An Open Letter To The Woolsey Fire— Enough Is Enough

An Open Letter To The Woolsey Fire— Enough Is Enough

We are tired of destruction.

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There are terrible things that happen every day in our world, and unfortunately, it has gotten to the point where disaster no longer shocks us in the same way it used to.

You started short of one day after the horrifying Thousand Oaks shooting and have since done nothing but haunt countless numbers of people, some of who were also affected by the shooting. You really came with a bang - You were unexpected and too smart to stop. You were out to destroy and nothing would get in your way.

Us, victims are defeated.

The cities You have massacred are now ghost towns, and the families You have affected stand weak in front of burnt land they used to call home. Yet, I cannot be mad at You. You have caused me, my family, and my friends to evacuate our homes. You have destroyed the dance studio I grew up at and the schools my friends graduated from. My former classmates' houses are gone and they are left only with ashes of their belongings.

When disaster strikes I cannot help but feel hatred for the person who brought it upon us. It is always easier to cope with loss and anger when you can find someone to blame but You are not someone. I cannot blame an inanimate object for this. I have no one to hate and it is making everything worse. I want a face to feel anger towards, but all You are is red sparks of flames spreading through everywhere I have ever known. You are a force of nature too strong to be reckoned with. In the four days, You have been here, You have caused over 240,000 homes to be evacuated. You have destroyed 350 homes and caused innocent people to die. Animals have been left to burn in the flames and people have been left homeless. Firefighters are putting their lives on the line to stop You. I do not know why You are here but enough is enough.

My family was not put under mandatory evacuation until Sunday.

Since Thursday I have woken up every morning to a sense of fear that my house was gone. So far I am still lucky to have my home but so many others do not have the same privilege. My friends have come back from college to be with their families only to find themselves homeless, all thanks to You. My hometown looks like the setting of an apocalypse. The grassy fields and colorful barns that used to give life to the San Fernando Valley are now plain darkness. The nature that surrounds the city I grew up in is now gone, and we are left with the remains of the hiking trails, buildings, and communities we used to love so dearly. You have lived enough, give us back our ability to live without the fear of our homes burning down. You are supposed to stay around until next week, but we cannot handle having You here for that much longer.

Sincerely,

A resident of the town You burned down

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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