The Most Powerful Word

The Most Powerful Word

Lessons that I learned from my 15 year old self on perspective
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At the beginning of my sophomore year of high school, my English teacher, who would eventually become a mentor to me, presented our class with our first formal assignment of the year. We were to write an essay about which word we believed to be the most powerful out of all of the words in the English language. My brain, like many of my classmate's, was still fogged by a summer haze, and was no match for such a thought-inducing question. Consequently, I, as many others, decided to take the path most traveled and attempted to write my essay about "love". Despite my best efforts, I just couldn't seem to find the substance behind a word that has so many various meanings based upon individual context without sounding cliche. At least not enough substance to deem "love" a word more powerful than any other. After a large amount of careful deliberation, and possibly one too many cups of coffee, I landed on the word that gives all other words in the English language meaning: perspective.

Perspective is often overlooked, but is an incredibly important concept to understand. It is what gives words meaning and people individuality. Each individual's experiences shape their character and mold their outlook on life. With every adverse circumstance a person faces, they are presented with two perspectives from which to view the situation. While many will choose to respond to adversity with negativity, some are able to see difficult situations in a more positive light. Those select few who choose to keep moving forward through the bad times with a positive perspective will find that each day their life will become more enriched and the reflection of their alacrity will radiate in the lives of those around them.

I have experienced the relevance of perspective first hand. The year that I wrote that essay stressing the importance and power behind perspective was the same year that would eventually become the most difficult of my life to date, though I did not know that at the time. I had no idea that I would lose most of my friends, transfer schools twice, watch my parent's go through a heartbreaking divorce, and develop depression all within five months of writing that essay. I also had no clue that I would be introduced to the sweetest (and handsome) guy that I have ever met, or that I would be supported by a few amazing friends who stuck by my side through it all. There are two different perspectives through which I could remember the year 2013, and I choose to accept the negative circumstances and be thankful for the positive.

Three years ago, I deemed "perspective" to be the most powerful word in the English language and through 1,095 dynamic days and an abundance of distressing circumstances, I still believe that to be true. Abraham Lincoln once said, "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." I choose to find the beauty in each uncertain day, to see the delicate rose through all of the burdensome thorns. I choose a positive perspective and a more fulfilling lifestyle, and I hope that you will too.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle McConnell

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Being Sick In College Is A Real Struggle

Being sick in college is definitely not as fun as having a sick day in middle school or high school.

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Something that I have had to deal with multiple times these past two semesters is being sick while in school. It can be a real pain especially depending on what type of sickness it is. I have had tonsillitis, mono, and I'm pretty sure I also had the flu.

Being at school and away from home can make being sick worse because there is nobody to take of you such as your parents. Another thing is having to make the decision to get the rest that your body needs in order to feel better or staying on top of your assignments to avoid falling behind. My parents will always tell me to get a good night's sleep so my body can feel better the next day. However, sometimes I will feel more stress if my work isn't getting done and I feel like I'm falling behind and leaving things to get done in the last minute.

Currently, I am sick now and the past few days haven't been easy, but I still attended all my classes so I wouldn't miss any material or assignments that were given. I usually end up feeling the worst at night when trying to fall asleep, and by that time the doctors are not present at the student health center. Even though my health is important I usually don't like taking too much time out of my day to go to the health center to see a doctor. Some days I don't really have much free time before the evening.

I don't believe I have been over-exerting myself, but I don't want to just stay in my bed all day and sleep, even though that may be what is best for me. Most professors will be understanding if I email them and provide them a doctor's note as well, but I also just got back from a conference where I had to miss two days of classes next week.

I have been trying to keep hydrated so that way my body can fight the sickness. Also, I have been told if you stay hydrated you can flush the virus out of your body quicker.

Eating can also be a pain when you have a sore throat, for the past couple of days I have tried to have some soup in order to help. Most meals I would have to force myself to eat something of substance in order to give my body some type of energy in order to get through the day. It's also never fun not being able to breathe out of your nostrils. If it wasn't my nose being stuffed, then it would be constantly runny so there was no winning that battle.

Looking back, I probably should have done a bit more work over spring break in order to get ahead in the case that something like this would happen. I wanted my break to be exactly that, a break. After not being home for a few months I just wanted some time off to relax.

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