One week out of every month, women across the world deal with their favorite thing in the world: periods. A decent percent of women deal with painful periods that impair their ability to function in daily life from debilitating pain. There is an option that some people use to mitigate or fully eliminate the issue of period pain, but it isn’t as wide-spread as it should be: birth control.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the way that birth control methods deal with periods is “hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills or intrauterine devices (IUDs) affect the menstrual cycle and lessen the amount of bleeding.” Often times, these methods also reduce pain significantly since pain can be a byproduct of an irregularity in hormones. Birth control has also tied into other reproductive conditions like Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a reproductive condition that affects 1 out of every 10 women, according to endometriosis.org and The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. One of the treatments is hormonal contraceptives, or birth control. Endometriosis is a severe condition that can lead to issues with infertility, scarring of the reproductive organs, debilitating pain, and may cause some cancers.
Birth control has shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of reproductive problems, but why aren’t women using it in larger numbers. The answer lies in the stigma surrounding birth control. There is a misconception perpetuated that women use birth control because they want to be sexually active or are “sluts who can’t keep their legs closed” rather than someone trying to stop pain from ruining their life one week a month. Religious groups, such as Christian sects and Catholicism, denounce the use of birth control as sinful and against God’s will. That stigma impacts so many girls of faith who need birth control for medical purposes and find themselves torn between their religion (and often family) and their medical and mental health.
Growing up as a young woman with Dysmenorrhea (painful periods), I found myself torn on the issue of birth control as regulation due to familial circumstances. My mother was a doctor and offered the option of birth control when I was old enough since she knew her side of the family suffered from painful periods. The, there was my father and stepmother who were extremely religious. They would rail against birth control as for “whores who wanted to go against God by having extramarital sex” and would stonewall my mother’s requests to get me the medication. Needless to say, I felt uncomfortable about approaching the topic with them. At the time, my periods were already quite severe with week-long heavy bleeding and cramps that rendered it nearly impossible to get out of bed some days. As the years went on, my periods actually worsened to encompass symptoms such as nausea, borderline anemia, headaches, and dizziness. It wasn’t until I was seventeen and had an incident that frightened me so badly. I nearly collapsed from dizziness, pain, and nausea in my room during a family party, which lead to me breaking down and calling my mom in tears. She helped me set up a OB-GYN appointment and I discovered that I either had a hormone imbalance or I had endometriosis. The OB-GYN perscribed me birth control since I was old enough to get it without parental consent and I started taking it, not caring what my father and stepmother thought. I put my health first. Now, almost a year later, I can say that birth control changed my life for the better. Not only have I personally gotten better, but I have taught others about the wonders of birth control and some of my friends have bettered their lives because of it.
When discussing the topic of birth control and deciding it is right for you, here is some of my advice:
-If you are considering birth control, consult your doctor or visit an OB-GYN. Visiting your health care provider is crucial in determining the best approach to this topic. I would highly suggest choosing the OB-GYN as their speciality is related to reproductive health
-Research into reproductive health organizations to debunk myths and stigma. If you have questions that you are embarrassed to ask or can’t reach your doctor, go to organizations who can answer your questions. For example, Planned Parenthood is one of the largest family planning and reproductive health organizations in the United States with a global initiative to debunk stigmas across the world. Consider researching different perspectives on the issue to gain a better understanding and a full picture.
-Understand that people can do whatever they want with their bodies and don’t deserve judgment. If a woman wants to take birth control for the purpose of safe sex, then she should be able to do so without judgment. If a woman wants to take birth control for a medical related purpose, then she should be able to do so without judgment either. People need to learn that what I do with my body is my business alone. Don’t shame people for personal decisions relating to their body. Before judging others for making different decisions, try compassion and attempting to understand their circumstances.
At the end of the day, you are the one with agency over your body. Birth control is a vital tool to a woman’s every day needs, whether it is for health or personal reasons. Stigma should not keep people from stopping their pain and seeking treatment.
