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A Collegiette's Guide to Life
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    The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

    By Leah Oren

    Because today is the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, I wanted to share my personal story of how the books greatly shaped my life. Harry Potter was my childhood. I began reading the series in 2006 when I was nine years old. I devoured the first six books in the span of a month and a half (the seventh book had yet to be released). And little did that young girl eleven years ago know how important this series would become to me or the ways it would impact my life.

    Harry Potter is what introduced me to my three closest friends growing up, the girl who I played “Hogwarts” with at recess and the ones I stayed up with all night to have a HP movie marathon. It was the tie that bound us together. It was my anchor through an entire year of relentless bullying, my escape from the daily hell of my life, and in those pages, I felt at home. It is what helped me form a better relationship with my dad. After I became obsessed, he decided to read the books. Together, we had our own little book group, attended three midnight move premieres, and took a trip to Universal Studios to visit the Wizarding World.

    But Harry Potter’s biggest impact was the strength it gave me to fight through the most difficult struggle of my life: my battle with anorexia.

    On January 31, 2012, I was admitted to an inpatient treatment facility for eating disorders. At this point, I had been living with anorexia for close to one year and had lost over 25 percent of my body weight. The eating disorder had become life. I didn’t care about anything as much as I did about the disorder and the control it gave me. Even my obsessive love for Harry Potter was forgotten, deemed far less important than counting calories or making up excuses for skipping dinner.

    The hospital was 108 miles away from home and it was one of the first times I would be away for such an extended period of time, feeling like I was on my own. The drive there felt like a dream and even going through the intake process still didn’t feel real – filling out forms, taking my clothes off to be weighed, passing out on the bed when they tried to draw my blood. I watched them search my belongings for contraband, and when I hugged my mom goodbye, I never wanted to let her go. It all still seemed like it couldn’t possibly be happening.

    Later that evening, after I watched my mom walk out of the locked hospital unit and spent more than an hour eating an egg salad sandwich for dinner, it all began to hit me. This was all truly real. I was stuck here with no way out. No choice, but to give up the disorder and do the thing that scared me most in the world: eat.

    I felt so alone. I didn’t know the nurses by name like the others did. All the other girls on the floor were still strangers to me. There were no friendly faces, no one’s arms I felt it would be safe to cry in. And with my family far away, I felt, for the first time in my life, abandoned. There was nothing familiar for me to hold onto.

    With tears in my eyes, my emotions threatening to overflow and spill down my cheeks, I began to wander the halls of the facility, exploring the space that would become my home for the next couple of months. I found my way to the lounge, a room with couches and blankets, board games and movies. It was a comfy place, a home away from home, a spot for cuddling up on those really hard days.

    Being the bookworm that I was, I was instantly drawn to the bookshelf on the wall, a little makeshift library with a whole array of genres mashed together. I scanned the hardcovers and paperbacks and, almost instantly, my eyes were drawn to one. A thick volume with the spine light and dark green, swirled into one with that far too familiar font in purple up the side. It was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. And in that moment, my soul was at peace. In an unfamiliar place, both physically and emotionally, I found my safe place. I picked the book up off the shelf and hugged it to my chest.

    Over the next couple of days, as I was confined to my room and hooked up to a machine to monitor my heart that was beating far too slowly, I began to feel less alone. Not just because the girls on the unit were becoming my friends, but because I had something familiar to hold on to: the words of J.K. Rowling and the Wizarding World.

    When I was woken for vitals at 6 a.m. every morning and still couldn’t believe my reality, I had the choice to escape my world and visit the world of HP instead – to dive back into the loving home of the Weasley’s or the enchanted castle of Hogwarts. When I had a particularly hard meal and needed to block out Ed’s angry demands, I could enter the warm embrace of Jo’s familiar words and instantly be in my happy place.

    Harry Potter was my sanctuary, my safe space. The Wizarding World was my distraction, my escape. In those pages, I was protected. The following six weeks were the most difficult moments of my life. But having the Harry Potter books to find solace in helped to remind me of the wise words “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” And I learned what they say is true: Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home.


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    While North West obviously received some super fab birthday gifts for her fourth birthday (um, such as the cutest puppy ever?) the member of the Kardashian-Jenner family that killed it the most with the gift-giving was definitely Kendall, proving that she knows that girls don't just want to play with Barbies and dress-up clothes.

    Kim Kardashian debuted Kendall's birthday gift for North on Snapchat on Monday and it's seriously the coolest. The model sent her 4-year-old niece a DIY science experiment book that includes, "28 Super Cool Projects," according to the cover. Along with it, she packed a basket of little bags labeled with her favorite experiements in the book, containing all of the ingredients North would need to try them. She even topped it all off with a sweet note.

    Of course, Kim couldn't resist taking to Snapchat to show off how cool and unique Kendall's gift was - not to mention that it's an amazing birthday present idea for any 4-year-old girl who probably received countless pink "girls toys" on her big day (Pomeranian puppies aside, anyways).

    Aunt Kendall clearly knows what's up when it comes to encouraging North's interest in STEM - we'll be staying tuned for (hopefully!) some Snapchats to follow of North trying out some science experiments.


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    Despite the fact that she gave birth to her long-awaited twins last week, Beyoncé has remained pretty tight-lipped about her new babies - but she's finally released her first statement since the twins were born, and we still have so many questions.

    For obvious reasons, Queen Bey chose to skip the BET Awards on Sunday night where she was being honored with the Viewers' Choice Award - but she still had her protégés Chloe x Halle read a statement thanking the audience for her award. (The first we've heard from her since giving birth, no less.)

    She started by thanking BET for the honor and her mother for inspiring her album Lemonade. "Thank you BET for this award and your tremendous support of Lemonade," her written statement said. "This has been a journey of love, of celebrating our culture, honoring the past, and approaching the present and future with hope and resolve. Thank you to my mother Tina Knowles Lawson for being my biggest, biggest teacher and consistent influence. Thank you to my entire family for so much love. To my team at Parkwood, thank you."

    She moved on to giving a quick shoutout to her fans, all while still giving us absolutely zero updates about the two new members of her family. "And thanks to all the fans, my BeyHive, for riding with me. I love and appreciate you. To everyone at the show tonight, you all look so beautiful and at home, thank you and have a wonderful, wonderful night. From, Beyonce."

    Okay seriously, Bey? That's all we get? What about updates on the babies? Their names? I'll just be over here waiting on a birth-announcement Instagram as epic as her pregnancy photo shoot.


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    Today’s society is one of many norms and expectations. Although this applies to every part of daily life, it seems to be the most present in the world of relationships and dating. Women may expect the guy to pick up the tab every date or open her car door every time, and although these are classic forms of chivalry, it’s time for women to take control of the relationship sometimes. In a world of growing feminism and a fight for gender equality, some of these dating rules are totally okay to break. Here are some of those rules that college women believe are acceptable to forget.

    1. Waiting hours (or days) to text them back

    It’s normal to be nervous about texting a new fling, or even SO, back right away. No one wants to seem desperate, and many women want to play “hard to get,” but according to Rachna Shah, a freshman at Dartmouth College, “There's this idea that you should always wait a certain number of hours to text your SO back — some people even extend this to days! If you're interested in the other person, I would just reply to them immediately (or when you have time). Playing ‘hard to get’ isn't always a good idea.” Playing hard to get could easily make someone you’re interested in think that you’re not, causing them to move on or look elsewhere. It’s okay to be straight forward with your feelings; it can make the relationship a lot less confusing and avoid "situationships."

