Real Talk #1

Someone recently gave me an important piece of advice: A rejection doesn’t take away what you’ve already accomplished. I’m really freaked out about getting the rest of my college decision at the end of this month, but  I’ll make the most of wherever I go. Apparently I also knew that when I was 15. The other day I found this essay that I  wrote two years ago.

Why I’ll be Okay If I Don’t Get Into an Ivy League School

I’m only a sophmore in high school, and I’ve already developed my list of the colleges to which I’ll be applying. Of course my list is peppered with the so-called “match” and “safety” schools, but I and thousands of other students around the country are aiming to be selected for a spot at some of the most selective schools in the nation, most notably, colleges in the Ivy League.

It should be noted that the Ivy League is actually an athletic conference, not some prestigious group that awards membership on the basis of academic excellence or selectivity in admissions. Going to an Ivy League school won’t automatically guarantee you fame and fortune, no matter how much their published alumni lists try to convince you.

A few months ago, I received a copy of Writing Poetry by John Holmes, a writer who attended Harvard University as a graduate student. Although he published nine books and several works in publications such as the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the Kenyon Review, this esteemed poet is virtually unheard of in today’s literary scene. Upon further investigation in the form of a Google search, the Wikipedia pages of five John Holmeses appear. Of these search results, John Holmes the poet was not the first listing. Instead, the man who took the title of the first John Holmes listed is John C. Holmes, one of the most prolific pornographic actors of all time.

The college you’ll attend won’t be the deciding factor of whether you’ll accomplish something great or not; going to an Ivy League school won’t insure that your books won’t go out of print and  your accomplishments will be remembered; the Wikipedia page of a porn star may even end up being more popular than your own. You can attend an “elite” college and still end up fading into oblivion.


The Election

I have no words for what happened today. I woke up this morning and checked the exit poll results. When I saw that they weren’t exactly in Clinton’s favor, I brushed it off, packed my things, and got off my bus.

During the break after my second period, my friend yelled across the room that Trump won. Some of my classmates burst into rapid German, and all I could understand were the brief moments of English “Make America Great Again” and “Grab her by the p—y”, shouted between laughs. Laughs. They were laughing at my country’s election and the people who’d voted in it, and I couldn’t blame them for it.

My teachers asked me if I was surprised. My friends offered me apologetic looks and suggested that I extend my visa. But it still didn’t seem real.

I moved through the day like any other. I went to my next class. I walked to my bus stop and went home. I was dreaming (or having a nightmare).

The outcome of the election wasn’t possible in my mind, and maybe that’s because everyone I follow on Instagram and Twitter had posts about welcoming the first female president to the White House. Because I’m not in the U.S, right now, the internet is the only way I can detect America’s pulse, and maybe I should’ve taken into account the fact that almost all of my friends and the people I admire are exceedingly liberal.

While this might part of the reason I was so shocked, I think it’s more so that I didn’t think the majority of voters could turn their backs on people who are as much a part of their country as they are, women, minorities, immigrants, Muslims, the LGBTQ+ community, people who all live, work, and love America.

I came from school today, and reality set in: A man who has oppressed or plans to oppress all of these people will become the President of the United States.

I’m angry, hurt, and fearful, and I can’t even begin to know what it’s like to have those feelings in a place where some people making their prejudiced views public and are harassing the groups of people that will most likely face future hardships at the hands of who’s been elected and the people who’ve elected him. It’s easy for me to attempt eloquence on this situation when I’m physically displaced from the people who may disagree with me.

To people who are scared or are dealing with unkindness, my thoughts are with you, and to people who have the privilege of feeling safe right now, please try to share that with your fellow Americans.