I Am A Better Person Because Of What I Learned At 18

I Am A Better Person Because Of What I Learned At 18

...That I am grateful to know today.
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For many of us, eighteen is our first real taste of adulthood.

You're away at college, doing things on your own, with minimal supervision. Sounds like the dream, right? Think again, because it's a year of challenges, triumphs, and lessons -- some that could be learned the rather hard way.

With that being said, here are 18 things that I wish I had already known, that I'd like to instill in others.

1. Quality over quantity -- always. No questions asked.

2. You are not invincible...

3. ...but you are also much stronger than you think.

4. People are not always going to agree with what you do, think, or say, and that's OK.

5. He's just a stupid boy. A year from now, you'll laugh at how much time you wasted over him.

6. Stop caring so much about what people think. Seriously.

7. It's OK to have feelings, no matter how much you want to defy them.

8. Putting yourself out there is nerve-wracking, but it will pay off in the end.

9. Nothing happens overnight. Be patient.

10. If you're being someone you know you are not, stop it.

11. Friends come and go, but do not let go of those who stay.

12. Be proud of your passions, ambitions, and dreams.

13. Taking risks isn't always a bad idea.

14. There is more to life than how many 'likes' people toss you on social media. Really.

15. Go with your first instinct, always.

16. There is nothing a cup of coffee or a nap cannot cure.

17. It will get better, I promise.

18. Take care of yourself. Life is so, so precious.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram//Patagonia

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Poetry On Odyssey: Doubt

It is time to wage war on our emotions, yet to do so we must be ready for the unknown.
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What is it

Where does it come from

Why is it here

How is it so strong

When will it go away

Who even is it?


Questions on questions

They pile up higher and higher

But for what?


Is it only to be answered with another question

A question that can’t be answered,

Or can it?


Its name is doubt

Or is that even its name

I have become so unsure,

Because of its silly game.


Doubt makes us worry

Doubt makes us unwilling

Doubt makes us lost.


The very definition of doubt

Is a question

Or maybe it’s “to question.”


Doubt may be a hinder

Yet it does not cripple

For doubt can be overcome.


Our grass doesn’t have to be compared

No, not to the other side

See our grass can be watered

Watered right where we are.


It may take time,

But it will grow,

For it is proven.


We can’t question what is true

We can’t assume things we have yet to experience,

Yet we can grow what is right at our feet.


Sometimes we have to go with what we know,

And not with what we feel.


We have been given a mission

A purpose, if you recall,

Not to sit on the side

Yet to take the lead for all.


This is a stand we must make

One that will be hard to do

But hold on the promise

That we have all been there too.


For just as angst comes to prey

Doubt is by its side

But we know what’s to be done

We know how to fight

For we must only stand in the light.


Our grass will grow green

No matter how dead it seems

Don’t forget to add the water

Because that is all it needs.


You’ve got this,

Keep going,

You’re going to do great

I’m proud of you my friend

For this is not the end.

Cover Image Credit: Rex Pickar

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