Color Signifies More Than Decay

Color Signifies More Than Decay

There's a good reason why the leaves fall in autumn as well as in life!
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Autumn is here.

Leaves are everywhere, the trees shed them and become more and more bare.

Does Fall signify death and decay and rot of extraneous pieces of deciduous trees?

No! In fact, some truly amazing things happen. The colors we see actually indicate that a sort of hibernation and conservation is to take place.

Bears, squirrels, and other animals gather food and stock up on nutrients and foodstuffs for the winter in order to survive.

Trees are not much different, in that they shed their leaves, which utilize a ton of energy to feed. Chlorophyll is broken down, and conserved within the tree. The other pigments that unveil glorious golds, reds and oranges then begin to peek out as the chlorophyll makes its way out of the home of the leaves.

Carotenoids, which are present in bananas, carrots and daffodils, are also present in leaves, not unlike chlorophyll. The carotenoids begin to really show off, and create the more gold and orange tones we see in our beloved autumn leaves. Meanwhile, anthocyanin pigments, which were not "always there" within the leaves, are produced come autumn time as the length of nights increases. These mark their territory in the changing of the leaves by producing the deep red tones that are also seen in strawberries and plums.

The tree changes because the weather drastically begins to change. Living conditions will become more harsh and the winds and snowfall will take their toll on the trees. Yet the trees are strong and steadfast even during the coldest parts of winter, because they conserved the most important thing, a good portion of which was at one time, contained within their leaves - nutrients.

Even though the fresh green colors that marked spring and summertimes fade, the colors that autumn brings are so utterly breathtaking. It is good to know that the trees can remain stable throughout the harshness of winter, and the promise that they will return to their fruitful state again come spring.

Sometimes in life it really seems as though there's so much change and uncertainty and decay. It can seem heavy and dreary. However, the beautiful thing is that these difficult seasons clue us into reminders that some of the most breathtaking, exhilarating moments to come will allow us to experience life and newness and vibrancy like we remember once having.

You may feel like scattered leaves, with life falling away from you, seasons changing, and hard things bogging you down. But think about what this season of life has to teach you, and how you can maybe take some good, sound truth from your current life stage and store it away for a time when you need it more then than now. Imagine the brilliancy of reliving that truth and basking in it and allowing it to grow you as you enter into more changes and more seasons of life.

It's all about perspective. Either you can trample on the leaves of life, or you can tap into the wonder and beauty of each moment and learn and grow and store away for the many more leaps and bounds to come.

So if the chlorophyll is fading, and the golds and reds begin to emerge, celebrate a new chapter, and be determined to learn something from it! Look to the tree as a reminder of this, and appreciate its own beauty and life.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Peterson
Cover Image Credit: Hannah Peterson

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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11 Things You See On A Midwest Campus When it Hits 50 Degrees

ANYTHING to switch up the snow boots, parkas, and seasonal depression

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All those jokes about people in Michigan and other cold places breaking out bikinis and shorts when it surpasses 45 degrees-well they're pretty accurate. One lap around a campus in the midwest will expose you to all of the different stereotypical behaviors of students who suffered through the polar freaking vortex or cyclone or black hole or whatever it was called.

50 degrees on a campus like mine? That calls for windows down, exposed shoulders that would've warranted a dress-coding in middle school, and energy that would make you think there was a full moon during the day.

1. Birkenstocks

Maybe it's just me, but the moment I can throw my boots in the back of the closet and make the transition from moccasins to Birks, I do it ASAP! My red, squishy Birkenstocks have been with me through years of puddles, vacations, and walks to class. As soon as you can wear them, with or without socks, it is truly a liberating feeling like no other.

2. SO many calves

Running shorts, basketball shorts, and Soffees, oh my! The leggings and sweats we've been rotating for the past three months can FINALLY be put in a drawer for the day and the legs can finally be shaved!

3. Sunnies

Yes, I know the sun still shines in the winter. But there's nothing like completing a Spring outfit with a chic new pair of shades. Whether you're driving, walking, or wearing them during class, I guarantee you look more badass.

4. Skateboards

The kid zooming by you on a penny board is quite a mystery. You heard about three seconds of the song he's blasting through his headphones around his neck, and you only saw a portion of his face without facial hair.

5. Girls blasting country music

The Jeep Wrangler speeding by is sure to have at least seven girls squished in listening to Sam Hunt with the windows all the way down. They're not going to class-just going for a joy ride.

6. Frat boys in lawn chairs

The houses with Greek letters are sure to be preceded by an army of shirtless guys drinking Coors and lounging in lawn chairs while whistling to any female passer-by just to confirm their sexuality.

7. Iced coffees galore

The Starbucks line will be out the door. The amount of iced caramel macchiatos will be at an all-time high, but hopefully, that means the amount of straws will be at an all-time low. :)

8. People walking FOR FUN

Vitamin D does wonders for the mood. Grab some friends and waddle over to get ice cream.

9. Colors other than black

Yellow? Pink? Red?! You haven't been able to show off your colorful wardrobe under all of those black parkas! Break out your brightest outfit t celebrate the season change!

10. A looooooooooong line at the bar

There's no excuse not to go out anymore. And you bet your ass you'll see jean skirts and tank tops that aren't suede for once this year.

11. Those three kids from California still in gloves and hats

They're just not on the same page yet. They'll have their moment if it hits 70.

Spring has sprung ladies and gents! Keep a look out for all of the eager beavers like me that just can not WAIT to break out the summer wardrobe, summer playlist, and summer snacks! Ice cream, Slurpees, and iced coffees are back on the menu and hot chocolate is out!

Some of these things may seem a little dramatic, but I assure you, you'll be able to check off at least five of these in one day if you explore a midwest campus in March.

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