I Hate You, College

bigstockphoto_frustrated_young_woman__500338_yugx3-1024x7231

(this photo is me writing this post [not literally])

It’s taken me a while to compose my thoughts on this subject, and this post is still very jumbled, but I hope that you take the time to read it.

I always knew that the college admissions process would be sucky and dramatic, but I didn’t think it would so control my life as it has this year. Senior year is supposed to be fun (right?) and sort of like a last hurrah before you go off and begin the rest of your life (right?), but instead, it’s been depressing and overly emotional and extremely stressful.

I’m angry. Like, I’m steam-coming-out-of-my ears ANGRY. And I have been since December 20, 2013, when I had to turn down my offer of admission to my top school.

About two weeks earlier, I was accepted under early admission to Scripps College, a beautiful, idyllic women’s college in Claremont, CA. I was ecstatic, and immediately I posted a status on Facebook about my acceptance. A few short days later, however, I received a letter about the financial aid Scripps was offering me. (This is NOT meant to be a hate post against Scripps. I have nothing but love for that institution and would go there in a heartbeat if I could, but alas, that is not the case). As I opened the letter I prayed that the offer would be good. When I read the number, my heart dropped into my stomach. It was $10,000 per year, not bad, but it still meant my family would have to pay about $50,000 a year for my tuition, room, and board. My father said it was possible, but they would have to cut into savings and other things in order for me to go.

After days of deliberation, I decided that I couldn’t deal with the guilt that would come along with me going to Scripps – I couldn’t let my parents dip into their savings just so I could go to school in California. I declined my offer of admission, and spent the few weeks afterward eating too much chocolate ice cream and sobbing as I wrote supplements for other schools I didn’t know or care much about.

Do you know how shitty it feels to have to tell people who are congratulating you on your acceptance “hey, thanks, but turns out I can’t go because college costs so much”? It feels awful. And then you make the other person feel awkward, and it’s uncomfortable for both parties, and you wish you’d just been rejected because you could’ve avoided all this stress and sadness.

I’m okay now, but my future is still up in the air. I’ve been accepted to safety schools, which feels good, but I still don’t know about the schools I really care about. And even once I do find out, it will all come down to money. MONEY IS EVERYTHING IN THE AMERICAN COLLEGE WORLD. How messed up is that??? I’m just so angry!

Fortunately, I applied to a few Canadian schools and I got in, and university in Canada is so FREAKIN’ affordable, so I will be going to college somewhere. I wish that the United States would look to Canada (or literally almost any other country) for higher education models. Hate to break it to you, USA, but our system ISN’T WORKING. There are brilliant and talented young people all over this country who aren’t going to college because they CAN’T AFFORD IT. It makes me so upset.

Those of you struggling through this stupid college process, I feel for you, and I pray that you will be able to go where your heart desires. And if not, there’s always Canada!

On Feeling Sad

Yesterday, I got into my dream college. I wanted to scream when I found out, but instead I cried out of shock for a second and then had to compose myself, because I was with others. But I was overwhelmingly happy, and the feeling continued for the rest of the night. 

This morning, however, I had lost all of that happiness. I don’t know exactly why, but I began to feel really shitty about myself. I started worrying about the future, as I often do, and questioned if I even deserved to go to college. I moped around my house for hours, trying to busy myself with tv or homework so I could forget the feeling of sadness that was so prevalent in my mind. I felt nauseous all day. When my parents asked me if I wanted to come out to dinner with them, I declined. As soon as they left, I started sobbing. I cried for 15 minutes, ate two poptarts, and went upstairs to sleep.

Generally, I am a happy person. I love my life, family, and friends, and I enjoy school (most of the time). I don’t have any major reasons to be sad, which is why I hate when this happens to me. But these “wave of sadness” days occur more often than I would like to admit. Last year, in fact, they happened so often I had to do something about it. 

In the winter of my junior year, I got really depressed. I didn’t want to do anything. I barely changed out of sweatpants, took 5 hour naps almost every day, and avoided social interactions. Finally, my mom asked me what was wrong. But I didn’t know what was wrong, and that was what was driving me so crazy: I felt so defeated all the time, but I didn’t have a real reason. She asked me if I wanted to get help, and I agreed to see a therapist for a few sessions.

