Why Caring for Plants Means Caring for Yourself

Why Caring for Plants Means Caring for Yourself

The advantages of having a care in the (natural) world
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Last June, my friend Hunter gave little succulents to all his graduation party guests. Well, maybe not all of his guests. I had to leave early. Later, when he realized that I hadn't taken a plant, I assured him that "I like plants better outdoors." I wasn't feeling the succulents scene. The heavily-filtered tumblr posts that captured fields of French wildflowers attracted me, but the ones that presented a corner shelf of potted cacti seemed lackluster. This sounds like a bad case of overthinking, and for me, that's no surprise- but I truly sensed that greenery belonged in the wild, in its own ecosystem, and in no system of mine.

However, my ecosystem developed. At my Haverford College apartment, three succulents sit on my windowsill. At my family home, four claim a sun-friendly spot in the study. I love them.

My first plant was a gift from my school. One September day, the arboretum staff set up a table in the dining center and distributed "freshman plants." There were all sorts of plants, but I picked up a mantis-green succulent buddy. I named him "Orlando" so that I could tell people his name and finish the sentence with, "even if he doesn't Bloom." (Get it? Get it?) Although Freshman Plant Day might simply exist to advertise the arboretum, I feel that literally giving life to college students- or to anyone- is a beautiful thing, and here's why.

Nurturing something makes you feel really good.

I have named my three apartment succulents Orlando, Keira, and Johnny- after the leading actors in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. They are a kind of family, and I am responsible for them. They're not human, but they help me celebrate being a human, being someone who cares about community and about perpetuating life to its fullest.

When it comes to paying attention to others' needs... I fail, a lot. But I want to improve, and maintaining plants is good practice. Just like babies or dogs, plants cannot use words to tell you what they need... unless there's some freaky Little Shop of Horrors stuff happening. As a succulent owner, I have to pay attention to the signs and learn what they mean- if Johnny and Keira's tips begin turning pale brown, I can't assume that the same method will remedy both. I have to invest in learning a new language. The other day, I was fairly sure that my succulents were experiencing drainage problems, so I took them on a field trip to find pebbles; that chill, exploratory time nourished my entire day.

Green relieves stress.


Some people don't believe in color psychology, but many do. And if you have ever been in a hospital that wasn't painted white, I bet I can guess what color it was painted, at least partially. Green! Since it is the color of nature and isn't usually an overwhelming sensory experience, green can de-stress you. If you're looking for a bit of brightness, you don't necessarily have to go for the classic option, a vase of already-dead flowers. You can allow a bit of dirt into your space, because with it comes the sweet serenity of beloved, living color.

Plants get you excited about something genuinely good.

It wasn't Orlando, no. But one of my little guys bloomed. I did not watch the whole process, but when I began to notice the bud, I felt inexplicably proud of the plant... and when a flower finally opened, I could barely believe it. When I am hype for an event, it isn't the same as feeling the thrill of something as simple as this.

Therefore, forsooth, alas, etc... I present a turnaround story and a compelling idea. Before I knew the joy of having succulents in my life, I was missing out on a lot. If you want a new form of self-care, divert your attention towards one or two of these small friends; the love you give them will only grow.

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If Taylor Swift Songs Were Types Of Alcohol

Because what's better than a drink and some T-Swift?
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With Taylor Swift's quick return to the music scene... and in a big way, might I add, I decided to associate some of the best Taylor Swift songs with alcohol.

I mean, who wouldn't want to drink to Taylor Swift's catchy melodies and perfect choruses to get over an ex or tell someone exactly how you feel about them?

Taylor Swift has been around for a decade at this point, and let's face it, pretty much all of her songs could go along with at least one type of alcohol.

1. "Welcome To New York" - Moscow Mule

It only makes sense. Visit the Big Apple and you have to indulge in the state's signature cocktail. Moscow mules are a New York classic, and if it's your first night in the city and you haven't bought yourself one, are you even in New York?

2. "Blank Space" - Everclear

Think about it... A night of drinking Everclear will leave you with a giant blank space the next day. You might also look like Taylor did in the music video.

3. "Tim McGraw" - Beer

Tim McGraw is a throwback to Taylor's high school love. What better way to reminisce than with a couple friends and a keg of your favorite cheap beer?

4. "Style" - Cristal Champagne

What's more stylish than with a glass of the most expensive bubbly you can find? Just like Taylor Swift, Cristal will never go out of style.

