Rape Culture: It’s Time For a Change

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Over the past couple years there has been a lot of media attention on sexual assaults on college Campuses. Stories from schools across the nation have made headlines. Documentaries like “the Hunting Ground” have shocked audiences across the country and schools are taking steps to change. Yet this problem is so much bigger than people realize because the media only tells part of the story. It isn’t just Columbia and Stanford. It’s not just young women on college campuses, sexual assault and violence against women happens everywhere, all the time, to girls and women of all ages.

Statistics say 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. This fact hangs over the heads of women everywhere. It’s the little voice in our heads that makes us travel in packs. It reminds us to never walk alone. It’s the instinct to change directions when we notice a man walking behind us. It’s something all women have to live with.

Every day we walk down city streets with our heads down as men hollar, whistle and stare. In school we have to make sure we wear clothes that aren’t distracting to boys. No shorts too short, no stomach or bra straps showing. When we go out we make sure to turn guys down as politely as possible. We make up excuse and tell lies, we say we have a boyfriend because saying no is never enough.We teach young girls how to dress, how to act and what to say. We teach them all these things in hopes that they do not become that 1. The pressure is put on women to protect themselves from rape. But, maybe instead of teaching girls to not get raped, we could instead teach boys how not to rape.

We have the power to raise this next generation differently. Instead of telling girls to cover up, we should teach boys not to stare. We need to teach boys not to catcall, instead of teaching our girls how to avoid them. We need boys to learn that a girl can wear whatever she wants whenever she wants. We need to teach boys that no means no and there is no excuse for violating another person.We need to demand more from boys. We need to teach the next generation of boys to respect girls so they grown into men who respect women.

I am not having kids anytime soon. But one day down the line if I do I will make sure to raise them differently. Things do not have to stay the way they are, our generation has the power to change things. We can make sure the next generation of boys learn to respect girls. We can make sure the ones who don’t are held accountable for their actions. We can make sure the system is set up to protect the victim, not the culprit. If we can do all that then future generations of girls won’t have to live in fear.

Originally published on Her Track

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My New Store

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This past semester I took a design class and invested in Photoshop, and I decided to put my new knowledge and software to good use. Over the past few weeks I have been designing graphics and I decided to post them all online, so I am now officially a seller on Redbubble!

If you don’t know what Redbubble is you should definitely go check it out it is one of my favorite online stores. Basically you can get anything you want on there, stickers, bags, notebooks, phone cases, T-shirt, canvases, posters. Individual artists upload their work and then can have it put on any product. Which means if you see a sticker you like you can also get that design on a T-shirt or notebook. There are tons of different designs you can get anything from your favorite song lyrics on a mug to a beautiful nature photo already framed and ready to hang up. There is really something for everyone on this site.

Here are a few products from my store.

In case you didn’t know, I am obsessed with quotes so that what most of my products will be, but I also have a few nature photos if you’re interested in that. I am in the middle of designing more quote graphics and the rest of those should be up soon. I am really excited about this please let me know what you guys think in the comments.

P.S. Please like and share it would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

23 Career Tips For Ever Girl With A Dream

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Over the past 6 months I have attended 6 conferences. I have listened to Ted Talk style presentations sat through traditional lectures. I have participated in interactive workshops and watched professional panels. I have collected about 100 business cards and a notebook full of advice. Now I have taken everything I’ve learned from these events and picked the top pieces of advice that every girl needs to know. Whether you’re looking for an internship or your first real world job, here are a few things you should keep in mind. 

1. Do your research. Have questions prepared before you go to an interview.
2. Interning is like dating for your career. Do it as much as you can if you want to find out what you really want in out of your profession.
3. Arrive with a goal. Bring it with you whenever you meet someone or go somewhere.
4. Seek out mentors. Choose ones that represent the very best of what you hope to become.
5. Find someone whose judgment you trust. Learn from them. Ask questions. Take advantage of those connections.
6. Manage your professional image like a celebrity would. You are your relationships and your reputation.
7. When you are starting out, no job is too small. Every job is another opportunity to grow and build your skills.
8. If you’re asked to do something, say yes. And if you don’t actually know how to do it, research it and ask for help. Don’t give up too easily.
9. A setback is a setup for a comeback. Learn from your mistakes, and pick yourself up from the ashes better than you were before.
10. Stand out. Be memorable.
11. Don’t worry about failure. Worry about what happens when you don’t try.
12. Be considerate. Makes it a point to say hello and goodbye to everyone you work with every day.
13. Make yourself essential. Make yourself an irreplaceable asset and keep getting better.
14. Be confident, but realistic. Don’t be delusional, and ensure that you maintain a certain amount of humility.
15. Be accountable. If you make a mistake, own up to it.
16. Websites are like an online business card. Build your resume in a plethora of formats.
17. Don’t be afraid to move on. Do what is best for your career, even if it means cutting ties.
18. You don’t have to be the best, but you should always try and be the best. Diligence and hard work are everything in the working world.
19. Remove the word “should” from your vocabulary. Be assertive and clear.
20. Push yourself. Improve while also understanding your own limitations.
21. Don’t neglect your responsibility to take care of yourself. You cannot do your job if you are not at your best both physically and mentally.
22. Don’t look at your peers as competition. Work with each other to grow and collaborate.
23. Stop comparing yourself to other people because No one’s journey is your own.