I began therapy in February. The woman I met with was in her mid sixties and wore Harry Potter-esque glasses. She was a sweet woman, but I HATED therapy. It made me uncomfortable. Whenever I was in the room, I felt like my emotions went on overdrive, and more often than not, the 45 minute sessions ended in tears. I felt like I couldn’t control myself. My therapist meant well, but everything she did felt like she was pitying me and my pathetic life. And I didn’t even know why I was sad, so I never knew what to say to her! 

Eventually, I stopped going. It obviously wasn’t helping, and I still felt as awful about myself as I had before I’d gone. But I didn’t want to feel crappy all the time, so I started making small changes in my life that helped me feel better. I started doing a lot of things alone, like going to Boston Common, just to walk around, where no one would know me. I loved that it was so easy for me to become anonymous. I really enjoyed my trips to the city, because they made me feel excited and happy again. I started writing more, something I hadn’t found the time or energy to do in a long time. I tried yoga. I took online classes and learned about things I wasn’t able to in high school. I finally felt like I could function properly.

Every now and again, I still have a day where I feel useless and depressed. But I’ve learned that it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to ask for help. Today was one of those days for me, but the feeling of sadness has started to fade. Sometimes, all it takes is popping in a Clueless DVD into my computer and watching the hilarity of the 90s, which is what I did today. And I feel so much better. 

If you or anyone you know is feeling depressed or anxious, don’t be afraid to get help, be it from yourself or a professional. Happiness is important. :) 

 

(This article on Rookie is amazing and I live by it. Read it here!)

WHITE FEMINISM IS HAPPENING AND IT SHOULDN’T BE

Image

Today, British artist Lily Allen released a song for the first time in four years called “Hard Out Here”. The first time I listened to the song, I listened to it on youtube but didn’t actually watch the video – I was writing an essay at the time so I just jammed out to the music without actually seeing what was going on in the video. I think the song kicks ass – it’s sarcastic and witty while bringing up important issues about the glass ceiling and double standards that women have to deal with; one of Allen’s lyrics is: “if I tell you about my sex life, you call me a slut / them boys be talking about their bitches, no one’s making a fuss”. It’s catchy and easily replay-worthy. 

So I did just that – I replayed the video. This time, however, I took the time to watch the actual video Allen had released, and I had a different reaction. (The video is here!) 

The video begins with Allen in plastic surgery, taking fat out of her stomach. It then transfers into a sort of parody video, and Allen is surrounded by a group of skinny, scantily-clad black women who are dancing and acting sexually. Obviously, the video is a parody, and Allen is purposely using the objectification of these women to make a point, but it’s kind of messed up. The racial prejudice, accidental or not, is quite prominent.

White Feminism is a term that rose in popularity with the hilarious twitter account @WhiteFeminist, which posts tweets that parody women who identify as white feminists. However, with this parody comes a reality – a lot of women who identify as feminists STILL HAVE RACIAL PREJUDICES. 

I am a white girl, and I identify as a feminist. I feel like because of the environment I’m in, I don’t have racial prejudices – I grew up not even thinking about it. But this idea of “white feminism” makes me wonder – am I ever prejudice? A lot of white liberals, including myself, like to believe we aren’t… but that may not be the case, and white feminism is a prime example of that. 

THERE IS RACIAL BIAS IN TODAY’S FEMINISM. That is not an opinion of mine, it’s fact. If you know anything about the history of feminism, you know that in the past 150 years white feminists and black feminists have not been on an equal playing field. White feminists have been creating injustices within the movement that we are trying to fight against! Racism has tainted the women’s movement since its beginning, and its time to recognize that.

Allen’s message is important, but I think she could have presented it in a better way. Race should not get in the way of our fight for GENDER equality. This is a message to feminists of all races: we need to come together and forget our biases in order to have a stronger fight.

