8 Things That Are Beyond Irritating

8 Things That Are Beyond Irritating

I'm allowed to complain about this because well, you agree.
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I wake up and drive to school. But the radio, drivers, and street lights somehow work together to ruin my morning. On every radio station is someone talking, either telling a joke or talking about the weather. Every street light turns red. Every other driver probably forgot to drink coffee because they all drive like they’re half asleep. Now that’s irritating.

I try to avoid complaining about things I find annoying. Because, really, no one cares about anyone else’s problems. Yet, there are a few things in life that people collectively find irritating.

1. When people comment on your food.

Yes, I brought a Tupperware bowl of scrambled eggs and rice. Sorry, the sight of my lunch has distracted you from your work. Please let me eat in peace.

2. When the indoor and outdoor temperatures are polar opposites.

I wore two shirts, a sweater, and my puffy coat because it’s freezing outside. Now I’m sweating beneath my long socks, jeans, and boots because this building insists on blasting the heat. And during the summer? The heat outside makes me sweat regardless of how much skin I reveal. Yet when inside, I’m worried I’ll get frostbite. You’ll see me shivering and wishing I had my puffy coat.

3. When people say they don’t drink coffee.

I really don’t understand this one.

4. When people ask you a question and don’t trust your answer.

Is it because I’m blonde? If you ask me a question, doubt my answer, and continue asking the same question, then we have an issue.

5. When drivers stay in the left lane.

If you aren’t passing another vehicle, then get out. If you are driving slow, then get out. What slows down traffic more than a cop? Some driver in the left lane, because they’re too prideful to move out of the way.

6. Stupid lights.

I don’t see why the light has to stay red for five minutes if no cars are coming through it.

7. Requirements for creating a password.

I know how to create good passwords that could even deter Snowden. Yet, every website needs a long combination of special characters, numbers, and capital and lowercase letters. But be careful! Some websites don’t allow your password to have dictionary words. So, after you create your complicated password based on all the qualifications, you must re-type it for confirmation. Am I the only one that immediately forgets it?

8. “Good afternoon!” “Hey how's it going?” “Good! And you?” They’re already gone.

Cover Image Credit: imgdiscover

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4 reasons how Drake's New Album May Help Us Fight Mental Illness

Increasing Evidence Points to Music as a Potential Solution to the Mental Health Problem.

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Okay, You caught me!

I am NOT just talking about everybody's favorite actor-turned-rapper— or second, if you've seen Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video. Unfortunately, current research hasn't explored specific genres and artists. However, studies HAVE provided significant evidence in possibilities for music to treat mental health disorders. Now, before you say something that your parents would not be proud of, ask yourself if you can really blame me for wanting to get your attention. This is an urgent matter concerning each one of us. If we all face the truth, we could very well reach one step closer to solving one of society's biggest problems: Mental Health.

The Problem:

As our nation continues to bleed from tragedies like the horrific shooting that shattered the lives of 70 families whose loved ones just wanted to watch the "Dark Knight Rises" during its first hours of release, as well as the traumatic loss of seventeen misfortunate innocents to the complications of mental health disorders in the dear city of Parkland— a city mere hours from our very own community— it's impossible to deny the existence of mental illness. As many of us can already vouch, mental illness is much more common than what most would think: over 19 million adults in America suffer from a mental health disorder. Picture that: a population slightly less than that of Florida is plagued by hopelessness, isolation, and utter despair.

Disease in the form of depression holds millions of people prisoner, as anxieties instill crippling desperation and too many struggles with finding peace. This can be you. It could be your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle, your friend, your roommate, your fraternity brother, your sorority sister, your lab partner, or just your classmate that sits in the corner of the lecture hall with a head buried into a notebook that camouflages all emotion.

I hope we— the UCF community— understand the gravity of the problem, but it's clear that some still see mental illness as a disease that affects only a handful of "misfits" who "terrorize" our streets, while the numbers reveal more to the issue. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental health disorder. The problem is so serious that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24-year-olds. While many continue to ask for more antidepressants and even the occasional "proper spanking," recent studies indicate increases in occurrence, such as one in depression from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. So, clearly, none of that is working.

The Evidence:

If we really want to create a world where our children are free from the chains of mental illness, we need to think outside the box. Doctors and scientists won't really talk about this since it's still a growing field of research, but music has strong potential. We don't have any options at the moment, which means we need to change our mindset about music and to continue to explore its medicinal benefits. If you're still skeptical because of the title, then please consider these 4 pieces of solid evidence backed by scientific research:

1. Music has been proven to improve disorders like Parkinson's Disease.

Researchers sponsored by the National Institute of Health— the country's largest research agency— saw an improvement in the daily function of patients with Parkinson's Disease. This makes patients shake uncontrollably, which often prevents them from complete functionality. The disease is caused by a shortage of dopamine— a chemical your neurons, or brain cells, release; since music treats this shortage, there's an obvious ability to increase dopamine levels. As numerous studies connect dopamine shortages to mental illnesses like depression, addiction, and ADHD, someone could possibly use music's proven ability to increase dopamine levels to treat said problems.

