Surviving College: Game Of Thrones Edition

GameOfThronesCollege is one of those crazy times that not everyone chooses to go through. If you’ve decided to make the next step in furthering your education, be prepared. College is nothing like high school. Well, maybe the people don’t always change but with thousands of students on campus and numerous classroom buildings, certain people are always easy to avoid. Still, college is an entirely different world, and the best advice that anyone can prepare you with are the words of warning and vigilance from House Stark, one of the greatest, most noble houses of Westeros. Winter is Coming.

  1. Don’t worry about trying to fit in. Just be yourself and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

TyrionLannister

High school might have been the time for trying to fit in with this group or that clique, but you’re in college now. You don’t need to be someone you’re not in order to fit in. College is a time to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life and how you want to live it. Don’t worry about other people and what they think. Their opinions don’t matter. If someone doesn’t like you, move on. There are plenty of other people for you to meet.

  1. Don’t become an alcoholic every weekend.

Tyrion Drinking

It’s easy to get caught up in the partying and drinking on weekends, especially if you live on campus. Everyone always seems to be going out and having a good time, and you don’t want to be left out. The best advice anyone can give you: know your limits and get your work done. Then you can have your fun.

  1. You need to be independent now.

Ygritte

Don’t rely on anyone else to save you. You’re in college now, and you need to learn how to be independent. Mom and Dad won’t be around forever to help you get out of sticky situations; no one can save you from the mistakes you make. And ladies, you don’t need a “knight in shining armor” to rescue you from a tower. You can rescue yourself.

  1. It’s okay to cry.

SansaCryying

College is tough, like really, really tough. You’re going to have to work for your grades no matter what major you choose to pursue, and it’s okay if you don’t get the perfect grades you once got in high school. And after pulling an all-nighter for a test you fail, it’s okay if you want to curl up in a ball and hibernate under all your blankets for a bit.

  1. But you can’t let every failure be a discouragement.

Daenerys

Allow yourself those few moments of self-pity but get back up and do what needs to be done no matter how much time or work it might take.

  1. You won’t always agree with your teacher’s opinion.

Balish

But seriously, don’t push it. Don’t argue. Just go with it. Your grade will be so much better for it.

  1. You might want to re-think going out in the middle of the week.

RobStark

The next morning rolls around and you’re regretting that last martini and vaguely remembering that make out session with the hot guy whose name you forgot to catch. Roll up to class rocking a messy hair bun and sweats. Test? Oh shoot. That was today? Yeah, you’re feeling your stomach drop into your butt right about now. Worst feeling in the world. Don’t let that happen to you.

  1. You’re still going to have to deal with idiots.

Joffery

Sometimes people don’t get any smarter once they graduate high school, or even college for that matter. Just ignore them. Don’t argue and get on their level. It’s not worth your time or energy.

  1. It’s okay to fall in love, just don’t let it take over your life.

Love

You may or may not fall in love during your college years, but enjoy it when you have it. Just don’t let it be all-consuming and have it take over your life to the point of stupid decisions and pushing important people away. Take it from Jamie’s mistakes– your love is not worth pushing a little boy out of a window.

  1. Get your sleep whenever and wherever you can– just not in class.

TyrionSleeping

You might be pulling a handful of all-nighters more than once a week, especially during finals. So make sure you at least get a couple hours of sleep. You don’t want to be finding your eyes closing in the middle of that test nor on one of the couches in the student union building. #Awkward

  1. Revel in your successes.

DaenerysFire

When you ace that test you’ve been studying for all week, you better be proud of yourself. Go out and buy yourself an ice cream or give yourself an all-day binge-watching Netflix day. Celebrate. The whole reason you’re in college is to make grades and have a good time.

  1. Don’t forget about your family.

Hugs

If you’re a long way from home or even right down the street, don’t forget to stay close with your family no matter how busy you might be. They’ll always be there for you no matter what you’re going through.

College is a crazy and wild time. You’re going to meet so many new people that you won’t know what to do with yourself. It feels like just yesterday that I was spending my summer anxiously waiting for my first year of college to start. Now I’m beginning my junior year. My time in college has gone by so fast that I can hardly keep up. Make sure you enjoy your time, don’t stress out too much over grades, and know your priorites. These are the last days of our lives before going out into the real world. Are you ready?

ImReady

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The Odyssey Online

John McNeese Park“The Odyssey is flipping local news upside down with a new approach that combines the power of locally developed content, national reach and a gamified content creation process. By capturing real conversations in local communities, we can impact conversations locally, nationally and around the globe.”

I am now officially the Editor in Chief for The Odyssey Online at McNeese State University. I am so excited to be a part of this new venture coming to my campus! I have an incredible staff of twelve other students, and I also write for this national social media website as well! If you would like to checkout and read some of my articles, I will continue to post links on my blog here.

Check out my stories and please share them on all sorts of social media! Thanks for keeping up with my blog!

Click on the link below to check out my very first article, introducing The Odyssey to McNeese campus along with introducing all of my amazing writers on staff!

The MSU Cowboys Take Over The Odyssey

Moving Out 

  

Moving out of a college dorm is hard. Not going to lie. It’s not just the amount of packing and cleaning you have to do. It’s hard because you’re having to pick up a whole year of your life and say goodbye. 

Goodbye to the squeaky bed that creaked every time you shifted your weight. Goodbye to the pull-apart couch that slid across the floor every time you sat down. Goodbye to the shower that you stained with paint from that paint party. Goodbye to living in such a confined space, yet knowing how to navigate it perfectly. Goodbye to that sketch elevator that makes weird noises and drops a little too hard on the first floor. Goodbye to having to wait and pounce the minute a washer opens up. 

Your dorm room has been your home for 10 months. You’ve cried in it when that boy broke your heart, been ecstatic in it when you passed the test and class you thought you’d fail, been hungover in when you drink just a little too much the night before. It’s been your place. To relax. To be bored. To have fun. 

Once it’s all done though, everything packed away and a barren, echoing room is all that’s left. After your roommate has gone and you’re standing in this empty shell of a room. All your memories packed away in the small U-Haul trailer. The school year is over, but the experiences have just begun. 

It’s only my second year in college, and my time here has flown by. Just yesterday I was watching Disney’s The Black Cauldron with the boy I kind of liked. We kissed over a poker game in my dorm room, the TV blaring the movie’s end credits. Just yesterday I was setting up my mini Christmas tree, trying to bring a little holiday spirit to my room but wind up dropping $90 I didn’t have to spend. Just yesterday I was stressing about finishing a paper for my English class, over-exhausted and crying because I didn’t think I was going to finish it. Just yesterday I moved in, thrilled to be unpacked and ready for a new school year. 

It was all just yesterday. 

Bottoms Up Monopoly!

IMG_0200Over the Winter Break, I decided to get  crafty with a little help from Pinterest. While looking up ideas on how to paint my boyfriend’s fraternity cooler for his formal in a few months, I came across the top of a cooler painted to look like a drinking monopoly game. This started to get me thinking. What if I took an old monopoly board and converted it into my own drinking game version of the game?

Thus, Bottoms Up Monopoly was born!

I’m attaching the links to the PDF files I created for the Bottoms Up board game.I also have a list of suggested materials. For the monopoly board, you don’t have to go purchase or find an old game board. (Depending on the size of the board of whichever Monopoly version you have, the tile pieces I created may be a tad off.) Instead you could use cardboard or a poster board, just as long as it’s something with a good enough surface to use as a game board.

Materials:
GLUE
SCISSORS
MONOPOLY BOARD GAME
CONTACT PAPER
PRINTER/CARDSTOCK
DICE (If you don’t actually purchase a monopoly board game)
BOTTLECAPS

For the token pieces; you can always use something else for the tokens. I thought it would also be cute to use old Barbie drinking glasses/bottles or something)

Board Tiles:

The following is the shareable PDF link for the board tiles I made. You could always create your own and change them. I made mine on Microsoft word. I measured the individual tile spaces on the board I was using and created the tiles to be the same size. They came out just a tad smaller than I had planned, but they still worked out perfectly. The prices on the tiles are ones taken directly from the original Monopoly game.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8B001iG01xHLVlGWG1iNFEzc00/view?usp=sharing

Property Cards:

I used all the same prices and rents on the Bottoms Up property cards as the original Monopoly game. I tried using the most expensive alcohols for the typically most expensive properties.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8B001iG01xHeXBDRmxGMXpCVTA/view?usp=sharing

Chance/Community Chest Cards:

So instead of making the typical “Chance” and “Community Chest” cards, I recreated my own version. The “Chance” cards have been changed to “Cheers” cards and the “Community Chest” cards to “Last Call.” These cards have different fun positive and negative possibilities. Some of them include having to pay money to the center pot (which you can win by landing on the “Chug Your Drink” in 15 seconds or less space), having to go back a few spaces, receiving money, finishing your drink, taking shots, playing categories, a round of Never Have I Ever, et cetera.

