The Finger Lakes are easily some of the most picturesque places in New York. If you live in or around this region, it's pretty easy to tell. If any of the following on this list apply to you, you know that you live in the Finger Lakes!
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At least, that's what I keep telling myself.
I met you when I was in middle school and I thought boys still had cooties. I wore flared jeans, Aeropostale shirts, and had the dorkiest braces ever. I cared about what other people thought of me, and I definitely cared a lot about what you thought, too. You were older, and your friends made fun of me when I talked to you. I pretended it didn’t bother me, but it did. I sat two rows in front of you in class, and constantly tried to think of reasons to talk to you. Your hair was a curly mess. It still is. You graduated from middle school a year before me, and I missed you. I don’t think you even knew my name.
I met you in high school when you were a really popular sophomore, and I was just trying to figure out how to open my new freshman locker. I didn’t like myself all too much at that point, but you made me like myself a little bit more. We danced at homecoming. Your friends still laughed. It was awkward for a while, but we’ve always been a little bit awkward. I liked the days when we walked home from school together, but I just liked you in general.
I met you behind my friend’s car when you became my first kiss. I said it was lame, but I didn’t really mean it. I had never held hands with anyone before.
I met you at the end of my driveway two months later when I told you it’d be better to just be friends. I guess I wasn’t ready for a relationship, but you were. I still remember feeling my heart in the pit of my stomach. We lost touch for a while, and it hurt. You graduated from high school, and left for college. I knew you’d change, but I was happy for you. The distance eventually healed the parts of our friendship that fell apart, and we were okay again.
I met you in college when we both had grown up a lot. I was a new person, and so were you. I cut my hair short, got some tattoos, and cared a lot less about what people thought. You started to dress differently, and became friends with people who stopped laughing. I liked you, but I kept it to myself. We’ve always been bad at communicating about important things, so I repressed it.
I met you the night I let my feelings pour out of me in a hallway that smelled like sweaty boys and alcohol. My guard was up, but I let it down because I trusted you. I don’t trust many people, and you know why. Repressed feelings turned into a kiss, and then a kiss turned into you saying, “It’s complicated, I told you it would be. I don't want to sacrifice our friendship.” So here we are, having the same difficult conversation we did years ago. You were hurt when I wasn’t ready, and now I understand why.
I keep meeting you at the wrong time.
Is the NBA losing to College basketball for some sports fans?
The annual ESPY award show put on by ESPN was created to reward athletes from around the world for their hard work, skill, determination and more. When Former NFL superstar quarterback Peyton Manning was hosting the ceremony, and in the opening of the show, he absolutely shredded NBA champion Kevin Durant’s move to the Golden State Warriors to create what many sports fans called a “super team.”
This term is one that applies mostly to basketball and originates from the Miami Heat of a few years ago who signed Lebron James and Chris Bosh to join Dwayne Wade and form the NBA’s super team. Durant remained unimpressed as Manning poked fun at him by complementing the United States Olympic gymnastics team who captured the hearts of America during the Rio Olympic games last summer.
Manning said “and our gymnastics team was so dominant, that Kevin Durant told me he wants to play for them next year... and I gotta tell you I don’t think you would start for that team Kevin.”
He went on to bring Durant’s former teammate in Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook, to the joke. Westbrook showed clear disdain for Durant following his relocation to the California coast and games featuring the two stars often got chippy. Peyton was full of NBA rips throughout the night as he proceeded to hammer home the negativity and criticism of basketball.
Manning later stated, “Remember that tonight it doesn’t matter who wins or loses just like the NBA regular season.”
Many sports fans find it hard to watch the NBA. They often view it as a lot of fanfare for a product that does not really impress with “real” basketball. Many contend that college basketball is more entertaining because of the deep rivalries and the style of play. College basketball is more focused on defense and in March Madness, anyone can win. In the NBA, super teams and superstars are often the deciding factor before the game even starts. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has shown a free market approach to the league and has allowed many trades and signings in order to assemble super teams. Oklahoma City were one of the first examples of a super team after the Heat and now Golden State has taken over as the power of the league. They won all but one playoff game en route to the NBA title this season which was not a surprise to many. Just one year prior, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Steph Curry and Golden State in the finals. The league has been dominated by Golden State from the West and Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. In the playoffs, both teams eased their way to the finals. The Warriors lost no games until the finals and Cleveland only lost once before they bowed out to Golden State in five games. What is exciting about a predictable league. Shouldn’t the commissioner try to even out the teams? Is he not responsible for encouraging fair play and increasing the competitiveness of the league?
By creating a super team and allowing the league to rally around it, the league alienates the fans of “less important” markets like the Milwaukee Bucks among many other NBA franchises. They cater to the bandwagon fans who are only interested in following a team who wins. The NBA obtains its revenue from bandwagon fans who buy tons of merchandise from their “favorite” team. Many contend that the NBA is really not producing the most entertaining product. The games are generally very high scoring and many players and teams could care less about defense. Basketball breaks the old cliche that defense wins championships. It is all about scoring and more scoring. The rules favor the offense and it is hard for teams to defend.
Basketball gets a ton of coverage on the news from ESPN and other sports news networks. ESPN also over-covers basketball. Every show, if you look at the time spent talking about each subject, the overwhelming majority of time is spent on basketball. NBA games are short and often do not even matter until the last four quarters. The sport is a lot of up and down scoring basket after basket. I want to enjoy basketball. But it is hard to stay interested in. The aspect of competition level is a huge detractor for me as well. How can anyone root for a team when the disparity in talent between two teams is overwhelming. The difference between the Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers is vast. Games are exciting when they are competitive. The talk of super teams is a problem. ESPN has been covering a lot of rumors during the NBA offseason about stars like Paul George and Carmelo Anthony leaving their teams to go and join up with teams like the Houston Rockets to try and create a super team capable of toppling the Warriors in the Western Conference. How is that exciting as few teams get better and more teams get worse when they lose their stars?
The league makes a lot of money. They just signed a new TV contract and raised the salary cap a lot. This means that nearly every player is making a lot of money and many are getting overpaid because teams have to spend a certain amount of money per year. Even Richard Sherman from the Seattle Seahawks encouraged other football players to go on strike in order to make NBA level money. It is great that NBA players can make money but do some low level players deserve to be making ridiculous sums of money? Even if they barely play or are barely on the team?
The NBA needs to put a more competitive and exciting product on the court. They need to do more for the fans of small market teams and they could even expand the league to draw more interest from more sports fans. The insane amounts of money they make and the less exciting product they put on the court. College basketball, in my opinion takes the cake in producing a more exciting game. Nothing in the NBA garners as much interest as March Madness and they are way more predictable which is part of the NBA finals. The NBA is hard to watch and the league should check its priorities to try and create a more exciting and competitive league.
I used to be comfortable with religion, but now I'm uncomfortable.
I’m not one of those people who doesn’t believe in God because“if there was a God, why would He let such horrible things happen?” Saying that because sometimes bad things happen, there must be no benevolent higher power, to me, makes about as much sense as saying that because sometimes it gets dark, there must be no light.
I’m not even one of those people who doesn’t believe in God. I do; I don’t think science alone can explain everything. However, I also believe that science does not seek to disprove religion (nor does religion seek to disprove science). The two can work together in conjunction.
What I am is someone whose faith has been shaken. I am someone who looks at other people who have faith—who looks at how much faith I used to have—and wonders, what happened? Where has my faith gone?
I think the problem is, I believe in God, but I don’t really believe in religion.
Writing this, I recall a paper I wrote my sophomore year in high school. We had to write about someone who had impacted our life in some way, and I wrote about Rainbow, a homeless man I met while volunteering at Rescue Atlanta, a homeless shelter. Our church worship team left from our church early one Sunday morning to assist the shelter in their Sunday proceedings, which included riding the buses to pick up the homeless from around Atlanta, serving breakfast, handing out clothes and toiletries before they showered, sitting and talking with them while they waited to see a doctor, and lastly, worshipping. We were there for at least six hours, so we rotated jobs a lot. At one point, we just talked to the people. I don’t remember much about my conversation with Rainbow, but I remember two things distinctly: how easy it was for us to connect, despite our differences, and his parting words to me and some other worship team members. As he shook each of our hands, he said, “I’ll see you at the Great White throne.” I don’t know why, but his words have stuck with me through all these years.
