Summer has officially ended (sadly) and fall is here! The time of pumpkin spice everything, turtle necks, and colorful trees. Also, you can finally start wearing hoodies again! After the summer's scorching rays, it's now time to cool down. What better way to sit back and get all cozy than to listen to a nice fall playlist? You wouldn't find yourself hearing these kinds of songs at Coachella, but maybe when you're just chilling on your bed or when you're staring out your window on a nice fall afternoon thinking about your crush while pretending you're in a movie. Even if it's none of those, you can't help but find yourself a little more at ease with these soft tunes. Grab your headphones, put on some of these songs, and start staring out your window!
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Why you should yoga too!
Get ready, I am about to turn into the real preachy-hippy-type. But just for a second. I feel almost obligated when this one simple practice has been able to renew my body and mind. Okay, maybe not completely renew my body, I really am not old yet, my body did not really need renewing, but hear me out.
What was the only thing that could get me out of bed at 7:30 a.m. once a week (the earliest I ever have to regularly wake up)? Yoga. It seems like lately doing yoga has become a fad that will soon fade away to be replaced with the next new craze. So will yoga soon be in our memories the same way that gauchos and bell-bottoms are? I thought so at first, but I’m not so sure anymore.
I can remember my freshman year talking with one of my peers. The topic of yoga came up. He said that he took a yoga class in high school and it was the best semester of his life. He didn’t quite remember why he had quit; not enough time, he figured. I laughed and didn’t think much of it until this year (my sophomore year) when I started taking yoga classes.
My first few classes were nice, but when it started to become a routine part of my life, I really started to reap the benefits. I always went to class with one of my best friends, and I began to even become friends with my instructor. Their positive presence encouraged me to wake up every Wednesday morning at 7:30 for the whole semester.
I began to realize why I actually liked yoga so much, besides the good company, of course: it is all about me. And for you, it is all about you. Even though many claim that we live in a self-centered society, I would argue that our society is not positively self-centered. We are obsessed with criticizing ourselves and comparing ourselves to others; we dedicate too much of our negative energy, and not enough of our positive energy towards ourselves. yoga isn’t competitive (and I am just about the least competitive person out there), it is all focused on self-improvement and empowerment.
The first time I did the bird of paradise pose, I felt a positive rush run through me, as I was impressed by what my body was capable of when given the right prompting. Right now I am in the midst of conquering the “crow” pose. It doesn’t matter how well the others in my class are doing with the pose, but instead what matters is the improvement I make each week. I am focused on myself and trying to utilize all the capabilities my body truly has.
There is only one wrong way to do a pose: if it hurts your body. The instructor always reminds her "yogis" that if the current pose is painful, to modify it to what feels better. Moreover, you always have the option to come back into child’s pose in the middle of a session to refresh. It is so important to listen to what your body is telling you to ultimately create a connection between your mind and your body. Beyond that, we hold a great deal of our stress, physically, in our bodies. The poses, stretches and exercises in Yoga help release this stress from your muscles. This, combined with the meditation period at the end of each class allows both my mind and body to release these stresses.Yoga. I don’t think I am wrong when I say this fad is more than a fad. Our society needs an outlet for personal
Apparently being black and a vegetarian are mutually exclusive.
For two years now I've been vegetarian. I made the decision because I love animals and do not agree with the way they are treated in the mass food industry. Many disagree with my decision but that's not where I'm going with this. I'm not PETA here to throw paint on your fur. I'm here to ask why in the living hell is being black and a vegetarian such a paradox?
Yes, I know. However will I be accepted among the black masses if my plate does not both have fried chicken and collared greens? My chicken and waffles is lacking in chicken! Oh God! Oh Lordy! How can I be black?
Now that you've had time to soak in how utterly stupid that is you now understand my feelings in this situation. I tell someone I'm a vegetarian and they say "but you're black."
Yes. I am. Thanks for letting me know. What does my dietary lifestyle have to do with my ethnicity again? Oh that's right.
Not only have I gotten "but you're black" but also "you're not black." Not white black person but I simply am not black. After quickly giving myself an inspection to make sure all these veggies hadn't depleted me of my pigment(it hadn't) I wondered why anyone would say that. Then glass shattered and light bulbs lit up around the world as I had the most enlightening question hit me like a soul food induced heart attack.
