Why Concussions Will Force the NFL Into Early Retirement

tyleraprea

The NFL is so big and deeply rooted in our culture that it’s invincible right?

Wrong.

Football is a multi-billion dollar industry, but with all the research being done on long term health issues over the past 14 years, the NFL will steadily decline in popularity.

Head injuries in the NFL are getting so much attention now that they even made a movie called “Concussion” about the discoveries of brain diseases caused by repeated blows to the head in ex-NFL players and the denial of the NFL to acknowledge those findings.

It wasn’t until April 11th, 2016, 14 years after Dr. Bennet Omalu posthumously diagnosed Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain condition known as CTE that the NFL finally admitted that there is a link between the two. “Until Miller’s testimony the official NFL policy…

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A win for Trump-A Loss for America..

Adventures Across The Pond

Being an American abroad has truly opened my eyes to the views an opinions Europeans (and people in general), have on us. Going into my study abroad program here in Florence, I was ready to emerge myself into the different cultures and customs that Europe has to offer, leaving all the stereotypes behind me. However, as I began traveling and interacting with different people it always seemed that I was asked the same stereotypical questions; “Do you guys always eat McDonalds?” and “Is everyone really fat?” and of course my favorite “You’re from New Jersey? Like MTV’s Jersey Shore?”….no not like the Jersey Shore. It just seemed that I was unable to break away from this negative views Europeans had on Americans. But one question left me stumped.

As I was eating dinner one night in Paris with a group of my friends, this adorable French couple next to us began…

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Study Abroad’s Seven Deadly Sins

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In this article, the author describes the “seven deadly sins” that students abroad often fall victim to. While I do agree that these threats due occur for some, I do not think it defines someone who is studying abroad nor does it negatively effect their experience drastically.

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My abroad experience was one of the most amazing opportunities that I could ever have imagined. I grew so much as a person and learned things I never imagined I would. From traveling every weekend, to meeting new people around the world and immersing in different cultures, I have become a more diverse, independent and considerate person. I do not know one person who didn’t come out of abroad with a new outlook on life with gained experience. Yes, I admit, I too have fallen victim to a few of the things mentioned in his article, but not to the extent and none of which…

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You shouldn’t (not) study abroad

acamhiabroad

As my time in the most amazing city, Florence, comes to an end, I am finding it hard to imagine my life had I not studied abroad. While not every university offers a study abroad option, I highly recommend taking the opportunity should it be available.

Recently, I came across an article about why it is not a good idea to study abroad. To be honest, I was shocked by what I was reading. The article that can be found here, describes five different reasons that college students should not study abroad. While feeling defensive about my experience, I could not disagree more with what the article had to say.

The first reason listed spoke about not being able to receive a good education overseas. Speaking from my own experience, I can verify that that statement is invalid. I have received a great education abroad and would even say that…

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The Addiction is Real

April 11, 2016

I’ll never forget the day I got my first cell phone. I was in fifth grade and finally convinced my parents after months of begging to get a pink razor flip phone. Although this is incredibly embarrassing, I have no shame in admitting I had spent many afternoons with friends after school in the Verizon store basically stalking the phone until I could finally say I had my own. The day I finally was able to share with everyone my new number is when the addiction began. I was forever changed by what I thought at the time was modern technology. Pressing my dial pad to text every three minutes, learning how symbols could translate into smiling and winking faces, new ringtones set custom to who called, the obsession was real.

The pink razor flip phone only lasted for two years. I still have it to this day and will forever cherish my first step into technology. Now that all smartphones have taken over the world my prehistoric flip phone doesn’t seem at all as impressive. I constantly see children, as young as third graders, with brand new IPhones; families out to dinner with their toddlers holding Ipads; girls walking through the streets with their heads down texting, not looking at the views around them; couples at restaurants not talking and faces locked in their emails or scrolling through social media. The exciting thrill of getting a new phone has now become a real addiction that is affecting us more than we can understand.

I feel completely hypocritical even criticizing this idea that we are too obsessed and reliant on technology. I am guilty of probably every point I am critiquing, however I am aware I am doing it and want to make the effort to stop. I am currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy. The other day I was walking with a friend down a street I have walked about one hundred times. Never once did I notice the frescos on the exterior of one of the buildings if my friend had not pointed it out. The painting were beautiful but I never noticed it because every time I walked that street I was on the phone, texting, or scrolling through some form of social media. That was one of the moments I had known my funny obsession might be a problem.