Two boys, sharing the same name, are born around the same time in Baltimore a couple of blocks from each other. Both young men experience similar hardships in their early life: their fathers dying/abandoning them when they were young, single mothers, falling into the temptation of petty crime, and brushes with the law. After a momumental moment in their lives, one of them turns out to be a Rhodes scholar, veteran, and a John Hopkins graduate while the other serves a life sentence in prison for murder. The difference between their outcomes all hinged on a single choice. This is the story told in the novel, The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore.
The Other Wes Moore has a unique composition and way of unfurling the tidbits of information. The chapters alternate between past and present, the author and the other Wes Moore, and chronological points in the story. Some parts highlight the correspondence between the two men or show their journeys. The book deals with stereotypes of African American men and shows the circumstances they might face in childhood through the perspective of the author, an African American man himself. It centers around the themes of family, fate, and the impact of choices. We are all dealt cards in life, some better than others. Some people are born into strife and poverty while others are born into affluence and privilege. We may believe we are stuck in our circumstances, but the moral of this book is that the choices we make can drastically change our circumstances
I first read this book as assigned for an English class over the summer. I decided to begin during my flight to Orlando in the middle of summer vacation. Within reading the first chapter, I was hooked. The book beautifully describes the stories of the two Wes Moores, one inspiring and the other tragic, between chapters and elaborating on a concept I think more people should know. By the end of the plane ride, I already finished the book twice. If you like non-fiction, The Other Wes Moore is a must-read. If you aren’t the biggest fan of non-fiction, The Other Wes Moore might change your mind.
They say the hardest part of the college application season is waiting. As a high school senior, I agree… for the most part. See, no one tells you that there is a difficult part of the college application that comes after all the waiting, which is choosing a university among all the places you’ve been accepted. With the constantly evolving future, the world needs qualified people to become the leaders of tomorrow and progress our education as a society forward. In many cases, a college degree is required to apply for jobs. When most people apply to colleges, they automatically set their sights on big-name schools with larger-than-life reputations and tuitions that cost an arm, a leg, and your first born child. However, the focus of choosing a college should be on choosing the RIGHT school. The last thing you need is to saddle yourself with thousands of dollars in debt for a miserable experience at a school.
Being a high school senior and going through the college application process has been stressful, to put it lightly. But now that all the letters have come in, the weight of my decision weighed heavily. As of a few days ago, after much deliberation and weighing, I committed to my second choice university and am eagerly awaiting my attendance in the fall. Knowing that where I go is an important decision and I made sure to carefully consider all my choices to select the option that is best for me. My advice is as follows for choosing the right university:
-Conduct in-depth research about the schools. The only way to narrow down the number of colleges until you find the right one is to eliminate the colleges that aren’t right for you. Whether it is for financial reasons, the availability of your desired major, the location, or even the atmosphere of the school, those are all indicators of if you belong at that school.
-Go on a tour. Going on a tour allows you to get a feel of the campus. Seeing dorming options and the cool spots on campus can give you an accurate indicator of the vibe the campus strives for. An old college counselor gave me a tip for sensing the atmosphere of a particular school. She told me to visit a college that I am interested in and find a bench on campus somewhere. Once I find that bench, I am supposed to sit there, without using my phone or distracting myself, and imagine attending that school. She suggested to soak in the environment and I find that a useful trick to determine if the school is somewhere.
-Speak to a former alum about their experience. You can research about all aspects of campus life and go on tours of the campus, but one of the best ways to truly understand what a day in the life is like at a college is to speak with former alumni of the school. Be sure to consider questions about classes, school atmosphere, campus life, living on dorms and other subjects when speaking with alum. They are a wealth of knowledge and can easily provide you with information (good and bad) that you might not find anywhere else.
-Don’t linger on the rejections. When choosing between colleges, it can be difficult to let go of a prior rejection especially if you missed out on your dream school. Instead of letting that disappointment get you down, remind yourself that you got into amazing schools and that you will end up where you are meant to be. The schools that accepted you saw something that they knew they wanted and they knew that their school would be better because of that special something you bring to their campus.
