Quit Raising Victims

Quit Raising Victims

As a culture, we tend to baby our children way more than need be.

Something I recently realized as I was avoiding assignments and looking through Pinterest was how each generation gets a little softer in their parenting techniques. Now I know that this is stereotypical of me but it's also true. Parents are becoming more and more protective over their children (hello there, helicopter parents) and they are doing more for their kids. Now before you get offended and run to your safe space, hear me out. The world is a scary place. It always has been and it always will be. I hear a lot of people saying things likes 'my 15-year-old child cannot go biking without his helmet and parental supervision because the world is so much worse than when I was a child'. All right, well I do have to applaud you for making your kid wear a helmet (although it's not likely he will keep it on) but you are also wrong. The world is just as bad as it was when you were 15 and biking around all day without parental supervision. If anything, the popularization of cell phones makes it safer for kids to go out without their parents being two feet behind them. I'm sorry, but independence is a part of the growing process.

Keeping an unusually short leash on kids is doing more than just pissing them off and making them wish they could chain you in the house and keep you there for a bit: it's also depriving them of developing the skills they need to be their own person. My father liked to point out that he wouldn't always be there to fix my issues and that I had to learn how to adult all by myself. And you know what, he's right. He wasn't there when my exhaust literally fell off my car. He wasn't there when I had to deal with my first angry customer. He wasn't there when I had to decide if I needed to go to class today or if I could miss it and sleep. He wasn't there when I had to call a towing company because I totaled my car or when I had to talk with the police after my boyfriend flipped his car. But I navigated all of these situations successfully. Do you want to know why? Because growing up, I had to deal with situations that prepared me for these things. I had to talk to the cashier when I wanted to buy things. I had to decide if I should go to my friend's house even though my parents said no. I was given choices and allowed to do things under the guidance of my parents. If I had issues at school, it was up to me to fix it. Mommy didn't call the school and fix it for me. I learned skills that I can use in life. Crazy I know.

Now, my parents were not dumb. I am a tiny little girl which makes it very easy for someone to snatch me up. I am sure my parents feared this happening every time I left the house. But instead of just keeping me locked up, they taught me to be careful and evaluate my situation. They taught me how to get out of a situation I wasn't comfortable in and how to think on my feet. They also put me through karate. But by doing this, they gave me an amazing ability to do the things that I want while being safe. They did not raise a victim, they raised a psychotic lady who can fend for herself. Would you rather have someone who has experience making decisions or a person who has been sheltered their entire life working for you? Stop raising victims! Stop doing everything for your kids and teach them how to be adults. Teach them to stand up for themselves and how to handle simple things. I am begging you. I have met some brilliant people who still have to call mommy to see if they should eat fruit with their breakfast or their lunch. I understand that as a parent you simply want them to stay alive and be happy. I get it. But unless you plan on taking care of them for the entirety of your life, give them some skills that will let them move out of your house one day. We don't need safe spaces because of a Netflix show or who our president is. We don't need to be hidden from the outside world and told how scary it is. We need skills. We need to have adults who can have a civil conversation and can decide for themselves if they should show up to work or not. I am not saying stop protecting them peroid, i'm simply suggesting we ease up on helicopter parenting after the kid is older than four.

Stop raising victims, we don't need them. Start raising adults again because parents have a tendency to die before their offspring.

Cover Image Credit: Ali Davies

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Dear High School, From An Alumna Who Just Finished Freshman Year Of College

I may not have known it at the time, but you prepared me for the ride of my life.


It was about this time last year that I was practically pulling my hair out because I was so close to the end of high school. Graduation was so close I could taste it. The air was warm, classes were dwindling down, and the classrooms I knew so well were cluttered with final papers waiting to be graded. Those four years went by so quickly, but at the same time, it felt like they dragged on forever.

I don't even know how I would describe high school. For me, it wasn't terrible, but by senior year, I could tell it was time for a change and I was itching to get out. In retrospect, I wish I would have held on to those final moments of high school. I wish I would have told my teachers how much I truly appreciated them. I wish I spent more time with my friends before I had to leave them for my next adventure. I wish I didn't take the warmth of familiar faces for granted.

I really thought that I knew everything back then. I thought that since I was amongst the older students at that school, there was nothing else that my high school could offer me. I had seen it all, learned all the tricks. I left high school knowing exactly what I wanted.

But here's the thing:

The way I see it now is that high school is not about figuring everything out. To me, high school is about preparing yourself to explore different opportunities and to give every one of those opportunities a fair chance. To me, high school is about acquiring skills that are necessary for any line of work so that you can enter college, or whatever that next step might be, fully equipped with the best of yourself.

Some people have their whole life planned out at an early age and they stick with that plan through and through. I applaud those people for finding something they love so much and committing to it wholeheartedly, but for a lot of us, the truth of the matter is that there is so much about the world and about ourselves that we do not know.

We owe it to ourselves to explore the unknown. Because what I have learned this past year is that one discovery leads to another and you never know what you might find along the way.

What I thought I wanted a year ago is vastly different than what I want now. And it's all because high school taught me to have an open mind about everything I do. High school taught me to put my best foot forward every step of the way. It taught me to stay humble and understand that there is something that I can learn from every person I meet. It taught me the value of exploration.

So, although I don't remember every math formula that I learned in those four years, the things that I do remember turned out to be much more valuable to me even if I didn't realize it at the time.

My advice to high school seniors as they count down the days until graduation: hold on to these moments, work hard until the end, stay humble, and always keep an open mind.

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