Snapchat Makes Studying Abroad More Accessible

Snapchat Makes Studying Abroad More Accessible

Adventures with friends are even more possible

These past two semesters, I have had so many friends studying abroad all over the world and while I missed them so much, part of me always felt like I was there. At first, I and many others were not so sure about the idea of a "Snapchat Story" with all your friends illustrating their fun night out while you are still at home watching Netflix because no one invited you. Then, we all eventually got over it and adapted to post our own stories as well as to ignore others.

On the other hand, I am so happy this Snapchat Story idea was invented and brought to the app because now I can see what my friends abroad are seeing in real life. A few of my close friends and sorority sisters studied abroad in London this semester and every time they took pictures of the London Eye or Big Ben, I felt as if I was right next to them enjoying the same view. As a child, I was lucky to go on a family trip through London and France and so seeing my friends see some of the monuments I vaguely remember is also so cool.

Additionally, most of my friends are studying abroad in places I have never been and had not considered exploring until I saw their adventures. Two of my friends are in Israel right now and a few weeks ago, I saw the slightly scary but also fascinating process of going through customs. I mean, of course, many countries have amped up security but this particular friend illustrated that so perfectly in her story.

Besides that, I am able to see so many sights and places I have read about in the Bible and studied in religious studies courses. This semester, I took an introductory course on the Old Testament and immediately was fascinated by the whole course. At the end of the semester, my friend left to study abroad in Israel and visited the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, Judea, and so many other sites and cities too.

Before I thought Snapchat stories were just a place to prove you were doing something on a Saturday night or to ensure all your friends knew where you were and who you were with, but now I see that these stories can be a powerful tool. I am almost done with college and most likely will not get the experience again to see these incredible places myself or on Snapchat again, so I am thankful for those friends who posted almost constantly while abroad because I felt right there with them.

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.

They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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Explore The Best Of Thailand

Thailand Travel Tips: A Complete Guide to the Country


While Thailand may have earned recognition for its numerous beautiful beaches with clear water and warm sunshine, there's much more to the country. Visitors done with visiting the top beaches across Thailand will find there are plenty more places to explore. From the bustling city life in Bangkok to amazing national parks, there's plenty more to visit in Thailand.

Bangkok: There's no better place to begin a tour of Thailand than its capital city, Bangkok. It's a thriving metropolis famed for its shopping, food scene, and vibrant nightlife. The city is also home to some magnificent cultural relics in the form of Buddhist temples. Perhaps there's no other city in Asia or anywhere else for that matter, that's as exotic and captivating as Bangkok. Visitors with interest in culture, those just looking to have a good time, or gourmet lovers, whatever their interest, will find Bangkok has something for them all. In fact, there's so much to see and experience in the city that it will take multiple trips to tick off your bucket list of things to do in Bangkok.

Khao Sok National Park: The province of Surat Thani is where the world famous Khao Sok National Park is located. It's extremely popular with visitors to Thailand and in particular, those visiting Phuket Island. Visitors can join a Khao Sok Tour from Phuket to explore the sprawling national park. Khao Sok is home to rainforests, mountains, and lakes, making it a popular choice with trekkers and hikers to the area. In terms of natural diversity, Khao Sok has a greater variety of flora and fauna than even the Amazon rainforests. The wildlife ranges from shy tapirs to even tigers, although visitors rarely catch a glimpse of the elusive creature. One of the highlights of a tour of Khao Sao Park is its massive Cheow Lan Lake. Visitors can explore the lake by hiring a kayak for a ride on the lake, which meanders through massive limestone karsts, making for a very scenic ride.

Chiang Mai: The city is located towards the north of Thailand. Apart from the varied shopping options in Chiang Mai, including night street markets and shopping avenues suited to all types of budgets, its natural beauty makes it a spectacular place to visit. Rows upon rows of terraced lush green mountain fields with clouds hanging over them make it a visual treat for visitors. An added attraction in the area is the many elephant sanctuaries worth visiting when in Chiang Mai.

Pai: Another area blessed with incredible natural beauty is the town of Pai, a short trip from Chiang Mai. Formerly a quiet village, Pai has transformed into a popular destination for travelers wanting to experience the relaxed culture of the place. It's a significant draw for trekkers as it's the perfect base from which to set off on treks in the hills, where various ethnic groups and hill tribes live and produce local handicrafts. With magnificent rolling hills carpeted with lush green grass, it makes for a delightful area to explore.

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