Emo Nite Day

Maybe it hasn’t been my year, but it has definitely been my weekend, because, on Saturday, I got to see my favorite band for the fifth time.

This time was the first time I’ve ever been to Emo Nite Day. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting to happen, but the experience was way better than I ever could’ve imagined.

First of all, I never thought I’d be in a room full of hundreds of people jamming out to iconic emo songs, like I Write Sins Not Tragedies and Welcome to the Black Parade. The crowd during those DJ sets was just as exciting and wild as when the bands came on. It was an incredible feeling to scream all the lyrics with people who were screaming along with me and weren’t judging if my voice was horrible or not (sorry to the people near me because my voice was, in fact, horrible and really, really loud).

Saturday was the first time I ever got to see 30H!3 live. I only became a big fan recently, but their songs were still a big part of my childhood and I went crazy when they went on stage.

Then, I saw Mayday Parade. The last time I saw them was in seventh grade, but my friend and I continuously joked about how they never came to So-Cal. The times they did decide to come on their tours were weekdays or vacations when we were both out of town. Mayday Parade was one of my favorite bands during middle school, but I lost hope of seeing them live again.

But, I screamed when I heard they would be playing at Emo Nite Day alongside All Time Low and my middle school dreams were coming true. I was finally seeing Mayday Parade again and I got to hear Jersey, my favorite song by them, for a second time.

At the end of the night, after standing for six hours for the moment I’ve been waiting for since I bought tickets in August, All Time Low came on stage. The set was only an hour long, but they played all my favorite songs including Stella. Saturday night was the first time I ever heard that song live and I have the video to prove it, though my voice was louder than the singer’s voice in the microphone. Besides that, I finally checked off sitting on someone’s shoulders at a concert (Shoutout to my friend for keeping me on her shoulders for that long. Sorry I killed your neck, oops).

I know it’s biased because they’re my favorite band, but All Time Low performs the best concerts ever. During one of their songs, they released giant glow-in-the-dark beach balls into the crowd. There were always crowd surfers and people kept head-banging, singing, and jumping up and down during the choruses. Then, during Dear Maria, Count Me In, Luke from 5SOS came on stage and, while I’m not the biggest fan now, they were my favorite band alongside All Time Low in middle school. My former emo self was having the time of her life. They have the most unproblematic fan base, zero drama involving the band, and their concerts possess an energy that is always positive and happy.

I’m thankful for that night. For being able to head into LA for the night and let go of all the stress and drama of senior year and hold on to only good vibes from the evening. I know Emo Nite Day is only once a year, but I can’t wait to go again in the future.

Photo Credit: sweetyhigh.com

All Time High

Last night, I finally got to see one of my favorite bands with one of my favorite people.

All day, we were really lucky. The second we left the house, it stopped raining. We got to the venue and found that only five people were waiting in line. We had enough time to walk around the neighborhood, trying to find band members wandering around before the show (we didn’t find anyone; but we ended up having the best pizza ever, which is just as exciting). When we got back to get in line, still only very few people were in line in front of us and we were actually able to claim a spot by the barricade.

The event we went to was called Emo Nite Day. Eight artists performed, one band better than the rest. As you can probably tell by the name of the event, I have never seen more emos in one room. Crowdsurfing, nearly moshing in the pit, belting along to My Chemical Romance and Panic! At the Disco anthems; everyone was having the time of their lives.

Photo Credit: marianneharris.com

We went through five hours of (amazing) concerts, before the band that we came for came on: All Time Low. I had never seen them live, but my friend has seen them many times already. But, this time was special, even for her, I think. It was our first concert together.

Every second was magical, I’m serious. They were so energetic, so ready, so good, and we were so close to them. Their setlist was shorter than usual, but they played most of my favorite songs and I was in heaven for an hour straight.

I haven’t seen many bands in my life, but All Time Low really had one of the best performances I have ever witnessed. Not even kidding.

Surprisingly, the well known post-concert depression hasn’t hit me yet. Today, I am only left with a bruise on my stomach from being pressed against the barricade, a ringing in my ears, and nothing but happy thoughts.


it’s hard to know how you feel when you’re only seventeen years old.

it’s hard to know what you want. in the past, i’ve wanted you, but not in the same way i do now.

now, i want to call you my friend, my best friend. well, one of them at least.

i want you to be my confidant. i want to tell you (and only you) whenever something arises. i’d call you and we’d think of solutions or laugh it off. 

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

i want to binge scary movies with you, staying up until 3 am because we’re too afraid to fall asleep.

i don’t want you like i used to. i used to want to hold you, to run my hands through your hair.

but, i don’t anymore.

at least, i think i don’t i do. 

i don’t want to dance in the rain with you; i don’t want to trace the lines in your hands.

i want to know everything about you, but not know all of you. i don’t need that anymore.

if you read this, which i’m sure you won’t, you’ll definitely won’t think it’s you that i’m talking about and that’s okay.

i just know now, as i’m lying in bed writing this, that i don’t need you anymore. at least, not in the way i did when i was sixteen.

changes :/

Photo Credit: vsco.co

In middle school, I was in a friend group with all girls and sometimes I think that was the happiest I’ve ever felt and sometimes I think those were the best friends I’ve ever had.

We did everything together: went to Palm Springs, got ready for stupid dances, cried together, more often laughed together, and sang together.

Everything we could do together, we did.

I remember being so sad when they graduated and went off to high school because I was left behind without the people I have grown so close to. I was also sad because I knew that we would never be as close as we used to be. I was right.

After middle school, some of us went to public school, some of us went to the expected high school, some of us started at the expected high school and switched, and one of us didn’t even go to high school in the same town.

Fast forward three years, I am a sophomore and they are juniors. I knew we would be different, but not this different.

Don’t get me wrong, change isn’t always a bad thing. It’s just different, and, more than usual lately, it’s been scaring me.

I don’t want to lose my people, but sometimes i’m afraid I’ve already lost them .

Sometimes I worry about them a lot and sometimes a little less.

Sometimes I get sad when I hear one of them did something big I had no idea about.

Sometimes I make myself so nervous I start shaking.

Sometimes I realize how selfish I am, but, sometimes, most of the time, it all comes down to: I wish that in a room full of people, we would still go to each other first.

The Beginning of the End

When I stepped into my first class at the beginning of freshman year, senior year seemed so far away.

Now, I just survived my first week of being a senior and too many realizations hit me at once.

That, at the end of the year, I won’t be sitting on the bleachers watching my friends from higher grades graduate. This time, I’ll be the one walking on the stage to receive my diploma that I worked so hard to get over my high school years.

But, it’s only the beginning of the year. There’s still so much to anticipate. So much to go through.

The countless college applications and dreadful Saturday mornings I’ll spend doing the SAT until I get the perfect score so I can get into the perfect college. The ideas for my senior project that I still can’t choose, because I don’t even have one in mind. What my prom dress will look like, or even my graduation dress.

Photo Credit: The Odyssey Online

It’s only the beginning of my final year at OVS. It’s the beginning of the end of my high school experience.

It hurts knowing at the end of the year I’ll have to say goodbye to everything I’ve known. To my friends and teachers, to my horse, and to the small town and smaller school that has been my second home.

But, I’m still hopeful that this will be an amazing year, and maybe my days at OVS will only be in my memories and I’ll be living a completely different life, but I’ll still remember them as the most important times in my life.


I had no idea what I was getting myself into; I was in a place I’ve never been, with people I’ve never met, learning things I’ve never learned about.

Photo Credit: flickr.com

I was forced against my will.  “You’re going to leadership camp.” My mom said. God, i hated the sound of that . I ignored that I had to go for weeks on end, until the day came.

There were 28 of us. Girls and boys all fit into one dorm —girls on one side, boys on the other. The leader of the program, Cornelia, told us that we would make bonds so close that we might end up thinking we love people here and that we might end up actually doing so. I called B.S.

I was wrong. We continued the program, which begun at 8AM everyday with breakfast and the majority of the days ended at 9PM with not a lot of free time in between. Everyday, I was more exhausted than the day before, most of the time, it was emotionally, but sometimes physically too.

Each day consisted of sitting and standing in circles, learning about concepts like “seeking true north,”  “finding your true authentic self,” and “identity.” We would sit in circles with people we didn’t know and answer prompts like “When is a time you did or did not feel trust?” That was called “council” and it was terrifying, I can barely open up with my closest friends, let alone people I had just meet. I was wrong again. I found myself sharing things I had never said out loud in that foreign place with those same foreign people.

I bonded with people in ways that I never knew was even possible and experienced what it was like to be loved and supported in every way, shape, and form. Yes, I have friends at home, sure. But, I had never felt friendship in the way I felt it here. One of the most important things I learned: not all of your friends are meant to be the deep, emotional friends. You can and will have the friends you just have fun with and will never a day in your life get deep with and that’s ok too. But, for once, I thought it was nice to have both.

One of the scariest things for me has always been letting people in. I tend to guard myself. My logic used to be, “If I never let anyone get too close to me no one can ever hurt me.” It makes sense, yes. It’s also true. But, it’s lonely. I never knew just how lonely it was, until I felt the alternative.

While I was at Core Leadership California, I met a girl named Sedona. She is eighteen and lives about six hours away and is going to into her freshman year in college at a place which happens to be really close to where I live. It was the last day: everyone was listening to a classroom lesson, which pretty much means we are all sitting in a circle on the ground and the leader of the program talks to us about things she thinks we would grow from. The leader told us to write down someone in our book that we feel like we can talk to about deep things when we go back home and for them to be “our person.” I, being the awkward person I am didn’t write anyone down, not because I don’t have friends who would support me, but because I never did, or could, open up to my friends in that way. I think Sedona saw that I wrote no one down, or maybe she didn’t, but she was sitting right next to me, anyways.

Fast forward an hour or two and everyone was saying goodbye to each other. I think every single person out of the 28 of us cried. Most of us had cried before though, either in council or just along the trip, because it was such an open environment we felt we could do so and not have to hide it. Although, I was one of the few people who hadn’t. In the moment near the end, I cried way harder than I had in a long while, but I finally felt like I made the friends i had always wanted and it was so hard for me. I didn’t know when I was going to see them again.

The closest person to me lived 7 hours away.

It came my turn to say goodbye to Sedona. I was crying pretty hard, so we just hugged, maybe for thirty seconds… more or less. Which, is a pretty long time for a hug, if you think about it.

Thirty seconds just holding someone… it’s a while, but not when you’re both crying. I was never a big hugger until recently. Hugs feel like all the things you can never say.

We were hugging and she let go and just looked at me in the eye and I didn’t know what to do. So, I probably just looked at the ground and then she said, “Kiana, I’ll be your person if you let me.”

That meant everything in the world to me. Maybe it’s because no one had ever said anything like that before, maybe it’s something else.

I can’t put how a thing like that into words. Maybe it’s better unsaid, maybe i’m ruining it by writing about it, but,

in that moment, I realized that maybe, just maybe, platonic love could carry a person.

To say the least, I am eternally grateful for my mom for making me go against my will to the leadership program at a place I’ve never been, with people I’ve never met, learning things I’ve never learned about.

if we’re lucky.

Looking back, I think I could have fallen in love with you.

And I think that if I let myself I probably still would.

Image from Pinterest.com

But now things are different and you’ve met someone who you seem to love even though you don’t talk about her much.

I wonder if you ever think of me that way anymore. I know you used to.

For a while I thought every word that came out of your mouth was arrogant. The few words we exchanged in passing made me sad, and I wondered why you were so polite to everyone but me. I thought that I would never know you the way I used to and I missed that. But now I realize you probably just said those things because you missed me too.

I forgot about how effortlessly eloquent you are. I forgot how good you are at communicating and how incredibly intelligent you are. I could listen to you for hours and never be bored.

I forgot how curly your hair gets when you let it grow longer and about the way you gesture with your hands when you get excited.

You reminded me that I don’t care when you laugh at me because I’m just glad that I get to hear your laugh again. You reminded me about how you actually listen to what I have to say, and you actually care.

You told me you wanted to hear me sing again. You said you’re learning guitar now and talked about how we used to play music together. I never told you badly I miss that.

I could see myself loving you someday. I could see myself loving you for a long time.

I’m sorry for the things I said about you. I think it was because I was sad that so much had changed so fast and that inevitably you had changed too. But when it’s just us and when you don’t have to worry if anyone is listening you somehow convince me that you haven’t changed much after all.

I sometimes try to imagine what it might be like now if you never left, but it’s probably better this way.

Maybe we were always meant to love each other but we just missed our opportunity. Maybe someday we’ll still be able to, if we’re lucky.

A Barbie doll

A Barbie doll is perfect:

you can see it all over her.

She has lots of friends, it seems.

the list of names grows each day.

Image Credit: Amazon.com

With every new season

comes a new friend for Barbie,

and also a new Barbie.

The old ones are packed away

and forgotten.

There are so many to choose from,

who should we play with today?

Barbie dolls aren’t just for girls,

the boys love her too.

A Barbie doll is fake.

Be careful, Barbie,

If you stretch yourself too thin,

you’ll break.

Barbie does everything, it seems;

she tries so hard to not try.


She spends hours

making herself look effortless.

But Barbie isn’t special.

There are millions of other Barbie dolls,

they could buy her anywhere.

But she’s still Barbie,

so they don’t mind.

Barbie sparkles when she walks.

But when you get to know her, after a while,

she gets boring.

A Barbie doll shouldn’t talk,

so why does she talk so much?

Too much talk is bad.

Trends are temporary.

Yours has come,

when will it be gone?

I used to love Barbie

when I was younger and naive.

Not anymore.

A Barbie doll is plastic:

you can see right through her.

On our hill

Like so many students at this school, I don’t live at home. I don’t even live in my home country, not even on the same continent. So many people at this school took the risk of moving across the globe, to learn english and live a life on this beautiful hill with rosy sunsets and a breathtaking night sky. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.


Photo Credit: kazheadrest.com

When I first came here I was 13, and to be honest, my English was pretty miserable. I still recall the moment I got on the plane to LAX, and a flight attendant tried talking to me in English. I remember how I barely understood her and froze, and thought to myself, “Holy hell, I can’t do this!”.

As the days passed, I became more and more anxious about going to school where everything is in a language I hardly know. But the second the first OVS student talked to me, it was all gone. Well, most of it. I realized that I, by far, was not the only international student, and that everyone here was willing to help me feel as much at home as possible.

I remember  always looking over to my brother, seeing him talk to other students already. And then there was me, sitting in the corner with my beloved social anxiety. I imagined the next year to be like one of these movies, where the awkward new kid doesn’t find any friends. Oh, how wrong I was!

I can’t express how thankful I am for everyone here. For my roommate, who helped me with literally anything, no matter if it was about a word I didn’t understand, or where to find my classrooms, and who supplied me with snacks and BuzzFeed quizzes and “Mean Girls.” For all my friends and classmates who would never let me feel left out. And for all the teachers and faculty who do their best every single day to make this community work.

OVS, as cliché as this might sound, has helped me grow so much over the past years. I learned that change can be good, I learned how to socialize in an environment where I barely know anyone, I learned how to express myself without feeling judged by every human being around me. One of the things I learned, however, that I consider one of the most important ones, is that I learned how to write. I’m not a very good writer, don’t get me wrong. But before I came here the thought of me writing in a somewhat nice manner has never even occurred to me, let alone in a different language.

OVS has taught me so much. I know it is just a school, and it surely isn’t perfect. But it was this intimidating change that was needed for me, and so many other people here, to make high school a better memory than what it would have been without this place.


A World of Adventure

Sometimes I contemplate whether or not after high school I should take a gap year. There’s so many things to learn by simply traveling and exploring, and I wonder if there’s too many possible adventures to simply get done in a life time. I can’t imagine them all as I’m stuck in school doing essays, endless math problems, and projects, but I hope.

As much as I picture myself being an ambitious law student in the heart of New York City, I begin to stalk the traveler pages of Instagram who share their passions to the world, and wonder how life like that would be. To take life one step at a time without a care in the world about the future. To travel freely, explore different cultures, or learn for mere enjoyment rather than cramming in information for a final exam.

I’ve had the privilege to travel before. From galloping horses through Ireland’s terrain to swimming with stingrays in the Cayman Islands, highlights of my life have always included traveling. But if I’m honest with myself, I probably won’t become one of those people who are in a new country every week, and that’s okay, but there are two things I know I want to do before I die.

  1. Backpacking through Europe. This has always been on the top of my bucket list. I just want to go with a group of friends traveling city to city via train, bike ride through Amsterdam, go to the art museums in France, or swim in the oceans of Greece. There’s so many opportunities in Europe that there wouldn’t need to be a full agenda to make the trip enjoyable.
Photo Credit: weheartit.com

2. A horseback riding safari through Africa. I didn’t even know this was a thing until a couple months ago, but it’s been on my mind ever since. I’ve always wanted to go on an African safari, but being able to do it on horseback would make it ten times better. Just picturing galloping through the Savannas near the zebras and the antelope under the bright sun, it seems to surreal to be true, but it is.

These are just two things out of a dozen. The world is so big that exploring every inch of it in such a short time seems impossible. But I want to make sure that I discover as much of it as I can.