My face is distorted, the wind is whipping in my ears and my instructor is strapped to my back.
He pulls the chute and, thankfully, it releases allowing me to relax and enjoy my ride back to the ground.
This is a quick excerpt of me skydiving. Well, it is what I imagine skydiving would consist of considering I have never gone. Skydiving is number 14 on my bucket list, right behind visiting Greece and hanging out on nude beach (participant not spectator). I wonder if I could do both and kill two birds with one stone?
Having a bucket list is standard if you’re human. Even if you don’t have a bucket list written out, there is an escalated chance you have an idea of some things you would like to do before you “kick the bucket.”
Setting goals for ourselves is awesome, and reaching those goals even better. We are raised from the womb to have set plans for an education and career for ourselves. It is important we strive to better ourselves through these objectives, but it is also important to remember not to lose ourselves.
When we’re old grannies or grampies, the grandchildren aren’t going to be interested in that time we stayed up late to finish our research papers, get a B- and pass the class to obtain the career we are now retired from. They want to hear stories of how ol’ gran or gramps backpacked Europe, got lost, ran out of money and became members of the Russian Circus for a hot minute.
Okay, stick with me, a bucket list doesn’t have to be complicated, extravagant or well thought out. It should be wholeheartedly yours, though. The goals can consist of making new friends, having a family or being happy. A bucket list doesn’t have to be conventional. It should reflect how you want to grow as an individual, spiritually and mentally. I strongly encourage you to immerse yourself in life, and I believe a “bucket list” may help you succeed in doing so.
Every year as a kid the biggest part of Valentine’s Day was making sure that whoever my crush was at the time got the biggest, sweetest Hannah Montana, High School Musical or Cheetah Girl valentine while my “enemies” got the boring leftovers. Then, I would sit at my desk waiting to see my crush’s reaction to my sweet valentine, wondering if they felt the same way I did. One year I even put three of the large valentines in my crush’s valentine box just because I “had extra.”
It was not until high school that Valentine’s Day became more than just a day to tell your besties how much you love them. We no longer bought each other stuffed animals and wrote sweet notes. We no longer posted cute pictures of our friends, but our significant others became our main focus.
That was when Valentine’s Day became one of my least favorite days of the year. I never had anyone to spoil, nor did I have anyone to spoil me. No one to tell me a bunch of sweet lovey-dovey crap that couples say. No one to buy me candy, or a stuffed animal – not even my parents. Occasionally, someone would buy me one of the copy paper valentines that our journalism department sold for a dollar saying, “I’d love you even if you were so ugly that everyone died” and had a picture of Patrick from SpongeBob.
I decided right then and there my sophomore year of high school that rather than throwing a pity party for myself every year, I would have a me day, and still show the ones I love how much I care about them. So, this year do not sit in your room, cry about being alone and eat a tub of ice cream covered in chocolate syrup with a pound of chocolate chips poured on top. Have a me day and express your love for those around you.
As election day looms, we must remember to hold our possible future leaders to something critically important: standards.
Let’s start with the basics. Candidates should be professional, honest and have a background in politics. Candidates should not be crude.
Our next president should care about all people, regardless of race or gender. In addition, he or she should be compassionate toward people of the entire world, not exclusively the United States. It is important that our president represents our country well and is respected by people of other countries, as well as our own.
As young Americans, we must continue to think progressively. As students, we must seek a president who values education, and will strive to make it more attainable.
We are the future of this country, and our opinions matter. The issues that matter to us as young people, should matter to our candidates. Our next presidential leader should strive to move our country forward. He or she should promote equality, care about the environment, the LGBT community and much more.
This election can no longer be viewed as a joke, and the candidates can no longer just be internet memes. Regardless of your political views, please remember that voting is a privilege as well as a civic duty and cast your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
When you first turned 18, what were you excited to do first as you ventured into adulthood? For some, turning 18 meant they could finally do all the things their parents forbid them to do. At 18, you can finally get into certain clubs and bars, get a tattoo or a piercing without a parent’s signature and go skydiving. For others, turning 18 meant they could finally make a real difference in our country. Whether that difference meant fighting to protect our freedom overseas or even casting their vote for the first time.
Most people at 18 are so excited to experience their newfound freedoms that they do not stop to think about how they got those freedoms or how they can keep them. They do not stop to think about how the United States once fought to secure our liberty or how many steps the Founding Fathers took to ensure that future generations did not have to suffer at the hands of tyranny.
According to the Constitution Center Organization, at the close of the Constitutional Convention, where the Constitution was drafted, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a group of citizens what kind of government the delegates had created for the people. The people wanted to keep their newfound freedom from England and feared another monarchy. Franklin replied, “A republic … If you can keep it.”
What Franklin meant by “if you can keep it” is that a government cannot be sustained without effort from the people. For some people, your duty as a citizen of the United States is to constantly fight for your freedoms, your freedoms to do various things and your freedoms from various things.
Many young people at 18 do not know that the easiest thing they can do to fight for their freedom is to register to vote. How are the people in government supposed to know what freedoms to protect, which ones matter most to you, if you do not fight to protect them?
It’s a funny situation, being raised in a country but not being able to vote. When I was three months old, my parents and I moved to Wichita, Kansas from Wrexham, Wales where my dad started to work at Raytheon Aircraft. In total, with moving to Canada for almost four years, I’ve lived in the US for over 16 years. I grew up here, learned about the history and politics of the country, however, I’m unable to vote.
If I was an American citizen, this would be the first election I would be able to vote in. Even though I’m unable to vote, I still follow politics and know who I believe would be fit to become president of the United States.
One of the biggest downsides, other than not being able to vote, is hearing that American citizens “can’t be bothered” or “don’t see the point.” Anybody that has the opportunity to vote, in this election in particular, should find it crucial to do so. Thinking that your vote doesn’t count, could not be farther from the truth. If everyone stopped believing that their vote counted, how would we declare the next president? How do you expect your voice to be heard, not only on political topics but in all aspects of the country?
If you are able to vote, you should be taking full advantage of that. Because, coming from someone who doesn’t have the opportunity to do so, it is very irritating to hear that you didn’t. You may be unexcited about this election and grit your teeth at who the candidates are, but I highly encourage you to register to vote by October 18th.