Camping On Thanksgiving

Camping On Thanksgiving

Have you ever cooked an entire meal in a cramped trailer?

Thanksgiving: often defined as a traditional, religious holiday in which participants invest in giving thanks to God for all of the blessings their lives hold.

Within this classic textbook definition, I would like to point out the word traditional, because my Thanksgivings are far from traditional. Thoughts of family surrounding a dinner table slathered in delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. come to mind. Is my mouth the only one watering right now just thinking about it?

Anyhow, back on track – Thanksgivings can be far from traditional. Well, it depends on the season. I love indulging in a traditional Thanksgiving. We all gather at my cousin’s house considering my Aunt ALWAYS hosts Thanksgiving. It’s such a rewarding time where you truly do realize what you are grateful for, your family and all the quirky memories you share.

While my Aunty Lisa’s Thanksgiving has a special place in my heart – how could I miss her classic sweet potato casserole? Yet, there was one Thanksgiving where my parents decided to fly down the nontraditional route with gusto. Rather than spend Thanksgiving in the city, it was decided we would have a small Thanksgiving in the middle of some forest. This did not bode well initially. What about Aunty Lisa’s? What about seeing the family? What about the food?

It became apparent that my judgements were too harsh jumping to hasty assumptions that proved false. On this Thanksgiving, we spent it in a trailer hidden in the trees. We spent the day riding quads around with the chilly breeze making Thanksgiving all the more festive. Once dinner time came around, our plates were licked clean – we deep-fried a turkey. If you’ve had deep-fried turkey, then you can relate to the “plates being licked clean.”

However, it wasn’t the simple Thanksgiving dinner, it was the experience. An experience entailing the changing colors of the forest leaves trickling down from the sky. Beneath these auburn giants, a little creek captures the leaves as they float like little sailboats hoping to survive the rocky waters up ahead. To compliment the beauty of this nature, iridescent, golden sunrays glimmer through the treetop canvas. Sparkling along the creek, the sun is drawn to the leaves; illuminating hues of a burnt sunset, you felt incased in this little paradise. Sitting along the edge of the creek, my feet upset the current as refreshing water washed over me. Laying back and taking it all in, I wanted to take a photo but I realized no photo could ever capture the beauty of this moment – this moment of pure bliss that I knew my memory would never let me forget.

It’s these moments, these moments where Thankfulness flourishes not simply because some holiday declares so, but because people have joy in their hearts. We are surrounded by what makes our lives worth living. Sometimes this isn’t a cookie cutter Thanksgiving at my Aunt’s house, sometimes it’s a messy Thanksgiving in a cramped trailer followed by a breathtaking sunset.

This being said, try something new this year. You’ll be surprised how your perspective changes. Who knows, you’ll probably have a few new things to be thankful for. So, experiment! Try volunteering or take a spontaneous trip to the forest. But never forget to give thanks for what truly lights up your heart every day.

Cover Image Credit: Cecile Vedemil

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St. Patricks Day Is On A Saturday This Year And BGSU Is Going To Burn To The Ground

We are all going to be seeing green.

Let's face it: a lot of college culture revolves around drinking and partying. Thursday through Saturday, you WILL find groups of people stumbling to the bars, laughing uncontrollably, and inevitably doing stupid, intoxicated things. College, for a lot of people, is a time to push limits and have a ridiculous amount of fun. Whether or not you participate, you can't deny that where there are college kids, there is going to be drinking. That's just the way it is.

That being said, St. Patrick's day, while it is officially a celebration of Irish culture, is a day that all the drunks have come to love and celebrate. To those who love it, it's a day of many memories. Some get up at 6 a.m. and are hungover 3 separate times by the end of the day. Some like to laugh at all the drunk people and make sure nothing too dangerous goes down. Either way, a lot of people, specifically college kids are HUGE fans of the holiday and will stop at nothing to celebrate.

Many even celebrate Fake Patty's Day, which is essentially celebrating the holiday a weekend before the actual day since March 17 typically falls on a weekday, where party culture is (usually) not socially accepted. But this year, somehow the stars have beautifully aligned, and St. Patrick's Day is on a Saturday this year. This won't happen again for another 12 years, in 2029, so this event is kinda a big deal, if ya ask me.

