Unemployment Diaries: Don’t Call Me ‘Entitled’

Today I got the following comment on my ‘Unemployment Diaries: Week 1’ post:

This is honestly one of the most entitled, privileged things I think I’ve ever read. You chose to do fun stuff instead of buckling down and applying to new jobs. You have the luxury because of family and friends to just chill – maybe your coworkers who’ve already applied actually need the money to pay rent or buy groceries? You literally are in control of this entire situation, but you’re acting like the victim the entire time. Sucks that you lost your job, but you were able to (as you said) just take a vacation while many others would have to rush to find anything to pay the bills. Doesn’t seem like you have much to complain about here.


So I’d like the chance to formally respond.

When we, the employees of LittleThings, all found out that LittleThings was shutting down, we immediately went into a meeting with the Editor-in-Chief, who was kind enough to tell us what she knew about the impending closure.

In the meeting, most people were in complete shock. A few people were crying. Some people immediately started voicing their concerns about making rent and paying their bills. It only took me about thirty seconds after we got the shutdown email to realize that I was, in fact, in a privileged position.

Because you’re right, I am privileged. I have parents that live nearby, a boyfriend who I live with, and amazingly supportive friends and family. I have a savings account that could keep me afloat for a while, I don’t have student loans anymore, and I don’t have credit card debt. I am more than aware that I have a lot of support (both emotional and financial) that other people don’t have. It’s absolutely fair to say that I’m privileged; it’s something that I try to remember every single day and to keep in check. I know that I am awarded certain opportunities because of my social characteristics: I am white, I am middle class, I am young, I am able, I am educated, etc. Believe me when I say that I know how lucky I am.

Now, I want to address each of the claims you made about me, without actually knowing anything about me:

You chose to do fun stuff instead of buckling down and applying to new jobs.

Yes, I did choose to “do fun stuff.” During the course of three days (two of which were over the weekend), I chose to spend time with my cousin and her friends, which is exactly what I planned to do before being laid off.

And no, I didn’t “buckle down and apply to new jobs.” But while I haven’t “officially” applied to any jobs — meaning I haven’t gone to the online job search platforms and applied to jobs through websites’ forms — I have gotten in touch with multiple people who offered to speak with me directly.

I spent hours updating my resume, redoing my website, and downloading work I’ve published. I sent links and clips to interested employers, and I set up meetings and appointments with people in the industry.

I’ve done the whole “applying to jobs” thing before (pretty recently), and in my experience, it doesn’t work to apply to jobs before you have a resume and website you feel accurately represent you. I spent six months applying to jobs last time I was in a similar position, and I heard back from almost nobody. I’d much rather spend my time preparing to apply to jobs and making it more likely I’ll get a reply on the applications I do send, than sending a million applications and getting one reply in a hundred.

You have the luxury because of family and friends to just chill – maybe your coworkers who’ve already applied actually need the money to pay rent or buy groceries?

I wouldn’t say what I did during my first week was “just chill.” Yes, I spent time with my friends and family doing things unrelated to job applications, but I also spent a lot of time working on my application materials. While I was out and about in Manhattan, I was responding to emails and setting up appointments and interviews. While watching the Oscars, I was preparing documents for a potential employer. While spending time at home, I was perusing the opportunities other former LittleThings employees shared on our Facebook group.

Yes, maybe my coworkers who applied to jobs are in a more dire situation than I am — again, I’ll check my privilege here. I am not at risk of losing my apartment or not being able to eat in the immediate future, and I recognize that others may not be as lucky as I am.

You literally are in control of this entire situation, but you’re acting like the victim the entire time.

I guess I’m a little confused here — I didn’t have control over losing my job. I didn’t have control over having an hour’s notice that my company was closing. I didn’t have control over the fact that I wasn’t prepared to start applying for jobs.

The only thing I am a victim of is losing my job. All I was trying to do through these Unemployment Diaries posts was to show other people that what they’re going through is okay. Even if we’re at different stages of dealing with the shutdown or dealing with unemployment or dealing with the stress of applying to new jobs, it’s okay. All of our feelings are legitimate.

Sucks that you lost your job, but you were able to (as you said) just take a vacation while many others would have to rush to find anything to pay the bills.

What I actually said was, “Although I’ve definitely come to terms with the shutdown now, I still feel like I’ve just been on vacation. I’m not yet convinced that I couldn’t just walk back into the office, grab a snack, and sit down at my desk.” I was by no means implying that this last week has felt like a vacation, just that it feels like a break from normal, everyday office life.

To clarify, this hasn’t been a vacation, nor has it felt like one. Traditionally, I like my vacations to come with less crying, less existential soul searching, and less work.

Doesn’t seem like you have much to complain about here.

If it felt like my unemployment posts were complaints to you, I’m afraid you misinterpreted them. The point of these posts was to give an honest, open opinion on what it feels like to be let go from a job you liked out of the blue. I was hoping it would resonate with people in similar positions and allow them to feel less alone, but perhaps I was incorrect.

This is honestly one of the most entitled, privileged things I think I’ve ever read.

Finally, I’d like to address your claim that what I wrote was privileged and entitled.

I believe I’ve already made it very clear that I understand I am in a place of privilege in this situation. I also believe that using privilege as an insult isn’t helpful to anyone. The fact that I have certain privilege in this world means that I have a voice others do not have. I try to use my voice to lift up other people and tell their stories; that is one of the things I am most proud of about my work at LittleThings — that I was able to tell the stories of people who may not have a platform like I do or the privilege to make their voice heard.

When it comes to entitlement, let’s break this down a little. The definition of entitled, as you’ve used it, is something along the lines of “believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.” Maybe you read my words in a way I didn’t mean for them to be taken, but I by no means believe I am inherently deserving of any privileges or special treatment. Do I believe I deserve a new job just because I lost my old one unceremoniously? Hell no. I recognize that privilege helped me get to where I am today, but I also worked my ass off. I made my way into the online publishing world on my own — without connections or help along the way.

I started my small-time blog while I was in college working two jobs, and I built my following over the course of years. I was lucky enough to tap into a niche that made me go viral, and I found my passion for writing. I picked up any writing job I could find and applied to a million and a half jobs and internships. I worked a job I hated for over a year while I applied relentlessly to jobs in my dream industry. When I was finally hired at LittleThings, I was working a full-time job in textbook publishing, as well as writing for a number of websites for free. I worked my ass off to get my first job in this industry and I fully intend to work my ass off again to get my next job. If it seems to you like I’m entitled, you don’t know the whole story.


And last but not least, I’d just like to add this: before you ridicule someone online for sharing their own truth and trying to be as candid as possible, learn the whole story and don’t make assumptions.


Unemployment Diaries: Week 1


Day 2:

Last night, I applied for unemployment. It was both relieving and a little painful (and pretty confusing). Even though I had to read everything twice, it wasn’t actually as difficult as I thought it would be.

Today, I went to therapy and tried to make sense of my thoughts. I’m still conflicted about whether I should push myself to find a job right away or let myself have some time to recover. After therapy, I decided it was time for some retail therapy, so I wandered around Manhattan (only allowing myself into stores I had old gift cards for). I bought nothing, but felt a little better.

Finally, Matt met me for dinner and the two of us went for a “final hurrah” meal at Eataly. Of everything I did today, the food definitely put me in the best mood.


Day 3:

As soon as I processed the fact that I no longer had a job, I immediately reached out to some of my old LittleThings coworkers, asking for their help and advice. One of my former fellow writers immediately offered to meet me for coffee, so today we met up at her office first thing in the morning.

As someone who had previously been laid off, she had some really helpful thoughts for me. Most people go to the classics when you lose your job, like, “maybe it’ll actually be a blessing in disguise” or “you’ll come out of this even stronger than before.” Fortunately, my old coworker knew just how overwhelming and frustrating it can feel to lose a job. Instead of telling me everything would work out, she told me that it’s okay to take a breather and give yourself time to adjust. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

After I left, I decided it was time for a trip to Goodwill, so I hopped on a train back to Queens. Of course, once I arrived at my location, I found out that there wasn’t in fact a Goodwill there at all. I trudged through the rain and snow searching for the store before giving up to go home.

In the evening, I packed Bella into her doggy carrier and made my way down to my parents’ house in Brooklyn. My cousin and her friends are in town from Montreal, so we all got together for a tasty home-cooked meal.

Day 4:

This morning I was supposed to go to a ballet event with a teenager I mentor, but she was sick. “Great,” I thought, “I’ll just go see my cousin and her friends early!” Wrong. I showered, sat down on my bed, and the next thing I knew I was waking up two hours later.

I finally dragged my lazy butt out of bed and made my way into Manhattan for lunch, shopping, an improv show, cocktails, and a drag show.

Today was by far the most cathartic as far as dealing with the LittleThing closure is concerned. At the improv show, the comedians asked if anything interesting had happened recently to anyone in the audience. After someone told an entirely uninteresting story about the subway, I yelled out, “I lost my job on Tuesday!” The entire crowd cheered. I explained what happened, and the actors recreated the layoff later in the show. It was eerily accurate.

When I finally made it home (at 2 a.m.), Matt and I got into a stupid argument. Although it was no big deal, it set off the waterworks. I hadn’t really cried since the shutdown, but suddenly it all came crashing down on me. So I cried — and not the cute, one tear dripping down the cheek crying, no, this was the full on lips-swelling, snot-dripping, eyes-reddening kind of crying. By the time I fell asleep, I finally felt like I’d dealt with some of my bottled up emotions.


Day 5:

Just a few hours after falling into a tear-induced sleep, my alarm started blaring, sounding for brunch.

The rest of the day, my cousin and her friend and I wandered around ChinaTown, stopped into the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum, and finally made our way back to my parents’ place to eat some good NYC pizza and watch the Oscars.

Day 6:

Ah, Monday. The first day of a fully-unemployed week. I (once again) struggled to get out of bed before making my way to a LittleThings meet-up at Panera. It was a great idea, and some people were really productive, but the overall vibe amongst former-LT employees was stressed. We were all at very different stages of dealing with the unemployment process, which made for a somewhat hectic environment.

I knew I wouldn’t be at the meet-up very long, so I used my time to catch up with old coworkers and get an idea of everyone’s emotional state (not great).

When I left, I met my cousin and her friend for an NBC studio tour. Visiting news studios and the set of SNL reminded me that there’s more to life than LittleThings, and the opportunities for employment are endless. To round out the day, the three of us stood outside in the cold for two hours to get into a taping of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. It was more than amazing.


Day 7:

Well, it has officially been one week since I lost my job. LittleThings hasn’t had a new article posted in a week.

Although I’ve definitely come to terms with the shutdown now, I still feel like I’ve just been on vacation. I’m not yet convinced that I couldn’t just walk back into the office, grab a snack, and sit down at my desk.

Today, a group of LT-ers came to my apartment for a “Java and Job Applications” get-together. I didn’t apply for any jobs, but I did drink some java.

It’s been wonderful to be around other people going through the same thing as me, but it’s also a little stressful to see people who are “ahead” of me in the job hunt. A number of people listed how many jobs they’d applied to today, and I’m still at a big old zero.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done a lot of work — saving old articles, creating my website, working on a portfolio, etc. — but I haven’t gotten to the actual applying stage yet. I keep having to remind myself that it’s okay to go slowly and to work at my own pace. It’s not a race. We’re all on different paths, and we’ll all get there eventually.


Unemployment Diaries: Day 2


I won’t lie, today was sad. I didn’t have to wake up early, but I had a really hard time staying asleep this morning (which isn’t something that happens to me — I’m really good at sleeping).

When I finally got out of bed, I watched LittleThings last live video broadcast by the amazing Cassie and Paul Morris. I almost cried.

During my subway ride into work, I simultaneously felt perfectly calm and also as though I might throw up at any moment. It was a relief to finally get to the office and be surrounded by people who understood exactly what I was going through. My coworkers, who have become my friends and confidants, seemed just as overwhelmed as I was.


We laughed and joked with one another, but there was an overwhelming blanket of sadness draped over all of us. We pilfered through office supplies and snacks, smiling as we filled bags with goodies for home, but we all knew the smiles were a farce. Underneath, we were all struggling equally to come to terms with what was going on.

Tonight, when I got home, I made an unemployment to-do list, with items like “file for unemployment” and “update resume.” My list didn’t say “try your best to keep it together,” but that’s definitely something to strive for. Making a list felt productive, but it didn’t heal me. I know I shouldn’t wallow in self-pity, but it’s going to take a little time to recover from the shock of shutdown.

As always, I have been astounded by the outpouring of love from the LittleThings staff. Everyone has opened their arms and stepped into this unknown journey of unemployment together. The sunshine we’ve all brought into each other’s lives will continue to glow, even if it’s covered by a cloud for a bit.

For now, I’m going to say goodbye to the Internet for the night, get into a bath, and grieve the loss of my LittleThings family. I love you all.

Unemployment Diaries: Day 0


I’m back bitches!

So… today the CEO of LittleThings emailed us all and let us know LittleThings would be closing, effective immediately.

Needless to say, we were all in shock. All 80-ish of us lost our jobs with one simple email.

I’m still not really sure how to respond, but I do know that I’m a little drunk, completely unemployed, and still a writer at heart. So what do I do now? I keep writing, I guess. Since I don’t have an official, paid outlet for writing anymore, I’m back to this rinky-dink little blog that started it all.

Stay posted to find out more about my experience with unemployment, job hunting, and life post-LittleThings.

*To all my incredible LT coworkers, I love you all the way down to the depths of my soul. LT would have been nothing without you. Stay strong.

There’s A Difference Between A Catcall And A Compliment


When women walk down the street, no matter what they’re wearing, they are always ready to be catcalled. You might think I’m being dramatic, but I promise you I’m not.

Every day as I walk down the street, I stare straight ahead. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brand new place or my block at home — I always know it’s possible that a guy will decide to comment on my body. I regularly walk around with my middle finger at the ready and “go to hell” on the tip of my tongue. I try hard to stand up for myself and yell back, but I also have to think first and foremost about my safety.

One of the biggest arguments that men (and sometimes women) like to make about catcalling is that women should take it as a compliment. They say, “it means they think you’re hot,” or they try to explain that “they don’t mean it to be intimidating, they just want you to know that you look good.”

But here’s the thing: I’ve been complimented and I’ve been catcalled and they are NOT the same thing.

Let me explain.

Walking from the subway to my last office, I would walk by a lot of men who were hanging out on the street. A lot of them were construction workers, delivery-people, and drivers. I’m not trying to generalize blue collar workers because I have definitely been catcalled by white collar workers as well, but because they were the ones standing on the street more often, they were the ones who harassed me most.

I became so used to the stares of these men that I was always prepared to be catcalled. I heard everything from the normal “hey sexy” and kissy noises, to “mmm show me a smile baby” and “damn, girl.” I didn’t get any particularly creepy catcalls there, but keep in mind that I heard most of these at 9:00 in the morning.

So you might be thinking, “So what, they were just telling you that you were sexy.” But that’s not the case. Those men were taking advantage of the street space they hold to make me feel uncomfortable. At this point in time, all men know that catcalling makes women feel uncomfortable, if not unsafe. So men catcall women entirely to get a rise out of them.

And here’s the difference between that and a compliment: One day on my way to work, I stopped to cross the street. While I was waiting for the light to change at the crosswalk, a man approached me and said, “Excuse me, I just wanted to let you know that your hair looks really nice in the sun right now.”

That is a compliment. And you know how I responded? I didn’t flip him off, I didn’t yell “f*ck you” at him, and I didn’t tell him to go to hell. Instead, I said, “Oh, thank you,” and I smiled at him. I didn’t walk away feeling degraded and off-put; I walked to work slightly happier.

So, men, if you want to see a smile, don’t shout “show me a smile,” say something that might actually make someone smile. And don’t scream “hey sexy, nice hair,” mention in a non-threatening way that my hair looks nice in the sun.

I’m sick of people trying to convince me that catcalls and compliments are the same thing. I’ve experienced both, and I’m here to tell them that they’re wrong.

Epic Things


As I said in my life update, I recently started a new job as a Junior Writer at Epic Things. I’ve been totally loving it — great coworkers, young work environment, wonderful office space — and I wanted to share some of my articles with you, the people who have supported me since the very beginning.

A lot of the articles I write are stupid stories about trending celebrity news, exploding poop, or sexy women. Some of them, though, have been really great to write. Those are the ones I’m going to share with you. You’re obviously more than welcome to read the rest of the things I’ve written, I just won’t be posting the links to them here.

  1. Netflix “She Rules” Video Is Exactly What We’ve Been Waiting For

  2. Watch This ‘Shark Dancer’ Risk Her Life To Help Injured Sharks

  3. When Celebrities Read ‘Mean Tweets’ Of Themselves On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live,’ America Rejoices

  4. Michelle Obama Goes On ‘The Late Show’ And Proves She’s Just Like Us

  5. Beach Created By Bombs Is So Gorgeous That Your Mind Will Explode

  6. The 15 Best Celebrity Reactions To The First Presidential Debate

  7. Katy Perry Uses Her Body To Get People To Vote

  8. Joe Biden Will Cameo On Tonight’s Episode Of ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Life Update: Fall 2016

For all the people who follow my blog in order to catch up on my life (and not just for my snarky social commentary), I want to update you on my life.

