7 Superstitions My Hispanic Grandma Taught Me

7 Superstitions My Hispanic Grandma Taught Me

Superstitions are crazy, but Cuban ones are even crazier.
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My grandmother, Tita, like most Hispanic grandmothers, was full of superstitions and words of wisdom, often giving off negative vibes with good intentions. She didn't speak a lick of English, didn't drive well at all, and was the definition of a strong woman.

After she passed, I knew I needed to do everything I could to keep her memory alive. I tattooed her birthday on my ribs, along with a gardenia, which was her favorite flower, and I looked for her in everyday experiences. Today, I carry her with me on my skin and in my heart.

Her influence on my life is still here today, and it has changed the way I carry myself. Here are seven things my grandmother loved to tell me to do:

1. "Para de hacer muecas," "Stop making faces."

"Your face is going to get stuck like that" was her reasoning behind this one-liner. Even if I was just chewing the inside of my cheek, she'd pop up out of nowhere and scold me.

2. "Ten cuidado con el sereno," "Watch out for the moonlight."

Alright, so this one was a little crazy. My grandma believed that the moonlight would get you sick if you went outside at night without a hat on. To this day, I still cover my head when the full moon is out.

3. "No te bañes si esta lloviendo," "Don't shower during a rainstorm."

So my grandmother had this fear that I'd be electrocuted if I showered during a rainstorm, not even a thunder storm. I cannot tell you how many times I waited for a storm to pass before I showered.

4. "No jueges con la perra cuando tienes la regla," "Don't play with the dog when you're on your period."

According to my grandmother, the dog could smell the blood and would try to bite me... so I couldn't play with dogs while on my period. So sad when all I wanted to do was cuddle with my dog when I had cramps!

5. "No te bañes despues de comer," "Don't bathe right after you eat."

If you took a bath after eating, it would paralyze your digestion and you'd get sick. Please don't ask for the science behind this one.

6. "No te aquestes a dormir con el pelo mojado," "Don't go to sleep with your hair wet."

If I went to bed with my hair wet, I'd catch an awful cold. This might be the only thing my grandmother said that's somewhat accurate. Nowadays, I'm more worried about waking up with serious bedhead.

7. "No camines sin zapatos cuando tienes la regla," "Don't walk barefoot on your period."

Walking barefoot while on your period was one of the worst things you could do, supposedly. It would cause cramps because the floor would be too cold and your body couldn't handle it... I didn't get it either.

Cover Image Credit: Elisa Nuñez-Rodriguez

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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Educational Inequality In College Still Exist And It Isn't Fair

Who told me college would be the best four years of my life?

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Growing up, I have always known that I was a victim of educational inequality to some extent, but it was not until I was applying for college that I realized how much of a victim I truly was.

Educational inequality is the unequal distribution of academic resources such as school finances, quality teachers, books, technologies, and the list goes on, to socially excluded communities. If you were a victim of educational inequality and marginalization, it merely means that at one point you were at a disadvantage and it can and will persist in college.

Children are disadvantaged due to their parents' class, finances, education demographics and much more all before they are even in kindergarten. Often, children who start behind are unable to make up the ground they lost and stay behind in life.

Although I was fortunate enough to make up the ground that was taken from me, you could still say that I am behind in some areas. Children who are financially disadvantaged are unable to obtain resources to help make up lost ground, take the SAT, apply for college, or even attend college at all while other children are disadvantaged due to lack of information offered to them.

Nonetheless, it is evident that there is a severe issue with educational inequality and marginalization in the US.

The naïve 18-year-old me thought I was going to escape that bias that I have been facing the entire duration of my academic career once it was time to go to college and boy, was I wrong. Even though there has been an increase in access to higher education, studies have still shown that students from disadvantaged or non-academic family backgrounds are still being underrepresented in colleges.

Disadvantaged students are being underrepresented in colleges for several reasons, but one of the driving factors is the lack of knowledge and information that I mentioned previously.

Studies have shown that supplying the basic information to disadvantaged students could increase the number of these students applying to more colleges substantially. Not only are the students being underrepresented in college, but continue to be disadvantaged when attending colleges that perpetuate class divides.

When you think about the reason we go to college, it is to even out the playing field. Attending college is suppose to lead to equal opportunities but it cannot if these selective or "top tier" colleges are purposely not reaching out to disadvantaged students. Instead, colleges are only reinforcing social inequalities and educational inequality, keeping those who are behind, behind. These disadvantaged students who do continue their education in colleges are still not offered the same college experience as those who have not faced educational inequality.

Children are currently being limited to lesser educations at no fault of their own, for several reasons. We should all care about educational inequality and marginalization because children deserve a chance to be the best version of themselves.

We college students deserve an opportunity to learn and get ahead in life without fear of student loan debt or anything else of that matter.

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