Finding My Inner Strength

Finding My Inner Strength

Spoiler alert: nobody else was involved in it.
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"Strength" has varying definitions when looked up by the Merriam Webster Dictionary. My favorite, however, is "vigor of expression." The past few months have torn me apart, while simultaneously building me up. They have tested my strength both mentally and physically. However, it is through the trials and tribulations that I have found my own inner strength.

The 2016 election showed me just how different society sees me. As a liberal Democrat living in the Bible Belt, it can be extremely hard to find my own majority. I was a part of the outspoken majority of Americans against Donald Trump. My words commonly got twisted and blown far out of proportion as the election progressed into the circus it became. Expressing my political opinions showed me how different I was.

Being the "different" one is nothing new to me. Growing up, I was called the "ugly duckling that never turned into the swan." From the start, I was not destined to become the next Miss America. It was not just my looks that sent people away, but my passionate stance on politics and how the world functioned. A combination of those things meant that I was alone for the majority of the time. To quote Glee, "When you are different, when you are special, sometimes you have to get used to being alone." I spent the majority of my childhood in front of the TV alone, with my imagination as one of my only friends.

It was in the times when I was alone that I subconsciously found my own strength. I think that strength has allowed me to find my purposes in life, whether they be to empower people, or to be the next ceiling breaker. Whatever they be, I know that I will continue to leave my lasting impact on the world.

I am not writing today to ask for a pity party, but I am here to use my story to inspire people everywhere. If I can fight my internal battles and still at least appear strong on the outside, so can you. No battle is worth your livelihood, whether it be inside of you or with another person. Do not let other people, their pettiness, or their words deter you from finding yourself. Or, better yet, don't let those things define you as a person. You are more than other people give you credit for.

Let's face it, life can sometimes suck. Find a role model. Whether they are fictitious characters in a small town, or real women inspiring the world, does not matter. The fact is, find someone whose message you can adhere to. Or maybe, create your own message. If you have a story, tell it. The world is waiting for your voice that will emerge from the inner you.

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49 (one pack), $14.99 (two pack)

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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5 Topics To Broach With Your Opinionated Uncle At That Dreaded Christmas Dinner

Talking from experience, it definitely won't be a "Silent Night" if the topic of politics is brought up.

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Ah, the holidays. Christmas music, snowy days, getting together with family, and debating politics at the dinner table? Politics are a highly confrontational topic that can really take away from the holiday cheer. Talking from experience, it definitely won't be a "Silent Night" if the topic of politics is brought up.

1. The food

Patricia Lalo

Hail to the chef! They must have spent a lot of time preparing the food for the whole family to enjoy. Give compliments to whoever cooked the meal!

2. Your pets

Patricia Lalo

I could go on for days when it comes to talking about my dog. It is a light-hearted topic that everyone can enjoy. Make sure to show pictures too!

3. Sports

Unless sports are also a heated topic, it's a great topic to distract your relatives from the turmoil the government is in. Football, basketball, and hockey are in season during the holidays, so there are lots to talk about! Talk about how well (or poorly) your favorite team is doing. As a Patriots fan living in New Jersey, I've learned to avoid talking about football to keep peace at the dinner table.

4. Great shows or movies you've watched

Shows and movies are also good topics to talk about. Talk about a series you've watched or how excited you are for a movie coming out soon. Avoid talking about shows like "Designated Survivor" and "House of Cards," since those shows are an easy segway back to politics.

5. The well being of everyone there

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Ask everyone how they're doing. It's nice to hear what they're up to since you don't see each other all the time. Talk about travel plans, school, how you're feeling, or simply what you've been up to. Life is hectic and the holidays are meant to bring families together. Enjoy their company while they're there.

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