Why you should love yourself … “#LikeAGirl”

I will be the first to admit that I have no idea how football works. I don’t understand it whatsoever, and no matter how many times my family and friends have tried to explain it, I simply just don’t get it. So when super bowl Sunday rolls around, I usually find myself a seat next to the chips and salsa and wait around for the commercials to start. Yesterday, I believe most people were quite disappointed with the lack of comedic commercials; it seemed as though almost all of them were either extremely dark (Nationwide) or very emotional (moms, dads, self-esteem…). One, however controversial, stuck out to me.

The feminine product brand Always had a commercial showing what doing something “like a girl” means to people; specifically the difference between prepubescent girls and teenagers. I found it absolutely empowering for young girls. I think most people forget how horrible it is to grow up. As a young girl, you’re not worried about makeup, clothes, boys, acne, money, popularity… all you care about is getting chores done so you can play outside. I was thrilled that they created this social experiment to show why we have feminism, because so many girls are put down simply for being a girl, and that needs to change.

I can definitely say that I’ve had more than my fair share of experiences with low self-esteem. It’s a phase that almost every girl goes through. Girls are taught from the start to look a certain way and talk a certain way, and what happens if they don’t? Well, society just pushes those girls down to the bottom rung of the ladder. Every girl is supposed to be skinny, they should have long hair that shines, pretty blue eyes, a perfect complexion, and the most important: curves. It’s easy to get down on yourself if you don’t have these features.

What makes it even worse is that girls aren’t even allowed to love themselves. If a girl posts a picture of herself that is captioned “I just felt beautiful today,” her peers either don’t like it or attack her for being conceded. Since when did self-love become conceded? PLEASE explain that to me. If I want to say I’m beautiful, who are you to tell me I’m not?

So this is what we need to do – we need to teach young girls that freckles are cute, that scars can be pretty, that hair of all types is gorgeous, that every shade of skin color is absolutely stunning, that each and every girl can feel like a queen without having someone tell them they are. We need to preach self-love and confidence so it doesn’t die as they grow older. Girls need to believe in themselves, they shouldn’t have to rely on others to figure out if they are beautiful or not.

As for myself, I can tell you that I’ve grown to hate the little lisp that slips out when I get nervous and the freckles that magically appear when I go outside. I have never liked the way my hair curled in some places and not in others and I hate the fact that my skin is basically at war with me. I’ve always wished my feet were smaller than a size 10 and that I was shorter than 5’7″ and my waist was smaller than a size 8.

However, with confidence I have come to learn that the lisp that slips out is part of me, that my freckles come out when I’m enjoying the sun – they arise from happiness. My hair looks natural and that in itself is beautiful, my skin will change in time just as everyones does. My feet and my height and my waist all perfectly coincide with each other and that is how it was meant to be. I was not put on this earth to spend the years hating myself, I was put here to love myself and spread that love to those around me. So why don’t we start teaching every girl that this is how it should be?

Education – why you should stop complaining about school

Hello everyone… I feel the need to apologize for my absence. I don’t necessarily have a reason for it, but hopefully all of my readers can forgive me. I have a topic I’ve been dying to write about. So let’s get to it.

Education. It is one of the most controversial topics in the United States. Should there be a national curriculum? Should schools run all year? Are P.E classes taking away precious hours that could be spent on core subjects? Should prayer be allowed? There are so many questions that constantly take over political conversations. I cannot give you a proper answer to any of those questions because I do not have enough facts to back up my opinion. I can however tell you why kids my age need to stop complaining about going to school every day.

I get it. Waking up at 5:30 each morning and going to school for 7 hours is not exactly the most enjoyable way to spend your day. I don’t like the sleep deprivation that comes with it. I also don’t like that after spending 7 hours there I bring home 7 more hours of work to do at home. So yes, I definitely understand how annoying going to school can be. I also have come to appreciate it though.

You see, there are many countries where girls are still uneducated. There are many countries whose education systems don’t go past the equivalent of our middle schools. The American education system is superior to many around the world and that is something that needs to be acknowledged.

I am sure most of you heard of Malala. A young girl who was shot in the head while fighting for education for girls. There are others just like Malala who must fight for their right to education. In the states, it is freely handed to you. Just for being a United States citizen, you receive every opportunity to get the highest education possible. Yes, college is extremely expensive here, but at least we have it… and we are blessed to have some of the most highly recognized universities in the world. Again, it is something that needs to be acknowledged.

There are quite a few concepts that could use some tweaking in the American education system. I do believe that. I also believe that when you are about to ask why you need to learn something, or why you need to go to school, you should remember that some kids don’t have the choice to go.

There are students I know that shouldn’t even be labeled as students – they never attend class, they never receive the education they could be, they don’t learn the material. They are simply entities that arrive when they are told that they legally have to in order to avoid truancy. I wish I could force them to read Malala’s book, because maybe then they would understand how good they have it.

