Money can’t buy happiness, but as public health preaches, income is a great determinant of health. Without money, you can’t afford essentials like food and medicine, and your health will drastically depreciate without money. In the number one song on the Billboard Charts, “Bodak Yellow”, Cardi B expresses how she worked long nights to make the money she has today. We’re not all looking for fame and fortune, but you can still apply Cardi’s work ethic to your life and be just as successful. And here’s how: Value your time wisely. “And I pay my mamma bills, I ain’t got no time to chill” are lines from Bodak Yellow that should speak out to everyone obsessed with Netflix. Our time on Earth is limited, and even though it’s important to relax and catch up on your favorite shows, you shouldn’t spend so much of your time “chilling.” If class is cancelled and you have the opportunity to work another shift, call your boss for another shift. The same can be applied for some extracurricular. If you’re in an unorganized club or organization that isn’t living up to its promises, don’t just endure it for the resume. If you can’t fix the organization, leave it and find something else that might have a more promising return of investment. Monetize your skills. On-campus jobs often do not pay as much as we want them to. That’s why it is important to have side hustles. Are you good at painting? What about tutoring and doing hair? If there’s a hobby you can turn into another stream of income, market yourself. Cardi B found popularity through her social media accounts, telling jokes while promoting her dancing career and increasing her income. By showcasing your skill and talent to the world, you’ll have more people know who you are and what you want to do. Eventually, you’ll find people to help you get there too. Endure the struggle to get to your dream. Being financially aware as a millennial isn’t easy, especially in college. But if it was, everyone would be able to do it. It takes great discipline and great perseverance for anyone to be great. For instance, the New York rapper started off as an exotic dancer, making money to avoid a domestic boyfriend at home. The dancer worked long, grueling shifts to make ends meet as a dancer. Now she works just as hard—if not harder—but is making thousands more. Sound familiar? Mercer is home to thousands of students (engineering, law, pre-med, even theatre) that have to endure all-nighters and copious shots of espresso to get work done. College isn’t supposed to be easy. To get to your dream, you will definitely struggle. Use your resources An integral part of Cardi’s road to success can be attributed to rapper Bobby Shmurda, the first celebrity to repost one of her posts. Who would have known that something as little as social media can help start a career? Cardi used social media, a free resource, to help ignite her career while still working her job. Just because you’re in school, doesn’t mean you have to wait for your career. Often times, you can make your career come to you by utilizing free resources on campus. Your professors, career services, faculty and counselors all are free now but might not be after you graduate. Use the multitude of resources here on campus available to you before time runs out. Cardi B is an example of how book smarts does not trump work ethic. If your dreams include making money and being stable, you’ve got to work hard, have passion and keep going.
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Look at the back of every drink that’s not water and most times you’ll find sugar. And you’ll probably find a lot of it. Sugar has been ingrained in the American diet for ages. When kids behave properly in school, what do we give them? When it’s someone’s birthday and we don’t know what to give them, what do we end up giving them? We add it to tea, our coffee, our low-fat yogurt and cereal because things just aren’t sweet enough for us. Let’s face it, Americans are obsessed with sugar. Why Sugar is Bad for You When people hear the word “obese,” they most likely think of an American diet. In fact, back when people thought only fat made you fat, the candy businesses were laughing in our faces; little did we know that a diet littered with sweet tea and ice cream can still invoke weight gain, obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s and of course diabetes, according to MayoClinic. Studies have shown that there is a link between a sugary diet and Alzheimer’s. It could be because when we eat sugar in excess, we are also consuming toxic compounds which are advanced glycation end products. These toxins cause plaque to form in the brain, and it makes it hard for the brain to receive its nutrients and food, so memory loss begins. SugarScience.org also reports that sugar does indeed have addictive qualities and cravings, and symptoms of withdrawal can ensue — almost as if it’s a drug. How much is too much? The American Heart Association suggests that women should have no more than 25 grams of added sugar every day for women, and no more than 38 grams for men. Turn your average cereal box around, and you’ll see you’ve already eaten a good portion of your sugar amount today. Natural vs Added Sugars Fruits have sugar too, so should we limit our intake on them as well? That’s when we get into the fields of natural and artificial sugars. Artificial sugars are the added sugars used in foods and drinks. You can discern between the two by looking at the ingredients list on a product. If sugar is listed as an ingredient, it is added in and not natural. But it doesn’t just stop at “sugar.” Consumption companies are smart: they know we won’t, or shouldn’t, consume something that contains a vast amount of sugar. So, they use codenames including, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, rice syrup, maltose, corn syrup, cane sugar, dehydrated cane juice, dextrin, corn sweetener, evaporated cane juice, and maltodextrin, according to Sugarscience.org. If you ever wonder which type of sugar is better, that long list should give you a hint. Added sweeteners are so unwelcoming, companies use different names just to trick you into thinking it’s healthy. What about artificial sweeteners? If you want to cut out sugar entirely from your diet, you might have leaned towards artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. Big tip: do your research. You’ll see that there are lots of claims associated with added sugars, such as cancers. According to American Heart studies, so far there is no link between aspartame and blood cancers, contrary to popular belief. However, this is only based on the studies previously done. There will always be more studies. What does this mean for you? This doesn’t mean you should cut out sugar entirely (unless you really like the challenge). This also doesn’t mean you can never eat a Snickers bar again. All this means is that you should be cautious of how much you’re consuming. Read food and drink labels, and make informed decisions at your local P.O.D Express.