Why We Need To Keep Our Beaches Clean

Why We Need To Keep Our Beaches Clean

There are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean that is not only harming marine life, but us as well.
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Summer is here and that means endless days of sun and lounging around on the beach! As relaxing as the beach may be, there is one thing you must remember; take your trash off the beach before you leave!

Many people visit the beach every day during the summer season, but not as many people actually take care of the beach. Often times people just leave their trash on the beach thinking that someone else will come pick it up, but that trash eventually ends up in the ocean and is very harmful to all the creatures that live there.

It is estimated that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean today. While not all of this trash is from what is left on beaches, some of it is. In 2015, 7,360 volunteers in San Diego removed 197,788 pieces of trash, weighing 9,825 pounds, from their beaches. If that’s how much trash was removed from San Diego, imagine how much trash could be removed from all of our beaches?!

The amount of trash on our beaches and in our oceans is not just growing each year, but so is the amount of marine animals that are killed by our waste.

Fish, sea turtles, birds, and many other marine animals mistake our trash as food and end up dying because they cannot digest the plastic. According to various studies, at least 100 million marine animals are killed each year from plastic pollution alone.

In addition to marine animals being killed by our waste, we are being harmed as well. A variety of fish and other seafood have had increasing levels of mercury in them throughout the past few years. In some cases, the fish ingest these pollutants (such as mercury) from chemicals being dumped into the ocean, in other cases it has been found that the fish ingest these chemicals from the plastic debris they mistake as food. These pollutants in plastic, especially mercury, are very harmful to humans and just another reason why we should clean up our beaches and oceans.

We all love our sunshine filled days in the sand, but when the day is done, clean up. If we can eliminate the trash on our beaches we can help eliminate trash in our oceans.

Cover Image Credit: Silencelikethunder.com

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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You Can Still Get Homesick While Having The Time Of Your Life

Not every moment has to be fun and glamorous.

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We often look at college life and study abroad and backpacking trips on other people's Instagrams and see all the fun they're having and all the friends they're making. This is especially the case with study abroad, when these people seem to travel to a new place every weekend and live their absolute best lives. As a result, when we embark on these trips ourselves, there is often a disparity between expectation and reality that can majorly affect you both physically and mentally.

It's important to understand that even if you're meeting new people every day and exploring a new country every week and living out your dreams, there will still be days where you feel like you just want to go home to your group of friends and hangout at the local boba shops or sit with your family at home and just watch TV while fighting over the remote. While you're absorbing all these new and wonderful things around you while abroad, your body will yearn for something familiar, comfortable and secure. And that would be your life at home.

You may feel the need to just stay in your apartment for 2 days straight and binge watch YouTube or call every single one of your friends back home just to catch up. Or you may end up revisiting pictures from the past and salivate over the Korean BBQ trips you took back at home and get intense urges to eat food from home. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like this. In fact, a good way to help appease these feelings are to search for the cuisine that you're craving for in your city, and go out of your way to eat it just to get that familiarity back. I have found myself at Asian restaurants and bubble tea shops in Paris more often than I ever was at home, and while others may consider this as a waste of time and that I should be experiencing only French food, it's a really good way to appease those feelings of homesickness. Trust me, the moment you take that first bite of beef noodle soup, you'll feel much, much better.

This isn't to say that you should only stick to the familiar even in a new city. Explore as much as possible and be open to trying new things, but every once in a while, when those feelings of homesickness hit, don't feel bad about buying that boba or starting that 3-hour long video call. After all, you can't have the time of your life if you don't take care of your mental health in the process.

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