Choosing the best college for you is a huge milestone in your life. College serves as a formative experience for many people and is a place where you can reinvent yourself. To do that, you need to be in the best and most accepting environment possible. That’s why choosing your college is so crucial to not only your academic enhancement but your personal growth. Not to mention, if you’re paying an arm and a leg for this experience, you might as well pick the best one you have.
When people ask me what I do for fun, it takes an enormous amount of willpower not to gush about my writing. I’ve loved writing since the age of six and I have written dozens of stories and poems and worked on an original novel series. What started off as a therapeutic release became one of my greatest passions.
Every writer is different in how they approach their craft. Now, I would say that my writing process can be summed up in one word: eccentric. Armed with a giant mug with a sarcastic slogan printed on the side and topped off with peppermint hot chocolate, I sink into a cushy, royal blue bean bag. About four customized playlists await my selection across a variety of streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Youtube. My laptop is open to a blank document, waiting to be written. Within my reach is a pile of colored notebooks teeming with a mix of messy cursive and neat printing.
Every idea of mine starts with handwritten notes, whether I am working on a fantasy novel or an English project or an article for TWE. Different color pen mark up the page and a small legend sit in the top right-hand corner denoting what each color means. I find that this type of organized structure to writing ensures that good ideas aren’t lost when I step away from my writing. Having the affinity for being easily distracted makes retaining ideas much easier. Using this color-coded, regimented system is a way to keep me focused on what the important basic elements are such as plot, characters, important details and events, among other aspects of story-telling. I would highly suggest having an organized system of some sort and it can range from having a small notebook with diligent notes to a full-out binder with various tabs, extra paper, and an extensive color-coded system like I have. There is no need to make a complex system that becomes cumbersome; it only needs to work for you.
One of the most important processes for writing, especially creative writing, is world building and lore. I consider my greatest strength as a writer to be in the realm of making characters and worlds that feel authentic to the story I want to tell. One suggestion for that is to step out of the box and explore the world. When writing characters with experiences I know little to nothing about, I seek out people who do have the knowledge and have them teach me about different aspects of life. Being a writer is my way to explore the world around me and open my eyes to things I never considered before. Writing has such a profound experience and changed my perspective about life more times than I can reasonably recall.
When it comes to building upon ideas, the main thing I would suggest is discipline and utilize your drive to write when you have it. Muses can be fleeting and when it disappears, it makes it difficult to sit down and write. When you are struggling to write a piece, take a step away from it and return to it at another point in time. You will often find that a mental break does wonders for creativity. When I take breaks like that, I usually listen to music and those moments of reflection often lead to the breakthrough I need.
Writing is also a time-consuming process and it is what you put into it. I run through more notebooks due to writing than my schoolwork, and that’s saying something. Some people joke that I put a little too much effort into my writing, but I disagree. When you love something the way I love writing, you really can’t limit how much you put into it.
I pour my entire being into writing. Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Writers understand that their craft is a product of the stardust scattered through their souls and the brilliance of their mind. Their writing is just as much a part of them as their physical body. I believe that my writing gives outsiders a glimpse into my soul.
Books are places of unlimited knowledge, fantastical worlds, and beautiful places to discover adventure. The unfortunate issue is that many students either have limited time to read or detest reading because of how core curriculum treats reading as more of ‘chore’ rather than an enlightening hobby. 26 percent (around a quarter) of American admitted to not having read a single book in an entire year, per a study from Pew Research Center. That lack of free reading has some detrimental effects and may students are unaware of the benefits that reading holds. For example, a research study conducted by the University of Toronto found that individuals who read more (mainly fiction) tested that they were more open-minded than their counterparts who wrote less. People who read more improve brain function, are more creative, reduces stress, and increases your knowledge.
