A Call for Servant Leadership: A good leader leads by their actions, not their voice.

What is a leader and what are the expectations of a leader? Is it someone who provides structure and guidance? Do leaders listen to their subordinates’ concerns? Do they do the task at hand and lead by example? These are all important qualities of a leader, but is it possible to achieve all of these? It feels like an intense  and unrealistic expectation. 

But isn’t that the whole point? Being a leader is a demanding responsibility. People look up to leaders and aspire to be like them.  Leaders are put into positions because they understand the group’s goals, they are exceptional in lower positions or they have excellent action-plan skills.  It is supposed to be challenging to be a leader.  It is not supposed to be a “cakewalk.” It is supposed to be hard and demanding.  

But why mention leadership and the qualities of a leader? Since the rise of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, I have been amazed by Ukraine’s president – Volydymyr Zelensky.  The New Yorker reported that prior to the start of the Russian invasion, critics around the world were not confident in Zelensky.  Critics did not think Zelensky was going to be able to stand up against Russia. 

Some of these criticisms are mostly due to the fact that Zelensky is not a career politician.  The New York Times wrote that Zelensky, prior to being elected president, played a president on a comedy show that mocked politicians. However, after one of the comments he made on his show, Ukranians immediately started to favor Zelensky. Before he knew it, Zelensky was President Zelensky. 

During the early stages of the Russian invasion, many media outlets reported that Zelensky had fled Ukraine. However, Zelensky quickly combated these reports and released a video where he shares that he will fight for Ukraine, not flee it.  

In this video, Zelensky’s eyes are bloodshot and he looks exhausted. Zelensky, despite being warned to flee and let his military handle the invasion themselves, stayed in his country to fight. Zelensky is leading by wearing his military’s uniform and fighting the Russian troops. I find this remarkable. 

A president of a country, getting his hands dirty, risking his life to fight for his people.  This is a leader.  Leader’s inspire their followers by doing the task. They bring motivation, direction and morale. A good leader, no, a fantastic leader, is a servant leader.  Servant leaders say, “do as I do.” and lead by example.  

And, this idea, this concept of servant leadership, is biblical.  Jesus was the servant leader.  He never distributed directions and then sat on the side to watch.  He got his hands dirty and led by example. Jesus not only called us to be better individuals, but his actions showed us how to live it out.

He calls us to deny ourselves, love others and to walk humbly.  Jesus’s ultimate act of leadership was when he sacrificed his life and died for all of us. Leader’s do not just say, they do

Martin Luther King is another example of servant leadership.  He called out injustices and his actions showed others how to be fair.  In fact, MLK took the teachings of Jesus and applied them to his fight for equality. He taught that we ought to love our neighbors and our enemies.  Despite experiencing animosity and hatred, MLK continued to love those that opposed him. By doing this, he led his followers to love others too. 

But why share about these three servant leaders? Servant leaders are needed now more than ever.  In a time where people are divided and unwilling to waiver, we need individuals to step up and close the gap.  Jesus, Zelenky and MLK are some examples of individuals putting themselves aside and serving others.  

Jesus inspired a revolution, MLK shook the status quo and Zelensky is fighting for his country. Being a leader is not supposed to be easy.  The things these men have done are nowhere near easy.  Jesus took the death penalty so all of us could live. That alone should encourage us to stand up and continue Jesus’ message. 

Today, let’s stand up and put the differences aside.  Let’s turn the other cheek and work on loving our neighbor.  Because for one thing, if everyone works on denying themselves and serving their neighbor, there would be a lot less violence and a whole lot more peace.  It is a big ask, maybe even an impossible one.  But if you can, take the initiative and lead by example.  You will make a much stronger impression than if you sit back and remain silent.

Sources: The New York, The New York Times

Time for my Morning Sugar: Today’s coffee enthusiasts do not love coffee, they love sugar.

Leaving a warm, comfy, soft, bed in the morning for work or school is never easy. However, for many people, a morning cup of coffee is the motivating factor for getting up and seizing the day. Well, not just a regular cup of coffee, an iced, super-sized, Frappuccino with four pumps of caramel sauce, four pumps of mocha, three Splenda, blended, with sweet cold foam and topped with a cinnamon-stick. I mean who doesn’t love a milkshake, sorry, a good cup of coffee, at 8 a.m.? 

