Is The "Basic White Girl" On To Something?

Is The "Basic White Girl" On To Something?

Embracing your identity like a basic white girl

As I'm sitting here at Starbucks in my oversized sweater and leggings trying to understand the basic white girl (BWG), I can't help but wonder a few things about the BWG.

The BWG is iconic for her Nike shorts, oversized shirts and sweaters, blanket scarves, love for Starbucks, Chacos, and small crystal necklace hanging around her neck. When did she reach this status? Does she take pride in her legging collection like most BWGs? Does she realize that she is a marketing strategy skillfully engineered by certain companies? Society has promoted the "basic white girl" image so aggressively but I wonder if people realize that this image was professionally crafted for consumers who are willing to place their identity in the latest fashion and trends.

The BWG isn't the only image crafted to promote certain products. There are other labels like the hipster, the fitness freaks, the frat boy, and the outdoors fanatics. Each of these labels, although wisely and carefully crafted as marketing strategies, means something deeper than the first impression of its label.

Regardless of the stereotypes society has placed upon each label, people should embrace who they are. The BWG should take pride in her legging collection if that is what she chooses to place her identity in. The frat boy should wear the heck out of his Chubbies and Patagonia sweatshirt. And if you enjoy being fit, then don't let anyone make fun of you for spending every spear second in the gym. There are those, including myself, who tend to make fun of the girls that scream BWG but at the same time, I admire her for embracing her identity.

People shouldn't hide from their labels and they also shouldn't hide behind their labels. Labels can be offensive but we should embrace who we are regardless. There are those, though, that is so focused on crafting their image to fit inside a label that they lose themselves. The start to let society tell them who they are. Actual labels on a bottle are not meant to determine what's inside. Instead, they describe the contents that are already within. So, if you find yourself being labeled by others, embrace it but don't hide behind it or let it determine who you are. Ultimately, you are the only one that can define your identity.

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Learn To Love Your Alone Time In Order To Connect With Others

Taking a breather from your friends might make you appreciate them more.

The fast pace of college culture and the constant surrounding of chattering bodies conditions our psyches to depend on social interactions. With an existence dominated by endless exposure to new people and opportunities, the rare moments of calm amidst the tumult give us more anxiety than the social encounters themselves.

The only thing harder than being around people all day is being left alone—the mind finally has a chance to breathe and often wanders into musings better left unacknowledged.

Learning to cherish the periods of loneliness rather than fearing them is a skill best acquired over time. There is truly no better company than your own, and you can only be so available to others if you haven’t explored the interworkings of yourself yet. A pause from the action can be just as enjoyable as being immersed in it. You are the sole driver of the events that make up your day—no compromising or deliberation necessary.

Listening to just your whims without the opinions of others vying for attention is indescribably valuable in developing a clear sense of self. You have to know who you are in order to succeed.

Not everyone has to be a leader, but there’s no hiding in the shadow of another when thinking about your personal desires. Independence is integral to survival in this world; dependence is not sustainable, and can only result in disappointment when its impermanence is exposed.

During these moments of societal reprieve, it is wholly important to explore the fundamentals of your personality through introspection and consequential actions. I find music to be a great assistance in realizing different facets of myself.

Compile a playlist of songs that make you feel a certain way and blast them into your eardrums until all you hear is white noise — then, when you’ve recovered, look back later at what you created and see what the songs all have in common (or not, either way, leads to revelations).

The theme of the music oftentimes reflects emotions that have hidden deep in the recesses of your body, emotions that need to be confronted instead of stifled by further distractions.

Another worthwhile solitary endeavor is an immersion in nature. Taking a walk among the trees with only the whispers of the wind for company is undeniably therapeutic. Time outdoors relaxes the mind and refreshes the soul, minimizing all the fickle anxieties of everyday life in the presence of such unadulterated purity.

Of course, there are an innumerable amount of activities one can pursue in the event of alone time; the key is knowing yourself well enough to find which are beneficial for you.

Life is best experienced at a balance — neither all social nor all alone time would yield the most positive results. College students grapple with a tricky situation. Living, studying, and hanging out with peers is a dangerously enjoyable cycle. The moments of calm amidst the exciting tumult are those that are most loathed but carry hefty importance.

You can't connect with others if you lack the sense of self necessary to relate with them. As counterintuitive as it sounds, time alone may be the harbinger of an improved social life.

Cover Image Credit: Nikki Zielinski

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10 More Instances When Midwesterners Exclaim, 'Ope!'

There is never an instance too big or too small where 'ope' can't describe your emotions.

I am unsure how the word came about and it blows my mind that it seems to just be a midwestern state thing, but "ope" can almost always be the go-to word in any situation.

Below are just a few instances that it might be exclaimed.

1. Pushing a door that is a pull.

"Ope! That is a pull!"

2. Accidentally handing the check-in person at the gym the wrong ID as opposed to your gym ID.

"Ope! This is awkward, wrong ID!"

3. Feeling a raindrop.

"Ope! It is raining!"

4. Sipping on something too hot and causing your tongue to burn.

"Ope! That is one HOT drink!"

5. Dropping change being given back to you at the store.

"Ope! My hands are so slippery."

6. Accidentally bumping into your dog.

"Ope! I am so sorry, doggo, let me pet you."

7. When the Cubs win the World Series after so long.

"Ope! Did not ever see that one coming!"

8. Driving and hitting the curb.

"Ope! That was not supposed to happen!"

9. When you send a message to someone that was not for them.

"Ope, my cat must have ran over my keyboard!"

10. When your boyfriend's birthday gift to you is not something you like and cannot be returned.

"Ope ... this is just ope."

Cover Image Credit: Kirsten Ocwieja

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