Homecoming is an annual tradition that involves the celebration of welcoming back former students or graduates otherwise known as alumni of an educational institution. There are usually many activities that are prepared such as sports and cultural programs, as opposed to only one. A parade is also often included and the town or city is witness to it as this activity is held in the streets. If by any chance you should be confused between a Homecoming and a prom, just remember that the former is held during the fall while the latter happens in spring. While Homecoming’s occur countrywide, those in the south are typically the more lavish and over the top Homecoming’s, as it is generally revered as a more significant event than it is in the Northern States.
This upcoming presidential election sparks a lot of important issues that pertain to American girls. Teens and young adults played a big part in electing President Obama in the past. He is someone that is relate-able to most, as a person of color who came from meager beginnings. This year marks his last term and most candidates on the horizon are lackluster at best. Many young women care about issues that relate not only to American women but to all worldwide.
Most of all, teens, and young women are concerned about equality in every sense of the word. There are key issues that concern the issue of equality, from schools to the workplace and in the greater sense of society. This is an issue that older generations seem to think has already been won. In fact, there is a long way to go.
Equality in Schools: Sex Education and Dress Codes
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 19 states across the US make students take a sex education course that is focused on correct anatomy and medically sound information. The remaining states decided actions would be necessary. Many local governments have stuck to abstinence-only sex education. In these states, which are mostly located in the South, there is a startling rise in teen pregnancy. Also, a rise occurred nationwide in the numbers of teens who have contracted completely treatable and avoidable sexually transmitted diseases. Continue reading
It does seem like a daunting task, and honestly terrifying. But there is a common thread somewhere right? You kind of know each other and it can’t be that hard to find a situation where you guys can talk. Yes, there is a great deal of fear in approaching someone, even if it isn’t the first time you’ve been at a party or a small group together. Although some things are worth waiting for, you can move things along. Get to know if this guy is a romantic daydream or actual long term relationship material in twelve moves.
1. How do you even know he’s going to make for good boyfriend material?
This question will make or break this whole process. You already know each other casually through group activities with friends, school or at work. Through your past interactions, you probably know the answer to this question already. If he’s a good friend it doesn’t always mean he’s going to be a good partner in terms of being your boyfriend. Ponder how you interact with him. Is he’s flirty with just you or is it just his personality? How does he treat his friends? Is he an organizer of events? Or is he more of a party crasher who will eat all the food? Either way, you know yourself best. You know who you click with and who annoys you. Don’t just pursue this guy just because he’s pretty or popular, but because you see some long term potential for a great friendship. That could lead to something more than a friend later.
2. How do you both interact in groups?
Is he a considerate friend? Plan an excursion with a small party of your mutual friends. Invite him along. Keep an eye on his behavior without being obvious. If you are usually shy, now is the time to break that habit. Just go for it. Take the initiative and plan something as a group. Be sure you are the one to invite your crush along, whether it is a concert festival, a weekend camping trip or just a visit to the mall. Be the one to call up everyone in your clique personally to invite them along. It might be off-putting if your crush found out you focused a little too much on him. If you live in a rural area, a night of camping and stargazing would be perfect. If you’re in the city, plan something really tourist-like that none of you has done before.
If you are in college you will most likely participate in some ice-breaker activities. Don't avoid these organized events on campus. Your crush just might be there. It will be fun and you’ll get to interact with everyone in a new way, even your crush.
3. Do you have shared interests?
Don’t change your own behavior to attract him. In the long term that’s a poor plan. Whatever relationship you build on that is going to fizzle. Having genuine interests that you both participate in is important. Since you know him already through mutual friends, ask him for help finding a movie trailer or a game online. If he's kind of an outdoor natural type, invite him to the farmer’s market to help you plan a meal for your roommate. If you have a mutual friend with a birthday coming up, ask him for advice on what to buy them. This is a good way to measure his response. Interacting like this is a fine way to figure out if he’s a good gift giver, if he’s thoughtful, even if he’s stingy.
