10 Struggles Every Left-Handed Student Understands

10 Struggles Every Left-Handed Student Understands

Two words: Ink smudges.

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Most of the time, being left-handed is fun. It's a mostly benign characteristic that sets you apart from the crowd. But sometimes it's harder, and it's never harder than as a student.

1. Desks

Left-handed desks are few and far between. I've walked into a lecture hall of 200 seats before, where there wasn't one lefty desk. I asked an older student if there were any, and she just looked confused and suggested I sit at the table set up at the very back of the lecture hall. I had to choose between having to squint to see anything on the teacher's PowerPoint or sitting in a horribly uncomfortable angle.

2. Sitting next to people 

Sometimes the setup of a classroom requires close quarters. Few things are more annoying than having to constantly bump elbows with the righty sitting next to you.

3. Three-ring binders

Lefties are limited in their school supply choices. I can't abide constantly bumping into the rings on three-ring binders, so those are out of the picture. Oh, and don't get me started on the countless cute spiral notebooks I've had to pass up.

4. Ballpoint pens

Ballpoint pens rarely work for lefties, since you're pushing the pen instead of pulling it.

5. The comments

Am I left-handed? Yeah, what tipped you off?

6. Ink smudges

Being left-handed means dragging your hand across your writing, which means...endless ink smudges. They're far too tiresome to wash off, so just consider smudges a lefty accessory.

7. Pencil smudges

Even worse than ink smudges are pencil smudges, which accumulate even faster and rub off onto everything you brush.

8. Test-taking

Taking tests is hard enough, but lefties have even more to worry about. Is my hand smudging my writing too much? Is my teacher going to take points off for decreased legibility?

9. People seem to forget that lefties exist...

Lefties make up about ten percent of the population. Sure, it's a minority, but we're not unicorns.

10. ...but at least you have instant kinship with other lefties 

It's an easy conversation starter: "Hey, you're left-handed too!" Bam. Instant connection. Even if you never talk to each other again, through every ink smudge, three-ring binder, or righty's ridiculous comment, you know you stand together in lefty solidarity.

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4 Detrimental Effects Of Social Media

Social media can negatively affect your life in subtle, yet powerful ways.

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Most of us don't realize just how much time we spend on social media - we check our Facebook notifications the minute we open our eyes in the morning and scroll through our Instagram feeds as we fall asleep at night. The average social media user spends 2 hours and 22 minutes every day on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Youtube. We don't even spend this much time eating.

Those 15 extra minutes we spend on the toilet and those 20 extra minutes we spend in bed before getting up all add up to enormous amounts of time. 2 hours per day is 14 hours per week which is 728 hours per year. At $10 per hour, that's $7,280 worth of time that is completely wasted. Our lives are not being enriched by social media. Sure, it gives us something to do when we're bored, but it doesn't make us smarter, it doesn't make us happier, and it doesn't make us better people. Anything that's taking up this much of our time needs to be critically evaluated.

1. Destroyed Attention Spans

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Social media is fast. We quickly scroll through Instagram, barely reading any of the captions. We half-read some articles on Facebook that we find mildly interesting. We watch and reply to 10 second Snapchats at a rapid pace. This high-speed nature of social media conditions our minds to only pay attention for a few seconds at a time. The average attention span dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015, paralleling an opposite rise in social media use. Our brains constant exposure to new media at the touch of our fingertips makes it difficult for us to engage with meaningful content - like books, academic articles, and uninterrupted conversations.

2. The Comparison Loop

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What do we post post on social media? Engagements, weddings, college acceptance letters, birthday parties, vacations, and other highlights from our lives. We rarely post about the arguments we have with our spouses or the amount of schoolwork we're drowning in. When we see the highlights from other people's lives, we subconsciously compare our lives to theirs. We all have highs and we all have lows - it's just part of life. Social media creates a comparison loop in our minds by encouraging us to constantly compare our lows to other people's highs.

3. Missing Moments

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Have you been to a concert lately? If so, I'm sure you've noticed that almost everyone watches the concert through their screens. People spend hundreds of dollars to attend a live event, only to watch it on their phones and post it to social media. I see the same thing with parents at their kids' music and sports events. Parents spend so much time recording the perfect video to post to Facebook, but spend so little time actually appreciating their kids' accomplishments. Social media can create pressure to constantly document the highlights of our lives. It makes us miss moments that are truly important.

4. Procrastination

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I'm sure we've all laid in bed knowing that we have something important to get done, but we chose to scroll through social media for another hour before finally getting up. Social media perpetuates procrastination by creating something instant and engaging to occupy our minds with. It's so easy to tell ourselves "just five more minutes" and then realize that it's been half an hour. We, as a social-media-using society, like to think of ourselves as always busy and having no time. The 2 hours and 22 minutes per day statistic would argue otherwise. We make ourselves busy by occupying our time with meaningless scrolling. The only way to limit the harmful effects of social media is by acknowledging that they exist.

The purpose of this article isn't to push you to delete all your social media accounts. It should, however, encourage you to critically evaluate your social media use. Even if you're not wasting over two hours on it every day, are you wasting one? If something isn't adding value to your life, should you even be using it? These are questions for each of us to consider on our own.

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Posting About Something On Social Media Isn't Going To Change The Problem, Its Time To Step Up

Use your voice, not your keyboard.

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Often times when we hear about something that happened we always go to social media. We try and see who else posted about a certain issue. We try and find a post and put it on our story. But why? Is it to show people you care? Is it for views? Or is it to show people that you noticed something that they didn't?

Silence has a volume. A tweet I saw the other day. Many people agree to this and many people have debates over what it actually means. So let me ask you: What is your purpose?" Is your purpose to post for views? Is your purpose to spread awareness? Or is your purpose to be along those who found something to talk about?

Are you just posting about an event and walking away? Or are you thinking about how to activity talk about an issue and raise awareness and go and speak out against it? See that's the question that's going to have you thinking. How easy is it to just tweet about an event that occurred to seem like you care but never step up for what is right.

We often hold this fear of "If I step up I will be targeted" or if I step up I don't want to be viewed as what I am not. Why all these excuses? Why hold yourself from changing the world or changing the way a certain issue is taken care of?

Why always command the opinion of people over every decision you make? Posting on social media about a cause will do nothing but show your understanding of an event. You might argue the purpose of posting over a cause. But the harsh reality is the post is nothing but a post.

Will a post speak out against a cause? Will a post step up against discrimination? What about the words you type on the caption? People will read it and swipe. Will people really take the time to know the exact story? No, because we live in a day and age where the media shows us what they want us to see and doesn't show us any more than that.

Social media is a platform where its really easy to manipulate people in either telling the truth or simply lying. You never know the intentions of a person behind the screen so why even try to argue with such a person about a cause?

If you really want to stand up to issues and make a real change its time to step up. Use your voice, not your keyboard. Start advocating for what is right or at least what is morally right in your perspective.

Don't wait on your post to make a difference. Make the difference within your voice. Make your voice heard and if it gets shut down continue to raise your voice for what is right.

If you want to make a change I urge you to start within a class setting and then start going out of your way and speaking to different organizations and people about what you feel is justice and what you feel is unjust. Waiting around for people to see your post isn't going to do much good.

If you care to make a change than do the steps necessary. Quit depending on social media to take care of all your needs. Whets most important in speaking out for what you believe is right is being passionate to raise awareness.

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