February 14th, 2018, a day supposed to symbolize love, will now forever be a reminder to students, friends, and families of how seventeen students were murdered in the last place kids should have to worry about being killed – a school.
October 27th, 2018, was the day when eleven Jews were killed in a synagogue, a place of worship.
November 7th, 2018, was the day college students were enjoying a night out at a bar and 12 people were murdered.
All of these people died at shootings. All of theses deaths were at the hands of horribly evil people with easy access to guns.
When will enough be enough?
How many people have to die until change happens?
How many parents have to send their kids to school one day not knowing if they’ll ever get to see their child again?
How many kids have to walk into school every day and go through classes scared of the possibility of being put on lockdown, getting injured, or getting killed?
How many people have to say goodbye to their best friends, partners, and loved ones?
The answer is too many, because people would rather have their rights to guns than have children live.
The right for someone to live should override the right for someone to have a gun.
Yes, guns don’t kill people, people do, but people use guns to kill. People have such easy access to guns that the line blurs and guns themselves are just as much of a threat as the people who have the right to hold them.
We’re not asking to outlaw guns, but we’re asking for restrictions. We’re asking to make schools safe again. To enjoy time at concerts, restaurants, churches, mosques, and synagogues without having to be afraid of being shot at.
Because enough is enough and change needs to happen.
I have never been the smart one in a group. In my close friend group, I definitely am not. Out of my siblings, my sister has always had better grades than me. In most of my classes, I tend to be just about average.
I’m not saying that I am stupid, because I know that’s not true. But, I usually feel like I am, as I said, just average.
I haven’t ever really had an issue with that in the past. I’m fine not being the best, the smartest, because that always gives me a reason to improve. I think it might even be good for me to control my competitiveness.
But, this is my senior year. This is the time for me to apply to the colleges I am dying to go to. This is the time for me to show them that I deserve to get that acceptance letter and hit that enroll button on May 1st. But, how do I deserve that, when I am just average?
My grades are okay. My SAT is less than I would like it to be. My essays are a little whack. Will that be enough? Will the college readers recognize some unique spark in my application or will they, with no second thoughts, throw me on the mediocre applicants pile?
I know that instead of complaining about all this, I should probably work on my college essays, study for the next SAT, and maybe start that assignment that’s due tomorrow. Even if I do, well, I will probably still be average.
A couple days ago, my friend said to someone that it triggered her seeing couples affectionate in public, because it reminded her of how her ex wasn’t around anymore.
I added onto the conversation by saying that’s how I felt the past three years, not the missing an ex, but about being affected by seeing couples in public.
She responded by saying it wasn’t the same and I understood it wasn’t the same; that I haven’t experienced letting go of someone you’ve loved for so long.
But, being alone the whole time sucks just as much and I wish she understood that, because she pushed my feeling aside as if it didn’t matter how I have been feeling for most of my high school years.
The last three years, I watched my best friends fall in love and have boyfriends who loved them just as much and I was all alone. My subconscious constantly reminded me that they would always choose their boyfriends first, that they would always love them more. I don’t really blame them, though. If I had someone like that and a relationship like that in my life, I’d probably feel the same way, act the same way, and be the same way. It still hurts being the fifth wheel, instead of simply beinga friend. It still hurts knowing no one would feel that way about me. I knew they were happy, though, and I supported their happiness. But, all I wanted was that they knew the slightest bit how it felt for me.
I’m always the one to say I don’t care about relationships. I say that I’m not clingy enough to be a girlfriend or that I’m too focused on friendships, academics, and equestrian to even think about being in one. In reality, that was a big, fat lie. I guess it’s not the relationship itself I craved, but wishing to be someone’s treasure or world, to have someone love me as much as I love them, even for a short period of time. I hope they’re thankful for it forever, even if it wasn’t permanent, because it’s something I’ve never experienced yet.
We all know writer’s block. You want to type and create, but, no matter what you throw on to your page, it pretty much sucks.
Sometimes, you have an idea you want to write about. You keep trying and trying and typing and deleting and editing and, eventually, slamming your head on the keyboard. Sometimes, you don’t even have anything to write about and, honestly, that’s just a lost cause then.
I don’t think I’ve ever had as much writer’s block as this year. I have so much I need to write. Reading journals. Blog posts. Articles. 10 billion college essays. And, most of the time, I cry over my weirdly-constructed sentences that took me 5 hours to write.
So, what do I do? What I find to be surprisingly helpful is to write. Just write anything. Write about your day, about your favorite food, about anything you can possibly put into words. Scribble in your notebook, your journal; just write anything. At one point, the nonsense you are putting down on your page will turn into something somewhat comprehensible. Keep writing and, at one point, you will be back to where your true writing capability actually is.
Writer’s block is a curse, a spell put onto students to make them even more frustrated and mentally unstable than they already are. But, don’t worry, it’s only temporary!
Let’s face it, they’re nice. Who am I kidding, they can be great.
Would you rather win the lottery or work your ass off everyday, struggling to get by?
Would you rather get straight A’s and not even have to try or be in a class where getting a B- minus is a HUGE accomplishment?
Would you rather do your Spanish homework or go on Quizlet and find the answers?
Would you rather tell your mom you swept the floor or would you rather actually sweep the floor?
Would you rather take an hour to fold and put away your clothes or just shove them in your closet in less than thirty seconds?
What I’m getting at here is, shot cuts can be nice. Who am I kidding, they can be great. Yet, as great as they are, most make life harder in the long run.
Cool, Quizlet got my Spanish work done in two minutes, but do I even know what the heck any of the questions are asking?
Cool, my mom thinks I swept the floor, but am I really the type of person who will throw away their integrity just to get out of a thirty second chore?
Cool, my clothes are out of the way, but, shoot, when I went to get dressed, a mountain of clothing fell on me.
Cool, I did twenty push-ups instead of twenty-five, but is getting done first even an accomplishment if you cheated?
Many days, I see people taking short cuts too, so its nice to know that I’m not the only one. But, more than just self-reassurance, I find it comforting that I’m not the only one who occasionally struggles with putting short term effects over long term results.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you need to walk twenty miles to work instead of driving because you have legs. I’m nothing saying to use them, to not even think about taking the car. I’m not saying no short cuts for you. But, if work is a three minute walk from your house, don’t take a short cut and drive. Being efficient and taking a short cut are two VERY different things.
Efficiency is great. A needed skill set in the always-going world we live in. Why would you walk twenty miles to get to work when you can take a quarter of the time and drive? Why take three hours hand-writing a story when you can type it in a half hour?
A lot of the time, people mistake efficiency for cheating. The definition of efficiency is to get the most done in the shortest amount of time with the least work. So, maybe you’re thinking, that you’d rather read the Spark Notes of a book than read the full book.
Here’s the thing, when your teacher asks you what the main character’s last name is, will you have a clue?
When the Spanish test gets handed back, will you get a good grade?
When your mom asks if you did your chores, will you lie directly to her face?
When the race comes and your teammates are strong from doing all the pushups, was the satisfaction of doing less in practice worth the shame you feel now?
Recently, Ive been working on doing the right thing instead of taking the easy way out. I read my English books instead of reading the summary, so I get a good grade on the test. I worked hard in practice and I got a personal record in my race. I took the time to get what I needed to get done instead of putting it off for later or completely ignoring it at all.
I’ve realized that no matter how much you don’t want to, pushing through the little things is what makes you better, stronger, and smarter. Suffering through a hard workout will eventually result in success; thinking about what you say before you speak will result in less regretted words; and putting your all into everything you do will result in a life that you’re proud of.
Take the route that’s right, instead of the short cut. Because, as cliché as it sounds, it’s not the destination that matters, its’ the journey.
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.
So, just a thought: when you know that the first semester of senior year is already ultimate hell as it is, don’t try and stuff more work into it by moving the Senior Seminar into the first semester!
I know that there is probably some reason behind it that makes some kind of sense, but I just don’t know it. Just saying, it wasn’t the smartest move.
In these upcoming months, we now not only have to apply to colleges, perfect out SAT and ACT scores, and try and boost our grades as much as possible, but we’re also going to have to try and get our entire senior project done by March. I know that, essentially, it doesn’t make a huge difference time-wise for most people, because, let’s be honest, we’ll most likely all procrastinate anyways. But, I know that there are also some people that have already planned on having an entire school year to finish their projects because that’s simply how much time they need.
I know that I should probably be writing college essays right now instead of ranting about something I can’t change anyways, but this is just one of those things that make me want to bury myself six feet underground. Gotta love being a senior!