Cheers Cards: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8B001iG01xHc0R1OUM5elhFajA/view?usp=sharing

Last Call Cards: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8B001iG01xHUXp6SGVIYVd6OVU/view?usp=sharing

Making the Board

Once you’ve printed out everything, preferably on card stock, you should use contact paper to laminate all the cardIMG_0195s before you cut them out. (This is so it’ll help protect them in game play.) The best thing to do is actually use an original monopoly game board as a reference when you begin placing all of your tiles down. Match up to colors with the correct order of tiles.

In my version of the monopoly game, there are no “Electric Company” or “Water Works” tile. Instead I have “Take a Shot” tiles. Whenever a person lands on this space, they must take a shot. The other players decide what will be in the shot.

Once you have everything glued down and all the places in order, cover your board with a layer of contact paper to keep the paper from going up or ripping or getting damaged during game play.

I bought crafting bottle caps and am using those as the token pieces. I was planning on using bottle caps from different beers and such but I wound up with multiples of the same beers. Plus, the crafting bottle caps are not as sharp around the edges, so they won’t wear on the board too much.

Bottoms Up Monopoly pretty much plays as any normal monopoly game, but it’s always open and fun for players to add their own drinking rules to the mix. I really enjoyed crafting this game and had so much fun! Now I’m ready to get some friends together over the weekend and play!

Drunk Jenga

DrunkJenga Drunk Jenga Version 2.0It’s always fun to spice up game nights with a little drinking after a long week, and a typical game that my friends and I usually play is a little card game called Captain D*ckHead. This is a fun game, but it’s nice to raise the stakes every now and again. Therefore, I created this wonderful, home-made rendition of Jenga: The Drunk Edition. Check it out, read all the rules, and make your own version! I bought the tiles from Target in the $1-$3 section at the front of the store (The tiles in the first image). Only $3 and about an hours worth of time and voila! I have a fun, new game to play with friends. Enjoy! **UPDATE:** Drunk Jenga 2.0 (the second image, furthest to the right) is made with actual Jenga tiles. It cost about $12 from Walmart. I was able to write the rules for each one on the back of the tiles. Rules

  • There are 48 tiles.
  • Players must only use one hand to pull a tile from the tower. Likewise if they “fix” the tower. Each time a player is caught using two hands, they must take 2 drinks.
  • Absolutely no going pee during the game. If a player forgets or they can’t hold it, they must chug an entire drink when they return, or they are OUT until a new game is started.
  • Game is over when a player causes the tower to fall over, and they must chug an entire drink and take a shot for each player in the game, excluding themselves for doing so.
  • If a player bumps the table causing the tower to fall, even if it’s not their turn, they must chug an entire drink and take a shot for each player in the game, excluding themselves.

Actions: ANTI-SOCIAL- You’re not allowed to talk until your next turn

BABY GOT BACK- Give a drink to the player with the nicest butt.

BACK 2 BACK- Two players, one that drew the tile and another player of anyone’s choice, stands back to back for three questions. They have to be questions that the person can answer with either themselves or the player they are standing against. (i.e. Who enjoys sex more? Who gets more dates?) Players can either point to the other player or raise their hand. If they both raise their hand or both point, they drink one. If one raises his or her hand and the other points, then everyone else drinks.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES- Everyone opposite of the gender of the block puller must take a drink

BEER LIST – Someone keeps time, and you have 30 seconds to name as many different kinds of beers as you can. However many you name, you give out that many drinks to any of the players. (These are split up and given to players of your choice)

BEER WENCH- This person must fetch new drinks and shots for everyone for the rest of the game

BIRTHDAY CAKE- The person with the closest birthday takes a drink. BOTTOMS UP- Everyone, except the person who pulled the tile, finishes their drink

CONFESSION- Confess something about yourself or something you know about another player that either they don’t know you know about or that no one else knows about

CRPYT KEEPER: The oldest person in your group drinks.

DATE- See PARTNERS.

DO OVER- Put this piece back where you got it and pull a different one.

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE- Tilt your head back and take a shot. Down the rabbit hole it goes!

DRINKING SONG- Everyone raises your glasses and you begin the drinking chant/song. Hope you have one in your back pocket!

FLIP-CUP- Play flip-cup. Losing team takes 3 shots each.

FRESH MEAT- The players who have ___insert something here_____ the most recent drink.

GAME OVER- You’re out of the game. Finish your drink.

GENTS/DICKS- All the gentlemen playing take a drink.

GIVE #- Give out that many shots to any players of your choosing. You can’t choose yourself. You can give all # to a single player or split them up.

GROUP SELFIE- Take a group selfie. Self-explanatory.

HEAVEN- Don’t show anyone this tile. Throw your hands up in the air towards heaven. Everyone must follow suit. The last person to do it takes a drink.

JESTER- You’re at the mercy of the person to your right. Do what they say for one round or drink 4.

JINX- The players to your left and right drink 4.

LADIES/WHORES- All the ladies playing take a drink.

LITTLE GREEN MAN- Every time you take a drink, first remove the little green man. Don’t forget to put him back on your drink. If you forget, repeat the process!

LOVE- Give a shot to the person you love the most.

MEXICAN STANDOFF- Pick your opponent. Drink X. Your opponent must drink X. Drink X + 1. Your opponent does the same. Drink X + 2… etc. The first person who decides to quit must take a shot.

MYSTERY SHOT- Everyone else in the game creates a mystery shot for you to drink. Best not to think about it and just throw it back.

MUSTACHE- If you don’t have a mustache, play the rest of the round (or game, depending on how you want to play) with your left index finger across your upper lip.

NAME GENIE- Give all players a new name. All players must use the new names, or drink 1 every time they fail.

NEVER HAVE I EVER- Each player puts up three fingers. Drawer of the tile goes first with “Never Have I Ever…” If you’ve done it, then put a finger down. Move clockwise. First person with all three fingers down takes a drink.

NEW RULE – Make any rule that all players, including you, must follow for the remainder of the game. Every time a player is caught breaking the rule, they must take 1 drink. Every time a New Rule block is drawn, the old rule is cancelled.

NO GUTS NO GLORY- You are no longer allowed to pull blocks from the center of any row.

NOSE GOES- Do not read this aloud: The last player to touch their finger to their nose must drink 2.

OUTCAST- You are no longer allowed to sit among the group. You can only return to pull a tile.

PARTNERS/DATE- Pick a partner. Whenever they drink, you drink and vice versa

PROTECTION- You are exempt for the next round from having to take a drink under any circumstance.

QUITTER- The next player finishes their drink and is out of the game

RAINBOW WARRIOR- Pick a color.  Everyone must drink 1 for every article of clothing they have on that contains that color

RIPPLE- Drink X.  People to your left and right must drink X-1, then X-2, and so on, to 0.

ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS- Everybody plays rock, paper, scissors. Each time someone is defeated they’re out of the next round. Continue multiple rounds until only one winner. Everyone else drinks.

SOBRIETY TEST- Time for you to take a sobriety test (ABCs backwards, walk in a straight line, whatever everyone else decides for you). Fail and take a shot. Succeed and give everyone else a drink.

SOUTHPAW- You can only pull tiles with the opposite hand you normally use. (Your non-dominant hand.)

SPELLING BEE- Pick a word ( one more with more than 5 letters!). Say the word and the first letter. The person to your right says the first and second letter. So it goes around the table until someone messes up or the word is spelled. First person to mess up takes a drink.

STRIKE- Strike three, and you’re out! No, not really. Just take three drinks and skip your next turn.

TAKE #- You have to take that many shots on your own. Don’t throw up.

THUMB MASTER – You are thumb master. At any time during the remainder of the game, you can put your thumb on the table without warning any of the other players, and the last player to put their thumb on the table must take 1 drink.

TITANTIC!- The ship is going down, so finish your drink.

TOAST- Make a toast to something; everyone drinks

TRIBAL COUNCIL- It’s time to have a council meeting and vote someone to take a shot.

TRUTH OR DARE- Everyone in the circle gets a turn, starting with the player who pulled the block. Truth automatically takes a drink. Accept and complete a dare, and you give out a drink to anyone of your choice.

TRY AGAIN- Replace the block you just pulled back into the hole you had pulled it from. Pull another block.

