It's been a long time coming, but the Humanitarian section of my blog is finally in action. Last semester, my school load was very heavy and it was difficult for me to set time aside to publish blog posts, so this semester I decided to incorporate what I am learning alongside styled photos onto my blog.
The first post I published under this category is "28 Things I've Learned in 28 Years," in light of my upcoming birthday and because I felt my life lessons aligned with Humanitarian topics. The next post I want to share are the introductory details to my senior project. (I graduate with my BA in Humanities next semester if all goes well.)
Our professor instructed us to pick a topic for our senior project based on a paper we wrote previously or something we are passionate about. Surprisingly, when our 20 page paper was assigned, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about! I decided to investigate one of the biggest influences of my life: social media. Last week, we turned in our prospectus which is like a pitch or an introduction to an introduction that gives the reader an idea of what an upcoming project is about and I wanted to share some of the details with you!
The inspiration for my senior project began last semester, unknowingly. I watched a documentary on Netflix called The True Cost which made me rethink my own shopping habits and what I choose to advertise as a Blogger. This documentary highlights the long-lasting affects of the fast fashion industry by exposing the importance of organic cotton and how other countries like Haiti are negatively affected by Western shopping habits. The film states that only 10% of donated clothing gets reused at charities or second-hand stores. As a shop-a-holic in recovery I haven't done extensive shopping recently, but instead have focused on closet purging over the last few years. Although I was doing good for myself by minimizing unnecessary items, I have contributed to the packages of trash that was likely shipped to Third World countries.
One of the key components of our project is to relate our work to something we have learned in a previous class. Last semester I took a class called Biography of a City: Beijing, and this year I am taking the Shanghai section. My plan is to take my inspiration from the documentary and connect it to the affects the fast fashion industry has had on factory workers in 21st century China. Ancient China up until 1911 is commonly known for its imperial powers, in contrast to modern China that is often exploited for factory work. Although there are more restrictions now in favor of workers, the laws are not always enforced. In addition, employees are put under immense pressure to produce high volumes at low wages.
I do my best to promote small and local brands, but it is nearly inevitable that I shop or work with large corporations. My shopping habits have slowed down a lot (ironically as a style blogger) which I feel has helped in some ways, but my dilemma as a full-time student with a small budget is that when I do shop I am directed back into the cycle of inexpensive clothing. The ideal scenario would equate shopping less and investing in larger ticket items occasionally, but it is not always possible with the surprises life brings.
My goal with this project is to gain a deeper understanding of the lasting influence of my shopping habits and what I advertise. In addition, I aim to educate my audience on how they can make conscientious decisions for their wallet, our environment, and humanity.
I'm turning 28 the first week of March and felt inspired to write a post on 28 things I've learned within my lifetime, so far. I was feeling inspired and currently have time to work on it, so I figured why not? Plus 79% of you voted for me to post it sooner rather than later! If I learn anything spectacular between now and the next 23 days, I'll be sure to update the list (lol). I hope that sharing my viewpoints can help us get to know each other better and that it uplifts those who need it!
1. Don’t take everything personally. In my early twenties I believed everything was personal, but one thing I have accepted recently is that most things aren’t always as personal as they feel. And sometimes they are, but you must learn how to gauge the difference.
2. Social media isn’t everything. It can be a great tool, but ultimately it does not define the worth of your personal life or financial success.
3. Be patient. Not just in your long-term goals, but with day-to-day moments. When life begins to test you: pause, take a breath, and push through it with grace.
4. Life isn’t fair, but don't let it keep you down. After a traumatic event my former roommate once told me, “Just because you are a good person doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen to you,” and it always stuck with me. Being a good person doesn’t make you invincible. Stay aware and protect yourself.
5. Smile, even if they don’t smile back.
6. Time and money are valuable, be picky with how you spend it.
7. Success does not occur linearly.
8. Keep yourself in check so others don’t have to.
9. Enjoy your alone time. It's much needed to stay in tune with yourself and your happiness.
10. Don’t give in to peer pressure. Stand your ground and stick up for what you believe in.
11. Put effort into Agape, Eros, Philia, and Storge kind of love.
12. People who spread hate often have deep rooted issues.
13. It’s impossible to know your deepest wants and desires if they are constantly drowned in distractions. Know your vices.
14. The hangover isn’t always worth it.
15. Don’t force it. The job, the relationship, going to the event, the foot into the shoe.
16. Ride the wave.
17. Follow your intuition. If something feels “off” it probably is. If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. Don’t doubt yourself.
18. Be sure your words and actions align.
19. Be brutally honest in the most respectful way.
20. Don’t impulsively over divulge.
21. Speak up for yourself and others in need who cannot do it for themselves.
22. Know when to apologize and admit you are wrong.
23. Be resilient. I wasn’t dealt an easy deck in life, so one trait I really pride myself on is my ability to bounce back after a rough time. “Pressure makes diamonds.”
24. Styles change, love your own features.
25. Don’t ever get too comfortable. Stay on your toes, life is unexpected.
26. Make time every week to learn something new or partake in a hobby you love.
27. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Be creative with it.
28. Get plenty of sleep. Rest when you’re tired. Take that nap. Go to bed early if you have to.
Now, it's your turn! What are the top lessons you've learned? What's the best guidance you've received from someone else? Let me know in the comments below.