Daily Archives: 6 Oct 2017

Republican lawmakers wave the white flag yet again on health care

Zoe Griffin | Contributing Writer

The GOP’s latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has not fared well with Republican lawmakers.

The goal of Republican lawmakers was to meet the Oct. 1 deadline of passing the American Health Care Act before the current fiscal year ended, but they were unsuccessful yet again.

Now that the deadline passed, the bill can’t be passed with a simple majority.

It now requires the cooperation of the Democratic Party.

On Jan. 10, just days before President Trump’s inauguration, he told The New York Times that Republicans would have Obamacare repealed “probably sometime next week.”

Now, as October starts, Obamacare is still the law of the land, and Republicans are no closer to overhauling their health care law than they were when Trump took office.

“I try to look at both sides and kind of create a parallel between Obamacare and the GOP plan,” Hampton University sophomore journalism major Jordyn Brown said. “It’s important to be aware of the extreme differences and goals of each health care plan. These plans are both targeted to affect specific groups of people. Watching the attempts at altering health care is scary but necessary.”

Approximately 18 million Americans would be without health care coverage in the first year if the GOP Healthcare bill passed, replacing the Affordable Care Act. By the year of 2026, approximately 32 million Americans would lose health care coverage.

“We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system. We are not going to be able to do that this week, but it still lies ahead of us, and we haven’t given up on that,” Senator McConnell told CNN reporters Tuesday.

Democrats and Republicans that voted against the GOP healthcare bill can exhale and wait for the next attempts at repealing Obama Care.

“Republicans are ignoring the problems that Congress found within the bill,” second-year political science major Corei Flowers said. “The best thing for us is for both sides to throw away their pride and come up with a compromise. Republicans are never going to agree with Obamacare, and Democrats are never going to agree with the GOP bill.”

One Hampton University student was relieved when news reports revealed that the GOP bill failed.

“I feel like people don’t really understand how important Obamacare is for some people,” sophomore journalism major Brandi Hutchinson said. “There are people of all ethnicities and backgrounds [who] are only alive and well because of Obamacare. How is taking this away humane at all? I don’t understand how someone’s life and well-being can mean absolutely nothing to certain individuals.”

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Lost in translation in a “united” nation

Randall Williams | Sports Editor

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ESPN

Colin Kaepernick’s name over the past year has remained a frequent subject of discussion when it comes to the NFL. His protest over the racial inequality and social injustice has heard plenty of praise but also a significant amount of disapproval as well.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback aimed to spread awareness of the topics by kneeling during the national anthem last season.

“Kaepernick [was] not trying to disrespect fallen soldiers that have fought to protect the country for what it is today,” Hampton University sophomore Preston Randolph said this week. “He only wants equality and fairness.”

A week after the media frenzy began, Kaepernick’s jersey sales skyrocketed to the top, making him at the time the No. 1-selling jersey in the NFL. Time passed, and talk of protesting the league until he stood began.

The ratings of NFL games dropped 8 percent in January, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Many owners across the league believed this was due to the protests started by the onetime Super Bowl quarterback.

Kaepernick was released in March, and he has yet to be signed. The word “blackball” was mentioned often. Celebrities such as rapper and producer J. Cole, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley are just a few notable names in a sea full of people who say NFL owners have ostracized Kaepernick. Others believe that since his former team has not been producing, there is no reason to sign him.

President Donald Trump in March gave his own explanation on why Kaepernick remained unsigned. Trump’s reasoning was that “NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet.”

Six months later, the president’s attack was more personal than ever. Trump attended an Alabama rally in support of Luther Strange on Sept. 23 and said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of [an expletive] off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

The comment was extremely unexpected. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was one of the first to respond the following day, saying, “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.” From there, an array of responses occurred from players and celebrities.

This was Saturday, though, and when Sunday came, the whole world waited to see how NFL teams would react as organizations. Division was the result. Teams kneeled together. Teams locked arms. Three teams stayed in the locker room. Some teams were split in between standing and taking a knee. Trump, however, did not back down, and instead sent another load of tweets reiterating his point that everyone should stand.

