7 Advantages Of Being Visually Impaired

7 Advantages Of Being Visually Impaired

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So I decided to start writing for Odyssey because I thought I could bring a unique perspective to some issues that people tend to be pretty uncomfortable talking about. I’m a visually impaired student at Dartmouth, and while most people know of me as the girl that always seems to tag along with her guide dog, Smidge, or as the girl who has literally run into you trying to maneuver my way around Collis, I tend to feel like a lot of my Dartmouth relationships are rather superficial. Anyone that knows me well would tell you, I am really open to talking about my sight and my experiences.

Disability has such a negative connotation. I’ll be the first person to tell you there are some challenges that come along with being legally blind, but I would be remised to say that it’s all bad. I think it’s important to be able to acknowledge some of the positive aspects of what might usually be considered a not- so- great situation. So here are a few of the advantages that comes with being visually impaired.

1. I always have an excuse to wear mismatched clothes

Half the time I walk out of my dorm looking like an absolute mess! I’m partially color blind so matching clothes isn’t really my strong suit. Whenever people ask me about why my socks don’t match or why I’m wearing an obscure combination of colors, I can always just tell them it’s because I couldn’t tell what I was putting on.

2. I never have to be the designated driver

No one would ever want me behind the wheel of the car so I’ll never have to stay sober and drive my friends home at the end of a night out.

3. I don’t judge people off of how they look

Unlike most people, I actually mean it when I say looks don’t matter. I base my relationships purely off of personality. I usually miss physical features that are immediately obvious for most people, which I think really helps me because I make my first impressions of people solely off of their personalities.

4. I get to bring my dog wherever I go.

Perks of being blind is that I get to take my dog wherever I go. However, my guide dog is very specifically trained to help me safely navigate to wherever I need to be. Fake service dogs are a huge issue and are not in any way okay, but I would be lying to you if I said I don’t love always having my dog with me. She’s my best friend and I know she’s always looking out for me. She gives me independence I never knew before I had a guide dog, and because of that I am so grateful to have her in my life.

5. I don’t need to obey signs if I can’t read them

I usually don’t see signs that are posted up on doors. As far as I’m concerned that means they probably don’t apply to me.

6. I have the greatest most genuine friends in the world

Being legally blind means that sometimes I leave my house with makeup smeared all over my face, or with my bathing suit on inside out, and the fact that I can trust my friends enough to tell me those things and laugh at me for them makes me realize how lucky I am to have those kinds of people in my life

7. I have opportunity I would definitely not have if I could see.

A lot of people know that I am a United States Paralympic Alpine ski racer, but most people don’t realize how much opportunity skiing has given me. Skiing has shape my character in ways that are unparalleled to anything else in my life. In the last year I have traveled to seven different countries and gotten to explore the world with some of my closest friends. All of my teammates come from different backgrounds and walks of life. I have learned to be accepting and understanding of others and to juggle so many different parts of my life all at once. I would be a totally different person if I had full vision and I am so grateful for every opportunity I have been given.

Cover Image Credit: Allison Frantz

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If You Wear XL T-Shirts And Shorts, You're The Woman Of My Dreams

Enough with the war on comfort!
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Comfortable can be sexy, simply put.

For some reason there are people complaining out there about the Southern college trend that has been happening the past few years: big t-shirts and shorts, also known as the "srat uniform." There seems to be a clash between the girls who dress "nice" most of the time and girls who dress for comfort. As a guy, I don't see what the big deal is?

For college in the South, there are two reasons to dress up: college football (Roll Tide) and date parties. Any other time, you can find a majority of the female population in shorts and a big t-shirt that makes it look like they're not wearing pants. As a man, I personally don't see anything wrong with this. I love being comfortable as much as the next person, and most guys find the baggy t-shirt and shorts outfit to be cute. There's always a time and place for dresses and rompers.

But for all the haters out there that call these girls in XL t-shirts and shorts lazy, you've got it all wrong.

There are 4 reasons why the girls who don the "srat uniform" have it all figured out.

