Cheers to Graduation!

Cheers to Graduation!

Don’t let the unsureness of what the future holds, dim the light on one of your greatest accomplishments thus far
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Dear Class of 2016,

It’s only been two days since I graduated and I have so many mixed feelings! “Have you found a job yet? What are your plans? Are you going to grad school?” These are some of the questions I’m sure you guys have heard throughout your last semester of college, especially on your graduation day. Whether you have a job lined up for you or you aren’t quite sure of what the future holds, one thing is for sure and it’s that this is a great accomplishment to be proud of.

During my graduation ceremony I was extremely excited to finally be sitting there next to two of my best friends, taking all the greatness in. After seeing my brother get his bachelor’s and master’s degree, I always wanted to follow his footsteps of receiving my diploma. I was also really excited because my cousin, who I basically grew up with as a brother and did everything together, was also graduating the same day.

On the other hand I also felt a little overwhelmed. Sitting next to hundreds of graduating students you start to feel like maybe it’s not that big of a deal. Then you also have those pessimist who tell you that a Bachelor’s degree isn’t worth much anymore and that it is just a waste of time. I’m the last person to care about what people think but these negative thoughts sometimes just start going through your head. So, I’m here to tell you that no matter what negative comments people have to say, you should be immensely proud of yourself!

At FIU, during our ceremony, they recognize world ahead students. These students have gone through so many obstacles and hardships to get to this point. This just makes me think that no matter what you are going through you can achieve your goals. If there’s a will there’s a way. At least for me, I know that I’ve gone through a lot to get to this point, and so have many other college students. It’s important to keep in mind your dreams, your goals when you start doubt yourself and your accomplishments.

With that being said, I’m super excited to see what the future holds for. Don’t let the unsureness of what the future holds, dim the light on one of your greatest accomplishments thus far. We, Millennials are the future of the world and we have to make it count! My fellow classmates, cheers to this new stage in your life!

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Sometimes "Out With The Old In With The New" Isn't the Best thing

We can't lose touch of the simpler things in life

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When I think about how much has changed and how much my world has developed since I was little, I get mind boggled realizing how different things are. I work at a restaurant in the city that I grew up in and I see famillies come and go for dinner every night. They all seem the same. The parents will walk in, check in with the hostesses and wait to be seated. If they're asked to wait, the kids sit by their parents sides playing on phones that are probably too young to have. I understand that waiting can get tedious and boring. By the time that they would sit down, I'd imagine that they would put down the devices and engage in some good old fashion conversation. I was wrong. It made me sad to see kids eating dinners with their families with zero interaction. When I was younger, I enjoyed the quality conversations I would have with my family when we got breaks from our all very hectic schedules. It's amazing how much technology has advanced, but sometimes, I believe that we might rely on it too much.

Seems like more and more things are becoming industrialized. Those "mom and pop" shops are closing down due to corporate companies buying the land. I have enough Walmart and Targets in a ten minute radius from me. Sure, places like these carry necessities are important, but when local Nurseries are closed down in order to build a new gas station, it just becomes sad. As things progress more, the more we lose touch of our roots. The places that make home special and different. The moments we have as a kid that don't involve a light on our face. Modernism is a powerful and amazing thing but we need to take a step back and reevaluate what we hold closest to us.

All in all, as we continue to develop, I will continue to advocate for the simpler moments and the simpler times. I don't think my kids will need iPhones right out of elementary school, I'll continue to visit the same hometown shops and give them as much business as possible, I'll always ask if he kids want coloring sheets at the dinner table. Although these small things might not matter in our everyday new world, they matter to me. I will always try to have so much fun that I forget to document things with my phone. The laughter and memories without the technology present. Those are the moments worth remembering.

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