That Cliché end of the year post

Yes. I am doing it. I am writing that cliché end of the school year blog post. Mostly because I think reflection is good for the soul.

This year was full of ups and downs, and was easily my toughest year of college thus far, and probably for the rest of my college career. I moved off campus into a house this year like a real adult. I had to work part-time and pay rent every month (I was never late!), study hard, and manage my physical and social health. It’s a tough life being a college student. Woe is me.

On a more serious note though, this year taught me a lot about myself as well as what it really means to be independent, manage my time, and find balance in the midst of a crazy schedule. I took chances this year; I sang in a musical for the first time, I finally was able to feel fully comfortable in my own skin, I took my fitness and health to a new level, I forgave people, and I completed tasks I had not thought possible. I believe  it is always important to reflect on what you have learned from difficult situations, and I think this year really taught me to see the good in some not so easy situations this year.

It’s been real and it’s been fun, but that’s a wrap for sashasays. This chapter has come to a close and it’s on to my next adventure, wherever it may take me.

Paz,

Sash

What happened to health class?

We all know the general education required classes we have to take regardless of what academic major we are studying. The journalism majors who save that dreaded math class for their last semester of senior year, or the chemistry majors who will find any way to avoid that one writing class where you will inevitably have to write a ten page paper on some random topic you have never heard of. These classes, sometimes mundane and boring? Yes. Sometimes they screw over your GPA? Yes. But let’s face it, there’s no denying that we learned a thing or two from these gen-ed classes.

We have math, science, foreign language, writing, social sciences, and so on. All of these required classes regardless of your major, but whatever happened to health class? What about the one class that emphasized the importance of your  well-being. The well-being of the student who has to get through all of these rigorous gen-ed requirements while maintaining their own health? Seems quite contradictory to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I used to think gen-ed requirements were useless, but that was the naïve, younger, Sasha. All of your gen-ed classes will teach you something, even  if it was just perseverance through hard times. Lord knows that was the case with my calculus class.

But back to the important stuff. The lack of health education is not something to be overlooked. College students are in a transitional period in life. We are learning a lot about ourselves, about new ideas, time management, I mean the list goes on. Now, I will say that we do have health and wellness requirements here at Whitworth, however a class the addresses the overall physical, mental, and emotional health is not  gen-ed requirement.

Health nut or not, there is no denying the health education is for everybody. EVERYBODY.

I propose that we reconstruct our existing health courses in order to attend to all areas of health, and in my humble opinion, an emphasis on nutrition. We’ll save tangent for another time.  It is amazing what 30 minutes in the gym, a simple change in diet, and a little YOU time can do.

Stay healthy my friends, you will be grateful you did.

 

 

I Am not my hair

Beauty standards in the US are by and large Eurocentric. Magazine covers are full of white women or lighter-skinned women of color. The photos are so touched up as to make the women seem whiter with lighter complexions and straighter hair. Growing up, I was constantly told by the people who surrounded me that my hair was beautiful, but I never believed it because those messages were never confirmed by society.

I remember watching TV shows with girls my age with long, wavy hair. I would try to imitate those hairstyles by using a flatiron everyday to straighten out my curls. I straightened my hair every single day, and the curls eventually start to break off. When I was younger, people would call me a poodle because of my curly and gravity-defying hair. Who wants to be compared to damn dog?! So, I would put handfuls of gel into my hair to flatten my curls. I would search for different ways to tame my hair, but a part of me wanted to keep my natural curls.

Entering into a predominantly white institution, my desire to fit in only increased. I would bleach my hair, straighten it, and curl it so it looked like those girls I saw on TV and the white girls at Whitworth.

This year, I decided that my natural hair was the most beautiful version of me. I finally cut it short, which I had been reluctant about for quite some time because the shorter my hair is, the curlier it is. Now, I have no real desire to straighten or flatten my hair because I have no real desire to blend into a crowd that does not look or reflect me.

I started to make new friends who have helped me in my self-reflections about my identity and appearance. I realize that I can be mixed race and embrace both sides of my culture; I do not have to pick a side. It doesn’t matter to me if my curls are in the perfect place anymore. I have started to really own who I am and do the things I want to do for me. I feel better about my appearance and hair because I feel more confident about who I am. I realize that I am not my hair.

I AM

It is that time of year again when I realize how unhuman professors think I am. Yes, I am a student, but I am also:

…a daughter

…a stepdaughter

…a sister

…a granddaughter

…a niece

…a cousin

…a friend

…a roommate

…a significant other

…a barista

…an intern

…an athlete

…a cook

…a housekeeper

…a dreamer

…an unemployed student looking for a summer job

…a cat owner

…a club member

…a fashionista

…an event planner

…a doer

…a fixer

…a wreck before finals

Dear professors,

Please realize that you are only one of 22 other aspects of my life. I like you and value every one of you more than you know, but could you please not take 100% of my time?

Your overwhelmed, irritable and stressed student before finals,

Sasha [insert title of choice here]

b680e0af77a473626bf56e8e4c39f43f

Why Does Diversity Matter?

Diversity is a hot topic on Whitworth’s campus, and quite frankly it seems to be a hot topic within the media as well. First and foremost, I believe it is important to acknowledge that diversity doesn’t just come in different skin colors, but rather in economic and social status, level of education, family make up, and so on. Often times we see diversity as only what we can see on the surface, while diversity contains so many other components.

The idea for this blog came from my Reporting for Mass Media class when my professor asked this very question to our class. To say the least, I was extremely happy the question of why diversity matters was asked to the class. On the other hand, I was disappointed with the lack of enthusiasm from the students. All of the group responses unanimously agreed that diversity mattered, but that was about it. No powerful responses as to why diversity does matter.

I of course have my own opinions as to why diversity matters, but before I tell you my reasons, I think it is important for you to answer this question for yourself. Or does diversity even matter to you at all?

Now, let me get on my pedestal for a moment:

I don’t have an elongated and profound reason as to why diversity matters, but I have my opinion, and that is good enough for me.

I believe diversity is important because regardless of where you are, you live in a diverse place. Sometimes it may not seem like you are in a place where people are very different from you, or it make seem like you are in a place where everyone is different from you. Either way, this is my exact point. Having diversity causes awareness and the ability to relate to those around you, and gives the opportunity for every voice to be heard. I know sometimes we feel like we don’t need to hear everyone’s voice because well, we have our own opinions and our mind is already made up. Reality check: You do. And I don’t care who you are.

So diversity matters not only for the sake of the other person and their voice to be heard, but for your sake as well! If you want to grow as person, you have to be willing to be knocked off your feet once in awhile by others opinions, allow yourself to be offended, which will cause you to reevaluate or reaffirm your values.

Diversity matters. For everybody.

I See You In Me

A recent trip to Miami, Florida, was just the perfect way to extend my spring break this year. As I spent my time basking in the sun, I had the pleasure of watching my little brother and sister build sandcastles along the oceanfront. As I sat there and watched them, I was intrigued by the striking resemblance between my younger siblings and me. I began to notice the small details of them both- the way their curls are placed upon their head, with frizz covering each strand as it began to dry after being soaked from the water. It’s just how I remember it from when I was little. My little sister, with a statute strikingly similar to my own, walks with attitude and sass. Her attitude and poise are not far from the little firecracker that I once was. Although many people comment on the resemblance between my sister and I, my younger brother and I share attributes as well. He finds contentment in doing his own thing, but also likes to stay close to his older sister’s side….just like I did with my older sister. His hair is bleached by the sun, and his skin was becoming darker by the hour, just like mine.

Though my brother and sister are only share 50% of the same bloodline as I do, it’s amazing how alike we are. Despite growing up apart, the things that I see in them take me back to my childhood with my older sister. This is unexplainable to me.

IMG_2108

My older sister and I around the same age as my younger siblings

IMG_0182

Benji and Ava

IMG_1921

WhitChoirTour 2015

For many students at Whitworth, this last week consisted of soaking up sun rays, sleeping in late, and no homework. For others, those in the Whitworth Choir that is, spent their week touring western Washington and Vancouver, BC for  their spring break. Myself included had the pleasure of spending a week singing for a number of audiences, for a total of about nine performances. Along the way we stayed in hotels and home stays, and were practically in a new place almost every single night.

IMG_1077

One of my best friends dropping me off before tour!

I know it sounds exhausting, and to be truthful, the tour was very exhausting. But I have learned that some of the most exhausting parts of life are some of the most memorable times you will have. Of course there were days that I did not want to rehearse anymore, or I thought I couldn’t make it through another concert, but in the end I only became a better performer and asset to the choir.

IMG_1191

Photo from Vancouver, BC

My favorite part of the whole tour was my first home stay in Wenatchee, WA. My friend Kelsi and I had the opportunity to stay with an older couple named Georgia and Rich. There are people you will meet once in awhile that immediately give the you a feeling of warmth and love, and Rich and Georgia were these kind of people. Even just to sit down and chat with them before bed, and again around the breakfast table before we had to head out for our next stop are the moments I cherish.

IMG_1323

Long Beach, WA

Relationships are what brings me the greatest joy in life, so it is the moments like these that I find happiness.