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12 Phrases to Detox Your Friendslist for 2016

Happy New Year! As we entered 2016 older, wiser, and with as much grace as we could manage in our 5-inch heels at midnight, we wanted to start the year fresh. For some people, that may mean changing up their exercise regimen (or starting one), or picking up a new hobby.

But with the start of the new comes the end of the old, and just as we purge our closets of clothes which no longer fit, we can do the same with relationships we’ve outgrown.

If you struggle with being too damn popular, here are 12 phrases to easily identify and distance yourself from certain people, because you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

1. “Concealed firearms on campuses is a good idea!”

Multiple investigations such as this study by the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2004 have found that people who kept a gun in their house “were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home”.

Now, imagine the drama and conflicting cultures of college, then add guns to the mix. Let’s not.

2. “Refugees will just bring trouble.”

Steve Jobs. Alexander Hamilton. Rihanna. What do all these people have in common? All of them and many more successful Americans were not born here. A lot of people have no reservation when embracing a product or trend, but don’t pay any attention to its background. The origin of products and people are important because it’s a big part of their formation. The first step to eliminating prejudice is to acknowledge and accept and celebrate our differences.

3. “I’m just not a political person.”

We’ve all been there—at a party or during a class discussion, and someone plays the ‘Not Political’ card. Bad news first: the Not Political card is actually a Privilege card. If you can afford not to know what your legislators are supporting, this means you’re privileged to not have issues directly affecting you. In the current state of the world (the Middle East, gun control, drug decriminalization!), however, I’m afraid there are few people who truly are untouched and just as voting and jury duty is a civic duty, so is helping to shape the future.

 

Now the good news: I get it, I still can’t see myself reading the Politics section of the paper every day. But just Liking a few Facebook Pages of news sources (besides the big names: Fox, CNN, NBC) is a surprisingly easy way to stay abreast of everything going on outside of campus.

 

4. “This is reverse racism.”

I’m still hearing people say this when something slightly inconvenient happens and I think more people should stop throwing around the ‘racism’ word and remember this quote: “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

Racism does not just apply to discrimination against black people. If a Hispanic restaurant-owner denied service to a Pakistani woman because she was wearing a hijab, this is also racism.

5. “She was asking for it.”

No means no. Not saying yes or no, does not mean “yes”. Not being able to answer does not mean “yes”. Short skirts, strong makeup, low-cut tops, high heels, tights—all of these are personal fashion choices and none of them mean “yes”.

6. “People demanding a higher minimum wage are lazy.”

Interestingly, lower paying jobs typically require more physical labor than nice, white-collar office jobs. People against raising the minimum wage may argue that it’s already adjusted for inflation rates. The Congressional Budget Office (2011) found that, from 1979-2007, the wealthiest 1% of America saw a 275% growth in their income. And the middle class? Less than a 40% growth.

When less than 1% of the US controls a third of the country’s wealth while the everyday citizen is fighting to feed their families paycheck to paycheck, something clearly needs to change. Welcome to 2016, join the Fight for $15.

7. “I’m not a bigot, I have a black sorority sister/a gay uncle/a fat friend!”

A friend is not a Get Out of Jail Free card. Instead of trying to excuse something you said/did that offended someone, maybe take a second to reflect and imagine how you would feel if your positions were switched.

8. “Convicts don’t get to complain about how they’re treated in prison, they’re criminals!”

First: go watch Orange Is The New Black.

Sadly, people have discovered they can make a lot of money through prisons, and don’t care about the care and safety of inmates when they’re cutting corners to increase profits. Even if someone is wearing an orange jumpsuit they’re still a person, and we all have certain rights.

 

9. “When I was your age, I put myself through college working at a diner.”

Forbes (2012) reported that, instead of growing equally with the inflation rate, college tuition is in fact “over 2 ½ times the inflation rate”.

Interestingly, colleges along with prisons seem to increasingly be losing their original purpose to become sources of profit. Because it’s impossible to get most jobs without a degree, it’s time to stop pricing college like a luxury when it’s a necessity in the modern age. Bernie Sanders has some interesting plans for education in America that collegiettes and future parents alike should consider this voting season.

10. “Standardized testing is an accurate measurement of intelligence.”

This is coming from someone who breezed through all of their standardized tests throughout primary and secondary school without studying once—a high score does not equal intelligence. While I argue that these tests do force students to learn organization and time management, don’t let a number define you, whether it’s high or low.

11. “Teachers are glorified babysitters.”

Do you think Obi-Wan could’ve defeated a Sith Lord for the first time in a millennium without the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn? Do you think you would know how to do long division if your math teacher hadn’t drilled it throughout fifth grade? Teachers are literally responsible for shaping the future and we should appreciate them for it.
 

12. “Trump 2016!”

Just, please see yourself out.

 
Psychology major and Creative Writing minor at the University of South Florida.Eliminating the unexamined life one pitch at a time.TITSANDASP.WORDPRESS.COMFollow Ash on Instagram and Twitter @aftalonzo
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