When History Is Personal

When History Is Personal

For some, 9/11 is nothing more than a page in a textbook.

As the world and the United States remembers 9/11, this New Yorker wanted to point out a stark difference in society 15 years later - most high schoolers weren't alive for or remember 9/11.

In school, it was always kind of an unspoken reality we all knew about. There wasn't much to say because we all remembered it, and we all knew at least one person who was affected by it or had died in it. The lesson about 9/11 was literally a somber "you guys lived it, so I don't need to lecture". Might I add being in New York and New Jersey is very different than being in other areas of the country, because we were at the forefront. I have always found it to be an interesting conversation when 9/11 comes up with people who live in other areas of the country, not from New York City or remotely close to it. It is also a conversation where I am notably very quiet and occasionally shaking my head.

Now that the September 11th attacks occurred fifteen years ago, most of us can recall the day even if we were in grade school. Most of us, especially New Yorkers, can also recall seeing the Twin Towers on the daily, and seeing them in movies offers a strange experience. The thing is, schools are being tasked with the hard reality to teach older children and teenagers about it. For older generations, 9/11 is burned into their memories, so much so movies with scenes that resemble a terrorist attack can get people visibly upset. Teachers need to tread lightly when teaching, but still try to convey how horrible of a day it really was. Events like Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust, and even the Civil War (which saw the most American casualties of any war) have faded enough into the history books that it can be a relatively comfortable, albeit melancholy, conversation. Odds are many of us don't know Pearl Harbor survivors or Holocaust survivors, given the amount of time elapsed alone. September 11th is different, especially for the New York area. We know survivors, we knew people who died, and some of us probably even saw some of the death and destruction itself. One World Trade Center is quite gorgeous, but one has to realize what happened for it to get there - and that's probably quite difficult for those who weren't alive for it. People who were just alive during it likely feel a connection to it those who weren't alive for it probably don't understand all that well. The movies from the '90s aren't as weird for them - the skyline always looked as it does now. There's also cars from the 1950s in old movies, too.

The high schoolers and kids who weren't alive for 9/11 may just view it as another Pearl Harbor or Holocaust - something purely in the history books. So on the anniversary of 9/11, I urge these high schoolers to not shy away from a story or coverage or even political drama. I urge them to be sensitive and try to save their teachers an awkward lecture dominated by an obvious generational difference. I urge them to listen to the people willing to talk about it despite the utterly horrific subject matter and ultimately traumatizing accounts you might read. Remember that unlike the Holocaust and the Civil War, a larger amount of people among you remember it and might have even experienced it. Don't view it as text in a history book, because the scarred New Yorkers and American citizens as a whole are among you everywhere. They haven't faded into the history books as much as you'd like to think. Take it upon yourself to do some late-night Googling and ask your older friends what it was like. After all, the results and ramifications of this event will most certainly be affecting your lives, if it hasn't already, in ways that can't be taught in a history book. But being respectful (especially in New York) is probably at the forefront of this issue. You weren't alive, but a lot of us were - and it's our job to educate you, but your job to understand it. And thank you, teachers, for having to take that up year round.

More importantly, if you visit the 9/11 memorial, I urge you to also not take selfies. If you'd like a unanimous way to piss off about 8 million people at once, just go there and take a selfie. Don't be surprised if you're yelled at, given the side-eye, or insulted, either.

This is New York, you know, and we have a tough reputation for a reason.

Cover Image Credit: wallpapercave.com

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.

Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Writing Saved My Sanity

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


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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