4. Is he sociable? A loner?
Whether you are a pizza and Netflix type or a shop 'til you drop and get sushi type, make sure you are both like-minded in your habits. If he’s a frequent customer at your local big box electronics store or an addict at the Ralph Lauren flagship store, be sure you both have similar habits. If you do end up together, you don’t want it to end just because you bore each other to death over things you don’t share an interest in. It is true that opposites attract. Long term you want someone who not only tolerates your quirks but finds them endearing.
5. Do you share the same Values?
Sharing like minded values is an important aspect to any budding relationship. Think about issues that are important to you. Do you participate in on campus rallies? Or would you rather sign online petitions? Be sure that your potential mate is on board with the things that matter. If he’s ever wearing a “meninist” tee, just run and don’t look back. But if he’s expressed a positive interest in expanding the civil rights bill, that’s a keeper right there.
6. His Style.
This is a superficial aspect of a person, but it is something to consider. You don’t want to be introducing this person to your family if his idea of getting ready to meet your folks is just dumping water on his face and putting on a baseball cap. It’s pretty obvious what his personal style is since you probably see him almost every day at school or work. It doesn’t matter if you are a total preppy and he’s a bohemian. If he’s planning his look, it’s an indicator that he’s thoughtful about his appearance. That is something you want to monitor. It is a clue into his life away from the group, away from school or work where you know each other initially. It can be a good way to figure out if you are compatible.
7. His Work Ethic.
You may have had experience working with him in a group project already. If you and your other teammates had to do all the work, forget about him. If he’s lazy in the group, imagine what it’s going to be like if you have to plan a party for a mutual friend or a vacation together. You don’t want to be the one making all the decisions and doing all the planning. It’s exhausting and sooner or later you’ll break it off.
8. How Does He Treat Others?
You can measure the worth of someone by the way they treat another living being who cannot do anything for them. If he’s got a big soft spot when it comes to animals, he’s got a great heart. Perhaps suggest he meet you at the animal shelter to volunteer for the day. From feeding the animals to mopping the floor, this task will reveal to you who he really is. Some towns or schools open the public park to volunteers for a cleanup effort, invite a few friends to come and include him in your call list. If he loses his temper or grins and continues to do his assigned task, it’s pretty important to put people through their paces so you can see how they react.
9. Is He a Cheater?
Has he ever cheated on one of his past girlfriends? This is a tough one to figure out on your own. You probably want to avoid having a direct conversation about this with him. See if you can casually talk to one of your mutual friends about this. It is poor form to judge people with the old adage “once a cheater always a cheater” but past performance is a good indicator of future performance.
10. His Body Language
Once you’ve done a few hangouts outside of the group, gauge his attitude toward you. If it’s sketchy, he cancels plans, he’s stiff around you, understand that it might not be right. A crush can be crushed once you actually get some one-on-one time with each other. So if that’s the case, just stop calling him. If he was just nervous and really likes you, he’ll probably call to hang out again. If not, no worries. It wasn't meant to happen.
11. Ask Him Out!
If your solo casual hangouts were warm and easy, make the first move and ask him out on a real date. Make it a traditional date activity like dinner and a movie, so he knows you’re serious. Don’t just ask him what he’s doing after work the next day, make sure you are heard and understood.
12. The First Date
First dates are always going to be awkward. It’s just part of life. If you find yourself with him alone after all this time and you have conversations with ease, it’s pretty much a done deal. It’s just the cutest when a guy asks, “Want to be my girlfriend?”. But it’s even better when you know it’s right and you say it first. Be confident and know that if he says no, it’s no big deal. You still get to be friends and that’s pretty sweet.
Some Key Things to Consider
It seems like the time when you find someone of interest is when you aren’t looking for them. Focus on the things that make you happy. People seem to be drawn to other people who are enjoying life doing their own thing.
Be comfortable in your own skin before you pursue a relationship with anyone. This is a big hurdle to overcome. Whether it’s the very first attempt at a boyfriend or you’re just getting out of a long-term relationship, think about why you are having feelings for someone new.
A rebound relationship is never a good idea. You end up hurting yourself as well as someone else. It is best to take the time to reflect by yourself and understand what you need right now. Try not to anticipate and live life for the person you are now, not what you may or may not become.
When you get ready to go out in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and set an intention. “Today I will be kind” is a perfect mantra to begin with. What you put out in the world will come back to you.
Just realizing you have a new crush can be stressful. Don’t feel like you have to avoid him. If you’re getting butterflies, it’s a sign. When you get to know him better, it will be a relief. Even if you both go out on a few dates and figure out it’s not right, you’ll have a great friend in him. It’s actually very beneficial to have a friend of the opposite sex. You can eventually get comfortable enough to ask for advice in your other dating adventures.
Build your confidence. This is a vague instruction. Set small goals for yourself. If you are really shy this is a great exercise in socializing. Be specific when you compliment someone you don’t know. “I love that scarf, florals are my fave” would be a great start. If you just want to dive in and overcome the fear of public speaking, volunteer at your local library to read to kids. They are really forgiving and you’ve got a ready-made script. Many schools offer public speaking classes, take one. Everyone was new at this once, so it’s no big deal if you trip over your words. You are all there to learn after all.
Getting to know someone as more than a friend is a part of life that will repeat itself over the course of your existence. If you make mistakes, know that it’s okay. We all trip on the path through life but know that it’s not the end of the world if things don’t pan out in your favor.
Around this time of year, I begin to get nostalgic. I think about all the people going to college, leaving home for the first time, getting to know all kinds of people and new experiences, it’s sensory overload. You can become easily overwhelmed. It’s all part of life.
Some will leave you a better person, and you will end up learning things about yourself that you never knew before. Others will test your patience, which is pretty important. Your limits will be defined during this time of your life. It is best to think of these individuals as ‘lessons’ instead of ‘jerks’.
Many people you meet will bring out the best in you. They will bring you out of your shell and get you thinking about possibilities you never thought of before. You might even meet your future business partner. In any case, it is going to be a time when you discover more about yourself than ever before.
Some people will be with you for life, others will fall away rather quickly. In the grand scheme of things, it may not be so important. As you arrive at your first class up until you get to your first off-campus apartment there are some people you’re likely to encounter. Continue reading
The annual homecoming game brings out the best of us in our homecoming traditions. When I was a student at Huntington High School on Long Island, we used to paint this big boulder at the corner of the back entrance of the parking lot to our school. Not just at homecoming, we would paint it in different themes throughout the school year and for special events, memorials and other such things. It’s one of those traditions that technically we were all vandalizing school property, but officials just looked the other way for the sake of tradition. We had some very talented artists so it was a really great way to get attention from the community.
All over the US students have very creative homecoming traditions to celebrate the occasion. Some traditions are associated with homecoming dances where women adorn themselves in gorgeous homecoming dresses and others are directly related to the game. Many schools and towns host a homecoming parade with floats made by students and teams. Other traditions include pranking the visiting team. Here is the countdown of the top ten truly unique, cute and quirky traditions across America.
10. Student Participation
Those students who aren’t athletes or band members also get in on the school spirit. Long standing rituals in high schools and universities encourage everyone to join in. Like the University of Oregon, located in the city of Eugene. They host an annual tug-of-war game before the homecoming game. This is a well-established tradition, going as far back as 1967. This playful game has taken hold in other states, going beyond the homecoming season. Such events have inspired the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce to hold an official event during Summerfest in Wisconsin.
