Tag Archives: reality

The Secret’s Out, and “Secret” Wasn’t In On It

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I remember the short-lived fad of Formspring back in the days when we used to pull each other’s hair and play lame pranks to exhibit our affections for one another: the infamous and unflattering middle school days. But when we weren’t writing silly love notes and learning the true meaning of cliques, we were in the confines of our bedrooms at home, scrolling through the accumulation of anonymous posts that had congregated on our profiles throughout the day. Some were positive (“Nice hair”, “You’re cute”, whatever, blah blah blah), but the majority of the posts that I had read on Formspring were comments that easily took it too far. Yet users were hooked, obsessed even, with being able to express all the thoughts they had been itching to say without experiencing the consequences of their words . We were finally able to tell the people we had issues with, anonymously, how much they suck. Needless to say, the word of the power of anonymity spread like wildfire.

As we’ve reached this point in time, however, we are far past the Formspring age. Technology has advanced tremendously since the common use of flip phones and the rage of sidekicks. Now, many of us have Apple products, iPhones, and we find ourselves consumed by smartphone apps that claim anonymity for those who wish to post their “secrets” online without being traced. Just for the adrenaline rush of the world being able to know and access the information but not determine the source. I admit, it is somewhat exhilarating. But I don’t believe in online anonymity.

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With that being said, I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I read one of CNN’s latest technology articles confronting the realization that the app “Secret”, similar to the concept of “Whisper” (an app that I had previously explored) allowed users to be able to trace back posts of the friends that they had linked the app with, essentially defeating the purpose of the anonymously-posting app. Why are we surprised that technology isn’t yet perfect? Why are we surprised that it has hitches and glitches sometimes? No technology is perfect and 100% reliable, and these types of “anonymous” apps are still relatively new. They’re still being improved upon, reworked, and criticized. There is still room for them to grow and develop. Everything in life requires trial and error to improve, and this was an error on their part that I honestly feel like they’re going to be taking much more seriously now that it has been brought to light. I doubt it was their master plan all along to tell the world about your raging foot fetish.

The verdict is essentially this: If you’re fearful of your secret ever getting released to the public, whether it be online or otherwise, with your name attached, it’s best that you leave it for the mind to bear. The internet isn’t always the best place to harbor the truths we sometimes wish we could forget.

CNN Article Referenced: ‘Secret’ app didn’t actually keep you anonymous

What are your thoughts on apps like “Secret”?

Comment below!

 

 

Collegiette Clue-Ins: 5 First-Hand Realizations About Making the Big Move to Off-Campus Housing

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Since the moment I stepped foot on campus, I was a dormy. I had the little shared room, which later turned into a little non-shared room, but still, it was a dorm. A dorm is a dorm is a dorm. This goes without saying, but dorms do not accommodate free-flowing space and the habitation of one person, let alone two. If it weren’t for the experience, I would’ve kicked the idea of living in a furnished closet to the corner, but that exhilarated Freshman inside of me begged to be confined by these bare white walls and the concrete-esque mattress of this twin-sized board they called my bed to embrace the independence, cooperation, and infamous struggle required as a newly instated collegiette. Now that I’ve gotten past that horrid phase in my college career, I’ve branched to what I had long considered the unknown: school-affiliated apartment housing that is off campus. Yes, I’ve finally done it, the big thing. So to kick off this semester of new beginnings and unexpected struggles, I would like to reiterate the realizations I have made as a campus outsider looking at the whole big picture of my housing experience.


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1. You never really understand how much space you’re missing out on until the moment when you arrive at your first real apartment. I can legitimately breathe in here, deep breaths!  I can extend my arms in both directions, stretch real hard, and not touch both walls. I can smell the freedom, and for once, it doesn’t smell like dirty carpet or an unkept common area. I think that’s exciting! Excitement is actually an understatement. It’s invigorating. And not only that. When I enter my room, I’m not already standing in front of my bed, nor do I have to kick and shove things aside to be able to close my door. I have a good amount of feet before I even come close! I could tell it was a blessing when I unpacked my belongings and the room did not induce a stress-related panic attack.

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2. I finally have a mailbox that isn’t a P.O. box. It’s an ACTUAL, real-life MAILBOX, guys. I never realized how irritating it can be to have a P.O. box when I want to order samples of products (Yep, it’s a new thing I’m trying out, and yes, I promise I’ll include all the details when I actually receive said samples!). A chunk of them won’t even let you if you’re unlucky enough to have a P.O. box, and it’s not really like I had much of a choice coming in to decide where I wanted my mail to be dropped. Having an actual mailbox gives me the freedom to be the scavenger I am for online deals. It’s a win-win. I save money and companies get another (hopefully) happy customer that may or may not consume based upon happy sampling (or sad sampling, if the product makes me break out even more so than my skin does).

