I have had a crush on the same guy for quite a while now. I have a very flirty roommate and whenever I hang out with him, she’s all over him. It’s really uncomfortable, annoying, and hurtful to me. I’ve tried talking to her about it, telling her specifically that her actions have hurt me. She knows and has known how I feel about him. She claims that she liked him too and I knew that she liked him too, so I am just going to have to deal with it if I want to be her friend. The thing is, she flirts with every male including my other roommate’s boyfriend, but I am really worried that my crush is starting to reciprocate. He flirts back with her and will sometimes instigate the flirting. I don’t know what to do. Any advice?
My beautiful lady friend,
I want to give you a big hug right now and tell you everything is going to be ok. These situations are never easy, and sometimes we wish that dating could just be simple and laid-back. But I do have some news for you—it can be simple and laid-back if you want it to be. Let me tell you how.
Regarding your friend, you’ve done everything you could have done—you’ve told her how you feel about him and I’m assuming she knows how her actions have made you feel. Women generally aren’t oblivious when it comes to “being on the prowl.” I understand it’s frustrating and hurtful that she’s a huge flirt, but unfortunately, that’s just the way she is. There’s not much we can do about how other people choose to act and feel.
We can only control the way we choose to act and feel. So you have two options here: you can sit and be and angry that she’s this way, or you can just accept that’s the way she is and choose to rise above it. And you know what, if it really upsets you that much, then you absolutely have the right to not spend as much time with her anymore. You should not be around someone that hurts you, and if you told her that her actions hurt you, then you should definitely not be around someone that intentionally hurts you. If you’d like to remain her friend, maybe try approaching her again, tell her how you feel, and see what happens. Or you have the right to simply walk away and move on with your life. Though you might feel powerless about all of this, you really do have the control here.
Regarding your crush, I have one simple question for you: do you really want to date someone that doesn’t make you feel like you’re the only girl in the world he’s interested in flirting with? Now keep in mind, often our gentleman friends can be very oblivious when it comes to females. It could be that he’s not aware that he’s flirting back or maybe he just has a flirty personality like your friend.
But to be quite honest with you, personally speaking, any relationship that has required me to compete for someone’s affection has turned me off. It’s way too complicated for my taste. It sounds like you’re not into the petty dating games we sometimes get wrapped up in, so you have the choice to just not participate. And who knows, maybe you taking the higher road that will interest your crush.
But if not? Find a guy who will make you feel like the most wanted and desirable woman around. I promise you it will be much more worth it. I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with your crush, but if you have an awesome friendship and open communication with him, you could always express how you feel and see how he responds to it.
Like I said, keep it simple. You have the control over how you choose to feel in this situation. And trust me, if he’s really the guy that you’re supposed to be with, he will choose you. If he ends up liking your friend back? Good riddance! There will be someone else more perfect for you.
Hope that helps, and good luck!
By Natalie Issa
Watching the news nowadays can be scary. Our TV screens are littered with stories of massacres, police shootings, sexual assault cases, and other unspeakable tragedies. Sometimes it can feel like the world is becoming a scarier and scarier place.
Often, our lives can be just as scary. Whether you’re going through the death of a loved one, battling a mental illness, struggling through school, or just suffering, it can be hard to get out of the bed every day.
I’ll be the first to admit it—life is hard. The world can be even harder. Some people might say that in order to get through this cold world we must be hard and tough. We have to toughen up because kindness during adversity is weakness. If you’re sweet, gentle, and soft during hard times, people often say you are naïve. And you simply won’t make it.
But I don’t agree with that mentality. It’s easy to become bitter and stony due to the pain a hard life brings. What takes strength is, even in the hardest of times, remaining kind. It takes courage to be sweet and gentle in this scary world we live in. What is often mistaken for a weakness is actually strength.
Which brings me to that wonderful little quote from Cinderella (2015): “Have courage, and be kind.”
Let me repeat that just one more time, to make sure we’re all on the same page: “Have courage, and be kind.”
