Positivity

Believe It Or Not, Small Changes In Your Life Can Bring About A Lot Of Positivity

There is a lot of good possible in this world, why not be a part of it?

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Lately, positivity seems like a scarce resource. There always seems to be a breaking news report of some kind of disaster, attack, or previously unknown issue within some facet of our world. However, with all the negativity going on in the world, I think now is the time to talk about some ways to combat some negativity. Sadly, superheroes and superpowers aren't part of our world, and we can't influence cities or millions of lives directly, as much as we would love to. However, we can all still bring some light and positive energy into this world by changing small things in our life, that both send a message to those negative issues in our world or can help us overcome and change the problems our world is facing.

A personal step I've taken has been difficult, and that's been cutting out fast fashion. The true behind-the-scenes workings of fast fashion are growing more and more prominent within the public sphere, and have made me question what I'm willing to ignore in the name of a good deal. Before, I was glad to shop at stores like Forever 21 for their deals, and their on-trend clothes. However, after learning about their far from ethical methods in order to make and sell their clothes at these low prices, I've found myself less drawn in by their sales and styles and instead opting to shop places with more visible and ethical production practices. I'm aware what I'm doing isn't going to end all of the underpaid labor going into the clothes on the sales racks, but I'm glad I stopped my contribution to that system, however small. As a college kid, it can be difficult to get into ethics when buying clothes or any goods, but I definitely recommend the app/website "Good On You." They not only help you discover the impact brands have on different aspects of our world, but they also have some really helpful posts. One I always go to is buying ethically on a college budget, and there are so many that can help people with different incomes and styles find clothing that is made by brands truly trying to make the fashion industry more visibly ethical.

There's a change I'm currently struggling with myself, but that I've seen so many people make over the new year that I think is really amazing. Working at a coffee shop, we use a lot of paper cups, plastic cups, and plastic straws which only get thrown away after one use. However, I'm lucky to work for a company that encourages people to bring in their own mugs or to reuse cups, offering a discount on drinks if they do so. When it comes to water bottles, I never struggled with this—in fact, my family has plenty of reusable water bottles in case any get lost. However, when it comes to reusable mugs and cups for other drinks, I've struggled a bit more, the straw department more. I'm trying to combat this though, despite how convenient plastic cups and straws are. Again, my singular choice to change this aspect of my day to day is not going to end the harm done on the environment, but I feel that stopping my personal contribution is a really good step I, or anyone, can take.

We can't change every aspect of our life or quit what we've been doing for years, cold turkey. There are people out there who truly love shopping at Forever 21 and stores like it or who don't like the idea of having to remember to wash out and bring a reusable mug, cup, or straw every time they plan on going to their local coffee shop. The ethics of a brand, or the impact of waste on the environment just truly aren't huge deals to some people, and that's okay. Regardless, taking the time to evaluate your beliefs and values, and change small parts of your life that directly come into the conflict with those values can bring a lot of good for yourself while also putting it out there into the world. The classic saying goes, "practice what you preach," and taking steps to really doing so in your everyday life can bring about a world of change. These changes may not end unjust labor, environmental issues, or anything large scale in a day, and they're not always easy for us to implement in our daily lives. Just taking the initiative to do so, however difficult, can bring about an amazing amount of positive energy and happiness into our lives, knowing we have stopped our contributions or our own negative impacts to harmful practices going on in our world.

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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The Top 3 Lifestyle Changes I Made In College

The mistakes I corrected which stood between me and satisfaction.

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2019 has been a year of unparalleled growth for me. In 2018 I could have said the same. I spent extended periods of time analyzing the factors of my life which left me, in some ways, feeling unfulfilled. Here are the top 3 lifestyle changes that I made in college which left me feeling happier than ever.

1. Cut out the toxic people. 

A house is worthless without a solid foundation. The people which you call your friends are largely the foundation for your confidence and social life. Sometimes, we recognize that these people are overall anchors on our psyche; condescending narcissists whose confidence rests on making others feel inadequate. The first step to building self-confidence is to get these people out of your life immediately. Once you solidify this foundation, you will soon realize how pitiful these people are, and growth you had been capable of without them.

2. Do you even lift?

Not only has my physical condition improved from going to the gym, so has my mental strength. As my physical form has improved, my confidence has risen. We have spent millions of years evolving to physically exert ourselves. Our modern lifestyle has left many of us without this crucial key to endorphins and proper brain chemistry; a factor which has promoted never before seen rates of depression and anxiety. Lifting weights have left me feeling better than I can remember, with endorphins and testosterone at an all-time high.

For years, I either avoided the gym or found excuses to stop. The reason I never committed to fitness was largely a lack of interest in self-betterment, but also a feeling of cluelessness in the subject. I recommend utilizing the "Beginner's Health and Fitness Guide" linked here. This guide breaks down fitness in an incredibly easy to understand way. This information is not published by someone trying to sell you something. It was written by input from numerous online fitness enthusiasts and refined for accuracy as well as simplicity. This guide has helped me and many others in online communities start down the road to improved physical and mental health through fitness.

3. Do as much as possible, even when you don't feel like it. 


I squandered years of my short life secluding myself to a comfort bubble. While in college, I have realized that happiness largely rests on occupying yourself with new and real experiences as frequently as possible. Time which would have previously been wasted on my phone, the television, or playing online games was shifted to trying new things. As often as possible, I have pushed myself to undertake activities such as learning to snowboard, grabbing food with people from college whom I had just met, going hiking with strangers and our mutual friend, traveling solo, etc. Pushing myself further from my comfort bubble every day has been exceptionally conducive to not only living life to a greater degree but also decreasing the anxieties which we all experience.


What can you fix in your current life to build the lifestyle you dream of?





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