Summer Bucketlist 2016

Summer Bucketlist 2016

"It's summertime, sweet summertime."
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Schools finally done for and the warm weather’s finally here. If you’re anything like me you’re starting to realize you don’t have that many summers left before you are in the real world, with no summer break to look forward too. With only a limited amount of time before the big A word (adulthood) takes over, take some time to have some fun! These are the carefree times you should always want to remember.

1.Go on a hike. Go on so many hikes. Nothing is better than being outside and exploring.

2.Do a color run. (Do it while it’s warm now instead of freezing in the fall later!)

3.Try a new restaurant. Some place you have always been scared to go or have always been interested to try. Just go!

4.Turn your phone off for one day. Just live in the moment. (If you can make it one day than try even longer!)

5.Take pictures. Take a lot of pictures. Post them, or don’t. Do whatever you want to do. Document your memories.

6. Start a journal.

7. Volunteer with an organization you’ve never participated in before.

8. Go through all of your old clothes and donate them! Someone else is going to really appreciate it.

9. Go to a yard sale and find some super awesome things! One man's trash is another man's treasure!

10. Make a huge slip and slide!

11. Go on a picnic.

12. Plant a garden.

13. Go to a concert.

14. Go to another concert.

15. Random road trip!

16. Go to the beach!

17. Do something, anything, completely out of your comfort zone.

18. Join a class. Painting, dancing, kickboxing, anything!

19. Make time for you friends. Summer can get busy with the constant amount of pressure to make sure you are making enough money to get you through the school year, but make sure you make time for them!

20. Go to a store you can totally not afford and try on all the clothes you would buy if you could.

21. Go to a pet store and give the puppies some lovin’! (and try not to take them all home.)

22. Make a goal and reach it by the end of the summer.

23. Try yoga.

24. Cook something you’ve never made before.

25. Lay outside at night and just look at the stars.

26. Make a huge change. Change your hair, your wardrobe, anything! Just try something new!

27. Paint a picture. Even if you can only draw a stick figure, paint! You never know how awesome something can turn out until you do it!

28. Go to the beach! Everyone needs a little sand between their toes to help them relax.

29. Go to a waterfall!

30. Take a drive. Anywhere. Get lost, you never know where you might end up.

31. Have the time of your life, you only live once!

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Public Health May Be The Most Important Area To Focus On As A Society

I saw with my own eyes the importance of public health initiatives in villages throughout Honduras and Nicaragua.

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Medical exploration and healthcare management has thrived throughout the 21st century, with major developments in epidemiology allowing organizations such as the World Health Organization of the United Nations to track the spread of preventable diseases such as malaria and influenza across impoverished countries worldwide. I saw with my own eyes the importance of public health initiatives in villages throughout Honduras and Nicaragua when I traveled there as a Brigadier with Stony Brook's Public Health Brigade, a coalition organized by Global Brigades during the Summers of 2016 and 2017.

Working alongside other university collaborations such as Boston University, I was mesmerized by the impact that improvements such as clean water through mountain pipelines and sustainable housing could do in reducing the severity of Zika virus outbreaks in the region, as accentuated by the near 8,400 villagers with access to clean water as a result of our efforts.

These experiences demonstrated to me the value of preventative measures highlighted by the public health approach — by attacking the origin of a disease and the medium through which it spreads instead of merely treating the manifestation of its symptoms, a holistic approach would allow for the eradication of a malady throughout an entire region whilst educating the local populations about the importance of proper hygiene practices and fortified infrastructure to prevent its re-eminence. It is for this reason that I feel inspired to pursue a graduate degree in Public Health as a professional, so that I can help contribute to the eradication of preventable illnesses across the globe.

A specific area of interest that I wish to target as a field of study would be the impact of sustainable housing in the eradication of illnesses such as lead poisoning through contaminated water sources. My own experience in this particular aspect of Public Health Administration as a Brigadier with Stony Brook Public Health Brigade showed me the importance of secure infrastructure in the reduction of preventable diseases as an especially pertinent area of community health in the United States, highlighted by the water toxicity crisis in Flint, Michigan.

A recent study released by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha at Hurley Medical Center noted an uptick in the blood-lead concentration of Flint Children from 2.4% to 4.9% after changing their water source, with spikes as high as 10.6% in correlation with elevated levels of lead in Flint water. These elevated blood-lead concentrations put these children at higher risk for lead poisoning, characterized by reduced growth rate and learning difficulties. Purification of the available water sources throughout the region would be a comprehensive long-term solution to reducing elevated blood-lead levels amongst Flint residents.

My goals after my master's degree in public health would be to pursue a medical education and become a doctor, or go into Healthcare Administration and eventually work with the WHO of the UN to establish a more easily accessible Healthcare system across various countries to increase the number of people in impoverished areas that can be reached by doctors, nurses and other primary care practitioners. I feel that a proper understanding of public health would, therefore, be essential to establishing my career in service to humanity.

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