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It's not as easy as it sounds.
While the idea of free time without a stressful job or an abundance of schoolwork looming over your head may sound like a dream, it can be a nightmare at times. Having a couple of days to decompress is needed for a healthy mind and body. But when too many days go by, it can cause a downward spiral of thoughts and feelings.
As a recent jobless graduate, I was ecstatic to be free from responsibility and take a break from my normal life. That was until I realized just how responsible I had been and needed to be to continue being self-sustained. I learned a few things in this month of unemployment that encouraged me to find a job as soon as possible.
PRO: More time for self care.Photo by Taisiia Stupak on Unsplash
As we all know, caring for yourself is beneficial for your mind and body alike. Sleeping in a bit longer than usual, pampering yourself in the bath/shower, and buying small treats here and there can be a positive influence. With a break from responsibility, you become solely focused on yourself.
CON: More time to overthink.Photo by Stephan Louis on Unsplash
There are twenty-four hours in a day and seven hundred twenty hours in an average month. You think about situations and events even in your dreams. All those hours are spent thinking about things and delving deeper into them. It turns into an endless abyss of thoughts. Definitely not favorable in a time of no to low stress.
PRO: More time to spend with family and friends.Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash
Family and friends are important rocks in your life that will be there at all times. It's important to cherish them and make memories. Whether it's out shopping, out to dinner or just lounging around the house, all options pose a chance to spend time together.
CON: More time to get into trouble.Photo by Michael Förtsch on Unsplash
Having freedom allows you to go after what sounds exciting without fully thinking through the actions or consequences. It can lead you down the wrong path even when things are going right.
In every aspect of life, there is always a limit to how much of that thing is actually necessary. After having such a large amount of time to spare, I realized I need to keep busy in order to keep my life on track. That may not be the case for everyone. Some individuals may find they need a longer period of time to function. It's all about finding what works for you.
You can be yourself without having to explain yourself, because she accepts you and loves you just the way you are.
Have you ever found that one person in your life who you literally could not live without? You can talk to her about anything. She's the only person who will look you straight in the eyes and say, "You're stupid." You two can ride around or sit at your house for hours and always have something to talk about. You can be yourself without having to explain yourself because she accepts you and loves you just the way you are.
Well, if you have found someone like this, you have found a best friend for LIFE. I have a few girls I am blessed to call "best friends." National Best Friend Day was just a few days ago, so I decided to write about those girls who keep me sane.
