Here's Why My BFF Is the Best

Here's Why My BFF Is the Best

Living hundreds of miles away from your BFF is hard, but I wouldn't change our relationship for the world.

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I am lucky enough to have known my best friend for my entire life, and that's pretty much because we're related. We grew up together, she's older than me by a little over a month, and we lived just a town over from one another. I remember the days of it being just us, before our siblings were born, riding around in our hot pink barbie jeep, and making a fort in the bushes behind her house. Those remain some of my fondest memories, and for that, I'm very thankful. With the both of us being the oldest sibling in our families, we had the same experiences growing up and could connect with how much we love, but also get annoyed, by our younger siblings. Anyone in our entire family could tell you about us, and how we've been best friends since the very beginning.

As we got older, her family moved to Connecticut, but this didn't mean we drifted apart. We would beg our parents to drive us to each other's houses, even though we lived more than two hours away from one another. We are lucky enough that our parents, my dad, and her mom, are very close siblings, so we got to see each other every holiday, and they would make weekend visits so we could see each other. When she got her license, I couldn't wait for her to make the trip up to see me, and when I got mine, it made visiting each other a lot easier. We've made some of best memories recently too. A couple of years ago we went to sleep-away camp together, flew to Chicago together, attended Lollapalooza, traveled to Block Island beaches, seen Justin Bieber live three times, and stayed overnight in Boston for a music festival. Our days now are constantly texting each other daily drama or stupid pictures. We facetime regularly, almost every day. We now go to colleges 8 hours away from each other, but I feel as close to her as ever.

Thanksgiving has recently passed, but I think about how grateful I am to have someone like Liv in my life. She has been with me through it all, and there is nobody like her in the entire world. She lights up the entire room with how funny, kind, and beautiful she is. Even my friends at home are obsessed with her, and when she comes to visit, everyone wants to hang out with her. She has that kind of presence that makes you want to be around her. Liv is truly one of a kind, and I'm lucky enough to have her not only as my cousin but a best friend for life.

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Troy University Needs to Realize That There Are More Students Than Greek Life And SGA

"In unity, there is strength." - Riverdale

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At Troy University, there are three groups present on campus: those that are Greek, those that are a part of the Student Government Association, and those that are don't affiliate with either.

During my search for a college to attend, one of my stipulations was that I didn't want Greek life to be the only dominant force on campus (along with things such as cost, location, majors offered etcetera). Troy University boasts a Greek population of only 20% and this number intrigued me because, at many schools, it seems to be a higher percentage of students. However, after attending Troy University for a little over a semester now, I doubt this number because every time I turn around, another student is telling me about what sorority they are a member of, or about what fraternity they are a member of on campus.

And, admittedly, prior to the first SGA election, I was pretty clueless as to what SGA was because SGA was not a big deal at my high school. To be more truthful, I didn't understand the full extent of SGA until now while the SGA presidential race is happening.

Greek life isn't bad and those that are a part of Greek life aren't bad. The SGA isn't bad and those that are a member of the SGA aren't bad. It just feels like Greek life and SGA goes hand-in-hand for those that are independent and makes being involved on campus that much harder.

Those who ran for SGA will promote the fact they are a part of a sorority or fraternity, and thus, represent the student body; however, if only 20% of Troy's campus is Greek, how is this true? Something like this is what I mean. There's a lack of awareness that there is more to this campus than SGA and Greek life.

There just needs to be more attention brought to the lack of awareness of those who aren't Greek nor SGA.

For example, during Homecoming, independent organizations participated with the frats and sororities in events such as chalk the quad and making banners. Not one independent organization was promoted for chalk the quad, and I know, as a member of an independent organization, we had to ask to be recognized for winning a place for our banner. I am grateful that we were at least recognized but it shouldn't feel like fighting a war to be recognized alongside Greek organizations for completing the same activities.

This is an open plea to the new SGA President -- bring students together, all students because that is what will make Troy University a stronger college.

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Is Still Iconic, And Here's Why

Although it's a children's cartoon from the 2000s, ATLA remains one of the greatest shows ever made.

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Avatar: The Last Airbender ended in 2008, but I've watched the full series at least ten other times since then. I was a big fan of ATLA when it was first airing, but sometimes I marvel at how lasting it's impact is over a decade later. I've seen ATLA bumper stickers and tattoos depicting the four elements, not mention that I myself have a "Jasmine Dragon" sticker on my laptop resembling the Starbucks logo. ATLA was incredible. It's witty, fun, emotionally impactful, interesting in plot, and filled with relatable characters. "Korra" was a nice attempt to follow up on a passionate fanbase, but it ultimately didn't resonate with viewers to the same degree. That said, sometimes people wonder why I'm still so invested in a kid's cartoon from the 2000s. Here's why.

The show referenced a variety of cultures from around the world

If you've watched the show, you've probably realized that there aren't actually any "white" characters in the Avatar-verse. Not that European cultures aren't valid, but it is notable that the show was created as an appreciation of cultures that often go overlooked. The art and music were heavily influenced by East and South Asia, and the different nations clearly reference Asian and indigenous traditions. Earth Kingdom cities were based off of real cities in East Asia, and the culture depicted drew from various East Asian nations as well. The same applies to the fire nation, which was originally modeled off of Japan and China. The water tribes have their foundations in Inuit and Sireniki cultures, and the air nomads are based on Tibetans, Sri Lankan Buddhists, and Shaolin Monks. There are many other historical references throughout "Avatar," including a nod to ancient Mesopotamia in the Sun Warriors.

The characters were complex and relatable

"ATLA" didn't just give us a typical group of teenage heroes, with each one fitting into a typical mold. They were complex and realistic, and that's what made them relatable. We saw Aang balance his role as Avatar with his personal moral philosophy, all while experiencing the onset of puberty and young adulthood. We watched Katara struggle with responsibility as the main female role model in her family after her mother's death. We observed and related to Toph and Zuko's complex relationships with their families, including the influence that an abusive parent can have on a young life. We experienced the struggles of inferiority to "better" friends with Sokka, and even learned about toxic friendships with Mai and Ty Lee. These were all growing kids and teenagers, and nothing could have been more genuine.

"ATLA" gave us some incredible, strong female leads to look up to

Katara was truly the first feminist I ever encountered on television. Not only did she become a master waterbender in the span of weeks, she also taught the Avatar! And the whole time, she reminded us that strong fighters can be feminine too. Meanwhile, Toph showed us that just because a person has a disability, doesn't mean that they are defined by it. In fact, Toph's blindness only enhances her abilities, rather than holding her back. We also encounter powerful female characters like Azula (I know, she's evil, but that doesn't make her any less of a prodigy), Ty Lee, Mai, Suki (and all the Kyoshi warriors for that matter), Smellerbee, and even Princess Yue (who literally died for her people, mind you).

It made a deep, dramatic topic witty and fun

It occurred to me recently that "Avatar" is basically about imperialism and genocide. The Fire Nation decides to take over the world through military force, and it does so by exterminating an entire people and occupying and colonizing everyone else. For such a deep topic, you wouldn't think the show would be quite as fun as it is, but it is. I've restarted watching, and I find myself constantly laughing. With Sokka's sarcastic comments, Iroh's oddities, and everybody else's regular quips, "ATLA" is regularly lighthearted and never takes itself too seriously.

There's some real wise advice throughout

Finally, what "ATLA" is really known for, is its heart. Uncle Iroh provides us with a regular understanding of the world around us, encouraging us to see the world in balance and look for our true selves. His wise words ring true throughout childhood and adulthood. The underlying themes and messages of the show, including balance, friendship, love, and loyalty, all serve the greater purpose of advising the audience.

In summary, "Avatar" was amazing. If you haven't, I highly recommend you do. If you have, maybe go rewatch!

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