A New Life in NOLA: College and Creole Food and Critters @ Tulane University


I woke up at 4 in the morning today, to leave, for college, FOREVER. I mean obviously not FOREVER but a dang long time. It’s one of those things that didn’t hit me until a couple days before. It hit me when I had to say goodbye to the friends I had eaten lunch with every day outside of Chaminade’s greasy cafeteria and had carpooled with to mediocre high school parties that always got shut down an hour later, when I took my last bite of CPK’s tortilla soup and my last bite of a Rock n’ Roll at Revolving Sushi, foods that encompassed the “taste of my childhood”, when I danced to cheesy My Chemical Romance songs with my friends at our going-away-dinner and realized that elementary school was light years away, when I watched my last California sunset on the beach in Malibu with my family and thought of every moment on vacation and at camp when I had told myself to absorb the present because soon this present would be my past. Now everything is my past and it’s all I carry with me to my future and I fear of forgetting it, or it not being enough to sustain me as I live completely independently and on my own for the REAL first time. I honestly don’t know how the hell I will manage to remember what goes in the drying machine and what doesn’t but I’m gonna give it my best shot. Is it a mistake to keep a tub of taunting peanut butter in my dorm room? Let’s find out!

I’ve seen my friends and family cope with leaving in different ways. My mom cries a lot, but usually not in front of me. Others, like one of my best friends Alex, can’t cry no matter how hard he tries and feels bad about it. It truly is weird how emotions and reactions are not always controllable and how the times we feel we should cry and want to cry we often can’t and the times we start to sob for no apparent reason are the times we are the most confused as to why we are doing so. Saying goodbye doesn’t actually feel real, it’s only when I think about not hearing my dog Buck bark when he smells my dad cooking on the grill or not seeing Serena ever pull up to Chaminade again with a pink late slip in her hand that I feel what I tell myself I am supposed to feel: sadness and vulnerability about the uncertainty of what’s to come. These emotions didn’t arise in me before, though. I couldn’t contain my excitement any time I saw an unusual amount of green attire in public or heard a song (of which there are many) on the radio sing about New Orleans as I secretly wondered if my friends heard the reference too and were jealous that I am going to school in this city of wonders (because who wouldn’t be jealous?). I could squeal just thinking about it all, but the morning of my departure I actually felt queasy in my stomach and a sense of hesitancy to walk out the door because I knew this time I wasn’t just sleeping there one night for orientation and coming back home in 2 days, I was staying for good.

I am going to start a college life in NOLA series all about my experiences at Tulane and in New Orleans that is a mix of diary-like, Carrie Bradshaw-esque life entries, funky photo shoots and New Orleans-centered posts, and how-to’s or creative ideas and tips I will be learning along the way about college. I hope somebody will find a slight interest or gain knowledge and insight into something when they read these posts!!! After all, Tulane’s motto is “Non sibi, sed suis”, which translated means “not for one’s self, but for one’s own”. SO, even though I often blog as a sense of self-satisfaction and desire to express, I truly hope that I can help other people through my blog as well, whether it be through entertaining or informing or re-assuring or inspiring or simply providing others with a way to waste their time on the internet. I am about to start a brand new life in The Big Easy, Crescent City, NOLA, N’awlins, call it what you want and I cannot wait to explore the leaps and bounds of opportunity knocking at my small dorm room in Sharp Hall. The air conditioning is currently blasting as usual (being so humid here these people love to keep their indoors as cool as can be) and I am currently sitting in my bed typing (obviously this blog post was not completed during the time I began it on the flight here). I will probably be VERY busy this year, since New Orleans has more festivals than days of the year, I am taking five classes, and Tulane has more than 200 student organizations and only a handful of them have already managed to stake a place in my calendar for the duration of August (and I’ve only been here for two days to even find out about this small portion of events offered). SO, I will try my best to post as much as I can not only for myself but for all y’all (I’m trying to adopt y’all into my common language and it’s working quite well). So I’ll be down here by the bayou eating my rice and beans and jambalaya and listening to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (because today I got to sit in a small room and sit directly in front of them as they gave me and 34 other Tulane freshman an hour long Jazz show which we danced during passionately) and you can sit wherever you may be behind your computer screen glare and laugh at my failures and learn from my mistakes and enjoy coming along with me on this crazy ride of college. Roll wave, y’all.



IMG_4515 IMG_4510


mardi gras tree on campus!!IMG_4508 IMG_4507


view from my dorm room on the top floor (7) of Sharp Hall

how cute is the brick wall am i right?!



just paddle boating in City Park, the 6th-largest and 7th-most visited public park in the United States!IMG_4526this is where the Preservation Hall Jazz Band personally sat and performed for us. They played, “Iko Iko” which is one of my personal favorites along with other classics :)


when you decide to wear your heels even though you know you are doing a scavenger hunt all over the French Quarter and it starts pouring, so you rock yo poncho and funky heels :)



~ xoxo Ali ~

1 Comment

  1. Ali,
    I will enjoy this ride with you through your amazing use of our English language. Reading your blogs enhances my knowledge and fills my heart. I know you will enjoy this journey you are upon as you are so present and absorb everything!! So for now I say y’all will be missed by all of us whom love you dearly and wish you the best experience yet!!!
    Will look forward to visiting you in New Orleans.
    Love you,

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