I feel that we have gotten too loose with what we are classifying as coffee. Large coffee chains have convinced us that we need flavorings to make coffee taste good. I believe that coffee is an art form. Starting from the way that it is grown, picked, blended, roasted, packaged and brewed, minor changes in any step of the process yields a very different cup of coffee. 

Many manufacturers tend to skip over the artful process and cut corners to save money. They do this by using cheaper beans, rushing the roasting process or using poor packaging resulting in a stale, bitter and burnt tasting bean. Thus, sugar has been the go-to solution for fixing a cheap cup of improperly curated coffee. 

By contrast, coffee which has been properly picked, roasted and brewed needs no additives, syrups or sugar dust. True coffee can be sweet, rich, and flavorful all on its own. A coffee bean’s flavor occurs due to the location of where a bean is grown. Location dictates its acidity and flavor, which can include notes of blueberry, mocha or other naturally occurring elements. When beans of varying flavor profiles and acidities are blended and roasted to perfection, a plain cup of coffee is no comparison to a sugar-filled coffee shake. 

I don’t think that all coffee additives are bad, I just feel they can get out of hand. I typically drink a light caramel latte, but love espresso, French Press, pour-overs and everything in between. Some coffee drinkers might think this is a cardinal sin, however I believe that regardless of what you put in your morning cup of joe, coffee should be the highlight of the drink. 

Many people claim they are undoubtedly coffee lovers, and yet hide their coffee with loads of flavorings, sugar, milk and spices. In my opinion, if you can’t drink a good cup of plain coffee, you aren’t a coffee lover. 

I don’t want to come across as conceited. I love desserts, candies and sweets too. However, if your morning cup of, “coffee,” fulfills close to a third of your daily caloric intake, you don’t like coffee, you like sugar. That morning jolt of energy is not from the caffeine, it’s a sugar high. I encourage you to try out some real coffee. Go support a local coffee shop, order something that doesn’t take more than one breath to say and enjoy an artfully curated cup of coffee. You might just find that all that sugar was never really needed at all.    

Hard Pill to Swallow: Another approach to Women’s History Month.

I am about to write something that could be deemed offensive, so I just want you to be prepared. If I am going to be honest, I think women’s history month is unnecessary. I say this because I feel like it is a mockery of women. Why?

The answer is simple: it is not flattering or fair to only celebrate the history of women one month out of the year.

I should begin by saying that I think months dedicated to things are silly and unnecessary. Month-long celebrations are great, but random calendar months assigned to seemingly arbitrary celebrations make no sense.

Did you know that March is also National Cheerleading Safety Month? How can there even be enough cheerleading safety to think about for a month? Why do we need to dedicate an entire month to cheerleader’s safety precautions?

But let me return to my main point. I believe women’s history month, while well intended, is a mockery of women’s accomplishments. To a casual observer, aka myself, women’s history months seems to be saying, “Women’s history gets to be celebrated one month out of the year, while men’s history gets to be celebrated the other eleven months”.

Now this just isn’t even fair. Don’t women make up half of society? If we were going to do it equitably, we would celebrate women’s history for six months, and men’s history the other six months. But why bother to do that at all? This is the moment in this article where I would like to present a very original idea.

What if, I know this might be strange, but what if we decided to stop sorting everyone into categories, and just had everybody under one large umbrella called “history.” This would allow us to remember women and men together, equally.

After all, it’s kind of hard to separate women’s and men’s history. It’s not like we live mutually exclusive lives. And it’s not like any woman has ever accomplished anything without a man’s help. And I know for a fact that no man has ever accomplished something without a woman’s help.  

I understand that the purpose of Women’s history month is to draw awareness and honor women’s accomplishments throughout history. Let me be the first to say that, throughout history, women’s achievements have been ignored. But doesn’t it feel more like an afterthought to give women the month of March to celebrate their history. It’s like, “Oh, your achievements have been ignored for so long? Here is a random gloomy month to celebrate them.” How is that showing women respect?

