Applying or Buying?

I spent $410 last week. No, I didn’t go shopping. No, I didn’t buy all my Christmas presents at once. No, I didn’t have to pay for medical bills.

Photo Credit:  theroarpost.com

I spent $410 on college apps within only a week.

I understand that having to pay some amount of money, to make sure that the people applying to schools actually mean it, and that it takes work to read through my applications and make their decisions. But, why should I have to pay $180 to send my AP scores to the colleges that I might not even get in to?

Personally, I have been able to spend that money on my applications. I didn’t like it, obviously, but I was fine. But, there are enough people in this country that don’t have those $410 to gamble with.

We all know that many families aren’t able to send their children to college because of the insane tuitions. But now, imagine not even being able to apply to the school of your dreams because it is too expensive. I know some people can get fee waivers, but even the fact that this is necessary freaks me out a bit.

I see the reasoning behind all the costs. I see why it would be necessary. I just want to point out how flawed all this is, if you think about it.

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Because I’m a Woman

I watch a channel on YouTube called Yes Theory.

Their entire philosophy is based on the premise that when we start to say yes to things, we open ourselves to experiences that would never have been possible if we had said no. It encourages its followers to be spontaneous and preaches the idea that strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.

To live out this philosophy, the main people involved are three 20-something, friendly, and fit guys who travel around the world and complete challenges based on the spontaneity and kindness of strangers.

In their latest video, one of the guys is abandoned alone in Slovakia with no money and no phone, where he must attempt to return to his friends in Budapest.

I love everything about this channel and I hope someday I can live my life in a similar fashion.

But, I know this isn’t as realistic for me. Simply, because I’m a woman.

The thought of being dropped off in and exploring a random country sounds like a dream. The thought of being dropped off alone in a random country sounds terrifying.

I hate that just by being female, doing anything becomes more dangerous. I am a strong believer that a woman can do anything a man can. While that is true, it’s also true that women have to take a lot more precautions than men do.

I read a study that asked groups of men and women about the things they do in their everyday life to avoid being assaulted. The responses from women went on for pages. For men, there was one answer: “Nothing. I don’t think about it.”

Photo Credit: twitter.com

Words cannot express how much I wish this weren’t the case, how much I wish men and women were really, truly equal when it comes to things like this.

I wish that my mom didn’t have to worry about me going to the beach with my girl friends at 5 PM, even though she is fine with my older brother going to the same place with his guy friends at one in the morning.

I wish that women weren’t twice as likely as men to experience sexual assault or violent crimes.

I wish it weren’t like this, but it is. And let me tell you, it sucks.

To any men who are reading this, appreciate the fact that you don’t have to make sure you have your keys in your hand when you’re walking to your car at night. Be grateful that when you’re running by yourself and a truck drives behind you, you don’t have to stop to let it pass so that you can see what it is doing. Remember that there is a reason why girls always go to the bathroom in groups.

Tell this to your sons. Make them understand what it’s like. Teach them how to make women feel safer.

Maybe someday we’ll live in a world where a young woman can walk through a city alone, the only thing on her mind being how grateful she is to be there, and her biggest concern being what she will eat for dinner.

That’s all we want.

 

cigarettes

via melbournechapter.net

I’ve always been fascinated by cigarettes.

I suppose there’s something sort of compelling about them, being a glorified, rebellious accessory of sorts.

I used to love the smell of smoke. It reminded me of when I was younger.

Now I never trust anyone who likes cigarettes. Cigarettes kill people.

They do it slowly, squeezing the air out of your lungs little by little, until one day, you can’t breathe at all. They burn holes in your throat and melt your skin, but, at that point, you’ve grown so used to the feeling that you’re convinced it makes you feel better.

In the beginning, before it becomes a problem, you can still decide when you want to smoke. You know it’s addicting, but you tell yourself you’d never let it go that far.

But, after a while, when your first urge after you wake up is to go outside and smoke or when a meal never feels complete until you’ve finished a cigarette- that’s when you really have no control at all.

Cigarettes kill and if you still smoke that either means you just don’t care or you live under the false pretense that young people are invincible. Either way, you’re foolish.

Maybe I’m wrong. I probably shouldn’t be so judgmental.

But, there are plenty of other ways to be fascinating.

Retrospect

Isn’t it ironic how, being so far away from home, I have never before felt closer to my country?

9,338 kilometers, to be exact. That’s how far away my childhood home is. My best friend, my room, my horses, the forest by my house. I haven’t looked back a lot in the past years; I don’t really miss it all that much. But, from time to time, I wonder how my life would be if I had never left Germany.

Photo Credit: mapio.net

How would it be if I would still come home every day to my dog barking and my mom talking on the phone? How would it be if we still had our family dinners every day, with the good, old German Wagenradbrot and Kochkäse. If we still went to the Biergarten after spending all afternoon at the barn; then, we would walk home, probably fight a little bit as usual; and, then, watch some sort of wildlife documentary together because we couldn’t agree on a movie we all liked. What if I still woke up to my dad feeding my dog every morning and the rain bouncing against my blinds?

I’ve realized that this part of my life is over. I haven’t spent my birthday at home since I was thirteen. My siblings are both legal adults now and go to college in California. Next year, I will too, and I will leave another home. That is okay, though, that’s how it goes. But, there isn’t a single day I don’t feel as if I owe an apology to my parents: for taking their daughter away from home too early.

The City

I hate Los Angeles.

I’ve always claimed to hate all big cities. They make me feel claustrophobic and whenever I’m surrounded by so many massive buildings, I can’t help but be reminded of all of the damage that we’re causing to our planet.

At some point, I managed to convince myself that LA was the worst of them all.

Aside from the fact that the public transportation is terrible, air pollution is even worse, and there are simply too many people crammed into too small of an area. I could never see myself living in a place like that.

But, for some reason, my last trip to Hollywood almost convinced me that it isn’t as bad as it seems.

Photo Credit: past daily.com

Maybe it was because it was so busy, so overflowing with energy. In a place that I’d thought to be the root of all destruction to the natural world, I discovered that it was full of real, living people. The city was alive.

Maybe it was all the lights. I’ve only ever been used to endless black skies, so dark that the stars light up the world. You can’t see stars on Hollywood Boulevard, at least, not the ones in the sky. But the neon blues, pinks, and yellows gleaming throughout the streets somehow compliment the night sky. They’re sort of magical – similar to stars in that it feels like they are begging you to fall in love beneath them, but also very different.

Maybe it was the man sitting on a bench at 11:30 PM who yelled to my friend and me, “You are so beautiful! Have a beautiful night!” It wasn’t in a gross way, though, you could just tell he was looking to make other people happy. He might have been drunk, but hey, we don’t judge.

Or maybe it was just because I was tired and had been caught off guard or something.

I still hate Los Angeles. But, maybe now, just a little less than before.

Born in the Wrong Era

I often wonder if I’ve been born in the wrong era. Minding the politics and controversy in the older years, I fantasize over the fashion, music, and culture.

The clothes in the nineties, with the bright colored windbreakers, mom jeans, and Converse make me so happy.

In the fifties and sixties, the music was roaring, with soft tones and voices being interluded into the songs.

 

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

 

Many people were so much happier in this time and lived their life without restraints. They were carefree, and went with the flow of everyone else.

Nowadays, life is more constricted with people being obsessed with technology and social media, and not finding the fun in life like people used to.

Social media has taken over the world, and don’t get me wrong, I’m still an addict with it , but if it wasn’t in the world, I wouldn’t care. I’d probably be a lot happier.

Though many people tend to argue, times were in some ways simpler in those days, and I wonder if that is why we keep trying to copy it.

The Book Of Mormon

Over spring break, I had the opportunity to see The Book of Mormon live in New York City. To put it simply, the whole musical was pure genius. The whole show was hilarious, the choreography incredible, and the singing even more so.

However, despite how much I loved the show, I’m surprised that it’s even still on Broadway. I could easily say it’s one of the most controversial shows to exist, yet somehow, it’s not that controversial. In fact, according to some people I’ve talked to, Kinky Boots is more controversial simply because of the cross dressing, completely ignoring the fact that the Book of Mormon was offensive to just about every race, religion, and sexuality.

I could tell that the whole musical is basically satirical to the Mormon Religion, but in the progressive society we live in, I’m still trying to ponder how the Book of Mormon has not been shut down by Twitter and Instagram activists alike. Either people don’t watch Broadway shows enough, or it isn’t seen as a problem, even though one Tweet intended to be a joke could be interpreted wrong and ruin someone’s life.

Now, I’m going to dive into an overly, probably unnecessary, analysis of the whole musical and the music included.

For those who haven’t seen the musical yet, it follows the story of two young Mormons who travel to Uganda to convert the people there to the Mormon religion. The musical basically mocks the Mormon religion, but also uses offensive stereotypes of other races and sexualities to get their point across.

This whole analysis isn’t me criticizing the musical. In fact, it was probably one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen besides Hamilton or Aladdin, but I’m just genuinely trying to figure out how this musical hasn’t caused more controversy.

But then I realized the answer, and it’s because the entirety of the show is mocking the extremities of the Mormon faith and being entirely satirical of it. Maybe everyone who’s seen it and every critic who’s analyzed it has realized that that is the whole purpose of the show, and everyone who buys a ticket is ready to either be offended or be entertained on a whole new level.

First, let’s talk about the song “Hasa Diga Eebowa,” a song the citizens of Uganda sing when the two Mormons travel to the town for the first time.

To translate just the song title, it’s saying “F**K You God,” and that alone should’ve caused uproar to some of the people watching it, however it ended up just causing the whole audience to burst into laughter.

But the reason is that there were these people in Uganda suffering from hunger, a corrupt government, and many other issues (not to forget all the stereotypes of third world countries in Africa they mentioned), and there were these two guys trying to sugarcoat their troubles and convert them to their religion. That was saying that all their problems would go away if they followed the word of the book. Maybe that’s a flaw of all religions alike, that problems won’t just go away with a little bit of optimism. The song was criticizing that idea, but in a way that made it capturing and hilarious.

Photo Credit: popejoypresents.com

 

Next song, is “Turn It Off” which was basically a song about a little trick they had to turn off their emotions or “bad” thoughts, one of these, including homosexuality. Now that’s homophobic isn’t it? Was that the intention of the writers, or was it, yet again, being satirical about the faith? Were they criticizing the fact that the religion that preached to be good, was being bad to people who didn’t fit their standards? They weren’t necessarily being homophobic, but they were using examples of homophobia to shine light on the issues that came with the faith.

Next, was “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” which was my favorite song in the whole show. Basically, Elder Price broke rule seventy-two and was now having a nightmare where he was sent into Hell for eternity. There’s the fact that he was in Hell with Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Jeffrey Dahmer, but he thought he was the most evil of them all. Now, that’s being critical of the ridiculous expectations of Mormons and rules they have to follow. The fact that one little bad act was sinful, and left them believing that they were sinful at the same level as some of the most evil people in history, that’s ridiculous. Now, this example in the show is definitely hyperbole, but it’s still a real problem addressed even if it’s to a much lesser extreme.

Those are just a few examples, but how is this show that’s so insulting still so widely accepted as only comical?

Maybe it’s because it’s so hilarious that people don’t really care, or maybe it’s the fact that it’s a musical meant to be mocking and not actually real life, but isn’t the point of the show to mock the actualities of the religion’s extremities?

I don’t know the definite answer, I’m still trying to figure it out, but for now I’ll keep listening to the songs and continue to analyze this show one too many times.