Be The Good You Want To See In 2017

Be The Good You Want To See In 2017

Here's to the new year.

As I am writing this article, I find myself feeling surprised at how much actually changed in 2016. Be it the loss of a person or of the relative stability that most of us had known for a while and grown accustomed to -- the events of the past year had a far deeper impact than anyone could have expected. I think we can all agree that it felt impossible to keep our heads up at times, especially with so much uncertainty being thrown our way over and over again. Many articles and online posts that I've read lately lean toward the probability that this next year will be significantly less eventful than 2017. While it is easy to believe that fate will take our side, there is really no way to know for sure that the general morale of humanity will improve without each of us taking specific steps to change our world for the better.

I'm not saying that in order to make the world a better place, you have to up-end your life. I was reminded on one of the final days of last semester that simply having a positive attitude toward others is one of the best ways to brighten the world around you. Sometimes it is hard, but being kind and compassionate and giving what you can to others is the key to changing the world little by little. It is tempting to give yourself a way out of difficult situations by convincing yourself that others could handle it better than you can, but you never know the chain reaction of good things that simply trying your best to improve your attitude can cause.

There are no words to describe the feeling that 2016 left in our hearts right up to the end. We lost so many people that defined us for so long, and a few that hadn't even gotten the chance to make their mark yet, whose deaths were especially painful for me. The weight of loss and change was ever-present in our lives. Feel that weight. Remember it. Let it inspire you to be the good part of someone's day. You never know just how far a chain reaction will go.

Cover Image Credit: Maggie Boyd

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Let's Give Michigan Winters The Benefit Of The Doubt

As cold as it gets, this is still the best place in the world.

Anyone who goes to a cold school understands how miserable the winter can be. We’ll do anything and everything to avoid being outdoors; skipping class sounds much more ideal than having to suffer through getting there and back. Every day, I wonder how people did it before Uber because I most definitely couldn't.

When I'm asked why I’d ever go to a school that's so unbearably cold, my response is the same every time: “Because it’s worth it.” Because there’s nowhere else, hot or cold, in the world that I’d rather be. Because even on the coldest, snowiest days, something about being at Michigan makes me happy.

As cold as it gets and as hard as the subzero temperatures make being productive, we all adjust and have our own ways of making it work. A scarf makes any outfit that much more adorable, and speaking of outfits, what’s wrong with rotating between the same few sweatshirts every day when no one sees whats under your Goose? Nothing! And that means waking up about 10 minutes before you have to leave for class. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Most days here, even though they're bitter cold, are nice and sunny, making for such a pleasant environment. If it were dark and gloomy every day, maybe it'd be harder to survive the winter. It’d be harder to leave bed every day, but luckily that’s not the case. It’s definitely cold, but layers are a pretty good solution.

You know how they say you can’t have a rainbow without rain? I’d argue the same about having seasons. The bitterly cold winter makes the summer that much more special. I, for one, will not be taking a second of this summer for granted. When I’m not working, I will be outside for some reason or another taking it all in. Yearlong heat definitely has its pros, but there is something amazing to be said about changing seasons.

Anyone would agree that it'd be nice if winter were just a little warmer. You know, not so cold that you walk outside and lose feeling in your extremities, but also cold enough for a cute sweater, scarf, hat, jacket and boots.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't change a thing about where I am, but I also can’t deny being really sick of the cold and more than ready for some summer.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Don't Use Valentine's Day As An Excuse to Show Your Love

It was just another day, but a slightly better, slightly happier day.

Valentine's Day has come and gone. That day was filled with love, affection, and care. You wake up in the morning with excitement for the day and show those special people in your life that you care. It was just another day, but a slightly better, slightly happier day because you can literally see the love in the air.

There are three positions on Valentine's Day: those people who have a valentine and therefore, they have the whole day planned out. The other extreme is those who yearn for a valentine and therefore, are bitter and cynical about this day. The third lot is rare because they are the ones that are completely neutral about Valentine's Day and they don't mind it.

It is most logical to be in the third lot. Valentine's Day is like Mother's Day. It is a day that's focus is to show your appreciation of people in your life that you love. Same for Mother's Day. It is a day that focuses on showing appreciation for your mother, but the important thing to remember is that this day is not an excuse. It is merely a day that tells you what you should be doing to show your love. That doesn't mean that you are very public in your celebration of those you love because sometimes, celebrating your significant other doesn't need to be a bouquet of flowers and serenading, maybe it is just a simple homecooked meal.

This day emphasizes on making those special people in your life feel special. It is a celebration of caring and love and there is nothing wrong with this. It doesn't need to be about romantic love, it extends to all loves like platonic and familiar.

This day shouldn't be a grand day because if it is the only day you go all out for your special people, you aren't doing it correctly. This is a day to go all out, yes, but so are other normal days.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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