Culture Life

Why I am constantly drawn to lavender

I find that my most blissful moments remind me of the strong, calming scent of lavender. For one reason or another, I relate it to a lot of the more meaningful aspects of my life. To me, lavender is like a feeling; like the wind brushing up against your skin.

While I think that lavender is largely optimistic, I also find a certain sorrow that is comfortable, even humble, in its presence. I’ve come to appreciate it in every shape and form – the color, the flower, the scent. Its hard to place; not sweet or bitter, but rather musty. 

Lavender manages to incorporate itself into my life seemingly on a whim and in the most fleeting of moments. We have a peculiar relationship. I am stomach-knottingly anxious in the presence of many, especially when I first meet them. But, with some, I sense lavender, and I know that something great is about to happen. It is more of a feeling than anything else. Just talking to some people can be rejuvenating, and perhaps it is because our meeting reminds me of that warm, soft smell of a mid-spring day when the sun is bright and pure, and the entire day lies ahead.

Nowadays, when I am feeling an emotion that is simply beyond words, I say that I am overflowing with lavender. 

According to etymology, the English word “lavender” is derived from the Latin “lavare,” which translates to “to wash.” It is a necessary refinement – a cleanse. I am purified with every utterance of the word. 

Perhaps it’s not just me. In literature, lavender has been used significantly as a token of love. To me, it’s more like a notion of love at first sight. Shakespeare offers a bouquet of “hot lavender” in The Winter’s Tale. Cleopatra also roots lavender with love, as she is said to have used its sultry perfume to seduce both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Christians are also known to have used it as a repellent of evil. The plant is said to have been taken from the Garden of Eden and is sometimes found hanging in a cross shape above the doors of some Christian households as a means of protection. There are so many songs with the title lavender, my favorite being by The Beach Boys, and there have also been many poems written about it, too. Take, for example, this quote by an anonymous writer, “as rosemary is to the spirit, lavender is to the soul.” 

Lavender is swift, like a movement, carrying me in and out of perfectly imperfect moments. The vision of it is rather uplifting as well. It stands delicately tall among the rest, but it is not intimidating either. I adore its confrontation. In fact, I look forward to it. 

Tech Now + Beyond

10 life-changing apps that will make you more efficient

Whether you’re in high school or college, the struggle is all too real when it comes to academics. Especially if you’re one who procrastinates. I, honestly, can’t relate to procrastination, because I enjoy getting work and studying done earlier (I know, let the tomato throwing commence). However, I can relate to finding the best apps for me when it comes to studying.

Hopefully you can relate to these apps too. Maybe they’ll encourage you to actually want to get the worst of studying out of the way first hand, so that you’re not waiting until the last moment, stressing yourself out. Unless working to the last moment actually makes your work better for some unknown reason, in that respect, don’t let me stop you.

1. Quizlet

Quizlet logo

This is my absolute favorite app. This app has gotten me through the majority of college, and it will help you get through college too. It provides effective ways to save all the many archives of flashcards you need in an organized fashion.

You can also quiz yourself with them with memory games as well as the standard way of quizzing yourself. You can even share your flashcards with others who has the app.

2. Duolingo

If you can use this app well, you should get it because it’s great for studying a new language. Whether you’re doing it for class, or even want to learn a new language on your own for a study abroad trip, one thing is clear: do not treat this app like a competition or a game.

3. Insight Timer

This is a meditation app. It sounds off a bell for the time you’d like to start meditating, and the bell for the time you’d like to stop. If you’re ever stressed out, you can use this on your study break to sit down with your eyes closed for ten minutes, or lying down for fifteen minutes. I would suggest focusing on your breathing, not how much left you have to study, if you decide to meditate as a study break.

Everyone needs a break once in a while, right?

4. Microsoft OneNote

You should download this app on your laptop or your computer to help you categorize the mess out of your most difficult classes. If you’re studying a foreign language, you can make one section for vocabulary, one section for conjugations, and another section for grammar. If you’re studying for a literature class, you can make one section for quotes, one section for important plot points, and another section for vocabulary.

It just makes your life a lot easier, since you’re not carrying heavy binders along with your heavy textbooks in your book bag.

5. GRE Flashcards from Magoosh

To my fellow college students wanting to apply for grad school. To my fellow college students who want to apply for grad school without purchasing a large expensive book to do so. This app is pretty great. The app is used more so for the verbal reasoning sections of the GRE (vocabulary/reading comprehensive). It is not used for the quantitative sections (the devil math). Fair warning.

That shouldn’t stop you from downloading the app, though, because it helps you retain important information better than you have been.

6. Brainscape Smart Flashcards

I don’t normally use a lot of color-coded tools for my studying, but I know many who do, and love it. So, for those who don’t think Quizlet is their style due to the lack of color on the app, you should go for the Brainscape Smart Flashcards App. This app is also great if you like to go faster to memorize the terms you need to know for your next exam.

7. Prep4 SAT

Raise your hand if you’re a senior in high school who is taking the SAT at the last minute. So, get this app! You may look like you’re texting, same goes with these other apps, but you’re increasing your future SAT score.

8. Prep4 ACT

Raise your hand if you’re a senior in high school who is taking the ACT at the last minute; especially if you didn’t know that your potential university required your ACT scores. (I promise, there’s no judgment here. The people you may be reading this around won’t even know why you’re raising your hand.) As you prep for the ACT, remember that this standardized test takes a lot longer than the SAT. Shocking, right?

9. Be Focused-Focused Timer and Goal Tracker

Goals excite you, right? So it will excite you even more to complete and accomplish each and every goal you set out for yourself. Completing your goals in time you give yourself to complete them is pretty sweet! If you are the type of person that gets easily stressed when given incremental times, don’t worry about this app. Especially if you’re the type to get mad at yourself for not completing your goals like you want to. Your well being matters.

10. inClass, inc.

You aren’t just note taking with the inClass app. You’re taking notes, setting your schedule (which is great if you’re not a big fan of iCal doing it for you), sharing and recording your notes, everything! You should get this app to get ready to graduate from paper use of planners and notes for each of your classes. It’s totally worth it, I promise.

Every students have different personal lives, different habits, different forms of memory, and more. If none of these apps are meant for you, search for apps that you know fit your study style and your study situation. Happy studying! Don’t work too hard!