When I Grow Up, I Want To Be...

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be...

Happy.

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"When I was younger I want to be…"

"A lawyer"

"A doctor"

"A teacher"

"A mom"

"Happy"

Notice how the titles all include an "A" before the career. Yes, it is for grammatical reasons, but it is also because by becoming one of these, we are becoming another one. There are hundreds of lawyers, doctors, parents, teachers, but how often do you see a child vocalize their need to be happy?

Now skip a few years into high school. This is where teachers overflow homework so students can adapt to heavy workloads and constantly mutter the words, "You will thank me when you get to college." You always see them specifying the need for success in the classroom, on the field, on the court, through social media, but when do they open the opportunities for internal happiness? When do they challenge you to bring your emotions to light and understand why you are the way you are?

Psychology classes are not required, but a fine art is. It is more important to a school district that I understand how to draw a circle and correctly define a shade of color than it is a necessity to understand the inner-workings of my mind. Sure, there is a 1-week course in biology discussing neuroscience. The kids who actually paid attention to the brief review may remember the hypothalamus and frontal lobe. But what after that?

Why do our bodies hurt, why do we laugh, what nerve is lighting up when we have a thought and why? How do self-fulfilling prophecies affect our everyday life? How is it when we angry, there is negativity surrounding us, but when we are happy, the world is rainbows and unicorns? These are very real questions that we have the answers to, so why are they less important than the Pythagorean theory?

It is because humans have a talent and knack to neglect that build up in our minds which defines our emotions. We will bury down the hurt and pain because something is more important. People will self-medicate, self-diagnose, and evaluate others without actually stopping to understand how it works. It is like having a broken car and pouring gasoline stating, "I know it needs this, so I will just use more of it and it will fix itself". It might sound idiotic on a screen but put in into perspective and think about its effects for a minute. Why would you take depression medication when you don't know the internal works which are leading to your depression? Nothing will get fixed then, it will get bandaged, and in case you haven't noticed, a bandage is a temporary fix.

Music artists will appeal to the needs of their audience. So, is that why so many songs signify heartache? Is that how people cloud themselves away from the shallow volcano of love? You begin by dipping in a signal toe and next thing you know you are hurdling through thousands of miles of warmth and comfort and enjoying every minute of it until you realize how hard the drop hurts. Do we call it "falling in love" because we always get hurt? No, we don't. We use the term falling to symbolize getting up. If you fall and hurt your knee, it is unlikely that you will never walk again, same goes for finding love. When you get your heart broken, you get back up, look at your battle scars, and grow stronger and happier than ever before. You realize your own worth which you would not have seen if it weren't for that individual in your life.

We fall in love so that one day instead of dropping to the ground and scraping our knees, someone will catch us, and that is when you know it is pure and real and something worth fighting to keep.

Just because the world is a scary place doesn't mean we have to let it intimidate us. Smile more, laugh often, and pray to God, to Buddha, to the Sun and Stars, to a chair for all it matters. Pray for eternal happiness and gratitude, because human life has meaning. Whether it be using your hypothalamus to understand everyday tasks, or exploring the endless possibilities, life has meaning. And I can assure you, every tear you shed will bring you another moment of endless smiles, laughing, and joy in the future, so just keep pushing forward and understand why you are the way you are.

When I grow up I will be… Me.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Cycle Of Oppression

A white man's reflection on the sins of his history.

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The Last Question

Oppression it's a cycle

Think AI or Michael

We're Messi, haven't clean sheet in while. [1]

Dominate the stars

Drank Dom 'n ate caviar

But you hear the music? [2]

For it's time to pay the piper

Forefathers paid to pipe her.

Picked three hos and laughed (ho ho ho)

Like gas from a shaft

We spread danger in the chamber

And chained her to a stranger.

Swooped her to appease the creditor [3]

Wrote off a piece in super predator,

And when they saw the paper in crack

We criminalized black and called it their right state.

"Black men have no conscience our empathy and must be brought to heel"

But our conscience hung black men on empty trees to never heal. [4]

We played the hate trump but bs'd like a pres on tour

The house of cards is just about power more for evermore.

Thought we were getting pea nut better

But we still jam them in letter, [5]

Bound to band behind a Barretta

Left confused by their rights

That leaves them dead on sight

White Christ flashing red and blue lights. [6]


[1] - Oppression is a cycle, the oppressed rise up against the oppressors to turn the wheel of oppression. However, the oppression of black people has never stopped in the U.S. The white man has not been replaced as the oppressor. Think AI or Michael relates to two other cycles. AI, or artificial intelligence, has been said to be the next step in the cycle of consciousness. In particular "The Last Question", by Isaac Asimov, discusses what this cycle might look like. "AI" combined with "Michael" refers to Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan; the cycle of talent in sports. Records are always broken. The last line states that the cycle of oppression has not been in motion for awhile. It also refers to Lionel Messi scoring goals.

[2] - The first line "dominate the stars" refers to white people dominating most of the fame in the U.S. The next line expands on that thought. The final line "but you hear the music" refers to Hip Hop being created by black people and being the most popular music today. This also ties into the next line by referring to the Pied Piper. These two meanings are complete separate.

[3] - These lines represent the sins of white people in the past generations. The lines talk about slavery and the Holocaust.

[4] - These lines talk about past sins but not so long ago. They refer to Nixon's War on Drugs and Hillary Clinton saying that "Super Predators," which was just a made up word for young black men, "have no conscious or empathy … and we must bring them to heel" in defense of Bill Clinton's Three Strike rule. The last line juxtaposes what Hillary said with the lynching of young black men in the U.S.

[5] - The first line in this series talks about cards, President Trump, and hatred. "We played the hate trump" is saying that white people chose Trump out of hatred. "But we bs'd like a pres on tour" is saying white people actually lied about hating black people. It also refers to the lying president Trump did on his campaign. However, it also refers to a card game called BS, where you lie about what cards you play. We played our "hate trump" (best card) but it was really just a lie to win the game. "the house of cards is all about power more forever more" this line answers the question above which is if we aren't all racists, then why did we choose Trump? Because of power. It also refers to the show about politics, House of Cards, thus bringing both the political and card metaphors together. The last two lines refer to white people believing and saying "at least its getting better" in regards to the oppression of black, and Hispanic people. "We still jam them in letter" refers to the n word.

[6] - The last lines refer police violence. I'm not saying that black people are going to start killing cops, I'm just saying that white people should be grateful that they aren't. The "white Christ" symbolizes white oppression. James Cone wrote that the symbols of Christ need to change. Christ was a champion of the oppressed, not the triumphant: therefore, Christ needs to be identifiable to the oppressed not to the oppressors.

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