Where Do We Go From Here

Where Do We Go From Here

Reflections on the elections.
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The votes are in, and my dear America we have a new president. By the time you’re reading this article one of two things has happened: we have a career politician with a far from clean record and seriously questionable motives thriving under the title of first woman president or a man with absolutely no political background and sketchy business abilities who seriously believes erecting a concrete wall will solve the world’s problems as our commander in chief.

Currently, I sit here in the living room of my college home, watching uneasy as states of our great union slowly become colored in shades corresponding to the party with which the state voters favored. I am terrified. For in less than a few hours, our nation will have elected a new leader. One of two undesirable choices. Why all of this anxiety has postponed its appearance to tonight I’m not sure, for it has been one long year of campaigning and my heart has been aware of our options for quite some time, but nevertheless tonight I am at a loss for many things. For several hours now I have been pondering what our country’s next step is. Where exactly do we go from here? The possibilities are endless and overwhelming. Do we actually have mass evacuations of residents to more desirable countries? Do we have civil unrest in even more extremes than recently reported and noted? Are we hiring architectures to build a wall? Are immigrants flooding in? Are our second amendment rights at stake?

Then I began to petition the Lord, I started reading and googling devotionals on election days and bible verses on elections. I found my peace in Psalms 22:28, “For Kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.” Our ruler has already been decided, long before this election. So do you know where we go from here? We go back to living the same life we’ve been living the past eight months. We go to work and we go to school. Parents continue to take care of their children, college students work to secure a future of their own. Children continue laughing and playing and embracing their innocence. We go to church meetings and volunteer events. We watch football games and host parties. We continue doing the same things we have been doing the entire time these two candidates have been marching around the country creating a mess. See while they’ve been arguing, enticing hate, encouraging divide, and promoting false agendas we have still been functioning as citizens, as people.

That’s what we do. We be the people, because at the end of the day we are what make this nation. Not a woman in a pantsuit, not a guy with a bad spray tan. You and me. For “love to trump hate” we have to love more than we hate;not just smack it on a t-shirt. To protect our amendment rights we have to start drawing up solutions instead of plastering bumper stickers on our trucks. We have to get off Facebook with our political opinions and complaints and we have to demand change if we truly want it. So, where do we go from here? We go in the direction that we chose to walk, the direction that we decide. A path of what I hope is love and acceptance and hard work. A path that doesn’t involve violent protests, that doesn’t involve police brutality. A path that is for change and for equality, but also for honesty and unity. A better path, a path that the presidential election does not define for us.

Cover Image Credit: yimg.com

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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A Glimpse Of My Adventure In Germany & Poland

This why everyone should study abroad.

Learism
Learism
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Two days ago, I arrived back in the States from a two-week study abroad trip to Germany and Poland. This trip was entitled Experiences in International Justice. On this trip, we studied the Holocaust and its consequences through the lens of criminal justice. This trip changed my life in so many ways.

Firs, I really connected with all the other students on my trip, so I know that I can find friendship and understanding in them because we shared this experience.

Secondly, I discovered a newfound respect for life and need to work towards a more just world through learning more about Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust. We visited three infamous concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. I don't know if I can explain to you the emotions I experienced, but I would like to try since I think it is very important to share my experience with others. It was so surreal to be in a place where millions of innocent lives were taken away. Seeing where the many Jews, Roma, and many other groups slept, worked, suffered, and died really put my life into perspective.

It got me reflecting on what I have to be thankful for, and the problems that I feel are a too big deal to handle. Nothing I could ever go through can be compared to what those poor people went through. Because of this realization, I have become empowered to do what I can to help those who are suffering and who do not have anyone to stand up for them. I know I can't effect change all over the world, but I want to help others in any way I can, in my community and in my future career as a Forensic Psychologist, as well as with my friends and family.

I also have been inspired to be a torch-bearer for the memory of the victims as well as the Holocaust itself, so that something like it never happens again. Knowledge is power, and so being educated about what happened and how it happened can help us take a stand for what's right. Because not everyone has the privilege to travel to the concentration camps as I have so I have an obligation to share my experiences there with the world. I do not want the victims to disappear, from the Holocaust or any tragedy. From a criminal justice perspective, it was also very interesting to read more about the perpetrators, how normal people can be so violent and destroy fellow humans without remorse. I think it is beneficial to study them because it shows that anyone can become overwhelmed with power and let it go to their heads.

My trip to Germany and Poland was an amazing experience that expanded my mind and my world, inspired me to continue down my chosen career path, and gave me great friends. I hope that everyone has a chance to study abroad and always be curious and open-minded because it will do so much good for you.

Learism
Learism

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