18 Facts That'll Make You Feel Proud to be an American this 4th of July

18 Facts That'll Make You Feel Proud to be an American this 4th of July

Land of the free, home of the generous??

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With all of the political controversy and social unrest plaguing our daily lives, it may be difficult to find something to celebrate this Independence Day. I still firmly believe there is some good yet to be shown by the USA, so I took it upon myself to do some research. Believe it or not, there's a lot of information out there for us to celebrate...

1. In terms of area, the Pentagon is the biggest office space in the world.

One can only imagine how much havoc Michael Scott could wreak in that office.

2. Thanks to the US, the Internet was developed.

The United States was a "driving force" for the development of the Internet, so we can blame all of our wasted time on the good ole red, white, and blue.

3. People who live in the US are most likely to help others.

This is according to something called the World Giving Index.

4. Harvard, the world's second best university, was the first to exist in the United States.

Elle Woods is only one of their most famous alumni.

5. Our firefighters? Yeah, they're mostly volunteers.

Nearly 70% of all United States firefighters perform their services voluntarily.

6. Two of our presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, stayed patriotic two the end.

Both men died on July 4, 1826 after each serving as president.

7. Believe it or not, English isn't the official language of the United States. There isn't one.

I still can't believe how many people don't know this. Martin Van Buren, the first president born in the US, actually spoke Dutch as his first language for Pete's sake!

8. Which do we have more of: McDonald's restaurants or public libraries? The answer may surprise you...

Our nation does indeed have more libraries than McDonald's. It's such a shame that more people don't read.

9. Even more impressive is the number of museums we have.

There are more of these than ALL of the Starbucks AND McDonald's!

10. We love our furbabies.

In fact, we have 2 of them for every 3 humans. A life with pets is better than a life without!

11. We ESPECIALLY love our doggos.

We love them so much, we let them be in charge. The town of Cormorant, MN elected a dog as mayor for its 3rd term in August 2016.

12. Our families are always growing.

4% of women in the US are pregnant as we speak. Yay for babies!

13. Who run the businesses? Girls.

We aren't close to equality in this sense, but we're making strides. Women own 30% of all US businesses.

14. We truly are a nation of immigrants.

More people of Norweigan descent live in the United States than in Norway. Maybe that says something about Norway, maybe that says something about the US. Either way GO USA!

15. We're getting better at preserving our natural resources.

Specifically, we use less water than we did in 1970. How's that for conservation?

16. We truly believe in an open democracy.

We all have the ability to obtain power: the application to run for president consists of a single sheet of paper and takes about 4 minutes to complete.

17. We have a hotline for everything.

211 is a line that connects people with services they may benefit from.

18. Our patriotism is clever.

The state of Washington features a city called George. Get it?

#TEAMUSA

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19 Struggles Only Girls With The 'Looks Thin In Clothes But Not In A Bikini' Body Type Will Understand

A resounding 'thank you' to whoever decided one-pieces were cool again.
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We grew up thinking the world was black and white. There's tall people and short people. There's old people and young people.

There's fat people and skinny people.

But as you get older, you realize there is a lot more in between those two ends of the spectrum than you ever thought possible. Especially when it comes to weight. And you do a lot more realizing if you're in an awkward position on that scale... Literally.

1. People always tell you to stop saying you are fat

Obviously, your friends SHOULD prevent you from talking negatively about yourself. And if you only saw you when you were fully dressed, you'd probably tell yourself to stop saying you're fat, too.

2. And are kind of surprised by your actual weight

You've definitely had friends who are shocked by the number on your scale because you can carry it pretty well when you are fully dressed.

3. Sometimes you feel like a catfish

Have you ever changed out of your super cute, flattering outfit and looked at yourself in the mirror and thought... Wow, am I lying to people?

4. But you know this is probably true for most people

When you're wearing clothes, typically the parts of a body that bring about insecurities (stomach, namely) are covered. No matter the body type, you realize most people are more comfortable in clothes than out of them.

