A Letter To My 17-Year-Old Self And The 'Good Ol' Days'

A Letter To My 17-Year-Old Self And The 'Good Ol' Days'

You’re in the good old days right now, so why not start living like it?

Dear 17-Year-Old Self,

You think life is really hard right now and rightfully so.

Chemistry is going to be the death of you. No one has asked you to the homecoming dance yet. You have no money to go out with your friends after Friday’s football game. And you’re trying to juggle a social life while you have a mountain of homework waiting for you when you get home.

Everyone keeps asking you where you’re going to college, when you’re taking the SATs and what you plan on doing with the rest of your life. They want to know how many schools you’ve applied to. They want to know your Plan A, Plan B and Plan Z. But you don’t know the answer to any of those questions. Heck, you don’t even know when your next history test is.

I get it. High school is tough. You’re still trying to be a kid, but everyone is pressuring you to grow up. So please hear me when I say this: don’t listen to them.

And let me tell you why you shouldn’t.

A couple weeks ago, my best friend and I went out to dinner. She’s getting married in a couple months (congrats, by the way, you’re the maid of honor), so we decided to have one last hoorah of a weekend.

We sat in a Longhorn Steakhouse for two hours that night talking about our lives and how much they’d changed over the past few years. We talked about our jobs and all of the responsibilities that came with them. We talked about benefits and life insurance and retirement money. We talked about what it was like to live on our own and move out of our parents’ house. We talked about her wedding and how she would be living in a different state in a matter of months.

At one point she got up to run to the restroom. While she was gone, I sat there thinking about all of the other times we’d gone to dinner at Longhorn. This had been our go-to place ever since we got our driver’s licenses. We went after basketball practice on more than one occasion. We went for each other’s 18th birthdays. We went when we’d had a crappy week at college and needed a meal that wasn’t from the dining hall. And every time we went, at one point or another, one of us would inevitably say:

“I can’t wait to ______”

It never failed. We would talk about how we couldn’t wait to graduate high school. We couldn’t wait to live on our own. We couldn’t wait to finish college and get real jobs. We couldn’t wait to get married. The list went on and on.

If I could go back right now, I’d tell myself to stop saying that phrase, to stop worrying so much about what was next. I’d grab my 17-year-old-self by the shoulders, look her straight in the eye, and tell her to enjoy the season she was in right then.

Andy Bernard from "The Office" said it best when he said,

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

So do me a favor, and take my advice. Enjoy where you’re at, and don’t try to grow up so fast. I know being in your 20s sounds exciting. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of great things about it, but there are a lot of things about not being in my 20s that I wish I could get back.

I wish I could go back to wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt to class instead of having to dress up every day for work.

I wish my biggest cause of stress was my pre-calc test on Friday instead of trying to figure out my 401-K.

I wish I could go back to never getting anything in the mail instead of getting bills every other day.

I wish I could just ask dad to fix my toilet when it breaks instead of having to figure it out on my own.

I wish I could come home every day to dinner that mom made instead of having a bowl of cereal for the fourth time this week.

I could keep going, but I’m sure you get the idea. There are so many wonderful things about being in high school and just being young in general. Don’t waste these years wishing you were older, richer and more independent. You’ve got plenty of time for that. Trust me.

I want you to look back on these days and smile, knowing that you lived every single one of them to the fullest. Sure, you’ll make mistakes. You’ll get bad grades. You’ll get your heart broken. But those things will pale in comparison to the memories you will make in this season of your life.

You’re in the “good old days” right now, so why not start living like it?

Cover Image Credit: Kristen Camp

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A Girl Gets Raped At School Then Gets Suspended

Boys are always going to be boys, right?

How many cases have there been about young girls get raped? As of late rape is becoming a huge topic that some are still afraid to talk about. I am here to share a story of a ninth grader who is, of course, getting the blame rather than the boys that did the crime.

A female student who goes to Miami Carol Senior High School has brought claims to people about three boys who had raped her. Where did it happen? It happened in the bathroom at the school, yep you read that correctly. These students had taken advantage of another during the time they should be learning.

The fourteen-year-old who I'm going to refer to as Sarah claims she was sexually assaulted by three boys and gets suspended from the aftermath.

"He was holding onto my sweater really tight and I was trying to leave to get back to class, and he kind of just pulled me into the restroom," Sarah tells. She went to a teacher had told her about the incident that occurred. Eventually, the school suspended the boys but did not expel them.

I get that Sarah may be horrified or even scared to go to go due to what happened. Why does she need to be suspended? What did she do in the situation that she should get a strike for it? Maybe it's for Sarah's safety, maybe they are treating her unfairly.

Moving on, the first boy she says forced her to have anal sex while the others forced her to perform oral on them. However, the girl supposedly told the Mother that she didn't scream or run away leaving that as consensual.

Sigh, why does it always come down to that? If a girl or woman doesn't strike back it is considered consensual. I've read that in other cases before and I just don't understand how that can validate any situation. I'm sorry I didn't have enough time to fight back when I was being held down or forced.

As if this story could get any worse it did and fast. Two of the boys' families stepped forward and told the investigator something that no one wants to hear. One of the boys has gonorrhea and the other is HIV positive.

This girl is only fourteen years old and is going to have life ripped away. They had given Sarah medication just in case and she won't know if she is positive until a year later. Why? What did he do to deserve that?

The same with the boy though, it is a shame that he is HIV positive but why would you want to infect someone else? Why would you want to let someone else suffer from the same disease?

The school had released a statement which said “School district administrators in conjunction with Miami-Dade Schools Police are thoroughly investigating this case thoroughly, and it continues to be an active investigation. Information regarding the case has been provided to the State Attorney’s Office as well as the Department of Children and Families (DCF).”

Sarah is getting therapy and is staying away from the school which I said I would completely understand. Her Mother is stating that the district is being difficult with allowing her to transfer someplace else.

Rape isn't going to go away even if we want it to. People are still going to do the same thing no matter how hard we fight. It becoming the same fight over and over and there isn't much we can do.

I just hope that this won't be so popular in the news. With each and every story that comes up reads the same thing. Female gets raped by a male and they usual result in the winning of the man.

At some point we need to figure out a way to calm this but unfortnauly for us we can't make it stop.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Full of Emotions: A poem

Not positive emotions, but they needed written

This is a poem that has been stewing in the back of my head for the past week, things that I've felt like I needed to voice and should've spoken up about ages ago.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy it.

I can't bring myself to love you.

I can't stand you

I almost hate you

and yet,

because of who you are,

I know it shouldn't be like this.

Does it make me a bad person

if I wish for your existence to end?

Does it make me evil

to wish no good to come to you?

If this is a sin,

I think it probably is,

I am not ready to repent for it yet.

All these feelings

I used to have for you

have been numbed

by the anesthesia of time.

Every time the anesthesia wears off

I learn a new thing to like

and almost just as quickly

another thing to hate.

You hurt me and you hurt

people I love

with equal abandon

and I can't forgive that.

Maybe it makes me a bad person

maybe I'm justified

in my feelings of dislike

and even if I am

I don't care.

My emotions have been

stunted for so long

because of you.

Being away from you,

I'm allowed to lower my defenses

and actually let my emotions grow

and attach myself to others.

Being away from you,

I realized how strange your love is,

how different your views are

and I've seen how far apart

you and I are now.

And I'm okay with it.

Cover Image Credit: Erdenebayar

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