There is no men’s history month, and God willing there won’t be. People will say the reason for this is that there is no need for raising awareness of men’s history. This might be true. (It also might not be; I can think of countless men whose deeds will go forgotten.) But whether true or not, are we going to let men get away with celebrating their history 11 more times than women.

I say, NO! I say we should rise up and prevent this injustice. Let us no longer categorize and classify people. Let us stop giving groups discarded months in which to celebrate their history. Instead, I say we abolish arbitrary month-long observances once and for all, and ask that every human be treated as equals in history.

When Will You Let Go?: Eastern’s policies are preventing students from maturing into adults.

College is a confusing time for students because we are considered adults but are treated like children. As soon as we are 18, we have officially entered adulthood and we expect to be treated like adults. However, this is not the case at Eastern University. There are rules regarding who can or cannot be in our room, what times they are allowed to be there and whether or not we need to keep the door open when a member of the opposite gender is in our dorm room. These rules do not make us feel like adults, but instead make us feel like children.

As of now, no commuter students or non-Eastern students are allowed to be on campus due to Covid-19 policy. This has been a tiring rule for us because we want our off campus friends and family to be able to visit us and stay in our rooms. I understand it is to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but the university has zero Covid-19 cases and should move into phase D as a reward for being safe and following the rules. Being told you cannot bring whoever you want in, makes it seem like we are children, who do not care about the safety of those around us. 

In addition, the visitation policy makes Eastern students feel like children. Adults do not need to be told when they can or cannot see their friends. That is a decision we make ourselves. We are 18-22 year olds. We are planning on starting our careers, yet we cannot see our friends or have anyone in our rooms from the hours of 11 p.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays and from the hours of 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends. 

Let’s not forget that there are zero visitation hours on Wednesdays. It feels as though we are incapable of making simple decisions. However, the visitation hours are not the only issue when it comes to university policy. 

The other key component of the visitation policy is the open door policy, which means that when I have someone of the opposite gender in my room, I must keep my door at least 45 degrees open and there must be a light on in the room. I will say I can kind of (kind of) understand where the university is coming from with its open door.  And, they have made strides to improve this policy by creating closed door buildings.  But even this stride has created a problem.  

As of now, Eagle and Sparrowk residence hall buildings are the only two residence halls on campus that operate under a closed door policy.  This means that when someone of the opposite gender is in your room you can still keep the door closed.  

Unfortunately, these two buildings highlight the gaps in Eastern’s policies.  If students live in Eagle or Sparrowk, then they are given a little more freedom in their decisions.  If students live in any other building, then Eastern is taking away some of the students’ freedom.  This is a clear gap in policy. All students should be treated equally.  But Eagle and Sparrowk residents are given more freedom.  

All Eastern students should be receiving the same amount of opportunities and freedom in their decisions.  Class year does not matter.  Whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, you should be given the same freedom across the board. 

Not to mention, if you are in an open door building, then it is even harder to feel like you’re an adult. It feels like an invasion of privacy because people can walk by and look in your room to see what you are doing when you have someone of the opposite gender in the room. Who can come into our room and when is a simple decision that the resident of that specific room should be able to decide, not the university. The rules make students feel like they are incapable of making these decisions because of the visitation policies Eastern has implemented. 

College is a big adjustment for us, but if we are classified as adults at age 18, then we should be treated like adults. Many of us are on our own and working. We are paying for college, groceries and other things that most parents would buy us when living at home. We are old enough to vote and join the military.  

Anywhere else in the country, we are viewed as adults.  But here at Eastern University, we are treated as if we still live under our parents roof. It is not the university’s job to keep college students from making irresponsible decisions.  It is up to the student to learn from their mistakes and grow into more responsible adults. Eastern’s policies not only make it harder to learn from our mistakes, but they also make students feel as if they never grew up at all. 

It’s Okay To Say “Both:” Normalizing the inclusive answer, although unsatisfying.

