Caring Less

photoabigail
Photo by Abigail Keenan

By Rachael Whitlock

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might recall an article I wrote a few months back called “My Eating Disorder Doesn’t Define Me.” In that previous article, I spoke about an eating disorder that had consumed my life for the past five years. I recently decided to write this follow-up article because I’ve realized my problem wasn’t simply an eating disorder; in fact, it was much deeper than that. My real problem was my overwhelming fear of being judged negatively by others. The eating disorder was simply a symptom of my own insecurity. Many people experience this feeling of insecurity in their lives, and while I attempted suppress these feelings with unhealthy eating patterns, someone else may use a different method of control. I bring up my insecurity not to discuss repressing it, but instead to take the much healthier options and address them in order to correct the problem from where it begins. In other words, I’ve decided to care less.

Unfortunately, humans are a painfully social species, and it’s completely natural for us to care about what others think. If we didn’t have this empathy, we wouldn’t be able to form any healthy relationships or deep connections with others. In order to be happy, great relationships with others aren’t an option – they are a necessity. The fear of losing valuable relationships with people stems from the fear of other people’s opinions. And in some cases, this fear is useful. It can motivate us to behave in a way that makes more people like us. But in many circumstances this fear leads to anxiety, insecurity, and depression, which is counter-productive to creating relationships with others. The best way to overcome this is to simply not try so hard. Although it doesn’t sound very helpful, it works. Humans are drawn to others that seem confident and genuine, so the less we worry about others’ opinions, the more they will enjoy our company.

For me, caring less doesn’t mean being apathetic towards other people’s judgments of me, but simply not taking judgment from the wrong people to heart. Throughout middle and high school, I worried about what everyone thought: family, friends, acquaintances, even total strangers. But now, I can count on one hand the number of people whose opinions I let influence my life. I’ve found the importance in trusting a select few people who have your best interest at heart. Everyone else’s opinions should be ignored if they are not beneficial to you. This is probably the most difficult, and most useful, piece of advice I’ve ever been given. Even though I still have to consistently remind myself of my own advice, the advice itself has immensely helped my recovery.

Another way to care less about others’ judgments is to simply think of the absolute worst-case scenario if you ignore someone’s opinion. Chances are, whatever happens will not be anywhere close to how bad your imagination played it out to be. This tactic was extremely helpful to me because I realized that no scenario was worse than the one I was creating for myself by staying bulimic. I decided the best way to be happier was to think of how much worse off I would be if I didn’t recover. If I continued to let my insecurities rule my life, I would never get anywhere. Richard Branson, the well-known English philanthropist, perfectly summed up this notion when he said, “I’d rather look back on life and say, ‘I can’t believe I did that’ than ‘I wish I did that.’”

I decided to write this follow-up article not for myself, but for everyone else who is struggling with their own fears and insecurities. After all, that’s what college is about: struggling to fit in, to make a name for yourself, to overcome your personal burdens. At some point in their lives, everyone worries that others think negatively of them, and this insecurity can manifest itself in devastating ways. But with a shift in your own thinking, you can overcome much of these feelings. I am concrete proof of this accomplishment. Although it’s not an easy or a quick fix, it is possible to become the best version of ourselves if we simply care less.

Advertisements

Benefits of My Internship

IMG_20170614_231108_244

By Felicia Riggs

This summer I decided to take an internship as an exotic animal caregiver (which is a fancy way to say zookeeper and animal trainer) at a small private exotic facility in Louisiana. I jumped into this internship head first without a second thought and took this opportunity mainly as a resume booster, but I ended up learning more than I expected in my short time there. Here are some unexpected benefits that I have personally received through my internship.

1. Finding Myself Outside My Comfort Zone:

If you are anything like me, you have no real idea of who you are outside of your hometown/high school. I came to this small town in Louisiana just hoping that everything was going to work out and that I wouldn’t hate my summer. I was terrified that I was going to be here for a few weeks and not be able to handle the distance from everybody that I knew and loved. Going away to college wasn’t hard because I couldn’t wait to get out of my hometown, but taking a summer away from the place I now called home was something that I didn’t know I could handle. Being isolated from all my friends and family was hard for the first few weeks, but being away from them has really showed me that I can go live my life and be a “real adult” away from my comfort zone. I can adapt to places just like anyone else, and I find that it is easier to adapt once you realize that your comfort zone is what limits your exposure to the world.

