The Ghost of College Past

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From the time we start school till the time we finish high school, the idea of going to college is engrained in our brains. We’re told, if you want to make something of yourself and your life you must attend college. Sadly, that’s almost always the truth.

Now a days it’s nearly impossible to get a job without a college degree. Without the ability to get a job how are we supposed to pay our insane tuition? The two go hand in hand.

As a high school junior, this is the year where the preparation for college truly begins. Taking the SAT and ACT, making sure your grades are at their peak, getting all that community service and choosing what you want to do with your life. It’s a little unfair that we can’t even legally make decisions for ourselves yet we’re supposed to pick what we want to do with the rest of our lives at 17.

College has always been a priority, but now that my departure to a 4 year university is creeping up, the whole process is becoming pretty scary and overwhelming. First off, I don’t even know what I want to do for sure yet. Secondly, looking at colleges those numbers are pretty terrifying. My mom is a single mother and my dad isn’t a part of my life, so the idea of paying for college is one of the daunting thoughts in my mind. I constantly wonder how I’m going to afford it and although I try my best not to narrow my school selection down based on pricing…I can’t help it. I know, no matter what I’m leaving college with mounds of debt…but why?

College is expected of today’s youth yet it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and most can’t afford it. That just seems a little messed up. Maybe if college was more affordable, we would have more people graduating and attending. Yes, there are scholarships but that doesn’t cover all of it, unless you get a full ride, which is extremely difficult.

Lucky for me, I’m currently getting a year and a half of free college education due to the program I’m in. I do Middle College, which is basically me finishing high school while earning college credits as a full time SBCC student. It’s an amazing program and looking at tuition prices, I’m so grateful to be getting free college education right now. What’s neat about this program is, if I work my ass off for the next year I can graduate with most of my general ed’s for college so I can apply as a transfer student and hopefully only do 2 years at a 4 year university.

College man, it’s a pretty scary thing. There’s so much pressure on you your last 2 years of high school…it’s nuts.

Newest Version of Hot or Not

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That little flame is almost as spicy as the app itself. Hot or not? Nah, let’s just use Tinder.

The latest match making program has grabbed the attention of many. Unlike EHarmony and Match.com it’s not deep at all. Instead of surveys and quizes to find your perfect match, it’s based off a hot or not scale.

First step: make your profile. Pick 5 of your best photos, say a few words about yourself, set your proximity and age preferences. Then your off into the magical world of Tinder.

Scrolling through hundreds of faces, you basically decide whose attractive to you. X for no thank you honey…or a heart for damn you is fine;) Well, it’s not that stupid but it’s basically like yup or hot, or no your not.

It’s pretty superficial and has the reputation of being a hookup app, but who knows maybe true love via Tinder is possible.

I was skeptical at first, apparently I made an account a while ago and forgot because when I redownloaded the app a week or so ago, I had an account. I downloaded it as a joke but it actually is pretty fun. I still thing it’s weird, scrolling through random faces judging people based on a few pictures and a small caption. It’s a weird concept. I got matched with quite a few people and have talked to some of them, it’s actually not too bad.

There are a lot of douschebags on there though, be warned, you may not find the best quality on there but who am I to say that. I’ve talked to a couple nice guys but have only given my number out too one.

Tinder is neat because even though people say it’s a hookup app, it’s not just for horny college kids. My mom is on there, a few of her friends are too and tons of people I know are so it’s an app made for a wide range of people and ages. A dating app for the masses?

Overall, I’d give the app a thumbs up!

Family Dynamic

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Families are so fucking crazy. The bonds you have with your family members are some of the strongest but they’re also some of the most complicated. As a kid all the emotions that correlate with the family dynamic are amplified.

There are a ton of different types of families. Some are more conservative, some are pretty out there, some strict, some laid back, some crazy and some just plain weird…the thing is we can’t see what we really have, especially as kids and teens. When your a teenager, especially in high school, you look at everyone else and wish you had their life and their family. They seem “perfect.” That isn’t real. It look a long time to learn this, but EVERY family has their issues, some are just better at hiding them.

Here’s a shortened version of my family life. My mom got pregnant with me at 25, my biological father’s mother wanted me aborted and my biological dad wasn’t close to being ready to be a parent. My mom kept me, clearly ha. She met my step dad when I was three and when I was five I got a little brother. My family was pretty nice, not too strict but we definitely had rules…most of them coming from my dad because my mom’s very laid back. My step dad had apparently been cheating for years and finally my parents split up after being together for 14 years. Now they’re divorced and don’t talk. My brother goes back and forth between households each week and I live with my mom full time with basically zero contact with my step dad. There’s the gist.

The thing about my family is the current relationship between my mother and step dad really cause the most problems. My step dad basically broke every agreement they made regarding introducing my brother and I too new partners and rules for the kids. So there is so trust there. It causes my brother to be put in the middle because he is young and can’t/won’t stand up to my step father because he still loves him. I choose to have no contact with my step dad simply because I think he is an ass for what he did to my mother and the way he just let me go, abandoning me.

From the outside, you would have no idea. You’d just see a single mother working to support her kids, but there is so much under the surface that people on the outside can’t see. A little bit of knowledge that everyone should have is that everything is pretty on the surface…dig a little deeper and you’ll be surprised what you might find. Also, don’t talk/judge if you don’t know. So many people have their own struggles they’re dealing with and you antagonizing them about it if you don’t know the truth does nothing but hurt them.

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BE YOU! 

The biggest issue in relationships is the idea of loosing yourself. It’s a beautiful thing to be lost in love but it’s not always healthy. If you as an equal in a relationship can be lost in love but be grounded and know who you are 100 percent, that is bliss.

It’s hard. Getting caught up in your partners life and changing aspects of yourself for them is normal, it happens to everyone. The idea of knowing yourself is a powerful one. If you are confident enough and know yourself well enough it’s nearly impossible to loose yourself…not matter how in love you are.

I spent eight months of my life last year lost. I was with someone who I was madly in love with, but when I was with him  I wasn’t myself. It was scary when we broke up because I left like I was floating in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I lost all my friends because I spent every waking moment I had with him so I had no one to turn too when we ended. It’s truly frightening. I gave up so much of myself to be “his perfect girl,” but truthfully I didn’t know I was doing it until after things ended. I looked back and had a moment of realization, noticing how much of myself I lost in our relationship and I vowed to never do so again.

In the six or seven months since the breakup, I have found myself. I’m no longer the passive girl who wouldn’t stand her ground like I was before. I have gained a new sense of confidence and the ability to truly be happy by myself. It’s serving me well. Almost every aspect of my life is going well, I haven’t had an anxiety attack in months and I feel stronger than ever.

The thing about finding yourself that is so beautiful is that you no longer turn to others. Not in the sense that you don’t have friends but more like you don’t look at them and try to reflect what you see upon yourself. Finding yourself gives you a feeling of true strength.

It also serves well when looking into new relationships. I’ve started dating officially now and by knowing myself, I am more equipped to choose a good partner. When something happens that I don’t like, I’m no longer scared to say no or stand up for myself and it’s amazing because I’ve truly finding good people through these abilities.

Don’t rush the process of finding yourself. It took me a really long time, it’s taken years and it just so happened that being single really helped. It takes time. It takes the conscious effort to focus on yourself and your needs, which is scary for some. Don’t loose hope if your trying and aren’t there yet. It’s possible for everyone, it just takes will power to carve your own path.

 

 

Downfalls of Dating

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Dating now a days no longer involves the courting process. The days of standing outside the house of your crush with  boom box on your shoulder, singing have come and gone. I mean why put in the that sort of effort when you can get their number, shoot them a text and be hooking up in a matter of hours.

The thing about texting in relationships that people don’t understand (I admit, I am at fault here too) is that it’s basically one big mind fuck. When you receive a text, it doesn’t matter who it’s from, you read into it with whatever mood your in at the time. Quite possibly causing their message to come across the wrong way. That’s one of the biggest issues with texting overall, especially when your flirting with the newest love interest via text.

Texting has also made us as a generation extremely dependent in our relationships. The ability to text our boyfriend or girlfriend 24/7 has made it almost impossible to miss them. If you suddenly realize, hey I miss this person, you can shoot them a text or hop on FaceTime, we no longer need face to face interactions to feel full filled and honestly that’s pretty sad.

Another issue with dating in this day and age is the fact that people aren’t willing to be put themselves out there. Mind games aren’t fun, no one likes them so why play them with each other. Be upfront and honest, that way everything goes smoothly.

Plus what is dating really? I mean I get that it’s a time to get to know one another but I’m dating this guy right now and we’ve made it clear that it’s okay to see other people but why would I want too? Free meals are nice but if I’m putting time and effort into this person why would I want to do that with multiple people…it just seems like a hassle.

The world be such a better place in regards to dating if we all were upfront with each other, there was actual face to face encounters(no more of this BS texting/online relationships) and people figured out how to handle their emotional business. Talk about the issues, if your tired of the relationship then leave, if you want to make it work then do so and if you want to fall in love then give it a shot. Don’t wait for someone to come crawling to you. Get out there, make your move and create your own happiness.

A Special Day

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What is it about a good day that can give you such a positive outlook on life? Maybe it’s the endorphin rush you’ve been getting for the last 12 hours but whatever it is, it’s fucking fantastic.

It isn’t always easy looking on the bright side of things, in actuality it’s really difficult and if you can under any circumstance I applaud you immensely. Today was a perfect day, relaxing afternoon on the beach picnicking with my date, watching movies together afterwards and then dinner. It couldn’t have gone better and it really is a positive thing. Not just because my date went well, but because little things like that help keep my new found happiness alive.

Since leaving high school, I have never been happier. Sometimes things still manage to get me down, like doing bad on a test or being held late at work, but all in all my life is pretty great right now. It’s hard to see my best friend still suffering in high school though, I wish there was a way for her to get out but her parents are so fucking stubborn.

I think the amounts of happiness taken from situations are dependent on the individual…except high school. That place is 4 years of living hell. Drama, petty bullshit and social lives based off of the stupidest things. There’s no way to avoid it because that is all high school is. Middle college is honestly the best alternative, it’s given me a new outlook on life and it’s created a pathway to success I could have never imagined prior.

Put the Sex Back into Sex Ed

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Sex education is probably one of the most beneficial things that can be taught. You learn or are supposed to learn about your body, how it works, how to have safe sex, fertility, the risks that come along with sex, the emotional aspects of sex, and how to handle all of the above. Sadly that’s not the case.

It’s funny, after my parents split my mom became extremely open about sexuality. It was my step dad who wasn’t too fond of the idea. Back in middle school, I remember my parents wouldn’t sign a waiver for me to go watch a video on “sex-ed.” It was middle school so in reality it was a video about washing your hands, but I wasn’t allowed to see it. I felt like something was wrong with me because I wasn’t allowed to watch so I took matters into my own hands and started googling things about sex. So much for sheltering me mom and dad. The internet gave me an explosion of information…a little too much for someone whose 13. That could have all been avoiding if sex ed wasn’t taught until high school.

I took my first real sex ed class my freshman year of high school, it was called health and it was required. Luckily I got a cool teacher, who actually taught about sex. It wasn’t anything too vulgar or inappropriate but for someone my age I did learn something. The problem is, not everyone gets to have the same teacher I did. Most sex education programs teach you to be abstinent and that sex is something to be ashamed of.

Sex IS NOT something to be ashamed of. It’s how you were made for Pete’s sake. The curtain needs to come down that is shielding our teens from being taught what sex is. The summer before my junior year of high school, I took Psychology of  Human Sexuality at my local city college. Now that was a sex class and you know what, it didn’t turn me into some promiscuous, sex craving individual. It changed me for the better, it taught me everything and more that I needed to know about sex and now that I actually do have a sex life I’m smart about it, I know how to handle different situation and most importantly I know how to say no.

Sex should be put back into the so called sex education programs. We should teach our teens to be empowered and proud of their bodies. Sex isn’t something dirty or bad, it’s natural and teens need to be taught that. For the longest time I thought it was something I needed to be ashamed of, that I was dirty for masterbating…that’s not the case and the reason I thought that was because no one was teaching me and I took sites like yahoo seriously. Something needs to change so society can embrace sexuality.