But Wait, Let Me Take A Selfie!

But Wait, Let Me Take A Selfie!


I once walked into a room of my closest friends, and went unnoticed for five minutes.

You guessed it! They were scrolling through Facebook on their phones.

Now, I don’t pretend not to be a culprit of this myself. I’ve been known to casually pull out my phone for no apparent reason, then proceed to scroll through an endless newsfeed. I’m no stranger to the selfies, the bright filters, or the emojis that accompany them - because we just couldn’t convey the emotion with a picture. I’ve even posted a few of them myself.

But if you walked into a room of people you love and none of them noticed you, you’d feel what I felt. Frustrated, exasperated, and a little indignant.

Maybe I’m sounding egocentric to you. But I addressed these people - people who usually greet me with a great big hug - and their eyes didn’t even look up at me this time. I’m sure you’ve all had this rather surreal experience before. You’re sitting at dinner with a group of friends, and there’s a lull in the conversation. After a while, one person pulls out their phone. Then another. And then another. Sooner or later, you’re the only one still in real time. But you know what you do, right? Pull out your own phone…

And what are we really looking at when we open up Facebook or Instagram? A constant tirade of snapshots. Snapshots of interesting people’s lives. And so you want to add your own fascinating snapshots to the mix. Why? Because you’ve got to look like you’re having just as much fun as they are.

It’s tough, when we have these hand-held cameras constantly at our disposal, not to capture every memory or experience we have. But there comes a point when the memory you captured was the memory of taking a picture. How do we pose? How do we smile? Pouty face? Duck face? The list is endless.

But my point is, wouldn’t it be nice to have a memory stored in your brain? To be able to recall it if the zombie apocalypse really does happen and we’re left with just the bare bones of life? I want to tell my grandchildren about the good times I had with my friends in college, not hand them a slideshow on my iPad. And furthermore, when I tell them about what we did in college, I don’t want to tell them we took pictures for fun. I’d like to tell them about that first road trip, watching the sunset, and stargazing.

So, try something for me. Just once. The next time you want to snap a picture of you and your friends out on the town together, take a second and look around at their faces. Hug them. Laugh with them. Notice them when they come in the room. I think you’ll like the feeling.

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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Removing Toxic People From Your Life

You do not, and I repeat, do not, owe others an explanation for doing something for the betterment of your own well being.

Unfortunately, toxic people are always going to be present and coming into your life. There are many ways to deal with them and they can be represented by several characteristics. However, it is your personal choice when deciding what to do with them. Do you let them stay in your life and keep taking more than they give? Or, do you cut them out of your life?

Toxic people look just like any other person on the outside, but they are usually narcissistic and overbearing on the inside. They can appear to be friends, family, peers or even college roommates. Toxic people are typically greedy and manipulative. They make you think that they care about you when really, the fact is that they only care about themselves. They are not going to be there to congratulate you on your personal victories because inside they just want to see you fail to make themselves look better.

Toxic people never apologize for what they have done that was wrong, especially if it is something that hurt somebody else. Sometimes, they tell fibs about what happened and they are far from the truth. Finally, toxic people bring back irrelevant information to arguments and hold everything that you have ever said against you.

All of these characteristics are those of a toxic person or somebody that you hopefully do not want in your life. Now, the question remains, what do you do with them? My advice to you is to cut them out of your life and move on. Eventually, you realize when enough is enough with somebody and you cannot handle them mistreating you any longer.

Always remember that you are allowed to leave those who have hurt you. You are allowed to be selfish sometimes when it means taking care of yourself. You do not, and I repeat, do not, owe others an explanation for doing something for the betterment of your own well being. What some people have a hard time realizing is that it is okay to want to make yourself happy.

You should not have to quietly sit there and smile while other people are walking all over you. You are a human being, and you have a right to let someone know that they are hurting you and that they need to stop doing so. You are allowed to set boundaries when people are overstepping and making you feel uncomfortable.

Whether you take my advice or not, I am confident that you will make the right decision in regards to dealing with toxic individuals. However, just trust me when I say that once you can, and choose to recognize and erode the toxicity of these awful beings, you will see an array of positive changes in your life and overall well being.
Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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The National School Walkout Day Is Important Because Staying Silent Is Not The Best Option

We must make our voices known.

Protests are usually controversial. There's really no way around it; that's kinda the whole point of protests. But the National School Walkout Day is important because we, as students, no longer feel safe in our classrooms. With all the armed robberies happening in Eugene currently, I don't even feel safe walking around NEAR campus. Even walking alone on campus has become slightly terrifying.

But I don't enjoy living in fear. Maybe it's my resilient spirit, but living in fear is one of the things I hate. I chose to participate in the walkout for that specific reason. I should feel safe sitting in a classroom while trying to learn new material. I shouldn't have an added layer of FEAR to the classroom environment.

How are we supposed to learn when we're worried about being the next victim in a list of school shooting victims that is already way too long? Even though I didn't have class at the time of the walkout, participating in it still was extremely powerful for me. Seeing so many fellow students united in our fear and resilience is incredibly powerful.

Many people disagree with this walkout, and argue that walking out of our classes for seventeen minutes won't change anything. My problem with this mindset is that these kinds of people don't think ANYTHING can make a change. However, most of our actions have the potential to majorly affect more than we realize. Staying silent about this issue won't create any positive change, so why not protest and show the country and government how unhappy we are about this current situation? We must make our voices known.

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