5. "Shake It Off" - Martini

Get it? Cause you shake a martini? I might be the only one who thinks that's funny but you might end up dancing a little bit with a martini in hand when "Shake It Off" come on the radio.

6. "Red" - Merlot


Red has to go along with a red wine. What else could go along with yet *another* T-Swift breakup song?

7. "22" - Margaritas

Let's face it, when you're 22, you really only drink margaritas. They're fun- and all the hipsters are probably drinking them too.

8. "Teardrops On My Guitar" - Southern Comfort

When your heart is broken, who are you going to turn to besides the only alcohol that gives you comfort...Southern Comfort that is.

9. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Fireball

I can't say I've ever met anyone who spent a night with Fireball and didn't regret it the next morning.

10. "Look What You Mad Me Do" - Tequila

T-Swift's latest single is an angry one. What better to make you angry than tequila? Taylor basically just called out everyone who had ever talked about her behind her back and she did it in true Taylor fashion-by writing a song. She was probably drunk on tequila when she wrote it too.

11. ...Ready For It? - Bottomless Mimosas

Because it's just that good.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Which Guest Cameo Are You From The 'thank u, next' Music Video, Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

Are you more of a Kris Jenner or Miranda Sings?

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Ariana's most recent single "thank u, next" has had everyone shook since she released it out of nowhere. Not only is the song an anthem, but the message behind the lyrics are empowering for girls everywhere who have been through a tough heartbreak.

After the song's release, none of us thought that the music video would go to this iconic level, but then the previews for the music video came out, and we were wrong. I loved all of the different references to some of my favorite rom-com movies, but my absolute favorite was seeing all of the different guest stars that Ari included in the video.

If you're wondering which guest cameo you're most like, here's what your zodiac says about you:

Sagittarius - Stephanie Drummond

Kind of like Stephanie, aka the "army pants and flip flops" girl from Mean Girls, Sagittarius' are very straightforward and won't hold back from telling something to someone. They're also very enthusiastic about certain things and curious to try something new, which makes them super unique.

Capricorn - Daniella Monet

Capricorns are smart, hard-working, and fully in control over your life, just like Daniella. There are times where they might stress themselves out to the max to make sure everything is perfect, but they're confident what they want and are determined to achieve that goal.

Aquarius - Elizabeth Gillies

Aquarius' are always fun with friends, which is just like Liz Gillies and her friendship with Ari. They're also good listeners and always willing to help others, as well as fight for causes that are important to them.

Pisces - Troye Sivan

Pisces are very creative and imaginative, just like Troye. These people aspire to achieve emotional and spiritual harmony, which can be easily seen from their generosity and compassion for others. However, they also sometimes value dedicating time for themselves to recharge, which is never a bad thing.

Aries - Gabi DeMartino

As an Aries, these people walk with confidence and determination and are true-born leaders. This means that they also have no problem with being honest or assertive and that they simply have no time for anyone else's BS.

Taurus - Jonathan Bennett

Just like Jonathan Bennett, who's best known for playing teenage heartthrob Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, taurus' extremely reliable and trustworthy. They want everything around them and in their life to be simple, which might not always be easy, but Taurus' are also known for their patience.

Gemini - Miranda Sings

Geminis tend to be very expressive people, which is just like Miranda Sings (aka Colleen Bellinger). They might have a bad rep, but they're also very curious, versatile, and affectionate.

Cancer - Ariana

As Cancer signs, these people are very sweet, have an intuitive side, and are kind to everyone around them, even if they're just a stranger, which is just like Ariana. Other signs might think that these people are just simply cute, but appearances are misleading and there's definitely more to this sign than being cute, such as being an imaginative person and a loyal friend.

Leo - Matt Bennett

Leos are known for being warm-hearted and cheerful people, just like Ari's best friend Matt Bennett. They're also very humorous and goofy and are the people that can help cheer anyone else up who needs it.

Virgo - Kris Jenner

Virgos are known for their strong loyalty and hard work they put into everything they do, which is just like Kris Jenner as the "mom-ager" for her kids. They're also very intelligent and analytical, and are dedicated to making sure that everything is perfect.

Libra - Jennifer Coolidge

Just like Jennifer Coolidge's role in the music video (and Legally Blonde), Libras are extremely compassionate and understanding with everyone around them. They are also in a constant search for peace and fairness, which is why they also tend to be fair-minded.

12. Scorpio - Bruiser

Last but not least, Scorpios are well known for being resourceful and passionate about what they do. There are times where they can be a bit stubborn, but at the end of the day, they're also known for being a true friend, or in this case, like a Bruiser to Elle Woods.

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