We all remember the scrunchie, those bright colored or patterned hairbands that everyone wore in elementary school because it was the thing to do. Lately, I have seen a trend revival. Brace yourselves, the scrunch is coming back and here are 10 pictures that prove you need to jump back on the trend!
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Calling all babies born June 21st - July 22nd!
I'm the first to admit that I am one of THOSE people who uses their zodiac sign as a description of themselves. I realize not everyone believes in astrology-related anything, and there are plenty of people who don't fit their signs. However, I'm one of the people who truly fits their sign to a tee. I'm a Cancer, a Crab, a Moon Child. It's currently our season fellow Crabs! So without further ado, here are all of the signs that you're a Cancer.
1. You've been called the "Mom" or been referred to as motherly and caring more than a few times in your life.
2. You're emotional, and not in a bad way. You just feel everything more deeply than a lot of others do.
3. Yes, you've been called sensitive. Because you are. And that's okay!
4. You've always been the friend that people go to for advice. And often strangers or acquaintances feel comfortable opening up to you!
5. Along the same lines, you've been told your wise, despite having hardly any life experience at all.
6. You're as loyal as they come.
7. You can read people like books.
8. You probably have some OCD tendencies, especially in the sense that you like order.
9. You're very much a homebody. Staying in > going out.
10. You've got two big loves. Food and family.
11. You can be a bit, well... crabby.
12. Although you're emotional on the inside, you're a true crab and have a hard, tough shell exterior to get through.
13. But once that wall is knocked down, people realize just how special you are, and how much love you have to give.
To all the fellow non "it" girls out there
Lacking sex appeal is not a desirable thing. It makes you fee not ugly, but wrong. Not having charisma is not a life goal. It doesn't make you fee friendless, but isolated. Not being the "it" girl happens, and tonight (and every nigh prior to this)
Mom, dad, I have a confession to make. I went to a frat party. And surprisingly, I did it sober. So sober in fact, that I'm typing this very piece from the comfort of a chair in the entrance to the elusive fraternity. I'm painfully aware that this shows my lack of seemingly party animal-ness instilled in all college-aged coeds, but I've always been an avid fan of people watching. Need it be from a ledge or from a store window, my favorite way to pass the time has always undoubtedly been getting sneak peaks into the life and style of all walks of life. This party appeared to be the prime opportunity to do just that. So, I adorned my best 90's flannel and marched towards this new land of unknown adventures (and smells--seriously dudes get some Lysol)
I already knew the party life wasn't my life, but this has reassured my notions. But hey, I see people here having the times of their lives, and I can't take away any validation of that. But, this isn't about that and my path. This is about attraction in it's simplest form: sex appeal.
Ew--sex. Kidding, completely kidding. But I feel as though this is something I'm at the appropriate age to discuss. At this frat, there weren't boys, just men. Okay, that's an exaggeration, more like boys closer to the cusp of manhood than I'm used to. These "boymen" littered the dancefloor, but there isn't much shock there. And also, it isn't like I was unaware that sex appeal is something I lack, but I guess this just affirmed my suspicions. While it seemed everyone had a dance partner of sorts and I was just awkwardly bouncing rhythmically, an epiphany was reached with posthaste.I am not sexy, and that is a blessing. Here me out, I'm not saying that I am 100% totally satisfied with this, the coolest part of it that I completely ignored was how I know any and all attraction I receive is genuine. You're lying to yourself if you don't expect to meet your Prince Charming every single day you attend college, and I'm no exceptions. We have the aspirations engraved in us from birth, to be pretty, flirty, fit, whatever. But what kindness? What about brain power, where does that factor in. It doesn't on the surface, but these are the most important things.
Forget the concept of sex appeal; look on the inside next time you see a wallflower. This article lacks consistency, but when you're watching a rowdy party hopper, it's hard to be the next E.E. Cummings. But alas, it's all from the heart.
