7 Things I'm Thankful For

7 Things I'm Thankful For

During this Thanksgiving break, I encourage you to take a moment and think about what you are thankful for.
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I’m sure you remember those times in middle school where the teacher would have you think about what you are thankful for since it was close to Thanksgiving. During that time, many people would write down their family or food – something that didn’t require too much thought. As we get older, we don’t get asked about it. Our daily agenda is so packed that we can’t/don’t set aside the time to feel grateful for what we have. Here is a list of some things I am thankful for.

1. My Family

Even though this used to be my default answer when I was younger, I am extremely grateful to have them in my life. I’m so blessed to have a family who supports me, and celebrates my accomplishments with me. My parents spent many years working hard and raising me to be the successful woman I am today. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for me. I love being able to always have my mom on my side, and having my dad want to help me with whatever I can’t figure out. My brother never fails to make me laugh. He’s grown so much, and even though he’s my not-so-little little brother, he’s become one of my closest friends. I am also thankful for my grandparents who constantly believe in me and get excited when I succeed.

2. Purdue University

Purdue has given me challenges and obstacles that I never thought I would face. I have grown so much since college started. I’ve had to work hard for everything that I have accomplished. Being challenged is difficult and stressful, but you learn so much about yourself. I’m ever grateful and ever true. Boiler up!

3. My Sorority Sisters

I’m grateful to have these wonderful women in my life. My sisters encourage me to be the best I can be, and they have made me more confident in my abilities. These quirky women never fail to make me laugh, and I always enjoy the time that I get to spend with them. Being a member of our chapter’s alpha class has shown me the impact I can make on people. My sisters have changed me for the better by showing me my potential. AOT!

4. My CS Fam

I am so thankful to have met such an amazing group of men and women. I would highly suggest having a group of friends in your major. We support each other since we know how difficult our classes can be. We think similarly, but are completely unique individuals which means we all bring something different to our group. It’s given me an entirely different college experience. I’m so lucky to have friends who understand what I am talking about and are willing to listen.

5. My Boyfriend

I’m grateful to have him in my life. He has given me support and comfort through the ups and downs I’ve been given in the past two years. He understands and works with my hectic schedule. I constantly think about how lucky I am to have someone so forgiving and loving.

6. My Long Distance Best Friend

Any time something happens in my life, she’s the first to know. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, we pick up right where we left off. She listens and wants to know everything going on in my life. I can always count on her to go on a “Starbucks date in different states” with me. We are always each other’s first like on Instagram. I could not have gotten through high school without her, and I know I’ll say the same for college when we graduate.

7. My Dog

I always look forward to going home since I know there will be a wagging tail and some snuggles from Loki waiting for me. She has given me comfort and someone to talk to when I’m alone. She always comforts me when I am sick. She’s also an extremely silly girl with an attitude, and never fails to make me smile.

During this Thanksgiving break, I encourage you to take a moment and think about what you are thankful for. Try asking friends and family members what they are thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cover Image Credit: staticflickr.com

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Spending Time Outdoors Has So Many Benefits, Physically And Mentally

The recent study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research emphasizing how spending time outdoors could reduce emotional stress and increase a person's overall happiness.

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Recently, I have come across a riveting article from Time stating that even spending as little as 20 minutes outside in a green area i.e. a park can instantly make you feel more cheerful. This article struck me a lot because we often rely on medications for effective treatment as opposed to anything natural. In my opinion, the best form of treatment lies in organic and pure substances. There can be nothing purer than spending time outdoors. In fact, we get most of our Vitamin D from the sun.

As a matter of fact, the recent study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research emphasizing how spending time outdoors could reduce emotional stress and increase a person's overall happiness. This recent finding serves as a great reminder to people who prefer to stay indoors thoroughly engrossed in their own world. I agree that staying indoors has its own perks and sometimes you just need that "Me" time all by yourself. But, being outdoors radiates an abundance of positive energy that is highly encouraged to maintain the exuberant zest for life.

No matter how busy I'm with classes and work, I always jump at the prospect of going outside and spending that time feeling the scorching sunshine on my face. Sometimes, that's all we need! Along those lines, the article mentions how just being physically outside means a lot even if you are not doing anything. There is no need to always exercise while spending time outside in order to feel ecstatic about life.

Personally, I love the outdoors and it feels awesome learning the fact that there is a valid scientific reason as to why I start feeling happier than before. It is indeed remarkable how nature plays a huge role in regulating your moods and approach towards life. Hence, I would strongly encourage everyone to broaden their horizons more and plan on spending more time outside. Even if it is for 10 or 15 minutes. After all, being outdoors opens the door to a healthy lifestyle. Those few moments spent outside can make you feel more empowered than you ever were!

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