Tag Archive: Editorial

Retail Therapy

Like many college students I have to earn my keep by working a part-time job. I travel 10 minutes to Streets at Southpoint Mall from my dorm on South campus four school days a week plus weekends.

I will fight with other people for a parking spot near the mall entrance by the Barnes & Noble only to discover I’ve parked in the valet section.

My day rarely changes; I walk past children playing in the fountain across from Bose, and will not care when I use the handicapped door to get past dawdling couples—I only have three minutes to clock in before the snarl of my boss reminds me that I am once again in break violation.

As soon as the beep of the time decoding machine ripples through the atmosphere, manager number two slinks toward me, and in an insincere, condescending voice will give me my one minute about how to make them more money through my devilish charm and impressive skills at getting reward cards. I will grunt ‘ahuhs and right’ a few times before she catches on that I either don’t care or don’t like her, which is both.

I will sneak past people hoping no one will call upon me for assistance. I will stare straight ahead, forcing myself to believe it will all be over in six hours and walk toward my sanctuary — the fitting room, where I can fold clothes, hum to myself out of tune and occasionally open doors for disinterested customers for whom some will glare, and throw unwanted clothes in my direction. I will demand they have a great day with a sweet smile, and remind myself that paychecks come that day.

Time will pass slowly, co-workers will walk in late and others will leave early never to return to Dante’s third circle.

I will get a break 30 minutes before I leave and in a haze will walk to the E-bar at Nordstrom for my usual iced chai latte with skim milk. My feet will crack with reluctance as I enter through the side door of our store. One of my managers will playfully try to trip me and welcome me back. Seal and Madonna will wail from speakers and syncronizers from one hit wonders unleash ‘80s dance moves from customers and associates alike. One of my co-workers will play air guitar, inviting me to join and for the first time that day I will smile.

By Karen Kleimann

1,2,3,4 — Get your booty on the dance floor

What do Will Ferrell, Danny Green, and 1,100 UNC-Chapel Hill students have in common? Not much, except that all were present at UNC-CH’s 10th annual Dance Marathon Feb. 22-23. I am proud to say that I was one of those students in a sea of rainbow-colored t-shirts who chicken danced, line danced, and walked it out for 24 hours to raise $321,938.53 for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital.

Before this weekend, Dance Marathon didn’t have a great deal of significance to me, and I didn’t know very much about it. Before this weekend, it meant another line on my to-do list in terms of calling relatives to raise the $100 required to participate. It meant an extra push to get some work done, and a target to get to bed early the week before, which inevitably did not happen. Dance Marathon is so much more meaningful that I realized at the time, and something the majority of UNC-CH students are missing out on.

Still unaware of this piece of insight on Friday evening, I made my way down to Fetzer gym in my most comfortable tennis shoes and with toothbrush at hand. This is where the Dance Marathon experience began. Coming up to the front entrance to the gym I was immediately greeted with loud cheers of “moralers” who are the equivalent of the spirit team, dressed in wildly eccentric eighties-style outfits. Dancers were ushered through a tunnel of high-fiving moralers, and into the gym whose walls were papered from floor to ceiling with banners with witty, encouraging, or cheesy dance-themed sayings. One of my favorites was something along the lines of, “Dance Marathon registration: $100, booty dancing with your hot lab partner: priceless.”

My first impression of this all night stand “for the kids” was that it was incredibly organized and incredibly spirited. Dancers were kept moving the entire night with activities like dance offs and pie eating contests and performances including the men’s soccer team and a Beatles cover band. At 6 a.m. the dancers were herded out of Fetzer gym, and across Stadium Drive to the football stadium where the drum line and dance team were waiting for us. Dance Marathon participants danced on the track to the drums, and brought on the dawn with warm up stretches with the dance team. To wake up before the sun was a show of commitment on their part, and dancing together made the University feel smaller and more unified.

The best moment of Dance Marathon was “Family Hour” when parents and hospital workers shared stories about our money which went to a calling card for a child to call his parents long distance, and to pay the medical expenses of two girls that were born weighing just over one pound. This poignant moment in the night instilled in us a sense of purpose. I have never felt closer to my fellow Tar Heels that that night when we swayed on swollen feet and sang “Lean on Me.”

