First Name: Luca
Last Name: Culora
Recently, my grandfather passed away. Losing him has of course had a profound effect on the whole family, but my 4 year old brother has been having a particularly tough time dealing with, and wrapping his head around what transpired.
You see, there's this happy little grace period at the beginning of any and all lives; during which the concept of death has not yet been forced so violently into the mind of an individual. My little brother has just been pushed over the edge. The other night I was settling him and he asked me when my birthday was. I replied and he asked me whether there was some way to avoid it because he didn't want me to "get older and then die like grandpa". He's also explained on multiple occasions that he fears turning 5 for the same reason.
Of course, whenever he voices one of these concerns we all do our best to comfort him. My most recent method for doing so was to count all the way from 1 to 100 following the statement "I am now going to count every year a human being is supposed to live". He seemed satisfied with what he'd heard, until about 5 minutes later when he asked "did you say supposed?". And so, the concept of death continued to weigh heavily on his mind. A week later, we were eating breakfast and he asked me why we try to stay alive if we're going to die anyway. I responded by telling him that if we weren't going to die, there would be no reason for us to do anything. I waited 2 minutes, then 5, then 10, but he was silent.
You only truly start to live once you realize that you're going to die.
In computer science class sometimes I would score higher than (name will remain anonymous so we will call him Joe) Joe on exams and when he and I were doing coding tests we’d often finish at similar times way ahead of the class but everyone always praised him and only him on his stellar coding abilities and I often got dismissed in that class. Don’t get me wrong Joe is a great guy but it kind of hurts sometimes to be casted as "just a girl" in coding class.
If there was one thing in the world I could change, it would be perspective. If we could look up from our mirrors, We might notice the people around us.
First Name: Dani
My entire life I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck in a low point within my inner strengths, both physically and mentally. In the past year I’ve been trying to change this, I want to be able to defend myself from whatever the world may bring my way, whether this be physically or emotionally. I never noticed the strength and confidence that hobbies can bring to a person so if I can send one message to anyone it would be to try something new. It may be photography, painting, skateboarding, boxing, poetry, or any other sport and extracurricular that looks cool. I think that with each new skill we try, we carry a lesson from it onto our next journey in life. You don’t need to do it forever and you may realize that it’s just not for you, but you won’t know until you try. You could be one day away from a newfound happiness, so find your inner strength.