Read This Instead Of Studying For Your Finals

Read This Instead Of Studying For Your Finals

Just a little story for your study break

I SCUFFLED ACROSS the road towards my fate. Whether or not I would be persecuted for my actions remained to be seen. There were no cars entering my city, and for good reason.

Once you got in, you couldn’t get out.

It was right smack-dab in the thick of the night; no one would venture out unless they had somewhere to be. The dangers of being caught were not too high. I was completely alone. No cars hurriedly departed from the city either; they were too smart for that. Anyone who tried to leave would be imprisoned. No one dared take that chance. I had tried on too many occasions, I recalled, looking back on the path from which I came. I managed to cross a brook, pass through an aristocrat’s perfectly landscaped back lawn, and over the only highway in Barrens, my home city, all without being caught.

Barrens was anything but what its name sounded like. Since the old days, the small village had flourished and grown into a very sophisticated and orderly civilization. The city was pristine; citizens managed to get along well with one another or not at all; there was no crime. It was the perfect vision of a utopian society. At least, that was what the brainwashed locals thought. I was a local, born Barren and bred Barren, but I wasn’t blind to their schemes. The city board was up to something. Had been for at least thirty-three years, perhaps longer, but that was all the memory stored up in my family.

I lived with my great grandmother, who, up until recently, lived a perfectly normal life. She told me stories of the olden days, before we were forced to wear masks straight out of the womb. How life wasn’t always this way; people didn’t always live in fear, or so she said. When the board found out she was putting these so-called “lies” in my head, they locked my poor Grandma Harmony away in an insane asylum known as The Edgar Allen Poe Home for the Deranged, what others in school referred to as the Wasteland. No one knew exactly what happened to the patients in the hospital but it was common knowledge that whoever went in was changed forever. Every case was different, however. One girl in my seventh-grade class told us that her mother was committed into the asylum and when she came to visit her, after just one week of treatment, her mother had no idea who this girl was. Others said they replaced the patients’ brains with chicken brains, but we were children when we spread those rumors, none of us ever thought we would be put in there or someone we loved. I didn’t know it then but it would soon become more relevant to my own life than I realized.

That was the reason for my excursion this evening. I needed to plead for my grandmother’s safe return one more time. The past attempts failed miserably. Neither jury nor board of executives would listen to a seventeen-year-old girl who hadn’t even gotten her “new face” yet – what the superiors called the one act of kindness towards us undesirables was giving them a new face. As long as I was trapped behind my mask, I would not be heard. I was tipped by a friend at school that the “privileged” were having a party in Madame Budrow’s, one of the board members, exquisite mansion. Only those without masks were invited, as were all social events.

There was a share few of us – the ones forced to wear masks to guard our supposed hideous faces – a race, if you will, of people with some phenotypic gene that was passed down hereditarily giving us grotesque, shockingly repulsive appearances; a race that was cut off from the rest of the divine society. The unmasked individuals got better jobs, were respected, and had more liberties than the masked folk, my people. No one questioned it. We weren’t supposed to question anything the superiors did. People accepted it long ago. We weren’t to be associated with, according to the law, the one Madame Budrow helped to establish. But I just had to get in. All of the board members would be in attendance; surely one of them would listen to my plea.

I slid along the brick side of the Budrow Manor. My head circled around as I checked the perimeter. No sign of anyone anywhere. I let out a sigh of relief. That meant a: no one would see me sneaking around, and b: no one would be getting arrested tonight. All the masked citizens had a curfew. Anyone caught out of bed after nine o’clock was to be severely punished. Jail had been abolished many years before my birth. Now, the punishment was much worse; it lengthened the amount of time one of my people were to wear our masks, which – I was sure – were far more gruesome than our actual facades. But how was I to know? I had never seen my true face before.

Two superiors climbed up the majestic stone steps and rang the Budrow doorbell. I examined them closely. I never understood what was so great about them. The woman was thin; she had curves in all the right places. Her hair was a reddish gold that stretched down to her backside in long, straight locks without any stray hairs, kinks, or imperfections in sight. Her skin was flawless, reflecting a soft, golden tan that glowed under the porch’s chandelier light. The man, however, had light blonde hair that feathered out perfectly – none like any boy’s I had ever seen. All the masked boys I knew had tousled, wild hair that hardly ever stayed in place. The next thing I knew, the large doors opened, the guests faces lit up, and they glided with effortless grace of a superior inside.

The time was now.

I hurried around the corner and up the steps. I squeezed behind the couple through the doorway. The grand hall was extravagant. Dozens of superiors lined the marbled floors. A classical string quartet’s music echoed throughout the room. The unmasked people were laughing and dancing without a care in the world, just the way they handled everything. I instantly felt all eyes on me, when in reality no one was giving me a second thought.

That is, until one of the Budrow’s security guards noticed my presence. I watched him start over to me. My eyes widened underneath my mask and I ducked out the door. I ran as fast as I could, careful not to step on any of the superior’s lawns or any sidewalk triggers that would alert the authorities that an undesirable was out of bed. The sprinklers on what I was sure to be the Ysons’ lawn switched on, barely pelting me with stinging water droplets. I dashed out of the superiors’ secluded subdivision and came upon the undesirable neighborhood.

It was like stepping back in time. The flawless paved walkways turned into dusty roads leading to rows of shack-like houses all scrunched together on the left and right sides of the strip. The cameras watching the every movement of the citizens disappeared with the modernized look. Here in the Plum Downs, we could be ourselves. We still could not remove our masks – they were specially ‘glued’ onto our skin – but we could live what would be seemingly normal lives. Not a soul roamed the street, and only three shacks had lights on. On the left side of the street, I noticed my lowly shack’s yellow lights were flickering on and off.

That was my signal.

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Things To Do When You're So Bored All You Want To Do Is Cry

Do something artsy


Everyone has times when they have nothing to do and boredom strikes way too hard. From experience, I have found some top things to do when you literally have nothing else to do!

1. Clean

Not super fun, but will keep you busy.

2. Netflix

Find a new show to binge watch. Watched them all? Rewatch something you haven't seen in a while!

3. Shopping

Retail therapy can always keep you busy.

4. Make a home cooked meal

Spend some time in the kitchen and make something yummy! Even invite some friends.

5. Visit friends/ family

Pop in on some people you care about that you haven't seen in a while!

6. Write

Writing is something we all do and is a great way to express ourselves!

7. Exercise

Hit the gym or go for walk, do something to keep you nice and fit.

8. Volunteer

Go to an animal shelter, food bank, museums, or anywhere in your area that needs help.

9. Look for a job

If you're bored, maybe getting a part time job will keep you a little occupied. Plus it's extra money in your pocket.

10. Draw/ do something artsy

Even if you think you're a bad artist, drawing is something fun to do! You'll get better in time.

11. Join an Odyssey Team!

Writing articles through the Odyssey is an amazing experience and can always keep you busy!

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