Yes, you can be kind and sweet and brave at the same time. Because being brave isn’t being tough or fearless. It is, as Ambrose Redmoon once said, “…the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
Being brave is resolving to remain sweet and kind and gentle even in dark times. In a world where almost anything can steal away your happiness and livelihood, please don’t let the world steal away your kindness, too.
Be kind to everyone. Be kind to those who hurt or mock you, to those who hold opinions or do things that you don’t agree with, and to those who are suffering for whatever reason.
There’s already so much hatred in the world. Don’t add to it—take away from it. Because being kind and loving doesn’t cost you a thing. Being cruel, however, can cost you a great deal.
Be sweet. Be happy, kind, and loving. Be brave and strong. And don’t let your fear dictate your life. As mentioned before, being kind in the world we live in isn’t easy.
But you’re made of strong stuff. And you can do it.
So please— have courage. Be kind. It can make all the difference in the world.
By Rachel Comish
I’m not going to lie, I’m a little obsessive about height. Everyone in my family is giant, so when I come across a petite person I feel like I’m talking to a tiny porcelain doll.
Unfortunately, nobody seems to appreciate their height. They want to be tall and graceful, or short and little. Nobody wants to be an average height, even though it’s clearly the best of both worlds.
But no matter what height you are, it’s important to be comfortable with yourself.
Advantages of being short:
You can sit cross-legged in chairs. It sounds weird, but I'm super jealous.
You can wear huge heels and not be criticized for being too tall.
More guys are taller than you, so dating might be a little easier.
More often than not, mini skirts look cute on short girls instead of revealing.
You fit into spaces like airplane seats and roller coasters (once again, I'm super jealous).
Advantages of being tall:
You have a higher chance of succeeding at a modeling or athletic career.
You can reach things easier.
You don’t get neck problems from trying to look guys in the eye because you’re already at eye level (but you might get neck problems because you're constantly looking down at people).
You appear older and more mature.
You can totally wear flats and still look like an adult.
Tips for short girls:
Learn to sew.
If you are really little and can never find the right pants for you, get a pair that’s tight enough and hem the bottom. Same for skirts that are too long.
If a dress is too baggy because a size small just doesn’t cut it, throw on a belt to emphasize your waist. You can also tie the bottom of your shirt and turn it into a cute crop top.
Heels are your friend.
If you struggle with heels, try a few different kinds before completely giving up. Yes, pumps and stilettos require a little more sacrifice, but wedge heels are really comfortable. Plus, heels improve posture and confidence.
Tips for tall girls:
Stand up straight and do not be afraid to show off your height. If your friends are short and tend to mumble, tell them honestly that they have to speak up and you cannot slouch to hear them.
Get clothes that fit.
This is easier said than done, but being tall and thin can make shopping difficult and expensive. Splurge on jeans from Buckle or Long Tall Sally. DO NOT wear baggy clothes just because they are long enough. Just don’t.
Don’t try to make yourself look smaller.
This ties into posture, but it’s more than that. You fill up space, so own that space. Don’t slouch into a corner and try to be invisible. If you’re going to be noticeable, use that attention to show grace and confidence.
Be whatever you are-- tall, short, or perfectly normal. Just be comfortable with who you are and embrace your body type. Stand up straight. Look people in the eye. Draw attention to your attitude and not however long your legs are.
Most of all, never let anyone tell you that you are too much or not enough of anything. You have legs, arms, and brains just like everyone else. Now go out in the world, and completely slay.
(Image via stuyspec.com)
Opinion piece by Melanie Walker
The case of the Stanford victim has been a trending topic in the news for the past week.
For anyone unfamiliar, one year ago a woman from Stanford was raped while unconscious by Brock Turner, a 20-year old Olympic-bound swimmer, behind a dumpster. Two bicyclers passed by noticing them; Turner got up to run away, and while one tackled him, the other called the police. For Turner’s crime, among two other additional felonies, he faced a maximum of 14 years in prison. However, last Thursday, after pleading from Turner’s family and very powerful attorneys, Turner was convicted to only serve 6 months of county jail by Judge Aaron Persky.
