The 5 Best and Worst Things About Graduating College….Written 5 Days Later

The Best

  1. *Guilt free reading and binge-watching. I’ve already read two books and finished half of HBO’s Westworld. I can indulge and relax without the heavy ghost of homework and due dates peeking over my shoulder.

*Not completely guilt free because I should be spending time searching for a job.

  1. More free time! There is suddenly so much more free time to catch up with friends and explore the city, to pick up new hobbies and get back into yoga. I have time to ‘get in shape’ and actually cook my meals.
  1. A new adventure. I’m at the cusp of a big scary decision, but also a lot of freedom and self-empowerment. I’ve accomplished something big, I’ve put in a lot of time to educate myself and I’ve grown a lot in the process. I can travel, move wherever I’d like, do some weird jobs, finally put to work all the skills and stuff I’ve been building. My next projects won’t be motivated by a grade, (hopefully) they’ll be motivated by passion and talent. I’m excited for this new change and new adventure. I mean, I’ve been doing this student thing for 16 years!
  1. I’m an adult (?). I haven’t figured out why that’s great, but there’s this feeling that’s pretty cool, some kind of credibility. And I’m so much closer to getting a dog of my own! (Also another big factor in making a decision about my future.)
  1. I can take my phone off silent. While I was in school, I literally ALWAYS had my phone on silent. I actually can’t remember the last time it wasn’t on vibrate. This might just be me, but I didn’t want to have to worry about it going off in class or while I was in the library, on the bus, etc. But I’ve just purchased a sick Rogue One text tone, and a Space Mountain ringtone. So feel free to call me friends.

The Worst

  1. There’s a lot of pressure. My big “what’s next” question has to find it’s answer. I always thought I’d be on top of this one, I’m a planner, and I’m ambitious. But it’s a big step and I find myself wanting to explore every option. Friends, family, even future employers, are eager to see how I decide to take this next step into adult life. I want to do something important and impressive and something I’m passionate about. But the world is also screaming at me to find stability and money and something called ‘benefits’.
  1. I’m on a six month timetable to DO that something. (Likely motivated by the fact that I have to start paying on my student loans in six months.) I’m scared I’ll settle into something that won’t make me happy. I’m scared I’ll miss an opportunity, or get stuck in complacency and comfort.
  2. I’m not apart of that #studentlife anymore. I can’t imagine not calling myself a student. What does that even make me? WHO AM I? I no longer can complain about all the wonderfully weary things about the college struggle. I can no longer use studying as an excuse to get out of something.
  1. Money and stuff. On top of everything else, I have to worry seriously about money now. Loans, insurance, bills, etc., is a big factor in my decision making. I have to worry about that ish now. I don’t even really understand the majority of it. I have a bachelor’s degree and I don’t fully understand our country’s financial system. *facepalm*
  1. I don’t want to regress. I’ve made big accomplishments and steps in college, I had writing published, I won awards, and graduating was the pinnacle. Now I’m considering moving home, now I’m looking for a job, any job that’ll take me. I don’t want to fall into a stalemate during one of the most exciting times of my life.

 

Basically I feel like a baby bird that the world has shoved out of the tree. I’m scared because I’m totally falling and have no idea what’s happening. But also excited, because I finally get to spread my wings and fly.

 

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Why I’m Not Reading The Cursed Child

1ecf78c05c16b0f564ada738a8dcd903For those unfamilar, there’s a play in London called The Cursed Child, a look at the world of Harry Potter years after the seventh book takes place. The story follows the golden trio and their children’s time at Hogwarts. Obviously this was enormous news for all fans of Harry Potter and the demand was so large that they decided to release the play script in the form of a book.

Reviews of the play claim it’s stage magic and classic theatre tricks are enchanting and the most outstanding part of the play. They say it falls short when it comes to the story, that our once beloved characters are hollowed reflections of who we knew them to be. Those who have read it claim that it feels like fanfiction, in the way that it often self references and resists originality.

Many fans didn’t hesitate to consume more Potter. They were ravid for the new story and it quickly became an eighth book in the mind of many. But this is not a novel, there is no beautiful exposition or setting, no quirky descriptions or painting of any world. It’s a script. And though it has been “approved” by J.K. Rowling, it is not written by her. She authorizes the consideration of this material as cannon, but I fear it would taint the original story.

Harry Potter has remained for me untouched by the saturated tendencies of the money-hungry entertainment industry. They have not yet tarnished the magic for money, not yet cheaped their way into a scam for hungry fans. In some ways, The Cursed Child feels like a step towards that. It feels as though they are trying to sell us something it is not.

That being said, this was clearly made for the stage and that’s the only way I intend to ever experience it.

