5 Things I Learned When I Began Investing In My Appearance

5 Things I Learned When I Began Investing In My Appearance

It's not as simple as putting on a cute top.
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I was sitting in the car with my roommate as we journeyed out to her grandmothers house when she brought up our appearances. "Yasmeen," she said, "we really need to start focusing on what we look like so we can feel better about ourselves." At the time, I had nodded and smiled, brushing her suggestion off in my head because I knew myself and I knew that I'd never really tried anything special with my appearance. I hadn't even worn makeup to my senior prom and I wore a dress I'd owned for months. Her suggestion just didn't make sense to me. Later that day, I was searching in my closet, sifting through clothes (mind you, I was just looking for that one really comfortable sweater I loved) when I realized that maybe it was time to start investing in my appearance. High school me would have thrown up at the idea, her obvious self-esteem issues being the biggest block in the road to looking good. But college me jumped up and down at the idea, and since then, I've started focusing on looking and feeling good. In honor of that, here's five things I learned when I began investing in my appearance.

1. It’s difficult.

My new rule for myself is that I invest in my hair, face, or outfit everyday. Let me tell you- it sucks. It’s hard to twist my thick and unruly hair into some DIY hairdo that Pinterest shoves in my face. It’s hard to apply eyeliner when I know that one wing is going to look like it’s ready to fly off into the sky whilst the other is a symbolic messy metaphor for my life. And it’s definitely hard to realize that apparently, you can’t wear white after labor day (I question who the hell came up with that one…). I mean, really, I have no idea what I'm doing when I hold a makeup brush to my face and mess around with foundation. But hey, that's the fun of it, right?


2. I have no idea what my style is.

Am I boho-chic? Hipster? Casual? What do my clothes say about my style inspiration? Sure, I love looking at Perrie Edwards and wanting all her clothing, but does my style reflect that? It’s hard to figure out what kind style I gravitate towards because I usually just wear anything that makes me feel happy and comfortable. Does the fact that I own a lot of black clothing mean that I have a grungier sense of style? Or do the floral, loose fitting blouses indicate that I'm more boho than I though? Who the hell knows.

3. I’m really not dressing up for anyone but myself.

I promise. Most often when men and women decide to dress themselves up it’s inferred that they are dressing up for another person. What happened to rocking a smokey eye because you felt like it?! Are we really that behind, people? Yes, there will be times in life when your outfit and your appearance will be specifically put together for other people, and yes, that’s okay. There have definitely been times where I put on a specific top because I knew that really loved it. But I promise you, I usually want to wear the clothes I wear because I think I look cute in them.

4. I had to learn to take a compliment- from both myself and others.

When I started to wear makeup more frequently and really put together my outfits, other people noticed. My friends would comment on a lipstick shade I was wearing or how I had braided my hair. And that, to me, was downright scary. It helped me realize that when people had been looking before and had complimented me on a part of my body, they had actually meant it. If people only compliment you when you're all made up, it doesn't really mean anything. It became easier to hear compliments because I realized that I was just as beautiful without any work done to my appearance. But just because I let other people compliment me, didn't mean it was as easy to compliment myself. Looking in the mirror and saying something nice about yourself sounds easy, but it felt like climbing an uphill mountain. I felt like I was hyping myself up just to say I liked the way a pair of jeans looked on my body. But it all became worth it when I felt better for saying it.

5. I feel really good.

I do. Believe me. Whether investing in your appearance means a full face of makeup or wearing a nice blouse, let me tell you- you shine. Though your outer appearance is not as important as what’s inside (I feel like I’ve quoted every cheesy Pinterest board at this point), feeling confident on the outside will help you feel confident on the inside. And hey, if you can feel confidence in ways other than your appearance, good for you! Really, the point of it all is to feel happy and confident, regardless of where you find it.

Cover Image Credit: Penn State

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I was I am

A poem for those struggling with who they were.

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it seems almost like a page

in someone else's book now


how there was

a time that i thought

i could have been happy

with someone like you


a million years before

i knew who i was

and that i should mean so much more

than i ever did to you


i almost can't remember

the way you held your elbows or

the way you said the letter o or

the way you told me goodnight


it seems now

that all i can recall

are my relentless tears and

the fear that this was the love

that everyone spoke about


the fear that this

was what id have to live with

for the rest of my life


i remember those late nights

just you and i

you always got what you wanted

i was always too afraid to upset you

looking back i wonder why

i couldnt leave you then


but you kept me

my misery maintained until

i felt like nothing


that night was the record scratch

When I knew my life

Shouldn't be like this.


It wasn't until I finally broke our ties

That I started to remember

Who I am.

But my mind is clear now.

I can remember

How strong I am,

How perfectly happy I am

On my own.


It seems almost like a page

In someone else's book now.


You're finally fading away.

I just wish my scars could fade as quickly.

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