I Am A Concert Fanatic, And I Am Not Ashamed

I Am A Concert Fanatic, And I Am Not Ashamed

"It's okay to love something maybe a little too much as long as it's real to you."
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I still remember the experience of my first concert like it was yesterday. It was the final show of the OP Presents Tour; the headlining act was my then-favorite band, Boys Like Girls.

I’d been counting down the days for what felt like forever. I remember the rush of adrenaline I felt as my cousin, my sister, my mom and I joined the long line wrapping around the venue. I remember listening to the chatter of the people around me, observing them and picking out the band tees and worn-out Converse low-tops that matched mine exactly. When you’re thirteen, all that seems to matter is fitting in and feeling like you belong, and for the first time, I did. Some had brought warm blankets with them, a sign of true dedication, since they knew they’d be waiting for several hours out in the November cold. And then, finally, feeling my heart skip a beat as the line started moving.

Seeing my all-time favorite band burst onto the stage was more thrilling than I ever could’ve expected. Being part of that crowd, that group of hundreds of strangers, united by our love for the music; hearing my favorite songs played live right in front of me and singing along; feeding off of that energy shared by everyone in the room—it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. And of course I’d taken a gazillion pictures and videos so that I could relive it all over again the next day.

After that first concert, I caught the bug and I was hooked. I even traveled to different states a few times for those special shows with killer lineups that I just could not miss. To this day, I have probably been to at least thirty concerts, and the looks of surprise I get from people when I tell them this never gets old. I have to explain to them that concert-going isn’t just a hobby, but a lifestyle for me.

Now that I’m a junior in college, I don’t get the chance to attend concerts nearly as often as I did in high school. But I still consider my love for live music one of the most important parts of me (and of course I still snatch up tickets whenever I do get the opportunity!). Those seven years of road-tripping to see my favorite bands, of waiting in lines in the summer heat at Warped Tour to get photos with them, of decorating t-shirts with their lyrics and album art and getting tons of compliments on them, were a defining period of my life. One of the best and most memorable parts of it was the overwhelming sense of community and solidarity it brought, especially at the smaller venues. In my normal, everyday surroundings, it was pretty rare to find even one person who felt as strongly about certain bands as I did, and some people even made fun of me for how “obsessed” I was. But once I was there, at the show, surrounded by people who understood, I felt right in my element. I probably spent hundreds of dollars on tickets and mercy during those years, and I do not feel one ounce of regret. Having those experiences helped me figure out who I was as a teenager and brought me so much happiness and wholeness, and now I have amazing memories to hold onto forever. Now, one of my adult goals is to become financially secure enough to travel to shows and music festivals all over the world.

I know that concerts will always be a huge source of happiness and comfort for me, and it feels pretty special to have developed an interest in my early teens that has stuck with me into my twenties. For those reasons, I feel absolutely no shame in my concert history, and acknowledge the nostalgia I feel even for bands I no longer listen to or care for. My taste will probably continue to change and evolve as I get older, but I will always owe my passion for live music to those early days and they will always mean the world to me. I plan on being an avid concert-goer until I can’t walk anymore, and if people want to call me crazy for that, I’m okay with it. Because, in the words of Gerard Way, former frontman of the beloved emo band My Chemical Romance, being at a show is all about “singing your heart out, and knowing it’s okay to love something maybe a little too much as long as it’s real to you.”

Cover Image Credit: Ariana Leo

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.

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Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.


Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.


After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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