TWO TRUTHS & A LIE- State three facts about yourself: two truths and one lie. Everyone only gets one guess on which one is a lie. If you’re correctly called out on your lie, drink. If you are not, everyone else drinks

WHAT A GEM- Give a drink to the cutest player at the table.

WHOS THE BOSS- You are! You get to decide who drinks and when!

Holiday Reading

The holidays are the perfect time for some much needed R&R after a busy semester of papers upon research papers and work on top of even more work. I just got home from the dorm life and am ready to live it up for the next four and a half weeks. ‘Living it up’ as in catching upon on Grey’s Anatomy on the DVR, watching that last episode of The Walking Dead that Instagram spoiled for me, playing some Xbox, working on writing, and one of my favorite pastimes I am never able to enjoy during the school semesters: reading.

I never have time to actually sit down and read amidst all of the papers and assigned readings I have as an English Major with a creative writing concentration. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely enjoy reading works I’ve never read before and expanding my genre horizons. (Even though I’m not the biggest fan of the old historical documents of American authors. Yeah, our history is interesting and has made us into who we are today, but really, some authors are just too long-winded when they could have just gotten their point across and made an argument in the first few pages.) But I also really enjoy a good book that I saw on the shelf at the local bookstore or heard about online or through friends. There’s something completely different about choosing what you want to read and sitting down to read it versus a work that’s assigned to you and that you have to writer critical response papers on. Over the semester, my bookshelf fills with books I had to get but hadn’t had the chance to read yet. So the first thing I do when I make the drive home and change into comfy sweats, fuzzy socks, and a t-shirt is climb in bed and curl up with my puppy and the first book I’ve been dying to read.

Now finding the perfect book is complicated, but when I finally hit the jackpot, I can’t put a good book down. My biggest problem is getting so addicted to a book, the plot and the style of writing, that I literally cannot stop reading it until I’ve turned that last page and read that last line. Needless to say, I spend many sleepless nights huddled under my covers with my bed lamp on and my nose in a book. And then once that cover is shut, I’m left semi-empty, unsure of where to start next on my quest for a new and intriguing tale to suck me in.

For those who get stuck on deciding what to read, I’m creating a list of some of my favorite books in a variety of genres: stories that are different, that sucked me in, that moved me, that opened my mind to new ideas. Now I know not everyone has the same tastes as I do, but checking out any of these amazing books are definitely worth the shot, especially since the holidays mean we have so much free time. So why not try something semi-productive. Opening your mind to a whole new world. You never know what the right book might inspire you to do. My challenge for you is to pick one of these books and read it, and if you want, shoot me a message or leave a comment on what you think.


  1. The Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino
  2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  3. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  4. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  5. Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson
  6. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
  7. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  8. How It Ends by Laura Wiess
  9. Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan
  10. Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo
  11. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  12. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  13. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  14. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
  15. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn
  16. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  17. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  18. The Complete Fiction of H.P Lovecraft
  19. Run with the Hunted by Charles Bukowski
  20. The Complete Work of Elizabeth Bishop

Lions Don’t Loose Sleep Over the Opinions of Sheep

I don’t quite know who I am yet with so many people trying to define me. People are always trying to whisper and talk about who I am when I’m not around to hear what they have to say. It is cowardly to talk behind a person’s back, and no matter how many times the gossip-tellers make people swear not to tell anyone, it will always get back to the one being talked about.

And something most people haven’t quite grasped yet is that there is a difference between talking about someone and worrying about someone. It’s understandable if someone knows a secret that could possibly harm someone else physically or emotionally and needs to confide in someone that can be trusted to help in the situation. We’re human and no matter how old we are we will never be able to take the weight of the world alone on our shoulders.

What seems to happen, though, is that when we confide in someone that we believe can help and that we believe we can trust they don’t always live up to our expectations. People talk no matter where you go. It’s a conversation starter for some people. “Did you hear about what so-and-so told me about so-and-so?” Most people don’t value and respect the relationship of a confider and a confide-e anymore. So it’s difficult to figure out who can be trusted with the secrets that are eating away at you on the inside. How do you know if the person you’re confiding in is going to keep this between the two of you? You don’t. And it takes a while to learn this.

I’m a second year college student, and I’m still learning that I can’t always trust the people that I surround myself with. A simple solution could be just not to hang around these people, but that’s impossible when you share an organization with them or when you live in the same building or when you have the same classes. It’s difficult trying to decide who is trustworthy and who are the people that you can have fun with but not connect with on an emotionally deeper level.

