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Cursing Takes Away from Message

As a child, a very strict policy on bad words was enforced upon me. I was forbidden from saying words such as stupid, shut up, that sucks, crap. My parents would not tolerate such foul language in our household.  You can imagine my shock when I got to high school, hearing words much worse uttered casually in daily conversation. No repercussions were given to students who said them, and they did not seem to be bound by the rules I had grown up with.  Of course, one gets used to it. We hear profanity on a daily basis, on the bus, in the halls, during lunch. People curse a lot–but it is time for high schoolers to tone down these obscenities. I am not calling for a complete disownment of all curse words. If used correctly, they can alert people of your strong opinions on a subject and intense emotions. They can get people’s attention and draw them into what you are saying. But that is where the problem comes in–we are not using them the right way at all. People swear so much that the words ha…
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Removing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has Consequences

When I was six, I moved. Not to a new state. Not to a new city. Not to a new school. No, I simply moved houses. Although I knew I was supposed to feel lucky to be staying in the same community, the move was still terrifying.
Our new house was much bigger than our old one. Because of this, I got my own room, as opposed to sharing one with my sister. I loved it. But sometimes, at night, lying there alone in the darkness, I would be scared. Scared that someone would enter my bedroom door and take me away. I spun wild tales of who–or what–could be lurking in the dark, just waiting for a moment of weakness. I felt so far from my parents and thought the worst during those nights. And I admit it, sometimes those irrational fears creep back despite having lived in my new house for almost ten years. Moving away from a place you have always called home is tough. Even a move as small as mine. But imagine if it was not small. Imagine if you were forced to move away from your own country, away from e…

Clothing Disparities Reveal Work to be Done in Fight for Gender Equality

Every day men are granted overwhelmingly greater benefits compared to their female counterparts. Their masculine privilege extends beyond advancement in the workforce and elections to public office. Women face a monumental injustice every day, one which government leaders and the remainder of society are unwilling to address. Women’s pockets are significantly smaller than men’s. Every day, women must struggle with inadequate pocket sizes. Getting our phones to fit inside these microscopic holes is a mental and physical trial. Even if by the power of a greater being, we do manage to fit an item inside, the pocket is often too shallow to safely contain it, and we are plagued with the fear of the phone falling out with even the slightest movement of our bodies. And forget about a wallet or keys. Chances are, if what you are trying to stow away is wider than your index finger, it will not fit. That is, if there are any pockets at all. Companies love to trick women with fake pockets. Wome…

Empty Threats Ruin School Day for Present Students

On Friday, April 20, no one came to school. Well, almost no one. A couple of brave souls risked their lives by going, myself included. Thankfully for me, the threats that were graffitied on a high school bathroom never came to be. The person shouting threats on the school bus never came through either. Maybe it was because the people who did it got caught and the only danger was a bunch of empty words. There are two ways to approach a problem like this. One: go about the day as normal with increased security to ease the minds of overly paranoid students. And then there’s the second option: letting two students completely mess with the schedule and learning of countless individuals by cancelling the school day. Now, the second choice is admittedly more cowardly, but as they say, better be safe than sorry. But instead of these perfectly understandable options, the school decided to go halfway, putting the decision into the hands of the parents to avoid responsibility for what happens. Thi…

What do I want?

Now that I’m in high school, everyone’s favorite question is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I’ve answered a million different things: doctor, journalist, lawyer, therapist, PR officer, neuroscientist; the honest answer is, I don’t know. But if I tell people that, they just give me a look of unconcealed disappointment. It’s been drilled into our heads that we need to take the classes that align with our desired career paths in order to be successful. If you want to be a doctor, Biomed and AP Bio is the way to go. Or if being an author has been your dream since you learned how to write, you should take classes like Creative Writing and AP Comp.
But what if you don’t know what you want to be? What then?
There is so much unnecessary pressure to know exactly who you want to be right now. But the thing is, high school can still be a fruitful experience despite not taking all of the classes that “go with” what you want to do. This is a time to experiment, to see what you like and wh…

Music to my ears

I live my life in constant song. Singing, playing instruments, dancing, just listening and taking it all in. Each song is filled with emotion and a message to the listener. It's amazing how people can connect over what they listen to.

My love for music began at an early age. My mom signed me up for classes when I was a toddler in which we sang songs and played instruments. At the age of six, I was ready to commit to my first official instrument. I wanted to play violin, but was convinced by my parents to play piano instead. I don't regret that choice, though when I reached sixth grade and got to choose an instrument for school, I picked the violin without hesitation. I still play both to this day.

But taking up instruments was only the beginning. As I got older, the music I listened to became a substantial part of my identity. When I turned ten, I got an iPod, but more importantly, I got Spotify. Now I could listen to anything. No more downloading songs onto an mp3 player from…

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