An Open Letter To 2018

An Open Letter To 2018

I hope you surprise us.

Dear 2017,

You have put us through what seems, at times, to be more than humanly tolerable. Hurricanes, wildfires, terrorist attacks, threats of nuclear war, an apathetic government, an antipathetic government. Homes burned down, homes flooded, homes destroyed, homes ripped away from people simply because of who they are.

You have made us step up in ways we didn’t know we were capable. Worldwide protests, medical advancements, countless calls to Congress, donations to victims. Strangers coming together, strangers fighting for one another, strangers becoming each others’ homes.

2017, you have brought out the best and the worst in us. At times I wonder if you were a lesson. But you’ll only be a lesson if we learn from you and do better in the next year.

Dear 2018,

I hope you surprise us.

I hope you don’t forget to give us some good news amidst all the bad. Give us a midterm election that inspires us. Give us legislation that the country desperately needs. Give us civilians turned heroes in times of crisis and communities coming together. Give us minorities gaining power in DC, minorities gaining power in Hollywood. Give us art. Laughter. Give us a beautiful Royal Wedding.

2018, I hope you bring my friends and family all that they deserve. Give them safety and security. Give them a place to belong for the next three years. I hope you give them health and happiness. All the happiness.

I hope you stay full of hope, always full of hope.

Dear 2018,

I hope you know that you don’t have to do too much for me. Because whether you intervene or not, you’re going to meet the best version of me. Give me opportunities or give them to other people. Bring me successes or bring me failures. Because in 2018, I won't let myself be the background character in my own movie. I won't let life simply happen to me. That’s not the person I was, and that’s not the person I want to be.

For a long time, I measured my worth in all-things superficial: The grades I got in school. The amount of dedication I showed every day. Whether people noted this dedication. How I dressed. How closely I resembled my icons.

2018, I fully intend to restore every piece of myself that I loved dearly. But, more than anything, you are going to be about me becoming a better person. And that isn’t in academics or appearance.

It’s in how you doors open for people. It’s in how you listen and let people know that you’re there for them. It’s in how you smile at everyone you encounter, even though you spilled your coffee on your white shirt when you were running late for your morning class because you slept through your alarm, and there’s a piece of hair that’s just not cooperating, and it’s been a really long week, even though it’s only Tuesday.

It’s in being the light, and making people feel lighter. It’s in thank you notes to professors and in love letters sent to your friends at 2 AM telling them how much you appreciate them. It’s in inspiring people to love, love hard, love when it’s hard, because love is the only thing that will ever make any of this better.

Dear 2018,

I’m going to be kinder to myself and the world around me.

I hope you’ll be kind to us, too.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Sessions

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Spring Is Here, And So Is Spring Cleaning

Let's get this over with.

Spring has arrived! Now finally we can forget about those long cold months and focus on the positive. It is a beautiful thing when the flowers start blossoming and the air becomes lighter and warmer. It reminds us winter will not last forever and warmer weather awaits. However, it is also a reminder that with the warmer weather comes our favorite thing to do-clean. Spring cleaning is in the air. It is the season of organizing, cleaning, and straightening-up all around.

What you should be cleaning for spring cleaning.

Your bedding.

This one is major in order to get ready for the warmer weather. We often clean our sheets, maybe not enough, but we do. However, we neglect sometimes to clean our bed spread ever so often. According to Good Housekeeping, we should be washing our comforter 2-3 times a year. So, needless to say the seasonal change is a good reminder to wash your comforter.

Your wardrobe.

Now, the key here is not washing, but rather organizing. Looking through your clothes will help you see clearly what fits and allow you to give away the clothes that no longer work. Organizing will also open your eyes to the new clothing there is to buy.

Your refrigerator.

Time to start fresh with food as well. According to the wall street journal, Americans clean out their fridges once or twice a year. Like many other things, we neglect to clean out our fridges as much as we need to. Spring cleaning is a helpful reminder to start not only cleaning, but also organizing our fridges.

Your car.

The warm weather is always a good motivator to wash your car brand new.

Your dust piles.

It doesn't matter the amount of vacuuming or dusting dust appears in the air all around us and will always collect on everything and anything. So, to start the new season and to help those who suffer the season with pollen and dust allergies, it is a good idea to wipe everything down to kick off the fresh air

*Plants are also a great idea to clean the air if dust is a major issue.*

And everyone forgets about those old body care products...

Looking through your lotions, body care items, and even make-up is not a bad idea. It is something we usually tend to forget, but something that we should all be doing. Expired make-up and body care products can cause rashes and break outs. Clearing them out now will help spring sand summer run a little bit smoother!

Hopefully these tips will help spring feel fresh and inviting.

Cover Image Credit: Apartment Therapy

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5 Activities For Spring-Breakers Staying At Home

Some fun suggestions for those students not going to the beach for spring break.

For many universities nationally, spring break is approaching or is already set into gear. Many students plan out fun trips around the States, hoping their week off is filled with sunshine, beaches, and fun times. For those who don't get this stereotypical spring break experience, fear not. I have compiled a list of activities to do or try for those unable to go far for vacation.

1. Go on a hike

Yes, you can be envious of someone sunbathing on the beach, but how fun is that after about an hour into that sunburn? Go spend a day at any amusement park in the area! This can be a whole day full of fun rides, food, and people.

3. Try out some new recipes

If you've read any of my past articles, you'd know I'm a foodie and love trying out new recipes. What better time to do that than spring break? Try having a fresh recipe every night for dinner or maybe every morning for breakfast. Not only do you get the joy of experimenting, but you'll also have some new dishes you can show off to your friends when they get back.

4. Look up top things to do in your area

That's right, like I mentioned earlier, Google is your best friend. I do this all the time, especially when I have friends visiting. Some of the activities that come up are really touristy, but honestly, you end up having a good time. You can also look things up on Groupon and take a friend or family member on a discounted adventure.

5. Work

OK, you caught me, this particular suggestion may not sound as fun or exciting. However, think about all the extra cash you'd be making. While all your friends spent their money on their expensive spring break, you made some spending money you can use for the last few months of school, I consider that fun.

6. Start a project

My go to is always knitting, but it doesn't have to be yours. Try maybe making some sort of video project or maybe a journal. It's honestly up to you, but starting some sort of project is always a great way to kill time and accomplish something.

7. Clean out your closet

You know that one outfit you haven't worn since your freshman year of high school? Yeah, get rid of it. In fact, go through your entire closet and clean out all the clothes your either don't wear anymore or that just don't fit. Not only do you have a whole bunch of room for new clothes, but you also earn some brownie points from your mom for doing somewhat of a chore.

8. Go camping

This is something you can do at a local campground or even in your backyard. I loved just putting up a tent when I was little and camping with my family. You can tell some fun ghost stories and even roast some marshmallows.

* * *

Hopefully, those of you who read this found my suggestions helpful. Feel free to reach out and make more suggestions. Have a wonderful break!

Cover Image Credit: Eliese Haerle

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