All of my classes are online this semester, so even though I have the choice to go back, I will be staying home. Even though it kills me, it really makes the most sense for me. So, in honor of the upcoming semester, here is a list of all the things I am going to miss about being on campus.
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What do we have to hide?
Are you a rock?
Do you never feel emotion?
If you answered “no” to at least one of those questions, you’re a bonafide, flesh and blood humanoid with a working conscious and a pumping heart.
Now- imagine a world where everyone around you expects you to repress all of those emotions except for those that make you likeable. The only place you can express yourself is in the confines of your home, maybe not even in front of your friends or family.
That’s the thing with mental illnesses in athletes- people just assume that you’re fine because “depression and anxiety aren’t real illnesses,” and “athletes don’t cry.” Athletes themselves don’t believe depression and anxiety are real because of what they’ve been taught.
“Rub some dirt in it!”
“Ah, it’s not that bad.”
“Come on, get over it.”
Sure, you’ve got to be tough in sports. You prepare your body day in and day out- weights, conditioning, practice…they require all of your attention. But do we ever pay attention to our brains? Our mental health? Do those coaches/directors around and in the athletic world acknowledge that these are real problems for their athletes?
I’d like to think the answer would be a straight up, “yes!” but I have a feeling that I’d be wrong.
For some reason, there’s still a stigma around mental illnesses these days. The number of those affected has grown exponentially during the past two decades. But when you add those into an environment filled with tough skin and hard-headedness, an even bigger clash crops up.
We as a society are taught to ignore anything malicious and focus on “what makes us happy.” Great idea, right? Only pay attention to things that give you joy. I think that’s where we get sports, in a way, because they’re a route out of our own minds. We play sports because they’re fun, and when a coach, teammate…etc destroys your perception of the game you’ve grown to love by creating a wall in your head, dividing your outward emotion and your mental health, you get stuck.
Why can’t we talk about depression and anxiety in the locker-room or with coaches? Why do we have to feel embarrassed when someone mentions mental health?
Was the First Agricultural Revolution really that great?
The Neolithic Revolution was a groundbreaking event that happened at around 10000 B.C., when the earliest humans learned how to plant seeds and learned rudimentary horticulture, as well as how to domesticate animals. It was a huge stepping stone for the early humans, for it started the transition from a hunting-gathering society to an urban, agricultural society and shaped the course for the rest of human history. While it is a widely accepted fact that the Neolithic Revolution was a monumental step, and a great thing that happened in history, an opinion has started to grow among historians that the Neolithic Revolution might have actually been a mistake.
Here are some reasons why some think it was beneficial, and why some think it was a mistake.
1. Humans began farming.
Farming was an important step in human history because before, humans were nomadic hunter gatherers, which meant that they would hunt their food and gather fruits and berries in their surroundings. They would not stay in one place and would follow their main food source (usually animals) around. Hunting and gathering was a dangerous life to live, due to the inconsistent food source. It could take hours to track down an animal herd, and even then, the animals could always get away. When the humans started farming, however, they found a new, reliable food source that was easy and sustaining. This was a stepping stone to many of the future changes that happened because of the Revolution.
2. Humans settled down into cities.
When humans started farming, they did not have to wander the land, following the animals they used to depend on. They started to settle down near their food source and come together. Soon, they had permanent settlements with more people living together. That led to more collaboration and work between people. This was also a big step in making empires and proper civilizations later on.
3. Food surplus, specialization of labor, and new technology
When the early humans were hunter-gatherers, the entire tribe/family of people were involved in finding food. They were all part of tracking down the animals that were being hunted, skinning, roasting or another part of the process. However, when the humans started farming, they realized that they actually had an abundance of food on their hands and that it was more than they needed. This is called a surplus.
