Tagged: teenager

18 Truths I Learned By 18 Years Old

aliens!

1. You don’t understand someone’s struggle until it has happened to you.

Even then, all you have is one personal account. One page of writing, a roll of film, a 7:21 video, even a blog post isn’t sufficient to explain the experience. You could fill a book with thoughts.

2. Some life pursuits are stumps.

They don’t grow, they just get soggy with all of the water you sprinkle.

As long as I live, I will never find meaning in drawing. I can draw, but that’s about it, it will never be anything but an activity to me. We don’t rip the stump out of the ground, but we don’t contribute anything meaningful to it.

3. Peer pressure operates in small ways.

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Working Girl

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Well…I’ve done it. I have finally, after years of speculation and curiosity, found a job.

I get paid to drink as much bubble tea as I want, and to eat as many baked goods as my heart desires. Continue reading

I don’t have a caffeine problem, and neither do you

The 5 worst pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten about high school

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5. Do your homework

I do most of my homework, but some days I look at my pile and all I see is busy work. Meaningless and tedious assignments designed to make it seem as though there’s some sense of order and authority bestowed by the teacher, but everyone sees through it. Continue reading

You are not alone: a monologue about college decisions

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People are finding out about their colleges and

on one hand, I am so happy for them.

But at the same time, I want to rip my hair out

Because I have hallucinated 6 times today

Cruelly rejected myself 3 times and

Twice ecstatically accepted myself and

Once cold-bloodedly deferred myself.

Tomorrow seems to be a path with two forks in the road

leading in opposite directions.

Continue reading

The Midnight Reenactment of Middle School Love

A Book Grows on Me

Betty Smith is actually one of the most strikingly beautiful women I’ve ever seen. 

 

Daily Prompt: What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

So, I suppose that you could say that I’m still a child. Does 16 constitute being a child? Is being a teenager mutually exclusive with being a child? Who knows.

When I was in middle school, I read a book series called, “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter.” It takes place in the twenty first century, and follows the adolescent life of a girl who loves reading. The greatest part about the series was not that actual story, but the fact that the author provided a list of suggested reads at the end of the book. After I finished the book, I skimmed the reading list for a title that caught my eye.

 

“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith 

 

Isn’t the title at least a little bit intriguing? Not many people agree with me, but I personally became very interested with title. What kind of tree, and what’s so special about Brooklyn? Perhaps that wasn’t my train of thought. Maybe I just asked a friend or did a quick Google search for a summary.

Either way, I ended up reading the book in seventh grade or so. At the time I just really liked the book simply because it had a wonderful story. And that was it, for the time being.

But then as the years went by and my English teachers taught me year-after-year about literature analysis, symbolism, and motifs, I realized that there was no doubt more to the story.

I checked it out again sometime in high school. Ninth grade, perhaps? Eventually I had checked it out enough times for me to decide that I needed an actual copy.

And you know how people operate. You go to new events and they need icebreaker games to introduce themselves, and one of the most commonly asked questions is: “What’s your favorite book?”

In those days, I’d probably say something like the Harry Potter series or some book that I had recently read. While HP and plenty of other books were fantastic, the one that kept coming back to me and calling to me personally was “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”

So now, I don’t even hesitate when people ask me for my favorite book. I recall childhood memories of hiding under the covers with a flashlight trying to finish this book. Yes, these things actually do happen!

Since learning about literary analysis and the once-alien concept of “annotation,” my favorite book has become all the more personal, filled with markings indicating my favorite passages, with arrows and lines, with explanations of why a certain passage is important.

I also just learned about World War One in my AP Euro class. Although I knew generally what had happened, I hadn’t known the exact position of the United States, but now all of that has been much more contextualized for me. And it helps! I am able to more easily relate with the sentiments of the families who had to send their men to war.

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A quick summary: The book plays out in many flashbacks, covering the background story of Frances Nolan’s parents, following Francie through her childhood, all the way to her first year at college. She is born right around the turn of the twentieth century, and as a young lady she sees the indirect effects of World War One on the people that live in her city.

^That summary does not even suffice; I heavily recommend that any girl under 21 who has the ability to read, read this book.

They say that one of the best ways to understand a person as well as their morals and priorities is to read their favorite book. This book touches me because Francie’s character exemplifies how I would like to approach my problems, and the society that I grow up in. Since she first went to school, she’d wanted to be a writer.  Her family was comprised of immigrants, and they had endured many hardships and economic struggles to rise out of the poverty that they had continually been confined to. The story follows her from her childhood to the beginning of her adulthood, and depicts changes in perspectives as she becomes continually more mature, and gets increasingly globalized in perspective. These changes build character. I take her personal revelations in consideration, accepting my ultimately infinitesimal role in society. Francie expressed a strong interest in writing, and the method that Betty Smith utilizes to explain why help spark my interest in literature as well. The lessons that I take from the book guide the way I deal with overarching problems.