Here at Bowling Green State University, we are HUGE fans of St. Patrick's Day. Even as a first-year student, you just KNOW it's a big deal. People start talking about how they excited they are as soon as Spring Semester begins, and the passion and excitement slowly builds on as we trudge through the first few months of the year. So the fact that the holiday falls on Saturday, where most classes and schoolwork can be pushed aside in favor of other, more fun (and more alcoholic) activities, makes the day all that much more exciting to look for.

With excitement at an all-time high for an already crazy day, 2018's St. Patrick's Day at Bowling Green is going to be both a beautiful and chaotic mess to watch. With 30+ bars in a 12 square mile town filled with college kids, expect complete and utter madness. BGSU might truly burn down on March 17th, but it will be in the most fun and obnoxious way possible.

Us Falcons are going to need the luck of the Irish, that much is for sure.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Sorority Life: It’s Not What You Think

Getting Rid of Our Eagerness to Jump to Conclusions

I bet I can guess what you’re thinking. It’s probably something along the lines of, “Wow, what a typical sorority girl thing to write about.” I can’t say you’re wrong. 

I’m not ashamed to label myself as just that: a sorority girl. I’m pretty proud of it, honestly.

Can I walk you through how I came to be one of these? A sorority girl

First, lets go back to recruitment week. I was BEYOND nervous. I didn't know what I had gotten myself into. I thought to myself on many different occasions, “This is a mistake, I’m not fit for this, I should really just back out now.” It was overwhelming, and I was exhausted from both talking my head off for hours at a time and not getting enough sleep. I would leave my dorm early in the morning, and often not return until late at night.

Even though I questioned my decision to rush the whole week, I can’t help but look back and laugh at myself now.

Being a part of a sorority has already done so much more for me than I could ever possibly do for it.

I’ve gained sisters, 150 of them. I’ve gained friendships that I’m sure will last a lifetime. And yes, I’ve gained future bridesmaids. I’ve developed a love for serving and giving back to the community. I’ve made memories I will never forget.

Ugh, I know. So incredibly cheesy. But also so incredibly true

However, sometimes sorority life is not always easy-breezy. 

It often keeps my schedule full. I've already spent many late hours working on banners. Study hours took up a lot of my time while I was a new member. Coming back after spending a weekend at home in time to make it to chapter is sometimes hard to do. I’m not always motivated to walk across campus in order to get points for going to a sisterhood or a career and personal development. I’ve mopped, dusted, vacuumed, and swept different parts of the house in order to keep it looking nice and neat. 

Sorority life has taught me how to manage my time. It’s taught me how to find the good in everything. It’s taught me to appreciate my free time even more. But most importantly, it’s taught me not to jump to conclusions. 

Before I joined one, I myself had my own idea of what being in a sorority was like. I had my own stereotypes of what sorority girls were like. 

We’re so good at that. 

We’re good at assuming. We’re good at accusing. We’re good at judging. We’re good at stereotyping and name-calling…just because we don’t know. We don’t know what it’s really like. We don’t put ourselves in someone else’s shoes in order to try and understand what they’re going through or where they're coming from. 

Instead, we decide to form our own opinion before we really know because we have an eagerness to jump to conclusions. 

It’s human nature, we all do it. We all judge based on first impressions or appearances. We all stereotype based on what we think we know, or what we’ve learned from what society tells us. 

But, just because we all do it doesn't mean it’s okay.

Our God holds us to a higher standard than this. We are not called to submit to a life that looks like the world. We’re not called to live like everybody else, and this includes being quick to judge or assume. 

Our God is a God of grace and love. He shows no favoritism. We’ve all heard it a thousand times, but He is the judge, not us.

Even though it's so incredibly difficult sometimes, I would encourage you to first recognize the grace and mercy God shows you each and every day. Think about this, remind yourself of it often, and I promise it will help you to remember to extend this grace, mercy, and love to others around you, rather than jump to conclusions. 

“For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Galatians 2:13

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