To My Campers As I Look Back At The Best Summer Ever

To My Campers As I Look Back At The Best Summer Ever

Thank you for teaching me how to be happy and carefree.

Being a camp counselor this summer was more to me than just something to do or a job. I needed a summer away from all the drama of friend groups, fake friends and boys. People always say that as a camp counselor people will look at you as a role model. After my freshman year at college, I wouldn’t have considered myself a perfect role model. I wasn’t the complete worst or anything, but I didn’t want my siblings to make some of the mistakes I made.

Being a camp counselor at an all-girls camp taught me to love myself like I used to or wanted to. So many people were there for me and they didn’t even realize it — all of the campers taught me so much about self-love and happiness without even trying.

I smile when I think us talking about how rude boys can be, how happy we were to be at camp and how we wanted to have the best summer ever. I’m so thankful for everything that happened this summer — even though many of my campers were six or seven years younger than me, I relate to all of their struggles when it comes to trying to figure out where you belong and how to be happy with yourself without comparing yourself to others.

So, to all of my campers: I love you all so much and I want all of you to know that you deserve to be happy no matter what. Life is hard sometimes and it’s okay to have a rough time because everyone does. I want you all to know you are great just the way you are. We all have positives and negatives in our life and you can always grow from anything that comes your way. You all taught me to put other people before myself and always to try to make others smile. This was the best summer ever and I can’t thank you all enough for teaching me how to be happy and carefree.

Oh, yeah and GOOO GRAY!!!

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Ocock

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Love Stories to Survive This Valentine's Day

Here's some stuff you should do instead of other people this Valentine's Day.

It's raining this Valentine's Day 2018. As it should be! Here's a bunch of stuff you should enjoy instead of another person.

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Here's a love story that doesn't cheat the audience. After a gut-wrenching break up between leads, Clementine (Kate Winslet) and Joel (Jim Carrey), Clem has all her memories of Joel wiped. Distraught, Joel seeks to do the same, but as each successive memory is wiped, he begins to remember why he loved her in the first place. Unfortunately, he can't stop the process, so it's a movie full of momentary happiness and regret bordered by an ever closing time limit. I think this is Carrey's best performance and Winslet does a fine job as usual. Something about their relationship feels so real, as the meakish Joel is forced to live a little and Clem is forced to slow down and confront things she's running from. It doesn't for a moment feel like manic pixie dream girl nonsense. They've both got their problems and try to make it work, but it just... doesn't. Neither of them can explain why it fell through, but we can see it as objective viewers, not unlike the objective friends you have who tell you your relationship is toxic. This is is a must watch, even if you've got something to be happy about.

2. Her

When I heard about this movie, I was interested, to say the least. But the synopsis didn't help it from looking like one of the most pathetic films of all time. The lonely writer falls in love with his operating system. It's easily one of the most gut-wrenching movies of all time and completely slew me when I first watched it. It also manages a few philosophical questions beyond what true love is. What is artificial intelligence? Can it die? Where do they go once we deactivate them? Should we talk to the dead through artificial intelligence? Do we become immortal by transferring our consciousness to AI? Is the cloud gonna kill us all?? Oh, Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson are great too.

3. Othello

If you're in need of a bit of tragedy and treachery, Othello is your man! And if you need a reason to feel good about staying single for the holiday... Also, a lovely ode to never introducing your significant other to your buddies. Especially to those you've slighted or perhaps done questionable things to their significant others. Seriously, if you think Iago does what he does simply for getting skirted a promotion, think again. He's either got nothing but white noise in his head or something really bad happened that drove him to that point. Maybe, the moral of the story is to live in a bubble. Or a glass house and polish those stones you intended to throw instead.

4. The Essential Rumi

What can I say about Rumi? Rumi is the greatest poet to walk the earth. Here's a sample:

A Star Without A Name

When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,

it easily forgets her

and starts eating solid food.

Seeds feed awhile on ground,

then lift up into the sun.

So you should taste the filtered light

and work your way toward wisdom

with no personal covering.

That's how you came here, like a star

without a name. Move across the night sky

with those anonymous lights.

Mad with love, in ecstasy of the formless, in awe of the simple and deviant: this is the love Rumi provides. He provides a love of nature, a reverence for it. His words are simple, but their order and meaning are obscure and tantalizing. Take a look at that last stanza: "That's how you came here, like a star." This guy was talking about how mankind came from star matter before anyone else! But you could read that another way. You came here without a name, without purpose, and you can mingle with these other anonymous lights or anonymous people who are as formless as you. Basically, read Rumi if you want to understand. And that beard! What a beard!

5. The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico

If you get rustled by the thought of ornithology, have I the contemporary legend for you! This is about a deformed hermit bird whisperer and a mysterious child who comes to the abandoned lighthouse on the English coast with an injured snow goose. They bond over the recovery of their mutual friend, and she returns when she's much older. Just in time to see the hunchback row his dingy out to the beaches of Dunkirk where thousands of European soldiers await evacuation that isn't coming. I can thank Chris Nolan for making one of the greatest war films ever for introducing me to this historical event, and I can also thank Paul for providing either the worst transcript of the British accent ever written or the best, I can't tell for sure. This is also great if you're into love stories, although I have to admit, the love story, while never explicitly stated, was a bit unsettling. Maybe that was the point? Anywho, calling all history buffs, legend seekers, and British accent buffs.

Okay, this list is just turning into crap I like. Use at your own risk, and most of all, stay inside this Valentine's Day! It's a dangerous world out there, no sense in risking it.

Cover Image Credit: Vinoth Chandar at Flickr

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Valentine's Day Over The Years

You’re perfectly content with waking up to Mom’s little heart shaped pancakes before school and a piece of chocolate hidden in your lunch box for later.

To most, February 1th has never been just a day. While some avoid it as if it’s the plague, others look forward to breathing it in. IT referring to that thing in the air, commonly known as love. Valentine’s Day comes around once a year and whether you are young or old, single or taken - one thing is for certain. It has always given you the excuse to eat as much chocolate as your heart desires without being judged. It does not matter if someone buys them for you or if you are treating yourself; the indulgence of too many sweets is something that will never change. Many factors besides the candy do in fact change over the years though; let’s take a look at the differences of how Valentine’s Day has taken place while you’ve grown up.


Back in the good ‘ol days, Valentine’s Day was a day of pure joy and love for everyone. You would wake up and go to school in something red or pink of course, and maybe mom even put your hair in little pigtails with cute pink scrunchies. Boys and girls did not seem to have cooties yet, so letting little Johnny give you a big hug and borrow your crayons meant nothing other than “Hi friend, Happy Valentine’s Day, let’s go color!” Which you did. You and your class would color all day long; cutting out little hearts and making little letters to bring home to Mom and Dad. Some of those little keep-safes are probably still be hanging around the house somewhere.

Elementary School:

My favorite. You would look forward to each Valentine’s Day because every year everyone would give everyone a valentine. The anticipation of going to the supermarket and picking out the coolest or cutest little valentines cards and candy to give to your classmates was overwhelming. “I love these ones Mom!” you would say, but follow up with, “but I can’t get them because Susie already got them and is giving a special one to Tommy because she thinks he’s cute. So I must get a different one.”

This irrational thought process also indicated that boys and girls may have cooties, but at the same time... are they cute? No, never. Okay, maybe a little. Either way - oh goodness; it has begun. The school day before Valentine’s Day was spent crafting your own little personal bag or box that would sit on your desk and collect valentines the following day. Those days are definitely missed.

Middle School:

Oh dear lord, Valentine’s day is coming up and all of your friends mysteriously just seem to be popping up out of nowhere with girlfriends or boyfriends. Everyone…except you? It’s okay though because you heard from Mary’s friend who knows a guy that heard from someone, that Steven in the grade above you only asked out your friend Laura because he thinks she’ll “do stuff” with him. Who knows if she will or not; but that’s something you are just not looking to get involved in. You’re perfectly content with waking up to Mom’s little heart-shaped pancakes before school and a piece of chocolate hidden in your lunch box for later.

High School:

Valentine’s Day in high school is not so much a big deal anymore; unless you’re actually in a relationship. You find there are people that don’t care about it, others that care too much and volunteer to dress up as Cupid to deliver pre-bought valentines - sold by the student council, and other people that hate everyone in relationships and hate everything having to do with the day.

If you’re in a relationship, maybe you baked your special someone something, along with a framed picture of you two. Or maybe you received a little teddy bear holding a heart with some chocolate and a piece of jewelry; how cute. Then, during your lunch period, you were slightly embarrassed by the “I LOVE YOU” with a heart written by your mom on your paper lunch bag. Only once you arrived at lunch, you found it funny to see everyone else had the same thing written on their lunches too. Oh and don’t forget the little piece of candy hidden in your lunch, thanks, Mom.


College Valentine’s Day can be interesting. You either are single and super ready to drunkenly mingle at SigmaApplePie’s Valentine’s Day themed party because you’ve been eyeing Chad for the past couple of days in your 8 a.m. Or you could be totally anti-Valentine’s Day and just sulk all day. Or you could be dealing with a long distance relationship because you’re still dating Brian from high school but you both go to separate colleges. Or, if you’re lucky, you could be happily dating someone that goes to the same college as you.

Whatever your situation is; relationships in college seem to be getting slightly more serious because you’re older and that could either scare you or you could love it. You may still even get Valentine’s Day care packages from Mom and Dad at home; because whether you’re single or not this Valentine’s Day, those two will always love you.

Whatever stage you're at in life, Happy Valentine's Day.

Cover Image Credit: Desktop-Background

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