No Means No

No Means No

"If you didn't like it, you wouldn't be kissing me back."

"No" is one of the first words we learn as children. I learned mine with my parents and my older siblings telling me "no". I learned the stinging feeling someone can have when saying "no". I adapted this quality, always never letting my voice quiver when I say something I mean.

There was loud music. I love music. Not specifically my type of music was playing, so I kept to myself. Couples were kissing, sneaking off into separate rooms. I also had no desire to fulfill the teenage girl roll people think we have of "hooking up" with a guy. He approached me, asking about my ex. What had we done? Why did it go bad? What kind of things was I "down to do?". Talking about my past relationship was not exactly what I wanted to do, I stated as I began to get up and grab a snack from the table filled with cheese puffs, pretzels, pop and cookies.

"You're really pretty. You have beautiful eyes." Thanks, I got them from my father. He persisted, sitting very close to me, and beginning to touch me. "Do you want to just mess around?" "No one else is up here, no one will know." "C'mon, do you know how hard it is to find a girl like you." After each of his sentences pounded in my head, I respond with a simple "no".

Nevertheless, it went on, into the night as nore people started to drift off into separate rooms, out of the main room, leaving me laying on the floor wrapped in a blanket, half sleeping. He was sitting across the room, until he got up and moved by me once again. This time he didn't ask. There were no questions. As he touched my body, a safe place for me with patchy scars and freckles scattered like the stars. He grabbed me, kissed me against my will, saying "If you didn't like it, you wouldn't be kissing me back."

If you didn't like it, you wouldn't be kissing me back.

My hundreds of thousands of "no's" floated away, with no meaning to them. They lost the sting I knew as a child, they lost the seriousness when I said it earlier that night. And as I sat there on the floor, still saying no, I realized no never had a meaning to him. It was an empty, bottomless word. I then realized he was an empty, bottomless person. Hollow, with no beating heart to feel compassion or regret.

I don't blame myself now. I know when I say no, I mean it. I sometimes get reminded of that night and the countless times I said "no". When I see someone that was at the same house, in a different room, I think about if they heard my all of the times I said "no". Did they know I was saying no? Did they see me get up and leave? Did they know what happened? Sometimes when I see him, dodging eye contact and going off to a separate room, I think about all of the times I said no. Does he think about it? What role does "no" serve in our society, if people don't have a universal definition?

Cover Image Credit: Katie Minarsich

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50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"

1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."


12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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The Glory Of Moving Far, Far Away

There is beauty in new beginnings.


In this day and age, people everywhere seem to have wanderlust. I like to say that July is when it is at its peak, especially for me. I am now adjusting to life in Coatesville, Pennsylvania with my family after moving from our previous home in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This is not my first time moving away, and it will certainly not be the last one either, but it still feels different to me. The main reason for that is because this is my last summer before I graduate from college.

It not only marks the end of my entire childhood, but it symbolizes the end of freedom. While I am still familiarizing myself with my new home, I want to take the time to write down how I feel right now.

Finding New Places

I am originally from Blacksburg, Virginia. I spent most of elementary school there, and I managed to stay for all four years of high-school as well.

So, it is safe to say that I know it pretty well. I loved living there, but I fell into this routine of frequency. I knew where I wanted to go out to eat and what movie theater I liked the most.

However, all of the places in Coatesville are new to me right now. Who knows what kind of memories I will have from all of the restaurants and stores here?

There is beauty in new beginnings, and I am already looking forward to stepping into a Wawa.

Happiness At Home

Fortunately, the moving process went very smoothly from the beginning for all of us. I kept the necessary belongings with me for the car ride and reunited with my other belongings quickly since the movers arrived the day after us.

One of my favorite things about coming to a new house is having a different room. I like sorting all of my stuff and thinking of crafty ways to arrange everything. The yellow walls actually closely resemble my dorm room which helps me think of ideas for the upcoming semester.

Plus, I have two side-by-side windows which give me a gorgeous view to our front yard. The first observation I made was all of the green surrounding us. The trees and grass just paint the entire neighborhood. It must be a sign for me to relax and enjoy the outdoors from time to time.

Make It Count Every Day

Like everything else in life, summer does not last forever. Even though it is not always easy to live in a new place, I am determined to make the most of it.

On one of our first nights at our new house, my sister chose the movie "Titanic" to watch that night. This is my most beloved movie and it made me feel more at home.

I cannot finish this section without giving credit to Jack Dawson. He once said, "I figure life is a gift and I do not intend on wasting it."

Since it has been almost a week since our journey here started, we have become accustomed to our family rituals including walking the dogs around the circle and watching the weekly showings of "America's Got Talent."

I am so glad that I have the chance to live in Pennsylvania and I am looking forward to the future. I am now more inspired to explore the area around me and learn more about myself.

Cover Image Credit:

Danielle Neron

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