Learning that you can change the world

Stop expecting someone else to fix it

We are all human, so help build up.

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What are we doing? I sat in my office working on layouts for the magazine and suddenly caught myself dazing off and just staring out the window. I locked vision on a single tree which was across the street from me and within about 15 seconds, I heard sirens. I continued to stare at this small dainty tree as police cars and fire engines sped through. I have no idea where they were going, I have no idea what occurred to cause them to flee, but I do know I didn't think anything of it.

About 45 minutes after that moment, I took my lunch break and was driving through town and suddenly saw red and blue lights flashing in my rear-view mirror, so of course, I pulled to the side. It was another set of fire engine's zooming behind a few ambulances. Again, what's there to think about? This happens every day. I live directly across the street from the Fire Department, if anyone knows how many times the fire engines leave the station it would be my family. Then it hit me. How are we used to this?

We see emergency vehicles and think that's normal. We no longer think of where they are going or whether a family is in need or a child is hurt. We think that someone else will take care of it…

That's where we fall short.

We cannot keep on expecting other people to help everyone. Now I am not here saying that every time you see a car accident then run to the rescue and act like the hero. You will more than likely hurt yourself and then call for another paramedic. I am saying that if someone's car is stuck on the side of the road, pull over and see if they need help. If there is a kid looking lost and scared at the state fair, take them to find their parent. If a dog is running up and down your neighborhood, call the number on their tag.

It is not hard. It is an inconvenience at most times, but it is not hard.

If we are translating this into our personal lives, we expect what we don't give out. We don't think about it until it affects our own personal lives and that is not going to spark any change in the world. Take, for example, medical aid and research. Now anything involving a hospital stay and medication is a scary topic, but we are so invested in our own lives that we don't think about the statistics from patients suffering from cancer. We ignore the donation jars at restaurants, the calls asking for money, the red cross emails.

We avoid it.

Until we are the ones sitting in that Florissant lit room smelling hand sanitizer in our cold hospital food. That is when we start panicking thinking, "how is no one working to fix this, no one is pushing for change". The ones who are trying to take action are being ignored by the masses because people are selfish by nature. Yes, there are good-hearted people who will donate every dollar they have, but do we think about people on the other end of the line hoarding in thousands and millions of dollars? Do we realize many of these are scams and money-making schemes? Do we push for change in a society where those we act like they care are acting scamming you?

As you think over that fun topic, consider what is happening at this moment over the border of the United States and Mexico. Children are being stripped of their livelihoods and parents as they try to make a change in their lives. Do you think any immigrant would be dumb enough to try and cross if they had any other choice? THEY NEED HELP AND WE ARE LITERALLY SLAMMING A DOOR IN THEIR FACE. They risk their lives to bring their family out of poverty, disease, illness, and terror, and what is their reward for trying to save their family? Having their family taken from them.

If we don't care who will? They won't be free or safe until they have someone who cares and says enough is enough. Right now we are silent because it "doesn't affect me". You are incorrect and it is the same as bi-standing in a fight or even recording and laughing as the weaker kid keeps getting kicked to the ground.

"Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community"

-Anthony J. D'Angelo

I am a first generation American in my family. I am born of Zoroastrian faith on American soil and I could not be prouder of my family lineage, and it breaks my heart to watch families sacrifice everything they have to protect their loved ones just to be told they aren't worth it.

My parents had their green cards for YEARS. My mom took nearly 18 years to develop full US Citizenship, or else she would have been thrown to the curb. It is not because she was procrastinating or being lazy, it is because the process requires so much to just be qualified, and you know where all those qualification records go? They sit stacked on tables, minimized on web browsers, because why should we rush the process?

People don't care until it is them being affected and that is what is so sad about society. Instead of building a wall, why don't we evaluate how to fix the issue, not generate more hatred for our country. Instead of calling that Indian kid a terrorist, why not let your child play with him? Instead of accusing that black man of theft, why not offer him a job? Instead of ignoring that homeless man, why don't you hear his story?

We are all skin and bone. We all breathe the same air, share the same soil, and drink the same water. When it rains, it does not skip over the white, black, Asian, Indian, Russian, or any other house. It rains on us all. We all pollute the earth, we all have flaws and issues, but we are all loved by more than ourselves. We are all humans and to put it into another light, think of bricks.

Bricks are sturdy alone, but stronger in masses, so why would we sacrifice our strength for our egos? You don't want people to enjoy freedom as much as you? Don't you think they deserve a happier and safer life? Are you just angry at them for trying to survive?

We need to stop the conflict and learn to prioritize the good of people before the glorification of superiority. You can rule all you want in an empty kingdom, but what is that worth?

If we could learn to stop passing laws to avoid an issue and in return FIX THE ISSUE, the world would be a lot easier to open your eyes to. Stop picking on the small guy. Stop expecting someone else to take care of other problems and stop assuming that it isn't a big deal. Because to someone, it is their entire life at risk, and we can all do something to help strike change.

Cover Image Credit:

Tish Cama

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."
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“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?

Nope.

High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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