A Hand to Hold

Cite: O’Conner and Spunt

Last week, I wrote about finding role models. Now, I would like to focus on something just as important: surrounding yourself with people who believe in you.

I am currently thinking about this because I am starting to look for jobs (scary thought). The whole process is overwhelming with many ups and downs. While I may feel doubtful sometimes, I always know who to call to cheer me up: my family or my boyfriend. They believe in me even when I do not believe in myself.

While I love to talk about my parents, my sister and my boyfriend, I woke up this morning thinking about another person who always believed in me. She was my high school advisor, Erin Raleigh. Erin was a beautiful person; always sunny with a great sense of humor. She made me laugh and relax when I was applying to colleges, which is a stressful time for all seniors. Most of all, she believed in me since 9th grade, when I first met her as an insecure freshman.

I remember one time coming to her, tearful and frustrated, since I did not get into one of my top choice schools. Erin gave me a hug and then said “Okay, you get 5 minutes to cry and vent about this. Then we are moving on to the other billion schools you will most likely get into and you will get over it.” I was so shocked at her abruptness, I started laughing. We quickly moved on from my disappointment.

Erin Raleigh

Erin was always there for me, even when things in her own life were not going well. Erin died of cancer very young, but you would have never known she was sick until the end.

What I hope you learn from this is the power of laughter but also the power of friendship and support. As ups and downs begin to happen in your life, you will need people to celebrate with and people to cry with. And then the people that tell you to stop crying and move on.

Who are your supporters? Who do you believe in? What are your stories?

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Something every girl needs

my mom and me

One of the most important things you can do to begin your journey to become a Windsor Lily woman is to have a role model. I have many role models, such as the women in the Windsor Lily collage. For example I aspire to be strong and inspirational like Amelia Earhart, Margaret Thatcher, and Anne Frank. I aim to give back to humanity in some way like Mother Teresa or Clara Barton. I admire Audrey HepburnKate Middleton, and Jackie Kennedy for their style, presentation, poise, and confidence. Finally, I want to be able to stand up for my principles like Rosa Parks. Those are not even all of the women who I consider role models. I left out two essential ones: my mother and grandmother.

The important message is, if you do not have a role model, find one! It is as easy as googling “the most important women of the 20th century” or looking in a history book. Then, once you have found a woman who interests you, research her. Yes, I am talking about researching when it does not pertain to homework. Do it for yourself! Role models can be a beacon of light if you are feeling lost or unsure.

my grandmother and me

When choosing an outfit, you might ask yourself, “Would Audrey approve?” When deciding to play it safe or be adventurous and bold, you might think “Which would Amelia do?”  When deciding whether to spend yet another afternoon tanning by the pool, you may wonder, “What would Mother Teresa be doing right now?” And finally, when you make that split second decision of whether or not to stand up for a friend or for justice, you might seek inspiration from Rosa Parks.

While you should certainly have famous, important women as your role models, I hope that you find someone a little closer to home to look up to as well. Whether it is a teacher you think is particularly brilliant or your mother, like me, having a role model with whom you are close will enable you to do a couple of things. First, you will be able to see what her every day life is like. Is she kind to others? Passionate about her career?  Is she confident in how she presents herself to the world? You will also be able to learn from her in a more hands on way than by reading your history text book. For example you can go with your mom to your local soup kitchen or go to your teacher’s office hours to discuss something interesting in your reading assignment.

Please tell me who you look up to? Why do you look up to her?

And on the First Day

…I created this blog. This is partially true; I did need a technologically savvy friend to help me, so thank you! And now I am finally ready to write my first post.

I am a proud older sister. While my little sister is incredibly independent and sometimes more mature than me, I have always been there to listen, give advice and help her along the way.  Now that we both attend the University of Virginia, we have become even closer. It is too bad that not every girl can have an older sister. I am here to fill that role. I love to write and chat and so naturally, combining my big sister qualities and my loquacious nature, I love to give guidance as well.

In today’s world, it is easy to lose your way. Between actresses that become famous because of inappropriate videos and women on reality television who act unintelligent and exploit themselves, a girl can get the wrong message. Let me send you the right one: that is not what you should want to be. Now, I make that statement and I am not your mother. I am a college girl, a young 22 years old. In no way am I promoting that you become a nun or stay in on a Friday night to study. However, I believe, as a young woman, you need to think of how you wish to present your best self to the world.

I hope this blog gives you ideas about how you can become an educated, compassionate, stylish and driven woman.  Please keep checking in as I begin to post and add more to Windsor Lily! I welcome comments, although I will remove any that contain inappropriate or offensive language.