I am an avid reader and have been since the day I could pick up a book and read the story written. When I was younger, I had an insatiable appetite for books. I could devour a whole series within a matter of weeks. By the fifth grade, I read all of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the Twilight Saga while I was in the middle of the Hunger Games Trilogy and The Mortal Instruments series. Throughout my middle school years, I spent more time in the library with a pile of books than hanging out with kids my own age. I read nearly every book in the young adult section of the public library near my school when I finished seventh grade. However, when high school rolled around, I found myself at a loss for time due to all the homework and classwork. That lack of time contributed to my lessened consumption of books. My hunger to read didn’t lessen but my ability to did. Recently, I’ve made more of an effort to read more, and that effort has made such a difference.
As someone with an extensive history as a huge reader, I have the following advice about how you can improve your relationship with reading.
-Make time to read. This is the biggest issue many people cite as their inability to read. In our technology-addicted society, there is no shortage of people who spend aimless amounts of time scrolling through their phones to pass the time. Instead of refreshing the same social media page for the hundredth time in the last ten minutes, a book would be a better alternative to passing the time. Small moments here and there add up and that time is ripe for a read.
-Find books that interest you. Another issue is that people often choose books that aren’t going to engage them. The problem with school curriculum is that many of the books can be stale and uninteresting to a majority of the students. That applies to out of school as well. Many people have a struggle picking out a book they might like. Figure out what interests you and spend a decent amount of time at your local library or bookstore to select some books that pique your interests. They don’t even have to be books! Magazines and fanfiction are also suitable substitutes to indulge in with many examples of the latter being of better quality than some books.
-Pick a location that makes you comfortable. The location of where you read also makes a huge impact. Some places that I would suggest curling up with a good book: in a cafe/coffee shop, in a recliner chair, on a bench in the park, in a comfy chair at the library or some other quiet place. You want to find a place that delivers a nice ambiance while providing limited distractions to keep you from reading.
-Join a book club or read with some friends. Maybe you need a little motivation to read a bit more, and that motivation can come from a book club/your friends. Finding people who share a commonality with you by reading the same book or similar books can create lasting bonds. Not to mention, they would be a resource to find more books you might like.
-Curate a music playlist. If you’re anything like me, I can easily get distracted in the beginning stages of reading. Listening to music while reading a book can be a soothing experience. You can choose tracks that give a similar vibe to the book, and that enhances the emotional experience of a book.
Reading is one of the most enjoyable activities out there. Books have the power to transport you into another world, but we lose the opportunity to explore those unknown worlds when we shun reading. Therefore, we must all realize that reading is the key that many of us are missing.
Driving is widely considered to be a rite of passage and a milestone for teenagers in the United States. However, there is a danger lurking on the road and it can be triggered by something as simple as fiddling with the radio. Many teens are unaware of how prevalent distracted driving is and what possible impacts it has on their lives.
Distracted driving is defined as the state of driving where any activity diverts the driver's attention from the road, which can include, but is not limited to: driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, texting while driving, eating/drinking, changing the radio station, etc. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), at least 9 people are killed every day in accidents caused by texting driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2016 alone, there were 3,450 lives claimed by distracted driving. Those killed could be the distracted driver or an innocent victim who was collateral damage of a bad mistake. But the largest demographic affected by this preventable crisis: teenagers. Teenagers are 3x more likely to end up in a fatal car crash than any other group and 58% of all teen crashes are due to distracted driving. Many people don't think about the impacts of distracted driving until it's too late.
I have never firsthand experienced the dangers of distracted driving, but I hear the stories. At my school, we hold seminars every year about the dangers of distracted driving and the stories break my heart. Hearing about grieving parents and the lives of promising young adults being snuffed out because of their/someone else's mistake is tragic. Hearing those stories makes me think twice about gambling with my life or the lives of others. But beyond the stories, distracted driving and the consequences of that hit close to home for me. My father is a police officer and often puts himself in the line of danger in his line of work. Before I was born, my father was involved in an accident with a driver who was under the influence hitting him on the road. Luckily, my father survived the encounter. However, he was severely injured to where he needed total reconstruction of his face. I walk by photos of him after he graduated from the police academy and see a total stranger that closely resembles me. That photo serves as a reminder of the consequences of distracted driving and how my father escaped with his life.
