The Most Beautiful Present

The Most Beautiful Present

A present is only as good as what you do with it, so it goes with the present.
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A wise turtle once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” Yes, that was Oogwa from "Kung Fu Panda." It may be a kid’s movie, but Oogwa’s wisdom transcends time and applies to all of us.

Today is a gift. In a culture forever obsessed with reminiscing about yesterday and scrambling to fill tomorrow’s schedule, the idea of being fully in the present is an odd one. So much of life passes us by as we spend our days yearning after the future and longing for the past.

It is, however, a rewarding idea when implemented.

When we treasure the beauty of what is in front of us, the petty things we get frustrated at fade into insignificance. We notice things like the way the sunlight filters through the tree leaves, the way the wind makes the curtains dance languidly, and the way our loved ones smell right out of the shower. These aren’t things that belong on a Facebook status or an Instagram post. They are sacred and secret, mundane moments passing by with no promise of ever returning. That is why we must hold on tight to the present and the mystery of now, when time and space align.

When we treat each day as a gift, not only do we notice those little things, but we cherish them because we understand that life is fleeting and it’s those little, insignificant moments that make up the majority of it. We cling to them as they are in front of us and we release them as they drift on to the past.

The past held a great deal of memories and the future will hold even more, but for now, let’s savor the most beautiful present.

Cover Image Credit: renewmoonyoga.wordpress.com

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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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An Open Letter To My Career Development Center

To the Career Development Center at UW, you don't help your students in the creative arts.

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My senior year, I came to you in a slight panic. I'm graduating and need help finding a job. All my teachers recommended you, even my peers recommended you. So I thought, why not! What's the worst that could happen?

The worst that could happen is you told me I was on my own.

I set up an appointment, came back on the day to meet you. The lady was so nice. She asked what I needed help with.

"I'm a graduating senior. I'm majoring in Writing Studies, but I'm not sure where to look for a job."

"Have you tried going to one of our career fairs?"

"I've looked at them. They are all for business majors and IT majors. I haven't seen anything for Writing Studies."

"Okay, well are you on Handshake?"

"No, what's that?"

"It's like the schools friendly version of LinkedIn. So get on that, follow us to keep up with our career fairs, and then get on LinkedIn if you're not on that either."

I spent an hour in your office asking for resources, asking how to find jobs in my field. No I don't want to be a teacher. What else can I do? How can I freelance? How do I use LinkedIn and Handshake.

I spent an hour in your office, and all you told me was get on Handshake, get on LinkedIn and follow you. You did not help me, you just promoted yourself.

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For your previous career fairs you showed me Amazon would be there, which makes sense because the University of Washington is partnered with amazon for Amazon Catalyst where "UW students, staff, and faculty launch their big ideas with social impact" and is available on all three campuses. So, it would make sense that you have Amazon at your business and IT career oriented fairs.

But what about Writing Studies majors and other majors that are in arts and humanities?

I knew I had to get on LinkedIn, I knew I needed to "look for what interests me" and "start looking." I got that part. I needed help with how to look, where to look, what kind of jobs could I go for with my major.

The Career Development Center made me feel that unless you are business or IT, your major doesn't matter.

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If a university is going to have a major, they need to be able to help all students across all majors, not just majors that will help them make connections with businesses that help give them money, such as Amazon who gave UW $10 million for its computer science building back in 2016, where part of the reason they gave them the money was because they wanted to "give more Univeristy of Washington students a chance to study computer science--and hopes some of them ultimately decide to work at its company, too."

The Writing Studies program has been around for eight years. It's time the school started taking care of all its undergrads alone pay $3,754 for 10-18 credits. We deserve more than "get on LinkedIn, Handshake, and follow us."

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