Dance Marathon makes an incredible difference in the lives of children and their families, and this year a record amount of students participated.For the Children’s Hospital and for the bond built over the course of 24 hours, Dance Marathon should only grow in strength.

By Hannah Taylor

Move food up on the priority list

I am lying prostrate on the sidewalk outside my house, and I hate my life.

No, I am not in the midst of passing out from binge drinking. I have just finished my routine Sunday run, but instead of feeling rejuvenated and strong like usual, I feel like I’m going to puke.

There is an obvious explanation for this health conundrum. My stomach is seeking its revenge for the all the crap I forced into it over the course of the weekend.

Ah yes, road trips are great. Get all your best friends and favorite music in a car for five hours, and you’re bound to have a good time. You’re also bound to eat the finest gas station cuisine for the majority of the weekend — white cheddar popcorn, peanut M&Ms, Diet Coke, Doritos — the works.

For many college students, this diet may not sound so far off from their typical dorm room smorgasbord. Whatever the excuse, be it lack of time or lack of money, most undergrads are quick to categorize food as their lowest priority.

I always harp on my friends about eating unhealthy food or, in many cases, not eating at all. Most shrug off my motherly comments, and dig into a container of cake icing without a second thought. “I like junk food,” they say, or “I eat chips all the time and I feel perfectly healthy.”

But then the same friends complain to me about their acne, their exhaustion, their inability to sleep, their irritability, their restlessness and their bad hair days.

No one realizes that these problems are directly connected to food and nutrition—yes, even the bad hair days.

It is impossible to lead a healthy lifestyle without good food. You may feel fine now but what you put into your body affects your health now, weeks from now and even years from now.

Skin problems? You’re not getting enough essential fatty acids. Always exhausted? You’re not getting enough protein. Restless? You’re ingesting too much caffeine and sugar. Really dry or really oily hair? You’re not getting enough Vitamin E, or you’re eating too much greasy food.

The saying is true — you are what you eat. So put down the cookie dough, and do a little research on how to get the nutrition you need. It’s not nearly as hard as it seems and your body will thank you.

By Mary Lide Parker

The Real World

There’s nothing like moving out of the house to make you realize that you’re no longer a child. The fact that my 20th birthday is officially on the 2008 calendar makes me a little queasy as well (two decades…really?) Wedding announcements from people I used to shop at the Limited Too with. I must say, I never anticipated adult life emerging so quickly.

One of the most popular dinner conversations among my friends this semester has officially become, “What are we going to do with our lives?” In high school this question used to be fun to think about. Everybody wanted to be famous. We all wanted to be rich, marry that special someone and live in a five bedroom house with a sparkly pool in the backyard.

Nowadays this question only yields to a sinking feeling in my stomach. What am I going to do with my life? I have no idea. And the more adulthood peaks its ugly head around the corner, the more I wish I was back in elementary school where my biggest concern was what I was going to bring for show and tell.

I don’t even know what I want to wear tomorrow. How in the world am I supposed to project what I want to do for the rest of my life? Sure; I have a passion. I love to write. But I also love to travel. Also, I shop when I’m happy, angry, sad or hungry. The more I think about wandering around New York pushing my stories to low end publications and making, if I’m lucky, in the ten-thousands each year (no seriously, I researched this over the weekend while I was having a breakdown about my future), the more I realize this doesn’t exactly coincide with lavish vacations and nice clothing I begin to think I might not wind up with the life I anticipated.

Post future-breakdown, I sat back and thought very hard about what being successful truly means to me. Does it mean having a huge house and a fancy car? Or does it mean being completely content with my life and what I do with it?

Maybe I’m not destined to travel all over the world with the money I make as the editor of Cosmopolitan. Maybe I’m just meant to be happy doing something I love. No matter our majors or our GPAs, our incomes or the size of our houses, if once we reach this mess called the real world that is currently plowing toward us with full force and we’re happy… perhaps there is no greater success.

By Amy Leonard