A Dying World

A Dying World

Some Cold Facts Told By a Concerned Earth-Loving Human
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Is anyone else noticing the world around us dying or is it just me? Species of animals and plants that generations and generations of our family have grown up with now on the verge of extinction. An entire continent starting to melt severely affecting one of the most beautiful animals we know, polar bears. Along with bees, whales, tigers, turtles, elephants, and all the remarkably amazing animals we grew up seeing at zoos (not my favorite place but an example) and on the television with eye-opening Discovery Channel documentaries. Does anyone care about their kids not being able to have the same experiences as us? To enjoy and explore a world full of nature, beauty, and animals that they will find fascinating? As hard as you may try animal endangerment, climate change, and pollution are not going to go away by ignoring them. They are only going to become more and more prevalent as the effects of them start to affect you.

Did you know that half the money spent on nuclear advances and the use of natural resources could supply clean drinking water to at least a quarter of the one million people in our world that go without it every year? Fossil fuels emitted into our oceans have made our oceans acidity level at some of it's highest values to date. This has also led to the critical endangerment to some of our longest-living marine life. See how it all comes together? One fact I found shocking was that as a country we produce at least 30 percent of the world's total waste and we use at least 25 percent of the world's natural resources. Funny, huh? Not at all.

I was laying in bed scrolling through Facebook like I do most nights before I fall asleep and came across a video about climate change and pollution in our world today. A scary fact stood out to me. If we continue on the path we are today about energy consumption, pollution levels, fossil fuel emissions, and over hunting and fishing valuable animal species, half of our world could be scientifically "dead" by 2020. I will be completing my undergraduate degree by then. By the time I graduate college half of the world I've spent my last 18 years on could be "dead". That is chilling.

What can we do to help? It is the simplest things that can make the biggest impact. Taking those 15 empty water bottles you have sitting in your room and putting them in a recycling bin. Use LED light bulbs that use less energy in your home it will be better for the Earth and your electric bill. Instead of tossing that 10-page paper that printed wrong in the trash, find a paper recycling bin and stop killing trees. Carpool with your friends when you go out instead of taking 5 cars to meet at the same place. It is the easiest little things can reduce pollution and global warming by even 20 percent.

I'm not trying to scare you by any means. Just trying to make you aware of the realities of our world and showing how simple it can be to help keep the world we live in alive and well. You don't even have to hug a tree.

Cover Image Credit: George Steinmetz

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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A Message To High School Seniors

It's going to be alright.

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Dear High School Seniors,

You've made it! In just a few months you will be getting ready to put on your cap and gown and walk across the stage to get your diploma. Soon, you're gonna say goodbye to the life you've known for the past four years and start a new life somewhere else. At this point, your senioritis has most likely already kicked in and you're probably dreading waking up at 7 a.m. more and more each day. The second semester of senior year is annoying but cherish every moment of it.

Everything is about to change. As you walk down the hallways look around. Take a second to look at your classmates and ask them how their day is going. Learn about them and the stories they have to share with the world. Everybody has some advice to give and you never know what you're going to learn. Before you know it, you won't be seeing their faces anymore. The only form of connection you'll have with most of them is through social media which will eventually fade as well. You don't want your only memories of those you graduated with to be just seeing their face in the hall.

Go to the places you love the most. Whether it's your favorite hometown restaurant or your favorite place to hang out with your friends, go. Go until you're sick of it. Take a second to acknowledge the sights and smells around you. You're going to miss them. In a few months, you won't be able to jump in your car and drive five minutes to get there. The places that make your home your home are about to be a long car ride or flight away.

Spend time with your family. This is one thing I wish I realized earlier more than anything. Your parents are most likely going to soon become visibly upset or scared at the fact that you're leaving them. After all, you are their little girl or boy. This time is just as stressful for them as it is for you. But don't make fun of them, hang out with them. You're going to miss the once dreaded trips to the grocery store with your mom and the annoying car rides with your little brother. You really don't realize how important your family is to you until they're not a few footsteps away anymore. Unfortunately, no amount of facetime calls will ever compare to being with them in person. Don't leave home wishing you had spent more time with them.

Be involved in the things happening at your school. Go to prom. Buy a yearbook and get as many people as you can to sign it. Go to the football, basketball, baseball and soccer games you have left. These activities may seem boring at times but they are what you're going to miss. When you get to a big university it isn't going to be as easy to get involved.

Get excited about for the future. Even if you're not going to your dream school, it's going to be ok. The second semester of my senior year I spent upset over the fact I was going to stay at an in-state school. The school I'm at now was the last place I had thought about attending. I almost didn't even apply. However, I am so lucky that I did. I truly can not imagine there being a school that could have been a better choice for me. The people I have met and the opportunities I have been given would have never been put in front of me if I had attended another school. Try to keep an open mind. Everything really does happen for a reason. If you aren't going to the school you originally were hoping to, don't stress. You're going to end up at the place right for you, at least I know I did.

College is amazing but there will always be something special about your home. Make sure you make these last few months your best months. These next few months will be filled with a whole lot of lasts and followed by a whole lot of firsts. Good luck!

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