Is my entire race defined by our fried chicken?
Don't get me wrong. When I used to eat meat my dad's fried chicken was a religious experience but I have several friends that will tell you the same. Oh and guess what. They're not all black.
Oh and guess another thing.
There is no race restriction on being a vegetarian.
Black Card Intact.
What do we have to hide?
Are you a rock?
Do you never feel emotion?
If you answered “no” to at least one of those questions, you’re a bonafide, flesh and blood humanoid with a working conscious and a pumping heart.
Now- imagine a world where everyone around you expects you to repress all of those emotions except for those that make you likeable. The only place you can express yourself is in the confines of your home, maybe not even in front of your friends or family.
That’s the thing with mental illnesses in athletes- people just assume that you’re fine because “depression and anxiety aren’t real illnesses,” and “athletes don’t cry.” Athletes themselves don’t believe depression and anxiety are real because of what they’ve been taught.
“Rub some dirt in it!”
“Ah, it’s not that bad.”
“Come on, get over it.”
Sure, you’ve got to be tough in sports. You prepare your body day in and day out- weights, conditioning, practice…they require all of your attention. But do we ever pay attention to our brains? Our mental health? Do those coaches/directors around and in the athletic world acknowledge that these are real problems for their athletes?
I’d like to think the answer would be a straight up, “yes!” but I have a feeling that I’d be wrong.
For some reason, there’s still a stigma around mental illnesses these days. The number of those affected has grown exponentially during the past two decades. But when you add those into an environment filled with tough skin and hard-headedness, an even bigger clash crops up.
We as a society are taught to ignore anything malicious and focus on “what makes us happy.” Great idea, right? Only pay attention to things that give you joy. I think that’s where we get sports, in a way, because they’re a route out of our own minds. We play sports because they’re fun, and when a coach, teammate…etc destroys your perception of the game you’ve grown to love by creating a wall in your head, dividing your outward emotion and your mental health, you get stuck.
Why can’t we talk about depression and anxiety in the locker-room or with coaches? Why do we have to feel embarrassed when someone mentions mental health?
Was the First Agricultural Revolution really that great?
The Neolithic Revolution was a groundbreaking event that happened at around 10000 B.C., when the earliest humans learned how to plant seeds and learned rudimentary horticulture, as well as how to domesticate animals. It was a huge stepping stone for the early humans, for it started the transition from a hunting-gathering society to an urban, agricultural society and shaped the course for the rest of human history. While it is a widely accepted fact that the Neolithic Revolution was a monumental step, and a great thing that happened in history, an opinion has started to grow among historians that the Neolithic Revolution might have actually been a mistake.
Here are some reasons why some think it was beneficial, and why some think it was a mistake.
1. Humans began farming.
Farming was an important step in human history because before, humans were nomadic hunter gatherers, which meant that they would hunt their food and gather fruits and berries in their surroundings. They would not stay in one place and would follow their main food source (usually animals) around. Hunting and gathering was a dangerous life to live, due to the inconsistent food source. It could take hours to track down an animal herd, and even then, the animals could always get away. When the humans started farming, however, they found a new, reliable food source that was easy and sustaining. This was a stepping stone to many of the future changes that happened because of the Revolution.
2. Humans settled down into cities.
When humans started farming, they did not have to wander the land, following the animals they used to depend on. They started to settle down near their food source and come together. Soon, they had permanent settlements with more people living together. That led to more collaboration and work between people. This was also a big step in making empires and proper civilizations later on.
3. Food surplus, specialization of labor, and new technology
When the early humans were hunter-gatherers, the entire tribe/family of people were involved in finding food. They were all part of tracking down the animals that were being hunted, skinning, roasting or another part of the process. However, when the humans started farming, they realized that they actually had an abundance of food on their hands and that it was more than they needed. This is called a surplus.
When they attained a surplus, there were fewer people needed to grow food. That left a lot of the people with free time on their hands, and they began to work on other things. Some became artisans and focused on making specific crafts to help them survive. Others became merchants and specialized in trading and selling things. And others became blacksmiths skilled in making things from metals. When people started to specialize, they invented new technologies in their respective fields. For example, after the Neolithic Revolution, humans learned how to work with bronze. They also invented the wheel. New systems of irrigation were invented to increase crop yields. Soon, instead of everyone focused on the production of food, there were many different areas in which people were working, creating a diverse environment.
