What The London Terror Attacks Mean To Me As A British Citizen
The Real World |  Source: thedailybeast.com

What The London Terror Attacks Mean To Me As A British Citizen

We are not afraid.

During the 2005 London Bombings, my Aunt Lorna was running late for work. If she hadn't been, she would have been on one of the trains hit. She could have been among the 52 dead or over 700 injured that day.

During the Manchester Bombing, I felt true fear from a terror attack like nothing in America had made me feel. My mother and younger brother were traveling to England in a week. I remembered all the planes that have gone missing over the past decade. I had (what I thought was) irrational fear that I would get a call at work informing me that their plane has gone missing.

During the dual attacks at London Bridge and Borough Market this Saturday, a day before joining my family in England, my mother called telling me to watch the news, and my father warned me to be extremely careful while traveling. He was so worried, he almost made me stay here in the U.S.

I am a British-American. I possess dual-citizenship. All of my family either lives in England or has British heritage, and I have this no-longer-irrational fear that one of my family members will actually be on the next train that explodes, or that my cousins will be victims of the next school shooting, or that my grandmother will be on the bus that slams through traffic.

The people of England have suffered three terror attacks in just over two months. Clearly, this is devastating to our country. So why does the rest of the world seem content to act like it isn't with only a sad frown over their daily coffee? (Note that besides internet articles, the three news channels I get on my TV didn't mention anything about the attacks until 11 p.m. EST, over five hours after the attacks started.)

As much as I hate to say it, it's nearly-impossible to kill an idea. The ideologies behind terror attacks aren't going away anytime soon, so we have to fight back; it's the only way to stop them from winning.

But how do you stop an idea? For me, doesn't necessarily mean I go to war with a gun, I'm not that kind of soldier.

It means I will still be English, and extremely proud of it in the face of those who claim I shouldn't be. It means I get on that plane and see my family this summer.

I know that by helping each other, like the residents of Manchester and London are helping the people who are stranded, scared, and confused are today, we start winning simply by keeping our heads up and refusing to break.

I know we infuriate those who want to keep us down, because we won't "carry on and drink tea". We'll fight back, and we'll bloody well drink our tea while we do it.

It means we can't forget these attacks and let them fade into the background of a newspaper article on page four. We can't forget that we don't change what we stand for as we show the world that this is important, and that we care.

The British are stubborn. Well, stubborn people don't like to lose, and if that means facing ISIS head on, then that's what has to be done.

We might only be college students (and you might not be British,) but all people have a voice, and it can be a loud one (as history has proven). Let's make sure that it's heard while we fight back.

Image Alt
The Real World |  Source: rmalo5aapi

Studying Abroad Changed Me And Here's Why

It is one of the craziest experiences life has to offer.

Everyone who has studied abroad typically arrives home fresh and excited, claiming how much it changed them. Most likely, being someone who perhaps never traveled, you hear those words and quickly disregard them. If you've never been abroad, let alone out of your state or town, you won't even remotely understand the mental and emotional rollercoaster that is studying abroad.

I have just returned from a four month stay in Twickenham, England which is a small residential town thirty minutes outside of Central London. And oh my gosh, it is everything.

When I packed up my suitcase in January and headed to this whole new world, I was incredibly scared and nervous. I thought it was a horrible idea. I mean, going outside of my comfort zone? Nope. Not even. Count me out.

But I knew, somehow, that if I skipped this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I would regret it. Every college graduate who did not choose the abroad route encouraged me to go, saying they wished they had taken the chance while they had it. So I followed my heart and ran with it.

I live in a very condensed residential town in the middle of South Jersey where people tend to spend their entire lives in one house with no intention of ever leaving. It's a bubble of the same people doing the same things every day. Essentially this town is a rut and I had to break out.

I have returned to this same town, four months later, and despite everything being the same, I am hanging onto those UK and European memories I made. My mindset changed immensely when I was far away from home. I went through rough times adjusting, and eventually realized I learned more about myself in those four months than any other time in my life.

I accomplished more than I ever would have if I stayed in that little town in New Jersey. I traveled to six different countries, explored twelve different towns and cities, uploaded 566 photos to my Facebook travel album, tanned on the beach in Barcelona, hiked an insane mountain in Switzerland, and got lost numerous amounts of time on the Underground in London. That's just a few of the things I did.

Incredible, blessed, life changing, and grateful are just a few of the words I could use to describe this experience.

Anyone who needs a change of pace, a fresh start, or even has the urge to see the world. Go. Now. And don't look back 'till you get there.

Image Alt
The Real World |  Source: golfdigest.com

The British Open is Targeting College Students

They're trying to entice young people to the game of golf.

When you think of a golf tournament, your mind probably doesn't wander to scenes of college students staying in a Bonnaroo-esque environment watching golf by day and drinking by night. Well, that will be a reality at this year's British Open at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland.

The campground with be on the grounds of the Marr Rugby Club and just about a fifteen minute walk to the course. Camping is only allowed to ticket holders age 18-25 (aka college students). They provide the tents and a sleeping pad as well as showers, security, and food options. You just have to bring your own sleeping bag.

This is a first for golf and I didn't expect the folks over in Scotland to be the first to let college kids camp between days at the Open when their average fan is a 65-year-old Scottish man who thinks Colin Montgomerie is just delightful.

However, that is just the reason why they are starting this wonderful and unique option. The PGA Tour has a lot of young, likeable players right now such as Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and Rory McIlroy, but the crowds are still much older no matter where you go. Free camping for college students is a great way to incentivize young people to travel to the British Open this year and is sure to be a good time.

"The Open is a wonderful opportunity for young fans to get up close to their favorite players and we know this will help inspire future generations to pick up a club and take part themselves," said.

Student tickets are one thing, but lodging is still expensive; especially in Scotland where everyone is old and can afford expensive accommodations. Hostels fill up fast and can be sketchy, and Airbnb's are going for a fortune. So if you're in college, you're shit outta luck.

However, this campground should draw students from around Europe and the world to one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world featuring just about every player, and help grow passion for the game among young people (which golf has been struggling to do for a while).

I'm currently based in Dublin, Ireland and have signed to camp with six of my friends. I was told I would be sent a "prohibited items list" after I paid my (refundable) deposit. I'm sure that won't stop the wild Europeans from having a good time after long days of walking miles in the wind and rain. The only question is which golfer will show up first. My bet is John Daly. And yes, he is in this year's field.

Image Alt
The Real World |  Source: youtube.com

Aly Raisman's Parents Are Hilarious When They're Nervous

Back at it again, from London to Rio.

Aly Raisman, a two time Women's U.S. Olympic Gymnast, has the funniest parents of all time. Watch her parents watching Aly's bar routine at the qualifying (first) round of the 2016 olympics.

The best part is that this isn't the first time we've seen Aly's parents act like this. In the 2012 Olympics, Aly's parents reacted the same way to watching their daughter compete.

Their reaction to being nervous for their daughter is literally me whenever I am nervous for something. Whether it's watching my friend get hit on by a boy she likes, or waiting for my debit card to get approved, not knowing if I have enough money on it. They are too relatable. I hope to see a lot more of them in this year's Olympic Games.

Image Alt
The Real World |  Source: study-abroad.uiowa.edu

Seven Things I've Learned my First Week Abroad

British boys, amiright?

This is my first time leaving the country, traveling solo, being so far away from everyone I know and love. I chose Australia because it has always been a dream of mine, and after working my ass off to get into the program, I am now one week into my semester abroad.

Classes haven't started, I have bounced house to house until I found something halfway decent and affordable, and now I am sitting with my MacBook on my bed (which feels nothing like my cloud at home) to tell you a few things I have picked up in the last seven days.

1. Airplanes fucking suck.
I mean, coach for a 19-hour flight is not my idea of a good time. But that is why God created NyQuil. Take twice the recommended dose and knock yourself out for practically the whole thing. Bring some in flight entertainment, and bless your airline if they have wifi on the plane. I didn't have that privilege.

2. Making new friends is easier than you think.
I made a friend before I even got on the plane, a girl who was from California too, and who was going to the same University in Australia. All you have to do is talk to your parents on the phone obnoxiously loud for the person next to you to realize they are attending the same University as you, in the same country that is 19 hours away. Crazay.

