Why Learning History Is Important Today

Why Learning History Is Important Today

History may not seem relevant, but it is important

Just this week, Bill Wurtz released a video called, “The history of the entire world, I guess,” a follow-up to the internet famous “History of Japan.” Filled with funny jingles combined with simple, yet effective animation, it summarized the world’s history since the Big Bang Theory to how the Earth and societies developed in twenty minutes.

In twenty minutes, another YouTuber made a video on a time-lapse of human civilization, since humans evolved out of Africa, documenting historical events and the world population along the way.

Among the visuals, great music, and commentary, one would know how the history of the world unfolded in distinct locations. It causes us to wonder about how we ended up here, in this very moment, reading this from behind our screens.

Therefore, I find a beauty in history—not in what happened or how many people died in the process, but in how people have innovated and fought and were like us today in emotions and dreams.

And a good reason to show to other people how, despite some people believing that they should’ve been born in a previous decade due to their art and culture, it may not be the best reason why they should live in that era. It’s not only because they don’t have the technology or the conveniences of today, but if they are not males of European descent who have a lot of money and influence, it would be significantly harder to live in.


In the International Studies major at UW, students have to take three introductory courses: States and Capitalism, which focuses on trends between the 13th century and 1914; the Making of the 21st Century, which focuses on world order between 1914 and today; and Cultural Interactions in the Modern World, which focuses on ideas over the ages. A common thread between all three of them is how processes, whether through trade, or war, or pillage, creates these societies we have today. As the International Studies major also involves politics, economics, and anthropology, the history part sometimes sounds dry, if not irrelevant.

Personally, I liked the courses, and got a lot out of them. Most prominently, I’ve learned about the various trading posts in Europe, the Middle East, and China in the 12-13th century, and how they set the stage for what would be ahead in the 15th and 16th centuries. On the other hand, the making of the 21st century featured “world order” as a pivot point, and therefore the news articles we read about the world closely relate to world order and how it could transform overnight.


What also makes history intriguing is how people would use it for their own aims, or to make a clear verdict to how people interpret events today. For example, in my Chinese class, we discussed about mainland China-Taiwan relations, and how any claims today are based out of who claimed it first. The Chinese argued it had Taiwan since the Three Kingdoms era, whereas the Taiwanese argue it was only at around 1885, when the Qing Dynasty absorbed it into China.

Recently, with FBI Director James Comey’s firing, discussions arose on whether it was “Nixonian,” or connective towards the Watergate scandal, potentially laying down the groundwork for impeachment. Others point out the lurch towards authoritarianism, which is not only historically for the modern day, but also emergent within the political science realm on how liberal democracies may not mark “the end of history."

Regardless on who is on the right side of history, and therefore worthy of the privilege of writing this for future generations, one cannot forget how important history is in determining our future. And if history is bound to repeat itself, how we can change it for the better.

Cover Image Credit: Marco Brambilla, "Evolution (Megaplex)," 2011

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.

Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.


I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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