The Significance Of Daydreaming

The Significance Of Daydreaming

Imagination at work
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You are a storyteller.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a writer. It doesn’t matter if you can retell a tale you heard with ease, or if every time you open your mouth nothing comes out but jumbled half-phrases and stuttering apologies.

It doesn’t matter. You are still a storyteller.

All humans are. By nature we are attracted to conflict—at least, the kind we can observe with the hope of witnessing a resolution. Put us in front of a TV, leave a book lying around or start telling us about the strange couple you saw in the grocery store, and we almost don’t have a choice.

Daydreaming is part of our storyteller’s DNA. Some people tend to have smaller daydreams—winning that argument, standing up to that boss, acing that class, asking out that girl. Others dream a little wilder—flying, overtaking a planet, becoming a New York Times bestselling author. No matter the caliber of the daydream, it’s still an intrinsic part of who we are as humans.

Imagine a world without daydreaming. Imagine also (if you dare) a world without stories entirely. Nothing would exist except the now, the current sequence of events in which we as humans carry on our daily survival.

Okay, stop that now, it’s too dismal. And besides, you can’t even imagine such a bleak world without using some of your daydreaming skills. Daydreaming exercises the imagination. It gives you free reign to control parts of your life which limit you. It gives you the chance to be free and to experience, for a short time, how life would be when the ‘what if’ questions are answered.

An article by Joseph Stromberg, from the Smithsonian, even details the connection between active daydreaming and working memory. It has been shown that those who daydream more often have a greater capacity to remember things on a day-to-day basis.

Some might disagree. Daydreaming can be distracting, they say, or even depressing. Why bother wishing for something you can’t have when there is no choice but to come back to the reality of your life when the daydream is over? Isn’t that harmful?

Only if you allow it to be. The mind is a powerful tool, and if you sharpen it with the wrong intention or in a destructive direction, you can only expect to reap the results as they come. But to take away someone’s imaginative freedom? To deny someone adventure, excitement, inspiration and encouragement? These are elements humans crave—naturally—as storytellers.

Therefore daydreaming deserves a lot more credit than it sometimes gets. As a writer, daydreaming has become invaluable. I just put on beautiful music, find a secluded place to think and close my eyes. Next thing I know, a story is already brewing. Without daydreaming, I would not be a writer.

So don’t resist daydreaming. (Except, perhaps, if you are in an important meeting or driving a car). Your imagination will relish the chance to work. And who knows? It could spark an idea which could, someday, make you that New York Times bestselling author. Without daydreaming, you’d never know.

Cover Image Credit: Stocksnap.io

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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How Art Can Help You Take Care Of Yourself

It's time to go on a date with yourself.

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Art is a quintessential part of the human experience: it has something that has been present in human culture beginning from prehistoric times, from when human consciousness first entered the world. It is also something that transcends definition and intertwines with our play of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is an expression of feeling in its most ethereal meaning and "for fun" at its most basic.

Personally, as an Art History minor, art has been a dimension of life for me that I have explored deeply and holds a lot of meaning. Painting is a huge outlet and way to deal with stress for me, and appreciating fine art teaches me about the aspect of history and how all of history is tied together throughout paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It helps me center myself and remind me of the place I hold in this world and the curious aspect personal experience of history. However, art doesn't need to be the stereotypical idea of art: it can be expressed through dance, the learning of a new language, or the coloring of mandalas to ease stress.

The exploration of art and the artistic side of human nature is something that everyone has in them: it's written in our psychology. We have an entire side of our brain that is inclined toward feeling and abstract interpretation, so it's natural to assume that emotion and expression of art are intrinsically intertwined. Thus, experiencing art is a way to personally develop yourself, and can be an unfound way of finding out things about yourself.

Different ways to explore your artistic side can be very easy: as easy as 3rd-grade coloring books, coloring mandalas, or finger-painting. Recently, I participated in a lantern festival and being able to paint a small lantern was an amazing outlet from a stress-filled week and allowed me to express myself through something besides just communication. Writing is also another good way to express emotion and create art: many books are just art pieces, and can be another way to further develop yourself. Additionally, other small fun things like carving pumpkins (spooky season!) or even curating the perfect Instagram profile can be another way to express yourself.

Appreciating the small things in your life as art and self-expression help put you more in touch with yourself, which is easy to lose throughout the mundane cycles of college, work, and life in general. Keeping yourself in harmony and balance might seem like an earthy-crunchy concept, but self-care and self-love are vital in keeping the rest of your life ordered. Being mindful of yourself and your goals is something that I have always have had difficulty with, but working toward learning more about yourself is taking the first step.

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