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A Collegiette's Guide to Life

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    State-sanctioned prison labor has been a controversial pillar of U.S. prisons for over a century. Allowed by the 13th Amendment, penal labor has been an ever-changing but still problematic part of this country’s history. However, over the last several months, prison inmates have been on a labor strike, citing violations of human rights that constitute as slavery.

    According to the New York Times, the prison strike officially kickstarted on Aug. 21, and it’s presently the largest prison strike in the country’s history. Starting with the Hyde Correctional Institution in North Carolina and declared with three fence-donned banners, the now-nationwide prison strike has come to fruition because of festering low inmate wages similarly unjust discipline.

    Above all us, prisoners and activists alike are protesting because they claim the current status of prison labor is institutionalized slavery, which is somehow upheld by the law. Presently, prisoners are subjected to low wages, which leave them unable to afford basic commissary item—thus unable to afford necessary sanitary items, toiletries, medication and medical visits (which are already rare and overpriced, dependant on the state and specific institution).

    Because prisoners often work full-time jobs within their facilities and are still unable to afford essential items, advocates and prisoners alike claim that this infringes on their human rights—and it does. Though legalized by the 13th Amendment, the fact that prison labor leaves prisoners without sufficient funds — because they’re often well below minimum wage— contradicts Article 4 of the U.S. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Granted, President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that the U.S. will pull out of the UN Human Rights Council can leave every U.S. resident’s fundamental rights vulnerable.

    Being restrained (via monetary constraints) from purchasing necessities, while being forced to perform laborious tasks can be a form of slavery, especially want many prisons are forced to work regardless of insufficient pay. Because most for-profit US prisons force inmates to uphold a job while in prison, this nominal pay is unavoidable, which is why prisoners are striking back to demand that the US Prison Litigation Reform Act is dismantled, racially biased sentencing are annulled, and human rights are given back to prisoners.

    While prisoner rights and labor enforcement vary from state to state and prison to prison, certain states require inmates to pay for their “room and board” in prison. Iowa specifically has adopted this room and board policy; however, the state withholds the majority of any incoming external commissary funds. Still, many states apparently treat inmates’ sentencing as a hostel visit, as room and board charges are prevalent in the justice system. Inmates and their allies continue to fight against in-prison discrimination, but this isn’t the fight time prisoners have organized a strike.

    In fact, the convoluted history of prisoner labor ignited in 1865 with the 13th Amendment. Shortly thereafter, the prison labor timeline was deeply ingrained in US slavery. Though slavery was abolished that same year, politicians voted and passed the Black Codes, which forced newly-freed slaves to sign yearly labor contracts. If they refused or breached these inhumane contracts, they were arrested. This was also one of the earliest examples of the country’s problematic history of discriminately incarcerating people of color—a tactic of systemic slavery on its own, even if it is reportedly becoming less prevalent

    Even if people of color refuted the Black Codes and were arrested, prisoners were still subjected to prison labor, where they were even privately leased to work at plantations, parties and houses. This “convict leasing” only bolstered the prisons financial gain, as inmates typically were not compensated for their work—and if they were, it was minimal even comparatively to present wages.

    Though the act of leasing inmates to work for private companies throughout the country might seem like it inspired the first for-profit prisons in the US, it didn’t. The first for-profit prison started in 1852, but a streamline of these privatized prisons exploded in the 1980s. Though many states revoked these leases, prisoners were used to substitute vacant positions when members of the workforce went on strike. While inmates involuntarily filled these positions, simultaneously earning less pay than the actually contracted workers were protesting, it wasn’t until 1923 that prison conditions were even inspected. That’s right: For decades, inmates were forced to work and live in the justice system without the basic right to report dangerous conditions (but the construction of the Office of Prison Inspection was only available to Alabama at this time).

    The prison labor problem only continued on its path of slowly becoming a watered down issue throughout the states. However, that shouldn’t overshadow modern prisoners’ qualms. In recent history, prisoners often earn a mere $1.75 per day for cooking for a horde of inmates or stitching uniforms, the Los Angeles Times reports.

    Mother Jones notes that the current prison strike is gaining nationwide momentum; however, the number of participants behind this monumental protest is still unclear. Still, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee is reporting timely updates on prisoners’ demands and prisons involved in the strike. More notably, some prisoners in scattered locations throughout Washington, California, South Carolina, and Georgia are allegedly incorporating hunger strikes in their protests.

    Advocates for the ongoing strike note that the lack of transparency in US prisons has contributed to the inhumane conditions and unlivable pay. “Prisons are allowed to be the terrible places they are because, despite being public institutions that we fund and are run in our name, we are allowed no look at what goes on inside,” Heather Ann Thompson, a historian and author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, tells The Atlantic.

    Like this isn’t the first documented justice system blunder, this isn’t the first prison strike in US history. Arguably (though, imo, inarguably), the entire justice system needs to be thrown away and completely overhauled. As inmates and advocates alike continue to protest this “modern-day slavery,” The Cut notes that there are ways to support and contribute to this movement.

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    If you’re anything like us, planning dorm decor comes second to researching back-to-school beauty releases and hording sheet masks to use with your roomies. Sure, everyone’s beauty bag will look a little different, but replenishing skincare and makeup supplies is a must-do before move-in day – because having all your fave products and soothing skin mist in your backpack is going to make week one of class that much easier!

    We have recommendations for exactly what you should bring to college, but depending on your beauty style – whether minimalist or full-blow queen– just read through to find the best products and tools you’ll need for the year. From the simple staples to influencer-worthy primer, we’ve got it all listed. Your task? Determine what’s essential – and what you want, because having beauty that goes beyond just the basics is everything.







    • Body wash
    • Body scrub
    • Shave gel
    • Lotion/moisturizer
    • Sunscreen


    • Perfume
    • Nail polish


    • Razor



    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Dry Shampoo
    • Serum or oil
    • Mousse/styling spray


    • Hairbrush
    • Elastic bands
    • Bobby pins
    • Flat iron
    • Curling iron/wand
    • Blow dryer

    So, that’s it! As you pack for an exciting new year, these are just a few products that will keep your skin dewy and your contour sharp, however bare-faced or extravagant you want to go.

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    Anyone who has seen Netflix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before can probably recall from memory every second of the film that made them swoon over just how adorable Peter Kavinsky is. (And if you haven’t seen it: Where have you been for the past two weeks?)

    But one of the sweetest scenes has to be the first time that Peter picks up Lara Jean and Kitty for school and takes a sip of Kitty’s “Korean yogurt smoothie.” Pete learns that it’s Lara Jean’s favorite, thus leading to the major swoon-inducing plot point of Peter driving all the way across town to get them for the bus ride to the school ski trip.

    The name of the “Korean yogurt smoothie” is never mentioned in the movie, but eagle-eyed fans have easily figured out the brand name and literally everyone is buying them now.

    Fans recognized the red foil lid from Japan-based company Yakult. As a result, everyone has been rushing to the stores and buying the drink (based solely on the unintentional product placement in the movie).

    Apparently the smoothie has gotten so popular that the company’s previously dropping stocks went up 2.6 percent in the last two weeks, according to Mark Bachman, head of M Science’s TickerTags in a statement to Bloomberg.

    Bachman also stated that mentions of the brand have skyrocketed since the movie was released. “Given the increasing conversation levels, we believe Yakult is achieving greater brand awareness, which should likely result in higher sales volume,” he said.

    According to Yakult’s site, the smoothie is a probiotic drink full of “good bacteria” that helps balance your digestive system, and apparently tastes like “liquid skittles” according to Mashable.

    If it’s good enough for Peter Kavinsky, it’s good enough for us. So please excuse us while we run to the nearest supermarket (even if it’s all the way across town).

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    It’s no secret that being stood up on dates is a serious bummer, but what about being ditched and left with the bill? For a bunch of women in the Los Angeles area, that nightmare is a reality.

    According to police, serial dine-and-dasher Paul Guadalupe Gonzalez has been taking women on seriously expensive dates and then leaving them to foot the bill. He has allegedly done this with eight women, and is now facing felony charges including extortion, attempted extortion and grand theft. In total, he has allegedly cost victims more than $950, and if he is convicted will face up to 13 years in prison.  

    One woman, Marjorie Moon, told Buzzfeed News about her date with Gonzalez. She says the date was going well, with Gonzalez ordering a huge meal including wine, a roasted chicken and four lobster tails. “Then he excused himself to make a phone call and that’s when he didn’t come back,” she says. “It was about five minutes when I started saying, ‘I don’t know, something isn’t right to me.”

    The restaurants staff confirmed that Gonzalez had actually left the restaurant and Moon was forced to pay the $250 bill on her own.

    Another woman, identified as only Michelle, spoke to CBS Los Angeles about her disastrous encounter with Gonzalez as well. After ordering a salad, shrimp and filet mignon and racking up a $150 bill, Gonzalez ditched the restaurant. “All of a sudden he’s all, oh, my phone’s dying and I’m waiting on the call from my mom about my aunt. I’m going to go to the car to get my charger and then my first comment to him when he got up was oh what, you’re not coming back?,” Michelle said.

    Apparently these dates have been going on since 2016, when Moon first posted her story on Facebook and it went viral. Since then the police have been looking for Gonzalez, now dubbed the “Dine and Dash Dater,” and have just now apprehended him. He has plead not guilty to all charges against him.

    Gonzalez is being held on $315,000 bail and his preliminary hearing is set for September 7th.

    We just have one question for you Gonzalez: Were the eight free meals really worth that much?

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    Brianna Wu, a congressional candidate in Massachusetts’s eighth district, called out The Boston Globe on Tuesday for the photo they chose to depict her against other candidates. While the men running against her were shown in suits, the picture chosen of Wu featured her in a t-shirt with dyed hair. 

    While The Boston Globe has since changed their imagery, Wu took this as an opportunity to start a conversation about dressing professionally. “I have dressed professionally every day for 2 years to present myself as a serious candidate,” said Wu. Wu also said that The Boston Globe has “a responsibility to represent [her] accurately to voters.” 

    Author Diane Hessan added to the thread that she reached out to The Boston Globe about the controversy. Hessan noted that it was a team of women who worked on the article, and The Globe actually called Wu to personally apologize. Wu responded saying that while she doesn’t think that the imagery was meant to be malicious, its important to recognize our biases. “Studies show women only have a 2 PERCENT less unconscious bias against other women than men,” said Wu.



    By trade, Wu is a software engineer and the founder of Giant Spacekat, a video game development studio.

    According to The New York Times, Wu rose to popularity in 2014 after Gamergate, the campaign to harass women in the gaming industry, turned her into a target. She decided to run for Congress because she felt that there was nothing she could do besides get involved herself after President Donald Trump’s victory. 

    “I look at my own party, and I see that we’ve taken this technocratic, academic, elitist liberal class philosophy as far as it can go, and we got our butts kicked — and I don’t know what else to do other than get involved myself,” Wu told The Times.

    Her Campus has reached out to Wu for comment.

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    College is a time to meet new people, and many of the friends you make will stay with you long after graduation. But when you’re meeting person after person all over campus, it can be hard to tell when someone is a genuine friend. They may seem nice, and you may be able to talk about anything, but will they be the kind of friend to stick with you through the good times and bad? Here is a run-down of the types of friends you will meet in college, and the key to knowing if they’re genuine!

    1. The roommate

    Roommates are often hit or miss. Sometimes you become best friends, other times you’re simply cohabitating until the school year is over. When things go well, it’s great! Netflix marathons, sharing clothes and swapping advice—it’s almost as if you have a sister. But underneath all of the fun, how do you know if this friendship is for real? 

    They’re genuine if…they treat you with respect at all times.

    Allie Bausinger, a sophomore at Penn State University, had an up-and-down relationship with her roommate that didn’t end on the most positive note. “She made me believe all of first semester that she was my friend and that she cared about me,” Allie says. “Then second semester, everything turned around and I saw her true colors. Roommates are not always genuine, they’re trying to make the best out of what they might perceive as a bad living situation.” 

    It’s nice when your roommate comes to you for advice or invites you to awesome parties every weekend, but if they take your things without asking or involve you in conflicts with other people, these could be signs that your friendship isn’t genuine. True friends will respect you in all areas of life.

    2. The hallmate

    Even if you aren’t besties with your roommate, chances are you’ll become close with at least one of your hallmates. Hallmates are wonderful because you can bond over the shared experience of living in the dorms, but are able to have some time away from each other since you’re not roommates! But how can you tell if this friendship is based in more than proximity? 

    They’re genuine if…you keep in touch after you’re done living together.

    If the only thing you have in common is living in the same dorm, you probably won’t have much to talk about after you move out. But if you keep in touch and have meaningful conversations even when you’re not next door to each other or meet for lunch at your favorite dining hall three times a week, you’ve found a genuine friend.

    Related: 6 Things You Need To Think About Before You Live With Friends

    3. The class companion 

    A classic piece of college advice is to find a study buddy in each of your classes. And while this advice is meant to help your grades, it can also help your social life! When you combine hours of studying together with the shared commiseration midterm week, you have the recipe for friendship. While you might take time to grab coffee and talk about things unrelated to class, it’s not always clear if this relationship will last after you ace that final.  

    They’re genuine if…you continue to work together, in and out of the classroom.

    Heather Baldock, a graduate of the University of Oregon, met one of her best friends, Chloe, in their Intro to Design class. After the class was over, they continued to team up for projects as they both pursued degrees in advertising. While sharing professional and academic experiences was a plus, Heather and Chloe’s friendship reached far beyond the classroom. 

    “It helps to have a close friend following the same career path as you who can both empower and critique you,” Heather says. “And, I could tell she was genuine from the start because of her incredible empathy. Whether I was struggling with something in my personal or school life, I could always count on her to listen and give ample support. We spent so many nights working together well past midnight that I probably spent more time with her my senior year than with my own boyfriend at the time (oops).”

    This kind of friendship with your study buddy starts by building a foundation of trust and honest connection. And you can make the first move by finding time to connect over things that aren’t school. When you take a study break, start chatting about your weekend plans or your favorite movies—you’ll be friends in no time!

    4. The party pal 

    You see them out and about every weekend at various parties. You obviously share an interest in hitting the town, probably have mutual friends if you are constantly at the same parties, and maybe even pregame together. But how can you tell if you’ll be just as friendly on a Wednesday afternoon? 

    They’re genuine if…you get along outside of a party environment.

    The alcohol and music frequently found at parties make it easy to get along with anyone! So, you can tell if a friendship is genuine if you get along when the lights come on and the aux cord gets pulled. Try meeting up for coffee on a weekday afternoon. If you two can keep conversation flowing, that’s a good sign that you’ve made a genuine friend. But if the conversation is filled with blank stares and awkward pauses, just stick to hanging out on the party scene. 

    5. The one who’s involved in EVERYTHING

    We all know this person: They’re taking 18 credits, but still have time to run three clubs, volunteer, work a part-time job and still dress to the nines with a perfect mani (we’re still trying to discover the secret to their success). They may seem super nice but it can be hard to tell if they have enough time to devote to a meaningful friendship. 

    They’re genuine if…they make time to support you.

    Madeline McInnis, a fourth year at Wilfrid Laurier University know that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to these friends. “They may not have time to hang out or go to the bars, but you know they’re a true friend when they show up to the events you run as well as their own,” Madeline says. “They know the importance of friends supporting friends, and that’s how they’ll show it.”

    Even if you don’t see them every day, this friend will be there when it counts. 

    6. The sorority sister

    Sororities seem like a guaranteed way to make friends. A bunch of like-minded people coming together for social events? Sounds great! However, the rules and regulations put in place to ensure that the organization is run smoothly can make it difficult to form organic, true friendships.

    They’re genuine if…your sorority sisters get excited about seeing you outside of chapter activities.

    Abby Russo, a graduate of The College of William and Mary, experienced this first hand.  “Although our friendships started forming during chapter organized events, my relationships with other sisters got stronger when we took interest in each other’s lives outside the chapter as well,” Abby says. “I could tell I was forming genuine friendships when I was excited to see sisters outside of sorority events and they were just as excited to see me!”

    So, when you see your new sorority sister excitedly waving across the quad at you, showing up at your play or going with you to grab lunch, you know you’ve made a real friend. 

    Related: Your Complete Guide To Sorority Rush

    7. The upperclassman 

    Older friends are fantastic. They’ve already experienced most of the things you’re going through and can be great sources of support when you hit roadblocks like a bad grade or a devastating break-up. But eventually they’ll have to leave campus and enter the real world before you – this is where things can get tricky. 

    They’re genuine if…they treat you like an equal. 

    Sometimes an age difference can create a weird power dynamic between two people. Your older friend may feel like because they’re older they can tell you what to do. Or they may talk down to you, chastising you for not understanding the struggles of #adulting while you’re still on campus. If your upperclassman friend does any of these things, it could be an indicator that they’re not a true friend. 

    However, if they listen to you and try to understand you, even when you’re in different chapters of life, they’re definitely as genuine as they come. 

    8. The underclassman 

    Having younger friends is the perfect way to pay forward the kindness you’ve received from your own older friends. You now get to serve as the sage upperclassman who proofreads all of their important emails, answers all of their questions about filing for graduation and tells them what classes are best to take when the senioritis hits. But how do you know if you’ll stay in touch after you peace out from campus? 

    They’re genuine have more to talk about than college.

    If all of your conversations are about college and campus activities, it’s sad to say, but chances are that your friendship might not survive after you graduate. But if you’re constantly talking about your favorite movies, sending each other hilarious memes involving your celeb crushes, sharing niche YouTube videos and maintaining your 100-day Snap Streak, you probably have a stronger foundation to rely on when you aren’t seeing each other all of the time. 

    9. The mentor 

    You may only consider your boss or internship coordinator to be mentors, but your friends can be mentors too. Whether they have the job search figured out, have mastered the art of self-care or know how to perfect winged liner, this is the friend that you look to when you need guidance on anything.         

    They’re genuine if…they are willing to learn from you too.

    Friendship is a two-way street—you give, and you take. You should share your skills with your friend, whether you can help her ace her calculus final, give her a killer pick-up line or teach her how to paddleboard. But if they’re reluctant to learn from you, or even just hang out when no guidance is needed, they might not be ready for a serious friendship. 

    10. The mom friend

    Every squad has the “mom friend”—the pal who is constantly checking to make sure you’re safe, eating your vegetables and hitting the gym (when you have time, of course). You love her, but how can you tell if this person is actually a friend, and not your second mother. 

    They’re genuine if…they don’t try to control your life. 

    Some people are simply wired to take an invested interest in their loved ones’ lives. But when it gets to the point that they’re checking in on everything you do it can get uncomfortable. The most responsible and caring of friends should let you make your own decisions (even if you will regret them later). If you don’t feel like you have the room to choose for yourself, that’s a big warning sign that you aren’t with a genuine friend. 

    In the end, it’s important to have a variety of friends who are always there to love and support you. And remember, the friends you make in college can certainly be forever friends. 

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    A few months ago, I decided I wanted to try veganism. I’ve been a lacto-vegetarian all my life (no meat, no eggs), primarily for religious reasons as a Jain.

    One of the main principles of Jainism is ahimsa, or nonviolence. My religion considers that every animal has a jiv, or soul, and is thus a life form. Animals have five senses whereas plants and vegetables have one sense. We seek to minimize our violence towards other living things, whether that be directly or indirectly supporting the killing or injury of life forms. We try to eat food that involves the least amount of violence and are thus mostly vegetarian.

    However, a lot of my Jain friends are also vegan, primarily due to the violence involved during milk production for cows. While an animal isn’t being killed for dairy production, cows are being bred to maximize dairy production and are treated like "milking machines". While some dairy producers are progressing away towards smaller cows that are healthier and live longer, most farms in the US are not.

    So this summer, I decided that I wanted to try veganism. After I got out of school, my family and I were going on a vacation in Europe. I didn’t want to keep postponing my choice, so I decided hey, why not? Now or never, right?

    My parents thought I was a little crazy at first — “Why go vegan if you’re already vegetarian? What difference would that make?” they asked. But they still supported me. I would be cutting out all dairy products — like butter, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and certain kinds of frozen desserts like ice cream. It might not seem like a big difference, but to someone who was already pretty restricted in her diet, it felt like a big change.

    Here’s how I prepared:

    • Made a list of nearby grocery stores and farmer’s markets
    • Found vegan restaurants (!)
    • Rented an AirBnB with a kitchen 
    • Read blogs from other vegans

    I kept on reminding myself: You’re not the first person to go vegan. People have done it before you, and they have shared their resources. All it takes is a Google search!

    On my first day as a vegan, I started off with the basics:

    Breakfast: English muffin, hummus, and grapes

    Morning snack: A handful of dried peaches.

    Lunch: A banana and a salad with tofu, chickpeas, and salad greens

    Afternoon snack: Dried dates

    Dinner: A large bowl of cucumber and fruit salad, and khichdi (an Indian dish made from rice and lentils)

    But I soon realized I needed to incorporate calcium and protein into my meals, so with time my meals changed to be more like this: 

    Breakfast: A banana, vegan Greek yogurt, and toast with hummus

    Lunch: Oatmeal bowl with avocado and kale

    Afternoon snack: Dates and coconut water

    Dinner: Salad and homemade black bean veggie burger and sweet potato fries

    Dessert: Almond milk and hot chocolate powder

    Throughout this process I also learned more about how dairy harms the environment. Every kilogram of cheese produced emits 8.9 kg CO2 and every liter of milk produced emits 1.2 kg CO2. 10,500 liters of water are needed to make one kg of cheese. Making milk also requires a lot of land, taking land away from nature. So, with every meal I was eating, I was making the conscious decision to reduce the harm done to animals and to the environment. I would not be supporting a violent industry.

    Finally, I was improving my own health. My family has a history of high cholesterol and heart disease, which dairy foods can be full of.

    When I got back home from vacation, I was doing an internship in the city and to my surprise, it was even easier! There were tons of options at Target, ranging from frozen fruit to bulk nuts and grains. I even found an Amorino’s for my gelato! 

    So now, I encourage you - yes, you - to try veganism, even for a day!

    • Find a few favorite recipes to make repeatedly or find favorite ingredients and new ways of eating them.
    • When eating out, subbing beans for meat in an entree is a safe bet or sticking with vegetable appetizers and sides.
    • Don't forget your calcium, whether it be from soy milk, beans, or nuts, your iron (spinach and tofu are my favorites) and your protein from things like oatmeal and nuts.

    And what better motivation than charity?

    Young Jains of America (check us out at!) & Young Jains United Kingdom (YJUK) are co-hosting a “Vegan For A Day” charity campaign tomorrow, Wednesday, September 5th! For each person who goes vegan, we’ll donate $3 to First Book. Our goal is to raise $300 (meaning 100 people participate), to replenish a school library of 200 books.

    Join us by sending pictures of your vegan meals to YJA’s snapchat (@TheYoungJains) or Instagram story, or post on your own social media with the hashtag #yjafoodies. Don't forget to nominate your friends and family to join you in the campaign! Learn more and sign up here:

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    Colton Underwood is officially the newest Bachelor. ABC made the announcement about the 26-year-old former football player from Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette on Tuesday morning, surprising many — especially since he was just on Bachelor in Paradise

    "It was his good looks, love for dogs and vulnerability that charmed not only Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, but all of Bachelor Nation," ABC said in a news release. "After a summer of growth and a new perspective on what he is looking for, Colton is more than ready for this next chapter."

    The "summer of growth" mentioned seems to be a subtle nod toward Underwood's on-and-off relationship with Tia Booth on BIP. Underwood broke things off on an episode that just aired this week.

    However, he's apparently moved on from both Tia and Becca. "Obviously you can tell how it was all so emotional for me," Underwood told PEOPLE. "But it was also good for me. I can’t say enough good things about Becca and enough good things about Tia. They’ve helped me grow and discover who I am and what I’m looking for in a wife."


    Time to find a wife ❤️

    A post shared by Colton S. Underwood (@coltonunderwood) on

    Underwood's search — and the show's plot — will almost certainly address the fact that he's a virgin. "That’s one thing that I took pride in on both seasons: just being true to who I am," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I think it took all of that to get to where I am at now, and know who I am as a person and know what I want in a life partner."

    Former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky once claimed that "95 percent" of dates in the infamous fantasy suites result in sex, so Underwood's virginity will certainly be discussed then, if not earlier. Sean Lowe, the 17th Bachelor, was known as a "born-again virgin," and he waited to have sex with his then-fiancé Catherine Giudici until their wedding night. Underwood has frequently been compared to Lowe. 