Consider the following ideas to make driving as safe as possible:
-Put your phone on do not disturb or turn it off completely. If your phone keeps chiming with new texts or other notifications, you’re more inclined to check them or respond to them which takes your focus off the road. To avoid getting distracted, place your phone on do not disturb while driving and you can focus on the road.
-Never drive under the influence. Unless you are over 21, you should not be dabbling with illegal substances such as drugs or alcohol. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you are high/drunk and need to drive home, don’t attempt to drive home. You could get into an accident or arrested. Instead, find a sober friend to drive you home or hail a ride from a ride service like Uber or Lift. If you can stay overnight at the place you are currently at, that would be an acceptable alternative to trying to drive home.
-Set up a playlist of songs. By setting up a pre-made playlist, you minimize the chance of messing with your radio or phone while on the road. Having music playing while driving is something many people enjoy, so having a playlist is low risk compared to distractedly messing with the radio.
-Don’t eat or drink while driving. Although, it can be tempting to sneak a couple bites of your meal, eating and drinking while driving still distracts you from the road and is against the law in some places in the US. Consider putting the food on the floor of the passenger seat or have someone else hold it until you are finished driving.
Distracted driving can destroy a life in the blink of an eye and it is preventable. By limiting distractions while on the road, you are making the road safer for yourself and other drivers around you. If you have the urge to drive distractedly, ask yourself if you are willing to face the dangers and consequences of your conscious choice.
The smell of hot cocoa and fresh pine fills the air, mixed with the sound of laughing children and ringing bells. Christmas signifies a time of cheer, goodwill, and all around joy. During the holidays, many people celebrate by utilizing religious or non-religious traditions. Traditions are described as “a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on.” Despite the formal phrasing, a tradition can be just about anything such as watching a movie marathon with your family, hosting a casual get-together with all your friends, or spending some downtime with a significant other. Traditions can start with anything at any time. Christmas time (and the holiday season in general) is the perfect time to partake in traditions. There are plenty of benefits to starting traditions. Traditions are a way to bring everyone together for some joy, even if times are hard. Traditions have a way of brightening up the season and cultivate anticipation.
Christmas time is a season celebrating giving and good deeds, which directly ties into my Christmas tradition. Each year, my family and I bake. We bake everything from cookies from a store-bought package to my grandmother’s secret pumpkin bread cake that has been in my family for over three generations. We often find ourselves with an excess of goods baked and no reason to eat them all ourselves. Therefore, we collect the assorted baked goods, divvy them up into artfully crafted baskets, and hand-deliver them to the people we care about. My younger sisters and I often go door to door around the neighborhood and present these gift baskets to our neighbors- to the ones we know and the ones we don’t. The most priceless part is seeing the expression of astonishment that morphs into graciousness and joy.
There are two pieces of advise that I have regarding traditions:
-Celebrate to the fullest. I say you should embrace the traditions that you already have, especially if there is one you enjoy. Renew your love of these traditions by bringing others into the fold or adding a new twist to it. Traditions can evolve, and that is sometimes for the better.
-Make some holiday traditions of your own. If you don’t have traditions with your family or don’t connect with any that exist, don’t be afraid to make your own. Some ideas can include movie marathons, baking, ice skating, caroling, among other festive activities for the season. When you make these traditions, you choose who you want to share these with and enjoy life the way that makes you happiest.
As the famous Christmas song describes, the holiday season is the “most wonderful time of the year.” This is a time for family- blood or chosen- to come together and celebrate. So, why not spruce the season up with some special, heartfelt traditions of your own?
No age is too early to start voicing one’s opinion on political matters. Many people throw around the opinions of key voting blocs such as Baby Boomers or Millenials. However, there is one group that is often neglected by politicians and political scientists alike that shouldn’t be forgotten: Generation Z.
