10 Things To Do On St. Patricks Day

10 Things To Do On St. Patricks Day

On being Irish and proud on St. Patricks Day and every other day...
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On being Irish and proud on St. Patricks Day and every other day...

1. Buy a claddagh ring

You might not recognize the official name of this ring, but they've become pretty popular since the start of the 2000's, even though they are actually hundreds of years old. These symbolic rings are traditionally given as engagement rings, wedding rings, or passed down through generations of daughters. These cultural rings also mean certain things when you wear them a certain way (so you may be giving off the impression that you're married if you're wearing them wrong!)

2. Find a four-leaf clover

This might take you longer than the day, but with the luck of the Irish you never know. I've been in the presence of only a few true four-leaf clovers in my life and loved every second of looking for them!

3. Go to the Southside Irish parade

If you're proud to be Irish and proud to show off your heritage, this is the place to be! The Southside parade is engraved in some of my childhood memories and I wouldn't have it any other way.

4. Cook your favorite Irish dish

Corned beef and cabbage. Guinness. Coddle. Shepherds pie. There are thousands out there, each unique and their own to every family. Spend time together, enjoy each others company, and eat some great food.

5. Wear green, drink beer

If you wear green you'll be sure to avoid the pinch of a Leprechaun. And if you drink beer you'll fit in with everybody else.

6. Visit the Chicago river

Enjoy the city, get a picture for your Instagram, and see the whole river dyed green!

7. Buy a shamrock shake

Any excuse to visit McDonalds am I right? Shamrock shakes might not necessarily be a part of Irish culture, but if you're low on money and want to stay close to home, put in an Irish-themed movie and have a shake date.

8. Throw a party

Get some green streamers, a few crazy St. Patricks Day hats, and buy lots of beer. You're sure to have a good time and you'll have a reason to party all weekend.

9. Get a tattoo

When my grandpa died, the last thing he told me was "You're precious." I've been thinking of getting the word lomhara as a tattoo, saying the phrase in Gaelic. My grandpa was adopted and didn't know much about where he came from, but he knew he was Irish and thats why I hold the culture so close to my heart.

10. Attend mass or service

Held on the death day of Saint Patrick himself, its a time to observe the patron saint of Ireland and feast. He ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century.

11. Travel to Ireland!

And here's a bonus point (which I think is the best idea yet). I've been dying to see the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, Dublin, you name it--ever since my parents and other family members have recently visited. Its definitely on my bucket list.

What are your favorite Irish traditions and ways to celebrate St. Patty's Day?

Cover Image Credit: http://www.fundayforkids.com/st-patricks-day-events-2016/

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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3 Tips For Saying Goodbye For The Summer

When a few months feels like forever...

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Summertime is wonderful! You get time out of school, you can do all these fun things you've been wanting to do, and you get to spend time with your friends. Sometimes, however, your friends have to go off for the summer. Whether they're visiting family, going on vacation for a while, or even just working all the time and not able to see you, it can be hard knowing that your friend isn't gonna be around during what's supposed to be the best time of the year. You know it's temporary, but it still stinks!

Well, I've had to do this a couple of times, so I know a thing or two about dealing with your friend being gone for the summer. I hope that these tips will help your friend feel a little bit closer and the wait seem a little bit shorter:

1. Set up a scheduled system of communication.

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Call, text, email, snail mail, etc. You guys chose the easiest method of communication, and you stick to it. Knowing exactly when to expect a phone call means a lot when you miss someone. It may be difficult finding time that works for both people, but even a scheduled call one time a week is better than not even knowing when you're gonna hear from someone. You can even have a unique way to communicate. Do you like games? You can do multiplayer games online and spend time together that way. Are you old fashioned and like writing letter? Send them a letter to let them know how you are. We live in a world with so many methods of communication, so find which one helps you stay in touch.

2. Stay busy.

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I have spent my fair share mopeing around, waiting for someone to call and hoping that they'd be back soon. That is the worst way to spend your time! Instead of wasting you summer waiting by the phone, go out and do something. Spend time with other friends, go to the beach, do anything you want! Don't waste your summer trying to make time go faster; it doesn't work. Do things that'll help get your mind off of your friend being gone. It'll get easier as time goes along, so make use of the time you have.

3. Don't hold it in.

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Having your friend go off can be tough, especially if it's a person you're very close with. It's okay! You aren't being silly if you feel sad. Some people may even feel hurt, like they're being left behind. That's okay too! What isn't okay is bottling it up and not talking to someone about it. What isn't okay is taking that fear and frustration out on other people, especially the friend that's gone. Talk to someone about it. Write some journal entries about how you're feeling. Don't sit around feeling sad and lonely and left behind. Get out of your own head and realize that everything will be okay. They didn't leave you behind, you're not gonna be sad forever, and everything will be okay.

Well, I hope you have a good summer! Yeah, that person has left, but they'll be back soon. Just live your summer day by day, and they'll be back before you know it!

Good luck!

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