Last. Blog. Ever.

Tonight, I am writing my last blog for the Ojai Valley School Journalism class.

I have has such an incredible experience here at OVS, and a part of that was being involved in this class.

Being given the opportunity to express my opinion on whatever I feel like has been amazing. Blogging has been an amazing outlet for me and writing articles has allowed me to strengthen my writing skills in a fun manner.

I would like to thank Mr. Alvarez for his incredible support for the past two years, academically and personally. He is truly one of my favorite humans in the entire world, and he is someone I would do nearly anything for.

This time is bittersweet. Leaving high school, and the journalism program, will be upsetting; but I am growing up and moving on, and that is a beautiful thing in itself.

I cannot wait to share my experiences in college with my family, friends, and former teachers. I wish everyone at OVS the best, even Harley.

I will be forever thankful for my time here at OVS.

*@KENNYROO NO PICTURE

Just A Thought

Every day when I wake up, I find myself thinking about things that may be important to me at that moment; if my hair is straight, how my skin looks or if my outfit is figure-flattering… but in all honesty, all of this is irrelevant.

We spend so much time focused on the things that make us temporarily happy like looking skinny or driving a nice car or having the most likes on an Instagram picture, but why does any of this matter? What is the purpose?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy social media and feeling confident and purchasing nice things, but what REALLY matters? That is my question.

I feel like we focus too much on the superficial, rather than the necessary.

I am speaking from watching family members and friends suffer through the horrifying effects of cancer, Crohn’s, and Alzheimer’s, not through personal experience of these diseases; but when your health, your life, your comfort is threatened, all of those factors change.

You begin to focus on your comfort, your happiness, your health… unfortunately, the reality check came because of the diagnosis of an illness, but that’s when you start to realize what is sincerely important.

I experienced a drastic change in my health two years ago after I experienced a surgical complication, and I remember how things changed.

For a while after that surgery, I remained in a mood of distress, in constant physical pain. But through this, I was able to realize how strong my primal instincts were; I remember those feelings dynamically, and they will never escape me.

After reading an article surrounding the effects of cancer earlier this evening, I remembered how I felt then and reevaluated how lucky I am now.

This article hit me right in that spot that nobody wants to be touched, the one where your throat swells and your eyes throb and you breathe deeply to stop the emotions you are feeling from consuming you.

Now when I wake up in the morning, I will look at myself and think about how lucky I am to be alive, to be healthy, to be eating my breakfast, to have a family, to have a roof over my head, and to have each of the opportunities before me that I do.

I am happy, I am healthy, I feel terrific.

 

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The Year Everyone Was Offended By Everythi

As I grow older, I continue to notice more about those around me. This year, I have taken particular attention to the issues with body image and gender debates and have noticed that in every aspect of these subjects, people seem to become greatly offended.

Having a “positive body image” is all about loving yourself no matter how much you weigh or what jean size you wear, yet people on both sides of the spectrum are constantly critiquing each other.

Words like “fat” and “anorexic” and “overweight” have become sensitive, and it no longer matters if you are skinny, overweight, chubby, or just average; you WILL be criticized for your weight. The irony in this is everyone is preaching having a positive body image, when in reality, we continue to criticize those who are not of an ideal weight.

Secondly, the gender debates. Recently, two UCLA women publicized their opinions on gender neutral bathrooms stating “Transgenderism is a mental disorder”, “get your agenda out of my bathroom”, and “there are only two genders”. While many may agree or disagree, these are their opinions, and they are entitled to share them.

The issue here is that no matter what, people will always have different opinions, the issue at hand is to cease the mass amounts of sensitivity towards these subjects. Understandably, people have strong opinions on these subjects, but this is not a reason to push personal opinions onto everyone around us.

Just my opinion.

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Graduation

It’s here in five weeks, the day we have all been waiting for; graduation.

June third is the end of a beautiful chapter in our lives. I have grown so much in these past four years that I would say I am now, at 18, a completely different person than I was at 14 when I was a freshman.

I was so sure at 14 that I wanted to go to Stanford University and become a lawyer, and nobody could convince me otherwise.

Now at 18, I am going to Chapman University and majoring in either political science or business (still not sure), which I cannot believe because four years ago if you were to ask me to live in Los Angeles I would say absolutely not.

This year, I only wanted to go to schools in LA and did not even consider Stanford.

Regardless, I am beyond excited to be going off to study at Chapman in five months. I cannot explain my gratitude for everyone who has helped me throughout the past four years.

I am ecstatic.

 

Obsession

T-9 hours until I receive a decision from my second choice school.

For the past week, I have been constantly contemplating my academic strengths and weaknesses, calculating my chances at these schools… as if I have a chance at predicting the decisions I will receive.

I have never wanted anything more than to be accepted to these institutions.

My top two school choices for the past few years have been the University of Southern California and Occidental College.

I would be happy at either college, however, my chances of getting into either school are slim.

In comparison to other students that applied to Occidental, I am just slightly below average, GPA and SAT wise.

In comparison to other students who applied to USC, I am sub-par, with my GPA and SAT scores falling quite far below their average accepted student.

I keep trying to envision myself at another school, but simply cannot.

I want Oxy and USC so badly it hurts. My stomach has been in knots for days, and until 5:00 pm this evening, I will not feel relief.

I know this feeling is normal, but that does not affect my level of anxiety. I remain eager, waiting impatiently.

Good luck to all of the high school seniors waiting to hear from their favorite schools, you will end up wherever you are supposed to.

Photo Credit to: michelleshaeffer.com

 

 

It’s All Coming Together

It’s that time of year again, college acceptance, and denial, letters are coming our way. After months of working on applications, seniors are finally beginning to hear back from schools.

It feels as though I have been waiting a lifetime to get these letters. My dream school is the University of Southern California, and I want that school more than any other.

I have been accepted into all of my backup schools, two of my three targets, and neither of my two reaches, yet.

Chapman University recently sent me an acceptance letter, and when I got the e-mail I felt this enormous sense of relief, knowing I had been accepted into my third choice school.

The only reason it is my third choice is because I have applied to two more academically rigorous schools; Occidental College, and USC. But those schools are both reaches for me, meaning I have a smaller chance of being accepted.

I am completely happy attending Chapman, but I would be ecstatic to go to Occidental or USC.

Because I will be a pre-law student, meaning I will be going to law school after graduating from whichever undergraduate school I attend.

Because of this, I want to go to the most prestigious school I can in order to give me an edge in the Law School application process.

I am thankful I have options on where I go to college, but I am conflicted as to which school is the perfect fit for me.

Although transferring is always an option, I don’t want to build a life somewhere, make connections with other students, and learn the lay of the land at a school where I am not completely happy.

My best friend just got into Chapman as well, giving the school an enormous edge in my book. However, I have to make sure I make the right decision for me, not anyone else.

At this point, Chapman is it. But if I get an acceptance from Occidental or USC, that may change.

How do I choose the right school?

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Photo credit to: keck-cms.usc.edu

Burgers and Fries Oh My

In order to graduate from Ojai Valley School, each senior must successfully complete a senior project. These projects range from visiting Alcatraz to camping on an island for a week. My best friend, and editor, Kendall Shiffman and I have decided our senior project is going to be “burger telephone,” more commonly known as “taco telephone”

We will begin the journey at Stout Burger in Santa Monica, California. At this first location, we will ask the employees what their favorite burger is there, and order it, with fries of course. We will taste the burger and fries, and rate them on a rubric we have created.

After finishing our meal, we will ask another person where their favorite burger is in Los Angeles, and so on and so forth.

We will continue this cycle until we have tasted around ten burgers over the course of two days.

So. Excited.

Star Wars Spectacular

A few weeks ago my friend Hanna and I decided to go see the latest installment in the beloved Star Wars series. I had only seen one of the movies previous to this, so I really had no idea what was going on. I walked into the theatre thinking it was going to be a super nerdy movie about bizarre looking alien-like creatures

I walked into the theatre thinking it was going to be a super-nerdy movie about bizarre looking alien-like creatures who fight each other with laser beams.

Although I was somewhat right, I loved every minute of it.

I have been turned into a total Star Wars fan, I have been watching the older movies in the series, obsessively.

I enjoy the action and adventure of the series, similarly, I also adore Indiana Jones and James Bond, but who would have thought I would become a Star Wars geek.

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Los Angeles Art Show

https://i1.wp.com/d2jv9003bew7ag.cloudfront.net/uploads/LA-Art-Show.jpgLast night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of the Los Angeles Art Show to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I have been to a few art shows before, but none compare to this one.

There was historic and contemporary art, the historic was romantic and detailed,  while the contemporary was polished and fashionable.

Although I had a rough go-of-it in new shoes that I had not worn previously to this event, I was mesmerized by the thousands of painting, sculptures, and sketches covering the walls.

The set-up was stunning. A labyrinth of walls glowing with spotlights throughout an entire floor of the LA Convention Center was filled with hundreds, if not thousands of people.

After strolling around the maze of artwork for a few hours, my friends and I went home for the night.

I cannot wait to attend next year’s show.

 

Why I Do Not Enjoy Boats

Yesterday in AP Environmental, our teacher told the class that we are taking a class field trip to Anacapa Island. For most, this news was great, but for me, not so much.

Not many things scare me to the point of wanting to run away, but boats do.

So, let me tell you how this fear originated.

I went on a trip to Catalina Island in sixth grade. They told us the boat ride would be easy, with two to three-foot​ swells. We got on the boat and sailed off into the Pacific.

The boat ride there was easy, just like they said, two-foot​ swells.

But the ride back was much different.

They told us the same wave prediction again, but nearly ten minutes after sailing off from the island, we instantly knew something was wrong.

It was windy and storm – no rain, but clouds completely covering the sky. We continued on, only to be prepping for an emergency about a half an hour into the ride.

The boat was rocking side to side, but not in a relaxing motion, in the way that I was almost sure we were going to capsize. The waves looked like they were going to cover the side of the boat, terrifying everyone.

The scariest part was that when I went to my teacher for comfort, the only thing she had to say was that I should make sure I know where a life vest is.

We made it back to the Long Beach harbor, but since that day I have never gotten on a boat.