Over the summer, I had a close friend. She would call me almost every night and talk to me. She would tell me all of the gossip going on back up at school while I was at home and she’d tell me all about her problems and worries. As the weeks passed, I began noticing a trend. She wouldn’t ask about me; if I tried bringing up something relating to myself, she would almost instantly shut the conversation down to talk about something in her life. She would spend hours complaining about people who had once been close friends, revealing to me all of their secrets that they had confided to her. When I met a boy whom I began to like, her first words “He’s ugly.” When she met a close friend of mine for the first time all she had to say about her was “She smells weird.” Now having a close relationship with someone who knocks down anything or anyone you like is very difficult to maintain. So at the beginning of the new semester, I chose to distance myself. I couldn’t be around someone who only ever injected negativity into my life. I would still be her friend, but I didn’t want to hang around her constantly. She grew angry because of this, and instead confronting me about why I wasn’t hanging out with her every day anymore, she went to other people. She began spreading lies, trying to make herself look like a victim. I found out that this wasn’t the first time she had done this. She continued to tell people false things about me. Her ultimate goal was to make people hate me. So she spread lies.

This was not a true friend, nor was she ever. Not everyone will like me. I know that. But what bothers me is that girls think spreading lies about others will make themselves feel better, like she did. She could have just talked to me, and I could have talked to her. I know that I tried explaining to her how I felt, but she would never truly listen to what I had to say. And when she believed things had turned bad she became vicious just like she had done to the others before.

I pity her. I really do. Because she is lacking that much self-esteem that she has to try to trash other people’s reputations in order to feel better about her own. She was trying to get to me, make me upset, and I admit that I was at first. I cried when I found out she was spreading lies and making others think of me in that negative way. Then I realized it doesn’t matter. I learned a lesson. I trusted the wrong person, and now I have to be strong and show people that I’m not the girl she’s attempting to make me out to be. I have to just hold on and be confident in myself. Because, though I’m still trying to figure out who I am, I do know my values and loyalties and those aren’t ever going to change.

I know that I am the kind of person who will always tell the truth when it’s a situation that matters. I’m not going to sit here and preach that I’m some saint who has never lied before. Of course, I’ve told probably over one hundred lies in my lifetime. Lies to protect me when I’m scared; lies to get out of situations I really don’t want to be in. But I know how to tell the truth to someone’s face. I know when the truth is important, and I would never tell a lie in order to hurt someone.

I know that I am the kind of person who respects people and the things they do. I may not agree with everyone’s choices, but I’m understanding of them. I’ve made choices in my life that I’m not happy about, and I had to live with them and deal with them on my own. Everyone has their own burdens, and we’re all going to slip up at times. If it’s a slip up that is truly worrisome, I would want someone to worry enough about me to approach me about it or confide in someone that would talk to me.

I know that I am the kind of person who will not gossip just because I’m bored with my own life. Everyone has his or her own business. I know I have my own business going on. Try to imagine that every time you air someone else’s dirty laundry that you’re also airing your own at the same time. And know if you absolutely have to tell someone, confide in a family member. It’s what I do. They don’t even know these people that I vent about, but they listen, give advice, and it makes me feel better. It keeps me from spreading things that are hurtful to others.

I know that I am the kind of person who would support anyone that needed help. I’m not going to just abandon someone in a time of need. I may not always have the best advice, it may even be cliché at times, but I’ll be there. I’ll volunteer my time when no one else wants to, and I won’t leave anyone or anything until I’m sure that there is nothing left to be done.

I know that I am the kind of person who forgives. It may be challenging but it’s not always impossible. The only stipulation is that I will never forget what happened.

People will always try to tell me who I am. They will always try to tell others the kind of person I am, but the thing everyone needs to realize is that we should never listen to second-hand information because our sources aren’t always that reliable. People unconsciously twist information in their heads: they forget important details and gloss over the positive because we are a society that focuses on negativity.

If there’s anything to take away from all of this, it’s this: Don’t let other people define you or your opinion on anyone else. Be wary of who you’re trusting and the information you’re getting. And if you find out anyone is talking negatively about you, either confront them about it or recognize that they’re doing it out of spite or jealously or boredom. They aren’t worth your time, and don’t ever let them affect the things you do.

“Lions don’t loose sleep over the opinions of sheep.”