What Being a Girl Scout Taught Me

What Being a Girl Scout Taught Me

Being a Girl Scout for 11 years has had such a positive impact on my life.


I have been a Girl Scout for the past 11 years. I joined the organization when I was in second grade. This organization has had a huge impact in shaping me into who I am today. I learned communication skills, leadership skills, and ways to better my community. I was introduced to a group of girls, and we formed strong bonds with one another that we would never have had without Girl Scouts. Having a strong support group of girls was really helpful, and somewhat empowering.

The most important thing i got out of this organization was how much good my group and I accomplished. We were able to do community service that affected so many lives. One of the most influential things for me is when we visited Rosie's Place. Rosie's Place is a shelter for homeless women and their children. As a group, we were able to raise money and go cook dinner for the women in the shelter. We prepared and served the meals to the women, and it was amazing to be helping other people. We also were able to do community service like Cradles to Crayons, sending cards to the troops, donating to the local food pantry, as well as fundraising activities.

Girl Scouts has also presented many exciting opportunities that I would not have had without the organization. We went glass blowing a couple of years ago, which was something that I would have never thought of doing. We also went zip lining, white water rafting, and camping, things that are totally out of my comfort zone. Girl Scouts pushed me to get out of my comfort zone, and without it, I may not have experienced these opportunities.

I encourage younger girls, and girls, in general, to think about joining this great organization. Not only is Girl Scouts rewarding because you help others, but it also makes community service enjoyable and gives you experience. Girl Scouts isn't just about the cookies, but it's about empowering young women to become strong leaders and be fearless in pursuit of their dreams.

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Does The MBTI Personality Indicator Actually Work?

Is there concrete science behind it?


The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been widely used by businesses, universities, the military, and other organizations for decades to assess personality.

When I looked it up, I hadn't realized that Myers and Briggs were the names of two women. Like many people, I had assumed that they were two men who had found themselves working together in a clinic or a laboratory, had come up with this questionnaire and had popularized it through their networks in the business world, in the military, in the church, all of the different institutions where Myers-Briggs is really prevalent today.

Captivated by Jung's ideas, the mother-daughter team of Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers published the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) questionnaire in 1943.

Myers and Briggs invented a way to translate Jung's theories into a practical tool that individuals can use to understand their particular personality type.

Now, over 20 million individuals take the MBTI assessment each year. According to The Washington Post: "More than 10,000 companies, 2,500 colleges and universities, and 200 government agencies in the United States use the test. From the State Department to McKinsey & Co., it's a rite of passage. It's estimated that 50 million people have taken the Myers-Briggs personality test since the Educational Testing Service first added the research to its portfolio in 1962."

What's interesting is that there are many more tests out there, many more models of analysis than Myers-Briggs. Yet Myers-Briggs is still the one that has the most powerful pull on our imagination. You don't often see people putting in their online dating profiles, for instance, their Big Five profile, or their Enneagram type. You do see them putting their Myers-Briggs type in there. You see Buzzfeed quizzes and type tables about Myers-Briggs and what your Myers-Briggs type says about which Game of Thrones character you are. This is the product that has continued to have the most endearing and persuasive pull on our imagination of who we are.

"In 1993, 89 of the Fortune top 100 companies were administering the Myers-Briggs test to their employees. The philosophy behind personality tests is that they don't want you to be in the wrong kind of job. The tests have been completely exposed as nonsense."-- Barbara Ehrenreich

Best-selling author and muckraker Barbara Ehrenreich is right -- the very familiar and widespread Myers-Briggs personality test has indeed been denounced in recent years as not valid or useful. Many still believe, though.

A Vox critique of Myers-Briggs points out that each type's description is positive ("thinker," "nurturer," etc.), painting a rosy picture for anyone taking the test. Thus, part of its popularity might lie in the pleasure of taking the test and reviewing results.

Multiple studies have found the system ineffective in being able to predict how successful various people would be at various jobs.

So, does your Myers-Briggs personality type really matter? The answer is probably not. Some employers and others may put a lot of stock in it, but a careful review of it suggests it mainly offers entertainment value.

