To The Girl I Used To Be

To The Girl I Used To Be

Look at you now, look how far you've come.

Have you ever looked back on your life and realized how much you have changed throughout the years? With new opportunities and blossoming friendships around every turn, it's amazing to see how far you've come, yet exciting to think about how far you have to go.

Recently, I had written an article that caused a tremendous amount of controversy which brought with it hatred and spiteful comments from people across the world, but also an immense amount of love and support from family members and friends who were concerned for my well-being. Because of this, I was able to look back on my life and realize how far I truly have come throughout the years.

Looking back on my life, I reminisced on the shy, quiet freshman who had stepped through the doors of her high school for the very first time. I had come from a small private school and yearned to be accepted and "fit in" with the socialites of the school. As the days, months, and years went on, I had grown to find my place within the walls of the high school. I had found my close friend group and did what was expected of me. I had let other people's thoughts and perceptions of my character run my life. I had definitely "fit in", but I wasn't always true to myself and what I believed. However, I didn't really realize that until now looking back at the girl I used to be.

Once college rolled around, I wasn't sure where I "fit in". College is an amazing place full of wonderful opportunities where people finally learn to be who they are and accept themselves. I discovered my passions, developed amazing friendships, and continuously became more confident in myself. I have joined organizations that I love including Alternative Breaks and Phi Sigma Sigma where I have learned countless lessons in leadership, service, and the advancement of womanhood. But more importantly, I have found my voice. The Odyssey has provided me with so much confidence in myself and passion for what I do and I could not be more proud of the work I have put forth as a writer.

After my article went viral and hateful words were stated about my character, I realized how strong I was. My family and friends kept routinely checking in on me to make sure I was okay, but they didn't need too. I have never felt more empowered in my life than I have at this very moment. I feel as if I could move mountains with my words and I'm so proud of the woman I have become: strong, confident, independent, passionate, motivated, bold, hard working, and most importantly, my own person. I can guarantee you, if you truly know me, you haven't met a soul like me, and that in itself is pretty special.

As a college sophomore finishing up in her second semester, I am beyond proud to look back and realize how far I have come and I'm so excited to see where these paths I'm paving will lead me to next. I have always said I wanted to make an impact on this world, but never in my wildest dreams, did I imagine it to be this big.

As for you, I encourage each and every one of you to dig deep and find your voice. It's such an amazing and empowering feeling, I can promise you that.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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My Grandmother Was Right, 'There Is Never A Reason To Be Bored'

In our world with endless stimulation because of our constant technology use, it is hard for us to be content with doing nothing.


"I'm bored," were the two words that, while I was growing up, would absolutely pierce the ears of my grandmother. "There is no reason for you to be bored!" Meme would snap back. Annoyed at the time with her comment, my youthful mind could not wrap around the concept of not being bored. If I didn't have a game to play, or a craft to make, or a show to watch, how could she not understand that I was indeed, bored?

Luckily, my childhood just barely missed the wave of entertainment on a portable rectangular screen. I liked to play, read, create, etc. I think that because of the technological advancements that became popular in my preteen years, I was able to adjust to that in a different way than I would have if I had been indulged in it at an earlier age. To this day, however, I still find myself feeling "bored," most likely because of this new adapted culture of constant stimulation that we have.

Sometimes I feel like all I ever do are things I have to do.

Scrolling through social media can even feel like a chore to me. When I find myself not feeling content with the state of entertainment I'm in, I have flashbacks to my childhood of the words of my grandmother. When my sister and I complained to her about being bored, my Meme would become somewhat upset, but more so influential. She always pushed the act of reading a book to us two Disney Channel advocates- we never really liked the idea of turning off "That's So Raven" or "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody."

Her insight, though, is useful in my life today. Sometimes it is good to get a break from technology.

There is so much life to live, see, and do outside of our screens. In addition, there is no reason to be bored. I would go to say that our love for technology is actually making this state of mind so prevalent in our culture. We expect to be constantly entertained and our minds just cannot understand the idea of doing "nothing." It is so easy for us to complain about it, too.

There are so many places to go, people to see, things to do, but sometimes, it is necessary to just be still (check Psalm 46:10). Sometimes it is good to ignore the "thank you, next" feeling we get in our everyday life with entertainment. We want, so much, to go onto the next thing.

When you find yourself feeling bored, or just not content with where you are or who you're with or what you are doing, the best thing to do may just be to take a deep breath- it is okay to not always be doing the most fun or cool thing, which is hard because of the jealousy and fear of missing out that social media causes us. Most importantly - there is truly never a reason to be bored.

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