    2. Not having sex on the first date

    This one tends to be controversial because of the clear double standard in today’s society regarding the sex lives of women versus men. Many women believe having sex on the first date may ruin their chances for a long-term relationship with that person or make them appear “easy.” Chelsea Jackson, a junior at Iowa State University, believes that, "If you and the other person are feeling each other and both consent, there isn't a reason to try to talk yourself out of having safe sex on the first date. The unspoken rule that you shouldn't have sex on a first date is severely outdated. If someone wants to judge you it, let them because they aren't worth your time." No woman should feel ashamed for sleeping with someone after the first date. If the chemistry is there and the sparks are flying, it’s okay to break this outdated rule.

    Related: 7 Signs You Should Just Make the First Move Already, As Told by Moms

    3. Having him pick up the tab every time

    It’s a long-lived rule that the man in the relationship should pick up the check every time. However, this doesn’t have to be a norm for everyone’s relationship. It’s totally okay for the woman to pick up the tab sometimes. In fact, it shows equality in the relationship. Kayla Düngee, a junior at Georgia State University, says, “I'm all for breaking the rule that guys should pay for everything. It plays into traditional gender roles that are outdated. I will gladly foot the bill not even just once in a while. As long as my SO puts in obvious effort and doesn't become dependent on my checks, I think it's perfectly fine.” This doesn’t mean the woman should pay every time, but splitting the check 50/50 or taking turns paying for meals can create a healthy, balanced relationship.

    4. Every conflict must be resolved

    It’s instinctive to want every single argument to end happily with both parties in complete understanding of one another, but that just isn’t the reality in most relationships. There will be situations and topics of which partners may never see eye-to-eye, and that’s okay. In a relationship, it’s important to pick and choose your battles. Not every single conflict will be resolved as you see on TV or in the movies. No relationship is perfect, and there are no rules when it comes to how people should work through their problems. What's important is that you know how to communicate with your SO or date in a mature way.

    5. He should make the first move

    Forget waiting for him to make the first move. There’s nothing wrong with a woman going for what she wants. As Autumn Dube, a recent graduate of Emmanuel College, puts it, “There's always the idea that guys should make the first move. This isn't the case anymore. If you're into someone, ask them out! If you're attracted to them, let them know. There's no shame in going after what you want and from our experience, people find confidence attractive. Be honest with yourself about what you want and then go from there.” Most of the time, the guy is too shy to make the first move or unsure if the woman is interested, so by making the first move, this insecurity can easily be resolved.

    Many social rules and norms are being replaced or forgotten as time goes on, and dating rules are no different. Women should no longer feel restricted; it’s okay to take charge in a relationship when it comes to money, sex or communication. It’s okay to stray from the classic norms and make your own decisions. Every relationship is different, so there should be no set rules for the world of dating.


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    The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

    By Donya` Price

    After I initially learned of the murder of Nabra Hassanen via social media, I took it upon myself to search through the few articles and news reports about the event. A 17-year-old Muslim girl died on Sunday, June 18 of blunt force trauma to the upper body by a metal baseball bat three hours away from my home and, as a fellow woman of color, I wanted to know why.

    Watching a recording of their press conference, I learned that Fairfax County Police Department stated that Nabra’s death was being investigated as the result of a road rage altercation – not as a hate crime. Julia Parker, The Director of the Relations Bureau of Fairfax County Police Department, ended her summary of the events leading to Nabra Hassanen’s death saying this: “There is nothing at this point to indicate that this tragic case was a hate crime. No evidence has been recovered that shows that this was a hate crime. Nothing indicates that this was motivated by race or by religion.” Later, Raymond Morrogh, Virginia Commonwealth’s attorney for Fairfax County said, “Everything is on the table until we get all the evidence,” when asked if he believed that hate motivated the crime.

    Here’s why I’m mad:

    Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, got into an argument with a boy that was a part of the group of Muslim teens, including Nabra Hassanen, and allegedly drove up on the curb towards the group. That move can be deemed as road rage. Torres’s decision to chase the group down by foot, which resulted in him catching Nabra and beating her over the head with a metal baseball bat, is what I believe to be an act of hate. Police even admit that there was a second assault on Nabra that occured before she was thrown into a nearby pond. With the provided accounts of the excessive violence that Nabra endured, it is hard to believe that this murder stemmed from anger caused by a mere argument.

    Hate is an emotion. It is something that a person carries within themselves and is able to, sometimes with great self-control, suppress. However, even with the greatest self-control, hate can still find way to manifest itself through one’s actions. Though there are ways that hate can be verbally or visually portrayed, hate itself is intangible. Therefore, looking for evidence of hate becomes a tedious job, unless one can search and uncover a suspect’s incorporeal thoughts, feelings and ideologies.

    Let us not forget the amount of anti-Muslim and Islamophobia movements that have gained an extensive presence in our country over the years since 9/11 and ISIS. This became even more evident when someone set fire to a vigil in honor of Nabra, to which the Police spokeswoman commented that“the memorial did not appear to be specifically targeted.” Yet another senseless and obvious display of hate said to be sheer coincidence.

    The excusing of these two events just shows people that if they do not say or show that they possess hate, then it can be dismissed. It also ignores the reality of discrimination, prejudice and racism within our country. Ignoring these things does not erase their presence, but rather stunts the growth that could be possible with acknowledgement of their existence.

    Just because Torres is a Latino man, a minority himself, does not mean it’s impossible for this to be a hate crime. Nabra's murder sparked a conversation on Twitter about Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia within the Latino community, especially among Latino Muslims. One user, @ErenArruna, tweeted, “We have a massive anti-blackness and Islamophobia problem in Latinx communities.” Hatred is very much existent among marginalized and minority groups also, sadly. 

    I am mad at the dismissal of Nabra’s death as not being a hate crime, which reemphasizes the fact that our country has more progress to make, despite what we’ve already overcome.

    I am mad because it shows that there are people who choose to ignore that hate is prevalent in our country.

    I am mad because some people will think that I am overreacting, saying, "Everything isn’t about race or religion." To those I say: If you think injustice is uncommon here, you either aren’t seeing clearly enough or you’ve just chosen to ignore the obvious. If your understanding of something is limited, that does not equate to that thing being non-existent.

    But, I am furious because a 17-year-old Muslim woman was violently and grotesquely assaulted twice and disposed of in a pond, resulting in her death being attributed to road rage as if she was road kill. Everyone should be able to feel protected by the same institution that would readily persecute them.

    Nabra is not being protected. If they aren’t protecting her by rightfully getting justice, how can I expect them to protect me and all my fellow women of color?


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    There are a lot of fun things that come with being a girl, from obsessing over makeup, to touting a “messy hair, don’t care” policy and just going with flow. However, there are plenty of not fun things that make it suck sometimes, too. Wondering, “Is my pee pink because I’m getting my period or because I’m getting a UTI?” is one of those not-so-fun things to have to deal with. Luckily, we got the lowdown on what’s normal and what isn’t when it comes to the things about your body that your pee is trying to tell you.

    What’s normal

    1. You’re well-hydrated

    The most common thing your pee could be telling you is that you’re well hydrated. If so, you’ll notice a clear or very faint yellow color and little to no odor—though you may run to the restroom more often then your less-hydrated pals. According to Dr. Greg Scott of the Center for Natural Healthcare and Nutrition, these symptoms are healthy and a sign of proper hydration. Go you!

    2. You’ve been eating lots of veggies

    You may not know this, but the color and odor of your urine can also be affected by the kinds of vegetables you eat. If you’re noticing a smell that’s a little funky and you’ve recently eaten asparagus, that vegetable is the likely culprit. Doctor Scott explains that “over half of all humans will have abnormal smelling urine following consumption [of asparagus],” so you can rest assured that you’re not “weird” or “gross,” this reaction is completely normal!

    If you consume large amounts of beets or tomatoes, your pee could also turn a bright red. Again, Dr. Scott ensures us that this is a completely normal reaction to consuming those foods . Note that if veggies like beets are the culprit of your red pee, you shouldn’t experience any pain or burning—if you do, that might indicate a UTI, which we’ll get into later. 

    Related: 9 Hacks for a Healthier Week

    3. You’re getting a lot of vitamin B

    Another common food-related tell-all that may reveal itself in your pee is your intake of vitamin B. “Most commonly I see a concern of urine turning neon yellow to an orange color because someone is taking a high quality multivitamin or B complex supplement.” says Dr. Scott. He explains that this happens when the body experiences an overload of vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin) and those extra B vitamins that the body can’t use are then excreted into the urine.  

    Most multivitamins include vitamin B in their formulas, so if the neon yellow discoloration is bothering you, consider relying on your multivitamin for your vitamin B intake and cutting out the supplements if you’re taking them (unless prescribed by a doctor, of course). 

    4. Something you ate had blue food dye in it

    While this is extremely rare, Dr. Scott notes that it is possible for your pee to turn a vibrant blue or blue-green. However, he says this is almost always associated with the ingestion of food dyes, and isn’t usually a cause for concern. 

    In order for the color of your pee to be affected by blue food dye, you would have to consume a lot of it—and by a lot we mean several blue cupcakes with blue frosting in order to give your pee a bluish tinge. 

    However, if you’re taking any kind of medication that is colored blue, you may also notice blue pee. Dr. Scott says that Amitriptyline, which is commonly prescribed for many reasons, such as to treat anxiety, depression, or migraines can cause this since it contains blue food dye too. 

    What’s NOT normal

    5. You’re dehydrated

    If you’re noticing dark yellow pee, your body is most likely trying to tell you that you’re dehydrated—which is super common! 

    Dr. Scott explains, “When we are dehydrated, the kidneys choose to hold back water and the urine that results is very concentrated. This makes the color [a] darker yellow and odor stronger.” 

    It’s always important to stay hydrated, but especially so in the summer. If your pee is telling you that you’re dehydrated, you should definitely incorporate drinking more water into your daily routine. After all, according to the National Institutes of Health, you should aim to consume about three to four liters of water every day between the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. While this sounds like a lot, you should be able to meet your water quota by simply reaching for a cup or a bottle when you’re thirsty instead of reaching for coffee or a soda. Sometimes all it takes is a cute water bottle or some yummy fruit infusion to help you sip up!

    6. You may be getting a urinary tract infection or something more serious

    Pinkish-red or brown-orange pee accompanied by itching, burning and pain while sitting on the toilet could mean that you have a urinary tract infection, or a UTI. According to Dr. Scott, cloudy urine that also smells “fishy” is another symptom. If you notice any of these, make an appointment with your doctor or campus health center ASAP so they can figure out and fix what’s actually going on. But don’t worry, a UTI can be easily diagnosed with a simple urine sample at the doc’s office and they can send you on your way with a treatment in no time. 

    One reason it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice abnormal symptoms is because it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going on in your body without a proper urinalysis. Dr. Scott shared that some of the same symptoms indicative of a UTI (such as brown or orange pee) can also indicate more serious medical conditions like metabolic disease, a kidney infection, kidney failure, or liver disease.

    7. You could be diabetic

    Lastly, your pee can also be telling you that you’re diabetic. If you’re noticing a sickly sweet odor (like maple syrup) or an odor that reminds you of acetone (like nail polish remover) then you might be diabetic. If you notice these odors, combined with frequent, uncontrollable urges to pee, Dr. Scott suggests that you visit your doctor and express your concerns.

    Obviously, the only way to know for sure if any of these more serious conditions apply to you is to go into your doctor’s office and get tested for them. But hopefully now you can save yourself the five minutes of Googling ‘neon yellow pee’ and rest easy knowing that you can instead spend those moments looking up something super important—like easy snack recipes that speak to your lazy-day soul.


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    For seven seasons, the Pretty Little Liars have been hunting down clues and accusing nearly everyone in their lives of being A. Before we find out the real identity of Uber A (aka A.D.), we thought it'd be fun to revisit every single person the Liars have ever suspected was A. Spoiler alert: It's A LOT of people.

    Watch the video below for a serious A-induced headache.


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    It’s not easy landing a well-paying job straight out of college anymore, or maybe it was never really easy. More and more college graduates find themselves settling for unpaid internships well into their second or third years out of college. Not only is it exhausting and discouraging, but it can also be near impossible to stay afloat financially if you’re in a similar situation. It’s terrifying to confront the idea that, maybe your degree (or even multiple degrees) isn’t enough…maybe you’re not enough, but we’re here to tell you that’s not the case at all. It just means you have to work a little harder, hustle a little longer and study a little more.

    Yup, you read right; we think you should hit the virtual books, so to speak. Online certifications offer anyone—not just college graduates—the opportunity to strengthen and prove their expertise in specific areas of work. On your resume, these stand out as more focused than a degree program and can really set you apart from the crowd. Dr. Jude Miller Burke, workplace psychologist and author of The Adversity Advantage: Turn Your Childhood Hardship into Career and Life Successwarns that today’s cutthroat job market makes online certifications an absolute must. She adds, “It's essential to provide employers with proof that you have technical skills beyond a diploma. Especially for students pursuing creative fields such as social media, marketing, advertising or public relations, knowledge of HTML and CSS, Adobe, Illustrator, InDesign, Google Analytics and SEO are crucial to your success.”

    That’s why we’ve put together a list of online certifications you should look into if you’re interested in building your resume and kicking some job-hunting butt.

    Google Analytics 

    Google’s Analytics Academypromises to help professionals learn how to use all of Google’s measurement tools effectively; successful candidates will be able to grow their businesses online and understand and leverage statistical data about customer usage and engagement.

    This is especially attractive for those interested in digital marketing, e-commerce and influencer branding. As a millennial or Gen Z-er, you might be thinking, “I already know most of this stuff, why should I bother?” But Bradley Shaw, digital marketing and online consulting expert, explains, “Customers do business with people they trust and one way to gain this trust is through authority. Accreditation or certificates can establish your authority in your field.” Shaw has completed multiple Google certificates, including Google AdWords, which he says have given him useful behind-the-scenes knowledge. 

    While all of these Google-related certificates are of course offered by Google, you can find pages and pages of third-party, online prep courses within just a few seconds. Keep in mind that much of the information can be accessed for free, but the actual Google Analytics Individual Qualification examination costs $50. Still, it’s a good idea to have at least one of these tech-accolades on your resume in today’s job market.

    Social Media Marketing

    More than just Google certificates, online certifications in digital and social media marketing tools are always a good idea. Alice Bedward, marketing executive at Randstad MENA, says that after losing her job a few months ago, she turned to online certifications to learn some new tricks of the trade. She used HubSpot Academy to find courses that cover everything from inbound marketing to growth-driven design. “After being laid off from work in early January, I completed several [of these] certifications in order to improve my chances on the job market. Both the certificates and the course content came up during recent interviews, and ultimately strengthened my standing as a candidate for multiple marketing roles,” she says. Now, she helps people find jobs in the Middle East!

    Project Management

    Why project management? Well, for one, it’s applicable in almost every line of work and project management certifications are recognizable worldwide. PMP (Project Management Professional) training is available online directly from the Project Management Institute or from third-party organizations and even accredited universities. The program culminates in a 200-question multiple-choice examination that candidates must complete within four hours, but you’ll certainly be better off for it.

    Valerie Streif, senior advisor at thementat.com, explains that earning your project management certification “can instantly set your resume apart from others, giving you a competitive edge not only to get the job in the first place but to quickly move and secure a promotion that puts you in charge of other people. Project managers can earn six-figure salaries.” She’s right; the Project Management Institute reports that people who are PMP-certified earn an average 20 percent more than their colleagues.

    HTML/Programming

    You know this is a must when there are summer camps all over the country dedicated to teaching children how to build and design websites of their own. It’s no longer a skill reserved only for tech moguls. That’s why becoming certified in HTML or CSS will never be a waste. Both will allow you to create your own website or manage an existing website for your company with ease and professionalism. You can learn both of these through a number of online programs, like Lynda.com or General Assembly; some universities even offer them as integrated options in your degree program so shop around to find the method that works best for you.

    While these are not programming languages (HTML is a mark-up language and CSS is a style-sheet language), when used together, they can produce a simple but effective website. Programming languages, like Java and C#, are also useful for app development; they allow you to create programs that process complex arithmetic and logic problems, which means that, even if you’re not a programmer by profession, this is a useful office skill for data entry and database management. Potential employers will be impressed by your technological prowess and you’ll be able to do a lot more with your devices and your time.

    TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

    Hear us out with this one. You never know when the opportunity to travel to an exciting, faraway country might present itself. If and when it does, you want to be sure you can support yourself throughout your travels. Teaching English as a second language in a foreign country is a great way for young, educated explorers to see the world, experience new cultures and push the boundaries of their comfort zones. It's also a helpful asset if you're thinking of joining The Peace Corps or AmeriCorps. Particularly if your bachelor’s degree is in the arts, this certification suggests that you’re open to unique challenges. Plus, if you’ve just graduated college and you’re not quite sure what your next step should be, having your TEFL certification might present an excellent and rewarding way to spend your gap year while earning some extra cash.

    Related: 7 Reasons Student Leadership Is So Much More Than A Line On Your Resume

    Of course, there are tons of other online courses and certifications available, many of them even more specific to your area of interest. If you’re looking to add a new skill to your resume or simply show off one that you already feel confident about, Dr. Burke says, “Ideal places for new grads to start would be Udemy, Coursera, and Code Academy.” There are also websites like EdX and FutureLearn that let you take online classes from real, accredited universities worldwide for free. In fact, Shaw points out that many online certifications are entirely free. The point here is simply, you’re never too old (or too young or too busy or too accomplished) to learn a new skill; save yourself the time and learn it online, then get the certificate to prove it!


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    It’s no secret that Bachelor Nation is completely in love with Peter Kraus, and just when we thought this guy couldn’t get any dreamier, he did the unthinkable on Monday night’s Bachelorette episode and agreed to get in a hot tub with Rachel Lindsay…on a group date. As if it wasn’t already obvious that Peter will likely receive Rachel’s final rose, you know they're a sure thing because producers didn’t even send in other guys to interrupt their hot tub time. That's true love, right?

    According to the other men on the group date, Peter disappeared with Rachel for three and a half hours, which I’m not too sure of, but either way, we only got a quick glimpse of the two’s canoodling. Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that the couple’s moment in the hot tub was a highlight of the episode, and I’ve found a perfect series of GIFs to explain my reaction to this intimate moment and its buildup.

    First, I caught a tease of hot tub time before a commercial break.

    Tbh, any sight of Peter gets a big reaction from me. 

    But I definitely wondered if ABC was going to pull a fast one and air hot tub footage in the next episode.

    With all of the rose ceremonies being pushed to the following week, I wouldn't have been surprised if this was the case.

    And I decided I'd be okay if it was delayed because I got some adorable yet hot shots of Peter tailing after Rachel at a handball game on the group date.

    1. Why wasn't handball (and those uniforms) a thing at my high school? 2. Can you lift every girl like that, Peter?

    Then Peter and Rachel had some alone time afterwards.

    He wanted to know even more about her, and it was so easy to forget that this wasn't a one-on-one date.

    It was perfect, but why would hanging together on a balcony with a bunch of other dudes nearby be logical hot tub time?

    But then our girl Rachel delivered for us all and asked Peter if he wanted to go in the hot tub.

    You go, girl!

    When Peter said yes, I knew this was going to be good.

    While it was short-lived, the pair's makeout sesh in the hot tub was totally worth the wait.

    When Peter joined the other men in his perfectly dry suit (supposedly) three hours later, I couldn't deal.

    There may be a ton of drama going on with the other men, but as long as I have my beloved Peter moments, I'm satisfied.


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    You want to be comfortable in your campus housing, and it’s easy enough to find space-efficient appliances, cute study materials, and decor that matches your personality. But it’s been impossible to prepare for the unbearable heat you’ll experience during warm months in a stuffy, cramped dorm room—until now.

    MyChill, a revolutionary new personal space cooler by HoMedics, is about to change dorm life as we know it forever.

    You can finally breathe and sleep easy, even during those hot summer months. Unlike a fan or air conditioning, MyChill is a unique concept that creates a personal cooling zone around you. Its gentle, breeze-like effect is way cooler than the average fan.

    You know how good it feels to come inside on a hot, sticky day and stand in front of the open refrigerator? That’s what MyChill feels like (and you won’t look nearly as ridiculous).The quiet, compact device can cool your personal space by up to 12 degrees. Using innovative, environmentally friendly technology, it processes hot air through a cooling cartridge by natural water evaporation. Choose from the original MyChill, which cools a radius up to four feet, or the MyChill Plus, which cools a radius up to six feet. Ahhhh… your own little “cool bubble.”

    MyChill comes in five colors, including mint and cranberry, so you don’t have to sacrifice your aesthetic to cool down. It will easily fit on your desk, dresser, or nightstand. Gone are the days of sweaty dorm rooms and clunky, noisy A/C units. Stay cool at school by adding MyChill to your packing list.

    Click here to learn more and get your own MyChill by HoMedics today!


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    Something really beautiful happened on the steps of the United States Capitol last night. It started with two politicians and a Facebook live stream. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Georgia Rep. John Lewis sat on the steps around sunset and talked into an iPhone about President Donald Trump's healthcare plans and its effect on Americans. It was a really organic, simple moment streamed on Facebook. 

    A small crowd began to gather around them. More senators joined, including Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Brian Schatz of Hawaii. Meanwhile, about 20 people stopped to listen. The crowd eventually grew—hundreds of people got on their feet and started roaring, and a spontaneous rally began with people standing side by side with their elected representatives. And Ben Wikler, of the independent online political group MoveOn.org, captured the whole thing on Twitter.

    Wikler highlighted the truly moving symbolism behind this unplanned gathering—it's very "by the people, for the people" as the American founders originally planned government to be. 

    So why the need for this Facebook Live event at all? It comes after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced that a current Senate bill, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare), would actually leave 22 million more people without health insurance by 2026. 

    Basically, the health care debate is really messy. The Republican plan cuts $541 billion in taxes over 10 years, according to The New York Times. But 15 million more Americans would be uninsured next year. The bill would cut $772 million from Medicaid, which helps the elderly and poor, even though Trump previously tweeted that there would be no cuts to Medicaid. There's also uncertainty about Trump's own thoughts on the bill—he allegedly called the House bill "mean" and said the Senate bill should be “more generous.”

    Now even some Republicans are saying they will vote against debating the bill, including Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Dean Heller of Nevada. Groups have been planning a People's Filibuster to protest "Trumpcare" over three days at the Capitol, but it started early since it spontaneously formed last night, according to Wikler's tweets. Wikler reported that people began sharing personal stories, like a refugee who got cancer only a week before she was set to graduate, but survived due to Medicaid. 

    We can be proud as Americans that we have representatives who fight for our beliefs, and that we have the ability to join them in rallies to voice our opinions and share stories together. And it really is a testament to the power of social media—this all began with Booker's iPhone video and spread even further because of Wikler's Twitter feed. Let's hope this message of unrehearsed unison will resonate with politicians of all parties to protect Americans' best interests. 


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    Sexism in the workplace is sadly nothing new even in the 21st century, but a Czech nuclear power plant has taken it to the next level after staging a bikini contest to hire new interns. Yes, this really happened.

    CNN reports that the Temelín nuclear power station, which is run by the company CEZ, has been under fire ever since it posted photos of the candidates to its Facebook page last week—10 high school graduates posing in bikinis and hard hats.

    The candidate with the most likes was supposed to win the title of “Miss Energy 2017” and land a two-week internship with CEZ.

    The internet was NOT impressed with this method of choosing an intern.

    One user commented, “You find the number of likes under [a] half-naked picture of a young lady as adequate and/or tasteful criterion for a career opportunity that is promoted as professional?" while another described the contest as "degrading, disgusting and primitive.”

    CEZ actually tried to defend the contest at first. They commented on the original Facebook post, according to AOL News, writing, “We think [the] photographs are very tasteful. The combination of beauty and the industrial environment gives an interesting result.”

    Surprisingly, the company's comments didn't convince anyone that this was okay, so they apologized two days later on Facebook and announced that all 10 women would be offered internships. 

    “The purpose of the competition was to promote technical education,” CEZ wrote. “But if the original vision raised doubts or concerns, we are very sorry.”

    After such a lackluster apology, it's pretty surprising that anyone wants to intern with CEZ. Remember, if any company asks you to take bikini photos to land a position with them, run, don't walk!


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    When you are in a relationship, one of the most important things, if not the most important thing, is trust. When that trust is broken, either from lying or cheating, it takes a lot to fix. Six twenty-something women and one expert weigh in on if you really can recover from your significant other cheating on you. The answers are really split into two categories: no and maybe. Every situation and relationship is different, so there is no sure answer to tell you whether or not you should forgive your SO for cheating, but hopefully some of these responses help. 

    For some people, when someone cheats that is it. No forgiveness, nothing, just done and move on. For these women, that was the case:

    1. “No- when they cheated on you, in that moment they were able to put you completely out of their mind. And it sets a precedent for the future of the relationship.” – Julia, sophomore at Western Washington University

    2. “No. I did before and he just kept repeating it knowing he'd probably get away with it.” – Alice, a graduate of the University of Central Lancashire

    3. “No, if they're cheating then they don't respect you or your relationship and if there's no respect then there's no foundation for love or trust.” – Sarah, senior at the University of Alabama

    4. “No. I believe everyone has the ability to live their own life and make their own decisions (in most circumstances). I think that 'cheating is a choice, not a mistake.'"– Annie, incoming freshman at the University of Vermont

    Related: Could You Be Emotionally Cheating On Your SO?

    For others, it really depends on how the relationship was before the infidelity occurred. It is not rare for the relationship to still be strong even after someone cheats. For these women, that was true:

    5. “Really grey area. I think you have to look at your relationship from a bystander’s perspective. For example, if you can, you can look at your relationship more critically and see just how healthy it is for you. More often times than not, if your SO is cheating on you, it means there is something lacking in the relationship. So, figure out what it is, and if it's worth fixing. If not, it's time to move on.” – Lexi, junior at the University of Michigan

    6. “I think it depends on the situation and the relationship. For me, I thought it was an absolute deal breaker until my SO made out with another girl at a party (that I was not at). I really enjoyed him and our relationship so I decided not to break up with him. However, I lost all trust and that really changed the dynamic of our relationship. We recently broke up and although it was not because of the cheating, it definitely did not help anything. I think I can forgive someone for making out with someone at a party but if my SO goes out of their way to sleep with someone else and continue to speak to them or others, then I think that's unforgivable and shows a lack of respect in the relationship.” – Jane, sophomore at Marist College

    Related: Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Here’s the Truth

    Although hearing from real girls about their real experiences is helpful and impactful, it does help to get an expert’s input. Jeffrey Sumber, LCPC and author of Renew Your Wows: Seven Powerful Tools to Ignite the Spark and Transform Your Relationship, says that forgiveness really depends on the relationship. “Forgiveness is one of those life skills that improves with time, maturity and unfortunately, pain,” he says. “There is no easy way to manage infidelity and dishonesty.” But as well, there are ways that help couples cope from ground zero and forward to the point where you decide if you'll remain in the relationship or move on. He says that an essential piece of the puzzle is discerning between forgiveness and "acceptance."

    But once you have really dug into your feelings and understood what happened, then comes the decision of moving forward. "So, should you break up with a cheater? Sure. Should you remain with them and work on things? Sure," Sumber says. But, the truth is, if a partner has been dishonest in the past there is a stronger likelihood he or she will do it again, he explains. So stay in the relationship only if you're open to that statistical fact. If you tell yourself it won't happen again, you're in denial. If they tell you it will never happen again, they are in denial. Sumber also explains what to do if you are conflicted about what to do. “The best case scenario is sitting with each other and discussing how bad it felt to be lied to and how guilty they felt to lie to you,” he says.

    It is important to explore what the circumstances were that led to the infidelity and only then can you truly move on.


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    Khloé Kardashian recently celebrated her birthday surrounded by her famous sisters and a large group of family and friends. Of course, everyone was Snapchatting the 33-year-old's birthday bash. (Do the Kardashians ever do anything without Snapchatting it? Doubt it.)

    Not only did we get to live vicariously through all of the sisters' Snapchats for the night (Am I the only one who pretends I'm the long lost Kardashian sister?), but now we get to play private investigator as rumors swirl around a potential pregnancy announcement made by the birthday girl herself.

    Khloé posted a collage of Polaroids: three mega cute pictures of her and her boyfriend, Tristan Thompson, taken at her party. The picture was deleted soon after it was posted, perhaps because many thought it was a baby announcement!  

    Despite Khloé being extremely open about her fertility issues, fans have been quick to make assumptions based on one of the Polaroids, which had "Mom + Dad" written in Sharpie at the bottom.

    Twitter may have thought they'd solved some secret Snapchat mystery, but TMZ reports it's probably not actually a pregnancy announcement. Instead, Khloé is likely just using "mom and dad" in the way young people use the phrase to describe super cute couples. Another sign the couple isn't about to enter parenthood is the fact that Khloé was tweeting about her massive hangover the morning after her party. That's definitely not something a mom-to-be would be doing. 

    Fans may be reading too much into Khloé's Snap, but tbh, I'm still holding out hope that it's true because Khloé would make a killer mom!


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    Oxford English Dictionary added a slew of new words in its quarterly update this June, including the popular political words “woke” and “post-truth.”

