For Those Who Are Shamed Because They “Do It For The Insta”

For Those Who Are Shamed Because They “Do It For The Insta”

We experience growth in so many ways, but here’s a shout out to the photographs for capturing our greatest moments.
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I am such a "capture the moment" type of person. Everyone always tells me that I “do it for the Instagram” or they saw the phrase, “Let’s take a photo!” just pouring out of my mouth. Why, yes. I do enjoy keeping my social media up to date. But the truth is, I find joy when I come across a photo from the past. It is pure nostalgia of making the most every moment. Memories are something I cherish and hold close to my heart. Every day you meet someone new, and to know that each person comes into your life with a different influence on you is inspiring and motivating. It inspires me to get out there and live life with those who bring out the best in me. It motivates me to be myself and be kind, to create connections with anyone and everyone you encounter. You never regret chances you take but to not take a chance comes with regret. To capture a moment provides a spark for reminiscing later on down the road.

I find beauty in the photographs. They hold happiness, growth, friendship, joy, laughter, smiles, fashion, and so much more. It’s much better to read a book that has illustrations than to read one with just words, am I right?!

My recent favorite theme is growth. Growth can come in many forms. We are all aging with every second. Our smile changes depending on the day, our size changes, our hair changes, our style changes, and so on and so forth. Much change is proven in photographs. They're irresistible in that way.

Growth proves you overcame the hardest battle you fought. Because after those long months of tears and weariness, you were able to overcome and find the bliss provided for you in this life. How special and rewarding is that?

Growth proves you lost that weight you were fighting to see the results of. It may have taken months, but the comparison can be amazing, and once again, rewarding.

Growth since you were a child into the beautiful soul you are today. Despite the battles lost, we get to celebrate those we have won too. You’ve matured an extraordinary amount throughout the years.

Growth in friendships that have been formed through this journey of life you've been on. And some that you’ve lost, but so what? Life has a way of replacing the bad apples for the good ones.

Growth in your education. Our parents began with documenting our elementary school photos, but now we are all seeing college graduation photos. How neat is that?! We are all flowers blooming into who we are shaped to be.

Growth in your self esteem and confidence. Look past your insecurities because I guarantee someone is out there that loves them endlessly.

We experience growth in so many ways. But here’s a shout out to the photographs for capturing our greatest moments. They hold pure gold. Live in the moment, but don't forget to capture it. Because to look back on the greatest times of your life is to look back at genuine happiness and maturation.

Keep saying "do it for the Insta," but know that much more will come out of it than just wanting likes. More will come with the memories you are creating with people whom you wouldn't trade for the world.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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The Truth About PETA

After hearing many stories of PETA's cruelty towards animals, it's hard to believe their cause is pure.

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A couple of years ago, my family visited an exotic zoo sanctuary that helped save breeds of tigers and took care of injured animals. On the entrance door we noticed a sticker that was dissing PETA. My sister and I were somewhat confused as we thought that PETA was an organization to save animals. Before we entered the zoo, there was a video that we had to watch about the history and purpose of the zoo. In the video, there was a contribution segment for their chimpanzees who were poisoned in their habitat. My family later talked to the owner of the zoo and he started telling us stories about people who have gotten into the zoo and poisoned the animals. Some people had thrown poisoned food over the fences and even bombed the alligator habitat- almost all of which had been members of PETA. There were also banners hanging up promoting a website called PETA kills animals, so I had to check it out.

On this website you can find many statistics and proof of the percentages of animals PETA has killed, PETA's claims, animal treatment, and the groups that they fund. While talking to the zoo owner, he had told us a story from when he worked for PETA for a short period of time. "There was a little boy who had brought in his pet bunny who had specifically asked to give it a better home, the associate agreed and then took it to the back where they had put it down." I asked him why they would just kill the pets without giving them a chance and his answer was shocking.

The owner told us that the people who kill pets and captive animals see it as doing the animal a favor. They don't believe in the notion of pets and think that no animal should live in a cage. So they believe that death is better for the animal than living domestically. Although it makes sense to want animals to live in the wild, I don't understand why killing them is necessary if they could just release them.

So why do they still post about animal rights? Just because they think that animals should die rather than being in a cage doesn't mean that they think wild animals should also die. Their goal is to rid the world of pets and grow the wild animal population. Animal cruelty is not okay, and they believe that, too. They may post about adoptions because they need to keep up their image and they can't kill all of the animals they house.

What about Sea World? As far as I know, PETA is for shutting Sea World down. Animals are dying in their habitats at Sea World due to poor conditions and bad health. If Sea World shuts down, then the animals get to be released from their cages and into the wild.

I have never experienced PETA first hand, but I have heard many stories about their killings. I am somewhat skeptical but I know that I don't trust the organization. What do you think? Does PETA kill animals? It's up for you to decide.

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