From research I did about the impacts technology is having over new generations I was immediately taken back. The following statistics stood out to me the most. The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21. One study discovered that 88 percent of all Americans between the ages of 8 and 18 play video games, and that approximately four times as many boys are addicted to video games as girls are. In America today, many families allow the television to raise their children. In fact, the United States is tied with the U.K. for the most hours of television watched per person each week.

Studies have shown that blue-enriched light, which is emitted by gadgets like smartphones, tablets and laptops, can suppress the body’s release of melatonin at night. Melatonin is a key hormone that helps regulate your internal clock, telling your body when it is nighttime and when to feel sleepy. Blue light can disrupt that process, making it impossible for you to stick to a proper sleep schedule.

You don’t really need science to know this, but technology makes it much easier to get distracted, whether that’s stepping away from an important project to check your smartphone or flipping between multiple browser tabs without really focusing on any one. It has been proven that toggling between multiple tasks at once doesn’t actually work. In fact, we preform our duties even worse. We can’t remember as much information, are much more forgetful, cant concentrate as well, and now rely on the Internet, mainly Google, to give us all our answers. There is no more time for self-discovery or taking the harder way to retrieve information. We now need everything to be fast and efficient.

As a citizen fully participant in this new wave of modern technology I feel that it is important to limit how much our lives are spent in front of screens. Our smartphones are now an extension of our hands and news posts on social media are an indicator if we are still alive and well. Instead of being educated on all the ways technology is amazing and important, I think it should also be reinforced, especially to newer generations, the importance of a life outside technology and social media. We need to do things for our own human interests and pleasure, not for an Instagram photo of Snapchat story. Go to a restaurant to enjoy an amazing meal out and try not to only want to take a photo of your food. Talk to your friends in person, be in the moment, and don’t answer your phone or emails when out to lunch with someone. I know it is hard and something I have to get better myself, but as a society it is critical to recognize the impacts technology is ultimately creating.

Snyder, Michael. “40 signs that we have seriously messed up the next generation of Americans.” Infowars.com. Investment Watch, 3 Sept. 2012. Web.

Hiscott, Rebecca. “8 Ways Technology Makes You Stupid.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 25 July 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

visit Ariana’s personal blog at http://arianaspinogatti.wix.com/chasingnewyork#!about/cjg9

The Pre-Departure Feels: Advice from a Study Abroad Student

As our study abroad experience here in Florence, Italy comes to an end, emotions are running high. There is excitement about sipping on the first Dunkin Iced Coffee you’ve had in four months. There is sadness about tasting an All’Antico sandwich for the last time. There is pure joy when the thought of crossing the street becomes safe again.

Basically, an emotional roller coaster has ensued and it cannot be stopped.

Something I’ve noticed that happens a lot here is people often try to justify how they are feeling. For example, conversations usually go like this:

P1: “How are you feeling about leaving?”

P2: “Oh my god I am so excited to see my friends and family and to be back in America again, I am so ready”

….

P2: “But not in like an ungrateful way, Florence is amazing I am so happy to be here because it is such an unreal experience and I feel very lucky to be a part of this”

 

The Feels #1: Excitement

In my opinion, people often feel really bad about saying they’re excited to go home. I noticed that as soon as people are honest to others about their excitement, they often try to explain themselves and prove that although excited they “are so happy to be here and feel very lucky everyday”

Guess what! Allow yourself to be wholeheartedly excited. You’re going back to you’re home. You’re going back to a part of you. Your excitement does not discredit what this trip means to you.

 

The Feels #2: Relief

Studying abroad is extremely difficult and definitely very brave. For someone to submerge themselves in a completely different culture for four months takes guts so first things first take a minute and be proud of what you’ve done here. Similar to excitement, I think that people feel guilty about relief, but there is so much comfort in going back to what you know. There is so much comfort in knowing that it isn’t going to be difficult to communicate with others anymore. Let yourself have this feeling. No matter what you are so brave, and you have every right to feel complete content toward going home because to put it simply, you’re ready.

 

The Feels #3: Anxiety

Um how am I going to fit all of these new purchases in my suitcase? Should I get another suitcase? I have to go souvenir shopping UGH but if I get one person this then I have to buy someone else something. Wait!! I haven’t climbed the Duomo yet oh my god I am so crunched for time and I still have so much to do.

Guess What! Relax. Bask in your last few moments. It’s easy to get caught up in the “last time’s” and “I still need to’s” but take a minute. Breathe. Don’t go through the motions because you feel like you have to. If it is more meaningful for you to sit in Michelangelo for 3 hours than it is for you to see the David, climb the duomo and the bell tower, and go to the Uffizi Gallery all in one day…always choose what will mean more to you. This is your experience, you do not have to live it the way you feel like others think you should. You know yourself and what means the most to you. Listen to that these next few days. You own experience.

 

Lastly, the Feels #4: Sadness

I believe that sadness stems from the realness of departure. Departure is so much more than leaving Florence. It’s leaving one of a kind people and you truly don’t know if you’ll see them again. It’s discovering something in Florence that you know you can’t find back home. It’s dealing with some of the toughest goodbyes you’ll experience in your life time.

Guess what! Come back. I think that people have sadness because they can’t imagine coming back anytime soon. Give it 2 years, 8 years, 34 years..whatever it takes, but remember Florence is not going anywhere and it will always be waiting for your return.

 

You could be feeling a combination of these as well. It’s difficult to stay consistent when you’re so excited to go back home to your friends and loved ones, but you’re so sad about saying goodbye to the new friends that have been created. Embrace it. Florence has impacted us all so differently, allow yourself to accept these changes and how they make you feel.

 

10 WAYS I AM MAKING THE REST OF MY TIME HERE WORTH EVERY SECOND

  1. Spend more time alone: I came here for me, right? Yes! My plan for the next 5 weeks here is to learn the most I can about myself while I am virtually secluded: not a lot of WiFi, no family here, not many responsibilities and all the freedom in the world. What better conditions to learn about myself than that? I am taking a trip to Milan tomorrow as my first solo trip and I am so excited to see my capabilities and get out and see the world from only my perspective.
  2. Try to slow down when I walk: A lot of the time, when 2:30pm hits, I like to practically run home from school! I get all sorts of crazy looks for my fast pace walking but honestly, at the end of a 6 hour school day, all I want to do is get home! However, seeing as I only have 5 weeks left, I want to slow down (get the Euro speed) and actually be able to look around and take in all the sights before I have to leave them.
  3. Finally buy my leather bag and purse: I have been eyeing a bag since I got here and I also have been checking the leather market for the perfect leather jacket. I am finally this week going to buy the souvenirs I want for myself and just do it! I am going to gift myself with something really special from Florence because I did it, I conquered my fear of spending 4 months away from home and to me, I deserve some leather.
  4. Go to all my favorite places: Whether it is a cafe, a panini shop (Pino’s), a dinner place or gelato, I want to hit up all my favorite spots once (or maybe twice) starting in April because really, who knows when the next time is I will see them.
  5. Force myself out of my language comfort zone: So it is really easy to speak English here no problem – a lot of people speak English. However, I am getting comfortable with Italian and I really really need to start testing my skills and trying it out. After all, people make mistakes all the time. Once I do it once, I will have the confidence to carry it out for the rest of my time here.
  6. Do really well in school: It of course is hard to stay focused here but one of my main objectives is to end up with grades that really make me happy. After all, these grades ARE going on my transcript…(;
  7. Write more: I have been pretty good so far with writing, I journal a lot (I haven’t for a while), I have this blog, I am writing for Flo’n The Go and I am a Style Guru for College Fashionista! Hey…that sounds like a lot when I write it all down. However, I know with all of my free time I could be writing a bit more.
  8. Make sure my friends here know how thankful I are for them: It is true what they say, your abroad friends are more like your family. Living with people is definitely hard but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My friends here are lifetime friends and they have seen me at my best and definitely at my worst. We’ve all been there. What’s important though is that I spend as much quality time with them before this magical dream is no more.
  9. Take advantage of the nice days: It has been really sunny here and I feel like I haven’t been soaking up the sun as much as I should. However, from here on out I want to have a positive attitude and go out on the nice days and just be outside (it does rain a lot here).
  10. Drink some more wine: Don’t take this the wrong way but seriously, the days of a really good bottle of wine for $5 are going to come to an end really soon. Why not get a couple more bottles and celebrate life with friends and good, cheap vino.
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I will leave you all with some pictures and love. I can’t wait to see my parents in Firenze soon and I also can’t wait to come home and be so grateful for everything I have at home: family first and foremost, friends, a car and American food!! Until then, I will be making the most of my time here in this beautiful country and keeping those 10 ways in mind as I finish up my last 35 days here.

-Rachel Bimonte

Avoiding Goodbye: The Difficult Part of Studying Abroad

By: Marisa DeRose

By the end of your semester in Florence, it’s natural to be itching to get back to America and to a familiar routine.

Trust me, I am so ready to return home to the land of decent sized coffee and bagels. But as much as I love and miss my family (and bagels…seriously, I’m very open to the idea of having my family meet me at the airport with a bagel from Tim Horton’s ready for me) the thought of leaving this place is bittersweet. Sure, hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to return to Florence some time in the future, but it’ll never be the same. You’ll never get the chance to experience Florence again as the person you are right now.

Knowing the end is near puts you through an emotional rollercoaster because part of you is sad to leave the beautiful city you’ve called home for the past four months, and part of you is yearning to be back with your family and friends. But now that I’m officially less than two weeks away from the end of this surreal semester, I think it’s important to give future abroad students some insight on how they’ll be feeling when it’s time to finally return home, and how to avoid it as long as possible.

Abroad is going to teach you a lot of lessons-about yourself and about life in general. It’s going to change you as a person, and you’re going to grow in so many ways. How living abroad affects you and your views on life is subjective and will be different for each person, but I strongly believe there’s one lesson everyone seems to have in common: you’re taught how it’s possible to be homesick for more than one place. Although most of us already know the feeling of splitting where we call “home” between our university and the town we grew up in, this is on a whole other level. Without having the chance to make a quick trip home for the weekend, or to go home for breaks, Florence truly becomes your “home town.” You’ll quickly realize that leaving here is going to bring on a whole other level of homesickness once you’re back in the states.

So, that brings me to the main point of this entire post. Stay as long as you can! Admit it, who isn’t enticed by the idea of staying longer in Florence and avoiding real world responsibilities back home in America? Well make it happen! Come abroad with the knowledge that staying at least a couple of days, or even a week, after the end of the semester is a great idea. If you’re like most students studying here, you’ll have spent most of your weekends traveling to new and exciting cities, which is all well and good, until your time in Florence is almost up and you realize you wish you had spent more time in your home city. Take that extra week after finals to relax and explore your home town. Because I guarantee you, as much as I’m looking forward to returning home, not even a Tim Horton’s bagel will be good enough to take away the homesickness I’ll be feeling for Florence a few weeks from now.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way again.” -Azar Nafisi

Why All Study Abroad Students Should Grab a Copy of Florence News

Great post Lizzie! We love your insight about why reading the Firenze newspaper is important.

pastagurl22

From a young age I have loved exploring cities. Whether it be in Chicago, the city I grew up in, or wherever I am traveling, I enjoy wandering the streets, observing the people, and of course, eating the local food. One of my largest pet peeves and phobias while in any city is appearing touristy. I like locals to think of me as one of them.

When January 5th, 2016 finally rolled around, I could barely contain my excitement as I was boarding the plane for Florence. I was finally heading to Europe for my first time and I was ready. Florence was about to be my new stomping ground for the four months to follow and I was eager to arrive and get a lay of the land. I am thrilled to say that my semester in Florence was more incredible than I ever dreamed it would…

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If Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona Were People You Knew

 

By: Giuliana David

 

Hallo! Bonjour! Hola!

First things first, sincerest apologies for being completely MIA. Unfortunately I did not have computer access while on spring break.

Some important background: So I’ve finally returned from my spring break excursion. I went to Berlin, Germany, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Paris, France, and Barcelona, Spain.

It was absolutely eye opening. Overall I spent 10 days traveling. Two days in each place and the other two days are the amount of time I spent on a bus.

The best way for me to break this down to you is to explain each place as if it were a person. Throughout my travels I’ve placed a lot of value on the type of vibes each place gave off. This is based on my own personal experience and vibes may vary per person.

Florence to Berlin: 14-16 hour bus ride

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The most memorable part of Berlin was learning about it. Our walking tour was extremely informative and our guide took us to some really interesting places. At one point we were in a quad like area of an apartment complex and our tour guide said “about right where you’re standing is where Hitler’s bunker was”. It felt extremely eerie as he explained the importance of that specific area. The city is filled with memorials, places that played a significant role during the holocaust, and of course the stories of the Berlin wall. It was a breath taking experience. After a day of learning about Berlin, we hit the night life with a pub crawl and ended up at an awesome club. Berlin was a strong way to start off.

Who is Berlin? Berlin is like that one angsty kid you know that still manages to be approachable by pretending to be enthused about all the mainstream stuff you like. Berlin is like the person who knows what’s cool way before anyone else but isn’t a hipster about it. Their style is mainly black and grey. Berlin is just the epitome of the word “cool”

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Next up!

Berlin to Amsterdam:7-8 hour bus ride

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I did not know what I was in for when I went to Amsterdam. I knew a lot was legal but I didn’t realize how it would be when I went there. Basically, our hostel was in the middle of the red light district. So our surroundings consisted of various venues for sex shows, brothels with prostitutes standing in full length windows illuminated by a red light (pictured above) as they enticed people to come in. Many years ago, when sailors would come home, women would be waiting for them with lanterns lit with a red light because it was believed to be the most flattering. When there wasn’t a brothel or a sex show venue, there were coffeeshops. A lot of coffeeshops. Not your average coffeeshop of course. Coffeeshops are the places where you can get marijuana in almost any form. You can buy it as is, you can buy it in an edible (weed baked/cooked into a certain food), you can get it pre-rolled, so on and so forth. The motto of Amsterdam is that if it’s legal it will be easier to regulate. So all of this stuff may sound like quite the recipe for a wild night out, but there are strict regulations in order to maintain safety. The contrast between the red light district and other parts of Amsterdam is unreal. The crazy night life may be a huge part of the experience but we also went to the Anne Frank house. It was like flipping a switch. We weren’t getting adrenaline from being surrounded by what we know as illegal anymore. We were serious about getting through the lights, sex, and drugs. We were getting an incomparable rush from staring at Anne Frank’s actual diary.

Who is Amsterdam? Amsterdam is that one friend that just does it all. They literally go out every night and get crazy and wild, but wake up for their 8am the next day and finish the semester with at least a 3.8. They are always begging you to come out with them because they don’t understand that they are actually gifted with superhuman stamina and it’s extremely hard to say no to them even when you know they aren’t the best influence. They’ll get you too drunk for your own good then they’ll help you study for an exam the next day. Absolutely a one of a kind place.

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Amsterdam-Paris: 7-8 hour bus ride

This was my city. I was in awe the entire time. I knew that I could live here someday. Once we got to the Eiffel Tower I was speechless. I’ve never felt so lucky. I think a lot of it was created by build up. At this point I had taken 7 years of French and throughout those 7 years I never thought that I would ever even make it to France. It just meant the world to me that I had made it some place I never thought I would be. As to be expected, I’m going to tell you it was beautiful. The architecture was one of my favorites here. Everything was so chic and cute. Something that always hits me hard is when I go to major sites in a different country and I see people on a run. This is life for them. A casual run past the Eiffel Tower is just a part of their daily routine while I’m holding back tears of amazement. I hoped to be in that position someday.

Who is Paris? Well, unfortunately the rumors of Parisian’s hating Americans is very true. Well it was for me, even if there is no hatred, there was plenty of rudeness. Honestly though I don’t blame them. They know they live in a beautiful city and they want to maintain it and keep it for themselves, as they should. I can understand when people say that Americans have a tendency to rob cities from locals with their tourism. Do I think they have a right to be rude and generalize all Americans as nuisances? Of course not, but you just have to power through it and hopefully change their mind (About you individually at least!). Basically, Paris is the person who just always has their shit together, even if they don’t actually, you would never ever know it. No matter what. They don’t have patience for people who don’t have their shit together. They make an effort to look their best and be composed the entire time. They don’t tolerate those who do not make an effort. They are high maintenance because they prioritize quality. They are that one person that you will never see cry and they have mastered the art of the eye roll.

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Paris-Barcelona: 12-14 hour bus ride

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Barcelona was the best way to end this trip. It was significantly warmer and absolutely beautiful. The people were kind and our hostel was right on the beach. At this point, we were burnt out. It took a lot for us to make sure we get our history dose instead of laying on the beach, but we’re glad we made it. We went to Sagrada Familia (castle pictured above) and it was the first time I had seen a beautiful piece of architecture that wasn’t finished. I think it’s really cool that we’re around while it’s being built. It’s like we’re indirectly a part of it. We also went to this incredible market (fruit at the market pictured above). They sold everything from fruit and veggies to fish and meat and even gummy candies to already prepared food. Also, their night life is ridiculous. They have crazy clubs right on the beach that creates such an awesome atmosphere. I know for a fact I will absolutely make an effort in the future to come back to Barcelona. It’s too good to pass up.

Who is Barcelona? Barcelona is that person who is completely adventurous and finds the coolest places and activities. Chances are high that you’ll never see them in class because they are so busy exploring. They believe that they are getting more out of their own expeditions in comparison to learning standard lessons in school. They have a short attention span because they are so engulfed by their surroundings. They are definitely earthy crunchy to a certain extent. Because Barcelona is beautiful and is known for it’s atmosphere, they would be a person who is very content with being in the moment and is very appreciative of something as simple as a sunny day.

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Barcelona-Florence: 14-16 hour bus ride

It was a surreal experience, but I’m happy to be where my heart stays. Florence, Italy.

Who is Florence? Hopefully me by the end of this experience.

 

mit Liebe/met liefde/avec amour/con amour/with love

Giules