Lessons Rock 'N Roll Taught Me

Lessons Rock 'N Roll Taught Me

Lessons Rock 'N Roll Taught Me

"Music is healing. It's a really powerful thing not to be taken lightly." -Joan Jett

As you might've already guessed from the article title, and for the four people that read my articles periodically, I love rock music. It's in my soul, my heart, the soundtrack to my weird and colorful life. It's helped me through some difficult times and has helped shaped me into who I am today.

1. Swearing Helps Emphasizes Your Point

Until I entered high school, I had a cleaner mouth and avoided cussing as much as possible. I would be the one who would react in complete shock if someone said a swear: "I can't believe you said that! You said the S word!" Enter high school when I started rebelling and listening to dark, emotional music. Fuck became a favorite word for me, and I thought it made me cool to say it, knowing it pissed my parents off (sorry dad). If I was upset, swear words would follow.

2. Unorthodox Sex Eduation

Age 16 is when I had my sexual awakening and I learned a lot about sex and nasty things through dirty rock songs. From lovemaking songs, to songs about stripping, and even songs about oral sex (thank you, Nickelback). Growing up in a conservative, clean household with no porn or normal exposure to sex, and my younger self having no boyfriends, sex was a foreign thing to me. Nickelback and My Darkest Days, in their dirty, sex loving ways, taught me how fun and liberating sex can be. I didn't have porno magazines, rock music was all the porn I needed.

3. Don't Be Ashamed of Your Pain

High school was a difficult, dark time of my life filled with trauma, bullying, and insecurity. Music was my medication. I was embarrassed by my past and my demons. Once I started the period of recovery, my brother gave me the album One X by Three Days Grace. It spoke to me on such deep, personal levels. Former lead singer Adam Gontier had struggled with a drug addiction and wrote the album when he was in rehab, so the album was a personal account of pain and recovery. It's albums like this that have the biggest impact.

4. Dying Your Hair is Liberating

It wasn't until the age of 19 when I finally started changing my hair. I added a purple streak to my blonde hair, and then more colors started gracing my hair. I even changed my signature blonde hair to dark brown at 22. I wish I was as brave as Hayley Williams. Go Hayley, you rainbow rocker.

5. Being Different Rocks

At 15, I wanted to be different, stand out. Listening to Evanescence, I wanted to be just like Amy Lee. I started wearing fingerless gloves, crazy jewelry, tutu's, anything to stand out. I loved it and I'm still thriving with my tutu's.

6. Sometimes You Need to Fight

Let's face it, rock music has the best fighting songs. For the days you can't hold it in anymore, you need to lash out, scream, throw a middle finger to the world. You might as well have a bitching soundtrack to your riots.

7. Redemption is Sweet

In these ups and downs of life, we have periods of wallowing and falling, and then periods of triumph and rising above the ashes. When you do stand back up, celebrate your moment of glory, scream it from the mountains; let the world know you've made it.

8. It's Okay to Let Loose

Life is short, and we should be here for both a good time and a long time. Sometimes we need nights of loud music, good friends, and mornings where we don't remember the night before.

9. Moving On Can Be Bittersweet and That's Okay

New chapters can be sweet, and sometimes it can be nerve-wracking. But life is constantly moving forward, and it can be tough to push on. Saying goodbye can be hard, but it can be good too. Make the journey worth the ride, make it the time of your life.

10. Follow Your Dreams

Dreams are our fuel, our motivations, the things we want most of all. Whether we're halfway there, leaving out today, or taking the midnight train, it's something we must all want and something we must push ourselves towards. If you can dream it, you can do it.

Cover Image Credit: Warble-Entertainment

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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