    The dictionary announced this month that they were adding the adjectival definition of “woke” in response to how more people are using it these days. PopSugar reports the new dictionary definition for woke is “alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice; frequently in stay woke.”

    You've probably heard “woke” throughout college (and probably said it yourself a few times!), and a lot of that is due to the Black Lives Matter movement, and increased awareness of racism in America in general. People now use it to describe anyone who seems to be socially aware—we've even used it to describe Nick from The Bachelor. But while it's just being added to the dictionary now, this use of the word has been around since the 1960s, according to TIME.

    The other stand-out word in this update was “post-truth,” which was also 2016’s word of the year, according to BBC News. “Post-truth” is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping political debate or public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” One recent post-truth moment, for example, was when Kellyanne Conway said the White House had "alternative facts" about the size of Donald Trump's inauguration crowd, despite photos clearly showing a difference between Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration and Trump's.

    And if you need to see these words in a sentence to really get them, here you go: We hope you all stay woke in a post-truth world!


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    Serena Williams' incredible career has made her a living legend, and at the start of an NPR interview Monday, fellow tennis legend John McEnroe seemed to agree. "Best female player ever—no question," he said when asked about Serena. However, when pressed about why he emphasized "female," what at first seemed like a compliment became a backhanded remark. "Well," John said, "if she played the men's circuit she'd be like 700 in the world."

    While we'll probably never know how Serena would do in the men's circuit, 700th seems more like an insult than an estimate; after all, this is the woman who achieved the #1 women's tennis ranking in the world while pregnant. Actions speak louder than words, and after winning her 23rd Grand Slam in January, Serena's close to tying the all-time record for most Grand Slams won by a female tennis player. (Roger Federer, the current Grand Slam record holder in men's tennis, has only 18.) Her skill is undeniable, and to suggest otherwise is just straight-up rude.

    Serena clearly agrees and clapped back at John on Twitter Monday afternoon. "Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based," she wrote. "I've never played anyone ranked 'there' nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I'm trying to have a baby. Good day sir."

    After this iconic slam, the ball was back in John's court, but he refused to make things right. During an interview on CBS Tuesday morning, he said he wouldn't apologize. "That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player," he told interviewers. "She’s the greatest player, female player, that’s ever lived."

    It's 2017, and athletes are defined by their talent, not their gender. But it looks like John missed the memo.


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    If it weren’t for the pressure of planning and rummaging through your closet to find things to pack, you’d probably take spontaneous trips more often. But what if we told you it’s possible to get all the on-the-go essentials you need for a perfect weekend getaway in just a few clicks?

    That’s where Amazon Prime Student comes in. At no cost to you, you can start a six-month trial, and receive unlimited FREE Two-Day shipping on those last-minute getaway essentials, and over 50 million other items. You can also binge-watch your favorite Prime movies and TV shows, store unlimited photos in one place, and much more!

    Whether you’re hiking, sunbathing, or just exploring a new city with some friends, here are 25 essentials that help make a last-minute adventure possible, and ship FREE in Two-Days with an Amazon Prime Student membership. 

    1. A chic weekender bag 

    Vera Bradley Weekender Carry-On Bag 

    2. A comfy travel pillow 

    Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow, Dark Blue 

    3. Travel-sized shampoo bottles 

    LUOTIMAN Travel Bottles for Makeup Cosmetic Toiletries Liquid Containers Leak Proof Portable Travel Accessories (Transparency) 

    4. A storage-efficient carrying case 

    Mr.Pro Waterproof Travel Kit Organizer Bathroom Storage Cosmetic Bag Carry Case Toiletry Bag with Hanging Hook (Polka Dot Blue) 

    5. A multipurpose, travel-friendly hair tool 

    2-in-1 Mini Hair Straightener Travel Flat Iron/Curling Iron Dual Voltage 374 Degree Temperature Nano Titanium - Insulated Carry Bag Included 

    6.A fast-drying, lightweight towel

    Youphoria Sport Multi-Purpose Travel Towel 

    7. Sunscreen to keep your skin healthy

    Sun Beam Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion 

    8. An earphone splitter 

    Belkin Speaker and Headphone 3.5 mm AUX Cable Spliter 

    9. Extra Security

    Forge Luggage Locks

    10. A cute mask to help get some shut eye 

    Fitglam Natural Silk Sleep Mask with Eyeleashes Patterns & Free Ear Plugs, Best Sleeping Eye Cover for Travel, Nap, Meditation, Blindfold with Adjustable Strap for Men, Women or Kids (White)

    11. A trusty power bank  

    Lumina 52000 mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank with High-Speed Charging Technology 

    12. Smartphone camera lenses for unique photos 

    Amir 3 in 1 Fisheye Lens & Macro Lens & 0.4X Super Wide Angle Lens, Clip on Cell Phone Lens Camera Lens Kits for iPhone 7, 6s, 6, 5s & Most Smartphones 

    13. A camera that can print your memories instantly 

    Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera - Ice Blue with Value Pack - 60 images 

    14. A good read in print or on your Kindle 

    Swear on This Life: A Novel 

    15. An adaptable bottle for any kind of beverage 

    S'well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Double Wall, 17 oz, Opal Marble 

    16. A little entertainment with friends 

    Watch Ya' Mouth Family Edition - The Authentic, Hilarious, Mouth guard Party Game 

    17. A portable speaker 

    UNITEK Aluminium Wireless Stereo Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Handsfree Speakerphone 

     

    18. A trusty-cooler 

    Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme 5 Wheeled Cooler 

    19. A quick-set-up hammock 

    ENO Eagles Nest OUtfitters - DoubleNest Hammock

    20.Life-saving dry shampoo 

    Batiste Dry Shampoo, Orginial, 3 Count 

    21. Outdoors hydration gear 

    WACOOL Waterproof Hydration Bladder Pack, Cycling Backpack, Hiking Lightweight Daypack 

    22. Something to munch on 

    Sahale Snacks Pomegranate Vanilla Flavored Cashews Glazed Mix, 4 Ounce (Pack of 6) 

    You can get these items delivered free in Two-Days or less when you sign up for Amazon Prime Student!


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    Following the Warner Bros. announcement that an internal investigation found no evidence of sexual misconduct on Bachelor in Paradise, DeMario Jackson is telling his side of the story—and he's not holding back, claiming that Corinne was the "aggressor" in their sexual encounter.

    While Corinne has called herself the "victim" of the alleged misconduct, DeMario tells a different version of events. According to him, the two first met at the bar, where bonding over being labeled as their seasons' villains quickly turned hot and heavy. “I was like, ‘Hell yeah!’ You know, I’m down for it. I’m not gonna…I don’t think any single man—some married ones—wouldn’t turn down Corinne. She’s a beautiful woman!” DeMario said in an E! News interview.

    DeMario claimed that as their encounter grew more intense, Corinne suggested they move to the pool, where "she gets up out of the pool and puts her lady parts like right on my face." 

    "Things got wild because it was more of like her being like the aggressor," he explained, "which was like sexy because you have like a very attractive girl who’s like telling you like what she wants, it’s like a very like, ‘Wow, okay. This is hot. I like it.'” He also denied allegations that Corinne was too drunk to give consent, insisting she was not slurring her words or stumbling. In fact, he said there was no bad blood between them at all before the investigation started. He told E! News that the next morning, "I gave her a hug. We all went and got breakfast together."

    However, since Corinne's legal team is launching their own investigation, it seems this case is far from closed. Though neither Corinne nor DeMario is returning to Mexico for filming, this he said, she said situation might mean more trouble in paradise is still to come.


