To My 19-Year-Old Self, Please Be Careful

To My 19-Year-Old Self, Please Be Careful

The people who say are on your friends are not really on your side.

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Dear 19-year-old me,

I understand that your freshman year was pretty rough and you had a lot of thoughts about transferring. As you enter your sophomore year, you're going to meet a new friend that will convince you to not transfer after all, and your life will feel like it's going your way for the first time in your life. You will feel your mental health getting much better and everything else in your life feeling much more at ease. With that being said, I would like to say to you that you need to be extremely careful.

You may feel like your life is going your way, but that will not be the case for long once you realize that your new friend is not really a good friend at all. They're going to pressure you into doing things you don't want to do and then turn that against you, saying that it's your fault. You're going to believe that it was your fault until you get the chance to talk to several therapists about it and all of them confirm that it's not. And I want to confirm with you that it was never your fault.

You're going to feel loved and appreciated for who you are, and you're going to feel like you can be yourself and not have to hide who you are for the first time. You felt like your mental health was drastically improving and you could grow as a person. This is where you should be the most careful. I understand that your lack of friends have made you attached to everyone who has shown any affection towards you, but it's going to affect you in negative ways in the long run.

You have so much to live for, along with so many opportunities coming your way, to be honest, maybe those opportunities would not have happened if you didn't become friends in the first, place, but what I'm trying to say is to not obsess. Obsessing is the worst thing you can do and will end up negatively affecting your mental health. You're going to spend endless nights crying yourself to sleep because someone made you think that you were worth something, but ended up thinking that you were unbearable after all, just like everyone else who has destroyed your self-esteem.

I'm not saying that you should automatically stop trusting anyone. You will find lots of new friends throughout the rest of your college career and will still have many opportunities coming your way. What I am saying is that obsessing over someone that shows you any kind of love will end up affecting you and your mental health negatively. There will be many people out there that will say that they are on your side and are your friend, but they will only be saying that to make themselves look better and not look like a bad guy. You are so much more than that.

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A History Lesson On The 'Father of Radio,' Lee De Forest

A trip back in time to the origin behind the creator of live radio broadcasting.

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The "father of radio," the "grandfather of television," the man who created live radio broadcasting, Lee de Forest was a man who forever changed the history of radio and television. Lee de Forest was born on August 26th of 1873, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Furthermore, he was the son of a Congregational minister who had a presidential position at Talladega College, a bankrupt school with mostly African Americans. Lucky for Lee, he fit in perfectly as part of the community. Lee's father wanted a career for him in the clergy, but Lee preferred science which led to his enrollment in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University in 1893. Within six years, Lee was working many jobs, making the best out of his scholarship and the best out of his allowance from his parents to later achieve his Ph.D. in 1899 in physics.

Around 1899, electricity started to be an interest to Lee, specifically electromagnetic- wave propagation."De Forest's doctoral dissertation on the "Reflection of Hertzian Waves from the Ends of Parallel Wires" was possibly the first doctoral thesis in the United States on the subject that was later to become known as radio" (E. Fielding, Raymond). Lee began to work at the Western Electric Company in Chicago, starting off in the telephone section and leading him to the experimental laboratory. Furthermore, working after hours granted Lee with his first invention, an electrolytic detector of Hertzian waves, which became moderately successful. In 1902, De Forest founded the De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company to allow a new medium of communication to be born and spread to the press, military, businesses, and the people. Wireless telegraphy was the route of creation De Forest took, leading him to create the "Audion" because of his dedication to this new form of communication.

The Audion was a more evolved detector; it had a stronger reception towards wireless signals than Carborundum and electrolytic detectors. Furthermore, in 1907 Lee began to take advantage of his invention by broadcasting music and speech to the people living in the New York City area. Although with his newly made invention, also came the downfalls in Lee's life. He was defrauded twice by business partners, involved in many patent lawsuits, had four unsuccessful marriages, and was indicted for mail fraud, which was later acquitted. Furthermore, Lee fell victim to many failed inventions and had a hard time trying to convey his new medium.

On the contrary, in 1910 was Lee's first broadcast of any sort of performance. Specifically, it was a live performance of opera, sung by Enrico Caruso at the Metropolitan Opera. This broadcast allowed Lee to share his new medium with the general public and to get ideas on how his creation could evolve.

Eventually, by 1912, de Forest began to have many Audion tubes to amplify high-frequency radio signals to far areas. "He fed the output from the plate of one tube through a transformer to the grid of a second, the output of the second tube's plate to the grid of a third, and so forth, which thereby allowed for an enormous amplification of a signal that was originally very weak"(E. Fielding, Raymond). The more modifications the Audion had, the better its impact on radio, as the transmitting and amplification of radio signals towards farther distances grew stronger allowing telephonic distance communication to evolve.

Through the success of his invention, Lee began to create controversy around scientists and attorneys, eventually selling patents to communication firms for further development. Moreover, the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T;) installed audions to amplify voice signals all across the United States of America, changing the development of radio.

In 1921, de Forest began producing audio and recordings for movies. He created a recording system titled "Phonofilm," which led to him starting the "De Forest Phonofilm Corporation." Although the quality of the system was mediocre, the optical recording system was shown in many theaters from 1923 to 1927. His method was put off by many film producers as they rejected his sound-on-film device, because of the evolution of film and the use of talking pictures. Ironically, producers in the past did not want to use De Forests device, because they did not believe in it, but as years passed, movies began to use De Forests method of sound recording and many are still influenced by his methods today.

Overall, Lee De Forest died with over 300 patents and has signified his spot in the history of radio and television and is one of the principal inventors of today. He allowed the ease of amplifying radio signals, coast to coast services to be created all across the world, and is credited for bringing sound to motion pictures.

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Not Everyone Is Beautiful, And That's Okay

Saying someone is not beautiful is not saying that they're undeserving of love, respect, or happiness.

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I'm sure you've heard those feel-good quotes concerning beauty and maybe even said one or two of them yourself at one point.

"You're beautiful just the way you are."

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

"Everybody is beautiful."

While these quotes may temporarily boost self-esteem, they can at times be blatant lies. Not everyone is beautiful, and that's okay. Science will tell you that this is true and if you are really honest with yourself, you might admit it as well. Maybe you see it when you look in the mirror or when you look around the room. So why are we so afraid of being "ugly" or even "average?"

In a culture that puts so much emphasis on physical attraction, it's no wonder people (namely women) are striving to be "beautiful" and spending almost $4000 a year on appearance. Now, nothing is wrong with taking care of your physical self so you look and feel confident at your personal best, but is beauty really the end-all of qualities?

Out of all the traits people can possess, beauty seems to be the one everyone is entitled to. We never hear, "you're intelligent just the way you are" or "everybody is athletic." That would be ridiculous. Instead, people want to be beautiful, because beauty is like currency in today's culture. People who are beautiful are perceived as more intelligent, possessing more goodness, you name it. We long to hear the word in any form it may come in. "You're beautiful on the inside." We don't tell people they're "athletic on the inside," so why beautiful? It's time we start saying things that make sense and are true, such as "you're kind" or "you're smart" or "you're generous." These words are much more meaningful than "beautiful," since that word has lost its true value, as it's freely handed to everyone.

Although it's wonderful to be truly, physically "beautiful," might it be that we're looking in the wrong areas for validation? If everyone is beautiful, then no one is. Not everyone is physically attractive, and that's totally fine. The lack of physical beauty should not hinder someone from living a happy, fulfilling life. Beauty is like any other privilege, something that is not earned, but it's given or inherited. So yes, people who aren't beautiful might have it harder in certain areas of life. I believe you can still live your best life (and an even better life than many beautiful people) without being conventionally beautiful.

The problem with movements that tell everyone they're beautiful is that they're reinforcing the idea that beauty equates to worth. In my opinion, that is actually a very negative and disempowering message, the opposite of what these movements are masquerading as. Saying someone is not beautiful is not saying that they're undeserving of love, respect, or happiness. It's simply a casual observation, such as "she does not have brown hair." We've put so much value in beauty that we tear ourselves down if we feel ugly or don't bother being friends with someone because they don't match our standard of beauty. Our overemphasis of this trait has been detrimental to self-esteem, leaving people feeling worthless if they aren't conventionally beautiful.

I'm not going to end this post by telling you you're beautiful just the way you are. Because maybe you're not. I'm going to end this post by telling you that you may not be beautiful, but that's okay. You don't need to be beautiful to be successful, have confidence, earn respect, have friends, deserve love, find happiness, and have value and worth as a human being. I'm not going to tell you that "beauty comes from within," but I want you to know that kindness, integrity, compassion, and courage are far greater traits than beauty. You are worthy and important just the way you are, beautiful or not.

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