Roller Coasters Have Turned My Life Upside Down

Roller Coasters Have Turned My Life Upside Down

I never knew that roller coasters would have this big of an impact on me.

I have been riding roller coasters since I reached the required height of 35”, and that forever changed my life. I never realized that these cars that traveled at high speeds along steel or wood track would become one of the most important aspects of my life. I love the feeling as the anticipation builds while waiting in line, and as it continues to build as the coaster car makes the trek up the lift hill; the feeling of seeing that first drop as we near the top, how my heart starts pounding; and how it feels when my heart drops to my stomach as we fly down the first drop. After that, I raise my hands and let gravity control the rest of the ride for me.

This isn’t a passion that I just developed on my own, but with the help of my dad. He was the one that really opened my eyes to everything roller coasters and even introduced me to the club - The American Coaster Enthusiasts. He has taken me to ride some very intense roller coasters that have helped me conquer my fear of going upside down. He has introduced me to roller coasters that defied everything that we are taught, such as wooden roller coasters cannot go upside down. He has introduced me to roller coasters that are not the greatest, but still something that is a “must ride” to be able to distinguish the good roller coasters from the bad ones. All of this has helped me not only create a bond between him and I, but a bond between me and all roller coasters.

Roller coasters have also taught me some life lessons. On a roller coaster ride, there are high points that whip down into low points, but bring you back up again, or around a corner just to flip you upside down and take you back to the station. Life is similar to that, with highs that become lows, but you never stay down for long. Something always happens to bring you back up. Some people see roller coasters, and life, as this scary thing, but I have conquered that fear. I have learned that we have to have lows so that we can have highs. Or maybe something happens that flips everything around, but we always land back on our feet again and we have a new perspective on everything. Sometimes, we aren’t expecting what comes next, but we have to take it as it is and keep going.

This lesson was a hard one for me to learn, but it is one that helps me through my life. Roller coasters are not only my passion, or how I answer the question, “what do you like to do for fun/what are your hobbies?, but how I handle things when life gets hard. I have learned that something better is always around the corner, whether it is a better coaster or a better aspect of the ride, but something is always there, waiting to be experienced. I have learned to stop being afraid and to start trying new things and experiencing everything that I can. It turns out that some of my favorite roller coasters are the ones that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy or the ones that I would have been too afraid to try. But I face my fears and try them anyway. Without roller coasters, my life may have been on a straight path, with no deviating from it, but instead, my life is full of flips and twists, highs and lows, and I am forever grateful for roller coasters for helping me find this path.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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