Category Archives: thoughts

A Letter to the College Seniors

Dear Senior,

CONGRATULATIONS! You have finished your last fall semester of your college career. Never again will you be able to experience Fall 2017 and will only be able to recollect with distant memories and kept photographs. So much happens in a semester, a ticking clock ready to RING or that may be your alarm waking you up for your final. So open your eyes and start your day!

These past 4 years you have gone through breakups, heartaches, many anxiety attacks, accomplishments, had many opportunities, and coped with a loss of friends and years. You have made your university, a home, a place where you can feel safe and be YOU. I hope that you have that and if you don’t, know that the people that you may have interacted with might have given you an impact you might have not even realized it. People know that you are a senior because of the bags under your eyes and your resistance to use the cool people vernacular. You have been coined the term mom of your group, grandfather or grandmother because of your sleeping schedules. All nighters are no longer something that you can sustain and even if you try, you end up passing out by 3 a.m.

You have realized how precious time can be and how lucky you are to be here. You have seen students come and go. Passing by thousands ever to wonder if they are feeling how you are feeling lost, scared, and alone. You wave at the person who you always see, but have never stopped and asked for their name.

With each challenge, you have overcome so much and have become even stronger. You didn’t allow that D on your paper to discourage you or allow people bring you down. You made impactful connections and realized who was a friend and who was an acquaintance. You were your most vulnerable self as a first-year/freshman hoping that a group would notice you and invite you to eat. Instead of going back to your residence hall with your lunch telling yourself “it’s going to be okay.” You called your mom sobbing that you miss your family and you want to go home. Never realizing that this was your home and all you needed was time. Time to figure out who you are. Time to adapt. Time to learn.

You grew as a person. Became the best version you could possibly be. Your confidence grew with every passing semester flabbergasted by the challenges you overcame. You felt proud of what you have accomplished. You realized that dreams could become a reality and created a focus of what you wanted.

Now that your time is up or at least soon to be, look back at the memories you have created. Talk to that person you always see in passing. Print the photos stored in your photo gallery and hang them up. Hang post it notes about wisdom can be quotes from your mom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and even quotes you have said. If you aren’t a wisdom kind of quote hanging person hang anything that will make you smile and energize you for the day. Tell the people that you love that you love them. Sometimes they need to hear that, especially your parents. Talk to your professors about your aspirations and learn about their history. Trust me, they have gone through similar things maybe even more than us since they have a PhD. Smile and count your blessings because there are some students who didn’t make it for various reasons.

The ALARM has RUNG time to get up tell yourself “I got this!” I wish you all the luck on your finals, projects, and papers.

Remember you got Spring of 2017 to figure things out.

I leave you with this..

Time is free. But it is priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can NEVER get it back.

-Anonymous

Sincerely,

Gen

COLLEGE SENIOR

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Dilemma of Sizes: The Imperative Change within Fashion

This is a short response to Mr. Tim Gunn’s article from the Washington Post. I encourage you to read it.

I love fashion, nonetheless there are somethings noted by Mr. Tim Gunn that I would like to express. First, the amount of choices for women with bigger sizes are limited. To give you some context, New York Fashion Week is a a time of the season where designers showcase their top designs and also some would argue its a form of expression. Such as one going to a museum and seeing paintings many go to these shows to see the artistic creativity of the designers. While I absolutely agree that fashion is a form of art there is something that I DON’T agree with and that it’s mostly the tall, thin, models who walk down the runway. The designers fail to represent the average women; now someone would say “but what is average?” My answer would be that the average women is a collection of different body sizes, colors, and heights. Designers fail to show the diversity of women. Modeling agencies/fashion industry ends up using the same type of model for different shows.  When you see videos or photos of these models in these clothes women don’t neccesarily fit into that mold. In addition, it leaves women wondering if they will ever fit into that? It’s discouraging to see the limited number of choices plus size women have and Mr. Gunn does an excellent job of giving examples of these. His whole article is about the fashion industry having to change in order for plus size women to have more of these high fashion choices.

I am petite and I have struggled with sizes with the clothes that I wear. It may not be because the clothes are too tight, but simply because my body is not proportionate to my height. As a 5’1 lady, I have a bigger bust than most girls; my thighs are dancer or gymnast not all MUSCLE by the way, but pretty thick. Yes, I have struggles when it comes to fashion sizes because clearly 0 at my age does not exist. Did they not consider someone with a size 0 to have a bottom? Nonetheless, there is a difference even with struggles that I have. I always manage to find clothes that fit and there are many choices. If a Small top doesn’t fit then I move to the next size up a Medium top. Even if I do have to occasionally roll my pants they ultimately fit. Unfortunately, with plus size women they don’t have those options they have to go to stores that make their kind of clothes. Why can’t Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Burberry make clothes that would fit them and instead focus on the size 0-6 model than the realistic size 12 individual?

I believe and Mr. Gunn believes that this fashion concept must change and there needs to be a collective effort among all designers and the fashion industry to create a variety of sizes within high fashion. Fashion is an expression for many it’s an art form not only to the designer who designs the pieces, but to the person wearing them. I can be the one to attest to that when I wear some designer I feel good. Studies show that when you wear something that makes you feel good like a new pair of Cèline shades or a Burberry peacoat you feel more confident and happy.

