this is my opinion not yours

“i am mine. before i am ever anyone else’s.”

Dead Dreams

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In this big world, every child has a dream. Whether it’s being an astronaut, President of the United States, or even having a barn full of mice, a dream is a dream. Almost every teacher and parent highly encourages a child to follow their dreams. “NEVER GIVE UP” they say, “DREAM BIG” they say. However, as pimples start to form, height begins to increase, and areas within the body begin to develop; the old childhood dreams of being an astronaut, President of the United States or even having a barn full of mice, slowly evanesce.

In the book Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck, a disabled character called Lennie, mirrors a child with big dreams. Lennie shares the same dream as George. While traveling and working together, George and Lennie frequently picture their dreams as if it were reality. In this quote George explains the dream to Lennie, “Well,’ said George, ‘we’ll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we’ll just say the hell with goin’ to work, and we’ll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an’ listen to the rain comin’ down on the roof” (Steinbeck 14). Perhaps asking for George to provide descriptive imaginary scenes of the dream kept Lennie sane. It might even keep George sane. However, after Lennie’s death, a big dream can easily fall apart. Judging by the looks of Lennie’s death, the dream became a dead dream. This passage in the novel depicts how quick it is to lose a dream.

Children receive so much enthusiasm when they tell adults their dream and as they age it’s heart breaking when the dream fades. Children and adolescents can be easily discouraged. Words, actions, events and society in general can alter ones dream. I’ve always had a faint dream of being an artist. I had a strong love and passion for art. Once I began to progress through school it spiraled through the dead dream pool. I was tired of all the discouragement many would throw at me, so I guess you could assume I gave up. But what I’m really trying to say is, don’t be negative and rude towards one dream. Encourage the person and be happy for someone that actually has a dream because once that dream is fulfilled, it’s quite beautiful.

The Time of My Life: KIWIN’S District Convention 2015

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I believe in this one life that we have, we are given a handful of miracles. My miracle happened to be KIWIN’S. I recently returned from the annual KIWIN’S District Convention 2015 and I am still speechless. No words can come close to compare the actual experience. Spending a whole weekend with so many individuals that have the same love and passion for KIWIN’S is one of the most overwhelming yet enjoyable moments that everyone has in their lifetimes. From the five hour caucus, general SESSIONS, intense spirit battles, workshops (hula dancing, rap sessions), awards, and most importantly the bonds everyone creates at DCON. One of my favorite moments was going on the elevator. As I entered the elevator, it was completely silent. So I decided to be a little weird and break the ice, so I screamed “OH MY GOD, WHO FARTED?” and luckily it broke the ice and laughter and knee slaps burst in my ears. After saying a random remark I met some more amazing individuals! After attending District Convention, something was a different. My perspective changed. Something changed. KIWIN’S isn’t just an organization that fundraisers for Live2Learn, PTP, and ELIMINATE, we are a family. We are one. District Convention gave me the OPPORTUNITY to appreciate youth, because we changed the world. We could do anything we set our minds to. We saved lives. We made a difference. I challenge you to do something worth with your high school CAREER. I challenge you, to save 17,000+ babies and mothers. I challenge you to make a difference. Be a change. Make change. JOIN KIWIN’S.

An Unexpected Adventure

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He grabs my arm drags me in his house and says, “ITS GOING TO BE A LONG CAR RIDE SO HURRY UP AND MAKE THE SANDWICHES.” After shouting, he rushes over to his white board and frantically writes random free admission places to go. He wrote down a lot considering the fact that it was on the top of his head. He was a really energetic, eccentric, and happy person. You could easily decipher his emotions because his eyes would widen when he was excited or shocked. Whenever we would spend time together he always had the tendency to make me remember every detail of it. That was one of my favorite things about him. We continue our little sandwich workshop while playfully arguing about which spontaneous place to go for the evening. However, with plenty of questions, slapping, and procrastination, he closed his eyes and picked a place — and at that very moment our adventure began.

Adventures are the most marvelous things in one’s life. An adventure can be anything from visiting Italy, or even eating fast food late at night. After witnessing all these beautiful or possibly horrible things in life it changes you. Sometimes it does you good, sometimes it doesn’t and that’s the basics of life.

Enjoy the Company, Ignore the Phone

It was Friday. My friend and I made last minute plans to go to a Chinese restaurant. When we got there and ordered, things started to get irritating. It was a Chinese restaurant; every meal did not arrive at the same time because it took time for specific meals to be made. As the cooks were fixing up the food I wanted to catch up with my friend and have a simple casual conversation. However that was nearly impossible with all the one word replies and her constant check for social media. I was basically talking to myself, and let me tell you it isn’t fun. When the first meal arrived, as I was getting my chopsticks ready to grab a dumpling, suddenly she nearly gives me a heart attack. My friend yells at me. Her exact words, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WAIT UNTIL ALL THE FOOD COMES SO I CAN TAKE A PICTURE” with a glare included. Despite the fact that it was something so small, it turned out to be something so big. You know that ‘ole saying, “the little things matter.” Her words angered me. At that point, her existence angered me. I don’t get annoyed easily, I actually have high tolerance, but this time I secretly blew up. I lost my appetite and did not eat at all. In fact, I didn’t say a word. It would have been great if I left because I could not stand to even look at her face. You see, every time I’m out with friends it seems as if they are out with their cellular device, not me. This is extremely infuriating because I came here to have a good time with friends. I don’t get to see my friends often therefore I am always determined to make every moment count. Unfortunately, the only thing they desire is to upload photos on Instagram because they have extreme thirst for likes. It is upsetting to be in a generation where everyone is so glued to their cellular device they can’t even give respect to the ones they are surrounded by. Enjoy the company and drop the phone.