Have you ever been asked to choose between two options but you realize you don’t want to, not because you’re lazy but because you like both options? And you can’t just say “both” because that isn’t the spirit of the question. Well I think we need to normalize saying “both.” Are you a cat person or a dog person? Both. I like both cats and dogs for different reasons, and I might even like one more than the other most of the time but that wouldn’t make me a dog person or a cat person. Do you want chocolate ice cream or vanilla ice cream? I want both, can I please get a scoop of both? 

In a world that is already constantly divided over all things big and small, perhaps it would behoove us to allow each other to not have to choose between things that we enjoy. One might ask if this is universally relevant as people often have favorites: favorite movies, favorite books, favorite sports. It is relevant because our favorites fluctuate. I might have favorite movies, but the kind of movie I want to watch at a specific time will be different each time. So asking if I like comedy movies or action movies more would be a struggle because I like both at different times. 

If you asked me one day if I prefer reading a new book or rereading an old favorite of mine, I might say reading a new book. Yet if you asked me the same question a different day, I might say rereading an old favorite. So asking me if I like new books or rereading old books better, I would say both. 

Now I understand that the “both” answer is unsatisfying and against the spirit of the question, but that is when the complexities of individual opinion can be explored. If you were to ask me if I prefer the chicken sandwich at Popeyes or at Chick-Fil-A better and I say “both,” you would probably be annoyed. So the best thing to do next is to ask what I mean by “both”. I would be able to explain that both are good in their own way and I would probably change my preference each day. I might say that while the Popeyes sandwich is greasier, but it does fill you up more. 

To rephrase the importance of accepting the “both” answer: we as a society like to categorize and rate things, but we as individuals have fluctuating preferences and opinions. Thus, it is healthy to answer with a “both” in these contexts. Additionally, when the “both” is allowed to be expanded upon and explained, there is more space for relationship building and communication growth. 

Is it wrong to ask if someone prefers one thing or another? No it is not, but it is helpful to remember the kind of pressure that can put on them. Is it wrong to have a strong opinion? No it is not, but it is once again helpful to remember the division that can cause in extreme cases. Don’t be afraid to enjoy different things at different times, and don’t ever be afraid to give the “both” answer.

Hard Pill to Swallow: The Hydro Flask is the best water bottle.

There is an intense debate on how Hydroflasks are the worst water bottles in the world since the “VSCO” girls took over. VSCO girls are scrunchie obsessed girls who put stickers on everything they have, especially their Hydro Flask water bottles. Since they are considered annoying, the reputation for these water bottles has vanished. However, I believe that Hydro flasks are still the best water bottles even with this negative image surrounding them.

If you want your drink to stay cold, Hydro Flasks keep your drink cold for hours. Even if you keep it sitting in a hot car for hours, you can come back to a cold drink. I can attest to this, as I have left my water bottle in a scorching hot car while at the beach for four hours. To my surprise, the drink was still cold. Not a lot of water bottles can achieve hours of cold water.  I had a water bottle that was not a Hydro Flask sit in the car for hours and came back to a warm drink. Hydro Flasks, compared to others, show how they keep drinks warm.

Another reason they are better than others is that they have a variety of sizes and colors. There are 18 different colors in total. There are kid sized water bottles and adult ones. Each water bottle can have two different lids depending on the size and what you like. If you want a straw lid, you can buy that. If you want a water bottle you can sip, you can buy the lids without the straws. There is so much variety in what you can do with these water bottles. They also have tumbler cups and water bottles that donate to a cause. The water bottles are great and the company itself is great too. Looking at Yeti, one of Hydro Flask’s competitors, Yeti has fewer colors. They have standard colors like white, blue, black, light blue and stainless steel, but they have no fun colors. Hydro Flasks have more of an aesthetic to them which makes a nicer cup to look at when you are doing work. 

Hydroflasks also have a sleek look to them as well. They fit in just about anything. Cup holders, tote bags, backpacks and many other things. They are easy to grab and throw into a bag when you are in a rush. There is no need to worry about it spilling because they are leak proof. Whenever I am running late for classes, I can always count on my Hydro Flask to not spill all over my books or laptop. It makes it easier to sprint to class in peace and not stop in the middle to check to see if it leaked. Yetis have more of a clunky look and feel. They take up a lot of space, even if they are the smallest size. The pricing of Hydro Flasks are around the same for Yeti water bottles. When it comes down to it, a person who favors a Hydro Flask or Yeti is just paying for the name. Hydro Flasks are better because of their sleek look, colors and how they keep drinks cool.

