Why You Should Take AP Lang

AP Lang Has Torn Down My Biases And Widened My Perspective More Than Any Other Class Has, And I’m So Glad It Did

For the better or worse, I have yet to decide.

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I was hesitant at first.

AP Lang seemed the epitome of everything I had worked towards: ever since I was a child, I've held a knack for writing. Why the words from the stories I read seeped into my memory, changing my vernacular and expanding my voice, had such an influence, I don't know; but ever since I can remember, I know my love for reading exponentiated the degree of which I'm able to write and communicate. It's one of the reasons why I chose to decide to write for the Odyssey; for my voice to not only be read but heard across multiple computers, platforms and people so I'm able to make a difference-- be it ever so small.

Thus, taking AP Lang shouldn't have been as scary as I had made it out to be in my head, but nevertheless, when choosing classes for the next year, the fear was still present in my mind. What if, at the end of the day, I find that the identity I had formed around my internal voice and the praise I had received from it was nothing but a mere hyperpolarization? What if in this class, I would find that I'm not prepared and loose who I am?

Now, having completed one semester of this two-semester class-- I can't say if I was initially wrong or not.

In a way, I suppose I did loose who I was.

The first day of class was marked with a practice essay graded on a scale of 0-9, with 9 representing an essay written by the gods above and 0 marking the mere doodler. I started my essay with high hopes and spoke my opinions on the feminist movement, our prompt of the day. I received a 5; the average: 5.

I can't say I wasn't disappointed, mostly in myself, because here I was: stuck. The next essays were met with similar scores, slowly rising at times until falling back to that dreadful number. I found myself for the first time questioning my voice and who I was as a person. It was only accentuated once we began diving into deep topics: economics, sexism, religion, sexuality, and race.

It was in this class I rethought about who I was, and the world I lived in. The issue about living in such a tiny growing city in Georgia is that you become lost within its bustle. I forget there are others beyond the state border who live entirely different lives and face entirely different battles. I learned about these people in this class: how 45 million Americans live below the poverty line and why this number is a lie: the federal minimum wage is $7.25, but after taxes, is only around, if not below, $4.00 a workday-- a number extremely below what is considered the bare minimum to live upon within our society today: $18.50.

This means not only is there a rise in America's homeless and unemployed population, but a growing disparity between the working class and the elite; at the expense of the majority. Along with this, we see the ever declining health of Earth: half of the Great Barrier Reef has died due to increasing temperatures, the tiger is almost fully extinct and it has been estimated that the world will fall into complete peril as soon as 2030.

I learned about great philosophy movements, from as long ago as the abolitionists to as near as the LGBTQ+ crusade; I learned about the prevalence and differences between racial appreciation and appropriation; I learned about the transformation of segregation from being legislative to about districting: affecting the quality of schools, the lack of funding and police targeting. In all, I learned about the world; and in doing so, I learned about me.

What was my place within it?

Stepping into AP Lang, I was scared. I saw myself as a simple girl living within a diverse bubble of Georgia seeking an education, hoping to make an A. Through this class, I lost that girl: I became someone else who was both excited and hesitant to learn about the world and write my mind about it. It became a class that I was, for the first time in years, genuinely interested in and excited to be a part of. I found I wasn't just a student, but a person-- one who could and can still be a part of something greater, as all the people I had learned about in those philosophy movements had become. My writing became more about developing my own stance and personal identity around complex ideas in society, rather than trying to form a deemed correct thesis or making sure I had placed data points after every claim made.

Now at the end of the semester, I feel I've changed. I feel more confident in who I am as a person and writer, and if I could recommend anything to anyone wary about taking this class, it is to dive in and submerge yourself within it. The true lesson can only be seen when your eyes are fully open.

And before I knew it, I had finally scored a 9.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend

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Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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