A Letter to Past Generations

Dear people of the past,

I am one person out of millions. I may be small, but my voice will not be silenced. We will no longer be silenced by beliefs made centuries ago.

We will not be silenced by beliefs that are killing innocent lives, or by the beliefs that are discriminating against the people who are finally becoming proud of who they are.

We are the new generation. We are the millennials, the Gen. Z kids, and the generations to come, and we are proud of ourselves for the world we’re determined to create.

We may be young, and we may not know everything about the world, but we are still learning, still improving, and we are definitely still fighting.

We are strong

We are resilient.

And we are powerful.

But we aren’t defined by adjectives; we are the future. In just a few years, most of us will be given the power to vote, and we will remember when you ignored our pleas.

Photo Credit: ABC News.

You ignored our pleas for equal rights, our pleas to not feel afraid to walk into our schools, our pleas for an equal opportunity you pride your country over yet fail to fulfill.

We will remember what you refused to give us, and we will take it ourselves.

The years will come, and the world will become ours. Not just for one percent of us, but for everyone.

A world where students can walk into their schools without the fear that they’d never walk out.

A world where people are free to love who they wish to.

A world where people are judged by their personality or by what they bring to the world. Not by the color of their skin, or their preference of who they love.

So remember this

We may be young,

But we are angry.

And you can try silence us, but we will rise, and we will scream louder than ever.

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Opinions, likes, and school walkouts

To begin,
For all of my peers who participated in the national school walkout today, I want to thank you for standing up for what you believe in and being catalysts for the change that our country so desperately needs. We know what kind of world we deserve to live in, and we are making it a reality.

Credit: TruthRevolt.org

Growing up in an age of technology, social media and internet access can be a double-edged sword of sorts. We can use our technology as a platform for positive things, like spreading awareness and voicing our opinions on all sorts of matters. But, that can also result in a nearly obsessive need to receive validation for our experiences. This validation comes from documenting and posting about almost anything that occurs and is worthy of being noticed.

This dichotomy poses a question: If you don’t post about it does it even really matter?

I’m not trying to be cynical, I’m just genuinely curious if that is a justifiable way of life. I’m not saying I am immune to it, but I would also like to think that I’m not dependent on my social media, nor do I find validation solely through it.

Something I noticed throughout the protesting that took place today is a lot of people seemed to have no idea why they were a part of it. Sure, they knew that it was in honor of the seventeen victims of the Parkland shooting, but they were mostly participating just to follow along with everyone else.

Credit: Polkscan.com

I received several messages, posts, etc. talking about the protests and ways to be involved, which I appreciate, but in lots of ways they all seemed so disingenuous. I am fully supportive of young people’s activism. But when you send me snapchats of yourself wearing an orange t-shirt to “show ur support!” I can’t help but think that you really have no idea what you care about, you just want me to know that you “protested.”

When asked what you believe, you can give a coherent reply. But when asked why you believe it, you have no idea.

It’s almost as if you don’t even care about the victims of all of the past shootings, you don’t even know why people are fighting for stricter gun control/laws. You only care about how many likes you got or how many people viewed your story.

Being a part of a protest itself (actually being an active activist) should be validation enough, it shouldn’t need to be found on instagram. But maybe that’s just the way I look at it.

So, yes, I understand and agree with the fact that social media can be used to spread awareness and to generate change. I also realize that these walkouts were fueled by social media, and that without it we wouldn’t have accomplished such a large-scale and widespread protest. But when half of the people I see posting have no idea what the significance of it is, it just makes them seem ignorant and it takes away from the importance of today’s events.

It is inspiring to see so many young people who already have such strong opinions. But if you have no idea why you have certain beliefs, if your beliefs don’t have a purpose or a foundation, then you might as well not believe in anything.

In order to be effective you must first be informed.



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Writer’s Block 2.0

Writers block, what a foe. It feels like everything I could write has already been written or far too close to my heart.

