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“Why is Your Millennial Crying?” Comic Hits Close to Home

Earlier, I found this post on Bustle, and it really hit the nail on the head about how I feel as a millennial. I hear people complain about millennials and our apparently non-existent work ethic, obsession with technology and social media, and love of expensive “hipster” things all the time, but a lot of people don’t consider the fact that we do actually have a lot on our plates. On a side note, while some millennials do display the characteristics above, I know a lot of millennials who work their asses off, take on multiple unpaid internships just to hope for a minimum wage entry level job out of college, and are humble about their accomplishments.

That being said, take a look Gemma Correll’s comic below and see if it fits your life:

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Why “You’re Secret Hot” Is An Insult, Not A Compliment

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Last week, a man told me I was “secret hot.” What does that mean, you ask? Well, it means that I look pretty average until I put on makeup and a fancy outfit. Then I look hot. He explained that I look normal when I’m at work (in my dining hall clothes), but then I put pictures on Facebook of me with more makeup and tight dresses, and then I look hot. I think he was expecting me to say thank you, but mostly I was offended.

Here’s the deal: I don’t need random friends of mine to validate my looks. I’m perfectly fine with my boyfriend being the only guy to tell me I’m hot. Apparently when I wear jeans, converse, and a t-shirt, I look pretty plain. SHOCKER. When I’m working at the dining hall, I’m not trying to look good, I’m trying to do my job.

I truly think the guy who told me this was trying to compliment me – but honestly, I’d much rather be complimented on my ideas, my work, or my writing than on my appearance. Sure, it feels nice for people to tell you that you look good once in a while. But just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I need to be reassured about my appearance on the daily. And telling me that I’m “secret hot” is a very backhanded compliment. But you know what? My boyfriend fell in love with me wearing a nasty purple baseball cap, black nonslip shoe covers, and a gross green apron. So I’m not “secret hot.” I’m just hot.

Summer Camp Taught Me More Than Any Internship Ever Could

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been incessantly applying to jobs. Every job I apply to wants to hear about my experience – what internships have I had, what relevant places have I worked, etc. Ugh. I’ve found myself getting frustrated that I never spent a summer working a paid internship at a magazine – why couldn’t I have done that? I’ve spent the last three summers working at summer camp, but apparently my summer camp experience isn’t relevant to “real life jobs.” For this reason, I’ve recently edged on regretting spending my summers working with adolescents and teens at the University of Oregon’s Summer Enrichment Program (SEP). But why? Why doesn’t summer camp count as relevant job experience? What makes summer camp not a legitimate job? In my time as a junior counselor, counselor, and administrator (Junior Counselor Supervisor), I learned more about professionalism, confidence, and life than I have at any “professional,” “relevant” job I’ve had.

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My JC group: the group that started it all.

My summer camp is an incredible place – it’s a two-week session that consists of classes taught by grad students and professors, counselor-led activities, counselor skits, camp-wide dances, all-nighters, field trips, and happiness. But it isn’t the events that define the experience – it’s the atmosphere and the people. Somehow, SEP is a place that brings together athletes, musicians, weirdos, princesses, dorks, (“a brain, an athlete, a basket case, and a criminal,” as The Breakfast Club would explain), under one word: nerd. We lovingly call it nerd camp; it’s a place where people can be truly themselves and let out their inner nerd.

The girl who taught me what SEP was all about - Love you, Em.

The girl who taught me what SEP was all about – Love you, Em.

Summer camp changed my life. In high school, I was insecure, I was dorky, and entirely not cool. At camp, people didn’t judge me, they didn’t care about my popularity, and they got to know me on a deeper level than any group ever had. I finally felt like I totally fit in – that people cared about me even though they knew everything about me.

Counselors 2012

Counselors 2012

Summer camp gave me confidence. I learned to be comfortable in my own skin and be myself around other people.

Summer camp was the first place I felt confident amongst my peers and amongst my superiors.

Summer camp taught me to dance with no reservations.

Summer camp taught me how to professionally deal with a student calling me “a f*cking c*nt” and how to relay the inappropriateness of her actions to her.

Summer camp showed me that gummy bears can be the best way to bond.

Double Chins 2013

Double Chins 2013

At summer camp, I learned that having a common enemy can be incredibly powerful for a group.

At summer camp, I cried and I saw people cry tears of happiness, sadness, anguish, joy, and love.

At summer camp, a boy told me I was beautiful for the first time.

At summer camp, I stood up to a grown man with the strongest women I’ve ever met and told him that “boys will be boys” is not an acceptable excuse for sexual harassment.

Run the World (Girls)

Run the World (Girls)

Summer camp taught me how to be an employer and an employee. It taught me to be a teacher, a learner, an authority figure, and a team member. It taught me how to be a friend and a lover. Summer camp taught me to be me.

I don’t know of a single internship that could have taught me what I learned at summer camp. For the first time in years, I am not going back to that square brick building with the courtyard, and I can only hope that SEP’s incredible legacy will continue. SEP changed me forever – each individual altered the course of my life – and I know that SEP will keep impacting me through my memories forever.

Camp selfie 2014

Camp selfie 2014