What Starbursts Really Mean to Me

What Starbursts Really Mean to Me

How a buddy with fruit chews saved my butt
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While sitting at my dorm's desk the morning my article was due, I intuitively grabbed a yellow starburst to quickly occupy my craving for something sweet. Unwrapping the colored square, I realized that I have never quite appreciated the purpose that I pair with this specific candy. As you may have learned from my most recent article, my diabetes grants me with surprise, low blood-sugars, which I then am required to treat with small amounts of carbs, or in this case, candy. When I was first diagnosed in high school, I would typically have granola bars or chips on-hand for emergencies, but only when I remembered to pack them. Being prepared for intense drops in my blood-sugar was something that I wasn't great at, and quite frankly it never seemed too important. However, when the time arrived, it was crucial that it would be treated immediately. Fortunately for me, I had a friend who always had a snack, or starbursts, to share with me.

Most call her Ms. McRob; I call her my hero. To many students, her starbursts represented a congratulatory treat, rewarded after participation during class. But to me, they represented trust and reliability. Most days, I would put my health into her hands, blindly going to school without any emergency snacks. None the less, anytime I reached her class with a low blood-sugar, there was always an arm outstretched waiting for me, starbursts in hand.

Her generosity thankfully continued as I advanced in my high school career and continued to be an irresponsible diabetic. Stress is a major factor of my glucose levels, so when my blood-sugar dropped before a speech, I would pop into her classroom for a starburst. Midterms? Starbursts. Pop quiz? Starbursts. Final exams? Starbursts. I do admit, on more than one occasion I would claim my blood-sugar was low just to be able to see her if I felt it had been too long.

For those of you reading who did not have the privilege of having Kaleigh McRoberts as a teacher, I'm truly sorry. She's much more than a teacher that I can mooch candy off of, she's a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a beautiful face that is always wearing a smile. Much like how the starburst is much more than a chewy square, she made such a boring piece of candy hold such responsible and enlightening characteristics.

As I now enter my first year of college, I've obtained more responsibilities, including keeping my own bag of those life-saving starbursts that remind me to be just as humble and generous as McRob.

I carry with me not only a piece of sugar, but a piece of you, Kaleigh. Thank you for always keeping my blood-sugar and my head up.



Cover Image Credit: Walmart

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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