Life Through The Lens

Life Through The Lens

How can we expect anything more than skin-deep people in a society so focused on pictures of the surface?

Get your phone out and ready, because life is happening all around you and, if you're not careful, you might miss the opportunity to catch that perfect Instagram post.

Hold your camera in front of your face every second of every day. Don’t ever let yourself be caught off guard, and be prepared to document everything. Save it for prosperity. When you get the chance, take pictures of that sunset off in the distance, video the band at the concert, and take a selfie with the famous actor. By capturing these moments you can surely live in them for forever. Any time you please, you can look back and reflect on all your amazing adventures.

Take a minute now to scroll through your camera roll and admire the precious pictures you so whole heartedly worked for. Do you remember? Do you feel that same excitement? Can you hear your laughter? Can you recall the joy?

No. You can’t, and it’s OK to admit it. The truth is, in your fight to capture the moment perfectly, you forgot to actually live it. If you can honestly say that some portion of those memories did not involve how you had to fidget with your camera beforehand, the urgency to snap the picture on time, the search for the right lighting, the time spent deliberating over the filter, and the number of likes you received, then props to you.

For the rest of you, you’re getting no judgement here. I understand that getting caught up in all of that happens and it is the society we live in. With the new (in terms of history, but maybe not in terms of our lifetime) necessity of having high resolution cameras at our fingertips, society has become mesmerized by the idea of pictures, and more specifically, sharing these pictures with our peers. As if we weren't enthralled with the wonders of a smartphone already, right? Where it previously was the hub for all the communication, planning, and google searching of our lives, we're now letting it be the only thing to experience them as well.

We have to stop and ask, what does life really look like through a lens? Well, it depends. Is your selfie game strong? Because if so, you’re probably considered conceited. Do you take a million pictures with your sorority sisters? You’re probably considered a brat. Are your pictures perfectly airbrushed, edited and captioned? Well, you’re probably a try-hard, or my personal favorite term: fake.

Truthfully, life through the lens is a judgmental one full of envy and hate. We spend a good amount of our time so focused on the lives that others are trying to portray through their 8-megapixel “iSight” camera that we aren’t enjoying our own. In some even more severe cases, we allow ourselves to succumb to the ruse as well. More interested in the long post we can write on Facebook about a family trip or an awards ceremony than the event itself, we tend to find ourselves present in body and absent in mind, which brings me back to my point: Why are we allowing the drive to capture and share our lives mask the drive to enjoy them? Why are we more concerned with portraying that we had fun at the beach than actually having fun there? Why are we more concerned with having witty captions than actually having wit?

Another pearl of truth here, I don’t know. I don’t know why we make everything a competition and why it’s all so skin-deep, and odds are you don’t either. We’ll never know how we spiraled into this corrupt and crazy world, and we’ll never know who to fully blame.

What I do know is that we can end it just as swiftly as we started it. So maybe it’s time for some re-focusing instead of auto-focusing, and the first step is pretty easy. Stop worrying about living and live. Put the camera — and we all know I mean phone — down. Be aware of what's going on around you and document it mentally instead of socially. Forget about how it looks on the outside. Experience it on the inside. Appreciate the way it feels, and smells, and sounds in addition to the way it may appeal to our eyes and the eyes of others.

When you get the chance, admire that sunset off in the distance, listen to the band at the concert, and take a minute to talk with the famous actor. See life through the perspective of your eyes instead of the one in your camera. Maybe with this small step to quit concerning ourselves with acquiring tangible proof that we had a good time, we can actually have one. A camera roll full of perfect pictures and no memories is really just empty — and what good is that for anyone?

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.


Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.


This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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