must reads #3: star signs & starlight

must reads #3: star signs & starlight

I know autumn doesn’t officially start until the 22nd, but can you blame a girl for getting excited anyway? Yes, I don’t care, put me in with the legions of basic bitches who love fall and cable knit sweaters and hot drinks and blah blah blah. I check all the marks. But I’ve loved autumn since before it was an aesthetic obsession so #FightMe.

Yet beyond me being excited about September… Here’s some articles that I’ve loved the past month! If you’re looking for a few things to read while you sip on your pumpkin spice latte (even though they’re the one fall-ish thing I can’t stand, ick) then take a look at these lovely links:

1. Why We Love Personality Quizes, Even When We Know They’re Meaningless by Constance Grady

So what is it about personality quizzes like the Meyers-Briggs test and the Hogwarts sorting quiz and newspaper horoscopes and BuzzFeed’s entire quiz category that are so immensely compelling? Why are we drawn to them even when we know they don’t mean anything?

I originally retweeted this article with the caption “I feel so attacked right now.” And that’s pretty much still the case. I’m a total sucker for personality tests and collecting labels (Ravenclaw-Leo-INTJ, what’s good) so I was both intrigued and sad to read this.

Spoiler alert: we like tests because of the “tribalistic” parts of our brain always feel a need to belong. While there are a few sections of the article I’d argue with – I think the author is a bit hard on how people view Myers-Briggs – overall I thought it was super interesting.

And even though we think things like Buzzfeed quizzes and Hogwarts houses are harmless…here’s a friendly reminder to analyze ourselves when it comes to obsessing over other, more serious groups like political parties, race, etc. It’s crazy to think about how this primal part of our brain ends up touching so many parts of our lives, both big and small.

2. Meteor Showers in 2017 That Will Light Up The Night Skies by Nicholas St. Fleur

All year long as Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through streams of cosmic debris. The resulting meteor showers can light up night skies from dawn to dusk, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch one.

I feel like most people think of meteor showers with summer…or maybe that’s just me? Either way I was super happy to realize that there’s still plenty of shooting stars to see even though its now autumn. And if you want to plan out a cute little date night with your special someone, this article has all the dates listed in one place!

According to the piece, moonless nights out in the country are best for viewing. And looking to mark your calendars? The next big peak is around October 22nd. Cider and stargazing is now def on my to-do list.

3. You Must Understand Why You Believe What You Believe — And How You Got There by Ijeoma Oluo

Stop letting your beliefs own you. Examine them closely. Keep what is honest and useful, throw away the clutter, and repair what is valuable yet damaged.

To be a good little journalist, each month I have to include a slightly more serious article. But that doesn’t mean this wasn’t an easy read! The headline first caught my eye since we have this global trend lately of people becoming more and more polarized in their beliefs. But part of being a responsible, critically thinking person is always being able to back up what we think.

The author starts with an exercise she did with her writing class: take three “controversial” topics (in this case the election, the environment, and the Kardashians [lol]) and write down everything you think about them. Don’t overthink it. Just write it all down. Afterwards…take a look at everything you wrote. When did you start thinking this way? Did you ever think differently? Can you remember the process that took you to how you think today?

Once you analyze why you think things, you can break down whether they’re good reasons, stupid reasons, or maybe things that just need a bit of tweaking. Using this process allows you to be self-aware and firm up your own perspectives.

Because what’s the point of believing in something that you can’t back up?

And there’s the monthly wrap up. Hope you all get the best results on your Buzzfeed tests, see the coolest shooting stars, and achieve some cool intellectual nirvana where you suddenly know the answer to everything.

Some things on that list might be more achievable than others. But, uh, go get ’em tiger.

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  • I’m definitely going to read that final article about beliefs – sounds SO interesting and definitely up my street! Sounds like something I would have read and studied in psychology in A Level! <3

    • Sinéad Schouten

      Yay! I hope you do check it out, it’s a good mix of psychology and philosophy and very interesting to read (: