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My experience welcoming the Jewish new year.
Well, the fall season is finally upon us. It’s time for pumpkin spice coffee, apple cider and lots of candy.
It’s also time for some holidays, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. For myself and others in the Jewish community, it’s time for the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This past weekend was Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah marks the start of the Jewish new year. Besides it being the time for apples, honey and challah bread, it’s a time when we think about all that’s happened in the past year. It’s also when we think of the changes we want to see in the new one.This was the second year that I was away from my family for the holiday. I go to school about three and a half hours from where I live, but this being one of the most important holidays, I made sure that I could get home. I packed up my heels, my clothes for temple and headed home. When I walked through the front door, I immediately saw how much has changed.
I walked into a house that was full of new furniture and everything had been moved around. People had moved bedrooms, some stuff had been painted and there were different cars in the driveway. And then I thought about how in just a few months things had changed so much. What about this whole year? I have so much to be grateful for.
I thought about my family and how lucky I am that everyone is still here and still healthy. I thought about my little siblings, who have grown and matured. I thought about myself, and how I’ve learned to be comfortable being away from home.
Before I knew it, it was time to have Rosh Hashanah dinner. I got a little emotional on the inside. My entire family always gets together for this holiday, which doesn’t happen often. My grandparents lead the dinner, we catch up and we talk about what’s happening in everyone’s lives. Everyone always has a new story to tell each year. Everyone is interested in the growth that’s happened around the table.
The very next day, I woke up early in the morning to go to temple with my grandparents. I used to hate going to temple when I was little, but now as an adult, I’m starting to see why my mother used to always make me go. It’s about family and growing closer to one another as Jewish people. I’m grateful that I still have the privilege of going to temple with my siblings and grandparents. I’m grateful I can be home to celebrate with them.
Not everyone can do this. Not everyone is able to be home for the holidays with everyone that they love. So, this Rosh Hashanah, I’m recognizing the blessings that I have. A lot has changed since the last Jewish new year. This year has been full of laughter, tears, heartbreak, growth and new experiences.
And I can’t wait to see what this next year brings.
10 reasons why you should love fall
It's officially fall, which means I am happy, so very happy. Fall is hands down the best season on the planet. Below, I will go over reasons as to why fall is the best and should be loved by everyone.
1. The leaves
Do you remember when you were little and raked all the leaves into a large pile and jumped into them? Wasn't that fun? Do you remember hearing the satisfying "crunch" of the leaves under your boots as you walk down the street or on your way to class? Not to mention the colors of the leaves are spectacular and gorgeous. The leaves are perhaps the best part.
Halloween falls in fall, which means pumpkin that you can carve out and decorate. Not to mention eat. I'm not huge on pumpkin spice much, but I will say that the pumpkin scones at Starbucks are pretty awesome. Go try one? Or just enjoy your pumpkin spice everything that is sold these days.
3. Sweaters, beanies, boots, leggings
The great thing about fall is that you can wear your cute boyfriend beanie, your large knit sweater, your warm stylish leggings and comfy boots and feel and look 100 percent. And you don't have to shave everyday, which is such a pain in the summer.
4. Temperature & weather
Fall is the time that includes the best temperatures and weather patterns. It's not too hot, nor too cold to be outside. Sweaty, gross "swamp ass" does not exist in fall. Also, perfect bonfire weather with s'mores.
5. Homemade pumpkin pie
Nothing is better than homemade pumpkin pie. Nothing.
6. Hot chocolate/ tea/ coffee/pumpkin spice drinks time
Summer is just a bit too hot to have tea, coffee and hot chocolate almost every night. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy these lovely and wonderful drinks. Although I'd argue that coffee is an anytime, any situation type of drink. Nonetheless, fall is the season of hot chocolate, tea and pumpkin spice drinks.
7. Blankets! Cuddling!
Fall is the perfect time for two things: Blankets and cuddling. Who doesn't like blankets and cuddling? Also, add in Netflix there. Blankets + Cuddling + Netflix = life goals and the ultimate happiness. Yes, you can cuddle your pets if you don't have a S.O. Plus, pets won't usually try to steal the blankets, or change the show you're watching.
8. Holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving)
Holidays are great. Holidays are fun. Who doesn't like getting dressed up as a "slutty nurse" or as Superman and eating a lot of candy and food?
Even better, who doesn't like home-cooked turkey with stuffing and gravy? I'm literally almost drooling thinking about it? Also, pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving, ftw.
9. Cool, crispy nights
The freshness and crispness of the air is intoxicating and wonderful. Learn it, live it, love it.
I don't understand much about football, besides the fact that guys go onto a field and tackle each other over a weirdly shaped ball. Either way, I always love watching it with my dad and mom while we eat our awesome chip dip. The hype of football is fun and it's always reminded me of my special family time. So, kudos to football for that only reason.