1. You know me better than I know myself.
2. You make yourself at home the minute you walk into my house.
3. My parents treat you as if you are their child.
4. You laugh at my unfunny jokes to make me feel better.
5. You laugh at my funny jokes.
6. You know that I am weird about routines and do your best to help me "go with the flow."
7. You have been there for me since the day we met.
8. Regardless of getting into silly arguments, we always end up making a joke about them.
9. You take out your anger on me (vice versa), and you know when I've had a bad day.
10. You let me eat your food.
11. You buy me food when I accidentally forget my money.
12. You don't know this, but I sneak a fry off your plate when you're not looking.
13. You always let me taste your coffee that has creamer because you know I'm sketchy about creamer in mine.
14. You're my person.
15. You let me vent to you about my chaotic life.
16. You always want what is best for me, even if that means my heart will be broken.
17. You let me cry and always welcome me with loving arms.
18. Then you tell me to get my life together because I'm being stupid about crying over a boy.
19. A boy will never take your place.
20. You will always be my number 1 gal.
21. Nobody compares to you.
22. You are my sister that God so graciously placed in my life.
23. We often get asked if we are sisters.
24. You are the truest friend I have ever had, and I know you are my soul sister.
25. Sometimes you make me want to scream.
26. But then you want to scream at me.
27. When we scream at each other, we end up laughing.
28. You accept me in my sweatpants and no makeup.
29. You let me know when I look awful, but let me look that way anyways.
30. You are always honest with me which is sometimes annoying, but it is always a blessing in the long-run.
31. You are always down for Mexican, Wendy's, or Chick-Fil-A, or ice cream.
32. You let me eat more than a full grown man, but never call me a fatty.
33. Then you give me your leftovers.
34. You love talking about boys and drama just as much as I do. But lol at our single life.
35. You always tell me that God has someone special for me.
36. You never cease to remind me to give people grace when they really need a slap in the face.
37. You are moody, but I'm okay with that because I am, too.
38. You go on walks with me.
39. You are my workout partner.
40. People always ask where you are when you aren't with me.
41. You're always up for watching Grey's with me.
42. You love lazy days just as much as I do.
43. We can ride in the car with complete silence without it being awkward.
44. We love jam sessions to old songs that bring back middle school memories.
45. We have so many memories and inside jokes that we could write a book.
46. We can bring up stories from 7th grade and remember them as if they happened yesterday.
47. We made it through "that stage" together.
48. You don't count when someone says, "Don't tell anybody."
49. You would beat up the guy who broke my heart in a heartbeat.
50. Then you would laugh at how stupid I was for dating him.
51. You always made jokes to help me get over relationships.
52. I still laugh at those jokes today.
53. You always made me laugh when I didn't want to smile.
54. You always know just what to say.
55. Sometimes your silence is the best answer.
56. You're my mother when my real one isn't present.
57. You tell me to calm down when I get overly excited about things.
58. You push me to be the best I can be, even when I fail.
59. You are always proud of my accomplishments.
60. You pray for me.
61. You've seen me at my darkest and never left my side.
62. You've encouraged me every day to remember that I am not who I was.
63. You bring out the best in me.
64. We can't go long without seeing each other.
65. Sometimes we act too much alike and it gets a bit freaky.
66. We complete each others sentences.
67. We say the same thing at the same time.
68. You are the one person I want to talk to when something exciting happens.
69. You are also the person I want to talk to after I have an awful day.
70. You are my constant.
71. You are my role model.
72. You make me feel at home when I am far away.
73. You help me grow in my relationship with Christ.
74. You are YOU!
I consider myself an extremely blessed individual. I mean, to put up with me is a job on its own, but to actually be my best friend through it all is something to be proud of. I could not be more thankful for the best friends I have in my life.
"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." -Proverbs 18:24
The temperature may not be very Autumn-like, but these playlists sure are.
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The leaves change, pumpkin spice everything hits the shelves (thank you, world!), the 13 Nights of Halloween on Freeform (formerly abcfamily) and the temperature drops. Well, the temperature is supposed to drop. Being in south Alabama, however, means that the temperature may be relatively low early in the mornings, but you're still going to suffer in the afternoon. So if the weather outside isn't getting you in the Autumn mood, maybe these Spotify playlists will help you slip into that wonderful, Autumn state of mind.
I don't know what it is about this playlist, but it always makes me feel like I should be burrito-ed up in a blanket, sipping a cup of coffee. It will definitely get you pumped for Autumn.
This playlist really gets you ready for Autumn. The acoustic tracks featured make you feel like you should be with your friends around a bonfire, looking at the stars.
This playlist makes me wish I had a pumpkin spice latte on hand immediately. I personally prefer listening to this one when I can curl up with one of my favorite books of poetry. It's so calming, and makes me wish the cooler weather could make its appearance sooner rather than later.
What's more fitting for Autumn than an Indie playlist? Honestly, I don't think there is.
5. Dreamy Fall
Honestly, the title says it all. The songs on this playlist soothe you and get you more ready for fall than you ever thought possible. Plus, Heartstrings by Leighton Meester is on this playlist. Could it get any better?
Okay, I know that the word 'hipster' being in this playlist may very well put some people off of it, but trust me, it's a great playlist. When you just need to get yourself in the Halloween mood, this is the playlist to do it.
In my opinion, there is no better place to be in the middle of Autumn than in your local coffee shop. Being surrounded by the smell of coffee and the crispness of the air wafting inside as people come and go are so calming, and really embody the feeling of fall for me. This playlist will put you right there, in your favorite coffeehouse in Autumn.
Though the temperature may not be enough to get you in the fall mood, these playlists are sure to do the job. So curl up in your bed, grab your favorite mug of coffee, and let these playlists get you ready for when the temperature does fall.
... Because life happens
As human beings, there are just some things that seem to bring us all together with the same sense of irritation. Here are a few of those annoying things that make my list. I'm sure at least some, if not most, of them make yours as well. If you can think of any more relatable annoyances that I've missed, feel free to comment on this article and let me know!
1. Realizing there's no more toilet paper when it's already too late.
...Happens to the best of us.
2. Making a cup of coffee in the morning and forgetting it in the car.
..This can turn the best of days into the worst.
3. Pushing doors that say pull.
...Come on, we've all done it
4. When you hear people chew.
...I imagine beating you over the head every time I hear you chomp down on that chip!
5. When it's really quiet in a room and you hear that one person breathing like they just ran a marathon.
...Or maybe you just ran up two flights of stairs to get to class, we'll never know.
6. Grabbing a chocolate chip cookie, only to realize it's actually oatmeal raisin.
...Unless you actually like oatmeal raisin, then it's a win-win.
7. Getting comfortable in bed and then realizing you forgot to pee/turn off the light.
...To deal or not to deal, that is the question.
8. That one aunt/uncle that just always gives you that creepy vibe.
...This can make family parties a dread.
9. When your teacher makes you buy a textbook that you never even crack open.
...Sure, next time I'll just hand you my money and you can toss it directly into the garbage!
10. Continuing to open and reopen the fridge until the food that you want magically makes its way in there.
...Maybe if I walk away and come back it will work.
11. Walking into a room and then automatically forgetting why you went in there.
...And having to leave the room in order to remember.
12. People that drive without using their blinker.
..Left, right, straight?! Where ya goin' pal??
13. When you have really slow wi-fi.
14. People who feel the need to scream into their phones as if the other person can't hear them.
...If you'd just speak into the phone like a regular human this would be a better experience for us all.
15. The world's obsession with the Kardashian/Jenner families.
...Still don't see what the hype is all about.
16. Advertisements before Youtube videos.
...When all you want to do is get ready while listening to Beyoncé!
17. When people read over your shoulder.
...This one is actually happening to me right now, hi :)
18. A-holes that park in the handicapped spots when they, in fact, not handicapped.
...One day they'll get all the tickets that they deserve.
19. People who cut in line.
...You gotta tell em how it is!
20. The LIRR/MTA
...If you're from NY, I know you can relate to this.
21. Being stuck behind someone who is walking painfully slow.
...I'm running you over in my mind.
22. When people smoke cigarettes right in front of the entrance to the building you have to walk into.
...Thank you for exhaling your smoke right into my face.
23. When boys think it's cool to treat girls like crap.
...Wasn't cool in elementary school, isn't cool now fellas.
24. Guys that still go to high school parties even though they've been out of high school for years.
...They're not laughing with you, they're laughing at you.
25. Celebrities that are obviously lip-syncing.
...Cough, Maria Carey, cough.
26. How you need a scissor to get the scissor out of its package.
27. When people text using that stupid "voice text" function.
...Please just text with your hands. I have absolutely no idea what you're trying to say.
28. Telling someone you can't hear them, so they use the same exact volume and just repeat what they said.
...Why are you like this???
29. When someone gets in the shower right as you were about to get in the shower.
...Yes, I've been laying in bed for 3 hours but I swear I was just about to get in there!
30. Saying "What?" for some reason, even though you heard what the person said.
...I really do not know why this happens.
31. When you're in a rush but the light is red.
...They just always seem to take longer when you have some place to be.
32. Cashiers putting your change down on the counter instead of in your hand.
...Hello, hi, my hand is right here!
33. The people that go up to order food to the cashier but are still continuing their phone conversation.
...This is just rude, and obnoxious, yet entirely too common.
34. That awkward time in the fall when it's freezing in the morning but stifling in the afternoon.
...Dress in layers people, layers!
35. Emailing your professor a long winded paragraph about a problem you are having and they email back, "Sure."
...I proofread that email about six times and all you say is "sure"??
36. Guys who put their car as their profile picture on Facebook.
...Are you a transformer?
37. Girls who have "X Years Young." in their Instagram bios.
38. Trying to find the beginning to a roll of tape.
...This simple task takes way longer than it should.
39. When people drive your car and adjust your mirrors/seat.
...Please don't touch, adjust yourself not my seat!
40. People that talk during the movie.
...No, I can't explain this part to you because I can't hear it as you're blabbing in my ear!
41. People that decide to engage in conversation right in the middle of the hallway/sidewalk.
...I think the middle of this crowded sidewalk is the best place to take random, unnecessary pictures of every single skyscraper in Times Square.
42. When someone says, "no offense," and then continues to say something offensive.
...Well, screw my feelings, right?
43. People that pop their significant others pimples.
...This will never be endearing.
44. Teacher's pets.
...No one likes you. The teachers don't like you, your classmates don't like you. Please stop.
45. Going to the bathroom and someone goes into the stall right next to you.
...Yes, boys, us girls have the same "skip a stall" rule too!
46. When someone leaves your room and doesn't shut the door.
...If the door was closed when you opened it, CLOSE IT!
47. Political debates between two people who know nothing about politics.
...Or political debates between anyone at all.
48. When you get all ready to go out and your friend cancels plans.
...I wasted a full face of makeup for this!
49. People that drop their friends for their significant other.
... God forbid it doesn't work out, you'll come crawling back.
50. People that don't like animals.
...There is no good reason for this one!
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
I have never understood why grown-ups complain when the leaves are all off the trees, and the temperatures take a decided turn towards the zero on the thermometer. I hear complaints about the impending winter weather, and the driving in the snow and ice. We live in Pennsylvania, so I bite my tongue instead of stating the obvious: Maybe you should move to a warmer climate?
I know some people do that. My father is one of them. They are called “snow birds”. In the summer, they live up North, and just when the going gets good (aka… fall hits, and temperatures drop) they go south to their Florida homes. But how is that any better? They aren’t escaping precipitation. Ever hear of a hurricane?
True, it is a warmer climate down south. I can’t deny that. However, when I think of a hurricane ripping the roof off my house and crashing through my dining room windows, it just doesn’t hold the same appeal as watching soft, fluffy snowflakes blanketing the Earth in a quietness while I sit in front of my fireplace sipping hot chocolate, wrapped in a quilt. I guess the beauty of the seasons is in the eye of the beholder.
While I do enjoy all seasons for their uniqueness and differences, I love winter. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I was born in the winter. I don’t know. I just know that when the dew point drops, the air dries out, and that smell! Is there any name for the smell just before it snows? I once posed that question to my husband who promptly answered: “It’s the de-icer I just put down on the walkway”.
We talk about stopping to smell the roses in the Spring, and the “lazy, hazy” days of Summer. We give glory to Fall because of harvest and Thanksgiving. But winter, if you ask me, is the best of all.
The first snowflake means that life is about to slow down, and settle into a calmer pace. After all, who can be out and about so much when the roads are sketchy? The first snowflake means that there is no chance for Summer to rear it’s out of season head and cause uncomfortable humidity and heat. The first snowflake means the earth gets a break. The first snowflake means future quiet evenings with a good book in front of the fire. The first snowflake means that while the plants are sleeping, the moisture has a chance to soak in and create the ability for rebirth in the Spring. The first snowflake means beauty as the brown, dead fields are covered with pristine white.
I still don’t understand why grown-ups complain about winter. As for me, I raise my mug of hot chocolate and mini marshmallows. Vivo inverno!
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign