In my four years at Penn State, I wish I had been more courageous. I never left my comfort zone long enough to study abroad in Morocco, or even to take an impromptu road trip across the United States. I don’t think I’ve ever left my apartment without my planner and a solid schedule for the day.
Before I enter the work force and abandon my carefree college years, I want to take a few more risks. Just when I became comfortable speaking French, the language I’ve studied since high school, I decided to pick up Mandarin Chinese. Instead of banking on my years of dance training and taking a ballroom dance class, I put on my “gi” twice a week and practice martial arts. So maybe I’m not zip-lining through a South American rainforest yet, but I’m getting there.
This summer, let FLY be your guide to a more fearless, more empowered you.
This is my first issue as editor-in-chief of FLY. When I became involved with this publication, I was looking for a way to get out my frustrations with the sexist attitudes that denied women in my family a college education, because they “shouldn’t be educated.” I was met with a supportive staff that had frustrations of their own. More than a magazine, FLY has become a forum for student writers to express their beliefs. I hope that for you, FLY provides a unique way of experiencing society with all of its problems and controversies. I hope this issue makes you think critically about an issue you might not have paid attention to before.
You’ll get to learn about women of different cultures, from here in State College to Southeast Asia. Read about different ways to express love and your unique sense of style.
I hope that FLY empowers you to make the most of your education.
For my final letter in FLY, I’ve avoided all writing and editing deadlines because I can’t find any words to sum up my experiences as a creator of this growing magazine, as a feminist, as a woman and as a student at Penn State. I am beyond proud of my accomplishments and of the amazing staff I’ve been able to work with each year. I never dreamed that my frustrations with sexist media would be a shared interest. I never dreamed to find people as passionate about feminist issues as I was, and people eager to produce a medium they believed in.
FLY is more than empowering for its readers. It’s empowering for its writers, editors, designers and everyone on staff who see the finished product that exemplifies their hard work and support. FLY is a community. It’s a group of outstanding women (and some men) who are willing to learn, grow and challenge their minds regardless of what major they are working towards.
Most importantly, FLY is about strength. When other classes, media, editors and writers are tell you that your too fat, or you’re not beautiful without make-up or that you only need to think about guys and the latest trends, FLY gives you strength to go on being you, in all the gorgeousness that makes you- you.
It’s been a long, rough, frustrating, yet absolutely amazing challenge for the past three years with this magazine. It is my baby. It is the most precious thing I will have to say goodbye to in May.
Be kind to the new editor. Chelsea McCartney has been a subtle, consistent strength of FLY for a while. I’ve been lucky to work with her.
Carry FLY with you in your soul wherever life takes you. There are plenty of us out there, you just have to open your eyes;)
Stay gorgeous. If you ever need a boost of inspiration or a reminder of just how amazing you are, don’t ever hesitate to contact me. The FLY community never ends.
Peace, Harmony and Love, Gorgeous,
This semester FLY is focusing on Education. What does the word mean to each of us? How does the United State’s rank and which major cities are lacking in educating their children to the best degree?
For me, this topic is crucial in understanding the staggering success rates of individuals in high school and college. It’s crucial in understanding the dynamics of the United States and the differences class, race and gender play within academics.
I’m finally a senior and at this point, I hate school.
I hate writing papers. I hate taking tests. I hate sitting in class and doing assignments to understand the content. I hate discussions and I absolutely hate group projects. As a senior, I don’t know where my straight A’s and determination went. I just want to graduate and start working.
I keep telling people I want to live.
I am suffocating in this institution that I believe so much in, but that has just run its course on me. Instead of taking the GRE’s and applying to graduate schools like everyone else who is freaking out, I am trying to get through this year and then take a year off. I need to experience life.
I want to travel. I want to meet people who have real experiences and have real stories. I want career-work experience, not minimum-wage experience;)
Don’t get me wrong, I eventually want to go back to school and I will. Contrary to what everyone says about “never getting back into it”, the majority of graduate students take time off before beginning their degree program. Regardless of these statistics, I am a strong individual who knows what I want to become later in my life and no amount of time away from school will stop me from achieving it. Plus, if I score the right job after Penn State, I could end up having my company pay for me to go back to school! This would be perfect.
Ideally, I want that top-notch New York located magazine to hire me, pay for me to travel, write about what I want and eventually pay for my PH.D. If this doesn’t happen, I want to roll with whatever other options I have. I don’t want definite plans. I don’t want to know exactly what I will be doing for the next five years of my life.
The not-knowing….scares me to death. I am a planner. I am an OCD perfectionist who makes lists daily but I am not making a list about my life. Graduate schools will always be there. The GRE will always be there. My time to be young, independent and free to swap jobs, states and countries, will not always be there. I am going to use this fear, to really live.
Education is important. It is empowering and has been my freedom. Education is also structured incorrectly, confining, expensive, racist and sexist. Check out how FLY indulged in all of this while I’m beginning to let it all go.
Peace, Harmony and Love, Gorgeous.
Hola Bonita! (Si, estoy hablando contigo),
This semester FLY is taking a look at some controversial material. We’re covering genital mutilation, habits damaging the environment and of course, sex talk. All of this is done to inspire you to dig further into issues that move you.
This magazine is my last as editor of FLY for this year. I am studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the spring semester. Our new spring editor will be Madeline Martinez. I love this girl and I’m pretty sure you will enjoy her work too. Check out what she has to say about in this issue.
As for me, I want to urge all of you to take opportunities. Take risks and do things that might otherwise make you feel uncomfortable. This could be something from smiling at a stranger you pass while walking, to taking a semester off to travel. I want to encourage any form of learning regardless of how “abnormal” it may appear or how spontaneous and off-track it is from normal courses of study. If we can’t learn from what we live, we can never expectto fully learn at all.
I’m studying abroad in the hopes of becoming fluent in Spanish. I am TERRIFIED of speaking Spanish in front of anyone I know or don’t even know. I am sure I sound like a nerdy white girl who is clueless about other cultures. I have let this fear of being judged stop me from really learning the fluency. I am finally taking the risk of truly learning from my imperfections but I am still TERRIFIED. Only I’m actually TRYING.
That’s all I want to give to you. The strength to actually try something you are unsure of, or nervous about, or afraid of being judged for. Do what you love. Never stop yourself from learning out of fear. I know my risk will be an ongoing challenge. So, when you take yours, know you are at no point, alone in your fears or your shaky attempts. Like always, I’ll be right there beside you. No matter what continent I’m learning on.
As Editor-in-Chief of FLY, I recognize that our opinions and stylistics of writing may differ from what others agree with. We want to hear all angles of every issue but, we can’t without your help. If you have anything you’d like to contribute, please email me at any time and give your voice a chance.
Paz y Armonia Bonita.
Hey gorgeous! (Yes, I’m talking to you),
I’m Annamarie, Creator and Editor of FLY Magazine. I’m super excited about this first issue and I hope you like it too!
So what is FLY? What does it mean? What does it say?
Well, to start, it is a women’s magazine that focuses on issues and concerns important to women besides makeup and fashion, although these are also concerns. The goal of FLY is to instill positive images of beauty and strength among women. There are too few real women role models and too many negative depictions of women. All of this influences identity.
So FLY is about finding yourself. It is about you. It is about reaching above and beyond. A challenge of yourself. About FLYing away....soaring. Hence, our picture of the butterfly wing.
FLY is hip. Like you of course;)
It’s classy, trendy, artsy, cultural, inspiring, intelligent, beautiful, bold, funky, honest, creative, etc.
FLYis about you...and us. All of us working to be real and throw away the stereotypes of what we should be.
So tell me about yourself. I want to know you. Since this is all for you of course.
Peace and Harmony Gorgeous,