An Open Letter To Those Stuck In A Rut

An Open Letter To Those Stuck In A Rut

Don't get too comfortable, this is only temporary.
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You're done. Ready to throw in the towel. Calling it quits. However you want to say it, you're stuck. Every day is starting to blur into one and you're not really sure when it began. You watch everyone else in life moving on to bigger and better and you're at a stand still; working the same job, taking the same classes, eating the same food. It's not that you haven't tried to do new things, it's that you don't know how. You're not really sure how to get back to your perky energized self.

It's one of the biggest challenges college students seem to face. We've typically got friends older than us at this point and we're watching all them graduate and hearing about their interviews and traveling opportunities...and what are we doing? We're sitting on the floor in a pile of never-been-touched textbooks eating tacos.

Is there a way to power through it? If there is, it's not one universal task everyone can easily handle.

Start by opening up your planner or checking your schedule. I'm sure it's the typical: classes in the morning followed by work in the evening (or somewhere along those lines). Oh, and we can't forget the time we spend binge watching Netflix and hitting the gym.

See your schedule? Rip it up. Tear it apart. Do something that involves a change. I'm not saying don't show up to class or work because hey, we could all use the money for more education. Just add some flare back into your day.

If you feel like venting, find that one person that doesn't care how much you talk. Pour your heart out to them if that's what will help. Communication goes a longer way than you actually realize and sometimes you'll be amazed the impact voicing your opinion can have.

Start doing things that are for you. If that involves turning your phone off to get away from social media and your friends for awhile that's okay. This is the time to be selfish. Go ahead and put down the phone. I know you're just scrolling through Facebook and Instagram and seeing all these people living the perfect lives. Trust me, they're not perfect. People show what they choose to show on social media. It's the biggest game there is, and it's genius don't get me wrong; however, this is your time to take care of yourself, don't worry about what everyone else is doing.

I understand you may be experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out). That is normal. This rut that you seem to be stuck in is temporary. Remember that nothing bad can last forever.

Stop staring at yourself in the mirror questioning what is wrong with you. Nothing is wrong with you. You're in the most confusing stage of your life and I promise it's a normal step everyone goes through. When it comes down to it, this is your life and you have more power than you realize. Feeling bad? Make a change. You're young and full of potential. It time you prove it to yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Kick Start Your Career

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I buy? There are currently eight flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I get it? You can find BANG energy drinks at your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Amazon, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How do they compare BANG to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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14 Things That Get My Dopamine Flowing

Depression can suck, but it helps to think about the good things in life.
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Life is rough when you have depression. Between school and work and general adulting, we can get so overwhelmed that nothing seems worth it. Add on the news constantly telling us about war and disasters and increasingly insane politics, it becomes too easy to forget the good in the world. One thing I like to do when I'm going through a depressive episode is think about all the little things in the world that make me happy. So, in no particular order, here are 14 things that really get my dopamine flowing.

1. Flowers.

I love flowers. They always remind me of how cool nature is. Did you know plants grow their leaves in a Fibonacci spiral to make sure all the leaves are getting sunlight? Dope, right? They're so pretty and have an important job to do in the world, so they make the world feel more ordered and purposeful rather instead of the chaotic mess it can seem to be.

2. Fuzzy blankets.

When I'm having a bad day, it's always nice to curl up in a fuzzy blanket and not deal with whatever is stressing me out or making me depressed. Plus they keep me warm.

3. Memes.

Memes are funny even when they're not. It's apart of their charm. They can always distract me from responsibilities and give a funny spin on the bad stuff in the world, while still being super relatable sometimes.

4. Perfect weather.

It is so rare when the weather is perfect, but those are the days I live for. When the sun is shining and there is a light breeze, I am outside and enjoying it as much as I can. It's probably just the vitamin D that makes me feel good, but I'll take it.

5. Harry Potter.

The earth is billions of years old and I am blessed with being alive at a time where "Harry Potter" exists. It's amazing. And I get to live near Universal Studios where they have "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!" Honestly, I am so lucky! "Harry Potter" gives me a chance to leave my world and go into another. I can take some time to watch one of the movies or read one of the books and immerse myself in someone else's problems rather than my own.

6. Technology.

Technology is so great. Like, I have a tiny computer in my pocket all the time! I even have a voice-activated assistant like the computer on "Star Trek." And it's not even the major tech that is so awesome. I have indoor plumbing and air conditioning, which hasn't been around for the vast majority of life on earth. So, when I get down I like to think about how, no matter how hard life gets, at least I'm not pooping outside.

7. Dogs.

Dogs are objectively the best thing to happen to mankind. They are so friendly and loyal and cute. Whenever I'm having a hard time, a dog can never fail to cheer me up. Honestly, they're so cute I can barely handle it.

8. Cats.

Cats are pretty great too. They're so soft and purr when you pet them. Even though they're more standoffish than dogs, it just means they really like you when they do cuddle up next to you. Also, they have scratchy tongues.

9. Baby animals in general.

Baby animals are just so cute! I don't know what it is, but I CANNOT get enough of some baby animals. Even babies of animals that are normally ugly are adorable. You really can't be sad looking at videos or baby animals just running around and being babies.

10. John Mulaney.

John Mulaney is so funny, and not overly sexual or gross. He is honestly one of my favorite comedians right now and I have seen all of his specials on Netflix. Also, he hasn't been accused of sexual assault as far as I know. One thing I love to do is watch a comedy special on Netflix and just laugh.

11. Chocolate.

Do I really need to explain this one?

12. Musicals.

I. Love. Musicals. They suspend all reality and take you into a world where breaking out into seemingly rehearsed song and dance is totally normal, which is a world I want to live in. Anything bad that happens in a musical is usually fixed within a colorful and upbeat musical number. It's also just entertaining. If you're anything like me, you'll be happy to know that "Legally Blond: The Musical" is on YouTube.

13. Netflix.

Netflix, along with other streaming services, is one of my favorite things. They've revolutionized how we watch T.V. and I am here for it. Plus, their originals are so good. No matter how I'm feeling, I can distract myself by binge watching "The Office" for the millionth time and just take a break form my own problems.

14. Arts and Crafts.

It always feels good to do something productive, but sometimes I just don't feel up to doing what actually needs to be done. Here is when I turn to arts and crafts. I like to do stuff like knit or paint or really anything that involved cutting and gluing. It makes me feel like I'm actually doing something and I get cute thing to wear, hang on my wall, or gift to someone.


Life can suck sometimes, but it's important to remember the little things that make it worthwhile. Next time you're feeling down, take Maria Von Trapp's advice and maybe make a list of a few of your favorite things and look out for them in your daily life.

Cover Image Credit: Digaita

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