For every girl that has ever been uncertain about what she deserves from a man, here is the article for us all. I made a list of things we all deserve because sometimes we accept less than what we deserve due to not being used to being treated well or other reasons. Now is the time to not settle and know twelve things that you deserve from a guy you date or are just starting to date or get to know.
"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.
This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.
However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.
Let me tell you a little story.
Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.
The conversation went something like this:
"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"
"He's a Republican."
"WHAT?! Are you serious?"
"How can you date a Republican?"
After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.
At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?
Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.
Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.
But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.
So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.
Two weeks ago, I started a new and huge chapter in my life. I was blessed to have amazing roommates, friends that served as unconditional support, and a loving boyfriend, but I still found myself nervous and anxious for the incoming school year.
I'm a transfer student. There, I said it. I don't like bringing it up in conversations unless directly asked, as even though there's really nothing to be ashamed about, there is always a small feeling of doubt and apprehension in my mind when I first meet someone- Am I good enough to be here? Do you think of me differently once you know? Will you look at me and say, "Oh... you are?"
And yet, as the quarter started, I found myself not caring. I threw myself into my work and meeting new people and reconnecting with old. This confidence, this basis of my interaction was first formed because I applied to the online community of passionate, diverse, and incredibly welcoming people that is the UCLA Odyssey team.
If you're reading this, and you're an incoming student (whether a transfer or a freshman) or even someone who's been here but is just now considering getting more involved, here are 5 reasons why I urge you to join Odyssey.
1. The FreedomGiphy
Creativity is hard. If you're in college, or even in the workforce, it's extremely difficult to find the time to explore your passions and hobbies. If you have ever been passionate about a topic and you found that there's not that much information about it, or if you've ever stumbled across a piece of work on Facebook or other socials, and thought to yourself, "Wow, I kind of wish I could hear from a different perspective," or, "Wow, I kind of wish this was written in a better way," The Odyssey is the space for you. Simply browsing through the homepage of this diverse publication yields hundreds of articles, all about different topics. If you're a sports fanatic, we welcome you with open arms to write about your take on the game last weekend. If you're into fashion and beauty, please, go ahead and write that scathing review on a makeup brand you discovered yesterday. If you're into poetry, short stories, and odes to those you love most in your life, Odyssey is here for you.
2. The Group ChatGiphy
On the first day of my entry into this wonderful space, I was introduced to the UCLA Odyssey group chat. Since then, the chat has been alive and filled with helpful advice, emotional support, and amazing memes. Sure, we talk business- article deadlines, revisions, and writing prompts, but we also discuss and share things we find interesting and are constantly supporting each other and checking in. If you're looking for a welcoming community, or simply a few more friends to share and discuss with, the chat is the place for you!
3. The TeamGiphy
"Writing for the Odyssey is supposed to be a fun experience for you! Don't stress so much about it." -C.C.
From the heartwarming, weekly emails from our President, Izzy, to the guidance of our Community Strategist, Kat, the Odyssey UCLA team is unlike any other I've ever met. I wrote for the school paper in High School, and briefly for another online publication during my first two years of college, but my experiences there are so vastly different from my time so far in Odyssey. Yes, there's weekly deadline. Yes, you're encouraged to share the pieces you write- but as long as you just shoot out a quick message and let people know, everyone continues to be incredibly understanding and supportive. I went through a rough month about a couple weeks after joining, but I felt no pressure from anyone to push myself beyond my capabilities. I now look forward to our gossip threads, discussions about the best places to eat, and the vibrancy of the people I write alongside with.
4. The ExperienceGiphy
Writing is an important skill. I don't care if you're an English or a Biochemistry major, chances are that you'll have to take a writing class, or send an important email to a professor or workplace. Odyssey is a great place to hone your writing while also having fun. Since joining, I've already begun to polish off my rusty writing skills, and I find myself all the better for it. What's a better way to improve yourself while also expressing your opinions on the things that matter to you the most?
5. The MemoriesGiphy
We're all meeting up for the first time this quarter this week, and I am stoked. In the last couple of months, I've talked to and shared so many fun and deep memories with this incredible group of people. They've made my transition so much better, and we will do the same for you! If you're active, even just a little bit, you'll find someone who shares so many similarities with you. Spending late nights talking about past flings or that amazing bowl or ramen you just had, or simply just reading and sharing personal stories creates a bond like none other. Odyssey is so much more than just a newspaper- it's a living and breathing community of people who are always looking to welcome our next member.
If this sounds like a good time, go ahead and contact us at email@example.com (if you're in the UCLA area), or simply click that little "apply" button at www.theodysseyonline.com/core/in/ and get your story started.