Authenticity is the New Black

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A brief overview of the newest trend in the professional world: devoiding one’s self of all trends. 

“BeYOUtiful” has appeared on at least five different style shirts in every department store juniors section and pre-teen clothing store (rip The Limited Too) since about 2007. Somewhere, at this very moment, a young girl is attempting to imitate fifth harmony’s latest music video choreography while updating her Instagram bio to include the initials of her newest crush (none other than the late and great Robert Redford of course) and wears the inspirational message, “BeYOUtiful” across the backside of her pink Justice sweatpants. Though the phrase can easily be transformed into a representation of everything a twelve-year-old boy looks for in his weekly woman crush Wednesday, it demonstrates a much larger, very ironic, trend. Over the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to attend various presentations which feature human resources representatives and other professionals whom deal with hiring on a daily basis. Every speaker has made it a point to emphasize the importance of a candidate presenting their true self through their resume, cover letter, professional social media and interviews. No longer does typing speed reign supreme, nor is Windows XP knowledge the name of the game; authenticity is the new black.  What does this mean for job seeking professionals across the world? Literally, this idea means that every resume’s objective should state “you just do you, and ima do me”.  Realistically, this idea encourages individual expression (within limits) to highlight candidate’s personal, unique talents and humanize the employment process. The newest trend is for prospective employees to devoid themselves of previous trends and simply present an authentic self. Employers want to hire people. Employers want new ideas and inspiration amongst their team members. Employers want innovative office spaces full of confident people.  Suddenly, the world no longer seems like a dark almostbutnotquiteyet-dystopian society but a kind, warm, happy place that hires real people for reasons besides their freshman year history of rock music elective grade (let’s be real-we all know I wouldn’t get that job). Before you run to cancel your over-priced professional headshot appointment at the nearest location with six different brick wall background lighting options, it is imperative that you understand that this idea, as all of the others over the years, is still a sort of trend.  Experience, hard work, dedication and overall ability play a major roll in determining whether a candidate lands their dream internship or ends up working another season at their community’s summer day camp. So, the next time you get dressed for an interview with a company you’ve frantically been researching for the past three hours and can still only recite the first 17 words of their mission statement, take a breath and put on your XXL “BeYOUtiful” camisole from Kohl’s pre-teen section (underneath of your suit, preferably). Remember that no matter how poorly you did on that rock concert analysis paper in the spring semester of your freshman year (I should really be studying for MUSC107 instead of writing this), you’re not only a hard worker, but a human being as well.

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The Endless Winter (break)

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An overdramatization of what happens when you give a college freshman a two month vacation. 

We’ve all been “In search of the endless summer” for years, unfortunately, there’s not a single breakthrough in sight. However, in the small wonder otherwise known as Delaware, strides have been made towards the perfection of the endless winter, break that is. I will now share with you a breakdown of the University of Delaware’s flawless methodology: students finish up their fall semesters around December 17th, move out of their dormitories, head home and celebrate the holidays with family and long lost friends. At first the student is hopeful. Spring semester starts around the 7th of February. This gives the young scholar a little under two months to further develop themselves without the pressures of a demanding course load or summer job. The student is able to relax through the numerous family gatherings the winter season promises. They spend hours catching up with their hometown friends, and  undeniably have never felt more youthful bliss than they do in those first three weeks. But, the inevitable sting of their family’s work schedule, friend’s short winter vacations and the completion of their netflix series suddenly overcomes the student. This second phase of Delaware’s stradegy occurs around the 10th of January. Over the next month the student will undergo the full effects of an endless winter break. There are a few factors which must be brought to the attention of anyone hoping to replicate this carefully crafted monster. Firstly, the key is to ensure solidarity. The student must be stripped of any and all local friendships. Most University’s spring semesters begin around January 12th. Contact with other college students must only occur via texting, calling or video chat. Secondly, the student must have access to a Target, library/book store, fitness center,and family member over the age of 65 in need of company or assitance. I’d like to emphasize the importance of a Target in this series of requirements. Target will become the student’s outlet for their newfound interest in healthy eating, natural beauty products, organization, crafting, redecorating, styling, reading, and whatever you call buying a new movie and watching it atleast four times in a row while burning every candle target had on sale that week. Over the next thirty days the student discovers dozens of new found hobbys which will last anywhere form 3 hours to 4 days. They will form an extraordinary bond with the family dog as they suddenly have very similar lifestyles. Finally, the student will begin to miss that 114 square foot space they share with one or two roomates and the forty other people they call their neighbors, realizing they now have two homes. The endless winter break is full of boredom, two day fitness fads and time spent patiently waiting for your avocados to ripen. It is the real life purgatory of an 18 year old student. So I call on you, my fellow supporters of the endless summer, to continue to seek out the whimsical days of sunshine, us endless winter breakers are counting on you.