2. Figuring Out The Right Job For Me:

You will know quite quickly if that specific job is something that you want to do for the rest of your life. If you hate the thought of continuing the work that you are doing, or taking on an internship related to that work, then you need to find a new career path. If I didn’t love my kangaroo joeys, and all the other one hundred-plus animals out here in Louisiana, then there is no way that I would last at this place. I work long days out in the sun and the Louisiana heat, but being able to snuggle with my lynx kitten at the end of the day makes everything worth it. So, if you take an internship and can list more cons than pros, RUN. Your internship should not be a chore to you, and you should not hate every minute of it. I would be lying if I said that there haven’t been a few days that have been extremely difficult for me, but I can honestly say that I have experienced way more good days than bad days during this internship opportunity.

3. Getting Thrown Into The Real World:

Taking an internship away from home is, in my opinion, the fastest way to have to grow up. I went from having meals prepared for me and having no job (other than school) to buying and preparing all my own food, working fifty-plus hours a week, and still having school work to do. Now, some of you may have more “adulting” experience than me and think that I’m entitled or taking too long to adjust to adult life, but this move was a big change for me. For example, this past week I have been sick on top of every responsibility, so I’ve really had a crash course on “How to be an Adult.” But, oddly, I like this feeling, meaning I like knowing that I am living entirely on my own because it’s freeing. For those of you thinking about taking an internship, don’t let fear scare you away. Run toward your fear, and it will pay off for you, big time.

4. Establishing Business Connections:

Okay, now this is one of the more obvious benefits of taking an internship, but I never guessed how much this one opportunity would help me. Even though you may think your bosses don’t notice you putting extra hours, working way harder than other people, or picking up on the smaller things that make the day run smoother, They do. You may think that your employers just hang out in their office all day and take care of the business stuff, but they ask about you. Bosses want to know if you are a potential employee after graduation, and they want to know if they really need to write a personal letter of recommendation for you or just use a vague template with your name on it. So, you should do all the extra things. Even when you have already worked thirteen hours that day and are at your wits end keep going. Bosses especially notice who is working hard at the end of a long, crazy week. My boss has offered me a job after I graduate and has also offered to connect me with one of his colleagues for a part time job while I am working on my degree. I cannot stress how much employers notice when you think they aren’t looking.

5. Making Friendship Connections:

Making friends during your internship or work opportunity may not happen everywhere. I am lucky enough to have wonderful people working with me, so I get along quite well with all of them. I have even met one person in particular who I know is a true friend and that know I will keep in touch with for the years to come. Having friends around while you are doing an internship is going to be a big part of your happiness. We all get mad and frustrated at work, and we need somebody that we can trust to go to when we are having problems. My friend here happens to be one of my coworkers (By the way, be careful if you befriend a coworker. You just don’t want anything negative you say to get back to the boss.) Another reason having a friend at your internship is a positive influence is that the two of you can go explore. If you are in a totally new location, don’t just lay around on your days off. You might want to go out, explore, and get a feel for the local culture. Being in Louisiana and far away from home, I sometimes feel like I’m in a totally different country, but I know that I always have a partner in crime to go find an adventure with.

The best advice I can give any of you wanting to jump into an internship is to just do it because it’s going to teach you so much about yourself and your life plans. Plus, internships are just a lot of fun. I love my internship, and it was honestly the best way I could have possibly spent my summer. Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get very many offers when applying for positions. I applied to 23 different facilities all over the world and this was the only internship I got offered. It’s competitive out there, but if you can snag one, take it! And once you have taken that opportunity try to learn what I learned; find yourself, your interests, and your connections to the world outside your comfort zone.

Dream For Tomorrow, Live For Today

dsay

By Jade Jacobs

From the moment a child is able to utter a coherent sentence, the question comes up. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Wide eyed and mind reeling, we blurt the first thing that comes to mind. As we grow older, the questions never leave us. “What are you doing this weekend?” “Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?” “What will your wedding be like?” These questions all share a common theme: they plan for a future that we aren’t guaranteed to have. By the time we are eighteen, we may be less bobble-headed and glassy-eyed than that three-year-old version of ourselves, but many of us are still far from being able to answer the question that has plagued us. Even now, seventeen years after first being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I could have a different answer every day.

As a society, it has been so deeply ingrained in our psyche to set goals and make plans that we’ve forgotten what it means to live in the moment. We’ve forgotten what it means to appreciate those we surround ourselves with not for what they do for us, but simply because they’re here. We’ve forgotten what it means to wake up early not to get that workout in or clock in the extra hours, but to simply take in the sunrise. We’ve become so focused on who we’re going to be, that we’ve forgotten who we are.