Many of these ideals are deep rooted within tradition. I say tradition, but the image of thin models circulated around the 90’s. Models have constantly been changing. Clearly 20 years of tradition can be changed if all designers and modeling agencies change the outlook of what they see beauty to be, but that is a whole different topic. Mr. Gunn in his article states about designers using children because there body has not fully developed yet. Isn’t that just ludicrous? When the designer is actually selling the clothes not to children, but to developed women who have thighs or a bust or both. There have been some designers such as, Marc Jacobs who has made some type of effort, but it isn’t enough.

Did you know that in the early 1900’s it was considered bad to be thin and if bones were showing that meant you were “sick?” Most women back then were voluptuous and proud. They did not starve themselves not because they wanted to fit into a certain size, but because they did not have enough for food. Yes, it was a different time and of course there were many problems. In regards to fashion, the range of sizes and the image of the model were reflective to society. Today, that is not the issue most models are not reflective to the population. Thus creating a paradox within the fashion industry. There are things that designers can do to be more inclusive this idealized image will only reinforce the eating disorders. Young girls will see these girls in a magazine and will wish to be them. It’s scary to know how much power fashion and advertising has on exploring the inner psyche. Sizes 16 and up are not displayed and we see it weird when we see a plus sized mannequin on display instead of a thin one. Hopefully, fashion can change its perspective towards a healthy and more inclusive one.

Best,

Gen


Being Exposed to the “Mean Reds”

This is an open letter for anyone who deals with depression or anxiety or is “having the mean reds” this is quoted by my all time favorite book “Breakfast at Tiffany’s. You don’t have to be constantly up all the time. By up I mean always smiling always being on point. We are not perfect; I can attest to that. We work hard, but sometimes our hard work isn’t always reflected by the work that we do. Everything that we want isn’t always given to us no matter how much we try. We have limitations even though we are constantly reminded that the sky is the limit. I am not here to bring you down. I am here to tell you that it is okay to set goals and reach for the universe, but to also realize that life has a lot of bumps and obstacles and sometimes the thing that is meant to be isn’t what you are destined to have.

As a college student, I feel like I am constantly evolving I know myself and what I want in life and trust me I work hard to get it. There are many moments where I stay in on a Friday night and dedicate my time studying and sometimes all the time and dedication isn’t always reflective with the grade that I receive. It brings me down, but at the same time it gives me a challenge and I work five times as hard to make that happen. I wish that I wasn’t so afraid of failing. When I do fail I wish I could be more positive, but sometimes failing brings me down and I question what I did wrong? How can I overcome this? Will this impact my future? All these questions resonate within me and it starts getting to me. In the exterior, people sometimes see me as this very extrovert, involved, hard working, studious girl who has the world in the palm of her hands. I even get comments like “you are Genesis” when I share how I doubt I did well on an exam. Now, at times I am conflicted. Sometimes I feel happy that people see me as studious and hard working, but the other feeling causes some weirdness. I am not perfect and just because I am Genesis doesn’t put me in some kind of pedestal or that I have never messed up. I have messed up constant amount of times, but I learn from my mistakes and it makes me grow. That being said I have pressure from the outside in being on point and in always succeeding. I have accepted that I have flaws, but I still struggle with failure. I have this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson posted in my wall “The success is in never failing, but rising up every time we fail.” This quote has been with me throughout my college career. It’s my phone background. Failing is a constant battle-an inner struggle. My failure can result in falling into a depressive state or cause anxiety. Sometimes I lose the battle and I fall into anxiety or the mean reds. Instead of blues, Capote illustrated it in his novel as “reds.” Depression and anxiety can result from different things and if it is severe I suggest to seek help; there is medication that you can take. Depression shouldn’t be something that should be stigmatized as wrong or bad. Some people are more susceptible than others and it can arise from something big or small. I think that the best thing to do is seek help either with people you trust or someone who is licensed to help. I hope that you have a support system that is here for you for whatever you may need. This helps me when I am feeling sad, lonely, upset, angry, or all in between. It’s good to talk to someone just have them listen to you because all those bottled up feelings could result in something even more upsetting. Know that there is no such thing as perfection even though we strife to be flawless as evidenced by the hashtag.

Just remember that you are strong and have overcome so much in your life. I wish that I could encourage everyone and support them and to go through their emotional state and for them to feel that they can be happy and hopeful again. But until we have a time space continuum where people could be at multiple places at the same time I will contribute with this blog post. I am trusting you Science make it happen. Feeling hopeless is such a sad thing. Feeling like you don’t matter or feeling lost is scary. There are so many people who don’t have a chance to be your age. Life should be seen beautifully. We have so much to look forward to and we should be excited for the unknown. Even the most positive and optimistic people may lose the battle, but they conquer it in the end because they have people who support them and acknowledge who they are as an individual.

I hope that these encouraging words and my story show you that you aren’t alone and there is always going to be people who listen. Anxiety and depression is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You are strong. YOU CAN overcome this.

Best,

Genesis Diaz