If you’ve been on the Internet at all throughout the past month, I’m sure you’ve seen at least twenty different people talking about all of the bad things 2016 has brought. Whether they’re referencing the presidential election, the death of a celebrity, or sharing a meme of Kermit the frog – everyone seems to collectively agree that this past year hasn’t been a great one. Well, this may come as a shock to the rest of the Internet, but I don’t feel the same. Of course, I didn’t have a perfect year, either, but throughout the last 365 days, I’ve changed exponentially. Continue reading “What 2016 Taught Me”
I’m sure that everyone who reads this can remember at least one time in their life that someone has told them to pay attention to a task at hand. This person was probably a teacher or a parent reminding you to get off your phone, and this probably annoyed you, and you probably went right back to your social media within a few minutes. Well, you’re not alone – I’ve absolutely done this a million times. Until now. Continue reading “Be All There”
It’s that time of year again. Thankfully, I only have one final in class this year, but I’ve been completely swamped in terms of final projects and papers. After three and a half years of college, its safe to say that I feel qualified enough to share a few of my study tips with you! Continue reading “Studying For Finals: A Guide”
But it isn’t. This election marks the first time in years where the White House and Congress have all been controlled by Republicans. We overcame a very tough, very close election. We dealt with months of people badmouthing our entire party because of one person. We should be celebrating, but we can’t, because everywhere we look, someone has something negative to say. We are expected to feel guilty for casting our vote the way we see fit. People are exercising their #LiberalPrivilege all over the place. Earlier this morning, I tweeted this:
One of my friends responded to this, and asked me to enlighten her. I had seen that she had posted on Facebook and Twitter a couple times around Election Day asking Trump voters why they chose him because she was curious. I’d seen people post similar things to this before, but their word choice always made me feel that they were looking for a political fight – and I wasn’t interested in that at all. However, her outreach seemed genuine. I didn’t respond to her original inquiries to all of her followers, though, because I didn’t want any other people to read it and make negative comments towards me or my views. This is where liberal privilege comes in.
A few weeks ago, I was bored and found myself going through the trending topics on Twitter. One of them caught my eye: #LiberalPrivilege. I had been learning about white privilege in one of my classes, so I assumed that this would be a similar concept, simply directed at liberals rather than white people. (Side note: for those of you who are unfamiliar with the issue of white privilege, you can read about that here – which I highly recommend doing if you are uninformed). I began to read the tweets associated with that hashtag, and felt myself agreeing with mostly all of them. When I explained my aforementioned tweet to my friend who had inquired about it, I explained to her that I felt liberal privilege was being displayed all over social media through the negative comments about Donald Trump, the Republican party, and the future of our nation. I told her that if Hillary Clinton were elected the new President of the United States last night, and I were to write posts and comments attacking her character and badmouth her voters, I would be crucified on social media.
I can only speak about my personal experiences, and I don’t claim to speak for anyone but myself – but this is what I have noticed: my opinions and views are not respected. Because I voted for Trump, people argue that I am uneducated, that I am racist, that I am homophobic, that I am disrespectful, that I am disgusting, and so many other offensive things that do not apply to my character or personality at all. Even while writing this, I am positive that people will use this article as an opportunity to attack me for all of the offensive comments that Donald Trump has made. I will probably struggle with hitting the ‘publish’ button on this draft for fear of people personally attacking me.
I feel uncomfortable talking about my political views in class. Hell, I feel uncomfortable talking about them anywhere. And that isn’t right. I shouldn’t have to feel like I need to heavily justify, explain, and defend my decision to vote for the representative of my political party for people to treat me with respect. Everyone’s opinion should be automatically respected, whether you agree with it or not. I wanted to be happy with the results of this election, but as soon as I heard the news, I was not filled with joy – I was filled with nerves. I knew people would have horrible things to say about the President-Elect, the party, and everyone who belongs to it, including me.
I have written a few articles about my political views before, and in almost all of them, I have talked about how I’ve been attacked for voicing my opinion. People make assumptions about me the second I tell them my political affiliation – they don’t give me time to explain that I am pro-choice, or that I am a supporter of women’s rights, or that I am an advocate against mass incarceration and strict voter identification laws, or that the majority of my research in college has been dedicated to finding a solution for felony disenfranchisement. They don’t let me tell them that I encouraged every single person to vote, not just people who I knew would vote similarly to me. Instead, the negative things that a few people from my party have said are all that stick with me. Let me remind my readers again: what is true of an individual is not always true of the group.
I would normally prefer to stay out of the discussion about politics, but I could not let this one go. I was thankful that my friend responded to my tweet and asked me to explain my words to her, because we proceeded to have the first and only civil conversation I’ve had this election season with someone who is a member of the opposite party. I am sure that members of the Democratic party feel that Republicans disrespect them, too. Nothing is black and white. However, as I previously mentioned, I can only comment on my own experiences, and I have learned that keeping quiet is the only way to survive being a conservative living and going to school in a primarily blue state.
I don’t mean for this post to attack any liberals or members of the Democratic party. I’m not looking for a response, and I’m definitely not looking for a fight. I only want to tell my readers about my opinions on the results of this election. The last thing my friend said to me during our conversation this morning was:
I admire you for who you are and your views. I hope that today no one treats you differently because at the end of the day we are all the same.
This was the most valuable thing anyone has said to me in regards to my political views in a very long time. This is an example of someone who wanted to know more about the opposing candidate, cordially began a conversation about it, explained their views in a collected and unaggressive manner, respectfully agreed to disagree about certain issues, then finished the conversation by acknowledging that we were equals. I am extremely grateful for people (and friends) like her.
In response to that text, I told her that I appreciated her comment, and that I wasn’t planning on treating any Democrats differently today or any other day. I respect everyone’s opinion, and I hope mine will be respected, too.
This post begins with a big fat womp. Throughout the past few weeks, a lot of things were happening in my life that I did not originally view as positive changes, and I had not been feeling motivated to reach any of the goals that I’d set for myself. I was questioning all of the decisions I had made about my education and career so far. I was even considering ending my paralegal studies program and dropping one of my majors, because I was stressing out about the thought of it consuming my life for the next few months. I called my parents to tell them that I was thinking about changing some things about my education, ready to support my decision with a million reasons why it was the right one. Before I even got the chance, their advice stopped me in my tracks. Continue reading “Don’t Be A Quitter”
As many of my loyal readers probably know, I had a boyfriend on and off throughout my last three years of college. At times, he made me (or I convinced myself he was making me) the happiest girl in the world. However, other times, he made me angry, upset, sad, and mostly, he made me question my self-worth. I don’t feel comfortable discussing the specifics of my relationship, especially publicly on the internet, partly because I am on good terms with him and wouldn’t want to jeopardize that, and partly because I’m choosing to move on from it. The reason I wanted to write anything about this subject at all is because recently, a lot of my good friends have been getting involved with boys who do not care about them. While I was dating my ex, some of my friends hated hearing about the things he would do or say to me, and would yell at me, criticize me, and make me feel even worse about the situation. So I stopped telling them. I kept (or tried my best to keep) it from them every single time he did anything even remotely bad. When I would lie and say nothing was wrong, they would look at me like I was a puppy who just got kicked out of its home. I hated that look, and I hated them for reacting that way. Why couldn’t they see the good in him like I could? Continue reading “You Can’t Make Someone Change If They Don’t Want To”
Throughout the last few years of college, I thought that I was satisfied with how my life was going. I loved being involved with my sorority, I was doing extremely well in school (shocking people every time I told them about my three majors), I had an impressive internship at the courthouse, I landed an awesome job (that I actually liked) at a corporate law firm, and I was dating a boy that made me happy. Then, as I felt senior year approaching, I started to feel differently. Continue reading “Why I Started to Choose Myself”
A few months ago, I was staying at my grandmother’s house in North Carolina. She was looking to get rid of some books, and gave a ton to my mom and I to take home. One in particular caught my eye, and I picked it up right away. I ended up finishing The Street Lawyer by John Grisham in less than one day – having no idea that it would change my life. The story opened with the scene of a homeless man who broke into a large corporate law firm and held several attorneys hostage while he demanded justice, then eventually killed himself. Throughout the rest of the book, the reader was taken through the journey of a young attorney’s quest to figure out why that homeless man chose his specific law firm, and what motivated him to commit suicide. He ended up leaving his lavish lifestyle the firm provided him to become a ‘street lawyer,’ which is essentially an attorney who works without compensation for homeless people and panhandlers who have legal business they need taken care of. Continue reading “My Interview with a Homeless Man”
This is something my uncle used to tell all of his classes when he used to teach middle school math. When the students were introduced to a new concept, they would immediately tell him that they were not able to do it, whining I caaaan’t. He told them, “I can’t” is dead. As you may have guessed, I was definitely one of those annoying middle schoolers who complained and whined about math class, absolutely using the phrase I can’t every other minute. It’s no secret that I used to hate nothing more on this earth than mathematics, despite my uncle’s best efforts to get me to believe that it wasn’t so horrible – quizzing me on my multiplication tables every time he came to my house. I’ll never forget that seven times eight is fifty-six. However, thankfully, this post is not about math (sorry, Uncle Steven) but instead about positivity.