I’m not writing about this to speak on the vile and detestable crime Turner committed or the unsettling fact that he has not owned up to or apologize for raping this woman. I’m not writing about how Turner decided to blame his decision to rape this woman on “college campus drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that.” I’m not writing about how offensive the quote was from his father, protecting his son, claiming that his son should not be punished so harshly for “20 minutes of action,” making Turner’s dad the most pathetic excuse for a parent I’ve ever seen.
I’m not going to spend time talking about how this injustice served by the court system, that we are supposed to trust, has enabled rape culture and has made a statement to the world that the bad guys have won, and that as long as you have money, the law does not apply to you. I’m not writing about how I agree that Judge Aaron Persky should be stripped of his title, because the truth is, I do not have enough words to describe the awfulness of this case and the disgusting feeling I got in my heart when I read about it a week ago.
But I do have words for this--
Though this is a terrible step backwards for everything men and women our age have worked so completely hard on to create a more mutually-respective society, I’ve seen a lot of good that has come from this case.
For the first time in a very long time, I am actually seeing people uniting against this injustice, rather than being divided. I’ve seen countless articles of men and women protesting together to end rape culture and to protect not only women’s rights but human rights. I’ve seen an outpouring of love and support to this victim from men, women, LGBT’s, the old, and the young—commending her for her courage to speak out and to act.
Though there’s a lot of evil in this case and a lot of back-door politics we don’t quite understand, there’s also a lot of beauty that I see rising from the ashes of this injustice.
Maybe I’m a hopeless optimist, but I truly believe that this is the start of people uniting together to fight what is simply right versus wrong. And where does that start? It starts with the fire that comes from injustice. Injustices like this cause people to find their voice, speak out, and defend their basic human rights.
I would never wish what happened to this woman on anyone, and my heart truly goes out to her and her family. But as a society that is hearing about this on a third-party standing, we have two options. We can use a story like this to either sit back and let someone who is stronger and more powerful take care of the way things work, or we can act and be that strong force in the world that ignites change.
Like the victim in her letter, we can be strong and stand with her to unite people around the globe to fight.
We need to write letters, sign petitions, protest, share articles, inform others through conversation, and shed awareness of this case, because when injustice is served in a country our forefathers worked so hard to defend, it no longer becomes a “feminist issue” or an issue of rape—it becomes a human issue.
Check out the letter addressed to Brock Turner from his victim here.
By Sadie Young
Maybe I’m just speaking for myself, but we are in a stage of our lives where that long list of friends clamoring to hang out, party, and have fun is starting to dwindle. The need to make new friends constantly died with college. It’s just too damn much work to put on the “I’m awesome, you should be my friend face.” Give me a second while I go unscrew my fake smile.
In high school you had your “group,” but when college rolled around you realized how disposable your party friends were. You’re like "Okay, I’m going to make real friends now!" But then you stuck with your party friends, because you needed those people that kept you out until 2 am doing who knows what. They make for the best stories, right?
You’re back in the same loop though. You want REAL friends again, but how can you tell which ones are the good ones? Simple. The piece de resistance (noted in a fake nasally French man voice). I call my masterpiece the road trip test. My home girl, better half, best friend and I have this down to a science. If someone can survive a road trip with us, they’re in; we can be friends for life.
My road trip of choice is Vegas, because it’s close and easy to do in a weekend. I’ve had friends pass and friends fail, and I can 100% endorse this test. It also works with dating relationships, although these waters have been untested by me (big surprise there, coming from the queen of perpetual singledom). But I have seen it work on others.
I’ve tried to map out specific guidelines for this test, but it honestly depends on the person giving it. You need to figure out what’s important to you on a trip and if the friend being put on the spot fails to recognize or help achieve this goal, then they get moved to the chopping block. And there’s always going to be those people you just never want to see for that many hours straight again.
So, give it a try. If you’re wondering if a friend could really be a keeper, take ‘em on a road trip and then you’ll know!
By Rachel Comish
Sports are a great way to bring people together. I come from a basketball family. That may sound weird, but I honestly consider basketball a rite of passage in my family. It is not only our birthright-I’m the short one at 5’10-but our choice family activity.
