at while Dean fangirls over him :P 

And nope I’m not even done unpacking the Yockey Robbie Edlund turducken because of course JODY is all tied up in this completely. She’s incidentally in 7x02 as a useful local beloved character who can get menaced by Dr Sexy and let them know there’s leviathan nearby, and so she’s pretty embedded in the early Leviathan worldbuilding. Of course Edlund being Edlund, while the lil girl leviathan is channel surfing for ideas, there’s a Biggerson’s advert, I think the same one that plays in 7x03 or 7x22 about their pie salad bar (it’s like a salad bar, but pie!) and in the end she lands on wanting to be a Dr Sexy when she grows up. 

(Stop me when you think this might somehow subtextually be about Dean :P)

The Dr Sexy leviathan has an amusingly childlike view on being a surgeon as a result of forming its opinions on that job while being a little girl, and apparently not listening to the memories of the poor guy it ate except to get a frightening knowledge of anatomy. It very much acts the part of being a doctor on TV who can just wheel patients off to perform unnecessary surgery, as per the malpractice of our favourite sexy doctor on TV - and there’s a thing to contemplate about “I’m not a doctor, I just play one one TV” but that’s digressing :P But it goes and menaces Jody and Bobby goes and saves her, and Robbie brings her back 2 more times in season 7, once in 7x06 to thank Bobby for saving her, and to link them romantically so she can even more handily take over the parental role by being romantically linked to their adopted father, which is just a sort of easy association to help. And in 7x12 of course she’s just there and helping and mourning Bobby a lil bit with Sam (since Dean was the one in the focus for mourning Bobby in 7x11), drinking his dubiously won scotch from 11x16 (… Rufus didn’t have to let him have that one, Bobby WAS insisting it was a ghost :P I think he just wanted Bobby to have a win after seeing how down he was.) But that IS a Jody episode so it would have been on Yockey’s list for homework for 12x06 and it contained the anime/Dick thing. 

And, if he’d watched the deleted scene, at the end of the episode Dean makes it clear that he’s not sitting alone in the dark watching anime, he is strictly into Dick, and goes and reads an article on Dick “erecting” a tower.

(I hope it is clear how much I love the Dick references in season 7 by now and I’m not sorry, they started it :P)

So yeah. Jody is already intrinsically linked into a ridiculous chunk of the Dean/Cas subtext from season 7, the absolute wild nonsense that Edlund and Robbie were messing around with with pie and turducken and Dr Sexy and anime and Dick, to create the absolutely most ridiculous, like… no one part of it on its own in isolation doesn’t make you cry laughing, bit of storytelling (that, of course, added up into a full picture, just makes you cry a lot in earnest for poor Dean right then).

To me this is the picture of Dean mourning Cas in season 7, and the unique elements to season 7 are the anime (already referenced in season 12 just as an aside and I don’t think as anything more than a witty reference to past canon except that Dean was “kinda bummed” about Cas being gone (and don’t worry, I’m getting to Berens :P)) and the turducken, and Jody as one of the key characters wandering through all this picking up the emotional baton from Bobby, which she has been attempting to use on them ever since season 9, when they got back in contact with her after neglecting her all of season 8. 

(And, oh gosh, I stared out the window to try and collect my thoughts for the next paragraph and washed up on thinking about Sam going and crashing out on Jody over the Dean in Purgatory period instead of hitting a dog and ending up with Amelia, like Dean with Lisa except by the time Dean gets back Sam’s probably been whipped into shape and is wandering around Sioux Falls in a deputy uniform…)

Anyway yeah, to go back to 13x03 finally… If the Turducken sign isn’t portentous of anything, I’m still seeing the Gas n Sip sign, in the maroon colours rather than blue one, but still, in a Berens episode. And if you can’t get mourning Cas in season 7 via Jody and a turducken related things to stick, you can totally shortcut through the fairly simple steps of Berens + Gas n Sip = 9x06 and assume whatever personal feelings stuff Dean and Jody talk about, this is a great way to cram Cas into the background via the enormous glowing yellow sun that has come to represent him. (And, of course, it was Berens who had the “morning, Sunshine” line for us in 12x03.)

So I think the set stuff and character stuff all have some fairly good slap to the back of the head things for Dean to maybe open up to Jody or at the very least for whatever he says to her to be heavily subtextually about Cas even if Jody asks about Mary. Because Dean’s wearing weirdly Cas-coded clothes, and Jody is wearing the family unity red n blue plaid colours. The maroon Gas n Sip seems to be more about family and even Wayward Sisters, since it was prominently used behind Claire in 12x16 and maroon has been a lot about family because of the infamous red hoodie that Kevin, Charlie and Cas all wore, and that Mary was put in maroon within an episode of getting back (and Chuck tried to cash in on it in 11x21 to make himself look harmless and cute and relatable in the same hoodie). But even in 12x16 having the Gas n Sip sun looking over Claire, with her connections to Cas, made it seem like he was watching over her too. The colours change the meaning in some ways but the overall message is the same. I think in 13x03 we have to remember it’s also going to be about the Wayward Sisters so whether Jody and Dean are having a personal conversation or not, the sun might be about Cas but the overall thing might be a more neutral family building thing for the main arc stuff. If it was a blue Gas n Sip I’d immediately think it was all about Cas and oozing tragic subtext *everywhere* and completely unavoidably.

(it might also just be that they’re maroon because Biggerson’s are and maybe there’s some sort of corporate alliance of Gas n Sips connected to Biggerson’s, because, after all, Dick Roman ended up owning both franchises and by 7x23 you can see that both are involved in his masterplan, which is part of why I love so much Cas is then intimately connected to both later while still in a gloomy penance mood about the whole thing and everything he’s ever done since…)

… So to actually answer your question, I can see some really really convoluted reasons in the history of the show that if Dean and Jody have their big important “seriously how are you” talk in this exact location while hanging out and hugging in front of all these signs, that they might either not mention Cas at all because he’s not a part of the openly stated story going on between Dean and Jody and all this family stuff and Wayward Sisters and everything absorbed into the entire chunk of the show about parental relationships, of which Jody has been a part since 7x06 thanks to Robbie. Or it’s a part of the emotional backstory to Dean losing Cas which Edlund kicked into high gear in 7x02 while dibsing all the important Dean and Bobby conversations which shine a light on Dean’s loss and Cas, also dragging Jody into a ridiculous web of Dr Sexy and stuff that Robbie and then much much later Yockey were playing around with.

Either way,
What’s Your City’s ‘Newly Annoying’ Neighborhood? Ask Hedwig.
How hyperspecific material makes local residents laugh on the national tour of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
By Erik Piepenburg

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” always uses topical and local references written just for the cities where it plays. So it’s natural that when the musical’s national tour finishes in Washington next month, Hedwig, played by Euan Morton, right, will save her wrath for the most topical local of them all: President Trump.

John Cameron Mitchell, who created the show with Stephen Trask, explains that Hedwig, an East German transgender glam-rocker who escapes Communism, “will be identifying with another Eastern European gold digger.”

The line? “I sit in my mobile home watching the Berlin Wall come down, recalling with envy Mother’s escape to sunny Yugoslavia with the help of her close friend Melania. We are all Melania now.”

Other typical targets include local celebrities, conservative politicians, hipster enclaves and the “rough street in town,” explained Mr. Morton, who along with Mr. Mitchell, wrote most of the material for this part of the tour. They get advice from Michael Rudd, the assistant company manager, who from city to city collects suggestions from residents on references that might click.

A listing of some of the Many location specific lines in the Hedwig tour

College Visit Season

We are right in the middle of college visit season. College visits serve a key role in the college application process. They can help you grow or narrow your list of prospective schools, get advice on a certain school’s specific application process, get a feel for the campus life, ask questions to students and faculty of that school, and many other things. I myself have already been on 6 college visits this summer and plan to go on 4 more. Some of you have probably already started and some of you may not have, so I am here to give you my tips and advice for college visits.

