To The Ones Who Want To Do It All

To The Ones Who Want To Do It All

When you've overcommitted yourself and you're feeling a little overwhelmed.
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To the ones who want to do it all,

Hello! I've recently been accepted membership into the elite group of people who attempt to commit to any and every opportunity, request, or event that floats their way. Somehow, this semester has managed to grab a tight grip on every ounce of me, and pull me under. Y'all. Let me just add a few words on the situation.


1. There aren't enough hours in the day.

I'm convinced that 24 hours is not anywhere near a sufficient amount of time for classes, studying, assignments, a part-time job, campus organizations, and sleeping/eating/breathing. Pretty sure you can only pick about two or three of those.

2. What's it like to say no?

Want to head up this project? Sure! Want to take on this leadership position? Why not?! Want to join this group to improve your resume? Sounds good to me!

Sounds pretty bad to me, actually, she whispers from the bottom of the hole she's dug herself into.

3. I get really angry when I realize I can't do everything.

I'm sorry, are you implying that I'm not superwoman? There's a slight chance you might be right.

4. I need a whole lot of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.

Needing the blessing of caffeine, and the promise that I don't have to do this week, semester, or life on my own because let's be real -- impossible.

5. I'm really confused as to how my friends put up with me on a regular basis.

I'm sure that when you ask how I am, getting stressed as the response every time gets a little old. And please know that just because I haven't see you in a few days (or weeks) doesn't mean I'm not loving you telepathically from the bottom of my energy drink, in the mix of psychology and econ textbooks.

6. What's a social life?

As if I wasn't enough of a grandma before this semester knocked the wind out of me, I now have the energy level of a 74-year-old woman, and the incentive to stay in my bed with Netflix when I have a free night is ever-growing.

7. I'm not me without my planner.

These spirals don't just bind pages of an agenda together, they hold my entire life in place.

8. Plans don't always work out the way you expect them to.

When your 6 p.m. meeting gets changed to 6:45 p.m. and you have to adjust your whole evening of dinner plans and library dates, you eventually learn to just roll with the punches and take each day one meltdown at a time.

9. It's absolutely crucial to prioritize when you're busy all the time.

You find out who and what you want to make time for, and you're forced to actually make time for those people and things. You become what you invest yourself in, so surround yourself with the opportunities and the characters that lift you up, challenge you, and encourage you.

So, you little super humans. Breathe in, breathe out. Go conquer the world.

Cover Image Credit: www.amandadiane.com

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 54

Language is a powerful tool.

Irene Yi
Irene Yi
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After we left the talk with Dr. Shikaki, we continue driving through the streets of Ramallah. We are on our way to the Israeli settlement of Psagot, which is located on a hill adjacent to the city of Ramallah. Just one short downhill and uphill drive away, and there was already a world of difference. The houses in this settlement seemed like something out of an American suburbia documentary: neatly lined houses and an established winery.

It was as if someone was shuffling a deck of cards, and while the cards are still haphazardly being stacked back into a pile, we were in Ramallah. Ten minutes away, the dealer had tidied up the stack and straightened out the cards--you know, when you kind of jostle the cards on the table a bit and wait for everything to fall into place in your hands--and we were in Psagot.

The stark contrast between the poverty of Ramallah and the luxury of the winery struck me. Everything that came out of the winery owner's mouth was perceived by me with a tinted lens.

I felt like just sitting there in the winery was an extreme case of privilege--how could we be wine tasting and eating pretzels while there was dust flying in the streets of Ramallah, just the next hill over? And what was this talk of the beautiful, fertile ground that the grapes were grown on? Where was this fertility in helping the farmers of Palestine?

I knew I was missing how hospitable and kind the winery owners were being; after all, they didn't have to give us a warm environment and fine wine. Still, I couldn't help but be a little repulsed by the unnecessary fanciness of this act--wine tasting!

As if we were suburban moms getting together to gossip on the weekend, right after dropping our sons off a soccer practice. Strange. Weird. Lots of emotions for the day. Don't even know if I'm making sense anymore or just rambling, but reliving this day on paper just put me in my introspective state again.

Unnecessarily fancy or not, I was grateful for the complimentary wine and snacks, and we were soon ushered into an auditorium-like structure to hear a talk from Marc Prowisor, a security consultant for the Communities of Judea and Samaria. Marc had previously served in the IDF and talked about his narrative as a settler. His view was that the settlements are not an issue, but rather a point of Jewish identity pride.

He also believed that America--and the rest of the world--pried too much into the business of Israel and Palestine. No one knows exactly what's going on on the ground except for people who actually live here, so why does the rest of the world feel entitled to dictate how people in the region should live?

I remember he compared the conflict as an arena, and the international community was sitting in the audience and using civilians as pawns for their own amusement--moving the pawns around however the audience sees fit.

