Stress And Struggles High School

The Expectations, Workload And Burnout Sophomore Year Brought Has Made It An Abysmal Year Of Failures For Me

To put it simply, my 10th grade experience has not been the best.

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Sophomore year for many is recalled with affection and remembered as the last year of carefree fun before the seriousness of college applications starts to set in. It's supposed to be the year where you can enjoy yourself and act like a kid before the responsibilities of junior year come. But for me, it's been absolute hell.

As more and more has been demanded out of me in each of my classes, I've had to push myself both mentally and physically beyond what is normal or healthy to finish the once-simple task of homework. I think it's safe to say that I've never felt so low in my life. I've never woken up repeating "I don't want to go to school" in my head over and over again until this year. Unfortunately, it's become so common to wake up in a mixture of hatred for school and myself it's almost like a daily routine now.

As I increasingly become more disorganized and distraught, I'm beginning to think I've lost the will to succeed in my classes or even worse: not care at all in a time when dedication and discipline in my studies are crucial.

Though burning out wasn't always a phenomenon exclusive to 10th grade, never in a million years did I expect to give up so early in this school year. Toward the beginning of ninth grade, I was fueled by a mixture of fear and motivation to succeed in my classes. I managed to stay up until 3 a.m. and complete my homework because I never considered not turning it in an option. It was only until May in the second semester of freshman year that I started to burn out, and at that point, school was so close to ending that my classes began to turn into a waiting game.

When summer vacation rolled around, I calmed my rising doubts about 10th grade by saying I'd be renewed and restored by the time the school year came. That over the break, I'd magically manage to possess the same drive, spirit and ambition as I did last year.

The fact that I stayed up until 3:45 a.m. finishing my summer homework before the first day of school was already a bad omen in itself. In the one year that has passed between my freshman and sophomore year, I can barely even remain awake at 1 a.m. On some nights, I've reassured myself with hollow phrases such as, "It's okay if you don't do your work; we all have to make sacrifices." I feel the same way I did the second semester of freshman year.

Only this time, school is in full swing, and I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Though I don't necessarily care about turning in the homework itself, it's become concerning that I've lost the high standards and vigor I used to tackle my studies with.

In addition to my loss of motivation, the increasing demands of 10th grade have helped me create confining expectations that make me feel horrible when I can't meet them. When I'm supposed to understand what I'm taught, manage my time, do work efficiently and have my life together, I end up falling apart even more when I can't rise up to the challenge. As more people surrounding me have begun to get more serious about school in preparation for college, it kills me that I'm doing the exact polar opposite.

Everyone seems to be improving and changing in response to their experiences in ninth grade while I remain stagnant. Regardless of whether they really are happier or not, I feel like I've fallen so behind I can't even maintain the illusion of being okay. It's so frustrating to see others doing so well and not be able to do the same.

All this has culminated into a giant sense of failure along with the feeling of powerlessness. I feel so out of control of all aspects in my life from my grades to my sleep schedule to my procrastination habits to my emotions. School now seems like a place I go every Monday for the sole purpose of being worn down and broken by Friday in an endless cycle. I've never hated school more for giving me all this work, and I've never been more disappointed in myself for not being able to finish it on time.

This all sets such a dangerous precedent for next year. I don't know how I'll survive in junior year when schoolwork starts to rise even higher. However, pinpointing exactly where I'm unhappy with myself can hopefully give me a starting point on the road to improvement. If I've hit rock bottom this year, there's nowhere to go but up. As songwriter K.Flay once sang, "The darkest nights mean you see the stars the most." Despite all of these setbacks, I still have hope.

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My Freckles Are Not A Beauty Trend For You To Appropriate And Immitate

Those with faces full of freckles can't wipe them off like you can after a photo shoot.

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While it is fun to use makeup to express yourself, one can argue unless you are in costume, it should be used to enhance your features, not create new ones. The trend of artificial freckles puts a nasty taste in my mouth reminiscent to the feeling I get when I see a Caucasian woman apply such dark foundation to her face that she appears to be donning blackface.

To someone who has a face full of freckles, it is offensive to see you paint on freckles as if they were not permanent features of other people's skin that they cannot remove with a makeup wipe. I remember asking my cousin at 5 years old if I could surgically remove my freckles and crying when she broke to me that I'd be stuck with what she called giraffe spots my whole life.

I'm not alone in feeling self-conscious about my freckles. The face is the fulcrum of the identity, and it can feel like my facial identity is like a haphazard splash of orange/brown debris. Another against the fake freckles movement retorts: "you'll soon regret them when people begin to describe you as a polka-dot-skinned troll or a cinnamon-toast-faced goblin. Also, when your eyebags start to sag in middle-age, that 'cute' skin art will probably deteriorate into something more closely resembling oblong blackheads. Sincerely, A Freckled Person"

One woman recalls her struggle with accepting the patterns of her skin from a very young age:

“When I was a young girl, I remember staring at myself in my bathroom mirror and imagining my face without the scattered brown dots that littered my face and body. I dreamed of having the small imperfections removed from my face and obtaining the smooth porcelain skin that I envied. I looked at my bare-faced friends in awe because they had what I wanted and would never know. For some odd reason, I had made myself believe that my freckles made me ugly."