You may not have your dream job quite yet, but this advice is sure to help you get there.  If you have any more career advice be sure to leave it in the comments below.

Originally published on Her Track

The Real Heartbreak Of Losing a Best Friend

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When you and your SO break up you know exactly what to do. You change into sweats, put on some Adele, break out the chocolate or ice cream (or both) and have yourself a good cry. After you have accepted what’s happened you call up your besties who immediately come to your aid. They come over with piles of junk food and pizza, and start a violent rant session where phrases like “____ is such a jerk” and “you are better off” are said repeatedly.

You know exactly what to do after a breakup. There’s an entire manual on how to navigate this new single lifestyle you’ve entered. There are a million, movies, books and songs explaining exactly what you are going through. But then there is another type of heartbreak, one that people don’t talk about. It seems with all the talk about love and heartbreak we neglect to talk about what happens when you lose a friend. Friend breakups are completely different and a lot harder to manage. It’s not like you go see them and give some speech about how it’s been fun but you just don’t think it’s going to work anymore. When it comes to friendships there’s not always a solid conclusion, sometimes you don’t even realize it’s ended until after it’s over.

I remember exactly what happened when my best friend and I broke up. It was the first real heartbreak I had ever experienced and I remember every second of it like it was yesterday. I can still feel all of it; the anger, the hurt and the feeling of abandonment. I sat on the floor crying after the biggest fight my best friend and I had ever had. I was so mad. I figured we both needed a couple days to cool off, then we’d talk it out. But days turned to weeks which turned into months, and after so much time of radio silence I knew it was over.

I however was lucky, yes I had lost my best friend but I had recently made a couple new friends. This new group of ladies helped me through the whole ordeal and soon became my best friends. But not everyone is that lucky, most girls have to navigate through the rubble of a broken friendship alone. The truth of the matter is ending a friendship is ten times harder than ending a relationship. Your friends, your true friends have seen you at your lowest and most vulnerable points, but they’ve also been there for all the greatest highlights. Sometimes it seems as if your lives are completely intertwined. They have sat with you and pigged out during sleepovers. They’ve assisted you through every fashion crisis and helped you overcome your body image issues. They have been there through all of the best and worst parts of your life. They have constantly been there to cheer you on all the time reminding you how amazing and truly loved you are. Then suddenly they are gone leaving an empty spot in your heart. I know I have never felt more vulnerable and alone as I did those first couple days.

Ending a relationship may break your heart, but losing a friend can shatter your soul. When you lose a friend, there are no songs, movies or books to guide you. You look around and realize the shoulder you usually go to cry on is no longer there. Your entire world feels like it’s crashing down around you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get through it. I know how it feels, I have been there, and I survived. I made it through to the other side.The reason I was able to move on is because I realized some things just aren’t meant to be. Not all people are meant to stay in your life forever as much as you may want them too. I accepted the fact that our friendship had run it’s course and even though it hurt I was able to move on. Although we aren’t friends anymore I will always remember the good times we had together, and all the lessons she taught me. I grieved what I had and then I made new friends and so will you. It may take some time but you will get there, I promise.