Lorelai Gilmore and I are kindred spirits.
When I was in high school, I was the occasional coffee drinker, if you could call it that. I would drink Starbucks frappuccinos and iced mocha drinks, which were more like snacks than coffee, BUT they had coffee in them, so I said I drank coffee. I progressed from my love of “snack drinks" to a more general appreciation of coffee, and would have a cup of coffee once a week or so. My “cup of coffee" would consist of a little coffee and a lot of cream and sugar, but it was coffee nonetheless. Then I started college.
I bought a coffee maker and scheduled 8 a.m. classes (what was I thinking?), and then coffee became a regular part of my every day routine. I ended up drinking about five cups a day but never paid attention to how much caffeine I was having. Until one day it hit me -- during a Physics quiz, unfortunately. I hadn't realized but it was two o'clock and I hadn't had any coffee that day and all of a sudden my head was pounding, I couldn't think straight, and the classroom lights hurt like no other.
That's when I came to the unhappy conclusion that I had become addicted to caffeine. This had never happened to me before! I had no idea what to do or how to handle it. So I came up with a few ideas on how to fix it and decided to try them out.
1. Don't drink anything caffeinated after 3:30 p.m. This way it won't affect your sleep.
2. Start by gradually decreasing the number of cups of coffee you drink a day. Don't fret; just because you can't have caffeinated coffee, doesn't mean you can't have decaf if you really want coffee.
3. Work your way down to only one cup of caffeinated coffee a day, and if you're feeling adventurous, try not having any! You might have a minor headache in the afternoon, but it's nothing in comparison to a massive caffeine headache.
4. You could also try alternating days of caffeinated coffee and decaf, so this way your body won't become addicted, and you won't have to suffer the consequences.
5. Now that you're no longer addicted to caffeine, you could have your coffee on mornings when you need an extra little pick-me-up and you will actually feel the effects of the coffee.
I'm fairly certain I will perpetually be stuck on a loop of caffeine addictions, but at least now I know that I can break my bad habit, even if I start it back up again during finals or because of an early job.
It's about time.
Today's society places a ridiculous amount of importance on social media and what we see on our computer screens. Some of these short films you might have seen shared on Facebook. Some of them you may have never even heard of. Whatever the case may be, these productions have used thier position of power in our world today to spread a message. The messages vary from domestic violence, LGBTQ acceptance, self-love, the role of men in society to end the unfair treatment towards women and even the promotion of the furtherence of medical discovery in our country. Regardless of the message, each film advertises something that needs far more screen time than Victoria's Secret Fashion shows or Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Here are 14 of the best and most revolutionary short films to date:
Love Labyrinth - One Love Foundation
Beauty Is A State of Mind - Dove Patches
Courage Is Already Inside - Ram Trucks
How Our Girls See Themselves - Dove Change One Thing
#DearDaddy - CARE Norway
Slap Her - Fanpage
ReMoved - Nathanael Matanick
Love Is All You Need? - Wingspan Pictures
Let Her Eat Cake - Columbia MFA Directing
Kiss Me - Cas Stonehouse
Unhealthy Relationships - Buzzfeed
Glass People - John Berardo
Chicken or the Egg - Evozi
Imagine - Carl Mason
Why go somewhere fun when you can go home?
Well, this school year has come to a close, and it's off to having fun in the sun. For college students, summer offers a few different options: get an internship somewhere AMAZING like NYC, India or somewhere else awesome, travel, stay in your college town or go home for the summer. Whatever the reasoning, many people do end up going home and living with their parents during the summer. Many things are different when you go home for the summer. After almost a whole year being an adult, it's time to return to your parent's home and follow rules that you threw to the wind the second you stepped on campus last fall. And you get to see all your old friends, the ones who came home anyway. You'll also see people you haven't talked to since you graduated that you were really okay with never seeing again. If you are going home for the summer, here are some things that will happen to you.
Your parents will be so happy you're home that they will make your favorite meal.
Then they'll give you a list of chores they've been saving for you since you left last fall.
And say goodbye to sleeping in.
Being home means seeing the ENTIRE family.
Luckily you'll be able to see all your old friends.
And the people you didn't want to see, who you will hide from in the grocery store.
But then you'll find out all of your at-home friends also have college friends.
If you have younger siblings, you now have the job of being a chauffeur.
But you'll still have to get a real job.
When all you really want to do is spend time doing nothing, maybe nap.
Fourth of July will come, but you're underage and at home, so you are painfully sober.
You friends from college are all off having grand adventures in Cali or Disney World while you try to keep your jealousy in check.
Even though you're jealous you still miss them.
And although it's not the summer of your dreams, at least there's no homework.
Until school starts again.
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign