Close the GAP

A flirty photographic story that shows two models attempting to interact with one another, only to be separated by a GAP. Being people of colour, the gap is also a representation of the lack of diversity and the difficulties we encounter in the creative scene.

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How To Be Eco Friendly Without Breaking The Bank

Mother Earth has cared for us for our entire existence and in return, we have become monsters lurking in the shadows feeding off her life source and snatching away any beauty that’s left inside of her. Debates about climate change and global warming have become a reality, with unusual rising temperatures in places such as Antarctica where the land is turning green and the numbers of animals going extinct around the world are rising every day. She’s been calling out for help and it’s time for us to take action. You don’t have to spend money to make a change. The change starts within you and truly happens when you’re ready to commit and give back. Here are 6 tips to help you get started on your ecofriendly journey without spending a whole lot.

 REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE.

               Before we applied this into our lifestyle, we have to make sure we’re aware of what these three words mean. In a short summary, the three R’s are crucial to get started on your journey.  Reducing is limiting the amount of items you purchase on a daily basis and only keeping the essentials. Reusing is using items as many times as possible before buying them again. For example, instead of buying the new iPhone keep using your old phone until it reaches the point of non-functioning. Don’t fall into hype of things, or you’ll fall into debt. Lastly, Recycling is a habit that hopefully everyone should already be doing. It’s making sure your thrown away items are being put to use by companies that turns your trash into something useable and functional. These three things include effort and it’s something you can that will save you money.

COMPOSTING

      On my street it’s hard to see a house without a green bin on their front porch, and hopefully that’s the same for you. For people who aren’t aware, composting and using green bins are a way of turning waste into something resourceful and it helps reduce the amount of waste that’s shipped to landfills. There are many ways of getting your hands on a green bin (depending on where you live) but once you get started, it becomes a natural thing on garbage day. It might be a little overwhelming at first and even disgusting, but there are tips online to help you get started and you’re helping the environment every time you participate.

 GOING OUTSIDE

        Allow yourself to explore what nature has given to us. The only thing the Earth is lacking is appreciation and everyone wants validation from others. One of the cheapest ways we can help the world is letting ourselves wander and marvel what was made for us to see. It doesn’t have to be complicated either. It all starts when you put your shoes on and walk out of that door, then the rest is up to you. Breathe in the air and go on an adventure that doesn’t require staying indoors. Appreciate the daytime and the night. Spend time with family and friends, spread your love onto them. Don’t be put into a box, allow yourself to roam free.

SUPPORT ECO FRIENDLY BUSINESSES

       Spending is part of the daily consumer’s life and as teenagers, we fall deeply into that category. What you buy is your choice but being aware of what you’re actually wearing and where it comes from is something we need to have knowledge of. If you want to be eco-friendly or at least be cautious, make sure you do your research on the companies you buy from. It’s extra work but it’s worth knowing that you’re not supporting something you don’t believe in. Following after is supporting businesses that do promote eco friendliness. All it takes is one google search and finding stores that fit your price range. It’s worth knowing that you’re contributing into something good for the earth and yourself.

HEALTHY EATING

     Everyone has their own take of what healthy eating looks like and requires. However we can all agree that healthy eating does impact the environment in a good way. There are so many paths you could down within this topic, it all depends on yourself and what’s good for you in the time being. Some are better than others but its all part of your journey with discovering what works for you. Some ways include eating less meat or not eating meat, buying organic foods and locally grown, not purchasing plastic water bottles, cutting back on dairy, and etc. All of these help the environment in some way and even yourself.

SPREADING AWARENESS AND LOVE

       To give back to Mother Earth, we have to become something she always wanted us to be. Loving humans that appreciate each other and spread positivity onto others. Being kind is a choice but it’s a helpful one at that. We know that the Earth is dying, generations after us won’t get to see the sights that we saw when we were younger, animals that were from years ago aren’t around anymore, and it’s scary to realize that. It’s mind blowing that we are living in the now of it all and we feel useless and powerless. But that’s not true. It started with her but will end with us. We have to practice being kind towards others and the earth. We have to talk about the issues and make active solutions. We have to reach out when we’re all in struggle and be there for one another. It’s the least we can do to protect our own even though we failed to protect her. All she wants is to know that there’s people out there willing to make a change, and that person can and will be you. If you’re willing to try.

By Jennifer Kasiama

Pomp & Circumstance: The Anti Graduation Speech

Seniors,

Does it feel like you worked your hardest all four years of high school to get the opposite results you were hoping for? Did you follow the magic equation: excellent grades + rigorous classes + extracurriculars and sports + leadership + job = college success, and still come out empty handed? Or did you get accepted into your dream prestigious school, only to accept an offer at a state school for free tuition?

If this is you, you are not alone; many of your fellow classmates are sharing a similar experience that I believe occurs in five different stages of grief: Denial, “DAMN.”, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Individual experiences with each stage may vary, but the grief cycle is universal.

Believe it or not, I can atest to this experience.

For some students, the experience of receiving college acceptances is a joyous occasion. Some seniors flaunt their college acceptances on social media, which is good for them. They got in, of course they can enjoy their moment in the sun. However, I encountered something quite different when I received correspondences from my selected colleges. Even though I wasn’t the only person who encountered this situation, the experience still felt isolating and can be summed up with the overall feeling of “DAMN.”

Denial is a shorter stage of grief in the college rejection grief cycle. During the earliest stage, it may be hard to accept that the college you built your dreams and future around is no longer an option.

Although I’ve always taken higher level classes to challenge myself and feed my inquiring mind with knowledge, my end goal was to give myself the freedom to attend college wherever I wanted. I took the hardest IB classes offered at my school with the intention of having a rigorous course load that selective colleges sought. For example, IB Physics is a class that combines my weaknesses in math and science. However, I took the class because I thought that taking an already challenging class at the IB level would show colleges that I can take academic risks and succeed.

Not getting into my dream, or even target schools, has made me feel like everything I did was a waste. In hindsight, I could have opted out of taking IB History of American and IB English HL ll, arguably the hardest junior and senior courses offered at my school that entailed pain and suffering for a “greater outcome,” in favor of easier classes within the same subjects. I believe I could have taken easier classes and gotten the same end results.

During Sophomore year, we make decisions that affect both our high school career and life beyond high school. Every time we sign up for courses, we are making a gamble. Debating whether or not we made the right choice is the very definition of the bargaining stage of grief.

The longest stage of grief is depression. However, in the college decision process, the luxury of wallowing in your pity and self deprecation doesn’t exist because the deposit deadline is June 1 for all colleges and universities.

Rationally, I know that life is not over. However, I have not yet fully accepted the reality of the results of my extensive college search and the scramble it’s taken to settle into another college path.

Seniors: Realistically, we can still all end up at our dream school with enough work and determination. If you still feel passionately about a dream school that originally rejected you, consider transferring either next year or the following year. You can also still aim high for graduate or professional school, while having saved money on undergraduate tuition. Or maybe you’ll find that the path you felt forced to take, in the words of Robert Frost, “made all the difference.”

By Aisha