I mention this anecdote because I think my problem is that, back when I was a sophomore in high school, I only knew the good side of religion, the sense of community it created. The fact of the matter is, I have thousands of anecdotes like this one. I didn’t know the bad side of religion because I didn’t have to—but things are different, now.
I used to be comfortable with religion, but now I’m uncomfortable. I’ve realized recently that it’s not my faith in God that has been shaken, but my faith in the institution of religion. I don’t have a problem with religion as a whole; I think it is important for people to gather in like-minded communities to share in worship. I have a problem when people use religion to oppress other people. I have a problem when people use religion as a justification for hatred, bigotry, and just plain ignorance.
What I know for sure is that I believe in kindness. I believe that, no matter who you are, or what you’ve done, you deserve to be treated with respect, and that you should offer that same courtesy to other people. And I believe in God, even when I don’t believe in religion.
An open discussion on how much we need an open discussion on mental health awareness
Odyssey recognizes that mental well-being is a huge component of physical wellness. Our mission this month is to bring about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community. Let's recognize the common symptoms and encourage the help needed without judgement or prejudice. Life's a tough journey, we are here for you and want to hear from you.
The first article I wrote for the Odyssey was about one of my experiences with anxiety. It wasn't written as a cry for help, but rather in the hopes that someone else who hasn't opened up about their mental health issues could feel like there was someone they could relate to. Now, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to open up more about why it’s of paramount importance that we address mental health awareness.
I can say from personal experience that it’s difficult to admit you have mental health issues, especially because of the stigma that surrounds them. Emotional distresses and illnesses are more often than not “treated” by being told to “suck it up” or “deal with it,” while physical health issues are treated with utmost seriousness. And unlike an antibiotic that can heal the stomach flu or a fever, there is no reliable cure-all for mental health issues.
I’ve often wondered why there exists such a gap between acknowledgment of physical health and mental health problems. I personally believe this can largely be attributed to how the latter is discussed across the media. We toss and turn over the irrational actions of mentally-ill psychopaths that star in the dramas and horror movies we watch. We blame the genocides committed by criminals in the news on their mentally-ill states. As a society, we have created in our minds this idea of some Joker-looking, eye-twitching, drug-overdosed monster that is the “mentally-ill.”
We are also taught to judge how much our mental health issues matter based on where we come from. I am guilty of trivializing my own mental health issues, and even denying that they exist because of how comfortable my life is. I have internalized the belief that someone who claims to have mental health issues while living a life with minimal tangible struggle is in reality, just being petty. This is completely false. However, to be brutally honest, even as I type that, I don’t believe it entirely. I try every day to teach myself that my issues are real and should be dealt with as so, but it has been engrained in my brain for far too long that they are not. And so, I’m not just writing this article to reach out to others, I’m also doing it to try to help myself.
I’m in no way proud of the fact that I have mental health issues. However, I believe that I must recognize and acknowledge them as an important first step to realizing I need to reach out and get help. We should all feel unafraid to address our mental health issues. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, around 61.5 million adults in the United States alone undergo a variety of mental illnesses. This is approximately 1 in 4 adults. Given the prevalence of mental health issues here in America, it should make sense that they are discussed more, or even at all. Instead, we oftentimes hide these issues behind chipper facades. Not everyone who has a mental health issue seems like the “type of person to have a mental health issue," and the statistics prove just that.
By writing this article, I don’t expect to solve the issues of stigma surrounding mental health issues. But mental health awareness is a topic that isn’t talked about enough, nor recognized largely enough as a topic worth discussing. As the proverb goes, the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging it exists. So I hope that this piece encourages people to do their own part in ridding the stigma. Mental health issues are real, and it’s about damn time we recognize that.
I'm still a human, I just love Jesus.
Do you endure a lot of persecution as a Christian but remember when you decided you wanted to "be like Christ"?
Didn't Christ suffer persecution? Didn't he suffer people talking about him, betraying him, determined to misunderstand him, and hate him?
