Forever Young: For The Kids, For The Cure, For THON

Forever Young: For The Kids, For The Cure, For THON

Going Greek and giving back.
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More often than not, the Greek community is criticized and perceived in a negative light, especially by those who are not a part of it. We have reached a day in our age where Greek life is living under a microscope. Our society is under the misassumption that the action of one is a clear depiction of us all. However, the positive effects that Greeks have on their communities are simply overlooked.

Penn State’s Carly Racanelli is an example of a member of the Greek community who is positively impacting our society as whole, every single day. Not only does she have her own business in which the proceeds are donated to charity, but she also has decided for the month of November to donate 50% of her proceeds to Penn State's THON. A junior at Penn State, Carly is a public relations major with a minor in sociology, as well as a member of Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity. Four years ago Carly and the Racanelli family lost a brother and a son, Michael Racanelli. In an effort to honor his memory, The Michael Racanelli Forever Young Foundation was created.

In an interview with Carly, she stated the goals of the foundation were to “spread his [Michael’s] peace.” Carly and the Racanelli family have worked closely with the foundation to have a lacrosse scholarship in Michael’s name, as well as sponsoring mission trips, and contributing to organizations that have positive impacts on society.

Carly says one of her favorite organizations to donate to is Mission Be, a program that teaches mindfulness to school children. The foundation also helps to feed hundreds of people during the holiday season, specifically at their hospitality center, a center that even has a garden designated for people to gather and reflect.

When I asked Carly, “Why 'Forever Young'?”, she stated that “forever young” is the way that her, her family, and friends will always remember Michael. “He lived his life to the fullest and had such a genuine and pure soul,” Carly said in our interview. This past summer, both Carly and her sister came up with the idea to make bracelets to sell in which part of the proceeds would be donated to The Michael Racanelli Forever Young Foundation. When asked why the bracelets, she said, “I wanted to get creative and find a way to continue to spread his peace and get involved in something bigger than myself,” as well as wanting to give a reminder stay imaginative and free… essentially, forever young.

Carly, a huge advocate for THON, decided once both canning weekends had been canceled, that she wanted to take action to do something to help raise money towards THON’s total. “After experiencing THON my freshman year at PSU, it was always something that I was extremely impressed by and proud of. Anyone that attends THON knows what I’m talking about because it is such a moving and emotional experience that has an amazing cause.” For the month of November, Forever Young Bracelets and The Michael Racanelli Forever Young Foundation are teaming up to raise money for THON. 50% of each bracelet sold will be donated to THON in hopes that we can be one dollar and one step closer to a cure.

Greek life usually does not get the benefit of the doubt. We as a Greek community are often perceived as a negative addition to society and our philanthropic efforts somehow manage to get constantly overlooked. Carly Racanelli is genuinely a good example of what it means to go Greek and is helping to take back what it means to be Greek.

For more information or any questions about where and how to buy a bracelet to help to donate to THON:

Instagram: @foreveryoungbracelets

Email: foreveryoungbracelets@gmail.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.

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College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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