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Growing Up Catholic And How It Shaped Me

"I like being able to believe there is more to life than our time on Earth."

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Ever since I can remember, I have attended church every Sunday morning. Not always at the same church, but always at the same time with all the same people. I've never known anything different.

Both of my parents are Catholic and so are their parents and so on and so forth. I attended religious education classes my whole childhood and when I was 15, I chose to get confirmed which basically says you are choosing to continue your faith.

As a kid, I didn't really understand why we went to church every Sunday and there were some Sundays where I just didn't want to get out of bed to go. When I'm on the verge of not going to mass I tell myself that it is just 1 hour of my time, 1 hour each week and that is all I have to give. Everyone has 1 hour to spare.

Now that I am older, I'm grateful my parents have introduced me to the Catholic Church. I like having something to believe in and being able to have faith. I'm a huge optimist in my daily life and a big part of that is because I trust God's plan for me, whatever happens is with his best intentions for me. I like being able to believe there is more to life than our time on Earth.

It seems that the word "Catholic" has a negative connotation nowadays and that makes me extremely sad. No one should be judged or profiled based on their religion.

Being Catholic to me means always striving to better myself and bring myself closer to God. Being Catholic might mean something else to another person and that's what is great about religion and faith, they affect everyone differently and it is up to you to decide what to do with these 2 things.

At the end of the day, I am grateful for being brought up in the Catholic family I was because it gave me my morals and made me the person I am today, whom I am proud of.

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Hey You, Get Off Your Phone!

A phone addiction: the one thing we all have in common.

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Your best friend is telling you about her relationship issues when you get a text from another friend. You nod along as she speaks and go to reach for your phone, responding to the text.

You're at work when you hear your phone buzz- it's Urban Outfitters and they're telling you about a sale: 25% all graphics tees! You know it'll look bad to be on your phone but you've got to hop on the good deal before it's gone.

You've got a million things to do- finish a 12 page report by Thursday, clean the dishes, respond to a 100 emails- but you also have snapchats to open, an Instagram to scroll through, and tweets to retweet. A little procrastination never hurt.

We're all guilty of doing it. We've become so normalized to a life with a phone in our hand 24/7, that not being on it sends us into a spiral. It's an addiction and a habit that's incredibly hard to break, but it's the reason that our friends feel ignored, our bosses think we're distracted, and our everyday tasks gets pushed to the last minute.

Force yourself to find another outlet when you're bored.

I recently decided to delete the apps I know are a biggest waste of my time, and find other distractions instead- distractions that involve the people and things that are right in front of me.

Read a book, go for a walk, talk to your friends and parents, paint, draw, go for a run.

Give the respect that people deserve.

Your friends aren't going to stay your friends for too long if you're half listening when they're speaking to you. If you want people to give a shit about your problems, you might want to put in a little effort on your end.

Not to mention, staring at your phone all day is definitely killing your brain cells.

Studies have proven that cellphone usage leads to a shorter attention span. It's the reason we cannot read for more than a couple minutes without getting distracted and why we can't remember things as well as we used to before the era of smart phones.

Habits are hard to break- it takes about 21 days to form one but even longer to get out of one. Take little steps in achieving a life without your hands plastered to your phone and remember that reality is so much better than the digitalized version we see on our 5 by 7 screens.

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