Year III

This is my last year in high school where my grades need to be A’s, where my extra curricular activities matter. This is my last year where cramming in PSAT prep will benefit me, and the last year where SAT prep is a dreaded ritual.

After this year, the hours on hours of work, sleepless nights,  cramming for texts, student leadership applications, struggles I faced, fun memories I had, volunteer activities, extra curriculars, and sports achievements will all be put on to a single document… The last three years of my life will be put on a document; an application.

By the end of this year I’m supposed to have a general idea of my life plan, my career, and my identity.

By the end of the year I’m supposed to have perfect SAT scores, ACT scores, and 5’s on AP tests.

By the end of the year I’m supposed to be a person who will stand out amongst millions of other applicants.

This is my last year to become who colleges want me to be while still trying to stay true to the person I want to be.

In less than 365 days, I will need a paper explaining who I am, what I want to do, what I stand for, what sets me apart, and why I belong at the college receiving the paper. All of who I am, all of why I’m special, and all of why I belong in 650 words.

A transcript and 650 words which will determine my future, career and where I will be for the next four to eight years.

A lot to think about… a lot to do, a lot at stake. Welcome to junior year.

Photo Credit: artsy.net

Inspired

I always go to the movies purely for entertainment. I’ve never gone to a movie where I’ve left inspired about my future.

But after watching On the Basis of Sex on Saturday, I couldn’t wait to be a lawyer.

The movie was based off the life of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She was the top of her class at both Harvard’s and Columbia’s law schools, but she wasn’t allowed to practice law in New York City solely on the basis that she was a woman during this time.

The story followed her through her first case following a male who wanted a care giver tax deduction, but the law stated that only women or widowed men could be care givers.

This case was the spark that started a series of changes in laws contributing to giving women their rights, many cases won by RBG herself.

Photo Credit: Rottentomatoes.com

Ginsberg went from a lawyer fighting sex-based discrimination against people who wouldn’t listen to being a Supreme Court justice with a 96-3 vote from Congress.

If that’s not inspirational for a young female and aspiring lawyer, then I don’t know what is.

Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I would make up cases and make my family act as the other lawyers and defendants. I went to a mock trial program at UCLA over the summer and most of my daydreams lately have been about excelling in law school.

I’m pretty sure I’m more excited for law school than I am for college.

Watching that movie made me excited for my future, excited to live in NYC, and excited practice law and work on influential cases.

So, thank you RBG. I hope to follow in your footsteps on the path you’ve helped create.

Politics and Soccer

To someone who is a fan of one or a fan of neither, this may seem like a very odd combination. But for me it is far from it.

As I look towards college there are two fields that I see myself potentially pursuing, politics and soccer. 

To specify, when I say soccer I mean the management side of it. And when I say politics I mean going into the legislative branch in some form.

Now these two may seem to be far apart in the processes and lifestyle but to me they are quite similar. Both are in the eye of the public and both aim to please the public. Both deal with large amounts of money and work on a global scale. And most importantly, both are passions of mine.

I have been involved in the business side of soccer for about 4 years now. It’s surprisingly complicated at times and the attention to detail is large. I have also followed politics closely for some years now and I get a similar vibe there.

So the issue I run into is which one do I choose? I love both, I can make good money doing both and I feel like I have potential in both. But if I end up in one and hate it can I switch to the other?

These thoughts are shared with many young people my age I am sure. It is hard being tasked with choosing where your life will head. At times I wish someone would just choose for me but I know I would have regrets.

As I look towards college I am thinking of all the possibilities and what I could do to keep both doors open as long as possible. I know that now is not the time to make the choice but taking steps to find out is important.

So here is a word of advice for people younger than me: do all you can to figure out what you want to do. My parents have “forced” me to work in the areas I like and it has made a huge difference because I have been able to narrow it down. I know so many kids my age who are worried because they just have no idea. I am sure they will find out soon enough but it takes off so much stress knowing that you know what you want to do.

So for parents and kids, take steps to find out your passion. Sometimes you find out something surprising but all the information is good information.

Happy Birthday Nan.

My Nan is one of the most loving, generous, compassionate women ever known to mankind. She is a woman who will always put others interests before her own, and will always make the time listen to anyone’s woes and counsel them in her own way.

Although she has all these talents and more it is the way that she treats her family that makes her a shining jewel amongst the rubble of society. The time she invests in each and every one of our work and our personal growth. The time she spends reading her sons poetry proudly or reminiscing over the great dance or musical performances starring her grandchildren. The light that glimmers in my Nans eyes as she proudly speaks about her family’s achievements and the wide smile that spreads over her face as she laughs over their stupidity is a sight that will brighten anyone’s day.

Nan you mean the world to me and that is why I dedicate this blog to you.

You are the one who has taught me to pursue my passions and to follow what I believe in. From the days I first watched Holby City with you and decided to become a paramedic to now as I set out to become a journalist you have always been my driving force. In times of trouble you have helped me out and guided me through big decisions like moving to America. If it wasn’t for that chat you gave me one summer evening in 2010 on how I should give California a go and do it for my family, I can honestly say I would have struggled to leave.

It was so lovely when you visited in April 2011. You were the first to come, out of our family, and this took a lot of bravery. Your presence at Meher Mount meant so much to us and we all look forward to you visiting again in the next few years. I’m glad you had the chance to admire our new life and realize you still have a significant place in both our lives and our hearts.

You find so much joy and happiness in life and nature. You aluminate the light in our world throughout the darkness and make everything special in your own description. I love the way you seek so much pleasure in the changing colors of the leaves and the seasonal changes in your surroundings.

As I start to consider my career path and colleges I bear in mind if it would have your approval. Just as Dad said over Christmas that every house your children move to must be approved by you, I feel that often I find myself seeking your approval on big changes in my life. This is because you’re a great guide who speaks truthfully and reasonably and that is why I am going to do my best to make you proud throughout my life.

Happy 80th Birthday Nan, I am sorry I will not be there to celebrate. All my love.

Bex, Georgie and Nan at the beach

Why I Chose Politics

I could blog about anything I wanted. I could choose to pursue a profession that was less cut-throat and more fun. I could hide under a rock and pretend it was not there.

But instead, I have chosen to involve myself in the often frustrating and  continuously puzzling world of politics.

(Augustus Caesar, one of the greatest politicians in history)

Yet I do not lack reason for this choice. While many see themselves as having a calling in fields such as business, health-care or others, I have always seen myself in politics.

My reasons are simple. I feel it is a way in which I can help people, something I have skill in, something that I enjoy, plus there is money too. It is not easy nor is it always fun, but I feel as though I would fit in well.

Politics is tricky because humans do not agree. It is difficult because a politician seeks progress in a world that is not often accepting of change. The best politicians make people feel as though nothing is changing when in fact, everything is.

Take FDR for example. At first glance, one might say, “Everyone knew how much the world was changing during his time in office!” But did they?

We look back and see how much he did to halt the Great Depression, from passing bills to inspiring the people. He also led us through one of the most difficult war times our country has seen.

But what made him great was the instilled confidence in the people. He was calm and confident. He understated the reality of the situation. He understood that sometimes the American people did not need to know information until after the fact.

The confidence he instilled in the people and the respect he earned is the glorious side of politics. There is a chance (though quite slight) to obtain a type of immortality; infamy. I do not see this as being the sole reason why anyone should seek public office, but if one’s goal is to help the people in every way possible, representing them and what they believe, then go for it.

I see myself in the wild world of politics out of a self-duty. I do not see it as a chore nor a thing of pure enjoyment. I see politics as my way of leading and my way of giving. I do not believe in fate but I do believe (at least at this point) that I want to help create the world I will live in.

Warren G. Harding said, “America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration.”

This is true today and it will be true tomorrow. And despite what we face, I want to be part of it.

Colleges.

College college college college college college college college.

I’m in 10th grade, a minuscule little sophomore, and I already have counselors and parents coming at me saying, “It’s never too early,” and “I think you have the initiative. So just start now!”

It’s not that I’m not thinking about college, because I am. I’ve been thinking about what college I want to go to since 8th grade. But with everyone just all of a sudden coming up to me and asking, “Oh, what do you want to major in? What college do you want to go to? What do you want to do with your life?” everything becomes a bit overwhelming. Because, in all honesty, I get embarrassed when I tell people what I want to do for a living. I’m not embarrassed of my career choice, but I’m embarrassed of their reactions. Every single time I mention what I want to become, someone is there to shoot it down and leave my hopes at rock bottom. I want to do what makes me happy, but obviously I’m the only one who sees it that way, aren’t I?

“Oh, Aria, what do you want to do with your life? What do you want to do when you’re older?”
“I want to be an English teacher.”
“You want to what!?”
“Be an English teacher. And work in theatre. But mainly English.”
“Oh, honey, how foolish could you be? Don’t you know the salary of a teacher?”
“I do, but I don’t care. I want to teach.”
“Oh, well, you’ll see it our way soon.”

WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?

I understand that I won’t have the highest income out there, but teaching is something that I really want to do. I’ve never had a teacher who has effected me neutrally, they’ve either been a huge positive influence on my life or a huge negative influence. I want to be the teacher that a student will remember forever. The teacher that can teach and just possible change someone’s life. I want to be able to help people in one of the simplest ways. I want to teach.

So it shouldn’t matter to other people whether I want to be an English teacher or an astronaut; it’s my decision and they can’t change my mind.

So maybe I’ll go to USC, or UCLA, or some microscopic liberal arts college on the east coast. Maybe I’ll change my mind and attend freaking Harvard.

But it’s my choice now, and only mine. They can just deal with it.