But It wasn’t just basketball, I grew up going through a marathon of athletic training. I played basketball, soccer, volleyball, and track. Thankfully, not all at once.
Playing sports is not just about exercise. Sure, it’s great to be active and spend some time outside among other humans that don’t live inside your TV. But it’s more than just exercising.
When you play different sports, you are essentially playing games. Learning new rules and techniques for different games can improve your memory. That way, you can be better at learning in general and in other areas of your life.
Many sports involve teamwork. You learn to work with people and push yourself towards a common goal. Working with other people is necessary in the school and work environments, so it’s good to do it in a more relaxed setting like a pickup game of soccer at the park.
When playing sports, you have to push yourself. Yes, it’s fun and doesn’t have to be intense. But having someone, like a coach, to train you and push you to your limits teaches you to work harder. Your coach pushes you and believes in you, so you believe in yourself. Discovering that you are capable of more than you imagined can boost your confidence and give you the sense that you can accomplish difficult things.
Playing sports does not always mean winning. Sometimes, you lose. It can be a game, match, meet, whatever. It can even just be a set of weights that you can’t quite lift. You are not always going to be successful.
And you know what? That’s okay.
Yep. Failure is just fine. We learn from failure. We recover from mistakes and work harder to be better. We can’t always be the best, or even our own personal best, and that’s a hard lesson to digest. But learning that lesson while doing something you love is a lot better than learning it by failing a test.
Sports brings people together and gives them something in common. We connect easier with people who seem to have similar experience, like spending their weekends at track meets or finding the best hiking trails. It’s a fun way to make new friends and do something that you love.
I’m a college student about to graduate from school and start in the workforce. Lately, I’ve been having some second thoughts about my major and about having a regular job. What if I’m not good at it? What if it’s too much pressure? What if I choose the wrong field? What if my boss hates me, and fires me right away? Having a job and being an adult terrifies me, and I’m worried that I’m not up to it. But I do want to have a successful career, and be an independent, working adult. I’ve been so worried about it lately. What should I do?
First things first, every person that has ever donned a collegiate cap and gown has had the exact same fears, thoughts, and anxieties that you are having (whether they admit it or not). Graduation is a scary, but necessary, step in life. There are so many worries for the future— the biggest of them being the unknown.
You hear many people say things like “Oh it will work out” or “Everything will happen the way that it’s suppose to happen”. Though I’m sure these anecdotes are communicated with compassionate and love, they still leave you with no answer. What do I do next?
One of the most important realities of your post-college experience is that you will never, ever get your dream job right away. So many college students come out with their degrees believing that the professional world owes them a six-figure salary, or that a diploma is a golden ticket to your dream job. I want you to take a hit of heroin to that idea, and kill it now.
We live in a culture of entitlement (but please don’t join those who give millennials a bad name). Often, people take jobs they feel are over-qualified for— not because that’s where they want to end up, but because they understand that it’s just a starting place. You need experience.
Another important component of a job search is realizing that sometimes you have to go with the flow. Rarely do people without a specialized degree find a job in that exact field. You will notice when searching for jobs that hardly anyone lists something like “Must have a degree in business to apply”.
Your degree does not define what area you must go into. It’s simply proof that you know how to study, how to analyze, and how to reach a goal. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative and go outside the box. Apply for jobs that might not appeal to you right away. Pay more attention to the job description than the job title; don’t be afraid to try something new!
The only thing more terrifying than the unknown is failure. The fear of failure is what often keeps us from trying. But understand that no business executive, writer, doctor, or anyone with a successful career would be where they are without failure.
Let’s say that you do get a job, and a couple of weeks into it you or your boss realizes that this just isn’t working out. Worst-case scenario, you just get another job. That’s it. Being told “No” or “This isn’t working” is not a sign of weakness, but rather an idea of what to avoid in the future.
Anytime these anxieties come back, run a few of these names in your head and remember that it’s never too late to find what your passion: Vera Wang did not design and sell her first wedding dress until she was 40. Samuel L. Jackson didn’t land a leading roll in a film until he was 43. Stan Lee didn’t write his first comic book until he was 37. It’s never too late to try something new.
So what do we say when our loved ones reach out with the answers of “Oh it will all work out” or “Everything will happen the way that it’s suppose to happen”? We jump feet first into the unknown, don’t let fear dictate our decisions and anxieties, and remember that the work force holds infinite possibilities.
By Melanie Walker
I don’t know about you, but so far 2016 has been phenomenal for me. And now that we’re into June and summer is just getting started, there’s even more opportunities to make memories.
I give to you: The Ultimate 2016 Summer Bucketlist
You can choose to do three, ten, or maybe all 30 of them! Let me help you make this a summer to remember.
1. Go camping
Take your squad or your fam.
2. Read five books
1st book: A book you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the time to.
2nd book: A classic
3rd book: A book a family member recommends to you
4th book: A book you can read in a day
5th book: A book you’ve already read
3. Take a hike
Discover your inner earth goddess and plan a hike every week!
4. Float a river
Check local auto shops--they’ll often sell old tires for sturdy tubes for only 15$!
5. Take a weekend road trip somewhere in your state
Roadtrip with your mom, your BFF, or even yourself.
6. Write five poems
Anyone can write poetry. Give it a go!
7. Fly a kite with someone you love
Need I say more?
8. Discover a new music artist
Have some new beats to take with you in the fall.
9. Plan, organize, and execute a service project
Those girl/boy scouts have the right idea. Give back to your community or to someone you think needs it.
10. Go to IHOP at 2am
Pancakes taste better at 2am.
11. Stargaze in the back of a pickup truck
I can’t think of a better date or activity with a group of people. Get those pillows and blankets and cozy up!
12. Visit a drive-in
When’s the last time you saw a double feature at a drive-in? Revisit your childhood and enjoy those warm summer nights.
13. Find a community event to attend
Whether it’s a concert, auto show, art walk, or, whatever! Attend something in your community. Usually you can find events pretty inexpensive or even free!
14. Organize your closet or living space
Give yourself a project and be productive on the days you need a little break from the sun.
15. Try a new haircut or hair color
Summer’s the perfect time to experiment. Find a fresh new look to make those sunny days a little brighter.
16. Pull an all-nighter
And this time, we mean a fun all-nighter. Make up the endless nights you spent studying by staying up all night with your friend, adventuring, or even hanging out by yourself reading or watching Netflix.
17. Visit an out of town friend
Whether he/she is in the next city or in another state, schedule a few days out of your summer and make those memories.
18. Make a date with your mom or dad
You’re never too old to hang with your parents.
19. Buy the brightest lipstick you can and experiment
Find a bright lipstick to match that vibrant summer hue. Buy a lipstick out of your normal color scheme. I usually like the 2$ lipsticks from WetnWild to experiment with my style.
20. Visit an amusement park
Six Flags, anyone?
21. Wear out your swimsuit
Swim and adventure so much this summer that your swimsuit has a little wear-n-tear.
22. Write a letter to yourself to open in 10 years
Write about where you are in life, who is in your life, what your strengths and weaknesses are. It’ll be fun to see how far you’ve come when you’re in your 30’s.
23. Go to the theater
Whether it’s an outside Elizabethan production or a musical, experience the fun culture that comes from attending plays.
24. Spend a day at the zoo
Whether you’re a kid-at-heart or have kids, the zoo is for everyone.
25. Play kickball
Or softball or ultimate frisbee. Do some sort of sport and get active!
26. Start a budget
Find a budget that works for you. It will help balance out the young and reckless spirit with your responsible adult side.
27. Meditate at the beach
Take a trip to the ocean and gain a little perspective.
28. Deep clean your apartment
Time to pull out the old toothbrush and take a few hours to clean up your space.
29. Wake up early to catch the sunrise
Summers are for late nights and sleeping in, but take a few days to wake up early and breathe in the crisp air.
30. Fall in love
Whether it’s with someone or yourself or something, find what you love and fall madly, ardently in love.
Follow this bucket list and I promise you the most unforgettable summer ever. Get on it!
