​Let's Put A ​Smile On That Face​​

​Let's Put A ​Smile On That Face​​

We all have the ability to make the world a better place for those who cannot; one kid, one cleft lip and one cleft palate at a time.


With all the different clubs and organizations around here at Illinois State, we miss a lot of really interesting and important services that students and others provide. When we enter into college we are given endless opportunities that we have to go out and find. Festival ISU is one big annual event that happens at the beginning of each new year. You get to see all the organizations that are a part of Illinois State, come together on the Quad to rally people for their team and get super hyped about the new school year! There are booths that cover the importance of mental health, bake sales, raising money for awarenesses and organizations that ultimately represent ISU and so much more!

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear about the organization, Operation Smile, from the President, Abbie Teeling. Then I was able to get an interview with Mary Moran who is a student, participating with Operation Smile at ISU.

ChristopherPhoto By Jasmin Shah

Operation Smile was originally founded nationally in 1982 when Dr. Magee, Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen, a nurse, traveled with medical volunteers to the Philippines to repair children's cleft lips and cleft palates. At first, they helped some children so the crowd soon grew exponentially. Full of people begging and crying to them to fix their babies cleft lip/palates, the two of them and these medical volunteers didn't have the ability or tools to help about 300 children at the time, with no other choice but to leave, the Magee's promised to return to give more children surgeries.

Operation Smile is a nonprofit medical service operation. When you first go onto the website they ensure us with a sense of humbleness and selflessness by saying, "Help Save More Lives. Without surgery, 9 in 10 children born with a cleft condition could die. Your gift will change their lives. DONATE NOW". Operation Smile tells us that we will and can be the ones to change these kids lives. One thing that Moran wanted to make sure that everybody was aware of when they read about Operation Smile is that of the kids who have a cleft lip and palates, it is/can be extremely dangerous and painful. It makes these kids lives harder because their mouth and nose do not connect properly at the early stages of pregnancy. This causes difficulty in eating, breathing, and speech development. A lot of kids and even adults grow up without seeking medical treatment or just unable to provide the funds to receive this type of surgery. These people barely have enough money to pay the $10 dollar fee for the bus to surgery, let alone the surgery itself. They ask us to understand and realize that we could do so much good in the world.

IrisPhoto By Jorgen Hildebrandt

Here at Illinois State, Antonio Foster started Operation Smile about 3 years ago. Foster himself had cleft lip surgery paid for by Operation Smile, so he created the club to spread awareness and give thanks to the people who changed his life. There are around 35 volunteers involved with Operation Smile. They just had their first meeting recently, then meet around one or two times a month to create new ways to raise money and inform the public as well as each other about upcoming fundraisers and service projects.

To get involved, it doesn't take much work. You can join Operation Smile at any time of the year! They are open to new members. If your schedule is too busy right now, you can always support O.S. fundraisers and wait to join! Donations are always accepted and even just spreading the word. They will have bake sales and different fundraisers throughout the year supporting their organization that people are always welcome to come to. When asking Moran why she decided to join Operation Smile, she told me that she is a Speech Pathology Major so she is very aware of the cause for change and how serious cleft lip and palates can be without surgery. Moran said, "I am always looking for ways to help people in need so I joined Operation Smile and completely fell in love with it!"

DomingosPhoto By: Zeke du Plessis

We who are more fortunate should consider what changing someones live could mean to us. We have the ability to take matters into our own hands and really help these people. To really put ourselves out there to help another human being live life differently can make all the difference in the world. That is why the money towards this cause is so important! Joining O.S. and supporting those who need it, gives those people a better chance at a healthier and safer life.

Opportunities to join Operation Smile: Email the President!

President: Abbie Teeling - aateeli@ilstu.edu

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.


College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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I Am The Girl Who Always Gets What She Wants, And I’m Not Ashamed Of It

I will NEVER just "go with the flow."


Ever since I was very, very young, my parents have taught me to fight for what I want. This doesn't mean that they spoiled me or that they caved whenever I threw a temper tantrum. I'm also not saying that they taught me not to take no for an answer, because everyone's entitled to their own opinions and points of views, and saying no is perfectly understandable in any circumstance. What I am saying is that they've always wanted me to take my future in my hands, mold it to whatever it is that I want it to look like, and work hard to get to where I want to go.

When I was eleven years old, I watched a documentary called "The Secret" with my dad for the first time. "The Secret" is a book, later turned into a documentary, which basically teaches you how to use the law of attraction. Simply put, the law of attraction is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. My dad told me he'd read the book before, and that he thought I was ready to learn how to use the law of attraction for my own good, even though I'd technically been using it for my entire life without even being aware of it. It's important to note that, when people first learn about the law of attraction, they tend to be pretty skeptical about it. Surprisingly, I wasn't skeptical at all, considering I'd always looked up to Walt Disney and his stories about magic.

At first, I used the law of attraction for things that might seem very small now, but back then I was so very excited to see that whatever I was doing was working in my favor. Whenever I really wanted something, like a light pink Nintendo DS, I would put it up on my vision board, I would visualize myself playing with it, and I would truly believe that I would get it, and so I did. Some people teased me for it, saying that I only got those things because my parents wanted me to believe in the law of attraction, and so they just bought me whatever it was that I wanted at the moment. But then it started turning into something way more powerful.

When I was seventeen, my family and I were planning to go to Disney World for Spring Break, and I really wanted my best friend to come with us. At first, it seemed like an impossible task, considering the fact that her mom had never even let her go on a weekend getaway with anyone, let alone fly to another country. I introduced my best friend to the law of attraction, and we both truly believed that she would come. She ended up coming on the trip with us, and to this day, we're still shocked about the fact that her mother caved and let her tag along.

As I've grown older, the law of attraction has always played a very important part in my thought process, and how I handle and react to things. When I was eighteen, I was able to gather all the strength I needed to break away from a very toxic relationship, and then I found a man who just casually happens to have every single thing I always thought my dream guy should have.

In January of last year, I decided that I would be applying for the Disney International College Program. It was truly fitting, considering the fact that Disney has always been one of my biggest passions in life, and also that I had been to Disney World countless times before. I felt truly prepared to take on this adventure, and so I started preparing my application. Nevertheless, the dates got mixed up, and my school advisor told me it was too late for me to send in my application. But I knew deep in my heart that I was going to move to Orlando. Two days after that, just like magic, my advisor told me that she could still let me apply if I sent in my application as quickly as possible. We all know what happened after that, considering I'm writing this from my apartment in Orlando.

All that magic comes with a price though, and lots of people have recently tried to undermine me. Some people, I guess, are just like black holes. They hate shiny things, and they go around trying to suck everyone else's light to fill up the void inside of them, but my fire is too strong, and therefore, it's impossible to put out. Some people just can't take how much I've accomplished, the things I've seen, the things I've done, the stuff I have, and the dreams I dream.

I've decided to stand my ground and let it be known, once and for all, that no matter what happens, I will always continue to fight and work for whatever it is that I want, no matter how big, small, unreachable or pointless it may seem to other people. What I want is what I get, and if someone doesn't like that about me, then that's their own problem to deal with, not mine. My life, my future, and my destiny are MINE to sculpt, and I will NEVER just "go with the flow."

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