The Her Campus Book: Why YOU Should Get it Now!

THE HER CAMPUS BOOK

So for anyone who doesn’t know, I’m kind of obsessed with Her Campus— I’m a contributing writer and part of the blogger network and enjoy every second of both of those. To hear more about my obsession, check out this post!

So a few months ago everyone involved with HC got an email letting them know about the book that was about to drop, and all of the national writers got an email asking if it was okay if they put our names on there as a list of contributors. I was like, duh why wouldn’t I associate myself with that greatness? Thus giving you all one reason why you should definitely be buying this book, and the top reason why I pre-ordered mine. I’m pretty sure within like three seconds of my parents dropping the book off at school for me, I was snapchatting this photo out to anyone and everyone.

HC book bylineWoohoo, go Sara Heath!

If you’re not quite as thrilled as I am to see my name in the book, there are still plenty of things you can do with it. The obvious thing is use it to prepare yourself for college life, hence the title, The Her Campus Guide to College Life.

I’m going to be honest with you all, this part of the book doesn’t really appeal to me much, mostly because in less than two months, I’ll no longer have a need to navigate college life. And yes, I know, there is still plenty of stuff in there that will be useful to me as a young twenty-something, but most of it I’ll still be able to figure out.

So why did I buy this book?

Because for me, it’s going to serve as a sort of time capsule.

I remember one time when I was in like fifth or sixth grade I read this Meg Cabot book called How to Be Popular: A Novel. It was about this chick going into high school who swiped this book about being popular from her grandma or something, and used it as a legitimate guide for high school life. By the end of the novel, the girl had learned some great lesson, told her grandma about it, and her grandma laughed. Oh this thing? Wow. It’s funny to think about what was important and what life was like back when I was in high school.

I want to have that moment in twenty years. I want to pick up the HC book and be like, Oh wow, we all used to stress major when talking about our v-cards to guys. Not to trivialize things women deal with right now, but I hope that I can pick up this book and look at everything that has changed and reminisce about things we did and didn’t value as collegiettes in 2015.

So take it from me, everyone. Even if seeing my name doesn’t make you happy or you might not be in college for too much longer, this book still serves a purpose. A wonderfully sweet and nostalgic purpose.

You can order the Her Campus Guide to College Life at http://www.hercampus.com/book. And if you order it before tomorrow, you get a snazzy little offer to Google Hangout with the founders and maybe have your questions answered! I know I’ll be there; will you?

On Dancing, Love, and Other Drugs

dance blog realOn January 12, 2015, exactly eight days ago today, I published a post entitled, “5 Teams to Watch at UDA Nationals 2015.” It was literally exactly how it sounded—a list of five teams I was super amped to watch at UDA Collegiate Nationals. Now, eight days later, I’ve gotten 679 views on that post. 679. I hadn’t even gotten that many views on this entire blog until the start of 2015. Like what? Dang.

The really cool thing about it all is that I would’ve come up with my favorite teams heading into the competition whether I’d decided to post to my blog about it or not. I freaking love to dance and have obsessed over collegiate nationals for years and years and years, so doing my thang and being able to post it to the blog was rad because I didn’t need to come up with a blog post for the week.

Especially since making other blogger ‘friends’, I’ve been looking at other people’s blogs and being like, “oh, okay,I need to do this, this, and this.” By “this,” I think I’ve meant outfit reviews and DIY crap and recipes. And that’s really not who I am. You want me to post an outfit of the day? Why don’t you take a gander at my collection of plain white shirts and black leggings. You want me to post about DIY crap? I’d rather just buy a set of coasters rather than modpodge photos to some. You want me to post recipes? Well guess what—I may make a lot of baked goods from scratch, but I don’t know crap about actually making up a recipe.

Let me set the record straight: There is nothing wrong with the fact that I accept a free mascara to review, or hair conditioner, or whatever. Posts like that are fun. Posts about my day seeing the Nutcracker are fun. But this blog was supposed to be about my poetry, and although I can’t crank out a sonnet the way I used to, I feel like I’ve lost the purity of my intentions.

Which is why the “5 Teams to Watch” post came at the perfect time.

I have two great loves in this world. One of them is dancing. I love having it hurt when I inhale the day following at 7-hour practice. I love working through a dance and realizing that my mind truly will give up before my body does. I love the camaraderie and the way that this art has somehow become my space, my breathing room.

The other is writing. I love threading a sentence through the eye of a needle. I love taking a totally universal feeling or emotion and articulating it in a way that nobody would’ve thought of. I love recognizing this predictability amongst the human race, recognizing that we’re all sort of just writing the same story and that’s really beautiful.

And when I wrote “5 Teams to Watch,” I was, in the most natural and serendipitous way, just putting those two worlds together. It’s like, there are parts of dancing– the dance, the feeling, the photos of teams learning of their victories– that are in themselves poems that I am not conceited enough to think that I know how to write. But I still want to try.

I started the second semester of my senior year today, which pretty much just indicates one thing—I have to figure out what the fuck I want to do with the rest of my life. And I’m starting to kind of realize that whatever I do, I have to do it with love. Do it with love, and what will follow is the success.

I really hate when people wrap their words around old clichés, making them feel really dank and heavy. This is not Oz—not everything you write is some pulling away of the curtain which hides the universe’s secrets. Sometimes it’s just about a boy in your car or the cruelty of hearts beating or of the way two people holding hands can look like Mary Magdalene—a bunch of drugs that we get addicted to and breathe in like some intoxicating potion.

So I’m sorry that this was all incredibly heavy. I’m sorry that I’ve spent this last page just throwing my heart a cliché and hoping it will stick. But I hope you all know—I did it with love.

Feminist Rehash: Sara Says

Some people don’t know this about me (although if you follow me on Twitter, I’m not sure how you’d miss it; I’m so obnoxious about it): I write for this website called HerCampus.com. HC is super rad because it forces me to sit down and write for an audience once a week, answer to a bevy of editors and keep a really strict deadline. It hc logoadvocates for women, teaching us how to make safe choices with our bodies, all the while giving us a place to get advice about boys and makeup trends.

With it being such an important part of building my writing portfolio, I check HC pretty regularly to see when my new stories are posted (like I said: they have endless amounts of editors, so I’m never really sure when I’ll be seeing my name in the HC lights). I think it’s pretty important that I plaster the link to my articles all over social media to up my page traffic. Plus, who doesn’t want to hear what I have to say? You’re reading this, aren’t you?

So there I was, about to write this Provoc column about how much I hate sweatpants (I was going to quote Karl Lagerfeld and everything), when I decided to log onto the HC site to see another one of my articles. But then I got distracted because did that headline really say that a female judge ruled it not an invasion of privacy to take pictures up a girl’s skirt?

I’m sorry, but what?

According to HC, last month, D.C. Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna ruled that “a person does not have ‘a reasonable expectation of privacy’ when ‘portions of the body [are] exposed by the individual’s voluntary physical positioning and the fit and the fabric of the clothing worn.”upskirt_story_350_030614121243

Except all I read was, “You’re vulgarly exposing yourself for wearing a skirt, so it’s your own fault when people take pictures up it.”

In Judge McKenna’s defense, she did call the perpetrator’s actions “repellant and disturbing,” according to HC.

Because yes, women who bring cases like this to court pay all of those lawyer fees and relive that kind of humiliation for the gratification of a judge’s words… Not.

First off, in wake of all of this, I’m going to have to tip my cap toward Her Campus (maybe I’m a little biased considering working in their offices after graduation is The Dream, but hey, I’m only human). Good on you guys for giving stories like this big bold headlines, for enticing me to click on it when all I wanted to know was about the best Halloween costumes for 2014. Good for you guys for posting girl-power articles like this all the flippin’ time.

Second off, I’m going to have to acknowledge that the Provoc has taken quite a feminist turn this year. I’m going to have to acknowledge that that absolutely rules. And I’m going to have to not apologize for continuing our feminist rants.

I’m not some bra-burning feminazi. One of my favorite pastimes is baking. I paint my fingernails religiously. I join my mother and sister in clearing the table for my brothers and father when we have holiday dinners. I don’t mind fitting into those kinds of New-Feminismstereotypes because baked goods are delicious, because painting my nails is my way of winding down, because I take care of my brothers and father because I’m a nurturing person by nature. What I do mind is being treated like less of a human-being.

You can’t leak photos of me from my phone because I didn’t say that you could. You can’t call me a vulgar name because my parents named me Sara and it’s what I like to be called. You can’t assume that after I share a cab home with you that I want anything else because that’s not something I ever said. You can’t stare at other parts of my body because my face is up here and that’s where my words are coming from.

I’m going to be real with you all here: After years of competitive dancing, I’ve learned not to wear a skirt without a pair of spandex shorts on underneath. And after all of those years of dancing, I’m not even that embarrassed wearing just the shorts. But if someone were to take a picture of me up my skirt anyways, I’d be beyond skeeved. You weren’t taking a picture of the shorts because you were going to run an ad for UnderArmour; you took the photo because you didn’t think there were any shorts there. It wouldn’t be the outcome that’d be repulsive; it would be the intentions.

And am I the only one who’s a little bothered by the fact that the judge presiding was a woman? I’m honestly torn on this one. On the one hand, she has the right to her opinion, and what would I be standing for if I were forcing a set of beliefs on someone simply because of their gender? But on the other hand, it sends chills down my spine to read about broken solidarity in womanhood, to see another female perpetuating victim-blaming.

All I’m saying, I guess, is that women are people, too. We’re to be valued for our ideas (which can be as brilliant or idiotic as men’s can be), not for what’s up our skirts.