By Rachel Comish
It’s swimming season again! Here come the long afternoons by the pool and, if you’re lucky, trips to the beach. Now is the time we usually worry about tan lines and stretch marks, and the best way to focus on having fun is to get the perfect swimsuit.
Swimsuits can be uncomfortable. They don’t always fit right and often show more skin than we are willing to share with the world. So I’ve accumulated a list of different bathing suits for different body types so we can all enjoy our summer.
High waist bottoms
Wearing bottoms that come up a little higher is a new trend that lets you wear a bikini without feeling like you’re falling out of it. If you want to show off your legs but not necessarily your tummy, this is a good way to go.
Throwing a sarong over your swimsuit is great, especially if you don’t want to walk around with bare legs. It’s also good for girls who want to accentuate their hips, just tie it a little higher to get that hip swinging walk.
One piece suits are a little more difficult to find, but they look fantastic on girls with hourglass figures. I like getting them with halter tops, it keeps everything a little more under control.
Let’s be honest. Girls get stretch marks. Girls get cellulite. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that. But if you have one of those days when you’re not feeling like showing them off, a swimsuit with skirt bottoms is a good way to go.
This suit is great, because you have the convenience of a two piece, but the coverage of a one piece. These suits usually have little ruffles at the bottom of the top piece that can make your hips look fuller.
If you have a smaller figure, a strapless one piece is a good way to give you curves. They should come with a more fitted top to make sure everything stays where it should.
I have a swim dress, and it’s so cute. I can walk to and form the pool without feeling like I’m in my underwear and it’s basically a sundress that you can swim in.
If you are a lot bigger on top than on bottom, you have to get some kind of two piece swimsuit in order for it to fit right. You can find bikini tops now that are basically bras, so it gives you the support you need. That way, you can get a large top and small bottoms or vise versa if you’re hips are bigger than your top.
Have fun shopping for the perfect swimsuit and showing off your beautiful body! No matter what you wear, you're going to totally slay at the beach. Because you are fabulous.
(Image via Buzzfeed)
By Melanie Walker
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
There are numerous reasons why Robert Frost is my favorite poet—it could be that he was the first to help me discover my immense love of poetry from reading Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. It could be his ability to turn any scene or object in nature into a metaphor for the highs and lows of life we experience. Whatever the reason is, I connect to Frost on a deep level as I ponder his works and often find them parallel to my life.
In The Road Not Taken, I imagine a person at a fork in the road. Maybe the person sits down on the gravel road facing the fork for hours and hours, contemplating what the final outcome of both roads will be. Maybe the person starts down the road to the left, only to become frightened and unsuccessfully backtracks to that fork to find the other road. Or maybe the person takes the road on the right confidently, never looking back.
We live in an age of instant-gratification and ambiguous decision-making. We want others to make decisions for us and we want the results immediately. In my life, when forks come to my road, I will often sit for months and months, afraid to take the wrong path. I’d be lying if I said that several times in my life, and even more now as I’m finding more and more forks come into my road, I didn’t often wonder about the other road—wondering about how differently my life would have been had I taken it.
Would I have been happier? Would I have had a happy family by now? Would I have been more successful? Often it brings me that same sad, lonely feeling as my steps slow on the path I took and I look up longingly at the open sky.
I have a name for this: The Other Road Syndrome. And I am here to testify that it can be very self-destructive. Sure, I could have taken the road that led me to marriage at 21 years-old with a guy who I could have learned to love later down the road. I could have chosen a different major or a different college-experience.
But the truth is, I chose the path less traveled by because I thought that it would be the best course for my life at the time I made the decision. I could wander down that path feeling like I missed out on the other road and anxious about if I should have taken it, or I can embrace the path I chose feeling confident in whatever impulse or call-it-intuition I was feeling when I started down the road I chose.
The important thing is, our roads in life don’t define us as people—it’s how we choose to walk down the road and what we choose to do along the way.
Don’t like the road you’re on? There will be another fork in the road to decide between at some point and you can take another path. Or maybe you need to take break in your stride and smell the wild flowers on the side of the path.
It’s time to stop wondering about the other road, and start living on the road we decided to take. And I promise you, that will make all the difference.