Table for One, Please

A hand-drawn photo of a calendar. One of the dates says "movie date w/myself."
Art by Kirsten Hemrich.

Often when we think of love, we think of a relationship between two people. Whether familial, platonic, or romantic, these relationships tend to define our sense of who we are. And when love relationships go awry, or become less than perfect, it can be difficult to not let that affect our self-esteem and view of the world. Here's the thing: we can't entrust our emotional health to our exterior relationships exclusively. We need to cultivate self-love if we want true emotional fulfillment.

Love: A Study in Four Parts

A hand-drawn photo of hearts on a yellow, blue, and green background.
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

What is love? In 1993 the electronic pop artist and one-hit wonder Haddaway asked the world this question in his insanely popular song that had everyone singing along. Today, in 2018, I ask myself the question again. What does it mean to love and be loved? Surely there is no singular definition of what love is, and there really are different varieties of love one can feel towards different people.

We’re Obsessed With Our Reflections, But Aren’t Actually Reflecting

A photo of two women with mirrors where their faces should be.
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

Pretty much everyone hates the new Snapchat update. You don’t even have to use Snapchat to know this--so many users have been sharing their displeasure on social media. I have yet to update the app, so while I’m not suffering from the new version it did get me thinking about what it even means to update something.

Food for Thought: Ways to Nourish Your Mental Health

A hand-drawn photo of a brain that says "mental health" on top, with rainbows and hearts around the paper.
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

The beginning of the semester is exciting. We get to come back to Charlottesville to see friends we’ve been missing, we start new and (hopefully) interesting classes, and we all feel invigorated to rock this semester. But all that can also drain us of our energy. Before we know it, we’re a month into classes and feel drowned with work and February weather. During times of change or transition, I always feel a disruption in my mental health, and I never need to look any further than the start of a new course load or the new year for these feelings to resurface.

We Did it, Folks!: A Letter From the Editor

A hand-drawn photo of balloons, champagne bottles, and confetti A
Art by Kirsten Hemrich

Well, folks. We did it. We made it through another semester. Considering the circumstances under which we entered this semester, it certainly felt a little new this year. But we made it through! 

And 2017 is almost over, too. Whether this was the best year of your life, worst year of your life, or somewhere in between, give yourself a pat on the back for making it. 

The semester being over doesn't stop our Iris writers from doing great work. We have four excellent pieces for you to reflect on as you enjoy your break:

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Letter From the Editor