When they attained a surplus, there were fewer people needed to grow food. That left a lot of the people with free time on their hands, and they began to work on other things. Some became artisans and focused on making specific crafts to help them survive. Others became merchants and specialized in trading and selling things. And others became blacksmiths skilled in making things from metals. When people started to specialize, they invented new technologies in their respective fields. For example, after the Neolithic Revolution, humans learned how to work with bronze. They also invented the wheel. New systems of irrigation were invented to increase crop yields. Soon, instead of everyone focused on the production of food, there were many different areas in which people were working, creating a diverse environment.
1. Social Class Structure
Before the Neolithic Revolution, the human society was generally an egalitarian. Each person played a simple role, and they worked toward the same purpose: attaining food to survive. However, when the humans settled down and started farming, they needed someone to control who did what and how things were being made. This is where kings came into the picture.
Kings and rulers were put in charge of the allocation of resources, infrastructure development and other aspects of early civilization. However, when kings were put into power, a social hierarchy rose up with them. On top were the kings or rulers, then came the priests, then the middle-class workers, such as the merchants and the artisans followed by the peasants and then, there were the slaves. The advent of a ruler caused certain people to rise in power, and others to fall.
Also, with the surplus food the revolution created, there arose the chance for monetary gain among citizens. Some people became richer than others, and they became part of the social elite. Those who held special occupations, like artisans, blacksmiths and scribes, were right under them. Due to the surplus of food, the value of food production decreases, as did that of those who made a living off of it. They were right under the specialists. And finally, the slaves were at the bottom. The slaves were either prisoners of war from a rival village or someone who could not pay off his or her debts.
2. Gender Inequality
In the time before farming became prevalent, both genders were usually considered equal. Men and women spent their day hours looking for food and preparing it. The gender equality common in the Paleolithic society was partially due to the fact that both men and women had the same role: food gatherer. However, all that changes when societies transitioned over to an agrarian lifestyle. Women kept their roles as farmers and raised children. In contrast, men did not need to hunt anymore and left their jobs as hunters to find new, specialized jobs. Through those jobs, they gained money and power, while the women stayed home. This can be interpreted as the foundation of the patriarchal society that dominated most centuries for millions of years.
The Neolithic Revolution was one of the most important transitions man has ever made. The switch from a nomadic lifestyle of hunting for food to a sedentary agrarian society indirectly helped the early civilizations of Sumer, Babylon, and Egypt to grow and develop, thus setting the stage for everything in history that came after it. However, it also came with many negative socio-economic problems, some which we are still suffering from as of today. Whether you think that it was good or bad, it should be known that the Neolithic Transition is one of the most impactful events in history.
I'm not going to go where I'm not wanted.
Recently, I came across a video on Twitter that accurately explained how irritating and confusing it is when someone responds with the ever-popular "if you want to."
In the video, a boy was doing a parody of a 911 call where the dispatcher asked him if he needed an ambulance, and he responded with "you can if you want to," which left the dispatcher confused as to what actions to take.
Obviously this video was fake, but the annoyance I felt after watching that video was all too real.
Some may tell you otherwise, but there is a huge difference between "you can come" and "I want you to come."
"You can come if you want" is a half-hearted invitation. It makes the person on the receiving end feel unimportant, uninvited and confused as to whether or not the other person actually wants to spend time with them.
However, "I want you to come" is reassuring. It shows the person on the other end that they are important, wanted and appreciated.
Think about it. Would you want to spend time with someone who only wants to get together "if you do?" I know I sure wouldn't.
Instead, I'd enjoy my own company or the company of those who truly appreciate me.
Despite the amazing things our generation has accomplished, we do have one major flaw: we play it way too safe.
One of my old bosses (shoutout to T) once sat us all down and told us about the dangers of playing it safe when it comes to how we handle our feelings about those we care about.
Even if we have all the love in the world for someone, we choose to keep it hidden. We don't show our excitement over getting to spend time with our friends or significant others, even if we were bouncing off the ceiling over the thought of being in their presence.
We act like a generation of "chill" individuals who just "go with the flow" and claim that "it is what it is." We basically act like we have no emotions.
We overcomplicate everything, which in turn destroys our relationships.
Why do we do that?