Why give up education? People are literally dying around the world fighting to have what we have… the least we can do is take advantage of the opportunities presented to us. Use education to make something of yourself. Use it to be something.

What Happened to Classic Textbooks?

Hey guys! So with classes starting up I thought I’d write a little bit about the transition from classic, big old textbooks to online sites or tablet devices. There has been so much controversy over this concept, so I thought I’d throw in my two cents. 

iPads are wonderful things. They really are. I currently have an iPad Mini and am planning on upgrading to the next one they put out! I’m also completely addicted to my MacBook Pro – I love it so much I put it in my blog name. However, when it comes to studying, I would much rather have a heavy book in front of me than my cute little iPad. Here’s my reasons why: 

Distractions, distractions, distractions. I can’t think of one time I’ve gone on my tablet or laptop without checking one of my many social media connections. It’s just so quick and easy, I just have to tap a little blue bird or type a “t” into the search bar and Twitter is up in front of me. And then I get to scrolling though my timeline, clicking on photos my best friend put up, and suddenly 20 minutes have gone by. And oh wait… what was I supposed to be doing again? Having textbooks only available online is just asking for students to get distracted. With everything flashing at our faces, how couldn’t we? 

What does this word mean? I don’t know, Google it. Google! What an absolutely amazing thing. I don’t know where I’d be without it. It makes life so easy… maybe a little too easy? When we’re in grade school we are taught all of these wonderful reading techniques. Those things you’re supposed to do when you don’t know what a word is, or you don’t understand a sentence, or something like that. Sure, when I’m outlining a textbook I easily could pick up my phone and google the definition, but it still leaves me the option of trying to figure it out myself. On the iPad, you can simply hold down your finger on a word and the option “Define” will come up – giving you the definition in a millisecond. You didn’t even have to open up Safari. How convenient. 

Hey did you read chapter 12? No, I Sparknoted it! If you walk into an english class and ask “How many of you have used Sparknotes instead of actually doing a reading assignment?” I would assume at LEAST 60% of the class would raise their hands. Sparknotes, along with Google, is another wonderful tool – but it is also another tool that is extremely taken advantage of. I’m guilty of it. I was NOT feeling like reading 1984, by George Orwell that night. Sparknotes worked sort of well for that class discussion. But the bottom line is, Sparknotes is not enough. Having our books online just makes sites such as Sparknotes or Cliffnotes more readily available. From articles I’ve been sent home with in my AP Psychology & Economics classes, studies have shown that online reading is making our generation unable to comprehend complex texts. A lot of that blame can be placed on devices such as iPads or Surfaces. 

So if it was up to me, we’d all be stuck with heavy old textbooks. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with using online tools for help. I just believe that to be well educated people, we cannot rely on technology. 

 

School is a Priority, but How High Up Should It Be?

Hi everyone! So I’m currently in Kentucky for a funeral, and because of that I am missing the first couple days of school. I’m also completely freaking out. because how could I not be? I’ve been taught that school comes before everything. You’re sick? Well that’s unfortunate, too bad your chemistry test doesn’t care. You have to go out of town? Ooh…bad timing… your project due date isn’t changing. You pulled an all nighter to get your homework done but didn’t finish a couple math problems? That teacher will question why you didn’t think their class was a priority. 

It’s actually pretty sad how we view school. I’ve been taught that my health, my life experiences, my family … all of those things and more come after school. School is my number one priority. But that’s not right. 

Say I had the opportunity to travel the world – to visit every single country. The catch: I’d have to leave school for a year. I would never be able to take that opportunity. I’d miss out on learning how to figure out the slope of a hyperbola! I could never replace that knowledge with world cultures and such… that wouldn’t be useful at all…right? (See my point now?) 

I’m not saying that school isn’t important, because it is. I’m also not saying that you don’t learn anything important in school, because you do. I just believe that there is so much more out there that a school could never teach you, and we should value that a little bit more. I also believe that if you’re sick, or having a family emergency, or something along those lines, you shouldn’t have to feel like you’re drowning. 

But how do we change this? 

How do we change society’s views on anything? It all starts with one person. I guess I’ll be the leader here. School and education are two different things, and we need to realize that. An educated person doesn’t have to have a PhD. Every experience you have educates you. Every mistake you make shapes your mind in the same way a lesson in class does. We as people need to realize that the world is our classroom, and that we should take advantage of that. 

Here’s my current list of life priorities: 

– My health 
– My family 
– Potential world traveling 
– Getting an education 
– School 

I want to be an extremely educated person. I want to experience different cultures around the globe. I want to be very good at whatever my future career may be. I will work to make all of that happen. And with all of that, I will be sure to focus on my personal health, my relationship with my family, and the opportunities available to me.