Why I Back The Blue

Why I Back The Blue

From the police officer's daughter, I stand behind the thin blue line, wholeheartedly and very proudly.
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To keep it as plain and simple as it can be, I back the blue because they back me. When people throw around all this hate towards law enforcement, you have no idea who is around you that could possibly and probably is being offended by what is being said. But to conclude from that, if you even have the nerve to abominate law enforcement, chances are you don't care who you're offending. And because of these kinds of attitudes, it has us American citizens being forced to be pitted against one another, where one is clearly in the right and one is clearly in the wrong.

I have the utmost respect for those who wake up every single morning and put on that uniform, knowing they are going to put their lives on the line to protect each and every one of us, including those who hate on them so badly. Contrary to popular belief, police officers don't go looking for certain people of race, color, ethnicity, social class, etc. to go after each and every single day. Rather, they're looking for the people who are causing and could potentially cause harm, and to protect and serve all of those around them. They are doing their jobs every single day, just like a doctor would do his/her job, or a teacher, or a store cashier, etc.

This respect not only comes from just being a human being and seeing that police officers are human beings as well, but because I grew up in a family who was in and still is surrounded by law enforcement. From my cousins and uncles, to my own brother and father, to family friends and neighbors. Law enforcement has been in my life on a personal level since the day I was born, and because of this, I can truly say that it had such a positive affect on my outlook of life, and how precious it is.

When I say you have no idea who is around you that you could be offending, I mean it in the sense that you don't know if a wife who just lost her husband in the line of duty is standing behind you in line at the grocery store. Or if your waiter is patiently waiting to get off his shift so he can go visit his brother in the hospital, who was injured on a traffic stop. Or even if that girl who sits next to you in class has a father who has finally retired after spending over thirty years protecting and serving. The men and women behind the stern faces and badges are a mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, etc. They are all people just like you and I.

For me, I am that girl in class, with that father. And I am so extremely proud to say that he is the main reason for the way that I feel towards law enforcement and everything they do for us. You truly don't get it until you have to experience your father working day shift every single day, just to get off work to go to his second job all through the night stocking shelves in a grocery store, only to make sure that the bills get paid and that you and your siblings have everything and more that you could need. You don't get it until you experience the absence of the most important person in your life on birthdays, holidays, school events, etc. You don't get it until you experience and witness first hand the hatred and trash that gets thrown at police officers, wondering how someone could do that and say such harsh things to and about your own father and his other brothers in the line of duty who have become family members to you.

But that person that you call a "pig," or "bacon," is my father. And even though he put on that uniform each and every day and dealt with the really highs and really lows that came along with this career path, he raised me to be the person that I am today. He made sure that our faith was instilled in us and no matter what, that we go to church on Sundays and say grace before meals. He made sure to be there for every single father-daughter dance, no matter if it meant changing around his work schedule. He made sure to take an extra half hour out of his day that he could have been using to be sleeping, to sit down and paint my nails. He made sure to teach me how to ride a bike, drive a car, and pay a bill. He made sure to set time aside for family vacations every year, and to pick up those extra shifts to make sure that we always had more than we needed. Most importantly, he made sure to be a father first, and a police officer second.

So here's to you Daddy, and to everything that you've done for me and still continue to do. For your selflessness and hard work, and for truly being my biggest hero. While it may have felt like at many times that the world literally was against you, just know that everything you have done and everything you continue to do not just for myself and our family, but community as well, has never gone unnoticed and never will. And to all of those that bad mouth and trash law enforcement, next time stop and think about who could potentially be around you, but more importantly, what you're actually saying.

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Reynolds

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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