It's not that difficult. If you miss someone, text them, call them, write them a letter, or go to their house.
If you're excited about getting to spend time with someone, let them know. It will make them happy and your get togethers will be much more enjoyable.
After you go home, text your friends telling them how much you enjoyed spending time with them.
Refraining from showing your appreciation for your loved ones is the quickest way to lose them. I wish I hadn't learned that the hard way.
Cleveland's great for the whole family – These are my favorite reasons to visit.
I am a world traveler. I have been to three different continents, traveled to over 20 states in the United States and at least six countries. I lived in New Jersey for seven and a half years and visited New York City frequently. I'm not saying this to brag, but I am simply saying this to prove that I have traveled quite a bit in my 19 years of life, and while I am no travel expert, I can say that without a doubt, Cleveland, Ohio is a wonderful city to travel to and visit. Maybe I'm biased because I've lived in a suburb of Cleveland (or what I claim to be a suburb of Cleveland) for over ten years now. However, I have seen many beautiful places in my lifetime, and while the weather is not the warmest, nor my favorite thing about the city of Cleveland, there are many other things that Cleveland can offer to tourists.
10. Little Italy
Little Italy is around 20 minutes away from the city of Cleveland and has been noted as one of the top ten Little
9. Great Lakes Brewing Company
Okay so I am not 21 and therefore cannot legally consume alcohol, however, I know that Clevelanders are a big fan of good beer. More specifically, Clevelanders are a fan of Great Lakes Brewery Company, the first brewpub and microbrewery in the state of Ohio. The brewpub also gives tours on weekends of its facilities and shares the rich historical background of the site and company with its visitors. I might still have a little less than two years, but I can't wait until I turn 21 and can have a pint of beer at Great Lakes Brewing Company to celebrate a beloved Cleveland tradition.
8. University Circle
University Circle is one square mile and "home to world-renowned museums, prestigious universities, nationally recognized hospitals, eclectic restaurants, beautiful parks, and cozy spaces." There are over eight museums and galleries including a natural history museum, a museum of contemporary art and an institute of art. There are several places to hear beautiful music in gorgeous locations, cultural and botanical gardens to take a stroll in, many historical landmarks and unique eats.
7. The Cleveland Orchestra and Severance Hall
Opened in 1931 and known as one of America's greatest orchestras and a world-renowned orchestra. In addition to being a great orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra lives in one of the most beautiful concert halls. I might be a little biased though because I graduated high school in Severance Hall, which definitely makes classical music fans jealous of my close connection with the venue.
6. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in 1985 and has since brought millions of dollars and visitors to the city of Cleveland, a place which some people now consider the "Home of Rock and Roll". With new inductees every year, the Rock Hall is forever changing and making adaptations to their exhibits and galleries. The exhibits in the Rock Hall include but are not limited to cities that have a major music history, focus on individual artists (in the past there has been an exhibit on Bruce Springsteen), Cleveland's legacy within the rock and roll genre and protests rooted in music.
5. Westside Market
Over 100 years old and recently named by Food Network Magazine "Best Food Lover's Market" in America. With over 100 vendors selling a variety of yummy treats like meats, cheese, bread, baked goods and a bunch of fresh produce, this indoor and outdoor market is always bustling. "Clevelanders love the West Side Market like that loud, colorful great aunt who has ties to the Old Country. She's brash, one-of-a-kind, completely unapologetic and the absolute best to show off to your friends!"
4. Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square is the nation's second-largest performing arts center (second only to Broadway in New York City). And in more recent history, Playhouse Square is the world's most expansive and expensive restoration project in the performing arts world. Known now for its extraordinary outdoor chandelier, Playhouse Square's one of a kind architecture and design attracts millions every year for the over one thousand shows performed annually. I can almost guarantee that every traveling Broadway play or musical has been to Playhouse Square (and Hamilton will be there soon, too!).
