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Redefining Bad*ss: What It Truly Means to Be a B.A.

When you think of the word bad*ss, Collegiettes, what comes to mind? Probably a little something like this:

1. A killer leather jacket

2. Lots of cigarettes

3. Some guns…

4. And in general, total teenage rebellion. Breaking the law, maybe even stealing a car!

But don’t you think this stereotype of a B.A. is rather outdated? Yeah, we will always have some folks who think they’re a “wild child,” but in today’s society, what does being a bad*ss really mean? It’s 2014, things are changing, and so is the evolution of the bad*ss.

Urban Dictionary’s definition of a bad*ss is “someone who does not ever look back at an explosion.” Which, hey, seems pretty cool. All those flashy lights are tempting to take a peek at, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. I’m here to debunk your thoughts on this stereotype. And you might just find out you’ve got more bad*ssness in you than you think. Alright, so here we go, Collegiettes: what is a bad*ss?

1. A bad*ss is loyal – to themselves and to others.

2. Bad*sses never give up. Kind of like The Goonies’ “Never Say Die,” but without the buried treasure.

3. A bad*ss stays true to who they are. They’re never phony or act fake. Being bad*ss is all about being true to yourself. That entails being true to what you want in life, such as your job, your partner, or maybe just the type of music you like.

4. A bad*ss is kind. Isn’t it so much easier to just write people off and give them the cold shoulder? A bad*ss does the opposite and goes out of their way to be nice and stand up for the weak. It takes courage to be kind, but a bad*ss has plenty of that.

5. A bad*ss doesn’t care what others think. People spend too much time wondering if they’ll be accepted or fit in. But not a bad*ss. A bad*ss embraces who they are and doesn’t care if people don’t like it, because they love themselves enough to let it all go. Like Coco Chanel said, “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.” And she was one bad*ss chick.

6. A bad*ss is responsible. They know when to get down to business. You could say they play hard, and work even harder.

7. A bad*ss is driven and dedicated. They’re always working towards their goals and never let anyone stop them from doing so. They choose what they want in life.

So maybe this list made you realize you’re the biggest bad*ss out there of them all. You go to the gym at 8am, start that paper weeks in advance, or maybe even you’re following your dream here at UMass Amherst to become the next great female scientist, even though there are plenty of people who told you otherwise.
Or maybe you want to become the bad*ss you think you truly are. Even bad*sses can learn a thing or two.

And I can’t think of anything more bad*ss than getting to an 8am class on a freezing winter morning all the way on the other side of campus.

I can’t think of anything more bad*ss than studying your brains out for a giant midterm for a week, and then finally finding out you aced it.

I can’t think of anything more bad*ss than going into work instead of calling out even when you’re a little sick and Netflix along with your bed are just calling your name.

Rebellion is so easy nowadays – especially in college. If everyone else is doing it, right? Wrong. Being a B.A. isn’t about doing the easy thing. It’s about getting down to the stuff you don’t want to do and getting it done. A bad*ss does what’s hard, and does it each and every day.

Be a little like Kate Nash, and you’ll be a bad*ss in no time.
Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 67, 89.
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Carson McGrath

U Mass Amherst

Carson McGrath is in her first year at the University of Massachusetts. She is studying English and Journalism and hopes to one day write professionally. She is a triplet and loves the color orange, sushi, and Audrey Hepburn.
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