By: Kalyn Wilson
I hate the term “stuck-up.” It haunts me. It reminds me of too many days in grade school where classmates scolded me and said “you think you’re all that,” which made me feel that I was the exact opposite since they felt I was clearly wrong if I did think I was “all that.” It reminds me of the verbal bullies I encountered and the reason why I struggled with self-esteem in the first place (because it was easier to put yourself down so that people would stop thinking that you held yourself up too highly).
Over time, I got over it, thankfully, but it still rubs me the wrong way when I hear it. The other day, my friend asked me about some ladies I knew. Is she nice? My confused face set in, I said “yes” and asked why. She looks stuck up.
Looks. I turned around to glance at the girls and there was no sign of sidity to me. I figured maybe it was because I knew them as nice girls, so it was easier to see them through fresh eyes. After I thought again, I still couldn’t quite get that energy from them, but I could see how they’d be mistaken for stuck-up. I was ashamed to say why. It’s because they were pretty.
When talking to another friend, Jane*, about it, I just wondered what could be done about the “stuck-up” energy we send and receive sometimes. I wondered what causes it, especially since I sometimes get “nice girl” vibes from the meanest of the mean (at least others think they are). She told me it all goes back to intimidation. Jane* said, “I think if you’re the same kind of pretty as the girl next to you, then you’ll be seen as a threat and send off those ‘stuck-up’ vibes.”
So is it another classic case of women not being able to embrace one another because of feeling intimidated? Yes and no. I think it works both ways.
My mom used to constantly tell me that she understands why some people did or still do believe me to be stuck-up, even though I would cry my eyes out about how nice and humble I was. I begged and pleaded for her to see otherwise, and subconsciously aimed to prove them all wrong with my oddly low self-confidence. But the day came when I was able to feel good about myself and find that balance between confidence and modesty - and I smiled more. That meant I sent more of a positive vibe to others and a lot of them stopped feeling put down by the well-known, unconscious “mean stare,” often a product of insecurity and unhappiness.
What does this all mean? The stuck-up girl could really be stuck-up. Or maybe you just want her to be because she’s not as open or smiley...or maybe she intimidates you and you’d rather reject her before she rejects you. Or maybe you’re the stuck-up girl because your heart is a little heavy and it’s hard for you just crack a smile at the other girls like you across the way.
Should we all just start smiling all the time? Or should we just let the death-stares roll off our backs? Just from one former “stuck-up girl” to the world, I’d rather we just focus on love inward and turn it to love outward. Even if that means looking at another girl in her seemingly mean eyes and choosing to see the “nice” in her until proven otherwise. Because there’s no put-down like being called “stuck-up.”
By: Deegan Mundy
We can all picture the end of humanity in our heads.
Whether it be a natural disaster, an illness or an alien invasion: it has been directed, it has been produced and we’ve seen it in theaters. Growing more common in this apocalypse genre are those films and series in which the human race is slowly exterminated by an invisible enemy: disease. The Walking Dead. I am Legend. Contagion.
So what would the title of a film about Ebola be?
Liberia. Nigeria. Sierra Leone. It is spreading, and the world has decided to fight back. So what does all of this mean for the world? For the United States? For Georgia? For Athens?
For the world this means nations coming together to send aid to Western Africa and maintaining loose borders. On Sept. 17, 2014, the United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon announced a plan to set up on-the-ground mission to combat the fight against the contagion.
For the U.S. more definite plans have already been made. President Obama announced on Sept. 16 that the U.S. would send medicine, equipment and 3,000 military personnel to the region.
For Georgia, it means all eyes on us. At the center of it all lies Atlanta’s very own Center of Disease Control and Prevention, where President Obama gave a speech on Sept. 16 explaining that this was the “largest international response in the history of the CDC.”
What about for us in Athens? It may be that we go about our days as usual, hopping on and off the Orbit bus, but maintaining awareness is crucial to understanding a new kind of war that is in it’s earliest stages in the world around us. It is still our world, even if it does seem to be a world away.
By: Kalyn Wilson
I don’t know about you, but I walk around campus in constant reflection. I think about my story as well as the stories of others and wonder how big the differences among all of us really are.
All the pondering showed me that there is no way for me to tell...at least not unless I actually know the stories of all the other girls around me. Realizing how unlikely that is, I decided to be bold and tell my own story, instead, hoping another girl will hear it and realize that we’re more connected than suspected.
Weeks before I came to school this year, I was compiling my vision board and I ran across an affirmation - something you repeat to yourself in an attempt to evoke positive thoughts - and it stuck to me like none other. This affirmation was I am enough. It never occurred to me before how inadequate I felt and how it all boiled down to whether or not I was enough.
What does enough even mean? On a college campus, it means everything. We’re in a state of constant growth and change, chasing these idealistic images of young, successful women and constantly measuring ourselves to see if we’ve missed the mark:
Is my major going to impress the crowd or make them visualize me sleeping in a car?
Am I beautiful, am I sexy?
Am I nice enough, am I mean enough?
Am involved enough, am I free enough?
Is it okay that I’m single? Is okay that I’m in love?
Am too tall or short, too picky or too easy-going, am I too white or too black, or am I too gray?
Am I doing this right?
These are the real QTNA, questions that need answers. In all we do, we are using these superficial rubrics to grade ourselves - I know I do. And it was until I saw that quote that I was able to answer all those questions and soothe my inner fears.
It’s okay that we deal with competition and insecurities. It’s okay that we shrink next to the other amazing girls sometimes or we second-guess our extraordinary ideas every now and again. But it is not okay to let the challenges of growing up in this intense environment rob us of the truth that validates our being and strengthens us in our unique journey.
That’s right; it’s the truth. Say it with me - I am enough - and believe it.