I've come to appreciate the beauty of these sun kisses, and many nowadays have too. However, freckles haven't always been considered cute. There is a history of contempt toward red reader freckled people, just ask Anne Shirley! The dramatic young heroine laments: "Yes, it's red," she said resignedly. "Now you see why I can't be perfectly happy. Nobody could who had red hair. I don't mind the other things so much — the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, "Now my hair is a glorious black, black as the raven's wing." But all the time I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong sorrow." (Montgomery).

Historically, freckles on ones face have been seen as dirty or imperfect. It's easy to forget that Irish features such as red hair and freckles have been subject to hateful discrimination for centuries. In some places, the word ginger is even used as a slur.

I am not a red-headed stepchild for you to beat — or for you to appropriate.

My facial texture is not a toy for you to play with.

It is rude and inconsiderate to pock your face for a selfie while those with randomly splashed spots get someone once a week trying to rub off the "dirt speck" on their face.

Greg Stevens has a theory to why there is anti-red prejudice

“Skin tone is another one of those well-studied features that has been shown to consistently have an impact on people's assessment of physical beauty: Those with clear, evenly-colored skin are widely regarded as being more attractive than people with patchy, blotchy, or freckled skin.
Nowhere is this more obvious than when looking at professional photos of redheaded models and celebrities. Even those "hot redheads" that flaunt the redness of their hair usually are made-up on magazine covers to have almost unnaturally even skin tones. Moreover, there is a reasonable theory to explain why the bias against freckles might be more than just a cultural prejudice. Not to be too blunt about it, but freckles are cancer factories."

By that, the author means freckles can be early indicators of sun damage or skin cancer. This illusion that freckles indicate deficiency may also play in negative connotations toward a person with freckles

While I acknowledge the intention of people with clear skin who paint freckles on their face isn't to offend — rather it is to appreciate freckles as a beauty statement — the effect is still offensive. If you are thinking about trying this freckle fad, you should put down your fine tipped brush and consider what it would be like if you couldn't wipe away the spots.

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Remaining NBA Playoffs Matchup Predictions

NBA playoff predictions

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With the NBA Season coming to a close after 82 games and multiple playoff games, I wanted to predict the remaining NBA series's and who would win. Let's start!

Eastern Conference Semi-Finals: Sixers in 6 vs Raptors

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This one's pretty simple, The Sixers have more firepower, they have better chemistry, and they have a better coach. The Raptors are still adjusting to the Kawhi era and might take them a couple years for their chemistry to improve. The Sixers should win this series in six, but only because Kawhi is good enough to win two games by himself.

Eastern Conference Semi-Finals: Bucks in 5 vs Celtic

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The Greak Freek is so good he can single-handedly beat this Celtics roster with Kyrie and Tatum. The Celtics have been suffering since late in the season and Giannis is here to expose that. Mike Budenholzer has made the Bucks into a complete team and they should easily dismantle last year's Eastern Conference Finals Losers.

Western Conference Semi-Finals: Blazers in 7 vs Nuggets

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It's always Dame Time in Portland. Dame is leading his team fast and furious in the playoffs. He is averaging over 30 points a game and is carrying the Blazers. Him and CJ are a formidable duo. While Denver has great players, I believe in a 7 game series the Blazers will outplay them.

Western Conference Semi-Finals: Warriors in 6

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The Warriors are the greatest team in the NBA this season. I'm not tired of how good they are because of Steph Curry. Often it seems like they don't try when they're playing, but I am sure that when it counts they will be able to oust the Rockets.

Eastern Conference Finals: Bucks vs Sixers: Sixers in 7

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The Bucks vs the Sixers; two young teams battling it out to be the East's best. Who will win? Not going to lie if this happens it will be the best series in the playoffs. This series will definitely go to 7 games and the matter of fact is the winner of this may be lucky to keep on moving. Based on talent I took the Sixers, but with Giannis anything can happen so watch out!

Western Conference Finals: Warriors vs Trail Blazers: Warriors in 5

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To make it simple, the Warriors talent makes the Blazers look like a high school JV team. Dame might be like the outlier and help the Blazers win one game, but otherwise the Warriors will make it look easy and go past this series easily.

NBA Finals: Warriors vs Sixers: Warriors in 4

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The Warriors will finally find their momentum by the time the Finals rolls around and should easily sweep the Sixers. The Sixers lack experience in the Finals and even the playoffs that much to be honest and it will show. The Warriors will be too much for them and will dismantle the Sixers in 4 games.

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