A day passed, and then the Dallas Cowboys were the center of attention. Jerry Jones, owner of “America’s Team,” was also a point of focus. This was due to his avid support of Trump over the past two years in his run as a politician, even donating $1 million. The team knelt and locked arms, all while being booed by the crowd.

People who did not agree with protests during the anthem began using the hashtag “I Stand” on social media and also discussed boycotting the NFL until the players stand. The NFL was already being boycotted by some American citizens for Kaepernick’s unemployment.

So two sides who oppose each other are now doing the same thing to try to cripple the nation’s most popular sport.

“I feel because of Trump’s comments towards the NFL [that] people are now missing the point of why the knee was taken in the first place,” Hampton student Kevin Monday said.

Has America become lost in Trump’s comments? Is the U.S. forgetting the purpose of the original protest? Although there are individual players such as Bennett, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and more who have remained kneeling for the original cause, there is a discrepancy.

Since teams in Week 3 took a knee following Trump’s comments, the impression was conveyed that they are kneeling out of humiliation by the president.

A humiliation that was met without a response would have been an embarrassment. To avoid this, the league responded accordingly.

 

Rev. Jesse Jackson talks voter registration to Hampton community

Leenika Belfield-Martin| Lifestyle Editor

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Courtesy of Stephanie Smith

Reverend Jesse Jackson, the civil rights leader and second African-American to run for president, visited Hampton University on Sep- tember 20, 2017 at the Emancipation Oak. On that abnormally warm afternoon, about 200 Hampton students and members of the community gathered around the historical tree to hear the wise words of this icon.

Rev. Jackson’s visit to Hampton was a part of his tour of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The purpose of this “Healing and Rebuilding,” tour was to push voter registration. Rev. Jackson said, “We vote for resources. We vote for priorities.” One such priority Rev. Jackson discussed was cancer, the leading cause of death in Virginia. He spoke about the relationship cancer has with the environment and how poorer people often are the ones to suffer the most.

“Those who die the most [and] die the quickest are those who have the least amount of insurance.” Rev. Jackson said.

Rev. Jackson also spoke about the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacist protesters and their adversaries battled over a statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

He claimed that the white supremacists have evolved instead of deceasing, saying, “The Klu Klux Klan used to march by night with their hoods on. Now, they march by day without any sense of shame.” The protests turned violent and a driver drove through a crowd of counter-protesters, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer. Rev. Jackson encour- aged the crowd not to forget those acts and to ght the hate by voting in November.

“They killed Heather in August,” he said. “We will remember in November.”

 

Rev. Jackson shared his experiences living in a segregated south during the Civil Rights Era. During this time he was arrested in 1960 for attempting to use a public library. The crowd recited with Rev. Jackson that “we are not going back” to those times and instead we will move “forward by hope and not backwards by fear.” Now, almost 50 years past segregation, Rev. Jackson said that we must learn to live together after surviving apart.

Accompanying Rev. Jackson on his tour was The New Virginia Majority Education Fund who helped register students at the event. This organization is “the catalytic force for the progressive transformation of Virginia through mass organizing…”according to its website. Last year, the organization had the largest voter registration campaign in the history of Virginia by successfully registering over 168,000 people.

Sauda Speede, who has been with the Education Fund for three consecutive years, said that registering to vote is the first step in making a change in your community. “There’s no point of complaining about certain things in Hampton. If you don’t like it, vote for change,” Speede said.

Speede also said that voting in Virginia should be easier and available to all, even former and current criminals.

“The length of the application is so long in detail… [When people] commit a crime [or] a felony they lose their right to vote forever until the governor actually pardons them and restores their rights.” She also compared the voting rights in Virginia to that of other states, saying “…in Maine and Vermont, [prisoners] vote while they’re locked up!”

 

Rev. Jackson reached out to the Hampton Chapter of NAACP,who then spoke to the Hampton University Youth and College Division of the NAACP to organize the appearance, according to Hampton’s Miss NAACP, Maya Young. Young, who is a senior elementary education major from South Carolina enjoyed Rev. Jackson’s message about how people fought for the right to vote.

