Even With the Bad Days, I'm Proud of Myself

Even With The Bad Days, I'm Proud Of Myself

"Even if I look like a burnt chicken nugget, I still love myself"

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Somehow, it's been over a month already since school started. It feels so long ago but also like I moved in days ago, all at the same time. I've definitely had my share of "freshman moments" showing up on the first day with my shiny new (enormous) planner, getting lost on campus, and trying to learn how to use the library printers that for some reason connect to my student ID. Huge shout out to whoever placed printed out step-by-step instructions on various tables in the library of how to use the library by the way, because I almost cried out of frustration.

It's only been four weeks since I came here, and it's definitely been full of highs and lows. From seeing my mom leave after I had moved in, to the adrenaline rush that was getting to perform at our marching band preview, to the anxiety of my first week of class, to having to leave marching band in the hopes I would regain some mental stability, the past month has certainly been an experience.

Last week was especially rough. I dropped marching band at the beginning of the week and spent the rest of the week debating whether I had, in fact, made the right choice. I had so much guilt over how it felt like I was just quitting and abandoning the commitment I had made to my fellow members of the band. For the past seven years most of my life has revolved around band, and to just give up what has been a major part of my identity for so long was scary.

I spent a lot of this past weekend at home thinking about the past few weeks. While I'm sad I had to give up something I've loved for so long I know I made the right decision. College band is so different from what I expected it to be, and it's so much more of a time commitment than I could have ever anticipated. I mean, I was two weeks into class and already struggling to keep up with my homework and readings.

At the end of the day, I'm really hecking proud of myself and everything I've managed to accomplish. I honestly thought I would have had more breakdowns from stress and sleep exhaustion and homesickness, and while those have happened I know I'll be alright. Yes, school is hard and trying to find a happy medium between staying on top of my academics, being involved outside of class, and at least attempting to be healthy is something I'm still working on, but at least I'm here.

I have an opportunity a lot of people in this world currently don't have: the ability to receive an education at a university where my financial situation is okay enough that I can live on campus and not absolutely have to work right now to make ends meet. So yeah, college is tough, but at least I'm giving it my all.

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From The Girl Who's In Shape But Not Perfect

Embrace the treadmill. But also embrace pizza.
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So, here's the thing:

I'm a girl who is in shape, but hey, I'm still human. Let me explain...

I can run a 5K.

But I still get completely winded going up the stairs.

I go to the gym most days of the week.

But, I have a lot of days where I just don't move from my bed.

I try to eat healthy as often as I can.

But sometimes, a whole pizza with everything on it is the only thing that hits the spot.

I have muscles that I'm proud to show off.

But I also have rolls when I sit, which I am also proud to show off.

I'm also proud to admit that:

Chocolate is still my stress reliever.

Some days I can't get myself to go to the gym.

Sometimes I eat a bag of Doritos after my workout.

I have days where any remote form of physical activity sounds like hell.

Food is my best friend.

So yes, I'm in shape. But I'm absolutely not the "perfect" in-shape girl.

I'm proud of my body and everything that it can do, and I treat it in the best way that I can. I stay in shape, I run, I exercise, and I eat things that are good for me. However, I'm also a girl who loves herself a burger and fries, who spends a whole day in bed, who has fat on her body and lives a normal life. I have school, work, homework, a social life - my health is absolutely one of my top priorities, but I'm not worrying about how I didn't go to the gym this day or how I ate four cookies that day. As long as I can look at myself and know that I'm treating my body well and I'm happy with myself, I'm good with it.

Your health should be important to you, but your emotional and mental well-being should be important, too. And sometimes, instead of the usual day in the gym, a day in bed is what you need.

Embrace your rolls. Embrace your muscles. Embrace that pizza. Embrace a fruit salad. Embrace your bed. Embrace the treadmill.

You're all good, girl.

Cover Image Credit: Marion Michele

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Take The Time To Pronounce Names Correctly, They Mean A Lot

What's in a name? Plenty.

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Names are often one of the first labels we get. It often makes us who we are and is deeply embedded in our sense of self. It's the word the world knows you as. Many people change their names to make them feel more like themselves. This speaks volumes to the effect a name has on you.

A name is a word like any other, just used to label someone. Like any other word, saying the word properly is important, especially because it is tied so closely to someone's sense of self.

Butchering someone's name consistently is simply unacceptable. Sure some names may be harder to pronounce and may seem unnatural but not trying is not okay. If you can get names like Stravinsky and Chmerkovskiy, a Nandini, Radhika, or Namrata shouldn't be too hard.

For some reason, it often seems like people have a hard time pronouncing names of people of color, which honestly seems a little odd to me considering many caucasian names are just as unconventional.

Comedian Hasan Minhaj recently appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and addressed this issue. He pointed out that no one has an issue with the name Ansel Elgort, but they seem to have an issue with his name. Later, he joked that he goes by the name Timothée Chalamet at Starbucks, which they can handle just fine.

Mistakes are okay. We're all human and you're not expected to get everything correct on the first try. But simply accepting that you can't say it and not making an effort is disrespectful.

You don't need to say the name in the accent of the culture it's from. Say it in your accent but like any other word, keep the same number of syllables and put an emphasis on the correct vowels. Eventually, getting it will expand your horizons just a little bit more. Either way, trying is better than not trying.

That being said, to the people that need to correct others' pronunciation on their name, do it. If you don't tell people how to pronounce it, you can't expect them to get it properly. Many of us introduce ourselves with a name that isn't truly ours; it's a version that accommodates others.

Remember though, there is no shame in your beautiful, unique name so there is no need to anglicize it. Your parents didn't give you that name for it to fit better in other people's mouths.

Our names make up a large part of our basic identity and getting it right is beneficial for everyone.

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