What You Appreciate From 'The Jungle Book' at 20

What You Appreciate From 'The Jungle Book' at 20

For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

New to the box office is Disney's remake of its classic, "The Jungle Book." This movie was beautifully done and not only excited the ten year old in me, but inspired the 19-year-old as well. Here are a few lessons from "The Jungle Book" that I appreciated way more now that I am older than I did when watching for the first time all those years ago.

1. The Bare Necessities

As we age, our number of commitments and priorities grow but the time we have for them seem to shrink. We usually take on bigger schedules, more leadership positions, more activities and our network pool grows. We get so stressed and caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we tend to forget about what matters the most — which is usually the smaller things in life. We get caught up in the big assignments that loom ahead and we never "stop to smell the roses" or even take time to enjoy lunch with a friend. Never in my life have I needed to hear "forget about your worries and your strife" more than at 19 years old and in college. That advice is so beautifully worded and so amazingly true. Sometimes we just need to have ourselves focus on the bare necessities and relax.

2. The Wolf Pack

A major part of this movie is the bond that Mowgli shares with his pack. It makes you think of the important people in your life. I mostly mean family, but I also know there are a few of my close, close friends that I consider part of my "pack." The people we chose to be part of our "pack" are so vital to the way that we go through life. A common line throughout this movie is "the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack." And, this is so true. Not only are we who we hangout with, but we base our actions and attitudes around the attitudes and actions of those around us. I think its important to occasionally reevaluate our pack and make sure that those attitudes are positive and encouraging us to behave in a way that best suits us. These "pack" members should inspire us to be the best that we can be.

3. A Man Without A Place

At the end of the movie, the narrator speaks something along the lines of watching the journey of a boy without a place overcome by being himself. And really, this whole movie is about Mowgli not really fitting into a niche. Not only is he a non-jungle animal trying to survive in the wild, but he is a man who could not really survive in the "man village" either. I know as I transitioned into college a statement that seem to resurface with me frequently was that I was "a man without a country." I was no longer part of my hometown because I had moved on, but I was not quite adjusted to this new town and stage of life either. And, that's something we all related to. The fact is that there will be times throughout our life that we just don't feel like we truly have a place. Our current situation won't be our ideal one. What we can learn from Mowgli is to just ride it out. Stick to what we know and have faith that we will prosper with what we have chose to make of ourselves.

4. That's Not The Wolf Way

Throughout the movie, Mowgli handles several sticky situations not so much like an animal but like a man. Each time he uses these "tricks" (or what I deem clever problem solving skills) he hears from the others that it "isn't the wolf way" and shouldn't be done. Yet, Mowgli never changes and always relies back to his true identity. This is important because sometimes what we want and what we should do isn't necessarily the "wolf way" and doesn't coincide with the rest of the world. And, it's valuable to know that it is totally okay to deviate from the typical or normal path and go your own way. Being yourself is so much harder today than ever, but it is subsequently just as important.

5. King Louie

The moral of King Louie and Mowgli's story is simple. Sometimes people only care for you when you have something to offer them. These people are the worst and you have to separate yourself from them. You'll find them in the stages of your life and they aren't always easy to spot out at first. The key is to trust your instincts and to remove them from your life when you know it is time. It may not be the easiest, safest, or most comfortable option to rid yourselves of these kinds of people, but just like Mowgli had to learn they didn't truly care for you anyway.

6. Respect your elders

Throughout the movie Mowgli has his doubts about Bagheera's bossiness and rules. What we all see that Mowgli can't, is that Bagheera constantly has the best intentions. He truly wants whats best for the boy and for him to be safe. I think sometimes we can't understand our parents, or the adults in our lives that guide us, and we question some of the advice they give us. It's important to remember that their weathered souls know our struggles and our pains and are trying to help us the best they can. We should just know that they love us as much as we love them and the really would go to the ends of the earth for us.

Cover Image Credit: http://cdn3-www.comingsoon.net/assets/uploads/2015/09/TheJungleBookBanner.png

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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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Junior Year Was A Learning Experience About Who I Am In Order To Be The Best Version Of Myself

This year was a changing experience.


I walked inside with a sure enthusiasm that this year would be better than last. I told myself that I wasn't gonna man the same mistakes and fall into the same traps that can left my grades in the dust for so many years. I said that this was the first year I was going to be stress free and without any problems. I also said this would be the year I would get in shape and stop eating cookies but the day that I'm writing it is national chocolate chip cookie day and I'm enjoying a nice and warm one.

This year is puts so much stress on friendships and the way that people interact with one another. Everyone is so on edge due to a lack of sleep and understanding that we all can tend to lash out at each other even though we wouldn't if we weren't in that state of consistent tiredness and sadness. Running on 4-5 hours of sleep really makes it difficult to understand any conflict that may occur. For example, on the day of the hardest Chemistry test of the year, I saw two of my friends lash out at each other in a moment of pure emotion. But almost as fast as the argument began, it was over and they had overcome the conflict between them. It really is a testament to your connection with the other person if you can make it through the whole year without running into any problems. In terms of personal experiences, each day was a challenge due to the little brain function I had, but I managed to not give into my issues. I was able to work around them and keep myself going.

Junior year was an experience that I'm going to keep with me forever because of the good and the bad. First off, I would like to thank my parents for never giving me that resolved look of contempt or happiness. This only motivated me or to work harder and I would like to say that I think I made you guys proud with how hard I worked this year. The next people I would like to thank are my friends, you guys are the actual goats. I know that many of you guys don't know how much I appreciate you and I would like to say that I really take it to heart when you guys help me with a certain problem, whether its academic, social, or none of the above.

As for the plot that most people were waiting now, the grades of the haunted Junior Year. I consider myself to be a very average student and I thought that my grades were going to be once again average by junior year standards. I though that they were going to fall so low that I would not be asian failing anymore. Surprisingly, this was the first year out of all my years in high school that my hard work paid off with consistent grades. That does not mean good but that does not mean bad. As a junior at Northview, I was amongst the 200 that took 4 AP classes and etc etc. Grades do not have to define you and getting a single bad grade will not kill you is the lesson I learned this year. That was the single most important idea that I could have taken from this year because it gave me a new perspective on my education. It was time I lived a little.

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