I’m full of non-noteworthy thoughts: is there ice cream in the freezer? Do I really have to finish that assignment or can I avoid it a little longer? Do I have the time to watch that episode? Should I read that book or this one? Is it actually likely that I can learn that language? Is tomorrow going to be a good day or one that makes me feel like crawling into bed and never reemerging?

So what should I write about? It’s not as if there is nothing going on.

Photo Credit: fanpop.com

Anyway, it feels like I could use 700 years of sleep, I don’t seem to do anything and I’m tired anyway. Why is that? I don’t even have the motivation to do the things I enjoy, much less the things that I don’t. I love doing certain things but all it seems I’m able to muster myself to do is sit around and, for all I can tell, do nothing.

So the motivation to tell stories and write is seemingly gone. Writers block has hit hard, senioritis even harder. Ugh.

Is it bad that I’m 100% ready to crawl into bed not having done anything productive today? I wonder sometimes, if given the choice, if I would sleep in excess and just not get out of bed at all really, if I would push all other things in my life off my plate and roll over and go back to sleep.

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be sure to go slow with my heart,

it already beats too fast.

and, for me, it’s different

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

when you hold your hand in mine

or when you look at me like that.

sometimes, i’m left without breath

for no reason,

so it’s not fair

when you run your hands through your hair.

i know in any given moment

when i’m with you,

the butterflies in my stomach aren’t simply innocent.

in our sunday morning coffee dates,

it isn’t the caffeine that makes me jittery.

no, my nervous giggles aren’t your fault.

you aren’t doing anything wrong.

but, when you do all your perfect little things,

when you do everything right,

it doesn’t make breathing any easier.

and, no, i’m not ignoring you

when i go silent,

i’m just afraid of saying the wrong things

because i don’t want to come to the day

when your smile isn’t a guarantee.

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It’s our hearts that make a beat

Music is one of the most important things in my life. Ever since I was a kid, waddling around my kindergarten, I’d be singing along to songs I didn’t know the lyrics to. As it turned out later, I was a horrible singer, but that didn’t matter as a child. It made me happy.

My first favorite song was “Fight for your Right to Party” by The Beastie Boys. I obviously had no idea what it meant, considering I didn’t understand a word of English at that point. But it was the energy and positivity in their voices that got me. My mom told me it was a little too aggressive for a six year-old girl to listen to, but, you know, that really didn’t bother me.

The first instrument I ever learned to play was the violin, mainly because I was obsessed with this kids TV show about young Mozart. Well, I wasn’t very good at it, and my siblings always complained about that “awful noise” whenever I practiced, so I quit after about two years.

credit: lovethispic.com

But even after that I was really into music. I’d memorize my favorite songs, film music videos with my friends and siblings, we’d perform our own version of “Mamma Mia!” to our parents- all that cringy stuff.

In tenth grade, I started playing the piano, because I wanted to be able to play all of Twenty One Pilots’ songs, since they are my absolute favorite band and I really can’t sing. Apparently, I am not musically talented at all, but, again, that doesn’t really bother me. So I started playing the ukulele. I’m pretty sure it is one of the easiest instruments to play, because even I have mastered some songs by now. And that really says something.

Being able to successfully play music, all by myself, with only a couple YouTube tutorials and UkuTabs.com (literally the most helpful website ever) I gained some confidence. So, when I got bored over last summer, I decided to take a drum lesson. The drums have always been my favorite instrument in a band, they’re so unique and mentally and physically difficult, and to be honest, my favorite celebrity is a drummer so that might have played a role in it as well… I got to use my neighbor’s drums in his basement, that was hopefully a hundred percent soundproof, because I had no idea what I was doing. But after hours and hours in that hot, stuffy basement, I at least learned how to keep a decent beat. There are few things that I’ve experienced in my life that feel better than hitting the drums as if my life depended on it.

credit: tumblr.com

When the new school year started, I joined garage band. It’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m so thankful, too, since there are already two really good drummers in the band, and they still accepted me, even though I’m pretty bad. But even playing a basic beat in the very back of on stage with a group of such talented others filled me with so much joy and new confidence. Also, apparently, “girl drummers are bad-a**”.

