15 Things To Do This Summer If You're Already Bored

15 Things To Do This Summer If You're Already Bored

There's only so much sitting around and watching Netflix you can do at one time.
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Whether you just got out of school for the summer or you've been off for a month, we all struggle with summer brain and boredom. There's only so much sitting around and watching Netflix you can do at one time. Here are some things you can do to keep your summer brain from taking over.

1. Go for a swim

It's summer for goodness sakes! Go find a community pool, lake, ocean, or a body of water cool yourself off this summer. Or if you're not into getting your hair wet this summer...

2. Catch up on your Vitamin D

You are finally emerging from the library after a tough semester and seeing the light of day and enjoying the summer weather. Go lay out in the sun and work on that tan after getting out of a BRUTAL winter.

3. Read a book

The summer is a great time to catch up on some reading. Now that you don't have the mandatory reading to do, you can catch up on whatever books you are into. Here's a list of some books you can read up on.

4. Pinterest surf

It may be for crafts or catching up the latest fashion trends, get into Pinterest and create the summer board that will keep you busy this summer.

5. Go to a baseball game

From Little League to an MLB game, enjoy America's sport. Better yet...

6. Go outside a play a sports game

If baseball's your thing, gather a team and go have fun. Soccer or volleyball, whatever you do enjoy the outdoors and the warm weather!

7. Go enjoy the outdoors

Because before you know it, it will be cold again and wish you could go outside again.

8. Bowling!

You have to have those rainy day activities in your back pocket just in case. You can go to a real alley or just bowling on the Wii (because you know we all love the Wii) but it gets you off your feet and distracted from the endless videos and TV shows that you are watching all day.

9. Putt putt golf

It's cheesy but so much fun. If you suck at golf like me, mini golf is the next best thing.

10. Go pick some fresh fruit

There are plenty of the farms open now that sell fresh fruit. Some even let you pick your own fruit like strawberries and peaches. Go check it out and go exploring!

11. Organize your room

You know it's been ages since you last cleaned your room. Spring cleaning came late this year but better late than ever!!

12. Enjoy time with your family

Whether you are back for the summer, the weekend, or about to leave for college, enjoy the time you have with your family. They love you and they miss you. Suggest barbequing some hamburgers or making smores with a firepit, find the time to talk and create memories that will last a lifetime.

13. Ice cream!!!!

You can get ice cream anytime but come on! Nothing is better than ice cream on a hot day.

14. Roadtrip with your BFFs

Make it a long weekend and go explore your state or the state next door and get even closer to your best friends! Maybe you don't have the money for a vacation getaway, you can always...

15. Be a tourist in your hometown

Go to the closest city and visit some attractions you may not have been to or revisit some of your favorite spots.

There are lots of things to do this summer. I know a lot of these things require money that we may not all have unless you have a job. Either way, take some time for yourself this summer and have fun!

Cover Image Credit: Brooklyn Morgan

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Here's Why You Shouldn't Donate to The Salvation Army This Holiday Season (Or Ever)

No, I’m not a grinch or a scrooge. I’m just a member of the LGBT+ community that is tired of seeing my community suffer at the hands of organizations that are supposed to help us.
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The holiday season is upon us, bringing mall Santas, twinkling lights, and the well-known bell ringers with their red buckets stationed outside busy department stores. The Salvation Army is a mainstay in the memories of our childhood holidays. I remember a number of years where my parents would give each of my sisters and I a handful of change to put in the shiny red bucket as we walked into Wal-Mart to shop for our family Christmas dinner. On the surface, the Salvation Army is an organization with good intentions of helping the less fortunate, especially during the holiday season. However, a quick Google search exposes the organization’s discriminatory practices.

The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian denomination and an international charitable organization. Their mission statement, as stated on their website, reads: “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

Despite their insistence of nondiscriminatory practices, however, there have been several instances of discrimination, specifically against members of the LGBT+ community. In July 2017, a Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn, New York, was found by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) to be discriminating. Three other centers in New York City were also cited as being discriminatory. Violations within the four centers included refusing to accept transgender people as patients or tenants, assigning trans people rooms based on their sex assigned at birth instead of their lived gender identity, unwarranted physical examinations to determine if trans people are on hormone therapy or have had surgery, and segregating transgender patients into separate rooms. The NYCCHR had been tipped off about the mistreatment, and testers from the commission went to the cited centers and found clear evidence of the mistreatment. One of the clinics told the testers outright, “No, we don’t [accept transgender patients].” Another clinic’s representative said, “People with moving male parts would be housed with men.”

This isn’t the first time the Salvation Army has discriminated specifically against transgender people. In 2014, a transgender woman from Paris, Texas fled her home due to death threats she received related to her gender identity. The police told her, “Being the way you are, you should expect that.” She went to Dallas and found emergency shelter at the Carr P. Collins Social Service Center, run by the Salvation Army. The emergency shelter allowed her to stay for 30 days. Towards the end of her 30-day stay, she began looking for other long-term shelter options. One option many of the other women staying in the shelter had recently entered was a two-year housing program also run by the Salvation Army. When the woman interviewed for the program, she was told she was disqualified for the program because she had not had gender reassignment surgery. The counselor for the program later claimed there was a waiting list, but it came out that two women who arrived at the emergency shelter after the transgender woman had already entered the program. The transgender woman filed a complaint with Dallas’s Fair Housing Office, which protects against discrimination on the basis of gender identity. She was able to find other housing through the Shared Housing Project, a project that aims to find transgender people with housing who are willing to support those without.

The Salvation Army’s Christian affiliation drives the organization’s statements and beliefs. The church has a page on its website dedicated to its decided stance on the LGBT+ community that seems to paint a nice picture. Their actions, however, tell a different story. There have been several accounts reporting the Salvation Army’s refusal of service to LGBT+ people unless they renounce their sexuality, end same-sex relationships, or, in some cases, attend services “open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army’s doctrine and discipline.” The church claims it holds a “positive view of human sexuality,” but then clarifies that “sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage.” This belief extends to their staff, asking LGBT+ employees to renounce their beliefs and essentially their identity in order to align with the organization. The Salvation Army believes that “The theological belief regarding sexuality is that God has ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman and sexual activity is restricted to one’s spouse. Non-married individuals would therefore be celibate in the expression of their sexuality.” Essentially, gay people can’t get married. Unmarried people can’t have sex. Therefore, gay people are forbidden from being intimate with one another. This is unfair to ask of any employee, especially considering that one’s relationship status does not interfere with how well anyone can do their job.

If you are still looking to donate to a non-homophobic and transphobic organization this holiday season, here are some great pro-LGBT+ organizations with outreach similar to that of the Salvation Army:

  • Doctors Without Borders: medical and emergency relief
  • Habitat for Humanity: homelessness and housing
  • Local homeless shelters: search the National Coalition for the Homeless’ website for shelters near you!
  • Local food bank: find your local food bank through Feeding America here.
  • The Trevor Project: a leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT+ young people ages 13-24.
Cover Image Credit: Ed Glen Today

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Going Home For The Holigays Can Be Hard, But You Will Survive It

The holidays are sometimes hard, but the holigays can be harder.

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Every year all of the months leading up to Halloween seem to drag on and then spooky season starts. We all know that spooky season is truly the most wonderful time of the year, but once November 1st comes, everything starts becoming more stressful. Christmas music, Black Friday, cold weather, spending money you don't have to find the perfect gift, and possibly spending time in an uncomfortable situation back home with family. Not everyone has an awkward family situation, but those who do have a really hard time surviving this time of year.

The Holigays are really hard for queer people who aren't out to their families. This time of year we get asked if we're dating the gender we don't prefer, we get misgendered, or we hear our deadnames oh so many times. The list of unfortunate experiences could go on, but these seem to be the most common occurrences during the Holigays. Trust me, you're not alone in this one. Most of the time people in these situations try to avoid these uncomfortable encounters all year but once winter hits, they don't have a choice. Also, have you ever noticed how you can see your family every single day but during this time of year when they're all together they suddenly get extra intrusive? It's weird, right?

So, we can all agree that if you're not out to your family or your family doesn't understand or fully accept your identity that maybe the Holigays just isn't your season. There are some good things that come out of this though... You get to eat a lot of good food. Even though you're not fully out or understood, you know that you're happy with your life. Soon, a new year will start and that is one more year of new experiences and being even greater than you were this year.

Even though the Holigays are hard, you can get through it. It won't last forever and it will be okay. Things may not always be easy to get through nor will they always be fun, but it is a relatively short time and one day it will all be worth it.

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