Counterpoint: Hydro Flask’s water bottles are not as extravagant as some may believe.

It has come to my attention that people are arguing that Hydro Flasks are the best water bottles.  However, I am writing this to tell you that that is incorrect.  First of all, Hydro Flasks became popular through the VSCO girl movement.  The VSCO girl movement refers to oversized t-shirts and short shorts wearing scrunchie loving girls.  In addition, these girls love stickers, Birkenstocks and saying, “Sks sks sks.” This saying supposedly refers to saying the end of the word flask pronounced loudly and obnoxiously.   

Now, I am not attacking VSCO girl’s themselves. I myself have VSCO girl-like traits.  I wear Birkenstocks almost everyday of the summer, I live in oversized t-shirts and I have what they call, “an emotional support water bottle.” 

But, my emotional support water bottle is not a Hydro Flask.  It is, in fact, a Yeti water bottle. I hold this water bottle near and dear to my heart.  It is durable, classy and keeps my beverages cold for days.  Yeti’s website explains how each beverage holder, whether it is a water bottle, a jug or a tumbler, will keep beverages hot or cold for at least three days. That cannot be beat. 

Hydro Flask’s bottles keep water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.  That is a drastic difference compared to the Yeti bottle.  Yeti’s vacuum seal technology prevents cold beverages from losing their chill for up to three days. Not only that, but Yeti’s bottles are dishwasher safe, which is a rare feature in today’s water bottle industry. Thus, one reason everyone should ditch the Hydro Flask for the Yeti is because of the duration Yeti keeps beverages hot or cold.  

However, this is not the only reason. When I was a lifeguard in high school, it was rare to see a lifeguard without a water bottle. Since we are required to be watching a pool for a specific amount of time, we could not walk away to grab a sip of water.  Instead, we had to carry our water bottle with us as we would go about our rotations. 

During my time as a lifeguard, I learned that Hydro Flasks can get dents in them extremely easily.  For example, my coworker Jocelyn owned a Hydro Flask.  While she was watching her designated pool, she accidentally kicked her water bottle off the stand and onto the pool deck. (It is important to keep in mind that this lifeguard stand was six to seven feet off the ground and the pool deck was made of concrete.) The bottom portion of her water bottle had dents all over it.  Shortly after this, I also kicked my water bottle off the same lifeguard stand. However, my water bottle did not dent like hers.  I owned a Yeti water bottle, so mine remained dent free. 

So, another reason to own a Yeti is because they are extremely durable.  You can kick them off lifeguard stands, drop them on the ground and even if you fail to catch it when your friend tosses it at you, it will remain dent free. That, my friend, is a water bottle worth purchasing. 

The last reason I will urge you to use a Yeti is because they have a wide range of products.  You can purchase coolers, travel mugs, dog bowls, tote bags and even apparel. Not only have they perfect the art of the water bottle, but they also perfected all of their other products.  They are so much more than just a water bottle company.  They are the most optimal drinkware company. So, if your emotional support water bottle is in need of an upgrade, I recommend you ditch the Hydro Flask and pick up yourself a Yeti. It keeps your drinks cold and does not have the negative connotations that the Hydro Flask carries with it.

Optional Worship Should Stay Optional: Eastern’s administration fails to adequately advertise the OneGen brunch worship service.

If you were at Sunday brunch at the Dining Commons on Feb. 20, you probably noticed One Gen leading a worship session at that time there. If you’re like me, you had no idea this was going to happen. And it wasn’t exactly a pleasant surprise.

I’m not here to attack One Gen or student worship leaders. Absolutely not — this is a Christian university, I am a Christian, and I expect worship to happen here. However, as far as I know, worship at this university day-to-day is optional and non-mandatory. It should stay that way. There wasn’t enough of a heads-up to the student body to fairly call this worship session “optional.”