3. Cleveland Museum of Art
Known nationally and internationally for its exquisite collections of Egyptian and Asian art, the Cleveland Museum of Art is always expanding and bringing art and visitors from around the world to its doors. In addition to its impressive collections, the CMA is the fourth-wealthiest art museum in the United States and is one of the most visited art museums in the world. There are works of art by Monet, Degas, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Rodin, Van Gogh, Warhol and so many more. And what makes it even more unique, the museum remains free to the general public and has since its opening in 1913.
So, why is Cleveland's food scene one of the country's best food scenes and only continues to get better? Well, to put it simply, we have New York City quality food (and better) for better prices! We have everything from burgers to Mexican food, steak to grilled cheese, pierogis to polish boys and everything else in between. If you are looking to try new food and expand your taste buds to new horizons, come to Cleveland for its incredible and vast food scene.
And perhaps the most important thing about Cleveland, and my personal favorite thing:
1. The Camaraderie
Cleveland, better known to Cleveland sports fans as Believeland, is a place where die-hard fans are created. We celebrate things like a 0-16 season and throw one of the biggest parades in sports history when we win a championship. We stick together through thick and thin and believe in the possibility of the next season. Unlike most sports fans, Cleveland fans don't give up or pick another team to cheer on. Plus, there's nothing like being in another state and finding someone from Cleveland.
Are you at one of the ages mentioned in Taylor Swift's songs?
Before Taylor Swift's transition from a country/pop sweetheart to a crazed vengeful victim, I was a huge fan of hers. I've been listening to her music for as long as I can remember.
Over the years, as an observant T Swift fan, I've noticed her penchant for mentioning ages in her songs. Maybe she does this so she can look back on these songs and remember how old she was when she had these experiences. Or maybe she does it so her fans have another level to relate to her on. For at least my past seven birthdays, I've checked to see if Taylor Swift mentioned my new age in one of her songs.
Not only does it make me feel closer to her, but it also gives me a song to cling to for a while. By my count, Taylor Swift mentions 13 different ages in her songs.
This is the youngest age mentioned in a Taylor Swift song, which means you probably didn't listen to this song on your third birthday. This age comes from the song The Best Day off of her second album, Fearless. The song chronicles Swift's life at multiple ages and is above all a love letter to her family.
"There is a video I found from back when I was three. You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me. It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs."
This is another age mentioned in The Best Day. It is part of the song's opening line. Unlike age three, where Swift is seeing something and not actually remembering it, this appears to be a memory from age five with her mother sometime in October.
"I'm five years old, it's getting cold. I've got my big coat on. I hear your laugh, and look up smiling at you. I run and run past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides. Look now, the sky is gold. I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home."
This is one of five ages mentioned in Mary's Song (Oh My My My) from Swift's self-titled debut album. This song tells the story of a guy and a girl going from young friends to an old couple, from the perspective of the girl. Swift was inspired to write this song by an elderly couple that lived next door.
"She said, I was 7 and you were 9. I looked at you like the stars that shined in the sky. The pretty lights. And our daddies used to joke about the two of us, growing up and falling in love. And our mommas smiled, and rolled their eyes, and said 'Oh, my my my.'"
This is the second of five ages in Mary's Song. It is mentioned directly after age 7 since it is the age of the guy in the song, who is two years older than the girl.
"She said, I was 7 and you were 9. I looked at you like the stars that shined in the sky. The pretty lights."
This goes back to The Best Day. Swift is no longer five, and she has new problems to deal with. Thankfully, her mom is by her side, like always. I was always able to relate to this part of the song, even before and since I turned 13.
"I'm 13 now and don't know how my friends could be so mean. I come home crying, and you hold me tight, and grab the keys. And we drive and drive until we've found a town far enough away. And we talk and window shop 'til I've forgot all their names."
You don't have to look hard to find this one. In fact, it's the name of the song. This song is also on Swift's Fearless album. It's about her beginning high school. She talks about friendship, love, and dreams. She even mentions the name of her real life best friend at the time, who she is still friends with now. Since it's the name of the song, 15 is mentioned multiple times.
