My New Year's Resolution Is Not To Be Skinny

My New Year's Resolution Is Not To Be Skinny

It's to be confident.
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With 2016 ending in just a few short days, it’s important to reflect on this past year. Not just to make a cheesy list of New Year’s resolutions, but to give ourselves a chance to acknowledge which things in the last 365 days were awesome and which things were not so awesome. For me, this last year was filled with plenty of things to be thankful for, such as a great new school, empowering new friends, and a fun new life. However, in the midst of all of this great freshness, I’ve spent more time being sad than happy. While much of this sadness stems from opinions and actions of others, I blame no one but myself. Why? Because I am the only person that can choose how I react to things, and I chose wrong.

Due to a combination of bad movies, petty television, and objectifying advertisements, society’s main function in our current world is to point fingers. We tell people how to look, how to talk, and how to behave by making the accepted social norm extremely clear. Stereotypes are concisely defined and it’s not difficult to figure out what stereotype we fit into. Because of this, so many of us are left feeling like we are not enough because we don’t perfectly fit into the mold that society tells us we identify with. With that being said, at the end of every year, we create a new set of goals to better ourselves in the New Year. Unfortunately, many of these goals are not motivated by self-betterment, but rather by societal acceptance. The most common New Year’s resolution is always to be skinny. Why? Because we feel like our weight is the easiest, most controllable way to reach conformity.

This year, my New Year’s resolution is not to be skinny. It’s to be confident.

Too much of our current generation is consumed with the opinions of others and I personally let what other people think of me matter way too much. In 2017, be you. Don’t let a magazine tell you how to look. Don’t let a TV show tell you what to wear. And definitely don’t let a boy tell you how to act.

Too many times do we let warped images of women become what we idolize. We set our phone backgrounds to starving models to help shame ourselves every time we have dessert because we feel like if we don’t look like these women, we failed. Take a step back and realize that beautiful is not defined by the amount of fat you can squeeze off your sides, how tan your skin is in December, or your bra size. Picture the most amazing girl you know...now list all of her best qualities. Are all of those qualities physical things like her waistline or her thigh gap? Absolutely not. They’re the way she can turn any situation into a party and make everyone laugh, the dorky jokes she tells, and the way she is there for you when nobody else is. THAT is beautiful and THAT is attainable. Be fun, be carefree, and be yourself. Nothing is better.

With what’s considered popular changing every day, it’s hard for us to ever be content with ourselves. We set goals based on current fads, and when they change, we’re left feeling empty, quickly scrambling to adapt and readjust what we want. We let boys tell us what type of girls are attractive, and we try to adjust our personalities and appearances to fit their description. But why? Is it for acceptance? For popularity? Probably. Stop changing who you are to please others because one day you will meet the person that loves you as you are, and you will wonder why you spent so much time trying to change that.

In 2017, fearlessly be you. Show your true personality and share your real dreams. Live each day not concerned with other people trying to tear you down, but rather with building yourself up. Love yourself and all you are because I promise you, nothing is more fulfilling than a little confidence.

Happy New Year!

Cover Image Credit: Pak Watan

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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10 Things To Remember As You Head Home For The Summer

It's coming up closer than you may think!

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Summer break is right around the corner, and while everyone is so excited to finally get back home and enjoy the warm air, there are some things that everyone seems to forget once they go away to college. Any college student, from first years to seniors, must be reminded that things always change when they come home.

1. Your parents are going to want to spend some time with you

If you are like me, you don't go home too often during the school year. Give your parents a week or so to just spend time with you. Have dinner with them, watch a movie, or just sit and talk with them. (Just make sure not to tell them too much of your college adventure because the talk will turn into a life lesson).

2. It's their home now, not yours

You used to live in this house for almost 18 years, and then once you left, things adjusted to that. Trash doesn't get taken out as often, you recycle now, or there have been changes as to how certain things are done or where things are placed. Chances are, your parents aren't going to be happy when you accidentally throw away trash in the recycling bin, or don't understand why you can't suddenly use the downstairs bathroom because it's for "guests only" now.

3. There is no maid

Most colleges have custodians who come and clean the bathroom almost every day for you. At home, this does not translate to your mom. Try to pull your weight a little, and help clean up after yourself. It isn't hard to push your dish in the sink or dishwasher, or hang your towels up after a shower.

4. The house might be quieter

Back to point two, things change when you leave. And sometimes people pick up new hobbies to fill the time you once filled. Don't be weirded out when you get left home alone some nights without anyone or when they have plans in place of a time you thought you could have with them.

5. Having friends over will be different now

It won't be like when you were in high school. Everything is now prefaced with "no drinking," and most of the time your parents aren't going to want some college students over late at night. It doesn't work like that.

6. Your high school friends aren't going to be around often

If you are a first-year student coming back home is weird. All of your friends from high school are going to want to see you, but sometimes people change so much in college (and that's OK), but maybe you are compatible friends anymore. Learning to find new friends is a weird experience, and can make for a lonely summer.

7. You are probably going to work all summer anyways

... IF you even have time for friends that is. College is expensive, even if you aren't paying for college yourself or have loans, you need money for spending during the school year. Sometimes not getting to even see your friends for weeks at a time is just a part of growing up.

8. Try to spend time with your siblings

I wasn't close to my siblings until I went away to college. Maybe it was finally getting away and knowing my clothes wasn't going to be stolen, but I ended up growing closer to my sisters. Try to figure out what works for you and your siblings, and you truly won't regret it.

9. Don't rush the summer

At some point during the summer, you are going to want to get back to college. Don't rush it because as soon as you get back to school in the fall, you'll be wishing you were back on break.

10. Just breathe

Summer is the time to relax, so make sure to take some time and relax. Even if that means tanning in the sun in your back yard for an hour. Just try to lay down and close your eyes for a moment. It'll make your summer go by smoother.

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