Why is it important that worship here stay optional? Well, for two reasons. Firstly, it’s undeniable that many students here have a difficult relationship with the church and with worship as an extension. Either because they’re LGTBQ+, were raised in toxic church environments, or any other reason (there are many). I know I’m not the only one for whom this is the case. 

Secondly, students with sensory or audio processing issues may not be able to handle worship at such a volume for the length of a whole meal, and something like that might throw off their plans and significantly distress them. 

Again, I know I am not the only student for whom this is true. A full sound setup worship session in a highly-trafficked, popular area without sufficient warning is likely to alienate a good portion of the student body. Again, I’m not upset that Christian worship is happening at a Christian university; I’m concerned about the lack of heads-up that might lead to the opposite effect the event organizers were hoping for.

While there was a small note in a Weekly Happenings email from student engagement, one screen of a few others on rotation on a monitor in the entrance to the DC, and a few flyers in Walton, there was no other announcement for this event. These do not seem like enough, since all of these options are very easily missed. No one really reads the Weekly Happenings email, so it’s very easy to ignore the screen in the entrance to the DC or not see that individual slide completely, and it’s hard even to find a flyer you’re looking for in Walton, because there’s so many.

Here’s the thing. If this is a recurring event, say, twice per month, then there should be more announcements than just these easily-missed things described above. Even if it were just a one-time thing, it’s not enough. I help run a club here myself — I know how much logistical strategy goes into making just one of these things happen. It’s tough. 

Again, I’m not criticizing One Gen here. But the administrators who get these requests from clubs on their desks need to do better here. For example, signing off on a few easily-missed flyers or DC monitor announcements for a club who meets in a classroom at 8pm on a Tuesday is one thing. Allowing the same amount and type of announcements for a loud worship session that’s meeting at one of the most attended meals of the week, on the day when most students have very limited options for eating? That’s different, and those administrators should know better than to assume that students have the time, energy or mental capacity to observe and take note of the contents of every email they receive, every flyer they see or every monitor they encounter. That’s too much, and it’s not our job. 

So, administrators, please be more mindful of the nature of club events that come across your desk. Please consider the needs and experiences of such large portions of the student body when it comes to loud worship events in mostly unavoidable, highly populated areas of campus. 

To One Gen: thank you for your desire to make Sunday brunch a little holier. I love that you’re here and worshipping so proudly and enthusiastically. I just wish that I could have appreciated it more, had others here at Eastern been more considerate.

Has Shooting for Gold Gone Too Far?: A critical reflection of the development of toxicity in sports culture.

I’ve never understood sports culture. In my family, sports have never been a big deal, perhaps because neither I nor my next oldest sister were much inclined towards them. I never had the aptitude for them; in elementary school, I was always picked last for kickball, in which I’d inevitably get rammed in the face with a hatch-marked red rubber ball. I always was one of the last kids to finish the mile, worrying more about my asthmatic friend wheezing in the dusty track than how many minutes I’d finished in. And even if I had been any good, I’m the oldest of eight. When I was younger, my parents didn’t have the time or energy to spend ferrying me to innumerable practices and games.

Looking from the outside in, I find sports culture puzzling. What’s it all for? I understand that colleges give scholarships for sports, and money is incredibly motivating. Pursuing scholarships makes sense to me. Additionally, sports can be a way out for people in poverty, as a way to afford education and get opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be an option. However, I’m a little concerned about a system that pushes people to trade their bodies for better opportunities. But it seems like, then, that college would be the end, with sports being the means to that end, and that’s not the culture I’ve witnessed. 

Once students get to college with their scholarship, I’ve seen many students value sports over academics: sleeping through class because they’re exhausted after early morning workouts, unable to complete work because of concussions, hobbling around on crutches because they’ve been injured. Don’t get me wrong—I’m certainly not saying that professors shouldn’t be understanding and accommodating with students, especially students who have encountered health concerns. But I am asking, why subject yourself to that in the first place? 

It seems that, as Christians, we ought to take good care of our bodies. That implies some level of reasonable exercise to keep ourselves fit, which does nice things like strengthen our hearts, improve our moods, and help us walk up stairs without feeling like we’re dying. But much of sports culture that I’ve witnessed seems to involve broken bodies, which seems like the other extreme. Concussions, broken bones and torn tendons appear to be an equal abuse of our bodies as foregoing exercise altogether. 

Beyond the body, it also seems like sports culture can be toxic for one’s mental health. While I’ve never been in a competitive sporting environment, I have been in an incredibly competitive academic environment—a grades-posted-on-the-wall, SAT-prep-in-middle-school, APs-in-eighth-grade, get-into-an-Ivy-or-jump-in-front-of-a-bus type of school. Is this comparable to the sports culture many people encounter? I’m not sure; I’d probably have to experience both to know, and I haven’t. 

But if it is comparable, then I’m concerned. Competition on that level can breed an arrogance rooted in fear, a knowledge that being on top is temporary and that there is no perfection that can’t be shattered in a moment. That kind of competition can lead to sacrifices of things that should never have been sacrificed, pushing people to make desperate trades and devil’s bargains.

And for what? Sports seem so temporary to me. Culturally, we lionize football players, people who wreck their bodies and brains for, what, ten years of success? And then what? We forget about the people who broke their bones for public consumption. It seems like there’s an enormous amount of pressure to just get a little further: to get on the A team, to make varsity, to get onto a good college team, to win an award or a championship or a place on a professional team. The goalposts keep shifting, and you’re always chasing the next dream.

In the end, the cost of sports culture seems to outweigh the rewards. While sports in themselves seem like they have the potential to be great sources of community and health, I think we’ve taken it too far.

The Worst Character in “New Girl”: Jessica Day is the actual worst character.

When it comes to characters, there are always a few that grind the viewer’s gears significantly. One of those characters is Jessica Day from “New Girl.” While she may be lovable in the beginning, towards the middle and the end of the show her character started to shift. She went from being helpful and cheerful to annoying and a know it all. The way she treated her friends and boyfriends became disrespectful. She has no boundaries when it comes to her friendships and has to fix everything. Instead of making things better, she make them worse.

For example, at the school she teaches at, one of her students creates a video making fun of Jess for singing in front of the class. Instead of reacting in a professional manner, she responds in a childish way. She took her anger out on this student by wrecking her science fair project. A teacher should not react in that manner to a student. There are other ways that a teacher can address this situation without damaging a student’s project.

Another reason she is an awful character is how she navigates her personal relationships. For example, Jess treats her childhood best friend, CeCe, terribly.  Cece is a model, and Jess likes to make snide comments about her career path. At Cece’s birthday party, Jess gets upset with all her model friends/co-workers and insults their professions. She is also ashamed of her sister when she comes to visit in one of the later episodes. Instead of embracing her sister, who is constantly getting into trouble, she hides her from her boyfriend, Nick. A loving sister is supposed to embrace and care about their siblings, not hide them from their boyfriend and friends. 

In addition, her respect for boundaries is nonexistent. Everyone has boundaries they do not want crossed, but Jess seems to believe that she can cross them. When Cece was getting ready to move into her house with Schmidt, Jess wanted to help her pack. Cece had a hard time getting rid of some of her belongings because they had a deep meaning to her. Instead of trying to convince her to let it go or to come back to those items, she locks Cece out of her apartment and packs for her. This may seem helpful but locking your best friend out of their apartment and throwing away things she finds valuable is a boundary that should not be crossed. 

Not only that, but she also acts as Nick’s girl repellent. She cannot take a hint when Nick is trying to flirt with another girl and finds a way to interject herself into the interactions. Jess either says the wrong things or gets between Nick and the girl because she is not aware of her surroundings or the boundaries set. Nick has even pointed out that Jess needs boundaries and should be aware of them. 

Jess can be a lovable character, but she is in fact the worst character in “New Girl”. Her emotions get the best of her, which results in her destroying her student’s science fair project. She believes that she is better than the rest of her friends when she makes fun of CeCe and her model co-workers. Her lack of boundaries and the shame she pushes on her sister explains the awfulness of her character.