"'Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you're gonna believe them. And when you're fifteen, feeling like there's nothing to figure out. Well, count to ten, take it in. This is life before you know who you're gonna be. Fifteen."
"When you're fifteen and your first kiss makes your head spin 'round. But in your life you'll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team. But I didn't know it at fifteen."
"When you're fifteen, don't forget to look before you fall. I've found time can heal most anything, and you just might find who you're supposed to be. I didn't who I was supposed to be at fifteen."
We return to Mary's Song for this one. After the two young kids have grown up a little, their perspective on both life and each other changes. This is a turning point in their relationship. Remember, the song is told from the girl's perspective, so she's talking about her age.
"Well, I was sixteen when, suddenly, I wasn't that little girl you used to see. But your eyes still shined like pretty lights. And our daddies used to joke about the two of us. They never believed we'd really fall in love. And our mommas smiled, and rolled their eyes, and said 'Oh, my my my.'"
We jump forward a few albums for this one. The song Starlight on Swift's Red album tells the story of young Ethel and Bobby Kennedy. She saw a picture of Ethel and Bobby as teenagers, which inspired her to write a song about it. She actually played it for Ethel, who enjoyed it.
"I met Bobby on the boardwalk, summer of '45. Picked me up late one night out the window. We were seventeen and crazy, running wild, wild. Can't remember what song it was playing when we walked in. The night we snuck into a yacht club party pretending to be a duchess and a prince."
We skip over age 18 because apparently that's been done too many times for Taylor Swift to bother with it. 19, which happens to be the age of yours truly, is mentioned in Dear John, off of Swift's third album, Speak Now. This song is allegedly about Swift's relationship with John Mayer, which fits the timeline since she was 19 when they dated. I have always loved this song but felt a deeper connection to it when I turned 19.
"Dear John, I see it all now, it was wrong. Don't you think nineteen's too young to be played by your dark, twisted games when I loved you so? I should've known."
Certainly, everyone is familiar with this one. It is Swift's second song titled with an age and a popular anthem for people who are proud to be 22 and aren't afraid to dance like it. This is a song from the Red album, which came out shortly before Swift's 23 birthday.
"I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22. Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you. You don't know about me, but I'll bet you want to. Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we're 22."
This age is mentioned in a song off Swift's most recent album, Reputation. As I subtly mentioned at the beginning, I'm not a fan of Taylor Swift's new music. For the sake of being thorough, though, I scanned Reputation for ages. I found 25 mentioned in the song Dancing With Our Hands Tied.
"I, I loved you in secret. First sight, yeah, we love without reason. Oh, twenty-five years old. Oh, how were you to know?"
We jump ahead quite a bit for this one! Obviously Taylor Swift isn't 87 yet, so she's not speaking from experience. At this point, you can probably guess which song this is from. If you thought Mary's Song, you're correct! This is at the end of the song, where the young friends are finally an old couple. The future tense implies that the couple this song is based on aren't quite that old. However, they intend on staying together until they are.
"I'll be 87, you'll be 89. I'll still look at you like the stars that shine in the sky. Oh my, my, my."
I could have combined 7 and 9, and 87 and 89 since they're so close together, but I wanted to make a point. If you've been paying attention to the numbers before the ages, you'll notice that this is the 13th age mentioned in a Taylor Swift song. If you're a Taylor Swift fan, you probably already know what that means. If not, let me enlighten you. 13 is Swift's lucky number. She was born on December 13 and turned 13 on Friday the 13. The number 13 is also connected to her music. Some of her songs have 13-second intros. Some of her albums have 13 songs. Some songs peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Could that fact that Taylor Swift mentions 13 different ages in her music be a coincidence? It could, but it seems unlikely. When it comes to Taylor Swift, there are hardly any coincidences. Since she has been using ages in songs since her first album, it is likely she will mention more on subsequent albums. However, she has never gone less than four years in-between albums, so this 13 reference will stick around for quite some time.
1. Brittany Morgan,National Writer's Society
2. Radhi,SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign