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Essays

A Thrill of Hope

Essays Faith

Image provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. During what is often professed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” many struggle with exceptional burdens during this holiday season. Loneliness, financial struggles, academic stress, anxiety, depression, and many other emotional and physical difficulties become particularly pronounced with the change of season and the increase in societal expectations. At times it seems the earth rocks with the impact of innumerable tragedies—some striking frighteningly close to home.…

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A Thankful Season

Essays

It started out as a test run. I’ve always been the one to start blasting the Christmas tunes as Halloween night comes to a close or at the first snowfall—whichever comes sooner. But this year, I decided to try holding off a few weeks more, just to see what it tastes like to let fall linger a little longer. To soak in every last leaf and pumpkin before rushing off to sleigh bells and snowmen and all manner of hall…

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The Widow’s Might

Essays

My high school cross country coach once told me, “Your strength is in your strength.” He was, of course, speaking to my physical strength regarding running, but it stuck with me over the years. I’ve liked to think of myself as a strong individual—a pusher-througher, an accomplisher, an overcomer. There are times where that mindset serves me well. But there are also times where it isn’t enough. I recently found myself in what I’ll euphemistically call a bit of a slump.…

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On Freedoms and Courage

Essays

My ancestor, William Thorne, who was the first in the family line to come to the United States from England. My family remembers him and his son, William Thorne, Jr., best for their signing the Flushing Remonstrance (pictured) in 1657. Though the document is largely forgotten today, some consider the Flushing Remonstrance to be a precursor to the Bill of Rights, having played an instrumental role in developing religious freedom in the United States. In a highly-concentrated Puritan society, Quakers…

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True Growth is in the Trimming

Essays

I’ve been thinking a lot about growth lately, and how unattainable—or at least, unsustainable—it feels at times. I’ve heard it described as “two steps forward, one step back” and, to be honest, that visual absolutely does not resonate with me. It feels like a waste of energy on something that should be so easy to control. My inner perfectionist scoffs at the image of this cha-cha attempt at progress—always moving, but never moving forward. I’ve been in search of a…

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Experience Over Ice Cream

Essays

Some time ago, our families started calling us “adventurous,” and we couldn’t figure out why. We weren’t doing anything extraordinary—no gap year world travels, no backpacking trips, no off-the-beaten-path excursions. We were simply car camping for one night at a time or taking a hike on a local trail. Occasionally we’d hit up a football game or a community event. Truthfully, these endeavors required little to no planning ahead, but we always had a great time and that’s what we…

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