I recently spent the day at the beach with friends, and we laid out in the sun listening to 'The Beach Boys' all day long! When it came time to post a pic of my day, I had tons of lyrics on the brain, but had trouble picking one. I decided what better way to prepare for my next beach day than with compiling a list of the perfect lyrics to fit my summery theme on Instagram!
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When in your life will you have the opportunity to live in a foreign country, to explore a new part of the world, not as a tourist? The answer is right now.
The University of Oklahoma has many great study abroad programs with helpful advisors to assist you in planning your adventure. Here are just a few reasons why you should step outside of your comfort zone and your country:
Change your view on the world in a positive way. Experiencing another culture has a powerful impact. Since I have been away I have gained understanding and appreciation for the food, language, beliefs and general way of life of Spain. America is not the center of the universe and our way isn’t the only way. Shocking, I know.
Shake up your routine. Studying abroad breaks up the monotonous four-year undergrad routine. This means unfamiliar scenery, new means of transportation, a completely different campus feel and new friendships to form.
The ease of travel within Europe. The opportunities for travel throughout Europe are exceptional. Hop on a train to Paris or snag a quick flight to Prague, it’s way more affordable than you’d imagine. Traveling country to country on the weekends is expected. In fact, my program only holds class four days of the week to allow for travel and two trips are included in the overall program fee.
Practice a foreign language in the country of its origin. Being immersed in a culture that speaks the language that you are learning is the best way to learn. But don’t be intimidated by the language barrier as you’ll find English speakers all over the world.
Now for the tricky part – deciding when to go. This was difficult for me, as there are pros and cons to each time frame.
Summer. This is the time when most students decide to study abroad so it’s more likely that you’ll be traveling with people you know. Summer sessions usually run from four to six weeks, so it's not as big of a commitment. You can even convince a few friends to join you. The best part about studying abroad in the summer is the ideal weather. Arezzo, Italy averages 71 degrees in July. As for the negative aspects of summer travel, you’re likely missing a relaxing summer at home with family, a beneficial internship or a paid job.
Fall. If you commit to studying abroad in the fall, you’ll miss out on OU football season and CAC events such as Howdy Week, Homecoming, U-Sing and Dad’s Day, to name a few. However, fewer students study abroad in the fall, so if money is a large factor for you it might be easier to sublease your apartment or rental home in the fall to someone who is studying abroad in the spring.
Spring. If you decide to take the plunge in the spring, you’ll be skipping out on the infamous crush spring date parties and CAC events like Winter Welcome Week, Soonerthon, Big Event, Relay for Life and Scandals. You might miss spring break with your pledge class, but you’ll get a memorable one abroad.
If it seems like you’d be missing out on a lot by studying abroad in the spring or in the fall, just remember – it’s Japan, it’s France, it’s Chile, it’s practically wherever you want it to be. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for a longer period of time. Don’t worry, Norman will anxiously await your return.
You, our parents, gave us the tools to become the entitled, lazy people the millennial generation is filled with.
Baby boomers and older generations are constantly referring to millennials as entitled. Constantly claiming that we have been babied and handed everything; we lack morals and work ethic. We are unable to hold conversations because we don't know how to pull ourselves away from a screen, and we are self-absorbed. In reality, some of this may be true. But you made us this way.
You, our parents, gave us the tools to become the entitled, lazy people the millennial generation is filled with. Granted, not all of us fall into this category, but I know I can name a few kids and parents that fit these parameters, and I'm sure you can as well.
NEWS FLASH PARENTS! If your kid is an entitled POS- it's YOUR fault.
My generation is filled with teens and young adults who never had to work for anything. You gave us Xboxes when we were 7, phones when we were 10, cars at 16, and held our hands when we signed our first lease papers. You gave us money when we asked- you never said no, so we never stopped asking. These are the kids that think they've made it when they have their own place and their own car- when in reality these are normal adult expectations.
There is a HUGE difference between helping, and enabling. How can you expect your child to work for a living and know the value of material things if they have never had to? The moment your child began to struggle you were there, offering a way out. If your child put up a fight because he didn't want to take the trash out, you back down. I've heard the excuse that parents are tired- tired of fighting and the struggle that is raising kids- but isn't this what you signed up for? You were supposed to raise us, not coddle us.
I don't want this to get misconstrued- parents who help their children are great, and at times your child will need it. But when your child doesn't know how to manage money properly, and instead of teaching them, you bail them out- your an enabler. When your child blows their paycheck on weed and partying, and now they can't make rent, and you're there giving them the 200$ they were short- your an enabler.
Until you, the parent, learn to say NO, and let your child crash and burn for a change- they will never learn, and they will continue to be the entitled millennial that everyone knows and hates. People learn from uncomfortable situations. When I was in college, I blew one paycheck out partying (we've all done it). I didn't have anyone there to bail me out or help me- I ate ramen every day till I got my next paycheck. It sucked, but I never blew a paycheck like that again.
Don't blame the entitled, bratty millennial for their behavior, when you are just as much at fault. You allowed us to act this way, so why should that change now?
A/S/L? Cupid get lost!
Tinder, JDate, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, Chemistry.com, Match, Zoosk — just a few of the names of big companies that promise to get you a date/potential partner. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I haven’t tried all of these options, because I have. I haven’t been on a date in over a year and I haven’t actually dated anyone in almost two and a half years. Now, I won’t lie, I’m not the prettiest color in the box, but aside from that, I do have plenty to offer. I have a brain that I use on the daily, I’m pretty freaking smart and I’ve been told that I’m funny in the form of my total sarcasm. But alas, this isn’t a personals ad hoping that someone out there will see this and start sending me emails (but hey, if that happens, that’s OK too).
Dating for Millennials these days is most likely the worst that it’s been. Everything has come down to swiping left and swiping right and just glancing over their profile and making your determination on if you’re hot enough or not. It’s not like how it used to be for our parents or for people our age in, let’s say, the 1990s. It’s not like we can really go out to the nearest bar and start using pickup lines on every stranger that we meet. Everything now is done through the safety of the internet. But the bad part about this, is that you can tell someone that you’re an Abercrombie model but in reality you’re a 200 lb hairy dude, sitting in his boxers in his mother’s basement playing “Dungeons and Dragons.” You can sit there and tell me that you’re 33 and a financial analyst on Wall Street working for a big profile bank, but you’re really 55 and growing plants and tending to your garden outside your kitchen window. I’m the type of person that loves to sit down at Starbucks and enjoy a nice caramel macchiato (four splendas, no whipped please) and talk about everything and nothing. Long walks on the beach on nice summer nights and hanging out on a hammock on summer weekends with BBQs and fire pits, concerts where I can dress up or dress down and completely lose myself with the person that I want to share my time with, is my thing. Someone that will support and love me for my Disney obsession, and my drive to finish school and graduate as a nurse would be ideal. Someone who won’t mind long late nights sitting at the computer finishing an assignment or studying for a test coming up and trying to memorize med math would be lovely. I’m the type of person that craves the human touch, even if it’s just as simple as hand holding. Just having someone be there to support you and cheer you on and to share your days with, is what I’m searching for.
But to be totally and completely honest, I’m really tired of the dating scene these days. I’m tired of being judged for the way I look or the way I don’t look. I’ve been called “unattractive” and have quips made about my weight more than the amount of fingers that I have, I’ve been on dates from hell (literally) more times than I can count and I’ve been “ghosted” by guys more than I care to remember. In fact, the words I’ve used over and over is “I’m done”. While most (if not all) of my friends are engaged or married, I’m sitting over here knitting scarves (not literally but you get the picture). Do I feel left behind? Of course. I also chalk it up to my age as well. I’m 28 and still furthering my education. Do I feel most guys don’t want a 28-year-old student as a girlfriend? Yeah, I do actually, but my education is the most important thing in my life at this point.
I’m also on another dating site (that will remain anonymous) and in the last month, I’ve exchanged numbers with a guy who lives not too far from me. We’ve spoken almost regularly but haven’t met up yet. We lost touch for a few weeks and he ended up texting me the other day, and we got to talking again. He asked me if I’ve been dating anyone, to which I laughed and said no and that I’ve basically given up at this point, to which he replied, “No, I’m sure you haven’t and if so, don’t. All those things you mentioned, there’s no better feeling then having someone in your corner or experience life with. Don’t look at it as a negative” to which I replied that he’s right. I can’t look at it as a negative, but with my track record and considering what I’ve been through, I can’t help but look at it as a negative and every time someone tells me that the right person will eventually come along and it’ll happen when I least expect it, to which I say, screw that. I had what I thought was my Prince Charming and what I thought would have been my happy ending, and that was all ripped out from under me. It’s turned me hard and cold and cynical toward love. Who can blame me at this point?
Somewhere, my Prince Charming is out there, but he’s either riding a turtle or his GPS is broken. It’s OK, I’ll keep waiting.
Why our favorite Gossip Girl couple should not be our relationship goals.
I love Gossip Girl as much as the next person. There is nothing better after a long day than curling up in bed and submerging myself in everything that the Upper East Side and all of it's drama is. Over the course of the seasons I fell in love with the characters, particularly Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass. When I first watched the show I idealized the two of them. They were my relationship "goals" and I wanted everything that they had. However, as I went back and watched the show again some time later, after I had had a few years of experience with relationships, I realized that they are most definitely NOT my relationship goals. And they should not be anybody's.
According to Healthy Place, emotional abuse is defined as "any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth." Well, Gossip Girl, and Chuck and Blair's relationship is full of emotional abuse. Their relationship on the outside may seem like something out of a fairytale, full of expensive clothes and Chuck showering Blair in jewelry and flowers. But Chuck Bass is no knight in shining armor, and Blair Waldorf is no mistress in distress.