Whether you’ve read it or not, let me know what you think.

A Female Teenager’s View on Social Media

Social media has undoubtedly become a cornerstone for all social interactions, and a lot of times their differences and significance are a little obscure. This post will serve to provide my personal take on some of the biggest social influencers.

Disclaimer: I’m not an expert by any means, I haven’t conducted any studies, or researched data and I don’t know all the inner workings of social media development. Also this post was inspired by one that went viral a few weeks ago https://medium.com/backchannel/a-teenagers-view-on-social-media-1df945c09ac6

I have, however, experienced it in a way most experts of the previous generation haven’t. The majority of my social life has functioned with social media as a key component. But I remember the time when it wasn’t there. Honestly, who better to give an opinion on it than someone who has fueled its growth, development and success?

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Let’s start with Facebook, which, in its essence is about convenient connecting. No longer is it a tool to improve social standing and establish hierarchy, as MySpace served to do. There’s no top 8 and it doesn’t matter how many friends you have. Instead it’s the new “can I have your phone number”, now expressed, as “I’ll add you on FB”. It’s personal enough to easily keep in contact yet impersonal enough to add people you’ve only met briefly, or more often than not have never met at all. On that note it’s also become a huge gateway for romantic courtship.  [Look out for an article on technologies impact on romantic relationships, currently in construction.] If you don’t have a Facebook account, it throws our generation through the loop. How am I supposed to stalk you for basic information needed to make assumptions about you in order to determine if I want your friendship? How do I keep in contact and know more about your life? How do I invite you to gatherings and events? We’re skeptical about someone our age that doesn’t have a Facebook.

instagram-iconInstagram is much more exclusive. Followers and likes are everything. You post photos here to demonstrate how great your life is, how pretty you are, or to show off your amateur filtered photography and hipster view on life. My age group no longer takes the time to post all their cool photos and create new albums for it on FB, but instead consolidates that experience into one great photo on Instagram. This is our new place of social growth and competition. A like can insinuate so much more on Instagram than Facebook. Instagram likes can determine the quality of your photo and the experience it came from, they often serve as bragging rights. Compared to Facebook, Instagram is much more streamlined. When I follow someone, I don’t have to bog down my timeline with all the photos they’re tagged in, comments on their wall, and no app requests. There also is no annoying videos, advertisements, or political articles either. Also, my grandma isn’t on Instagram yet, so it’s still cool. (I love you grandma, I promise.)

unnamedTwitter is not as common as most may think. It’s as ambiguous as Pinterest for some, and most don’t see its differentiation from Facebook. This is rather ironic because Twitter was the pioneer of the hashtag, now a household term so big it’s present in every form of social media. Twitter has, however, become a huge platform for corporation-to-audience interaction. You can tweet at big companies like Nordstrom, Taco Bell, Disneyland, etc. and often receive a response. This has created huge brand loyalty and a great image for said companies. The same goes for celebrities. Basically you post a tweet, much like a Facebook status, maximum 140 characters, usually including hashtags, and your followers can ‘favorite’ or ‘retweet’ it. It’s nice because it’s socially acceptable to post however many tweets you like, unlike Facebook.

Snapchat-logoSnapchat seems to vary in its use. I feel like this is still a pretty undefined social media. Some add mass amounts of ‘friends’ and others only Snapchat a few close friends. Snapchat mainly serves to send quick pictures or videos to friends, with options to draw or type over the photo. It also allows you to post quick clips, either photos or videos, of your entire day, weekend, whatever you’d like, for everyone to see, easily keeping people updated. It times out after 24-hours so there’s a certain freedom, privacy and openness to it. It’s not as carefully refined and censored. No likes or comments. There has been concern about leaked Snapchats. But the majority of us aren’t sending nudes, just really ugly double chins. And if someone screenshots it, you’re notified! Most aren’t concerned that anyone cares enough about our Snapchats to leak them, if that’s even really possible.

34Tumblr is a hidden Internet gem. Tumblr is a version of blogging mixed with social networking. It’s like Fight Club; you don’t talk about having a Tumblr. Things get weird there but it also hosts some of the most witty and revelational content I’ve ever seen. There’s a lack of identity but strong sense of personality and community. It’s mostly strangers; you don’t usually follow your friends or tell people you actually know to follow you on Tumblr.

downloadYik Yak is one you probably haven’t heard of if you don’t attend college. There are locational restrictions that don’t allow its use within a certain radius of a k-12 school. If you’re too close you’ll receive this message, “You appear to be using this too close to a school. Yik Yak is for adults only.” It’s a completely anonymous feed of posts, resembling tweets or status updates, which are location based. You can upvote or downvote the posts and comments, collaboratively filtering content; all of which contributes to your Yakarma, a point system that no one really knows what you’re supposed to do with. A lot of it is really relatable and hilarious, all geared towards fellow peers.

Obviously, the status of social media shifts as our grandmas adapt and we quickly move on. Different age groups and demographics are sure to host different opinions. I think we can all agree however, that life is a little more entertaining and much more accessible with social media.

P.s. Be sure to use social media safely! Putting too much of your personal information and checking in at locations near to home can possibly be dangerous, especially if your social profiles aren’t private.

Angels Who Create Demons

Society, Body Image, and Self Confidence


Disclaimer #1: I feel like it’s important I mention this now, before you start to get the impression that I’m okay with obesity. I think it is absolutely important and empowering to have a healthy body and lifestyle. Everyone should work to eat right and exercise.

However, when we start to value what we look like and what size pants we wear, over who we are as a person, we have failed ourselves.

We’ve all experienced this nagging in the back of our mind, reinforced by media and society, that being thin and beautiful is the key to happiness. And that is just absolutely ridiculous.

I have never seen more evidence of this than during the Victoria Secret Fashion Show.

I’ve screen captured a few tweets post show.

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Seeing this seriously enrages me.

Apparently being beautiful and perfect is only about how you look. And even then, it’s very specific. Stick thin, pounds of makeup, and glamorous hair, all of which requires depriving yourself of not only food, but any sense of self-confidence.

Disclaimer #2: I am not claiming that these Victoria Secret Angels do not eat healthy or workout or enjoy their lives, or anything about them specifically. I’m just speaking about the repercussions and what girls are taking from these people as role models, and what society has pushed us to believe.

How about instead of starving ourselves and purging our meals, we work to be kind and generous, and intelligent? How about striving to be successful and happy with you who are?

I’ve met so many beautiful people, perfect people. In fact, I live with some, I’m friends with many, I’m related to countless. Some are skinny, most aren’t, all of them are amazing people and that’s all that should matter when it comes to loving someone. I have never for one-second thought any less of them because of how they look.

It hurts to see that girls of our generation seriously believe people won’t love them or that they are any less of a person because of how they look.

You didn’t get that job? That cute guy doesn’t like you? You’re sort of broke right now? Well those things wouldn’t be true if only you were as pretty as physically possible.[sarcasm]

Your summer won’t be as fun or as Pinterest perfect if you don’t have that bikini bod!

These little thoughts and worries pop into our head, because society has trained us to think that somehow our lives will be better, that somehow we will be better if we look better. WHICH MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. You could be “flawless” and be dumb as a rock, or literally accomplish nothing. You could be the most “beautiful” person on Earth and be terribly lonely. We need to work instead on becoming beautiful internally; caring about other people, having a sense of humor, being honest, expanding our mind, and changing the world.

Rather than striving to be the next model to strut down a hallway in minimal clothing, can we instead encourage each other to be the next Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Ernest Hemingway, or Ronald Reagan!

Beauty can be a perfectly crafted meal and the pure bliss of not feeling some weird burden for enjoying life’s taste buds. Beauty can be the vast view after a sweaty hike. Beauty can be the words that bring tears to your eyes as you read late into the night. Beauty can be wandering in a bright new city with old friends. Beauty can be awkwardly dancing while laughing uncontrollably.

Beauty is not the quivering pain of a hungry stomach, the frown as you examine every “unperfect” detail of your reflection; it’s not the depressing self hate used as “motivation”.

That is no way to live our life we are so lucky to have.

Instead of worrying about how little we need to eat, we should focus on eating less processed foods and prioritizing health. While also recognizing that indulgence is a part of truly enjoying all that life has to offer!

I’m more than disappointed in the ideas instilled in these girls, not to say I haven’t had a fleeting few of the same, and I hope we can all work to build our self-confidence in the person we are, rather than the way we look. I hope we can all focus on living for the beauty we find in life rather than focus on perfecting our physical beauty to somehow better our lives.

Basically college and moving out into the big bad world has turned me into a bit of a feminist. (In a very soft correct definition of the term) For now I’m okay with it, sign me up for the love your body campaign, or better yet a love yourself campaign. I’m not perfect, in any sense of the word. And yet, I’m happy. I like who I am, I know I have flaws but I’m working on them. I like who I want to be and I like working towards that. It’s a rewarding process rather than a self-loathing one. I urge you all to see the potential you have to do big things in your life. I hope you all will prioritize who you are rather than how you look, because that will ultimately bring more happiness to your life.

 

 

p.s. try complimenting people more often on the important content of their character, rather than their physical appearance. I believe it’s worth more towards one’s self-esteem. Or both, that’s cool too.