Back in 2004, when GameCubes were new and amazing, little 4th grade me used to sneak downstairs in the early, early morning. I was only allowed a few video game hours a day (anyone else have that too?) so I’d “beat the system” by waking up before my parents. Ninety percent of the time, the game I’d play at 5-something a.m. was the original Animal Crossing. I still think the game’s early morning music is so soft and perfect. Long story short: Animal Crossing, like, speaks to my soul. I’m obsessed. And Pocket Camp happened to come out on my one day off from work. I saw on Twitter that the app was “leaked” early and I basically lunged across the bed for my charger and phone. Cleaning the bedroom? Doing laundry? Feeding myself something more than just Cheez-Its? No thank you. I just snuggled under the covers and started tapping away at every cute animal friend in sight Goldie, plz love me. It’s been about a month now since Pocket Camp came out, and in the time that’s passed I’ve gotten a good feel for the game. Putting together my fangirl heart and analyst brain, here’s a few spoiler-free pros and cons!

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Hey everyone! I feel like I wrote my July must reads not that long ago…but that’s probably because I did them in the middle of the month instead of at the start (#oops). Such is the life of a blogger / figuring out a new series. Guess there’s a quicker turn around this time. Either way, there’s been plenty of new articles these past few weeks! August is off to a great, thunderstorm-y start in my city, so I’m more than happy to snuggle up inside and get some reading done. If you’re also looking for a few good articles to dig in to, here’s this month’s must reads! 1. Forget Calories. Exercise For Awe. by Julia Baird “We are wrong to think of exercise only as something to build muscle and ease anxiety. If we can, we should force ourselves out of gyms and off machines into the natural world, knowing, or hoping, that we may stumble upon awe.” As my RL friends can attest to, I’ve been on a bit of a body acceptance / health feminism bend lately. I’ve already learned so much from some amazing writers (who I might do a blog post on sometime) and honesty there’s nothing better than feeling your mind growing while trying to better yourself. For the record: body acceptance goes beyond “body positivity” and the kind of cheesy marketing that often goes with it (like this cringy ad). Instead, it’s about analyzing society’s beauty standards, seeing how diet culture is dangerously flawed, and realizing that body shape does not equal “health.” Skinny people can be unhealthy. Larger people can be perfectly fit. Our very standards of ~health~ are extremely biased. Etc, etc, etc. ANYWAY. What I liked most about Baird’s piece was the focus on the emotional side of exercise. I totally get if swimming and running aren’t your thing, but I know my favorite parts of track ~back in the day~ were those moments when you felt your body being powerful, when you felt like you could do anything. It’s also so, so, so important not to get caught up in the calorie counting side of things. Been there, done that, and it can turn into a vicious cycle if you’re not careful. Exercise can be so much more than hitting your FitBit goals. Instead, just focus on giving your body good nutrients and finding a kind of movement that makes…

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Between writing for my high school paper and being a journalism major for a strange 12 weeks (long story), I’ve always had a soft spot for well-written articles. I honestly read way more long-form journalism than I do actual books — which was an awkward answer to give when English professors would ask what my favorite novels are, etc. Keeping up with new content is probably why I love Twitter so much. My feed is always popping with the awesome pieces some great people are putting out there. With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few articles that have really struck me the past couple weeks. Some are recent, and some were just recently retweeted, but all of them left an impact and kept me thinking. #JournalismNerd 1. “A Husband for Home, a Wife for Away” by Claire Dederer I’ve been a fan of NYT’s “Modern Love” series for awhile. But to be honest, when I first clicked on the article I thought it was going to be about some soap-opera-level cheating drama. Spoiler: I was wrong. Dederer’s breath of fresh air ended up being even better than I could have hoped. I’ve always believed in the idea that it’s unhealthy to expect one single relationship / friendship to supply everything you need in your life. If we have multiple friends for different reasons (some to party with, some to chill with, etc) then why would we pressure our romantic partners to somehow be everything at once? While Dederer’s set up is a bit unique, I really appreciated the idea that you can “customize” your life whatever way you want it. By focusing on what we like most about all the people we love, we can celebrate the ways we make each other better. 2. “How Do You Keep Social Media from Destroying Your Mental Health?” by Sarah Kurchak Anyone in the modern day knows social media can be stressful. Everyone’s counting followers, comparing feeds, and trying to make their life look much cooler than it actually is (oops). There’s already been a lot written about how all this activity could be hurting people’s mental health. But I thought this article brought a nice balance to that convo. I thought Kurchak did a solid job of showing both the good and bad of “life online.” Sure, constant new info can be overwhelming, but the internet also brings people…

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