Jane Austen Taught Me How To Be 'An Accomplished Young Woman'

5 Things Jane Austen Taught Me About Becoming An Accomplished Young Woman

Quit waiting for Mr. Darcy and start being Elizabeth Bennet.

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Jane Austen has made her mark on history as the most epic love story writer there ever was. Her novels have blessed us with the dashing Mr. Knightley, a Pinterest board full of empire-waisted ballgowns, unrealistic expectations of formal events, and young Colin Firth in a flowy white shirt.

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As dreamy as these times (and men) were, most of the attributes so admired by Jane Austen can still be easily applied today. The protagonists of each Austen story share characteristics most women still strive for in modern times. From Elizabeth Bennet to Emma Woodhouse, each Austen heroine has a quality or two we can all strive to obtain.

1. Confidence in yourself

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It is no secret every Austen woman ends her tale with a fabulous "happily ever after" in the comfort of her new, financially stable, husband's home. Even so, few of her characters find their purpose through marriage. Neither Elizabeth Bennet nor Emma Woodhouse were looking for a spouse when their soulmates walked into their lives. Instead, they were confident with who they were, as well as who they were becoming. Elizabeth took pride (pun intended) in her independence and intelligence, just as Emma never apologized for her love of match-making and party planning.

2. Value in the friendships in your life

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It is easy for us to focus too eagerly on what a romance will bring into our lives and forget to enjoy the friendships already present. Austen's tales of sisterhood draw romance readers back into the reality of how beautiful friendship can be. From the frantic Bennet ladies to the loyal Dashwood sisters, these women band together through thick and thin, picking one another up when the other is down and making the best of the worst days. Had their stories taken place now, they likely would have bonded over "Bachelor" watch parties and sending "we love a smart sister" texts when she accomplishes something.

3. Knowledge of your self-worth

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To quote a meme my sister sent to me once, "don't let guys treat you like free salsa, you are guac baby girl." Did Elinor Dashwood even know what guacamole was? Probably not (bless her heart,) but she still knew she deserved better than to be left by a man for another woman. She did not run after Edward or beg him to love her more but waited for the day when he would come to his senses and choose to be with her. Ladies, you are the guac; do not settle for anyone who treats you like less than extra.

4. Patience in waiting for the best to come

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At the end of the day, there always seems to be something we are eager for waiting just around the corner. It could be graduation, an engagement, a career, or the twice-a-semester nacho bar in the dining hall next to your residence hall. In situations such as these, it is important to practice patience, just as Anne Eliot did when she waited for her old boyfriend to ask for her hand in marriage after seven years apart (which is like two decades in nineteenth-century years.) Rather than make quick decisions on their relationship, Anne waited for the right timing, greatly paying off for her relationship with Captain Wentworth, as well as readers everywhere who swoon every single time they read that last letter. Forget "half agony, half hope;" I am all heart-eyes.

5. Handling every situation with class and grace

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The ladies of Austen's worlds were not all dinner parties and "walks around the drawing room." These were realistic women, composed of similar frustrations and anxieties to the ones we face today. Did they let their temper get the best of them? Did they make rude comments about their next-door neighbors? Yes. (Didn't expect that answer, right?) Yes, these ladies made mistakes and poor choices, but they never ran away from their wrong-doings.

Instead, they owned up to them with poise, apologizing when necessary and occasionally admitting they were mistaken. I would be lying if I said Elizabeth Bennet's apology to Mr. Darcy did not bring my own sense of pride into question. She did not make a fool of herself in any way but matter-of-factly addressed the misunderstanding for what it was. Why make such a minor part of the novel - uh, I mean relationship - more problematic than necessary?

So maybe Mr. Knightley is not an exact replication of the men we see on campus every day, but we are not exactly Emma Woodhouses either. Why not make that change? Sure, the empire-waisted gowns were atrocious, but I see no reason why we cannot embody the characteristics of an Austenian woman in our ripped jeans and over-sized sweatshirts.

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13 Of The Best, Most Famous Poems Ever Written

Masterpieces by some of our favorites like as Shakespeare, John Donne, and Homer.
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Some of us read poetry for an eager and fast escape from this world. On the other hand, some of us read poetry solely to share it with the ones we love. There are miracles on paper that can easily be forgotten about if we let them be. The following poems are written by some of our favorites such as Shakespeare, John Donne, Homer, and more. It is clear why these have become some of the most famous and unforgettable poems ever written. So grab a pen, and interpret these poems in your own, unique way.

1. “Go and Catch a Falling Star” - John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,

Get with child a mandrake root,

Tell me where all past years are,

Or who cleft the devil's foot,

Teach me to hear mermaids singing,

Or to keep off envy's stinging,

And find

What wind

Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be'st born to strange sights,

Things invisible to see,

Ride ten thousand days and nights,

Till age snow white hairs on thee,

Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,

All strange wonders that befell thee,

And swear,

No where

Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find'st one, let me know,

Such a pilgrimage were sweet;

Yet do not, I would not go,

Though at next door we might meet;

Though she were true, when you met her,

And last, till you write your letter,

Yet she

Will be

False, ere I come, to two, or three.

2. “Drinking Alone in the Moonlight” - Li Po

Beneath the blossoms with a pot of wine,

No friends at hand, so I poured alone;

I raised my cup to invite the moon,

Turned to my shadow, and we became three.

Now the moon had never learned about drinking,

And my shadow had merely followed my form,

But I quickly made friends with the moon and my shadow;

To find pleasure in life, make the most of the spring.

Whenever I sang, the moon swayed with me;

Whenever I danced, my shadow went wild.

Drinking, we shared our enjoyment together;

Drunk, then each went off on his own.

But forever agreed on dispassionate revels,

We promised to meet in the far Milky Way.

3. “Sonnet 18” - William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

4. “The World Is Too Much with Us” - William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

5. “She Walks in Beauty” - Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

6. “How Do I Love Thee?”- Elizabeth Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,












I shall but love thee better after death.

7. “ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” -Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

8. The Jabberwocky” - Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;

Long time the manxome foe he sought—

So rested he by the Tumtum tree

And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

9. “Tears Fall in My Heart” - Paul Verlaine

Tears fall in my heart

Rain falls on the town;

what is this numb hurt

that enters my heart?

Ah,the soft sound of rain

on roofs, on the ground!

To a dulled heart they came,

ah, the song of the rain!

Tears without reason

in the disheartened heart.

What? no trace of treason?

This grief's without reason.

It's far the worst pain

to never know why

without love or disdain

my heart has such pain!

10. “We Wear the Mask” - Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

11. “The Panther” - Rainer Maria Rilke

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,

has grown so weary that it cannot hold

anything else. It seems to him there are

a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over,

the movement of his powerful soft strides

is like a ritual dance around a center

in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupils

lifts, quietly--. An image enters in,

rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,

plunges into the heart and is gone.

12. “Sea Fever” - John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

13. "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight" -Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

















Save these poems for your next coffee shop date or solitude moment. You might be surprised at how much you can find yourself in a poem.

Cover Image Credit: Thought Catalog

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These 13 Books Series Made Me Decide To Become A Writer

You bookworms know the one's I'm talking about.

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For those of you who don't know me, I'm a soon to be college graduate with a degree in Creative Writing. You may be wondering, "So what school is she planning to teach at?" Surprise surprise: I won't be.

The amount of public knowledge about the publishing business is infinitesimally small, and I was among the ignorant masses, even as an aspiring publishing professional. It took one really good class and a wonderfully experienced professor to open my eyes to how the life of a writer realistically should look.

I was seduced into changing my major from sensible Psychology/pre-Law to pursuing the dream of 12-year old bookworm me to realize what it would mean to grow up to become an author.

I won't lie, it's not as glamorous as you think. I've spent the last couple of semesters trying to rebuild my future after the hope of becoming a J.K. Rowling or Stephen King shattered around me (amidst rejection letters and brutal workshops).

It took a lot to get me back on track and to reconcile that I didn't choose to be a writer because of six-figure advances or movie deals. (Yes, those are still goals of mine, but further back in the ideal timeline that I thought).

I have only one thing to thank for resurrecting my passion for the literary community: books. It may sound simple, but it was the summer days under the sun where I soaked in the rays reflecting off the pages of a book that reminded me why I made the choice I did. I think there's a little hopeless romantic, passionate protagonist, blazing hero, or lamenting vigilante in all of us, and books bring out the true essence of every reader in a way that's sometimes shocking.

With a statement like that, you may not be surprised by the predominantly genre YA books in the list that follows, but I think every kid should start with series like these. The most invaluable resource a book can give you is other readers to interact with.

The series that I credit for inspiring me to pursue this tenuous career are as follows:

1. "Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”

http://rickriordan.com/series/percy-jackson-and-the-olympians/

2. "The Hunger Games.”

http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/works.htm

4. "Harry Potter.”

https://www.jkrowling.com/writing/

5. "Septimus Heap.”

https://www.septimusheap.com/books/

6. "The Immortals.”

http://www.alysonnoel.com/books.php

8. "Warrior Cats.”

https://warriorcats.com/books

10. "Hush, Hush Saga.”

https://www.beccafitzpatrick.com

11. "The Unwind Dystology.”

http://www.storyman.com/books/

13. "The Shiver Trilogy.”

https://maggiestiefvater.com/novels/

Whether these books fall into the realm of literary fiction or not is unquestionable: no. But I believe every reader needs to understand the reaches of the imagination and the bounds of storytelling before they try to break all those rules in the name of literature. My bookshelf still houses many, if not all, of these series and I will always be grateful to their authors for showing me what it means to be a writer.

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