Why my Dance Best Friends are my Sisters

My Dance Sisters are the Sisters I Never Had...

...But Always Needed

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Being a dancer has taught me so many valuable things: discipline, a healthy lifestyle, self-expression, confidence... just to name a few. That being said, I attribute most of these lessons learned to the girls who danced beside me through it all. And by through it all, I mean thirteen years - and counting. Having belonged to a small dance studio, the majority of the girls in my first class were the girls I struggled saying goodbye to in my last one. We were practically babies when we first stepped into the studio with our little ballet slippers, and really only there because our moms signed us up.

Nonetheless, as the years went on, we developed a passion together… and that forms a pretty special bond. Doing something you love, with other people who share that interest can form some incredible friendships; and I can speak to that, all these years later.


Maggie Lyons

The great thing about being part of an organization outside of school, is that you have the opportunity to meet a whole different group of people whom you otherwise wouldn't. Each Thursday night, I walked into the studio with girls from all different schools, towns, grades, and interests, to do something we love. It is so refreshing being with people who you can learn from and form a different relationship with than the people you see daily at school. Don't get me wrong, I love my school friends - some of them are my absolute favorite people - but I believe there is value in making friends with people in an environment you choose to be, rather than in one you were forced to.

Everyone wanted to be at the studio, because it was an escape - safe space where you could forget whatever is on your mind and immerse yourself in doing what you love, with people you love. Each day was just another day closer to the next Thursday. As we got older, weekly dance classes turned into long weekends spent at competitions, seven-hour rehearsals, and even working alongside by besties to teach first-grade classes - most of us incorporated dance as much as we could into our lives, and became besties through it. Oh, and many unforgettable memories made along the way - waking each other up at 5:00am in Boston to attempt to do each other's hair before convention, inside jokes about the girls who stole our doughnuts at our favorite competition, improving dances together when we forgot them on stage, swearing the studio is haunted because the music skipped… and infinitely more.

So, to my Thursday girlies, thank you… all twelve of you. Whether the hardest things in life at the time were worrying about my mom's health, or undergoing some pretty draining senior year drama, you guys were always there for me. I always knew if I needed anyone, all I needed to do was call. It was such a pleasure sharing the studio, the stage, and many (many) bobby pins with you. Who knew one tiny room with a mirror and a barre could create a lifelong friends - ones I grew up up with and consider family - sisters.


Maggie Lyons

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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Why I Love Having Haters

Who doesn't love a hater?

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With a colorful past of controversies, running my mouth, and criticism, I know haters better than most people. Haters gonna hate, right?

Well, some people take what haters say close to heart. Words hurt, especially when people are talking about you in a negative way, in person or through the internet. As much as I've hated haters as the next guy, there is one thing I have had to teach myself along the way. Love that you have haters. You might think I sound crazy, and I know I do. BUT just think, how does someone get haters? BY BREAKING THE STATUS QUO AND ATTEMPTING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I'm a pretty outspoken individual in case you haven't noticed already. From some articles that I have written, or words spoken on a podcast I formerly hosted. However, I will hold myself accountable because there were times I did cross the line in what was being said. But on the other hand, when I wasn't going too far, some of the haters were just hysterical.

A while back there was an Odyssey article I wrote titled "I am A Millennial and I Am Embarrassed of My Generation". When posted, I had a thread of about 300 comments saying that I am wrong, privileged and that I should go die. (Yes, my haters have gone as far as saying they are going to kill me for what I was saying.) While reading the threads, I couldn't help myself but laugh. I took these comments as a win because what I have done was making a difference in how people think. A lot of people agreed, and a lot of people disagreed. Someone even wrote a counter article against me telling me that I am a literal "piece of sh*t". Ha! That one might be my personal favorite.

From that article and so on I just kept writing about what I wanted to write about and creating what I wanted to create. I wasn't going to let some nobody tell me that I am "garbage". From working for what I have, standing up for myself, and not taking any more crap has accumulated some hateful followers. And in all honesty, I love it.

Don't go out of your way to get haters. Do what you have to do to better yourself and be successful. The haters will come, and that is just because they are jealous of you making a difference. Do your thing, love yourself, and let the haters hate.

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