Why Every Freshman Should Write a Letter to Themselves

Why Every Freshman Should Write a Letter to Themselves

Reliving moments one letter at a time.
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My freshman year of high school, my English teacher had all of her students write a letter to themselves. We would be able to pick up the letter at anytime we wanted our senior year. To be quite honest, I totally forgot we had done this. The first week of my senior year she was sure to remind me to pick it up. I had made the decision to pick it up once I knew where I was going to college.

The day I picked up my letter I was honestly impressed with myself. I actually had two letters. My teacher and I both were confused by this. In true freshman fashion, I had actually left my original letter at home. So I wrote another one in the attempt to save myself. A lot of people didn't put that much effort into it and were left disappointed by the experience. I, however, had filled the envelope with pictures of everything that was important to me, along with an overwhelming amount of questions.

It truly shocked me to see how much I had grown over the last four years. I had a different friend group, different taste in music and some horrible grammar. I asked what car I was driving, about my family and some interesting assumptions about who I would be going to prom with. Overall, I was impressed with the work that my freshman self had put into this.

As I am preparing to move into college, myself and some other classmates have decided to write letters again. It is crazy to see how much I've grown over the last four years. I had no expectation that I would be where I am today. It leads me to question: where will be in another four? So far I have met some amazing people, pushed myself academically and I have some goals I would like to accomplish. I can't help but ask, will I accomplish my goals? Will my major change? What is in store for the next four years? By writing, you get to look at where you were in the moment. When I write mine, it will the night before I move in. I'll have answers to all the fears and questions I had the night before.

I wanted to write this to share the amazing experience I had doing this. Even if you aren't a freshman, writing a letter to yourself is an amazing way to remember how you are feeling at a specific point in your life. I plan to keep these letters forever just to remember who I was at that point in my life. Looking forward to reading my letter and all the success to come with it.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Image

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Who IS Allowed To Talk About Gun Control?

I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.
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Who is allowed to talk about gun control?

I see a lot of stuff on social media saying that teenagers don’t know enough to talk about gun control. Why? If a teenager dies of cancer, their friends talk about cancer. If a teenager dies because they were hit by a drunk driver on Prom night, the high school scares their students into not drinking and driving. Guess what, 17 teenagers were killed last week. Why are their friends not allowed to have an opinion on that? They have been going to funerals every day since Friday. I can’t imagine having to go to the funeral of the guy I sat next in math class. People my age aren’t supposed to die, we are supposed to graduate and get our dream job. A high school student should be thinking about homework and what movie they're seeing this weekend, not if that noise in the hallway was a man with a gun.

In media, we project images of strong teenagers. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, they are all books and movies depicting kids in situations they don’t like. The main characters fight the system causing an uproar from the adults. But, in the end the teenagers are victorious, their prize is happiness and spending their adult lives in peace. Why would adults feed their children these novels and not expect the message to be taken to heart.

Ou president is a 71 year old white man, there were approximately 14 incidents where shots were fired in a school. That is about as many as there have been in 2018. I have no idea what changed, what has made this number dramatically increase. But obviously something needs to change. Why does President Trump feel threatened by the idea of making the ability to purchase a gun less accessible?

Personally, I don’t think that we need to make all guns illegal. There are many people, several of which I’m related to, who legally own guns that have only ever been used to shoot animals during their designated hunting seasons. But, last week I watched in horror as the news story of a guy that I graduated with was shot and killed. He had recently bought a pump action shotgun and was showing friends when it accidentally went off and shot him in the chest.In our society, guns are not going to disappear, but they are far too prevalent and easily accessible to those who clearly do not need to be in possession them.

The students of Douglas High School do not want to do away with guns. They want to make sure that no one ever has to worry about their friends, children, siblings or any one else while they are trying to get an education. I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Hate To Say It, But Social Media Is Ruining Us

Why post everything on Facebook?
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I'm guilty of it myself. I post photos on my social media accounts of a fun vacation I went on, or of my friends and I looking good and having a fun time. I strive for that perfect candid that was so unplanned but was still so cute. Events that I am proud of I share with my friends. I write articles just as I am writing this one, to share my ideas on the media.

But why do we have a tendency to share all this online?

There is nothing wrong with posting pictures that you want to expose to others. However, when it becomes a comparison, it becomes a problem. Often times, social media portrays people's lives onscreen different from their reality. Instagram can make it seem that someone is living their best life when in reality there is a failure to show the pure, raw and difficult insight or emotion your follower is actually experiencing. It can be a fake, false distortion that has the ability to put others down and reconsider their own lives. It essentially this "Barbie doll" misconception. Unfortunately, no one's life is as easy and perfect as we think it is.

Another issue faced by social media is Facebook's "What's on your mind?" question bar. I feel like this question is almost rhetorical, as if we all answered this question honestly with details, is it really what is appropriate for all audiences? Telling information face to face in our inner circle is one thing, but there is certainly a distinction between Facebook friends and true friends. People don't always have everyone's best interest at heart. Most of us are not close with half of these friends we have added. So why do we need to share our every movement of every day with them?

Sharing pictures of your own, your child's or a loved one's graduation or milestone is completely justifiable and in fact, encouraged. But when media is used to brag or showcase something that you would not normally discuss in real life, it may be time to reconsider.

We are told numerous times by our elders that we are overly absorbed in what is in our hands. We are not making as many everyday connections outside the realm of the device in our fingertips. I never thought that I would agree as much, and I hate to say that it is something I've become more and more aware of is true.

To conquer this general trend and harmful trend found in modern times, enjoy the moment and be present. Who knows if you'll have the same opportunity to be in the same place with the same people twice.

Stop recording the concert, and enjoy the fact that you're seeing one of your favorite artists live. Enjoy your beach day without making the entire day that is supposed to be about relaxation, about taking a good pic.

Social media is a blessing that we are all grateful for, but let's not let its curse get the best of us. Since when was this supposed to be a stressful thing?

So go on a cleanse. Put the device down, and go see the world for yourself, not for anyone else.

Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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