5 Resolutions For 2017

5 Resolutions For 2017

It's not "new year, new me" -- it's "new year, same me, but better."
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People will always try to say that New Years resolutions are overrated, and cynically insist that no one ever keeps them anyway.

But at the end of each year, I feel it's important to look back and reflect upon the strides I've made, what I've accomplished and what I haven't, and the areas in which there is still room for me to improve. I try to see life as a continuous journey to become the best person I can be, knowing that each year will bring new and more difficult challenges than the previous one, and I'll have to figure out ways to accept them and cope with them. I know this coming year is going to bring big changes--in school, at work, in the world around me. So, yes, like so many others who are on a continuous journey of self-improvement, I'm taking the new year as an opportunity to set some new goals for myself on that path. I guess you could say I'm preparing for the next level of the game that is my life.

And yes, I DO have faith in myself that I can keep these resolutions--this year and beyond.

1. Relax

I never realized just how many thoughts constantly raced through my mind, or how that might be affecting my life, until a few days ago when I downloaded a meditation app and began doing 10-minute daily exercises. Slowing down, quieting my mind and letting all those thoughts go felt better than I could have ever imagined, and I couldn't help thinking of how much more productive I could be if I always felt relaxed, centered and clear-headed. So this year, I'm going to continue taking time at the beginning of each day to meditate, and at the end of each day to unwind and de-stress. When the new spring semester begins, I know I'll be able to improve my GPA, my relationships and my general way of life in a more relaxed state.

2. Keep a journal

At the same time, when I'm going through something big in my life that brings confusing feelings with it, I know writing in a journal is a good way for me to sort them out. It's another way to make more space in my mind for clearer thinking.

3. Become a better communicator

Communication is essential in all relationships--romantic, friendly, professional, and so on. It's how people come to understand each other's feelings, thoughts and ideas. This year, I want to make sure my feelings, thoughts and ideas are heard, and that they're heard in the right way. I want to be able to let others know what I need from them, and be there when others need something from me.

4. Keep my word

I'm not just going to say "We should really try to hang out more!" and then let weeks pass with no contact at all. I'm going to make sure it actually happens. I want people to know me as the type of person who really means what she says--especially when it comes to nurturing friendships.

5. Stop degrading myself, and start praising myself

I'm now entering my 21st year. I believe now is as good a time as ever to realize that I'm going to make mistakes, and it's going to be okay. They're not a comment on my character and they don't take away from the good parts of me. I'm really going to try and have more faith in those good parts.



Cover Image Credit: Ariana Leo

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10 Bible Verses For Thanksgiving

Psalm 34:1
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The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

1) 1 Chronicles 16:34

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

2) Colossians 3:15-17

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

3) Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

4) Psalm 30:12

That my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

5) Isaiah 12:4-5

And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.

6) Hebrews 12:28-29

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

7) Jonah 2:9

But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay Salvation is from the Lord."

8) 1 Timothy 4:4-5

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

9) Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

10) Psalm 100:4

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpapers Pro

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10 Struggles Every Big Has Planning And Leading Up To The Perfect Big-Little Reveal

Big-little season is here, and with that comes hordes of paint covered Bigs trying to create the best Reveal ever. There's a lot of stress, suspense and glitter. Mostly glitter.

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Every sorority girl knows the absolute joy of receiving gifts from their bigs. Bigs secretly give their littles gifts in the days before the reveal, where littles discover who their bigs are. There are costumes and lots of excitement, and lifelong bonds begin to form.

There's nothing like being surprised with seemingly endless presents that are filled with your favorite things, sent with love from a person who cares a lot about you. You'll be showered with things like snacks, canvases and flowers. When it is your turn to give gifts, there is a long tradition and a big responsibility before you.

These are 10 struggles every future big will understand.

1. Loving your little already, and hoping she likes you too

You picked her out because of her charming personality and great sense of humor, and she's everything you dreamed of. One can only hope that she's as excited to be your little as you are to be her big. There's countless movie nights, brunches and functions ahead of the two of you. Trust me, she's even more excited to meet you!

2. Trying to live up to what your big did for your own reveal

There were so many gifts, you felt like Christmas came early. She knew exactly what to get you and got you everything in your favorite colors. You still hang the canvases she got you on the wall, and the t-shirts are regularly worn. You've got big, artistically gifted shoes to fill.

3. Hopelessly scouring Pinterest for ideas

Pinterest is a blessing and a curse. Yes, there are hundreds of ideas, but the pictures of museum-worthy crafts make you think your own gifts look like they were made by a kindergartener. Thankfully, your little will love them anyway.

4. Saving money in order to pay for the extravaganza

All of these purchases won't be cheap. Bigs regularly spend over 100 dollars for the reveal. Some Pinterest stars can spend three times that much in Christmas lights, Patagonia pullovers and jewelry.

5. Staying up all night to finish a project

Larger crafts like paddles and tables can take hours to complete. On top of being bigs, sorority girls are also students and have to juggle classes on top of their preparations. Good time management and a lot of caffeine is the only way to juggle all of your responsibilities during this hectic time.

6. Living your life covered in paint

Leading up to gift days, you're forced to craft whenever you can. This can mean walking around with paint smudges on your clothes and body, glitter on your face and pieces of ribbon stuck in your hair. Every other soon-to-be big will look the same, so embrace being part of a group of exhausted and artsy girls.

7. Feeling kinda like Santa Claus

Delivering gifts to a person who doesn't really know who you are during a festive season can make anyone feel like Saint Nick. (And let's be real, big-little reveal IS a Holiday). It's good practice for the big leagues when you have your own family.

8. Trying to find the best theme EVER

Rock and roll? Candy? Peanut butter and jelly? There's so many options out there it's hard to choose.

9. Trying to slyly ask if your little likes her gifts without revealing who you are

You might just casually bump into her on campus, or stalk her Snapchat for any signs that she received her gifts. It's not creepy, it's love.

10. Impatiently waiting behind a curtain, or in a box, to finally reveal yourself

The last couple minutes before you formally become a big are incredibly stressful. All of your hard work and long nights are over, and all there is left to do is have your amazing little run into your arms. The dedication paid off, and now you get to enjoy the post-Reveal revelries and celebrate never having to craft this much ever again.

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