The Sunflower in The Sidewalk

The Sunflower in The Sidewalk

Blossoming in unexpected ways.

As the summer progresses, move-in day becomes closer and closer and my anxiety level increases. This will be my first year of college and the first time I am away from home. It will feel unnatural to me and that is scary. Everything is new and different but, in a way, this could potentially be a blessing. I have the opportunity to grow into whoever I aspire to be. It has taken me a long time to feel this way, but I am slowly becoming more excited, rather than anxious, about going off to college in the fall.

That shift happened suddenly when I was not expecting it. Earlier today, I was driving to meet my friend for lunch. She graduated last year, and just finished up her freshman year of college. I was excited to hear her advice and as I drove along, I noticed there was a sunflower growing out of one of the cracks in the sidewalk along the small Cape Cod town that I call my home. My first thought was that it was really odd. Then I was curious as to how it got there. It was this tall, bright, beautiful sunflower growing out of a rigid, gray crack in the worn-down sidewalk. At this point, I was far past the beautiful plant, but I could not stop thinking about it. I figured a seed blew from the field of sunflowers down the road and landed in the crack of the sidewalk. It was then watered from the rain and slowly grew into a tall flower. People probably pass the sprout and do not give it a second thought, but I could not stop thinking about it.

That little seed was transported in the ocean breeze and away from a field of its own type. These seeds all had one home base and were then dispersed to all ends of the sunflower field, except for the one lonely sunflower in the sidewalk. This little seed had spent all of its life in one spot, with the same group, until the day it was blown away. This seed was then brought to the place where it would grow and thrive. At that time, there was no way of telling if the seed would actually take root and blossom. There was not much soil, as it was mainly sand in between the cracks in the Cape Cod sidewalk. This flower took root in its new home and made the most of what it was given. Although it lacked fertile soil, it used all of the nutrients provided and the water from the rain in order to blossom into a gorgeous plant. It would have been easier for the seed had it stayed in the garden and was watered daily, but it would have just been one in the crowd. The move to the sidewalk allowed it to stand out and flourish independently. The sunflower was bright and beautiful, even though it was growing in a tough spot.

I decided that I, too, would be like the sunflower in the sidewalk. I know these next four years will allow me to grow and become bold and successful. I am prepared to leave behind the place and people that have surrounded me for most of my life. I am leaving my comfort zone and entering a new environment. Even if this new place does not have the conventional nourishment that I may receive at home from my family, I will absorb everything and take advantage of all opportunities. As Henry David Thoreau once said, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." I am ready to take root in this next chapter of my life and I am excited to blossom into the best version of myself.
Cover Image Credit: Tula Krystal

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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.


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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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend


Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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