I’ve come to realize that people bounce between two modes. We’re either planning, or we’re waiting for plans to happen. If someone isn’t planning a trip, then they’re counting down the days until they leave. If we aren’t planning what classes we’ll take, then we’re waiting for them to start (or waiting for them to end). This loop of monotony never ceases. We give ourselves the illusion of change by looking forward to a future that seems different from today, when all we do is fall into the same patterns over and over.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been taught that I need to think three moves ahead of the next action I’ll be taking. There will always be the next step that needs a path to follow or the next set of doors where only one can be opened. I’ve spent most of my years thinking about where each path would lead, or what is on the other side of each door, that I forget to see what trees line the paths or what colors the doors are painted. Time that I can’t get back was spent worrying about where I need to be tomorrow and not enough of it was used to enjoy where I am right now.

However, there are moments that make me think by pulling me out of this uncertain future and immersing me in the present. My favorites of these moments are cold sand sifting through my toes, the Milky Way stretched out across the sky, a million lights mirrored on the waves, and the moon, orange as if aflame, climbing high or laying to rest on the horizon. We need to take in these small moments and realize that they are much bigger than they seem. It’s the times we take for granted that we so dearly wish to return to. Don’t let today be just another grain of sand in the hour glass. To reach your dreams tomorrow, you first have to let yourself dream them up today.

19

IMG_8431

By Joseph Cox

I was 15 years old when I self-harmed for the first time. In media, there’s always a pale character shimmering in the darkness of the room. The knife slides through the flesh off-screen, the camera zooms in on the neck as it gasps in succulent relief, and the character fades into sleep as all the troubles slip away and the blood reaches the comfort of the sheets.  I found relief, but it came only from the shock of the moment. It wasn’t the cut, but the bitter realization that suicide was drawing near.

Every year as the clock ticks by, the candles get more plentiful, and I venture just a bit farther from home, that kid with the knife gets a little bit farther away. I remember the days when I’d stand in front of a crowd and shake so much that my skin would beat against my baggy jeans, but that boy gets buried a little deeper with every presentation, speech, and leadership role I encounter. Though, all the drifting feelings can’t hide the reality that the boy is never too far away. He was wrapped in the same blanket I’m tucked beneath as I write this now, he wore the same watch, he sang too loud in the shower to the same music, and, truthfully, the same things scared the hell out of him. The people that didn’t care about him then don’t care about him now, he didn’t stop caring about the people he loved, and he stubbornly refused to have apathy for just about anyone, yet, somehow, he became much happier. He rose the tired body that he detested out of bed every morning, tried to fix the hair he could never get right, brushed the teeth that pounded with brace pain, and put on polos that looked atrocious on him only to drag his depressed self to the high school that had zero chance of improving his happiness. I just turned 19, and I think back to what I’d say to that kid now.

I’d tell him that the sweaty palms and resounding thuds of his heart won’t go away no matter how many times he stands in front of a crowd, writes down words he hasn’t heard someone else say, or talks to a girl he finds attractive, but it won’t matter that he can’t quell his heart. His heart is what makes him feel alive. Even when he horrendously massacres a social situation, he’ll learn to laugh at himself, and he laughs quite a lot. Sometimes, he screws it up just for the fun.

I’d go on to explain that I don’t blame him for anything he’s feeling right now. He lives in a society that’s rigged with systems built to retain commerce instead of happiness, and high-school is a breathing example of a system that went horrifically wrong. I’d also know that he spends every day surrounded by people struggling just as much, if not more, than he is. Then, he comes home to watch the news that belts a cheerful, “Good evening world,” while proceeding to tell him all the reasons why the evening is not good at all. Also, his parents ask him, “You okay?” so many times per day that he’d love to have something go right in life just to have something else to talk about. I’d tell him that life is incredibly tough at times, and I don’t blame him for wanting to die for a fair portion of it.

I’d also tell him that his polos and overly large jeans aren’t hiding his chubbiness from anyone, that his brown polo he used for picture day in middle school made him look like a UPS salesman, that the roundness of his face is hilariously more accentuated when his hair is short, that he’ll forever have a hatred of sandals and flip-flops unless they are worn by Spartans, and that he’d probably hate himself less if he just went to the gym instead of dissing muscular people that have the bodies he wishes he had. Also, I’d tell him mac-n-cheese is delicious, and even though he’ll go on a ridiculous diet plan that no one should ever do, learn the convincing rationality of veganism, and come to despise the drowsy feeling he gets from consuming cheese, he should keep eating it for the fun of it.

I’d tell him these things because depressed people aren’t always blameless. People confined to wheelchairs aren’t always nice, veterans aren’t always cool, policemen don’t always shoot unarmed people, and small children don’t always bring me to tears with their high voices, so no one should be treated a specific way due to one characteristic.  Don’t get me wrong, life became immeasurably more enjoyable upon graduating from the cesspool of self-loathing that is the average American high-school, and some mentally ill persons are dictated by the terms of their respective diseases. But, it’s not as if the universe delivered happiness to my life. As much as I wanted it to happen, happiness never burst through my door in Kool-Aid man fashion with an “OH YEAH!” no matter how many times I said, “Oh no.” to the life I so desperately hated. Why? Because depression doesn’t come from having a terrible life, it comes from the perception that life will always be garbage. Hence, we kill ourselves to avoid the insurmountable avalanche of trash coming our way. No suicidal individual ever had the final thought of, “I’ll bet life would be great if I was living tomorrow, but nah.” The truth is, I always defined what happiness was for me, but the kid I was had no idea what that definition might be.

What I did know is that other people weren’t bullied, other people weren’t chubby, and other people didn’t struggle with the immense amount of other troubles that are too personal and lengthy to mention to an audience that didn’t ask for any of this. I also knew that I felt sorry for everyone else, didn’t want to be worthless, and wanted every person on the planet to be happy. Yeah, of course I was going to be sad when that’s all I was consciously aware of.

Look, what I’m trying to say is being purposefully antagonistic to any ill person, mentally or otherwise, is probably one of the least cool things you can do as a human being. It’s right up there with kicking the crutches out from underneath someone and hitting a dolphin with a boat; cruelty and misunderstanding to any ill person is no bueno. However, bashing the ill person over the head with empathy until they feel helplessly defined by the ailment isn’t a better alternative, for we should strive to listen and care for the people that need it rather than berate them with empathy. Had I received more understanding, perhaps I would have learned to define my own happiness sooner. Instead, I was caught in the world that always loved to come crashing down.

Obviously, I’m not asking anyone to walk up to a cancer patient and go, “Hey pal, I empathize and understand the severity of your situation, but walk it off, homie. It’s just cancer!” because anyone who says that should be kicked in the left knee repeatedly. What I am saying is that empathy, as rare as it may be, is only the beginning of a decent conversation. Empathize, think through the situation, and respond accordingly. Don’t just hit him or her with an, “Aw, I’m sorry, but life will get better soon.” That’s about as useful as reacting with glee at any cat video; it’s an automatic reaction now.

So, in conclusion, I’d tell my 15-year-old self that he’s incredibly strong for enduring the pains that his perception, and the things that caused such perceptions, had brought him. I wouldn’t blame him the least for wanting to kill himself either. But, most of those crappy things aren’t going to change quickly, and life is still going to be insanely difficult regardless of what he does. However, with some work, some great friends, and a hell of a lot of mistakes, he can manage to work his way through life. I won’t propose that there’s some one stop solution to everything, but I will propose that life gets to be much more interesting when you leave that dark room, that desolate high-school hallway, and the daily drag of allowing yourself to have the exact same thought patterns. Start small, kid, because each step makes the next step a little easier.

You’ll probably never figure it out, but that’s what makes it all so entertaining.

Planting Good Relationships

FullSizeRender (2)
Photo by Samuel Alvarado

By Samuel Alvarado

Relationships between people, whether platonic, romantic or even with oneself, are like plants. Relationships and plants both require care, maintenance, and space lest they stagnate and die. I have had a wonderful “garden” of relationships for a while, but it is no easy feat to maintain.

I find that relationships and plants share several key characteristics, and I have noticed these similarities throughout my life. A plant or relationship can grow only when it is properly taken care of with the necessary sustenance, room, and care. Our relationships provide us with the steady stream of care, love, and motivation needed for us to grow.

Plants need the right balance between rich soil, sunshine, and water as their primary sustenance. Relationships between people also require sustenance by having substance in shared experiences. The parallels are clearly seen when the sustenance of relationships and plants are taken away, as neither a relationship nor plant can last long without attention and care. Sustenance for a relationship comes from being rooted in the lives of others, just as sustenance for a plant comes from being rooted in the soil.  Just as plants need water regularly, relationships need regular attention to ensure their longevity. With sustained maintenance, relationships can last a lifetime.

Most plants need space to expand, or they will stagnate instead of growing as they should. Without space, plants may be forced to recede into corners or against walls while trying to grow in what little space they have. Relationships too need space, as every person needs the opportunity to grow personally and, by virtue, grow the relationship with deeper self-knowledge. Most people need some time alone to better understand themselves so they can better function with others. At times, a person may pull or push away from those closest to them, and this new space may make it easier to focus on deep personal issues. The time alone, however, should not be extended without purpose because the need for social engagement is just as important as the need for space and privacy. A little self-care can help a person thrive in relationships because better self-awareness can allow for greater contributions to the group of relationships.

Plants need care when they grow unevenly, have been hurt, or become diseased. By the same principle, a relationship needs care when it has been stressed, damaged, or unloved.  Care for a plant may involve adding more nitrogen, adding a splint, or transplanting it after its pot broke. For relationships, people need to communicate effectively about what has strained the relationship and what needs to be done to rectify any damage. It does not bode well when one friend pours out their heart to another with little reciprocation or recognition. This apathy, however, broadens a growing divide in a relationship. When trust is broken, promises are left unkept or feelings are hurt; these issues need to be remedied promptly for fear that they ruin both relationship and the person who had been cared for before. When properly implemented throughout the life of a plant or relationship, the effects of intentional care can be seen clearly. Intention care is a necessity to foster our health and the health of the natural specimens we foster.

Callous handling of plants and relationships leads to the ruin of each. Therefore, I hope people learn to treat their relationships as plants. A plant may provide fresh oxygen and fruit, just as a relationship may provide companionship and love that every person yearns for throughout this journey we call life.

I could say that my garden of relationships has always been calm and full, but that would be a lie. Coming to college, I came in knowing one person, and I felt more alone than ever. My garden was nearly empty from relationships falling into disrepair or being intentionally burned. Now, after a year in Pensacola, I have a garden of flowers, cacti, and herbs that I love to see grow as they have helped me grow.

Decisions

Blurry_sunset
Photo by Rachael Whitlock

By Rachael Whitlock

A thin veil of smoke curled around her fingers before dissipating into the air. She held the cigarette loosely to her lips and felt the warmth of its tip radiate towards her skin. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks as she inhaled once more. For a moment, as smoke filled her nostrils, she relaxed. Then, with another exhale, she began to heave in quiet sobbing.

She brushed her black bangs out of her eyes before picking her head up and taking another hit of the fast-shrinking cigarette. Sitting on the edge of the sandy cliffs, she watched the sun – a fiery ball of orange – as it began to disappear beneath the horizon. The entire city beneath her was bathed in the pink glow of the sunset, and as the darkness slowly enveloped it, yellow squares of light began to brighten the buildings.

Behind her, she heard light feet kicking the gravelly sand; sighing, she knew exactly who was about to sit down. Part of her leapt with elation as the boy sat next to her, but another part recoiled in pain. She yearned to speak to him him, but she also didn’t think she could bear to see his face. “I knew I would find you here.” he said quietly.

His soft voice made her wince. She thought the pain would subside with time, but it seemed to loom over her, completely enveloping and suffocating her already broken heart. “I haven’t changed my mind, you know. I can’t keep it.” she said while brushing tears off her cheeks. He sat next to her silently with his blue eyes staring at the city lights. After a minute, she stole a glance of his face and saw the shine of tears rolling down his cheeks.

“But why not?” His words were barely more than a hoarse whisper; his pain was evident. In hushed desperation, he pleaded, “Let me have it. You wouldn’t have to do anything after…this part. I’ll take care of it myself.” and it hurt her to hear the desperation in his voice. A piece of her wanted the child.  She ached to keep it and raise it with this boy she loved, but she knew it was just a fantasy that would play out differently in reality.

“I told you already. I can’t do it. I just can’t.” Even though she said this with certainty, her mind was twisting with indecision. They loved each other, and it was as if she was ripping his heart out and watching him bleed. No one does that to someone they love, she thought silently. She couldn’t look at him, even just a glance at the broken boy would prove devastating. She could hear him crying quietly and knew comforting him, even just looking at him, would only bring her more misery. Her heart was being squeezed, tighter and tighter, until it was nearly impossible to breathe. She turned her face to the sky and stared at the moon, full and bright, surrounded  by thousands of twinkling stars. Please, tell me what to do, she thought emptily. She didn’t truly believe there was anything in the stars that would help her, but she figured she’d try.