He did not use the term Palestine, however. He used the phrase "Judea and Samaria," which is what the Jews called this land (the area of the West Bank) historically. There are some Israelis who still use the term "Judea and Samaria" to describe things in the West Bank; others use "Palestine," "Palestinian territory," "West Bank," or "Areas A, B, and C." The choice of name is telling of a person's opinions about the area. Settlers who choose to believe that they are not doing anything illegal by building settlements in West Bank land choose to call it Judea and Samaria because they believe they have a right to the land.

While Marc was in the IDF, he saw the ugly side of humanity. He told us that when you're behind the gun, nothing else matters except for your survival. You may not want to shoot to kill, but when it's you facing another gun, all you know is that you need to make it out alive.

He says, for this reason, 18 year olds should not be serving in the conflict zones. The security borders should not be monitored by children who haven't hardened; rather, these areas should be maintained by trained, older police forces.

At this point, Roni interjects with a comment. He says that during his time in the IDF, he was taught to "respect and suspect" the enemy. Marc said that it was "suspect and respect," not "respect and suspect." Notice how the language here, though ever so slightly different, carries a world of distance between the meanings.

To respect someone--possibly the enemy--before you suspect them is a completely different mindset than suspecting them first and respecting them second. Marc said that while respecting first might be dangerous to security (and that suspecting should be first), IDF soldiers are never taught to hate and dehumanize the enemy. He says there is a difference between a cold professionalism and pure hatred that breeds fear.

Throughout this trip, I noticed a lot of Israelis who were shocked that we came from Berkeley. I never realized this before, but apparently Berkeley has a historical reputation of being anti-Semitic and anti-Israel--with the claim that they are being pro-Palestinian.

Walking down the main plaza of Berkeley, I can always hear people protesting one thing or another. While I love the energy and the interest in the rest of the world, I can't help but think that sometimes people are blindly following a mantra.

A Jewish girl on our trip said that once, a woman from the "pro-Palestinian" side came up to her and just yelled at her for supporting the Jewish identity; the woman did not ask for the girl's opinion, yet she also had no real evidence to back up her attacking argument.

I don't believe that one should argue for the sake of arguing, and I also do not respect anyone who will just attack someone without listening to the other side and at least trying to understand.

In fact, many of the students on our trip got messages from back home saying things like "I want to debate you on this conflict," yet we never really believed that our purpose on this trip was to prepare for a debate. We were here to learn, empathize, and realize that we will never fully understand every nuance there is; we were here to discuss and throw ideas around just to see how that perspective looked like, not to be at each other's throats to prove a point.

Coming from a politically active campus like Berkeley, we got a lot of surprised looks. Berkeley, from an international view, always seems to be rooting for the underdog. In some cases, I believe we should be rooting for minority rights and, as they say, the "underdog."

When I came to Berkeley, I thought the fight would be for equality, but I soon realized that there were groups who were not treated equally. Students will yell about freedom of speech all they want, but as soon as the speaker is someone coming from a more conservative, religious, or Republican standpoint, that speaker's freedom of speech is immediately shut down.

It's a strange way of polarizing the student body, and one different than what I see back home in Michigan, but it is polarizing nonetheless. This is why many Berkeley students are purely pro-Palestinian--they see Palestine as the underdog and immediately ignore the Israeli narrative. They shout for coexistence but fail to see the other side that is trying to coexist with Palestinians--even though the situation is complicated and more nuanced than meets the eye.

Before I came on this trip, my dad asked me to pick a side: Israel or Palestine. I told him it wasn't that black and white. I told him I can empathize with the Palestinians, but I also can see where the Israeli identity comes from. I told him that that is all the more reason I should go on this trip--so that I can get a better understanding of all the sides.

Though I came home with more questions than when I left, I did realize that you can't just pick one side. Just like how we were reminded on the first night, I want to tell the world that everyone's truths are true and valid, and that the key to coexistence is not just being pro-one side.

Anyway, that little tangent was supposed to tie back to Marc. I think he felt a little defensive while speaking to our Berkeley group, because every question we asked about how he empathized with Palestinians was met with a "Well why don't you look in your own backyard for problems before trying to intervene in the problems here?"

It was a very "this isn't your battle to fight" message; Marc really called us out on Berkeley's homeless problem, our housing problem, our poverty problem…. The list goes on. He basically told us that we had enough problems on our own to figure out, and that the problem in his home was HIS problem.

I get it, but it did feel a little patronizing. I think he thought that because we were young, we were also naive--and that we thought we could just swoop in from ~America~ and fix everything. Well, we know we can't fix everything. We can't even fix anything. We can, however, try to learn something.

In our next chapter, we will be talking to Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh!

Irene Yi
Irene Yi

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