Live Your Life For You, Not Your Followers

Live Your Life For You, Not Your Followers

There is a whole world outside of that metal & glass box!
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You are flipping through your Snapchat stories and you see all your "friends" out to dinner without you. Your heart sinks and you immediately begin to feel resent: all because of a picture.

This is not atypical in today's society, with social media controlling the way we act, feel, think, and portray ourselves. Though I am a culprit of checking my apps repeatedly, I think that for the sanity of our generation; it is time to stop bullying on social media. Stop trying to make others feel excluded. Stop trying to make yourself appear clear-skinned, tanned, sparkling-toothed. What does this do for us in the end? While social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can be used to keep in touch with distant friends and family, that is hardly what it is used for.

It is used for "look how tan I am", "look where I am on vacation", "look at these people that I am with, aren't I pretty cool?" Not to mention, how draining it is to stay up late at night scrolling through endless feeds; feeling like your life simply just does not match up to the lives of those around you. You constantly feel the need to wear what everyone else is wearing and follow the trends just to get "likes". People now are so insensitive to the feelings of those around them, we have become numb to the to hurt we feel due to pictures and stories.

As college students, we are at a time in our lives where we are supposed to be exploring and establishing things like careers, friendships, relationships, internships, etc. Do we really have time to be wasting on posting every second and every experience of our lives on the internet for everyone else to envy over, or to sympathize with? We should be taking in experiences, and learning more about ourselves, not trying to appear a certain way; a way that society approves of. Sure, it is great to take pictures, but make them meaningful. At the end of the day, what are we going to do with the 983 photos in our camera roll? Most of those will never even make it to social media.

Let’s start lifting our eyes from the screens, and lowering them to the pages of a book. Try joining clubs, starting movements, making a change in your community. We are adults, and while half the time our lives are messy and stressful, our voices can be used for so much more than Snapchat stories and finsta captions (although I must admit, I am entertained at the amount of work and effort goes into making a humorous caption on a picture from a long night out).

Let's stop using our voices for immature things, and use them to advocate for change. Use our cameras for capturing moments and nature, not selfies and 9 minute long videos of concerts. Experience the world around you with no ulterior motives. Live life for YOU, not your followers; 30 years from now you will not regret it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Girl Who Mocked My Sorority

Sorority girls seem to be getting more and more backlash, but why?
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To The Girl Who Mocked My Sorority,

I buy my friends? Wow. First time I’ve ever gotten that, good one.

Do you feel better now? Was it all you hoped for?

I doubt it.

I’m not the “typical” sorority girl but I’ve also come to the realization that there isn’t a “typical” sorority girl. We are all different and believe it or not we are all just like you. The letters I wear on my chest don’t make me stupid. They don’t make me a bitch. They don’t make me spoiled. They don’t make me an alcoholic. They don’t make me fake. They don’t make me a slut. And they sure as heck don’t make me any better than you.

What my letters made me is better than I was before.

Some sorority stereotypes are inevitable. Yes, I love my Big. Yes, my Littles are my life. I’m guilty of being a master with a glue gun, and I’ll admit that new letter shirts make me giddy as a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.

But here’s what you don’t know — before I joined my sorority I couldn’t speak to a group of five people without turning red. Now I help run meetings in front of 45 women. Before, I would never have had the courage to go up to a group of girls and sit with them for lunch. Now I’m actually invited (crazy, I know). Before, I struggled with my grades. Now I have sisters in my major offering help. Before, my resume was empty. Now, it's full of leadership positions and community service hours. Before, I didn’t quite feel accepted. Now, I’m welcomed lovingly into an extremely diverse group. What’s so bad about all of that?

I get it. Sororities aren’t for everyone. I’ll even go as far to say that some of us sorority girls can be a little much. But what’s the point of dissing something that you don’t understand? Next time you’re about to make a cruel stereotypical joke, think about how you would feel if someone did that to you. Instead of making fun of sorority girls, sit down with one and find out why it’s so important to her.

Sincerely,

A Proud Sorority Girl

Cover Image Credit: Megan Jones

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If A Girl Is Too Drunk To Consent, That Is Rape, Not An Excuse For Men To Validate Their Actions

Sexual violence shouldn't be taken any less seriously just because alcohol was consumed.

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Sexual violence on college campuses is a prevalent issue. Most instances of sexual violence are done while either one or both of the individuals involved are intoxicated.

Let's be honest, all of us college students who drink, probably have had a day(s) or night(s) when we drink too much. Binge drinking is a college norm– even though it is dangerous, unhealthy, and an abuse of a substance– it is still a normalized activity within college culture.

However, just because drinking is a normalized deviant activity for a majority of college students, that doesn't mean the deviant behaviors done while intoxicated should be normalized too. Accepting responsibility for one's actions always needs to be done– whether it is sober or intoxicated.

When drinking, alcohol saturates your brain, impairing neurotransmitters and changing chemical reactions. This can influence us to act in ways we may or may not act when sober– however, there still have to be consequences for all of our actions.

For some reason though, when instances of sexual violence are reported– alcohol being involved is emphasized as an important variable that has a tendency to lessen the consequence of the interaction(s) against the perpetrator.

Whether it is questioning the validity of the reported interaction– or the reliability of the victim's statement– the fact that alcohol is involved plays a major role, when it really shouldn't.

Alcohol shouldn't be used as an excuse. Regardless of the individuals involved were intoxicated or not, unwanted advances– that requires a decision of: "Is this right or is this wrong?"– was made. The perpetrator chose to make that advance. Alcohol should never be an excuse for emotionally and/or physically harming someone else.

With that being said, it is never is okay to say that it is the victim's fault because they were "too this" or "too that". If a person of any identity is assaulted, harassed, stalked, or attacked, because they were drinking– it is the perpetrator's fault, not the victims.

I am so tired of listening to the news and hearing about the debate relating intoxication and the validity of actions committed while intoxicated.

If a person chooses to drive while intoxicated and is caught, they are given a DUI or OWI, and they have to deal with those consequences. Same should be the case if someone chooses to forcibly VIOLATE another human-being while drinking. Alcohol is still a variable in both situations, so what is the difference?

The fact is, when unwanted advances, harassment, assaults, or attacks are committed, there is harm done. This harm can create detrimental effects for the victim(s). These effects may follow he or she for the rest of their lives. It is unfair for the victim to have to live with the consequences, while the perpetrator may not have to, just because they were "too drunk" to know better.

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