“Like [Rev. Jackson] said, so many fought for us to have that right. So many of us today are really pushing that right without a thought. It [seems to be] no big deal to us, but they literally fought for this right.”

The North Korea problem

Jordan Benefiel | Staff Writer

North Korea needs to be stopped, and there’s no one to stop it. Tensions have been rising in the region and around the world as North Korea tests its ballistic missiles over Japan, threatens South Korea, Guam, and the U.S. Meanwhile, China does nothing.

Early in September, the Seoul military reported that North Korea was readying another ballistic missile test that could potentially be an ICBM. This news came right on the heels of North Korea’s claim that it also was testing a hydrogen bomb. Hydrogen bomb or not, Seoul’s defense ministry measured the nuclear test at 50 kilotons, making this test the DPRK’s biggest one ever.

In response to the news, the United States sent mixed messages. On the one hand, defense secretary Jim Mattis said that we are “not looking to the total annihilation” of North Korea, “but we have many options to do so.” On the other hand, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, told the security council that Kim Jong Un is “begging for war,” yet she called for more diplomacy.

Both stances were made obsolete by President Trump’s ambiguous response to a Fox News reporter. When asked if the U.S. will attack North Korea, the president responded, “We’ll see.”

With the U.S. paralyzed as to how to approach North Korea and China too indifferent to take the necessary steps to disarm the North Koreans, Americans are left vulnerable. Even if the politics of this are complicated, that should not keep the powers that be from taking the necessary steps to protecting the world from nuclear war. Thinking about how the average person is practically powerless to combat this threat, we start to realize how terrifying the world can be.

When asked if North Korean aggression scared him, Eric Harrell, a second-year psychology major at Hampton University answered, “No, the North Korean aggression doesn’t scare me.” When pressed for further elaboration, all he said is he doesn’t view the North Koreans as a threat. Another student, Harrington Gardiner, a second-year journalism major, said, “The weapons that they’re testing right now won’t be able to reach parts of our country, but they are targeting our allies as a threat [toward] us to see if we will retaliate because they want war.”

The North Korea problem continues to be prescient because the threat of nuclear war keeps escalating. Officials are afraid that if North Korea were ever capable of fitting a nuclear warhead on an ICBM, the rogue nation could cause catastrophe across the globe. Now more than ever, we need a strong unified message around how we will combat this problem.

Kardashians and Jenners keep delivering surprises

Carlie Beard | Staff Writer

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Courtesy of Carlie Beard

The baby of the Kardashian-Jenner family is having a baby?

According to a TMZ report, reality TV star Kylie Jenner is expecting a child with her
boyfriend, rapper Travis Scott. The couple has been in the spotlight for the past year on multiple occasions, from getting matching butterfly tattoos to buying each other expensive gifts.

Shortly after rumors of Jenner and rapper Tyga breaking up, she often was spotted with
Scott. The makeup guru was criticized for jumping from one relationship to the next.
Insider.com stated that Jenner is either four or five months along and that it could
possibly be a girl. Recently, though, Jenner posted a picture with her best friend, Jordyn Woods.

In the photo, Jenner was slightly showing her slim stomach, which made people question
whether or not the pregnancy reports are true.

According to OK Magazine, the couple did not plan this pregnancy, if she is, in fact,
pregnant. Many people who constantly keep up with the Kardashians know that this family is known for what some critics refer to as “publicity stunts.”

Some found it suspicious that this news went viral right before the “Keeping up with the Kardashian 10 th Anniversary Special” aired. Was this another one of famous “mom-ager” Kris Jenner’s stunts, or was it one heck of a coincidence?

When Ryan Seacrest, executive producer of KUWTK reached out to Kris Jenner to
find out if the story was true, she replied with, “Kylie’s not confirming anything.”

As if these pregnancy rumors were not shocking enough, news spread just days after
about Khloé Kardashian. It was reported by PopSugar.com that she will be expecting a child with boyfriend Tristan Thompson, a power forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kardashian is divorced from former NBA player Lamar Odom.

To top it off, Kim Kardashian-West announced she and her husband of three years,
Kanye West, will be expecting a baby via surrogate. Kardashian-West has had previous issues with infertility and has even discussed the surrogate possibility on the show.

Breeon Buchanan, a Hampton University senior journalism and communications major
from Philadelphia, said the family is “doing the most,” and that it “is suspicious [that] all three pregnancies occurred around the same time.”

With three possible new additions to the family, who knows what to expect next from the
Kardashian-Jenners?

Opening Convocation: The beginning to an end

Amber Smith | Staff Writer

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Courtesy of Mary Sesay

The 75th Opening Convocation ceremony left a bittersweet feeling on the class of Ogre Phi Ogre XVI.

This annual fall ceremony for the seniors at Hampton stood as a reminder of what lies ahead.

The ceremony for Dr. William R. Harvey’s 40th year as Hampton’s president was remarkable, with words from senior class president Kris Anderson, Harvey and Calvin L. Butts, the keynote speaker and Hampton University alumnus. The inspiring words given by each speaker and the music sung by the Symphonic choir contrib- uted to the momentous celebra- tion of the hard work the seniors have accomplished thus far.
The historical tradition left many of the seniors feeling nostalgic of the start of their journey at Hampton University to now.

“Sitting there in my cap and gown, listening to the speakers made everything feel very surreal. It seems like I was a freshman just yesterday and now I’m here,” Hampton University senior Jessica Branch said.

Butts’ address delved into his time as a student at Hampton and how it impacted his life and the person he is today. Butts’ most honest advice to the seniors was about being present in communicating with others:

“The best advice I can give you is to stop communicating with your fingers.”

This statement hit home for many of the people sitting in Ogden as it was followed by a big applause from the seniors.

While it may seem like many of the graduating seniors’ time at Hampton University is slowly coming to an end, there is much more work to be done and many more memories to be made.

 

Graduation is eight months away, and although many seniors are looking forward to the momentous day, they are also determined to make the most of their nal months here.

Christopher Bates, Hampton’s Mr. Pirate and Mr. Senior, reflected on his college passage and how the gradual longing to stay is increasing.

 

“This ceremony put in per- spective that I will soon be an alumni and begin my journey in the real world,” Bates said. “[It’s] such a warm bittersweet feeling just knowing that my time at Hampton University is slowly coming to an end.”

 

NSU President set to retire

Odyssey Fields | Staff Writer

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Courtesy of Norfolk State University

After serving as Norfolk State University president for a year, Eddie N. Moore Jr. is retiring.

The university’s sixth president fulfilled the promise he made when he first took office: to clean up Norfolk State’s academic slate.

NSU had been on academic probation. Its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, cited administrative shortcomings and shoddy bookkeeping when it put Norfolk State on warning in 2013 and probation a year later.

After two years of patient work by Moore and others in the administration, SACS restored Norfolk State to good standing.

Moore released his retirement statement to faculty, staff and students Sept. 25.

He previously served NSU as an interim president for three years. After signing his two-year contract, President Moore swiftly tackled the issues the university faced.

With more than 40 years of experience, Moore has conquered a variety of challenges that stood in the path of his journey at NSU.

After gaining back its accreditation, Moore worked on Norfolk’s “institutional integrity.” His three goals were improving graduation rates, increasing the amount of enrollment for students and flourishing the culture of accountability at NSU.

“NSU is a great institution that will come back greater. Whomever takes over for Mr. Moore will hopefully fulfill the legacy of NSU,” said Victoria Balogun, an NSU sophomore mass communications major.

Since 2013, the university’s rankings have greatly increased, leaving NSU ranked at No. 27 for HBCU listings. In the 2016-2017 enrollment year, admitted students increased to almost 5,000 students.

Moore also has increased funding for the Cybersecurity Workforce. On Jan. 16, 2015, Norfolk State University received a $25 million grant from U.S National Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

The grant allows students majoring in cybersecurity to be properly trained and help develop the university’s cybersecurity workforce. The $25 million grant was only the start to strengthening NSU’s financial support.

In July 2016, NSU received $5 million in grant money for renewable research. Leading into March of 2017, Norfolk raises an additional $1 million from the National Science Department, toward the STEM program.

A portion of the money went toward upgrading the laboratory and experiment equipment used throughout the science department. The grant also helped to support tuition for four undergraduate students attending NSU. In addition to the grant, the number of students within the STEM program increased.

“NSU will continue to prosper as a university,” NSU freshman marketing major Tatyanna Taylor said, “but President Moore will be missed.”

Hampton U. crowns a new “Mr. Pirate”

Tyler Barnes | Contributing Writer

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Courtesy of Stephanie Smith

Hampton University has crowned Christopher Bates as the new Mr. Pirate for the 2017-
2018 school year.

Last Friday, Robert C. Ogden Hall transformed into a night of festivity with Mardi Gras
colors and decorations for the Mr. Pirate pageant.

Proud family members, friends and faculty gathered to cheer on contestants as they
competed for the title.

The audience harmonized along to the tunes played by Dj D Will in anticipation for the
pageant to begin.

The contestants confidently graced Ogden's stage as the crowd roared with excitement.

Contestants Andrew Justice, Barry Palmore, Anderson Douglas, Bates and Bakari Clemmons wore black suits, with vests varying in colors from blue to gold, and a masquerade mask.

After a brief, collective dance performance, contestants had the opportunity to formally
introduce themselves, including a quote that they live by.

Agreeance was heard throughout the audience when powerful quotes such as “The best
way to get lost is in the service of others” from Clemmons, and “Walk by faith not by sight” from Bates.

The gentlemen flaunted their gym results in individual performances during the swimsuit portion of the pageant. Many included creative props such as umbrellas, caution signs and surfboards.

The audience was amazed by the different talent skills contestants showcased. Palmore  DJ’d a diverse set of tunes for the audience to sing along to. Douglas played the
drums to a medley of today’s hits. Bates showed off his skills in multiple ways by singing,
dancing and performing a short skit to bring it all together.

“I didn’t know that they all did so much,” said Destany Manns, a sophomore journalism
major from Charlotte, N.C. “It’s cool to see the talents that they never show.”

Each was scored on the clarity and delivery of their talent.

The last category was the question-and- answer section. Each contestant received two
questions they had to answer quickly and clearly.

Questions included: What was one thing they would save if their house was burning
down? Who do they go to for guidance? And where is one place they would rather be than at the pageant?

Though contestants all competed to the best of their abilities, only one could be crowned
Mr. Pirate. Bates, a senior sociology major from the Bronx, N.Y., reigned supreme.
Bates was followed by first runner-up Barry Palmore Jr.

“It feels amazing, overwhelming,” Bates said. “I’ve worked so hard, and I have waited
for this moment since I got [to Hampton], and now I did it.”

Bates received a free suit rental from Men’s Warehouse along with a $50 gift card. He will now assist the next Miss Hampton University with her platform and represent
Hampton University in the Hampton Roads community and across the nation.

Now that Bates is the university’s new Mr. Pirate, who will be his Miss? The Miss Hampton University Scholarship Pageant will be held at 7 tonight in Ogden
Hall.

CoverGirl’s diverse makeover is pretty inspiring

Selena Roberts | Contributing Writer

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Courtesy of Selena Roberts

CoverGirl continues to enhance the diversity in its lineup of ambassadors. New additions
include actress Issa Rae and celebrity chef Ayesha Curry.

The cosmetics brand has made an effort to be more inclusive. Hampton University
students have taken notice.

“It is inspiring to see faces such as Issa and Ayesha as the face of the brand because they
are people who not only look like me, but they are people that I can relate to,” said Hannah Collins, a freshman chemical engineering major from Memphis.

This is not the first time CoverGirl has made news for including diversity in its brand.
Nura Afia, a beauty vlogger, was named an ambassador last year. She was the first woman to wear a hijab in a CoverGirl advertisement. In addition, Maye Musk became the oldest woman to be the face of the brand at age 69.

CoverGirl keeps evolving by adding new faces that inspire women everywhere to
welcome their individuality because that is what makes them beautiful.

Rae and Curry join other celebrities such as Katy Perry, Sofia Vergara, Zendaya and
Janelle Monae as faces of the brand.

Rae has evolved since her “Awkward Black Girl” days on YouTube. She is the author of
a New York Times bestseller, the producer of the hit show “Awkward” on HBO and now the new face of CoverGirl.

“I remember being an awkward black girl in high school, reading the pages of my
favorite magazines, casually flipping through CoverGirl ads,” Rae wrote on Instagram.

“Never in my life did I imagine I’d be one. I am so honored and so excited for what’s to come.” She added, “My character is ever-evolving, and makeup is a tool to help transform my persona.”

It has not been revealed if Rae will have her own makeup line. Still, it is an honor to be
named a CoverGirl ambassador.

Curry has been expanding her brand in the past year as well. She is the host of her own
cooking show, “Ayesha Homemade,” which airs on Food Network; a cookbook author; a
restaurant owner; and is set to release her line of cookware at Target in the upcoming month. In addition to making a brand for herself, she is the wife of NBA superstar Stephen Curry and mother to Riley, age 5, and Ryan, 2.

Ayesha Curry broke the news about CoverGirl via her Instagram account.

“I am so honored and thrilled to join the iconic women of the CoverGirl family and be a
part of a brand that empowers women to embrace their originality,” she said.

CoverGirl announced Curry would have her own line of makeup. She introduced a new
mascara, the Peacock Flare Mascara. The formula of the mascara allows lashes to appear as full as the feathers of a peacock. This product will be available in November.

Don’t forget: You need love, too

Brandi Hutchinson | Contributing Writer

Although “self-love” may seem self-explanatory, it can be demonstrated in
a variety of ways.
Step 1: Put yourself first.
Step 2: Love yourself unconditionally, no matter who is watching.
Step 3: Free yourself of societal standards and create your own instead.
“Self-love is honestly indescribable,” said Hampton University second-year
journalism major Zoe Griffin. “It's being your own shoulder to cry on and
consoling yourself. It's about making sure that you get enough sleep and that
you’ve journaled enough for the week. It's about having the absolute best interest
in yourself, unapologetically.”
Self-love becomes a challenge when people allow society’s perspective on
beauty define their own beauty. It’s a concept that is often brushed under the rug
and constantly overlooked. A huge decline in intimate relationships is often due
to companions not having a better understanding of themselves. With that being
said, it is impossible to love someone correctly without loving yourself first. The
term “self-love” is more than just feeling beautiful on the outside; it’s a process of
growth on physical, mental and spiritual levels.
Begin by evaluating yourself. Take time to separate the positive and
negative energy you keep around. In due time, the energy you exude will be
reciprocated back into you. With evaluation comes more independence. A huge
weight is lifted off your shoulders once you start relying on yourself, rather than
others. Each day, take a moment to tell yourself: “I am human, and humans are
not perfect.”  What another person defines beauty to be doesn’t justify your inner
soul within.
Aria Henry, a second-year strategic communications major from Long
Island, N.Y., defined inner beauty as: “A love that comes from within and [is] shed
throughout your life.” Henry added, “Your true self is the one that not everyone gets to see because it’s filled with so many insecurities, but once you start to love that part of
yourself, it is a light that you cannot even begin to dim.”
Never let a day go by where you don’t encourage yourself to be the best
that you can be. Avoid negative phrases like “I’m scared” or “I can’t,” and replace
them with “I can” and “I will.” Sooner or later, you’ll see yourself taking a lot more chances. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else and start exploring your
spirituality. This will allow you to learn more about yourself.Try opening up your mind to new thoughts, feelings and passions.
“When I got to Hampton, I [met] new people that [were] different than
me,” said Jordyn Brown, a second-year journalism major from Long Island, N.Y. “I
think that everyone, at least once in their lifetime, has to expand their horizons
because staying in one spot prevents you from growing.”
Build up your strength to let fears go, because they will only make you miss
out on your blessings.
Finally, spoil yourself. Add a prayer to your daily routine and reach out to
God even when you feel like life is good. View each day as one filled with new
opportunities and blessings. Fall so deeply in love with your solitude that you’ll
become proud to be authentically you.