Why Summer is For You,Not Your Followers

Summer is for You, Not your followers

Because your life does not need to be aesthetically pleasing!

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Every year more and more, I notice my friends, acquaintances, and even mutual friends trying desperately hard in their Instagram photos. Now with the summer here and vacations being booked, it seems Instagram has become more of a quiet competition than ever before. From the perfect captions to the perfect arm candy, whatever happened to some good old fashioned fun when we just don't care about anything else but actually enjoying the time.

Now don't get me wrong, I love posting cute photos when I'm on a day trip or week long getaway next to the ocean or amongst dozens of skyscrapers in Manhattan, but that is not my day to day life. However, on Instagram we are brainwashed into thinking our friends from middle school are living these extravagant picturesque lives in the same neighborhood as us…that seems pretty farfetched unless you live in a major city. The truth is, the majority of your friends probably are not even close to being models. They do not have Barbie looking proportions and probably have not even started their real careers yet. However, on Instagram they try to show off their fanciest clothes with the wittiest of captions trying to get likes and to show off to their followers.

Also notice how you NEVER see your followers in the morning with the "no makeup messy bed look" and if you do, it usually is always staged to some level. This is the same for seeing your friends taking most of their photos in conventional places like school or work. That is because we try to fit a cookie cutter standard set by celebrities and fashion influencers to look and act a certain way on social media.

However, that is not what I want to see on my feed and I think it's time we take a step back and focus more on the people and places in front of us.

Of course, there are always going to be popular destinations, festivals, parties, etc. that we are all going to want to be a part of, but we should not live our lives scrolling through unreachable expectations we have made for each other and for ourselves. The fact of the matter is, is that Instagram should be a place to check in on your friends, not a place to silently try to one up them with the more commented on or liked photos.

See, summer shouldn't be about buying the most "instagramable" swimsuits and going to trendy places just for the likes and attention. While I completely encourage taking pictures while you go if you want, you should not make your sole focus of each outing this summer trying to show off on social media to the world. The truth is, life is too short and season change like the weather, so please do yourself a favor and throw on something comfortable and have a good time this weekend. I promise you that you'll thank me later.

Cover Image Credit:

Allison Gass

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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A Cliche Bucket List For Summer 2019

Summer's coming, so get ready.

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Here are 10 things that I am holding myself accountable for this summer. Whether you're reading this for entertainment or inspiration, I hope it inspires you.

1. Canada.

While Canada doesn't sound like the most tropical summer destination, it is a great place to go with friends. In fact, my friends and I booked a three-day trip to Canada, staying in an Airbnb for only $40 a person. I'm telling you, people; get to Canada! It's cheap, and 18 is the legal drinking age. *wink wink*

2. Myrtle Beach.

From Broadway at the Beach to the amazing food and entertainment options, Myrtle Beach is the perfect getaway for you and your gal pals this summer.

3. Read a new book every month.

Juggling online classes, girls trips, and baecations, reading can get a little difficult. That's why I'm giving myself a one-book-a-month goal. I love reading and I truly believe it is therapeutic for the soul. Whether it's a steamy romance or a nail-biting thriller, I WILL read one book a month.

4. Run a 5k.

This one is a little hard for me. While the extent of my exercise is going on the elliptical for 20 minutes if I'm feeling motivated, I plan on pushing myself to try for a 5k or at least a Color Run. I know that's very farfetched, but hey, a girl can dream.

5. Quit using heat on my hair.

This one is self-explanatory. If I continue ironing my hair at the rate I'm going, I'll be bald in 10 years.

6. Go on a road trip.

This isn't as hard as the 5k, but this one definitely is going to be a struggle. I hate driving in cars for more than 20 minutes, but this summer, I want to push myself and try to enjoy the journey.

7. Write a story.

Now, this one may not apply to all of you if you're not a writing freak like I am. I have always wanted to successfully write a story beginning to end, and for some reason, I always push it off. This summer, I WILL (even if it's just a few pages) write a story. For those of you who cringe at the thought of writing, turn this goal into something you'd enjoy. Maybe paint something or try to beat your mile time.

8. Get fit.

Okay, this may be the most cliche of them all. But seriously, I mean this one. My fitness journal has been slightly below average and I'm sick of it. This summer, I plan on eating right and treating my body the way it deserves to be treated. Maybe my 5k goal will help.

9. Start my own blog website.

This has been a dream of mine for years. I love writing and I love the platform that Odyssey gives me. I hope to one day (hopefully this summer) be able to contribute to Odyssey and to my own website.

10. Give up social media for a month.

A month may be a little too hard for my social media addiction, but mark my words, I will do another social media cleanse. I did one once before and I felt so refreshed. Honestly, it made me want to stay away from social media. I'm hoping that doing it one more time will do the trick for me.

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