Don't Label Me Based On Your Assumptions

Don't Label Me Based On Your Assumptions

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

We've all heard the assumptions, and we are all guilty of making assumptions at least once in our life. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” - Wendy Mass. It is true. You only know what individual is showing to the world; they have a whole portion of their life that nobody knows anything about. Assumptions are based off what is being shown or how the individual is acting, but, they are not true (most of the time). Next time you want to make an assumption, think of what that person may be going through, think of who they truly are as a person, and if you gave the chance to get to know them, maybe you'd understand just a little more.

Assumption: They're such a b***h.

Truth: They're straightforward.

The person that is always straightforward, is most likely seen as a b***h. I've been there, plenty of times. They do not hide the truth or beat around the bushes, they tell it how it is. They're blunt and honest, and sometimes what they say hurts, but they wouldn't lie to you. I'm here to tell you, they may seem rude and hurtful, but these are some of the most real people you'll ever meet. Once you get to know them, you realize how amazing they are because what you see is what you get, and they wouldn't hide a single thing from you.

Assumption: They're so lame, they never want to go out.

Truth: They're exhausted from school and work, they wants to relax.

Being a full-time student in any major is exhausting, especially if they work a job on top of being a student. Being a student does not just involve going to class; it involves studying and homework and projects and essays and so much more. If a student is involved with organizations on campus, it is essentially comparable to taking another course; having to plan events and fundraisers and merchandise and the whole nine yards. Working just takes time out of studies, but it's necessary to pay tuition and bills. Personally, the last thing I want to do after coming home from a whole school and work day is getting all dolled up to go out; give me a glass of wine, some Netflix, and my bed and I am set for the night.

Assumption: They're so intimidating.

Truth: They're strong and powerful.

Strong is intimidating, plain and simple. When someone knows their worth and what they bring to the table, they aren't afraid, and others find it intimidating. It ties back in with being straightforward; somebody who knows what they want and isn't afraid to say it is terrifying in today's' world. People for some odd reason do not do well with bluntness and power; they're seen as cocky or arrogant sometimes, which, they could be. But having someone say they are intimidated by you simply means you know your worth and are not afraid to show it to the world.

Assumption: They're so stand-offish and unapproachable.

Truth: They're protecting themselves.

Anyone who has gone through some bad times in their life knows how hard it is to open up again. The person that seems unapproachable is protecting themselves from harm and pain. They're nervous. They've gone through so many bad times that good times seem almost unreal. They're scared of getting close to anyone because anyone they got close to left them. Give them time and be a friend, I promise they will open up to you once they get to know you.

Assumption: They're so weird.

Truth: Their passions do not align with yours.

"Weird" should not even be a word to describe another human being. Their passions do not align with yours. Maybe someone prefers playing video games and old-fashioned Nintendo in their free time but you prefer playing football or listening to music. Maybe they dyed their hair a different color and yours is natural. Maybe their fashion sense is different than yours. It is not weird. Everyone has their own passions, interests, and hobbies that vary from another person. It's what makes us human and it is what makes us unique.

Assumption: They've changed, they haven't been acting like themselves.

Truth: They're going through a hard time.

Hard times change a person. Maybe it's a death in the family or a financial battle. Everyone is fighting a battle, not everyone shares that battle with the public. If someone is not acting like themselves, do not make a scene about it or say they've changed. Think that maybe they're going through a hard time and just need a friend to hang out with to take their mind off things. Think how you act when you go through a hard time; you aren't the same person you were when everything in life seemed great. Things happen, but give it time and they will return back to themselves, until then, just be a friend to them.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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15 Life Lessons I’ve Learned As A 12 Year 4-H Member

4-H has had an irreplaceable impact on my life.

This past year has been very bittersweet for me as it has been my last year as a 4-H member.

However, it has truly exemplified how 4-H is more than a hobby or activity for me. My family has seen firsthand how 4-H grows the leaders of the future and can bring families closer together.

4-H is a way of life for me. Thus, I apply the motto "to make the best better" in every aspect of my life.

Nothing will be able to replace the impact that 4-H has had in my life – it has greatly impacted my life and is continuing to do so as I explore new opportunities that I would not have without my experiences as a 4-H’er.

Here are some of the many things that I have learned throughout my 4-H journey.

1. Leadership is a behavior, not a position.

The best leaders know that they do not need a title or position to lead others. Instead, they must exhibit behaviors that encourage others to follow them.