Ultimately, I think if it's not Myers-Briggs then something else will fill its place. I think we are hungry for the kind of self-knowledge that it presents. We are seduced by the fact that it presents that knowledge in a painless and easily digestible way. I think we are also incredibly compelled by the fact that enough people around us know the language of a type so that if I tell you I'm an ENTJ (yes, this is my actual type, if you were wondering), you know exactly what that means. You might even be able to conjure up some famous people or literary characters or TV stars whose types are also ENTJ. It is a way of making meaning of a world that is messy and complicated for the need of putting people in boxes is something the human race is known for.

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Is Still Iconic, And Here's Why

Although it's a children's cartoon from the 2000s, ATLA remains one of the greatest shows ever made.


Avatar: The Last Airbender ended in 2008, but I've watched the full series at least ten other times since then. I was a big fan of ATLA when it was first airing, but sometimes I marvel at how lasting it's impact is over a decade later. I've seen ATLA bumper stickers and tattoos depicting the four elements, not mention that I myself have a "Jasmine Dragon" sticker on my laptop resembling the Starbucks logo. ATLA was incredible. It's witty, fun, emotionally impactful, interesting in plot, and filled with relatable characters. "Korra" was a nice attempt to follow up on a passionate fanbase, but it ultimately didn't resonate with viewers to the same degree. That said, sometimes people wonder why I'm still so invested in a kid's cartoon from the 2000s. Here's why.

The show referenced a variety of cultures from around the world

If you've watched the show, you've probably realized that there aren't actually any "white" characters in the Avatar-verse. Not that European cultures aren't valid, but it is notable that the show was created as an appreciation of cultures that often go overlooked. The art and music were heavily influenced by East and South Asia, and the different nations clearly reference Asian and indigenous traditions. Earth Kingdom cities were based off of real cities in East Asia, and the culture depicted drew from various East Asian nations as well. The same applies to the fire nation, which was originally modeled off of Japan and China. The water tribes have their foundations in Inuit and Sireniki cultures, and the air nomads are based on Tibetans, Sri Lankan Buddhists, and Shaolin Monks. There are many other historical references throughout "Avatar," including a nod to ancient Mesopotamia in the Sun Warriors.

The characters were complex and relatable

"ATLA" didn't just give us a typical group of teenage heroes, with each one fitting into a typical mold. They were complex and realistic, and that's what made them relatable. We saw Aang balance his role as Avatar with his personal moral philosophy, all while experiencing the onset of puberty and young adulthood. We watched Katara struggle with responsibility as the main female role model in her family after her mother's death. We observed and related to Toph and Zuko's complex relationships with their families, including the influence that an abusive parent can have on a young life. We experienced the struggles of inferiority to "better" friends with Sokka, and even learned about toxic friendships with Mai and Ty Lee. These were all growing kids and teenagers, and nothing could have been more genuine.

"ATLA" gave us some incredible, strong female leads to look up to

Katara was truly the first feminist I ever encountered on television. Not only did she become a master waterbender in the span of weeks, she also taught the Avatar! And the whole time, she reminded us that strong fighters can be feminine too. Meanwhile, Toph showed us that just because a person has a disability, doesn't mean that they are defined by it. In fact, Toph's blindness only enhances her abilities, rather than holding her back. We also encounter powerful female characters like Azula (I know, she's evil, but that doesn't make her any less of a prodigy), Ty Lee, Mai, Suki (and all the Kyoshi warriors for that matter), Smellerbee, and even Princess Yue (who literally died for her people, mind you).

It made a deep, dramatic topic witty and fun

It occurred to me recently that "Avatar" is basically about imperialism and genocide. The Fire Nation decides to take over the world through military force, and it does so by exterminating an entire people and occupying and colonizing everyone else. For such a deep topic, you wouldn't think the show would be quite as fun as it is, but it is. I've restarted watching, and I find myself constantly laughing. With Sokka's sarcastic comments, Iroh's oddities, and everybody else's regular quips, "ATLA" is regularly lighthearted and never takes itself too seriously.

There's some real wise advice throughout

Finally, what "ATLA" is really known for, is its heart. Uncle Iroh provides us with a regular understanding of the world around us, encouraging us to see the world in balance and look for our true selves. His wise words ring true throughout childhood and adulthood. The underlying themes and messages of the show, including balance, friendship, love, and loyalty, all serve the greater purpose of advising the audience.

In summary, "Avatar" was amazing. If you haven't, I highly recommend you do. If you have, maybe go rewatch!

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