  1. Schedule both an information session and a tour. Most universities offer both an information session and a campus tour. Information sessions are presentations/talks given to prospective students and their parents by an actual admissions officer from that university and often also a student representative. Most information sessions discuss different aspects of the university such as academics, campus life, athletics, research opportunities, and more. The information sessions then usually continues with an explanation of the school’s application process and requirements. And finally, it closes with a Q and A session with the admissions officer. Information sessions are a great way to get to know the school better and get familiar with their application process. After the information session you will usually be led outside to student tour guides waiting for you. I’m going to go a little bit off topic here with a tip inside a tip but, if you have the choice of choosing your tour guide, go around and ask the tour guides what they are majoring in and what their interests are. Having a tour guide who is interested in similar things as you will give you a more tailored experience and an opportunity to find out more about your areas of interest. It’s also an added bonus if they talk loud. Nothing is worse than a quiet tour guide. Moving on, the tour guide will take you through campus and show you the major landmarks. They will tell you all about the school but will most likely focus on the campus life aspect because they are a student there and who better to tell about campus life than an actual current student. Both the information session and campus tour will give you an inside look at that college.
  2. Always be on the look out for bonus opportunities and take advantage of them. For example, I have been on multiple college visits where they have offered an optional dorm tour. These extra opportunities can give you a better look into the school that you might have not seen before.
  3. Plan. First, make sure to schedule for an information session and tour online at the college’s website. Then, make sure you know exactly where to go and where to park, especially if you are in a big city. Most big city schools are more accessible by public transportation so look that up and see if it’s a good option for you. Also, tying into the next tip, make sure you know what time the information session starts and how long it will take you to get there. Organization is key for a well-planned, stress-free visit.
  4. ARRIVE EARLY!!! I cannot stress this enough! I recommend arriving at least a half hour before your information session starts. It will allow you time to get to the specified room/building and sign in. Also, the earlier you’re there, the better seats you will get. This summer I have even been arriving an hour and a half to an hour ahead of time to walk to the bookstore and get a little souvenir or two. Last summer at a college visit, I did not worry about arriving early and ended up having to walk a long way to the building, couldn’t find the room, then had to do the walk of shame into the room while the information session was halfway over. It never hurts to be early.
  5. Take notes. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Notes? Really? Isn’t it summer? Yes. Yes. and Yes. Taking notes is extremely important! The most important thing to take notes on is not how many undergraduate students there are on campus, or if freshman can have cars on campus, or when you have to declare your major. These things are all useful pieces of information to know, however you can pretty much find the answer to every one of those types of questions online. What you want to take notes on is how the college made you feel, what the people are like, and how nice the campus is. After a few months go by, you won’t really be able to recall all the little things that you liked about the college and how it made you feel. By taking notes on these things, you’ll be able to recall those memories and make a better decision on which colleges you liked and which you didn’t. Also, most colleges have a “Why *insert college name here*?” essay on their application. To prepare for this take notes on your favorite aspects of the college and what really entices you to apply there. I had an information session a few weeks ago where the admissions officer spoke to us about these types of essays. He told us that the most common type of answer they get is just a description of that university. For example, a common answer to a “Why Harvard?” essay would basically summarize to this: I want to go to Harvard because I’m looking for a small to mid-sized research based ivy league/private school near a big city. These are the worst answers to a “Why ______?” essay. Admissions are officers are looking for you to be specific. They are trying to see if and how you will fit into their university. I spoke with a student/tour guide at another college visit who told me her essay was about how the university had one of the only American Sign Language programs in the country, which was something she was very interested in. She also wrote about what clubs she wanted to be a part of and how she saw herself walking through campus. So, taking notes on what programs, departments, clubs, and opportunities intrigue you most can help you in the long run.
  6. Ask questions. This is your best time to ask questions. You have access to admissions officers and current students, both of which are happy to help. I had a tour guide once who highly encouraged us to come up and talk with her on the walks in between destinations because she was genuinely interested in us. The admissions officers and student tour guides want to be there, want to answer your questions, and want to share their experiences. So feel free to ask about a specific program or department that interests you, or what their favorite and least favorite things about that university are, or what clubs/organizations they offer. Get invested and interested!
  7. Spend extra time/take your time. After your tour, take some time to walk around the campus by yourself. The tour will not show you every part of the campus so take an adventure and find something that interests you and get a better feel for campus. I also recommend grabbing a bite to eat on campus (this isn’t always possible during the summer as the eateries are not always open so instead grab something to eat at a local restaurant right outside campus) and even chatting with a random student or two. Finally, try to limit yourself to one college visit a day. Cramming in two or more visits in a day can cause you to rush and feel overwhelmed. You really want to take your time and soak everything in.

Well, those are my tips on how to improve your college visits. Hope they helped. I am happy to answer any of your questions.

Tips for Visiting Colleges

First of all, it can be really difficult if you live far away to visit a lot of colleges. But if you manage to visit a college, like Smith, here are my tips:

1.) Sign up for the information session and tour! These can be really useful to learn about the college’s history, their programs, and to help see the campus!
2.) …but also make sure to venture out beyond what the admissions office curates. Talk to students. Go sit in the library or on a park bench. Can you see yourself living there for four years?
3.) Ask questions. I wish I had asked more questions on every college visit I did. Questions like “What is one thing you wish you had known about Smith before coming here?” Or “What is your favorite memory/tradition at Smith?” can be really useful to help decide on a college, but also ask about amazing professors, the feels of different houses, or the popularity of a certain club.
4.) Sit in on a class!!!!!!!! This is so important. College is, first and foremost, about academics. And make sure to stay after the class is over and talk to the professor! Often, they have really valuable insight about the college and are super helpful.
5.) Don’t feel embarrassed. Touring colleges is scary and intimidating. But don’t hang back and be shy during tours or around campus! Tour guides at Smith are extremely nice and want to answer any questions you can and customize the tour to your interests!
6.) Make sure to check out the surrounding town! Northampton is an AMAZING place. After visiting Smith, my mom and I browsed the quirky shops and cafes on Main Street, and it really helped me visualize what my time at Smith could be like!
7.) MOST IMPORTANTLY: Do not go in with any expectations based on other’s experiences or rank or something trivial like that. This is YOUR college experience, and YOU need to be the one happy with your college.