White feminists: check yourself. Make sure what you believe is unprejudiced! Don’t try and prove that you’re NOT racist, try and figure out how you ARE and change that. (Hey, I have to work on this too, we all do!) 

Black feminists: don’t be afraid to call out your white friends who may say racist things, even if they don’t mean it. They NEED to be aware that what they are saying is hurtful and wrong.

(P.S. Here is a cool post about racial bias in feminism)

Why I’m Pissed Off: May Edition

(I’m hoping to make Why I’m Pissed Off a monthly thing, where it will basically be a rant but hopefully articulate in someway)

Screen shot 2013-05-31 at 8.39.30 PM

I woke up this morning and threw on a pair of shorts and a white tank top, as it was going to be 92 degrees today in Boston and I didn’t want to pass out in the heat. However, as I was leaving my house, I made sure to snag a pair of sweatpants before I left my house just in case I needed them.

Why would I need sweatpants if it was going to be 90? The answer lies in my school’s handbook: Dress Code. Just in case the shorts I was wearing violated dress code, I needed backup so I wouldn’t get sent home for indecency.

The shorts I wore today were not extremely revealing. They covered all the necessary areas and I was comfortable in them. Yet sure enough, after I walked into the building after lunch, a teacher who will remained unnamed called me out on my shorts and told me to put something “longer” on or go home.

The dress code makes me really upset, and not because I feel like my right to dress however I want is being restricted (which it is but that’s beside the point). It’s because shorter bottoms or lower tops are being deemed distracting to students, and the students who would most likely be distracted by these types of clothes. First off, that is an insult to men, as the dress code assumes they cannot control themselves and therefore must be supervised by a rulebook. Furthermore, the dress code has been constructed in order to protect these said men from being distracted from schoolwork. It angers me because the main focus is the male student; even if the school does not realize that is what they are doing, its what they’re doing. I should be able to wear shorts and not have to worry about getting in trouble for them.

I can understand that the administration wants to prevent extreme cases like someone coming in wearing a bikini or just boxers and nothing else. But they are called extreme cases for a reason: they don’t happen often. And in the event that those cases occurred, they would deal with them quickly.

Overall, I’m angry not because I wasn’t able to wear my favorite pair of shorts, but because I have to take precautionary measures like bringing in sweatpants as to not “distract [male] students”. UGH.

If you want to read a super awesome piece that talks about an issue like this as well as other issues surrounding rape culture, etc, click here! You won’t regret it :))))))

The 21st Century’s Version of Mother’s Day

I love my mom more than anything in the world. She gave me life, raised me, fed me and cherished me. She is the reason I am strong-willed and confident in who I am. And so today, I, like millions of other sons and daughters on this planet, celebrate her in all of her glory. Yet I can’t help but notice how our modern society has changed the way we celebrate this holiday.

This morning my mom came in my room at 6:37 AM looking for my laundry. I was pissed off, because it wasn’t even past 7 on a Sunday, so I yelled at her to get out and rolled back  into my bed. A few minutes later, I remembered it was Mother’s Day and quickly rushed downstairs to give her a hug and thank her.

A few hours later, I came down for breakfast and saw that my father had made my mom a lovely breakfast and gotten her flowers. I felt stupid, as I should’ve thought to do something like that for her. As I ate breakfast I scrolled through the pictures on my iPhone, selecting the best photos of my mom and me for the Picstitch I would later post on Instagram and Facebook. My mom left for work before I got to say goodbye and wish her well one more time.

As I switch back and forth from my different social media outlets, I see many children doing just the same as I, honoring their mothers through tweets or statuses and profile picture changes. In a way, it’s nice to see all my friends showing love to the women in their lives. But it also makes me feel strange and uncomfortable inside, because I know that sharing a photo is not nearly enough to express my gratitude for my mother. Every holiday, it seems, has become something we share with everyone we know, crossing our fingers for likes and using that to show loved ones that we care. I am just as much a part of it as everyone else, don’t get me wrong.  I feel stupid – but I’m also not doing anything about it. Hell, I even forgot to get my mom a card this year.