5. Your confidence is often contingent on the month

November? Yep, won't need to be in shorts or a bikini for about 7-8 months. I am good to go.

February? I'll need to be in a bikini soon.. I could use some work.

6. You are thrilled by the one-piece bathing suit making a fashion come back

A resounding 'thank you' to whoever decided it was time to give one-pieces a try again. The stomachs of us in-between gals are appreciative.

7. Crop tops are 95% of the time not your top of choice

Yeah, okay, clothes are supposed to work for me and not against me.

8. You honestly don't understand jean sizes

I have fluctuated in weight a lot of my life, most recently losing 25lbs, and I still did not budge in jean sizes.

9. You wonder what other people think when they see you

Do other people see me as thin in clothing? Or fat in a bikini? What size am I perceived as?

10. Shopping is kind of a nightmare

Have you ever found about 27 items you liked, added the prices and thought, ah, it is going to be so tough to choose from all of these items? Only to go into the fitting room and realize only 2 of the items fit you well? Yep, me every single time I go to the store.

SEE ALSO: 7 Struggles Of Being The Girl Who Is "Not Skinny" But Also "Not Fat"

11. You're thankful that at least you've got boobs

You can kind of hide them in clothes, and then let them steal the show away from your tummy in a swimsuit.

12. You have a hard time setting weight-loss goals

You aren't really sure how overweight you are (if you are, at all) and you don't want to be at an unhealthy weight on either side of the spectrum.

13. Body positivity comes and goes

There are days, weeks or even months when you feel like the most beautiful person on the planet, and then something happens (old jeans don't fit, you try on a new bathing suit, etc.) and you convince yourself that all of that confidence was wrong and undeserved.

14. You always try on the biggest size first

Either this or you're in a weird limbo between the smallest plus sizes size and the biggest generic sizes size.

15. Half of you knows every body is a bikini body, and half of you is convinced that yours is not

You know that your body is worthy of wearing whatever you want to wear, but looking at yourself and seeing what society (and you) sometimes deem as unattractive can eat away at that knowledge.

16. But you also know self-love and confidence are key to beauty

Even if you have to fake it, you know that feeling confident is going to carry you pretty far.

17. Being in a bathing suit is a constant game of readjustment

Okay, I am sitting. Pull the bottoms up to cover as much as my stomach as possible and the back of the top down to cover any back rolls.

18. You've avoided the mirror after a shower before

You know that you are just going to lose all the comfort you felt in your body during the day when you see yourself, so sometimes it is best to just avoid it.

19. Ultimately, you know your beauty is not contingent on what you are wearing

The goal for everyone should be to get to a point where it doesn't matter if you're in a snowsuit, a bathing suit or a birthday suit... You can see your beauty no matter what and feel confident despite what you have on. It'll take time, but falling in love with the way you look is worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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14 Things I Did This Season To Cope With My Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is a real thing.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder affects many people. I promise it is a real thing. The Mayo Clinic defines SAD as "A mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year." Mine comes in the dead of winter. So this winter, I wrote down a couple of things that made me feel better.

1. Take a hot shower/bath

All the steam in the bathroom and the heat from the water soothes the soul for real.

2. Get out of bed 

Try and wake up earlier than usual.

3. Buy a happy lamp

They mimic sunlight but without the UV rays.

https://verilux.com/collections/happylight-therapy-lamps-boxes

4. Make your bed everyday

One small accomplishment everyday.

5. Sit in your living room as opposed to your bed room

6. Eat healthier 

7. Do one small thing for yourself everyday

Get a cup of coffee or go for a walk.

8. Exercise 

I hate it as much as the next person but it does help.

9. Go out with friends 

I know sitting at home may be ideal but it's nice to be surrounded by people who love you.

10. When you're sad, let yourself be sad

Cry, listen to sad music, do what you gotta do.

11. Ask for help

Let people know what you're going through. It's ok.

12. Take care of yourself

Put on a facemask. Paint your nails.

13. Write about it

14. Try and plan a trip to a warm place with sun

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