(Image courtesy of Gene Wilburn, Flickr)
Originally Published in the LA Times HS Insider
My school has been shut down for a week now, and I have literally nothing to do. Yes, there are online classes and SAT prep, but those get extremely tiresome after awhile. For my school, online classes are not mandatory and have no impact on your grades whatsoever. SAT prep is excruciatingly mundane and only holds any necessity because colleges value a 1600 score. Also, even things in which I enjoy on a normal basis gets boring like streaming “Friends” on one half of the screen and playing chess on the other half.
Therefore, I do what stem majors despise and write.
When I was younger, I kept a journal. I carried it around and wrote in it whenever I felt the need to. I wrote about playground crushes, how boring my teacher’s lectures were, my disdain for geometry, and when I got detention for throwing a potato wedge at a girl half my size. However, the reason I remember my journal so distinctly is because it got me through a fight with a close friend.
Any relationship created in elementary school begins because they offered you their juice box or because you like the same girl. This friendship was no exception. We met back in Kindergarten or Preschool. We just became friends because I asked if I could play with his “Ben 10” toys and he said yes. Several years later, we got into a fight. I did not know where to go or who to talk to.
My parents are supportive and my foundation, but I felt I needed to be by myself. So, I just poured my thoughts on to the pages of my journal. I reminisced my most fond memories and explained why we were in a fight. The beauty of writing in a book that will only be read by you is that nobody will criticize you. Our worlds are filled with constant stress and anxiety from school, society, family, and friends.
College admissions are frustrating and mental insecurities always make you ask if you are good enough. But with writing, we are never ostracized or berated. We can never be ashamed about our lack of substance because our only audience is ourselves.
When we place rules like in English class, we are restrained from actually saying what we think. We have to conform to a specific writing structure and are yelled at when we say “who” instead of “whom.” Writing is supposed to be expressive and not barred by subjective rules. The greatest writers in history like Edgar Allen Poe most likely did not know what an anacoluthon was and how to use it in a sentence because he cared about the quality and not the rules.
I ended my journal entries when I finished elementary school. Middle school was not tough to the point I did not have time to write, but I took interest in other things.
In 2018, I created an opinion platform called “The Outspoken Oppa.” I mostly write about the mess over in Washington, because the substance never runs out. The one thing I actually like about party politics is that it gives my website more traffic. Since then, I have been able to expand on philosophy, culture, entertainment, and Op-eds in general.
In a sense, the website stems from my journal because I get to write my thoughts openly. Except, this time, I am not the sole member of the audience. I clash in fiery debates online over politics and philosophy. I debate with people of the opposing party on governing ideologies and domestic issues. Sometimes, the dilemma is strikingly overwhelming. Which is why I found my old journal and read my past entries. To be in a world of solace, a temple of isolation is therapeutic in a time of crisis.
Executive Editor, Lead Politics Columnist, and Photographer. Co-founder of the La Cañada Charity. A patriot, chess enthusiast, and older brother attempting to be politically independent.
The founders of the Outspoken Oppa are also the founders of the La Cañada Charity. Every year on August 4th, we set up organized charities in Memorial park. We collect donations consisting of food, clothes, and toys. We believe in a world where every child has the opportunity to be lifted from poverty. Our mission is to provide the absolute necessities to the rising generation. We do that, by organizing charities annually across the city. We believe anyone has the capacity to revolutionize technology, pioneer science, and lead the nation. In 2018, we were able to collect 150 donations. In the 2019 charity, we obtained 1,200 donations meaning we had eight times more donations than the proceeding year. Our staff tripled over a year and we were able to reach a larger demographic. Join us in 2020 to help the homeless. Hope to see you then.