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Over Christmas break while I was sitting on the kitchen floor laughing at a moth meme on my phone until tears came pouring from my eyes, my mother informed me that I was “a party all by myself.”

And, frankly, I sort of am.

Self-reliance is a skill I never thought I would need growing up. I was always sure I would have a flock of friends around me at all times to rely on with shoulders to cry on and trashy playlists full of 2008 Ke$ha to dance to. …

And is it this hard for everybody?

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I feel like a lot of the statements I make here are not necessarily pushing the boundaries of social commentary or personal essays or even worldly observations. I often state the obvious. However, the older I get, the more I learn how universal some experiences are and, yet, how suffocating and separating those experiences can make us feel.

So, today, I am once again going to state the glaringly obvious in the hopes of helping myself and others feel less hopeless: making friends as an adult — stripped of the safety nets and…

Job searching is the worst.

I know that’s not shocking news. Sending out application after application, putting time and effort into each one, only to get a form rejection letter — or sometimes, absolutely nothing — back is probably one of the circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno.

Not to mention the interviewing process, where you learn more and more about the job and the work environment and the people and maybe even the city, and you begin to see yourself in that position more and more — only to get a rejection again. And then you’re right back to square one.

If it’s taking…

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As someone who was once described as the “ultimate escape artist” by a cool aunt, I’m truly surprised that I have never talked about YouTube online.

Anytime I’m looking for something to watch during lunch, before bed, while cleaning the bathroom, etc., I turn on YouTube. It’s probably the internet place I spend the most time and is home to some of my favorite public figures.

I don’t think many older folks (who happen to be my largest demographic — thanks mom and dad) truly realize how much there is on YouTube. What once was a site for odd viral…

Photo by Evi Arthur

As the world descends further and further into incomprehensible chaos, I find myself looking through my bookshelf in my childhood bedroom. Alongside classics bought in a panic like What Color is Your Parachute? and far too many true crime books sit my old favorite reads from throughout my childhood — and all of them are YA.

I still love YA (short for young adult) books. The older I get, the more I find myself drawn to books aimed at adolescents. I think it has something to do with the conflicts. You crack open a YA book and the issue is…

Courtesy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons press kit

If you asked me in April who Tom Nook was and why he needed bells from me, I would’ve suspected that you were having a stroke. If you asked me the same question now, I would tell you that Tom Nook is a raccoon to whom I owe money.

I’ve been really annoying this summer about Animal Crossing. You know, the game where you move to a remote island and build it from the ground up for you and your island neighbors — who just so happen to all be animals — while paying back an enormous debt to raccoon…

Photo by Evi Arthur

I have 14 tattoos. I’ve stopped counting for my own sake, but for the record, and to establish a bit of expertise here, I thought I’d let you know.

They range from pieces that I put years of thought and meaning into, to pieces that I got on the way home from a long shift because I decided that my love for coffee was so great that I needed to immortalize it on my body for the rest of my life and the skin behind my ear was woefully empty (no regrets).

Photo by Kay Lau on Unsplash

We used to play this game in elementary school gym class called “stuck in the mud.” It was like a game of tag, but if you were tagged, you had to stop running and stand in place — stuck in the mud. In order to get unstuck, someone had to crawl between your legs, and only then were you free to run around again.

That is how I feel at the moment.

Stuck. And there’s nothing I can do about it but stand around and wait.

Today I graduated from college. I turned in my last online final, which means…

Photo by Evi Arthur

By Evi Arthur

I cried the first time I had to leave my dorm room.

Moving to Chicago my freshman year felt like a dream.

Daydreaming of my future life in a big city had gotten me through high school. In my head, I’d lived in L.A., New York, Chicago, Boston — all the biggies. But the closer I got to graduating, the further away that life in the big city felt.

Family members told me that all the places I wanted to go were too far and too expensive and too hard to get to. Friends told me that…

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

I used to hop off the school bus and sprint to my house, a book clutched tightly in my clammy, little hand. I would plop myself down on the couch and read until my mom would call me into the kitchen for dinner — what typically felt like just minutes later.

I read after dinner and before school and while walking in the halls between classes and at sleepovers. …

Evi Arthur

Associate Editor at Pumps & Systems Magazine. AP Style Nerd. RU Journalism Grad. Writer of too many words. Visit my site:

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