Don't Judge Me By My Cover

Don't Judge Me By My Cover

Open me up and see what's inside

That girl you admire for always wearing a beautiful smile, she cries herself to sleep every night.

That boy who's an incredible athlete, he learned to be tough from defending himself at home.

That girl who's body you'd do anything to have, she has a severe eating disorder.

That boy who always looks so put together, he can barely get out of bed in the morning.

On the surface, people often come across as something completely different than what they are feeling inside.

As a society, we are told to be ashamed of our imperfections, to hide our struggles, to bury our demons deep within our blood.

That girls wear that beautiful smile so no one realizes she cries herself to sleep every night.

That boy busts his ass every game so that his parents might not scream at him later on.

That girl is extremely skinny because she thinks she's fat and barely eats.

That boy puts on his best look every day to hide the darkness he feels inside.

Every. Single. Person on the face of this earth has struggles that no one is aware of, yet we continue to judge, whether it be positively or negatively.

Every. Single. Person on the face of this earth wants someone, anyone, to see through their facade and help them, because hiding the scars only stems from shame.

In this digital age, every one appears to have a perfect and wonderful life. We put our best foot forward and try as we might to portray ourselves in the best light possible.

I'm not exactly sure why this is, other than to hide our imperfections as society has so kindly taught us to.

We don't want other people to see that we are facing and overcoming obstacles, that we are trudging through a tough time, that we need a home away from a horrible home.

It's not fair to judge someone, positively or negatively, based on their outward appearance or actions.

You have no idea how someone wakes up feeling in the morning.

You have no idea what someone goes home to.

You have no idea what someone goes to bed at night thinking.

Take the time to step into someone else's shoes and try to understand what they could possibly be going through.

If you're going to compliment someone, don't just praise his or her body, outfit, or looks.

Tell them they're intelligent, tell them they're kind, tell them they make you happy.

Give them the compliments that will change their mental state to a happy one, not one that, even if given with good intentions, will draw attention to the things they struggle with most.

Don't judge people by their cover, open the book and read what's inside. You never know what you'll find.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.


In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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