11 Things You Should Do Instead of Being On Your Phone

11 Things You Should Do Instead of Being On Your Phone

Put the phone down and slowly walk away.
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While the closing ceremony of the Olympics was on TV last Sunday, I happened to look up from my phone to notice hundreds of athletes on their own phones as they walked with their teams for the final time in Rio. One commentator mentioned how different this scene looked in comparison to ceremonies decades ago when cell phones were not in arms reach. I thought to myself that honestly it looked kin of ridiculous; everyone taking photos, posting snapchats, looking through the screens of their devices, so caught up in trying to capture a moment that they might actually be missing.

We live in an era where being on our cell phones everyday is a normal thing. Whether we're checking Twitter, scrolling through Instagram, posting a new status on Facebook, seeing what new Snapchat filters there are, texting our friends, or playing Pokemon Go, our handheld devices appear to be running our lives. An article from June 2015 per Digital Times suggests that Americans spend about 4.7 hours a day on their phones. Considering that the average person is awake for around 15 hours, this is about a third of our day. Now maybe you're one of those anti-phone people, but speaking for the majority of us I will say that we spend way too much time on our phones. Imagine the things that could be accomplished with an extra 4.7 hours. I bet you're probably even reading this article on your phone. So I'll give you the quick 4-11 of 11 things that I hope you and I will both choose to do instead of staring at a screen for a third of our day.


1. Look up.

Put the phone down. You don't really need to be on it. Instead of walking around staring down at your phone, look up and smile at someone. You'll be surprised how many people will actually smile back.


2. Go get some exercise.

Find something active that you like to do. Play a pick-up game of basketball with your buddies, take a jog on a local trail, go to a Zumba class, go on a walk around campus. Exercise is the best way to clear your mind and you'll feel so much better about yourself after!


3. Go exploring.

Find the top things to do in your city and go do them! Hit up Goodwill. Go downtown. Get froyo with your girlfriends. Buy some healthy food at the Farmer's Market. Find a hip coffee shop. Go on a day trip. You never know what you might find!


4. Have a face to face conversation.

No more "what's up," "nm," "ttyl." Imagine how much better you could get to know someone if you actually had a conversation with them in real life.


5. Have a dance party.

You'll laugh more than you would watching a funny Vine or countless Facebook videos. Plus, there's no better way to bond with your roommates than this.


6. Write a letter to your parents.

Most of our parents were born during a time where they actually wrote letters, so imagine how much they would appreciate getting a letter from you.


7. Invite your friends over for a potluck.

Who doesn't love food? You might not be the best cook, but anybody can heat up some frozen corn dogs and buy a carton of ice cream. And that girl you know who always posts food pics on Instagram... yeah invite her too. You might have a stomachache after, but it'll all be worth it in the long run.


8. Find a hobby.

Find something you love to do and go pursue it! Photography, crafting, collecting sports memorabilia, long boarding, surfing, whatever it may be - go try it out!


9. Get lost in a good book.

You never know what you might learn. Maybe you'll even discover you want to write a book yourself. Wanna get lost in a really good book? Check out the Bible.


10. Treat yo self.

You deserve to treat yo self. You probably treat yo self already, but go ahead and treat yo self again. Get that ice cream cone. Make it two scoops, actually three. Go to the mall and spend a little money on yourself. You finally put your phone away, so I would say you deserve it.


11. Do that one thing you've been meaning to do for ages.

You know exactly what one thing you need to do. It's the thing you keep putting off and there's no better time to do it then now.


You got this. Don't make your phone more important than the more important things in this life. Live a little more than you have been. Put the phone down. I promise you, you won't regret it.


Cover Image Credit: TechInsider

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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6 Best Feelings You Get When Playing Volleyball

While you're avoiding getting hit in the face, you just might gain something in return.

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Volleyball can be intimidating to get into, especially if you have had zero experience before. From the extremely bruised forearms to knee burns, it's understandable why people try to avoid this sport as much as possible sometimes. However, after the initial few weeks of struggle, the bruises will disappear, and the knee pains will feel much less terrible. In fact, after experiencing these six feelings, you will get hooked onto the sport.

1. When you get the perfect set

Every team needs a good setter, because without good sets, it is incredibly hard to get good hits. Every once in a while, when you do get that perfect set, you don't have to worry about repositioning closer or further away from the net or where to hit the ball. Instead, all you have to do is swing your arms and hear that satisfying bounce of the ball hitting the floor on the other side of the court.

2. When you dive for a ball and actually save it

Sacrifices to the knees are a must in volleyball, but a lot of times, they're sacrifices in vain. When a dive actually turns into a save, it can be one of the best feelings in the world. Not just because your knees didn't just take another bruise in vain, but because your reflexes have actually improved and you just saved your team a lost point.

3. When you get your first ace

Whether it was your serve that was too fast or the other team that just made a mistake, there's just something extremely satisfying about being able to serve a ball that others cannot return. It may also be due to the fact that you wouldn't have to run back onto the court or spend extra energy on this point, but nevertheless, the pride you feel when you get that ace is priceless.

4. When you find a good team

Some people work better with certain people than others, and when people on your team somehow naturally know how high you liked your sets or covers the areas that you can't at certain moments, as a team you will play much better. This can be attained through training and practice, but when you meet those people who naturally work well with you, you know the game is going to be good.

5. When you get a good rally going

When the ball is going back and forth for five or six times with 3 hits on each side, you have a good rally going on. At the end of it, even if your team loses the point, you'll feel an intense satisfaction from all the adrenaline still coursing through your veins. It's not every day that you can get everyone on the team on their feet, passing, hitting and making great plays!

6. When your teammates become some of your closest friends

This is probably the best reward that you can ever get from playing any sport. Whether it's a group trek to the local donut shop or just walking home together, you could end up meeting some of your closest friends. Volleyball is a team sport, and that bond established through numerous games is something that is irreplaceable. You'll naturally gravitate those who you work well with and find out that honestly, you guys get along pretty well off the court too.

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