Top 3 Reasons to Study Abroad

Originally published on The Odyssey by Saadia Rose.


The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine


Ever since I was a Freshman in highschool, I knew I wanted to study abroad in College. As I got closer and closer to my senior year at the University of South Florida, the opportunities started to catch my eye. Thankfully, my dreams came true and I am in the center of London writing this article. I am halfway through my semester and have prepared my top five reason that every college student should study abroad.



  • Explore!


Travel is one of the best ways to gain life experience! When you steer away from the norm, your mind starts to expand. Ever heard of a bucket list? It is where you make a list of all of the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” Studying abroad was always on my bucket list. Specifically, there were many things that were on my list that I got to accomplish just from this one trip. I got the opportunity to see Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Big Ben, Abbey Road, Roman Baths, Stonehenge, London Bridge, River of Thames, Tower of London, Manchester United Stadium and much, much more! I have seen some of the most incredible views and have been able to experience a different culture overall.


  • Meet New People!


I have met some of the best people out here in London! I encountered well over 100 other students in my program and have made a new family between a good amount of them. Our relationships are amazing. It’s weird to think that just 3 weeks ago, we all were complete strangers. I know that the new friends that I have made are genuine and will be there for me if I ever need them in the future. Meeting new people was what I needed. I grew up in Cocoa, FL, not Cocoa Beach, and when I came over to Tampa for USF last year, I only knew a handful of people. Yes, I have been able to make friends on campus and at work, but the ohana I met over the pond is one I will never forget. It’s great that we get to live together and explore a brand new turf together. I know that I am leaving London with pack of friends that will always have my back.



  • Adulting


Once you get to college, you learn very quickly how to start fending for yourself. Now, I feel that it is so different to be in a foreign country taking care of yourself rather than being home and learning in a familiar space. Yes, that is a plate of my dinner here in London. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to cook. This is a stir fry steak, couscous and chickpeas… not Ramen. Ramen is not a bad thing, though. I have a pack in my pantry right now! Honestly, being out here alone makes you focus on you and only you. You have to worry about your next meal, getting to class on time, doing your laundry and you cannot ever forget you-time. This is the best opportunity to live up your dreams and be independent! I have had the time of my life here and I cannot want to continue to travel the world.
These are only my top 3 reasons to study abroad. There are so many more factors that make studying abroad the best experience in the world. The opportunities are endless, just make sure you do not pass them up!


Why I Didn’t Post on Father’s Day

Why I Didn’t Post on Father’s Day – Unedited Version

Edited version was originally published on The Odyssey by Saadia Rose.


As midnight hit on June 18th this year, the posts began to flood my timeline about everyone’s amazing father. Oh, and the occasional post shouting out to the single moms. Now, I personally love my dad and my step-dad. My parents divorced when I was around 8 years old and I met my ‘soon-to-be step’ father when I was 10. Most of my memories from my father are positive one. I was always a daddy’s girl. My mom worked a lot, so my dad stayed home to take care of my brothers and I. I did everything with my dad growing up. We went fishing, played soccer and listen to music all the time. As I began to grow up, I started to discover some of the reality of what surrounded my life. Addiction is horrible disease that is common in a lot of households and unfortunately mine was one of those. Broken promises, scared reactions, random calls from foreign places, and surprises all around are a few things that I got used to. Now that I am considered an adult, the full truth has been revealed to me and now I know how to feel. I don’t. I have to remove my emotions on this day to keep my heart whole. Like I said, I love my dad but the difference is that now I know my dad.

My step father and I were not the best of friends when he first proposed to my mom. After my parents divorced, my mom became my best friend and her new fiance was trying to get in the middle of our relationship. There was no way I could let that happen. I did my best to make him feel uncomfortable. I was mean and I always made sure that I got my way. I did some pretty messed up things when I reflect back on that time. The point is that as I grew up, I began to learn more about him. His true colors began to flourish and I realized that he was a good asset to my family. I cannot thank him enough for being persistent  with me and taking good care of my mom. But still to this day, we get into disagreements that remind of the things that do bother me about him.

Do you see my dilema? If you don’t, I’ll break it down for you: I love both of my dads but I am uncomfortable discussing either one of them publicly. If I say one thing about one and the other disagrees it will make me instantly feel guilty. I cannot discuss them as equal because one isn’t even my blood. The problem is that I do not know how to feel about Father’s Day. I didn’t post on Father’s Day because I do not know how to feel about it. That’s it. I just get all tense when thinking of my father figures. I continue to type how I feel, then I instantly find myself smashing the delete button on my keyboard. I don’t know how to feel. I do not have Asperger’s, I am fully capable of using my emotions. But when it comes to this particular holiday, I cannot fully express myself without feeling guilty of some sort.


Want to hear a secret? I told my step dad happy father’s day this year, but I didn’t even bother to call my dad. I don’t know what it is. I feel that I hold so much resentment toward him. I have always feared speaking up to him about it. I could only imagine how hurt he would be. When I learned about his addiction, I wanted to yell and scream at him so bad. I always learned in school that drugs are bad and the effects they had on families, but it sucked to live the reality. You know what held me back from yelling at him? The thought of him getting upset and leaving to go get drunk and high only to come back home to pick a fight with my mom. I love my dad so much, but it hurts me to know what type of person he is. He abused my family because of sickness of addiction. I always wondered why he went back to drinking and crack because he knew he would lose me if he didn’t stop. Did he love crack more than me, his only daughter? I asked myself this question every other day. I remember when he just left and went back to mexico. I didn’t hear from my dad in THREE YEARS. Or at least it felt like it. He didn’t call or text me to arrange visitation. His phone didn’t even work when I called. I honestly at some point though the was dead. I wasn’t sure if he

My mind is racing. My heart is thumping. I don’t know how to feel. I am hurt. This feeling is hurt. I cannot control the way my mind works.

9 Sources for Those Wanting to Learn About Same-Sex Marriage



9 Sources for Those Wanting to Learn About Same-Sex Marriage
by Saadia Rose, Amber Bookhard and Kieran Pettus

This is my group’s service-learning project for our Intro to Woman Studies course at USF. Each of us were responsible for providing 3 sources that would be helpful for those who want to learn more about same-sex relationships and marriage. We have listed them below and explained why each one is relevant. These go-to materials have been chosen from personal experience and/or in-depth research to provide the best information about the truth behind same-sex love. All of us strongly believe that those in the LGBTQ community deserve the same respect and right as those that are heterosexual. We are all humans and our sexual preference is irrelevant when it comes to love. Love is love.

An Act of Love (2015)

Synopsis: An Act of Love tells the story of an unwitting advocate in the fight for equal rights within the Church, Rev. Frank Schaefer, who had his ministerial credentials revoked in December 2013 after officiating his son’s same-sex wedding. Will Rev. Schaefer’s trial be the final breaking point for the Church? Or will his story be the final chapter in the long struggle for LGBTQ equality within the UMC? To find out more, click here

Why you should watch: Not only is this a phenomenal film, but it is a magnificent portrayal of how religion plays a large role in the LGBTQ community. It shows how important it is to normalize sexuality in our society because the fear of hate and being rejected can be detrimental.

  • Same Sex Marriage : A Gay Documentary For The LGBT Community

Synopsis: This documentary shows different views on same-sex marriage. It allows its viewers to obtain a variety of ideas about the topic at hand. It does this while announcing the central problem surrounding same-sex marriage. You can watch the documentary here!

Why you should watch: It reveals the sad reality behind some of those in the LGBTQ community. Same-sex marriage used to be a horrible idea and same-sex couples were beyond afraid to even “come out”. The film illuminates normalization of same-sex marriage. This documentary also offers great examples to defend same-sex couples. This is also a great history lesson on LGBTQ rights.

Debating Same-Sex Marriage by John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher

Overview: This is a book that explains the pros and cons of same-sex marriage. It offers both views to those that are interested in the topic. Corvino presents his case as to why same-sex marriage should be legally recognized, and then Gallagher explains why it should not. You can find this book on Amazon!

Why you should read: The authors argue the main idea that marriage is a vital public institution, this issue deserves a comprehensive, rigorous, thoughtful debate. This w really well thought out discusison on the topic. It is beyond educational. Great way to help everyone open their mind. It does not persuade its readers, which is a really good reason to  read this. 

Out and About (2014)

Synopsis: Out and About is a YouTube LGBTQ documentary regarding the lives of young ‘queer’ women, discussing equality, sexuality and gender identity and their individual experiences.The aims of this project are to get the word out, in order to educate others and offer support and guidance for those who are struggling. Watch is here now!

Why you should watch: This documentary displays courage, love, and the obstacle of soul searching. It gives you a glimpse into the hardships of being judged in this lifestyle.  This documentary allows others who are struggling with their true identity to understand that there is no one better than you, and love to themselves wholeheartedly. It’s free on youtube which makes it easily accessible. This can help our community by spreading awareness of the hardships it is to be in a same sex relationship, and making our community more open to same sex relationships so no one feels excluded or judged.

Lady GaGa’s LGBTQ Speech (2009)

Synopsis: Lady Gaga, A-List celebrity who is known for her quirky style, and undeniable confidence decided to take the stage to give a speech on the infamous speech “The Prime Rib of America.”  In this speech she ridicules this subject by constantly asking rhetorical questions allowing the audience to reflect and review the law we all live(d) by. Read the transcript to her speech on MTV.

Why you should watch: Growing up in a military family, I witnessed this as a child. My mother had to act like she was dating her gay best friend because of this law. However, although this speech is talking about the gay rights associated with military this isn’t only aimed towards military, it’s aimed towards everyone in America. This speech gives us a reality check. The same person that is on the front line for our country has to be ‘dishonorably’ discharged because of their sexual preference is a scary thought. This speech helps and has helped our community in various ways. Bringing the issue to light creates unity and a beautiful collaboration within the LGBT community. Don’t ask don’t tell ended in 2011.

Same Love (2012)

Synopsis: Macklemore used his talents to write a song and music video about gay rights and wanted to spread awareness within the Hip Hop community. Macklemore knew that he would be able to touch people and make a revolutionary point to stop the flagrant use of ‘gay’ as a derogative term in the hip-hop industry, and the world.

Why you should watch: We can all relate to music in some way or form. Music is therapeutic and controversial and this song is no different. It really gets you thinking.Macklemore adds in personal insight and powerful lyrics:

When I was at church they taught me something else

If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed

That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned


If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me

Have you read the YouTube comments lately?

“Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily

We become so numb to what we’re saying

These lyrics bring up the issues with gay rights within our churches and hip hop community. This helps our community by spreading awareness and changing daily and common lingo that doesn’t seem hurtful, but is.

Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Synopsis: This movie is based on true events of a girl whom’s identity as a woman did not reflect her true feelings as to her own self identity. After deciding to identify as male, he (Brandon Teena, played by Hilary Swank) moves to Nebraska in hopes of finding true love. During the search, Brandon experiences much hardship including violence, rape, and discrimination.

Why you should watch: This movie give you direct insight to the troubled lives many members of the LGBTQ community face, from a second hand account. It allows any person to share some of the more graphic moments inside the life of a person who is transgender and I think the effect of it would curate compassion for the community and raise support for all of that have had to go through the physical, emotional, mental, and psychological  abuse.

Trans Vet’s T-Shirt Is Powerful Reality Check: ‘I Fought For Your Right To Hate Me’ 

Overview: This is an article posted by The Huffington Post that puts on display the voice of an American veteran that has served a country, HER country, that does not support her being transgender. Read the article now!

Why you should read: We all have some type of connection with our country’s military, whether it be a family member or friend that has/is enlisted or even our own opinions about it. Whatever connection each individual has will make this article resonate to show how people that are transgender are still humans that deserve the same amount of respect and support as the next person.

More Trans People Have Been Killed in 2015 Than Ever Before

Overview: This report shows statistics on the number of transgender deaths that occured in 2015. 

Why you should read: The numbers and reports on these deaths will hit home for everyone that reads it. After reading it, the awareness of the treatment given to the LGBTQ community will foster the willingness for any person to want to stand up for what is right. There is a link embedded that further shares personal stories of other violent occurrences coming directly from the person that experienced them. The link also provided steps or plans of action any individual could take to support the community against the hatred.(The embedded link is below)


5 Ways to Make Yourself Happy


Now, I’m no psychology major nor emotion expert, but I am human. I have been able to experiment with my happiness for a few years now. These five things are just what I have come up with as a college student in her early 20’s. Now those of you that are reading this that may have a couple more years on me may be able to catch something to make your youth-self spring out of you! 🙂 My goal here is to share my life experiences to encourage positive thoughts to arise.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Get yourself on an exercise schedule.


It doesn’t have to be anything intense unless intense is what you want. Introducing exercise in your life can make you feel a lot better about yourself. Start with a 20-minute walk in the morning or at night before bed. Personally, starting my mornings with a workout usually turns my whole day into a beautiful one! Don’t get me wrong, night workouts kick my but too, but I like being active after a great workout. FYI, it helps relieve soreness too. 🙂

2. Take yourself out to dinner.

Yes, alone. By yourself. Try to avoid using your phone while you’re there too. Just sit there, think and eat. It’s not a bad idea to read or get some work done, but it’s a better idea to be there for the peacefulness. I like to sit at a restaurant and go over the past couple of weeks in my head and think about how I can improve. Whether I’m thinking about school, my relationship, my career or my vacations, I always think of ways to make myself happier about each subject.

3. Go for a walk alone.

Leaving your phone at home in this day in age is almost unheard. But there is a Do Not Disturb option where you can have your phone on you for emergencies but never get distracted by notifications. If possible, do so. Throw on your favorite pair of walking shoes and get ready for the best form of meditation. I kid you not; I love to walk alone. I may know exactly where I am physically, but I get lost mentally. When walking, I become completely comfortable with my surroundings and at ease in my body. It is also nice to go out walking with your dog, but it is a different experience from being totally alone.

4. Get organized and set goals.

There’s no better feeling than being on top of everything. Here are a couple of online planner sites: DayViewer, MyStudyLife, WeekPlan and you can always use your e-mail provider’s calendars. I use my Lilly Pulitzer Planner to stay on top of my busy schedule. I also created a vision board to keep my goals vivid. When setting goals, don’t limit yourself! “Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” ― Paul Brandt
5. Write/Draw/Color/Scribble.

Let it all out. Write down everything that is on your mind. It is a go idea to get your feelings out, and I find it easier to deal with things when they’re out in front of me. Some can draw better than they can write. (Not me.) If that’s you, no shame! Draw whatever is in your head. Create a fiction story, draw out your dream home, sketch your day out or make a picture of whatever brings you happiness. (If that happens to be Leo winning his Grammy, so be it!) These adult coloring books have become very popular. I have done some coloring, and it is de-stressing, as long as you follow all of the instructions, which does include shutting off your cellular device. I say scribble because from experience when I am working diligently on something for school I start freaking out and screaming like a mad man makes me feel much better. 🙂


HAPPY 2016!


Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all stayed safe and enjoyed your winter break. I know if you’re reading this in Florida, you’re just now getting the winter part! lol I did not do an actual ‘New Year’ blog this year because when I began to think about it – I was going to repeat everything I said in last year’s New Year post. So, this is my quick welcome into 2016. I have SO MUCH planned for this year, but I will refrain from boring you with all of my 2016 plans… for now. I will probably save that for another blog post.



Now, I am REALLY writing this because I was inspired by a discussion question for one of my online courses. “If you were to be a role model to others, what aspects of your life would you want them to emulate? Why?” When I read this question so many different ideas flooded my mind. Here is my course response:

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*gasp* That response was hawt!🔥

My Role Models need to be happy. Yep, that is it for me.

Who is your role model?

Matthieu Ricard is my role model. Matthieu is a Buddhist monk and French writer who has spent his life working towards internal happiness. Living in the world today, it is important to live happily and I look up to Matthieu because he has accomplished a tremendous goal.


Feel free to comment below who your role model(s) is/are! Thanks for reading 🙂 

Saadia Rose

hairrrrrBelieve it or not, I used to hate my name. As a child, I got fed up with people always saying my name wrong and constantly asking me where I am from because my name is weird. It was hard when I was younger because all I knew was that Saadia is my name. I did not know any origin of it, other than it was my Grandmother’s name. What annoyed me the most was that not only was my first name hard to pronounce – my last name was impossible. Saadia Bendagha. You can put it in front of a 6 year old and a 60 year old and still not get the correct pronunciation. Now, you may be thinking, “That’s unique. You should embrace your name.” Ten years ago, I would have completely disagreed. I went to the farthest extent to even try to change my name. I took on another name to try to cover my annoying, hard to pronounce name. When I was 10 years old, I renamed myself as Sarah. Sarah Rose. I know that sounds kind of creepy, but I was a child that did not understand what being different was all about. Sarah was just a common name that I loved and Rose came from my middle name which I got from my other Grandmother; Rosalind, we use Rose for short. As I grew up, I learned more about my name and more even about myself. Saadia is an Arabic term for happiness. I felt better knowing that it has a positive connotation. My name was going to be Zoe, if it was left up to my mom. Zoe means life, which is not a bad thing. But as I grew up, I learned more about life and how happiness is a crucial part to living. I feel that happiness suits me better – Saadia. I learned to embrace being different and finally chose to grow myself through my name. I am Saadia Rose.

Who exactly is Saadia Rose?

Saadia Rose created this website.

You may be asking yourself a variety of questions:

Who is she? What does she do? Why did she build this? What is she going to do with it? Is she trying to sell me something? Should I read her blogs? What are her blogs going to be about? How often is she going to post a new blog? Can I benefit from her? What kind of information can I expect from her? What is she doing with her life as of now? What are her future plans? How can I get in contact with her?

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I am Saadia Rose. I am 20 years old and currently live in Tampa, FL. I am senior at the University of South Florida. I am a Communication Major with the concentration in Performance Studies. My long-term goal is to be a talk-show host on my own show on my own television channel. Sound familiar? Yes, Oprah is one of my idols – alongside Ellen DeGeneres and even John Oliver. I grew up in Cocoa, Florida – No, not Cocoa Beach. I graduated as Student Government President with honors at Cocoa High. Go Tigers! I was so active within my high school, I knew how to keep myself busy:  SGA, Soccer, JROTC, Spanish Honor Society, Volleyball, Student Advisory Committee, Key Club, Cheerleading, Speech and Debate. I have a 10 month old Pitbull puppy named Saatyva who I love SO MUCH! Personality wise, I am known for my free spirit, loud mouth and kind heart. I am one that enjoys making others smile. When others are in a good mood with positive energy, I will feel the same and I will do almost anything to spark that feeling. I have always had big dreams for myself – big shot lawyer, movie star, famous journalist, important radio host, awesome YouTube star and I wanted to become famous for doing professional karaoke. Either way, I always had the vision of succeeding. (Spoiler alert: I will be posting a blog on my definition of success!) My biggest inspiration in my life, is my mother. She has always been there for me. I cannot express enough how  grateful I am to have such a wonderful woman as my mother.


What does all this mean? Okay, so now that I have explained who I am you’re probably still feeling like Lucci Vee. You may not even understand why you’re even still reading this. First off, thank you if you’ve made it past the #BGC gif! Now, I am going to answer the biggest question you may have: Why? Why did I create and start blogging?

“I want to be famous.”

Well, that may be the obvious. Hahaha! Just kidding… sort of. But no, I created to influence the world in a more positive way and get my voice heard. I’ve always told myself, “If you want to change the world, it starts with you.” I have lived by this quote because it is true and through my blog and I will strive to share entertaining media that is relevant to the world around us. I hope to touch some lives as well strike some laughter. Throughout my site, you will begin to find entertainment, self-help guides, random rants, motivational pieces, and more! I am more than excited to start this online journey and I am glad you will be a part of it! Don’t ever hesitate to comment your opinion on any post!