To My High School Friends

To My High School Friends

Miss you guys.
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I want to say a few words before I start my "letter" to my high school friends. I don't have that many high school friends that I keep in touch with now, which sounds sad but people fall out of touch and in college I did find that it was hard to keep in touch.

I sort of realized after I graduated that there were a lot of people that I was friends with that weren't necessarily bringing positive energy into my life. I haven't kept in touch with a lot of people just because I realized that I don't want any "friends" in my life, and by "friends" I mean people that you pretend to be friends with but in reality you could really care less about them.

This letter is for the people that I am close to now and that were genuinely my friends in high school. Now, don't get me wrong, I had a great time in high school with people I probably won't ever talk to again, and I definitely have nothing against those people or any of the people that I went to school with. I just hope my actual high school friends read this article and realize how much I actually miss them and still care about them. There were a lot of people that I became close to after graduation, and I still count you guys as my high school friends. Hopefully, you guys know who you are. Now for the actual letter...


Hey, hi, how are you?

There are some of you that I really don't talk to that much, but I wish we kept in touch more. In high school, you guys were the people that were there for me throughout all the dumb drama that Worcester Academy seemed to be filled with. There was no escaping it since it was literally everywhere. I felt like I could trust you and I felt like you always had my well-being at heart. There are so many good memories that I shared with you, and I am forever grateful that I had you in my life.

They say that you don't really realize who you're true friends are until after high school, and although this is partially true, I knew from the beginning that you guys would always be there for me. I am so thankful for that. I wish I could see a lot of you guys on a regular basis because I do actually miss every single one of you.

I have a few photo collages hanging in my room, and every once in a while I glance at it and it reminds me of how much I miss you. Now, there are some people that I see or talk to almost every single day (Katherine Johnson, Sean Finn). I can't really say I miss you terribly but I can definitely say that I am so happy that you are still in my life and I hope we can continue remain friends for a really long time.

I hope that a lot of you read this letter and remember all the good times we had together, and I know I will make an effort to see every single one of you this summer!

Love,

Emma

Cover Image Credit: Emma Berry

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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You Can Dislike 'Captain Marvel' And Still Be A Feminist

It's good to watch Captain Marvel. But we don't have to love her.

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When "Wonder Woman" came out in 2017, I got a lot of flak from male friends when they gushed over Gal Gadot (supposedly as her superhero character?) and I didn't overwhelmingly ooze the same sentiments. "You're such a bad feminist!", I was told, for merely thinking the movie was enjoyable and a decently positive step forward rather than a life-changing poster-child feminist movie. There were things I enjoyed, and things I thought the movie could do better—but because I didn't unconditionally love "Wonder Woman," I wasn't really a feminist

Seeing "Captain Marvel" after hearing it lauded for months as a ground-breaking feminist movie, I found myself disappointed again.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the movie. (Every observation here is based on the film alone; I've never read the comics.) The CGI was great, the plot incorporated fun references to the MCU universe that will amuse fans, it had no more plotholes than any average superhero movie, and I did love that the main character was a woman (and a strong supporting character is an African American woman, which is wonderful: let's certainly celebrate the intersectionalism of "Captain Marvel.")

Yes, a MCU superhero who's a woman is ground-breaking—that's great. But it's okay to not unconditionally adore "Captain Marvel." We can have reservations about the movie—or even not like it—and still be a feminist.

In her article "Diamonds in the Rough," Janine Macbeth writes: "Way back in the day when the pickings were slimmer than slim, maybe, just maybe, enjoying a book like "The Five Chinese Brothers" (first published in 1938) was alright. But today […], any book that opens, "Once upon a time there were five Chinese brothers and they all looked exactly alike" is completely unacceptable."

Similarly to feminism in movies: back in the day, when "pickings were slim," it behooved feminists to support any remotely positive female representation in any film. But—even though there's still a discrepancy today—we no longer need to unquestioningly and indiscriminately accept every aspect of a women's representation.

I would posit that it's actually anti-feminist to love everything about a character simply because she's a woman, or everything about a story because it features a female lead. Should we go see the movie to support it? Sure, that's great. Should we be happy we're taking strides forward in female representation? Hell yeah.

But do we need to be happy that half a loaf is better than none? Absolutely not. We can still expect, demand, and yearn for a full loaf. We can support the movie financially as half a loaf if we choose while also acknowledging there are aspects of the film that were lacking and we wish they will be present in the next movie: insisting on, someday, a full loaf.

We don't have to lower our liking-something standards merely because the film highlights women. We don't have to happily embrace every plot-hole and trait we'd ordinarily dislike just because of that.

Case in point, I would love to see more women in political office and I'm thrilled with the current diverse representation in Congress. I love when I get to vote for a woman! But if I ran for office and someone voted for me just because I was a woman, I would be offended. Vote for me for my ideals, my principles, and my policies—be happy that I'm a woman, but don't vote for me just because I'm a woman. That's almost as offensive as not voting for me just because I'm a woman.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter why I didn't fall in love with "Captain Marvel"**. I genuinely do feel "Captain Marvel" let me down as a feminist idol. The point's not whether or not she's an amazing poster-child or a flawed one or even a bad one. The point is that feminists (or, decent humans) shouldn't feel obligated to walk on tiptoes around any valid criticisms merely because she's a woman.

Feminine representation is no longer so fragile that having reservations about a specific film will cause the whole house of cards to come tumbling down and shove women out of films forever. It's not a matter of being a "diamond in the rough": if someone loves "Captain Marvel," they should love her! And if someone doesn't, that's okay too. Feminism is broad and strong enough to encompass both perspectives.

Studios don't necessarily care about all of these nuances, they largely care about money. So sure, if you feel so drawn, go buy a ticket to show that people will watch a movie about a female superhero. However, it's worth noting that no one feels the need to support every male superhero movie out of fear that if we don't support it, studios will stop making male superhero movies. There are enough men represented in superhero movies that there can be crappy movies and amazing movies and people can dislike a particular movie without being accused of being a manhater. No, they don't hate men, they just didn't care for that particular film.

I went to see "Captain Marvel," and I'd see it again (even knowing that I felt a bit disappointed) to support the representation of women in films in general; but I'm disappointed because I expected better: I expect, someday, my full loaf. Maybe next year there will be a female superhero movie that I absolutely love; maybe someday, we won't feel we have to go see a superhero movie just because it features a woman. We can go see it just because it's awesome.

There's a great argument to support movies like "Captain Marvel." But women in movies are not diamonds in the rough anymore. We no longer have to uncritically love all film characters just because they're women. Some people may love her representation, and that's great. And some will not. (A quick Google search shows my disappointment is not unique.) The pickings aren't excessive, but neither are they non-existent. We can appraise Captain Marvel on her merit, not merely unquestioningly accept her just because she is a woman.

**Regarding the reasons: my next article is on what "Captain Marvel" got right…and where it missed the mark.

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