According to an article from the Hill, Generation Z (or Gen Z) is the section of people born between the years of 1995 and 2010. The oldest of Gen Z is 23, which makes them of voting age in the United States. Studies conducted have shown that American members of Generation Z are poised to overtake all other voting blocks with voting and activism. We see many examples of how today’s youth are taking their power and their voice into their own hands. Take the aftermath of the Parkland Shooting, where students organized a walk-out to protest gun violence. That single act sparked a nation-wide ripple effect with schools across the country establishing their own walk-outs. There are numerous examples of students starting non-profit organizations to support social justice movements. An article from PR Newswire in April of 2018 showed that “Involvement and voter registration responses are high, indicating this generation is poised to make an impact on the political process”. Additionally, political activism is a staple of Generation Z’s influence and will be their greatest asset in establishing them as a political force to be reckoned with.
My whole life revolves around politics. At the age of 17, I have completed 4 years of speech and debate, have decided on double majoring in political science and international relations in college and someday, plan to run for public office. I currently an intern for state senator’s office since politics is my passion. Every night I watch the news and think about how I can change the world and I volunteer my time or donate money to causes that matter to me. When my school hosted a walk-out for gun violence, I made posters for all my friends and I walked out with a defiant smirk despite the threat of a cut for “ditching class”. At first, being politically vocal and active can be nerve-wracking, but it has reached a point where, for many situations, silence is not an option.
For those reading who want to become more politically active, whether you are new to the process or more experienced, here is my advice:
-Register to vote. If you are over 18, register to vote and make sure to participate in all elections that you can. You can register online or at the DMV. All elections matter, including the local ones for positions in your community. Even if you are 17 or 16, you can pre-register to vote depending on where you live. No matter what some people might say, your vote matters and voicing your opinion through voting is the single most important thing you can do.
-Keep informed about issues that matter to you. Consider doing individual research into the issues that matter to you whether that is abortion to cost of college to living wages. Watching the nightly news or reading the news daily can help to inform your opinion on current events. Seek out both sides on an issue before committing to a viewpoint.
-Pursue political activism or opportunities There are so many opportunities out there for you to pursue. Join a march or protest. Start a political club at school or outside with like-minded individuals. Join a campaign for public office as a staffer or an intern. By getting involved, you can satiate a desire to make a change.
-Run for office. If you want to make a difference in your local community and there are some positions open to you, run for office when you are old enough. Many young people are running for local positions and winning those races. Besides, there is no better way to make an impact. Start a small campaign and spread the word that you are running.
At the end of the day, young people need to realize that we are the change the world needs. Through various means, many young Americans can voice their beliefs and make Generation Z a political force to be reckoned with.
One day, you are tight-knit and sharing secrets as easily as breathing. The next, there is a knife buried between your shoulder blades courtesy of their two-faced behavior. This is the confounding cycle of having a frenemy. Frenemy is a term used to describe an individual who you have a simultaneously contentious and friendly relationship with since they are your friend and enemy. They are “a proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing”, according to an article from the Huffington Post. You will encounter frenemies at least one in your life. They can be anywhere and can be anyone. Julianne Holt-Lunstad at Brigham Young University in Utah, states that about half of our social network consists of people that we both hate and love. Some signs that there’s a frenemy in your life include: someone who craves constant attention, someone who is in the habit of giving backhanded compliments, someone you suspect of wanting to sabotage you, and someone willing to overshare the details of their life upon your first few meetings.
Although some researchers have contributed positive effects to having a frenemy, Jessica Methot, an associate professor at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, highlighted negative correlations of having a frenemy such as rapid ageing, high stress, and high blood pressure. Since the relationship between frenemies is one of ambivalence, Methot and other researchers suggest that mixed results can occur in the workplace.