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3. The walls are, in fact, still thin. Queue the “boos” and other groans of discontentment. If someone turns their head in the building next door to me, I can hear it. I guess I wasn’t really expecting thicker walls anytime soon, but it was worth the hopefulness. But now, I have the added benefit of creaking floors and creaking ceilings from my neighbors above my apartment romping around, doing what they do on a Wednesday night. However, don’t regard this as a complaint. I am madly, deeply in love with the new apartment I call my home. It really is a home. There’s not a single part about it or my residence community that makes me feel like I’m in confinement.

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4. I’m a rent-paying adult. Ew, adulthood. And I have to pay my rent on time. By a deadline. Like everything else. It’s one of those realizations that only begins to hit you when you’re filling out the check, dotting the “i”‘s, and carving in that finalizing signature. It’s not like the thought hasn’t grazed your brain before, but being the individual that the deadline addresses…it’s so odd. Dorms force you to pay basically upfront. There isn’t a monthly payment that needs to be issued, so the thought barely crossed my mind. I could fill my brain with all of my other obligations (which happily accepted and inhabited the space). I was a little overzealous this month, paying my next month’s rent 10 days before it’s actually due, but I’m an anxious person that knows for sure that I’m going to trip over myself one month and realize that I have yet to pay my rent. So here’s a toast to the overachiever in me, and although overzealous me will get over this next step up, the daunting signs of adulthood that are looming upon me will put me back into this strange little worried state. It takes time to become accustomed to backpacking my responsibilities.

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5. Shuttles are convenient. So convenient. TOO CONVENIENT. The claim is that they arrive every 15 minutes, but….I guess…..15 translates to 45 in a conversation between bus driver and the average punctual, logical, time-telling-and-comprehending student. If you don’t have a car, and you can’t find a friend with a car, and you have free time to wait for an hour before your class to ensure that you get there. And you can’t possibly walk, and it’s not urgent, and the class is optional, and it’s not an exam day, and you don’t mind sporadically rubbing up against strangers, and if you want an arm workout from holding on to the bars too tight while you’re standing in the middle aisle in the hopes that you don’t come crashing through the emergency exit when the driver makes a sudden stop. So….yeah. Shuttles are….convenient. They’re great, if any of those reasons are applicable. But don’t take my word for it. Take them for a spin. You’ll enjoy every sweaty, anxious moment that accompanies this intimate experience. 

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What did you come to realize when you moved off campus?

Leave a comment below! 

“The Question Is, Are You Happy?”

I find myself going through my daily routine, engulfed by my own thoughts about what it feels like to be “happy”. I remember being happy. Happy was me at Warped Tour, swaying to the beat of some newly discovered bands and realizing how much I adored the sound of something new gracing my ears. Happy was when I sat on the beach with my mom, coffee in hand and gnat-bitten to death, awaiting the arrival of a new sunrise on the shore. Happy was when I heard one of my favorite songs on the radio like I had millions of times before, but this time, managed to belt out all the words as loud as I could with the windows down, completely shamelessly. I know “happy”. Happy has always been a good friend of mine, but has slowly drifted from my grasp as of late. He’s become someone who sends a card on only the holidays signed with just his name, someone who pops in and says “hello” but never actually takes the time to truly absorb my answers, to question the strange intonations of my responses. He’s someone that has mistakenly forgotten to return my calls, tragically missed my texts, and has found new places and people to foster his sparks. Happiness has become an acquaintance, even more so a stranger. As of late.

The question is, am I happy? Am I happy now, at this very moment in time and my life?

I feel like my questioning confirms my answer enough.

The Terrible (And Relatively Tolerable) Truths About Being Twenty

Twenty. It’s an awkward age. And I thought I was awkward then. Psh. I’ve only blossomed. When I was younger, I always thought that twenty was going to be such a grand thing. I was going to have everything in my life together, wrapped neatly in a white picket fence and bow. Well, not yet, but on my way toward the like. But as a current twenty year old, I can honestly say that it isn’t as glamorous as it seems (self-kick to the childhood). Here are a few terrible truths about being twenty that I never would’ve even thought about as a kid, that I now know to be inevitably true. The fantasy has officially been extinguished.

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1. Life: “You need to get your act together. You’re an ADULT. You need to have job experience. Nobody’s gonna take you seriously unless you start taking on more than your schedule can hold. Do it for ME–I mean….employers.” Love always, Your Parents (and supposedly your greatest support system. Hrm. It’s just tough love. Right? Riiiight?)

Reality Check: You’re too young to have a full-time occupation but still too old to “babysit”. At this point, it would just be weird (“You little slacker, you. Nobody’s gonna look at that babysitting job on your resume and say, “Wow, this kid’s a catch. He can whip up snacks and make sure kids don’t die while their parents “visit grandma for dinner”. Hurry, grab him while he’s still available. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! WHY ARE YOU NOT ON THE PHONE WITH HIM AS WE SPEAK?! These qualifications are rare.”). If you’re not an intern for a major corporation by 20 (If you’re not already owning it by now, because you should really be trying to get ahead of the pack, you slacker), you’re the epitome of a failure. Embrace the failure stink. It’s all that you’ll ever know.

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2. Life: “You know Josh? Do you remember little ol’ Josh? Well, Josh works for the FBI now–he’s in charge of the FBI–oh excuse me, he CREATED the FBI. And he’s only 19. And he’s also cured cancer, built homes for the poor, completely ended world hunger, and invented a flying car, all in one weekend. Could you imagine what he could do in two?! Josh was always such a good boy, but wow! Josh is so great now! Why can’t you be like Josh? You should call Josh. Hang out with Josh. Love Josh. Love him. Josh. Josh. Josh. Josh. Joshjoshjoshjoshjosh….(“Josh” chant that leaves you in a state of eternal hell, kind of like the ending to the “Bill Nye the Science Guy” chant at the end of his intro. Ring a bell?)” (The name “Josh” is hypothetical, but I guess if you’re an awesome Josh, I’m talking about you, buddy. You’re making my parents and everyone with high expectations of me hate my freakin’ guts. Good job. HOPE YOU’RE PROUD.)

Reality Check: We all know a Josh. Ugh. Kinda wish he’d go away and take his Facebook full of all of his stupid milestones with him. He makes my own major accomplishments look like mere blips on the radar, and then I get verbally paddled (with a gentle voice occasionally to cushion the blow) because he’s the next young genius of geniuses in all of Geniusville. This is why Netflix exists. Not to entertain us (me). It’s so we (I) can wallow in our (my) disappointed existence because Josh ALREADY FIXED ALL THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS SO THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO DO. JOSH HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT, DOESN’T HE?! But think of it this way. Because of Josh and all of his perfections that you lack, your services are no longer needed. You’re free. Roam, my child.

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3. Life: “Here, have some homework. Wanna hang with friends? Here, have some homework. Got some dishes to do? How about some homework? Family is packing the van and driving for several hours, updating you every five seconds to ensure that you’re waiting at the apartment like a dog that hasn’t been fed in months, so they can see you for the first time in what feels like centuries? It’s a great time for a research paper that has to be a minimum (minimum. not maximum.) of 800 pages, single spaced, due obviously tonight. That’s enough time, right? That was rhetorical, by the way. Eh, who cares. I most certainly don’t care.” -Life

Reality Check: Any and every time you have plans, there will be some homework knocking on your door. True fact. The only way to fight against the buildup is to either get ahead or build a pillow fort out of your whole apartment and become a total shut in, avoid eye contact with your roommate who already thinks you’re a nutcase, and close off all connections to the real world. Nothing can come with you on this journey of seclusion. No laptop, no ipod, and no, not even the smart phone. That phone will know if you’re hiding, and it will notify all of your contacts (including Facebook friends, maybe even the ones you don’t like and don’t know why you ever added) that you’ve completely lost your marbles, as the newest feature of the newest iPhone obviously does. Before you know it, they’ll all come ruthlessly banging on your paper-thin door begging you to gather some sense. Just kidding. You’re gonna die alone in there. With a heavy head and an empty stomach. Nobody is going to realize you disappeared. All because you didn’t want to do your homework. Kinda seems silly now, doesn’t it? Just whip out the 800 page paper. It’ll only take you about an hour. Or a million hours. Something like that. I’m not good with numbers.

Parents: “See, Josh was never afraid to–“

Me: “SHUT UP. Just shut up”.