The University of Wisconsin at Platteville is the site of a large-scale construction project. First created by mining students in the 1930s, a large letter “M” was created on the slope of a large hill just east of the city of Platteville. The project is simply known as “The Big M”, which occupies a large area of 214 x 241 feet on the south slope. Students moved 400 tons of whitewashed stone to make this. The university has a past practice in mining engineering, hence the “M” stands for mining. Before the homecoming game and the dance, students use flares to illuminate the Big M, to pay homage to their rich history.
9. Costume Parties
Some homecoming games fall on a date that is close to Halloween, on October 31. Schools take this opportunity to host a Costume Ball as a part of the festivities of homecoming week. At some schools, this dress up dance is exclusive to a certain group, like the football team or marching band members.
This practice is going strong after all these years at C.E. Jordan High. Located in Durham, North Carolina, C.E. Jordan High School has been hosting this dance since the 1980s. The band members wear scary costumes during their performance at the halftime show. These kind of rituals help break the monotonous routine that band members happen to be more prone to since they have a strict practice schedule. Continue reading
For those girls getting ready to take the giant leap off to college in the Fall, you have a million things running through your minds. From picking out your classes and trying to get to know your new roommate, to shopping and attempting to pack the 18 years worth of stuff you have accumulated in a few boxes, your head is spinning. Now is the time to put everything aside and really make sure you have the most important, absolutely cannot live without, items to take with you in order to help make your dorm room a livable space. It is better to be prepared so you can arrive in your new environment as stress free as possible! We did some searching and thought these were the top college dorm room must haves for any new girl on campus!
1. Extra Long Sheets and Bed Raisers
There is nothing worse than seeing the bed you will be sleeping in for the next year and realizing the sheets you bought were for a regular twin size bed. Be sure to get extra long (soft) sheets and probably a mattress pad if you want to sleep well. Bed raisers are a space and life saver when it comes to dorm rooms. Some raisers now come with other functionality like power and USB outlets included in one of the raisers! Brilliant!
2. Flip Flops and Caddy for the Shower
Yes, sharing a bathroom with several people can be a horrifying thought at first, especially if you were privileged enough to never have to. However, you can avoid feeling any discomfort by buying a pair of non-slip flip-flops to shower in, and a cute shower caddy to conveniently carry all of your rub-a-dub goodies so nothing gets lost or goes MIA. Don't make the mistake of leaving your expensive products in the communal bathroom!
3. Over the Door Vanity with Mirror and Extra Hooks
We promise, this is one dorm room essential you may not have thought of, but will save you so much hassle! You will have a place to do your makeup, organize beauty supplies, hang jewelry, scarves, keys, or whatever you would like! The over-the-door feature will keep everything securely in place, while saving space and allowing your desk to be clutter free and used for what it's supposed to...studying!
4. Mini Fridge and Personal Utensils
Having a miniature fridge and eating utensils in your dorm room is a necessity! Even though you may be eating at the dining hall when you can, it is important to keep healthy snacks on hand at all times. Having a fridge will save you money because you can go to the local market and buy bottled water, fruit, yogurt, or any of your favorites and keep them in your room instead of running to a vending machine or local pizza place whenever you get hungry. The dining hall may not be open all the time so keep this dorm room must have on your list, especially if you play sports or stick to a particular diet.
5. Organizational Dry Erase Board
With so much going on in your new college lifestyle, it can be hard to keep track of exams, papers, socials, and everyday stuff. This is why we suggest getting some type of organizational board to hang on your dorm room wall to keep track of your busy schedule. Something with a dry erase board is perfect because you can easily keep track of daily tasks like tests or meetings, as well as weekly things like parties, laundry, shopping lists etc. Having one of these is having your schedule mapped out right in front of you, so no task will be missed.
Now that you have the essentials for your dorm room, you can focus on the fun part of Fall, like shopping for your first homecoming dress for your new school! With so many parties and socials ahead, you will be busier then you can ever imagine, but you will be happy you have these dorm room essentials in your arsenal to keep you organized and stress free!