Originally Published on Her Track

A Few Things I Learned In Atlanta

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Last weekend I went to the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta. I had the most amazing time, I met the most amazing people, and I learned a lot, I was only there for 2 days but it was 2 days that I will never forget. Here are a few things I learned, hopefully some of these tips will help you too.
• Find an old iPod you can use to listen to music on the plane.
• Atlanta is run by Coca-Cola.
• Happiness is contagious.
• Be simple. Be clear. Be awesome.
• Be ballsy, be crazy, and stand out.
• Learn to question the impossible.
1 glass of wine = 1 hour of exercise.
• Build a can-do reputation.
• Test all your technology before an event starts, to make sure everything works.
• Learn to be flexible. It’s not a matter of if things go wrong it’s a matter of when.
• Learn to loosen your grip.
• No job is too small; so treat every assignment your given like it matters, because it does.
• Don’t ever settle. Hold out for both marshmallows, it’ll be worth it.
• Learn to shine your own shoes, and iron your own shirt. You shouldn’t have to depend on others for everything.
• If you have a good idea, find an online platform and promote it.
• Dating advice and interview advice are one in the same.
• Everything is communication, it’s not just what you say and what you do. It’s also what you don’t say and what you don’t do.
• Learn to really listen when others are speaking.
• Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
• Do what you say you are going to do.
• You have a responsibility to take care of you. So make sure you are eating right and getting enough sleep, because everything else can wait.
• Don’t apologize unless you really mean it.
• You can have more than one mentor, so don’t be afraid to reach out to multiple people.
• Mentors should guide you, advise you, give you courage, and give you perspective.
• Don’t wait for a mentor to come to you, go out and find one yourself.
• Even when you are 94 yrs old you will still be learning new things.
• People like when you take initiative, but you have to do it in the right way.
• Learn to scuff your shoes and skin your knees. Get out there in the real world and don’t be afraid to do work, and more importantly, don’t be afraid to fail.
• The world moves fast so learn to keep up.

What they Don’t Teach You In School

Lately I’ve been studying a lot, but not all of it has been for my classes. The truth is a lot of stuff that you really should know in life they don’t teach to you in school. The education system is a very strange thing. You spend 6 years learning the basics, then 7 years in secondary education, then you get to higher education, and if you want to be really, really smart you even go to grad school. But at the end of it all you’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, and all you have to show for it is a piece of paper. And on top of all that, you don’t even remember anything that you pulled all-nighters to study for.

The truth is, school doesn’t really prepare you for the real world. I don’t know how taxes work, or how to change a tire. Cooking is still a bit of a mystery, and I have no idea how a mortgage or a credit score works. You know what I do know? The Pythagorean fricken Theorem, yeah cause that’s going to be so helpful when buying a house. So you know what I did, I started teaching myself. I’ve been learning all the things I’ll need to know when I finally have to go out into the world as a self-sufficient adult. Credit scores, cooking, human body, we need to know all this stuff. And since our education system is sorely lacking, we will just have to teach ourselves.

Finances
You know what they really should add to the curriculum? Credit scores, because believe it or not, those are REALLY important. Basically your credit score is made up of all your big spending. Loans, bill payments, credit cards, all those effect your credit score. And you’re probably thinking, “What does a credit score do?” well a credit score is what a bank looks at to see if you are responsible enough for them to give you money. So basically if you ever want a brand new car, or a house, you need a good credit score. Now if you want a good credit card basically all you have to do is pay your bills on time, that includes those pesky student loans.

Cooking
Now that we know about money we need to learn about food, this can be done in 3 simple steps. Step one: pick up a cookbook or find a cooking blog. Step 2: pick a recipe. Step 3: try that recipe. That’s really all you can do is just try, and cook. But start simple you know try a nice chicken breast, and then work your way up from there.The truth is cooking is all about practice, the more you do it the better you’ll be.

P.S: Some people really just can’t cook. So if you are one of those people, I advise you find someone who can, or get a second job to pay for all the takeout you’ll be buying and the gym membership you’ll need.

Human Body
You wouldn’t believe how many things they do not teach you in health class. I recommend checking out Laci Greens youtube channel, she teaches you everything you need to know about the girl downstairs. Now I know some people feel embarrassed about discussing body parts with others, but even if you are embarrassed you should still learn about it because ladies, it’s literally a part of you. You get to spend your whole life with the lady downstairs so you should learn, what she likes, and how to keep her happy, because a happy vagina = happy you.

This is just some stuff to help you get started, the rest you’ll have to figure out on your own. So go consult google about the body. Find a cooking blog, I recommend Annie’s Eats, or stop at Barnes and Noble and buy a cookbook. Ask your parents to teach you about finances. You have so many great resources, use them. Then you can share your plethora of real world knowledge, with everyone you know.

Comment Question: What do you think they should of taught you at school?

Originally published on Unwritten

A Few Things I Learned Over Halloweekend

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  • Fiddler on the Roof is an amazing musical!
  • You don’t need to go trick or treating to eat a shit ton of sugar
  • Beach balls in the crowd get really annoying really fast
  • You are never too old for glow sticks
  • And if you put a ton together you can make a jump rope
  • Its OK to dance by yourself for a little while
  • Some costumes take a whole lot of explaining
  • Others are pretty self explanatory
  • Parties thrown by your school can be a whole lot of fun, and usually have free food
  • but, make sure if you’re planning on leaving you’re allowed to come back in
  • Make sure you get all your stuff before you leave
  • Wear shoes you are willing to commit to
  • Know that by the end of the night your costume probably won’t look as good. And know that that’s OK.
  • Alright my lovely royals, I want to know….what were you for Halloween? Let me know in the comments below

    Photo courtesy of Flickr