What Difference Does One Year Actually Make?

What Difference Does One Year Actually Make?

Turns out, a lot.
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1 year. 12 months. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes. 31,536,000 seconds.

Have you ever thought about what happened a year ago from a personal experience that changed your life in one way or another (good or bad)? Have you ever thought about how the time in between then and now has molded you into who you are in this very moment?

I know. Big stuff right?

Yes, because whether you choose to admit it or not, recognizing the seasons that you have progressed along and continue to advance through is such a monumental stride to moving in the right direction. Because when you choose to see the truth about where you've been and where you're going, you are taking responsibility for your choices and your actions.

And that, my friends, is called growing up.

A few days ago, it dawned on me that it had been just over a year since a circumstance completely altered my path in a way that I never expected. It was a situation I had never found myself in. One where a line was crossed and it was my fault. One where I had to rely on the people in my life because I couldn't manage to handle the consequences of my actions on my own.

My decisions on that day determined a domino effect that I couldn't control. I got so caught up in the moment that I didn't think about how one choice would affect so many other people.

Here's to say that being careful all the time and tip-toeing around our lives is not a way to live, but that experience appeared to be one of the important ones where I learned to be more grateful for the people in my life who take care of me with no questions asked, to not just assume that everything will just fix itself, and to believe what's true when I see it firsthand.

Of course, for a prolonged period of time, I swam in my own pride and shame because I was too determined to keep up the persona that I was OK. And as a result, I only found myself gasping for air on the other side because I had been refusing to accept the facts for far too long.

A year later, and I'm different, but I wouldn't change anything because I'm a year older, a bit smarter and sharper, and a little more prepared for what's next.

I've learned the balance between being self-fish and being kind because my decisions do affect other people. And I've learned what's important long-term — the things that I will carry beyond college.

Looking back and coming terms to with your past is one in which only helps you move forward. I'll be honest and say that sometimes it takes a long time to forgive yourself and admit that you may not have made the best decision.

A year may not be the magic number for getting over whatever has been holding you back, but it's a stepping stone into where you will be going next. Be proud of how far you've come and continue with eyes that are looking forward. You deserve that.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!
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After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...



14. Some activities on my bucket list are...


This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...



What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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An Open Letter To The People Whose Names Always Get Spelled Wrong

Trust me, you're saying it wrong.

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Trust me, you're saying it wrong. But this is nothing new - for the past 18 years, I have heard (hopefully) every possible variation of my name. And if you have a unique name too, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

That awkwardly long pause just before your name on the attendance list, or in the doctor's office waiting room while they try and figure out how to best attempt the apparent jumble of letters on the page facing them.

I used to hate having a "weird" name. When I was in elementary school, I absolutely yearned for a name that would require me to be designated with that coveted last initial. I can't even tell you how many people I know named Emily. Emily P, Emily M, Emily D, and so on. I used to think those were the luckiest girls in the world.

I went through my entire K-12 career only making a few weak attempts to correct how people said my name. I was a doormat. I never felt confident enough to assert myself or to introduce myself. Always feeling timider than I actually was. I thought I had been cursed by my parents. Forever stuck with totally awkward introductions, filled with so many "wait say that again"s.

For so long, I used to be tired and embarrassed by my un-readable name. I had long since given up on trying to correct my classmates when they butchered the pronunciation. But before I moved away to college I made a pact with myself. No more mispronunciations. If someone forgot, I would remind them. If they messed it up, I would correct them. I've stuck to this, and let me tell you: It. Feels. Good. For the first time in my life, I am proud of my name, and I am proud of what it represents. It gives me power, and it honors my heritage. I no longer feel like a burden or a doormat. What I used to think was a curse, I now know is a blessing. This name has taught me patience, given me a sense of self, made me memorable, given me stories, and most importantly: given me a voice.

And so I say to you, my fellow one-of-a-kinds: embrace it.

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