20 things I will do

I had a teacher last year who forced us to write 20 things we will do in our lifetime. Looking back, it was one of the best assignments I had ever completed. It was a list that made you really think about what you aspire to be and what you truly want out of the life you were given. I still have the sheet of paper that I wrote my list on – it hangs above my desk so I can read it each and every day. It is my inspiration to keep going; because of that, I decided to share my list with you. Here it is:

1. Ride an elephant

2. Eat a meal that I don’t think I would usually try, such as escargot.

3. Swim with sea turtles (COMPLETED!)

4. Study abroad

5. Be able to say “I made it – I’m accomplished.”

6. Change someone’s perspective

7. Have a son and name him Luke

8. Have a daughter and teach her what it is like to always love

9. Get a tattoo

10. Visit every continent, including Antarctica

11. Write a short story

12. Learn how to dance

13. Win an award

14. Fall in love with a man and have a ridiculously happy wedding

15. Have a chalkboard wall in my house and cover it with quotes that I love

16. Give my time to those less fortunate than I

17. Have a conversation with someone who is homeless; make them laugh

18. Go on a spontaneous trip with someone I love

19. Make enough money to take my Dad on a trip with me

20. Find a way to prove to him that I love him, and make him proud of me.

21. Adopt a dog from the humane society (multiple dogs are okay too)

22. Buy my mom and stepdad a very expensive bottle of wine, then sit down and drink the entire thing with them

I know I had a couple more than 20, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have a lot of goals! I encourage you all to write your own lists, and if you do, send me the link! I would love to read them. This truly is one of the best ways to really reflect and get to know yourself a little bit better.
  

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The new generation

I live in a very populated area. To give you an idea, my high school has almost 7,000 students, there are five middle schools that feed into it, and ten elementary schools. As you can see, that’s quite a bit of kids. With this many people, I’ve noticed that it is easy to see the differences from generation to generation. My focus for this post will be on current middle school students.

I have a younger brother in eighth grade. He is your average sort-of teenage boy: he has a large group of friends, he is starting to have those awkward “I like you,” talks with girls, and he likes to spend his time playing sports or long boarding outside. Although that all sounds fairly normal, I can still very easily spot the difference between his generation and mine.

First off, the technology. My oh my do they have much more that I did. His friends and him are constantly on their phones, they are all connected through social media, and they never once had to deal with phones without a touch screen. I know what you’re thinking – technology is a great thing. I completely agree with you, considering I’m sitting in a coffee shop on my Macbook typing this right now. However, with this technology young kids have constant access to the internet – which is not always a good thing. I hear kids use more foul language than I do at the ages of eleven and twelve. They see pictures and videos of things I didn’t even know about at their age. They are being influenced by entities that were never available to me at that age.

With those influences, I have heard so many awful stories of middle school students getting involved with drugs and alcohol. I remember middle school vividly and having no idea what drugs were. When I was with my friends, the thought of stealing my parents liquor never crossed my mind. I knew that those things were not acceptable and I knew that they weren’t going to lead me down a successful path in life. I was fully aware that those substances were not good for me physically and that they would have horrible effects on my life in the long run.

I do have to admit that young kids have a lot more pressure on them than I did at their age. I see girls with full face makeup on in sixth grade – I don’t remember owning a bottle of foundation until late into my freshman year of high school. Girls are wearing short shorts and crop tops, looking skimpy as ever, and I have to wonder how parents are allowing this to happen. Even today, if I walked downstairs with a shirt that hardly covered my chest I know that my mother would spin me around and send me right back up to change. I don’t think I will ever understand who an eleven year old girl is dressing like that for – and if it’s for the same reason girls my age are doing it, then we have a much more serious problem on our hands.

With this new generation, we have to be more cautious than ever. It is up to us to be role models for these kids. We must pave the paths of right and wrong and lead them down the correct one. Parents need be sure that their kids are not being influenced negatively by technology and they need to be aware of current trends in society. Older brothers and sisters need to take responsibility and teach their siblings to learn from their mistakes or their peers. We must learn to adapt and to grow positively from this change.

Growing up a writer

Growing up a writer isn’t easy. None of my parents (I have three – mother, father, stepfather) have an out-of-the-box thought process, they don’t have that creative mind. So it can be difficult to get across my points much of the time, because I will be using concepts they don’t quite grasp. Being a writer has also turned me into an extremely emotional person. Not in the sense that I am too sensitive, but in a way that I can feel all things around me, I can understand others emotions. It is a burden and a blessing all at once.

With my parents being business managers, engineers, and IT computer analyzers, they weren’t exactly too keen on the idea of me being a writer, nor were they very fond of the fact that I was absolutely atrocious at anything math related. They wanted a daughter with huge aspirations who would go farther than they did, a daughter who would be a lawyer or a doctor. Well, I know for a fact I won’t be practicing medicine anytime soon, but I did consider law for a while. That’s when the burden of being an emotional person came in – I realized that I would become much too attached to those I would be working for, and the job would emotionally ruin me. So that’s not happening either.

But writing, oh my, I cannot express enough my love for it. The way letters flow together to form words which in turn create sentences and then come together to form a story… it is the most beautiful concept. One that most people overlook. Writers, however, they understand it, they see the wonder in it and use it to build their own stories. That’s what I wanted to do.

No one really believed me when I said I would grow up to be an author. I was always pushed away from the idea, and was taught how to do jobs in business or communications. My love for writing intensified when I found journalism. It was amazing to me, to be able to get out other people’s stories with my own words. I loved it. Yet it was put down very quickly by my so-called “support system” because journalists are not known for making money.

Now, I understand that my family wants me to live a financially stable life like the one I grew up in, and be able to have a family without worrying about how dinner will be put on the table. I get it. But writing is my passion, my first true love, and I cannot live without it.

I don’t believe I will go into college dead set on being a writer. My mind is open to what my career path will be, especially in business fields. If I could just find a job which combines writing into it, then I am sure I could fall in love with it. I will not give up the one thing I have had since I was a young child for the social concept of money. That is just not how I want to live my life.