    Here's to hoping that like Lowe, Underwood also finds love (and that the season will be full of drama!). 

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    Amanda Bynes is back on Twitter, and it's not to call Miley Cyrus ugly or to tell Drake to murder her vagina. Instead, it's to celebrate her time spent as Penny Pingleton on Hairspray.

    On Monday, the actress posted for the first time in seven months to share a photo of her and Hairspray producer Neil Meron, who she described as "incomparable." 

    Bynes famously starred in the 2007 musical alongside Zac Efron, Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, and Queen Latifah. 

    The tweet was one of the few personal moments Bynes has shared since being placed under a conservatorship in 2014 (A.K.A. the time of previously mentioned tweets and a series of involuntary psychiatric holds). She was eventually diagnosed as bipolar with manic depressive disorder.

    Since then, Bynes has reportedly made big strides toward improving her mental health. "The fact that Amanda is living on her own, making her own decisions and future plans is something her parents are so proud of," Bynes' family lawyer Tamar Arminak told E! News."Finally she is surrounded by friends and companions she can trust and really open up to. She feels free to be herself, which brings her so much happiness and excitement for the future."

    Bynes is currently enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and expected to graduate in Decemeber. Afterward, she'll reportedly launch her own fashion line. 

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    The college application process can be stressful, but visiting college campuses for informational sessions can actually be pretty fun—plus, it’s super informative! Thanks to an array of awesome online resources for students who are applying to college, you can learn a lot about the schools you’re interested in without even venturing outside. However, college visits offer you the opportunity to assess your fit, get a better feel for the campus environment and culture, and ask questions.

    Michelle McAnaney, founder of The College Spy, believes campus visits are an important aspect of the college selection process because they allow students to find out whether they feel comfortable on campus.

    “When students visit a best-fit college, they often have a sense of ‘just knowing’ it is the right school. When visiting a college that doesn’t feel quite right, identifying what you like and do not like about the college is also an important part of the college selection process,” McAnaney tells Her Campus. “This information can help you decide which college to visit next.”

    Though you might just get a feeling that a school is right or not right for you, it’s also important to ask questions to decide whether or not the college is a fit. You might have a few questions in mind that you’d like to ask, but maybe you’re also worried that you’ll ask something that you shouldn’t. Don’t worry—we’ll help you out by outlining what questions to avoid during your campus visit.

    DO prepare in advance

    Before visiting a campus, Rachel Blankstein, a co-founder of Spark Admissions, suggests doing as much online research as possible because a lot of the information you’ll need to make your decision about a school is available online.

    “What I tend to find is that there are two aspects that are really important with getting to know a school. One is what do they actually offer: what majors do they have? What courses do they have? What clubs do they have? What is the social environment like? A lot of that stuff is factual and you can find out about it on the web,” Blankstein says. “But what I really find from visits is that students just have a gut reaction.”

    Looking at the information available online will help you narrow down your lists of schools and decide which ones to visit. It will also help you get a better sense of what questions to ask and what information is already available to you online. You shouldn’t worry about asking a “stupid” question, but preparing in advance will help you feel more confident about what you’re asking.

    “[Before a campus visit] students should do as much research as possible on the website. They should look at what they think they might want to major in. They should look at the clubs page that the school has. They should find out if there’s a Greek System and how they feel about that,” Blankstein says. “A lot of people care tremendously about how you get to this school, meaning how far it is away from an airport or a train station or what the town actually looks like, if there are coffee shops you can walk to and things of that nature.”

    McAnaney suggests writing questions after gathering information from the school’s website, social media, guidebooks and student reviews.

    “Students should prepare their questions in advance and write them down so that they have the greatest chance of being understood,” McAnaney tells HC. “Some admissions counselors and tour guides do not waver far from their prepared script due to time constraints or their presentation style. If a student feels he or she was misunderstood, it is best to ask to meet with an admissions counselor after the tour, send a follow-up email or make a follow-up call."

    Related: 6 Sneaky Ways to Find Out What Students At A College Are Really Like

    DO relax a little

    Worried that the questions you ask during an information session will affect your admissions decision? Don’t be, Blankstein says.

    “During an informational session, some students feel like they’re being evaluated but you’re really not being watched or graded at this point,” Blankstein says. “On the other hand, when you do meet with somebody one-on-one, even if it’s informal, it’s still kind of an evaluation.”

    Makena Gera, a sophomore at Marist College, believes it’s important to remember that the admissions staff is there to answer your questions.

    “No question is a stupid question,” Makena says. “Admissions counselors are there to help you understand everything there is to know about the school, so no question is too small or unimportant.”

    That being said, there are still some questions that aren’t ideal questions to ask at a large information session.

    DON'T ask about the party scene

    Makena advises against asking about campus nightlife during an informational session. It’s not exactly the most appropriate setting, and the person leading the information session likely won’t give you a complete or honest answer anyway. Though this might not be the best time to ask about the party scene, it’s a completely reasonable question to have, whether you’re trying to avoid a school with a wild party environment or if you’re looking for a thriving social scene.

    “Most likely, the person running the session won't give you the whole truth about what parties are like on campus,” Makena says. “If you really want to know, the best way to do it is to pull aside a student tour guide/ambassador and ask them privately. They're more likely to tell you the truth.”

    To learn more about the school’s nightlife, check out online forums and other online resources.

    This same advice can apply to other questions that you might not ask during an informational session, whether it’s because you’re looking for a less scripted answer, or the question is personal and you don’t feel comfortable asking it in front of a large group.

    “One of the best ways to determine if the school is a good fit is to talk to students who aren’t giving an official tour,” McAnaney says. “I recommend eating in the dining hall and trying to strike up a conversation.”

    Additionally, McAnaney recommends overnight visits for gaining a better understanding of the campus environment.

    DON'T get too specific 

    Though you might really want to know whether or not there are any seats left in the gender studies course you want to take or how likely it is that you’ll get a job at the campus coffee shop, asking super specific questions that are relevant only to you might be distracting to admissions staff and other people visiting campus. Not only does that take time away from the presentation, but the person you ask likely won’t know the answer to questions like this, Blankstein says.

    This doesn’t mean that you should be overly worried about what other people think of the questions you ask—but also remember that a large informational session isn’t your personal session, and there are other opportunities to ask those more specific questions.

    Allie Bausinger, a student at Pennsylvania State University, is a tour guide on campus and thinks super personal questions can throw off a tour.

    “Something I always hated when people asked was something super personal, like if a mom would stand up and be like, ‘My daughter likes it to be cold all the time. Can we do something about that?’” Allie says. “If they didn’t phrase it specifically, it would be better.”

    Blankstein notes that asking specific or personal questions isn’t necessarily a complete no-no, but they’re just not really worth asking in this setting. Remember, some questions are better suited for a one-on-one meeting or an email to the person who oversees what you’re asking about.

    DO ask open-ended questions

    It’s not that asking vague questions is bad, but you’re less likely to get the information you’re looking for this way.

    Audrey Lent, a student at Cal Poly SLO, suggests avoiding asking questions like: “What’s it like at this school?” Instead, she recommends asking: “How would you describe the campus culture?”

    Blankstein says students might also want to know how they get their classes. If you’re wondering about this, ask exactly how the course registration process works, rather than asking something like, “Will I be able to take the classes I want?”

    “You could say, ‘How does the lottery system work for classes, and how likely is it that you’ll get classes that you want when you’re a freshman or sophomore? Exactly how does that process work?'” Blankstein suggests.

    With open-ended questions, you’ll get more detailed information.

    DON'T ask about admissions chances 

    We know, we know—it’s the one piece of information you feel that you just need to know. But McAnaney warns that college visits are for learning about the college and not your chances of getting accepted.

    “Use the time on campus to learn about the college and decide whether you would like to apply there," McAnaney says. "Average test scores and GPAs of accepted students can be found online.”

    Geneve Lau, a sophomore at Boston University, points out that an admissions representative isn’t going to be able to tell you your admissions chances anyways. She also advises against asking personal details related to financial aid.

    “Definitely don’t ask what a person gets personally for financial aid, or how much financial aid you’re expected to get, because that’s sensitive and private information for the tour guide and student, and also there’s just no way for a person to be able to tell you a straight answer,” Geneve says.

    ...But DO ask questions

    With all this in mind, it doesn’t mean you should be afraid to ask questions. At the end of the day, you should have all the information you need to choose a school that’s right for you—not anyone else. A general rule of thumb is to use college informational sessions to get a better feel for the university, then use other visits and methods of reaching out to get answers to some of your more specific and personal questions. Good luck!

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    Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

    But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

    Day One of Kavanaugh's Confirmation Hearing Results in Chaos

    Monday marked the first day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans' efforts to quickly confirm the Supreme Court nominee were hindered by protesters, Democrats' requests for more information and time, and more.

    The day began with women dressed as handmaids — in red robes mimicking costumes from The Handmaid's Tale— lining the halls outside the hearing room. According to The Hill, the protesters were with a liberal advocacy group, Demand Justice. "Brett Kavanaugh is an extremist ideologue who, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, will take away women’s basic rights," the group said in a statement, specifically calling out Kavanaugh's "anti-abortion, anti-healthcare, and anti-women" views. Other protesters included actor Piper Perabo and Women's March co-founder Linda Sarsour, who were among those later arrested

    Throughout the hearing, Democrats continued their demands for records from Kavanaugh's time working in the George W. Bush administration. "The committee received just last night—less than 15 hours ago—more than 42,000 pages of documents that we have not had a chance to read or review or analyze," California Senator Kamala Harris said, referring to the thousands of pages released just the night before the hearing. "We cannot possibly move forward." Harris and other Dems repeatedly called to adjourn the hearing until they can better review all relevant documents. 

    Perhaps the most talked-about moment of the day was Kavanaugh appearing to ignore the father of a victim of the Parkland school shooting in Florida. According to Fred Guttenberg, Kavanaugh "pulled his hand back, turned his back, and walked away" after he tried to introduce himself as the father of a Parkland victim. Videos and photos clearly show the moment. Parkland student and activist David Hogg later tweeted one of the photos, saying the incident was "worth thousands of lives." He added that "the NRA has spent millions of dollars to appoint Kavanaugh it's going to take 1000s of phone calls to stop this man." 

    White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah later dismissed the moment as security trying to intervene because a "unidentified individual" approached Kavanaugh. 

    The hearing is set to resume this morning. 

    Nike Faces Backlash for Colin Kaepernick Deal

    For the 30th anniversary of Nike's "Just Do It" campaign, the company unveiled an ad campaign featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick. He garnered national attention after becoming the first player to take a knee during the national anthem during the 2016 NFL season, prompting others to follow suit. This resulted in some fans, along with President Trump, publicly criticizing the resulting moment. Though the protests were intended to address police brutality, many thought that they were disrespecting members of the armed forces. Following Kaepernick's pregame displays, he became a free agent who's since remained unsigned. The advertisement released on Monday includes a close-up photo of Kaepernick wih the words, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything." 

    His critics have responded by promising to boycott Nike. Some even destroyed their shoes, socks or other Nike apparel by lighting them on fire. Trump himself weighed in on the ad on Tuesday, in an interview with The Daily Caller. “I think it’s a terrible message that they’re sending and the purpose of them doing it, maybe there’s a reason for them doing it," the president said. "But I think as far as sending a message, I think it’s a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent. There’s no reason for it."

    However, Trump also acknowledged that Nike is well within its rights to choose Kaepernick for an ad campaign. "As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way — I mean, I wouldn’t have done it," he said. "In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it." He also mentioned that Nike is "a tenant" of his, since the company has a store at one of Trump's property in New York.

    The NFL addressed Kaepernick's ad on Tuesday, too. A spokeswoman for the league, Jocelyn Moore, said in a statement that the issues raised by Kaepernick "deserve our attention and action." She continued, "The National Football League believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities. The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action."

    Bob Woodward's New Book Full of Trump Revelations

    A Washington Post journalist who helped uncover information in the Watergate scandal is behind the latest tell-all book about the Trump administration. In Bob Woodward's Fear: Trump in the White House, Trump is described by numerous current and former aides as an "idiot" and a "liar." Some even claimed they had to "pluck papers off his desk to prevent him from withdrawing from a pair of trade agreements, The Associated Press reported. 

    Trump is also accused of calling Attorney General Jeff Sessions "mentally retarded" and "a dumb southerner." A number of the claims in Fear: Trump in the White House are backed up with taped interviews— one of which is with Trump himself, who called Woodward last month to discuss the release of the book. Though the president criticized the book and its authenticity in a series of tweets on Tuesday, a transcript of the phone call reveals that he actually praised Woodward during their phone call. "You know I'm very open to you," Trump tells him. "I think you've always been fair."

    The book is set for a September 11 release. 

    What to look for...

    An excuse to sleep in. It's National Be Late for Something Day

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    It’s natural to one day dream of being the CEO of a company, but it’s important to remember that it takes a plan to get there. Take advantage of being in the present and set goals for the position you’re in right now. What can you do in the present to propel yourself into that lady boss role? Here are four realistic, attainable goals you can plan for (and easily meet). 

    1. Make friends – and network in the process

    You never know who’s working in the cube next to you and the connections they have. Work friendships can evolve into some life-changing opportunities when you open yourself up.

    Amy McGann, a graduate of the University of Florida, finds it easiest to make connections during one-on-one visits to a colleague’s cube. “You might find yourself on the outskirts of a group discussion, especially if it’s on a topic you know nothing about,” she says. “I found most of my work friends while visiting their desk and throwing a compliment or question their way.”

    Additionally, even if you’d rather opt for a wine night party of one in the comfort of your living room, it’s so important to take advantage of any type of office social. It may be hard to believe, but your co-workers are actually humans too. The super square, professional persona that they (or we all) put on at work may melt away during the office holiday party.

    McGann is also a testament to opportunities coming out of work friendships. “I flew to San Juan on a buddy pass from the family of my work bestie,” she says. Like your mother probably once told you, you never know unless you try. So be brave, be vulnerable, and grow your personal and friendship circle with one little sentence. 

    2. Get a mentor

    If you’re eyeing a new role within the company you work for, finding a mentor in that position is one of the best ways to see if it’s a good fit.

    Seeking out a mentor can seem challenging or even nerve-wracking, but the relationship will bring you nothing but success if you find the right one. Because mentors have more seniority over you, they typically have access to more events and a larger network than you. Imagine your mentor introducing you to influential individuals who could change your future.

    Feeling the heat and struggling at work? A mentor can be the guidance you need, offering words of wisdom and specific advice on how to navigate the highs and lows that come with working. "Often times, it is difficult for us to look outside of ourselves and realize where we need to improve. That's where a mentor comes into play," says Marsha Turner, a career coach at CareerOyster. "They're not there to pad your ego. Even when their advice may sting a little, they're setting you up to avoid the same mistakes they made or witnessed on their path."

    If you desire a role outside of the company that you’re with, your mentor doesn’t necessarily have to be within your respective company. Catching your next mentor at a conference or networking event outside of work is totally normal. Invite them out for a cup of coffee after you dazzle them and sell yourself. Whichever route you go, finding that mentor can optimize your chances of finding a new role.

    3. Keep track of quantitative accomplishments 

    Keeping track of your quantitative goals will boost your resume and LinkedIn pages. Listing quantitative goals allows other employers to see the level of impact you had on any company you previously or currently work for.

    Regardless of your profession, you could be able to showcase your level of impact through numbers. How many hits did your articles garner? How were you able to boost company revenue and by how much? How many people did you oversee? These are just a few questions you can ask yourself.

    Even if your position isn't data-heavy, you could research numbers on the company you work for. Is your company included in any ranking list? Is it the largest company compared to several others?

    "Anyone can copy and paste a job description. But it's the results that separate you from the other hundred plus applicants," says career consultant Chris Taylor, founder of The Occupation Optimist. "Speaking in a quantitative manner moves a job seeker from making a claim to proving a point. Recruiters spend five to ten seconds max scanning your resume. Quantitative data separates you from the pack."

    Make it a goal to pay closer attention to all the ways you boost numbers in the company and keep note of them.

    4. Attend conferences, workshops, or seminars in your industry 

    There is always an opportunity to learn more and sharpen your skills, and attending any one of these events can gift you with new perspectives and approaches to bring back to the office. 

    Inserting yourself into a new environment, although temporary, can force you to grow. More than likely, you'll attend a conference, workshop, or seminar on your own. However, by the end you'll probably have heard worthwhile advice from speakers, networked with the person sitting next to you, and received some nifty tools or gear. You might have even been introduced to new companies that inspire you. 

    For the record, if you've attended Her Conference, you know how life-changing it is. For Alicia Bonelli, a senior at Brandeis University, attending Her Conference changed her in unexpected ways. 

    "Not only do I feel like I have developed skills to help me succeed in the world of media, I feel more well-rounded as a person. I have a new approach to tackling my dreams and life in general, thanks to the advice I was given and the people I met."

    This is one of many examples of events that are at your disposal to strengthen all your girl power and the impact you'll have on the world. 

    After mastering these goals, you'll almost surely have maximized your potential in the position you're in. Success is yours for the keeping. 

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    So here's the thing: Colton Underwood is the next Bachelor, and the internet is pissed. And like, rightfully so. Literally no one wants to see Colton as the next Bachelor, just like no one wanted to see Arie as The Bachelor (still waiting for you, Peter!). Also, real talk: do we really need another straight white dude as The Bachelor? Can we get a Hayley Kiyoko, queer Bachelorette, please?! But no, here we are yet again with Colton, as if we haven't seen enough of him already.

    It's not like I hate Colton. He sucked me in with his big, dramatic tears throughout Bachelor In Paradise. We bonded while we watched him freak out about whether or not he should be with Tia. But then that drama was over, and he and Tia were A Thing... but now Colton is The Bachelor? It's just too much back and forth, and, tbh, I'm sick of it. And I'm DEF not the only one. 

    1. The internet just wants to know: WHY COLTON.


    2. When you want anyone but Colton to be The Bachelor.


    3. When you hate that Colton is The Bachelor, but you're def still gonna watch.


    4. LBR, the only answer is to be mad.


    5. He's just so indecisive.


    6. When you're just so confused.



    Am I going to watch The Bachelor? Um, yes, because I'm a sucker. But am I bitter af and def going to angry tweet? You betcha.

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    Emmy-nominated actress Shannon Purser burst onto the scene as Barb in season one of Stranger Things. Though her role was small, she quickly became a fan favorite (#JusticeforBarb) and went on to get roles on Riverdale, Rise and now, the Netflix's upcoming comedy-drama Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. Purser plays Sierra Burgess, a less-than-popular teenager who finds herself working with queen bee Veronica (Kristine Froseth) to get closer to cute boy Jamey (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’s Noah Centineo)—a plot that involves some questionably ethical catfishing, and is a modern twist on the story of Cyrano de Bergerac. The film focuses on Sierra’s growing insecurities, the navigation of relationships in the modern digital age and the pressures of trying to fit in in high school.

    Purser chatted with Her Campus about how she relates to Sierra, her thoughts on social media and body image, and what she hopes viewers will take away from Sierra Burgess Is a Loser.

    *Warning: some spoilers lie ahead*

    Her Campus: In the film, Sierra is asked to fill in the blank “Sierra is... ____.” If you could fill in the blank for who Sierra is (other than “a loser”), what words would you use?

    Shannon Purser: I guess I’d say, “Sierra is… finding herself.” The big point of the movie is that Sierra has always been sure of herself and confident in who she is and what she wanted, and now she’s in high school and she’s starting to feel more insecure. She doesn’t know what she wants to do when she grows up, she feels pressure to live up to her dad’s expectations and she falls in love for the first time and doesn’t feel good enough for this boy, and I think the whole film is her journey of finding herself and learning to love herself for who she is.


    September 7

    A post shared by Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) on

    HC: Either when you were in high school or throughout your career, could you relate to that journey she's on? Do you see parts of yourself in Sierra?

    SP: Yeah, absolutely. I definitely understand what it’s like to be lost and to want to fit in, to want to be liked and to feel this pressure to change yourself to be accepted. That’s something that really resonated with me and I really hope that it resonates with other people, too.

    HC: You mentioned that Sierra is dealing with a lot of insecurity and trying to overcome that and learn to be confident in herself again. How important do you think it is to portray the message to young girls that being yourself, and having confidence, is the best thing you can do?

    SP: I think it’s so important! I think social media has really changed the way that we talk to each other and portray ourselves. I mean, I love social media—I use it, obviously—but it has its own dangers, I think. We see all these people living these perfect Instagram lives with their Facetuned or touched-up bodies, and it’s like, this is what I have to live up to? This is what I have to be? It’s really intimidating and I hope that young people watching the movie will realize that they don’t have to be that, and that living authentically will bring you more joy than having a million followers will.

    HC: In the age of social media, especially, it can be really hard to teach young people to differentiate their appearance from their self-worth. Is that something that you hope the movie can achieve or teach young girls?

    SP: Yeah, absolutely. I really hope so! That’s something that I’m still learning, and I’m not a teenager anymore. But I think it’s so important. Our society places such an unhealthy amount of value [on] the way that our bodies look—and not even just our bodies, but that [we] fit this certain standard. It’s so unhealthy and I know firsthand how damaging that can be to young girls’ self-esteem and I really hope that this movie encourages young people, especially young women, to love themselves for who they are and to know that they are worthy of love. Your body is beautiful, no matter how it looks, but it also doesn’t define you. It’s not the most important thing about you.

    HC: And that’s something that comes through in the friendship of Sierra and Veronica. At the start, they might as well be living on different planets, but they do eventually become true friends. What do you think makes this friendship truly special and what type of message do you think it sends?

    SP: I really love the friendship between Sierra and Veronica because I think this world tends to pit young women against each other and movies kind of do that, too. I’m really glad that the movie showcases that these two girls obviously seem very different on the surface, but over the course of the movie, we find out that they’re much more alike than they are different.

    And I know that in my life, I’ve met people and judged them, and thought that they were going to be a certain way, and then [have] been very pleasantly surprised, and found out that they were actually a lot more like me than I thought. I do think that’s what good friendships do—you sharpen each other and make each other better people.

    HC: I don’t think I would necessarily say the film is a romance film, even though the romance is one part of it. Was the friendship your favorite aspect of the film? Did you like the romance story? What was your favorite story to tell within this movie? Because there were a lot of different moving parts happening.

    SP: The romance, obviously, is fun! I’m kind of a sucker for rom-coms. But I do love the friendship between Sierra and Veronica a lot. I think there’s a lot of love there as well. And I also just love Sierra’s journey with herself. I think I relate to that because I definitely had a lot of internal conflict as a teenager, and I think a lot of young people today do as well.


    : @hannahshlapak

    A post shared by Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) on

    HC: We think that definitely is the most important relationship that we see [in the film]. But of course, we also want to know about the romance, because we’re suckers for rom-coms, too! The film also centers on Sierra's relationship with Jamey, whom she catfishes after Veronica gives him Sierra's number. What are your thoughts on how Sierra went about things? What do you think is the biggest lesson here for the audience?

    SP: I definitely do not endorse catfishing. [laughs] I think Sierra was thrown into this situation and panicked, and that obviously doesn’t excuse it, but she didn’t set out to hurt anybody.

    I think the movie is really about how important it is to be honest and to be authentic, and I would just really encourage anybody to realize that the most important relationships you'll have and the most beautiful relationships you’ll have come from being yourself and being authentic. I think Sierra does kind of face the consequences of her actions, and it only really works out in the end for the two of them because they did learn to love each other for who they really were.

    HC: And if you were in Jamey's shoes, do you think you could have forgiven Sierra?

    SP: Ooh. I honestly don’t know! I like to think that I could’ve, but I don’t know. I really don’t know.

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    White supremacy is one of the darkest and most despicable traditions in America. It permeates wherever it can grow and a recent report shows that it has found a sense of rejuvenation on college campuses. 

    On June 28, theAnti-Defamation League reported that in the last academic year there has been 292 reported incidents of white supremacy propaganda on college campuses – a 77 percent increase from the previous academic year. The majority of this propaganda includes posters, fliers, banners and stickers that are handed out to students in passing, but many current college students have noted this isn’t anything new, it’s simply gotten worse.  

    Chelsea Jackson, a student at Iowa State University told Her Campus, “While the white supremacist and white nationalist bullshit around campus predate 2012, white supremacy and nationalist posters have increased since 2016, especially over the last year.” 

    And if you’re looking for examples of white supremacy on college campuses, the best place to begin is with the recent batch of self-proclaimed white supremacists and white nationalists, who are inviting themselves to speak on college campuses. 

    Hannah Harshe, a rising junior at the University of Michigan, recounts the turmoil that ensued when Richard Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist think tank, asked to come speak at Michigan. 

     “He actually requested to come on his own. Because University of Michigan is a public university, we technically couldn't turn him away based on the content of his speech, because that would be in violation of the First Amendment," Harshe said. "The one caveat is that we could turn him away if we could prove that his presence would be a safety risk to our students.”

    Spencer ultimately canceled his speech, but his message and his name were still publicized, which Harshe argues was what he wanted all along. 

    "The one caveat is that we could turn him away if we could prove that his presence would be a safety risk to our students.”

     “Michigan State University, our rival, declined his request to speak and he ended up suing them for a lot of money," she said. "So, on his end, it was a win-win. He could speak at a notoriously liberal campus and gain a ton of publicity when riots inevitably ensued, or he could sue the school and make tons of money.”

    The fine line between what defines free speech and what defines hate speech has become more and more blurred each day, and it’s increasingly difficult to determine what is allowed and what is not, specifically in a new era where social media is at the forefront. And more and more of young white supremacists are using social platforms as a vehicle to spread their message and reach others who share the same ideologies they do. 

    Yasmin Hosseini, a Juris Doctor tells Her Campus, “Under the First Amendment, speech can be regulated in different forums, depending on the content and whether it is a public, designated public, or non-public forum.  However, social media was non-existent at the time of the Constitution and therefore falls into a gray area allowing just about anything to be expressed within seconds, without any prior approval.”

    The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been another college campus that has not gone unscathed by controversy surrounding debate as to what defines free speech. Last fall a graduate assistant verbally attacked an undergraduate student who was promoting membership to Turning Point USA, a well known non-profit conservative organization. The graduate assistant was later removed from her position but many students and professors argued they both were expressing their right to free speech. 

    Just months later in February of this year, images of UNL junior biochemistry major Daniel Kleve surfaced, and they showed him beating protestors at last year’s rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Kleve, a member of Vanguard America, later released videos where he stated, “Just because I dress like a normie—a regular person—doesn’t mean I don’t love violence. Trust me. I want to be violent. Trust me. Really violent. “

    In response to this, the men’s basketball team in conjunction with Oasis, an on-campus organization that works on meeting the needs of ethnic minority students, created the Hate Will Never Win campaign. The campaign included t-shirts with the words, “Hate Will Never Win,” imprinted on them and a video of basketball players stating the same words, which was played during the halftime show of a game.

    Moises Padilla, assistant director of Oasis said, “The goal of the campaign was to create a more positive narrative and say specifically what the values of the university are, or remind everyone. Going forward we want to continue spreading that message of civility and harmony on our campus.”

    The rise in white supremacy on college campuses is one that is alarming, but the data shows that the problem is far and wide. The ADL reported that white supremacist murders more than doubled from 2016 to 2017, and for Cait Fitz, a recent graduate of Lasell College, believes that the recent spike is no coincidence.

    “Unfortunately, racism has always been present in our country. But I fully believe the administration has essentially given permission to people to act above others, when it isn't the case," she said.


    “Unfortunately, racism has always been present in our country, but I fully believe the administration has essentially given permission to people to act above others, when it isn't the case.”

    Shortly following the march in Charlottesville last fall, President Donald Trump made a brief statement at his private golf club in New Jersey and condemned violence on "many sides." People were outraged and the backlash was quick.

    Hosseini, daughter of Iraian immigrants said that the rise of President Trump has not only fueled white supremacists but has also attacked other minority groups.

    "When President Trump initially started the travel ban discussions and continuously making degrading comments about Middle Easterners, my family and I took it offensively because he generalized and defamed an entire religion.  President Trump opened the door to and justified racism and hate speech towards Muslims," she said. 

    The harsh and devastating reality is that this is the new world we are living in. A world where marginalized people are concerned for their safety, college campuses are the breeding grounds for young white supremacists and our current President struggles to denounce all of it. 

    Harshe says, “On the human side of things, I believe we have a duty as human beings to do everything we can to spread love. This means speaking out against white supremacy. It means listening to students of color. It means protesting hatred. It means speaking love and making sure your words are heard. There are other ways to combat hate speech besides censoring it.”

    Expressing yourself and your outrage in toxic times like these can be scary, but our democracy is at stake so it is time to get over that fear and start impacting change. 

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    I am a HUGE Marvel girl, and I especially love all the badass ladies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It’s about time we get a female-driven Marvel superhero movie.

    Entertainment Weekly’s new cover finally gives us a sneak peek at Brie Larson as Captain Marvel in her new solo movie, set for release on March 8, 2019. Check her out:

    Remember at the end of Avengers: Infinity War when Nick Fury sent a message and that symbol showed up on his device? He was paging Captain Marvel, aka air force pilot Carol Danvers. She’s half human, half Kree alien, all badass. “She can’t help but be herself,” Brie Larson tells Entertainment Weekly of her super alter ego. “She can be aggressive, and she can have a temper, and she can be a little invasive and in your face.”

    The new Captain Marvel movie takes place in the '90s (hello just-barely-retro fashion!) and follows Danvers as she joins a Kree military team called Starforce. The commander? Jude Law. That’s gonna be some interesting tension.

    As if being the first female superhero in the MCU with her own movie wasn’t enough, Captain Marvel’s authentic personality makes her a great role model for young, female Marvel fans. “This is not a superhero who’s perfect or otherworldly or has some godlike connection,” says the film’s director, Anna Boden (the first female director to take on a Marvel movie!). “But what makes her special is just how human she is.”

    I’m looking forward to a future where heroes of all genders can save the world without it being groundbreaking and earth shattering (other than the action sequences, of course). Captain Marvel is a great step in the right direction!

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    To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before star Noah Centineo really got in the headspace of Peter Kavinsky. (That’s why he’s your internet boyfriend now, after all.) Noah, like you, has dissected Peter’s relationship with Lara Jean enough to be able to pinpoint the exact moment he fell for her, because of course he did.

    “From the beginning, Peter is interested, like from that first remark about her shoes,” Noah told TheWrap. Aww, how romantic!

    “In his first scene, we meet Peter, I think he’s interested. But I think he really, really realizes this is the girl for him in the kitchen scene when they’re at Peter’s house and they’re kind of just opening up their family history to each other.”

    It makes perfect sense that Noah’s able to analyze Peter, since they’re both pure and wholesome men. Lana Condor told Mashablethat during filming, Noah did something very Peter Kavinsky-worthy: giving Lana company in her apartment after she got some bad news. "There’s a reason the world is thirsting after him. He’s a great guy!" Lana said.

    It looks like Noah is working his way to becoming the new sweet prince of streaming service rom-coms: he’s in the new Netflix movie Sierra Burgess is a Loser, which also stars Stranger Things’ Shannon Purser. Noah plays a sensitive jock/poet who means to send a text to a mean cheerleader but sends it to Shannon Purser’s band geek character instead. My guess is that he’ll see her for her beauty inside?

    I am eating all of this emotionally intelligent hunk fodder completely up. Noah Centineo, your sweet dedication to your romantic comedy roles may be what it takes to teach a generation of girls how to trust men again.

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    Honestly, is there anything Lady Gaga can't do? Not only is our queen of pop regarded as one of the most experimental artists of her time, snatching platinum albums left and right, but she is now making her debut as an actress in her upcoming film, A Star is Born. As the new actress on the block, Gaga attended the Venice Film Festival last Thursday, where the first screening of her film was held. Of course, Gaga didn't turn up in just any standard red carpet look. Yes, alongside her co-star, the dashing Bradley Cooper, Gaga channeled the iconic Marilyn Monroe with her hair, dress and makeup! 

    The pop queen took her entrance to the next level, cruising into the venue in a classy boat. She was dressed in a gorgeous black Jonathan Simkhai minidress, black pumps and holding a huge vibrant red flower in her hand. Lady Gaga's hair was the perfect finishing touch, styled up into tight luscious curls that Monroe herself would be proud of. 

    As if that wasn't enough, Lady Gaga continued down the Marilyn Monroe style route for her photo call, switching out her black mini dress for a classic long white gown, reminiscent of what Marilyn Monroe would wear to the red carpet. She left her hair out in loose curls that screamed old fashion, almost country-esque flare. Diamond stud earrings and a bold nude lip pulled the whole look together, making her look exuberant next to Cooper as they posed together, arm in arm. 

    Finally, Lady Gaga, in typical over-the-top but oh-so-stunning fashion, wore a huge pink and feathery Valentino gown. Designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli, the gown was a sight to behold, wrapping Gaga's slim frame beautifully with every feathery strand cascading down from her shoulders all the way to the bottom of her skirt. Twitter was raving over Gaga's looks, excited not only to see her in eye-catching fashion but to see her new movie. 


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    In such a turbulent political climate, people are finding themselves at odds with their loved ones. That’s right, there’s a good chance that even the most smitten couples don’t agree on all the serious stuff like religion and politics. No two partners can agree on everything of course, but what happens when you and your SO’s views are polar opposite? Is it time to call it quits? Before panicking over your romantic future, here are some things to consider before you distance yourself from your SO over ideological disagreements. 

    Hear them out first and communicate.

    Nowadays, when some people hear you utter even one opinion they don’t like, they shut you out. It’s never a good idea to do that to someone, especially your SO. If you find out that your SO supports someone you find problematic, or that they practice a different religion from you, for example, don’t reject them without hearing them out first. Be sure to resist the urge to reject or get angry with them because they deserve to be heard before they are judged by you, and vice versa. As always, communication is key to overcoming any disagreements in a relationship.

    Don’t simplify them into a symbol of the opposing side.

    The biggest risk with disagreeing with your SO is when you start to dehumanize them into a set of ideals. You fell in love with the complex being that they are, not their political party or religion. When you realize that you and your SO disagree on an issue, be careful not to automatically associate them with the extremes of the opposing side. You’re not simply a puppet of an ideology and neither are they. As you realize that you and your SO have contrasting opinions, remember they are still the person you were first interested in.

    They can test your conviction.

    You may think that every couple is supposed to agree on absolutely everything. Realistically though, no couple is a pair of clones. You are your own person with your own values, culture and beliefs––and so is your SO. You shouldn’t compromise your beliefs but stay open to hearing your SO’s perspective and maybe even changing your mind. When you and your SO argue often, it can usually end up where one of you just throws up their hands and says, “fine, you’re right,” even if they don’t mean it. If one of you gives up their convictions just to avoid conflict, then that itself isn’t a healthy relationship. So be sure to stay true to your beliefs, but ensure that the both of you are open to hearing and trying to understand one another. If you both give each other that chance to share and see the other’s point-of-view, then you already have a sweet deal with your SO that you shouldn’t want to break.

    The personal could still be political.

    Let’s be honest, some disagreements we take personally, and some we don’t care less. If you don’t take certain issues like social justice that seriously, then even if your SO’s views slightly oppose yours, it’s no big deal. These kinds of disagreements don’t impact you and your SO’s relationship directly.

    However, knowing where to draw the line when it comes to politics is very important. Shereen Jeyakumar, a freshman at Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, believes that it matters more how serious you are about an issue, rather than just whether the two of you agree. “I think it depends on how core those values you disagree on are to your sense of self. For example, if you define your whole life on social activism surrounding your political ideology, it might be difficult to stay with your SO if he has opposing views. However, if what you disagree on isn’t that important to you, it’s totally OK to be with them as long as you’re respectful of each other,” Shereen says.  At the same time, if an ideological disagreement starts affecting your personal lives and your personal choices, then maybe you should start to worry. For example, if they interject on your personal choices, like going to a place of worship or taking birth control, then they are definitely overstepping their boundaries.

    Related: 5 Signs Your Partner is Controlling 

    Think about what you specifically disagree on.

    Having ideological differences makes you think harder about what you believe. Exactly how deeply do you disagree from one another? For example, do you simply support a political party because your parents did or are there specific people you support for certain reasons? Think about what aspects of your ideology you strongly align with. Maybe you call yourself a feminist and your SO doesn’t consider themselves one. In the US, even people who don’t call themselves “feminists” still support many feminist causes­­––such as birth control accessibility and filling the gender wage gap.  Avoid boiling down your differing opinions to simply “who’s on what team” and think about the specific viewpoints you may share.

    Focus on the views you share.

    It’s highly unlikely that you and your SO disagree on every single thing. Something had to spark a connection in the first place! You might not agree on some pressing issues, but don’t lose sight of the views you actually share with your SO. If both of you still support the same pro-social justice causes, then having that in common will always bring you closer together. When you look to each other for new ways of thinking, that can make you a more well-rounded and loving couple. At the same time, focusing on the values you share can remind you of what makes the two of you click in the first place. At the end of the day, the goal is to love your SO in all their entirety, differences and all.

    It's their morals that matter.

    You and you SO disagreeing on political issues isn’t the end of the world because lots of the time, you and your SO have the same goals, but have different strategies for achieving them. You both usually just want what is best for not only yourselves, but for other people. In this case, you and your SO’s morals line up; you both want to help all types of people, even if you disagree on how to do so. But if your SO’s views make you question their morals, that is a serious problem. You and your SO’s moral compasses should align closely, otherwise the both of you will have a tough time fostering a loving relationship where you both want to reach the same goal. Rachel Minkovitz, a senior at Bates College, is more concerned about her SO’s moral choices rather than just their political ones.

    “There’s a difference between having differences in political beliefs and having differences in moral beliefs, and that’s probably where I’d have the biggest difficulties dating an SO who differs from me. Having an SO who doesn’t share my ideologies in so far as human rights and social justice would probably be a dealbreaker for me, because I know that would only lead to a lot of conflicts if I was always trying to convince my SO to fight for causes they didn’t believe in,” Rachel says. Morals are what makes us human after all, they’re central to our identities and they define the way we love other people as well. If you want to share your heart with someone, then your morals have to match with theirs in order to really give true, whole self to your relationship.

    “My social justice activism is really important to me and to who I am, especially because of parts of my identity, so dating someone who isn’t of the same belief system would be really difficult, since I generally debate people on these topics, and while I often enjoy the debates, they can be draining,” Rachel says. If you and your SO’s morals don’t match up, it’ll be hard to stay with them and understand them in the long run.

    Consider your loved ones’ opinions on your relationship.

    If you realize that you and your SO are still meant to be, despite your differences, then that’s wonderful! But maybe your friends, family and peers don’t agree. Friends and close family members tend to have similar views as you, so they may be put off by your SO’s different viewpoints. If your liberal loved ones call you out for being with your conservative SO, then be sure to hear what they have to say.

    “If your friends don’t agree with you dating your SO because of his/her views, you definitely should reflect and try to understand why they would feel that way in case they’re seeing something wrong in your relationship that you’re not,” Shereen says.

    Think about their opinions but remember, you know your SO best. If you believe your buddies might be jumping to conclusions, reassure them that you and your SO still understand and love each other. At the end of the day, it’s your relationship and if you’re happy with your SO despite your differences, then, in this case, your opinion matters most.

    Having contrasting ideological views can seem off-putting at first, especially since we’re so trained to believe that we have to be with someone who thinks exactly like we do. But differences in opinion can be a good thing in a relationship. No matter what political party you support or religion you practice, always try to be with someone who is willing to listen, respects what you believe and even admires your dedication to those beliefs. With these tips, a healthy, exciting, and dynamic relationship is totally possible for you and your (ideologically different) boo.

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    ICYMI: Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are engaged and while 12-year-old me is still crying in the corner holding my Jonas Brothers poster, Nick's ex Olivia Culpo is totally happy for them. That makes one of us-sorry, not sorry. 

    The 26-year-old model was asked about the elephant in the room, naturally, and honestly her response was so sweet, I couldn't imagine reacting the same. "I think that any time anybody can find love, especially in this industrybecause it’s difficult. You can see there’s a track record of things not working out," Olivia toldPEOPLE.“So I’m so happy for him.” Awwww. 

    "I wish that everybody can find love and happiness," she continued. "That does not mean that I would not wish that for him.” Honestly, could Olivia be any more understanding about it all?

    I mean, I know, it's been a minute since she was with Nick, but I feel like he'd be hard to get over, considering they were together for two years. Also, have you seen the man?! Swoon. But, it looks like she's found her own bliss, anyway, as she's still with the Miami Dolphins wide receiver Danny Amendola.

    Hey, some people prefer long-term relationships before engagements, it just so happens that Priyanka and Nick aren't one of those couples. Seriously though, as much as I wish I was Priyanka, this wedding will be stunning and a part of me just can't wait.

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