3. Before you go, plan shit out.
I say this because my newfound friend had everything down, was so prepared, and me...oh me. I planned on getting off the plane and just going with the flow. I didn't have anywhere to stay, no transportation from the airport, no phone service. In the end it worked out, but she laughed at my unpreparedness, which made me semi-regret binge watching Netflix instead of planning shit out.

4. British boys are great at going to the land down unda.
If you know what I mean. Maybe this isn't vital information for your future study abroad experience... maybe it is. Maybe you should learn to branch out and expand your horizons. Elongate your "Fuck It List" amongst other things while abroad.

5. Drink.
In Australia, you can drink at 18. In fact, in most countries, you can drink at 18. So if you never played around with a fake ID, make sure you google some cocktails so you have some prior bar knowledge and don't just order, "what he's having." Because not every dude drinks vodka lemonades. Only the ones I pick up.

6. There are some vital things you need to google if you are going abroad.
WhatsApp. Hostels. Exchange rates. Phone carriers. Their equivalent to Craigslist (or a student Free and For Sale page at your University). These will all help you. I promise.

7. Make sure you wrap up all your loose ends in the US before you go abroad.
And by that I mean, dump your SO, pay your bills, and finish the Netflix series you're on. Seriously, I left Grey's Anatomy mid season 12. Guess what country doesn't have Grey's on Netflix? Australia. I can't even forgive myself right now.

Image Alt
The Real World |  Source: Josh Felise

Getting Over My Fear of Rejection

You have to go out on a limb eventually.

Ever since I was little, I've had a severe fear of rejection. I remember my parents telling me to "be a big girl" and call up my friends in kindergarten whenever I wanted to have a play date, and I almost always refused because I was afraid they would say no. The fact that either way, I was stuck sitting at home alone as an only child was a moot point to me at age five.

This same fear has stayed with me throughout my life. I continued to not call friends up to hang out, assuming they'd always be too busy. I actively shied away from talking to any guy I was interested in, fearing they didn't like me back.

After making varsity field hockey freshman year of high school, I didn't try out for the lacrosse team, worrying I'd be "rejected" and put on JV (brat move, I know). I can't begin to count the number of events I didn't go to, people I never met, places I never saw simply because I was afraid of that simple, two letter word: "no."

Fast forward 22.5 years and here I am now, applying for jobs and facing a serious reality check in the world of rejection. Unless you've got some sick connections, the post-graduation job search is one of the most demoralizing, ego-busting times of your life (and it's only been two months since I graduated, LOL).

While many of my peers had the *luxury* of applying to jobs during the school year, I played two sports, suffered two concussions, and had to write a senior thesis... so I didn't really have that option.

As a result, I've been frantically applying to positions. I didn't apply to many jobs at first because I never thought I was qualified enough. The problem is, you need experience for so many of these entry level jobs, and I've always been one to talk down my accomplishments. Quick tip: being overly humble will not get you very far in the job world.

This process, while incredibly hard, made me realize why I've always feared rejection. Deep down, I saw it as a reflection of my character and worth. That might sound crazy and far fetched, but I've always been my own biggest critic.

When someone says "no," or I receive a rejection from a job offer, I immediately think "I'm not good enough," and drive myself crazy scrutinizing all of my flaws. I graduated at the top of my class and did an infinite number of extracurriculars, so WHY CAN'T THEY SEE I'M A GOOD PERSON?! I'M SMART!! I LEARN QUICKLY!!

For all of you in this same boat or quickly approaching it, I'm here to tell you to a) breathe, and b) don't take it out on yourself. I've spent far too many nights miserable and crying, and for what? For nothing! I hated listening to my peers who'd previously graduated telling me "things will work out," but they're right. Things do fall into place, even unexpectedly.

I wound up applying last minute to a position in Spain that I assumed I'd never get, and voila! Just received my acceptance letter- aka I'm going to be in Catalunya for a year. Talk about opportunity of a lifetime.

That's not to say opportunities are just going to fall perfectly at your feet. You still have to write all those agonizing cover letters, and should definitely try to connect with as many alumni as possible, but don't lose hope. You're bound to face some rejections, but it's normal, natural, and most importantly, it takes nothing away from who you are as a person.