What we go through as Christians is empty compared to what Jesus Christ went through but I wouldn't be surprised if you went through anything like this as a Christian. The amazing part about it all is that God has already overcome the world and has a plan for it all. Please take all of these things into consideration the next time you see your Christian friends.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Here are a few confessions I have as a Christian in college.
Confession #1. I am not a special person by any means.
So that's me on my 20th birthday.
One very annoying part about being a Christian would be the standard of perfection that people try to place upon you.
I think that it's completely unfair to put that kind of pressure on people because it's a standard we can never meet. Following God and BEING God are so far from the same thing.
I do love Jesus but I have the same access to Christ as anyone else. The things he shows me and our relationship is not something I earned by works, might, or power. I have access to him by faith and because I believe in who he is. Yes, this makes me a believer. Yes, I am saved by Christ and I accept him in my heart as my personal savior. This does not make me special but it does make me his. You have the opportunity to do the same.
Confession #2. I have a normal sex drive.
lol do you get it? because he's frustra-.. no? okayGiphy
You would be surprised the amount and THE TYPE of questions I get about sex, porn, and masturbation when someone finds out I'm celibate. I literally get asked questions as if I'm not human.
But, I am human and I have a normal sex drive. I have a natural desire for sex just like anyone else. Celibacy doesn't mean that you don't want have sex. Celibacy means that you're waiting until you're married to have sex.
With being celibate, God has taught me to pay attention to a lot of things involving sex drive, triggers, and my convictions. These are important elements for creating your boundaries. But like I said before, I am human and let me warn you now that just because you have boundaries doesn't mean that you won't deal with temptation. My boundaries really represent my defense for what I value and my defense against temptation.
Confession #3. I do not spend my day thinking about the sexual morality of others.
Frankly... idrc ¯\_(ツ)_/¯Giphy
I completely understand that if you go into Facebook groups or that if you go into certain churches that people will condemn you left and right for fornication. Let me apologize for people condemning and judging you if you have experienced this.
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:1-5).
Please stop asking me for judgment when it's not my job to judge. That's God's job and it's completely unfair to try to place that standard on me that's impossible for me to keep and uphold.
Once again, my convictions have nothing to do with yours.
I see sin the way The word of God tells me to and I see love the way the Word of God tells me to. This means as God's daughter that I love how and who God tells me to love. This means that I'm just as human as you are and I'm not any more or less Christian or special because I'm celibate and you may not be.
What God has shown me about love is that he loves me regardless of when I disappointment, go back on my word, lie, hide from him, and more so who am I to not treat you with the same love and claim that I follow Christ? I could be wrong and I'm willing to be wrong but I feel like that's what he told me.
Confession #4. This is not a challenge for you to see "how serious I am" about my celibacy or not.
Lol I said what I saidGiphy
@ Guys: This is very disrespectful.
When someone has decided to make this decision out of their love for God, it's very disrespectful when you make it about you. I'm aware that everyone isn't taught these things but just remember that the next time you find yourself interested in someone who has decided to wait.
If you are pursuing someone who's celibate in hopes to change their mind, please be respectful and leave them alone.
Confession #5. You can still have your own celibacy journey if you have had sex before!?Giphy
I guess I could understand why people might have thought this. I wish that there were more "How To's" about this given when I was younger. I was told by a lot of older people to "wait" but I didn't get a real break down of why I should so their arguments weren't as persuasive as some friends I had about why I shouldn't wait.
After having my own experiences of what a relationship was like and some "situationships", I ended up waiting.
You can still pursue celibacy even if you have had sex, it's up to you.
Confession #6. I didn't choose to be celibate when my Mother recommended itGiphy
My mother always encouraged me to wait and I appreciate what she was trying to do but when I was younger I had other plans.
If I'm being honest, I don't think that I really understood why I should wait. The older people in my life that were encouraging this really didn't break down to me what all of this was about so naturally, I think my friend's arguments were stronger as to why I shouldn't wait.
I ended up waiting but I went through some struggles in relationships that helped me figure out why I wanted to make this decision. I think the more rooted I grow in Christ, the harder it is to want to leave what he promised me.
One day I was really looking over my past relationship experiences and I think that's when God really tricked me into this.
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