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    When Rachel Lindsay was named the first black bachelorette, we knew that race would come into play on the show—and perhaps not in a good way, given the franchise’s record on sensitive issues. Those suspicions were confirmed from Rachel’s first meeting with a few of her contestants, when Dean told her, “I’m ready to go black, and I’m never gonna go back.” Rachel claimed to love that line. But since the season started, the producers have worked hard to obliterate any hope we had of a fun viewing experience this season.

    They’ve concocted a whole storyline around Lee, a vocal racist on social media, and Kenny, a black wrestler who’s just trying to find love for the right reasons. Lee has repeatedly baited Kenny, interrupting his time with Rachel multiple times (a cardinal Bach sin, if you don’t watch the show) and acting like his intentions were totally pure.

    Kenny’s justifiably angry response to Lee’s bullshit, which isn’t even close to the worst emotional outburst that’s ever happened on this show, was described on Monday as “aggressive” and “violent” in Lee’s one-on-one time with Rachel. When another contestant, Will, tried to explain to Lee the racist assumptions that underpin calling a black man “aggressive,” Lee didn’t learn a thing, saying he thought Kenny was playing “the race card.” Editing made Rachel appear to be more annoyed with the drama than tuned into any racial tensions. Then, Kenny and Lee were called for the show’s dreaded two-on-one date—a battle to the death (of the relationship) from which only one contestant can return.

    This isn’t a nuanced or interesting look race relations in the U.S. This is forcing a black person to put up with racism in order to create drama and entertainment for viewers. And it’s not entertaining.

    Bachelor franchise dad Chris Harrison claims the show didn’t know about Lee’s racist tweets when they cast him. Given the length of the casting process for these shows, I’m inclined to think that’s false. If it’s true, it shows this show has very little disregard for their first black bachelorette. In not doing due diligence to make sure outspoken racists stayed off Rachel’s season, they’ve revealed that they’re more interested in using her as a new opportunity for drama than truly breaking new ground in a respectful, responsible way.

    Black men have enough people deciding that they’re aggressive and inherently violent just because of their skin color. There’s no humane reason to force them to fight the same old lethal stereotype in the heavily orchestrated fantasy world of the Bachelor franchise. It’s not fun to watch piercing dog whistles for four-plus hours, even if we’re supposed to learn a lesson from it, when we know how many times these assumptions have killed people in the real world.

    Tonight, we’ll see how this particular arc ends. I have a sinking feeling that both men may be sent home, in which case Kenny will have spent weeks earnestly trying to win Rachel’s heart, only to be felled by a garden variety racist who the producers thought could add some spice to the show. It’s unfortunate that we’ve come to expect this behavior, and it’s making it hard to justify watching the show. Tonight, some fans will tweet #RosesNotRacism at Chris Harrison to show that they’re not okay the way Rachel’s been treated. Hopefully, someone on the Bachelorette team is listening.


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    If you're a fan of the hit HBO show Game of Thrones, then you're already familiar with the intense battle scenes, politics, lies and alliances that make this show so popular. But have you been paying attention to something else that's hidden in the folds? More specifically, hidden in the braids?

    Actress Sophie Turner has revealed that not only does her character Sansa Stark get to participate in some crazy scenes, but her ever-changing hairstyles actually have some meaning behind them! You might have assumed that her hairstyle was just a meaningless part of her costume, but that's definitely not the case. Stark tells Refinery29 that her looks are never random, but always have a pattern.

    In fact, her 'do is typically a reflection upon who she is learning from in the show. “When she’s Cersei’s prisoner, and she’s kind of absorbing all her manipulative techniques, it’s reflected in her hairstyle, and when she’s finding the spirit of Margaery in herself, she wears her hair like Margaery,” Sophie says. The look that stands out the most for her, however, is when Sansa's hair is black and pulled back into the very tight, taut French braids you might recognize from season five, because it was entirely Sansa's creation and not a result from anyone else's influence. Nothing says independent AF like some tight French braids! 

    If you haven't seen Sophie IRL, you might be a little surprised she's actually a natural blonde, and not the coppery redhead she is on TV. She achieves this stand-out look by dying her hair twice a week with a semi-permanent dye. Yes, you read that right, twice a week! Since the vibrant color tends to fade fast, she has to keep up with regular beauty treatments in order to maintain her hair's health with all of the excessive dying. She says she likes to use Wella's Oil Reflections Luminous Reboost Masks to keep her braids in tip-top shape to keep fighting on the battlefield!  

    Watching Game of Thrones will never be the same now that we' know the secret of Sansa's hair. I can't wait to see what look she'll have during the season premiere on July 16! 


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    USA Gymnastics, the organization that selects gymnasts for Olympic teams, is under fire for outdated—and even nonexistent—sexual abuse reporting policies after allegations that a team doctor assaulted a number of girls over the years, NBC reports.

    On Tuesday, Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor who was hired by USA Gymnastics to investigate the organization’s practices, released a 100-page report that calls for a major change in how the organization handles allegations of abuse and educates its staff and athletes about sexual assault, according to NBC.

    "Over time, the practices of USA Gymnastics have not kept up with best practices in the field of child abuse protection, allowing for significant gaps and exposures regarding the prevention and reporting of child sexual abuse within the sport," Daniels wrote in the report.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Daniels was asked to investigate USA Gymnastics last fall after accusations that the organization failed to address a number of child abuse allegations, including the case of longtime team doctor Larry Nassar, who reportedly molested dozens of female athletes.

    In the report, Daniels sheds light on a number of issues, including the fact that the organization currently does not have a written protocol for how to handle allegations of abuse. It also states that gymnastics clubs that belong to the USA Gymanstics network—as well as its athletes and members—have not been required to report sexual misconduct or other abuse to police or the USA Gymanstics governing body. That's a problem, because if people aren't explicitly required to report sexual abuse, they'll often stay silent, putting children in danger.

    “In recent years, a number of troubling reports have surfaced of young women allegedly abused by persons affiliated with USA Gymnastics as members or contractors over a lengthy period of time, including allegations that USA Gymnastics was not sufficiently responsive in disciplining offenders and terminating their access to young gymnasts," Daniels says in the report. "While individual USA Gymnastics staff members have perceived themselves as having been vigilant in protecting children, within the boundaries they perceived as limiting their authority to control others’ behavior, it has become clear that more is needed."

    When we think of USA Gymnastics, images of our favorite Olympic gymnasts and routines come to mind—but this report brings to light the all-too-real prevalence of sexual abuse and unreported assaults, calling for a much-needed cultural change that goes beyond the gym.

    Follow Darcy Schild on Twitter.


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    Weight loss is about your health, not about your appearance or your value as a person, and Shonda Rhimes, mega producer of TV favorites like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, penned an insightful essay for readers of her Shondaland newsletter that expands upon this crucial point.  

    In the piece, Rhimes describes how men and women alike treated her differently after she lost nearly 150 pounds. While people gave her compliments and “gushed” about her new body, she didn’t find their comments flattering, but rather a little unsettling. After all, she was the exact same person, just thinner.

    “Women I barely knew gushed. And I mean GUSHED. Like I was holding-a-new-baby-gushed,” Rhimes writes. “Only there was no new baby. It was just me. In a dress. With makeup on and my hair all did, yes. But…still the same me. In one of my same dresses (cause why am I gonna buy a NEW dress when I can take this to a seamstress and she can just make it smaller? Who am I, The Crown? No, I’m from the Midwest, baby, and I come with coupons). Women gushed anyway.”

    Rhimes also notes the different attention she received from men, and again, it was disconcerting. “And men? They spoke to me," she continues. "THEY SPOKE TO ME. Like stood still and had long conversations with me about things. It was disconcerting. But even more disconcerting was that all these people suddenly felt completely comfortable talking to me about my body. Telling me I looked ‘pretty’ or that they were ‘proud of me’ or that ‘wow, you are so hot now’ or ‘you look amazing!'”

    Overall, Rhimes says she realized through her weight loss experience the intrinsic bias people have when it comes to body shape and size. “After I lost weight, I discovered that people found me valuable," she writes. "Worthy of conversation. A person one could look at. A person one could compliment. A person one could admire.”

    That’s right—she says she felt like her value was directly related to a number on a scale. She could be the same talented, inspirational female leader and businesswoman, but suddenly, because she was thinner, she was somehow a better version of herself, more worthy of respect. “I discovered that NOW people saw me as a PERSON,” Rhimes writes. “What the hell did they see me as before? How invisible was I to them then? How hard did they work to avoid me? What words did they use to describe me? What value did they put on my presence at a party, a lunch, a discussion? When I was fat, I wasn’t a PERSON to these people. Like I had been an Invisible Woman who suddenly materialized in front of them. Poof! There I am. Thin and ready for a chat.”

    Rhimes says it best: “Being thinner doesn’t make you a different person. It just makes you thinner.” Say it louder for the people in the back because we all need to check ourselves.


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    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky has announced that he is delaying the vote on the new GOP health care bill until after the July 4 Congressional recess because there are not enough votes to move it forward, reports ABC.

    Senate Republicans released the bill last Thursday as a response to President Donald Trump's backlash against a similar health care bill proposed by the House of Representatives—but the Senate's bill has faced opposition from both Democrats and Republicans and has not yet garnered enough support to pass.

    As of right now, key GOP players have voiced their disapproval of the legislation. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas, Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, Ron Johnson (R) of Wisconsin and Mike Lee (R) of Utah released a joint statement, saying: "There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs."

    According to The New York Times, Ohio Governor and former 2016 presidential candidate John Kasich (R) has also condemned the bill.

    “Who will lose coverage? The mentally ill, the drug addicted, the chronically ill," Kasich said at a news conference Tuesday. "I believe these are people that need to have coverage.”

    An analysis conducted by the Congressional Budget Office shows that the Senate health care bill may cause as many as 22 million people to lose coverage by 2026 and that 49 million people would be uninsured in the same year. 

    Senator Susan Collins (R) of Maryland has tweeted that she will vote against the bill in its current state. 

    According to TIME, the GOP will need 50 of the 52 senators to vote 'yes' in order to pass the health care bill, but as of now, it looks like it would struggle without the votes of six key Republican senators. 

    “We will not be on the bill this week, but we will still be working to get at least 50 people in a comfortable place,” says McConnell. 

    The Republicans are hoping to secure more votes before they vote on the bill. However, the delay does not ensure that more Republicans will agree on the bill.


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    During the several years we're in school, young women and girls are often held to strict dress codes to ensure our chosen attire is at a "suitable" length or fit—so as not to distract male peers or teachers. Apparently, the constant clothing policing doesn't stop once you graduate high school. In fact, for a woman in Tennessee, it can even happen in the comfort of your own apartment complex when you go to relax at the on-site pool. 

    Tori Jenkins and her fiancé Tyler Newman were recently kicked out of their apartment complex's public pool because Jenkins' one-piece swimsuit was deemed inappropriate by other residents, Self reports. The couple had only been in the pool area for a few minutes before they were publicly told to leave because her suit was "too revealing" for the teenage boys who might see her. Um, excuse me? 

    Her fiancé took to Facebook to share what had happened in a post that now has over 30,000 shares, clearly expressing his outrage over the situation. He wrote, "Today my fiancée was faced with either changing her bathing suit, covering up with shorts, or leaving the pool that we paid a $300 fee to maintain on top of a monthly rent of nearly $1000. Tori was accused of wearing a 'thong bathing suit' and told there were complaints about the way she was dressed after roughly 3 minutes of us arriving there."

    After the initial request for Jenkins to leave the pool, she went to the leasing office to discuss the issue with one of the apartment complex's staff members, where she was then body-shamed and inappropriately sexualized by the woman she spoke to. The woman allegedly made shocking comments about Jenkins' body and swimsuit choice, including saying that a "normal bathing suit covers your entire butt," and that "her body, because it's built more curvy than others is 'too inappropriate' for children to be around," according to her fiancé's Facebook post. 

    Regardless of whether some of the residents questioned if their teenage sons would be "excited" by the sight of Jenkins' one-piece suit, she never should have been told to leave the pool that she literally pays for every single month with her apartment fees. As Jenkins wrote in her own Facebook post, "no man or woman has the right to make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. No right to police me or any other human." The over-sexualization and judgments made against women and what they choose to wear is astonishing and, quite frankly, something that shouldn't even be an issue anymore in today's world. 

    "Today my fiancée was told that she is less important than how men feel around her," her fiancé continued to write. "That Tori is less important than a man's urges to be sexual towards her. I think she's the most beautiful woman in the world, but I also respect her. I would never make her or any other woman feel less than what she's worth because of her outfit or her looks. This is how rape culture continues to grow." Well said, Tyler. I only wish more people shared this mindset


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    Thirteen years after the release of A Cinderella Story (the iconic teen movie starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray), Austin Ames has reappeared. While attending an oncology prom at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County over the weekend, Chad opted to wear his character's Prince Charming costume rather than a tuxedo.

     

    Prom guest Chad Michael Murray greets Liliana Paez Gallardodiring their annual CHOC oncology prom at CHOC Children's hospital in Orange, CA on Saturday. Former and current Children’s Hospital of Orange County teen cancer patients and their guests held the annual event with the theme "Alice in Wonderland". The event provides a night of normalcy for teens who may have had to skip their high school proms because they were in the hospital or have weakened immune systems. On Saturday, they dressed in gowns and tuxedos, danced and posed for pictures. Hairdressers and make-up artists helped the teens get ready. Photo by #OCRegister photographer Bill Alkofer #CHOC #prom @CHOCchildrens #CHOCprom #ChadMichaelMurray

    A post shared by OC Register (@orangecountyregister) on

    Chad's date for the dance was his wife, Sarah Roemer, who shared a pic on Instagram. In her caption, she wrote, “I waited for a prince and he took me to my 1st prom. @chadmurray15 #CHOC #prom #austinames.”

     

    I waited for a prince and he took me to my 1st prom. @chadmurray15 #CHOC #prom #austinames

    A post shared by Sarah Roemer (@rooeemer) on

    Murray also shared a video from the event, showing off the Alice in Wonderland-themed decorations, and thanked Warner Bros. for letting him borrow the green suit from the wardrobe department. “Had the amazing pleasure of attending the #CHOC Prom last night. This is one of 4 or 5 rooms they decorated. It was incredible. I Brought Austin Ames out of retirement, I mean Hey it's Prom! Met the best kids & got to dance with my Wife at her 1st Prom. Thanku @warnerbrosentertainment for letting me take the wardrobe out for a night. Big win- IT STILL FITS! #cinderellastory #AustinAmesLives #PrincetonGirl #Nomad #prom."

    Thanks for proving to us that fairytales are real, Chad. Plus, why rent a tux when you can channel your inner Prince Charming?!