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Advice from Sally Seahawk 2/20/19

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Advice from Sally Seahawk 2/20/19

Sally Seahawk, Contributing Writer

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Hey Sally! What’s a good way to combat microaggressions from friends who don’t know better?

As defined by Merriam Webster, a microaggression is a comment or action that subtly and unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group. In layman’s terms, microaggressions are daily doses of discriminatory one liners that most people find humor in. Some examples would be assuming that an Asian person is Chinese, walking up to a Latino/a/x person and speaking Spanish, or this archetypal black-handed compliment “You’re so pretty for a black girl!” Obviously, microaggressions come in all shapes and sizes, and despite how offensive they are, oftentimes they come from a place of insensitivity rather than hatred. If you have a friend who wears this shoe size, the best way to put them in their place is to be upfront. Don’t be surprised if this friend becomes defensive and stammers their way into the classic-yet-dreaded response, “It’s just a joke. I’m not racist, I have ______ friends.” This reply is not a sign of you being shut down, it’s the ignorance coming to the front line. You can be racist and have friends of color. You can be a misogynist and have a wife/girlfriend – it’s really not rocket science. Let your friend know that the behavior they have exhibited is unattractive, unprofessional, and unacceptable. Hopefully, they will take accountability and reflect on their actions, but if not, just remember that you are the company you keep. Stay woke.

xoxo,

Sally Seahawk

P.S. If after reading this you are still unclear on microaggressions, here’s a BuzzFeed article. They don’t always get it right, but I feel like they did this time.

In high school I was top tier, but now I feel like I’m struggling to be average. How do I “college?”

There is no way to prepare for college. It doesn’t matter how many books you read, how many people you talk to, or even if you binge watch “A Different World” or the later episodes of “Boy Meets World.” You have to learn to college on your own and on the fly. My freshman year of college was incredibly confusing. It was as if everything that I used to be good at in high school and hobbies that I flourished in back at home suddenly disappeared. Coming to Wilmington forced me to start from the ground up. It’s okay to feel lost. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and confused. Don’t worry, you’ll get to where you need to be. My advice to you is not only to keep your head above the water but to loosen up a little bit. Try new things. Life is hard and the only way that it gets easier is if you develop a healthy relationship with yourself. That upperclassman that you look up to is terrified of what their next move is. The professor that you admire did not always have their life figured out, and that person you have this undeniable crush on is just as imperfect as you. You’re doing great, sweetie. Trust me. By the time you really know “how to college,” you’ll be getting ready to soar your way out of here. It’s a learning experience like no other.

xoxo,

Sally Seahawk

Typically, I never care what people think, but lately I’ve been really dreading how I’m perceived. How do I get out of this slump?

Okay so, it is totally normal to care what people think. It does not make you a conformist or a try hard, you’re just human. Whenever I feel myself start to feel a little self-conscious, I try to take a step back and assess what I have going on in my life. Do I have a big presentation coming up? Am I in the running for a promotion at work? What kind of stresses do I have in my life? Then, the most important question: How much time have I spent on social media? When I am just dreading my outward perception, 9 times out of 10 it’s because I’ve been spending way too much time online. It is mentally draining to log on and see the perfect versions of people that you may already perceive to be perfect. Whenever I unplug, my confidence shoots up, I get more sleep, and my schedule opens up for more important things like studying. We all get the blues and just like the economy we have our ups and our downs. It’s okay to care a little bit about what people think but as long as you know that you are trying your hardest to be your best self, that’s all that can be expected.

xoxo,

Sally Seahawk

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Advice from Sally Seahawk 2/20/19