5 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

5 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

2018 has a lot in store for me!
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2017 was a rough year for many people. It didn't particularly hold anything exciting for me outside of finally finding a wedding venue and setting a date. However, 2018 is a year with many new amazing and exciting opportunities and events taking place in my life. The following is a simple list and explanation of what I am looking forward to in the New Year.

1. My Wedding and All The Planning

Of course, I am most excited about my wedding.My fiance and I first met back in 2015. We met for our first official date in Freeport, Maine, a small town known for being the home of L.L. Bean and for being a major tourist attraction in our state. However, our first date was April 2 and it was still cold. Many of the stores in the town closed early(5pm!) and we left wandering the streets. In 2016, on my birthday I might add, we became engaged. And finally in June of 2018 I will get to marry my best friend. I can't wait to walk down the aisle and say my "I do" to the love of my life.

2. A New Apartment

The apartment I'm in currently isn't terrible per say, but rather too expensive for how small it is. Tucked right on Us Route 1 at times trying to get anywhere can be an annoying task. Especially during rush hour, the summer, any Holiday weekend and bad weather. With a new apartment gives us an opportunity to express ourselves as we currently cannot put anything up on our walls. We'd like a two bedroom so we have some space for a game room. Mostly because I'd like to watch tv when he plays video games sometimes :')

3. Our Honeymoon

While we don't have anything 100% set in stone, it is my hopes that our honeymoon will land us in Florida. I have never been and would love to experience the area. My heart is set on getting to both Universal Studios and Seaworld. At first, I thought about Disney, but decided I would rather wait until we have children one day so it can be an amazing family experience. I am thankful for family who has offered us their timeshare(once again...) to be able to go to a resort, spend some time on the beach and just some time with my new husband.

4. A New Job

Yes, I am thankful that I currently have a job that has allowed me to do an internship and to attend school with little to no arguing or annoyance. However, this same job is also a job that is continuously causing me to lose hours and thus lose money. My time at my internship has really created so many new and amazing experiences for me. I've learned how to deal with the state when it comes to child support money, Mainecare, and food stamps. I've gotten my lifelong LOCUS rater number to be able to determine what level of care is needed for a client. I have met some of the most intelligent and friendly people in the mental health field. While it is not set in stone that I will be getting a job at Catholic Charities after my internship, I have received encouragement from my supervisor, many of my co-workers and even the Chief Clinical Officer of the company.

5. Finishing My Second Year Of Graduate School

Going on the part- time track was a way to save myself some money. However, I do really wish my second year was my final year. Being in school, having an internship, trying to work and trying to plan a wedding has been a major headache all along. It will be nice to have a couple months off where I just have to work. It'll be nice to not be stuck on campus until 7 at night twice a week. It will be nice not to have to worry that I'll look at my bank account and not be able to pay for rent or gas or bills. I am fortunate to be in graduate school, but it's expensive and it takes a lot of energy.

Cover Image Credit: The Depanneur

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chafing. So much chafing.

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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming, and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts-shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chafing. So much chafing.

No better feeling than four minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's No. 1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swimsuit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chafing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one-size-fits-all" for plus-size women. As if there's just one way to be plus-size. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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6 Ways To Start Pre-Gaming Your Summer Plans Today

A few ways to help you prepare for summer.

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Summer is coming sooner rather than later and we all need to get ready for it.

1. Start making trip plans now.

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If you are wanting to do a getaway over the summer, I would suggest starting to plan for the trip now. The closer you get to the time in which you want to go, the higher the prices of plane tickets and rooms go up. Also planning ahead gives you the chance to pinpoint exactly how you want to spend your trip and not waste your time. Nothing is worse than going on a trip and being stuck at the hotel the whole time because you have no idea what is our there for you to do.

2. Buy sunscreen.

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Do you really want to end up like her? I don't think so. Even if you are the type of person with the mentality that you will only be out in the sun for a short period of time, it doesn't matter. We all need sunscreen. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and we need to take care of it. Think of it this way, do you want to have sunspots when you're old? Or would you rather maintain your youthful appearance for as long as you can?

3. Find a new hobby.

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Let's be honest here for a minute, the majority of us do absolutely nothing over summer break and feel no guilt for it. I have done this several times over the years, and I now look back and realize all the time I wasted not learning or doing something new. If you are working full-time, have summer school, or a summer internship this does not apply to you unless you have the time to do so.

For the rest of y'all, get up and learn something. Learn how to knit. Take a kickboxing class. Try out new hiking places. Start learning another language, or continue practicing the one you learned in school at places where the language is commonly used. Get outside of your comfort zone!

4. De-stress and dispose.

You are so close to summer sometimes it stresses you out trying to get everything done. You need to realize that summer isn't going anywhere and you will get there eventually. Take a deep breathe and keep going. What I like to do is start throwing out the paperwork from this semester that I know I will never use again, don't want, and papers that I don't plan on using for the upcoming final. Disposing of those papers helps me visualize that the semester is almost over.

5. Buy a new swimsuit.

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Before you go out and buy a bunch of new swimsuits, try your old ones on first and see if they fit. Sometimes you just need a new top to match the bottoms that you already have or vice versa. Also, if you know that you are not going to buy a swimsuit for the pool or beach several times throughout the summer, don't waste your money on a new swimsuit. The one from last year that you never wore will do just fine.

Save Money

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The simplest way to understand it is no saving = no money to spend during summer. If you have all kinds of different trips and things you want to do that cost a fee, it would be wise to start saving up for all of your other expenses that you would normally have to pay per month like insurance, phone, or a car payment. I will be in the car payment category since I just bought a new one a few weeks ago.

That being said, my first car payment is due the week I am in New York. I don't want my New York money to be used for a car payment, so I've been taking extra shifts at work to compensate. I have also started going through my closet and selling the items I don't want anymore. There are several resale stores and places online for you to sell your unwanted clothes and other items to put some extra cash in your pocket.

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