The first time I encountered a frenemy was the underclassmen years of high school, more specifically sophomore year. I met a girl who was my new debate partner. She dealt backhanded compliments in every other sentence. She constantly threw me under the bus whenever we would lose a debate round, even though it was her temper that handed us the loss. She constantly interjected herself into the conversation and focus the attention on herself. Everything with her was a competition hidden behind a farce of a smile. I refused to partake in the toxic behaviour until I witnessed her making out with the boy I had a year-long crush on and was planning to ask out. She then abandoned me in debate and ruined my plans for the competitive season, a major factor in my decision to transfer events. Those two actions began the years long whisper and smear campaign between the two of us. I stooped to her level. We would smile at each other while hiding verbal daggers behind our backs, ready to wield them and destroy each other at any turn. Eventually, I decided to sever the relationship to the best of my ability since we still had to work together on the debate team. She hasn’t changed in the slightest, but leaving my mistakes in the past has improved my quality of life.
Here is my advice for dealing with a frenemy:
-Pinpoint which of your friend are actually frenemies. This is a difficult step, but acknowledging the ones who you never quite were sure about or suspected harboring ulterior motives allows you to take the next steps.
-Ignore the backhanded compliments. Never let the attempts by a frenemy to sink your confidence get under your skin. To do this, realize that everything is coming from a place of insecurity and that they are only lashing out because they are threatened by you.
-Determine if you want to end the enemy aspect of the frenemy relationship. If you decide that you want to sort out whatever bad blood exists between you and your frenemy, talk it out with them. The whole behavior might be related to something that upset them that you didn’t know. Attempting to repair the relationship may result in a tight, non-competitive friendship.
-Let them go. If you ultimately deem it not worth it to keep associating with them, consider cutting all ties completely. Try to keep the split relatively drama-free and polite. The less drama involved on your part, the better. Even if the frenemy attempts to stir up drama, take the higher road. Your friend group will thank you and more likely side with you, if they are involved.
Ever find yourself overly cynical about the romantic relationships of your closest friends to the point where you are annoyed with your friend and their significant other? Then you might want to check for the green-eyed monster, known as relationship envy, hiding in the depths of your subconscious. Relationship envy is defined as a person, who is single, undergoing emotions of jealousy and targeting their friends in relationships with passive aggressive behaviors. An article from Refinery29 emphasised that the envy we feel is over something that we perceive to be true rather than it being true; people envy supposedly happy relationships. Some of the signs that you have relationship envy are; passive aggressive behaviors, the distaste of seeing PDA, actively excluding your friend and their significant other from activities and harboring negative emotions about your friend. To a slight degree, the envy you might feel when your friend is reveling in their new relationship is part of a cycle. As described in a Bustle article, there is a certain amount of envy that is healthy and often occurs during the new phases of a relationship. But there is a thin line between normal, healthy envy and envy that becomes consuming. Envy makes people bitter and causes strain in relationships.
There is no doubt that every person experiences this type of envy in their lifetime. Although embarrassing, I can recount moments where I felt the sting of being single while others in my circle of friends were in somewhat happy relationships. Envy can grip you and it can be hard to shake off. Here are some tips to dealing with relationship envy:
-Realize that romance only makes up a small portion of life. Careers, family, and friendships are other aspects of life that deserve your attention. Instead of focusing on what you are ‘missing’ and your unhappiness, it would help to focus on what you do have.
-Cultivate your happiness through things you can control. Pursue your passions and dreams to focus on a positive aspect of life.
-Figure out why the relationship is making you envious. Jealousy is a reflection of what we secretly desire, so figuring out why can be the key to relieving the envy you feel. Absolving that envy and getting what you want will return things to normalcy.
-If you are emotionally and physically ready to date, put yourself out there on the market! A significant other unfortunately will not fall out of the sky and into your waiting arms. There is a bit of work involved, but there could be a relationship in the cards for you at the end.
At the end of the day, envy is a emotion that rears its ugly head and we always fall because we are only human. The best thing you can do is healthily deal with the negative effects before it poisons your relationships with those coupled friends.