Celebrate Palentine's Day This Year

Celebrate Palentine's Day This Year

We should celebrate our friends.
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Love can come in many forms. When most people think of love, the first thing that comes to mind is romantic love. Which makes sense; the media feeds us narratives of romance constantly. Starting from when we were children, too young to fully understand what love is. We even have a holiday to celebrate romance. Flowers, chocolate, and lingerie move to the forefront of stores. But I think we put too much emphasis on romantic relationships, especially this time of year. So whether you're baeless or not, this Valentine's Day, make sure to appreciate your friends.

I know you're thinking, "Isn't that what Galentine's Day is for?" Technically yes, but it's only for women celebrating women. Which I'm all here for, but Palentine's Day is more inclusive to other identities. You can appreciate all your friends regardless of their gender identity or their lack of one. This is why Palentine's Day is so important.

You need a holiday like this because friendships are one of the most important relationships you build. Good friends are really like your second family. They're the family you get to handpick. They're always there for you no matter what you're going through. That's how I know I have a good group of friends. They laugh at all my jokes, even when they're more stupid than funny. They listen to me, even when what I'm saying doesn't make sense. And they appreciate me all the time. And most of the time, I feel like I'm doing the bare minimum.

And if you feel even a smidge of what I feel for my friends, I beg you to tell them. Tell them how much you care and exactly why you appreciate them so much. If you can, throw a small Palentine’s Day celebration for them. Include candy, snacks, and their favorite activities.

Friendships are such a pure form of love which needs more recognition. I hope you all can spread your love this season to all the forms of love you experience.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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7 Basic Essentials For Your First Summer And Fall Term At UF

I definitely wish I brought these things to campus for my first term at the University of Florida.

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Congratulations and welcome to the Swamp! If you haven't heard yet, it is very swampy here, especially in the late summer and early fall months. I thought South Florida was humid, sticky, and rainy; and Gainesville has all of these qualities, but amplified. However, it can also be pretty chilly in the early winter months. Here are a few essentials you will need to avoid looking out of place (like I did) and clueless during your first semester.

1. Rain Jacket

Patagonia

While this may seem obvious, do not forget to bring a rain jacket. What is even more important is that you don't skimp out on a rain coat. While it may seem ridiculous to spend more than $25-$50 on a rain coat, do it. I took the cheap route and ended up having to buy another, more durable, jacket. You also will want one that extends past your torso a bit and has a hood that actually fits your head. You definitely want a hood that stays put when you are running from class to class in the pouring Gainesville summer storms.

2. An Umbrella

GIPHY

Another obvious pick, but bring an umbrella. I thought my rain coat would be enough, but boy I was mistaken. Also, just like the rain coat, make sure your umbrella is big enough to cover both you and your backpack. My umbrella has been one of my biggest saviors when it comes to hustling across campus in the pouring rain.

3. Water Resistant Backpack

Carhartt

While this one may not seem very important, I assure you that your papers and technology will thank you. Because I live off campus, I have to take the bus to and from school. Of course, there are rainy days when you have to walk from your stop to your apartment, dorm, or class. A water-resistant backpack will keep your tech safe from rain. I don't suggest buying a fully waterproof backpack unless you are planning on throwing your backpack in Lake Alice.

4. Good Walking Shoes

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I wish I spent more of my freshman year walking in proper sneakers rather than in Birkenstocks and socks. Campus is big, and I mean really big. I would often walk about 5 or 6 miles in my first two semesters on campus when I took traditional on-campus classes. Definitely get a nice pair that you can wear for those long days on campus, your feet will thank you years from now.

5. Rain Boots Or Water Resistant Shoes

Madewell

I wish I would have brought some rain boots to campus for my summer term at the University of Florida. It rains almost everyday in the summer at least for 20 minutes. I made the mistake of not investing in a pair of rain boots and ended up ruining my pair of running shoes, at least cosmetically. Shoes are hard to wash, so get some rain boots!

6. Reusable Water Bottle

Hydro Flask

If you haven't gathered this, it is very hot in Gainesville, Florida. I am from South Florida where at least the sea breeze cooled us down a bit. However, Gainesville is landlocked which means the air doesn't move much unless there is a significant breeze in the forecast. The climate is unforgiving for those who aren't properly hydrated. Bring a reusable water bottle to campus because it keeps your water colder and you also have access to refill stations at various locations across campus.

7. Scooter, Bike, Or Skateboard

GIPHY

As mentioned previously, campus is big. You will most definitely want to bring a quicker mode of transportation to campus. My preferred method is biking because scooters, "scoots" as they are more lovingly called, are dangerous; and campus isn't very skateboard-friendly. Sometimes we get caught up in things and only have a few minutes to trek across campus. Bring something that allows you to travel quickly across campus, your attendance grades will thrive.

Disclaimer: I am not endorsing any of the above products.

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