Growing Up With Young Parents

Growing Up With Young Parents

They grow up with what we grow up with and they learn as they go.

Talking to friends about parents growing up I have always had the youngest parents out of them all. In High school my parents were in their 30s as other parents happened to be in their 50s. Having young parents has been the best part of growing up. They are always there when I need them and they understand society today. They understand us as kids because they grew up in a society similar to us.

Always up for adventures

My parents were always up for adventures. Most of the time it was spare of the moment 'I am bored' type days or plans we have made previously. They are go go go people and never waste time sitting around. That would explain why I get crabby when I am bored or why I never sit still for long.

Listen to the same type of music

14 hour car rides are never dreadful with my parents. I can bond with them over music and we also share what new artists or songs we have recently discovered. As much as older music is just as good, my generation is always up for jamming out to the new music.

Along with music, my parents are always up for a concert

Yes, I go to concerts with my parents. It is honestly some of the best memories and I do not regret one bit of it. It is always a blast and its great because they know pretty much every song the artist sings durning the concert. Concerts have become our summer thing.

They understand society today

They are young and still growing up in the society today. They grow up with what we grow up with and they learn as they go. They understand technology, school, drama and just life in general. They protect us as much as they can from things they know can be dangerous.

They never give up on you

It is not likely that younger parents would give up on their child or just not care where they are. As older parents typically get tired of keeping track of where their children are and some just let their child run the streets. My parents have never been like that, they make rule and enforce them. They care about us no matter what and would never give up on us. Even if we make a mistake.

Older parents could be great too but I grew up with younger parents and I would not change a thing about that. Growing up with young parents have taught me such great things about life and there was never a dull moment. Not even the five reasons above is enough to explain how much I enjoy having younger parents. But not even age is everything, because my parents did a fantastic job of raising my siblings and I. I would not be where I am or who I am if it was not for them being there every step of the way.

Cover Image Credit: Samantha Lynn

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Declan McKenna Concert Review

A politically educated teenager with some wicked guitar solos.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a concert at Crowbar, a small venue located in the center of Ybor City. It is described on it’s website as a “rough-&-read downtown nightclub and beer garden featuring live music, DJ’s and weekly special events.”

One of my favorite artists, Declan McKenna, was performing there and my friend Rebecca and I decided it would be fun to go early, walk around the city a bit and then get in line. It was a general admission concert meaning, first come, first serve seating.

I’m going to be honest, this was one of the best experiences I have ever had at a concert because everything was so relaxed. It was unlike any other concerts I’ve gone to because it was such a small venue that only held around three hundred people maximum. We were the third and fourth people in line which was extremely promising because I was expecting a much longer line. I’ve been to a few general admission shows in my day and it always seems like no matter how early I got there, there was always at least fifty people in front of me.

By the grace of god, we ended up being first row. And when I say first row, I mean like we sat on the stage while waiting for the opening act to come out. The opening act was Chappell Roan, an alternative singer with a sort of Lana Del Ray vibe. I was surprised at how well she sang and how soulful her voice was considering she is so young.

Finally, the time had come for the man himself to come out. It’s always exciting to go to a concert where the artist is the same age as you because, at least for me, the artists are typically older than me so it almost makes them seem “less real.” I guess what I’m trying to say is that seeing a 19-year-old kid up on stage in front of three hundred people made the idea of being a rockstar or going into the arts more attainable. If this kid could get up and perform every night for hundreds of strangers and live out his dream, who says I or any other young adult can’t? It sounds silly but because he is my own age, he is just so much more relatable.

Declan McKenna isn’t your typical teeny bopper boy singing about love and heartbreak all the time. He is a well-educated young adult who discusses a lot of real-world problems in his songs. For example, according to Genius, his debut single “Brazil,” is a “protest song criticizing FIFA, the international governing body of association football, and their decision of awarding the 2014 FIFA World Cup to Brazil, without addressing the extensive and deep poverty affecting Brazilians and ‘doing anything for the communities.’” His second single, “Paracetamol,” was inspired by the death of transgender teen, Leelah Alcorn who committed suicide in 2014. This song mainly discusses the misrepresentation of the LGBTQ community in the media. Other songs that deal with politcal issues featured on his debut album, “What Do You Think of the Car?” are “The Kids Don’t Want to Come Home” and “Isombard.” Overall, I think he does a great job at representing just how woke the millennial generation actually is.

Moving back to the concert itself, Declan put on an extremely high-energy rock performance filled with heavy guitar solos, buckets of glitter and balloons. Because McKenna is still not as widely known in the US as in the UK, he had a smaller entourage than other people I have seen in concert, creating a feeling of authenticity. He had a full band behind him including himself on guitar, but you can tell he led the show. I couldn’t take my eyes off him and his sparkling highlight he was sporting. It almost felt like I was listening to a professional garage band, which I’m sure taken out of context may sound like an insult. However, I think it is the complete opposite. He had the perfect amount of “rough around the edges” that made his performance unique. He doesn’t have all the glitz and extras that say Taylor Swift or even Kendrick Lamar, who I have seen in concert, has. There’s no backing vocals, no confetti cannons or large video screens, just him and the music. He relies on his own talent and the talent of his band members to put on a good show which I think is admirable.

I think that a quality that has McKenna ahead of the game is his guitar playing ability. One of my favorite performances was his song “Mind,” because I am a sucker for well-played guitar solos and he definitely rocked one during the bridge of the song. Another one of my favorite performances was the encore, “Listen to your Friends,” which he came out with pink sunglasses on and an acoustic guitar after giving us a few minutes to recuperate. He also brought out bags of balloons to throw around the crowd during his performance of “Paracetamol” which I found to be almost contradicting to what the song is really about.

I think that Declan McKenna has a little bit to go before he can stand as a rock icon or a “voice of our generation” but he is definitely on the right track and road to success. Personally, his authentic, alternative sound and raw performance are all qualities of a real superstar in the making. I cannot wait to see where he takes his career and for the development of his sound.

Cover Image Credit: Abby Gilman

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Celebrities Should Be Good Role Models For The Youth

There is a difference between Cardi B. and Zendaya.

In the golden age of social media, celebrities’ lives are constantly blasted to the world all over the internet. Paparazzi expose their most intimate moments by posting photos and writing about their every move. With a single search, anyone can find photos of Chrissy Teigen grocery shopping, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber on a date or a post about Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy.

With Hollywood projecting famous people’s lives on every platform possible, the public is regularly intaking the behavior of these pop culture stars. Celebrities influence the younger generation, intentional or not. Teenagers buy Kanye West’s shoe brand, Yeezys, and plump their lips to achieve the famous Kylie Jenner full-lip look. With so much influence, should celebrities be good role models for the youth? Rapper Cardi B. has some thoughts to share.

Female music artist, Cardi B., has recently blown up with the release of her song “Bodak Yellow.” On her Instagram post on February 8th, she writes, “I’m not trying to be this ‘ROLE MODEL’ to these young girls because I’m very rated R and I’m not a perfect person.” Cardi B continues, “I wouldn’t want to change for nobody neither.” Her stance is that she shouldn’t have to censor herself just because her life is put out there for everyone to assess. She does recognize her words have power though, and says, “I want to let them know that dreams really do come true with hard work and prayer!”

On the other hand, other celebrities try to set a good example for the youth through their actions, such as actress and singer Zendaya Coleman. Zendaya is an open advocate for black rights and women’s rights, and she encourages changes in education as well. She utilizes her social media to speak on important issues, posting, “Trans People Are Not A Burden,” on Instagram, or advocating education on Twitter:

Zendaya tweets regularly about relevant news issues, such as the ongoing slavery in Libya or African American successes, such as the high representation of the African American population in the upcoming movie, “Black Panther.” However, she not only posts on social media, but she turns her words into actions, showing the youth that they can voice their own opinions too. She participated in the Women’s March in Washington D.C. after Trump’s inauguration, and she wore her hair in an afro on the Red Carpet to remind the audience of the importance of representing of African Americans.

Celebrities have opposing viewpoints on whether or not they should be role models for the youth. Some are like Cardi B., who want to live their own lives without worrying about their impact on others, and some are like Zendaya, who want to use their platform to speak on issues important to them. It is the public’s responsibility to determine which type of celebrities’ behavior they want to follow.

Celebrities should recognize that they have a big following and can greatly influence the public. They should try to set good examples for the youth who are highly impressionable while still being true to themselves.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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