New Year's in Jamaica

New Year's in Jamaica

The sun, the sand, and a cold drink in my hand...


This year, I spent the new year with my family in Trelawny, Jamaica (30 minutes outside of Montego Bay) at the Royalton White Sands resort.

To start off New Year's Eve, we ate a big breakfast at the buffet, and then headed onto the beach. There, we walked along the shore searching for shells, took some family photos, and sipped on our mixed drinks while basking in the sun. My personal favorite drink was called a "Bob Marley", it was a layered slushy type drink consisting of strawberry, lemon, and lime daiquiri's, so it looked like red, yellow, and green mixtures stacked on top of each other.

I then joined my aunt in some "Aquafit", i.e. extreme water aerobics. Energetic music blasted out of the speakers, and the instructor demonstrated the moves in the front (outside) of the pool. This activity definitely saved me from gaining a few pounds while on vacation.

We then headed over to the buffet again for lunch, and then headed over to the lazy river. It wasn't all that lazy though, since we would constantly fight to avoid the various streams of water shooting at you under the bridges or from buckets hanging overhead throughout the river. We also headed to the pool to throw a ball back and forth for a bit.

Post-pool, we grabbed some ice cream and headed back to the room to get ready for the night ahead. After showering and getting dressed, we headed to dinner. This consisted of a "surf and turf" style meal. We finished eating at around 10pm, and the resort was throwing a huge New Year's party ,so we headed over to that.

A band performed from 11pm until 11:55, and they were really good. They played some popular songs like Bad Romance and Uptown Funk, but they were Jamaican singers which made it that much cooler.

The countdown began, the clock struck midnight, and everyone shouted "Happy New Year!" Fireworks went off for about 15 minutes and the after party began. We didn't stay for very long, so that pretty much summed up our day/night in Jamaica.

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.

Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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An Open Letter To The Friend Feeling Left Out...You Will Find Your Place

It may not feel like it now, but eventually you will find the people that make you happy.


When I first came to college, I was most excited to make new friends, people that I could make new memories with for the next four years of my life. The first couple of weeks of school I met many new people. I made a bunch of new friends, all of them with their own unique and lovable personalities. I even thought I had found a group I belonged in.

But as the semester went by, I started to feel myself beginning to be isolated. Trips to the dining hall were being made without me, and I stopped receiving invites to the movie nights. I would try and tag along if I could, but I still couldn't help feeling like I wasn't wanted there.

I immediately began thinking I had done something. Did I say something mean? Did I do something to upset them? I couldn't stop thinking about it. I then decided to do the adult thing and ask if there was something that was wrong. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding in communication.

When I finally mustered up the courage to ask them, they responded back with, "We're not mad at you. We just feel like our personalities don't go well together."

At first, I was kind of hurt. I had finally thought I had found a group, only to be pushed away because they didn't like my personality. But then I started thinking… why would I want to be friends with a group of people like that?

I began spending more time with my other friends and got even closer with them. They started inviting me to dinner and to different events around campus. I began to feel like I had found my place again.

As I look back, I wonder why I spent so much time with people who never seemed to want me there. The entire time, I could have been spending time with the people who wanted me around. From here on forward, I plan to only surround myself with the people who make me feel happy.

So, to the person out there who feels like the forgotten friend, get out there and start looking for new ones. Wasting your time and energy on people who don't want to be with you won't get you anywhere. Invest your time into finding new people. You will find your place with the right friends.

And as for me...

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