how to be respectful at the beach

10 Tips For Following Beach Etiquette As You Soak Up The Sun This Summer

I'm a very social person, but I'm not trying to make friends with the person whose beach blanket lays only inches from mine.

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The most wonderful time of the year is finally upon us, beach season! For those of us fortunate enough to live down the shore, proper beach etiquette is innate. Whether you're a local, a benny, a shoobie, or frequent beaches outside of the garden state, use the following list to refresh your mind on acceptable beach behavior.

1. Be aware of personal space

This one is huge, and counts for both the personal space of yourself AND other beachgoers! Although holidays and weekends may make you think otherwise, there is more than enough space for everyone to have a comfortable amount of room in the sand. I'm a very social person, but I'm not trying to make friends with the person whose beach blanket lays only inches from mine.

2. Your trash, your problem

Please don't leave your garbage on the beach for other people to step on later. Most beaches do provide garbage cans and recycling bins within walking distance of the ocean for your convince. If not, it takes nothing to bring your own garbage bag and dispose of your trash properly when you get home. It is the duty of each and every beach goer to keep everyone's favorite summer spot clean.

3. DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS

I cannot emphasize this enough! Seagulls are not cute! They are loud and annoying without being fed. Purposely giving them food only amplifies their already unbearable character traits. Once you start feeding one, at least 10 more are destined to show up to swarm you and irritate those sitting around you at the beach.

4. NEVER move someone else's belongings

It pains me that this isn't a given, but I've had this happen to me way more times than it should have. As I said previously, there is more than enough space at the beach for everyone to put their stuff. Just because someone left to take a tip in the ocean or to grab lunch does NOT give you permission to move their beach chair to give you a better view of the sea. Come on, you wouldn't want this done to you.

5. Actually listen to the lifeguards

These unsung heroes do more than sit at a stand for a few hours. They often spend hours outside during the most brutal hours of the summer sun, all while being responsible for countless people. Don't make their job harder than it already is. If they ask you to get off the rocks, just comply for the sake of saving them the aggravation.

6. Watch where and how you walk

Yes, sand is unavoidable at the beach, but most people don't want it in their faces. Try not to run and take off your sandals when walking on the beach to prevent accidentally kicking sand in someone's face to disturb their tanning session.

7. Control your music's volume

Believe it or not, not everyone wants to hear your music. While you want to hear the bass in your favorite song, the rest of the beach probably doesn't. If you can hear it 30 feet away, it's probably too loud.

8. Play beach games in open space

Instead of squeezing between blankets and umbrellas for the perfect spot to play Cam Jam, consider setting it up the game in a much more open space behind where most people are sitting. No one wants a frisbee in their face.

9. Secure your umbrellas

If you must bring a beach umbrella, please secure it correctly, especially on the more windy days. You don't want to be stepping on other people to chase after a loose umbrella. If you know you aren't capable of this, I suggest a hat and full coverage clothing as an alternative.

10. Enjoy yourself and be grateful

This is perhaps the most important one. The beach is a serene and relaxing yet fun and exciting place to spend your summer day. It's a happy place that in my opinion, can cure almost anything if your willing to lose yourself in the sound of the crashing waves.

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19 Struggles Only Girls With The 'Looks Thin In Clothes But Not In A Bikini' Body Type Will Understand

A resounding 'thank you' to whoever decided one-pieces were cool again.
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We grew up thinking the world was black and white. There's tall people and short people. There's old people and young people.

There's fat people and skinny people.

But as you get older, you realize there is a lot more in between those two ends of the spectrum than you ever thought possible. Especially when it comes to weight. And you do a lot more realizing if you're in an awkward position on that scale... Literally.

1. People always tell you to stop saying you are fat

Obviously, your friends SHOULD prevent you from talking negatively about yourself. And if you only saw you when you were fully dressed, you'd probably tell yourself to stop saying you're fat, too.

2. And are kind of surprised by your actual weight

You've definitely had friends who are shocked by the number on your scale because you can carry it pretty well when you are fully dressed.

3. Sometimes you feel like a catfish

Have you ever changed out of your super cute, flattering outfit and looked at yourself in the mirror and thought... Wow, am I lying to people?

4. But you know this is probably true for most people

When you're wearing clothes, typically the parts of a body that bring about insecurities (stomach, namely) are covered. No matter the body type, you realize most people are more comfortable in clothes than out of them.

5. Your confidence is often contingent on the month

November? Yep, won't need to be in shorts or a bikini for about 7-8 months. I am good to go.

February? I'll need to be in a bikini soon.. I could use some work.

6. You are thrilled by the one-piece bathing suit making a fashion come back

A resounding 'thank you' to whoever decided it was time to give one-pieces a try again. The stomachs of us in-between gals are appreciative.

7. Crop tops are 95% of the time not your top of choice

Yeah, okay, clothes are supposed to work for me and not against me.

8. You honestly don't understand jean sizes

I have fluctuated in weight a lot of my life, most recently losing 25lbs, and I still did not budge in jean sizes.

9. You wonder what other people think when they see you

Do other people see me as thin in clothing? Or fat in a bikini? What size am I perceived as?

10. Shopping is kind of a nightmare

Have you ever found about 27 items you liked, added the prices and thought, ah, it is going to be so tough to choose from all of these items? Only to go into the fitting room and realize only 2 of the items fit you well? Yep, me every single time I go to the store.

SEE ALSO: 7 Struggles Of Being The Girl Who Is "Not Skinny" But Also "Not Fat"

11. You're thankful that at least you've got boobs

You can kind of hide them in clothes, and then let them steal the show away from your tummy in a swimsuit.

12. You have a hard time setting weight-loss goals

You aren't really sure how overweight you are (if you are, at all) and you don't want to be at an unhealthy weight on either side of the spectrum.

13. Body positivity comes and goes

There are days, weeks or even months when you feel like the most beautiful person on the planet, and then something happens (old jeans don't fit, you try on a new bathing suit, etc.) and you convince yourself that all of that confidence was wrong and undeserved.

14. You always try on the biggest size first

Either this or you're in a weird limbo between the smallest plus sizes size and the biggest generic sizes size.

15. Half of you knows every body is a bikini body, and half of you is convinced that yours is not

You know that your body is worthy of wearing whatever you want to wear, but looking at yourself and seeing what society (and you) sometimes deem as unattractive can eat away at that knowledge.

16. But you also know self-love and confidence are key to beauty

Even if you have to fake it, you know that feeling confident is going to carry you pretty far.

17. Being in a bathing suit is a constant game of readjustment

Okay, I am sitting. Pull the bottoms up to cover as much as my stomach as possible and the back of the top down to cover any back rolls.

18. You've avoided the mirror after a shower before

You know that you are just going to lose all the comfort you felt in your body during the day when you see yourself, so sometimes it is best to just avoid it.

19. Ultimately, you know your beauty is not contingent on what you are wearing

The goal for everyone should be to get to a point where it doesn't matter if you're in a snowsuit, a bathing suit or a birthday suit... You can see your beauty no matter what and feel confident despite what you have on. It'll take time, but falling in love with the way you look is worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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5 Reasons To Look Forward To Summer

Summer is the best time of the year hands down, and its the time when you can kick back and relax all day long.

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We are slowly (but surely) getting closer to summer! The weather is getting nicer, the pants are getting shorter, the sunshine is coming out. With that here are five (super amazing) things to look forward to for this upcoming summer.

1. Friends.

The hands-down best things about summer are the fact that for the first time in the year, you and your friends are in the same place again, and that you all can go back to hanging out all the time and soaking in the sun.

My best friend and I go to schools in the same state, just about as far away as possible, but I rarely get to see her which makes the rest of the year harder. BUT as soon as summer comes around then I go back to see her every single day and I love love love it.

2. Campfires.

There is nothing that soothes the soul like a good campfire, surrounded by great friends and some amazing snacks. The feeling that comes from a good night with the stars and some good laughs makes the rest of the year worth it.

Plus Smores are an amazing invention, and they go hand in hand with a good campfire!

3. A chance to relax.

You go to school/work/whatever all year long, and you are tired. Summer brings a time for people to relax, start anew, go to the beach, and finally let their hair down.

As we enter spring, the sun is shining, small tastes of summer come every now again, and we are able to start to see how amazing and relaxing this summer could be.

4. Summer Jobs.

Some of the most fun and amazing people that I have met in my life are from the places that I worked during my summer jobs. Summer allows college students (in my case) to work in a fun, upbeat, and temporary places with other college-aged kids who just want to enjoy their time home, but also need a little bit of cash to have that fun.

If I could recommend to all college students to look for something to do in the summer, work, volunteer, VOLUNTEER, and or help out with local organizations in your town. You will make an amazing difference!

5. Catching up on life.

Whether or not you are catching up on Netflix, friendships, work, sleep, or socializing summer is the time for you to finally catch up on your stuff.

There is nothing better than catching up on everything that you have had to miss out on for the past year, you'll feel better, more relaxed, and be happier!

With all of this being said, make your list and see what you are looking forward to most during your summer break. Enjoy!

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