Look At The Little Things

Look At The Little Things

Don't be afraid to take the time to notice.
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Being busy and a college student usually means that you are running from class to meetings and then to events and then barely get enough sleep. Time flies when you’re busy and young. Each moment has a task to do and place to be where you have to move again once you’ve barely been settled. As hectic as everything might be in your daily life, don’t forget to look at the little things in your life that make your life worth living.

The familiar phrase “stop to smell the roses” still rings true each day. Rushing around continuously keeps you from seeing the opportunities to recognize the beauty around you or even the people around you. You’re never too busy to take the time to talk to your family or friends. I know I need to call my parents at least every other day for advice or even to just give them an update on my life.

Being in Charleston specifically, I always find myself walking slower in the pretty parts of the city or taking the time to go on a walk to explore somewhere I haven’t been yet. Having that moment is such a special thing, where you get to see the simple features that just make the moment so amazing.

Usually when I look for the little things in my life, I find so much more than I was expecting. You never really know how much the little things affect you until you look at them closer. I never realized how much I missed seeing my twin brother on a day to day basis until I’m actually near him again and we catch up. But being around him after a long time, I notice so much more of the little things about him that makes him a great brother.

Noticing the joy that comes from the little things in your life will give you the best experience that you can have in your everyday life. Don’t let the little things go unnoticed or ignored, they’re way too important to be pushed off to the side. Happiness starts with the smallest of things and actions, so seek them out and make your own. Be the little joy in someone’s day or go out of your way to emphasize the little things. You’ll feel so much better when you do.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.
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It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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'13 Reasons Why' Is A Show That NEEDS To Be Talked About More

It brings light on issues that so many people avoid, which is exactly why it needs to be talked about.
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There aren’t a lot of shows out there that show the “ugly,” raw, real side of things like sexual assault, depression, suicide, drug use and violence.

This may be because these things are hard to talk about, so not talking about them is a solution, which isn’t ideal.

Both seasons of "13 Reasons Why" on Netflix cover these topics, and despite the backlash, it has gotten, I fully believe it is a show that needs to be seen and talked about more often.

Because of season one, there are trigger warnings in some of the episodes in season two. These warnings advise of depictions of drug use, sexual assault and more. There are even excerpts of the cast talking at the end of each one with a website to go to if you or someone you know needs help.

Sexual assault is one of the bigger pictures that is touched upon in this series, from both female and male perspectives without giving anything away. This is SO important, especially including an incident involving a male because it shows that sexual assault can affect everyone, regardless of who you are.

Even though none of the characters came right out and said they were struggling with mental illnesses, many of the signs and symptoms are there.

I see it way too often on social media and in some movies and television shows; depression and other mental illnesses are romanticized and make it seem as if these issues are not a big deal, but the truth is, they are.

This show explores the side of mental illnesses that aren’t often seen, and even though it can be hard to watch, it needs to be shown in order for us to start a conversation about it. By talking about it, it can help end the stigma that surrounds mental health and hopefully encourages people to get the help they need.

By showing Hannah’s suicide scene at the end of season one, it’s understandable that it may be triggering to those who have survived suicide attempts, but again, it’s important and serves as a conversation starter for those who may not know how to talk about it or their feelings.

It also touches base on not only how Hannah herself feels, but how others are affected by her suicide. We see how Clay, Jessica, Alex and so many other characters deal with the loss, mostly in season two, but we also see how her parents are handling it.

I think diving deeper into the feelings of others after a loved one has committed suicide is important and can show that one’s decision to end their life may end their pain, but passes it onto their loved ones. It’s hopefully an eye-opener to those who are struggling and shows that their loved ones will be left with pain and questions that may never get answered, just like some of the characters in the show.

Again, without giving anything away to anyone who’s yet to see the second season, there are some instances of drug use which can also be a trigger for anyone who may be recovering or comes from a family that uses drugs.

"13 Reasons Why" shows a side of drug use that is frightening, nauseating and heartbreaking all at once with the intention to show what can happen if you fall into a life of drugs. It also shows that no matter how long you are clean, you relapse sometimes, which is all apart of recovery.

It’s no secret that violence plays a big part in this show - and a lot of stems from anger, nervousness and many other emotions and events throughout the show. A lot of times there are consequences that follow these instances of violence and can show that your actions can come back to bite you.

If you are sensitive to the subjects mentioned above, then "13 Reasons Why" may not be ideal for you to view alone, but if you want to see how these subjects are portrayed, I highly recommend watching it with a trusted friend, parent or adult.

I’ve seen way too many times where these subjects were not talked about because it’s hard to, because people don’t know what to say or people can’t find the words to say, and that’s not okay anymore.

There is a negative stigma surrounding all of these issues that need to be broken, and it starts with "13 Reasons Why."

It’s ok not to be ok. It’s ok to be hurt, sad and angry. There are people out there who love you, care about you and want you to get the help you need.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone you trust or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline is available 24 hours a day. Your call will remain confidential.

Cover Image Credit: 13 Reasons Why Official Instagram

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