That same year I also started playing the guitar. I’m a really slow learner, and I’m still pretty bad at it, but I love music so much, everything about it. As long as I get some pretty sounds out of it, it makes me happy. As long as I’m not perfect yet, I will keep practicing. That might take a while though.

Probably the most important things I lost in the fire last winter were my guitar, my ukulele, and the school’s drum set. Whenever I felt down or needed distraction, I’d listen to music, and whenever I really needed to feel better, I’d play it on those instruments.

This sounds like such a cliché, but music has always been there for me. I’ve always had great friends in my life, and a sister whom I could tell almost everything. But there are some times where I don’t want to talk to anyone, and don’t want to hear anything, except the tune of my favorite songs.

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An Agreement to Disagree

I think we can all agree that, for the most part, politics suck.

When I was younger, I think I just sort of fell into agreement with my family’s political views; one, because I didn’t pay any attention to what was happening, and two, because it didn’t matter to me at that point in my life anyway.

Now that I try my best to stay up-to-date with news, I can actually comprehend what it means, and I feel the effects of the things that are going on in the world around me. Now that I can form opinions for myself, they’ve begun to differ from what I grew up with.

For the most part my parents are very open to discussions and they do their best to give me unbiased responses, but some others in my family aren’t so supportive.

I try to stay away from discussing politics with these members of the family, but sometimes things come up unintentionally. For example: tonight at dinner, I began talking about hopes for my future, such as what I want to study and where I want to go to college, possible careers, where I want to travel, etc.

When I mentioned that one day I want to join the Peace Corps they sort of laughed at me. That’s when our conversation took a turn. Instead of discussing my hopes and dreams for my life ahead of me, I was bombarded with questions like, “Why do you want to join the Peace Corps? Why don’t you intern at Wall Street?” and “Don’t you care about money? Well you will once you have to provide for yourself.”

Image via Bubble-Jobs.co.uk

As a result of those responses, I have a message for the family members in question: Since I decided to keep my larger opinions to myself after the dinner incident, here are a few things that I hope you will someday understand.

First and foremost, I am fully aware that for my entire life I have been financially secure and I haven’t had to worry about anything involving money. I know that this is a result of a lifetime of your hard work, and I am incredibly thankful for that.

Although some of our opinions are quite different, I still respect yours; your opinions are valid.

I’m not sorry that my views differ from yours, but I’m sorry that you completely disregard them. It really doesn’t matter to me that you have different values, so long as you don’t tell me that my own are wrong.

While you are probably correct in that a lot of my opinions are somewhat influenced by my peers, that doesn’t mean that I can’t think for myself.

It’s fair for you to be disappointed that I don’t agree with you, but it’s not fair for you to be disappointed in me as a person. The way I vote does not determine who I am, nor does it determine my character.

Half of my relatives just give away their vote and let someone else decide their views for them. Shouldn’t you be happy that I can think for myself? Shouldn’t you be happy that I don’t believe everything I’m told and that I know what is important to me? Shouldn’t you at least be happy that I believe in something?

Please don’t disregard what I say to you. Please don’t blame my opinions on my age. Please don’t brush off my contradictions with “Oh, she’ll come around one of these days.”

Please don’t look at me differently because of what I think. Differences in opinions should be accepted, not criticized. If our minds were all the same, nothing would ever go anywhere.

Diversity, whether it be found in people, in life experience, or in beliefs, is a wonderful thing.

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The Truth About Horseback Riding

When you were little did any of you ever dream of becoming a movie star or professional athlete, but later figured out you can’t amount to either of these things unless you have millions of dollars? And, speaking from experience, the percentage of little girls who dream to own and show a horse in the Olympics is very large, I’d say about 99.9% of them do.

But, later the harsh reality of life kicks in, and the kids, as well as their parents, learn that the cost of showing, owning, and maintaining a horse of that stature is much more than the average American earns a year. Even the cost to purchase this caliber of horse can range from $100,000-millions of dollars. The thing is, the rich-and-famous stereotype is completely true. The cost of showing a horse on the international circuit can exceed $200,000 a year. Riders often will have more than one horse to compete in each of three different classes, which include jumpers, hunters, and equitation.

It’s the epitome of a luxury good.

Alongside that, the classes in which you compete are judged on how nice of a horse you own, even in the walk trot divisions with four-year-old girls and their ponies. The collegiate level, along with the other levels, in horseback riding are judged unfairly because of the imbalance of wealth.

The wealth indifference lights up in the average person’s face saying, “Only the rich make it.”

“No wonder the elite equestriennes gracing this month’s Town & Country are all billionaire princesses.”

The connection between horses and wealth began a millennia ago.

In fact, the first people who were known to commend hierarchies of power and believe variations of wealth were vital to their society were also the first people to own and ride horses.

Picture a movie based in the renaissance period. You can imagine the king riding into the shot on his noble steed, while the peasants walk in on foot; this is because of the imbalance of wealth between the king and his subjects. Now, take the millionaires and billionaires in the world and insert them into the king’s spot, and the rest of the world into the peasant’s spot. The rich have the privilege to trot around on their fancy horses while the rest of us travel in our subpar cars to work and school.

Do you think this is fair?

Horseback riding is a dubious sport when an animal of great value is involved; the person competing in the sport vanishes, showcasing your wealth through the one thing being judged, your horse.

Photo Credit: globalchampionstour.com

In a division known as hunters, the judge is only allowed to judge the horse, and not acknowledge the rider upon its back. Because of this, the wealth difference between riders is highlighted and becomes very clear about who will take the win home.

Amongst the 5,000 horses and 2,800 riders at the equestrian festival near Palm Beach, Florida lies many of the world’s elite. Let’s say you are competing at this festival, and while you’re scrolling through the list of people you are competing against, you come across the last name that rings a bell in many people’s minds: Gates.

Jennifer Gates, also known as Bill Gates’, “the richest man in America,” daughter, is competing in your division. By seeing this name, you automatically know you stand no chance of beating her. Her dad is willing to spend millions of dollars on horses, which many families are not able to do, despite how much they want to.

“The billionaires are funding their daughters through the circuits and through life.”

Jennifer Gates, Charlotte Casiragni, Georgina Bloomberg, and Reed Kessler rise to the top of their divisions, as they prance around on their dreamworthy horses. At 18 years old, Reed Kessler became the youngest rider in show jumping history to ever compete at the Olympic Games. Her parents, being the multimillionaires (possibly billionaires) they are, could afford to buy and pay Reed top of the line horses and trainers.

Imagine a world full of horse shows that don’t judge the horse’s length of stride or merely on the way they look. A world where it is equal; as Thomas Jefferson once said, “All men are created equal.” If this is the rule we are truly supposed to live by, why doesn’t it apply?

We are not judged fairly, we are not given equal opportunities to prove ourselves to the judges, and we are most certainly not all of the same wealth. A new and upcoming way of competing has blossomed from the roots of riding.

It’s called the Interscholastic Equestrian Association or IEA for short. It is a show where all the competitors are taken to a barn and given horses of the same caliber to ride. With all of them being equal, and it not being the rider’s personal horse, the judge is finally only allowed to judge the rider and not the horse. If this becomes as popular as regular horse shows, it would finally give the people of average wealth in the US a chance to enjoy the sport they love.


Photo Credit: Chornofhorse.com


Well, I guess to wrap up my rant about the unfairness of the various judging techniques, people eventually get adjusted to it and just accept that it will be hard as heck to rise to the top because the wealthy are favored. The wealthy people all around the world maintain control over the scoring; they mostly win and we mostly lose. Sports are supposed to be judged on how much time you dedicate and how much effort you are willing to put in; but instead this, it is based on how much money you’re willing to spend. But in the end, the elite equestrians “may be young, rich, and beautiful, but it takes more than fresh looks and a bank account to ride at the Olympic level.”

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