Winter Is Coming... Kind oF

Winter Is Coming... Kind oF

This one is for all the northerners in Florida for the winter.
Cat D
Cat D
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I used to remember coming to Florida on holiday breaks in elementary school and being so excited to soak up some warm sun. As a graduate student attending a Florida school, I am so thankful for every 80-degree day on my weather app this week.

As a northerner though, I’ve noticed there are so many interesting things when “cold” weather comes around in Florida… “cold” weather is defined here for true Floridians as any temperature below 60 degrees. For northerners that’s summer, but down here… grab your winter coat.

Maybe that’s a good place to start. Attire. What is happening people? Simply because it’s cold does not mean that you have to resort to sweatpants and four hoodies. I’m slightly convinced all the long sleeves and hoodies are because everyone is turning paler as autumn concludes. You can always tell someone is visiting from the north for parent’s weekend because they only packed shorts and are whiter than ghosts. If your parent is from Florida, they have sweaters on sweaters and brought you more too.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that when it’s even slightly chilly out, all of a sudden everyone’s iced orders at the coffee shops turn to hot ones. I’m not complaining here though, I love hot peppermint mochas.

As a northerner though, you feel obligated to let these Floridians know this isn’t cold weather. You pull up your hometown weather report to show that in fact it’s negative and snowing where you’re from. Count your blessings you “cold” Floridian.

Tagging onto your rant about how it’s not that cold, you share how awful it is to have to get up early to shovel your driveway in the freezing dark hours before school or work. You also explain how you have to brush snow off your car and strategically open your door to get your snow scraper so snow doesn’t fall right into your seat instead. Snow is pretty until it’s sitting on your seat.

Rant over, you return to sipping your hot chocolate in flip flops.

Fair warning to all the weathered northerners out there though- Florida weather plays tricks. After you brought all of your sweaters home for the holiday break joking and wondering why you even brought them to Florida in the first place, you will return to a bone chilling two weeks in Florida in January. This is winter, and now you’re stuck without a coat. This was me my freshmen year, so blind-sighted that it could actually get cold. I wore norts to my finals less than a month ago?! What is this?!

I’m not the only one who has been tricked by the random actual chilly weeks of Florida. I met a guy in the elevator with no coats because he left them all home, and now his mom was mailing his jackets. If he was my size, I would’ve shared. Northerners have to look out for each other. Stay strong, stay warm. “Winter is coming” …kind of.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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The Struggle of Taking Classes During the Summer

It can put a bit of a damper on summer fun

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To everyone reading: I hope you're having a nice, relaxing summer. Even if you're working I hope you can get a few days off to hang out with friends, go to the beach, and have some nice downtime. Not me. I am currently in the process of completing two four-week long summer classes. I'm taking them now to get ahead for next semester and to keep my overall schedule on track. It certainly isn't fun, but the reminder that it is only four weeks is what really keeps me going. If you are in the same boat as me, you'll relate to this list like no one else can; if you're not taking summer classes, don't let this list scare you, but use it to mentally prepare yourself for any you may have in the future.

1. Studying and homework

The homework isn't too bad with some summer classes just because you don't have time for a lot of intense projects. Still, since the class is so short you have to do some kind of homework pretty much every day. Make a schedule and spread it out so you don't get too behind.

2. Actually going to class

I am in two classes. One meets in person every day from 10 am to 11:45 am. The other is online. Let me be the first to say that getting up for class during the normal semesters is hard enough, but knowing my little brother gets to sleep in while I have to wake up early and go class is a real motivation suppressant.

I will say, though, it's kind of nice being on campus when it's basically empty.

3. No going out...

You'll probably be a little down because you might not be able to really go out at all during the time you're in class. For me, I go to lecture every morning, come home and do homework for that class, then do homework for my online class. I have some free time on the weekends, but I try to use those lecture-free days to study or work on papers.

4. But being super busy

Even though you might not be able to go out like a summer off, you'll be keeping yourself busy with all that super fun homework I mentioned.

5. Stress

Yes, summer classes can be a little stressful and it's pretty much all thanks to how fast-paced they are. Just do what I do: make a homework and project schedule as soon as you can and remind yourself how short it is.

Summer classes are not the worst thing in the world, and if you choose to take one at some point it won't be absolutely horrible. The nice thing about them is it's like ripping off a Band-Aid; it may be a little painful and annoying, but it's over so fast you don't suffer. Pick your class and professor wisely and get down to business; taking the class means you're one step closer to graduation!

So, to anyone else taking a summer class: good luck and you got this!

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