Enough Is Enough

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?

Photo Credit: JordanCooper.com

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.

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Dear College Reader… me again,

It’s been a couple months, a lot has changed. In approximately 30 hours I will have to plunge headfirst into your world, ready or not.

I told you before that I have bent, folded, and shaved off the idiosyncrasies, made myself two dimensional, and now — now you’ve figuratively and physically slapped me in the face with a decision that has so many facets to it I don’t think it belongs in the three dimensional world.

Every time I try to settle my heart and think about this I feel ill. Like I can’t think straight, like I’m drowning.

Explain to me how you chose me, so that I may choose you. Explain to me how I can possibly know what I want. Explain to me how I can barely stand to look at the name of college, imagine myself at college, without feeling like I’m buried alive with fear of making the wrong decision and hating myself for it.

Photo Credit: joshuanhook.com

I feel as though I am still stuck as two dimensions and that this decision requires at least four dimensions to be safe but actually in reality somewhere around six.

I am in fact more terrified now, the future now rests in my hands, not yours. What if mine aren’t big enough, what if they shake too much, what if they go to pull the wrong lever?

I have never been so scared in my life. I am so incredibly scared to make a decision that I won’t be able to live with, that I will close a door that would have been perfect.

I don’t know what I’m going to do, the hours are passing by, I have finals and APs coming but all I can do is sit and stare into space wondering what the hell I’m going to do with myself. Which in turn makes me more nervous because if this is how I’m handling it how am I going to handle the actual stress of college?

I’m left with the ultimate feeling of: if I feel like I’m pulling apart at the seams now, college is going to break me, and I don’t want to be broken.

Everyone else seems so able to say: “F**k it this is where I’m going.” They seem so okay, I can’t see if they feel like they’re dying inside, they all seem impervious to the nerves and the fear that they won’t live up to what they have told themselves they can do.

I haven’t lived nearly as much life as you, college reader, so what do I have to decide with, a handful of microbes in my gut that feel like they’ve just gotten off the teacup ride ready to vomit?

I don’t know what to do, who to be? Do I have the strength to rise in adversity, to swallow up those things that would make me sink? Do I have it in me to carve out my own path and people? How do I decide between totally different things that pull on me the same?

So, college reader, I told you who I was, apparently you liked me and now here I am.

What do I do now?

Writer’s Block 2.0

Writers block, what a foe. It feels like everything I could write has already been written or far too close to my heart.

I’m full of non-noteworthy thoughts: is there ice cream in the freezer? Do I really have to finish that assignment or can I avoid it a little longer? Do I have the time to watch that episode? Should I read that book or this one? Is it actually likely that I can learn that language? Is tomorrow going to be a good day or one that makes me feel like crawling into bed and never reemerging?

So what should I write about? It’s not as if there is nothing going on.

Photo Credit: fanpop.com

Anyway, it feels like I could use 700 years of sleep, I don’t seem to do anything and I’m tired anyway. Why is that? I don’t even have the motivation to do the things I enjoy, much less the things that I don’t. I love doing certain things but all it seems I’m able to muster myself to do is sit around and, for all I can tell, do nothing.

So the motivation to tell stories and write is seemingly gone. Writers block has hit hard, senioritis even harder. Ugh.

Is it bad that I’m 100% ready to crawl into bed not having done anything productive today? I wonder sometimes, if given the choice, if I would sleep in excess and just not get out of bed at all really, if I would push all other things in my life off my plate and roll over and go back to sleep.

Working at McDonald’s

Photo Credit: twitter.com

Most of the young people who have just graduated college are trying to find jobs to get experience. There is one place to work where they teach teamwork and how to be a leader. That place is called McDonald’s, which may be surprising to most of you out there.

A lot of people think that if they get into a good college like Stanford, Harvard, UCI, etc… they will automatically get a high earning job. Yes that happens to a few young adults, but sorry to break it to you, most of us here are not part of that select few. Most of us are most likely to end up working at a fast food restaurant, and  McDonald’s is good for experience and to learn what teamwork really means.

Sunday Nights

What’s worse than Sunday?

The impending doom of Monday morning lurking around the corner, homework piling up by the minute.

How about waking up on Sunday and thinking it’s Saturday? The stomach drop when your phone blinks with “Sunday” is the equivalent of reading the saddest book ever, twice.

And, even though Sunday mornings are bad, nothing is worse than Sunday night.

Sweet Dreams Please!
Photo Credit: EduinReview.com

And don’t even get me started on Monday mornings.

Junior Size Stress

I officially feel like an upperclassman.

This past week was the busiest of my life. I don’t want to go into great detail about every assignment, but let’s just say that I had about a week’s worth each night. Seriously.

I had one paper or major project due every day, along with smaller daily assignments. On top of that, I had the ACT on Saturday which I had to study for.

I didn’t wear makeup one time – and while that’s not of great importance to me, I think it serves as a visual representation of my stress.

This weekend isn’t any better – with the combination of my test and homework for next week, it’s just as busy. Next week is already set up to be the equivalent of this past one. I can’t catch a break!

Everyone always says how junior year is the hardest – there’s the most work, it’s the most stressful and of course, the most important. I can now say, with complete assurance, that I finally understand.

Photo Credit: cliparts.co

Libbey Park Volunteer

Photo Credit: http://www.conejovalleyguide.com/dosomethingblog/libbey-bowl-and-libbey-park-in-ojai.html

I went to the Libbey Park construction site in Ojai, CA, as a volunteer today.

From Ojai Valley School there were only five female volunteers, including myself.

Wearing dark green OVS T-shirts, the volunteers checked in and drank Gatorade, having no idea what to do.

Ally Su, one of the five girls, expected the volunteer work to be taking care of little kids.

However, what was waiting for her were a huge pile of mulch, shovels, and wheelbarrows.

Photo Credit: http://www.centralwisconsinhabitat.org/Thrivent%20Builds.htm

At first, we had fun.

Mr. Alvarez, our peacekeeper, came to us after parking the school van and took pictures of us shoveling, and we would make stupid poses and faces.

However, as the photographer left and we continued the work, it became more and more painful.

“I think we are going to get blisters on our hands,” Said Ally. Thirty minutes from then, I could see an already-popped blister on my palm.

After repeating filling and emptying the wheelbarrows for about an hour, we became all exhausted. Our faces had layers of dirt on them, and our hands had turned red.

We found ourselves the only ones working without gloves. We’ve been complaining about it the whole time, and I found out that we were actually the only ones who did not know that we could get them from the tool check-in center behind us.

We had pizza with lemonade for lunch, wanting to go back home. However, there came a truck with another pile of mulch. Sighing, we got back to work.

The teenage girls had become shoveling experts at some point. We shoveled so fast that we had to wait for other workers to make more space to pour the mulch.

“Stephanie [Shin] found her future job,” Said Ally Su.

After half an hour of eating and two hours of shoveling, we headed back home.

First, we drove to Ally’s house only to find it locked.

Then, we went to Starbucks and met another school van with Mrs. Cooper in it.

After we got our drinks, Mr. Alvarez dropped Ally off at her house, “shh-ing” when she tried to tell him the directions.

As soon as I got back on campus, I took a shower and found two things: dirty water coming off of my body and another blister on my thumb.