It is truly the worst place to be
Look. If you are anything like me, complaining about being single is such a hard thing to because you are genuinely happy for your friends, but as they continue to be happy in their relationships, the ever crushing weight of being the single friends can become overwhelming. For context, my primary friend group consists of four people. We are all roommates and it is a great time here. All three of my roommates have boyfriends/girlfriends, which makes our friend group of four quickly jump to seven, and it is wonderful! I love my roommates so much and I love their S.O's, but no matter how much I love them I always get extremely jealous and sad. The sad thing is that the only part that ever truly ends up bugging me is that since I am single, they are my go-to top priorities and it has been really hard to watch myself slip from the top of their go-to's to not being their go to when they feel the weight of the world. What makes it harder is that expressing that I feel alone and unwanted makes me sound jealous and like I don't want my friends to hangout with their people. I get it. I do. But there are just days I want to be someone's first pick and I'm not.
All in all, I am extremely over the moon for my friends. It has truly been a joy watching them fall in love and find their people. And if you are in, or have been in my spot, you would get it. We single friends find great joy in watching our friends find their great joy. At the end of the day though, it doesn't stop the overwhelming feeling of loneliness. With that loneliness, how do you talk about it without feeling like your friends now think of you as bitter or unhappy for them. Granted, my friends are the best and they understand where I am coming from but when they all go off and call their people, or go see their people, or tell me they can't hang out because they want to be with their person, I am left alone. And being alone is the hardest thing to be.
I think this would all be so much easier too if I had other friends but I really don't. I have a few of course but I don't see them all that often. Plus living in a college town during the summer means most of them aren't in town. So I throw myself into my work. I work three jobs to keep myself busy so I don't have the chance to get sad but no matter how much I do, it isn't enough.
I am also at that stage where people all around us are getting engaged and married and that is where they are talking about. It is so hard to hear it and not crave that feeling. As I continue into my season of singleness while watching people be happy in relationships, it draws me to that questions of, Am I not good enough for a man? or What makes me so unloveable? These simple questions are ones that often run through my mind. They follow me around like a storm cloud that takes my joy. My singleness often crosses the line of a feeling into my identity. Which is not a good thing but at the same time, the constant questions of "Are you talking to someone new" and comments like "You won't end up alone. You will find someone" make it hard to prevent it from becoming so. The hard part is that maybe I don't find my forever. Maybe I am cursed to be single forever. And right now, that is my greatest fear. To die one day alone. To not be loved.
I know that there is a lot of irrational thought in this but this is a confession of a single friend. It is the way I feel. I feel like I will never be worthy enough of someone. I feel like I will never find someone who checks all the boxes. I feel like my preferences in men are out of my league. That I am unlovable. That a man never wants more than just a snapchat relationship. The pressure of wondering when I will get ghosted. That I don't have to have a man check off every box because the perfect prince doesn't exist.
The problem with this mindset though is that it prevents me from opening up and getting to know people. I look at love pessimistically now because I have convinced myself that I am not good enough.
Aretha Franklin lost her battle to pancreatic cancer, so we stop to reflect on her powerful journey.
Recently, Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, passed away. Ms. Franklin grew up singing in her church's choir in Detroit. Over the years, she decided to make singing a career, first signing to Columbia Records at 18. Years later, she signed with Atlantic Records where her most powerful tunes, such as "Respect," are remembered to this day. Her breathtaking vocals earned her 18 Grammy Awards and made her one of the best-selling artists of all time.
The fact that she was a black woman making a name for herself during the height of the Civil Rights movement proves to us that indeed, she was a force to be reckoned with.
Aretha's success as a black artist has been a beacon of inspiration for many. She performed at Barack Obama's 2009 Inauguration, a symbol of hope and progress for the future. Ms. Franklin honored our first African American president by singing the patriotic "My Country 'Tis of Thee (America)." A song was written over 30 years before slavery was emancipated, it went against trailblazers like Obama and Franklin, yet there they stood proudly claiming for all that they also called claim to American freedom and liberty.
Obama even stated, "American history wells up when Aretha sings," a true testament to her defying the status quo.
During her lifetime, Aretha received many awards and honors, and now that she has passed, there are likely many more to remember her legacy. However, her death should not be an excuse to give her more awards; she was hailed as a success throughout her life. Fans, family, and the music industry alike appreciated and recognized the talent the Queen of Soul had while she was living. That is not to say that her death is not a tragedy and a huge loss to the music industry. Aretha paved the way for so many successful black women and should continue to be looked up to as an inspiration and talent. Today, we remember and honor a legend embedded in American history.
