Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Recently I found an article online from Women’s Health Magazine that is all about confidence, and how we, as women, can feel confident all the time by dropping a few bad habits, and substituting them for some positive ones.  After reading the article, Sexy is a State of Mind: How to Rock More Confidence from the Inside Out, I thought that every woman should take a look at it and decide for themselves if these tips would be beneficial to them or not.  In my humble opinion we have all been a little too harsh from time to time when it comes to critiquing our own bodies or our actions and, dare I say, even harsher when it comes to commenting on others in order to make ourselves feel better. 

According to researchers, criticizing yourself and others, and comparing yourself to others is only making you a less confident person, even though these actions in fact prove that you are indeed trying to seek a needed sense of confidence.  So ladies, if you are guilty of some of the aforementioned behavior, I know I am, and if you feel like you need a little confidence boost, give this article a read, these five simple steps might pave the road to a more confident and self-assured you! 

Sexy is a State of Mind:

How to rock more confidence from the inside out

1)      Get Moving
Research has linked any type of exercise—cardio, strength training, stretching—to greater body confidence. And it works whether or not your fitness level or weight changes, or whether your sweat sessions are mild or intense. Plus, just talking about a workout can up your self-image, says psychologist Louise Wasylkiw, Ph.D., of Mount Allison University.

2)      Listen Up
The more in touch you are with the way your body works, the less you may dwell on its appearance, says cognitive psychology researcher Vivien Ainley. In one study, women who could more accurately count their heartbeats objectified themselves less. Practices like meditation and yoga can help you tune in to you.

3)      Nix Fat Chat
OMG, you're so tiny; my thighs are like tree trunks. Most women think such self-deprecation is harmless or even helpful. In reality, it's anything but. Even being involved in third-party snarking (say, dissing a coworker's shape) can reinforce a negative view of your own body. "Challenge, then replace, fat talk," says psychology doctoral candidate Rachel Salk of the University of Wisconsin. Praising someone else's strength or their healthy habits can make everyone feel more confident.

4)      Speak the (Body) Language
Whenever you hunch your shoulders, cross your arms over your chest, or stare at the floor, you announce your self-consciousness, says body-language pro Lillian Glass, Ph.D. Try a fake-it-till-you-make-it experiment: Walk upright, as if a string is pulling from the top of your head. When you talk to someone, squeeze your butt muscles to straighten your spine, and stand with your feet a foot apart, toes pointing at the person you're facing. Smile, and don't be afraid to use your hands when you talk--this kind of openness makes you seem more secure.

First, do an environment scan for confidence-destroying stuff. As in: old jeans that don't fit, a laptop perennially set to friends' too-perfect Facebook posts. If you can't cut this stuff out entirely, avoid it before a big moment.  If your weight is bothering you, put away the scale for now. The number's not going to change today, so reminding yourself of it is counterproductive.  Leave positive messages on sticky notes around your apartment or office. ("Yeah, you are amazing!" "You're going to kick butt!") Strategically place them so they're the last things you see before stepping out the door.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Branching Out

A week or two ago, a friend and I were discussing an on campus event from my first semester. It was a presentation on sushi making, complete with free sushi and lots of neat tips. That sort of thing was right up my alley, but I recall making a point of not attending for one reason in particular: I was nervous. I was nervous about meeting people, afraid that they'd all have large friend groups already or that I, with my inability to make idle small talk, wouldn't be interesting enough. I lived my entire life in the same town of 801 people to the Auburn campus; the thought of conversing with people with far more life experiences than me was daunting.

With my junior year now approaching, I’ve started thinking about that first semester at Auburn. I recalled how kind everyone had been, and what relief I'd felt when I started to realize I was bonding with new friends. I remember discussing hometowns and childhoods and favourite games and movies with people from all over the world. We shared beloved stories and snacks and songs and made all sorts of new memories. Now, two years later, I don't know of a single time I've regreted getting to know someone new. Even if we didn't become the best of buddies or see everything eye to eye, having the opportunity to see and understand the world through someone else's point of view was always an exciting experience.

Though I intentionally skipped out on on-campus events that first semester, by branching out and talking to people I thought I'd have nothing in common with, I learned a lot about myself and the world around me. More importantly, I befriended some of the most interesting, hilarious, and intelligent people I've ever met. Being open minded and branching out, however slowly, were the best decisions I made in college, and my advice to all students as this new semester approaches is to do the same.


Monday, July 14, 2014

June Woman of the Month

Alex Harrell

Last Wednesday, Auburn sophomore Alex Harrell, from Phenix City, Alabama, was named as a Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar. Alex finished second on the team with a 74.86 stroke average and was the co-medalist at the 36-hole Lady Bulldog Individual Tournament in February. The sophomore also tied for seventh at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She also recorded three top-15 finishes and five top-30 finishes during the 2013-14 season, helping the Tigers advance to the NCAA East Regional in Tallahassee, Florida. With her selection as a WGCA All-America Scholar, Alex has become the seventh different Auburn golfer since 2008 to get this recognition. To be selected for this award, a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 is required to make the team, and Alex was just accepted into the nursing program here at Auburn. Above everything else, she is a committed advocate of her brother’s fatal disease, Battens disease, and is constantly trying to raise awareness through her social media pages. An extremely dedicated athlete, student, and sister, we here at the Women’s Resource Center feel that Alex is a fabulous example for our young women here at Auburn, showing them what a hard-working, determined, and ambitious woman looks like.

1. I’m sure you had multiple choices coming out of high school for golf scholarships around the country at different universities, so why did you choose Auburn?
I chose Auburn University for many different reasons. I love the city of Auburn. It's a great small town. The school is one of the best in Alabama and I really wanted to stay in state. The golf team, golf facility, and athletic support services are one of the best in the nation. Our short game facility is amazing. I also grew up forty minutes down the road and really wanted to stay close to home. I've known Coach Kim since I came to summer golf camp before 7th grade, so I knew that I wanted to play for her. You also can't beat the Auburn family. It's amazing to know that I'm a part of it.

2. What challenges do you face managing your golf practices, matches, and workouts with your academic studies?
Having enough time to get things done. I want to do so well in golf and school so trying to balance it sometimes gets hard. Practices some days can be long and then add in having a big test coming up makes for long days.

3. What advice would you give to other Auburn students in regards to your effective time management skills?
I'm a visual person so I write out my schedule weekly. We get our golf schedule for the week every Sunday. So then when I know exactly what we are doing I block out times as study or rest if I happen to have an open night. I suggest just realizing when it's time to work and when it's time to relax. Everyone is different and will find the best way that works for them.

4. How long have you been playing golf?
I have been playing golf for just over nine years now. I picked it up from my Dad. I used to go with him when he played and would be the flag girl. One day I asked if I could try and he said of course. We got a starter set the next day and I have been playing ever since.

5. What are your hobbies or areas of interest outside of your academic studies and golf commitments?
I love reading books. I'm a huge book worm. I'm not able to read a lot when I'm in classes, so over the breaks I read as many books as I can. I also like swimming. I have a pool back home so I'm able to go jump in whenever I'm there. I'm also a huge Disney fan. My brother's niche is movies, so growing up we always watched them.

6. What are your plans after you graduate from Auburn in 2016?
After I graduate I will study for the NCLEX. That is the exam I have to pass in order to become an RN. After that I hope to get a job. I do not know exactly what type of nurse I want to be yet but I have time. I want to go back after getting some experience in the field to obtain my Master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner.

7. What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
I think my greatest accomplishment so far has been getting All-American Scholar. It has been one of my main goals for my freshman and sophomore seasons. I didn't get it my freshman year because I did not play in enough tournaments to be considered. So to be recognized for my hard work not only on the golf course but in the classroom is a great feeling.

8. How has your family impacted your aspirations?
My family and I are very close. My parents are amazing. I'm lucky to have them. They always supported me in everything that I've done. Their only rule is that I gave 100% and never gave up. I knew that I wanted to play college golf in the 8th grade and so they let me start playing more tournaments and we traveled all over the country. My brother is the one that inspired me to want to become a nurse. I want to be the one to help others during a time of need or uncertainty.