Living in the age we do, with all the technology and “social” aspects of our internet lives, we’ve changed not only Mother’s Day, but all holidays in general. This is not what Mother’s Day used to be like, nor is it what is should be like. We should be spending the day with our mothers, pampering them and thanking them for everything they’ve done for us. But I bet most of us aren’t.

So this is a shoutout to all mothers out there: Please forgive us. We really do love you, we’re still figuring it out. We’re young! Social media is a part of us and we’ll know better when we’re older.

This is also a wake-up call for us young people: seriously guys, we need to get it together. Buy your mom a card at least, for Pete’s sake (*cough* you too, Abby.)

Chicago // College Touring

Sorry I haven’t written in a few days, but I’ve been in Chicago since Sunday! Which brings me to one of my topics for this post: the city of Chicago.

Chicago is freezing. I’m from Boston, and I thought I would be okay with the cold, but Chicago is CRAZY cold. It’s also extremely windy, which makes it feel even colder. By the end of the trip my cheeks were permanently wind burned. If I’d had a better coat, I probably would’ve been okay, but I wasn’t prepared.

Besides the weather, however, Chicago is wonderful. There is so much to do and see. The first night I was there, I went to a Second City comedy show at the Up Comedy Club. I truly appreciate good comedy, and it was hilarious. If you are ever in Chicago, make SURE you go – it’s worth it.

The people of Chicago are quite interesting as well. You’ll find the angry city dwellers of course, just like any city – people who are always in a rush and never smile. But unlike New York City, where most people you run into are angry and in a rush, there are many Chicagoans who are happy to see you and happy to help. I got really lost my second day there, and the man I approached was so friendly he actually walked with me to my train stop and wrote directions out for me.

Overall, Chicago was wonderful and I really enjoyed myself. From here, I’m going to transition to talk about why I was in Chicago – college tours.

Ugh, college touring is not that enjoyable. It’s mostly stressful. While in the Chicago area, I visited UChicago, Loyola University Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, and Northwestern. It’s so TIRING! You walk sooo much. My feet were aching at the end of every day. I loooved Northwestern, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to get in, and the rest were either too crazy academic for me (UChicago) or seemed a bit too easy to get into (DePaul, Loyola, etc.)

The worst part about college tours was when the admissions officers would talk about financial aid. That’s one of my biggest stresses. I’m super paranoid about it. I worry that I’ll get into my dream college but I won’t get enough money or scholarships and won’t be able to go. Or, I’ll be forced to take loans and then be paying the school back until the day I die. I could go on a rant about how I hate that higher education costs so much and controls our lives, but I won’t. All I will say is that higher education is inaccessible to some people because of the cost, and that is just wrong.

I’ll be writing more soon now that I’m back!

My Take on Valentine’s Day

Image

 

I personally am a fan of Valentine’s Day. I am not currently in a relationship, so I will not be celebrating that kind of love, but just because I am single does not mean I am not allowed to enjoy a day dedicated to love.

My plans for tomorrow include going to the gym, doing homework and watching Sleepless in Seattle or When Harry Met Sally. This may sound pathetic to you, but this is what I want to do! I’m allowed to watch romantic movies and eat chocolate by myself if I want to. If I was in a relationship, I would still want to do that, except the person I was in a relationship with would watch the movies with me. Movie-watching is just what I enjoy doing in regular every day life. But this is just an example of what you can do as a single young person on Valentine’s Day. Basically, do what makes you happy! Being single does not mean being alone. If you’re a people person, go out with your friends. If you’d rather relax alone like me, do that. Try not to wallow in your sadness.

Love yourself! Love your parents, and your siblings, and your pets. Valentine’s Day may seem like it’s all about relationships, but it doesn’t have to be. Celebrate the love in your life, be it a significant other or family or friends or pizza or TV or your bed. I love my bed, I’m going to celebrate by sleeping in it tomorrow. (Okay, that one is a little stupid, but I hope you get my point).

Anyway, try to be positive and enjoy yourself. Being sad about being alone is okay and totally acceptable. I’ve been there, we all have. But don’t let your sadness consume you. Love yourself!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers