​My Life as “The Quiet One”

​My Life as “The Quiet One”

I’m not quiet, I’m just awkward.

All throughout my life, I have come across the same label time and time again. I sit through a conversation with a large group of people or I meet someone for the first time and after each encounter, I am told that I don’t talk enough and that I need to speak up. It’s not like I try to do this, either. It just naturally happens that way. I’m not quiet, I’m just awkward.

Okay so maybe awkward isn’t the best word. Shy isn’t a good one either because I like to think of myself as friendly. Maybe the word I should use is inexperienced. College is the first time that I’m experiencing putting myself out there and meeting new people almost every day.

Just like anything else, it takes time and practice to get used to a new skill that you’re trying to gain. You can’t just expect someone to automatically know how to swim when you push them into a pool; we aren’t dogs. First you have to make sure that they’re comfortable around the water and even after that you need to show them the proper arm and leg movements as well as how to float. Right now I’m at the floating stage of my conversation skills; sometimes it works and other times I sink. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t swim at all if I sink, right? It just means I need a bit more practice.

If I’ve known someone for a while, it’s a lot easier to spark up a conversation because we have past experiences we can draw from. Meeting someone new is a bit awkward for everyone and sometimes first impressions can be completely wrong. I promise once you get to know me I’m a fun person to be around. Just give me time to warm up to you.

As far as big group conversations, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. I’m not quiet but I don’t have the greatest timing. I never know when to squeeze in a comment I have in the middle of three or four other people talking. Other times it’s just as simple as me not having anything to say at all. You want to have a conversation about politics? You have the wrong girl.

Most times I genuinely don’t even realize that I’m being quiet! That’s what’s so funny to me. I love to hear what people have to say and often times I forget that I’m part of the conversation too so I just forget to speak. I don’t mean to do it but apparently I do it more often than I realize. Woops.

I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s a big difference between being quiet and just not knowing how to function in certain conversations. My mother can tell you how much I talk her ear off and my friends can tell you all about my corny jokes. It all just depends on the environment and the people. So next time you speak to someone you want to deem “the quiet one” think twice; you never know what we have to say.

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/p-758165/?no_redirect

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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This One’s For Africa


Read through to the end for an amazing Toto reference.


It's now been a week since I stepped foot on the African continent for the first time in my life. I first visited Johannesburg, where my dad and I spent a day on an 'apartheid tour.'

This tour consisted of visiting Shanty Town, one of the poorest communities in South Africa. The living conditions were indeed different. They had to steal electricity through homemade wires connected to the telephone poles. They had only a few porta potties for ten families to share. They had several spickets to obtain fresh water from. There was no heating in the houses, which were made from pieces of painted aluminum.

Such inconvenient circumstances have come from years of oppression towards black people in South Africa. It was incredibly sad to know that these problems still exist and that apartheid only ended so recently.

On the other hand, the people showed very little anger. Despite their living situations, the people of Shanty Town were so kind and welcoming. Everyone we passed smiled and waved, often even saying hello or asking about our wellbeing.

It brought some serious warmth to our hearts to see their sense of community. Everyone was in it together, and no man was left behind. They created jobs and opportunities for one another. They supported each other.

The next part of the day included a tour of Nelson Mandela's old house. We then made a trip to the Apartheid Museum.

Overall, Johannesburg did not disappoint. The city contains a rich history that human beings as a whole can learn a lot from. Johannesburg is a melting pot that still contains a multitude of issues concerning racism and oppression of certain cultures.

After two days in Johannesburg, my family made our way to Madikwe game reserve, where we stayed at Jaci's Lodge.

The safari experience was absolutely incredible. Quite cold (it's winter in Africa right now), but amazing enough to make up for the shivering. We saw all my favorite animals: giraffes galore, elephants, zebras, impalas, lions, hyenas, wildebeests, rhinos, you name it. While my favorite animal will always be the giraffe, I don't think any sighting could beat when two different herds of elephants passed through a watering hole to fuel up on a drink.

Finally on June 1st, I flew to George to start my program with Africa Media in Mossel Bay. On Sunday, we went on an 'elephant walk.'

The safari was certainly cool, but that makes the elephant walk ice cold. We got to walk alongside two male elephants - one was 25, the other 18. They were so cute!! We got to stroke their skin, trunk, and tusks. They had their own little personalities and were so excited to receive treats (fruits and vegetables) at the end of the journey.

My heart couldn't be more full. Africa, you have become my favorite continent. And it sure is going to take a lot to drag me away from you.

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