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.
If you’re on any sort of social media, you’ve likely seen the hashtag #MeToo posted by someone you know. The number of people who have posted, tagged, and tweeted the phrase has been staggering, and with this comes the shocking realization that so many people face harassment and assault.
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:
As a society, we love to follow the trail of a murder case or missing persons case with close attention as the media sensationalizes the events (some more than others). However, when such a horrific mystery happens so close to home, the feelings change.
Fun fact: having a vagina is hard.
If it's not the lawmakers trying to legislate what we do with our bodies, it's ridiculous pressures to make our vaginas "smell good."
If it's not those ridiculous pressures, it's the periods we certainly did not sign up for. Bleeding for days is bad enough, but then we have to make sure we have money to buy tampons? No wonder women of a certain age called it "the curse" (shout-out to Iris editor Mary...).
Do you know that feeling when someone starts talking, and you can immediately tell that they’re brilliant, and you’re instantly captivated? This feeling doesn’t happen very often, but it’s a wonderful surprise every time it does.
BREAKING NEWS: it's not always great to be a woman. Shocking, huh? I could make a list of a quite a few things that tend to make womanhood seem more like a curse than the blessing.