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Toria Clarke: On the Pursuit of Health and Happiness

Toria Clarke seems to tower over her peers in two ways; one way she towers over those around her is because of her height. Residing at a wonderful 5’11, Toria bops through the stream of FSU students walking on campus with an ease and agility most would wish for. Secondly, her shining personality separates her from others. In a sea of dull faces and stressed out frown lines, Toria face lights up in a genuine smile, her entire face transforming into such a beam of joy that people glance over, wanting to be in on the joke as well. Talking with Toria is like confiding in a longtime friend and it’s amazing to see the magnetic pull she has on those around her. As if her daring wit and charming jokes weren’t enough, people seem to lean toward her, wanting to be within her orbit if only to get a glimpse of a shining meteor hurling through life with a fun-fraught attitude, bright and true as anything.

Name: Toria Clarke

Age: 20

Major: English – Editing, Writing and Media

Hometown: Pensacola, FL

Relationship status: Currently lusting after Matty Healy, I’ll keep ya posted on whether or not anything happens with that!

Courtesy: Toria Clarke

 

Her Campus (HC): What is something that has made you happy within the past 24 hours?

Toria Clarke (TC): So, good news, I saw a dog today! Seeing dogs on campus always puts me in a good mood and makes me happy. Who doesn’t love a good doggo?

HC: What are some of your aspirations?

TC: Oh jeez, I have a ton of aspirations, but the most relevant aspiration I have is to go into a career that I actually enjoy. I love writing, I write every day, so hopefully after college I will be able to get a job that involves that. I’m not quite sure what I want to do with my life yet, but I want to ultimately be happy with my life. I know that’s cheesy, but I think it’s important.

HC: Are you a member of any organizations on campus?

TC: I’m a part of the Odyssey team at FSU. If you don’t know what the Odyssey is, it’s an online publication which allows college students to be published writers. I’m also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, which has given me so many reasons to be thankful for Florida State.

HC: What makes you proud to be a member of these organizations?

TC: A lot of times people criticize the Odyssey because of some of the content that is posted on the website, but I think it’s pretty cool that I get to say that I’m a published writer at 20 years old. I’m grateful for the Odyssey because it helped me discover my love for writing. I’m proud to be a sister of Alpha Omicron Pi because I am consistently pushed to be the best person I can be every day. I’m surrounded by so many different types of people and I have met some of my best friends due to AOII.

Courtesy: Toria Clarke

 

HC: How would you categorize your friend group, and how has that helped you create a fulfilling life here in Tallahassee?

TC: My friend group is incredibly diverse, but it always makes things interesting. I actually like to call my bestfriends my “frens.” I’m not sure why, but it just sounds cuter to me. I have friends that I go to for advice, friends that I go to so I can have someone to fangirl over celebrities with (specifically Brendon Urie or One Direction), friends I call when I’m making the drive home and friends that are always down to get down with me. I think that I have created a full life here, which is crazy. When I was young I didn’t know if I would ever make it away from home, because home is my comfort zone. Now, I see that home is wherever you make it and I’m glad that I can call Tallahassee a (temporary) home.

HC: What do you want to accomplish in life, in relationships or in your future career?

TC: Ultimately, I want to be happy with the life I’ve lived. I hope to fulfill all of the goals I have set for myself in regards to my career. My dream is to live in New York and work as a publisher or editor for a fun magazine, like Cosmopolitan or something like that. Who knows where I’ll actually end up thoug;  life is all about trial and error! As for relationships, well my dad always tells me that someone will come along when I least expect it, so I’m putting my faith in that and choosing to focus on myself and my future for right now.

HC: Do you have a specific person that inspires you and drives you to go after what you want?

TC: My parents have always been people who drive me to be the absolute best that I can be. I know that sounds extremely cliche, but it’s true. My dad has always told me that persistence and determination are some of the most important qualities that you can have in life and with those qualities you can accomplish anything. Thanks Jamerz for the advice! My mom moved out and set out for her life at a young age and she raised me to be, what she calls a “survivor,” and has taught me to be independent.

HC: What are you passionate about?

TC: Does my love for Harry Styles count? I kid, I kid. I’m most passionate about body positivity and stable mental health. Based on personal past experiences, these two things are extremely important to me. Having a positive mindset when it comes to your body is vital to living a truly happy life. Your body is your home and mistreating it is detrimental for your mental stability. Having a stable mentality that is mostly positive is important because if you aren’t positive with yourself, then you will never truly find the joy that life has to offer.

HC: Do you think it is important for women to stand up for themselves?

TC: Absolutely. Women are freakin’ awesome and people need to start realizing that.

HC: How do you feel about feminism?

TC: Who wouldn’t want equality of the sexes? Feminism is, unfortunately, often a misunderstood concept. Sometimes it’s misconstrued as a crazy, man-hating movement, which is the completely opposite of what feminism stands for. I think that it’s important that people realize what feminism actually is before they go bashing it.

HC: What is your favorite song and why?

TC: Oh my lanta I have so, so, sooooo many favorite songs, it’s hard to choose just one. I would say that if I absolutely had to choose a favorite song right now, it would be “Car Radio” by Twenty One Pilots. I love Twenty One Pilots because of what they stand for, even though their music is a little bit different. “Car Radio” has some of my favorite lyrics in the history of ever in the song and it always makes me realize that I can push through the hard times in life.

HC: Do you think it’s important to discuss difficult topics?

TC: I think that discussing difficult topics isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, but it’s important to at least touch on them. Discussing controversial topics helps you as well as the people you’re discussing them with, see different sides of things. I often find myself leaving a difficult conversation with a more open mind, so yes, I think that it’s important to talk about things that are avoided.

HC: Do you have any stories or memories that have had a large impact on your life?

TC: This year, something terrifying happened to my family. I woke up at 1:45 on the morning I was supposed to return back to Florida State and heard my mother frantically talking to 911 on the telephone and my father seizing on the ground of their bedroom floor. I had to hold my dad steady, ensure that he was breathing to the best of his ability and tell my mom if anything changed. The paramedics finally came and rescued my dad and thankfully he came out of his state of unconsciousness. Everything is fine with my dad now and thankfully the only thing he had to do was change a certain medication he was taking. Experiencing this made me realize that literally anything can happen at the blink of an eye. One minute, you could be talking to a person that you love and the next minute that person could be gone. This entire episode gave me a greater appreciation for what I have in my life and made me realize who I love. Since this has happened, I promised myself that I wouldn’t live a life that wasn’t filled with love and joy and I make sure to talk to the ones that I love every single day.

Courtesy: Toria Clarke

 

HC: What is one of your favorite memories?

TC: As soon as I saw this question, I was prompted with so many different memories that have made my life memorable. Out of these memories, one in particular stands out. Over the summer, my younger sister and I spent an evening driving around in my car with all of the windows rolled down, including the sunroof window. We were jamming out to our favorite music and the sky was this pink type of color. I took a back road that led to this park that allowed you to see planes land and take off. We watched the sun go down at the park and I just remember being completely care-free and consumed with happiness.

HC: How do you feel about concerts?

TC: DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THIS ONE. Concerts are one of the most magnificent things in the entire world. Seeing one of your favorite artists live is truly magical. There’s something about live performances that make you want to relive them again and again and again because you just can’t get enough. You get to see someone extremely talented perform and be their authentic selves, which is quite incredible. 10/10 would recommend. My friend Hailey is the one that I relate to the most on this topic (thank you Hailez for understanding) and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Hi, I'm Amanda. I'm a Creative Writing major with an affinity for take-your-breath-away-sentences. I also like solid 80s rock jams and blogging about my feelings. I'm constantly hopeful I can one day escape to the moon. For now, I'm enjoying attending a wonderfully diverse school and take pride in my beautiful group of friends.
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