2. Listening to the music has the potential to activate your brain's "reward center."

In 2013, Valorie Salimpoor and fellow researchers conducted a study that connected subjects' pleasure towards music to a specific part of the brain. This key structure, the nucleus accumbens, is the body's "reward center," which means all of you have experienced its magical powers. In fact, any time the brain detects a rewarding sensation— drinking ice-cold water after a five-mile run in sunny, humid Florida, eating that Taco Bell chalupa after a long happy hour at Knight's Library, and even consuming recreational drugs— this structure releases more of that fantastic dopamine. So, with further research into specifics, doctors may soon be prescribing your daily dose of tunes for your own health.

3. Listening to Music may be more effective than prescription anti-anxiety medication.

In 2013, Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin— two accomplished doctors in psychology— reviewed a study wherein patients waiting to undergo surgery were given either anti-anxiety medications or music to listen to. The study took into account cortisol levels, which are used daily by healthcare professionals to gauge patient levels. This "stress hormone" was actually found to be lower in patients who listened to classical music rather those who took the recommended dose of prescription drugs. Sit there and think about that for a second: these patients actually felt more relaxed with something as simple as MUSIC than with chemicals that are made specifically to force patients into relaxation before surgery. Why pop a Xanax when you can just listen to Beethoven?

4. Music may release the chemicals that help you naturally relax and feel love.

Further studies continue to justify music's place in the medical world as results demonstrate increases in substances such as prolactin— a hormone that produces a relaxing sensation— as well as oxytocin— the substance that promotes warmth and happiness during a hug between mother and child. So this study basically showed us that music has the potential to actually make you feel the way you did when Mom or Dad would embrace you with the warmest hug you've ever felt.

The Future:

The evidence I present you with today is ultimately just a collection of individual situations where specific people found specific results. There are a lot of variables when it comes to any research study; therefore, data is never truly certain. We should take these findings as strong suggestions to a possible solution, but we must remember the possibility of failure in our search.

The neurochemistry behind the music and its medicinal properties is just beginning to unfold before the scientific community. In fact, extremely qualified scientists from the National Institute of Health— the organization that basically runs any important medical study in the United States— continue to remind us of the subject's youth with the constant use of "potential" behind any and all of their findings. Therefore, it's our responsibility as a community to look into this— not just that of the scientists at the National Institute of Health.

We're all surrounded by music. It's at the bars. It's in our ears during all-night sessions at the UCF library. It's keeping us awake through East Colonial traffic at 7:00 AM while hordes of students focus on their cell phone screens instead of the paved roads ahead. It's in the shoes we wear, the actions we take, and the words we say. IF YOU'RE READING THIS: it's accessible to you. So, don't be shy, and try to play with your Spotify account, or even just on YouTube, and gauge the power of music. As more and more of us see the light, we can promote the movement and carry on as more research comes out to support us.

Drop the bars, drop those addictive pills that destroy your body slowly, and pick up your headphones and press PLAY.

Just relax, close your eyes, smile, and live.

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi

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I Have absolutely Nothing To Write About

No, seriously. This article is about nothing.

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I am completely uninspired this week. There has been nothing interesting or inspirational happen to me, and as a result, I'm completely unsure of what I want this article to be about.

As an Odyssey writer that has to produce content every week, don't you get that way too? Where your mind is so occupied with other things that you don't know what to even talk about? Or nothing interesting has happened this summer that you want to discuss?

Like, okay, yesterday a kid walked in front of my car while I was driving through campus. Sure, I could write an article about how rude it is to walk in front of someone's car while they're driving and are forced to slam down on the breaks, but who would want to read about that? And what would I even title it? Or I could write about the women that went through my cashier line the other day that had really gorgeous purple hair and all we did was talk about how much we hate social media. But what would I even write about? How unique I thought she was, maybe, or how much I hate social media (because lately, I do).

Oh, and this week, I learned what a "pangram" is. It's the term for a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet once. For instance, everyone knows "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", but there are literally at least ten more, such as "Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow". This, I thought, was super cool. There's actually a term for these types of sentences and I had absolutely no idea that that was a thing. It's wild.

Or I could have written about how thankful I am that my mom is in existence, but I already wrote a whole letter dedicated to her months ago. I mean, she deserves all of the letters in the world. She does my laundry and packs my lunch for work for God's sake, and I think that's some click-worthy content. Or how awesome my dad is. Like tonight we spent like, five minutes shoving my mom's place-mats under the door of the closet in the kitchen because I decided it would be funny to lock myself in it for a little while (don't ask questions, okay).

Now, we're supposed to produce good and eye-catching content. I get that. But at the end of the day, I think that this would be an article that I would click on. Why, you ask? Because I think that an article about nothing is a really good idea (now that I think about it anyway). So, I hope that this article about nothing has at least semi-inspired you to write about SOMETHING. And proves that you can write an article about nothing and it could still be at least a little bit interesting.

So here, ladies and gentlemen and aliens, is my article about literally nothing. Enjoy.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/computer-desk-hand-laptop-374631/

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