Writing for the Soul: Overcoming Minor Bouts of Depression

"Mountain Hiking Girl Woman Trekking Happy Jumping" by aatlas is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

“Mountain Hiking Girl Woman Trekking Happy Jumping” by aatlas is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

I don’t often write poetry. It isn’t that I dislike it; I’m actually quite a fan. It’s just that the only time I ever feel like writing poetry is when I need to alleviate a great weight of emotion. It’s like writing for the soul. I don’t often write it because it’s like opening my chest cavity or my legs up to a stranger. Having my poetry read is an intimate experience I find difficult to share. Continue reading

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Signs of Adulthood: The Second Puberty That Is Your 20s

The Millennial Generation are redefining what it means to be an adult; this is not wholly intentional. Rather, it is largely the culmination of social and economic factors working against Millennial independence. In young adulthood we are the best-educated generation, but student debt makes the few households we head less likely to thrive. Perhaps as a consequence of this, Millennials are less likely to marry, or are—to rephrase—more likely to delay marriage; according to one Pew study, “marriage today is more prevalent among those with higher incomes and more education.” Because we marry later or not at all, Millennial women are more likely to give birth out of wedlock, although we generally do so at later ages than women from previous generations. Denied and eschewing the milestones that defined growing up in previous decades, the Millennial Generation have been forced to develop new trends and signs of adulthood, which follow or run tandem to the experience of a second puberty in their twenties. Continue reading

Stop Trying to Cheer Me Up: Why Websites for Pregnant Women Should Include Those Who Don’t Want Children

There are huge chasms between the experiences of childless Millennials and mothers, and nowhere are these gaps more apparent than on the Internet. Websites for pregnant women draw thousands to discuss conception, pregnancy, and motherhood, while excluding women who don’t want children. There is a new culture war waging between these two communities, but they have more in common than they think. It’s time they came together and stopped with all the bullshit. Continue reading

Social Responsibility in the Digital Age: Sex Crimes, Jennifer Lawrence, and Rape Culture

Over the Labor Day weekend, while average US citizens were watching college football, cooking out, and enjoying the extra day away from work and school, a vile crime was committed against members of a particular group, who are, every day, simultaneously worshiped and reviled. At this point, it’s probably old news to you, but I’ll tell you the mainstream gist of it all: Jennifer Lawrence is now naked on the Internet. Continue reading

“The End of the Beginning:” I Gave Up on Organized Religion

"Mountain Hiking Girl Woman Trekking Happy Jumping" by aatlas is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

“Mountain Hiking Girl Woman Trekking Happy Jumping” by aatlas is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

In 2011, I was casually attending the hip new church in my hometown. The Table* stuck out like a green steeple from the fold of worship halls found in that Buckle of the Bible Belt town. The people there didn’t care about your tattoos and piercings. There was no dress code, in theory or in practice. They were nondenominational. Instead of a choir singing hymns, they had a band playing contemporary praise-and-worship. I thought, wished, hoped that they were different. Continue reading

Wonder Woman, Is the World Ready for You?

Fig Girl Woman Madonna Face Pretty Grace Carving" by Hans is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

Fig Girl Woman Madonna Face Pretty Grace Carving” by Hans is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

As a person who spends a lot of her time in geek and nerd circles, I often find myself caught up in age-old arguments, like Can Wolverine Really Die? or What’s Stronger: Captain America’s Shield or Mjolnir?* Sometimes these arguments can get a little—okay, a lot—offensive. Just recently, someone made the comment that the new Superman movie was going to be a Justice League film, because Batman was going to be in it. “Aquaman and Wonder Woman, too,” I said. The groans started almost immediately, and I expected the next comments to steer the conversation towards a light dissection of Aquaman’s illogical League inclusion. But no. The offender was not that most useless of Super Friends, but Wonder Woman.  Continue reading

A Quick and Easy Guide to Buying Textbooks as an Undergrad

"Glasses Read Learn Book Text Highlighter Pen" by Hans is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

“Glasses Read Learn Book Text Highlighter Pen” by Hans is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

With my last semester at USC Upstate beginning next week, now seemed like a good time to publish this bit of advice for undergrads. In the almost eight years I’ve spent working on my BA, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to avoid buyer’s remorse. With the economy still in recovery, and textbook inflation since 1978 nearing 900%,* it is now more important than ever that students save money when and where they can. The following post contains my three-step book-buying process, plus a handy collection of related tips. Continue reading