1. Social Class Structure
Before the Neolithic Revolution, the human society was generally an egalitarian. Each person played a simple role, and they worked toward the same purpose: attaining food to survive. However, when the humans settled down and started farming, they needed someone to control who did what and how things were being made. This is where kings came into the picture.
Kings and rulers were put in charge of the allocation of resources, infrastructure development and other aspects of early civilization. However, when kings were put into power, a social hierarchy rose up with them. On top were the kings or rulers, then came the priests, then the middle-class workers, such as the merchants and the artisans followed by the peasants and then, there were the slaves. The advent of a ruler caused certain people to rise in power, and others to fall.
Also, with the surplus food the revolution created, there arose the chance for monetary gain among citizens. Some people became richer than others, and they became part of the social elite. Those who held special occupations, like artisans, blacksmiths and scribes, were right under them. Due to the surplus of food, the value of food production decreases, as did that of those who made a living off of it. They were right under the specialists. And finally, the slaves were at the bottom. The slaves were either prisoners of war from a rival village or someone who could not pay off his or her debts.
2. Gender Inequality
In the time before farming became prevalent, both genders were usually considered equal. Men and women spent their day hours looking for food and preparing it. The gender equality common in the Paleolithic society was partially due to the fact that both men and women had the same role: food gatherer. However, all that changes when societies transitioned over to an agrarian lifestyle. Women kept their roles as farmers and raised children. In contrast, men did not need to hunt anymore and left their jobs as hunters to find new, specialized jobs. Through those jobs, they gained money and power, while the women stayed home. This can be interpreted as the foundation of the patriarchal society that dominated most centuries for millions of years.
The Neolithic Revolution was one of the most important transitions man has ever made. The switch from a nomadic lifestyle of hunting for food to a sedentary agrarian society indirectly helped the early civilizations of Sumer, Babylon, and Egypt to grow and develop, thus setting the stage for everything in history that came after it. However, it also came with many negative socio-economic problems, some which we are still suffering from as of today. Whether you think that it was good or bad, it should be known that the Neolithic Transition is one of the most impactful events in history.
I'm not going to go where I'm not wanted.
Recently, I came across a video on Twitter that accurately explained how irritating and confusing it is when someone responds with the ever-popular "if you want to."
In the video, a boy was doing a parody of a 911 call where the dispatcher asked him if he needed an ambulance, and he responded with "you can if you want to," which left the dispatcher confused as to what actions to take.
Obviously this video was fake, but the annoyance I felt after watching that video was all too real.
Some may tell you otherwise, but there is a huge difference between "you can come" and "I want you to come."
"You can come if you want" is a half-hearted invitation. It makes the person on the receiving end feel unimportant, uninvited and confused as to whether or not the other person actually wants to spend time with them.
However, "I want you to come" is reassuring. It shows the person on the other end that they are important, wanted and appreciated.
Think about it. Would you want to spend time with someone who only wants to get together "if you do?" I know I sure wouldn't.
Instead, I'd enjoy my own company or the company of those who truly appreciate me.
Despite the amazing things our generation has accomplished, we do have one major flaw: we play it way too safe.
One of my old bosses (shoutout to T) once sat us all down and told us about the dangers of playing it safe when it comes to how we handle our feelings about those we care about.
Even if we have all the love in the world for someone, we choose to keep it hidden. We don't show our excitement over getting to spend time with our friends or significant others, even if we were bouncing off the ceiling over the thought of being in their presence.
We act like a generation of "chill" individuals who just "go with the flow" and claim that "it is what it is." We basically act like we have no emotions.
We overcomplicate everything, which in turn destroys our relationships.
Why do we do that?
It's not that difficult. If you miss someone, text them, call them, write them a letter, or go to their house.
If you're excited about getting to spend time with someone, let them know. It will make them happy and your get togethers will be much more enjoyable.
After you go home, text your friends telling them how much you enjoyed spending time with them.
Refraining from showing your appreciation for your loved ones is the quickest way to lose them. I wish I hadn't learned that the hard way.
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign