No Longer United But Divided

No Longer United But Divided

A look back to 9/11 and where we have gone in fifteen years.
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It's amazing how fifteen years changes a country. Fifteen years ago, America was under attack. Fifteen years ago, America lost so much and realized just how vulnerable she is. Fifteen years ago, America stood as one. Race, religion, social class, education - none of it mattered. We all hurt and held each other as family. Together we all moured in the months and years to come. Our sense of security was stolen right before our eyes. Through the unbearable pain, we managed to come together as the enemy had driven us apart and we rebuilt something even more powerful than before.

Now that united front we once had seems like a long lost memory of a different life, or a fairy tale that never existed. In 2016 we are about as divided as we could possibly get. We are not the same country that once stood together on broken ground. We are a country who has let everything turn into a race war. We have movie theater shootings on the news about every six months, or some other horrendous acts of violence. We have riots in the streets because a few people feel acting like an idiot will get America's attention. Cops have a target on their head. Some of those same cops are the cops that risked their lives to bring our family members out of the burning Twin Towers. And we have people stomping on the flag or burning the flag... the same flag that we proudly held and flew for months after the attacks.

Notice I said we? That's right, WE. We have let this country run to the ground. We have let idiots go too long, doing the wrong thing for this country. Not just people of power either, the general population have taken it into their own hands on who lives and who dies. We take to social media to shame and tear each other down. We have destroyed everything America once stood for. We have let the enemy win. However, this time the enemy isn't another country or across the world, it's not planes, bombs or explosives. It's our own people. Our own people are terrorizing our once great nation. We've been to war to protect other countries from being terrorized yet we're the ones being terrorized, from our own people. How does that even happen? When did we give up and thrown in the towel? How did we give up that easily?

Wake up, America. It's time we take our country off the back burner and make us a priority. It's time to educate our citizens and get back to being that great country again. It's time to get back to being United. It's time to get back to being the land of the free, not the land of me.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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A Glimpse Of My Adventure In Germany & Poland

This why everyone should study abroad.

Learism
Learism
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Two days ago, I arrived back in the States from a two-week study abroad trip to Germany and Poland. This trip was entitled Experiences in International Justice. On this trip, we studied the Holocaust and its consequences through the lens of criminal justice. This trip changed my life in so many ways.

Firs, I really connected with all the other students on my trip, so I know that I can find friendship and understanding in them because we shared this experience.

Secondly, I discovered a newfound respect for life and need to work towards a more just world through learning more about Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust. We visited three infamous concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. I don't know if I can explain to you the emotions I experienced, but I would like to try since I think it is very important to share my experience with others. It was so surreal to be in a place where millions of innocent lives were taken away. Seeing where the many Jews, Roma, and many other groups slept, worked, suffered, and died really put my life into perspective.

It got me reflecting on what I have to be thankful for, and the problems that I feel are a too big deal to handle. Nothing I could ever go through can be compared to what those poor people went through. Because of this realization, I have become empowered to do what I can to help those who are suffering and who do not have anyone to stand up for them. I know I can't effect change all over the world, but I want to help others in any way I can, in my community and in my future career as a Forensic Psychologist, as well as with my friends and family.

I also have been inspired to be a torch-bearer for the memory of the victims as well as the Holocaust itself, so that something like it never happens again. Knowledge is power, and so being educated about what happened and how it happened can help us take a stand for what's right. Because not everyone has the privilege to travel to the concentration camps as I have so I have an obligation to share my experiences there with the world. I do not want the victims to disappear, from the Holocaust or any tragedy. From a criminal justice perspective, it was also very interesting to read more about the perpetrators, how normal people can be so violent and destroy fellow humans without remorse. I think it is beneficial to study them because it shows that anyone can become overwhelmed with power and let it go to their heads.

My trip to Germany and Poland was an amazing experience that expanded my mind and my world, inspired me to continue down my chosen career path, and gave me great friends. I hope that everyone has a chance to study abroad and always be curious and open-minded because it will do so much good for you.

Learism
Learism

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