5 Female Characters With Personality Traits I Strive To Embody

5 Female Characters With Personality Traits I Strive To Embody

The fictional women and girls that have had a real-life impact on who I am and aspire to be.

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I have grown up with a plethora of characters from the books I read as a child and the shows that I watched as a teenager. The female characters from these stories inspired me to not only want to take on characteristics of responsibility and adventure but to feel pride in my academics and writing. Each of the following influenced me in different ways. The most significant character trait that links all five, however, is their unabashed, shameless ability to carry themselves with confidence and respect.

What interested me the most in characters that I loved the most was their respect for and belief in themselves. Regardless almost all situations, each character faced their odds and still remembered to take advantage of their team even with all their pride. Even more significant to me is when the following characters faced external and self-doubt in their abilities.

There are characters, of all genders and backgrounds, who provide wonderful instances that I reference on YouTube every so often. Jess from New Girl has an incredibly positive attitude even with a difficult job as a teacher -- I appreciate her quotes even more as I am now a teacher, myself ("That's actually an acrostic"). Kurt Hummel from Glee has some of the best quotes regarding trusting yourself and building self-worth. The writing of the stories and the character-building opened each character up to self-reflection and growth. Here are the women and girls whose stories helped make me a better woman today:

1. Buffy Summers


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Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer heavily influenced me in my teen and very early adult years of college-time confusion. Her attitude involves equal parts casual cool and courageous responsibility. Although I don't wake up every morning wondering which literal monsters I'll have to fight, I still face every day's challenges regardless of how they're thrown at me.

Buffy always strikes me as such a unique character as she never really fit in with her peers, but still found a way to maintain her cool persona. The emphasis on personal responsibility and work ethic, especially in the final two seasons, changed the way in which I approached college and when I started working. Buffy was fun but never flippant; she was chill but ready for action. And when the story arc explored her weaknesses near the end of the series, Buffy developed into one of the strongest and resolute women that I ever saw on screen.

2. Leslie Knope

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Leslie Knope quotes make up most of the references that I spout out to my students, friends, and family. The quote above paired with the instance in the show where she leaves voicemails to herself (in order to hear a friendly, supportive voice when she's having a rough time) remind me of the importance of sometimes blindly believing in yourself. Although Leslie does occasionally cause more problems than she fixes when she behaves as headstrong as she does, her sheer determination allows her to be one of the most productive government workers on the show.

One of my favorite quotes Leslie says is, "So what I hear when I'm being yelled at is people caring loudly at me." When Leslie holds a town hall with some of the most difficult town members of Pawnee, she holds herself in ways that make me want her to be a real person, taking care of our citizens. But, when I see strong instances of leadership in real life I am reminded of the Leslie Knope-like women that we have in our leadership positions. When I don't know how to react to a difficult instance in my life or I am just plain bogged down with work, I think WWLKD? What would Leslie Knope do?

3. Hermione Granger

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Reading Hermione Granger's character when I first read the Harry Potter books and subsequently watched the movies helped me take pride in my bushy-haired, school-loving, know-it-all self. She was one of the first female characters that I became familiar with who loved school as much as I did, and did not care one bit about being a topper in her class. She handled her bullies with grace and was an incredibly loyal, resourceful friend to the boys who caused her so much pain. The fact that she was in Gryffindor, and not Ravenclaw, made me love her even more.

She was smart, books and all, but knew that there was a power behind her quill that she would use for good. She started S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) when she was still in school, and earned 11 O.W.L.s (10 of which were O's). I loved her enthusiasm and refusal to accept blind loyalty and acceptance. She has always been one of my greatest role models and will continue to be for the rest of my life.

4. Minerva McGonagall

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Another inspirational figure for me from the Harry Potter series was Professor Minerva McGonagall, who proved the importance of a teacher who may not be lenient, but strict and fair, serves us better any day. I had a teacher when I was growing up also with the name of the Roman god Minerva, but Greek, Athena. She is one of the greatest teachers that I have ever had the privilege to have and has continued to be. Both teachers, fictional and real named after the goddess of wisdom, improved my love for school and learning. Although Professor McGonagall is fictional, she and my real-life teacher influenced my interest in teaching.

5. Nancy Drew

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Ever curious and witty, Nancy Drew joins Hermione Granger as one of my favorite literary characters. Nancy, in particular, grew my interest in detective work and solving puzzles. I devoured the books by mysterious author "Carolyn Keene" and I never could get enough of her adventures. Nancy exhibited the same confident desire to explore and learn that so many other characters on this list have. I seriously even wanted to become a detective because of her adventures and stories.

I am sure that I will add more to this list of women, and this list even in my current state is not complete. I find small instances of characters to inspire me further and further. What are some characters that inspire you in your daily life?

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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10 Things You Can Give Up For Lent 2019 If You're A College Student

Lent is nearing, but what should you give up?

Bryanna
Bryanna
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Lent is just around the corner, March 6th! If you are anything like me, you spend a lot of time searching for what you should give up. I often spend days searching for lists and through social media. But this year, I decided to get a head start on some ideas that are not the traditional people give up such as chocolate or caffeine. There is a ton of options of things college students can give up.

1. Netflix 

Or binge watching in general if you use another platform.

2. Starbucks

What happens if you saved the money and donated to something like World Vision?

3. Social Media

Personally, I gave up social media my first Lent. It was one of the best experiences that fostered a huge amount of spiritual growth! I devoted the time I spent on social media to time with God. It was a perfect time to grow closer to God.

4. Eating Out 

This one can be difficult if your social life often involves food but it is doable.

5. Video Games

If you are gamer this can be a huge thing to give up. But even if you are not a pro gamer, if you devout a lot of time to playing with apps on your phone it could still work.

6. Not purshasing _____

This could be new clothes, makeup or anything that you often purchase.

7. Sarcasm 

Sarcasm is often the language of college students, but what would happen if you changed your language for the weeks of Lent?

8. Junk Food

College students typically live off of Ramen, vending machines and cheap junk food.

9. Sleeping In Late

Similar to social media, you could devote that time being in fellowship with God.

10. Your favorite beauty product or routine

This is one that is very outwardly apparent to others. It not only would free up time to spend with God in the morning, but possibly open up discussions about why you are giving something up.

No matter what you give up, if you spend the time focusing on God and working on your spiritual growth it will be a good season for your Christian life. Good luck!

Bryanna
Bryanna

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