Don't Take Our Advice

Don't Take Our Advice

We as writers write for ourselves, no matter how much we try to write for you.
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Words are everywhere. They're floating around our newsfeeds, our emails, our texts. If there is one thing the internet hasn't seemingly ruined for our society, it is our ability to communicate with written words. If anything, it has strengthened this aspect of our humanity. Damaged the capacity we once had to verbally voice our opinions and feelings? Absolutely. Encouraged passiveness and diminished the need for a face-to-face interaction? Of course. But nonetheless, the art of writing, better worded as the need for our thoughts to be put into characters, has seemed to grow with our technological advances.

These words have had no trouble finding their home database here on this technology savvy planet. Be it long Facebook posts, blogs from Wordpress, articles from the Odyssey or BuzzFeed, or opinion pieces from any other news outlet, internet writers across the country can easily find places to sort their ideas and express their voice.

And, while this seems like such a glorious progression of writing and that the writers of our pastime would be so proud of the ability we have to share our knowledge, the danger lies in the time it takes to actually do this. Not very much. Accessing the internet is easy, and logging into an account to address the world is even easier. We as writers write what we feel, often while we feel it, and as many wise people before us have warned - feelings are temporary. So we spout out advice before we've even had time to see it's outcome. Before we even know the consequences of the actions.

So I'm here today to heed you a warning: don't do it because the article says so.

Don't validate your feelings or the way you want to act because of some beautiful strand of words that have been pieced together and polished with the touches of matured rhetoric and emotion. Don't get back together with your ex because some girl did and wrote about how glorious it was. Don't share the article bashing your old best friend because someone else had the gall to do so on the Internet. Don't blow your money on a last minute trip you can't afford because you should "live in the moment" and being "young and reckless" sounds fun. Don't "let go of your love" because some article gave you 10 sure fire signs that your flame had burnt out, and don't stay with someone because another article said you were destined for matrimony.

These articles are written to draw your attention- these articles are written to evoke your feelings. But, that doesn't mean they're always right. It doesn't mean it's always what's best for you. It doesn't even mean it was what was best for the person writing it.

Your situation is unique even if the way you feel about it isn't. Take the lowest tier English class or public speaking course, and you'll learn pretty quickly that, when it comes to opinions and statements, finding supporting evidence is easy. Finding credible evidence, on the other hand, is not. There will always be someone out there who agrees with you, but sometimes the best words come from those people that don't. They come from the people that challenge you to separate what you feel from the situation. They encourage you to act against your instinct.

So who's to say that these challenging words are more right than the other words that are telling you what you want to hear? I don't know, probably not me considering I've read plenty of the articles I'm talking about. I've shared them, I've rejoiced in them, and I've even written a few. I can say now, though, that I understand the difference between inspiration and reality. Those articles always made me feel good, but they didn't always know what was best. Those articles weren't there when I acted on the way I felt, and it went disastrously wrong. These articles are floating around the internet, which if you sit down and think about it, is some really weird place that is some how real but doesn't actually exist in a location. They don't know life. Sure, they were written by people that do, but who's to say that their life is in any way comparable to yours?

So make decisions based off of what YOU know and desire. Off of what YOU want. Do things because you've taken the time to think about them and their repercussions, not because some article got you in your feels.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.biographywritingservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/writing-a-short-biography.jpg

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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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Making a Decision: an Indecisive Guide

To all the indecisive people out there: you are not alone

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I am the queen of indecision. For me, making a choice will have me frantically calling both of my parents, asking all of my friends' advice and postponing all studying until the decision is made. Of course, this is because I do not want to make a choice that I regret – such as the time I decided that starting my job at 6:30 am would be a good idea, or the time when I scared my friends with how hyper I was after drinking both coffee and Boba tea. Yet when I take this caution of making the wrong choice too far, the decision-making process itself ends up being regrettable. So much so that I called my mom approximately seven times this weekend to ask her advice on a decision. So much so that my brother used an example of me not being able to choose what kind of shoe I should wear in his article.

This weekend, I was presented with two amazing opportunities to make a difference in the world this summer and I entered a stage of decision paralysis that I did not know was possible. No matter which angle I looked at each situation from, they both would provide me with a phenomenal experience, and would both require sacrifices. Despite not (as of yet) reaching a concrete decision, I learned a lot about the decision-making process and what to do in the next time I am faced with a difficult choice. So, in the spirit of finding summer jobs, gearing up to register for classes and deciding what on earth we want to do with our futures, here are the tips and tricks that I would follow to make the best decision that you can.

Don't overthink it.

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Really, this goes without thinking! Or, unlike most of us, it goes with a LOT of thinking! Seriously though, if you overthink things, they will turn into a pudding mush in your brain until you don't know what you don't know anymore. There is a very fine line between thinking through all your options and overthinking them – and judging by the number of times I called my mom this weekend, definitely crossed it.

Always use the pro-con list

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Ah, the Gilmore Girls. Not only did you inspire me to read every single book under the sun or have a witty conversation full of cultural references no one else understands, but you also taught me the beauty of the pro-con list. Choosing what you want can be messy and difficult to find because of the fears you might have. distinguish from the fears. Writing it all down on paper can often illuminate the right decision and show you which path is ultimately better.

Decide on your make-or-break factor

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Sometimes even the best pro-and-con lists will not be enough and will leave you in a frantic analysis ("should I go for the decision with 3 cons or 3.5 cons?") When even the Gilmore method fails, fear not! Consider which factors you truly do not want to compromise on and go from there. This can mean that even the worse decision may be the right one for you.

Trust your gut

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As much as it is difficult to dig through your feelings to find your true motives behind a decision, your gut can sometimes tell you what you are most passionate about and therefore what decision is best for you to take. As my Emory Reads friends tell me, passion trumps everything. Choosing which decision aligns with your values will often lead you to make the best and most-satisfying decision.

But trust your head as well

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But your gut can't always be trusted. It can lie to you, and when you overthink too much, it can change its mind. Your gut feeling may be one that is furthermore borne out of fear of the other option. In that way, I have made many a good decision based on the pure basis of rationality. Using only our heart to make important decisions allows fear to be one of the factors, whereas looking at the decision rationally can help you see the ultimate path.

Ask around

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When I am puzzled about making a risky decision, I often consult the people in my life who are on my side and want the best for me. These people can help you gauge what your heart truly desires, bring up factors that you haven't considered and even act as a support network for you while making this decision. When your mind kicks into over-analysis, sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need to truly make a confident choice. Decisions are hard, people. Don't make them on your own.=

Don't ask everyone

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There is such a thing as consulting others to make an important decision, and there is such a thing as relying on them to make your decision. If you ask too many people from too wide a pool, you'll end up having opinions for and against what you are proposing, which means that someone will always be disappointed in your decision. The bottom line is, asking too many people for their opinions is frustrating, no matter what – whether they have contradicting opinions, or they just nod their heads and go "hmmm, tough choice" (thanks, I guess?). In order to avoid frustration, consult the people in your life who know you the best and are dearest to you, rather than the stranger in front of you in line for fries at the DUC.

"Would my dad be proud?"

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Or your granddad, or your mom, or your professor, or even a TV character. Whoever you know whose morals you can measure your decision up to will often provide reason and illumination. If the decision you are making is not too wild and you feel that you will have their approval, then it is likely not detrimental.

Stick with your decision!

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Resolutely make up your mind and refuse to turn back. Exercise your right as a free individual to make a choice for yourself, and then do not second-guess it. Please don't do what I did and email a company two days later saying you've changed your mind. Please.

There is not always a right decision

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Sometimes both decisions you are presented with have different but equally good opportunities. In that case, lucky you! You have two amazing opportunities and therefore cannot mess up. Rather than stressing that you are picking the wrong choice, know that you cannot go wrong in either.

Realize you will grow no matter what

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Decision-making should be viewed as a challenge and a privilege rather than a burden. Make big, bold and beautiful decisions. Making up your mind can lead to a phenomenal experience that you will adore or a difficult experience that will only fashion you into a better person. Positive consequences can come out of any decision, even if we land in an upsetting position. Each choice we make can positively contribute to our character, fashioning us into the person we are becoming, day by day.


By the time this article is published, I will know my decision. And hopefully, by the end of this article, you will know yours. Let's continue to make decisions courageously, following both our heads and our hearts. Let's be determined to grow through our decisions, realizing that we have made the best choice we could, and never looking back.

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