2. You CAN manage your time!

With Kansas 4-H having over 30 different project areas, I quickly learned how to choose projects that I would enjoy that could work together. Leadership and citizenship can easily be a part of any other project!

3. It's OK to say no!

With all the opportunities that 4-H has to offer, it’s important to know when to say no so that you do not become overwhelmed!

4. You have a responsibility to others, not for them.

It's difficult when you give someone advice and they seem to ignore it, but you must remember that you did your best to help and cannot control someone else’s choices.

5. You CAN make the best better!

It's amazing what can happen if you try something new to make something great even better.

6. Be yourself.

4-H offers many different project areas that allow you to explore the things you already love and maybe even something new!

7. Don't be afraid to step outside of the box!

I remember being terrified when I went to my first state 4-H event, Citizenship in Action, when I was 13 years old. Now, I’m proud to say that I’ve served on the Kansas 4-H Youth Leadership Council that plans many state events for Kansas 4-H!

8. You CAN reach your goals!

When I was five years old, I made a goal to earn a trip to Washington D.C. Even though it took a few years, I accomplished this goal in 2015 as a National 4-H Conference delegate.

9. It doesn't matter what ribbon placing you get.

The best ribbon I've ever gotten was a white ribbon at the Kansas State Fair. A young man was upset because he had gotten the same placing, and I was able to explain that he should be proud of himself for making it to the state level; we are still friends years later.

10. 4-H friends are family.

I met my best friend through 4-H and know that I have a “family” that will always support me because of 4-H.

11. The ribbons, trophies, medals and awards don't matter.

What matters is that you’ve tried your best and had fun. You can always work to make the best better!

12. You can always learn something new.

As 4-H itself proudly states, "4-H helps youth to learn life skills and to reach their full potential in becoming engaged adults who make valuable social and economic contributions in their communities."

13. Record keeping doesn't have to be dreadful.

OK, so maybe record keeping isn’t fun; however, the hard work can be rewarding. I was honored to win the state level with my Meat Goat Kansas Award Portfolio in 2014 and earn a trip to the National 4-H Congress.

14. You only get out what you put in.

It’s OK if you can’t say yes to every opportunity. However, it’s important to put effort into the things you enjoy.

15. 4-H isn't just for youth!

There are several ways that you can volunteer in 4-H, regardless of your age!

My life has and will continue to change now that I am no longer an official 4-H member. However, I am excited about the opportunities I now have as a 4-H volunteer.

Cover Image Credit: JaelAnn Hoover

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This Is For The People Who Say That They Aren't Feminists

There are too many articles and points of view to respond to at this point, so here's a mass message.

Consider this a mass message. I’ve seen quite a few articles on this site that I’ve been meaning to respond to with the same general theme: People that don’t consider themselves to be feminists.

I can talk on until I’m blue in the face to debunk all sorts of myths against the feminist movement and feminists themselves. This topic always manages to come crawling back onto my Facebook feed, and I think the best way to address this is to explain what feminism means.

You might say, “I know, I know. Equal rights for everyone and blah, blah, blah.” You’re not exactly wrong, and, honestly, that’s how I perceived feminism. However, I think there’s a better way to explain it.

Well, actually, someone else came up with it before me. I’m taking a Women and Gender Studies course this semester, and it’s already starting to change the way I define feminism. We read “Feminism is for Everyone” by Bell Hooks, where she defines feminism as:

“...a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. ”

honestly, I don’t disagree with her. She managed to cut right to the root of what feminists are advocating for, rather than just wanting to be equal to men.

Equality is relative. Black men are treated differently than white men. Trans men are treated differently than cis men. Gay and bisexual men are treated differently than straight men.

There are domestic violence and sexual assault victims that identify as male, and that isn’t addressed as often as it should.

Feminism isn’t about whether it’s “feminist” to shave your legs. It’s about sticking up for people who are different from you and that are in different situations than you.

Feminism is for people who want to be homemakers and stay-at-home parents, want to enjoy doing things that are traditionally “feminine,” or for those who don’t want to do any of those things.

On that note, I’ll leave you with my favorite Leslie Knope quote:

“If you want to bake a pie, that’s great. If you want to have a career, that’s great, too. Do both or neither. It doesn’t matter, just don’t judge what someone else has decided to do.”

Cover Image Credit: The New York Times

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