I Embrace Modern Feminism, But Slightly Modified

I Embrace Modern Feminism, But Slightly Modified

I advocate for empowering women.

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Feminism. A word women across the country are all too familiar with… as they should be. Growing up a woman in a society that was once dominated by men certainly faces its challenges - so it is important to teach confidence to young girls, spread the girl boss movement, and take the necessary steps to ensuring gender equality in our everyday lives. That being said, gender equality and gender superiority are very different ideals… but over time, the feminist movement seems to have blended the two together. And this is where my issue lies with feminism in the modern society.

It is a fact… females were suppressed in male-dominated societies dating back as far as textbooks could record. Since then, us females have made incredible progress. But what have been the current motivations? Are women now supposed to be the up and coming dominating gender? Is that what we are still actively trying to accomplish? If it is, then I think we need to get our priorities straight. We have achieved some amazing things and are actively working to achieve some more. But it seems that all too often, the things we have begun to work toward are in the effort to discourage men more so than encourage women. It is like a backward movement in and of itself. And I do not believe in it.

I do not know how I feel about the feminists of today's society. I feel like referring to myself as a feminist today leaves an association to every march and protest (some of which are refreshing, others completely absurd), hating our current president, being disgusted by any bad decision made by a man, yet believing that women can do no wrong. This may be a slight over exaggeration, I realize, but these issues have become an epidemic. Have you heard of the term "third wave feminist"? If not, it is women in the Generation X obsessed with making everything and anything about sexism and finding a reason to discourage men, frankly, for no reason at all. There are real issues out there worth fighting for - big ones that affect our lives. But whining and demanding that men have it easier in all walks of life is not only a call for attention, but a plea to be victimized.

Modern feminism seems to contradict itself. We work to be a part of the workforce, yet complain that we still work under the shadows of men. We claim that our only intentions are to empower women, yet if that woman is a Republican, we call her names and find reasons to pick apart why she is a disgrace. Take Kellyanne Conway, the manager for Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, for example. Is she less of a woman or less worthy of at least human decency solely because she supports an unpopular candidate by feminists? I certainly do not think so. This "brand" of feminism is doing more harm to girls than good. When there were nothing but good intentions, we got so far! Fighting for what is right and what is just both morally, and legally as citizens of the United States worthy of fair treatment. How did it come to so much entitlement, complaining, and using what should be a movement held special to our hearts to our advantage?

I would like to consider myself a feminist… I really, really would. I am a girl with passions, dreams, motivations, goals, work ethic, resilience. I am an advocate for believing in yourself, not setting boundaries, working hard, actively pursuing what you want. I believe in girls, I believe in women. I believe that, one day, with the right candidate, we can have a female president who can do some incredible things. I believe in girl power, being a girl boss, embracing what it means to be a women. So, does that make me a feminist? In some ways, yes and in some ways no. I'm a feminist in spirit. I will advocate for female empowerment and worthiness. But, in a day and age where the playing field has never been more equal, and a time with laws designed and protested by women to protect us from becoming victims, I just cannot agree with the extent we have somehow stretched this civil rights movement.

This is just an opinion... my opinion. It is not an umbrella term for everyone who considers themselves a feminist - many have the same ideals of positivity and empowerment. But, these issues have consumed headlines and have redefined the way many view what it means to be one. Simply stated, I just think the priorities of feminism could use some modifications.

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To The Rising College Student, Get Your Money's Worth

It's more than your GPA, trust me.

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As I enter my last semester in college, I have had much time for introspection in terms of what I have accomplished over the past three and a half years. The grades, the friends, the good times and the bad. All of these things culminate a college student's experience, and mine is no different. If I could go back, however, there's one thing I would tell myself.

The value of college is not found in the grades.

With this perspective, very few people get their money's worth in college because they overvalue how much their grades mean. Don't get me wrong – if you're going to med school or law school, your grades probably matter a lot. That's not the point. The point is that people have a distorted mentality about what college is supposed to be. The mental approach to college is centered around obtaining a degree, not a set of life skills that will grant you employment. Degrees do not translate to competency.

This is why college is incredibly overrated, and the me of four years ago would laugh at those words coming from myself, but it's true. It's rare that people get value from their education that translates to skills, alarmingly more so with technical degrees like engineering. Ask anyone who has had an internship and they will tell you the same thing.

This is why college bothers me. People come in with a "play into the machine" mindset that their parents and friends program them into, instead of learning to do their own thing and come to understand what it is they are great at and simultaneously love to do. Much of what I have learned in college has not come from the classroom, but through my internal and external involvement with the university, especially in the last year and a half in my college experience.

I came to the realization that my degree doesn't mean shit.

The skills and connections I make while obtaining my degree because I am placed in a prime position to network matters. The work I will be doing out of college and the reason I am equipped to do so was due to my extroversion and curiosity out of the classroom, not the work I put into it.

This is not to knock the university that I attend, because I am absolutely pleased with the experiences that I've had. I consider myself blessed to have role models in my professors over the past few years who have guided me down my path. However, most people put too much faith in their classes to teach them things that the classes are not designed to do because college is currently flawed in this aspect.

There is too much regurgitation and not enough application.

Getting your money's worth in college isn't about taking your 15 hours a semester. It's how you spend every waking hour trying to improve yourself and find out what it is that makes you happy, then finding a way to monetize that. Don't waste your time with courses and degrees that lead you to nowhere but a $100,000+ piece of paper to your name.

Invest in yourself before anything, because when the world comes down off its economic high horse in a few years, you'll be thankful you have more than paper to speak for your capabilities.

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It's The Most (Miserable) Time Of The Year

As January approaches, the once-happy winter season ends.

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Temperatures have dropped below freezing, mounds of black snow line the sidewalks, and all the pretty lights put up a month ago have vanished. That's right folks; it's January!

Given the gloomy weather and lack of activity, it comes as no surprise that post-holiday January is considered one of the most depressing times of the year. Only a month ago it was the "happiest season of all," but after all the gifts were given and the families (finally) returned home, the anticipation and warmth associated with the early winter months left. And then we were forced to return to school and work. It's a depressing combination, to say the least.

The "winter blues" aren't just a colloquialism -- for about five percent of Americans who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the months of December, January, February, and March can mean severe depression. The disorder, more commonly found among women, is believed to be caused by changing circadian rhythms, a result of shorter days, and/or melatonin imbalances in the brain.

It's worth noting that SAD is rare, and though most people do not experience such severe depression in the winter, no one is completely immune to seasonal sadness. In fact, the third Monday of January, dubbed "Blue Monday," is commonly referred to as the saddest day of the year. The concept was first introduced in 2005 by public relations firm Sky Travel and backed by Dr. Cliff Arnall, a former tutor at Cardiff University in Britain. The date is formulated by a combination of factors that affect seasonal depression, like post-holiday debt, bad weather conditions, and low motivation to act on New Year's resolutions.

Although "Blue Monday" has no scientific standing and is usually used as an advertising ploy, the idea that January owns the most miserable day of the year doesn't sound too far from the truth. But it doesn't have to be so gloomy -- there are multiple ways to ease seasonal depression. One of the most popular of these, light therapy, involves sitting a few feet from a light box right after waking up each day. The light box mimics the natural sunlight so often lacking during winter and is thought to act as a mood-booster.

Yes, winter may be a particularly terrible time, but all this isn't to say that it's the only melancholy season. Those who suffer from depression show symptoms no matter what the weather. It's important that we make our mental health a priority all the time, not just during these few somber months. 'Tis always the season for self-care.

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