Kissing The Teens Goodbye

Kissing The Teens Goodbye

Hello, Twenties
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My earliest memories consist of playing house with my friends. As with any good game of "house", there are a few roles that are required. The mom, the baby, that one friend you punished into being the dog, and of course, the teenager.

In my younger years, I believed that turning thirteen came with the undeniable traits of being rude to your parents, obnoxiously chewing gum, and a gross overuse of the word, "whatever!". However, what I later came to realize (when I, myself, graced the age of 13) is that this is quite far from the truth (well...most of the time).

What I was surprised--and even a little let down--to learn is that the momentous age of 13 felt no different than being 12.

There was no radical personality swap, nor immediate outrage towards my parents, nor anything else that would denote that I had become this hyped-up monster known as a "teenager".

Along with all the stereotypes and expectations and parental dread that accompany a tween becoming a teen, I expected the years would be filled with nothing short of angst and anger and sass.

However, I was lucky to learn that this was quite far from the case. When I reflect back on the 7 years I spent as a teenager, the only things that fill my mind are happy memories. Don't get me wrong, I had my fair share of tears and fights and anger, but this is not what stands out to me.

13 included struggling over "IRLA" homework, breezing through math, making up nick-names so that my friends and I could talk about people at lunch, and kissing the Hebrew language goodbye (or so I thought).

14 included thinking I was incredibly sophisticated because I read the book The Help BEFORE I saw the movie, a tremendous war with Algebra I, and a sudden life-consuming obsession with One Direction.

15 saw me losing friends and finding friends, starting what would become a life-long relationship with running in the form of winter track and approximately 3 One Direction concerts.

16 took me on a trip to London with my best friends, gave me a permit that I had no clue how to use, and took me to about 2 more One Direction concerts (still couldn't shake the obsession...).

17 included a real license that led me to drive the wrong way down a 1-way street (and somehow live to tell the tale), college applications, college acceptance, and a love affair with Grey's Anatomy that I will never grow out of.

18 saw me decorate a graduation cap and pack my life into under-bed storage, leave my best friends to meet new ones, acquire about 300x more orange into my wardrobe, and One Direction breaking up (you can only imagine how crushed I was).

19 came and went with a random re-acquaintance with the Hebrew language (and the fulfillment of my language requirement), learning how to use a C100 camera, far too many calzones, and a lot of mistakes but even more smiles.

So here I am with about 10 days left being able to call myself a teenager, and a lot of sadness about leaving these years behind. The teenage stereotype is entirely wrong; people talk about the teenage years as if they will be the worst of your life, and while I don't know what's ahead of me, I am entirely sure that if these were the worst years of my life I nothing to complain about.

So while yes, there are times I rolled my eyes and screamed "whatever!" in my mother's face, this was far from the norm. And while yes, there were tough times, there was also more laughter and happiness and love than ever before.

And so if I ever play a game of house with my future children (after all, I guess that is the type of stuff that happens when you're in your *twenties*) I will always request to be the teenager, because it will mean that just for a few minutes I will be able to relive all the joy that those 7 years held.



Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

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Overcoming Adversity Through Dedicated Involvement

The symbolism and values behind my sorority and the six honors society I am involved in are treasures I will take with me after graduation.

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This past weekend was action packed. On Saturday, April 27th, I had my Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society induction and on Sunday, April 28th, I was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success induction in the early afternoon and then proceeded to present my senior legacy plan for my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha.

On Saturday, I was inducted into Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society. This honors society is particularly special to me because it celebrates the accomplishments of students with some form of disability, yet, despite these barriers, are able to break the stigma surrounding disabilities through setting the example that disabilities do not have to hold us back, or "disable us." This organization encourages us to celebrate our achievements, whatever form they may take while setting an example going forward that disabilities may be a part of who of we are, but do not define us, nor limit us in being leaders and achieving great things.

Earlier this semester I was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, which is the National Communication Association's official honor society at four-year universities. According to the National Communication Association, Lambda Pi Eta represents what Aristotle described in Rhetoric as three ingredients of persuasion: Lambda, logos, meaning logic; Pi, pathos, relating to emotion; and Eta, ethos, defined as character credibility and ethics.

During the Fall 2018 semester, I was initiated into Order of Omega, honor society for leaders in the Greek community and encouraging Greek-wide unity among the sororities and the fraternities. I was also initiated into Golden Key International Honour Society. The seal of Golden Key puts emphasis on academics, leadership, and service. As with all these different honor's societies, recognition of academic excellence is only the beginning; these organizations aim to help students discover who they are so that they can reach their potential.

The year prior, during the Fall 2017 semester, I was initiated into Tau Sigma Honor Society for Transfer Students and became a charter member for my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. Tau Sigma aims to help transfer students feel recognized in their academic achievements through the first semester at their new school, while also promoting their involvement in student life so that transfer students, like myself, can continue successfully through their journey after transferring. The values of Alpha Sigma Alpha, growth, integrity, responsibility, generosity, enjoyment, relationships, and learning are what drew me to this organization, in the first place, and, in fact, I have them as my lock-screen screensaver.

I absolutely adore symbolism and the deeper meaning behind what can potentially be taken at face value. I was so excited to learn more about the shield for NSLS, over the weekend, which includes a Phoenix, just how ASA's insignia does. The Phoenix in NSLS symbolizes overcoming adversity since the Phoenix is capable of rising from the ashes. For my legacy plan, I discussed the symbolism of Alpha Sigma Alpha as an organization and shared my experiences pertaining to each symbol through in what became a PowerPoint photo book, which also turned into a day of celebrating poise and purpose, living joyously, and success through leadership development.

The Delta Alpha Pi pin and the National Society of Leadership and Success, are great additions to my "honors bear," which was given to me by my parents the day of my Cuyahoga Community College commencement ceremony; I have been adding pins to it ever since I transferred to Cleveland State University. All I'm missing is my Order of Omega pin, but the rest of them are pictured in the cover photo.

With my involvement in all of these student organizations, I will be wearing 5 sets of honors cords, my honors award medallion, and my ASA stole at graduation. Initially, I was embarrassed by all my graduation regalia, but thanks to the reassurance and support from my best friends and parents, I am no longer embarrassed and am so proud of myself for how far I really have come, despite mental illness, trauma, and recovery, and what I've been able to achieve despite.

Though it's technically a mythical creature, the Phoenix has officially become my spirit animal, right up there with owls and butterflies, because no matter what happens, I know in my heart of hearts that I am more than capable of overcoming adversity, whatever shape it may take, and am so excited to move forward fearlessly, with these values and symbols guiding the way.

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