The Importance of Family

The Importance of Family

"You need to make time for your family no matter what happens in your life." - Matthew Quick
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We all know family is important. That's a lesson ingrained in your head from the second you're born. You learn that your family are the most important people in your life, the people you can depend on without fail. But you don't really realize how important your family is until you move away and board the struggle bus straight to your college years.

When you start college, you realize that your mom and dad knew a lot more than you gave them credit for. You realize that they just wanted the best for you, and wanted to make sure you were ready for anything the world threw your way. You start to really miss them a lot when you're struggling financially or are just too stressed to function. When you're sick and feel like death is imminent, you start to wish your parents were there to take care of you so you don't have to somehow deal with it yourself.

College is also really good at making you miss your siblings, you know, the people you thought you couldn't stand earlier? You miss the camaraderie that was ever-present, even if you were fighting half the time you spent with them. And when you're struggling to make friends and don't think you'll make any at all, you miss the people you had in your life who were forced to be your friends, or at least like you a little bit. You realize just how lucky you were to be able to see them and hang out with them all the time, something that no longer happens as often in college.

You start to miss your cousins and aunts and uncles, the people you may not have seen everyday at home but still got to see a little bit and realize just how important they are to you. When you're busy with college, you don't have as many opportunities to see your extended family, and you start to think about just how little you're seeing them. The importance of family members, no matter how distantly related, is really shown to you as you go through college.

With realizing how important family really is, I feel like maybe we forget the family that isn't related to us by blood. The family you form as you move through life is just as important as that which you were born into. College is just as good at making you realize their importance, as well.

The friends you made in high school and saw everyday probably didn't follow you to your dream school, and you didn't expect them to. You knew you all had different dreams, and you wanted all your friends to make their dreams a reality. It just didn't hit you that you wouldn't see them as often as you hoped when you started college. You may see them on spare weekends that you make it home and you may text incessantly, but you can't see them everyday. The realization that your friends helped shape you just as much as your blood relatives did hits you hard, and you finally appreciate how important your friends really are to you.

Then there are family friends, people who have been friends with your entire family for a little while and are as good as siblings to you. They take care of you when you need it, and they would be there in a second if you called them and told them you needed help. If you're lucky like I am, you get to live with people like this, people who make sure you've got your life together. But college really makes you realize their importance, as well, even if they are around you all the time. These people are the ones that give you just enough of a taste of home that you don't get too terribly homesick.

College is good at making you realize a lot of things, like how to be yourself or how hard functioning as an almost adult really is. However, college is best at making you realize just how important your family truly is, and that you should never take your family for granted, whether they are related by blood or not.

Cover Image Credit: nextavenue

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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What The 2019 'Season Of The Crab' Means For Your Zodiac Sign

It could be a super emotional month for everyone.

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It's officially summer, and that means it's time to dive into the watery depths of Cancer season on June 21. There is a different energy in the air; different from the vibe in Gemini season. Each sign can expect to notice its effects, whether they are obvious or more subtle.

Cancer season means you're probably going to feel more moody than usual. Maybe you're crying more often. Maybe you'll feel more dreamy and intuitive. Maybe you'll be more irritable. Whatever the case, it never hurts to know what you're about to get yourself into.

So what does Cancer season mean for you, based on your zodiac sign?

1. Cancer - 21 Jun to 22 Jul

@rebeccahmac_

Happy solar return, cutie crustacean!

This is one of the dreamiest times of the entire year for you, but lacking structure and planning could prove stressful. You're in an imaginative zone and you may not feel like settling down before chasing the stars, but you must think ahead so things will work out.

2. Leo - 23 Jul to 22 Aug

@lolasuxs

Cancer season will find you exploring who you want to become, and what you want to leave behind. With your season just around the corner, this is also a magical time for healing and exploring yourself. Journaling, creative pursuits, or talking things through are wonderful ways to nourish your soul.

3. Virgo - 23 Aug to 22 Sep

@nahomi.17

This Cancer season, you'll find that the stars and the moon are asking you to rest. You will be faced with many choices and decisions this month. Enjoy your time fostering whatever creativity comes to mind. Do not force yourself to go out if you're not feeling up to it. It's okay to be you and be alone sometimes.

4. Libra - 23 Sep to 22 Oct

@tiiffahh

Cancer season and Neptune retrograde begin on June 21, causing you to need to pause and reflect on your goals. Change can be uncomfortable, but every small shift brings us closer to our goals. Be willing to take a risk, and let the universe push you in the direction of happiness and adventure.

5. Scorpio - 23 Oct to 21 Nov

@jordansavannah_r

Cancer season finds you traveling and opening new doors of opportunity. Are you really gaining anything by holding onto the past so tightly, Scorpio? Set your sights on new dreams, and leave all those people and situations that are holding you back in your rearview mirror.

6. Sagittarius - 22 Nov to 21 Dec

@zelzhcabbage

The question Cancer season asks you now, Sag, is whether you'll run away from your past, cling on to it, or do the emotional work necessary to process it and let it go. Appreciate the memories you are making and try not to get too wrapped up in the little things that annoy you. This is a time for experimentation.

7. Capricorn - 22 Dec to 19 Jan

@xxadriiana

You love your deadlines and goals, but remember that taking care of your emotional health will ultimately help you be more efficient! Trust your intuition, take it slow, and use the energy for play and creativity rather than detailed planning.

8. Aquarius - 20 Jan to 19 Feb

@yeeshibee

Cancer season this year is all about being comfortable and doing what you know, so go ahead and stick to that. This is also a great time for you to check in with yourself when it comes to wellness and your habits.

9. Pisces - 20 Feb to 20 Mar

@stephdangle

This Cancer season, the heightened emotion that is in the air will bring you natural happiness. Go out, have a wonderful night under the summer stars, and use your experiences for inspiration. It will reinvigorate your soul to be more creative and more adventurous.

10. Aries - 21 Mar to 19 Apr

@marilang_

Cancer season finds you focused squarely on your personal life. It's a wonderful time for an adventure. Go on that hike. Wake up early and drive to the beach. You'll feel an inclination to do it all-- and you can! Remind yourself that you are capable.

It will be hard to stay focused because the vibe just feels so good, but Neptune's retrograde brings intriguing messages to your dreams, so pay close attention to your inner voice at this time.

11. Taurus - 20 Apr to 20 May

@belendenike

Cancer season causes emotions to be even more extreme so you'll probably reach your breaking point this month, Taurus, but you are never alone in the problems that you face. Remember to control your temper long enough to cool off and take some relaxation for yourself.

Take a day off and drive around with the windows down. Take five days off and drive to the beach to hang out and reflect. Whatever it is that you need to feel better, it is time to do it this month.

12. Gemini - 21 May to 20 Jun

@nicolenaone

Cancer is a sign that's all about security and protection, and you're really feeling those vibes right now. Your confidence is running high, as you are feeling more in control of your life. Get rid of the elements in your life that won't propel you forward.

Just as the moon and ocean cycle, so do we. Cancer is that strong energy that gets you up in your feels; it's sure to be a ride.

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