Feeling Anxious About the Tour of Mythicality? I Got Some Great Advice

Not Tour of Mythicality or RandL specific but I thought it was so useful. Thank you to @schiefergrau for sharing their insight and expertise in the meet and greet world.

First of all: don’t worry too much. I know, easier said than done. But there’s something you should always remember: this is going to be a very big deal for YOU. For them? Not so much.
This has good and bad sides. It’s probably bad when you come to a M&G expecting you all to be best friends for life now. But I’ve got a feeling that you aren’t that kind of person. ;)
So really, it’s a good thing. They have done this hundreds of times. They’ve seen it all. You’d have to be exceptionally outlandish to be the worst person. Any kind of fangirling (is there a non-gendered alternative? Forgive me, I’m obviously a none native speaker) will NOT shock them. And after all, meet and greets are a great way for artists to make a good chunk of extra money. Dealing with excited fans is their job at that moment. :D

I can’t tell you what you should do - this is your meeting and you should do whatever you want. Enjoy yourself. Just don’t cross any boundaries.
Hard social rules:
-leave out any shipping,
-don’t harass anybody (sexually); this includes bringing a sex toy box (no, I didn’t make this up. This is something that once happened at a Smallville Con. For real. )), if you need to, tell them they’re hot. Note that this could make them uncomfortable. Do at your own risk.
-don’t ask very personal questions (“what’s your favourite love song” is probably fine, “how often do you fuck your wife” rather not).
-hugging and touching are fine and standard, but look for social cues and try not to make people uncomfortable.

What you should do:

-Bring something you want to have singed. Be reasonable and don’t turn up with 25 shirts. I’d stay away from singing body parts, shoes or underwear. Some people are, rightfully, icky about them.
-did you interact with them in any way before? Send something in, got reblogged/retweeted? Bring it up if you want, leave it out if you’d rather stay anonym. Just don’t be disappointed if they don’t remember.
- tell them what they mean to you if you feel the need to. We’re all slightly embarrassed about our own soppy feelings, but can’t we all appreciate them when others direct them at us? ;)
- have fun, you paid good money for this

Warped Tour Advice
  • I wanna make sure all my fellow Warped Tour attendees (no matter what day you're going) are well-prepared. So I've composed a list for you all : )
  • Pack your bag the night before: don't rush around the morning you're leaving if it can be avoided. Make sure you've got everything ready before the big day
  • Eat breakfast: i know skipping breakfast might be tempting (especially if you're up earlier than usual) but it'll probably be your last meal in an air-conditioned building for a few hours. Also, make sure it's something with substance
  • Buy water: while you're buying your three cans to donate/skip ahead in line, grab two bottles of water. One should be that giant-ass sized one; SAVE THE GIANT WATER BOTTLE. It has to be sealed and unopened if you wanna take it in with you. Have a smaller one for while you're waiting in line and can throw away before walking in.
  • Visit an ATM beforehand: yes there will be machines to withdraw cash from, but you'll have to pay a usage fee. Fees suck. Make sure you stop at an ATM (maybe even the day before) so that you have cash for all the goodies to buy
  • Make food: bring some sandwiches or what not for when you're starving and racing across the venue to see the next band on your list
  • Bring a backpack: it'll be useful to stuff all your crap in, plus you'll need a place for the free stuff you can get. Not to mention all the stuff you might buy
  • Ziploc bags: if it rains (which can always happen) make sure you have ziploc bags to keep things such as your wallet, phone, or camera nice and dry. Bring some extras for your friends too
  • Towels: you're gonna get gross and sweaty, so have some cheap towels in your bag to wipe away the nasty sweat
  • Watch: save your phone battery and wear a watch to check the time
  • Extra socks: if it rains, you might not be able to do anything about your shoes. But at least you'll have a pair of dry socks
  • Sunglasses: the sun will not be your friend this day
  • Hat: you never know when your head will need shade
  • Cash: maybe some merch tents will take credit card, but play it save and bring cash just in case
  • Sunscreen: doesn't matter if it's lotion or spray on - you'll need that shit to protect your skin. Make sure to reapply as needed
  • Poncho: like, the cheap one from the dollar store. You never know when you'll need it
  • Hand sanitizer: i got one hyphenated word for ya - Porta-Potties
  • Phone charger: there ARE charging stations and they MIGHT charge you. Bring your charger in case you end up needing it, but definitely try to save your battery
  • Sharpie: band members can't sign with thin air. Not to mention you'll be able to mark your setlist (which will be available for $2 when you walk into the venue)
  • Earplugs: you'll need those if you're gonna be side stage
  • Extra bobby pins/hair ties: ladies, and maybe some gents, and think that's self explanatory