1. Girls have it rough.

See, it's tough being a girl. I don't know from experience, but I hear it enough and I've seen it enough to know it's true. When girls aren't dealing with f***boys, periods or having to do their hair and makeup routinely, they are being overly criticized by our society. I think society owes girls a break, and that break comes in the comfortable baggy t-shirt and shorts.

2. Southern Not-So-Comfort(able) weather.

Also, for all of the haters, maybe y'all haven't noticed that it's hotter than Satan's balls in the South! Tight, dressy outfits and pants constrict the body and cause you to sweat. I'd rather see a dry girl in a baggy t-shirt than a girl drenched in sweat trying to look cute with her outfit.

3. Perfect doesn't exist.

It's admirable when a girl can unapologetically be herself. A girl in an XL t-shirt and shorts is a girl that is saying "yes, I may have just rolled out of bed and brushed my hair, but I'm here dammit." Social media tells us we all have to be the dolled up, most "perfect" version of ourselves all the time, so it's nice to experience that reality check.

4. Guys think it's cute, regardless.

9 times out of 10, guys in college do not care what you're wearing. Trust me, we aren't doing much better. You could probably put on a garbage bag and we still think you're cute. Any guy that dates a girl that dates a girl only because she dresses nicely all of the time is a shallow man. You're cute, you're comfortable, and that makes for a much better vibe. We all win.

So, in the battle of dressing "nice" and dressing comfortable, I think that the girls who wear an XL t-shirt and shorts chalk up a win in my record book. No, I'm not bashing on girls who have a true sense of style and wear nice clothing... that's a great thing in itself! But, this is college and there are more important things to focus on besides what we're wearing.

Ladies, wear your srat uniform with pride. Some us think it's cute :)

*I want to thank the beautiful ladies at the University of Alabama for inspiring this article.*

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Sorry, The World Cup Just Isn't My Cup Of Tea

I'll say it... I don't like soccer.

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The media has been buzzing non-stop for the past few weeks about few things other than the World Cup. I don't know anything about soccer other than hand usage is a no-go, and I won't pretend to know anything other than that, but I get the feeling there are some people out there who have better poker faces than I when it comes to talking about FIFA.

I've never played soccer, no one in my immediate family has ever played soccer, and few people in my extended family have ever played soccer, let alone been enthusiasts of the game. I'll say it, I don't like soccer. I've been immersed in a football-centric family from the get-go and that will never change, but that has rarely been a good enough reason for people to not become offended when I say that I don't like soccer.

Listen, I get it, soccer has its fanbase just like every other sport, but I have never seen people get heated quite so quickly as they do when I say I don't like their favorite sport. I never understood soccer, I never enjoyed watching it, and I never enjoyed the very few times I played it when my friends or a gym teacher made me participate in my least favorite activity. That being said, I have met few people who are genuinely passionate about soccer all of the time, so why is it so many soccer enthusiasts come out of the woodwork when the World Cup comes around?

Every sport has its fans and its bandwagon fans, those who are all in for the sport all the time, and those who jump ship once the major events close up shop and the season is over, as does every sports team. For example, people who rarely ever watch a football game become suddenly invested in who might win the Lombardi Trophy, or not-so-diehard hockey fans are way more interested in who may win the Stanley Cup in the spring, but not so much in the fall the fall.

But there's something about soccer that draws out fans from the deepest and farthest corners of the world, and the number of viewers from regular season games to the World Cup games grows exponentially. It is incredible to see how people connect over the Cup, the individual games, and their support of their chosen team, even if they are complete strangers, but where do all of these fans come from and where do they go once FIFA is over and soccer goes back into regular season games?

All the amazing statistics and surprises the World Cup has thrown at us aside, I'm sorry but it just isn't for me, and I really don't care what country wins. I know the world is abuzz with the excitement and anticipation that the finals are creating, but I just can't get into it. Like I said, everyone has their thing, their sport, and something that gets them going. I could watch football or a golf tournament all day, but soccer just doesn't do it for me, and I can already hear the roars of protest because I don't care whether Croatia or France wins the final. And, yes, I had to google who would be in the final.

Sorry, but I'm not sorry that I just can't get into the world cup.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/athletes-audience-ball-bleachers-270085/

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