Why “The March To End Rape Culture” Changed My Life

Why “The March To End Rape Culture” Changed My Life

How an event at my college changed my views and helped me develop a stronger bond to the community.
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The March to End Rape Culture (formerly called the Slut Walk or Take Back the Night) is an empowering movement, even just by the name. It was created so anyone of any gender, age and race could help end the stigma surrounding rape and why it happens. It should be a sensitive subject to everyone and that was definitely true that day.

Even though I’m a college freshman with some serious social anxiety, I decided to attend this event and convinced my closest friend to go with me (though it did not take a lot of convincing since we share the same passion for this tough subject). We decided to make a poster since this walk is infamous for its posters with slogans that are unique and memorable. Here is a picture of my friend holding the sign.

The first time I heard about this event was actually the day before it, thanks to some random poster in the hallway and my constant need to check out the environment around me. I was hoping there would at least be 20 people participating in it. When I arrived and saw the actual amount of people there, I was blown away at the amount of support.

There were definitely more than 20 people there, maybe even 50 or so. The immediate pride set in and I realized how prideful I really was of Stockton University, even more than I usually am. Before the event kicked off, everyone gathered outside with the signs they made. People went around and took pictures, handed out pins, took volunteer signups for the local women’s center, etc. I felt like I belonged among this group of strong, powerful people and the message they believed in.

Once the flyers were handed out showing what chants we were supposed to say during the walk, everything was set. We began marching around outside right in front of the school, which was filled with students since it was a beautiful day out. The chants were said loudly and proudly, we got different looks from people; whether good or not. I really felt like we made an impact that day, and I’m positive other people joined in on the walk once they realized what it was about.

After the walk, some speeches were given by women who were directly affected by rape culture and the myths surrounding it. Many tears were shed. Once the survivors finished speaking and inspired us all to continue with whatever happens in life, I felt like I had to share their message of survival, no matter what.

Experiencing this changed my views on our community. I realized how everyone came together for a good cause and how much support is readily available for anyone going through a rough patch.

I hope that colleges across the U.S., or even other places around the world, can see how beneficial a campaign like this is. It was easy to tell that everyone attending the march that day would hold onto what they learned and spread the message to end rape culture.

Cover Image Credit: Stockton University

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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