9. Who do you admire/look up to and why?
I look up to and admire my mom, April Harrell. We have a great relationship and are very close. She is the one that I call when I need to vent and she will listen to me no matter what. She's also a tough woman. With my brother getting progressively worse, I know it's hard on her. But her motto has always been to either laugh or cry, so she chooses to look at the bright side of everything that has happened. I admire the strength she has and hope that I can have at least half of it someday.

10. If you could’ve played any other college sport, what would it be and why?
I would have wanted to play volleyball. I enjoy playing it for fun. My favorite part is when I get to serve the ball. I may have been too short for it though.

11. If you could change one rule about your sport, what would it be and why?
In golf we have to play the ball as it lies. Which means no matter where it ends up you play it from there. I would want to change the rule to where you could improve your lie if you ended up in a divot in the fairway. It is frustrating when you hit a great drive and end up in a divot.

12. What is something that people don’t know about you?
Most people don't know that I'm a thrill seeker. I love going on roller coasters, sling shots, or water slides. I actually went sky diving last year while I was in California for a tournament. It was so much fun so I can't wait to go again.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

It is so important, not only as women, but as collegiate women with extremely hectic schedules, to take some time to ourselves to distress and unwind after a busy week. Between classes, tests, projects, jobs, extra-curricular activities, and everything else that we have going on, we sometimes forget to take time to relax and refresh our bodies and minds. I found this awesome article in a recent Women’s Health magazine and thought I should share these awesome tips to help ease those stressful days and weeks!

Meditation can be a great way to relax, especially if you are under a lot of stress. Research has shown that meditation can be helpful in lowering heart rate and blood pressure, and even improving cognitive performance.

2.Drink Green Tea
Green tea is very soothing—it contains theanine, an amino acid that gives flavor to green tea and also promotes relaxation. It is also thought that theanine is a caffeine antagonist, meaning it counters the stimulating effects of caffeine. So, drink green tea, and avoid caffeinated beverages, since caffeine can worsen the stress response.

3.Eat Mood-Boosting Foods
Many of us crave indulgent carbohydrates like cookies, candy, ice cream, pretzels, and other sweet and starchy foods when we're stressed, anxious, or tense. These foods can have a soothing effect in some women, and it may have something to do with low serotonin levels during these mood states. Serotonin is a brain chemical responsible for feelings of calmness and relaxation. It's thought that consuming these carbohydrates helps boost serotonin levels, which results in feelings of contentedness and relaxation. So, enjoy these treats if they provide some instant satisfaction, but do watch your portion sizes! I recommend 100 calorie portions—4 Hershey Kisses, or a small handful of pretzels. You may want to pre-portion out pretzels, for example, and take them with you as a snack when you leave the house. The 100-calorie packs work well too.

4.Create a Relaxation Room
Many spas have relaxation rooms to sit in before and after treatments, and it's a great thing to create at home too. A relaxation room doesn't have to be a "room" per se—it can be a space in your bedroom, for example, but the key is having an area or room at home, solely devoted to relaxing. You can have a really comfortable chair or daybed, with dim lights, or candles nearby— whatever it is that you enjoy and find relaxing. This will give you an opportunity to decompress, with very little stimulus—this is key. Forget the blackberry, cell phone and laptop—this is a time to kick back and relax. You might want to read a book or magazine, but the idea is to clear your mind of distractions and stressors.

5.Listen to Music
Listening to soothing music can be very relaxing—and slow tempos in particular can induce a calm state of mind. (It can also slow down breathing and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relax tense muscles too). This can be particularly beneficial when you're getting ready for a tough day at work, or if you're in your car stuck in traffic, or, if you're lying in bed trying to free your mind of stressful thoughts. Interestingly, music therapy has been shown to be helpful in decreasing anxiety associated with medical procedures: one recent study found that heart rate and blood pressure decreased significantly among individuals who listened to music during a colonoscopy (the control group did not experience any changes). The music intervention group also required less sedation during the procedure.

6.Get a Massage
Getting a massage is a great way to free yourself of tension and relax, and adding aromatherapy oils such as chamomile or lavender can be particularly beneficial: one recent study found that emergency room nurses experienced reduced stress levels with aromatherapy massage: The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, found that 54 percent of the emergency room staff in summer and 65 percent in winter suffered moderate to extreme anxiety. However, this fell to 8 percent, regardless of the season, once staff received 15-minute aromatherapy massages while listening to music. If you don't have a lot of spare time, you can get aromatherapy oils and massage tools to use at home.

7.Have a Hot Bath
Heat relaxes muscles—and taking a long bath can be soothing for the mind as well. Stock up on your favorite bath salts and soaps, get a bath pillow, and decorate the room with candles. You can even create an in-home spa, by incorporating spa treatments like facials.

8.Exercise Daily
Exercise helps to boost endorphins and reduce stress—and research shows that 20 minutes each day is all that is needed to experience benefits.

Monday, June 30, 2014

You Will Forever Be In Our Hearts

Yesterday, the Auburn family experienced the loss of a bright young soul when we heard the news that former Auburn football player Philip Lutzenkirchen died in a car crash early Sunday morning. Most of us couldn’t believe it when we heard the news; as a recent and local alumni, Philip could be seen on campus quite often, especially during and around football season. Many of us here on campus had the opportunity to not only meet him, but to get to know him in classes and at social events downtown as well. Humble and modest, Philip would always stop for a picture or autograph for a fan or a friend. A beloved coach, teammate, and friend, his time came too soon at twenty three years of age.

The manner in which the Auburn family has come together to mourn the death of one of its members has shown how strong we are not only as a community, but as a true family. We at Auburn believe in and support one another from our first days on campus to our last days on this earth. We have once again come together as one united community, although sadly, to grieve the loss of a wonderful human being who we were lucky enough to call our own.

This tragic event really struck a chord for me personally when I heard the news of Philip’s death yesterday afternoon. Although I didn’t know him personally, I was immediately saddened and even more so affected by the news, because it really made me think about my life and how precious it is. It made me realize that anything can happen at any time, when we least expect it, and can change, alter the course, or end our lives in an instant.

Philip, you will forever be in our hearts and memory as one of Auburn’s most beloved members. You will never be forgotten, and may you rest in peace.

War Eagle.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fifty Things Every College Girl Should Know

I found this article online and it was too perfect not to share with everyone. I know that every girl here on Auburn’s campus can relate to multiple bullets on this list at some point during her college experience. I feel like these are the best and most wonderful years to discover who we are as young women, living freely and spontaneously while preparing for our futures… but there are always certain limits and lines that won’t change or shouldn’t be crossed. These helpful tips were not only funny, but incredibly realistic about the expectations and norms of college women today. War Eagle!

Fifty Things Every College Girl Should Know

New friendships, old friendships, rude boys, cute boys, bad hair day, bad decisions, good grades and a good cry. Little things like that are learning experiences and can truly help you learn who you are.

1. First Impressions are never forgotten. So make it count.
2. Go to class and take notes. Nobody likes an unmotivated girl.
3. Taco Bell at 2 am won’t kill you.
4. Just because you are away from your parents doesn’t mean they still can’t find things out.
5. Go easy with the perfume because chances are every other girl is going to have some on too.
6. Regardless if you know her or not, help her out if she has had too much to drink.
7. Leggings are pants, but they don’t work for every occasion.
8. Save your hair bows for functions or mixers. Do not wear them every day, you are 20 not 5.
9. If you have to study on the same night as a big party then plan accordingly. If done right, you will have time to stop by that party.
10. If you are going to drink, don’t ever be “that drunk girl.” Drink responsibly.
11. Do something fun for spring break.
12. Don’t throw yourself at him.
13. “If he cared, he’d call.”
14. PDA is never cute.
15. Always charge your phone before you go out.
16. Manage your money.
17. You won’t meet your boyfriend at a frat party.
18. Get involved on campus. (It is a great way to get recommendation letters too)
19. Don’t send a snapchat you wouldn’t want someone to screenshot.
20. If he has cheated before, he will probably cheat again.
21. Everything your mother has ever told you is right.
22. Treat yourself or splurge on an item that will make you feel confident.
23. If you borrow someone’s clothes, return them in a timely manner.
24. Playing hard to get works, but don’t play too hard or you can come off as rude.
25. Use a planner.
26. Do not curse on social media.
27. Living in the dorm is unlike any experience you will ever have.
28. Keep your fingers and toes painted. Trust me, boys notice.
29. If you are not a natural blonde there is a good reason for that.
30. Don’t sleep in your make-up. You’ll regret it.
31. Don’t upload pictures with mass amounts of alcohol in them.
32. Don’t drink and drive.
33. Have a strong group of friends. They will always be there for you, even when he is not.
34. Make time to talk to your parents.
35. The best place to get advice from is the Bible.
36. Pictures. Take Pictures.
37. Look presentable for class. Nobody likes a girl that rolled out of bed with her greasy hair.
38. Respect yourself.
39. Stand firm for what you believe, even if you are standing alone.
40. Failure is a part of life, so learn from it.
41. Walmart make-up works perfectly.
42. If you are going to wear heels, you need to know how to properly walk in them.
43. Don’t post everything you think on social media. It’s annoying and nobody cares.
44. Stop using Tinder. It’s just plain weird.
45. Bandeaus are not tops.
46. It’s okay to cry. Sometimes you have to, but you’ll feel better afterwards.
47. Stay updated with the news.
48. Laughter is always the best medicine.
49. Pinterest is the best website when you are bored.
50. Find out who you are, it’s a part of the college experience.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


To be in our twenties is said to be the most exhilarating and enjoyable time in our lives, experiencing what is known as being in our “prime” and living life to the fullest each and every day. As students, we are getting a small taste of the real world without being thrown into its depths as of yet, so we can dip our feet into it and slowly work our way in until we are ready to jump in after graduation. Even after our college days are over, it doesn’t mean that our “prime” years are over whatsoever! In reality, life after college can be even more fun than the old college glory days, and some would argue that the “prime” years of our lives begin when school ends and we make our trek into the world outside of our college campus grounds. It really all depends on the manner and mindset in which we approach these milestone markers in life, and with each milestone we are given the chance to start a new chapter in the book of our lives, with a totally blank slate.

So how do we make the most of this twenty-something period in our lives? I think the answer is found within us as individual young women. It is so important to use this time to figure out the women that we want to be physically, emotionally and mentally as we make our way towards adulthood. We can achieve that by trying new things, making mistakes, learning and growing through each experience we encounter. An impromptu trip to the beach or spontaneous semester backpacking in a foreign country with some friends? Go for it! The chance to experience a new hobby, craft or sport for the first time? Why not try it when you have nothing to do but gain a new experience that you might actually really enjoy! Figuring out who we are, what we like, and more importantly, what we don’t, is an essential part of maturing and forming lifestyle habits that we create at this age and carry with us for the rest of our lives.

During our twenties, many young women experience their first serious relationships, whether thinking, believing, or knowing from the beginning that they’ve finally met “the one.” Sadly, this sometimes results in heartbreak when that twenty-something guy proves that he isn’t quite mature enough and ready to meet the increasing standards of the twenty-something woman who is quickly escalating and making her way into the adult world. Do not be discouraged, ladies! With the support of friends, family, chocolate, and a few issues of Cosmopolitan, the fabulous twenty-something woman will be up and back on her game at no time! There is nothing wrong with being single during your twenties!

Now is the time to truly embrace the remarkable things this great world has in store for us. So go out with the girls on a random Friday night, join a gym or workout class, learn a random foreign language, meet new people and try new things. Most importantly, focus on YOU and what you want and need during this time in your life. This is the time to promote you and your well-being without feeling selfish. It’s all about you, so don’t be afraid to promote your own happiness. When you are a confident and happy young woman, people will flock to your confidence and positivity; it is absolutely contagious. So throw on that million dollar smile, your favorite pair of heels, and take on the world.

'Figure out who you are separate from your family, and the man or woman you're in a relationship with. Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that's the most important thing in life. Find a sense of self because with that, you can do anything else.” – Angelina Jolie