Thoughts From the Middle of Five

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You know when you’re watching some cheesy family movie about the relationship of a mother and daughter or a father and son? And whenever the mother or father says “I swore to myself I wouldn’t act like my mom” or announce something quite similar after a big ‘ole issue involving the daughter and mother? I can finally understand the true meaning of why parents announce such claims.

My parents grew up with nothing—well not nothing, maybe a few pots, pans, a jacket, and around ten dollars for a family of 6. My parents and their family came to the United States escaping from the Vietnam War with nothing but a few belongings hoping to find a better life in California. They were wrong. My parents met at Westminster High School and being the two most clueless fobs of all time they weren’t aware of the invention called the condom. And thus, my oldest sister was created. After a year, my second sister was born, then me. Apparently around the time I was born, major trouble struck. My parents were living off their parents, unemployed, with 3 children. Somehow they got things together and my next sister was born—most likely unplanned again. The family was stable for a couple of years. My parents found a house and both became employed. As they were living a peaceful stable life they desired a ‘man’ in the family other than my father and thus, my brother was born. As years went by, nurturing five children seemed easy for awhile but when we approached high school, situations started to get complicated.

My parents aren’t intelligent or considerate. They are actually pretty selfish. My dad was a high school dropout. My mother was nothing but a high school graduate. So what in their right mind do they think they can raise five children? Right. They didn’t have minds. They’re minds was off in space or someplace else. Possibly Saturn or Jupiter. Who knows. Many children grow up with big adventurous dreams hoping to be fulfilled as they age, but in my case it’s impossible. How can my dream come true if my parents can’t even afford it? They have four other kids to worry about, right? I don’t matter. I never matter. Being the middle of 5 children and all. I’m just there. Just nothing but a hopeless dreamer. So what’s the point of dreaming right? Similar to movies, I will never be like those parents who turn out to be like their own parents. I will be become successful, make money, and actually think before I do anything foolish like my parents. If I ever have children I will plan their future. Give them everything they want, deserve, and need. I’ll be there for them. Always. And if there’s an issue I wouldn’t let my child solve it on their own, I will be there for them. If they have a dream I will be determined to make it happen for them. But the most crucial thing my child can’t ever be is hopeless. I won’t allow my children to give up on their dreams. Ever. Unfortunately, my dream will have to wait. I’d rather sacrifice my own dream for the sake of my future children (if I ever have any). I’d rather be nothing like my parents.

Disclaimer: I do not loathe my parents I am actually thankful for them giving me life and all just been thinking of my dreams and future lately because you know, that’s what every high school student worries about right?

Friends No More

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The effort of two individuals is required for every friendship. With him it’s different. Even if you give 30% of effort into the friendship, you would still receive 110% back. He wasn’t from here. You could distinctively tell how different he was from everyone else. We met in the middle of my sophomore year at some service event. I knew of him before because he was quite the catch to everyone. Every girl and boy would swoon over his incredibly good looks and once they met him they would still be swooning not over his looks but how great of person he was. He was one of the few people to put family and friends above all. He really enjoyed the company of people and appreciated everyone. If you needed money he’d give it to you. If you needed transportation from a place 5 hours away he would take you. He would listen to the same song for a whole 3 weeks until it really sunk in. When we first met we didn’t click automatically. That’s the thing about him it takes time for him to really understand a person. He wouldn’t open up to you unless he trusted you. However as time passed by, we talked literally every day. There was a ton of laughter, smiles, and unnecessary slapping in all of our memories together. We had so many inside jokes and numerous amounts of adventures. I was never mad or annoyed of this guy so you could conclude how much of an amazing person he was. He saw the beauty in everything. He’s gone now.

“It’s sad when people you know become people you knew. When you can walk right past someone like they were never a big part of your life. How you used to be able to talk for hours. And how now, you can barely even look at them.”

The Fear of Rejection

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“…And the new position goes to Cameron!” I immediately pause the video, stare into blank space for about 20 seconds, and quickly run out of the house as tears stream down my cheeks. Nothing was really on my mind besides the words why, how, and what. I sent a text to my parents saying I went out with my friends but in reality I called one of my real close friends and cried in their car while he drove around silently playing radio music. Ever since then, rejection has been my biggest fear.

The fear of rejection is one of the deepest human fears. Many are afraid of experiencing hurt and pain; and being rejected is a result to that. Throughout our adolescent years, I would conclude that we face a fair amount of rejections. Most receive rejection from girls, boys, colleges, and positions and from experience, it is very difficult to deal with the pain and sorrow. Unfortunately the rejection will linger all around our thoughts and feelings, unintentionally persuading us that we are worthless human beings and even worse, a failure. However that is incorrect. You must pull through and deal withe the temporary pain. Whenever I am going through a rejection from an interview or position I always remind myself, “Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” I want to personally remind you all that a simple rejection does not define your worth. That specific person, school, or position was not for you and that’s okay. You are loved, valued, and you matter to someone in this world. Peacefully accept the rejection and move on because I guarantee there are better and bigger opportunities heading your way.