Still sitting next to her, the boy reached into his pocket and pulled out a small silver ring. He turned the jewel over in his fingers and let the moonlight shine on the cluster of diamonds on the top. After a minute of staring at the glittering silver, he held it out to her. “I got this for you. I don’t know why. I guess I thought it would help change your mind.” He continued to look at his hands, at the ring, and at the ground – anywhere but her face.

She held her breath in uncertainty. In her chest, she felt an almost overwhelming urge to reach out and grab the ring from his hand to put it on and never take it off. Instead, she simply sat there. One then two slow minutes passed before she even moved. Finally, she pulled her eyes away from the shining metal and looked up at his face, “I’m sorry, but I have to go.” It wasn’t until she had gotten up and walked away from him, out of earshot, that she began to sob.

***

A week later, she took a deep breath before dialing the number of her doctor’s office. A cheery nurse answered her on the first ring. She spoke to the nurse with certainty, for she knew   what she wanted. “Yes, I’d like to cancel the appointment I have next Tuesday.” The nurse asked her if she was sure and reminded her of the consequences of her decision. In two weeks, she could no longer change her mind if she decided she didn’t want it anymore. With an upbeat positivity, she exclaimed, “I know, but I want to keep it. I’m not going to change my mind.” A minute later, she hung up the phone and relaxed for the first time in months.

Then, she dialed another number. She wasn’t sure he would answer, but, after the fifth ring, she heard a sigh  with a strained “Hello?” that was a question more than it was a greeting.

She steeled herself for what she was about to say and decided to start slow. “Um…hey. I know this is hard, but can we talk? I have something important to tell you.”

The Squirrels, The Myths, The Legends

 

Squirrel
Photo from the Pensacola News Journal

By Jade Jacobs

For years, there has been lore on the University of West Florida campus regarding the existence of rare albino squirrels residing between the Information Technology building (79) and Math/Engineering building (4). Many students have their own theories about why the squirrels are here or what their purpose is among us. Although up to two have been seen at the same time, no one knows if there are more out there. A sighting of even one albino squirrel is said to alter a person’s mind and enlighten them to a bit more of life’s grand story. In hopes of gaining more insight to the mysteries of these aloof animals, students were asked to share their beliefs and myths about these legendary squirrels. These are their stories.

Long ago, the 6 colleges educated students as a university; then, everything changed when the funding arrived. Only the albino squirrel, master of all 6 disciplines, could divide funds. But when UWF needed him most, he vanished. Years passed until students discovered new albino squirrels living near building 4. Although the squirrels’ finance skills are great, they have a lot to learn before they’re ready to give any money. But I believe, they can save UWF.” – Albino squirrel advocate.

The white squirrel is a vengeful demon whose physical body was used in a ritual on UWF campus. He now roams the grounds looking for the people that caused his transformation in an attempt to repay them for their kindness.” – Jerrad H.

He’s an international squirrel from Antarctica here to study human behavior” – A friend from afar.

Not only are there rumors as to how the squirrels came to call UWF home, but mystery also surrounds exactly where the squirrels live on campus.

I heard it’s responsible for the weird missing reports on the nature trail.” – Patrick L.

It has been said that if you rub its head 3 times and scream ‘Yahtzee!’, class grades will improve miraculously.” – A believer.

Seeing him is an omen that you’ll make an A on your next test” – Brianna M.

Even further speculation has gone into why the squirrels have their prominent color in the fur-st place.

Supposedly, he jumped into a highly chlorinated pool. Some humans think it’s a ghost, but it’s far from dead.” – Anthony N.

The albino squirrel is the embodiment of unfulfilled wishes and dreams of all college students. That’s why it lacks color, with inadequacy and disappointment comes loss of wonder.” – A student in search of hope.

He was caught in a hurricane and the salt from the sea water turned his fur white.” – Jamar G.

Some students are firm believers in the existence and powers of the albino squirrels, while others just think it’s a tall, fluffy tale. Though it’s true that there is no conclusive evidence to back up these reports, the fantasy alone is enough to keep the dream alive. Whether you choose to believe these accounts is up to you. However, one thing is for certain: the imagination of college students knows no bounds in cases where oddly pigmented animals come into play.