In Defense of the Girl Who is Always on Her Cell Phone

My cell phone is glued to my hand every day, all day.

Ok, not really glued, but it’s definitely there for a majority of my day. The only time I ever really put it down is to take notes, but even when I take notes it’s typically on my laptop which is basically just a bigger version of my cell phone anyway.

I know the stereotypes of this generation – that we’re all on our “electronic devices” (a term my mother loves to overuse) too much. That we’ll get carpel tunnel from the amount of time our fingers stay curled over a keyboard. That we’ll start to lose our eyesight from staring at a screen. That the radiation from our computers sitting on our laps will cause ovarian cancer.

Yeah, all that crazy stuff.

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Fashion-Friendly Friday

Aside from writing, fashion is the best form of self-expression. They’re similar in that they’re both flexible. One day, you can write about relationship advice and then the next you can write about your love for dogs. You can change your voice through writing.

Through fashion, you can change your entire image. One day, you can be edgy and the next you can dress straight out of a J. Crew Magazine. That’s always been my favorite part of fashion – it’s exciting, unexpected and mysterious. No one will ever truly know what my real “image” is if I have the ability to change it every day.

It also allows me to stay close to home. Going to school eight hours away can get pretty lonely, but as soon as I open my closet I’m reminded of home. I see the sweater I stole from my sister’s closet in high school after she’d already left for the morning. I see the Vineyard Vines pink and blue dress shirt my mom sent me for Easter last year. I see the dress I wore to my high school graduation. I see memories hanging in my closet, not just things.

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Stop Liking Selfies and Start Liking Yourself

Women all over the world are wasting so much time, effort and energy trying to reach a level of perfection that isn’t realistic. We need to start supporting each other and showcasing our natural beauty instead of tearing each other down and competing to look the best. Social media shouldn’t have a negative impact on our self confidence.

Since high school, I’ve never had any body image issues. I was never the thinnest girl in school, but I wasn’t the heaviest either. I never had acne, my hair was naturally straight and I got my braces off when they were still “cool.” I never felt the need to change anything about myself. For the most part, all of my friends were this way too. Sure, there was the occasional “I feel so fat” remark after consuming a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in under 20 minutes, but that was the extent of it.

Then came the introduction of social media. Suddenly, if you didn’t get at least 50 likes on your selfie on Instagram or Facebook, your confidence levels plummeted. You could suddenly scroll through other girls’ pictures and find out how many people thought someone else looked better than you did based on how many likes they received. Now, there was not only weight to worry about – there were so many other insecurities on display for all to see.

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Small-Town Saturday

Flashback to June amidst a crowd of thousands of people in the blistering summer heat and there I am – black dress, black shoes, headed to work at Victoria’s Secret. The smell of typical street meat was enhanced and mixed with the smell of sweat and sewage. The sound of little children screaming as they slid down an inflatable and the blaring music from street vendors’ tents echoed in my ears.

At this time in my life, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. The mixture of diverse people all coming together in the middle of the street drinking, laughing and shouting was truly breathtaking. Not to mention the fact that incredible skyscrapers surrounded the scene, trying desperately to block out the blazing sun.

Oftentimes, I’d find a bench on the side of the street and just sit and watch the festival unfold around me. I’d watch couples hold hands and pick out Christmas gifts for relatives under the tents; I’d watch kids run between the feet of adults and get scolded for it; I’d watch friends laughing at each other while they all tried to gracefully shove whatever food they were eating into their mouths without dropping it.

At this time in my life, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Then I went to Oktoberfest in Ellicottville.

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When You’re Chronically Busy

People always ask me why I take on so much more than I can handle. On any given day, I can be seen walking at a New York City pace across campus rushing to be somewhere. When I take out my Kate Spade planner in class it’s covered completely in a million different assignments, reminders, or meetings coordinated by pen color. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I can be found changing my outfit in the admissions office bathroom before running to class.

Most of what I do on campus doesn’t have anything to do with my future career either. Most of what I do is for my own enjoyment (or punishment, call it what you’d like). There is absolutely no reason for me to be taking 21 credits, or to have an international studies minor, or to work eight hours in the admissions office.

I also get asked why I live so far into the future. While some people are still undecided in their career path as a junior, I can tell you where I want to be in 5 years, and then 5 years after that, and even 5 years after that. I can tell you where I want to live, how I want my career to progress, what type of dog I want and even what color I want to paint the walls of my NYC apartment.

Some days I don’t even have time to eat lunch. Instead, I eat a bag of trail mix on the way to one of my classes.

The only time I can ever answer either of these questions honestly is when i’m not doing anything, and I think that’s the problem. I overbook myself to the point where all I want to do is lay in bed and eat Ben&Jerry’s because as soon as I slow down or succumb to the ice cream, I start to think. I start to question what happens if my 15 year plan doesn’t work out, or I start to worry about never finding a husband, or I start to think about the fact that I graduate in less than two years. Everything becomes real when I slow down and it’s terrifying.

The future isn’t real yet. In a way, I never have to face reality and the pain and fear and confusion that comes with it. I can live day by day without ever thinking about anything except the task at hand or how it’s going to benefit me in the future. Some people say that this isn’t living, that i’m going to regret not taking the time to live in the here-and-now.

Maybe I will. But right now I can honestly say that being busy enough to distract myself from pain or fear or loneliness is a pretty damn good idea.

So I guess the question you should ask me isn’t why I do so much or why I live so far into the future – it’s what am I going to do when I finally catch up with myself.