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A Collegiette's Guide to Life
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    At a Kennesaw State University football game in Atlanta, Georgia, in late September five cheerleaders took a knee during the National Anthem. They would later become known as the Kennesaw Five, scared but motivated by so many important reasons to exercise their right to protest—a right that would not be shut down by the community, despite their reactions. 

    "It was the scariest thing I've ever done," says Michaelyn Wright, one of the Kennesaw Five, VICE Sports reports. "I was shaking." 

    The four other young women, Tommia Dean, Taylor Mclver, Kennedy Town, and Shlondra Young, along with Wright, had all talked with their parents prior to the protest, considering the potential backlash and negative reactions they could face. However, their diverse reasoning for protesting outweighed any sort of consequence the Five could be subjected to.

    A majority of the girls had specific incidents of police brutality against people of color in mind, the same reason why ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting by taking a knee last year. Alton Sterling, a black man who was held down and fatally shot by two white police officers, moved Tommia Dean to take action.

    "I just don't think people deserve to die like that. I have watched all these events and they touch me," says Dean, according to VICE Sports. "Alton Sterling was killed in my home state of Louisiana. That was close."

    Kennedy Town was motivated by an incident captured on a dashcam in their county where a Cobb County police officer joked with a scared white woman he had pulled over, assuring her that she would be okay. "But you're not black. Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah, we only kill black people, right?" the officer was caught saying on camera.

    "We go to school in Cobb County and this is where a white cop said we only shoot black people," said Town. "That told me I have to do something in Cobb County to make a change."

    On the day of September 30th, Shlondra Young took her message to Facebook, accompanied with a video of their protest. 

    "Today, I kneel for equality, I kneel for social injustice and I kneel for those who unjustly lost their lives and are no longer here to kneel for themselves. I kneel in a city where a confederate culture still exists among some and issues such as this are often placed on the back burner. I kneel in a city where I am a minority. But most importantly, I kneel for unity in a country that needs it the most right now. 'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave or forsake you.' (Deuteronomy 31:6) #TaketheKnee"

    Wright credits her action to her sympathy for mothers who have lost their children to police brutality.
    "I know if I was a parent and that happened to my child I would be highly upset," she said. "Even though I am not, I can feel that pain. That's not the way you should lose a child, or someone should die. That's why it speaks to my heart."

    Since the initial protest, the Kennesaw Five have been met with both support and backlash. While the football team's head coach and the cheerleading coach choose to remain silent on the issue, VICE reports, the five women have received support from their fellow cheerleaders. The entire squad was made to wait in the tunnels that enter the field during the anthem at football games since their first protest, where the five cheerleaders have continued to take a knee, according to VICE.

    While the Five have been bombarded with news interviews, social media comments crying disrespect for the flag and country, and pressure to keep them off the field, they've also been recognized by those who also feel these incidents close to home. VICE reports that the five women were given plaques from the families of victims of police violence, including Sybrina Fulton, who lost her son Trayvon Martin in 2012 when he was shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer.

    "She gave us all one, and the love we have seen blows my mind sometimes," says Taylor McIver. "To receive this plaque from a mother in the movement is an amazing gift and I will cherish it forever."

    The young women have also received positive feedback from veterans, praising the ladies for exercising their freedom. 

    "I would do it all over again," says Wright. "While I wasn't expecting this reaction, we wouldn't be having this conversation without this action."

    Luckily, VICE reports that on November 8th, the school administration revoked their policy on keeping the cheerleaders in the tunnels during the anthem. The Kennesaw Five are not here to play around, and they know exactly who they are and what they're fighting for (and should honestly be everyone's new role-models). Stand up (or kneel) for what you believe in. 

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    In an unsurprisingly disgusting move, Raw Story reports that Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow argued Tuesday in an interview that women have changed the definition of “rape” to mean “any sex that the woman ends up regretting.”

    Marlow made the comment during an interview on Sirius XM Patriot’s Breitbart News Daily.

    Marlow has been with Breitbart since 2008, and has gotten comfortable in the news outlet’s way of making inflammatory comments as easily as breathing. In recent times, the comments are coming even faster.
     
    Monday, on the same radio show, he discussed whether or not Leigh Corfman, who is accusing Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was only 14, is lying about how old she was at the time of the alleged assault and that she may have been older.

    Now he’s saying that rape has lost all meaning as an accusation because women use it in a “false” manner too often. If only this kind of victim-blaming wasn't something we see way too often from people who don’t have the first clue about these things or basic sensitivity.

    “We don’t know what’s credible and what’s not,” he complained, “and now everyone is going to come forward.”

    If every woman who is a victim of sexual harassment or assault finds the courage in this changing climate to come forward, face her accuser and tell him “no more” for the sake of her own peace, then so much the better.


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    Nowadays, anyone has the power to work closely with what they love and make a living from it. Beauty brand Avon has provided thousands of women with the opportunity to nurture a passion for makeup through its representative program, in which participants can sell products, mentor others and grow their own business as either a side hustle or a full-time career. While it works with celebrity brand ambassadors such as Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale, Avon also values everyday, relatable women who appreciate both the flexibility and the opportunity a representative position can bring.

    Celebrating these Beauty Bosses at a recent lunch and panel discussion co-hosted by Marie Claire, Avon had reps such as Ivanna Diaz Hansen and Lydia Osolinsky serving as strong examples of the inspiring women that embody the brand. For Diaz Hansen, Avon has been in the family since her mother began as a representative nearly 20 years ago. Now having worked with the company since she was 18, 25-year-old Diaz Hansen has helped to bring a millennial perspective to Avon’s approach to selling. Osolinsky also comes from an Avon family, working as a full-time Beauty Boss while raising two children. She prides herself on being her own boss in an adaptable environment.  

    Her Campus spoke with Diaz Hansen and Osolinsky at the Beauty Boss event about trying out a side hustle, taking risks in life and what Avon means to them.

    You, Ivanna, have said in an interview with USA Today that you don’t think many people realize the flexibility of being an Avon rep and what that flexibility means in the long run. What would either of you like millennial readers to know about this kind of position and finding success from it?

    Ivanna Diaz Hansen: I think when you think about what you really want out of life, whether it’s a long career or if you want to settle down and have a family, people need to think about that now in the present. I know I want to be a stay-at-home mom, so I’m taking actions earlier. I started [representing Avon] at 18 years old because I knew eventually I want to work from home, even if I have kids or not. Now that I’m married, I do want to have kids. Not now, but I know down the line I’m going to want that flexibility to really be there and spend my time enjoying life while making money—not having to be somewhere every day, not having to be afraid to ask for time off and be judged by my employer. I think having that flexibility is so wonderful because you can really focus on the important things.

    My grandma passed away last year from breast cancer, and my mom is also in the business. She was able to step away from doing Avon for two full months just taking care of [my grandma] at home during her last time. We were talking about how great is it that we can do that in this business because anywhere else, you’d have to leave your job to do that. My mom has many brothers and sisters—they were having such a hard time not being able to be there during her last moments…When you think about those moments, those crucial moments in life with your family or when loved ones are sick, you really do need to have a flexible job in order to be there for them. Otherwise, you’re going to be missing out on so much.

    Lydia Osolinsky: The other piece of flexibility is that so much [of it] is flexible. It’s how you work, it’s when you work, it’s where you work, and you get to make those choices when you’re your own boss. You can really pick the parts of life that you like the most and build your business around them, build it around your strengths. And as you grow and discover new parts about yourself, this business is adaptable. You can bring that in, and it actually strengthens what you do. As I grow and as I’ve aged, my business has changed, and it’s changed with me. I love knowing that as I continue to age, it will always reflect the stage of life that I’m in because I’m the boss. I get to build it on my terms, and [Avon] is a company that celebrates that. With social media and the different ways that we reach people with our business, people are drawn to that. Flexibility means so much.

    What advice would either of you have for new graduates who may be afraid to look into side jobs or take this kind of work on as a full-time job, when they’re not really sure what the best path is for them to take?

    IDH: I think it’s important to do something that you love. I mean, even if it’s not being an Avon rep, if you are curious about doing a side hustle, do it as a side hustle while you’re trying something else. I went to school for art, and so I wanted to be an artist or [in] some form that related to art. I still was looking for work in that field because it’s what I’m also passionate about. But at the same time, I was building up my Avon career because I knew that, in case I don’t have a job in the art world, I’m going to have this business to back me up because I nurtured it and I grew it over the years. Even if it’s something that you’re not totally sure on, you’re still going to learn something and you’re going to build very valuable skills. When nothing else is out there for you, this is going to be your baby. This is your business and you have to take care of it, and I think with all side hustles, they give you that ability to create something of your own. You don’t have to be doing something that you don’t love. If it’s something that you love, you should nurture it and keep it growing, even if it’s just a side hustle or a full-time career. Keep true to what you want and even if it’s small or big, as long as it’s yours and you’re happy.

    LO: One thing I’ve learned is that things surprise you. You surprise you, right? What’s nice about this is that there’s money in your pocket right away. It can help you do whatever you want to do today, and it may end up being much more than that. I also went to school for something different. I was studying women’s issues and wanted to help women, and at the time I did not realize that having my own business would be so fulfilling in relation to that as well. Now I help women start their own businesses, and it’s just surprising how rewarding it was beyond just the money. I wouldn’t have known that unless I was in it and tried it, and so I’m so thankful that I did.

    IDH: I think you really have to take risks. A lot of people after college want to do something that’s safe and they think that a job is going to be guaranteed to you, but that’s not always the case. We just had the recession, and you may have a Masters degree, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get a job. I think with life, taking risks will allow you to be bigger than ever, but if you’re always going to play it safe, then you’re just going to have a safe life. If you kind of step out of your comfort zone, then you’re going to surprise yourself, like Lydia said. You may find yourself in New York on a panel with celebrities! So that’s something that I wouldn’t have in any other field and any other job, and it’s only because I nurtured my business and I kept pushing it and believed in myself and I had people that believed in me.

    Going off of that, I read that Ivanna has over 200 people working under her at the moment?

    IDH: So they don’t work for me—they work for themselves, but I mentor them. They are on my team, and actually Lydia and I are part of the same team, too! Her mom is my mom’s mentor…

    LO: You’re like my Avon aunt!

    IDH: Yeah, so, we all work together and I earn a commission off my team, but the only way that’s going to happen is if I guide them and I give them the proper teaching, and I’m only where I am because of them. They grow if I do a good job, and I don’t grow if I’m not doing a good job, so we definitely work together as a whole unit.

    LO: It’s a great structure, so instead of everyone competing, we’re all invested in each other’s success. If they don’t do good, we don’t do good. It’s mutually beneficial. They get someone who’s really invested in their success and we’re rewarded for our efforts, so it’s really great.

    To go back to your last question, when I was graduating college, I remember talking to a mentor of mine and saying how afraid I was that I wouldn’t get a job. It was very nerve-wracking, like, “Oh my goodness, what now?” I remember thinking, “What if no one will hire me?,” and I remember her saying, “Or you could just create a job.” And it was one of those moments—an aha moment where I thought, “Wow.” That’s what this is. You don’t have to convince someone to hire you. You can build whatever job you want, and when you start looking at that as a possibility, you start to see opportunities in places you didn’t see before, and that’s when the magic happens.  

    If either of you could sum up Avon’s message as a brand in a couple of words, what would they be?

    IDH: I always think of “empowering” because it just is. Being your own boss [and] the makeup makes me feel empowered. Helping other people make their own businesses makes you feel empowered. The way we give back to causes, like domestic violence, natural disasters, breast cancer awareness, it’s all empowering to be part of something that’s so big and gives back to so [many] different things and the people that are in it. Us as representatives, we get to be heard, and I’m so humbled because [Avon is] like, “Thank you for coming out!” and we’re like, “No, thank you guys!” They treat us very well and make us feel very empowered.

    LO: Maybe “dynamic.” The business is constantly changing from all different angles, and even the fact that Avon looked for us—they wanted to hear our point of view. We can see places where our influences [are] in the company. They listen, and it’s really exciting to be part of a company that wants to listen and that sees our voices as part of being successful for the future.

    IDH: I definitely feel like we are seen as worthy, not just “we’re the machines keeping the company going.” Our thoughts and our opinions really do matter, and we’re out there every day interacting with the people, selling to the people, helping our team members grow their businesses. So it’s definitely nice to know that we’re taken care of in our hearts and souls and they want us to be successful…You know, you see other corporations and it’s all about taking, taking, taking. Here, it’s like everyone’s just working together, corporate and representative and customer. It’s just like a great relationship.

    LO: They’re all seen as sources of knowledge, and I think that’s very true of the millennials that are part of this business. In other venues, millennials may be [disregarded]. They’re at the table and Avon seeks them out and they see those voices as really important, and not just what they have to say, but how they like to say it, right? That is something Avon wants to nurture and explore and celebrate, so let them be themselves and give them the tools to take it bigger instead of trying to make them fit into some other image of what their business should look like.  

    What’s next? Do you have any other projects in store?

    LO: I’m going on a cruise to Bermuda! Avon has an incentive right now that we can earn a cruise to Bermuda.

    IDH: That’s another great thing—the incentives are so awesome! I went on an all-expense-paid honeymoon to the Bahamas and got to bring my husband with me, and just things like that make you so excited and pumped to really step up your game. You’re growing your business and getting rewarded for it, too. Other than that, I really do want to buy a house and I’m going to keep pushing my business. That way, I can achieve that dream.

    All event photos are credited to Astrid Stawiarz.

    This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.


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    U.S. District Judge, William H. Orrick, just submitted an injunction that permanently blocks President Donald Trump’s executive order to gag sanctuary cities, the Washington Post reports.

    Orrick had a valid reason for issuing a preliminary injunction. Reuters reports that Orrick said in a statement that “the Counties have demonstrated that the Executive Order has caused and will cause them constitutional injuries by violating the separation of powers doctrine and depriving them of their Tenth and Fifth Amendment rights.”

    Business Insider adds that Orrick also looked to halt the executive order in April.

    While Orrick’s injunction is still preliminary—meaning this petition still needs to a vote to meet a final determination before the block on Trump’s order becomes permanent— the person seeking preliminary injunctions still needs to be able to prove a list of criteria (in regards to whatever the injunction is meant to restrain). Essentially, the preliminary injunction needs to prove that without this legal case, the face irreversible damage.


    Obviously, the Trump administration isn’t very happy to see their order barred. Devin O’Malley, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, said in a statement, “The district court exceeded its authority today when it barred the president from instructing his cabinet members to enforce existing law.”

    However, the district court isn’t abusing their power. Instead, Orrick used his power to stop a potentially harmful order (after all, the U.S. government is meant to have a series of checks and balances). While O’Malley argues that Orrick is obstructing the Trump administration from enforcing the law and justice, Orrick is simply preventing Trump from issuing an executive order without question. After all, the Trump administration can still appeal the preliminary injunction.

    Although appealing a preliminary injunction is difficult and unusual, it is still possible. Even if the Trump administration doesn’t successfully fight the preliminary injunction, they can still contest the final decision of the injunction.

    Regardless, Orrick wouldn’t have challenged Trump’s executive order against sanctuary cities if he didn’t feel it was necessary. After all, sanctuary cities protect undocumented citizens and Trump’s order could make it easier for ICE to hold undocumented immigrants (who are suspected of committing a crime), which is unconstitutional.


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    Whether you’re currently sexually active or not, speaking with your parents about your sexual health can be incredibly important—especially if you’re still on their health insurance plan. You can ask them about birth control methods, the HPV vaccine or even treatment for a persistent yeast infection. It might be a little uncomfortable to talk about, but remember that your parents care about your health first and foremost. Read on for a few tips on how to approach a conversation.

    1. Talk early—and don’t wait until a problem arises

    While it might be tempting to avoid doing so until absolutely necessary, you should open a discussion about sexual health with your parents before a problem might occur. That way, you already have a support system in effect and know what to do if something should happen.

    Dr. Ramani Durvasula, clinical psychologist and an expert on college sexual health, recommends that collegiettes talk about what good sexual health looks like with both their doctor and parents. “Waiting until there is a problem is often too late, especially if they are dealing with a health problems that can have major ramifications such as an STI, HIV or other STI,” Dr. Durvasula says.

    Basically, you shouldn’t take your sexual health lightly. Start the conversation now, rather than later.

    2. Consider the setting of the discussion

    Since this can be a difficult topic to approach, you need to make sure that both you and your parents are in an appropriate setting. A loud, family barbecue probably isn’t the best place to bring up the topic—nor is Thanksgiving dinner.

    Annie Bryan, a sophomore at Saint Louis University and intern at Planned Parenthood, says, “A big thing I’ve learned over the years is meeting your parents where they’re at. Talk to them in a place and time that is most conducive to when they like to talk. Audiences and discussions never succeed when both partners aren’t as close to the same level as they can be on.”

    Maybe your parents like to have deep discussions with you on long road trips, or when they wind down on Friday nights—keep those moments in mind and choose a time that will ensure a mature, respectful conversation that they’ll take seriously.

    3. Get a health care provider involved

    If it’s very difficult for you to seriously discuss your sexual health with your parents at home, consider a clinical setting instead. It’s not uncommon for teens to discuss their sexual health with both their health care provider and parents at a doctor’s office. That way, you can ensure you’ll without a doubt have a mature discussion—and you’ll have a chance to talk about available resources with your practitioner.

    Dr. Durvasula says this is a great option. “In some ways, the discussion will be about health, but also relationships, and the critical need that the parents not be uncomfortable,” she says. “In fact, sometimes it helps for the young woman to meet with a health care provider, the parents to meet with the health care provider and then everyone come together.”

    If you think a structured, clinical setting will ease the stress of bringing it up on your own at home, consider trying this option at your next doctor’s appointment.

    Related: 6 Weird Things You Didn’t Know About Sex

    4. If necessary, pick the “right” parent

    Almost all kids know which of their parents will react harshly to certain issues and which will be more understanding. Maybe your dad still sees you as his little girl and won’t react well to discussing your sexual health. Maybe your mom is quite strict on sexuality and might get upset if she finds out you’re sexually active. Either way, you should have an idea on who to speak with.

    Abby Piper, a senior at the University of Notre Dame, says, “As a child of divorce, I luckily can talk to one without the other one knowing. I never had any long, serious chats with my parents about sexual health, but with any serious thing I want to discuss I always weigh who I think will respond the best and be the most helpful.”

    Abby’s advice is great for any serious discussion you might need to have with your parents, including one about sexual health. Choose carefully if you’re in a situation where one parent might respond better than the other.

    5. Discuss birth control, protection and health insurance

    Before you discuss your sexual health with your parents, you should have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with the discussion. Do you want to get on birth control? Do you want to get an IUD? Anything that requires a prescription or a medical professional will also require you to ask your parents about your health insurance. Maybe you can even look through your plan together to see what’s covered and what’s not—and how both you and your parents will cover the excess. They’ll most likely expect you to pitch in, so be prepared with a plan on how you can do that. It’ll make you seem more mature as well to offer financial help.

    Dr. Durvasula also recommends discussing the HPV vaccination if you haven’t before. “Were you vaccinated against HPV? Is it too late to begin the vaccination and can you discuss it with your health care provider?” she says. The same goes for safe sex. “Uncomfortable though it may be to speak about—the importance of condoms as infection prevention—birth control pills do not protect against STIs.”

    Annie says that your parents might not react well to birth control initially, so you should try to mention other benefits as well. “Many parents really aren’t comfortable with their children being sexually active,” she says. “For example, if you want to go on hormonal birth control, be sure to mention the other benefits…like lighter periods, lighter cramps, a more steady mood and potentially less acne. Once again, try not to lie, but be as honest as you can be with where your parents are at.” Do what you must to get the sexual resources you need.

    6. Speak with a trusted adult or doctor if your parents are especially conservative

    For college women with strict families that condemn pre-marital sex, for either religious or cultural values, it can be extremely difficult—and even dangerous—to start a conversation about sexual health with your parents. They can make you feel guilty, accuse you of “immorality,” or even refuse to get you the help you need. In that scenario, it might be wise to speak with another trusted adult or your health care provider about your sexual health instead. If you explain your situation, they will have information on where you can find resources to maintain your sexual health without your parent’s knowledge. And hopefully, they will come around eventually!

    Dr. Durvasula addresses this issue and recommends the following resources, “Parents need to be reminded that sexuality is a healthy part of life, and morality and pathologization really should not be part of this conversation,” she says. “If college women face these barriers with their parents, then they may want to consider consulting with a health care provider who has expertise in adolescent sexual health and women's health to get their questions answered. Most college health services have people to meet with as well. Ignorance is not an option because the stakes can be very high.”

    You can also turn to the internet for help, says Annie. “If you ever need any information, whether you completely agree with their ethics or not, the Planned Parenthood website has a lot of stuff about starting conversations about sexuality,” she says.

    Whatever situation you find yourself in, good luck, collegiettes! Reach out to your parents or health care provider to get the resources you need to ensure you don’t have to worry about your sexual health.


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    You may associate Avon Products with your mother’s makeup bag, but the Avon of today is far from that. Appealing to makeup users across generations, Avon also works to shed light on causes such as breast cancer and domestic violence, regularly donating profits to awareness and prevention programs. The company’s long-running representative program also has generations of families involved, allowing women nationwide to grow their own part-time or full-time businesses by selling Avon products in a way that works best for them.

    Three of these Avon representatives, called Beauty Bosses, are featured in the November 2017 issue of Marie Claire, sharing their perspectives on the flexibility and prosperity that representing Avon has brought them. To celebrate the spread, Bosses Ivanna Diaz Hansen, Lydia Osolinsky and Donna Reid-Mitchell traveled to New York to discuss their positions alongside celebrity brand ambassador Lucy Hale in a panel discussion hosted by Avon and Marie Claire.

    “It’s the freedom, the flexibility, the financial opportunities that are available to them that make them a Beauty Boss,” said Betty Palm, president of social selling at Avon, while opening the event.

    In the panel discussion moderated by Jessica Pels, digital director of MarieClaire.com, the women shared their own definitions of the Beauty Boss label. “Being a Beauty Boss has really been about being myself,” Osolinsky, who has twice ranked in Avon’s eighth spot for business growth nationwide, said. “Avon has been a great opportunity to find out what that is, and I’ve seen the best results in my business when I have played to my strengths and what felt natural.”

    Reid-Mitchell, who has used her 14-year position as an Avon rep to treat cancer survivors with makeovers, said, “For me, being a Beauty Boss means having the flexibility and freedom to live the life that I deserve...I never have to miss out on any important moment in my family’s lives.”

    Diaz Hansen also understands family’s role in a career, as she learned about Avon from her mother working as a representative. Now one of the youngest successful Avon reps in North America, Diaz Hansen appreciates the flexibility that she grew up with and can now apply to her own life. “When you get your degree, you think that a lot of doors are going to open, but that’s not always guaranteed,” she said of maintaining an Avon business. “Being a Beauty Boss, you really get to take control of your own life and choose the path you want.”

    At the core of Avon is its passion for empowering women like these three to seek lives that capture what they love most. Through the representative program, women also have the chance to mentor other sellers and build relationships with each other. “Avon stands for strong women,” said Pretty Little Liars star Hale, who has worked with Avon since 2013. “They’re the definition of what a Beauty Boss should be.”

    The term Beauty Boss stems from Avon’s 2016 campaign Boss Life, which emphasized the company’s ability to help women break out of the corporate, 9-to-5 mold. Osolinsky, who was asked to participate in the campaign photo shoot with her two young daughters, believes that the campaign was a key example of why representing Avon works for so many busy women. “My typical days are probably much like anyone who has small children and cares for them from home,” she explained. “But I’m running a very successful business at the same time…Kids are going to be kids no matter what you’ve got going on, so I try to work it in. I find that people really appreciate that realness…Avon truly is a business we do from home and that’s the beauty of it.”

    In true 21st century fashion, the women have no typical workday, often having weeks when they’re working at home in pajamas one day and then hosting a beauty bash for friends the next. As November is National Entrepreneur Month, the panelists also addressed how their non-traditional, successful careers only arose from taking the initial risk of beginning these businesses.

    “I knew Avon was a real opportunity,” Osolinsky said, referring to how her mother put both her and her brother through college on an Avon representative’s income. “I was in grad school, five years deep in a program, and hating it. It was just the wrong place for me. I just didn’t want to be a quitter, and I didn’t want to stop because I felt invested, even though I was unhappy.”

    When her first daughter was born extremely premature, Osolinsky knew that nothing else in her life mattered at the moment. It was then that she decided to stay at home with her child while beginning a career with Avon, saying at the panel, “Sometimes walking away is the best thing because it allows you to pursue what you’re really supposed to do.”

    Osolinsky and her peers share a love for the brand and its message, serving as reminders that powerful things happen when people with a mutual interest band together. “When you have that sisterhood and you’ve surrounded yourself with others that have that same belief, it’s really easy to succeed because you just want to be the best with the best,” said Diaz Hansen.

    Accompanying that sense of sisterhood is a rebranding of the concept of power. As opposed to it once equating to material things, the definition is now more aligned with making an impact. “We have women that have successful careers, but they’re lacking that passion and that sense of fulfillment,” said Reid-Mitchell. “I see that changing so much more now.”

    While Avon is notable in the beauty industry for its flexible job opportunities, it is only one example of women taking charge of their professional paths to encompass what they truly love. Whatever your passion is, nothing is stopping you from becoming the boss of your own life.

    All event photos are credited to Astrid Stawiarz. 

    Check out the video recording of the women’s panel discussion, as well as Her Campus’s exclusive talk with Diaz Hansen and Osolinsky.


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    Any girl boss can tell you that on top of earning your college degree and holding a few internships, landing a job after college has a lot to do with who you know in the industry. Never underestimate the power a little networking can have on your career!

    Because we’re all about mixing business with social fun, we’ve partnered with the Forté Foundation to provide one winner with ways to help jumpstart your career. Here’s all the amazing prizes you can use as networking opportunities:

    • Starbucks $100 gift card - Take an industry professional to coffee and request an informational interview about their company.
    • Michael Kors bag - Use this chic bag as a conversation starter by asking your friend what they like to carry on their work commute.
    • $400 gift card to Bliss Spa - Invite your boss squad to a spa day for some serious bonding. Not a Bliss Spa near you? We’ll allocate the funds towards a gift card to a spa in your area.
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    About Forté Foundation

    In search of a phenomenal career? We’ll help you build one.

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    Special thank you to our partners Maven Clinic and Dormify for their support in the Her Campus x Forté Network Like a Boss Giveaway! 

     


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    On Tuesday, celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian took to social media to speak out on behalf of Cyntoia Brown, a woman who was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 when she was just 16 after she killed a man who bought her as a sex slave.

    While Brown has already served 13 years of her sentence, her story went viral again on Tuesday after Rihanna posted an image of the now 28-year-old on Instagram.

    Outraged by the fact that a victim of severe abuse and child sex slavery won't even have the option for parole until she is 69 years old, Rihanna captioned the post, "did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way?? cause..... Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life! To each of you responsible for this child's sentence I hope to God you don't have children, because this could be your daughter being punished for punishing already! #FREECYNTOIABROWN #HowManyMore"

    According to an investigation by Nashville-based Fox 17, Brown was only 16 when she ran away from home and became a victim of child sex trafficking, living with a 24-year-old man who called himself "cut-throat" who repeatedly hit, choked and dragged her and forced her into prostitution. Later, she was sold to 43-year-old Nashville realtor Johnny Allen, who she shot and killed in his home. Brown was sentenced to life in prison, and will not be eligible for parole until she has served 51 years behind bars.

    Despite the release of a documentary created by filmmaker Dan Birman that followed seven years of Brown's case, and new legislation as a result of the film that no longer allows children under the age of 18 to be charged with prostitution, Cyntoia's sentence has remained the same. Basically, if Cyntioa's case were to be heard today, she would be tried as a victim of sexual slavery, not for prostitution — meaning it's highly unlikely her sentence today would be nearly as harsh as it is currently.

    While in prison, Brown has managed to obtain her associate's degree from Lipscomb University in 2015, and is working toward getting her bachelor's degree. She's also worked as an unpaid consultant for the juvenile justice system. 

    "She has used her experience to be able to make things better, juvenile justice, human trafficking and safety and security for youth and so I think what she has to offer is invaluable," Kathryn Sinback, the juvenile court administrator of Davidson County in Nashville, told Fox 17.

    Considering that laws have changed majorly since Brown's case, and the fact that she's made multiple positive contributions to society throughout her time in prison, many are understandably outraged by the fact that, as of now, she'll still serve a life sentence. #FreeCyntoiaBrown, seeks to change that for her and others in similar situations.


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    File under amazing news to brighten your entire week: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend officially have a second baby on the way!

    Teigen announced the big news on her Instagram on Tuesday with a video featuring the always-adorable Luna pointing at her mom's stomach. "Luna, what's in there?" Chrissy can be heard asking her 1-year-old daughter in the background. "Baby!" Luna exclains with around the same amount of intense enthusiasm we have right now knowing a second Legend child is on the way. Of course, Chrissy didn't hesitate to throw her sense of humor into the mix, posting the video with the very obvious caption, "it's john's!"

     

    it's john's!

    A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

    According to a source that spoke with Entertainment Tonight, Teigen and Legend are expecting a boy — and apparently, Luna is just as excited as they are. "Chrissy and John are so excited to be having another baby — and Luna is too!" the source told ET.

    It sounds like Luna will be a total natural when it comes to her new role as a big sister too. "She is very sweet and she likes to share, so hopefully that will translate," Legend told People.

    Later in the evening, Teigen even gave us a glimpse of her baby bump, saying she was, "very excited not to have to hide this anymore."

    Congratuations to John and Chrissy!


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    It's been almost two months since rumors started circulating that Kim probably isn't the only Kardashian Jenner sister that's pregnant — while they haven't confirmed (or denied!) anything, chances are good that Kylie and Khloe are pregnant as well. So far, both sisters have kept this super hush-hush, keeping us guessing about whether the rumors are true or not — but Kris Jenner may have just subtlety confirmed that she's expecting more than one grandchild in the very near future.

     The momager posted a photo to Instagram on Tuesday that many fans think is all but confirming Khloe and Kylie's pregnancy rumors. The post features nine adorable pairs of Christmas morning PJs for each of her grandchildren. Except, hold up — because Kris currently only has six grandchildren: Mason, Penelope, Reign, North, Saint and Dream. She has seven if you count Kim and Kanye's baby on the way. 

    The photo leaves us asking the v important question: who exactly, are the other two sets of pajamas for? The momager is definitely up to something here.

    Considering Kylie reportedly held a low-key baby shower the same weekend as Kim's and Khloe has been spotted out sporting a tiny baby bump, the signs are definitely there. Now can someone just give us some answers PLEASE?


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    We all think about ~dramatic~ transformations sometimes, and adopting a new color can seem like the perfect way to make that change. But if you’ve never dyed your hair before, it can be an overwhelming process to figure out which color to try, what type of dye job to request and where to go to get your money’s worth. Luckily, we’re here to help! We’ve listed out the five things you need to know before booking your appointment so that you can feel confident and empowered in whatever decision you make!

    1. Consult a professional before you get your heart set on a color

    Top stylist and New York City salon owner Riccardo Maggiore says it’s important to meet with a colorist before treatment. “It is more about science and color theory and less about the color you like,” he says. “Your colorist can analyze your skin tone and find the color that best compliments and highlights your best features.” World-renowned colorist Angelo David Pisacreta agrees, adding that “eye color, bone structure and hair texture…play a role in determining the perfect hair color for an individual.” Of course, if you have a general idea of what you want, feel free to take some sample photos with you to your appointment to help guide the process. Just don't get too attached—your stylist's recommendations might be better than anything you could've dreamed up on your own!

    2. Cut your hair before you color

    It’s always a good idea to get your hair cut exactly the way you want it before applying color, in order to make sure the overall end result is on par with expectations. A cut will also have an impact on the color application. “Hair type, texture [and] porosity” all influence how the final color will turn out, says Pisacreta, and a haircut can alter some of these qualities.

    If you’re aiming to save money, try getting a basic haircut at an inexpensive salon first and then going somewhere more specialized for your color. And while you don’t need to drop your entire paycheck on a dye job, you definitely want to put your trust in someplace reputable for your first go-around.

    Related: 5 Hairstyling Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

    3. Know all of your options before committing

    When it comes to hair dyeing, there are lots of options beyond a total color transformation. If you’re nervous about a drastic change, consider a less-serious switch. Pisacreta recommends highlights if “the client wants a more natural look,” while ombré is a good first step for someone worried about the upkeep and commitment of all-over color. Ombré “will brighten up their hair and create the effect of a natural, sun-lightened look,” says Pisacreta. Maggiore also suggests another first-timer option: bayalage. This technique involves the application of color just on the surface of the hair with more saturation at the tips. “The principle idea behind this technique is of ‘less is more’ giving natural-looking color,” he says. “With very little maintenance hair colored with this technique grows out beautifully and more naturally so you don’t get an obvious re-growth line of demarcation and can go longer between appointments.” Demi-permanent color is another option, which Maggiore says “lasts up to 24 shampoos, contains no ammonia and gently deposits only color on the hair.” In contrast, a typical “permanent” hair dye will start to fade after four to six weeks, so consider your commitment level before choosing which process is best for you.

    4. Beware of damaging products

    One of the best reasons to consult a professional colorist is to figure out what products are the safest and healthiest for your hair type. This is especially important because, as Pisacreta points out, some people may even be allergic to coloring agents. “This is why salon professionals perform a strand test,” he says. “The condition of the hair and its texture are key…we always perform a complete analysis before coloring in order to maintain the hair’s health.” This is also why you should think twice before reaching for a box of drugstore-brand hair color unless you’re 100 percent certain that there are no chemicals in it that might react badly with your hair type!

    5. Don’t forget the post-color care

    Once you color your hair, it's natural that you'll want to preserve the investment as long as possible! That's why you should aim to choose products specifically designed for color-treated hair. Maggiore recommends products from “Kérastase Réflection because they are designed to be gentle and protective and help prevent color fade.” The brand's three-step regimen includes items intended to cleanse, treat and prime, and you can find their products at your local salon, Amazon or even Target. But if you're on a stricter budget, John Freida and Redken offer some less expensive options as well—just be sure you choose products that are approved for color-treated hair!

    All in all, it never hurts to have your colorist recommend color care products, but don’t feel like you have to spend an extravagant amount. Stick with a couple of basic items (like a good, color-protecting shampoo and conditioner) and then continue using whatever styling products you’ve already got!

    Changing up your hair color is an easy way to feel refreshed and renewed, and with the semester soon ending, there’s no better time to shake up your look. But if you're thinking about a dye job, be sure to invest in the proper amount of preparation to decide what color, treatment and level of permanence is right for you. We’ve all heard horror stories about botched coloring, so save yourself some stress and anxiety by planning ahead!


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    Name: Leslie Engle Young
    Age: 32
    Job Title and Description: Chief Impact Officer at Pencils of Promise
    College Name/Major: University of San Francisco/English, Creative Writing
    Twitter Handle: @lengleyoung
    Instagram Handle: @lengleyoung

    What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

    Leslie Engle Young: My job is really centered around the programs that we deliver in each country and working with others on the Impact team trying to refine our strategy and assess our work. Most of the time I am working out of our New York office, however, every couple of months I spend time in Ghana, Guatemala or Laos. Those days look very different and are filled with long car rides with some of the most amazing people I know.

    What is the best part of your job?

    LEY: The people. The fact that I truly get to work with people from all over the world makes every single day interesting. 

    What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

    LEY: Actually, my first entry-level job in this space was here at Pencils of Promise! I joined the team when I was 25, after buying a one-way ticket to Laos and Facebook messaging founder, Adam Braun, something to the effect of “Hey! You built a preschool in Laos! I’m moving to Laos and I used to teach preschool––let’s talk!”. So, I got the job because of timing, fate and the willingness to make a pretty crazy move and take a very big risk. 

    What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

    LEY: As a young girl, like many young girls, I was obsessed with the Diary of Anne Frank. And a couple of years ago I got to visit her house while on a long layover on my way to Ghana. There I was reminded of exactly why she spoke to me so much, both then and now: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

    What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

    LEY: It took me a while to understand that as a manager, I need to make sure my team has the tools to do the job at hand. I know that sounds pretty basic, but as a manager, if someone that works for me stays up all night doing a project, that is 110 percent my fault! I failed to ensure that they had the adequate tools, time and expectations in place before starting this project, and so in that situation I failed that person. 

    What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

    LEY: Moving back to the states from Laos was one of the most impactful, surreal and saddest days of my life. That last day, with the whole team that had grown from two people to thirty over the years, was unreal. 

    What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

    LEY: Passion and potential. Those are the two qualities that completely set people apart for me. Of course, I look for hard and soft skills related to the job, work history, etc., but what I really want to know is: do you care about this? Are you willing to grow and learn? 

    What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

    LEY: Take risks. Take the jobs that seem far away or scary, or that make you nervous. 

    What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume?

    LEY: A current team member here at PoP emailed every person she could find with the email @pencilsofpromise.org. I probably got five different forwards saying "can you reply to this lady already?!" At first it felt potentially too bold, but then when I took my first call with her, her on a shaky line in Sierra Leone and me in our NYC office, I could hear her determination. When I asked the very basic question of “why do you want this job?” she said, unwaveringly and genuinely, “because it is my dream job.” Tenacity goes a long way.

    Fill out my online form.

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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.)

    Trump Is Defending Roy Moore Against Sexual Misconduct Allegations 

    After several days of silence on allegations that Alabama senate candidate Republican Roy Moore sexually assaulted several young women under the age of 18, President Trump finally made a statement on the matter — and it's about as cringe-worthy as you'd expect it to be. "He denies it. Look, he denies it," BuzzFeed News says Trump told reporters on Tuesday. "If you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours. He totally denies it. He says it didn't happen. And look, you have to listen to him, also." Considering the POTUS himself has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women (and there's infamous audio evidence of him bragging about it), we can't exactly say we're shocked.

    Uber Was Hacked a Year Ago, but the Company Is Only Just Now Telling Users

    Uber announced Tuesday that it hid a data breach from customers a year ago after hackers compromised roughly 57 million accounts. The company reportedly used a $100,000 payment to the hackers responsible to ensure customers never caught wind of the hack, which occurred in October of last year. Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who was appointed to the position this past August, said in a statement that the executives responsible for hiding the hack have been fired, and that the company has not detected any identity theft as a result of the hack. 

    Starbucks Just Dropped (Another) New Holiday Drink

    2017 is shaping up to be an amazing year as far as Starbucks's holiday drinks go – not only did the company add the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha to its already-stacked holiday drink lineup, but on Tuesday, it announced *another* new festive drink: the Toffee Almondmilk Hot Chocolate. Made with steamed almond milk (making it an amazing option if you're dairy-free), and topped with whipped cream and crunch caramel brulée topping, it's ideal if you're in the mood for something cozy but not caffeinated.

     

    What to look out for...

    Turkey day is finally tomorrow! Enjoy spending time with your friends and family (and eating all the food, of course).


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    An associate professor of interior design at Northwestern Arizona University lost her job following her arrest on charges of allegedly stalking and harassing people she met online — including a student and two firefighters. 

    Melissa Ann Santana was arrested Oct. 30 and indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury for five counts of felony stalking and three counts of giving false information to law enforcement, reports the Arizona Daily Sun. In a statement to The Washington Post, one of Santana’s lawyers said, “We will defend against these charges vigorously.”

    Santana, according to a criminal complaint published by the Post, used multiple fake accounts on Tinder to harass and stalk people, as well as following them over to other platforms like Facebook. She also called and texted those she stalked, and in some cases even called their workplaces.

    Two of the men she harassed are firefighters. The first one, who is known as N.L. in court documents, said he had a sexual relationship with Santana for awhile after matching with her on Tinder under the name “Ann, 29”, but ultimately ended things in 2016. Then, one of his co-workers, labeled K.T. in documents, matched with her. K.T. planned to meet up with her until he learned she was the same person who was harassing N.L. He stopped contact, but she didn’t.

    Both men, according to court documents, received repeated messages ranging from sentimental to sadistic on multiple platforms from Santana under false names such as “Kendall Patterson” and “Laura Towner.” At one point, she told K.T. to “be like the Granite guys and go die in a fire” in reference to the 19 members of a firefighter crew who were killed in a fire in 2013. She continued to sporadically harass both of them both online until she stepped things up a notch in the fall of 2016.

    On Sept. 9, 2016, the superintendent of the fire department both K.T. and N.L. worked for got an email. “I am disgusted by the behavior of your hotshot crew when they passed through my town,” the email read. It went on to accuse the crew of having contact with the sender’s 15-year-old daughter through an unknown website, and that they invited her back to their hotel where they gave her alcohol and sexually assaulted her. The email was allegedly from a woman named “Cathy McCarthy.” She stated she would contact local newspapers with the story if she received no response. A U.S. Forest Service special agent named Sophia Fong was brought in to look at the case and she tried to send a message back to McCarthy asking for a follow-up and stressing that the allegations were being taken seriously.

    There was no response. Three days later, Fong sent a second email. The message bounced back immediately as undeliverable this time. Google confirmed that no such account existed, and no such user. Fong later confirmed it was Santana who had sent the email from yet one more of her fake accounts.

    The student she harassed, listed in court documents as M.G., told Fong he was getting “harassing calls from various unknown numbers, emails and posts on his personal Facebook page and on the Yelp website,” according to the criminal complaint. He met Santana once in 2014, and the harassment started a week after that. She also started a smear campaign against him as part of her cyber harassment, falsely claiming that he had a number of STDs.

    Fong described in the court affidavit that she was able to use a combination of Facebook search warrants, comparisons of IP addresses, and pining GPS coordinates to determine all the accounts in question belonged to Santana.

    Santana is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 29. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.


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    In an attempt to contact aliens, a team of scientists has set up a radio transmission to contact some aliens, NBC News reports. No, this isn’t the beginning of every intergalactic sci-fi movie gone wrong—or at least hopefully it isn’t.

    In the Norwegian city of Tromsø, a scientific initiative has organized an example of messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence (METI), in the hopes to find any potential neighbors in our solar system. The broadcast would target Luyten’s Star, or GJ 273, which is 12 light-years away (but it’s the closest star system that has an Earth-like planet). Because this red dwarf planet is still pretty far away, Tromsø will likely wait at least 20 years for a potential response.


    The president of METI, Douglas Vakoch, explains toNewsweek that the reason many people might be leery about contacting aliens due to a phenomenon in cognitive psychology, called availability heuristic. Because we don’t have much experience with this interstellar unknown, we create mental shortcuts, which give us “examples” that allow us to access the risks involved.

    In this particular example, we’re messaging aliens. Most people haven’t met an alien in their lifetime, so the other readily available examples we have about this topic are from movies like E.T. and Aliens. With our limited judgment (because nobody’s really an expert on befriending aliens), best-case scenario, our messaging sesh with a potential alien could pan out like E.T. (TBH is pretty crappy for the alien). Or a freaking Xenomorph finds a way to hitchhike to Earth — and we all know how that ends up. If you’re an optimist, then maybe your availability heuristic could lead you to believe a planet of Ewoks is eagerly waiting for our transmission.

    Regardless, our judgment is a bit skewed from all the bad press movie directors promote about aliens. (After all, aliens are humans too. Not really, but they still have rights!)

    Nevertheless, there’s still controversy about the way we’re contacting aliens. After all, METI is an unconventional method to contact aliens (which is already an unconventional idea in itself). As Dr. Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, explains in his NBC News article, the tradition way to contact aliens has been through the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). This essentially means that scientists typically create a “ping” to notify aliens that we exist and then wait for them to draft a response.


    However, Vakoch’s will be sending a message focused on a very specific part of another solar system, which Dr. Shostak explains is “a long shot.” Granted, trying to make contact with life in a different part of the universe is a long shot in the first place — seeing as we’re assuming that these potential aliens are at least as technologically advanced as us, and are therefore capable of accessing our transmission.

    Nevertheless, what exactly does Vakoch's message to the aliens entail? Wired writes that Vakoch's team included music and math in their transmission (hopefully GJ 273's population isn't offended by geometry or binary numbers).

    Even if it goes down more than 20 years from now, Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum will be ready for a fight (or maybe a Predator will take pity on us). Hopefully we’ll just meet a chill extraterrestrial pen pal and eventually set-up a sleep over (complete with dress-up time.) 


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    It’s amazing how much three little words can impact a relationship. If you and your SO have already shouted I love you from the rooftops or swapped the sentiment after a steamy night of “studying,” then give yourself a pat on the back because, let’s be real, that’s not an easy thing to do. As small as those words may seem, saying them can often feel as challenging as trying to sound out something like honorificabilitudinitatibus. (Let us know how that goes.) Want to know what’s not tricky? Making those words mean even more than they already do. You have your SO’s heart. Here’s how to really make it race.

    Related: 7 Signs You’re in Love  

    1. Explore the pictures and posts of your partner’s past

    What we capture on camera says a lot about who we are as people, and what we share on social media is a further extension of this idea. “Scrolling through your partner’s camera roll is one of the most fun things you can do on a random Saturday afternoon,” says Temple University senior Leah Wenhold.

    Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend starred in a hilarious Adventures of Huckleberry Finn parody for his or her high school English class. Maybe he or she had a brief obsession with tweeting nothing but knock, knock jokes. Regardless, there’s a decent chance that you’ve yet to discover everything there is to know about your SO. Seeing his or her old snapshots and videos and searching the depths of his or her Facebook timeline (or, for a crazy good kickback, Myspace profile) will make it clear to your partner that you’d like a better peek at his or her past. More knowledge = more love.

    2. Tackle something terrifying together

    Okay, so rock climbing isn’t for everyone. But there are many intimidating activities to explore, and they come in various shapes, sizes and situations. Have you and your SO been tossing around the idea of training for a Tough Mudder race or tasting calamari for the first time? Well, it’s time to stop debating and start doing! There’s a great deal of trust that comes into play when you decide to face your fears. Because deeper trust sets the stage for deeper love, sampling fried squid together could actually intensify your partner’s feelings for you.

    3. Serve up some sweet compliments

    You’ve probably heard that flattery can get you far in life. Therefore, it’s not surprising that a little kudos has the power to kick your SO’s passion into high gear.

    “It might sound silly, but people truly do appreciate compliments,” says Mikayla Trinkley, a recent graduate of Penn State University. Yes, it may sound silly—especially because flattery can sometimes read as phony. But your partner will love an honest, wholehearted compliment, and he or she will love you for noticing certain things about him or her. Leah uses style as an example. “If you really like your SO’s outfit or hairstyle on a particular day, don’t be afraid to let him or her know!” she says. Fashion and beauty risks can often go unnoticed, so calling positive attention to your partner may lead to an even sweeter sense of love.

    4. Get the inside scoop on his or her interests

    You may know nothing about drumming or Dungeons & Dragons or whatever it is that fills your SO’s free time when he or she isn’t cramming for midterms or hanging out with you. However, as Mikayla points out, there’s a ton of value in taking the opportunity to investigate his or her interests. “I think doing what you can to learn more about your SO’s hobbies and favorite things to do is super important because those interests probably mean so much to him or her,” she says. “Something as simple as asking your boyfriend or girlfriend to walk you through his or her hiking obsession will suggest that you want your relationship to have as much depth as possible.”

    Mikayla’s totally right. Just as pictures and posts help to build a better understanding of your partner’s past, discovering the details of his or her present interests will increase your understanding of who he or she is as a person. Who knows? Something as far from romantic as developing your own D&D character could cause your SO to go weak in the knees.

    5. Introduce him or her to your interests

    Inviting your partner into the wonderful world of your interests is equally important. He or she is probably as curious about what you like to do as you were about his or her favorite activities, so gaining a richer perspective might give your SO even more reasons to feel 100 percent in love with you. Hold nothing back, and you’ll be amazed by how much he or she enjoys trying to get a good grasp of your training routine or Scream Queens fan club.

    6. Stick around through life’s suckier moments

    Experiencing the high points of your SO’s life alongside him or her will definitely tighten the ties of your bond. However, being there through your SO’s not-so-fun low moments is what’s really going to rev his or her love engines.

    As Carole Lieberman, M.D., a Beverly Hills psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them and How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets, puts it, deciding to support your partner is a key step toward making your relationship stronger. Dr. Lieberman says that “showing concern for the things that are stressing him or her out” could cause your SO to feel as though he or she would never want to lose your love. The honeymoon phase has its perks, but your partner’s bound to appreciate you even more if you’ve got what it takes to handle his or her hot messes.

    7. Spend less, snack more

    We’ve all heard again and again that the way to a person’s heart is through his or her stomach. Have you ever wondered whether or not Rice Krispie Treats actually lead to lasting love? Short answer: yes.

    “Sometimes, less is more,” says Dr. Lieberman. According to her, collegiettes tend to get caught up in trying to do “too much” for the sake of love. But powerful feelings are the products of pint-sized actions. “Even though it may be cliché to say, it's the small things,” says Saint Vincent College junior Juli Cehula. Dr. Lieberman agrees with this and adds that “bringing [your SO] a midnight snack when you know he or she’s pulling an all-nighter before a test” will leave him or her feeling incredibly grateful.

    In the currency of love, Doritos are more valuable than dollar signs. As Juli says, “Everyone is always so concerned about how much you spend.” The intention behind a snack or small gift is what leaves the most lasting mark on your partner.

    Though each of these things should supercharge your SO’s love for you, remember to keep this in mind: He or she fell in love with you because you’re you. Sure, a sweet compliment helps, and a scrumptious snack might win him or her over. But being yourself is hands down the best way to take I love you to the next level. 


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    On Thursday, a female news radio anchor claimed that Democratic Senator and former Saturday Night Live team member Al Franken groped and “forcibly kissed” her in 2006. Upon hearing this claim, dozens of women who have worked on SNL have signed a statement showing their support for Al Franken.

    Leeann Tweeden, the female news radio anchor, writes that Franken forcibly kissed her while they were rehearsing for a skit on a USO tour: “Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’...On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, ‘We need to rehearse the kiss.’...He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable...Then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth...I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest...I felt disgusted and violated.”

    She also states that after the tour, she was given a CD of photos that she was given by the photographer, and found a photograph where she was asleep and Franken’s hands were on her breasts: “I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep. I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.”

    This photo in and of itself isn’t necessarily problematic. As Ana Marie Cox notes in Esquire, “He doesn't even appear to be touching her. Were we to know nothing else about that trip, if that photo simply remained on the camera roll, if she had never seen it, one could argue that it was almost entirely harmless—a childish prank.” In another instance, when Franken took a similar photo with Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post, there really was nothing wrong with it. As Huffington told the New York Post, she found it it was "truly absurd" for the photos to be construed as sexual misconduct. It was a joke between friends.

    However, there is a major difference between the photos with Arianna Huffington and the photo with Leeann Tweeden. In Huffington’s case, it’s consensual. They planned it together and they both found it to be funny. In Tweeden’s case, she had been “avoiding him as much as possible and making sure I was never alone with him again for the rest of the tour.” And, notably, the photos with Tweeden occurred when she was asleep.

    We live in a culture where men feel as though they if they receive consent from one person, they can take that consent and apply it to any situation at any time. It’s the reason we’ve had to shift away from “no means no” and start saying “yes means yes”. And it’s the root of much of the sexual assault problem we’re facing: Many sexual assault cases occur not out of malicious intent, but because men believe they have some inherent power over women that implies consent. It’s the textbook definition of internalized misogyny. As Cox states, “Embedded in that photo is the same message that the election of Donald Trump sent millions of women: When you're a star, they let you do it.

    The statement signed Tuesday reads: “What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms Tweeden, and to the public...In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant." It concludes by sending “support and gratitude to Al and his family this Thanksgiving and holiday season.”

    It is signed by thirty-six women who have worked on SNL, including original cast members Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, and former show producer Marci Klein. According to The Hollywood Reporter, SNL was not involved with or aware of the statement.

    This statement gives way to an important and complicated conversation about whether it is ever appropriate to publicly support a person accused of sexual misconduct. It is not difficult to believe the women of SNL. There is almost no question that they are honest in stating that “not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior.” However, this does not erase the fact that Leeann Tweeden, the woman who accused Franken of groping and forcibly kissing her, says that she felt, “Violated...Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.”

    Standing up for a person accused of sexual misconduct is dangerous water to tread, especially in a culture where we are increasingly learning that men can get away with harassing women...like, all the time. It’s great that Franken is typically a good guy, but if you believe that changes anything about the allegations against him, you’re missing the point. The problem in our culture isn’t that men aren’t typically nice and funny. The problem is that we have so internalized misogyny and objectification of women that even the nice, funny guys partake in sexual misconduct.


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    Less than a week after apologizing for her tweet shaming victims of sexual assault, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has alleged that she was sexually abused by former U.S. Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. The news comes shortly after Douglas's Fierce Five teammates McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman both claimed that Nassar abused them throughout their time competing with U.S. Gymnastics. 

    CNN reports that the 2012 Olympic all-around gymnastics champion revealed her past with Nassar via Instagram, first apologizing again for commenting about women needing to dress modestly on Raisman's tweet about stopping victim shaming.  

    "I didn't view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you," Douglas, 21, wrote in a statement. "It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar."

     

    please hear my heart

    A post shared by Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas) on

    "I didn't publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful," she said. "I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them."

    The statement notably focuses more on Douglas responding to recent criticism and less on troubling encounters with Nassar. "I will never stop promoting unity, positivity, strength, being courageous and doing good instead of evil," she wrote.

    Publicist Janice Lee later confirmed that Douglas's statement was intended to reveal that she was also one of Nassar's victims.

    Upon Douglas's statement, USA Gymnastics said in a message to CNN, "We admire the strength shown by Gabby and her teammates in speaking out publicly to hold a predator accountable. The conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused is appalling, and we are very sorry that any athletes have been harmed during his or her gymnastics career...We want to work together with Gabby and all of our athletes, members, parents and professionals to promote an environment of empowerment that encourages speaking up, especially on difficult topics like abuse."

    Nassar was arrested in November 2016 on charges of sexually assaulting female minors throughout his career. After pleading guilty to charges connected to child porn this past July, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct charges on Wednesday.

    Although her earlier comments were not the best to make, Douglas coming forward as a victim shows that not everyone wants to be vocal or detailed about their experiences with sexual abuse, and this should not be something to judge. 


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    Relationships can be kind of frightening. They’re like machines — you need to regularly assess and take care of them. In order to maintain a healthy relationship, both people need to be happy and aware of where their relationship is at.

    If you’re in a long-term relationship, this may be less of an issue. However, if you met your significant other recently — let’s say during New Student Week or in one of you new classes — it’s probably beneficial to sit down and formulate a relationship State of the Union of sorts. But what happens if you evaluate your relationship with someone and you realize that it’s going in a direction that you’re not here for – what if your relationship is moving too fast? Here’s what you should do to slow things down a bit.

    1. Evaluate your relationship

    First up on how to slow thing down is to actually figure out if you need to. Oftentimes, people aren’t super aware of the habits they adopt when in relationships. Unless you have a blunt best friend to point things out to you, it may be good to take some time to yourself to reflect on your relationship.

    Some important things to factor in when evaluating your relationship include: the amount of time you spend with your partner compared to the amount of time you spend with friends, if you and your partner have the same end-goal in mind, and how being in college may affect your relationship farther down the road.

    2. Communicate with your SO

    If you find that you do want to slow your relationship down, the biggest step you should take is to communicate with your partner. You can’t slow down a relationship if you’re the only person who knows that things are moving a bit too fast.

    “If it's a healthy relationship, you shouldn't feel any pressure at all to do anything you don't want to do,” says Hannah Harshe, a sophomore at the University of Michigan. “You should feel comfortable having a conversation about how far you want to go, and it shouldn't be a problem with either person.”

    If you feel like you and your SO are on different pages, sit them down and have a conversation with them about how you’re feeling. If they’re a good partner, they should listen to you and respect your opinion.

    3. Take time to figure out why you want to slow things down

    It’s totally reasonable to want to take things slowly. However, it’s also important to figure out why you feel that way! If you just prefer to take time in a relationship, then communicate with your partner. However, if that’s usually not the case, take time to figure out what may be making you hit the breaks.

    “My friend dated a guy last year, and he brought her to his apartment on the first date and just got really physical. When she asked him to slow things down, he would act respectful and say that he was fine with it, but he would continue to ask "do you want to do –– ?" and "I really think you would enjoy doing –– ,” says Harshe.

    If you’re in a similar predicament, it may be a problem with the actual relationship, rather than just the tempo of things. If you find that you are hesitant to tell your SO that you want to slow things down, or if they aren’t respectful of your wishes, it may be wise to find someone who understands where you’re coming from.

    Related: 5 Clingy Habits That Are Ruining Your Love Life 

    4. Take some time apart

    One of the best indicators of a relationship moving too fast is how much time you’ve been spending with your SO. It’s easy to get caught up in the future of a relationship and cut everyone else out if the only person you’re spending your free time with is your SO.

    When Elizabeth Beanland, a senior at University of Massachusetts Amherst, went through this with her relationship she found that taking a week apart from her partner helped re-do the pace of the relationship. “In our case, we needed to spend a good week apart to hit the ‘refresh’ button and slow things down. If couples are already finding themselves in fast-paced relationships, I advise them to just spend less time together. Three to four times a week is plenty, and definitely avoid sleeping over every night. Save it for the weekends!”

    Though this was helpful for Elizabeth, some people may dislike the idea of spending an entire week apart. For people with those reservations, an easier way to go about spending less time with your significant other is to just try and plan more friend time.

    “One of the most important things is to make sure that you are making time for your boyfriend/girlfriend but also balancing that time with hanging out with your friends and having you time as well” says Bailee Barnett, a senior at the University of California Santa Barbara. “I’d stress that making time for others, having that balance, and having a little separation from your partner will really help slow down your relationship if you feel it’s going too fast.”

    Whether it be a week or just weekday evenings, spending time apart will allow you to step outside of the relationship bubble.

    5. Monitor your progress

    Once you’ve had a conversation with your SO about taking things slower, stick to your guns. If things start to pick up pace again and you aren’t cool with it — let them know. That being said, if your relationship picks up pace again and both you and your partner are into it — then go for it. Be sure to regularly check in with yourself, and the person you’re in a relationship with.

    Relationships are fickle, and what matters most is that the people involved are both on the same page.


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    After three women accused actor Ed Westwick of sexual assault and the LAPD opened an investigation of him, Westwick's former Gossip Girl costar and ex-girlfriend Jessica Szohr has addressed the allegations in an interview with CosmopolitanIn case you're looking for a tidy answer from the actress, Szohr clearly struggled in sharing her perspective of the accusations. 

    "It's a difficult subject right now for anyone that's involved on either side," Szohr said. "I don't even really know how to answer it, if I should, because I don't want anything to get twisted."

    Seeing as Lena Dunham recently came under fire for defending a Girls writer accused of sexual assault, acquaintances of the accused can find themselves in a difficult situation. The person they know may present an entirely different side to them than what the abused or others see, and Szohr definitely understood this challenge when asked about the allegations made against Westwick. 

    "It's difficult, because you don't want someone you know to go through that or do that to someone," Szohr said. "It's a touchy, tough thing that you pray it's not true and...outside of even him...I'm glad that there's notice being put on it for women that are going through it."

    A substantial amount of the conversation covered Westwick, and also revealed that Szohr has spoken to her friend since allegations broke. "I'm really trying to answer this as open and nicely as I can," she said, "because it is touchy, and I obviously, for any of these situations, wasn't there...so I can't say it did or didn't happen. But I know him well and I've known him for years, and I found it shocking. And I hope it's untrue, but I also feel bad for anyone that's been in that situation, for the women that have to deal with that, for the situations that are true."

    Westwick has publicly denied the first two women's accusations. Following the allegations, his BBC miniseries was put on hold "until these matters are resolved." Szohr also alluded to Westwick currently "going through a difficult time.""I have to be so careful, because it's not my situation and...I wasn't there," she told Cosmopolitan. "So it's hard to speak on behalf of those girls or him."

    Later in the interview, Szor seemed even more emotionally torn, telling the journalist, "I'm so sorry...this could get very sticky if this gets printed and my words get twisted. It's not [going to be] great."

    Outside of the interview, Szohr has not publicly commented on the sexual abuse allegations made against Westwick. 


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    Be the change you want to see in the world. We hear this refrain on a daily basis, and we personalize it. We identify our passions—whether it’s something we find wonderful about the world, such as anti-body shaming campaigns, or issues we find despicable, such as sexual harassment in educational settings—which is certainly no easy task (finding your passion is one of the 5 key decisions you’ll make while in high school). The next step is becoming an activist.  

    Rebecca Scurlock, the Director of Youth Powerhouse, believes that activism is a deeply personal action. “At its core, activism means standing up for the changes you believe need to be made in society,” she says. “These beliefs often stem from one’s personal experience with or connection to societal wrongs, combined with core values such as equity, justice and respect.”

    It’s not as overwhelming as it sounds. Linn Davis, Operations and Technology Manager at Healthy Democracy, believes that activism can be defined quite broadly. “It’s any activity that seeks to have a higher societal purpose than its own existence, perpetuation and profit for its creator, such as artwork, journalism and scientific inquiry,” she says. “‘Activism’ ought to be redefined as simply ‘public purpose’ or ‘for the good of society.’” 

    But there are barriers in your way: maybe you don’t know what activism translates to in your community or high school. Maybe people are telling you that you’re too young to be an activist or that you can’t do anything to support your issue until you’re older. Here’s how can you can prove them wrong.

    1. Start a club

    If you want to raise awareness about an issue you're passionate about, and a club doesn't currently exist in your school, starting a club is a great way to bring together like-minded activists at your school while gaining leadership and teamwork experience.

    Nadya Okamoto, a Her Campus 22 Under 22 Most Inspiring College Women honoree, co-founded PERIOD, a global NGO, as a 16-year-old high school sophomore.

    The first step, according to Nadya, is figuring out the process: how can you register a club in your school? Do you need an advisor? Do you need to write a constitution?

    “The next step is building your team,” she says. “How many collaborators do you want? What other roles do you need to complement your skill sets? It’s important to identify your strengths and your weaknesses.”

    That’s not to say that starting a club is easy. “When you start an organization as a young person, you have to work three times as hard to prove that you’re credible to do it,” Nadya says.

    But if you have a team of support and a confident vision in your mind, anything is possible.

    2. Join a club

    There’s a chance that a club already exists about an issue you care about. You can find out more about your school’s clubs on your school’s website or at a student activities fair at the beginning of the year.

    “Joining an activist organization or school club can be an effective way to find a community of committed, experienced and like-minded peers to collaborate with,” Scurlock says.

    Joining a club can be just as meaningful and amazing as starting one. Hannah Harshe, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, was her high school's delegate for Girls State. A week during the summer after her junior year, she joined students from across the country in a week-long mock government.

    “We simulated absolutely everything--elections, debates and more,” she says. “Girls State taught me so much about how the real-world government works, and I'm a much more effective political activist now! I feel much more qualified to take a personal political stance and I can hold my own in an argumentative conversation with relatives, peers and professors.” This is definitely one of the skills you should master before college.

    Activism isn’t limited to politics, however. Kayleen Parra-Padron, a senior at Florida International University, was in an environment club in high school. "While we didn't do much, it taught me the importance of taking care of the planet we live in," she says. "Since then, I've been mindful of recycling and I pick up litter if I ever see trash on campus."

    Regardless of what your interest are, find an organization and check out the first meeting or event to see if you’re interested. You’ll never know if you don’t give it a chance!

    3. Educate yourself and others

    In an age of fake news, it’s incredibly important that you are an informed activist. If someone's asking you questions about your cause, it strengthens your and your cause’s legitimacy if you’re able to answer their questions.

    This isn’t as difficult as it sounds, however. According to Nadya, it’s as easy as just looking up your issue on Google. “If you’re passionate about an issue, look up the current state of affairs, determine how you’re trying to be involved and move from there,” she says.

    Education itself can be a form of activism, believe it or not. “Some things—like educating young people, reporting events in a fair and factual way or exploring our world or our mind for the betterment of humankind—are far more important than any particular political activism as we so narrowly define it today,” Davis says.

    Don’t forget to be careful. Advocacy websites can often be biased towards the organization’s goals; it's important to seek out in-depth news and information sources as well.

    Related: You Can Now 'Donate Your Birthday' to Awesome Causes Using Facebook

    4. Donate money or supplies

    Do your research before you donate, but don't be afraid to give a helping hand to organizations such as UNICEF and One America Appeal. Even if you can only donate a few dollars, it can still go a long way in helping people across the world.

    “Every movement always needs resources. With public service, any amount of money, as someone who leads a global organization, resources are always needed,” Nadya says. “High schoolers can easily take action by hosting a drive or hosting a fundraiser of some sorts to collect resources to give to an organization that they really believe in.”

    Many charities and organizations depend entirely on donations to continue their work and improve the lives of people across the world. If you’re unable to donate money, consider donating supplies—such as old clothes, school supplies and more! 

    5. Engage in digital activism

    As technology advances in platforms from Google to Snapchat, it’s important to take advantage of it in pursuing your goals.

    “[The power of social media and digital communication] is one of the powerful things that we have in our arsenal as activists,” Nadya says. “We can mobilize and connect with people we don’t know face to face purely through digital communication. Being able to create movements and engage new people in that setting is very needed and very possible.”

    One powerful way to mobilize and connect with people is through writing. Op-eds, which merge your opinions with reason and evidence, are timely and persuasive pieces that express your personal voice and opinions.

    Digital activism extends beyond writing to also including social media campaigns. Social media and technology have played huge roles in transforming movements and globalizing them. From change.org to iPetitions, use your tools and your Twitter accounts for good. #BlackLivesMatter, #IStandWithAhmed and #RefugeesWelcome are only a few examples of powerful social media campaigns.

    Videos are also tremendously powerful. In an increasingly busy world, videos can inspire and inform people in just a few minutes about issues and problems. Greenpeace’s campaign against Nestle for using palm oil from companies destroying rainforests—and thus orangutans—was a success. Nestle promised to give rainforests and their inhabitants a break.

    “A great place to start is by signing up for organizations’ email lists or following activist groups on social media,” Scurlock suggests.

    As you can see, there’s a huge numbers of way that you can use digital activism to make an impact. All you have to do is choose one method to start with that you believe will be most impactful on your audience and specific goals.

    6. Talk to other activists and leaders

    Teamwork truly makes the dream work. "Students face barriers of time, and resource, and institutional barriers," Ben Phillips of Citizen University says. "And I think some students don’t know how to begin, or feel isolated or like they are the only ones who care about an issue. They way to fix this, is to get together with others; that’s the first step in making change."

    Another benefit of working together with people is the diversity that collaborations can bring. After all, the nature of activism is to be democratic and to represent all voices against interest groups that otherwise dominate the political and policymaking arenas.

    Jake Haigis, a UNICEF USA clubs fellow, suggests one way to advocate for UNICEF’s causes, such as protecting the rights of children, is through reaching out to your legislators. “You can advocate on behalf of UNICEF through writing letters and speaking with your State Representatives,” Haigis said. “If you are interested in learning more on how to speak with your Representatives, join a Congressional Action Team (CAT).”

    There are people beyond legislators who also make a difference in a cause, such as your fellow activists. It’s important to know who the leaders of the movement are to learn from their paths in forging your own. Identify the people or group of people who have the ability to do something about your cause and find the most effective way to contact them, whether it’s over the phone or in-person.

    “The next generation of activists must embrace activism as a lifestyle,” Sara Schmidt, the Youth and Student Program Manager at Amnesty International USA says. “They must think critically while remaining open to learning from those who came before and those who are outside of their own networks and communities. Intersectional activism – which embraces connectivity between different identities and challenges – is critical to our collective victory.”

    Don’t be afraid to talk to everyone and anyone about a cause that you believe in. Everyone has a perspective you can learn from and a story to share.

    “High school students are just people—with more and less wisdom than people who are older and younger,” Davis says. “While high schoolers are bound by some restrictions that adults are not, they also possess some attributes that adults seem to lose: the ability to think further outside the box, to not be bound by convention; the ability to try things out without too many pesky societal judgments and responsibilities; and the ability to turn impress adults into action.”

    Civic engagement has a dramatic variance between younger and older generations. Thus, activism isn’t enough as it currently stands. It must be extended and understood in the larger context that is the American political arena as well as the global one. It’s not only limited to eye-catching rallies and protests but to conducting polls and developing policies with administration. It can influence cultural, environmental, legal, social and political change and any other issue that you’re passionate about.

    “What you choose to do with your voice - whether it’s joining a movement an organization or volunteering or writing or doing something through art or public service - it’s up to you,” Nadya said. Conduct leafleting or post fliers around your school, canvas for a candidate you support, write articles or report for student newspapers: just get involved. Just do it.

    Follow Rachna on Twitter and Instagram.

     


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    Being a wallflower might mean watching life from the sidelines, but really you're right in the action. You constantly know what's going on with your friends, and it seems like you have a web of knowledge beyond compare. Sometimes, there are days when you want to be the center of attention instead, but it's not the worst life. Here are 17 things all you wallflowers out there will relate to!

    1. You're really good at blending in and going unnoticed

    2. Sometimes you feel invisible

    3. You're the friend everyone goes to when they need someone to listen

    4. You don't talk about yourself much because you're always listening to everyone else

    5. You're often caught in the middle when two friends are fighting because they both turn to you to rant

    6. You have a really good memory

    7. So good that you remember a lot of details about people that you probably shouldn't

    8. You really don't like being the center of attention. You're just not used to it!

    9. You're probably shy or introverted 

    But not necessarily.

    10. You just have so many feelings

    11. You like your alone time, particularly because you spend so much of your time listening to or observing others

    12. You sometimes wonder if anyone will ever know you the way you know others

    13. You're constantly thinking about so many things

    14. You sometimes forget that you're not invisible, and someone catches you staring at them or eavesdropping on their conversation

    15. Even people who are good listeners themselves feel comfortable talking to you and might even say, "Wow, usually I'm the listener, but it feels nice to talk to you"

    16. Sometimes you just want someone to listen to you and understand you

    17. But at the end of the day, you like being a wallflower. You get to really know people, understand them and help them just by being there. 


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    According to the New York Times, back in the day, Macy’s used to release balloons into the air after the Thanksgiving Day Parade ended. If you happened to find a balloon upon its arrival back to earth, you would be awarded a monetary prize. As you can imagine, this would create absolute havoc when a balloon landed in your area. In 1928, a tug-of-war ensued in a Long Island neighborhood when a balloon called Sky Tiger touched down. Another balloon pursued by two tugboats when it landed in the East River. (Felix the Cat, Macy’s first character balloon, was never found because he floated into a high-tension wire and caught fire. RIP.)

    If I were in charge of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I would definitely bring back this competition. However, I’d have to make sure that there was a huuuge incentive to find the balloons (you know, so they don’t end up polluting the ocean). So here are the balloons that I would create, and the prizes you’d get for finding them.

    1. Gavin from Vine

    As we all know, the Millennial Bedtime Routine is brushing your teeth, washing your face, putting on pajamas, and watching four hours worth of Vine compilations on YouTube. Ever since that iconic app was stripped right out of our hands, we haven’t been able to think of anything else. Imagine if one night you were heading out with your friends, when all of the sudden a giant Gavin balloon appeared in front of you? Or what about a Miss Keisha balloon, a “what the f*** is up, Kyle?”, or a balloon of Jared, who’s nineteen and never f***ing learned how to read. (I don’t really know how you’d turn these Vines into balloons, but, hey, it’s 2017. We’re innovative AF. We’ll figure it out.)

    The prize for returning this balloon? You would single handedly get to #BringBackVine. That’s right. As if Vine being back wouldn’t be incentive enough, you’d go down in history as the biggest hero of our generation.

    2. The Letter “I”

    Imagine if you saw the capital letter “I” would be floating through the air. When’s the last time you saw that letter? Thanks to the infamous iPhone glitch, you may have forgotten that once upon a time, the third vowel was not A[?].

    https://twitter.com/rileymcdonough/status/927795325644836865?ref_src=tws...

    If you returned this balloon, your iPhone would be restored and you would, once again, be able to see the letter I. What a dream.

    3.  A 4.0 GPA

    It’s a bird...it’s a plane...it’s some mythical creature floating through the air! That, my friends, is a 4.0 GPA. No, I’ve never seen one in real life, either, but hey, a girl can dream. The prize for returning this balloon would be (you guessed it!) a 4.0 cumulative GPA in college.

    Actually, upon second thought, maybe the balloon would just be of a passing GPA. Still dreaming big, but I’ve gotta keep this at least somewhat realistic.

    4. Your Uncle Leaving You the Heck Alone On Thanksgiving

    Again, sort of difficult to put this into balloon form, but we’ll figure it out. This balloon would feature your uncle (or any relative, really) coming to Thanksgiving dinner and not asking you about your grades, or what you’re going to do with your life, or who you’re going to marry, or if you got your jeans at a discount because they already have holes in them. Imagine that!

    And, of course, the prize would be that the relative of your choice would leave you alone on Thanksgiving! Make your pick carefully, though, because you only get to choose one relative. Would you rather your grandma stop asking you if you have a “little boyfriend” or your aunt stop asking you about your political views? It’s one or the other!

    5. A Boy With the Basic Human Decency to Respect Women

    We don’t expect much out of our men nowadays, and yet it’s still proving to be pretty much impossible to find one who meets our standards. This balloon would feature a dude who respects women, doesn’t mansplain or talk over you, and is okay with you adopting like 5000 puppies. Swoon. I’m thinking Ryan Reynolds or Chris Pratt.

    If you find this balloon, your prize is a boyfriend who’s a million times better than the boys in any of your classes! A guy who has the basic human decency to respect women...man, that’s straight out of a fairytale.

    Unfortunately, I’m not in charge of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, so you won’t be able to find any of these balloons or receive these prizes this year. However, the parade is pretty awesome as it is already, so I encourage you all to watch it tomorrow at 9am ET.


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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.)

    Texas Representative Apologizes for His Nude Photo in Anonymous Tweet

    Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton has apologized after an anonymous tweet containing a nude image of him went viral, CNN says. "While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," Barton said in a statement. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down."

    It is unknown who released the photo, but it was not Barton, who is the longest serving member of the Texas House delegation. The representative's plans to run for another Congress term remain intact. Barton caught attention earlier this year for telling a constituent "shut up" at a town hall meeting where he addressed his choice to vote against a bill aimed to end violence against women.

    Facebook Will Tell You Whether or Not You Liked Russian Propaganda During the 2016 Election Season

    Facebook has introduced a new portal that will allow people to see which Internet Research Agency-linked Facebook or Instagram pages they followed between January 2015 and August 2017, CNN says. A troll farm that's connected to the Russian government, the Internet Research Agency wrote, "It is important that people understand how foreign actors tried to sow division and mistrust using Facebook before and after the 2016 election."

    The portal, accessible through Facebook's Help Center, will only be available to those who followed or liked this specific accounts. 

    Couple Names Their Baby After Olive Garden, Which Actually Works

    According to Refinery29, Justin and Jordan Garton are such fans of Olive Garden that they're ready for a lifelong reminder of their love for the restaurant. On Twitter, Justin announced name plans for his child, due on Dec. 6, saying, "We spent the first part of our lives loving Olive Garden, now we get to spend the rest of our lives loving Olivia Garton."

    Justin posted the tweet alongside a picture of a baby onesie decorated with the name. Olive Garden has since reached out to him, wanting to send a gift for the new arrival. Given the couple's history with the restaurant, this budding friendship between the restaurant and the couple is honestly perfect. 

    "For six or seven weeks straight we ate Olive Garden every day and that saved us a ton of money," Justin explained. "We became friends with the staff and that helped make that time period very memorable for us."

    He did clarify that the restaurant isn't totally to thank for the name, saying, "We had considered the name Olive and we get a big kick out of the pun 'Olive Garton' given our history with the restaurant but we wanted it to be a bit more subtle."

    What to look out for...

    Happy Thanksgiving!


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    Time Magazine infamously reported earlier this year that millennials are not buying homes at the same rate their parent’s generation was, because they are too busy spending their money on avocado toast and $4 coffees. While this obviously raised some eyebrows, it’s a bold and accurate statement to where the men and women of the millennial generation currently are in their lives. Food is an epicenter of their culture: Vrom social media to viral videos to waiting in line for hours for the latest food trend, restaurants are even plating their dishes more beautifully in hopes diners will notice and share to social media. While the excitement that has surrounded the new food-centered millennium is easy to get caught up in, it’s also easy to forget that there is a group fighting a different battle everyday. 

    NationalEatingDisorders.org estimates that of the current population, 20 million women and 10 million men will battle an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders can range from under-eating, to purging to over-eating and the mental side effects are equally as harmful as the physical. The daily struggle of choosing what to eat and when to eat is a struggle enough, but as the holidays approach the fear and anxieties are only amplified as those living with eating disorders are now forced to face their struggles with people around, and more importantly people who might be aware of what they’re going through. 

    Chelsea Jackson, a junior at Iowa State knows firsthand just how hard the battle of an eating disorder can be, and even more so around this time of year.

     “While I don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I know that holidays can be the most difficult time for anyone suffering from eating disorders," she said. "As someone who has battled with bouts of anorexia and bulimia since I was 6-years-old, I know the best thing that friends and family can do whenever they eat around an ED survivor is to ignore how much they're eating and make no mention of their weight or eating habits."

    And, of course, when in doubt, it's never a bad idea to refrain from commenting on someone's eating habits in the first place.

    "Mentioning a survivor's 'healthy' weight or appearance can as be a harmful trigger," Jackson said. "While they might be a healthy weight, they could still be struggling with the fact that they have gained weight and the implication of this weight gain can risk their progress.” 

    And while progress and recovery is key, tackling a Thanksgiving meal should be done so at your own pace. Joanne Larsen, dietitian at  www.dietitian.com offers.

     “People in recovery from eating disorders can decide for themselves what and how much to eat at Thanksgiving. They don't and will resist monitoring by other well-intended folks...Modeling mindful eating by not eating to excess helps reinforce that a person can select moderate portions of food and push away your plate when full.” She also adds, “A pause in eating is a good sign to stop eating and push away your plate signaling to others at the table that you are done eating. Talking during a meal when not eating is helpful in slowing down the pace of a meal by engaging people in conversation.”

     

    Eating disorders go beyond the pumpkin pie and second helpings of stuffing during Thanksgiving and can pinpoint underlying issues that may have been brewing under the surface. Research shows that eating disorders can be linked back to personality traits such as perfectionism, childhood trauma and low self-esteem. Therefore, the environment someone with an eating disorder finds themselves in, could be just as difficult to deal with, as the food itself. 

    Rebecca*, a sophomore in college who has battled with an eating disorder notes, "Remember why you used to love Thanksgiving. It was never the food, was it? You liked the food, but more importantly, you loved spending time with family. You loved cooking with your mom. You loved the warmth of the fireplace and hearing your family joke around and seeing your cousins. The goal for today is for you to enjoy that stuff. So as much as you can, don't stress about food. If you think you can conquer a fear food today, then do it, but if you're more comfortable sticking to your meal plan or any foods that you're comfortable with, then do that. 

    And her advice for those who know of someone battling an eating disorder at the Thanksgiving table? "Don't talk about calories. Don't act like you need to burn things off. There's no place for that at the Thanksgiving dinner. Talk about what you're thankful for. Bring love to the table. This goes regardless of whether you have a family member recovering from an eating disorder. You never know what people are dealing with!"

    Thanksgiving is a time to come together and reflect on all the wonderful things we have been given. So whether you're battling an eating disorder or know someone who is this holiday season, be mindful of yourself and others, and above all else practice self-love. The food is merely what brought you to the table, now use that table for good. 

    *Her name has been changed to respect her privacy