A symbol of black excellence, soul music, and the Detroit spirit — this is how I will remember Aretha Franklin. How will you remember the Queen of Soul?
Contraband Camps in Harpers Ferry
When the Civil War first broke out, the United States Army sought to preserve the Union, and did not have intentions on interfering with the institution of slavery in the rebellious states. In fact, in his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln promised not to interfere with slavery in the places where it already existed. Of course, at the time of this address, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee had yet to secede, so he needed to keep a moderate stance. When the U.S. Army moved into states in rebellion, generals ensured civilians that they would not interfere with slavery, and would even hep quell potential uprisings. On May 22, 1861, this attitude towards slavery began to change. Prior to then, slaves who escaped into Union lines could be returned to their masters. In some cases, troops with more abolitionist leanings would aid the runaways, but it was not yet the norm. However on May 22, three runaway slaves approached Fort Monroe along the James River seeking refuge. The slaves stated that they were about to be sent South to work on the Confederate coastal defenses in the Carolinas. Instead of returning the slaves to their masters, the commander of the fort, Benjamin Butler, claimed the slaves were contraband of war and put them to work in support of the United States. He wrote Winfield Scott, general-in-chief of all federal armies, "Shall [the enemy] be allowed the use of this property against the United States and we not be allowed its use in aid of the United States?" Following Butler's actions, 900 more slaves would gather in Fort Monroe. Congress would back Butler's stance with the First Confiscation Act in August of 1861.
Even before the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves could escape slavery within the lines of the U.S. Army, but they were not exactly free, as was discovered by Charles Stewart, a slave in Harpers Ferry. Charles, along with a slave named John Sorrell, were the property of Captain Robert Baylor, a Confederate under Turner Ashby. In the early months of 1862, United States and Confederate troops were looking at each other across the Potomac, with U.S. troops on Maryland Heights and Confederates within Harpers Ferry. On February 7, 1862, Captain Baylor had John wave a white flag, at gunpoint, to grab the attention of U.S. soldiers across the river, while he posted snipers in the buildings along the Virginia shore. George Rohr and a man by the name of Rice saw John and began to row across the river, believing that he may be seeking his freedom. When Rohr and Rice were close enough the Confederate snipers opened fire killing Rohr and wounding Rice. John Geary, the commander of the U.S. troops across the river ordered the buildings that the snipers occupied, which were considered downtown Harpers Ferry, burned. Charles and John would be moved to Winchester with Captain Baylor. While in Winchester, Charles and John attempted to escape, John was shot and killed by Baylor while Charles escaped. Charles immediately ran to Harpers Ferry, knowing that U.S. troops meant freedom from slavery. When he reached Harpers Ferry and was about to cross the river into Maryland, Charles was stopped by U.S. troops. They ordered him to the contraband camp, which was ironically in the shadow of the Engine House, where John Brown was captured and the war to end slavery began.
The United States Army may have been a symbol for the end of slavery, but the runaway slaves rushing to their lines were not quite free. The Second Confiscation Act, issued on July 17, 1862, stated that all slaves owned by persons committing treason against the United States would be free, and they may be employed as deemed necessary to help suppress the rebellion. Former slaves like Charles could now be used as laborers for the U.S. Army. Charles would be payed for his services, but it still may not have been the freedom he envisioned. Unfortunately for Charles, the end of his known story is not with the U.S. Army.
Although it is not entirely certain, it is likely that Charles was still among the thousands of African Americans within the contraband camp in September 1862. From September 13 to September 15, Confederates under Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson besieged the town until the Union garrison of about 12,500 capitulated. While the 12,500 white soldiers were being paroled and sent North, the thousands of contrabands, including Charles, within the contraband camp were rounded up and sent South, back into slavery. It is not known what the fate of Charles Stewart was, or if he ever experienced true freedom. Although seldom discussed, this occurred any time Confederate armies invaded the North. Any African American they came across, free or enslaved, would be sent South. Jubal Early's command was late to one of its objectives when it invaded Maryland in 1864, because they were too busy capturing African Americans.
A week after Charles' presumed capture, Abraham Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Ending slavery had now become the cause of the United States, and the United States Army, which would end up including 180,000 African American soldiers, about 10% of the total fighting force, would truly represent freedoms for slaves.
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans and is a Federal Holiday
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign