One year later: Advice you would give to your 2020 self Tuesday, Mar 23 2021 

By Zachary Baker–

One of the last days of normalcy that we had before everything went downhill and the pandemic started to change how we went along with our lives happened one year and a week ago, on March 14, 2020. 

As we reach the one-year mark of this pandemic, we face many questions: When will I get the vaccine? Will we return to normal by the end of the year?  

However, another question that we may have been faced with is: What if I could go back and change how I behaved this last year, what advice would I give myself?

“I’d tell myself last year to stop caring about the inconveniences and distractions of life and focus on what really matters. Friends and family,” said Alex Reynolds, a freshman political science major.

There are few things that most of us would likely tell ourselves a year ago: buy up toilet paper while you can, stay away from crowds and keep your family safe, and perhaps even invest within GameStop stock while you have the chance. 

“Honestly, I wish I had bought more Bitcoin,” said Chance Peterson, a senior political science major.

However, others would tell themselves that they should have been more productive and that they should find ways to keep on track with their objectives and schoolwork. 

And while others were getting into shape and improving themselves significantly as a way to hold back the cabin fever, I was preoccupied with writing and publishing my own book.

That leads me to the major piece of advice that I would give to my past self, I would tell myself to focus on getting healthy. It may not be the easiest objective, but while the rest of the world is falling apart around you, the thing that can help you feel in control could be getting a hold over your body and your mind.

It may not be the most fruitful to regret what could have been over the past year, however, it is not like we can go back and change the past. But that is the interesting thing about regrets for me, while I can’t go back into the past, I can focus on the future and the now.

If you look back on this past year and you think to yourself, “I should have been more productive”, or in my case “I wish I had gotten healthier,” then you give yourself a goal for now. 

You may not have spent the pandemic like you wanted to, but you can always focus on not having any regrets for the future. 

With the country slowly opening back up we have a chance to be better than we were all last year. Gyms are opening back up, classes are slowly getting back to normal, and we can go out with our vaccinated friends. 

While we look back at our last year, we recognize that we could have been better, but we must understand that it is never too late to start doing better now.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Choosing the best hair care product for your hair Saturday, Feb 27 2021 

By Jacob Maslow — Branded Content

You may have heard about the vast market of hair care products out today. Many claim to help hair growth, protection from UV damage, strengthen your hair color or lighten your hair, everything short of growing an entirely new head of hair for you (and some even promise that).

But with all of these claims, do any of these products deliver on their promises and do what they claim to do? What is the right one for you, and how can you find it amongst all of the new hair tech on the market? Let’s clear things up a bit and help you to understand where the new hot brand Prose Hair stands in the hair tech field.

Customizable Products

Unlike any other, the key to hair care is how specific it can be for each head of hair. With Prose, you answer a detailed questionnaire and quickly get a custom-made hair care system that is built just for you.

This is what really sets them apart from all of the mass-produced hair products on the market, making them more desirable to you, the consumer.

But how do they do this effectively? What’s the science behind a good hair care system?

The Science

Technology is progressing fast, with a new invention every day. We continually improve and refine our world’s technology through artificial intelligence, multimedia content, and little things that make everyday life easier.

If everything else seems to be making progress, why should hair care be any different? With Prose, you have access to the most refined, unique hair care technology out there.

Naturally Innovative

Talented chemists in Paris handcraft prose products. They create these specially-formulated products for each individual by taking natural, healthy ingredients and then using them in new ways.

This means your hair is getting all the nutrients and goodness of naturally nourishing elements of those holistic hair products in a way that is more effective in treating your hair’s unique characteristics.

A Greener Planet

The beauty industry can, unfortunately, result in a whole lot of waste and a disappointing amount of damage to our environment. Prose hair care is a certified B Corporation, which means they employ cleaner processes and bottling methods to help sustain our planet.

They seek to revolutionize the beauty industry and its processes as a whole, and they do that by setting the example. They prove that you can get effective, quality hair care without harming the environment, animals or using unnecessary materials.

You can rest easy with a clear conscience knowing Prose is creating your custom products in ways that protect our planet, and they pay their employees living wages.

Always Evolving

To remain on the cutting edge of the hair care industry, Prose is always open to switching up its formulas. With Prose, you check back in with every bottle to report your hair’s progress. If you’re not getting the results you’re hoping for, they get to work right away, tweaking and improving your system, making sure you’re getting exactly what you want from their products.

Even more than that, they are continually updating their formulas as their chemists come across better, more effective ways to do things. If there’s new technology being discovered, you can be certain to find it incorporated into your next bottles of Prose.

This openness and desire for constant progress are two of the many things that make Prose hair care more technologically advanced than other brands.

They are never satisfied with settling for just “good enough,” and you shouldn’t be, either.

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Maslow // Cosmic Press 

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ELSB hosts online cooking class to help encourage healthy eating Friday, Feb 26 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

U of L’s Engage Lead Serve Board hosted “Food for Thought,” a virtual cooking class on Feb. 22. Participants learned how to make a vegan dish that required very little time and ingredients.

The event was hosted by ELSB’s directors of the Mental Health and Physical Health Committee, Jenna Tinnel and Afi Tagnedji, who led the participants in the recipe and gave out helpful tips along the way.

Participants were able to sign up for a pick-up time, and then pick up all of the ingredients that they needed to make braised chickpeas and spinach. All of the ingredients were provided to participants for free.

After cooking along with hosts and making a healthy dinner, directors from some of the other ELSB committees presented.

Directors of the Human Prosperity Committee, Mallory Mitchell and Sarah Thomas, presented on the issue of food apartheid. According to the PowerPoint they shared at the meeting, “Chronic food injustice is also referred to as ‘food apartheid’, which comes from ‘food desert’. The term ‘food apartheid’ encapsulates the idea that food insecurity is intentional and malicious.”

They went on to explain how prevalent this problem is in Louisville and how students can help by getting involved with and supporting programs like Black Market, #FeedTheWest, Louisville Community Grocery, New Roots and the Cardinal Cupboard Food Pantry. 

Next to present at the event was Abigail Exley, one of the directors of the Cardinal Cupboard Food Pantry. She began by explaining that the goal of the Cardinal Cupboard is to make sure that everyone in the campus community has access to healthy food.

Exley then gave tips to students for cooking healthy on a budget. “Before going to the store, make a list of the items you need and discover how much they ought to cost. Using coupons and apps to your favorite stores can help,” Exley said.

The event concluded with participants receiving links to three more healthy recipes and a cookbook giveaway.

More information about ELSB can be found on their website.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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The best products for an even skin tone Friday, Feb 26 2021 

By Jacob Maslow — Branded Content

Everyone wants beautiful, glowing, and evenly toned skin. The absolute dream is to be able to just roll out of bed, brush our teeth, and leave the house knowing we look fabulous with no effort.

However, in the real world, achieving an even skin tone does take effort. The goal is to make it look like you were naturally blessed with it.

Since we have decided it isn’t just going to happen magically, let’s discuss how to even skin tone. What are the best products, and how do you use them?

Turmeric

Turmeric is for more than just cooking. This yellow spice has been used in medicine, dying cloth, and cooking, of course.

Turmeric is not the first thing you think of when talking about skincare. However, it is excellent for many skin issues. It helps to calm redness and helps with dark spots. Some people have even had success using it to reduce the appearance of acne scars.

Turmeric also has antibacterial properties and aids in helping to clean bacteria out of your pores. It also reduces swelling so that you can kiss those under-eye bags goodbye.

Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is essential to improving the health of your skin. It makes an excellent exfoliant and can help remove dead skin and other impurities.

Vitamin C helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. It is also very moisturizing, which will help your skin maintain its natural elasticity and reduce signs of aging.

Licorice Extract

When you think of licorice, the image of red rope candy most likely jumped into your mind. You may already know that licorice flavoring comes from the licorice plant. The extract also comes directly from the plant.

Licorice extract is a great option to use to even your skin tone if you have sensitive skin. It is not acidic and is much more gentle than some other options. Licorice extract will also help calm any redness or swelling.

Aloe Vera

You have no doubt used aloe vera on a sunburn before. It is excellent for your skin even when you are not suffering from a sunburn.

Aloe vera is very soothing and helps reduce redness. If you suffer from dry patches of the skin, using aloe vera will be best for you.

Honey

You already know that honey is a natural sweetener and tastes great in tea. It tastes fantastic by itself.

You may not know that you can use honey as part of your skincare routine. It is excellent for killing bacteria so that it can never turn into acne. It is also a perfect way for your skin to maintain its natural moisture.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an ingredient you may or may not be familiar with. It is often found in higher-end shampoos. It has a beautiful, clean smell.

Tea tree oil works wonders in acne and skin irritations. It is a great ingredient to be included in a face mask.

Cocoa Powder

You no doubt are very familiar with this ingredient. No doubt you have made a few pans of brownies in your lifetime or at least eaten a chocolate candy bar.

Unfortunately, eating chocolate is not always good for our skin, but it is a different story when you put cocoa powder on your skin. It can aid your skin in its natural healing process and works excellently when used in an exfoliant.

In conclusion, all you need to achieve an even skin tone is within your reach. The best choice is to use natural ingredients. Add some of these to your skin routine, and you will be leaving the house without makeup in no time.

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Maslow // Cosmic Press

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The most common mistakes people make when filing for disability benefits Wednesday, Feb 10 2021 

By Jacob Maslow — Branded Content

Every year, there are millions of people who file for disability benefits. Unfortunately, a lot of applications get denied. For the countless people who are hurt and unable to work, this can make it hard for them to make ends meet. According to Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers, “Short-term disability is a type of disability income insurance that provides periodic payments to a disabled claimant when he or she is unable to work because of a chronic illness or injury.” Therefore, everyone needs to place their application in the best position possible to be successful. This starts with understanding some of the most common mistakes people make when filing disability applications. Why do people have their applications denied?

The Application Is Filed While the Applicant Is Still Working

Even though there is no rule stating that people cannot file for disability benefits while still working, this will make it very hard for the person reviewing the application to approve it. Disability benefits have been specifically put in place to help people who are hurt and unable to work. Even though someone may still be employed, they could have suffered a severe injury that would cause them to leave their job soon. Even though it is a good idea to apply as soon as possible, it will not look very good if someone files an application while he or she is still working. This looks like a contradiction that cannot be resolved in the eyes of the governing body.

The Applicant Assumes a Single Medical Exam Is Enough

To file for disability benefits, you have to have medical evidence that shows you cannot work. Many people go to a doctor, speak to the doctor for a few minutes, and get a note saying they are unable to work. This is simply not enough. To have enough medical evidence that someone is hurt and unable to work, the exam has to be much more in-depth than this. The more medical evidence the person has, the better the chance of the application being approved. Therefore, it is a good idea to be as thorough as possible regarding medical evidence for disability benefits.

The Applicant Is Not Following the Recommended Treatment

Even though some people may receive disability benefits for the rest of their lives, people who expect to receive disability benefits have to follow their doctors’ advice. Some people do not follow the appropriate treatment because they want to stay on disability as long as possible. Disability officers understand this, and they are going to be on the lookout for people who are not following the recommended treatment. If you want your disability benefits to persist, you need to do what the doctor tells you to do. Otherwise, your disability application could be denied. Even if you have existing benefits, they could also be revoked.

Work with a Trained Attorney for Help with Disability Benefits

These are a few of the most common reasons why people have their applications for disability benefits denied. It can be challenging to understand the jargon on the paperwork. Therefore, it is a good idea for anyone who is considering pursuing disability benefits to enlist an experienced disability attorney’s help. Even though this process can be confusing, no one has to go through this alone. Everyone who deserves disability benefits should get them. A lawyer can place an application in the best position possible to be successful.

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Maslow // Cosmic Press

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Heads up incoming freshman, here’s some advice to survive college Sunday, Apr 26 2020 

By Blake Wedding —

As orientation draws near, The Cardinal has decided to put together a list for incoming students comprised of helpful hints and suggestions on how to survive and prosper in college.

Attend any and all events 

The first tip that some incoming students may forget the importance of is to take advantage of any and all university events specifically catered to incoming students. These events will not only help students de-stress and get their minds off of studying for a while, but they are also excellent opportunities to meet people, make friends and find groups of like-minded people on campus.

Go to class

This is more of an obvious tip, but it cannot be understated: go to class. There are plenty of upperclassmen and older students at the University of Louisville who have been incredibly successful in their classes over the years because they understand this idea. While it is perfectly okay to miss classes for understandable reasons, one thing to avoid is the pitfall of making a habit out of missing classes.

Make an effort to participate in class as much as possible

One of the biggest issues many students face is that they fail to understand the importance in actively participating in class. Students should try to ask as many questions as possible and to interact with their professors both inside and out of class. This means that by being a more active and engaged student, professors and instructors will notice your initiative and discipline. This is one of the best steps you can take in making your learning in college more positive and fulfilling.

Study 

While it goes without saying that studying is imperative to prospering in college, another equally important thing to keep in mind is to find a proper place to study. A proper study space is all about finding a place where students can decompress, relax and focus foremost on what requires their attention. The library is a great place for many people at U of L to study, but some people tend to prefer local coffee shops around Louisville. It is all about personal preference at the end of the day. 

Make sure to prioritize sleep

Many people have made the mistake of losing sleep in favor of socializing or studying more than their mind and body can take. It might be easy to find yourself losing sleep, but it is something that their body and mind require in order to truly prosper in your classes. 

Graphic by// The Louisville Cardinal

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Juniors reflect on what they would say to their freshman selves Saturday, Apr 25 2020 

By Aaliyah Bryant —

It is that time of the year where the semester is close to ending. Of course, we did not expect to wrap up the semester off campus with online classes due to the coronavirus.

However, students and staff are staying strong and persevering. Although we have our concerns, quarantine is giving students a chance to slow down and reflect.

One of the things for juniors and seniors to think about is advice to their freshman selves. University of Louisville juniors, Biology major Alex Mindrup and English major Becca Smith, decided to share their advice.

Mindrup said, most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. He said, “Even if you are a fantastic student, we all need help from time to time.” He said to use the tutoring and student services that U of L has to offer, said that this will help make you a more confident student and relieve stress.

Secondly, it is ok to go home and leave campus regularly.

He said, “Don’t feel pressured to stay on campus all the time. College is a marathon, not a sprint and we all need time to rest and charge.”

Last but not least, get to know your professors. “Whether it is shaking their hand on the first day of class or emailing them after the semester is over, they are dedicated to helping us,” he said. 

As Mindrup continues his studies this fall, he will take his advice and wisdom with him.

Smith took a more emotional approach on her advice.

She would tell her freshman self, “Your failures are not the sum of who you are, but they are a part of who you will become and the choices you’re going to make.”

Smith said that she wishes that she would have known that sooner, but she would not have become the person she is today because of it. 

This advice could apply to everyone whether they are about to start their freshman year.

Graphic by//The Louisville Cardinal

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Pack your bags and print your tickets, it’s Spring Break Wednesday, Feb 19 2020 

By Zoe Watkins–

Spring break is coming around the corner again and for some that means it’s time to pack the bags and go vacationing. But before doing any of that, here’s some helpful travel advice from Brownell Travel.

Get everything organized.

Don’t have little slips-ups right before boarding that flight to Finland. Make sure those last to-dos are taken care of the week before.

Print out all the required documents like plane tickets the day or night before and place them in a spot where they can easily be remembered.

Do research before heading out to make sure that you have all the right documents. Get everything ready and packed for the next day so getting on the road or making it to the airport is a breeze.

Pack big or don’t pack at all

Even if it might not seem important at the time, pack it anyway because there will be lots of miles between the house and the final destination.

Pack extra clothes for those unintentional mishaps and prepare for the unexpected weather with an umbrella or thick hoodie.

Stick to the itinerary

There might be a lot of things to do, wherever the vacation is planned, so make a schedule beforehand of places to visits or events going on that would be fun to attend.

As sophomore Sophia Akin said, “See where you want to go, what interests you the most and then once you kind of do that, you can work out an itinerary for yourself.”

Don’t forget that spring break is only a week

Time can fly when every day is full of things to do, and soon it will be the end of spring break.

Try to watch the time carefully so there can be preparation for when school starts up again and it won’t be a train wreck the first day.

Put everything back into the backpack, make sure there’s no homework due the next day and get a good night’s sleep so that morning class won’t be missed.

Spring break is a time to relax and have fun, so enjoy it to the fullest until it’s time to go back to studying.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Exploring intersecting identities with Queer Eye’s culture expert Tuesday, Feb 11 2020 

By Joseph Garcia —

Karamo Brown, culture expert on the Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye,” came prepared to laugh and get deep with the Louisville community Feb. 5. Students, staff, faculty and community members alike packed the Student Activities Center’s ballroom just to see the three-time Emmy winner and hear his thoughts on the intersections of identity.

Along with “Queer Eye,” Brown also appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2019 and “The Real World: Philadelphia” in 2004. He has also worked as a social worker, written a memoir and co-authored a book with his son Jason. Lately, Brown has been working on his podcast, “Karamo,” and a new skin care line.

The Student Activities Board, LGBT Center and Black Student Union coordinated the event.

Brown learned how to grow and learn from his multitude of identities as a black man, an openly gay man, a son of immigrant parents, a Christian, a single father and former social worker.

“Being here in this room with us, sends a powerful message about who we are, what we care about and value. And that’s inclusion and celebrating all the identities that make us a community,” said Brian Buford, director of employee development and success at the University of Louisville.

Brown talked about his childhood and how it was a struggle for him to celebrate who he was.

“Growing up in Texas, to immigrant parents, with the name Karamo, it was not cute, okay?” Brown said. “There were a lot of times I felt alone and isolated. I knew that I was different because I would bring things to lunch that I loved, like curry goat or ox tails, and people at school would immediately let me know that it wasn’t okay to bring.”

As a child, Brown began to internalize that being different was a bad thing. He even changed his name to Jason because people would make a face when he said his real name.

“Sometimes the faces hurt more than the words, because it was like I ‘m showing you who I am and I’m proud of who I am and then your response to be curious is ‘What?!'” Brown said, “That is a very hard pill to swallow when you’re a kid, especially when you’re still trying to build your self-esteem and figure out who you are in this big world.”

Phoenix Washington, a recent Liberal Arts graduate, said it was freeing to hear Karamo speak.

“It was nice to hear about someone with a checkered past who used their identities to build themselves up,” Washington said. “Even more freeing as a queer black person trying to figure out where you fit.”

On being “marginalized.”

This discontent to all his identities, Brown said came from a shared understanding from the people around him and the media: different meant not as good.

“It meant you’re not as special, that you don’t deserve as much,” Brown said.  “And I remember getting around the age of 13 or 14 where I started to hear this word marginalized.”

It’s something we still hear to this day and is all over news outlets. Brown said at 14 he didn’t really understand what it meant when people around him began saying he was apart of marginalized communities, but now fully understands the power and implication of the word.

“There’s an undertone. When someone says you’re part of a marginalized community, they’re saying you don’t deserve access, you’re not going to attain what someone else has attained, you don’t have the right to do so,” Brown said. “When I look at myself as a black man, as a son of immigrants, as a gay man–I don’t think of any of these things as marginal. I think of all of these things as gifts that I’ve been given to create a better life for myself.”

Battling a diminished self-esteem.

But at the time, his self-esteem was still lacking due to all the negative things he was hearing from people around him. Brown realized they were projecting their fears and issues on him. “It was causing me anxiety,” Brown said.

“I realized if I wanted to have better self-esteem, one of the things I could personally do and start doing immediately was practicing not repeating the negative things I heard about myself.”

Brown said the only way to combat that feeling of waking up in the morning and wishing something about yourself is different is to stop repeating the negative things people say about you. He said you have to start saying the good things about yourself.

“All of your identities make you special, like I said, they are gifts to me,” Brown said, “The reason I have my job on ‘Queer Eye’ is because I literally went into a room full of 100 other gay guys and decided I was not going to be ashamed of any part of my identities. I said to myself, ‘no one in here has all of my identities, I’m going to share with them what is great about me.'”

Brown said that despite this, people will try to stifle your voice, or that we ourselves will stifle our own voices.

“Social media culture makes it so very easy to look at someone’s life and say ‘Wow. Look at what they’ve done, what’s wrong with me?'” Brown said, “Let me tell you something, when it comes to your identities and appreciating and loving every part of you–comparison is the thief of joy.”

More than just black and gay.

This is all to say that the biggest part of Brown’s identity has nothing to do with his appearance, sexuality or background. It’s his ability to ask for help and his ability to start again.

“That’s why I don’t like New Year’s resolutions,” Brown said, “No one says that if you don’t make your New Year’s resolution in the timeline you thought, that you can actually start again. I want everyone in here to remember that part of your identity is your ability to ask for help if you don’t know what you’re doing and also to start again.”

“Every day is a brand new day and we know that to be true. One of the things I know to be true, and I’ve said this on ‘Queer Eye,’ is that failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of it.”

Brown said that by doing this and allowing yourself to make mistakes, you free yourself from the shackles of yesterday.

“If a little child were here right now, and we were like ‘He’s about to start walking for the first time!’ and he fell and busted his head,” Brown said, “none of us would be like ‘You’re never gonna walk again!'” To which Brown and the audience laughed.

Curiosity and the soul.

Another one of the many big takeaways Brown wanted the audience to remember was that they should strive to stay curious. As kids, we were continually told to explore and try new things, but at some point that stops.

We get into cliques and avoid anything different.

“I’m a big believer that’s where we stop learning how to connect with people and with the world around us–when we stop being curious,” Brown said.

Instead, Brown wants people to be excited about different cultures and foods.”When you get excited about something new you start to begin to open yourself up to new possibilities. You start to find yourself getting curious about so many things around you that you didn’t know you could be curious about,” Brown said.

“Curiosity feeds your soul and mind in such a way, believe me.”

And Brown does this everyday.

“What it does for me is I start to learn. The more I learn, the more I grow, the more I grow the more I can connect with other people. The more that I connect with other people the more I feel alive and apart of this world.”

Photo by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

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Advice on the art of regifting Monday, Dec 2 2019 

By Zoe Watkins —

Though we love our family dearly, sometimes they give us presents that make us wonder if they put any thought into it. While some items might not be your favorite, someone else might enjoy them.

Regifting is basically a form of recycling but taking an old, dusty present and pretending it’s new and something you recently bought for the person. However, this process is delicate. There is a certain etiquette that must be kept in mind.

First, try to put more meaning behind the process and try to be honest and thoughtful with the gift you choose to give someone.

Also be truthful about the gift rather than trying to lie about buying it. If you explain the gift was previously given to you, but you thought they would enjoy it more, they’ll understand.

Now keep in mind when and where it is appropriate to regift a present. Don’t go regifting things every chance you get unless you absolutely must. A great example of where regifting is a good idea is when you get two of the same items.

Now, here is what not to do. Never give away a present that someone made for you since that would really hurt someone’s feelings if they found out. Don’t give away personalized items since your name is literally written on it. And don’t give away used or out-of-packaged items.

As useful as it is, be careful when regifting this holiday season. Giving presents should come from the heart, not from the bottom of your closet.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal

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