20 Things I Have Learned In 20 Years

20 Things I Have Learned In 20 Years

Maybe, I am, wiser than my years..

Over the years, I have learned so many things not only about myself but about my family and friends – and just life in general. As my birthday approaches each year, I typically take time to reflect on the things I have learned about life, since the last time my birthday came around. I am turning 20, and there is no better time than the present to reflect on my year’s as a teenager.

1. Everything in life is not going to be handed to you, on a silver platter

My dad has always told me, that nothing in life is free. Over the years, I have come to find this statement true in so many aspects. I am incredibly thankful for my hard-work ethic, and I can truthfully say that I work hard for everything I have, and I am so proud of it!

2. No one is going to take care of yourself as you will

My mother has been my ultimate care-taker for the majority of my life. She had provided for me when I didn’t deserve it and took care of me through all of the pneumonia cases, stomach viruses and repetitive strep-throat cases. As I’ve gotten older, I have discovered that I am the best at taking care of myself when my mom isn’t around. I can get myself a Coke when I need it – I know that my mama is so proud!

3. Do unto others as you would have done unto you

Treat others how you want to be treated. If you’d want someone to hold the door for you, hold the door for someone else. Don’t be rude unto others, for they COULD be rude unto you.

4. Treat yourself!

Buy that package of cookies, schedule that nail appointment, take yourself out to dinner! I deserve a treat every once in a while!

5. Surround yourself with friends who make you laugh when nothing is even funny

After coming to college, I have learned the importance of good friends. Luckily, I enjoy spending time with a bunch of good time gals! My latest friend group of about 20+ people are all down for a good time, and I am so thankful for their friendships. No matter how many stressful things happen in a week, these gals can always put a smile on my face!

6. Chick-Fil-A is always the best option!

Chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, waffle fries, the sauces, the cookies - you name it, it’s great! It’s convenient and fast. The customer service is always impeccable, and I agree with their company’s values.

7. When in doubt, drink the Coke!

There is not a bad day that goes by, that doesn't deserve a good can of Coke!

8. Be yourself

In this world, full of social media, magazines, and tabloids – it is incredibly important to remember to stay true to yourself. Comfort Colors T-Shirts, Rainbows, Pearls, Watches, all the things...I love it. I may not have the trendy leggings or the swaggy shoes – but I am myself. And that’s 110% okay with me!

9. Don’t get caught up living someone else’s dream, in your own life!

It is your life. Live it the way you want. Don’t let anyone else determine your destiny. The end.

10. Dream Big!!!

The sky is the limit. Don’t let any of your doubts, or worries keep you from achieving your dreams!

11. Don’t make an effort to be friends with someone who will not make an effort for you

IF someone wants to be friends with you, she will make an effort. As my good friend always says, “the phone works both ways.”

12. The 5 Bs apply to every conversation in life!

Boys, Booze, Bible, Barack (Politics), Bucks – as a sorority girl, most people have heard of this concept. Not only during recruitment but in life in general. When meeting someone new, do not bring these topics of conversation with someone new.

13. Be humble, sit down

The one quality that I love about myself is humility. It is so incredibly important to remember to remain grateful, thankful, and blessed. God has blessed me beyond measures, and I could not accomplish my life goals without his destiny!

14. Spend time with your grandparents

Ever since coming to college, I have learned that spending quality time with your grandparents is so special. My grandparents treat me like a queen, and I am always forever thankful!

15. Always save money, when it is an option.

There are plenty of times present to be able to spend money when it’s appropriate. Use that coupon, take advantage of the special nights at the restaurants – one day it will pay off when that Nixon DSLR Camera is on sale!

16. Your opinion does not always need to be shared

An opinion is like everyone’s bellybutton – everyone has one, but NOT everyone needs to see it!

17. For me, it is better to dress for comfort rather than fashion

Your girl is all about comfort, you can be fashionably comfortable!

18. You can never be too organized

Planners, sticky notes, pens, highlighters, pencils, baskets – you can never be too organized. It will pay off!

19. Flip-flops are the best option!

I love a good pair of flip-flops. Rainbows, Jacks, even Birkenstocks...I cannot have my feet enclosed for a long period of time.

20. Celebrate every day like it is your last!

Every day given is a reason to smile. Every day is a reason to be thankful. Take opportunities, do your best, make the most of every moment!

These twenty “life-lessons,” are only a number of things I have learned over my years. Life lessons come through new friendships, and experiences. I am so excited for a new year to come around and see what I learn with my new friendships in the beautiful city.. just living the college life!

Cover Image Credit: Brian Zigelheaffer

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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