Parents: “But Josh always did his homework before it was due and he still managed to–“

*mysterious disappearance not caused by prior events/conversations at all but definitely by something else, yeah*

*Oh no, where did my parents go? Oh it was an accident. Oh it happened all of a sudden. Oh*

 Can you relate?

We can bask together. Share if you dare.

The Truth About Settling for “Realities” Over Dreams

So many of my peers come to me with the same thoughts and feelings about how they want to pursue their dreams. They have so many ideas for what they want to do with their lives, but the lack of support they receive from family, especially parents, becomes a breaking point when the words are to be put to action. I, myself, struggled with this feeling. All of my life, I had the full intent to do something artistic. Of course, when you’re an artist, though, the responses that you receive when you explain that you want to pursue something “artistic” are less than satisfactory. Always the same shrugs, nose crinkles, head shakes, and sighs. I understand the discouragement that others in my situation have experienced. It took me some time to evaluate what I enjoyed doing other than artwork, and I came to the conclusion that I am skilled and find great fascination in the workings of the computer. It’s technology and artistry combined into one beautiful machine! That was when I knew that I could have it my way, and still get paid enough to be able to put food on the table.

Not all of our dreams are enough to make a living off of, unfortunately, which is discouraging at the least. But like my situation, though, when there is a will, there’s a way. If you want to pursue something that wouldn’t necessarily be successful in itself immediately (or would be something that would require more time to take off than a position in, say, an established company), evaluate how you can pursue it and still be able to pay for your necessities. As for my own experience, I’ve always wanted to break into the art world. Therefore, I am studying a major that is both practical and creative, while continuing my own creative pursuits on the side. Everything takes time, but knowing what you want and how to get it takes the “work” out of it. If you really want something, anything is possible if you put your focus on it.

When you’re choosing what to do with your life, don’t let the judgment of others cloud your own judgment. If you feel that you can do what you want to do and succeed, then it’s important that you do just that. They will not be living your life. You will. You’ll be going to work everyday. You want to make sure that what you dedicate your life to is an occupation that feels less like work and more like something you love. Don’t settle for something that doesn’t keep your heart happy by the end of the day.

What can you do to make your dreams a reality, and what stepping stones do you have to follow to get where you’d like to go in the future?

What is it about your goal occupation that makes you desire it, and how can practicality come into play to ensure your success?

Daily Writing Prompt: Start a story/excerpt beginning with the following: “The last time I saw her, she…”

Listening to:

“I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe” by OK Go

“You And Only You” by We the Kings

“She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert

“The last time I saw her, she…” had her ruby hair pulled back in a messy bun, little strands poking out in all directions. I had always called it her fireworks hair, which made her laugh that sweet laugh of hers… Her calm, green eyes were focused intently on the laptop screen in front of her, working through the details of her latest novel, her pride and joy, her bare feet tapping, dancing to the beat of a new vinyl she’d been dying to show me. I could feel myself smiling at the thought of her excitement when she wrote, the twitches in her face as she concentrated. She was so beautiful then. So vibrant in her personality, an appreciative and gentle soul with a free spirit. Often I wondered if she were the reason the world was so colorful, as everything she touched came to life, rejuvenated with vigor. Her eyes caught mine, and they returned my smile above the screen. I arose from the couch across from her, her “oldie but goodie” leather couch she refused to let go of, eager to hold her, eager to wrap her in my arms and tell her that having her heart keeps mine beating. So proud of her, my beautiful girl, the love of my life, for all she is. As I reached out my hand toward her, I found her chair cold. In a panic, I felt myself grabbing the chair, my hands frantically searching it for my love. I closed my eyes tightly, my hands rising to my eyes, and fell to my knees at the foot of the desk she had so often wrote upon. Each morning, coffee in hand, she was there long before I was even awake….all for granted, how she was there to greet me with a coffee of my own…. How I could wake when I did, selfishly, and not spend every waking moment… how I slept without realizing I was wasting time…All this precious time, gone. Wetness, tears flowing uncontrollably down my cheeks. My face felt sticky and hot in my stress. It had to have been a nightmare. It couldn’t be real. She was here. Holding my heart, kissing every inch of my face, just yesterday. I can feel myself shaking….The ceiling is going to collapse on me, bury me in this ruin I had made for myself…Was it yesterday? Her rug is here under my knees….Wait, where is she? When was she here? Her perfume lingers in the mahogany of our furniture….When did I feel the heat of her palms against my cheeks? Each tear burned more than the last as they flooded my lips. Had my love……given up on me, on her life and mine? Was she ever there…at all? Was she just a cruel dream?