From the very beginning their relationship has been unconventional. Blair cheated on her boyfriend by having sex with Chuck in the back of a limo, and then lied about it for quite some time. When Chuck and Blair first started dating, she forgave him for something simply because he traveled to Europe and bought her a few things. They started dating during the summer, and their relationship consisted of a game where Chuck would seduce women and get them in private and tease them, before Blair would show up and scold the particular female for messing with a person in a relationship. During the entire course of their relationship, both on and off, Chuck consistently treated Blair like an object and threw her around. How could anyone forget when he traded her for a hotel? He ditched her for other women even when he knew how he felt about her, and the two of them threw around the words "I love you" and used them as bait. Both of them played games, lied to each other, went behind their backs to do things, and teased each other about their feelings.
Behind all of the cute dates and supporting each other no matter what, Chuck and Blair's relationship is not something that should be looked up to. They may have gotten their happily every after in the very end and gotten married, but the first five seasons of Gossip Girl proved to us that the odds were against them from the beginning and if they had enough common sense, they never would have forgiven each other for some of the things that they did. Their relationship teaches us that it's okay to lie to our significant other and give up easily. They put feelings and games before what is right, and used sex as something to hurt each other, as well as other people. They got into relationships before they were over the other and were so inconsistent with their relationship's ups and downs. They showed us that all can be forgiven with an expensive necklace and a few words.
Their relationship contributes a great deal to Gossip Girl and the show would not have been what it is without Chuck and Blair, but they should not be your goals in life. What their relationship SHOULD teach us, is to always know your self worth and never settle for less than what you deserve. Think carefully before getting into relationships, and never use a show as a basis for what your relationship should look like.
Its finally here
The long-awaited summer break is finally here!
However, just like every other aspect of life, it comes with bittersweet pros and cons. The pros: it’s summer! The cons: no more formals, football games, Saturday nights in Alex Box, spring bus trips, fun nights at Bogies while you should have been studying for that final, late night talks in the den. The list goes on and on. Mainly, summer means one thing for all of us ladies: a full three months without our sisters.
Now, the panic sets in. Who’s going to loan me that cute Anthro necklace when I go on a date? Who’s going to be my partner in crime at
the empty Tigerland? Who’s going to make that weekly trip to Caliente
with me just to nomm our little hearts out on queso and margs? Who’s going to
eat with me, period?
Unfortunately for most of us, that answer doesn’t include our prized 300 plus sorority sisters. The majority of them have left our haven on West Lakeshore Drive for their own hometowns, summer programs, mission trips and those competitive internships. For those of us remaining in Baton Rouge for various reasons, the summer begins to lack its initial shimmer and shine. However, I propose a challenge to each of you. Below are five primary ways for each of us to overcome Akon’s “Lonely” syndrome. Let’s be real, none of us want to be, oh, so lonely for the duration of this opportunity-filled summer!
1. Focus on you. You’ve been pushed to the limit way too many times with your hectic schedule. You go from one bus trip to another spring formal, back to work then to workout, take a break to study for your strenuous 18 hour course load, spend quality time with your Big and Little, all while fitting in family and all the exec meetings for Panhellenic. Sound about right? Well, it sounds like this summer is just what you need. Start detoxing from your Lilly or Erin Condren planner ASAP!
2. Make Pinterest a reality. We all do it: pin, pin, pin and never follow-up. Take the summer to actually accomplish some of those pins, whether it’s maintaining a healthy lifestyle and doing those eight moves to a better tush workout or reading that summer book list you totally forgot about. Take some time and go through some of those DIY projects for your apartment or for a future Little. Let your creativity flow because once the fall is here, you’ll never have the time!
3. Netflix binge! Break the hiatus. All hail the creator of Netflix. Am I right?! Use this summer to catch up on the recently added season three of Scandal, House Of Cards, Breaking Bad, or whatever other show is on your list that you continuously put on the back burner for One Tree Hill reruns. Although the Scott brothers are essentially my fave heart throbs, they have nothing on Kerry Washington!
4. Go the extra mile. Don’t get your panties in a wad. I don’t mean running. However, if running is your thing then by all means hike up that mileage. I mean traveling those miles to visit your sisters or take the spontaneous road trips you’ve always wanted to go on. Head to the beach on a whim. Book a ticket for your favorite band in concert and travel to see them. While many of us are already ahead of the game and at Hangout Fest, the rest of us need to put our Google caps on and begin planning for those exciting long weekends ahead of us!
5. Prepare for recruitment. We all know you love it. If all else fails, you know you can always get a head start on recruitment preparation. You can never, ever ever have enough. Start shopping for those specified outfits, talking to your mirror or spark up your excitement for the best week of the year: recruitment workshop!
Although a summer minus your sisters may not be ideal, there are ways to get through it. Start that half-marathon training plan you always wanted to try out at the Lakes, spend quality time shopping with Mom, follow through with all the pins or just settle for that Netflix binge with a bag of dark chocolate and your bed that you haven’t seen in weeks or months. Whatever you decide to do, it will be a summer for the books!
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