Top Ten Things I Was Introduced To
Webtoons: My friend kept trying to get me to read this specific webcomic, but he was expecting too much patience from me. In the meantime, I decided to read the other stories posted and was welcomed by dozens of amazing works. I now look forward to every weekday because my favorite comics are updated.
Lucidpress: I first used this template website to work on the print issue of the Raider Review for Journalism but now I use it in my other classes when we have projects. Since I already knew how to use it thanks to Journalism, I like to play around with the design functions. Most of my infographics and flyers are created using this website.
Among Us: A short but fun experience. My cousins would come over and we’d play this for hours. I even got to teach my teacher how to play and got betrayed by her when she persuaded the rest of the class to vote me out because she thought I was the imposter.
Slader: My sanity and grades were constantly saved thanks to slader. I was able to find the answers but also an explanation on how to solve the question. Not going to lie, it taught me more than my math teacher did.
Honey Mustard: The name itself had two things I didn’t like, that’s why I never tried it. But after a long day in sports, my friends and I walked to Tea Society and got some fries. My friends made me try some and surprisingly, they were pretty good. Now I only eat my fries and chicken nuggets with honey mustard.
Grammarly: As someone terrible at English, Grammarly was a big help. My teachers were always telling the class to install it but I didn’t because I was lazy. This function has helped me write emails, essays, and even tests.
Lay’s Kettle Cooked Jalapeno Chips: My classmates who sat next to me in math would fight for a bag of these chips. These are easily one of the best chips I have ever had. Its spiciness and tanginess never go away with every crisp crunch.
Wooden Pencils: They weren’t introduced to me per se, but seeing a classmate who only owned wooden pencils made me rethink how much plastic I was wasting since once I finished a lead pencil—and I finished them quite fast because lead is so easy to break—I would toss them out. When I realized that I had wooden pencils from elementary still sitting in my closet, I decided to trade them out. I haven’t used a lead pencil for about a year and a half.
The Movie Star Struck: I don’t watch movies but when a classmate stared horrified at me for never watching this movie, she insisted I did. I never told her that I watch it after I did but she wasn’t wrong, it was a pretty good Disney channel movie. It was the typical story of a normal girl falling in love with a celebrity; it absolutely cheesy and cringy but I was there for it.
Wattpad: A reading platform that helped made me fall in love with reading. I was obsessed with this during the summer after freshman year.
Top Ten Books I’ve Read in High School
Wait For It by Mariana Zapata: Around 670 pages, this slow-burn romance has made me laugh, cry, and scream. The main character, despite being through so much, never fails to be selfless and respectful to the strangers who did her wrong (something I wish I had the patience for).
To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo: We all heard of the Little Mermaid, who turned into a human to be with the Prince. How about a siren who turned into a human to rip out the Prince’s heart? The story of redemption, trust, and loyalty is one that kept me waiting for a squeal that’s never going to come.
We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist: I never thought I would enjoy an autobiography in my entire life. This hilarious amputee shares stories on all his dating fails, and using “scientific” information and thorough investigation, Sundquist uncovers the reason why he is single.
The Little Prince by Antonie De Saint-Exupery: There were many hidden meanings behind the story that I enjoyed discovering. It is an important lesson to stay creative and imaginative even as we grow into adulthood. Classics are not my favorite, but this picture book was beautifully written.
Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter: My greatest mistake a few years ago would have been returning this book back to the library without reading it. Already, the first chapter had me on the tip of my toes. My heart was RACING.
The Moth edited by Catherin Burns: I love hearing stories about experiences people have gone through. Whether they are sad, funny, or wholesome, everyone has a personal experience they would like to share. And I had the opportunity to read them.
From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas: Reading from multiple points of view has always been a pain for me, but this witty book was chaos, and I love it. Who knew being accidentally smuggled into Mexico would end up creating a meaningful speech that I have printed on my wall?
52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody: It’s been two years since I’ve read this book, but I remember this character having one of the best character developments. The author has a way of turning lessons we hear from teachers and parents all the time into something entertaining, yet still getting the message across.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: This was the only book I read for English class that I genuinely enjoyed reading. There was more tea spilled than the Boston Tea Party. I was at a loss for words.
The Shape of Ideas by Grant Snider: A quick, fun read for anytime you want to pass the time. My eyes were drawn to everything on the page, and it made me want to pick up a pencil too. The writing is simple but makes the reader think and connect.
Top Ten People I Never Got to Thank
Evy: Sophomore year, I was sitting alone reading when she walked over and sat next to me. She asked me why I was alone and told me to come to hang out with her. This girl who I had only two classes with and didn’t know very well went out of her way to invite a near stranger to keep company.
Mrs. Weck: She was like a scary mom. Half the time I was afraid to talk to her but she was one of the closest teachers I was with. When she retired, I might have shed some tears knowing that the last three years I had her would be the last.
Miranda: Sophomore year, when our teacher played our videos for the final, I told my classmate that I hated my voice and I didn’t want the class to watch it in a joking manner. I was fine with the video but out of nowhere, she grabbed onto my hands tightly while praising me throughout the whole thing. We were just classmates that happened to sit next to each other.
Brandon: I enjoyed the moments when he popped up out of nowhere during lunch to talk to me about random stuff. As a freshman who didn’t know many people, this upperclassman’s optimism and jokes made my day. Ever since he graduated, I find myself wishing I could continue our talks.
Donna: I have known her for three years but I didn’t get to know her that much until senior year. She’s the only person I text on a daily and share updates about my day too. I don’t think she knows how many times she manages to cheer me up with her random texts and pictures.
Theresa: She always invites me to go somewhere with her. We have lots of fun dates and even if we don’t see each other for a few months we still talk as if we never left.
BK: I never got to thank him for being my partner during Badminton. There were always jokes and stories being told when we hung out. I’m grateful he was one of the first friends I made on the team.
Alex: I appreciate how I would just be sitting there and he would walk up to talk to me. He sends me football memes to tick me off but they secretly make me laugh.
Phuong: One of the funniest people to be around. She is bouncing off the walls and I can never keep up with her. Sometimes it feels like she knows exactly when I want to hang out but I feel uncomfortable just walking up to her group of friends, so she walks up to me instead.
Nathan: It felt like he was the only one who understood how much I hated history class. I would complain to him about how stressed I was for the AP exam and all he would do was listen and pat my head. Sometimes, I don’t need a person to respond but just listen, and he was there for that.