A lot of big things have happened since I came back from Lauren’s wedding in Hawaii, which I think is the last time I did one of these “life update” things. I know I said I would write more about the wedding, but I didn’t, because life got in the way. Although, I did write a tiny bit about my experience as her Maid of Honor, which you can read here.


On August 18th, my boyfriend Matt and I adopted a dog. We’d been thinking about it for a while, but we found a listing for an adorable one-year-old dog online, and later that day she was ours. She is a Tibetan Terrier mix and is partially hypo-allergenic (which Matt needed). Her previous owners received her as a gift (even though they didn’t want a dog), so they kept her for a while, and then surrendered her at the shelter. They had named her Bela, which we changed to Bella (short for Bellatrix).


When we adopted her, she had kennel cough, which is the dog equivalent of the common cold. What that meant, though, was that she was in isolation in the shelter. We brought her home that night, bought food and a bed, and started taking care of her. Within two weeks, she’d been to the groomer, multiple pet stores, and two different vets. I have legitimately spent more money on this dog’s medical bills than my own.


She’s been quite a handful, but we really love having her. To read more about how she changed my relationship with Matt in the first month of having her, you can read the article I wrote for Unwritten.



So Bella is big change number one. As some of you probably know, last summer I was working as a marketing assistant in the higher education department of Oxford University Press. After about six months there, I knew it really wasn’t the right fit for me. I started actively applying for jobs in January. I went on a few interviews, but nothing panned out. I grew increasingly more and more frustrated and desperate.

After applying to more than 60 jobs, I was finally offered a position as a junior writer at a website called Epic Things. I accepted the job, and started on September 14th. Epic Things is a small website under the parent company, Little Things. Little Things is primarily a website with uplifting videos, recipes, parenting tips, DIY projects, and pet things.

Epic Things is kind of like Little Things’ teen brother. We write a lot about poop, explosions, car crashes, celebs, and other “epic” stories. I’ve written a lot so far (almost 100 articles) and I’m really loving it. You can check out everything I’ve written here (please don’t judge).



A few days into starting my position at Epic Things, I got an email from another job I had applied to. A week or so later I had a freelance blogger position for a website called The Hoth. It’s a little hard to explain what I do, but basically I’m a ghost writer for blogs. So far I’ve written about guns (yikes), Pokemon Go, trucking invoice factoring companies, and cerebral palsy in relation to medical malpractice.

So on top of all the new things going on in my life, I’m also trying to eat healthier, work out more, and be more on top of housework (but these are things I’m always trying to do better at). Since my last post, I also turned 23 and have been trying to find time to volunteer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign (I signed up months ago and still haven’t gotten a chance to go).

Anyways, I think that’s everything. I’ll be writing more soon and trying to post some of my Epic Things articles (that I’m actually proud of) and Unwritten articles (if I ever find time to write them). Stay tuned for more! Love you all.

Dear Coach Craig: A Letter From A Grateful Gymnast

Dear Coach Craig,

Since I’ve been watching the Rio Olympics religiously this summer, I’ve been thinking a lot about my gymnastics career. It was a career that gymnasts would call unsuccessful, but that outsiders would call victorious. Sure, I won the Oregon state competition, but I was a 15-year-old level 7. From a gymnastics perspective, I wasn’t a great gymnast. I usually didn’t even really feel like a good gymnast. All I know is that without you, Craig Bayer, I wouldn’t have been a gymnast at all.

So I have something I need to say to you, something that I’ve been thinking for years, but didn’t know how to articulate: Thank you. Thank you for being an incredible coach, an intelligent educator, and a fantastic mentor. You coached me when I was “uncoachable.” While other coaches wrote me off as too old, too scared, and too boring, you saw potential in me.

You don’t know this, but I wrote one of my college essays about you. The prompt was “tell us about someone who has influenced you in a significant way.” Here is what I wrote:

“You aren’t trying! Stop thinking about it, just do it!” My coach yelled from the floor. A tear threatened to spill out of my eye as I bit my lip and swung down to the mat. I landed with a cloud of fine chalk rising from the ground around my feet. I turned to face him, to prove to him that I was strong, that I could do this, but as I met his eyes a disobedient drop ran down my cheek. “What did he mean, ‘stop thinking’?” I thought angrily; this was not a concept I understood. To me, thinking is everything; I am organized and analytical — not thinking is never an option. Gymnastics is not an intellectual sport. That isn’t to say that people involved in it are not smart, but the sport itself is not about strategy or reasoning; it is based on power, precision, fearlessness, strength, trust, and more than anything, the ability to suspend thinking — to just do it.

Throughout the years, I’ve had my fair share of coaches. Whether it was moving across the country or moving between levels, new coaches always came with new territory. As with all people, sometimes I got along with them, sometimes I didn’t. Most of my coaches didn’t generally value my need to study a skill before doing it or to scrutinize every step. Stuck in my own head, I tried without succeeding to do what came effortlessly to the other girls. While some of my coaches gave up on me, or assumed I “wasn’t trying”, there is one standout in my mind: Craig. While Craig may not have produced any Olympians, and though he was never given the head coach position by the gym owner, Craig was the best teacher. He understood that different people learn in different ways, and that success is measured by the individual and what they expect of themselves. More than anything, Craig believed in everyone.

Every day for a year, my friend would get up on the bar, confident and ready. As soon as she was ready to go, with Craig spotting her, she would freeze, overcome with fear; he would slowly let her to the ground, trying to convince her she could do it. 365 days and countless attempts later, she finally did the skill. Craig had the ability to push people to be their best without making them feel inferior, and everyone knew they could trust him. Though Craig brought me to win the state championship, I knew it wouldn’t have mattered if I had won, or gotten very last place — he would have been proud no matter what. When Craig left in the summer of 2009, to go on to bigger and better things, I didn’t know whether I wanted to keep doing gymnastics or not. But Craig had always taught me to keep going, so that’s what I did. Whenever other coaches yelled at me, or told me I wasn’t good enough, I knew that it didn’t matter — all that mattered was my ability to push through and not to lose hope. Most of all, Craig taught me that a good teacher is able to accept that people learn differently, and not to give up on them in spite of that.

A few days ago, on the night of the women’s gymnastics qualifying round in Rio, I posted a photo collage on Instagram of me at the 2009 Oregon State competition. Within minutes the photo had comments from a bunch of former teammates; they read: “OMG I miss coach Craig!!”; “Oh Craig!!”; “I was going to say I miss Craig. But looks like we’ve got that comment covered”; and “Craig…… What a guy.” From those responses, I know that I wasn’t the only one you had a profound impact on; you changed us all.

I don’t know where you are now, nor how to contact you, but I’m hoping that through the power of the internet, this will somehow make it to you.

To the coach who believed in everyone, called little girls “shrimpy,” and made bird calls at every meet, thank you. You are the reason I loved gymnastics and the reason I cherish those gym memories today.

— A Grateful Gymnast


Learning To Cope: 33 Ways We Find Comfort

Check out my newest article for Under The Labels!

Under The Labels

By: Ileana Paules-Bronet

When dealing with mental health problems, people find comfort in a variety of things. From eating specific foods to cuddling an old teddy bear to getting a hug from a certain person, we all get through our mental health issues in different ways. Below, people who struggle with their own mental health issues share what they find comfort in when they are struggling with their mental health.

  1. Hugging a pillow, stuffed animal, or other soft object.
  2. Yoga
  3. Holding ice in my hand
  4. I live near a river, it’s nothing particularly scenic but it’s usually pretty quiet. When I feel my depression take over and I feel numb, I lace up my running shoes and jog along the river when it’s dark. It makes me feel my breathing, feel my legs sting, feel the cold air on my face. It gets all the frustration out and I can…

View original post 366 more words

Anxiety Is Broader Than Just “Social Anxiety”

Hiding, Boy, Girl, Child, Young, Box, Hole, Torn, Eye

Think about the word anxiety – what do you picture? Someone afraid to talk to others, too shy to speak up in public? When many people hear “anxiety,” they translate that to mean “social anxiety.” While social anxiety is a very prevalent form of anxiety, anxiety itself is is much broader. As people have begun attempting to destigmatize mental health issues, it has become clear to me that many individuals mistake general anxiety for social anxiety. As someone who suffers from anxiety that is actually eased by social interaction, I wanted to explore the definitions of different types of anxiety to amplify awareness.

To read the rest of the article, click here!

20 Life Lessons You Only Learn In College

I’ve been missing college recently, which is what prompted me to submit this article to Unwritten.

Now that I’ve settled into post-grad life (I mean, kind of…), I came up with a list of things I actually learned in college during my time there. This list isn’t entirely complete, and probably never will be, but college was one hell of a learning experience. The lessons I learned in those four years will carry on with my for the rest of my life, and here are 20 of them…

Not Drunk Enough: 25 Thoughts You’ve Definitely Had At The Bar

One more repost from Unwritten!

It’s Friday and you and your girls are planning on having a casual night out: happy hour drinks, dinner, and maybe a quick stop in a bar before going home to spend time with your bae, Netflix. But before you know it, you’re four drinks in and your friend is dragging you (willingly, let’s be honest) to some club with a name like “Infinity” or “Secrets” or “Chandelier.”

An Open Letter To My Little Brother Before He Enters College


If I told my brother the same things I was told before going into college, people would probably think I was giving him strange advice.

The first pre-college “gift” I received was a rape whistle (it was from my little brother). While it was a practical gift, I guess, it was also weird – it essentially told me that the first thing I should know about college was that it was a dangerous place for me to be. For the record, I never once used that rape whistle (or the variety of other anti-rape products I received during my years in college). I didn’t even take it out of the package. I went to a small liberal arts college and I never really felt unsafe. While I’m not by any means claiming that my college was perfectly safe (as the many sexual assault victims at my school could tell you), I myself never feared for my safety.

Thinking about it now, I may have never even opened the rape whistle, but I also didn’t get rid of it. Why? Because it seemed like something I could at some point need. It’s still sitting in my living room in my apartment in New York City, untouched, in one of the drawers of my coffee table. But if I had given my brother a rape whistle last Christmas, as I considered doing, it would probably also remain in the package – but it would probably also sit in his desk at home, or the back of some closet – he wouldn’t bring it with him to college and always know exactly where it was, despite not using it. He would probably forget about it. And that would be fine.

When my best friend, a guy, started college, his dad sent him a box of condoms. Again, a practical gift, but the message my friend received at the start of his college career was that college would be the time to have sex. We essentially received the exact opposite messages – I learned that I should be vigilant about unwanted sexual advances and he learned that society expected him to have sex. More basically put, men should seek sex, while women should fear it.

So I want to change the message. My brother, almost eighteen years old and a high school senior, is getting ready to embark on the “best four years of his life” (I would definitely say that description of college is up for debate). But as a feminist, a college graduate, and most importantly his sister, I have some advice of my own for my little bro.

Hey Buddy,

I can’t wait for you to go to college (hopefully on the east coast *cough cough* so we can be closer together). You’re going to have so much fun, learn so much, make so many friends, and become even more yourself. I truly can’t wait to see the person you become throughout your college years. But before you go, I want to give you some advice:

  1. Be yourself. When I got to college, I wanted to reinvent myself – I thought I could make myself into someone who was completely different than the person I was in high school (aka cooler, friends with more “popular” people, invited to the best parties, etc.) – that didn’t happen, and I’m so glad it didn’t. Just be you; don’t worry too much about what everyone else thinks.
  2. Be someone people can count on. Stick up for what you believe in, stand up for your friends, and stay strong.
  3. All that peer pressure stuff. Don’t give in to peer pressure and don’t pressure anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. Whether it’s drinking, drugs, or anything sexual, don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with (and don’t make anyone else feel uncomfortable).
  4. Listen to your friends. If your friends tell you something is wrong, listen to them. Don’t discount them. Especially your female friends – if they talk to you about being catcalled, or someone making them uncomfortable, or anyone taking advantage of them – listen. Believe them. Be there for them.
  5. Don’t rape. Not that I believe you ever would, but for the number of times I was told how to not get raped, I think it’s fair that I tell you once how not to rape: If someone says no (or does not say yes) to your sexual advances, stop.
  6. Don’t let your friends rape or be raped. If you see a friend taking advantage of someone else or being taken advantage of by someone else, step in. Don’t be a bystander. Do something – it’s always better to have a friend be mad at you for a day for “cock-blocking” than to have someone be traumatized for life by a sexual assault.
  7. Be the feminist I know you are. Don’t shy away from the term “feminist” because of the negative stigma that is still associated with it. Think about all the strong women you know – me, Mom, your teachers, your camp coworkers – and remember that we are only this strong because of other women and men who aren’t afraid to call themselves feminists.

Love you always,

Your big sister